Today we are publishing our Spring Senate rankings. Here is the map:
We have made 5 changes to the RRH Senate Ratings since January, 2 in favor of Republicans:
Iowa Safe R from Likely R || Pennsylvania Lean R from Tossup
And 3 in favor of Democrats:
Florida Tossup from Lean R || Indiana Lean R from Likely R || Ohio Tossup from Lean R
These changes mean that RRH is projecting a net shift in Senate seats of between D+5 and R+1, with the Dem-leaning side of that range probably more likely as the number of Lean and Likely R contests dwarfs the number in the Lean and Likely D categories.
The RRH Ratings are determined by an average of the moderators' individual opinions on the races. They represent our gestalt of the race: you can think of them as an average of all possible ways the race could turn out weighted by how likely each scenario is to occur.
Flip over the fold for full recaps of each race...
Hillary: Hillary Clinton could face an uphill battle in trying to reassemble the Obama coalition of young people, minorities, gays, college-educated whites, single working women, etc. As we saw in 2010 and 2014 enthusiasm for Obama is not necessarily transferable to others.
Chafee: Apparently the Lincoln Chafee (D?) for President story wasn't an elaborate April Fools joke. Chafee accidently declared he's running for President in a CNN interview. It was accidental because running for President in the Republic of Paperwork America requires filing an inordinate amount of paperwork with the federal government which Chafee has yet to do. Speaking off the cuff like this could run Chafee afoul of federal election law and proves once again that the real joke is Lincoln Chafee.
Kasich: Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) is moving closer to launching a 2016 Presidential bid as Kasich supporters launch a new 527 organization that can raise unlimited funds to support his bid.
IN-Gov: A Howey Politics of Indiana Poll puts Republican Governor Mike Pence's approval/disapproval rating at 45%/46%. The poll also has Pence leading all potential Democrat candidates. Pence leads Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz 42% to 39%, he leads his 2012 opponent John Gregg by 43% to 37% and former Congressman Baron Hill 43% to 36%.
FL-Sen: Wife beater Rep. Alan Grayson is moving closer to a senate run. The batshit crazy outspoken Grayson told the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday he is closer to running and cited Marco Rubio's decision to run for President as an encouraging sign for him. Grayson would face rightwing Republican stooge fellow Rep Patrick Murphy (D) in a Democrat primary. We here at RRH think Alan Grayson is a coward and doesn't have the guts to run! So come on Rep Grayson prove us wrong. We triple dog dare you!
PA-Sen: Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski (D) is announcing a run for US Senate. The three term Mayor is the second Democrat to enter the race to challenge Sen Pat Toomey (R). Pawlowski will join former Rep. Joe Sestak (D) in the Democrat primary. Sestak has been running nonstop since Toomey beat him in 2010. Several other Democrats are said to be looking at a run including Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro (D) and former Rep. Chris Carney (D). Pawlowski briefly ran for Governor in 2014 but exited the race do his horrid fundraising.
NV-Sen: EMILY's List endorsed former AG Catherine Cortez Masto (D) in her quest to replace the retiring Harry Reid. EMILY's List had actively encouraged Cortez Masto to run as they are apparently unaware that her potential primary rival Rep Dina Titus (D) is also a a pro-choice woman.
MD-Sen: An internal poll for Rep Eliajah Cummings (D) shows him leading possible Democratic primary rivals Rep Donna Edwards (D) and Rep Chris Van Hollen (D). Cummings poll puts him at 29% to 23% for Edwards and 22% for Van Hollen.
WI-Sen: A MULaw Poll has former Sen Russ Feingold (D) leading current Sen Ron Johnson (R) 54% to 38%. I would salt to taste.
CA-24: Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian (R) is announcing a run for the congressional seat long-held by retiring Rep Lois Capps (D). Achadjian is a three-term Assemblyman who will be termed out of his seat in 2016. Achadjian joins a large field of Democratic candidates vying for this seat. Santa Barbara County 1st District Supervisor Salud Carbajal (D), Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider (D) and William Ostrander (D) have all announced a run. Rep Capps' daughter Laura Capps (D) is also considered likely to run as well. The only other Republican in the race is Justin Fareed who unsuccessfully ran for this seat in 2014 and failed to make it into the top two.
