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Political Roundup for October 20, 2017

Senate:

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.

House:

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.

International:

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.

Political Roundup for October 16, 2017

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

Senate:

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

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

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

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

Governor:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

House:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

State Offices:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local Races:

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

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

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

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

Political Roundup for October 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.

Political Roundup for October 4, 2017

Last night, Randall Woodfin (D) ousted incumbent Birmingham Mayor William Bell (D) by a shocking 20-point spread, Albuquerque proceeded to a runoff between State Auditor Tim Keller (D) at 39% and councilman Dan Lewis (R) at 23%.  Missy McGee (R) held the purple MS-LD-102 by an impressive 2:1 margin, while CA-LD-51 heads to a runoff between Wendy Carillo (D) and Luis Lopez (D).

Senate:

AL-Sen: JMC Analytics has Roy Moore (R) leading Doug Jones (D) 48-40. Generic R beats Generic D by a surprisingly small 49-45 margin.

TN-Sen: Gov. Bill Haslam (R) re-iterated that he is considering a run for the open US Senate seat of Sen. Bob Corker (R). Should Haslam enter, he would likely be a favorite over all comers in the primary and general election. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) is thought to be ready to run, and would be the favorite in a Haslam-less race, but she may be delaying her decision until Haslam’s intentions are known.

Governor:

CT-Gov: Add another “B” list name to the Democratic mix for this race: Malloy admin official Sean Connolly (D) is stepping down and rumored to be considering a gubernatorial run. Connolly would join Middletown Mayor Dan Drew (D), fellow Malloy admin official Jonathan Harris (D), and prosecutor Chris Mattei (D) in the race. LG Nancy Wyman (D) is also thought to be exploring a run and would be the primary front-runner if she entered. Republicans have an even more crowded field.

IL-Gov: Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) somewhat surprisingly signed a controversial bill last week enabling public funding of abortion through Medicaid. As you might expect, socially conservative Republicans are up in arms and there is talk of a primary challenge to the Governor. State Rep. Peter Breen (R) delivered a particularly stinging critique, saying “I’ve had a front-row seat to a governor that is unable to adequately and competently administer Illinois government. He is now lying to us. And so at that point, I can’t support someone like that.” It’s widely believed that State Dictator House Speaker Mike Madigan (D) pushed the bill to put Rauner in an impossible position, with signing it giving him a primary headache and vetoing it being a major problem in the socially liberal state for the general. Should Rauner lose the primary, Republicans’ odds of holding this seat likely to near zero, and likely Dem nominee and Madigan sugar daddy businessman JB Pritzker (D) will likely be the favorite to take the seat. Rauner appears to be betting the general election optics of this move are worth the primary headache.

ME-Gov: Sen. Susan Collins (R) will announce next week if she will run for Governor. The popular Collins would be a near-prohibitive favorite in a general election if she ran, but she may face difficulties getting through a GOP primary for her moderation. LePage admin official Mary Mayhew (R), State Sen. Garrett Mason (R), and State Rep. Ken Fredette (R) are in the GOP primary already; over a half-dozen Dems and three credible Indies are also in the race.

NJ-Gov: Emerson has Goldman Sachs exec Phil Murphy (D) up 46-35 on LG Kim Guadagno (R), a smaller margin than most recent surveys. Monmouth has a pretty similar 51-37 lead for Murphy. New Jersey is a fairly inelastic state and Murphy is unlikely to have crossover appeal, so some tightening of this race from the gaudy 30-point Murphy leads of prior polls is probably in the cards.

RI-Gov: Moderate Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) has her first primary challenger, Paul Roselli (D), head of a nonprofit local park group. Roselli has gained notoriety for his opposition to a proposed powerplant in his hometown, but seems like a “C” list opponent for Raimondo. Unpopular liberal ex-Gov. Lincoln Chaffee (D) is also considering a run against Raimondo in the primary. Three Republicans, 2014 nominee and Cranston Mayor Alan Fung (R), State Rep. Patricia Morgan (R), and ex-State Rep. Joe Trillo (R), are in the race.

