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Political Roundup for September 13, 2017

Last Night:

Bill DeBlasio (D) easily won renomination in NYC, while all NYC Council incumbents and essentially all non-incumbent establishment favorites prevailed.

In Charlotte, councilwoman Vi Lyles (D) ousted incumbent Jennifer Roberts (D) without a runoff. In Cleveland, incumbent Frank Jackson (D) and councilman Zack Reed (D) advanced. In Toledo, incumbent Paula Hicks-Hudson (D) and Lucas County Treasurer Wade Kapszukiewicz (D) advanced. Incumbents Byron Brown (D) in Buffalo and Lovely Warren (D) in Rochester were renominated.

In other NY Races, State Sen. George Latimer (D) won in Westchester-CE, county commissioner Laura Curran (D) won in Nassau-CE, and State Rep. Steve McLaughlin (R) narrowly won in Rensselaer-CE. In the biggest upset of the night, university police chief Larry Zacarese (R) beat State Sen. Phil Boyle (R) for Suffolk-Sheriff.

In legislative specials, Democrats picked up OK-LD-46 by a wide margin as well as a state house seat in NH. McGee (R) and Rehner (D) advanced in MS-LD-102, while O’Hara (R) won the nomination in OK-SD-37.

Senate:

MI-Sen: Rep. Fred Upton (R) is apparently quietly considering a run for the seat of Sen. Debbie Stabenow (R). Upton, a centrist from a purple seat in southwest Michigan, has been termed-out as Energy and Commerce chair but is not ready to retire. Upton could face a tough primary if Robert “Kid Rock” Ritchie (R) pulls the trigger on a run for this seat; however, if Ritchie stays out, Upton would be a strong favorite against the little-known Republicans in the race already.

VA-Sen: Former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina (R) will not run for the Senate seat of Tim Kaine (D). Prince William CE and self-hating Yankee Corey Stewart (R) now looks like the strong favorite for the nomination.

Governor:

AK-Gov, AK-LG: State Sen. Mike Dunleavy (R) surprisingly announced yesterday that he is ending his gubernatorial run due to an unspecified health condition. Ex-State Sen. Charlie Huggins (R), a former State Senate president who retired in 2016, stepped in the same day to fill the breach. State Rep. Mike Chenault (R) also filed to run for a spot on the GOP ticket, though he has left his options open for either a Governor or LG run in the shotgun-wedding primary. Dem-backed incumbent Bill Walker (I) may also face opposition from a Democrat like Ex-Sen. Mark Begich (D) or State Sen. Bill Wielechowski (D).

IL-Gov, IL-LG: After his prior choice of running mate, Chicago councilman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (D), was forced to withdraw over his support for the anti-Israel BDS movement, Biss has now chosen State Rep. Litesa Wallace (D) of Rockford as his new LG choice. Wallace could be a way for Biss to curry some favor with State House Speaker Mike Madigan (D), who is thought to favor wealthy businessman JB Pritzker (D) in this crowded primary.

ME-Gov: Sen. Susan Collins (R) says she will decide on a run for Governor by the end of September. Collins would likely be a strong favorite in a general election if she were to run, but she may face difficulty from her right in the GOP primary.

MI-Gov: As expected, AG Bill Schuette (R) has launched his campaign for Governor. Schuette has had a long political career, beginning with a Congressional stint in the 80s, a Senate loss in 1990, a State Senate stint in the 90s and a judicial stint in the 2000s before two terms as AG. He is thought to be a slight front-runner in the GOP primary against antiestablishment conservative State Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R) and physician Jim Hines (R); Schuette’s most serious likely rival, LG Brian Calley (R), has not yet declared for this race but is widely though certain to run.

House:

NY-15: Outgoing NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D) is rumored to be considering a run for this South Bronx-based Congressional seat, where incumbent Jose Serrano (D) is thought to be considering retirement. Mark-Viverito hails from Spanish Harlem in Manhattan, but has represented part of the Bronx. State Sen. Jose Serrano Jr. (D), State Rep. Michael Blake (D), and NYC Councilman Ritchie Torres (D) are thought to all be interested as well.

