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Political Roundup for December 5th, 2017

Check back at noon today for our preview and open thread for today’s mayoral election in Atlanta. We will start our liveblog at 7pm eastern.

Governor:

ME-Gov: Rep. Chellie Pingree (D) is considering a run for governor in 2018. Pingree has said she will decide by the end of the month whether to enter the race to succeed term limited Gov. Paul LePage (R).

MD-Gov, MD-LG: Gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous (D) has picked former Maryland Democrat chair Susan Turnbull as his running mate. Jealous is facing Baltimore CE Kevin Kamenetz (D), Prince George’s CE Rushern Baker (D), State Sen. Rich Maladeno (D), and others in the primary to take on popular Gov. Larry Hogan (R).

OH-Gov: Richard Cordray (D) will announce his candidacy for Governor today in his hometown of Grove City, OH. This comes as a complete shock to us because based on his blatant politicization of the CFPB we had assumed Cordray had been running for governor for some time. Luckily for Cordray the Governor of Ohio doesn’t get to handpick his successor on his last day in office. That is a power Cordray believes should only be saved for unelected directors of powerful and unaccountable bureaucratic federal agencies.

SC-Gov, SC-LG: Businessman John Warren (R) is considering a run for governor. If he runs Warren would be the fifth Republican in the race joining incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster, former Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill , Catherine Templeton and Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant. Meanwhile, McMaster has chosen upstate Some Dudette businesswoman Pamela Evette (R) as his running mate; the state is switching from separate election to Team Primaries for LG this cycle.

TX-Gov: Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez (D) says she’s still considering a run for governor, but that reports that she has resigned to run for governor are false. With incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott (R) sitting on over $41 million in cash and sporting sky high approval ratings Valdez may want to keep her day job and let Mr. Leather International be the sacrificial lamb instead.

Senate:

AL-Sen: With the Flight 93 election taken to its logical conclusion Roy Moore (R) leads Doug Jones by a 49% to 46% margin with write-in candidate Lee Busby at 5% in the latest Emerson College poll. President Donald J. Trump has gone all in in his support of alleged child molester Roy Moore because in 2017 we are long past the point in which anything matters anymore.

AL-Sen: Debbie Wesson Gibson has shared more evidence of the relationship she had with Roy Moore (R) when she was a 17 year old high school student and he was a 34 year old man. Gibson released a handwritten graduation card from Moore to her and recounted her experiences dating Moore in the early 1980s. After telling Sean Hannity that he remembered Gibson as a “good girl” Moore has backtracked and begun publicly claiming he did “not know any of these women”. It was this lie that prompted Gibson to come forward with more evidence of their relationship. In response to the latest evidence that Roy Moore dated underage girls the Republican National Committee has resumed their support of Moore because nothing matters anymore.

ND-Sen: State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt (R) has decided not to run for Senate. Schmidt was heavily recruited to run by the Club for Growth. They even released poll in September that showed Schmidt leading incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) by a 4 point 48% to 44% margin. Last week Border States Electric CEO Tammy Miller (R) also declined to run for Senate. So far state Sen. Tom Campbell is the only Republican in the race but Rep. Kevin Cramer could also switch the the senate race. Former Rep. Rick Berg, who narrowly lost to Heitkamp in 2012, is also considering a run.

NJ-Sen: Former Hillary Clinton campaign staffer Michael Starr Hopkins is exploring a primary challenge to defendant sitting Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez. Menendez recently escaped justice with a hung jury in his first federal corruption trial. Federal prosecutors plan to re-try him in 2018.

UT-Sen: Donald Trump is reportedly going all out to convince Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) to seek re-election in 2018. Apparently Trumpworld thinks an 83 year old Orrin Hatch would be easier to control than a principled Sen. Mitt Romney (R) unafraid to speak his mind as he does here.

House:

CO-3: Attorney and Glenwood Springs City official Karl Hanlon (D) is in and will take on State Rep. Diane Mitch-Busch (D) in the primary for the right to face Rep. Scott Tipton (R) in this R+6 seat.

HI-1: Honolulu City Councilman Ernie Martin (D) has entered the race for the open D+17 seat Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) is vacating to run for governor. Martin will join state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim and state Rep. Kaniela Ing in seeking the Democrat nomination.

MA-3: Banker and former Cambodian refugee Bopha Malone (D) is in and now we have 12 Democrats running to replace Rep. Niki Tsongas (D) in this D+9 seat! Luckily for the Democrats Massachusetts doesn’t have California top two style jungle primary so the clown car is unlikely to hurt them all that much.

NC-2: Distillery owner Sam Searcy is dropping out of the Democratic primary for this R+7 seat held by Rep. George Holding (R) and will run for the state Senate instead. The wealthy Searcy has been self funding his campaign. Tech executive Ken Romley and former state Rep. Linda Coleman are both still seeking the Democrat nomination.

TX-6: Tarrant County Assessor Ron Wright (R) has filed to run for the R+9 seat photogenic Rep. Joe Barton (R) is retiring from. Wright once served as Barton’s chief of staff.

