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Political Roundup for November 10, 2017

Senate:

AL-Sen: As most people have no doubt heard by now, GOP nominee Roy Moore has been accused in a Washington Post story of having a sexual encounter with a 14-year old girl back in 1979 when Moore was a 32-year old assistant DA in Etowah County. Many, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) and NRSC Chairman Sen. Cory Gardner (R) have said Moore needs to drop out of the race if the allegations are true(Moore is denying the allegations). However, it is too late to replace Moore on the ballot. Although, some have pointed out that was what we were told when New Jersey Democrats wanted to replace  scandal-plagued Rep. Robert Torricelli (D) on the ballot for US Senate in 2002 with former Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D), and the state’s Democratic-dominated judiciary essentially looked the other way. But, barring some similar legal maneuver(and getting Moore to agree to drop out, which may be even tougher), Republicans may be stuck with Moore and hoping that voters believe Moore’s denials or look past something that happened nearly 40 years ago(which, this being deep-red Alabama, wouldn’t be a total surprise).

PA-Sen/PA-LG: Businessman Jeff Bartos has dropped out of the US Senate race, and will instead run for LG, working in tandem with the gubernatorial campaign of state Sen. Scott Wagner (R). Bartos’s exit from the race helps Rep. Lou Barletta (R), as he was the strongest opponent still in the race. Barletta now only faces minor opposition in the GOP primary.

House:

HI-1: State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim (D) became the 2nd person to join this race on Wednesday. She joins state Rep. Kaniela Ing (D), who announced a bid earlier this week. Party-switching state Rep. Beth Fukumoto (R->D) and AG Doug Chin (D) have indicated an interest in running as well.

NV-3: Michelle Mortensen, a consumer reporter for a Las Vegas TV station, is leaving that job to run in the Republican primary for Congress. She joins state Sen. Scott Hammond (R), former state Assemblywoman Victoria Seaman (R) and former Clark County Republican Party chairman Dave McKeon in the Republican primary. Philanthropist and 2016 NV-4 congressional candidate Susie Lee is currently the only Democrat running.

NH-1: Executive Councilor Chris Pappas (D) has joined the race for this open seat. Pappas was recruited by national Democrats for the seat, and likely starts as the frontrunner. He joins former state AFL-CIO president Mark McKenzie, former Obama Administration Pentagon official Maura Sullivan, former Strafford County District Attorney Lincoln Soldati, and Rochester City Attorney Terence O’Rourke in the Democratic primary. State Rep. Mindi Messmer (D) and Somersworth Mayor Dana Hilliard are also considering. State Sen. Andy Sanborn (R) and former law enforcement official Eddie Edwards are running on the Republican side, with former NH GOP Vice Chairman Matt Mayberry considering. Trump won this district 48-45 last year.

TX-2: State Rep. Kevin Roberts (R) is the first person to jump into the race for this now-open seat. Roberts is in his first term representing a district in northwest Harris County. TX-2 lies wholly within Harris County, snaking around the northeast, north, northwest and west parts of the county.

TX-21: State Rep. Jason Isaac (R) has announced he is running for Congress. Isaac joins retired CIA operations officer Eric Burkhart as the only candidates to announce a run so far. Isaac doesn’t actually live in the district, but part of his state House district overlaps the congressional district.

VA-6: Two Republicans wasted no time in announcing campaigns in the wake of yesterday’s retirement announcement by Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R). State Del. Ben Cline (R) and attorney and RNC member Cynthia Dunbar have both jumped in the race. Cline has represented a seat in Rockbridge County since 2002 and was re-elected easily on Tuesday. Other Republicans are expected to get in the race. Two potential Democratic candidates have already taken themselves out of the running. Former TV news anchor Chris Hurst had been recruited by national Democrats to run, but he instead ran for the House of Delegates and defeated an incumbent Republican on Tuesday. Del. Sam Rasoul (D), who took 37% against Goodlatte as the Democratic nominee in 2008, the best showing for a Democrat in the district since Goodlatte’s first election in 1992, had been considered a possible candidate, but will not run.

WV-3: WV Republican Party chairman Conrad Lucas, is running for Congress. Lucas joins a Republican primary that includes state House Majority Whip Carol Miller (R), state Del. Rupie Phillips (R), and physician Ayne Amjad. Democrats have a primary between state Sen. Richard Ojeda (D), Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, and Tri-State Transit Authority CEO Paul Davis.

Governor/state offices:

CO-Gov: Attorney General Cynthia Coffman (R) entered the already crowded GOP primary for governor yesterday. She joins 8 other Republicans currently in the race, including Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler, State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, investment banker Doug Robinson(nephew of Mitt Romney), and former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R), who just joined the race last week. Brauchler, however is now considering dropping out of the race and running for AG(more on that below).

NY-Gov: Little surprise, but after his loss in the Westchester County Executive race on Tuesday, Rob Astorino has announced he will not run for governor next year. Astorino, who was the 2014 Republican nominee, had been talking about making another run.

CO-AG: Now that the Attorney General position is open, Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler, is now considering dropping out of the governor’s race and running for AG instead, seeing his possibilities in the governor’s race fading as the race becomes more crowded. One person who will not be running for AG is Rep. Ken Buck (R), who had said earlier in the year that he might run if Coffman didn’t run for re-election. Buck announced on Wednesday that he will instead run for re-election to Congress. Other Republicans who have expressed interest in running include state Rep. Cole Wist (R) and 2014 CO-2 Republican nominee George Leing.

TX-AG: Austin-based attorney Justin Nelson (D) is running for Attorney General. He is the first person to announce a challenge to AG Ken Paxton (R). He is part of a law firm that specializes in high-stakes civil litigation and is also the founder and former president of One Nation One Vote, a nonprofit organization pushing for eliminating the Electoral College and going to a national popular vote.

Political Roundup for July 25, 2017

First off, today is a relatively big day for legislative specials, with 6 seats up across 5 states; there are 3 primaries, 2 general elections, and 1 Louisiana-Rules-Top-Two primary.

