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Political Roundup for December 14, 2017

As the weather this early morning in Pittsburgh resembles the electoral chances of Republicans in 2018, it is time for today’s roundup:

Congress / National

Republican Fear:  The New York Times has a great article articulating the rampant fear running through the Republican ranks and those who really just want out of town because the place has become such a freak show in the Era of the Donald:

  1. PA-15: Representative Charlie Dent (R) might resign early to take a TV gig giving the Democrats a special election pickup opportunity.
  2. AZ-Sen: Republicans are scared that Senator John McCain (R-War Hero) might resign or die soon and the strongest candidate to replace retiring Senator Jeff Flake (R), Representative Martha McSally (R-McCain’s Political Heir) might be appointed to replace McCain instead of nominated to replace Flake.  Such a switch might leave Chemtrails Kelli Ward (R-Crazytown) as the Republican nominee to replace Flake since former Representative Trent Franks (R-Creep) resigned due to his efforts to impregnate staffers.
  3. NV-Sen: National Republicans plan to aggressively attack Ward along with perennial candidate Danny Tarkanian (R-Used to be sane) who’s trying to primary Senator Dean Heller (R) for not being conservative enough and not being a Trump sycophant.
  4. MS-Sen:  Speaking of nuts, Chris McDaniel (Confederacy) is still leaning towards a primary run against Senator Roger Wicker (R).  Dirty Roy’s loss is not scaring this Bannon sycophant away.  Here is more on McDaniel as well.
  5. UT-Sen:  Salt Lake County Council member Jenny Wilson (D) is running against Senator Orrin Hatch (R), who might or might not run depending on how much Hatch is pushed by President Trump to prevent former Governor Mitt Romney (R-Adult in Room) from being anointed Senator-For-Life.

Iowa:  President Trump is wildly unpopular in Iowa.  Trump has a 35% approval rating in a state he won by 10% a year ago.  In addition, similar numbers find the country heading in the wrong direction.  Iowans give their state good numbers though with 47% to 40% saying the state is heading in the right direction.  Not surprising seeing the Republicans won a state Senate seat in Iowa on Tuesday by 8% when Trump won it by 40% in 2016.

AZ-Sen:  Speaking of McCain, his health is taking a turn for the worse.  He is in our thoughts.

Infrastructure:  Seeing that the Donald is mortally wounded, Democrats are not going to put any effort into reaching a bipartisan deal on infrastructure.

Obamacare:  Repeal of Obamacare is now dead with the Democrats winning AL-Sen.

Trump/AL-Sen:  President Trump was relatively well behaved after Dirty Roy Moore’s loss on Tuesday.  Politico says advisers attribute it to Trump being prepared for the loss beforehand and not really liking Dirty Roy in the first place.

The Perverts and Enablers

AL-Sen:  Dirty Roy Moore (R-Jesus Sometimes) refuses to concede defeat.  His steadfast hypocrisy makes you wonder if he is a distant relative of former PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D-Persisted Too Much).

NV-4:  A second accusation of sexual misconduct has been made against Representative Ruben Kihuen (D). Kihuen just had to behave himself and he could have had a relatively comfortable career in Congress representing a district that will only get safer for him.

OH-9: Representative Marcy Kaptur (D) is in water hotter than Lake Erie has ever been over comments she reportedly made that have been interpreted as “slut-shaming”.  I suspect such statements will enrage some in her district, but will likely not enrage that many considering the demographics of the seat.

States

MN-Lt. Gov/MN-State Senate: The appointment of Lt. Governor Tina Smith (DFL) to the US Senate will elevate State Senate President Michelle Fischbach to Lt. Governor while she remain President of the Senate.  This is consequential to the extent that Governor Mark Dayton (DFL) is battling cancer.

Political Roundup for December 8, 2017

Senate:

ME-Sen: Gov. Paul LePage (R) has publicly ruled out running against Sen. Angus King (I) next year, but a Washington Post story on Wednesday states that President Trump had reached out to him to try to get him to run. However, LePage refuted the report yesterday, calling it “fake news” and “vile”.

MN-Sen: Sen. Al Franken (D), in a defiant speech yesterday defending himself against sexual harassment allegations, nevertheless did pledge to resign in “in the coming weeks”-making it unclear as to exactly when he plans to resign. No announcement of a replacement was made yesterday, but Gov. Mark Dayton (D) is said to be likely to appoint LG Tina Smith (D) as a placeholder who will not run for the seat in the special election which will be held next November.

