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Political Roundup for June 6th, 2017

Check back with us tonight for our liveblog of the New Jersey primaries and CA-34 runoff. If you haven’t seen our preview of these races check it out HERE.


AZ-Gov: State Sen. Steve Farley (D) has announced that he is running for Governor. He joins Arizona State University professor David Garcia, who lost a 2014 race for state education superintendent, in the Democratic primary for the right to face Gov. Doug Ducey (R) next year.

CT-Gov: Connecticut Port Authority Chair Scott Bates (D) will not run for Governor.

FL-Gov: Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) is exploring a bid for Florida governor. He has met with potential donors, looked at possible campaign staff and has made some inquiries about endorsements from fellow conservatives. DeSantis briefly ran for U.S. Senate last year before Sen. Marco Rubio (R) decided to seek reelection.  Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has already announced a run and is seen as the likely GOP front runner.

FL-Gov: Tallahassee shoe shiner Tony Knox has filed to run for Governor as an independent. Knox spent 30 years shining the shoes of Florida power brokers and now he wants to be one. Knox will need 13,000 signatures to qualify for the November 2018 ballot.

GA-Gov: Georgia state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D) entered the race for Governor. She was promptly endorsed by Emily’s List and the left-wing progressive PAC Democracy for America. Abrams, who is black, will face fellow state Rep. Stacey Evans, who is white, in the Democratic primary, but will not have to deal with a repeat bid from 2014 nominee and Heir Force Col. Jason Carter, who declined a second bid last week. Four Republicans are already running for governor, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, state Sen. Hunter Hill and state Sen. Michael Williams, who entered the race last week.

IA-Gov: Newly installed Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) may not get a free ride in the Republican primary next year. Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett (R) has said he will announce his run for governor of Iowa at the end of June.

MN-Gov: Stewart Mills (R), who lost to Democrat Rep. Rick Nolan in 2014 and 2016 has denied a story in Morning Take that he was going to run for Governor of Minnesota. Mills is still considering making a third attempt at MN-8.

VA-Gov: Progressive wunderkind Tom Perriello’s latest ad is narrated by Elizabeth Warren and features pictures of him with Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama. George Soros has also kicked in another $230,000 to Perriello’s campaign.


IN/TN-Sen: Senator Peyton Manning? Former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning was spotted at the White House. He played golf with President Trump and Sen. Bob Corker (R) and met with Sen. John Cornyn, who just happens to be a former head the NRSC. If the former Indianapolis Colts great were to run for Senate I have to imagine Republicans would want him to run in Indiana vs. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) but Manning might prefer to run in Tennessee, where he went to college and played for the Vols, if Bob Corker, who just stated he is “not interested in running for governor”, doesn’t seek re-election in 2018.


CA-34: The final absentee ballot rundown are in before today’s special election runoff. 21,000 ballots have been returned. 5,551 ballots were from Latino voters and 5,662 ballots were from Korean voters. CA-34 has nearly 150,000 eligible voters that are Latino and 18,700 that are Koreans. Latino are turning out at 3.7% rate while Koreans are so far turning out at a 30% rate!

GA-6: Hans Solo impersonator Jon Ossoff (D) has chickened out of a CNN debate with Republican Karen Handel. Being in a nationally televised debate is probably the last thing Ossoff wanted. Ossoff has been saying one thing to a national audience as he raises gobs of money from out of state Democrats as the poster child for the progressive #Resistance while saying another thing locally as he runs as a faux moderate back in Georgia. Appearing in a national debate could cause a disruption in the Force in the two faced campaign he has been running as his answers could either anger his national donors or the local voters both of whom he still needs.

FL-27: #NeverTrump CNN Republican pundit Ana Navarro (R) is still considering running for the seat of retiring Rep. Ileana Ros Lehtinen (R)….well sort of.  Here’s what Navarro said; “I’ve been touched by the number of people in the district and outside the district who have encouraged me to run for Congress. But at this time it seems to me that it requires a level of masochism that I have not yet reached.”

IA-4: Former telephone psychic Kim Weaver (D) has dropped her campaign for Congress against Rep. Steve King (R). In pulling the plug on her candidacy Weaver used every excuse in the book from claiming running was too much of a financial burden on her family, to her Mother’s health, to alleging that the office where she worked had her budget cut in retaliation for her candidacy, to even making unsubstantiated accusations of having received threats against her and her family. Weaver had raised over $700,000 from Democrats around the country. No word yet on what Weaver plans to do with all the money she raised. Rep. Steve King (R) responded to Weaver’s allegations by Tweeting “I wanted #KimWeaver IN the race-not out. Democrats drove her out of the race-not R’s. Death threats likely didn’t happen but a fabrication.” If Weaver was threatened the police should investigate. If the former psychic made this up she should apologize or seek mental help.

MN-1: Former state Sen. Vicki Jensen has become the first Democrat to announce that she will run for the open seat Rep. Tim Waltz (D) is vacating to run for governor. This district swung from 50-48 Obama in 2012 to 53-38 Trump in 2016. Jensen was a victim of the Trump wave as she lost her 2016 re-election campaign on the back of the Trump coattails.

NY-19: Antonio Delgado has become the 6th Democrat to announce a run against freshman GOP Rep. John Faso. Delgado claims to have already raised $300,000.

SC-1: Rep. Mark Sanford (R) may avoid having a Republican primary challenger next year. A month ago Sanford had two Republican challengers but Naval Reservist Tom Perez dropped out after getting deployed overseas and businessman Ted Fienning has changed his mind about running as well and has dropped out of the race. There is still a very long time until next’s years filing deadline so someone else may decided to try the uphill task of primarying Sanford.

SC-5: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is putting $275,000 towards boosting Democrat Archie Parnell ahead of the June 20th special election. Parnell should be a long shot against Republican Ralph Norman in this heavily GOP district; a recent internal for Parnell showed him down by 10.

TX-16: State Rep. César Blanco (D) has decided to seek re-election to the Texas state House and will not run for the Congressional seat Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) is vacating to run for US Senate.

WA-5: Here’s a tip to all aspiring Congressional candidates. Don’t release internal polls that show you are getting your clock cleaned by an incumbent. Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart  (D) is out with an internal poll from EMC Research showing him losing to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers (R) by a 49%-42% margin. Thanks for letting everyone know that McMorris Rogers is safe and that there is nothing to see here.

State, Local & Other:

NC-Redistricting: The US Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling striking down NC state legislative maps as racial gerrymander. At issue were nine state Senate districts and 19 state House districts. The Republican controlled state legislature will now have to redraw the maps for the 2018 elections (although a small possibility still exists that they will be forced to call a 2017 special election). Republicans have a 74 seat super-majority in the 120 seat North Carolina state House. If the Democrats take 4 more seats they could break the GOP’s veto-proof majority in the House. Republicans control 35 seats in the 50 seat NC state Senate so their 3/5s majority there should be safer.

Compton-Mayor: This story is straight out of Compton. The mayoral race in Compton, CA has turned into a generational battle of gangster vs. the next Brooklyn. Corruption tarred former Mayor Omar Bradley (D) is trying to regain his old job by denigrating the revitalization that has occurred under 35 year old Mayor Aja Brown’s (D) tenure. Brown won the April primary with 47% to Bradley’s 27%, with four other candidates picking up the rest.

FL-AG: Ex-Circuit Judge Ashley Moody (R) has entered the race for Attorney General and out going term-limited incumbent AG Pam Bondi (R) immediately endorsed her. State Rep. Jay Fant (R) and Democrat Ryan Torrens of Tampa are also running.

