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Weekend Open Thread for November 17-19, 2017

Programming Update:  we have a busy weekend electorally speaking… Louisiana has runoffs on Saturday and Democrats are hosting their nominating convention in PA-18 on Sunday morning.  Liveblogs start at 9pm and 11am respectively.

(1) How far along are we in the political sexual assault scandal awakening?  I think we are just watching the tide go out before the tsunami.

(2) How should candidates be nominated for special elections?

And because it is the weekend…. we remind you the Democrats are back HERE!

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Political Roundup for November 17, 2017

Senate:

AL-Sen: A new Fox News poll shows Roy Moore (R) trailing Doug Jones by 8 points, 50-42. This is the 2nd poll in as many days to show Moore trailing by a significant margin. The election is still 3 1/2 weeks away, so we will see more polls, but for now it appears that the scandal is sinking in with the electorate.

Sex scandals not involving Roy Moore: Sen. Al Franken (D) has been accused by Leeann Tweeden, currently a radio news anchor in Los Angeles of groping and kissing her without her consent while on a USO tour in 2006. Franken was the headliner act as a comedian, while Tweeden served as an emcee. Franken has apologized for his behavior in a picture that accompanied the story but also said he doesn’t remember everything the same way she did. He says he will cooperate with an Ethics Committee investigation into the matter.

Other scandal-plagued senators: A mistrial was declared yesterday in the corruption trial of Sen. Robert Menendez (D). Justice Department officials are reviewing the case to decide whether to put him back on trial, and the Ethics Committee may take up the case as well.

RI-Sen: Former state Supreme Court Justice Bob Flanders is running for the Republican nomination for US Senate. Flanders says he voted for Donald Trump, and liked his goals, but says he doesn’t have to “run with him” and support everything he does. Flanders joins state Rep. Robert Nardolillo (R) in the race to face Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D).

TN-Sen: Conservative activist Andy Ogles dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination for Senate on Wednesday. When Ogles got in the race in September, he expected to be a conservative, populist alternative to Sen. Bob Corker (R). But after Corker decided not to seek re-election and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) and ex-Rep. Stephen Fincher (R) entered the race, he saw his chances of winning all but vanish.

House:

NH-1: State Rep. Mindi Messmer (D) announced yesterday she is running for Congress. Messmer joins a Democratic primary that includes Executive Councilor Chris Pappas (D), former state AFl-CIO head Mark McKenzie, former Stafford County Attorney Lincoln Soldati, and Rochester City Attorney Terence O’Rourke. State Sen. Andy Sanborn (R) and former Liquor Commission Chief of Enforcement Eddie Edwards are running for the GOP nomination.

PA-15: Dauphin County Commissioner Mike Pries (R) is joining the Republican nomination for Congress. Pries joins a race that includes state Reps. Ryan Mackenzie (R) and Justin Simmons (R) and Lehigh County Commissioner Marty Nothstein (R). Pries is currently the only candidate from the west side of the district while the other 3 come from the east side.

TN-7: Country music songwriter Lee Thomas Miller announced this week he is running for Congress. Miller had been rumored as a possible candidate. He is currently the only candidate to challenge state Sen. Mark Green (R), who got in the race immediately after Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) announced she was running for US Senate.

TX-29: Two candidates have already announced they are running for this seat after Rep. Gene Green (D) announced his retirement on Monday. State Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D) entered the race on Tuesday, as did state Rep. Armando Walle (D). Former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia (D) is also considered likely to run, and others may get in the race.

VA-2: Virginia Beach Democratic Party chairman Dave Belote is dropping out of the race for Congress. Belote says he is dropping out to help his father care for his ailing mother. Belote was the first Democrat to challenge Rep. Scott Taylor (R). 3 other Democrats are still in the race, businesswoman and 2016 nominee Shawn Brown, who lost to Taylor by 23 points, retired construction company owner Garry Hubbard, and schoolteacher Karen Mallard.

Governor:

CT-Gov: LG Nancy Wyman (D) will not run for governor next year. Speculation had been that Wyman would likely not run, but she had repeatedly refused to declare her intentions. She would have been the biggest name in the Democratic primary, but her ties to unpopular Gov. Dan Malloy (D) could have been a liability. Without Wyman in the race, there is no clear favorite in the Democratic primary. Democrats running or exploring a run include former West Hartford Mayor Jonathan Harris, Middletown Mayor Dan Drew, former prosecutor Chris Mattei, Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, former Wall Street finance executive Dita Bhargava, and former state veterans affairs commissioner Sean Connolly. A large field of Republicans are running too.