TN-Sen: Former Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) officially entered the Senate race today, giving Democrats their best hope in the deep red state. Bredesen was re-elected easily in his last run for office in 2006, sweeping all 95 counties in his re-election as governor. But the state has shifted considerably to the Republican side since then, with Republicans controlling 7 of the 9 US House seats, both US Senate seats, the governorship and overwhelming margins in both houses of the Legislature. So while Bredesen gives Democrats some hope, he still as an uphill battle. He also for now has to get past a primary, as attorney James Mackler is still in the race.

House:

AZ-8: Rep. Trent Franks (R) has announced he will resign after admitting to asking female staff members to act as a surrogate mother to bear his child. Rumors of “inappropriate behavior” are said to have been surrounding him for awhile, and may have scuttled a planned 2012 Senate run. See our Great Mentioner from yesterday for names of who may run to succeed him.

NV-4: Former Rep. Cresent Hardy (R) is considering running to regain his seat in light of sexual harassment allegations against Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D). House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) and DCCC chairman Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D) have both called on Kihuen to resign in light of the allegations. Kihuen says he won’t resign, but has not said if he will run for re-election. Hardy lost to Kihuen by 4 points last year. Las Vegas City Councilman Stavros Anthony (R) is currently running for the Republican nomination.

OH-12: State Sen. Troy Balderson (R) joined the race to succeed Rep. Pat Tiberi (R) yesterday. Balderson is the second big name to enter the Republican primary, joining Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien. Former Marine Brandon Grisez and real estate investor Jon Halverstadt have also announced plans to run. State Sen. Kevin Bacon (R) and business executive Cathy Lyttle are also considering bids. Ex-Franklin County Sheriff Zack Scott (D) is running for the Democrats.

TX-5: State Rep. Lance Gooden (R) will run for Congress to succeed retiring Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R). Gooden’s state House seat includes a significant portion of the congressional seat in Henderson and Kaufman counties. Former state Rep. Kenneth Sheets (R) and GOP fundraiser Bunni Pounds are also running-Hensarling has endorsed Pounds to succeed him.

Governor & state offices:

CT-Gov: Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin (D) has formed an exploratory committee to run for governor. Middletown Mayor Dan Drew (D) is the only Democrat who has decided for sure to run-others exploring runs include former state Veteran’s Affairs Commissioner Sean Connolly, Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, former state Sen. and West Hartford Mayor Jonathan Harris, and former Wall Street executive Dita Bhargava.

ID-Gov: State Rep. Paulette Jordan (D) has announced she will run for governor. Jordan is the only Native American currently in the Idaho Legislature. She will face businessman and 2014 Democratic nominee A.J. Balukoff in the Democratic primary.

NH-Gov: State Sen. Dan Feltes (D) is seriously considering running for governor. Former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand, who finished a distant second in the 2016 Democratic primary, is the only Democrat currently running to take on Gov. Chris Sununu (R). Former Executive Councilor and unsuccessful 2016 Democratic nominee Colin Van Ostern is also considering running again.

OH-Gov: State Supreme Court Justice William O’Neill announced he will step down from the Court, but will stay in the Democratic primary for governor. O’Neill had previously said he would get out of the race if former Attorney General and federal CFPB director Richard Cordray got in the race, but now that Cordray is in the race, he has changed his mind. He will specify his date of resignation in a letter to Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor today.

WI-Gov: Yet another Democrat appears ready to get in the crowded Democratic primary for governor. Former state Rep. Kelda Roys (D) announced on Facebook that she is running and plans to make a formal announcement early next year. Roys served two terms in the state Assembly from 2009-2013, and lost in the 2012 Democratic primary for WI-2. Among the other Democrats running are state school Superintendent Tony Evers (D), former state Democratic Party chairman Matt Flynn, businessman Andy Gronik, union president and unsuccessful 2012 recall candidate for LG Mahlon Mitchell, state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D), and state Rep. Dana Wachs (D).

GA-LG: Auto executive Sarah Riggs Amico is running for lieutenant governor. Amico is the first Democrat to announce a run. State Senate President Pro Tem David Shafer (R), former state Sen. Rick Jeffares (R), and former state Rep. Geoff Duncan (R) are running for the GOP nomination.

