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Political Roundup for December 12th, 2017

Today is the Alabama Senate special election. We will have a results liveblog up later tonight when polls close.

Governor:

CT-Gov, CT-AG: As expected, prosecutor Chris Mattei (D) is dropping out of the face for Governor to run for Attorney General. He will join State Rep. William Tong (D) in the primary for AG.

MI-Gov: Wealthy progressive “scientist” Shri Thanedar (D) is on the air  early with a new commercial in which he wears a lab coat, looks stupidly at a beaker, proclaims “science” and attacks Donald Trump and Gov. Rick Snyder. The Michigan gubernatorial primaries are in August.

OH-Gov, OH-LG: Rep. Jim Renacci (R) has tapped Cincinnati councilwoman Amy Murray (R) as running mate.

RI-Gov: Former state Rep. Joe Trillo (R) is leaving the GOP to run as a right-wing independent spoiler for Governor. Internal polls for Cranston Mayor Allan Fung showed Fung crushing Trillo in the GOP primary and showed Fung leading incumbent Gov. Gina Raimondo by a 46% to 41% margin. Having Trillo siphon off votes from his right in the general election will only hurt Fung’s chances of winning next November.

Senate:

AL-Sen: Polls have been all over the place and this election will really come down to turnout today. With that in mind President Donald Trump has made robocalls on behalf of Roy Moore (R). It is important to give credit where credit is due. One of the fears of #NeverTrump conservatives was that as President Donald Trump would hang congressional Republicans out to dry and wouldn’t lift a finger to help them get re-elected. Now that we see the efforts Trump has made for an accused child molester just to give Senate Republicans an extra vote I think it is safe to say the #NeverTrump folks were wrong. In fact most #NeverTrump folks are probably horrified at the length President Trump is willing to go to to ensure a GOP Senate!

IN-Sen: State Rep. Mike Braun (R), the self-funding third wheel in the Rokita/Messer primary fight, voted in Democrat primaries for over 20 years until 2012.

MN-Sen: Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) is considering running in the special election to fill the remainder of Democrat Sen. Al Franken’s term if Franken follows up on his promise to resign in disgrace and go away.

WY-Sen: Here’s a blast from the bast! 2006/08 House nominee Gary Trauner (D), who was a SwingStateProject favorite and came closer than expected in both of his runs during Democrat wave years will run for Senate vs incumbent Sen. John Barrasso (R).  Barrasso was re-elected in 2012 with 76% of the vote.

VA-Sen: We are not sure if the Virginia GOP US Senate primary is reality or an elaborate Onion parody. Three days after Republican Senate candidate Corey Stewart tweeted  “@TheDemocrats got cocky forging @BarackObamabirth certificate. Thought they could slip phony #AllredYearbookFraud by on @MooreSenate. Sad!!” EW Jackson (R) kicked off his Senate campaign by accusing Corey Stewart of having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood! Luckily for sane Republicans there is talk of Jim Gilmore (of all people) entering the GOP primary because that’s how batsh**t crazy things have gotten for the Virginia GOP that JAMES STUART GILMORE III is now thought of as a potential savior! Of course Del. Nick Freitas (R) is running as well but why would the Virginia GOP want to back a former Green Beret who served two tours in Iraq, who has a solid conservatarian record and is not completely insane.

House:

AZ-8: Gov. Doug Ducey (R) has set February 27th as date of the special primary and April 24th as the special general election to fill the vacant R+13 seat formerly held by Rep. Trent Franks (R- Republic of Gilead). Former Public Service Commissioner Bob Stump (R) and state Sen. Steve Montenegro have become he first candidates to throw his hat in the ring for the special election. Former state Rep. Phil Lovas (R) resigned his post at the national Small Business Association in anticipation of a run for this congressional seat. State Rep. Darrin Mitchel (R) is also interested in running.

CA-48: LOL! Former Google executive Rachel Payne is the 8th Democrat to enter the jungle primary for this R+4 seat held by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R). The unbelievably large field of Democrats increases the odds that Republican Stelian Onufrei could make the top two runoff with Rohrabacher.

MI-11: Businessman Suneel Gupta (D), brother of CNN TV Doctor Sanjay Gupta becomes the 5th Democrat to enter the primary for the open R+4 seat Rep. Dave Trott (R) is retiring from.

NC-13: Rich lady Kathy Manning (D) will run for the Democrat nomination to challenge Rep. Ted Bud in this R+6 seat. Manning can self fund her campaign.

KY-6: After Democrat activist sunk over $800,000 into Amy McGrath’s viral campaign for this R+9 seat held by Rep. Andy Barr (R), Lexington Mayor Jim Gray decided to tell her she can’t be a Congressman. Now jockeying has opened up for Lexington mayoral office which Gray will vacate to run for Congress instead.

