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Political Roundup for November 14, 2017

Governor:

CO-Gov: Arapahoe District Attorney George Brauchler (R) is dropping out of the race for governor and will instead run for the open Attorney General spot. Brauchler was once considered one of the favorites for the Republican nomination but the GOP primary has gotten especially crowed with the entry of former Rep. Tom Tancredo, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, Walker Stapleton and Victor Mitchell. Brauchler should have a clear shot at the Attorney General position.

RI-Gov: We want the Fung, gotta have that Fung! A TargetPoint Consulting internal poll for Allan Fung (R) shows him leading the GOP primary by more than 20 points; Fung 45%, Patricia Morgan 24%, Joseph Trillo 10% and unsure at 20% and Fung beating incumbent Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) 46% to 41%.

WI-Gov: The field of Democrats seeking their party’s gubernatorial nomination has grown even larger. Firefighter union chief Mahlon Mitchell announced he will run for Governor. Mitchel, who is African American, was the Democrat nominee for Lt Governor in the 2012 recall elections. Other Democrats that are running or actively exploring a run include Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, former state Rep. Kelda Roys, state superintendent of public instruction Tony Evers, former Democratic Party chairman Matt Flynn, Milwaukee businessman Andy Gronik, former Wisconsin Democracy Campaign executive director Mike McCabe, Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, Rep. Dana Wachs, Michelle Doolan, Bob Harlow, Dave Heaster, Brett Hulsey, Kurt Kober, Jared Landry, Andrew Lust, Jeffrey Rumbaugh and Ramona Whiteaker. Candidates have until June 1 to submit all paperwork to appear on the Aug. 14 gubernatorial primary ballot. The winner of the Democrat primary will face Gov. Scott Walker who will have his 4th statewide run for Governor in 8 years.

Senate:

AL-Sen: At a press conference yesterday Beverly Young Nelson accused Roy Moore (R) of sexually assaulting her when she was 16 years old. Nelson produced a copy of her High School yearbook which Moore signed “To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say ‘Merry Christmas, Love, Roy Moore, D.A.”. As the scandal widens and polls show Democrat Doug Jones leading the election calls have increase for Roy Moore to step aside. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) became the latest to call on Moore to “step aside” and NRSC Chair Cory Gardner said Roy Moore is “unfit to serve in the United States Senate and he should not run for office. If he refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him, because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the … Senate.” It is becoming clear that the only shot the GOP has at keeping this seat would be through some sort of organized write-in campaign.

MI-Sen: A new poll shows Detroit businessman John James in the lead for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. John James is at 24%, Rep. Fred Upton (who is currently seeking re-election to the House) is at 19% and former Chief Justice Robert Young trails with 7%. The winner of the GOP primary will face Sen. Debbie Spenditnow Stabenow (D) who is probably breathing a heavy sigh of relief that her GOP opponent won’t have a nickname with the words “Kid” and “Rock” in it.

NJ-Sen: Jurors in the trial of Sen. Bob Menendez (D) seems to be deadlocked. They sent the judge a note on Monday saying they “can’t reach a unanimous verdict on any of the charges” and the judge ordered them deliberating to try and reach a verdict.

House:

MA-3: Former ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gifford (D) announced his candidacy for the open  D+9 seat Rep. Niki Tsongas (D) is retiring from. Gifford, who is gay, has not lived in Massachusetts in 20 years but is originally from Manchester-by-the-Sea which is well outside the district. Gifford gained some notoriety in 2012 as one of Obama’s top fundraisers. He sent over 10 million emails to people on Obama’s email list asking for money and was even called the “Spam King” by BuzzFeed.

NJ-5: Our friend Miles Coleman has plugged the New Jersey gubernatorial numbers into the New Jersey congressional districts and finds that in NJ-5 was a virtual tie with Murphy edging out Guadagno by a mere 231 votes. Freshman Rep. Josh Gottheimer won this district last year despite Trump winning the district by 1.3%.

OH-16: Former NFL wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez (R) picked up the endorsement of neighboring OH-7 Rep. Bob Gibbs (R) for this open R+8 district. Gibbs will headline a fundraiser for Gonzalez at the Brookside Country Club in Canton, OH which is the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

PA-10: After several on again off again nominations for Drug Czar Rep. Tom Marino will seek re-election in 2018 to this fairly safe R+16 seat.

TX-29: In case you missed it, Rep. Gene Green (D) is retiring. Scroll down for our full write up and great mentioner on possible replacements for this D+19 seat.

SALT: The repeal of the state and local tax exemption could be the kiss of death for congressional Republicans in states like California, New York and New Jersey. Seven California Reps. Darrell Issa, Dana Rohrabacher, Mimi Walters, Ed Royce, Steve Knight, David Valadao and Jeff Denham could all face major blowback if the Republican “tax cuts” end up raising taxes on their constituents.

State, Local & Other:

PA-Lt Gov: I guess when you are living in a former Chevy dealership and off of the trust fund your parents set up for you an official residence in Harrisburg with a full staff of state workers waiting on you hand and foot must sound pretty good. With that in mind Braddock Mayor and former US Senate candidate John Fetterman (D) has announced he will challenge incumbent Lt. Gov (and friend to state troopers and household staff) Mike Stack III (D).

Albuquerque, NM-Mayor: Today is election day in Albuquerque. The latest Journal Poll published before the election had state Auditor Tim Keller (D) with a 16 point lead over City Councilman Dan Lewis (R). We will have a preview and open thread at Noon ET; our liveblog will start at 9PM.

New Orleans, LA-Mayor: The latest University of New Orleans Poll has Latoya Cantrell posting a 11 point lead over Desiree Charbonnet ahead of Saturday’s runoff election.

Political Roundup for November 2, 2017

Check back at noon today for our Mayoral general election Preview.

Governor:

FL-Gov: Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine (D) will run for Governor. Miami Beach is a small city (90K) so Levine won’t have a lot of pre-existing name rec, but he does have a lot of self-funding ability and has pledged to spend $20-25M on the race. A new poll from St. Pete Polls shows ex-Rep. Gwen Graham (D) as the primary front-runner with 31%, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) in second with 13%, and Levine and businessman Chris King (D) in single digits.