PA-11: 2016 AG candidate Joe Peters (R) is exploring an entry into this crowded primary for the Harrisburg-to-Lackawanna Valley red seat. Peters would join State Rep. Stephen Bloom (R), Corbett admin official Dan Meuser (R), and businessman Andrew Lewis (R) in the primary.

PA-15: Two new candidates are in this race. State Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R) will run for Congress, potentially creating a more establishment-friendly option to take on State Rep. Justin Simmons (R), whose entry into the race pushed Rep. Charlie Dent (R) out of seeking re-election. Lehigh County commissioner Bill Leiner (D) also announced a run, potentially giving Dems a credible option for the light-red Lehigh Valley open seat.

TN-6: Rep. Diane Black (R) is considering resigning her House seat early as she runs for Governor. If Black resigns quickly a special could be triggered for this deep-red central Tennessee seat. Former state Agriculture Commissioner John Rose (R) and State Rep. Judd Matheny (R) are in the race, and talking head Scottie Nell Hughes (R) is considering a run.

TX-32: Obama aide Lillian Salerno (D) has become the third former Obama admin official in the race, joining Colin Allred (D) and Ed Meier (D). Allred, a former NFL player, so far looks like the DCCC’s choice recruit to take on Rep. Pete Sessions (R) in this Hillary-won north Dallas seat.

WV-1: Attorney Ralph Baxter (D), who runs a large law firm based in San Francisco but “lives” in Wheeling, is set to announce a run against Rep. David McKinley (R) in this deep-red northern WV seat. Baxter has been mentioned for several races before but looks set to pull the trigger this cycle; he faces long odds as this historically-D seat has become more Republican up and down the ballot.

State & Local:

ID-AG: AG Lawrence Wasden (R) will run for re-election, and will not give up his seat to run for Governor or ID-1.

MA-LG: Obama White House aide Quentin Palfrey (D), who now works as an administrator at MIT, has become the first Democrat into this shotgun-wedding LG primary.

MO-Aud: Attorney and former university regent David Wasinger (R) will run for Auditor, entering the race after State House Speaker David Richardson (R) abruptly declined a bid. Local official Kristy Apprill (R) is also considering a run.

NV-AG: State Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford (D) will run for AG, giving Dems a top-tier recruit for this seat, which is expected to be open as incumbent Adam Laxalt (R) is seen as near-certain to run for Governor. Laxalt’s top deputy, ex-State Rep. Wes Duncan (R), is likely to run for this seat.

DC-Mayor: AG Karl Racine (D) will not run for mayor, likely meaning that incumbent Muriel Bowser (D) will have a relatively easy ride to a second term next year.

Seattle-Mayor: Mayor Ed Murray (D) abruptly resigned yesterday after a fifth person, his cousin, accused him of prior sexual molestation when the cousin was a minor. Murray had declined to run for re-election after several others revealed underage sexual molestation allegations. The open seat election this November is between establishment liberal ex-US Attorney Jenny Durkan (D) and ultra-left city planner Cary Moon (D).

Political Roundup for September 8, 2017

Senate

WI-Sen: State Sen. Leah Vukmir (R) announced yesterday she is joining the race for the Republican nomination for US Senate. She joins businessman Kevin Nicholson in the race to take on Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D). Vukmir is stressing her deep roots in Wisconsin GOP circles, contrasting her background with that of Nicholson, who once served as president of the College Democrats of America and spoke at the 2000 Democratic National Convention. Businessman Eric Hovde, who finished 2nd to ex-Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) in the 2012 Republican Senate primary, says he will decide in early October whether to run again.

Governor:

AL-Gov: The long awaited announcement by Gov. Kay Ivey (R) about her plans has come, and she is running for election to a full term next year. She joins an already crowded race with 7 other Republicans running, including Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington, Agricuulture Commissioner John McMillan, and state Sen. Bill Hightower, who officially joined the race on Wednesday.

