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Political Roundup for December 5th, 2017

Check back at noon today for our preview and open thread for today’s mayoral election in Atlanta. We will start our liveblog at 7pm eastern.

Governor:

ME-Gov: Rep. Chellie Pingree (D) is considering a run for governor in 2018. Pingree has said she will decide by the end of the month whether to enter the race to succeed term limited Gov. Paul LePage (R).

MD-Gov, MD-LG: Gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous (D) has picked former Maryland Democrat chair Susan Turnbull as his running mate. Jealous is facing Baltimore CE Kevin Kamenetz (D), Prince George’s CE Rushern Baker (D), State Sen. Rich Maladeno (D), and others in the primary to take on popular Gov. Larry Hogan (R).

OH-Gov: Richard Cordray (D) will announce his candidacy for Governor today in his hometown of Grove City, OH. This comes as a complete shock to us because based on his blatant politicization of the CFPB we had assumed Cordray had been running for governor for some time. Luckily for Cordray the Governor of Ohio doesn’t get to handpick his successor on his last day in office. That is a power Cordray believes should only be saved for unelected directors of powerful and unaccountable bureaucratic federal agencies.

SC-Gov, SC-LG: Businessman John Warren (R) is considering a run for governor. If he runs Warren would be the fifth Republican in the race joining incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster, former Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill , Catherine Templeton and Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant. Meanwhile, McMaster has chosen upstate Some Dudette businesswoman Pamela Evette (R) as his running mate; the state is switching from separate election to Team Primaries for LG this cycle.

TX-Gov: Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez (D) says she’s still considering a run for governor, but that reports that she has resigned to run for governor are false. With incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott (R) sitting on over $41 million in cash and sporting sky high approval ratings Valdez may want to keep her day job and let Mr. Leather International be the sacrificial lamb instead.

Senate:

AL-Sen: With the Flight 93 election taken to its logical conclusion Roy Moore (R) leads Doug Jones by a 49% to 46% margin with write-in candidate Lee Busby at 5% in the latest Emerson College poll. President Donald J. Trump has gone all in in his support of alleged child molester Roy Moore because in 2017 we are long past the point in which anything matters anymore.

AL-Sen: Debbie Wesson Gibson has shared more evidence of the relationship she had with Roy Moore (R) when she was a 17 year old high school student and he was a 34 year old man. Gibson released a handwritten graduation card from Moore to her and recounted her experiences dating Moore in the early 1980s. After telling Sean Hannity that he remembered Gibson as a “good girl” Moore has backtracked and begun publicly claiming he did “not know any of these women”. It was this lie that prompted Gibson to come forward with more evidence of their relationship. In response to the latest evidence that Roy Moore dated underage girls the Republican National Committee has resumed their support of Moore because nothing matters anymore.

ND-Sen: State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt (R) has decided not to run for Senate. Schmidt was heavily recruited to run by the Club for Growth. They even released poll in September that showed Schmidt leading incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) by a 4 point 48% to 44% margin. Last week Border States Electric CEO Tammy Miller (R) also declined to run for Senate. So far state Sen. Tom Campbell is the only Republican in the race but Rep. Kevin Cramer could also switch the the senate race. Former Rep. Rick Berg, who narrowly lost to Heitkamp in 2012, is also considering a run.

NJ-Sen: Former Hillary Clinton campaign staffer Michael Starr Hopkins is exploring a primary challenge to defendant sitting Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez. Menendez recently escaped justice with a hung jury in his first federal corruption trial. Federal prosecutors plan to re-try him in 2018.

UT-Sen: Donald Trump is reportedly going all out to convince Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) to seek re-election in 2018. Apparently Trumpworld thinks an 83 year old Orrin Hatch would be easier to control than a principled Sen. Mitt Romney (R) unafraid to speak his mind as he does here.

House:

CO-3: Attorney and Glenwood Springs City official Karl Hanlon (D) is in and will take on State Rep. Diane Mitch-Busch (D) in the primary for the right to face Rep. Scott Tipton (R) in this R+6 seat.

HI-1: Honolulu City Councilman Ernie Martin (D) has entered the race for the open D+17 seat Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) is vacating to run for governor. Martin will join state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim and state Rep. Kaniela Ing in seeking the Democrat nomination.

