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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.

Political Roundup for September 7th, 2017

Hello from Philadelphia, where Jim Kenney’s courageous soda tax is at work saving lives in the name of public health and social justice.

President & Misc.

2020 Census: In news that could affect the accuracy of the next census, and therefore the upcoming congresssional apportionment, The Economist reports that the upcoming budget underfunds the Census Bureau by approximately $300 million.

Demographic Trends: In a development which will continue to shape our political landscape, non-Hispanic white Christians now make up less than 50% of the population. Maybe pushing policies that appeal almost exclusively to that specific demographic isn’t such a good idea for winning the future…

Redistricting: A slew of prominent Republicans, including John McCain, John Kasich, Bob Dole, John Danforth, Dick Lugar, Alan Simpson, and the Governator, have called on SCOTUS to end gerrymandering.

Sign of the Times: The Chamber of Commerce is spending millions in order to pressure Republicans into voting for The Donald’s yet-to-exist tax plan.

Governor

CT-Gov, CT-LG: Middletown Mayor Dan Drew (D) has picked State Rep. Liz Linehan (D-Cheshire) as his unofficial running mate ahead of their respective separate primaries.

IL-Gov, IL-LG: Moonbat fantasy and State Sen. Daniel Biss (D-People’s Republic of Evanston) has dropped his running mate, Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, over his “boycott, divestment, and sanctions” position on Israel.

Senate

AL-Sen: Birds of a feather… Freedom Caucus Chairman and NC US Rep. Mark Meadows (R-Cashiers) has endorsed repeatedly in-contempt ex-State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R-Where Else but Alabama?) in the Republican primary to fill the seat vacated by AG Jeff Sessions.

House

IN-04: Former Indiana Workforce Development Commissioner and ex-State Rep. Steve Braun (R-Zionsville) will run to replace Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Indianapolis) in 2018. Braun, of the Indianapolis suburbs, is a business consultant.

PA-11: State Rep. Tarah Toohill (R-Butler Township), probably too busy having fun, won’t run for the soon-to-be-open seat being vacated by Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Hazleton).

PA-15: State Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Coopersburg) has decided to challenge one of the good ones, Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Allentown), in a primary. While Dent has historically significantly overperformed, the incumbent has butted heads with Trump acolytes.

SD-AL: Former Public Utilities Commission member Dusty Johnson claims to be on track to break the primary stage fundraising record of $400,000 set by Blake Curd (R-Sioux Falls) in 2010. It should be noted that Curd lost that primary to outgoing Rep. Kristi Noem (R-Castlewood).

WA-08: ICYMI, Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Auburn) will retire at the end of this term, his seventh, ahead of the 2018 buzzsaw midterms. We wish the former King County Sheriff and hero well as he potentially gears up for a rumored 2020 gubernatorial bid—or a payday on K Street. This is a district that has been represented by Republicans – Rod Chandler, Jennifer Dunn (mother of King County Commissioner and possible WA-08 candidate Reagan Dunn), and Dave Reichert – since its 1983 inception, yet there’s obviously nothing to see here regarding Reichert’s timing, folks. Paging electoral juggernaut and ex-State Sen. Steve Litzow (R-Mercer Island)…

State Level

TX Voter ID: The 5th Circuit has stayed a ruling against Texas’ voter ID law on the basis that the state is likely to succeed on the merits of its appeal, allowing the law to remain in place for this year’s elections.

TX HD-52: Four-term State Rep. Larry Gonzales (R-Round Rock) is retiring in a district that the Donald won by a single point (46.7%-45.3%). Mitt Romney won this same district by 12 (54.7%-42.4%).

TX SD-02: State Rep. Cindy Burkett (R-Mesquite) is challenging State Senator Bob Hall (R-Edgewood). Hall successfully primaried Burkett’s one-time boss, then State Sen. Bob Deuell (R-Greenville) in 2014 in this northeastern Dallas suburban and exurban district.

