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Political Roundup for October 12th, 2017

Check back at 3p ET this afternoon for our preview of this weekend’s Louisiana Primaries.

President

Murphy: Alas, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) will go on raising money off gun control and not run for President. Of course this early is like the beginning of a spy movie where you have to trust nobody because the premise sets up people going back on their word.

Senate

CA-Sen: Billionaire environmentalist financier Tom Steyer (D) is looking at a challenge of Sen. Diane Feinstein from the left. California’s top-two primary opens the door to these kind of intra-party challenges destined to take place among a general election electorate. Meanwhile, far-left Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA-13) has declined to run for Senate against Dianne Feinstein, an institution in California politics, despite the urging of fellow Rep. Rho Khanna. State Sen. Kevin de Leon (D) also looks like a no at a campaign against Feinstein from the left. Feinstein has already racked up endorsements from a wide range of Democratic officials since announcing her reelection on Monday, including LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and Sen. Kamala Harris.

AL-Sen: Roy Moore (R) previously said he drew no salary from his work with his charity “The Foundation for Moral Law;” however, he collected over $1 million from the organization over five years. Incredibly, when the organization couldn’t afford the salary they gave him a stake in a historic building they own. The organization also had two of his children on the payroll at one point. Moore faces former US Attorney Doug Jones (D) in this special election.

NJ-Sen: Sen. Bob Menendez (D) may yet squirm out of his dicey legal situation.

Governor

MI-Gov: State Sen. Pat Colbeck (R) has been stripped of all his committee assignments since launching a gubernatorial bid. Apparently the harsh move was in response to Colbeck appearing at a fundraiser in Senate Majority Leader Arian Meekhof’s district without notifying the rival politician. Seems like a minor faux pas compared to the severity of the response. Colbeck is running to the right in this race and will likely be overshadowed in the Republican primary by Attorney General Bill Schuette and the possible bid of Lieutenant Gov. Brian Calley.

TN-Gov: After the House passed her budget bill, Rep. Diane Black (R) can take a victory lap and focus on her gubernatorial bid in this open seat. She is holding onto her committee chairmanship as budget negotiations continue with the Senate.

House

PA-13: Rep. Brendan Boyle (D) suddenly became many Republicans’ favorite congressman when he recently opined on the sport of soccer. “Run around for 90 minutes.
Flop when barely touched. Score 1 goal at most. Do I got it?,” Boyle tweeted, adding a winky face before he concluded the diatribe.

MN-8: Rep. Rick Nolan (DFL) is on the receiving end of a primary challenge from FBI counterterrorism analyst Leah Phifer. Phifer doesn’t sound overtly liberal on a lot of issues, but she is on one key issue in the 8th: the Polymet mining project. Nolan is liberal, but even he is not brazen enough to vote that far against his district. Phifer’s take on this issue could drive a nice wedge in the primary, and the race already has Green Skip Sandman returning for a repeat third party campaign to split those votes in the general. St Louis County Commissioner Pete Stauber (R) is running on the Republican side in this swingy, Lean D seat. More from Aaron Brown.

NH-1: John DiStaso analyzes the newly open swing seat here, where real political junkies were starved of another Guinta v Shea-Porter matchup. Democrats interested in the seat include: former Somersworth mayor and former Strafford County attorney Lincoln Soldati and Rochester City Attorney Terence O’Rourke, Executive Councilor Chris Pappas (D), and State Reps. Mark McKenzie (D) and Mindi Messmer (D).

NH-2: State Rep. Steve Negron (R) has picked up some legislative endorsements out of Nashua, which makes it sound like the outcome of his “exploring” this race is pretty likely.

State and Local

MI-Leg: Former State Rep. and felon Brian Banks (D)just resigned his seat last February over his latest charges, so naturally he is now…. running for a promotion to State Senate? Some politicians have some grand audacity.

TX-leg: A few updates.

  • HD-128: State Rep. Briscoe Cain received a boost to his reelection when Black Lives Matter shut down a speech of his at Texas Southern University, giving the conservative facing a Republican primary challenge from Baytown City Councilman Terry Sain a nice bogeyman to campaign against.
  • SD-13: State Sen. Borris Miles(D) survived an armed robbery last night.
  • HD-6: House leadership may have found a candidate to take on Freedom Caucus member Matt Schaefer in former State Rep. Ted Kamel of Tyler.

NH-Leg: Gov. Sununu (R) plans to nominate Speaker Shawn Jasper (R) to be the Commissioner of Agriculture, leaving a gaping hole for House leadership. Jasper would resign once confirmed for the post. Remember, Jasper has dueled a conservative insurgency since usurping his present post, so the move is sure to create a competitive race for a replacement.

Political Roundup for August 9th, 2017

About Last night, Democrat Phil Miller won IA-LD-28 by a 54% to 44% margin. Trump won seat 58% to 37%. In MO-LD-50 Sara Walsh (R) won by a narrower than expected 52% to 48% margin. In MO-SD-28 Republican State Rep. Sandy Crawford won.

In primaries, Marquette councilwoman Sara Cambensy (D) won the primary for MI-LD-109 with 37 percent of the vote. She will face Republican Rich Rossway in General Election. Tenisha Yancey (D) won the primary for the Safe D MI-LD-1, and Spartanburg councilman Rosalyn Henderson-Myers (D) won the primary for the Safe D SC-LD-31. Businessman Paul Rosino (R) prevailed in OK-SD-45, while retired cop Ross Ford (R) narrowly won in OK-LD-76 over the prior incumbent’s widow. Ford will face teacher Chris Vanlandingham (D) in the general.

President:

Kasich: An American Research Group poll has Gov. John Kasich leading President Trump in a hypothetical New Hampshire Republican presidential primary 52% to 40%.  Unfortunately ARG did not do a three way poll of a hypothetical primary in which John Kasich plays spoiler allowing Trump to win again with 40% of the vote.

Governor:

CO-Gov: State Treasurer Walker Stapleton (R) has found a novel way around Colorado’s restrictive campaign finance laws that limits donations to $1,150. Stapleton is holding off announcing his run for governor in order to raise unlimited cash for a super PAC-style group called Better Colorado Now. Stapleton’s situation highlights the problems with restrictive campaign finance laws that encourages the outsourcing the cost of running a political campaign to outside third party political groups.

FL-Gov: Despite serious questions that arose, a Florida grand jury has cleared Tallahassee Mayor and Democratic candidate for governor Andrew Gillum of criminal liability after an investigation into his use of a city-funded email program used to send private and political messages.

KS-Gov: Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer (R) made it official and announced that he will run for Governor in 2018. Colyer is poised to takeover as Governor of Kansas when current Gov. Sam Brownback (R) finally gets confirmed to be ambassador at large for international religious freedom. Running for a full term as a sitting governor should give Colyer a leg up in the Republican primary where he could face a crowded field that includes Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer (who entered the race earlier this week), businessman Wink Hartman, former state senator Jim Barnett and entrepreneur Ed O’Malley

NY-Gov: Oh, Miranda! Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is taking the threat of a Cynthia Nixon primary challenge serious enough to offer to sit down with her and discuss education issues. Nixon meanwhile declined to rule out a bid for Governor during an appearance she made on the Today Show.

