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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.

Political Roundup for July 25, 2017

First off, today is a relatively big day for legislative specials, with 6 seats up across 5 states; there are 3 primaries, 2 general elections, and 1 Louisiana-Rules-Top-Two primary.

NH-SD-16 is the big general election, for a previously D-held R+1 (2016) seat covering northern Manchester and its northern suburbs.Ex-State Sen. David Boutin (R) is seeking to get the seat back that he retired from in 2016; he is facing Manchester councilman Kevin Cavanaugh (D). The special election is highly competitive. I would guess the energized Dem base this year probably makes Cavanaugh a slight favorite, but an upset is possible. DDHQ will be posting results of NH-SD 16 HERE!
MA-SD-4th Middlesex is a D+14 (2016) seat stretching from Arlington to Billerica in the northwest suburbs of Boston. Cindy Freidman (D), CoS to the late prior incumbent, is the prohibitive favorite over a Green candidate.
MS-LD-108 is a ~R+30 (2008) seat covering the bulk of the town of Picayune and nearby rural areas along the Pearl River at the Louisiana border. This race is in a Louisiana Rules Top-Two format with no parties listed on the ballot. Insurance agent and local GOP official Stacey Wilkes (R) looks like the clear favorite, but she could face a runoff with either manager Jerry Frazier (D) or businessman and libertarian activist Tavish Kelly (R), who ran an asterisk-level primary campaign for MS-4 in 2014.
FL-SD-40 is the big primary today. The seat is a previously R-held D+3 (2012, sadly I don’t have 2016 numbers, but it likely shifted strongly left) around Kendall in the southwest suburbs of Miami. Both sides have competitive primaries. Two perennial candidates are facing off on the Dem side; 2016 FL-26 candidate Annette Taddeo-Goldstein (D) looks like the slight front-runner, as she has received more establishment support than R-turned-D ex-State Rep. and 2016 candidate Ana Rivas-Logan (D). On the GOP side, State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz (R) looks like the clear front-runner, as he has vacuumed up establishment support and lapped his rivals in fundraising. However, his main rival, 2000s-era ex-State Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla (R), may have greater name recognition and could win on that base. A third candidate, attorney Lorenzo Palomares-Starbuck (R), who ran an asterisk-level primary campaign for FL-26 in 2014, is running as the most antiestablishment conservative candidate, but looks like a third wheel.
FL-LD-116 is an R+7 (2012) seat around Kendall, vacated by the aforementioned Jose Felix Diaz. Former Rubio staffer and Jeb! campaign operative Jose Mallea (R) is facing off with attorney Daniel Perez (R). Both candidates have fundraised well and the race has become exceptionally nasty, with Perez being knocked for taking engagement photos in Cuba and Mallea being hit for not supporting Rubio in 2016 and not living in the district. Mallea has had greater fundraising and establishment support, so he looks like a slight favorite. The primary winner will face former Venezuelan anti-Chavista legislator (how’s that for a resume!) Gabriela Mayaudon (D).
SC-LD-31 is a D+23 (2016) seat covering central and western Spartanburg. Four Democrats are facing off: Spartanburg city councilors Jerome Rice (D) and Rosalyn Henderson-Myers (D), NAACP official Mo Abusaft (D), and lab tech Angela Geter (D). Rice and Abusaft look like the front-runners, but Henderson-Myers is also serious. A pair of GOP candidates who ran in 2016 are squaring off for the right to lose again.

And now the rest of the day’s news –

Governor:

CT-Gov: Much like Iowa Democrats and Alabama Republicans, Connecticut Republicans can’t resist piling more ever-more names into this clown-car primary. The latest entry is municipal manager Michael Handler (R), who serves as both budget director for the city of Stamford and emergency-management director for the neighboring town of New Canaan. State Rep. Themis Klarides (R) also indicated interest in joining the race last week. Other Republicans in the race or considering it include (deep breath): ex-US Comptroller David Walker (R), State Rep. Pradad Srinivasan (R), Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton (R), Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti (R), Trumbull Mayor Tim Herbst (R), 2014 SoS nominee Peter Lumaj (R), and others. Democrats’ prospective field is nearly as crowded.

HI-Gov: Rumors are growing that Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) will leave her House seat once again to make a statewide bid – in this case, taking on Gov. David Ige (D) in the Dem primary. The choice would be somewhat surprising, as Hanabusa and Ige generally hail from the same fiscally liberal/socially moderate machine faction of the HIDP. However, it seems that Ige’s very passive and low-key style has irked some insiders, who are now attempting to recruit Hanabusa into the race.

