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Political Roundup for December 4th, 2017

Big Picture

Professions: Here’s a cool breakdown of professions by party. It’s from FEC data, so the numbers will be fairly skewed in several ways. Still, it’s interesting to see the differences, especially between similar professions and among ones in the same industry.


AL-Sen: CBS commissioned a poll of the upcoming special Senate election in Alabama from YouGov and found Creepy Roy (R, unfortunately) ahead of former US Attorney Doug Jones (D) 49-43. Most polls recently have found Moore ahead by single digits, but turnout patterns will be crucial, as they are in any special election (and really, every election).

AR-Sen: It’s not official, but Secretary of State Rex Tillerson may be on the way out. If that happens, CIA Director Mike Pompeo would be his likely successor. Pompeo’s likely successor is rumored to be Sen. Tom Cotton (R). Finally, we get to the point of all this, which is that if those dominoes fall that way, Arkansas Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin (R) may want to return to DC, this time in the upper chamber.

FL-Sen: In a contrast to much of his tenure in office, Gov. Rick Scott (R) seems to be pretty popular at the moment, or so says this poll by Saint Leo Uiversity. Scott’s favorables are over 60%, and the poll also finds him leading incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D) by 10 (!) points. The undecided number in the poll is high, and we still have eleven months until the 2018 general election, but this has to be putting a smile on Scott’s face.

UT-Sen: I’m not quite sure why, but the country’s clumsiest political puppetmaster is contemplating backing Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) for another term against a nascent bid by former Presidential nominee and business wizard Mitt Romney (R). This might make sense, since Hatch has been instrumental in shepherding the tax reform package, except that he was looking to retire. I have to assume that Bannon is just trying to block Romney, but that seems somewhat risky in Romney-loving, Trump-disliking Utah. It seems risky for Hatch’s legacy as well. We’ll have to see how this one plays out over the next few months to get a clearer picture.

Trump Districts: Politico runs down the Democrats in Trump districts who are therefore vulnerable next year, and it’s a decent summation. I’ll just add that if there’s a Democratic wave, most of them should survive to be absolutely slaughtered a few cycles from now. The only district that I’m fairly sure will fall is the open MN-01.

MI-09: With the retirement of long-serving Rep. Sander Levin (D) over the weekend, speculation now turns to who will run to succeed him. Sander’s son Andy (D) is thought to be mulling a run, as is State Sen. Steve Bieda (D). On the Republican side of things, no major candidates are getting serious mentions yet. The district, based in the inner northern suburbs of Detroit, moved into theoretically competitive territory in 2016. However, Demorats are likely to hold onto it in 2018 and it may get eliminated in a few cycles due to reapportionment.

NV-04: One of Rep. Ruben Kihuen’s (D) former campaign workers has accused him of sexual harassment. The way things are going with allegations lately, this could see his northern Clark County-based district open up in 2018. Kihuen beat former Rep. Cresent Hardy (R) last year by four points. Hardy was once thought to be a probable one-term wonder wave baby, but the district actually moved two points rightward in 2018. A return to Congress for the Man from Mesquite no longer looks impossible, though the Democratic nominee should be favored.

TX-27: Rep. Blake Farenthold (R), he of the infamous footy pajamas photo, has been unmasked as the subject of a sexual harassment claim by a staffer that ended in an $84k settlement. This may boost the campaign of his primary challenger Michael Cloud (R), or it may attract more challengers.


AR-Gov: Well, Arkansas Democrats, once dominant in the Natural State, just can’t seem to catch a break. Not only have they lost both Senate seats, all four House seats, all statewide offices, and both chambers of the legislature, but now they’re even struggling to field a candidate for Governor. It had looked for a few days like they’d found one, but former State Rep. Jay Martin (D) has now taken his name out of consideration. I’m sure that someone will eventually file for the race, but it has to be embarrassing to put a name out publicly and then have that person publicly decline. Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) will likely cruise to reelection with little opposition.

FL-Gov: The battle lines in the Sunshine State’s Democratic gubernatorial primary are finally starting to take shape. Miami Beach Mayor Phil Levine (D) seems to have decided to take the corporate Democratic approach to raising the minimum wage, calling for regional differences in how much the wage is increased. Stay tuned for more differences appearing among the candidates as they jockey for different factions of the primary electorate.


