Political Roundup for April 13, 2017

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.

Row Officers:

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.

Local Races:

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.

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  • GerGOP April 13, 2017 at 7:19 am

    Do you have a tentative ETA for the poll?

    • shamlet April 13, 2017 at 7:45 am


      R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

      • GerGOP April 13, 2017 at 7:50 am

        Awesome guy.

      • edtorres04 April 13, 2017 at 7:54 am

        Thank you in advance for your work to Shamlet and the entire staff of this page.

  • edtorres04 April 13, 2017 at 8:01 am

    ND Senate: in a national journal article that is behind a paywall, Rep Cramer hinted that he would not want to run for Senate, but would not decide until later. I find this type of behavior to be really bad for the party.

    He also defended Spicer’s Hitler comment: http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/12/politics/kevin-cramer-defense-sean-spicer/

    Maybe we need to get the state Treasurer to run for this seat, or Brian Kalk.

  • andyroo312 April 13, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Diehl would probably triumph in the MA-Sen GOP primary, given he’d draw support from both the establishment and Trump wings. Gonna be tough for any Republican to crack 40 percent vs. Warren, though.


  • Upstater22 April 13, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Just for kicks…
    From the conversation from yesterday, I drew up a 2-seat Montana based on 2016 population estimates:


    MT-01 (West)
    2008: 48.9% Obama 47.6% McCain
    2016: 53% Trump 38% Clinton

    MT-02 (East)
    2008: 51.7% McCain 45.4% Obama
    2016: 58% Trump 33% Clinton

    Much of the growth in Montana is in Gallatin County (Bozeman). They estimate it gained 4% from 2015-2016 and nearly 17% since the 2010 census. Hillary won Gallatin 45-44. Growth is slow elsewhere in the state, however. I do not believe Montana will be on track to gain a seat in 2020. The population in these two seats is 521,260.

    Conservative, because facts are more important than feelings

    • rdw72777 April 13, 2017 at 10:29 am

      Yeah according to estimates Montana won’t exceed Rhode island in population until mid-2018 and since it’s like 99% that Ri will drop to a single seat it’s probably about 98% that MT will also be a single seat. The state is apparently growing about 10k per year pretty consistently but needs to be closer to 20-25k per year from 2017-2020 to get that 2nd seat. And 2020 is probably their last chance to grab a second…the average district is getting so big I don’t think there will be even a remote chance of getting 2 in 2030 when the average district size will likely be over 900k. But still a fun hypothesis.

      • Jon April 13, 2017 at 7:02 pm

        The average congressional district size grows closely to the rate at which the US population does.
        MT needs to grow at a higher rate than the country as a whole does to gain a seat for 2030; and 0.1% more probably won’t cut it.
        The yearly estimates suggest that MT’s birth growth rate wasn’t slowed down as much during the great recession as other states but probably hasn’t picked up as much as some other states have in the past two years either.

        45, M, MO-02

  • MosheM April 13, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Poll email sent already. Thanks!

    29, M, R, NY-10

    • krazen1211 April 13, 2017 at 8:47 am

      Excellent stuff! Thank you mods!

      I hope everyone honors the embargo and we have no leaks.

  • Mayor Perk April 13, 2017 at 8:56 am

    New York Court of Appeals (NY’s highest court) Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam found dead in the Hudson River.


    30. OH-12. Establishment Republican.

    • GerGOP April 13, 2017 at 9:10 am

      Posten yesterday with lengthy ensuing discussion about the topographic conditions. ^^

      • Mayor Perk April 13, 2017 at 9:25 am

        My bad. Way past my bedtime. 🙂

        30. OH-12. Establishment Republican.

      • pstchrisp April 13, 2017 at 10:09 am

        As I said, that could be where someone who jumped from GW Bridge would end up, so her location is not unusual for a suicide.

    • Upstater22 April 13, 2017 at 9:22 am

      Must’ve run afoul of the Clintons. Was Hillary in Manhattan yesterday?

      Conservative, because facts are more important than feelings

  • Tekzilla April 13, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Post is up at DDHQ but not here. I had a feeling Jeff and ddhq were being weird with their tweets. Terrible poll for Ossoff, yikes.

    36/M/NY-01 (D)

    • MosheM April 13, 2017 at 9:41 am

      Not that terrible. Everything is relative. Dems technically have no business winning here even in good Dem years.

      29, M, R, NY-10

  • dforston April 13, 2017 at 9:47 am

    What a relief. If Ossoff gets < 40% on Tuesday, it'll be a huge let down for the left.

    • GerGOP April 13, 2017 at 9:54 am

      Doubtful. A poll is not zurnout on Election Day, but I expected waaaay worse.

  • VastBlightKingConspiracy April 13, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Enten has some decent analysis on Kansas.


    Though his analysis on CA-34 is pretty far-off. CA-34 isn’t a useful barometer for anything because imputing PVI to a jungle primary is useless when every single voter knows that the district is solidly blue. No one really thinks Trump support in the district dropped from 13% to 3%. A rational Republican voter votes for their preferred Democrat, which is exactly what I did. I’ve never voted for a Republican in my life besides Mitt Romney and Donald Trump.

