Analysts can’t stop talking about a “blue wave” for the upcoming 2018 midterm elections. This view might be justified, as 5 former prosecutors are running for House seats…as Democrats. In 2016, there were none.
According to The Hill, They all have different motivations for doing so – from the firing of James Comey to his attacks on his own Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but chief among them is the president himself.
“If Jeb Bush had been the [presidential] nominee and won, no way would I have run,” said Chris Hunter, running in Florida’s 12th Congressional District.
Even though President Trump overcame astonishing odds to become the president, his presidency has similarly emboldened many overtly opposed to his policies. A coalition of conservationists, environmentalists, Christians, liberals, conservatives, law enforcement, women, LGBT people, minorities, and more have emerged, giving ample pushback to his administration.
The problem the Republican Party faces in 2018 is seeing whether Trump’s increasingly small yet vocal base is worth playing to solely, or whether appealing to a broader coalition is preferable or necessary, even if it costs them those votes.
Trump has repeatedly caught the ire of those in the legal system for his disrespect for the rule of law. During the campaign, he called himself “the law and order candidate” but while president, pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio was a felon, convicted of criminal contempt of court, relating to his profiling practices against Latinos. The pardon was largely taken as an endorsement of Arpaio’s actions, and a signal that Trump does not care about the law as much as he claims.
One of the prosecutorial challengers was even more direct, and criticized Virginia representative Barbara Comstock (R) for letting the current Republican Congress “impugn the integrity of federal law enforcement.” (Another disconnect in the world of Trump is the high respect for police officers, but very low respect for the FBI’s current investigation of him.)
The Wall Street Journal, who ran the initial report of the prosecutors, was unable to find any former prosecutors running as Republicans.