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Political Roundup for December 6th, 2017

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

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

President/the Bigger Picture

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

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

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

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

Congress

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

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

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

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

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

The States

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

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

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

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

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

Political Roundup for August 31, 2017

Senate:

PA-Sen: As expected, Rep. Lou Barletta (R) kicked off his campaign against Sen. Bob Casey (D) on Tuesday, giving Republicans an unexpectedly good recruit for this race. HERE is our Great Mentioner for his open PA-11 seat from when the news first broke a few weeks ago.

WI-Sen: State Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R) will not run for the US Senate next year. Veteran Kevin Nicholson (R) is in the race to take on Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D), while State Sen. Leah Vukmir (R) and 2012 candidate Eric Hovde (R) are considering.

Governor:

AL-Gov, AL-1: Rep. Bradley Byrne (R) will run for a third full term in Congress and will not enter the crowded gubernatorial primary. Byrne has indicated he may reconsider if incumbent Kay Ivey (R) does not seek a full term. Many Republicans are running in this primary.

CA-Gov: Fresh off an easy re-election this spring, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) has refused to rule out a gubernatorial run. Should Garcetti enter, he would join his predecessor Antonio Villaraigosa (D), LG Gavin Newsom (D), Treasurer John Chiang (D), and ex-Superintendent Delaine Eastin (D) on the D side of the top two primary. Self-funding businessman and vanity presidential candidate John Cox (R) and State Rep. Travis Allen (R) are also in the race.

GA-Gov: State Sen. Hunter Hill (R) resigned to focus on his gubernatorial bid this week; Hill’s upscale seat based in Atlanta’s tony Buckhead neighborhood is probably more likely than not to flip to Dems in the upcoming special. Hill is facing LG Casey Cagle (R), SoS Brian Kemp (R), and fellow State Sen. Michael Williams (R) in the GOP primary for this open seat.

KS-Gov: State House Speaker Ron Ryckman (R) will not run for Governor, seeing instead to stay in the House. Gov-designate Jeff Colyer (R) and SoS Kris Kobach (R) headline a crowded GOP primary field here; ex-State Rep. Mark Hutton (R), a moderate, became the latest candidate into the field yesterday.

OH-Gov: Jer-ry! A “friend” says that ex-Cincinnati Mayor Jerry Springer (D) is considering a run for Governor of Ohio. Springer, who has dabbled with several bids for Ohio races before but never pulled the trigger, would join a crowded Dem primary if he enters.

House:

MA-3: Radio DJ Greg Hill (R), who hosts the morning show on Boston’s modern rock station, is considering a run for Rep. Niki Tsongas’s open seat. Hill would give the GOP a credible candidate with name recognition but still face a very uphill battle in the deep-blue district. State Sen. Barbara L’Italien (D) and former Boston Mayor Marty Walsh CoS Dan Koh (D) are considering the race and many other Dems are thought to be interested.

PA-15: State Rep. Justin Simmons (R) is considering a primary challenge to moderate Rep. Charlie Dent (R). Dent, who is among the caucus’s more moderate members, represents a historically-swingy Lehigh Valley seat that has been gerrymandered to light-to-medium red status with the addition of conservative territory near Harrisburg.

SC-1: State Rep. Katie Arrington (R), a first-term legislator, will challenge Rep. Mark Sanford (R) in the GOP primary. Arrington appears to be promising to be a stronger Trumpist than the Trump skeptic Sanford. She also has some establishment support from her legislative connections, meaning she could be a credible threat to the incumbent.

State & Local:

MI-SoS: Professor and Trump Michigan campaign manager Joseph Guzman (R) has filed to run for the SoS seat. He will face State Sen. Mike Kowall (R) and Shelby Twp. Clerk Stan Grot (R) in the GOP convention. 2010 nominee Jocelyn Benson (D) is considered likely to run again for Dems.

OH-Aud: Ex-Rep. Zack Space (D) kicked off his campaign for State Auditor as expected this week. The race is highly important as the State Auditor (with the Gov and SoS) draws Ohio’s legislative maps. Space, who was swept into a rural red eastern Ohio seat on the 2006 wave and swept out on the 2010 wave, is not expected to face significant primary opposition; he will likely face State Rep. Keith Faber (R) in the general.

NE-SD-16, WATN: 2014 Nebraska gubernatorial nominee Chuck Hassebrook (D) will seek a state legislative seat streatching from the northern suburbs of Omaha to rural northeast Nebraska.