NV-Gov: AG Adam Laxalt (R) kicked off his long-expected gubernatorial bid yesterday. Laxalt has most establishment support, including the backing of Sen. Dean Heller (R), though he does face a primary from moderate State Treasurer Dan Schwartz (R). Dems have a primary between Clark County commissioners Steve Sisolak (D) and Chris Giunchigliani (D).

WI-Gov: Madison Mayor Paul Soglin (D) says he will “most likely run” for Governor. Soglin would join a very crowded primary field of State Superintendent Tony Evers (D), State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D), State Rep. Dana Wachs (D), and others. His name rec in deep-blue Madison and his far-left positioning could make him a formidable primary contender, though likely a weak general election opponent to Gov. Scott Walker (R).

House:

MN-8: 2014/16 candidate Stuart Mills (R) will not run a third time against Rep. Rick Nolan (D) in this reddening Duluth-area seat. Mills had fallen just short in both his runs.

TN-2: Businessman Jason Emert (R), who is also the national Young Republicans Chair, will run for this open Knoxville-area House seat. Emert could be a factor in the primary against front-running Knox CE Tim Burchett (R) and State Rep. Jimmy Matlock (R).

State & Local:

FL-CFO: Appointed incumbent Jimmy Patronis (R) will seek a full term as state CFO. Patronis, a former little-known State Rep. from Panama City, will likely enjoy the strong support of Gov. Rick Scott (R). However, he will still face a competitive primary against better-known State Sen. Tom Lee (R). The winner will head on to a competitive general with ex-State Sen. Jeremy Ring (D), a former tech executive with self-funding ability.

IL-AG: Kane DA Joe McMahon (R) will not run for AG, clearing the primary field for former congressional candidate Erika Harold (R). McMahon would have been a formidable primary contender due to his name rec in the large suburban county, but Harold had already coalesced most institutional GOP support.

FL-Leg: Someone has been snooping around the Florida legislature, and it has led to some big fish getting fried. State Sen. Jeff Clemens (D), who was set to be Senate Minority leader in 2019, has resigned from his Palm Beach area seat after being caught in an affair with a lobbyist. State Sen. Jack Latvala (R), who is running for Governor, was photographed kissing a lobbyist, though he is forging ahead with his campaign as planned. Separately, State Rep. Daisy Baez (D) of suburban Miami has resigned over residency violations; her resignation opens up a competitive Cuban-dominated seat that Dems flipped last year on Hillary’s coattails.

Political Roundup for October 16, 2017

Over the weekend, for LA-Treasurer, Derrick Edwards (D) and John Schroeder (R) advanced. As Republicans took ~2/3 of the vote and Edwards is not running a serious campaign, Schroeder is the prohibitive favorite in the mid-November runoff (as an aside, check out Miles Coleman’s MAP of the results) For LA-PSC-2, RINO surgeon Craig Greene won outright. In New Orleans, Cantrell (D) and Charbonnet (D) advanced. Finally, for LA-LD-58, Brass (D) won outright, while in LA-LD-77, Manness (R) and Wright (R) advanced. In Austria, Sebastian Kurz of the center-right OVP won about a third of the vote, outpacing the nationalist FPO and social-democratic SPO. It’s uncertain which of the FPO or SPO will join the OVP in coalition. In Kyrgyzstan, the candidate of the incumbent government, Soroonbai Jeenbekov, won the presidency without a runoff.

Senate:

CA-Sen: State Senate President Kevin DeLeon (D) will challenge Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) from the left.  DeLeon and Feinstein are well-positioned to advance to the general election, but defeating the popular and long-serving incumbent from the left in a general election among all voters (including Republicans) seems quite the tall order.

MO-Sen, MO-Aud: State Rep. Paul Curtman (R), who had been running a little-noticed Senate campaign, will instead drop out and explore a run for Auditor. AG Josh Hawley (R) entered the race last week and looks like the prohibitive GOP primary favorite to take on vulnerable Sen. Claire McCaskill (D). Appointed incumbent Auditor Nicole Galloway (D) has somewhat strangely so far not attracted serious GOP opposition.

MT-Sen: Judge Russell Fagg (R) has become the latest candidate into the primary to take on Sen. Jon Tester (D). Fagg joins front-running State Auditor (Insurance Commissioner) Matt Rosendale (R), State Sen. Al Olzewski (R), and storage company exec Troy Downing (R).

ND-Sen: Ex-Rep. and 2012 nominee Rick Berg (R) is considering a rematch with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D), who upset him for the open seat in 2012. As Berg’s last campaign was considered deeply subpar there isn’t a whole lot of enthusiasm for a comeback bid. State Sen. Tom Campbell (R) is in the race, while Rep. Kevin Cramer (R) and State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt (R) are thought to still be considering runs.

Governor:

AL-Gov: As expected, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox (D) will enter the primary for Governor. Maddox, who is considered a rising star, will face opposition from ex-State Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb (D) in the Dem primary. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) is facing a crowded field of primary opponents, most notably Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle (R), who raised over $1M in the month of September.

AZ-Gov: In what looks like as clear-cut a case of sour grapes as it gets, former Ducey administration official Tim Jeffries (R) is considering a primary run against his former boss, Gov. Doug Ducey (R). Jeffries was ousted from his state cabinet post last year amid reports of improper firing of employees and misuse of state resources. Jeffries seems unlikely to be a serious threat to Ducey in the primary.

ID-Gov: The Kootenai County GOP committee has passed a resolution blasting developer and gubernatorial candidate Tommy Ahlquist (R) for his donations to Democrats. Ahlquist notably donated to 2014 Dem gubernatorial nominee AJ Balukoff (D); he says the donation was because Balukoff was a personal friend but he voted for his rival, Gov. Butch Otter (R). Ahlquist is running as something of a moderate third wheel in this primary between LG Brad Little (R), the candidate of the IDGOP’s establishment, socially-conservative faction, and Rep. Raul Labrador (R), the candidate of the IDGOP’s antiestablishment, fiscally-conservative faction. Ironically, Ahlquist could wind up facing Balukoff if he wins the GOP primary, as Balukoff is thought to be considering a second run.

