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Political Roundup for October 20, 2017

Senate:

CA-Sen: Left-wing online news host Cenk Uygur is considering getting into the US Senate race. Uygur is cofounder of the left-wing Young Turks Network and hosts the Young Turks show. It was reported last week that his cohost Ana Kasparian was considering running as well, but it’s expected that both won’t run. Uygur would represent another candidate on the left, joining State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon (D) as candidates running against Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) from the left.

TN-Sen: A good article here from a Democrat about why former Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) would be a longshot to be elected to the Senate even if he represents the Democrat’s best chance. Bredesen was the last Democrat to win statewide when he was easily re-elected governor in 2006, but the state’s politics have moved significantly towards the Republican side since then. When Bredesen was last on the ballot in 2006, Democrats held 5 of the state’s 9 US House seats, they controlled the State House and Republicans held the State Senate by the narrowest of margins. Now Republicans hold 7 of the 9 US House seats and control both houses of the Legislature by huge margins. As the article states, now “having a “D” by one’s name is tantamount to electoral doom”. The article compares the situation to that of Bob Kerrey, who had been highly successful electorally in Nebraska in being elected governor and two terms as US senator, but things had changed a lot in the state since he had left office and he lost by 15 points in a comeback attempt in 2012. The article even suggests that Bredesen would have a better chance being elected as an independent than as a Democrat.

House:

IN-4: State Rep. Jim Baird (R) is in for the Republican primary for this open seat. He joins Diego Morales, a former aide to Gov. Mike Pence (R), former state Rep. Steve Braun (R) and Army veteran Jared Thomas in the Republican primary.

NH-1: Ex-Strafford County Attorney Lincoln Soldati (D) has entered the Democratic primary for this open seat. Soldati is the first Democrat to get in the race after Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) announced her retirement last week. Other Democrats are still considering the race. State Sen. Andy Sanborn (R) and former state Liquor Commission Chief of Enforcement Eddie Edwards are in on the Republican side.

NY-24: Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner (D) has announced she will not run for Congress. Miner had been the most high profile candidate considering a run against Rep. John Katko (R). Small business entrepreneur Anne Messenger and Syracuse University professor Dana Balter are currently running in the Democratic primary.

OH-12: We are starting to get a picture of who is and isn’t interested in running to replace Rep. Pat Tiberi (R). Yesterday, State Sens. Kevin Bacon (R) and Jay Hottinger (R) both indicated they are interested but have not made final decisions. State Rep. Rick Carfagna (R) says he is “certainly considering” the race as well. Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo (R), who dropped out of the race for State Treasurer this week, says he is deferring comment on the race for now. State Rep. Andrew Brenner (R) is not interested and is running for a state Senate seat and author J.D. Vance, who was considered as a possible candidate for US Senate also says he is not interested. State Sen. Kris Jordan (R) and state Rep. Mike Duffey (R) could not be reached for comment on if they are interested. One candidate, Iraq War veteran Brandon Grisez, was already running in the Republican primary before Tiberi announced his resignation on Wednesday.

PA-15: Lehigh County Commissioner Marty Nothstein (R) has entered the Republican nomination for the open seat of retiring Rep. Charlie Dent (R). Nothstein, who is also a former gold medal Olympic cyclist joins State Reps. Justin Simmons (R) and Ryan Mackenzie (R) in the GOP race. Lehigh County Commissioner Bill Leiner (D) and pastor Greg Edwards are in on the Democratic side. Northampton County DA John Morganelli (D) and community activist Alan Jennings are also considering entering the Democratic primary as well.

TN-7: Franklin Mayor Ken Moore (R) is considering getting into the Congressional race. He says he’ll decide within the next two weeks whether to get in the race. State Sen. Mark Green (R) is already in the race and has nabbed the endorsement of the Club For Growth. Moore is seen as possibly a more palatable alternative for the more moderate, business-style Republicans than the conservative Green. Songwriter Lee Thomas Miller (R) is also considering getting in the race.

State & Local:

FL-Gov: Billionaire real-estate investor Jeff Greene is considering joining the race for the Democratic nomination for governor. Greene has run for office before, finishing 2nd in the 2010 Democratic primary for US Senate. No candidate has really caught fire with Democratic voters yet-a poll last month showed 44 % of Democrats undecided while wealthy trail attorney John Morgan, who is not yet running lead the named candidates with 23%. Former Rep. Gwen Graham (D) led the declared candidates with 16% with Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and businessman Chris King in single digits. Recognizing this, Greene doesn’t feel rushed to make a decision soon.

IL-AG: Jesse Ruiz, an attorney and former chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education is joining the Democratic field for Attorney General. He joins state Sen. Kwame Raoul (D), state Rep. Scott Drury (D) and Sharon Fairly, former head of Chicago’s police oversight agency in the Democratic primary. Former Miss America and congressional candidate Erika Harold is running on the Republican side. Current AG Lisa Madigan (D) is retiring.

RI-AG: State Rep. Robert Craven (D) has announced he will not run for Attorney General. This may clear the Democratic field for former US Attorney Peter Neronha, the only announced candidate so far. Current AG Peter Kilmartin (D) is term limited.

WI-LG: Former state Rep. Mandela Barnes (D) is “strongly considering” getting into the Democratic race for Lieutenant Governor. Barnes is the first prominent Democrat to express a run for the office. Political newcomer Robert Louis Slamka is currently the only Democrat to file to run for LG.