Yesterday was the filing deadline in Texas so we have a lot of Texas news today

TX-21: Former Ted Cruz Chief of Staff Chip Roy (R) will run for this R+10 seat currently held by retiring Rep. Lamar Smith (R). Roy’s campaign is being staffed by a number of Cruz campaign veterans.

TX-27: Bech Bruun (R), who serves on a state water board, has filed to run against Rep. Blake Farenthold (R) who is one of the many Congressmen caught up in the pervnado. Bruun joins Victoria County GOP chair John Cloud (R) in the GOP primary against Farenhold in the R+13 seat.

TX-29: Former Harris County Sheriff and unsuccessful 2015 Houston Mayoral candidate Adrian Garcia (D) will not run for Congress in this open D+19 seat of retiring Rep. Gene Greene. Garcia will instead run for a purple R-held Harris County commission seat.

TX-32: Television reporter Brett Shipp (D) filed to run in the Democrat primary to challenge Rep. Pete Sessions in this R+5 district. Shipp joins a very crowded field for the Democrat nomination which include former Hillary Clinton senior adviser Ed Meier, former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development special assistant Colin Allred, former deputy undersecretary for rural development Lilian Salerno and Dallas lawyer George Rodriguez.

State, Local & Other:

AR-Lands Comm: Democrats seem to have landed a semi-credible candidate for Land Commissioner in ex-Garland CE Larry Williams (D). Finding credible candidates to run for office has become increasingly difficult for the Arkansas Democrat Party.

SC-AG: State Rep. Todd Atwater (R) is in and will launch a primary challenge to incumbent Alan Wilson (R).

TX-Lands Comm: Ex-Lands Commissioner Jerry Patterson (R), who lost the GOP primary for Lt Governor last year, will primary incumbent George P. Bush.

KY HD-49: Kentucky state Rep. Dan Johnson (R), who was blasted for sharing racist facebook posts last year but won anyway, is accused of molesting a 17-year old.

Political Roundup for October 18, 2017

Last night, Democrats held MA-SD-Bristol & Norfolk by a smaller than expected 47-43 margin. Now as polling seems to indicate that Alabama might go blue while Virginia might go red, but New Jersey remains solidly anti-Christie, it is time for today’s roundup:

Presidential/National

Soros:  George Soros (Bane of Right) has transferred $18 billion to his Open Society Foundations in an effort to free up even more funds for political purposes, which should not be much different than prior behavior.

Subsidies:  Senators Lamar Alexander (R?) and Patty Murray (D) have reached an agreement on restoring Obamacare subsidies for 2 years in exchange for loosing Obamacare restrictions imposed upon the states.  It is not clear that such a compromise will get a vote in either chamber even though President Trump supports.

Trump/McCain:  President Trump (R?) and Senator John McCain (Maverick War Hero) are going back and forth on nationalism.  McCain started the latest round of the Trump / McCain feud by attacking Trump’s brand of nationalism.

Congress

AL-Sen:  Think Progress has thrown a tsunami of cold water on Fox News’s Senate poll showing the race a dead heat.

MI-11:  State Representative Tim Greimel (D) will be the fourth Democrat to enter the race to replace retiring Representative Dave Trott (R).  Greimel was the state House Minority Leader between 2013 and 2016.

PA-10:  Representative Tom Marino (R-Big Pharma) has withdrawn his name for nomination to be Drug Czar after the press did its job an exposed him being in the pocket of opioid manufacturers in the pharma industry.  Marino should be concerned in this district as its been ravaged by the opioid crisis.

States

VA-Gov: Monmouth – Gillepsie 48 Northam 47, Christopher Newport Northam 48 Gillepsie 44

NJ-Gov: Fairleigh Dickinson and Fox News – Murphy 48 Guadagno 33

NJ-Legislature:  The latest on whats happening with the Democratic legislative leadership battles and any potential gains the Democrats might make in the Legislature this year.  It sounds like the lower house remains up for grabs between the North and South Jersey Democrats while there is little belief the Democrats will pick up any seats.

NJ-SD-3:  State Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Norcross) is being outspent on the PAC front by the NJEA whose backing RINO Fran Grenier against Sweeney because he has spoken out against the NJEA’s outrageous behavior/demands.

International

Japan: The center-right (sort of)/ statist Liberal Democratic Party is on its way to a massive landslide.  The LDP is on pace to win approximately 2/3 of the seats in the lower house, which is near an all-time record for Prime Minister Abe’s LDP.