IL-Gov, IL-LG: State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R), of DuPage County in the Chicago suburbs, is considering a challenge to Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) in the GOP primary after Rauner signed an abortion-funding bill. Ives would be at a massive fundraising disadvantage to Rauner but could win the primary on grassroots enthusiasm. Should she make it to the general though, the conservative Ives would have little chance in the general in the deep-blue state. Across the aisle, local superintendent Bob Daiber (D) announced his LG choice, social worker Jonathan Todd (D). Daiber is the last of the four serious Dem contenders to pick a running mate.

KS-Gov: 2014 Senate candidate Greg Orman (I) is considering a run for Governor, once again as an Independent. The decision would be very good news for Republicans. Orman did surprisingly well in 2014 as the de facto Democrat in the Senate race. But running as an Indie in a race where there is likely to be a credible Democrat would likely mean a split in the center and center-left vote that would hand an easy win to the GOP nominee by way of the state’s large conservative base. Both Republicans and Democrats have crowded fields here.

ME-Gov: Sen. Susan Collins (R) will not run for Governor. Though Collins would have likely been a strong front-runner for the Governorship, she is likely to stay a more key national figure as a swing vote in the Senate. This decision also removes (for now) the prospect of a difficult GOP hold for this Senate seat in 2020 without Collins, though it does lower Republicans’ odds of retaining the Governorship. The GOP primary currently consists of State Sen. Garrett Mason (R), State Rep. Ken Fredette (R), and LePage administration official Mary Mayhew (R). A fourth candidate may enter soon, as businessman and 2010 Indie candidate Shawn Moody (R) has joined the GOP and is exploring a run as well. Democrats have an even more crowded field and three credible Indies are also running.

MN-Gov, MN-LG: Rep. Tim Walz (D) has picked State Rep. Peggy Flanagan (D) as his running mate. Walz is so far considered the slight front-runner for the DFL endorsement, but he faces a crowded field of Auditor Rebecca Otto (D), St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman (D), and State Reps. Erin Murphy (D), Tina Leibling (D), and Paul Thissen (D). Walz is the first candidate on either side to commit to an LG pick.

OR-Gov: Happy Valley mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R), who narrowly lost a State House race last year, will not run for Governor. Chavez-DeRemer was the last major GOP candidate still exploring the race. Her exit likely means that State Rep. Knute Buehler (R) will not face serious primary opposition for the right to take on Gov. Kate Brown (D).

PA-Gov: Well-connected attorney Laura Ellsworth (R) will seek the GOP nomination to take on Gov. Tom Wolf (R). Ellsworth, a partner at the high-powered Jones Day mega-law firm, could potentially be an establishment choice in the primary against antiestablishment-leaning State Sen. Scott Wagner (R), though she will likely have to contend for that niche with businessman Paul Mango (R).

SC-Gov: A second Democrat has entered this race. Consultant and nonprofit exec Phil Noble (D), who ran a Democratic primary campaign for LG in 1994, will take on State Rep. James Smith (D) in the Democratic primary. Incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster (R) faces Haley admin official Catherine Templeton (R), LG Kevin Bryant (R), and ex-LG Yancey McGill (R) in the GOP primary.

TX-Gov: Democrats have a slightly more credible prospect to take on popular Gov. Greg Abbott (R), as ex-Balch Springs (pop. 25K) mayor Cedrick Davis (D) will run for Governor. Former mayor of a smallish Dallas slumburb would ordinarily not be a credible candidate resume in a state as big as Texas. However, Democrats are running out of options in this race with the filing deadline under two months away, so there’s a chance Davis may get a serious look. The only other candidate in the race besides Davis is gay-bar owner Jeffrey Payne (D).

WI-Gov: Ex-WIDP chair Matt Flynn (D) is the latest candidate into this increasingly crowded primary to take on Gov. Scott Walker (R). Flynn joins State Superintendent Tony Evers (D), State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D), State Rep. Dana Wachs (D), businessman Andy Gronik (D), and nonprofit exec Mike McCabe (D) in the race.

House:

CA-7: Physician Yona Barash (R), a Holocaust survivor as an infant who later immigrated to the US from Israel, is running against Rep. Ami Bera (D). Bera has won a string of hard-fought victories over credible GOP candidates in this light-blue suburban Sacramento seat.

IN-2: Healthcare executive Mel Hall (D) will run for this medium-red seat, giving Democrats a credible candidate to take on Rep. Jackie Walorski (R). This seat has trended strongly right in the last decade but might be still be in play in a Democratic wave.

MA-9: Convenience store executive Peter Tedeschi (R), who ran the large regional Tedeschi’s convenience store chain before selling it to 7-eleven, is running for Congress and will announce later this month. The district isn’t specified but it’s almost certainly the light-blue Cape Cod and South Shore/South Coast MA-9 of Rep. Bill Keating (D). Tedeschi seems a solid candidate and Gov. Charlie Baker (R) will almost certainly carry the seat, but defeating an incumbent Democrat in Massachusetts (for any office) is all but impossible, so this is likely to be an uphill race.

MI-6: George Franklin (D), a former university regent and lobbyist for Kellogg’s cereal, will run for this light-red southwest Michigan seat. Longtime incumbent Fred Upton (R) has been popular in the district, but he is currently considering a run for Senate, which would make this race a high-level Dem pickup opportunity if open.

MI-11: Plymouth Twp. supervisor and ex-State Rep. Kurt Heise (R) has announced a bid for this light-red suburban Detroit open seat. Heise joins State Rep. Klint Kesto (R), ex-State Rep. Rocky Raczkowski (R), and businesswoman Lena Epstein (R) in the GOP primary; Dems also have a crowded field.

NY-1: Suffolk County commissioner Kate Browning (D) is running for the House seat of Rep. Lee Zeldin (R). Browning, an Irish immigrant with ties to the union-backed Working Families party, is likely to be the Dem establishment choice for this light-red eastern Long Island seat.

