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Political Roundup for October 20, 2017

Senate:

CA-Sen: Left-wing online news host Cenk Uygur is considering getting into the US Senate race. Uygur is cofounder of the left-wing Young Turks Network and hosts the Young Turks show. It was reported last week that his cohost Ana Kasparian was considering running as well, but it’s expected that both won’t run. Uygur would represent another candidate on the left, joining State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon (D) as candidates running against Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) from the left.

TN-Sen: A good article here from a Democrat about why former Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) would be a longshot to be elected to the Senate even if he represents the Democrat’s best chance. Bredesen was the last Democrat to win statewide when he was easily re-elected governor in 2006, but the state’s politics have moved significantly towards the Republican side since then. When Bredesen was last on the ballot in 2006, Democrats held 5 of the state’s 9 US House seats, they controlled the State House and Republicans held the State Senate by the narrowest of margins. Now Republicans hold 7 of the 9 US House seats and control both houses of the Legislature by huge margins. As the article states, now “having a “D” by one’s name is tantamount to electoral doom”. The article compares the situation to that of Bob Kerrey, who had been highly successful electorally in Nebraska in being elected governor and two terms as US senator, but things had changed a lot in the state since he had left office and he lost by 15 points in a comeback attempt in 2012. The article even suggests that Bredesen would have a better chance being elected as an independent than as a Democrat.

House:

IN-4: State Rep. Jim Baird (R) is in for the Republican primary for this open seat. He joins Diego Morales, a former aide to Gov. Mike Pence (R), former state Rep. Steve Braun (R) and Army veteran Jared Thomas in the Republican primary.

NH-1: Ex-Strafford County Attorney Lincoln Soldati (D) has entered the Democratic primary for this open seat. Soldati is the first Democrat to get in the race after Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) announced her retirement last week. Other Democrats are still considering the race. State Sen. Andy Sanborn (R) and former state Liquor Commission Chief of Enforcement Eddie Edwards are in on the Republican side.

NY-24: Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner (D) has announced she will not run for Congress. Miner had been the most high profile candidate considering a run against Rep. John Katko (R). Small business entrepreneur Anne Messenger and Syracuse University professor Dana Balter are currently running in the Democratic primary.

OH-12: We are starting to get a picture of who is and isn’t interested in running to replace Rep. Pat Tiberi (R). Yesterday, State Sens. Kevin Bacon (R) and Jay Hottinger (R) both indicated they are interested but have not made final decisions. State Rep. Rick Carfagna (R) says he is “certainly considering” the race as well. Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo (R), who dropped out of the race for State Treasurer this week, says he is deferring comment on the race for now. State Rep. Andrew Brenner (R) is not interested and is running for a state Senate seat and author J.D. Vance, who was considered as a possible candidate for US Senate also says he is not interested. State Sen. Kris Jordan (R) and state Rep. Mike Duffey (R) could not be reached for comment on if they are interested. One candidate, Iraq War veteran Brandon Grisez, was already running in the Republican primary before Tiberi announced his resignation on Wednesday.

PA-15: Lehigh County Commissioner Marty Nothstein (R) has entered the Republican nomination for the open seat of retiring Rep. Charlie Dent (R). Nothstein, who is also a former gold medal Olympic cyclist joins State Reps. Justin Simmons (R) and Ryan Mackenzie (R) in the GOP race. Lehigh County Commissioner Bill Leiner (D) and pastor Greg Edwards are in on the Democratic side. Northampton County DA John Morganelli (D) and community activist Alan Jennings are also considering entering the Democratic primary as well.

TN-7: Franklin Mayor Ken Moore (R) is considering getting into the Congressional race. He says he’ll decide within the next two weeks whether to get in the race. State Sen. Mark Green (R) is already in the race and has nabbed the endorsement of the Club For Growth. Moore is seen as possibly a more palatable alternative for the more moderate, business-style Republicans than the conservative Green. Songwriter Lee Thomas Miller (R) is also considering getting in the race.

State & Local:

FL-Gov: Billionaire real-estate investor Jeff Greene is considering joining the race for the Democratic nomination for governor. Greene has run for office before, finishing 2nd in the 2010 Democratic primary for US Senate. No candidate has really caught fire with Democratic voters yet-a poll last month showed 44 % of Democrats undecided while wealthy trail attorney John Morgan, who is not yet running lead the named candidates with 23%. Former Rep. Gwen Graham (D) led the declared candidates with 16% with Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and businessman Chris King in single digits. Recognizing this, Greene doesn’t feel rushed to make a decision soon.

IL-AG: Jesse Ruiz, an attorney and former chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education is joining the Democratic field for Attorney General. He joins state Sen. Kwame Raoul (D), state Rep. Scott Drury (D) and Sharon Fairly, former head of Chicago’s police oversight agency in the Democratic primary. Former Miss America and congressional candidate Erika Harold is running on the Republican side. Current AG Lisa Madigan (D) is retiring.

RI-AG: State Rep. Robert Craven (D) has announced he will not run for Attorney General. This may clear the Democratic field for former US Attorney Peter Neronha, the only announced candidate so far. Current AG Peter Kilmartin (D) is term limited.

WI-LG: Former state Rep. Mandela Barnes (D) is “strongly considering” getting into the Democratic race for Lieutenant Governor. Barnes is the first prominent Democrat to express a run for the office. Political newcomer Robert Louis Slamka is currently the only Democrat to file to run for LG.

International:

New Zealand: New Zealand First Party leader Winston Peters has made his choice, and he will take his party into coalition with Labour, bringing Labour into government for the first time since 2008. 37 year old Jacinda Ardern will be the new prime minister. NZ First will be a formal coalition partner with Labour, while the Greens will have a confidence and supply agreement with them. This is despite National winning the most votes and the most seats, meaning that for the first time since New Zealand went to the mixed-member proportional system in 1996, the party that won the most votes and seats will not be in the government. National had their vote share cut and their seat total reduced by 2 after special votes were counted a couple of weeks after the September election, but National still held 56 seats, more than the 54 seats combined between Labour and the Greens. Labour-NZ First and the Greens will have 63 seats, while National and ACT New Zealand will have 57 seats.

Political Roundup for October 16, 2017

Over the weekend, for LA-Treasurer, Derrick Edwards (D) and John Schroeder (R) advanced. As Republicans took ~2/3 of the vote and Edwards is not running a serious campaign, Schroeder is the prohibitive favorite in the mid-November runoff (as an aside, check out Miles Coleman’s MAP of the results) For LA-PSC-2, RINO surgeon Craig Greene won outright. In New Orleans, Cantrell (D) and Charbonnet (D) advanced. Finally, for LA-LD-58, Brass (D) won outright, while in LA-LD-77, Manness (R) and Wright (R) advanced. In Austria, Sebastian Kurz of the center-right OVP won about a third of the vote, outpacing the nationalist FPO and social-democratic SPO. It’s uncertain which of the FPO or SPO will join the OVP in coalition. In Kyrgyzstan, the candidate of the incumbent government, Soroonbai Jeenbekov, won the presidency without a runoff.

Senate:

CA-Sen: State Senate President Kevin DeLeon (D) will challenge Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) from the left.  DeLeon and Feinstein are well-positioned to advance to the general election, but defeating the popular and long-serving incumbent from the left in a general election among all voters (including Republicans) seems quite the tall order.

