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Political Roundup for November 13, 2017

Over the weekend in PA-18, State Rep. Rick Saccone (R) took the GOP nomination. Democrats will nominate their contender this coming Sunday. Also check below for our preview of today’s election in Somaliland (where and/or what the heck is that, you ask?… read on).

Now, after a week in which I am reduced to not giving a f* about what happens to the broader GOP while resolving to spend the next year hoping and praying that Larry Hogan will not be doomed by a massive wave, it is time for today’s Roundup…

Briefing: New Nominees for our Anthony Weiner Award for Pervert of the Year:

AL-Sen: A former Roy Moore colleague said that it was “common knowledge” he was interested in high school girls when they worked together as prosecutors. Over the weekend, multiple polls have come out showing the race between Moore and ex-US Attorney Doug Jones (D) is a dead heat; in particular, one from JMC Analytics has Jones up 46-42.

CO-Treas: State Rep. Steve Lebsock (D) is under fire for allegedly sexually harassing a fellow lawmaker, State Rep. Faith Winter (D). Lebsock had looked like the Dem front-runner for the open Treasurer seat, but fellow State Rep. Dave Young (D) entered the race last week (perhaps getting tipped off about the allegations?) and now looks likely to be the Dems’ consensus pick. Democratic leaders are now calling for Lebsock’s resignation.

CA-SD-32: State Sen. Tony Mendoza (D) repeatedly attempted to get a young woman interviewing for a staffer job to come home with him to “review her resume”. Mendoza is the roommate of fellow State Sen. and US Senate candidate Kevin DeLeon (D).

CA-LD-26: State Rep. Devon Mathis (R) is under investigation by police for allegedly digitally penetrating a staffer.

MN-SD-54, MN-LD-22B: Two Minnesota legislators are also under fire for harassment. State Rep. Erin Maye-Quade (D) claims she was harassed by both State Sen. Dan Schoen (D) and State Rep. Tony Cornish (R). Allegations against Schoen were also leveld by multiple other women, and allegations against Cornish have been brought by a lobbyist.

Now, in non-perversion news:


CA-Gov, CA-Sen: Ex-Rep. Doug Ose (R), who served three terms representing suburban Sacramento in the 90s and 2000s before a failed comeback bid in CA-7 in 2014, is now considering a run for Governor. Ose’s entry as a third Republican would likely completely ensure that two Democrats (and neither of the other two Rs, businessman John Cox (R) and State Rep. Travis Allen (R)) make the general election. But Ose may not need to enter to ensure that: a new USC/LA Times Poll shows LG Gavin Newsom (D) leading the gubernatorial race with 31%, with ex-LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) taking the second slot with 21%. Allen and Cox are banging heads to split the GOP vote with 15% and 11% respectively. Two longer-shot Dems, State Treasurer John Chiang (D) and ex-Superintendent Delaine Eastin (D), are at 12% and 4% respectively. For the Senate race, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) holds a strong lead over State Sen. Kevin DeLeon (D), who is challenging her from the left. Feinstein leads 58-31 in the two-way race.

MN-Gov: Woodbury (pop. 68K) Mayor Mary Guiluiani-Stevens (R) has reserved domain names pertaining to a gubernatorial run, but is so far tight-lipped on her intentions. The mayor of the large eastern Twin Cities suburb would join a crowded field of Hennepin County commissioner and 2014 nominee Jeff Johnson (R), State Sen. David Osmek (R), State Rep. Matt Dean (R), and ex-State Rep. and ex-MNGOP chair Keith Downey (R). State House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R) and ex-Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) are also thought to be considering.

TX-Gov: Democrats continue to cast about for a sacrificial lamb to take on Gov. Greg Abbott (R). The latest name considering making a late entry here is Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez (D). Valdez is little-known outside of her county, but seems a significantly more credible candidate than investor Andrew White (D), who is the current Dem front-runner on little other than being the son of 80s-era ex-Gov. Mark (D).


MA-Sen: Businessman, self-proclaimed “inventor of e-mail”, and Fran Drescher’s ex Shiva Ayyadurai is leaving the crowded GOP primary to take on Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) and running as an Independent. Ayyadurai, a firebrand conservative, was an amusing sideshow in the race but had little institutional support as the primary field filled up with three more connected and traditional candidates, Romney aide Beth Lindstrom (R), State Rep. Geoff Diehl (R), and businessman John Kingston (R). Needless to say, none of these candidates pose a threat to Warren in the general.

