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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 October 16, 2017

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

Senate:

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

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

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

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

Governor:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

House:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

State Offices:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local Races:

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

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

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

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

Political Roundup for September 12th, 2017

It’s Primary Day in NY! Check out our preview HERE and check back with us tonight at 7:30pm ET for our election results liveblog!

Governor:

MN-Gov: Throw another name into the crowded GOP gubernatorial great mentioner. State Sen. Julie Rosen (R) confirmed she is considering a bid for governor.

Senate:

AL-Sen: Emerson has Roy Moore leading appointed Sen. Luther Strange by a 40% to 26% margin ahead of the September 26th GOP runoff. Emerson polled the general election as well and found Moore leading Democrat Doug Jones by a very narrow 44% to 40% margin.

MI-Sen: Kid Rock took to Facebook to fire back at Rev. Al “Slim Shady” Sharpton after Sharpton’s extortion protest scam operation National Action Network announced they would protest upcoming Kid Rock concerts. Kid Rock wrote “I love black people”, “Sam Riddle is a piece of sh*t criminal” and encouraged everyone to Google him, “F*ck ANYONE who takes a knee or sits during our national anthem!”, that the Tweet gloating about Al Sharpton’s daughter getting arrested for assaulting a cab driver did not come from him and the story was “fake news” and that “I can’t wait to rock everyone’s socks off at LCA the next few weeks!”. Oh, yeah this will be a fun senate campaign if he runs!

ND-Sen: Border States Electric CEO Tammy Miller (R) is considering a run for Senate against Democrat Sen. Heidi  Heitkamp. Miller has been heavily recruited by North Dakota GOP officials for weeks now but still has not made up her mind about running. State Senator Tom Campbell (R) is officially in the race and campaigning hard. Rep.  Kevin Cramer (R) is considering a run as well. State Rep. Rick Becker (R), former Congressman Rick Berg (R), and State Board of Higher Education member Kathy Neset (R) are also contemplating running for Senate. Miller is reportedly close with former Rep. Rick Berg so if she runs for Senate chance are Berg will not be seeking a rematch with Heitkamp.

NV-Sen: Donald Trump’s former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon has met with perennial candidate Danny Tarkanian (R) and promised him his full backing in his primary with Sen. Dean Heller (R).

TN-Sen: Sen. Bob Corker (R) is contemplating his future and is considering maybe retiring in 2018. Corker is the Chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee and was once considered for a spot in President Trump’s cabinet. Since then Corker’s had a falling out with Trump. Corker has faced questions from the Feds about possible insider trading regarding his investments in Tennessee-based REIT, CBL & Associates but since that story broke in early 2016 not much more has come out about it. Corker is sitting on more than $7 million in cash in his campaign account so he either has plenty of money on hand to fund his re-election or pay for his legal bills or a great slush fund for his next career as a lobbyist.

UT-Sen: If Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) decides to retire in 2018 sources say that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) will run for his senate seat.

WI-Sen: Wisconsin state Sen. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) will not run for US Senate vs Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) and will back state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R) instead.

House:

MI-6: #FakeNews alert!!! Rep. Fred Upton (R) denies “The Failing New York Times” #FakeNews “report” and insists he has no plans to retire in 2018.

MI-11: In case you missed it, two term Rep. Dave Trott (R) will retire and will not seek re-election in 2018.

NJ-2: Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R) confirms to The Hill that he will seek re-election in 2018. Now let’s start the countdown until state Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D) confirms he will not challenge Rep. Lobiondo.

PA-7: DelCo GOP fans can rest easy as Rep. Pat Meehan (R) confirms that he is not the the retirement watch list and that he will seek re-election in 2018.

PA-10: When Rep. Tom Marino takes over as Drug Czar local party GOP officials will pick the GOP candidate for the special election. Former president of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and former chairman of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Keith Eckel (R) looks like the favorite to get the GOP nomination. Eckel is 70 years old. If Eckel passes Marino’s district director David Weber is also thought to be a likely candidate.

State, Local & Other:

NV-Lt Gov: Former two-term secretary of state Ross Miller (D) will most likely not run for Lt. Governor and will most likely defer to former state Treasurer Kate Marshall (D).

Political Roundup for August 18, 2017

Senate:

NV-Sen/NV-AG: Clark County DA Steve Wolfson (D) announced on Wednesday that he will run for re-election to his current office. Wolfson had been approached to run for US Senate, or possibly for Nevada Attorney General.

