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Political Roundup for October 9th, 2017

Happy Columbus Day! If you’re a government employee, congratulations, you have the day off! If you’re just a normal person, then here’s some electoral news to take your mind off of what Jenny in HR is probably telling everyone that came up on your last evaluation.

Big Picture

FL: Florida is a state of counterbalancing political trends. On the one hand, you have Puerto Ricans pouring into Orlando. On the other hand, you have northern retirees pouring planned communities across the state. This article examines the latter by looking at the biggest such community, The Villages (Florida’s Friendliest Home Town! to anyone who’s watched a few hours of Fox News in the last decade). One thing that the article fails to note is the same company that built The Villages is planning an even bigger community near Panama City Beach.

Gerrymandering: This is one of those great longform pieces from Politico Magazine. In it, Jeff Greenfield discusses how many Democrats’ obsession with gerrymandering blinds them to the real state-level work that they must do if they wish to regain power.

Talkin’ Bout My Generation: Is the Republican Party in a downward spiral with young voters? No, it definitely isn’t, at least according to this WaPo article. What seems to have happened is that as younger voters have gotten less white, white young voters have gotten more Republican. There’s also some evidence that young blacks have gotten a bit more Republican, but the article doesn’t discuss that.


MI-Sen: Another week, another Kid Rock Senate poll. This one from Mitchell (not the most reputable pollster) Mr. Ritchie trailing Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) by eight points, 46-38.

MO-Sen: Former Trump Steve Bannon has been trying to meddle in some Senate primaries recently. Missouri AG Josh Hawley (R), who’s running against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) next year, heard that he might be on the target list and called the snake himself to charm his way out of it. It remains to be seen whether the snake will go quietly into the basket.

WY-Sen: Speaking of Steve Bannon sticking his nose where it’s in danger of being chopped off, he’s playing in Wyoming as well. He’s reportedly recruiting Blackwater founder Erik Prince to primary Sen. John Barrasso (R). I highly doubt it will work (see Liz Cheney primarying Mike Enzi a few years ago), but we’ll keep an eye on it nonetheless.

MI-08: When you’re in the wilderness, a bunch of formerly appointed officials suddenly look like good candidates. Enter Ellissa Slotkin (D), an Obama-era DoD official who is now running for Congress in her native Michigan. Slotkin is running against Rep. Mike Bishop (R) in his Lansing-to-Troy seat, and she’s raising quite a lot of money for a seat like this and early in the cycle. She’s got about $370k CoH right now. That’s phenomenal, but remember, Bishop is popular and the seat is stably R+4. If there’s a wave, I could see it falling, but it’s not likely at this point. The materials are there, though.

PA-18: With Rep. Tim Murphy (R) adding ‘disgraced former’ to the front of his name last week, there’s liable to be a special election for his Pittsburgh-area seat. Our friend Miles Coleman over at DDHQ breaks down the district by the numbers and finds that it’s likely to stay in Republican hands because of trends in the area over the past two decades.


CA-Gov: Fun fact: in Berkeley, CA, the side of town housing the big university is the one LESS in favor of seizing the means of production. Why is this, might you ask? It’s because even though California is a very blue state, and even its college students are yet bluer, they’re still less leftist than America’s biggest CrazyTown, where Jill Stein came in second place last year. Anyway, the college itself has produced a useful poll of the upcoming gubernatorial blanket primary. The poll came out as 23-12-10-9-7-4 Newsom (D)-Villaraigosa (D)-Cox (R)-Allen (R)-Chiang (D)-Eastin (D). I have to think that this race is Lt. Gove Gavin Newsom’s to lose, and he’ll certainly come in first in Top Two.


CO-Treas: Well, we know who the Republican nominee for Treasurer in Colorado is already. Incumbent Walker Stapleton (R) has decided to run for Governor, and State Rep. Polly Lawrence (R) has stepped right in and raised $90,000 already. That’s almost as much as Stapleton usually raises this time of the cycle. It more than quadruples her closest primary rival. This bodes well for the GOP holding onto the office, as there likely won’t be a bloody primary and Lawrence sounds like solid candidate who stays on-issue.

Erie-Mayor: Salena Zito thinks that the GOP might pick up the Mayor’s office in Erie, PA. I’m not convinced, but she makes a strong case. Pieces like this that focus on local races are often good reads, and this one is no exception.

Hopkins-Mayor: File this one under ‘dumbass.’ A candidate for Mayor in Hopkins, MN, an inner suburb of Minneapolis, is in hot water after after claiming that a new light rail project will bring in ‘riffraff,’ ‘ethnics,’ and shootings. however right he is about transit links sometimes bringing crime to the suburbs, this was exactly the wrong way to approach the subject. His campaign must surely be doomed after this.

Political Roundup for August 17, 2017

First off, huge congratulations are in order to our hardworking friends at Decision Desk HQ on their new deal to provide election data to BuzzFeed!


AK-Gov: 2006 candidate and businessman John Binkley (R) is exploring another run for Governor. Binkley, who was a State Senator in the 80s before coming in second to Palin in the 2006 primary, would join State Sen. Mike Dunleavy (R) if he entered the race. Gov. Bill Walker (I) is expected to have Democratic support in his bid for a second term.

HI-Gov: Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) has acknowledged that rumors that she is considering a gubernatorial bid are true. Hanabusa criticized Ige’s lack of major initiatives during his tenure, but such a bid would still be surprising as both Hanabusa and Ige are considered to hail from the Asian-dominated machine faction of the HIDP.

IL-Gov, IL-LG: A pair of Democratic Illinois gubernatorial candidates have announced running mates for the team primary to take on Gov. Bruce Rauner (R). Uber-wealthy businessman and establishment (read: Mike Madigan) favorite JB Pritzker (D) has chosen State Rep. Juliana Stratton (D) of Chicago’s South Side as his #2, while bold progressive Chicago councilman Ameya Pawar (D) has chosen Cairo (pop. 2K) Mayor Tyrone Coleman (D) as his running mate. Four others, Heir Force Col. Chris Kennedy (D), State Sen. Daniel Biss (D), State Rep. Scott Drury (D), and local superintendent Bob Daiber (D), have not chosen running mates.


MO-Sen: State Rep. Marsha Haefner (R) of the southern St. Louis suburbs is considering a run for the Senate seat of Claire McCaskill (D), joining fellow termed-out State Rep. Paul Curtman (R) as declaring interest in the race. Both Haefner and Curtman, who have said that they would have run for MO-2 had Rep. Ann Wagner (R) entered the Senate race, seem unlikely to have much chance at the nomination if AG Josh Hawley (R), who is being heavily recruited, enters. Hawley got a preemptive endorsement this week from another prospective rival, State Treasurer Eric Schmitt (R).

CA-50: The FBI has raided the offices of Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr.’s (R) campaign consultants and treasurer amid an investigation into Hunter. There are insinuations that Hunter illegally used campaign money for personal purposes, which led to him repaying $60K to his campaign fund.

IA-4: Spencer (pop. 11K) councilwoman Leann Jacobsen (D) will run against Rep. Steve King (R). King, a polarizing conservative, sits in a seat that was formerly light-red but stampeded right in 2016. King has also beaten back several strong challengers.

MA-3: State Sen. Barbara L’Italien (D) is the first person considering a bid for the open seat of Rep. Niki Tsongas (D). This strongly-Dem Merrimack Valley and MetroWest seat is expected to draw a crowded Dem primary.