NJ-Sen: A juror was dismissed from the corruption trial of Sen. Bob Mendendez (D) last week for a previously-planned vacation; jury deliberations will now start from scratch today. The excused juror, Evelyn Arroyo-Maultsby, said (quite colorfully) that she was a firm “not guilty” vote, but the jury was deadlocked and she expected an ultimate hung jury.

KY-Sen ’22: Sen. Rand Paul (R) has apparently been told that federal charges will be filed against Rene Boucher, a neighbor who attacked Paul and broke four of his ribs last week. Prosecutors likely believe the attack was politically motivated, while Boucher’s attorney says that it was due to a non-sepcific “trivial dispute”.


KY-6: Lexington Mayor Jim Gray (D) is considering a run against Rep. Andy Barr (R). Gray would likely be Democrats’ top recruit for the medium-red seat, as he carried the district in his 2016 Senate run against Sen. Rand Paul (R). However, Gray’s profile as a well-known liberal may make the race more difficult.

TX-21: State Rep. Jason Isaac (R) is the first candidate into the race for Rep. Lamar Smith’s (R) open San Antonio to Austin seat. Isaac represents about 20% of the district and could be a front-runner, but the field for this red seat that swung against Trump could grow significantly.

VA-6: Andy Parker (D), father of Alison Parker, a journalist who was murdered on live TV, is considering a run for this open congressional seat. Alison’s boyfriend Chris Hurst (D) was elected last week to a purple State House seat in the Blacksburg area. Parker would face a much tougher bid for the very conservative district; State Rep. Ben Cline (R) and RNC official Cynthia Dunbar (R) are already in what is expected to be a crowded GOP primary.

State & Local:

FL-AG: State Rep. Ross Spano (R) of suburban Tampa is the latest Republican considering an entry into this primary. Spano would join front-running retired judge Ashley Moody (R), who also hails from Tampa Bay, and fellow State Reps. Jay Fant (R) and Frank White (R). Little-known attorney Ryan Torrens (D) is the only Dem in the race.

GA-PSC: Deal Admin official Tricia Pridemore (R), who lost the 2014 primary for the congressional GA-11, is now running for an open seat on the Public Service Commission. The 5-member, all-GOP board is elected statewide for staggered 6-year terms.

IL-Comp, IL-Treas: Illinois Republicans have found two “C” list candidates to fill out their Row Officer ticket. Ex-State Rep. and 2014 IL-11 nominee Darlene Senger (R) will challenge Comptroller Susana Mendoza (R) and Orland Park councilman Jim Dodge (R) will challenge Treasurer Mike Frerichs (D). Both incumbent Democrats are heavy favorites for re-election in the blue state. They join former congressional candidate Erika Harold (R) for the open AG seat and Grundy DA Jason Helland (R) for SoS as the ILGOP’s presumptive Row Officer slate.

MS-LG: Vicksburg (pop. 23K) Mayor George Flaggs (D) is considering a run for LG in 2019. The moderate Flaggs says he may run as a Democrat or switch parties and run as a Republican. Incumbent Tate Reeves (R) is widely expected to either run for Governor or score an appointment to the Senate seat of Sen. Thad Cochran (R) should the latter resign soon, as expected; SoS Delbert Hosemann (R) and State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) have also been connected with LG runs, but much will depend on how the Cochran musical chairs play out.

NV-Treas: Financial planner Derek Uehara (R) is running for State Treasurer, joining ex-Las Vegas councilman Bob Beers (R) in the primary. No Democrats have as of yet declared for this seat, which is open as incumbent Dan Schwartz (R) is running for Governor.

Howard, MD-CE: County Commissioner Calvin Ball (D) is running for County Executive in my home county against incumbent Allan Kittleman (R). Ball is a top-tier recruit for Dems in this blue suburban Baltimore county, heavy with upscale liberals, that continues to trend left despite my best efforts. (sigh)

PA-Redistrict: The State Supreme Court has agreed to fast-track a Democratic challenge to the state’s congressional map, placing it on a timeline that could lead to new maps in time for the 2018 elections. A new map would likely flip at least one of three competitive GOP-held districts in the Philly suburbs, PA-6, 7, and 8, and potentially make a couple other districts, most likely the open GOP-held PA-15 and the Dem held Trump-voting PA-17, more competitive.


