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Political Roundup for December 5th, 2017

Check back at noon today for our preview and open thread for today’s mayoral election in Atlanta. We will start our liveblog at 7pm eastern.

Governor:

ME-Gov: Rep. Chellie Pingree (D) is considering a run for governor in 2018. Pingree has said she will decide by the end of the month whether to enter the race to succeed term limited Gov. Paul LePage (R).

MD-Gov, MD-LG: Gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous (D) has picked former Maryland Democrat chair Susan Turnbull as his running mate. Jealous is facing Baltimore CE Kevin Kamenetz (D), Prince George’s CE Rushern Baker (D), State Sen. Rich Maladeno (D), and others in the primary to take on popular Gov. Larry Hogan (R).

OH-Gov: Richard Cordray (D) will announce his candidacy for Governor today in his hometown of Grove City, OH. This comes as a complete shock to us because based on his blatant politicization of the CFPB we had assumed Cordray had been running for governor for some time. Luckily for Cordray the Governor of Ohio doesn’t get to handpick his successor on his last day in office. That is a power Cordray believes should only be saved for unelected directors of powerful and unaccountable bureaucratic federal agencies.

SC-Gov, SC-LG: Businessman John Warren (R) is considering a run for governor. If he runs Warren would be the fifth Republican in the race joining incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster, former Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill , Catherine Templeton and Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant. Meanwhile, McMaster has chosen upstate Some Dudette businesswoman Pamela Evette (R) as his running mate; the state is switching from separate election to Team Primaries for LG this cycle.

TX-Gov: Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez (D) says she’s still considering a run for governor, but that reports that she has resigned to run for governor are false. With incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott (R) sitting on over $41 million in cash and sporting sky high approval ratings Valdez may want to keep her day job and let Mr. Leather International be the sacrificial lamb instead.

Senate:

AL-Sen: With the Flight 93 election taken to its logical conclusion Roy Moore (R) leads Doug Jones by a 49% to 46% margin with write-in candidate Lee Busby at 5% in the latest Emerson College poll. President Donald J. Trump has gone all in in his support of alleged child molester Roy Moore because in 2017 we are long past the point in which anything matters anymore.

AL-Sen: Debbie Wesson Gibson has shared more evidence of the relationship she had with Roy Moore (R) when she was a 17 year old high school student and he was a 34 year old man. Gibson released a handwritten graduation card from Moore to her and recounted her experiences dating Moore in the early 1980s. After telling Sean Hannity that he remembered Gibson as a “good girl” Moore has backtracked and begun publicly claiming he did “not know any of these women”. It was this lie that prompted Gibson to come forward with more evidence of their relationship. In response to the latest evidence that Roy Moore dated underage girls the Republican National Committee has resumed their support of Moore because nothing matters anymore.

ND-Sen: State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt (R) has decided not to run for Senate. Schmidt was heavily recruited to run by the Club for Growth. They even released poll in September that showed Schmidt leading incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) by a 4 point 48% to 44% margin. Last week Border States Electric CEO Tammy Miller (R) also declined to run for Senate. So far state Sen. Tom Campbell is the only Republican in the race but Rep. Kevin Cramer could also switch the the senate race. Former Rep. Rick Berg, who narrowly lost to Heitkamp in 2012, is also considering a run.

NJ-Sen: Former Hillary Clinton campaign staffer Michael Starr Hopkins is exploring a primary challenge to defendant sitting Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez. Menendez recently escaped justice with a hung jury in his first federal corruption trial. Federal prosecutors plan to re-try him in 2018.

UT-Sen: Donald Trump is reportedly going all out to convince Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) to seek re-election in 2018. Apparently Trumpworld thinks an 83 year old Orrin Hatch would be easier to control than a principled Sen. Mitt Romney (R) unafraid to speak his mind as he does here.

House:

CO-3: Attorney and Glenwood Springs City official Karl Hanlon (D) is in and will take on State Rep. Diane Mitch-Busch (D) in the primary for the right to face Rep. Scott Tipton (R) in this R+6 seat.

HI-1: Honolulu City Councilman Ernie Martin (D) has entered the race for the open D+17 seat Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) is vacating to run for governor. Martin will join state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim and state Rep. Kaniela Ing in seeking the Democrat nomination.

MA-3: Banker and former Cambodian refugee Bopha Malone (D) is in and now we have 12 Democrats running to replace Rep. Niki Tsongas (D) in this D+9 seat! Luckily for the Democrats Massachusetts doesn’t have California top two style jungle primary so the clown car is unlikely to hurt them all that much.

NC-2: Distillery owner Sam Searcy is dropping out of the Democratic primary for this R+7 seat held by Rep. George Holding (R) and will run for the state Senate instead. The wealthy Searcy has been self funding his campaign. Tech executive Ken Romley and former state Rep. Linda Coleman are both still seeking the Democrat nomination.