SD-Gov: AG Marty Jackley (R) launched his expected gubernatorial campaign yesterday. Jackley joins Rep. Krsti Noem (R) in what is expected to be a hard-fought titanic primary collision. State Sen. Billie Sutton (D) is the likely Dem nominee.

TN-Gov: Sen. Bob Corker (R) says he “can’t imagine” running for Tennessee Governor, a statement that is not quite Shermanesque but pretty close to it. Republicans have a crowded primary field of Rep. Diane Black (R), State House Speaker Beth Harwell (R), State Sen. Mae Beavers (R), and businessmen Randy Boyd (R) and Bill Lee (R); Corker, however, would likely be the front-runner if he were to enter.

House:

FL-18: Obama admin official Lauren Baer (D) is running against first-term Rep. Brian Mast (R). Baer would be the second person in a same-sex marriage in Congress if elected; this light-red Treasure Coast seat trended right last year while Mast picked it up for the GOP.

IL-15: State Sen. Kyle McCarter (R) is not running for re-election and is apparently in contention for Ambassador to Kenya. However, McCarter is keeping his options open to making a second bid against Rep. John Shimkus (R), whom he primaried from a fiscal conservative angle in 2016. McCarter took 40% against Shimkus last cycle in this deep-red rural downstate seat and would be a formidable candidate in a rematch.

ME-2: Heir Lucas St. Clair (D) is carpetbagging from Portland into this rural northern Maine seat to run against Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R). St. Clair is the son of Roxanne Quimby, a co-founder of Burt’s Bees cosmetics. Quimby is also notable for having donated a large estate to the federal government to create a national monument, an effort St. Clair spearheaded. St. Clair joins State Rep. Jared Golden (D) as a major candidate in the primary to take on Poliquin. As a side note, this rural northern Maine seat is exactly the kind of place where a trust fund baby carpetbagging in will play well, right?

MA-3: Cambridge councilman Nadeem Mazen (D) will carpetbag into this deep-blue Merrimack Valley based district to seek the open seat. Mazen, who grew up in the seat, would be the third Muslim member of Congress if elected. He joins a crowded primary of State Sen. Barbara L’Italien (D), 2014 LG nominee Steve Kerrigan (D), Boston Mayor Marty Walsh CoS Daniel Koh (D), and businessman Abhijit Das (D).

NH-1: 2010 gubernatorial nominee John Stephen (R) will not take on Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) in 2018. State Sen. Andy Sanborn (R) and cop Eddie Edwards (R) appear to be the serious prospects in the race to take on Shea-Porter.

NH-2: Businessman David McConville (R), who heads a prominent local fiscal conservative group and served as campaign manager for a gubernatorial candidate last year, is considering a run against Rep. Annie Kuster (D). McConville, who intends to run as a hard-edged fiscal conservative, would face ex-State Rep. and 2016 candidate Jack Flanagan (R) for the right to take on the popular Kuster in this light-blue seat.

NJ-11: Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark (D) will not run for Congress, and has endorsed prosecutor Mike Sherill (D). Sherill looks like the Democratic front-runner to take on Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R) in this historically-Republican wealthy suburban seat that trended left last year.

NM-2: State Lands Commissioner Aubrey Dunn Jr. (R), who was looking like the front-runner for this seat, has abruptly aborted his bid. It’s unclear why Dunn decided to drop out or whether he will instead seek a second term as Lands Commissioner, though there are rumors that a feud with Gov. Susana Martinez (R) (or her svengali, Jay McCleskey) may have played a role. State Rep. Yvette Herrell (R) and ex-Hobbs Mayor Monty Newman (R) are in the race for this open medium-red southern NM seat; Newman is thought to have the backing of Martinez. State Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R) is also considering.

NY-1: State Rep. Fred Thiele (I), an Independence Party member who is a de facto Democrat, will not seek the D nomination to take on Rep. Lee Zeldin (R). Thiele had been considered Dems’ choice recruit for this race. Suffolk county commissioner Kate Browning (D) looks like Dems’ new top prospect to take on the popular Zeldin in this light-red eastern Long Island seat.

