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Political Roundup for October 16, 2017

Over the weekend, for LA-Treasurer, Derrick Edwards (D) and John Schroeder (R) advanced. As Republicans took ~2/3 of the vote and Edwards is not running a serious campaign, Schroeder is the prohibitive favorite in the mid-November runoff (as an aside, check out Miles Coleman’s MAP of the results) For LA-PSC-2, RINO surgeon Craig Greene won outright. In New Orleans, Cantrell (D) and Charbonnet (D) advanced. Finally, for LA-LD-58, Brass (D) won outright, while in LA-LD-77, Manness (R) and Wright (R) advanced. In Austria, Sebastian Kurz of the center-right OVP won about a third of the vote, outpacing the nationalist FPO and social-democratic SPO. It’s uncertain which of the FPO or SPO will join the OVP in coalition. In Kyrgyzstan, the candidate of the incumbent government, Soroonbai Jeenbekov, won the presidency without a runoff.

Senate:

CA-Sen: State Senate President Kevin DeLeon (D) will challenge Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) from the left.  DeLeon and Feinstein are well-positioned to advance to the general election, but defeating the popular and long-serving incumbent from the left in a general election among all voters (including Republicans) seems quite the tall order.

MO-Sen, MO-Aud: State Rep. Paul Curtman (R), who had been running a little-noticed Senate campaign, will instead drop out and explore a run for Auditor. AG Josh Hawley (R) entered the race last week and looks like the prohibitive GOP primary favorite to take on vulnerable Sen. Claire McCaskill (D). Appointed incumbent Auditor Nicole Galloway (D) has somewhat strangely so far not attracted serious GOP opposition.

MT-Sen: Judge Russell Fagg (R) has become the latest candidate into the primary to take on Sen. Jon Tester (D). Fagg joins front-running State Auditor (Insurance Commissioner) Matt Rosendale (R), State Sen. Al Olzewski (R), and storage company exec Troy Downing (R).

ND-Sen: Ex-Rep. and 2012 nominee Rick Berg (R) is considering a rematch with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D), who upset him for the open seat in 2012. As Berg’s last campaign was considered deeply subpar there isn’t a whole lot of enthusiasm for a comeback bid. State Sen. Tom Campbell (R) is in the race, while Rep. Kevin Cramer (R) and State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt (R) are thought to still be considering runs.

Governor:

AL-Gov: As expected, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox (D) will enter the primary for Governor. Maddox, who is considered a rising star, will face opposition from ex-State Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb (D) in the Dem primary. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) is facing a crowded field of primary opponents, most notably Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle (R), who raised over $1M in the month of September.

AZ-Gov: In what looks like as clear-cut a case of sour grapes as it gets, former Ducey administration official Tim Jeffries (R) is considering a primary run against his former boss, Gov. Doug Ducey (R). Jeffries was ousted from his state cabinet post last year amid reports of improper firing of employees and misuse of state resources. Jeffries seems unlikely to be a serious threat to Ducey in the primary.

ID-Gov: The Kootenai County GOP committee has passed a resolution blasting developer and gubernatorial candidate Tommy Ahlquist (R) for his donations to Democrats. Ahlquist notably donated to 2014 Dem gubernatorial nominee AJ Balukoff (D); he says the donation was because Balukoff was a personal friend but he voted for his rival, Gov. Butch Otter (R). Ahlquist is running as something of a moderate third wheel in this primary between LG Brad Little (R), the candidate of the IDGOP’s establishment, socially-conservative faction, and Rep. Raul Labrador (R), the candidate of the IDGOP’s antiestablishment, fiscally-conservative faction. Ironically, Ahlquist could wind up facing Balukoff if he wins the GOP primary, as Balukoff is thought to be considering a second run.

IL-Gov, IL-LG: State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R), of DuPage County in the Chicago suburbs, is considering a challenge to Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) in the GOP primary after Rauner signed an abortion-funding bill. Ives would be at a massive fundraising disadvantage to Rauner but could win the primary on grassroots enthusiasm. Should she make it to the general though, the conservative Ives would have little chance in the general in the deep-blue state. Across the aisle, local superintendent Bob Daiber (D) announced his LG choice, social worker Jonathan Todd (D). Daiber is the last of the four serious Dem contenders to pick a running mate.

KS-Gov: 2014 Senate candidate Greg Orman (I) is considering a run for Governor, once again as an Independent. The decision would be very good news for Republicans. Orman did surprisingly well in 2014 as the de facto Democrat in the Senate race. But running as an Indie in a race where there is likely to be a credible Democrat would likely mean a split in the center and center-left vote that would hand an easy win to the GOP nominee by way of the state’s large conservative base. Both Republicans and Democrats have crowded fields here.

ME-Gov: Sen. Susan Collins (R) will not run for Governor. Though Collins would have likely been a strong front-runner for the Governorship, she is likely to stay a more key national figure as a swing vote in the Senate. This decision also removes (for now) the prospect of a difficult GOP hold for this Senate seat in 2020 without Collins, though it does lower Republicans’ odds of retaining the Governorship. The GOP primary currently consists of State Sen. Garrett Mason (R), State Rep. Ken Fredette (R), and LePage administration official Mary Mayhew (R). A fourth candidate may enter soon, as businessman and 2010 Indie candidate Shawn Moody (R) has joined the GOP and is exploring a run as well. Democrats have an even more crowded field and three credible Indies are also running.

MN-Gov, MN-LG: Rep. Tim Walz (D) has picked State Rep. Peggy Flanagan (D) as his running mate. Walz is so far considered the slight front-runner for the DFL endorsement, but he faces a crowded field of Auditor Rebecca Otto (D), St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman (D), and State Reps. Erin Murphy (D), Tina Leibling (D), and Paul Thissen (D). Walz is the first candidate on either side to commit to an LG pick.

OR-Gov: Happy Valley mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R), who narrowly lost a State House race last year, will not run for Governor. Chavez-DeRemer was the last major GOP candidate still exploring the race. Her exit likely means that State Rep. Knute Buehler (R) will not face serious primary opposition for the right to take on Gov. Kate Brown (D).

PA-Gov: Well-connected attorney Laura Ellsworth (R) will seek the GOP nomination to take on Gov. Tom Wolf (R). Ellsworth, a partner at the high-powered Jones Day mega-law firm, could potentially be an establishment choice in the primary against antiestablishment-leaning State Sen. Scott Wagner (R), though she will likely have to contend for that niche with businessman Paul Mango (R).

SC-Gov: A second Democrat has entered this race. Consultant and nonprofit exec Phil Noble (D), who ran a Democratic primary campaign for LG in 1994, will take on State Rep. James Smith (D) in the Democratic primary. Incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster (R) faces Haley admin official Catherine Templeton (R), LG Kevin Bryant (R), and ex-LG Yancey McGill (R) in the GOP primary.

TX-Gov: Democrats have a slightly more credible prospect to take on popular Gov. Greg Abbott (R), as ex-Balch Springs (pop. 25K) mayor Cedrick Davis (D) will run for Governor. Former mayor of a smallish Dallas slumburb would ordinarily not be a credible candidate resume in a state as big as Texas. However, Democrats are running out of options in this race with the filing deadline under two months away, so there’s a chance Davis may get a serious look. The only other candidate in the race besides Davis is gay-bar owner Jeffrey Payne (D).

WI-Gov: Ex-WIDP chair Matt Flynn (D) is the latest candidate into this increasingly crowded primary to take on Gov. Scott Walker (R). Flynn joins State Superintendent Tony Evers (D), State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D), State Rep. Dana Wachs (D), businessman Andy Gronik (D), and nonprofit exec Mike McCabe (D) in the race.