International:

New Zealand: New Zealand First Party leader Winston Peters has made his choice, and he will take his party into coalition with Labour, bringing Labour into government for the first time since 2008. 37 year old Jacinda Ardern will be the new prime minister. NZ First will be a formal coalition partner with Labour, while the Greens will have a confidence and supply agreement with them. This is despite National winning the most votes and the most seats, meaning that for the first time since New Zealand went to the mixed-member proportional system in 1996, the party that won the most votes and seats will not be in the government. National had their vote share cut and their seat total reduced by 2 after special votes were counted a couple of weeks after the September election, but National still held 56 seats, more than the 54 seats combined between Labour and the Greens. Labour-NZ First and the Greens will have 63 seats, while National and ACT New Zealand will have 57 seats.

Political Roundup for October 12th, 2017

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

President

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

Senate

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

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

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

Governor

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

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

House

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

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

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

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

State and Local

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

TX-leg: A few updates.

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

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

NH-1: Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) will not Seek Re-election in 2018

Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) will not seek re-election in 2018. This news comes as a bit of a surprise. Shea-Porter has been in and out of office in this swing R+2 congressional seat, which covers the eastern half of the state as well as Manchester, since 2006. This seat is a good contender for the single swingiest seat in the nation: Donald Trump won it in 2016 by a 48.2% to 46.6% margin and Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney here 50.2% to 48.6% in 2012. Shea-Porter was first elected in the Democrat wave of 2006 when she ousted Rep. Jeb Bradley (R) by a narrow 51% to 49% margin. She was re-elected 2008 but lost re-election in 2010 to Frank Guinta (R). Shea-Porter then ousted Guinta in 2012 who then ousted her in 2014 before Shea-Porter re-claimed the seat back from Guinta in 2016 by very narrow 44% to 43% margin (with 3 independent candidates splitting the rest).

On the Republican side, two candidates are already running, Cop Eddie Edwards (R) and state Sen. Andy Sanborn (R). Two days ago former  New Hampshire Health and Human Services Commissioner John Stephen (R) announced that he would not challenge Shea-Porter. He may reconsider now that she is not running. Other possible contenders from this seat’s deep GOP bench could include 2010/16 candidate Rich Asooh (R), State Sen. and 2014 candidate Dan Innis (R), Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas (R), ex-Rep. and  State Sen. Jeb Bradley (R), and Ambassador to New Zealand and ex-MA Sen. Scott Brown (R). Ex-Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) lives one town outside the seat but could make theoretically make a comeback here as well.

For Democrats, their top recruit would probably be executive councilor Chris Pappas (D), who has held down a relatively conservaitve seat coveirng a fifth of the state surprisingly easily. Other possibilities could include Portsmouth Mayor and gubernatorial candidate Steve Marchand (D), 2016 gubernatorial candidate Mark Connolly (D), State Sens. Donna Soucy (D), Martha Fuller-Clark (D), and Kevin Cavanaugh (D), and ex-State Sen. Jackie Cilley (D).

Progressive Shawn O’Connor is currently running again as an independent. In 2016 Shea-Porter boxed him out of the Democrat primary leading him to run and garner 9.5% of the vote as an independent. Without Shea-Porter running O’Connor could switchback and run in the Democrat primary (but it is our sincere hope that he will not sellout and continue to run a strong independent progressive 3rd party campaign).

Political Roundup for October 4, 2017

Last night, Randall Woodfin (D) ousted incumbent Birmingham Mayor William Bell (D) by a shocking 20-point spread, Albuquerque proceeded to a runoff between State Auditor Tim Keller (D) at 39% and councilman Dan Lewis (R) at 23%.  Missy McGee (R) held the purple MS-LD-102 by an impressive 2:1 margin, while CA-LD-51 heads to a runoff between Wendy Carillo (D) and Luis Lopez (D).

Senate:

AL-Sen: JMC Analytics has Roy Moore (R) leading Doug Jones (D) 48-40. Generic R beats Generic D by a surprisingly small 49-45 margin.

TN-Sen: Gov. Bill Haslam (R) re-iterated that he is considering a run for the open US Senate seat of Sen. Bob Corker (R). Should Haslam enter, he would likely be a favorite over all comers in the primary and general election. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) is thought to be ready to run, and would be the favorite in a Haslam-less race, but she may be delaying her decision until Haslam’s intentions are known.

Governor:

CT-Gov: Add another “B” list name to the Democratic mix for this race: Malloy admin official Sean Connolly (D) is stepping down and rumored to be considering a gubernatorial run. Connolly would join Middletown Mayor Dan Drew (D), fellow Malloy admin official Jonathan Harris (D), and prosecutor Chris Mattei (D) in the race. LG Nancy Wyman (D) is also thought to be exploring a run and would be the primary front-runner if she entered. Republicans have an even more crowded field.

IL-Gov: Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) somewhat surprisingly signed a controversial bill last week enabling public funding of abortion through Medicaid. As you might expect, socially conservative Republicans are up in arms and there is talk of a primary challenge to the Governor. State Rep. Peter Breen (R) delivered a particularly stinging critique, saying “I’ve had a front-row seat to a governor that is unable to adequately and competently administer Illinois government. He is now lying to us. And so at that point, I can’t support someone like that.” It’s widely believed that State Dictator House Speaker Mike Madigan (D) pushed the bill to put Rauner in an impossible position, with signing it giving him a primary headache and vetoing it being a major problem in the socially liberal state for the general. Should Rauner lose the primary, Republicans’ odds of holding this seat likely to near zero, and likely Dem nominee and Madigan sugar daddy businessman JB Pritzker (D) will likely be the favorite to take the seat. Rauner appears to be betting the general election optics of this move are worth the primary headache.

ME-Gov: Sen. Susan Collins (R) will announce next week if she will run for Governor. The popular Collins would be a near-prohibitive favorite in a general election if she ran, but she may face difficulties getting through a GOP primary for her moderation. LePage admin official Mary Mayhew (R), State Sen. Garrett Mason (R), and State Rep. Ken Fredette (R) are in the GOP primary already; over a half-dozen Dems and three credible Indies are also in the race.

