Herrera Beutler Weighing Gov Run, Donors Say

Former Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Happy Wednesday! Congrats to Democratic state Sen. Jennifer McClellan, who on Tuesday won a special-election victory in Virginia’s deep-blue 4th Congressional District over Republican Leon Benjamin. McClellan will become the first black woman to represent Virginia in Congress. 

Up to Speed

  • One day after a public visit to Kyiv, President Joe Biden pledged ongoing U.S. military support for Ukraine’s defensive war against Russia in a speech in Warsaw, Poland. “Autocrats only understand one word: No, no, no. No, you will not take my country. No, you will not take my freedom. No, you will not take my future,” Biden said. “Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia.” Several hours later, former President Donald Trump released a video statement claiming that “World War III has never been closer than it is right now.” “We need to clean house of all of the warmongers and America-last globalists in the deep state, the Pentagon, the State Department, and the national security industrial complex,” Trump said. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also scoffed at Biden’s Europe trip this week: “He’s very concerned about those borders halfway around the world,” he said in a Monday appearance on Fox & Friends. “He’s not done anything to secure our own border here at home.”
  • Pretty much everybody is still operating under the assumption that Biden is running for reelection, but Politico has some good reporting this morning on how his internally delayed announcement—once reportedly planned for February, now expected in April—“has resulted in an awkward deep freeze across the party” in which “some potential presidential aspirants and scores of major donors are strategizing and even developing a Plan B while trying to remain respectful and publicly supportive of the 80-year-old president.”
  • The 2024 presidential race just got its third GOP contender, its second Indian-American candidate, and its first political newcomer. Vivek Ramaswamy, a biotech founder who since 2020 has remade himself online and in frequent Fox News appearances as an “anti-woke” activist, announced a run for president Tuesday with an appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight and a slick launch video in which he denounced “new secular religions like COVID-ism, climate-ism, and gender ideology.”
  • The Democratic field may soon get its first outside challenger too: Self-help guru Marianne Williamson has teased a second consecutive presidential bid with the promise of an “important announcement” in early March. Williamson was never a major contender in 2020, dropping out before even the Iowa caucuses, but had several memorable debate performances, including one in which promised to “harness love for political purposes” to combat Trump. “I will meet you on that field,” she said, “and sir, love will win.”
  • Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana announced Wednesday he will run for reelection. His seat is a top target for Republicans this cycle in a state Donald Trump won by more than 16 points in 2020.

Jaime Herrera Beutler Mulls a 2024 Gubernatorial Bid, Donors Say

In September, investment manager and Washington state political fundraiser David Nierenberg received a telephone call from an old friend, Armando Herrera. He was calling on behalf of his daughter Jaime Herrera Beutler, the six-term congresswoman representing Washington’s 3rd District.

Troubled by her jungle primary defeat to GOP challenger Joe Kent and Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez several weeks prior, Herrera Beutler’s father wanted to know whether his daughter should take another run at elected office—and shoot higher. 

“​​He asked me what I thought about the prospect of Jaime running for governor,” Nierenberg told The Dispatch in an interview. 

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