WATN: Lucky for former Rep. Patrick Murphy (D) time ran out. Murphy was cleared of campaign finance violations involving $30,000 in donations from Saudi businessman Ibrahim Al-Rashid that were allegedly run through third party straw donors because the statue of limitations on the violations in the complaint against him had passed.

SC-5 & Pennsylvania Liveblog

Results: SC-5  (AP) || SC-5 (DDHQ)  || PA (AP)  || GA-Senate 32(Cobb)  GA-Senate 32(Fulton)

10:15 ET – I am going to call it an evening as the only outstanding races of interest are PA-Superior Court (Republican Primary) and PA-Commonwealth Court (Democratic Primary).   We will have an open thread from here on regarding the Los Angeles races.

9:47 ET – Philly machine death watch… Krasner gets the check for DA and Rhynhart gets the check for Controller.

9:45 ET – With another dump in GA Senate 32, I am going to call it for Kilpatrick (R) with 89% in from Cobb and 100% in from Fulton.

9:37 ET – We might be seeing the first signs of the death of the Philadelphia Democratic machine as two candidates not considered machine candidates are winning DA and Controller with 57% in.

9:33 ET – Cobb has dumped 50% of the precincts as Kilpatrick remains up 58-42 in Cobb, which means that Kilpatrick is up by approximately 56% to 44%.  This looks like Kilpatrick will hold this for the Republicans.

9:30 ET – All of Fulton has been counted in GA-Senate 32 and Kilpatrick remains up by about 10%.  Cobb still has 72% of its precincts to report.

9:30 ET – Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto (D-Bike Lane) has received the check with 66% of the vote with 50% counted.

9:25 ET – Bold Progressive Philly DA candidate Lawrence Krasner (D) is out to a 16 point lead with 42% in.

9:10 ET – Back to GA Senate 32… Kilpatrick remains up with 28% in from Cobb and only early votes in Fulton.

9:08 ET – Norman has won the SC-5 Republican runoff.

9:06 ET – In Pennsylvania, it appears the Democratic endorsed candidate for Commonwealth Court, Todd Eagen, is polling 4th right now.

8:48 ET – Norman is up by approximately 400 votes with 51 precincts remaining.

8:42 ET – Norman is down to 1% lead over Pope, but the remaining precincts are in Pope favoring York County.

8:40 ET – Pope and Norman are within 10 votes of each other with 2/3 in.

8:27 ET – Norman has taken the lead in SC-5 according to DDHQ.

8:15 ET – There appears to be a glimmer of hope for Norman in SC-5 as the results continue to narrow and his areas are just starting to heavily report.

8:07 ET – Pope’s lead is narrowing as 1/3 of the results are in. Pope leads by 4%.

8:03 ET – In Georgia State Senate District 32, Kilpatrick (R) leads Triebsch (D) 58% to 42% as the first results roll in.

8:00 ET – Pennsylvania has closed.

7:50 ET – With 7% in, Pope leads Norman 58% to 42% in SC-5.

7:41 ET – Turnout is supposedly low in the Pennsylvania primaries today, which close at 8pm Eastern.  I was the 14th Republican to vote and 25 voter overall in my ward at 915 AM.

7:33 ET – Ryan_in_SEPA here for the liveblog.  Pope still has a 60 vote lead as the early vote starts being counted.

7:30 ET- I will be turning this over to Ryan_in_SEPA for the rest of the night.

7:19 ET- Pope is now up 54-46 with York early votes coming in.

7:13 ET- Norman leads pope 69-66 in the first early votes.

7:00 ET- Polls have now closed in SC-5 and Georgia.

SC-5 Runoff & Pennsylvania Primary Preview

Tomorrow there is a congressional runoff in South Carolina as well as a mayoral race in Pittsburgh and assorted other contests across Pennsylvania, along with a pair of LA City Council runoffs. Poll closing times are as follows in ET: 7- SC-5 & Georgia || 8- Pennsylvania || 11 – Los Angeles. Our liveblog will start at 7ET tomorrow, but first we are previewing the races here:

SC-5 Runoff (R): Today there is a GOP primary runoff in SC-5; This seat is the former seat of OMB director Mick Mulvaney (R) and covers the north-central part of the state. The biggest bulk of the population is in the Charlotte suburbs, but the seat also contains a swath of rural areas from Sumter to the outskirts of the Charlotte and Spartanburg metros. The seat has a PVI of R+10 (2016). Facing off this week are a pair of state Reps who basically tied in the first round, being separated by just 0.3%, or a little over 100 votes. As you might guess, that means that the runoff is set to be highly competitive.

Tommy Pope

Ralph Norman

State Rep. Tommy Pope (R) narrowly took first place over his rival, fellow State Rep. Ralph Norman (R), who unlike Pope resigned to run. Pope and Norman have generally been regarded as far more alike than different: they have represented districts a few miles away from each other in the Charlotte suburbs and have generally been mainstream conservatives in the State House. The differences in the first round mostly came down to emphasis; Pope tends to focus more on public safety while Norman is more focused on economics.

However, in the runoff, an ideological fissure seems to have opened, with Pope becoming the establishment choice and Norman taking up the anti-establishment mantle. Pope is the third-ranking Republican in the State House and has received outside support from the Chamber of Commerce. Conversely, Norman has said he would consider joining the Freedom Caucus and has received support from the Club for Growth and Erick Erickson. But don’t let the newfound buzz around this race from both sides cause you make a mountain out of that difference; both would overall qualify as mainstream conservatives and I would expect their hypothetical House records to be substantively identical.

There is no clear favorite in the runoff and most observers expect it to be very close. Norman has been better-funded (thanks to self-funding), and did better than expected in the first round. He has also picked up the endorsement of fourth-place finisher Chad Connelly (R), while the third-place candidate has not endorsed. So CW is that Norman may have a bit of momentum, and most observers would probably tilt the race to him ever-so-slightly. However, a victory for Pope would be wholly unsurprising as well. The winner will face Goldman Sachs tax attorney Archie Parnell (D) in the general; the seat has been a low priority for Dems but there is a chance that may change ahead of the June 20 general. RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Safe R.

Legislative Specials: Also in SC, there is also one special election this week. SC-LD-70 is a D+22 (2012) majority-black seat covering rural areas between Columbia and Sumter and a small piece of southeastern Columbia proper. School board member and 2016 State Senate candidate Wendy Brawley (D), who has the support of the late former incumbent’s family, led farmer Heath Hill (D), the only serious white candidate, 40-24 in the first round. Thus Brawley looks like the clear favorite in the runoff. Another state legislative special going on today is the runoff for GA-SD-32, an R+20 (2012), but likely much D-friendlier by 2016 numbers, seat in eastern Cobb County in the northern Atlanta suburbs. Attorney Christine Treibsch (D) led Physician Kay Kirkpatrick (R) 24-21 in April (when the election was consolidated with the high turnout GA-6 race). But Republicans took 60% of the vote in the preliminary, so Kirkpatrick should be favored unless Democrats are exceptionally motivated. The unusual date (even I thought this runoff was going to be with the GA-6 runoff on 6/20) may benefit Treibsch by lowering turnout and giving more weight to energized Dems.

