MI-Sen: Apparently one Republican rock musician considering a Senate race in Michigan isn’t enough. With Kid Rock being talked about a possible candidate, now Ted Nugent is said to be considering a race as well. Nugent is a strong supporter of President Trump and the state director for Trump’s campaign says he thinks Nugent could be the perfect candidate to replicate the Trump campaign’s successful coalition that turned the state red for the first time since 1988. Nugent says he has things to consider before making the race-including the fact he will be 70 next year and that he needs complete support from his family.
WI-Sen: Republicans have lost their most prominent potential candidate to take on Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D). Rep. Sean Duffy (R) has announced he will not run. State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) had been waiting on Duffy’s decision before he decided whether to make a bid. Management consultant and Marine veteran Kevin Nicholson, state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R) and 2012 Senate candidate Eric Hovde are other Republicans who have expressed interest in the race.
GA-6: For a district that only voted narrowly for Donald Trump, two Republican candidates don’t seem to be concerned about ties to him-in fact, they are fighting over who has the closer ties. Bruce LeVell, a Trump delegate to the Republican National Convention and technology executive Bob Gray both claim to have the mantle of the president’s biggest supporter. Levell was executive director of Trump’s National Diversity Coalition during last year’s campaign while Gray claims a personal relationship with him. Others in the race are claiming other prominent endorsements-former state Sen. Dan Moody (R) has allies of Sen. David Perdue (R) behind him, while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R), who formerly held this seat, has endorsed former state Sen. Judson Hill (R). Former Secretary of State Karen Handel (R) is still seen as the frontrunner.
MT-AL: As the wait continues for Rep. Ryan Zinke (R) to be confirmed as Secretary of the Interior, state Senate President Scott Sales (R) has dropped out of the race to succeed him. 2016 GOP gubernatorial nominee Greg Gianforte, state Sen. Ed Buttrey (R), former state Sen. Ken Miller (R) and businessman Eugene Graf are still in the running for the Republican nomination.
SC-5: Mick Mulvaney was approved yesterday as OMB director by a 51-49 vote and has resigned his seat in Congress, setting in motion the official schedule to fill the seat. The primaries will be May 2 with a runoff if necessary May 16. The general election will be June 20. State Rep. Ralph Norman (R) is resigning his seat in the Legislature to concentrate on the campaign. Other Republicans running are state House Speaker Pro Tem Tommy Pope (R), former state GOP Chairman Chad Connelly, party activist Shari Few, attorney and State Guard commander Tom Mullikin and attorney Kris Wampler. No Democrats have yet announced they plan to run-state Sen. and two time Democratic nominee for governor Vincent Sheheen (D) is not running.
CT-Gov: Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti (R) is considering running for governor next year. Lauretti, who has been mayor of Shelton for 26 years, intended to run in 2014 as well, but did not get on the ballot. Two other Republican mayors are also considering running-Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton have both formed exploratory committees for statewide office. Gov. Dan Malloy (D) has not yet announced if he will seek a third term next year.
FL-Gov: Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn (D) has long been considered a potential candidate for governor next year, but doubts are growing about whether he will make the race. Friends believe he has not made up his mind yet, and he says he needs to decide if it’s something he really wants. He has not started actively making moves toward a campaign yet, unlike fellow Democrats former Rep. Gwen Graham, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and political newcomer Chris King. Personal injury lawyer John Morgan is also considering a run on the Democratic side.
KS-Gov: Businessman Wink Hartman (R) has announced a run for governor next year. Hartman previously ran for Congress in 2010 as a “Tea Party conservative”, losing to now-CIA Director Mike Pompeo in the GOP primary. Ex-state Rep. Ed O’Malley (R) is the only other person to formally announce a bid.
OK-Gov: LG Todd Lamb (R) has resigned from the cabinet of Gov. Mary Fallin (R) over Fallin’s proposed tax increases. Lamb was in Fallin’s cabinet as the state’s Small Business Advocate-the resignation does not affect his position as the state’s Lieutenant Governor. The move is seen possibly as a way for him to separate himself from an unpopular tax increase proposal as he is considered a likely candidate for governor next year.
State & Local:
LA-Treasurer: State Sen. Neil Riser (R) has officially entered the race for state Treasurer. Riser formerly ran for the LA-5 congressional seat in 2013, being defeated by Vance McAllister in the runoff. He joins state Reps. Julie Stokes (R) and John Schroder (R) in the race.
MI-resigning legislators law: The Michigan House is debating a law that would forbid state legislators that resign or are removed from office from turning around and running for the seat again in a special election. The law appears to be aimed primarily at former state Rep. Brian Banks (D), who resigned his seat last week in a plea deal stemming from charges involving fradulent loan documents. Banks sent out fundraising e-mails less than 48 hours after resigning and would not rule out running again. The law would also address the situation of former state Reps. Todd Courser (R) and Cindy Gamrat (R) after they had an extra-marital affair and plotted to cover it up in 2015. Courser resigned his seat under pressure and Gamrat was expelled, but both ran in the special election to fill their seats. Both were defeated in the primary. The law would only preclude resigned and expelled legislators from running in the ensuing special election-they could still run again in the future.