Aurora City Council: After a recount for a hotly-contested at-large seat on the Aurora, CO (pop. 325,000) city council, it appears that the more conservative candidate has won by 45 votes. However, it’s worth noting that progressives captured several seats on the once-red-but-now-blue city’s nonpartisan city council.

Political Roundup for November 27, 2017

I hope that y’all had a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend filled with turkey, football, and as much family as you could stand. Now it’s back to the regular grind of the week, but fear not! RRH Elections is here with the daily dose of electoral happenings that keeps you going!


WWC/Hasids: It seems that many of the 36 towns that voted for both President Donald Trump (R) and Gov.-elect Phil Murphy (D) in New Jersey are havens of the white working and middle classes, especially the former group. However, one municipality stands out. Lakewood, a mostly Jewish town of about 100,000, vote 75-25 Trump, then barely voted for Murphy. The list is intriguing and will brush you up on your Garden State geography, so click through for the full accounting.


AL-Sen: Like clockwork, we have a story about Democrats’ being worried about black turnout, this time in the Alabama Senate special that has brought us Creepy Roy and the possibility of a raving lefty representing the Heart of Dixie for a few years. I’m not sure what to think of the report, though. Democrats always seem to fret about black turnout in states with large black populations, so I’m not sure if the report actually means much. It could mean that blacks are definitely going to turn out at a low rate, or it could mean that Democrats just suck at divining black voter engagement.

MN-Sen: Since getting embroiled in the current cultural fad of airing long-withheld sexual harassment allegations, Sen. Al Franken (D) has seen his approval rating plummet to 36%, according to SurveyUSA. The poll also finds, though, that 58% of Minnesotans either want him to stay in office, or want to wait for the findings of the Ethics Committee, so it’s not quite as dire for him as it might seem at first.

MS-Sen: Steve Bannon is getting unusually delusional lately, even for him. As if wanting to back selfish-as-can-be State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) against Sen. Roger Wicker (R) next year weren’t bad enough, Bannon has decided that if Sen. Thad Cochran (R) is out of office early, Gov. Phil Bryant (R) should self-appoint. That works out well for almost no one ever, so naturally it’s Bannon’s first option.

MI-13: Rep. John Conyers (D) has been swept up in the sexual assault allegations wave as well. Conyers temporarily stepped down as Ranking Member of the Judiciary committee over the weekend, but there’s even more pressure than there already was for him to resign. Multiple reports over recent years have stated that Conyers isn’t really in a fit mental state due to age and is being propped up by staff who don’t want to look for new jobs. Given that last point and his safer-than-safe district, I wouldn’t be surprised if his staff didn’t end up Weekend at Bernie’s-ing him around the Capitol for a decade after his death, despite the assault allegations. Job-hunting is just so inconvenient, you know?

TX-06: This story has been a strange one. First we found out that there are dick pics of Rep. Joe Barton (R) floating around (ewww), then we found out that he may have been blackmailed, and now we’ve finally, mercifully, moved on to the electoral implications. I actually think he could probably win his seat again without too much trouble, but the good folks over at WaPo seem determined to make it not so. If there’s a resignation and a special election, I assume that Michael Williams (R) would be a possible strong contender, and there are surely others in this Arlington-based district.


FL-Gov: Well, here’s a fun one. King of the Ambulance Chasers John Morgan at first seemed to be dropping out of the gubernatorial race in the Sunshine State, as had previously been speculated. However, he added a twist to the news when he actually announced that he wouldn’t run for it as a Democrat, but was open to an independent bid. Morgan is very, very rich, to the point that he doesn’t really need a state party’s backing. This would make the race even more interesting than a competitive gubernatorial election in America’s third-largest state already is.

NY-Gov: There is much buzz about Westchester County businessman Harry Wilson’s (R) campaign for Governor against incumbent Mario Cuomo (D). Wilson will need all the help that he can get (including all of the $10 million of his own money that he’s putting up), given New York’s partisan leanings.