NJ-Gov: Emerson has Goldman Sachs exec Phil Murphy (D) up 46-35 on LG Kim Guadagno (R), a smaller margin than most recent surveys. Monmouth has a pretty similar 51-37 lead for Murphy. New Jersey is a fairly inelastic state and Murphy is unlikely to have crossover appeal, so some tightening of this race from the gaudy 30-point Murphy leads of prior polls is probably in the cards.

RI-Gov: Moderate Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) has her first primary challenger, Paul Roselli (D), head of a nonprofit local park group. Roselli has gained notoriety for his opposition to a proposed powerplant in his hometown, but seems like a “C” list opponent for Raimondo. Unpopular liberal ex-Gov. Lincoln Chaffee (D) is also considering a run against Raimondo in the primary. Three Republicans, 2014 nominee and Cranston Mayor Alan Fung (R), State Rep. Patricia Morgan (R), and ex-State Rep. Joe Trillo (R), are in the race.

SD-Gov: AG Marty Jackley (R) launched his expected gubernatorial campaign yesterday. Jackley joins Rep. Krsti Noem (R) in what is expected to be a hard-fought titanic primary collision. State Sen. Billie Sutton (D) is the likely Dem nominee.

TN-Gov: Sen. Bob Corker (R) says he “can’t imagine” running for Tennessee Governor, a statement that is not quite Shermanesque but pretty close to it. Republicans have a crowded primary field of Rep. Diane Black (R), State House Speaker Beth Harwell (R), State Sen. Mae Beavers (R), and businessmen Randy Boyd (R) and Bill Lee (R); Corker, however, would likely be the front-runner if he were to enter.

House:

FL-18: Obama admin official Lauren Baer (D) is running against first-term Rep. Brian Mast (R). Baer would be the second person in a same-sex marriage in Congress if elected; this light-red Treasure Coast seat trended right last year while Mast picked it up for the GOP.

IL-15: State Sen. Kyle McCarter (R) is not running for re-election and is apparently in contention for Ambassador to Kenya. However, McCarter is keeping his options open to making a second bid against Rep. John Shimkus (R), whom he primaried from a fiscal conservative angle in 2016. McCarter took 40% against Shimkus last cycle in this deep-red rural downstate seat and would be a formidable candidate in a rematch.

ME-2: Heir Lucas St. Clair (D) is carpetbagging from Portland into this rural northern Maine seat to run against Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R). St. Clair is the son of Roxanne Quimby, a co-founder of Burt’s Bees cosmetics. Quimby is also notable for having donated a large estate to the federal government to create a national monument, an effort St. Clair spearheaded. St. Clair joins State Rep. Jared Golden (D) as a major candidate in the primary to take on Poliquin. As a side note, this rural northern Maine seat is exactly the kind of place where a trust fund baby carpetbagging in will play well, right?

MA-3: Cambridge councilman Nadeem Mazen (D) will carpetbag into this deep-blue Merrimack Valley based district to seek the open seat. Mazen, who grew up in the seat, would be the third Muslim member of Congress if elected. He joins a crowded primary of State Sen. Barbara L’Italien (D), 2014 LG nominee Steve Kerrigan (D), Boston Mayor Marty Walsh CoS Daniel Koh (D), and businessman Abhijit Das (D).

NH-1: 2010 gubernatorial nominee John Stephen (R) will not take on Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) in 2018. State Sen. Andy Sanborn (R) and cop Eddie Edwards (R) appear to be the serious prospects in the race to take on Shea-Porter.

NH-2: Businessman David McConville (R), who heads a prominent local fiscal conservative group and served as campaign manager for a gubernatorial candidate last year, is considering a run against Rep. Annie Kuster (D). McConville, who intends to run as a hard-edged fiscal conservative, would face ex-State Rep. and 2016 candidate Jack Flanagan (R) for the right to take on the popular Kuster in this light-blue seat.

NJ-11: Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark (D) will not run for Congress, and has endorsed prosecutor Mike Sherill (D). Sherill looks like the Democratic front-runner to take on Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R) in this historically-Republican wealthy suburban seat that trended left last year.

NM-2: State Lands Commissioner Aubrey Dunn Jr. (R), who was looking like the front-runner for this seat, has abruptly aborted his bid. It’s unclear why Dunn decided to drop out or whether he will instead seek a second term as Lands Commissioner, though there are rumors that a feud with Gov. Susana Martinez (R) (or her svengali, Jay McCleskey) may have played a role. State Rep. Yvette Herrell (R) and ex-Hobbs Mayor Monty Newman (R) are in the race for this open medium-red southern NM seat; Newman is thought to have the backing of Martinez. State Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R) is also considering.

NY-1: State Rep. Fred Thiele (I), an Independence Party member who is a de facto Democrat, will not seek the D nomination to take on Rep. Lee Zeldin (R). Thiele had been considered Dems’ choice recruit for this race. Suffolk county commissioner Kate Browning (D) looks like Dems’ new top prospect to take on the popular Zeldin in this light-red eastern Long Island seat.

NY-11: Ex-Rep. Michael Grimm (R) officially kicked off his comeback bid this weekend. Grimm’s prior tenure in Congress ended with his resignation on tax charges; now, he is attempting to oust his successor, Rep. Dan Donovan (R) from the right in the primary. Grimm’s criminal record and Donovan’s popularity will likely make that a tough order, though Grimm could still cause significant problems for Donovan by continuing to the general election in this light-red Staten Island based seat on the Conservative third-party line.