NY-11: The NY Observer has an interesting profile on Richmond County DA and Republican congressional candidate Dan Donovan ahead of the May 5th special election. The article which you can access here is well worth a read if you want to understand who Donovan is and how on Staten Island Donovan's legacy goes way beyond the national headlines he's gotten in regards to the Garner case.
State, Local & Other:
VA HD-87:State Rep. David Ramadan (R) announced he would not seek a 3rd term in the VA House of Delegates. Ramadan represents a swing district that covers parts of Loudoun and Prince William counties.
WA State Auditor: In corruption news that doesn't involve NY or PA Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley (D) was indicted on tax evasion charges. Kelley announced he would take a leave of absence from his office starting May 1st.
UK election: The latest Com-Res poll suggests that the Lib-Dems are facing a wipeout in West Country. This could be very good news for the Conservatives. West Country has historically been a Lib-Dem stronghold. They currently hold 14 constituencies there. In 2010 the Lib--Dems won 48% of the vote in West Country. Today they are polling at 26% with the Tories at 44%. If this poll proves right the Conservatives could potentially pick up all 14 of the Lib-Dem seats in West Country.
Hillary: A look inside the late Ready for Hillary's data mining efforts, which were helmed by 270 Strategies.
More Hillary: A survey by The Hill found 65 Democrat Representatives and 28 Democrat Senators endorsed Hillary Clinton for President.
Rubio: Senator Marco Rubio continues the trend from Cruz and Paul of raising around $1 million his first day in an official presidential campaign, saying he raised $1.25 million online.
More Rubio: Like the other candidates, Rubio is making a fundraising swing through Texas. Interestingly, Annette Simmons donated to his Senate campaign in Decemeber. Simmons is the widow of Dallas billionaire and super-donor Harold Simmons, and it remains unclear if she will maintain her husband's level of political giving.
Graham: After yesterday's gyrocopter landing outside the Capitol building, Senator Lindsey Graham took a hardline stance on the subject during an appearance on the Hugh Hewitt Show.
“He should have been subject to being shot out of the sky. I don’t know why he wasn’t, but our nation is under siege. Radical Islam is a threat to our homeland. There are probably radical Islamic cells in our backyard already... And if somebody is willing to, you know, approach vital government infrastructure, they should do so at their own peril.”
SC-PRES: A poll by Winthrop University found an unsettled Republican field in the Palmetto State. Scott Walker led with 14% over Bush (13%), Cruz, Graham (8%), Paul (6%), Christie, Huckabee, and Carson (5%). The horserace was the eighth question in the survey, behind a battery of approval ratings and a "would you consider supporting" question.
LA-SEN: Not that anybody thought she would, but former Senator Mary Landrieu will not run for Vitter's expected open US Senate seat in 2016. Of course, Landrieu is fresh off a thwomping in 2014 and can read the numbers for Democrats statewide in Louisiana as well as anyone.
FL-SEN: Another major Republican is opting out of this race: former Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford. Weatherford cited family obligations.
More FL-SEN: Meanwhile, others are speculating former congressman and Attorney General Bill McCollum (R) could run for the seat. Apparently, McCollum has been calling supporters and asking their opinion on a potential campaign. McCollum's 2010 gubernatorial bid definitely eroded his image as a candidate. But with at least two congressmen and the lieutenant governor in the mix, this open seat race will continue to develop.
IN-SEN / IN-2: Rep. Jackie Walorski (R) announced yesterday that she will run for reelection, rather than the open US Senate seat. Walorski has held this Republican leaning seat in northern Indiana for two terms, but she faced a close race in 2012 even as Romney took 57% in this district.
AZ-SEN: In an article about McCain's presently-strong position in the Republican primary, Rep. Matt Salmon told Politico that he is "happy where I'm at." With the congressional delegation staying out of the race, McCain will draw a B- or C-list opponent.
MO-GOV: The Washington Post takes a look at the intra-party dynamics that led up to the suicide of Auditor Tom Schweich (R) in the midst of his gubernatorial campaign.
IN-GOV: Another potential opponent is considering a run, Bill Oesterle. Oesterle resigned his position as chief executive of Angie's List to return to state politics, although he says that may involve simply helping other candidates. Oesterle managed Mitch Daniels' 2004 gubernatorial run, and the article details the different focuses and rivalries of the two administrations.