Today, continuing our commitment to bringing you coverage of elections in places you didn’t even know existed, there is an election in Somaliland, which might be best characterized as an accident of diplomacy. Calling it a de facto nation would be selling it short: in every arena but international status, Somaliland is a more of a nation than a sizeable fraction of the world’s recognized nations. It has a population of 3.5M, occupying what is internationally recognized as (theoretically) the northwest part of Somalia along the south shore of the Gulf of Aden. However, that international recognition is a diplomatic fiction, as the dysfunctional-at-best Somali government hasn’t had the slightest bit of control (or even influence) over the area for over 25 years. Somaliland broke off when the nation’s central government disintegrated in 1991 and hasn’t looked back, but the desire to not further hurt the legitimacy of the fledgling-to-nonexistent Mogadishu government has led all other countries to hold back from recognizing Somaliland’s obvious independence. Making its lack of international recognition even stranger is that Somaliland would under normal circumstances be one of both Africa’s and the Islamic World’s biggest success stories. It is a relatively stable and democratic nation (at least by the global region’s low standards), with a functioning central government and economy, and a free politics and civil society that easily surpass a majority of Africa’s recognized nations. Today, the presidential election is open as the incumbent is peacefully standing down, and there is a lively competition between the country’s three strong parties, which are well-developed enough to even have rudimentary ideologies instead of being mere personality or clan vehicles. All of the three parties have large caucuses in parliament and are running credible candidates, who even had a televised debate last month. Furthermore, all three candidates at least appear to be relatively pro-Western and within democratic norms. The candidate of the incumbent party is Musa Behi, who serves as the party’s chair. He is facing public works minister Faysal Warabe and parliament speaker Abdiraman Irro. It’s hard to handicap this race, but Behi seems to be the candidate of the capital’s establishment and military, Irro seems to have the strongest ties to rural traditional clan leaders, and Warabe seems to be closest to a Western-style social democrat. Behi seems to be the front-runner, but it’s hard to say for sure.

Political Roundup for August 9th, 2017

About Last night, Democrat Phil Miller won IA-LD-28 by a 54% to 44% margin. Trump won seat 58% to 37%. In MO-LD-50 Sara Walsh (R) won by a narrower than expected 52% to 48% margin. In MO-SD-28 Republican State Rep. Sandy Crawford won.

In primaries, Marquette councilwoman Sara Cambensy (D) won the primary for MI-LD-109 with 37 percent of the vote. She will face Republican Rich Rossway in General Election. Tenisha Yancey (D) won the primary for the Safe D MI-LD-1, and Spartanburg councilman Rosalyn Henderson-Myers (D) won the primary for the Safe D SC-LD-31. Businessman Paul Rosino (R) prevailed in OK-SD-45, while retired cop Ross Ford (R) narrowly won in OK-LD-76 over the prior incumbent’s widow. Ford will face teacher Chris Vanlandingham (D) in the general.


Kasich: An American Research Group poll has Gov. John Kasich leading President Trump in a hypothetical New Hampshire Republican presidential primary 52% to 40%.  Unfortunately ARG did not do a three way poll of a hypothetical primary in which John Kasich plays spoiler allowing Trump to win again with 40% of the vote.


CO-Gov: State Treasurer Walker Stapleton (R) has found a novel way around Colorado’s restrictive campaign finance laws that limits donations to $1,150. Stapleton is holding off announcing his run for governor in order to raise unlimited cash for a super PAC-style group called Better Colorado Now. Stapleton’s situation highlights the problems with restrictive campaign finance laws that encourages the outsourcing the cost of running a political campaign to outside third party political groups.

FL-Gov: Despite serious questions that arose, a Florida grand jury has cleared Tallahassee Mayor and Democratic candidate for governor Andrew Gillum of criminal liability after an investigation into his use of a city-funded email program used to send private and political messages.

