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Political Roundup for October 6, 2017


MO-Sen: Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) has taken another step towards getting in the race. A “Hawley Victory Committee” organization was filed with the FEC this week. The NRSC is also listed as a joint fundraising committee in the filing-a typical move for a campaign getting ready to launch. 3 other Republicans are currently running-2016 Libertarian presidential candidate Austin Petersen, retired Air Force pilot and University of Central Missouri Aviation Department assistant dean Tony Monetti, and Navy veteran Courtland Sykes.

TN-Sen: If you missed our special post on it yesterday, there was big news in this race as Gov. Bill Haslam (R) announced he would not run, followed soon by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) getting into the race. With Haslam and Peyton Manning out, Blackburn appears to be the frontrunner for now.


AZ-9: As expected, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton (D) has announced he plans to run for Congress. Stanton, who is in his 2nd term as mayor has been expected to run for another office, although he had been looking at a statewide office. Stanton will be the overwhelming favorite on the Democratic side, although might not clear the field completely. Biologist Talia Fuentes was already in the race before Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) announced her plans to run for the US Senate. Former House Minority Leader Chad Campbell (D) has been considered a possible candidate, but many think he won’t run against Stanton. Because of Arizona’s resign to run law, Stanton will have to resign as mayor, although he won’t have to leave office until he submits his election petitions, which are due May 30. A special election will then be held to complete Stanton’s term through 2019.

CO-2: Businessman and gun control advocate Ken Toltz has announced he is running in the Democratic primary for this open seat. Toltz had been exploring a run ever since Rep. Jared Polis (D) announced he was giving up the seat to run for governor, but said Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas motivated him in part to finally join the race. Toltz ran for Congress before in 2000 as the Democratic nominee in CO-6, losing by 12 points to then Rep. Tom Tancredo (R), a campaign in which he made gun control a major part of his platform in the wake of the Columbine shooting. Toltz is the 2nd Democrat to join the race in as many days-Nederland Mayor Kristopher Larsen joined the race on Wednesday. They join former University of Colorado Regent Joe Neguse, former Boulder County Democratic party Chairman Mark Williams, and minister Howard Dotson in the race on the Democratic side. No Republican has yet announced plans to run in the blue district.

CO-7: The last major challenger to Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) has dropped out. Dan Baer, formerly ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has dropped out of the race. Baer had been the last holdout to stay in the race after Perlmutter reversed course and decided to run for re-election to Congress after previously deciding to run for governor, a race he dropped out of, and then deciding he would just retire from politics. State Sens. Andy Kerr (D) and Dominick Moreno (D) and state Rep. Brittany Pettersen (D) dropped out of the race soon after Perlmutter got back in, but Baer stayed in, boosted by an impressive fundraising haul.

MA-3: State Rep. Juana Matias (D) is joining what is becoming a very crowded race to succeed Rep. Niki Tsongas (D). Other Democrats running are state Sen. Barbara L’Italien (D), Dan Koh, former chief of staff to Boston mayor Marty Walsh, Cambridge city councilor Nadeem Mazan, Lori Trahan, a former chief of staff to ex-Rep. Marty Meehan (D), and former Democratic LG nominee Steve Kerrigan. State Sen. Eileen Donoghue (D) is considering running as well. Rick Green, a businessman and founder of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, became the first Republican to join the race on Wednesday.

MI-11: Businessman and lawyer Dan Haberman is joining the Democratic primary race for this open seat. Haberman joins former Obama Administration auto task force official Haley Stevens, and Fayrouz Saad, former head of the Office of Immigrant Affairs for Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. Businesswoman Lena Epstein, who previously had been running for US Senate and former state Rep. Rocky Raczkowski (R) are running on the Republican side; state Sen. Marty Knollenberg (R) and state Rep. Laura Cox (R) , among others are considering getting in as well.

NH-2: Dr. Stewart Levenson, former chairman of the Department of Medicine at Manchester’s VA Hospital and who was involved in a whisteblower complaint about the facility, is running for Congress as a Republican. Levenson joins former state Rep. Jack Flanagan (R) with businessman David McConville possibly joining as well in the race to face Rep. Annie Kuster (D).

PA-18: State Sen. Guy Reschenthaler (R) entered the race yesterday to replace Rep. Tim Murphy (R), who now has announced his resignation, effective Oct. 21. A special election will be held sometime next year to fill the seat. Reschenthaler seems to be the favorite among party insiders, although state Sen. Kim Ward (R) has announced she is running too. State Rep. Rick Saccone (R) will possibly run as well.

TN-7: If you missed the special post on it yesterday, after Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) announced her candidacy for US Senate, state Sen. Mark Green (R) followed by announcing his candidacy for her congressional seat, completing a winding political journey this year. Green had declared his intention to run for governor early in the year, a race he dropped out of after being nominated to be Secretary of the Army-but he dropped out of contention for that post after Democrats criticized some comments he had made in the past. He decided not to restart his candidacy for governor, but had been encouraged to challenge Sen. Bob Corker (R) before Corker decided to retire. Green now becomes the early frontrunner, but other Republicans are expected to run for the deep red seat.

Governor/state offices:

SC-Gov: State Rep. James Smith (D) yesterday became the first Democrat to announce a run for governor. Smith had been the only Democrat known to even be looking at the race. 4 Republicans are running-Gov. Henry McMaster (R), LG Kevin Bryant (R), former state Department of Health and Environmental Control director Catherine Templeton, and party-switching former D LG Yancey McGill (R).

