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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 6th, 2017

Well, the President of the United States and the RNC have both officially endorsed a sexual predator for a US Senate seat. Political participation these days feels like a game of Russian Roulette in which every chamber of the revolver is loaded.

Last Night, Keisha Lance-Bottoms (D) won the Atlanta Mayor’s race by 1% (759 votes), Brad Hart (R) held Cedar Rapids Mayor for the GOP, and Robb Pitts (D) was elected Fulton County, GA Executive. Republicans picked up a State Senate seat in MA-SD-Worcester & Middlesex with Dean Tran (R), Wendy Carillo (D) took CA-LD-51, and the Dems easily held PA-LD-133. Margaret Good (D) won the nomination in FL-LD-72. Georgia Democrats elected in D-on-D runoffs Jen Jordan (D) in SD-6, Nikema Williams (D) in SD-39, Kim Schofield (D) in LD-60, and Bee Nguyen (D) in LD-89.

President/the Bigger Picture

The Great Sort (or not?): The Economist analyzes recent data regarding American political attitudes from Pew Research. It finds that, while the partisan gap regarding the role of government has widened, Americans broadly agree at an unprecedented level on two electorally influential notions: 1) homosexuality should be accepted, and 2) immigration is a positive force. The magazine also claims that, despite many theses to the contrary, Americans have not been moving to certain areas to be around fellow members of their political party.

Blame Canada (or at least Eastern Europe): ICYMI, President Trump re-tweeted anti-Muslim videos last week (surprise!). Fittingly, ABC‘s Nightline was inspired to take a look at the alarming popularity of white nationalism among the European youth (particularly within the former USSR). With Generation Y being split between the alt-right and Corbynism, our children and grandchildren are all screwed.

The Donald and the GOP: Totally loyal lifelong conservative Republican Donald Trump will definitely be loyal to the GOP. He won’t try destroying it, even if it doesn’t do whatever he wants, whenever he wants.

The President’s Taxes (no, not like that): Lyin’ Quinnipiac finds that 53% of Americans disapprove of the GOP’s efforts to update the tax code. Just 29% support them. For context, the pollster notes that those numbers are more dreadful than both Obamacare and Clinton’s tax hikes upon their first times being polled.

Congress

AL-Sen: The RNC has decided to go on a second date with God’s Gift to the World Roy Moore (R-His Selective Conceptions of Morality) after daddy lowered his shotgun barrel.

More AL-Sen: Clearly not attracted the idea of having a child predator in the Senate, Republican Senator Jeff Flake (R-Mesa) did the only thing he could do when Steve Bannon (“R”-his Alt Reich) decided to “gift” a trojan horse to the party: he donated to Democrat Doug Jones (D-Birmingham).

#LockHimUp: Doug Jones told a crowd at a Mobile rally that False Prophet Roy Moore (R-Gadsden Mall) belongs in jail, not the US Senate.

MI-13: US Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit) is retiring to spend more time creeping on nurses at the old folks home. Accordingly, his Detroit West Side/Downriver/Western Wayne County seat is open for the first time since the court-ordered 1964 redistricting.

TX-05/TX HD-04: State Rep Lance Gooden (R-Terrell) has thrown his ten-gallon hat into the ring in the race to replace outgoing Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Dallas).

The States

CA-Gov: Looking to shore up the moonbat vote, bold progressive State Treasurer John Chiang (D-Los Angeles) is attacking Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-San Francisco). Why? Obviously because Newt Gingrich praised his his 2013 book, Citizenville, for advocating the improvement of government through technology. Of course, Chiang neglected that several prominent Democrats, including former President Bill Clinton, also praised Newsom’s book.

CT-Gov: Connecticut Democrats will need to find a new governor next year; incumbent Dannel Malloy (D-Stamford) has realized that the only election he would win these days is a Bob Saget look-alike contest. Accordingly, Nutmeg State Democrats held a symposium at which bold progressives were able to quiz prospective candidates. What purpose did the gathering serve? Attendees used it to discern which contender is the most #woke on pressing issues: the #fightfor15 and hosing the rich.

IL-Gov: Courtesy of pro-life warrior and Madigan stooge Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner (R-Winnetka) is currently locked in a war on two fronts: his social right and his fiscal left. Rauner did not mince words in blasting his primary opponent as a “fringe candidate who betrayed our party.”