NJ-11: Woodland Park (pop. 12K) Mayor Keith Kazmark (D) has announced his candidacy for the seat of Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R), joining Passaic County commissioner John Bartlett (D) and former federal prosecutor Mike Sherrill (D) in the primary. This historically-red exurban seat trended strongly left in 2016.

NY-11: Ex-Rep. Michael Grimm (R) may try to run against Rep. Dan Donovan (R) as a third-party candidate on the conservative line. Grimm, who was forced out of office due to an indictment over tax issues, is a favorite of one of Staten Island’s two warring GOP machines, that of ex-Rep. Guy Molinari (R). Donovan is not strongly identified with either the Molinari faction or its rival, that of ex-Rep. Vito Fossella (R), and that combined with his strong personal popularity makes him likely a prohibitive favorite in the GOP primary. However, a third-party Grimm bid could make this light-red seat more competitive in the general.

TN-2: State GOP official Ken Gross (R) will run for this open Knoxville-area seat. Gross says he intends to run on a “shoestring budget”, which likely means he will be a long-shot. Knox CE Tim Burchett (R) is considered the clear front-runner here, while State Rep. Jimmy Matlock (R) and businessman Brad Fullington (R) are also in the race.

State Offices:

CO-AG: Former state and federal prosecutor Amy Padden (D) is the latest candidate into this crowded primary. Padden joins State Rep. Joe Salazar (D), law school dean Phil Weiser (D), prosecutor Michael Dougherty (D), and attorney Brad Levin (D) in the primary. AG Cynthia Coffman (R) may seek re-election or run for Governor; Rep. Ken Buck (R) has been considered a possible candidate if Coffman chooses to vacate the seat.

CO-Treas: Routt County DA Brett Barkey (R) is the latest candidate into this crowded GOP primary. Interestingly, Barkey is the second candidate from his tiny remote county in the state’s northwest in this race, joining Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn (R). They join State Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R) and State Reps. Justin Everett (R) and Polly Lawrence (R) in the contest; State Rep. Steve Lebsock (D) is considered the likely Dem nominee.

GA-Ins Comm: Jim Beck (R), former CoS to retiring incumbent Ralph Hudgens (R), has filed to seek his old boss’s seat. Nonprofit exec Cindy Zeldin (D) is in the race on the Dem side.

NM-Lands Comm: State Sen. George Munoz (D) will run for the open Lands Commissioner seat. Munoz joins what is becoming a crowded primary of ex-Lands Commissioner Ray Powell (D) and nonprofit exec Garrett VeneKlasen (D), who has the backing of Sen. Martin Heinrich (D). Incumbent Aubrey Dunn (R) is running for NM-2 and no Republicans have as yet declared interest in the seat.

NV-Treas: Ex-Las Vegas Councilman Bob Beers (R), who lost his bid for re-election earlier this year over parochial land-use issues, will run for State Treasurer. Beers is the first candidate into the race, which is expected to be open; incumbent Dan Schwartz (R) is considered likely to run for Governor.

OK-Lab Comm: A pair of candidates have entered the race for Oklahoma Labor Commissioner, as Cathy Costello (R) announced she would seek the seat. Costello is the widow of ex-Labor Commissioner Mark (R), who was killed by their mentally disturbed son in 2015, and sought the interim appointment that went to placeholder Melissa McLawhorn-Houston (R). She joins State Rep. Leslie Osborn (R), who upgraded her candidacy from “considering” to “in” last week.

OK-Supt: Campaign finance charges against Superintendent Joy Hoffmeister (R) that were filed last fall have been abruptly dropped without explanation. Hoffmeister was alleged to have improperly coordinated with outside groups to run attack ads against then-incumbent Janet Barresi (R), whom she defeated in the 2014 primary.

SC-AG: South Carolina AG Alan Wilson (R) is in hot water after emails from 2014 surfaced in connection with the ongoing scandal around lobbyist Richard Quinn (R). Wilson allegedly consulted Quinn on how to remove a special prosecutor from the corruption investigation as the course of the investigation was beginning to target some of Wilson’s close allies.

TX-Supreme Court: This is a worthwhile long read on Texas State Supreme Court Justice Don Willett (R), who is a far bigger star than his low-profile position would indicate because of his mix of strong political skills (exemplified by his very popular @justicewillett twitter) and solid legal scholarship. Willett is rumored to be in the running for a federal court seat (possibly even a long-shot SCOTUS pick) or for the Texas AG job if indicted incumbent Ken Paxton (R) leaves it.

Local Races:

Jersey City-Mayor: Ex-State Rep. Charles Mainor (D) will not run for Jersey City Mayor and is dropping down to a city council race. The decision leaves the race a two-man affair between incumbent Steve Fulop (D) and attorney Bill Matsikoudis (D); Fulop is considered a potential US Senate candidate should he win re-election.

Raleigh-Mayor: The Wake County Democratic Party has given its official endorsement to attorney Charles Francis (D) in his bid to unseat mayor Nancy McFarlane (I). McFarlane, a left-of-center Indie, has received the endorsement in her prior re-election bids; she still has significant Dem establishment support against Francis in the October race.

Anne Arundel, MD-CE: County Commissioner John Grasso (R) will challenge incumbent Anne Arundel CE Steve Schuh (R) in next year’s primary. Grasso is upset about an appointment to the county’s liquor board…a decision that Schuh had no control over. Thus, this primary challenge seems likely to be somewhat quixotic. The decision also takes Grasso out of a (likely equally quixotic) primary run against popular Gov. Larry Hogan (R).

Political Roundup for August 3, 2017

Polling Update: Tonight is our final night of calling for our poll of the Republican special election primary for US Senate in Alabama. We are targeting to have the results of the poll ready to be published on Monday but there is a chance we could have it sooner so be sure to check in with us tomorrow! As a reminder our polls are unlike any other organization or news source since they are 100% funded by crowdsourced donations and put together by volunteer political junkies for political junkies. We still need your help to cover the cost of this effort! If you would like to help and to be a part of this poll please go to our donation page: and contribute to our poll fund today!


Patrick: Barack Obama’s inner circle is urging former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) to run for President in 2020. Since leaving the Governorship Patrick has been raking in the big bucks at Bain Capital.

Zuckerberg: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been touring around the country and has hired Democratic pollster Joel Benenson to conduct research for the Zuckerberg-Chan Initiative. Benenson is a former top adviser to President Barack Obama and the chief strategist to Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential campaign. In January Zuckerberg hired David Plouffe, campaign manager for Obama’s 2008 presidential run, as president of policy and advocacy for the Zuckerberg-Chan Initiative. Ken Mehlman, who ran President George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign, also sits on the board.


CO-Gov: Colorado Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne (D) is exploring a run for governor. Lynne was appointed Lt Governor in May of 2016. When she was appointed to her post Lynne stated that she had no ambitions to replace term limited Gov. John Hickenlooper (D). Clearly someone with lots of ambition to be governor is not above lying about those ambitions to get the job she wants. Rep. Jared Polis, former state Sen. Mike Johnston, former Colorado Treasurer Cary Kennedy and businessman Noel Ginsburg are also running on the Democrat side.

