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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 11th, 2017

After President Trump singlehandedly redefined the IQ bell curve yesterday in proving his vast intellectual superiority to Rex Tillerson, Mensa proudly folded up its operations. It had a good run, but the defunct organization knows the country is in the most capable hands.

Last night, Republicans held FL-LD-44, while the following combinations advanced in mayoral elections in North Carolina:
Raleigh: Nancy McFarlane (I) 49 – Charles Francis (D) 37
Greensboro: Nancy Vaughan (D) 61 – Diane Moffett (D) 22
Durham: Steve Schewel (D) 51 – Farad Ali (D) 29
Fayetteville: Mitch Colvin (D) 45 – Nat Robertson (R) 32

President/Miscellaneous

Duh: The failing New York Times shares the obvious: ultra mature President Donald Trump’s super not petty and totally provoked fight with outgoing US Senator and Liddle Man Bob Corker (R) isn’t endangering his legislative agenda.

Big, Beautiful Wall: Speaking of the American Great Wall… According to the very dishonest AP, many people are saying that they don’t like the Donald’s proposed wall. They also disapprove of his plan to deport the “dreamers.”

Chicago Demographics: According to The Economist, without the Big, Beautiful Wall soon to Make America Great Again, Hispanics have eclipsed African-Americans to become Chicago’s second-largest ethnic group. Until recently, they were long ignored by the C[r]ook County Democratic machine.

God’s Waiting Room: The Wall Street Journal reports that real estate developers are looking to shake Boca Raton, Florida’s reputation as “God’s waiting room.” Given the perennial swing state’s very troubling age gap, these sorts of things are always worth keeping an eye on, especially when they reflect potential larger trends.

Russians and Fake News: The New York Times highlights the ingenious method by which clever, Russian-run accounts fanned the flames of controversy on both sides in 2016: anger. This quote really says it best: “One of the most powerful weapons that Russian agents used to reshape American politics was the anger, passion, and misinformation that real Americans were broadcasting across social media platforms.”

GA-Redistrict: Sore loser and ex-US AG Eric Holder has filed a lawsuit against Georgia’s mid-decade redraw of its State House districts because…if Section 5 were in effect, he believes that preclearance would have been denied. Yes, really. Sad!

Congress

2018 Senate Cycle: According to Politico, some Democrats have begun to believe they can win the US Senate. The article points out, however, that the map is still very unfavorable. Even if Jabba the Hutt Steve Bannon’s deplorables succeed in their primary challenges, most will still win their generals.

AL-Sen: Former US Attorney Doug Jones (D) has released his first TV ad ahead of his matchup with Goliath Roy Moore (R). In his intro spot, Jones attacks the dysfunction in Washington and casts himself as a pragmatist who will cross party lines to accomplish something. Considering the “burn it all down” mentality of the Republican primary voters who supported God’s Gift to the World, Jones’ is sure to be the best possible strategy…

CA-Sen/Democrats: After ancient US Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D) surprise re-election announcement, Politico highlights the rift among the California Democrats. The Democratic establishment, including US Senator Kamala Harris, back Feinstein. Yet, bold progressives like Congressmen Ro Khanna and Ted Liu are trying to get Congresswoman Barbara Lee or Robert Reich to challenge Feinstein.

WA-08: Seattle’s Crosscut, one of the best local news sites in America, breaks down State Senator Dino Rossi’s (R) likely uphill battle to keep Washington’s ever-changing 8th district in GOP hands.

The States

IL-AG: Former state and federal prosecutor Sharon Fairley has just filed for AG. In pressing responsibilities for a state prosecutor, the courageous candidate pledges to be a constant thorn in POTUS’ side. Fairley joins State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D) and State Rep. Scott Drury (D) in the primary race; a fourth possible Dem, McHenry CE Jack Franks (D), announced yesterday he would not run.

California First: The New York Times looks back at California’s Prop 187. Like some of the hardline immigration policies being pushed now, the referendum polled well in 1994. However, the article explains something we know all too well: Prop 187 ultimately destroyed the CA-GOP as demographics shifted. But, surely, things will be different this time!

TX-Gov: Greg Abbott, with or without an opponent, is looking to increase his support among Wise Latinas/os.

VA-Gov: Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) plans to campaign for Low Energy Ralph Northam (D) in Virginia this weekend.

Places where Donald Trump isn’t President

Catalan Independence: Despite some controversy surrounding the Spanish province’s independence vote, Catalan President Carles Puigdemont wasted no time in signing a declaration of independence from Spain.

Political Roundup for October 3rd, 2017

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of yesterday’s senseless massacre in Las Vegas. Our hope is that if politicians are crass enough to want to politicize yesterday’s tragedy they could at least talk about reforming America’s mental healthcare system. That might actually do some good and help people in need.

Elections do go on though – check back at noon for previews of today’s mayoral races in Albuquerque and Birmingham. Now today’s general news:

President:

Clinton: Yes the Clinton campaign really did stop polling battleground states at the end of the 2016 campaign! The only explanation we can think of for this political malpractice is that her campaign must have been managed by Russian agents.

