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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 7th, 2017

Congress

AL-Sen: Well, this is probably a bit embarrassing for the ALDP. A poll mentioned in this article shows that a Some Dude who happens to be named Robert Kennedy, Jr. (D) is leading former US Attorney Doug Jones (D) in the special election primary 49-26. ouch! Do we have another Alvin Greene situation on our hands? Finding out will likely be fun.

MN-Sen: Well, a lamb has been found for the altar. State Rep. Jim Newberger (R) has announced plans to challenge Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) in 2018. Though MN is a purple state, Klobuchar is one of the most popular senators in the country. Well, at least she won’t run unopposed.

OH-Sen: If you had any doubt that the candidacy of banker Mike Gibbons (R) was anything other than a Kasichworld endeavor, this should convince you: Gibbons has hired two of Kasich’s close associates to help run his campaign. Now this could simply be because Gibbons trusts Kasich’s recommendations, but there are rumors swirling that this whole campaign is an effort to stymie Treasurer Josh Mandel (R), with the general election against Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) being an afterthought.

MN-08: Rep. Rick Nolan (D), who narrowly won reelection to his Trumpish district in northeastern Minnesota last year, has declared that he’s running for reelection. He says he’s ready to fight, though don’t ask him about it via email, because to Nolan, it’s still 1979.

SC-01: Right on cue, Rep. and former Gov. Mark Sanford (R-His Emotions) has a primary challenger. State Rep. Katie Arrington (R) has pulled papers and filed to challenge the Love Gov for his Charleston-based coastal congressional district. Somehow, though, I have to think that she won’t get the job done, seeing as no one else has managed to do it before now.

Governor

AK-Gov, AK-LG: It has now been confirmed publicly that Gov. Bill Walker (I) will run for reelection. He will likely once again have Democratic backing and will likely only face major opposition from whomever Republicans put up to run against him, as his Democratic LG Byron Mallot (D) will run with him again. Also in this story, it notes that ex-State Rep. Lynn Gattis (R) has become the second Republcian to file for LG, joining State Sen. Gary Stevens (R) in the shotgun-wedding primary. State Sen. Mike Dunleavy (R) is the only notable Republican in the Governor’s race as of yet.

CO-Gov: With the exit of Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) from the gubernatorial contest, it seems that the CODP’s moderate faction is searching for a new standard-bearer. Well, they might have found one. Progressives are already attacking healthcare executive Donna Lynne (D), who is thinking of entering to take on Rep. Jared Polis (D). Polis is currently the prohibitive favorite in the primary. The moderates are apparently afraid of how much oil and gas companies will pour into the race to defeat Polis, who has a hard stance against fracking. Just when the race looked to have turned quite boring, it may be about to heat up again.

FL-Gov: State Sen. Jack Latvala (R) and State House Speaker Richard Corcoran (R) are already sniping at each other ahead of the Sunshine State’s Republican gubernatorial primary. Who’s the real winner here? That would be Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam (R), who is already the frontrunner in that race and is mostly avoiding taking fire while the other two fight it out to be the main non-Putnam candidate.

KY-Gov: I have no clue why a Kansas paper was covering this, but it’s a good article. Over the weekend at Fancy Farm, Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls AG Andy Beshear and Senate Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins trotted-out their lines of attack on Gov, Matt Bevin and the Republican controlled legislature for 2019. There’s also a great line from Rep. James Comer (R).

NJ-Gov: We knew that Goldman alum Phil Murphy (D) was leading Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R). This poll confirms that, putting Murphy at a 14-point advantage, 42-28. What’s interesting though is how many undecideds there are. This race has flown under the radar nationally, but you’d think that wouldn’t be the case locally.

NY-Gov: Actress Cynthia Nixon (D) of ‘Sex and the City’ fame is reportedly considering challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) from the left in the Democratic primary. Personally I can’t wait for everyone’s old ‘Nixon for Governor’ signs to get dusted off. There’s probably a bunch of those just sitting in some Gran Torino-style holdout’s garage in a California barrio.

State/Local

CA-AD-63: Even though the party chairmanship is now settled, the progressive v.s moderate fight currently roiling the CADP rolls onward. After the single-payer healthcare bill was spiked by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D), the nurses’ union is threatening to recall him. Get the popcorn ready folks. This could be a good one.

KY-SD-31: It seems that some hanky-panky was going on in Pike County in 2016. It’s a complicated tale, but the upshot is that a PI hired by Senate Minority Leader Ray Jones (D) was harassing voters in eastern Pike County on primary day when jones had a challenger. Watch this one, because if Jones goes down for this the last of the old guard Kentucky Democrats may be cleared out for good.

McIntire-Turnout: What happens when no one votes? Well, the residents of the small Iowa town of McIntire are about to find out. None of the town’s 70 registered voters cast a ballot on Tuesday measures pertaining to the terms of the town’s mayor and councilmen. Not even the poll workers voted because they weren’t residents of the town. I think this is a sign that the town might just want to disincorporate.

Political Roundup for June 13th, 2017

Programming note: Virginia’s primary and Las Vegas City Council runnoff election are today. We will have a liveblog with all the results when the polls close tonight at 7pm ET. Check out our previews if you haven’t already.

