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Political Roundup for October 13, 2017

Senate:

MT-Sen: In an unusual twist, a husband and wife have both joined the race for US Senate, with each running in separate primaries. James Dean, a financial advisor is running in the Republican primary, while Sarah Dean, a fashion designer is running in the Democratic primary. Neither has ever run for political office before. Sarah Dean is the first Democrat to challenge Sen. Jon Tester (D) in the primary, while James Dean joins state Sen. Al Olszewski (R), State Auditor Matt Rosendale (R) and businessmen Troy Downing and Ron Murray in the Republican primary. Yellowstone County district judge Russell Fagg, who retires from the bench today, is also considering running in the Republican primary.

TN-Sen: Ex-Rep. Stephen Fincher (R) is seriously considering joining the GOP primary for Senate. Fincher, who retired last year after serving 3 terms in the House, recognizes the uphill battle he would seem to have against Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R), but he says he’s used to a challenge. One point in his favor is that he has $2.3 million leftover in his campaign account from his runs for Congress that he could use for a Senate run. He says he plans to make a decision soon, but didn’t give a specific date.

UT-Sen: Boyd Matheson, head of the Sutherland Institute, a Utah-based conservative think tank, and former chief of staff to Sen. Mike Lee (R), is considering running against Sen. Orrin Hatch (R), if Hatch runs for re-election. Matheson met with former White House strategist Steve Bannon in Washington last week about the possibility of running. Bannon said Matheson had set up an exploratory committee for a possible run, although Matheson said there is currently no such committee and there is no specific deadline when he plans to announce a possible run.

House:

CA-36: Kimberlin Brown Pelzer, a former soap opera actress who now is an avocado grower and also owns an interior design company, is running for Congress as a Republican. Pelzer, who appeared on the soap operas “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful” spoke in support of Donald Trump at last year’s Republican National Convention. Former Palm Springs TV news anchor Dan Ball has also discussed a possible run as a Republican as well. Rep. Raul Ruiz (D) is running for re-election.

FL-6: As Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) decides whether to run for re-election or possibly run for governor, one candidate isn’t waiting for DeSantis to decide. John Ward, a multi-millionaire business investor and Navy veteran has announced he is running in the Republican primary as a pro-Trump outsider. Nancy Soderberg, a former National Security Council official and an Ambassador at the United Nations for the Clinton Administration is running as a Democrat.

GA-6: Former Atlanta TV news anchor Bobby Kaple is planning to run for Congress as a Democrat. Kaple says he left his job last month as a morning and noon news anchor for the local CBS affiliate in preparation for a run. Jon Ossoff (D), who lost to Rep. Karen Handel (R) in a June special election has not decided whether to run again. Kaple says he plans to run whether or not Ossoff does-and points out he resides in the district, unlike Ossoff.

MT-AL: State Rep. Tom Woods (D) has joined the Democratic primary for Congress. Woods is the first candidate with political experience to run, joining attorney John Heenan and nonprofit director Grant Kier in the Democratic primary.

NM-2: Andrew Salas, former adjutant general of the New Mexico National Guard, is running for the Republican nomination for Congress. He joins a race without a clear frontrunner after the recent surprising departure of state Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn, Jr. (R) from the race to replace Rep. Steve Pearce (R), who is running for governor. Also running in the Republican primary are state Rep. Yvette Herrell (R), former Hobbs Mayor Monty Newman, and pharmacist Jack Volpato. Salas is making his first bid for political office, although his wife Martha Salas is currently chairwoman of the Socorro County Board of Commissioners.

PA-8: Lawyer Dean Malik is challenging Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R) in the Republican primary. Malik planned to run in 2016, but says he was pushed aside and forced to drop out after Fitzpatrick joined the race to fill the seat left open by his brother, former Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R). Malik is criticizing Fitzpatrick for not being supportive enough of President Trump’s agenda.

PA-11: Businessman Andrew Lewis has announced he is running for the Republican nomination for this open seat. He joins state Rep. Stephen Bloom (R) and former state Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser in the GOP primary. Also, Denny Woolf, former state agriculture secretary under Gov. Ed Rendell (D) from 2003-2009 has put his name in for the Democratic nomination. Woolf joins Air Force veteran Alan Howe in the Democratic primary.

