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Political Roundup for November 15, 2017

Last night, Tim Keller (D) won easily in Albuquerque, Democrats picked up the deep-red OK-SD-37 while the GOP held two other seats, and Ashley Trantham (R) won SC-LD-28 outright while SC-LD-99 will head to a runoff in two weeks.

As Roy Moore is plotting how to go after younger women with this level of media scrutiny to take Australia legalizing gay marriage off his mind, it is time for today’s political roundup:

Alabama Senate

FOX 10 News / Strategy Research:  The latest poll finds that Alabama voters have been mildly impacted by finding out that their “divine” hero former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore (R-Pedophile) maintains a 49-43 lead over former US Attorney Doug Jones (D-Lucky).  We can only hope that the poll is overestimating Moore’s support and underestimating the decency of Alabama voters.

RNC:  The RNC cut “Dirty Roy” off by terminating its joint fundraising agreement.  The RNC is evaluating what to do to salvage this race.

Trump:  President Trump (Himself) faces an interesting dilemma regarding Dirty Roy.  Does he push Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R) to run as a write-in?  Does he even get involved?

Sessions:  Speaking of Trump’s Attorney General (are they on good or bad terms?), Sessions says he has no reason to doubt Dirty Roy’s accusers.

Senate:  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) said that if Alabama decides to send Dirty Roy to Washington the Senate will promptly expel Dirty Roy.  Arguably expelling Alabama from the Union should be up for debate if they send Dirty Roy to Washington.


IN-Sen:  Businessman Terry Henderson (R) quit the Republican primary for US Senate.  Henderson deserves props for being honesty and admitting he could not raise money.

OH-16:  State Representative Tom Patton (RINO) dropped out of the race to replace Representative John Renacci (R), whose running for Governor.  Patton says he is dropping out due to a family emergency.

NJ-Sen:  The jury in the trial of Senator Robert Menendez (D) for corruption is deadlocked.  It is not clear if the jury is really deadlocked or just trying to drag this out as long as possible to stop Governor Chris Christie (R) from appointing a replacement.

States / International

Australia:  Over 60% of Australians who took part in a non-binding survey voted for same-sex marriage.   Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (Coalition), who called the survey to pressure conservatives in the Coalition, said that same sex marriage will be legalized by Christmas.  Almost 80 percent of voters took part including the Prime Minister, who voted YES.

PA-Gov:  State House Speaker Mike Turzai (R) confirmed he will run against Governor Tom Wolf (D).  Turzai’s entry into the race is a bit of a surprise at this point.  State Senator Scott Wagner (R), the de facto leader of Senate Republicans, has been viewed as the only serious candidate.  Turzai’s entry will complicate Wagner’s run except to the extent Turzai is splitting the vote with 2 other candidates from Allegheny County, consultant Paul Mango and attorney Laura Ellsworth.

Albuquerque Mayoral Runoff Preview & Liveblog

10:01 ET- Apparently via twitter ground reports are saying that Ikley-Freeman has won.

9:59 ET- With 3 precincts left, Ikley-Freeman (D) is up by 7 votes (!!!)

9:55 ET- Ikley-Freeman (D) up 75 votes with 80% in.

9:51 ET- 75% in and the Dem is up 22 votes.

9:47 ET- 65% in, O’Hara’s lead has expanded to 14 votes.

9:35 ET- And Albuquerque is even more of a snoozer than we expected. Keller is up 63-37 in the early vote and I don’t even feel the need to continue to liveblog. In Oklahoma, the GOP has held SD-45 and LD-76, while Brian O’Hara (R) is up by 13 votes in SD-37 with half reporting.

9:30 ET- Legislative results: Ashley Trantham (R) has won SC-LD-28 outright. Nancy Mace (R) appears to have missed 50% by 35 votes and will head to a runoff with Mark Smith (R) in SC-LD-99. All 3 Oklahoma races are close and not fully reported.

Albuquerque Results

Today there is a mayoral election in Albuquerque as well as a few legislative specials. Polls close at 9 ET and we will have a liveblog for Albuqerque in this thread.