NY-11: Ex-Rep. Michael Grimm (R) officially kicked off his comeback bid this weekend. Grimm’s prior tenure in Congress ended with his resignation on tax charges; now, he is attempting to oust his successor, Rep. Dan Donovan (R) from the right in the primary. Grimm’s criminal record and Donovan’s popularity will likely make that a tough order, though Grimm could still cause significant problems for Donovan by continuing to the general election in this light-red Staten Island based seat on the Conservative third-party line.

NY-23: Running store owner Ian Golden (D) is putting a new-spin on the time-honored “walk across the district” publicity stunt by launching a 450-mile (literal) run across this large Southern Tier seat. The move could help Golden gain name rec in the crowded field of little-known candidates vying to take on Rep. Tom Reed (R) in this medium-red seat.

PA-1: Testimony at the trial of former judge and 2012 Jimmie Moore (D) is pointing a very incriminating finger at Rep. Bob Brady (D). In case you haven’t been following the story, here’s a recap: Moore, who is black, started to run a potentially credible primary challenge in 2012 against Brady, the white boss of the Philly Dem machine, in this racially-mixed district. Moore then later inexplicably dropped his bid, and quickly thereafter received a $90K payment from Brady. The cover story was that the cash was payment for “polling data”, but Moore admitted the obvious in a plea agreement – that it was a thinly-disguised bribe to get him out of the race. Brady has not yet been charged, but it’s hard not to see some charges coming down the pipeline for him.

PA-11: State Sen. John Yudchiak (D) will not run for this conservative Harrisburg-to-Wilkes-Barre open seat, eschewing the uphill race to stay in the State Senate. Four Republicans, State Rep. Steven Bloom (R), Corbett admin official Dan Meuser (R), Berwick councilman Andrew Shecktor (R), and businessman Andrew Lewis (R), are in the race or considering.

PA-15: Appointed Allentown city solicitor Susan Wild (D) will run for this light-red open seat, possibly giving Democrats their first credible candidate here. Several other Dems, including Northampton DA John Morganelli (D), are considering; Republicans are set to have a bloody primary between State Reps. Justin Simmons (R) and Ryan Mackenzie (R).

PA-16: Dentist Gary Wegman (D), who ran an abortive bid for this light-red Lancaster-area seat in 2016, will mount another bid this year for the seat of now-incumbent Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R). 2016 nominee and nonprofit Christina Hartman (D) is also in the primary for a second round.

PA-18: Now this is a bombshell. Texts have been released strongly implying Rep. Tim Murphy (R), who is publicly pro-life, asked his mistress to get an abortion and privately disavowed his own pro-life views. Murphy previously admitted the affair, but this is the first sense that there is more to the story. The abortion issue could be a big problem for Murphy in his socially conservative district; he joins Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R) in the pro-life abortion promoters’ caucus. Importantly, unlike DesJarlais, whose transgressions occured several years before his first election to Congress, the texts here are from this summer, meaning Murphy is at least likely to get a serious primary challenger. Ex-Allegheny County commissioner Mike Crossey (D) is running for the Dems in this race.

UT-4: Salt Lake CE Ben McAdams (D) is considering a challenge to Rep. Mia Love (R). Trump did horribly in this suburban seat, scoring below 40%, but Love still won against her touted opponent by a 12-point margin. That said, this is the only House seat in Utah Dems could be competitive in and McAdams would definitely be a top-tier candidate.

State & Local:

AZ-SoS: Attorney and Dem operative Mark Gordon (D) is running for SoS. Gordon, who has not run for office but seems well-connected, joins State Sen. Katie Hobbs (D) in the primary for this seat. Incumbent Michele Reagan (R) is widely considered highly vulnerable due to her mismanagement of the office and is facing a tough primary with State Sen. Steve Montenegro (R).

