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Political Roundup for October 11th, 2017

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

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

President/Miscellaneous

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

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

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

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

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

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

Congress

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

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

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

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

The States

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

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

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

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

Places where Donald Trump isn’t President

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

Political Roundup for September 26, 2017

Today starting at 8ET we will have a liveblog of the Alabama Senate runoff. See our preview HERE for full details. The thread will open at 7ET for discussion of legislative specials in Florida and the mayoral race in Boston.

Senate:

MI-Sen: Rep. Fred Upton (R) attended the Mackinac Island GOP summit last week, and he appears to be moving closer to a run for the seat of Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D). Two other Republicans are in the race, former supreme court justice Bob Young (R) and businessman John James (R).  At Mackinac, the betting among GOP insiders is that the big name hanging over this race, rock star Robert “Kid Rock” Ritchie (R), will not ultimately enter the race. Additionally, a MRG poll has Stabenow up over Ritchie 52-34.

NJ-Sen: This is a worthwhile read on possible gaming out the possible Phil Murphy (D) appointees to the seat of Sen. Bob Menendez (D) should Menendez be convicted on the corruption charges for which he’s currently standing trial. The article seems to think that Reps. Donald Norcross (D) and Frank Pallone (D) are the most likely appointees, with ethically-questionable ex-Sen. Bob Torricelli (D) a possible wild-card. This article at least seems to think that Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop (D) is no longer interested in the seat, but that topic is still one under heated discussion. General betting seems to be that Menendez will be able to drag things out until after Gov. Chris Christie (R) leaves office at the end of the year.

Governor:

AL-Gov: Ex-State Rep. and 2010 LG nominee James Fields (D) is surprisingly running for Governor, after spending the summer exploring a run for LG. Fields looks like something of a long-shot in the primary, as he could face two better-known candidates. Ex-State Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb (D) is in the race and Tuscaloosa Mayor Scott Maddox (D) is considering and will make a decision by the end of the year.

HI-Gov: Kauai CE Ernest Carvalho (D) quietly announced a bid for Governor last week. Carvalho leads one of the state’s four populated counties, but Kauai contains just around 4% of the state’s population, making him likely to be a third wheel in this race. Incumbent David Ige (D) and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) seem set for a titanic primary collision, and it seems unlikely Carvalho will be a major factor (except for perhaps siphoning off votes from Kauai).

KS-Gov: Ex-State Rep. Mark Hutton (R) has become the latest candidate into this crowded primary, joining SoS Kris Kobach (R), LG and Gov-designate Jeff Colyer (R), Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer (R), ex-State Sen. Jim Barnett (R), and businessman Wink Hartman (R) in the primary. Hutton seems likely to run more to the moderate side of the moderate/conservative chasm in the state party, along with Barnett and Selzer; Kobach, Colyer, and Hartman are considered conservatives. One more moderate, ex-State Rep. Ed O’Malley (R), is also considering.

MD-Gov: Ex-AG Doug Gansler (D) will not enter the race to take on Gov. Larry Hogan (R), preferring to stay in the private sector. A recent poll from Goucher College showing Hogan with a 62/16 approval rating and up 52/41 against a generic challenger (not even a generic Democrat) may have played a part in his decision. Baltimore CE Kevin Kamenetz (D), Prince George’s CE Rushern Baker (D), State Sen. Rich Maladeno (D), and ex-NAACP chair Benjamin Todd Jealous (D) so far look like the major candidates in this race, though others are in this race.

RI-Gov: Ex-Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D) is considering a comeback bid. The liberal popular Republican Senator turned unpopular Indie Governor turned asterisk-level 2016 Dem presidential candidate has made it clear he will run in the D primary, challenging Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) from the left, instead of as an Indie. Chafee, whose term as Governor was generally regarded as plagued by mismanagement, would likely be a far more preferable opponent for any Republican than the moderate Raimondo.