    I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

  • VastBlightKingConspiracy April 13, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Oh dear God, we’re going back into the Healthcare grinder.


    I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

    • rdw72777 April 13, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      Well it an tax reform are more than tangentially linked so it’s kind of necessary. I’d be interested to see an actual vote taken, I was surprised it was pulled alst time with no vote. I figured if it was withing 5-10 votes of passing that would be a good sign since 4 of the 5 current vacancies are pretty strongly lean R and from there you really only need 3-6 flips to pass it. The fact it was pulled made me re-think my views that it must have been much further off.

      Of course god only knows what the Senate bill would change but a vote (not policy) perspective it’d be nice to see final votes even though that’s obviously not political reality.

    • krazen1211 April 13, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      My understanding is that they have to use this years reconciliation on health care and that it can’t be used in taxes.

  • majorityinms April 13, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Mississippi local party switchers: This isn’t real a big story but just an interesting one. Itawamba county is in the NE corner of Mississippi in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. Old time FDR-TVA Democrats. Last November, the county gave Trump 87% of the vote. At the same time, every local official was a Democrat. Mississippi has odd year elections so county and state officials were last elected in 2015 and they are somewhat insulated from national politics. Well today, 7 officials, including the Sheriff and a majority of the Board of Supervisors switched parties. Have no idea who the new Rs are or what their philosophy may be, but this is a long-time coming and hopefully the beginning of some changes in a state where 80% of county and municipal officials are Democrats.

  • RogueBeaver April 13, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    CT-GOV: Malloy retiring. http://www.courant.com/politics/hc-gov-malloy-will-not-seek-a-third-term-20170413-story.html

    QC/Blue Tory/M

    • BostonPatriot April 13, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      FP’ed. Malloy story will be below the poll.

  • Manhatlibertarian April 13, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Thursday Tidbits – New York

    Assemblyman Michael Kearns of Erie County (Buffalo & suburbs), who is a registered Democrat, but in the strange world of NY politics runs on the Dem, GOP and Conservative Party lines, has now received the GOP nomination for Erie County Clerk, a position which had been held by Chris Jacobs, who was the successful GOP nominee for a State Senate seat. He also has Conservative party support. But the Erie County Dem Chair Jeremy Zellner called Kearns (who is also seeking the Dem nomination) accepting GOP support for the post, a “slap in the face”, which would tend to indicate there may be a Dem primary. Possible Dem candidates include Buffalo Board of Ed member Janique Curry, former radio news reporter Steve Cichon, and businessman Hormoz Mansouri.

    Meanwhile there has been growing speculation that term limited Dem Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, may challenge IDC Dem faction member State Senator David Valesky in the Dem primary for the seat in 2018.

    Relations between the mainstream Dem conference and the IDC Dem faction in the State Senate continue to be poor. IDC Dem faction leader Jeff Klein says he spends most of his time defending himself and his group’s members against attacks by mainstream Dems. Recently Dem State Senator Jose Peralta of Queens was kicked out of his local Dem club for joining the IDC faction. Now the Three Parks Independent Dem Club on the Upper West Side of Manhattan has banned IDC members from speaking at the club or even participating in club events.

    The mysterious death of Court of Appeals (highest court in NY state) Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam has already been well discussed on this site, but I would also point out that she was both the first African American woman and first female Muslim Justice on the high court. She was appointed by Gov. Cuomo in 2013.

    all at:


  • shamlet April 13, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    IA-3: Sherzan is out. http://iowastartingline.com/2017/04/13/mike-sherzan-bows-3rd-district-race/

    R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

  • shamlet April 13, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    KS-4: Wagle considering primarying Estes. http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/election/article144292029.html

    R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

  • shamlet April 13, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    KS-2: 2014 Gov nominee Paul Davis (D) is in. http://cjonline.com/news/local/state-government/2017-04-12/democrat-paul-davis-initiates-campaign-rep-lynn-jenkins-2nd

    R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

    • MikeFL April 13, 2017 at 3:34 pm

      Good get for them if things are looking south for us come 2018.

      26 | FL-16/27 | FisCon

      • rdelbov April 13, 2017 at 4:06 pm

        Davis is certainly a top tier guy(for those D posters who don’t think I have much good to say about D candidates) for this seat.

        Saying that Davis still comes from Douglas County (Lawrence) so that bloc of votes is already lined up for whoever the D candidate is. The battleground area for this seat is not Douglas county but Shawnee. Not sure if the GOP candidate will end from Topeka but if she or he does then they have apparent path to getting key votes in their hometown.

        So good for the Ds but Davis is certainly no lock for this seat IMO it is still lean R.

        • fzw April 13, 2017 at 4:14 pm

          I agree it’s probably leans R with Davis, but definitely can’t be taken for granted given Kansas’ instability at the state level.

          Currently MO-5. From MO-3.

    • edtorres04 April 13, 2017 at 3:45 pm

      So this means he’s not running for Governor, but we will need a good candidate.