ME-Gov: Sen. Susan Collins (R) may want to do some more polling before deciding if she wants to run for Governor. According to a PPP poll of a potential GOP primary former LePage health commissioner Mary Mayhew would lead Collins in a hypothetical matchup, 44 percent to 33 percent. Collins would score just a mere 28% against a hypothetical “someone else”. We would advice taking this poll with a very big grain of salt as it is common practice to release polls like this to either motivate or demotivate a potential candidate from running.

TX-Gov: Texas Democrats still do not have a candidate for governor. No major Democrat has shown any interest in losing challenging Gov. Gregg Abbott (R) who has nearly $41 million in his campaign account and strong approval ratings. So far only former “International Mr. Leather” Jeffrey Payne (D) has announced his intentions to run.

VA-Gov: A new poll released by the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University shows Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) with a slight 42% to 37% edge over Republican Ed Gillespie in the Virginia governor’s race. Libertarian candidate Cliff Hyra gets 6% in this matchup while 13% are undecided.

WY-Gov: Former Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R) confirmed she will not run for Governor. Incumbent Gov. Matt Mead (R) is term limited and many people had thought Lummis would be a shoo-in to succeed him. Without Lummis running the field here seems to be wide open.

Senate:

AL-Sen: President Donald J. Trump (R) has endorsed appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R) ahead for the upcoming special election. Assuming President Trump doesn’t start a nuclear war between now and August 15th this should help Sen. Strange bigly.

IN-Sen: ICYMI, fourth-term Rep. Todd Rokita (R) will join the primary for Sen. Joe Donnelly’s (D) Senate seat. We had full coverage of this yesterday.

MI-Sen: Kid Rock (R) has made it official! Robert Richie aka “Kid Rock” has left his two-decade affiliation with the Warner Music Group and signed on with Music City’s BBR Music record label. He is also contemplating a US Senate run.

NV-Sen: A Strategic National poll has  Sen. Dean Heller (R) leading perennial candidate Danny Tarkanian in a Republican primary by a 38% to 34% margin win 27% undecided. Of course this poll was taken before the Senate Leadership Fund PAC put any money into reminding Nevada voters about Tarkanian’s $17 million bankruptcy and other less than flattering business dealings.

VA-Sen: Nothing says you are a man of the people and a real Virginian more than flying out to the Hamptons and having a $10,800 a head fundraiser at the mansion summer home of New York Giants co-owner Jon Tisch, which is why Sen. Tim Kaine (D) plans to spend the last week in August on the South Fork of Long Island, NY raising some serious money.

WI-Sen: The NRSC has launched radio ads in the Wausau and La Crosse markets attacking Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) over an opioid scandal in Wisconsin Veterans Administration Hospital that Sen. Baldwin tried to help sweep under the rug.

WV-Sen: Sen. Joe Manchin doesn’t “give a s–t” if his liberal voting record costs him re-election.

House:

KY-6: Politico Magazine looks at Democrats fetish for getting behind the candidacy of US veterans. The latest example of this in in KY-6 where long shot formerly unknown Air Force pilot Amy McGrath was able to raise over $200,000 in 36 hours thanks to a viral video of her talking about serving as a combat pilot. McGrath faces State Sen. Reggie Thomas (D) in the primary. Both Donald Trump and Mitt Romney won KY-6 by double digits and Rep. Andy Barr (R) cruised to an easy 22 point win in 2016.

MT-AL: Newly elected Rep. Greg Gianforte (R) will get his first Democrat challenger. Some dude attorney John Heenan (D) announced he will run for Congress.

NJ-11: After the DCCC’s top recruit Assemblyman John McKeon (D) announced that he would not run for Congress, Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark (D) announced he is “officially exploring” a run for the seat held by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R). Donald Trump won this district by 1 point in 2016 and Frelinghuysen cruised to an easy 20 point victory in a seat that his ancestors have represented in one capacity or another since 1720.

NY-19: A pro-Obamacare group has launched a new digital ad aimed at freshman Rep. John Faso (R). No word on how much they intend to spend on the hit job digital ad.

OH-16: Former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez (R) recently met with the NRCC about a possible run for the seat Rep. Jim Renacci (R) is vacating to run for governor. 28 year old heir force state Rep.Christina Hagan (R) and State Rep. Tom Patton (RINO) are currently running for this seat.

TN-2: Financial advisor Brad Fullington (R) has become the third Republican to enter the open race for the safe R seat of retiring Rep. Jimmy Duncan (R). Fullington is not nearly as well known as  Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and State Rep. Jimmy Matlock who are also seeking the GOP nomination.

WI-4: Milwaukee County Circuit Judge David Borowski (D) is considering challenging Rep. Gwen Moore (D) in a Democrat primary next year. Moore has not faced a serious challenge in years and easily defeated felon and (former state Senator) Gary George in her last two primary elections.

State, Local & Other:

Syracuse-Mayor: The September 12th Democrat primary for mayor of Syracuse has narrowed from 7 candidates to 3. Democrat organization endorsed City Councilor Joe Nicoletti, City Auditor Marty Masterpole and NY State Dept of Labor official and former Dean of Students at Syracuse University Juanita Perez Williams made the ballot while 4 others either dropped out, couldn’t get enough signatures or had enough of their nominating petition signatures invalidated by challenges to be knocked off the ballot (an art form in NY State). Syracuse has not elected a GOP mayor since 2001 and 55% of voters are Democrats, so the winner of the Democrat primary will be the favorite in November.

Detroit & Kenya Preview & Open Thread

Today there are a handful of minor elections: 8 legislative specials, an international race, and a meaningless mayoral race in Detroit. There isn’t enough to liveblog today, but here is an open thread to discuss any of these races.

Detroit: Today is the primary for Mayor of Detroit, but it’s not exactly interesting. Detroit has a population of around 675K (which is still dropping, though not quite as precipitously as it has been) that is roughly 85% Black, with a small Mexican community on the southwest side and a few white hipsters downtown. It had a PVI of D+44 (2008). This race is a California-Rules Top Two primary, so with only two serious candidates, today is essentially a straw poll for November’s real election. Incumbent Mike Duggan (D) is the first white mayor of the city since the 70s. Duggan is a typical machine hack liberal, but he has done a decent job of slowing the city’s freefall and even reversing the decline in some neighborhoods. Clearing that low bar is enough to make him a huge favorite for re-election to a second term. Duggan’s rival, State Sen. Coleman Young Jr. (D), son of Detroit’s polarizing 70s and 80s era mayor of the same name, is running to his left, accusing Duggan of not paying enough attention to the city’s poorest neighborhoods. Polls generally show Duggan leading Young by around 2:1, and it looks like that will be close to today’s result as well. Six other non-serious candidates are on the ballot, including four felons.