MD-Gov, Anne Arundel, MD-CE, MD-SD-32: Anne Arundel County commissioner John Grasso (R) is termed out in 2018 and had previously announced a run for the purple SD-32 in northern Anne Arundel. However, Grasso now says he is considering primary runs against Gov. Larry Hogan (R) or Anne Arundel CE Steve Schuh (R) instead. Grasso’s focus in mounting either likely quixotic run seems to be on Hogan’s decision to reappoint a member of the county liquor board. mmmkay….

MI-Gov: State Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R) of suburban Detroit made his gubernatorial campaign official over the weekend. Colbeck, an antiestablishment-leaning conservative, becomes the second official candidate of note into the race after physician Jim Himes (R). AG Bill Schuette (R) and LG Brian Calley (R) are considered likely to run as well.

MN-Gov: Ex-State Rep. and MNGOP chair Keith Downey (R) will run for Governor. Downey could have some significant party establishment backing at the convention, but joins a crowded field of Hennepin County commissioner and 2014 nominee Jeff Johnson (R), State Rep. Matt Dean (R), and Ramsey County commissioner Blake Huffman (R). State House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R) is considering and would likely be the front-runner for the GOP nomination if he enters.

NV-Gov: Clark County commissioner Chris Giunchigliani (D) is considering a run for Governor; if she enters she would join her fellow commissioner Steve Sisolak (D) in the Dem primary. AG Adam Laxalt (R) and Treasurer Dan Schwartz (R) are considered likely to run on the GOP side.

OR-Gov: State Rep. Knute Buehler (R) announced he is considering a run against Gov. Kate Brown (D) and will decide within the next few weeks. Buehler, an orthopedic surgeon who ran a competitive race against Brown for the SoS slot in 2012 before winning a purple State House seat in Bend, is considered one of the few rising stars on the ORGOP’s meager bench, along with SoS and 2014 nominee Dennis Richardson (R).

VA-Gov: Ex-RNC Chair Ed Gillespie (R) and LG Ralph Northam (D) are tied at 44 in a new Monmouth poll, suggesting some tightening of the race from prior surveys that had Northam up by high single to low double digits. Gillespie also starts the general election with a cash advantage over Northam. Both Northam and Gillespie raised a bit under $2M in June. But since Northam spent a lot to win his primary while Gillespie sleepwalked through his (nearly to his demise, eking out an unexpectedly close win), Gillespie leads Northam in Cash on Hand 3.3M-1.8M.

Congress:

WI-Sen: Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke (D) will not run against Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) as a Republican, and calls a group trying to “draft” him into the race a “scam PAC”. Clarke would have likely been a prohibitive favorite in a GOP primary because of his high profile but (ironically) might have had a tough time gaining crossover votes in a general election. State Sen. Leah Vukmir (R) and 2012 candidate Eric Hovde (R) are the names most commonly connected with bids against Baldwin.

AZ-2: Ex-Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D) announced last week that she would carpetbag into this Tucson-area district and run against Rep. Martha McSally (R). Kirkpatrick has some name recognition in the area as her prior seat, AZ-1, extends into metro Tucson, and thus is likely to be Dems’ choice recruit for this purple seat.

WV-3: State Rep. Carol Miller (R) has entered this race, becoming the first truly credible candidate to seek this deep-red but historically-D Southern WV seat. Miller has a fairly strong record of consistently winning a seat in a 3-member Dem-leaning Huntington-area district. She joins ex-State Rep. and 2012 nominee Rick Snuffer (R), whose prior bid wasn’t terribly impressive, in the race to replace Senate candidate Evan Jenkins (R). State Sen. Richard Ojeda (D) and Huntington Mayor Steve Williams (D) are in the race on the Dem side.

State & Local:

AL-AG: Adoption attorney Sam McLure (R), who is active in the pro-life movement, will run for AG next year, joining appointed incumbent Steve Marshall (R), ex-US Attorney Alice Martin (R), and 2006 State Auditor candidate Chess Bedsole (R) in this crowded primary.

GA-Ins Comm: Democrats have a credible candidate for this open seat as nonprofit exec Cindy Zeldin (D) has entered the race. Several Republicans have indicated interest in this race as well.

NM-LG: State Sen. Michael Padilla (D) is the latest candidate into the crowded shotgun-wedding primary for LG. Padilla and ex-State Rep. Rick Miera (D) look like the serious candidates for this seat. The primary winner will be joined with the Dem gubernatorial primary winner as one ticket.

OK-Lab Comm: State Rep. Leslie Osborn (R) is exploring a run for Labor Commissioner, becoming the first candidate to declare interest in this open seat. Appointed incumbent Melissa McLawhorn-Houston (R) has declared she will not seek a full term.