Political Roundup for October 17, 2017

First, there is a single legislative special today. MA-SD-Bristol & Norfolk is a D+5 (2016) seat stretching from Seekonk in suburban Providence to Medfield in Boston’s southwest suburbs. Foxborough councilman and Sanders campaign staffer Paul Feeney (D) is facing off with legislative staffer Jacob Ventura (R) and retired investigative reporter Joe Shortsleeve (I), a former DINO who has high name recognition. Due to the lean of the seat and the energized D base, Feeney looks like a moderate favorite, but with three credible candidates this race could theoretically go any way.

Now, onto the news!

National:

Tax-returns: Governor Jerry Brown (Sane D-CA) has vetoed a bit of legislation that would force Presidential candidates to submit their tax returns to the public to appear on the ballot in the state. Brown rightly pointed out that this could easily set precedence for states requiring far more revealing things to be made public, and that individual states should not be able to regulate federal elections in this way. Expect the next CA Governor to not be as reasonable when it comes to finding petty ways to snipe at Trump.

Trump-Approval: An Emerson poll has Trump doing . . . pretty well for Trump, sitting at a 44/50 approval rating. They also polled 2020 match-ups, and found Biden ahead of Trump by around 10 points, but Warren effectively tied with him.

2020: Tulsi Gabbard has been spotted making the rounds in Iowa. At a recent Iowa Democrats campaign event, both Gabbard and Rep. John Delaney (who has already announced a run) talked in vaguely positive platitudes about coming together as a country, in what is probably a dry run for a possible 2020 campaign message. Honestly, both are probably far too centrist to actually win a national D primary these days, but Gabbard has such an astoundingly odd political profile that I kind of want her to run regardless, just to see what happens.

Congress:

AR-Sen: There are rumors flying that Senator Tom Cotton (R) might be tapped as the next director of the CIA. This is a curious prospect, as Cotton is widely expected to have his sights set firmly on the presidency, and a job in the Trump Administration seems like a less useful stepping stone towards that than just staying on as a 2+ term Senator in uber-safe Arkansas. We’ll have to see, though with some of the other stories coming out today the NRSC might not want to defend even more unexpectedly open seats in 2018.

CA-36: The GOP has another candidate running for the chance to take on 3-term Democrat Raul Ruiz in this Eastern-Riverside-County seat. Republican Dan Ball, a local news anchor, announced his run yesterday. He joins Actress Kimberlain Brown in the race for the second slot to Ruiz in California’s top-2 system, but Ruiz has beaten tougher opponents than both of them in worse years than 2018 is shaping out to be, so he’s probably still secure.

FL-27: Well this is . . . unexpected. Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera (R), one of the GOP candidates running to succeed retiring Rep Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) in this Cuban seat covering most of Miami, has stated that she believes she was abducted by aliens when she was 7. Needless to say, this does not bode well for her chances in what is easily the Democrat’s best 2018 flip target, even assuming she makes it out of the Cuban Machine primary.

MI-9: Sandy Levin (D) is still apparently undecided on whether or not he wants to run for re-election to his Suburban Detroit seat. While Levin is probably safe if he runs again in this rapidly diversifying seat covering Upscale-Yuppie Liberals in Southeastern Oakland County and Union Dems in Southern Macomb County, the GOP could realistically make a play for an open seat that moved quite a bit towards Trump last year.

MI-11: Kerry Bentivolio, a man who is either the most or second-most accidental Congressman ever depending on where you put Joseph Cao on the list, is running for this seat again as a Republican. Bentivolio has been a perennial candidate even before accidentally being the only guy left on the ticket in 2012 after the McCotter fiasco, and is probably not going to be a serious threat to win this seat again as several other Republicans are running and more may get in the race. Rep. David Trott (R) is retiring.

MS-Sen: Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), no stranger to health scares, will apparently be unable to make back to Washington due to health concerns. This robs the Senate GOP of a crucial vote needed to pass their tax reform plan (not to mention the chair of the Senate Appropriations committee), and also raises the increasingly likely possibility that Cochran will be unable to serve out the remainder of his term, opening up another GOP seat that the party will have to play defense in. Expect Cochran’s 2014 primary opponent Chris McDaniels—who is already making noise about primarying Mississippi’s other Republican Senator—to jump at the easier chance to make it into the Senate after losing a nail bitter back in 2014.

NJ-Sen: Despite a brief indication to the contrary, all of the corruption and bribery charges against Senator Menendez (D-NJ) are going to trial. Given that its more or less an open secret that he is guilty, this means that it is possible that Lame-duck GOP Governor Chris Christie will get to appoint his successor, if only for a few months. Given that Christie is in full-on IDGAF mode after being spurned by Trump, no one has any idea who he would appoint or why.