President:

Trump: Apparently it wasn’t the Russians who unleashed an army of social media bots to boost Trump’s 2016 candidacy on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms. It was billionaire Robert Mercer who spearheaded the efforts weaponize social media by using fake accounts to spread stories and narratives to influence real people.

Merkley: According to a CNN profile Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) is considering a run for President in 2020. Merkley was the only US Senator to endorse fellow Senator Bernie Sanders in 2016.

Governor:

AZ-Gov: Failed 2014 Democrat nominee for State Superintendent of Public Instruction David Garcia is out with an internal PPP poll showing him leading Gov. Doug Ducey (R) 44% to 42%. His paid for internal poll also conveniently shows Garcia beating leading state Sen. Steve Farley by a 53% to 11% margin in the Democrat primary and Duecy beating Farley by a 42% to 40% margin. Take this internal poll with a Grand Canyon sized grain of salt.

NE-Gov: State Sen. Bob Krist (RINO) says he may skip challenging Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) in the GOP primary and instead run against him as an independent in 2018.

SC-Gov: Lt. Gov Kevin Bryant (R) is considering a primary challenge to Gov. Henry McMaster (R). Bryant was a state senator who after a series of events became Lt. Governor when Lt. Gov. McMaster ascended to the Governorship after President Trump picked Nikki Haley to become US Ambassador to the UN.

TN-Gov: Republican candidate Randy Boyd is kicking off his gubernatorial campaign by selling Randy Boyd for Governor fidget spinners for $5 on his campaign website. No word yet if fellow GOP candidate Bill Lee or State Sen. Mae Beavers will offering fidget spinners of their own. And yes if you are wondering I really want one of these for my political memorabilia collection!

Senate:

AL-Sen: Rep. Mike Rogers (R) has endorsed fellow Rep. Mo Brooks (R) for Senate. Brooks is facing appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R) and a host of other candidates in the August 15th Republican primary.

House:

GA-6: Ad spending in Georgia’s special congressional election approaches $40 million mark! The amount of money being spent on this House race is absolutely insane! To put this in perspective Jeb Bush’s 2016 Presidential campaign spent $34.7 million in hard dollars.

IA-3: Democrat Cindy Axne announced she will challenge Rep. David Young (R) next year. Axne’s is a former government worker.  Pete D’Alessandro, who ran Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign in Iowa, is exploring a potential bid as as well.

MN-7: Trucking company owner Matt Prosch announced he will seek the Republican nomination to challenge Rep. Collin Peterson (D). State Rep. Tim Miller and underfunded 2016 candidate Dave Hughes are also seeking the GOP nomination for this rural seat Donald Trump carried by a 62% to 31% margin.

MN-8: Former counter-terrorism analyst Leah Phifer (D) is exploring a primary challenge to Rep. Nick Nolan. Nolan recently announced that he will not run for governor of Minnesota next year, but has yet to announce whether he’ll seek re-election next year.

MT-AL: Newly elected Rep. Greg Gianforte (R) was fined $385, sentenced to 40 hours of community service and 20 hours of sessions for anger management after pleading guilty to assaulting Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs on the eve of his election. Gianforte has publicly apologized for his actions to Ben Jacobs, donated $50,000 to Committee to Protect Journalism and took full responsibility for his actions.

NJ-3: President Donald Trump held a fundraiser for Rep. Tom MacArthur (R) at the Trump National Golf Club and raised over $800,000 for MacArthur’s re-election campaign. MacArthur was one of 24 House Republicans targeted by a Democratic advocacy group in TV and digital advertisement for his vote in favor of the AHCA.

NY-19: We are beginning to lose track of how many Democrats are running against Rep. John Faso (R). Jeff Beals, a former diplomat and CIA officer, is the latest Democrat to throw his hat into the ring. Beals joins Brian Flynn, Antonio Delgado and former Gov. Cuomo aide Gareth Rhodes in seeking the Democrat nomination. Hopefully some of these candidates will take advantage of NY’s fusion voting ballot law and carry their campaigns all the way through to November on minor party lines if they lose the Democrat primary!

NY-23: Democrat Ulysses Town Councilman and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine actor John “J.G.” Hertzler (he played Klingon General Martok) announced he intends to run for Congress vs. Rep. Tom Reed (R). The jury is still out as to if Hertzler will be a serious candidate or not. On the one hand Hertzler’s acting fame and local political involvement could make him a serious candidate while on the other Hertzler claimed he wanted to dress up and campaign in the persona of Mark Twain. Rep. Tom Reed had a close call in 2012 when he was re-elected by a less than 4% margin to a C-list 28 year old Democrat candidate. Since then he cruised to fairly easy re-elections in 2014 and 2016.

PA-6: EMILY’s List is backing Democrat Chrissy Houlahan in her bid to win the Democrat nomination to face Rep. Ryan Costello (R). Donald Trump lost this district to Hillary Clinton in 2016 by a razor thin 48.2% to 47.6% margin while Costello won it by more than 14 percentage points. Houlahan faces Bob Dettore in the Democratic primary.