CO-Gov: LG Donna Lynne (D) officially announced her campaign for governor yesterday. Lynne had already filed her candidacy last month, but this was the first time she formally announced publicly that she would run. Lynne said when she was appointed LG last year that she did not plan to run for governor next year. Those plans changed as the leftward tilt of the other Democrats running became apparent. Also running are Rep. Jared Polis (D), ex-state Sen. Mike Johnston (D), former state Treasurer Cary Kennedy and businessman Noel Ginsburg, all but Ginsburg are liberals. After Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) dropped his bid, some supporters of Perlmutter started asking Lynne to reconsider her previous decision not to run, seeing the need for a prominent moderate candidate to run.

CT-Gov: State Sen. Toni Boucher (R) is joining a long list of Republicans running or considering running for governor. Boucher filed the papers for an exploratory committee in June, but is now becoming more serious about a potential run, kicking off her campaign this month with a fundraiser. 3 Republicans are running, with 6 others, including Boucher having formed exploratory committees.

ME-Gov: The Republican leaders of both the state House and Senate are now running for governor as State House Minority Leader Ken Fredette (R) announced a run on Wednesday, joining Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason (R) who announced on Tuesday that he was running. Mason had planned to kick off his campaign formally on Wednesday, but postponed it after his mother, state Rep. Gina Mason (R) died unexpectedly. The two join former Department of Health and Human Services commissioner Mary Mayhew in the race. More candidates, including Sen. Susan Collins (R) may join the race on the Republican side. 9 Democrats have already formally announced candidacies.

MI-Gov: Next year’s gubernatorial race could be very competitive if the right Democrat runs according to a new poll. The poll by EPIC-MRA shows AG Bill Schuette (R) and former Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer tied at 37 % each. The poll also tested Schuette against attorney Geoffrey Fieger, and Schuette lead 43%-33% in that matchup. Whitmer is already in the race, Fieger, who lost as the Democratic nominee in 1998 to then Gov. John Engler (R) 62-38, is not currently running, but has said he is considering entering the race. AG Bill Schuette (R) is not running yet, but is expected to enter the race soon.

OR-Gov: House Minority Leader Mike McLane (R) said on Wednesday that he will not run for governor. A group of Republicans had tried to get McLane to enter the race. State Rep. Knute Buehler (R) is the only Republican currently running.

SC-Gov: State Sen. Tom Davis (R) will not run for governor next year. He says the timing wasn’t right and he feels he could be more effective in the Legislature. He also may have found it difficult to break into a race where three serious candidates are already running and raising money-Gov. Henry McMaster (R), former state cabinet secretary Catherine Templeton, and LG Kevin Bryant (R). Also running in the Republican primary is party switcher ex-LG Yancey McGill (D), but he is not expected to be competitive. No Democrats are running yet, but state Rep. James Smith (D) is expected to join the race this month.

State & Local:

AK-LG: State Sen. Kevin Meyer (R) filed to run for Lieutenant Governor yesterday. He is the third Republican to run, joining state Sen. Gary Stevens (R) and former state Rep. Lynn Gattis (R). Alaska uses the “shotgun wedding” approach where governor and lieutenant governor candidates run separately in the primary but as a team in the general election.

MA-LG: Former Obama White House advisor Quentin Palfrey will run for lieutenant governor. Palfrey is the first Democrat to announce a bid. Massachusetts also uses the “shotgun wedding” approach for governor and lieutenant governors.

MO-Aud.: State House Speaker Todd Richardson (R) said Wednesday he will not run for State Auditor next year. Richardson had been considered a likely candidate to run for the office. State Auditor is the only statewide executive office that Republicans do not currently hold-current State Auditor Nicole Galloway (D) was appointed by then Gov. Jay Nixon (D) in 2015 to replace Republican Tom Schweich after he committed suicide. Galloway is running for election to a full term. It is not known who will run now as no other Republicans were known to be planning a run.