TX-21: Bexar GOP chair Robert Stovall has announced he is running to replace retiring Rep. Lamar Smith (R) in this R+10 seat. State Rep. Jason Isaac (R) is so far the only other prominent candidate for the seat.

TX-29: Riceland Health Care CEO Tahir Javed (D) filed papers to run for the D+19 seat of retiring Rep. Gene Green (D). Javed joins state Sen. Sylvia Garcia, Dominique Michelle Garcia, teacher Hector Morales, and attorney Roel Garcia in seeking the Democrat nomination.

PPP-Polling: A new poll from PPP shows Gene Ric (D) leading Republican incumbents in CA-25, IA-1, CO-6, VA-10, ME-2 and NY-24. Now all Democrats need to do is find one person named “Gene Ric” who lives in each of these six districts and convince them to run for Congress.

WATN: Former Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) has been sentenced to five years in prison for funneling money into a sham charity she looted.

RIP: Former Rep. John Anderson has passed away at age 95. Anderson was a Rockefeller Republican from Illinois who served 20 years in the House and ran an Independent campaign for President in 1980 and won just under 7% of the vote.

State, Local & Other:

CT-AG: State Rep. William Tong (D) is exploring a bid for the open Attorney General spot and ex-State Rep. John Shaban (R) is in. Meanwhile, there’s some chatter about changing the 10-year practicing law requirement, which makes it one of the strictest offices in the nation to qualify for.

MN-AG: St. Paul City attorney Samuel Clark (D), a former Klobuchar aide, is considering a run for Attorney General. He would join Dayton admin official Mike Rothman (D), State Rep. Debra Hillstrom (D) and ex-State Rep. Ryan Winkler (D).

NM-Auditor: Gov. Susana Martinez (R) has picked Bernalillo County commissioner and unsuccessful 2017 Albuquerque Mayoral candidate Wayne Johnson (R) to fill the Auditor’s seat for the rest of the term. Tim Keller (D) resigned as Auditor last Thursday after he was elected to become the new Mayor of Albuquerque; State Rep. Bill McCamley (D) is in the race for Dems.

NM-LG: Former independent Albuquerque mayoral candidate Michelle Garcia Holmes has changed her voter registration to Republican and will seek the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor next year. Holmes’ announcement comes after former state Indian Affairs Secretary Kelly Zunie withdrew from the race, leaving the Republican Party without a potential candidate. Zunie had tax and residency problems. Rep. Steve Pearce is the only Republican currently running for governor in the shotgun-wedding primary.

ND-SoS: GOP official Will Gardner (R) is primarying longtime incumbent Alvin Jaeger (R), who has announced he will seek an eighth term.

NV-Treas: Ex-State Rep. Andrew Martin (D), who lost a race for Comptroller in the 2014 wave, is running for the open Treasurer seat; incumbent Dan Schwartz (R) is running for Governor.

OH-Treas: 2006 nominee and ex-Ashtabula County Auditor Sandy O’Brien (R) is running again for Treasure. O’Brien probably doesn’t have much chance against State Rep. Robert Sprague (R) in the primary, as she has lost multiple primaries and only won in ’06 against an incumbent closely tied to the toxic Gov. Taft. Former Cincinnati Mayoral candidate Rob Richardson (D) is the likely D nominee.

MA-State Senate President: Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D) is temporarily stepping down from his position after bombshell sexual misconduct allegations against his husband Bryon Hefner have come to light.

CA-AD 45: Yuck! Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D) is allegedly one sick SOB!

Atlanta-Mayor: Ahead of today’s mayoral runoff election a new Channel 2 Action News/Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll shows City Councilwoman has Mary Norwood (I) at 51.3 percent and Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) at 45.1 percent.

Political Roundup for October 4, 2017

Last night, Randall Woodfin (D) ousted incumbent Birmingham Mayor William Bell (D) by a shocking 20-point spread, Albuquerque proceeded to a runoff between State Auditor Tim Keller (D) at 39% and councilman Dan Lewis (R) at 23%.  Missy McGee (R) held the purple MS-LD-102 by an impressive 2:1 margin, while CA-LD-51 heads to a runoff between Wendy Carillo (D) and Luis Lopez (D).

Senate:

AL-Sen: JMC Analytics has Roy Moore (R) leading Doug Jones (D) 48-40. Generic R beats Generic D by a surprisingly small 49-45 margin.

TN-Sen: Gov. Bill Haslam (R) re-iterated that he is considering a run for the open US Senate seat of Sen. Bob Corker (R). Should Haslam enter, he would likely be a favorite over all comers in the primary and general election. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) is thought to be ready to run, and would be the favorite in a Haslam-less race, but she may be delaying her decision until Haslam’s intentions are known.

Governor:

CT-Gov: Add another “B” list name to the Democratic mix for this race: Malloy admin official Sean Connolly (D) is stepping down and rumored to be considering a gubernatorial run. Connolly would join Middletown Mayor Dan Drew (D), fellow Malloy admin official Jonathan Harris (D), and prosecutor Chris Mattei (D) in the race. LG Nancy Wyman (D) is also thought to be exploring a run and would be the primary front-runner if she entered. Republicans have an even more crowded field.