NC-Redistrict: The NC general assembly has quickly passed the new legislative redistricting maps. Overall there isn’t a huge amount of change, but it does make several R-trending rural seats more competitive and several D-trending suburban seats less competitive.

Political Roundup for August 28th, 2017

Our thoughts are with Daniel Surman and his fellow Houstonians. If you’re reading this from southeastern Texas, I hope it helps take your mind off of the rain.

President

Kasichlooper: Say it with me now ‘THIRD PARTIES CAN’T WIN NATIONAL ELECTIONS!’ The one asterisk to that has to do with impending civil war (and we’re not there, at least not yet). Even then, one of the original two parties will just rapidly die, leaving us with two parties once again. The most recent trial balloon making its way around Acela Corridor cocktail parties (and likely funding some consultant’s underling’s delicious and boozy bottomless brunch at El Centro on 14th St) is a possible 2020 ticket of Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D). You get two Johns for the price of one, and for once that wasn’t being said to a hooker. Joking aside, this balloon will eventually deflate like all of the others.

Pence: In this piece by Jack Colwell over at Howey Politics Indiana, he points out that the DNC is already talking about Vice President Mike Pence (R) as if he will be running for President… in 2020. I’m not sure if the DNC is just convinced that Trump will retire, or that they’re so deep into their own rhetoric that they’ve already just priced-in his impeachment and removal from office as a given. If it’s the former, I’d be really interested in how they know this. I’m guessing it’s the latter, though.

Congress

AL-Sen: Former Alaska Governor and serial endorser Sarah Palin (R) has endorsed former state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R-Jeezus) in his primary runoff against appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R-Trump). The runoff is on September 26th, and can’t be over soon enough.

AZ-Sen?: Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (R), fresh off being pardoned by President Trump, may not be done with elective office. The aged transplant from Massachusetts will hold a press conference today announcing his intentions on what to do with the rest of his life. Hopefully it doesn’t include a Senate run, but that’s the speculation at the moment.

PA-Sen:  The Republican primary for this one is heating up early, as Rich Guy Jeff Bartos has released an attack ad against Rep. Lou Barletta (who isn’t even officially in the race yet!). The ad caused a major stir, and Bartos is already facing counterattacks from all sides. Sen. Bob Casey (D) may be the eventual target, but right now, there’s just a lot of elephant-on-elephant violence.

NV-Sen: Apologies for linking to Breitbart twice in one roundup, but this was an exclusive, and an important one at that. JMC Analytics did a poll (it’s unknown who paid for it), and found perennial candidate Danny Tarkanian (R) leading Sen. Dean Heller (R) 39-31 in a hypothetical primary. I’m getting Blanche Lincoln vibes from this one, guys, and I don’t like where that might lead.

Governor

FL-Gov: Here’s a good piece from Florida’s best political reporter, Adam C. Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, on the role that the state’s system of public election finance is playing in the Republican primary for Governor.

PA-Gov: State Sen. Scott Wagner (R) is at it again! Wagner confronted another tracker (this time a Democrat) at the Pittston Tomato Festival near Scranton during a campaign stop for his gubernatorial bid. Personal bellicosity aside, Wagner seems like a good candidate. However, mistakes like this can kill a campaign in a general election. With redistricting around the corner and the Philly machine showing signs of weakening, Republicans need a better frontrunner for the nomination.

NV-Gov: Sometimes the whole ‘I’m not saying whether I’m running, but I’m campaigning anyway’ routine gets a bit old. That’s my opinion, anyway, and it definitely applies to AG Adam Laxalt (R). At a recent lamb-fry that Laxalt holds every year, you could tell that the Basque community already knew that he was running, and it’s a tad annoying. You’re a good candidate. You likely have the nomination locked-up.  Just announce, already!

State/Local

FL-HD-44: In another twist in this hilarious special election for an Orlando-area legislative seat, the underfunded Democrat who won the nomination may have decided to continue after all. To recap, HD-44 is a swingy seat in western Orange County that has a Republican registration edge, but that Hillary won by about 6,000 votes. Three well-funded Republicans fought it out in the primary, while one unheralded and underfunded Democrat won his party’s nomination by default. Democrats thought that they could easily just parachute in a better candidate by pressuring their nominee to withdraw. At first it looked like it worked, but now the candidate is thinking of staying in, almost assuring a Republican victory. Needless to say, there’s a war of words being conducted through the press, and it’s getting nasty.