NY-Gov: Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner (D) is considering a primary challenge to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) next year. Miner is termed out of her current office and will be without a job next year. Miner was once a close ally of Gov. Cuomo. Cuomo picked her to serve as co-chairman of the state Democratic party in 2012 but she left the post after a falling out with Cuomo over her criticism of his policies. Former one-term Hudson Valley state Sen. Terry Gipson (D) is also considering a primary challenge to Cuomo. On the GOP side, another Syracusian, State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R), is considering a run. DeFrancisco was kept out of the Majority Leader’s job through Cuomo’s intervention on behalf of his intraparty rival, State Sen. John Flanagan (R).

OK-Gov: Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb (R) is leading the money race in the quest to become the next governor of Oklahoma. Lamb has raised more than $2 million which is significantly more than any of the other 13 candidates currently running. Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett (R) reported raising $181,000 while former State Attorney General Drew Edmondson is the top fundraiser among the four Democrats in the race collecting $300,211 so far.

TN-Gov: Rep. Diane Black (R) will run for Governor. This will open R+26 TN-06. We had full coverage on this yesterday.


AL-Sen: Mitch McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund super PAC is up with $435,000 in TV ads attacking Judge Roy Moore (R) for raking in over $1 million in salary from his own charity The Foundation for Moral Law. You can see the ad HERE. The Senate Leadership PAC which is supporting appointed incumbent Luther Strange (R) had been focusing their fire on Rep. Mo Brooks (R).

IN-Sen: State Rep. Mike Braun (R) is assembling a campaign team and will announce his Senate candidacy in the next week or so. Rep. Luke Messer (R) entered the race last week while Rep. Todd Rokita (R) and Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill are also looking at running. Democrat incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly is viewed as one of the more vulnerable Democrats next year.

MA-Sen: In the all important hunt for Curt Schilling’s endorsement state Rep. Geoff Diehl (R) seems to have won out over Fran Drescher’s ex-husband Shiva Ayyadurai (R). Not sure if any of this means anything in terms of beating Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) but as the last Republican to hold this seat would say, Bqhatevwr!

MI-Sen: Kid Rock’s ex-girlfriend Sheryl Crow has written a song about his potential senate run. The song entitled  “Dude I’m Still Alive” features catchy lyrics like  “At least the guy’s not 90 / In his 32nd term / but a pole in the Lincoln bedroom / is bound to make some people squirm.” No word yet if Sheryl plans to write a song about John James.

MO-Sen: Looks like the GOP will get its man! Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) will announce he will open an exploratory committee to run for Senate on Friday. Hawley is the GOP’s top recruit to take on vulnerable Democrat incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill.

NE-Sen: Sen. Ben Sasse (R) has wisely turned down the job of heading the Heritage Foundation. After the internal discord there that lead to Jim DeMint getting pushed out, Sasse was smart to say “No thanks”.

NJ-Sen: Just a friendly reminder we are less than five weeks away from the start of Sen. Bob Menendez’s corruption trial.


IA-3: Former US Treasury Department economist Austin Frerick (D) has become the 7th Democrat to enter race vs Rep. David Young (R). If no candidate gets more than 35% of the vote in the primary the results are thrown out and a convention will pick the Democrat nominee. This is how David Young won the GOP nomination in his first run for office.

MD-6: State Sen. Roger Manno (D) and businessman David Trone (D) have entered the race for Democrat Rep. John Delaney’s now open seat. Manno is the Maryland Senate majority whip and Trone spend more than $13 million of his own money on his campaign for the 8th Congressional District last year. They joins Maryland House Majority Leader C. William “Bill” Frick (D) and Del. Aruna Miller (D) in the race for the Democrat nomination.

NY-11: Army veteran some dude Max Rose is the fifth Democrat to announce a challenge to Rep. Daniel Donovan (R). He joins some dude former cop Mike Decillis, some dude bond trader Zach Emig, some dude retired boxer Boyd Melson and some dude Michael DeVito Jr. in seeking the Democrat nomination. Unlike most of the other Democrat challengers Rose has actually lives in Staten Island (albeit only for the last 2 years). As is the way in New York politics the local party bosses will probably sort this out and narrow the field as to who will earn the right to lose to Dan Donovan.

NY-21: Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello, who ran for Congress in 2014 and 2016, announced he will not run again in 2018. Funiciello received 11% of the vote in 2014 and 4.4% in 2016 in elections that Republican Elise Stefanik easily won with 55.2% of the vote and 63%.

PA-1: Millennial Nonprofit Executive Omar Woodard (D) might primary Democrat party boss Rep. Bob Brady. Woodward is black and Brady is white. PA-1 is minority-majority with Whites making up 40% of the district, Blacks 35% and Hispanics 16%. Brady is currently under federal investigation for allegedly bribing a potential primary opponent $90,000 not to run. No word yet on how much cash Brady is offering Woodward to forgo his campaign.

PA-4: Rev. George Scott (D) has launched a campaign for the Democrat nomination to challenge Rep. Scott Perry (R) in this R+11 district.

TX-23: Former Air Force intelligence officer Gina Ortiz Jones (D) has launched a run vs Rep. Will Hurd (R) in what is probably the only truly competitive congressional district under the current lines in Texas (there is an outstanding federal court challenge to Texas congressional lines). Although Jones is the first major Democrat to announce former Obama official Judy Canales, former federal prosecutor Jay Hulings, and former Rep. Pete Gallego are considering running as well.

VA-10: Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) primary opponent perennial candidate Shak Hill has been posting articles about penis enlargement and proper techniques for prostate milking on his website throughout the summer. While we are not sure that this will be a successful campaign strategy it is good to remember that it will be 2018 so who the heck knows anymore.

State, Local & Other:

AK-LG: State Sen. Gary Stevens (R) is the first candidate running in the shotgun-wedding primary for Lt. Governor. State Sen. Mike Dunleavy (R) is as of yet the only significant declared gubernatorial candidate for Republicans.

AR-SoS: 2014 nominee Susan Inman (D) is running again for the open seat. She lost to term limited incumbent Mark Martin by 25 points in 2014 and lost a bid for Arkansas HD-32 in 2016 by 13 points.

CO-Treas: State Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R) is the fourth Republican to announce a run for Treasurer. He joins fellow state lawmakers Justin Everett and Polly Lawrence and Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn into the GOP primary. Current state Treasurer Walker Stapleton (R) is term-limited and is expected to jump into the Colorado governor’s race. The only Democrat to announce a run so far is state Rep. Steve Lesbock.

Mobile, AL- Mayor: Incumbent Mayor Sandy Stimpson (R) leads ex-Mayor Sam Jones (D) 53-43; Stimpson’s lead comes from getting close to a quarter of the black vote in the roughly half-black, half-white city. The election is August 22nd.

Birmingham, AL-Mayor: Incumbent Mayor William Bell (D) is on pace to win outright with 54% in the latest poll. Former Auburn football player Chris Woods (D) is a distant 2nd at almost 17%. Assistant city attorney and Birmingham Board of Education member Randall Woodfin (D) is close behind in 3rd at 14%, with no other candidates above 10% in voter support.

NYC-Mayor: Mayor Bill deBlasio has asked for $2.9 million in taxpayer money to fund his primary campaign against two little known Democrat opponents who have raised barely $124,000 in campaign cash. This is clearly a much better use of government money than fixing the damn subways.