Meanwhile, Governor Mike Pence's communications director, Christy Denault, resignedher post yesterday. While she cited her young family (she has triplets!), the Pence administrations recent PR blunders have been clear.
MD-Gov: Mark Mellman takes another look at last cycle's gubernatorial race in Maryland, where Republican Larry Hogan scored a shocking upset over Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D). He cites two other analyses that dug deeper into the data to show persuasion, rather than unusually low midterm turnout, played a large role in Hogan's victory. It looks like a little over 20% of Democrats defected to Hogan, who also crushed among independents.
IL-18: An interesting name popped up on State Senator Darin LaHood (R)'s FEC report: Dick Uihlein. Uihlein, the CEO of the office supply company Uline, happens to be a major conservative donor both nationally and in Illinois. The fact that the incredibly anti-establishment Uihlein is willing to back LaHood shows just how little oxygen is left for another primary candidate.
CA-24: While Rep. Lois Capp's daughter, political consultant Laura Capps (D), is taking a look at the race, local observers say Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal (D) should be considered the frontrunner. Carbajal has held office for 11 years and previously indicated his interest in a congressional run. Regardless of Carbajal's decision, Capps should have ample funding and, with her last name, name recognition if she runs. A third Democrat, Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, looks more likely to become a third wheel in a race featuring Capps and Carbajal, but there's always the chance for top-two mayhem with the right mix of viable Democratic and Republican candidates.
NY-11: Backtracking on his previous opinion on Obamacare, congressman-in-waiting Dan Donovan (R) is now calling for repeal of the law.
State & Local
NY-LEG: Another criminal investigation drops for the New York Prize Patrol State Senate. The latest target of US Attorney Preet Bharara is Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R) himself, along with the senator's son Adam Skelos. The move follows the arrest of then-House Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) in January.
CO-Sen: Rep. Mike Coffman (R) leads Sen. Michael Bennet (D) 43-40 in a new Quinnipiac poll. Bennet leads Coffman's wife, AG Cynthia Coffman (R) 44-36. Quinnipiac'e early polls were somewhat GOP-friendly in the last cycle, so that caveat may be necessary here. Still it shows that Mike Coffman would be very competitive in a potential race with Bennet.
FL-Sen: The Senate Conservatives Fund and FreedomWorks are trying to nudge Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) into the open Senate race. The SCF says they would look at all the candidates but they would "seriously consider supporting his campaign" and FreedomWorks is openly saying they hope he runs.
NJ-Sen: Former Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy says he would not run in a potential special election to fill the seat of Sen. Robert Menendez (D) if Menendez is forced out of office because of corruption charges. Murphy has been mentioned as a possible candidate for governor in 2017 and he says that is where his interest lies.
IN-Gov: State House Minority Leader Scott Pelath (D) is reconsidering whether to run for governor in light of the recent stumbles by Gov. Mike Pence (R). Pelath had previously said he needed to focus on getting more Democrats elected to the Legislature in 2016.
WV-Gov: Sen. Joe Manchin (D) leads 3 potential candidates for governor by wide margins according to a Harper Poll. Manchin leads Rep. David McKinley (R) 52-35, State Senate President Bill Cole (R) 54-32 and AG Patrick Morrissey (R) 58-29. If Manchin doesn't run, Republicans tie or have narrow leads on State Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler (D) and US Attorney Booth Goodwin (D).
AZ-2: With former Rep. Ron Barber (D) bowing out this weekend, there are plenty of names being mentioned on the Democratic side as possible challengers to Rep. Martha McSally (R). One who has scratched his name off the list is Tucson Councilman Steve Kozachik. Kozachik was elected to the City Council as a Republican in 2009, but switched parties before running for re-election in 2013. State Rep. Bruce Wheeler (D) has formed an exploratory committee. Also mentioned as possible candidates are state Sen. David Bradley (D) and State Rep. Victoria Steele (D).
