Browsing Tag

la-treas

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).

2017 LA Primary Liveblog & Austria Open Thread

Results: LA SoS

11:25 ET- And that’s a wrap… with 98% in, Edwards (D) and Schroeder (R) have advanced for Treasurer with 31 and 24 respectively, besting Davis at 22 and Riser at 18. For New Orleans, Cantrell (D) and Charbonnet (D) have advanced. Feel free to use this as an open thread to discuss Austrian results as well.

10:55 ET- I’m about ready to wrap things up and call it for Schroeder. Davis has cut the margin to 5000 votes with 90% in, but 2/3 of what remains is New Orleans where she can’t make up much ground. For NO Mayor, I think Cantrell and Charbonnet are set to advance; Cantrell 42 Charbonnet 30 Bagneris 17 with a third in.

10:37 ET- 86% in, Edwards 26 Schroeder 26 Davis 24 Riser 19. 6300 votes separate Schroeder and Davis. For New Orleans, 34% is in, Cantrell 42 Charbonnet 30 Bagneris 17

10:29 ET- Results are in for the two legislative races. Ken Brass (D) won LD-58 outright, while Manness (R) and Wright (R) advance in LD-77 with 37% and 25% respectively.

10:25 ET- Orleans is starting to roll in. 72% in total: Schroeder 26 Edwards 26 Davis 23 Riser 20. Orleans is 20% in, and Mayor is Cantrell 39 Charbonnet 33 Bagneris 15.

10:22 ET- I think we can call PSC-2 for Greene outright. Greene is at 54.

10:15 ET- 59% in, and finally some Orleans. Overall Schroeder 26 Edwards 25 Davis 24 Riser 20. I think we can just about declare Riser out of the running but the second spot between Schroeder and Davis is still very much up in the air. For NO Mayor, 5% is in, Cantrell is at 38 and Charbonnet at 36, with Bagneris way back at 14.

10:00 ET- 36% in (still no Orleans) – Edwards 26 Schroeder 26 Davis 24 Riser 20.

9:45 ET- 14% in, Schroeder 27 Edwards 26 Davis 22 Riser 20. Greene is at 55% for PSC. Importantly, Orleans is not in at all.

9:33 ET- St. Tammany dumped its early vote and Schroeder is now in first with 28. Edwards 25 Davis 22 Riser 20. 2% of the election day vote is in.

9:25 ET- 54 parishes have absentees in: Edwards 26 Schroeder 24 Davis 23 Riser 22. Bossier, Orleans, Ouachita, and St. Tammany are the major parishes without any absentees in.

9:17 ET- It’s pretty amazing how close the Treasurer race is – with 50K votes cast, 2100 votes is all that separates first from fourth.

9:15 ET- 44 parishes absentee: Edwards 26 Davis 24 Riser 24 Schroeder 22. Greene is currently running away with PSC-2 with 61%.

9:08 ET- Absentee results are in for 18 parishes and it’s tight as a tick for Treasurer: Edwards 26 Schroeder 26 Davis 23 Riser 20

9:00 ET- Polls have closed in Louisiana.

2017 LA Primary Preview

Louisiana has its off-year primary election on Saturday; of course, all races use the Louisiana Rules Top Two jungle primary format, with a runoff scheduled for mid-November if no one crosses 50%. At stake is a special election for the Treasurer seat and one of five districts on the Public Service Commission, as well as the mayoral race in New Orleans. There are also elections abroad this weekend in Austria and Kyrgyzstan. Polls in Louisiana close at 9ET Saturday and we will have a brief liveblog.

LA-Treasurer: The big election this week is the special election for Treasurer, to replace now-Sen. John Kennedy (R). Appointed incumbent Ron Henson (R), who was Kennedy’s deputy and took over for the interim, is not seeking the seat. Four notable candidates, one Democrat and three Republicans, are running in this year’s special.

Derrick Edwards

Attorney Derrick Edwards (D) is certain to come in first, by virtue of being the only serious Democrat. Edwards is an interesting candidate; he is a quadriplegic who overcame his disability to get a law degree. However, Edwards has not shown any signs of fundraising (he had a total of $667 in his most recent campaign report) or running a serious campaign, meaning that the state’s Democratic establishment is giving him essentially no real support. CW is that he will come in first by a large margin – and then lose the runoff by a large margin to any of the three serious Republicans. Thus, the real contest is which Republican will advance to the second round with Edwards. And though the race is looking close to a three-way tossup, it’s one of the less interesting competitive statewide elections we’ve seen, as the three Republicans are more similar than different. All three would qualify as experienced, well-funded, relatively establishment-leaning mainstream conservatives, meaning this race is mainly differentiated on personality and geography. The three Republicans did not help themselves by hoarding their cash until the last moment, meaning all three are still little-known and turnout is likely to be rock-bottom.

John Schroder

State Rep. John Schroeder (R) represents a conservative district on the North Shore of Lake Ponchartrain and looks like the very nominal front-runner. He has led the field in fundraising by a significant margin, aided by his resigning his seat to focus on the campaign. Schroeder is a mainstream conservative and likely to have a base in the high-turnout New Orleans suburbs. He placed second in the only independent poll of the race, though that was back in August before all three candidates went up with TV ads, and has more recently released an internal showing him in second to Edwards as well. However, it’s an open question how much use polling is in this race, as all polls have shown the three Republicans taking low vote shares and tightly bunched.

Angele Davis

Jindal Admin official Angele Davis (R) is second in fundraising. Davis is attempting to cast herself as the most vocal Trumpist in the field. (In a sign of how toxic Jindal still is, Davis takes great pains to hide her involvement in his administration in her campaign material.) Davis, the only candidate from the Baton rouge area, has put out internals showing her in second to Edwards just as Schroeder has. She has also put out an ad with the endorsement of popular former Gov. Mike Foster (R), whom she also worked for.

