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Political Roundup for November 13, 2017

Over the weekend in PA-18, State Rep. Rick Saccone (R) took the GOP nomination. Democrats will nominate their contender this coming Sunday. Also check below for our preview of today’s election in Somaliland (where and/or what the heck is that, you ask?… read on).

Now, after a week in which I am reduced to not giving a f* about what happens to the broader GOP while resolving to spend the next year hoping and praying that Larry Hogan will not be doomed by a massive wave, it is time for today’s Roundup…

Briefing: New Nominees for our Anthony Weiner Award for Pervert of the Year:

AL-Sen: A former Roy Moore colleague said that it was “common knowledge” he was interested in high school girls when they worked together as prosecutors. Over the weekend, multiple polls have come out showing the race between Moore and ex-US Attorney Doug Jones (D) is a dead heat; in particular, one from JMC Analytics has Jones up 46-42.

CO-Treas: State Rep. Steve Lebsock (D) is under fire for allegedly sexually harassing a fellow lawmaker, State Rep. Faith Winter (D). Lebsock had looked like the Dem front-runner for the open Treasurer seat, but fellow State Rep. Dave Young (D) entered the race last week (perhaps getting tipped off about the allegations?) and now looks likely to be the Dems’ consensus pick. Democratic leaders are now calling for Lebsock’s resignation.

CA-SD-32: State Sen. Tony Mendoza (D) repeatedly attempted to get a young woman interviewing for a staffer job to come home with him to “review her resume”. Mendoza is the roommate of fellow State Sen. and US Senate candidate Kevin DeLeon (D).

CA-LD-26: State Rep. Devon Mathis (R) is under investigation by police for allegedly digitally penetrating a staffer.

MN-SD-54, MN-LD-22B: Two Minnesota legislators are also under fire for harassment. State Rep. Erin Maye-Quade (D) claims she was harassed by both State Sen. Dan Schoen (D) and State Rep. Tony Cornish (R). Allegations against Schoen were also leveld by multiple other women, and allegations against Cornish have been brought by a lobbyist.

Now, in non-perversion news:

Governor:

CA-Gov, CA-Sen: Ex-Rep. Doug Ose (R), who served three terms representing suburban Sacramento in the 90s and 2000s before a failed comeback bid in CA-7 in 2014, is now considering a run for Governor. Ose’s entry as a third Republican would likely completely ensure that two Democrats (and neither of the other two Rs, businessman John Cox (R) and State Rep. Travis Allen (R)) make the general election. But Ose may not need to enter to ensure that: a new USC/LA Times Poll shows LG Gavin Newsom (D) leading the gubernatorial race with 31%, with ex-LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) taking the second slot with 21%. Allen and Cox are banging heads to split the GOP vote with 15% and 11% respectively. Two longer-shot Dems, State Treasurer John Chiang (D) and ex-Superintendent Delaine Eastin (D), are at 12% and 4% respectively. For the Senate race, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) holds a strong lead over State Sen. Kevin DeLeon (D), who is challenging her from the left. Feinstein leads 58-31 in the two-way race.

MN-Gov: Woodbury (pop. 68K) Mayor Mary Guiluiani-Stevens (R) has reserved domain names pertaining to a gubernatorial run, but is so far tight-lipped on her intentions. The mayor of the large eastern Twin Cities suburb would join a crowded field of Hennepin County commissioner and 2014 nominee Jeff Johnson (R), State Sen. David Osmek (R), State Rep. Matt Dean (R), and ex-State Rep. and ex-MNGOP chair Keith Downey (R). State House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R) and ex-Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) are also thought to be considering.

TX-Gov: Democrats continue to cast about for a sacrificial lamb to take on Gov. Greg Abbott (R). The latest name considering making a late entry here is Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez (D). Valdez is little-known outside of her county, but seems a significantly more credible candidate than investor Andrew White (D), who is the current Dem front-runner on little other than being the son of 80s-era ex-Gov. Mark (D).

Senate:

MA-Sen: Businessman, self-proclaimed “inventor of e-mail”, and Fran Drescher’s ex Shiva Ayyadurai is leaving the crowded GOP primary to take on Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) and running as an Independent. Ayyadurai, a firebrand conservative, was an amusing sideshow in the race but had little institutional support as the primary field filled up with three more connected and traditional candidates, Romney aide Beth Lindstrom (R), State Rep. Geoff Diehl (R), and businessman John Kingston (R). Needless to say, none of these candidates pose a threat to Warren in the general.

NJ-Sen: A juror was dismissed from the corruption trial of Sen. Bob Mendendez (D) last week for a previously-planned vacation; jury deliberations will now start from scratch today. The excused juror, Evelyn Arroyo-Maultsby, said (quite colorfully) that she was a firm “not guilty” vote, but the jury was deadlocked and she expected an ultimate hung jury.

KY-Sen ’22: Sen. Rand Paul (R) has apparently been told that federal charges will be filed against Rene Boucher, a neighbor who attacked Paul and broke four of his ribs last week. Prosecutors likely believe the attack was politically motivated, while Boucher’s attorney says that it was due to a non-sepcific “trivial dispute”.

House:

KY-6: Lexington Mayor Jim Gray (D) is considering a run against Rep. Andy Barr (R). Gray would likely be Democrats’ top recruit for the medium-red seat, as he carried the district in his 2016 Senate run against Sen. Rand Paul (R). However, Gray’s profile as a well-known liberal may make the race more difficult.

TX-21: State Rep. Jason Isaac (R) is the first candidate into the race for Rep. Lamar Smith’s (R) open San Antonio to Austin seat. Isaac represents about 20% of the district and could be a front-runner, but the field for this red seat that swung against Trump could grow significantly.