FL-18: A Negron is running for Congress. Unfortunately, it's not the one most Republicans would like to see run. Rebecca Negron, a Martin County School Board member and wife of State Sen. Joe Negron (R) is running for the seat being left open by Rep. Patrick Murphy (D), who is running for Senate. Negron is the first Republican to announce a campaign for the seat; Palm Beach County Commissioner Priscilla Taylor (D) has announced a bid on the Democratic side.
ME-2: Emily Cain (D), who lost to Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R) last year and is running again in 2016, is fundraising well behind Poliquin for a rematch. While Poliquin raised an astonishing $700,000 in the first quarter, Cain raised only $135,000. The anemic fundraising numbers for Cain come despite her being encouraged to run again by national Democratic leaders, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
MI-1: Rep. Dan Benishek (R) may receive a serious primary challenge after his decision to run for a 4th term despite pledging to serve only 3. State Rep. Peter Pettalia (R) had been encouraged to run before Benishek decided to break his term limit pledge, and "that talk hasn't stopped" according to him. But Pettalia says as a "loyal Republican" he would have to give "deep thought" to primarying a sitting congressman. Ex-State Sen. Jason Allen (R), who lost to Benishek by only 15 votes in the 2010 Republican primary, has also been mentioned as a possible candidate, but sources say he also would be reluctant to challenge Benishek. Both Pettalia and Allen are from the lower peninusla part of the district("trolls") while Benishek is a yooper.
NY-11: Staten Island DA Dan Donovan (R) and New York City Councilman Vincent Gentile (D) had their only live televised debate of the special election last night. Gentile pressed hard in the debate on Donovan's role in the Eric Garner case while Donovan cited news articles that criticize Gentile's lack of clout and lackluster presence on the City Council and asked how with that record Gentile could accomplish anything as the most junior member of the minority party in Congress.
State & Local:
MO-Aud.: Boone County Treasurer Nicole Galloway (D) has been appointed by Gov. Jay Nixon (D) to fill the rest of the term of the late Auditor Tom Schweich (R). The 32-year old Galloway has served as Boone County's Treasurer since 2011. Galloway says she plans to run for election to the office in 2018.
NC-Treas.: State Treasurer Janet Cowell (D) will run for a 3rd term. Cowell had been mentioned as a possible candidate for higher office, including running against Sen. Richard Burr (R).
TN-AG: A proposal to make the state's Attorney General an elected office has passed the Tennessee Senate 23-9. Tennessee currently is one of 7 states that does not elect its AG, and the only one in which they are appointed by the State Supreme Court. Some, like LG and Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey (R) oppose the current system, but would like to see the Legislature appoint the AG instead as is done in Maine(the governor appoints the AG in the other 5 states). The proposal still must pass the House, and then would have to pass both houses with 2/3 votes in the 2017-18 session before it could be presented to voters in 2018.
VA-SD-16: Former State Del. Joe Morrissey (I) will run for the state Senate as an independent. Morrissey attempted to get on the ballot for the Democratic primary, but some of his petition signatures were declared invalid by the Democratic Party and a judge refused yesterday to stop the printing of ballots until he could challenge the Party's decision in court. Morrissey is giving up the House of Delegates seat he won in a special election earlier this year in order to run for the state Senate in a different area than his House seat is located.
Today we're updating the Gubernatorial Rankings for the spring. Here is the map:
We have made 2 rating changes since our last rankings post in January, 1 benefiting Republicans:
New Hampshire Lean D from Likely D
and 1 benefiting Democrats:
Indiana Lean R from Likely R
These changes mean that RRH is projecting a net shift in gubernatorial control of between R+0 and R+4.
The RRH Ratings are determined by an average of the moderators' individual opinions on the races. They represent our gestalt of the race: you can think of them as an average of all possible ways the race could turn out weighted by how likely each scenario is to occur.
Rubio: He launched his campaign yesterday, as expected.
Kasich: Delivering a speech in Detroit, the Ohio Governor announced he is seriously considering a run for the GOP nomination.