Governor & state offices:

IL-Gov: The first Democrat to run for governor has become the first major candidate to drop out. Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar (D) has left the race, citing fundraising difficulties. Pawar’s exit could help state Sen. Daniel Biss (D), with whom Pawar had been battling for support from progressives and supporters of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. Businessmen J.B. Pritzker and Chris Kennedy are battling for support from the establishment, Hillary Clinton-supporting wing of the party. Although Biss could benefit from his support, Pawar says he has no plans to endorse any of the other candidates at this time. but won’t rule it out later.

ME-Gov: State Sen. Mark  Dion (D) is joining the most crowded primary race in the country, for the Democratic nomination for governor. Dion is also a former 3 term sheriff of Cumberland County, which includes the state’s largest city of Portland. He is one of 10 Democrats running in the primary-other major candidates include AG Janet Mills (D), state Sen. James Boyle (D) and former state House Speaker Mark Eves (D). Sen. Susan Collins (R) is expected to announce today whether she will join the list of Republicans running. Republicans already in the race are former state Health Commissioner Mary Mayhew, State Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason (R) and state House Minority Leader Ken Fredette (R).

MD-Gov: Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, a consulting firm owner, is joining the very crowded Democratic primary for governor. Although Cummings is a political novice herself, she has a well-known last name as the wife of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D). Cummings is the 8th person to run for the Democratic nomination to face Gov. Larry Hogan (R). Other major candidates running include Prince George’s CE Rushern Baker (D), Baltimore CE Kevin Kamenetz (D), state Sen. Richard Madaleno (D), and former NAACP head Benjamin Todd Jealous.

RI-Gov: Former state Rep. Spencer Dickinson (D) is challenging Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) in the Democratic primary. Dickinson recognizes that his bid is a longshot, but wants to provide competition to the governor and provide an alternative. If he doesn’t win the nomination, he says he would be inclined to support Cranston Mayor Allan Fung (R) if he runs again and wins the Republican nomination.

FL-AG: State Rep. Frank White (R) is considering running for Attorney General. White is in his first term in the Florida House. Two other Republicans are already in the race-former state Rep. Jay Fant (R) and former Hillsborough County District Judge Ashley Moody. Both have already begun fundraising and  have raised six figure sums.

Political Roundup for October 5th, 2017

President

Cuban: Mark Cuban isn’t saying if he will run for President, but if he ran, this is how he would do it.

Governor

VA-Gov: A Washington Post – Schar School poll finds Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) leading Ed Gillespie 53%-40% among likely voters, with Libertarian candidate Cliff Hyra back at 4%. While most polling has shown a Northam lead, this is his largest lead in recent public polls.

ME-Gov: An internal poll for Sen. Susan Collins (R) by Hans Kaiser shows the senator has 75%-19% approval ratings among Maine voters. While the poll has been confirmed as authentic, apparently the specific results are not available (which is never encouraging with a leak). Supposedly Collins “leads her next closest competitor [Mary Mayhew] in the Republican primary by a better than 3:1 margin and two other competitors by even larger margins.” The poll also found her above 50% against any Democrat in the general election.

MD-Gov: A Mason-Dixon poll finds almost half of Democrats approve of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s job performance, but only 25% of those voters would actually vote for him against a Democratic candidate. While this is a solid number of ticket splitters for Hogan, it shows that a lot of his bipartisan appeal is soft and movable. Hogan led all Democratic opponents by varying margins, the smallest of which was 7 points against Prince George’s CE Rushern Baker. He also led Baltimore CE Kevin Kamenetz by 13 points, former NAACP head Ben Jealous by 16 points, and State Sen. Richard Madaleno by 16 points, with the differences largely a function of name recognition. Baker also led the Democratic primary, with 28% over Kamenetz’ 11% and Jealous’ 10%.

NJ-Gov: In which Kim Guadagno (R) tries to use a four month old internal poll with no real numbers released to say she still has a chance.

Senate

ME-Sen: Apparently the same internal poll for Collins described above also tested a LePage-King race. There, the Independent Senator (King) led the Governor (LePage, R) with more than 60% of the vote.

House

PA-18: ICYMI, ethically challenged Rep. Tim Murphy (R) will retire at the end of this term thanks to his reprehensible hypocrisy and actions. See our Great Mentioner in the link for candidates, and then cross-apply those names with Roll Call’s list.