GA-Gov: Businessman Clay Tippins has officially entered the race for the GOP nomination for governor. Tippins, also a former Navy SEAL, has never run for office before and joins a race with experienced officeholders. Other candidates include LG Casey Cagle (R), Sec. of State Brian Kemp (R), and state Sens. Hunter Hill (R) and Michael Williams (R).

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Louisiana Runoff, PA-18 Dem Convention, & Chile Preview

This weekend is an unusually busy one for elections. Louisiana is holding its runoff on Saturday for Treasurer and New Orleans Mayor; we will begin liveblogging at 9p ET. Then on Sunday, PA-18 Democrats will hold their special nominating convention; we will liveblog that as well starting at Noon ET. Finally, Chile is also holding its general election on Sunday.

Derrick Edwards

LA-Treas: The lone statewide election this year is the special election for Treasurer, to replace now-Sen. John Kennedy (R). Appointed incumbent Ron Henson (R), who was Kennedy’s deputy and took over for the interim, is not seeking the seat. Attorney Derrick Edwards (D) came in first in the October preliminary round with 31% by virtue of being the only serious Democrat. Edwards is an interesting candidate; he is a quadriplegic who overcame his disability to get a law degree. However, Edwards has not shown any signs of fundraising or running a serious campaign – his campaign is so inept that he has even been unable to submit the required financial paperwork on time. The state’s Democratic establishment is giving him essentially no real support, though he did, however, pick up the official party endorsement ahead of the runoff. Given that he is still not running a particularly serious campaign and the three GOP candidates took 2/3 of the vote in the primary, it would be a shock if Edwards came anywhere close to winning.

John Schroder

Edwards’s rival and the prohibitive favorite in the general is State Rep. John Schroeder (R). Schroeder, who came in second in the primary with 24%, has represented a conservative district on the North Shore of Lake Ponchartrain. Schroeder has fundraised well and run a competent campaign, narrowly edging out two serious rivals in the primary. Schroeder’s big possible problem here could be voter overconfidence in the outcome – he is considered such a strong favorite that turnout is likely to be incredibly low, meaning that high New Orleans turnout for the mayoral race could theoretically throw the race to Edwards if turnout is low enough. Assuming Schroeder is competent enough to stimulate even a modest GOP turnout across the rest of the state, he should prevail easily though. RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Safe R.

New Orleans Mayor: New Orleans is coextensive with Orleans Parish (County); it has a population of 400K that breaks down as roughly 60% Black and 30% White. It has a PVI of D+32 (2016). New Orleans has three major socioeconomic groups: upper-income whites, particularly in the city’s northwest and around Tulane, low-income blacks in the central part of the city, and middle-class blacks in the suburban New Orleans East and Algiers neighborhoods. City councilwoman Latoya Cantrell (D) placed first in the primary with 39%. Cantrell is a mainstream liberal, with some mild progressive tendencies. She has strong name recognition from representing a fifth of the city on the council. Cantrell did significantly better than expected in the first round, and also secured the endorsements of both the third and fouth-place finishers. As such, Cantrell looks like a fairly strong favorite to prevail this weekend. Her rival is a fellow mainstream liberal, retired judge Desiree Charbonnet (D), who came in second in the primary with 30%. Charbonnet is a longtime local pol who received national buzz on the bench as one of the first judges to try sentencing-reform initiatives. Her second-place showing in the primary was something of a disappointment, as Charbonnet had the strongest fundraising and establishment support in the first round, including endorsements from Rep. Cedric Richmond (D) and DA Leon Cannizzaro (D) as well as the bulk of the city’s labor organizations. The runoff has become quite nasty, with both Cantrell and Charbonnet hitting the other on questionable spending of taxpayer dollars for personal expenses. The tit-for-tat accusations have left neither candidate looking good, but probably even out in the wash. And thus Cantrell’s stronger first-round performance and endorsements probably leave her a moderate favorite.

