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Political Roundup for December 15, 2017

Senate:

MN-Sen: Rep. Keith Ellison (D) will not run in the special election for the seat that Sen. Al Franken (D) is resigning. Ellison earlier had indicated he would consider running. He endorsed Sen.-designate Tina Smith (D), who seems to be clearing the field for her to run virtually unopposed on the Democratic side. State Sen. Melisa Franzen (D) says she is still considering running, either for the special election next year or for the full term in 2020.

TN-Sen: A Gravis poll of the Tennessee Senate race on the surface looks good for ex-Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) as he leads Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) and ex-Rep. Stephen Fincher (R). But the lead over Blackburn, the Republican frontrunner is a mere 2 points, 42%-40%(he leads Fincher 42%-38%) and comes mainly from him having higher support from his own party than does Blackburn, likely coming from Blackburn’s lower name recognition in heavily Republican East Tennessee, far from her West and Middle Tennessee-based congressional district. As support coalesces behind the eventual Republican nominee, Bredesen will find it tough to maintain that already slim lead.

House:

AZ-2: Lea Marquez-Peterson, president and CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is the first Republican to enter the race for this seat. Marquez-Peterson is running while expecting that Rep. Martha McSally (R) will run for Senate, even though McSally has not announced publicly what her plans are. She says she has talked with the congresswoman and told her that she planned to run for the House seat as soon as word leaked that McSally was likely to run for Senate. She says she will pull out of the race if McSally ultimately decides to run for re-election to the House seat. Other Republicans said to be contemplating a run if the seat is open are Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller and Douglas City Councilman DJ Morales.

HI-1: Attorney General Doug Chin (D) is said to be gearing up to run for Congress. He would join state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim (D), state Rep. Kaniela Ing (D), and Honolulu City Councilman Ernie Martin (D) in running for the seat Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) is giving up to run for governor. Others, including party switching state Rep. Beth Fukumoto (R->D) are considering running as well.

TX-27: Rep. Blake Farenthold (R) is not running for re-election. Since the filing deadline has already passed, there is no “Great Mentioner” on who might run, but check our post from yesterday on discussion about the other Republicans who have filed for the race.

WI-1: House Speaker Paul Ryan (R) is planning to retire next year, according to an article in Politico where they conducted interviews from three dozen people who all said they don’t believe he will stay in Congress beyond next year. Ryan however when asked about the report and whether he was planning to quit said “I’m not, no.” Ryan’s departure could put the seat into play for Democrats, although they still would seem to be at a disadvantage. Trump won the seat by 10 points last year, an improvement over Romney’s 4 point win in 2012.

Governor:

AR-Gov: Jared Henderson, former state director of Teach for America says he plans to run for governor as a Democrat. The chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party says he doesn’t know of anyone else right now planning to run. So it looks like Henderson may be the party’s sacrificial lamb to take on Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R).

CT-Gov: Oz Griebel, CEO of the MetroHartford Alliance, is planning to run for governor, according to sources close to him. It is not clear however which party he will run to represent, although he did run for the Republican nomination for governor in 2010, finishing 3rd. He would join a crowded field of candidates either running or exploring the race in either the Republican or Democratic parties.

TN-Gov: Rep. Diane Black (R) fares the best of any of the Republican candidates for governor in the Gravis poll(same poll that polled the Senate race). Black leads ex-Nashville Mayor Karl Dean (D) 40%-31% and state House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh (D) 42%-27%. State House Speaker Beth Harwell (R) and businessman Randy Boyd both have smaller leads over Dean, while Harwell has a larger lead over Fitzhugh than Black. State Sen. Mae Beavers (R) trails Dean, but leads Fitzhugh.

WY-Gov./WY-SOS: Secretary of State Ed Murray (R) has been accused of sexual harassment in an incident that occurred 35 years ago. The accusation was made in a Facebook post by a former coworker. Murray firmly denies that the incident described ever took place and says he doesn’t know why the woman would make the allegation. He has indicated an interest in running for governor next year, but has not yet entered the race.

States:

KY-HD-49: Rebecca Johnson, the widow of state Rep. Dan Johnson (R) who committed suicide on Wednesday in light of sexual assault allegations, says she will run in the special election to fill the seat. Ex-state Rep. Linda Belcher (D), whom Johnson defeated last year, has expressed interest in running as well. Belcher was first elected to the seat in 2008, after her husband who had held the seat was killed in a car accident-potentially setting up a race between two widows of former representatives. Belcher was re-elected in 2010, lost in 2012 and then came back in 2014 before losing again in 2016.

