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Political Roundup for October 12th, 2017

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


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.


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.


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.


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

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

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

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

State and Local

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

TX-leg: A few updates.

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

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

Political Roundup for July 26th, 2017

Greetings from Montauk, where the hipster horde has finally largely disappeared into the Atlantic.

Last night’s results:
Democrat Kevin Cavanaugh held NH-SD-16
Republican Stacey Wilkes (R) won MS-LD-108 outright with no runoff
State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz (R) and perennial candidate Annette Taddeo-Goldstein (D) advanced to the general in FL-SD-40
Attorney Daniel Perez (R) will face former Venezuelan legislator Gabriela Mayaudon in FL-LD-116
Spartanburg councilwoman Rosalyn Henderson-Myers (D) and NAACP official Mo Abusaft (D) head to a primary runoff in SC-LD-31


Democratic Strategy: Prominent DC Democrats courageously ventured just west of Loudoun County into rural Virginia to roll out their plan to lurch to the left on economic issues ahead of 2018. Democrats hope such a move will provide inroads into the white working class.

Youngstown Rally: Not content to merely rally among boys, 45 held a campaign event among the working men of hardscrabble Youngstown, Ohio.


Gerrymandering: The Economist introduces Ah-nuld’s crusade against gerrymandering. The governator likens politicians supportive of the practice to “girly men” who refuse to go to the gym.

US-AG/TX-Sen: Amid the rumors of Jeff Sessions’ days being numbered, Senator Green Eggs and Ham Ted Cruz (R) quickly shot down any rumors of accepting an offer to take the post.


NJ-Lt. Gov: Former Goldman Sachs executive and NJ Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Murphy has named Assemblywoman and former Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D) his lieutenant gubernatorial nominee. Simon adds gender and racial diversity, political experience, and a Trenton Rolodex to the ticket.

VA-Gov: Underscoring the need for a sole signature Democratic victory in the age of Trump, the DNC is sending money to Ralph Northam (D) in the medium blue state. Northam’s coffers drained during a bruising primary against nutroots wet dream Tom Perriello (D).

Allentown-Mayor: Surprise! Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski (D) was charged yesterday in federal court in an alleged pay-to-play scheme. Pawlowski dropped out of the 2016 Democratic US Senate primary after federal agents raided his office.

Houston-Mayor: The Texas Supreme Court declined to expedite a case challenging the wording of a 2015 Houston city proposition which changed the term limits of the mayor from three two-year terms to two four-year terms.

Westchester: Westchester County has finally prevailed in a discriminatory zoning witch-hunt lawsuit filed by the Obama administration after HUD conceded the current zoning scheme’s legality. A decision against Westchester could have had political geography effects nationwide.

Places Not Lucky Enough to be America

The UK: Boris Johnson, on a trip to New Zealand, denies any infighting among the Tories.

Political Roundup for July 25, 2017

First off, today is a relatively big day for legislative specials, with 6 seats up across 5 states; there are 3 primaries, 2 general elections, and 1 Louisiana-Rules-Top-Two primary.

NH-SD-16 is the big general election, for a previously D-held R+1 (2016) seat covering northern Manchester and its northern suburbs.Ex-State Sen. David Boutin (R) is seeking to get the seat back that he retired from in 2016; he is facing Manchester councilman Kevin Cavanaugh (D). The special election is highly competitive. I would guess the energized Dem base this year probably makes Cavanaugh a slight favorite, but an upset is possible. DDHQ will be posting results of NH-SD 16 HERE!
MA-SD-4th Middlesex is a D+14 (2016) seat stretching from Arlington to Billerica in the northwest suburbs of Boston. Cindy Freidman (D), CoS to the late prior incumbent, is the prohibitive favorite over a Green candidate.
MS-LD-108 is a ~R+30 (2008) seat covering the bulk of the town of Picayune and nearby rural areas along the Pearl River at the Louisiana border. This race is in a Louisiana Rules Top-Two format with no parties listed on the ballot. Insurance agent and local GOP official Stacey Wilkes (R) looks like the clear favorite, but she could face a runoff with either manager Jerry Frazier (D) or businessman and libertarian activist Tavish Kelly (R), who ran an asterisk-level primary campaign for MS-4 in 2014.
FL-SD-40 is the big primary today. The seat is a previously R-held D+3 (2012, sadly I don’t have 2016 numbers, but it likely shifted strongly left) around Kendall in the southwest suburbs of Miami. Both sides have competitive primaries. Two perennial candidates are facing off on the Dem side; 2016 FL-26 candidate Annette Taddeo-Goldstein (D) looks like the slight front-runner, as she has received more establishment support than R-turned-D ex-State Rep. and 2016 candidate Ana Rivas-Logan (D). On the GOP side, State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz (R) looks like the clear front-runner, as he has vacuumed up establishment support and lapped his rivals in fundraising. However, his main rival, 2000s-era ex-State Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla (R), may have greater name recognition and could win on that base. A third candidate, attorney Lorenzo Palomares-Starbuck (R), who ran an asterisk-level primary campaign for FL-26 in 2014, is running as the most antiestablishment conservative candidate, but looks like a third wheel.
FL-LD-116 is an R+7 (2012) seat around Kendall, vacated by the aforementioned Jose Felix Diaz. Former Rubio staffer and Jeb! campaign operative Jose Mallea (R) is facing off with attorney Daniel Perez (R). Both candidates have fundraised well and the race has become exceptionally nasty, with Perez being knocked for taking engagement photos in Cuba and Mallea being hit for not supporting Rubio in 2016 and not living in the district. Mallea has had greater fundraising and establishment support, so he looks like a slight favorite. The primary winner will face former Venezuelan anti-Chavista legislator (how’s that for a resume!) Gabriela Mayaudon (D).
SC-LD-31 is a D+23 (2016) seat covering central and western Spartanburg. Four Democrats are facing off: Spartanburg city councilors Jerome Rice (D) and Rosalyn Henderson-Myers (D), NAACP official Mo Abusaft (D), and lab tech Angela Geter (D). Rice and Abusaft look like the front-runners, but Henderson-Myers is also serious. A pair of GOP candidates who ran in 2016 are squaring off for the right to lose again.