ND-Sen: State Sen. Tom Campbell (R) on Wednesday became the first Republican to enter the US Senate race. Although Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) has not yet announced her intentions, she is expected to run for re-election and has said she will announce her plans before Labor Day. Rep. Kevin Cramer (R) is still considering whether to run for Senate or run for re-election, but he did not discourage Campbell from running, saying that he wasn’t going to wait for anyone else to get in, so he didn’t expect Campbell to wait for his decision.

House:

ID-1: State Rep. Luke Malek (R) is joining the race for this open seat. Malek, from Coeur d’Alene is considered a moderate by Idaho GOP standards in the wing of the state party represented by Gov. Butch Otter (R). Also in the GOP primary are former state Sen. Russ Fulcher (R) and 80s era LG David Leroy (R). Fulcher is in the more conservative, Raul Labrador wing of the state party-he challenged Otter from the right in the 2014 gubernatorial primary. Leroy was considered pretty establishment-oriented when he was in office in the 1980s, but has sounded solidly conservative themes in his campaign.

IN-6: Greg Pence, older brother of VP Mike Pence, is currently the finance chairman for the US Senate campaign of Rep. Luke Messer (R). But persistent rumors indicate Pence may be running to succeed Messer in the House, although he has refused to talk publicly about his plans. Pence may be the favorite if he decides to run-the district is the same one that Mike Pence represented for 12 years before being elected governor in 2012. State Sen. Mike Crider (R) is currently the only candidate in the race.

KS-2: State Rep. Kevin Jones (R) is entering the race for this open seat. He is the second candidate to join the race in the last two days, joining former state Rep. and unsuccessful 2014 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Paul Davis. Jones is in his 3rd term in the state House. He joins state Sen. Steve Fitzgerald and Basehor councilman Vernon Davis in the Republican primary.

ND-AL: Former state Rep. Ben Hanson (D) announced yesterday he is running for Congress. Hanson served a Fargo area district in the state House from 2013-2017 and lost his bid for re-election last year. He is the first Democrat to join the race. Rep. Kevin Cramer (R) is still deciding whether to run for re-election or run for the US Senate.

Governor:

AL-Gov/AL-LG: Public Service Commission President Twinkle Cavanaugh (R) is dropping out of the governor’s race and instead running for Lieutenant Governor. The move comes as it appears that Gov. Kay Ivey (R) will run for election to a full term; for her part, she says she is “strongly considering”. Cavanaugh stated that she does not want to run against Ivey. Many other Republicans are currently running or considering running for governor-others are expected to drop out if and when Ivey officially announces she is running.

CO-Gov: LG Donna Lynne (D) is officially in the race for governor. Lynne had stated when she was appointed Lieutenant Governor last year that she did not intend to run for governor, and seemed intent on sticking to that pledge. However, some were encouraging her to rethink the race after Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) dropped out, seeing the need for a moderate in a race that otherwise is filled with liberals. Rep. Jared Polis, former state Sen. Mike Johnston, former State Treasurer Cary Kennedy and businessman Noel Ginsburg are also running in the Democratic primary.

IA-Gov: State Rep. Todd Prichard (D) is dropping out of the race for governor and running for re-election instead. Prichard is the 2nd Democrat to drop out of the race-Polk County Conservation Director Rich Leopold was the first Democrat in the race, but was also the first to drop out. 7 Democrats are still in the race, including Iowa City Mayor Ross Wilburn (D) who entered earlier this week.

WI-Gov: Businessman Kurt Kober is considering joining the Democratic nomination for governor and has registered a campaign committee to begin raising money for a possible bid. Businessman Andy Gronik and state Rep. Dana Wachs (D) are the only announced Democratic candidates for governor. State School Superintendent Tony Evers has also filed to run, but has not decided for sure yet whether he will actually run. Several others are considering runs as well.

State & Local:

IL-AG: Attorney and former Miss America Erika Harold (R) is running for Attorney General against current AG Lisa Madigan (D). Harold has previously run twice for the IL-13 House seat-she was passed over in favor of now Rep. Rodney Davis (R) by Republican county chairmen in the district for the 2012 nomination to replace Rep. Tim Johnson (R) on the ballot after he dropped out, and lost to Davis 55-41% in a 2014 primary bid.