State, Local & Other:

UK Elections: At RRHelections we know that he who draws the lines wins. Does anyone have a good analysis of  what the 2017 British Elections results would have been if the constituencies boundaries were redrawn? I saw one estimate that with the exact same vote with different boundaries the Conservatives would have won a 20 seat majority. Does anyone know if that is accurate or have a detailed analysis of what could have been without the current Labour gerrymander?

Political Roundup for June 6th, 2017

Check back with us tonight for our liveblog of the New Jersey primaries and CA-34 runoff. If you haven’t seen our preview of these races check it out HERE.

Governor:

AZ-Gov: State Sen. Steve Farley (D) has announced that he is running for Governor. He joins Arizona State University professor David Garcia, who lost a 2014 race for state education superintendent, in the Democratic primary for the right to face Gov. Doug Ducey (R) next year.

CT-Gov: Connecticut Port Authority Chair Scott Bates (D) will not run for Governor.

FL-Gov: Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) is exploring a bid for Florida governor. He has met with potential donors, looked at possible campaign staff and has made some inquiries about endorsements from fellow conservatives. DeSantis briefly ran for U.S. Senate last year before Sen. Marco Rubio (R) decided to seek reelection.  Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has already announced a run and is seen as the likely GOP front runner.

FL-Gov: Tallahassee shoe shiner Tony Knox has filed to run for Governor as an independent. Knox spent 30 years shining the shoes of Florida power brokers and now he wants to be one. Knox will need 13,000 signatures to qualify for the November 2018 ballot.

GA-Gov: Georgia state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D) entered the race for Governor. She was promptly endorsed by Emily’s List and the left-wing progressive PAC Democracy for America. Abrams, who is black, will face fellow state Rep. Stacey Evans, who is white, in the Democratic primary, but will not have to deal with a repeat bid from 2014 nominee and Heir Force Col. Jason Carter, who declined a second bid last week. Four Republicans are already running for governor, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, state Sen. Hunter Hill and state Sen. Michael Williams, who entered the race last week.

IA-Gov: Newly installed Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) may not get a free ride in the Republican primary next year. Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett (R) has said he will announce his run for governor of Iowa at the end of June.

MN-Gov: Stewart Mills (R), who lost to Democrat Rep. Rick Nolan in 2014 and 2016 has denied a story in Morning Take that he was going to run for Governor of Minnesota. Mills is still considering making a third attempt at MN-8.

VA-Gov: Progressive wunderkind Tom Perriello’s latest ad is narrated by Elizabeth Warren and features pictures of him with Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama. George Soros has also kicked in another $230,000 to Perriello’s campaign.

Senate:

IN/TN-Sen: Senator Peyton Manning? Former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning was spotted at the White House. He played golf with President Trump and Sen. Bob Corker (R) and met with Sen. John Cornyn, who just happens to be a former head the NRSC. If the former Indianapolis Colts great were to run for Senate I have to imagine Republicans would want him to run in Indiana vs. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) but Manning might prefer to run in Tennessee, where he went to college and played for the Vols, if Bob Corker, who just stated he is “not interested in running for governor”, doesn’t seek re-election in 2018.

House:

CA-34: The final absentee ballot rundown are in before today’s special election runoff. 21,000 ballots have been returned. 5,551 ballots were from Latino voters and 5,662 ballots were from Korean voters. CA-34 has nearly 150,000 eligible voters that are Latino and 18,700 that are Koreans. Latino are turning out at 3.7% rate while Koreans are so far turning out at a 30% rate!

GA-6: Hans Solo impersonator Jon Ossoff (D) has chickened out of a CNN debate with Republican Karen Handel. Being in a nationally televised debate is probably the last thing Ossoff wanted. Ossoff has been saying one thing to a national audience as he raises gobs of money from out of state Democrats as the poster child for the progressive #Resistance while saying another thing locally as he runs as a faux moderate back in Georgia. Appearing in a national debate could cause a disruption in the Force in the two faced campaign he has been running as his answers could either anger his national donors or the local voters both of whom he still needs.

FL-27: #NeverTrump CNN Republican pundit Ana Navarro (R) is still considering running for the seat of retiring Rep. Ileana Ros Lehtinen (R)….well sort of.  Here’s what Navarro said; “I’ve been touched by the number of people in the district and outside the district who have encouraged me to run for Congress. But at this time it seems to me that it requires a level of masochism that I have not yet reached.”

IA-4: Former telephone psychic Kim Weaver (D) has dropped her campaign for Congress against Rep. Steve King (R). In pulling the plug on her candidacy Weaver used every excuse in the book from claiming running was too much of a financial burden on her family, to her Mother’s health, to alleging that the office where she worked had her budget cut in retaliation for her candidacy, to even making unsubstantiated accusations of having received threats against her and her family. Weaver had raised over $700,000 from Democrats around the country. No word yet on what Weaver plans to do with all the money she raised. Rep. Steve King (R) responded to Weaver’s allegations by Tweeting “I wanted #KimWeaver IN the race-not out. Democrats drove her out of the race-not R’s. Death threats likely didn’t happen but a fabrication.” If Weaver was threatened the police should investigate. If the former psychic made this up she should apologize or seek mental help.

