Turn around, bright eyes, and fly your LearJet back from Nova Scotia to look at the roundup.
AL-Sen: A JMC Poll has Sen. Luther Strange (R) in deep trouble in the runoff, losing to ex-State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R) 51-32.
AZ-Sen: Trump signaled support in a tweet last week for ex-State Sen. Kelli Ward’s (R) primary bid against Sen. Jeff Flake (R). But anti-Flake forces in the White House are not pleased, as they had been meeting with State Treasurer Jeff DeWit (R) and ex-AZGOP chair Robert Graham (R), who are both seen as stronger candidates than the gadflyish Ward.
NJ-Sen: Sen. Bob Menendez (D) goes on trial next month, and Democrats are already laying the groundwork to try and keep him in office if he is convicted. If Menendez resigns or is expelled by the end of the year, Gov. Chris Christie (R) will get to appoint his replacement – and likely give Republicans another seat for a year. But if Menendez can stick it out for a few more months, Phil Murphy (D) will likely become Governor and keep the seat in Democratic hands. The complication of this is, of course, that Democrats would need to defend a convicted felon staying in the Senate… but of course, this is New Jersey.
CA-Gov: State Treasurer John Chiang (D) is under fire for the fact that several developers won tax breaks from committees he oversees after donating to him. Both Chiang and the developers say that the tax breaks were awarded based on objective formulae, but the amount of donations to Chiang is far higher than those to previous officeholders in his position. Chiang faces LG Gavin Newsom (D), ex-LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D), ex-State Superintendent Delaine Eastin (D), businessman John Cox (R), and State Rep. Travis Allen (R) in this top-two race.
KS-Gov: State Rep. Jim Ward (D), the House minority leader, has become the latest candidate to run for Governor. Ward joins ex-Wichita Mayor Greg Brewer (D) and ex-state Rep. Josh Svaty (D) in what is becoming the most crowded KS Dem primary in memory. Republicans have an even more crowded field.
NY-Gov: NYC councilman Jumaane Williams (D) of Brooklyn is considering a potential primary challenge to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). Williams, a staunch leftist, could have an opening to Cuomo’s left and potentially draw significant votes in the general if he were to mount a campaign on the left-wing Working Families Party line.
More NY-Gov: 2010 nominee Carl Paladino (R) was kicked off the Buffalo School Board for allegedly leaking confidential board business. Paladino, a brash antiestablishment conservative who has long been known for outrageous statements, has been one of several Republicans considering runs for Governor.
SC-Gov: State Sen. Tom Davis (R), a libertarian-leaning conservative from Beaufort, is considering a run for Governor and will make a decision by Labor Day. Davis would join a fairly crowded field taking on Gov. Henry McMaster (R)’s bid for a full term, including Haley admin official Catherine Templeton (R), LG Kevin Bryant (R), and ex-LG Yancey McGill (R). A pair of Democrats, State Reps. Justin Bamberg (D) and James Smith (D), have acknowledged they are considering the race.
WI-Gov: Ex-State Rep. and 2012 WI-2 candidate Kelda Roys (D) is considering a run for Governor. Many Democrats, most notably State Superintendent Tony Evers (D), have been considering bids against Gov. Scott Walker (R).
WV-Gov, WV-SD-4, WATN: Gov. Jim Justice (R) has fired his CoS, 2014 WV-2 nominee Nick Casey (D). Casey, a former state Dem chair, was fired because of his close ties to Democrats, which no longer made sense after Justice switched parties. His replacement will be State Sen. Mike Hall (R) of Putnam County.
CA-24: 2016 nominee Justin Fareed (R) has filed for a rematch in this medium-blue Central Coast seat. Fareed will face off again with freshman Rep. Salud Carbajal (D).
CA-48: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R) continues to not really understand what the whole being a swing-district congressman thing is about. Rohrabacher, who is known for his ties to miscellaneous foreign kooks and his favorable statements toward Putin, visited Julian Assange at his London embassy hideout to discuss the Wikileaks Russian Email dump last year.