FL-CFO: State Sen. Tom Lee (R) is running for Chief Financial Officer. Lee will be challenging appointed incumbent Jimmy Patronis (R) in the Republican primary. Patronis was appointed to the post in June by Gov. Rick Scott (R) after former CFO Jeff Atwater (R) resigned to become CFO of Florida Atlantic University. Lee was the Republican nominee for CFO in 2006, losing by 7 points to Democrat Alex Sink.

LA-Treas.: Dueling polls by two of the Republican candidates in the upcoming Oct. 14 primary show themselves ahead of the group of Republicans in the race. State Rep. John Schroder (R) and former Gov. Bobby Jindal administration official Angele Davis both have released polls showing them making the runoff with lone Democratic candidate Derrick Edwards. Interestingly, the third major Republican candidate, state Sen. Neil Riser (R), finishes in second among the Republicans in both polls with Davis in third in Schroder’s poll, and Schroder in third in Davis’s poll. Edwards leads all candidates in both polls, but should be a heavy underdog to whichever Republican emerges from the primary.

MI-AG: State House Speaker Tom Leonard (R) has announced he is running for Attorney General. Leonard joins state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker (R) in the GOP primary. Former US Attorney Pat Miles and attorney Dana Nassel are running on the Democratic side. Nominees will be decided at party conventions after next year’s August primary.

Political Roundup for August 29, 2017

Check back at noon ET today for our preview and open thread for today’s St. Petersburg, FL Mayoral election.


ME-Sen: Once again, Gov. Paul LePage (R) has announced he will not run for the Senate seat of Sen. Angus King (I/D). LePage had already ruled out a run once before backtracking and reconsidering. State Sen. Eric Brakey (R) is the most-talked-about Republican challenger to King.

MA-Sen: Beth Lindstrom (R), a former state lottery director and Scott Brown’s campaign manager, is running for the seat of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D). Lindstrom will join two less establishment-friendly candidates, conservative State Rep. Geoff Diehl (R) and businessman Shiva Ayyadurai (R), in the primary.

NE-Sen: Democrats have a semi-credible contender to take on Sen. Deb Fischer (R), as Lincoln councilwoman Jane Raybould (D) entered the race. Needless to say, Raybould will face a very uphill battle against Fischer in the deep-red state.

NJ-Sen: A jury has been seated in the corruption trial of Sen. Bob Menedez (D). The jury of 6 men and 6 women will review the allegations that Menendez improperly pulled strings to benefit a major donor; the trial begins next week.


AL-Gov: State Rep. Craig Ford (D) announced last week he would not run for Governor. Democrats still have two credible candidates considering this race in ex-State Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb (D) and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox (D). Gov. Kay Ivey (R) filed last week to seek a full term; she will face a very crowded GOP primary field.

GA-Gov: State Rep. Stacey Abrams (D) resigned her State House seat last week to focus on her gubernatorial run. Abrams’s deep-blue legislative seat in southwest DeKalb County will see a special election later this year; she faces fellow State Rep. Stacey Evans (D), who is considered more moderate, in the Democratic primary for the gubernatorial open seat. Republicans have a crowded primary field.

ME-Gov: State Sen. Rick Bennett (R) will not run for Governor. LePage admin official Mary Mayhew (R) is in the race, but much of the rest of this field is frozen awaiting the decision of popular Sen. Susan Collins (R) on the race.

WI-Gov: As expected, state superintendent Tony Evers (D) launched his campaign for Governor last week. Evers, who has been elected statewide three times (albeit in low-turnout non-partisan off year spring elections), looks like Dems’ strongest candidate to take on Gov. Scott Walker (R). However, several lesser-known Democrats are in or considering the race as well.


CO-7: After Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) backtracked on his decision to retire and re-entered the race for a seventh term, the three main challengers hoping to fill the open seat all decided to abandon their bids. State Sens. Andy Kerr (D) and Dominick Moreno (D)  and State Rep. Brittany Pettersen (D) all quickly ended their campaigns last week; thus, Perlmutter is not expected to face significant opposition for another term.

PA-18: Democrats have a credible candidate to take on Rep. Tim Murphy (R) in this red suburban Pittsburgh seat. Ex-Allegheny County commissioner Mike Crossey (D) has entered the race. However, Crossey’s bid did not start off on a great note as his kickoff campaign was held outside the district. Murphy was unopposed in both 2014 and 2016.

State & Local:

IA-Treas: State GOP official John Thompson (R), who is running for State Treasurer, has been served with a restraining order for harassing his former fiancee. Should he make it to the general Thompson may face a tough race against longtime incumbent Michael Fitzgerald (D).

LA-Treas: The state Democratic party has decided not to endorse the only Democrat running in this year’s special election for State Treasurer. Attorney Derrick Edwards (D) has an interesting story of becoming an attorney despite being a quadraplegic; however, he is not running a serious campaign for this office. Despite that, as the only Dem on the ballot, Edwards is certain to make the runoff and lose to one of his Republican rivals. State Sen. Neil Riser (R), State Rep. John Schroeder (R), and Jindal admin official Angele Davis (R) are in the race as well; the special primary for this seat is in mid-October.

MA-AG: A second Some Dude attorney has entered the GOP primary to take on AG Maura Healey (D). Dan Shores (R) joins Jay McMahon (R) in the race; both hail from Cape Cod. Either will face a very tough general election against the popular Healey in the deep blue state.

MI-SoS: Shelby Twp. clerk Stan Grot (R) will run for SoS, joining State Sen. Mike Kowall (R) in the race. The GOP nomination will be decided by convention. 2010 nominee Jocelyn Benson (D) is considered likely to run again for Democrats.

NV-LG: State Sen. and 2016 NV-3 candidate Michael Roberson (R) will run for LG after incumbent Mark Hutchinson (R) announced his retirement. Roberson is considered a strong general election candidate but may face primary troubles due to his shepherding a 2015 tax hike through the legislature.