There is also a single legislative special this Saturday. LA-LD-77 is an R+30 (2016) seat in exurbs around Covington on the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain vacated by Schroeder to focus on his Treasurer run. Antiestablishment-leaning 2014/16 US Senate candidate Rob Maness (R) took first place in the primary with 37% and is facing a runoff with Covington councilman Mark Wright (R), who came in second with 25%. Maness’s strong first-round lead and name rec are strong advantages, but Wright has the endorsements of both eliminated first-round candidates and the local GOP organization. Overall there is no clear favorite in the runoff.

PA-18 Dem Convention: Then on Sunday, Democrats in PA-18 are holding their special nominating convention for a nominee to replace Rep. Tim Murphy (R). The seat is based in and largely coextensive with the southern suburbs of Pittsburgh; it has a PVI of R+11. While this seat is a long-shot for Dems, they may have a small chance for an upset. Dems have a seven-way field with what seem to be four serious contenders. Our liveblog will begin at Noon ET.

Conor Lamb

Federal prosecutor Conor Lamb (D) looks like the slight but noticeable front-runner. Lamb is in his early 30s, serving a tour in the Marines before a stint as a federal prosecutor. He is also something of an Heir Force candidate as the nephew of Pittsburgh City Comptroller Michael Lamb (D); while none of Pittsburgh is in the seat, that is still a connection that is likely to net him valuable Dem establishment ties at the convention. Unlike his three most serious rivals, Lamb did not enter the race before Murphy resigned, but that may actually be a positive, as all three of his major rivals have had poor fundraising. (my odds – 35%)

Pam Iovino

Bush 43 Admin official Pam Iovino (D) has an interesting biography as a career Naval officer who later served in a high-level VA post under W. Iovino has also held veterans’ affairs positions in state and Allegheny county government, so she could have some connections. She has also produced a slick webvid to sway delegates. However, Iovino doesn’t have the typical establishment pedigree that is an asset in this type of format. (my odds – 25%)

Mike Crossey

Ex-Allegheny County commissioner Mike Crossey (D) has strong labor connections as a former head of the state teachers’ union. Crossey seems to be toward the liberal side of the field, which could endear him to activists. However, Crossey’s elective service was over a decade ago, which ended in him losing a State House race by a large margin in 2002. He has also been in the race for some time without raising much cash. (my odds – 22%)

Bob Solomon

Physician Bob Solomon (D) is also running a serious campaign. He seems to be staking out a niche as the most socially progressive of the major candidates, which could be a good fit for the activist vote at the convention (though probably not great for the general). Solomon’s main problem here is his lack of establishment ties, which will likely be a major handicap for him in the insider-dominated convention format. (my odds – 15%)

Gina Cerilli

A fifth candidate, Westmoreland County commissioner Gina Cerilli (D), has the strongest political pedigree, but is a decided longshot. Cerilli is a DINO who describes herself as pro-life and pro-gun, and won her county commission seat independent of the local machine in 2015. In this district, that’s a profile that would make her a significant force in a primary, but given the strong left turn socially among the party’s activist base, that means her odds of winning a convention are quite slim. Cerilli hasn’t helped her case by suing her county Democratic party alleging they improperly kept delegates favorable to her off the committee. While Cerilli would probably be the strongest general election contender, it would be a true shock if she emerged with the nomination. (my odds – 2%)

Two Some Dudes, psychologist Randy Brock (D) and consultant Keith Seewald (D), are both running on a liberal platforms and don’t seem too serious, but could potentially shock by giving a great speech at the convention. (my odds – 0.5% each) The winner will go on to face State Rep. Rick Saccone (R) in the general. RRH Elections last rated this general election as Safe R, but that was before Murphy’s scandal and resignation, so that rating may require re-evaluation.