VA-6: Andy Parker (D), father of Alison Parker, a journalist who was murdered on live TV, is considering a run for this open congressional seat. Alison’s boyfriend Chris Hurst (D) was elected last week to a purple State House seat in the Blacksburg area. Parker would face a much tougher bid for the very conservative district; State Rep. Ben Cline (R) and RNC official Cynthia Dunbar (R) are already in what is expected to be a crowded GOP primary.

State & Local:

FL-AG: State Rep. Ross Spano (R) of suburban Tampa is the latest Republican considering an entry into this primary. Spano would join front-running retired judge Ashley Moody (R), who also hails from Tampa Bay, and fellow State Reps. Jay Fant (R) and Frank White (R). Little-known attorney Ryan Torrens (D) is the only Dem in the race.

GA-PSC: Deal Admin official Tricia Pridemore (R), who lost the 2014 primary for the congressional GA-11, is now running for an open seat on the Public Service Commission. The 5-member, all-GOP board is elected statewide for staggered 6-year terms.

IL-Comp, IL-Treas: Illinois Republicans have found two “C” list candidates to fill out their Row Officer ticket. Ex-State Rep. and 2014 IL-11 nominee Darlene Senger (R) will challenge Comptroller Susana Mendoza (R) and Orland Park councilman Jim Dodge (R) will challenge Treasurer Mike Frerichs (D). Both incumbent Democrats are heavy favorites for re-election in the blue state. They join former congressional candidate Erika Harold (R) for the open AG seat and Grundy DA Jason Helland (R) for SoS as the ILGOP’s presumptive Row Officer slate.

MS-LG: Vicksburg (pop. 23K) Mayor George Flaggs (D) is considering a run for LG in 2019. The moderate Flaggs says he may run as a Democrat or switch parties and run as a Republican. Incumbent Tate Reeves (R) is widely expected to either run for Governor or score an appointment to the Senate seat of Sen. Thad Cochran (R) should the latter resign soon, as expected; SoS Delbert Hosemann (R) and State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) have also been connected with LG runs, but much will depend on how the Cochran musical chairs play out.

NV-Treas: Financial planner Derek Uehara (R) is running for State Treasurer, joining ex-Las Vegas councilman Bob Beers (R) in the primary. No Democrats have as of yet declared for this seat, which is open as incumbent Dan Schwartz (R) is running for Governor.

Howard, MD-CE: County Commissioner Calvin Ball (D) is running for County Executive in my home county against incumbent Allan Kittleman (R). Ball is a top-tier recruit for Dems in this blue suburban Baltimore county, heavy with upscale liberals, that continues to trend left despite my best efforts. (sigh)

PA-Redistrict: The State Supreme Court has agreed to fast-track a Democratic challenge to the state’s congressional map, placing it on a timeline that could lead to new maps in time for the 2018 elections. A new map would likely flip at least one of three competitive GOP-held districts in the Philly suburbs, PA-6, 7, and 8, and potentially make a couple other districts, most likely the open GOP-held PA-15 and the Dem held Trump-voting PA-17, more competitive.

International:

Today, continuing our commitment to bringing you coverage of elections in places you didn’t even know existed, there is an election in Somaliland, which might be best characterized as an accident of diplomacy. Calling it a de facto nation would be selling it short: in every arena but international status, Somaliland is a more of a nation than a sizeable fraction of the world’s recognized nations. It has a population of 3.5M, occupying what is internationally recognized as (theoretically) the northwest part of Somalia along the south shore of the Gulf of Aden. However, that international recognition is a diplomatic fiction, as the dysfunctional-at-best Somali government hasn’t had the slightest bit of control (or even influence) over the area for over 25 years. Somaliland broke off when the nation’s central government disintegrated in 1991 and hasn’t looked back, but the desire to not further hurt the legitimacy of the fledgling-to-nonexistent Mogadishu government has led all other countries to hold back from recognizing Somaliland’s obvious independence. Making its lack of international recognition even stranger is that Somaliland would under normal circumstances be one of both Africa’s and the Islamic World’s biggest success stories. It is a relatively stable and democratic nation (at least by the global region’s low standards), with a functioning central government and economy, and a free politics and civil society that easily surpass a majority of Africa’s recognized nations. Today, the presidential election is open as the incumbent is peacefully standing down, and there is a lively competition between the country’s three strong parties, which are well-developed enough to even have rudimentary ideologies instead of being mere personality or clan vehicles. All of the three parties have large caucuses in parliament and are running credible candidates, who even had a televised debate last month. Furthermore, all three candidates at least appear to be relatively pro-Western and within democratic norms. The candidate of the incumbent party is Musa Behi, who serves as the party’s chair. He is facing public works minister Faysal Warabe and parliament speaker Abdiraman Irro. It’s hard to handicap this race, but Behi seems to be the candidate of the capital’s establishment and military, Irro seems to have the strongest ties to rural traditional clan leaders, and Warabe seems to be closest to a Western-style social democrat. Behi seems to be the front-runner, but it’s hard to say for sure.

Political Roundup for November 1, 2017

Check back at noon for the first in our 3-part series of general election previews. Today we’ll be covering legislatures, county races, and the NYC Council. Part 2 tomorrow at 3 will cover Mayors, and part 3 on Monday will cover big-ticket races in NJ, VA, and NYC.

Polling Quick-Hits:

AL-Sen: The Senate Leadership Fund (R) has ex-State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R) up 56-39 on ex-US Attorney Doug Jones (R).

AZ-Sen (R): Data Orbital has ex-State Sen. Kelli Ward (R) at 28, Rep. Martha McSally (R) at 19, ex-Rep. Matt Salmon (R) at 10, and others in single digits.

NV-Sen (R): JMC Analytics has perennial candidate Danny Tarkanian (R) up 44-38 on Sen. Dean Heller (R).

VA-Gov: WaPo has LG Ralph Northam (D) up 49-44 on ex-RNC Chair Ed Gillespie (R).