And now the rest of the day’s news –


CT-Gov: Much like Iowa Democrats and Alabama Republicans, Connecticut Republicans can’t resist piling more ever-more names into this clown-car primary. The latest entry is municipal manager Michael Handler (R), who serves as both budget director for the city of Stamford and emergency-management director for the neighboring town of New Canaan. State Rep. Themis Klarides (R) also indicated interest in joining the race last week. Other Republicans in the race or considering it include (deep breath): ex-US Comptroller David Walker (R), State Rep. Pradad Srinivasan (R), Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton (R), Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti (R), Trumbull Mayor Tim Herbst (R), 2014 SoS nominee Peter Lumaj (R), and others. Democrats’ prospective field is nearly as crowded.

HI-Gov: Rumors are growing that Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) will leave her House seat once again to make a statewide bid – in this case, taking on Gov. David Ige (D) in the Dem primary. The choice would be somewhat surprising, as Hanabusa and Ige generally hail from the same fiscally liberal/socially moderate machine faction of the HIDP. However, it seems that Ige’s very passive and low-key style has irked some insiders, who are now attempting to recruit Hanabusa into the race.

MD-Gov, Anne Arundel, MD-CE, MD-SD-32: Anne Arundel County commissioner John Grasso (R) is termed out in 2018 and had previously announced a run for the purple SD-32 in northern Anne Arundel. However, Grasso now says he is considering primary runs against Gov. Larry Hogan (R) or Anne Arundel CE Steve Schuh (R) instead. Grasso’s focus in mounting either likely quixotic run seems to be on Hogan’s decision to reappoint a member of the county liquor board. mmmkay….

MI-Gov: State Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R) of suburban Detroit made his gubernatorial campaign official over the weekend. Colbeck, an antiestablishment-leaning conservative, becomes the second official candidate of note into the race after physician Jim Himes (R). AG Bill Schuette (R) and LG Brian Calley (R) are considered likely to run as well.

MN-Gov: Ex-State Rep. and MNGOP chair Keith Downey (R) will run for Governor. Downey could have some significant party establishment backing at the convention, but joins a crowded field of Hennepin County commissioner and 2014 nominee Jeff Johnson (R), State Rep. Matt Dean (R), and Ramsey County commissioner Blake Huffman (R). State House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R) is considering and would likely be the front-runner for the GOP nomination if he enters.

NV-Gov: Clark County commissioner Chris Giunchigliani (D) is considering a run for Governor; if she enters she would join her fellow commissioner Steve Sisolak (D) in the Dem primary. AG Adam Laxalt (R) and Treasurer Dan Schwartz (R) are considered likely to run on the GOP side.

OR-Gov: State Rep. Knute Buehler (R) announced he is considering a run against Gov. Kate Brown (D) and will decide within the next few weeks. Buehler, an orthopedic surgeon who ran a competitive race against Brown for the SoS slot in 2012 before winning a purple State House seat in Bend, is considered one of the few rising stars on the ORGOP’s meager bench, along with SoS and 2014 nominee Dennis Richardson (R).

VA-Gov: Ex-RNC Chair Ed Gillespie (R) and LG Ralph Northam (D) are tied at 44 in a new Monmouth poll, suggesting some tightening of the race from prior surveys that had Northam up by high single to low double digits. Gillespie also starts the general election with a cash advantage over Northam. Both Northam and Gillespie raised a bit under $2M in June. But since Northam spent a lot to win his primary while Gillespie sleepwalked through his (nearly to his demise, eking out an unexpectedly close win), Gillespie leads Northam in Cash on Hand 3.3M-1.8M.


WI-Sen: Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke (D) will not run against Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) as a Republican, and calls a group trying to “draft” him into the race a “scam PAC”. Clarke would have likely been a prohibitive favorite in a GOP primary because of his high profile but (ironically) might have had a tough time gaining crossover votes in a general election. State Sen. Leah Vukmir (R) and 2012 candidate Eric Hovde (R) are the names most commonly connected with bids against Baldwin.

AZ-2: Ex-Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D) announced last week that she would carpetbag into this Tucson-area district and run against Rep. Martha McSally (R). Kirkpatrick has some name recognition in the area as her prior seat, AZ-1, extends into metro Tucson, and thus is likely to be Dems’ choice recruit for this purple seat.

WV-3: State Rep. Carol Miller (R) has entered this race, becoming the first truly credible candidate to seek this deep-red but historically-D Southern WV seat. Miller has a fairly strong record of consistently winning a seat in a 3-member Dem-leaning Huntington-area district. She joins ex-State Rep. and 2012 nominee Rick Snuffer (R), whose prior bid wasn’t terribly impressive, in the race to replace Senate candidate Evan Jenkins (R). State Sen. Richard Ojeda (D) and Huntington Mayor Steve Williams (D) are in the race on the Dem side.