TN-Sen: Former Governor Phil Bredesen (D), last seen winning a landslide re-election in normally blood-red Tennessee in 2006, is considering running for the now-open Senate seat. Bresden is pretty much the only Democrat who could make a race in what is arguably the most reliably Republican state East of the Mississippi, but is probably going to suffer the same fate that Bill Weld did in Massachusetts when he tried to transform “Popular Moderate opposite-party Governor” into a Senate career—Federal Politics give individuals much less room to maneuver personally than state-level ones. Given that Tennessee has only gotten redder since Bresden retired in 2010, this race is probably Likely R at worst for the GOP, even if he does run.

Other:

Calgary-Mayor: Incumbent Naheed Nenshi, who made waves in 2010 as the first Muslim to win mayorship of a major Western city, has won re-election narrowly over former Progressive-Conservative party leader Bill Smith. Nenshi is famous for coming out of nowhere with his oddly post-partisan and social-media-based “Purple Campaign” in 2010, and has governed as an eccentric centrist since then. He coasted to re-election with 73% of the vote in 2013 (the mayoral terms were extended from 3 years to 4 during his tenure), but faced a stiff challenge this year from Smith, who was benefiting from a change-focused campaign in a city hit hard by falling oil prices. If you ever wanted to know what a Muslim, Centrist Obama would look like, Nenshi is probably your guy.

Immigration: The Census Bureau has released updated and detailed numbers about America’s Immigrants. We’re well on our way to passing the previous-high of 14.7% of Americans having been born in a foreign country, and are expected to hit that number sometime in the early 2020s. Of note is that America’s Immigrants are diversifying rapidly, with immigration from Mexico slowing, but being more than made up for by surges from medium and smaller-sized countries like Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Burma, Nigeria, Egypt, and Kenya. We’ve gotten almost an entire Congressional district’s worth of new Immigration from China and India each since 2010, and we’re on track to have gotten one from non-Mexican Latin America, the Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa by 2020 as well.

Quebec: Quebec’s government has revived an effort to require women’s faces to be uncovered to use public services, such as riding a bus. The move is stated to be a part of Quebec PM’s Couillard’s effort to enforce the “neutrality of the state” in religious affairs, but is being widely panned as a naked pandering to Quebecois’ anti-Muslim tendencies.

Political Roundup for October 16, 2017

Over the weekend, for LA-Treasurer, Derrick Edwards (D) and John Schroeder (R) advanced. As Republicans took ~2/3 of the vote and Edwards is not running a serious campaign, Schroeder is the prohibitive favorite in the mid-November runoff (as an aside, check out Miles Coleman’s MAP of the results) For LA-PSC-2, RINO surgeon Craig Greene won outright. In New Orleans, Cantrell (D) and Charbonnet (D) advanced. Finally, for LA-LD-58, Brass (D) won outright, while in LA-LD-77, Manness (R) and Wright (R) advanced. In Austria, Sebastian Kurz of the center-right OVP won about a third of the vote, outpacing the nationalist FPO and social-democratic SPO. It’s uncertain which of the FPO or SPO will join the OVP in coalition. In Kyrgyzstan, the candidate of the incumbent government, Soroonbai Jeenbekov, won the presidency without a runoff.

Senate:

CA-Sen: State Senate President Kevin DeLeon (D) will challenge Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) from the left.  DeLeon and Feinstein are well-positioned to advance to the general election, but defeating the popular and long-serving incumbent from the left in a general election among all voters (including Republicans) seems quite the tall order.

MO-Sen, MO-Aud: State Rep. Paul Curtman (R), who had been running a little-noticed Senate campaign, will instead drop out and explore a run for Auditor. AG Josh Hawley (R) entered the race last week and looks like the prohibitive GOP primary favorite to take on vulnerable Sen. Claire McCaskill (D). Appointed incumbent Auditor Nicole Galloway (D) has somewhat strangely so far not attracted serious GOP opposition.

MT-Sen: Judge Russell Fagg (R) has become the latest candidate into the primary to take on Sen. Jon Tester (D). Fagg joins front-running State Auditor (Insurance Commissioner) Matt Rosendale (R), State Sen. Al Olzewski (R), and storage company exec Troy Downing (R).

ND-Sen: Ex-Rep. and 2012 nominee Rick Berg (R) is considering a rematch with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D), who upset him for the open seat in 2012. As Berg’s last campaign was considered deeply subpar there isn’t a whole lot of enthusiasm for a comeback bid. State Sen. Tom Campbell (R) is in the race, while Rep. Kevin Cramer (R) and State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt (R) are thought to still be considering runs.

Governor:

AL-Gov: As expected, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox (D) will enter the primary for Governor. Maddox, who is considered a rising star, will face opposition from ex-State Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb (D) in the Dem primary. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) is facing a crowded field of primary opponents, most notably Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle (R), who raised over $1M in the month of September.