IL-Gov: Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) somewhat surprisingly signed a controversial bill last week enabling public funding of abortion through Medicaid. As you might expect, socially conservative Republicans are up in arms and there is talk of a primary challenge to the Governor. State Rep. Peter Breen (R) delivered a particularly stinging critique, saying “I’ve had a front-row seat to a governor that is unable to adequately and competently administer Illinois government. He is now lying to us. And so at that point, I can’t support someone like that.” It’s widely believed that State Dictator House Speaker Mike Madigan (D) pushed the bill to put Rauner in an impossible position, with signing it giving him a primary headache and vetoing it being a major problem in the socially liberal state for the general. Should Rauner lose the primary, Republicans’ odds of holding this seat likely to near zero, and likely Dem nominee and Madigan sugar daddy businessman JB Pritzker (D) will likely be the favorite to take the seat. Rauner appears to be betting the general election optics of this move are worth the primary headache.

ME-Gov: Sen. Susan Collins (R) will announce next week if she will run for Governor. The popular Collins would be a near-prohibitive favorite in a general election if she ran, but she may face difficulties getting through a GOP primary for her moderation. LePage admin official Mary Mayhew (R), State Sen. Garrett Mason (R), and State Rep. Ken Fredette (R) are in the GOP primary already; over a half-dozen Dems and three credible Indies are also in the race.

NJ-Gov: Emerson has Goldman Sachs exec Phil Murphy (D) up 46-35 on LG Kim Guadagno (R), a smaller margin than most recent surveys. Monmouth has a pretty similar 51-37 lead for Murphy. New Jersey is a fairly inelastic state and Murphy is unlikely to have crossover appeal, so some tightening of this race from the gaudy 30-point Murphy leads of prior polls is probably in the cards.

RI-Gov: Moderate Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) has her first primary challenger, Paul Roselli (D), head of a nonprofit local park group. Roselli has gained notoriety for his opposition to a proposed powerplant in his hometown, but seems like a “C” list opponent for Raimondo. Unpopular liberal ex-Gov. Lincoln Chaffee (D) is also considering a run against Raimondo in the primary. Three Republicans, 2014 nominee and Cranston Mayor Alan Fung (R), State Rep. Patricia Morgan (R), and ex-State Rep. Joe Trillo (R), are in the race.

SD-Gov: AG Marty Jackley (R) launched his expected gubernatorial campaign yesterday. Jackley joins Rep. Krsti Noem (R) in what is expected to be a hard-fought titanic primary collision. State Sen. Billie Sutton (D) is the likely Dem nominee.

TN-Gov: Sen. Bob Corker (R) says he “can’t imagine” running for Tennessee Governor, a statement that is not quite Shermanesque but pretty close to it. Republicans have a crowded primary field of Rep. Diane Black (R), State House Speaker Beth Harwell (R), State Sen. Mae Beavers (R), and businessmen Randy Boyd (R) and Bill Lee (R); Corker, however, would likely be the front-runner if he were to enter.

House:

FL-18: Obama admin official Lauren Baer (D) is running against first-term Rep. Brian Mast (R). Baer would be the second person in a same-sex marriage in Congress if elected; this light-red Treasure Coast seat trended right last year while Mast picked it up for the GOP.

IL-15: State Sen. Kyle McCarter (R) is not running for re-election and is apparently in contention for Ambassador to Kenya. However, McCarter is keeping his options open to making a second bid against Rep. John Shimkus (R), whom he primaried from a fiscal conservative angle in 2016. McCarter took 40% against Shimkus last cycle in this deep-red rural downstate seat and would be a formidable candidate in a rematch.

ME-2: Heir Lucas St. Clair (D) is carpetbagging from Portland into this rural northern Maine seat to run against Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R). St. Clair is the son of Roxanne Quimby, a co-founder of Burt’s Bees cosmetics. Quimby is also notable for having donated a large estate to the federal government to create a national monument, an effort St. Clair spearheaded. St. Clair joins State Rep. Jared Golden (D) as a major candidate in the primary to take on Poliquin. As a side note, this rural northern Maine seat is exactly the kind of place where a trust fund baby carpetbagging in will play well, right?

MA-3: Cambridge councilman Nadeem Mazen (D) will carpetbag into this deep-blue Merrimack Valley based district to seek the open seat. Mazen, who grew up in the seat, would be the third Muslim member of Congress if elected. He joins a crowded primary of State Sen. Barbara L’Italien (D), 2014 LG nominee Steve Kerrigan (D), Boston Mayor Marty Walsh CoS Daniel Koh (D), and businessman Abhijit Das (D).

NH-1: 2010 gubernatorial nominee John Stephen (R) will not take on Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) in 2018. State Sen. Andy Sanborn (R) and cop Eddie Edwards (R) appear to be the serious prospects in the race to take on Shea-Porter.

NH-2: Businessman David McConville (R), who heads a prominent local fiscal conservative group and served as campaign manager for a gubernatorial candidate last year, is considering a run against Rep. Annie Kuster (D). McConville, who intends to run as a hard-edged fiscal conservative, would face ex-State Rep. and 2016 candidate Jack Flanagan (R) for the right to take on the popular Kuster in this light-blue seat.

