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Political Roundup for August 11, 2017


TN-Sen/TN-6: State Sen. Mark Green (R) will not run for any higher office next year. Green had previously announced a run for governor earlier this year, but suspended that bid while he was under consideration to be Secretary of the Army. He later withdrew his name from consideration, but did not restart his campaign for governor. Sen. Bob Corker (R) has not yet said whether he is seeking re-election, but some had hoped Green would challenge him or run for the open seat if Corker does not run fro re-election. There was also some speculation Green might run for TN-6, which Rep. Diane Black (R) is giving up to run for governor.

TX-Sen: Former Corpus Christi Mayor Dan McQueen (R) is challenging Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in the Republican primary. Running for Senate seems like a curious choice for McQueen after he resigned from his job as Corpus Christi Mayor earlier this year after spending just 37 days on the job. Among other things, McQueen is running on reducing the size of Congress to about one representative per 1 million people(the current average is about 1 per 711,000).


FL-6: Former state Rep. Fred Costello (R) is planning to run for Congress, but only if Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) decides to run for governor. Costello has run for Congress twice before, losing to DeSantis in the 2012 and 2016 Republican primaries.

IN-4: Diego Morales, an Army veteran and a senior advisor to VP Mike Pence when Pence was governor is running for this now open seat. Morales is the first candidate to announce plans to run since Rep. Todd Rokita announced on Tuesday he is running for US Senate.  Also, state Sen. Brandt Hershman (R) announced on Facebook he is not running.

MA-3: Dan Koh, chief of staff to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D) hasn’t said anything publicly yet about running for this newly open seat, but of he does, he has the full support of his current boss. Walsh says he is “100 percent behind” Koh running for the seat. Koh, whose name was mentioned in connection with the seat after Rep. Niki Tsongas (D) announced her retirement Wednesday has said in the past that he has considered running for Congress or another elected office.

TN-6: Former Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner John Rose (R) has announced he will run for Congress next year. Rose served as Ag Commissioner from 2002-2003 and also has been involved with the Tennessee State Fair Association and owns a business that trains IT professionals. Rose joins state Rep. Judd Matheny (R) in the GOP primary. Political strategist Scottie Nell Hughes, an ardent supporter of President Trump has also expressed interest in the race.


AL-Gov: State Senate President Del Marsh (R) will run for re-election to the state Senate and not run for governor. Marsh had been considering getting into the governor’s race, but said he wanted to wait until Gov. Kay Ivey (R) decided whether or not to run. Ivey says she is close to making a decision.

CO-Gov: Former Colorado State athletic director Jack Graham is considering running for governor, but wants to be sure he can win the Republican primary. Graham says he is a “different kind of candidate” who favors limited government and a strong defense but who is also pro-choice, pro-gay rights and favors some forms of gun control. He ran for US Senate last year, finishing a distant second behind Darryl Glenn in the Republican primary.

CT-Gov: Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano will not join the crowded GOP primary for governor. A gubernatorial bid by Fasano could have set up an awkward matchup between the Republican leaders of both the House and Senate with House Minority Leader Themis Klarides still deciding on a potential bid. 3 Republicans are already running with 3 others having formed exploratory committees, and others like Klarides could still join the race.

ME-Gov: Former state Rep. Diane Russell (D) is joining the Democratic primary for governor. Russell identifies herself as a “hardcore progressive” and favors single-payer healthcare. She was also a supporter in the Legislature of legalizing recreational marijuana and was also a supporter of the ranked-choice voting initiative. She joins 6 other Democrats in the primary.

MD-Gov: Krish Vignarajah, a former policy director for Michelle Obama, is joining the Democratic nomination for governor. However, questions have been raised about whether she meets Maryland’s residency requirements to run. Candidates must have been a registered voter in the state for 5 years, and while she says she registered to vote in the state as early as she was able, she also registered to vote in the District of Columbia in 2010 and voted there in 2014. She says she never voted in more than one place at a time, and doesn’t think being registered in more than one place precludes her from meeting the requirements.


Political Roundup for July 26th, 2017

Greetings from Montauk, where the hipster horde has finally largely disappeared into the Atlantic.