Charlotte-Mayor: SUSA has councilwoman Vi Lyles (D) leading fellow councilman Kenny Smith (R) just 41-40; Lyles had been thought a heavy favorite.

Nassau, NY-CE: Siena has ex-State Sen. Jack Martins (R) up 43-41 on county commissioner Laura Curran (D). Internals for both candidates are also out: Martins has himself up 47-41, while Curran’s internal has her up 43-39.

Governor:

CA-Gov: LA Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) announced Monday he would not run for Governor. Garcetti was the last major candidate considering a run here, and could have shaken up the race if he entered. It looks like the field is set with four serious Democrats, LG Gavin Newsom (D), Garcetti’s predecessor Antonio Villaraigosa (D), Treasurer John Chiang (D), and ex-Superintendent Delaine Eastin (D).

CO-Gov: Ex-Rep. Tom Tancredo (R) is making his third bid for Governor, after losing a third-party run in 2010 and a primary bid in 2014. Tancredo, a polarizing figure known for his strident opposition to illegal immigration and occasional foot-in-mouth tendencies, will join a crowded primary field. Also in the GOP race are Treasurer Walker Stapleton (R), Arapahoe DA George Brauchler (R), and a pair of self-funding businessmen, ex-State Rep. Vic Mitchell (R) and Romney relation Doug Robinson (R), with AG Cynthia Coffman (R) thought to be considering.

IL-Gov, IL-LG: State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R) has begun circulating petitions for a primary challenge to Gov. Bruce Rauner (R), though she has not officially committed to a run. Ives, a second-term legislator from DuPage County, was incensed at Rauner’s signing of a bill permitting taxpayer-funded abortions. She could potentially harness social conservative enthusiasm to oust the incumbent. Unlike Rauner, however, Ives is not personally wealthy, and would likely find the general election very difficult in the large and deep-blue state. Ives has selected Rock Island County commissioner and ex-State Rep. Rich Morthland (R) as her running mate.

MI-Gov: Attorney Andy Levin (D) is considering a run for Governor. Levin’s only electoral foray was a 2006 State Senate bid that he lost by 700 votes, and he also held some minor positions in the Granholm administration. However, his biggest asset is his name: Levin is the son of MI-9 Rep. Sander (D) and nephew of ex-Sen. Carl (D), giving him instant statewide name recognition. Levin would face ex-State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer (D), businessmen Shri Thanedar (D) and Bill Cobbs (D), and Detroit city official Abul El-Sayed (D) in the Dem primary. It seems possible Levin’s interest in this race may be more about raising his name recognition for an MI-9 bid if his father decides to retire.

OH-Gov: State Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill (D), the only Ohio Democrat holding a statewide state-level elected office, has joined the primary for Governor. O’Neill intends to remain on the court while campaigning until February (he is required to step down when petitions are due), which may be legally problematic as the court does not allow recusal from cases. O’Neill joins a quartet of other Dems, ex-Rep. Betty Sutton (D), Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D), State Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D), and ex-State Rep. Connie Pillich (D), in the crowded Dem primary.

Congress:

NJ-Sen: Sen. Bob Menendez (D) has rested his defense case in his corruption trial. Menendez did not take the stand in his own defense, a move that could have been politically problematic for him even if he were acquitted. The jury is likely to begin deliberations by the end of the week.

FL-5: Rumors are flying that ex-Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown (D) is considering a primary challenge to first-term Rep. Al Lawson (D) in this Jacksonville-to-Tallahassee seat. Brown’s bid could be complicated if another Jacksonville Democrat, State Sen. Audrey Gibson (D), also decides to primary Lawson, as they would likely split the Jacksonville vote.

NH-1: State Rep. Mark McKenzie (D), a former state AFL-CIO chair,  is the latest candidate into this crowded race. McKenzie joins Obama admin offiical Maura Sullivan (D) and ex-Strafford DA Lincoln Soldati (D) in the race to fill the purple open seat of retiring Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D); the GOP also has a crowded field.

TX-5: Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R) announced his retirement yesterday. Click for our full post and Great Mentioner for his R+16 Dallas-to-rural East Texas seat.

State Offices:

AZ-SoS: Oof, now this is about as damning an indictment you can get without actually being indicted. An investigation has found that SoS Michele Reagan (R) broke the law through sheer incompetence in office. Reagan was supposed to mail out the state-produced voter information pamphlets for a referendum in May 2016, but the pamphlets did not go out in time. However, there will be no punishment, as the criminal law requires willful neglect of duty, and this error “demonstrates poor or incompetent execution of the task, not a knowing omission of their duty.” Reagan’s staff apparently hid the technical error responsible for the missed mailing from her, but the investigation also found she was responsible for covering up the error for 19 days before admitting it publicly, time during which the referendum ballots were sent out and votes cast without the information pamphlet. Reagan is currently facing a primary challenge from State Sen. Steve Montenegro (R). Democrats are seriously contesting this seat as well, with State Sen. Katie Hobbs (D) and attorney and Dem operative Mark Gordon (D) squaring off in the primary.

CA-AG: Republicans have a mildly credible candidate for this race, as retired judge Steven Bailey (R) has announced a bid to take on appointed incumbent Xavier Becerra (D). Bailey has some GOP establishment support, but has no chance in the deep-blue state’s general given his lack of cash or name recognition. That said, it’s still good to know we will probably have a non-embarassing nominee, and Bailey could be a solid get for a legislative seat or CA-4 in the future.

CO-Treas: Two new candidates have entered this crowded field. For Republicans, businessman Brian Watson (R), who lost a State House race in 2012 but has proven fundraising ability, is the latest candidate into this crowded primary. Watson joins State Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R), State Reps. Polly Lawrence (R) and Justin Everett (R), Routt DA Brett Barkey (R), and Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn (R). On the Dem side, State Rep. Steve Lebsock (D) now has a serious primary rival in fellow State Rep. Dave Young (D) of Greeley.