St. Pete-Mayor: In the most recent poll of the Battle Of The Two Ricks, former Mayor Rick Baker (R) is leading incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman (D) for the helm of St. Petersburg, FL by 7 points, 47-40. Interestingly, Kriseman seems to be doing very badly among black voters (for a Democrat). He scored an endorsement from former president Obama over the weekend to help with that, but it may be too late. Tampa Bay’s second city will have its Louisiana Rules Top Two primary tomorrow. If no one clears 50%, the general election will be in November.

WATN:  In some very sad news, former Senate and SoS candidate Will Cardon (R) has committed suicide. Cardon was a pillar of the community in Mesa, AZ.

Political Roundup for August 21, 2017

Turn around, bright eyes, and fly your LearJet back from Nova Scotia to look at the roundup.

Senate:

AL-Sen: A JMC Poll has Sen. Luther Strange (R) in deep trouble in the runoff, losing to ex-State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R) 51-32.

AZ-Sen: Trump signaled support in a tweet last week for ex-State Sen. Kelli Ward’s (R) primary bid against Sen. Jeff Flake (R). But anti-Flake forces in the White House are not pleased, as they had been meeting with State Treasurer Jeff DeWit (R) and ex-AZGOP chair Robert Graham (R), who are both seen as stronger candidates than the gadflyish Ward.

NJ-Sen: Sen. Bob Menendez (D) goes on trial next month, and Democrats are already laying the groundwork to try and keep him in office if he is convicted. If Menendez resigns or is expelled by the end of the year, Gov. Chris Christie (R) will get to appoint his replacement – and likely give Republicans another seat for a year. But if Menendez can stick it out for a few more months, Phil Murphy (D) will likely become Governor and keep the seat in Democratic hands. The complication of this is, of course, that Democrats would need to defend a convicted felon staying in the Senate… but of course, this is New Jersey.

Governor:

CA-Gov: State Treasurer John Chiang (D) is under fire for the fact that several developers won tax breaks from committees he oversees after donating to him. Both Chiang and the developers say that the tax breaks were awarded based on objective formulae, but the amount of donations to Chiang is far higher than those to previous officeholders in his position. Chiang faces LG Gavin Newsom (D), ex-LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D), ex-State Superintendent Delaine Eastin (D), businessman John Cox (R), and State Rep. Travis Allen (R) in this top-two race.

KS-Gov: State Rep. Jim Ward (D), the House minority leader, has become the latest candidate to run for Governor. Ward joins ex-Wichita Mayor Greg Brewer (D) and ex-state Rep. Josh Svaty (D) in what is becoming the most crowded KS Dem primary in memory. Republicans have an even more crowded field.

NY-Gov: NYC councilman Jumaane Williams (D) of Brooklyn is considering a potential primary challenge to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). Williams, a staunch leftist, could have an opening to Cuomo’s left and potentially draw significant votes in the general if he were to mount a campaign on the left-wing Working Families Party line.

More NY-Gov: 2010 nominee Carl Paladino (R) was kicked off the Buffalo School Board for allegedly leaking confidential board business. Paladino, a brash antiestablishment conservative who has long been known for outrageous statements, has been one of several Republicans considering runs for Governor.

SC-Gov: State Sen. Tom Davis (R), a libertarian-leaning conservative from Beaufort, is considering a run for Governor and will make a decision by Labor Day. Davis would join a fairly crowded field taking on Gov. Henry McMaster (R)’s bid for a full term, including Haley admin official Catherine Templeton (R), LG Kevin Bryant (R), and ex-LG Yancey McGill (R). A pair of Democrats, State Reps. Justin Bamberg (D) and James Smith (D), have acknowledged they are considering the race.

WI-Gov: Ex-State Rep. and 2012 WI-2 candidate Kelda Roys (D) is considering a run for Governor. Many Democrats, most notably State Superintendent Tony Evers (D), have been considering bids against Gov. Scott Walker (R).

WV-Gov, WV-SD-4, WATN: Gov. Jim Justice (R) has fired his CoS, 2014 WV-2 nominee Nick Casey (D). Casey, a former state Dem chair, was fired because of his close ties to Democrats, which no longer made sense after Justice switched parties. His replacement will be State Sen. Mike Hall (R) of Putnam County.