Kenya: The east African nation of Kenya is also holding its presidential election today. Kenya is a nation of 48M with a land area slightly smaller than Texas. Like many third-world democracies, Kenya’s politics are more clan- and personality-based than ideological. The two candidates for president are incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta and Ralia Odinga, his rival in the previous election. Both are wealthy and descendants of some of the nation’s founding leaders, and their families have dominated the nation for much of the time since independence. Polling shows Odinga with a slight lead; regardless of the result, observers are considering post-election violence to be likely between the nation’s various clans.

Legislative Specials: There are also 8 legislative specials at stake across 5 states: 3 generals, 4 primaries, and a primary runoff.
IA-LD-82 is probably the first legit shot for a contested R pickup in a legislative special this year. At stake is a formerly D-held R+12 (2016) seat covering much of the college town of Fairfield and rural areas to the south along the MO border. A pair of school board presidents, Phil Miller (D) and Travis Harris (R) are facing off. This is a very Trumpist area, but the seat voted for Obama in 2012. Between the new lean of the seat and the energized Dem base, I would say there is no clear favorite.
MO-SD-28 is an R+21 (2012) seat covering a broad swath of rural areas north of Springfield, from Lebanon to Sedalia. State Rep. Sandy Crawford (R) should be heavily favored over retired teacher Al Skalicky (D) for the seat.
MO-LD-50
is an R+13 (2012) seat covering the southern edge of the Columbia area and rural areas between Columbia and Jefferson City. Democrats have gone all-in on this seat on behalf of attorney and state legislative staffer Michaela Skelton (D), a cousin of ex-Rep. Ike (D). Skelton is facing lobbyist and GOP official Sara Walsh (R), who has the lean of the seat on her side but has trailed in fundraising. There is no clear favorite overall.
MI-LD-1 is a D+25 (2016) seat covering the wealthy northern half of the Grosse Pointes, the lower-middle-class suburb of Harper Woods, and the desperately poor northeast corner of Detroit. 11 Democrats are facing off; the primary winner will be the prohibitive favorite in the general. 2016 candidate and attorney Pam Sossi (D), who took over a third of the vote against the indicted prior incumbent in last year’s primary, is probably the front-runner this time with a more white-heavy electorate and fractured field. Two other 2016 candidates, congressional staffer Washington Youngson (D) and teacher Keith Hollowell (D), are also running. The other candidates in the race are Justin Johnson (D), the brother of indicted State Sen. Bert (D), school board member Tenisha Yancey (D), zoning board member Gowana Mancill Jr (D), attorneys Kirkland Garey (D) and Sandra Bucciero (D), and three Some Dudes. Sossi, Yancey, Mancil, and Johnson are considered the major candidates.
MI-LD-109 is a formerly-D-held R+3 (2016) seat covering the central Upper Peninsula from Marquette to Manistique. Four Democrats are facing off for the open seat. Marquette councilwoman and 2016 candidate Sara Cambensy (D) looks like the slight front-runner as she has name recognition from her prior run, but Marquette County commissioner Joe Derocha (D) has stronger establishment support. Two others, Sen. Debbie Stabenow staffer Jeremy Hosking (D) and Limestone Twp. councilman Tom Curry (D), also seem serious. The winner will face former school board president Richard Rossway (R).
OK-SD-45 is an R+21 (2016) seat covering some poor neighborhods south of downtown OKC and wrapping southwest around the Airport through deep-red southwestern exurbs near Mustang. Former State Highway Patrol chief Kerry Pettingill (R) looks like the slight favorite, but businessmen Duane Smith (R) and Paul Rosino (R) also seem serious. Attorney Scott Harris (R), physician Diane Means (R), businessman Brian Walters (R), and a Some Dude all look like longer shots. For Democrats, police dispatcher Steven Vincent (D) is the clear favorite over Noah Ynclan (D), who has no establishment support after revelations of a 2013 domestic violence conviction.
OK-LD-76 is an R+18 (2016) seat covering most of the western half of Broken Arrow in the Tulsa suburbs. Shelly Brumbaugh (R), widow of the prior Rep., is the clear favorite for the primary, but she faces four other Republicans. 2014 candidate Cliff Johns (R) seems like her most serious rival, but businessman Jess Guthrie (R), retired cop Ross Ford (R), and teacher Brian Elliott (R) are also in the race. Teachers Chris Vanlandingham (D) and Forest Mayer (D) are facing off for the Dem nomination; there is no clear favorite on that side.
SC-LD-31 is a D+23 (2016) seat covering central and western Spartanburg. Two Democrats are heading to a primary runoff: Spartanburg city councilor Rosalyn Henderson-Myers (D) and NAACP official Mo Abusaft (D). Henderson-Myers led Abusaft 39-32 two weeks ago and looks like a slight front-runner, but an upset is possible. The primary winner will be a prohibitive favorite in the general.

Political Roundup for May 10, 2017

Last Night, Incumbent Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert (R) defeated ex-State Sen. Heath Mello (D) 53-47, prompting sighs of relief from Kos that a pro-life Democrat didn’t win high office. In South Korea, Moon Jae-In of the center-left easily won the presidency, while in British Columbia, the center-right Liberals appear to have won a 43-41 lead over the NDP, but with Greens taking 3 seats neither has a majority. Finally, Republican Zack Taylor (R) held OK-LD-28 by a much-narrower-than-expected 2-point margin, while Tressa Nunley (R) and Karen Gaddis (D) advanced to the general for OK-LD-75.

And now here is your non-Comey news for today…

Governor:

ID-Gov, ID-1: Rep. Raul Labrador (R) announced his run for Governor of Idaho yesterday. Click to go to our full post on the race.

IL-Gov: Here’s a good profile of the tightrope State Sen. Daniel Biss (D) has to walk in taking on Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) while a member of the legislature. Being in the legislature, of course, means that Biss is tied to unpopular State House Dictator Speaker Mike Madigan (D), his largest campaign donor, but political necessity means that Biss has to criticize Madigan on the campaign trail. Biss faces a crowded Dem primary with uber-wealthy businessman and 1998 IL-9 candidate JB Pritzker (D), heir force Col. Chris Kennedy (D), local superintendent Bob Daiber (D), Chicago councilman Ameya Pawar (D), and potentially others.

MD-Gov: State Sen. Rich Maladeno (D), a moonbat from Montgomery County, becomes the second “C” list Democrat to announce a run against popular Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in the deep-blue state, joining Hillary staffer Alec Ross (D). Many other “B” and “C” list Democrats are considering runs.

NM-Gov: Rep. Steve Pearce (R) is considering a run for Governor. Pearce, who represents the southern half of the state, would likely be a favorite in the primary, but his conservative profile may be as tough a sell statewide as it was in his disastrous 2008 Senate bid.