MO-SD-14: State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D) has been stripped of all her committee assignments after calling for Trump’s assassination. So far Chappelle-Nadal has been resisting bipartisan calls for her resignation from the Senate.

Shelby, TN-CE: Court Clerk Joy Touliatos (R) will run for Shelby County Executive, joining county commissioner David Roland (R) in the primary for this seat. Shelby county is strongly Democratic overall but low turnout in municipal elections and strong candidates have kept the GOP in control of the County Executive slot.

Atlanta-Mayor: Fulton CE John Eaves (D) made a late entry into the race for Mayor of Atlanta last week. Seven major candidates are in the race for the open seat.


MD-Redistrict: A 3-judge panel voted 2-1 to allow Maryland’s congressional map to stand for 2018 while the Supreme Court considers a similar case from Wisconsin. The plaintiffs had argued that the state’s congressional map should be struck down as an improper political gerrymander.

TX-Redistrict: Texas will have to redraw 9 State House districts for 2018 as the seats have been struck down as racial gerrymanders. The seats affected are a pair in Corpus Christi, a pair in Killeen, a pair in Fort Worth, and a trio in Dallas. It looks like Democrats could stand to gain around 3 seats from the ruling.

More TX-Redistrict: In the congressional redistricting case, Sam Alito has stayed the district court ruling striking down TX-27 and TX-35.

Political Roundup for August 15, 2017

Programming Update:  Tonight at 8pm Eastern Time, we will have our live blog coverage of the Alabama US Senate and UT-3 primaries.

As Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un has backed off his threat to tip Guam over and Trump gave his most composed address ever, it is time for today’s roundup:


Pardon:  President Trump (R?) is pondering a pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (R-Border Wall).  Arpaio was recently convicted of criminal contempt for failing to follow a state court judge’s order barring his deputies from making traffic stops specifically to enforce immigration laws.

France:  French President Emmanuel Macron (Corporate Center-Left) continues to lose support as his approval ratings are in the mid-30s.  Macron seems to be suffering due to voters realizing that behind the hype that very few voters actually want a socially liberal fiscal moderate to conservative.


AL-Sen: Leading up to today’s special election primary, President Trump (R?) is making robocalls for Senator Luther Strange (R).  Trump originally tried to stay out of the race, but has increasingly getting behind Strange.

MI-Sen:  My name is Kid Rock… I mean Robert Ritchie.  Rockstar Kid Rock (R) would most likely not be able to run under his stage name, but some variation of his legal name.  That said, if Kid Rock cannot get voters to know who Robert Ritchie is by election day, he deserves to lose.

CO-7:  Representative Earl Perlmutter (D) is reconsidering his decision to not seek reelection.  Perlmutter recently dropped out of the Democratic nomination race for Governor and announced he was not seeking reelection as well.  If Perlmutter decides to run for Congress again, he would be the strong favorite to win the primary and general.

FL-19:  Representative Francis Rooney (R) could not get enough of battling slimy characters during Congressional sessions so he spent the summer recess catching invasive pythons in the Everglades.  Rooney killed 5 during the hunt.

VA-6: Peter Volosin (D), a political novice, will challenge Representative Bob Goodlatte (R).  Volosin appears to be running on the same generic “politics isn’t working” so lets be Bold Progressives despite having 8 years of a Democratic president recently shtick that many others are doing.


AL-Gov:  Governor Kay Ivey (R) will likely run for a full term as Governor.  Ivey became Governor when former Governor Robert Bentley (R) was ran out town for being a crook.

PA-LG: State Senator David Argall (R) wants to take part in a shotgun wedding… I mean he wants to run for Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania.  Argall is one of three candidates considering a run for the Republican nomination. The other two are former state Representative Gordon Denlinger (R) and former Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser (R).

Political Roundup for August 14th, 2017

Check back at 3pm today for our AL-Sen and UT-3 previews!

Big Picture

Third Party: I really want to figure out which consultants are about to make a lot of money on this pipe-dream, though I already have a few suspects. To explain, a bunch of Never Trumpers and a few Democrats are trying to organize a third party around Alaska Governor Bill Walker (I). As with all other such efforts, this one will prove futile, but will employ a few people for long enough that they can get that new BMW or pay their ridiculous mortgage until they can find another job because Jeb! didn’t get elected President. If this sounds like a No Labels redux to you, you’re on the right track. Oh, and if any actual politicians come out of this, they’ll likely run as Democrats, just like those that came out of No Labels did.


AL-Sen: Trafalgar is out with a poll of the Alabama special Senate election Republican primary, and they show a 35-23-20 Moore-Strange-Brooks race. That’s a much closer race for the second runoff spot than had previously been shown by most other pollsters.

AZ-Sen/AZ-09: It looks like we have a classic switcheroo in progress; this time it’s between Rep. Kirsten Sinema (D) and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton (D). Sinema will likely run against Sen. Jeff Flake (R) and Stanton, who was previously thought to be in the Senate race, will drop down and run for Sinema’s likely-to-be-vacated House seat.

ME-Sen: We all know that PPP likes to cause as much trouble for Republicans as possible with their poll questions, so of course they polled Sen. Susan Collins (R) against ‘Someone Else’ in a hypothetical primary. Collins trails 28-62 in the impossible match-up, which makes for a catchy headline. However, it doesn’t really mean much unless someone decides to run against her. Making that situation happen is I’m sure what PPP wanted to do.

MI-Sen: Well, I can’t believe I’m writing this sentence, but it seems that if Kid Rock (R) decides to enter the race for Senate in Michigan, he’ll have establishment backing. Senate Leadership Fund, which is a McConnell-backed group, has been making approving noises about a Rock run. What’s even crazier is, I think that’s the smart move. Politics is strange, folks.