House:

CA-7: Physician Yona Barash (R), a Holocaust survivor as an infant who later immigrated to the US from Israel, is running against Rep. Ami Bera (D). Bera has won a string of hard-fought victories over credible GOP candidates in this light-blue suburban Sacramento seat.

IN-2: Healthcare executive Mel Hall (D) will run for this medium-red seat, giving Democrats a credible candidate to take on Rep. Jackie Walorski (R). This seat has trended strongly right in the last decade but might be still be in play in a Democratic wave.

MA-9: Convenience store executive Peter Tedeschi (R), who ran the large regional Tedeschi’s convenience store chain before selling it to 7-eleven, is running for Congress and will announce later this month. The district isn’t specified but it’s almost certainly the light-blue Cape Cod and South Shore/South Coast MA-9 of Rep. Bill Keating (D). Tedeschi seems a solid candidate and Gov. Charlie Baker (R) will almost certainly carry the seat, but defeating an incumbent Democrat in Massachusetts (for any office) is all but impossible, so this is likely to be an uphill race.

MI-6: George Franklin (D), a former university regent and lobbyist for Kellogg’s cereal, will run for this light-red southwest Michigan seat. Longtime incumbent Fred Upton (R) has been popular in the district, but he is currently considering a run for Senate, which would make this race a high-level Dem pickup opportunity if open.

MI-11: Plymouth Twp. supervisor and ex-State Rep. Kurt Heise (R) has announced a bid for this light-red suburban Detroit open seat. Heise joins State Rep. Klint Kesto (R), ex-State Rep. Rocky Raczkowski (R), and businesswoman Lena Epstein (R) in the GOP primary; Dems also have a crowded field.

NY-1: Suffolk County commissioner Kate Browning (D) is running for the House seat of Rep. Lee Zeldin (R). Browning, an Irish immigrant with ties to the union-backed Working Families party, is likely to be the Dem establishment choice for this light-red eastern Long Island seat.

PA-18: Westmoreland County commissioner Gina Cerilli (D) has thrown her hat into the ring, joining ex-Allegheny County commissioner Mike Crossey (D) and Bush 43 admin official Pam Iovino (D) (yes, you read that right – it was a cross-party appointment) in the race for the Dem endorsement. The GOP also has a trio of candidates, State Sens. Kim Ward (R) and Guy Reschenthaler (R) and State Rep. Rick Saccone (R). The special election to replace Rep. Tim Murphy (R) in this medium-red south suburban Pittsburgh seat has not been scheduled but is likely to be early next year.

TN-7: Songwriter Lee Thomas Miller (R) is considering a run for this deep-red open seat. Miller has written songs for country stars Garth Brooks and Brad Paisley, among others. He also hails from the wealthy and high-turnout suburban Williamson County portion of the district. Miller is the first candidate to express interest in taking on the only declared candidate for this seat, State Sen. Mark Green (R). For his part, Green received an endorsement from the Club for Growth, potentially giving him a fundraising boost.

State Offices:

CT-Treas: Investor Thad Gray (R) is running for State Treasurer, becoming the first candidate into this race. Incumbent Denise Nappier (D) has not indicated her plans but is thought to be considering retirement; she won by a smaller-than-expected margin in 2014.

DE-Aud: Ex-State Rep. Dennis Williams (D), who lost primaries for his seat in 2014 and 2016, will run for State Auditor. 7-term incumbent Tom Wagner (R), one of two statewide elected Rs in Delaware, has not yet declared whether he will run again.

FL-AG: In what might be a record for shortest exploratory phase of a campaign, State Rep. Frank White (R) of Pensacola filed to run for AG last Friday – less than 24 hours after publicly declaring he was exploring the race. White joins front-running retired judge Ashley Moody (R) and State Rep. Jay Fant (R) in the primary. Little-known attorney Ryan Torrens (D) is to date the only Dem in the race.

ID-LG: State Sen. Bob Nonini (R) is the latest candidate into this supremely crowded open-seat primary field. Nonini, who hails from the northern panhandle, joins fellow State Sen. Marv Hagedorn (R), State Rep. Kelley Packer (R), ex-State Rep. Janice McGeachin (R), and ex-IDGOP Chairman Steve Yates (R). Incumbent Brad Little (R) is running for Governor.

IL-AG: Kane County DA Joe McMahon (R) is considering a run for AG. McMahon has name recognition from his tenure as DA in a large suburban county and his serving as a special prosecutor in the Lacquan Macdonald police shooting incident. However, he would likely face an uphill run in the GOP primary, as former congressional candidate Erika Harold (R) has already sewn up most of the GOP establishment’s support. Across the aisle, parks commissioner Jesse Ruiz (D) is seen as likely to become the fourth candidate in this field, joining State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D), State Rep. Scott Drury (D), and Chicago city official Sharon Fairley (D).

IL-SoS: Grundy County DA Jason Helland (R) will run for Secretary of State, giving Republicans a credible candidate for this seat. Popular incumbent Jesse White (D) has said he will be seeking a sixth term and would be a prohibitive favorite if he runs, but there are rumors that White may pull a late retirement to try and clear the field for a hand-picked successor.

KS-Ins Comm: Ex-State Sen. and 2014 candidate Clark Shultz (R), who currently serves as the department’s #2 official, is preparing to make a second run for Insurance Commissioner. Shultz came in a very close third (by 4%) in the 2014 primary and would likely start a second bid as the front-runner for the seat. However, he left the door open to dropping out of the race should his boss, incumbent Ken Selzer (R), drop his bid for Governor and seek re-election. No other candidates have as yet declared interest in this seat.

NE-Treas: 2017 Omaha Mayoral candidate Taylor Royal (R), a twenty-something accountant who ran a quixotic self-funded bid based on bringing an NFL team to Omaha, will run for State Treasurer. Royal also notched a surprising endorsement from the woman he unsuccessfully tried to oust, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert (R). He joins State Sen. John Murante (R), who has the endorsement of Gov. Pete Ricketts (R), in the primary for this open seat.

Local Races:

Atlanta-Mayor: City councilwoman Keisha Lance-Bottoms (D) has notched a big endorsement from incumbent Kasim Reed (D). Lance-Bottoms is the closest candidate in the crowded field to Reed, so the move is no surprise; however, Reed’s support could help her stand out. Lance-Bottoms is in a tight race for the second runoff spot in this race; a number of liberal candidates are vying to advance to a December runoff with moderate councilwoman and 2009 candidate Mary Norwood (I).

Phoenix-Mayor: A pair of city councilors have thrown their hats into the ring for next year’s special election. Daniel Valenzuela (D) and Kate Gallego (D), ex-wife of US Rep. Ruben (D), have both declared their candidacies. Incumbent Greg Stanton (D) will need to resign next year to run for the AZ-9 seat of Rep. and Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema (D).

Prince George’s, MD-CE: Ex-Rep. Donna Edwards (D), who lost a US Senate primary in 2016, is trying for a comeback in a run for the open PG County Executive seat. Edwards starts with the highest name recognition in a field including DA Angela Alsobrooks (D), DINO State Sen. Anthony Muse (D), and Obama Admin official Paul Monteiro (D). However, Edwards has never been on great terms with the area’s Democratic establishment, which could be problematic if they coalesce around one of her rivals.