WI-Gov: State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D) officially entered the race to take on Gov. Scott Walker (R) yesterday. Vinehout’s previous run in the 2012 recall didn’t amount to much, but she is still a credible candidate. Vinehout joins State Superintendent Tony Evers (D), State Rep. Dana Wachs (D), nonprofit exec Mike McCabe (D), and businessman Andy Gronik (D) in the race; so far, CW has Evers as the front-runner.

House:

MA-3: Cambridge councilman Nadeem Mazen (D) is exploring a run for the open 3rd district seat, a Merrimack Valley area seat that comes nowhere near Cambridge. However, Mazen, who grew up in the district, does have name recognition as a rare Muslim elected official. Should he enter he will join State Sen. Barbara L’Italien (D) and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh CoS Dan Koh (D) in the race, with several others considering.

NC-2: 2012/2016 LG nominee Linda Coleman (D), a former Gov. Perdue administration official who ran two credible statewide races against incumbent Dan Forest (R), is tackling another contest, the NC-2 seat of Rep. George Holding (R). The seat is based in the strongly-blue trending Raleigh suburbs, but includes enough rural territory to the east to make it a fairly strongly Republican seat. However, Coleman is a credible nominee and the seat is not bulletproof, so she may have a chance at the upset.

PA-15: Nonprofit exec Alan Jennings (D) is considering a run for this light-red Lehigh Valley open seat, joining Northampton DA John Morganelli (D) in considering this race. Two lesser-known Dems are in the race but seem unlikely to emerge with establishment support. Republicans have an increasingly bitter primary between State Reps. Ryan Mackenzie (R) and Justin Simmons (R).

WA-8: State Sen. Dino Rossi (R) will mount a bid for this open seat, based in the southeast Seattle suburbs. Local Republicans seem to be pegging Rossi, who lost three statewide runs by narrow margins in 2004, 2008, and 2010, as their top candidate. Rossi’s name recognition and cred with most of the area’s GOP establishment may to get him a free pass on the GOP side of the ledger in the top-two primary. However, this looks likely to be a very hard-fought general, as this seat is PVI-EVEN and has been trending left.

WV-1: Democrats may have a contested primary in this deep-red northern WV seat, as law professor and law school administrator Kendra Fershee (D) announced her run. Fershee will face San Francisco attorney Ralph Baxter (D) in the primary; either will face a very tough race for this deep-red and ultra-Trumpist seat against incumbent Rep. David McKinley (R).

State & Local:

AL-LG: Elected state school board member Mary Scott Hunter (R) will drop out of the LG race to run for State Senate in the Huntsville area. Hunter, an antiestablishment conservative, has been embroiled in a dispute with her fellow board members over a prior state superintendent that has not left her looking good; she was considered an underdog in the primary. PSC chair Twinkle Cavanaugh (R), State Sen. Rusty Glover (R), and State Rep. Will Ainsworth (R) are in the race.

GA-SoS: Ex-Rep. John Barrow (D) is making a comeback attempt, though very much not in a race most were expecting. Barrow, who represented a conservative east-central Georgia seat until being swept out in the 2014 wave, will run for the open SoS seat. The decision is somewhat surprising as he likely could have had the gubernatorial nomination for the asking. Republicans have a crowded primary field for the seat; incumbent Brian Kemp (R) is running for Governor.

IL-AG, IL-SoS: The pieces are slowly moving into place for this race after incumbent Lisa Madigan (D) announced her intent not to run for re-election. Republicans seem to be circling the wagons around former congressional candidate and former Miss America Erika Harold (R). For Dems, State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D) and State Rep. Scott Drury (D) are in the race, along with the inspector/auditor of the Chicago Police, Sharon Fairley (D). Several other Dems are considering. One other candidate, State Sen. Mike Hastings (D), has announced he is considering runs for both AG and the SoS seat. Incumbent SoS Jesse White (D) is said to be running again, but Hastings is hedging his bets that White may pull a late retirement.

