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Political Roundup for November 21, 2017

Today at 3pm, check back for our 7th annual Turkey of the Year Awards!

Today’s Pervert Update:

MI-13: Late last night news broke that Rep. John Conyers (D) settled a sexual harassment complaint in 2015. The complaint alleges Conyers harassed multiple staffers, attempted to fire a staffer because she was unattractive, and had women flown with taxpayer money to pleasure him. Conyers, who would become Judiciary Chair if Dems take over the house, is widely believed to have been suffering from severe dementia for the last decade.

MN-Sen ’20 (or earlier): The drip-drip of harassment allegations against Sen. Al Franken (D) that we all knew was coming has officially started. A second woman is alleging Franken groped her, this time at the Minnesota State Fair while he was in office in 2010. For his part, Franken says that he is doing a lot of “reflecting“. Mmmkay. One hopes it’s not the kind involving a mirror.

NM-Gov, NM-LG: This is an excellent case in point of why the “shotgun wedding” style of LG candidates running in separate primaries and combining to one ticket for the general can cause big problems. Rep. Michelle Lujan-Grisham (D), the front-runner for the Gov nomination, is calling on the previous front-runner to be her LG, State Sen. Michael Padilla (D), to drop out after several women claimed he harassed them while serving as a city official in Albuquerque a decade ago. Padilla is facing ex-State Rep. Rick Miera (D) and Dona Ana County commissioner Billy Garrett (D), among others in the LG primary, while Lujan-Grisham is the front-runner for the Gov nod over State Sen. Joe Cervantes (D) and media exec Jeff Apodaca (D), son of 70s-era Gov. Jerry (D).

OH-Gov: ICYMI last week, State Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill (D) kicked off his gubernatorial campaign with a strange facebook post that can only be described as an epic case of TMI. O’Neill states he was “sexually intimate with approximately 50 very attractive females,” and states that he once “made passionate love in the hayloft of her parents’ barn.” O’Neill is facing four other Democrats, ex-Rep. Betty Sutton (D), Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D), State Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D), and ex-State Rep. Connie Pillich (D), in the primary. Republicans have a crowded field as well.

CA-LD-39: State Rep. Raul Bocanegra (D) of the eastern San Fernando Valley will not seek re-election in 2018 and will resign at the end of next year’s legislative session amid escalating sexual harassment allegations.

OH-LD-87: Much, much more is coming out about just how disgusting recently-resigned State Rep. Wes Goodman (R) was.

FL-Dems: FLDP chair Stephen Bittel (D) has resigned after six women accused him of leering at them and other creepy behavior.

Governor:

CT-Gov: Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin (D) is considering a run for Governor after LG Nancy Wyman (D) declined a bid and left the field bereft of “A” list Democrats. Bronin’s name recognition would likely start as the highest in the Dem field, but the state capital’s continuing budget and socioeconomic woes would provide great fodder for his opponents. Bronin would join three “B” listers, Middletown Mayor Dan Drew (D), Malloy admin officials Jonathan Harris (D) and Sean Connolly (D), and prosecutor Chris Mattei (D), in the race to replace unpopular Gov. Dan Malloy (D). Republicans have an even more crowded field.

ME-Gov: 2010 Indie candidate Shawn Moody (R), who took a significant number of votes and fourth place in 2010 on a center-right platform, is preparing another run. Moody, who joined the GOP last month, is taking a step to prove his Republican bona fides by tapping several members of Gov. Paul LePage’s (R) staff, most notably including LePage’s daughter Lauren, for his expected bid. Moody would face LePage admin official Mary Mayhew (R), State Sens. Mike Thibodeau (R) and Garrett Mason (R), and State Rep. Ken Fredette (R) in the GOP primary. Democrats have a crowded field and three credible centrist Indies are in the race in appointed State Treasurer Teresea Hayes (I), well-known comedian Karmo Sanders (I), and ex-State Sen. Jon Jenkins (I), who also served as Mayor of both Lewiston and Auburn.

MI-Gov: Businessman Shri Thanedar (D), who has self-funded his way into being a serious contender for this race, is being hit with a fraud suit for allegedly inflating the value of his company to investors. Thanedar is facing front-running ex-State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer (D), executive Bill Cobbs (D), and Detroit city official Abul El-Sayed (D) in this primary. Republicans also have a competitive primary with AG Bill Schuette (R) as the front-runner.

More NM-Gov, NM-LG: In addition to Dems’ struggles with State Sen. Michael Padilla (D) in the LG primary (see pervert update above), Rep. Steve Pearce (R) is also having some trouble with running mates. Martinez admin official Kelly Zunie (R), who was looking like the presumptive LG nominee for Republicans, has dropped out herself amid allegations that she doesn’t meet the state’s 5-year residency requirement. Zunie moved to the state from Utah in 2014, and has also been hit for having some tax problems in Utah. Pearce also got some more bad news in that Lands Commissioner Aubrey Dunn Jr. (R) is considering a bid for Governor as a Libertarian… after already having endorsed Pearce. Dunn recently dropped out of the primary for Pearce’s NM-2 House seat amid rumors of a feud with Gov. Susana Martinez (R), though Dunn was looking like the front-runner for the House seat.

OK-Gov: State Auditor Gary Jones (R) kicked off his expected bid for Governor last week. Jones joins LG Todd Lamb (R), OKC Mayor Mick Cornett (R), ex-State Rep. Dan Fisher (R), and ex-US Attorney and 2002 Indie candidate Gary Richardson (R) in the crowded GOP primary. Ex-AG Drew Edmondson (D) is the likely Dem nominee in what seems likely to be a competitive general.

Congress:

AZ-Sen: OH Predictive Insights has a poll of the race with ex-State Sen. Kelli Ward (R) leading Rep. Martha McSally (R) in the primary 42-34 and both narrowly trailing Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) in the general.

NE-Sen: PPP (D) has an internal for Lincoln councilwoman Jane Raybould (D) that shows her trailing Sen. Deb Fischer (R) 42-31; however, it’s likely a some of the “undecideds” are Republicans who oppose Fischer from the right.

UT-Sen: Nonprofit exec Boyd Matheson (R), a former CoS to Sen. Mike Lee (R), will not run for the seat of Sen. Orrin Hatch (R). Matheson would have likely faced an uphill run against either Hatch or Mitt Romney (R), who is seen as likely to run if Hatch retires.

CA-52: Energy executive Michael Allman (R) is running for this seat on a platform that can only be described as taking pandering to its extreme conclusion. Allman says if elected he will set up a system to turn his vote on every bill into an online referendum, where district residents can cast votes for their opinion on the bill, and Allman will vote in accordance with the result even if he disagrees. I give him credit for originality, though I think it’s an idea that would be open to a lot of mischief if implemented. Allman is one of several little-known Republicans seeking to try a very uphill run against Rep. Scott Peters (D) in this blue (and getting bluer) San Diego seat.

State & Local:

IA-Aud: Prosecutor Rob Sand (D) will run for AG. Sand seems a reasonably credible challenger incumbent Mary Mosiman (R), who is considered likely to seek a second full term.

MN-AG: Appointed state Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman (D) has resigned to run for AG, joining State Rep. Debra Hillstrom (D) and ex-State Rep. Ryan Winkler (D) in the race for the seat of AG Lori Swanson (D). Swanson has not indicated her plans but is widely considered likely to run for Governor.

NM-Aud: State Rep. Bill McCamley (D) of suburban Las Cruces will run for State Auditor, an office that is now vacant after incumbent Tim Keller (D) was elected Mayor of Albuquerque. Gov. Susana Martinez (R) will make an appointment to fill the seat for the rest of Keller’s term.

NM-Lands Comm: Ex-Lands Commissioner Ray Powell (D) has dropped his bid to get back the office he lost in 2014 after being diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, an autoimmune condition that leads to severe muscle weakness (but does not affect life expectancy). Powell has endorsed a new candidate who entered the race in his stead, State Rep. Stephanie Garcia-Richard (D) of Los Alamos. Garcia-Richard will face nonprofit exec Garrett VeneKlasen (D), who has the backing of Sen. Martin Heinrich (D), in the Dem primary. Incumbent Aubrey Dunn Jr. (R) has not revealed his plans (see NM-Gov blurb above).