Governor:

MI-Gov: Lt. Gov. Brian Calley (R) is listening. Calley kicked off a listening tour ahead of his expected campaign for governor. Attorney General Bill Schuette is considered the front runner for the GOP nomination and recently recieved the tweeted endorsement of President Donald Trump.

NJ-Gov: If a campaign falls in the woods and there’s no one around to hear it….. Yes there is a campaign for governor in New Jersey and yes no one is paying attention to it. New Jersey’s public financing system caps how much gubernatorial candidates can spend so the amount of paid media is limited and the free media is completely ignoring the race. Maybe the GOP should have tried harder to get Joe Piscopo to run. At least someone would have paid attention to him.

TX-Gov: Texas is turning Blue! Democrats just know they will win back the Texas governor’s mansion in 2018. Even though Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is very popular and sitting on a war chest of over $41 million and the leading Democrat in the race so far is leather aficionado Jeffrey Payne. Texas is turning Blue!

VA-Gov: After the massacre in Las Vegas the NRA has announced they are postponing the start of their $750,000 TV ad buy on behalf of Ed Gillespie (R) until October 10th. Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s pro-gun control group is spending $700,000 to help elect Democrat Ralph Northam.

Senate:

MI-Sen: Potential senate candidate Kid Rock (R) does not like the Detroit Metro Times’s coverage of him and has taken to social media to voice his displeasure (and yes his displeasure is safe for work!).

NJ-Sen: Testimony in the corruption trial of Sen. Bob Menendez (D) revealed that the Senator got so angry at a bureaucrat he was trying to strong arm into helping Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen $8.9 billion Medicaid dispute that he hung up on him. The testimony revealed Menendez was uniquely focused on providing favors for the crooked doctor who provided Menendez with private jet flights, lavish vacations, pretty models and hundreds of thousands of dollars in political contributions.

WI-Sen: Despite recent rumors that he was considering jumping into the race, Rep. Sean Duffy (R) confirms that what he said in February still applies and that he will run for re-election in 2018 and will not run for Senate.

House:

LA-1: In case you missed it, this is the full 60 Minutes interview with Rep. Steve Scalise (R) in which he tells his harrowing ordeal after being shot in a politically motivated assassination attempt.

MN-1: Sen. Carla Nelson (R) has announced she is running for the open R+5 House seat Rep. Tim Waltz (D) is vacating to run for Governor. Nelson will face Jim Hagedorn in the GOP primary. Hagedorn is making his third bid for this seat after losing to Walz by less than 1 point in 2016 and 9 points in 2014.

NJ-7: Tom Malinowski (D), a former assistant secretary of state under President Barack Obama and a former senior director on the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton, is the latest Democrat to announced a challenge to Rep Leonard Lance (R) next year. Malinowski joins  Linda Weber, Lisa Mandelblatt,  Scott Salmon, Peter Jacob and Goutam Jois in seeking the Democrat nomination.

PA-1: Rep. Bob Brady’s (D) legal troubles could get a whole lot worse. Jimmie Moore, a former Philadelphia Municipal Court judge and one time Democrat primary challenger to Bob Brady, is co-operating with federal investigators and has admitted to concealing the $90,000 payment he alleges Brady gave him to drop out of the 2012 race for Congress. Moore has pleaded guilty to falsifying his campaign finance filings after dropping out of the race.

VA-7: Some dude former Marine pilot Dan Ward (D) raised over $260,000 last quarter continuing a trend of unknown Democrats in very uphill races raising an unbelievably large amount of money early. Rep. David Bratt was re-elected in 2016 by a 57.7% to 42.2% margin while Donald Trump was winning this district 51% to 44%. We are not sure if this is an indicator of something actually going on here or just the usual Democrat donor insane fetish for liberal military veteran candidates.

WI-1: Want more proof that Democrat donors are willing to throw their money out the window? Some dude perennial candidate Randy Bryce has raised over $1 million in the third quarter and has raised more than $1.5 million since entering the race in June. This is Bryce’s 4th run for elected office. Bryce lost a 2012 Democrat primary for state Assembly by 39 points, lost a 2014 election for state Senate by 23 points and lost a race for the Racine Unified School Board. So yes Democrats just threw $1.5 million at a guy who couldn’t get elected to his local school board to challenge Speaker Paul Ryan (R) who was re-elected in 2016 with 65% of the vote.

State, Local & Other:

NY SD-34: State Senate Democrats think they have found a candidate to primary Independent Democrat Conference leader Jeffrey Klein. Sen. Michael Gianaris, who heads the Democratic State Senate Campaign Committee, recently met with Alessandra Biaggi, the granddaughter of the corrupt late Rep. Mario Biaggi, about a primary challenge to Klein.

Detroit- Mayor: The first television ad backing Democrat Mayor Mike Duggan’s re-election bid will air Tuesday in Detroit.

WATN: Sadly for the Ohio GOP former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D) will not be running for office in 2018. Rather Kucinich held a press conference on Monday to announce his endorsement of Issue 2, Ohio’s drug-pricing ballot issue.

VA-HD: Our friend Miles Coleman at DDHQ has released this excellent ratings and overview of next months House of Delegates elections in Virginia. We strongly recommend you check it out. It is really good stuff if you are trying to figure out which races to watch there.