NY-23: Running store owner Ian Golden (D) is putting a new-spin on the time-honored “walk across the district” publicity stunt by launching a 450-mile (literal) run across this large Southern Tier seat. The move could help Golden gain name rec in the crowded field of little-known candidates vying to take on Rep. Tom Reed (R) in this medium-red seat.

PA-1: Testimony at the trial of former judge and 2012 Jimmie Moore (D) is pointing a very incriminating finger at Rep. Bob Brady (D). In case you haven’t been following the story, here’s a recap: Moore, who is black, started to run a potentially credible primary challenge in 2012 against Brady, the white boss of the Philly Dem machine, in this racially-mixed district. Moore then later inexplicably dropped his bid, and quickly thereafter received a $90K payment from Brady. The cover story was that the cash was payment for “polling data”, but Moore admitted the obvious in a plea agreement – that it was a thinly-disguised bribe to get him out of the race. Brady has not yet been charged, but it’s hard not to see some charges coming down the pipeline for him.

PA-11: State Sen. John Yudchiak (D) will not run for this conservative Harrisburg-to-Wilkes-Barre open seat, eschewing the uphill race to stay in the State Senate. Four Republicans, State Rep. Steven Bloom (R), Corbett admin official Dan Meuser (R), Berwick councilman Andrew Shecktor (R), and businessman Andrew Lewis (R), are in the race or considering.

PA-15: Appointed Allentown city solicitor Susan Wild (D) will run for this light-red open seat, possibly giving Democrats their first credible candidate here. Several other Dems, including Northampton DA John Morganelli (D), are considering; Republicans are set to have a bloody primary between State Reps. Justin Simmons (R) and Ryan Mackenzie (R).

PA-16: Dentist Gary Wegman (D), who ran an abortive bid for this light-red Lancaster-area seat in 2016, will mount another bid this year for the seat of now-incumbent Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R). 2016 nominee and nonprofit Christina Hartman (D) is also in the primary for a second round.

PA-18: Now this is a bombshell. Texts have been released strongly implying Rep. Tim Murphy (R), who is publicly pro-life, asked his mistress to get an abortion and privately disavowed his own pro-life views. Murphy previously admitted the affair, but this is the first sense that there is more to the story. The abortion issue could be a big problem for Murphy in his socially conservative district; he joins Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R) in the pro-life abortion promoters’ caucus. Importantly, unlike DesJarlais, whose transgressions occured several years before his first election to Congress, the texts here are from this summer, meaning Murphy is at least likely to get a serious primary challenger. Ex-Allegheny County commissioner Mike Crossey (D) is running for the Dems in this race.

UT-4: Salt Lake CE Ben McAdams (D) is considering a challenge to Rep. Mia Love (R). Trump did horribly in this suburban seat, scoring below 40%, but Love still won against her touted opponent by a 12-point margin. That said, this is the only House seat in Utah Dems could be competitive in and McAdams would definitely be a top-tier candidate.

State & Local:

AZ-SoS: Attorney and Dem operative Mark Gordon (D) is running for SoS. Gordon, who has not run for office but seems well-connected, joins State Sen. Katie Hobbs (D) in the primary for this seat. Incumbent Michele Reagan (R) is widely considered highly vulnerable due to her mismanagement of the office and is facing a tough primary with State Sen. Steve Montenegro (R).

IL-AG: Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti (D), who has become a minor celebrity for his twitter commentary on the Russia investigation, is considering a run for AG. Mariotti would join State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D), State Rep. Scott Drury (D), and Chicago Police official Sharon Fairley (D) in this primary, with several other Dems considering. Former congressional candidate and Miss America Erika Harold (R) is the likely GOP nominee for this open seat.

Atlanta-Mayor: Survey USA for WXIA-TV has a poll of this year’s Atlanta Mayoral race, with moderate councilwoman Mary Norwood (D) taking a large lead at 28%. Fellow councilwoman Keisha Lance-Bottoms (D) has moved into second place with 15%, with councilman Ceasar Mitchell (D) at 10% and four other serious candidates in single digits. In the likely event no candidate tops 50% in the November jungle primary, the top two finishers will head on to a December runoff.

New Orleans-Mayor: Clarus for WWL-TV has this race (a week from Saturday) looking close to a 3-way tossup, with City councilwoman Latoya Cantrell (D) at 27% and retired judges Desiree Charbonnet (D) and Michael Bagneris (D) at 26% and 19% respectively. A different poll of the race had Bagneris on top. The top two finishers in the first round will advance to a mid-November runoff.

Louisville-Mayor: Councilwoman Angela Leet (R) will run for mayor next year, taking on incumbent Greg Fischer (D), who is seeking a third term. Leet seems likely to be a credible opponent for Fischer in the light-blue city.

Cook, IL-CE: County commissioner Richard Boykin (D) will not take on County Executive Toni Preckwinkle (D) in the primary. Preckwinkle, who was previously highly popular, is now thought to be at least somewhat vulnerable due to her support of a new soda tax (which Boykin opposed). However, a loss for Boykin would hurt his prospects at the job he really wants (the IL-7 congressional seat when Rep. Danny Davis (D) retires) so the decision makes sense for him. It’s possible that Preckwinkle will not get a serious primary challenger now, though there is still definitely room for one as the soda tax is deeply unpopular even among Dems.

Political Roundup for June 14, 2017

Last night in Virginia, the Governor nominees weren’t surprising, but their margins were. LG Ralph Northam (D) prevailed by a surprisingly robust 12 points, while ex-RNC Chair Ed Gillespie (R) squeaked to a 1-point victory over Prince William CE and self-hating Yankee Corey Stewart. For LG, 2013 AG candidate Justin Fairfax (D) and State Sen. Jill Vogel (D) will face off. There were no particular surprises in the House of Delegates primaries, with one minor exception: Banker Mavis Taintor (D), who self-funded an insane $175K (!) for her bid in Loudon County’s LD-33, lost her primary 52-48 to a more traditionally-spending candidate. Hopefully for her Taintor self-funded most of that cash as a loan rather than a gift. In Las Vegas, Steve Seroka (D) ousted incumbent Bob Beers (R) for council district 2 while ex-State Rep. Michele Fiore (R) picked up the open district 6.