NE-PSC-1: Two Republicans are seeking the Lincoln-area 1st district seat on the state’s 5-member Public Service Commission. Scott Smathers (R), director of a pro-second amendment group, and ex-Cass County commissioner Ron Nolte (R) have filed to seek the seat of incumbent Frank Landis (R). Landis has not announced his intentions but is generally expected to retire.

Political Roundup for November 13, 2017

Over the weekend in PA-18, State Rep. Rick Saccone (R) took the GOP nomination. Democrats will nominate their contender this coming Sunday. Also check below for our preview of today’s election in Somaliland (where and/or what the heck is that, you ask?… read on).

Now, after a week in which I am reduced to not giving a f* about what happens to the broader GOP while resolving to spend the next year hoping and praying that Larry Hogan will not be doomed by a massive wave, it is time for today’s Roundup…

Briefing: New Nominees for our Anthony Weiner Award for Pervert of the Year:

AL-Sen: A former Roy Moore colleague said that it was “common knowledge” he was interested in high school girls when they worked together as prosecutors. Over the weekend, multiple polls have come out showing the race between Moore and ex-US Attorney Doug Jones (D) is a dead heat; in particular, one from JMC Analytics has Jones up 46-42.

CO-Treas: State Rep. Steve Lebsock (D) is under fire for allegedly sexually harassing a fellow lawmaker, State Rep. Faith Winter (D). Lebsock had looked like the Dem front-runner for the open Treasurer seat, but fellow State Rep. Dave Young (D) entered the race last week (perhaps getting tipped off about the allegations?) and now looks likely to be the Dems’ consensus pick. Democratic leaders are now calling for Lebsock’s resignation.

CA-SD-32: State Sen. Tony Mendoza (D) repeatedly attempted to get a young woman interviewing for a staffer job to come home with him to “review her resume”. Mendoza is the roommate of fellow State Sen. and US Senate candidate Kevin DeLeon (D).

CA-LD-26: State Rep. Devon Mathis (R) is under investigation by police for allegedly digitally penetrating a staffer.

MN-SD-54, MN-LD-22B: Two Minnesota legislators are also under fire for harassment. State Rep. Erin Maye-Quade (D) claims she was harassed by both State Sen. Dan Schoen (D) and State Rep. Tony Cornish (R). Allegations against Schoen were also leveld by multiple other women, and allegations against Cornish have been brought by a lobbyist.

Now, in non-perversion news:

Governor:

CA-Gov, CA-Sen: Ex-Rep. Doug Ose (R), who served three terms representing suburban Sacramento in the 90s and 2000s before a failed comeback bid in CA-7 in 2014, is now considering a run for Governor. Ose’s entry as a third Republican would likely completely ensure that two Democrats (and neither of the other two Rs, businessman John Cox (R) and State Rep. Travis Allen (R)) make the general election. But Ose may not need to enter to ensure that: a new USC/LA Times Poll shows LG Gavin Newsom (D) leading the gubernatorial race with 31%, with ex-LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) taking the second slot with 21%. Allen and Cox are banging heads to split the GOP vote with 15% and 11% respectively. Two longer-shot Dems, State Treasurer John Chiang (D) and ex-Superintendent Delaine Eastin (D), are at 12% and 4% respectively. For the Senate race, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) holds a strong lead over State Sen. Kevin DeLeon (D), who is challenging her from the left. Feinstein leads 58-31 in the two-way race.

MN-Gov: Woodbury (pop. 68K) Mayor Mary Guiluiani-Stevens (R) has reserved domain names pertaining to a gubernatorial run, but is so far tight-lipped on her intentions. The mayor of the large eastern Twin Cities suburb would join a crowded field of Hennepin County commissioner and 2014 nominee Jeff Johnson (R), State Sen. David Osmek (R), State Rep. Matt Dean (R), and ex-State Rep. and ex-MNGOP chair Keith Downey (R). State House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R) and ex-Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) are also thought to be considering.

TX-Gov: Democrats continue to cast about for a sacrificial lamb to take on Gov. Greg Abbott (R). The latest name considering making a late entry here is Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez (D). Valdez is little-known outside of her county, but seems a significantly more credible candidate than investor Andrew White (D), who is the current Dem front-runner on little other than being the son of 80s-era ex-Gov. Mark (D).

Senate:

MA-Sen: Businessman, self-proclaimed “inventor of e-mail”, and Fran Drescher’s ex Shiva Ayyadurai is leaving the crowded GOP primary to take on Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) and running as an Independent. Ayyadurai, a firebrand conservative, was an amusing sideshow in the race but had little institutional support as the primary field filled up with three more connected and traditional candidates, Romney aide Beth Lindstrom (R), State Rep. Geoff Diehl (R), and businessman John Kingston (R). Needless to say, none of these candidates pose a threat to Warren in the general.

NJ-Sen: A juror was dismissed from the corruption trial of Sen. Bob Mendendez (D) last week for a previously-planned vacation; jury deliberations will now start from scratch today. The excused juror, Evelyn Arroyo-Maultsby, said (quite colorfully) that she was a firm “not guilty” vote, but the jury was deadlocked and she expected an ultimate hung jury.

KY-Sen ’22: Sen. Rand Paul (R) has apparently been told that federal charges will be filed against Rene Boucher, a neighbor who attacked Paul and broke four of his ribs last week. Prosecutors likely believe the attack was politically motivated, while Boucher’s attorney says that it was due to a non-sepcific “trivial dispute”.

House:

KY-6: Lexington Mayor Jim Gray (D) is considering a run against Rep. Andy Barr (R). Gray would likely be Democrats’ top recruit for the medium-red seat, as he carried the district in his 2016 Senate run against Sen. Rand Paul (R). However, Gray’s profile as a well-known liberal may make the race more difficult.

TX-21: State Rep. Jason Isaac (R) is the first candidate into the race for Rep. Lamar Smith’s (R) open San Antonio to Austin seat. Isaac represents about 20% of the district and could be a front-runner, but the field for this red seat that swung against Trump could grow significantly.

VA-6: Andy Parker (D), father of Alison Parker, a journalist who was murdered on live TV, is considering a run for this open congressional seat. Alison’s boyfriend Chris Hurst (D) was elected last week to a purple State House seat in the Blacksburg area. Parker would face a much tougher bid for the very conservative district; State Rep. Ben Cline (R) and RNC official Cynthia Dunbar (R) are already in what is expected to be a crowded GOP primary.

State & Local:

FL-AG: State Rep. Ross Spano (R) of suburban Tampa is the latest Republican considering an entry into this primary. Spano would join front-running retired judge Ashley Moody (R), who also hails from Tampa Bay, and fellow State Reps. Jay Fant (R) and Frank White (R). Little-known attorney Ryan Torrens (D) is the only Dem in the race.

GA-PSC: Deal Admin official Tricia Pridemore (R), who lost the 2014 primary for the congressional GA-11, is now running for an open seat on the Public Service Commission. The 5-member, all-GOP board is elected statewide for staggered 6-year terms.

IL-Comp, IL-Treas: Illinois Republicans have found two “C” list candidates to fill out their Row Officer ticket. Ex-State Rep. and 2014 IL-11 nominee Darlene Senger (R) will challenge Comptroller Susana Mendoza (R) and Orland Park councilman Jim Dodge (R) will challenge Treasurer Mike Frerichs (D). Both incumbent Democrats are heavy favorites for re-election in the blue state. They join former congressional candidate Erika Harold (R) for the open AG seat and Grundy DA Jason Helland (R) for SoS as the ILGOP’s presumptive Row Officer slate.