NM-LG: Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales (D) is considering running for lieutenant governor. State Sen. Michael Padilla (D) dropped out of the race this week amid sexual harassment lawsuits filed against him. State Sen. Howie Morales (D) also joined the race this week. Former state Democratic Party chairman Brian Colon, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Albuquerque this year, is also considering a run. 4 other Democrats are already in the race.

Political Roundup for December 7th, 2017

Deviants

MN-Sen: After allegations #7 and #8 of unwanted groping dropped yesterday, Sen. Al Franken announced that he will have a press conference today where he is expected to resign (although his office was waffling on Twitter last night). This Star Tribune article cites some unnamed sources pointing to Lt. Gov. Tina Flint Smith as a caretaker appointment until the November 2018 special election. Read our full write-up from last night in the link. Also, our friend Miles Coleman has some neat Minnesota maps in honor of the likely resignation, including a precinct map of Frankenś first 2008 Minnesota Senate race, a map of AG Lori Swansonś strong reelection win in 2014, and a comparison of same-sex marriage vote in 2012 with Trumpś 2016 statewide performance.

AL-Sen: More evidence of Republican US Senate nominee Roy Moore dating way-too-younger women. He also may have dated his wife while she was still married, which is not a huge deal (she had just separated with her husband) but does point to plenty of hypocrisy from the holier-than-thou Moore. At this point it is hard to see how new allegations hurt Moore particularly without a new wave of media coverage, as voters know the basic story and have to decide if they deny the evidence or accept it and vote accordingly.

MI-13: The elder Rep. Conyers endorsed his son, John Conyers III, for his seat as he resigned. However, the New York Times yesterday revealed that the younger Conyers was arrested just this last February for stabbing his girlfriend. With this, the elder Conyers’ sexual harassment (see this latest creepy bit), and Monica Conyers´ ethics problems, this family has had a rough track record the last few years.

TX-27: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know Farenthold said he will repay the settlement money taxpayers had to foot to settle his sexual harassment lawsuit. But this article on the victim, his former communications director, and her resulting blacklisting after going public with Farentholdś behavior is pretty brutal. How does Barton get forced out by local Republicans but Farenthold gets to keep his seat?

NV-4: More details of unwanted advances on a campaign staffer from freshman Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D).

MA-Leg: State Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D) is taking a leave of absence from his leadership position after a Boston Globe investigation turned up four instances of sexual assault or harassment involving his husband. Three different senators have openly declared their interest in Rosenbergś job, ¨should it become open.¨ These leadership races normally develop behind closed doors, but then again, so do sexual harassment scandals. Normal procedure has been kind of thrown out the window on Beacon Hill.

Normal Senate

TN-Sen: A big get for Democrats looking to recruit for a likely wave election. Former Governor Phil Bredesen began calling donors yesterday to tell them he will in fact run in the open US Senate race. Bredesen crushed his last gubernatorial race, which incidentally is the last time Tennessee has had a competitive US Senate race. Can a strong, relatively moderate candidate separate himself in a state like Tennessee nowadays? Weĺl find out.

Normal Governor

KS-Gov: 2014 US Senate candidate Greg Orman (I) has set up an exploratory bid for Governor, making the road harder for whatever Democrat emerges out of their own primary of B-listers (when Orman ran in 2014, it was as the de facto Democratic nominee; he came up short with 43% of the vote).

TX-Gov: Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez (D) announced a gubernatorial campaign yesterday. This sets up an ideological primary between her (a progressive, lesbian, and Hispanic sheriff in a county that has turned blue) and Mark White, the son of former Gov. Andrew White who is fine with being called a moderate Republican or a conservative Democrat. This announcement also opens her seat up.

Normal House

MI-9: Two Democratic candidates announced yesterday for this open seat. The first was Andy Levin, who works in the energy industry but whose main claim for office is being a member of the heir force as the son of outgoing incumbent Rep. Sander Levin (D). The second candidate is State Sen. Steve Bieda.

RIP: Former Rep. John Anderson (R-IL), who ran as a liberal independent for President against Reagan and Carter in 1980, died Sunday at 95. He took almost 7% of the vote in that bid after polling much higher earlier in the campaign.