MN-1: Former state Sen. Vicki Jensen has become the first Democrat to announce that she will run for the open seat Rep. Tim Waltz (D) is vacating to run for governor. This district swung from 50-48 Obama in 2012 to 53-38 Trump in 2016. Jensen was a victim of the Trump wave as she lost her 2016 re-election campaign on the back of the Trump coattails.

NY-19: Antonio Delgado has become the 6th Democrat to announce a run against freshman GOP Rep. John Faso. Delgado claims to have already raised $300,000.

SC-1: Rep. Mark Sanford (R) may avoid having a Republican primary challenger next year. A month ago Sanford had two Republican challengers but Naval Reservist Tom Perez dropped out after getting deployed overseas and businessman Ted Fienning has changed his mind about running as well and has dropped out of the race. There is still a very long time until next’s years filing deadline so someone else may decided to try the uphill task of primarying Sanford.

SC-5: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is putting $275,000 towards boosting Democrat Archie Parnell ahead of the June 20th special election. Parnell should be a long shot against Republican Ralph Norman in this heavily GOP district; a recent internal for Parnell showed him down by 10.

TX-16: State Rep. César Blanco (D) has decided to seek re-election to the Texas state House and will not run for the Congressional seat Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) is vacating to run for US Senate.

WA-5: Here’s a tip to all aspiring Congressional candidates. Don’t release internal polls that show you are getting your clock cleaned by an incumbent. Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart  (D) is out with an internal poll from EMC Research showing him losing to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers (R) by a 49%-42% margin. Thanks for letting everyone know that McMorris Rogers is safe and that there is nothing to see here.

State, Local & Other:

NC-Redistricting: The US Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling striking down NC state legislative maps as racial gerrymander. At issue were nine state Senate districts and 19 state House districts. The Republican controlled state legislature will now have to redraw the maps for the 2018 elections (although a small possibility still exists that they will be forced to call a 2017 special election). Republicans have a 74 seat super-majority in the 120 seat North Carolina state House. If the Democrats take 4 more seats they could break the GOP’s veto-proof majority in the House. Republicans control 35 seats in the 50 seat NC state Senate so their 3/5s majority there should be safer.

Compton-Mayor: This story is straight out of Compton. The mayoral race in Compton, CA has turned into a generational battle of gangster vs. the next Brooklyn. Corruption tarred former Mayor Omar Bradley (D) is trying to regain his old job by denigrating the revitalization that has occurred under 35 year old Mayor Aja Brown’s (D) tenure. Brown won the April primary with 47% to Bradley’s 27%, with four other candidates picking up the rest.

FL-AG: Ex-Circuit Judge Ashley Moody (R) has entered the race for Attorney General and out going term-limited incumbent AG Pam Bondi (R) immediately endorsed her. State Rep. Jay Fant (R) and Democrat Ryan Torrens of Tampa are also running.

WATN: Lucky for former Rep. Patrick Murphy (D) time ran out. Murphy was cleared of campaign finance violations involving $30,000 in donations from Saudi businessman Ibrahim Al-Rashid that were allegedly run through third party straw donors because the statue of limitations on the violations in the complaint against him had passed.

Political Roundup for May 5, 2017

Please check back at Noon ET for our preview of this weekend’s Texas mayoral elections and French Presidential Runoff. But in the meantime grab your Taco Bowl and enjoy the roundup…

Governor:

CT-Gov: State Sen. Toni Boucher (R) is the latest Connecticut Republican to consider an entry into this crowded primary, joining Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton (R), Trumbull first selectman (Mayor) Tim Herbst (R), state Rep. Prasad Srinivasan (R) and 2014 SoS nominee Peter Lumaj (R).

FL-Gov: State House Speaker Richard Corcoran (R) will open a committee this summer to raise money for a Gov run, but won’t make a final decision until… next March. That’s an awfully lackadaisical timeline for a race that will need extreme amounts of fundraising, and sending a signal to donors that you’re still unclear about your intentions doesn’t seem like the best way to go. Corcoran will face Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam (R) in the primary if he goes ahead with a run, and a couple more minor candidates are also considering. Dems have a crowded field of decleared and potential contenders including ex-Rep. Gwen Graham (D), Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D), Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine (D), and trial lawyer John Morgan (D).

IA-Gov: Freshman State Sen. Nate Boulton (D), a vocal liberal, is the latest “C” list candidate to jump into the Governor’s race, joining ex-IADP chair Andy McGuire (D), State Rep. Todd Prichard (D), former state cabinet official Rich Leopold (D), and 2014 Auditor nominee Jon Neiderbach (D). Gov-designate Kim Reynolds (R) may face primary opposition from Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett (R).

NE-Gov: State Sen. Bob Krist (“R”), a moderate from the Omaha area, may challenge Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) in the 2018 primary. As the state populace generally seems to be on the side of Ricketts’ conservative agenda instead to the RINO-D coalition that seems to all too often dominate the Unicameral, Krist will likely have a tough time getting traction in a GOP primary.