MS-LG: Vicksburg (pop. 23K) Mayor George Flaggs (D) is considering a run for LG in 2019. The moderate Flaggs says he may run as a Democrat or switch parties and run as a Republican. Incumbent Tate Reeves (R) is widely expected to either run for Governor or score an appointment to the Senate seat of Sen. Thad Cochran (R) should the latter resign soon, as expected; SoS Delbert Hosemann (R) and State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) have also been connected with LG runs, but much will depend on how the Cochran musical chairs play out.

NV-Treas: Financial planner Derek Uehara (R) is running for State Treasurer, joining ex-Las Vegas councilman Bob Beers (R) in the primary. No Democrats have as of yet declared for this seat, which is open as incumbent Dan Schwartz (R) is running for Governor.

Howard, MD-CE: County Commissioner Calvin Ball (D) is running for County Executive in my home county against incumbent Allan Kittleman (R). Ball is a top-tier recruit for Dems in this blue suburban Baltimore county, heavy with upscale liberals, that continues to trend left despite my best efforts. (sigh)

PA-Redistrict: The State Supreme Court has agreed to fast-track a Democratic challenge to the state’s congressional map, placing it on a timeline that could lead to new maps in time for the 2018 elections. A new map would likely flip at least one of three competitive GOP-held districts in the Philly suburbs, PA-6, 7, and 8, and potentially make a couple other districts, most likely the open GOP-held PA-15 and the Dem held Trump-voting PA-17, more competitive.

International:

Today, continuing our commitment to bringing you coverage of elections in places you didn’t even know existed, there is an election in Somaliland, which might be best characterized as an accident of diplomacy. Calling it a de facto nation would be selling it short: in every arena but international status, Somaliland is a more of a nation than a sizeable fraction of the world’s recognized nations. It has a population of 3.5M, occupying what is internationally recognized as (theoretically) the northwest part of Somalia along the south shore of the Gulf of Aden. However, that international recognition is a diplomatic fiction, as the dysfunctional-at-best Somali government hasn’t had the slightest bit of control (or even influence) over the area for over 25 years. Somaliland broke off when the nation’s central government disintegrated in 1991 and hasn’t looked back, but the desire to not further hurt the legitimacy of the fledgling-to-nonexistent Mogadishu government has led all other countries to hold back from recognizing Somaliland’s obvious independence. Making its lack of international recognition even stranger is that Somaliland would under normal circumstances be one of both Africa’s and the Islamic World’s biggest success stories. It is a relatively stable and democratic nation (at least by the global region’s low standards), with a functioning central government and economy, and a free politics and civil society that easily surpass a majority of Africa’s recognized nations. Today, the presidential election is open as the incumbent is peacefully standing down, and there is a lively competition between the country’s three strong parties, which are well-developed enough to even have rudimentary ideologies instead of being mere personality or clan vehicles. All of the three parties have large caucuses in parliament and are running credible candidates, who even had a televised debate last month. Furthermore, all three candidates at least appear to be relatively pro-Western and within democratic norms. The candidate of the incumbent party is Musa Behi, who serves as the party’s chair. He is facing public works minister Faysal Warabe and parliament speaker Abdiraman Irro. It’s hard to handicap this race, but Behi seems to be the candidate of the capital’s establishment and military, Irro seems to have the strongest ties to rural traditional clan leaders, and Warabe seems to be closest to a Western-style social democrat. Behi seems to be the front-runner, but it’s hard to say for sure.

Political Roundup for October 4, 2017

Last night, Randall Woodfin (D) ousted incumbent Birmingham Mayor William Bell (D) by a shocking 20-point spread, Albuquerque proceeded to a runoff between State Auditor Tim Keller (D) at 39% and councilman Dan Lewis (R) at 23%.  Missy McGee (R) held the purple MS-LD-102 by an impressive 2:1 margin, while CA-LD-51 heads to a runoff between Wendy Carillo (D) and Luis Lopez (D).

Senate:

AL-Sen: JMC Analytics has Roy Moore (R) leading Doug Jones (D) 48-40. Generic R beats Generic D by a surprisingly small 49-45 margin.

TN-Sen: Gov. Bill Haslam (R) re-iterated that he is considering a run for the open US Senate seat of Sen. Bob Corker (R). Should Haslam enter, he would likely be a favorite over all comers in the primary and general election. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) is thought to be ready to run, and would be the favorite in a Haslam-less race, but she may be delaying her decision until Haslam’s intentions are known.

Governor:

CT-Gov: Add another “B” list name to the Democratic mix for this race: Malloy admin official Sean Connolly (D) is stepping down and rumored to be considering a gubernatorial run. Connolly would join Middletown Mayor Dan Drew (D), fellow Malloy admin official Jonathan Harris (D), and prosecutor Chris Mattei (D) in the race. LG Nancy Wyman (D) is also thought to be exploring a run and would be the primary front-runner if she entered. Republicans have an even more crowded field.

IL-Gov: Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) somewhat surprisingly signed a controversial bill last week enabling public funding of abortion through Medicaid. As you might expect, socially conservative Republicans are up in arms and there is talk of a primary challenge to the Governor. State Rep. Peter Breen (R) delivered a particularly stinging critique, saying “I’ve had a front-row seat to a governor that is unable to adequately and competently administer Illinois government. He is now lying to us. And so at that point, I can’t support someone like that.” It’s widely believed that State Dictator House Speaker Mike Madigan (D) pushed the bill to put Rauner in an impossible position, with signing it giving him a primary headache and vetoing it being a major problem in the socially liberal state for the general. Should Rauner lose the primary, Republicans’ odds of holding this seat likely to near zero, and likely Dem nominee and Madigan sugar daddy businessman JB Pritzker (D) will likely be the favorite to take the seat. Rauner appears to be betting the general election optics of this move are worth the primary headache.

ME-Gov: Sen. Susan Collins (R) will announce next week if she will run for Governor. The popular Collins would be a near-prohibitive favorite in a general election if she ran, but she may face difficulties getting through a GOP primary for her moderation. LePage admin official Mary Mayhew (R), State Sen. Garrett Mason (R), and State Rep. Ken Fredette (R) are in the GOP primary already; over a half-dozen Dems and three credible Indies are also in the race.

NJ-Gov: Emerson has Goldman Sachs exec Phil Murphy (D) up 46-35 on LG Kim Guadagno (R), a smaller margin than most recent surveys. Monmouth has a pretty similar 51-37 lead for Murphy. New Jersey is a fairly inelastic state and Murphy is unlikely to have crossover appeal, so some tightening of this race from the gaudy 30-point Murphy leads of prior polls is probably in the cards.

RI-Gov: Moderate Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) has her first primary challenger, Paul Roselli (D), head of a nonprofit local park group. Roselli has gained notoriety for his opposition to a proposed powerplant in his hometown, but seems like a “C” list opponent for Raimondo. Unpopular liberal ex-Gov. Lincoln Chaffee (D) is also considering a run against Raimondo in the primary. Three Republicans, 2014 nominee and Cranston Mayor Alan Fung (R), State Rep. Patricia Morgan (R), and ex-State Rep. Joe Trillo (R), are in the race.

SD-Gov: AG Marty Jackley (R) launched his expected gubernatorial campaign yesterday. Jackley joins Rep. Krsti Noem (R) in what is expected to be a hard-fought titanic primary collision. State Sen. Billie Sutton (D) is the likely Dem nominee.

TN-Gov: Sen. Bob Corker (R) says he “can’t imagine” running for Tennessee Governor, a statement that is not quite Shermanesque but pretty close to it. Republicans have a crowded primary field of Rep. Diane Black (R), State House Speaker Beth Harwell (R), State Sen. Mae Beavers (R), and businessmen Randy Boyd (R) and Bill Lee (R); Corker, however, would likely be the front-runner if he were to enter.

House:

FL-18: Obama admin official Lauren Baer (D) is running against first-term Rep. Brian Mast (R). Baer would be the second person in a same-sex marriage in Congress if elected; this light-red Treasure Coast seat trended right last year while Mast picked it up for the GOP.