Albuquerque Mayor: Albuquerque, America’s 32nd-largest city, has a population of 550K which is roughly 50% Hispanic and 45% White. Albuquerque covers the bulk of its metro area, including poor, largely Hispanic urban areas in the central and southeastern parts of the city, middle-class Hispanic areas in the southwest, and middle-class white areas in the northwest and northeast. Some wealthier suburbs sit outside the city limits; as a result, Albuquerque proper is medium-blue with a PVI of D+8 as of 2008. This year, the mayoral seat is open as two-term incumbent Richard Berry (R) is stepping down. While Berry had generally been popular as mayor for most of his term, there is some consensus that the city has taken a turn for the worse in recent years, particularly with a spiking crime rate. State Auditor Tim Keller (D) came in first in the October primary with 39%. Previously a legislator from the central part of the city, Keller has high name recognition of the candidates and strong Dem establishment support. Keller, a mainstream liberal, has a strong support base among the high-turnout white progressive community that allowed him to slightly outperform expectations in the primary. Another Democrat, who was more moderate but endorsed Keller for the runoff, took 16% in the primary, meaning that Keller essentially just has to coalesce Democrats to win. Keller’s rival is city councilman Dan Lewis (R) came in second in the primary with 23%. Lewis is a mainstream establishment conservative; he has significant support among establishment Republicans and a base in his middle-class council district on the northwest side. However, Lewis is fighting against relatively tough terrain, Keller’s higher name recognition, and Berry’s declining popularity. Lewis has also been hurt by an internecine rivalry with Gov. Susana Martinez’s (R) network, who is opposed to Lewis for personal reasons. Keller has led in polls by a margin of around 10 points (a margin that has even been growing in recent weeks) and thus looks like close to a prohibitive favorite.

Special Elections:  There are also five special elections today. Three are special general elections in Oklahoma. All are for deep-red seats and all three Republicans should be favored, but given Democrats’ absurdly strong overperformances in multiple Oklahoma specials this year, upsets are possible in all three races. OK-SD-37 is an R+21 seat covering the suburban southwestern part of Tulsa west of the Arkansas River and the suburbs of Jenks and Sand Springs. Ex-Jenks councilman and congressional staffer Brian O’Hara (R) should be favored over activist Allison Ikley-Freeman (D). OK-SD-45 is another R+21 seat covering some poor neighborhoods south of downtown OKC and wrapping southwest around the Airport to deep-red southwestern exurbs near Mustang. Realtor Paul Rosino (R) should be favored over police dispatcher Steven Vincent (D). Finally, OK-LD-76 is an R+18 seat covering most of the western half of Broken Arrow in the Tulsa suburbs. Retired cop Ross Ford (R) should be favored over teacher Chris Vanlandingham (D). The other two are special primaries in South Carolina. SC-LD-28 is an R+16 seat covering Greenville’s outer southern suburbs, at the southern tip of Greenville County. Four Republicans are facing off: realtor Ashley Thrantham (R), hospital administrator Krystal Blume (R), farmer Bill Welch (R), and firefighter Jonathan Smith (R). Trantham looks like the very slight front-runner to me, but any of the four could move on to a runoff or even win outright. No Democrats are running. The other seat is SC-LD-99, an R+12 seat connecting upscale Charleston suburbs along the northeast part of I-526 from Hanahan to northern Mt. Pleasant. The clear front-runner is businesswoman and 2014 US Senate candidate Nancy Mace (R). Mace, the first woman to graduate from The Citadel military college, fell flat in her 2014 run against Sen. Lindsey Graham (R); however, she seems to be having better luck in this race as she has lapped the field in fundraising. She will likely finish a comfortable first, but will probably be held to a runoff. Mace’s three rivals are all running serious campaigns and could join her in a runoff. They are Mt. Pleasant councilman Mark Smith (R), congressional staffer Shawn Pinkston (R), and businessman Jarrod Brooks (R). Any could advance to a second round if one occurs. Democrats are running businesswoman Cindy Boatwright (D).

Political Roundup for November 14, 2017


CO-Gov: Arapahoe District Attorney George Brauchler (R) is dropping out of the race for governor and will instead run for the open Attorney General spot. Brauchler was once considered one of the favorites for the Republican nomination but the GOP primary has gotten especially crowed with the entry of former Rep. Tom Tancredo, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, Walker Stapleton and Victor Mitchell. Brauchler should have a clear shot at the Attorney General position.

RI-Gov: We want the Fung, gotta have that Fung! A TargetPoint Consulting internal poll for Allan Fung (R) shows him leading the GOP primary by more than 20 points; Fung 45%, Patricia Morgan 24%, Joseph Trillo 10% and unsure at 20% and Fung beating incumbent Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) 46% to 41%.