NJ-11: Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark (D) will not run for Congress, and has endorsed prosecutor Mike Sherill (D). Sherill looks like the Democratic front-runner to take on Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R) in this historically-Republican wealthy suburban seat that trended left last year.

NM-2: State Lands Commissioner Aubrey Dunn Jr. (R), who was looking like the front-runner for this seat, has abruptly aborted his bid. It’s unclear why Dunn decided to drop out or whether he will instead seek a second term as Lands Commissioner, though there are rumors that a feud with Gov. Susana Martinez (R) (or her svengali, Jay McCleskey) may have played a role. State Rep. Yvette Herrell (R) and ex-Hobbs Mayor Monty Newman (R) are in the race for this open medium-red southern NM seat; Newman is thought to have the backing of Martinez. State Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R) is also considering.

NY-1: State Rep. Fred Thiele (I), an Independence Party member who is a de facto Democrat, will not seek the D nomination to take on Rep. Lee Zeldin (R). Thiele had been considered Dems’ choice recruit for this race. Suffolk county commissioner Kate Browning (D) looks like Dems’ new top prospect to take on the popular Zeldin in this light-red eastern Long Island seat.

NY-11: Ex-Rep. Michael Grimm (R) officially kicked off his comeback bid this weekend. Grimm’s prior tenure in Congress ended with his resignation on tax charges; now, he is attempting to oust his successor, Rep. Dan Donovan (R) from the right in the primary. Grimm’s criminal record and Donovan’s popularity will likely make that a tough order, though Grimm could still cause significant problems for Donovan by continuing to the general election in this light-red Staten Island based seat on the Conservative third-party line.

NY-23: Running store owner Ian Golden (D) is putting a new-spin on the time-honored “walk across the district” publicity stunt by launching a 450-mile (literal) run across this large Southern Tier seat. The move could help Golden gain name rec in the crowded field of little-known candidates vying to take on Rep. Tom Reed (R) in this medium-red seat.

PA-1: Testimony at the trial of former judge and 2012 Jimmie Moore (D) is pointing a very incriminating finger at Rep. Bob Brady (D). In case you haven’t been following the story, here’s a recap: Moore, who is black, started to run a potentially credible primary challenge in 2012 against Brady, the white boss of the Philly Dem machine, in this racially-mixed district. Moore then later inexplicably dropped his bid, and quickly thereafter received a $90K payment from Brady. The cover story was that the cash was payment for “polling data”, but Moore admitted the obvious in a plea agreement – that it was a thinly-disguised bribe to get him out of the race. Brady has not yet been charged, but it’s hard not to see some charges coming down the pipeline for him.

PA-11: State Sen. John Yudchiak (D) will not run for this conservative Harrisburg-to-Wilkes-Barre open seat, eschewing the uphill race to stay in the State Senate. Four Republicans, State Rep. Steven Bloom (R), Corbett admin official Dan Meuser (R), Berwick councilman Andrew Shecktor (R), and businessman Andrew Lewis (R), are in the race or considering.

PA-15: Appointed Allentown city solicitor Susan Wild (D) will run for this light-red open seat, possibly giving Democrats their first credible candidate here. Several other Dems, including Northampton DA John Morganelli (D), are considering; Republicans are set to have a bloody primary between State Reps. Justin Simmons (R) and Ryan Mackenzie (R).

PA-16: Dentist Gary Wegman (D), who ran an abortive bid for this light-red Lancaster-area seat in 2016, will mount another bid this year for the seat of now-incumbent Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R). 2016 nominee and nonprofit Christina Hartman (D) is also in the primary for a second round.

PA-18: Now this is a bombshell. Texts have been released strongly implying Rep. Tim Murphy (R), who is publicly pro-life, asked his mistress to get an abortion and privately disavowed his own pro-life views. Murphy previously admitted the affair, but this is the first sense that there is more to the story. The abortion issue could be a big problem for Murphy in his socially conservative district; he joins Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R) in the pro-life abortion promoters’ caucus. Importantly, unlike DesJarlais, whose transgressions occured several years before his first election to Congress, the texts here are from this summer, meaning Murphy is at least likely to get a serious primary challenger. Ex-Allegheny County commissioner Mike Crossey (D) is running for the Dems in this race.

UT-4: Salt Lake CE Ben McAdams (D) is considering a challenge to Rep. Mia Love (R). Trump did horribly in this suburban seat, scoring below 40%, but Love still won against her touted opponent by a 12-point margin. That said, this is the only House seat in Utah Dems could be competitive in and McAdams would definitely be a top-tier candidate.

State & Local:

AZ-SoS: Attorney and Dem operative Mark Gordon (D) is running for SoS. Gordon, who has not run for office but seems well-connected, joins State Sen. Katie Hobbs (D) in the primary for this seat. Incumbent Michele Reagan (R) is widely considered highly vulnerable due to her mismanagement of the office and is facing a tough primary with State Sen. Steve Montenegro (R).

IL-AG: Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti (D), who has become a minor celebrity for his twitter commentary on the Russia investigation, is considering a run for AG. Mariotti would join State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D), State Rep. Scott Drury (D), and Chicago Police official Sharon Fairley (D) in this primary, with several other Dems considering. Former congressional candidate and Miss America Erika Harold (R) is the likely GOP nominee for this open seat.