Last night’s results:
Democrat Kevin Cavanaugh held NH-SD-16
Republican Stacey Wilkes (R) won MS-LD-108 outright with no runoff
State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz (R) and perennial candidate Annette Taddeo-Goldstein (D) advanced to the general in FL-SD-40
Attorney Daniel Perez (R) will face former Venezuelan legislator Gabriela Mayaudon in FL-LD-116
Spartanburg councilwoman Rosalyn Henderson-Myers (D) and NAACP official Mo Abusaft (D) head to a primary runoff in SC-LD-31


Democratic Strategy: Prominent DC Democrats courageously ventured just west of Loudoun County into rural Virginia to roll out their plan to lurch to the left on economic issues ahead of 2018. Democrats hope such a move will provide inroads into the white working class.

Youngstown Rally: Not content to merely rally among boys, 45 held a campaign event among the working men of hardscrabble Youngstown, Ohio.


Gerrymandering: The Economist introduces Ah-nuld’s crusade against gerrymandering. The governator likens politicians supportive of the practice to “girly men” who refuse to go to the gym.

US-AG/TX-Sen: Amid the rumors of Jeff Sessions’ days being numbered, Senator Green Eggs and Ham Ted Cruz (R) quickly shot down any rumors of accepting an offer to take the post.


NJ-Lt. Gov: Former Goldman Sachs executive and NJ Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Murphy has named Assemblywoman and former Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D) his lieutenant gubernatorial nominee. Simon adds gender and racial diversity, political experience, and a Trenton Rolodex to the ticket.

VA-Gov: Underscoring the need for a sole signature Democratic victory in the age of Trump, the DNC is sending money to Ralph Northam (D) in the medium blue state. Northam’s coffers drained during a bruising primary against nutroots wet dream Tom Perriello (D).

Allentown-Mayor: Surprise! Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski (D) was charged yesterday in federal court in an alleged pay-to-play scheme. Pawlowski dropped out of the 2016 Democratic US Senate primary after federal agents raided his office.

Houston-Mayor: The Texas Supreme Court declined to expedite a case challenging the wording of a 2015 Houston city proposition which changed the term limits of the mayor from three two-year terms to two four-year terms.

Westchester: Westchester County has finally prevailed in a discriminatory zoning witch-hunt lawsuit filed by the Obama administration after HUD conceded the current zoning scheme’s legality. A decision against Westchester could have had political geography effects nationwide.

Places Not Lucky Enough to be America

The UK: Boris Johnson, on a trip to New Zealand, denies any infighting among the Tories.

Political Roundup for July 17th, 2017


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!


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.


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.


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.

Political Roundup for May 11, 2017

Polling Update: We are still way short of what we would need to raise to poll the MT-AL special election. Montana state law requires live callers to poll which makes the cost of polling the state very expensive. We are still waiting on approval from the state of Georgia to get an exemption to their state telecommunications law which requires live callers. If we can get the exemption and raise enough money we will poll GA-06. If not all money raised will be put towards polling the AL-Sen GOP primary. If you would like to help make the polls possible please go to: and contribute today!


Can you smell what the Rock is cooking?: Because one President who is a member of the WWE Hall of Fame is not enough, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson says he might actually run for President. Before you laugh at this please remember Donald Trump is President of the United States and Al Franken is a member of the US Senate.


FL-Gov: Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam (R) officially launched is campaign for governor. Putnam has been a fixture in Florida’s political scene for over 20 years. He was first elected to the Florida State House in 1996, Congress in 2000 and was elected statewide to Agriculture Commissioner in 2010. With a resume like that its sometime hard to believe that Adam Putnam is only 42 years old.

MI-Gov: Better Call Sam. Wealthy attorney Mark Bernstein (D) is considering a run for governor. The Bernstein family law firm is one of the best known in the state and Mark is known for his “Call Sam” ambulance chasing commercials. If he runs Mark could put significant personal fortune into the race. When Mark’s brother Richard Bernstein ran for MI Supreme Court in 2014 the Bernstein family reportedly spent more than $1 million to help him win.