MA-3: Banker and former Cambodian refugee Bopha Malone (D) is in and now we have 12 Democrats running to replace Rep. Niki Tsongas (D) in this D+9 seat! Luckily for the Democrats Massachusetts doesn’t have California top two style jungle primary so the clown car is unlikely to hurt them all that much.

NC-2: Distillery owner Sam Searcy is dropping out of the Democratic primary for this R+7 seat held by Rep. George Holding (R) and will run for the state Senate instead. The wealthy Searcy has been self funding his campaign. Tech executive Ken Romley and former state Rep. Linda Coleman are both still seeking the Democrat nomination.

TX-6: Tarrant County Assessor Ron Wright (R) has filed to run for the R+9 seat photogenic Rep. Joe Barton (R) is retiring from. Wright once served as Barton’s chief of staff.

TX-21: Bexar GOP chair Robert Stovall has announced he is running to replace retiring Rep. Lamar Smith (R) in this R+10 seat. State Rep. Jason Isaac (R) is so far the only other prominent candidate for the seat.

TX-29: Riceland Health Care CEO Tahir Javed (D) filed papers to run for the D+19 seat of retiring Rep. Gene Green (D). Javed joins state Sen. Sylvia Garcia, Dominique Michelle Garcia, teacher Hector Morales, and attorney Roel Garcia in seeking the Democrat nomination.

PPP-Polling: A new poll from PPP shows Gene Ric (D) leading Republican incumbents in CA-25, IA-1, CO-6, VA-10, ME-2 and NY-24. Now all Democrats need to do is find one person named “Gene Ric” who lives in each of these six districts and convince them to run for Congress.

WATN: Former Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) has been sentenced to five years in prison for funneling money into a sham charity she looted.

RIP: Former Rep. John Anderson has passed away at age 95. Anderson was a Rockefeller Republican from Illinois who served 20 years in the House and ran an Independent campaign for President in 1980 and won just under 7% of the vote.

State, Local & Other:

CT-AG: State Rep. William Tong (D) is exploring a bid for the open Attorney General spot and ex-State Rep. John Shaban (R) is in. Meanwhile, there’s some chatter about changing the 10-year practicing law requirement, which makes it one of the strictest offices in the nation to qualify for.

MN-AG: St. Paul City attorney Samuel Clark (D), a former Klobuchar aide, is considering a run for Attorney General. He would join Dayton admin official Mike Rothman (D), State Rep. Debra Hillstrom (D) and ex-State Rep. Ryan Winkler (D).

NM-Auditor: Gov. Susana Martinez (R) has picked Bernalillo County commissioner and unsuccessful 2017 Albuquerque Mayoral candidate Wayne Johnson (R) to fill the Auditor’s seat for the rest of the term. Tim Keller (D) resigned as Auditor last Thursday after he was elected to become the new Mayor of Albuquerque; State Rep. Bill McCamley (D) is in the race for Dems.

NM-LG: Former independent Albuquerque mayoral candidate Michelle Garcia Holmes has changed her voter registration to Republican and will seek the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor next year. Holmes’ announcement comes after former state Indian Affairs Secretary Kelly Zunie withdrew from the race, leaving the Republican Party without a potential candidate. Zunie had tax and residency problems. Rep. Steve Pearce is the only Republican currently running for governor in the shotgun-wedding primary.

ND-SoS: GOP official Will Gardner (R) is primarying longtime incumbent Alvin Jaeger (R), who has announced he will seek an eighth term.

NV-Treas: Ex-State Rep. Andrew Martin (D), who lost a race for Comptroller in the 2014 wave, is running for the open Treasurer seat; incumbent Dan Schwartz (R) is running for Governor.

OH-Treas: 2006 nominee and ex-Ashtabula County Auditor Sandy O’Brien (R) is running again for Treasure. O’Brien probably doesn’t have much chance against State Rep. Robert Sprague (R) in the primary, as she has lost multiple primaries and only won in ’06 against an incumbent closely tied to the toxic Gov. Taft. Former Cincinnati Mayoral candidate Rob Richardson (D) is the likely D nominee.

MA-State Senate President: Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D) is temporarily stepping down from his position after bombshell sexual misconduct allegations against his husband Bryon Hefner have come to light.