Shelby, TN-CE: State Sen. Lee Harris (D) is running for the County Executive post in Shelby County, covering Memphis. He joins ex-county commissioner Sidney Chism (D) in the primary. Shelby County is deep-blue but the GOP has had high levels of success countywide;  Three credible Republicans are running in County Trustee David Lenoir (R), Court Clerk Joy Touliatos (R), and County Commissioner Terry Roland (R).

Political Roundup for October 6, 2017

Senate:

MO-Sen: Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) has taken another step towards getting in the race. A “Hawley Victory Committee” organization was filed with the FEC this week. The NRSC is also listed as a joint fundraising committee in the filing-a typical move for a campaign getting ready to launch. 3 other Republicans are currently running-2016 Libertarian presidential candidate Austin Petersen, retired Air Force pilot and University of Central Missouri Aviation Department assistant dean Tony Monetti, and Navy veteran Courtland Sykes.

TN-Sen: If you missed our special post on it yesterday, there was big news in this race as Gov. Bill Haslam (R) announced he would not run, followed soon by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) getting into the race. With Haslam and Peyton Manning out, Blackburn appears to be the frontrunner for now.

House:

AZ-9: As expected, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton (D) has announced he plans to run for Congress. Stanton, who is in his 2nd term as mayor has been expected to run for another office, although he had been looking at a statewide office. Stanton will be the overwhelming favorite on the Democratic side, although might not clear the field completely. Biologist Talia Fuentes was already in the race before Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) announced her plans to run for the US Senate. Former House Minority Leader Chad Campbell (D) has been considered a possible candidate, but many think he won’t run against Stanton. Because of Arizona’s resign to run law, Stanton will have to resign as mayor, although he won’t have to leave office until he submits his election petitions, which are due May 30. A special election will then be held to complete Stanton’s term through 2019.

CO-2: Businessman and gun control advocate Ken Toltz has announced he is running in the Democratic primary for this open seat. Toltz had been exploring a run ever since Rep. Jared Polis (D) announced he was giving up the seat to run for governor, but said Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas motivated him in part to finally join the race. Toltz ran for Congress before in 2000 as the Democratic nominee in CO-6, losing by 12 points to then Rep. Tom Tancredo (R), a campaign in which he made gun control a major part of his platform in the wake of the Columbine shooting. Toltz is the 2nd Democrat to join the race in as many days-Nederland Mayor Kristopher Larsen joined the race on Wednesday. They join former University of Colorado Regent Joe Neguse, former Boulder County Democratic party Chairman Mark Williams, and minister Howard Dotson in the race on the Democratic side. No Republican has yet announced plans to run in the blue district.

CO-7: The last major challenger to Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) has dropped out. Dan Baer, formerly ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has dropped out of the race. Baer had been the last holdout to stay in the race after Perlmutter reversed course and decided to run for re-election to Congress after previously deciding to run for governor, a race he dropped out of, and then deciding he would just retire from politics. State Sens. Andy Kerr (D) and Dominick Moreno (D) and state Rep. Brittany Pettersen (D) dropped out of the race soon after Perlmutter got back in, but Baer stayed in, boosted by an impressive fundraising haul.

MA-3: State Rep. Juana Matias (D) is joining what is becoming a very crowded race to succeed Rep. Niki Tsongas (D). Other Democrats running are state Sen. Barbara L’Italien (D), Dan Koh, former chief of staff to Boston mayor Marty Walsh, Cambridge city councilor Nadeem Mazan, Lori Trahan, a former chief of staff to ex-Rep. Marty Meehan (D), and former Democratic LG nominee Steve Kerrigan. State Sen. Eileen Donoghue (D) is considering running as well. Rick Green, a businessman and founder of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, became the first Republican to join the race on Wednesday.

MI-11: Businessman and lawyer Dan Haberman is joining the Democratic primary race for this open seat. Haberman joins former Obama Administration auto task force official Haley Stevens, and Fayrouz Saad, former head of the Office of Immigrant Affairs for Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. Businesswoman Lena Epstein, who previously had been running for US Senate and former state Rep. Rocky Raczkowski (R) are running on the Republican side; state Sen. Marty Knollenberg (R) and state Rep. Laura Cox (R) , among others are considering getting in as well.

NH-2: Dr. Stewart Levenson, former chairman of the Department of Medicine at Manchester’s VA Hospital and who was involved in a whisteblower complaint about the facility, is running for Congress as a Republican. Levenson joins former state Rep. Jack Flanagan (R) with businessman David McConville possibly joining as well in the race to face Rep. Annie Kuster (D).

PA-18: State Sen. Guy Reschenthaler (R) entered the race yesterday to replace Rep. Tim Murphy (R), who now has announced his resignation, effective Oct. 21. A special election will be held sometime next year to fill the seat. Reschenthaler seems to be the favorite among party insiders, although state Sen. Kim Ward (R) has announced she is running too. State Rep. Rick Saccone (R) will possibly run as well.

TN-7: If you missed the special post on it yesterday, after Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) announced her candidacy for US Senate, state Sen. Mark Green (R) followed by announcing his candidacy for her congressional seat, completing a winding political journey this year. Green had declared his intention to run for governor early in the year, a race he dropped out of after being nominated to be Secretary of the Army-but he dropped out of contention for that post after Democrats criticized some comments he had made in the past. He decided not to restart his candidacy for governor, but had been encouraged to challenge Sen. Bob Corker (R) before Corker decided to retire. Green now becomes the early frontrunner, but other Republicans are expected to run for the deep red seat.

Governor/state offices:

SC-Gov: State Rep. James Smith (D) yesterday became the first Democrat to announce a run for governor. Smith had been the only Democrat known to even be looking at the race. 4 Republicans are running-Gov. Henry McMaster (R), LG Kevin Bryant (R), former state Department of Health and Environmental Control director Catherine Templeton, and party-switching former D LG Yancey McGill (R).

FL-CFO: State Sen. Tom Lee (R) is running for Chief Financial Officer. Lee will be challenging appointed incumbent Jimmy Patronis (R) in the Republican primary. Patronis was appointed to the post in June by Gov. Rick Scott (R) after former CFO Jeff Atwater (R) resigned to become CFO of Florida Atlantic University. Lee was the Republican nominee for CFO in 2006, losing by 7 points to Democrat Alex Sink.

LA-Treas.: Dueling polls by two of the Republican candidates in the upcoming Oct. 14 primary show themselves ahead of the group of Republicans in the race. State Rep. John Schroder (R) and former Gov. Bobby Jindal administration official Angele Davis both have released polls showing them making the runoff with lone Democratic candidate Derrick Edwards. Interestingly, the third major Republican candidate, state Sen. Neil Riser (R), finishes in second among the Republicans in both polls with Davis in third in Schroder’s poll, and Schroder in third in Davis’s poll. Edwards leads all candidates in both polls, but should be a heavy underdog to whichever Republican emerges from the primary.

MI-AG: State House Speaker Tom Leonard (R) has announced he is running for Attorney General. Leonard joins state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker (R) in the GOP primary. Former US Attorney Pat Miles and attorney Dana Nassel are running on the Democratic side. Nominees will be decided at party conventions after next year’s August primary.

Political Roundup for September 8, 2017

Senate

WI-Sen: State Sen. Leah Vukmir (R) announced yesterday she is joining the race for the Republican nomination for US Senate. She joins businessman Kevin Nicholson in the race to take on Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D). Vukmir is stressing her deep roots in Wisconsin GOP circles, contrasting her background with that of Nicholson, who once served as president of the College Democrats of America and spoke at the 2000 Democratic National Convention. Businessman Eric Hovde, who finished 2nd to ex-Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) in the 2012 Republican Senate primary, says he will decide in early October whether to run again.