Pittsburgh-Mayor: Pennsylvania is also holding its primary election tomorrow; in addition to the local and judicial races Ryan_in_SEPA will preview below, there is a Democratic primary for mayor of Pittsburgh. No Republicans are running so the winner will have a free ride. Pittsburgh is a city of 305K that is roughly 70% White and 25% Black; it had a PVI of D+22 in 2008. Incumbent Bill Peduto (D) is a bold progressive, and a favorite of that growing and high-turnout constituency. He has had a generally successful tenure as mayor, continuing the city’s transformation into a bona-fide urban cultural center from a gritty steel town. As a result, he looks like a very strong favorite for a second term against two challengers – it would be surprising if he did not take a strong majority of the vote tomorrow. Peduto’s main rival, city councilwoman Darlene Harris (D), is a somewhat more moderate Democrat, but she does have some real establishment support; surprisingly, Harris came closer than expected to beating Peduto for the county Dem party’s endorsement. However, Harris is known as a bit of a gadfly (posting photos of herself riding an elephant, and once accosting a bicyclist she says was not in the right lane). She also hasn’t been running a particularly professional campaign, as she doesn’t even have a website; thus, she looks likely to finish a distant second. Seminary dean John Welch (D) has been trying to get to Peduto’s left on economics; while he has a base in the black community, there isn’t a lot of room to Peduto’s left flank, and Welch’s conservative social positions make poaching white progressive support a long-shot. Thus, CW is that he is likely to come in third. Overall, anything besides an easy Peduto win would probably be shocking.

LA City Council: Two races on the LA City council will head to runoffs this week.
LAX-CD-1 is a heavily Hispanic seat that stretches from MacArthur Park near downtown northeast to the middle-class Hispanic Mount Washington area. Incumbent Gil Cedillo (D) was surprisingly sent to a runoff, falling short of the 50% mark by less than a point. Cedillo was known as “one bill Gil” in the state legislature for his single-minded pursuit of drivers’ licenses for illegal aliens, and unsurprisingly poor Hispanics are his core constituency. It looked like he might have a real fight on his hands with his runoff opponent, bike store owner Joe Bray-Ali (D). Bray-Ali was running on an anti-car hipsterish platform which might have played well with high-turnout white yuppies in the gentrifying district. But Bray-Ali’s campaign was torpedoed when he was unmasked as a racist internet troll, which led to the abrupt withdrawal of all his establishment endorsements. Cedillo now looks like the overwhelming favorite for re-election.
LAX-CD-7 is the only open race on the council this year. The seat is based in the largely poor and heavily Hispanic northeast quarter of the San Fernando Valley around Sylmar and Pacoima, but the remote middle-class white suburban neighborhood of Sunland-Tujunga makes up about a quarter of the district’s population, and will likely punch far above its weight in a low turnout race. City public works board member Monica Rodriguez (D) led city council staffer Karo Torossian (D) 30-17 in the first round. Both candidates have establishment support; Rodriguez is closely tied to Mayor Eric Garcetti (D), while Torossian has support from his boss, a councilor for a neighboring district, and the endorsement of the third-place finisher. Based on the first round results and the seat’s Hispanic majority, Rodriguez is most likely a mild favorite, but there is a decent possibility Torossian could surprise.

Thanks to Ryan_in_SEPA for the Pennsylvania previews below:

Pennsylvania voters will be going to the polls to determine nominees for various statewide judicial positions including Supreme Court, Superior Court and Commonwealth Court and numerous county and municipal races.

Supreme Court: Neither party faces a contested primary for Supreme Court as Republican nominee and interim Justice Sallie Mundy is running for a full term against Democratic challenger Dwayne Woodruff.  Chief Justice Thomas Saylor (R) and Justice Debra Todd (D) are running for retention in November.

Superior Court:  Both parties have five contestants for four nomination slots to move onto the November general election.  The Pennsylvania Republican Party endorsed Lancaster DA Craig Stedman, and Common Pleas Court Judges Paula Patrick (Philadelphia), Wade Kagarise (Blair), and Emil Giordano (Northampton) while Magistrate Judge Mary Murray (Allegheny) is running without the state party endorsement.   The Pennsylvania Democratic Party endorsed interim Superior Court Judge Geoff Moulton, Common Pleas Court Judges Debbie Kunselman (Beaver), Maria McLaughlin (Philadelphia), and Carolyn Nichols (Philadelphia) while former Senior Deputy Attorney General William Caye II is running without the state party endorsement.  Judge Jacqueline Shogan (R) is running for retention in November.  The endorsed candidates are heavily favored to clear the primary and head to the general election.

Commonwealth Court: Each party has two nomination slots being contested today.  The Republicans will not have a contested primary as Common Pleas Court Judge Christine Cannon (Delco) and municipal attorney Paul Lalley (Allegheny) are the only Republican candidates.  The Democrats are having quite the contest as there are 6 candidates running with only one, attorney Tom Eagen (Lackawanna), being the only one to receive the official backing of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.  Interim Judge Joseph Cosgrove (Luzerne), State Representative Bryan Barbin (Cambria), Common Pleas Judge Ellen Ceisler (Philadelphia), and attorneys Timothy Barry and Irene Clark are running without the state party endorsement.  Commonwealth Court is down in the weeds so its anyone’s guess, but I suspect that Eagen and Ceisler win the Democratic nomination.

Municipal Elections:  Voters across the Commonwealth will be voting in various county, municipal and school broad elections.  The most prominent municipal/county race is the primary for Philadelphia District Attorney, which involves the replacing of disgraced Bold Progressive turned DINO turned standard corrupt Democrat District Attorney Anthony Williams.  In a race that has garnered national attention with George Soros dropping significant cash behind attorney Lawrence Krasner (Bold Progressive).  Other prominent candidates on the Democratic side include former Deputy Mayor Rich Negrin (Police), former Deputy District Attorney and AUSA Joe Khan (Rendell-NOW), former Deputy Attorney General Michael Untermeyer (Lots of Advertising), former Deputy DA Tariq El-Shabazz (Tax Cheat), and former Deputy DA John O’Neil (Some Dude) and former Municipal Judge Teresa Carr Deni (Some Dudette) seeking the Democratic nomination.  Former Deputy District Attorney Beth Grossman is running unopposed for the Republican nomination.  Before Soros’ donation to Krasner, I rated this as a 3 way between Negrin, Khan and Untermeyer.  Now it is a 4 way battle for the Democratic nomination as the machine has stayed out of the race.  Philadelphia City Controller is somewhat competitive as Controller Alan Butkovitz, whose seeking a third term, is receiving a spirited challenge from former Philadelphia Chief Administrative Officer Rebecca Rhyhart for the Democratic nomination.  Otherwise this primary season has been surprisingly quiet.

Political Roundup for May 5, 2017

Please check back at Noon ET for our preview of this weekend’s Texas mayoral elections and French Presidential Runoff. But in the meantime grab your Taco Bowl and enjoy the roundup…


CT-Gov: State Sen. Toni Boucher (R) is the latest Connecticut Republican to consider an entry into this crowded primary, joining Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton (R), Trumbull first selectman (Mayor) Tim Herbst (R), state Rep. Prasad Srinivasan (R) and 2014 SoS nominee Peter Lumaj (R).

FL-Gov: State House Speaker Richard Corcoran (R) will open a committee this summer to raise money for a Gov run, but won’t make a final decision until… next March. That’s an awfully lackadaisical timeline for a race that will need extreme amounts of fundraising, and sending a signal to donors that you’re still unclear about your intentions doesn’t seem like the best way to go. Corcoran will face Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam (R) in the primary if he goes ahead with a run, and a couple more minor candidates are also considering. Dems have a crowded field of decleared and potential contenders including ex-Rep. Gwen Graham (D), Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D), Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine (D), and trial lawyer John Morgan (D).

IA-Gov: Freshman State Sen. Nate Boulton (D), a vocal liberal, is the latest “C” list candidate to jump into the Governor’s race, joining ex-IADP chair Andy McGuire (D), State Rep. Todd Prichard (D), former state cabinet official Rich Leopold (D), and 2014 Auditor nominee Jon Neiderbach (D). Gov-designate Kim Reynolds (R) may face primary opposition from Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett (R).

