Yesterday in New York, Democrat Christine Pelligrino picked up the deep red LD-9 by a large margin in a significant upset. Dems easily held SD-30.
HI-Sen: Sen. Mazie Hirono (D) announced last week that she has kidney cancer, which will be treated with removal of her left kidney and a mass (I’m guessing a metastasis) on her rib. Our thoughts are with her and her family.
OH-Sen: ICYMI last week, Rep. Pat Tiberi (R) announced he would not run for the Senate seat of Sen. Sherrod Brown (D). The move is somewhat surprising as Tiberi had been ramping up his fundraising. The decision likely leaves State Treasurer and 2012 nominee Josh Mandel (R) as the clear primary favorite here.
RI-Sen: State Rep. Bobby Nardolillo (R) announced he would run against Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D). Why he would want to give up his seat for such an obviously suicidal run against an entrenched incumbent in a blue state is beyond me.
FL-Gov: Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine (D) has been thought likely to enter the Democratic primary, but he announced that he is also considering a run as an Independent. If he pulled the trigger on that, peeling off some upscale moderate-liberals from the D column would go a long way to keeping this seat in the GOP fold. But my best guess is that this is more an attention play to try and get him statewide visibility against his likely primary rivals, ex-Rep. Gwen Graham (D), Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D), businessman Chris King (D), and ambulance-chaser extraordinaire John Morgan (D).
GA-Gov: A pair of big-name Democrats have recently declared they will not run for Georgia Governor. Former Obama DoJ official and liberal flavor of the week Sally Yates (D) and Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson (D) have bowed out of the race in the last few days. State Reps. Stacey Evans (D) and Stacey Abrams (D) look like Dems’ most likely prospects here now.
IA-Gov: Today is the end of an era as Gov. Terry Branstad (R) resigns after holding the job for 8,169 days, making him the nation’s longest-serving Governor ever. Branstad beat the prior record of 21 years held by 18th-century NY Gov. George Clinton (DR). Kim Reynolds (R) will be sworn in as Governor today to succeed him. Somewhat ironically, Branstad’s prior #2, 90s-era ex-LG Joy Corning, just passed away this week at 84.
MA-Gov: Newton Mayor Setti Warren (D) announced a bid for Governor over the weekend, becoming the most notable candidate into the race to take on popular Gov. Charlie Baker (R). Warren joins Gov. Patrick admin official Jay Gonzalez (D) and 1994 LG nominee Bob Massie (D) in the primary. There hasn’t been a whole lot of interest from “A” list Dems in this race, so Warren may wind up becoming the primary front-runner.
NM-Gov: In something of a surprise, AG Hector Balderas (D) announced last week he would not run for Governor and would instead seek a second term as AG. His decision likely leaves Rep. Michele Lujan-Grisham (D) as the clear front-runner in the Dem primary, though several other candidates are still considering.
WI-Gov: As Democrats continue to cast about for a challenger to Gov. Scott Walker (R), one candidate seems to be eager to run. Mike McCabe (D), former director of a liberal nonprofit, is actively considering a run, but strangely says he may run as either a Democrat or an Independent. State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D), who is more moderate, is the only other Democrat actively considering a run here.
AL-5: Rep. Mo Brooks (R) doesn’t have to give up his House seat to run for Senate, but that isn’t stopping one candidate from laying the groundwork to follow Brooks in the House should his bid succeed. Clayton Hinchman (R), a veteran who lost a leg in Iraq, announced his campaign last week.
NY-22: Binghamton University professor Patrick Madden (D) is running against Rep. Claudia Tenney (R). Tenney was elected with 44% in a three-way race last year in this medium-red seat stretching from Binghamton to Utica.
PA-7: Bold Progressive State Sen. Daylin Leach (D) is the latest Democrat to consider a run against Rep. Pat Meehan (R). Leach seems a cut above the miscellaneous carpetbaggers in the race already and would probably be the primary front-runner if he ran. However, his rabid progressivism may be a tough sell in what is still a purple seat.
UT-3: The race to succeed Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) has already gotten extremely crowded, as four candidates have already declared: State Sens. Diedre Henderson (R) and Margaret Dayton (R) and State Rep. Brad Daw (R) have announced their entry into the race, along with investment adviser Tanner Ainge (R), son of Boston Celtics president Danny. Provo Mayor John Curtis (R) is openly considering.