Senate:

IN-Sen: State Rep. Mike Braun (R), who is in his second term representing a rural Southwestern Indiana seat, will explore a run against Sen. Joe Donnelly (D). Braun is the first candidate to definitively declare interest in this race, but is definitely well into the “C” list. Three far bigger names, Reps. Luke Messer (R) and Todd Rokita (R) and AG Curtis Hill (R), are thought to be considering the race, and it’s hard to see Braun as any kind of threat to them in the primary.

TN-Sen: Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) announced last week that she would not challenge Sen. Bob Corker (R) in 2018, though she has not shut the door on a gubernatorial bid. Corker has announced he would not run for Governor, but has not firmly declared whether he will seek a third term in the Senate. Presumably Blackburn’s Senate calculations would change if the seat were to come open.

UT-Sen: The Romney for Senate speculation machine continues to churn, as Mitt has announced he remain active in politics by forming a SuperPAC designed to help House Republicans in 2018. Biden has encouraged Romney to run for the seat of Sen. Orrin Hatch (R), and Romney did nothing to brush away that suggestion when the two appeared together last week.

Governor:

AL-Gov: Medical technology executive Josh Jones (R) is the latest candidate into this increasingly crowded primary. Jones joins (deep breath) Ag Commissioner John McMillan (R), PSC Chair Twinkle Cavanaugh (R), Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle (R), Jefferson County commissioner David Carrington (R), and minister Scott Dawson (R) in the race. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has not indicated whether or not she will seek a full term and says she may not make an announcement until the fall.

FL-Gov: Now here’s something you don’t see every day: A prospective Democratic candidate holding a fundraiser for a prospective Republican rival. But that’s exactly what wealthy ambulance-chasing trail lawyer John Morgan (D) is doing for State House Speaker Rich Corcoran (R). Morgan, a staunch booster of medical marijuana, is holding the fundraiser as thanks to Corcoran for his work in making the state’s medical pot statute more permissive. Though neither has declared for the gubernatorial race yet, both men have said they are actively exploring bids. Morgan would join ex-Rep. Gwen Graham (D), Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D), and businessman Chris King (D) on the Dem side. Corcoran would join Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam (R) in the GOP primary, with Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) also considering.

MI-Gov: Businessman Shri Thanedar (D) is the latest candidate to officially enter this race. Thanedar has indicated he will partially self-fund; he will face ex-State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer (D), businessman Bill Cobbs (D), and Detroit official Abul El-Sayed (D) in the Dem primary, with Macomb CE Mark Hackel (D) the biggest name still considering a run. On the GOP side, LG Brian Calley (R), AG Bill Schuete (R), and State Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R) look like the major possible contenders.

PA-Gov: Businessman Kris Hart (R), who had been exploring a run for US Senate, will instead seek the nomination to challenge Gov. Tom Wolf (D). Hart joins State Sen. Scott Wagner (R) and businessman Paul Mango (R) in the race, with State House Speaker Mike Turzai (R) and ex-LG Jim Cawley (R) considering runs as well.

RI-Gov: Republicans have their first candidate making serious moves toward challenging Gov. Gina Raimondo (D). Ex-State Rep. Joe Trillo (R), who retired in 2016, is preparing a run and seems to be staking out a position as a Trumpist, which might be a questionable strategy in the deep-blue state. Cranston Mayor and 2014 nominee Alan Fung (R) is widely thought likely to make another bid, and a couple other Republicans are considering. The fiscally moderate Raimondo may face a significant primary challenge from her left as well, though no Democrats have made concrete moves toward the race yet.

House:

CO-2: 2014 SoS nominee and Hickenlooper admin official Joe Neguse (D) announced a bid for Congress Tuesday, and quickly secured several prominent endorsements, including from ex-State House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst (D). Two other Dems, 2000 CO-6 nominee Ken Toltz (D) and executive Shannon Watts (D), who are both also prominent gun-control activists, are also publicly considering the race.

GA-6: A SUSA poll shows the race between ex-SoS Karen Handel (R) and Han Solo impersonator former congressional staffer Jon Ossoff (D) tied at 47, a significant improvement for Handel from their prior poll, where Ossoff led by 7 points. The closely-watched runoff for this seat is this coming Tuesday.

NC-9: Megachurch pastor and 2016 candidate Mark Harris (R) is resigning to consider another congressional run. Harris fell just short by 135 votes in a three-way race against Rep. Robert Pittenger (R). Pittenger has had multiple controversies related to questionable business dealings and making racist remarks on national TV, so there is a strong possibility he could be vulnerable to a primary in 2018; he is also high on retirement watchlists.

NH-1: State Sen. Andy Sanborn (R) announced Tuesday that he would run against on-again/off-again Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) in this purple seat. Sanborn, known as a staunch conservative with libertarian tendencies, joins former local police chief Eddie Edwards (R) in the GOP primary.

NY-22: State Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D) is considering a run against Rep. Claudia Tenney (R) in 2018. Brindisi considered a run for the open seat, and was heavily recruited by national Dems, in 2016 before deciding not to run. This formerly light-red seat moved strongly right in 2016, but the conservative Tenney fell short of a majority, winning 47-40 in a 3-way race.

OH-2: Jerry Springer (D) has been floated for multiple offices by Ohio Democrats in recent years, including for this cycle’s Governor race. But it seems he may have a different seat in mind, as someone has apparently been polling Springer against Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R). This deep-red Cincinnati-area seat would likely be a tough hill to climb for Springer or any other Democrat.