State & Local:

AL-AG: Adoption attorney Sam McLure (R), who is active in the pro-life movement, will run for AG next year, joining appointed incumbent Steve Marshall (R), ex-US Attorney Alice Martin (R), and 2006 State Auditor candidate Chess Bedsole (R) in this crowded primary.

GA-Ins Comm: Democrats have a credible candidate for this open seat as nonprofit exec Cindy Zeldin (D) has entered the race. Several Republicans have indicated interest in this race as well.

NM-LG: State Sen. Michael Padilla (D) is the latest candidate into the crowded shotgun-wedding primary for LG. Padilla and ex-State Rep. Rick Miera (D) look like the serious candidates for this seat. The primary winner will be joined with the Dem gubernatorial primary winner as one ticket.

OK-Lab Comm: State Rep. Leslie Osborn (R) is exploring a run for Labor Commissioner, becoming the first candidate to declare interest in this open seat. Appointed incumbent Melissa McLawhorn-Houston (R) has declared she will not seek a full term.

LA-PSC-2: This piece is worth a read about how Gov. Jon Bel Edwards (D) wound up pointedly refusing to endorse his own appointee for this seat, D-turned-R ex-State Rep. Damon Baldone (R). Baldone is facing Edwards-endorsing physician Craig Greene (R) and antiestablishment conservative ex-State Rep. Lenar Whitney (R).

Atlanta-Mayor: A new SUSA poll of this fall’s Atlanta Mayor race puts moderate city councilwoman and 2009 candidate Mary Norwood (D) as the clear front-runner; however, she takes just 27%. No other candidate in the 8-way field tops 10%, but most of the other candidates are running to Norwood’s left.

Jefferson, MO-CE: Incumbent Ken Waller (R) will not seek a third term as County Exec in this large suburban St. Louis county. State Rep. John McCaherty (R) will run to succeed him; Jefferson County is historically Dem-friendly but has stampeded right in the last 10 years.

NYC-CD-28: Councilman Ruben Willis (D) of southeast Queens was found guilty of corruption charges last week and expelled from office. Willis’s seat will remain vacant until the general election in November; two other Democrats had also been running for the seat. In other NYC news, HERE is a really good rundown of all the candidates for city office this year.

Political Roundup for June 28, 2017

Last night, Cindy Friedman (D), CoS to the late prior incumbent, won a primary for MA-SD-4th Middlesex, while endorsed Republican Jon Jacobsen (R) prevailed in IA-LD-22.


NV-Sen: Ralston says that Rep. Dina Titus (D) has told him she is polling the Senate race, as a potential prelude to an entry into the primary to take on Sen. Dean Heller (R). Should Titus enter it would set up a potential tough primary collision with fellow Rep. Jacky Rosen (D), who is far less politically experienced than Titus.

MT-Sen: Judge Russell Fagg (R) is exploring a bid against Sen. Jon Tester (D). Fagg is the latest lower-tier candidate to consider a run here, joining State Sen. Al Olszewski (R) and storage executive Troy Downing (R).

TN-Sen, TN-2: Knox CE Tim Burchett (R), who is termed out of his current post, is considering a run for Senate or House. If he runs, he could potentially face an uphill race against a longtime incumbent in either primary, as Sen. Bob Corker (R) and Rep. Jimmy Duncan (R) have not yet indicated any intention to retire. However, if either Corker or Duncan steps down, Burchett could be a top-tier candidate for either seat.

WI-Sen: Trucking executive Nicole Schneider (R) will not run against Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D), citing family concerns. No Republicans have entered this race as of yet, but State Sen. Leah Vukmir (R) is the name most-commonly connected with a bid.


KS-Gov, KS-4: State Senate President Susan Wagle (R), one of the few Republicans who has pull on both sides of the KSGOP’s moderate/conservative chasm, is considering a run for either Governor or Congress in 2018. Should she seek the House seat, she would challenge incumbent Ron Estes (R), whose underwhelming victory in this year’s special has fueled talk of a primary challenger. If she enters the Governor’s race, she would join a crowded primary field of SoS Kris Kobach (R), ex-State Sen. and 2006 nominee Jim Barnett (R), ex-State Rep. Ed O’Malley (R), and businessman Wink Hartman (R).

MI-Gov: Physician Jim Hines (R) became the first candidate to file for this race yesterday, tuning in an impressive number of signatures. The effort could suggest that Hines, who is basically of a “Some Dude” profile, may be serious enough to be a real contender in this race against multiple bigger-name candidates. LG Brian Calley (R), AG Bill Schuette (R), and antiestablishment-friendly State Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R) are expected to run on the GOP side; ex-State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer (D) currently looks like the front-runner for Dems.

RI-Gov: Ex-State Rep. Joe Trillo (R) has entered the race for Governor, becoming the first candidate into the race on the GOP side. Trillo, a vocal Trump supporter who retired from the State House in 2016, may face a primary with Cranston Mayor and 2014 nominee Alan Fung (R). Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) may face primary opposition on the Dem side.