WV-Sen: Rumors are swirling about a plan to flip a Senate seat by giving the Secretary of Energy position to Sen. Joe Manchin (D) and have newly-minted Republican Gov. Jim Justice appoint a Republican in his place. The only problem that I see with this plan is that they’ll have to find current Sec. of Energy Rick Perry another job.

CO-07: I smell a rat. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D), who dropped out of the gubernatorial race and announced his retirement at the same time, is now looking at running again for his current seat. I’m guessing that someone else wants to be set up for the seat and can’t do it in 2018, so they’re somehow convincing him to stay one more term to give them time to get ready. They’d also likely be someone involved with his gubernatorial campaign, or they would have already been running. Maybe he just changed his mind, but I doubt it.

PA-07/PA-08: This one is pretty funny. The DCCC has set up websites denouncing Reps. Patrick Meehan (R) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R) for not holding town halls. I don’t know about you guys, but setting up attack websites is such a waste of time and money that I consider any campaign that does it (and promotes it with Google text ads!) to be losing almost by default. They can’t find great candidates, so they’re flushing away donor money trying to drive up Meehan’s and Fitzpatrick’s negatives.

DCCC: Pop the popcorn, folks! This is a good one. After D-Trip Chairman Rep, Ben Ray Lujan (D) stated that the party would not rule-out backing pro-life candidates, a brush-fire broke out among the left-wing commentariat. This one isn’t over. I’m fully expecting Lujan to eventually cave.


FL-Gov: State Sen. Jack Latvala (R) has officially announced his long-rumored gubernatorial campaign. Latvala is known as something of an independent wildcard (some would say RINO) in the legislature. If nothing else, his primary against State House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam won’t be boring now that he’s involved.


FL-HD-44: The FLDP has got to be one of the worse state parties in the country relative to its state’s PVI on either side of the aisle. Here’s a case in point: A state representative got a judgeship, so his seat is open. It’s Republican-held, but Hillary won it by 6,000 votes. However, several credible Republicans are raising large sums and campaigning hard for it, while one Democrat has gotten in and raised less than $4,000. Read the article. It’s a great rant on this point.

Voter Fraud: As a wise man once said ‘when you play stupid games, you get stupid prizes.’ That’s definitely true for the subject of this article. In order to meet his quota for registering voters on behalf of the Virginia Democratic party, a college student at James Madison University in Harrisonburg decided to just register everyone on a walk sheet. He made up many of the details, including Social Security Numbers. He also didn’t check to make sure that the voters were still alive, so he ended up registering 18 dead people. The local registrar’s office caught one of the forgeries and ran with it. The forger has been given 100-120 days in jail after a plea agreement. It’s worth noting, though, that if the registrar hadn’t recognized the name of someone she knew was dead, these dead people would have been newly registered and ready to vote.

Political Roundup for July 11, 2017

First off, there are three special elections in Oklahoma today, one primary and two general. The first general election is for OK-SD-44, an R+13 (2012) seat covering lower-middle-class areas in southwest OKC near the airport. A pair of prior candidates are facing off – 2014 nominee Michael Brooks-Jiminez (D) and 2016 State House nominee Joe Griffin (R). Neither was particularly impressive in his prior run; Griffin has establishment connections and the lean of the seat on his side but Brooks-Jiminez has outraised him by 5 to 1 (!). Democrats have also had a very strong run in special elections – even before the 2016 general, as budget cuts that hit education hard energized the teachers’ union. However, the Dem base in this seat is mostly low-turnout Hispanics. So there is no clear favorite in this race. The other general is for OK-LD-75, an R+16 (2012) seat in eastern Tulsa north of Broken Arrow. Realtor Tressa Nunley (R) should be favored over 2016 nominee and teacher Karen Gaddis (D), as Nunley has both the lean of the seat and better fundraising on her side, but an upset may be very possible with high Dem turnout. The primary is for OK-LD-46, an R+12 (2012) seat covering western Norman. Three Republicans are facing off; businessman and university lecturer Darin Chambers (R) looks like the slight front-runner over retired cop Charlie Samples (R) and businessman Jimmy Shannon (R), but any of the three could prevail. The winner will face 2016 nominee Jacob Rosencrants (D) in the general.


MO-Sen: Republicans have their first serious candidate into the race to take on Sen. Claire McCaskill (D), but it definitely seems like a “C” list name for such a top-tier race. State Rep. Paul Curtman (R), who is termed-out of his exurban St. Louis seat in 2018, will run for the US Senate. Curtman was originally planning to run for MO-2 on the assumption that Rep. Ann Wagner (R) would seek the Senate seat, but when Wagner decided to run for re-election, Curtman decided to move up to the Senate race. Several more prominent Republicans, including AG Josh Hawley (R), are thought to be considering runs against the vulnerable McCaskill.

WV-Sen: As expected, AG Patrick Morrisey (R) announced his bid for Senate yesterday. Morrisey will face Rep. Evan Jenkins (R) in what could be a very competitive primary for the right to take on Sen. Joe Manchin (D). The fault lines seem to be that Jenkins is closer to establishment Republicans while Morrisey has more antiestablishment backing.

CO-Sen ’20, CO-2: Boulder DA and 2010 AG nominee Stan Garnett (D) will not run for Congress, saying he wants to finish his term as DA; Garnett endorsed 2014 SoS nominee Joe Neguse (D) for the seat. Garnett, however, will explore a run for US Senate in 2020, when Sen. Cory Gardner (R) will be up for re-election.