PA-18: Westmoreland County commissioner Gina Cerilli (D) has thrown her hat into the ring, joining ex-Allegheny County commissioner Mike Crossey (D) and Bush 43 admin official Pam Iovino (D) (yes, you read that right – it was a cross-party appointment) in the race for the Dem endorsement. The GOP also has a trio of candidates, State Sens. Kim Ward (R) and Guy Reschenthaler (R) and State Rep. Rick Saccone (R). The special election to replace Rep. Tim Murphy (R) in this medium-red south suburban Pittsburgh seat has not been scheduled but is likely to be early next year.

TN-7: Songwriter Lee Thomas Miller (R) is considering a run for this deep-red open seat. Miller has written songs for country stars Garth Brooks and Brad Paisley, among others. He also hails from the wealthy and high-turnout suburban Williamson County portion of the district. Miller is the first candidate to express interest in taking on the only declared candidate for this seat, State Sen. Mark Green (R). For his part, Green received an endorsement from the Club for Growth, potentially giving him a fundraising boost.

State Offices:

CT-Treas: Investor Thad Gray (R) is running for State Treasurer, becoming the first candidate into this race. Incumbent Denise Nappier (D) has not indicated her plans but is thought to be considering retirement; she won by a smaller-than-expected margin in 2014.

DE-Aud: Ex-State Rep. Dennis Williams (D), who lost primaries for his seat in 2014 and 2016, will run for State Auditor. 7-term incumbent Tom Wagner (R), one of two statewide elected Rs in Delaware, has not yet declared whether he will run again.

FL-AG: In what might be a record for shortest exploratory phase of a campaign, State Rep. Frank White (R) of Pensacola filed to run for AG last Friday – less than 24 hours after publicly declaring he was exploring the race. White joins front-running retired judge Ashley Moody (R) and State Rep. Jay Fant (R) in the primary. Little-known attorney Ryan Torrens (D) is to date the only Dem in the race.

ID-LG: State Sen. Bob Nonini (R) is the latest candidate into this supremely crowded open-seat primary field. Nonini, who hails from the northern panhandle, joins fellow State Sen. Marv Hagedorn (R), State Rep. Kelley Packer (R), ex-State Rep. Janice McGeachin (R), and ex-IDGOP Chairman Steve Yates (R). Incumbent Brad Little (R) is running for Governor.

IL-AG: Kane County DA Joe McMahon (R) is considering a run for AG. McMahon has name recognition from his tenure as DA in a large suburban county and his serving as a special prosecutor in the Lacquan Macdonald police shooting incident. However, he would likely face an uphill run in the GOP primary, as former congressional candidate Erika Harold (R) has already sewn up most of the GOP establishment’s support. Across the aisle, parks commissioner Jesse Ruiz (D) is seen as likely to become the fourth candidate in this field, joining State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D), State Rep. Scott Drury (D), and Chicago city official Sharon Fairley (D).

IL-SoS: Grundy County DA Jason Helland (R) will run for Secretary of State, giving Republicans a credible candidate for this seat. Popular incumbent Jesse White (D) has said he will be seeking a sixth term and would be a prohibitive favorite if he runs, but there are rumors that White may pull a late retirement to try and clear the field for a hand-picked successor.

KS-Ins Comm: Ex-State Sen. and 2014 candidate Clark Shultz (R), who currently serves as the department’s #2 official, is preparing to make a second run for Insurance Commissioner. Shultz came in a very close third (by 4%) in the 2014 primary and would likely start a second bid as the front-runner for the seat. However, he left the door open to dropping out of the race should his boss, incumbent Ken Selzer (R), drop his bid for Governor and seek re-election. No other candidates have as yet declared interest in this seat.

NE-Treas: 2017 Omaha Mayoral candidate Taylor Royal (R), a twenty-something accountant who ran a quixotic self-funded bid based on bringing an NFL team to Omaha, will run for State Treasurer. Royal also notched a surprising endorsement from the woman he unsuccessfully tried to oust, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert (R). He joins State Sen. John Murante (R), who has the endorsement of Gov. Pete Ricketts (R), in the primary for this open seat.

Local Races:

Atlanta-Mayor: City councilwoman Keisha Lance-Bottoms (D) has notched a big endorsement from incumbent Kasim Reed (D). Lance-Bottoms is the closest candidate in the crowded field to Reed, so the move is no surprise; however, Reed’s support could help her stand out. Lance-Bottoms is in a tight race for the second runoff spot in this race; a number of liberal candidates are vying to advance to a December runoff with moderate councilwoman and 2009 candidate Mary Norwood (I).

Phoenix-Mayor: A pair of city councilors have thrown their hats into the ring for next year’s special election. Daniel Valenzuela (D) and Kate Gallego (D), ex-wife of US Rep. Ruben (D), have both declared their candidacies. Incumbent Greg Stanton (D) will need to resign next year to run for the AZ-9 seat of Rep. and Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema (D).

Prince George’s, MD-CE: Ex-Rep. Donna Edwards (D), who lost a US Senate primary in 2016, is trying for a comeback in a run for the open PG County Executive seat. Edwards starts with the highest name recognition in a field including DA Angela Alsobrooks (D), DINO State Sen. Anthony Muse (D), and Obama Admin official Paul Monteiro (D). However, Edwards has never been on great terms with the area’s Democratic establishment, which could be problematic if they coalesce around one of her rivals.

Shelby, TN-CE: State Sen. Lee Harris (D) is running for the County Executive post in Shelby County, covering Memphis. He joins ex-county commissioner Sidney Chism (D) in the primary. Shelby County is deep-blue but the GOP has had high levels of success countywide;  Three credible Republicans are running in County Trustee David Lenoir (R), Court Clerk Joy Touliatos (R), and County Commissioner Terry Roland (R).

Political Roundup for 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 22, 2017

Congress:

MI-Sen: Businessman and Iraq War Veteran John James has joined the race for the GOP nomination for US Senate. James, who identifies himself as a “conservative Republican” joins former State Supreme Court Justice Bob Young in the Republican primary. Musician Kid Rock and Sandy Pensler are considering joining the race as well.