IL-AG: Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti (D), who has become a minor celebrity for his twitter commentary on the Russia investigation, is considering a run for AG. Mariotti would join State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D), State Rep. Scott Drury (D), and Chicago Police official Sharon Fairley (D) in this primary, with several other Dems considering. Former congressional candidate and Miss America Erika Harold (R) is the likely GOP nominee for this open seat.

Atlanta-Mayor: Survey USA for WXIA-TV has a poll of this year’s Atlanta Mayoral race, with moderate councilwoman Mary Norwood (D) taking a large lead at 28%. Fellow councilwoman Keisha Lance-Bottoms (D) has moved into second place with 15%, with councilman Ceasar Mitchell (D) at 10% and four other serious candidates in single digits. In the likely event no candidate tops 50% in the November jungle primary, the top two finishers will head on to a December runoff.

New Orleans-Mayor: Clarus for WWL-TV has this race (a week from Saturday) looking close to a 3-way tossup, with City councilwoman Latoya Cantrell (D) at 27% and retired judges Desiree Charbonnet (D) and Michael Bagneris (D) at 26% and 19% respectively. A different poll of the race had Bagneris on top. The top two finishers in the first round will advance to a mid-November runoff.

Louisville-Mayor: Councilwoman Angela Leet (R) will run for mayor next year, taking on incumbent Greg Fischer (D), who is seeking a third term. Leet seems likely to be a credible opponent for Fischer in the light-blue city.

Cook, IL-CE: County commissioner Richard Boykin (D) will not take on County Executive Toni Preckwinkle (D) in the primary. Preckwinkle, who was previously highly popular, is now thought to be at least somewhat vulnerable due to her support of a new soda tax (which Boykin opposed). However, a loss for Boykin would hurt his prospects at the job he really wants (the IL-7 congressional seat when Rep. Danny Davis (D) retires) so the decision makes sense for him. It’s possible that Preckwinkle will not get a serious primary challenger now, though there is still definitely room for one as the soda tax is deeply unpopular even among Dems.

Political Roundup for September 26, 2017

Today starting at 8ET we will have a liveblog of the Alabama Senate runoff. See our preview HERE for full details. The thread will open at 7ET for discussion of legislative specials in Florida and the mayoral race in Boston.

Senate:

MI-Sen: Rep. Fred Upton (R) attended the Mackinac Island GOP summit last week, and he appears to be moving closer to a run for the seat of Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D). Two other Republicans are in the race, former supreme court justice Bob Young (R) and businessman John James (R).  At Mackinac, the betting among GOP insiders is that the big name hanging over this race, rock star Robert “Kid Rock” Ritchie (R), will not ultimately enter the race. Additionally, a MRG poll has Stabenow up over Ritchie 52-34.

NJ-Sen: This is a worthwhile read on possible gaming out the possible Phil Murphy (D) appointees to the seat of Sen. Bob Menendez (D) should Menendez be convicted on the corruption charges for which he’s currently standing trial. The article seems to think that Reps. Donald Norcross (D) and Frank Pallone (D) are the most likely appointees, with ethically-questionable ex-Sen. Bob Torricelli (D) a possible wild-card. This article at least seems to think that Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop (D) is no longer interested in the seat, but that topic is still one under heated discussion. General betting seems to be that Menendez will be able to drag things out until after Gov. Chris Christie (R) leaves office at the end of the year.

Governor:

AL-Gov: Ex-State Rep. and 2010 LG nominee James Fields (D) is surprisingly running for Governor, after spending the summer exploring a run for LG. Fields looks like something of a long-shot in the primary, as he could face two better-known candidates. Ex-State Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb (D) is in the race and Tuscaloosa Mayor Scott Maddox (D) is considering and will make a decision by the end of the year.

HI-Gov: Kauai CE Ernest Carvalho (D) quietly announced a bid for Governor last week. Carvalho leads one of the state’s four populated counties, but Kauai contains just around 4% of the state’s population, making him likely to be a third wheel in this race. Incumbent David Ige (D) and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) seem set for a titanic primary collision, and it seems unlikely Carvalho will be a major factor (except for perhaps siphoning off votes from Kauai).