Governor:

AL-Gov: The long awaited announcement by Gov. Kay Ivey (R) about her plans has come, and she is running for election to a full term next year. She joins an already crowded race with 7 other Republicans running, including Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington, Agricuulture Commissioner John McMillan, and state Sen. Bill Hightower, who officially joined the race on Wednesday.

CO-Gov: LG Donna Lynne (D) officially announced her campaign for governor yesterday. Lynne had already filed her candidacy last month, but this was the first time she formally announced publicly that she would run. Lynne said when she was appointed LG last year that she did not plan to run for governor next year. Those plans changed as the leftward tilt of the other Democrats running became apparent. Also running are Rep. Jared Polis (D), ex-state Sen. Mike Johnston (D), former state Treasurer Cary Kennedy and businessman Noel Ginsburg, all but Ginsburg are liberals. After Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) dropped his bid, some supporters of Perlmutter started asking Lynne to reconsider her previous decision not to run, seeing the need for a prominent moderate candidate to run.

CT-Gov: State Sen. Toni Boucher (R) is joining a long list of Republicans running or considering running for governor. Boucher filed the papers for an exploratory committee in June, but is now becoming more serious about a potential run, kicking off her campaign this month with a fundraiser. 3 Republicans are running, with 6 others, including Boucher having formed exploratory committees.

ME-Gov: The Republican leaders of both the state House and Senate are now running for governor as State House Minority Leader Ken Fredette (R) announced a run on Wednesday, joining Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason (R) who announced on Tuesday that he was running. Mason had planned to kick off his campaign formally on Wednesday, but postponed it after his mother, state Rep. Gina Mason (R) died unexpectedly. The two join former Department of Health and Human Services commissioner Mary Mayhew in the race. More candidates, including Sen. Susan Collins (R) may join the race on the Republican side. 9 Democrats have already formally announced candidacies.

MI-Gov: Next year’s gubernatorial race could be very competitive if the right Democrat runs according to a new poll. The poll by EPIC-MRA shows AG Bill Schuette (R) and former Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer tied at 37 % each. The poll also tested Schuette against attorney Geoffrey Fieger, and Schuette lead 43%-33% in that matchup. Whitmer is already in the race, Fieger, who lost as the Democratic nominee in 1998 to then Gov. John Engler (R) 62-38, is not currently running, but has said he is considering entering the race. AG Bill Schuette (R) is not running yet, but is expected to enter the race soon.

OR-Gov: House Minority Leader Mike McLane (R) said on Wednesday that he will not run for governor. A group of Republicans had tried to get McLane to enter the race. State Rep. Knute Buehler (R) is the only Republican currently running.

SC-Gov: State Sen. Tom Davis (R) will not run for governor next year. He says the timing wasn’t right and he feels he could be more effective in the Legislature. He also may have found it difficult to break into a race where three serious candidates are already running and raising money-Gov. Henry McMaster (R), former state cabinet secretary Catherine Templeton, and LG Kevin Bryant (R). Also running in the Republican primary is party switcher ex-LG Yancey McGill (D), but he is not expected to be competitive. No Democrats are running yet, but state Rep. James Smith (D) is expected to join the race this month.

State & Local:

AK-LG: State Sen. Kevin Meyer (R) filed to run for Lieutenant Governor yesterday. He is the third Republican to run, joining state Sen. Gary Stevens (R) and former state Rep. Lynn Gattis (R). Alaska uses the “shotgun wedding” approach where governor and lieutenant governor candidates run separately in the primary but as a team in the general election.

MA-LG: Former Obama White House advisor Quentin Palfrey will run for lieutenant governor. Palfrey is the first Democrat to announce a bid. Massachusetts also uses the “shotgun wedding” approach for governor and lieutenant governors.

MO-Aud.: State House Speaker Todd Richardson (R) said Wednesday he will not run for State Auditor next year. Richardson had been considered a likely candidate to run for the office. State Auditor is the only statewide executive office that Republicans do not currently hold-current State Auditor Nicole Galloway (D) was appointed by then Gov. Jay Nixon (D) in 2015 to replace Republican Tom Schweich after he committed suicide. Galloway is running for election to a full term. It is not known who will run now as no other Republicans were known to be planning a run.

Political Roundup for August 21, 2017

Turn around, bright eyes, and fly your LearJet back from Nova Scotia to look at the roundup.

Senate:

AL-Sen: A JMC Poll has Sen. Luther Strange (R) in deep trouble in the runoff, losing to ex-State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R) 51-32.

AZ-Sen: Trump signaled support in a tweet last week for ex-State Sen. Kelli Ward’s (R) primary bid against Sen. Jeff Flake (R). But anti-Flake forces in the White House are not pleased, as they had been meeting with State Treasurer Jeff DeWit (R) and ex-AZGOP chair Robert Graham (R), who are both seen as stronger candidates than the gadflyish Ward.

NJ-Sen: Sen. Bob Menendez (D) goes on trial next month, and Democrats are already laying the groundwork to try and keep him in office if he is convicted. If Menendez resigns or is expelled by the end of the year, Gov. Chris Christie (R) will get to appoint his replacement – and likely give Republicans another seat for a year. But if Menendez can stick it out for a few more months, Phil Murphy (D) will likely become Governor and keep the seat in Democratic hands. The complication of this is, of course, that Democrats would need to defend a convicted felon staying in the Senate… but of course, this is New Jersey.

Governor:

CA-Gov: State Treasurer John Chiang (D) is under fire for the fact that several developers won tax breaks from committees he oversees after donating to him. Both Chiang and the developers say that the tax breaks were awarded based on objective formulae, but the amount of donations to Chiang is far higher than those to previous officeholders in his position. Chiang faces LG Gavin Newsom (D), ex-LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D), ex-State Superintendent Delaine Eastin (D), businessman John Cox (R), and State Rep. Travis Allen (R) in this top-two race.

KS-Gov: State Rep. Jim Ward (D), the House minority leader, has become the latest candidate to run for Governor. Ward joins ex-Wichita Mayor Greg Brewer (D) and ex-state Rep. Josh Svaty (D) in what is becoming the most crowded KS Dem primary in memory. Republicans have an even more crowded field.

NY-Gov: NYC councilman Jumaane Williams (D) of Brooklyn is considering a potential primary challenge to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). Williams, a staunch leftist, could have an opening to Cuomo’s left and potentially draw significant votes in the general if he were to mount a campaign on the left-wing Working Families Party line.

More NY-Gov: 2010 nominee Carl Paladino (R) was kicked off the Buffalo School Board for allegedly leaking confidential board business. Paladino, a brash antiestablishment conservative who has long been known for outrageous statements, has been one of several Republicans considering runs for Governor.

SC-Gov: State Sen. Tom Davis (R), a libertarian-leaning conservative from Beaufort, is considering a run for Governor and will make a decision by Labor Day. Davis would join a fairly crowded field taking on Gov. Henry McMaster (R)’s bid for a full term, including Haley admin official Catherine Templeton (R), LG Kevin Bryant (R), and ex-LG Yancey McGill (R). A pair of Democrats, State Reps. Justin Bamberg (D) and James Smith (D), have acknowledged they are considering the race.

WI-Gov: Ex-State Rep. and 2012 WI-2 candidate Kelda Roys (D) is considering a run for Governor. Many Democrats, most notably State Superintendent Tony Evers (D), have been considering bids against Gov. Scott Walker (R).

