Please check back later today for our preview of tomorrow’s Pennsylvania local election primaries, LA City Council runoffs, and the SC-05 Republican runoff. Until then, here’s some electoral tidbits to take your mind off the fact that you forgot to call your mother yesterday.
IN-Sen: Oh boy. We’re barely into the 2018 primary cycle, and already there’s a fist fight going on in a key Senate race. After it was reported that Rep. Luke Messer’s (R) wife made good money off of legal work done for the City of Fishers (a wealthy suburb north of Indianapolis), Messer is firing back at insinuations of corruption. He’s calling the whole thing a ‘hatchet job’ by Rep.Todd Rokita (R). Both men are looking to run against Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) next year. Rokita’s problem is that Messer got the jump on him and has already built a campaign, complete with touring the state and securing many private endorsements for later release. Rokita is known to be cautious and doesn’t like primary fights. If the report really was planted by him, he’s probably trying to push Messer out of the way so that he can get a mostly-cleared primary field. Expect to hear more about this in the coming days. It’s gonna get nasty unless one of the two men rules themselves out of the race.
PA-Sen/PA-Gov: State Rep. David Reed (R), the Pennsylvania House Majority Leader, has ended speculation over a possible gubernatorial or senatorial run. Personally I think this was very smart. He might be in leadership, but he’s still 1/203. The State Senate or the US House would be a much wiser choice of next rung.
IL-Gov: On the question of ‘which rich guy do we want to put up against Gov. Rauner?,’ it appears that the Democratic establishment in the Land of Lincoln have made their choice. Billionaire J.B. Pritzker has become the consensus pick of the Madigan machine and the unions (but I repeat myself). This has left the less-rich-but-still-loaded Chris Kennedy (yes, THOSE Kennedys) somewhat out in the cold. That’s kind of funny, because establishment Democrats were the ones who originally wooed him into joining the race. Kennedy may still put up a fight, but it’s hard to beat the machine.
MI-Gov: All I want for Christmas is for Geoffrey Fieger to run for governor again. Fieger, who was such a bad candidate when he was the Democratic nominee for Governor in 1998 that he single-handedly assured a third term for then-Gov. John Engler (R), is talking about running again in 2018. Finger’s loss was so bad that he only won Wayne County. That’s right, folks – he lost both Ingham AND Washtenaw. If he were to run, his biggest opponent in the primary would be State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer (D), who is already gathering support. Please, Geoffrey, run! Do it for the people!
CO-AG: Well, it looks like the #Resistance crew have found their candidate against Attorney General Cynthia Coffman (R). Denver attorney Phil Weiser (D) announced his candidacy and immediately pledged to fight President Trump at every turn using the powers of the state attorney general’s office. He was promptly endorsed by a range of former Obama administration figures including former Colorado Senator and former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
PA-LG: Look, there’s no doubt that Lt. Gov. Mike Stack (D- Northeast Phiily Machine-in-Exile) is in a bit of trouble. He and his wife have been accused of abusing state workers. He’s also been accused of running up a curiously high hotel bill in his city of residence. However, I don’t think that a Pittsburgh political activist is really going to cut it as a credible primary challenger against him. Aryanna Berringer doesn’t think that, though. If she did, she wouldn’t be thinking of running against him.
AL-Redistricting: The State House has now passed the court-ordered redistricting plan for their own districts. Democrats in the chamber of course objected because, well, painting Republicans as racist is basically the reason for their caucus’ existence.
OH-Redistricting: Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) has rejected the ballot language offered by proponents of the referendum to give Ohio a redistricting commission for US House of Representatives districts. This means that the referendum will not be on the ballot in the fall and must wait until 2018.
New Orleans-Mayor: Michael Bagneris, a retired civil court judge, has thrown his hat into the ring for the mayoralship of the Crescent City. There are currently two other announced candidates: City Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell, and developer and possible nutcase Frank Scurlock. Scurlock was recently arrested near the Civil War memorials that the city has been planning to demolish. The charges sound like BS, but his claim that by advocating that the monuments stay he’s trying to stop ‘Civil War II’ is hilarious.
France: Newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron has just won a landslide victory, but he faces an immediate problem: there are no members of his new En Marche! party in parliament. He can change that, but first he needs candidates to run for the party in next month’s elections. He’s put together a colorful list of names, but he’s having some trouble getting enough to run candidates everywhere.
UK: Well, that backfired. The Greens, knowing that they aren’t likely to win many seats next month, decided to stand down in a few key constituencies where they thought it would help Labour win against the Tories and urged Team Corbyn and the Liberal Democrats to do the same amongst themselves. It caught on with a few Labourites, but overall they’ve been met with a deafening silence. Not only that, but it gave UKIP an idea about how to go out with dignity while giving the Remoaners a final kick in the teeth. After saying for a while that they’d not run candidates against Brexiteers in both major parties, they pulled a surprise out of their caps and purposely failed to contest a couple dozen Tory/Labour marginals, especially in Southern England (mostly in London) and the Midlands. A bit of the UKIP vote will return to Labour, but the vast majority will go to the Conservatives. This is the first and last time I’ll say this: Well played, Mr. Nuttall. Well played.