AL-Gov: This GOP primary continues to get even more absurdly crowded, as State Sen. Bill Hightower (R) of the Mobile area is the latest candidate into the field. Hightower joins Ag Commissioner John McMillan (R), Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle (R), Jefferson County commissioner David Carrington (R), minister Scott Dawson (R), and businessman Josh Jones (R). PSC Chair Twinkle Cavanaugh (R) and Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) are also considering runs, while Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has not announced whether she will run for a full term. Ex-State Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb (D) and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox (D) are in or considering runs on the D side.

CO-Gov, CO-7: In a significant surprise, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) is dropping out of the gubernatorial race today – and will not seek a seventh term representing CO-7 either. Perlmutter’s hand was likely forced by the decision of fellow Rep. Jared Polis (D), who unlike Perlmutter is independently wealthy, to enter the race; Polis now looks like the clear front-runner for the D nod. Click for our full coverage of the decision.

IA-Gov: Former Gov. Vilsack CoS John Norris (D) is the latest Democrat into this crowded primary field. Norris joins State Sen. Nate Boulton (D), State Rep. Todd Prichard (D), ex-IADP chair Andy McGuire (D), ex-Iowa City Mayor Ross Wilburn (D), and 2014 State Auditor nominee Jon Neiderbach (D) in the primary. Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) is facing Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett (R) and Boone councilman Steven Ray (R) in the GOP primary.

ME-Gov: Appointed AG Janet Mills (D) will run for Governor. Mills, a former legislator, likely becomes a front-runner for the Dem nomination as she has been highly visible in office. She will face 2008 ME-1 candidate Adam Cote (D), lobbyist Betsy Sweet (D), and veteran Patrick Eisenhart (D) in the Dem primary; LePage admin official Mary Mayhew (R) and appointed State Treasurer Teresea Hayes (I) are also in the race. Many others are considering, but one candidate is bowing out of consideration; ex-State Senate Majority Leader Justin Alfond (D) announced last week he would forgo a bid.

NM-Gov, NM-2: Lands Commissioner Aubrey Dunn (R) announced he would not run for Governor after Rep. Steve Pearce (R) entered the race yesterday. Dunn announced he was backing Pearce and considering a run for NM-2 instead, but is also keeping open the possibility of bids for re-election or a seat on the state Public Service Commission; Dunn says he will make a final decision by next week. State Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R), who ran a little-noticed primary campaign in 2010 as a Some Dude before winning his State Senate seat, is also considering an NM-2 bid.

SD-Gov: Ex-State Rep. and 2014 candidate Lora Hubbel (R) will mount a second bid for Governor. Hubbel, a gadflyish antiestablishment conservative who took a fifth of the vote against popular Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R), seems likely to be little more than a third wheel in this primary against two “A” list contenders, Rep. Kristi Noem (R) and AG Marty Jackley (R). State Sen. Billie Sutton (D) is the likely Dem nominee.

WI-Gov: State Superintendent Tony Evers (D), who won re-election earlier this year by a large margin in a low-turnout non-partisan race, is considering a run for Governor. Evers could be a stronger choice to take on Gov. Scott Walker (R) than either of the other prominent Dems considering bids, left-wing Madison Mayor Paul Soglin (D) and little-known State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D).


IL-13: Former Sen. Durbin staffer Betsy Dirksen-Londrigan (D) will seek the Dem nomination to challenge Rep. Rodney Davis (R). Dirksen-Londrigan may have establishment support from Dirksen’s network, but could face State Rep. Carol Ammons (D) in the primary. Davis has seemed entrenched in recent years as this purple seat covering the Springfield and Champaign areas has moved right.

MI-6: 2014/16 nominee Paul Clements (D) is running a third time against Rep. Fred Upton (R). Clements’s prior two runs against Upton were distinctly unimpressive, but he has received some national liberal support. This Kalamazoo-area purple seat has been trending right in recent years.

MI-8: Former DoD official Elissa Slotkin (D) will challenge Rep. Mike Bishop (R) in his light-red Lansing to exurban Detroit district. Slotkin, a former CIA agent, seems to have a good resume of national security experience, but has not lived in the district since childhood.

MN-1: Obama Defense official Dan Feehan (D) will seek Rep. Tim Walz’s (D) light-red open southern Minnesota seat. Feehan seems to have significant establishment support, but has essentially no ties to the seat (he grew up in the Twin Cities and spent the last few years in DC). He will face ex-State Sen. Vicki Jensen (D) and others in the Dem convention and/or primary. 2014/16 nominee Jim Hagedorn (R) is the only significant Republican in the race so far, but others are considering.

MO-2: Attorney Kelli Dunaway (D) will take on Rep. Ann Wagner (R) next year, and she has received the endorsement of 2016 nominee and ex-State Rep. Bill Otto (D). Democrats’ odds for this medium-red seat went down with Wagner deciding to run for re-election, but as an upscale suburban district it may still be a target.

NV-4: Las Vegas Councilman Stavros Anthony (R) will run for Congress against Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D) in this seat covering the northern suburbs of Las Vegas. Anthony, who just won re-election to his purple council seat, is a top-tier get for the GOP in this light-blue seat.

NM-1: Ex-US Attorney Damon Martinez (D) is the latest Dem into the race for this open medium-blue Albuquerque seat. Martinez has the profile to be a front-runner for the seat; he joins NMDP chair Deb Haaland (D), Albuquerque councilman Pat Davis (D), Edgewood councilman John Abrams (D), and others in this crowded primary.

NY-21: Ex-St. Lawrence County commissioner Tedra Cobb (D) will run for Congress, becoming the first candidate with elective experience in the race for the Dem nomination to take on Rep. Elise Stefanik (R). Stefanik’s odds of re-election in this light-red seat will once again be improved by the candidacy of 2014/2016 nominee Matt Funicello (G), who has routinely drawn significant vote shares.