WV-Gov, WV-SD-4, WATN: Gov. Jim Justice (R) has fired his CoS, 2014 WV-2 nominee Nick Casey (D). Casey, a former state Dem chair, was fired because of his close ties to Democrats, which no longer made sense after Justice switched parties. His replacement will be State Sen. Mike Hall (R) of Putnam County.

House:

CA-24: 2016 nominee Justin Fareed (R) has filed for a rematch in this medium-blue Central Coast seat. Fareed will face off again with freshman Rep. Salud Carbajal (D).

CA-48: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R) continues to not really understand what the whole being a swing-district congressman thing is about. Rohrabacher, who is known for his ties to miscellaneous foreign kooks and his favorable statements toward Putin, visited Julian Assange at his London embassy hideout to discuss the Wikileaks Russian Email dump last year.

FL-27: LG Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R) will not seek this downtown-Miami area open House seat, or any other office, in 2018. Lopez-Cantera was seen by national Republicans as one of the better shots to hold this seat, Democrats’ #1 House pickup opportunity. Dade County commissioner Bruno Barreiro (R) and Miami school board member Raquel Regalado (R) are in the race; Dems have a crowded field, but State Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez (D) has been considered the front-runner.

MA-3: As expected, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh CoS Daniel Koh (D) will step down to pursue a run for Rep. Niki Tsongas’s open seat. Koh joins State Sen. Barbara L’Italien (D) in considering a run.

NM-2: 2008 candidate, ex-Hobbs Mayor, and ex-NMGOP chair Monty Newman (R) will make a second bid for this seat. Newman joins Lands Commissioner Aubrey Dunn (R) and State Rep. Yvette Herrell (R) in the primary for this medium-red southern NM seat.

OK-1: Rumors are circulating that Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R) is going to be named NASA director in the next few weeks. Bridenstine has already announced he will not run again, but a resignation would trigger a special in his (likely Safely red) seat covering the bulk of metro Tulsa.

PA-11: Rep. Lou Barletta (R) has not yet made his bid to run against Sen. Bob Casey (D) official, but a quartet of Republicans are already saying they will seek this seat if he vacates it: State Reps. Stephen Bloom (R) and Tarah Toohil (R), former state official and current LG candidate Dan Meuser (R), and businessman Andrew Lewis (R). The fairly red Harrisburg to Wilkes-Barre area seat should stay in GOP hands.

TX-23: Prosecutor Jay Hulings (D), who has ties to the Castro brothers, will run against Rep. Will Hurd (R) in this swing district. Ex-Rep. Pete Gallego (D) has announced he will try for a third matchup with Hurd but Democrats seem to be moving on from him after Gallego’s 2014 and 2016 losses.

State & Local:

CT-SoS: SoS Denise Merrill (D) announced she would run for re-election, putting an end to rumors that she would retire or run for Governor.

FL-CFO: State Sen. Tom Lee (R) abruptly and surprisingly announced he would run for CFO last week. Lee, of suburban Tampa, has decent name recognition and a sizeable campaign account, which could make him a formidable challenger to appointed incumbent Jimmy Patronis (R). Patronis has so far played it coy on whether he will seek a full term, but has opened a campaign committee. A little-known former state legislator from the Panama City area, Patronis is a favorite of Gov. Rick Scott (R) but has little brand of his own, which could make him vulnerable in a primary. Ex-State Sen. Jeremy Ring (D) is considered the likely D nominee.

MI-AG: Attorney Dana Nessel (D), who led one of the SSM lawsuits consolidated into Obergefell, is running for Attorney General, becoming the first candidate on either side to declare definitive interest in the seat. The nominees will be decided by convention; incumbent Bill Schuette (R) is termed-out and considered likely to run for Governor.

NM-LG: Martinez Admin official Kelly Zunie (R) will run for LG in this shotgun-wedding primary. Zunie, who is of Native American descent, previously ran the state’s Indian Affairs department. She is the first Republican into the race, and may have enough establishment support to clear the field. Rep. Steve Pearce (R) is considered the favorite for the gubernatorial nomination.

NV-LG: LG Mark Hutchinson (R) has announced he will not seek a second term – or any other office – in 2018. Ex-SoS Ross Miller (D) quickly announced he is considering a run for the open seat.

MO-SD-14: Missouri State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D) is resisting calls from her resignation after she posted and deleted a facebook post calling for Trump’s assassination.

Redistricting:

NC House: Republicans released their draft NC House plan on Saturday. Click for the map; here are my tentative-guess ratings for the seats:
Likely R: 2, 9, 16, 46, 51, 59, 93, 98, 119
Lean R: 25, 35, 36, 37, 61, 62, 103, 104, 105
Tossup: 1 (the only R-held Tossup), 12, 22, 40, 66
Lean D: 24, 44
Likely D: 7, 47, 48, 115, 116
Safe D Pickup: 8

NC Senate: Republicans also released a draft NC Senate plan on Sunday. Click for the map; here are my tentative-guess ratings for the seats:
Likely R: 11, 18, 27, 39
Lean R: 1, 7, 9, 13, 17, 19, 41
Likely D: 5
Safe D pickup: 15
And also major kudos to King Hushpuppy for essentially nailing the map ahead of time.

Political Roundup for July 27, 2017

Senate:

AL-Sen: We have our first poll of the race, from Cygnal. It has appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R) leading the pack, but only with 33%, with ex-State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R) advancing to a runoff with him at 26% and Rep. Mo Brooks (R) with 16%. DONATE so we can bring you our poll of the race next week!

DE-Sen: Sen. Tom Carper (D) announced he will run for re-election to a fourth term. Carper had been high on retirement watchlists and sounded fairly ambivalent about running again, but should he follow through on seeking another term it seems unlikely that he would face significant opposition.

IN-Sen: Rep. Luke Messer (R) announced his intent to enter the Senate race for the right to take on Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) yesterday. Click to read our full coverage on the race and Great Mentioner for his open IN-6 seat.

NV-Sen: An internal poll from Anzalone (D) for Rep. Dina Titus (D) shows Sen. Dean Heller (R) leading her 47-45.

WI-Sen: Consultant and veteran Kevin Nicholson (R) has become the first credible candidate into the race against Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D). Nicholson has an interesting profile as a former president of the national College Democrats organization; Nicholson says his views evolved over the last decade.

Governor:

CO-Gov: Kent Thiry (R), CEO of a dialysis company, will not run for Colorado Governor. A trio of Republicans are in the race: Arapahoe DA George Brauchler (R) and a pair of self-funding businessmen, ex-State Rep. Victor Mitchell (R) and Romney relative Doug Robinson (R). Several others, most notably State Treasurer Walker Stapleton (R), are considering. Rep. Jared Polis (D) is considered the front-runner on the Dem side, though others are in the race.

KS-Gov: Unpopular Gov. Sam Brownback (R) was announced yesterday as “ambassador-at-large for religious freedom”, meaning that LG Jeff Colyer (R) will ascend to the Governorship. Click to read our full coverage of the decision and analysis of its implications.

MD-Gov: Krishanti Vignarajah (D), a former policy director for Michelle Obama (aside: remind me again why a first lady would need a policy director?) is the latest Democrat to announce she is considering a run against Gov. Larry Hogan (R). Five Democrats are in the race, ex-NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous (D), Prince George’s CE Rushern Baker (D), state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D), businessman and Hillary staffer Alec Ross (D), and attorney Jim Shea (D). Several others are considering.