WI-Gov: The field of Democrats seeking their party’s gubernatorial nomination has grown even larger. Firefighter union chief Mahlon Mitchell announced he will run for Governor. Mitchel, who is African American, was the Democrat nominee for Lt Governor in the 2012 recall elections. Other Democrats that are running or actively exploring a run include Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, former state Rep. Kelda Roys, state superintendent of public instruction Tony Evers, former Democratic Party chairman Matt Flynn, Milwaukee businessman Andy Gronik, former Wisconsin Democracy Campaign executive director Mike McCabe, Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, Rep. Dana Wachs, Michelle Doolan, Bob Harlow, Dave Heaster, Brett Hulsey, Kurt Kober, Jared Landry, Andrew Lust, Jeffrey Rumbaugh and Ramona Whiteaker. Candidates have until June 1 to submit all paperwork to appear on the Aug. 14 gubernatorial primary ballot. The winner of the Democrat primary will face Gov. Scott Walker who will have his 4th statewide run for Governor in 8 years.


AL-Sen: At a press conference yesterday Beverly Young Nelson accused Roy Moore (R) of sexually assaulting her when she was 16 years old. Nelson produced a copy of her High School yearbook which Moore signed “To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say ‘Merry Christmas, Love, Roy Moore, D.A.”. As the scandal widens and polls show Democrat Doug Jones leading the election calls have increase for Roy Moore to step aside. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) became the latest to call on Moore to “step aside” and NRSC Chair Cory Gardner said Roy Moore is “unfit to serve in the United States Senate and he should not run for office. If he refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him, because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the … Senate.” It is becoming clear that the only shot the GOP has at keeping this seat would be through some sort of organized write-in campaign.

MI-Sen: A new poll shows Detroit businessman John James in the lead for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. John James is at 24%, Rep. Fred Upton (who is currently seeking re-election to the House) is at 19% and former Chief Justice Robert Young trails with 7%. The winner of the GOP primary will face Sen. Debbie Spenditnow Stabenow (D) who is probably breathing a heavy sigh of relief that her GOP opponent won’t have a nickname with the words “Kid” and “Rock” in it.

NJ-Sen: Jurors in the trial of Sen. Bob Menendez (D) seems to be deadlocked. They sent the judge a note on Monday saying they “can’t reach a unanimous verdict on any of the charges” and the judge ordered them deliberating to try and reach a verdict.


MA-3: Former ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gifford (D) announced his candidacy for the open  D+9 seat Rep. Niki Tsongas (D) is retiring from. Gifford, who is gay, has not lived in Massachusetts in 20 years but is originally from Manchester-by-the-Sea which is well outside the district. Gifford gained some notoriety in 2012 as one of Obama’s top fundraisers. He sent over 10 million emails to people on Obama’s email list asking for money and was even called the “Spam King” by BuzzFeed.

NJ-5: Our friend Miles Coleman has plugged the New Jersey gubernatorial numbers into the New Jersey congressional districts and finds that in NJ-5 was a virtual tie with Murphy edging out Guadagno by a mere 231 votes. Freshman Rep. Josh Gottheimer won this district last year despite Trump winning the district by 1.3%.

OH-16: Former NFL wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez (R) picked up the endorsement of neighboring OH-7 Rep. Bob Gibbs (R) for this open R+8 district. Gibbs will headline a fundraiser for Gonzalez at the Brookside Country Club in Canton, OH which is the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

PA-10: After several on again off again nominations for Drug Czar Rep. Tom Marino will seek re-election in 2018 to this fairly safe R+16 seat.

TX-29: In case you missed it, Rep. Gene Green (D) is retiring. Scroll down for our full write up and great mentioner on possible replacements for this D+19 seat.

SALT: The repeal of the state and local tax exemption could be the kiss of death for congressional Republicans in states like California, New York and New Jersey. Seven California Reps. Darrell Issa, Dana Rohrabacher, Mimi Walters, Ed Royce, Steve Knight, David Valadao and Jeff Denham could all face major blowback if the Republican “tax cuts” end up raising taxes on their constituents.

State, Local & Other:

PA-Lt Gov: I guess when you are living in a former Chevy dealership and off of the trust fund your parents set up for you an official residence in Harrisburg with a full staff of state workers waiting on you hand and foot must sound pretty good. With that in mind Braddock Mayor and former US Senate candidate John Fetterman (D) has announced he will challenge incumbent Lt. Gov (and friend to state troopers and household staff) Mike Stack III (D).