KS-Gov: Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer (R) made it official and announced that he will run for Governor in 2018. Colyer is poised to takeover as Governor of Kansas when current Gov. Sam Brownback (R) finally gets confirmed to be ambassador at large for international religious freedom. Running for a full term as a sitting governor should give Colyer a leg up in the Republican primary where he could face a crowded field that includes Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer (who entered the race earlier this week), businessman Wink Hartman, former state senator Jim Barnett and entrepreneur Ed O’Malley

NY-Gov: Oh, Miranda! Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is taking the threat of a Cynthia Nixon primary challenge serious enough to offer to sit down with her and discuss education issues. Nixon meanwhile declined to rule out a bid for Governor during an appearance she made on the Today Show.

ME-Gov: Sen. Susan Collins (R) may want to do some more polling before deciding if she wants to run for Governor. According to a PPP poll of a potential GOP primary former LePage health commissioner Mary Mayhew would lead Collins in a hypothetical matchup, 44 percent to 33 percent. Collins would score just a mere 28% against a hypothetical “someone else”. We would advice taking this poll with a very big grain of salt as it is common practice to release polls like this to either motivate or demotivate a potential candidate from running.

TX-Gov: Texas Democrats still do not have a candidate for governor. No major Democrat has shown any interest in losing challenging Gov. Gregg Abbott (R) who has nearly $41 million in his campaign account and strong approval ratings. So far only former “International Mr. Leather” Jeffrey Payne (D) has announced his intentions to run.

VA-Gov: A new poll released by the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University shows Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) with a slight 42% to 37% edge over Republican Ed Gillespie in the Virginia governor’s race. Libertarian candidate Cliff Hyra gets 6% in this matchup while 13% are undecided.

WY-Gov: Former Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R) confirmed she will not run for Governor. Incumbent Gov. Matt Mead (R) is term limited and many people had thought Lummis would be a shoo-in to succeed him. Without Lummis running the field here seems to be wide open.


AL-Sen: President Donald J. Trump (R) has endorsed appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R) ahead for the upcoming special election. Assuming President Trump doesn’t start a nuclear war between now and August 15th this should help Sen. Strange bigly.

IN-Sen: ICYMI, fourth-term Rep. Todd Rokita (R) will join the primary for Sen. Joe Donnelly’s (D) Senate seat. We had full coverage of this yesterday.

MI-Sen: Kid Rock (R) has made it official! Robert Richie aka “Kid Rock” has left his two-decade affiliation with the Warner Music Group and signed on with Music City’s BBR Music record label. He is also contemplating a US Senate run.

NV-Sen: A Strategic National poll has  Sen. Dean Heller (R) leading perennial candidate Danny Tarkanian in a Republican primary by a 38% to 34% margin win 27% undecided. Of course this poll was taken before the Senate Leadership Fund PAC put any money into reminding Nevada voters about Tarkanian’s $17 million bankruptcy and other less than flattering business dealings.

VA-Sen: Nothing says you are a man of the people and a real Virginian more than flying out to the Hamptons and having a $10,800 a head fundraiser at the mansion summer home of New York Giants co-owner Jon Tisch, which is why Sen. Tim Kaine (D) plans to spend the last week in August on the South Fork of Long Island, NY raising some serious money.

WI-Sen: The NRSC has launched radio ads in the Wausau and La Crosse markets attacking Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) over an opioid scandal in Wisconsin Veterans Administration Hospital that Sen. Baldwin tried to help sweep under the rug.

WV-Sen: Sen. Joe Manchin doesn’t “give a s–t” if his liberal voting record costs him re-election.


KY-6: Politico Magazine looks at Democrats fetish for getting behind the candidacy of US veterans. The latest example of this in in KY-6 where long shot formerly unknown Air Force pilot Amy McGrath was able to raise over $200,000 in 36 hours thanks to a viral video of her talking about serving as a combat pilot. McGrath faces State Sen. Reggie Thomas (D) in the primary. Both Donald Trump and Mitt Romney won KY-6 by double digits and Rep. Andy Barr (R) cruised to an easy 22 point win in 2016.

MT-AL: Newly elected Rep. Greg Gianforte (R) will get his first Democrat challenger. Some dude attorney John Heenan (D) announced he will run for Congress.

