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Political Roundup for November 20th, 2017

Over the weekend, ex-State Rep. John Schroder (R) won LA-Treasurer as expected, councilwoman LaToya Cantrell (D) won New Orleans Mayor, Covington Councilman Mark Wright (R) won LA-LD-77, and ex-federal prosecutor Conor Lamb (D) won the right to take on State Rep. Rick Saccone (R) in PA-18. In Chile, ex-President Sebastian Pinera of the center right will face Senator Alejandro Guillier of the center-left in a December runoff.

Congress

MI-Sen/MI-06: Well, I think that this turned out for the best. Rep. Fred Upton (R) has backed off of his Senate campaign and is running for reelection to his Southwest Michigan congressional seat.  Not having his district open next year can only help House Republicans, and he just wasn’t catching on in the primary for Senate.

MI-Sen Continued: With Upton out of the race, all eyes are now on frontrunner veteran/businessman John James (R). James still has a few notable primary opponents, including ex-State Supreme Court Justice Bob Young (R) and newly-entered businessman Sandy Pensler (R), but he’s polling ahead of them. He’s also African-American, so expect a bit more coverage than your run-of-the-mill Republican Senate candidate would get. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) is a tough candidate to beat in any year, so James has his work cut out for him if he makes it out of the primary.

MN-Sen: If this opinion piece is at all representative of progressive opinion on the matter, we won’t be seeing any special Senate election fun in Minnesota. Sen. Al Franken (D) has been caught up in the wave of allegations of sexual misconduct that is currently sweeping the upper echelons of American public society. However, it seems like many are willing to close ranks around him not necessarily because he might be innocent, but because he votes the right way. This woman is just more honest about it than most.

TX-Sen: Some Dude Bruce Jacobson (R) is challenging Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in the Republican senatorial primary next year. Jacobson doesn’t seem to have much of a platform aside from criticizing gridlock. Jacobson may be a Some Dude, but I expect he might actually might have a bit of funding because he’s a television producer for a Christian outlet.

IL-03: Off the Sidelines, a PAC linked to New York Sen. Kirsten Gellibrand (D) has endorsed Some Dude Marie Newman (D) in her bid to oust Blue Dog Rep. Dan Lipinski (D) in the Democratic primary for his seat, based in Chicago’s southwestern inner suburbs. This has fueled speculation that Gellibrand, who’s been an ideological chameleon since entering elected office, may be trying to burnish her progressive credentials ahead of the 2020 Democratic Presidential primary.

MD-07: This is from Gateway Pundit, so take it with a grain of salt. However, it’s fascinating if true. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D) may have colluded with elements of the IRS to suppress some Republican-friendly outside groups. It’s still early, but Cummings has been contemplating leaving the House in one way or another for a while now. This could be the push that finallyopens up his Baltimore-based seat.

NJ-05: Well-connected lawyer John McCann (R) has joined perennial candidate Steve Lonegan (R) in the race to take on freshman Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D). Trump actually narrowly won this district based in suburban, exurban, and rural North Jersey, so the moderate McCann might have a decent shot even in a good year for Democrats. First, though, he has to get by Lonegan, who rarely wins races, but does have high name recognition.

PA=15: Well, State Rep. Ryan Mackenzie’s (R) life just got a bit easier. Fellow State Rep. Justin Simmons (R), Mackenzie’s biggest stumbling block on the way to winning the Republican primary for this swingy open seat based in the Lehigh Valley, has dropped out of the race. Mackenzie isn’t out of the woods yet, though. He still has, at the least, a tough general election campaign ahead of him.

State/Local

CO-SD-27: In the current wave of sexual harassment allegations, at least a few are likely false or not representative of the person’s general behavior. It seems that this may be the case with the allegations against Colorado State Sen. Jack Tate (R). Multiple women who work alongside him have spoken out in defense of his conduct. It looks like Democrats will have to wait until 2020 if they want to try and take Tate’s Centennial-based seat.

FL-Leg: I think that Ryan may be right in his oft-repeated prediction that the tsunami still has yet to rush in on the sexual misconduct allegation phenomenon. 97% of Florida political insiders surveyed by the Tampa Bay Times seem to agree with both of us. What’s interesting is that it’s so nearly unanimous. They can’t all know about the same single offender. Expect more open legislative seats in next year’s election than are currently forecast.

VA-Leg: Democrats in the Old Dominion are still trying to flip the House of Delegates. They plan to file for recounts in HD-28, HD-40, and HD-94. All three races were extremely narrow Republican victories. If Democrats get one more seat, they can tie the chamber. Two more seats get them the majority. There was an earlier report that hundreds of voters in HD-28 had bee given the wrong ballots, but that appears to have been erroneous.

TX-HD-134: In a move that has surprised many, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) is backing a challenger to a fellow Republican. Susanna Dokupil (R) is challenging State Rep. Sarah Davis (R) for her seat on Houston’s wealthy west side, and has the Governor’s backing in her endeavor. Abbott’s move may have something to do with an ethics reform that Davis proposed that would bar donors to governors from serving on state boards and commissions.

Political Roundup for November 2, 2017

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

Governor:

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).

House:

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 11th, 2017

After President Trump singlehandedly redefined the IQ bell curve yesterday in proving his vast intellectual superiority to Rex Tillerson, Mensa proudly folded up its operations. It had a good run, but the defunct organization knows the country is in the most capable hands.

Last night, Republicans held FL-LD-44, while the following combinations advanced in mayoral elections in North Carolina:
Raleigh: Nancy McFarlane (I) 49 – Charles Francis (D) 37
Greensboro: Nancy Vaughan (D) 61 – Diane Moffett (D) 22
Durham: Steve Schewel (D) 51 – Farad Ali (D) 29
Fayetteville: Mitch Colvin (D) 45 – Nat Robertson (R) 32

President/Miscellaneous

Duh: The failing New York Times shares the obvious: ultra mature President Donald Trump’s super not petty and totally provoked fight with outgoing US Senator and Liddle Man Bob Corker (R) isn’t endangering his legislative agenda.