CA-AD 45: Yuck! Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D) is allegedly one sick SOB!

Atlanta-Mayor: Ahead of today’s mayoral runoff election a new Channel 2 Action News/Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll shows City Councilwoman has Mary Norwood (I) at 51.3 percent and Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) at 45.1 percent.

Political Roundup for July 7, 2017

Senate:

NV-Sen: Rep. Jacky Rosen (D) formally announced her candidacy for US Senate yesterday and has the support of former Sen. Harry Reid (D). But that is not stopping Rep. Dina Titus (D) from considering getting into the race herself. Titus and Reid have clashed behind the scenes in the past-she defeated former Henderson Mayor Jim Gibson, who was Reid’s handpicked candidate in the 2006 Democratic gubernatorial primary and won the 2012 Democratic primary in NV-1 despite Reid supporting then state Sen. Ruben Kihuen (D)-Kihuen later dropped out of that race and won in NV-4 in 2016.

TN-Sen: State Sen. Mark Green (R) is being encouraged to run for US Senate by a group of conservatives frustrated with Sen. Bob Corker (R). Green previously planned to run for governor, but dropped out after being nominated by President Trump to be Secretary of the Army. Green later withdrew his name from consideration, but did not re-enter the governor’s race. Corker has not declared his intention whether to seek re-election or retire. State Rep. Andy Holt (R) is also considering running.

House:

CO-3: State Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush (D) announced yesterday she plans to challenge Rep. Scott Tipton (R) next year. Bush, who is from Steamboat Springs in the northern edge of the expansive district, plans to resign her state House seat soon to run for the seat full-time. She is the first Democrat to announce a campaign for the seat, but Grand Junction City Councilman Chris Kennedy and former CIA officer Bob Baer have been named as other possible contenders.

IL-12: St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly (D) has announced he plans to run for Congress next year against Rep. Mike Bost (R). Kelly is the 4th Democrat to get in the race, but easily the most high profile candidate. The others running are local museum director Dean Pruitt, small businessman and non-profit director David Bequette, former federal employee Adam King and Pat McMahan, a city councilman in the small town of Mascoutah. Businessman Nate Colombo also says he plans to run but has not formally announced a candidacy and nonprofit director Chris Miller is raising money online for a run.

IN-9: Dan Canon, a civil rights lawyer is the 3rd Democrat to announce a run against Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R). He joins orthodontist and small business owner(and video game collector) Tod Curtis and Indiana University instructor Tom Pappas in the Democratic primary. Despite being seen as vulnerable because he carpetbagged into the seat from Tennessee, Hollingsworth won by a fairly comfortable 14% margin in 2016 and the DCCC does not have IN-9 currently on its list of districts where they are looking to invest in challengers.

IA-3: Theresa Greenfield, a Des Moines businesswoman announced a run for Congress on Wednesday. Greenfield joins two other Des Moines-area businesswomen running for the Democratic nomination to face Rep. David Young (R). They are Cynthia Axne and Heather Ryan. Ryan ran for Congress before in Kentucky, taking 36% against then-Rep. Ed Whitfield (R) in 2008. Pete D’Alessandro, an advisor to Bernie Sanders’ 2016 Iowa presidential campaign, is also considering a run.

NV-3: State Sen. Scott Hammond (R) has become the first candidate to officially enter this open seat race. 2016 nominee Danny Tarkanian and professional golfer Natalie Gulbis are other Republicans who are considering running.

PA-7: It’s official-bold progressive state Sen. Daylin Leach (D) is in for the Democratic nomination for this seat next year. In his announcement, he sounded more like he was running against President Trump than Rep. Pat Meehan (R). He had nice things to say about Meehan while blasting Trump. Leach previously ran in PA-13 in 2014, finishing a distant 3rd in the Democratic primary. 5 other Democrats are running for the Democratic nomination.

VA-2: Retired construction company owner Garry Hubbard entered the Democratic nomination for Congress on Wednesday, becoming the 2nd Democrat in as many days to announce a bid against Rep. Scott Taylor (R). He joins Virginia Beach Democratic Party chair and retired Air Force officer Dave Belote, who entered the race on Tuesday. The 2nd District Democratic Party has not chosen yet how to choose their nominee, whether through a traditional primary or convention or a “firehouse primary”-a primary run by the party and not the state.