NE-Gov: State Sen. Bob Krist (“R”), a moderate from the Omaha area, may challenge Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) in the 2018 primary. As the state populace generally seems to be on the side of Ricketts’ conservative agenda instead to the RINO-D coalition that seems to all too often dominate the Unicameral, Krist will likely have a tough time getting traction in a GOP primary.

MN-Gov, MN-8: State House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R) announced that he is still considering a run for Governor, while ruling out a bid for MN-8. Daudt would likely be a front-runner in the crowded GOP convention field if he entered.

PA-Gov: Ugh. As George Allen and Bob Etheridge can tell you, the only thing to do when around a tracker is ignore them and be on your best behavior. State Sen. Scott Wagner (R), who is challenging Gov. Tom Wolf (D), didn’t heed that advice when he angrily confronted a tracker working for American Bridge who was videotaping a private speech Wagner was giving on estate planning. Word to wise candidates: just don’t. Don’t protest and don’t give into those impulses no matter how justified you think they are. You will never come out looking good. Separately in this race, businessman Paul Mango (R) has made his entry into the GOP primary official. Multiple other Republicans are rumored to be considering.


CA-34: AG Xavier Becerra (D) has endorsed State Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D) as his successor. Gomez faces a runoff with zoning board member Robert Lee Ahn (D) in June, in which the former looks like the strong favorite. Gomez has coalesced most establishment support and has the Hispanic-majority nature of the district on his side, though Ahn’s Koreatown base can be high-turnout.

GA-6: Now here’s a new one. WATL-TV, Atlanta’s MyTV affiliate, has launched a 7PM newscast… specifically to find a place to air GA-6 ads. The June 20 runoff between ex-SoS Karen Handel (R) and former congressional staffer Han Soloff Jon Osoff (D) has attracted well-beyond-saturation levels of spending.

NC-9: The FBI has closed a probe of Rep. Robert Pittenger’s (R) former business interests. Pittenger’s seat is safe but he narrowly escaped a 3-way primary last cycle with just over a third of the vote.

State Offices:

CA-LG: Having no real duties but a high profile, this open seat seems to be becoming quite attractive for former Dem megadonor-turned-ambassadors, as we now have two candidates fitting that profile here. Former Obama ambassador to Australia Jeff Bleich (D) is running for the open Lieutenant Governor seat, joining fellow former ambassador Eleni Kounalakis (D), State Sen. Ed Hernandez (D), and physician Asif Mahmood (D).

FL-Ag Comm: As expected, State Rep. Matt Caldwell (R) of the Fort Myers area has filed for the open Agriculture Commissioner seat, joining State Sen. Denise Grimsley (R) and former Orlando Mayoral candidate Paul Paulson (R).

ID-Supt: Local superintendent Jeff Dillon (R) is challenging incumbent Sherri Ybarra (R) in the primary for State Superintendent. Ybarra was a surprise winner in 2014 as a non-serious Some Dude, squeaking through a divided primary and narrowly winning the general on the deep-red lean of the state. Thus it seems a decent bet she could be vulnerable to a primary this year.

SC-SoS: State Rep. Joshua Putnam (R) is running for SoS, challenging four-term incumbent Mark Hammond (R). The decision is somewhat curious as Hammond has been non-controversial and South Carolina’s SoS is not a powerful office (it doesn’t oversee elections and mostly handles business and charity filings).

FL-SD-40: Ex-State Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla (R) is running in the special election for this vacant State Senate seat in the southwest Miami suburbs. Diaz de la Portilla represented an adjacent urban Miami district in the 2000s, and his brother Miguel (R) narrowly lost re-election to that seat last year. State Rep. Daisy Baez (D) is the only other candidate who has declared for the heavily-anti-Trump but historically Cuban-machine-R dominated district.

Local Offices:

NYC-Mayor: State Sen. Tony Avella (D/IDC) dropped his little-noticed bid yesterday to challenge Mayor Bill DeBlasio (D) in the primary. The northeast Queens State Senator, who has a reputation as a maverick for some heterodox views and would not have energized liberals by his association with the GOP Senate caucus, had only raised $35K for his bid.

More NYC-Mayor: Across the aisle, Arby’s pitchman and former celebrity detective Bo Dietl (I) was denied in his bid to run in the GOP primary; he would have needed 3/5 borough party chairs’ support to enter as a non-party member. The GOP primary looks to now be between developer Paul Massey (R) and State Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R). Dietl may still run in the general as an Independent.

Jackson, MS-Mayor: On Tuesday, incumbent Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber (D) came in fourth (!) in the Democratic Primary with just 5% (!). Winning a landslide victory with 55% was attorney Chokwe Lumumba Jr. (D). Lumbumba is the leftist son of Yarber’s deceased predecessor of the same name, and the relatively moderate Yarber’s rival in a 2014 Special Election. Jackson, a majority-black city with high crime and deteriorating infrastructure, has a history of turning out its mayor by large margins, as this marks the fourth consecutive regularly-scheduled election in which the incumbent was defeated.

Toledo-Mayor: Lucas County Treasurer Wade Kapsukiewicz (D) will challenge incumbent Paula Hicks-Hudson (D) for Mayor. Councilman Tom Waniewski (R) is also in the race, which will have a California-Rules Top Two primary in September.

San Francisco-Mayor ’19: State Sen. Mark Leno (D), a “moderate” (read: standard leftist moonbat instead of insane leftist moonbat) will run for SF Mayor in 2019; he is considered likely to be a front-runner to succeed termed-out incumbent Ed Lee (D).

NY-Rockland-CE: Attorney Maureen Porette (D), who seems basically “Some Dude” caliber, will run for County Executive against incumbent Ed Day (R). Porette seems to be running mostly on standard liberal platitudes, which is somewhat surprising as the main fault-line in Rockland centers on how to make peace with the county’s large Hasidim population.

Political Roundup for April 24, 2017

Yesterday in France, centrist corporate-liberal Emmanuel Macron and nationalist-populist Marine LePen advanced to a runoff with 23% and 22% respectively. The runoff will occur on May 7; Macron is overwhelmingly favored in the second round.

Next, tomorrow there are three special elections, a State Senate runoff in SC and two State House races in Connecticut. None have any partisan drama but all are interesting. SC-SD-3 is an R+25 (2012) seat covering the northern half of Anderson County. Ex-Pendleton Mayor Carol Burdette (R) took 49% last year as a mainstream conservative primary challenger to the prior very socially-conservative incumbent, now-LG Kevin Bryant (R). Burdette is facing off against 2010 SC-3 and 2014 US Senate candidate Richard Cash (R), a staunch social conservative himself who has unsurprisingly got Bryant’s endorsement. Burdette led the first round 31-26 with a diverse mix of candidates splitting the rest, so there is no clear favorite in this round. No Democrats are running so tomorrow’s winner will get the seat. Two seats in CT are also up. CT-LD-7 is a D+44 (2016), black-majority seat stretching from downtown Hartford to the northwest corner of the city. Veteran Rickey Pinckney (D) has the official Dem endorsement but is facing two Dems running as Indies, ex-State Rep. Kenneth Green (D), who lost a 2010 primary for re-election by 2 votes, and teachers’ union official Joshua Hall (D), who has the Working Families line. The “D” next to his name makes Pinckney the favorite, but Green’s name rec and Hall’s union backing could give each of them a slight chance to pull an upset with ultra-low turnout. Finally, CT-LD-68 is an R+17 (2016) seat around Watertown, a northwest suburb of Waterbury. The GOP has strangely nominated Watertown councilman Joe Polletta (R), who was the 2014 Democratic nominee for this seat. Polletta switched parties shortly after his loss and is now the strong favorite over ex-Watertown councilman Louis Esposito (D), who doesn’t seem to be running a very serious campaign.