Political Roundup for July 18, 2017

First off today, there are a pair of elections to preview, one domestic and one international. There is just a single legislative special of note today, a primary for RI-SD-13, a D+17 (2016) seat covering most of Newport and all of Jamestown, on the next island to the west. Four Dems are facing off.  School board member David Hanos (D) looks like the slight front-runner, as he has establishment support and the endorsement of the prior incumbent. but well-funded Newport councilman John Florez (D), attorney Dawn Euer (D), and state official David Allard (D) are all running serious campaigns and any could come out on top. The D primary winner should be favored in the 3-way August general over 2014 nominee Michael Smith (R), who lost by a respectable 10 points three years ago to the powerful prior incumbent (the then-Senate President), and center-left Gov. Chaffee admin official Kim Ripoli (I). There is also an NH House primary and a general, which we don’t cover as a quiet protest against the NH House’s insane size.

Today is also the general election in Bermuda. Bermuda is an island 650 miles east of the Carolina coast, with a total land area roughly 2/3 the size of Manhattan. It is a British territory, but has home rule powers that are in practice absolute in domestic policy, and even some foreign policy functions. Its population of 65K is roughly 60% black and 35% white. Offshore finance and tourism are the only economic drivers of significance; while Bermuda is extremely wealthy, that prosperity comes with an astronomically high cost of living (the average house price is $1M, for example). Bermuda has a 36-member parliament elected in the standard British first-past-the-post system. It has a two-party system of the incumbent center-right One Bermuda Alliance and the center-left Progressive Labor Party. The two parties tend to be quite evenly matched; 1985 was the last time either took more than 55% of the vote.The OBA had just a 19-17 majority in the outgoing parliament, and the election was triggered by two renegade OBA MPs breaking with the government and bringing it down. Reporting on the election is sparse, but the one recent poll of the election showed the OBA likely strengthening its hand. Now the (huge list of) the rest of the day’s news:


AZ-Sen: Trumpist forces, possibly including the White House itself, are seeking to target Sen. Jeff Flake (R) in the GOP primary. There are apparently two recruiting targets: State Treasurer Jeff DeWit (R) and ex-AZGOP chair Robert Graham (R), with ex-State Sen. and 2016 candidate Kelli Ward (R), who is already in the race, as a backup option. A bruising primary against Flake would likely be good news for Dems targeting this seat as a pickup opportunity; Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton (D) are thought to be interested in bids.

MO-Sen: Rep. Vicki Hartzler (R) will not seek the Senate seat of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D). AG Josh Hawley (R) remains the GOP’s clear recruiting target for this race.

MT-Sen: State Auditor (Insurance Commissioner) Matt Rosendale (R) is “95 percent there” on a decision to challenge Sen. Jon Tester (D) and will likely decide within the month, according to unnamed insiders. Rosendale is clearly the GOP’s third option for the race against Tester after Rep. Ryan Zinke (R) was appointed interior secretary and AG Tim Fox (R) declined a bid. Rosendale, who has some self-funding ability, would likely be the front-runner in the primary if he entered, joining State Sen. Al Olszewski (R), judge Russ Fagg (R), and storage company owner Troy Downing (R).

WV-Sen: Former mining executive Don Blankenship (R), recently released from prison after serving a year for safety violations during his tenure, is considering a Senate run. Blankenship would join AG Patrick Morrisey (R) and Rep. Evan Jenkins (R) in the GOP primary; needless to say, Sen. Joe Manchin (D) would likely relish making the race a referendum on Blankenship’s polarizing nature in the state.


AL-Gov: At this point we need to start making lists of who isn’t running for Governor of Alabama. State Sen. Paul Sanford (R) says he has been receiving encouragement to run, as he is stepping down from the Senate due to self-imposed term limits. Sanford doesn’t sound too enthusiastic about the idea though, as he says he hasn’t raised any money and probably won’t enter the race. Should he enter the primary he could join the following candidates who are in or exploring the race: Ag Commissioner John McMillan (R), Auditor Jim Zeigler (R), PSC Chair Twinkle Cavanaugh (R), Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle (R), State Sen. Bill Hightower (R), businessman Josh Jones (R), and minister Scott Dawson (R). ex-State Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb (D) and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox (D) are exploring runs on the D side. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has not indicated her plans.

AK-Gov: State Sen. Mike Dunleavy (R) will run for Governor, becoming the first major candidate into the race. Centrist Gov. Bill Walker (I) has not indicated if he will seek re-election, and it is unclear whether either or both parties will seek to go after him aggressively should he seek a second term.

FL-Gov: State Sen. Jack Latvala (R) will presumably announce a run for Governor on August 16. Latvala, a moderate who is considered a kingmaker among insiders in Tallahassee but has little name recognition outside his Pinellas County base, would be a credible but long-shot primary contender against front-running Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam (R). State House Speaker Rich Corcoran (R) is also considering a run; Dems have a primary between ex-Rep. Gwen Graham (D), Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D), and potentially multiple others.

IA-Gov: Retired businessman Fred Hubbell (D), a major Dem donor, is the latest Democrat into this primary, which is becoming ridiculously crowded. Hubbell joins State Sen. Nate Boulton (D), State Rep. Todd Prichard (D), ex-IADP chair Andy McGuire (D), former Gov. Vilsack CoS John Norris (D) ex-Iowa City Mayor Ross Wilburn (D), and 2014 State Auditor nominee Jon Neiderbach (D). If none of the candidates cross 35% of the vote, the nomination goes to a convention, and that is looking increasingly likely here.

ME-Gov: Ex-State House Speaker Mark Eves (D) has become the latest Democrat to enter this increasingly crowded primary. Eves joins appointed AG Janet Mills (D), 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.

MD-Gov: As expected, left-wing State Sen. Rich Maladeno (D) is the latest Democrat to officially declare a run for the chance to take on Gov. Larry Hogan (D). Maladeno joins Prince George’s CE Rushern Baker (D), ex-NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous (D), attorney Jim Shea (D), and Hillary aide Alec Ross (D) in the primary.

NE-Gov: Moderate State Sen. Bob Krist will leave the Republican party and run against Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) as an independent, or more precisely, under a vanity third-party banner, which has lower signature requirements. The odds seem decent that Krist could become the de facto Democrat in this race, as no credible Dem has publicly indicated any interest in taking on the relatively popular Ricketts.

RI-Gov: State House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan (R) is considering a run for Governor. Should she enter, Morgan would face Trumpist ex-State Rep. Joe Trillo (R) in the primary; Cranston Mayor and 2014 nominee Allan Fung (R) is also thought to be considering a run. Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) may face Dem primary opposition as well.

WI-Gov: Nonprofit exec Mike McCabe (D) has become the second little-known Democrat to declare a run against Gov. Scott Walker (R), joining businessman Andy Gronik (D) in the primary. State Superintendent Tony Evers (D), Madison Mayor Paul Soglin (D), and State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D) are all considering runs as well.

WY-Gov: Businessman Bill Dahlin (R) is the first candidate to declare for Wyoming’s open-seat gubernatorial race. It’s still too early to speculate how serious a candidate Dahlin might be, as several bigger names such as ex-Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R), SoS Ed Murray (R), and Treasurer Mark Gordon (R) are all considering this race.


CA-39: Veteran and lottery winner Gil Cisneros (D), who won a $266M lottery jackpot in 2010, is running against Rep. Ed Royce (R). Cisneros’s presumable self-funding ability may make him an attractive candidate for this hitorically-Republican Orange County seat that Hillary carried.