IL-SOS: Secretary of State Jesse White (D) is running for a 6th term. White, who is 83 had said that he planned to retire this year, but he had been pressured by people in the Democratic Party to run again to keep an open Secretary of State race from shifting focus and campaign money away from the governor’s race.

Political Roundup for August 4, 2017

Our Alabama Senate Poll is coming out at 1PM!

Senate:

MT-Sen: Yellowstone County District Judge Russell Fagg has been given the go-ahead by the Montana Judicial Standards Commission to create an exploratory committee to run for the Republican nomination for US Senate. The Montana Democratic Party complained that Fagg was violating a rule forbidding sitting judges from identifying themselves as a candidate for a political office. The commission found that merely forming an exploratory committee did not identify him as a candidate, but that he was just “testing the waters”. Fagg is already planning on retiring from the bench in October. He considered running in the MT-AL special election earlier this year as well. State Auditor Matt Rosendale, state Sen. Albert Olszewski, and businessmen Ronald Murray and Troy Downing are currently running for the Republican nomination to face Sen. Jon Tester (D).

ND-Sen: State Rep. Rick Becker (R) is considering running for the Republican nomination to face Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) and plans to make a decision by next month at the latest. He also says whether Rep. Kevin Cramer (R) gets in the race will not be a factor in making his own decision. He also has not shut the door on running for Congress if Cramer runs for Senate. Becker made a failed run for governor last year, finishing 2nd at the state convention and did not carry his campaign to the primary. State Sen. Tom Campbell (R) and State Board of Higher Education member Kathy Neset (R) are also considering running for Senate as well.

House:

MD-6: Former state Del. Matt Mossburg (R) announced his candidacy for Congress yesterday. Mossburg served as a state Delegate from 1995-99 and then went through depression and drug addiction and has since become an advocate for tackling the growing opioid crisis. Mossburg says he was planning on running for state Senate before Rep. John Delaney (D) announced his retirement from Congress last week.

NV-3: Former state Rep. Victoria Seaman (R) is joining the GOP primary race for this open seat. Seaman served one term before losing a race for the state Senate last year. Seaman joins state Sen. Scott Hammond, former Clark County Republican Party chair David McKeon and autism advocate Lynda Tache in the Republican primary. Professional golfer Natalie Gulbis and unsuccessful 2016 nominee Danny Tarkanian are considering running as well.

NM-1: Yet another Democrat is joining the race for this open seat. John Flores, a former journalist and military veteran becomes the 9th Democrat to announce a bid. Flores appears to be courting the left by openly saying he would support impeaching President Trump. Frontrunners for the Democratic nomination appear to be former University of New Mexico Law School Associate Dean Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, who has raised the most money, former New Mexico Democratic Party Chair Debra Haaland and former US Attorney Damon Martinez. Former state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones (R), who lost by 18 points as the Republican nominee in 2012 and immigration lawyer Michael Hendricks are running on the Republican side.

NM-2: Former Eddy County Commissioner and pharmacist Jack Volpato (R) is running for Congress. Volpato had been planning on running for the state House before deciding to run for Congress after Rep. Steve Pearce (R) decided to run for governor. He joins State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn (R) and state Rep. Yvette Herrell (R) in running for the GOP nomination. State Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R), who had been considering running as well, took himself out of the running yesterday.

NY-19: Ulster County Execuitve Mike Hein (D) will not run for Congress. Hein has been considered a possible candidate in this cycle and last cycle, waiting a long time before bowing out two years ago while other potential candidates waited on his decision. This time he is taking himself out of the running earlier, and others have not waited on him to decide his plans-8 other Democrats are already running to take on Rep. John Faso (R).

TN-2: Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett (R) is running for this now-open seat. Although he will make an official announcement tomorrow, he has already filed his statement of candidacy with the FEC. Burchett, who also served in the state House from 1995-99 and in the state Senate from 1999-2010 had previously said he would either run for US Senate or for TN-2. With Rep. Jimmy Duncan (R) announcing his retirement this week, Burchett becomes the early frontrunner for the seat. State Rep. Jimmy Matlock (R) of Lenoir City also announced his candidacy yesterday.

UT-3: A judge has ordered that Jim Bennett, son and grandson of former Sens. Robert Bennett (R) and Wallace Bennett (R) respectively, to be placed on the ballot for the UT-3 special election representing the United Utah Party. The party is attempting to be a centrist alternative to the two major parties. Bennett had been a registered Republican before leaving the party last year over Donald Trump’s presidential nomination.