MD-6: One Democratic candidate is taking himself out of the race. State House Majority Leader Bill Frick (D), who had been exploring a run for Congress will instead run for Montgomery County Executive. Wealthy businessman and unsuccessful 2016 MD-8 candidate David Trone, Del. Aruna Miller (D), state Sen. Roger Manno (D) and unsuccessful 2006 and 2010 MD-6 nominee Andrew Duck are all still running in the Democratic primary.

MI-11/MI-SOS: State Sen. Mike Kowall (R) is dropping out of the race for Secretary of State. Speculation is that he plans to run for Congress instead to replace Rep. Dave Trott (R), which he called an “unexpected opportunity”. Former state Rep. Rocky Raczkowski (R), state Rep. Klint Kesto (R) and businesswoman Lena Epstein are already running for the House seat, and others are considering joining the race. Shelby Township Clerk Stan Grot, Michigan State University professor Joseph Guzman, and businesswoman Mary Trader Lang are running for the Republican nomination for Secretary of State.

PA-11/PA-Sen: Berwick Councilman Andrew Shecktor (R) is dropping a mostly unnoticed campaign for US Senate, and instead running for the House seat Rep. Lou Barletta (R) is giving up to run for US Senate himself. Shecktor was a delegate to the Republican National Convention last year and considers himself a strong supporter of President Trump. Former state Revenue secretary Dan Meuser and state Rep. Steve Bloom (R) are also currently running for the GOP nomination.

Governor:

IA-Gov: Nurse and SEIU local president Cathy Glasson officially entered the Democratic nomination for governor this week. Glasson had been exploring a run for several months. She is establishing herself firmly on the left of the 7 Democratic candidates and has been endorsed by the liberal Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

WI-Gov: State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D) will make an announcement next Monday as to whether she will run for governor or run for re-election. She has given no clues as to which way she is planning to go. If she runs, she would likely join the top tier of candidates along with State School Superintendent Tony Evers, businessman Andy Gronik and state Rep. Dana Wachs.

WY-Gov: Former Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R) has confirmed that she will not run for governor next year. She had once been considered likely to run, and had been lining up supporters earlier this year, but in recent weeks it seemed unlikely she would run, and she apparently told supporters a few weeks ago she was out. Lummis would have been a formidable candidate had she chosen to run, having run statewide before. State Treasurer Mark Gordon (R) and Secretary of State Ed Murray (R) are considered the potential frontrunners, although neither has decided yet to enter the race.

State offices:

AK-LG: Edie Grunwald, the mother of a teenager who was killed in a high-profile murder case, is running for LG as a Republican. She is criticizing a criminal justice overhaul bill approved last year, which was supported by the other 3 Republican candidates-former state Senate Presidents Kevin Meyer (R) and Gary Stevens (R), and former state Rep. Lynn Gattis (R). Grunwald said she was hoping to partner with the gubernatorial campaign of state Sen. Mike Dunleavy (R), but Dunleavy recently suspended his campaign.

FL-AG: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R) will not run for AG next year, and has endorsed former state Circuit Court judge Ashley Moody (R). Despite Gaetz only being in his first term in Congress, he had been mentioned as a possible candidate, and one who could have been a formidable candidate had he decided to run. Former state Rep. Jay Fant (R) is also running in the Republican primary.

IL-AG: State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D) has announced he is running for Attorney General. He is the second state legislator to announce a run since current AG Lisa Madigan (D) announced her retirement, joining state Rep. Scott Drury (D). Raoul was appointed to the state Senate in 2004, filling the seat vacated by Barack Obama when he was elected to the US Senate. Other Democrats, including state Rep. Elaine Nekritz, are considering getting in. Former Miss America and unsuccessful IL-13 candidate Erika Harold is running on the Republican side.

MI-AG: State Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker (R) is the first Republican to announce a bid for AG. Current AG Bill Schuette (R) is term limited and running for governor. Schuitmaker is term limited out of her state Senate seat as well after serving two terms. Two Democrats are running-former US Attorney Patrick Miles and attorney Dana Nessel.

RI-LG: State Rep. Aaron Regunberg (D) is exploring a run for lieutenant governor. Current LG Dan McKee (D) is planning to run for re-election, which would mean a primary challenge for the incumbent. Regunberg, who is only 27, says he hasn’t made any decisions yet whether to run.

Political Roundup for September 5, 2017

First off, there is a single legislative special today. SC-LD-113 is a D+19 (2016) seat covering a thin stripe of racially-mixed lower-middle-class suburbs of Charleston from North Charleston to Summerville. Trial lawyer Marvin Pendarvis (D), who is a close confidante of the area’s state Senator, looks like the clear favorite in the primary with a chance to win outright, but he also faces school board member Chris Collins (D) and marketing consultant Angela Hanyak (D), each of whom could potentially make a runoff. Two Republicans are facing off for the right to lose.

Senate:

AL-Sen: This story looks at how ex-US Attorney Doug Jones (D) is not getting much national support for his Senate run in December, unlike several other Dem special election candidates from earlier this year. It seems in part due to Jones being more conscious of his red state and attempting to run as a conservative Democrat rather than a vanguard of the #resistance. As the runoff between appointed incumbent Luther Strange (R) and ex-State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R) consumes most of the oxygen for this month, Jones is attempting to fly under the radar and emerge as an acceptable alternative to the GOP nominee. Regardless of Jones’s national support or lack thereof, his odds are still long in the deep-red state.

More AL-Sen: Moore had an embarrassing moment late last week in which he appeared to have no idea what the DACA program was. It’s too early to say if this gaffe will have resonance but it’s certainly not a positive for him so close to the runoff.

AZ-Sen: Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) is still “seriously considering” a run for Senate. Sinema is widely expected to run as she is considered to be Dems’ strongest possible recuit against vulnerable Sen. Jeff Flake (R). Ex-State Sen. Kelli Ward (R) is running against Flake in the primary.