MI-Gov: Businessman Shri Thanedar (D) has self-funded $3.3M, a figure that will make him an instant factor in this race. Ex-State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer (D), who had been considered the front-runner for the Dem nod, has raised less than half that at $1.5M. A third Dem, Detroit city official Abul El-Sayed (D), has also raised over $1M.

OK-Gov: Two more Republican candidates have entered the race for Governor of Oklahoma. Ex-State Rep. and minister Dan Fisher (R) and mortgage company CEO Kevin Stitt (R) have entered the race this week. They join a crowded field of LG Todd Lamb (R), State Auditor Gary Jones (R), OKC Mayor Mick Cornett (R), and 2002 Indie candidate Gary Richardson (R). Ex-AG and 2010 candidate Drew Edmondson (D) and State Rep. Scott Inman (D) are in the race on the Dem side.

SC-Gov: LG Kevin Bryant (R) will announce his campaign for Governor on Friday, becoming the third candidate to take on Gov. Henry McMaster (R) in the primary. Bryant will also face Gov. Haley admin official Catherine Templeton (R) and ex-LG Yancey McGill (R).

TN-Gov: Businessman Randy Boyd (R) scored an important endorsement from Shelby CE Mark Lutrell (R) yesterday. The endorsement could give Boyd a boost in West Tennessee, which currently has no Republican candidates for Governor. In addition to Boyd, State House Speaker Beth Harwell (R), State Sen. Mae Beavers (R), and businessman Bill Lee (R) are in the race, with several others considering.

House:

FL-27: Mary Barzee-Flores (D), a retired local judge who was unsuccessfully nominated for the federal bench under Obama, will run for this open Miami-based seat. Barzee-Flores joins front-running State Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez (D), State Rep. David Richardson (D), Miami Beach councilwoman Kristen Rosen-Gonzales (D), and others in the Dem primary. School board member Raquel Regalado (R) and Dade County commissioner Bruno Barreiro (R) are in the race on the GOP side.

IL-13: State Rep. Carol Ammons (D) will not run for Congress against Rep. Rodney Davis (R). Ammons would have been the highest-profile Dem in the race, but her liberal legislative record would have likely been a tough sell in this light-to-medium red district. Former Sen. Dick Durbin staffer Betsy Dirksen-Londrigan (D) seems likely to be the Dem establishment pick here.

NM-1: Ex-State Rep. and 2012 nominee Janice Arnold-Jones (R) is running again for this Albuquerque-area seat. Arnold-Jones’s prior run in 2012 was widely regarded as weak, but it doesn’t seem like many other credible Republicans are chomping at the bit to run for this medium-blue seat; immigration lawyer Michael Hendricks (R) is also in the race. Incumbent Michele Lujan-Grisham (D) is running for Governor; Ex-US Attorney Damon Martinez (D), NMDP chair and 2014 LG nominee Deb Haaland (D), and Albuquerque councilman Pat Davis (D) seem the major candidates on the D side.

PA-1: Say it isn’t so! A staffer for Rep. and Philly Dem boss (and RRH favorite) Bob Brady (D) has pled guilty to funneling $90K to Brady’s 2012 primary challenger, retired judge Jimmie Moore (D), to get Moore to drop out of the race. The obvious implication is that Brady himself is likely to be in the FBI’s crosshairs in the very near future. Should Brady be taken down, it would leave a massive vacuum atop Philly’s powerful Dem machine.

State Offices:

CT-Comp: State Rep. Sean Scanlon (D) is considering a run for Comptroller, joining State Sen. Terry Gerratana (D) in exploring the race. Incumbent Kevin Lembo (D) is considering a run for Governor. Businessman and 2014 CT-5 nominee Mark Greenberg (R) is in the race on the GOP side.

IA-SoS: 2-time House candidate and veteran Jim Mowrer (D) is considering a run for SoS. Mowrer joins a pair of other Dems, business owner Deidre DeJear (D) and Johnson County auditor Travis Weipert (D), in considering this race. The Dem nominee will face incumbent Paul Pate (R) in the general.

MA-AG: Cape Cod attorney Jay McMahon (R) will run for AG. Incumbent Maura Healey (D) is expected to seek re-election, and McMahon seems unlikely to give her much trouble.

NV-SoS: Reno councilman Oscar Delgado (D) is considering a run for SoS next year, and is apparently the Dem establishment’s first choice for the seat. Delgado would likely face incumbent Barbara Cegavske (R).

NM-Lands Comm: Public Service Commissioner and Ex-Lands Commissioner Pat Lyons (R) will run again for the job he held from 2002 to 2010. Lyons could face another former Lands Commissioner, Ray Powell (D), though another Democrat, nonprofit exec Garret VeneKlasen (D), is also running. Incumbent Aubrey Dunn (R) is running for NM-2.

OK-LG: A pair of Republicans threw their hats into the ring for the LG seat. State Sen. Eddie Fields (R) announced a run on Tuesday while Public Service Commissioner Dana Murphy (R) announced a run yesterday. Fields and Murphy could easily become the major candidates in this race.

KY-SD-7: State Sen. Julian Carroll (D), a former 70s-era Governor, is refusing calls to resign from his Frankford-area State Senate seat amid allegations he groped and propositioned a man in 2005. The entire Senate Dem caucus has asked Carroll to resign.

Local Offices:

San Bernardino-Mayor: We now have three Republicans running for mayor of heavily Democratic San Bernardino, as school board member and aerospace exec Mike Gallo (R) has entered the race. Gallo, who also served on a state board, joins incumbent Carey Davis (R) and councilman John Valdiva (R) in the race. No serious Dems are in the race as of yet.

TN-Knox-CE: Knox County commissioner Brad Anders (R) will run for County Exec, joining fellow commissioner Bob Thomas (R) and businessman and former professional wrestler Glenn “Kane” Jacobs (R) in this primary.

WATN: Jefferson Parish, LA Sheriff Newell Normand (R) is resigning at the end of August to host a radio talk show. Normand had often been mentioned as a candidate for higher office but never pulled the trigger.

Political Roundup for June 13th, 2017

Programming note: Virginia’s primary and Las Vegas City Council runnoff election are today. We will have a liveblog with all the results when the polls close tonight at 7pm ET. Check out our previews if you haven’t already.

President:

Trump: Apparently it wasn’t the Russians who unleashed an army of social media bots to boost Trump’s 2016 candidacy on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms. It was billionaire Robert Mercer who spearheaded the efforts weaponize social media by using fake accounts to spread stories and narratives to influence real people.

Merkley: According to a CNN profile Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) is considering a run for President in 2020. Merkley was the only US Senator to endorse fellow Senator Bernie Sanders in 2016.

Governor:

AZ-Gov: Failed 2014 Democrat nominee for State Superintendent of Public Instruction David Garcia is out with an internal PPP poll showing him leading Gov. Doug Ducey (R) 44% to 42%. His paid for internal poll also conveniently shows Garcia beating leading state Sen. Steve Farley by a 53% to 11% margin in the Democrat primary and Duecy beating Farley by a 42% to 40% margin. Take this internal poll with a Grand Canyon sized grain of salt.

NE-Gov: State Sen. Bob Krist (RINO) says he may skip challenging Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) in the GOP primary and instead run against him as an independent in 2018.

SC-Gov: Lt. Gov Kevin Bryant (R) is considering a primary challenge to Gov. Henry McMaster (R). Bryant was a state senator who after a series of events became Lt. Governor when Lt. Gov. McMaster ascended to the Governorship after President Trump picked Nikki Haley to become US Ambassador to the UN.