Political Roundup for September 20th, 2017

As evidenced by the fact that someone in my North Philadelphia neighborhood actually took a minute out of their day yesterday to scrape and peel the John Kasich sticker off of my car, reality really has become stranger than an episode of Showtime’s Shameless.

Last night, Foxborough councilman Paul Feeney (D) and legislative staffer Jacob Ventura (R) won primaries for MA-SD-Bristol & Norfolk. The two will head to a general next month with retired investigative reporter Joe Shortsleeve (I).

President

2020: Democrats are clearly ready to defeat the Donald (R?) at all costs ahead of their 2020 presidential primary pileup. The succeeding failing New York Times reports that, while Bernie Sanders (“I”) plans a “very far left” approach, potential frontrunner Elizabeth Warren (D) will merely run a “far left” campaign.

Democrats’ Lurch off the Left Coast: Politico reports that many Democrats are now wondering if the recent wave of virtue signaling support of Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” plan could distract from their efforts to fight another attempt at repealing Obamacare.

Congress:

AL-Sen: Senate candidate and God’s Gift to the World Roy Moore (R) doubled down on his “red and yellow” comments from earlier in the week in a presidential series of tweets.

More AL-Sen: Both Mike Pence (R) and the Donald (R?) will be campaigning for Luther Strange in Alabama.

TN-Sen: Despite recent friction between the two men, Roll Call reports that the Donald (R?) has urged Senator Bob Corker (R) to seek a third term.

MI-6/MI-Senate: Ahead of a likely US Senate bid, everyone’s second-favorite Upton and Whirlpool heir Fred (R) was named a Michigander of the Year by the generally-conservative Detroit News for his bipartisan dealmaking in the midst of the bipartisan opening of the seventh seal.

Governors/State:

Democrats/State Attorneys General: Still smarting from the Duchess of Chappaqua’s 2016 loss, some leaders of the ever-strategic Democrats have yet another plan to “avenge” the would-have-been First Woman President™’s defeat by… recruiting as many female attorney general candidates as possible. Yes, really.

IL-Gov/IL-AG: North Shore State Rep. Scott Drury (D-Highwood) has dropped his gubernatorial bid to pursue the state AG position after the surprise retirement of incumbent Dictator Heiress and Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D). Drury was the only State Rep to oppose Fearless Leader Mike Madigan’s re-election bid to the speakership, and he earns major kudos from this Illinois expat for that stand.

More IL-AG: In addition to Drury, the Chicago Tribune has a Great Mentioner on others considering this now open race.

NJ-Gov: Highlighting their desperation for any victory in the age of the Donald, the Democrats are going all out in this Safe D race by sending in top fundraiser Barack Obama to stump for Phil Murphy (D), according to The Hill.

More NJ-Gov: The RGA has released a 15-second ad attacking Phil Murphy by implying that he wants to raise New Jersey’s already-high taxes, a development sure to shock Garden State voters.

TX-Gov: While Governor Greg Abbott (R) lacked a signature issue, Texas Tribune explains that Hurricane Harvey gave him the political cover to move away from the hard right direction he had reluctantly taken on the urging of Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R). If this sounds strange, remember that the Texas Lieutenant Governor is arguably more powerful than the Governor.

More TX-Gov/TX-20: Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) reiterated yesterday that he has no plans to run for governor. Castro (not that one, as far as we know…) will seek re-election to the US House.

Local Races:

Urban Renewal/Detroit-Mayor: The Economist lays out Detroit’s improvements under Mike Duggan as a case study of tough love. It’s shocking what happens when voters elect a leader who tells them things that they don’t want to hear after decades of electing politicians who said anything to gain power.

Seattle-Mayor: Interim Mayor Bruce Harrell, clearly not touched, says that he does not intend to serve the rest of his disgraced predecessor’s term.

Political Roundup for August 25, 2017

Senate:

TN-Sen: Former state Rep. Joe Carr (R) is considering running for US Senate, either as an open seat or challenging Sen. Bob Corker (R) in the Republican primary. Corker has not yet decided whether to seek re-election. Andrew Ogles, state director of Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee is said to be considering challenging Corker as well, and state Rep. Andy Holt (R) has expressed interest in running as well. Carr ran a respectable primary race against Sen. Lamar Alexander (R) in 2014, taking 41% and holding the senator to just under 50%. He was much less successful however in a 2016 primary challenge to Rep. Diane Black (R), losing by a 2-1 margin.

UT-Sen: Rep. Chris Stewart (R) says he would run for US Senate if Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) decides not to run. He made it clear however that he is supporting Hatch if the senator runs for an 8th term and would only run if Hatch decides not to run. Hatch said earlier this year that he plans to run again, but would not make a final decision until later this year.

House:

IN-4: Indiana Department of Workforce Development Steve Braun is resigning his position to run for Congress. He joins former Mike Pence staffer Diego Morales in the Republican primary. Rep. Todd Rokita (R) is running for Senate. Braun’s brother, state Rep. Mike Braun (R) is also running for Senate.

