Trump: Trump is continuing to be Trump with his tweets this weekend.
Education Secretary: Trump has picked Betsy DeVos (R), a major charter school and GOP activist, as his education secretary. DeVos is a former MIGOP chair and wife of 2006 MI-Gov nominee Dick (R).
Stein: The Green Party nominee has raised some $6M to demand recounts in PA, MI, and WI – more than she raised for her actual campaign. I imagine the recount will go something like this.
2020: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) already has her eye on 2020.
AL-Sen: Gov. Robert Bentley (R) has asked the ALGOP executive committee for suggestions on a Senate appointment. Bentley is also still considering whether to hold a special election in early 2017 or to try to have an appointee serve until the 2018 general election. The spirit of the law seems to strongly suggest a 2017 contest, but as far as I know there is nothing to specifically preclude Bentley holding the seat for the appointee until November 2018.
More AL-Sen: AG Luther Strange (R) will run in the Senate special election, though he has indicated he will not actively seek Bentley’s appointment. Strange has made the most committed expression of interest in the race, but five other candidates have expressed interest in a bid or appointment: Reps. Mike Rogers (R), Robert Aderholt (R), and Mo Brooks (R) and State Sens. Del Marsh (R) and Arthur Orr (R).
LA-Sen: Two weeks ahead of a runoff he is all but certain to lose, Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell (D) is seeing an influx of enthusiasm from clueless national Democratic activists disheartened by the presidential result. In typical NYT fashion, the article focuses on liberal support for the economically liberal and socially moderate Campbell while glossing over how useless it is in a deeply-conservative state. Campbell trails State Treasurer John N. Kennedy (R), a conservative populist, by over 20 points in the most recent polling.
ND-Sen, ND-AL: State Sen. Tom Campbell (R) will run for a congressional post this cycle, but which one he shoots for will depend on the plans of Rep. Kevin Cramer (R). Cramer is thought to be interested in either a Trump admin post or a challenge to Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) in 2018; if Cramer resigns, Campbell says he will run for ND-AL in the special, and if Cramer challenges Heitkamp he will run for the House in 2018. But if Cramer stays put, Campbell will run against Heitkamp himself. Treasurer Kelly Schmidt (R) and several other Republicans are also thought to be interested in congressional runs this cycle depending on Cramer’s plans.
CO-Gov: Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler (R) has indicated he is likely to run for Governor in 2018, saying he is at least 8-out-of-10 likely to run. However, Brauchler seemed all but certain to enter the race for the seat of Sen. Michael Bennet (D) this past year before pulling out at the last minute, so salt that statement to taste. Brauchler and Treasurer Walker Stapleton (R) are considered the most likely top-tier Republicans to run for this open seat.
CT-Gov: Danbury Mayor and 2014 candidate Mark Boughton (R) has formed an exploratory committee for a second run for Governor. Three other Republicans have formed exploratory committees for statewide races next cycle, but have not indicated their plans: State Sens. Tony Hwang (R) and Rob Kane (R) and 2014 SoS nominee Peter Lumaj (R). Unpopular Gov. Dan Malloy (D) has not indicated whether he will seek a third term.
MA-Gov: Newton Mayor Setti Warren (D) has been telling donors that he intends to run against Gov. Charlie Baker (R) in 2018. The decision has been widely suspected since he decided not to run for re-election several weeks ago. Warren is the first Dem to express interest in taking on the very-popular Baker, but several other candidates have been mentioned as possibilities.
NJ-Gov: State Rep. John Wisniewski (D) kicked off his campaign for Governor last week, channeling antiestablishment Sanders-esque rhetoric to take on Ambassador and Goldman Sachs executive
Jon Corzine Jr. Phil Murphy (D). As Murphy has successfully bought essentially all the state’s powerful local Dem machines, Wisniewski will face a very uphill battle.
More NJ-Gov: Across the aisle, State Rep. Jack Ciattarelli (R) is the only serious Republican in this race, but several others are considering, including the newest dark-horse name, Nutley (pop. 28K) councilman Steve Rogers (R). Rogers, who seems to be basically one step up from Some Dude, would face very uphill odds if he entered.
NC-Gov: Gov. Pat McCrory (R) is asking for a recount in this race, where he trails AG Roy Cooper (D) by about 6000 votes. Barring something very unexpected, a recount is unlikely to overturn that kind of margin.
SC-Gov: Here is a look at how the ascension of LG Henry McMaster (R) to the top job will alter the 2018 Governor’s race. State Rep. Tommy Pope (R), who had announced a run, says he will not run against McMaster if he seeks a full term, while Haley Admin official Catherine Templeton (R) said she will make an announcement in January, amid rumors that she may be McMaster’s running mate. The third candidate who has entered the race, D-turned-R ex-LG Yancey McGill (R), has not indicated his plans.
AR-Lands Comm: Local GOP official and businessman Tommy Land (R) has become the first candidate to enter the race for this seat, which is open because incumbent John Thurston (R) is termed-out and running for SoS. State Rep. Laurie Rushing (R) is also considering a run for this office.
FL-CFO: Outgoing State Sen. Jeremy Ring (D) is considering a run for this open seat. Ring, a former Yahoo executive from the Ft. Lauderdale area, had also been mentioned as a possible gubernatorial candidate but seems much more focused on the CFO race, for which he would likely have a clear path to the Dem nomination. LG Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R) and State Sen. Tom Lee (R) are considered possible candidates on the GOP side.