NC-3: Craven County commissioner Scott Dacey (R) will challenge Rep. Walter Jones (R) in the GOP primary. Jones, by far the most moderate safe-seat Republican in the country, has turned back multiple GOP primary challenges in his rural eastern NC seat, though often by unimpressive margins. Dacey seems to be promising to be a more traditional conservative than Jones.

SD-AL: Democrats have a credible recruit for the open seat of Rep. Kristi Noem (R) in former judge Tim Bjorkman (D). Republicans have a primary here between SoS Shantel Krebs (R) and ex-Public Service Commissioner Dusty Johnson (R).

State & Local:

OK-Ins Comm: State Rep. Glen Mulready (R), a member of House leadership, has become the first candidate to declare a bid for Insurance Commissioner. Mulready looks likely to be front-runner for the post, which is open as incumbent John Doak (R) is termed out.

Raleigh-Mayor: Attorney Charles Francis (D) will run for mayor of Raleigh this October. Francis seems likely to run to the left of popular incumbent Nancy McFarlane (I), a center-left Indie who has generally run with Dem support in the non-partisan race.

San Bernardino-Mayor: City councilman John Valdiva (R) will run for Mayor next year, challenging incumbent Carey Davis (R), presenting the possibility of two Rs as the major candidates for mayor of the heavily Democratic city. Valdiva received an endorsement from ex-State Sen. Bob Dutton (R), now the county clerk, at his campaign kickoff.

Orange, FL-CE: Sheriff Jerry Demings (D), husband of US Rep. Val (D), will run for Orange County Executive next year. Incumbent Teresa Jacobs (R) is term-limited, and Demings looks likely to give Dems their best chance of taking over the top job in the large, blueing county covering most of the Orlando area..

CO-Gov, CO-7: Perlmutter Dropping Out of Gov Race and Retiring

The man who as little as a month ago looked like the front-runner to become Colorado’s next Governor is instead dropping out of the race. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) saw his path to victory severely complicated by the entry of fellow Rep. Jared Polis (D), who unlike Perlmutter is able to massively self-fund. Polis now looks like the clear primary front-runner for the Democrats, but still faces ex-State Treasurer Cary Kennedy (D) and State Sen. Mike Johnston (D) in the primary.

It’s not clear what this means for Perlmutter’s House seat, CO-7 in the northern and western Denver suburbs. Perlmutter would likely have no trouble winning a seventh term if he were to drop back down, but reports suggest he is likely to retire entirely, which would leave the open-seat primary field of State Sens. Andy Kerr (D) and Dominick Moreno (D) and State Rep. Brittany Pettersen (D) intact.

Political Roundup for May 25, 2017

Check back later today for our Preview of the MT-AL special election at Noon ET, and our liveblog starting at 10pm ET.


Franken: Al Franken (D) claims he is definitely not running for President in 2020. I’m not buying it. A Donald Trump vs Al Franken presidential election is what America deserves.


GA-Gov: One day after a campaign to draft former Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R) to run for Governor surfaced, Westmoreland announced he will not run for Governor in 2018. Three Republicans are already in the race, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp and state Sen. Hunter Hill and more are considering a run. Several Democrats also are likely to enter the contest, including House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams and state Rep. Stacey Evans.

NY-Gov: Gov. Andrew Cuomo seems to be in good shape for re-election. According the the latest Siena Poll he is sporting a 63% favorability rating, 53% favor his re-election and the biggest obstacle to his re-election (Preet Bharara) was fired by Donald Trump.

VA-Gov: Miss me yet? Eight years ago this might be unthinkable but after 8 years of President Barrack Obama and 4 months of President Donald Trump, the presidency of George W. Bush might not be looking so bad. With this in mine Ed Gillespie’s latest TV ad for governor features a picture of him with George W. Bush and talks about his work as a presidential adviser and as one of the authors of the 1994 Contract With America.


OH-Sen: Sen. Rob Portman (R) has endorsed state Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) for Senate. With Rep. Pat Tiberi (R) passing on a Senate run Mandel is now looking like the consensus GOP pick to take on wife beater Sen. Sherrod Brown (D). The last Gravis poll from earlier in the month gave Mandel a 3 point lead over Brown in their rematch of their 2012 race.


CO-7: Another Democrat has thrown is hat in the ring in the race to replace Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D), who is running for governor. State Sen. Dominick Moreno (D) announced his candidacy for Congress on Wednesday. He joins fellow Democrat state Sen. Andy Kerr and state Rep. Brittany Pettersen in the race.

FL-27: Former Miami Dade School Board member Raquel Regalado (R) announced her candidacy for outgoing Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s seat in Florida’s 27th Congressional District in 2018. Regalado is a self described “compassionate Republican” who endorsed Alex Sink over Rick Scott in 2010 and was #NeverTrump in 2016. Her father is Miami Mayor Tomas Pedro Regalado (R) who is definitely to her right ideologically. So far Miami Dade Commissioner Bruno Barriero is the only other Republican to announce his candidacy, but Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera is also a potential candidate.  On the Democrat side businessman Scott Fuhrman, who lost to Ros-Lehtinen last year, Michael A. Hepburn, Mark Anthony Person, and Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez are all running.

GA-6: The DCCC is sinking another $2 million into this special election bringing their total spending her to over $5 million over the four weeks before election day. The amount of money being spent in this district is absolutely mind blowing.

MN-02: Jeff Erdmann (D), the head coach at Rosemount High School and civics teacher at the school, said he is seeking the DFL endorsement to run for Congress and challenge freshman Rep. Jason Lewis (R).