NV-Leg: It’s as legally complicated as the article makes it sound, but the gist is that Democrats are fighting tooth-and-nail in court to prevent two of their state senators from being recalled in Nevada. Expect this to drag on in court for months. It could even reach the Supreme Court and effect election law for years to come if recalls are struck down as unconstitutional or severely limited by the court.

NY-Leg: Here’s a great rundown of the likely futures of the currently vacant seats in the Empire State’s crime syndicate, I mean legislature. Of special note is the contest to replace now-Westchester CE George Latimer (D).

VA-Leg: A judge has ruled that the certification of election results for two House of Delegates races will not be blocked. A few hundred voters seem to have been given the wrong ballots. If new elections were to be called, they would have to be initiated by the General Assembly, which obviously would prefer not to do so since it’s narrowly Republican-controlled.

WV-Leg: Here’s Hoppy Kercheval speaking out in favor of getting rid of West Virginia’s multi-member House of Delegates districts. I wouldn’t be surprised if this gets done, either, as Democrats have long used them to screw over Republicans, and Republicans are now in charge of the line-drawing.

Political Roundup for November 6th, 2017

Off-Year Election Day is tomorrow, so if you want to read the 5,000 polls that came out of Virginia over the weekend, go read RCP. If you want to find out that there is more than one race tomorrow, check out our Legislative/County and Mayoral previews. And return here at noon today for our big-ticket race previews, and tomorrow night at 7 PM EST for the the actual results of the various races. In the meantime,


President: Wow. The amount of shameless ass-covering coming out of Donna Brazile’s mouth is almost impressive. Brazile claims that when Hillary Clinton collapsed at a 9-11 memorial last year, she considered replacing Clinton with VP Joe Biden or Sen. Cory Booker. This was less than two months before the election. Such an action would have been impossible. You probably couldn’t have even gotten the ballots reprinted in time. There is no way in Hades that someone as experienced as Donna Brazile thought such a thing was possible at the time unless she was in a psych ward.

Turnout: I know, I know, it’s from Center for American Progress, but read this. The findings are interesting.


CA-Sen: This is going to be a lot of fun. I’m not 100% sure of which way it’s going to be fun yet, but everyone’s least favorite online news team definitely just threw a grenade of exploding fun down the hallway. To explain, Alison Hartson, director of the Young Turks’ (an online ‘news’ channel with a very high opinion of its importance in the world) political action committee, has decided to throw her hat in the ring and challenge Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D). This is all under the banner of the ‘Justice Democrats’ movement that the Young Turks founder, Cenk Uyghur, decided to launch almost a year ago on Election Night. That’s the reason that Hartson’s candidacy is a no-lose scenario for enjoyment; either she makes Top Two (very unlikely) and the Democrats field a complete nutcase who we can make fun of regularly but has no chance of beating Feinstein, or, more likely, we can watch as she pulls single digits and the Young Turks’ sense of self-importance gets brought back down to earth in spectacular fashion. I rarely say this, guys, but we can’t lose here.

NV-Sen: The boys and girls over at the Nevada Independent seem a tad shocked that so much out-of-state money is pouring into the coffers of candidates for US Senate in Nevada. Welcome to being a swingy small state with competitive Senate elections. New Hampshire feels your pain.

PA-06: Well, this is a bit early for an oppo dump, but I guess the 2018 circus has to start sometime. Apparently Chrissy Houlahan (D), main opponent to Rep. Ryan Costello (R), may not have been telling the truth when she bragged about how well the workers that made her former employer’s athletic shoes were treated. That wouldn’t be a huge issue, except that she was supposedly the one who was in charge of overseeing production…


FL-Gov: Congratulations, Adam Putnam! You have won the 2018 Florida Republican Gubernatorial Primary! Pass GO and collect millions more in campaign contributions. Seriously, though, if State Sen. Jack Latvala (R) wasn’t immediately out of the running for the nomination by virtue of being himself, he’s out now. Following a leaked image of Latvala kissing a lobbyist, six women have publicly accused him of sexual harassment.

FL-Gov: Adam Putnam actually had a double helping of luck over the weekend, because his biggest rival, former Rep. Gwen Graham (D), bombed hard in front most of the state’s political reporters. It’s pretty great stuff. I don’t think this will kill Graham’s campaign or anything like that, but it can’t help.