NH-SD-16 is the big general election, for a previously D-held R+1 (2016) seat covering northern Manchester and its northern suburbs.Ex-State Sen. David Boutin (R) is seeking to get the seat back that he retired from in 2016; he is facing Manchester councilman Kevin Cavanaugh (D). The special election is highly competitive. I would guess the energized Dem base this year probably makes Cavanaugh a slight favorite, but an upset is possible. DDHQ will be posting results of NH-SD 16 HERE!
MA-SD-4th Middlesex is a D+14 (2016) seat stretching from Arlington to Billerica in the northwest suburbs of Boston. Cindy Freidman (D), CoS to the late prior incumbent, is the prohibitive favorite over a Green candidate.
MS-LD-108 is a ~R+30 (2008) seat covering the bulk of the town of Picayune and nearby rural areas along the Pearl River at the Louisiana border. This race is in a Louisiana Rules Top-Two format with no parties listed on the ballot. Insurance agent and local GOP official Stacey Wilkes (R) looks like the clear favorite, but she could face a runoff with either manager Jerry Frazier (D) or businessman and libertarian activist Tavish Kelly (R), who ran an asterisk-level primary campaign for MS-4 in 2014.
FL-SD-40 is the big primary today. The seat is a previously R-held D+3 (2012, sadly I don’t have 2016 numbers, but it likely shifted strongly left) around Kendall in the southwest suburbs of Miami. Both sides have competitive primaries. Two perennial candidates are facing off on the Dem side; 2016 FL-26 candidate Annette Taddeo-Goldstein (D) looks like the slight front-runner, as she has received more establishment support than R-turned-D ex-State Rep. and 2016 candidate Ana Rivas-Logan (D). On the GOP side, State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz (R) looks like the clear front-runner, as he has vacuumed up establishment support and lapped his rivals in fundraising. However, his main rival, 2000s-era ex-State Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla (R), may have greater name recognition and could win on that base. A third candidate, attorney Lorenzo Palomares-Starbuck (R), who ran an asterisk-level primary campaign for FL-26 in 2014, is running as the most antiestablishment conservative candidate, but looks like a third wheel.
FL-LD-116 is an R+7 (2012) seat around Kendall, vacated by the aforementioned Jose Felix Diaz. Former Rubio staffer and Jeb! campaign operative Jose Mallea (R) is facing off with attorney Daniel Perez (R). Both candidates have fundraised well and the race has become exceptionally nasty, with Perez being knocked for taking engagement photos in Cuba and Mallea being hit for not supporting Rubio in 2016 and not living in the district. Mallea has had greater fundraising and establishment support, so he looks like a slight favorite. The primary winner will face former Venezuelan anti-Chavista legislator (how’s that for a resume!) Gabriela Mayaudon (D).
SC-LD-31 is a D+23 (2016) seat covering central and western Spartanburg. Four Democrats are facing off: Spartanburg city councilors Jerome Rice (D) and Rosalyn Henderson-Myers (D), NAACP official Mo Abusaft (D), and lab tech Angela Geter (D). Rice and Abusaft look like the front-runners, but Henderson-Myers is also serious. A pair of GOP candidates who ran in 2016 are squaring off for the right to lose again.

And now the rest of the day’s news –

Governor:

CT-Gov: Much like Iowa Democrats and Alabama Republicans, Connecticut Republicans can’t resist piling more ever-more names into this clown-car primary. The latest entry is municipal manager Michael Handler (R), who serves as both budget director for the city of Stamford and emergency-management director for the neighboring town of New Canaan. State Rep. Themis Klarides (R) also indicated interest in joining the race last week. Other Republicans in the race or considering it include (deep breath): ex-US Comptroller David Walker (R), State Rep. Pradad Srinivasan (R), Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton (R), Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti (R), Trumbull Mayor Tim Herbst (R), 2014 SoS nominee Peter Lumaj (R), and others. Democrats’ prospective field is nearly as crowded.

HI-Gov: Rumors are growing that Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) will leave her House seat once again to make a statewide bid – in this case, taking on Gov. David Ige (D) in the Dem primary. The choice would be somewhat surprising, as Hanabusa and Ige generally hail from the same fiscally liberal/socially moderate machine faction of the HIDP. However, it seems that Ige’s very passive and low-key style has irked some insiders, who are now attempting to recruit Hanabusa into the race.

MD-Gov, Anne Arundel, MD-CE, MD-SD-32: Anne Arundel County commissioner John Grasso (R) is termed out in 2018 and had previously announced a run for the purple SD-32 in northern Anne Arundel. However, Grasso now says he is considering primary runs against Gov. Larry Hogan (R) or Anne Arundel CE Steve Schuh (R) instead. Grasso’s focus in mounting either likely quixotic run seems to be on Hogan’s decision to reappoint a member of the county liquor board. mmmkay….

MI-Gov: State Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R) of suburban Detroit made his gubernatorial campaign official over the weekend. Colbeck, an antiestablishment-leaning conservative, becomes the second official candidate of note into the race after physician Jim Himes (R). AG Bill Schuette (R) and LG Brian Calley (R) are considered likely to run as well.

MN-Gov: Ex-State Rep. and MNGOP chair Keith Downey (R) will run for Governor. Downey could have some significant party establishment backing at the convention, but joins a crowded field of Hennepin County commissioner and 2014 nominee Jeff Johnson (R), State Rep. Matt Dean (R), and Ramsey County commissioner Blake Huffman (R). State House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R) is considering and would likely be the front-runner for the GOP nomination if he enters.

NV-Gov: Clark County commissioner Chris Giunchigliani (D) is considering a run for Governor; if she enters she would join her fellow commissioner Steve Sisolak (D) in the Dem primary. AG Adam Laxalt (R) and Treasurer Dan Schwartz (R) are considered likely to run on the GOP side.

OR-Gov: State Rep. Knute Buehler (R) announced he is considering a run against Gov. Kate Brown (D) and will decide within the next few weeks. Buehler, an orthopedic surgeon who ran a competitive race against Brown for the SoS slot in 2012 before winning a purple State House seat in Bend, is considered one of the few rising stars on the ORGOP’s meager bench, along with SoS and 2014 nominee Dennis Richardson (R).