Big, Beautiful Wall: Speaking of the American Great Wall… According to the very dishonest AP, many people are saying that they don’t like the Donald’s proposed wall. They also disapprove of his plan to deport the “dreamers.”

Chicago Demographics: According to The Economist, without the Big, Beautiful Wall soon to Make America Great Again, Hispanics have eclipsed African-Americans to become Chicago’s second-largest ethnic group. Until recently, they were long ignored by the C[r]ook County Democratic machine.

God’s Waiting Room: The Wall Street Journal reports that real estate developers are looking to shake Boca Raton, Florida’s reputation as “God’s waiting room.” Given the perennial swing state’s very troubling age gap, these sorts of things are always worth keeping an eye on, especially when they reflect potential larger trends.

Russians and Fake News: The New York Times highlights the ingenious method by which clever, Russian-run accounts fanned the flames of controversy on both sides in 2016: anger. This quote really says it best: “One of the most powerful weapons that Russian agents used to reshape American politics was the anger, passion, and misinformation that real Americans were broadcasting across social media platforms.”

GA-Redistrict: Sore loser and ex-US AG Eric Holder has filed a lawsuit against Georgia’s mid-decade redraw of its State House districts because…if Section 5 were in effect, he believes that preclearance would have been denied. Yes, really. Sad!

Congress

2018 Senate Cycle: According to Politico, some Democrats have begun to believe they can win the US Senate. The article points out, however, that the map is still very unfavorable. Even if Jabba the Hutt Steve Bannon’s deplorables succeed in their primary challenges, most will still win their generals.

AL-Sen: Former US Attorney Doug Jones (D) has released his first TV ad ahead of his matchup with Goliath Roy Moore (R). In his intro spot, Jones attacks the dysfunction in Washington and casts himself as a pragmatist who will cross party lines to accomplish something. Considering the “burn it all down” mentality of the Republican primary voters who supported God’s Gift to the World, Jones’ is sure to be the best possible strategy…

CA-Sen/Democrats: After ancient US Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D) surprise re-election announcement, Politico highlights the rift among the California Democrats. The Democratic establishment, including US Senator Kamala Harris, back Feinstein. Yet, bold progressives like Congressmen Ro Khanna and Ted Liu are trying to get Congresswoman Barbara Lee or Robert Reich to challenge Feinstein.

WA-08: Seattle’s Crosscut, one of the best local news sites in America, breaks down State Senator Dino Rossi’s (R) likely uphill battle to keep Washington’s ever-changing 8th district in GOP hands.

The States

IL-AG: Former state and federal prosecutor Sharon Fairley has just filed for AG. In pressing responsibilities for a state prosecutor, the courageous candidate pledges to be a constant thorn in POTUS’ side. Fairley joins State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D) and State Rep. Scott Drury (D) in the primary race; a fourth possible Dem, McHenry CE Jack Franks (D), announced yesterday he would not run.

California First: The New York Times looks back at California’s Prop 187. Like some of the hardline immigration policies being pushed now, the referendum polled well in 1994. However, the article explains something we know all too well: Prop 187 ultimately destroyed the CA-GOP as demographics shifted. But, surely, things will be different this time!

TX-Gov: Greg Abbott, with or without an opponent, is looking to increase his support among Wise Latinas/os.

VA-Gov: Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) plans to campaign for Low Energy Ralph Northam (D) in Virginia this weekend.

Places where Donald Trump isn’t President

Catalan Independence: Despite some controversy surrounding the Spanish province’s independence vote, Catalan President Carles Puigdemont wasted no time in signing a declaration of independence from Spain.

NC Mayors Preview & Liveblog

Results: News & Observer

9:35 ET- It appears most of the vote is in. We may update again later if something significant changes, but here are the current results… pretty bad night for Republicans and center-right candidates overall.
Raleigh: McFarlane (I) 48 Francis (D) 38
Greensboro: Vaughan (D) 61 Moffatt (D) 22
Durham: Schewel (D) 50 Ali (D) 31
Fayetteville: Colvin (D) 43 Robertson (R) 33

9:10 ET- Legislative primaries: McClure (R) has won in FL-LD-58, and Vargas (D) has won in MA-LD-3rd Essex.

8:55 ET- Results reporting has slowed to a crawl, but so far no substantive changes in any of the races.

8:34 ET – Looks like McFarlane will finish just below the 50% needed to win outright; she’s at 48-38 over Francis. Schewel and Ali are advancing with 52 and 29 in Durham, and Vaughan and Moffett (D) will likely advance in Greensboro as they are at 59 and 26 respectively. Colvin is still (surprisingly) in the overall lead in Fayetteville, leading Robertson (R) 45-32.

7:50 ET- Colvin (D) is dominating the absentee vote in Fayetteville with 54%. Schewel (D) is at 52% in Durham, Vaughan (D) is on course for an uneventful win with 62% in Greensboro, and McFarlane (I) is just below the 50% mark needed to win outright with 49.3%.

7:30 ET- Polls have now closed across North Carolina.

7:20 ET- FL-LD-44 has been called for Olszweski (R), 56-44.

Four cities in North Carolina have mayoral elections today. Polls close at 7:30 ET; we will have a brief liveblog in this thread tonight. There are also elections in Liberia and a couple legislative specials in Florida and Massachusetts.