IN-Sen: Another story is out corroborating allegations that Rep. Todd Rokita (R) is a bad boss to his staffers. The story has several nuggets of Rokita generally being a, for lack of a better word, jerk. For example, “a worker was booted from a staff meeting and instructed to clean Rokita’s vehicle, which included scrubbing the carpets” because a volunteer driver had BO. Rokita is facing fellow Rep. Luke Messer (R) in what is expected to be a tough primary for the right to take on Sen. Joe Donnelly (D).

MO-Sen: A new MOScout poll has AG Josh Hawley (R) leading incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) 50-45. Hawley, who is in his first term as AG, is widely expected to run against McCaskill after being recruited by the entire GOP establishment.

Governor:

HI-Gov: State Rep. Bob McDermott (R) has abruptly dropped out of the race for Governor after learning that another Republican is planning to run. Rumors are that candidate is State Rep. Andria Tupola (R), a moderate who, unlike the staunchly socially conservative McDermott, could be a credible general election candidate. Separately this weekend, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) surprisingly announced her intent to primary Gov. David Ige (D); click for our full recap on the decision and Great Mentioner for the now-open HI-1.

IL-Gov: State Sen. Daniel Biss (D) has lost an endorsement from Rep. Brad Schneider (D) with his choice of LG running mate, Chicago councilman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (D). Ramirez-Rosa, 28, is a supporter of the anti-Israel BDS movement. Biss is facing businessmen J.B. Pritzker (D) and Chris Kennedy (D), Chicago councilman Ameya Pawar (D), state Rep. Scott Drury (D), and local superintendent Bob Daiber (D) in the primary. Pritzker is generally considered the front-runner to take on Gov. Bruce Rauner (R).

ME-Gov: Jon Jenkins (I), who served as Mayor of both Lewiston and Auburn, as well as a term in the State Senate in the 90s, is considering an Indie bid. Jenkins would be the third credible Indie contender in this race, joining appointed State Treasurer Terry Hayes (I) and comedian Karmo Sanders (I). Dems and Republicans look set to have crowded primary fields as well, with ex-Gov. John Baldacci (D) and Sen. Susan Collins (R) among the highest-profile candidates considering.

MN-Gov: Ramsey County commissioner Blake Huffman (R) has dropped out of the race for Governor. 2014 nominee and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson (R), State Sen. David Osmek (R), State Rep. Matt Dean (R), and ex-State Rep. and MNGOP chair Keith Downey (R) remain in the GOP convention race, with several others, most notably State House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R), considering. Democrats have a crowded field as well.

OH-Gov: Speculation is growing that Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray (D) will step down to enter the race for Ohio Governor. Cordray, a former AG and State Treasurer, would likely become the front-runner for the Democratic nomination over the current crowded field of “B” and “C” listers. Ex-Rep. Betty Sutton (D), Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D), State Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D), and ex-State Rep. and 2014 State Treasurer nominee Connie Pillich (D) are in the Dem race already. Four Republicans are also running.

WI-Gov: Nonprofit exec Mike McCabe (D) has entered the race for Governor. State Superintendent Tony Evers (D) is the front-runner for the nomination to take on Gov. Scott Walker (R), but State Rep. Dana Wachs (D) and businessman Andy Gronik (D) are also in the race.

KY-Gov ’19: Ex-State House Speaker and AG Greg Stumbo (D) is considering a run for Governor in 2019. Stumbo is a liberal who is known as a bare-knuckled political brawler but has proven himself convtroversial in his red state. AG Andy Beshear (D) is also thought to be considering a run; the primary winner will face incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin (R) in the general.

House:

KS-2: Brownback admin official Antonio Soave (R), a former Italian semi-professional soccer player, is considered likely to run for this open Topeka-area seat. Soave currently lives in KS-3 but will move into the 2nd to run. He will join a crowded primary field of State Sens. Steve Fitzgerald (R) and Caryn Tyson (R), State Rep. Kevin Jones (R), and Basehor councilman Vernon Fields (R) in the GOP primary. Ex-state Rep. and 2014 gubernatorial nominee Paul Davis (D) is the likely Dem nominee for this medium-red seat.

OH-16: Former OSU football star Anthony Gonzalez (R) has filed to run for this open seat, joining moderate State Rep. Tom Patton (R) and Trumpist State Rep. Christina Hagan (R) in the race. Gonzalez has hired a former Rob Portman campaign operative as his campaign treasurer, suggesting he could have significant establishment support. The GOP field for this medium-red Cleveland and Akron suburban seat is likely to grow.

OK-1: Trump has tapped Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R) to serve as NASA director, but the question over whether there will be a special for this Tulsa-area seat before the 2018 general is very much up in the air. Bridenstine would need to resign before the end of the year to allow a special to be held at all. With a primary runoff likely to be necessary, March is the earliest the special general could be held. And even for that, Bridenstine would need to vacate the seat on the likely-too-short-timeline of within the next few weeks. Click here for our full report and Great Mentioner on the seat. As a side note, by contrast, the situation in the other seat for which Trump has tapped a sitting Rep. (PA-10) is much easier. Rep. Tom Marino’s (R) administration position does not require Senate confirmation, and Pennsylvania does not have special primaries, meaning the seat could be up as quickly as this November.

PA-15: Rep. Charlie Dent (R) has revealed text messages from his primary challenger, State Rep. Justin Simmons (R) in which Simmons asked for Dent’s endorsement for re-election and expressed a desire to replace Trump as the GOP presidential nominee. Simmons is attempting to portray himself as a stronger Trump supporter than the moderate Dent in this light-red Lehigh Valley area seat.

State & Local:

HI-LG: State Sens. Josh Green (D) and Will Espero (D) have declared for LG, joining fellow State Sen. Jill Tokuda (D) and Maui CE Alan Arakawa (D) in the shotgun-wedding race. Espero might be someone to watch for a quick exit from the race, as he ran for HI-1 in 2014 and could try again now that Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) is running for Governor.

LA-PSC-2: Ex-State Rep. Lenar Whitney (R) has secured the official endorsement of the state party in this race. Whitney is an antiesatblishment conservative who lost her 2015 re-election bid to a more moderate Republican. In this race, she is facing two RINOs for the deep-red seat, D-turned-R appointed incumbent Damon Baldone (R) and Gov. Edwards-endorsing surgeon Craig Greene (R).