TX SD-08: Angela Paxton (R-McKinney), wife of TX AG Ken Paxton (R-McKinney), is mulling a run for the seat being vacated by Cruzian contrarian and State Sen. Van Taylor (R-Plano).

Political Roundup for August 25, 2017

Senate:

TN-Sen: Former state Rep. Joe Carr (R) is considering running for US Senate, either as an open seat or challenging Sen. Bob Corker (R) in the Republican primary. Corker has not yet decided whether to seek re-election. Andrew Ogles, state director of Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee is said to be considering challenging Corker as well, and state Rep. Andy Holt (R) has expressed interest in running as well. Carr ran a respectable primary race against Sen. Lamar Alexander (R) in 2014, taking 41% and holding the senator to just under 50%. He was much less successful however in a 2016 primary challenge to Rep. Diane Black (R), losing by a 2-1 margin.

UT-Sen: Rep. Chris Stewart (R) says he would run for US Senate if Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) decides not to run. He made it clear however that he is supporting Hatch if the senator runs for an 8th term and would only run if Hatch decides not to run. Hatch said earlier this year that he plans to run again, but would not make a final decision until later this year.

House:

IN-4: Indiana Department of Workforce Development Steve Braun is resigning his position to run for Congress. He joins former Mike Pence staffer Diego Morales in the Republican primary. Rep. Todd Rokita (R) is running for Senate. Braun’s brother, state Rep. Mike Braun (R) is also running for Senate.

IN-6: State Sen. Mike Crider (R) officially entered the race yesterday to replace Rep. Luke Messer (R) who is running for US Senate. Greg Pence, brother of Vice President Mike Pence is considering a run as well. Also said to be planning a run is David Willkie, great-grandson of 1940 Republican presidential nominee Wendell Willkie and a former political director for former Sen. Richard Lugar (R).

KS-2: State Sen. Caryn Tyson (R) has announced a run for Congress. She joins fellow state Sen. Steve Fitzgerald (R), state Rep. Kevin Jones (R) and Basehor councilman Vernon Fields in the GOP primary. So far, former state House Minority Leader and unsuccessful 2014 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Paul Davis is the only Democrat in the race. All 3 legislators in the GOP primary are considered conservatives.

KS-4/KS-Gov: State Senate President Susan Wagle (R) will not run for Congress or governor next year. Wagle was considered the biggest threat of a primary challenger to Rep. Ron Estes (R) and said she does not know of anyone else contemplating a primary challenge to Estes. Wagle had also said earlier this summer she was thinking of running for governor as well.

ME-2: State Rep. Jared Golden (D) is in the race to face Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R). Golden is a marine veteran who served for a short time as an aide to Sen. Susan Collins (R) before winning two terms in a heavily Democratic state House district. Golden joins 4 other Democrats in the primary.

MA-3: State Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D) will not run for Congress and will instead run for re-election. Eldridge lost to now Rep. Niki Tsongas (D) in the Democratic primary for a 2007 special election and was considered likely to run again after Tsongas announced her retirement earlier this month. Dan Koh (D), chief of staff to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is the only person in the race so far.  State Sens. Eileen Donoghue (D), who like Eldridge lost in the Democratic primary to Tsongas in 2007 and Barbara L’Italien (D) are considering running, as is hospital consultant Ellen Murphy Meehan, ex-wife of former Rep. Martin Meehan (D), who held the seat before Tsongas. Businessman Rick Green, who considered a run against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) is said to be considering a run on the Republican side.

NJ-5: Former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan (R) announced yesterday he is running for Congress. Lonegan has run for various higher offices before, but has never been successful. Most recently, he took 44% as the Republican nominee against now Sen. Cory Booker (D) in the 2013 special election to replace the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) and lost to now Rep. Tom MacArthur (R) in the 2014 Republican primary for NJ-3. Lonegan was a strong supporter of Sen. Ted Cruz for president last year and said nominating Donald Trump was “political suicide”, but is now saying he supports the president’s agenda. Lonegan is the first Republican to enter the race against freshman Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D), but others, including Warren County Freeholder Jason Sarnoski are considering running.