KS-Gov: Ex-State Rep. Mark Hutton (R) has become the latest candidate into this crowded primary, joining SoS Kris Kobach (R), LG and Gov-designate Jeff Colyer (R), Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer (R), ex-State Sen. Jim Barnett (R), and businessman Wink Hartman (R) in the primary. Hutton seems likely to run more to the moderate side of the moderate/conservative chasm in the state party, along with Barnett and Selzer; Kobach, Colyer, and Hartman are considered conservatives. One more moderate, ex-State Rep. Ed O’Malley (R), is also considering.

MD-Gov: Ex-AG Doug Gansler (D) will not enter the race to take on Gov. Larry Hogan (R), preferring to stay in the private sector. A recent poll from Goucher College showing Hogan with a 62/16 approval rating and up 52/41 against a generic challenger (not even a generic Democrat) may have played a part in his decision. Baltimore CE Kevin Kamenetz (D), Prince George’s CE Rushern Baker (D), State Sen. Rich Maladeno (D), and ex-NAACP chair Benjamin Todd Jealous (D) so far look like the major candidates in this race, though others are in this race.

RI-Gov: Ex-Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D) is considering a comeback bid. The liberal popular Republican Senator turned unpopular Indie Governor turned asterisk-level 2016 Dem presidential candidate has made it clear he will run in the D primary, challenging Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) from the left, instead of as an Indie. Chafee, whose term as Governor was generally regarded as plagued by mismanagement, would likely be a far more preferable opponent for any Republican than the moderate Raimondo.

WI-Gov: State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D) officially entered the race to take on Gov. Scott Walker (R) yesterday. Vinehout’s previous run in the 2012 recall didn’t amount to much, but she is still a credible candidate. Vinehout joins State Superintendent Tony Evers (D), State Rep. Dana Wachs (D), nonprofit exec Mike McCabe (D), and businessman Andy Gronik (D) in the race; so far, CW has Evers as the front-runner.

House:

MA-3: Cambridge councilman Nadeem Mazen (D) is exploring a run for the open 3rd district seat, a Merrimack Valley area seat that comes nowhere near Cambridge. However, Mazen, who grew up in the district, does have name recognition as a rare Muslim elected official. Should he enter he will join State Sen. Barbara L’Italien (D) and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh CoS Dan Koh (D) in the race, with several others considering.

NC-2: 2012/2016 LG nominee Linda Coleman (D), a former Gov. Perdue administration official who ran two credible statewide races against incumbent Dan Forest (R), is tackling another contest, the NC-2 seat of Rep. George Holding (R). The seat is based in the strongly-blue trending Raleigh suburbs, but includes enough rural territory to the east to make it a fairly strongly Republican seat. However, Coleman is a credible nominee and the seat is not bulletproof, so she may have a chance at the upset.

PA-15: Nonprofit exec Alan Jennings (D) is considering a run for this light-red Lehigh Valley open seat, joining Northampton DA John Morganelli (D) in considering this race. Two lesser-known Dems are in the race but seem unlikely to emerge with establishment support. Republicans have an increasingly bitter primary between State Reps. Ryan Mackenzie (R) and Justin Simmons (R).

WA-8: State Sen. Dino Rossi (R) will mount a bid for this open seat, based in the southeast Seattle suburbs. Local Republicans seem to be pegging Rossi, who lost three statewide runs by narrow margins in 2004, 2008, and 2010, as their top candidate. Rossi’s name recognition and cred with most of the area’s GOP establishment may to get him a free pass on the GOP side of the ledger in the top-two primary. However, this looks likely to be a very hard-fought general, as this seat is PVI-EVEN and has been trending left.

WV-1: Democrats may have a contested primary in this deep-red northern WV seat, as law professor and law school administrator Kendra Fershee (D) announced her run. Fershee will face San Francisco attorney Ralph Baxter (D) in the primary; either will face a very tough race for this deep-red and ultra-Trumpist seat against incumbent Rep. David McKinley (R).