CO-Leg: Apparently some state representative from Pueblo is taking a minor post in the Trump Administration. That’s cool and all, but what I’m really interested in is the Centennial State’s apparent lack of love for special elections. It looks like all vacancies are filled by a party committee until the next scheduled election. That’s no fun.

KY-Leg: Accusations of sexual misconduct against powerful people seem to be the ‘it’ thing at the moment. Just think about how low Bill Clinton is lying right now. Anyway, the craze has made its way to Kentucky, where State House Speaker Jeff Hoover (R) and three other representatives are under investigation. Hoover has resigned as Speaker, but will not resign his seat. There may be primaries or special elections resulting from some of these accusations.

NJ-Leg: Now here’s something that you don’t see every day: a public poll of a state legislative race! It’s not even for a special election! The poll, conducted by Stockton University, finds Assemblyman (not that) Chris Brown (R) leading Colin Bell (D) 46-43 ahead of Tuesday’s off-year general election. This is very interesting if accurate because this seat covers Atlantic City and went for Clinton by seven points (and by twenty for Obama).

NV-Leg: It seems that opponents of State Sen. Joyce Woodhouse (D) have enough valid signatures for a recall petition. The lawyers still have to fight it out, but as of now it looks like we’ll have a recall election sometime in December.

WA-SD-45: In case you forgot, Virginia and New Jersey don’t have all of the important elections tomorrow. There is a special election in the Seattle suburbs that will decide control of the state senate, and the New York Times gets breathless about it at the link.

Political Roundup for November 2, 2017

Check back at noon today for our Mayoral general election Preview.


FL-Gov: Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine (D) will run for Governor. Miami Beach is a small city (90K) so Levine won’t have a lot of pre-existing name rec, but he does have a lot of self-funding ability and has pledged to spend $20-25M on the race. A new poll from St. Pete Polls shows ex-Rep. Gwen Graham (D) as the primary front-runner with 31%, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) in second with 13%, and Levine and businessman Chris King (D) in single digits.

NV-Gov: AG Adam Laxalt (R) kicked off his long-expected gubernatorial bid yesterday. Laxalt has most establishment support, including the backing of Sen. Dean Heller (R), though he does face a primary from moderate State Treasurer Dan Schwartz (R). Dems have a primary between Clark County commissioners Steve Sisolak (D) and Chris Giunchigliani (D).

WI-Gov: Madison Mayor Paul Soglin (D) says he will “most likely run” for Governor. Soglin would join a very crowded primary field of State Superintendent Tony Evers (D), State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D), State Rep. Dana Wachs (D), and others. His name rec in deep-blue Madison and his far-left positioning could make him a formidable primary contender, though likely a weak general election opponent to Gov. Scott Walker (R).


MN-8: 2014/16 candidate Stuart Mills (R) will not run a third time against Rep. Rick Nolan (D) in this reddening Duluth-area seat. Mills had fallen just short in both his runs.

TN-2: Businessman Jason Emert (R), who is also the national Young Republicans Chair, will run for this open Knoxville-area House seat. Emert could be a factor in the primary against front-running Knox CE Tim Burchett (R) and State Rep. Jimmy Matlock (R).

State & Local:

FL-CFO: Appointed incumbent Jimmy Patronis (R) will seek a full term as state CFO. Patronis, a former little-known State Rep. from Panama City, will likely enjoy the strong support of Gov. Rick Scott (R). However, he will still face a competitive primary against better-known State Sen. Tom Lee (R). The winner will head on to a competitive general with ex-State Sen. Jeremy Ring (D), a former tech executive with self-funding ability.

IL-AG: Kane DA Joe McMahon (R) will not run for AG, clearing the primary field for former congressional candidate Erika Harold (R). McMahon would have been a formidable primary contender due to his name rec in the large suburban county, but Harold had already coalesced most institutional GOP support.

FL-Leg: Someone has been snooping around the Florida legislature, and it has led to some big fish getting fried. State Sen. Jeff Clemens (D), who was set to be Senate Minority leader in 2019, has resigned from his Palm Beach area seat after being caught in an affair with a lobbyist. State Sen. Jack Latvala (R), who is running for Governor, was photographed kissing a lobbyist, though he is forging ahead with his campaign as planned. Separately, State Rep. Daisy Baez (D) of suburban Miami has resigned over residency violations; her resignation opens up a competitive Cuban-dominated seat that Dems flipped last year on Hillary’s coattails.