The F—ing Golden Governor: Ostensibly to settle questions about campaign finance law, several prominent Democrats in Illinois’ congressional delegation have asked SCOTUS to look into the sentence of disgraced ex-governor Rod Blagojevich (D-Federal Prison).

Harry Lewis and the News: ICYMI, PA State Rep. Harry Lewis (R) will retire from his Coatesville-based, Clinton +24 State House seat at the end of his term. The seat moves to Safe D.

Political Roundup for November 29, 2017

Last night, the GOP scored its first contested legislative special pickup of the year as Neil Whaley (R) won MS-SD-10. Kevin Ford (R) held MS-LD-54, and businesswoman and 2014 US Senate candidate Nancy Mace (R) won the GOP nomination for SC-LD-99 and will face businesswoman Cindy Boatwright (D) in January.

Governor:

CT-Gov: He’s back! Democrat Ned Lamont is gauging interest in running for Governor next year. Lamont beat Sen. Joe Lieberman in the 2006 Democrat primary only to lose to Lieberman in the general election. He also lost the 2010 Democrat primary to Gov. Dan Malloy in 2010. Lamont spent over $26 million of his own money on his two unsuccessful campaigns and Lamont still has a lot of money to burn.

IL-Gov: Two top Democratic gubernatorial candidates released tax return information on Monday. Billionaire J.B. Pritzker showed he was a “man of the people” and only earned $14.95 million last year while Kennedy scion Chris Kennedy earned a modest $1.2 million.

MN-Gov: Mayor Giuliani (R) is running for governor! Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens of Woodbury Minnesota that is. She may not be America’s Mayor but she is a Mayor near the Mall of America. Giuliani-Stephens joins a field of about a dozen candidates looking at running for the GOP nomination.

OH-Gov: The publicity stunt Richard Cordray (D) used to launch his gubernatorial campaign seems to be coming to an end as a federal judge ruled that Mick Mulvaney is the rightful director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The kurtuffle Cordray created should help him raise a ton of online cash from the Democrat #Resistance base across the country and should help him secure the Democrat nomination for governor of Ohio. Hopefully it has also exposed what a constitutionally dubious, politically partisan, fraud of an agency the CFPB is and will help build momentum for dismantling it and the business killing regulations King Cordray was trying to impose on the banking industry.

TX-Gov: Andrew White, son of Mark White, is set to announce his bid for the Democrat nomination for the right to lose to Gov. Greg Abbott (R) next November. The Texas filing deadline in December 11th and so far Mr. Leather International Jeffrey Payne is the only other “major” Democrat running.

Senate: 

AL-Sen: Change Research has new poll showing Roy Moore (R-Gadsden Mall) leading Doug Jones (D-Planned Parenthood) 49% to 44% with 7% of voters saying they plan to cast a write-in vote. Change Research was one of the few pollsters to show Moore leading after the charges against him initially surfaced. The 5 point lead they show now is similar to the 4 point lead they gave Moore on November 11th. Change Research is not included in the RCP polling average which has Jones leading by 0.8%.

AL-Sen: Doug Jones (D) is outspending Roy Moore (R) by a 10-1 margin and is blanketing Alabama with TV ads. Jones’ campaign has spent $5.6 million on television and radio ads during the general election while Roy Moore has only spent about $600,000.

MA-Sen: Elizabeth Warren is still pretending to be an Native American by cybersquatting the the domain pocahontas.com

VA-Sen: The Virginia GOP may have found someone to stop the embarrassment that is Corey Stewart from winning the GOP nomination for Senate. State Del. Nick Freitas (R) is about to enter the GOP primary for the right to face Yo soy Sen. Tim Kaine (D) next November. Fretias is an Iraq War combat veteran who was first elected to the Virginia General Assembly in 2015.

House:

AZ-3: Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Raul Grijalva (D)  paid out a $48,395 taxpayer-funded settlement to hush up a top staffer who claimed he was frequently drunk and created a hostile work place environment. Grijalva holds a D+13 district.

CA-48: A plethora of Democrat congressional candidates could create problems for Democrats hoping to take on Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R). So far seven Democrats are running in the top two jungle primary in this R+4 district. One Republican, Stelian Onufrei, is also challenging Rohrabacher and has pledged to spend half a million dollars of his own money in the campaign. Because of the seven way Democrat split it is quite possible for Republican Onufrei to end up in a top two with Rohrabacher.