Neil Riser

Finally, State Sen. Neil Riser (R) represents a rural seat in the northeast part of the state; he is likely to run up the margin in rural northern areas. Riser has also made an unorthodox but potentially good choice strategically; he has put in more attention to flipping Democrats in New Orleans (who are likely to be high-turnout because of the mayoral race) than his rivals, meaning he may be able to make the runoff on crossover votes. All three candidates are well-funded and have been trading barbs, and overall this race for second looks like something close to a 3-way Tossup. Two non-serious candidates, one Republican and one Libertarian, are also in the race. RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Safe R.

LA-PSC-2: Louisiana’s Public Service Commission is a 5-member body that currently breaks down as 3R-2D. The 2nd district is up for a special election this year. The seat looks like a larger version of the congressional LA-6, covering essentially the entire Baton Rouge area save the black-majority north side of Baton Rouge proper, plus most of Lafayette and the Houma area to the south. It has a PVI of ~R+23 (2008). This year, three Republicans are running for the seat, but they are of very different persuasions. The seat is up this year as prior incumbent Scott Angelle (R) was tapped for a Trump administration job, and three Republicans are facing off. This field looks depressingly weak, as evidenced by the fact that the front-runner for the seat is a former legislator who was embarrassed in a State House race just two years ago.

Lenar Whitney

Ex-State Rep. Lenar Whitney (R) has the official GOP endorsement and looks like the overall front-runner, though she has generally been regarded as a political lightweight. She won a State House seat in 2011 and ran an underwhelming campaign for LA-6 in 2014, before losing her re-election bid in 2015 by a large margin to a more centrist Republican. Whitney is a staunch antiestablishment conservative who relishes casting herself in the Palin/Bachmann bomb-thrower mold; pundit David Wasserman once called her “the most frightening candidate” he ever interviewed. Of course, having media against her is an asset in this district, especially when Whitney’s conservative credentials run laps around her two rivals.

Damon Baldone

If Whitney’s brew of conservatism is distinctly on the strong side, her rivals err on the opposite side; both of them can quite reasonably be described as RINOs. Gov. Jon Bel Edwards (D) tapped ex-State Rep. Damon Baldone (R) as the appointed interim incumbent. Baldone served as a Democratic State Rep, and was Whitney’s predecessor. Like Whitney, he is generally regarded as a weak candidate and political leightweight. Baldone once notably tried to get himself listed on the ballot as both a Democrat and a Republican; he also was acknowledged to have participated in the affair-setup site Ashley Madison, and has had a $4M judgement against him in a business deal. This year, Baldone apparently got the appointment by misleading Edwards into thinking he wouldn’t run for election, but then filed to run, switching to the GOP in the process. Edwards pointedly withheld an endorsement of Baldone.

Craig Greene

As Edwards has not been hesitant to support RINOs for various offices, it seems possible that his real choice in the race is surgeon Craig Greene (R). Greene, whose father was a legislator a generation ago, is closely tied to ex-LG and Edwards admin official Jay Dardenne (R). Greene is a Dardenne-style moderate who publicly endorsed Edwards in 2015. By resume Greene seems to be stronger than his rivals, but the Edwards endorsement is a big stone around his neck in such a conservative district. Additionally, Baldone’s name recognition may usurp Greene’s claim on the more moderate vote and box Greene out of the runoff. Overall, Whitney looks like the clear front-runner; it would be shocking if Whitney did not come in first and she may have a chance to win without a runoff. If Whitney comes in below 50, either Greene or Baldone has a chance to advance with her, and the results in the first round (specifically, how far below 50 Whitney comes in) could be informative as to who has the advantage in the second round. RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Safe R.

New Orleans-Mayor: New Orleans is coextensive with Orleans Parish (County); it has a population of 400K that breaks down as roughly 60% Black and 30% White. It has a PVI of D+32 (2016). New Orleans has three major socioeconomic groups: upper-income whites, particularly in the city’s northwest and around Tulane, low-income blacks in the central part of the city, and middle-class blacks in the suburban New Orleans East and Algiers neighborhoods. 18(!) candidates are in the race this year, but only five are notable, all Dems. There are three front-runners in the race, all of whom are well-known black establishment liberals who have split establishment support. Retired judge Desiree Charbonnet (D) has led the race in fundraising. Charbonnet is a longtime local pol who received national buzz on the bench as one of the first judges to try sentencing-reform initiatives. She is running as a mainstream liberal, and probably has the strongest establishment support, particularly from unions. Charbonnet also has a big endorsement from US Rep. Cedric Richmond (D), who represents the bulk of the city. City councilwoman LaToya Cantrell (D) is probably the most left-wing major candidate in this field, though she is still a mainstream liberal and not all that far left of her rivals. She has strong name recognition from representing a fifth of the city on the council, as well as some establishment support. Retired judge and 2014 candidate Michael Bagneris (D) is the most moderate of the three major candidates, though again the differences are quite slight. He has name recognition from his run against incumbent Mitch Landrieu (D) four years ago as well as significant establishment support. Two other candidates are worth a mention; while both are long-shots to make a runoff they will probably draw a few points each. Businessman and 2010 candidate Troy Henry (D) is also running a serious campaign; like the three other candidates he is a mainstream liberal. Though he may get a few points, he trails his three rivals in establishment support and doesn’t have an obvious point of differentiation; as a result, most polls have him in single-digits. Conversely, there is also a sideshow in businessman Frank Scurlock (D), the only major white candidate in the race and the only one with his own ideological lane. A former Republican, Sculock is now running as a DINO and his signature issue is a staunch defense of Confederate monuments. Scurlock has self-funded considerably (he owns a national moon-bounce business) and he may get a few points with his conservative platform. However, he has major liabilities (including being charged for masturbating in an Uber) that mean he is unlikely to get more than a couple points.. Overall, this race looks like close to a pure 3-way Tossup between Cantrell, Charbonnet, and Bagneris, with any two able to advance to a runoff. Because the three are so similar, any pairing will be competitive in the runoff.