Chile: On Sunday, there is also a Presidential election in Chile. Chile has a population of 18M and a land area slightly larger than Texas, hugging a roughly 2000-mile long by 50-mile wide strip between the Pacific and the Andes on the southwest coast of South America. Chile’s politics are still defined by its late-20th century dictatorship history under Augusto Pinochet, who ruled the country for most of the 70s and 80s. Pinochet’s legacy is a more mixed one than most dictators. Pinochet made the nation from a copper-dependent middle-income resource extraction state into South America’s only bona-fide first world country and an economic dynamo with his free market policies, but he was also responsible for myriad abuses of power, most notably “disappearances” of regime rivals. Since the fall of the dictatorship in the late 80s, the center-left has generally been Chile’s dominant power due to memories of Pinochet being a problem for the center-right but the country’s embrace of largely free-market economics being a problem for the far-left. Chile’s presidential election uses the French two-round system (50% is required to win, otherwise there will be a runoff between the top two.) Chile’s president serves a four-year term and is not eligible for immediate re-election, but can return after sitting out a term, and that looks like what is most likely to happen here. Incumbent Michelle Bachelet is deeply unpopular for a series of corruption scandals as well as economic mismanagement. She is likely to be succeeded by her predecessor, ex-President Sebastian Pinera, who is mounting a comeback bid. Pinera’s 2009 win was the only time the center-right (known as “Chile Vamos”, or Let’s Go) has captured the Presidency since the fall of Pinochet. Pinera was a wealthy businessman before winning the presidency on a moderately conservative platform. Ideologically and personality wise, a very apt analogy for Pinera might be Romney; he has been known as a competent administrator if somewhat awkward personality-wise. Pinera has been polling in the mid-40s, meaning he has a small chance to win outright, but is more likely to head to a runoff with one of two other major candidates. Center-left Senator Alejandro Guillier (of the “New Majority” Party) is likely to join Pinera, while a far-left candidate, Beatriz Sanchez of the neo-communist Broad Front, is also polling competitively enough to potentially snag the second spot. Polling of the runoff shows Pinera leading either rival by a significant margin. There is also a legislative election. Chile has a bicameral legislature that uses a somewhat strange form of semi-proportional representation: both chambers of the legislature are divided into two-member districts, which generally return one candidate from each of the two largest parties unless the winner polls a 2/3 majority to take both seats. The New Majority has a majority in parliament, but the far-left Broad Front has decided to split (it had previously run as part of New Majority) and run its own parliamentary lists, meaning that Chile Vamos is likely to take at least a plurality.

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Political Roundup for November 16, 2017

Check back at 3pm for our previews of the weekend’s election in Louisiana and PA-18 D convention. Now as America becomes more “woke” to the perversion from sea to shining sea, it is time for today’s roundup.  In that spirit, we will have a section today devoted to naughty behavior obviously including lots about “Dirty Roy Moore”:

The Perverted News:

AL-Sen: It is bad when you have to send your attorney onto MSNBC to deny allegations that you have a thing for teenage girls.  It is even worse when your attorney makes bizarre statements about the host of the show and his ethnic background (by the way, Ali Velshi is from Canada).  This was in response to another victim of Dirty Roy Moore stepping forward to tell us he spent all that money on the Ten Commandments, but clearly did not understand some of them.

More AL-Sen:  Senator Luther Strange (R) knew of rumors of Dirty Roy Moore, but was unable to get the victims to go on the record.  Senator Strange does not know the first rule of dirty politics… have other people do the dirty work for you, specifically the press.

Even More AL-Sen:  The NRSC, the first organization to go full-blown Taylor Swift on Dirty Roy Moore, has released a poll showing Dirty Roy Moore down 12 points on Doug Jones (D).  There are some questions to be raised by this poll as polls in the field at the same time showed Moore slightly ahead not on the way to losing Alabama by double digits.

FLDS:  Hildale Utah has elected its first mayor whose not a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints.  Donia Jessop, a former FLDS member who still practices plural marraige with her husband and “sister wife”, defeated the incumbent FLDS mayor.  In addition, 3 non-FLDS members won city council seats meaning that theocracy is finally dead in the state of Utah.  Jessop plans on organizing a similar movement in Colorado City, Arizona to end the theocracy south of the Utah border.  Utah and Arizona have been taking measures (it was about time) to destabilize the festering bit of theocracy along their shared border.

OR-State Senate: State Senator Sara Gelser (D) has accused State Senator Jeff Kruse (R) of sexual assault and claims that Kruse has sexually assaulted over a dozen other women affiliated with the Oregon Senate.  Kruse denies the allegations and the Senate is investigating Oregon’s bout of perversion.

Philly-Sheriff:  Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams (D-Machine) faces an increasing number of sexual assault / harassment / intimidating claims.  Controller-Elect Rebecca Rhynhart (D-Not Machine) is going to audit the Sheriff’s Office for a number of reasons including Williams’ being a dirty man.