VA-Gov: Ex-RNC Chair Ed Gillespie (R) and LG Ralph Northam (D) are tied at 44 in a new Monmouth poll, suggesting some tightening of the race from prior surveys that had Northam up by high single to low double digits. Gillespie also starts the general election with a cash advantage over Northam. Both Northam and Gillespie raised a bit under $2M in June. But since Northam spent a lot to win his primary while Gillespie sleepwalked through his (nearly to his demise, eking out an unexpectedly close win), Gillespie leads Northam in Cash on Hand 3.3M-1.8M.

Congress:

WI-Sen: Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke (D) will not run against Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) as a Republican, and calls a group trying to “draft” him into the race a “scam PAC”. Clarke would have likely been a prohibitive favorite in a GOP primary because of his high profile but (ironically) might have had a tough time gaining crossover votes in a general election. State Sen. Leah Vukmir (R) and 2012 candidate Eric Hovde (R) are the names most commonly connected with bids against Baldwin.

AZ-2: Ex-Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D) announced last week that she would carpetbag into this Tucson-area district and run against Rep. Martha McSally (R). Kirkpatrick has some name recognition in the area as her prior seat, AZ-1, extends into metro Tucson, and thus is likely to be Dems’ choice recruit for this purple seat.

WV-3: State Rep. Carol Miller (R) has entered this race, becoming the first truly credible candidate to seek this deep-red but historically-D Southern WV seat. Miller has a fairly strong record of consistently winning a seat in a 3-member Dem-leaning Huntington-area district. She joins ex-State Rep. and 2012 nominee Rick Snuffer (R), whose prior bid wasn’t terribly impressive, in the race to replace Senate candidate Evan Jenkins (R). State Sen. Richard Ojeda (D) and Huntington Mayor Steve Williams (D) are in the race on the Dem side.

State & Local:

AL-AG: Adoption attorney Sam McLure (R), who is active in the pro-life movement, will run for AG next year, joining appointed incumbent Steve Marshall (R), ex-US Attorney Alice Martin (R), and 2006 State Auditor candidate Chess Bedsole (R) in this crowded primary.

GA-Ins Comm: Democrats have a credible candidate for this open seat as nonprofit exec Cindy Zeldin (D) has entered the race. Several Republicans have indicated interest in this race as well.

NM-LG: State Sen. Michael Padilla (D) is the latest candidate into the crowded shotgun-wedding primary for LG. Padilla and ex-State Rep. Rick Miera (D) look like the serious candidates for this seat. The primary winner will be joined with the Dem gubernatorial primary winner as one ticket.

OK-Lab Comm: State Rep. Leslie Osborn (R) is exploring a run for Labor Commissioner, becoming the first candidate to declare interest in this open seat. Appointed incumbent Melissa McLawhorn-Houston (R) has declared she will not seek a full term.

LA-PSC-2: This piece is worth a read about how Gov. Jon Bel Edwards (D) wound up pointedly refusing to endorse his own appointee for this seat, D-turned-R ex-State Rep. Damon Baldone (R). Baldone is facing Edwards-endorsing physician Craig Greene (R) and antiestablishment conservative ex-State Rep. Lenar Whitney (R).

Atlanta-Mayor: A new SUSA poll of this fall’s Atlanta Mayor race puts moderate city councilwoman and 2009 candidate Mary Norwood (D) as the clear front-runner; however, she takes just 27%. No other candidate in the 8-way field tops 10%, but most of the other candidates are running to Norwood’s left.

Jefferson, MO-CE: Incumbent Ken Waller (R) will not seek a third term as County Exec in this large suburban St. Louis county. State Rep. John McCaherty (R) will run to succeed him; Jefferson County is historically Dem-friendly but has stampeded right in the last 10 years.

NYC-CD-28: Councilman Ruben Willis (D) of southeast Queens was found guilty of corruption charges last week and expelled from office. Willis’s seat will remain vacant until the general election in November; two other Democrats had also been running for the seat. In other NYC news, HERE is a really good rundown of all the candidates for city office this year.

Political Roundup for July 21, 2017

Polling Update: RRHelections is planning to poll the Republican special election primary for US Senate in Alabama and we need your help to make it happen! Unlike any other organization or news source our polls are funded by crowdsourced donations and put together by volunteer political junkies for political junkies. If you would like to help make this poll happen please go to https://www.paypal.me/RedRacingHorses and donate to our polling fund to be a part of this effort and to help make this happen!

Senate:

ME-Sen: Gov. Paul LePage (R) is now apparently leaving the door open to running for US Senate against Sen. Angus King (I) after saying in May that he would not run. State Sen. Eric Brakey (R) is currently the only candidate in the race and while LePage made positive comments about Brakey, he also said if Brakey “doesn’t start resonating pretty quick”, then he might change his mind about running.

MO-Sen: All 4 living former Republican US Senators from Missouri are encouraging AG Josh Hawley (R) to run for US Senate. Ex-Sens. John Ashcroft (R), Kit Bond (R), John Danforth (R) and Jim Talent (R) all signed a public letter released yesterday asking Hawley to get in the race. Danforth was one of Hawley’s earliest supporters and has been encouraging him to run for months.

House:

CA-45: Former Obama Administration senior technology advisor Brian Forde (D) is joining a crowded group taking on Rep. Mimi Walters (R). Forde is a former Republican who switched his registration to Democrat last year-although he voted twice for Obama. He joins 6 other candidates, all Democrats taking on Walters. Democrats are targeting the district, which moved significantly to the left at the presidential level in 2016, going for Clinton by 5 points after Romney won it in 2012 by 12.

FL-7: Businessman Scott Sturgill entered the race for Congress on Wednesday, joining state Rep  Mike Miller (R) vying for the GOP nomination to take on Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D). Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, who also considered running himself, was at Sturgill’s announcement and said he was supporting Sturgill. Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs (R) has also been mentioned as a possible candidate, but has not publicly shown any interest in running.