CA-52: Republicans look set to at least have an interesting candidate to take on Rep. Scott Peters (D). Omar Qudrat (R), a former Guantamo prosecutor and Muslim of Afghani descent, will run for this seat covering much of San Diego proper. Qudrat faces long odds in a seat that was purple but has trended strongly left in recent years.

CO-4, CO-AG: Rep. Ken Buck (R) may run for Colorado AG if AG Cynthia Coffman (R) gives up her seat to run for Governor, citing a desire to return to Colorado and his background as a former DA. Buck would likely be the favorite for the GOP nomination for AG (and trigger a competitive primary for his deep-red House seat) if he ran.

FL-6: Bill Clinton admin official Nancy Soderberg (D) has filed to run for this fairly red Daytona Beach area seat, giving Dems a credible candidate. The seat is expected to be open as Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) has pledged a three-term limit; DeSantis is speculated to be interested in either a bid for Governor or Florida AG.

MI-11: Detroit city official Fayrouz Saad (D), who previously worked in the Obama administration, will run against Rep. David Trott (R). This light-red suburban Detroit seat is likely to be relatively high on Dems’ radars as a pickup opportunity, but it’s unclear if Saad is their choice recruit here.

NM-1: Immigration attorney Michael Hendricks (R) has become the second Republican to enter the race for this medium-blue Albuquerque seat, joining ex-State Rep. and 2012 nominee Janice Arnold-Jones (R). Democrats have a crowded primary for this open seat with ex-NMDP chair Deb Haaland (D), Albuquerque councilman Pat Davis (D), and ex-US Attorney Damon Martinez (D) seem the top candidates.

TX-23: Ex-Rep. Pete Gallego (D) has filed for a third matchup with Rep. Will Hurd (R) after coming up short in both 2014 and 2016. Gallego says that the outcome of upcoming re-redistricting that may affect this purple district in either direction will not have an effect on his decision on entering the race.

WV-2: Former congressional staffer and Hillary campaign operative Talley Sergent (D) will run against Rep. Alex Mooney (R). Mooney has underperformed in his two prior races but this very Trumpist district is tough terrain for any Democrat, particularly one tied to Hillary. However, Mooney made another strange decision recently by tapping sitting Maryland State Sen. Michael Hough (R) as his CoS, highlighting Mooney’s own craven carpetbagging across the Potomac. Hough will not resign his legislative seat to take the job with Mooney.

WV-3: Physician Ayne Amjad (R) is the latest candidate into this open-seat race covering southern West Virginia. Amjad will face ex-State Rep. and 2012 nominee Rick Snuffer (R), and potentially others, in the primary; State Sen. Richard Ojeda (D) is in the race on the Dem side.

State & Local:

CO-SoS: Jena Griswold (D), Gov. John Hickenlooper’s (D) DC liason, will run for Secretary of State next year. Griswold looks like the top Democratic choice to take on incumbent Wayne Williams (R) as she is receiving most establishment support. In tangentially related news, the Williamses may be on their way to replacing the divorcing Rep. Mike and AG Cynthia Coffman as the COGOP’s power couple, as Williams’s wife Holly (R) will run for a safely Republican seat on the El Paso County commission.

CO-Treas: State Rep. Polly Lawrence (R), who represents a deep-red seat in the Denver exurbs, will run for the open State Treasurer seat. Lawrence joins fellow State Rep. Justin Everett (R) and Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn (R) in the GOP primary. State Rep. Steve Lebsock (D) is considered the most likely Dem nominee for this open seat; incumbent Walker Stapleton (R) is termed-out and likely to run for Governor.

GA-Ins Comm: Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens (R) won’t seek a third term in 2018. Hudgens’s decision leaves a third Row Officer seat open in addition to the LG and SoS posts vacated by gubernatorial candidates. Hudgens’s top deputy, Jay Florence (R), quickly filed to seek the seat.

ID-Treas: Ada County Treasurer Vicky McIntyre (R) will run for the open State Treasurer seat, joining investor Kevin Jones (R) in this primary. Five-term incumbent Ron Crane (R) is retiring.

LA-Treas, LA-PSC-2: Qualifying closed for the Louisiana Treasurer special on Friday of last week, and there appear to be three major candidates: State Sen. Neil Riser (R), State Rep. John Schroeder (R), and Gov. Jindal admin official Angele Davis (R). One Some Dude Democrat also filed, and may be able to make the runoff on Dem votes but probably stands zero chance of winning. Qualifying also closed for the PSC-2 seat, a heavily Republican seat around Baton Rouge and Lafayette. Three Republicans signed up, Edwards-appointed incumbent Damon Baldone (R), who was a D State Rep. but filed as a “Republican”, ex-State Rep. Lenar Whitney (R), and physician Craig Greene (R).

MO-Aud: State House Speaker Todd Richardson (R) is preparing to run for State Auditor against appointed incumbent Nicole Galloway (D). Galloway is the only Democrat holding a Row Office in Missouri, a post she was appointed to after her Republican predecessor committed suicide. Richardson looks likely to be the front-runner for the GOP nomination.

OR-Lab Comm: Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian (D) announced last week that he would not seek a third full term in the nominally non-partisan post. Avakian has been known as one of the most aggressive Social-Justice-Warriors in high office, which led him to be polarizing even in his blue state and lose his bid to move up to SoS in 2016. Avakian’s most likely successor is probably one of his erstwhile rivals for the SoS post, ex-State Rep. Val Hoyle (D). Hoyle, a more mainstream liberal, already announced her intent to run, though she may face opposition from ex-State Sen. Diane Rosenbaum (D).

SC-LG: The South Carolina state ethics board has interestingly announced that it will allow LG Kevin Bryant (R) to continue to raise money for an election that won’t happen. Bryant is fundraising under a campaign for the LG job – but the state is transitioning in 2018 from a separately-elected LG to a presidential-style system where gubernatorial candidates pick their running mates. Apparently there is a legal fiction-slash-loophole that the money can be raised for Bryant to persuade someone to pick him as their running mate. More likely of course is that Bryant is planning to run for an office that has a real election (such as a primary challenge to Gov. Henry McMaster (R)) but doesn’t want to admit it yet.

CA-San Diego County-3: R-turned-I-turned-D ex-State Rep. Nathan Fletcher (D) will run for county supervisor next year in a seat covering central San Diego. Fletcher will likely face ex-DA Bonnie Dumanis (R) in what could be a high-profile contest.

Political Roundup for June 8, 2017

Tonight we will have a liveblog of the UK election starting at 5p ET. But until then, check out our previews of today’s UK races and of this weekend’s elections in San Antonio, El Paso, and more. Now here is today’s news:


AL-Gov: Minister Scott Dawson (R), who is a regular presence on the regionally-popular Rick and Bubba Radio Show, will run for Governor.  Dawson joins Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan (R), Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle (R), and Jefferson County commissioner David Carrington (R) in the GOP primary, with PSC Chair Twinkle Cavanaugh (R) also seen as likely to enter. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has not indicated if she will seek a full term.