MN-Gov, MN-8: State House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R) announced that he is still considering a run for Governor, while ruling out a bid for MN-8. Daudt would likely be a front-runner in the crowded GOP convention field if he entered.

PA-Gov: Ugh. As George Allen and Bob Etheridge can tell you, the only thing to do when around a tracker is ignore them and be on your best behavior. State Sen. Scott Wagner (R), who is challenging Gov. Tom Wolf (D), didn’t heed that advice when he angrily confronted a tracker working for American Bridge who was videotaping a private speech Wagner was giving on estate planning. Word to wise candidates: just don’t. Don’t protest and don’t give into those impulses no matter how justified you think they are. You will never come out looking good. Separately in this race, businessman Paul Mango (R) has made his entry into the GOP primary official. Multiple other Republicans are rumored to be considering.

Congress:

CA-34: AG Xavier Becerra (D) has endorsed State Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D) as his successor. Gomez faces a runoff with zoning board member Robert Lee Ahn (D) in June, in which the former looks like the strong favorite. Gomez has coalesced most establishment support and has the Hispanic-majority nature of the district on his side, though Ahn’s Koreatown base can be high-turnout.

GA-6: Now here’s a new one. WATL-TV, Atlanta’s MyTV affiliate, has launched a 7PM newscast… specifically to find a place to air GA-6 ads. The June 20 runoff between ex-SoS Karen Handel (R) and former congressional staffer Han Soloff Jon Osoff (D) has attracted well-beyond-saturation levels of spending.

NC-9: The FBI has closed a probe of Rep. Robert Pittenger’s (R) former business interests. Pittenger’s seat is safe but he narrowly escaped a 3-way primary last cycle with just over a third of the vote.

State Offices:

CA-LG: Having no real duties but a high profile, this open seat seems to be becoming quite attractive for former Dem megadonor-turned-ambassadors, as we now have two candidates fitting that profile here. Former Obama ambassador to Australia Jeff Bleich (D) is running for the open Lieutenant Governor seat, joining fellow former ambassador Eleni Kounalakis (D), State Sen. Ed Hernandez (D), and physician Asif Mahmood (D).

FL-Ag Comm: As expected, State Rep. Matt Caldwell (R) of the Fort Myers area has filed for the open Agriculture Commissioner seat, joining State Sen. Denise Grimsley (R) and former Orlando Mayoral candidate Paul Paulson (R).

ID-Supt: Local superintendent Jeff Dillon (R) is challenging incumbent Sherri Ybarra (R) in the primary for State Superintendent. Ybarra was a surprise winner in 2014 as a non-serious Some Dude, squeaking through a divided primary and narrowly winning the general on the deep-red lean of the state. Thus it seems a decent bet she could be vulnerable to a primary this year.

SC-SoS: State Rep. Joshua Putnam (R) is running for SoS, challenging four-term incumbent Mark Hammond (R). The decision is somewhat curious as Hammond has been non-controversial and South Carolina’s SoS is not a powerful office (it doesn’t oversee elections and mostly handles business and charity filings).

FL-SD-40: Ex-State Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla (R) is running in the special election for this vacant State Senate seat in the southwest Miami suburbs. Diaz de la Portilla represented an adjacent urban Miami district in the 2000s, and his brother Miguel (R) narrowly lost re-election to that seat last year. State Rep. Daisy Baez (D) is the only other candidate who has declared for the heavily-anti-Trump but historically Cuban-machine-R dominated district.

Local Offices:

NYC-Mayor: State Sen. Tony Avella (D/IDC) dropped his little-noticed bid yesterday to challenge Mayor Bill DeBlasio (D) in the primary. The northeast Queens State Senator, who has a reputation as a maverick for some heterodox views and would not have energized liberals by his association with the GOP Senate caucus, had only raised $35K for his bid.

More NYC-Mayor: Across the aisle, Arby’s pitchman and former celebrity detective Bo Dietl (I) was denied in his bid to run in the GOP primary; he would have needed 3/5 borough party chairs’ support to enter as a non-party member. The GOP primary looks to now be between developer Paul Massey (R) and State Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R). Dietl may still run in the general as an Independent.

Jackson, MS-Mayor: On Tuesday, incumbent Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber (D) came in fourth (!) in the Democratic Primary with just 5% (!). Winning a landslide victory with 55% was attorney Chokwe Lumumba Jr. (D). Lumbumba is the leftist son of Yarber’s deceased predecessor of the same name, and the relatively moderate Yarber’s rival in a 2014 Special Election. Jackson, a majority-black city with high crime and deteriorating infrastructure, has a history of turning out its mayor by large margins, as this marks the fourth consecutive regularly-scheduled election in which the incumbent was defeated.

Toledo-Mayor: Lucas County Treasurer Wade Kapsukiewicz (D) will challenge incumbent Paula Hicks-Hudson (D) for Mayor. Councilman Tom Waniewski (R) is also in the race, which will have a California-Rules Top Two primary in September.