TX-6: Tarrant County Assessor Ron Wright (R) has filed to run for the R+9 seat photogenic Rep. Joe Barton (R) is retiring from. Wright once served as Barton’s chief of staff.

TX-21: Bexar GOP chair Robert Stovall has announced he is running to replace retiring Rep. Lamar Smith (R) in this R+10 seat. State Rep. Jason Isaac (R) is so far the only other prominent candidate for the seat.

TX-29: Riceland Health Care CEO Tahir Javed (D) filed papers to run for the D+19 seat of retiring Rep. Gene Green (D). Javed joins state Sen. Sylvia Garcia, Dominique Michelle Garcia, teacher Hector Morales, and attorney Roel Garcia in seeking the Democrat nomination.

PPP-Polling: A new poll from PPP shows Gene Ric (D) leading Republican incumbents in CA-25, IA-1, CO-6, VA-10, ME-2 and NY-24. Now all Democrats need to do is find one person named “Gene Ric” who lives in each of these six districts and convince them to run for Congress.

WATN: Former Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) has been sentenced to five years in prison for funneling money into a sham charity she looted.

RIP: Former Rep. John Anderson has passed away at age 95. Anderson was a Rockefeller Republican from Illinois who served 20 years in the House and ran an Independent campaign for President in 1980 and won just under 7% of the vote.

State, Local & Other:

CT-AG: State Rep. William Tong (D) is exploring a bid for the open Attorney General spot and ex-State Rep. John Shaban (R) is in. Meanwhile, there’s some chatter about changing the 10-year practicing law requirement, which makes it one of the strictest offices in the nation to qualify for.

MN-AG: St. Paul City attorney Samuel Clark (D), a former Klobuchar aide, is considering a run for Attorney General. He would join Dayton admin official Mike Rothman (D), State Rep. Debra Hillstrom (D) and ex-State Rep. Ryan Winkler (D).

NM-Auditor: Gov. Susana Martinez (R) has picked Bernalillo County commissioner and unsuccessful 2017 Albuquerque Mayoral candidate Wayne Johnson (R) to fill the Auditor’s seat for the rest of the term. Tim Keller (D) resigned as Auditor last Thursday after he was elected to become the new Mayor of Albuquerque; State Rep. Bill McCamley (D) is in the race for Dems.

NM-LG: Former independent Albuquerque mayoral candidate Michelle Garcia Holmes has changed her voter registration to Republican and will seek the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor next year. Holmes’ announcement comes after former state Indian Affairs Secretary Kelly Zunie withdrew from the race, leaving the Republican Party without a potential candidate. Zunie had tax and residency problems. Rep. Steve Pearce is the only Republican currently running for governor in the shotgun-wedding primary.

ND-SoS: GOP official Will Gardner (R) is primarying longtime incumbent Alvin Jaeger (R), who has announced he will seek an eighth term.

NV-Treas: Ex-State Rep. Andrew Martin (D), who lost a race for Comptroller in the 2014 wave, is running for the open Treasurer seat; incumbent Dan Schwartz (R) is running for Governor.

OH-Treas: 2006 nominee and ex-Ashtabula County Auditor Sandy O’Brien (R) is running again for Treasure. O’Brien probably doesn’t have much chance against State Rep. Robert Sprague (R) in the primary, as she has lost multiple primaries and only won in ’06 against an incumbent closely tied to the toxic Gov. Taft. Former Cincinnati Mayoral candidate Rob Richardson (D) is the likely D nominee.

MA-State Senate President: Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D) is temporarily stepping down from his position after bombshell sexual misconduct allegations against his husband Bryon Hefner have come to light.

CA-AD 45: Yuck! Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D) is allegedly one sick SOB!

Atlanta-Mayor: Ahead of today’s mayoral runoff election a new Channel 2 Action News/Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll shows City Councilwoman has Mary Norwood (I) at 51.3 percent and Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) at 45.1 percent.

Political Roundup for November 3, 2017

Senate:

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

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

House:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Governor/state offices:

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

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

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

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

Political Roundup for October 24, 2017

First, there is a single legislative special primary today. SC-LD-56 is an R+17 (2016) seat covering most of the inland suburbs of Myrtle Beach along State Route 31. Retired TV news anchor Tim McGinnis (R) looks like the front-runner for the seat due to his high name recognition, but chiropractor Dwyer Scott (R) has self-funded and also seems serious. College student Adam Miller (R) seems less serious. Either McGinnis or Scott could win, or the two could advance to a runoff in two weeks if Miller holds both below 50. No Democrats are running.

President:

Cuban: Billionaire businessman Mark Cuban has stated that if he runs for president in 2020 he would “probably” do so as a Republican. However, this is probably not the “Cuban” presidential candidate most Republicans were hoping for.