Atlanta-Mayor: Survey USA for WXIA-TV has a poll of this year’s Atlanta Mayoral race, with moderate councilwoman Mary Norwood (D) taking a large lead at 28%. Fellow councilwoman Keisha Lance-Bottoms (D) has moved into second place with 15%, with councilman Ceasar Mitchell (D) at 10% and four other serious candidates in single digits. In the likely event no candidate tops 50% in the November jungle primary, the top two finishers will head on to a December runoff.

New Orleans-Mayor: Clarus for WWL-TV has this race (a week from Saturday) looking close to a 3-way tossup, with City councilwoman Latoya Cantrell (D) at 27% and retired judges Desiree Charbonnet (D) and Michael Bagneris (D) at 26% and 19% respectively. A different poll of the race had Bagneris on top. The top two finishers in the first round will advance to a mid-November runoff.

Louisville-Mayor: Councilwoman Angela Leet (R) will run for mayor next year, taking on incumbent Greg Fischer (D), who is seeking a third term. Leet seems likely to be a credible opponent for Fischer in the light-blue city.

Cook, IL-CE: County commissioner Richard Boykin (D) will not take on County Executive Toni Preckwinkle (D) in the primary. Preckwinkle, who was previously highly popular, is now thought to be at least somewhat vulnerable due to her support of a new soda tax (which Boykin opposed). However, a loss for Boykin would hurt his prospects at the job he really wants (the IL-7 congressional seat when Rep. Danny Davis (D) retires) so the decision makes sense for him. It’s possible that Preckwinkle will not get a serious primary challenger now, though there is still definitely room for one as the soda tax is deeply unpopular even among Dems.

Political Roundup for August 25, 2017

Senate:

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

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

House:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Governor:

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

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

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

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

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

Political Roundup for July 21, 2017

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!

Senate:

ME-Sen: Gov. Paul LePage (R) is now apparently leaving the door open to running for US Senate against Sen. Angus King (I) after saying in May that he would not run. State Sen. Eric Brakey (R) is currently the only candidate in the race and while LePage made positive comments about Brakey, he also said if Brakey “doesn’t start resonating pretty quick”, then he might change his mind about running.

MO-Sen: All 4 living former Republican US Senators from Missouri are encouraging AG Josh Hawley (R) to run for US Senate. Ex-Sens. John Ashcroft (R), Kit Bond (R), John Danforth (R) and Jim Talent (R) all signed a public letter released yesterday asking Hawley to get in the race. Danforth was one of Hawley’s earliest supporters and has been encouraging him to run for months.

House:

CA-45: Former Obama Administration senior technology advisor Brian Forde (D) is joining a crowded group taking on Rep. Mimi Walters (R). Forde is a former Republican who switched his registration to Democrat last year-although he voted twice for Obama. He joins 6 other candidates, all Democrats taking on Walters. Democrats are targeting the district, which moved significantly to the left at the presidential level in 2016, going for Clinton by 5 points after Romney won it in 2012 by 12.

FL-7: Businessman Scott Sturgill entered the race for Congress on Wednesday, joining state Rep  Mike Miller (R) vying for the GOP nomination to take on Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D). Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, who also considered running himself, was at Sturgill’s announcement and said he was supporting Sturgill. Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs (R) has also been mentioned as a possible candidate, but has not publicly shown any interest in running.

ME-2: Former state Senate candidate Jonathan Fulford is the 2nd Democrat to announce a run against Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R). He joins restaurant owner Tim Rich in the Democratic primary. Fulford lost 2 close races for state Senate in 2014 and 2016-losing by less than 1 point in 2014 and 4 points for the same seat in 2016.

NM-2: State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn (R) announced this week that he will run for Congress. Dunn is the 2nd Republican to get into the race, joining state Rep. Yvette Herrell (R). State Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R) is also considering a run. Dunn has run for the seat before, finishing 3rd in the 2008 Republican primary. Dunn also lost a race for state Senate in 2012 before winning a very close race over incumbent Land Commissioner Ray Powell (D) in 2014 by 704 votes.  4 Democrats are currently running as well.

NY-1: Attorney David Calone, who narrowly lost in last year’s Democratic primary, has decided against running again to face Rep. Lee Zeldin (R). Calone lost to Southampton Supervisor Anna Throne Holst in the primary by just 319 votes. Former Suffolk Legislator Vivian Viloria-Fisher (D) is running, businessman Perry Gershon has a campaign committee for a run, and state Assemblyman Fred Thiele is considering. Thiele served in the state Assembly as a Republican from 1995-2010, when he switched to the Independence Party and caucuses with Democrats.

WV-3: Huntington Mayor Steve Williams (D) is the 3rd Democrat to join the race for this open seat. He joins Tri-State Transit Authority CEO Paul Davis and state Sen. Richard Ojeda. Ojeda was thought to be the favorite for the Democratic nomination as someone who gained national attention last year for being brutally beaten just days before defeating an incumbent senator in the Democratic primary, but he has apparently struggled in fundraising and the Democratic establishment appears to be turning to Williams as their favored candidate.

