Election Results Shuffle Potential Poker Legislators
November 3, 2021
The November 2nd elections, and their effects on the previously dominant Democratic party, has been covered ad nauseum by the mainstream media over the last couple of days, however little has been said as to the effects those results may end up having on future and pending poker legislation. 

This of course is not really that surprising, just because many of us who write about this stuff every day like to think everything is about poker somehow, doesn’t make it so, and the truth is with the economy, health care, the environment, and more, in flux with Tuesday’s tallies, it would be pert near irresponsible for anyone at CNN or MSNBC to waste airtime, for example on how Harry Reid’s reelection may effect Barney Frank’s most recent online poker bill.

That comfortably leaves the topic to us- in the shall we say less mainstream media- though admittedly with so many new faces joining Congress- and many old friends departing- it may well be sometime before it is possible to get an accurate read on how the new political landscape will effect the poker world.

What is known- at least with let’s say a 2% margin of error with all districts now reporting- is which of poker’s previous allies are still with us, at least as defined by PokerPAC, the direct advocacy arm of the Poker Players Alliance- poker’s leading grassroots advocacy group with over 1 million members nationwide.

About two weeks ago, PokerPAC announced 58 candidates they would be endorsing for the upcoming elections, based on the candidate’s previous willingness to vote favorably on poker legislation- such as Frank’s H.R. 2267- and after November 2nd’s carnage only 43 of those that were endorsed remain. 

Perhaps not surprisingly, given the way this year’s election played out, of the 14 endorsed Congresspeople who lost their congressional bids (possibly 15 depending on how New York’s Dan Maffei ultimately fares), all were Democrats, leaving only 27 pro poker Democrats still in the group. 

Although poker has historically proven itself to be a fairly nonpartisan issue, traditionally it does seem true that Democrats have been more receptive to the idea of regulating and taxing online poker then their Republican counterparts across the aisle- which is perhaps why only 15 of the original 58 PokerPAC endorsements were for Republicans.   With this most recent changing of the guard so heavily favoring those Republicans then, it is somewhat hard to believe the November 2nd election was by any means what The Poker Beat’s panel might call “good for poker.”

The 14 PokerPAC endorsed candidates who lost on November 2nd were as follows:

John Adler (D-NJ)                              Scott Murphy (D-NY)
Steve Driehaus (D-OH)                      Dina Titus (D-NV)
Joe Garcia (D-FL)                              John Callahan (D-PA)
Alan Grayson (D-FL)                         Paul Kanjorski (D-PA)
Paul Hodes (D-NH)                            Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH)
Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL)                    Walt Minnick (D-ID)
Betsy Markey (D-CO)                        Tom Perriello (D-VA)

The 43 PokerPAC endorsed candidates who retained their seats are:

Joe Barton (R-TX)                              Judy Biggert (R-IL)
Michael Bennet (D-CO)                     Russ Carnahan (D-MO)
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)                   Steve Cohen (D-TN)
John Campbell (R-CA)                       Joe Courtney (D-CT)
Lacy Clay (D-MO)                             Barney Frank (D-MA)
John Conyers (D-MI)                         Jim Gerlach (R-PA)
Dean Heller (R-NV)                           Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
Darrell Issa (R-CA)                            Jim Himes (D-CT)
Peter King (R-NY)                             Steve Israel (D-NY)
John Larson (D-CT)                           Leonard Lance (R-NJ)
Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ)                     Christopher Lee (R-NY)
George Miller (D-CA)                       Connie Mack (R-FL)
Jim Moran (D-VA)                             Kenny Marchant (R-TX)
Ed Perlmutter (D-CO)                        Jim McDermott (D-WA)
Gary Peters (D-MI)                            Christopher Murphy (D-CT)
Harry Reid (D-NV)                            Ron Paul (R-TX)
Adam Schiff (D-CA)                          Jared Polis (D-CO)
Pete Sessions (R-TX)                         Linda Sanchez (D-CA)
Anthony Weiner (D-NY)                    Robert Scott (D-VA)   
Robert Andrews (D-NJ)                     Bennie Thompson (D-MS)
Shelley Berkley (D-NV)                    Mel Watt (D-NC)
Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA)
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