IL-15: State Sen. Kyle McCarter (R) is not running for re-election and is apparently in contention for Ambassador to Kenya. However, McCarter is keeping his options open to making a second bid against Rep. John Shimkus (R), whom he primaried from a fiscal conservative angle in 2016. McCarter took 40% against Shimkus last cycle in this deep-red rural downstate seat and would be a formidable candidate in a rematch.

ME-2: Heir Lucas St. Clair (D) is carpetbagging from Portland into this rural northern Maine seat to run against Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R). St. Clair is the son of Roxanne Quimby, a co-founder of Burt’s Bees cosmetics. Quimby is also notable for having donated a large estate to the federal government to create a national monument, an effort St. Clair spearheaded. St. Clair joins State Rep. Jared Golden (D) as a major candidate in the primary to take on Poliquin. As a side note, this rural northern Maine seat is exactly the kind of place where a trust fund baby carpetbagging in will play well, right?

MA-3: Cambridge councilman Nadeem Mazen (D) will carpetbag into this deep-blue Merrimack Valley based district to seek the open seat. Mazen, who grew up in the seat, would be the third Muslim member of Congress if elected. He joins a crowded primary of State Sen. Barbara L’Italien (D), 2014 LG nominee Steve Kerrigan (D), Boston Mayor Marty Walsh CoS Daniel Koh (D), and businessman Abhijit Das (D).

NH-1: 2010 gubernatorial nominee John Stephen (R) will not take on Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) in 2018. State Sen. Andy Sanborn (R) and cop Eddie Edwards (R) appear to be the serious prospects in the race to take on Shea-Porter.

NH-2: Businessman David McConville (R), who heads a prominent local fiscal conservative group and served as campaign manager for a gubernatorial candidate last year, is considering a run against Rep. Annie Kuster (D). McConville, who intends to run as a hard-edged fiscal conservative, would face ex-State Rep. and 2016 candidate Jack Flanagan (R) for the right to take on the popular Kuster in this light-blue seat.

NJ-11: Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark (D) will not run for Congress, and has endorsed prosecutor Mike Sherill (D). Sherill looks like the Democratic front-runner to take on Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R) in this historically-Republican wealthy suburban seat that trended left last year.

NM-2: State Lands Commissioner Aubrey Dunn Jr. (R), who was looking like the front-runner for this seat, has abruptly aborted his bid. It’s unclear why Dunn decided to drop out or whether he will instead seek a second term as Lands Commissioner, though there are rumors that a feud with Gov. Susana Martinez (R) (or her svengali, Jay McCleskey) may have played a role. State Rep. Yvette Herrell (R) and ex-Hobbs Mayor Monty Newman (R) are in the race for this open medium-red southern NM seat; Newman is thought to have the backing of Martinez. State Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R) is also considering.

NY-1: State Rep. Fred Thiele (I), an Independence Party member who is a de facto Democrat, will not seek the D nomination to take on Rep. Lee Zeldin (R). Thiele had been considered Dems’ choice recruit for this race. Suffolk county commissioner Kate Browning (D) looks like Dems’ new top prospect to take on the popular Zeldin in this light-red eastern Long Island seat.

NY-11: Ex-Rep. Michael Grimm (R) officially kicked off his comeback bid this weekend. Grimm’s prior tenure in Congress ended with his resignation on tax charges; now, he is attempting to oust his successor, Rep. Dan Donovan (R) from the right in the primary. Grimm’s criminal record and Donovan’s popularity will likely make that a tough order, though Grimm could still cause significant problems for Donovan by continuing to the general election in this light-red Staten Island based seat on the Conservative third-party line.

NY-23: Running store owner Ian Golden (D) is putting a new-spin on the time-honored “walk across the district” publicity stunt by launching a 450-mile (literal) run across this large Southern Tier seat. The move could help Golden gain name rec in the crowded field of little-known candidates vying to take on Rep. Tom Reed (R) in this medium-red seat.

PA-1: Testimony at the trial of former judge and 2012 Jimmie Moore (D) is pointing a very incriminating finger at Rep. Bob Brady (D). In case you haven’t been following the story, here’s a recap: Moore, who is black, started to run a potentially credible primary challenge in 2012 against Brady, the white boss of the Philly Dem machine, in this racially-mixed district. Moore then later inexplicably dropped his bid, and quickly thereafter received a $90K payment from Brady. The cover story was that the cash was payment for “polling data”, but Moore admitted the obvious in a plea agreement – that it was a thinly-disguised bribe to get him out of the race. Brady has not yet been charged, but it’s hard not to see some charges coming down the pipeline for him.

PA-11: State Sen. John Yudchiak (D) will not run for this conservative Harrisburg-to-Wilkes-Barre open seat, eschewing the uphill race to stay in the State Senate. Four Republicans, State Rep. Steven Bloom (R), Corbett admin official Dan Meuser (R), Berwick councilman Andrew Shecktor (R), and businessman Andrew Lewis (R), are in the race or considering.

PA-15: Appointed Allentown city solicitor Susan Wild (D) will run for this light-red open seat, possibly giving Democrats their first credible candidate here. Several other Dems, including Northampton DA John Morganelli (D), are considering; Republicans are set to have a bloody primary between State Reps. Justin Simmons (R) and Ryan Mackenzie (R).

PA-16: Dentist Gary Wegman (D), who ran an abortive bid for this light-red Lancaster-area seat in 2016, will mount another bid this year for the seat of now-incumbent Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R). 2016 nominee and nonprofit Christina Hartman (D) is also in the primary for a second round.

PA-18: Now this is a bombshell. Texts have been released strongly implying Rep. Tim Murphy (R), who is publicly pro-life, asked his mistress to get an abortion and privately disavowed his own pro-life views. Murphy previously admitted the affair, but this is the first sense that there is more to the story. The abortion issue could be a big problem for Murphy in his socially conservative district; he joins Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R) in the pro-life abortion promoters’ caucus. Importantly, unlike DesJarlais, whose transgressions occured several years before his first election to Congress, the texts here are from this summer, meaning Murphy is at least likely to get a serious primary challenger. Ex-Allegheny County commissioner Mike Crossey (D) is running for the Dems in this race.

UT-4: Salt Lake CE Ben McAdams (D) is considering a challenge to Rep. Mia Love (R). Trump did horribly in this suburban seat, scoring below 40%, but Love still won against her touted opponent by a 12-point margin. That said, this is the only House seat in Utah Dems could be competitive in and McAdams would definitely be a top-tier candidate.

State & Local:

AZ-SoS: Attorney and Dem operative Mark Gordon (D) is running for SoS. Gordon, who has not run for office but seems well-connected, joins State Sen. Katie Hobbs (D) in the primary for this seat. Incumbent Michele Reagan (R) is widely considered highly vulnerable due to her mismanagement of the office and is facing a tough primary with State Sen. Steve Montenegro (R).

IL-AG: Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti (D), who has become a minor celebrity for his twitter commentary on the Russia investigation, is considering a run for AG. Mariotti would join State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D), State Rep. Scott Drury (D), and Chicago Police official Sharon Fairley (D) in this primary, with several other Dems considering. Former congressional candidate and Miss America Erika Harold (R) is the likely GOP nominee for this open seat.

Atlanta-Mayor: Survey USA for WXIA-TV has a poll of this year’s Atlanta Mayoral race, with moderate councilwoman Mary Norwood (D) taking a large lead at 28%. Fellow councilwoman Keisha Lance-Bottoms (D) has moved into second place with 15%, with councilman Ceasar Mitchell (D) at 10% and four other serious candidates in single digits. In the likely event no candidate tops 50% in the November jungle primary, the top two finishers will head on to a December runoff.

New Orleans-Mayor: Clarus for WWL-TV has this race (a week from Saturday) looking close to a 3-way tossup, with City councilwoman Latoya Cantrell (D) at 27% and retired judges Desiree Charbonnet (D) and Michael Bagneris (D) at 26% and 19% respectively. A different poll of the race had Bagneris on top. The top two finishers in the first round will advance to a mid-November runoff.