Governor:

CA-Gov: Former state Assemblyman David Hadley (R) is dropping out of the race just two weeks after getting in. Hadley is a social moderate and fiscal conservative supported by much of the state Republican establishment and had been endorsed by a majority of the Republicans in the Legislature. In dropping out, Hadley cited the need to not split the Republican vote and increase the likelihood that two Democrats would advance to the general election in the state’s top two election system. Two Republicans remain in the race-businessman John Cox and Assemblyman Travis Allen (R).

NV-Gov: State Treasurer Dan Schwartz (R) said yesterday it is “virtually certain” he will run for governor next year. Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) is considered the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, and has the backing of Las Vegas casino owner and GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson. Schwartz however is purported to be a millionaire, and may have some self-funding ability of his own.

State & Local:

AK-LG: In what may be one of the shortest political campaigns ever, state Sen. David Wilson (R) has dropped out of the race for Lieutenant Governor just one day after getting in. Wilson filed to run on Wednesday and then amended his filing yesterday to say “not running for office.” Wilson’s  entry into the race was a surprise as he is a freshman legislator who had mostly stayed in the background. Wilson says he was debating, thinking and praying about running and the filing was an accident.

IL-Sec. of State: The Illinois GOP is recruiting Air Force veteran J.C. Griffin to run for Secretary of State. Griffin says it’s premature to say he plans to run, but he is definitely considering. Incumbent Sec. of State Jesse White (D), who is 83 and in his 5th term has told supporters he did not plan to run again, but he is said to be reconsidering at the urging of party leaders. White has won easily in his last 4 runs, and would likely be an overwhelming favorite if he runs again.

International:

Alberta PC-Wildrose merger: The Alberta Progressive Conservatives and Wildrose Party will vote this weekend whether to merge their two parties in a “unite the right” movement. The long discussed move is supported by both PC Leader Jason Kenney and Wildrose Leader Brian Jean but was primarily set in motion by Kenney, who resigned as an MP last year in order to campaign for the leadership of the Alberta PC Party on a platform of working to combine the two right-leaning parties. It is not a given however that the move will succeed-while the PCs only need to ratify the agreement by simple majority, the Wildrose Party set a 75% support threshold. If the merger succeeds, the new party will be called the United Conservative Party. Both Kenney and Wildrose Leader Brian Jean plan to run for the leadership of the new party. If the merger fails, there is the possibility of other forms of cooperation, such as non-compete agreements in some ridings. Both Wildrose and the PCs lead the incumbent NDP in recent polls for the next election, which must be held by May 31, 2019 at the latest.

Political Roundup for March 28, 2017

Governor:

MN-Gov: Rep. Tim Walz (D) announced his run for Governor yesterday. Click to read our full coverage of the decision.

OK-Gov: State Auditor Gary Jones (R) will explore a run for Governor, but he is also hedging his bets and may consider a run for the state legislature or retirement instead. Jones is the first candidate to openly explore this race. LG Todd Lamb (R) is widely expected to run and be the front-runner.

House:

ME-2: Former State Senate candidate and BernieBro Jonathan Fulford (D) is considering a run against second-term Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R). Fulford lost two State Senate races narrowly, but looks decidedly “B” list; this ancestrally-D seat looks likely to move down Dems’ target lists after Trump carried it last year.

MN-1: Roll Call has great-mentioned several DFL candidates for Rep. Tim Walz’s (D) southern Minnesota seat. Ex-State Rep. Terry Morrow (D), State Reps. Tina Leibling (D) and Gene Pelowski (D), and State Sen. Dan Sparks (D) make the list.

MT-AL: Musician Rob Quist (D) is taking heat for a long debt trail that has caused him to take the legal but bad-looking step of drawing a salary from his campaign. Quist is facing billionaire 2016 Gov nominee Greg Gianforte (R).

PA-3: Ex-Erie Mayor Rick Filippi (D) is considering a run for the House against Rep. Mike Kelly (R). This seat is ancestrally-Democratic but has trended hard-right in recent years and looks unlikely to be a top Dem target.

State & Local:

CO-AG: Two weeks after announcing he was exploring the race, Boulder DA Stan Garnett (D) has announced he will not seek the nomination to challenge AG Cynthia Coffman (R) in 2018. State Rep. Joe Salazar (D) is already in the race.

CO-Treas: State Rep. Steve Lebsock (D) of suburban Denver has become the first candidate to declare for this open-seat race. Incumbent Walker Stapleton (R) is termed-out and expected to run for Governor. The decision also takes Lebsock out of the running for CO-7, where Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) is considering vacating the seat for a Gov run of his own.

PA-LG: State Rep. Justin Simmons (R) of the Lehigh Valley is the third candidate to consider a run for LG in Pennsylvania’s shotgun-wedding primary, joining ex-State Rep. Gordon Denlinger (R) and former state cabinet official Dan Meuser (R).

Westchester, NY-CE: Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano (D) will not run for County Executive against incumbent Rob Astorino (R). As mayor of the county’s largest city, Spano could have been one of the strongest possible Dem candidates for the post.