TN-6: Prominent pro-Trump talking head Scottie Nell Hughes (R), who also runs a pro-Trump press group, will consider a run for this deep-red central Tennessee seat if Rep. Diane Black (R) gives it up to run for Governor. Hughes, the first candidate to publicly declare interest in the seat, has said that she would not challenge Black in the primary.

WI-6: Nonprofit exec Dan Kohl (D), nephew of ex-Sen. Herb (D), will challenge Rep. Glenn Grothman (R) for this medium-red seat stretching from the northern Milwaukee suburbs to Oshkosh.

State & Local:

AL-AG: Former US Attorney Alice Martin (R), who also served as chief deputy to now-Sen. Luther Strange (R) when he was AG, will run for the AG slot in 2018. Martin will face appointed incumbent Steve Marshall (R), whose appointment by disgraced then-Gov. Robert Bentley (R) may be problematic for his chances of keeping the seat. However, Martin may find hitting Marshall on his Bentley ties problematic herself, as she interviewed for the appointment as well.

CA-LG: Ex-Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin (G), who for her eight years from 2006-2014 made Richmond by far the largest city with a Green Party Mayor, will run for LG in 2018. McLaughlin’s odds are probably long with several prominent Dems in the race, but she has a chance to stake out a position as the farthest-left candidate in an already-left-wing field. McLaughlin will face State Sen. Ed Hernandez (D), former Ambassadors Eleni Kounalakis (D) and Jeff Bleich (D), and physician Asif Mahmood (D), and likely others, in this race.

FL-Ag Comm: Ex-State Rep. Baxter Troutman (R) is running for Ag Commissioner, becoming the fourth Republican into this primary. Troutman joins State Sen. Denise Grimsley (R), State Rep. Matt Caldwell (R), and 2015 Orlando Mayoral candidate Paul Paulson (R) in the race.

FL-CFO: CFO Jeff Atwater (R) will resign on June 30th to take an academic position. Gov. Rick Scott (R) is tasked with appointing his replacement. One possible appointee took his name out of the running this week though, as State Sen. Jack Latvala (R) announced he was not interested in being appointed. The move probably means Latvala is considering his 2018 options as running for Governor and bowing out of politics entirely.

KS-SoS: Sedgwick County Clerk and KSGOP chair Kelly Arnold (R) is the first person to consider a run for the open seat of SoS Kris Kobach (R), who is running for Governor. With his base in the Wichita area and institutional ties, Arnold would likely be a formidable candidate for the seat.

NM-LG: Ex-State Rep. Rick Miera (D), the former House Majority leader until his 2014 retirement, will explore a run for LG in this shotgun-wedding primary. Miera joins two little-known candidates, civil servant David McTeigue (D) and teacher Jeff Carr (D), in the Dem primary race, and thus would seem to be the front-runner. The primary winner will be combined on a ticket with the winner of the (entirely separate) Gov primary.

Mobile-Mayor: Ex-Mayor Sam Jones (D) will kick off a run to get his old job back this Saturday. Jones served two terms as Mayor before losing his 2013 to re-election race to now-incumbent Sandy Stimpson (R). Jones will likely face a rematch with Stimpson in this year’s race, in late August.

CA-SD-29: Legislative Democrats are pushing bills to delay the state’s recall process in order to help State Sen. Josh Newman (D). Newman won a formerly-red Orange County seat in 2016 in a considerable upset and is now the target of a recall campaign by Republicans upset with his vote for a recent tax hike. The bills under consideration would slow down the recall process so that a successful Newman recall effort would be unlikely to trigger an election before the 2018 general election.

Political Roundup for May 26, 2017

Greg Gianforte (R) won the MT-AL special election last night 50%-44%. A 6 point margin is small for a Republican in this seat compared to recent history and is the closest election since 2000. But it could be considered a relatively comfortable margin considering the horrible publicity he has suffered since his altercation with a reporter on Wednesday that led to an assault charge, suggesting either that the incident had little or no negative effect on him, or this race wasn’t as close as was thought.

Senate:

UT-Sen: A report came out yesterday suggesting that Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) was planning to retire and Mitt Romney was planning to run for his seat. In response to the report, Hatch said that he hasn’t made a final decision on running, but he unequivocally said that Romney will not. Hatch says he has spoken with Romney personally, and Romney does not plan to run.

Governor:

CT-Gov: Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst (R) is expected to enter the governor’s race with an official announcement on June 8. Herbst joins state Rep. Prasad Srinivasan (R) as Republicans in the race, but many others are expected to enter or are considering.

GA-Gov: State Rep. Stacey Evans (D) announced yesterday she plans to run for governor next year. So far, the Democratic primary is a battle of Staceys, as Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D) is the only other announced candidate.

KS-Gov: There is talk that 2014 independent US Senate candidate Greg Orman might run for governor next year. He has not talked publicly about the race, but people close to him say he plans to run. His entry into the race would appear to hurt Democratic chances as he essentially ran as the de facto Democrat(with the financial support of Harry Reid as well) in the 2014 Senate race after the Democratic candidate dropped out, but as someone who has claimed affiliation with and support for both parties in the past, he could also attract enough moderate Republicans to be a real factor in the race, depending on the strength of the two major party nominees.

NH-Gov: Democrats are encouraging Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky (D) to take a serious look at running for governor next year. He is a favorite of “bold progressives”, and was a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders last year.