IN-6: State Sen. Mike Crider (R) officially entered the race yesterday to replace Rep. Luke Messer (R) who is running for US Senate. Greg Pence, brother of Vice President Mike Pence is considering a run as well. Also said to be planning a run is David Willkie, great-grandson of 1940 Republican presidential nominee Wendell Willkie and a former political director for former Sen. Richard Lugar (R).

KS-2: State Sen. Caryn Tyson (R) has announced a run for Congress. She joins fellow state Sen. Steve Fitzgerald (R), state Rep. Kevin Jones (R) and Basehor councilman Vernon Fields in the GOP primary. So far, former state House Minority Leader and unsuccessful 2014 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Paul Davis is the only Democrat in the race. All 3 legislators in the GOP primary are considered conservatives.

KS-4/KS-Gov: State Senate President Susan Wagle (R) will not run for Congress or governor next year. Wagle was considered the biggest threat of a primary challenger to Rep. Ron Estes (R) and said she does not know of anyone else contemplating a primary challenge to Estes. Wagle had also said earlier this summer she was thinking of running for governor as well.

ME-2: State Rep. Jared Golden (D) is in the race to face Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R). Golden is a marine veteran who served for a short time as an aide to Sen. Susan Collins (R) before winning two terms in a heavily Democratic state House district. Golden joins 4 other Democrats in the primary.

MA-3: State Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D) will not run for Congress and will instead run for re-election. Eldridge lost to now Rep. Niki Tsongas (D) in the Democratic primary for a 2007 special election and was considered likely to run again after Tsongas announced her retirement earlier this month. Dan Koh (D), chief of staff to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is the only person in the race so far.  State Sens. Eileen Donoghue (D), who like Eldridge lost in the Democratic primary to Tsongas in 2007 and Barbara L’Italien (D) are considering running, as is hospital consultant Ellen Murphy Meehan, ex-wife of former Rep. Martin Meehan (D), who held the seat before Tsongas. Businessman Rick Green, who considered a run against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) is said to be considering a run on the Republican side.

NJ-5: Former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan (R) announced yesterday he is running for Congress. Lonegan has run for various higher offices before, but has never been successful. Most recently, he took 44% as the Republican nominee against now Sen. Cory Booker (D) in the 2013 special election to replace the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) and lost to now Rep. Tom MacArthur (R) in the 2014 Republican primary for NJ-3. Lonegan was a strong supporter of Sen. Ted Cruz for president last year and said nominating Donald Trump was “political suicide”, but is now saying he supports the president’s agenda. Lonegan is the first Republican to enter the race against freshman Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D), but others, including Warren County Freeholder Jason Sarnoski are considering running.

Governor:

ME-Gov: Sen. Susan Collins (R) says she is still considering whether to run for governor next year, and will decide by the end of next month. A recent poll indicated that she may have trouble in a Republican primary however, with her losing to former Health and Human Services Secretary Mary Mayhew by double digits.

OR-Gov: Secretary of State Dennis Richardson (R) has confirmed that he will not run for governor next year. Although he had not been raising money for a gubernatorial bid, there was still speculation that he might run, building on momentum gained from becoming the first Republican to win a statewide office last year since 2002. Richardson lost to then-Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) by 5 points as the Republican nominee in 2014. State Rep. Knute Buehler (R) is already running, and Happy Valley Mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer is considering running in the Republican primary as well. Gov. Kate Brown (D) is expected to run again, although she has not formally entered the race.

RI-Gov: Cranston Mayor Allan Fung (R) is running for governor again. Fung lost to Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) by 4 points as the Republican nominee in 2o14. Fung will likely have competition however-former state Rep. Joe Trillo (R), who served as honorary chairman of President Trump’s Rhode Island campaign last year is campaigning as well, although he hasn’t yet formally announced he is running. House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan is considering a run as well, although there are questions about whether she can raise the money to run an effective campaign.

TN-Gov: State Sen. Mae Beavers (R) is resigning her seat to run for governor full-time. Beavers has been lagging well behind in fundraising and would have been hampered by not being able to raise money during the legislative session. Beavers had been serving in the state Senate since 2002 after 4 terms in the state House. A special election will be held to fill her overwhelmingly Republican seat(TN-SD-17), that gave Trump 72% of the vote last year.

TX-Gov: Texas Democrats apparently want Rep. Joaquin Castro (D) to run for governor next year, but see the presidential aspirations of Castro’s twin brother, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro as getting in the way. A run by the congressman against Gov. Greg Abbott (R) would be a very uphill race, and the two Castros, who serve as political strategists for each other, are afraid a loss by him would make the two look like losers and hamper any chances for Julian Castro if he decides to enter the 2020 presidential race. Democrats in the state are eager to get the congressman in the race, because they see him as literally their only legitimate candidate in a long shot race.

Political Roundup for August 9th, 2017

About Last night, Democrat Phil Miller won IA-LD-28 by a 54% to 44% margin. Trump won seat 58% to 37%. In MO-LD-50 Sara Walsh (R) won by a narrower than expected 52% to 48% margin. In MO-SD-28 Republican State Rep. Sandy Crawford won.