IL-03: A who’s who of wackjob progressive groups have endorsed Marie Newman (D) in her primary against Rep. Dan Lipinski (D). NARAL Pro-Choice America, MoveOn.org, Human Rights Campaign, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America have joined the Daily Kos in wanting to make an example of Lipinski for his heretical views on the Right to Life. IL-3 is a D+6 district that Hillary Clinton won 55% to 40%.

IL-04: Retiring Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D) has ruled out running for mayor of Chicago or Governor of Puerto Rico and has endorsed Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D) to be his replacement. Gutiérrez said he only retired because Garcia had agreed to run to be his replacement.

MI-13: Another former staffer has come forward and accused Rep. John Conyers (D) of making unwanted sexual advances toward her when she worked for him from 1997 to 2005. As a result of the widening scandal the Congressional Black Caucus is in talks with Conyers (and his keepers) in order to get him to resign.

NJ-2: Damnit! State Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D) is running for Congress. Van Drew will formally announce his campaign today for the R+1 seat of retiring Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R). Between Van Drew’s local popularity and the Congressional GOP’s plan to raise taxes on many swing voters in this it could be one of the harder seats for the GOP to hold next year.

TX-5: Retiring Rep. Jeb Hensarling’s (R) former campaign manager Bunni Pounds (R) has filed to run to replace her boss. So far former state Rep. Kenneth Sheets (R) is the only major Republican candidate running in this R+16 seat.

TX-6: File this one under “Just in Case”. With the December 11th Texas filing deadline fast approaching Texas Veterans Commission member Jake Ellzey (R) has filed to run in Republican primary. Rep. Joe Barton (R) has been in an uncomfortable position after pictures of him in an all too comfortable position he sent to an ex-girlfriend were released without his authorization over the internet. Ellzey hasn’t said if he is actually running or not but by filing now he can launch a campaign if things gets worse for Barton or if Barton bows out.

State, Local & Other:

MA-SoS: 33 year old Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim (D) will primary longtime Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin (D) who is seeking his 7th term in office. The Zakim Bridge across the Charles River in Boston is named after Josh Zakim’s father.

Political Roundup for November 3, 2017

Senate:

AZ-Sen: Ex-state Sen. Kelli Ward (R) has received the endorsement of Sen. Rand Paul (R) for her Senate campaign. Ward is currently the only Republican running since the exit of Sen. Jeff Flake (R) from the race but others, including Rep. Martha McSally (R) and ex-Rep. Matt Salmon (R) are considering. Paul is the first Senator to endorse Ward.

TN-Sen: Rolando Toyos, an ophthamologist from Memphis, has entered the GOP nomination for US Senate. Toyos, a self-described conservative Republican, has self-funding ability, but seems like a long-shot against better known candidates Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) and ex-Rep. Stephen Fincher (R). Toyos has run for office before, unsuccessfully running in 2010 for a seat on the Shelby County Commission.

House:

HI-1: State Rep. Beth Fukumoto (D) is considering running for this open seat. Fukumoto is a former Republican and actually served as House Republican Leader at the beginning of the year before being removed from her post in February after constant criticism of President Trump since last year. She left the Republican Party in March. State Sen. Donna Kim (D) is the only Democrat currently running, but many others are considering. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) is running for governor.

MT-AL: Attorney Jared Pettinato is joining the crowded Democratic nomination race to face Rep. Greg Gianforte (R). Pettinato is the 6th Democrat to get in the race, joining State Rep. Tom Woods (D), former state Sen. Lynda Moss (D), former state Rep. Kathleen Williams (D), attorney John Heenan, and former land trust director Grant Kier. Former state Rep. Pat Noonan (D) is said to be considering getting in as well.

TN-7: Franklin Mayor Ken Moore (R) will not run for Congress. Moore had been considering getting in the race to succeed Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R). Some had wanted him to run to present a more moderate, business-oriented alternative to conservative state Sen. Mark Green (R). Green is currently the only Republican in the race, although songwriter Lee Thomas Miller is likely to enter soon.

TX-5: State Sen. Bob Hall (R) will not run for Congress. Hall’s state Senate district overlaps most of the Congressional district and thus would have been a natural fit to run and received a lot of encouragement to do so, but Hall, who is 75 was thought unlikely to enter the race. He is instead running for re-election to his Senate seat.

TX-21: Rep. Lamar Smith is retiring next year. Check our special post yesterday for a Great Mentioner on who might run to succeed him. One potential candidate, retiring House Speaker Joe Straus (R) has already taken his name out of the running.