Legislative Specials: There are also two legislative seats up. LA-LD-58 is a D+21 (2016) rural seat along the Mississippi River near Donaldsonville. St. James Parish commissioner Ken Brass (D), 2015 candidate Miguel Aubert (D), businesswoman Adrienne Ricard-Cornish (D), and engineer Alsie Dunbar (D) are running; all seem serious and any two could advance to a runoff. LA-LD-77 is an R+30 (2016) seat in exurbs around Covington on the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain. Three Republicans, antiestablishment-leaning 2014/16 US Senate candidate Rob Manness (R), Covington councilman Mark Wright (R), and judge Casey Revere (R), are in the race. One “Independent” (really a Dem in all but name), attorney Lisa Condrey-Ward (I), is also in the race. CW is that Manness is the strong favorite due to his name recognition, and could even wrap it up today. But any of the other three (particularly Wright, who has some local establishment support and name rec) may be able to join him in a runoff.

International Races:

Austria: Austria has its general election on Sunday; the Alpine nation has a population of 8.8M and a land area roughly the size of South Carolina. Austria has one of the first world’s more complicated electoral systems: the 183 members of the legislature are elected by proportional representation in two layers: one set of multi-member constituencies based on the 9 states, and another set of 39 smaller districts. The constituencies are multi-member and there is a threshhold of 4% for representation from a given constituency. Austria has a complicated multi-party system that belies how stable the country’s politics are: the two largest parties habitually form Grand Coalitions and have historically amiably divided the spoils of government between them, more often than not rendering elections all but irrelevant. The current government is headed by the Socialists (SPO), a fairly standard social-democratic party. Polling suggests that they are around 25% and will lose their position as the top party to their coalition partners, the center-right People’s Party (OVP), a pro-business, pro-Europe centrist-to-mildly-conservative group similar to Germany’s CDU. The OVP is currently polling around 33%. Historically, the main opposition has been the Freedom Party (FPO). The FPO is arguably the most mainstream and most successful of Western Europe’s nationalist-populist parties, being a junior partner in an OVP government in the early 2000s and getting 46% in last year’s presidential election. The FPO is polling around 25% and may be able to beat out the SPO for the second spot. Ideologically, it is probably one of the worlds Trumpiest parties, combining relatively free-market (for Europe) fiscal policies with moderate nationalism. While the SPO and OVP have not been eager to work with the FPO per se, they have not ruled it out. Importantly, after a recent change in leadership, the OVP in particular seems to be more keen to form a coalition with the FPO than the SPO. The fourth-largest party is the Greens, who are more moderate than most Green Parties and of a distinctly mainstream center-left nature on non-environmental issues. The Greens scored a major victory last year with the election of President Alexander Vanderbellen. However, they are in no position to capitalize on that, as a leadership dispute has caused the party to split in two, with the competing Pilz List taking about half the Greens’ votes; both are polling around 5%. There are also two more parties who will likely get parliamentary representation: the Economist-style liberal NEOS, who are polling around 5%, and the Freedom Party of Salzburg (FLO), a splinter group of the FPO based in Salzburg, who may take a few seats there. Overall, the OVP is set to take over as the largest party, and CW seems to be betting on them shaking things up by forming a coalition with the FPO rather than the SPO this time. However, another grand coalition (with the OVP in the lead rather than the SPO) should not be discounted as a possibility.

Kyrgyzstan: The central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan is holding a presidential election on Sunday as well. Kyrgyzstan is a post-soviet nation of 5.7M, largely ethnic Kyrgyz and Muslim. By the low standards of its global neighborhood, Kyrgyzstan is a fairly democratic nation, with seriously-contested elections. I am totally unqualified to discuss the dynamics of this race, but the two front-runners appear to be Sooronbay Jeenbekov, who is backed by the incumbent government, and Omurbek Banbanov, who is backed by the government of neighboring Kazakhstan.

Political Roundup for October 6, 2017

Senate:

MO-Sen: Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) has taken another step towards getting in the race. A “Hawley Victory Committee” organization was filed with the FEC this week. The NRSC is also listed as a joint fundraising committee in the filing-a typical move for a campaign getting ready to launch. 3 other Republicans are currently running-2016 Libertarian presidential candidate Austin Petersen, retired Air Force pilot and University of Central Missouri Aviation Department assistant dean Tony Monetti, and Navy veteran Courtland Sykes.

TN-Sen: If you missed our special post on it yesterday, there was big news in this race as Gov. Bill Haslam (R) announced he would not run, followed soon by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) getting into the race. With Haslam and Peyton Manning out, Blackburn appears to be the frontrunner for now.

House:

AZ-9: As expected, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton (D) has announced he plans to run for Congress. Stanton, who is in his 2nd term as mayor has been expected to run for another office, although he had been looking at a statewide office. Stanton will be the overwhelming favorite on the Democratic side, although might not clear the field completely. Biologist Talia Fuentes was already in the race before Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) announced her plans to run for the US Senate. Former House Minority Leader Chad Campbell (D) has been considered a possible candidate, but many think he won’t run against Stanton. Because of Arizona’s resign to run law, Stanton will have to resign as mayor, although he won’t have to leave office until he submits his election petitions, which are due May 30. A special election will then be held to complete Stanton’s term through 2019.

CO-2: Businessman and gun control advocate Ken Toltz has announced he is running in the Democratic primary for this open seat. Toltz had been exploring a run ever since Rep. Jared Polis (D) announced he was giving up the seat to run for governor, but said Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas motivated him in part to finally join the race. Toltz ran for Congress before in 2000 as the Democratic nominee in CO-6, losing by 12 points to then Rep. Tom Tancredo (R), a campaign in which he made gun control a major part of his platform in the wake of the Columbine shooting. Toltz is the 2nd Democrat to join the race in as many days-Nederland Mayor Kristopher Larsen joined the race on Wednesday. They join former University of Colorado Regent Joe Neguse, former Boulder County Democratic party Chairman Mark Williams, and minister Howard Dotson in the race on the Democratic side. No Republican has yet announced plans to run in the blue district.

CO-7: The last major challenger to Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) has dropped out. Dan Baer, formerly ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has dropped out of the race. Baer had been the last holdout to stay in the race after Perlmutter reversed course and decided to run for re-election to Congress after previously deciding to run for governor, a race he dropped out of, and then deciding he would just retire from politics. State Sens. Andy Kerr (D) and Dominick Moreno (D) and state Rep. Brittany Pettersen (D) dropped out of the race soon after Perlmutter got back in, but Baer stayed in, boosted by an impressive fundraising haul.

