It’s a Thursday and election day, so as you might guess that means it’s time to go to Tennessee. TN-LD-95 is an R+28 (2012) seat around Collierville in the southeast Memphis suburbs. Seven Republicans are running for this seat: Collierville councilman Billy Patton (R), Germantown councilman Frank Uhlhorn (R), school board member Kevin Vaughan (R), nonprofit exec Missy Marshall (R), salesman Curtis Loynachan (R), and attorneys Joseph Crone (R) and Gail Horner (R). Patton looks like the slight front-runner but any of the others could surprise. The primary winner will be favored over a Some Dude D in the general. Now the rest of the day’s news:
AL-Sen: Two staunch social conservatives have joined the race to take on Sen. Luther Strange (R). Most prominent among them is former State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R), who announced yesterday he would enter the race and now looks like the favorite to advance to a runoff with Strange barring the entry of another high-profile candidate. Joining Moore in entering the race in the last few days is gastroenterologist Randy Brinson (R), head of the Christian Coalition of Alabama. State Rep. Ed Henry (R) was already in the race. No Dems have as of yet expressed interest in this seat, but the prospect of facing the polarizing Moore may make the race more enticing.
NV-Sen/Gov: Well, this was unexpected. Steve Cloobeck (D), a wealthy Dem donor who has been widely considered a likely gubernatorial candidate, will endorse Sen. Dean Heller’s (R) bid for re-election. Needless to say, we can cross Cloobeck’s name off the list of Senate candidates, and this might mean he is unlikely to run for Gov as well (at least not if he intends to win a primary.)
More NV-Sen: One person for whom Cloobeck’s endorsement might be unwelcome news is ex-State Treasurer Kate Marshall (D), who just announced she is considering a run against Heller. Marshall lost a 2014 run for SoS to now-SoS Barbara Cegavske (R) in the 2014 wave. While Marshall’s 2014 loss will likely not be held against her by Dems given their wipeout in the state that year, she also underperformed in her 2011 special election run for NV-2. Thus, Marshall is probably not their first choice for arguably their best pickup opportunity; many other Dems are considering but none as of yet seem particularly serious about it.
AL-Gov: Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox (D) is considering a run for Governor. Considered a rising star on AL’s very thin Dem bench, Maddox could face State Rep. Craig Ford (D) and ex-State Supreme Court justice Sue Bell Cobb (D) in the primary. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has not announced whether she will seek a full term after ascending to the top job a few weeks ago.
More AL-Gov: Former Auburn Football Coach Tommy Tuberville (R) will not run for Governor after all. Tuberville was seen as likely to enter the contest before Gov. Robert Bentley (R) resigned and LG Kay Ivey (R) was elevated to the top spot. There is no word as of yet on the plans of the other candidate widely seen as a lock to run, PSC Chair Twinkle Cavanaugh (R). Many other Republicans seem to be waiting out Ivey’s decision.
CO-Gov: Investment Banker Doug Robinson (R), Mitt Romney’s nephew, is running for Governor, and plans to self-fund his bid. Robinson joins Arapahoe DA George Brauchler (R) and self-funding ex-State Rep. Victor Mitchell (R) in the primary. State Treasurer Walker Stapleton (R), interestingly a relative of the Bush family, is also considered likely to enter. Democrats will choose between Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D), ex-State Treasurer Cary Kennedy (D), and bold progressive State Sen. Mike Johnston (D).
GA-Gov: State Sen. Hunter Hill (R), who represents a wealthy Atlanta-based seat, is running for Governor, joining two candidates better-known statewide, LG Casey Cagle (R) and SoS Brian Kemp (R), in the primary. Hill seems to be making school choice his signature issue. Ex-Reps. Lynn Westmoreland (R) and Jack Kingston (R) and multiple Dems, including State Rep. Stacey Abrams (D) and Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson (D), are considering runs.
IL-Gov: Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers (D) will not run for Governor, instead endorsing wealthy businessman and 1998 IL-9 candidate JB Pritzker (D) in the race to take on Gov. Bruce Rauner (R). State Sen. Daniel Biss (D), Heir Force Maj. Chris Kennedy (D), local superintendent Bob Daiber (D), and Chicago councilman Ameya Pawar (D) are also in the race.
MD-Gov: Hillary advisor Alec Ross (D) is the first Democrat to announce a run against Gov. Larry Hogan (R). Ross seems very “C” list, but about a half-dozen other Dems of various profile levels are considering runs against the popular Hogan in the very blue state.
OK-Gov: Former US Attorney Gary Richardson (R), who ran for Governor in 2002 as an Indie and likely tilted the race to Brad Henry (D), is running for Governor again in 2018 as a Republican. LG Todd Lamb (R) and State Auditor Gary Jones (R) are also considering the race; Democrats will likely nominate State Rep. Scott Inman (D) over ex-State Sen. and 2014 US Senate nominee Connie Johnson (D).
TN-Gov: Businessman Bill Lee (R) is entering the race for Governor, joining Haslam admin official Randy Boyd (R), another wealthy businessman. Many other Republicans are considering the race, while ex-Nashville Mayor Karl Dean (D) is in the contest on the Dem side.