Governor:

IL-Gov: Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) rode a Harley and criticized state Boss House Speaker Michael Madigan (D) as he officially announced his run for a second term. Rauner released a two-minute video with him riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and promising to fight for Illinois.

NY-Gov: NY Mets owner and Ponzi scheme magnet Fred Wilpon has donated $65,000 to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) re-election campaign as he lobbies the state for approval of an arena for the NY Islanders at the Belmont Race track because this is how business is done in New York State.

RI-Gov: State Rep. Patricia Morgan becomes the first Republican to enter the race to challenge incumbent Gov. Gina Raimondo  (D) in 2018. Morgan is one of eleven GOP members of the 75 member Rhode Island state House and enters the race for governor with about $90,000 in her campaign account. Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and former Rep. Joseph Trillo are also considering a run for the GOP gubernatorial nomination.

VA-Gov: Republican Ed Gillespie’s new ad hits Democrat Ralph Northam for supporting the automatic restoration of voting rights to felons that would make it easier for them to get guns and serve on juries. The ad is part of Gillespie’s tough on crime message that seems straight out of old GOP playbooks.

Senate:

CA-Sen: State Senate leader Kevin de León (D) has $3.8 million in his state campaign account that cannot be rolled into his federal account as he seeks to take on Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D). Political strategists Maclen Zilber and Dave Jacobson have created a super PAC called A Progressive California to help support De León but it is unclear if he can transfer money from his state committees to the PAC. The legal issue may have to be resolved by federal authorities or courts as federal law restricts contributions by candidates to super PACs that support them.

MA-Sen: Republican John Kingston allegedly asked Beth Lindstrom to drop out of the Republican primary during a meeting they had last month. Kingston claimed he would be a better senate candidate against incumbent Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Faux Cherokee Nation) and allegedly offered to help Lindstrom with a congressional campaign for the MA-3 seat that Niki Tsongas is vacating or a challenge to US Senator Edward Markey’s re-election in 2020. Massachusetts state law prohibits a candidate for elected office to give another candidate anything of value in exchange for not running in the same race and Lindstrom clearly leaked this story to the Boston Globe as a way of ratf**king Kingston’s campaign. Conservative state Representative Geoff Diehl, self-promoter Shiva Ayyadurai and 2013 senate candidate Gabriel Gomez are also seeking the GOP nomination for the uphill task of unseating Warren.

MI-Sen: Former Trump White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon is in regular contact with musician Kid Rock (R) about a potential Senate run.

MS-Sen:  If Sen. Thad Cochran (R) resigns from the Senate early who would Gov. Phil Bryant (R) would appoint a temporary replacement? Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) is believed to be the most likely option but Rep. Gregg Harper (R) and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann (R) could also be possibilities. Reeves has been planning a run for Governor in 2019 so taking a Senate appointment could shake up that race. If Cochran leaves office before Nov. 6 it would prompt a special, nonpartisan election within 100 days and if he leaves office after Nov 6th it would trigger a special, nonpartisan election in November 2018 to serve out the remainder of his term which will expire at the end of 2020.

OH-Sen: Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) says the White House is full of “Goldman Sachs executives” and “white supremacists” which if true is probably just as bad as a US Senate full of wife beaters.

House:

CA-24: Republican Justin Fareed is back and will make his third run for this congressional seat. Fareed lost to Rep. Salud Carbajal (D) by 7 points in 2016 and did not make it to the top two in 2014. Fareed has raised more than $215,000 for his campaign.

MS-4: Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes (R) is “strongly considering” a primary challenge of Rep. Steven Palazzo (R). Hewes, 55, has been mayor of Gulfport since 2013 and formerly served in the state Senate from 1992 to 2012 and was president pro tem, the second-ranking position in the Senate, from 2008-2012. Hewes also ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2011.

NH-1: Illinois native Obama administration official Maura Sullivan (D), who was originally recruited to run in IL-6, is exploring a run for Congress from her new home of New Hampshire. I guess there is no better way to see a state for the first time than by travelling around it campaigning for public office.

OH-12: Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien (R) has become the first Republican candidate to announce a run for the seat Rep.  Pat Tiberi (R) intents to resign from in January.

PA-18: Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has set Tuesday March 13th as the date for the special election to replace ex-Rep. Tim Murphy (R). Under Pennsylvania law nominees will be picked through party conventions rather than primaries. Donald Trump won this seat 58% to 39% in 2016.

VA-10: Dumb viral videos work! Some dude Army vet Dan Helmer’s (D) campaign for Congress has taken off after he released a painfully bad to watch “Top Gun” themed ad in September. Helmer’s campaign account has $397,941 cash on hand which is a a lot more than Democrat rivals state Sen. Jennifer Wexton ($255,075) or former Obama administration official Alison Friedman ($241,857) have on hand. The winner of the Democrat primary will face Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) who has a history as a strong campaigner and winning elections in a swing district.