MN-AG: St. Paul City Attorney Samuel Clark (D) has announced he will run for Attorney General. Clark noted the awkwardness of running for AG when current AG Lori Swanson (D) has not announced her plans, but many expect she will run for governor. Clark joins state Rep. Debra Hilstrom (D), ex-state Rep. Ryan Winkler (D) and attorney Matt Pelikan as Democrats who have announced they are running.

International:

Australia: The second of two by-elections called because of MPs having dual citizenship is this weekend. The Coalition easily retained the New South Wales seat of New England two weeks ago, returning National Party Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce to office. A much closer race is expected tomorrow in the New South Wales seat of Bennelong. Bennelong has been a Liberal Party stronghold, and was held from 1974 to 2007 by former Prime Minister John Howard with Labor winning it only in 2007 when Howard and the Coalition went down in a landslide. John Alexander picked the seat back up for the Liberal Party in 2010, held it relatively easily in the last two elections and is running to regain his seat. But Labor has put up a high profile candidate for the seat-former NSW Premier Kristina Keneally. The race is important as the Coalition needs to hold the seat to preserve their 1 seat majority; losing it would require them to rely on an independent member who has pledged to support them on confidence and supply, but vote freely on other issues. The most recent poll puts the Coalition ahead of Labor on a two party preferred basis by 6 points.

Political Roundup for December 5th, 2017

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

Governor:

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

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

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

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

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

Senate:

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

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

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

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

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

House:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

State, Local & Other:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Political Roundup for November 21, 2017

Today at 3pm, check back for our 7th annual Turkey of the Year Awards!

Today’s Pervert Update:

MI-13: Late last night news broke that Rep. John Conyers (D) settled a sexual harassment complaint in 2015. The complaint alleges Conyers harassed multiple staffers, attempted to fire a staffer because she was unattractive, and had women flown with taxpayer money to pleasure him. Conyers, who would become Judiciary Chair if Dems take over the house, is widely believed to have been suffering from severe dementia for the last decade.

MN-Sen ’20 (or earlier): The drip-drip of harassment allegations against Sen. Al Franken (D) that we all knew was coming has officially started. A second woman is alleging Franken groped her, this time at the Minnesota State Fair while he was in office in 2010. For his part, Franken says that he is doing a lot of “reflecting“. Mmmkay. One hopes it’s not the kind involving a mirror.

NM-Gov, NM-LG: This is an excellent case in point of why the “shotgun wedding” style of LG candidates running in separate primaries and combining to one ticket for the general can cause big problems. Rep. Michelle Lujan-Grisham (D), the front-runner for the Gov nomination, is calling on the previous front-runner to be her LG, State Sen. Michael Padilla (D), to drop out after several women claimed he harassed them while serving as a city official in Albuquerque a decade ago. Padilla is facing ex-State Rep. Rick Miera (D) and Dona Ana County commissioner Billy Garrett (D), among others in the LG primary, while Lujan-Grisham is the front-runner for the Gov nod over State Sen. Joe Cervantes (D) and media exec Jeff Apodaca (D), son of 70s-era Gov. Jerry (D).

OH-Gov: ICYMI last week, State Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill (D) kicked off his gubernatorial campaign with a strange facebook post that can only be described as an epic case of TMI. O’Neill states he was “sexually intimate with approximately 50 very attractive females,” and states that he once “made passionate love in the hayloft of her parents’ barn.” O’Neill is facing four other Democrats, ex-Rep. Betty Sutton (D), Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D), State Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D), and ex-State Rep. Connie Pillich (D), in the primary. Republicans have a crowded field as well.

CA-LD-39: State Rep. Raul Bocanegra (D) of the eastern San Fernando Valley will not seek re-election in 2018 and will resign at the end of next year’s legislative session amid escalating sexual harassment allegations.

OH-LD-87: Much, much more is coming out about just how disgusting recently-resigned State Rep. Wes Goodman (R) was.

FL-Dems: FLDP chair Stephen Bittel (D) has resigned after six women accused him of leering at them and other creepy behavior.

Governor:

CT-Gov: Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin (D) is considering a run for Governor after LG Nancy Wyman (D) declined a bid and left the field bereft of “A” list Democrats. Bronin’s name recognition would likely start as the highest in the Dem field, but the state capital’s continuing budget and socioeconomic woes would provide great fodder for his opponents. Bronin would join three “B” listers, Middletown Mayor Dan Drew (D), Malloy admin officials Jonathan Harris (D) and Sean Connolly (D), and prosecutor Chris Mattei (D), in the race to replace unpopular Gov. Dan Malloy (D). Republicans have an even more crowded field.