State & Local:

AL-AG: Lawyer and criminal court judge Chess Bedsole (R) is running for Attorney general next year. Bedsole worked on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and was also an advisor to US Attorney General Jeff Sessions; he also ran in the 2006 primary for State Auditor Appointed AG Steve Marshall (R) is planning to run for a full term, while former deputy AG Alice Martin (R) is also in the race.

GA-SOS: State Sen. Joshua McKoon (R) has entered the race for Secretary of State. Current SOS Brian Kemp (R) is running for governor. He joins state Reps. Buzz Brockway (R) and Brad Raffensberger (R) and Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle in the GOP primary. Democrats running include state Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler (D) and Democratic activist RJ Hadley.

LA-Treas.: State Rep. Julie Stokes (R) is dropping out of the October special election for state Treasurer because of a recent breast cancer diagnosis. Stokes was the first candidate to enter the race and was expected to be a major contender. State Rep. John Schroder (R) and state Sen. Neil Riser (R) are still in the race.

PA-LG: Democrat Aryanna Berringer plans to run for LG next year. Berringer is an information technology manager for a supermarket chain and has run for political office before, taking 39% in 2012 against then-Rep. Joseph Pitts (R) in PA-16.  Current LG Mike Stack plans to run for a 2nd term.

Political Roundup for June 26, 2017

First off, there are two legislative specials tomorrow, one primary and one general. The primary is in MA-SD-4th Middlesex, a D+14 (2016) seat stretching from Arlington to Billerica (bill-rick-uh, or bill-UH-rick-uh if you really want the authentic cockney-townie mispronunciation) in the northwest suburbs of Boston. State Rep. Sean Garballey (D) and Cindy Friedman (D), CoS to the late prior incumbent, are facing off; both are establishment liberals and there is no clear favorite between the two. A third candidate, state school board member Mary Ann Stewart (D), seems like a longer-shot. No Republicans are seeking the seat. The general is for IA-LD-22, an R+19 (2016) seat covering Omaha exurbs and rural areas east of Council Bluffs. Banker and local GOP official Jon Jacobsen (R) looks like at least a slight favorite over Carol Forristall (R), widow of the prior incumbent, who lost her bid for the GOP endorsement and is instead running as an Indie, and a Libertarian Some Dude. Dems have no one on the ballot after their candidate failed to turn his paperwork in on time, though he is running as a write-in. Now the rest of the day’s news –

Senate:

ND-Sen: Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) is undecided on whether to seek a second term this cycle, saying that being in the Senate is “a hard life.” Should Heitkamp retire the seat would be a likely GOP pickup; if she runs again she would likely face a competitive general election, possibly against Rep. Kevin Cramer (R).

VT-Sen: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I/D) and his wife Jane have retained lawyers, as they are now under FBI investigation. The investigation centers on alleged fraud in Jane Sanders’s mismanagement of a now-shuttered College where she was president. Jane Sanders allegedly falsified descriptions of the college’s donor base and finances when seeking a large loan, and Bernie may have used his influence to lobby for the loan arrangement.

Governor:

AL-Gov: State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) is the latest Republican to explore an entry into this increasingly crowded primary. Zeigler had a reputation as a gadfly before winning the Auditor post over several little-known rivals; however, he has raised his profile since becoming Auditor with aggressive investigations of various scandals surrounding ex-Gov. Robert Bentley (R) that eventually forced the latter’s resignation. Zeigler says has not made a decision to enter the race and may seek a second term as Auditor. Should he enter the race, Zeigler would face Ag Commissioner John McMillan (R), Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle (R), Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington (R), minister Scott Dawson (R), and businessman Joshua Jones (R), with PSC chair Twinkle Cavanaugh (R) also seen as likely to enter. Incumbent Kay Ivey (R) has not yet indicated if she will seek a full term. Ex-State Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb (D) is in the race on the Dem side.

CO-Gov: Kent Thiry (R), the CEO of the dialysis company Davita, is exploring a run for Governor. Thiry, who has donated to both parties, would likely run as a centrist and would likely self-fund his bid. He would join Arapahoe DA George Brauchler (R) and two other self-funding businessmen, ex-State Rep. Victor Mitchell (R) and Romney relative Doug Robinson (R), in the GOP primary; State Treasurer Walker Stapleton (R) is also seen as likely to enter. Reps. Jared Polis (D) and Ed Perlmutter (D), ex-State Treasurer Cary Kennedy (D), and State Sen. Mike Johnston (D) are in the race on the Dem side.