In primaries, Marquette councilwoman Sara Cambensy (D) won the primary for MI-LD-109 with 37 percent of the vote. She will face Republican Rich Rossway in General Election. Tenisha Yancey (D) won the primary for the Safe D MI-LD-1, and Spartanburg councilman Rosalyn Henderson-Myers (D) won the primary for the Safe D SC-LD-31. Businessman Paul Rosino (R) prevailed in OK-SD-45, while retired cop Ross Ford (R) narrowly won in OK-LD-76 over the prior incumbent’s widow. Ford will face teacher Chris Vanlandingham (D) in the general.

President:

Kasich: An American Research Group poll has Gov. John Kasich leading President Trump in a hypothetical New Hampshire Republican presidential primary 52% to 40%.  Unfortunately ARG did not do a three way poll of a hypothetical primary in which John Kasich plays spoiler allowing Trump to win again with 40% of the vote.

Governor:

CO-Gov: State Treasurer Walker Stapleton (R) has found a novel way around Colorado’s restrictive campaign finance laws that limits donations to $1,150. Stapleton is holding off announcing his run for governor in order to raise unlimited cash for a super PAC-style group called Better Colorado Now. Stapleton’s situation highlights the problems with restrictive campaign finance laws that encourages the outsourcing the cost of running a political campaign to outside third party political groups.

FL-Gov: Despite serious questions that arose, a Florida grand jury has cleared Tallahassee Mayor and Democratic candidate for governor Andrew Gillum of criminal liability after an investigation into his use of a city-funded email program used to send private and political messages.

KS-Gov: Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer (R) made it official and announced that he will run for Governor in 2018. Colyer is poised to takeover as Governor of Kansas when current Gov. Sam Brownback (R) finally gets confirmed to be ambassador at large for international religious freedom. Running for a full term as a sitting governor should give Colyer a leg up in the Republican primary where he could face a crowded field that includes Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer (who entered the race earlier this week), businessman Wink Hartman, former state senator Jim Barnett and entrepreneur Ed O’Malley

NY-Gov: Oh, Miranda! Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is taking the threat of a Cynthia Nixon primary challenge serious enough to offer to sit down with her and discuss education issues. Nixon meanwhile declined to rule out a bid for Governor during an appearance she made on the Today Show.

ME-Gov: Sen. Susan Collins (R) may want to do some more polling before deciding if she wants to run for Governor. According to a PPP poll of a potential GOP primary former LePage health commissioner Mary Mayhew would lead Collins in a hypothetical matchup, 44 percent to 33 percent. Collins would score just a mere 28% against a hypothetical “someone else”. We would advice taking this poll with a very big grain of salt as it is common practice to release polls like this to either motivate or demotivate a potential candidate from running.

TX-Gov: Texas Democrats still do not have a candidate for governor. No major Democrat has shown any interest in losing challenging Gov. Gregg Abbott (R) who has nearly $41 million in his campaign account and strong approval ratings. So far only former “International Mr. Leather” Jeffrey Payne (D) has announced his intentions to run.

VA-Gov: A new poll released by the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University shows Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) with a slight 42% to 37% edge over Republican Ed Gillespie in the Virginia governor’s race. Libertarian candidate Cliff Hyra gets 6% in this matchup while 13% are undecided.

WY-Gov: Former Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R) confirmed she will not run for Governor. Incumbent Gov. Matt Mead (R) is term limited and many people had thought Lummis would be a shoo-in to succeed him. Without Lummis running the field here seems to be wide open.

Senate:

AL-Sen: President Donald J. Trump (R) has endorsed appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R) ahead for the upcoming special election. Assuming President Trump doesn’t start a nuclear war between now and August 15th this should help Sen. Strange bigly.

IN-Sen: ICYMI, fourth-term Rep. Todd Rokita (R) will join the primary for Sen. Joe Donnelly’s (D) Senate seat. We had full coverage of this yesterday.

MI-Sen: Kid Rock (R) has made it official! Robert Richie aka “Kid Rock” has left his two-decade affiliation with the Warner Music Group and signed on with Music City’s BBR Music record label. He is also contemplating a US Senate run.

NV-Sen: A Strategic National poll has  Sen. Dean Heller (R) leading perennial candidate Danny Tarkanian in a Republican primary by a 38% to 34% margin win 27% undecided. Of course this poll was taken before the Senate Leadership Fund PAC put any money into reminding Nevada voters about Tarkanian’s $17 million bankruptcy and other less than flattering business dealings.

VA-Sen: Nothing says you are a man of the people and a real Virginian more than flying out to the Hamptons and having a $10,800 a head fundraiser at the mansion summer home of New York Giants co-owner Jon Tisch, which is why Sen. Tim Kaine (D) plans to spend the last week in August on the South Fork of Long Island, NY raising some serious money.

WI-Sen: The NRSC has launched radio ads in the Wausau and La Crosse markets attacking Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) over an opioid scandal in Wisconsin Veterans Administration Hospital that Sen. Baldwin tried to help sweep under the rug.

WV-Sen: Sen. Joe Manchin doesn’t “give a s–t” if his liberal voting record costs him re-election.