ME-Gov: 2010 Indie candidate Shawn Moody (R), who took a significant number of votes and fourth place in 2010 on a center-right platform, is preparing another run. Moody, who joined the GOP last month, is taking a step to prove his Republican bona fides by tapping several members of Gov. Paul LePage’s (R) staff, most notably including LePage’s daughter Lauren, for his expected bid. Moody would face LePage admin official Mary Mayhew (R), State Sens. Mike Thibodeau (R) and Garrett Mason (R), and State Rep. Ken Fredette (R) in the GOP primary. Democrats have a crowded field and three credible centrist Indies are in the race in appointed State Treasurer Teresea Hayes (I), well-known comedian Karmo Sanders (I), and ex-State Sen. Jon Jenkins (I), who also served as Mayor of both Lewiston and Auburn.

MI-Gov: Businessman Shri Thanedar (D), who has self-funded his way into being a serious contender for this race, is being hit with a fraud suit for allegedly inflating the value of his company to investors. Thanedar is facing front-running ex-State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer (D), executive Bill Cobbs (D), and Detroit city official Abul El-Sayed (D) in this primary. Republicans also have a competitive primary with AG Bill Schuette (R) as the front-runner.

More NM-Gov, NM-LG: In addition to Dems’ struggles with State Sen. Michael Padilla (D) in the LG primary (see pervert update above), Rep. Steve Pearce (R) is also having some trouble with running mates. Martinez admin official Kelly Zunie (R), who was looking like the presumptive LG nominee for Republicans, has dropped out herself amid allegations that she doesn’t meet the state’s 5-year residency requirement. Zunie moved to the state from Utah in 2014, and has also been hit for having some tax problems in Utah. Pearce also got some more bad news in that Lands Commissioner Aubrey Dunn Jr. (R) is considering a bid for Governor as a Libertarian… after already having endorsed Pearce. Dunn recently dropped out of the primary for Pearce’s NM-2 House seat amid rumors of a feud with Gov. Susana Martinez (R), though Dunn was looking like the front-runner for the House seat.

OK-Gov: State Auditor Gary Jones (R) kicked off his expected bid for Governor last week. Jones joins LG Todd Lamb (R), OKC Mayor Mick Cornett (R), ex-State Rep. Dan Fisher (R), and ex-US Attorney and 2002 Indie candidate Gary Richardson (R) in the crowded GOP primary. Ex-AG Drew Edmondson (D) is the likely Dem nominee in what seems likely to be a competitive general.

Congress:

AZ-Sen: OH Predictive Insights has a poll of the race with ex-State Sen. Kelli Ward (R) leading Rep. Martha McSally (R) in the primary 42-34 and both narrowly trailing Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) in the general.

NE-Sen: PPP (D) has an internal for Lincoln councilwoman Jane Raybould (D) that shows her trailing Sen. Deb Fischer (R) 42-31; however, it’s likely a some of the “undecideds” are Republicans who oppose Fischer from the right.

UT-Sen: Nonprofit exec Boyd Matheson (R), a former CoS to Sen. Mike Lee (R), will not run for the seat of Sen. Orrin Hatch (R). Matheson would have likely faced an uphill run against either Hatch or Mitt Romney (R), who is seen as likely to run if Hatch retires.

CA-52: Energy executive Michael Allman (R) is running for this seat on a platform that can only be described as taking pandering to its extreme conclusion. Allman says if elected he will set up a system to turn his vote on every bill into an online referendum, where district residents can cast votes for their opinion on the bill, and Allman will vote in accordance with the result even if he disagrees. I give him credit for originality, though I think it’s an idea that would be open to a lot of mischief if implemented. Allman is one of several little-known Republicans seeking to try a very uphill run against Rep. Scott Peters (D) in this blue (and getting bluer) San Diego seat.

State & Local:

IA-Aud: Prosecutor Rob Sand (D) will run for AG. Sand seems a reasonably credible challenger incumbent Mary Mosiman (R), who is considered likely to seek a second full term.

MN-AG: Appointed state Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman (D) has resigned to run for AG, joining State Rep. Debra Hillstrom (D) and ex-State Rep. Ryan Winkler (D) in the race for the seat of AG Lori Swanson (D). Swanson has not indicated her plans but is widely considered likely to run for Governor.

NM-Aud: State Rep. Bill McCamley (D) of suburban Las Cruces will run for State Auditor, an office that is now vacant after incumbent Tim Keller (D) was elected Mayor of Albuquerque. Gov. Susana Martinez (R) will make an appointment to fill the seat for the rest of Keller’s term.