San Francisco-Mayor ’19: State Sen. Mark Leno (D), a “moderate” (read: standard leftist moonbat instead of insane leftist moonbat) will run for SF Mayor in 2019; he is considered likely to be a front-runner to succeed termed-out incumbent Ed Lee (D).

NY-Rockland-CE: Attorney Maureen Porette (D), who seems basically “Some Dude” caliber, will run for County Executive against incumbent Ed Day (R). Porette seems to be running mostly on standard liberal platitudes, which is somewhat surprising as the main fault-line in Rockland centers on how to make peace with the county’s large Hasidim population.

Political Roundup for April 19th, 2017

In case you missed it last night, Democrat John Ossoff got 48% of the vote in the GA-6 special election, narrowly missing the cutoff to win the seat outright. He will face Republican Karen Handel, who got 20%, in the runoff election in June. Now, onto today’s news!

President:

Immigration: Trump is taking his first steps towards reforming America’s immigration system, specifically the H1-B system where companies can petition for specific immigrants to be granted access to the country to work for them. He issued an executive order today that is probably more symbolic than anything else, most likely because I doubt it’s possible for him to push anything through Congress that would actually reduce immigration.

North Korea: So, it seems like there was some confusion about that carrier group Trump claimed was heading up to the Korean Peninsula. I’m still not entirely clear what was happening here, but it does not help Trump’s negotiation stance that he’s apparently not up to date on where his own carriers are.

Congress:

AL-Sen: With the date for the special election for this seat moved up (see story below), it looks like holder-of-the-most-badass-sounding-name-in-the-Senate Luther Strange is going to get a primary challenger. Strange hasn’t been able to shake accusations that he was appointed to this seat as a quid pro quo from former Governor Robert Bentley, who Strange was investigating at the time of his appointment. Strange’s prospective challenger, Del Marsh (Dammit Southerners, why do you guys get all the politicians with cool names?), is the current Senate Pro Tempore, and would be able to mount a serious challenge to Strange.

HI-2: Tulsi Gabbard, probably the most mavericky Democrat in Congress right now, has faced a lot of national blow-back over her Pro-Assad stances, including doubting whether or not he actually used chemical weapons on civilians. However, she is still gathering considerable support back home in her district, where she’s made quite a name for herself in her 4+ years in Congress.

MN-8: Stewart Mills, who came close to picking this seat up for the GOP in both 2014 and 2016, is considering making a 3rd run for the race. No word yet if he’s going to go back to his long-hair look for this attempt.

State & Local:

AL-Sen Special Election: Newly ascended Governor Kay Ivey has moved up the date of the special election for Alabama’s Senate seat to an August Primary and a December General. Former Governor Robert Bentley had scheduled it for election day 2018 in a curious yet legal move that created rumors that he was intentionally trying to help Senator Strange keep the office by dragging out the special for as long as possible. Oddly enough though, the dates selected are 1-week off of some important municipal elections in Alabama, so it’s curious why she picked those specific dates.

CO-Treasurer: State Rep. Justin Everett (R) has announced he is going to run for this open seat, setting up a competitive general election with fellow State Rep. Steve Lebsock (D). Everett is kicking off his campaign by promising to reform the state’s pension system.

KS-Treasurer: Governor Brownback has appointed Republican State Senator Jacob LaTurner to fill the now vacant post of State Treasurer after the previous officeholder, Ron Estes, won the recent KS-4 special election. LaTurner has been a reliable Brownback ally so this makes sense from a political perspective, but it also opens up his Senate Seat, and in the crazy world of KS primary politics that means that it could be filled by the sort of closet-progressive-running-as-a-“Republican” candidates that are surprisingly widespread in Kansas politics.

NY-Corruption: A former NYS county executive is being investigated for corruption (Debbie Preston, of Broome County). I’d make a joke about how in other news the Pope is Catholic, but honestly, the idea that Pope Francis is secretly an atheist out to destroy the Catholic Church from within is probably more likely than New York getting a handle on its corruption issues at this point.

VA-Fundraising #s: Blue Virginia has a nice rundown of the fundraising totals of most of the statewide and local candidates of note here.

Other:

UK-Election: I’ve hammered this point home for months, but it’s still kind of staggering to look at how bad the polls are for Labor. This ICM/Guardian poll released yesterday has the Tories up 48-23 on Labor, a popular-vote margin that is literally unprecedented in modern British polling. If Labor got every single LibDem and UKIP vote from this poll, they’d still be down 5 points to May’s Conservatives. This will be the first real test of the strength of Labor’s hold on its Northern White Working Class seats, which have historically provided the party with a large electoral “cushion” against poor poll numbers but who are the exact profile of the places that voted for Labor in 2015 and Leave in 2016, so we’ll see if May’s more Populist-flavored Conservatism can win them over.

Political Roundup for February 8th, 2016

Is this the first roundup that didn’t use our President’s name this year? Read on to find o- yeah, I really can’t fake drama on so little sleep. Enjoy the roundup!