MN-Gov: 2014 gubernatorial nominee and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson (R) will run for governor again this year. Johnson struggled with fundraising in 2014 but did outperform the well-funded GOP Senate nominee. Johnson joins Ramsey County Commissioner Blake Huffman and State Rep. Matt Dean in the quest for the GOP nomination. House Speaker Kurt Daudt, State Sen. Dave Osmek, former MNGOP Chairman Keith Downey, and Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek are all considering seeking the Republicans nomination as well.

NJ-Gov:  Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R) has raised over $2.2 million since January for her gubernatorial campaign. While this is a fairly decent haul for her, New Jersey is a very expensive state to run in since it doesn’t have its own media market and candidates are forced to buy ads in NYC and Philadelphia. Her most likely general election opponent will be former Goldman Sachs Master of the Universe Phil Murphy (D) who has already written a check to himself for $10 million for his campaign and give himself a lot more.

TN-Gov: State Sen. Mark Green (R) is undecided about returning to the Tennessee governor’s race after his nomination to be Secretary of the Army was scuttled by Democrats and LGBT special interest groups. Ironically the controversy left wing groups created over his nomination has raised Green’s profile and stature and could even help him in a GOP gubernatorial primary.

VA-Gov: Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) believes healthcare is a “privilege” and not a “right”. At least that is what he said in a 2011 debate when he was running for re-election to the state senate. Expect Progressive darling Tom Perriello to make an issue out of this old quote in the Democrat primary.


ME-Sen: Gov. Paul LePage (R) announced that he will not run for Senate in 2018. For months LePage had been hinting at potentially challenging Sen. Angus King (I) but this marquee matchup will not happen.

TX-Sen: Former George W. Bush strategist Matthew Dowd will not run for Senate in 2018. Dowd had been considering an independent bid against Sen. Ted Cruz (R). The biggest obstacle to Ted Cruz’s re-election would come from a third party right of center candidate sucking up enough Republican votes to allow a Democrat like Beto O’Rourke to seek into office with less than 45% of the vote. With Dowd out that no longer looks like a possibility. Furthermore Cruz is starting to shed his image as an obstructionist Senate gadfly and is starting to be seen as a team player who the Senate GOP is counting on to bring Senate Republicans together to pass Obamacare repeal (see HERE).

WV-Sen: ICYMI Rep. Evan Jenkins (R) campaign launch video is well worth a watch. The video hits Sen. Manchin (D) for saying one think to get elected and doing another in Washington, DC. The ad features Manchin changing his views on gun control, standing with Planned Parenthood and endorsing Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The video clearly lays out the case Jenkins will be making to voters and the themes in it will most likely be the focus of his campaign for Senate.


CA-10: Registered nurse Dotty Nygard (D) will challenge Rep. Jeff Denham (R). Nygard is an activist in California Nurses Association the powerful Nurses Union. While Nygard seems like a C-list candidate at best Hillary Clinton did win this district 49%-46%.

GA-6: San Francisco loves Jon Ossoff (D) and the Congressional Leadership Fund is running a new ad letting everyone know that.

NY-1: Sommelier Hannah Selinger (D) announced her intention to challenge Rep. Lee Zeldin (R). Selinger has no prior experience running for public office and only moved to the East End of Long Island six years ago.

NY-11: Boyd Melson (D), a 35-year-old retired boxer, plans to run to run against Rep. Dan Donovan (R) next year. Melson lives in Brooklyn not Staten Island and can at best be described as a D-list candidate.

SC-5: The Club for Growth has endorsed Ralph Norman in the May 16th Republican primary runoff vs. Tommy Pope and has gone on the air with two new TV ads on Norman’s behalf (See HERE & HERE). UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has also made her preferences in this race known by donating $100 to Ralph Norman’s campaign (See Here).

VA-10: Dorothy McAuliffe, wife of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), will not seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) next year. This clears the way for DCCC recruit state Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D) to have an easier path to the Democrat nomination.