Political Roundup for December 4th, 2017

Big Picture

Professions: Here’s a cool breakdown of professions by party. It’s from FEC data, so the numbers will be fairly skewed in several ways. Still, it’s interesting to see the differences, especially between similar professions and among ones in the same industry.

Congress

AL-Sen: CBS commissioned a poll of the upcoming special Senate election in Alabama from YouGov and found Creepy Roy (R, unfortunately) ahead of former US Attorney Doug Jones (D) 49-43. Most polls recently have found Moore ahead by single digits, but turnout patterns will be crucial, as they are in any special election (and really, every election).

AR-Sen: It’s not official, but Secretary of State Rex Tillerson may be on the way out. If that happens, CIA Director Mike Pompeo would be his likely successor. Pompeo’s likely successor is rumored to be Sen. Tom Cotton (R). Finally, we get to the point of all this, which is that if those dominoes fall that way, Arkansas Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin (R) may want to return to DC, this time in the upper chamber.

FL-Sen: In a contrast to much of his tenure in office, Gov. Rick Scott (R) seems to be pretty popular at the moment, or so says this poll by Saint Leo Uiversity. Scott’s favorables are over 60%, and the poll also finds him leading incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D) by 10 (!) points. The undecided number in the poll is high, and we still have eleven months until the 2018 general election, but this has to be putting a smile on Scott’s face.

UT-Sen: I’m not quite sure why, but the country’s clumsiest political puppetmaster is contemplating backing Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) for another term against a nascent bid by former Presidential nominee and business wizard Mitt Romney (R). This might make sense, since Hatch has been instrumental in shepherding the tax reform package, except that he was looking to retire. I have to assume that Bannon is just trying to block Romney, but that seems somewhat risky in Romney-loving, Trump-disliking Utah. It seems risky for Hatch’s legacy as well. We’ll have to see how this one plays out over the next few months to get a clearer picture.

Trump Districts: Politico runs down the Democrats in Trump districts who are therefore vulnerable next year, and it’s a decent summation. I’ll just add that if there’s a Democratic wave, most of them should survive to be absolutely slaughtered a few cycles from now. The only district that I’m fairly sure will fall is the open MN-01.

MI-09: With the retirement of long-serving Rep. Sander Levin (D) over the weekend, speculation now turns to who will run to succeed him. Sander’s son Andy (D) is thought to be mulling a run, as is State Sen. Steve Bieda (D). On the Republican side of things, no major candidates are getting serious mentions yet. The district, based in the inner northern suburbs of Detroit, moved into theoretically competitive territory in 2016. However, Demorats are likely to hold onto it in 2018 and it may get eliminated in a few cycles due to reapportionment.

NV-04: One of Rep. Ruben Kihuen’s (D) former campaign workers has accused him of sexual harassment. The way things are going with allegations lately, this could see his northern Clark County-based district open up in 2018. Kihuen beat former Rep. Cresent Hardy (R) last year by four points. Hardy was once thought to be a probable one-term wonder wave baby, but the district actually moved two points rightward in 2018. A return to Congress for the Man from Mesquite no longer looks impossible, though the Democratic nominee should be favored.

TX-27: Rep. Blake Farenthold (R), he of the infamous footy pajamas photo, has been unmasked as the subject of a sexual harassment claim by a staffer that ended in an $84k settlement. This may boost the campaign of his primary challenger Michael Cloud (R), or it may attract more challengers.

Governor

AR-Gov: Well, Arkansas Democrats, once dominant in the Natural State, just can’t seem to catch a break. Not only have they lost both Senate seats, all four House seats, all statewide offices, and both chambers of the legislature, but now they’re even struggling to field a candidate for Governor. It had looked for a few days like they’d found one, but former State Rep. Jay Martin (D) has now taken his name out of consideration. I’m sure that someone will eventually file for the race, but it has to be embarrassing to put a name out publicly and then have that person publicly decline. Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) will likely cruise to reelection with little opposition.

FL-Gov: The battle lines in the Sunshine State’s Democratic gubernatorial primary are finally starting to take shape. Miami Beach Mayor Phil Levine (D) seems to have decided to take the corporate Democratic approach to raising the minimum wage, calling for regional differences in how much the wage is increased. Stay tuned for more differences appearing among the candidates as they jockey for different factions of the primary electorate.