Raleigh-Mayor: The biggest mayoral election today is in Raleigh. The state capital has a population of 450K which breaks down as 55% White, 30% Black, and 10% Hispanic. It has a PVI of D+11 (2008), though that has likely shifted well to the left over the last decade. The city is relatively diverse socioeconomically, with white liberals on the west side, upscale white moderates in the northern part of the city, and a mixture of lower and middle-income blacks on the east side. Unlike the other three races today, Raleigh’s election uses Louisiana Rules Top Two, so 50% is enough to win outright. Incumbent Spanky Nancy McFarlane (I) is seeking a fourth two-year term. McFarlane is a moderate, business-friendly liberal who has generally had the support of the Dem establishment. She has been quite popular as mayor and has generally cruised to her first two re-elections over token GOP opposition. However, Raleigh has been shifting strongly left in recent years with an influx of minorities and upscale liberals. And this year, McFarlane is facing a much more serious challenge, from her left rather than right. Attorney Charles Francis (D) is running to McFarlane’s left, striking SJW notes in contrast to McFarlane’s business liberalism. This year, Francis has the official endorsement of the Wake County Democratic Party, which has previously gone to McFarlane. Francis has also outraised the incumbent, and has backing from some big names in the area’s Democratic establishment (including the heads of liberal polling firm PPP). Many more moderate Dems are still backing McFarlane, but observers generally do consider Francis likely to be a significant threat to the incumbent. A third candidate, mortgage broker and 2012 county commission candidate Paul Fitts (R), has some GOP support but isn’t running a particularly serious campaign. CW is that he is likely to come in third, but there is a small chance he could come in second on GOP votes. Generally, CW is that McFarlane will come in first but be held below 50% and head to a runoff with Francis; McFarlane could garner GOP support in the second round and will probably still be favored. However, there are also chances for McFarlane to overperform on name rec and her prior popularity and wrap things up today, or conversely for high liberal turnout to propel Francis to a first-place finish.

Greensboro-Mayor: Greensboro has a population of 290K that breaks down as roughly 45% White, 40% Black, and 10% Hispanic; the south and east sides are mostly black while the northwest part of the city is mostly upscale whites. It has a PVI of D+16 (2008). Three candidates are running for Mayor, two Democrats and one Republican, in a California Rules Top Two format; the top two will advance even if one passes 50%. Incumbent Nancy Vaughan (D) is seeking her third two-year term. Vaughan is a mainstream white liberal who has been relatively popular in her tenure. This year, she has two opponents, one from the left and one from the right, but both are little-known political novices. Businessman John Brown (R) has significant Republican establishment support and could make the runoff by garnering votes among the third or so of Greensboro’s voters that are right-of-center. However, Brown is a staunch conservative and has little crossover appeal to Dems, meaning he will probably advance but have little shot next month. A third candidate, pastor Diane Moffett (D), is also somewhat serious. Moffett is the only black candidate in the race and running slightly to the left of Vaughan. However, she doesn’t have much establishment support, and thus looks like a long-shot to beat out Brown for second. If she does, she will likely face a similarly uphill climb against Vaughan. Regardless of her general election rival, Vaughan is likely to pass 50% today and be the clear favorite in the November general election.

Durham-Mayor: The college town of Durham has a population of 260K, which breaks down as roughly 40% each White and Black and 15% Hispanic. Durham is socioeconomically divided east-west; the east side is largely poor blacks, while the west side is mostly upscale white liberals, with Duke as its main economic driver. Both groups are solidly Democratic; the city has a PVI of D+27 (2008). The open-seat race this year is in a California-Rules Top Two format, though it is unlikely to matter as no member of the 6-way field is in strong position to top 50%. Ex-councilman and Airport board member Farad Ali (D) is the most prominent black candidate. Ali is a business-friendly black establishment liberal in the mold of the outgoing incumbent, and seems to have the most support from the city’s establishment. Ali’s main rival, councilman Steve Schewel (D), is the only white candidate in the race and running to Ali’s left. Schewel is a fairly typical upscale white progressive who founded the city’s alternative newspaper before entering politics. But he isn’t the farthest-left candidate in the field; that would be musician Pierce Freelon (D). Freelon is a staunch left-winger, spouting all sorts of SJW priorities and declaring intersectionality the basis of his campaign. Being both black and left-wing, Freelon seems likely to draw significant numbers of votes from both Ali and Schewel. It is possible that Freelon boxes out one of the two top candidates, but he seems more likely than not to finish third. Three other Some Dudes seem less serious. Schewel and Ali advancing is thought to be the most likely outcome, but Freelon could have a chance to box one of them out. A general election between Ali and Schewel is likely to be highly competitive, though either will probably be favored over Freelon should he advance.

Fayetteville-Mayor: The race with the biggest partisan implications is in Fayetteville. It has a population of 200K, which breaks down as 45% White, 40% Black, and 10% Hispanic; however, a significant part of that population is ultra-low-turnout active duty Fort Bragg soldiers. The city has a PVI of D+10 (2008). Incumbent Nat Robertson (R) is seeking a third two-year term in this year’s California-Rules Top two race. Robertson, a moderate conservative, has won two tough races and seems to be reasonably popular. However, Fayetteville is a Democratic and fairly inelastic city, and Robertson seems likely to get a tough challenge once again this time, as two sitting city councilors are seeking the seat. Robertson looks likely to finish a clear first, and may clear 50%. As there isn’t a huge amount of ideological daylight between his rivals, Robertson’s score is an important thing to watch, as it may be predictive of his November vote share. Councilmen Mitch Colvin (D) and Kirk DeViere (D) are seeking the chance to take on Robertson. Colvin, the council’s president, is a mainstream black establishment liberal, and has the stronger connections to the local establishment. DeViere, a white first-term councilman and veteran, is a moderate liberal who has been considered a rising star. There doesn’t seem to be a clear favorite between the two, and either could have the chance to move on to the general. Simply because the Democrats voting are likely to be black-majority, I’d peg Colvin as a slight front-runner, but DeViere could easily prevail. A non-serious Some Dude is also running. Odds are regardless of who comes in second, Colvin and DeViere’s vote shares will sum near-totally, so today’s vote shares can be thought of as also a good straw poll for the November real thing.