NM-Lands Comm: Ex-Lands Commissioner Ray Powell (D) has dropped his bid to get back the office he lost in 2014 after being diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, an autoimmune condition that leads to severe muscle weakness (but does not affect life expectancy). Powell has endorsed a new candidate who entered the race in his stead, State Rep. Stephanie Garcia-Richard (D) of Los Alamos. Garcia-Richard will face nonprofit exec Garrett VeneKlasen (D), who has the backing of Sen. Martin Heinrich (D), in the Dem primary. Incumbent Aubrey Dunn Jr. (R) has not revealed his plans (see NM-Gov blurb above).

NE-PSC-1: Two Republicans are seeking the Lincoln-area 1st district seat on the state’s 5-member Public Service Commission. Scott Smathers (R), director of a pro-second amendment group, and ex-Cass County commissioner Ron Nolte (R) have filed to seek the seat of incumbent Frank Landis (R). Landis has not announced his intentions but is generally expected to retire.

Political Roundup for September 18, 2017

Senate:

AL-Sen: Plenty of movement over the weekend in this race, a week ahead of the primary runoff. Trump has announced he will go to Alabama to do a rally for appointed incumbent Luther Strange (R), a big get for Strange in a race where both candidates have been fighting to be tied as closely as possible to the President. Strange also picked up the endorsement of his senior colleague, Sen. Richard Shelby (R). However, Strange’s rival, ex-State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R), nabbed a big get of his own in Rep. Mo Brooks (R). Brooks, who came in third in the primary, was largely expected to endorse Moore after his own bid was derailed by Strange’s sustained negative ad barrage. This now means that both major eliminated candidates from the first round, Brooks and State Sen. Trip Pittman (R), have picked Moore for the runoff; the three combined to take some 2/3 of the vote in the first round. Moore has led in all polls of this race, though by dramatically varying margins; the primary winner will face ex-US Attorney Doug Jones (D) in a December general.

CA-Sen: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) is non-committal on running for a fifth full term in 2018. Feinstein has previously indicated she will run again, so the new statement could be opening the door to a retirement. AG Xavier Becerra (D) and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) have been mentioned as potential candidates for an open seat.

FL-Sen: Gov. Rick Scott (R) has received praise for his handling of Hurricane Irma, which could be a positive in his likely run against Sen. Bill Nelson (D). The article has a good recap of Scott’s efforts at Hurricane relief and their potential political impact.

OH-Sen: Author JD Vance (R) will not run for Senate. Vance wrote a well-received tome about his childhood in a lower-middle-class Cincinnati exurb as a reflection on Appalachian culture; he has been working the rubber-chicken circuit for several months and could have been a formidable contender if he entered. Front-running State Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) and Kasich-backed investor Mike Gibbons (R) look likely to be the only major candidates in the primary to take on Sen. Sherrod Brown (D).

Governor:

GA-Gov: Consulting company executive and former SEAL Clay Tippins (R) has filed to enter the race. It’s too early to tell how serious Tippins will be, but he could have the profile to be a credible contender in the crowded primary field. LG Casey Cagle (R), SoS Brian Kemp (R), and State Sens. Hunter Hill (R) and Michael Williams (R) are already in the race. State Reps. Stacey Abrams (D) and Stacey Evans (D) are in the race on the D side.

MA-Gov: Barnstable County Commissioner (side note: this is an office with far less power in MA than in other states, as some MA counties have no government at all and the rest have very limited functions) Ronald Beaty Jr. (R) is considering a primary challenge against Gov. Charlie Baker (R). Beaty served time in the early 90s for making death threats to prominent elected officials and has been notable in office for a plan to kill sharks – needless to say, he doesn’t seem like a very serious candidate.

MI-Gov: Trump dropped a somewhat unexpected endorsement in this race over the weekend, quickly endorsing AG Bill Schuette’s (R) bid (and spelling his name wrong in the process). The endorsement could be a major boost to Schuette as he faces a crowded primary; State Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R) and physician Jim Hines (R) are already in the race, and LG Brian Calley (who rescinded his Trump endorsement in the fall of 2016) is expected to enter as well.

NJ-Gov: Another Q poll shows this race as a total snoozer, with former Goldman Sachs exec and ambassador Phil Murphy (D) leading LG Kim Guadagno (R) by a whopping 58-33 margin.

House:

CA-24: Michael Woody (R), who served one term as a Fresno councilman in the 90s before an unsuccessful mayoral run, is running for this medium-blue Central Coast seat against Rep. Salud Carbajal (D). 2016 nominee Justin Fareed (R) is considering another run and would likely be the front-runner on the GOP side if he ran.

CO-4, CO-AG: Rep. Ken Buck (R) has said he will likely not give up his seat to run for AG if incumbent Cynthia Coffman (R) vacates the office. Coffman has still not decided whether to run for a second term or give up her seat to try for the gubernatorial office; Buck would have likely been the strong front-runner for the GOP nomination if he ran for an open seat.