AZ-Gov: In what looks like as clear-cut a case of sour grapes as it gets, former Ducey administration official Tim Jeffries (R) is considering a primary run against his former boss, Gov. Doug Ducey (R). Jeffries was ousted from his state cabinet post last year amid reports of improper firing of employees and misuse of state resources. Jeffries seems unlikely to be a serious threat to Ducey in the primary.

ID-Gov: The Kootenai County GOP committee has passed a resolution blasting developer and gubernatorial candidate Tommy Ahlquist (R) for his donations to Democrats. Ahlquist notably donated to 2014 Dem gubernatorial nominee AJ Balukoff (D); he says the donation was because Balukoff was a personal friend but he voted for his rival, Gov. Butch Otter (R). Ahlquist is running as something of a moderate third wheel in this primary between LG Brad Little (R), the candidate of the IDGOP’s establishment, socially-conservative faction, and Rep. Raul Labrador (R), the candidate of the IDGOP’s antiestablishment, fiscally-conservative faction. Ironically, Ahlquist could wind up facing Balukoff if he wins the GOP primary, as Balukoff is thought to be considering a second run.

IL-Gov, IL-LG: State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R), of DuPage County in the Chicago suburbs, is considering a challenge to Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) in the GOP primary after Rauner signed an abortion-funding bill. Ives would be at a massive fundraising disadvantage to Rauner but could win the primary on grassroots enthusiasm. Should she make it to the general though, the conservative Ives would have little chance in the general in the deep-blue state. Across the aisle, local superintendent Bob Daiber (D) announced his LG choice, social worker Jonathan Todd (D). Daiber is the last of the four serious Dem contenders to pick a running mate.

KS-Gov: 2014 Senate candidate Greg Orman (I) is considering a run for Governor, once again as an Independent. The decision would be very good news for Republicans. Orman did surprisingly well in 2014 as the de facto Democrat in the Senate race. But running as an Indie in a race where there is likely to be a credible Democrat would likely mean a split in the center and center-left vote that would hand an easy win to the GOP nominee by way of the state’s large conservative base. Both Republicans and Democrats have crowded fields here.

ME-Gov: Sen. Susan Collins (R) will not run for Governor. Though Collins would have likely been a strong front-runner for the Governorship, she is likely to stay a more key national figure as a swing vote in the Senate. This decision also removes (for now) the prospect of a difficult GOP hold for this Senate seat in 2020 without Collins, though it does lower Republicans’ odds of retaining the Governorship. The GOP primary currently consists of State Sen. Garrett Mason (R), State Rep. Ken Fredette (R), and LePage administration official Mary Mayhew (R). A fourth candidate may enter soon, as businessman and 2010 Indie candidate Shawn Moody (R) has joined the GOP and is exploring a run as well. Democrats have an even more crowded field and three credible Indies are also running.

MN-Gov, MN-LG: Rep. Tim Walz (D) has picked State Rep. Peggy Flanagan (D) as his running mate. Walz is so far considered the slight front-runner for the DFL endorsement, but he faces a crowded field of Auditor Rebecca Otto (D), St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman (D), and State Reps. Erin Murphy (D), Tina Leibling (D), and Paul Thissen (D). Walz is the first candidate on either side to commit to an LG pick.

OR-Gov: Happy Valley mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R), who narrowly lost a State House race last year, will not run for Governor. Chavez-DeRemer was the last major GOP candidate still exploring the race. Her exit likely means that State Rep. Knute Buehler (R) will not face serious primary opposition for the right to take on Gov. Kate Brown (D).

PA-Gov: Well-connected attorney Laura Ellsworth (R) will seek the GOP nomination to take on Gov. Tom Wolf (R). Ellsworth, a partner at the high-powered Jones Day mega-law firm, could potentially be an establishment choice in the primary against antiestablishment-leaning State Sen. Scott Wagner (R), though she will likely have to contend for that niche with businessman Paul Mango (R).

SC-Gov: A second Democrat has entered this race. Consultant and nonprofit exec Phil Noble (D), who ran a Democratic primary campaign for LG in 1994, will take on State Rep. James Smith (D) in the Democratic primary. Incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster (R) faces Haley admin official Catherine Templeton (R), LG Kevin Bryant (R), and ex-LG Yancey McGill (R) in the GOP primary.

TX-Gov: Democrats have a slightly more credible prospect to take on popular Gov. Greg Abbott (R), as ex-Balch Springs (pop. 25K) mayor Cedrick Davis (D) will run for Governor. Former mayor of a smallish Dallas slumburb would ordinarily not be a credible candidate resume in a state as big as Texas. However, Democrats are running out of options in this race with the filing deadline under two months away, so there’s a chance Davis may get a serious look. The only other candidate in the race besides Davis is gay-bar owner Jeffrey Payne (D).

