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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.

MN-Sen (S): Gov. Dayton Appoints LG Tina Smith (D) to Franken’s Seat

Gov. Mark Dayton (D) has appointed his closest confidante, LG Tina Smith (D), to the Senate seat of Al Franken (D) – who has still not yet resigned. Contrary to the initial reports, Smith will run in the 2018 special election to fill the seat, and will probably start the race as the clear front-runner in both the Dem primary and the general election; however, Smith is probably not imposing enough to avoid some serious opposition in the primary or general; in particular, Rep. Keith Ellison (D) seems like the type who could buck the establishment and pose a serious threat. For the general, Republicans’ top candidate at the moment is probably ex-Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), who is considering the race and probably won’t be scared by Smith, who has never won an election on her own, as he might have been by, say, popular AG Lori Swanson (D).

The other wrinkle in this is what might happen to the LG seat; Senate President Michelle Fischbach (R) is set to become the state’s #2, but that may be a bad deal for her as she would give up 3 years as Senate president for 1 as LG. (Update: Or maybe not – in 1898 it appears that the MN Supremes decided that a State Senator can be LG and remain in the Senate however there was a constitutional amendment 80 years ago that may or may not override that 1898 precedent. This could be decided in court). See our Great Mentioner here for more detailed speculation as to who may run in the special election.

Political Roundup for December 13th, 2017

Bless your heart, Steve Bannon. In other news from last night, Jim Carlin (R) held IA-SD-3 by a narrower-than-expected 8-point margin.

National

Please, no Moore: Unsurprisingly,The Economist nailed the dynamics of yesterday’s special senatorial election in Alabama. It also correctly pointed out the needle Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) would need to thread to win.

Heritage, Not Hate: Those that fail to learn from their history are doomed to repeat it. Inspired by the Donald’s blaming of “both sides” during a standoff between white supremacists and their opponents, The Economist was inspired to look into the nationalist/populist infatuation with the Confederate battle flag. What did it find? The brand of anti-elitism preached by Steve Bannon (“R”-His Delusions) and his ilk was once shared by two important groups: 1) those fighting for the Confederacy, and 2) many northerners who saw the abolitionist movement as an elite conspiracy to free up a source of cheap labor.

Whataboutism: Politico looks at the evolution of Trump enthusiasts’ defense of their hero’s alleged sexual assaults since the October 2016 Access Hollywood tape leak.

Steve Bannon, Great Populist: ICYMI, defender of the common man Steve Bannon (“R”-Hidden) attacked Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough (I-New Canaan) on an Alabama stage days before the state’s special senatorial election. For what? Bannon, a Georgetown and Harvard alum, exclaimed that he went to better schools than did Scarborough. Where, exactly, is Scarborough’s alma mater? …the University of Alabama. Please tell me more about Bannon’s political savvy.

Taxes: Many billionaires (read: donors) are saying that they don’t find the current tax bills tremendous. Sad!

Only the Best (No, Really): Arguing that the parties are more divided than they’ve been since the Civil War, Mort Kondracke calls for a moderate revolution composed of “the best.” Who? Those that would set aside their differences to work toward civility and common-sense solutions.

Party ID: Since the 2016 election, the GOP has seen a marked drop in partisan identification.

Congress

Democrats: Citing inadequate responses to the #pervnado, younger congressional Democrats are calling for a passing of the leadership torch on Capitol Hill.

Bipartisan Friendships: Who said bipartisan friendships on Capitol Hill are dead? Read this article to find out which New York Democrats(!) are legitimate friends of Ted Cruz(!!) and Louie Gohmert(!!!).

MN-Sen: Governor Mark Dayton (D-Target) plans to name a replacement at 10:00 AM today for latest pervnado casualty, Stuart Smalley Al Franken (D-SNL).

TX-27: Duck, duck, goo… The Houston Chronicle breaks down the candidates aiming to take out the four-term ducky pajama wearer Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Corpus Christi).

AL-Sen: Last night, Doug Jones accomplished an unprecedented historical feat: he subdued Donald Trump.

The States

IL-Gov/C[r]ook County Assessor: A recent investigation by the Chicago Tribune revealed C[r]ook County Assessor Joe Berrios (D-Chicago)’ corrupt handling of property tax appeals. To wit, wealthy donors were able to get their property taxes reduced; many got reductions significantly below market value. Accordingly, on Monday, Governor Bruce Rauner (R-Winnetka) demanded that Berrios resign. One of Rauner’s potential Democratic opponents, Heir Extraordinaire J.B. Pritzker (D-Chicago), attacked Rauner. Apparently, the governor and the paper were on a “witch hunt.”

MA-Gov/Zoning: Massachusetts Gubnah Chahlie Baykah (R-Swampscott) has latched onto a popular issue: building more housing in Massachusetts. More residential development which would keep housing affordable and boost the economy. His solution? Eliminating the biggest stumbling block: the state’s supermajority requirement for zoning changes.