House:

CA-24: 2016 nominee Justin Fareed (R) has filed for a rematch in this medium-blue Central Coast seat. Fareed will face off again with freshman Rep. Salud Carbajal (D).

CA-48: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R) continues to not really understand what the whole being a swing-district congressman thing is about. Rohrabacher, who is known for his ties to miscellaneous foreign kooks and his favorable statements toward Putin, visited Julian Assange at his London embassy hideout to discuss the Wikileaks Russian Email dump last year.

FL-27: LG Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R) will not seek this downtown-Miami area open House seat, or any other office, in 2018. Lopez-Cantera was seen by national Republicans as one of the better shots to hold this seat, Democrats’ #1 House pickup opportunity. Dade County commissioner Bruno Barreiro (R) and Miami school board member Raquel Regalado (R) are in the race; Dems have a crowded field, but State Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez (D) has been considered the front-runner.

MA-3: As expected, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh CoS Daniel Koh (D) will step down to pursue a run for Rep. Niki Tsongas’s open seat. Koh joins State Sen. Barbara L’Italien (D) in considering a run.

NM-2: 2008 candidate, ex-Hobbs Mayor, and ex-NMGOP chair Monty Newman (R) will make a second bid for this seat. Newman joins Lands Commissioner Aubrey Dunn (R) and State Rep. Yvette Herrell (R) in the primary for this medium-red southern NM seat.

OK-1: Rumors are circulating that Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R) is going to be named NASA director in the next few weeks. Bridenstine has already announced he will not run again, but a resignation would trigger a special in his (likely Safely red) seat covering the bulk of metro Tulsa.

PA-11: Rep. Lou Barletta (R) has not yet made his bid to run against Sen. Bob Casey (D) official, but a quartet of Republicans are already saying they will seek this seat if he vacates it: State Reps. Stephen Bloom (R) and Tarah Toohil (R), former state official and current LG candidate Dan Meuser (R), and businessman Andrew Lewis (R). The fairly red Harrisburg to Wilkes-Barre area seat should stay in GOP hands.

TX-23: Prosecutor Jay Hulings (D), who has ties to the Castro brothers, will run against Rep. Will Hurd (R) in this swing district. Ex-Rep. Pete Gallego (D) has announced he will try for a third matchup with Hurd but Democrats seem to be moving on from him after Gallego’s 2014 and 2016 losses.

State & Local:

CT-SoS: SoS Denise Merrill (D) announced she would run for re-election, putting an end to rumors that she would retire or run for Governor.

FL-CFO: State Sen. Tom Lee (R) abruptly and surprisingly announced he would run for CFO last week. Lee, of suburban Tampa, has decent name recognition and a sizeable campaign account, which could make him a formidable challenger to appointed incumbent Jimmy Patronis (R). Patronis has so far played it coy on whether he will seek a full term, but has opened a campaign committee. A little-known former state legislator from the Panama City area, Patronis is a favorite of Gov. Rick Scott (R) but has little brand of his own, which could make him vulnerable in a primary. Ex-State Sen. Jeremy Ring (D) is considered the likely D nominee.

MI-AG: Attorney Dana Nessel (D), who led one of the SSM lawsuits consolidated into Obergefell, is running for Attorney General, becoming the first candidate on either side to declare definitive interest in the seat. The nominees will be decided by convention; incumbent Bill Schuette (R) is termed-out and considered likely to run for Governor.

NM-LG: Martinez Admin official Kelly Zunie (R) will run for LG in this shotgun-wedding primary. Zunie, who is of Native American descent, previously ran the state’s Indian Affairs department. She is the first Republican into the race, and may have enough establishment support to clear the field. Rep. Steve Pearce (R) is considered the favorite for the gubernatorial nomination.

NV-LG: LG Mark Hutchinson (R) has announced he will not seek a second term – or any other office – in 2018. Ex-SoS Ross Miller (D) quickly announced he is considering a run for the open seat.

MO-SD-14: Missouri State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D) is resisting calls from her resignation after she posted and deleted a facebook post calling for Trump’s assassination.