Albuquerque, NM-Mayor: Today is election day in Albuquerque. The latest Journal Poll published before the election had state Auditor Tim Keller (D) with a 16 point lead over City Councilman Dan Lewis (R). We will have a preview and open thread at Noon ET; our liveblog will start at 9PM.

New Orleans, LA-Mayor: The latest University of New Orleans Poll has Latoya Cantrell posting a 11 point lead over Desiree Charbonnet ahead of Saturday’s runoff election.

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).


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.


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.


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.

Albuquerque & Birmingham Mayoral Preview & Liveblog

10:20 ETHERE is the results link for Albuquerque.

10:00 ET- Albuquerque is coming in slow as molasses and since there seems to be little interest (ahem) I will close the liveblog with just the early vote: Keller – 33, Lewis – 24, Colon – 17, Johnson – 13, Garcia-Holmes – 8, all others 4 or below. If any other mods are around later they may update. Otherwise check back for full results in tomorrow’s roundup.

9:30 ET- I think we can call Birmingham for Woodfin, as that 20-point margin is holding up.

9:13 ET – 10% in and Birmingham looks over; Woodfin now has a 61-39 lead.

9:10 ET- Finally some good legislative special news; McGee (R) is leading Rehner (D) by a 2:1 margin in MS-LD-102 with about 2/3 in.

9:00 ET-polls have closed in Albuquerque.

8:25 ET- First precinct, Bell 52-47.

8:00 ET- Polls have closed in Birmingham.

This week, there are two mayoral elections in Albuquerque and Birmingham, along with a couple legislative specials. Polls close at 8p ET in Birmingham and 9p ET in Albuquerque and we will be liveblogging in this thread.

Albuquerque-Mayor: Albuquerque, America’s 32nd-largest city, is holding its mayoral election today in a Louisiana-Rules Top Two format. It has a population of 550K which is roughly 50% Hispanic and 45% White. Albuquerque covers the bulk of its metro area, including poor, largely Hispanic urban areas in the central and southeastern parts of the city, middle-class Hispanic areas in the southwest, and middle-class white areas in the northwest and northeast. Some wealthier suburbs sit outside the city limits; as a result, Albuquerque proper is medium-blue with a PVI of D+8 as of 2008. This year, the mayoral seat is open as two-term incumbent Richard Berry (R) is stepping down; while Berry has generally been popular as mayor, the city’s crime rate has spiked in recent years, and that is the major issue in this campaign. No one in the crowded field of 7 candidates is in a real position to pass 50%, so a November runoff seems all but certain. There are generally thought to be four candidates with a chance to advance, two Dems and two Republicans. State Auditor Tim Keller (D) is generally considered the front-runner. Previously a legislator from the central part of the city, Keller has the highest name recognition of the candidates and strong establishment support. Keller, a mainstream liberal, is clearly the most liberal major candidate in the field, giving him a strong support base among the high-turnout white progressive community. Keller has led in polls by a consistent moderate margin, taking around a third of the vote, and it would be a shock if he did not take one of the two runoff spots. The race for the other runoff spot is hotly contested, with three other candidates, all to Keller’s right, having a chance to advance and polling roughly in a 3-way tie for second in the high teens. Ex-NMDP chair and 2010 LG nominee Brian Colon (D) could make the race a D-on-D-runoff. Colon is best described as a pro-business moderate liberal. He put up a well-received ad on crime featuring the endorsement of AG Hector Balderas (D), and has significant support in the Hispanic community. Colon is clearly right of Keller, particularly on crime issues, and would likely get GOP crossover support in a runoff. Colon has generally been trying to stay above the fray, while the two Republicans have been knocking heads, which may get him into the second round. Of the two major Republicans, city councilman Dan Lewis (R) seems to have the better chance to advance. Lewis is a mainstream establishment conservative; he has significant support among establishment Republicans and a base in his middle-class council district on the northwest side. He also received the endorsement of a third minor Republican who dropped out last week. However, Lewis is still facing a strong rival to his right in Bernalillo County commissioner Wayne Johnson (R). Johnson is running as a harder-edged conservative, releasing a biting ad attacking Lewis’s council votes for a transit initiative and approval of a federal DOJ intervention into the police department. Johnson also has a base in his conservative district on the northeast side, and the support of Gov. Susana Martinez’s (R) network, who is opposed to Lewis for personal reasons. Both Republicans have a solid chance to advance if one (more likely Lewis) can take a larger share of the GOP vote, but they could also come in third and fourth by splitting the GOP vote relatively evenly. Three little-known Indies in the race and running semi-serious campaigns, center-right former state deputy AG Michelle Garcia-Holmes (I) and two center-left candidates, nonprofit exec Susan Wheeler-Deichsel (I) and student Gus Pedrotty (I). All are less serious than the front-runners and seem like long-shots to make the runoff, or even crack out of low single-digits. However, they are all campaigning actively and could draw as much as 10% between them. Looking ahead to a second round next month, Keller probably starts as a slight underdog to Colon and a slight favorite over either Republican, but it seems like any pairing will be competitive.