MO-Sen, MO-Aud: State Rep. Paul Curtman (R), who had been running a little-noticed Senate campaign, will instead drop out and explore a run for Auditor. AG Josh Hawley (R) entered the race last week and looks like the prohibitive GOP primary favorite to take on vulnerable Sen. Claire McCaskill (D). Appointed incumbent Auditor Nicole Galloway (D) has somewhat strangely so far not attracted serious GOP opposition.

MT-Sen: Judge Russell Fagg (R) has become the latest candidate into the primary to take on Sen. Jon Tester (D). Fagg joins front-running State Auditor (Insurance Commissioner) Matt Rosendale (R), State Sen. Al Olzewski (R), and storage company exec Troy Downing (R).

ND-Sen: Ex-Rep. and 2012 nominee Rick Berg (R) is considering a rematch with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D), who upset him for the open seat in 2012. As Berg’s last campaign was considered deeply subpar there isn’t a whole lot of enthusiasm for a comeback bid. State Sen. Tom Campbell (R) is in the race, while Rep. Kevin Cramer (R) and State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt (R) are thought to still be considering runs.

Governor:

AL-Gov: As expected, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox (D) will enter the primary for Governor. Maddox, who is considered a rising star, will face opposition from ex-State Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb (D) in the Dem primary. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) is facing a crowded field of primary opponents, most notably Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle (R), who raised over $1M in the month of September.

AZ-Gov: In what looks like as clear-cut a case of sour grapes as it gets, former Ducey administration official Tim Jeffries (R) is considering a primary run against his former boss, Gov. Doug Ducey (R). Jeffries was ousted from his state cabinet post last year amid reports of improper firing of employees and misuse of state resources. Jeffries seems unlikely to be a serious threat to Ducey in the primary.

ID-Gov: The Kootenai County GOP committee has passed a resolution blasting developer and gubernatorial candidate Tommy Ahlquist (R) for his donations to Democrats. Ahlquist notably donated to 2014 Dem gubernatorial nominee AJ Balukoff (D); he says the donation was because Balukoff was a personal friend but he voted for his rival, Gov. Butch Otter (R). Ahlquist is running as something of a moderate third wheel in this primary between LG Brad Little (R), the candidate of the IDGOP’s establishment, socially-conservative faction, and Rep. Raul Labrador (R), the candidate of the IDGOP’s antiestablishment, fiscally-conservative faction. Ironically, Ahlquist could wind up facing Balukoff if he wins the GOP primary, as Balukoff is thought to be considering a second run.

IL-Gov, IL-LG: State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R), of DuPage County in the Chicago suburbs, is considering a challenge to Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) in the GOP primary after Rauner signed an abortion-funding bill. Ives would be at a massive fundraising disadvantage to Rauner but could win the primary on grassroots enthusiasm. Should she make it to the general though, the conservative Ives would have little chance in the general in the deep-blue state. Across the aisle, local superintendent Bob Daiber (D) announced his LG choice, social worker Jonathan Todd (D). Daiber is the last of the four serious Dem contenders to pick a running mate.

KS-Gov: 2014 Senate candidate Greg Orman (I) is considering a run for Governor, once again as an Independent. The decision would be very good news for Republicans. Orman did surprisingly well in 2014 as the de facto Democrat in the Senate race. But running as an Indie in a race where there is likely to be a credible Democrat would likely mean a split in the center and center-left vote that would hand an easy win to the GOP nominee by way of the state’s large conservative base. Both Republicans and Democrats have crowded fields here.

ME-Gov: Sen. Susan Collins (R) will not run for Governor. Though Collins would have likely been a strong front-runner for the Governorship, she is likely to stay a more key national figure as a swing vote in the Senate. This decision also removes (for now) the prospect of a difficult GOP hold for this Senate seat in 2020 without Collins, though it does lower Republicans’ odds of retaining the Governorship. The GOP primary currently consists of State Sen. Garrett Mason (R), State Rep. Ken Fredette (R), and LePage administration official Mary Mayhew (R). A fourth candidate may enter soon, as businessman and 2010 Indie candidate Shawn Moody (R) has joined the GOP and is exploring a run as well. Democrats have an even more crowded field and three credible Indies are also running.

MN-Gov, MN-LG: Rep. Tim Walz (D) has picked State Rep. Peggy Flanagan (D) as his running mate. Walz is so far considered the slight front-runner for the DFL endorsement, but he faces a crowded field of Auditor Rebecca Otto (D), St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman (D), and State Reps. Erin Murphy (D), Tina Leibling (D), and Paul Thissen (D). Walz is the first candidate on either side to commit to an LG pick.

OR-Gov: Happy Valley mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R), who narrowly lost a State House race last year, will not run for Governor. Chavez-DeRemer was the last major GOP candidate still exploring the race. Her exit likely means that State Rep. Knute Buehler (R) will not face serious primary opposition for the right to take on Gov. Kate Brown (D).

PA-Gov: Well-connected attorney Laura Ellsworth (R) will seek the GOP nomination to take on Gov. Tom Wolf (R). Ellsworth, a partner at the high-powered Jones Day mega-law firm, could potentially be an establishment choice in the primary against antiestablishment-leaning State Sen. Scott Wagner (R), though she will likely have to contend for that niche with businessman Paul Mango (R).

SC-Gov: A second Democrat has entered this race. Consultant and nonprofit exec Phil Noble (D), who ran a Democratic primary campaign for LG in 1994, will take on State Rep. James Smith (D) in the Democratic primary. Incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster (R) faces Haley admin official Catherine Templeton (R), LG Kevin Bryant (R), and ex-LG Yancey McGill (R) in the GOP primary.

TX-Gov: Democrats have a slightly more credible prospect to take on popular Gov. Greg Abbott (R), as ex-Balch Springs (pop. 25K) mayor Cedrick Davis (D) will run for Governor. Former mayor of a smallish Dallas slumburb would ordinarily not be a credible candidate resume in a state as big as Texas. However, Democrats are running out of options in this race with the filing deadline under two months away, so there’s a chance Davis may get a serious look. The only other candidate in the race besides Davis is gay-bar owner Jeffrey Payne (D).

WI-Gov: Ex-WIDP chair Matt Flynn (D) is the latest candidate into this increasingly crowded primary to take on Gov. Scott Walker (R). Flynn joins State Superintendent Tony Evers (D), State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D), State Rep. Dana Wachs (D), businessman Andy Gronik (D), and nonprofit exec Mike McCabe (D) in the race.

House:

CA-7: Physician Yona Barash (R), a Holocaust survivor as an infant who later immigrated to the US from Israel, is running against Rep. Ami Bera (D). Bera has won a string of hard-fought victories over credible GOP candidates in this light-blue suburban Sacramento seat.

IN-2: Healthcare executive Mel Hall (D) will run for this medium-red seat, giving Democrats a credible candidate to take on Rep. Jackie Walorski (R). This seat has trended strongly right in the last decade but might be still be in play in a Democratic wave.