MA-3: State Rep. Juana Matias (D) is joining what is becoming a very crowded race to succeed Rep. Niki Tsongas (D). Other Democrats running are state Sen. Barbara L’Italien (D), Dan Koh, former chief of staff to Boston mayor Marty Walsh, Cambridge city councilor Nadeem Mazan, Lori Trahan, a former chief of staff to ex-Rep. Marty Meehan (D), and former Democratic LG nominee Steve Kerrigan. State Sen. Eileen Donoghue (D) is considering running as well. Rick Green, a businessman and founder of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, became the first Republican to join the race on Wednesday.

MI-11: Businessman and lawyer Dan Haberman is joining the Democratic primary race for this open seat. Haberman joins former Obama Administration auto task force official Haley Stevens, and Fayrouz Saad, former head of the Office of Immigrant Affairs for Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. Businesswoman Lena Epstein, who previously had been running for US Senate and former state Rep. Rocky Raczkowski (R) are running on the Republican side; state Sen. Marty Knollenberg (R) and state Rep. Laura Cox (R) , among others are considering getting in as well.

NH-2: Dr. Stewart Levenson, former chairman of the Department of Medicine at Manchester’s VA Hospital and who was involved in a whisteblower complaint about the facility, is running for Congress as a Republican. Levenson joins former state Rep. Jack Flanagan (R) with businessman David McConville possibly joining as well in the race to face Rep. Annie Kuster (D).

PA-18: State Sen. Guy Reschenthaler (R) entered the race yesterday to replace Rep. Tim Murphy (R), who now has announced his resignation, effective Oct. 21. A special election will be held sometime next year to fill the seat. Reschenthaler seems to be the favorite among party insiders, although state Sen. Kim Ward (R) has announced she is running too. State Rep. Rick Saccone (R) will possibly run as well.

TN-7: If you missed the special post on it yesterday, after Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) announced her candidacy for US Senate, state Sen. Mark Green (R) followed by announcing his candidacy for her congressional seat, completing a winding political journey this year. Green had declared his intention to run for governor early in the year, a race he dropped out of after being nominated to be Secretary of the Army-but he dropped out of contention for that post after Democrats criticized some comments he had made in the past. He decided not to restart his candidacy for governor, but had been encouraged to challenge Sen. Bob Corker (R) before Corker decided to retire. Green now becomes the early frontrunner, but other Republicans are expected to run for the deep red seat.

Governor/state offices:

SC-Gov: State Rep. James Smith (D) yesterday became the first Democrat to announce a run for governor. Smith had been the only Democrat known to even be looking at the race. 4 Republicans are running-Gov. Henry McMaster (R), LG Kevin Bryant (R), former state Department of Health and Environmental Control director Catherine Templeton, and party-switching former D LG Yancey McGill (R).

FL-CFO: State Sen. Tom Lee (R) is running for Chief Financial Officer. Lee will be challenging appointed incumbent Jimmy Patronis (R) in the Republican primary. Patronis was appointed to the post in June by Gov. Rick Scott (R) after former CFO Jeff Atwater (R) resigned to become CFO of Florida Atlantic University. Lee was the Republican nominee for CFO in 2006, losing by 7 points to Democrat Alex Sink.

LA-Treas.: Dueling polls by two of the Republican candidates in the upcoming Oct. 14 primary show themselves ahead of the group of Republicans in the race. State Rep. John Schroder (R) and former Gov. Bobby Jindal administration official Angele Davis both have released polls showing them making the runoff with lone Democratic candidate Derrick Edwards. Interestingly, the third major Republican candidate, state Sen. Neil Riser (R), finishes in second among the Republicans in both polls with Davis in third in Schroder’s poll, and Schroder in third in Davis’s poll. Edwards leads all candidates in both polls, but should be a heavy underdog to whichever Republican emerges from the primary.

MI-AG: State House Speaker Tom Leonard (R) has announced he is running for Attorney General. Leonard joins state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker (R) in the GOP primary. Former US Attorney Pat Miles and attorney Dana Nassel are running on the Democratic side. Nominees will be decided at party conventions after next year’s August primary.

Political Roundup for September 15, 2017

Senate:

MI-Sen: Businessman Sandy Pensler says he is taking a “serious look” at running for Senate. Businessman and Iraq war veteran John James is expected to formally announce his candidacy soon. The two potential entries come as announced candidate Lena Epstein is likely dropping out to run for MI-11. Former state Supreme Court Justice Bob Young is also running, with rock musician Robert “Kid Rock” Ritchie still considering a run.

TN-Sen: Conservative activist Andy Ogles is the first person to announce a bid for the US Senate seat currently held by Sen. Bob Corker (R). Corker has not decided whether to seek re-election, but says he will make a decision soon. Ogles, who recently stepped down as head of the Tennessee affiliate of Americans for Prosperity, however is planning to run against Corker in the GOP primary. Ogles criticized Corker for not being conservative enough. This isn’t the first time Ogles has run for office-he finished 3rd in the 2002 GOP primary for the then-open TN-4. Former state Rep. Joe Carr (R), who has been considering running was surprised by Ogles entry into the race, but is still contemplating entering the race himself. State Sen. Mark Green (R), who dropped a previous bid for governor after being considered for Secretary of Army, from which he later withdrew from consideration, confirmed he is still considering entering the race too, despite previously saying he would not run for any higher office next year.

House:

KS-2: Former state Secretary of Commerce Antonio Soave has joined the Republican nomination for this open seat. Soave had previously indicated an interest in running, but has now officially entered the race. He joins state Sen. Steve Fitzgerald, state Rep. Kevin Jones and Basehor councilman Vernon Fields in the GOP primary.

MA-3: State Sen. Barbara L’Italien (D) is the 2nd Democrat to announce a run for this open seat. L’Italien joins Daniel Koh, former Chief of Staff to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh in the Democratic primary. Other Democrats said to be considering runs include Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini and 2014 Democratic LG nominee Steve Kerrigan.