MA-LG: Comedian Jimmy Tingle (D) has entered the shotgun-wedding primary for Lt. Governor, becoming the first major candidate to enter the race to join the D primary winner in an uphill run against popular Gov. Charlie Baker (R) and LG Karyn Polito (R).

MI-AG: Ex-US Attorney Pat Miles (D) has filed for this convention race. Miles seems a credible candidate and so far looks like the front-runner for the Dem nod. State Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker (R) is in the race on the GOP side, but others are considering.

MI-SoS: One Republican is in and one Republican is out of this convention race. State Sen. Mike Kowall (R) withdrew from the race, most likely to run for MI-11; in his stead, university regent Mary Treder-Lang (R) has entered. Treder-Lang joins township clerk Stan Grot (R) and Trump campaign operative Joseph Guzman (R) in the race. 2010 nominee and law professor Jocelyn Benson (D) is considered likely to make another run for Dems.

NV-SoS: State Rep. Nelson Arujo (D) has announced his run for SoS. Arujo seems likely to be the Dem establishment choice to take on incumbent Barbara Cegavske (R), who has said she will seek a second term.

OH-Treas: University regent and former Cincinnati Mayoral candidate Rob Richardson (D) has announced his campaign for Treasurer, filling out Dems’ statewide Row Officer bingo card with a slate of four credible candidates. Richardson joins ex-US Attorney Steve Dettelbach (D) for AG, State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D) for SoS, and ex-US Rep. Zack Space (D) for Auditor; none are expected to face serious primaries. The GOP has a primary for this open seat between State Rep. Robert Sprague (R) and Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo (R).

RI-AG: Ex-US Attorney Peter Neronha (D) will run for AG. Neronha looks like the front-runner to succeed termed-out AG Peter Killmartin (D), though State Rep. Robert Craven (D) is also considering.

SD-AG: State Sen. Lance Russell (R) has become the fourth Republican into this convention race, joining deputy AG Charles McGuigan (R), Lawrence County DA John Fitzgerald (R), and 2014 Senate candidate Jason Ravnsborg (R).

Baltimore, MD-CE: A pair of Republicans have entered this open seat race. Antiestablishment State Rep. Pat McDonough (R), a Trumpulist, and establishement-friendly Hogan Admin official Al Redmer (R) have entered the race. McDonough starts with higher name recognition, but Redmer has Hogan’s endorsement and would likely be a stronger candidate in the large suburban county that went by large margins for Hogan in 2014 and Clinton in 2016.

Political Roundup for September 7th, 2017

Hello from Philadelphia, where Jim Kenney’s courageous soda tax is at work saving lives in the name of public health and social justice.

President & Misc.

2020 Census: In news that could affect the accuracy of the next census, and therefore the upcoming congresssional apportionment, The Economist reports that the upcoming budget underfunds the Census Bureau by approximately $300 million.

Demographic Trends: In a development which will continue to shape our political landscape, non-Hispanic white Christians now make up less than 50% of the population. Maybe pushing policies that appeal almost exclusively to that specific demographic isn’t such a good idea for winning the future…

Redistricting: A slew of prominent Republicans, including John McCain, John Kasich, Bob Dole, John Danforth, Dick Lugar, Alan Simpson, and the Governator, have called on SCOTUS to end gerrymandering.

Sign of the Times: The Chamber of Commerce is spending millions in order to pressure Republicans into voting for The Donald’s yet-to-exist tax plan.

Governor

CT-Gov, CT-LG: Middletown Mayor Dan Drew (D) has picked State Rep. Liz Linehan (D-Cheshire) as his unofficial running mate ahead of their respective separate primaries.

IL-Gov, IL-LG: Moonbat fantasy and State Sen. Daniel Biss (D-People’s Republic of Evanston) has dropped his running mate, Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, over his “boycott, divestment, and sanctions” position on Israel.