WV-3: Ex-State Delegate Rick Snuffer (R) becomes first to announce he will run for Congress after Rep. Evan Jenkins (R) announced his Senate candidacy. While Snuffer  is a former State Delegate he is also entering frequent candidate territory. Snuffer has run twice before for WV-03 (getting within 8 points in 2012), ran for WV GOP Chair, and ran for US Senate run in 2006 (getting 6% of the R primary vote). Current WV GOP Chair & former Sen. Shelley Moore Capito staffer Conrad Lucas is also prepping a Congressional campaign here.

State, Local & Other:

AL-Redistricting: The court mandated legislative redistricting in Alabama is slowing coming to completion. The senate has passed a map that complies with the court order unpacking of black voters. The new Senate maps smoothed out county lines while maintaining a partisan make up similar to the old. The house map that has passed committee also looks like it will keep the partisan balance the same while fixing the items the court wanted addressed.

NH-HD Cheshire 4: Rep. Joseph Stallcop has left the Democratic Party and joined the Libertarian Party. His defection will give the Libertarian Party two members in the 400 member state House. This will entitle the Libertarian Party to be recognized as a caucus, with its own room in the capitol. Stallcop is a 21 year old college student and was a Bernie Sanders supporter in 2016.

Political Roundup for May 2nd, 2017

Stay tuned for our SC-5 & Leg. Specials live blog later today!


2020: Kirsten Gillibrand, who is on everyone’s 2020-prosective shortlist for the Democrats, declared that she has no interest in the race and is instead focused on her 2018 re-election campaign. I don’t buy it for a second honestly, as what else is she going to say right now? That’s she’s only running for re-election to the Senate to jump out on New York pretty much immediately afterwards? Let’s see what she says come mid-2019. Gilibrand is probably in the Democrat’s ideological sweet spot of being Progressive enough to be tolerable to the Sanderistas while not being so completely crazy as to be unelectable, so if she sticks to this the Democrats are down one of their better prospective candidates.

Supreme Court: Rumors are flying that Kennedy might be retiring sometime in the next year. Unlike the Gorsuch nomination (which basically replaced a Conservative Stalwart with a Conservative Stalwart), Kennedy has been the crucial swing vote on the court since the Bush years, and a Conservative replacement would probably create an Ideological Conservative majority on the court for the first time since probably the 1930s. We’re talking about a 5th vote to overturn Roe vs. Wade and a whole host of other long-time Conservative judicial goals being within reach for the first time, so this court fight will probably dominate headlines for months.

2016-Retrospective: Some data-crunchers have determined that about 70% of Trump’s 2016 victory came from convincing former Obama voters to pull the level for him. The actual number is higher still if you assume that the drop in black turnout from 2012-2016 is a return to normalacy from the record highs of the Obama years as opposed to being a 2016-specific low

Climate Change: The national review has a very interesting piece on the Bret Stephens Op-Ed “Controversy”, specifically pointing out the inherent irony in the situation. The left has gone apeshit because the NYT published a piece that is basically saying that if you want to convince people, telling them that you are right and they are the equivalent of holocaust deniers for disagreeing is a great way to not do that. The actual piece (which I’m betting <5% of the people complaining have actually read, as is standard for this sort of thing) is remarkably moderate for the fire its getting, basically saying that everything the Left is doing with regards to the issue is wrong, self-destructive, and inherently anti-scientific. The left savaging an anti-Trump Conservative for giving them sound political advice is a remarkably good demonstration of why they’ve had serious electoral trouble lately.


GA-6: Ossoff has released an internal poll showing up 1 point in the runoff for this seat. Amusingly, the poll puts him at 48%, which is basically exactly what he got in the initial election. This is probably a “Hey, keep paying attention to me” internal poll more than anything else, as the deflated Dem enthusiasm after not winning this seat outright last month might be taking its toll on his fundraising #s in this seat, given how heavily he was reliant on out-of-state donations.

Generic-Ballot: CNN/ORC has the Democrats up 9 points on the Generic Ballot. Its worth mentioning however that they have had a consistent D house-lean, putting the Democrats up right before 2014 and giving the Republicans a measly 1-point lead ahead of the 2010 wave.