And now the rest of the day’s news –


AL-Sen: Here is a solid Great Mentioner piece on who is in, out, and considering taking on Sen. Luther Strange (R) for the Senate seat he was appointed to earlier this year. State Rep. Ed Henry (R) is the only candidate definitively in the race, but a ton of others are considering.

MI-Sen: Retired State Supreme Court Justice Robert Young (R) is being recruited as a possible challenger to Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D). Young, who is of African-American descent, just retired from the bench. Ex-State Senate Pres. Randy Richardville (R) seems like the most serious candidate considering this race so far, though multiple others, including Rep. Fred Upton (R), have floated their names with varying degrees of seriousness.

MN-1: 2016 nominee Jim Hagedorn (R), a Some Dude who notched an unexpectedly narrow loss last year and is running again now that the seat is open, has landed an endorsement from Rep. Tom Emmer (R). Hagedorn would seem to be only a “C” list contender for this race now that the seat is open and one of the GOP’s top pickup opportunities, so the support from a well-known establishment figure is somewhat surprising.

TX-3: In something of a surprise, Collin CE Keith Self (R) announced last week that he would not run for this open seat, potentially removing the most serious challenger to State Sen. Van Taylor (R). Taylor, who is personally wealthy and represents essentially the entire Plano-based district, now looks like a near-prohibitive favorite in this race as most other candidates of stature have already declined.


MI-Gov: Businessman Shri Thanedar (D), who won an “Entrepreneur of the Year” award, will run for Governor, joining State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer (D), Xerox executive Bill Cobbs (D), and Detroit city official Abdul El-Sayed (D) in the Dem primary. AG Bill Schutte (R) and LG Brain Calley (R) are the most common GOP names associated with this race.

NJ-Gov: Former Long Hill (pop. 9K) mayor Gina Genovese (I) will run for Governor. Genovese, a former Dem, is running on a platform of encouraging municipal consolidation to save tax dollars and overall seems to take a relatively libertarian ideological line; thus, any votes she draws will probably come relatively equally from the two parties.

PA-Gov, PA-LG: Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has stripped LG Mike Stack (D) of his state police detail and some staff after Stack and his wife were found to be abusing their staffers. The decision is leading to speculation that Wolf may attempt to recruit a primary challenger against Stack for the right to join him on the Democratic ticket next year.

WI-Gov: Democrats are having serious recruiting problems for this race, but businessman Andy Gronik (D) is apparently polling this race as a step toward exploring a possible entry. But you can strike one more well-known Dem off the list of possible challengers to Gov. Scott Walker (R), as Dane CE Joe Parisi (D) has taken his name out of the running as well.

RIP: Ex-Rep. Larry Hogan Sr., father of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan Jr. (R), passed away last week at age 88. The senior Hogan won an upset on his second try for MD-5 in 1968, then based in what were at the time blue-collar white DC suburbs of Prince George’s County. He served three terms in Congress, where he memorably was among the first Republicans to break with Nixon during Watergate. The decision likely caused his surprising loss in the 1974 gubernatorial primary to a little-known more conservative candidate, State Sen. Louise Gore (R). Hogan then served a term as Prince George’s County Exec from 1978-82 before being flattened in a Senate run by incumbent Paul Sarbanes (D) in 1982. Hogan lived to see two of his six children follow him into politics, with Pat (R) serving two terms as a State Rep. from the Frederick area in the 2000s and Larry of course being elected Governor in 2014.

State Offices:

AZ-Supt: Tempe Councilman and ex-State Sen. David Schapira (D) will run for State Superintendent. Incumbent Diane Douglas (R), who won the 2014 primary in an upset, has widely been considered an ineffective gadfly in her term. Douglas is likely to face a substantive GOP primary challenge, and Democrats seem ready to aggressively target this seat with Arizona’s leftward trend in recent cycles.

CA-LG: Former Ambassador to Hungary Eleni Kounalakis (D), daughter of a prominent Dem donor, has opened a committee to explore the LG race. Kounalakis joins State Sen. Ed Hernandez (D) and physician Asif Mahmood (D) in declaring interest in this open seat. Termed-out incumbent Gavin Newsom (D) is running for Governor.

CT-Comp: 2014 CT-5 nominee Mark Greenberg (R) will run for Comptroller this cycle. Unlike his congressional runs, Greenberg does not plan to self-fund his run for Comptroller. Incumbent Kevin Lembo (D) is considering a run for Governor but could still seek re-election; no other candidates have as yet expressed interest in this race.

FL-Ag Comm: Daniel Sohn (D), who lost a race for a local water board last year, will run for Ag Commissioner; he seems to have some support base as no bigger-name Dems have as yet expressed interest in this race. State Sen. Denise Grimsley (R) and former Orlando Mayoral candidate Paul Paulson (R) are in the race on the GOP side, and State Rep. Matt Caldwell (R) is expected to enter. Termed-out incumbent Adam Putnam (R) is widely expected to run for Governor.

GA-SoS: Alpharetta (pop. 60K) Mayor David Belle-Isle (R) will run for the open SoS seat, joining State Reps. Buzz Brockway (R) and Brad Raffensperger (R) in the race. All three candidates hail from the Altanta suburbs. Incumbent Brian Kemp (R) is running for Governor.

SD-SoS: State Auditor Steve Barnett (R), who is termed-out of his current post, will run for the open SoS seat vacated by congressional candidate Shantel Krebs (R). Barnett is the first candidate to announce for the post; the nominee will be decided by convention.

CT-SD-13, WATN: Ex-SoS Susan Bysiewicz (D), who left politics after an embarassing episode in which she attempted to run for AG in 2010 without filling the qualifications and then made a little-noticed 2012 US Senate run, will run for State Senate in 2018, taking on State Sen. Len Suzio (R) in a Dem-leaning district.

FL-SD-40: State Sen. Frank Artiles (R) has resigned after using a racial slur to refer to two fellow State Senators last week. Artiles’s decision triggers a special election in his southwest suburban Miami seat, which Clinton carried by 18 points last year but where Cuban machine Republicans have historically held sway.

Local Races:

NYC-Mayor: State Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R) of Staten Island will consider a run for Mayor if 2013 candidate John Catsimatidis (R) does not make another go of it. Malliotakis won a then-Dem-leaning State Rep. seat, which spans the Verrezano Narrows Bridge, in 2010. However, she has little name recognition city-wide and is not independently wealthy, unlike the main Republican already in the race to take on Mayor Bill DeBlasio (D), developer Paul Massey (R).

Seattle-Mayor: City planner and left-wing activist Cary Moon (D) will run for Mayor. Moon is best known for her efforts to completely close a major highway through the city center rather than relocate it to a tunnel. Moon is likely to vie with ex-Mayor Mike McGinn (D) for the ultra-left vote in her bid to take on establishment liberal incumbent Ed Murray (D).

San Diego-DA: San Diego County DA Bonnie Dumanis (R), a moderate Republican, will step down from the DA’s post to explore a run for a County Supervisor seat covering central San Diego. Dumanis’s top deputy, Summer Stephan (R), is running to succeed her and is likely to be appointed by the all-Republican County Board to fill the vacancy.

Political Roundup for March 8, 2017

Last night in Los Angeles, incumbent mayor Eric Garcetti (D) cruised to re-election with 81%. All council incumbents appear to have been re-elected (though Gil Cedillo in district 1 looks to have just avoided a runoff and could slip below the 50% line) while the open District 7 will head to a May runoff between Monica Rodriguez (D) and Karo Torossian (D). The anti-development Measure S failed by a large margin. In St. Louis, councilwoman Lyda Krewson (D) won the mayoral primary, though by a much narrower-than-expected 2 point margin. For AL-LD-58, Rolanda Hollis (D) won outright, while Zach Taylor (R) and Steve Barnes (D) will advance to a May general for OK-LD-28.