House:

KY-6: Politico Magazine looks at Democrats fetish for getting behind the candidacy of US veterans. The latest example of this in in KY-6 where long shot formerly unknown Air Force pilot Amy McGrath was able to raise over $200,000 in 36 hours thanks to a viral video of her talking about serving as a combat pilot. McGrath faces State Sen. Reggie Thomas (D) in the primary. Both Donald Trump and Mitt Romney won KY-6 by double digits and Rep. Andy Barr (R) cruised to an easy 22 point win in 2016.

MT-AL: Newly elected Rep. Greg Gianforte (R) will get his first Democrat challenger. Some dude attorney John Heenan (D) announced he will run for Congress.

NJ-11: After the DCCC’s top recruit Assemblyman John McKeon (D) announced that he would not run for Congress, Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark (D) announced he is “officially exploring” a run for the seat held by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R). Donald Trump won this district by 1 point in 2016 and Frelinghuysen cruised to an easy 20 point victory in a seat that his ancestors have represented in one capacity or another since 1720.

NY-19: A pro-Obamacare group has launched a new digital ad aimed at freshman Rep. John Faso (R). No word on how much they intend to spend on the hit job digital ad.

OH-16: Former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez (R) recently met with the NRCC about a possible run for the seat Rep. Jim Renacci (R) is vacating to run for governor. 28 year old heir force state Rep.Christina Hagan (R) and State Rep. Tom Patton (RINO) are currently running for this seat.

TN-2: Financial advisor Brad Fullington (R) has become the third Republican to enter the open race for the safe R seat of retiring Rep. Jimmy Duncan (R). Fullington is not nearly as well known as  Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and State Rep. Jimmy Matlock who are also seeking the GOP nomination.

WI-4: Milwaukee County Circuit Judge David Borowski (D) is considering challenging Rep. Gwen Moore (D) in a Democrat primary next year. Moore has not faced a serious challenge in years and easily defeated felon and (former state Senator) Gary George in her last two primary elections.

State, Local & Other:

Syracuse-Mayor: The September 12th Democrat primary for mayor of Syracuse has narrowed from 7 candidates to 3. Democrat organization endorsed City Councilor Joe Nicoletti, City Auditor Marty Masterpole and NY State Dept of Labor official and former Dean of Students at Syracuse University Juanita Perez Williams made the ballot while 4 others either dropped out, couldn’t get enough signatures or had enough of their nominating petition signatures invalidated by challenges to be knocked off the ballot (an art form in NY State). Syracuse has not elected a GOP mayor since 2001 and 55% of voters are Democrats, so the winner of the Democrat primary will be the favorite in November.

Political Roundup for July 19, 2017

Polling Update: RRHelections is planning to poll the Republican special election primary for US Senate in Alabama and we need your help to make it happen! Unlike any other organization or news source our polls are funded by crowdsourced donations and put together by volunteer political junkies for political junkies. If you would like to help make this poll happen please go to https://www.paypal.me/RedRacingHorses and donate to our polling fund to be a part of this effort and to help make this happen!

Last night in RI-SD-13, Attorney Dawn Euer (D) won the Dem primary for this blue seat. In Bermuda, the center-left PLP took over from the center-right OBA, winning 2/3 of the seats in parliament.

President:

Trump: PPP has polled the 2020 Presidential race. They find Trump trailing all Democrat challengers: Trump 39% to Biden 54%; Trump 39% to Sanders 52%; Trump 42% to Warren 49%; Trump 40% to Booker 45%; Trump 40% to Harris 41% and Trump 40% to Zuckerberg 40%. Sadly PPP did not test the man most likely to be Trump’s 2020 Democratic opponent so we don’t know how Kanye West would fare vs Trump if the election was held today. Please remember this is a PPP poll and they gave Democrats an 11-point advantage in partisan registration so salt to taste.

Hillary: The one Democrat who is still more unpopular that Donald Trump is Hillary Clinton. According the the latest Bloomberg National Poll Hillary Clinton has a 39% approval rating which is 2 points lower than the 41% they had President Trump at.

Governor:

Ratings: Morning Consult is out with their Governor’s ratings. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) is America’s most popular Governor with a 71% approval rating. He is followed by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan who sports a 68% approval rating. Newly installed Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has a 64% approval rating. On the other end of the spectrum is America’s favorite beach comer Chris Christie who’s approval rating seems to have improved to 25%.

MI-Gov: Ambulance chaser Mark Bernstein (D) will not run for Michigan governor and urged Democrats to unite behind former state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer’s campaign. Bernstein, who is independently wealthy and well known from his “Call Sam” TV ads, was being recruited by some Democrats to run for Governor. 1998 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Geoffrey Fieger is still considering another run for Governor and we here at RRH hope that the Democrats will unite around him.

NY-Gov: Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has $25.7 million in his campaign account for his 2018 re-election effort. Cuomo raised $5.1 million during the latest filing period between January and mid-July. He spent $1.35 million over that period. But while Cuomo’s cash on hand his going up his poll numbers are going down. Last week’s  Quinnipiac University poll showed that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s poll numbers has plummeted over the last two months. Cuomo’s job performance numbers dropped to a negative 43-55 rating, down from 51-46 in May. Cuomo’s re-elect numbers dropped from 53% in May to 46% now. Cuomo’s drop  in the polls has largely been driven by downstate voters as the Summer of Hell on NYC transit continues to get worst. Gov. Cuomo runs the MTA and voters are starting to blame him for the problems with New York City’s mass transit system.