#StandWithWendy: The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has graced the hoi polloi with an update on the plans of Wendy Davis (D-Austin) and her pink sneakers. Davis, who ruled out a 2018 gubernatorial bid, is apparently not (yet) ruling out a 2022 gubernatorial bid. Surely, Texas will be dark blue by then.

Political Roundup for December 12th, 2017

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

Governor:

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

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

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

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

Senate:

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

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

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

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

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

House:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

State, Local & Other:

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

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

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

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

Political Roundup for December 8, 2017

Senate:

ME-Sen: Gov. Paul LePage (R) has publicly ruled out running against Sen. Angus King (I) next year, but a Washington Post story on Wednesday states that President Trump had reached out to him to try to get him to run. However, LePage refuted the report yesterday, calling it “fake news” and “vile”.

MN-Sen: Sen. Al Franken (D), in a defiant speech yesterday defending himself against sexual harassment allegations, nevertheless did pledge to resign in “in the coming weeks”-making it unclear as to exactly when he plans to resign. No announcement of a replacement was made yesterday, but Gov. Mark Dayton (D) is said to be likely to appoint LG Tina Smith (D) as a placeholder who will not run for the seat in the special election which will be held next November.

TN-Sen: Former Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) officially entered the Senate race today, giving Democrats their best hope in the deep red state. Bredesen was re-elected easily in his last run for office in 2006, sweeping all 95 counties in his re-election as governor. But the state has shifted considerably to the Republican side since then, with Republicans controlling 7 of the 9 US House seats, both US Senate seats, the governorship and overwhelming margins in both houses of the Legislature. So while Bredesen gives Democrats some hope, he still as an uphill battle. He also for now has to get past a primary, as attorney James Mackler is still in the race.

House:

AZ-8: Rep. Trent Franks (R) has announced he will resign after admitting to asking female staff members to act as a surrogate mother to bear his child. Rumors of “inappropriate behavior” are said to have been surrounding him for awhile, and may have scuttled a planned 2012 Senate run. See our Great Mentioner from yesterday for names of who may run to succeed him.

NV-4: Former Rep. Cresent Hardy (R) is considering running to regain his seat in light of sexual harassment allegations against Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D). House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) and DCCC chairman Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D) have both called on Kihuen to resign in light of the allegations. Kihuen says he won’t resign, but has not said if he will run for re-election. Hardy lost to Kihuen by 4 points last year. Las Vegas City Councilman Stavros Anthony (R) is currently running for the Republican nomination.

OH-12: State Sen. Troy Balderson (R) joined the race to succeed Rep. Pat Tiberi (R) yesterday. Balderson is the second big name to enter the Republican primary, joining Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien. Former Marine Brandon Grisez and real estate investor Jon Halverstadt have also announced plans to run. State Sen. Kevin Bacon (R) and business executive Cathy Lyttle are also considering bids. Ex-Franklin County Sheriff Zack Scott (D) is running for the Democrats.

TX-5: State Rep. Lance Gooden (R) will run for Congress to succeed retiring Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R). Gooden’s state House seat includes a significant portion of the congressional seat in Henderson and Kaufman counties. Former state Rep. Kenneth Sheets (R) and GOP fundraiser Bunni Pounds are also running-Hensarling has endorsed Pounds to succeed him.

Governor & state offices:

CT-Gov: Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin (D) has formed an exploratory committee to run for governor. Middletown Mayor Dan Drew (D) is the only Democrat who has decided for sure to run-others exploring runs include former state Veteran’s Affairs Commissioner Sean Connolly, Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, former state Sen. and West Hartford Mayor Jonathan Harris, and former Wall Street executive Dita Bhargava.

ID-Gov: State Rep. Paulette Jordan (D) has announced she will run for governor. Jordan is the only Native American currently in the Idaho Legislature. She will face businessman and 2014 Democratic nominee A.J. Balukoff in the Democratic primary.

NH-Gov: State Sen. Dan Feltes (D) is seriously considering running for governor. Former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand, who finished a distant second in the 2016 Democratic primary, is the only Democrat currently running to take on Gov. Chris Sununu (R). Former Executive Councilor and unsuccessful 2016 Democratic nominee Colin Van Ostern is also considering running again.

OH-Gov: State Supreme Court Justice William O’Neill announced he will step down from the Court, but will stay in the Democratic primary for governor. O’Neill had previously said he would get out of the race if former Attorney General and federal CFPB director Richard Cordray got in the race, but now that Cordray is in the race, he has changed his mind. He will specify his date of resignation in a letter to Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor today.