WV-Sen: Ex-US Attorney and 2016 gubernatorial candidate Booth Godwin (D) is considering a run for Senate against Sen. Joe Manchin (D) in the primary. For Goodwin, this would be an uphill battle as WV has a very conservative Dem primary electorate; indeed, his main purpose in considering running may be to boost his wife Amy’s (D) run for Mayor of Charleston, which has a much higher liberal contingent.

GA-6: A poll from Trifalgar has congressional staffer Jon Osoff (D) and ex-SoS Karen Handel (R) tied for first with 18 and Johns Creek councilman Bob Gray (R) in third with 13. Trump is above water in the district that he carried very narrowly, at 51/41 in this poll.

IL-13: Perennial candidate David Gill (D), who was the nominee in 2012 but has run for Congress every two years without success, is trying once again to unseat Rep. Rodney Davis (R). This seat was drawn to be purple but has stampeded right over the last five years and looks unlikely to be a top Dem target.

Governor & States:

OH-Gov: Ex-Rep. Betty Sutton (D) became the latest candidate into this very crowded race yesterday. Sutton, who represented an Akron and suburban-Cleveland district from 2006 until it was eliminated in redistricting in 2012, will face State Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D) and potentially many others in the primary.

FL-SoS: Legislation has advanced in the State Senate that would return the SoS office to an elected position after it was moved from an elected to an appointed office in 2002 as part of a major state government restructuring. The bill would need support from 60% of the members of both chambers and be subject to a 2018 referendum to succeed.

OH-Treas: State Rep. Robert Sprague (R) is the first candidate to enter this race. Sprague hails from the state’s rural but GOP-vote-rich northwest; he may face Franklin County Treasurer Clarence Mingo (R) in the primary. Incumbent Josh Mandel (R) is running for the US Senate.

Local offices:

Buffalo-Mayor: City Comptroller Mark Schroeder (D), a mavericky and somewhat moderate Democrat, kicked off his run against establishment-backed incumbent Byron Brown (D) yesterday. Brown is expected to be the favorite in the fall primary in the heavily Democratic city.

Rochester, NY-Mayor: Incumbent Lovely Warren (D), who won her first term in an upset in 2013 and has little establishment support, announced she will seek a second. Warren faces challengers from both her right and left in the Spetember primary in the form of moderate county commissioner James Sheppard (D) and moonbat former TV anchor Rachel Barnhart (D).

Paterson, NJ-Mayor: Paterson Mayor Joey Torres (D) has been indicted by the state attorney general, along with his public works head, on corruption charges for using city employees for personal tasks. I’m shocked, shocked, that there would be corruption in local government in New Jersey!

Los Angeles & St. Louis Mayor Preview & Open Thread

Today we have two key Mayoral elections, a Louisiana-Rules Top Two primary in LA and a Dem primary in St. Louis. Both will likely be decisive. Because LA counts incredibly slowly and it will likely be hard to get real-time info on St. Louis, we won’t have a liveblog for these races, but feel free to use this as an open thread for discussion and check tomorrow’s roundup for a recap of the results.

Los Angeles Mayor: If you’re reading this blog you probably don’t need me to describe Los Angeles to you, but it is of course the nation’s second-largest city. LA has a population of around 3.9M, which breaks down as roughly 50% Hispanic, 30% White (mostly upscale liberals in the western part of town and western San Fernando Valley), 10% Black, and 10% Asian. It has a PVI of about D+24 (2008). Fourteen candidates are running for mayor, but only two are serious, and as a result the Louisiana Rules Top Two race will likely conclude today. Incumbent Eric Garcetti (D) is seeking a second term. It’s important to note that unlike its fellow mega-cities of NYC and Chicago, the Mayor of LA is relatively weak in de jure executive power, with its main influence in its visibility and bully pulpit. As a result, while Garcetti, a mainstream liberal, hasn’t been particularly exceptional as mayor, he hasn’t done much wrong either – and that’s been enough to keep any established pol from opposing him. The main complaint about Garcetti’s tenure is that he seems to be rather transparently planning a gubernatorial run in 2018. Dem campaign operative Mitchell Schwartz (D) is Garcetti’s only serious challenger. Schwartz has a lot more in common with Garcetti than the two have differences; both are upscale mainstream liberals steeped in Democratic activism. Schwartz has attempted to get to Garcetti’s left on a few minor issues such as renewable energy, but his campaign generally seems to be little more than a name on the ballot at this point. It would be a shock if Schwartz and the bevy of non-serious Some Dudes in the race were to hold Garcetti even below 60%, let alone force a runoff.  LA has elections for its other city offices today as well, but incumbents Mike Feuer (D) and Ron Galperin (D) are totally unopposed for City Attorney and City Comptroller respectively. Indeed, the only citywide race getting real debate is an initiative, Question S, which would essentially stop new high-density development citywide. LA City Council races are over the fold!

St. Louis Mayor: St. Louis is the nation’s 60th largest city, with a population of 315K that breaks down as roughly 47% Black and 44% White. The oval-shaped city is basically the geopolitical version of the classic black and white cookie – the south side is largely white, with a mix of old white-ethnic neighborhoods and gentrifying upscale areas. In contrast, the north side above Delmar Blvd. (which contains about half the city’s area and under a third of the population) is over 90% black and arguably the nation’s most vicious ghetto, with entire neighborhoods totally gone and turned into prairie, and those remaining suffering through crime rates that are perennially in contention for the nation’s highest. The mayoral race this year is an open seat and today there is an all-important Dem primary. With a PVI of D+31 (2016), the Dem primary in St. Louis has been tantamount to election for generations; Republicans have put up credible candidates just twice since 1949 (in 1973 and 1981) and this year looks unlikely to break that pattern. Six notable Democrats are running, two white and four black.