Senate

AL-Sen: Birds of a feather… Freedom Caucus Chairman and NC US Rep. Mark Meadows (R-Cashiers) has endorsed repeatedly in-contempt ex-State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R-Where Else but Alabama?) in the Republican primary to fill the seat vacated by AG Jeff Sessions.

House

IN-04: Former Indiana Workforce Development Commissioner and ex-State Rep. Steve Braun (R-Zionsville) will run to replace Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Indianapolis) in 2018. Braun, of the Indianapolis suburbs, is a business consultant.

PA-11: State Rep. Tarah Toohill (R-Butler Township), probably too busy having fun, won’t run for the soon-to-be-open seat being vacated by Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Hazleton).

PA-15: State Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Coopersburg) has decided to challenge one of the good ones, Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Allentown), in a primary. While Dent has historically significantly overperformed, the incumbent has butted heads with Trump acolytes.

SD-AL: Former Public Utilities Commission member Dusty Johnson claims to be on track to break the primary stage fundraising record of $400,000 set by Blake Curd (R-Sioux Falls) in 2010. It should be noted that Curd lost that primary to outgoing Rep. Kristi Noem (R-Castlewood).

WA-08: ICYMI, Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Auburn) will retire at the end of this term, his seventh, ahead of the 2018 buzzsaw midterms. We wish the former King County Sheriff and hero well as he potentially gears up for a rumored 2020 gubernatorial bid—or a payday on K Street. This is a district that has been represented by Republicans – Rod Chandler, Jennifer Dunn (mother of King County Commissioner and possible WA-08 candidate Reagan Dunn), and Dave Reichert – since its 1983 inception, yet there’s obviously nothing to see here regarding Reichert’s timing, folks. Paging electoral juggernaut and ex-State Sen. Steve Litzow (R-Mercer Island)…

State Level

TX Voter ID: The 5th Circuit has stayed a ruling against Texas’ voter ID law on the basis that the state is likely to succeed on the merits of its appeal, allowing the law to remain in place for this year’s elections.

TX HD-52: Four-term State Rep. Larry Gonzales (R-Round Rock) is retiring in a district that the Donald won by a single point (46.7%-45.3%). Mitt Romney won this same district by 12 (54.7%-42.4%).

TX SD-02: State Rep. Cindy Burkett (R-Mesquite) is challenging State Senator Bob Hall (R-Edgewood). Hall successfully primaried Burkett’s one-time boss, then State Sen. Bob Deuell (R-Greenville) in 2014 in this northeastern Dallas suburban and exurban district.

TX SD-08: Angela Paxton (R-McKinney), wife of TX AG Ken Paxton (R-McKinney), is mulling a run for the seat being vacated by Cruzian contrarian and State Sen. Van Taylor (R-Plano).

WA-8: Rep. Dave Reichert (R) is retiring

Rep. Dave Reichert (R) has announced he will not run for re-election to an eighth term in 2018. Before he was elected to Congress in 2004 Reichert was well known as the King Country Sheriff who hunted and caught the Green River killer. Reichert won his 1st election by a 5 point margin while John Kerry was carrying his district by 3 points over President George W. Bush. Since then Reichert has consistently held down this swingy PVI EVEN district. Reichert won re-election in 2016 with 60% of the vote while Hillary Clinton was carrying the district by a 48% to 45% margin and was probably a safe bet for re-election. With him out this seat becomes a prime pick up opportunity for the Democrats. Washington state uses the California style top two jungle primary system so anything is possible here.

