First off, our thoughts are of course with Rep. Steve Scalise (R), who is still in critical condition as of last night after undergoing two surgeries following yesterday’s shooting; Scalise will need more surgeries to repair organ damage.
In elections news, there is a special today for TN-LD-95, an R+28 (2012) seat around Collierville in the southeast Memphis suburbs. School board member Kevin Vaughan (R) should be a prohibitive favorite over attorney Julie Byrd-Ashworth (D) barring something seriously unexpected. The shooting has chilled the news cycle a bit, but here is what else happened yesterday –
AL-Gov: Ex-State Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb (D) kicked off her campaign for Governor yesterday. Cobb, one of the last Democrats to win statewide in Alabama in her partisan court races, seems like a strong candidate for Dems, though she may face primary opposition from State Rep. Craig Ford (D) and/or Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox (D). Republicans have a crowded primary and Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has not yet declared whether she will seek a full term.
NJ-Gov: Q continues to post this race as a snoozer, as ambassador Phil Murphy (D) leads LG Kim Guandagno (R) 55-26. Gov. Chris Christie (R) continues to be toxic with 81% disapproval.
VA-Gov, VA-Sen: Prince William CE Corey Stewart (R) will not actively support nominee Ed Gillespie (R) after narrowly losing Tuesday’s primary, though he says he will vote for the Republican ticket. Stewart, however, has said he is now interested in a run against Sen. Tim Kaine (D) in 2018.
AL-Sen: Rep. Mo Brooks (R) had a very eloquent response to a question about gun control minutes after witnessing the shooting. It’s worth reading as this should become memorizable boilerplate for every Republican asked about gun control in response to any shooting incident.
AZ-2: 2016 nominee and ex-State Rep. Matt Heinz (D) will mount a second bid against Rep. Martha McSally (R) in 2018. Heinz lost by 14 points even as Hillary carried the seat by five, so he may not be Democrats’ first choice for a rematch in this purple district.
GA-6: Trafalgar has Jon Ossoff (D) up 47-43 on Karen Handel (R) ahead of next Tuesday’s vote.
AZ-Sen: Hoping to profit off of yesterday’s shooting, senate hopeful Kelli Ward (R) uses an email about Rep. Steve Scalise getting shot to attack Sen. Jeff Flake (R) who was there trying to help him. Our only explanation for this tasteless and insane choice of campaign strategy is that the mind control from the chemtrails Ward was exposed to made her do it.
State & Local:
GA-LG: State Sen. Steve Gooch (R) is considering a run for LG. Should he enter Gooch would join a pair of colleagues, State Senate President David Shafer (R) and State Sen. Rick Jeffares (R), and State Rep. Geoff Duncan (R), in the GOP primary. Incumbent Casey Cagle (R) is running for Governor.
NM-Lands Comm: Sen. Martin Heinrich (D) has injected himself into this primary, somewhat surprisingly backing nonprofit exec Gene VeneKlasen (D) over ex-Lands Commissioner Ray Powell (D). Heinrich and VeneKlasen appear to be personal friends, but the endorsement could be a major boost to VeneKlasen’s chance against the better-known Powell. The Dem primary winner will likely face incumbent Aubrey Dunn Jr. (R) in the general.
PA-LG: 2012 PA-16 nominee Aryanna Berringer (nee Strader) (D) will run against LG Mike Stack (D) in this shotgun-wedding primary. Berringer lost to then-Rep. Joe Pitts (R) by 15 points in 2012. She is the first candidate to announce a run against Stack, who has been under fire for allegedly mistreating his staff, though it is likely that stronger candidates may enter. Gov. Tom Wolf (D) is rumored to want to be rid of Stack. Due in no small part to the Stack saga, legislation was proposed this week that would convert PA from a shotgun-wedding LG system where primary winners run separately but are yoked together in the general to a presidential-style system where nominees choose running mates. The legislation is a constitutional amendment, which means it would need to pass two successive legislatures and then a referendum, meaning it could not affect the 2018 race.
Seattle-Mayor: The sexual abuse lawsuit against Mayor Ed Murray (D) was abruptly dropped yesterday, though the accuser says he plans to refile next year. Murray dropped his re-election campaign amid the mess created by the lawsuit and the filing deadline has now passed. However, Murray is now considering a write-in campaign. Should he attempt a write-in run he would face ex-Mayor Mike McGinn (D), State Sen. Bob Hasegawa (D), State Rep. Jessyn Farrell (D), ex-US Attorney Jenny Durkan (D), and many others; if he were able to make the top two as a write-in his name would appear on the November ballot.