MN-1: State Sen. Carla Nelson (R) is running for Congress. Nelson is something of a polarizing figure within the party, with fundraising ability but not much sympathy from conservative activists. Unfortunately for Nelson, her planned announcement on Monday was overshadowed by the Las Vegas shooting. Instead of her planned speech, she acknowledged the purpose of the event to announce her campaing and declined to take questions from the press. One question lingers if Nelson would abide by the Republican convention endorsement, but why would she bother if she has better odds in a primary? In other news, State Rep. Nels Pierson (R), who represents a rural seat on the outskirts of Rochester, is out of this race. As an aside, Heather Carlson of the Rochester Post Bulletin is the person to follow to keep up with this open seat race, where she’s been tracking candidates and their endorsements.

UT-3: Mitt Romney yesterday endorsed Provo Mayor John Curtis, the Republican nominee in Utah’s 3rd congressional district special election. Normally Romney endorsing a Republican wouldn’t be incredibly newsworthy, but it’s probably not worth leaving things to chance with how Democratic-leaning special elections lately have been and the son of a former Republican US Senator running on a third party line. The Romney endorsement is something of a seal of approval for Mormon voters in Utah, with whom the former Massacusetts Governor is incredibly popular. The endorsement also wasn’t necessarily a done deal; with how anti-Trump Romney has sounded since the presidential election, he always had the option to just stay silent.

NY-11: A match for the ages? Steve Bannon is supporting former Rep. and felon Michael Grimm, in his Republican primary challenge to successor and Rep. Dan Donovan.

State and Local

TX-AG: Attorney General Ken Paxton’s trial is delayed a third time until next year. At this rate, he may be reelected until we see any movement on his securities fraud case. This time, the delay was over a dispute over attorneys’ fees for the prosecution.

Political Roundup for September 26, 2017

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

Senate:

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

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

Governor:

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

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

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

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

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

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

House:

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

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

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

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

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

State & Local:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Political Roundup for September 19th, 2017

First off, there is a single legislative special primary today. MA-SD-Bristol & Norfolk is a D+5 (2016) seat stretching from Seekonk in suburban Providence to Medfield in Boston’s southwest suburbs. Two Democrats and Four Republicans are running. For Dems, Foxborough councilman and Sanders campaign operative Paul Feeney (D) and legislative staffer Ted Phillips (D) are facing off. Feeney is more of a blue-collar liberal while Phillips is a bit more upscale in sensibilities; there is no clear favorite. For Republicans, Baker admin official Mike Berry (R) has the most GOP establishment support and looks like the front-runner. Berry faces three other credible candidates in Chamber of Commerce official Harry Brousaides (R), legislative staffer Jacob Venura (R), and 2014/16 State House candidate Tim Hempton (R), who could each pull the upset. Waiting in the general is well-known retired TV investigative reporter Joe Shortsleeve (I), a former DINO who could have enough name recognition to make it an authentic three-way race or even pull an upset win.

Senate

AL-Sen: A JMC Analytics poll of likely voters shows Roy Moore keeping his large lead over Attorney General and Trump endorsee Luther Strange 47%-39%. This is actually an improvement for Strange, who trailed in the last JMC poll 51%-32%.

Governor

VA-Gov: Two new polls in the Virginia gubernatorial race. One survey shows Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) leading Ed Gillespie 44%-39% with Libertarian Cliff Hyra at 3%. However, the Princeton Survey Research Associates International poll surveys “Virginia adults,” without even a voter screen. Meanwhile, a Suffolk University poll of likely voters shows the race tied between Northam and Gillespie at 42% with Hyra at 3% again. We rate this seat Lean Democrat.

MD-Gov: Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has joined the Democratic field to take on Gov. Larry Hogan (R). The list of other Democratic candidates, lazily grabbed from the article: “Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, former NAACP leader Ben Jealous, state Sen. Richard Madaleno, technology entrepreneur and author Alec Ross, lawyer Jim Shea and Krish Vignarajah, a former policy director for first lady Michelle Obama.” We rate this seat Lean Republican.

House

MN-1: 2014 and 2016 Republican nominee Jim Hagedorn won the endorsement of two notable former congressmen: Reps. John Kline and Gil Gutknecht. The endorsements continue a continuous run of former Minnesota Republican officeholders backing Hagedorn this cycle. State Sen. Carla Nelson (R) has also been rumored to be strongly considering a run, and her Facebook page’s name recently changed from “Carla Nelson for State Senate” to just “Carla Nelson.”