MA-9: Convenience store executive Peter Tedeschi (R), who ran the large regional Tedeschi’s convenience store chain before selling it to 7-eleven, is running for Congress and will announce later this month. The district isn’t specified but it’s almost certainly the light-blue Cape Cod and South Shore/South Coast MA-9 of Rep. Bill Keating (D). Tedeschi seems a solid candidate and Gov. Charlie Baker (R) will almost certainly carry the seat, but defeating an incumbent Democrat in Massachusetts (for any office) is all but impossible, so this is likely to be an uphill race.

MI-6: George Franklin (D), a former university regent and lobbyist for Kellogg’s cereal, will run for this light-red southwest Michigan seat. Longtime incumbent Fred Upton (R) has been popular in the district, but he is currently considering a run for Senate, which would make this race a high-level Dem pickup opportunity if open.

MI-11: Plymouth Twp. supervisor and ex-State Rep. Kurt Heise (R) has announced a bid for this light-red suburban Detroit open seat. Heise joins State Rep. Klint Kesto (R), ex-State Rep. Rocky Raczkowski (R), and businesswoman Lena Epstein (R) in the GOP primary; Dems also have a crowded field.

NY-1: Suffolk County commissioner Kate Browning (D) is running for the House seat of Rep. Lee Zeldin (R). Browning, an Irish immigrant with ties to the union-backed Working Families party, is likely to be the Dem establishment choice for this light-red eastern Long Island seat.

PA-18: Westmoreland County commissioner Gina Cerilli (D) has thrown her hat into the ring, joining ex-Allegheny County commissioner Mike Crossey (D) and Bush 43 admin official Pam Iovino (D) (yes, you read that right – it was a cross-party appointment) in the race for the Dem endorsement. The GOP also has a trio of candidates, State Sens. Kim Ward (R) and Guy Reschenthaler (R) and State Rep. Rick Saccone (R). The special election to replace Rep. Tim Murphy (R) in this medium-red south suburban Pittsburgh seat has not been scheduled but is likely to be early next year.

TN-7: Songwriter Lee Thomas Miller (R) is considering a run for this deep-red open seat. Miller has written songs for country stars Garth Brooks and Brad Paisley, among others. He also hails from the wealthy and high-turnout suburban Williamson County portion of the district. Miller is the first candidate to express interest in taking on the only declared candidate for this seat, State Sen. Mark Green (R). For his part, Green received an endorsement from the Club for Growth, potentially giving him a fundraising boost.

State Offices:

CT-Treas: Investor Thad Gray (R) is running for State Treasurer, becoming the first candidate into this race. Incumbent Denise Nappier (D) has not indicated her plans but is thought to be considering retirement; she won by a smaller-than-expected margin in 2014.

DE-Aud: Ex-State Rep. Dennis Williams (D), who lost primaries for his seat in 2014 and 2016, will run for State Auditor. 7-term incumbent Tom Wagner (R), one of two statewide elected Rs in Delaware, has not yet declared whether he will run again.

FL-AG: In what might be a record for shortest exploratory phase of a campaign, State Rep. Frank White (R) of Pensacola filed to run for AG last Friday – less than 24 hours after publicly declaring he was exploring the race. White joins front-running retired judge Ashley Moody (R) and State Rep. Jay Fant (R) in the primary. Little-known attorney Ryan Torrens (D) is to date the only Dem in the race.

ID-LG: State Sen. Bob Nonini (R) is the latest candidate into this supremely crowded open-seat primary field. Nonini, who hails from the northern panhandle, joins fellow State Sen. Marv Hagedorn (R), State Rep. Kelley Packer (R), ex-State Rep. Janice McGeachin (R), and ex-IDGOP Chairman Steve Yates (R). Incumbent Brad Little (R) is running for Governor.

IL-AG: Kane County DA Joe McMahon (R) is considering a run for AG. McMahon has name recognition from his tenure as DA in a large suburban county and his serving as a special prosecutor in the Lacquan Macdonald police shooting incident. However, he would likely face an uphill run in the GOP primary, as former congressional candidate Erika Harold (R) has already sewn up most of the GOP establishment’s support. Across the aisle, parks commissioner Jesse Ruiz (D) is seen as likely to become the fourth candidate in this field, joining State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D), State Rep. Scott Drury (D), and Chicago city official Sharon Fairley (D).

IL-SoS: Grundy County DA Jason Helland (R) will run for Secretary of State, giving Republicans a credible candidate for this seat. Popular incumbent Jesse White (D) has said he will be seeking a sixth term and would be a prohibitive favorite if he runs, but there are rumors that White may pull a late retirement to try and clear the field for a hand-picked successor.

KS-Ins Comm: Ex-State Sen. and 2014 candidate Clark Shultz (R), who currently serves as the department’s #2 official, is preparing to make a second run for Insurance Commissioner. Shultz came in a very close third (by 4%) in the 2014 primary and would likely start a second bid as the front-runner for the seat. However, he left the door open to dropping out of the race should his boss, incumbent Ken Selzer (R), drop his bid for Governor and seek re-election. No other candidates have as yet declared interest in this seat.

NE-Treas: 2017 Omaha Mayoral candidate Taylor Royal (R), a twenty-something accountant who ran a quixotic self-funded bid based on bringing an NFL team to Omaha, will run for State Treasurer. Royal also notched a surprising endorsement from the woman he unsuccessfully tried to oust, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert (R). He joins State Sen. John Murante (R), who has the endorsement of Gov. Pete Ricketts (R), in the primary for this open seat.

Local Races:

Atlanta-Mayor: City councilwoman Keisha Lance-Bottoms (D) has notched a big endorsement from incumbent Kasim Reed (D). Lance-Bottoms is the closest candidate in the crowded field to Reed, so the move is no surprise; however, Reed’s support could help her stand out. Lance-Bottoms is in a tight race for the second runoff spot in this race; a number of liberal candidates are vying to advance to a December runoff with moderate councilwoman and 2009 candidate Mary Norwood (I).

Phoenix-Mayor: A pair of city councilors have thrown their hats into the ring for next year’s special election. Daniel Valenzuela (D) and Kate Gallego (D), ex-wife of US Rep. Ruben (D), have both declared their candidacies. Incumbent Greg Stanton (D) will need to resign next year to run for the AZ-9 seat of Rep. and Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema (D).

Prince George’s, MD-CE: Ex-Rep. Donna Edwards (D), who lost a US Senate primary in 2016, is trying for a comeback in a run for the open PG County Executive seat. Edwards starts with the highest name recognition in a field including DA Angela Alsobrooks (D), DINO State Sen. Anthony Muse (D), and Obama Admin official Paul Monteiro (D). However, Edwards has never been on great terms with the area’s Democratic establishment, which could be problematic if they coalesce around one of her rivals.

Shelby, TN-CE: State Sen. Lee Harris (D) is running for the County Executive post in Shelby County, covering Memphis. He joins ex-county commissioner Sidney Chism (D) in the primary. Shelby County is deep-blue but the GOP has had high levels of success countywide;  Three credible Republicans are running in County Trustee David Lenoir (R), Court Clerk Joy Touliatos (R), and County Commissioner Terry Roland (R).

Political Roundup for October 12th, 2017

Check back at 3p ET this afternoon for our preview of this weekend’s Louisiana Primaries.