MI-11: It’s looking increasingly likely that current GOP Senate candidate Lena Epstein will drop down from her Senate bid and run for the now open MI-11. After previously saying she was considering the move, she now says she is “leaning toward” running for the House seat instead. Epstein is the co-owner of an automotive oil company.

MT-AL: Former nonprofit director Grant Kier is running for the Democratic nomination for Congress. Kier is the former director of Five Valleys Land Trust and the Bitter Root Land Trust. Billings attorney John Heenan is also running for the Democratic nomination to face Rep. Greg Gianforte (R).

NV-3: Philanthropist Susie Lee has announced her candidacy for Congress. Lee had previously lost in the Democratic primary for NV-4 in 2016. Lee is the second Democrat to announce a run for this open seat-businessman Jack Love is already running. 4 Republicans are currently running.

Governor:

AL-Gov: The crowded Republican gubernatorial race has got slightly smaller. Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington is dropping out of the race. He says he will finish out his term on the Jefferson County Commission and has no plans to ever seek office again. 5 other Republicans, including Gov. Kay Ivey (R) are running.

IL-Gov/LG: Gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy (D) has chosen Ra Joy, the Executive Director of Change Illinois, as his running mate. Change Illinois is a coalition of civic, business and labor groups. With the choice, most of the major candidates for governor have made their running mate choices-downstate regional school superintendent Bob Daiber is the only candidate who has not made his pick.

NE-Gov: State Sen. Bob Krist has made it official-he has changed his registration from Republican to independent and will run for governor next year as an independent. Although appointed to his seat by then-Gov. Dave Heineman (R) in 2009, Krist later became an opponent of Heineman and current Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) and has increasingly become known as an outspoken moderate in the Legislature. He supported Brad Ashford (D) for Congress in 2014 after contemplating running against then-Rep. Lee Terry (R) himself. Krist said he considered running for governor as a Democrat, but could not join a party that supported abortion rights. Krist will likely try to create a 3rd party for his run as it’s easier to get on the ballot than running as an independent. No Democrats have announced bids or even known to be considering running.

State & Local:

LA-Treas.: Democratic candidate Derrick Edwards is almost assured of finishing in the top two in the Oct. 14 primary for state Treasurer and securing a spot in the runoff, as he is the only Democrat on the ballot. But he is not running a serious campaign, so his chances of winning the runoff are practically nil. An indication of how unserious his campaign is-his campaign was actually in the red by $5900 last week and had shown no contributions. He does have $528 in his campaign account now due to a loan by a relative to get his campaign account in the black. He isn’t doing much campaigning and hasn’t hired staff to help with the race. State Sen. Neil Riser (R), state Rep. John Schroder (R), and former Gov. Bobby Jindal budget director Angele Davis (R) are battling for the other runoff spot.

NV-LG: Former State Treasurer Kate Marshall (D) announced Wednesday she is running for Lieutenant Governor. Democrat Chip Evans also announced his candidacy the same day, setting up a primary between the two. The two have one thing in common-both have lost to Rep. Mark Amodei (R) in unsuccessful campaigns for NV-2; Marshall lost in the 2011 special election, and Evans lost last year. Marshall served two terms as State Treasurer before making an unsuccessful bid for Secretary of State in 2014. Former Secretary of State Ross Miller (D) had been planning to run, but demurred after Marshall appeared to be the preferred candidate of the Nevada Democratic establishment.

Political Roundup for August 29, 2017

Check back at noon ET today for our preview and open thread for today’s St. Petersburg, FL Mayoral election.

Senate:

ME-Sen: Once again, Gov. Paul LePage (R) has announced he will not run for the Senate seat of Sen. Angus King (I/D). LePage had already ruled out a run once before backtracking and reconsidering. State Sen. Eric Brakey (R) is the most-talked-about Republican challenger to King.

MA-Sen: Beth Lindstrom (R), a former state lottery director and Scott Brown’s campaign manager, is running for the seat of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D). Lindstrom will join two less establishment-friendly candidates, conservative State Rep. Geoff Diehl (R) and businessman Shiva Ayyadurai (R), in the primary.

NE-Sen: Democrats have a semi-credible contender to take on Sen. Deb Fischer (R), as Lincoln councilwoman Jane Raybould (D) entered the race. Needless to say, Raybould will face a very uphill battle against Fischer in the deep-red state.

NJ-Sen: A jury has been seated in the corruption trial of Sen. Bob Menedez (D). The jury of 6 men and 6 women will review the allegations that Menendez improperly pulled strings to benefit a major donor; the trial begins next week.

Governor:

AL-Gov: State Rep. Craig Ford (D) announced last week he would not run for Governor. Democrats still have two credible candidates considering this race in ex-State Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb (D) and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox (D). Gov. Kay Ivey (R) filed last week to seek a full term; she will face a very crowded GOP primary field.

GA-Gov: State Rep. Stacey Abrams (D) resigned her State House seat last week to focus on her gubernatorial run. Abrams’s deep-blue legislative seat in southwest DeKalb County will see a special election later this year; she faces fellow State Rep. Stacey Evans (D), who is considered more moderate, in the Democratic primary for the gubernatorial open seat. Republicans have a crowded primary field.

ME-Gov: State Sen. Rick Bennett (R) will not run for Governor. LePage admin official Mary Mayhew (R) is in the race, but much of the rest of this field is frozen awaiting the decision of popular Sen. Susan Collins (R) on the race.

WI-Gov: As expected, state superintendent Tony Evers (D) launched his campaign for Governor last week. Evers, who has been elected statewide three times (albeit in low-turnout non-partisan off year spring elections), looks like Dems’ strongest candidate to take on Gov. Scott Walker (R). However, several lesser-known Democrats are in or considering the race as well.

House:

CO-7: After Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) backtracked on his decision to retire and re-entered the race for a seventh term, the three main challengers hoping to fill the open seat all decided to abandon their bids. State Sens. Andy Kerr (D) and Dominick Moreno (D)  and State Rep. Brittany Pettersen (D) all quickly ended their campaigns last week; thus, Perlmutter is not expected to face significant opposition for another term.