ME-2: Former state Senate candidate Jonathan Fulford is the 2nd Democrat to announce a run against Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R). He joins restaurant owner Tim Rich in the Democratic primary. Fulford lost 2 close races for state Senate in 2014 and 2016-losing by less than 1 point in 2014 and 4 points for the same seat in 2016.

NM-2: State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn (R) announced this week that he will run for Congress. Dunn is the 2nd Republican to get into the race, joining state Rep. Yvette Herrell (R). State Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R) is also considering a run. Dunn has run for the seat before, finishing 3rd in the 2008 Republican primary. Dunn also lost a race for state Senate in 2012 before winning a very close race over incumbent Land Commissioner Ray Powell (D) in 2014 by 704 votes.  4 Democrats are currently running as well.

NY-1: Attorney David Calone, who narrowly lost in last year’s Democratic primary, has decided against running again to face Rep. Lee Zeldin (R). Calone lost to Southampton Supervisor Anna Throne Holst in the primary by just 319 votes. Former Suffolk Legislator Vivian Viloria-Fisher (D) is running, businessman Perry Gershon has a campaign committee for a run, and state Assemblyman Fred Thiele is considering. Thiele served in the state Assembly as a Republican from 1995-2010, when he switched to the Independence Party and caucuses with Democrats.

WV-3: Huntington Mayor Steve Williams (D) is the 3rd Democrat to join the race for this open seat. He joins Tri-State Transit Authority CEO Paul Davis and state Sen. Richard Ojeda. Ojeda was thought to be the favorite for the Democratic nomination as someone who gained national attention last year for being brutally beaten just days before defeating an incumbent senator in the Democratic primary, but he has apparently struggled in fundraising and the Democratic establishment appears to be turning to Williams as their favored candidate.

Governor:

CA-Gov: Former state Assemblyman David Hadley (R) is dropping out of the race just two weeks after getting in. Hadley is a social moderate and fiscal conservative supported by much of the state Republican establishment and had been endorsed by a majority of the Republicans in the Legislature. In dropping out, Hadley cited the need to not split the Republican vote and increase the likelihood that two Democrats would advance to the general election in the state’s top two election system. Two Republicans remain in the race-businessman John Cox and Assemblyman Travis Allen (R).

NV-Gov: State Treasurer Dan Schwartz (R) said yesterday it is “virtually certain” he will run for governor next year. Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) is considered the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, and has the backing of Las Vegas casino owner and GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson. Schwartz however is purported to be a millionaire, and may have some self-funding ability of his own.

State & Local:

AK-LG: In what may be one of the shortest political campaigns ever, state Sen. David Wilson (R) has dropped out of the race for Lieutenant Governor just one day after getting in. Wilson filed to run on Wednesday and then amended his filing yesterday to say “not running for office.” Wilson’s  entry into the race was a surprise as he is a freshman legislator who had mostly stayed in the background. Wilson says he was debating, thinking and praying about running and the filing was an accident.

IL-Sec. of State: The Illinois GOP is recruiting Air Force veteran J.C. Griffin to run for Secretary of State. Griffin says it’s premature to say he plans to run, but he is definitely considering. Incumbent Sec. of State Jesse White (D), who is 83 and in his 5th term has told supporters he did not plan to run again, but he is said to be reconsidering at the urging of party leaders. White has won easily in his last 4 runs, and would likely be an overwhelming favorite if he runs again.

International:

Alberta PC-Wildrose merger: The Alberta Progressive Conservatives and Wildrose Party will vote this weekend whether to merge their two parties in a “unite the right” movement. The long discussed move is supported by both PC Leader Jason Kenney and Wildrose Leader Brian Jean but was primarily set in motion by Kenney, who resigned as an MP last year in order to campaign for the leadership of the Alberta PC Party on a platform of working to combine the two right-leaning parties. It is not a given however that the move will succeed-while the PCs only need to ratify the agreement by simple majority, the Wildrose Party set a 75% support threshold. If the merger succeeds, the new party will be called the United Conservative Party. Both Kenney and Wildrose Leader Brian Jean plan to run for the leadership of the new party. If the merger fails, there is the possibility of other forms of cooperation, such as non-compete agreements in some ridings. Both Wildrose and the PCs lead the incumbent NDP in recent polls for the next election, which must be held by May 31, 2019 at the latest.

Political Roundup for July 18, 2017

First off today, there are a pair of elections to preview, one domestic and one international. There is just a single legislative special of note today, a primary for RI-SD-13, a D+17 (2016) seat covering most of Newport and all of Jamestown, on the next island to the west. Four Dems are facing off.  School board member David Hanos (D) looks like the slight front-runner, as he has establishment support and the endorsement of the prior incumbent. but well-funded Newport councilman John Florez (D), attorney Dawn Euer (D), and state official David Allard (D) are all running serious campaigns and any could come out on top. The D primary winner should be favored in the 3-way August general over 2014 nominee Michael Smith (R), who lost by a respectable 10 points three years ago to the powerful prior incumbent (the then-Senate President), and center-left Gov. Chaffee admin official Kim Ripoli (I). There is also an NH House primary and a general, which we don’t cover as a quiet protest against the NH House’s insane size.

Today is also the general election in Bermuda. Bermuda is an island 650 miles east of the Carolina coast, with a total land area roughly 2/3 the size of Manhattan. It is a British territory, but has home rule powers that are in practice absolute in domestic policy, and even some foreign policy functions. Its population of 65K is roughly 60% black and 35% white. Offshore finance and tourism are the only economic drivers of significance; while Bermuda is extremely wealthy, that prosperity comes with an astronomically high cost of living (the average house price is $1M, for example). Bermuda has a 36-member parliament elected in the standard British first-past-the-post system. It has a two-party system of the incumbent center-right One Bermuda Alliance and the center-left Progressive Labor Party. The two parties tend to be quite evenly matched; 1985 was the last time either took more than 55% of the vote.The OBA had just a 19-17 majority in the outgoing parliament, and the election was triggered by two renegade OBA MPs breaking with the government and bringing it down. Reporting on the election is sparse, but the one recent poll of the election showed the OBA likely strengthening its hand. Now the (huge list of) the rest of the day’s news:

Senate:

AZ-Sen: Trumpist forces, possibly including the White House itself, are seeking to target Sen. Jeff Flake (R) in the GOP primary. There are apparently two recruiting targets: State Treasurer Jeff DeWit (R) and ex-AZGOP chair Robert Graham (R), with ex-State Sen. and 2016 candidate Kelli Ward (R), who is already in the race, as a backup option. A bruising primary against Flake would likely be good news for Dems targeting this seat as a pickup opportunity; Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton (D) are thought to be interested in bids.