The EVEN PVI 8th district spans both sides of the Cascades, rendering it physically, culturally, and politically divided. The district’s largest Democratic base lies in the fast-growing Eastside suburbs of Seattle. Sammamish, Issaquah, and Snoqualmie have been growing, and significantly bluing, as the Seattle area’s urban growth boundary has expanded and liberal tech workers have poured into the plethora of new houses and apartments being built there. Luckily for the GOP, while growing this slice of the district is still only home to about 150K people. The bulk of the district’s population (~450K) lives in the politically-mixed middle class Seattle and Tacoma suburbs and exurbs in southern King and outer Pierce Counties. East of the Cascades lies about 100K in generally-conservative mountain towns with hippies mixed in, keeping these areas generally Republican but competitive.

The next Congressman will likely come from west of the Cascades, where the bulk of both parties’ bases lives. On the Republican side, the strongest candidate would be State Senator Joe Fain (R-Auburn), who holds a medium-blue, middle class district centered around Auburn in the southern Seattle suburbs and exurbs. Another strong candidate would be former State Rep. Chad Magendanz (R-Mirromont) who nearly defeated an incumbent State Senator in the rapidly blueing Eastside Seattle exurbs in 2016. An outside the box candidate would be popular former State Senator Steve Litzow (R-Mercer Island), who ran 20% ahead of Donald Trump in 2016 but narrowly lost. Litzow represented portions of Sammamish and Issaquah in the State Senate. Potential less likely possibilities could include State Sens. Randi Becker (R) and Phil Fortunato (R), appointed State Sen. Dino Rossi (R), and another half-dozen GOP state Reps. State Sen. Brad Hawkins (R) could be a possibility from across the cascades, which will punch above its weight on the GOP side, and State Sen. Mark Miloscia (R) could have a niche as the downscale moderate candidate. From outside the legislature, other potential candidates could include a pair of 2016 statewide contenders, gubernatorial nominee and former elected port commissioner Bill Bryant (R) and Treasurer candidate Michael Waite (R), who previously managed Bill Gates’s personal finances. From local office, Pierce CE Bruce Dammeier (R) and King County commissioners Reagan Dunn (R), Kathy Lambert (R), and Pete Von Reichbauer (R) could also be possibilities; Dunn in particular might be one to watch as his mother represented the seat before Reichert.

On the Democratic side, there are a number of little-known candidates in the race, but odds are Dems will look for some bigger names now that the seat has shot up the list of potential pickups. The only State Senator living in the district is Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah), who starts the race as a frontrunner. Ex-State Representative Christopher Hurst (D-Greenwater), who represented an exurban and rural Romney-won district in outer Pierce and King Counties, would also be a strong candidate. Hurst, a former police detective, would be a strong fit for the district’s working-to-middle class suburban and exurban base in its southwestern section. King County commissioner and 2016 Lands Commissioner candidate Dave Upthegrove (D) also lives in or near the seat, and the mayors of Sammamish and Issaquah would also be logical candidates for the Democrats. Democrats’ least enticing possibility is left-wing 2006/08 nominee Darcy Burner (D), who has lost multiple runs for Congress and for a state legislative seat but may run again.

Political Roundup for July 13, 2017

Senate:

AL-Sen: Rep. Mo Brooks (R) has become a strong supporter of President Trump, but during last year’s presidential primary season, he criticized Trump, calling him a “serial adulterer” and saying he couldn’t be trusted. Now some of those anti-Trump comments are being used against him in an ad by the Mitch McConnell-backed Senate Leadership Fund. Context is important however-Brooks was a supporter of Sen. Ted Cruz (R) and was attacking Trump at a time when the two were still fighting each other in the primaries. The McConnell-backed PAC is supporting Sen. Luther Strange (R).

FL-Sen: Gov. Rick Scott (R) has not announced a run for US Senate yet, but it’s said to be an “open secret” that he is planning on running and it’s just a matter of making it official. Waiting a long time to get in would not be a surprise-Scott waited until April of 2010 to enter the Republican nomination for governor, although strategists say he will probably need to enter the Senate race a little sooner. No other major Republican is apparently considering the race, meaning the nomination is likely Scott’s for the taking.