TX-Sen: Joaquin Castro (The US representative, not his brother the former SA mayor/HUD secretary) has announced he isn’t running against Ted Cruz for Senate. This probably clears the field for El Paso Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who is still probably a huge underdog to Cruz in a state that Democrats keeps insisting is going to be blue any day now. Maybe if they start running moderate Hispanic Democrats willing to buck the party platform in key places as opposed to White Bold Progressives, they’d have a better shot, but that would require a leap in mindset the “Demographic inevitability” Democrats don’t seem to be willing to make.

State & Local:

CA-Votes: In a probably unexpected move, my home state’s continued flaunting of federal law has created probably the best test case for the issue of voting fraud in the US. California is now issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants (at this point I’m surprised they’re not just issuing them Social Security cards while they’re at it). However, California automatically registers anyone with a driver’s license to vote, which means that it was probably ridiculously easy for an illegal immigrant with one of the licenses to register. Breitbart has suggested that Sessions subpoena the state for its AB60 (the illegal licenses bill) rolls and compare them against the 2016 voter rolls, looking for significant overlap (which would be probably the closest we can get to proof of mass, devolved, voter fraud).

FL-Gov: In a move that surprised nobody, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam (R) has filed to run for Governor next year. Ex-Rep. Gwen Graham (D), daughter of former Senator & Governor Bob, is also widely expected to announce her own run for Governor today. FL-Gov is a big prize for both parties, given that it will likely control the map-drawing of Florida after the 2020 census, and the Democrats have been shut out of the office for 20 years at this point.

ND-Gov ’20: Governor Doug Burgum (R) signed a new voter-ID bill into law yesterday, despite being similar to a previous one that is still working its way through the courts. Basically, it’s the classic issue of whether the laws put an undue burden on the ability for legal voters to vote if they don’t have an appropriate ID. Expect lots of Lawyers and testimony and for the case to drag out for another few years.

OK-Gov: Democrats have a competent candidate for Governor in former Attorney General Drew Edmondson (D), who lost the 2010 primary. While his chances are slim (Oklahoma is a strong contender for the most reliably Republican state in the country, given that no Democratic presidential candidate has managed to win a single county there since 2000), a big part of the reason why the Democrats have such a huge deficit in Governorships (33-16-1 currently) is their inability to win in red states, so getting competent candidates everywhere is going to be a key part of trying to break their current dry spell.

Political Roundup for April 20, 2017

Polling Update: We want to poll the MT-AL special election! Now here’s the problem….Our poll of GA-6 in which we correctly predicted an Ossoff vs Handel runoff completely drained our coffers. Polling Montana is hard because it requires a live person. We estimate that doing a proper poll of Montana could cost $2,000 when all is said and done. But if you guys are up for it we are too! The MT-AL special election is on May 25th. That means we got time to try and raise enough. If we are unsuccessful in raising enough your donations will not go to waste because we will poll the GA-6 runoff and if the donations we get are super generous we will attempt to poll both races! So if you want to do it please go to and contribute today!


Cabinet: President Donald Trump’s choice for deputy secretary of commerce, Todd Ricketts, has withdrawn his nomination due to difficulties in untangling his financial holdings. Ricketts is a co-owner of the Chicago Cubs.


GA-Gov: Former Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R) has been mentioned as a possible gubernatorial candidate. He told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he would likely decide if he would run around July 4, but the early tea leaves are pointing to Westmoreland passing on a run for governor.

IL-Gov: Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers (D) said he will decided within the next two weeks whether he will enter the increasingly crowded Democrat primary for Governor. If Summers joins the race, he’ll be the only African-American candidate running in a primary filled with billionaires, heir force candidates and various local pols.

ME-Gov: Military veteran Adam Cote (D) announced he will run for governor. Cote lost the 2008 Democrat primary to now-Rep. Chellie Pingree by a 44% to 28% margin.

MN-Gov: Ramsey County Commissioner Blake Huffman became the first Republican to enter the race for this open seat.  Huffman says he intents to abide by the endorsement of the Republican convention so their is a good chance he won’t be the party’s candidate as the field could get quite crowded. Other potential GOP contenders include House Speaker Kurt Daudt, state Rep. Matt Dean and Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek.