FL-Gov: Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) says that though the FBI is now investigating corruption in Tallahassee city government, he is not personally under investigation. This setback is the latest in a string of embarrassing headlines for Gillum, including campaign finance woes and improper use of government email. Gillum is facing ex-Rep. Gwen Graham (D) and businessman Chris King (D) in the Dem primary, with Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine (D) and wealthy trial lawyer John Morgan (D) considering runs. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam (R) is in the race on the GOP side.

IL-Gov: Five Democrats seeking to take on Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) appeared before the important Cook County Dem machine meeting on Thursday. Businessman JB Pritzker (D), considered the establishment favorite (read: the choice of State Dictator House Speaker Mike Madigan (D)) because of his immense wealth, played to the part by dutifully asking for machine backing. Fellow businessman and Heir Force Col. Chris Kennedy (D) used his speech to argue for no endorsement and attempting to cast himself as an outsider. Three other Democrats, State Sen. Daniel Biss (D), Chicago councilman Ameya Pawar (D), and local superintendent Bob Daiber (D), mostly seemed to use the meeting as a chance to boost their name recognition, while a sixth, State Rep. Scott Drury (D), skipped the meeting entirely.

More IL-Gov: In what could present a headache for Rauner, former pro wrestler Jon Stewart (L) will run for Governor as a Libertarian. Stewart definitely sounds like a Republican in all but name, as he was a vocal Trump supporter and once hired Kellyanne Conway to run his campaign for the State House as a Republican in the 90s. It’s unclear how much traction Stewart might get – or how many votes he might win from people thinking he’s “the other” Jon Stewart, as a school in Utah did in 2006 when they booked him for a fundraising gala.

KS-Gov: Businessman and ex-State Rep. Mark Hutton (R) is considering an entry into this primary. Hutton, who says he would try to bridge the moderate-conservative chasm within the KSGOP but who has generally been more identified with the moderate wing, retired from the legislature in 2016. Hutton would face SoS Kris Kobach (R/C), ex-State Sen. and 2006 nominee Jim Barnett (R/M), ex-State Rep. Ed O’Malley (R/M), and businessman Wink Hartman (R/C) in the primary; LG Jeff Colyer (R/C) is also thought to be considering a run. Ex-Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer (D) and ex-State Rep. Josh Svaty (D) are in the race on the Dem side.

MD-Gov: Attorney Jim Shea (D) is the latest little-known Democrat seeking to try his luck in the primary to take on popular Gov. Larry Hogan (R). Shea is a former chair of a large law firm and university regent, so he may be well-connected. He joins Prince George’s CE Rushern Baker (D), State Sen. Rich Maladeno (D), ex-NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous (D), and businessman and Hillary aide Alec Ross (D) in vying to take on Hogan.

OH-Gov: In a move that surprised no one, AG Mike DeWine (R) announced his run for Governor over the weekend. DeWine, a former Senator before scoring a comeback as AG in 2010, looks like a slight front-runner in a titanic four-way primary against LG Mary Taylor (R), Rep. Jim Renacci (R), and SoS Jon Husted (R). Democrats have a four-way primary of their own between ex-Rep. Betty Sutton (D), Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D), State Sen. Tony Schiavoni (D), and ex-State Rep. Connie Pillich (D).

House:

CO-2, CO-3: State Sen. Kerry Donovan (D) will not run for Congress this cycle. Donovan had been mentioned as a potential candidate for both the open deep-blue CO-2, where her primary home is, and the medium-red CO-3 of Rep. Scott Tipton (R), where her family owns a ranch and a large part of her Senate seat is based. 2014 SoS nominee Joe Neguse (D) looks like the front-runner in a potentially crowded field for CO-2, while Democrats do not as of yet have strong prospects to take on Tipton.