LA-PSC-2: This piece is worth a read about how Gov. Jon Bel Edwards (D) wound up pointedly refusing to endorse his own appointee for this seat, D-turned-R ex-State Rep. Damon Baldone (R). Baldone is facing Edwards-endorsing physician Craig Greene (R) and antiestablishment conservative ex-State Rep. Lenar Whitney (R).

Atlanta-Mayor: A new SUSA poll of this fall’s Atlanta Mayor race puts moderate city councilwoman and 2009 candidate Mary Norwood (D) as the clear front-runner; however, she takes just 27%. No other candidate in the 8-way field tops 10%, but most of the other candidates are running to Norwood’s left.

Jefferson, MO-CE: Incumbent Ken Waller (R) will not seek a third term as County Exec in this large suburban St. Louis county. State Rep. John McCaherty (R) will run to succeed him; Jefferson County is historically Dem-friendly but has stampeded right in the last 10 years.

NYC-CD-28: Councilman Ruben Willis (D) of southeast Queens was found guilty of corruption charges last week and expelled from office. Willis’s seat will remain vacant until the general election in November; two other Democrats had also been running for the seat. In other NYC news, HERE is a really good rundown of all the candidates for city office this year.

Political Roundup for July 20, 2017

Today’s roundup starts on a somber note as last night we learned Senator John McCain (R- American Hero) has glioblastoma, the worst form of brain cancer.  We hope for the best as McCain battles this terminal illness.  We also hope that President Trump can be presidential and not saying stupid regarding Senator McCain.

Polling Update: RRHelections is planning to poll the Republican special election primary for US Senate in Alabama and we need your help to make it happen! Unlike any other organization or news source our polls are funded by crowdsourced donations and put together by volunteer political junkies for political junkies. If you would like to help make this poll happen please go to https://www.paypal.me/RedRacingHorses and donate to our polling fund to be a part of this effort and to help make this happen!

Now for the rest of the roundup:

Presidential/National

Voter Fraud Commission:  President Trump (R?) accused election officials refusing to provide data largely available in the public domain to his “Voting Integrity Commission” of hiding “something”.  Not sure whose worse here… the “Commission” refusing to lift a finger here or the election officials who could just turn it over to shut the “Commission” up.

Trumpism:  Why are soft Trump supporters willing to bail from the Trump Train, but ardent supporters aren’t bailing?  The Wall Street Journal supposes that Trump’s ardent supporters care less about accomplishments and care more about someone understanding them.  We should get used to this politics of feelings over accomplishments in this identity politics fueled insanity we live in.  Thanks liberals for creating identity politics.

AG:  President Trump seems to regret hiring Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R-Drug War).

Postal Service:  In case Republicans had a reason to support the Post Office (worst service ever), here is a reason why we should all support destroying this grossly incompetent institution… the supposedly civil service non-partisan government owned operation broke the law by encouraging employees to take paid time off to campaign for former Senator Hillary Clinton (D).

Congress

Senate – Medicaid Expansion:  With the push from President Trump to get the Obamacare repeal and replace done or else (whatever that means), Senate Republicans are looking to fatten the bill with pork to get wavering senators on board in the form of $200 billion in funding to states that expanded Medicare.  At this point, Senate Republican leaders should pray for a couple hundred billion of walking around money to appear.

MI-7:  Former State Representative Gretchen Driskell (D) will challenge Representative Tim Walberg (R) again for this south-central Michigan seat.  Driskell lost to Walberg in 2016 by approximately 15 points.

Midterms:  The Washington Post has an interesting look at how the Democrats have a preference advantage, but the Republicans have a motivation gap.  Apparently people don’t like Republicans, but really don’t want the Resistance in power!

States

Il-Gov:  Governor Bruce Rauner (R) may face a primary challenge from State Senator Sam McCann (RINO-Unions).  Rauner funded a challenge against McCann in 2016, which was unsuccessful.

MD-Gov:  Maya Rockeymoore (D), a quintessential member of the Political Staffer – Consultant Industrial Complex and wife of Representative Elijah Cummings (D), is reportedly considering a run for Governor.  Besides the standard desire for political power couples to accumulate as much power as possible, Rockeymoore claims the recent failed Republican efforts to roll back Medicaid expansion is driving her potential candidacy.

OH-Gov/CFPB:  CFPB Director Richard Cordray (D) is apparently going to run for Governor.  State Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill (D) claims to have heard this news from a mutual friend.  Can we use this as an excuse to can Cordray as CFPB Director now?

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