WI-Gov: Ex-WIDP chair Matt Flynn (D) is the latest candidate into this increasingly crowded primary to take on Gov. Scott Walker (R). Flynn joins State Superintendent Tony Evers (D), State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D), State Rep. Dana Wachs (D), businessman Andy Gronik (D), and nonprofit exec Mike McCabe (D) in the race.

House:

CA-7: Physician Yona Barash (R), a Holocaust survivor as an infant who later immigrated to the US from Israel, is running against Rep. Ami Bera (D). Bera has won a string of hard-fought victories over credible GOP candidates in this light-blue suburban Sacramento seat.

IN-2: Healthcare executive Mel Hall (D) will run for this medium-red seat, giving Democrats a credible candidate to take on Rep. Jackie Walorski (R). This seat has trended strongly right in the last decade but might be still be in play in a Democratic wave.

MA-9: Convenience store executive Peter Tedeschi (R), who ran the large regional Tedeschi’s convenience store chain before selling it to 7-eleven, is running for Congress and will announce later this month. The district isn’t specified but it’s almost certainly the light-blue Cape Cod and South Shore/South Coast MA-9 of Rep. Bill Keating (D). Tedeschi seems a solid candidate and Gov. Charlie Baker (R) will almost certainly carry the seat, but defeating an incumbent Democrat in Massachusetts (for any office) is all but impossible, so this is likely to be an uphill race.

MI-6: George Franklin (D), a former university regent and lobbyist for Kellogg’s cereal, will run for this light-red southwest Michigan seat. Longtime incumbent Fred Upton (R) has been popular in the district, but he is currently considering a run for Senate, which would make this race a high-level Dem pickup opportunity if open.

MI-11: Plymouth Twp. supervisor and ex-State Rep. Kurt Heise (R) has announced a bid for this light-red suburban Detroit open seat. Heise joins State Rep. Klint Kesto (R), ex-State Rep. Rocky Raczkowski (R), and businesswoman Lena Epstein (R) in the GOP primary; Dems also have a crowded field.

NY-1: Suffolk County commissioner Kate Browning (D) is running for the House seat of Rep. Lee Zeldin (R). Browning, an Irish immigrant with ties to the union-backed Working Families party, is likely to be the Dem establishment choice for this light-red eastern Long Island seat.

PA-18: Westmoreland County commissioner Gina Cerilli (D) has thrown her hat into the ring, joining ex-Allegheny County commissioner Mike Crossey (D) and Bush 43 admin official Pam Iovino (D) (yes, you read that right – it was a cross-party appointment) in the race for the Dem endorsement. The GOP also has a trio of candidates, State Sens. Kim Ward (R) and Guy Reschenthaler (R) and State Rep. Rick Saccone (R). The special election to replace Rep. Tim Murphy (R) in this medium-red south suburban Pittsburgh seat has not been scheduled but is likely to be early next year.

TN-7: Songwriter Lee Thomas Miller (R) is considering a run for this deep-red open seat. Miller has written songs for country stars Garth Brooks and Brad Paisley, among others. He also hails from the wealthy and high-turnout suburban Williamson County portion of the district. Miller is the first candidate to express interest in taking on the only declared candidate for this seat, State Sen. Mark Green (R). For his part, Green received an endorsement from the Club for Growth, potentially giving him a fundraising boost.

State Offices:

CT-Treas: Investor Thad Gray (R) is running for State Treasurer, becoming the first candidate into this race. Incumbent Denise Nappier (D) has not indicated her plans but is thought to be considering retirement; she won by a smaller-than-expected margin in 2014.

DE-Aud: Ex-State Rep. Dennis Williams (D), who lost primaries for his seat in 2014 and 2016, will run for State Auditor. 7-term incumbent Tom Wagner (R), one of two statewide elected Rs in Delaware, has not yet declared whether he will run again.

FL-AG: In what might be a record for shortest exploratory phase of a campaign, State Rep. Frank White (R) of Pensacola filed to run for AG last Friday – less than 24 hours after publicly declaring he was exploring the race. White joins front-running retired judge Ashley Moody (R) and State Rep. Jay Fant (R) in the primary. Little-known attorney Ryan Torrens (D) is to date the only Dem in the race.

ID-LG: State Sen. Bob Nonini (R) is the latest candidate into this supremely crowded open-seat primary field. Nonini, who hails from the northern panhandle, joins fellow State Sen. Marv Hagedorn (R), State Rep. Kelley Packer (R), ex-State Rep. Janice McGeachin (R), and ex-IDGOP Chairman Steve Yates (R). Incumbent Brad Little (R) is running for Governor.