ID-1: State Rep. Luke Malek (R) is considering a run for the seat of Rep. and gubernatorial candidate Raul Labrador (R). Malek hails from Coeur D’Alene in the panhandle, potentially giving him a geographic base in the primary. Ex-State Sen. and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Russ Fulcher (R) is considered the front-runner for this seat, with 80s-era ex-LG David Leroy (R) also in the race.

NY-22: In a somewhat surprising move, State Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D) has quickly pulled the trigger on a run for this medium-red seat. Brindisi was heavily recruited to run for the open seat in 2016, but demurred; he will now run against freshman incumbent Claudia Tenney (R). This Binghamton and Utica based seat trended strongly right last year but Tenney fell short of a majority due to a centrist independent candidate; Brindisi’s entry likely keeps this race as a high-tier target for Dems in 2018.

State & Local:

NH-State House: State Rep. Brandon Phinney has switched from Republican to Libertarian, giving the Libertarian party 3 members of the NH State House (out of 400), and thus their largest caucus in a legislative chamber in memory.

MD-Prince George’s-CE: State Sen. Anthony Muse (D), a moderate Democrat who challenged US Sen. Ben Cardin (D) in the 2012 primary, is running for Prince George’s County Executive. Incumbent Rushern Baker (D) is running for Governor.

MD-Baltimore-CE: Ex-State Rep. John Olszewski (D) is running for Baltimore County Executive, becoming the first candidate into what could be a crowded primary with county commissioner Vicki Almond (D) and state Sen. Jim Brochin (D). Olszewski has a base in the blue-collar Dundalk area. Antiestablishment conservative State Rep. Pat McDonough (R) and Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer (R) are considering runs on the GOP side. Incumbent Kevin Kamenetz (D) is termed-out and widely expected to run for Governor.

NJ Primary & CA-34 Runoff Liveblog

Results: CA-34 (AP) || NJ (AP) || NJ (NYT)

1:55 ET – With 140/192 precincts reporting, Gomez is at 58% and leads by nearly 5,000 votes. That’s enough for us to call this race and call it a night. Thanks for following along, and a very pleasant good evening to you!

1:28 ET – Looks like Gomez has this one. Another vote dump pushes him to 57% with 80/192 reporting.

1:07 ET – 16 more precincts drop and Gomez has opened up a 54-46 lead, or 1600 votes. It looks like Ahn’s Korean base may have been heavily over represented in the early vote.

12:54 ET –  Finally some Election Day votes! Gomez leads 52-48, a spread of 850 votes, with 20/191 precincts in.

12:20 ET – After over an hour, we still don’t have any E-Day votes counted. I’m wondering if they’re all going to drop at once.

11:30 ET – It should be noted that this is an amazingly low-turnout affair. The two candidates are separated by ~0.8%, but only 156 votes.

11:16 ET – …and just as I say that, the early vote has come in. Gomez is winning by a point. Since apparently a lot of the Koreans voted early, this should get better for Gomez as the election day votes start dropping.

11:14 ET – Son_of_the_South taking over here for a bit. Polls have closed in California, but we don’t have any results yet.

9:50 ET- Since it looks like the key precincts to determine the legislative races aren’t coming quickly, I will end the NJ portion of our liveblog here. check back in tomorrow’s Roundup for full results and check back at 11 in this post for BostonPatriot’s CA-34 coverage. For now it looks fairly likely SD-40 (R) will go to Corrado and her team, LD-1 (R, 2nd slot) will go to Campbell, and Hank Lyon (R) has a chance to upset incumbent Betty DeCroce (R) in LD-26.

9:31 ET- Not looking good for DeCroce in LD-26. Though still in 2nd overall she’s in 4th in Morris (bulk of the district, largely not in yet).

9:23 ET- One possible upset: in LD-1, it looks like the second GOP slot is neck and neck between McDowell (endorsed Apprentice contestant whose campaign imploded) and Campbell (unendorsed Downe Twp. Mayor).

9:17 ET- Guadagno gets the check.

9:11 ET- Heading to the Legislature, Corrado is at 60% in SD-40 and all incumbents lead by sizeable margins.

9:05 ET- Murphy has the check.

9:04 ET- Guadagno is winning off the line in Mercer with 1/3 in.

8:50 ET- Murphy’s score is dropping – now only at 48. Not going to lose of course, but may fall short of a majority.

8:46 ET- Lines are holding by various margins in all counties reporting… Guadagno’s blowout margins in Monmouth and Ocean look likely to seal the deal for her.

8:33 ET- Murphy is at 59 overall and over 40 in almost every county that has reported so far – I think we can already call it for him.

8:28 ET- Middlesex 48-28 Ciattarelli, Sussex 40-35 Guadagno. 50-32 Guadagno overall, but vote totals are still very low.

8:25 ET- Guadagno takes 60% of the early vote from Ocean, getting her to a 51-32 lead overall.

8:21 ET- Norcrossmentum, as Murphy has powered up to 70% in Gloucester. His 52% in Hunterdon (which is known as one of the most progressive-heavy Dem counties) may be his floor.

8:17 ET- Guadagno is up 43-29 in Gloucester, a weak on-Line showing for her as well. Guadagno is up 40-35 between the two. Minor candidates are taking 25% of the vote. Murphy has the same 52% in Gloucester.

8:15 ET- Ciattarelli up 48-34 in the first precinct from Hunterdon… not a great showing for him in a county where he has the Line. Murphy is at 52-18 over Wisniewski.

8:00 ET- Polls have closed in New Jersey.