FL-Sen: Roll Call has a Great Mentioner for Rubio's Senate seat. Reps. Ron DeSantis (R) and Tom Rooney (R) seem to be most serious about a bid, but no less than eight (!) GOP congressmen have been thought at various times to be considering the race: the others are Jeff Miller, Dan Webster, Dennis Ross, David Jolly, Vern Buchanan, and Curt Clawson. Now obviously most of them will not run, but this field has the potential to be utterly massive. Other non-House Republicans who may be considering the race include LG Carlos Lopez-Cantera, ex-State House Speaker Will Weatherford, ex-State Senate President Don Gaetz, and Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam. Democrats appear to be coalescing behind Rep. Patrick Murphy (D), but liberal Rep. Alan Grayson (D) may also enter.
KY-Sen: Here's a Great Mentioner piece for possible Democrats in this race; State Auditor Adam Edelen (D) appears to be the party's preferred candidate for Sen. Rand Paul's (R) seat. However, Edelen will inevitably get a late start if he chooses to run, as he needs to win re-election this year. Other possibilities for KY Dems could include Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer (D), ex-Rep. Ben Chandler (D), and SoS and 2014 nominee Allison Lundergan Grimes (D).
LA-Sen: State Treasurer John Kennedy (R)'s decision to seek re-election rather than go for Governor or AG has intensified speculation that he is preparing to run for Sen. David Vitter's (R) seat in 2016. Kennedy has sought a Senate seat twice before, in 2004 as a Dem and 2008 as a Republican. If he runs, Kennedy would likely face Reps. John Fleming (R) and Charles Boustany (R) for the seat.
OH-Sen: The Ohio Democratic Party officially endorsed ex-Gov. Ted Strickland (D) over the weekend in a pointed slap in the face to Cincinnati Councilman PG Sittenfeld (D), who has resisted shoves to get out of the race and looks set to challenge Strickland in the primary.
UT-Sen, UT-Gov: If this poll is to be believed, Utah's statewide elections will be fairly uninteresting this cycle; Dan Jones gives both Sen. Mike Lee (R) and Gov. Gary Herbert (R) sky-high approval ratings.
CA-24: State Rep. Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara) will run for the County Supervisor seat of Salud Carbajal (D) and not join Carbajal in the race for Congress. This race now looks likely to settle down at 3 major Dems: Carbajal, Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider (D), and outgoing Rep. Lois Capps's daughter Laura (D). State Rep. Katcho Achadjian (R) is likely to be the GOP's consensus candidate.
CA-36: Indio Mayor Lupe Ramos-Watson (R) opened up a campaign committee for the seat of Rep. Raul Ruiz (D). The district is purple and Ramos-Watson is a good get, but Ruiz has proven a strong incumbent; the race was one of the first races triaged by the GOP in 2014.
IL-8: State Sen. Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) became the third candidate to enter the race yesterday. Cullerton is related to powerful State Senate President John (D) and could garner significant establishment support. State Sen. Mike Noland (D) and 2012 candidate Raja Krishnamoorthi (D) are already in the race for this D+7 seat.
IL-11: DuPage County Commissioner Tonia Khouri (R) is running against Rep. Bill Foster (D), who just declined a Senate bid. Foster won by just 7 against a relatively poor GOP campaign in 2014, but this minority-heavy seat is much tougher in presidential years.
ME-2: Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R) raised $700K in Q1, a monster haul for a district without many rich donors.
Governor, State, & Local:
IN-Gov: Salt to taste, but a GQR (D) internal for a pro-SSM group shows Gov. Mike Pence (R) in a 47-47 tie with 2012 nominee and ex-State House Speaker John Gregg (D).
KY-AG: State Sen. and AG candidate Whitney Westerfield (R) talks about life as a member of the Southern Republican Men with Female Names Caucus.
WATN: 2014 MN-Sen candidate and St. Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg (R) will not run for mayor of liberal Duluth.
As a team we don't get to say this enough, but we first want to thank all of you for being such loyal readers and members of our community. Over the past 4-plus years we've seen this site grow by leaps and bounds, and you've played no small part in helping us become what we are today.
We wanted to let you know that there are going to be some big changes coming to RRH this summer. Soapblox, the software platform that has hosted this site from the beginning, told us recently that they will be shutting down their operations by the end of this year. That means we've had to find a new home for the blog, and after looking at many options we decided that WordPress is the best platform for us going forward. To give you some idea of what the new website design might look like, here is a blog that uses a similar platform to the one we'll be transitioning to (with very different content, of course!)