NJ-Gov: Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno unveiled a proposal to slash New Jersey property taxes by $1.5 billion annually. Guadagno hopes to make her property tax cut plan one of the centerpieces of her gubernatorial campaign.

NY-Gov: How did New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) make $783,000 in royalties from a book that sold only 3,200 copies? The exorbitant payments came for News Corp’s HarperCollins division who published Cuomo’s very poorly selling (but highly profitable) book. If only Preet Bharara (who was investigating NewsCorp when he was fired by President Trump) was still around to get to the bottom of this…..

OH-Gov: State Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D) has resigned as state Senate Minority Leader to concentrate on his campaign for governor. Senate Democrats have selected state Sen. Kenny Yuko (D) to replace Schiavoni as Senate Minority Leader.


AL-Sen: State Rep. Ed Henry (R), the lawmaker who started the impeachment proceedings against former Gov. Robert Bentley (R), announced he will run for U.S. Senate. Henry becomes the first Republican to officially enter the primary against appointed Senator Luther Strange. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, state Sen. Slade Blackwell, state Sen. Trip Pittman, former state Rep. Perry Hooper Jr., suspended state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and various member of the Alabama congressional delegation are all considering entering the GOP primary against Strange as well.

NM-Sen: Albuquerque construction company owner Mark Rich (R) has announced he will run for Senate against Sen. Martin Heinrich (D). Rich has never run for public office before but does have the ability to partially self finance his campaign.

TX-Sen: And the award for the worst poll of 2017 goes to…. Texas Lyceum! Their just released poll shows Rep. Joaquin Castro (D) edging out Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in a potential 2018 Senate matchup and Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) tied with Cruz. Of course this is a poll of adults and Castro’s margin is 35% to 31% with a mere 34% undecided and O’Rourke is only tied 30% to 30% with 40% undecided. Junk polls like this are really nothing more than fundraising fodder for people like O’Rourke who are running long shot campaigns.

UT-Sen: Republican Derek Miller, the CEO of World Trade Center Utah and former chief of staff to Gov. Gary Herbert (R), said he’s thinking “very seriously” about running for Senate and expects to make a final decision in the fall. Miller has indicated that he would be willing to challenge Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) in a primary but would step aside if Mitt Romney (R) decided to run.

UT-Sen: There is a good chance that the Democrat candidate for Senate in Utah in 2018 will not be a guy wearing a dress. Salt Lake County Council Member Jenny Wilson (D) filed paperwork to create an exploratory committee and launched a campaign website ahead of a potential challenge to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R).


GA-6: In the 24 hours after Star Wars aficionado Jon Ossoff (D) clinch a spot in the special election runoff the 30 year old embodiment of the hope of the #Resistance raised over $500,000. Like Ossoff himself the vast majority of this money comes from outside of the district. The DCCC is also going on the air with another $500,000 worth of ads.

IA-4: Internet psychic Kim Weaver (D) is coming back for another run against Rep. Steve King (R) in 2018. Weaver lost to King by more than 22 points in 2016 but maybe her tarot cards are telling her something about 2018 we don’t know.

OH-14: Twice failed independent candidate for local office Betsy Rader announced she will run for Congress as a Democrat against Rep. David Joyce (R). It is not often that someone turns a failed run for Russell Township trustee into a congressional career but Ms. Rader is hoping to break the mold!

MT-AL: The attempts by Democrats to make the upcoming special congressional election an all mail-ballot election have failed. Montana state house Republicans have killed a bill that would have required the election to be conducted entirely by mail and Montanans who want to vote will have to stand in line like a bunch of schnooks.

TX-32: Former NFL linebacker Colin Allred (D) has launched a campaign to unseat Rep. Pete Sessions (R). Allred played a few seasons with the Tennessee Titans from 2007 to 2010 where he was mostly a backup and special teams player.

UT-3: In case you missed it Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) has announced he is retiring from Congress at the end of this term. Evan McMullin (R) is reportedly considering running for this seat. No word yet on what Merrill Cook (R) and Enid Greene (R) intend to do.