MO-Sen: Rep. Vicki Hartzler (R) will not seek the Senate seat of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D). AG Josh Hawley (R) remains the GOP’s clear recruiting target for this race.

MT-Sen: State Auditor (Insurance Commissioner) Matt Rosendale (R) is “95 percent there” on a decision to challenge Sen. Jon Tester (D) and will likely decide within the month, according to unnamed insiders. Rosendale is clearly the GOP’s third option for the race against Tester after Rep. Ryan Zinke (R) was appointed interior secretary and AG Tim Fox (R) declined a bid. Rosendale, who has some self-funding ability, would likely be the front-runner in the primary if he entered, joining State Sen. Al Olszewski (R), judge Russ Fagg (R), and storage company owner Troy Downing (R).

WV-Sen: Former mining executive Don Blankenship (R), recently released from prison after serving a year for safety violations during his tenure, is considering a Senate run. Blankenship would join AG Patrick Morrisey (R) and Rep. Evan Jenkins (R) in the GOP primary; needless to say, Sen. Joe Manchin (D) would likely relish making the race a referendum on Blankenship’s polarizing nature in the state.

Governor:

AL-Gov: At this point we need to start making lists of who isn’t running for Governor of Alabama. State Sen. Paul Sanford (R) says he has been receiving encouragement to run, as he is stepping down from the Senate due to self-imposed term limits. Sanford doesn’t sound too enthusiastic about the idea though, as he says he hasn’t raised any money and probably won’t enter the race. Should he enter the primary he could join the following candidates who are in or exploring the race: Ag Commissioner John McMillan (R), Auditor Jim Zeigler (R), PSC Chair Twinkle Cavanaugh (R), Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle (R), State Sen. Bill Hightower (R), businessman Josh Jones (R), and minister Scott Dawson (R). ex-State Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb (D) and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox (D) are exploring runs on the D side. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has not indicated her plans.

AK-Gov: State Sen. Mike Dunleavy (R) will run for Governor, becoming the first major candidate into the race. Centrist Gov. Bill Walker (I) has not indicated if he will seek re-election, and it is unclear whether either or both parties will seek to go after him aggressively should he seek a second term.

FL-Gov: State Sen. Jack Latvala (R) will presumably announce a run for Governor on August 16. Latvala, a moderate who is considered a kingmaker among insiders in Tallahassee but has little name recognition outside his Pinellas County base, would be a credible but long-shot primary contender against front-running Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam (R). State House Speaker Rich Corcoran (R) is also considering a run; Dems have a primary between ex-Rep. Gwen Graham (D), Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D), and potentially multiple others.

IA-Gov: Retired businessman Fred Hubbell (D), a major Dem donor, is the latest Democrat into this primary, which is becoming ridiculously crowded. Hubbell joins State Sen. Nate Boulton (D), State Rep. Todd Prichard (D), ex-IADP chair Andy McGuire (D), former Gov. Vilsack CoS John Norris (D) ex-Iowa City Mayor Ross Wilburn (D), and 2014 State Auditor nominee Jon Neiderbach (D). If none of the candidates cross 35% of the vote, the nomination goes to a convention, and that is looking increasingly likely here.

ME-Gov: Ex-State House Speaker Mark Eves (D) has become the latest Democrat to enter this increasingly crowded primary. Eves joins appointed AG Janet Mills (D), 2008 ME-1 candidate Adam Cote (D), lobbyist Betsy Sweet (D), and veteran Patrick Eisenhart (D) in the Dem primary; LePage admin official Mary Mayhew (R) and appointed State Treasurer Teresea Hayes (I) are also in the race.

MD-Gov: As expected, left-wing State Sen. Rich Maladeno (D) is the latest Democrat to officially declare a run for the chance to take on Gov. Larry Hogan (D). Maladeno joins Prince George’s CE Rushern Baker (D), ex-NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous (D), attorney Jim Shea (D), and Hillary aide Alec Ross (D) in the primary.

NE-Gov: Moderate State Sen. Bob Krist will leave the Republican party and run against Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) as an independent, or more precisely, under a vanity third-party banner, which has lower signature requirements. The odds seem decent that Krist could become the de facto Democrat in this race, as no credible Dem has publicly indicated any interest in taking on the relatively popular Ricketts.

RI-Gov: State House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan (R) is considering a run for Governor. Should she enter, Morgan would face Trumpist ex-State Rep. Joe Trillo (R) in the primary; Cranston Mayor and 2014 nominee Allan Fung (R) is also thought to be considering a run. Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) may face Dem primary opposition as well.

WI-Gov: Nonprofit exec Mike McCabe (D) has become the second little-known Democrat to declare a run against Gov. Scott Walker (R), joining businessman Andy Gronik (D) in the primary. State Superintendent Tony Evers (D), Madison Mayor Paul Soglin (D), and State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D) are all considering runs as well.

WY-Gov: Businessman Bill Dahlin (R) is the first candidate to declare for Wyoming’s open-seat gubernatorial race. It’s still too early to speculate how serious a candidate Dahlin might be, as several bigger names such as ex-Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R), SoS Ed Murray (R), and Treasurer Mark Gordon (R) are all considering this race.

House:

CA-39: Veteran and lottery winner Gil Cisneros (D), who won a $266M lottery jackpot in 2010, is running against Rep. Ed Royce (R). Cisneros’s presumable self-funding ability may make him an attractive candidate for this hitorically-Republican Orange County seat that Hillary carried.