Redistricting:

NC House: Republicans released their draft NC House plan on Saturday. Click for the map; here are my tentative-guess ratings for the seats:
Likely R: 2, 9, 16, 46, 51, 59, 93, 98, 119
Lean R: 25, 35, 36, 37, 61, 62, 103, 104, 105
Tossup: 1 (the only R-held Tossup), 12, 22, 40, 66
Lean D: 24, 44
Likely D: 7, 47, 48, 115, 116
Safe D Pickup: 8

NC Senate: Republicans also released a draft NC Senate plan on Sunday. Click for the map; here are my tentative-guess ratings for the seats:
Likely R: 11, 18, 27, 39
Lean R: 1, 7, 9, 13, 17, 19, 41
Likely D: 5
Safe D pickup: 15
And also major kudos to King Hushpuppy for essentially nailing the map ahead of time.

Political Roundup for July 27, 2017

Senate:

AL-Sen: We have our first poll of the race, from Cygnal. It has appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R) leading the pack, but only with 33%, with ex-State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R) advancing to a runoff with him at 26% and Rep. Mo Brooks (R) with 16%. DONATE so we can bring you our poll of the race next week!

DE-Sen: Sen. Tom Carper (D) announced he will run for re-election to a fourth term. Carper had been high on retirement watchlists and sounded fairly ambivalent about running again, but should he follow through on seeking another term it seems unlikely that he would face significant opposition.

IN-Sen: Rep. Luke Messer (R) announced his intent to enter the Senate race for the right to take on Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) yesterday. Click to read our full coverage on the race and Great Mentioner for his open IN-6 seat.

NV-Sen: An internal poll from Anzalone (D) for Rep. Dina Titus (D) shows Sen. Dean Heller (R) leading her 47-45.

WI-Sen: Consultant and veteran Kevin Nicholson (R) has become the first credible candidate into the race against Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D). Nicholson has an interesting profile as a former president of the national College Democrats organization; Nicholson says his views evolved over the last decade.

Governor:

CO-Gov: Kent Thiry (R), CEO of a dialysis company, will not run for Colorado Governor. A trio of Republicans are in the race: Arapahoe DA George Brauchler (R) and a pair of self-funding businessmen, ex-State Rep. Victor Mitchell (R) and Romney relative Doug Robinson (R). Several others, most notably State Treasurer Walker Stapleton (R), are considering. Rep. Jared Polis (D) is considered the front-runner on the Dem side, though others are in the race.

KS-Gov: Unpopular Gov. Sam Brownback (R) was announced yesterday as “ambassador-at-large for religious freedom”, meaning that LG Jeff Colyer (R) will ascend to the Governorship. Click to read our full coverage of the decision and analysis of its implications.

MD-Gov: Krishanti Vignarajah (D), a former policy director for Michelle Obama (aside: remind me again why a first lady would need a policy director?) is the latest Democrat to announce she is considering a run against Gov. Larry Hogan (R). Five Democrats are in the race, ex-NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous (D), Prince George’s CE Rushern Baker (D), state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D), businessman and Hillary staffer Alec Ross (D), and attorney Jim Shea (D). Several others are considering.

MI-Gov: Businessman Shri Thanedar (D) has self-funded $3.3M, a figure that will make him an instant factor in this race. Ex-State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer (D), who had been considered the front-runner for the Dem nod, has raised less than half that at $1.5M. A third Dem, Detroit city official Abul El-Sayed (D), has also raised over $1M.

OK-Gov: Two more Republican candidates have entered the race for Governor of Oklahoma. Ex-State Rep. and minister Dan Fisher (R) and mortgage company CEO Kevin Stitt (R) have entered the race this week. They join a crowded field of LG Todd Lamb (R), State Auditor Gary Jones (R), OKC Mayor Mick Cornett (R), and 2002 Indie candidate Gary Richardson (R). Ex-AG and 2010 candidate Drew Edmondson (D) and State Rep. Scott Inman (D) are in the race on the Dem side.

SC-Gov: LG Kevin Bryant (R) will announce his campaign for Governor on Friday, becoming the third candidate to take on Gov. Henry McMaster (R) in the primary. Bryant will also face Gov. Haley admin official Catherine Templeton (R) and ex-LG Yancey McGill (R).

TN-Gov: Businessman Randy Boyd (R) scored an important endorsement from Shelby CE Mark Lutrell (R) yesterday. The endorsement could give Boyd a boost in West Tennessee, which currently has no Republican candidates for Governor. In addition to Boyd, State House Speaker Beth Harwell (R), State Sen. Mae Beavers (R), and businessman Bill Lee (R) are in the race, with several others considering.