Legislative Specials: There is one general election and three primaries this week, two in Florida and two in Massachusetts. The lone general is for FL-LD-44, an R-held D+2 (2016) seat covering southwest Orlando suburbs between Disney World and the Florida’s Turnpike. Ex-Winter Garden councilman Bobby Olszewski (R) is facing off with manager Eddy Dominguez (D), who entered the race as a replacement nominee just three weeks ago. Because Democrats pulled a late candidate switch, Dominguez is not on the ballot – instead, in a “punch Foley for Joe” type situation, Dominguez will get the votes that are cast for the name of prior nominee Paul Chandler. Because of Dominguez’s late start and Olszewski’s strong campaign, Olszewski is generally considered the favorite. However, this year, in a seat this purple, no Democrat can be counted out, and strong liberal turnout could allow Dominguez to surprise. The Florida primary is for FL-LD-58, an R+6 (2016) seat covering eastern Tampa suburbs in northeast Hillsborough County from Plant City to Thonotosassa. The GOP primary is hotly contested, between a pair of businesspeople, Lawrence McClure (R) and Yvonne Fry (R). Both have advantages: McClure has outraised Fry and has the NRA endorsement, while Fry is backed by the outgoing incumbent and has a big endorsement from AG Pam Bondi (R). The race has become nasty, but overall McClure looks like a slight favorite. The primary winner will face 2016 nominee Jose Vasquez-Figueroa (D) in a December general. MA-LD-1st Berkshire is a D+17 (2016) rural seat around Williamstown and North Adams at the northwest corner of the state. Ex-North Adams Mayor John Barrett (D), North Adams councilwoman Lisa Blackmer (D), Kevin Towle (D), a staffer to the late previous Rep., and Stephanie Bosley (D), daughter of a retired prior Rep., are all in the race; there is no clear favorite and any of the four could win. The primary winner will be a prohibitive favorite over 2016 State Senate nominee Christine Canning (R) in the general. Finally, MA-LD-3rd Essex is a D+7 (2016) seat covering most of Haverhill in the Merrimack valley. Two Democrats are facing off. Liberal Haverhill councilman Andy Vargas (D), a 24-year old Dominican immigrant, has more establishment support and seems a slight favorite over school board member Paul Magliocchetti (D), a Conservadem who took 16% as an Indie in a 2012 State Senate run, but an upset may be possible. The winner will face school board member and 2012/14 State Senate nominee Shaun Toohey (R) in a November general.

Liberia: The west African nation of Liberia is the first of 8 nations holding elections this month. Liberia is a largely-Christian nation of 4.6M in the southern part of West Africa, roughly the size of Ohio in area. Liberia was founded (and run for much of the 19th and 20th centuries) by black immigrants from the US and their descendants. It has long retained close ties with America; however, a series of civil wars, coups, and dictatorships ravaged the country from 1980 to 2005. Since then Liberia has gradually become a relatively free democracy, albeit one with an immature civil society and rampant extreme poverty (and being the center of the Ebola outbreak didn’t help either). Like most third-world countries, pols’ ideologies are poorly-defined, and politics is more based on personalities and clan ties than issue positions. This year, there are six major candidates for the presidency, but two front-runners. CW is that neither will clear 50% and they will head on to a runoff. President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is standing down this year; CW is that her Vice President, Joseph Boakai, is likely to head to a runoff with former soccer star and current Senator George Weah, who lost the first modern free election to Johnson-Sirleaf in 2005. Four other candidates, former Senator and 2011 candidate Charles Brumskine, Senator and former guerilla fighter Prince Johnson, former local mayor Benoni Urey, and former Coca-Cola executive Alex Cummings, could each potentially snag a runoff spot.

Political Roundup for September 27th, 2017

About last night: ex-State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R) won the AL-Sen runoff, defeating incumbent Luther Strange (R) 56-44. Incumbent Marty Walsh (D) advanced to a general with councilman Tito Jackson (D) in Boston, which Walsh led 66-24, and Democrats picked up a pair of legislative seats in FL-SD-40 (with Annette Taddeo-Goldstein (D) winning by 3%) and a deep-red State House seat in NH. Republicans held FL-LD-116 easily.

Governor:

NJ-Gov: Former Goldman Sachs Master of the Universe Phil Murphy (D) has launched his first TV ad of the general election. After spending more than $20 million to buy win the Democrat nomination, Murphy has put his campaign on autopilot, kept a low profile and went on the public dole by entering the New Jersey Campaign Finance system program that limits donations, curtails spending and allowed him to use taxpayer money to finance his campaign. Murphy’s first ad obviously tries to link Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R) to Gov. Chris Christie (R) whose poll numbers are absolutely toxic. The RGA is up with their second 15-second TV ad (See HERE) which hits “really loaded, really liberal” Phil Murphy for not paying his employees the $15 minimum wage he claims to favor.

NV-Gov: Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) has announced 12 “special events” starting on Monday during which he is expected to officially announce his candidacy for Governor. On the Democrat side Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani (D) has scheduled a “special announcement” for Monday which she will most likely use to announce her run for Governor. Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak (D) and State Treasurer Dan Schwartz (R) have previously announced their candidacies.

VA-Gov: New polls are out in Virginia. PPP has Democrat Ralph Northam leading Republican Ed Gillespie by a very narrow 43% to 40% margin with Libertarian Cliff Hyra at 4% and Not Sure at 13%, a Monmouth poll taken 9/21 to 9/25 has Northam at 49% and Gillespie at 44%, while IMGE Insights has Nothman leading Gillespie 45% to 41%.

Senate:

MS-Sen: State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R), who nearly toppled Sen. Thad Cochran (R) in a 2014, now has his eye on challenging Sen. Roger Wicker (R) in 2018. McDaniel has been talking with former Trump strategist Steve Bannon and views Roy Moore’s primary win as a call to arms.

PA-Sen: Rep. Mike Kelly (R) who at one time was considering a run for Senate has sent a fundraising letter out on behalf of GOP Senate candidate Rep. Lou Barletta.

TN-Sen: ICYMI Sen. Bob Corker has announced he will not seek re-election in 2018. Please scroll down for our complete coverage of this from yesterday and for my plug for David French to run for Senate!

TX-Sen: Sen. John Cornyn (R) has made it clear he will run for re-election in 2020. H stated that he would stay in the Senate “as long as Texans will have me” which at the rate Texas is turning blue could be a VERY long time.

House:

IN-04: State Sen. John Crane (R) announced he will not run for this open safe R seat of Rep. Todd Rokita is vacating to run for Senate. Steve Braun and Diego Morales are the two leading GOP candidates in this race.

MI-11: RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel (R) has ruled out a run for the open House seat of retiring Rep. Dave Trott (R).

NV-3: Emily’s List has endorsed failed 2016 NV-4 candidate Susie Lee (D) for this open swing seat. The Nevada Democrat establishment seems to be coalescing around the very wealthy Lee while the GOP has a fairly large and wide open field for this seat.