WI-3: Retired Army veteran Steve Toft (R) announced he will challenge Rep. Ron Kind next year. Kind had the good fortune to run unopposed in 2016 when his district swung from 55-44 for Obama in 2012 to 49-45 for Trump.

State, Local & Other:

Houston-Bond Measure: Lift Up Houston plans on running $250,000 worth of broadcast TV ads supporting the five bond measures on the ballot this November. The 30 second ads features Mayor Sylvester Turner urging Houstonians to go into debt to pay for pension reforms and “public improvements”.

CO-Broomfield Ballot issue 301: The Vote No on 301 supporters have raised more than $344,000 to fight this November’s ballot issue 301 which would restrict the presence of oil and gas industrial operations in Broomfield, CO.

NY-Westchester County Executive: Democrat George Latimer has released an internal poll showing him with a 1-percentage point lead over Republican incumbent Rob Astorino. If a 1 point lead is the best Latimer can show in his press release/poll there is a good chance Astorino is leading this race.

Political Roundup for September 19th, 2017

First off, there is a single legislative special primary today. MA-SD-Bristol & Norfolk is a D+5 (2016) seat stretching from Seekonk in suburban Providence to Medfield in Boston’s southwest suburbs. Two Democrats and Four Republicans are running. For Dems, Foxborough councilman and Sanders campaign operative Paul Feeney (D) and legislative staffer Ted Phillips (D) are facing off. Feeney is more of a blue-collar liberal while Phillips is a bit more upscale in sensibilities; there is no clear favorite. For Republicans, Baker admin official Mike Berry (R) has the most GOP establishment support and looks like the front-runner. Berry faces three other credible candidates in Chamber of Commerce official Harry Brousaides (R), legislative staffer Jacob Venura (R), and 2014/16 State House candidate Tim Hempton (R), who could each pull the upset. Waiting in the general is well-known retired TV investigative reporter Joe Shortsleeve (I), a former DINO who could have enough name recognition to make it an authentic three-way race or even pull an upset win.

Senate

AL-Sen: A JMC Analytics poll of likely voters shows Roy Moore keeping his large lead over Attorney General and Trump endorsee Luther Strange 47%-39%. This is actually an improvement for Strange, who trailed in the last JMC poll 51%-32%.

Governor

VA-Gov: Two new polls in the Virginia gubernatorial race. One survey shows Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) leading Ed Gillespie 44%-39% with Libertarian Cliff Hyra at 3%. However, the Princeton Survey Research Associates International poll surveys “Virginia adults,” without even a voter screen. Meanwhile, a Suffolk University poll of likely voters shows the race tied between Northam and Gillespie at 42% with Hyra at 3% again. We rate this seat Lean Democrat.

MD-Gov: Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has joined the Democratic field to take on Gov. Larry Hogan (R). The list of other Democratic candidates, lazily grabbed from the article: “Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, former NAACP leader Ben Jealous, state Sen. Richard Madaleno, technology entrepreneur and author Alec Ross, lawyer Jim Shea and Krish Vignarajah, a former policy director for first lady Michelle Obama.” We rate this seat Lean Republican.

House

MN-1: 2014 and 2016 Republican nominee Jim Hagedorn won the endorsement of two notable former congressmen: Reps. John Kline and Gil Gutknecht. The endorsements continue a continuous run of former Minnesota Republican officeholders backing Hagedorn this cycle. State Sen. Carla Nelson (R) has also been rumored to be strongly considering a run, and her Facebook page’s name recently changed from “Carla Nelson for State Senate” to just “Carla Nelson.”

UT-3: Dan Jones is re-running their poll of UT-3 mentioned in yesterday’s roundup with a full sample from the district instead of a subset from their statewide poll. The reasoning was complaints from third party candidate Jim Bennett, who barely missed the threshold for debate participation with his 6% showing in the survey.

VA-10: One of Rep. Barbara Comstock’s 1,000 opponents is sticking out. Democrat and veteran Dan Helmer sticks out for a terrible ad where he sings bad karaoke to Comstock about not holding town hall meetings. Pretty sure he won’t be her opponent.

MI-11: A lot of movement in Rep. Dave Trott (R)’s suddenly open seat. First off, State Rep. Rocky Raczkowski (R). Second, Lena Epstein (R) dropped down from the Senate race to this House bid. State Rep. Klint Kesto also plans to run. The article has a Great Mentioner of other candidates on both sides of the aisle. We previously ranked this seat Lean R when Trott was still in the race. Click here for some of yesterday’s discussion of the candidates on RRH Elections.

NY-24: Syracuse professor Dana Balter (R) is in the race against Rep. John Katko (R). While several other Democrats are considering runs in this swing seat that Katko surprisingly locked down over the last two cycles, Onondaga Community College board chair Anne Messenger is already in.

NY-27: Veteran Erin Cole (D) is out after a short-lived campaign. While Rep. Chris Collins is one of the least threatened Republican congressmen in New York, county Democratic leaders have still interviewed a number of potential candidates.