Governor:

MI-Gov: A newly released poll shows where potential Democratic and Republican candidates for governor stand in their respective primaries. The poll from Target-Insyght shows the Democratic primary tied at 35% between former state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer and attorney Geoffrey Fieger. Fieger, who has not yet got in the race, was the unsuccessful Democratic nominee for governor in 1998, losing by 24 points to Gov. John Engler (R). Announced candidates Abdul Al-Sayed and Shri Thanedar were way behind in single digits. AG Bill Schuette is the overwhelming favorite of Republicans at this point, taking 42%, well ahead of LG Brian Calley at 14%. Neither has yet joined the race, but both are expected to run.

OR-Gov: State Rep. Knute Buehler (R) has announced he will run for governor next year. If he wins the Republican nomination, he could face a rematch with Gov. Kate Brown (D) if she decides to seek re-election. Buehler faced Brown as the Republican nominee for Secretary of State in 2012, losing by 8 points. He has since been elected to the State House in 2014 and 2016 and has established himself as a moderate Republican in the Legislature.

State & Local:

HI-LG: State Sen. Jill Tokuda (D) will run for Lieutenant Governor next year. Tokuda joins state Sen. Josh Green (D) in announcing plans to run. Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa (D) seems likely to run as well. Former state House Speaker Joe Souki (D) and state Sen. Will Espero (D) are also considering running. Current LG Shan Tsutsui (D) has said it was “very doubtful” he would run again, and he may run for Maui Mayor instead.

IA-SOS: Jim Mowrer, who has made unsuccessful bids for Congress in the last two cycles, has decided to run for Secretary of State next year. Mowrer was the Democratic nominee in IA-4 in 2014 and in IA-3 in 2016, taking less than 40% each time. He plans to make an issue of a new voter ID law passed in April that was supported by Secretary of State Paul Pate (R).

Political Roundup for June 26, 2017

First off, there are two legislative specials tomorrow, one primary and one general. The primary is in MA-SD-4th Middlesex, a D+14 (2016) seat stretching from Arlington to Billerica (bill-rick-uh, or bill-UH-rick-uh if you really want the authentic cockney-townie mispronunciation) in the northwest suburbs of Boston. State Rep. Sean Garballey (D) and Cindy Friedman (D), CoS to the late prior incumbent, are facing off; both are establishment liberals and there is no clear favorite between the two. A third candidate, state school board member Mary Ann Stewart (D), seems like a longer-shot. No Republicans are seeking the seat. The general is for IA-LD-22, an R+19 (2016) seat covering Omaha exurbs and rural areas east of Council Bluffs. Banker and local GOP official Jon Jacobsen (R) looks like at least a slight favorite over Carol Forristall (R), widow of the prior incumbent, who lost her bid for the GOP endorsement and is instead running as an Indie, and a Libertarian Some Dude. Dems have no one on the ballot after their candidate failed to turn his paperwork in on time, though he is running as a write-in. Now the rest of the day’s news –

Senate:

ND-Sen: Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) is undecided on whether to seek a second term this cycle, saying that being in the Senate is “a hard life.” Should Heitkamp retire the seat would be a likely GOP pickup; if she runs again she would likely face a competitive general election, possibly against Rep. Kevin Cramer (R).

VT-Sen: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I/D) and his wife Jane have retained lawyers, as they are now under FBI investigation. The investigation centers on alleged fraud in Jane Sanders’s mismanagement of a now-shuttered College where she was president. Jane Sanders allegedly falsified descriptions of the college’s donor base and finances when seeking a large loan, and Bernie may have used his influence to lobby for the loan arrangement.

Governor:

AL-Gov: State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) is the latest Republican to explore an entry into this increasingly crowded primary. Zeigler had a reputation as a gadfly before winning the Auditor post over several little-known rivals; however, he has raised his profile since becoming Auditor with aggressive investigations of various scandals surrounding ex-Gov. Robert Bentley (R) that eventually forced the latter’s resignation. Zeigler says has not made a decision to enter the race and may seek a second term as Auditor. Should he enter the race, Zeigler would face Ag Commissioner John McMillan (R), Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle (R), Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington (R), minister Scott Dawson (R), and businessman Joshua Jones (R), with PSC chair Twinkle Cavanaugh (R) also seen as likely to enter. Incumbent Kay Ivey (R) has not yet indicated if she will seek a full term. Ex-State Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb (D) is in the race on the Dem side.