NJ-11: After the DCCC’s top recruit Assemblyman John McKeon (D) announced that he would not run for Congress, Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark (D) announced he is “officially exploring” a run for the seat held by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R). Donald Trump won this district by 1 point in 2016 and Frelinghuysen cruised to an easy 20 point victory in a seat that his ancestors have represented in one capacity or another since 1720.

NY-19: A pro-Obamacare group has launched a new digital ad aimed at freshman Rep. John Faso (R). No word on how much they intend to spend on the hit job digital ad.

OH-16: Former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez (R) recently met with the NRCC about a possible run for the seat Rep. Jim Renacci (R) is vacating to run for governor. 28 year old heir force state Rep.Christina Hagan (R) and State Rep. Tom Patton (RINO) are currently running for this seat.

TN-2: Financial advisor Brad Fullington (R) has become the third Republican to enter the open race for the safe R seat of retiring Rep. Jimmy Duncan (R). Fullington is not nearly as well known as  Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and State Rep. Jimmy Matlock who are also seeking the GOP nomination.

WI-4: Milwaukee County Circuit Judge David Borowski (D) is considering challenging Rep. Gwen Moore (D) in a Democrat primary next year. Moore has not faced a serious challenge in years and easily defeated felon and (former state Senator) Gary George in her last two primary elections.

State, Local & Other:

Syracuse-Mayor: The September 12th Democrat primary for mayor of Syracuse has narrowed from 7 candidates to 3. Democrat organization endorsed City Councilor Joe Nicoletti, City Auditor Marty Masterpole and NY State Dept of Labor official and former Dean of Students at Syracuse University Juanita Perez Williams made the ballot while 4 others either dropped out, couldn’t get enough signatures or had enough of their nominating petition signatures invalidated by challenges to be knocked off the ballot (an art form in NY State). Syracuse has not elected a GOP mayor since 2001 and 55% of voters are Democrats, so the winner of the Democrat primary will be the favorite in November.

Political Roundup for July 5, 2017


States of Chaos: July 1 was the fiscal year start, and no fewer than six (!) states experienced or narrowly averted budget chaos this weekend. Three states, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maine, all went into shutdowns this past weekend, while Connecticut was operating with an emergency gubernatorial funding decree. Illinois is on its third year of a stalemate between State Dictator House Speaker Mike Madigan (D) and Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) over fiscal policy; 15 Republicans voted to pass Madigan’s reform-less tax hike over the weekend, which Rauner says he will veto. New Jersey was shut down because of a feud between Gov. Chris Christie (R) and State House Speaker Vincent Prieto (D) over Christie’s plan to raid a health insurer to fund opioid treatment (and/or extort a payoff for South Jersey Dictator George Norcross), but that didn’t stop the Governor and his family from vacationing at a closed beach. Maine is under a partial shutdown after Gov. Paul LePage (R) vetoed a budget that raised taxes. Connecticut is operating without a budget, likely until later this month, as the tied Senate and Dem-controlled House deadlocked on competing budget proposals. Two other states, Washington and Alaska, narrowly averted shutdowns.

NATO, WATN: Ex-Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R) was nominated as NATO Ambassador over the weekend.


CA-Gov: As expected, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R) won’t tackle the extremely uphill challenge of a run for Governor. Republicans have several “C” list candidates in or considering making attempts to lose this race, including self-funding businessman and 2008 presidential candidate John Cox (R), State Rep. Travis Allen (R), and ex-State Rep. David Hadley (R).

GA-Gov: State Sen. Michael Williams (R) got a celebrity endorsement for his gubernatorial campaign from Dog the Bounty Hunter, who endorsed Williams for his work in attempting to get a police pay raise. Williams is running as the most unapologetic Trumpist in this primary against LG Casey Cagle (R), SoS Brian Kemp (R), and State Sen. Hunter Hill (R) in the primary; State Reps. Stacey Abrams (D) and Stacey Evans (D) are in the race on the D side.

IA-Gov: One minor Republican is in and one minor Democrat is out of this race. Boone (pop. 12K) councilman Steven Ray (R) will run for Governor, joining incumbent Kim Reynolds (R) and Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett (R) in the GOP primary. As an unknown small-town councilman, Ray’s odds against an incumbent and a big (for Iowa)-city Mayor would seem long to say the least. Democrats have a crowded field for this race. Across the aisle, Davenport councilman Mike Matson (D) dropped out of the race over the weekend, leaving six Dems in the race: State Sen. Nate Boulton (D), State Rep. Todd Prichard (D), ex-IADP chair Andy McGuire (D), ex-Iowa City Mayor Ross Wilburn (D), former Gov. Vilsack CoS John Norris (D), and 2014 Auditor nominee Jon Neiderbach (D).