State & Local:

AL-LG: Elected state school board member Mary Scott Hunter (R) will drop out of the LG race to run for State Senate in the Huntsville area. Hunter, an antiestablishment conservative, has been embroiled in a dispute with her fellow board members over a prior state superintendent that has not left her looking good; she was considered an underdog in the primary. PSC chair Twinkle Cavanaugh (R), State Sen. Rusty Glover (R), and State Rep. Will Ainsworth (R) are in the race.

GA-SoS: Ex-Rep. John Barrow (D) is making a comeback attempt, though very much not in a race most were expecting. Barrow, who represented a conservative east-central Georgia seat until being swept out in the 2014 wave, will run for the open SoS seat. The decision is somewhat surprising as he likely could have had the gubernatorial nomination for the asking. Republicans have a crowded primary field for the seat; incumbent Brian Kemp (R) is running for Governor.

IL-AG, IL-SoS: The pieces are slowly moving into place for this race after incumbent Lisa Madigan (D) announced her intent not to run for re-election. Republicans seem to be circling the wagons around former congressional candidate and former Miss America Erika Harold (R). For Dems, State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D) and State Rep. Scott Drury (D) are in the race, along with the inspector/auditor of the Chicago Police, Sharon Fairley (D). Several other Dems are considering. One other candidate, State Sen. Mike Hastings (D), has announced he is considering runs for both AG and the SoS seat. Incumbent SoS Jesse White (D) is said to be running again, but Hastings is hedging his bets that White may pull a late retirement.

MA-LG: Comedian Jimmy Tingle (D) has entered the shotgun-wedding primary for Lt. Governor, becoming the first major candidate to enter the race to join the D primary winner in an uphill run against popular Gov. Charlie Baker (R) and LG Karyn Polito (R).

MI-AG: Ex-US Attorney Pat Miles (D) has filed for this convention race. Miles seems a credible candidate and so far looks like the front-runner for the Dem nod. State Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker (R) is in the race on the GOP side, but others are considering.

MI-SoS: One Republican is in and one Republican is out of this convention race. State Sen. Mike Kowall (R) withdrew from the race, most likely to run for MI-11; in his stead, university regent Mary Treder-Lang (R) has entered. Treder-Lang joins township clerk Stan Grot (R) and Trump campaign operative Joseph Guzman (R) in the race. 2010 nominee and law professor Jocelyn Benson (D) is considered likely to make another run for Dems.

NV-SoS: State Rep. Nelson Arujo (D) has announced his run for SoS. Arujo seems likely to be the Dem establishment choice to take on incumbent Barbara Cegavske (R), who has said she will seek a second term.

OH-Treas: University regent and former Cincinnati Mayoral candidate Rob Richardson (D) has announced his campaign for Treasurer, filling out Dems’ statewide Row Officer bingo card with a slate of four credible candidates. Richardson joins ex-US Attorney Steve Dettelbach (D) for AG, State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D) for SoS, and ex-US Rep. Zack Space (D) for Auditor; none are expected to face serious primaries. The GOP has a primary for this open seat between State Rep. Robert Sprague (R) and Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo (R).

RI-AG: Ex-US Attorney Peter Neronha (D) will run for AG. Neronha looks like the front-runner to succeed termed-out AG Peter Killmartin (D), though State Rep. Robert Craven (D) is also considering.

SD-AG: State Sen. Lance Russell (R) has become the fourth Republican into this convention race, joining deputy AG Charles McGuigan (R), Lawrence County DA John Fitzgerald (R), and 2014 Senate candidate Jason Ravnsborg (R).

Baltimore, MD-CE: A pair of Republicans have entered this open seat race. Antiestablishment State Rep. Pat McDonough (R), a Trumpulist, and establishement-friendly Hogan Admin official Al Redmer (R) have entered the race. McDonough starts with higher name recognition, but Redmer has Hogan’s endorsement and would likely be a stronger candidate in the large suburban county that went by large margins for Hogan in 2014 and Clinton in 2016.

