Polling Update: We are still way short of what we would need to raise to poll the MT-AL special election. Montana state law requires live callers to poll which makes the cost of polling the state very expensive. We are still waiting on approval from the state of Georgia to get an exemption to their state telecommunications law which requires live callers. If we can get the exemption and raise enough money we will poll GA-06. If not all money raised will be put towards polling the AL-Sen GOP primary. If you would like to help make the polls possible please go to: https://www.paypal.me/RedRacingHorses and contribute today!
Can you smell what the Rock is cooking?: Because one President who is a member of the WWE Hall of Fame is not enough, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson says he might actually run for President. Before you laugh at this please remember Donald Trump is President of the United States and Al Franken is a member of the US Senate.
FL-Gov: Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam (R) officially launched is campaign for governor. Putnam has been a fixture in Florida’s political scene for over 20 years. He was first elected to the Florida State House in 1996, Congress in 2000 and was elected statewide to Agriculture Commissioner in 2010. With a resume like that its sometime hard to believe that Adam Putnam is only 42 years old.
MI-Gov: Better Call Sam. Wealthy attorney Mark Bernstein (D) is considering a run for governor. The Bernstein family law firm is one of the best known in the state and Mark is known for his “Call Sam” ambulance chasing commercials. If he runs Mark could put significant personal fortune into the race. When Mark’s brother Richard Bernstein ran for MI Supreme Court in 2014 the Bernstein family reportedly spent more than $1 million to help him win.
MN-Gov: 2014 gubernatorial nominee and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson (R) will run for governor again this year. Johnson struggled with fundraising in 2014 but did outperform the well-funded GOP Senate nominee. Johnson joins Ramsey County Commissioner Blake Huffman and State Rep. Matt Dean in the quest for the GOP nomination. House Speaker Kurt Daudt, State Sen. Dave Osmek, former MNGOP Chairman Keith Downey, and Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek are all considering seeking the Republicans nomination as well.
NJ-Gov: Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R) has raised over $2.2 million since January for her gubernatorial campaign. While this is a fairly decent haul for her, New Jersey is a very expensive state to run in since it doesn’t have its own media market and candidates are forced to buy ads in NYC and Philadelphia. Her most likely general election opponent will be former Goldman Sachs Master of the Universe Phil Murphy (D) who has already written a check to himself for $10 million for his campaign and give himself a lot more.
TN-Gov: State Sen. Mark Green (R) is undecided about returning to the Tennessee governor’s race after his nomination to be Secretary of the Army was scuttled by Democrats and LGBT special interest groups. Ironically the controversy left wing groups created over his nomination has raised Green’s profile and stature and could even help him in a GOP gubernatorial primary.
VA-Gov: Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) believes healthcare is a “privilege” and not a “right”. At least that is what he said in a 2011 debate when he was running for re-election to the state senate. Expect Progressive darling Tom Perriello to make an issue out of this old quote in the Democrat primary.
ME-Sen: Gov. Paul LePage (R) announced that he will not run for Senate in 2018. For months LePage had been hinting at potentially challenging Sen. Angus King (I) but this marquee matchup will not happen.
TX-Sen: Former George W. Bush strategist Matthew Dowd will not run for Senate in 2018. Dowd had been considering an independent bid against Sen. Ted Cruz (R). The biggest obstacle to Ted Cruz’s re-election would come from a third party right of center candidate sucking up enough Republican votes to allow a Democrat like Beto O’Rourke to seek into office with less than 45% of the vote. With Dowd out that no longer looks like a possibility. Furthermore Cruz is starting to shed his image as an obstructionist Senate gadfly and is starting to be seen as a team player who the Senate GOP is counting on to bring Senate Republicans together to pass Obamacare repeal (see HERE).
WV-Sen: ICYMI Rep. Evan Jenkins (R) campaign launch video is well worth a watch. The video hits Sen. Manchin (D) for saying one think to get elected and doing another in Washington, DC. The ad features Manchin changing his views on gun control, standing with Planned Parenthood and endorsing Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The video clearly lays out the case Jenkins will be making to voters and the themes in it will most likely be the focus of his campaign for Senate.
CA-10: Registered nurse Dotty Nygard (D) will challenge Rep. Jeff Denham (R). Nygard is an activist in California Nurses Association the powerful Nurses Union. While Nygard seems like a C-list candidate at best Hillary Clinton did win this district 49%-46%.
GA-6: San Francisco loves Jon Ossoff (D) and the Congressional Leadership Fund is running a new ad letting everyone know that.
NY-1: Sommelier Hannah Selinger (D) announced her intention to challenge Rep. Lee Zeldin (R). Selinger has no prior experience running for public office and only moved to the East End of Long Island six years ago.
NY-11: Boyd Melson (D), a 35-year-old retired boxer, plans to run to run against Rep. Dan Donovan (R) next year. Melson lives in Brooklyn not Staten Island and can at best be described as a D-list candidate.
SC-5: The Club for Growth has endorsed Ralph Norman in the May 16th Republican primary runoff vs. Tommy Pope and has gone on the air with two new TV ads on Norman’s behalf (See HERE & HERE). UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has also made her preferences in this race known by donating $100 to Ralph Norman’s campaign (See Here).
VA-10: Dorothy McAuliffe, wife of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), will not seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) next year. This clears the way for DCCC recruit state Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D) to have an easier path to the Democrat nomination.
WV-3: Ex-State Delegate Rick Snuffer (R) becomes first to announce he will run for Congress after Rep. Evan Jenkins (R) announced his Senate candidacy. While Snuffer is a former State Delegate he is also entering frequent candidate territory. Snuffer has run twice before for WV-03 (getting within 8 points in 2012), ran for WV GOP Chair, and ran for US Senate run in 2006 (getting 6% of the R primary vote). Current WV GOP Chair & former Sen. Shelley Moore Capito staffer Conrad Lucas is also prepping a Congressional campaign here.
State, Local & Other:
AL-Redistricting: The court mandated legislative redistricting in Alabama is slowing coming to completion. The senate has passed a map that complies with the court order unpacking of black voters. The new Senate maps smoothed out county lines while maintaining a partisan make up similar to the old. The house map that has passed committee also looks like it will keep the partisan balance the same while fixing the items the court wanted addressed.
NH-HD Cheshire 4: Rep. Joseph Stallcop has left the Democratic Party and joined the Libertarian Party. His defection will give the Libertarian Party two members in the 400 member state House. This will entitle the Libertarian Party to be recognized as a caucus, with its own room in the capitol. Stallcop is a 21 year old college student and was a Bernie Sanders supporter in 2016.