OH-Gov: Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D) will run for Governor, joining ex-Rep. Betty Sutton (D), State Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D) and ex-State Rep. Connie Pillich (D) in this crowded Dem primary. Republicans have an equally crowded field.

Congress:

FL-27: State Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez (D) will run for Ros-Lehtinen’s central Miami seat. Rodriguez has won two hard-fought legislative races for seats overlapping this one and currently represents 2/3 of the seat; needless to say, he looks likely to be Dems’ top choice here unless popular local superintendent Alberto Carvalho (D) runs. Dade County commissioner Bruno Barriero (R) is in the race on the GOP side, though with Dems getting an “A” lister this tough race looks like it is getting even tougher to hold.

IL-10: Ex-Rep. Bob Dold (R) will not seek a third rematch with Rep. Brad Schneider (D) in this formerly-swingy but now deep-blue North Shore seat. Dold, who was abnormally strong in this area, probably takes this seat off the board for Republicans by not running. However, attorney Jeremy Wynes (R) appears set to try his luck on a bid.

MN-3: Dean Phillips (D), a wealthy businessman, will run against Rep. Erik Paulsen (R) in this very swingy but historically-R suburban Minneapolis seat. Paulsen has proven very strong as he easily beat a touted Dem recruit in State Sen. Terri Bonoff (D) in 2016.

State Offices:

FL-AG: State Rep. Jay Fant (R) of Jacksonville has become the first candidate to file for the AG race. This race has been in suspended animation for a while while candidates wait on whether AG Pam Bondi (R) will take a Trump admin job and allow Gov. Rick Scott (R) to appoint her replacement. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) and State Senate Pres. Joe Negron (R) are also considered potential candidates.

GA-LG: State Sen. David Shafer (R) has filed to run for LG, making him the first major candidate into this open seat race. Shafer, who is in Senate leadership and considered an LG run in 2010, is likely to be a front-runner in the primary.

GA-Supt: Two Democrats are considering runs for this post against incumbent Richard Woods (R), National PTA president Otha Thornton (D) and state teachers’ union president Sid Chapman (D).

RIP: Michigan State Rep. John Kivela of the Marquette area has committed suicide after his second drunk-driving arrest in three years.

Local Offices:

NYC-Mayor, NYC-Comp: Pastor and former congressional candidate Michael Faulnkner (R) will drop his run for Mayor and seek the Comptroller’s office against incumbent Scott Stringer (D). Faulkner has no shot in the deep-blue city at such a low-profile office against a non-controversial incumbent, but it’s just as hopeless as taking on two better-known candidates, developer Paul Massey (R) and State Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R) in the Mayoral Primary, so why not?

Seattle-Mayor: Incumbent Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (D) has abruptly dropped his re-election bid just days before the filing deadline after several other accusers have come forward alleging prior sexual abuse. The establishment progressive Murray was set to face far-left moonbat ex-Mayor Mike McGinn (D) and others in the August primary, but now the field seems likely to expand dramatically, with State Sen. Bob Hasegawa (D) entering the race and ex-US Attorney Jenny Durkan (D) also apparently set to enter.

St. Petersburg-Mayor: 2000s-era ex-Mayor Rick Baker (R) will seek to get his old job back against first-term incumbent Rick Kriseman (D) in this year’s race. Baker, who had been considering a run for Governor, is popular in his hometown and will likely be a formidable opponent for Kriseman.

MD-Frederick-CE: Regina Williams (R), the county’s former budget director, will become the first Republican to announce a run against CE Jan Graham (D) in this purple but historically-R county. County commissioner Kirby Delauter (R) and State Rep. Kathy Afzali (R) are also considered potential candidates against Graham.

Political Roundup for April 12th, 2017

First off some bad news: Our polling contractor hasn’t sent us the GA-6 data yet, so it looks like we won’t be releasing the poll until tomorrow. We apologize for the mess – this has been the poll from hell logistics-wise. Please click HERE to donate and help be a part of America’s only volunteer crowd sourced polling effort!

About last night: Looks like all that last minute GOP activity in KS-4 was not a head fake or a waste as Republican Ron Estes pulled off a closer than expected 52% to 45% win last night over Democrat James Thompson in this R+15 district.

President:

CA Presidential Primary: A bill making its was through the legislature in Sacramento could move the Californian presidential primary to March potentially making the largest state in the nation the third state to vote after Iowa and New Hampshire.

Governor:

Governor Approval Ratings: Morning Consult has released their new Governor approval rankings. Republican governors Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Larry Hogan of Maryland are the nation’s two most popular governors. Baker has a 75% approval rating and Hogan a 73% approval rating. Meanwhile New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is the least popular with a 25% approval rating. Of note Florida Governor and potential 2018 Senate candidate Rick Scott (R) is sporting a 57% approval rating.

CT-Gov: Former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker (I/R) filed papers to run for governor as a Republican. Walker was once considered an A-list type of candidate and was even floated as a potential Americans Elect independent presidential candidate in 2012. But for some inexplicable reason Walker decided to run for Lt Governor in 2014 and lost the GOP primary. Walker joins fellow Republicans Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, state Rep. Prasad Srinivasan, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst, and former Coventry Town Councilman Micah Welinktukonis as candidates who have formally filed with the State Elections Enforcement Commission. Unpopular Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy hasn’t decided whether to seek a third term in 2018.

GA-Gov: Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (R) has filed to run for governor in 2018. Cagle is the presumptive Republican front-runner in what could be a crowded field to succeed a term-limited Gov. Nathan Deal (R). Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) is already in the race and a cast of current and former lawmakers are considering running as well.

ME-Gov: In an interview with WGAN radio Republican Sen. Susan Collins said she was seriously contemplating a run for governor of Maine in 2018.

SC-Gov: Newly elevated South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) raised over $960,000 in the 1st quarter setting him up for the looming GOP primary battle. Former South Carolina labor and public health chief Catherine Templeton (R) reported last week that she raised $700,000 during the first quarter of 2017 for her gubernatorial run.

VA-Gov: The latest Quinnipiac poll has former Rep. Tom Perriello leading the Democrat primary with 25% to Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam’s 20% with a whopping 51% are undecided. On the GOP side Ed Gillespie leads with 28%, followed by Prince William County Supervisors Chair Corey Stewart at 12%, State Sen. Frank Wagner with 7% and 51% undecided. With this many “undecideds” it is easy to be undecided about the value of this Quinnipiac poll.

Senate:

Senate Approval Ratings: Morning Consult has released their new Senate approval rankings. Of note is the fact that Tammy Baldwin who is up for re-election in 2018 has only a 44% approval rating.

MO-Sen: Rep. Ann Wagner (R) has nearly $2.8 million cash on hand as she contemplates challenging Sen. Claire McCaskill (D).