RIP: Longtime former congressman Bill Goodling (R) of Pennsylvania has passed away at the age of 89.

State and Local

TX-leg: Former State Rep. Steve Toth has the support of 30 former and current Republican State Representatives in his comeback bid. Toth left the chamber after a failed primary challenge to Rep. Kevin Brady, the Ways & Means Committee Chairman in Congress. While Toth would be expected to receive significant Freedom Caucus and allied endorsements, there are a few Straus allies that surprisingly make the list like State Reps. JM Lozano and Jason Isaac.

TX-leg: On the other side of the aisle, State Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D) gains another reprieve as the Travis County DA holds off on felony charges of fraud with new information in the case. She still faces two misdemeanor charges.

International

Spain: Spanish federal government authorities are attempting to stifle campaigning in the Catalonian-led independence referendum on October 1st. Besides seizing campaign materials from the pro-independence side, the government is also threatening to arrest Carles Puigdemont, the regional government head, and other government officials supporting the referendum.

Iceland: Iceland’s Parliament has been set to dissolve October 27th; elections will be held October 28th.

 

Political Roundup for August 3, 2017

Polling Update: Tonight is our final night of calling for our poll of the Republican special election primary for US Senate in Alabama. We are targeting to have the results of the poll ready to be published on Monday but there is a chance we could have it sooner so be sure to check in with us tomorrow! As a reminder our polls are unlike any other organization or news source since they are 100% funded by crowdsourced donations and put together by volunteer political junkies for political junkies. We still need your help to cover the cost of this effort! If you would like to help and to be a part of this poll please go to our donation page: https://www.paypal.me/RedRacingHorses and contribute to our poll fund today!

President:

Patrick: Barack Obama’s inner circle is urging former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) to run for President in 2020. Since leaving the Governorship Patrick has been raking in the big bucks at Bain Capital.

Zuckerberg: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been touring around the country and has hired Democratic pollster Joel Benenson to conduct research for the Zuckerberg-Chan Initiative. Benenson is a former top adviser to President Barack Obama and the chief strategist to Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential campaign. In January Zuckerberg hired David Plouffe, campaign manager for Obama’s 2008 presidential run, as president of policy and advocacy for the Zuckerberg-Chan Initiative. Ken Mehlman, who ran President George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign, also sits on the board.

Governor:

CO-Gov: Colorado Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne (D) is exploring a run for governor. Lynne was appointed Lt Governor in May of 2016. When she was appointed to her post Lynne stated that she had no ambitions to replace term limited Gov. John Hickenlooper (D). Clearly someone with lots of ambition to be governor is not above lying about those ambitions to get the job she wants. Rep. Jared Polis, former state Sen. Mike Johnston, former Colorado Treasurer Cary Kennedy and businessman Noel Ginsburg are also running on the Democrat side.

NY-Gov: Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner (D) is considering a primary challenge to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) next year. Miner is termed out of her current office and will be without a job next year. Miner was once a close ally of Gov. Cuomo. Cuomo picked her to serve as co-chairman of the state Democratic party in 2012 but she left the post after a falling out with Cuomo over her criticism of his policies. Former one-term Hudson Valley state Sen. Terry Gipson (D) is also considering a primary challenge to Cuomo. On the GOP side, another Syracusian, State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R), is considering a run. DeFrancisco was kept out of the Majority Leader’s job through Cuomo’s intervention on behalf of his intraparty rival, State Sen. John Flanagan (R).

OK-Gov: Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb (R) is leading the money race in the quest to become the next governor of Oklahoma. Lamb has raised more than $2 million which is significantly more than any of the other 13 candidates currently running. Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett (R) reported raising $181,000 while former State Attorney General Drew Edmondson is the top fundraiser among the four Democrats in the race collecting $300,211 so far.

TN-Gov: Rep. Diane Black (R) will run for Governor. This will open R+26 TN-06. We had full coverage on this yesterday.

Senate:

AL-Sen: Mitch McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund super PAC is up with $435,000 in TV ads attacking Judge Roy Moore (R) for raking in over $1 million in salary from his own charity The Foundation for Moral Law. You can see the ad HERE. The Senate Leadership PAC which is supporting appointed incumbent Luther Strange (R) had been focusing their fire on Rep. Mo Brooks (R).

IN-Sen: State Rep. Mike Braun (R) is assembling a campaign team and will announce his Senate candidacy in the next week or so. Rep. Luke Messer (R) entered the race last week while Rep. Todd Rokita (R) and Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill are also looking at running. Democrat incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly is viewed as one of the more vulnerable Democrats next year.

MA-Sen: In the all important hunt for Curt Schilling’s endorsement state Rep. Geoff Diehl (R) seems to have won out over Fran Drescher’s ex-husband Shiva Ayyadurai (R). Not sure if any of this means anything in terms of beating Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) but as the last Republican to hold this seat would say, Bqhatevwr!