CA-52: Republicans look set to at least have an interesting candidate to take on Rep. Scott Peters (D). Omar Qudrat (R), a former Guantamo prosecutor and Muslim of Afghani descent, will run for this seat covering much of San Diego proper. Qudrat faces long odds in a seat that was purple but has trended strongly left in recent years.

CO-4, CO-AG: Rep. Ken Buck (R) may run for Colorado AG if AG Cynthia Coffman (R) gives up her seat to run for Governor, citing a desire to return to Colorado and his background as a former DA. Buck would likely be the favorite for the GOP nomination for AG (and trigger a competitive primary for his deep-red House seat) if he ran.

FL-6: Bill Clinton admin official Nancy Soderberg (D) has filed to run for this fairly red Daytona Beach area seat, giving Dems a credible candidate. The seat is expected to be open as Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) has pledged a three-term limit; DeSantis is speculated to be interested in either a bid for Governor or Florida AG.

MI-11: Detroit city official Fayrouz Saad (D), who previously worked in the Obama administration, will run against Rep. David Trott (R). This light-red suburban Detroit seat is likely to be relatively high on Dems’ radars as a pickup opportunity, but it’s unclear if Saad is their choice recruit here.

NM-1: Immigration attorney Michael Hendricks (R) has become the second Republican to enter the race for this medium-blue Albuquerque seat, joining ex-State Rep. and 2012 nominee Janice Arnold-Jones (R). Democrats have a crowded primary for this open seat with ex-NMDP chair Deb Haaland (D), Albuquerque councilman Pat Davis (D), and ex-US Attorney Damon Martinez (D) seem the top candidates.

TX-23: Ex-Rep. Pete Gallego (D) has filed for a third matchup with Rep. Will Hurd (R) after coming up short in both 2014 and 2016. Gallego says that the outcome of upcoming re-redistricting that may affect this purple district in either direction will not have an effect on his decision on entering the race.

WV-2: Former congressional staffer and Hillary campaign operative Talley Sergent (D) will run against Rep. Alex Mooney (R). Mooney has underperformed in his two prior races but this very Trumpist district is tough terrain for any Democrat, particularly one tied to Hillary. However, Mooney made another strange decision recently by tapping sitting Maryland State Sen. Michael Hough (R) as his CoS, highlighting Mooney’s own craven carpetbagging across the Potomac. Hough will not resign his legislative seat to take the job with Mooney.

WV-3: Physician Ayne Amjad (R) is the latest candidate into this open-seat race covering southern West Virginia. Amjad will face ex-State Rep. and 2012 nominee Rick Snuffer (R), and potentially others, in the primary; State Sen. Richard Ojeda (D) is in the race on the Dem side.

State & Local:

CO-SoS: Jena Griswold (D), Gov. John Hickenlooper’s (D) DC liason, will run for Secretary of State next year. Griswold looks like the top Democratic choice to take on incumbent Wayne Williams (R) as she is receiving most establishment support. In tangentially related news, the Williamses may be on their way to replacing the divorcing Rep. Mike and AG Cynthia Coffman as the COGOP’s power couple, as Williams’s wife Holly (R) will run for a safely Republican seat on the El Paso County commission.

CO-Treas: State Rep. Polly Lawrence (R), who represents a deep-red seat in the Denver exurbs, will run for the open State Treasurer seat. Lawrence joins fellow State Rep. Justin Everett (R) and Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn (R) in the GOP primary. State Rep. Steve Lebsock (D) is considered the most likely Dem nominee for this open seat; incumbent Walker Stapleton (R) is termed-out and likely to run for Governor.

GA-Ins Comm: Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens (R) won’t seek a third term in 2018. Hudgens’s decision leaves a third Row Officer seat open in addition to the LG and SoS posts vacated by gubernatorial candidates. Hudgens’s top deputy, Jay Florence (R), quickly filed to seek the seat.

ID-Treas: Ada County Treasurer Vicky McIntyre (R) will run for the open State Treasurer seat, joining investor Kevin Jones (R) in this primary. Five-term incumbent Ron Crane (R) is retiring.

LA-Treas, LA-PSC-2: Qualifying closed for the Louisiana Treasurer special on Friday of last week, and there appear to be three major candidates: State Sen. Neil Riser (R), State Rep. John Schroeder (R), and Gov. Jindal admin official Angele Davis (R). One Some Dude Democrat also filed, and may be able to make the runoff on Dem votes but probably stands zero chance of winning. Qualifying also closed for the PSC-2 seat, a heavily Republican seat around Baton Rouge and Lafayette. Three Republicans signed up, Edwards-appointed incumbent Damon Baldone (R), who was a D State Rep. but filed as a “Republican”, ex-State Rep. Lenar Whitney (R), and physician Craig Greene (R).

MO-Aud: State House Speaker Todd Richardson (R) is preparing to run for State Auditor against appointed incumbent Nicole Galloway (D). Galloway is the only Democrat holding a Row Office in Missouri, a post she was appointed to after her Republican predecessor committed suicide. Richardson looks likely to be the front-runner for the GOP nomination.

OR-Lab Comm: Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian (D) announced last week that he would not seek a third full term in the nominally non-partisan post. Avakian has been known as one of the most aggressive Social-Justice-Warriors in high office, which led him to be polarizing even in his blue state and lose his bid to move up to SoS in 2016. Avakian’s most likely successor is probably one of his erstwhile rivals for the SoS post, ex-State Rep. Val Hoyle (D). Hoyle, a more mainstream liberal, already announced her intent to run, though she may face opposition from ex-State Sen. Diane Rosenbaum (D).

SC-LG: The South Carolina state ethics board has interestingly announced that it will allow LG Kevin Bryant (R) to continue to raise money for an election that won’t happen. Bryant is fundraising under a campaign for the LG job – but the state is transitioning in 2018 from a separately-elected LG to a presidential-style system where gubernatorial candidates pick their running mates. Apparently there is a legal fiction-slash-loophole that the money can be raised for Bryant to persuade someone to pick him as their running mate. More likely of course is that Bryant is planning to run for an office that has a real election (such as a primary challenge to Gov. Henry McMaster (R)) but doesn’t want to admit it yet.