Political Roundup for November 22nd, 2016

[INSERT SMALL-TALK BEFORE USUAL POLITICAL DISCUSSION HERE]

President

Media: Oofta, Donald Trump’s meeting with media executives probably was a nightmare scenario for the latter group. After the media outlets pledged to keep the meeting off the record, a Trump source went to the Trump-friendly New York Post and dropped this description of the meeting.

“It was like a f–ing firing squad,” one source said of the encounter…

“Trump kept saying, ‘We’re in a room of liars, the deceitful dishonest media who got it all wrong.’ He addressed everyone in the room calling the media dishonest, deceitful liars. He called out Jeff Zucker by name and said everyone at CNN was a liar, and CNN was [a] network of liars,” the source said.

“Trump didn’t say [NBC reporter] Katy Tur by name, but talked about an NBC female correspondent who got it wrong, then he referred to a horrible network correspondent who cried when Hillary lost who hosted a debate – which was Martha Raddatz who was also in the room.”

Never let the Donald burn you first. Obviously this plays well for Trump’s anti-establishment performance, but I wonder if we’ll see a lot less off-the-record comments from his administration. For a description of the meeting that lionizes Trump less, see here.

Senate

Senate, Meet House: Democrats face a tough Senate battlefield next cycle, and Representatives are already lining up to take on incumbents in this Politico Great Mentioner.

  • In Montana, Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT-AL) cruised to reelection this cycle, and he has already met with Senate leadership about a campaign. Plus, his boilerplate criticism of the incumbent sounds tailor-made to prepare the foundation of his Senate campaign against Sen. Jon Tester (D).
  • In North Dakota, early Trump endorser Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND-AL) might run against Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D), despite talk of him being considered for Energy Secretary.
  • In West Virginia, Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-WV-3) and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey could run against Sen. Joe Manchin (D) for Republicans.
  • Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) in Missouri could face a number of candidates as the state has moved right, including Reps. Vicky Hartzler, Ann Wagner, or Billy Long (R). Wagner in particular is interesting with her longtime national connections as a former ambassador and RNC Co-Chair.
  • Rep. Luke Messer (R) is mentioned as a potential candidate against Sen. Joe Donnelly (D).

All of these mentions come with the usual caveat that most of these are speculative lists (Zinke notwithstanding) and more and different candidates will come out of the woodwork in these different states.

MO-Sen: Despite bragging about buying ads and setting up Republicans to nominate Todd Akin to ruin their chances at her seat, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) has confirmed she will run for reelection. Adding on to our Great Mentioner above, this article also mentions Rep. Sam Graves as a potential candidate (again, none of these potential candidates have confirmed their interest).

AZ-Sen: Sen. John McCain (R) will decide if he will run for a seventh term in three years.

Governor

MN-Gov: We may have only had one official announcement, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see many more gubernatorial campaigns launching soon.. Minnesota politicos expect a flood of candidates for Minnesota Governor. The Star Tribune got a number of politicians to confirm they were considering a bid:

GOP

  • State Chairman Keith Downey
  • House Speaker Kurt Daudt
  • Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek
  • 2014 nominee and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson
  • 2014 Senate nominee and business Mike McFadden
  • State Sen. Michelle Benson, who recently joined Senate leadership
  • State Sen. David Osmek, who has a bit of a libertarian / conservative streak
  • State Rep. Matt Dean, who was ousted from leadership a few years back
  • Fox News Contributor and 2012 Senate candidate Pete Hegseth, who lost the nod to then-State Rep. Kurt Bills

DFL

  • Former House Majority Leader Erin Murphy [announced]. Murphy spent the last four cycles working on behalf of legislative candidates either helming House caucus efforts or through her leadership posts, so expect many of those favors from grateful incumbents cashed in.
  • Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, Gov. Dayton’s former Chief of Staff who has taken over an increasing amount of the day to day business and headlines in the Capitol
  • State Auditor Rebecca Otto, who is probably the furthest to the left among Minnesota statewide office-holders
  • Attorney General Lori Swanson
  • Former Speaker Paul Thissen
  • St Paul Mayor Chris Coleman
  • Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk

A surprising name pulled himself out of contention: former Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak, who had some headlines for his battles with the DNC this year. And other big names are still floating around even if not under the active “considering” label. The biggest ones include Sen. Amy Klobuchar (DFL), who could switch races; Rep. Tom Emmer (R), who has rehabbed much of his image with an inoffensive brief congressional stint; Rep. Tim Walz (DFL), who barely won reelection this cycle and may be too far to the right for his party primary; Rep. Erik Paulsen (R), fresh off another strong win in his otherwise trending-blue seat; and former Governor Tim Pawlenty (R), ostensibly retired from politics but potentially cash-flush with his lobbying gig representing banks in DC. Any of those five running would shake up the primary calculus and probably pare down the barnyard of candidates currently lining up.

House

HI-2: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D) met with Trump yesterday and discussed Syria policy in detail. Folks have previously talked about how she might be in the running for a cabinet post, but I’m surprised how directly she talked about “the drumbeats of war the neocons have been sounding” and “our country’s illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government.” Either way, this article pushed back against the notion the meeting was to give her any kind of formal post. Gabbard has a weird history, endorsing Sanders despite a relatively conservative support network- more on that here.