Now for the non-perverted news…

Congress/National

MA-Sen/MA-Gov:  Only in Massachusetts can a moderate Republican Governor and Bold Progressive Democratic Senator be cruising to reelection at the same time.  Governor Charlie Baker (R-Andyroo’s Hero) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D) have high approval numbers and are cruising to reelection.

House GOP:  Members of the Republican Political Staffer Consultant Industrial Complex are worried that Republican members of the House of Representatives are not ready for a “blue wave” coming in 2018.  I tend to share their worry, but am not sure if there is anything they can do about it other than appropriate funds to build a time machine, go back in time, and rig the RNC rules to prevent a Trump nomination.

DNC:  Senator Tim Kaine (D) wants to eliminate the DNC super delegates for the 2020 nomination.  Kaine should look at how not having them hurt the Republican Party.

States

OH-Gov:  Speaking of Senator Warren, the guy who took the job originally meant for Seantor Warren, CFPB Director Richard Cordray (D-Bold Progressive), stepped down to run for Ohio Governor.  The financial services industry is having an all-night long bender to celebrate Cordray’s candidacy.

Michigan Senate:  Frequent commentator RepublicanMichigander published an excellent breakdown of the Michigan Senate outlook in 2018.  I recommend reading as all of Michigan’s senate seats are up for election next year.

California:  Apparently it is legal now for paid canvassers to harvest ballots in California because voters cannot be trusted with mailing their own ballots and picking the right candidates.  Vote by mail is obviously too difficult.  I wonder if soon there will be proposals to cancel elections and let the vanguard party select the leaders.

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Political Roundup for November 15, 2017

Last night, Tim Keller (D) won easily in Albuquerque, Democrats picked up the deep-red OK-SD-37 while the GOP held two other seats, and Ashley Trantham (R) won SC-LD-28 outright while SC-LD-99 will head to a runoff in two weeks.

As Roy Moore is plotting how to go after younger women with this level of media scrutiny to take Australia legalizing gay marriage off his mind, it is time for today’s political roundup:

Alabama Senate

FOX 10 News / Strategy Research:  The latest poll finds that Alabama voters have been mildly impacted by finding out that their “divine” hero former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore (R-Pedophile) maintains a 49-43 lead over former US Attorney Doug Jones (D-Lucky).  We can only hope that the poll is overestimating Moore’s support and underestimating the decency of Alabama voters.

RNC:  The RNC cut “Dirty Roy” off by terminating its joint fundraising agreement.  The RNC is evaluating what to do to salvage this race.

Trump:  President Trump (Himself) faces an interesting dilemma regarding Dirty Roy.  Does he push Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R) to run as a write-in?  Does he even get involved?

Sessions:  Speaking of Trump’s Attorney General (are they on good or bad terms?), Sessions says he has no reason to doubt Dirty Roy’s accusers.

Senate:  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) said that if Alabama decides to send Dirty Roy to Washington the Senate will promptly expel Dirty Roy.  Arguably expelling Alabama from the Union should be up for debate if they send Dirty Roy to Washington.

Congress/National

IN-Sen:  Businessman Terry Henderson (R) quit the Republican primary for US Senate.  Henderson deserves props for being honesty and admitting he could not raise money.

OH-16:  State Representative Tom Patton (RINO) dropped out of the race to replace Representative John Renacci (R), whose running for Governor.  Patton says he is dropping out due to a family emergency.

NJ-Sen:  The jury in the trial of Senator Robert Menendez (D) for corruption is deadlocked.  It is not clear if the jury is really deadlocked or just trying to drag this out as long as possible to stop Governor Chris Christie (R) from appointing a replacement.

States / International

Australia:  Over 60% of Australians who took part in a non-binding survey voted for same-sex marriage.   Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (Coalition), who called the survey to pressure conservatives in the Coalition, said that same sex marriage will be legalized by Christmas.  Almost 80 percent of voters took part including the Prime Minister, who voted YES.

PA-Gov:  State House Speaker Mike Turzai (R) confirmed he will run against Governor Tom Wolf (D).  Turzai’s entry into the race is a bit of a surprise at this point.  State Senator Scott Wagner (R), the de facto leader of Senate Republicans, has been viewed as the only serious candidate.  Turzai’s entry will complicate Wagner’s run except to the extent Turzai is splitting the vote with 2 other candidates from Allegheny County, consultant Paul Mango and attorney Laura Ellsworth.