WI-Gov: Yet another Democrat appears ready to get in the crowded Democratic primary for governor. Former state Rep. Kelda Roys (D) announced on Facebook that she is running and plans to make a formal announcement early next year. Roys served two terms in the state Assembly from 2009-2013, and lost in the 2012 Democratic primary for WI-2. Among the other Democrats running are state school Superintendent Tony Evers (D), former state Democratic Party chairman Matt Flynn, businessman Andy Gronik, union president and unsuccessful 2012 recall candidate for LG Mahlon Mitchell, state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D), and state Rep. Dana Wachs (D).

GA-LG: Auto executive Sarah Riggs Amico is running for lieutenant governor. Amico is the first Democrat to announce a run. State Senate President Pro Tem David Shafer (R), former state Sen. Rick Jeffares (R), and former state Rep. Geoff Duncan (R) are running for the GOP nomination.

NM-LG: Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales (D) is considering running for lieutenant governor. State Sen. Michael Padilla (D) dropped out of the race this week amid sexual harassment lawsuits filed against him. State Sen. Howie Morales (D) also joined the race this week. Former state Democratic Party chairman Brian Colon, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Albuquerque this year, is also considering a run. 4 other Democrats are already in the race.

Political Roundup for December 7th, 2017

Deviants

MN-Sen: After allegations #7 and #8 of unwanted groping dropped yesterday, Sen. Al Franken announced that he will have a press conference today where he is expected to resign (although his office was waffling on Twitter last night). This Star Tribune article cites some unnamed sources pointing to Lt. Gov. Tina Flint Smith as a caretaker appointment until the November 2018 special election. Read our full write-up from last night in the link. Also, our friend Miles Coleman has some neat Minnesota maps in honor of the likely resignation, including a precinct map of Frankenś first 2008 Minnesota Senate race, a map of AG Lori Swansonś strong reelection win in 2014, and a comparison of same-sex marriage vote in 2012 with Trumpś 2016 statewide performance.

AL-Sen: More evidence of Republican US Senate nominee Roy Moore dating way-too-younger women. He also may have dated his wife while she was still married, which is not a huge deal (she had just separated with her husband) but does point to plenty of hypocrisy from the holier-than-thou Moore. At this point it is hard to see how new allegations hurt Moore particularly without a new wave of media coverage, as voters know the basic story and have to decide if they deny the evidence or accept it and vote accordingly.

MI-13: The elder Rep. Conyers endorsed his son, John Conyers III, for his seat as he resigned. However, the New York Times yesterday revealed that the younger Conyers was arrested just this last February for stabbing his girlfriend. With this, the elder Conyers’ sexual harassment (see this latest creepy bit), and Monica Conyers´ ethics problems, this family has had a rough track record the last few years.

TX-27: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know Farenthold said he will repay the settlement money taxpayers had to foot to settle his sexual harassment lawsuit. But this article on the victim, his former communications director, and her resulting blacklisting after going public with Farentholdś behavior is pretty brutal. How does Barton get forced out by local Republicans but Farenthold gets to keep his seat?

NV-4: More details of unwanted advances on a campaign staffer from freshman Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D).

MA-Leg: State Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D) is taking a leave of absence from his leadership position after a Boston Globe investigation turned up four instances of sexual assault or harassment involving his husband. Three different senators have openly declared their interest in Rosenbergś job, ¨should it become open.¨ These leadership races normally develop behind closed doors, but then again, so do sexual harassment scandals. Normal procedure has been kind of thrown out the window on Beacon Hill.

Normal Senate

TN-Sen: A big get for Democrats looking to recruit for a likely wave election. Former Governor Phil Bredesen began calling donors yesterday to tell them he will in fact run in the open US Senate race. Bredesen crushed his last gubernatorial race, which incidentally is the last time Tennessee has had a competitive US Senate race. Can a strong, relatively moderate candidate separate himself in a state like Tennessee nowadays? Weĺl find out.

Normal Governor

KS-Gov: 2014 US Senate candidate Greg Orman (I) has set up an exploratory bid for Governor, making the road harder for whatever Democrat emerges out of their own primary of B-listers (when Orman ran in 2014, it was as the de facto Democratic nominee; he came up short with 43% of the vote).

TX-Gov: Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez (D) announced a gubernatorial campaign yesterday. This sets up an ideological primary between her (a progressive, lesbian, and Hispanic sheriff in a county that has turned blue) and Mark White, the son of former Gov. Andrew White who is fine with being called a moderate Republican or a conservative Democrat. This announcement also opens her seat up.

Normal House

MI-9: Two Democratic candidates announced yesterday for this open seat. The first was Andy Levin, who works in the energy industry but whose main claim for office is being a member of the heir force as the son of outgoing incumbent Rep. Sander Levin (D). The second candidate is State Sen. Steve Bieda.

RIP: Former Rep. John Anderson (R-IL), who ran as a liberal independent for President against Reagan and Carter in 1980, died Sunday at 95. He took almost 7% of the vote in that bid after polling much higher earlier in the campaign.

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