CO-Gov: Kent Thiry (R), the CEO of the dialysis company Davita, is exploring a run for Governor. Thiry, who has donated to both parties, would likely run as a centrist and would likely self-fund his bid. He would join Arapahoe DA George Brauchler (R) and two other self-funding businessmen, ex-State Rep. Victor Mitchell (R) and Romney relative Doug Robinson (R), in the GOP primary; State Treasurer Walker Stapleton (R) is also seen as likely to enter. Reps. Jared Polis (D) and Ed Perlmutter (D), ex-State Treasurer Cary Kennedy (D), and State Sen. Mike Johnston (D) are in the race on the Dem side.

FL-Gov: Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) says that though the FBI is now investigating corruption in Tallahassee city government, he is not personally under investigation. This setback is the latest in a string of embarrassing headlines for Gillum, including campaign finance woes and improper use of government email. Gillum is facing ex-Rep. Gwen Graham (D) and businessman Chris King (D) in the Dem primary, with Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine (D) and wealthy trial lawyer John Morgan (D) considering runs. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam (R) is in the race on the GOP side.

IL-Gov: Five Democrats seeking to take on Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) appeared before the important Cook County Dem machine meeting on Thursday. Businessman JB Pritzker (D), considered the establishment favorite (read: the choice of State Dictator House Speaker Mike Madigan (D)) because of his immense wealth, played to the part by dutifully asking for machine backing. Fellow businessman and Heir Force Col. Chris Kennedy (D) used his speech to argue for no endorsement and attempting to cast himself as an outsider. Three other Democrats, State Sen. Daniel Biss (D), Chicago councilman Ameya Pawar (D), and local superintendent Bob Daiber (D), mostly seemed to use the meeting as a chance to boost their name recognition, while a sixth, State Rep. Scott Drury (D), skipped the meeting entirely.

More IL-Gov: In what could present a headache for Rauner, former pro wrestler Jon Stewart (L) will run for Governor as a Libertarian. Stewart definitely sounds like a Republican in all but name, as he was a vocal Trump supporter and once hired Kellyanne Conway to run his campaign for the State House as a Republican in the 90s. It’s unclear how much traction Stewart might get – or how many votes he might win from people thinking he’s “the other” Jon Stewart, as a school in Utah did in 2006 when they booked him for a fundraising gala.

KS-Gov: Businessman and ex-State Rep. Mark Hutton (R) is considering an entry into this primary. Hutton, who says he would try to bridge the moderate-conservative chasm within the KSGOP but who has generally been more identified with the moderate wing, retired from the legislature in 2016. Hutton would face SoS Kris Kobach (R/C), ex-State Sen. and 2006 nominee Jim Barnett (R/M), ex-State Rep. Ed O’Malley (R/M), and businessman Wink Hartman (R/C) in the primary; LG Jeff Colyer (R/C) is also thought to be considering a run. Ex-Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer (D) and ex-State Rep. Josh Svaty (D) are in the race on the Dem side.

MD-Gov: Attorney Jim Shea (D) is the latest little-known Democrat seeking to try his luck in the primary to take on popular Gov. Larry Hogan (R). Shea is a former chair of a large law firm and university regent, so he may be well-connected. He joins Prince George’s CE Rushern Baker (D), State Sen. Rich Maladeno (D), ex-NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous (D), and businessman and Hillary aide Alec Ross (D) in vying to take on Hogan.

OH-Gov: In a move that surprised no one, AG Mike DeWine (R) announced his run for Governor over the weekend. DeWine, a former Senator before scoring a comeback as AG in 2010, looks like a slight front-runner in a titanic four-way primary against LG Mary Taylor (R), Rep. Jim Renacci (R), and SoS Jon Husted (R). Democrats have a four-way primary of their own between ex-Rep. Betty Sutton (D), Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D), State Sen. Tony Schiavoni (D), and ex-State Rep. Connie Pillich (D).

House:

CO-2, CO-3: State Sen. Kerry Donovan (D) will not run for Congress this cycle. Donovan had been mentioned as a potential candidate for both the open deep-blue CO-2, where her primary home is, and the medium-red CO-3 of Rep. Scott Tipton (R), where her family owns a ranch and a large part of her Senate seat is based. 2014 SoS nominee Joe Neguse (D) looks like the front-runner in a potentially crowded field for CO-2, while Democrats do not as of yet have strong prospects to take on Tipton.