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Albuquerque Mayoral Runoff Preview & Liveblog

10:01 ET- Apparently via twitter ground reports are saying that Ikley-Freeman has won.

9:59 ET- With 3 precincts left, Ikley-Freeman (D) is up by 7 votes (!!!)

9:55 ET- Ikley-Freeman (D) up 75 votes with 80% in.

9:51 ET- 75% in and the Dem is up 22 votes.

9:47 ET- 65% in, O’Hara’s lead has expanded to 14 votes.

9:35 ET- And Albuquerque is even more of a snoozer than we expected. Keller is up 63-37 in the early vote and I don’t even feel the need to continue to liveblog. In Oklahoma, the GOP has held SD-45 and LD-76, while Brian O’Hara (R) is up by 13 votes in SD-37 with half reporting.

9:30 ET- Legislative results: Ashley Trantham (R) has won SC-LD-28 outright. Nancy Mace (R) appears to have missed 50% by 35 votes and will head to a runoff with Mark Smith (R) in SC-LD-99. All 3 Oklahoma races are close and not fully reported.

Albuquerque Results

Today there is a mayoral election in Albuquerque as well as a few legislative specials. Polls close at 9 ET and we will have a liveblog for Albuqerque in this thread.

Albuquerque Mayor: Albuquerque, America’s 32nd-largest city, has a population of 550K which is roughly 50% Hispanic and 45% White. Albuquerque covers the bulk of its metro area, including poor, largely Hispanic urban areas in the central and southeastern parts of the city, middle-class Hispanic areas in the southwest, and middle-class white areas in the northwest and northeast. Some wealthier suburbs sit outside the city limits; as a result, Albuquerque proper is medium-blue with a PVI of D+8 as of 2008. This year, the mayoral seat is open as two-term incumbent Richard Berry (R) is stepping down. While Berry had generally been popular as mayor for most of his term, there is some consensus that the city has taken a turn for the worse in recent years, particularly with a spiking crime rate. State Auditor Tim Keller (D) came in first in the October primary with 39%. Previously a legislator from the central part of the city, Keller has high name recognition of the candidates and strong Dem establishment support. Keller, a mainstream liberal, has a strong support base among the high-turnout white progressive community that allowed him to slightly outperform expectations in the primary. Another Democrat, who was more moderate but endorsed Keller for the runoff, took 16% in the primary, meaning that Keller essentially just has to coalesce Democrats to win. Keller’s rival is city councilman Dan Lewis (R) came in second in the primary with 23%. Lewis is a mainstream establishment conservative; he has significant support among establishment Republicans and a base in his middle-class council district on the northwest side. However, Lewis is fighting against relatively tough terrain, Keller’s higher name recognition, and Berry’s declining popularity. Lewis has also been hurt by an internecine rivalry with Gov. Susana Martinez’s (R) network, who is opposed to Lewis for personal reasons. Keller has led in polls by a margin of around 10 points (a margin that has even been growing in recent weeks) and thus looks like close to a prohibitive favorite.

Special Elections:  There are also five special elections today. Three are special general elections in Oklahoma. All are for deep-red seats and all three Republicans should be favored, but given Democrats’ absurdly strong overperformances in multiple Oklahoma specials this year, upsets are possible in all three races. OK-SD-37 is an R+21 seat covering the suburban southwestern part of Tulsa west of the Arkansas River and the suburbs of Jenks and Sand Springs. Ex-Jenks councilman and congressional staffer Brian O’Hara (R) should be favored over activist Allison Ikley-Freeman (D). OK-SD-45 is another R+21 seat covering some poor neighborhoods south of downtown OKC and wrapping southwest around the Airport to deep-red southwestern exurbs near Mustang. Realtor Paul Rosino (R) should be favored over police dispatcher Steven Vincent (D). Finally, OK-LD-76 is an R+18 seat covering most of the western half of Broken Arrow in the Tulsa suburbs. Retired cop Ross Ford (R) should be favored over teacher Chris Vanlandingham (D). The other two are special primaries in South Carolina. SC-LD-28 is an R+16 seat covering Greenville’s outer southern suburbs, at the southern tip of Greenville County. Four Republicans are facing off: realtor Ashley Thrantham (R), hospital administrator Krystal Blume (R), farmer Bill Welch (R), and firefighter Jonathan Smith (R). Trantham looks like the very slight front-runner to me, but any of the four could move on to a runoff or even win outright. No Democrats are running. The other seat is SC-LD-99, an R+12 seat connecting upscale Charleston suburbs along the northeast part of I-526 from Hanahan to northern Mt. Pleasant. The clear front-runner is businesswoman and 2014 US Senate candidate Nancy Mace (R). Mace, the first woman to graduate from The Citadel military college, fell flat in her 2014 run against Sen. Lindsey Graham (R); however, she seems to be having better luck in this race as she has lapped the field in fundraising. She will likely finish a comfortable first, but will probably be held to a runoff. Mace’s three rivals are all running serious campaigns and could join her in a runoff. They are Mt. Pleasant councilman Mark Smith (R), congressional staffer Shawn Pinkston (R), and businessman Jarrod Brooks (R). Any could advance to a second round if one occurs. Democrats are running businesswoman Cindy Boatwright (D).