UT-3: Dan Jones is re-running their poll of UT-3 mentioned in yesterday’s roundup with a full sample from the district instead of a subset from their statewide poll. The reasoning was complaints from third party candidate Jim Bennett, who barely missed the threshold for debate participation with his 6% showing in the survey.

VA-10: One of Rep. Barbara Comstock’s 1,000 opponents is sticking out. Democrat and veteran Dan Helmer sticks out for a terrible ad where he sings bad karaoke to Comstock about not holding town hall meetings. Pretty sure he won’t be her opponent.

MI-11: A lot of movement in Rep. Dave Trott (R)’s suddenly open seat. First off, State Rep. Rocky Raczkowski (R). Second, Lena Epstein (R) dropped down from the Senate race to this House bid. State Rep. Klint Kesto also plans to run. The article has a Great Mentioner of other candidates on both sides of the aisle. We previously ranked this seat Lean R when Trott was still in the race. Click here for some of yesterday’s discussion of the candidates on RRH Elections.

NY-24: Syracuse professor Dana Balter (R) is in the race against Rep. John Katko (R). While several other Democrats are considering runs in this swing seat that Katko surprisingly locked down over the last two cycles, Onondaga Community College board chair Anne Messenger is already in.

NY-27: Veteran Erin Cole (D) is out after a short-lived campaign. While Rep. Chris Collins is one of the least threatened Republican congressmen in New York, county Democratic leaders have still interviewed a number of potential candidates.

RIP: Longtime former congressman Bill Goodling (R) of Pennsylvania has passed away at the age of 89.

State and Local

TX-leg: Former State Rep. Steve Toth has the support of 30 former and current Republican State Representatives in his comeback bid. Toth left the chamber after a failed primary challenge to Rep. Kevin Brady, the Ways & Means Committee Chairman in Congress. While Toth would be expected to receive significant Freedom Caucus and allied endorsements, there are a few Straus allies that surprisingly make the list like State Reps. JM Lozano and Jason Isaac.

TX-leg: On the other side of the aisle, State Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D) gains another reprieve as the Travis County DA holds off on felony charges of fraud with new information in the case. She still faces two misdemeanor charges.

International

Spain: Spanish federal government authorities are attempting to stifle campaigning in the Catalonian-led independence referendum on October 1st. Besides seizing campaign materials from the pro-independence side, the government is also threatening to arrest Carles Puigdemont, the regional government head, and other government officials supporting the referendum.

Iceland: Iceland’s Parliament has been set to dissolve October 27th; elections will be held October 28th.

 

Political Roundup for August 11, 2017

Senate:

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

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

House:

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

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

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

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

Governor:

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

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

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

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

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

 

Political Roundup for August 2, 2017

As we enter the third business day of the Kelly led junta bringing something resembling peace and order to the White House, it is time for today’s roundup:

Last Night:

In Seattle, mainstream liberal ex-US Attorney Jenny Durkan (D) took first easily with 32%, while two far-left candidates, urban planner Cary Moon (D) and attorney Nikkita Oliver (ultra-left I) were in a tight race for second, with Moon leading Oliver 16-14. In Tacoma, moderate 2009 candidate Jim Merritt (D) and councilwoman Victoria Woodards (D) advanced with 42 and 36 respectively, with a left-wing candidate taking the rest. led Republicans did better than expected in the legislative races but still seem on course to lose SD-45, with the Dem leading 50-42.

President/National

FBI:  Christopher Wray was confirmed as FBI Director by a 92-5 margin.

Patrick:  Key backers of former President Barack Obama (D) want former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (D) to run for President in 2020.  Many believe Patrick would spark the excitement that President Obama created again, but it is far from clear that Patrick has any interest in running for President ever.  Patrick has got himself involved in Bain Capital, which means he is raking in cash, but also makes him a target for being an evil capitalist in the anti-capitalistic Democratic primary electorate.

Booker:  Speaking of someone who actually wants to run for President so much, Senator Corey Booker (D-Moderate turned Bold Progressive) introduced legislation legalizing recreational marijuana use nationwide.  As part of his attention grabbing announcement, Booker stated the standard talking points of the legalization movement.  Somewhere Attorney General Sessions was stewing.

Leaks:  Speaking of Attorney General Sessions, the Attorney General is apparently on the cusp of laying the smack down on leaks arising from the White House.  I wish the best of luck to Sessions as the White House resembles a strainer.

Congress

AZ-Sen:  National Journal looks at whether Senator Jeff Flake (R) is engaging in political courage or suicide.  I think it is closer to the latter.