President

Murphy: Alas, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) will go on raising money off gun control and not run for President. Of course this early is like the beginning of a spy movie where you have to trust nobody because the premise sets up people going back on their word.

Senate

CA-Sen: Billionaire environmentalist financier Tom Steyer (D) is looking at a challenge of Sen. Diane Feinstein from the left. California’s top-two primary opens the door to these kind of intra-party challenges destined to take place among a general election electorate. Meanwhile, far-left Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA-13) has declined to run for Senate against Dianne Feinstein, an institution in California politics, despite the urging of fellow Rep. Rho Khanna. State Sen. Kevin de Leon (D) also looks like a no at a campaign against Feinstein from the left. Feinstein has already racked up endorsements from a wide range of Democratic officials since announcing her reelection on Monday, including LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and Sen. Kamala Harris.

AL-Sen: Roy Moore (R) previously said he drew no salary from his work with his charity “The Foundation for Moral Law;” however, he collected over $1 million from the organization over five years. Incredibly, when the organization couldn’t afford the salary they gave him a stake in a historic building they own. The organization also had two of his children on the payroll at one point. Moore faces former US Attorney Doug Jones (D) in this special election.

NJ-Sen: Sen. Bob Menendez (D) may yet squirm out of his dicey legal situation.

Governor

MI-Gov: State Sen. Pat Colbeck (R) has been stripped of all his committee assignments since launching a gubernatorial bid. Apparently the harsh move was in response to Colbeck appearing at a fundraiser in Senate Majority Leader Arian Meekhof’s district without notifying the rival politician. Seems like a minor faux pas compared to the severity of the response. Colbeck is running to the right in this race and will likely be overshadowed in the Republican primary by Attorney General Bill Schuette and the possible bid of Lieutenant Gov. Brian Calley.

TN-Gov: After the House passed her budget bill, Rep. Diane Black (R) can take a victory lap and focus on her gubernatorial bid in this open seat. She is holding onto her committee chairmanship as budget negotiations continue with the Senate.

House

PA-13: Rep. Brendan Boyle (D) suddenly became many Republicans’ favorite congressman when he recently opined on the sport of soccer. “Run around for 90 minutes.
Flop when barely touched. Score 1 goal at most. Do I got it?,” Boyle tweeted, adding a winky face before he concluded the diatribe.

MN-8: Rep. Rick Nolan (DFL) is on the receiving end of a primary challenge from FBI counterterrorism analyst Leah Phifer. Phifer doesn’t sound overtly liberal on a lot of issues, but she is on one key issue in the 8th: the Polymet mining project. Nolan is liberal, but even he is not brazen enough to vote that far against his district. Phifer’s take on this issue could drive a nice wedge in the primary, and the race already has Green Skip Sandman returning for a repeat third party campaign to split those votes in the general. St Louis County Commissioner Pete Stauber (R) is running on the Republican side in this swingy, Lean D seat. More from Aaron Brown.

NH-1: John DiStaso analyzes the newly open swing seat here, where real political junkies were starved of another Guinta v Shea-Porter matchup. Democrats interested in the seat include: former Somersworth mayor and former Strafford County attorney Lincoln Soldati and Rochester City Attorney Terence O’Rourke, Executive Councilor Chris Pappas (D), and State Reps. Mark McKenzie (D) and Mindi Messmer (D).

NH-2: State Rep. Steve Negron (R) has picked up some legislative endorsements out of Nashua, which makes it sound like the outcome of his “exploring” this race is pretty likely.

State and Local

MI-Leg: Former State Rep. and felon Brian Banks (D)just resigned his seat last February over his latest charges, so naturally he is now…. running for a promotion to State Senate? Some politicians have some grand audacity.

TX-leg: A few updates.

  • HD-128: State Rep. Briscoe Cain received a boost to his reelection when Black Lives Matter shut down a speech of his at Texas Southern University, giving the conservative facing a Republican primary challenge from Baytown City Councilman Terry Sain a nice bogeyman to campaign against.
  • SD-13: State Sen. Borris Miles(D) survived an armed robbery last night.
  • HD-6: House leadership may have found a candidate to take on Freedom Caucus member Matt Schaefer in former State Rep. Ted Kamel of Tyler.

NH-Leg: Gov. Sununu (R) plans to nominate Speaker Shawn Jasper (R) to be the Commissioner of Agriculture, leaving a gaping hole for House leadership. Jasper would resign once confirmed for the post. Remember, Jasper has dueled a conservative insurgency since usurping his present post, so the move is sure to create a competitive race for a replacement.

Political Roundup for October 11th, 2017

After President Trump singlehandedly redefined the IQ bell curve yesterday in proving his vast intellectual superiority to Rex Tillerson, Mensa proudly folded up its operations. It had a good run, but the defunct organization knows the country is in the most capable hands.

Last night, Republicans held FL-LD-44, while the following combinations advanced in mayoral elections in North Carolina:
Raleigh: Nancy McFarlane (I) 49 – Charles Francis (D) 37
Greensboro: Nancy Vaughan (D) 61 – Diane Moffett (D) 22
Durham: Steve Schewel (D) 51 – Farad Ali (D) 29
Fayetteville: Mitch Colvin (D) 45 – Nat Robertson (R) 32

President/Miscellaneous

Duh: The failing New York Times shares the obvious: ultra mature President Donald Trump’s super not petty and totally provoked fight with outgoing US Senator and Liddle Man Bob Corker (R) isn’t endangering his legislative agenda.

Big, Beautiful Wall: Speaking of the American Great Wall… According to the very dishonest AP, many people are saying that they don’t like the Donald’s proposed wall. They also disapprove of his plan to deport the “dreamers.”

Chicago Demographics: According to The Economist, without the Big, Beautiful Wall soon to Make America Great Again, Hispanics have eclipsed African-Americans to become Chicago’s second-largest ethnic group. Until recently, they were long ignored by the C[r]ook County Democratic machine.

God’s Waiting Room: The Wall Street Journal reports that real estate developers are looking to shake Boca Raton, Florida’s reputation as “God’s waiting room.” Given the perennial swing state’s very troubling age gap, these sorts of things are always worth keeping an eye on, especially when they reflect potential larger trends.

Russians and Fake News: The New York Times highlights the ingenious method by which clever, Russian-run accounts fanned the flames of controversy on both sides in 2016: anger. This quote really says it best: “One of the most powerful weapons that Russian agents used to reshape American politics was the anger, passion, and misinformation that real Americans were broadcasting across social media platforms.”

GA-Redistrict: Sore loser and ex-US AG Eric Holder has filed a lawsuit against Georgia’s mid-decade redraw of its State House districts because…if Section 5 were in effect, he believes that preclearance would have been denied. Yes, really. Sad!

Congress

2018 Senate Cycle: According to Politico, some Democrats have begun to believe they can win the US Senate. The article points out, however, that the map is still very unfavorable. Even if Jabba the Hutt Steve Bannon’s deplorables succeed in their primary challenges, most will still win their generals.