IN-Sen: Rep. Todd Rokita (R) has raised about $1 million for the Senate race against Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) next year and has $2.3 million cash on hand. As his campaign noted, it is more money than Sen. Todd Young (R) had raised at the same point two years ago for his successful race. Rep. Luke Messer (R), who is also considering a bid for Senate, has not released his 2nd Quarter fundraising numbers, yet but has a strong fundraising team, including Greg Pence, brother of the vice president and ended the previous quarter with a slight cash on hand lead.

MA-Sen: State Rep. Geoff Diehl (R) plans to make it official on Aug. 1 that he is running for US Senate. He will face scientist, entrepreneur and self-proclaimed “inventor of e-mail” Shiva Ayyadurai for the Republican nomination to face Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D).

MI-Sen: Entertainer Kid Rock(real name Robert Ritchie) claimed yesterday that a website, kidrockforsenate.com suggesting that he is running for US Senate is indeed real and promises a “major announcement in the near future”. Former state Supreme Court Justice Bob Young, Jr. and businesswoman Lena Epstein, former co-chair of Donald Trump’s Michigan campaign are both running already for the GOP nomination to take on Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D).

House:

CA-7: Business executive and Marine veteran Andrew Grant (R) is challenging Rep. Ami Bera (D). The seat is one of the few offensive opportunities Republicans have in California-Bera has never won by more than 3 points in his 3 terms. Bera won by 2 points over Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones (R) in 2016 as Hillary Clinton won the district by 11 points.

NM-2: State Rep. Yvette Herrell (R) of Alamogordo is the first Republican to jump into this open seat race. Herrell is considered one of the more conservative members in the state House. State Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R) of Roswell and Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn (R) are also considering getting into the Republican primary. Attorney David Baake and military veteran and progressive activist Tony Martinez, both of Las Cruces are running for the Democratic nomination. Both entered the race before Rep. Steve Pearce (R) decided to run for governor-other more high-profile Democrats may now decide to run as well.

NY-24: Community leader Anne Messenger has become the first Democrat to announce a run against Rep. John Katko (R). Katko has fared very well in what had been a competitive district-defeating Rep. Dan Maffei (D) by 19 points in 2014 and Colleen Deacon (D) by 21 points last year as the district shifted to the right at the presidential level with Clinton winning it only by 4 whereas Obama won it in 2012 by 16.

WA-8: Jason Rittereiser (D), a former King County Deputy Prosecutor is running to challenge Rep. Dave Reichert (R). Hillary Clinton won the district by 3 points last year, and the DCCC is targeting the seat, although Reichert won by a fairly comfortable 60-40 margin last year  and has not been seriously challenged since 2010. Issaquah City Council member Tola Marts (D) is running as are military veteran Poga Ahn (D) and former candidate Thomas Cramer (D).

Governor:

CO-Gov: After Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) bowed out of the race this week, now LG Donna Lynne (D) is reconsidering an earlier decision not to run. Lynne was appointed to the Lieutenant Governor’s office last year after then LG Joe Garcia (D) resigned to take another job and she said in her first news conference after being appointed that she did not intend to run for governor. Lynne’s decision to reconsider indicates some nervousness among Democrats that their current primary field, including Rep. Jared Polis (D), former state Sen. Mike Johnston (D) and former State Treasurer Cary Kennedy (D) may pull the party too far to the left. Some supporters of Perlmutter have reached out to Lynne to get her to run. In news on the Republican side, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman (R), who recently filed for divorce from her husband Rep. Mike Coffman (R) is sounding more serious about running. She would join an already crowded field of Republicans running or expected to run.

CT-Gov: Two candidates, one Democrat and one Republican have announced they are joining this open seat race. Middletown Mayor Dan Drew (D) is the first major Democrat in the race-several others are considering. Former US Comptroller General David Walker is joining the race for the Republican nomination-Walker was an unsuccessful candidate for the GOP nomination for Lieutenant Governor in 2014 and considered running for president as a third party candidate in 2012, running on the theme of fiscal responsibility. Walker joins Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, Trumbell First Selectman Tim Herbst and state Rep. Prasad Srinivasan in the Republican race.