Louisville-Mayor: Councilwoman Angela Leet (R) will run for mayor next year, taking on incumbent Greg Fischer (D), who is seeking a third term. Leet seems likely to be a credible opponent for Fischer in the light-blue city.

Cook, IL-CE: County commissioner Richard Boykin (D) will not take on County Executive Toni Preckwinkle (D) in the primary. Preckwinkle, who was previously highly popular, is now thought to be at least somewhat vulnerable due to her support of a new soda tax (which Boykin opposed). However, a loss for Boykin would hurt his prospects at the job he really wants (the IL-7 congressional seat when Rep. Danny Davis (D) retires) so the decision makes sense for him. It’s possible that Preckwinkle will not get a serious primary challenger now, though there is still definitely room for one as the soda tax is deeply unpopular even among Dems.

Albuquerque & Birmingham Mayoral Preview & Liveblog

10:20 ETHERE is the results link for Albuquerque.

10:00 ET- Albuquerque is coming in slow as molasses and since there seems to be little interest (ahem) I will close the liveblog with just the early vote: Keller – 33, Lewis – 24, Colon – 17, Johnson – 13, Garcia-Holmes – 8, all others 4 or below. If any other mods are around later they may update. Otherwise check back for full results in tomorrow’s roundup.

9:30 ET- I think we can call Birmingham for Woodfin, as that 20-point margin is holding up.

9:13 ET – 10% in and Birmingham looks over; Woodfin now has a 61-39 lead.

9:10 ET- Finally some good legislative special news; McGee (R) is leading Rehner (D) by a 2:1 margin in MS-LD-102 with about 2/3 in.

9:00 ET-polls have closed in Albuquerque.

8:25 ET- First precinct, Bell 52-47.

8:00 ET- Polls have closed in Birmingham.

This week, there are two mayoral elections in Albuquerque and Birmingham, along with a couple legislative specials. Polls close at 8p ET in Birmingham and 9p ET in Albuquerque and we will be liveblogging in this thread.

Albuquerque-Mayor: Albuquerque, America’s 32nd-largest city, is holding its mayoral election today in a Louisiana-Rules Top Two format. It has a population of 550K which is roughly 50% Hispanic and 45% White. Albuquerque covers the bulk of its metro area, including poor, largely Hispanic urban areas in the central and southeastern parts of the city, middle-class Hispanic areas in the southwest, and middle-class white areas in the northwest and northeast. Some wealthier suburbs sit outside the city limits; as a result, Albuquerque proper is medium-blue with a PVI of D+8 as of 2008. This year, the mayoral seat is open as two-term incumbent Richard Berry (R) is stepping down; while Berry has generally been popular as mayor, the city’s crime rate has spiked in recent years, and that is the major issue in this campaign. No one in the crowded field of 7 candidates is in a real position to pass 50%, so a November runoff seems all but certain. There are generally thought to be four candidates with a chance to advance, two Dems and two Republicans. State Auditor Tim Keller (D) is generally considered the front-runner. Previously a legislator from the central part of the city, Keller has the highest name recognition of the candidates and strong establishment support. Keller, a mainstream liberal, is clearly the most liberal major candidate in the field, giving him a strong support base among the high-turnout white progressive community. Keller has led in polls by a consistent moderate margin, taking around a third of the vote, and it would be a shock if he did not take one of the two runoff spots. The race for the other runoff spot is hotly contested, with three other candidates, all to Keller’s right, having a chance to advance and polling roughly in a 3-way tie for second in the high teens. Ex-NMDP chair and 2010 LG nominee Brian Colon (D) could make the race a D-on-D-runoff. Colon is best described as a pro-business moderate liberal. He put up a well-received ad on crime featuring the endorsement of AG Hector Balderas (D), and has significant support in the Hispanic community. Colon is clearly right of Keller, particularly on crime issues, and would likely get GOP crossover support in a runoff. Colon has generally been trying to stay above the fray, while the two Republicans have been knocking heads, which may get him into the second round. Of the two major Republicans, city councilman Dan Lewis (R) seems to have the better chance to advance. Lewis is a mainstream establishment conservative; he has significant support among establishment Republicans and a base in his middle-class council district on the northwest side. He also received the endorsement of a third minor Republican who dropped out last week. However, Lewis is still facing a strong rival to his right in Bernalillo County commissioner Wayne Johnson (R). Johnson is running as a harder-edged conservative, releasing a biting ad attacking Lewis’s council votes for a transit initiative and approval of a federal DOJ intervention into the police department. Johnson also has a base in his conservative district on the northeast side, and the support of Gov. Susana Martinez’s (R) network, who is opposed to Lewis for personal reasons. Both Republicans have a solid chance to advance if one (more likely Lewis) can take a larger share of the GOP vote, but they could also come in third and fourth by splitting the GOP vote relatively evenly. Three little-known Indies in the race and running semi-serious campaigns, center-right former state deputy AG Michelle Garcia-Holmes (I) and two center-left candidates, nonprofit exec Susan Wheeler-Deichsel (I) and student Gus Pedrotty (I). All are less serious than the front-runners and seem like long-shots to make the runoff, or even crack out of low single-digits. However, they are all campaigning actively and could draw as much as 10% between them. Looking ahead to a second round next month, Keller probably starts as a slight underdog to Colon and a slight favorite over either Republican, but it seems like any pairing will be competitive.

Birmingham-Mayor: Birmingham, a city of 210K, sprawls across a large valley oriented northeast-southwest. Formerly the south’s major industrial center, Birmingham proper has suffered since the civil rights movement and its associated white flight to newer suburbs in the hills south of town. Birmingham is now 75% black and 20% white, with most of the whites concentrated in wealthy urban areas near and immediately south of downtown. This being Alabama, the racial demographics mirror almost exactly the political demographics, as the city had a PVI of D+31 in 2008. Birmingham’s black-majority neighborhoods do exhibit some significant diversity, with poor and high-crime areas in the central and southwestern portions of the city and some black middle-class areas on the north and northeast sides. Today, incumbent mayor William Bell (D) is seeking a third term. Bell is a longtime local pol, serving on the city council for a generation before being elected mayor in 2010. Bell is an establishment liberal, and had been generally regarded to be a fairly popular and successful mayor. However, he notched a fairly shocking underperformance in the first round, where he was thought to have a good chance of winning without a runoff. Instead, Bell came in second place with just 37%, and in a considerable surprise, school board member Randall Woodfin (D) took first place with 41%. Woodfin has been running on a liberal platform, striking mild SJW notes, and sought to tap into the currently-energized liberal grassroots. The first round results suggest he was successful in that pursuit, as turnout in August was higher than in previous elections. Anecdotal evidence suggest that Woodfin likely turned out a significant number of low-propensity younger voters with his liberal platform. In August, the third major candidate in the race, who took the bulk of the remaining votes, was to the right of both Woodfin and Bell, suggesting those votes could go back to the incumbent. However, Woodfin definitely has the momentum going into the runoff and CW is that he is at least a slight favorite to oust Bell today.