AL-Sen: Former US Attorney Doug Jones (D) has released his first TV ad ahead of his matchup with Goliath Roy Moore (R). In his intro spot, Jones attacks the dysfunction in Washington and casts himself as a pragmatist who will cross party lines to accomplish something. Considering the “burn it all down” mentality of the Republican primary voters who supported God’s Gift to the World, Jones’ is sure to be the best possible strategy…

CA-Sen/Democrats: After ancient US Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D) surprise re-election announcement, Politico highlights the rift among the California Democrats. The Democratic establishment, including US Senator Kamala Harris, back Feinstein. Yet, bold progressives like Congressmen Ro Khanna and Ted Liu are trying to get Congresswoman Barbara Lee or Robert Reich to challenge Feinstein.

WA-08: Seattle’s Crosscut, one of the best local news sites in America, breaks down State Senator Dino Rossi’s (R) likely uphill battle to keep Washington’s ever-changing 8th district in GOP hands.

The States

IL-AG: Former state and federal prosecutor Sharon Fairley has just filed for AG. In pressing responsibilities for a state prosecutor, the courageous candidate pledges to be a constant thorn in POTUS’ side. Fairley joins State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D) and State Rep. Scott Drury (D) in the primary race; a fourth possible Dem, McHenry CE Jack Franks (D), announced yesterday he would not run.

California First: The New York Times looks back at California’s Prop 187. Like some of the hardline immigration policies being pushed now, the referendum polled well in 1994. However, the article explains something we know all too well: Prop 187 ultimately destroyed the CA-GOP as demographics shifted. But, surely, things will be different this time!

TX-Gov: Greg Abbott, with or without an opponent, is looking to increase his support among Wise Latinas/os.

VA-Gov: Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) plans to campaign for Low Energy Ralph Northam (D) in Virginia this weekend.

Places where Donald Trump isn’t President

Catalan Independence: Despite some controversy surrounding the Spanish province’s independence vote, Catalan President Carles Puigdemont wasted no time in signing a declaration of independence from Spain.

Political Roundup for September 18, 2017

Senate:

AL-Sen: Plenty of movement over the weekend in this race, a week ahead of the primary runoff. Trump has announced he will go to Alabama to do a rally for appointed incumbent Luther Strange (R), a big get for Strange in a race where both candidates have been fighting to be tied as closely as possible to the President. Strange also picked up the endorsement of his senior colleague, Sen. Richard Shelby (R). However, Strange’s rival, ex-State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R), nabbed a big get of his own in Rep. Mo Brooks (R). Brooks, who came in third in the primary, was largely expected to endorse Moore after his own bid was derailed by Strange’s sustained negative ad barrage. This now means that both major eliminated candidates from the first round, Brooks and State Sen. Trip Pittman (R), have picked Moore for the runoff; the three combined to take some 2/3 of the vote in the first round. Moore has led in all polls of this race, though by dramatically varying margins; the primary winner will face ex-US Attorney Doug Jones (D) in a December general.

CA-Sen: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) is non-committal on running for a fifth full term in 2018. Feinstein has previously indicated she will run again, so the new statement could be opening the door to a retirement. AG Xavier Becerra (D) and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) have been mentioned as potential candidates for an open seat.

FL-Sen: Gov. Rick Scott (R) has received praise for his handling of Hurricane Irma, which could be a positive in his likely run against Sen. Bill Nelson (D). The article has a good recap of Scott’s efforts at Hurricane relief and their potential political impact.

OH-Sen: Author JD Vance (R) will not run for Senate. Vance wrote a well-received tome about his childhood in a lower-middle-class Cincinnati exurb as a reflection on Appalachian culture; he has been working the rubber-chicken circuit for several months and could have been a formidable contender if he entered. Front-running State Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) and Kasich-backed investor Mike Gibbons (R) look likely to be the only major candidates in the primary to take on Sen. Sherrod Brown (D).

Governor:

GA-Gov: Consulting company executive and former SEAL Clay Tippins (R) has filed to enter the race. It’s too early to tell how serious Tippins will be, but he could have the profile to be a credible contender in the crowded primary field. LG Casey Cagle (R), SoS Brian Kemp (R), and State Sens. Hunter Hill (R) and Michael Williams (R) are already in the race. State Reps. Stacey Abrams (D) and Stacey Evans (D) are in the race on the D side.

MA-Gov: Barnstable County Commissioner (side note: this is an office with far less power in MA than in other states, as some MA counties have no government at all and the rest have very limited functions) Ronald Beaty Jr. (R) is considering a primary challenge against Gov. Charlie Baker (R). Beaty served time in the early 90s for making death threats to prominent elected officials and has been notable in office for a plan to kill sharks – needless to say, he doesn’t seem like a very serious candidate.

MI-Gov: Trump dropped a somewhat unexpected endorsement in this race over the weekend, quickly endorsing AG Bill Schuette’s (R) bid (and spelling his name wrong in the process). The endorsement could be a major boost to Schuette as he faces a crowded primary; State Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R) and physician Jim Hines (R) are already in the race, and LG Brian Calley (who rescinded his Trump endorsement in the fall of 2016) is expected to enter as well.

NJ-Gov: Another Q poll shows this race as a total snoozer, with former Goldman Sachs exec and ambassador Phil Murphy (D) leading LG Kim Guadagno (R) by a whopping 58-33 margin.

House:

CA-24: Michael Woody (R), who served one term as a Fresno councilman in the 90s before an unsuccessful mayoral run, is running for this medium-blue Central Coast seat against Rep. Salud Carbajal (D). 2016 nominee Justin Fareed (R) is considering another run and would likely be the front-runner on the GOP side if he ran.

CO-4, CO-AG: Rep. Ken Buck (R) has said he will likely not give up his seat to run for AG if incumbent Cynthia Coffman (R) vacates the office. Coffman has still not decided whether to run for a second term or give up her seat to try for the gubernatorial office; Buck would have likely been the strong front-runner for the GOP nomination if he ran for an open seat.

IL-11: STEL-LA! Nick Stella (R), a cardiologist who narrowly lost the 2016 primary, is mounting a second bid for the seat of Rep. Bill Foster (D). This Joliet and Aurora based seat is deep-blue, but its Democrats here have been low turnout in midterms. Stella looks likely to be the primary front-runner this time.

NV-3: Nonprofit exec and 2016 NV-4 candidate Susie Lee (D) is running for this open seat. Lee, a charity executive with self-funding ability, was heavily recruited to run for this seat in 2016. Instead, she made the bad decision to try for the bluer 4th on the other side of the Las Vegas metro area instead. Lee then lost the NV-4 primary to Ruben Kihuen (D), while Democrats’ backup choice for the 3rd, now-Rep. Jacky Rosen (D), prevailed there. Lee looks likely to get a second chance though, as no prominent Democrats have entered the open seat race; thus, Lee could still secure machine backing for this race. State Sen. Scott Hammond (R), ex-State Rep. Victoria Seaman (R), and ex-Clark County GOP chair David McKeon (R) are in the race for this purple southern Las Vegas area seat on the GOP side.

NY-11: Ex-Rep. Michael Grimm (R) really is set to pull the trigger on a run to get his old Staten Island House seat back. Grimm, who was forced out by a conviction on some minor business violations, is set to primary his replacement, Rep. Dan Donovan (R), from the right. Due to his criminal record and Donovan’s strong support in the local establishment, Grimm’s campaign seems unlikely to gain much traction in the primary. However, he could still cause problems for Donovan in the general; Grimm is closely-tied to the leaders of the local Conservative party, meaning he could continue on to the general election and split the Republican vote in this medium-red seat. Democrats thus far do not have any credible candidates exploring this race, as Donovan was considered a good fit for this seat. But Grimm’s challenge may open the door for a more serious Dem to emerge.