Birmingham-Mayor: Birmingham, a city of 210K, sprawls across a large valley oriented northeast-southwest. Formerly the south’s major industrial center, Birmingham proper has suffered since the civil rights movement and its associated white flight to newer suburbs in the hills south of town. Birmingham is now 75% black and 20% white, with most of the whites concentrated in wealthy urban areas near and immediately south of downtown. This being Alabama, the racial demographics mirror almost exactly the political demographics, as the city had a PVI of D+31 in 2008. Birmingham’s black-majority neighborhoods do exhibit some significant diversity, with poor and high-crime areas in the central and southwestern portions of the city and some black middle-class areas on the north and northeast sides. Today, incumbent mayor William Bell (D) is seeking a third term. Bell is a longtime local pol, serving on the city council for a generation before being elected mayor in 2010. Bell is an establishment liberal, and had been generally regarded to be a fairly popular and successful mayor. However, he notched a fairly shocking underperformance in the first round, where he was thought to have a good chance of winning without a runoff. Instead, Bell came in second place with just 37%, and in a considerable surprise, school board member Randall Woodfin (D) took first place with 41%. Woodfin has been running on a liberal platform, striking mild SJW notes, and sought to tap into the currently-energized liberal grassroots. The first round results suggest he was successful in that pursuit, as turnout in August was higher than in previous elections. Anecdotal evidence suggest that Woodfin likely turned out a significant number of low-propensity younger voters with his liberal platform. In August, the third major candidate in the race, who took the bulk of the remaining votes, was to the right of both Woodfin and Bell, suggesting those votes could go back to the incumbent. However, Woodfin definitely has the momentum going into the runoff and CW is that he is at least a slight favorite to oust Bell today.

There are also two legislative specials today, both quite interesting. CA-LD-51 is a D+36 (2016) seat covering the northeast part of LA proper, including the middle-class Hispanic Eagle Rock and Mount Washington areas, along with some poorer heavily Hispanic areas around Dodger Stadium and the monolithically Hispanic slumburb of East LA. Ten Democrats are seeking this open seat, vacated by now-Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D), eight of them serious. Obviously, a D-on-D December general is the most likely outcome. Additionally, unlike most California legislative races (which are decided long before voting begins by establishment support and money), this is among the most open legislative races we’ve seen in California in a long time, as there is no consensus establishment pick. The very slight overall front-runner seems to be 2012 candidate and zoning board member Luis Lopez (D), who took 40% in the 2012 general against Gomez. Lopez has some establishment support and name rec from his prior bid. 2017 CA-34 candidate Wendy Carillo (D) got some buzz for her story of being a former illegal immigrant, and has some far-left support in this race, particularly from the SEIU. City government staffer Mike Fong (D) also has some establishment support and could get some votes in the small but high-turnout Asian community; however, he has also been getting bad press for sending out creepy spam campaign texts. CW is that the most likely runoff scenario is Lopez and one of Carillo or Fong advancing. However, five others are serious enough to have a chance to advance. Montebello school board member David Vela (D) has elected experience, Obama admin official Gabriel Sandoval (D) has the endorsement of ex-LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and physician Ron Birnbaum (D) has some union support. Nonprofit exec Alex DeOcampo (D) and state board member Mark Vargas (D) are also serious. Five Some Dudes, two Dems, a Libertarian, and two Independents, are also running. There is also a runoff for MS-LD-102, an R+9 (2008) seat covering the western part of Hattiesburg. Former congressional staffer Missy McGee (R) led social worker Kathyn Rehner (D) 45-24 in the first round three weeks ago, with two other Republicans taking the remainder, so McGee should be heavily favored barring a major surprise.

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