President/National

DeVos: ICYMI, Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Secretary of Education yesterday on a tie Senate vote sustained by Vice President Pence. This link has a handy list of Senators who voted for DeVos that are up in 2018. The only two of note are Jeff Flake (R) in Arizona and Dean Heller (R) in Nevada. Heller has been relatively risk-averse in his Senate career, while Flake has stuck to a mavericky and defiant tone on the president’s policies (full disclosure on Flake). However, it seems unlikely that this vote will really haunt either Senator except for raising the ire of teachers unions who already supported Democratic candidates. Their fates are the two most likely tied to whatever twist the narrative and national mood takes next.

Zinke / MT-AL: More on the delays for Rep. Ryan Zinke’s (R) confirmation to be Secretary of the Interior. Even Sen. Jon Tester (D) of Montana said, “I’ve got a notion it will be next week, but remember my crystal ball is awful cloudy, and it could be a few weeks out.”

Senate

MI-Sen: The NRSC has run its first paid ad in Michigan this election cycle, obviously targeting Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D). The ad ran during the University of Michigan – Michigan State men’s basketball game. The ad is “limited-run,” and with no numbers on the ad buy this seems more like a press release than anything that will register. But really, that’s what it’s all about this early in the cycle. Longtime Rep. Fred Upton (R) is considering a run here.

WATN / NV-Sen: Former Rep. Joe Heck (R) has signed onto a consulting firm, becoming a lobb- I mean, heading up its new government relations division.

WATN / MO-Sen: A lot of big Democratic names signing on to former Missouri Secretary of State and 2016 Senate nominee Jason Kander’s (D) new voting rights group called “Let America Vote.” Listed supporters include Democratic super-lawyer Marc Elias, former Obama Press Secretary Josh Earnest, Stephanie Shriock of EMILY’s List, and Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood. Nice backers if you want to, I dunno, run for office again.

Governor

MN-Gov / MN-8: Rep. Rick Nolan (DFL) sounds closer to a gubernatorial bid in the 2018 open seat. The congressman said that the “postiive response” to his first trial balloons have now led him to “give it some serious consideration.” Nolan would face a crowded primary from a number of Twin Cities pols, including St Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, Auditor Rebecca Otto, and State Rep. Erin Murphy (who recruited many current DFL state representatives through her leadership role). Interestingly, Nolan also recently feuded with fellow DFL Rep. Betty McCollum over environmental issues, which might not be the smartest way to make it through a DFL primary. Then again, if the Twin Cities vote splits who knows what could happen…

Of course, just as interesting would be an open seat where a Republican has come within a hair’s breadth twice and our presidential nominee won in 2016. Republicans may look to their two-time candidate, Stewart Mills, but the problem is that the rest of their bench is based on the southern edge of the district toward Chisago and Isanti Counties (although Republicans have been generally making gains outstate as Minnesota’s rural white voters gradually regress to the national mean). Then again, smarter people than I have pointed out that talk of benches is probably overrated anyway when you look at many high-profile recruiting flops.

PA-Gov: Businessman Paul Mango (R) is meeting with political operatives as he considers a run for Governor.

House

MN-5: Xenocrypt uses the opportunity of Rep. Keith Ellison’s DNC Chair bid to evaluate general election turnout in the Democratic stronghold of Minnesota’s fifth congressional district. Ellison operates a substantial field program every cycle and has taken credit for supposed turnout jumps in his district. However, Xenocrypt points out the baseline election Ellison points to in 2006 was a three-way race where an Independence Party (successors to Ventura) candidate almost out-polled the Republican in Ellison’s first open seat race. Further, subsequent elections seem to fit with national trends. The real benefit to Ellison’s independent canvassing operation is by freeing up DFL resources for more competitive areas and, of course, operating a handy political operation to help local allies (Ellison has been known to take sides in local races).

TX-32: With the DCCC hoping to put affluent Republican seats that Clinton won on the table, entrenched Rep. Pete Sessions’ (R) seat suddenly looks more intriguing. Democrats already have one Some Dude running, but the linked article fantasizes about a campaign by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings (D). For further reading, check out Houston blogger Charles Kuffner’s break-downs of statewide and presidential races in Dallas County, including results inside TX-32.

Redistricting

WI-Redistrict: Wisconsin’s GOP legislature has retained former Solicitor General Paul Clement (R) to defend their legislative redistricting maps in court. The case dates back to when the legislature redrew maps in 2011, much to Democrats’ chagrin.

State and Local

St Louis-Mayor: The already-mentioned Jason Kander (see WATN under Senate) also waded into St Louis municipal politics, endorsing City Treasurer Tishaura Jones for Mayor. In the comments, fellow moderator Shamlet informs us that “Jones is one of four liberal blacks (with council Pres. Lewis Reed and councilmen Antonio French and Jeffrey Boyd) who are running against moderate white councilwoman Lyda Krewson (D) in the primary a month from today.”

Detroit-Mayor: Mayor Mike Duggan announced his reelection campaign this weekend. He had the support of his former opponent, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, at the event.

Charlotte-Mayor: Charlotte Mayor Pro-Tem Vi Lyles is in for Mayor.

Colorado-Turnout: More from Patrick Ruffini’s wonderful series on turnout in battleground states in 2016. This week it’s Colorado, but he has already covered Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio.

