We continue to keep Rep. Steve Scalise (R) in our thoughts and prayers. As of yesterday evening, he was still in critical condition but was said to have improved in the previous 24 hours. He underwent a second surgery yesterday, will require more surgeries in the coming days, and will be in the hospital for some time. Here’s hoping to a speedy recovery.
Kevin Vaughan (R) won TN-LD-95 easily last night, winning 62%-35%.
WI-Sen: Businessman Kevin Nicholson is considering entering the Republican primary for US Senate and is apparently testing to see how his background as a Democrat will go over with voters. Nicholson was once president of the College Democrats of America and spoke at the 2000 Democratic National Convention. He registered as a Democrat in North Carolina in 2005 and records show he voted in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. He claims he voted “no preference”, but records indicate that nobody in his precinct voted that way. A poll is currently being conducted that mentions this background for an unnamed candidate, but also mentions that the person is a decorated Marine, successful business leader and father of 3 children, who evolved into a conservative Republican, all things that apply to Nicholson’s background. Others considering running include State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R), state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R), state Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R), 2012 GOP candidate Eric Hovde and Nicole Schneider, daughter-in-law of the founder of Schneider Trucking.
CA-48: There seems to be no shortage of Democrats willing to take on Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R). Scientist and entrepreneur Hans Keirstead is the latest to announce a bid. Keirstead is a native of Canada who became a US citizen in 2008. Businessman Harley Rouda, architect Laura Oatman, real estate broker Boyd Roberts and airline pilot Tony Zarkades are also Democrats who are running. Hillary Clinton won the district by 2 points in 2016, although Rohrabacher prevailed by 16 points.
CO-2: State Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R) says contrary to some reports, he is not considering running for this now open seat. One political blog this week mentioned him as a possible candidate, but he says he is only considering a run for state Treasurer. Lundberg was the GOP nominee against Rep. Jared Polis (D) in 2012, losing by 17 points. Polis is now running for governor. The same report that said Lundberg was considering running for Congress also mentioned former State Rep. B.J. Nikkel (R) as a possible candidate-Nikkel has confirmed that she is indeed considering running. 2014 Democratic Secretary of State nominee Joe Neguse is the only Democrat to announce a bid so far, but several others are considering.
FL-23: Tim Canova is back for a rematch. The Bernie Sanders supporter who ran against Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D) from the left in the 2016 Democratic primary is running again. Although Wasserman-Schultz prevailed in the primary by a somewhat comfortable 57-43% margin, Canova received a lot of attention for his run and raised a lot of money from Sanders supporters. There does not seem to be any love lost between the two-Wasserman-Schultz did not even mention her opponent by name in her 2016 primary victory speech and Canova refused to concede or even congratulate her. The outcome of this battle may be a signal as to just how much influence Sanders supporters are building in the party-one thing that may help Wasserman-Schultz however is since she is no longer chairman of the DNC, she is not quite the lightning rod for criticism that she was.
ID-1: Former state Sen. Russ Fulcher (R) is dropping out of the governor’s race and running for Congress instead. He was immediately endorsed by Rep. Raul Labrador (R), who is giving up the seat to run for governor himself. The move should benefit Labrador, as he and Fulcher come from the same more conservative wing of the state GOP, and probably makes Fulcher the frontrunner for this seat for now. The only other candidate to announce a bid so far is 80s era LG David Leroy (R), who also ran for this seat in 1994, finishing a distant 2nd in the GOP primary. Others including state Sen. Bob Nonini (R) and state Reps. Luke Malek (R) and Mike Moyle (R) are considering running.
TN-6: State Rep. Judd Matheny (R) plans to run for Congress, assuming that Rep. Diane Black (R) runs for governor. Matheny says he is waiting to make a formal announcement until Black announces an expected gubernatorial run. If Black does not run for governor, he will not run for Congress and will instead run for re-election to the Tennessee House. Matheny joins pro-Trump journalist Scottie Nell Hughes in considering a run for this seat if Black runs for governor.
IA-Gov: No surprise here, but Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) announced in a press release that she plans to run for governor in 2018. Although she has long been expected to run, even before she succeeded former Gov. and now US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad (R), she had previously been evasive about her plans for 2018. She also announced that Acting LG Adam Gregg (R) will be her running mate. Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett is considering running against her in the Republican primary.
MN-Gov: Former state House Speaker Paul Thissen (DFL) is joining a large DFL field for governor. Thissen also ran in 2010, finishing 3rd at the state convention. Thissen was Speaker from 2013-2014, a period when the legislature passed a lot of liberal legislation, and some blame Thissen for the DFL losing their House majority in 2014 and losing more seats in 2016. The DFL field that Thissen is joining also includes Rep. Tim Walz, state Reps. Erin Murphy and Tina Liebling, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and State Auditor Rebecca Otto. Attorney General Lori Swanson is also considering running.
NY-Gov: A new Marist poll has good news for Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) winning re-election in 2018, but not so good news for a possible presidential run in 2020. The poll shows Cuomo trouncing each of 4 potential Republican candidates-2010 nominee Carl Paladino, 2014 nominee and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, businessman Harry Wilson and Donald Trump, Jr. by 30+ points. But when asked whether he should run for president in 2020, a majority, 51% do not want him to run.
LA-Treas.: State Rep. John Schroder (R) has resigned his state House seat to focus on a campaign for state Treasurer. Schroder was already serving in his final term in the House due to term limits. State Sen. Neil Riser (R) and state Rep. Julie Stokes (R) are also running in the Oct. 14 special election-others are still considering.