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Political Roundup for November 14, 2017

Governor:

CO-Gov: Arapahoe District Attorney George Brauchler (R) is dropping out of the race for governor and will instead run for the open Attorney General spot. Brauchler was once considered one of the favorites for the Republican nomination but the GOP primary has gotten especially crowed with the entry of former Rep. Tom Tancredo, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, Walker Stapleton and Victor Mitchell. Brauchler should have a clear shot at the Attorney General position.

RI-Gov: We want the Fung, gotta have that Fung! A TargetPoint Consulting internal poll for Allan Fung (R) shows him leading the GOP primary by more than 20 points; Fung 45%, Patricia Morgan 24%, Joseph Trillo 10% and unsure at 20% and Fung beating incumbent Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) 46% to 41%.

WI-Gov: The field of Democrats seeking their party’s gubernatorial nomination has grown even larger. Firefighter union chief Mahlon Mitchell announced he will run for Governor. Mitchel, who is African American, was the Democrat nominee for Lt Governor in the 2012 recall elections. Other Democrats that are running or actively exploring a run include Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, former state Rep. Kelda Roys, state superintendent of public instruction Tony Evers, former Democratic Party chairman Matt Flynn, Milwaukee businessman Andy Gronik, former Wisconsin Democracy Campaign executive director Mike McCabe, Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, Rep. Dana Wachs, Michelle Doolan, Bob Harlow, Dave Heaster, Brett Hulsey, Kurt Kober, Jared Landry, Andrew Lust, Jeffrey Rumbaugh and Ramona Whiteaker. Candidates have until June 1 to submit all paperwork to appear on the Aug. 14 gubernatorial primary ballot. The winner of the Democrat primary will face Gov. Scott Walker who will have his 4th statewide run for Governor in 8 years.

Senate:

AL-Sen: At a press conference yesterday Beverly Young Nelson accused Roy Moore (R) of sexually assaulting her when she was 16 years old. Nelson produced a copy of her High School yearbook which Moore signed “To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say ‘Merry Christmas, Love, Roy Moore, D.A.”. As the scandal widens and polls show Democrat Doug Jones leading the election calls have increase for Roy Moore to step aside. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) became the latest to call on Moore to “step aside” and NRSC Chair Cory Gardner said Roy Moore is “unfit to serve in the United States Senate and he should not run for office. If he refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him, because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the … Senate.” It is becoming clear that the only shot the GOP has at keeping this seat would be through some sort of organized write-in campaign.

MI-Sen: A new poll shows Detroit businessman John James in the lead for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. John James is at 24%, Rep. Fred Upton (who is currently seeking re-election to the House) is at 19% and former Chief Justice Robert Young trails with 7%. The winner of the GOP primary will face Sen. Debbie Spenditnow Stabenow (D) who is probably breathing a heavy sigh of relief that her GOP opponent won’t have a nickname with the words “Kid” and “Rock” in it.

NJ-Sen: Jurors in the trial of Sen. Bob Menendez (D) seems to be deadlocked. They sent the judge a note on Monday saying they “can’t reach a unanimous verdict on any of the charges” and the judge ordered them deliberating to try and reach a verdict.

