Check back later today for our Preview of the MT-AL special election at Noon ET, and our liveblog starting at 10pm ET.
Franken: Al Franken (D) claims he is definitely not running for President in 2020. I’m not buying it. A Donald Trump vs Al Franken presidential election is what America deserves.
GA-Gov: One day after a campaign to draft former Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R) to run for Governor surfaced, Westmoreland announced he will not run for Governor in 2018. Three Republicans are already in the race, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp and state Sen. Hunter Hill and more are considering a run. Several Democrats also are likely to enter the contest, including House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams and state Rep. Stacey Evans.
NY-Gov: Gov. Andrew Cuomo seems to be in good shape for re-election. According the the latest Siena Poll he is sporting a 63% favorability rating, 53% favor his re-election and the biggest obstacle to his re-election (Preet Bharara) was fired by Donald Trump.
VA-Gov: Miss me yet? Eight years ago this might be unthinkable but after 8 years of President Barrack Obama and 4 months of President Donald Trump, the presidency of George W. Bush might not be looking so bad. With this in mine Ed Gillespie’s latest TV ad for governor features a picture of him with George W. Bush and talks about his work as a presidential adviser and as one of the authors of the 1994 Contract With America.
OH-Sen: Sen. Rob Portman (R) has endorsed state Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) for Senate. With Rep. Pat Tiberi (R) passing on a Senate run Mandel is now looking like the consensus GOP pick to take on
wife beater Sen. Sherrod Brown (D). The last Gravis poll from earlier in the month gave Mandel a 3 point lead over Brown in their rematch of their 2012 race.
CO-7: Another Democrat has thrown is hat in the ring in the race to replace Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D), who is running for governor. State Sen. Dominick Moreno (D) announced his candidacy for Congress on Wednesday. He joins fellow Democrat state Sen. Andy Kerr and state Rep. Brittany Pettersen in the race.
FL-27: Former Miami Dade School Board member Raquel Regalado (R) announced her candidacy for outgoing Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s seat in Florida’s 27th Congressional District in 2018. Regalado is a self described “compassionate Republican” who endorsed Alex Sink over Rick Scott in 2010 and was #NeverTrump in 2016. Her father is Miami Mayor Tomas Pedro Regalado (R) who is definitely to her right ideologically. So far Miami Dade Commissioner Bruno Barriero is the only other Republican to announce his candidacy, but Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera is also a potential candidate. On the Democrat side businessman Scott Fuhrman, who lost to Ros-Lehtinen last year, Michael A. Hepburn, Mark Anthony Person, and Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez are all running.
GA-6: The DCCC is sinking another $2 million into this special election bringing their total spending her to over $5 million over the four weeks before election day. The amount of money being spent in this district is absolutely mind blowing.
MN-02: Jeff Erdmann (D), the head coach at Rosemount High School and civics teacher at the school, said he is seeking the DFL endorsement to run for Congress and challenge freshman Rep. Jason Lewis (R).
MT-AL: In case you missed it Greg Gianforte doesn’t take any crap from reporters even if it means flushing his entire political career away.
MT-AL: As of Tuesday night the state of Montana reported 250,221 of 356,657 mailed ballots have been returned. That tally is 111% of 2014’s total mailed absentees, and 74% of 2016’s! So turnout for this special election looks like it will be sky high. The votes cast by mail are almost identical in terms of modeled partisanship to the 2014 votes by mail. This indicates that there is no evidence of any unusual partisan advantage based on the turnout thus far. Spending in this race has also shattered a record. So far at least $17 million has been spent on this congressional special election with the GOP outspending the Democrats by a 4 to 1 margin over the last 20 days. The latest online poll from a outfit known as Change Research! gave Republican Greg Gianforte a 5-point lead over Democrat Rob Quist, 49–44% with Libertarian Mark Wicks getting 7%. But this was all before Greg Gianforte went all Incredible Hulk on Ben Jacobs.
NC-9: Solar energy financier Dan McCready (D) announced he will challenge three-term Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger. Pittenger barely survived his 2016 GOP primary which he won by 133 votes and with only 35% of the vote but that was no obstacle to him winning re-election in November with 58% of the vote. Pittenger was under federal investigation related to money transfers involving his privately owned real estate company and his 2012 campaign, but that investigation was recently closed without any charges being filed against him. Democrat Christian Cano, who lost to Pittenger in 2016 is also running again in 2018.
NY-23: Teachers union activist Rick Gallant (D) announced that he will challenge Rep. Tom Reed (R) next year. Gallant is definitely not a top tier challenger and seems more of the some dude variety but he could be the best Democrats get for this seat that the DCCC claims they want to challenge.
SC-1: Republican Tom Perez has ended his primary challenge to Rep. Mark Sanford (R). Perez, who is in the Naval Reserves, was called up for deployment abroad and his return would not come until after the primary election in June of next year. Republican Ted Fienning is also running a primary challenge to Sanford.
SC-5: The latest Gravis Poll has Republican Ralph Norman with a 47%-34% lead over Democrat Archie Parnell.
UT-3: Provo Mayor John Curtis (R) and former state Rep. Chris Herrod (R) are the latest Republicans to join the crowded field running in the special election for outgoing Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s seat. Curtis, who considers himself a conservative, was a registered Democrat in 2004 and 2005 and did not vote for Donald Trump in 2016. Herrod made a bit of a name for himself during his five years in the Utah state house by being a vocal critic of illegal immigration. Republicans Tanner Ainge (who is the son of former BYU and NBA star and current Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge), state Rep. Brad Daw, state Sen. Deidre Henderson and state Sen Margaret Dayton have all already announced that they are running. On the Democrat side progressive candidate Ben Frank and activist Carl Ingwell are running in this heavily Republican district.
WA-8: Issaquah City Councilmember Tola Marts (D) will challenge seven-term Republican Rep. Dave Reichert. Marts will run on a platform of providing free community college for everyone and was not recruited by national Democrat leaders to run. Two other Democrats also have filed paperwork to run; Poga Ahn, a manager of a concrete business, and Thomas Cramer, who ran for Congress in 2012 in the 9th District.
State, Local & Other:
NY-State Senate: Is a coup in the works in the NY State Senate? Democrat state Sen. Simcha Felder, who is aligned with the GOP caucus, sent a letter to IDC leader Sen. Jeff Klein urging him to join the mainline Democrats. Of note is that Felder did not ever say that he was willing to align himself with the main Democrat caucus! So what is really going on? Probably more jostling for prizes from the Prize Patrol as the controversy over stipends that where “accidentally” paid to vice chairs continues.