CA-San Diego County-3: R-turned-I-turned-D ex-State Rep. Nathan Fletcher (D) will run for county supervisor next year in a seat covering central San Diego. Fletcher will likely face ex-DA Bonnie Dumanis (R) in what could be a high-profile contest.

Political Roundup for May 12, 2017

Senate:

AL-Sen: Rep. Mo Brooks (R) plans to make a firm decision by Sunday and announce by Monday whether he will run for Senate. He would join what is already becoming a crowded field-in addition to appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R), 3 other candidates are already in for the Republican primary, suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, state Sen, Ed Henry, and Christian Coalition of Alabama head Randy Brinson.

More AL-Sen: Democrats have their first prominent candidate for the August special election-former US Attorney Doug Jones. Jones was involved in the 2002 prosecution of the perpetrators of the 1963 Birmingham church bombing. Two other Democrats are running-medical marijuana activist Ron Crumpton, and Robert Kennedy, Jr of Mobile. State Democrats are not familiar with Kennedy and do not know if he is related in any way to the assassinated US Senator.

Governor:

AL-Gov: Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington (R) announced yesterday he will run for governor. He joins Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle (R) and former Morgan County Commissioner Stacy George (R) in the race. Public Service Commissioner Twinkle Cavanaugh (R) is also considering running. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has not yet announced whether she plans to run for the office she succeeded to last month upon the resignation of former Gov. Robert Bentley (R).

CT-Gov: Attorney General George Jepsen (D) said yesterday he will not run for governor. Jepsen was always considered less likely to run for governor than run for re-election as AG, but had been still considering the race. Although he did not announce his plans, he is likely to run for re-election.

GA-Gov: Former Acting US Attorney General Sally Yates is being encouraged to run for governor next year. She has become a popular figure among “the Resistance” after she was fired in January when she refused to defend the first travel ban in court and after her testimony this week about warning the Trump administration about ties between Michael Flynn and Russia. The pressure and excitement for her to run seems to be mostly from the outside however, and most state Democrats say they have seen no sign that she is interested in running. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says he hopes she will give the race strong consideration, but also said he hasn’t spoken to her about a bid.

House:

CA-26: Actor Antonio Sabato, Jr. (R) is running for Congress against Rep,. Julia Brownley (D). Sabato is a fairly obscure actor, appearing on daytime and nighttime soap operas and reality shows. He gained a little more fame last year as a vocal endorser of Donald Trump, and had a speaking slot at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Republicans were competitive in the seat in Brownley’s first two elections in 2012 and 2014, but she won by 20 points last year.

ID-1: Potential candidates are starting to line up for this open seat. Ex-LG and AG David Leroy (R) filed for the seat yesterday. Leroy is a name from the past in Idaho politics-he served as AG from 1979-83, then as LG from 1983-87, lost a close race for governor in 1986 and finished a distant second in the 1994 ID-1 primary. Former State School Superintendent Tom Luna (R) says he is strongly considering a run. State Sen. Bob Nonini (R) of Coeur d’Alene, Rep. Luke Malek (R) also of Coeur d’Alene and House Majority Leader Mike Moyle (R) of Star(Boise area) are said to be interested in running as well. Nonini and Moyle are said to lean more conservative. Leroy is described as “center right”.

NE-1: Former Democratic gubernatorial nominee Bill Hoppner is considering taking on Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R) next year. Hoppner was the last Democrat to run a competitive gubernatorial race in Nebraska, taking 46% against Mike Johanns (R) in 1998. He also ran for governor in 1990, losing in the Democratic primary to Ben Nelson by just 42 votes. Hoppner was once considered a rising star in Nebraska Democratic politics and would represent a step up from the usual “Some Dude” that Democrats get for this seat, but he suffers from a similar problem that Bob Kerrey(whom he served as chief of staff when Kerrey was governor) did in his comeback attempt for US Senate in 2012-he hasn’t been on the ballot in 20 years and is completely unknown to a generation of voters.

NJ-11: Navy veteran and federal prosecutor Mikie Sherrill has announced a bid for this seat, currently held by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R). This district has re-elected Frelinghuysen easily since his first election in 1994, but Democrats sense an opening here after the district was barely won by Donald Trump last year. The DCCC has met with state Assemblyman John McKeon (D) after Democrats in the state delegation identified him as someone who they would like to see run. McKeon is still considering running.

WV-3: State Del. Rupie Phillips (I) is planning to run for Congress as a Republican. Phillips, who was first elected in 2010 was a Democrat until January when he switched from Democrat to independent, saying the Democratic Party had become too liberal for his district. He does have a potential problem with his past-he was arrested and charged with domestic battery in 2012. He joins ex-Del. Rick Snuffer (R) who announced on Wednesday. WV GOP Chairman Conrad Lucas is also considering running. State Sen. Richard Ojeda (D) also filed yesterday. Ojeda, who received attention last year for being beaten in an attack that appeared to have been politically motivated(he was in a tough primary fight with an incumbent senator) is probably Democrats’ best chance to hold the seat, but will still be an underdog.

State & Local:

FL-SD-40: Former state Rep. Ana Rivas Logan announced yesterday she is running as a Democrat for the seat left open by the resignation of Sen. Frank Artiles (R). Logan served one term in the state House as a Republican from 2010-2012 and then disavowed the party and became a Democrat in 2014. She also ran for the seat last year, losing in the Democratic primary to former state Sen. Dwight Bullard (D). She joins two other Hispanic women running in the Democratic primary, state Rep. Daisy Baez (D) and former LG nominee and FL-26 candidate Annette Taddeo.

ID-LG: Former Idaho GOP Chairman Steve Yates will run for LG next year. He joins a crowded Republican primary including state Sen. Marv Hagedorn (R), state Rep. Kelly Packer (R), businesswoman Janice McGeachin and former Constitutional Party gubernatorial candidate Steve Pankey. No Democrats have yet filed to run. Current LG Brad Little (R) is running for governor.