State/Local

Aurora City Council: After a recount for a hotly-contested at-large seat on the Aurora, CO (pop. 325,000) city council, it appears that the more conservative candidate has won by 45 votes. However, it’s worth noting that progressives captured several seats on the once-red-but-now-blue city’s nonpartisan city council.

Political Roundup for July 11, 2017

First off, there are three special elections in Oklahoma today, one primary and two general. The first general election is for OK-SD-44, an R+13 (2012) seat covering lower-middle-class areas in southwest OKC near the airport. A pair of prior candidates are facing off – 2014 nominee Michael Brooks-Jiminez (D) and 2016 State House nominee Joe Griffin (R). Neither was particularly impressive in his prior run; Griffin has establishment connections and the lean of the seat on his side but Brooks-Jiminez has outraised him by 5 to 1 (!). Democrats have also had a very strong run in special elections – even before the 2016 general, as budget cuts that hit education hard energized the teachers’ union. However, the Dem base in this seat is mostly low-turnout Hispanics. So there is no clear favorite in this race. The other general is for OK-LD-75, an R+16 (2012) seat in eastern Tulsa north of Broken Arrow. Realtor Tressa Nunley (R) should be favored over 2016 nominee and teacher Karen Gaddis (D), as Nunley has both the lean of the seat and better fundraising on her side, but an upset may be very possible with high Dem turnout. The primary is for OK-LD-46, an R+12 (2012) seat covering western Norman. Three Republicans are facing off; businessman and university lecturer Darin Chambers (R) looks like the slight front-runner over retired cop Charlie Samples (R) and businessman Jimmy Shannon (R), but any of the three could prevail. The winner will face 2016 nominee Jacob Rosencrants (D) in the general.

Senate:

MO-Sen: Republicans have their first serious candidate into the race to take on Sen. Claire McCaskill (D), but it definitely seems like a “C” list name for such a top-tier race. State Rep. Paul Curtman (R), who is termed-out of his exurban St. Louis seat in 2018, will run for the US Senate. Curtman was originally planning to run for MO-2 on the assumption that Rep. Ann Wagner (R) would seek the Senate seat, but when Wagner decided to run for re-election, Curtman decided to move up to the Senate race. Several more prominent Republicans, including AG Josh Hawley (R), are thought to be considering runs against the vulnerable McCaskill.

WV-Sen: As expected, AG Patrick Morrisey (R) announced his bid for Senate yesterday. Morrisey will face Rep. Evan Jenkins (R) in what could be a very competitive primary for the right to take on Sen. Joe Manchin (D). The fault lines seem to be that Jenkins is closer to establishment Republicans while Morrisey has more antiestablishment backing.

CO-Sen ’20, CO-2: Boulder DA and 2010 AG nominee Stan Garnett (D) will not run for Congress, saying he wants to finish his term as DA; Garnett endorsed 2014 SoS nominee Joe Neguse (D) for the seat. Garnett, however, will explore a run for US Senate in 2020, when Sen. Cory Gardner (R) will be up for re-election.

Governor:

AL-Gov: This GOP primary continues to get even more absurdly crowded, as State Sen. Bill Hightower (R) of the Mobile area is the latest candidate into the field. Hightower joins Ag Commissioner John McMillan (R), Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle (R), Jefferson County commissioner David Carrington (R), minister Scott Dawson (R), and businessman Josh Jones (R). PSC Chair Twinkle Cavanaugh (R) and Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) are also considering runs, while Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has not announced whether she will run for a full term. Ex-State Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb (D) and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox (D) are in or considering runs on the D side.

CO-Gov, CO-7: In a significant surprise, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) is dropping out of the gubernatorial race today – and will not seek a seventh term representing CO-7 either. Perlmutter’s hand was likely forced by the decision of fellow Rep. Jared Polis (D), who unlike Perlmutter is independently wealthy, to enter the race; Polis now looks like the clear front-runner for the D nod. Click for our full coverage of the decision.

IA-Gov: Former Gov. Vilsack CoS John Norris (D) is the latest Democrat into this crowded primary field. Norris joins State Sen. Nate Boulton (D), State Rep. Todd Prichard (D), ex-IADP chair Andy McGuire (D), ex-Iowa City Mayor Ross Wilburn (D), and 2014 State Auditor nominee Jon Neiderbach (D) in the primary. Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) is facing Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett (R) and Boone councilman Steven Ray (R) in the GOP primary.