7:52 ET- Cavanaugh has won the NH-SD-16 primary by roughly 2-1.

7:00 ET – Polls have now closed in NH-SD-16; this will be an open thread for the next hour on that race. Our liveblog will start at 8 when New Jersey polls close. I will be handling New Jersey and turning it over to Boston Patriot around 11 for the late-shift CA-34 action.

NJ Primary & CA-34 Runoff Preview

Tomorrow is the New Jersey primary, with the Governor’s race atop the ballot. There is also a congressional runoff in downtown LA, and a special in New Hampshire. Poll closing times are as follows: 8 ET – New Jersey || 11 ET – CA-34. Our liveblog will start at 8 ET tomorrow night.

NJ-Gov (R, D): The big event tomorrow are the gubernatorial primaries across the Garden State. Both sides have races, but the GOP side is more competitive. To understand New Jersey primaries, you first need to understand that New Jersey is, in both parties, by far the most machine-dominated state of all. And the workhorse of machine politics in the Garden State is “The Line.” County Parties give their official endorsements to candidates – these endorsements determine a candidate’s position on the ballot and can move a large number of votes. As a result, this is the map to keep in mind for the GOP primary. Salem and Morris don’t have an official line and are thus colored in gray.

Kim Guadagno

LG Kim Guadagno (R) has the party endorsement in the counties in red, and is the front-runner in this primary. After eight years as Christie’s #2, Guadagno does have statewide name recognition. However, Christie is toxic enough (by some accounts, America’s most unpopular Governor) that she has needed to run away from her association with him even in the GOP primary. Guadagno is a mainstream conservative, and her candidate skills have proven decent if unexceptional in this race. She has secured the Line in the red counties, which comprise the bulk of the state’s GOP voters, including the GOP-vote-rich bastions of Monmouth and Ocean. As a result, polls show her with a moderate lead in the primary and CW is betting on her to prevail by a solid, if not particularly impressive, margin.

Jack Ciattarelli

Guadagno’s main rival, State Rep. Jack Ciattarelli (R), has the party endorsement in the counties in blue. Ciattarelli has represented a purple legislative district in the Princeton area for three terms and has a reputation as a moderate and skilled campaigner. He was able to secure some big-county endorsements for this race, but his name recognition and establishment support has not been enough to match Guadagno’s. Ciattarelli’s position to Guadagno’s left, including support for a tax increase on the wealthy, may also be a tough sell in a GOP primary. Thus, most polls have shown him behind her by a modest margin. However, the race is competitive enough that both candidates have seen the need to attack the other, and thus there is a small possibility Ciattarelli could pull the upset.

As an aside… why is Bergen County in Purple, you may ask? Funny story… the “Line” is noted on the ballot by a slogan next to the candidates name, usually of the form “X County Republican Organization” or something similar. In Bergen, the traditional slogan for GOP endorsed candidates is “Republicans for Responsible Government”. But this year, the Bergen GOP forgot to trademark their slogan, and it wound up being trademarked by the Essex GOP. As a result, though the Bergen County organization has endorsed Guadagno, Ciattarelli, who has the Essex endorsement, gets to use the “Republicans for Responsible Government” slogan next to his name, which is well-imprinted with many voters as the Line choice. So it’s very possible that Guadagno’s Bergen endorsement is not worth nearly as much as usual – that may not mean much for the Governor’s race, but it could be a big deal for SD-40 (see below).

Though Guadagno and Ciattarelli are the only serious candidates with a chance to win, one other notable candidate, Nutley councilman Steve Rogers (R), is also in the race. Rogers has been attempting to sell himself as the most Trump-friendly candidate in the race, but his low profile and lack of establishment support has hampered his ability to get traction in the expensive, machine-dominated state, and as a result he looks likely to remain in single-digits. Two Some Dudes are also in the race. Overall this looks like Guadagno’s primary to lose, but there is still a chance that Ciattarelli could surprise. Whomever the GOP primary winner is, however, will find a very tough general election ahead.

Phil Murphy

On the Democratic side, things are a lot quieter. Former ambassador and Goldman Sachs Executive Phil Murphy (D) has received the Line in every county the old-fashioned way, by simply purchasing it, Jon Corzine-style. Thanks to spreading his limitless wealth freely among party hacks, Murphy was able to coalesce establishment support and has been seen more or less as governor-in-waiting since the start of this race. That position has obviated the need for Murphy to do much other than spout liberal platitudes and run a generic campaign, though he has openly promised a large tax hike (on “the rich”, of course). But thanks to his machine backing, it seems like it will be enough for him to easily win the primary over five rivals, perhaps even with a majority of the vote.

John Wisniewski

State Rep. John Wisniewski (D) is Murphy’s most notable rival. Well-known for being one of the chief legislative investigators of Bridgegate, Wisniewski has a long history in politics and is a former NJDP chair. However, in Garden State politics, money talks and everything else walks, and Wisniewski has been unable to compete for machine backing with Murphy’s cash. He has thus attempted to run an insurgent liberal campaign by wrapping himself in the BernieBro mantle, promising a state-level single-payer healthcare system. However, Wisniewski doesn’t hail from a county (Middlesex) with a major Democratic vote-driving machine, and he missed out on the Line in every county, including embarrassingly his own.