IL-AG: Kane County DA Joe McMahon (R) is considering a run for AG. McMahon has name recognition from his tenure as DA in a large suburban county and his serving as a special prosecutor in the Lacquan Macdonald police shooting incident. However, he would likely face an uphill run in the GOP primary, as former congressional candidate Erika Harold (R) has already sewn up most of the GOP establishment’s support. Across the aisle, parks commissioner Jesse Ruiz (D) is seen as likely to become the fourth candidate in this field, joining State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D), State Rep. Scott Drury (D), and Chicago city official Sharon Fairley (D).

IL-SoS: Grundy County DA Jason Helland (R) will run for Secretary of State, giving Republicans a credible candidate for this seat. Popular incumbent Jesse White (D) has said he will be seeking a sixth term and would be a prohibitive favorite if he runs, but there are rumors that White may pull a late retirement to try and clear the field for a hand-picked successor.

KS-Ins Comm: Ex-State Sen. and 2014 candidate Clark Shultz (R), who currently serves as the department’s #2 official, is preparing to make a second run for Insurance Commissioner. Shultz came in a very close third (by 4%) in the 2014 primary and would likely start a second bid as the front-runner for the seat. However, he left the door open to dropping out of the race should his boss, incumbent Ken Selzer (R), drop his bid for Governor and seek re-election. No other candidates have as yet declared interest in this seat.

NE-Treas: 2017 Omaha Mayoral candidate Taylor Royal (R), a twenty-something accountant who ran a quixotic self-funded bid based on bringing an NFL team to Omaha, will run for State Treasurer. Royal also notched a surprising endorsement from the woman he unsuccessfully tried to oust, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert (R). He joins State Sen. John Murante (R), who has the endorsement of Gov. Pete Ricketts (R), in the primary for this open seat.

Local Races:

Atlanta-Mayor: City councilwoman Keisha Lance-Bottoms (D) has notched a big endorsement from incumbent Kasim Reed (D). Lance-Bottoms is the closest candidate in the crowded field to Reed, so the move is no surprise; however, Reed’s support could help her stand out. Lance-Bottoms is in a tight race for the second runoff spot in this race; a number of liberal candidates are vying to advance to a December runoff with moderate councilwoman and 2009 candidate Mary Norwood (I).

Phoenix-Mayor: A pair of city councilors have thrown their hats into the ring for next year’s special election. Daniel Valenzuela (D) and Kate Gallego (D), ex-wife of US Rep. Ruben (D), have both declared their candidacies. Incumbent Greg Stanton (D) will need to resign next year to run for the AZ-9 seat of Rep. and Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema (D).

Prince George’s, MD-CE: Ex-Rep. Donna Edwards (D), who lost a US Senate primary in 2016, is trying for a comeback in a run for the open PG County Executive seat. Edwards starts with the highest name recognition in a field including DA Angela Alsobrooks (D), DINO State Sen. Anthony Muse (D), and Obama Admin official Paul Monteiro (D). However, Edwards has never been on great terms with the area’s Democratic establishment, which could be problematic if they coalesce around one of her rivals.

Shelby, TN-CE: State Sen. Lee Harris (D) is running for the County Executive post in Shelby County, covering Memphis. He joins ex-county commissioner Sidney Chism (D) in the primary. Shelby County is deep-blue but the GOP has had high levels of success countywide;  Three credible Republicans are running in County Trustee David Lenoir (R), Court Clerk Joy Touliatos (R), and County Commissioner Terry Roland (R).

Political Roundup for October 6, 2017

Senate:

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

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

House:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Governor/state offices:

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

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

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

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

Political Roundup for September 27th, 2017

About last night: ex-State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R) won the AL-Sen runoff, defeating incumbent Luther Strange (R) 56-44. Incumbent Marty Walsh (D) advanced to a general with councilman Tito Jackson (D) in Boston, which Walsh led 66-24, and Democrats picked up a pair of legislative seats in FL-SD-40 (with Annette Taddeo-Goldstein (D) winning by 3%) and a deep-red State House seat in NH. Republicans held FL-LD-116 easily.

Governor:

NJ-Gov: Former Goldman Sachs Master of the Universe Phil Murphy (D) has launched his first TV ad of the general election. After spending more than $20 million to buy win the Democrat nomination, Murphy has put his campaign on autopilot, kept a low profile and went on the public dole by entering the New Jersey Campaign Finance system program that limits donations, curtails spending and allowed him to use taxpayer money to finance his campaign. Murphy’s first ad obviously tries to link Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R) to Gov. Chris Christie (R) whose poll numbers are absolutely toxic. The RGA is up with their second 15-second TV ad (See HERE) which hits “really loaded, really liberal” Phil Murphy for not paying his employees the $15 minimum wage he claims to favor.