Political Roundup for September 6, 2017

Last night, establishment favorite Marvin Pendarvis (D) won the nomination for the safe D SC-LD-113 without a runoff. Republicans also held a State House seat in NH.

President:

Hillary: Hillary Clinton is using her new book to blast Sen. Bernie Sanders (D) and blame him for paving the way for her lost to Donald Trump. Because in the Clinton’s World it is always somebody else’s fault.

Governor:

GA-Gov:  State Rep. Stacey Evans (D) is resigning her seat in the state House to focus on her gubernatorial bid. Her primary opponent Stacey Abrams has already resigned her state House seat.

ME-Gov: Term limited, 32 year old state Sen. Garrett Mason (R) announced he will run for governor. Mason will join Gov. Paul LePage’s former director of health and human services, Mary Mayhew, in the Republican GOP primary. Sen. Susan Collins (R) is also mulling a run for governor.

NV-Gov: Nevada State Treasurer Dan Schwartz (R) announced he will run for Governor. He will most likely face Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) who is thought to be the front runner for the GOP nomination.

NY-Gov: Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) approval ratings have recovered a bit from the “Summer of Hell” lows. Cuomo’s favorability rating stands at 56% to 37 % which is up from a 52% to 41% rating he had in July.

OH-Gov: Jerry Springer (D) is seriously thinking of running for Governor because in 2017 the thought of Jerry freaking Springer being Governor of Ohio is a serious thing.

Senate:

AL-Sen: While Roy Moore (R) looks for someone to explain to him what exactly this DACA thingy is, Sen. Luther Strange (R) flip flops his position on the senate filibuster rule to be more in line with Donald Trump.

NJ-Sen: The trial of Sen. Bob Menendez (we think he’s a Democrat but since the New York Times won’t tell us we are not really sure) begins today. It is a tale of international jet setting, $1,500 a night hotel rooms and high priced hookers models but the core of the case is really just good old fashion Medicaid fraud as Menendez was allegedly getting paid off to help a crooked doctor steal $8.9 million from taxpayers . If Menendez resigns his seat before January Gov. Chris Christie (R) would get to pick a Republican replacement. If Menendez can survive after until after a new governor is sworn in chances are Democrats will pick the replacement.

WV-Sen: Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin has a 5 point lead of 49% to 44% over a generic GOP challenger. While “Generic Republican” and “Generic Democrat” generally tend to poll better than an actual human being with a name and human flaws what is of note is that Manchin had a 9 point lead (50% to 41%) in the same poll in June. Manchin’s approval ratings have also dropped from 56% in June to 51% today.

House:

MA-3: Democrat Ellen Murphy Meehan, the former wife of former Rep. Marty Meehan, announced she will not be running for the open seat of retiring Rep. Niki Tsongas.

NJ-2: It’s time for the biannual speculation that state Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D) will run for congress. It seems like we go through this rouse every two years and Drew always passes on running against Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R) in a district Trump won 51% to 45%.

NY-21: Stillwater, NY Mayor Rick Nelson (D) was arrested on child pornography charges. His son Patrick Nelson (D) is seeking the Democrat nomination to challenge Rep. Elise Stefanik (R).

PA-11: Former Corbett administration official Dan Meuser (R) has dropped out of the shotgun wedding race for Lt Governor and will instead run for the open congressional seat Rep. Lou Barletta (R) is vacating to run for Senate. State Rep. Stephen Bloom (R), state Rep. Tarah Toohil (R), former federal prosecutor Joe Peters, and businessman Andrew Lewis are also considering runs for the open seat.

SD-AL: State Sen. Neal Tapio (R) could be the fourth candidate to enter the race for the statewide House seat Rep. Kristi Noem (R) is vacating to run for Governor. Tapio said he would put $300,000 of his own money into the race. Tapio is a staunch Trump supporter who plans to run as an “outsider” candidate. Former state Public Utilities Commission member Dusty Johnson and current Secretary of State Shantel Krebs are both seeking the GOP nomination. Retired Judge  Tim Bjorkman is seeking the Democrat nomination.