Jim Johnson

Wisniewski’s attempt to run to Murphy’s left has also been complicated by two other credible candidates splitting the progressive anti-Murphy vote. Bill Clinton administration Treasury official and former federal prosecutor Jim Johnson (D) has received some buzz for strong fundraising and a tenure at one of the state’s major liberal think tanks. He is also the only major African-American candidate in the race, which could give him some base in that community. However, Johnson has no party Lines, no built-in support base, and little statewide name recognition, which means his main impact seems likely to be splitting the left-wing anti-Murphy vote base.

Ray Lesniak

The final major anti-Murphy candidate is State Sen. Ray Lesniak (D). A 34-year legislative veteran who has been through many bare-knuckled machine political brawls in his hometown of Elizabeth, Lesniak has successfully keept most local power in the hands of his old-school white-ethnic machine instead of a largely Hispanic new guard. However, he has seemed far out of his depth in a statewide race, aborting and restarting his campaign multiple times. Like Wisniewski, he embarrassingly lost out on the Line in even his home county to Murphy, and his attempts to run a BernieBro style campaign have mostly succeeded in further splitting the left-wing anti-Murphy vote with Wisniewski and Johnson.

Two other candidates are in the race, Tenafly councilman Mark Zinna (D) and former state legislative candidate and retired firefighter Bill Brennan (D), but both seem like gadflies and seem unlikely to draw more than low single-digits. Overall this race remains Murphy’s contest to lose, both in the Dem primary and the general. RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Likely D.

CA-34: The other big election of the day is a D-on-D runoff for this D+35 (2016) seat vacated by now-CA AG Xavier Becerra (D). The 65% Hispanic seat is based around Downtown LA, stretching from the Koreatown and Macarthur Park areas to the west through downtown to the very poor and monolithically Hispanic Boyle Heights to the east, and then north to the largely middle-class Hispanic northeast LA neighborhoods of Mt. Washington and Eagle Rock.

Jimmy Gomez

State Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D) has been the front-runner from day one of this race. The only prominent elected official to contest this seat, Gomez, a mainstream liberal, easily locked up most establishment support. However, the massive field in the primary succeeded at holding down his vote share, and he received just 28% in the first round. In spite of that relatively mediocre first-round performance, Gomez still seems the favorite to get to Congress in the second round. While much of the energy in the primary focused on a number of more liberal candidates hitting the Clinton-endorsing, establishment-backed Gomez from the left, that dynamic has dissipated and many of the left-wing forces that opposed Gomez vehemently in March have now backed him in the runoff against his more moderate opponent.

Robert Lee Ahn

Gomez’s rival is former zoning board member Robert Lee Ahn (D), who easily took second place in the March primary with 19%. Ahn was able to come in second based on strong turnout from the Korean community, who have been known to bloc vote for their chosen candidate (most notably in the upset win of David Ryu (D) for a recent city council race). Aided by a fair amount of self-funding, Ahn has also surprisingly outraised Gomez. A Republican until 2012, Ahn has run as a relative moderate (though still a mainstream liberal overall), so he could get some crossover support from the district’s small but significant GOP contingent. But that also means there hasn’t been the same kind of establishment vs. left-wing grassroots dynamic in this round, as both are backing Gomez. Additionally, the much larger Hispanic population relative to the Korean community in the seat leaves Gomez as a clear favorite on demographics. However, Ahn is credible and in an ultra-low-turnout, one-party race, there is always at least some possibility that strange turnout patterns could lead to a shocking upset. RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Safe D/Lean Gomez.

Special Elections: There is a special primary election this week for NH-SD-16, a formerly-D-held R+1 (2016; Clinton carried it by 100 votes) district covering the north side of Manchester and some northern suburbs. Manchester councilman Kevin Cavanaugh (D) has most establishment support and looks like the favorite over 90s-era ex-Executive Councilor Jim Normand (D) in the Dem primary. The D winner will face ex-State Sen. David Boutin (R), who retired from this seat in 2016, in what should be a very competitive general.

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Political Roundup for April 25th, 2017


Abortion: Tom Perez, newly-elected head of the DNC, has declared that Democrats are completely Pro-Choice and that the DNC will not support insufficient Pro-Choice candidates. Naturally, this has caused quite a bit of controversy given that Abortion cuts across political lines far more than you would expect (something like 25% of the Democrat’s voters are Pro-Life, and something similar for the GOP and Pro-Choice), and Nonwhite Democrats in particular are far less likely to support Abortion than White ones. While this probably won’t change many minds, it is a nice reminder of the state of chaos the Democrats are in post-Clintonpocalypse, and a marked departure from the Democrat’s famous 50-state strategy that won them the House in 2006.

Evan McMullin: The former Independent Conservative Presidential candidate is going to be running for . . . something. He hasn’t told us yet, and in fact I’m not sure he knows yet. McMullin probably needs to find some way to get donors to back him to help pay off his staggering debt from his presidential campaign, but the polls so far have him doing remarkably well in Utah. Honestly, I think we can probably cross Texas off as the Senate seat the Democrats need to win next year to flip the Senate, as there’s probably a better chance they pick up 2 in 2018 and McMullin beats Hatch to give the Democrats a 50-49 majority in the body.

Taxes: Trump’s big tax announcement coming Wednesday is apparently not going to be a finalized proposal, which isn’t coming until June. Given how much we mucked up Healthcare, I’d prefer going nice and slow and making sure everyone knows what we’re doing as opposed to the make-it-up-as-we-go-along of the AHCA.