NY-19: And then there were 7! Some dudette Sue Sullivan (D) has dropped out of the race for Congress vs. freshman Rep. John Faso leaving only 7 no name Democrats vying for the right to take on Faso next year.

State, Local & Other:

NY-Nassau County Executive: The Civil Service Employees Association Nassau County has endorsed Republican Jack Martins for county executive. Municipal labor unions usually endorse Democrats but since the Nassau Country Republican machine is all about playing ball they can buy these endorsements away from the Democrats.

NY-Corruption: A three-judge federal-appeals court panel has overturned former New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R) 2015 federal corruption conviction. At issue was the 2016 Supreme Court case that overturned former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s corruption conviction. In Skelos’ case prosecutors used the pre-2016 SCOTUS ruling charging standards against Skelos. This was the same issue that lead to the overturning of former New York Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver’s (D) corruption conviction. Federal prosecutors are expected to retry Skelos under the new standard.

VA-Lt Gov: In the race for Lt Governor PPP has a new poll out with Democrat Justin Fairfax leading Republican Jill Vogel 43% to 37% with Not Sure at 21%.

VA-AG: PPP also polled the race for Attorney General and had Democrat Mark Herring leading Republican John Adams 46% to 38% with Not Sure at 16%.

#FakeNews: The Washington Post ran an unbelievably crappy story in which they falsely claimed 17,000 Wisconsinites in two counties didn’t vote in 2016 because of voter ID laws. The state of Wisconsin actually keeps records of how many people show up to vote without an ID. In 2016 less than 600 people came to vote without an ID and every single one of them were allowed to vote if they agreed to sign an affidavit explaining why they couldn’t get ID. But instead of  relying on the actual numbers the state of Wisconsin keeps The Washington Post instead decided to rely on a biased unverifiable targeted survey with 293 self-respondents (out of 2,300 sent) in which they extrapolated their ridiculous figure of 17,000 disenfranchised non-ID voters. The whole thing is complete nonsense and a prime example of how false stories can perpetuate false myths about voter fraud and disenfranchisement that don’t exist.

WATN: Former three time RRHelections Turkey Award Winner Anthony Weiner (D) has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for sexting with a 15 year old girl. We would make more jokes about he “man” most responsible for electing Donald Trump President of the United States but the sick f*** was having cybersex with a kid. May he rot in jail.

AL-Sen Runoff Liveblog

Results: NYT (AL) || Florida

10:32 ET- We’re gonna go ahead and wrap this up. Moore’s lead shrank to just 10 points, 55%-45%, with 92% in. Strange held on to his narrow lead in Madison County while winning Jefferson and Shelby Counties. The large number of outstanding precincts in Jefferson County should help narrow this margin even further in Strange’s favor, but Moore won tonight. He consolidated Brooks’ base while winning in places Strange needed to do well like Shelby, Baldwin, St. Clair, and Montgomery Counties. Good night all!

9:44 ET- 62% in and Moore’s lead is down to 56%. This is just noise thought- we still have a solid Moore victory on our hands. For what it’s worth, Strange is so far edging out Moore in Madison County, leading tonight’s winner 52%-48%. Besides the relative education of these voters, maybe there was some very specific spending on the profligate pro-Strange side?

9:29 ET- New York Times adds a check with 45% in and Moore still leading with 57%.

9:27 ET– After counting and recounting, Democrats won a New Hampshire special election for state representative. While that would normally be interesting, especially wining that last contested precinct in a town that Trump won with 64%, remember that these legislative seats are the tiniest in the country by population.

9:22 ET- With 38% in statewide, we have Moore leading Strange 58%-42%.

9:20 ET- Other counties that Strange needed are also going for Moore, including Shelby and St. Clair. Still waiting on anything from Madison, more because the margins could be interesting than because there is any chance that Strange can win it.

9:17 ET- Finally getting election day votes in Mobile County, and Moore is even winning there. It’s not showing in the New York Times results yet, but DDHQ says Moore is even gaining in Strange’s home turf in Jefferson County.

9:05 ET- And our first results out of Baldwin County show Moore leading as well, 63%-37%, with 8 precincts in there.

9:04 ET- I waited to write it until we had more votes, but now Strange is even trailing in Montgomery County, 53%-47%, with 39% reporting there.

9:00 ET- Decision Desk is making the call for Moore. With 16% in, Moore leads 58%-42%.

8:51 ET- Doubling up again to 9% reporting (207 precincts, something like 45,000 votes) and Moore is up 57%-43%.  Finnigan at DDHQ, when asked if Strange can win, said “At this point I would say no.” I will say we don’t have much out of Jefferson County (Birmingham) or Mobile, but then again we don’t have much out of Madison County in the north where has done well either.

8:41 ET- Vote dump (doubling from 2% to 4% reporting, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯    )  incoming. With 85 precincts in, Moore leads Strange 55%-45%. Strange is winning in Jefferson County (Birmingham) and Montgomery County, but margins matter if you are losing most other major counties.

8:37 ET- As Geoffrey Skelly describes it, “To have any chance, Strange has to really run up the score in Birmingham area and Mobile. Also not lose Madison, which seems likely.” Madison of course is a big source of votes GOP primary votes, but if it goes like other Brooks territory Moore should do well.

8:30 ET- John Couvillon of JMC Analytics says he close to making a call after a number of absentee ballots from a smattering of counties showed Strange under-performing where he needs to be. Meanwhile we’re up to 15 precincts reporting (so now actually 1%) and Moore up 59%-41% over Strange. Basically Moore is doing well in a lot of the northern counties (including third-place finisher and Rep. Mo Brooks’ district) that were up for grabs. I guess Strange should be hoping for a Trump-fueled surge in E-day voters who #embracethestrange or something? I’m not sure.

8:22 ET- With so few votes in, I’m resisting the urge to constantly update each precinct when we only have six precincts total in (out of 2,286- or less than 1%) for the New York Times. DDHQ has four precincts reporting with its independent results-gathering operation.

8:15 ET- We have a random assortment of almost 500 votes from several counties that have Strange and Moore basically tied. With so few votes, these results are meaningless so far.