MT-Sen: Republicans finally get their first candidate to declare but it is not one of the big named hopefuls. Rather state Senator Albert Olszewski (R), who finished in sixth place in the 2012 GOP primary for Lt Governor, announced he would run for senate. The 54-year-old Olszewski is an orthopedic surgeon.

VA-Sen: Quinnipiac polled a potential 2018 general election Senate race and finds incumbent Sen. Tim Kaine (D) leading a potential matchup with Laura Ingraham (R) 56% to 35% and leading Carly Fiorina 57% to 33%.

House:

CA-50: Retired Navy SEAL Josh Butner becomes the fourth Democrat to enter the race to challenge Rep. Duncan Hunter (R) next year.

CO-6: Denver attorney and veteran Jason Crow (D) announced he will challenge Rep. Mike Coffman in 2018.

GA-6: Political statistician Nate Silver says Democratic congressional candidate and Star Wars aficionado Jon Ossoff was “making sh*t up” about him in his fundraising emails. Ossoff seems to have fabricated a quote from Silver for his email fundraising appeal. I guess when you are in the process of scamming the Democrat base out of upwards of $8.3 million a few white lies here and there can be expected.

More GA-6: The DCCC is making a six figure ad buy on all 7 of Atlanta’s black radio stations as well as associated websites on behalf of Jon Ossoff. The ad urges black voters to turnout and tell Trump that “…racism and intolerance are never OK”. It looks like absentees/in person early votes had a big increase of over 5,000 votes on Monday to 26,717 from 21,111. It looks like Democrat ballots make up a little over 10,000, No Party ballots a little over 9000 and GOP ballots a little under 7500. Now if only someone would poll this race……

MT-AL: Financial deadbeat and Democratic congressional candidate Rob Quist has raised over $1.3 million. This cash infusion should come in handy for Quist since due to his own personal financial problems he is paying himself a salary out of his campaign funds.

NY-19: Livingston Deputy Supervisor Will Yandik announced he will not seek the Democrat nomination for Congress against freshman Rep. John Faso (R). Yandik was defeated in the Democrat primary last year by left wing carpetbagger Law Prof Zephyr Teachout, who in turn lost to Faso.

PA-7: Looks like another bold progressive will try to take a crack at unseating Rep. Pat Meehan (R) in this R+1 suburban Philadelphia district. So called “community advocate” and former board president of the pro-gun control group CeaseFirePA Dan Muroff has announced he will carpetbag into PA-7 and challenge Meehan. In 2o16 Muroff ran for the Democratic nomination PA-2 but came in fourth in the Dem primary, behind eventual winner Dwight Evans, incumbent Rep. Chaka Fatttah, and Brian Gordon. Muroff will face Molly Sheehan in the Democrat primary. Both Democrats currently running for this seat do not live in the district.

PA-10: President Trump has nominated fourth-term Rep. Tom Marino (R), a frequent DEA critic, to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy. This will led to special election in this R+16 seat.

SC-5: The Republican primary in the SC-5 special election seems like a contest between front runners ex-state Rep. Ralph Norman and state state House Speaker Pro Temp Tommy Pope. “Activist” and perennial candidate Sheri Few is trying to gain some traction (and notoriety) in the primary by running ads proclaiming her support for the Confederate flag. Chances are Few will be as unsuccessful in this campaign as she was in her 2014 run for Superintendent of Education and her 2006, 2008 and 2010 runs for a state House seat.

VA-10: Another some dude is looking to challenge Rep. Barbara Comstock (R). 35 year-old U.S. Army veteran Dan Helmer is the latest Democrat to enter this race. Kimberly Adams is also running for the Democrat nomination while State Sen. Jennifer Wexton and Fairfax County Board member Kathy Smith are both considering the race as well.

State, Local & Other:

NY-SD 32: Total whackjob and New York state Sen. Ruben Diaz (D) announced he will run for the New York City Council in 2017. Diaz is socially conservative Pentecostal preacher. His son is Bronx Boro President and his allies control the Bronx County Democrat machine. Diaz should be a heavy favorite to win a council seat which would create a vacancy in the closely divided GOP controlled state Senate.

Brooklyn-DA: The New York Times takes a look at the seven Democrats lining up to run for Kings County District Attorney in 2017. Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson passed away in October after serving in office for three years.

MI-SD 2: State Sen. Bert Johnson (D) was indictment by a federal grand jury Tuesday on charges of hiring a ghost employee on his Senate payroll and stealing more than $23,000 from taxpayers.

Political Roundup for April 3rd, 2017

First, some important site announcements: We will have a preview of tomorrow’s elections for CA-34, WI Superintendent, and various municipal races today at 3 ET. Second, we are planning to poll GA-6! However, we still need donations to cover the cost. As an incentive, anyone that donates $10 or more between now and the end of the day Friday will get a special poll release by email an hour before results are made public!

Over the weekend, it looks like center-right Europhile Alexsander Vucic  won the presidential election in Serbia. Competing exit polls have the outcome of the presidential runoff in Ecuador still in flux. While you wait for that cliffhanger, sit back and ignore the opening day games that don’t involve your team by catching up on the electoral goings-on in ‘Murica.

Congress

Generic Ballot: Marist went into the field the other day and found a 9-point Democratic lead on the generic ballot test. Yeesh.

CO-05: It seems like Rep. Doug Lamborn (R) gets a credible primary challenge every two years, and it’s announcement season. Right on cue, enter liberty-flavored State Sen. Owen Hill (R). Hill is rumored to be prepping for such a primary battle. He previously ran for U.S. Senate in 2014 before dropping out in favor of now-Sen. Cory Gardner (R). At this point, I think that Lamborn’s primary challenges are self-perpetuating – they won’t stop until he finally pulls a Chuck Fleischmann and wins one of them decisively.

KS-02: State Sen. Steve Fitzgerald (R/C) of Leavenworth is running for  this seat, which is open due to the retirement of Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R). It will be interesting to see if the moderate/conservative split in the KSGOP will spill over from state-level politics into a federal primary.

Governor

CT-Gov, CT-LG: State Sen. Joe Markley (R) is running for Lieutenant Governor. Markley, who hails from the Waterbury area, largely has the field to himself for the moment. That’s probably because every other ambitious Republican in the Nutmeg State is running for Governor. He’ll have to deal with whomever wins that race, though, because Connecticut has a shotgun-wedding ticket system from the dark ages.

FL-Gov: Frankly, this is a bit of a weird one. This is the second piece that Florida Politics has run on Some Dudish gubernatorial hopeful Chris King (D) in the space of a few weeks. Are we just missing some crucial information here, or does he have blackmail on these guys? Either way, the article provides a good summary of where the other candidates in the race are sitting at the moment, at least on the Democratic side.

GA-Gov: Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) has jumped into the race to succeed term-limited Gov. Nathan Deal (R). Several other Republicans, including State Sen. Hunter Hill, are also exploring runs. On the Democratic side of things, State Sen. Jason Carter, grandson of the former President, is likely to try again after losing to Deal in 2014.

