AL-Sen: Former state Rep. Perry Hooper, Jr. (R) who chaired Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in Alabama last year, has decided not to run for US Senate. Hooper was considered for the appointment that went to now Sen. Luther Strange (R). Hooper endorsed Strange in the press conference announcing his decision not to run. State Sen. Tripp Pittman (R) also got in the race after State Senate President Del Marsh (R) decided not to run. Pittman is from Baldwin County, and the only Republican from the coast who is running.
More AL-Sen: In a surprise move, state Rep. Ed Henry (R), who seemed certain to run for US Senate, decided on Wednesday not to run, tearing up his qualifying papers at a news conference in front of Republican headquarters. He also charged that Sen. Luther Strange (R) behaved in a “corrupt and improper manner” as attorney general and suggested that Strange deserved impeachment as AG.
AL-Gov: State Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan (R) is running for governor next year. He joins a GOP primary that includes Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Public Service Commission Chair Twinkle Cavanaugh, former Morgan County Commissioner Stacy George and businessman Joshua Jones. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has not decided yet whether to seek election to the post she succeeded to last month.
IA-Gov: Johnson County Commissioner Mike Carberry (D) has decided against running for governor next year. Carberry had been exploring a run for the past couple of months. Democrats currently running include state Sen. Nate Boulton (D), former Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Andy McGuire, Polk County Conservation Director Rich Leopold, party activist Jon Neiderbach, and state Rep. Todd Pritchard (D). LG Kim Reynolds (R) is set to become governor next Monday, as Gov. Terry Branstad (R) should be confirmed as Ambassador to China. Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett (R) is considering challenging her in the Republican primary.
KS-Gov: Former state Rep. Josh Svaty (D) is running for governor next year, giving Democrats their first contested primary for governor since 1998. In that race, state Rep. Tom Sawyer (D) ran primarily to keep Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps from getting the nomination. Former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer (D) is also running, and state House Minority Leader Jim Ward (D) is considering running as well. A possible point of contention with Svaty among Democrats is his pro-life voting record.
VA-Gov: The Democratic primary between LG Ralph Northam and former Rep. Tom Perriello is very close according to a new poll. Perriello received 40% in the Washington Post poll while 38% chose Northam. 18% were undecided. Former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie holds a large lead on the Republican side with 38%, Corey Stewart with 18% and state Sen. Frank Wagner (R) with 15%. 24% were undecided.
AL-2: State Rep. Barry Moore (R) plans to challenge Rep. Martha Roby (R) in the Republican primary. Moore’s decision to challenge Roby is based primarily on her decision to abandon support for Donald Trump last year after the release of the Access Hollywood tapes where Trump made lewd comments about women. The decision contributed to Roby having a much closer than expected race last year, winning by only 8 points over a Democrat who received little funding and party support. 9% of the vote went to Becky Gerritson, whom Roby had defeated in the Republican primary but ran as a write-in in the general election. Moore was one of the first Republican officials in the state to endorse Trump last year. The two come from opposite ends of the district-Roby is from Montgomery at the north end of the district, while Moore comes from Enterprise, at the south end.
FL-27: LG Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R) could be well positioned to run for Congress if a new poll is correct. The poll by Republican pollster Front Porch Strategies showed Lopez-Cantera with 57% in a Republican primary compared to 13% for former Miami-Dade School Board member Raquel Regalado and 3% for Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro, who has already declared his candidacy. The poll also matched him up with state Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez (D) in a general election and found him leading 41-34. The poll was taken on behalf of a Republican consulting firm that Lopez-Cantera used in his short-lived campaign for US Senate last year.
OK-1: Pastor and small business owner Danny Stockstill (R) is planning to run for Congress next year. He joins former Tulsa County DA Tim Harris, state Sen. Nathan Dahm (R), attorney Andy Coleman and businessman Kevin Hern in the Republican primary. Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R) is not seeking re-election next year and is a candidate to be NASA Administrator, raising the possibility of a special election.
UT-3: Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) confirmed yesterday that he plans to leave Congress early, on June 30. This will set up a special election to replace him, but it’s not clear how that election will be conducted. State law does not specify how it’s to be done, and precedent doesn’t give any guidance either. The last time a vacancy occurred in a Utah congressional seat was in 1929, and in that case, the special election to fill the seat did not occur until it was held concurrently with the election for the next term in 1930. Many state lawmakers say they should be called into special session to set the rules for how the special election should be conducted. but Gov. Gary Herbert (R), through the office of LG Spencer Cox (R) who acts as the state’s chief elections officer, plans to set the rules himself. Although nothing official has been released, it appears that plans are to have primaries on August 15(which coincides with municipal elections) and the general on November 7.
More UT-3: Provo Mayor John Curtis (R) appears close to announcing a bid for Congress. He says he is “feeling more and more like it’s the right thing to do.” He says he and his wife will come to a final decision “in the coming days.”
OH-SOS: State Sen. Frank LaRose (R) has announced he is running for Secretary of State next year. He will face state Rep. Dorothy Pelanda (R) in the Republican primary. State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D) is running on the Democratic side. Current Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) is running for governor.
RIP: Roger Ailes has died at the age of 77. Ailes is best known for being the founder and chairman of Fox News, but he had a career as a political consultant before that, and was the man behind one of the most well-known and most successful campaign ads of all time. Mitch McConnell hired Ailes to work on his 1984 Senate campaign against Sen. Dee Huddleston (D). McConnell, then Judge-Executive of Jefferson County was trailing badly against Huddleston in polls. Huddleston had one weakness though-he was frequently absent from the Senate. Ailes produced an ad attacking this weakness-with a Kentucky farmer searching for Huddleston with dogs. The ad, often known as the “Bloodhounds” ad turned the campaign around, and McConnell defeated Huddleston by just over 5,000 votes.