IL-11: STEL-LA! Nick Stella (R), a cardiologist who narrowly lost the 2016 primary, is mounting a second bid for the seat of Rep. Bill Foster (D). This Joliet and Aurora based seat is deep-blue, but its Democrats here have been low turnout in midterms. Stella looks likely to be the primary front-runner this time.

NV-3: Nonprofit exec and 2016 NV-4 candidate Susie Lee (D) is running for this open seat. Lee, a charity executive with self-funding ability, was heavily recruited to run for this seat in 2016. Instead, she made the bad decision to try for the bluer 4th on the other side of the Las Vegas metro area instead. Lee then lost the NV-4 primary to Ruben Kihuen (D), while Democrats’ backup choice for the 3rd, now-Rep. Jacky Rosen (D), prevailed there. Lee looks likely to get a second chance though, as no prominent Democrats have entered the open seat race; thus, Lee could still secure machine backing for this race. State Sen. Scott Hammond (R), ex-State Rep. Victoria Seaman (R), and ex-Clark County GOP chair David McKeon (R) are in the race for this purple southern Las Vegas area seat on the GOP side.

NY-11: Ex-Rep. Michael Grimm (R) really is set to pull the trigger on a run to get his old Staten Island House seat back. Grimm, who was forced out by a conviction on some minor business violations, is set to primary his replacement, Rep. Dan Donovan (R), from the right. Due to his criminal record and Donovan’s strong support in the local establishment, Grimm’s campaign seems unlikely to gain much traction in the primary. However, he could still cause problems for Donovan in the general; Grimm is closely-tied to the leaders of the local Conservative party, meaning he could continue on to the general election and split the Republican vote in this medium-red seat. Democrats thus far do not have any credible candidates exploring this race, as Donovan was considered a good fit for this seat. But Grimm’s challenge may open the door for a more serious Dem to emerge.

PA-15: Northampton DA John Morganelli (D) is considering a run for this light-red open seat. Morganelli, who has lost several runs for AG but is well-known and has strong appeal in the Lehigh Valley, could easily be Democrats’ establishment choice for the race. Two other lesser-known Dems, ex-Lehigh County commissioner Bill Leiner (D) and pastor Greg Edwards (D), are in the race already. State Reps. Justin Simmons (R) and Ryan Mackenzie (R) are running on the GOP side.

TX-27: Ex-Victoria County GOP chair Mike Cloud (R) is exploring a run against Rep. Blake Farenthold (R) in the primary. Farenthold has had some minor issues but has not been seriously challenged for his Corpus Christi area seat since winning it in 2010. Cloud’s bid against Farenthold may be complicated (or, alternatively, may benefit) by a change in the district; this seat may be re-redistricted if SCOTUS affirms a decision striking it down.

UT-3: A Dan Jones poll of this November’s special election shows Provo Mayor John Curtis (R) cruising as expected in this deep-red seat, leading physician Kathie Allen (D) 50-20. Jim Bennett (I), son of ex-US Sen. Bob (R), is polling at 6%, just barely missing the cutoff for a televised debate.

State & Local:

IL-AG: In a major surprise, AG Lisa Madigan (D) will not seek a fifth term; Madigan has also intimated that she is not planning to run for any other office, including Governor or Mayor of Chicago. Madigan long transparently harbored Gubernatorial aspirations, but she declared in 2014 that she would not run so long as her father, State Dictator House Speaker Mike (D), remained as the most powerful man in state Government. It looks like Lisa has gotten tired of waiting and decided to cash out.

MN-AG: One Democrat is in and one is out of this race. State Rep. John Lesch (D) has dropped out of the race, saying that AG Lori Swanson’s (D) continued deliberations on whether or not to run for Governor make the run too much of an uncertain prospect; however, Lesch was also recently fined $20K for campaign finance violations. However, attorney and Dem operative Matt Pelikan (D) has entered the race in his stead. Pelikan, who has worked on several prominent campaigns, joins State Rep. Debra Hillstrom (D) and ex-State Rep. Ryan Winkler (D) in the race – though all have left the door open to dropping out should Swanson run again. Republicans have two candidates in ex-State Rep. Doug Wardlow (R) and attorney Harry Niska (R).

NV-SoS: Reno Councilman Oscar Delgado (D) will not run for SoS against incumbent Barbara Cegavske (R), sending Democrats back to the drawing board in this race.