IL-Gov: Downstate State Rep. Andy Manar (D) has decided against a run for governor in 2018 against incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner (R). Where he somehow to have made it out of a very Chicagoland-heavy Democratic primary, Manar could have cut into Rauner’s rural base. Instead, it looks like Rauner will face a Windy City Democrat once more.

MN-Gov:  Sometimes people immediately regret their decisions. That’s probably exactly what happened to State Rep. Tina Liebling (D) after she announced her bid for governor yesterday. The evidence is that she quickly pledged to abide by the decision of the state party convention endorsement and left open the possibility of running for reelection to her seat in Rochester if she did not receive said endorsement. Given that Rep. Tim Walz (D) is already running for the same office, she won’t even have a base in Southern Minnesota. Maybe she just wants to raise her profile for later, but this does’t seem to have been well-planned.

MN-Gov Continued: As if this race weren’t already enough of a clown car, former State House Speaker Paul Thissen (D) is considering entering as well. Thissen had a very bold and progressive record as Speaker. That should do him well at a convention, but fellow Twin Cities denizens Auditor Rebecca Otto (D) and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman (D) will likely overshadow his credentials.

PA-Gov: State House Speaker Mike Turzai (R) appears to be feeling-out a possible gubernatorial bid. This is especially timely given a recent verbal stumble by State Sen. Scott Wagner (R), who is already seeking the mansion. Turzai could have an opening. However, given his previous decision to not follow through on a much easier bid for PA-04 in 2012, he may not pull the trigger.

SD-Gov: A fair number of Republicans are lining-up to succeed term-limited Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R), but his right-hand man won’t be one of them. Lt. Gov. Matt Michels (R) has announced that he will not be trying to get a promotion and will retire alongside his boss.

WI-Gov: Democrats in the Badger State seem to be running through their rolodex of possible gubernatorial candidates rather quickly. The latest declining-to-run announcement comes from Madison tech executive Mark Bakken (D). His decision, the third such refusal from a promising candidate in a week, cannot be heartening for Democrats. Still, as the article points out, this clears the way for State Rep. and ambulance chaser Dana Wachs (D) of Eau Claire to challenge Gov. Scott Walker (R). She was already mulling a run, but would have stepped aside for Bakken.

State

AZ-SOS: When it rains, it pours, at least for Secretary of State Michele Reagan (R). Not only does she have a few scandals hanging over head, but now she has a primary challenger in the form of State Sen. Steve Montenegro (R). You should usually bet on incumbents in these situations, but Montenegro has a bigger opening than most primary challengers.

GA-SOS: Wasting no time after Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) announced a run for Governor, State Rep. Buzz Brockway announced that he would run for Kemp’s current job. Brockway should have a decent base of support in the Atlanta area. We’ll have to see whether or not a rural candidate jumps into the race.

MI-House: Someone’s either going to be very embarrassed or in handcuffs. Michigan State House Republicans have discovered that $100,000 is missing from their 2016 fundraising accounts. This cannot end well.

VA-AG: In the battle of Republican attorneys with generic names, the guy with the presidential one won. Chuck Smith failed to submit enough signatures to make the ballot, so John Adams becomes the Republican nominee for Attorney General by default.

Political Roundup for February 22, 2017

“If I was Governor, I’d sure find better things to do with my time. Like getting Washington’s birthday and Lincoln’s birthday back to separate paid holidays. Presidents’ Day. What a rip-off.”

Last night in WI-Supt, we saw a moderate surprise as Beloit local superintendent Lowell Holtz (R), the more conservative candidate, easily bested the more moderate John Humphries (R) for the right to take on incumbent Tony Evers (D). Evers, however, cruised overall, winning 2/3 of the vote, and will likely have little trouble in the general in April barring something unexpected.

President/National:

DNC Chair: NH Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley (D) dropped his bid for DNC chair over the weekend and will back Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison (D). Buckley was considered a longer-shot to win but still had a significant base of support. His endorsement probably doesn’t give Ellison a huge advantage in his competitive fight with co-front-runner Obama Labor Secretary Tom Perez (D), but it probably does significantly hurt the chances of the third major candidate in the race, South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), who needs both Ellison and Perez to deadlock well short of a majority in order to have a shot. SC Democratic Party chair Jaime Harrison (D) is the only other candidate with any significant support, but he seems a long-shot.

Senate:

MI-Sen: Buried in this Great Mentioner piece about possible challengers to Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) is the revelation that ex-State Sen. Randy Richardville (R), who held down a swingy district at the state’s southeast corner from 2006 to 2014, is considering the race and will decide “by this summer.” Stabenow has not definitively said whether she will seek re-election, but is expected to; many other Republicans are considering the race, though Richardville seems to be the most obviously serious. One potential candidate taking herself out of the running though is termed-out SoS Ruth Johnson (R), who seems to have her eye on a safely Republican State Senate seat in her home of exurban northern Oakland County instead.

NJ-Sen: George Norcross (D), the dictator of the southern half of the state, and his brother, Rep. Donald Norcross (D), have made their decision on whether to play nice with indicted Sen. Bob Menendez (D) or seek to push him out the door, and they’ve chosen the former. La Cosa Norcross will host a fundraiser for Menendez next month, which probably closes the door on Don running against him. It seems they are betting on Menendez either going down quickly with time for Don to enter the primary, surviving his trial, or not going down until after the election, triggering a special – a combined outcome with reasonable chance to happen but still a bet that’s not without risk. It’s unclear whether the other major candidate interested in the seat, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop (D), will make the same calculation. Menendez limping through the primary to a general election with a cloud over his head is probably the only chance Republicans have to make a serious play for this seat, but no Republicans have as yet indicated interest.

OH-Sen: State Sen. Matt Huffman (R) will not run for US Senate this cycle. Huffman had been mentioned as a potential more establishment-friendly alternative to the candidate already in the race to take on Sen. Sherrod Brown (D), State Treasurer and 2012 nominee Josh Mandel (R), and had apparently already secured some donor commitments. However, Mandel’s head start (he has been more or less running continuously since 2015) could pose a daunting obstacle to someone with little name rec. Rep. Pat Tiberi (R) is the only other major candidate thought to be considering the race.

WI-Sen: On the heels of Rep. Sean Duffy’s (R) announcement that he will not run for the Senate, State Sen. Leah Vukmir (R) is considering a run. Vukmir has represented a district in deep-red Waukesha County for over a decade, which could give her a geographic base. With the only field-clearer (Duffy) out of the picture, the GOP primary to taken on Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) is expected to be very crowded.