This means that, sometime this summer (and we'll give you much more in the way of specifics once we nail them down), RRH 1.0 will shut down and this blog will move to its new WordPress homepage.
Aside from the new software and layout, however, very little about the site experience will change. The format of the daily roundups will be as it has always been, and we will continue to have an active, moderated, and registration-required comments section. Our polling operation, election-day coverage and liveblogs, race rankings, and other features will be just as they are on the current site.
We're going to work to make the transition as easy as possible for our commenting community. Commenters should keep their eyes out for a more detailed post later this spring where we'll describe how to move your account over to our new home.
There's one more important change to announce: although we've done great things under the name Red Racing Horses since 2011, our team decided that as we move into our new home we'd like to update our name to better capture the nature of our site. As it is, we're concerned casual passers-by may not find it obvious what we do. So we want your input. We've included a link to a straw poll, and we'd like you to vote on three names we're considering.
Again, thanks so much for being part of RRH. This move is going to allow us to bring you an even better experience for the 2016 cycle and beyond, and we know that with your support our community will remain as strong as ever.
Stay tuned for an important RRH announcement today at noon!
Clinton-1: Hillary Clinton officially announced a run for president over the weekend. Unlike some of her Republican rivals, Hillary announced in a web video in relative private, though the rollout was less than stellar with delays, an amusing typo in her press release, and a bare-bones campaign infrastructure. She’s got plenty of time to fix these problems in the months before real campaigning starts, but she probably would have preferred launching on a high note.
Clinton-2: This is a nice piece on the balancing act Hillary has to take between embracing Obama and distancing herself from him. Obama has mediocre poll numbers and a less-than-stellar policy record, but Hillary is clearly trying to run with the coalition he put together in 2008 and isn’t intent on moving the party in a new policy direction. The result is that she has to find a sweet spot between embracing the president and building a unique brand.
California: California’s long been ignored in presidential elections, with the Electoral College making the state’s votes effectively worthless and the June primary meaning that nominations are always decided before California heads to the polls. However, there is a push to try to change that, and move the California Presidential primary up in order to give the state a say in the nominations at least.
Paul: Paul is heading to California to engage in the only part of the primary process that California plays a role in—fundraising. It’s become a joke out here that the state is nothing more than an ATM candidates withdraw from in order to pay for ads and groundwork elsewhere.
Rubio: While the Florida Senator is expected to announce a run for President today, a non-profit associated with his SuperPAC has been hard at work collecting voter data across the first 5 primary states. It’s interesting to see data like this be made public (there’s a link to it in the article), and it also generally spells out the platform Rubio is interested in running on.
CA-Sen: Loretta Sanchez (D-CA-46) recently made some not-so-subtle jabs at Kamala Harris (D) at an event in the Bay Area, saying the Attorney General doesn’t have enough experience to be a Senator, along with hitting her over her inability to speak Spanish. Sanchez, who is looking more and more like she’s interested in running for Senate, says she’ll make a formal decision in the next two weeks, though the fact that she was at an event far from her Orange County congressional district suggests that she’s leaning towards running.
FL-Sen: Florida CFO Jeff Atwater (R) won’t run for the open Senate Seat in Florida next year. Atwater has a strong electoral record (winning decisively in 2010 and 2014 above the rest of the ticket), and his supporters already formed a SuperPAC in support of him. The move is probably a sign that he’s done with electoral politics, as he almost resigned to become president of the Florida Atlantic University last year, and his decision opens up the race for the Republican nomination to succeed Marco Rubio.
IL-Sen: Bill Foster (D) has said he isn’t running for Senate. This leaves Robin Kelly as the only other Democrat considering a run against Tammy Duckworth for the D nomination to challenge Mark Kirk next year, though I doubt she pulls the trigger at this point. Duckworth’s demographic-gold status and the support of Dick Durbin was probably key in the effort to clear the D field for her, though her electoral record isn’t as solid as you would expect of a candidate getting the field cleared for her.
MO-Gov: Missouri State Senator Mike Parson (R) has told the board of the Missouri Cattleman’s Association that he plans to announce a run in May. Parson is from just north of Springfield, and has been in the State Legislature since 2004.
