In the November-December 2022 issue of Truckload Authority, we headlined our midterm election story “Going for the Goal: Political teams scrimmage for control of US House, Senate.”
By most accounts, the Republican Party was poised to create a tidal wave of red as it swept down the field to an easy victory. Even as the results started rolling in as the first votes were tallied, those “talking heads” on TV were creating a playbook that would have the GOP scoring endless times as the evening wore on.
But the Democrat’s defense stiffened as votes were reported, and the party was eventually able to retain control of the Senate.
So, the expected tidal wave slowed to a trickle, but Republicans were able to score one touchdown, capturing control of the House — including control of the important-to-trucking Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, whose chairman will likely be Rep. Sam Graves of Missouri.
“Now that the mid-term elections have concluded, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) remains committed to working with both parties to address the needs of our membership and the trucking business,” said David Heller, TCA’s senior vice president of safety and government affairs.
“As we’ve seen, the truckload industry’s role within the national economy continues to underscore the essentiality of motor carriers and professional truck drivers,” he noted. “Every political climate presents its own opportunities and challenges, but TCA will remain steadfast in our efforts to improve the lives of those within this great industry. Issues like safety, truck parking, hair testing, and the federal excise tax will continue to drive our advocacy initiatives on Capitol Hill. We look forward to working with everyone in the years ahead on these important issues and more.”
Missy Edwards of Missy Edwards Strategies, who consults with TCA on governmental affairs, provided the Truckload Authority team with a list of key races. While she didn’t try to predict winners, her choices on which races would be impactful were right on target.
Let’s review some of those races, along with the results.
Races predicted to make a difference in which party controls the Senate
- North Carolina. The incumbent, Republican Sen. Richard Burr, did not seek re-election. Republican Ted Budd defeated Democrat Cheri Beasley 50.7% to 47.2%. Two other candidates garnered the remaining votes.
- Ohio. Incumbent Republican Sen. Rob Portman retired. Republican JD Vance won over Democrat Tim Ryan by 53.3% to 46.7%.
- Pennsylvania. Incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Toomey retired. In one of the more hotly contested races, Democrat John Fetterman defeated Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz 51.1% to 46.5%. Three other candidates shared the remaining votes.
- Colorado. Incumbent Democrat Sen. Michael Bennet defeated Republican Joe Odea 55.9% to 41.3%. Three other candidates split the remaining votes.
Senate races predicted to directly impact the trucking industry
- Georgia. Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker faced one another in a December 6 runoff that decided whether the Senate wound up 51-49 or 50-50. Warnock defeated Walker 51.4% to 48.6%. In the hotly contested runoff, 3,534,240 votes were cast. In the November election, Warnock garnered 49.4% of the votes to 48.5% for Walker. The Liberian Party candidate had 2.1% of the vote. Warnock is a current member of the Senate Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over highways and transportation.
- Arizona. Incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly captured 51.4% of the vote to 46.5% for challenger Republican Blake Masters, and the Libertarian party candidate got 2.1% of the vote. Kelly is currently a member of the Senate Environment and Public Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over the construction and maintenance of highways.
- Wisconsin. Incumbent Republican Sen. Ron Johnson defeated Democratic challenger Mandela Barnes 50.5% to 49.5%. Johnson is a current member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, which has jurisdiction over highways and transportation.
- New Hampshire. Incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan defeated challenger Donald Bolduc 53.6% to 44.4% in November; the other votes went to the Libertarian party candidate. Hassan is a current member of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over taxation and revenues.
- Nevada. Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto defeated Republican challenger, Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, 48.9% to 48%, with other candidates receiving the remaining vote. Cortez Masto is a current member of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over taxation and revenues.
Races predicted to help determine the final makeup of the House
These races were also of interest to the trucking industry; if the vote total does not equal 100%, the remaining votes went to parties other than Republican and Democrat.
- Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH-1) defeated Republican Karoline Leavitt 53.7% to 46.3% in the general election. Pappas, who addressed the Winter 2021 meeting of TCA’s leadership, is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
- Rep. Tom Malinoski (D-NJ-7) defeated Tom Kean Jr. 56.1% to 48.2%. Malinowski addressed TCA’s Fall 2022 Call on Washington.
- Rep. Michele Steele (R-CA-45) is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. She defeated Democrat Jay Chen 53.8% to 46.2%
- Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV-1) is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. She has met annually with TCA and has been a strong supporter of Twin 33s. She defeated Republican Mark Robertson 51.6% to 45.9%.
- Rep. Greg Stanton (D-AZ-4) is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. His district includes the headquarters of Knight Transportation and Swift Transportation. He defeated Republican Kelly Cooper 56.1% to 43.7%.
Lyndon Finney’s publishing career spans over 55 years beginning with a reporter position with the Southwest Times Record in Fort Smith, Arkansas, in 1965. Since then he’s been a newspaper editor at the Southwest Times Record, served five years as assistant managing editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock and from November 2004 through December 2019 served as editor of The Trucker. Between newspaper jobs he spent 14 years as director of communications at Baptist Health, Arkansas’ largest healthcare system. In addition to his publishing career he served for 46 years as organist at Little Rock’s largest Baptist church.