Buffalo-Mayor: After losing the Democratic primary last week, city comptroller Mark Schroeder (D) is undecided about continuing on to a general election against incumbent Byron Brown (D) on the Reform Party line. Schroeder, a moderate Democrat, could be a credible threat to Brown in the general as he would be a logical home for the votes of the city’s GOP minority – which could form a winning coalition when paired with Schroeder’s roughly third of the Dem primary vote.

FL-SD-40: Gov. Rick Scott (R) has denied Democrats’ request to move the election date for this suburban Miami Senate seat due to widespread power outages in the district following Hurricane Irma. The hotly contested race for the R-held, Dem-leaning, but Cuban-machine-friendly seat, between State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz (R) and perennial candidate Annette Taddeo-Goldstein (D), is proceeding as scheduled one week from tomorrow.

Political Roundup for July 5, 2017

National:

States of Chaos: July 1 was the fiscal year start, and no fewer than six (!) states experienced or narrowly averted budget chaos this weekend. Three states, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maine, all went into shutdowns this past weekend, while Connecticut was operating with an emergency gubernatorial funding decree. Illinois is on its third year of a stalemate between State Dictator House Speaker Mike Madigan (D) and Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) over fiscal policy; 15 Republicans voted to pass Madigan’s reform-less tax hike over the weekend, which Rauner says he will veto. New Jersey was shut down because of a feud between Gov. Chris Christie (R) and State House Speaker Vincent Prieto (D) over Christie’s plan to raid a health insurer to fund opioid treatment (and/or extort a payoff for South Jersey Dictator George Norcross), but that didn’t stop the Governor and his family from vacationing at a closed beach. Maine is under a partial shutdown after Gov. Paul LePage (R) vetoed a budget that raised taxes. Connecticut is operating without a budget, likely until later this month, as the tied Senate and Dem-controlled House deadlocked on competing budget proposals. Two other states, Washington and Alaska, narrowly averted shutdowns.

NATO, WATN: Ex-Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R) was nominated as NATO Ambassador over the weekend.

Governor:

CA-Gov: As expected, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R) won’t tackle the extremely uphill challenge of a run for Governor. Republicans have several “C” list candidates in or considering making attempts to lose this race, including self-funding businessman and 2008 presidential candidate John Cox (R), State Rep. Travis Allen (R), and ex-State Rep. David Hadley (R).

GA-Gov: State Sen. Michael Williams (R) got a celebrity endorsement for his gubernatorial campaign from Dog the Bounty Hunter, who endorsed Williams for his work in attempting to get a police pay raise. Williams is running as the most unapologetic Trumpist in this primary against LG Casey Cagle (R), SoS Brian Kemp (R), and State Sen. Hunter Hill (R) in the primary; State Reps. Stacey Abrams (D) and Stacey Evans (D) are in the race on the D side.

IA-Gov: One minor Republican is in and one minor Democrat is out of this race. Boone (pop. 12K) councilman Steven Ray (R) will run for Governor, joining incumbent Kim Reynolds (R) and Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett (R) in the GOP primary. As an unknown small-town councilman, Ray’s odds against an incumbent and a big (for Iowa)-city Mayor would seem long to say the least. Democrats have a crowded field for this race. Across the aisle, Davenport councilman Mike Matson (D) dropped out of the race over the weekend, leaving six Dems in the race: State Sen. Nate Boulton (D), State Rep. Todd Prichard (D), ex-IADP chair Andy McGuire (D), ex-Iowa City Mayor Ross Wilburn (D), former Gov. Vilsack CoS John Norris (D), and 2014 Auditor nominee Jon Neiderbach (D).

KS-Gov: Add Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer (R) to the list of Republicans considering a run here. Selzer is not strongly identified with either the Moderate or Conservative side of the KSGOP’s chasm, and would likely attempt to bridge the divide; however, his name recognition is low, and another candidate considering the race, State Senate President Susan Wagle (R), could also stake claim on that ideological lane. SoS Kris Kobach (R/C), ex-State Sen. Jim Barnett (R/M), ex-State Rep. Ed O’Malley (R/M), and businessman and 2010 KS-4 candidate Wink Hartman (R/C) are in the race, with LG Jeff Colyer (R/C) and ex-State Rep. Mark Hutton (R/M) also considering. Democrats have a primary between ex-Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer (D) and ex-State Rep. Josh Svaty (D).

MN-Gov: State House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R) has acknowledged publicly that, as expected, he is considering a run for Governor. Daudt would likely be a front-runner for the GOP nomination if he enters, but would face 2014 nominee and Hennepin County commissioner Jeff Johnson (R), State Rep. Matt Dean (R), and Ramsey County commissioner Blake Huffman (R) in the GOP convention and/or primary. Democrats have an even more crowded field.