TX-23: Former 1 term Rep. Pete Gallego (D) will not run for this seat again in 2018. Gallego beat Rep. Quico Canseco (R) in 2012 but lost re-election to Will Hurd (R) in 2014 and a comeback attempt against Rep. Hurd  in 2016. Gallego passing on running again probably has a lot to do with Julian & Joaquin Castro putting their muscle behind their college buddy Jay Hulings. Hulings is not from district and only moved their to serve as US Attorney but with the Castro brothers help he is locking up establishment and DCCC support. This meant that Gallego was having a very hard time raising money from establishment Democrat donors and he decided to pass on another comeback attempt.

Political Roundup for September 5, 2017

First off, there is a single legislative special today. SC-LD-113 is a D+19 (2016) seat covering a thin stripe of racially-mixed lower-middle-class suburbs of Charleston from North Charleston to Summerville. Trial lawyer Marvin Pendarvis (D), who is a close confidante of the area’s state Senator, looks like the clear favorite in the primary with a chance to win outright, but he also faces school board member Chris Collins (D) and marketing consultant Angela Hanyak (D), each of whom could potentially make a runoff. Two Republicans are facing off for the right to lose.

Senate:

AL-Sen: This story looks at how ex-US Attorney Doug Jones (D) is not getting much national support for his Senate run in December, unlike several other Dem special election candidates from earlier this year. It seems in part due to Jones being more conscious of his red state and attempting to run as a conservative Democrat rather than a vanguard of the #resistance. As the runoff between appointed incumbent Luther Strange (R) and ex-State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R) consumes most of the oxygen for this month, Jones is attempting to fly under the radar and emerge as an acceptable alternative to the GOP nominee. Regardless of Jones’s national support or lack thereof, his odds are still long in the deep-red state.

More AL-Sen: Moore had an embarrassing moment late last week in which he appeared to have no idea what the DACA program was. It’s too early to say if this gaffe will have resonance but it’s certainly not a positive for him so close to the runoff.

AZ-Sen: Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) is still “seriously considering” a run for Senate. Sinema is widely expected to run as she is considered to be Dems’ strongest possible recuit against vulnerable Sen. Jeff Flake (R). Ex-State Sen. Kelli Ward (R) is running against Flake in the primary.

IN-Sen: Another story is out corroborating allegations that Rep. Todd Rokita (R) is a bad boss to his staffers. The story has several nuggets of Rokita generally being a, for lack of a better word, jerk. For example, “a worker was booted from a staff meeting and instructed to clean Rokita’s vehicle, which included scrubbing the carpets” because a volunteer driver had BO. Rokita is facing fellow Rep. Luke Messer (R) in what is expected to be a tough primary for the right to take on Sen. Joe Donnelly (D).

MO-Sen: A new MOScout poll has AG Josh Hawley (R) leading incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) 50-45. Hawley, who is in his first term as AG, is widely expected to run against McCaskill after being recruited by the entire GOP establishment.

Governor:

HI-Gov: State Rep. Bob McDermott (R) has abruptly dropped out of the race for Governor after learning that another Republican is planning to run. Rumors are that candidate is State Rep. Andria Tupola (R), a moderate who, unlike the staunchly socially conservative McDermott, could be a credible general election candidate. Separately this weekend, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) surprisingly announced her intent to primary Gov. David Ige (D); click for our full recap on the decision and Great Mentioner for the now-open HI-1.

IL-Gov: State Sen. Daniel Biss (D) has lost an endorsement from Rep. Brad Schneider (D) with his choice of LG running mate, Chicago councilman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (D). Ramirez-Rosa, 28, is a supporter of the anti-Israel BDS movement. Biss is facing businessmen J.B. Pritzker (D) and Chris Kennedy (D), Chicago councilman Ameya Pawar (D), state Rep. Scott Drury (D), and local superintendent Bob Daiber (D) in the primary. Pritzker is generally considered the front-runner to take on Gov. Bruce Rauner (R).

