Our GA-6 Poll will (finally) be released today at 9:30!
AL-Sen: New Gov. Kay Ivey (R) can move up the Alabama Senate special election with just a new proclamation, SoS John Merrill (R) said yesterday. Then-Gov. Robert Bentley (R) had scheduled the election for November 2018, in defiance of the spirit if not the letter of state law, in order to give Sen. Luther Strange (R) the maximum amount of incumbency. However, if Ivey acts within the next month the election can be held this year instead of with the 2018 general, which might benefit potential challengers to Strange.
AZ-Sen: Attorney Deedra Abboud (D) has become the first candidate to declare a run against Sen. Jeff Flake (R). Abboud is basically Some Dude caliber and seems unlikely to end Democrats’ search for a candidate in one of their two realistic Senate pickup opportunities.
IN-Sen: Andrew Takami (R), the director of Perdue University’s satellite campus in New Albany, will run for the Senate. Takami seems like a credible candidate for a lower office but seems unlikely to be a major force in this race if one or both of Reps. Luke Messer (R) and Todd Rokita (R) enter. Both Messer and Rokita are considering runs.
MA-Sen: State Rep. Geoff Diehl (R) is the latest candidate to test the waters on a run against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D). Diehl, a relatively generic legislator from a Republican-leaning South Shore district, would likely be the pick of the state’s GOP establishment. He would likely face eccentric scientist Shiva Ayyadurai (R), who has been endorsed by former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, in the primary for a very uphill run against Warren.
PA-Sen: Businessman Paul Addis (R) is considering a run against Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D). If Addis enters he would join two other “B” to “C” listers, State Reps. Jim Christiana (R) and Rick Saccone (R), in the GOP primary, though he would be the only one of the three from the Philadelphia area.
AL-Gov: Former Auburn Football coach Tommy Tuberville (R) has become the first declared candidate into this race, just days after Gov. Kay Ivey (R) took over. Ivey has not declared whether she will seek a full term in 2018, but needless to say her ascension to the top job has not affected Tuberville’s plan to run for the seat. It’s unclear whether PSC chair Twinkle Cavanaugh (R), the other candidate who has already made clear intentions to enter, will follow through as well. A plethora of candidates on both sides are still considering runs.
AZ-Gov: 2014 State Superintendent nominee David Garcia (D) is the first Dem to enter the race against Gov. Doug Ducey (R). Garcia lost narrowly in 2014, but his rival, now-Superintendent Diane Douglas (R), was considered a weak enough candidate that Garcia’s loss was still seen as an underperformance by some Dems. State Sen. Steve Farley (D) is also considering a run.
CT-Gov: Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim (D), who was able to make a shocking comeback to the Mayor’s office in 2015 after a seven-year prison term on corruption allegations from his prior Mayoral stint, is exploring a run for Governor. Ganim is suing to be allowed into the state’s public campaign financing program; as a convicted felon, he is ineligible. Needless to say, running statewide will be a significantly tougher lift than his bid for Mayor of a poor urban area.
GA-Gov: Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson (D) is considering a run for Governor or Secretary of State. Tomlinson would likely be one of Democrats’ stronger options for the open Gov race, though multiple others, including State Rep. Stacey Abrams (D), are considering. LG Casey Cagle (R) and SoS Brian Kemp (R) are in the race on the GOP side, while ex-Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R) is also considered likely to enter.
IA-Gov: Ex-IADP chair Andy McGuire (D) has announced her candidacy for Governor, joining former state cabinet official Rich Leopold (D) and 2014 State Auditor nominee Jon Neiderbach (D) in the Dem primary. Several other “B” and “C” listers are considering; McGuire, who was tightly aligned with the Clinton camp last cycle, may draw opposition from the BernieBros. The primary winner will likely face LG and Gov-designate Kim Reynolds (R), though Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett (R) is considering a primary challenge.
CO-7: As expected, State Sen. Andy Kerr (D) and State Rep. Brittany Pettersen (D) kicked off their campaigns for Rep. Ed Perlmutter’s (D) seat Monday. State Sen. Dominick Moreno (D) and 2014 nominee Don Ytterberg (R), among others, are also on the record as considering runs.
KS-4: After his closer-than-expected loss this week, James Thompson (D) is planning to run again for the seat Rep.-elect Ron Estes (R) in 2018.
TX-16, El Paso-CE: Ex-El Paso Mayor and 2014 Lands Commissioner nominee John Cook (D) is running for El Paso CE (called “Judge” in Texas) against incumbent Veronica Escobar (D). The decision means that Cook will not seek the open TX-16 House seat, but may push Escobar into that race.
CA-Supt: State Rep. Tony Thurmond (D) will run for State Superintendent, giving liberal and union groups their likely standard-bearer to succeed liberal termed-out incumbent Tom Torlakson (D). Thurmond has already secured the endorsement of Sen. Kamala Harris (D); he will likely face 2014 candidate Marshall Tuck (D), a moderate who is backed by school-choice interests.
GA-SoS: State Rep. Brad Raffensperger (R) will run for SoS, joining fellow State Rep. Buzz Brockway (R) in the primary to succeed incumbent Brian Kemp (R), who is running for Governor. Both Brockway and Raffensperger hail from the Atlanta suburbs.
HI-LG, Maui-CE: LG Shan Tsutsui (D) is considering forgoing a second term and running for Maui County Executive (Mayor). Tsutsui could face a crowded field for the post, but as a prior longtime State Senator, would likely be the front-runner. Vacating the LG office would likely set off a crowded Democratic shotgun-wedding primary to join Gov. David Ige’s (D) nearly certain re-election campaign.
ID-LG: State Rep. Kelly Packer (R) and ex-State Rep. Janice McGeachin (R) have declared their candidacies for the open seat of LG and Gov candidate Brad Little (R). They join State Sen. Marv Hagedorn (R) in the crowded primary race. State GOP chair Stephen Yates (R) is also considering the race.
MN-AG: AG Lori Swanson (D) has not pulled the trigger on an expected campaign for Governor, but that hasn’t stopped candidates from piling in to succeed her. The latest name is State Rep. John Lesch (D), who joins ex-State Reps. Ryan Winkler (D) and Doug Wardlow (R). Should Swanson reverse course and seek re-election, she would likely be a prohibitive favorite over any challenger.
WI-AG: Prosecutor Josh Kaul (D), son of 2000s-era AG Peg Lautenschlager (D), will seek his mother’s old office against incumbent Brad Schimel (R). The family ties may not be a net positive though, as Lautenschlager is mostly remembered for a DUI arrest while AG that caused her to lose the 2006 primary.
Omaha-Mayor: Accountant and primary candidate Taylor Royal (R) has endorsed incumbent Jean Stothert (R) in May’s general election. Royal self-funded a gadflyish campaign based on bringing a pro sports team to Omaha, but still was able to take a little over 10% of the vote. Stothert led ex-State Sen. Heath Mello (D) just 44-41 in the April primary; the general election is expected to be highly competitive.
Toledo-Mayor: City councilman Tom Waniewski (R) has announced he will challenge incumbent Paula Hicks-Hudson (D) in this year’s election. Hicks-Hudson was appointed and then won a special in 2015; she is likely favored for a full term if she runs again.
Knox, TN-CE: Jesse Ventura redux? Professional wrestler Glenn “Kane” Jacobs (R) will run for Knox County Executive. Jacobs will face Sheriff JJ Jones (R), county commissioner Bob Thomas (R), and county GOP chair Buddy Burkhart (R) in the 2018 primary for the top job in the county of 430K.