Political Roundup for October 27, 2017


AZ-Sen: Ex-Gov. Jan Brewer (R) is taking her name out of the running to replace Sen. Jeff Flake (R). However she is promoting another candidate to run that is not well-known outside the state. She is encouraging lawyer and Arizona Board of Regents member Jay Heiler (R) to run. Heiler had said earlier this month before Flake dropped out that he was thinking about challenging Flake in the primary. Reports are that Rep. Trent Franks (R) has taken himself out of the running, and Rep. David Schweikert (R) said he wasn’t sure he had the “burning passion” to run, although he didn’t fully rule it out.

FL-Sen: Another poll indicates that Sen. Bill Nelson (D) may have a real fight on his hands if Gov. Rick Scott (R) runs as expected. The Mason-Dixon poll has the two tied at 44. The poll represents an improvement for Scott from their last poll in February, where Nelson led 44-40. This is the 2nd poll this week to show an essentially tied race.


ID-1: State Rep. Christy Perry (R) is considering joining the race for this open seat. Perry would join a GOP primary that currently includes former state Sen. Russ Fulcher (R), former 80s era LG David Leroy (R) and state Rep. Luke Malek (R). Perry is from Nampa in the southern, Boise-area part of the district along with Fulcher and Leroy while Malek comes from Coeur d’Alene in the north.

MT-AL: State Rep. Kathleen Williams (D) joined the race for Congress yesterday. Williams joins 4 other Democrats running to face Rep. Greg Gianforte (R). They are former state Sen. Lynda Bourque Moss (D), former Five Valleys Land Trust director Grant Kier, attorney John Heenan, and state Rep. Tom Woods (D).


FL-Gov: Miami Beach Mayor Phil Levine (D) has scheduled an event next Wednesday where he is expected to announce he is joining the Democratic primary race for governor. Levine has led all Democrats, including announced candidates in fundraising to this point. He will join Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D), former Rep. Gwen Graham (D) and businessman Chris King in the primary. Others, including wealthy trial lawyer John Morgan and billionaire real estate investor Jeff Greene are considering getting in the race as well.

ID-Gov: Real estate developer Tommy Ahlquist has received the endorsement of Mitt Romney in his campaign for governor. Romney appeared in the state yesterday to lend his support to Ahlquist. Ahlquist is facing LG Brad Little (R) and Rep. Raul Labrador (R) in the Republican primary. He has received some criticism in the party for donating to some Democrats in the past, including 2014 Democratic gubernatorial nominee A.J. Balukoff. Ahlquist says that he donated to Balukoff because he thinks his family are “wonderful people”, but he donated the same amount to Gov. Butch Otter (R) and voted for Otter.

NE-Gov: Democrats finally appear to have at least one and maybe two candidates interested in the very tough task of taking on Gov. Pete Ricketts (R). One who is willing to lend their name publicly is University of Nebraska-Omaha instructor Tyler Davis. Davis was a Republican who has switched parties to challenge Ricketts. State Democratic Party chair Jane Kleeb also says a state senator, unnamed at this point, is considering running.

OK-Gov: In a surprise move, House Minority Leader Scott Inman (D) announced he was dropping out of the governor’s race on Wednesday. Although Inman was already being term-limited out of his seat at the end of his term, he furthermore announced his resignation from the Legislature effective in January. Inman was considered one of the top Democratic contenders for governor, and his exit probably helps ex-AG Drew Edmondson (D), the other major contender. Liberal ex-state Sen. Connie Johnson (D) is the other candidate still in the race.

OR-Gov: It was appearing like state Rep. Knute Buehler (R) might get the field to himself for the Republican nomination for governor, but now he has a challenger. Businessman Sam Carpenter says he will challenge Buehler for the Republican nomination.  Carpenter, who like Buehler is from the central Oregon city of Bend, is running to the right of the moderate Buehler. This is Carpenter’s 2nd bid for public office-he finished 2nd in the Republican primary for US Senate last year.