NV-Gov: Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) has announced 12 “special events” starting on Monday during which he is expected to officially announce his candidacy for Governor. On the Democrat side Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani (D) has scheduled a “special announcement” for Monday which she will most likely use to announce her run for Governor. Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak (D) and State Treasurer Dan Schwartz (R) have previously announced their candidacies.

VA-Gov: New polls are out in Virginia. PPP has Democrat Ralph Northam leading Republican Ed Gillespie by a very narrow 43% to 40% margin with Libertarian Cliff Hyra at 4% and Not Sure at 13%, a Monmouth poll taken 9/21 to 9/25 has Northam at 49% and Gillespie at 44%, while IMGE Insights has Nothman leading Gillespie 45% to 41%.

Senate:

MS-Sen: State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R), who nearly toppled Sen. Thad Cochran (R) in a 2014, now has his eye on challenging Sen. Roger Wicker (R) in 2018. McDaniel has been talking with former Trump strategist Steve Bannon and views Roy Moore’s primary win as a call to arms.

PA-Sen: Rep. Mike Kelly (R) who at one time was considering a run for Senate has sent a fundraising letter out on behalf of GOP Senate candidate Rep. Lou Barletta.

TN-Sen: ICYMI Sen. Bob Corker has announced he will not seek re-election in 2018. Please scroll down for our complete coverage of this from yesterday and for my plug for David French to run for Senate!

TX-Sen: Sen. John Cornyn (R) has made it clear he will run for re-election in 2020. H stated that he would stay in the Senate “as long as Texans will have me” which at the rate Texas is turning blue could be a VERY long time.

House:

IN-04: State Sen. John Crane (R) announced he will not run for this open safe R seat of Rep. Todd Rokita is vacating to run for Senate. Steve Braun and Diego Morales are the two leading GOP candidates in this race.

MI-11: RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel (R) has ruled out a run for the open House seat of retiring Rep. Dave Trott (R).

NV-3: Emily’s List has endorsed failed 2016 NV-4 candidate Susie Lee (D) for this open swing seat. The Nevada Democrat establishment seems to be coalescing around the very wealthy Lee while the GOP has a fairly large and wide open field for this seat.

NY-19: And then there were 7! Some dudette Sue Sullivan (D) has dropped out of the race for Congress vs. freshman Rep. John Faso leaving only 7 no name Democrats vying for the right to take on Faso next year.

State, Local & Other:

NY-Nassau County Executive: The Civil Service Employees Association Nassau County has endorsed Republican Jack Martins for county executive. Municipal labor unions usually endorse Democrats but since the Nassau Country Republican machine is all about playing ball they can buy these endorsements away from the Democrats.

NY-Corruption: A three-judge federal-appeals court panel has overturned former New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R) 2015 federal corruption conviction. At issue was the 2016 Supreme Court case that overturned former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s corruption conviction. In Skelos’ case prosecutors used the pre-2016 SCOTUS ruling charging standards against Skelos. This was the same issue that lead to the overturning of former New York Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver’s (D) corruption conviction. Federal prosecutors are expected to retry Skelos under the new standard.

VA-Lt Gov: In the race for Lt Governor PPP has a new poll out with Democrat Justin Fairfax leading Republican Jill Vogel 43% to 37% with Not Sure at 21%.

VA-AG: PPP also polled the race for Attorney General and had Democrat Mark Herring leading Republican John Adams 46% to 38% with Not Sure at 16%.

#FakeNews: The Washington Post ran an unbelievably crappy story in which they falsely claimed 17,000 Wisconsinites in two counties didn’t vote in 2016 because of voter ID laws. The state of Wisconsin actually keeps records of how many people show up to vote without an ID. In 2016 less than 600 people came to vote without an ID and every single one of them were allowed to vote if they agreed to sign an affidavit explaining why they couldn’t get ID. But instead of  relying on the actual numbers the state of Wisconsin keeps The Washington Post instead decided to rely on a biased unverifiable targeted survey with 293 self-respondents (out of 2,300 sent) in which they extrapolated their ridiculous figure of 17,000 disenfranchised non-ID voters. The whole thing is complete nonsense and a prime example of how false stories can perpetuate false myths about voter fraud and disenfranchisement that don’t exist.

WATN: Former three time RRHelections Turkey Award Winner Anthony Weiner (D) has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for sexting with a 15 year old girl. We would make more jokes about he “man” most responsible for electing Donald Trump President of the United States but the sick f*** was having cybersex with a kid. May he rot in jail.

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