KS-Gov: Add Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer (R) to the list of Republicans considering a run here. Selzer is not strongly identified with either the Moderate or Conservative side of the KSGOP’s chasm, and would likely attempt to bridge the divide; however, his name recognition is low, and another candidate considering the race, State Senate President Susan Wagle (R), could also stake claim on that ideological lane. SoS Kris Kobach (R/C), ex-State Sen. Jim Barnett (R/M), ex-State Rep. Ed O’Malley (R/M), and businessman and 2010 KS-4 candidate Wink Hartman (R/C) are in the race, with LG Jeff Colyer (R/C) and ex-State Rep. Mark Hutton (R/M) also considering. Democrats have a primary between ex-Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer (D) and ex-State Rep. Josh Svaty (D).

MN-Gov: State House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R) has acknowledged publicly that, as expected, he is considering a run for Governor. Daudt would likely be a front-runner for the GOP nomination if he enters, but would face 2014 nominee and Hennepin County commissioner Jeff Johnson (R), State Rep. Matt Dean (R), and Ramsey County commissioner Blake Huffman (R) in the GOP convention and/or primary. Democrats have an even more crowded field.

NE-Gov: I hadn’t actually heard anything about him entering the race, but ex-Unicameral Speaker Mike Flood (R) will not challenge Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) in the GOP primary. Flood had considered a run in 2014 but dropped out for personal and family reasons. State Sen. Bob Krist (R) may run against Ricketts as a moderate in the GOP primary or leave the party to run as an I or D in the general.

OH-Gov: As expected, LG Mary Taylor (R) will kick off her gubernatorial campaign this week, meaning this titanic four-way primary pileup will unfold as planned; she joins AG Mike DeWine (R), Rep. Jim Renacci (R), and SoS Jon Husted (R) in the race. Taylor’s campaign may be defined by her ties to Gov. John Kasich (R), who is reasonably popular but has issues with the GOP base, as well as her personal story of having both of her sons battling opioid addiction. Democrats have a crowded primary of their own.


MO-Sen: In a major surprise and another big blow to the NRSC, Rep. Ann Wagner (R) will not run take on Sen. Claire McCaskill (D). Wagner was considered all but certain to launch a campaign, so this decision is fairly shocking. Newly-elected AG Josh Hawley (R) now looks like Republicans’ choice recruit for this race, as some major donors have been encouraging him to run.

IL-14: Montgomery (pop. 5K) mayor Matt Brolley (D) will run against Rep. Randy Hultgren (R). This exurban Chicago seat was drawn as a GOP vote sink, but Trump only narrowly carried it, so it may be on Dems’ target lists in 2018; Brolley apparently has support from fellow Rep. Bill Foster (D), who represents the adjacent IL-11.

IN-9: Now here’s just about the weirdest selling point I’ve seen for a congressional candidate in a while: Orthodontist Tod Curtis (D) is running against Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-TN). But the reason he’s getting press is because of his hobby as a prolific video game collector, with a video game collection that may be worth into the six figures. It’s unclear how serious a candidate Curtis will be in the congressional race; Hollingsworth coasted on the lean of this red seat to perform better than expected in 2016, but his craven carpetbagging could be more of an issue in a less-favorable environment.

KY-6: State Sen. Reggie Thomas (D), a liberal who represents a deep-blue district in central Lexington, will take on Rep. Andy Barr (R). The outer Appalachian portions of the Lexington-based district have stampeded right; Thomas would seem to be a poor fit for the red seat.

PA-7: State Sen. Daylin Leach (D) will run for Congress against Rep. Pat Meehan (R). Leach, a bold progressive who also ran in the 2014 PA-13 primary, may be a tough sell with swing voters in the purple district, but he is definitely a higher-profile candidate than the “C” listers that have challenged Meehan the past few cycles.