ME-Gov: Jon Jenkins (I), who served as Mayor of both Lewiston and Auburn, as well as a term in the State Senate in the 90s, is considering an Indie bid. Jenkins would be the third credible Indie contender in this race, joining appointed State Treasurer Terry Hayes (I) and comedian Karmo Sanders (I). Dems and Republicans look set to have crowded primary fields as well, with ex-Gov. John Baldacci (D) and Sen. Susan Collins (R) among the highest-profile candidates considering.

MN-Gov: Ramsey County commissioner Blake Huffman (R) has dropped out of the race for Governor. 2014 nominee and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson (R), State Sen. David Osmek (R), State Rep. Matt Dean (R), and ex-State Rep. and MNGOP chair Keith Downey (R) remain in the GOP convention race, with several others, most notably State House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R), considering. Democrats have a crowded field as well.

OH-Gov: Speculation is growing that Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray (D) will step down to enter the race for Ohio Governor. Cordray, a former AG and State Treasurer, would likely become the front-runner for the Democratic nomination over the current crowded field of “B” and “C” listers. Ex-Rep. Betty Sutton (D), Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D), State Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D), and ex-State Rep. and 2014 State Treasurer nominee Connie Pillich (D) are in the Dem race already. Four Republicans are also running.

WI-Gov: Nonprofit exec Mike McCabe (D) has entered the race for Governor. State Superintendent Tony Evers (D) is the front-runner for the nomination to take on Gov. Scott Walker (R), but State Rep. Dana Wachs (D) and businessman Andy Gronik (D) are also in the race.

KY-Gov ’19: Ex-State House Speaker and AG Greg Stumbo (D) is considering a run for Governor in 2019. Stumbo is a liberal who is known as a bare-knuckled political brawler but has proven himself convtroversial in his red state. AG Andy Beshear (D) is also thought to be considering a run; the primary winner will face incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin (R) in the general.

House:

KS-2: Brownback admin official Antonio Soave (R), a former Italian semi-professional soccer player, is considered likely to run for this open Topeka-area seat. Soave currently lives in KS-3 but will move into the 2nd to run. He will join a crowded primary field of State Sens. Steve Fitzgerald (R) and Caryn Tyson (R), State Rep. Kevin Jones (R), and Basehor councilman Vernon Fields (R) in the GOP primary. Ex-state Rep. and 2014 gubernatorial nominee Paul Davis (D) is the likely Dem nominee for this medium-red seat.

OH-16: Former OSU football star Anthony Gonzalez (R) has filed to run for this open seat, joining moderate State Rep. Tom Patton (R) and Trumpist State Rep. Christina Hagan (R) in the race. Gonzalez has hired a former Rob Portman campaign operative as his campaign treasurer, suggesting he could have significant establishment support. The GOP field for this medium-red Cleveland and Akron suburban seat is likely to grow.

OK-1: Trump has tapped Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R) to serve as NASA director, but the question over whether there will be a special for this Tulsa-area seat before the 2018 general is very much up in the air. Bridenstine would need to resign before the end of the year to allow a special to be held at all. With a primary runoff likely to be necessary, March is the earliest the special general could be held. And even for that, Bridenstine would need to vacate the seat on the likely-too-short-timeline of within the next few weeks. Click here for our full report and Great Mentioner on the seat. As a side note, by contrast, the situation in the other seat for which Trump has tapped a sitting Rep. (PA-10) is much easier. Rep. Tom Marino’s (R) administration position does not require Senate confirmation, and Pennsylvania does not have special primaries, meaning the seat could be up as quickly as this November.

PA-15: Rep. Charlie Dent (R) has revealed text messages from his primary challenger, State Rep. Justin Simmons (R) in which Simmons asked for Dent’s endorsement for re-election and expressed a desire to replace Trump as the GOP presidential nominee. Simmons is attempting to portray himself as a stronger Trump supporter than the moderate Dent in this light-red Lehigh Valley area seat.