There are also two legislative specials today, both quite interesting. CA-LD-51 is a D+36 (2016) seat covering the northeast part of LA proper, including the middle-class Hispanic Eagle Rock and Mount Washington areas, along with some poorer heavily Hispanic areas around Dodger Stadium and the monolithically Hispanic slumburb of East LA. Ten Democrats are seeking this open seat, vacated by now-Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D), eight of them serious. Obviously, a D-on-D December general is the most likely outcome. Additionally, unlike most California legislative races (which are decided long before voting begins by establishment support and money), this is among the most open legislative races we’ve seen in California in a long time, as there is no consensus establishment pick. The very slight overall front-runner seems to be 2012 candidate and zoning board member Luis Lopez (D), who took 40% in the 2012 general against Gomez. Lopez has some establishment support and name rec from his prior bid. 2017 CA-34 candidate Wendy Carillo (D) got some buzz for her story of being a former illegal immigrant, and has some far-left support in this race, particularly from the SEIU. City government staffer Mike Fong (D) also has some establishment support and could get some votes in the small but high-turnout Asian community; however, he has also been getting bad press for sending out creepy spam campaign texts. CW is that the most likely runoff scenario is Lopez and one of Carillo or Fong advancing. However, five others are serious enough to have a chance to advance. Montebello school board member David Vela (D) has elected experience, Obama admin official Gabriel Sandoval (D) has the endorsement of ex-LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and physician Ron Birnbaum (D) has some union support. Nonprofit exec Alex DeOcampo (D) and state board member Mark Vargas (D) are also serious. Five Some Dudes, two Dems, a Libertarian, and two Independents, are also running. There is also a runoff for MS-LD-102, an R+9 (2008) seat covering the western part of Hattiesburg. Former congressional staffer Missy McGee (R) led social worker Kathyn Rehner (D) 45-24 in the first round three weeks ago, with two other Republicans taking the remainder, so McGee should be heavily favored barring a major surprise.

Political Roundup for August 22, 2017

As we found out the eclipse really was not a plot by C. Montgomery Burns (R) to save nuclear power, it is time for today’s roundup. Check back later for our preview and open thread of today’s Birmingham and Mobile mayoral elections.

Afghanistan

President Donald Trump (R?) made an open-ended commitment last night to kill terrorists in Afghanistan, but not to engage in nation building.

President/National

Trump-2020/ME-Sen Senator Susan Collins (Maine R) thinks its too difficult to say if President Trump will be the Republican nominee in 2020.  Collins comes from a fairly Trump friendly state Republican party so its not clear what her angle is in the hedging against Trump.

Trump-Rust Belt:  This article breaks down the weakness President Trump has in a number of Rust Belt states.

Neonazis:  A WashingtonPost/ABC News poll found that only 83 percent of Americans find having Neonazi views unacceptable. 9 percent find such views to be acceptable.

Congress

Litmus Test:  We have seen a number of primary litmus tests over the last 2 decades on the Republican side from social issues to the tea party movement.  Now Republicans are being judged based on their support (or lack thereof) of President Trump.

MI-Sen:  Michigan voters have mixed opinions of Robert Ritchie aka Kid Rock (R-American Bad*ss).  Approximately 1/3 of voters support, oppose, and don’t know enough about the rock star as he is rumored to be exploring a US Senate candidacy / build momentum for a new album.

More MI-Sen:  Here is even more on whether Kid Rock can win the US Senate race in 2018.  We can only hope Ritche wins versus Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) for the simple and laughable purpose of Ritchie being in the same caucus as soon to be Senator Roy Moore (R).

LA-1:  House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R) called into a Republican conference call regarding upcoming votes.  This is the first time that Scalise has addressed the Republican caucus since being seriously wounded in an assassination attempt on June 14, 2017.

States

CA-Recall: California Democrats are attempting to rewrite the recall laws to prevent the recall of State Senator Josh Newman (D).  This is their second attempt to halt the recall process against Newman.  The first attempt was blocked by a judge.

OH-Judiciary:  Thankfully we live in a nation where political assassinations and assassination attempts are rare.  Jefferson County Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr. was shot yesterday by a gunman who was shot dead.  Bruzzese is expected to survive.

AZ-Gov:  Governor Doug Ducey (R) will not attend President Trump’s rally today in Phoenix.  Arizona Republicans are having a difficult time with the President to say the least.

Political Roundup for August 7th, 2017

Congress

AL-Sen: Well, this is probably a bit embarrassing for the ALDP. A poll mentioned in this article shows that a Some Dude who happens to be named Robert Kennedy, Jr. (D) is leading former US Attorney Doug Jones (D) in the special election primary 49-26. ouch! Do we have another Alvin Greene situation on our hands? Finding out will likely be fun.

MN-Sen: Well, a lamb has been found for the altar. State Rep. Jim Newberger (R) has announced plans to challenge Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) in 2018. Though MN is a purple state, Klobuchar is one of the most popular senators in the country. Well, at least she won’t run unopposed.

OH-Sen: If you had any doubt that the candidacy of banker Mike Gibbons (R) was anything other than a Kasichworld endeavor, this should convince you: Gibbons has hired two of Kasich’s close associates to help run his campaign. Now this could simply be because Gibbons trusts Kasich’s recommendations, but there are rumors swirling that this whole campaign is an effort to stymie Treasurer Josh Mandel (R), with the general election against Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) being an afterthought.

MN-08: Rep. Rick Nolan (D), who narrowly won reelection to his Trumpish district in northeastern Minnesota last year, has declared that he’s running for reelection. He says he’s ready to fight, though don’t ask him about it via email, because to Nolan, it’s still 1979.

SC-01: Right on cue, Rep. and former Gov. Mark Sanford (R-His Emotions) has a primary challenger. State Rep. Katie Arrington (R) has pulled papers and filed to challenge the Love Gov for his Charleston-based coastal congressional district. Somehow, though, I have to think that she won’t get the job done, seeing as no one else has managed to do it before now.

Governor

AK-Gov, AK-LG: It has now been confirmed publicly that Gov. Bill Walker (I) will run for reelection. He will likely once again have Democratic backing and will likely only face major opposition from whomever Republicans put up to run against him, as his Democratic LG Byron Mallot (D) will run with him again. Also in this story, it notes that ex-State Rep. Lynn Gattis (R) has become the second Republcian to file for LG, joining State Sen. Gary Stevens (R) in the shotgun-wedding primary. State Sen. Mike Dunleavy (R) is the only notable Republican in the Governor’s race as of yet.

CO-Gov: With the exit of Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) from the gubernatorial contest, it seems that the CODP’s moderate faction is searching for a new standard-bearer. Well, they might have found one. Progressives are already attacking healthcare executive Donna Lynne (D), who is thinking of entering to take on Rep. Jared Polis (D). Polis is currently the prohibitive favorite in the primary. The moderates are apparently afraid of how much oil and gas companies will pour into the race to defeat Polis, who has a hard stance against fracking. Just when the race looked to have turned quite boring, it may be about to heat up again.

FL-Gov: State Sen. Jack Latvala (R) and State House Speaker Richard Corcoran (R) are already sniping at each other ahead of the Sunshine State’s Republican gubernatorial primary. Who’s the real winner here? That would be Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam (R), who is already the frontrunner in that race and is mostly avoiding taking fire while the other two fight it out to be the main non-Putnam candidate.

KY-Gov: I have no clue why a Kansas paper was covering this, but it’s a good article. Over the weekend at Fancy Farm, Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls AG Andy Beshear and Senate Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins trotted-out their lines of attack on Gov, Matt Bevin and the Republican controlled legislature for 2019. There’s also a great line from Rep. James Comer (R).

NJ-Gov: We knew that Goldman alum Phil Murphy (D) was leading Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R). This poll confirms that, putting Murphy at a 14-point advantage, 42-28. What’s interesting though is how many undecideds there are. This race has flown under the radar nationally, but you’d think that wouldn’t be the case locally.

NY-Gov: Actress Cynthia Nixon (D) of ‘Sex and the City’ fame is reportedly considering challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) from the left in the Democratic primary. Personally I can’t wait for everyone’s old ‘Nixon for Governor’ signs to get dusted off. There’s probably a bunch of those just sitting in some Gran Torino-style holdout’s garage in a California barrio.

State/Local

CA-AD-63: Even though the party chairmanship is now settled, the progressive v.s moderate fight currently roiling the CADP rolls onward. After the single-payer healthcare bill was spiked by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D), the nurses’ union is threatening to recall him. Get the popcorn ready folks. This could be a good one.

KY-SD-31: It seems that some hanky-panky was going on in Pike County in 2016. It’s a complicated tale, but the upshot is that a PI hired by Senate Minority Leader Ray Jones (D) was harassing voters in eastern Pike County on primary day when jones had a challenger. Watch this one, because if Jones goes down for this the last of the old guard Kentucky Democrats may be cleared out for good.