DE-AG: Tom Neuberger (R), a prominent attorney who has made his name suing the state on behalf of public employees, will run for AG. Neuberger most notably represented correctional officers alleging unsafe practices led to a prison riot at the state’s main prison in February. Neuberger could be a credible candidate for the GOP in this race. Former AG’s office CoS Tim Mullaney (D) is the only other  candidate in the race, but ex-AG Charles Oberly (D) and State Rep. Sean Lynn (D) are considering.

DE-Aud: Kathleen Davies (I), the former top deputy to State Auditor Tom Wagner (R), is running for her boss’s seat as an Independent. Davies could be a credible candidate, but there are allegations she was forced out of the office over misappropration of travel reimbursements. Wagner has not declared if he will seek an eighth term; ex-State Rep. Dennis Williams (D) is in the race for Dems.

FL-AG: State Rep. Sean Shaw (D) is considering a run for AG. Democrats have struggled to find a recruit for this race, with no candidate obviously making moves toward a bid so far. While Shaw, a first-term Rep. from a heavily Democratic Tampa seat, is not considered a top-tier prospect, he would likely be stronger than the only Dem in the race so far, little-known attorney Ryan Torrens (D). The GOP has a 3-way primary between front-running retired judge Ashley Moody (R) and State Reps. Jay Fant (R) and Frank White (R).

FL-Ag Comm: Former Orlando Mayoral candidate Paul Paulson (R) is dropping out of the race for Ag Commissioner and endorsing State Rep. Matt Caldwell (R). Paulson had some self-funding ability but little name rec or establishment support and was thus considered a long-shot. Caldwell is facing State Sen. Denise Grimsley (R) and ex-State Rep. Baxter Troutman (R) in the primary.

GA-PSC: Public Service Commission Chair Stan Wise (R) will not run for re-election next year. Seats on the 5-member, currently all-GOP, board are elected at-large for staggered 6-year terms.

KS-SoS: State Sen. Marci Francisco (D), who represents a deep-blue Lawrence seat, is considering a run for the open SoS post, becoming the first Dem to declare interest in this seat. Three Republicans are in the race, KSGOP chair and Sedgwick County commissioner Kelly Arnold (R) and State Reps. Keith Esau (R) and Scott Schwab (R).

LA-Treas: The State Democratic Party has belatedly endorsed attorney Derrick Edwards (D) in his November 18 Treasurer runoff. Edwards came in first in the October primary, but did not run a serious campaign and the three Republicans took 2/3 of the vote. State Rep. John Schroeder (R) is considered the prohibitive favorite in the runoff, but there is a theoretical chance high New Orleans turnout for the mayoral race and ultra-low turnout elsewhere could give a D-heavy enough electorate for Edwards to shock.

NM-AG: Immigration attorney Michael Hendricks (R), who had previously been exploring a run for the open congressional NM-1, will take on AG Hector Balderas (D). Balderas is considered a strong favorite for re-election in the medium-blue state.

OH-Aud: State House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R) will not run for Auditor, ending a few days of speculation that he would jump into the race. Rosenberger’s decision keeps the primary field clear for State Rep. Keith Faber (R), the former State Senate President. Ex-Rep. Zack Space (D) is the likely D nominee.

SC-AG: State Rep. Todd Atwater (R) is considering a primary challenge to AG Alan Wilson (R). Atwater is well connected, having spent over a decade as director of the state’s Medical Association and as a former gubernatorial and congressional staffer. Atwater would likely plan to hit Wilson on his close ties to indicted lobbyist Richard Quinn (R).

Local Offices:

Westchester, NY-CE: The hits just keep on coming for State Sen. George Latimer (D). After it came out that he owed $48K in back property taxes and missed a key legislative vote to take a vacation with his mistress, Latimer has had another embarrassment come out: his car registration has been suspended for unpaid parking tickets (and he is driving the car anyway). Latimer is in a closely-fought race with incumbent Rob Astorino (R) in this deep-blue county.

St. Paul-Mayor: Ex-councilman Pat Harris (D) is disavowing a mailer on his behalf from the city’s Police Union. The mailer attacks ex-councilman Mel Carter (D), thought to be Harris’s main rival in the 5-way race, for failing to secure guns at his home that were stolen in a robbery. Harris, who is the “moderate” in this extremely left-wing field, is disavowing the mailer as racist.

St. Petersburg-Mayor: Ex-Mayor Rick Baker (R) is going nuclear on his rival, incumbent Rick Kriseman (D). Baker is bringing up the history of Kriseman’s CoS, who propositioned a teenage girl while working as a substitute teacher in 2001. The runoff next week has been very hard-fought as the two were separated by just 70 votes in August.

Coroners: Finally, here’s an absolute must-read piece from mapmaker/consultant Matt Isbell on the election of Coroners. A surprising number of counties still elect their coroner, and the combination of a low-profile and technical office with an uninformed electorate can lead to some weird political stories.

Political Roundup for October 16, 2017

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

Senate:

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

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

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

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

Governor:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

House:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

State Offices:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local Races:

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

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

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

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

Political Roundup for October 13, 2017

Senate:

MT-Sen: In an unusual twist, a husband and wife have both joined the race for US Senate, with each running in separate primaries. James Dean, a financial advisor is running in the Republican primary, while Sarah Dean, a fashion designer is running in the Democratic primary. Neither has ever run for political office before. Sarah Dean is the first Democrat to challenge Sen. Jon Tester (D) in the primary, while James Dean joins state Sen. Al Olszewski (R), State Auditor Matt Rosendale (R) and businessmen Troy Downing and Ron Murray in the Republican primary. Yellowstone County district judge Russell Fagg, who retires from the bench today, is also considering running in the Republican primary.