House: 

MD-6: Rep. John Delaney (D) has not decided yet whether to run for governor, but some are not waiting on his decision. Del. Aruna Miller (D) has already decided to run, and says Delaney has told her in a personal conversation that he is leaning towards not seeking re-election to Congress. Del. Kirill Reznik (D), who had considered running will run for re-election instead. David Trone, owner of a chain of wine stores, who spent more than $13 million on an unsuccessful Democratic primary campaign for MD-8 last year, is also possibly interested in running.

NE-2: Kara Eastman has become the first Democrat to announce a bid for this seat. Eastman is the CEO of the non-profit group Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance. Eastman says she has talked to ex-Rep. Brad Ashford (D) and it sounded like he did not plan to run again. However, Ashford says he and his wife Ann are still considering running.

NH-1: State Sen. Andy Sanborn (R) appears to be closer to announcing a run for Congress. A fundraising e-mail he sent out this week focusing on his strong fiscal conservatism drew notice, and has people thinking he is planning to run. Former law enforcement official Eddie Edwards is already in the Republican primary, and former state Republican Party Vice Chairman Matt Mayberry says he will make a decision on running in the next month. This will be the first time since 2008 that somebody other than ex-Rep. Frank Guinta (R) will be facing Rep. Carl Shea-Porter (D) in this race.

State offices:

IA-LG: Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) has appointed attorney Adam Gregg to fill her previous position as Lieutenant Governor. However, there’s an unusual situation involved here. Based on an opinion by AG Tom Miller (D), Reynolds does not have the authority to appoint her successor. The opinion essentially holds that Reynolds just assumes the powers of Governor and is still technically Lieutenant Governor as well. So in recognition of the opinion, Gregg will essentially become LG in all but name. He will be paid the salary accorded to the LG, and will manage and operate the office, exercising the office’s administrative and ceremonial duties but will not be in the line of succession. State Senate President Jack Whitver (R) will be next in line of succession to governor. Coincidentally, Gregg was also the Republican nominee for AG against Miller in 2014.

International:

Conservative Party of Canada leadership race: The federal Conservative party will hold its leadership election on Saturday. Vote is by ranked choice ballot, and most party members are sending their ballots in by mail. A point system based on each candidates percentage in each of the 338 federal ridings will determine the winner. The frontunner according to polls is Quebec MP Maxime Bernier. Bernier had been seen as the frontrunner before the entrance of businessman and television personality Kevin O’Leary upset the race in January. Although the two sparred with each other frequently, O’Leary endorsed Bernier when he unexpectedly dropped out of the race last month. Bernier is a hard-line fiscal conservative and libertarian, sometimes referred to as “the Albertan from Quebec” for his conservative views. Although Bernier has a big lead in polls, the complex voting system and the high number of candidates(13) presents some doubt as to the final outcome. Saskatchewan MP Andrew Scheer(the youngest candidate at 37) and Ontario MP Erin O’Toole are thought to have the best chance at upsetting Bernier.

Political Roundup for March 15, 2017

Senate:

MA-Sen: Businessman Rick Green has decided to not seek the Republican nomination for US Senate next year. Although not a high profile candidate, Green was seen as somebody who had the ability to self-fund. Other Republicans looking at the race against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) include state Rep. Geoff Diehl (R) and businessman John Kingston.

House:

CA-25: Katie Hill, the director of an organization that helps the homeless, is running to challenge Rep. Steve Knight (R). She says she can appeal to swing voters who may have voted for Hillary Clinton but also voted for Knight(both won the district by about 6 points), pointing out that her family is half Republican. Bryan Caforio (D), whom Knight defeated in 2016 is also considering running again.

CA-48: Democratic businessman Harley Rouda, who decided a couple of weeks ago to run against Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R), has already raised over $100,000 in donations since getting into the race. Some Democratic challengers in normally red districts(CA-48 did go for Clinton by about 2 points last year after going for Romney by 12 points in 2012) seem to be able to raise money well-whether that translates into votes is still an open question.

NH-1: State Sen. Andy Sanborn (R) is seriously considering a run for Congress next year. Sanborn met with officials from the NRCC last week in Washington. He is considered one of the top conservative leaders in the state legislature. State Rep. John Burt (R) is also considering a run.

SD-AL: Secretary of State Shantel Krebs (R) is in for South Dakota’s at-large House seat that Rep. Kristi Noem (R) is giving up to run for governor. Krebs is the second Republican in the race, joining Dusty Johnson, former chief of staff to Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R).

Governor:

IL-Gov: Billionaire businessman J.B. Pritzker has set up an exploratory committee to run for the Democratic nomination for governor next year. 3 Democrats have already announced bids to run against Gov. Bruce Rauner (R). They are businessman Chris Kennedy, Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar and school superintendent Bob Daiber. State Sen. Daniel Biss (D) is also considering a run.

SC-Gov: State Rep. James Smith (D) is apparently ready to enter the race for governor soon. Smith is said to be the only Democrat laying the groundwork for a run. Others considered possible candidates have denied interest. South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jamie Harrison, who ran for DNC Chair, says he will not run for governor despite reports indicating he was considering a bid. Former state Rep. Bakari Sellers (D) says he has nothing to announce and state Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell (D) says she is leaning against running.

WI-Gov: Democratic businessman Andy Gronik says he will decide fairly soon whether to enter the race. He says it will be more than a couple of weeks before he decides, but won’t be months either. Also, Bob Harlow, a Democrat and recent Stanford University graduate who took 7% of the vote in the primary for CA-18 last year has announced is running for governor.

State & local:

AZ-SOS: State Senate Minority Leader Katie Hobbs (D) is running for Secretary of State. Hobbs may have competition in the Democratic primary-Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton (D) has a campaign committee for the office but hasn’t said yet whether he will run. Current Secretary of State Michele Reagan (R) is running for re-election.