ME-Gov: Appointed AG Janet Mills (D) will run for Governor. Mills, a former legislator, likely becomes a front-runner for the Dem nomination as she has been highly visible in office. She will face 2008 ME-1 candidate Adam Cote (D), lobbyist Betsy Sweet (D), and veteran Patrick Eisenhart (D) in the Dem primary; LePage admin official Mary Mayhew (R) and appointed State Treasurer Teresea Hayes (I) are also in the race. Many others are considering, but one candidate is bowing out of consideration; ex-State Senate Majority Leader Justin Alfond (D) announced last week he would forgo a bid.

NM-Gov, NM-2: Lands Commissioner Aubrey Dunn (R) announced he would not run for Governor after Rep. Steve Pearce (R) entered the race yesterday. Dunn announced he was backing Pearce and considering a run for NM-2 instead, but is also keeping open the possibility of bids for re-election or a seat on the state Public Service Commission; Dunn says he will make a final decision by next week. State Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R), who ran a little-noticed primary campaign in 2010 as a Some Dude before winning his State Senate seat, is also considering an NM-2 bid.

SD-Gov: Ex-State Rep. and 2014 candidate Lora Hubbel (R) will mount a second bid for Governor. Hubbel, a gadflyish antiestablishment conservative who took a fifth of the vote against popular Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R), seems likely to be little more than a third wheel in this primary against two “A” list contenders, Rep. Kristi Noem (R) and AG Marty Jackley (R). State Sen. Billie Sutton (D) is the likely Dem nominee.

WI-Gov: State Superintendent Tony Evers (D), who won re-election earlier this year by a large margin in a low-turnout non-partisan race, is considering a run for Governor. Evers could be a stronger choice to take on Gov. Scott Walker (R) than either of the other prominent Dems considering bids, left-wing Madison Mayor Paul Soglin (D) and little-known State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D).

House:

IL-13: Former Sen. Durbin staffer Betsy Dirksen-Londrigan (D) will seek the Dem nomination to challenge Rep. Rodney Davis (R). Dirksen-Londrigan may have establishment support from Dirksen’s network, but could face State Rep. Carol Ammons (D) in the primary. Davis has seemed entrenched in recent years as this purple seat covering the Springfield and Champaign areas has moved right.

MI-6: 2014/16 nominee Paul Clements (D) is running a third time against Rep. Fred Upton (R). Clements’s prior two runs against Upton were distinctly unimpressive, but he has received some national liberal support. This Kalamazoo-area purple seat has been trending right in recent years.

MI-8: Former DoD official Elissa Slotkin (D) will challenge Rep. Mike Bishop (R) in his light-red Lansing to exurban Detroit district. Slotkin, a former CIA agent, seems to have a good resume of national security experience, but has not lived in the district since childhood.

MN-1: Obama Defense official Dan Feehan (D) will seek Rep. Tim Walz’s (D) light-red open southern Minnesota seat. Feehan seems to have significant establishment support, but has essentially no ties to the seat (he grew up in the Twin Cities and spent the last few years in DC). He will face ex-State Sen. Vicki Jensen (D) and others in the Dem convention and/or primary. 2014/16 nominee Jim Hagedorn (R) is the only significant Republican in the race so far, but others are considering.

MO-2: Attorney Kelli Dunaway (D) will take on Rep. Ann Wagner (R) next year, and she has received the endorsement of 2016 nominee and ex-State Rep. Bill Otto (D). Democrats’ odds for this medium-red seat went down with Wagner deciding to run for re-election, but as an upscale suburban district it may still be a target.

NV-4: Las Vegas Councilman Stavros Anthony (R) will run for Congress against Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D) in this seat covering the northern suburbs of Las Vegas. Anthony, who just won re-election to his purple council seat, is a top-tier get for the GOP in this light-blue seat.

NM-1: Ex-US Attorney Damon Martinez (D) is the latest Dem into the race for this open medium-blue Albuquerque seat. Martinez has the profile to be a front-runner for the seat; he joins NMDP chair Deb Haaland (D), Albuquerque councilman Pat Davis (D), Edgewood councilman John Abrams (D), and others in this crowded primary.