MN-AG: Ex-State Rep. Ryan Winkler (D), who left the legislature in 2015 when his wife took a job in Belgium, will run for AG in 2018, but only if incumbent Lori Swanson (D) does not run for re-election. Swanson has been considered a likely candidate for Governor or an open Senate seat if Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) runs for Gov.
SC-LG: After LG Henry McMaster (R) ascends to the Governorship, the question of who will replace him as LG is a thorny one. South Carolina recently approved a constitutional amendment changing from a separately-elected LG to a Presidential-style Gov/LG Ticket, and the new law did away with the old system in which the powerful Senate President was forced to “ascend” to the all but powerless LG job when a vacancy arose, allowing the Governor to fill the LG slot when it is open. However, the ticket portion of the law doesn’t take effect until the 2018 election, and it is an open question whether McMaster can appoint his replacement or if the old law is still in effect. If it is the latter, a State Senator will need to take the LG job, and just as when it came open in 2014, few (especially Senate President Hugh Leatherman (R)) are likely to want it. CW is that it will likely ultimately go to a Democratic Senator, as they have less to lose being in the minority.
VA-AG: State Rep. Rob Bell (R) is dropping out of the race for AG against incumbent Mark Herring (D) and will seek re-election to his legislative seat. Bell cited family issues as reasons for the decision, but Herring’s decision to seek re-election may have played just as big a role; an incumbent Virginia LG or AG hasn’t been defeated for re-election in at least 80 years. Prosecutor John Adams (R) is now the only serious Republican in the race, but State Sen. Bill Stanley (who, unlike Bell, does not need to give up his seat) is now considering an entry.
WI-Supt: School administrator John Humphries (R) will run against Superintendent Tony Evers (D) in next spring’s non-partisan election for the post. Humphries, a former Democrat who signed the recall petition against Gov. Walker, received support from two legislators, a Republican and a DINO. Ex-Beloit schools superintendent Lowell Holtz (R) appears to be the other serious Republican in the race.
Other State & Local:
Baton Rouge-Mayor: Ex-LAGOP chair Daryl Gissel (I), who ran as an Independent and took sixth place in the jungle primary, is backing ex-State Sen. Sharon Weston-Broome (D) over State Sen. Bodi White (R) in the December 10 runoff. Gissel’s 6% of the November vote, clustered among moderate whites in wealthy areas near downtown, could be important in the race, as Democrats led Republicans 48-43 in November (though turnout will be much lower for the runoff). For his part, White secured the support of councilman John Delgado (R), a more moderate Republican.
New Orleans-Mayor: Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell (D) is running for this open seat next year; she is the first candidate in what is likely to be a very crowded field of Democrats seeking to replace termed-out Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D).
Jersey City-Mayor: Ex-State Rep. Charles Mainor (D), who fell out of favor with the local machine and was forcibly retired in 2015, will challenge incumbent Steve Fulop’s (D) re-election bid. Fulop, who was previously an outsider but has largely co-opted the machine, will also face attorney Bill Matsikoudis (D), who is close to the machine faction of ex-Mayor Jeremiah Healy (D). The race could be very interesting in the diverse city: Fulop’s base is wealthy white liberals in the eastern part of the city, Matsikoudis should be strong with Hispanics (who were Healy’s base) in the northern part of the city, and Mainor has a base in the black community in the city’s southern parts.
NY-Nassau-CE: County commissioner Laura Curran (D), a mavericky Dem, is the latest entry into a crowded field running for the seat of indicted County Executive Ed Mangano (R) next year. Curran joins State Rep. Charles Lavine (D) and R-turned-D county comptroller George Maragos (D). Mangano has not said if he will stand for a third term.
LA-Jefferson-CE: Jefferson Parish chief executive Mike Yenni (R) has admitted to sexting a 17-year old boy. Yenni is fighting calls for his resignation and denying that a sexual relationship took place. If there was a sexual relationship, it would be legal under Louisiana law, though Yenni might face federal charges over his use of technology.
FL-SD-30: A judge will need to decide whether to throw out the results and order a redo in this election, in which State Rep. Bobby Powell (D) won a promotion to this D+5 (2012) seat around West Palm Beach and its northern suburbs. Powell’s primary rival, pastor Ruben Anderson (D), had his filing fee check bounce after the deadline. Florida law states that those types of errors are fixable, but only before the filing deadline, creating a catch-22. In a similar case, the mayoral election in the slumburb of Miami Gardens was invalidated and a redo ordered. If a redo is ordered, Powell would likely be a strong favorite in both the primary and general, but low turnout might give his general election rival, attorney Ron Berman (R), a chance at an upset.
KY-Redistricting: The Republicans are considering a redraw of the State House map. Given how much the coalitions have shifted in our favor in Kentucky, this seems ridiculously unnecessary to me.
Tomorrow, there are two special elections up for grabs in Mississippi, both all-GOP runoffs leftover from November. MS-LD-89 is a ~R+23 (2008) seat covering the west side of Hattiesburg. looks Physician Donnie Scoggin (R) is favored over businessman Ron Swindall (R) after leading 47-31 in November, but much lower turnout tomorrow may make the first round non-predictive. MS-LD-106 is a rural ~R+23 (2008) seat around Poplarville. Farmer John Corley (R) and attorney Greg Holcomb (R) are facing off; as Corley led Holcomb 28-25 in November there is no clear favorite.