CA-AG: San Bernardino County DA Mike Ramos (R) will not run for Attorney General next year and instead will run for re-election as DA. Ramos would have faced an uphill race against appointed AG Xavier Becerra (D), but was considered Republicans’ best and most prominent prospect.

Charlotte Mayor: City Councilman Kenny Smith is the first Republican to announce a run for Mayor of Charlotte. Despite controlling the mayor’s office continuously from 1987-2009, no Republican has been elected since 2007 when Pat McCrory won the last of his record 7 2-year terms. Mayor Jennifer Roberts (D) is running again and Vice Mayor Vi Lyles (D) and state Sen. Joel Ford (D) are running in the Democratic primary as well.

Staten Island Borough President: After serving 7 months in prison for tax fraud, former Rep. Michael Grimm (R) is considering a return to politics and considering running for Staten Island Borough President. He is said to have the backing of former Borough President(and Congressman) Guy Molinari (R). But insiders say he would have a tough time finding much more support to run against current BP Jimmy Oddo (R).

Other:

RIP: Former Rep. Kika de la Garza (D) of Texas has died at the age of 89. De la Garza represented TX-15 from 1965-97 and was chairman of the House Agriculture Committee from 1981-95. In 1978, Rep. Leo Ryan (D) of California asked de la Garza to accompany him on a fact-finding trip to Guyana to visit the mission colony of cult leader Jim Jones. De la Garza decided not to go, citing the hectic schedule of the House. Ryan was killed on the trip by a Jones supporter as his plane tried to leave a nearby airstrip.

Political Roundup for February 24, 2017

In the two UK by-elections yesterday, Labour held the Stoke-on-Trent Central seat by a reasonably comfortable margin, but lost the Copeland seat to the Conservatives. This is an historic result, and even more historic than some media have reported. It is the first time since 1982 that the party in government has picked up a seat in a by-election off of the opposition, but it is the first time since 1878 that the party in government has picked up a seat from the opposition in a typical two party race with such a big margin to overcome with no other unusual circumstances affecting the result. The Tory margin in Copeland was over 2,000 votes, bigger than even the Tories had anticipated.

President:

The “I” word: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) and other senior Democrats have made it clear they don’t want their party discussing “the I word”-impeachment at this point, believing it to be a trap to make them look too overzealous in their opposition to President Trump. DNC Chairman candidate Rep. Keith Ellison (D) didn’t apparently get the memo. During a debate Wednesday night on CNN between DNC Chair candidates, Ellison said that Trump “has already done a number of things which legitimately raise the question of impeachment.” Of course, he says this isn’t about going after Trump, but about protecting the integrity of the presidency.

Senate:

TN-Sen: Gov. Bill Haslam (R), term-limited from running for another term as governor, says he is not thinking about future runs for political office right now, but wouldn’t rule out running for the US Senate in 2018. Sen. Bob Corker (R) has not indicated his plans, although Haslam and Corker are friends, so it’s unlikely Haslam would run against Corker. Corker has been mentioned as a possibility to run for governor.

House:

NH-1: State Rep. John Burt (R) says he is strongly considering running for Congress against Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) next year. He has a reputation as one of the most conservative members of the state House. Other candidates being talked about include state Sen. Andy Sanborn (R) and former state commissioner of Health and Human Services John Stephen. Burt says he hopes to make a decision on running in the next few weeks.

TX-22: Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls (R) says he is seriously considering running for Congress in 2018 and has formed an exploratory committee to raise money. Nehls would likely be challenging incumbent Rep. Pete Olson (R) in the Republican primary. One thing that makes Nehls hesitant about running is he would be required to resign his position as sheriff to run.

Governor:

OH-Gov: LG Mary Taylor (R) is planning to run for governor, beginning a campaign committee to help raise money for what is expected to be an expensive race among high profile Republicans. AG Mike DeWine (R) is also in, and Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) is considering running, as well as Rep. Jim Renacci (R). Gov. John Kasich (R) said recently he would support Taylor if she ran.

SD-Gov/AL: Democrats have no obvious strong candidates for governor next year, although some apparently dreamed that ex-Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D) might decide to run, or possibly might run again for the state’s House seat, now that Rep. Kristi Noem (R) is leaving Congress to run for governor. Herseth Sandlin however has been named president of Augustana University in Sioux Falls and said in a press conference yesterday that she is done seeking political office, taking one of the last Democrats to win statewide office in South Dakota out of the political arena.

WI-Gov: Gov. Scott Walker (R) indicated yesterday that he will probably run for a third term next year. He has not formally announced that he is running yet, but in an interview after a speech he gave at CPAC, he confirmed that he is leaning towards running again.

State & local:

AL-LG: State Sen. Rusty Glover (R) has announced he will run for Lieutenant Governor in 2018. He is the first candidate to run for the position. Current LG Kay Ivey (R) is term-limited from running again.

KS-Legislature: The Kansas Senate on Wednesday sustained the veto by Gov. Sam Brownback (R) of a bill that would have undone most of his tax relief package passed in 2012, while the Kansas House overrode the veto. A helpful map from the Topeka Capitol-Journal of who voted to override and who didn’t indicates that somewhat counterintuitively, heavily Republican western Kansas actually has more of the moderate Republicans than less Republican eastern Kansas. In the House, only one Republican representing a district wholly located in roughly the western third of Kansas, voted to sustain the veto while the rest, all Republicans except one Democrat representing the college town of Hays voted to override. In the Senate all districts wholly located in western Kansas are represented by Republicans and also all but one voted to override.

Oklahoma City-Mayor: Mayor Mick Cornett (R) has announced he will not seek re-election in 2018. Cornett, who has been in office since 2004 is the city’s longest serving mayor in history and currently the longest serving mayor among the 50 largest cities in the US. He says he is considering running for a position in state government and is looking at his options right now.

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