MT-AL: In case you missed it Greg Gianforte doesn’t take any crap from reporters even if it means flushing his entire political career away.

MT-AL: As of Tuesday night the state of Montana reported 250,221 of 356,657 mailed ballots have been returned. That tally is 111% of 2014’s total mailed absentees, and 74% of 2016’s! So turnout for this special election looks like it will be sky high. The votes cast by mail are almost identical in terms of modeled partisanship to the 2014 votes by mail. This indicates that there is no evidence of any unusual partisan advantage based on the turnout thus far. Spending in this race has also shattered a record. So far at least $17 million has been spent on this congressional special election with the GOP outspending the Democrats by a 4 to 1 margin over the last 20 days. The latest online poll from a outfit known as Change Research! gave Republican Greg Gianforte a 5-point lead over Democrat Rob Quist, 49–44% with Libertarian Mark Wicks getting 7%. But this was all before Greg Gianforte went all Incredible Hulk on Ben Jacobs.

NC-9: Solar energy financier Dan McCready (D) announced he will challenge three-term Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger. Pittenger barely survived his 2016 GOP primary which he won by 133 votes and with only 35% of the vote but that was no obstacle to him winning re-election in November with 58% of the vote. Pittenger was under federal investigation related to money transfers involving his privately owned real estate company and his 2012 campaign, but that investigation was recently closed without any charges being filed against him. Democrat Christian Cano, who lost to Pittenger in 2016 is also running again in 2018.

NY-23: Teachers union activist Rick Gallant (D) announced that he will challenge Rep. Tom Reed (R) next year. Gallant is definitely not a top tier challenger and seems more of the some dude variety but he could be the best Democrats get for this seat that the DCCC claims they want to challenge.

SC-1: Republican Tom Perez has ended his primary challenge to Rep. Mark Sanford (R). Perez, who is in the Naval Reserves, was called up for deployment abroad and his return would not come until after the primary election in June of next year. Republican Ted Fienning is also running a primary challenge to Sanford.

SC-5: The latest Gravis Poll has Republican Ralph Norman with a 47%-34% lead over Democrat Archie Parnell.

UT-3: Provo Mayor John Curtis (R) and former state Rep. Chris Herrod (R) are the latest Republicans to join the crowded field running in the special election for outgoing Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s seat. Curtis, who considers himself a conservative, was a registered Democrat in 2004 and 2005 and did not vote for Donald Trump in 2016. Herrod made a bit of a name for himself during his five years in the Utah state house by being a vocal critic of illegal immigration. Republicans Tanner Ainge (who is the son of former BYU and NBA star and current Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge), state Rep. Brad Daw, state Sen. Deidre Henderson and state Sen Margaret Dayton have all already announced that they are running. On the Democrat side progressive candidate Ben Frank and activist Carl Ingwell are running in this heavily Republican district.

WA-8: Issaquah City Councilmember Tola Marts (D) will challenge seven-term Republican Rep. Dave Reichert. Marts will run on a platform of providing free community college for everyone and was not recruited by national Democrat leaders to run. Two other Democrats also have filed paperwork to run; Poga Ahn, a manager of a concrete business, and Thomas Cramer, who ran for Congress in 2012 in the 9th District.

State, Local & Other:

NY-State Senate: Is a coup in the works in the NY State Senate? Democrat state Sen. Simcha Felder, who is aligned with the GOP caucus, sent a letter to IDC leader Sen. Jeff Klein urging him to join the mainline Democrats. Of note is that Felder did not ever say that he was willing to align himself with the main Democrat caucus! So what is really going on? Probably more jostling for prizes from the Prize Patrol as the controversy over stipends that where “accidentally” paid to vice chairs continues.

Political Roundup for April 13, 2017

Our GA-6 Poll will (finally) be released today at 9:30!


AL-Sen: New Gov. Kay Ivey (R) can move up the Alabama Senate special election with just a new proclamation, SoS John Merrill (R) said yesterday. Then-Gov. Robert Bentley (R) had scheduled the election for November 2018, in defiance of the spirit if not the letter of state law, in order to give Sen. Luther Strange (R) the maximum amount of incumbency. However, if Ivey acts within the next month the election can be held this year instead of with the 2018 general, which might benefit potential challengers to Strange.

AZ-Sen: Attorney Deedra Abboud (D) has become the first candidate to declare a run against Sen. Jeff Flake (R). Abboud is basically Some Dude caliber and seems unlikely to end Democrats’ search for a candidate in one of their two realistic Senate pickup opportunities.

IN-Sen: Andrew Takami (R), the director of Perdue University’s satellite campus in New Albany, will run for the Senate. Takami seems like a credible candidate for a lower office but seems unlikely to be a major force in this race if one or both of Reps. Luke Messer (R) and Todd Rokita (R) enter. Both Messer and Rokita are considering runs.

MA-Sen: State Rep. Geoff Diehl (R) is the latest candidate to test the waters on a run against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D). Diehl, a relatively generic legislator from a Republican-leaning South Shore district, would likely be the pick of the state’s GOP establishment. He would likely face eccentric scientist Shiva Ayyadurai (R), who has been endorsed by former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, in the primary for a very uphill run against Warren.

PA-Sen: Businessman Paul Addis (R) is considering a run against Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D). If Addis enters he would join two other “B” to “C” listers, State Reps. Jim Christiana (R) and Rick Saccone (R), in the GOP primary, though he would be the only one of the three from the Philadelphia area.