VA-10: Former federal prosecutor Paul Pelletier is getting in the crowded race to take on Rep. Barbara Comstock (R). Of the other 8 Democrats, the top tier in fundraising are anti-human trafficking activist Alison Friedman, Army veteran Dan Helmer, communications strategist Lindsey David Stover, and state Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D).

Governor/state offices:

ID-Gov: 2014 Democratic nominee A.J. Balukoff is running for governor again. Balukoff lost by 15 points to Gov. Butch Otter (R) 4 years ago. He seems likely to be the nominee again as no other Democrats are running or are known to be considering. As Otter is retiring, he will this time face the winner of a Republican primary between businessman Tommy Ahlquist, Rep. Raul Labrador (R) and Lieutenant Governor Brad Little (R).

DE-Treas. : State Treasurer Ken Simpler (R) will run for a second term next year. When Simpler won the office in 2014 he became the first non-incumbent Republican to win a statewide race since 1994. He is seen as a rising star in the state party and is considered a possible candidate for governor in 2020.

NV-AG: After his former boss Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R)  announced he was running for governor, former Assistant AG and state Assemblyman Wes Duncan (R) wasted little time getting into the race. Duncan had been considered a top candidate to become Assembly Speaker after Republicans took control of the chamber after the 2014 elections, but he instead left to work in the office of the then newly-elected AG. He will likely face state Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford (D) in the general election.

TX-LG: Businessman Scott Milder is challenging LG Dan Patrick (R) in the Republican primary. Milder criticizes Patrick for his “antics” and identifies himself as a “rational conservative leader”. Milder is a former Rockwall City Councilman, but was defeated for re-election earlier this year. Mike Collier, who lost by 20 points as the Democratic nominee for State Comptroller in 2014, is running on the Democratic side.

TX-5: Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R) will not Seek Re-election

House Finance chair Jeb Hensarling (R) will retire in 2018 at the end of his eighth term, as he terms out of his chairmanship. The move makes some sense as Hensarling can cash out to an impressive degree by even Congressional standards with that experience, but it’s still somewhat surprising: Hensarling was among the caucus’s biggest front-benchers, to the point where he was often mentioned as a strong leadership contender and even a serious Speaker prospect when Boehner retired.

Hensarling’s decision opens up TX-5, an R+16 seat stretching from a jagged swath of northeast Dallas out into a broad swath of rural East Texas between Dallas and Tyler. A little more than half the seat is in Dallas County, but the rural portion is more Republican, meaning we could see a competitive primary between an urban and a rural candidate that would have major implications for the 2022 round of redistricting. Ex-Dallas Mayor and 2012 US Senate candidate Tom Leppert (R) might be a formidable candidate here if he were to try for a comeback. Ex-Agriculture Commissioner and 2014 LG candidate Todd Staples (R) is another big name who could make a comeback here.

From the legislature, the State Senate doesn’t offer much in the way of prospects. State Sen. Bob Hall (R) ousted an incumbent State Senator in 2014 on an antiestablishment platform and represents almost all the district. However, Hall is 75 and thus probably won’t run. Another State Senator, Robert Nichols (R), also lives in the seat, but represents only a small piece of it and is 72 and thus also looks unlikely. State Sen. Don Huffines (R) lives near the seat; he and his brother have both been connected with several potential runs and either could make a bid, though his seat is mostly overlapping with TX-32. Similarly, newly elected State Sen. Bryan Hughes (R) lives in or just outside the ditrict, but his State Senate seat mostly overlaps with TX-1. The State House however, looks like a more fertile ground. State Reps. Dan Flynn (R), Lance Gooden (R), Cole Hefner (R),  Travis Clardy (R), Linda Koop (R), Angie Chen-Button (R), Morgan Meyer (R), Cindy Burkett (R), and Jason Villaba (R) all live in or near the seat. Two former legislators, antiestablishment-leaning ex-State Rep. Stuart Spitzer (R) and ex-State Rep. and 2014 AG candidate Dan Branch (R), are also worth mentions.

From local office, Dallas councilmembers Rickey Callahan (R), Sandy Greyson (R), Lee Kleinman (R) and Jennifer Gates (R) could be possibilities; Gates in particular has been pegged as a rising star. Dallas County commissioner Mike Cantrell (R) has said he won’t run for re-election in 2018 but could potentially switch to this race.

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