PA-15: Northampton DA John Morganelli (D) is considering a run for this light-red open seat. Morganelli, who has lost several runs for AG but is well-known and has strong appeal in the Lehigh Valley, could easily be Democrats’ establishment choice for the race. Two other lesser-known Dems, ex-Lehigh County commissioner Bill Leiner (D) and pastor Greg Edwards (D), are in the race already. State Reps. Justin Simmons (R) and Ryan Mackenzie (R) are running on the GOP side.

TX-27: Ex-Victoria County GOP chair Mike Cloud (R) is exploring a run against Rep. Blake Farenthold (R) in the primary. Farenthold has had some minor issues but has not been seriously challenged for his Corpus Christi area seat since winning it in 2010. Cloud’s bid against Farenthold may be complicated (or, alternatively, may benefit) by a change in the district; this seat may be re-redistricted if SCOTUS affirms a decision striking it down.

UT-3: A Dan Jones poll of this November’s special election shows Provo Mayor John Curtis (R) cruising as expected in this deep-red seat, leading physician Kathie Allen (D) 50-20. Jim Bennett (I), son of ex-US Sen. Bob (R), is polling at 6%, just barely missing the cutoff for a televised debate.

State & Local:

IL-AG: In a major surprise, AG Lisa Madigan (D) will not seek a fifth term; Madigan has also intimated that she is not planning to run for any other office, including Governor or Mayor of Chicago. Madigan long transparently harbored Gubernatorial aspirations, but she declared in 2014 that she would not run so long as her father, State Dictator House Speaker Mike (D), remained as the most powerful man in state Government. It looks like Lisa has gotten tired of waiting and decided to cash out.

MN-AG: One Democrat is in and one is out of this race. State Rep. John Lesch (D) has dropped out of the race, saying that AG Lori Swanson’s (D) continued deliberations on whether or not to run for Governor make the run too much of an uncertain prospect; however, Lesch was also recently fined $20K for campaign finance violations. However, attorney and Dem operative Matt Pelikan (D) has entered the race in his stead. Pelikan, who has worked on several prominent campaigns, joins State Rep. Debra Hillstrom (D) and ex-State Rep. Ryan Winkler (D) in the race – though all have left the door open to dropping out should Swanson run again. Republicans have two candidates in ex-State Rep. Doug Wardlow (R) and attorney Harry Niska (R).

NV-SoS: Reno Councilman Oscar Delgado (D) will not run for SoS against incumbent Barbara Cegavske (R), sending Democrats back to the drawing board in this race.

Buffalo-Mayor: After losing the Democratic primary last week, city comptroller Mark Schroeder (D) is undecided about continuing on to a general election against incumbent Byron Brown (D) on the Reform Party line. Schroeder, a moderate Democrat, could be a credible threat to Brown in the general as he would be a logical home for the votes of the city’s GOP minority – which could form a winning coalition when paired with Schroeder’s roughly third of the Dem primary vote.

FL-SD-40: Gov. Rick Scott (R) has denied Democrats’ request to move the election date for this suburban Miami Senate seat due to widespread power outages in the district following Hurricane Irma. The hotly contested race for the R-held, Dem-leaning, but Cuban-machine-friendly seat, between State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz (R) and perennial candidate Annette Taddeo-Goldstein (D), is proceeding as scheduled one week from tomorrow.

Political Roundup for July 19, 2017

Polling Update: RRHelections is planning to poll the Republican special election primary for US Senate in Alabama and we need your help to make it happen! Unlike any other organization or news source our polls are funded by crowdsourced donations and put together by volunteer political junkies for political junkies. If you would like to help make this poll happen please go to https://www.paypal.me/RedRacingHorses and donate to our polling fund to be a part of this effort and to help make this happen!

Last night in RI-SD-13, Attorney Dawn Euer (D) won the Dem primary for this blue seat. In Bermuda, the center-left PLP took over from the center-right OBA, winning 2/3 of the seats in parliament.

President:

Trump: PPP has polled the 2020 Presidential race. They find Trump trailing all Democrat challengers: Trump 39% to Biden 54%; Trump 39% to Sanders 52%; Trump 42% to Warren 49%; Trump 40% to Booker 45%; Trump 40% to Harris 41% and Trump 40% to Zuckerberg 40%. Sadly PPP did not test the man most likely to be Trump’s 2020 Democratic opponent so we don’t know how Kanye West would fare vs Trump if the election was held today. Please remember this is a PPP poll and they gave Democrats an 11-point advantage in partisan registration so salt to taste.

Hillary: The one Democrat who is still more unpopular that Donald Trump is Hillary Clinton. According the the latest Bloomberg National Poll Hillary Clinton has a 39% approval rating which is 2 points lower than the 41% they had President Trump at.

Governor:

Ratings: Morning Consult is out with their Governor’s ratings. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) is America’s most popular Governor with a 71% approval rating. He is followed by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan who sports a 68% approval rating. Newly installed Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has a 64% approval rating. On the other end of the spectrum is America’s favorite beach comer Chris Christie who’s approval rating seems to have improved to 25%.

MI-Gov: Ambulance chaser Mark Bernstein (D) will not run for Michigan governor and urged Democrats to unite behind former state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer’s campaign. Bernstein, who is independently wealthy and well known from his “Call Sam” TV ads, was being recruited by some Democrats to run for Governor. 1998 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Geoffrey Fieger is still considering another run for Governor and we here at RRH hope that the Democrats will unite around him.

NY-Gov: Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has $25.7 million in his campaign account for his 2018 re-election effort. Cuomo raised $5.1 million during the latest filing period between January and mid-July. He spent $1.35 million over that period. But while Cuomo’s cash on hand his going up his poll numbers are going down. Last week’s  Quinnipiac University poll showed that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s poll numbers has plummeted over the last two months. Cuomo’s job performance numbers dropped to a negative 43-55 rating, down from 51-46 in May. Cuomo’s re-elect numbers dropped from 53% in May to 46% now. Cuomo’s drop  in the polls has largely been driven by downstate voters as the Summer of Hell on NYC transit continues to get worst. Gov. Cuomo runs the MTA and voters are starting to blame him for the problems with New York City’s mass transit system.

OH-Gov: It looks like Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Head Richard Cordray (D) might enter the race for governor. His term at the CFPB does not end until July of 2018 and there is some speculation that he might announce his candidacy for governor in September. On the one hand it would be great to get the regulation loving progressive Cordray the heck out of CFPB as soon as possible, on the other he could be the best candidate the Democrats could get for Ohio governor. As of now, the Democratic candidates for governor include former Rep. Betty Sutton , former State Rep. Connie Pillich, State Sen. Joe Schiavone, and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

TX-Gov: Former LGBT “International Mr. Leather” Jeffrey Payne (D) has launched his campaign for Governor vs Gov. Greg Abbott (R). RRH rates TX-Gov as Safe R.