ME-All: The state’s Ranked-Choice Voting system, implemented by initiative in 2016, has been unanimously struck down by the state’s supreme court, declaring it in conflict with a provision in the state constitution that says that the candidate who receives a plurality of votes must be elected.
AR-Lands Comm: Manager Alex Ray (R) will run for the open Lands Commissioner seat, joining a fellow political novice, Tommy Land (R), in the GOP primary.
AR-SoS: State Rep. Trevor Drown (R) will run for Secretary of State; he will face state Lands Commissioner John Thurston (R), and potentially others, in the GOP primary. Incumbent Mark Martin (R) is termed out.
AZ-Supt, WATN: In addition to her high profile challenge from ex-State Sen. David Schapira (D), state Superintendent Diane Douglas (R) is getting a primary challenge. Douglas’s primary challenger may be a familiar name: 90s-era ex-California Rep. Frank Riggs (R). Riggs represented the Santa Rosa and Northern Coastal regions for three non-consecutive terms from 1990-98 before a little-noticed Senate run. Riggs then moved to Arizona and has since become something of a perennial candidate.
CT-Comp: State Sen. Terry Gerratana (D) is exploring a run for Comptroller, becoming the first Democrat into the race to replace incumbent Kevin Lembo (D), should he follow through on his expected run for Governor. Former congressional candidate Mark Greenberg (R) is in the race on the GOP side.
CT-Treas: Greenwich town board member John Blankney (D) is considering a run for State Treasurer, joining State Rep. William Tong (D) in staking out the post. Five-term incumbent Denise Nappier (D) has not announced her intentions, but is thought to be considering a run for Governor.
FL-AG: Two more candidates are considering runs for Florida AG. Former judge Simone Marstiller (R), who served as a top legal advisor to Jeb and ex-AG Bill McCollum (R), is considering and could be a credible candidate. Attorney and 2016 State House candidate Ryan Yadav (D) is considering a run on the Dem side. State Rep. Jay Fant (R) is the only candidate in the race, but the contest may be upended if AG Pam Bondi (R) leaves for a Trump admin job and Gov. Scott (R) can appoint her replacement.
MI-SoS: State Sen. Mike Kowall (R) is considering a run for the open SoS seat. The GOP nominee, which will be decided at a convention next year, will likely face law school dean and 2010 nominee Jocelyn Benson (D) in the general.
SC-LD-69: State Rep. Rick Quinn (R), son of one of South Carolina’s most high-powered GOP consultants, has been indicted in a complex embezzlement and pay-to-play scandal with roots that stretch back decades. Quinn’s saga may wind up implicating some of his family’s clients, who include Gov. Henry McMaster (R) and multiple key figures in the SCGOP.
San Antonio-Mayor: Ex-Mayor and ex-HUD Secretary Julian Castro (D) has endorsed councilman Ron Nirenberg (I) over the woman who succeeded him as mayor, incumbent Ivy Taylor (D). Nirenberg, an upscale liberal is running to the left of Taylor, a moderate-to-conservative borderline DINO, in the runoff on June 10.
New Orleans-Mayor: Judge Desiree Charbonet (D) has announced her candidacy for Mayor, joining councilwoman LaToya Cantrell (D) and retired judge and 2013 candidate Michael Bagneris (D) in this fall’s open-seat race.
St. Petersburg-Mayor: A new St. Pete Polls survey has 2000s-era ex-Mayor Rick Baker (R) continuing to post a wide lead for a mayoral comeback this fall. Baker leads incumbent Rick Kriseman (D) by a 46-33 margin, similar to a 10-point margin in a prior survey.
Kansas City-Mayor ’19: Two city councilors are already running to succeed mayor Sly James (I) when he is termed out in 2019. Jermaine Reed (D) and Scott Taylor (D) have announced their entry into the race.
NY-Westchester-CE: Westchester County Dems have given their official endorsement to State Sen. George Latimer (D) in the race to take on incumbent Rob Astorino (R). Latimer topped county commissioner Ken Jenkins (D) in the poll, but will still face him in a primary. Astorino is seeking a third term in the deep-blue county that has been trending left in recent years.