PA-Sen/PA-3:  Representative Mike Kelly (R) will not seek the Republican nomination for US Senate.  Kelly made this announcement one day after news broke of Representative Lou Barletta (R) running for US Senate against incumbent Senator Bobby Casey (D).  Kelly previously ruled out running for Governor.

MN-Sen:  Minnesota Republicans might have found their sacrificial lamb to run against Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota Nice) in State Representative Jim Newberger (R).  Newberger would run on trying to bring a conservative voice for Minnesota in the US Senate.

Healthcare:  Senators Lamar Alexander (R) and Patti Murray (D) are pushing bipartisan hearings to prop-up Obamacare as efforts to repeal the parts that hold up the creaky edifice while keeping the parts that make it fiscally unstable have failed.  I am sure there are Tennessee Republicans cursing Alexander every moment of the day.

States

FL-Gov:  Politico Magazine profiles the king of ambulance chasers and medical marijuana, John Morgan, and his run for Governor.  The piece details how Morgan got involved in Democratic politics and pushing medical marijuana.

More FL-Gov:  It appears the Florida GOP has a substantial money edge over the Florida Democrats, but it is not clear if that will hold if John Morgan (D-Ambulance Chaser For The People) jumps in the race and can throw millions around and have tons of free media through Morgan and Morgan ads.

MD-Gov, PA-Gov: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) helped raise $500K at a fundraiser for State Sen. Scott Wagner (R). Wagner, a vocal Trumpist, is an odd ideological match for the moderate Hogan, but the two are personal friends.

NC-Redistricting: A federal court has ordered the state to redraw its legislative district by September 1. Click for our maps of the Senate and House.

MD-6: Rep. John Delaney (D) Retiring

We now have confirmation of something that has been rumored for a few days: Rep. John Delaney (D) is announcing this weekend he will forgo a gubernatorial bid and retire in 2018… to explore a 2020 Presidential run. Delaney’s decision seems to be driven by delusions of grandeur common to around one or two backbench Reps. per cycle (see Thad McCotter, Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo, Dennis Kucinich…) but the decision still comes as something of a surprise. As a moderate with extensive personal cash (his prior career was as a banker) Delaney could have been a formidable statewide contender, but he seems very unlikely (to say the least) to make much of a wave in the 2020 pool. Like McCotter, I’m guessing this is probably more about getting tired of the congressional life and thinking it would be fun to bounce around talk shows for a few months rather than serious delusions of grandeur/relevance.

The big winner from this decision is probably Gov. Larry Hogan (R). Delaney had been looking at a gubernatorial run – and indeed, might have been the strongest option due to his wealth and inoffensive record against the popular Hogan. Democrats now look to a field of several contenders both lesser-known and more liberal, with Prince George’s CE Rushern Baker (D), ex-NAACP head Benjamin Todd Jealous (D), and State Sen. Rich Maladeno (D) the biggest names currently in the race.

As for Delaney’s open MD-6, the heavily gerrymandered D+7 (2016) seat stretches from the tip of Western Maryland (for god’s sake don’t call it the panhandle) to Frederick and south through a wealthy and heavily D slice of western Montgomery County. Three Democrats are already in the race anticipating a Delaney Gov run, State Sen. Roger Manno (D) and State Reps. Aruna Miller (D) and Bill Frick (D). Other possible candidates could include some members of the MD-8 clown car from last cycle, uber-rich businessman David Trone (D), MD Dem chair Kathleen Matthews (D), and State Rep. Kumar Barve (D). Pretty much the entire Montgomery legislative delegation and county commission could be possibilities as well. Beyond them, ex-AG Doug Gansler (D), who has also been looking at a Gov run, could be a possibility. Beyond Montgomery, there is a slight chance for a candidate like State Sen. Ronald Young (D) or Frederick CE Jan Graham (D) to squeak through a field overcrowded with Montgomery Dems.

The GOP doesn’t have much hope of flipping this seat, but there may be an outside chance if Dems nominate a dud – Dan Bongino (R), no one’s idea of an “A” lister, almost beat Delaney in 2014, and Gov. Larry Hogan (R) is near certain to carry this seat in his re-election race. 2016 nominee Amie Hoeber (R), a former Bush 41 official, is rumored to be wanting a second try. Beyond her, State Sen. and Rep. Alex Mooney CoS Michael Hough (R), State Reps. Neil Parrott (R) and Kathy Afzali (R), and Frederick Mayor Randy McClement (R) could also run. Two other R State Senators, George Edwards (R) and Andrew Serafini (R) and five other R state Reps live in or near the seat – though every member of the legislature would need to give up their seat to run. Overall Dems start as very strong favorites to hold the seat, but this may be one worth contesting for Republicans.