Westchester, NY-CE: Incumbent Rob Astorino (R) has been sending out mailers to unaffiliated voters to get them to write his name in for the Reform Party nomination.  Astorino created the Reform Party as a vanity line (with the “Stop Common Core” name) for his 2014 gubernatorial run, but then lost control of it to talk radio host Curtis Sliwa. Sliwa’s organization has now endorsed Astornio’s most likely rival for re-election, State Sen. George Latimer (D). However, Astorino was able to force a primary, which is open to unaffiliated voters as well as the negligible number of Reform Party registrants.

Milwaukee, WI-Sheriff: Controversial DINO Sheriff David Clarke resigned last week without immediate explanation. It’s unclear if Clarke is in line for a Trump administration post or if he is headed to some sort of Cable TV gig.

Political Roundup for August 29, 2017

Check back at noon ET today for our preview and open thread for today’s St. Petersburg, FL Mayoral election.

Senate:

ME-Sen: Once again, Gov. Paul LePage (R) has announced he will not run for the Senate seat of Sen. Angus King (I/D). LePage had already ruled out a run once before backtracking and reconsidering. State Sen. Eric Brakey (R) is the most-talked-about Republican challenger to King.

MA-Sen: Beth Lindstrom (R), a former state lottery director and Scott Brown’s campaign manager, is running for the seat of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D). Lindstrom will join two less establishment-friendly candidates, conservative State Rep. Geoff Diehl (R) and businessman Shiva Ayyadurai (R), in the primary.

NE-Sen: Democrats have a semi-credible contender to take on Sen. Deb Fischer (R), as Lincoln councilwoman Jane Raybould (D) entered the race. Needless to say, Raybould will face a very uphill battle against Fischer in the deep-red state.

NJ-Sen: A jury has been seated in the corruption trial of Sen. Bob Menedez (D). The jury of 6 men and 6 women will review the allegations that Menendez improperly pulled strings to benefit a major donor; the trial begins next week.

Governor:

AL-Gov: State Rep. Craig Ford (D) announced last week he would not run for Governor. Democrats still have two credible candidates considering this race in ex-State Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb (D) and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox (D). Gov. Kay Ivey (R) filed last week to seek a full term; she will face a very crowded GOP primary field.

GA-Gov: State Rep. Stacey Abrams (D) resigned her State House seat last week to focus on her gubernatorial run. Abrams’s deep-blue legislative seat in southwest DeKalb County will see a special election later this year; she faces fellow State Rep. Stacey Evans (D), who is considered more moderate, in the Democratic primary for the gubernatorial open seat. Republicans have a crowded primary field.

ME-Gov: State Sen. Rick Bennett (R) will not run for Governor. LePage admin official Mary Mayhew (R) is in the race, but much of the rest of this field is frozen awaiting the decision of popular Sen. Susan Collins (R) on the race.

WI-Gov: As expected, state superintendent Tony Evers (D) launched his campaign for Governor last week. Evers, who has been elected statewide three times (albeit in low-turnout non-partisan off year spring elections), looks like Dems’ strongest candidate to take on Gov. Scott Walker (R). However, several lesser-known Democrats are in or considering the race as well.

House:

CO-7: After Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) backtracked on his decision to retire and re-entered the race for a seventh term, the three main challengers hoping to fill the open seat all decided to abandon their bids. State Sens. Andy Kerr (D) and Dominick Moreno (D)  and State Rep. Brittany Pettersen (D) all quickly ended their campaigns last week; thus, Perlmutter is not expected to face significant opposition for another term.

PA-18: Democrats have a credible candidate to take on Rep. Tim Murphy (R) in this red suburban Pittsburgh seat. Ex-Allegheny County commissioner Mike Crossey (D) has entered the race. However, Crossey’s bid did not start off on a great note as his kickoff campaign was held outside the district. Murphy was unopposed in both 2014 and 2016.

State & Local:

IA-Treas: State GOP official John Thompson (R), who is running for State Treasurer, has been served with a restraining order for harassing his former fiancee. Should he make it to the general Thompson may face a tough race against longtime incumbent Michael Fitzgerald (D).

LA-Treas: The state Democratic party has decided not to endorse the only Democrat running in this year’s special election for State Treasurer. Attorney Derrick Edwards (D) has an interesting story of becoming an attorney despite being a quadraplegic; however, he is not running a serious campaign for this office. Despite that, as the only Dem on the ballot, Edwards is certain to make the runoff and lose to one of his Republican rivals. State Sen. Neil Riser (R), State Rep. John Schroeder (R), and Jindal admin official Angele Davis (R) are in the race as well; the special primary for this seat is in mid-October.

MA-AG: A second Some Dude attorney has entered the GOP primary to take on AG Maura Healey (D). Dan Shores (R) joins Jay McMahon (R) in the race; both hail from Cape Cod. Either will face a very tough general election against the popular Healey in the deep blue state.

MI-SoS: Shelby Twp. clerk Stan Grot (R) will run for SoS, joining State Sen. Mike Kowall (R) in the race. The GOP nomination will be decided by convention. 2010 nominee Jocelyn Benson (D) is considered likely to run again for Democrats.

NV-LG: State Sen. and 2016 NV-3 candidate Michael Roberson (R) will run for LG after incumbent Mark Hutchinson (R) announced his retirement. Roberson is considered a strong general election candidate but may face primary troubles due to his shepherding a 2015 tax hike through the legislature.

MO-SD-14: State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D) has been stripped of all her committee assignments after calling for Trump’s assassination. So far Chappelle-Nadal has been resisting bipartisan calls for her resignation from the Senate.

Shelby, TN-CE: Court Clerk Joy Touliatos (R) will run for Shelby County Executive, joining county commissioner David Roland (R) in the primary for this seat. Shelby county is strongly Democratic overall but low turnout in municipal elections and strong candidates have kept the GOP in control of the County Executive slot.

Atlanta-Mayor: Fulton CE John Eaves (D) made a late entry into the race for Mayor of Atlanta last week. Seven major candidates are in the race for the open seat.