Councilwoman Lyda Krewson (D) is the clear front-runner. Krewson’s biggest asset is being the only serious white candidate in a race with four serious black candidates, but that is far from the only reason for her commanding position in this contest. She has lapped the field in fundraising and holds the endorsement of outgoing incumbent Francis Slay (D). Krewson also has strong labor support, including from the police union. Additionally, though she represents the limousine liberal Central West End on the council, she is by far the most moderate candidate in this field (though still a mainstream liberal overall), and that means she is well-positioned to romp with high-turnout moderate white-ethnic voters on the south side. Krewson’s four serious black rivals each could have presented a tough challenge to her were they to coalesce the black and more liberal white vote, but with all four running they seem likely to bump heads and prevent any from catching Krewson. That said, there is a black front-runner in City Treasurer Tishaura Jones (D), who now looks like Krewson’s most serious rival. Jones has recieved endorsements from some more liberal figures in the Missouri Dem party, including ex-SoS Jason Kander (D) and 2016 AG candidate Jake Zimmerman (D). Jones’s campaign has gone overboard on SJW leftism, most notably blasting the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper as racist. That has given her some national celebrity and seems to have put her in pole position among the black candidates. However, paradoxically, that’s probably a good thing for Krewson – St. Louis doesn’t have much in the way of a white moonbat population (and what is there is concentrated in Krewson’s own ward of the Central West End) so Jones has little chance of getting much crossover appeal. And her brew of SJW leftism is strong enough that she probably can’t coalesce moderate blacks enough to make up for Krewson’s likely large margin among whites. Jones’s main rival for the black vote is Council President Lewis Reed (D), who is elected at-large. Reed hails from a racially-mixed area on the South Side, and is a mainstream establishment liberal, which on paper got him pegged as an early front-runner. Reed has also kept pace in fundraising, and is probably the only candidate in this field who could put together a bi-racial coalition; he would have likely had a good chance to prevail had he been able to coalesce the black vote. However, Jones’s surge and Krewson’s ability to coalesce whites have left him squeezed, and it’s probably most likely that he comes in third. But Reed still has some black establishment support, including from Rep. Lacy Clay (D), who represents the entire city in the House, which could make him a contender. The final two black candidates, councilmen Antonio French (D) and Jeffrey Boyd (D) are little-known outside of their north-side wards and have trailed the top three candidates in fundraising. Though neither is likely to be a real threat to win, each is still likely to draw a significant percentage of black votes. French’s support will likely come out of Jones’s pocket, as he is known as a staunch SJW who was arrested in the Ferguson protests, though he surprisingly landed the Post-Dispatch endorsement. Conversely, Boyd’s support will likely come from Reed’s base as he is a more moderate/establishment black liberal. Finally, one more candidate worth a mention is school board member Bill Haas (D). Haas, a moonbat, straddles the credible contender vs. non-serious perennial candidate line; though he has been able to consistently win election to the school board, he has run for higher office multiple times and never drawn more than a few percent. This time he will once again probably draw a low-single-digit percentage of liberal whites, though it’s unlikely to affect the outcome as his voters would probably splinter between Krewson and Jones if he were not in the race. A non-serious Some Dude is also running. All in all this is very much Krewson’s race to lose, though the field is unsettled enough that there is some chance for Jones or Reed to pull a surprise upset if turnout patterns are favorable.

The primary winner will enter the general as a prohibitive favorite. Three Some Dude level Republicans are running; the most likely primary winner is utility exec Andy Jones (R), the only one who is the least bit serious. The other two GOP candidates are running as publicity stunts, one (James Osher) to stop an eminent domain takeover of a building he owns and another (Andy Karandzieff) to promote his restaurant. None have any chance in the general. Two noteworthy independents are also running: conservative pastor and TV Station owner Larry Rice (I) and moonbat banker Kacey Cordes-Marht (I). Rice has some name rec and Cordes-Marht has some self-funding ability but as of now neither looks likely to present the Dem nominee much trouble.

Legislative Specials: There are also two special primary elections to discuss: AL-LD-58 is a 67% BVAP, ~D+21 (2008) seat in northeast Birmingham and the largely middle-class black suburb of Center Point. Three Dems, Center Point councilman James Howell (D), realtor Rolanda Hollis (D), and correctional officer Rodney Huntley (D) are facing off. All three have little information available online (Hollis slightly more than the other two) so I’m just going to say that there is no clear favorite and the race may head to a runoff. No Republicans are running. OK-LD-28 is an R+21 (2012) seat around Seminole on the eastern fringe of the OKC exurbs. Four Republicans and Five Democrats are running. For Republicans, ex-Seminole Mayor and 2004/06 State House nominee Billy Choate (R), school board member Mike Matlock (R), and businessmen Daniel Matthews (R) and Zack Taylor (R) are facing off. Right now I’d peg Matthews and Taylor as more likely to win, but anyone could come out ahead. The most likely Dem nominee is 2016 nominee Marilyn Rainwater (D), who is something of a perennial candidate this point after losing bids for this seat in 2012 and the State Senate in 2014. However, Rainwater faces 2016 candidates Jason Leonard (D) and Yasminda Choate (D), 2008 OK-4 nominee Blake Cummings (D), and attorney Steve Barnes (D), and any of them could come out on top as well. The GOP nominee will likely be favored over any Dem in the general.

Flip over for LA City Council races…

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Political Roundup for March 6th, 2017

Over the weekend, Democrats nominated musician and BernieBro Rob Quist as their candidate for the MT-AL special election. Our coverage of the Republican nominating convention for the same election will commence at 4 ET. With that out of the way, let’s start the week off right with some hot electoral action.

Big Picture

Democratic Turnout: Politico notes that even in the instances where they’ve lost, Democratic turnout in recent special elections has been relatively high. This follows the general pattern of the party out of power having a fairly motivated base.

Demographics: On the more long-term front, Columbia Sociology Professor Musa al-Gharbi pokes one more hole in the quickly-sinking ship of the ‘Emerging Democratic Majority Theory.’ His basic point is that even though the country is getting less white, Democratic margins among minorities are unsustainable and are already starting to slip a bit. He also points out that further short-term drops in the Democrats’ white vote share would be catastrophic. I actually think that trends to the Democrats in some suburban areas will keep the latter from happening, at least for a while. He is by no means declaring an Emerging Republican Majority a la Karl Rove in 2004. However, he is cautioning his fellow progressives to not be complacent or alienate people.


MA-Sen: Curt Schilling (R-Green Monster) has declined to run against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Shawmut) in 2018. In the same breath he also endorsed his friend, tech guy Shiva Ayyadurai (R-Flushing, Queens) for the same race.

SC-05: Archie Parnell (D), a senior adviser at Goldman Sachs, has announced his candidacy for the seat being vacated by newly-appointed OMB Director Mick Mulvaney (R). Call me crazy, but I’m not sure a Goldman executive is what you need to get those crucial rural swing voters. Sure, he can self-fund. I’m also positive that Trump will motivate the Democratic base. Short of the Democrats nominating Vincent Sheheen over this guy, though, this seat should be out of their reach.

WI-Sen: This piece has no new information, but it’s a good summary of who’s likely to run against Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) in 2018 now that Rep. Sean Duffy (R-The Real World) has taken himself out of the race.


FL-Gov: Orlando-area businessman Chris King (D) has launched an out-of-nowhere gubernatorial bid. The article makes him seem like the Second Coming. He graduated from Harvard and his financial group focuses on affordable housing. If he wasn’t white or had more money and name recognition than John Morgan (D-The Nearest Ambulance), I think he’d have a good chance at winning the primary. As it stands, I think he’s looking to have a good showing to build name recognition and goodwill for another run down the line.


GA-Redisticting: In what I think is one of the dumbest moves I’ve heard about in a while, Republican leaders in the Peach State’s legislature are mulling mid-decade tweaks to the state House of Representatives map. The proposed changes wouldn’t even help that much and hands the Democrats an easy club with which to beat Republicans over the head. Oy vey.

L.A.-Mayor: It’s looking like Tuesday’s elections in Los Angeles could have amazingly low turnout, as in 5-10%. The main culprit is likely that Mayor Eric Garcetti (D-Trolleys) is causing to reelection. The ultra-low turnout could affect the outcomes of two significant ballot measures.

NYC-Mayor: Given the plethora of criminal investigations currently circling the New York City Mayor’s Office, it isn’t really surprising that a lot of Mayor de Blasio’s (Bold Progressive) financial backers have turned off the money flow for the time being.

PA-HD-197: A judge has ruled that the Philadelphia Democratic Party will not be allowed to replace their disqualified candidate for the upcoming election in HD-197. This area takes in heavily Hispanic sections of North Philly (hint: it’s a great place for South American food). Anyway, it looks like we’re going to have a test of the Philly machine, because they have to mount a write-in campaign unless the State Supreme Court hears their appeal and rules in their favor.

PA-HD-197-Continued: Rep. Bob Brady (Obvious Republican Plant), Overlord of the Philly Democratic Machine, blames “the Hispanics” for this disqualification calamity. I’m sure he’s talking about the Hispanic portion of the machine, but it’s still bad optics. And it won’t matter. Never change, Phiily Dems. Never change.