  • sentinelrules April 13, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Iowa State senate passes voter ID bill, sends to governor to sign.
    Barring legal actions, will start in 2019

    Voter ID
    Early voting period reduced from 40 days to 29
    No more straight-ticket option


    • TennesseeMike April 13, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      Iowa is so racist. Minorities can’t vote because they can’t get an ID. And they won’t be able to get to the polls without more than 30 days to vote. And who can figure out the ballot without a straight-ticket option? Redneck racists! /end snark

      This will be challenged in court, guaranteed. To bad money will be wasted challenging this common sense law that could be used to actually help minorities.

      TN-2 District. A Social and Fiscal Conservative Republican

      • Manhatlibertarian April 13, 2017 at 8:22 pm

        Yes I assume the Dems will go “judge shopping” and find a federal district court judge who will strike down the legislation either because it was passed with “discriminatory intent” or because it will have “disparate impact on minorities” (although the state is only about 8% Black/Hispanic according to the 2010 Census. The fact that the SCOTUS has approved voter ID laws in several states, like Georgia and Indiana will be ignored. The district judge does not have to worry about what is approved in other states, he/she only has to find one of the two problems mentioned above in Iowa. Interestingly enough, while the straight ticket voting option is thought to help Dems more than Repubs, I don’t know how true that is in Iowa these days, where Repubs usually win at the top of the ticket.

        • Jon April 14, 2017 at 6:44 pm

          While I don’t know the ratio of those actually using the straight ticket option in Iowa; in Missouri the reason it was abolished during an R trifecta about a decade ago was that straight ticket disproportionately leaned D compared to votes as a whole. (When a Republican voter had decided to vote the same way for all races they were far more likely to go to each race on the ballot and click the Republican there as opposed to checking straight ticket in comparison to Democrat voters.)

          45, M, MO-02

  • Mayor Perk April 13, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    AL-Gov: Ex-State Agriculture Commissioner & 2010 gubernatorial candidate Ron Sparks (D) may run again in 2018 after newly minted Gov. Kay Ivey (R) eliminated his bureaucratic post as Director of the Office of Rural Development.


    30. OH-12. Establishment Republican.

  • Ryan_in_SEPA April 13, 2017 at 6:15 pm


    North Korea “will be taken care of.”

    31, PA-6, fiscally conservative communitarian, Giant Meteor 2020 - Just End It Already!

  • Mike1965 April 13, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    Good news, Gwen Graham’s husband is cancer free.


    She had delayed a probable run for FL Gov while he underwent treatment, now that he has hopefully beaten the disease she can start preparing a run.


  • Manhatlibertarian April 13, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    Fake News Department.

    I reported, as did the media, that Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the NY Court of Appeals Justice whose body was mysteriously found floating in the Hudson River, was the first Muslim woman to serve on NY’s highest court. It turns out that although her first husband was a Muslim, she herself never converted to Islam. So it turns out the media got it wrong; maybe because of the last name they just assumed she was a Muslim – not good reporting.


  • Manhatlibertarian April 13, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    I never though the day would come when I prefer Trump (who I don’t particularly like) to be Pres rather than McCain. McCain and his sidekick Graham want us to ground the Syrian Air Force, increase our ground presence in Syria and create “safe havens” for rebels in Syria. Does McCain really think someone like Putin will just sit back and let us do all this to his main Mideast ally? He’s willing to risk a war with Russia for his military interventionist policies. Trump may have bombed the Syrian Air Base over the gas attack, but he has indicated he is not seeking a wider conflict and that we should concentrate on defeating ISIS. Remember McCain was a big supporter of the Iraq War, which Trump now admits was a mistake. But at least there we didn’t have Russian troops, unlike Syria. Sometimes these days I think McCain has become so hawkish he is losing touch with reality.

    • VastBlightKingConspiracy April 13, 2017 at 9:16 pm

      I supported Obama over McCain in 2008 and I still don’t regret my choice.

      The closest analog of Trump’s intervention against Syria is probably Ronald Reagan’s bombing of Qaddafi. And Ronald Reagan of course, was also the president who ended the cold war by brokering peace with the USSR (omg Reagan was a Soviet plant! the election was stolen from Mondale!!!11).

      I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

      • The Emperor April 14, 2017 at 1:22 am

        Reagan was more complex in his foreign policy views than one would suspect. He hated communism and wanted it destroyed, yet he also hated nuclear weapons and wanted them gotten rid of. In his book he said he wanted to give SDI tech to the Soviets so that each side could shoot down the other’s missiles.
        Effectively, he made the deals with the Soviets because he could. As long as he had SDI and the B-2 stealth bomber the US didn’t need massive numbers of missiles. They could strike the USSR with impunity and the Soviets knew that, which is why they spent themselves into bankruptcy. Nukes were their only Trump card, otherwise they were a more powerful tinpot dictatorship with an economy in the toilet.

        male/21/R/TX-22, CA-52/originally CA-45, KS-03
        Rubio Republican

    • LtNOWIS April 13, 2017 at 9:55 pm

      McCain and Graham have held those positions for years now, they’re not new. Of course, as Russia has deployed more and more military advisors to back up the Syrian Armed Forces, they have become less and less viable.

      28, VA-11

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