NE-Gov: I hadn’t actually heard anything about him entering the race, but ex-Unicameral Speaker Mike Flood (R) will not challenge Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) in the GOP primary. Flood had considered a run in 2014 but dropped out for personal and family reasons. State Sen. Bob Krist (R) may run against Ricketts as a moderate in the GOP primary or leave the party to run as an I or D in the general.

OH-Gov: As expected, LG Mary Taylor (R) will kick off her gubernatorial campaign this week, meaning this titanic four-way primary pileup will unfold as planned; she joins AG Mike DeWine (R), Rep. Jim Renacci (R), and SoS Jon Husted (R) in the race. Taylor’s campaign may be defined by her ties to Gov. John Kasich (R), who is reasonably popular but has issues with the GOP base, as well as her personal story of having both of her sons battling opioid addiction. Democrats have a crowded primary of their own.

Congress:

MO-Sen: In a major surprise and another big blow to the NRSC, Rep. Ann Wagner (R) will not run take on Sen. Claire McCaskill (D). Wagner was considered all but certain to launch a campaign, so this decision is fairly shocking. Newly-elected AG Josh Hawley (R) now looks like Republicans’ choice recruit for this race, as some major donors have been encouraging him to run.

IL-14: Montgomery (pop. 5K) mayor Matt Brolley (D) will run against Rep. Randy Hultgren (R). This exurban Chicago seat was drawn as a GOP vote sink, but Trump only narrowly carried it, so it may be on Dems’ target lists in 2018; Brolley apparently has support from fellow Rep. Bill Foster (D), who represents the adjacent IL-11.

IN-9: Now here’s just about the weirdest selling point I’ve seen for a congressional candidate in a while: Orthodontist Tod Curtis (D) is running against Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-TN). But the reason he’s getting press is because of his hobby as a prolific video game collector, with a video game collection that may be worth into the six figures. It’s unclear how serious a candidate Curtis will be in the congressional race; Hollingsworth coasted on the lean of this red seat to perform better than expected in 2016, but his craven carpetbagging could be more of an issue in a less-favorable environment.

KY-6: State Sen. Reggie Thomas (D), a liberal who represents a deep-blue district in central Lexington, will take on Rep. Andy Barr (R). The outer Appalachian portions of the Lexington-based district have stampeded right; Thomas would seem to be a poor fit for the red seat.

PA-7: State Sen. Daylin Leach (D) will run for Congress against Rep. Pat Meehan (R). Leach, a bold progressive who also ran in the 2014 PA-13 primary, may be a tough sell with swing voters in the purple district, but he is definitely a higher-profile candidate than the “C” listers that have challenged Meehan the past few cycles.

TN-6: Rep. Diane Black (R) has not announced whether she will run for Governor, but that isn’t stopping State Rep. Judd Matheny (R) from announcing a run for her seat, which covers northern and eastern Nashville suburbs and rural areas to the east. Matheny, who represents a rural area southeast of Nashville, says he will go ahead with a bid for the seat even if Black decides to run again. Pro-Trump talking head Scottie Nell Hughes (R) is the other candidate who has indicated interest in this seat if Black vacates it.

State & Local:

MN-AG: State Rep. Debra Hilstrom (D) has launched a campaign for AG, becoming the latest candidate to take a bet that popular incumbent Lori Swanson (D) will not seek re-election, either with a run for Governor or a retirement. Hilstrom joins State Rep. John Lesch (D) and ex-State Rep. Ryan Winkler (D) in the race. All have said explicitly or implicitly that they would defer to Swanson should she seek re-election. On the GOP side, ex-State Rep. Doug Wardlow (R) and attorney Harry Niska (R) are in the race.

IL-State Senate, WATN: State Sen. and 2010 gubernatorial nominee Bill Brady (R) of Bloomington was elected as State Senate GOP leader, replacing Christine Radogno (R) who resigned last week.

Greensboro, NC-Mayor: Businessman John Brown (R) will challenge incumbent mayor Nancy Vaughan (D) in her bid for a third two-year term. Vaughan seems to be relatively popular and it’s unclear how serious a candidate Brown will be in the Dem-leaning city.

Fayetteville, NC-Mayor: City councilman Kirk DeViere (D) will challenge incumbent Nat Robertson’s (R) bid for a third two-year term this fall. Fayetteville is a Dem-leaning city but Robertson has won two competitive elections.

Rutherford, TN-CE: State Sen. Bill Ketron (R) will run for Rutherford County Executive in 2018, and three-incumbent Ernest Burgess (R) quickly announced he will attempt to move in the opposite direction to Ketron’s State Senate seat. Burgess will face State Rep. Dawn White (R) for the Senate seat; no other have as yet indicated a desire to challenge Ketron for the top job in the large southeast suburban Nashville county.