VA-Gov: If a new poll by Hampton University is accurate, LG Ralph Northam (D) could be in deep trouble. The poll puts Ed Gillespie (R) ahead by 8 points, 41-33. There are reasons to doubt the poll-there are 27% undecided, which seems pretty high for this late in the campaign and while one recent poll put Gillespie ahead by 1 point, others have Northam ahead, and one by Quinnipiac just last week had him comfortably ahead by 14 points. However it could also indicate late movement towards Gillespie and we do know that national Democrats have become nervous about the race. Either this trend will be reflected in other forthcoming polls, or somebody is going to have egg on their face in a couple of weeks.

State offices:

HI-LG: Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho (D) has announced he is running for Lieutenant Governor. He joins State Sens. Jill Tokuda (D) and Josh Green (D) in the Democratic primary. Current LG Shan Tsutsui (D) is not running for re-election.

IA-AG: One of the country’s longest serving row officers is running for another term. Attorney General Tom Miller (D) is running for a 10th term. Miller was first elected in 1978 and re-elected twice before making an unsuccessful run for governor in the Democratic primary in 1990. He ran for the office again in 1994 and has been re-elected every 4 years since. Miller and State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald (D), who was first elected in 1982 are the only Democrats currently in statewide office.


Australia: A temporary crisis is brewing for PM Malcolm Turnbull and his Coalition government as National Party leader and Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce has been declared ineligible by the Australian High Court to sit in Parliament because of dual citizenship he has with New Zealand. Joyce has since renounced his New Zealand citizenship and will be running in the Dec. 2 by-election to fill his seat. This poses a problem for Turnbull as it at least temporarily deprives him of the already razor-thin 1 seat majority his government had. However the government would appear to be safe from losing a no confidence vote as independent Cathy McGowan says she will continue to support the government on confidence and supply. Other key votes however could be up in the air. Joyce appears to be the favorite to be returned to his seat and received a break when former independent MP Tony Windsor, whom Joyce defeated in last year’s election said he would not contest the seat in the by-election. 4 Senators were also declared ineligible to hold their seats in the same ruling-two of which had already resigned. Those seats will be filled by a special recount of ballots cast in last year’s election

Political Roundup for October 20, 2017


CA-Sen: Left-wing online news host Cenk Uygur is considering getting into the US Senate race. Uygur is cofounder of the left-wing Young Turks Network and hosts the Young Turks show. It was reported last week that his cohost Ana Kasparian was considering running as well, but it’s expected that both won’t run. Uygur would represent another candidate on the left, joining State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon (D) as candidates running against Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) from the left.

TN-Sen: A good article here from a Democrat about why former Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) would be a longshot to be elected to the Senate even if he represents the Democrat’s best chance. Bredesen was the last Democrat to win statewide when he was easily re-elected governor in 2006, but the state’s politics have moved significantly towards the Republican side since then. When Bredesen was last on the ballot in 2006, Democrats held 5 of the state’s 9 US House seats, they controlled the State House and Republicans held the State Senate by the narrowest of margins. Now Republicans hold 7 of the 9 US House seats and control both houses of the Legislature by huge margins. As the article states, now “having a “D” by one’s name is tantamount to electoral doom”. The article compares the situation to that of Bob Kerrey, who had been highly successful electorally in Nebraska in being elected governor and two terms as US senator, but things had changed a lot in the state since he had left office and he lost by 15 points in a comeback attempt in 2012. The article even suggests that Bredesen would have a better chance being elected as an independent than as a Democrat.


IN-4: State Rep. Jim Baird (R) is in for the Republican primary for this open seat. He joins Diego Morales, a former aide to Gov. Mike Pence (R), former state Rep. Steve Braun (R) and Army veteran Jared Thomas in the Republican primary.

NH-1: Ex-Strafford County Attorney Lincoln Soldati (D) has entered the Democratic primary for this open seat. Soldati is the first Democrat to get in the race after Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) announced her retirement last week. Other Democrats are still considering the race. State Sen. Andy Sanborn (R) and former state Liquor Commission Chief of Enforcement Eddie Edwards are in on the Republican side.