IL-12: St. Clair County DA Brendan Kelly (D) is rumored to be considering a run against Rep. Mike Bost (R), and has attracted the interest of the DCCC.  This downscale MetroEast and Little Egypt district zoomed right last year but has some strong Democratic heritage; as DA of the district’s largest county, Kelly could be a formidable candidate. Several Some Dude Dems are in the race to take on Bost.

SC-1: Attorney Joe Cunningham (D) will run against Rep. Mark Sanford (R) in this medium-red Charleston area district. Cunningham seems to be well-connected; he is also receiving some buzz for his particularly blunt upfront stance that he will not vote for Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker if elected. Sanford was expected to face a serious primary challenge as well, but both of his erstwhile challengers have since dropped out.

UT-3: Attorney Tanner Ainge (R), son of Boston Celtics President Danny, wasn’t registered to vote in Utah when he filed as a candidate for Congress in May. Ainge returned to Utah in November of last year after six years in Illinois and California, and says he forgot to re-register when he returned to the state. Ainge will face Provo Mayor John Curtis (R), who is under fire for his past as a Democrat, and ex-State Rep. and convention winner Chris Herrod (R) in the August 15 primary.

State & Local:

AL-LG: State Rep. Will Ainsworth (R) of rural northeast Alabama has joined the race for LG, joining State Sen. Rusty Glover (R) and elected state school board member Mary Scott Hunter (R) in the primary. Hunter was also the recipient of a scathing internal report from the school board last week. The report alleges that Hunter conspired with the sitting interim state Superintendent and several staffers in a months-long campaign to spread false innuendo about Craig Pouncey, an applicant for the appointed Superintendent job. Hunter disputes the report’s accuracy.

FL-CFO: CFO Jeff Atwater (R) is resigning this week, and Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) choice to replace him is ex-State Rep. Jimmy Patronis (R) of Panama City. Scott is set to announce the appointment today at Patronis’s restaurant; Patronis says he will run for a full term in 2018, though it’s still too early to say if he will face primary opposition. Ex-State Sen. Jeremy Ring (D) is likely to be the Dem nominee for this post in 2018.

GA-LG: State Sen. Rick Jeffares (R) runs a water and sewer contracting company which has received a large amount of state business. The business dealings are completely legal as Georgia law permits legislators to receive state contracts as long as they are received through a blinded open-bidding process. However, if Jeffares moves from his part-time legislative post to the LG slot, the issue might become thornier. Jeffares says that the LG spot is part-time, permitting him to continue his company’s state business, but he has not made a decision on whether to continue his business if he wins. Jeffares is facing State Senate President David Shaffer (R) and State Rep. Geoff Duncan (R) in this primary.

IL-SoS: SoS Jesse White (D) is considering going back on his intention to retire in 2018. White, 82, has admitted he is considering seeking a sixth term but has not finalized a decision either way. The popular White would likely be a prohibitive favorite against any opposition if he ran again.

KS-SoS: State Rep. Keith Esau (R) will run for the open SoS seat, joining Sedgwick County clerk and KSGOP chair Kelly Arnold (R) in the GOP primary. Esau, who hails from the Kansas City suburbs, is generally identified with the KSGOP’s Conservative faction.

LA-PSC-2: Here’s one we missed. Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle (R) resigned last month to take a job in the Trump administration, leaving his Public Service Commission seat open. Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) has appointed ex-State Rep. Damon Baldone (D) to the seat, giving Democrats a 3-2 majority in the body. There will be a special election for the seat later this year. Baldone will seek to keep the position, while orthopedic surgeon Craig Greene (R) has also announced he will run for the seat.

Knox, TN-CE: Sheriff JJ Jones (R) has ended his 2018 campaign for Knox County Executive, leaving County commissioner Bob Thomas (R) and former professional wrestler Glenn “Kane” Jacobs (R) as the only major candidates in this open-seat race.

St. Paul, MN-Mayor: The state bureau of investigation has concluded its investigation of city councilman Dai Thao (D) and has referred the matter to prosecutors. Thao allegedly met with a lobbyist in April and requested a campaign contribution in exchange for support of a measure. Thao is seeking the open Mayoral seat this year against ex-councilman and Gov. Dayton Admin official Melvin Carter (D), ex councilwoman Pat Harris (D), and ex-school board member Tom Goldstein (D). Carter is considered the front-runner; incumbent Chris Coleman (D) is retiring to run for Governor in 2018.

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