PA-18: Democrats have a credible candidate to take on Rep. Tim Murphy (R) in this red suburban Pittsburgh seat. Ex-Allegheny County commissioner Mike Crossey (D) has entered the race. However, Crossey’s bid did not start off on a great note as his kickoff campaign was held outside the district. Murphy was unopposed in both 2014 and 2016.

State & Local:

IA-Treas: State GOP official John Thompson (R), who is running for State Treasurer, has been served with a restraining order for harassing his former fiancee. Should he make it to the general Thompson may face a tough race against longtime incumbent Michael Fitzgerald (D).

LA-Treas: The state Democratic party has decided not to endorse the only Democrat running in this year’s special election for State Treasurer. Attorney Derrick Edwards (D) has an interesting story of becoming an attorney despite being a quadraplegic; however, he is not running a serious campaign for this office. Despite that, as the only Dem on the ballot, Edwards is certain to make the runoff and lose to one of his Republican rivals. State Sen. Neil Riser (R), State Rep. John Schroeder (R), and Jindal admin official Angele Davis (R) are in the race as well; the special primary for this seat is in mid-October.

MA-AG: A second Some Dude attorney has entered the GOP primary to take on AG Maura Healey (D). Dan Shores (R) joins Jay McMahon (R) in the race; both hail from Cape Cod. Either will face a very tough general election against the popular Healey in the deep blue state.

MI-SoS: Shelby Twp. clerk Stan Grot (R) will run for SoS, joining State Sen. Mike Kowall (R) in the race. The GOP nomination will be decided by convention. 2010 nominee Jocelyn Benson (D) is considered likely to run again for Democrats.

NV-LG: State Sen. and 2016 NV-3 candidate Michael Roberson (R) will run for LG after incumbent Mark Hutchinson (R) announced his retirement. Roberson is considered a strong general election candidate but may face primary troubles due to his shepherding a 2015 tax hike through the legislature.

MO-SD-14: State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D) has been stripped of all her committee assignments after calling for Trump’s assassination. So far Chappelle-Nadal has been resisting bipartisan calls for her resignation from the Senate.

Shelby, TN-CE: Court Clerk Joy Touliatos (R) will run for Shelby County Executive, joining county commissioner David Roland (R) in the primary for this seat. Shelby county is strongly Democratic overall but low turnout in municipal elections and strong candidates have kept the GOP in control of the County Executive slot.

Atlanta-Mayor: Fulton CE John Eaves (D) made a late entry into the race for Mayor of Atlanta last week. Seven major candidates are in the race for the open seat.

Redistricting:

MD-Redistrict: A 3-judge panel voted 2-1 to allow Maryland’s congressional map to stand for 2018 while the Supreme Court considers a similar case from Wisconsin. The plaintiffs had argued that the state’s congressional map should be struck down as an improper political gerrymander.

TX-Redistrict: Texas will have to redraw 9 State House districts for 2018 as the seats have been struck down as racial gerrymanders. The seats affected are a pair in Corpus Christi, a pair in Killeen, a pair in Fort Worth, and a trio in Dallas. It looks like Democrats could stand to gain around 3 seats from the ruling.

More TX-Redistrict: In the congressional redistricting case, Sam Alito has stayed the district court ruling striking down TX-27 and TX-35.

Political Roundup for July 18, 2017

First off today, there are a pair of elections to preview, one domestic and one international. There is just a single legislative special of note today, a primary for RI-SD-13, a D+17 (2016) seat covering most of Newport and all of Jamestown, on the next island to the west. Four Dems are facing off.  School board member David Hanos (D) looks like the slight front-runner, as he has establishment support and the endorsement of the prior incumbent. but well-funded Newport councilman John Florez (D), attorney Dawn Euer (D), and state official David Allard (D) are all running serious campaigns and any could come out on top. The D primary winner should be favored in the 3-way August general over 2014 nominee Michael Smith (R), who lost by a respectable 10 points three years ago to the powerful prior incumbent (the then-Senate President), and center-left Gov. Chaffee admin official Kim Ripoli (I). There is also an NH House primary and a general, which we don’t cover as a quiet protest against the NH House’s insane size.

Today is also the general election in Bermuda. Bermuda is an island 650 miles east of the Carolina coast, with a total land area roughly 2/3 the size of Manhattan. It is a British territory, but has home rule powers that are in practice absolute in domestic policy, and even some foreign policy functions. Its population of 65K is roughly 60% black and 35% white. Offshore finance and tourism are the only economic drivers of significance; while Bermuda is extremely wealthy, that prosperity comes with an astronomically high cost of living (the average house price is $1M, for example). Bermuda has a 36-member parliament elected in the standard British first-past-the-post system. It has a two-party system of the incumbent center-right One Bermuda Alliance and the center-left Progressive Labor Party. The two parties tend to be quite evenly matched; 1985 was the last time either took more than 55% of the vote.The OBA had just a 19-17 majority in the outgoing parliament, and the election was triggered by two renegade OBA MPs breaking with the government and bringing it down. Reporting on the election is sparse, but the one recent poll of the election showed the OBA likely strengthening its hand. Now the (huge list of) the rest of the day’s news:

Senate:

AZ-Sen: Trumpist forces, possibly including the White House itself, are seeking to target Sen. Jeff Flake (R) in the GOP primary. There are apparently two recruiting targets: State Treasurer Jeff DeWit (R) and ex-AZGOP chair Robert Graham (R), with ex-State Sen. and 2016 candidate Kelli Ward (R), who is already in the race, as a backup option. A bruising primary against Flake would likely be good news for Dems targeting this seat as a pickup opportunity; Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton (D) are thought to be interested in bids.

MO-Sen: Rep. Vicki Hartzler (R) will not seek the Senate seat of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D). AG Josh Hawley (R) remains the GOP’s clear recruiting target for this race.