State & Local:

HI-LG: State Sens. Josh Green (D) and Will Espero (D) have declared for LG, joining fellow State Sen. Jill Tokuda (D) and Maui CE Alan Arakawa (D) in the shotgun-wedding race. Espero might be someone to watch for a quick exit from the race, as he ran for HI-1 in 2014 and could try again now that Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) is running for Governor.

LA-PSC-2: Ex-State Rep. Lenar Whitney (R) has secured the official endorsement of the state party in this race. Whitney is an antiesatblishment conservative who lost her 2015 re-election bid to a more moderate Republican. In this race, she is facing two RINOs for the deep-red seat, D-turned-R appointed incumbent Damon Baldone (R) and Gov. Edwards-endorsing surgeon Craig Greene (R).

Westchester, NY-CE: Incumbent Rob Astorino (R) has been sending out mailers to unaffiliated voters to get them to write his name in for the Reform Party nomination.  Astorino created the Reform Party as a vanity line (with the “Stop Common Core” name) for his 2014 gubernatorial run, but then lost control of it to talk radio host Curtis Sliwa. Sliwa’s organization has now endorsed Astornio’s most likely rival for re-election, State Sen. George Latimer (D). However, Astorino was able to force a primary, which is open to unaffiliated voters as well as the negligible number of Reform Party registrants.

Milwaukee, WI-Sheriff: Controversial DINO Sheriff David Clarke resigned last week without immediate explanation. It’s unclear if Clarke is in line for a Trump administration post or if he is headed to some sort of Cable TV gig.

Political Roundup for September 1, 2017

Senate:

AZ-Sen: Rep. Trent Franks (R) has confirmed that he has no interest in running for US Senate next year. In a radio interview he said he just can’t see him running against Sen. Jeff Flake (R) and God himself would have to tell him to do it. However he did not rule out running for the Senate in the future, just that it isn’t the right time at the moment. He did confirm that he, along with State Treasurer Jeff DeWit and former state Republican chairman Robert Graham met with President Trump when he was in Phoenix last week, and said he did not commit to supporting any particular candidate against Flake.

PA-Sen/PA-LG: Real estate executive Jeff Bartos, who has been running for Senate since April, is said to be considering dropping out of the race. Rumors have been going around that he might drop out of the race if a more high-profile candidate entered, and the entry of Rep. Lou Barletta (R) to the race may fit the bill. The same rumors say that if he drops out, he may decide to run for lieutenant governor instead. This week, he defended gubernatorial candidate state Sen. Scott Wagner (R) from charges of anti-Semitism after Wagner made a comment about left-wing billionaire George Soros’ Jewish heritage, which may indicate that he is seeking to be part of a gubernatorial campaign as a running mate. Currently, there are no Republicans who have announced they plan to run for LG.

House:

FL-27: Former Doral Councilwoman Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera has joined the Republican nomination to replace retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R). Rodriguez Aguilera said she voted for Trump, contrasting herself with fellow GOP candidate former Miami-Dade School Board member Raquel Regalado, who did not support him. A 3rd candidate in the primary, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro, supported Trump as well. State Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez (D) is the most high-profile candidate on the Democratic side, in a district that Democrats should have a good chance at picking up.

NV-3: Insurance agent Jack Love announced yesterday he is running for Congress, becoming the first Democrat to announce a run. State Sen. Scott Hammond (R) and state Rep. Victoria Seaman (R) have both announced runs on the Republican side. Pro golfer Natalie Gulbis (R) is also considering running. Rep. Jacky Rosen (D) is leaving the seat after just one term to challenge Sen. Dean Heller (R).