McIntire-Turnout: What happens when no one votes? Well, the residents of the small Iowa town of McIntire are about to find out. None of the town’s 70 registered voters cast a ballot on Tuesday measures pertaining to the terms of the town’s mayor and councilmen. Not even the poll workers voted because they weren’t residents of the town. I think this is a sign that the town might just want to disincorporate.

Political Roundup for June 19th, 2017

About last night: Over the weekend Emmanuelle Macron’s new En Marche! party got a majority of the seats in the French parliamentary election, coming in at the lower end of expectations.

Tomorrow is special election day. Be sure to check back here at 3p ET today for our preview and at 7p ET tomorrow for our liveblog of the special generals for GA-06 and SC-05. Now, onto the news!

President

Landrieu: File this one under either ‘columnists don’t understand psephology’ or ‘someone had too many hurricanes on Bourbon Street just before a deadline.’ Apparently, a few Democrats are floating New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s (D) name as a possible presidential candidate. Oy. Here we go. For the next few years we’re going to get just about every reasonably-prominent Democrat in the country who does something half-noteable (in this case, a speech on the removal of Confederate monuments) run through the machinery of the Great Mentioner for at least a week or so. Never mind that Landrieu isn’t even the mayor of a mega-city, let alone a senator, governor, or even a celebrity businessman. No, he’s just the mayor of a reasonably-large city in a country full of them. But, The Hill needs something to write about, and stories about presidential campaigns, real or imagined, get clicks. Expect more of this drivel for a few years. Maybe a few of them will actually make also-ran status.

Kander: …And just as I say that, another one drops. At least this article is more intelligently written than the first one. It’s premise is just as stupid, though. Is former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander (D) a rising star? Yes. Is he making the rounds that presidential hopefuls make? That’s certainly so. Does he have a snowball’s chance in Hades of becoming President this cycle? Hell no (unless he succeeds Sen. Claire McCaskill first). His performance against Sen. Roy Blunt (R) last year was impressive, though some of it can be put down to Blunt’s ineptitude and lack of likability. As the article rightly points out, Kander has nothing to run for that he could conceivably win unless Sen. McCaskill (D) steps aside. Therefore, he’s making the speaking circuit. I doubt it’s about more than keeping himself relevant. Most politicians have delusions of grandeur, but if he believes he’s going to be nominated for President in 2020 with no office in between, someone should stick him in a psych ward. Another day, another DC journalist has a deadline, another ridiculous presidential Great Mentioner story…

Congress

GA-06: Ahead of tomorrow’s special election, WSB-TV/Landmark has Han Solo impersonator John Ossoff (D) up two points over former Secretary of State Karen Handel (R). RRH currently rates this race as Lean D.

NE-02: Is former Rep. Brad Ashford (D) a one-term wonder, or a comeback kid? If that was one of the burning questions that you’ve been dying to know, rejoice! You’re probably about to find out. Ashford has announced a revenge run against the man who beat him in 2016, now-Rep. Don Bacon (R). He’s probably the Democrats’ most credible candidate, and could certainly win in a wave. Still, I’m skeptical. Who wouldn’t vote for more bacon?

WA-03: You have to give former State House nominee Teresa Purcell (D) credit for one thing: confidence. Even though she lost a state house seat that Democrats had held for decades and is currently under investigation by the (Democratic) state attorney general for reporting violations, she still wants to run for Congress. If I were Rep. Jaime Herrera-Beutler (R), though, I’d definitely want Purcell to make Top Two.

Governor

KS-Gov: If at first you don’t beat a Democrat in Kansas… try again? Former State Sen. and 2006 gubernatorial nominee Jim Barnett (R) seems to think so. He’s launching a second bid for the office, this time to succeed Gov. Sam Brownback (R).

PA-Gov: This one might be a record. Just days after entering the gubernatorial race, businessman Kris Hart (R) is exiting it. Why, you ask? Because, Pennsylvania has a ludicrous seven-year residency requirement for anyone who wants to be Governor of the Commonwealth. Hart likely wouldn’t have gotten very far, and he only arrived in the state in May. Still, seven years is a tad much for a residency requirement.

VA-Gov: The first real general election poll for this year’s contest in Virginia couldn’t be more exciting. It’s a tie, 46-46, or so says Harper Polling. They did pretty well last cycle, though they tend to have a Republican lean. Both candidates are viewed pretty favorably. It will be interesting to see how those numbers shift as the race progresses and attacks are likely to start flying.

State/Local

CA-SD-29: Naughty, naughty *wags finger*. California Democrats, fearful that State Sen. Josh Newman (D) would be successfully recalled, changed the rules mid-stream. They slipped a change into the budget requiring the recall to be held at the next general election, likely boosting turnout for the race. Something tells me that they’ll eventually regret this, but that’s politics for you.

CO-Leg: Some people really like to burn money. Take the people featured in this article, for instance; they want to recruit candidates to run under a ‘Centrist’ banner against incumbents of both parties in the Colorado Legislature. Their goal is to beat five incumbents and hold the balance of power in the legislature. The article makes several sound critiques of this plan. The biggest hole in the scheme, though, is that any third party candidate only succeeds in freak circumstances or with established personal popularity. Anyone who gives these people money might as well douse the cash in gasoline and throw a lit match at it.

IN-Redistrict: Here’s a piece talking about the fact that Indiana will likely lose a congressional district in the future. That’s mildly interesting in and of itself. However, what’s more interesting is who the author is: Christina Hale. I said she’d stick around, and she has. This is exactly the kind of ‘talking seriously about the state’s problems’ piece that politicians write when they’re in the wilderness and building up their positive credit for a comeback.

WI-SC: Justice Michael Gableman, a member of the conservative wing on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, will not seek a second ten-year term on that body. There is speculation that he may step down early to give Gov. Scott Walker (R) a chance to appoint his replacement. The court is currently split 5-2 in favor of the conservative faction.

Political Roundup for June 14, 2017

Last night in Virginia, the Governor nominees weren’t surprising, but their margins were. LG Ralph Northam (D) prevailed by a surprisingly robust 12 points, while ex-RNC Chair Ed Gillespie (R) squeaked to a 1-point victory over Prince William CE and self-hating Yankee Corey Stewart. For LG, 2013 AG candidate Justin Fairfax (D) and State Sen. Jill Vogel (D) will face off. There were no particular surprises in the House of Delegates primaries, with one minor exception: Banker Mavis Taintor (D), who self-funded an insane $175K (!) for her bid in Loudon County’s LD-33, lost her primary 52-48 to a more traditionally-spending candidate. Hopefully for her Taintor self-funded most of that cash as a loan rather than a gift. In Las Vegas, Steve Seroka (D) ousted incumbent Bob Beers (R) for council district 2 while ex-State Rep. Michele Fiore (R) picked up the open district 6.

Senate:

IN-Sen: State Rep. Mike Braun (R), who is in his second term representing a rural Southwestern Indiana seat, will explore a run against Sen. Joe Donnelly (D). Braun is the first candidate to definitively declare interest in this race, but is definitely well into the “C” list. Three far bigger names, Reps. Luke Messer (R) and Todd Rokita (R) and AG Curtis Hill (R), are thought to be considering the race, and it’s hard to see Braun as any kind of threat to them in the primary.

TN-Sen: Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) announced last week that she would not challenge Sen. Bob Corker (R) in 2018, though she has not shut the door on a gubernatorial bid. Corker has announced he would not run for Governor, but has not firmly declared whether he will seek a third term in the Senate. Presumably Blackburn’s Senate calculations would change if the seat were to come open.

UT-Sen: The Romney for Senate speculation machine continues to churn, as Mitt has announced he remain active in politics by forming a SuperPAC designed to help House Republicans in 2018. Biden has encouraged Romney to run for the seat of Sen. Orrin Hatch (R), and Romney did nothing to brush away that suggestion when the two appeared together last week.