MT-Sen: State Auditor (Insurance Commissioner) Matt Rosendale (R) is “95 percent there” on a decision to challenge Sen. Jon Tester (D) and will likely decide within the month, according to unnamed insiders. Rosendale is clearly the GOP’s third option for the race against Tester after Rep. Ryan Zinke (R) was appointed interior secretary and AG Tim Fox (R) declined a bid. Rosendale, who has some self-funding ability, would likely be the front-runner in the primary if he entered, joining State Sen. Al Olszewski (R), judge Russ Fagg (R), and storage company owner Troy Downing (R).

WV-Sen: Former mining executive Don Blankenship (R), recently released from prison after serving a year for safety violations during his tenure, is considering a Senate run. Blankenship would join AG Patrick Morrisey (R) and Rep. Evan Jenkins (R) in the GOP primary; needless to say, Sen. Joe Manchin (D) would likely relish making the race a referendum on Blankenship’s polarizing nature in the state.

Governor:

AL-Gov: At this point we need to start making lists of who isn’t running for Governor of Alabama. State Sen. Paul Sanford (R) says he has been receiving encouragement to run, as he is stepping down from the Senate due to self-imposed term limits. Sanford doesn’t sound too enthusiastic about the idea though, as he says he hasn’t raised any money and probably won’t enter the race. Should he enter the primary he could join the following candidates who are in or exploring the race: Ag Commissioner John McMillan (R), Auditor Jim Zeigler (R), PSC Chair Twinkle Cavanaugh (R), Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle (R), State Sen. Bill Hightower (R), businessman Josh Jones (R), and minister Scott Dawson (R). ex-State Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb (D) and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox (D) are exploring runs on the D side. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has not indicated her plans.

AK-Gov: State Sen. Mike Dunleavy (R) will run for Governor, becoming the first major candidate into the race. Centrist Gov. Bill Walker (I) has not indicated if he will seek re-election, and it is unclear whether either or both parties will seek to go after him aggressively should he seek a second term.

FL-Gov: State Sen. Jack Latvala (R) will presumably announce a run for Governor on August 16. Latvala, a moderate who is considered a kingmaker among insiders in Tallahassee but has little name recognition outside his Pinellas County base, would be a credible but long-shot primary contender against front-running Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam (R). State House Speaker Rich Corcoran (R) is also considering a run; Dems have a primary between ex-Rep. Gwen Graham (D), Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D), and potentially multiple others.

IA-Gov: Retired businessman Fred Hubbell (D), a major Dem donor, is the latest Democrat into this primary, which is becoming ridiculously crowded. Hubbell joins State Sen. Nate Boulton (D), State Rep. Todd Prichard (D), ex-IADP chair Andy McGuire (D), former Gov. Vilsack CoS John Norris (D) ex-Iowa City Mayor Ross Wilburn (D), and 2014 State Auditor nominee Jon Neiderbach (D). If none of the candidates cross 35% of the vote, the nomination goes to a convention, and that is looking increasingly likely here.

ME-Gov: Ex-State House Speaker Mark Eves (D) has become the latest Democrat to enter this increasingly crowded primary. Eves joins appointed AG Janet Mills (D), 2008 ME-1 candidate Adam Cote (D), lobbyist Betsy Sweet (D), and veteran Patrick Eisenhart (D) in the Dem primary; LePage admin official Mary Mayhew (R) and appointed State Treasurer Teresea Hayes (I) are also in the race.

MD-Gov: As expected, left-wing State Sen. Rich Maladeno (D) is the latest Democrat to officially declare a run for the chance to take on Gov. Larry Hogan (D). Maladeno joins Prince George’s CE Rushern Baker (D), ex-NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous (D), attorney Jim Shea (D), and Hillary aide Alec Ross (D) in the primary.

NE-Gov: Moderate State Sen. Bob Krist will leave the Republican party and run against Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) as an independent, or more precisely, under a vanity third-party banner, which has lower signature requirements. The odds seem decent that Krist could become the de facto Democrat in this race, as no credible Dem has publicly indicated any interest in taking on the relatively popular Ricketts.

RI-Gov: State House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan (R) is considering a run for Governor. Should she enter, Morgan would face Trumpist ex-State Rep. Joe Trillo (R) in the primary; Cranston Mayor and 2014 nominee Allan Fung (R) is also thought to be considering a run. Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) may face Dem primary opposition as well.

WI-Gov: Nonprofit exec Mike McCabe (D) has become the second little-known Democrat to declare a run against Gov. Scott Walker (R), joining businessman Andy Gronik (D) in the primary. State Superintendent Tony Evers (D), Madison Mayor Paul Soglin (D), and State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D) are all considering runs as well.

WY-Gov: Businessman Bill Dahlin (R) is the first candidate to declare for Wyoming’s open-seat gubernatorial race. It’s still too early to speculate how serious a candidate Dahlin might be, as several bigger names such as ex-Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R), SoS Ed Murray (R), and Treasurer Mark Gordon (R) are all considering this race.

House:

CA-39: Veteran and lottery winner Gil Cisneros (D), who won a $266M lottery jackpot in 2010, is running against Rep. Ed Royce (R). Cisneros’s presumable self-funding ability may make him an attractive candidate for this hitorically-Republican Orange County seat that Hillary carried.

CA-52: Republicans look set to at least have an interesting candidate to take on Rep. Scott Peters (D). Omar Qudrat (R), a former Guantamo prosecutor and Muslim of Afghani descent, will run for this seat covering much of San Diego proper. Qudrat faces long odds in a seat that was purple but has trended strongly left in recent years.

CO-4, CO-AG: Rep. Ken Buck (R) may run for Colorado AG if AG Cynthia Coffman (R) gives up her seat to run for Governor, citing a desire to return to Colorado and his background as a former DA. Buck would likely be the favorite for the GOP nomination for AG (and trigger a competitive primary for his deep-red House seat) if he ran.

FL-6: Bill Clinton admin official Nancy Soderberg (D) has filed to run for this fairly red Daytona Beach area seat, giving Dems a credible candidate. The seat is expected to be open as Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) has pledged a three-term limit; DeSantis is speculated to be interested in either a bid for Governor or Florida AG.