NM-Gov/Sen/NM-1: LG John Sanchez (R), announced yesterday he would not run for governor, endorsing Rep. Steve Pearce (R). Sanchez was one of the few other big-name Republicans thought to be considering the race-Albuquerque Mayor Richard Barry (R) may still get in. Sanchez is still thought to be considering running for US Senate against Sen. Martin Heinrich (D), or going for the open NM-1 seat, being left open by Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), who is running for governor.

WI-Gov: Businessman Andy Gronik is the first Democrat to enter the race for governor against Gov. Scott Walker (R). Among other policy proposals, Gronik says he would seek to repeal Act 10, the law that eliminated collective bargaining for public workers and prompted numerous protests and recall elections for state legislators and Walker himself. Many other Democrats are still considering, including State School Superintendent Tony Evers, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D) and several others.

Political Roundup for May 25, 2017

Check back later today for our Preview of the MT-AL special election at Noon ET, and our liveblog starting at 10pm ET.

President:

Franken: Al Franken (D) claims he is definitely not running for President in 2020. I’m not buying it. A Donald Trump vs Al Franken presidential election is what America deserves.

Governor:

GA-Gov: One day after a campaign to draft former Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R) to run for Governor surfaced, Westmoreland announced he will not run for Governor in 2018. Three Republicans are already in the race, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp and state Sen. Hunter Hill and more are considering a run. Several Democrats also are likely to enter the contest, including House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams and state Rep. Stacey Evans.

NY-Gov: Gov. Andrew Cuomo seems to be in good shape for re-election. According the the latest Siena Poll he is sporting a 63% favorability rating, 53% favor his re-election and the biggest obstacle to his re-election (Preet Bharara) was fired by Donald Trump.

VA-Gov: Miss me yet? Eight years ago this might be unthinkable but after 8 years of President Barrack Obama and 4 months of President Donald Trump, the presidency of George W. Bush might not be looking so bad. With this in mine Ed Gillespie’s latest TV ad for governor features a picture of him with George W. Bush and talks about his work as a presidential adviser and as one of the authors of the 1994 Contract With America.

Senate:

OH-Sen: Sen. Rob Portman (R) has endorsed state Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) for Senate. With Rep. Pat Tiberi (R) passing on a Senate run Mandel is now looking like the consensus GOP pick to take on wife beater Sen. Sherrod Brown (D). The last Gravis poll from earlier in the month gave Mandel a 3 point lead over Brown in their rematch of their 2012 race.

House:

CO-7: Another Democrat has thrown is hat in the ring in the race to replace Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D), who is running for governor. State Sen. Dominick Moreno (D) announced his candidacy for Congress on Wednesday. He joins fellow Democrat state Sen. Andy Kerr and state Rep. Brittany Pettersen in the race.

FL-27: Former Miami Dade School Board member Raquel Regalado (R) announced her candidacy for outgoing Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s seat in Florida’s 27th Congressional District in 2018. Regalado is a self described “compassionate Republican” who endorsed Alex Sink over Rick Scott in 2010 and was #NeverTrump in 2016. Her father is Miami Mayor Tomas Pedro Regalado (R) who is definitely to her right ideologically. So far Miami Dade Commissioner Bruno Barriero is the only other Republican to announce his candidacy, but Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera is also a potential candidate.  On the Democrat side businessman Scott Fuhrman, who lost to Ros-Lehtinen last year, Michael A. Hepburn, Mark Anthony Person, and Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez are all running.

GA-6: The DCCC is sinking another $2 million into this special election bringing their total spending her to over $5 million over the four weeks before election day. The amount of money being spent in this district is absolutely mind blowing.