NY-11: Former Rep. Michael Grimm (R) has acknowledged publicly for the first time that he is considering running for his former job. Grimm resigned from Congress at the end of 2014 after his conviction on federal tax fraud charges and served 7 months in prison. Current Rep. Dan Donovan (R) was elected in the ensuing special election and re-elected last year. Grimm criticized Donovan, saying he is “doing a great job as a liberal Democrat” because he opposed President Trump on key issues such as the health care bill. Grimm says he will decide “fairly soon” whether to run.

WA-5: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R) has drawn an unusually high profile opponent for 2018. Former state Senate Majority Leader and Washington State University Spokane chancellor Lisa Brown (D) has announced she is running for Congress. Two other candidates, Democrat Matthew Sutherland and Independent Eric Agnew are running in the all-party primary, but McMorris Rodgers and Brown are likely to meet in the general election. Although Brown is a more high-profile candidate than most Democrats who run for the seat, she should still have an uphill battle in a district that went for Trump by 13 points last year and has been Republican since 1994 when then-House Speaker Tom Foley (D) was defeated by Republican George Nethercutt.

Governor:

AL-Gov: Gov. Kay Ivey (R) is expected to decide in the next few weeks whether to run for governor next year. Sources close to her say she will make an announcement sometime between Labor Day and the Sept.26 runoff for US Senate between Roy Moore and Sen. Luther Strange (R). The possibility of Ivey running already forced one potential opponent, Public Service Commission Chair Twinkle Cavanaugh to run for LG instead, but the 8 other Republicans currently in the race say Ivey’s plans will not affect their plans to run.

CO-Gov: State Treasurer Walker Stapleton (R) is said to be looking at an early October formal entry into the governor’s race. Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler, businessman Doug Robinson, and former state Rep. Victor Mitchell are already in the GOP primary race and AG Cynthia Coffman is considering joining the race as well.

CT-Gov: State Comptroller Kevin Lembo (D), unexpectedly dropped out of the governor’s race yesterday and announced he would run for re-election to his current post instead. Lembo was expected to be a top-tier candidate and his departure from the race was a surprise to other candidates. Speculation on the Democratic side has now turned to LG Nancy Wyman (D), who has not yet announced her plans. But since Wyman has not yet begun fundraising, some take that and her silence about her plans to mean she isn’t running. Democrats who are still running or considering include Middleton Mayor Dan Drew, Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim and former West Hartford Mayor and state consumer protection commissioner Jonathan Harris.

IL-Gov/IL-LG: State Sen. Daniel Biss (D) has chosen for his running mate Chicago Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa. The move indicates Biss is playing to the left in his campaign as Ramirez-Rosa was a Bernie Sanders delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention, is part of the council’s Progressive Caucus and recently joined Democratic Socialists for America.

ME-Gov: Ex-Gov. John Baldacci (D) says he may seriously consider running again if he has concerns about the field of candidates running. He says he may run if there is not enough moderation or bipartisanship among the candidates. Baldacci was the predecessor to current Gov. Paul LePage (R) serving from 2003-2011.

NY-Gov: State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R) is considering running for governor next year. He says he has been asked to run by party officials, other elected officials and members of the business community. Kolb has considered running and been asked to run for higher office before, turning down races for Congress in 2010 and 2012 and against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) in 2010. There are several other Republicans considering runs including former state comptroller candidate Harry Wilson, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, 2010 nominee Carl Paladino, 2014 nominee and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and state Sen. John DeFrancisco. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is expected to run for re-election and any Republican nominee will have an uphill battle.

State & Local:

FL-AG: Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler (D) is considering running for Attorney General. He will be leaving office next March due to term limits, and hasn’t yet decided what to run for next, if anything. But running for Attorney General or the Broward County Commission are said to be two possibilities. Seiler would give Democrats a more high-profile candidate for AG, as currently little-known consumer protection attorney Ryan Torrens is the only Democrat running.

Political Roundup for August 29, 2017

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

Senate:

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

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

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

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

Governor:

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

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

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

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

House:

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

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

State & Local:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Redistricting:

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

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

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

Political Roundup for 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 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.

 

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