Governor:

AL-Gov: Former Auburn Football Coach Tommy Tuberville (R) is considering a run for Governor. Tuberville, who has lived in Texas and Ohio since leaving Auburn in 2008, could have a dedicated base of fans in the state where College Football is perhaps taken most seriously of all – but coming from the state’s second most popular school (and arch-rival of its most popular) could be a handicap. Many other Republicans are considering the race, most notably LG Kay Ivey (R), Rep. Bradley Byrne (R), State Sens. Del Marsh (R) and Cam Ward (R), and ex-State Supreme Court Justice and 2010 candidate Roy Moore (R). Ex-State Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell-Cobb (D) and State Rep. Craig Ford (D) are considering runs on the Dem side.

AR-Gov: Country radio host Bobby Bones (D/I?) had dinner with Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) on Monday. It’s unclear what the conversation entailed; Bones has been considering a challenge to Hutchinson, but it’s not clear how serious he is about such a bid, as his show is based out of Nashville, TN. Anyone will likely face a very uphill battle against the popular incumbent.

CO-Gov: Ex-State Rep. Victor Mitchell (R), who served a term in the legislature a decade ago and has since become a prominent businessman and activist, will run for Governor and says he will self-fund $3M. Michell is the first GOP candidate to declare; State Sen. Mike Johnston (D) is in on the Democratic side and a large number of others from both parties are considering this race. Both primary fields are expected to be crowded.

FL-Gov: Two new candidates are considering this race on the Dem side, though neither sounds particularly serious about it. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) told Ebony that he is considering “what 2018 looks like” while self-funding 2010 Senate candidate Jeff Greene has been “talking to consultants”. Democrats’ major options here still look like ex-Rep. Gwen Graham (D), Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn (D), and prominent trial lawyer John Morgan (D), though many others have expressed at least some interest. Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam (R) is the front-runner for the GOP nod.

KS-Gov: Ex-Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer (D) has entered the race, giving Democrats a top-tier candidate here. Though Kansas is deep-red, Democrats sense an opening due to the extreme unpopularity of Gov. Sam Brownback (R) and the ongoing feud between moderate and conservative Republicans. Brewer, who led the state’s largest city from 2007 to 2015, may face ex-State Rep. and 2014 nominee Paul Davis (D) in the Dem primary. SoS Kris Kobach (R), LG Jeff Colyer (R), ex-State Rep. Ed O’Malley (R), and businessman and 2010 KS-4 candidate Wink Hartman (R) are considered the most likely candidates on the GOP side.

MN-Gov: State Sen. David Osmek (R), a staunch fiscal conservative, has indicated an interest in this race. Both sides’ conventions are likely to be crowded; Osmek could face any or all of State House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R), 2014 nominee Jeff Johnson (R), State Rep. Matt Dean (R), MNGOP Chair Keith Downey (R), State Sen. Michelle Benson (R), and Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek (R). On the D side, Auditor Rebecca Otto (D), St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman (D), and State Rep. Erin Murphy (D) are already in the race, while LG Tina Smith (D), AG Lori Swanson (D), and Reps. Rick Nolan (D) and Tim Walz (D) are all thought to be interested.

WI-Gov: Rep. Ron Kind (D), whose western-Wisconsin prairie-populist House seat trended hard-right in 2016, is not ruling out a run for Governor. Gov. Scott Walker (R) is widely exprected to seek a third term; Kind would likely be Democrats’ strongest prospect given his two decades representing the swingy rural west of the state. Dane CE Joe Parisi (D) and State Sens. Jennifer Shilling (D) and Kathleen Vinehout (D) are other commonly-discussed names for the D side in this race, though no one has made strong moves as of yet.

House:

CA-34: An internal from FM3 for nonprofit exec Sara Hernandez (D) shows her in second place in this Louisiana-Rules Top Two Jungle primary, trailing State Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D) 20-9. However, there are a ton of undecideds and it’s unclear we can really say anything about the race for this deep-blue downtown LA seat from this poll besides Gomez likely being in first.

GA-6: We have a new poll from Clout Strategies (aka Wenzel) for this April Louisiana-Rules Top Two Jungle Primary. Congressional Staffer Jon Osoff (D) leads with 32, followed by ex-SoS Karen Handel (R) at 25 and no one else above 11. However, this poll has a few problems: first, it does not test the second non-Some Dude Democrat in the race, ex-State Sen. Ron Slotin (D), who has lost out on most establishment support but may draw a few points. Second, the demographics of this poll seem a bit off as it is almost entirely white and very old. So bottom line, salt to taste.

MT-AL: A group of county officials is asking the state to hold the special election to replace Rep. Ryan Zinke (R) by mail instead of through normal polling places to save money. A bill has been proposed in the State Senate and will be considered today; it would give individual counties the choice of running a standard poll or all-mail election. Assuming Zinke’s confirmation proceeds as planned a week from today, the special election is likely to be held on June 6; 2016 gubernatorial nominee Greg Gianforte (R) will likely face off with either ex-State Rep. and 2014 Senate nominee Amanda Curtis (D) or musician Rob Quist (D).

NJ-5: State Rep. Holly Schepisi (R), who was widely considered the GOP’s top choice to take on Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D), has said will likely not run for Congress this cycle (though she did leave the door open the smallest of cracks). This decision puts the GOP back to square one in this suburban seat, based in wealthy northern Bergen County, that narrowly backed Trump but trended left.

SC-1: Buried in this worthwhile longread on Rep. Mark Sanford (R) is the revelation that Ted Fienning (R), a veteran and businessman will run against him in the 2018 primary and seed his campaign with $250K of self-funding. The full article is worth a look; Sanford is certainly one of the most complex characters in DC and his willingness to cross Trump in service of fiscal conservatism could make him a key player over the next few years.

State Races:

FL-Ag Comm: State Rep. Matt Caldwell (R) of southwest Florida is planning a run for Ag Commissioner. Should he enter, he will face State Sen. Denise Grimsley (R) and former Orlando mayoral candidate Paul Paulson (R) in the primary. No Democrats have as yet declared interest in this seat.

OK-AG: Gov. Mary Fallin (R) has appointed Secretary of State (an appointed position in OK) Mike Hunter (R) as the new Attorney General, replacing EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt (R). Hunter will most likely seek a full term in 2018.

IN-Supt ’20: The Indiana Senate has killed a bill that would transform the State Superintendent from an elected office to an appointed one under the purview of the Governor. Republicans had supported the change after then-Gov. Mike Pence (R) spent much of his term fighting with then-Superintendent Glenda Ritz (D), a staunch liberal. But last year Ritz was defeated by Jennifer McCormick (R), and so some of the partisan urgency was lost. A little under half the Senate’s Republicans decided to break ranks and join with Democrats to kill the proposal.

VA-LD-28: Virginia State House Speaker Bill Howell (R) of Stafford County in the DC exurbs will retire this year after a decade and a half as Speaker. Howell turned a narrow GOP majority into a dominant 66-34 one and was at times the key Republican figure in state Government when Democrats controlled the Governorship and Senate from 2007-09 and 2013-14. Howell will likely be succeeded as Speaker by Kirk Cox (R) of suburban Richmond.