IL-12: St. Clair County DA Brendan Kelly (D) is rumored to be considering a run against Rep. Mike Bost (R), and has attracted the interest of the DCCC.  This downscale MetroEast and Little Egypt district zoomed right last year but has some strong Democratic heritage; as DA of the district’s largest county, Kelly could be a formidable candidate. Several Some Dude Dems are in the race to take on Bost.

SC-1: Attorney Joe Cunningham (D) will run against Rep. Mark Sanford (R) in this medium-red Charleston area district. Cunningham seems to be well-connected; he is also receiving some buzz for his particularly blunt upfront stance that he will not vote for Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker if elected. Sanford was expected to face a serious primary challenge as well, but both of his erstwhile challengers have since dropped out.

UT-3: Attorney Tanner Ainge (R), son of Boston Celtics President Danny, wasn’t registered to vote in Utah when he filed as a candidate for Congress in May. Ainge returned to Utah in November of last year after six years in Illinois and California, and says he forgot to re-register when he returned to the state. Ainge will face Provo Mayor John Curtis (R), who is under fire for his past as a Democrat, and ex-State Rep. and convention winner Chris Herrod (R) in the August 15 primary.

State & Local:

AL-LG: State Rep. Will Ainsworth (R) of rural northeast Alabama has joined the race for LG, joining State Sen. Rusty Glover (R) and elected state school board member Mary Scott Hunter (R) in the primary. Hunter was also the recipient of a scathing internal report from the school board last week. The report alleges that Hunter conspired with the sitting interim state Superintendent and several staffers in a months-long campaign to spread false innuendo about Craig Pouncey, an applicant for the appointed Superintendent job. Hunter disputes the report’s accuracy.

FL-CFO: CFO Jeff Atwater (R) is resigning this week, and Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) choice to replace him is ex-State Rep. Jimmy Patronis (R) of Panama City. Scott is set to announce the appointment today at Patronis’s restaurant; Patronis says he will run for a full term in 2018, though it’s still too early to say if he will face primary opposition. Ex-State Sen. Jeremy Ring (D) is likely to be the Dem nominee for this post in 2018.

GA-LG: State Sen. Rick Jeffares (R) runs a water and sewer contracting company which has received a large amount of state business. The business dealings are completely legal as Georgia law permits legislators to receive state contracts as long as they are received through a blinded open-bidding process. However, if Jeffares moves from his part-time legislative post to the LG slot, the issue might become thornier. Jeffares says that the LG spot is part-time, permitting him to continue his company’s state business, but he has not made a decision on whether to continue his business if he wins. Jeffares is facing State Senate President David Shaffer (R) and State Rep. Geoff Duncan (R) in this primary.

IL-SoS: SoS Jesse White (D) is considering going back on his intention to retire in 2018. White, 82, has admitted he is considering seeking a sixth term but has not finalized a decision either way. The popular White would likely be a prohibitive favorite against any opposition if he ran again.

KS-SoS: State Rep. Keith Esau (R) will run for the open SoS seat, joining Sedgwick County clerk and KSGOP chair Kelly Arnold (R) in the GOP primary. Esau, who hails from the Kansas City suburbs, is generally identified with the KSGOP’s Conservative faction.

LA-PSC-2: Here’s one we missed. Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle (R) resigned last month to take a job in the Trump administration, leaving his Public Service Commission seat open. Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) has appointed ex-State Rep. Damon Baldone (D) to the seat, giving Democrats a 3-2 majority in the body. There will be a special election for the seat later this year. Baldone will seek to keep the position, while orthopedic surgeon Craig Greene (R) has also announced he will run for the seat.

Knox, TN-CE: Sheriff JJ Jones (R) has ended his 2018 campaign for Knox County Executive, leaving County commissioner Bob Thomas (R) and former professional wrestler Glenn “Kane” Jacobs (R) as the only major candidates in this open-seat race.

St. Paul, MN-Mayor: The state bureau of investigation has concluded its investigation of city councilman Dai Thao (D) and has referred the matter to prosecutors. Thao allegedly met with a lobbyist in April and requested a campaign contribution in exchange for support of a measure. Thao is seeking the open Mayoral seat this year against ex-councilman and Gov. Dayton Admin official Melvin Carter (D), ex councilwoman Pat Harris (D), and ex-school board member Tom Goldstein (D). Carter is considered the front-runner; incumbent Chris Coleman (D) is retiring to run for Governor in 2018.

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