Trump: Despite all the wailing of the media establishment, Trump voters are sticking with their guy. Only 2% regret their decision, and 96% say it was the right thing to do. People may not like Trump, but the still consider him preferable to the status quo, which is probably going to be the story of his Presidency.


GA-6: Nate Cohn has notice an unexpected trend here—Trump actually did reasonably well with the voters who were registered in the district before mid-2015, but got walloped with those who registered since then. He predicts Trump would have won this seat by 10.5% had he been facing the 2012 electorate. There are two ways to read this—the first is that the Atlanta Suburbs are exploding with new people, and once the 2020 census comes around we’re all going to be amazed at the fact that this was once a GOP district based on the demographics, or Trump brought a whole bunch of reluctant Dem voters out of the woodwork . . .but not quite enough for him to lose.

MI-1: The Democrats have a candidate for this seat, and this one is actually a Yooper! Dwight Brady, a professor at NMU, has announced he is running for this seat, which absolutely galloped towards Trump last year. No word on whether or not he’s sufficiently Pro-Choice to receive DNC funding yet.

NJ-5: This seat, which is the latest in the Republicans-should-never-have-lost-it-but-did-with-a-knucklehead-incumbent tradition of seats, is apparently going to see a major GOP primary for the right to take on freshmen incumbent Josh Gottheimer (D) in this Northern-Jersey seat. The candidates are State Committee Chairman Sam Raia and Bergen fundraiser Chuck Shotmeyer. Expect this to be a big $ affair, as this is the closest seat to Wall Street that can realistically elect a Republican.

NY-24: John Katko, 2-time winner of the “How on earth do you win by that much?” award for Congressional overperformance, has shot down rumors that he was planning to run for New York Attorney General. This is good for us, as he is currently tying down a light-blue Upstate seat that would be tough to defend in a Trump midterm.

PA-Sen: Jeff Bartos, a Republican from Lower Merion, has announced he is running for Senate against Dem incumbent Bob Casey Jr. Bartos is an interesting pick, given that he’s from one of the bluest parts of the state and been a Democrat supporter and donor as recently as 2012, and is running very much in the Fiscon mold in a Republican party this is clearly moving in the other direction. Besides, who’s ever heard of a real estate mogul from a super-blue upscale area who has a history of donating to and supporting Democrats winning Pennsylvania as a Republican? Can’t be done I tell you!

State & Local:

CO-Gov: Jared Polis, the 5-term Democrat from Boulder, is thinking about running for Governor. Polis, who is probably one of the nicest members of Congress and who has a history of pushing an unorthodox form of upscale Liberalism, would be a strong contender for Governor of Colorado, but he faces the obvious challenge of fellow Dem rep Ed Perlmutter, who has already announced and who is far closer to Generic D. If he does pull the trigger, expect the Teacher’s Unions to carpet-bomb his candidacy back to the stone age over his strong support of school choice.

MA-Gov: Former Democratic Lt. Gov candidate Robert Massie has announced he is running for Governor of the Bay State. Massie has a long history as a progressive activist in Massachusetts, but is probably most famous for being on the same ticket as Mark Roosevelt’s 1994 blowout loss to Bill Weld. Considering he is now running against an uber-popular moderate Republican incumbent Governor, he might be interested in repeating history. Let’s see if he can lose Boston to a Republican again!

MI-Gov: Lt. Governor Brian Calley has released a new soft-spoken ad where he talks about his daughter, and hinted at a major announcement late next month. The smart money’s on a run for Governor, though I guess he could be aiming to take on Stabenow for Senate as well, since Michigan is the only Trump state in the country without at least one Republican Senator.

NH-State-House: A New Hampshire State Rep has switched her party from the Democrats to the GOP. I’m sure her ~150 constituents are heartbroken.

VA-Gov: Elizabeth Warren has endorsed Tom Perriello for Governor, continuing the trend of the Democrat’s Left wing jumping behind Perriello as opposed to the more moderate and established Lt. Governor Ralph Northam. This race is shaping up to be the first conflict in the Democrat’s looming ideological battle, and will be interesting to watch to see if the normally well-disciplined Democrats are still willing to vote for their establishment-backed candidate over the Bold Progressive.


France-1: Here’s a nice interactive map of the 2017 1st round French election results.

France-2: Le Pen has made the startling and unexpected announcement that she is stepping down as leader of the Front National ahead of the May runoff election. Nominally this is to let her focus more on competing for the runoff, but might also be an attempt to distance herself from the incredible baggage associated with the FN name and try to give her candidacy a more independent-oriented flavor like Macron has done.

UK-1: UK pollsters have finally found a demographic that is supporting Labor over the Tories! Unfortunately for Corbyn, that demographic is seats that Labor won by more than 15% in 2015 . . .and they’re only up 11 points there. The same poll has Labor seats that were closer than 15% voting for the Tories by 17 points. Corbyn is going to have to pull off one hell of a miracle if he wants to avoid going down in history as the worst leader the Labor party has had since Ramsay MacDonald.

UK-2: A poll of Wales has come out, and it shows the Tories with a 10-point lead there, even though the Tories have literally never held the most seats in Wales since the founding of the Liberal Party in the mid-19th century. If this holds, it will probably result in the Tories taking a healthy majority of Wales’s 40 seats, and probably wiping Labor out of everything outside its ancestral home in the Welsh Coal Fields north of Cardiff.