Political Roundup for July 27, 2017

Senate:

AL-Sen: We have our first poll of the race, from Cygnal. It has appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R) leading the pack, but only with 33%, with ex-State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R) advancing to a runoff with him at 26% and Rep. Mo Brooks (R) with 16%. DONATE so we can bring you our poll of the race next week!

DE-Sen: Sen. Tom Carper (D) announced he will run for re-election to a fourth term. Carper had been high on retirement watchlists and sounded fairly ambivalent about running again, but should he follow through on seeking another term it seems unlikely that he would face significant opposition.

IN-Sen: Rep. Luke Messer (R) announced his intent to enter the Senate race for the right to take on Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) yesterday. Click to read our full coverage on the race and Great Mentioner for his open IN-6 seat.

NV-Sen: An internal poll from Anzalone (D) for Rep. Dina Titus (D) shows Sen. Dean Heller (R) leading her 47-45.

WI-Sen: Consultant and veteran Kevin Nicholson (R) has become the first credible candidate into the race against Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D). Nicholson has an interesting profile as a former president of the national College Democrats organization; Nicholson says his views evolved over the last decade.

Governor:

CO-Gov: Kent Thiry (R), CEO of a dialysis company, will not run for Colorado Governor. A trio of Republicans are in the race: Arapahoe DA George Brauchler (R) and a pair of self-funding businessmen, ex-State Rep. Victor Mitchell (R) and Romney relative Doug Robinson (R). Several others, most notably State Treasurer Walker Stapleton (R), are considering. Rep. Jared Polis (D) is considered the front-runner on the Dem side, though others are in the race.

KS-Gov: Unpopular Gov. Sam Brownback (R) was announced yesterday as “ambassador-at-large for religious freedom”, meaning that LG Jeff Colyer (R) will ascend to the Governorship. Click to read our full coverage of the decision and analysis of its implications.

MD-Gov: Krishanti Vignarajah (D), a former policy director for Michelle Obama (aside: remind me again why a first lady would need a policy director?) is the latest Democrat to announce she is considering a run against Gov. Larry Hogan (R). Five Democrats are in the race, ex-NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous (D), Prince George’s CE Rushern Baker (D), state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D), businessman and Hillary staffer Alec Ross (D), and attorney Jim Shea (D). Several others are considering.

MI-Gov: Businessman Shri Thanedar (D) has self-funded $3.3M, a figure that will make him an instant factor in this race. Ex-State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer (D), who had been considered the front-runner for the Dem nod, has raised less than half that at $1.5M. A third Dem, Detroit city official Abul El-Sayed (D), has also raised over $1M.

OK-Gov: Two more Republican candidates have entered the race for Governor of Oklahoma. Ex-State Rep. and minister Dan Fisher (R) and mortgage company CEO Kevin Stitt (R) have entered the race this week. They join a crowded field of LG Todd Lamb (R), State Auditor Gary Jones (R), OKC Mayor Mick Cornett (R), and 2002 Indie candidate Gary Richardson (R). Ex-AG and 2010 candidate Drew Edmondson (D) and State Rep. Scott Inman (D) are in the race on the Dem side.

SC-Gov: LG Kevin Bryant (R) will announce his campaign for Governor on Friday, becoming the third candidate to take on Gov. Henry McMaster (R) in the primary. Bryant will also face Gov. Haley admin official Catherine Templeton (R) and ex-LG Yancey McGill (R).

TN-Gov: Businessman Randy Boyd (R) scored an important endorsement from Shelby CE Mark Lutrell (R) yesterday. The endorsement could give Boyd a boost in West Tennessee, which currently has no Republican candidates for Governor. In addition to Boyd, State House Speaker Beth Harwell (R), State Sen. Mae Beavers (R), and businessman Bill Lee (R) are in the race, with several others considering.