House:

FL-27: Mary Barzee-Flores (D), a retired local judge who was unsuccessfully nominated for the federal bench under Obama, will run for this open Miami-based seat. Barzee-Flores joins front-running State Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez (D), State Rep. David Richardson (D), Miami Beach councilwoman Kristen Rosen-Gonzales (D), and others in the Dem primary. School board member Raquel Regalado (R) and Dade County commissioner Bruno Barreiro (R) are in the race on the GOP side.

IL-13: State Rep. Carol Ammons (D) will not run for Congress against Rep. Rodney Davis (R). Ammons would have been the highest-profile Dem in the race, but her liberal legislative record would have likely been a tough sell in this light-to-medium red district. Former Sen. Dick Durbin staffer Betsy Dirksen-Londrigan (D) seems likely to be the Dem establishment pick here.

NM-1: Ex-State Rep. and 2012 nominee Janice Arnold-Jones (R) is running again for this Albuquerque-area seat. Arnold-Jones’s prior run in 2012 was widely regarded as weak, but it doesn’t seem like many other credible Republicans are chomping at the bit to run for this medium-blue seat; immigration lawyer Michael Hendricks (R) is also in the race. Incumbent Michele Lujan-Grisham (D) is running for Governor; Ex-US Attorney Damon Martinez (D), NMDP chair and 2014 LG nominee Deb Haaland (D), and Albuquerque councilman Pat Davis (D) seem the major candidates on the D side.

PA-1: Say it isn’t so! A staffer for Rep. and Philly Dem boss (and RRH favorite) Bob Brady (D) has pled guilty to funneling $90K to Brady’s 2012 primary challenger, retired judge Jimmie Moore (D), to get Moore to drop out of the race. The obvious implication is that Brady himself is likely to be in the FBI’s crosshairs in the very near future. Should Brady be taken down, it would leave a massive vacuum atop Philly’s powerful Dem machine.

State Offices:

CT-Comp: State Rep. Sean Scanlon (D) is considering a run for Comptroller, joining State Sen. Terry Gerratana (D) in exploring the race. Incumbent Kevin Lembo (D) is considering a run for Governor. Businessman and 2014 CT-5 nominee Mark Greenberg (R) is in the race on the GOP side.

IA-SoS: 2-time House candidate and veteran Jim Mowrer (D) is considering a run for SoS. Mowrer joins a pair of other Dems, business owner Deidre DeJear (D) and Johnson County auditor Travis Weipert (D), in considering this race. The Dem nominee will face incumbent Paul Pate (R) in the general.

MA-AG: Cape Cod attorney Jay McMahon (R) will run for AG. Incumbent Maura Healey (D) is expected to seek re-election, and McMahon seems unlikely to give her much trouble.

NV-SoS: Reno councilman Oscar Delgado (D) is considering a run for SoS next year, and is apparently the Dem establishment’s first choice for the seat. Delgado would likely face incumbent Barbara Cegavske (R).

NM-Lands Comm: Public Service Commissioner and Ex-Lands Commissioner Pat Lyons (R) will run again for the job he held from 2002 to 2010. Lyons could face another former Lands Commissioner, Ray Powell (D), though another Democrat, nonprofit exec Garret VeneKlasen (D), is also running. Incumbent Aubrey Dunn (R) is running for NM-2.

OK-LG: A pair of Republicans threw their hats into the ring for the LG seat. State Sen. Eddie Fields (R) announced a run on Tuesday while Public Service Commissioner Dana Murphy (R) announced a run yesterday. Fields and Murphy could easily become the major candidates in this race.

KY-SD-7: State Sen. Julian Carroll (D), a former 70s-era Governor, is refusing calls to resign from his Frankford-area State Senate seat amid allegations he groped and propositioned a man in 2005. The entire Senate Dem caucus has asked Carroll to resign.

Local Offices:

San Bernardino-Mayor: We now have three Republicans running for mayor of heavily Democratic San Bernardino, as school board member and aerospace exec Mike Gallo (R) has entered the race. Gallo, who also served on a state board, joins incumbent Carey Davis (R) and councilman John Valdiva (R) in the race. No serious Dems are in the race as of yet.

TN-Knox-CE: Knox County commissioner Brad Anders (R) will run for County Exec, joining fellow commissioner Bob Thomas (R) and businessman and former professional wrestler Glenn “Kane” Jacobs (R) in this primary.

WATN: Jefferson Parish, LA Sheriff Newell Normand (R) is resigning at the end of August to host a radio talk show. Normand had often been mentioned as a candidate for higher office but never pulled the trigger.