Political Roundup for April 18, 2017

Check back for our GA-6 liveblog starting at 7p ET. Until then be sure to check out our preview of the race if you have not already.

Congress:

ND-Sen: Firefighter David Peyer (D) is launching a bold progressive challenge to Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D). We enthusiastically support Peyer’s efforts to make sure North Dakotans don’t send a Trump-appeasing DINO back to the Senate.

TN-Sen: Attorney and Iraq veteran James Mackler (D) will run for the seat of Sen. Bob Coker (R). It is unclear how serious a candidate Mackler will be but his launch is getting some significant press.

OK-1: Tulsa DA Tim Harris (R) has entered this race for the seat of Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R), who has indicated he will honor a term-limit pledge and retire in 2018 (or sooner if he is picked to become NASA director). Harris joins businessman Kevin Hern (R) and nonprofit exec Andy Coleman (R) in the primary.

OK-2: Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R) created a really bad soundbite when he said that it was “bullcrap” that constituents pay his salary. Mullin’s deep-red rural seat isn’t vulnerable in a general but this is the sort of thing that could create primary trouble, especially since Mullin has also indicated he is likely to break a term-limit pledge.

Governor & Row Offices:

CT-Gov: Two Democrats are moving forward on runs to succeed retiring Gov. Dan Malloy (D). Malloy admin consumer affairs secretary Jonathan Harris (D), a former West Hartford Mayor, is stepping down from the cabinet to consider a run, as is federal prosecutor Chris Mattei (D). Should they enter Harris and Mattei would join Middletown Mayor Dan Drew (D) in the primary; many other Democrats are considering.

CT-SoS: SoS Denise Merrill (D) has not announced whether she will run for Governor, but that isn’t stopping a candidate from floating his name to succeed her should the seat become open. State Rep. Matt Lesser (D) has announced he will explore a run for SoS, but only if the seat is open.

MN-AG: Attorney Harry Niska (R), who serves on a local board in Eagan, has become the second Republican to enter this race, joining ex-State Rep. Doug Wardlow (R) in the race. Unlike his rivals, Niska seems to have no compunction about taking on AG Lori Swanson (D), who is seen as likely to vacate the seat to run for Governor, but who would be a prohibitive favorite for a fourth term if she were to run again. State Rep. John Lesch (D) and ex-State Rep. Ryan Winkler (D) are in the race on the Dem side, but only if Swanson vacates the seat.

NE-SoS: Former elected state school board member Bob Evnen (R) will run for the open SoS seat. Evnen has already announced support from Sen. Deb Fischer (R) and Reps. Jeff Fortenberry (R) and Don Bacon (R), and thus looks like the front-runner for the post. State Sen. John Murante (R) is the other candidate commonly associated with this race.

OK-AG: Appointed AG Mike Hunter (R) will seek a full term in his post in 2018. The decision was somewhat in doubt as Gov. Mary Fallin (R)’s first appointee to a Row Officer slot, Labor Commissioner Melissa McLawhorn-Houston (R), had announced she would be a placeholder that would not seek a full term.

Local Races:

Seattle-Mayor: Ex-Mayor Mike McGinn (D) will seek a comeback to the office he lost in 2013, taking on incumbent Ed Murray (D). McGinn is a far-left moonbat with hipsterish tendencies, while Murray is an establishment progressive. McGinn’s term as mayor was widely characterized as an incompetent mess, while Murray has done a better job on competence issues. But McGinn performed better than expected in 2013 with the city’s far-left electorate, and Murray has also been recently hit with a lawsuit alleging long-ago sexual abuse, so this race could be very competitive.

Rochester, NY-Mayor: Monroe County commissioner Tony Micchie (R) will run for Mayor of Rochester, giving Republicans a serious candidate for an office they haven’t seriously contested in living memory. Incumbent Lovely Warren (D) is facing County commissioner James Sheppard (D) and former news anchor and State House candidate Rachel Barnhart (D).

Washington, OR-CE: Washington County Exec Andy Duyck (R) announced last week that he would not run again for the top job in this large suburban Portland county, leading Tualatin Mayor Lou Ogden (R) to enter the race. Though Washington County is nowadays deep-blue, it has a GOP-friendly history and officially nonpartisan elections.

International:

Britain: Prime Minister Theresa May (Conservative) announced a snap general election for June 8 to clear the air over the Brexit.  This moved was done with the support of Cabinet.  The Leader of Her Majesty’s Most Marxist Opposition Jeremy Corbyn (Old Labour) supports the move as well.

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