Senate:

AL-Sen: Hoover businessman Dom Gentile (R) ended his campaign for Senate and endorsed Rep. Mo Brooks (R). Gentile’s wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer and he wants to spend more time with her. On the Democrat side Vietnam veteran Brian McGee ended his campaign as well and endorsed former US Attorney Doug Jones.

CA-Sen: If transgender former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner runs for US Senate, Jenner will have the backing Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris Jackson. Jenner’s campaign could be a very unusual one in which Jenner puts together an unusual coalition of support.

MI-Sen: “I believe if you work your butt off and pay taxes, you should be able to easily understand and navigate the laws, tax codes, health care and anything else the government puts in place that affects us all”. This is a platform and a principal that all Republicans should be running and governing on. The fact that Kid Rock is the only one talking about this tells you all you need to know about the current state of American politics and society.

MI-Sen: Detroit businessman, West Point Graduate and Iraq war veteran John James has filed to run for U.S. Senate and has released THIS web video. But since John James was never married to Pamela Anderson no one really seems to care.

MO-Sen: Sources say Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) is expected to start an exploratory committee to run for US Senate vs Sen. Claire McCaskill. Hawley would be the GOP’s marque recruit to run for this Senate seat and leads McCaskill in the last two publicly released polls.

House:

CA-48: Nestle executive Michael Kotick (D) will run for Congress against Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R) next year. The 33 year old Kotick seems like a bit of a some dude and he will join a half a dozen other candidates who have announced they want to challenge Rohrabacher.

MI-6: Another candidate has entered the race for Democratic nomination for the right to lose to face Kate Upton’s uncle Rep. Fred Upton (R). Dr. Matt Longjohn will join Paul Clements, David Benac, Rich Eichholz and Eponine Garrod in seeking the Democrat nomination. Upton beat Clements by 22 points in 2016 and 15.5 points in 2014.

NJ-5: Former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan (R) is being floated as a possible challenger to freshman Democrat Rep. Josh Gottheimer. Lonegan, who is legally blind, gained some fame for his role in the 2003 documentary Anytown USA. Since then Lonegan has lost two GOP primaries for New Jersey Governor, the 2013 Senate special election to Corey Booker and the 2014 GOP primary in the south Jersey based NJ-3. Lonegan is a movement conservative and was an early endorser of Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign.

UT-3: The air wars are starting for this August 15th GOP special election primary. Former Provo Mayor John Curtis (R) released THIS ad of him riding a motorcycle and shooting a hand gun while Chris Herrod (R) has THIS ad attacking chameleons and bragging about his time in Russia. Tanner Ainge (R) intends to release his first ads soon.

State, Local & Other:

MI-Redistricting: A partisan Democrat group masquerading as a good government group called “Voters Not Politicians ” is trying to get a redistricting constitutional amendment on the 2018 Michigan ballot. The groups proposal would establish a 13-member independent citizens commission on which so called “independent voters” would have five members, and the two major parties would each have four. Instead of focusing on non-partisan immovable factors like county lines and other municipal boundaries when drawing districts the new commission would seek to create districts that are politically competitive by gerrymandering district lines across municipal boundaries to achieve a partisan balance different than the ones that naturally occur.

NYC-Mayor: Mayor Bill deBlasio (D) reported raising $428,473 for his re-election bid during the most recent campaign-finance filing period, expanding his cash-on-hand to $2.5 million and his total fund-raising count to $4.9 million. New York City taxpayers will give the Mayor another $536,000 in city matching funds because paying for Bill deBlasio’s campaign TV ads is a much bigger priority for the City than fixing the damn subways. Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, the presumptive Republican nominee, raised nearly $250,000 for the most recent filing period and spent $74,097 during that time. She’s eligible for $134,804 in matching funds and has raised a total of more than $344,000.

NY-Corruption: Former New York State Senate Majority Leader and convicted felon (or did I repeat myself) Dean Skelos (R) still has over $843,301 left in his campaign account which he can use to pay for lawyers to appeal his federal corruption conviction. Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) recently had his corruption conviction overturned and Skelos is hoping to have same luck. In all Skelos has spent more than $1.6 million in campaign contributions on his legal defense.

NY-Corruption: NYC Councilman Ruben Willis (D) flew threw a tantrum during his corruption trial. Willis isn’t a rookie to legal proceedings. When he was elected to the New York City Council he had two arrest warrants out on him for crimes he committed in the 1990s.

Political Roundup for July 17th, 2017

President

Harris: Ambition apparently knows no bounds for America’s favorite multiracial progressive/nullification proponent, Sen. Kamala Harris (D). The very freshman Senator was seen at a meeting in the Hamptons with big-name Democratic donors. The speculation is that she’s thinking about running for President in 2020. But wait, progressives! Don’t let your hearts be too aflutter, because she was meeting with those nefarious Clinton Donors. The corrupting influence of Corporatist Money knows no bounds!

Congress

CA-Sen: Speaking with J-Cats on the New York mogul’s radio show, Olympic gold medalist and reality television star Caitlyn Jenner (R) says that he/she is considering running for the Senate. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) is on retirement watch, so there could be an open seat. Other than that, I’m just kind of speechless on this one.

IN-Sen: I actually feel a bit bad for Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) on this one. Donnelly is selling $50,000 worth of stock in his brother’s arts and crafts company because the ink for the inkpads is made in Mexico. Big Whoop. I know that Indiana has been hard-hit by outsourcing, and this can’t be popular there, but it wouldn’t sink him either. I probably shouldn’t feel too bad for him, though, because with $15,000 in dividends produced on that equity last year, it shouldn’t be hard to sell for an increased price. This will likely come up at some point in his 2018 race, but he’s probably neutralized early.

MO-Sen: The Club for Growth commissioned a poll of a McCaskill-Hawley matchup, and their polling firm found a 46-42 Hawley lead. It should be noted that this is less of a lead for Hawley than he had in a previous poll, but that the 12% who are undecided are mostly right-leaning voters.

PA-Sen: It’s Reporting Season once again, so we’re getting a flurry of fundraising numbers. One of them that caught my eye was that rich guy Jeff Bartos (R) raised over $1 million this quarter in his bid to oust Sen. Bob Casey (D). Barton faces a very uphill climb, and several other Republicans are thinking about entering the race, but it’s not a bad start.

TX-Sen: In a slight surprise, progressive darling Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) has outraised his opponent Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in this year’s second quarter. O’Rourke raised $2.1 million to Cruz’s $1.6 million. However, Cruz quickly sent out an email pointing out that he has $5.7 million in COH. O’Rourke got over $1 million in online donations, largely from small donors. It shouldn’t matter much, though, as long as Cruz doesn’t fall asleep at the wheel. This is Texas, after all.

WV-Sen: The Republican primary to take on Sen. Joe Manchin (D) is already getting nasty. AG Patrick Morrisey (R) is challenging Rep. Evan Jenkins (R) to a series of debates and is questioning the former Democrat’s conservative credentials. Meanwhile, Jenkins is calling Morrisey a former DC lobbyist a ‘profiteer.’ This one will likely get even uglier, folks, so strap in.