Political Roundup for July 5, 2017

National:

States of Chaos: July 1 was the fiscal year start, and no fewer than six (!) states experienced or narrowly averted budget chaos this weekend. Three states, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maine, all went into shutdowns this past weekend, while Connecticut was operating with an emergency gubernatorial funding decree. Illinois is on its third year of a stalemate between State Dictator House Speaker Mike Madigan (D) and Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) over fiscal policy; 15 Republicans voted to pass Madigan’s reform-less tax hike over the weekend, which Rauner says he will veto. New Jersey was shut down because of a feud between Gov. Chris Christie (R) and State House Speaker Vincent Prieto (D) over Christie’s plan to raid a health insurer to fund opioid treatment (and/or extort a payoff for South Jersey Dictator George Norcross), but that didn’t stop the Governor and his family from vacationing at a closed beach. Maine is under a partial shutdown after Gov. Paul LePage (R) vetoed a budget that raised taxes. Connecticut is operating without a budget, likely until later this month, as the tied Senate and Dem-controlled House deadlocked on competing budget proposals. Two other states, Washington and Alaska, narrowly averted shutdowns.

NATO, WATN: Ex-Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R) was nominated as NATO Ambassador over the weekend.

Governor:

CA-Gov: As expected, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R) won’t tackle the extremely uphill challenge of a run for Governor. Republicans have several “C” list candidates in or considering making attempts to lose this race, including self-funding businessman and 2008 presidential candidate John Cox (R), State Rep. Travis Allen (R), and ex-State Rep. David Hadley (R).

GA-Gov: State Sen. Michael Williams (R) got a celebrity endorsement for his gubernatorial campaign from Dog the Bounty Hunter, who endorsed Williams for his work in attempting to get a police pay raise. Williams is running as the most unapologetic Trumpist in this primary against LG Casey Cagle (R), SoS Brian Kemp (R), and State Sen. Hunter Hill (R) in the primary; State Reps. Stacey Abrams (D) and Stacey Evans (D) are in the race on the D side.

IA-Gov: One minor Republican is in and one minor Democrat is out of this race. Boone (pop. 12K) councilman Steven Ray (R) will run for Governor, joining incumbent Kim Reynolds (R) and Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett (R) in the GOP primary. As an unknown small-town councilman, Ray’s odds against an incumbent and a big (for Iowa)-city Mayor would seem long to say the least. Democrats have a crowded field for this race. Across the aisle, Davenport councilman Mike Matson (D) dropped out of the race over the weekend, leaving six Dems in the race: State Sen. Nate Boulton (D), State Rep. Todd Prichard (D), ex-IADP chair Andy McGuire (D), ex-Iowa City Mayor Ross Wilburn (D), former Gov. Vilsack CoS John Norris (D), and 2014 Auditor nominee Jon Neiderbach (D).

KS-Gov: Add Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer (R) to the list of Republicans considering a run here. Selzer is not strongly identified with either the Moderate or Conservative side of the KSGOP’s chasm, and would likely attempt to bridge the divide; however, his name recognition is low, and another candidate considering the race, State Senate President Susan Wagle (R), could also stake claim on that ideological lane. SoS Kris Kobach (R/C), ex-State Sen. Jim Barnett (R/M), ex-State Rep. Ed O’Malley (R/M), and businessman and 2010 KS-4 candidate Wink Hartman (R/C) are in the race, with LG Jeff Colyer (R/C) and ex-State Rep. Mark Hutton (R/M) also considering. Democrats have a primary between ex-Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer (D) and ex-State Rep. Josh Svaty (D).

MN-Gov: State House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R) has acknowledged publicly that, as expected, he is considering a run for Governor. Daudt would likely be a front-runner for the GOP nomination if he enters, but would face 2014 nominee and Hennepin County commissioner Jeff Johnson (R), State Rep. Matt Dean (R), and Ramsey County commissioner Blake Huffman (R) in the GOP convention and/or primary. Democrats have an even more crowded field.

NE-Gov: I hadn’t actually heard anything about him entering the race, but ex-Unicameral Speaker Mike Flood (R) will not challenge Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) in the GOP primary. Flood had considered a run in 2014 but dropped out for personal and family reasons. State Sen. Bob Krist (R) may run against Ricketts as a moderate in the GOP primary or leave the party to run as an I or D in the general.