OH-Gov: It looks like Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Head Richard Cordray (D) might enter the race for governor. His term at the CFPB does not end until July of 2018 and there is some speculation that he might announce his candidacy for governor in September. On the one hand it would be great to get the regulation loving progressive Cordray the heck out of CFPB as soon as possible, on the other he could be the best candidate the Democrats could get for Ohio governor. As of now, the Democratic candidates for governor include former Rep. Betty Sutton , former State Rep. Connie Pillich, State Sen. Joe Schiavone, and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

TX-Gov: Former LGBT “International Mr. Leather” Jeffrey Payne (D) has launched his campaign for Governor vs Gov. Greg Abbott (R). RRH rates TX-Gov as Safe R.

Senate:

AL-Sen: Hoover businessman Dom Gentile (R) ended his campaign for Senate and endorsed Rep. Mo Brooks (R). Gentile’s wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer and he wants to spend more time with her. On the Democrat side Vietnam veteran Brian McGee ended his campaign as well and endorsed former US Attorney Doug Jones.

CA-Sen: If transgender former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner runs for US Senate, Jenner will have the backing Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris Jackson. Jenner’s campaign could be a very unusual one in which Jenner puts together an unusual coalition of support.

MI-Sen: “I believe if you work your butt off and pay taxes, you should be able to easily understand and navigate the laws, tax codes, health care and anything else the government puts in place that affects us all”. This is a platform and a principal that all Republicans should be running and governing on. The fact that Kid Rock is the only one talking about this tells you all you need to know about the current state of American politics and society.

MI-Sen: Detroit businessman, West Point Graduate and Iraq war veteran John James has filed to run for U.S. Senate and has released THIS web video. But since John James was never married to Pamela Anderson no one really seems to care.

MO-Sen: Sources say Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) is expected to start an exploratory committee to run for US Senate vs Sen. Claire McCaskill. Hawley would be the GOP’s marque recruit to run for this Senate seat and leads McCaskill in the last two publicly released polls.

House:

CA-48: Nestle executive Michael Kotick (D) will run for Congress against Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R) next year. The 33 year old Kotick seems like a bit of a some dude and he will join a half a dozen other candidates who have announced they want to challenge Rohrabacher.

MI-6: Another candidate has entered the race for Democratic nomination for the right to lose to face Kate Upton’s uncle Rep. Fred Upton (R). Dr. Matt Longjohn will join Paul Clements, David Benac, Rich Eichholz and Eponine Garrod in seeking the Democrat nomination. Upton beat Clements by 22 points in 2016 and 15.5 points in 2014.

NJ-5: Former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan (R) is being floated as a possible challenger to freshman Democrat Rep. Josh Gottheimer. Lonegan, who is legally blind, gained some fame for his role in the 2003 documentary Anytown USA. Since then Lonegan has lost two GOP primaries for New Jersey Governor, the 2013 Senate special election to Corey Booker and the 2014 GOP primary in the south Jersey based NJ-3. Lonegan is a movement conservative and was an early endorser of Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign.

UT-3: The air wars are starting for this August 15th GOP special election primary. Former Provo Mayor John Curtis (R) released THIS ad of him riding a motorcycle and shooting a hand gun while Chris Herrod (R) has THIS ad attacking chameleons and bragging about his time in Russia. Tanner Ainge (R) intends to release his first ads soon.

State, Local & Other:

MI-Redistricting: A partisan Democrat group masquerading as a good government group called “Voters Not Politicians ” is trying to get a redistricting constitutional amendment on the 2018 Michigan ballot. The groups proposal would establish a 13-member independent citizens commission on which so called “independent voters” would have five members, and the two major parties would each have four. Instead of focusing on non-partisan immovable factors like county lines and other municipal boundaries when drawing districts the new commission would seek to create districts that are politically competitive by gerrymandering district lines across municipal boundaries to achieve a partisan balance different than the ones that naturally occur.

NYC-Mayor: Mayor Bill deBlasio (D) reported raising $428,473 for his re-election bid during the most recent campaign-finance filing period, expanding his cash-on-hand to $2.5 million and his total fund-raising count to $4.9 million. New York City taxpayers will give the Mayor another $536,000 in city matching funds because paying for Bill deBlasio’s campaign TV ads is a much bigger priority for the City than fixing the damn subways. Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, the presumptive Republican nominee, raised nearly $250,000 for the most recent filing period and spent $74,097 during that time. She’s eligible for $134,804 in matching funds and has raised a total of more than $344,000.

NY-Corruption: Former New York State Senate Majority Leader and convicted felon (or did I repeat myself) Dean Skelos (R) still has over $843,301 left in his campaign account which he can use to pay for lawyers to appeal his federal corruption conviction. Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) recently had his corruption conviction overturned and Skelos is hoping to have same luck. In all Skelos has spent more than $1.6 million in campaign contributions on his legal defense.

NY-Corruption: NYC Councilman Ruben Willis (D) flew threw a tantrum during his corruption trial. Willis isn’t a rookie to legal proceedings. When he was elected to the New York City Council he had two arrest warrants out on him for crimes he committed in the 1990s.