House:

MA-3: Former ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gifford (D) announced his candidacy for the open  D+9 seat Rep. Niki Tsongas (D) is retiring from. Gifford, who is gay, has not lived in Massachusetts in 20 years but is originally from Manchester-by-the-Sea which is well outside the district. Gifford gained some notoriety in 2012 as one of Obama’s top fundraisers. He sent over 10 million emails to people on Obama’s email list asking for money and was even called the “Spam King” by BuzzFeed.

NJ-5: Our friend Miles Coleman has plugged the New Jersey gubernatorial numbers into the New Jersey congressional districts and finds that in NJ-5 was a virtual tie with Murphy edging out Guadagno by a mere 231 votes. Freshman Rep. Josh Gottheimer won this district last year despite Trump winning the district by 1.3%.

OH-16: Former NFL wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez (R) picked up the endorsement of neighboring OH-7 Rep. Bob Gibbs (R) for this open R+8 district. Gibbs will headline a fundraiser for Gonzalez at the Brookside Country Club in Canton, OH which is the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

PA-10: After several on again off again nominations for Drug Czar Rep. Tom Marino will seek re-election in 2018 to this fairly safe R+16 seat.

TX-29: In case you missed it, Rep. Gene Green (D) is retiring. Scroll down for our full write up and great mentioner on possible replacements for this D+19 seat.

SALT: The repeal of the state and local tax exemption could be the kiss of death for congressional Republicans in states like California, New York and New Jersey. Seven California Reps. Darrell Issa, Dana Rohrabacher, Mimi Walters, Ed Royce, Steve Knight, David Valadao and Jeff Denham could all face major blowback if the Republican “tax cuts” end up raising taxes on their constituents.

State, Local & Other:

PA-Lt Gov: I guess when you are living in a former Chevy dealership and off of the trust fund your parents set up for you an official residence in Harrisburg with a full staff of state workers waiting on you hand and foot must sound pretty good. With that in mind Braddock Mayor and former US Senate candidate John Fetterman (D) has announced he will challenge incumbent Lt. Gov (and friend to state troopers and household staff) Mike Stack III (D).

Albuquerque, NM-Mayor: Today is election day in Albuquerque. The latest Journal Poll published before the election had state Auditor Tim Keller (D) with a 16 point lead over City Councilman Dan Lewis (R). We will have a preview and open thread at Noon ET; our liveblog will start at 9PM.

New Orleans, LA-Mayor: The latest University of New Orleans Poll has Latoya Cantrell posting a 11 point lead over Desiree Charbonnet ahead of Saturday’s runoff election.

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TX-29: Rep. Gene Green (D) will not Seek Re-election

The year of epic turnover in Texas’s normally-staid Congressional delegation continues with a sixth open seat in the Lone Star State. Rep. Gene Green (D) will not seek a fourteenth term. Despite being the last moderate white Dem in the Texas delegation, Green’s TX-29 is an overwhelmingly Hispanic seat covering the poor barrios of north-central and southeast Houston proper, as well as some inner southeastern slumburbs like the inner part of Pasadena. The seat is overwhelmingly Safe Dem at D+19 (and trending even further left). Thus, it is all but a foregone conclusion that Green will be succeeded by a (likely both more liberal and Hispanic) Democrat.

Now to the Great Mentioner: If you’re a betting person, take the over on this seat having a Rep. Garcia in 2019, because both of the most obvious contenders share that name. The most likely candidate is ex-Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia (D), who took nearly 40% against Green two years ago despite starting his campaign very late and being underfunded as a result. Adrian Garcia would likely be the clear front-runner for this seat this time should he mount another run, though he has been on mediocre terms with the local establishment and might attract a strong primary rival. His most serious competition would likely be State Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D), who represents essentially the entire district – and came in third in the primary for this seat way back when it was newly created in 1992. State Rep. Carol Alvarado (D), who lost a State Senate race to Sylvia Garcia in 2013, is also a name to watch. Three other State Reps, Ana Hernandez-Luna (D), Armando Walle (D), and Mary Ann Perez (D), live in the seat. Houston councilors Karla Cisneros (D) and Robert Gallegos (D) are also names to watch. In the “blast from the past” file, ex-State Rep. and 2008 US Senate nominee Rick Noriega (D) could also be a potential contender as he is only 59.

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