TN-Gov: Republican candidate Randy Boyd is kicking off his gubernatorial campaign by selling Randy Boyd for Governor fidget spinners for $5 on his campaign website. No word yet if fellow GOP candidate Bill Lee or State Sen. Mae Beavers will offering fidget spinners of their own. And yes if you are wondering I really want one of these for my political memorabilia collection!

Senate:

AL-Sen: Rep. Mike Rogers (R) has endorsed fellow Rep. Mo Brooks (R) for Senate. Brooks is facing appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R) and a host of other candidates in the August 15th Republican primary.

House:

GA-6: Ad spending in Georgia’s special congressional election approaches $40 million mark! The amount of money being spent on this House race is absolutely insane! To put this in perspective Jeb Bush’s 2016 Presidential campaign spent $34.7 million in hard dollars.

IA-3: Democrat Cindy Axne announced she will challenge Rep. David Young (R) next year. Axne’s is a former government worker.  Pete D’Alessandro, who ran Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign in Iowa, is exploring a potential bid as as well.

MN-7: Trucking company owner Matt Prosch announced he will seek the Republican nomination to challenge Rep. Collin Peterson (D). State Rep. Tim Miller and underfunded 2016 candidate Dave Hughes are also seeking the GOP nomination for this rural seat Donald Trump carried by a 62% to 31% margin.

MN-8: Former counter-terrorism analyst Leah Phifer (D) is exploring a primary challenge to Rep. Nick Nolan. Nolan recently announced that he will not run for governor of Minnesota next year, but has yet to announce whether he’ll seek re-election next year.

MT-AL: Newly elected Rep. Greg Gianforte (R) was fined $385, sentenced to 40 hours of community service and 20 hours of sessions for anger management after pleading guilty to assaulting Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs on the eve of his election. Gianforte has publicly apologized for his actions to Ben Jacobs, donated $50,000 to Committee to Protect Journalism and took full responsibility for his actions.

NJ-3: President Donald Trump held a fundraiser for Rep. Tom MacArthur (R) at the Trump National Golf Club and raised over $800,000 for MacArthur’s re-election campaign. MacArthur was one of 24 House Republicans targeted by a Democratic advocacy group in TV and digital advertisement for his vote in favor of the AHCA.

NY-19: We are beginning to lose track of how many Democrats are running against Rep. John Faso (R). Jeff Beals, a former diplomat and CIA officer, is the latest Democrat to throw his hat into the ring. Beals joins Brian Flynn, Antonio Delgado and former Gov. Cuomo aide Gareth Rhodes in seeking the Democrat nomination. Hopefully some of these candidates will take advantage of NY’s fusion voting ballot law and carry their campaigns all the way through to November on minor party lines if they lose the Democrat primary!

NY-23: Democrat Ulysses Town Councilman and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine actor John “J.G.” Hertzler (he played Klingon General Martok) announced he intends to run for Congress vs. Rep. Tom Reed (R). The jury is still out as to if Hertzler will be a serious candidate or not. On the one hand Hertzler’s acting fame and local political involvement could make him a serious candidate while on the other Hertzler claimed he wanted to dress up and campaign in the persona of Mark Twain. Rep. Tom Reed had a close call in 2012 when he was re-elected by a less than 4% margin to a C-list 28 year old Democrat candidate. Since then he cruised to fairly easy re-elections in 2014 and 2016.

PA-6: EMILY’s List is backing Democrat Chrissy Houlahan in her bid to win the Democrat nomination to face Rep. Ryan Costello (R). Donald Trump lost this district to Hillary Clinton in 2016 by a razor thin 48.2% to 47.6% margin while Costello won it by more than 14 percentage points. Houlahan faces Bob Dettore in the Democratic primary.

State, Local & Other:

UK Elections: At RRHelections we know that he who draws the lines wins. Does anyone have a good analysis of  what the 2017 British Elections results would have been if the constituencies boundaries were redrawn? I saw one estimate that with the exact same vote with different boundaries the Conservatives would have won a 20 seat majority. Does anyone know if that is accurate or have a detailed analysis of what could have been without the current Labour gerrymander?

Political Roundup for April 12th, 2017

First off some bad news: Our polling contractor hasn’t sent us the GA-6 data yet, so it looks like we won’t be releasing the poll until tomorrow. We apologize for the mess – this has been the poll from hell logistics-wise. Please click HERE to donate and help be a part of America’s only volunteer crowd sourced polling effort!

About last night: Looks like all that last minute GOP activity in KS-4 was not a head fake or a waste as Republican Ron Estes pulled off a closer than expected 52% to 45% win last night over Democrat James Thompson in this R+15 district.

President:

CA Presidential Primary: A bill making its was through the legislature in Sacramento could move the Californian presidential primary to March potentially making the largest state in the nation the third state to vote after Iowa and New Hampshire.

Governor:

Governor Approval Ratings: Morning Consult has released their new Governor approval rankings. Republican governors Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Larry Hogan of Maryland are the nation’s two most popular governors. Baker has a 75% approval rating and Hogan a 73% approval rating. Meanwhile New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is the least popular with a 25% approval rating. Of note Florida Governor and potential 2018 Senate candidate Rick Scott (R) is sporting a 57% approval rating.

CT-Gov: Former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker (I/R) filed papers to run for governor as a Republican. Walker was once considered an A-list type of candidate and was even floated as a potential Americans Elect independent presidential candidate in 2012. But for some inexplicable reason Walker decided to run for Lt Governor in 2014 and lost the GOP primary. Walker joins fellow Republicans Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, state Rep. Prasad Srinivasan, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst, and former Coventry Town Councilman Micah Welinktukonis as candidates who have formally filed with the State Elections Enforcement Commission. Unpopular Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy hasn’t decided whether to seek a third term in 2018.

GA-Gov: Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (R) has filed to run for governor in 2018. Cagle is the presumptive Republican front-runner in what could be a crowded field to succeed a term-limited Gov. Nathan Deal (R). Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) is already in the race and a cast of current and former lawmakers are considering running as well.

ME-Gov: In an interview with WGAN radio Republican Sen. Susan Collins said she was seriously contemplating a run for governor of Maine in 2018.

SC-Gov: Newly elevated South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) raised over $960,000 in the 1st quarter setting him up for the looming GOP primary battle. Former South Carolina labor and public health chief Catherine Templeton (R) reported last week that she raised $700,000 during the first quarter of 2017 for her gubernatorial run.

VA-Gov: The latest Quinnipiac poll has former Rep. Tom Perriello leading the Democrat primary with 25% to Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam’s 20% with a whopping 51% are undecided. On the GOP side Ed Gillespie leads with 28%, followed by Prince William County Supervisors Chair Corey Stewart at 12%, State Sen. Frank Wagner with 7% and 51% undecided. With this many “undecideds” it is easy to be undecided about the value of this Quinnipiac poll.

Senate:

Senate Approval Ratings: Morning Consult has released their new Senate approval rankings. Of note is the fact that Tammy Baldwin who is up for re-election in 2018 has only a 44% approval rating.

MO-Sen: Rep. Ann Wagner (R) has nearly $2.8 million cash on hand as she contemplates challenging Sen. Claire McCaskill (D).

MT-Sen: Republicans finally get their first candidate to declare but it is not one of the big named hopefuls. Rather state Senator Albert Olszewski (R), who finished in sixth place in the 2012 GOP primary for Lt Governor, announced he would run for senate. The 54-year-old Olszewski is an orthopedic surgeon.