Political Roundup for July 17th, 2017

President

Harris: Ambition apparently knows no bounds for America’s favorite multiracial progressive/nullification proponent, Sen. Kamala Harris (D). The very freshman Senator was seen at a meeting in the Hamptons with big-name Democratic donors. The speculation is that she’s thinking about running for President in 2020. But wait, progressives! Don’t let your hearts be too aflutter, because she was meeting with those nefarious Clinton Donors. The corrupting influence of Corporatist Money knows no bounds!

Congress

CA-Sen: Speaking with J-Cats on the New York mogul’s radio show, Olympic gold medalist and reality television star Caitlyn Jenner (R) says that he/she is considering running for the Senate. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) is on retirement watch, so there could be an open seat. Other than that, I’m just kind of speechless on this one.

IN-Sen: I actually feel a bit bad for Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) on this one. Donnelly is selling $50,000 worth of stock in his brother’s arts and crafts company because the ink for the inkpads is made in Mexico. Big Whoop. I know that Indiana has been hard-hit by outsourcing, and this can’t be popular there, but it wouldn’t sink him either. I probably shouldn’t feel too bad for him, though, because with $15,000 in dividends produced on that equity last year, it shouldn’t be hard to sell for an increased price. This will likely come up at some point in his 2018 race, but he’s probably neutralized early.

MO-Sen: The Club for Growth commissioned a poll of a McCaskill-Hawley matchup, and their polling firm found a 46-42 Hawley lead. It should be noted that this is less of a lead for Hawley than he had in a previous poll, but that the 12% who are undecided are mostly right-leaning voters.

PA-Sen: It’s Reporting Season once again, so we’re getting a flurry of fundraising numbers. One of them that caught my eye was that rich guy Jeff Bartos (R) raised over $1 million this quarter in his bid to oust Sen. Bob Casey (D). Barton faces a very uphill climb, and several other Republicans are thinking about entering the race, but it’s not a bad start.

TX-Sen: In a slight surprise, progressive darling Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) has outraised his opponent Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in this year’s second quarter. O’Rourke raised $2.1 million to Cruz’s $1.6 million. However, Cruz quickly sent out an email pointing out that he has $5.7 million in COH. O’Rourke got over $1 million in online donations, largely from small donors. It shouldn’t matter much, though, as long as Cruz doesn’t fall asleep at the wheel. This is Texas, after all.

WV-Sen: The Republican primary to take on Sen. Joe Manchin (D) is already getting nasty. AG Patrick Morrisey (R) is challenging Rep. Evan Jenkins (R) to a series of debates and is questioning the former Democrat’s conservative credentials. Meanwhile, Jenkins is calling Morrisey a former DC lobbyist a ‘profiteer.’ This one will likely get even uglier, folks, so strap in.

PA-06: The NRCC has written a blog post attacking Rep. Ryan Costello’s (R) opponent, Chrissy Houlahan (D). Whoop-di-doo, right? Right, accept that it may reveal a key Republican tactic for 2018. The blog post notes that many Democrats are currently taking stances in favor of single-payer (read: government-run) healthcare and challenges Houlihan to reveal her stance on the issue. It’s a great little bit of ratfucking, because if she comes out against it, she might hurt herself in the Democratic primary, but a stance in favor would almost certainly hurt her in the swingy and affluent Main Line suburbs that comprise the heart of the district. If she’s smart, she’ll attempt to avoid taking a stance on the issue, but who knows? Maybe she or some other Democrat will take the bait.

Governor

TN-Gov: State House Speaker Beth Harrell (R) has officially announced her candidacy for Governor. She joins rich guys Bill Lee and Randy Boyd and state Sen. Mae Beavers in the Republican primary. Rep. Diane Black (R) is also said to be mulling a run of her own. What’s amazing isn’t how many Republicans are running, but that all of them are from Middle Tennessee (as is the only announced Democrat, former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean). There’s a real opening for an East Tennessee Republican, especially since they could easily play a regional dogwhistle game. West Tennessee often feels as if Nashville purposefully neglects it. If someone from East Tennessee could connect with that sentiment, they’d unite two Grand Divisions and be pretty much unstoppable.

TX-Gov: It’s not like anyone was in suspense about it, but Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced his campaign for a second term over the weekend. Somewhat interestingly, he currently has no declared opponents.

WV-Gov: Yes, I’m linking to Hoppy Kercheval twice in one roundup. He’s great. Read his stuff. Anyway, Gov. Jim Justice (D) seems to be having a liquidity problem. Though valued at approximately $1.6 billion, the newly-minted governor owes over $15 million in back taxes in six states through various companies. A lot of the debts are related to coal severance. It’s causing him a few minor headaches now, but he’s still likely to have this problem come his reelection bid in 2020 unless he settles these debts soon.

State/Local

NV-Voting: The Silver State has passed a new bill that expands voting rights for felons. It’s somewhat complicated, but basically it makes eligible for voting restoration about a quarter of the felons released each year. They were not previously eligible due to reasons that were problems, such as unpaid bills or probation violations, but not in and of themselves enough to cause revocation of parole.

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