Political Roundup for September 22, 2017

Congress:

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

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

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

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

Governor:

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

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

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

State offices:

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

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

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

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

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

Political Roundup for September 20th, 2017

As evidenced by the fact that someone in my North Philadelphia neighborhood actually took a minute out of their day yesterday to scrape and peel the John Kasich sticker off of my car, reality really has become stranger than an episode of Showtime’s Shameless.

Last night, Foxborough councilman Paul Feeney (D) and legislative staffer Jacob Ventura (R) won primaries for MA-SD-Bristol & Norfolk. The two will head to a general next month with retired investigative reporter Joe Shortsleeve (I).

President

2020: Democrats are clearly ready to defeat the Donald (R?) at all costs ahead of their 2020 presidential primary pileup. The succeeding failing New York Times reports that, while Bernie Sanders (“I”) plans a “very far left” approach, potential frontrunner Elizabeth Warren (D) will merely run a “far left” campaign.

Democrats’ Lurch off the Left Coast: Politico reports that many Democrats are now wondering if the recent wave of virtue signaling support of Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” plan could distract from their efforts to fight another attempt at repealing Obamacare.

Congress:

AL-Sen: Senate candidate and God’s Gift to the World Roy Moore (R) doubled down on his “red and yellow” comments from earlier in the week in a presidential series of tweets.

More AL-Sen: Both Mike Pence (R) and the Donald (R?) will be campaigning for Luther Strange in Alabama.

TN-Sen: Despite recent friction between the two men, Roll Call reports that the Donald (R?) has urged Senator Bob Corker (R) to seek a third term.

MI-6/MI-Senate: Ahead of a likely US Senate bid, everyone’s second-favorite Upton and Whirlpool heir Fred (R) was named a Michigander of the Year by the generally-conservative Detroit News for his bipartisan dealmaking in the midst of the bipartisan opening of the seventh seal.

Governors/State:

Democrats/State Attorneys General: Still smarting from the Duchess of Chappaqua’s 2016 loss, some leaders of the ever-strategic Democrats have yet another plan to “avenge” the would-have-been First Woman President™’s defeat by… recruiting as many female attorney general candidates as possible. Yes, really.

IL-Gov/IL-AG: North Shore State Rep. Scott Drury (D-Highwood) has dropped his gubernatorial bid to pursue the state AG position after the surprise retirement of incumbent Dictator Heiress and Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D). Drury was the only State Rep to oppose Fearless Leader Mike Madigan’s re-election bid to the speakership, and he earns major kudos from this Illinois expat for that stand.

More IL-AG: In addition to Drury, the Chicago Tribune has a Great Mentioner on others considering this now open race.

NJ-Gov: Highlighting their desperation for any victory in the age of the Donald, the Democrats are going all out in this Safe D race by sending in top fundraiser Barack Obama to stump for Phil Murphy (D), according to The Hill.

More NJ-Gov: The RGA has released a 15-second ad attacking Phil Murphy by implying that he wants to raise New Jersey’s already-high taxes, a development sure to shock Garden State voters.

TX-Gov: While Governor Greg Abbott (R) lacked a signature issue, Texas Tribune explains that Hurricane Harvey gave him the political cover to move away from the hard right direction he had reluctantly taken on the urging of Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R). If this sounds strange, remember that the Texas Lieutenant Governor is arguably more powerful than the Governor.

More TX-Gov/TX-20: Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) reiterated yesterday that he has no plans to run for governor. Castro (not that one, as far as we know…) will seek re-election to the US House.

Local Races:

Urban Renewal/Detroit-Mayor: The Economist lays out Detroit’s improvements under Mike Duggan as a case study of tough love. It’s shocking what happens when voters elect a leader who tells them things that they don’t want to hear after decades of electing politicians who said anything to gain power.

Seattle-Mayor: Interim Mayor Bruce Harrell, clearly not touched, says that he does not intend to serve the rest of his disgraced predecessor’s term.

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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