ME-Gov: There has been Lots of movement in this race over the last few days, on all three of the R, D, and I lanes. First, LePage Administration official Mary Mayhew (R) has become the first major Republican to enter this race, though the primary field is likely to be crowded. Mayhew has overseen some of LePage’s welfare reform initiatives as state Health Commissioner, potentially making her a formidable force in a GOP primary. Across the aisle, lobbyist and prominent left-wing activist Betsy Sweet (D) has become the third Democrat in the race, joining attorney and former congressional candidate Adam Cote (D) and healthcare exec Patrick Eisenhart (D). And this being Maine, there is some news for Indies in this race. Comedian Karmo Sanders (I), who is well-known in the state for starring in commercials for the Marden’s discount store chain, is also considering a run. Sanders is a registered Dem but says she will run as a centrist Independent. Should she join the race, she will be the second significant Indie in the contest along with D-turned-I appointed State Treasurer Teresea Hayes (I).

NH-Gov: Newly-elected Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky (D) is considering a run for Governor in 2018. Volinsky, a former Sanders campaign operative and prominent attorney, would likely face the more moderate Portsmouth Mayor and 2016 candidate Steve Marchand (D) in the primary to take on first-term Gov. Chris Sununu (R).

OH-Gov: LG Mary Taylor (R) revealed last week that both of her sons are addicted to opiates, adding a poignant personal twist to the massive rise in addiction that has swept across rural America over the last several years. Taylor is in a competitive 4-way primary for Governor with AG Mike DeWine (R), who recently announced a suit against prescription opiate manufacturers, SoS Jon Husted (R), and Rep. Jim Renacci (R).

TN-Gov: Rutherford County Property Assessor Rob Mitchell (R) will run for Governor. Though Mitchell holds countywide office in a large suburban county, his name recognition is as non-existent as you might expect, so he is likely a very long-shot in this race. State Sen. Mae Beavers (R), Haslam admin official Randy Boyd (R), and businessman Bill Lee (R) are also in the open-seat GOP primary race, with many others considering. Ex-Nashville Mayor Karl Dean (D) is in the race on the Dem side.

VA-Gov: The Washington Post endorsement, one of the very few newspaper picks that can still move a significant number of votes (especially in Dem primaries), dropped yesterday. WaPo has picked LG Ralph Northam (D) over ex-Rep. Tom Perriello (D), a big get for Northam in the key battleground of NoVa, though relatively expected as the WaPo is as big a bastion of establishment moderate-liberalism (as opposed to Perriello’s bold progressivism) as they come. The much less-useful GOP endorsement went to long-shot State Sen. Frank Wagner (R), who is little-known outside Hampton Roads and well behind ex-RNC Chair Ed Gillespie (R) in polls.

WI-Gov: Madison Mayor Paul Soglin (D) has reversed course and is now considering a run for Governor. Soglin had dismissed the idea of a campaign against Gov. Scott Walker (R) last December. But after several other Dems have declined bids, he is giving it a second look. Soglin, a longtime incumbent with a Bernie Sanders-like aging-60s-radical image, would likely be a strong favorite in a Dem primary due to his high name recognition in one of the state’s biggest Dem base areas. However, his easy-to-caricature Madison liberal profile would likely be a tough sell with swing voters in the purple state. The more moderate State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D) and several lesser-known candidates have also been considering the race.


MT-Sen: AG Tim Fox (R) announced this week that he would not challenge Sen. Jon Tester (D), taking away Republicans’ choice recruit for this race. State Sen. Al Olszewski (R) and storage company exec and veteran Troy Downing (R) are in the race, but it looks like the GOP will need to do some more recruitment here.

AL-5: Democrats may have a credible candidate for this Huntsville-area seat if Rep. Mo Brooks (R) wins the special Senate election. Peter Joffrion (D), who recently retired after 30 years as Huntsville city attorney, announced he will seek the seat – including a run against Brooks in 2018 if he does not prevail in the crowded Senate race against appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R). Veteran Clayton Hinchman (R), who lost a leg in Iraq, is in the race on the GOP side. This deep-red seat was historically Democratic but has moved strongly right in the last decade.

FL-2: Democrats may have a credible candidate for another deep-red seat, as ex-Leon County commissioner Bob Rackleff (D) will run against first-term Rep. Neal Dunn (R). Democrats’ odds here went down dramatically when this formerly light-red seat was cleaved into a deep-blue seat (FL-5) and a deep-red seat (FL-2) in the 2016 re-redistricting, leading then-Rep. Gwen Graham (D) to forgo a re-election run.

IA-1: State Sen. Jeff Danielson (D) is considering a run against Rep. Rod Blum (R). Danielson, who seems to strike moderate notes, would likely face young State Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D) in the primary. This formerly light-blue northeast Iowa seat zoomed right in 2016 and Blum, who was considered a fluke winner in his first bid in 2014, held on by a better-than-expected 8-point margin.

MN-1: In something of a surprise, State Sen. Jeremy Miller (R) will not seek the southern Minnesota light-red open seat of Rep. Tim Walz (D), who is running for Governor. 2014/16 nominee Jim Hagedorn (R), a “C” list candidate, is the only Republican in the race as of yet; ex-State Sen. Vicki Jensen (D) is in the race for Dems.

NM-1: Former congressional staffer Damian Lara (D) is the latest candidate into this crowded primary field for this medium-blue seat covering metro Albuquerque. Lara joins ex-NMDP chair and 2014 LG nominee Deb Haaland (D), Albuquerque councilman Pat Davis (D), Edgewood councilman John Abrams (D), and others in the race.

NY-21: Ex-St. Lawrence County commissioner Tedra Cobb (D) is considering a run against Rep. Elise Stefanik (R). Stefanik has seemingly locked down this purple seat covering the Adirondacks, aided by repeated strong Green Party challenges from Matt Funicello (G), who is running again in 2018.

TX-16, El Paso, TX-CE: El Paso CE Veronica Escobar (D) announced she will not run for re-election. Escobar was potentially facing a tough primary with ex-El Paso Mayor John Cook (D), but the decision also means that she may be more serious about exploring a run for the open-seat TX-16 of Rep. and Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke (D). Escobar would likely be a front-runner in that primary if she were to enter.

WA-5: Spokane council president Ben Stuckart (D) will end his bid against Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R), citing family health issues. Stuckart’s odds in this race went down dramatically when McMorris-Rodgers was unexpectedly passed over for Interior secretary and the open seat in this medium-red district failed to materialize.

State & Local:

AL-AG: Appointed AG Steve Marshall (R) will seek a full term in 2018. Marshall, who was appointed by scandal-tarred then-Gov. Robert Bentley (R), may face a difficult race because of the circumstances of his appointment. Interestingly, Marshall has never actually run a campaign despite being a 16-year veteran of elected office. A Democrat until switching parties in 2011, he was appointed as Marshall County DA in 2001 by then-Gov. Don Seigleman (D), who was later felled by his own corruption scandal. Marshall then ran unopposed in all his elections for DA in his rural northeast Alabama county.

CO-Treas: Brita Horn (R), the county Treasurer for Routt County, around Steamboat Springs in the rural northwest of the state, will run for State Treasurer. Horn joins a pair of staunchly conservative legislators, State Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R) and State Rep. Justin Everett (R), in the GOP primary, and State Rep. Steve Lebsock (D) is running on the Dem side. Incumbent Walker Stapleton (R) is termed-out and considered likely to run for Governor.