TN-6: Rep. Diane Black (R) has not announced whether she will run for Governor, but that isn’t stopping State Rep. Judd Matheny (R) from announcing a run for her seat, which covers northern and eastern Nashville suburbs and rural areas to the east. Matheny, who represents a rural area southeast of Nashville, says he will go ahead with a bid for the seat even if Black decides to run again. Pro-Trump talking head Scottie Nell Hughes (R) is the other candidate who has indicated interest in this seat if Black vacates it.

State & Local:

MN-AG: State Rep. Debra Hilstrom (D) has launched a campaign for AG, becoming the latest candidate to take a bet that popular incumbent Lori Swanson (D) will not seek re-election, either with a run for Governor or a retirement. Hilstrom joins State Rep. John Lesch (D) and ex-State Rep. Ryan Winkler (D) in the race. All have said explicitly or implicitly that they would defer to Swanson should she seek re-election. On the GOP side, ex-State Rep. Doug Wardlow (R) and attorney Harry Niska (R) are in the race.

IL-State Senate, WATN: State Sen. and 2010 gubernatorial nominee Bill Brady (R) of Bloomington was elected as State Senate GOP leader, replacing Christine Radogno (R) who resigned last week.

Greensboro, NC-Mayor: Businessman John Brown (R) will challenge incumbent mayor Nancy Vaughan (D) in her bid for a third two-year term. Vaughan seems to be relatively popular and it’s unclear how serious a candidate Brown will be in the Dem-leaning city.

Fayetteville, NC-Mayor: City councilman Kirk DeViere (D) will challenge incumbent Nat Robertson’s (R) bid for a third two-year term this fall. Fayetteville is a Dem-leaning city but Robertson has won two competitive elections.

Rutherford, TN-CE: State Sen. Bill Ketron (R) will run for Rutherford County Executive in 2018, and three-incumbent Ernest Burgess (R) quickly announced he will attempt to move in the opposite direction to Ketron’s State Senate seat. Burgess will face State Rep. Dawn White (R) for the Senate seat; no other have as yet indicated a desire to challenge Ketron for the top job in the large southeast suburban Nashville county.

Political Roundup for May 1st, 2017

To help you prepare for the double whammy of lightsaber injuries on May 4th and cringeworthy presidential tweets on Cinco De Mayo, here’s what you might have missed in electoral news over the weekend. Check back later today for our preview of tomorrow’s SC-5 and Cincinnati Mayoral Primaries.


Polls: Mark Penn over at The Hill thinks that the current crop of polls assessing President Trump’s popularity and ability to get elected again are fairly misleading. I agree with most of his argument, but the fact remains that Hillary Clinton was the main factor in Trump’s victory. Without her as a factor, his popularity (or lack thereof) matters a lot more to his electability.


FL-Sen: Governor Rick Scott (R) sounds more and more like a Senate candidate all the time. At the NRA conference this weekend, he attacked likely rival Sen. Bill Nelson (D) for voting against Neil Gorsuch. That’s a pretty good line of attack in Trump-voting Florida. Still, the state is always close and Nelson has been fairly popular. Scott is popular too, though, and rich to boot. This will likely be one of the most exciting Senate contests next year.

OH-Sen: No one knows whether or not Rep. Pat Tiberi (R) will challenge Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) in 2018. If he does, though, he won’t want for cash. Tiberi’s recent campaign committee filing shows that he has $6.3 million in cash-on-hand. That’s actually more than the Senator himself, who has just under $5 million. Of course, Brown will likely have little trouble raising more, but not starting out in a hole is very good for a challenger.

FL-27: ICYMI yesterday, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) is retiring from her blue Miami-area seat. Click for our full post on the retirement.

KY-06: Is it just me, or does the DCCC find absolutely every even moderately liberal veteran (officers only) in a theoretically winnable district and beg them to run for Congress? Either way, they’re doing it right now in the Lexington area. Democrats are courting Lt. Col. Amy McGrath, a  Marine fighter pilot, to run against Rep. Andy Barr (R). On paper, McGrath seems impressive. Still, even with a wave, she shouldn’t be able to topple Barr and his seat’s R+9 PVI.