TN-Sen: Ex-Rep. Stephen Fincher (R) is seriously considering joining the GOP primary for Senate. Fincher, who retired last year after serving 3 terms in the House, recognizes the uphill battle he would seem to have against Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R), but he says he’s used to a challenge. One point in his favor is that he has $2.3 million leftover in his campaign account from his runs for Congress that he could use for a Senate run. He says he plans to make a decision soon, but didn’t give a specific date.

UT-Sen: Boyd Matheson, head of the Sutherland Institute, a Utah-based conservative think tank, and former chief of staff to Sen. Mike Lee (R), is considering running against Sen. Orrin Hatch (R), if Hatch runs for re-election. Matheson met with former White House strategist Steve Bannon in Washington last week about the possibility of running. Bannon said Matheson had set up an exploratory committee for a possible run, although Matheson said there is currently no such committee and there is no specific deadline when he plans to announce a possible run.

House:

CA-36: Kimberlin Brown Pelzer, a former soap opera actress who now is an avocado grower and also owns an interior design company, is running for Congress as a Republican. Pelzer, who appeared on the soap operas “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful” spoke in support of Donald Trump at last year’s Republican National Convention. Former Palm Springs TV news anchor Dan Ball has also discussed a possible run as a Republican as well. Rep. Raul Ruiz (D) is running for re-election.

FL-6: As Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) decides whether to run for re-election or possibly run for governor, one candidate isn’t waiting for DeSantis to decide. John Ward, a multi-millionaire business investor and Navy veteran has announced he is running in the Republican primary as a pro-Trump outsider. Nancy Soderberg, a former National Security Council official and an Ambassador at the United Nations for the Clinton Administration is running as a Democrat.

GA-6: Former Atlanta TV news anchor Bobby Kaple is planning to run for Congress as a Democrat. Kaple says he left his job last month as a morning and noon news anchor for the local CBS affiliate in preparation for a run. Jon Ossoff (D), who lost to Rep. Karen Handel (R) in a June special election has not decided whether to run again. Kaple says he plans to run whether or not Ossoff does-and points out he resides in the district, unlike Ossoff.

MT-AL: State Rep. Tom Woods (D) has joined the Democratic primary for Congress. Woods is the first candidate with political experience to run, joining attorney John Heenan and nonprofit director Grant Kier in the Democratic primary.

NM-2: Andrew Salas, former adjutant general of the New Mexico National Guard, is running for the Republican nomination for Congress. He joins a race without a clear frontrunner after the recent surprising departure of state Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn, Jr. (R) from the race to replace Rep. Steve Pearce (R), who is running for governor. Also running in the Republican primary are state Rep. Yvette Herrell (R), former Hobbs Mayor Monty Newman, and pharmacist Jack Volpato. Salas is making his first bid for political office, although his wife Martha Salas is currently chairwoman of the Socorro County Board of Commissioners.

PA-8: Lawyer Dean Malik is challenging Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R) in the Republican primary. Malik planned to run in 2016, but says he was pushed aside and forced to drop out after Fitzpatrick joined the race to fill the seat left open by his brother, former Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R). Malik is criticizing Fitzpatrick for not being supportive enough of President Trump’s agenda.

PA-11: Businessman Andrew Lewis has announced he is running for the Republican nomination for this open seat. He joins state Rep. Stephen Bloom (R) and former state Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser in the GOP primary. Also, Denny Woolf, former state agriculture secretary under Gov. Ed Rendell (D) from 2003-2009 has put his name in for the Democratic nomination. Woolf joins Air Force veteran Alan Howe in the Democratic primary.

Governor & state offices:

IL-Gov: The first Democrat to run for governor has become the first major candidate to drop out. Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar (D) has left the race, citing fundraising difficulties. Pawar’s exit could help state Sen. Daniel Biss (D), with whom Pawar had been battling for support from progressives and supporters of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. Businessmen J.B. Pritzker and Chris Kennedy are battling for support from the establishment, Hillary Clinton-supporting wing of the party. Although Biss could benefit from his support, Pawar says he has no plans to endorse any of the other candidates at this time. but won’t rule it out later.

ME-Gov: State Sen. Mark  Dion (D) is joining the most crowded primary race in the country, for the Democratic nomination for governor. Dion is also a former 3 term sheriff of Cumberland County, which includes the state’s largest city of Portland. He is one of 10 Democrats running in the primary-other major candidates include AG Janet Mills (D), state Sen. James Boyle (D) and former state House Speaker Mark Eves (D). Sen. Susan Collins (R) is expected to announce today whether she will join the list of Republicans running. Republicans already in the race are former state Health Commissioner Mary Mayhew, State Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason (R) and state House Minority Leader Ken Fredette (R).

MD-Gov: Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, a consulting firm owner, is joining the very crowded Democratic primary for governor. Although Cummings is a political novice herself, she has a well-known last name as the wife of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D). Cummings is the 8th person to run for the Democratic nomination to face Gov. Larry Hogan (R). Other major candidates running include Prince George’s CE Rushern Baker (D), Baltimore CE Kevin Kamenetz (D), state Sen. Richard Madaleno (D), and former NAACP head Benjamin Todd Jealous.

RI-Gov: Former state Rep. Spencer Dickinson (D) is challenging Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) in the Democratic primary. Dickinson recognizes that his bid is a longshot, but wants to provide competition to the governor and provide an alternative. If he doesn’t win the nomination, he says he would be inclined to support Cranston Mayor Allan Fung (R) if he runs again and wins the Republican nomination.

FL-AG: State Rep. Frank White (R) is considering running for Attorney General. White is in his first term in the Florida House. Two other Republicans are already in the race-former state Rep. Jay Fant (R) and former Hillsborough County District Judge Ashley Moody. Both have already begun fundraising and  have raised six figure sums.