MI-11: Detroit city official Fayrouz Saad (D), who previously worked in the Obama administration, will run against Rep. David Trott (R). This light-red suburban Detroit seat is likely to be relatively high on Dems’ radars as a pickup opportunity, but it’s unclear if Saad is their choice recruit here.

NM-1: Immigration attorney Michael Hendricks (R) has become the second Republican to enter the race for this medium-blue Albuquerque seat, joining ex-State Rep. and 2012 nominee Janice Arnold-Jones (R). Democrats have a crowded primary for this open seat with ex-NMDP chair Deb Haaland (D), Albuquerque councilman Pat Davis (D), and ex-US Attorney Damon Martinez (D) seem the top candidates.

TX-23: Ex-Rep. Pete Gallego (D) has filed for a third matchup with Rep. Will Hurd (R) after coming up short in both 2014 and 2016. Gallego says that the outcome of upcoming re-redistricting that may affect this purple district in either direction will not have an effect on his decision on entering the race.

WV-2: Former congressional staffer and Hillary campaign operative Talley Sergent (D) will run against Rep. Alex Mooney (R). Mooney has underperformed in his two prior races but this very Trumpist district is tough terrain for any Democrat, particularly one tied to Hillary. However, Mooney made another strange decision recently by tapping sitting Maryland State Sen. Michael Hough (R) as his CoS, highlighting Mooney’s own craven carpetbagging across the Potomac. Hough will not resign his legislative seat to take the job with Mooney.

WV-3: Physician Ayne Amjad (R) is the latest candidate into this open-seat race covering southern West Virginia. Amjad will face ex-State Rep. and 2012 nominee Rick Snuffer (R), and potentially others, in the primary; State Sen. Richard Ojeda (D) is in the race on the Dem side.

State & Local:

CO-SoS: Jena Griswold (D), Gov. John Hickenlooper’s (D) DC liason, will run for Secretary of State next year. Griswold looks like the top Democratic choice to take on incumbent Wayne Williams (R) as she is receiving most establishment support. In tangentially related news, the Williamses may be on their way to replacing the divorcing Rep. Mike and AG Cynthia Coffman as the COGOP’s power couple, as Williams’s wife Holly (R) will run for a safely Republican seat on the El Paso County commission.

CO-Treas: State Rep. Polly Lawrence (R), who represents a deep-red seat in the Denver exurbs, will run for the open State Treasurer seat. Lawrence joins fellow State Rep. Justin Everett (R) and Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn (R) in the GOP primary. State Rep. Steve Lebsock (D) is considered the most likely Dem nominee for this open seat; incumbent Walker Stapleton (R) is termed-out and likely to run for Governor.

GA-Ins Comm: Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens (R) won’t seek a third term in 2018. Hudgens’s decision leaves a third Row Officer seat open in addition to the LG and SoS posts vacated by gubernatorial candidates. Hudgens’s top deputy, Jay Florence (R), quickly filed to seek the seat.

ID-Treas: Ada County Treasurer Vicky McIntyre (R) will run for the open State Treasurer seat, joining investor Kevin Jones (R) in this primary. Five-term incumbent Ron Crane (R) is retiring.

LA-Treas, LA-PSC-2: Qualifying closed for the Louisiana Treasurer special on Friday of last week, and there appear to be three major candidates: State Sen. Neil Riser (R), State Rep. John Schroeder (R), and Gov. Jindal admin official Angele Davis (R). One Some Dude Democrat also filed, and may be able to make the runoff on Dem votes but probably stands zero chance of winning. Qualifying also closed for the PSC-2 seat, a heavily Republican seat around Baton Rouge and Lafayette. Three Republicans signed up, Edwards-appointed incumbent Damon Baldone (R), who was a D State Rep. but filed as a “Republican”, ex-State Rep. Lenar Whitney (R), and physician Craig Greene (R).

MO-Aud: State House Speaker Todd Richardson (R) is preparing to run for State Auditor against appointed incumbent Nicole Galloway (D). Galloway is the only Democrat holding a Row Office in Missouri, a post she was appointed to after her Republican predecessor committed suicide. Richardson looks likely to be the front-runner for the GOP nomination.

OR-Lab Comm: Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian (D) announced last week that he would not seek a third full term in the nominally non-partisan post. Avakian has been known as one of the most aggressive Social-Justice-Warriors in high office, which led him to be polarizing even in his blue state and lose his bid to move up to SoS in 2016. Avakian’s most likely successor is probably one of his erstwhile rivals for the SoS post, ex-State Rep. Val Hoyle (D). Hoyle, a more mainstream liberal, already announced her intent to run, though she may face opposition from ex-State Sen. Diane Rosenbaum (D).

SC-LG: The South Carolina state ethics board has interestingly announced that it will allow LG Kevin Bryant (R) to continue to raise money for an election that won’t happen. Bryant is fundraising under a campaign for the LG job – but the state is transitioning in 2018 from a separately-elected LG to a presidential-style system where gubernatorial candidates pick their running mates. Apparently there is a legal fiction-slash-loophole that the money can be raised for Bryant to persuade someone to pick him as their running mate. More likely of course is that Bryant is planning to run for an office that has a real election (such as a primary challenge to Gov. Henry McMaster (R)) but doesn’t want to admit it yet.

CA-San Diego County-3: R-turned-I-turned-D ex-State Rep. Nathan Fletcher (D) will run for county supervisor next year in a seat covering central San Diego. Fletcher will likely face ex-DA Bonnie Dumanis (R) in what could be a high-profile contest.

Weekend Open Thread for July 14-16, 2017

Happy Weekend. First off, we will be releasing our new Senate Rankings tomorrow at noon. Also, we are making the following two Row Officer Ratings changes based on Louisiana filing:

LA-Treasurer Safe R from Likely R || LA-PSC-2 Safe R hold from Lean R takeover

Now this week’s questions –

1. In general, do you think celebrities make good political candidates?

2. Why do you think we’ve seen zero Senate retirements this year?

And because it is the weekend……. we give you the distinguished gentleman from the great state of Michigan HERE!

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!