Redistricting:

MD-Redistrict: A 3-judge panel voted 2-1 to allow Maryland’s congressional map to stand for 2018 while the Supreme Court considers a similar case from Wisconsin. The plaintiffs had argued that the state’s congressional map should be struck down as an improper political gerrymander.

TX-Redistrict: Texas will have to redraw 9 State House districts for 2018 as the seats have been struck down as racial gerrymanders. The seats affected are a pair in Corpus Christi, a pair in Killeen, a pair in Fort Worth, and a trio in Dallas. It looks like Democrats could stand to gain around 3 seats from the ruling.

More TX-Redistrict: In the congressional redistricting case, Sam Alito has stayed the district court ruling striking down TX-27 and TX-35.

Political Roundup for August 23rd, 2017

Fellow teachers, welcome back to school! Everyone else, welcome back to your roundup.

Last night, Sandy Stimpson (R) won re-election outright in Mobile with 58%, while school board member Randall Woodfin (D) surprisingly outpaced incumbent Birmingham Mayor William Bell (D) by a 41-37 margin; Woodfin and Bell will head to an October runoff. Dawn Euer (D) won RI-SD-13 as expected, though she underperformed Hillary’s margin unlike most D special election candidates this year.

Senate

AZ-Sen: Things are rough between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the President. Besides Trump’s public criticism of McConnell and Senate procedures, McConnell is also facing off against Trump in the Arizona Senate Republican primary. McConnell, for his part, is rallying the Republican Senate caucus to support their embattled colleague, Sen. Jeff Flake.

More AZ-Sen: In a new poll from Republican public affairs firm HighGround, Sen. Jeff Flake (R) is in big trouble. First, he trails former State Sen. Kelli Ward 28%-43% in the Republican primary. Then, if Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) pulls the trigger on a run, Flake would trail her 33%-41% in the general election. In contrast, Ward would trail Sinema by only one point with a ton of undecideds, at 31%-32%.

Flake has the unpopularity of previous party-flippers like Lieberman and Specter of the past decade among his own party’s voters- without ever flipping parties. President Trump previously tweeted his support of Ward. With numbers like this, I wonder if we could see a retirement from Flake to prevent a Ward primary victory.

MI-Sen: Come for the shout-out from Harry Enten describing RRH Elections as “well-informed, well-intentioned amateurs trying to break into the [polling] industry.” Then, stay read his takedown of a fake poll from “Delphi Analytica” that briefly excited the political world about a possible lead for a Kid Rock campaign in the Michigan Senate race.

Governor

MN-Gov: State Sen. Dave Osmek (R) has announced a gubernatorial bid. While Osmek will have some legislative endorsements, he starts overshadowed by Hennepin County Commissioner and 2014 gubernatorial nominee Jeff Johnson within the Republican primary. After all, Johnson’s base overlaps with Osmek’s turf in the southwest suburbs of Minneapolis. Further, Johnson occupies a similar libertarian/conservative ideological space as Johnson. Osmek’s website also starts out in uniquely rough shape, telling donors on the day of his announcement to either send a physical check or wait for Paypal to go up. Couldn’t he have just thrown up a Piryx account real fast and changed it later?!? Also, apparently http://osmekforgovernor.com redirects to a hit piece against the candidate.  For a hilarious take on the state of the gubernatorial race, see this tweet

VA-Gov: A new Roanoke College poll of likely voters finds Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) leads Ed Gillespie (R) 43%-36%, with another 4% for the Libertarian candidate.

CA-Gov: Apparently some “Democratic fundraisers and political operatives” are not excited by the always inevitable but finally happening gubernatorial bid of Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) or former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s campaign. In their place, they want some dude named Scooter Braun to run. He apparently manages some famous singers, including Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Usher, and Kanye West. I’m not even going to run down the list of recent celebrity candidates in the last few years, ok?

AK-Gov: Incumbent Gov. Bill Walker (I) and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott (D) have officially filed for reelection as a joint ticket again. They are not running on the Democratic ticket, so now the Alaska Democratic Party needs to figure out some way to legally keep anyone else from trying to snag that ballot line by filing for the primary. A lawsuit has been filed by the party to attempt to allow the pair to run in the party primary without actually running under the party’s affiliation.

WI-Gov: State Superintendent Tony Evers (D) is officially in, joining a bunch of B- and C-list Democratic candidates who are either actually in the race (state Rep. Dana Wachs, businessman Andy Gronik) or considering it (State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin). A full Great Mentioner is included at the bottom of the article.

House

TX-3: State Sen. Van Taylor (R) continues his march into this open congressional seat, officially filing to run now that Texas’ special state legislative session is complete. Our friend Miles at DDHQ will eventually get around to profiling this race, so stay tuned.

TX-16: El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar (D) will likely announce her congressional campaign this Saturday at an event. Escobar has been considering a bid for some time, and she will join El Paso ISD Trustee Dori Fenenbock and two other candidates in the Democratic primary. This seat is open with Rep. Beto O’Rourke running for Senate against Ted Cruz. Escobar already secured prominent backers like the outgoing incumbent, Rep. Joaquin Castro, and actress Eva Longoria.

AL-5: State Sen. Bill Holtzclaw (R) will run against incumbent Rep. Mo Brooks in the Republican primary here. Brooks is coming off a third-place finish in the special election for US Senate in Alabama. Although he cracked 40% in his own district in the three-way race, Holtzclaw probably sees an opening after Brooks was bloodied by ads that accused him of being insufficiently pro-Trump.

State and Local

TX-SD-8: A rare showdown in this open seat Republican primary between two red meat conservatives. On the one side is Philip Huffines, the self-funding Dallas County GOP Chairman and twin brother of State Sen. Don Huffines. On the other is Angela Paxton, wife of embattled Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Paxton starts out with some legislative support that would otherwise be assumed to go to Huffines, including from Freedom Caucus members and State Reps. Matt Shaheen and Jeff Leach. The divide may be geographic rather than ideological, with another state representative explaining her support with the statement, “She’s Collin County.”

MA-Leg: State Rep. Susannah Whipps is abandoning the GOP to sit as an independent legislator. No word on her committee assignments yet.

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