NM-Gov: Susanna Martinez (R) signed a civil-asset forfeiture bill over the weekend, which would prevent law enforcement from keeping property they seized during an arrest that did not lead to formal charges. The bill was pushed through by an alliance of Libertarian Republicans and Civil-Liberty Democrats, and represents an interesting step forward for this unusual alliance.
AZ-2: Ron Barber (D), the former Congressmen for this district who won a special election in 2012 to replace Gabrielle Giffords and lost in 2014 to current incumbent Martha McSally (R), will not run for a rematch. Democrats will have to look for a new candidate to take on McSally, who has already raised an impressive amount of money in her bid for re-election. Everything of course could change depending on the Supreme Court decision that could throw out the entire Congressional map and force a redraw.
CA-44: Hispanics finally have a candidate to run in this overwhelmingly Hispanic district left open by the retirement of Congresswoman Janice Hahn. Hermosa Beach City Councilwoman Natalie Barragan has said she’s looking at running, as while Hermosa Beach isn’t in the district, she grew up in the Shoestring Strip part of LA, which is. For those of you who don’t realize how funny this is, Hermosa Beach is one of the “Beach Cities” that is what you think of when someone says “Los Angeles Beachfront” while CA-44 covers South-Central and consists of some of the most impoverished sections of the Los Angeles metro area. It’s like if someone moved from the Upper West side of Manhattan to represent a district in the South Bronx, and it shows just how badly Hispanics do here that they have to import candidates to this over-2/3rds Hispanic Congressional seat. Black State Senator Isadore Hall (D) remains the overwhelming favorite.
NC-2: Clay Aiken (D) is probably running again, because his all-encompassing thirst to come in second has yet to be quenched.
TX-15: Former Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben Villarreal (R) has announced he is running against Ruben Hinojosa. This is a bit surprising, as Villarreal has just resigned weeks ago and his home town is entirely in TX-28 instead of TX-15. Villarreal announced he was a Republican last year and campaigned heavily for Greg Abbott in his bid for Governor, and he would probably be an above-average candidate for the GOP instead of the no-names we usually attract in the valley seats. Hinojosa has always been unusually weak despite his district’s D-leaning PVI and the Rio Grande’s ConservaHispanoDem tradition, and he only won by about 10 last year. Hinojosa is also facing a primary challenge, and the 75-year-old and 20-year veteran might simply retire. Still, if the TXGOP wants to make more inroads with Hispanics, this is a great place to do it.
State, Local, & Other:
PA-AG: Kathleen Kane's scandals continues to unfold. At this rate, that headline could probably fit in half of the roundup’s we’ve done this year. The current issue is that a MontCo judge has set a hearing for April 27th to determine whether or not Kane was in contempt of court when she fired an aide that was assisting in the investigation after the judge specifically barred it. This could result in jail time if the panel finds against the AG, though at this point I half expect her to end the hearing by shouting "No, You're out of order!" whie being dragged out of the building.
Pew-Party ID: Pew’s annual poll of American party-ID is out. Democrats maintain their high-single digit advantage with American adults, but the most interesting part of the data is that younger minorities are more likely to self-ID or lean towards Republicans than their older kin.
SA-Mayor: Candidates for San Antonio mayor are all attacking the front-runner and former Lt. Gov candidate Leticia Van de Putte (D) for transferring $300,000 from her statewide account into her mayoral one. Mike Villarreal and Tommy Adkisson joined sitting interm Mayor Ivy Taylor in calling the move illegal or at the very least unethical, while Van de Putte responded by claiming that she broke no laws and that she returned most of it regardless. The other candidates are also attacking Van de Putte for earning the endorsement of the police union, which they claim is due to her agreeing to drop the city’s legal challenge to favorable union rules.
WA-Lt-Gov: Longtime Washington Lt. Gov Brad Owen (D) is considering retiring. Owens has been in the office since the 1996, and has won comfortably since then despite Washington’s repeated close Governor Elections. He has also said that he might not “officially” announce his retirement until next year to prevent the state from cutting his office’s budget.
WATN: Former Arizona Governor (and the only Hispanic to hold the office) Raul Hector Castro (D) has died at age 98. Castro was Governor from 1975-1977 before being appointed as ambassador to Argentina by Jimmy Carter. Castor was the oldest living former Governor.