State, Local & Other:

Boston-Mayor: Democrat Tito Jackson (no relation to Michael Jackson) has filed papers to begin collecting signatures to run for Mayor. Jackson is will be a heavy underdog to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D) who is seeking re-election.

Cleveland-Mayor: Outspoken City Councilman Zack Reed (D) is entering this year’s mayoral race. Reed is best remembered for his DUI arrest a few years ago when he fell asleep on the steering wheel at a stop light. More than a dozen candidates have taken out nominating petitions for the race. Mayor Frank Jackson (D) announced in February that he will seek an unprecedented fourth, four-year term.

FL-SD 40: Here’s a hat tip to all politicians out there, it is probably not a good idea to use the N-word when talking about your colleagues in the state senate. Florida state Sen. Frank Artiles (R) is facing mounting pressure to resign for saying that Senate President Joe Negron (R) had only risen to his position of power because “six [n-word]” in the Republican caucus elected him. I’m not sure what’s worst Artiles blatant racism or the fact that Artiles seems to be a complete drunken idiot (although those two things are not mutually exclusive).

Fake News: We hate to link to Vox but this piece about how CNN treats politics like sports is well worth watching. The crux is CNN has turned their political coverage into reality TV theater and it is having a poisonous effect on our political discourse.

Political Roundup for April 11th, 2017

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Also stay tuned for our liveblog of the KS-4 special election later today!

Trump: A new CBS poll has Americans approving of Trump’s Syria strike 57-36, though they do think that Trump needs to get congressional approval for further action by an even larger 69-25. This has also bumped up his approval rating to a good-for-Trump 43-50.

Trump-2: Trump and his allies are slowly but surely taking control of the RNC and state parties from the top down. This is part of the long process of pushing out the state party leaders who pointedly refused to endorse or support him even after he won the GOP primary, and coalescing what is left with the Pro-Trump wing of the Republican party.

GA-6: The NYT has an interesting story how Trump’s presidential win has drastically altered the dynamics of GOP primaries, and the Obama-era trend of voters favoring Conservative purity over all else seems to be over. GOP candidates here are actively trying to sell themselves as pragmatic problem solvers, matching with an electorate that favors that over the Conservative litmus tests of old.

KS-4: Republicans are putting a lot of last-minute effort into this race, as rumors swirl that the GOP candidate here is nowhere near as safe as you would expect from an R+15 district in Kansas. This has been theorized as a “Build-the-margin” effort by the GOP, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s closer than people think due to the spectacularly unpopular administration of Governor Sam Brownback, who is probably the most disliked Governor in recent history without any kind of corruption scandal.

MO-Sen: While most observers have pegged Missouri Congresswoman Ann Wager as the overwhelming favorite to win the GOP nod to take on the vulnerable Claire McCaskill next year, a new open letter signed by a number of GOP politicians have urged freshman AG Josh Hawley to run as well. Hawley has denied interest in the run (having taken office only in January), but this might be a good sign for his future prospects for the likely-open 2022 Senate race or possibly a redrawn and more R-friendly MO-5 the same year.

MN-7: Collin Peterson, the longtime Democrat from western Minnesota, has a second challenger in state rep Tim Miller. Miller joins 2016 R candidate Dave Hughes, who is itching for a rematch after the unexpectedly-close 2016 race that saw a relatively un-targeted Peterson have the closest call of his 26 years in Congress. Expect this seat to be a top GOP target in 2018 after Trump managed to win it by almost 30 points, especially with Peterson on retirement watch in recent years.

IA-1: Rod Blum, a man most people dismissed as unserious and then a one-term fluke before he won by a surprisingly good margin last year, has a new D challenger in State Rep Abby Finkenauer. Finkenauer is a very young candidate at only 28 and is from Dubuque, so she might have trouble regaining the traction Democrats previously had in the rural expanses of the seat that kept it D-leaning for years, but she seems at the very least credible above a some-dude

TX-Sen: Ted Cruz, fresh off re-inventing himself as a team-player Republican, is raking in the $ for his first re-election campaign. Cruz faces the prospect of a high-profile D challenger in Beto O’Rouke, and given the Democrat’s love of dumping huge amounts of money in Texas in support of unapologetic White Progressives, his opponents will probably be well-funded, even for a state of Texas’s size. Cruz also faces the prospect of a serious primary challenge after having spent most of the last presidential cycle finding a way to piss off literally everybody in the Republican party at least once, but it hasn’t materialized yet and his new-found appreciation of working together with the GOP leadership might wind up saving him from one.