MI-Sen: Kid Rock’s ex-girlfriend Sheryl Crow has written a song about his potential senate run. The song entitled  “Dude I’m Still Alive” features catchy lyrics like  “At least the guy’s not 90 / In his 32nd term / but a pole in the Lincoln bedroom / is bound to make some people squirm.” No word yet if Sheryl plans to write a song about John James.

MO-Sen: Looks like the GOP will get its man! Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) will announce he will open an exploratory committee to run for Senate on Friday. Hawley is the GOP’s top recruit to take on vulnerable Democrat incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill.

NE-Sen: Sen. Ben Sasse (R) has wisely turned down the job of heading the Heritage Foundation. After the internal discord there that lead to Jim DeMint getting pushed out, Sasse was smart to say “No thanks”.

NJ-Sen: Just a friendly reminder we are less than five weeks away from the start of Sen. Bob Menendez’s corruption trial.

House:

IA-3: Former US Treasury Department economist Austin Frerick (D) has become the 7th Democrat to enter race vs Rep. David Young (R). If no candidate gets more than 35% of the vote in the primary the results are thrown out and a convention will pick the Democrat nominee. This is how David Young won the GOP nomination in his first run for office.

MD-6: State Sen. Roger Manno (D) and businessman David Trone (D) have entered the race for Democrat Rep. John Delaney’s now open seat. Manno is the Maryland Senate majority whip and Trone spend more than $13 million of his own money on his campaign for the 8th Congressional District last year. They joins Maryland House Majority Leader C. William “Bill” Frick (D) and Del. Aruna Miller (D) in the race for the Democrat nomination.

NY-11: Army veteran some dude Max Rose is the fifth Democrat to announce a challenge to Rep. Daniel Donovan (R). He joins some dude former cop Mike Decillis, some dude bond trader Zach Emig, some dude retired boxer Boyd Melson and some dude Michael DeVito Jr. in seeking the Democrat nomination. Unlike most of the other Democrat challengers Rose has actually lives in Staten Island (albeit only for the last 2 years). As is the way in New York politics the local party bosses will probably sort this out and narrow the field as to who will earn the right to lose to Dan Donovan.

NY-21: Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello, who ran for Congress in 2014 and 2016, announced he will not run again in 2018. Funiciello received 11% of the vote in 2014 and 4.4% in 2016 in elections that Republican Elise Stefanik easily won with 55.2% of the vote and 63%.

PA-1: Millennial Nonprofit Executive Omar Woodard (D) might primary Democrat party boss Rep. Bob Brady. Woodward is black and Brady is white. PA-1 is minority-majority with Whites making up 40% of the district, Blacks 35% and Hispanics 16%. Brady is currently under federal investigation for allegedly bribing a potential primary opponent $90,000 not to run. No word yet on how much cash Brady is offering Woodward to forgo his campaign.

PA-4: Rev. George Scott (D) has launched a campaign for the Democrat nomination to challenge Rep. Scott Perry (R) in this R+11 district.

TX-23: Former Air Force intelligence officer Gina Ortiz Jones (D) has launched a run vs Rep. Will Hurd (R) in what is probably the only truly competitive congressional district under the current lines in Texas (there is an outstanding federal court challenge to Texas congressional lines). Although Jones is the first major Democrat to announce former Obama official Judy Canales, former federal prosecutor Jay Hulings, and former Rep. Pete Gallego are considering running as well.

VA-10: Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) primary opponent perennial candidate Shak Hill has been posting articles about penis enlargement and proper techniques for prostate milking on his website throughout the summer. While we are not sure that this will be a successful campaign strategy it is good to remember that it will be 2018 so who the heck knows anymore.

State, Local & Other:

AK-LG: State Sen. Gary Stevens (R) is the first candidate running in the shotgun-wedding primary for Lt. Governor. State Sen. Mike Dunleavy (R) is as of yet the only significant declared gubernatorial candidate for Republicans.

AR-SoS: 2014 nominee Susan Inman (D) is running again for the open seat. She lost to term limited incumbent Mark Martin by 25 points in 2014 and lost a bid for Arkansas HD-32 in 2016 by 13 points.

CO-Treas: State Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R) is the fourth Republican to announce a run for Treasurer. He joins fellow state lawmakers Justin Everett and Polly Lawrence and Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn into the GOP primary. Current state Treasurer Walker Stapleton (R) is term-limited and is expected to jump into the Colorado governor’s race. The only Democrat to announce a run so far is state Rep. Steve Lesbock.

Mobile, AL- Mayor: Incumbent Mayor Sandy Stimpson (R) leads ex-Mayor Sam Jones (D) 53-43; Stimpson’s lead comes from getting close to a quarter of the black vote in the roughly half-black, half-white city. The election is August 22nd.