ME-2: Here’s an example of the type of fluff piece that helps congressmen get entrenched. This one focuses on how hard Rep. Bruce Poliquin works, joining the growing number of legislators who sleep in their offices.

State and Local

Wisconsin-Redistricting: A panel of three federal judges found Wisconsin’s legislative redistricting plan is unconstitutional because it constitutes a partisan gerrymander. Normally courts defer to legislatures on this particular criterion (unlike, say, race), so this new ruling is a big deal. In the past, judges have been stymied by the fact Democratic voters self-pack enough that claims of self-sorting on the part of voters were plausible when you squinted your eyes (and again, coupled with deference to the legislative branch of government). However, a new formula called the efficiency gap aims to mathematically measure the amount of wasted votes by comparing the amount of votes each side wins in excess in seats on its way to victory or defeat. The Times explains the math:

The formula divides the difference between the two parties’ “wasted votes” — votes beyond those needed by a winning side, and votes cast by a losing side — by the total number of votes cast. When both parties waste the same number of votes, the result is zero — an ideal solution. But as a winning party wastes fewer and fewer votes than its opponent, its score rises.

A truly efficient gerrymander spreads a winning party’s votes so evenly over districts that very few votes are wasted. A review of four decades of state redistricting plans concluded that any party with an efficiency gap of 7 percent or more was likely to keep its majority during the 10 years before new districts were drawn. In Wisconsin, experts testified, Republicans scored an efficiency gap rating of 11.69 percent to 13 percent in the first election after the maps were redrawn in 2011.

Again, this formula coupled with actually applying partisanship as a criterion for gerrymandering are both big deals that may be settled by the Supreme Court. We’ll see how quickly this moves, because it could remake the redistricting landscape in 2020.

NY-State Senate: From commenter Manhatlibertarian:

The counting of absentee/provisional ballots begins today for two crucial Long Island state senate races that may determine who controls the NY State Senate. It is likely that GOP State Senator Carl Marcellino, who led by 2425 votes in the unofficial count, will prevail in his race, where there are more than 7500 absentee ballots and a smaller number of provisional ballots. If he prevails the GOP will stay in control of the NY State Senate, as Brooklyn DINO State Senator Felder has now announced he will stay with the GOP caucus (no real surprise).

Meanwhile, in the close contest between Dem John Brooks and incumbent GOP State Senator Mike Venditto in the 8th SD, as of Nov 15 (deadline for absentee ballots except military ones) there were about 7400 absentee ballots (mainly from Nassau County) and about 1500 provisional ballots. Those numbers are unlikely to have changed much as there have likely been only a trickle of military ballots since then (they are due today at the latest). Some of the absentee ballots were submitted before Venditto’s father, Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto, was indicted on Oct 20, which should help Venditto, but it is not clear how many were received before that date. Venditto trailed Brooks by 33 votes in the unofficial returns. If Venditto also wins the GOP will have an absolute majority in the State Senate, so then DINO Felder’s support is only the icing on the cake.

The absentee/provisional ballot counting will go from Monday to Wednesday and then break for Thanksgiving and continue the Monday after Thanksgiving. The ballots will be scrutinized by lawyers from both sides and I would expect there will be a number of challenges to the validity of ballots on various grounds (in one recent contest an absentee ballot got tossed because it has a coffee stain on it).

To make matters more interesting, Harlem State Sen. Bill Perkins will soon leave the chamber to run for an open city council seat (referencing the dysfunction of the Senate, he said he could be “more effective” on local issues). While his Senate seat is safe Democratic, the more important part of this is that Democrats will be a vote short for some time as Republicans maintain a narrow majority. Assembly staffer Troy Outlaw, aligned with Rep. Charlie Rangel, and Marvin Holland, aligned with newly-elected Rep. Espaillat (D), will run for the seat.

NH-State Senate: Last week Republican David French sealed the deal in his race after a recount, giving Republicans a 14-10 majority in that body.

TX-State House: A recount looms in a district 105, a swingy district where Rep. Rodney Anderson (R) leads his challenger by 64 votes after all provisional ballots were counted yesterday. Either way, the Texas House remains blood-red with 95 Republicans in the 150-member chamber after losing three incumbents this cycle (assuming Anderson hangs on as expected).

WI-State Senate: Democrat Jennifer Schilling is 56 votes up on Dan Kapanke in the 32d district, where the race will go to a recount. Despite Kapanke’s likely loss, Republicans retain a 20-13 majority.

St Paul-Mayor: A new group is working to toss out ranked choice voting in St Paul, Minnesota’s local elections. If a court or charter comission won’t throw it out, the group will work to put a referendum on the ballot for November 2017. Former councilman Melvin Carter III (D) and former School Board member and attorney Tom Goldstein (not the one from SCOTUSBlog) have already filed papers to run for mayor as well.

Texas-Voter ID: AG Ken Paxton and the Obama administration are feuding over if Texas’ voter ID law was intentionally discriminatory to racial minorities in dueling filings. Of course, intent is tough to prove in court in these kinds of cases, and it’s hard to see a Sessions DoJ pushing this issue so aggressively.

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