Political Roundup for January 13, 2017

President:

Brown: Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) has told The Hill that he has no interest in running for President in 2020. Brown is planning to run for re-election in 2018 and has said he does not want to immediately pivot from that campaign into another one for the Democrat nomination for President. Brown’s ex-wife claimed in legal proceedings that he had used physical violence” and said that Sherrod Brown had “struck and bullied me on several different occasions.” Allegations of spousal abuse should make Brown radioactive in any Democrat primary but the GOP nominated THIS guy for president so who the heck knows anymore.

Governor:

CT-Gov: Middletown, CT (pop. 50K) mayor Dan Drew (D) is considering a run for governor. Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) has not disclosed whether he intends to seek a third term.

FL-Gov: Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine (D) has announced he will not run for a third term and will most likely run for governor in 2018. The Democratic field is getting crowded. Other names circulating statewide as possible Democratic candidates include Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Rep. Gwen Graham and ambulance chaser John Morgan. On the Republican side most expect Florida Agriculture commissioner Adam Putnam to run.

HI-Gov: State Sen. Josh Green (D) considering a run against Gov. Ige, but people seem to think this is a ploy to raise his name rec for an LG bid (LG Shan Tsutsui is likely to run for Maui County Exec). Green has a large warchest but hails from the Big Island (60% of Hawaii’s population is on Oahu, so that’s a big geographical handicap).

NJ-Gov: Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno (R) has filed papers to run for Governor. She will formally announce her candidacy on Tuesday.

NJ-Gov: Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R) is “scaling back” his gubernatorial campaign as he undergoes radiation treatment for cancer affecting his throat and tonsils. The treatment for this kind of cancer can be quite intense and our prayers for a speedy recovery go out to the Assemblyman.

OH-Gov: Ex-Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams (D) is considering running for governor in 2018. Williams joins a growing list of potential 2018 Democratic candidates which includes Rep. Tim Ryan, state Senate Minority Leader, ex-state Rep. Connie Pillich,  Ohio Supreme Court Justice William M. O’Neill, Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune, Richard Cordray, and ex-U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton.

OR-Gov: Kate Brown was just sworn in as Governor but Republican opponents for 2018 are already lining up. State Rep. Knute Buehler (R) has raised $100K in the last week. Brown, who took over from disgraced Gov. John Kitzhaber (D), was just elected to serve out the final 2 years of his term.

Senate:

AL-Sen: Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange (R) has raised $300K in the last month. Strange has made it clear he intends to run for Senate regardless of who Gov. Robert Bentley (R) appoints to fill the seat of Attorney General designate Jeff Sessions. Bentley has previously stated that he intends for his appointment to serve until the regular 2018 elections and that he will not call a 2017 special election.

PA-Sen: State Rep. Rick Saccone (R) of the Mon Valley is considering challenging Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. (D) in 2018.

WV-Sen: West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) is likely to launch a bid for US Senate against Sen. Joe Manchin (D) while Rep. Evan Jenkins (R) has said that people have been asking him to run for Senate and that he will consider getting into the race.

House:

FL-4: Good news! After being taken from the Capitol on a stretcher on Wednesday afternoon newly elected Rep. John Rutherford (R) is doing OK and hopefully will be back to normal shortly. According the RRH’s in house medical expert it sounds like what Rep. Rutherford had was an esophageal spasm, which can often be mistaken for a heart attack.

KS-4: Wichita councilman Pete Meitzner (R) will run for the seat now held by  seat now held by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R) who has been nominated to head the CIA. Meitzner is the second Republican candidate to announce a run this week. Lawyer and businessman George Bruce announced Tuesday that he would seek the seat.

MN-8: Here is some really great analysis of Democrat Rep. Nick Nolan’s re-election by Miles Coleman over on the Decision Desk. It is definitely worth a read.

MT-AL: Unsuccessful 2016 Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte is interested in running for the soon to be vacant house seat of Interior Secretary designate Ryan Zinke.  Gianforte is getting help from Sen. Steve Daines (R) who is making calls on Gianforte’s behalf. The GOP nominee will be chosen via a party convention.

State, Local & Other:

Idaho-State Treasurer:  Idaho Treasurer Ron Crane (R) won’t seek a sixth term. He had been facing some ethical questions in recent years. His son, Brent Crane, is the current assistant majority leader in the Idaho state House.

Albuquerque-Mayor: New Mexico Auditor Tim Keller (D) is running for Mayor of Albuquerque this year. Field is quite crowded all around. Incumbent Mayor Richard Berry (R) will not seek re-election for a third term. This is the first mayoral election in Albuquerque in 20 years without an incumbent on the ballot.

Boston-Mayor: Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson (D) will run for mayor against Mayor Marty Walsh (D). This Tito Jackson was not a member of the Jackson 5 and has no relation to THIS Tito Jackson.

CO-Tax Hike Ballot Proposition: Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) has asked lawmakers to send a tax hike measure to the November ballot.

NJ-Jersey City Mayor: The Observer takes an interesting look at the upcoming race for Jersey City Mayor and City Council. Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop (D) was pushed out of the race for governor by uber rich ex-Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy (D) and is running for re-election this year.

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