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Political Roundup for December 5th, 2017

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

Governor:

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

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

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

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

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

Senate:

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

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

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

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

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

House:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

State, Local & Other:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Political Roundup for December 1, 2017

Senate:

UT-Sen: It appears that as much as Utah voters don’t want Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) to run again, they’ll still vote for him as long as they know he is a Republican and his opponent is a Democrat. Polls have shown that more than 3/4ths of Utahns don’t want him to run for an 8th term, and a September poll commissioned by Utahpolicy.com and conducted by Dan Jones & Asssociates caught attention by showing him losing by 11 points to Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson (D). But that poll did not identify the candidates by party affiliation. A new poll that does give the candidates’ party affiliations shows Hatch with a 15 point lead, 50-35% over Wilson. Mitt Romney however does much better in a potential matchup, leading Wilson by 51 points, 72-21%.

WV-Sen: Don Blankenship, former CEO of Massey Energy Co., is running for the Republican nomination for US Senate. His company owned a mine that was involved in a 2010 explosion that killed 29 miners, and he was convicted for conspiracy to violate federal mine laws relating to the explosion, and served a year in prison last year. Blankenship claims that the conviction was political and that he was innocent. He joins AG Patrick Morrisey (R) and Rep. Evan Jenkins (R) in the GOP primary. A big stumbling block to his candidacy is that as part of conviction, he is prohibited from leaving Nevada, where he currently resides until May of next year. The primary will be held on May 8.

House:

Conyers: Although Rep. John Conyers (D) says he won’t resign, there is mounting pressure on him to do so, with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) and Assistant Leader James Clyburn (D) now saying he should resign. One aspect of a possible Conyers resignation is that it would make Rep. Don Young (R) of Alaska the Dean of the House. Young would be the first Republican in nearly 85 years to hold the title-the first since Rep. Gilbert Haugen (R) of Iowa held the title from 1928-1933.

NJ-5: Warren County Freeholder Jason Sarnoski (R) will not run for Congress. Sarnoski had formed an exploratory committee to consider running for the Republican nomination to take on Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D). Two other Republicans are in the race-former Bogota Mayor and unsuccessful gubernatorial and US Senate candidate Steve Longean and former Cresskill Councilman John McCann.

NY-24: After previously ruling out a run, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner (D) is reconsidering running against Rep. John Katko (R) next year. Miner, who is leaving office at the end of the year, has been heavily recruited to run. Miner cited Katko’s vote for the GOP’s tax bill as making her reconsider. She has also been considering whether to challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) from the left in next year’s Democratic gubernatorial primary.

PA-10: Bradford County Commissioner Doug McLinko (R) is challenging Rep. Tom Marino (R) in next year’s Republican primary. McLinko cited the opioid crisis and the 60 Minutes report that caused Marino to withdraw his name to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy as reasons for running.

PA-11: Mike Marsicano, a former Hazleton mayor who was the 2016 Democratic nominee, will run for this seat again. Marsicano lost to Rep. Lou Barletta (R) by 27 points last year. Barletta is running for US Senate. Marsicano was unopposed for the nomination last year, but will have opposition this time. Former state agriculture secretary Denny Wolff and Air Force veteran Robert Alan Howe are running for the Democratic nomination while Luzerne County Councilman Tim McGinley is also considering running. State Rep. Stephen Bloom (R), former state revenue secretary Dan Meuser, businessman Andrew Lewis and Berwick Councilman Andrew Schecktor are running for the Republican nomination while former deputy state Attorney General Joe Peters is considering running.

TX-6: Rep. Joe Barton (R) announced his retirement yesterday-check our post about it yesterday with a Great Mentioner on who may run to succeed him.

TX-29: State Rep. Carol Alvarado (D) announced yesterday that she will not run for Congress. Alvarado was considered to be a potentially strong contender for the seat. She joins state Rep. Armando Walle (D) as candidates declining bids in recent days. As more potentially strong candidates decide not to run, state Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D) seems to be the clear frontrunner. Reflecting this situation, retiring Rep. Gene Green (D) also endorsed Garcia yesterday.

State offices:

AZ-Treas.: State Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Yee (R) announced on Wednesday she will run for State Treasurer. Yee will face Arizona Corporation Commission chairman Tom Forese in the Republican primary. Current Treasurer Jeff DeWit (R), isn’t running for re-election and has been nominated to a post with NASA. Gov. Doug Ducey (R) will appoint DeWit’s successor.

CO-Treas./CO-Leg.: A Democrat is drafting legislation to expel a fellow Democrat from the state House. State Rep. Matt Gray (D) is planning to submit his proposal to the House when they reconvene in January to expel state Rep. Steve Lebsock (D) after he was accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, including another state representative. Lebsock, who is also running for State Treasurer, has refused calls for him to resign. Expulsion of a member requires a two-thirds vote of the chamber, and has only happened once before in Colorado history.

NM-Aud.: State Auditor Tim Keller (D) has resigned and will be sworn in as mayor of Albuquerque today. Gov. Susana Martinez (R) will appoint Keller’s replacement, likely giving the state another Republican statewide officeholder at least until the end of the term next year. Applications are being accepted through today, but there is no timetable on naming a replacement.

PA-LG: Yet another candidate is getting in the Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor. State Rep. Madeleine Dean (D) announced Wednesday that she is running. She is the 4th major Democrat to take on incumbent LG Mike Stack (D). The others are Braddock Mayor John Fetterman (D), Chester County Commissioner Kathy Cozzone (D), and Lancaster County Commissioner Craig Lehman (D).

International:

Australia: The first of two by-elections this month in the House of Representatives will be held this Saturday. The by-elections were scheduled because two members were forced to resign their seats after a High Court ruling that barred people with dual citizenship from serving in the Parliament. This Saturday’s election occurs in the New South Wales seat of New England, where National Party Leader Barnaby Joyce will attempt to regain his seat. Joyce is expected to be returned relatively easily. The elections hold unusual importance as the absence of two Coalition members has left the governing Coalition temporarily without a majority and forces them to rely on confidence and supply agreements with two independents.

Political Roundup for November 21, 2017

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

Today’s Pervert Update:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Governor:

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

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

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

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

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

Congress:

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

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

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

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

State & Local:

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

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

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

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

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

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