France: Apologies for the article’s being in French, but the upshot is that Francois Fillon will remain in the race for President of France instead of stepping aside in favor of Monsieur Juppe.

Northern Ireland: In the recent elections to the Stormont, Northern Ireland’s general assembly, Catholic nationalists Sinn Fein scored their biggest victory ever. Politics in the Six Counties is about to get interesting for the first time in twenty years.

Political Roundup for January 23, 2017


IL-Gov: Add State Sen. Daniel Biss (D) to the long list of possible candidates to take on Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) next year. Biss, an upscale liberal from Evanston who made an abortive run for Comptroller last year, would likely face a crowded primary if he entered. Bold progressive Chicago councilman Ameya Pawar (D) is the only candidate in the race so far but at least a half-dozen other Democrats are considering bids against the uber-wealthy Rauner.

OH-Gov: Rep. Jim Renacci (R) made a statewide advertising buy during the inauguration, seeking to raise his name recognition outside of his suburban Cleveland based district ahead of a possible gubernatorial run. If Renacci enters the race he would likely join a chaotic four-way primary of “A” listers, as AG Mike DeWine (R) is already in the race and LG Mary Taylor (R) and SoS Jon Husted (R) are also exploring bids.


KS-4: Here is a great mentioner on the seat of CIA Director designate Mike Pompeo (R), who is likely to be confirmed and vacate his seat today. Ex-Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R), State Treasurer Ron Estes (R), and Wichita Councilman Pete Meitzner (R) are the major candidates considering runs here so far. The GOP convention is likely to decide the next Rep. for this deep-red Wichita area seat.

MN-5: State Sen. Scott Dibble (D) became the first candidate to definitively say he will run for the seat of Rep. Keith Ellison (D) if Ellison wins the DNC Chair race next month. Ellison has said he will vacate his congressional seat if he wins the race, and he continues to look like a slight front-runner for the post. The Dem primary for his deep-blue Minneapolis seat will be very crowded if he vacates it.

MT-AL: Ex-State Sen. Ken Miller (R) has become the first candidate to officially qualify for this race by paying the $1700 filing fee. Miller, a former state GOP chair, says he has enough commitments from delegates to win at the convention – but 2016 gubernatorial nominee Greg Gianforte’s (R) camp has also made the same claim, so someone is blowing smoke. State Auditor Matt Rosendale (R), State Sen. Ed Buttrey (R), and a few other Republicans have also been considering this race. State Reps. Amanda Curtis (D) and Casey Schreiner (D) are also considering runs on the other side of the aisle.

State & Local:

WI-Supt: You may not realize it, but we’re under a month away from our next statewide election, the spring race for Wisconsin Superintendent. Incumbent Tony Evers (D) is left-of-center but Republicans have not aggressively targeted him in years past. While close to the unions, Evers has a decent working relationship with Republicans, which led to an endorsement from a prominent GOP State Senator in the formally non-partisan race. However, two Republicans are running in the February 21 California-Rules Top Two primary, local superintendent Lowell Holtz (R) and school administrator John Humphries (R). Humphries in particular may be getting enough GOP support to be a threat to Evers in the April general, as a prominent Gov. Walker fundraiser has hosted a fundraiser for him.

Corpus Christi-Mayor: Here is a great mentioner piece about the upcoming special election for Corpus Christi Mayor, after newly-elected Mayor Dan McQueen (R) abruptly resigned last week. I am guessing the special will be held with other Texas municipal elections on May 6th. Two former city councilmen, Mark Scott (R) and Chad Magill (D), have already entered the race, and several other candidates, including ex-Mayor Nelda Martinez (D), are considering.

San Francisco-Mayor ’19: Ex-State Sen. Mark Leno (D) is running for Mayor of San Francisco in 2019. Leno, who is on San Francisco’s Trotskyite-to-Stalinist political spectrum considered a “moderate” (in reality a hardcore progressive), looks likely to inherit the backers of termed-out Mayor Ed Lee (D).

AL-Redistrict: A federal court has struck down 12 Alabama districts (out of 36 challenged) as improper racial gerrymanders. The 3 State Senate and 9 State House districts, all represented by black lawmakers, will need to be redrawn. In contrast to the order in North Carolina, the judges did not order Special Elections.

Crystal, MN: Here’s a brief but interesting profile of Crystal, MN (pop. 22K), which is believed to be the only jursidiction in America with a Libertarian-controlled government (though of course they were elected in nonpartisan elections).

Political Roundup for January 17th, 2017

I hope you all celebrated Robert E. Lee’s birthday in a relaxing fashion. I celebrated it with Korean BBQ, but that’s just me. And now, onto the news!


2020: Vanity Fair (I know, I know) has a piece on why Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (D-Any Finals Club he wants now) might run for President. I find this a bit silly, but give it a read if you need a chuckle.


CA-Sen: Buried in this wonderful stream-of-consciousness article by former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown (Old School D) is his prediction that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) will step down before her next election in 2018. Willie goes on to predict that Gov. Jerry Brown (Wiser For His Years Burned-out Hippie D) will appoint himself to the seat in that scenario. I’m skeptical about that one, but the article is definitely worth a read.


CA-Gov: Silicon Valley entrepreneur/billionaire Peter Thiel (R By Process Of Elimination) is said to be playing Hamlet with a possible run for governor. Personally, this feels a lot like the Shakespearean scene that is played out every two years with John Elway’s possible runs for statewide office in Colorado; he toys with it a bit before dropping the skull every time.

NV-Gov: State Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R), who is almost certainly running for governor, currently has $1.5m Cash on Hand in his campaign account. That might not sound like much, but it’s a lot for Nevada gubernatorial campaign at this point in the cycle.

NV-Gov Continued: As a companion piece, here’s a Great Mentioner article about who might run for governor on the Democratic side.

VA-Gov: The latest Mason-Dixon poll of this year’s contest for Governor of Virginia has both Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D, except for that one time he almost switched) and former Rep. Tom Perriello (Progressive) losing to 2014 Senate nominee Ed Gillespie (R). Both Democrats lead Prince William County Executive Corey Stewart (R). I’m just going to let this one speak for itself.


MT-AL: Supposedly, businessman and 2016 gubernatorial nominee Greg Gianforte (R) has managed to navigate Big Sky Country’s smoke-filled rooms and obtain for himself the nomination for Rep. Ryan Zinke’s (R) seat, should Zinke actually be elevated to Secretary of the Interior. I don’t know about you, but I really want to know which brand of stogies he brought to the table that convinced so many party insiders to back him. With his money, I’m guessing that he handed out Opus X.

MT-AL Continued: On the Democratic side of that same possible special election, Democrats are eyeing Assistant AUSA Zeno Baucus, son of former Sen. Max. Singer-songwriter Rob Quist has already begun the donkey race for the nomination.


FL-Parties: Both major parties in the Sunshine State recently held their conventions. Republicans stayed the course, while Democrats elected a megadonor as party chairman (though there was a lot of acrimony from progressives over that).

Rothenberg: Nate Gonzales is officially taking over the venerated Rothenberg Political Report. It’s name is changing to Inside Elections. Stuart Rothenberg is now focusing on other projects.

San Diego-Mayor: SurveyUSA is out with a poll that shows Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R) still in decent shape (+4), despite the Chargers’ having moved northward.

UK-Labour Dumpster Fire: MP Tristram Hunt, often pegged as a rising star in British Labour, has resigned his seat in Stoke-on-Trent to take a position as a museum director. I really see this as an attempt to get out while the gettin’ is good. His seat, while not in danger, will likely be combined with another Labour MP’s at the next election. Given his opposition to Corbyn, I could see him losing a selection battle.