VA-Gov: Prince William CE Corey Stewart (R) compared workers removing a statue in New Orleans to ISIS last week. What did the statue commemorate? A paramilitary action in 1874 to overthrow the state’s democratically-elected, biracial, Republican government. Stewart is trying to cast himself as the antiestablishment choice in this primary with ex-RNC Chair Ed Gillespie (R) and State Sen. Frank Wagner (R).
CA-22: Prosecutor Andrew Janz (D) is running against Rep. Devin Nunes (R) in this R+6 Fresno-area seat (that will likely be more GOP-friendly in a midterm with lower Hispanic turnout). Given Nunes’s newfound high profile Janz could wind up easily becoming a prodigous fundraiser.
GA-6: The GOP SuperPAC Congressional Leadership Fund is dumping another $3.5M into this race, $2.5M on TV and $1M on various ground-game, online, and mail efforts. The race between ex-SoS Karen Handel (R) and congressional staffer Jon Ossoff (D) is on track to be the most expensive House contest ever.
IL-13: State Rep. Carol Ammons (D), a liberal who represents central Champaign, has opened up a committee to explore a run against Rep. Rodney Davis (R). This Champaign/Springfield area seat was drawn to be swingy, but has trended right in the past few years, and Davis has proven a strong incumbent.
IA-3: Sanders campaign staffer Pete D’Allesandro (D) is running against Rep. David Young (R) for this light-red Des Moines area seat. Democrats’ are back to square one in recruitment for this race after businessman and 2016 candidate Mike Sherzan (D) abruptly aborted his campaign a few weeks ago.
MT-AL: In the “disturbing mental images” portion of the roundup, musician Rob Quist (D) apparently was a regular performer at an Idaho nudist resort. Quist even made performances during a time when he said he was unable to work because of gallbladder surgery. Quist is the underdog to 2016 gubernatorial nominee Greg Gianforte (R) in the special election four weeks from today.
PA-10: Teachers’ Union official Mark McDade (D) is running in the special election for the seat of Rep. Tom Marino (R), who is set to resign to become Drug Czar. McDade is basically a Some Dude, but he has the same last name as ex-Rep. Joe McDade (R), who represented a prior form of this Scranton-area district from 1962 to 1998. Many, many Republicans are considering runs for this deep-red seat.
State & Local:
NYC-Mayor: Councilman Eric Ulrich (R), one of three Republicans on the council and the only one from outside Staten Island, has endorsed in the race for NYC Mayor. But surprisingly, Ulrich isn’t backing either of the main Republican candidates, developer Paul Massey (R) or State Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R). Instead, Ulrich is backing celebrity detective and former Arby’s pitchman Bo Dietl (I), who is attempting to run on the GOP line after an unsuccessful attempt to get traction against Mayor Bill DeBlasio (D) in the Dem primary. As you might expect, getting the support of 3/5 borough chairs needed to run as a non-Republican in the GOP primary will be tough for Dietl.
CT-Treas: If Connecticut’s Democratic Row Officers aren’t considering the Governor’s race, they’re certainly being shoved in that direction by those seeking to climb the ladder behind them. State Rep. William Tong (D) is considering a run for State Treasurer if five-term incumbent Denise Nappier (D) retires or runs for Governor; he joins a fellow legislator openly considering a run for SoS if that incumbent leaves. As of now, Middletown Mayor Dan Drew (D), Gov. Dan Malloy cabinet official Jonathan Harris (D), and prosecutor Chris Mattei (D) are the only Dems in the race.
IN-Supt: The state legislature, after multiple failed attempts, has passed a bill to turn the State Superintendent from an elected to an appointed position; the bill now goes to Gov. Eric Holcomb (R), who is the seventh consecutive governor to advocate the idea. The bill would allow for incumbent Jennifer McCormick (R) to seek one final term in 2020 and transfer the office to appointed status come 2024, when McCormick would have termed out anyway. Republicans’ urgency to support the measure has gone up in the last few years because of prolonged feuding between then-Gov. Mike Pence (R) and then-Superintendent Glenda Ritz (D).
NV-AG: AG Adam Laxalt’s (R) top deputy, ex-State Rep. Wes Duncan (R), will run for his boss’s job if Laxalt does not seek a second term in 2018. Duncan seems to be a strong candidate; an Iraq veteran who won his State House seat in an upset in 2012, he was on the shortlist to be Speaker before his departure to join Laxalt’s office. For his part, Laxalt is widely considered near-certain to run for Governor; Duncan is the first candidate on either side to express interest in the AG seat.
Buffalo-Mayor: County commissioner Betty Jean Grant (D) will run for Mayor. Grant, a liberal with some maverick tendencies, could take black votes away from establishment-liberal incumbent Byron Brown (D), and thus possibly help his main challenger, mavericky City Comptroller Mark Schroeder (D).
NY-Nassau-CE: Ex-State Sen. and 2016 NY-3 nominee Jack Martins (R) will run for Nassau County Executive, hoping to push aside indicted incumbent Ed Mangano (R). Martins is expected to secure the backing of the county machine, but Mangano has not definitively said he will step aside. State Rep. Charles Lavine (D), county commissioner Laura Curran (D), and party-switching county Comptroller George Maragos (D) are in this year’s race on the Dem side.