NY-21: Ex-St. Lawrence County commissioner Tedra Cobb (D) will run for Congress, becoming the first candidate with elective experience in the race for the Dem nomination to take on Rep. Elise Stefanik (R). Stefanik’s odds of re-election in this light-red seat will once again be improved by the candidacy of 2014/2016 nominee Matt Funicello (G), who has routinely drawn significant vote shares.

NC-3: Craven County commissioner Scott Dacey (R) will challenge Rep. Walter Jones (R) in the GOP primary. Jones, by far the most moderate safe-seat Republican in the country, has turned back multiple GOP primary challenges in his rural eastern NC seat, though often by unimpressive margins. Dacey seems to be promising to be a more traditional conservative than Jones.

SD-AL: Democrats have a credible recruit for the open seat of Rep. Kristi Noem (R) in former judge Tim Bjorkman (D). Republicans have a primary here between SoS Shantel Krebs (R) and ex-Public Service Commissioner Dusty Johnson (R).

State & Local:

OK-Ins Comm: State Rep. Glen Mulready (R), a member of House leadership, has become the first candidate to declare a bid for Insurance Commissioner. Mulready looks likely to be front-runner for the post, which is open as incumbent John Doak (R) is termed out.

Raleigh-Mayor: Attorney Charles Francis (D) will run for mayor of Raleigh this October. Francis seems likely to run to the left of popular incumbent Nancy McFarlane (I), a center-left Indie who has generally run with Dem support in the non-partisan race.

San Bernardino-Mayor: City councilman John Valdiva (R) will run for Mayor next year, challenging incumbent Carey Davis (R), presenting the possibility of two Rs as the major candidates for mayor of the heavily Democratic city. Valdiva received an endorsement from ex-State Sen. Bob Dutton (R), now the county clerk, at his campaign kickoff.

Orange, FL-CE: Sheriff Jerry Demings (D), husband of US Rep. Val (D), will run for Orange County Executive next year. Incumbent Teresa Jacobs (R) is term-limited, and Demings looks likely to give Dems their best chance of taking over the top job in the large, blueing county covering most of the Orlando area..

Political Roundup for November 4th, 2016

This is the final weekend before election day, which is a good time to remind you that regardless of who wins on Tuesday we will have to spend the next four years either dealing with stories about investigation into Hillary Clinton’s negligent handling of classified government information and pay to play donations to her “charitable” Foundation or stories about women Donald Trump sexually harassed, financial fraud allegations against him and a myriad of other shady business and tax dealing he’s engaged in over the years. Good work America!

President:

Trump: Porn watchers like Donald Trump. Trump won porn site RedTube’s presidential poll 52% to 46%. Who could have guessed that guys who like to watch p***y prefer a candidate who likes to grab p***y!

Cruz: Ted Cruz’s conscience allows him to campaign for Donald Trump in Iowa. THIS is who Ted Cruz really is.

Johnson: Reason takes a look at how Gary Johnson’s vote total will effect Libertarian Party ballot access. 0.5% of the vote will get them access in Michigan and New Mexico for 2018. 1% will get full ballot access in in Kansas, Maryland, Nevada, and Wisconsin in 2018 and 2018 and 2020 access in Oregon. In Connecticut 1% will get their Presidential candidate ballot access in 2020. 2% gets the Libertarian Party full ballot access in 2018 in Iowa. 2.5% gets full ballot access for 2018 in Oklahoma. 7,500 votes gets 2018 access in Washington D.C. 3% gets 2018 ballot access in Arkansas, Idaho, and Massachusetts. 3% would have earned the party ballot access in Ohio for 2018 and 2020 but since Johnson is listed on ballot as an Independent and not a Libertarian it is not relevant. 5% gets full ballot access for 2018 in North Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas and for 2018 and 2020 in Arizona, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Rhode Island, and Washington state. Finally these 13 states give third parties no special ballot access benefits no matter how well their presidential candidate does; California, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Governor:

WV-Gov:  Billionaire Jim Justice’s business debts has become an issue in the gubernatorial campaign.  Republican Bill Cole continues to attack Justice’s his failure to pay contractors who did work at his Greenbrier resort.