State & Local:

CO-Gov: Cary Kennedy (D, but not one of those Kennedys–Ireland gave us a lot of people with that last name) was probably going for quirky when she decided to announce her bid for Governor while driving in her car. However, her announcement generated instant mockery and more than a little concern, as she was clearly driving unsafely while reading her notes and talking to the cameraman in her passenger’s seat. On one hand she did generate a lot of attention for her otherwise low-profile bid after Perlmutter announced his own bid for Governor over the weekend, but I’m not sure “I want this woman to be my Governor” is now the thought racing through most Coloradan’s heads.

PA-LG: Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has ordered an investigation of his own LG, Mike Stack (D), over allegations that Stack and his wife have been abusing their staffers. Wolf and Stack, who are elected Shotgun-Wedding style in the general after running separately in the primaries, have never had a close relationship, and this might portend the possibility of Wolf recruiting a primary challenger to Stack.

TX-Voter-ID: A judge has struck down Texas’s Voter-ID laws as discriminatory (for what, the 3rd time now?). Regardless, expect this to get appealed and re-appealed, because honestly the SC probably needs to weigh in on this to finalize anything.

TX-Sen: Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) will run for Senate vs. Sen. Ted Cruz (R)

Being in the minority in the US House must be a thankless job because Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) intends to give up his safe heavily Democrat TX-16 district for the very uphill task of challenging Ted Cruz (R) in 2018. O’Rourke, a thrid-term Democrat from El Paso, starts the race with some significant disadvantages: he is poorly-known outside of his hometown of El Paso (which, as any Texan can remind you, is closer to LA than to Houston), is generally a down-the-line liberal in a state that is still reflexively conservative, and has no personal wealth that would allow him to instantly become well-known statewide. Indeed, he may not even make it to the general, as fellow Rep. Joaquin Castro (D), who represents the better base of San Antonio and is (unlike O’Rourke) Hispanic, has been considering the race as well. It’s easy to see this as an attempt to become the next Wendy Davis (i.e. someone who can raise his profile and bilk donors under the pretense of TURNING TEXAS BLUE!!!!1!!!), but there are reasons to speculate this may become a real race. First, Texas shifted very strongly left this past cycle, with Clinton coming far closer than even most Dems predicted. Second, Cruz is more skilled than just about anyone at making people who should be allies into enemies with his transparent too-clever-for-his-own-good moves and strident conservative persona, a persona that may yet draw him a credible primary challenger from the establishment wing of the party. And this seat would be seat #51 for Dems if they swept the table, giving the DSCC ample reason to pour money here in spite of the long odds if 2018 starts to look like it might become a Democratic wave. It’s unclear if this race will become truly a first-tier competitive race, but it seems likely that this will now be the first interesting Senate general election in the Lone Star State since 2002.

O’Rourke’s decision opens up his TX-16, a D+20 (2016) seat covering most of El Paso. As you might expect, all the action will be in the Democratic Primary, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t major divisions in this seat between O’Rourke’s more typically liberal faction and a more old-school Democratic establishment of Henry Cuellar-type Hispanic Conservadems. One top-tier candidate of the latter faction who has already expressed interest is outgoing El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser (D). Leeser’s predecessor, ex-Mayor and 2014 Lands Commissioner nominee John Cook (D), could also be a potential candidate but is a bit on the old side at 71. State Sen. Jose Rodriguez (D) represents the entire seat but at age 70 may also be a bit old to be interested. State Reps. Joe Moody (D), Evilina Ortega (D), Cesar Blanco (D), Joe Pickett (D), and Mary Gonzales (D) represent pieces of the seat as well and could be potential candidates; Blanco in particular, who has served as a congressional staffer, is a name to watch. Essentially all El Paso city and county officials could be potential candidates as well.

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