Birmingham, AL-Mayor: Incumbent Mayor William Bell (D) is on pace to win outright with 54% in the latest poll. Former Auburn football player Chris Woods (D) is a distant 2nd at almost 17%. Assistant city attorney and Birmingham Board of Education member Randall Woodfin (D) is close behind in 3rd at 14%, with no other candidates above 10% in voter support.

NYC-Mayor: Mayor Bill deBlasio has asked for $2.9 million in taxpayer money to fund his primary campaign against two little known Democrat opponents who have raised barely $124,000 in campaign cash. This is clearly a much better use of government money than fixing the damn subways.

Political Roundup for June 29th, 2017

With a 12% approval rating, the widely-maligned Senate health care bill looms like the latest death star over Republican Senators. However, considering only two (Flake and Heller) face particularly difficult races our Senate section will be pretty light today. Welcome back to the roundup y’all.

Senate

AZ-Sen: RIP Dean Flake, father of Sen. Jeff Flake and former mayor of Snowflake (pop. 5600).

NV-Sen / NV-3: Perennial candidate and dynastic scion Danny Tarkanian (R) had been talking about primarying Sen. Dean Heller after a string of electoral losses in recent years. However, now Tarkanian says that Rep. Jacky Rosen (D) running for Senate “changed everything.” Instead, he is “probably going to end up” running again in NV-3 (where he lost to Rosen in 2016), although he won’t absolute rule out any other options.

Governor

WI-Gov: While she still sits as a state senator, Kathleen Vinehout is something of a perennial candidate for Governor. She has again filed a committee to run for Governor in 2018, saying she needs to raise money to travel the state and explore a campaign. Vinehout placed third in the Democratic primary during the 2012 Walker recall, and she dropped out before the primary in the 2014 gubernatorial race. The article also gives a nice Great Mentioner for other potential Democratic candidates:

Other potential candidates who have said they’re considering a run or have not ruled out the possibility include Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, former Democratic Party of Wisconsin chairman Matt Flynn, Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ, state Rep. Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, businessman Andy Gronik and state Rep. Dana Wachs, D-Eau Claire.

Yeah, not an incredibly intimidating list. And Walker fans have reason to cheer, because a new Marquette poll shows his approval back up to 48%-48%. For comparison, President Trump is at 41%-55% in the same poll, though with surprising strength in the Green Bay and Appleton media market.

MA-Gov: Gov. Charlie Baker (R) crushes all Democratic comers in the latest WBUR / MassInc poll. He leads Setti Warren 53%-26%, Bob Massie 55%-25%, and Jay Gonzalez 55%-22%. All of these challengers have low name recognition. For comparison, the poll also tests a hypothetical race between Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey (D), who has repeatedly said she will run for reelection. Even in that matchup, Baker leads 48%-36%, which is still a nice lead but very closeable for a Democrat in Massachetts- if you are skeptical, ask Sen. Scott Brown). Baker also sports a 64%-15% favorable rating.

NV-Gov: Treasurer Dan Schwartz is strongly considering a gubernatorial run after an internal poll found him 4 points behind Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R). In the article, Schwartz accused Laxalt of catering to the alt-right and assailed Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson.

House

The playing field: A number of articles in the last few dates note the glut of Democratic House candidates this cycle. They include:

  • The Hill gives a historical look at the number of candidates filed. 489 new Democratic candidates have filed for House races as of last Tuesday, whereas at this point in the 2016 cycle only 190 new candidates had filed. Between 2009 and 2015, an average of 179 new candidates had filed at this point in the election cycle.
  • The Washington Post has a focus on TX-32, where former NFL linebacker and Obama administration staffer Collin Allred faces former State Department official Ed Meier in the Democratic primary. However, I’m still not sure what insight the mention of a Panera Bread location in the district is supposed to give the reader.

CA-34: Newly-elected Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D) won a special election for Congress almost a month ago. Nevertheless, Gomez is playing a bizarre game of Where’s Waldo and has thus far avoided being seated for his new position. Instead, he has stalled to try and deliver a 2/3rds majority on a California cap and trade proposal for Governor Jerry Brown (D). To be clear, Reps. Ralph Norman,  Karen Handel (elected June 20th), and Greg Gianforte (elected May 25th) have already been seated.  Facing pressure from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R), Gomez said he actually only gave Governor Brown until June 15th to have his vote on cap and trade. House leaders plan to seat Gomez July 11th when legislators return from recess.

UT-3 / /UT-Gov: Recently-resigned Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) has signed on with Fox News as a contributor. Chaffetz is thought to be considering a 2020 gubernatorial run; a berth at the conservative news network is one effective way to keep his face in front of voters.