FL-AG: Prominent Fort Lauderdale attorney Mitchell Berger (D), a major Dem fundraiser who worked on the Gore recount campaign in 2000, is considering a run for AG. Berger says he will only run if Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler (D) declines a bid. Attorney Ryan Torrens (D) is the only Dem in the race thus far. AG Pam Bondi (R) is termed-out and thought to be in line for a Trump administration job; State Rep. Jay Fant (R) and judge Ashley Moody (R) are in the race on the GOP side, and others, including State Senate Pres. Joe Negron (R), are thought to be considering bids.

FL-CFO: Ex-State Sen. Jeremy Ring (D), a wealthy former tech executive, will run for State CFO, giving Democrats in the Sunshine State their first truly credible Row Officer contender. Due to his wealth and name recognition in the state’s Dem heartland of South Florida, Ring is likely favored in the Dem primary. The GOP side of the field is frozen at the moment, as incumbent Jeff Atwater (R) will resign this year and Gov. Rick Scott (R) will be able to appoint a replacement.

GA-LG: State Sen. Rick Jeffares (R) of the southern Atlanta exurbs will run for LG. Jeffares joins State Senate President David Shafer (R) and State Rep. Geoff Duncan (R) in the open-seat race. Incumbent Casey Cagle (R) is running for Governor.

LA-Treas: State Rep. John Schroder (R) will resign his deep-red North Shore House seat today to focus on his campaign for Treasurer. Schroder is facing State Sen. Neil Riser (R) and State Rep. Julie Stokes (R) in the October jungle primary for this special election; no Dems have as yet declared interest in the seat.

NE-Treas: Taylor Royal (R), a 27-year old who came in third in this year’s Omaha Mayoral primary on his family’s money and a quixotic pledge to bring an NFL team to Omaha, will run for State Treasurer in 2018. The office is an open seat as incumbent Don Stenberg (R) is termed out; Royal is the first candidate to declare interest in the race.

OK-Aud: Cindy Byrd (R), an official in the State Auditor’s office, will seek the top job in 2018, becoming the first candidate into this race. Incumbent Gary Jones (R) is termed-out and running for Governor.

VA-LG: Ahead of next week’s primary, former Biden Senate staffer and lobbyist Susan Platt (D) is attempting to stake out a position as the most left-wing candidate in this field by calling for Trump’s impeachment. It’s unclear if the symbolic play will help her gain traction in the primary, where 2013 AG candidate Justin Fairfax (D) is generally considered the slight front-runner over Platt and former federal prosecutor Gene Rossi (D).

Orange, NY-CE: Accountant and veteran Patrick Davis (D) is Democrats’ choice to take on incumbent County Executive Steve Neuhaus (R). Neuhaus is seeking his second term in this purple Hudson Valley county this year.

WV-SD-4: WV State Senate President Mitch Carmichael (R) is out of a (real) job, after supporting a piece of legislation meant to increase broadband competition. Carmichael’s employer, Frontier Communications, is the state’s major phone and broadband company and lobbied against the legislation.

IA-LD-22: Unfortunately not everything is beautiful for (not that) Ray Stevens (D), a candidate in a special for a deep-red House seat east of Council Bluffs this month. Stevens failed to file his paperwork on time, meaning that Democrats will not have a candidate for this R+19 (2016) seat. Stevens will run as a write-in against banker and local GOP official Jon Jacobsen (R) and Carol Forristall (R), the widow of the previous incumbent running as an Indie. This likely means the streak of Republican victories in this seat will continue. (And yes, this story is in the roundup purely for the Ray Stevens puns.)

Political Roundup for June 2, 2017


FL-Gov: Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine is considering running for governor, but isn’t sure whether to do so as a Democrat or an independent. He says he loves being a Democrat and was a prominent supporter of Hillary Clinton last year, but also calls himself a “radical centrist” whose message is about getting things done and not about partisan politics. Levine has great personal wealth he can use in a campaign and has indicated he would do so if he runs. Ex-Rep. Gwen Graham, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and businessman Chris King are already running for the Democratic nomination, and trial lawyer John Morgan is considering.

IL-Gov: Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker discussed his interest in various offices with ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) in 2008, newly released recordings obtained by the Chicago Tribune show. Pritzker denied interest in being appointed to Barack Obama’s Senate seat, but did express interest in being state Treasurer, if then Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (D) was appointed to a position in the Obama Administration. Blagojevich also asked Pritzker if he had a law degree, suggesting he could appoint him as Attorney General if he appointed AG Lisa Madigan (D) to the Senate. Although the recordings do not necessarily indicate Pritzker did anything wrong, his closeness with the disgraced ex-governor is an issue in the campaign.

IA-Gov: The Democratic primary for governor is quickly approaching clown car status. John Norris, a former state Democratic Party chairman and longtime aide to former Gov. and US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (D) filed to run yesterday. He is the sixth Democrat to announce a bid, joining fellow former state Democratic Party chairman Andy McGuire, state Sen. Nate Boulton, state Rep. Todd Prichard, former Iowa Department of Natural Resources director Rich Leopold, and former Des Moines School Board president Jon Niederbach. The race could get even more crowded as local SEIU president Cathy Glasson said this week she is considering a bid. Two other Democrats, Des Moines businessman Fred Hubbell and Davenport Alderman Mike Matson are said to be considering bids as well.

OK-Gov: Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett (R) is planning to run for governor next year. Cornett is Oklahoma City’s longest serving mayor in history, finishing up 14 years in office next year. He is attempting to take a rare path-the mayor of the state’s capital and largest city has not traditionally been a path to higher office, with only one previous mayor serving as governor, in 1923. He joins attorney Gary Richardson, state Auditor Gary Jones (R) and LG Todd Lamb (R) in the Republican primary.

SD-Gov: State Senate Minority Leader Billie Sutton (D) is the first Democrat to announce a run for governor next year. Sutton has an interesting background-paralyzed from the waist down due to a rodeo accident, elected to the state Senate for the first time in 2010 at the age of 26 and now term limited out next year at the age of 34. Sutton has an uphill battle trying to become the first Democrat elected governor in the state since 1974-currently the longest period of continuous control by one party for any governor’s office.


NV-2: Rep. Mark Amodei (R) will run for re-election next year. Amodei had been considering a run either for governor or Attorney General. Unsuccessful 2010 and 2016 US Senate candidate Sharron Angle, who also lost in the Republican primary for NV-2 in 2006, is planning to run as well.

OH-5: Van Wert County Commissioner Todd Wolfrum (R) plans to challenge Rep. Bob Latta (R) in the Republican primary next year. Wolfrum intends to run to Latta’s right, contending that congressional Republicans have lost touch with the conservative voters that sent them to Washington.

State & Local:

AL-LG: State Board of Education member Mary Scott Hunter (R) has announced she will run for Lieutenant Governor next year. Hunter was first elected to the board in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. She has had a controversial tenure on the board, and has been criticized by conservatives for her support of Common Core standards. State Sen. Rusty Glover (R) has also announced a bid for the office.

CO-Treas.: State Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R) is considering running for state Treasurer next year. Lundberg, who is considered one of the most conservative members of the Legislature, was also the Republican nominee in CO-2 in 2012, taking 39% against Rep. Jared Polis (D). He joins state Rep. Justin Everett (R) in the Republican primary. State Rep. Steve Lebsock (D) is running on the Democratic side. Current State Treasurer Walker Stapleton (R) is term-limited and considered a likely candidate for governor.