MT-AL: In some ways, special election nominee Rob Quist (D) has cash problems, and in other ways he doesn’t. He’s raised about $2.5 million from small donors, but the DCCC is holding back its own money. Privately, it’s said that there isn’t much faith that he can beat former gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianoforte (R). Still, you’d think that the national Democrats would at least try and help. They may be seeing promising numbers in places like GA-06, where another special election is being conducted, but they can’t win the House with just those kinds of seats as potential pickups. Early voting has just begun, with Election Day slated for May 25th.

VA-10: Here’s a weird one for you; Rep. Donald McEachin (D) has endorsed in a congressional primary where it will do absolutely no good for his preferred candidate. McEachin, who represents a Richmond/Southside/Hampton Roads district, endorsed his former colleague in the state senate, Jennifer Wexton (D), who is running for the right to take on Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) in 2018. What’s strange about that, you ask? Well, Comstock’s district is clear on the other side of the state, for one. For another, McEachin, who is black, might help Wexton with black primary voters, but VA-10 has very few of those. Moreover, it’s not like he’s some kind of kingmaker; he was relatively obscure in the state senate, and he’s only first-termer in the House. I guess he’s trying to help out an old friend. If I were him, though, I’d rather not make enemies of her primary foes, lest one of them prevail. There just seems to be no upside to this move. On the complete opposite side of the spectrum, though, Wexton also received the endorsement of Rep. Gerry Connolly (D), who represents VA-11 (which is right next door to VA-10 in NOVA). Now that’s an endorsement worth having.


KY-AG: Let’s say that you had hired someone for a job in the governmental department that you were elected to head, then that person was convicted of taking bribes. That looks bad, right? What if that person had also given money to your campaign, money that might have been from those very bribes. How do you fix this? You promise to give the money to charity! Awesome! What if a year passes, and that soiled cash that you promised to charity is still in your account? That looks pretty bad. It’s exactly what’s happening to the Bluegrass State’s Attorney General, Andy Beshear (D). His Deputy AG, Tim Longmeyer, was convicted of taking bribes, but Beshear still hasn’t donated the money to Common Cause as promised. Needless to say, this is prompting questions form local media. The issue will doubtlessly surface if Besmear runs for reelection or chooses to challenge Gov. Matt Bevin (R) in 2019.

Philly-DA: As if the race for District Attorney in Philadelphia wasn’t crazy enough, now George Soros is getting involved. A Soros-backed group is putting up $280,000 in advertising on behalf of Larry Krasner for the tantamount-to-election Democratic primary.

L.A.-City Council: Well, this is pretty embarrassing all around. The L.A. Times was forced to rescind its endorsement of insurgent city council candidate Joe Bray-Ali after another publication reported that Bray-Ali regularly made racist remarks in dark corners of the internet. Bray-Ali is fighting an uphill battle against incumbent Gil Cedillo. He might have had something of a chance before this, but now that hope is almost certainly gone.

MN-GOP: The Minnesota GOP is the Mr. McGoo of state parties; no matter how badly they stumble and oblivious they act, they somehow come out on the other end in far better shape than they have any right to be. They’ve had major infighting, bankruptcy, and a chronic inability to win close races. Yet due to changing rural voting patterns, they’ve taken control of the state legislature and look poised to pick up one or more congressional seats in 2018. By this pattern, I guess that the recent election of someone who hadn’t attended a party convention until three years ago as party chair means that 2018 will be a great year for them. You heard that right, folks; newly-minted Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan only got involved in the party a few years ago. Either she’s really impressive or the party really is dysfunctional. Either way I guess it should work out for them.


Nova Scotia: This province of Eastern Canada just announced a surprise provincial election for May 30th. The incumbent Liberal government is popular and should win easily.

UK: As the 2017 snap General Election inches closer, there appears to be an unusually high amount of churn in the electorate. Only about half of those who supported each of Labour, the Liberal Democrats, and UKIP in 2015 are supporting them now. The Tories are faring better at almost 80% retention, but that’s still a lot of movement out of the party. The speculation is that a lot of the movement is due to realignment of preferences along the lines of Brexit stances. About half of UKIP is bolting to the Tories, as are many LibDem voters outside of heavily Remain areas. The LibDems are pulling in some Remain Tories, while Labour is just bleeding to others, because, well, Corbyn is terrible. That’s the theory, anyway. We’ll find out out more as we get closer to June 8th.

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