AL-Gov: Former Auburn Football coach Tommy Tuberville (R) has become the first declared candidate into this race, just days after Gov. Kay Ivey (R) took over. Ivey has not declared whether she will seek a full term in 2018, but needless to say her ascension to the top job has not affected Tuberville’s plan to run for the seat. It’s unclear whether PSC chair Twinkle Cavanaugh (R), the other candidate who has already made clear intentions to enter, will follow through as well. A plethora of candidates on both sides are still considering runs.

AZ-Gov: 2014 State Superintendent nominee David Garcia (D) is the first Dem to enter the race against Gov. Doug Ducey (R). Garcia lost narrowly in 2014, but his rival, now-Superintendent Diane Douglas (R), was considered a weak enough candidate that Garcia’s loss was still seen as an underperformance by some Dems. State Sen. Steve Farley (D) is also considering a run.

CT-Gov: Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim (D), who was able to make a shocking comeback to the Mayor’s office in 2015 after a seven-year prison term on corruption allegations from his prior Mayoral stint, is exploring a run for Governor. Ganim is suing to be allowed into the state’s public campaign financing program; as a convicted felon, he is ineligible. Needless to say, running statewide will be a significantly tougher lift than his bid for Mayor of a poor urban area.

GA-Gov: Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson (D) is considering a run for Governor or Secretary of State. Tomlinson would likely be one of Democrats’ stronger options for the open Gov race, though multiple others, including State Rep. Stacey Abrams (D), are considering. LG Casey Cagle (R) and SoS Brian Kemp (R) are in the race on the GOP side, while ex-Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R) is also considered likely to enter.

IA-Gov: Ex-IADP chair Andy McGuire (D) has announced her candidacy for Governor, joining former state cabinet official Rich Leopold (D) and 2014 State Auditor nominee Jon Neiderbach (D) in the Dem primary. Several other “B” and “C” listers are considering; McGuire, who was tightly aligned with the Clinton camp last cycle, may draw opposition from the BernieBros. The primary winner will likely face LG and Gov-designate Kim Reynolds (R), though Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett (R) is considering a primary challenge.


CO-7: As expected, State Sen. Andy Kerr (D) and State Rep. Brittany Pettersen (D) kicked off their campaigns for Rep. Ed Perlmutter’s (D) seat Monday. State Sen. Dominick Moreno (D) and 2014 nominee Don Ytterberg (R), among others, are also on the record as considering runs.

KS-4: After his closer-than-expected loss this week, James Thompson (D) is planning to run again for the seat Rep.-elect Ron Estes (R) in 2018.

TX-16, El Paso-CE: Ex-El Paso Mayor and 2014 Lands Commissioner nominee John Cook (D) is running for El Paso CE (called “Judge” in Texas) against incumbent Veronica Escobar (D). The decision means that Cook will not seek the open TX-16 House seat, but may push Escobar into that race.

Row Officers:

CA-Supt: State Rep. Tony Thurmond (D) will run for State Superintendent, giving liberal and union groups their likely standard-bearer to succeed liberal termed-out incumbent Tom Torlakson (D). Thurmond has already secured the endorsement of Sen. Kamala Harris (D); he will likely face 2014 candidate Marshall Tuck (D), a moderate who is backed by school-choice interests.

GA-SoS: State Rep. Brad Raffensperger (R) will run for SoS, joining fellow State Rep. Buzz Brockway (R) in the primary to succeed incumbent Brian Kemp (R), who is running for Governor. Both Brockway and Raffensperger hail from the Atlanta suburbs.

HI-LG, Maui-CE: LG Shan Tsutsui (D) is considering forgoing a second term and running for Maui County Executive (Mayor). Tsutsui could face a crowded field for the post, but as a prior longtime State Senator, would likely be the front-runner. Vacating the LG office would likely set off a crowded Democratic shotgun-wedding primary to join Gov. David Ige’s (D) nearly certain re-election campaign.

ID-LG: State Rep. Kelly Packer (R) and ex-State Rep. Janice McGeachin (R) have declared their candidacies for the open seat of LG and Gov candidate Brad Little (R). They join State Sen. Marv Hagedorn (R) in the crowded primary race. State GOP chair Stephen Yates (R) is also considering the race.

MN-AG: AG Lori Swanson (D) has not pulled the trigger on an expected campaign for Governor, but that hasn’t stopped candidates from piling in to succeed her. The latest name is State Rep. John Lesch (D), who joins ex-State Reps. Ryan Winkler (D) and Doug Wardlow (R). Should Swanson reverse course and seek re-election, she would likely be a prohibitive favorite over any challenger.

WI-AG: Prosecutor Josh Kaul (D), son of 2000s-era AG Peg Lautenschlager (D), will seek his mother’s old office against incumbent Brad Schimel (R). The family ties may not be a net positive though, as Lautenschlager is mostly remembered for a DUI arrest while AG that caused her to lose the 2006 primary.

Local Races:

Omaha-Mayor: Accountant and primary candidate Taylor Royal (R) has endorsed incumbent Jean Stothert (R) in May’s general election. Royal self-funded a gadflyish campaign based on bringing a pro sports team to Omaha, but still was able to take a little over 10% of the vote. Stothert led ex-State Sen. Heath Mello (D) just 44-41 in the April primary; the general election is expected to be highly competitive.

Toledo-Mayor: City councilman Tom Waniewski (R) has announced he will challenge incumbent Paula Hicks-Hudson (D) in this year’s election. Hicks-Hudson was appointed and then won a special in 2015; she is likely favored for a full term if she runs again.

Knox, TN-CE: Jesse Ventura redux? Professional wrestler Glenn “Kane” Jacobs (R) will run for Knox County Executive. Jacobs will face Sheriff JJ Jones (R), county commissioner Bob Thomas (R), and county GOP chair Buddy Burkhart (R) in the 2018 primary for the top job in the county of 430K.

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