Governor:

ME-Gov: Sen. Susan Collins (R) says she is still considering whether to run for governor next year, and will decide by the end of next month. A recent poll indicated that she may have trouble in a Republican primary however, with her losing to former Health and Human Services Secretary Mary Mayhew by double digits.

OR-Gov: Secretary of State Dennis Richardson (R) has confirmed that he will not run for governor next year. Although he had not been raising money for a gubernatorial bid, there was still speculation that he might run, building on momentum gained from becoming the first Republican to win a statewide office last year since 2002. Richardson lost to then-Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) by 5 points as the Republican nominee in 2014. State Rep. Knute Buehler (R) is already running, and Happy Valley Mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer is considering running in the Republican primary as well. Gov. Kate Brown (D) is expected to run again, although she has not formally entered the race.

RI-Gov: Cranston Mayor Allan Fung (R) is running for governor again. Fung lost to Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) by 4 points as the Republican nominee in 2o14. Fung will likely have competition however-former state Rep. Joe Trillo (R), who served as honorary chairman of President Trump’s Rhode Island campaign last year is campaigning as well, although he hasn’t yet formally announced he is running. House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan is considering a run as well, although there are questions about whether she can raise the money to run an effective campaign.

TN-Gov: State Sen. Mae Beavers (R) is resigning her seat to run for governor full-time. Beavers has been lagging well behind in fundraising and would have been hampered by not being able to raise money during the legislative session. Beavers had been serving in the state Senate since 2002 after 4 terms in the state House. A special election will be held to fill her overwhelmingly Republican seat(TN-SD-17), that gave Trump 72% of the vote last year.

TX-Gov: Texas Democrats apparently want Rep. Joaquin Castro (D) to run for governor next year, but see the presidential aspirations of Castro’s twin brother, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro as getting in the way. A run by the congressman against Gov. Greg Abbott (R) would be a very uphill race, and the two Castros, who serve as political strategists for each other, are afraid a loss by him would make the two look like losers and hamper any chances for Julian Castro if he decides to enter the 2020 presidential race. Democrats in the state are eager to get the congressman in the race, because they see him as literally their only legitimate candidate in a long shot race.

Political Roundup for August 11, 2017

Senate:

TN-Sen/TN-6: State Sen. Mark Green (R) will not run for any higher office next year. Green had previously announced a run for governor earlier this year, but suspended that bid while he was under consideration to be Secretary of the Army. He later withdrew his name from consideration, but did not restart his campaign for governor. Sen. Bob Corker (R) has not yet said whether he is seeking re-election, but some had hoped Green would challenge him or run for the open seat if Corker does not run fro re-election. There was also some speculation Green might run for TN-6, which Rep. Diane Black (R) is giving up to run for governor.

TX-Sen: Former Corpus Christi Mayor Dan McQueen (R) is challenging Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in the Republican primary. Running for Senate seems like a curious choice for McQueen after he resigned from his job as Corpus Christi Mayor earlier this year after spending just 37 days on the job. Among other things, McQueen is running on reducing the size of Congress to about one representative per 1 million people(the current average is about 1 per 711,000).

House:

FL-6: Former state Rep. Fred Costello (R) is planning to run for Congress, but only if Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) decides to run for governor. Costello has run for Congress twice before, losing to DeSantis in the 2012 and 2016 Republican primaries.

IN-4: Diego Morales, an Army veteran and a senior advisor to VP Mike Pence when Pence was governor is running for this now open seat. Morales is the first candidate to announce plans to run since Rep. Todd Rokita announced on Tuesday he is running for US Senate.  Also, state Sen. Brandt Hershman (R) announced on Facebook he is not running.

MA-3: Dan Koh, chief of staff to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D) hasn’t said anything publicly yet about running for this newly open seat, but of he does, he has the full support of his current boss. Walsh says he is “100 percent behind” Koh running for the seat. Koh, whose name was mentioned in connection with the seat after Rep. Niki Tsongas (D) announced her retirement Wednesday has said in the past that he has considered running for Congress or another elected office.