FL-27: LG Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R) will not seek this downtown-Miami area open House seat, or any other office, in 2018. Lopez-Cantera was seen by national Republicans as one of the better shots to hold this seat, Democrats’ #1 House pickup opportunity. Dade County commissioner Bruno Barreiro (R) and Miami school board member Raquel Regalado (R) are in the race; Dems have a crowded field, but State Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez (D) has been considered the front-runner.
MA-3: As expected, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh CoS Daniel Koh (D) will step down to pursue a run for Rep. Niki Tsongas’s open seat. Koh joins State Sen. Barbara L’Italien (D) in considering a run.
NM-2: 2008 candidate, ex-Hobbs Mayor, and ex-NMGOP chair Monty Newman (R) will make a second bid for this seat. Newman joins Lands Commissioner Aubrey Dunn (R) and State Rep. Yvette Herrell (R) in the primary for this medium-red southern NM seat.
OK-1: Rumors are circulating that Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R) is going to be named NASA director in the next few weeks. Bridenstine has already announced he will not run again, but a resignation would trigger a special in his (likely Safely red) seat covering the bulk of metro Tulsa.
PA-11: Rep. Lou Barletta (R) has not yet made his bid to run against Sen. Bob Casey (D) official, but a quartet of Republicans are already saying they will seek this seat if he vacates it: State Reps. Stephen Bloom (R) and Tarah Toohil (R), former state official and current LG candidate Dan Meuser (R), and businessman Andrew Lewis (R). The fairly red Harrisburg to Wilkes-Barre area seat should stay in GOP hands.
TX-23: Prosecutor Jay Hulings (D), who has ties to the Castro brothers, will run against Rep. Will Hurd (R) in this swing district. Ex-Rep. Pete Gallego (D) has announced he will try for a third matchup with Hurd but Democrats seem to be moving on from him after Gallego’s 2014 and 2016 losses.
State & Local:
CT-SoS: SoS Denise Merrill (D) announced she would run for re-election, putting an end to rumors that she would retire or run for Governor.
FL-CFO: State Sen. Tom Lee (R) abruptly and surprisingly announced he would run for CFO last week. Lee, of suburban Tampa, has decent name recognition and a sizeable campaign account, which could make him a formidable challenger to appointed incumbent Jimmy Patronis (R). Patronis has so far played it coy on whether he will seek a full term, but has opened a campaign committee. A little-known former state legislator from the Panama City area, Patronis is a favorite of Gov. Rick Scott (R) but has little brand of his own, which could make him vulnerable in a primary. Ex-State Sen. Jeremy Ring (D) is considered the likely D nominee.
MI-AG: Attorney Dana Nessel (D), who led one of the SSM lawsuits consolidated into Obergefell, is running for Attorney General, becoming the first candidate on either side to declare definitive interest in the seat. The nominees will be decided by convention; incumbent Bill Schuette (R) is termed-out and considered likely to run for Governor.
NM-LG: Martinez Admin official Kelly Zunie (R) will run for LG in this shotgun-wedding primary. Zunie, who is of Native American descent, previously ran the state’s Indian Affairs department. She is the first Republican into the race, and may have enough establishment support to clear the field. Rep. Steve Pearce (R) is considered the favorite for the gubernatorial nomination.
NV-LG: LG Mark Hutchinson (R) has announced he will not seek a second term – or any other office – in 2018. Ex-SoS Ross Miller (D) quickly announced he is considering a run for the open seat.
MO-SD-14: Missouri State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D) is resisting calls from her resignation after she posted and deleted a facebook post calling for Trump’s assassination.
NC House: Republicans released their draft NC House plan on Saturday. Click for the map; here are my tentative-guess ratings for the seats:
Likely R: 2, 9, 16, 46, 51, 59, 93, 98, 119
Lean R: 25, 35, 36, 37, 61, 62, 103, 104, 105
Tossup: 1 (the only R-held Tossup), 12, 22, 40, 66
Lean D: 24, 44
Likely D: 7, 47, 48, 115, 116
Safe D Pickup: 8
NC Senate: Republicans also released a draft NC Senate plan on Sunday. Click for the map; here are my tentative-guess ratings for the seats:
Likely R: 11, 18, 27, 39
Lean R: 1, 7, 9, 13, 17, 19, 41
Likely D: 5
Safe D pickup: 15
And also major kudos to King Hushpuppy for essentially nailing the map ahead of time.