Senate:

LA-Sen: The Louisiana Senate debate featuring former former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke went exactly how you would envision any debate featuring David Duke to go as you can see HERE.

FL-Sen: Rep. Patrick Erin Murphy (D) claimed he knew nothing about the FBI investigation into an illegal straw donor scheme run by a Saudi billionaire to help his congressional campaign until The Hill Newspaper reported on it on Wednesday. Considering we knew about it and reported on this story on RRHelections back on September 8th (See Here) I would hazard a guess that Murphy is lying.

FL-Sen: The Miami Herald takes a look at the over $400,000 Ibrahim Al-Rashid, son of Saudi billionaire Nasser Al-Rashid, has given to Patrick Murphy’s campaigns over the years.

IN-Sen: Where does a former US Senator invest the millions he makes peddling his influence in Washington? If you are former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-DC) you park your money in off-shore tax shelters and “death bet” hedge funds that you spent your time in Congress criticizing. The more we learn about Evan Bayh’s finances the more we can see how completely he sold out and monetized his time in the Senate into a multi-million dollar net worth.

IN-Sen: Even when Evan Bayh (D) was “living” in Indiana and representing the state in the US Senate he was not really living there. In 2009 while he was the US Senator from Indiana Bayh billed the taxpayers more than $2,000 in travel and lodging expenses for the 14 days he was visiting the city where he supposedly lived in a $53,000 condo he owned.

MO-Sen: VoteVets out with a new $900,000 ad buy in Missouri on behalf of Democrat Jason Kander.

NH-Sen: Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) and Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) met for their final debate on Wednesday night. Both candidates spent the debate trying to avoid any final mistakes and trading barbs about cybersecurity.

OR-Sen: Sen. Jeff Merkley(D) reads Harry Potter in his latest ad and compares Donald Trump to Voldemort.

WI-Sen: Last month the NRSC cancelled $1.1 million TV buy in support of Sen Ron Johnson (R). Yesterday, they jumped back in with a last minute $1 million TV ad buy.

House:

CA-20: Republican Casey Lucius get the help of Travis County, TX Commissioner Gerald Daugherty in her latest ad which features both of them and their spouses in a support group for policy-wonk spouses.

FL-13: Charlie Crist’s (R, I, D) campaign continues to rack up political contribution from lobbyist and Morgan & Morgan employees. Crist has been a subsidiary of Morgan & Morgan since the day his Senate campaign ended in flames.

IA-1: Ending Spending is up with a late $300,000 buy on behalf of freshman Rep. Rod Blum (R) in this D+5 district.

NJ-5: While Democrats have poured money into this district attacking Rep. Scott Garrett, the NRCC and Congressional Leadership Fund haven’t spent a penny trying to defend Garrett. The GOP leadership have hung him out to dry and their inaction has left Garrett on his own and made things a lot more difficult for him in what should be a fairly safe R+4 district.

NH-1: Progressive independent candidate Shawn O’Connor has a new ad up attacking fellow Democrat Shea-Porter for taking money from lobbyist and pro-Iranian PACs.

NV-3: According to Jon Ralston Democrats are leading the early vote by 6,800 in this open PVI-Even district. The vote breaks down 41-37 Democrats which is 2 points above registration.  Turnout is at 46 percent here, which means almost 60 percent of the district already has voted. This is bad news for Republican Danny Tarkanian.

NV-4: Unlike 2012 there seems to be strong turnout in the Clark portion of this D+ 4 district (Clark is 85 percent of district). Democrats have a raw vote lead in Clark of around 19,000. That’s 47-33, or a point below registration. Turnout is 43 percent there.

NY-19: Sen. Bernie Sanders released a last minute fundraising email on behalf of fellow Vermont socialist Zephyr Teachout (D).

NY-22: Independent third party candidate Martin Babinec is trying to tie himself to local Republican state Senators by sending out a mailing featuring them without their consent. Because of New York’s fusion voting Babinic is sharing the Reform Party ballot line with them in November. All three state Senators are backing Republican Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney for this open R+3 seat.

State, Local & Other:

NV-Early Voting: Jon Ralston says the early voting numbers are looking bad for the GOP. They are closer to the Democrat victories in 2012 than the GOP sweep of 2014.

WATN: Anthony Weiner checked himself into cybersex addiction rehab. My guess is this was done on the advice of counsel.

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