VA-Sen: Quinnipiac polled a potential 2018 general election Senate race and finds incumbent Sen. Tim Kaine (D) leading a potential matchup with Laura Ingraham (R) 56% to 35% and leading Carly Fiorina 57% to 33%.

House:

CA-50: Retired Navy SEAL Josh Butner becomes the fourth Democrat to enter the race to challenge Rep. Duncan Hunter (R) next year.

CO-6: Denver attorney and veteran Jason Crow (D) announced he will challenge Rep. Mike Coffman in 2018.

GA-6: Political statistician Nate Silver says Democratic congressional candidate and Star Wars aficionado Jon Ossoff was “making sh*t up” about him in his fundraising emails. Ossoff seems to have fabricated a quote from Silver for his email fundraising appeal. I guess when you are in the process of scamming the Democrat base out of upwards of $8.3 million a few white lies here and there can be expected.

More GA-6: The DCCC is making a six figure ad buy on all 7 of Atlanta’s black radio stations as well as associated websites on behalf of Jon Ossoff. The ad urges black voters to turnout and tell Trump that “…racism and intolerance are never OK”. It looks like absentees/in person early votes had a big increase of over 5,000 votes on Monday to 26,717 from 21,111. It looks like Democrat ballots make up a little over 10,000, No Party ballots a little over 9000 and GOP ballots a little under 7500. Now if only someone would poll this race……

MT-AL: Financial deadbeat and Democratic congressional candidate Rob Quist has raised over $1.3 million. This cash infusion should come in handy for Quist since due to his own personal financial problems he is paying himself a salary out of his campaign funds.

NY-19: Livingston Deputy Supervisor Will Yandik announced he will not seek the Democrat nomination for Congress against freshman Rep. John Faso (R). Yandik was defeated in the Democrat primary last year by left wing carpetbagger Law Prof Zephyr Teachout, who in turn lost to Faso.

PA-7: Looks like another bold progressive will try to take a crack at unseating Rep. Pat Meehan (R) in this R+1 suburban Philadelphia district. So called “community advocate” and former board president of the pro-gun control group CeaseFirePA Dan Muroff has announced he will carpetbag into PA-7 and challenge Meehan. In 2o16 Muroff ran for the Democratic nomination PA-2 but came in fourth in the Dem primary, behind eventual winner Dwight Evans, incumbent Rep. Chaka Fatttah, and Brian Gordon. Muroff will face Molly Sheehan in the Democrat primary. Both Democrats currently running for this seat do not live in the district.

PA-10: President Trump has nominated fourth-term Rep. Tom Marino (R), a frequent DEA critic, to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy. This will led to special election in this R+16 seat.

SC-5: The Republican primary in the SC-5 special election seems like a contest between front runners ex-state Rep. Ralph Norman and state state House Speaker Pro Temp Tommy Pope. “Activist” and perennial candidate Sheri Few is trying to gain some traction (and notoriety) in the primary by running ads proclaiming her support for the Confederate flag. Chances are Few will be as unsuccessful in this campaign as she was in her 2014 run for Superintendent of Education and her 2006, 2008 and 2010 runs for a state House seat.

VA-10: Another some dude is looking to challenge Rep. Barbara Comstock (R). 35 year-old U.S. Army veteran Dan Helmer is the latest Democrat to enter this race. Kimberly Adams is also running for the Democrat nomination while State Sen. Jennifer Wexton and Fairfax County Board member Kathy Smith are both considering the race as well.

State, Local & Other:

NY-SD 32: Total whackjob and New York state Sen. Ruben Diaz (D) announced he will run for the New York City Council in 2017. Diaz is socially conservative Pentecostal preacher. His son is Bronx Boro President and his allies control the Bronx County Democrat machine. Diaz should be a heavy favorite to win a council seat which would create a vacancy in the closely divided GOP controlled state Senate.

Brooklyn-DA: The New York Times takes a look at the seven Democrats lining up to run for Kings County District Attorney in 2017. Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson passed away in October after serving in office for three years.

MI-SD 2: State Sen. Bert Johnson (D) was indictment by a federal grand jury Tuesday on charges of hiring a ghost employee on his Senate payroll and stealing more than $23,000 from taxpayers.

Political Roundup for April 5th, 2017

Last night’s mini Election Day yielded a GOP pickup for mayor in Aurora, IL with Richard Irvin (R). As expected, there were huge Democratic victories for incumbent WI Superintendent Tony Evers (D) and Lyda Krewson (D) as Mayor in St. Louis. In Omaha, Mayor Jean Stothert (R) and ex-State Sen. Heath Mello (D) made it easily to the runoff with most of the remaining votes going to a Republican. In Henderson, NV, city councilwoman Debra March (D) clinched the race outright. In the special primary for CA-34, it looks like zoning board member Robert Ahn (D) and State Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D) are moving on to the final round. With that out of the way, here’s the rest of the electoral news that you might have missed yesterday.

Polling Update: We are still trying to raise a little more money for our poll. We are out in the field calling right now in GA-6 but we still need a few more dollars from donations to cover everything. If you haven’t done so already please help us by clicking HERE to donate to our polling fund. Any extra money we raise will get rolled into the next poll which hopefully will be the GA-6 general election.

President

Chelsea: For those of you who aren’t completely plugged into the DC zeitgeist, it might come as a surprise that The Hill is obsessed with Chelsea Clinton. Well, they are, and here’s some evidence; they’re talking about her running in 2020. You heard that right. This is one of their prime concerns right now. Maybe her denial will force them to come up with new material. And we here at RRH just thought her running was nothing but an April Fool’s joke!

Congress

ME-Sen: Sen. King Angus I (I) has a new challenger to his throne. State Sen. Erick Brakey (R), who has a liberty flavor to him, has announced a bid for the seat in 2018. Maine moved rightward in 2016, but I still see King Angus winning handily.

GA-06: It turns out that like many parachuted candidates, Jon Ossoff (D) does not live in the district for which he is running. He handled the problem fairly well, but you have to wonder that with this and other instances, whether we might be heading for British norms on district residency.

VA-01: The headline writer got this one right. A bid against Rob Wittman by the Chairman of the Prince William County School Board is indeed a long shot. Nevertheless, Ryan Sawyers (D) is still making the attempt. He looks like a definite ‘in case of wave’ candidate.

Governor

SC-Gov: Catherine Templeton (R), one of Nikki Haley’s former appointees and a union-busting attorney, has announced a run for Governor. Henry McMaster (R) is currently Governor, having been elevated upon Haley’s appointment as UN Ambassador. He intends to run for a full term, so we have a primary on our hands. Given precedent, it could get very nasty.

VA-Gov: Sen. and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (D-Little Red Schoolhouse) has endorsed former Rep. Tom Perriello (D) in the primary for Governor. At this point, I think Perriello might be favored against Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D).

State/Local

Colorado Springs: So supposedly the nonpartisan elections went very well for liberals in Colorado Springs. It was bound to happen sometime in this increasingly rural v. urban environment, but that doesn’t stop it from feeling like the end of an era.

FL-Election Law: The Sunshine State is passing a package of changes to election law. Most are wonky adjustments, but one provision limits judicial extensions of poll hours.

PA-Redistricting: Here’s more on Maryland’s proposed redistricting compact, this time from Pennsylvania’s perspective. This isn’t any less laughable than when you first heard about it.

TN-Leg: Naughty, naughty! It appears that a slew of Tennessee state legislators may have been reimbursed by the state for items that they also list as being bought with campaign money. I’m sure well be hearing more about this one in the future.

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