TN-6: Former Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner John Rose (R) has announced he will run for Congress next year. Rose served as Ag Commissioner from 2002-2003 and also has been involved with the Tennessee State Fair Association and owns a business that trains IT professionals. Rose joins state Rep. Judd Matheny (R) in the GOP primary. Political strategist Scottie Nell Hughes, an ardent supporter of President Trump has also expressed interest in the race.

Governor:

AL-Gov: State Senate President Del Marsh (R) will run for re-election to the state Senate and not run for governor. Marsh had been considering getting into the governor’s race, but said he wanted to wait until Gov. Kay Ivey (R) decided whether or not to run. Ivey says she is close to making a decision.

CO-Gov: Former Colorado State athletic director Jack Graham is considering running for governor, but wants to be sure he can win the Republican primary. Graham says he is a “different kind of candidate” who favors limited government and a strong defense but who is also pro-choice, pro-gay rights and favors some forms of gun control. He ran for US Senate last year, finishing a distant second behind Darryl Glenn in the Republican primary.

CT-Gov: Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano will not join the crowded GOP primary for governor. A gubernatorial bid by Fasano could have set up an awkward matchup between the Republican leaders of both the House and Senate with House Minority Leader Themis Klarides still deciding on a potential bid. 3 Republicans are already running with 3 others having formed exploratory committees, and others like Klarides could still join the race.

ME-Gov: Former state Rep. Diane Russell (D) is joining the Democratic primary for governor. Russell identifies herself as a “hardcore progressive” and favors single-payer healthcare. She was also a supporter in the Legislature of legalizing recreational marijuana and was also a supporter of the ranked-choice voting initiative. She joins 6 other Democrats in the primary.

MD-Gov: Krish Vignarajah, a former policy director for Michelle Obama, is joining the Democratic nomination for governor. However, questions have been raised about whether she meets Maryland’s residency requirements to run. Candidates must have been a registered voter in the state for 5 years, and while she says she registered to vote in the state as early as she was able, she also registered to vote in the District of Columbia in 2010 and voted there in 2014. She says she never voted in more than one place at a time, and doesn’t think being registered in more than one place precludes her from meeting the requirements.

 

IN-Sen: Rep. Todd Rokita (R) is in

Fourth-term Rep. Todd Rokita (R) will join the primary for Sen. Joe Donnelly’s (D) Senate seat. Rokita has been making obvious moves toward the race for months, so pulling the trigger isn’t a terribly huge surprise. Rokita joins fellow Rep. Luke Messer (R) in the GOP primary, and the two have been shadow-boxing for quite some time. It seems like this race will become nasty and personal; there isn’t a whole lot of ideological daylight between the two (both would be classified as establishment conservatives) so personal attacks may become prominent. The final piece of the puzzle for this primary is AG Curtis Hill (R), who is thought to be considering the race and has the potential to make a late entry and sneak up the middle if Rokita and Messer bloody each other. It’s not entirely clear yet who will be the strongest choice to take on Donnelly, but Rokita would seem to have as solid a shot to be that person as Messer does.

Rokita leaves open IN-4, an R+18 (2016) seat covering the western suburbs of Indianapolis, the Lafayette area, and a big swath of the rural northwest and west-central parts of the state, ending just shy of the Chicago exurbs. Needless to say, all the action will be in the GOP primary. Booting up the Great Mentioner, State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell (R) has roots in the seat and could be a strong contender. State Sens. Brandt Hershman (R), Randall Head (R), Ronnie Alting (R), Phil Boots (R), John Crane (R), and Michael Young (R) live in or near the district, along with about 10 GOP State Reps. Young, Hershman and Head in particular may be names to watch; Young and Hershman lost the 2010 primary for this seat to Rokita, while Head ran for AG last year, losing at the convention.

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