Political Roundup for September 22, 2017

Congress:

MI-Sen: Businessman and Iraq War Veteran John James has joined the race for the GOP nomination for US Senate. James, who identifies himself as a “conservative Republican” joins former State Supreme Court Justice Bob Young in the Republican primary. Musician Kid Rock and Sandy Pensler are considering joining the race as well.

MD-6: One Democratic candidate is taking himself out of the race. State House Majority Leader Bill Frick (D), who had been exploring a run for Congress will instead run for Montgomery County Executive. Wealthy businessman and unsuccessful 2016 MD-8 candidate David Trone, Del. Aruna Miller (D), state Sen. Roger Manno (D) and unsuccessful 2006 and 2010 MD-6 nominee Andrew Duck are all still running in the Democratic primary.

MI-11/MI-SOS: State Sen. Mike Kowall (R) is dropping out of the race for Secretary of State. Speculation is that he plans to run for Congress instead to replace Rep. Dave Trott (R), which he called an “unexpected opportunity”. Former state Rep. Rocky Raczkowski (R), state Rep. Klint Kesto (R) and businesswoman Lena Epstein are already running for the House seat, and others are considering joining the race. Shelby Township Clerk Stan Grot, Michigan State University professor Joseph Guzman, and businesswoman Mary Trader Lang are running for the Republican nomination for Secretary of State.

PA-11/PA-Sen: Berwick Councilman Andrew Shecktor (R) is dropping a mostly unnoticed campaign for US Senate, and instead running for the House seat Rep. Lou Barletta (R) is giving up to run for US Senate himself. Shecktor was a delegate to the Republican National Convention last year and considers himself a strong supporter of President Trump. Former state Revenue secretary Dan Meuser and state Rep. Steve Bloom (R) are also currently running for the GOP nomination.

Governor:

IA-Gov: Nurse and SEIU local president Cathy Glasson officially entered the Democratic nomination for governor this week. Glasson had been exploring a run for several months. She is establishing herself firmly on the left of the 7 Democratic candidates and has been endorsed by the liberal Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

WI-Gov: State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D) will make an announcement next Monday as to whether she will run for governor or run for re-election. She has given no clues as to which way she is planning to go. If she runs, she would likely join the top tier of candidates along with State School Superintendent Tony Evers, businessman Andy Gronik and state Rep. Dana Wachs.

WY-Gov: Former Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R) has confirmed that she will not run for governor next year. She had once been considered likely to run, and had been lining up supporters earlier this year, but in recent weeks it seemed unlikely she would run, and she apparently told supporters a few weeks ago she was out. Lummis would have been a formidable candidate had she chosen to run, having run statewide before. State Treasurer Mark Gordon (R) and Secretary of State Ed Murray (R) are considered the potential frontrunners, although neither has decided yet to enter the race.

State offices:

AK-LG: Edie Grunwald, the mother of a teenager who was killed in a high-profile murder case, is running for LG as a Republican. She is criticizing a criminal justice overhaul bill approved last year, which was supported by the other 3 Republican candidates-former state Senate Presidents Kevin Meyer (R) and Gary Stevens (R), and former state Rep. Lynn Gattis (R). Grunwald said she was hoping to partner with the gubernatorial campaign of state Sen. Mike Dunleavy (R), but Dunleavy recently suspended his campaign.

FL-AG: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R) will not run for AG next year, and has endorsed former state Circuit Court judge Ashley Moody (R). Despite Gaetz only being in his first term in Congress, he had been mentioned as a possible candidate, and one who could have been a formidable candidate had he decided to run. Former state Rep. Jay Fant (R) is also running in the Republican primary.

IL-AG: State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D) has announced he is running for Attorney General. He is the second state legislator to announce a run since current AG Lisa Madigan (D) announced her retirement, joining state Rep. Scott Drury (D). Raoul was appointed to the state Senate in 2004, filling the seat vacated by Barack Obama when he was elected to the US Senate. Other Democrats, including state Rep. Elaine Nekritz, are considering getting in. Former Miss America and unsuccessful IL-13 candidate Erika Harold is running on the Republican side.

MI-AG: State Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker (R) is the first Republican to announce a bid for AG. Current AG Bill Schuette (R) is term limited and running for governor. Schuitmaker is term limited out of her state Senate seat as well after serving two terms. Two Democrats are running-former US Attorney Patrick Miles and attorney Dana Nessel.

RI-LG: State Rep. Aaron Regunberg (D) is exploring a run for lieutenant governor. Current LG Dan McKee (D) is planning to run for re-election, which would mean a primary challenge for the incumbent. Regunberg, who is only 27, says he hasn’t made any decisions yet whether to run.

Political Roundup for September 1, 2017

Senate:

AZ-Sen: Rep. Trent Franks (R) has confirmed that he has no interest in running for US Senate next year. In a radio interview he said he just can’t see him running against Sen. Jeff Flake (R) and God himself would have to tell him to do it. However he did not rule out running for the Senate in the future, just that it isn’t the right time at the moment. He did confirm that he, along with State Treasurer Jeff DeWit and former state Republican chairman Robert Graham met with President Trump when he was in Phoenix last week, and said he did not commit to supporting any particular candidate against Flake.

PA-Sen/PA-LG: Real estate executive Jeff Bartos, who has been running for Senate since April, is said to be considering dropping out of the race. Rumors have been going around that he might drop out of the race if a more high-profile candidate entered, and the entry of Rep. Lou Barletta (R) to the race may fit the bill. The same rumors say that if he drops out, he may decide to run for lieutenant governor instead. This week, he defended gubernatorial candidate state Sen. Scott Wagner (R) from charges of anti-Semitism after Wagner made a comment about left-wing billionaire George Soros’ Jewish heritage, which may indicate that he is seeking to be part of a gubernatorial campaign as a running mate. Currently, there are no Republicans who have announced they plan to run for LG.