8:07 ET- Daily Kos Elections notes that we have had long waits in Alabama Senate races before. Until then, reread our preview of this primary.

8:00 ET- Surman here. Polls have now closed in Alabama. Meanwhile in FL-SD-40, Taddeo (D) looks to have pulled off an upset win. If we face a similar electorate in 2018 (big if), it may not bode well in FL-26 and FL-27.

7:42 ET- Taddeo has now taken a 700-vote lead.

7:20 ET- With 28K early votes in, Diaz (R) is up 53-45 in SD-40. LD-116 is a blowout with Perez (R) taking 2/3.

7:00 ET- Polls have closed for the legislative specials in Florida. Our liveblog will start at 8 ET when polls close in Alabama (Daniel Surman will be leading it) but in the meantime, any discussion of the Florida results can go here.

 

AL-Sen Runoff Preview

Tomorrow, there are two major elections: a special Senate runoff in Alabama and a mayoral primary in Boston, as well as a key legislative special in Florida. Polls close at 8p ET in both Alabama and Boston (7p ET in Florida) and we will be liveblogging.

AL-Sen Runoff: The big race tomorrow is a GOP primary runoff for Alabama’s Senate seat. The special election was moved up to this year by now-Gov. Kay Ivey (R) after she ascended to the top job. The August primary narrowed the field down from four major Republican candidates to two for this runoff.

Luther Strange

Appointed incumbent Luther Strange (R) made a somewhat, well, strange, decision in regards to this race. Despite the fact that as AG his office was investigating then-Gov. Robert Bentley (R) for covering up a sex scandal, Strange accepted an appointment to the Senate from Bentley. The appointment decision was in spite of the fact that Strange had statewide name recognition that would have made him the prohibitive favorite for an open seat race. Strange’s handling of the appointment, which raised blindlingly obvious questions of impropriety, has become a major liability for him in this race. And with the race moved up from 2018, he doesn’t have a lot of Senate service record to distract from the appointment mess. Strange came in second in the preliminary round with 33%; while that is a poor showing for an incumbent, it was something of a victory for Strange as some polls had shown him in danger of missing the runoff entirely. Strange’s biggest asset in this race has been his close establishment ties, particularly to Mitch McConnell; McConnell and his associated forces have not hesitated to use every card at their disposal for Strange. Thus, he has been the beneficiary of a sustained negative ad barrage against his opponents. Strange has also been able to land Trump’s endorsement and a rally from the president last Friday. But it may not matter in the end; all polls of the runoff have shown him down, though by varying margins. CW is that Strange is still ultimately a mild to moderate underdog tomorrow. However, Strange does seem to have been narrowing the gap in polling in recent weeks and there is a chance the Trump rally could give him a late boost to surprise.

Roy Moore

Strange’s rival, and the front-runner for the seat, is ex-State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R). If Strange has baggage of a typical political-insider nature, Moore has equal baggage in his out-of-the-mainstream ideology. Moore’s first stint on the state Supreme Court ended with his removal after he refused to take down a statue of the Ten Commandments in front of the courthouse. After being re-elected to the court in 2012, Moore was removed again over ordering state officials to disregard SCOTUS’s Obergefell decision. Moore has a dedicated base of social conservatives, but is something of a one-note character on religious issues. Indeed, Moore made a notable gaffe in the runoff campaign when he appeared to have no idea what the DACA program was. That single-minded focus on religious social conservatism could make him a tough sell to less-devout Republicans. That said, Alabama is still among the most religious states in the nation, and his evangelical base was still enough to put Moore in a comfortable first in the primary with 39%. Moore is also an easy fit for antiestablishment voters, due to his quixotic nature and Strange’s establishment ties. Indeed, Strange’s establishment backing (and negative ads) have pushed the two antiestablishment-leaning major eliminated candidates, Rep. Mo Brooks (R) and State Sen. Trip Pittman (R), to endorse Moore. Moore held wide leads in polls of the runoff after the primary, and has led in every released poll since the first round. However, his margins have been narrowing in recent weeks, and Strange does seem to have some momentum. If Strange is successful at selling himself as the stronger Trumpist, it’s likely Alabamans will gravitate to that message over Moore’s theocratic one. That said, Moore is still (at the very least) a moderate favorite to prevail tomorrow, and it would be at least somewhat surprising if he didn’t ultimately pull out a win. A Moore nomination would be a quite bitter pill to swallow for McConnell and establishment Republicans after their extensive involvement in the race; Moore is about as good a bet as any to be a difficult-to-work-with loose cannon in the Senate.

Doug Jones

The winner will face ex-US Attorney Doug Jones (D) in a December general. Jones, who sewed up his primary against token opposition in the first round, is a relatively generic moderate Democrat, but he is still the most credible contender than Democrats have put up for an Alabama Senate seat since 2002. It’s hard to tell which of the two Republicans would be a stronger general election candidate against Jones; while Moore has very well-defined vulnerabilities, Strange has not come out of this campaign looking good himself. And Strange’s corruption stink may have more salience than Moore’s extreme social conservatism in a very socially conservative state that has just seen corruption scandals. All in all though it may not matter who Republicans nominate; Alabama is still a very red, very inelastic state, and it’s hard to think such a Trump-friendly area will hand a seat to a Democrat. For now Jones has been flying under the radar and hoping to spark some interest after the GOP settles on a nominee, but we continue to consider either GOP nominee an extremely strong favorite in the general. RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Safe R.

