MA-Sen: Businessman Rick Green has decided to not seek the Republican nomination for US Senate next year. Although not a high profile candidate, Green was seen as somebody who had the ability to self-fund. Other Republicans looking at the race against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) include state Rep. Geoff Diehl (R) and businessman John Kingston.
CA-25: Katie Hill, the director of an organization that helps the homeless, is running to challenge Rep. Steve Knight (R). She says she can appeal to swing voters who may have voted for Hillary Clinton but also voted for Knight(both won the district by about 6 points), pointing out that her family is half Republican. Bryan Caforio (D), whom Knight defeated in 2016 is also considering running again.
CA-48: Democratic businessman Harley Rouda, who decided a couple of weeks ago to run against Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R), has already raised over $100,000 in donations since getting into the race. Some Democratic challengers in normally red districts(CA-48 did go for Clinton by about 2 points last year after going for Romney by 12 points in 2012) seem to be able to raise money well-whether that translates into votes is still an open question.
NH-1: State Sen. Andy Sanborn (R) is seriously considering a run for Congress next year. Sanborn met with officials from the NRCC last week in Washington. He is considered one of the top conservative leaders in the state legislature. State Rep. John Burt (R) is also considering a run.
SD-AL: Secretary of State Shantel Krebs (R) is in for South Dakota’s at-large House seat that Rep. Kristi Noem (R) is giving up to run for governor. Krebs is the second Republican in the race, joining Dusty Johnson, former chief of staff to Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R).
IL-Gov: Billionaire businessman J.B. Pritzker has set up an exploratory committee to run for the Democratic nomination for governor next year. 3 Democrats have already announced bids to run against Gov. Bruce Rauner (R). They are businessman Chris Kennedy, Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar and school superintendent Bob Daiber. State Sen. Daniel Biss (D) is also considering a run.
SC-Gov: State Rep. James Smith (D) is apparently ready to enter the race for governor soon. Smith is said to be the only Democrat laying the groundwork for a run. Others considered possible candidates have denied interest. South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jamie Harrison, who ran for DNC Chair, says he will not run for governor despite reports indicating he was considering a bid. Former state Rep. Bakari Sellers (D) says he has nothing to announce and state Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell (D) says she is leaning against running.
WI-Gov: Democratic businessman Andy Gronik says he will decide fairly soon whether to enter the race. He says it will be more than a couple of weeks before he decides, but won’t be months either. Also, Bob Harlow, a Democrat and recent Stanford University graduate who took 7% of the vote in the primary for CA-18 last year has announced is running for governor.
State & local:
AZ-SOS: State Senate Minority Leader Katie Hobbs (D) is running for Secretary of State. Hobbs may have competition in the Democratic primary-Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton (D) has a campaign committee for the office but hasn’t said yet whether he will run. Current Secretary of State Michele Reagan (R) is running for re-election.
CA-AG: San Bernardino County DA Mike Ramos (R) will not run for Attorney General next year and instead will run for re-election as DA. Ramos would have faced an uphill race against appointed AG Xavier Becerra (D), but was considered Republicans’ best and most prominent prospect.
Charlotte Mayor: City Councilman Kenny Smith is the first Republican to announce a run for Mayor of Charlotte. Despite controlling the mayor’s office continuously from 1987-2009, no Republican has been elected since 2007 when Pat McCrory won the last of his record 7 2-year terms. Mayor Jennifer Roberts (D) is running again and Vice Mayor Vi Lyles (D) and state Sen. Joel Ford (D) are running in the Democratic primary as well.
Staten Island Borough President: After serving 7 months in prison for tax fraud, former Rep. Michael Grimm (R) is considering a return to politics and considering running for Staten Island Borough President. He is said to have the backing of former Borough President(and Congressman) Guy Molinari (R). But insiders say he would have a tough time finding much more support to run against current BP Jimmy Oddo (R).
RIP: Former Rep. Kika de la Garza (D) of Texas has died at the age of 89. De la Garza represented TX-15 from 1965-97 and was chairman of the House Agriculture Committee from 1981-95. In 1978, Rep. Leo Ryan (D) of California asked de la Garza to accompany him on a fact-finding trip to Guyana to visit the mission colony of cult leader Jim Jones. De la Garza decided not to go, citing the hectic schedule of the House. Ryan was killed on the trip by a Jones supporter as his plane tried to leave a nearby airstrip.