OH-Treas.: Newark City Councilman Jeremy Blake (D) says he is considering running for state Treasurer. No other Democrats have yet announced they plan to run. Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo and state Rep. Robert Sprague (R) have announced on the Republican side.

Other:

WATN?: Former Rep. Corrine Brown (D) has been found guilty of fraud involving a bogus charity set up for use as a slush fund for her. She was indicted on federal corruption charges last July and lost the Democratic primary in August to now Rep. Al Lawson (D).

 

Political Roundup for May 11, 2017

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

President:

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

Governor:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Senate:

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

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

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

House:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

State, Local & Other:

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

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

Political Roundup for May 9, 2017

Programming Update:  We will have a liveblog of the election of Omaha’s mayor and the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia beginning at 9pm Eastern this evening.

Now for the news…

President/National/International

Trump-Relationships:  President Trump (R) has caused a spike in matrimonial discord especially among millennials.  I am so glad I married a woman who could care less about politics other than to say they are all horrible people and to prevent me from running for office.

UK:  Warning-Buzzfeed… I would not normally post a Buzzfeed article, but Buzzfeed UK, has an article where the Leader of Her Majesty’s Most Trotskyite Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, says he will stay on as leader of the Vanguard Party of the Proletariat even if the reactionary Tories win regions not held by the Tories since before the Depression.

Congress

WV-Sen/WV-3:  Representative Evan Jenkins (R) plans to run against Senator Joe Manchin (D-Wanted for Shooting a Bill) next year.  Jenkins is a top-tier challenger that the Republicans have been searching for in this race.  Jenkins enters the race as a strong challenger, but likely underdog, against Manchin.

WI-Sen:  Wisconsin Republicans are wondering if they have too many candidates running for the Republican nomination to take on Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison).  At least 7 candidates are making are expressing interest and/or campaigning for the chance to take on Baldwin.

IA-1:  Representative Rod Blum (R-Lutheran Triangle) walked out of an interview in front of school children when the reporter asked him if he would accept money from outside the district.  Blum missed a prime opportunity to turn this into a positive to promise to reject outside money if his Democratic challengers do the same.

CA-26:  Actor Antonio Sabato Jr. will run as a Republican against Representative Julia Brownley (D).

States

AL-Gov:  Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington will seek the Republican nomination for Governor.  Carrington is known for leading Jefferson County out of bankruptcy a year early.  Carrington owes a large NASCAR memorabilia business.

MI-Gov:  Representative Dan Kildee (D-UAW) will not run for Governor.  Kildee was considered a favorite among many Democrats due to his response to the Flint water crisis.

OK-Gov:  State Auditor Gary Jones (R) will run for the Republican nomination for Governor.  Jones is running on a platform of cutting waste from the state budget and has been pushing that agenda for years as State Auditor and leader of the Oklahoma Republican Party.  He is joining a field to replace Governor Mary Fallin (R) including Lt. Governor Todd Lamb (R).

Shaq:  Former basketball/entertainment star Shaquille O’Neal plans to run for sheriff somewhere in 2020.  Trump should just dump Pence and replace him with Shaq on the ticket in 2020.

WV-Sen: Rep. Evan Jenkins (R) is in

The ridiculously-slow starting 2018 Senate cycle now has its second major GOP recruit as two-term southern WV Rep. Evan Jenkins (R) will run against Sen. Joe Manchin (D). Jenkins, who was a Democratic State Senator before switching parties to run and win the ancestrally very-D WV-3 in 2014, is a prized recruit for the NRSC. Though WV was Trump’s second-best state of all, its Democratic history still remains salient, notably with Democrats retaining the Governor’s office in 2016 with Jim Justice (D). Jenkins will need to hold down Manchin’s margins in the ancestrally-D but very Trump-friendly coalfields of his House seat to win. Jenkins’s entry may or may not clear the primary field; two other candidates, Rep. David McKinley (R) and AG Patrick Morrisey (R), have been rumored to be scoping out the race, and each of them hails from an area (northern WV for McKinley and the Eastern Panhandle for Morrisey) that is richer in primary voters than Jenkins’s southern-WV base (which is still Dem-leaning by registration). While Manchin will not be a pushover by any means due to his centrism and the state’s Dem heritage, Jenkins is arguably the strongest candidate to take him on in the general, and the NRSC has to be pleased with its first unambiguous recruitment win of the cycle.

As for WV-3, the seat is easy to write off as homogeneous rural Appalachia, but that belies some subtle differences: the seat stretches from Huntington, which has a bit of a Rust Belt vibe, through the poor coalfields, to the historically-Republican Beckley and Bluefield areas that have a mix of mining and other industry, and on to some more agriculture-oriented areas to the east around Lewisburg. This seat and its ancestors were solid D territory from the Depression until the Obama era, but the seat is now overwhelmingly Republican at the national level with a PVI of R+26 in 2016. Republicans’ bench here is pretty thin, though not for the reasons you might expect: we have a fair number of elected officials in the region, but given the historically-D nature of the area, a lot of them were swept in very recently on waves, and as a result, many legislators from this area are absolutely *not* ready for the prime time of a congressional race. Some names I might throw out who I would guess may have the competence to rise to the challenge of a congressional run are State Sens. Chandler Swope (R), Jeff Mullins (R), and Sue Cline (R), State Reps. Kelly Sobonya and Carol Miller (R), ex-State Rep. and 2012 nominee Rick Snuffer (R), and 2014 State Senate candidate Vicki Dunn-Marshall (R). WVGOP chair Conrad Lucas (R) has also been rumored to be interested in a run. 2016 Gov nominee Bill Cole (R) also lives in the district and was recruited to run in 2014 but his campaign last year was seriously underwhelming. For Dems, this seat may seem a lost cause on the surface, but there is probably one person who could put this seat into play, State Sen. Richard Ojeda (D), a veteran who ousted an incumbent State Senator in the 2016 primary in spite of being brutally beaten days before the election. Ojeda then won a (very historically-D but very Trump-friendly) Senate seat by a 20-point margin in the general and would at least attract some interest from national Dems if he ran.

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