Governor:

AL-Gov: Medical technology executive Josh Jones (R) is the latest candidate into this increasingly crowded primary. Jones joins (deep breath) Ag Commissioner John McMillan (R), PSC Chair Twinkle Cavanaugh (R), Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle (R), Jefferson County commissioner David Carrington (R), and minister Scott Dawson (R) in the race. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has not indicated whether or not she will seek a full term and says she may not make an announcement until the fall.

FL-Gov: Now here’s something you don’t see every day: A prospective Democratic candidate holding a fundraiser for a prospective Republican rival. But that’s exactly what wealthy ambulance-chasing trail lawyer John Morgan (D) is doing for State House Speaker Rich Corcoran (R). Morgan, a staunch booster of medical marijuana, is holding the fundraiser as thanks to Corcoran for his work in making the state’s medical pot statute more permissive. Though neither has declared for the gubernatorial race yet, both men have said they are actively exploring bids. Morgan would join ex-Rep. Gwen Graham (D), Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D), and businessman Chris King (D) on the Dem side. Corcoran would join Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam (R) in the GOP primary, with Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) also considering.

MI-Gov: Businessman Shri Thanedar (D) is the latest candidate to officially enter this race. Thanedar has indicated he will partially self-fund; he will face ex-State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer (D), businessman Bill Cobbs (D), and Detroit official Abul El-Sayed (D) in the Dem primary, with Macomb CE Mark Hackel (D) the biggest name still considering a run. On the GOP side, LG Brian Calley (R), AG Bill Schuete (R), and State Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R) look like the major possible contenders.

PA-Gov: Businessman Kris Hart (R), who had been exploring a run for US Senate, will instead seek the nomination to challenge Gov. Tom Wolf (D). Hart joins State Sen. Scott Wagner (R) and businessman Paul Mango (R) in the race, with State House Speaker Mike Turzai (R) and ex-LG Jim Cawley (R) considering runs as well.

RI-Gov: Republicans have their first candidate making serious moves toward challenging Gov. Gina Raimondo (D). Ex-State Rep. Joe Trillo (R), who retired in 2016, is preparing a run and seems to be staking out a position as a Trumpist, which might be a questionable strategy in the deep-blue state. Cranston Mayor and 2014 nominee Alan Fung (R) is widely thought likely to make another bid, and a couple other Republicans are considering. The fiscally moderate Raimondo may face a significant primary challenge from her left as well, though no Democrats have made concrete moves toward the race yet.

House:

CO-2: 2014 SoS nominee and Hickenlooper admin official Joe Neguse (D) announced a bid for Congress Tuesday, and quickly secured several prominent endorsements, including from ex-State House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst (D). Two other Dems, 2000 CO-6 nominee Ken Toltz (D) and executive Shannon Watts (D), who are both also prominent gun-control activists, are also publicly considering the race.

GA-6: A SUSA poll shows the race between ex-SoS Karen Handel (R) and Han Solo impersonator former congressional staffer Jon Ossoff (D) tied at 47, a significant improvement for Handel from their prior poll, where Ossoff led by 7 points. The closely-watched runoff for this seat is this coming Tuesday.

NC-9: Megachurch pastor and 2016 candidate Mark Harris (R) is resigning to consider another congressional run. Harris fell just short by 135 votes in a three-way race against Rep. Robert Pittenger (R). Pittenger has had multiple controversies related to questionable business dealings and making racist remarks on national TV, so there is a strong possibility he could be vulnerable to a primary in 2018; he is also high on retirement watchlists.

NH-1: State Sen. Andy Sanborn (R) announced Tuesday that he would run against on-again/off-again Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) in this purple seat. Sanborn, known as a staunch conservative with libertarian tendencies, joins former local police chief Eddie Edwards (R) in the GOP primary.

NY-22: State Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D) is considering a run against Rep. Claudia Tenney (R) in 2018. Brindisi considered a run for the open seat, and was heavily recruited by national Dems, in 2016 before deciding not to run. This formerly light-red seat moved strongly right in 2016, but the conservative Tenney fell short of a majority, winning 47-40 in a 3-way race.

OH-2: Jerry Springer (D) has been floated for multiple offices by Ohio Democrats in recent years, including for this cycle’s Governor race. But it seems he may have a different seat in mind, as someone has apparently been polling Springer against Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R). This deep-red Cincinnati-area seat would likely be a tough hill to climb for Springer or any other Democrat.

TN-6: Prominent pro-Trump talking head Scottie Nell Hughes (R), who also runs a pro-Trump press group, will consider a run for this deep-red central Tennessee seat if Rep. Diane Black (R) gives it up to run for Governor. Hughes, the first candidate to publicly declare interest in the seat, has said that she would not challenge Black in the primary.

WI-6: Nonprofit exec Dan Kohl (D), nephew of ex-Sen. Herb (D), will challenge Rep. Glenn Grothman (R) for this medium-red seat stretching from the northern Milwaukee suburbs to Oshkosh.

State & Local:

AL-AG: Former US Attorney Alice Martin (R), who also served as chief deputy to now-Sen. Luther Strange (R) when he was AG, will run for the AG slot in 2018. Martin will face appointed incumbent Steve Marshall (R), whose appointment by disgraced then-Gov. Robert Bentley (R) may be problematic for his chances of keeping the seat. However, Martin may find hitting Marshall on his Bentley ties problematic herself, as she interviewed for the appointment as well.

CA-LG: Ex-Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin (G), who for her eight years from 2006-2014 made Richmond by far the largest city with a Green Party Mayor, will run for LG in 2018. McLaughlin’s odds are probably long with several prominent Dems in the race, but she has a chance to stake out a position as the farthest-left candidate in an already-left-wing field. McLaughlin will face State Sen. Ed Hernandez (D), former Ambassadors Eleni Kounalakis (D) and Jeff Bleich (D), and physician Asif Mahmood (D), and likely others, in this race.

FL-Ag Comm: Ex-State Rep. Baxter Troutman (R) is running for Ag Commissioner, becoming the fourth Republican into this primary. Troutman joins State Sen. Denise Grimsley (R), State Rep. Matt Caldwell (R), and 2015 Orlando Mayoral candidate Paul Paulson (R) in the race.

FL-CFO: CFO Jeff Atwater (R) will resign on June 30th to take an academic position. Gov. Rick Scott (R) is tasked with appointing his replacement. One possible appointee took his name out of the running this week though, as State Sen. Jack Latvala (R) announced he was not interested in being appointed. The move probably means Latvala is considering his 2018 options as running for Governor and bowing out of politics entirely.

KS-SoS: Sedgwick County Clerk and KSGOP chair Kelly Arnold (R) is the first person to consider a run for the open seat of SoS Kris Kobach (R), who is running for Governor. With his base in the Wichita area and institutional ties, Arnold would likely be a formidable candidate for the seat.

NM-LG: Ex-State Rep. Rick Miera (D), the former House Majority leader until his 2014 retirement, will explore a run for LG in this shotgun-wedding primary. Miera joins two little-known candidates, civil servant David McTeigue (D) and teacher Jeff Carr (D), in the Dem primary race, and thus would seem to be the front-runner. The primary winner will be combined on a ticket with the winner of the (entirely separate) Gov primary.

Mobile-Mayor: Ex-Mayor Sam Jones (D) will kick off a run to get his old job back this Saturday. Jones served two terms as Mayor before losing his 2013 to re-election race to now-incumbent Sandy Stimpson (R). Jones will likely face a rematch with Stimpson in this year’s race, in late August.

CA-SD-29: Legislative Democrats are pushing bills to delay the state’s recall process in order to help State Sen. Josh Newman (D). Newman won a formerly-red Orange County seat in 2016 in a considerable upset and is now the target of a recall campaign by Republicans upset with his vote for a recent tax hike. The bills under consideration would slow down the recall process so that a successful Newman recall effort would be unlikely to trigger an election before the 2018 general election.

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