NEWS & Insights

Four Vote Lead; Rep. Gallagher to Resign


The battle to claim the second general election position in California’s open 16th Congressional District continues to drag on, and now the election officials are determining if provisional and late arriving ballots should be added to the aggregate count. An estimated 400+ ballots are in this category.

The current standing finds San Mateo County Supervisor and former state Senator Joe Simitian (D) leading Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) by a mere four votes, 30,222 to 30,218. This small number is an increase for Simitian from his previous one vote edge. Previously, Mr. Low held two and three vote leads in a pair of released counts.

Former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (D) has already clinched the first general election finalist position. The Secretary of State has until April 12th to certify all March 5th primary elections and it is likely determining the second place finisher here will consume the entire time allotment.

Whoever is declared the loser once all ballots are tabulated will obviously call for a recount. Should the race for second place end in a tie, then both contenders would advance into the general election against Mr. Liccardo.

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates CA-16 as heavily Democratic at D+49. President Biden carried the seat with a 75-22% margin, so this was always a district that was projected to advance a pair of Democrats to the general election. Now, however, the potential of seeing three Democrats compete in November becomes a possibility.

The 16th CD is a south San Francisco Bay domain that encompasses the heart of the Silicon Valley and houses Stanford University. The district captures the cities of Palo Alto, Mountain View, and Los Gatos, along with a significant portion of San Jose. The population lies in two large counties, Santa Clara and San Mateo. Incumbent Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Atherton) is retiring. She has represented most of this current district configuration since her original election in 1992.


In February, four-term Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Green Bay) announced that he would not seek a fifth term this year. On Friday, Mr. Gallagher reiterated his plan to leave Congress, but will do so earlier than expected. The Congressman indicated he will resign from the House on April 19th.

Leaving at that April date does not allow the state to replace him with an early special election to fill the balance of the term and must instead wait until the regular primary and general election. Therefore, Republicans will be another seat down until early November. Mr. Gallagher becomes the sixth House member to resign during this session of Congress in addition to Rep. George Santos (R-NY), who was expelled from the body.

Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District, anchored in the Green Bay and Appleton areas, contains nine counties and parts of two others in the state’s northeastern sector. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+20. Then-President Trump recorded a 57.0 – 41.5% showing here in the 2020 election. Therefore, Republicans should have little trouble holding this seat in both the special and general elections.

Two major Republicans are competing for the party nomination. Roger Roth was the 2022 GOP nominee for Lt. Governor. During his legislative career, he served as President of the State Senate for four of his eight years as a member of the body. He was also twice elected to the state Assembly.

At this point, Mr. Roth will face state Sen. Andre Jacque (R-Green Bay). Prior to his election to the Senate in 2018, Mr. Jacque served four terms in the state Assembly. No Democrat has yet announced.

We offer this political insights report for your information and not as a predictor or representative of opinions of HBS or its employees.