Boston-Mayor: The other election of the day is the California-Rules Top Two primary for Mayor of Boston, which is basically a straw poll as there are only two major candidates. Boston has a population of 675K and a PVI D+33 (2016), which breaks down as roughly 45% White, 25% Black, 20% Hispanic, and 10% Asian. In spite of Boston’s reputation as a student/hipster/upscale liberal town, most of those sit outside the city limits in Cambridge, Somerville, and Brookline, and those within Boston are low-turnout and largely irrelevant in local elections. Instead, elections are dominated by moderate white ethnics: the city includes a huge section of high-turnout middle-class-white suburban territory in the southwest (West Roxbury) and some urban poor white ethnic neighborhoods. The only other real bloc in municipal elections is the minority community: Boston has a large Black community in the south-central part of the city, and a Hispanic community in East Boston. This year, incumbent Mayor Marty Walsh (D) is seeking a second term. Walsh is a union-backed white ethnic Dem who won a close race in 2013 and has been a mainstream to slightly moderate liberal in office. Walsh has been relatively popular and has long been considered a strong favorite for re-election; indeed, it was something of an open question whether he would get a serious challenger at all. Walsh did draw a serious rival, however, in councilman (not that) Tito Jackson (D), who represents the African-American heavy Roxbury neighborhood. Jackson is attempting to run to Walsh’s left, but he remains little-known outside his district and there isn’t an obvious reservoir of discontent with Walsh to tap into. A third non-serious candidate, insurance agent Joe Wiley (D), triggered the preliminary round. Rumor is that Walsh put Wiley up as a plant to trigger the preliminary round (it would have been canceled with only two candidates) and give Jackson an embarrassing preliminary result to keep him from gaining momentum. CW is that the gamble will work, as Walsh has been leading in polls by around 2:1 and it would be a surprise if the results tomorrow will look much different than that. However, if Jackson did better than expected it could give him momentum ahead of the real thing in November.

Legislative Specials: There are also three notable legislative specials this week. Two are hotly-contested generals in Dade County, Florida. The biggest race is for FL-SD-40, an R-held Hispanic-Majority D+8 (2016) seat around Kendall in the southwest suburbs of Miami. This seat shifted strongly for Clinton last year, but it is Cuban machine territory to its core. More importantly for the current national climate, the Dem base here is mostly minorities (blacks and non-Cuban Hispanics), who are likely to be low-turnout, with super-energized white liberals basically a non-entity here. State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz (R) is facing off tomorrow with perennial candidate Annette Taddeo-Goldstein (D). Diaz is considered a credible candidate and has strong machine backing. Likewise, Taddeo-Goldstein, who has run for office 5 times in the last 10 years (and come close multiple times but never won), is getting major outside support. In spite of the blue top-of-the-ticket lean of the seat, this race looks like a pure Tossup. Additionally, with Irma having just impacted the area and shut off power for several days this month to almost all the district’s residents, low turnout is likely. It’s unclear who that might help; Dems are super-energized nationally, but the Cuban GOP machine is excellent at rustling up votes for low-turnout races (with an army of absentee-ballot-rustlers called boleteros). Overall there is no clear favorite here tomorrow. In the same area, FL-LD-116 is an R-held D+1 (2016) seat covering southwest Miami suburbs around Kendall. This is the seat that Diaz gave up to run for SD-40, and overlaps with the central part of the Senate district. Attorney Daniel Perez (R), who won a closely-contested and nasty primary, looks to be favored over former anti-Chavista Venezuelan legislator Gabriela Mayaudon (D), as Mayaudon doesn’t seem to be running a serious campaign. However, in this purple a seat with the current national climate an upset can’t be counted out. The least interesting special to cover is in SC-LD-31, a D+23 (2016) seat covering central and western Spartanburg. Spartanburg councilwoman Rosalyn Henderson-Meyers (D) is the prohibitive favorite over 2016 nominee Michael Fowler (R).

Political Roundup for September 18, 2017

Senate:

AL-Sen: Plenty of movement over the weekend in this race, a week ahead of the primary runoff. Trump has announced he will go to Alabama to do a rally for appointed incumbent Luther Strange (R), a big get for Strange in a race where both candidates have been fighting to be tied as closely as possible to the President. Strange also picked up the endorsement of his senior colleague, Sen. Richard Shelby (R). However, Strange’s rival, ex-State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R), nabbed a big get of his own in Rep. Mo Brooks (R). Brooks, who came in third in the primary, was largely expected to endorse Moore after his own bid was derailed by Strange’s sustained negative ad barrage. This now means that both major eliminated candidates from the first round, Brooks and State Sen. Trip Pittman (R), have picked Moore for the runoff; the three combined to take some 2/3 of the vote in the first round. Moore has led in all polls of this race, though by dramatically varying margins; the primary winner will face ex-US Attorney Doug Jones (D) in a December general.

CA-Sen: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) is non-committal on running for a fifth full term in 2018. Feinstein has previously indicated she will run again, so the new statement could be opening the door to a retirement. AG Xavier Becerra (D) and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) have been mentioned as potential candidates for an open seat.

FL-Sen: Gov. Rick Scott (R) has received praise for his handling of Hurricane Irma, which could be a positive in his likely run against Sen. Bill Nelson (D). The article has a good recap of Scott’s efforts at Hurricane relief and their potential political impact.

OH-Sen: Author JD Vance (R) will not run for Senate. Vance wrote a well-received tome about his childhood in a lower-middle-class Cincinnati exurb as a reflection on Appalachian culture; he has been working the rubber-chicken circuit for several months and could have been a formidable contender if he entered. Front-running State Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) and Kasich-backed investor Mike Gibbons (R) look likely to be the only major candidates in the primary to take on Sen. Sherrod Brown (D).

Governor:

GA-Gov: Consulting company executive and former SEAL Clay Tippins (R) has filed to enter the race. It’s too early to tell how serious Tippins will be, but he could have the profile to be a credible contender in the crowded primary field. LG Casey Cagle (R), SoS Brian Kemp (R), and State Sens. Hunter Hill (R) and Michael Williams (R) are already in the race. State Reps. Stacey Abrams (D) and Stacey Evans (D) are in the race on the D side.

MA-Gov: Barnstable County Commissioner (side note: this is an office with far less power in MA than in other states, as some MA counties have no government at all and the rest have very limited functions) Ronald Beaty Jr. (R) is considering a primary challenge against Gov. Charlie Baker (R). Beaty served time in the early 90s for making death threats to prominent elected officials and has been notable in office for a plan to kill sharks – needless to say, he doesn’t seem like a very serious candidate.

MI-Gov: Trump dropped a somewhat unexpected endorsement in this race over the weekend, quickly endorsing AG Bill Schuette’s (R) bid (and spelling his name wrong in the process). The endorsement could be a major boost to Schuette as he faces a crowded primary; State Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R) and physician Jim Hines (R) are already in the race, and LG Brian Calley (who rescinded his Trump endorsement in the fall of 2016) is expected to enter as well.