House:

FL-27: Mary Barzee-Flores (D), a retired local judge who was unsuccessfully nominated for the federal bench under Obama, will run for this open Miami-based seat. Barzee-Flores joins front-running State Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez (D), State Rep. David Richardson (D), Miami Beach councilwoman Kristen Rosen-Gonzales (D), and others in the Dem primary. School board member Raquel Regalado (R) and Dade County commissioner Bruno Barreiro (R) are in the race on the GOP side.

IL-13: State Rep. Carol Ammons (D) will not run for Congress against Rep. Rodney Davis (R). Ammons would have been the highest-profile Dem in the race, but her liberal legislative record would have likely been a tough sell in this light-to-medium red district. Former Sen. Dick Durbin staffer Betsy Dirksen-Londrigan (D) seems likely to be the Dem establishment pick here.

NM-1: Ex-State Rep. and 2012 nominee Janice Arnold-Jones (R) is running again for this Albuquerque-area seat. Arnold-Jones’s prior run in 2012 was widely regarded as weak, but it doesn’t seem like many other credible Republicans are chomping at the bit to run for this medium-blue seat; immigration lawyer Michael Hendricks (R) is also in the race. Incumbent Michele Lujan-Grisham (D) is running for Governor; Ex-US Attorney Damon Martinez (D), NMDP chair and 2014 LG nominee Deb Haaland (D), and Albuquerque councilman Pat Davis (D) seem the major candidates on the D side.

PA-1: Say it isn’t so! A staffer for Rep. and Philly Dem boss (and RRH favorite) Bob Brady (D) has pled guilty to funneling $90K to Brady’s 2012 primary challenger, retired judge Jimmie Moore (D), to get Moore to drop out of the race. The obvious implication is that Brady himself is likely to be in the FBI’s crosshairs in the very near future. Should Brady be taken down, it would leave a massive vacuum atop Philly’s powerful Dem machine.

State Offices:

CT-Comp: State Rep. Sean Scanlon (D) is considering a run for Comptroller, joining State Sen. Terry Gerratana (D) in exploring the race. Incumbent Kevin Lembo (D) is considering a run for Governor. Businessman and 2014 CT-5 nominee Mark Greenberg (R) is in the race on the GOP side.

IA-SoS: 2-time House candidate and veteran Jim Mowrer (D) is considering a run for SoS. Mowrer joins a pair of other Dems, business owner Deidre DeJear (D) and Johnson County auditor Travis Weipert (D), in considering this race. The Dem nominee will face incumbent Paul Pate (R) in the general.

MA-AG: Cape Cod attorney Jay McMahon (R) will run for AG. Incumbent Maura Healey (D) is expected to seek re-election, and McMahon seems unlikely to give her much trouble.

NV-SoS: Reno councilman Oscar Delgado (D) is considering a run for SoS next year, and is apparently the Dem establishment’s first choice for the seat. Delgado would likely face incumbent Barbara Cegavske (R).

NM-Lands Comm: Public Service Commissioner and Ex-Lands Commissioner Pat Lyons (R) will run again for the job he held from 2002 to 2010. Lyons could face another former Lands Commissioner, Ray Powell (D), though another Democrat, nonprofit exec Garret VeneKlasen (D), is also running. Incumbent Aubrey Dunn (R) is running for NM-2.

OK-LG: A pair of Republicans threw their hats into the ring for the LG seat. State Sen. Eddie Fields (R) announced a run on Tuesday while Public Service Commissioner Dana Murphy (R) announced a run yesterday. Fields and Murphy could easily become the major candidates in this race.

KY-SD-7: State Sen. Julian Carroll (D), a former 70s-era Governor, is refusing calls to resign from his Frankford-area State Senate seat amid allegations he groped and propositioned a man in 2005. The entire Senate Dem caucus has asked Carroll to resign.

Local Offices:

San Bernardino-Mayor: We now have three Republicans running for mayor of heavily Democratic San Bernardino, as school board member and aerospace exec Mike Gallo (R) has entered the race. Gallo, who also served on a state board, joins incumbent Carey Davis (R) and councilman John Valdiva (R) in the race. No serious Dems are in the race as of yet.

TN-Knox-CE: Knox County commissioner Brad Anders (R) will run for County Exec, joining fellow commissioner Bob Thomas (R) and businessman and former professional wrestler Glenn “Kane” Jacobs (R) in this primary.

WATN: Jefferson Parish, LA Sheriff Newell Normand (R) is resigning at the end of August to host a radio talk show. Normand had often been mentioned as a candidate for higher office but never pulled the trigger.

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