PA-06: The NRCC has written a blog post attacking Rep. Ryan Costello’s (R) opponent, Chrissy Houlahan (D). Whoop-di-doo, right? Right, accept that it may reveal a key Republican tactic for 2018. The blog post notes that many Democrats are currently taking stances in favor of single-payer (read: government-run) healthcare and challenges Houlihan to reveal her stance on the issue. It’s a great little bit of ratfucking, because if she comes out against it, she might hurt herself in the Democratic primary, but a stance in favor would almost certainly hurt her in the swingy and affluent Main Line suburbs that comprise the heart of the district. If she’s smart, she’ll attempt to avoid taking a stance on the issue, but who knows? Maybe she or some other Democrat will take the bait.

Governor

TN-Gov: State House Speaker Beth Harrell (R) has officially announced her candidacy for Governor. She joins rich guys Bill Lee and Randy Boyd and state Sen. Mae Beavers in the Republican primary. Rep. Diane Black (R) is also said to be mulling a run of her own. What’s amazing isn’t how many Republicans are running, but that all of them are from Middle Tennessee (as is the only announced Democrat, former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean). There’s a real opening for an East Tennessee Republican, especially since they could easily play a regional dogwhistle game. West Tennessee often feels as if Nashville purposefully neglects it. If someone from East Tennessee could connect with that sentiment, they’d unite two Grand Divisions and be pretty much unstoppable.

TX-Gov: It’s not like anyone was in suspense about it, but Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced his campaign for a second term over the weekend. Somewhat interestingly, he currently has no declared opponents.

WV-Gov: Yes, I’m linking to Hoppy Kercheval twice in one roundup. He’s great. Read his stuff. Anyway, Gov. Jim Justice (D) seems to be having a liquidity problem. Though valued at approximately $1.6 billion, the newly-minted governor owes over $15 million in back taxes in six states through various companies. A lot of the debts are related to coal severance. It’s causing him a few minor headaches now, but he’s still likely to have this problem come his reelection bid in 2020 unless he settles these debts soon.

State/Local

NV-Voting: The Silver State has passed a new bill that expands voting rights for felons. It’s somewhat complicated, but basically it makes eligible for voting restoration about a quarter of the felons released each year. They were not previously eligible due to reasons that were problems, such as unpaid bills or probation violations, but not in and of themselves enough to cause revocation of parole.

Political Roundup for April 7, 2017

Polling Update:  We are currently polling the GA-6 Special Election.  We are still accepting donations and anyone who donates $10 will receive early access to the poll. So please click the big donate button on the top right hand side of the website and donate today!

Senate:

CA-Sen: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) is keeping people guessing as to whether she actually will seek re-election next year. She signaled earlier this year that she was inclined to run again, but in the past when it was unclear whether she would run for an office, she let speculation fly for awhile before ultimately deciding against running, like she did with two speculated runs for governor in 1998 and in the Gov. Gray Davis (D) recall in 2003. She would likely be a shoo-in if she does run again, with her strongest challenge likely from the left than from any Republican-despite being a fairly mainstream liberal, she is still considered too moderate by some in the Democratic Party. Her age is a consideration-she is currently 83 and would be 91 at the end of her next term. If she ultimately does not run, a free for all would likely ensue among Democrats, with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Secretary of State Alex Padilla, State Senate President Kevin de Leon and Rep. Adam Schiff mentioned as possibilities to run.

PA-Sen: Rep. Mike Kelly (R) said in an interview with the Daily Caller on Wednesday that he is looking at challenging Sen. Bob Casey (D) next year. Kelly criticized Casey for opposing Neil Gorsuch, and compared him unfavorably to his father and namesake, former Gov. Bob Casey, Sr. (D). Casey responded by criticizing Kelly for his steadfast support of President Trump.

UT-Sen: Mitt Romney is apparently seriously considering running for US Senate in Utah according to a report from The Atlantic yesterday. He has discussed the possibility with Republican Party officials in Utah and Washington. Romney will not challenge Sen. Orrin Hatch (R), and although Hatch has signaled he plans to run for re-election next year, he also recently said he would consider dropping out if a “really outstanding person” decided to run, mentioning Romney as somebody whom he had in mind.

Governor:

CO-Gov: Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) appears to be a go for governor. He says he will be making an announcement Sunday afternoon-the news release had a “Perlmutter for Colorado” banner on it. He would be the second big name to join the race in a week-Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler (R), announced on Wednesday that he is running.

CT-Gov: Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti (R) is the first person of either party to officially file as a candidate for governor. Lauretti also planned to run in 2014, but dropped out before the primary. He then intended to run for lieutenant governor, but failed to get on the ballot. Also considering running on the Republican side are Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton and Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst. Gov. Dan Malloy (D) has not decided if he will run for re-election, if he doesn’t, state Comptroller Kevin Lembo (D), state Sen.(and Heir Force member) Ted Kennedy, Jr. (D) and Middletown Mayor Dan Drew (D) are considering running.

IL-Gov: Billionaire J.B. Pritzker has joined the increasingly crowded race for the Democratic nomination for governor. Already in the race is businessman and Heir Force member Chris Kennedy(son of Robert), Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar, State Sen. Daniel Biss and Madison County school superintendent Bob Daiber. Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers is also considering the race.

MN-Gov: Rep. Rick Nolan (D) says he is “leaning toward running for governor” next year, possibly putting another big name in the race. Already in the race is fellow Rep. Tim Walz (D), St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman (D), State Auditor Rebecca Otto (D) and State Reps. Tina Liebling (D) and Erin Murphy (D). The Republican race has been much slower to form, with no major announced candidates yet. Nolan says the chances of him running are better than 50/50, but he will decide for sure by the end of the month whether to run.

House:

CA-45: A third Democrat has announced they plan to run against Rep. Mimi Walters (R) next year. Kia Hamadanchy, who served as a legislative aide to Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) until about a month ago, announced yesterday he plans to run. He joins two UC-Irvine law professors, Katie Porter, and David Min, who also announced plans to run this week.

MT-AL: The first real poll of the May 25 special election confirms the conventional wisdom that 2016 gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte (R) is the clear favorite. The poll by Gravis Marketing shows Gianforte up 50-38 on Rob Quist (D).

NM-1: Albuquerque City Councilor Patrick Davis (D) announced on Wednesday that he plans to run for Congress next year. Davis is also head of liberal advocacy organization Progress Now New Mexico. Bernalillo County Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins (D) is also said to be interested in running. Current Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) is planning to run for governor next year.

VA-10: Dorothy McAuliffe (D), wife of Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), is said to be considering running against Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) next year. The McAuliffe’s lived in McLean, in the district before moving to Richmond to live in the governor’s mansion. Although she would have a well-known name and would have connections to big donors, gubernatorial first ladies have a poor track record of being elected to office on their own. Cathy Keating lost in the Republican primary for a special election in OK-1 in 2001, Janet Huckabee (R) lost a race for Arkansas Secretary of State in 2002, Jean Carnahan (D) failed to win election to the Missouri US Senate seat she had been appointed to in place of her late husband who was elected to the seat and Christie Vilsack lost in 2012 as the Democratic nominee for IA-4. An unusual case was Lurleen Wallace (D), who was elected governor of Alabama in 1966 essentially as a stand-in for George Wallace, who was barred by term limits from running for re-election himself.

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