NJ-Gov: Another Q poll shows this race as a total snoozer, with former Goldman Sachs exec and ambassador Phil Murphy (D) leading LG Kim Guadagno (R) by a whopping 58-33 margin.

House:

CA-24: Michael Woody (R), who served one term as a Fresno councilman in the 90s before an unsuccessful mayoral run, is running for this medium-blue Central Coast seat against Rep. Salud Carbajal (D). 2016 nominee Justin Fareed (R) is considering another run and would likely be the front-runner on the GOP side if he ran.

CO-4, CO-AG: Rep. Ken Buck (R) has said he will likely not give up his seat to run for AG if incumbent Cynthia Coffman (R) vacates the office. Coffman has still not decided whether to run for a second term or give up her seat to try for the gubernatorial office; Buck would have likely been the strong front-runner for the GOP nomination if he ran for an open seat.

IL-11: STEL-LA! Nick Stella (R), a cardiologist who narrowly lost the 2016 primary, is mounting a second bid for the seat of Rep. Bill Foster (D). This Joliet and Aurora based seat is deep-blue, but its Democrats here have been low turnout in midterms. Stella looks likely to be the primary front-runner this time.

NV-3: Nonprofit exec and 2016 NV-4 candidate Susie Lee (D) is running for this open seat. Lee, a charity executive with self-funding ability, was heavily recruited to run for this seat in 2016. Instead, she made the bad decision to try for the bluer 4th on the other side of the Las Vegas metro area instead. Lee then lost the NV-4 primary to Ruben Kihuen (D), while Democrats’ backup choice for the 3rd, now-Rep. Jacky Rosen (D), prevailed there. Lee looks likely to get a second chance though, as no prominent Democrats have entered the open seat race; thus, Lee could still secure machine backing for this race. State Sen. Scott Hammond (R), ex-State Rep. Victoria Seaman (R), and ex-Clark County GOP chair David McKeon (R) are in the race for this purple southern Las Vegas area seat on the GOP side.

NY-11: Ex-Rep. Michael Grimm (R) really is set to pull the trigger on a run to get his old Staten Island House seat back. Grimm, who was forced out by a conviction on some minor business violations, is set to primary his replacement, Rep. Dan Donovan (R), from the right. Due to his criminal record and Donovan’s strong support in the local establishment, Grimm’s campaign seems unlikely to gain much traction in the primary. However, he could still cause problems for Donovan in the general; Grimm is closely-tied to the leaders of the local Conservative party, meaning he could continue on to the general election and split the Republican vote in this medium-red seat. Democrats thus far do not have any credible candidates exploring this race, as Donovan was considered a good fit for this seat. But Grimm’s challenge may open the door for a more serious Dem to emerge.

PA-15: Northampton DA John Morganelli (D) is considering a run for this light-red open seat. Morganelli, who has lost several runs for AG but is well-known and has strong appeal in the Lehigh Valley, could easily be Democrats’ establishment choice for the race. Two other lesser-known Dems, ex-Lehigh County commissioner Bill Leiner (D) and pastor Greg Edwards (D), are in the race already. State Reps. Justin Simmons (R) and Ryan Mackenzie (R) are running on the GOP side.

TX-27: Ex-Victoria County GOP chair Mike Cloud (R) is exploring a run against Rep. Blake Farenthold (R) in the primary. Farenthold has had some minor issues but has not been seriously challenged for his Corpus Christi area seat since winning it in 2010. Cloud’s bid against Farenthold may be complicated (or, alternatively, may benefit) by a change in the district; this seat may be re-redistricted if SCOTUS affirms a decision striking it down.

UT-3: A Dan Jones poll of this November’s special election shows Provo Mayor John Curtis (R) cruising as expected in this deep-red seat, leading physician Kathie Allen (D) 50-20. Jim Bennett (I), son of ex-US Sen. Bob (R), is polling at 6%, just barely missing the cutoff for a televised debate.

State & Local:

IL-AG: In a major surprise, AG Lisa Madigan (D) will not seek a fifth term; Madigan has also intimated that she is not planning to run for any other office, including Governor or Mayor of Chicago. Madigan long transparently harbored Gubernatorial aspirations, but she declared in 2014 that she would not run so long as her father, State Dictator House Speaker Mike (D), remained as the most powerful man in state Government. It looks like Lisa has gotten tired of waiting and decided to cash out.

MN-AG: One Democrat is in and one is out of this race. State Rep. John Lesch (D) has dropped out of the race, saying that AG Lori Swanson’s (D) continued deliberations on whether or not to run for Governor make the run too much of an uncertain prospect; however, Lesch was also recently fined $20K for campaign finance violations. However, attorney and Dem operative Matt Pelikan (D) has entered the race in his stead. Pelikan, who has worked on several prominent campaigns, joins State Rep. Debra Hillstrom (D) and ex-State Rep. Ryan Winkler (D) in the race – though all have left the door open to dropping out should Swanson run again. Republicans have two candidates in ex-State Rep. Doug Wardlow (R) and attorney Harry Niska (R).

NV-SoS: Reno Councilman Oscar Delgado (D) will not run for SoS against incumbent Barbara Cegavske (R), sending Democrats back to the drawing board in this race.

Buffalo-Mayor: After losing the Democratic primary last week, city comptroller Mark Schroeder (D) is undecided about continuing on to a general election against incumbent Byron Brown (D) on the Reform Party line. Schroeder, a moderate Democrat, could be a credible threat to Brown in the general as he would be a logical home for the votes of the city’s GOP minority – which could form a winning coalition when paired with Schroeder’s roughly third of the Dem primary vote.

FL-SD-40: Gov. Rick Scott (R) has denied Democrats’ request to move the election date for this suburban Miami Senate seat due to widespread power outages in the district following Hurricane Irma. The hotly contested race for the R-held, Dem-leaning, but Cuban-machine-friendly seat, between State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz (R) and perennial candidate Annette Taddeo-Goldstein (D), is proceeding as scheduled one week from tomorrow.

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