Political Roundup for April 14, 2017

If you missed it yesterday, check out our GA-6 poll. Topline numbers are Ossoff, 39%, Handel 15%, Gray 12%, Moody 11%, Hill 10%.


ME-Sen: Gov. Paul Le Page (R) says he’s seriously considering a run for US Senate, but then seems to damage his own prospects by suggesting he wouldn’t like the job very much and may not be very good at it. He says he “wouldn’t make a good legislator” and that committee meetings “would be boring.”

MA-Sen: Gabriel Gomez, the ex-Navy SEAL who was the Republican nominee in the 2013 special election to replace Sen. John Kerry (D) after he was appointed Secretary of State, is considering running against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D). Gomez ran a respectable race, losing to now-Sen. Ed Markey (D) by a 55-45 margin. He joins state Rep. Geoff Diehl (R) as candidates announcing potential runs this week.

VT-Sen: No surprise, but Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) appears to be planning to run for a third term next year. He plans a trip to 7 states next week to oppose the Trump Administration, and his campaign organization is asking for donations to his re-election campaign to help fund the tour. His Senate office however is saying that it was not to be a formal announcement of his re-election plans and he would announce for sure in a few months about his political plans.


AL-Gov: Stacy Lee George, a state corrections officer(and member of the Southern Republican men with female names caucus) said today he is running for governor next year. George has been a persistent critic of now ex-Gov. Robert Bentley (R) over the past couple of years and ran against Bentley in the 2014 Republican primary, but only took 6% of the vote.

ME-Gov: Sen. Susan Collins (R) says she is weighing the “pros and cons” of running for governor next year and says she feels no pressure in making a quick decision. Her decision likely will not come until fall. One factor in her decision appears to be that she fears giving up a lot of seniority she has built up in Washington.


IA-3: Michael Sherzan, who lost in the Democratic primary in 2016, but was planning to run again next year, is dropping out of the race. In stating his reason for dropping out, Sherzan complained about the campaign finance system and the need to spend so much time fundraising. He was the owner of a financial services company until retiring recently, and self-funded most of his 2016 congressional race. Des Moines attorney Anna Ryon is the only other Democrat who has announced for the race to face Rep. David Young (R).

KS-2: Ex-State House Minority Leader and unsuccessful 2014 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Paul Davis (D) has decided to explore a possible campaign for Congress instead of running for governor again. Davis would likely be a strong, although not formidable candidate for the open seat. He won the district by 6 points in his gubernatorial campaign.

KS-4: State Senate President Susan Wagle (R) is considering challenging Rep.-elect Ron Estes (R) next year in the GOP primary. Wagle has been Senate President since 2013 and has been successful at steering through a difficult time for the Legislature as they have sparred over the proposals of Gov. Sam Brownback (R). She is on the conservative side of the state GOP’s conservative/moderate split, helping to recruit and campaign for conservative candidates, who completed a takeover of the chamber in 2012. Even as moderates staged something of a comeback last year, she was able to keep her position as Senate President. She would appear to be a potentially strong challenger for Estes, who was criticized for running a lackluster campaign, although Estes will be able to use his incumbency to his advantage. It would not be a surprise to see him draw other challengers as well.

More KS-4: Sean Trende has a good piece on Real Clear Politics on why the relatively close race on Tuesday may not be quite as bad as some people are making it out to be. The main point-while Estes underperformed Trump in every county, if you compare Estes’s performance to that of Pat Roberts’s Senate race and Sam Brownback’s governor’s race in 2014, it doesn’t look quite so bad. Estes tracked fairly close to Roberts’ numbers from 2014 in every county except Sedgwick and overperformed Brownback in every county except Sedgwick. The question is whether 2016, a good but not great year for Republicans, or 2014, a great year should be the baseline. He also points out that Thompson wasn’t a typical national Democrat, mixing conservative positions on guns and illegal immigration with traditional liberal positions on LGBT rights and climate change. He also ran against Brownback more than he did Trump-his issues page never mentions Trump, but mentions Brownback 8 times.

UT-3: A webpage is raising money to encourage popular Provo Mayor John Curtis to run against Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) in the Republican primary. Curtis, who is stepping down from the mayor’s office this year after serving two terms, says he is flattered at the support shown, but is not committing to running for Congress yet. Curtis unsuccessfully ran for the state Senate as a Democrat in 2000, but said in a January interview that he is a “conservative Republican” who was concerned about 1-party dominance in the state and ran as a Democrat to show that there could be good candidates from both parties.

VA-10: Army veteran and Rhodes Scholar Daniel Helmer (D) jumped into the race this week to challenge Rep. Barbara Comstock (R). Helmer is the 2nd Democrat to declare their intention to run, joining former Fairfax County Education Association president Kimberly Adams. Several other Democrats are considering running including state Sen. Jennifer Wexton and Dorothy McAuliffe, wife of Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D).

State & Local:

NH-SD-16: Former state Sen. David Boutin (R) has filed to run again for his old seat. Boutin served for 3 terms before declining to run for re-election last year. The open seat was won by Democrat Scott McGilvray, the only seat Democrats picked up last year. McGilvray died last month, leaving the seat open again. Former state Rep. Jane Cormier (R) has also been talked about as a possible candidate, but has yet to file, with the deadline tomorrow. Former Executive Councilor Jim Normand (D) has filed and Manchester alderman Kevin Cavanaugh (D) is expected to file as well. Primaries are June 6 with the general July 25.

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