House:

FL-27: Former Doral Councilwoman Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera has joined the Republican nomination to replace retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R). Rodriguez Aguilera said she voted for Trump, contrasting herself with fellow GOP candidate former Miami-Dade School Board member Raquel Regalado, who did not support him. A 3rd candidate in the primary, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro, supported Trump as well. State Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez (D) is the most high-profile candidate on the Democratic side, in a district that Democrats should have a good chance at picking up.

NV-3: Insurance agent Jack Love announced yesterday he is running for Congress, becoming the first Democrat to announce a run. State Sen. Scott Hammond (R) and state Rep. Victoria Seaman (R) have both announced runs on the Republican side. Pro golfer Natalie Gulbis (R) is also considering running. Rep. Jacky Rosen (D) is leaving the seat after just one term to challenge Sen. Dean Heller (R).

NY-11: Former Rep. Michael Grimm (R) has acknowledged publicly for the first time that he is considering running for his former job. Grimm resigned from Congress at the end of 2014 after his conviction on federal tax fraud charges and served 7 months in prison. Current Rep. Dan Donovan (R) was elected in the ensuing special election and re-elected last year. Grimm criticized Donovan, saying he is “doing a great job as a liberal Democrat” because he opposed President Trump on key issues such as the health care bill. Grimm says he will decide “fairly soon” whether to run.

WA-5: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R) has drawn an unusually high profile opponent for 2018. Former state Senate Majority Leader and Washington State University Spokane chancellor Lisa Brown (D) has announced she is running for Congress. Two other candidates, Democrat Matthew Sutherland and Independent Eric Agnew are running in the all-party primary, but McMorris Rodgers and Brown are likely to meet in the general election. Although Brown is a more high-profile candidate than most Democrats who run for the seat, she should still have an uphill battle in a district that went for Trump by 13 points last year and has been Republican since 1994 when then-House Speaker Tom Foley (D) was defeated by Republican George Nethercutt.

Governor:

AL-Gov: Gov. Kay Ivey (R) is expected to decide in the next few weeks whether to run for governor next year. Sources close to her say she will make an announcement sometime between Labor Day and the Sept.26 runoff for US Senate between Roy Moore and Sen. Luther Strange (R). The possibility of Ivey running already forced one potential opponent, Public Service Commission Chair Twinkle Cavanaugh to run for LG instead, but the 8 other Republicans currently in the race say Ivey’s plans will not affect their plans to run.

CO-Gov: State Treasurer Walker Stapleton (R) is said to be looking at an early October formal entry into the governor’s race. Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler, businessman Doug Robinson, and former state Rep. Victor Mitchell are already in the GOP primary race and AG Cynthia Coffman is considering joining the race as well.

CT-Gov: State Comptroller Kevin Lembo (D), unexpectedly dropped out of the governor’s race yesterday and announced he would run for re-election to his current post instead. Lembo was expected to be a top-tier candidate and his departure from the race was a surprise to other candidates. Speculation on the Democratic side has now turned to LG Nancy Wyman (D), who has not yet announced her plans. But since Wyman has not yet begun fundraising, some take that and her silence about her plans to mean she isn’t running. Democrats who are still running or considering include Middleton Mayor Dan Drew, Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim and former West Hartford Mayor and state consumer protection commissioner Jonathan Harris.

IL-Gov/IL-LG: State Sen. Daniel Biss (D) has chosen for his running mate Chicago Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa. The move indicates Biss is playing to the left in his campaign as Ramirez-Rosa was a Bernie Sanders delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention, is part of the council’s Progressive Caucus and recently joined Democratic Socialists for America.

ME-Gov: Ex-Gov. John Baldacci (D) says he may seriously consider running again if he has concerns about the field of candidates running. He says he may run if there is not enough moderation or bipartisanship among the candidates. Baldacci was the predecessor to current Gov. Paul LePage (R) serving from 2003-2011.

NY-Gov: State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R) is considering running for governor next year. He says he has been asked to run by party officials, other elected officials and members of the business community. Kolb has considered running and been asked to run for higher office before, turning down races for Congress in 2010 and 2012 and against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) in 2010. There are several other Republicans considering runs including former state comptroller candidate Harry Wilson, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, 2010 nominee Carl Paladino, 2014 nominee and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and state Sen. John DeFrancisco. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is expected to run for re-election and any Republican nominee will have an uphill battle.

State & Local:

FL-AG: Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler (D) is considering running for Attorney General. He will be leaving office next March due to term limits, and hasn’t yet decided what to run for next, if anything. But running for Attorney General or the Broward County Commission are said to be two possibilities. Seiler would give Democrats a more high-profile candidate for AG, as currently little-known consumer protection attorney Ryan Torrens is the only Democrat running.

Political Roundup for August 30, 2017

Last night in St. Petersburg, Ex-Mayor Rick Baker (R) performed considerably worse than expected, tying incumbent Rick Kriseman (D) at 48. The race will head to a November runoff.

Senate:

AL-Sen: Ex-State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R) picked up an endorsement last weekend from State Sen. Trip Pittman (R). Pittman, an antiestablishment conservative who came in fourth in the primary, has a base in the Mobile area. Moore is currently leading polls of the runoff with appointed incumbent Luther Strange (R).

More AL-Sen: However, the polling picture has been loking slightly better for Strange recently. Harper has Moore leading him just 47-45 and Strange’s allies in the Senate Leadership Fund put out a poll showing him down to Moore 45-41. These polls are far better for Strange than some prior surveys showing him down by a margin well into the double-digits.