AL-Redistrict: Alabama has started redistricting to unpack some black-majority legislative districts that courts have struck down as racial gerrymanders. General consensus is that there will be little more than minor tweaks to the lines.

Local Races:

Buffalo-Mayor: Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown (D) announced his campaign for a fourth term yesterday. Brown will likely be favored as he maintains most establishment support. Brown’s major challenger is mavericky city Comptroller Mark Schroeder (D).

Cincinnati-Mayor: The field is set for the Cincinnati Mayoral race; moderate incumbent John Cranley (D) will face two more liberal candidates in city councilwoman Yvette Simpson (D) and university board member Rob Richardson (D). The California-Rules Top Two primary is on May 2.

Detroit-Mayor: Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan (D) is broadly popular, and for a time it looked like he may not draw a significant challenger, but that changed as State Sen. Coleman Young Jr. (D), son of the longtime 70s and 80s Mayor of the same name, entered the race. Young will likely run to the left of Duggan, the first white Mayor to lead Detroit since the 70s.

St. Louis-Mayor: A new Remington poll of the St. Louis Mayoral Primary in two weeks shows councilwoman Lyda Krewson (D), the most moderate and only serious white candidate, with a wide lead. Krewson takes 36% to 16% for left-wing favorite city Treasurer Tishaura Jones (D), 13% for council President Lewis Reed (D), a black establishment liberal, and 12% for left-wing councilman Antonio French (D). Councilman Jeffrey Boyd (D) brings up the rear among serious contenders with 4%.

International:

Ecuador: The Ecuadorean Presidential election has officially been called as heading to a runoff between left-wing ex-VP Lenin Moreno and center-right banker and 2013 presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso. Though Moreno led the first round by nearly 10 points, Lasso is considered a slight favorite in the April 2 runoff.

Political Roundup for February 17, 2017

Senate:

MI-Sen: Apparently one Republican rock musician considering a Senate race in Michigan isn’t enough. With Kid Rock being talked about a possible candidate, now Ted Nugent is said to be considering a race as well. Nugent is a strong supporter of President Trump and the state director for Trump’s campaign says he thinks Nugent could be the perfect candidate to replicate the Trump campaign’s successful coalition that turned the state red for the first time since 1988. Nugent says he has things to consider before making the race-including the fact he will be 70 next year and that he needs complete support from his family.

WI-Sen: Republicans have lost their most prominent potential candidate to take on Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D). Rep. Sean Duffy (R) has announced he will not run. State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) had been waiting on Duffy’s decision before he decided whether to make a bid. Management consultant and Marine veteran Kevin Nicholson, state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R) and 2012 Senate candidate Eric Hovde are other Republicans who have expressed interest in the race.

House:

GA-6: For a district that only voted narrowly for Donald Trump, two Republican candidates don’t seem to be concerned about ties to him-in fact, they are fighting over who has the closer ties. Bruce LeVell, a Trump delegate to the Republican National Convention and technology executive Bob Gray both claim to have the mantle of the president’s biggest supporter. Levell was executive director of Trump’s National Diversity Coalition during last year’s campaign while Gray claims a personal relationship with him. Others in the race are claiming other prominent endorsements-former state Sen. Dan Moody (R) has allies of Sen. David Perdue (R) behind him, while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R), who formerly held this seat, has endorsed former state Sen. Judson Hill (R). Former Secretary of State Karen Handel (R) is still seen as the frontrunner.

MT-AL: As the wait continues for Rep. Ryan Zinke (R) to be confirmed as Secretary of the Interior, state Senate President Scott Sales (R) has dropped out of the race to succeed him. 2016 GOP  gubernatorial nominee Greg Gianforte, state Sen. Ed Buttrey (R), former state Sen. Ken Miller (R) and businessman Eugene Graf are still in the running for the Republican nomination.

SC-5: Mick Mulvaney was approved yesterday as OMB director by a 51-49 vote and has resigned his seat in Congress, setting in motion the official schedule to fill the seat. The primaries will be May 2 with a runoff if necessary May 16. The general election will be June 20. State Rep. Ralph Norman (R) is resigning his seat in the Legislature to concentrate on the campaign. Other Republicans running are state House Speaker Pro Tem Tommy Pope (R), former state GOP Chairman Chad Connelly, party activist Shari Few, attorney and State Guard commander Tom Mullikin and attorney Kris Wampler. No Democrats have yet announced they plan to run-state Sen. and two time Democratic nominee for governor Vincent Sheheen (D) is not running.

Governor:

CT-Gov: Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti (R) is considering running for governor next year. Lauretti, who has been mayor of Shelton for 26 years, intended to run in 2014 as well, but did not get on the ballot. Two other Republican mayors are also considering running-Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton have both formed exploratory committees for statewide office. Gov. Dan Malloy (D) has not yet announced if he will seek a third term next year.

FL-Gov: Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn (D) has long been considered a potential candidate for governor next year, but doubts are growing about whether he will make the race. Friends believe he has not made up his mind yet, and he says he needs to decide if it’s something he really wants. He has not started actively making moves toward a campaign yet, unlike fellow Democrats former Rep. Gwen Graham, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and political newcomer Chris King. Personal injury lawyer John Morgan is also considering a run on the Democratic side.

KS-Gov: Businessman Wink Hartman (R) has announced a run for governor next year. Hartman previously ran for Congress in 2010 as a “Tea Party conservative”, losing to now-CIA Director Mike Pompeo in the GOP primary. Ex-state Rep. Ed O’Malley (R) is the only other person to formally announce a bid.

OK-Gov: LG Todd Lamb (R) has resigned from the cabinet of Gov. Mary Fallin (R) over Fallin’s proposed tax increases. Lamb was in Fallin’s cabinet as the state’s Small Business Advocate-the resignation does not affect his position as the state’s Lieutenant Governor. The move is seen possibly as a way for him to separate himself from an unpopular tax increase proposal as he is considered a likely candidate for governor next year.

State & Local:

LA-Treasurer: State Sen. Neil Riser (R) has officially entered the race for state Treasurer. Riser formerly ran for the LA-5 congressional seat in 2013, being defeated by Vance McAllister in the runoff. He joins state Reps. Julie Stokes (R) and John Schroder (R) in the race.

MI-resigning legislators law: The Michigan House is debating a law that would forbid state legislators that resign or are removed from office from turning around and running for the seat again in a special election. The law appears to be aimed primarily at former state Rep. Brian Banks (D), who resigned his seat last week in a plea deal stemming from charges involving fradulent loan documents. Banks sent out fundraising e-mails less than 48 hours after resigning and would not rule out running again. The law would also address the situation of former state Reps. Todd Courser (R) and Cindy Gamrat (R) after they had an extra-marital affair and plotted to cover it up in 2015. Courser resigned his seat under pressure and Gamrat was expelled, but both ran in the special election to fill their seats. Both were defeated in the primary. The law would only preclude resigned and expelled legislators from running in the ensuing special election-they could still run again in the future.

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