MA-6: A profile of Rep. Seth Moulton (D) that highlights his opposition to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s leadership and features gushing praise from General David Petraeus, who he served under during the Iraq surge. The article has an excellent lede that spotlights a thankful letter Moulton sent Pelosi last September, before the 2016 elections (apparently Pelosi’s office saved the note, which the Boston Globe reposted in full in a nice bit of Democratic fratricide). Nowadays, Moulton is a leader of the Democratic opposition to Pelosi. The Minority Leader strongly supported Tierney in Moulton’s 2014 primary with the former incumbent, and her daughter worked as the incumbent’s chief of staff.

MA-7: Cambridge Councilman Nadeem Mazen (D) will primary Rep. Mike Capuano (D). If you don’t know much about Mazen, here’s an AMA he did on Reddit where he says he was an Occupier.

MN-1: High school teacher John Austinson (DFL) is running for the open 1st congressional district seat. Austinson lost a legislative race for a rural Olmstead County seat last cycle by almost 20 points, so I’m sharing this announcement more for the Great Mentioner.

Democrats who have announced they are running so far are former state Sen. Vicki Jensen, of Owatonna, and electronic pull-tabs salesman Colin Minehart of Albert Lea. Two others have said they are mulling a bid — former assistant secretary of defense Dan Feehan and Center for Energy and Environment strategic relations manager Joe Sullivan, both of Mankato.

On the Republican side, there is still officially only one candidate. Blue Earth Republican Jim Hagedorn is running for the seat after narrowly losing to Walz in November. However, several other Republicans are considering getting into the race. They include Republican Party of Olmsted County Chairman [and 2014 MNGOP-endorsed congressional candidate who lost the primary to Hagedorn] Aaron Miller, of Byron; Sen. Carla Nelson, of Rochester; Pierson, of Rochester; and state Rep. Joe Schomacker, of Luverne.

While I’m on my soapbox, I remain flummoxed at the support Hagedorn has received so far. Pierson may be the best candidate electorally on this list, easily holding down a seat just outside rapidly-blueing Rochester in Olmstead County in the last two elections, but so far this open seat just underscores the reality that Minnesota has the lowest-hanging fruit that always stays just out of reach.

NY-27: Rep. Chris Collins (R) lost almost $17 million in stocks in a biotech company on Tuesday after a new drug failed clinical trials. Other Republicans who lost out through their investments (pitched by Collins) include now-HHS Secretary Tom Price (of GA-6 fame) and Reps. Markwayne Mullin (OK-2), Billy Long (MO-7), Mike Conaway (TX-11), and Doug Lamborn (CO-5). Together, the Collins family owns almost a fifth of the company.

VA-10: More Democratic candidates in the clown car race to challenge Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) in NoVa. The two new names are Alison Kiehl Friedman, an anti-human trafficking expert and former congressional staffer; and Deep Sran, an Indian-American and the founder of a small private school called the Loudoun School for the Gifted. That brings the total field to seven Democrats, including State Sen. Jennifer Wexton.

Miscellaneous

TX-GOP / TX-leg: Newly-installed Republican Party of Texas Chairman James Dickey is leading the state party on a major push to influence the upcoming special legislative session. The party’s priorities, chosen by delegates at the last state convention, largely align with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s goals for the session. Curious how this push will impact fundraising for the state party or if it will make much of a difference policy-wise (probably not much on either front).

TX-Ag Comm: Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said recently that he is still in the mix for several federal positions in the USDA. The article also features Miller lamenting the blaming the hold-up of lower Cabinet nominees on “the deep state people” in the FBI loyal to Jim Comey. While Miller noted he likes being a “big fish in a small pond” in Texas, if he did take a federal post Gov. Greg Abbott would appoint a replacement to serve through the 2018 elections.

TX-Redistrict: The Houston Chronicle looks at how the Surpreme Court’s look at legislative redistricting in Wisconsin could affect court challenges to Texas’ congressional maps. The Wisconsin case focusones on partisanship as a consideration in redistricting, while in Texas arguments focus on racial discrimination through the drawn lines. In fact, in Texas political considerations tend to be used as the defense for packing and cracking majority-minority areas.

ME-voting: Maine’s ranked choice voting law stands for this year after House and Senate efforts to limit or repeal the legislation fell short. However, opponents expect such a repeal in the next legislative session next January ahead of statewide primary elections in June 2018 that would occur under ranked choice voting. A Maine Supreme Court advisory opinion said that the law was likely unconstitutional regarding the gubernatorial and state legislative elections without a constitutional amendment.

NYC-Mayor: Businessman Paul Massey (R) withdrew from the mayoral race today, citing the difficulty of fundraising and a lack of excitement surrounding his campaign. The withdrawal clears the path for Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis to cinch the Republican nomination. Massey is not rushing to endorse Malliotakis, and his withdrawal opens up the Independence Party line.

Boston-Mayor: A Suffolk poll has incumbent Marty Walsh leading Councilman Tito Jackson 54%-23%. Walsh also has a massive fundraising lead on Jackson, putting a nail in the coffin long before the November 7th election.

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