MN-02: Jeff Erdmann (D), the head coach at Rosemount High School and civics teacher at the school, said he is seeking the DFL endorsement to run for Congress and challenge freshman Rep. Jason Lewis (R).

MT-AL: In case you missed it Greg Gianforte doesn’t take any crap from reporters even if it means flushing his entire political career away.

MT-AL: As of Tuesday night the state of Montana reported 250,221 of 356,657 mailed ballots have been returned. That tally is 111% of 2014’s total mailed absentees, and 74% of 2016’s! So turnout for this special election looks like it will be sky high. The votes cast by mail are almost identical in terms of modeled partisanship to the 2014 votes by mail. This indicates that there is no evidence of any unusual partisan advantage based on the turnout thus far. Spending in this race has also shattered a record. So far at least $17 million has been spent on this congressional special election with the GOP outspending the Democrats by a 4 to 1 margin over the last 20 days. The latest online poll from a outfit known as Change Research! gave Republican Greg Gianforte a 5-point lead over Democrat Rob Quist, 49–44% with Libertarian Mark Wicks getting 7%. But this was all before Greg Gianforte went all Incredible Hulk on Ben Jacobs.

NC-9: Solar energy financier Dan McCready (D) announced he will challenge three-term Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger. Pittenger barely survived his 2016 GOP primary which he won by 133 votes and with only 35% of the vote but that was no obstacle to him winning re-election in November with 58% of the vote. Pittenger was under federal investigation related to money transfers involving his privately owned real estate company and his 2012 campaign, but that investigation was recently closed without any charges being filed against him. Democrat Christian Cano, who lost to Pittenger in 2016 is also running again in 2018.

NY-23: Teachers union activist Rick Gallant (D) announced that he will challenge Rep. Tom Reed (R) next year. Gallant is definitely not a top tier challenger and seems more of the some dude variety but he could be the best Democrats get for this seat that the DCCC claims they want to challenge.

SC-1: Republican Tom Perez has ended his primary challenge to Rep. Mark Sanford (R). Perez, who is in the Naval Reserves, was called up for deployment abroad and his return would not come until after the primary election in June of next year. Republican Ted Fienning is also running a primary challenge to Sanford.

SC-5: The latest Gravis Poll has Republican Ralph Norman with a 47%-34% lead over Democrat Archie Parnell.

UT-3: Provo Mayor John Curtis (R) and former state Rep. Chris Herrod (R) are the latest Republicans to join the crowded field running in the special election for outgoing Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s seat. Curtis, who considers himself a conservative, was a registered Democrat in 2004 and 2005 and did not vote for Donald Trump in 2016. Herrod made a bit of a name for himself during his five years in the Utah state house by being a vocal critic of illegal immigration. Republicans Tanner Ainge (who is the son of former BYU and NBA star and current Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge), state Rep. Brad Daw, state Sen. Deidre Henderson and state Sen Margaret Dayton have all already announced that they are running. On the Democrat side progressive candidate Ben Frank and activist Carl Ingwell are running in this heavily Republican district.

WA-8: Issaquah City Councilmember Tola Marts (D) will challenge seven-term Republican Rep. Dave Reichert. Marts will run on a platform of providing free community college for everyone and was not recruited by national Democrat leaders to run. Two other Democrats also have filed paperwork to run; Poga Ahn, a manager of a concrete business, and Thomas Cramer, who ran for Congress in 2012 in the 9th District.

State, Local & Other:

NY-State Senate: Is a coup in the works in the NY State Senate? Democrat state Sen. Simcha Felder, who is aligned with the GOP caucus, sent a letter to IDC leader Sen. Jeff Klein urging him to join the mainline Democrats. Of note is that Felder did not ever say that he was willing to align himself with the main Democrat caucus! So what is really going on? Probably more jostling for prizes from the Prize Patrol as the controversy over stipends that where “accidentally” paid to vice chairs continues.

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