UT-Sen: It appears that as much as Utah voters don’t want Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) to run again, they’ll still vote for him as long as they know he is a Republican and his opponent is a Democrat. Polls have shown that more than 3/4ths of Utahns don’t want him to run for an 8th term, and a September poll commissioned by Utahpolicy.com and conducted by Dan Jones & Asssociates caught attention by showing him losing by 11 points to Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson (D). But that poll did not identify the candidates by party affiliation. A new poll that does give the candidates’ party affiliations shows Hatch with a 15 point lead, 50-35% over Wilson. Mitt Romney however does much better in a potential matchup, leading Wilson by 51 points, 72-21%.
WV-Sen: Don Blankenship, former CEO of Massey Energy Co., is running for the Republican nomination for US Senate. His company owned a mine that was involved in a 2010 explosion that killed 29 miners, and he was convicted for conspiracy to violate federal mine laws relating to the explosion, and served a year in prison last year. Blankenship claims that the conviction was political and that he was innocent. He joins AG Patrick Morrisey (R) and Rep. Evan Jenkins (R) in the GOP primary. A big stumbling block to his candidacy is that as part of conviction, he is prohibited from leaving Nevada, where he currently resides until May of next year. The primary will be held on May 8.
Conyers: Although Rep. John Conyers (D) says he won’t resign, there is mounting pressure on him to do so, with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) and Assistant Leader James Clyburn (D) now saying he should resign. One aspect of a possible Conyers resignation is that it would make Rep. Don Young (R) of Alaska the Dean of the House. Young would be the first Republican in nearly 85 years to hold the title-the first since Rep. Gilbert Haugen (R) of Iowa held the title from 1928-1933.
NJ-5: Warren County Freeholder Jason Sarnoski (R) will not run for Congress. Sarnoski had formed an exploratory committee to consider running for the Republican nomination to take on Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D). Two other Republicans are in the race-former Bogota Mayor and unsuccessful gubernatorial and US Senate candidate Steve Longean and former Cresskill Councilman John McCann.
NY-24: After previously ruling out a run, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner (D) is reconsidering running against Rep. John Katko (R) next year. Miner, who is leaving office at the end of the year, has been heavily recruited to run. Miner cited Katko’s vote for the GOP’s tax bill as making her reconsider. She has also been considering whether to challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) from the left in next year’s Democratic gubernatorial primary.
PA-10: Bradford County Commissioner Doug McLinko (R) is challenging Rep. Tom Marino (R) in next year’s Republican primary. McLinko cited the opioid crisis and the 60 Minutes report that caused Marino to withdraw his name to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy as reasons for running.
PA-11: Mike Marsicano, a former Hazleton mayor who was the 2016 Democratic nominee, will run for this seat again. Marsicano lost to Rep. Lou Barletta (R) by 27 points last year. Barletta is running for US Senate. Marsicano was unopposed for the nomination last year, but will have opposition this time. Former state agriculture secretary Denny Wolff and Air Force veteran Robert Alan Howe are running for the Democratic nomination while Luzerne County Councilman Tim McGinley is also considering running. State Rep. Stephen Bloom (R), former state revenue secretary Dan Meuser, businessman Andrew Lewis and Berwick Councilman Andrew Schecktor are running for the Republican nomination while former deputy state Attorney General Joe Peters is considering running.
TX-6: Rep. Joe Barton (R) announced his retirement yesterday-check our post about it yesterday with a Great Mentioner on who may run to succeed him.
TX-29: State Rep. Carol Alvarado (D) announced yesterday that she will not run for Congress. Alvarado was considered to be a potentially strong contender for the seat. She joins state Rep. Armando Walle (D) as candidates declining bids in recent days. As more potentially strong candidates decide not to run, state Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D) seems to be the clear frontrunner. Reflecting this situation, retiring Rep. Gene Green (D) also endorsed Garcia yesterday.
AZ-Treas.: State Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Yee (R) announced on Wednesday she will run for State Treasurer. Yee will face Arizona Corporation Commission chairman Tom Forese in the Republican primary. Current Treasurer Jeff DeWit (R), isn’t running for re-election and has been nominated to a post with NASA. Gov. Doug Ducey (R) will appoint DeWit’s successor.
CO-Treas./CO-Leg.: A Democrat is drafting legislation to expel a fellow Democrat from the state House. State Rep. Matt Gray (D) is planning to submit his proposal to the House when they reconvene in January to expel state Rep. Steve Lebsock (D) after he was accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, including another state representative. Lebsock, who is also running for State Treasurer, has refused calls for him to resign. Expulsion of a member requires a two-thirds vote of the chamber, and has only happened once before in Colorado history.
NM-Aud.: State Auditor Tim Keller (D) has resigned and will be sworn in as mayor of Albuquerque today. Gov. Susana Martinez (R) will appoint Keller’s replacement, likely giving the state another Republican statewide officeholder at least until the end of the term next year. Applications are being accepted through today, but there is no timetable on naming a replacement.
PA-LG: Yet another candidate is getting in the Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor. State Rep. Madeleine Dean (D) announced Wednesday that she is running. She is the 4th major Democrat to take on incumbent LG Mike Stack (D). The others are Braddock Mayor John Fetterman (D), Chester County Commissioner Kathy Cozzone (D), and Lancaster County Commissioner Craig Lehman (D).
Australia: The first of two by-elections this month in the House of Representatives will be held this Saturday. The by-elections were scheduled because two members were forced to resign their seats after a High Court ruling that barred people with dual citizenship from serving in the Parliament. This Saturday’s election occurs in the New South Wales seat of New England, where National Party Leader Barnaby Joyce will attempt to regain his seat. Joyce is expected to be returned relatively easily. The elections hold unusual importance as the absence of two Coalition members has left the governing Coalition temporarily without a majority and forces them to rely on confidence and supply agreements with two independents.