FL-AG: Former Hillsborough County Judge Ashley Moody (R) is running for Attorney General. Moody resigned from the bench in April-she was first elected in 2006 and was at the time the youngest judge in the state. She joins state Rep. Jay Fant (R) in the Republican primary.

FL-SD-40: 3 Democrats, 3 Republicans and 1 independent have qualified for the special election for this seat. Primaries will be July 25 while the general election will be Sept. 26. The Democrats are former state Rep. Ana Rivas Logan, Army veteran Steve Smith and former LG and congressional candidate Annette Taddeo. Logan and Smith are both former Republicans. The 3 Republicans are state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, former state Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla and former congressional candidate Lorenzo Palomares. Former Democrat Christian “He-Man” Schlaerth filed to run as an independent. He will appear on the ballot with his “He-Man” nickname, which he got from playing rugby at the University of Miami.

Political Roundup for April 19th, 2017

In case you missed it last night, Democrat John Ossoff got 48% of the vote in the GA-6 special election, narrowly missing the cutoff to win the seat outright. He will face Republican Karen Handel, who got 20%, in the runoff election in June. Now, onto today’s news!


Immigration: Trump is taking his first steps towards reforming America’s immigration system, specifically the H1-B system where companies can petition for specific immigrants to be granted access to the country to work for them. He issued an executive order today that is probably more symbolic than anything else, most likely because I doubt it’s possible for him to push anything through Congress that would actually reduce immigration.

North Korea: So, it seems like there was some confusion about that carrier group Trump claimed was heading up to the Korean Peninsula. I’m still not entirely clear what was happening here, but it does not help Trump’s negotiation stance that he’s apparently not up to date on where his own carriers are.


AL-Sen: With the date for the special election for this seat moved up (see story below), it looks like holder-of-the-most-badass-sounding-name-in-the-Senate Luther Strange is going to get a primary challenger. Strange hasn’t been able to shake accusations that he was appointed to this seat as a quid pro quo from former Governor Robert Bentley, who Strange was investigating at the time of his appointment. Strange’s prospective challenger, Del Marsh (Dammit Southerners, why do you guys get all the politicians with cool names?), is the current Senate Pro Tempore, and would be able to mount a serious challenge to Strange.

HI-2: Tulsi Gabbard, probably the most mavericky Democrat in Congress right now, has faced a lot of national blow-back over her Pro-Assad stances, including doubting whether or not he actually used chemical weapons on civilians. However, she is still gathering considerable support back home in her district, where she’s made quite a name for herself in her 4+ years in Congress.

MN-8: Stewart Mills, who came close to picking this seat up for the GOP in both 2014 and 2016, is considering making a 3rd run for the race. No word yet if he’s going to go back to his long-hair look for this attempt.

State & Local:

AL-Sen Special Election: Newly ascended Governor Kay Ivey has moved up the date of the special election for Alabama’s Senate seat to an August Primary and a December General. Former Governor Robert Bentley had scheduled it for election day 2018 in a curious yet legal move that created rumors that he was intentionally trying to help Senator Strange keep the office by dragging out the special for as long as possible. Oddly enough though, the dates selected are 1-week off of some important municipal elections in Alabama, so it’s curious why she picked those specific dates.

CO-Treasurer: State Rep. Justin Everett (R) has announced he is going to run for this open seat, setting up a competitive general election with fellow State Rep. Steve Lebsock (D). Everett is kicking off his campaign by promising to reform the state’s pension system.

KS-Treasurer: Governor Brownback has appointed Republican State Senator Jacob LaTurner to fill the now vacant post of State Treasurer after the previous officeholder, Ron Estes, won the recent KS-4 special election. LaTurner has been a reliable Brownback ally so this makes sense from a political perspective, but it also opens up his Senate Seat, and in the crazy world of KS primary politics that means that it could be filled by the sort of closet-progressive-running-as-a-“Republican” candidates that are surprisingly widespread in Kansas politics.

NY-Corruption: A former NYS county executive is being investigated for corruption (Debbie Preston, of Broome County). I’d make a joke about how in other news the Pope is Catholic, but honestly, the idea that Pope Francis is secretly an atheist out to destroy the Catholic Church from within is probably more likely than New York getting a handle on its corruption issues at this point.

VA-Fundraising #s: Blue Virginia has a nice rundown of the fundraising totals of most of the statewide and local candidates of note here.


UK-Election: I’ve hammered this point home for months, but it’s still kind of staggering to look at how bad the polls are for Labor. This ICM/Guardian poll released yesterday has the Tories up 48-23 on Labor, a popular-vote margin that is literally unprecedented in modern British polling. If Labor got every single LibDem and UKIP vote from this poll, they’d still be down 5 points to May’s Conservatives. This will be the first real test of the strength of Labor’s hold on its Northern White Working Class seats, which have historically provided the party with a large electoral “cushion” against poor poll numbers but who are the exact profile of the places that voted for Labor in 2015 and Leave in 2016, so we’ll see if May’s more Populist-flavored Conservatism can win them over.

Political Roundup for March 28, 2017


MN-Gov: Rep. Tim Walz (D) announced his run for Governor yesterday. Click to read our full coverage of the decision.

OK-Gov: State Auditor Gary Jones (R) will explore a run for Governor, but he is also hedging his bets and may consider a run for the state legislature or retirement instead. Jones is the first candidate to openly explore this race. LG Todd Lamb (R) is widely expected to run and be the front-runner.


ME-2: Former State Senate candidate and BernieBro Jonathan Fulford (D) is considering a run against second-term Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R). Fulford lost two State Senate races narrowly, but looks decidedly “B” list; this ancestrally-D seat looks likely to move down Dems’ target lists after Trump carried it last year.

MN-1: Roll Call has great-mentioned several DFL candidates for Rep. Tim Walz’s (D) southern Minnesota seat. Ex-State Rep. Terry Morrow (D), State Reps. Tina Leibling (D) and Gene Pelowski (D), and State Sen. Dan Sparks (D) make the list.

MT-AL: Musician Rob Quist (D) is taking heat for a long debt trail that has caused him to take the legal but bad-looking step of drawing a salary from his campaign. Quist is facing billionaire 2016 Gov nominee Greg Gianforte (R).

PA-3: Ex-Erie Mayor Rick Filippi (D) is considering a run for the House against Rep. Mike Kelly (R). This seat is ancestrally-Democratic but has trended hard-right in recent years and looks unlikely to be a top Dem target.

State & Local:

CO-AG: Two weeks after announcing he was exploring the race, Boulder DA Stan Garnett (D) has announced he will not seek the nomination to challenge AG Cynthia Coffman (R) in 2018. State Rep. Joe Salazar (D) is already in the race.

CO-Treas: State Rep. Steve Lebsock (D) of suburban Denver has become the first candidate to declare for this open-seat race. Incumbent Walker Stapleton (R) is termed-out and expected to run for Governor. The decision also takes Lebsock out of the running for CO-7, where Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) is considering vacating the seat for a Gov run of his own.

PA-LG: State Rep. Justin Simmons (R) of the Lehigh Valley is the third candidate to consider a run for LG in Pennsylvania’s shotgun-wedding primary, joining ex-State Rep. Gordon Denlinger (R) and former state cabinet official Dan Meuser (R).

Westchester, NY-CE: Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano (D) will not run for County Executive against incumbent Rob Astorino (R). As mayor of the county’s largest city, Spano could have been one of the strongest possible Dem candidates for the post.

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