AZ-Sen: Newly-pardoned ex-Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio (R) is, at 85, considering a run for the US Senate seat of Sen. Jeff Flake (R). There are reasons to be skeptical though: Arpaio, a serial publicity hound, has floated his name for just about every statewide race in the last two decades. Flake also got some bad news from JMC Analytics Monday, as a new poll shows him trailing ex-State Sen. and 2016 candidate Kelli Ward (R) 47-21; however, there may be reasons to be skeptical as the poll was only of Republicans and AZ has semi-open primaries.

FL-Sen: A Florida Atlantic University poll has Sen. Bill Nelson (D) leading Gov. Rick Scott (R) just 42-40, a smaller margin than most polls have shown. Scott has not declared his candidacy but is near-universally expected to challenge Nelson in what will be a hard-fought and expensive race.

NV-Sen: Sen. Dean Heller (R) has an internal from Tarrance to rebut that JMC Analytics Poll showing him down from a few days ago. In his internal he leads perennial candidate Danny Tarkanian (R) 55-33. Not exactly a sterling performance for an internal but certainly better than the alternative.

Governor:

AK-Gov: Ex-Sen. Mark Begich (D) is considering a run for Governor, which would throw a major wrench in some Democrats’ plans to back incumbent Gov. Bill Walker (I) for a second term as the race’s de facto Democrat. Begich could have a significant reservoir of discontent on the left to tap into; State Sen. Bill Wielechowski (D) says he is looking for a liberal candidate to challenge Walker and will run himself if no one emerges. However, a Democrat running against Walker runs the sizeable risk of splitting the center and center-left vote in the red state and handing the race easily to the GOP with a plurality. State Sen. Mike Dunleavy (R) is in the race for Republicans, and several others are considering.

MA-Gov, MA-LG: State Rep. Paul Mark (D) is rumored to be testing the waters on a bid for Lt. Governor or Governor. Mark, a Bernie supporter who hails from the Berkshires at the western end of the state, would join Newton Mayor Setti Warren (D), Gov. Patrick admin official Jay Gonzalez (D), and 1994 LG nominee Bob Massie (D) in the Gov primary; no notable candidates have declared for the shotgun-wedding LG primary. The primary winners will face popular Gov. Charlie Baker (R) and LG Karyn Polito (R) in the general.

House:

CO-5: The primary to take on Rep. Doug Lamborn (R), a generic backbencher whose poor political skills have netted him chronic primary troubles, is getting even more crowded. Colorado Springs councilman Tom Strand (R) has indicated he plans to enter the race next month. Strand joins State Sen. Owen Hill (R) and El Paso County commissioner and 2016 Senate nominee Darryl Glenn (R) in the GOP primary. Strand’s entry is probably music to the ears of the incumbent, as the odds of Lamborn’s challengers butting heads and allowing the incumbent to squeak through with a plurality have gone up significantly.

IA-3: Pete D’Allesandro (D), Bernie’s Iowa campaign manager, will run for the light-red house seat of Rep. David Young (R). D’Allesandro joins several other little-known Dems in the race but could easily emerge as the primary front-runner if he can tap into Sanders’s network.

NY-27: The House Ethics Committee has extended its review of Rep. Chris Collins’s (R) financial transactions, and will announce a decision by mid-October. Collins allegedly helped friends and colleagues buy shares in a pharmaceutical company at below-market prices.

TX-16: A pair of Democrats have announced their campaigns for the deep-blue open seat of Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D). El Paso CE Veronica Escobar (D) kicked off her run last week, and probably starts the race as the front-runner, as she represents the entire district. School board member Dori Fenenbock (D) also announced her campaign last weekend; she will resign her school board seat to focus on her campaign.

UT-1: Rep. Rob Bishop (R) has pledged to retire in 2020 if he wins re-election to a ninth term. Bishop has never been seriously challenged for his deep-red seat covering the northern Salt Lake City suburbs and rural northern part of the state.

State & Local:

DE-AG: AG Matt Denn (D) surprisingly announced he would not seek a second term yesterday. Denn, a former LG and Insurance Commissioner, was generally talked about in terms of when, not if, he would climb Delaware’s political ladder. Instead, Denn will retire in 2018 to pursue private sector employment, citing burnout at the grueling campaign lifestyle.

FL-AG: State Rep. Jay Fant (R) is attempting to stake out a position as the most conservative candidate in this race. Establishment support and the endorsement of incumbent Pam Bondi (R) has largely passed Fant by in favor of retired judge Ashley Moody (R). To remain relevant, Fant is hoping to cast himself as the most conservative candidate, as well as to receive at least implicit support from Gov. Rick Scott (R), with whom he has had a good relationship. Little-known attorney Ryan Torrens (D) is in the race on the Dem side.

GA-LG: State Rep. Geoff Duncan (R) will resign his legislative seat to focus on a bid for LG. State Sen. David Shafer (R) is considered the front-runner for the open seat, with Sen. Rick Jeffares (R) also in the race.

KS-SoS: State Rep. Scott Schwab (R) will run for SoS, joining fellow State Rep. Keith Esau (R) and KSGOP chair Kelly Arnold (R) in the race. Schwab seems to be the only moderate of the three candidates in the race so far, giving him a clear lane on one side of the KSGOP’s moderate/conservative chasm. Incumbent Kris Kobach (R) is running for Governor.

VA-AG: AG Mark Herring (D) is surprisingly launching a negative ad against his little-known challenger, former prosecutor John Adams (R). The ad hits some of Adams’s corporate legal work. The launch of the ad is more than a little surprising as Herring was not expected to have a competitive race against his little-known opponent, and could backfire by raising Adams’s name recognition.

NJ-State House: State Rep. Craig Coughlin (D) has secured the support of the Essex County delegation for Speaker. The move means Coughlin has the votes to oust incumbent Speaker Vincent Prieto (D) next year.

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:

Governors:

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.

Congress:

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.)

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