OH-Gov: As expected, LG Mary Taylor (R) will kick off her gubernatorial campaign this week, meaning this titanic four-way primary pileup will unfold as planned; she joins AG Mike DeWine (R), Rep. Jim Renacci (R), and SoS Jon Husted (R) in the race. Taylor’s campaign may be defined by her ties to Gov. John Kasich (R), who is reasonably popular but has issues with the GOP base, as well as her personal story of having both of her sons battling opioid addiction. Democrats have a crowded primary of their own.

Congress:

MO-Sen: In a major surprise and another big blow to the NRSC, Rep. Ann Wagner (R) will not run take on Sen. Claire McCaskill (D). Wagner was considered all but certain to launch a campaign, so this decision is fairly shocking. Newly-elected AG Josh Hawley (R) now looks like Republicans’ choice recruit for this race, as some major donors have been encouraging him to run.

IL-14: Montgomery (pop. 5K) mayor Matt Brolley (D) will run against Rep. Randy Hultgren (R). This exurban Chicago seat was drawn as a GOP vote sink, but Trump only narrowly carried it, so it may be on Dems’ target lists in 2018; Brolley apparently has support from fellow Rep. Bill Foster (D), who represents the adjacent IL-11.

IN-9: Now here’s just about the weirdest selling point I’ve seen for a congressional candidate in a while: Orthodontist Tod Curtis (D) is running against Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-TN). But the reason he’s getting press is because of his hobby as a prolific video game collector, with a video game collection that may be worth into the six figures. It’s unclear how serious a candidate Curtis will be in the congressional race; Hollingsworth coasted on the lean of this red seat to perform better than expected in 2016, but his craven carpetbagging could be more of an issue in a less-favorable environment.

KY-6: State Sen. Reggie Thomas (D), a liberal who represents a deep-blue district in central Lexington, will take on Rep. Andy Barr (R). The outer Appalachian portions of the Lexington-based district have stampeded right; Thomas would seem to be a poor fit for the red seat.

PA-7: State Sen. Daylin Leach (D) will run for Congress against Rep. Pat Meehan (R). Leach, a bold progressive who also ran in the 2014 PA-13 primary, may be a tough sell with swing voters in the purple district, but he is definitely a higher-profile candidate than the “C” listers that have challenged Meehan the past few cycles.

TN-6: Rep. Diane Black (R) has not announced whether she will run for Governor, but that isn’t stopping State Rep. Judd Matheny (R) from announcing a run for her seat, which covers northern and eastern Nashville suburbs and rural areas to the east. Matheny, who represents a rural area southeast of Nashville, says he will go ahead with a bid for the seat even if Black decides to run again. Pro-Trump talking head Scottie Nell Hughes (R) is the other candidate who has indicated interest in this seat if Black vacates it.

State & Local:

MN-AG: State Rep. Debra Hilstrom (D) has launched a campaign for AG, becoming the latest candidate to take a bet that popular incumbent Lori Swanson (D) will not seek re-election, either with a run for Governor or a retirement. Hilstrom joins State Rep. John Lesch (D) and ex-State Rep. Ryan Winkler (D) in the race. All have said explicitly or implicitly that they would defer to Swanson should she seek re-election. On the GOP side, ex-State Rep. Doug Wardlow (R) and attorney Harry Niska (R) are in the race.

IL-State Senate, WATN: State Sen. and 2010 gubernatorial nominee Bill Brady (R) of Bloomington was elected as State Senate GOP leader, replacing Christine Radogno (R) who resigned last week.

Greensboro, NC-Mayor: Businessman John Brown (R) will challenge incumbent mayor Nancy Vaughan (D) in her bid for a third two-year term. Vaughan seems to be relatively popular and it’s unclear how serious a candidate Brown will be in the Dem-leaning city.

Fayetteville, NC-Mayor: City councilman Kirk DeViere (D) will challenge incumbent Nat Robertson’s (R) bid for a third two-year term this fall. Fayetteville is a Dem-leaning city but Robertson has won two competitive elections.

Rutherford, TN-CE: State Sen. Bill Ketron (R) will run for Rutherford County Executive in 2018, and three-incumbent Ernest Burgess (R) quickly announced he will attempt to move in the opposite direction to Ketron’s State Senate seat. Burgess will face State Rep. Dawn White (R) for the Senate seat; no other have as yet indicated a desire to challenge Ketron for the top job in the large southeast suburban Nashville county.

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