NY-24: Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner (D) has announced she will not run for Congress. Miner had been the most high profile candidate considering a run against Rep. John Katko (R). Small business entrepreneur Anne Messenger and Syracuse University professor Dana Balter are currently running in the Democratic primary.

OH-12: We are starting to get a picture of who is and isn’t interested in running to replace Rep. Pat Tiberi (R). Yesterday, State Sens. Kevin Bacon (R) and Jay Hottinger (R) both indicated they are interested but have not made final decisions. State Rep. Rick Carfagna (R) says he is “certainly considering” the race as well. Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo (R), who dropped out of the race for State Treasurer this week, says he is deferring comment on the race for now. State Rep. Andrew Brenner (R) is not interested and is running for a state Senate seat and author J.D. Vance, who was considered as a possible candidate for US Senate also says he is not interested. State Sen. Kris Jordan (R) and state Rep. Mike Duffey (R) could not be reached for comment on if they are interested. One candidate, Iraq War veteran Brandon Grisez, was already running in the Republican primary before Tiberi announced his resignation on Wednesday.

PA-15: Lehigh County Commissioner Marty Nothstein (R) has entered the Republican nomination for the open seat of retiring Rep. Charlie Dent (R). Nothstein, who is also a former gold medal Olympic cyclist joins State Reps. Justin Simmons (R) and Ryan Mackenzie (R) in the GOP race. Lehigh County Commissioner Bill Leiner (D) and pastor Greg Edwards are in on the Democratic side. Northampton County DA John Morganelli (D) and community activist Alan Jennings are also considering entering the Democratic primary as well.

TN-7: Franklin Mayor Ken Moore (R) is considering getting into the Congressional race. He says he’ll decide within the next two weeks whether to get in the race. State Sen. Mark Green (R) is already in the race and has nabbed the endorsement of the Club For Growth. Moore is seen as possibly a more palatable alternative for the more moderate, business-style Republicans than the conservative Green. Songwriter Lee Thomas Miller (R) is also considering getting in the race.

State & Local:

FL-Gov: Billionaire real-estate investor Jeff Greene is considering joining the race for the Democratic nomination for governor. Greene has run for office before, finishing 2nd in the 2010 Democratic primary for US Senate. No candidate has really caught fire with Democratic voters yet-a poll last month showed 44 % of Democrats undecided while wealthy trail attorney John Morgan, who is not yet running lead the named candidates with 23%. Former Rep. Gwen Graham (D) led the declared candidates with 16% with Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and businessman Chris King in single digits. Recognizing this, Greene doesn’t feel rushed to make a decision soon.

IL-AG: Jesse Ruiz, an attorney and former chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education is joining the Democratic field for Attorney General. He joins state Sen. Kwame Raoul (D), state Rep. Scott Drury (D) and Sharon Fairly, former head of Chicago’s police oversight agency in the Democratic primary. Former Miss America and congressional candidate Erika Harold is running on the Republican side. Current AG Lisa Madigan (D) is retiring.

RI-AG: State Rep. Robert Craven (D) has announced he will not run for Attorney General. This may clear the Democratic field for former US Attorney Peter Neronha, the only announced candidate so far. Current AG Peter Kilmartin (D) is term limited.

WI-LG: Former state Rep. Mandela Barnes (D) is “strongly considering” getting into the Democratic race for Lieutenant Governor. Barnes is the first prominent Democrat to express a run for the office. Political newcomer Robert Louis Slamka is currently the only Democrat to file to run for LG.


New Zealand: New Zealand First Party leader Winston Peters has made his choice, and he will take his party into coalition with Labour, bringing Labour into government for the first time since 2008. 37 year old Jacinda Ardern will be the new prime minister. NZ First will be a formal coalition partner with Labour, while the Greens will have a confidence and supply agreement with them. This is despite National winning the most votes and the most seats, meaning that for the first time since New Zealand went to the mixed-member proportional system in 1996, the party that won the most votes and seats will not be in the government. National had their vote share cut and their seat total reduced by 2 after special votes were counted a couple of weeks after the September election, but National still held 56 seats, more than the 54 seats combined between Labour and the Greens. Labour-NZ First and the Greens will have 63 seats, while National and ACT New Zealand will have 57 seats.

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