After the giant glut of the past few days, we seem to be back to a more manageable amount of news.
NJ-Sen '18: Things are not looking so good for Sen. Bob Menendez (D). FBI agents raided the office of a South Florida doctor linked to the new Foreign Relations committee chair and his... well, Foreign Relations. For his part, Menendez says the allegations are politically motivated, which tends to be the kind of thing you say when there's no good answer to give. The timing of these investigations can be very unpredictable, but if the hammer comes down before summer, a special election would be scheduled for this November... which means it would occur on a ballot topped by Christie.
MA-Sen: Poor Barney. Patrick appoints
random hack and his crony indisputably qualified public servant Mo Cowan to Kerry's Senate seat. Cowan, of Stoughton, previously served as Patrick's Chief of Staff, and now becomes one of two African-Americans in the Senate.
More MA-Sen: PPP (D): Brown 48 Markey 45, with most undecideds Warren voters, under a 2012-style electorate.
GA-Sen: Some unorthodox R candidates are floated, including Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler. Governor:
AZ-Gov: Ex-Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman (R) is running. As the popular former mayor of a large and D-heavy city, Hallman should be a top-tier contender (along with SoS Ken Bennett and a host of yet-to-declare other candidates) in the R primary.
MI-Gov: In a major surprise, State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer of East Lansing, thought to be the most likely candidate for Dems here, will not run. Her deicision probably signals that Snyder's popularity has quickly recovered after RTW. It also means Rep. Gary Peters is the lone member of their "A" list still considering a bid; expect major pressure for him to make the race now as Dems' bench beyond him is terribly thin. Next in line after Peters is probably ex-Rep. Mark Schauer.
TX-Gov: Rick Perry says AG Greg Abbott has told him he would not challenge the Governor in a R primary, even though polling shows Abbott to be a strong favorite in that matchup.
NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo's stratospheric poll numbers have come somewhat back to earth after his gun-control push. He is still very popular and safe for re-election, but for the first time it looks like there is enough passion on the right to prevent Cuomo from winning re-election with the eye-popping margins he looked headed for just weeks ago.
OH-Gov, etc: Democrats are trying to shunt ex-Rep. Betty Sutton out of a bid for Governor and into taking on one of Republicans' four statewide officeholders. This article also has a good summary on other possible D options for SoS, AG, Treasurer, and Auditor.
WATN: ex-IL Gov. George Ryan was released from Prison to home confinement yesterday.
IL-2: And then there were four. State Sen. Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey), who had not gained much traction for his bid, has dropped out and endorsed former Treasurer nominee Robin Kelly. This race looks increasingly like a fight between State Sen. Toi Hutchinson and Kelly to be the main alternative to ex-Rep. Debbie Halvorson, with Chicago Ald. Anthony Beale as an also-ran. Hutchinson and Kelly seem to be going tit-for-tat in major endorsements; if one of them can gain an advantage over the other, she is probably headed for an easy victory. If they remain at parity their squabbles play to the advantage of Halvorson.
MO-8: Heading into next Saturday's convention, most of the 86 committee members were surveyed in a poll. They find a pretty fractured electorate with an unexpected name - State Rep. Jason Smith (R-Salem) - on top; however, no one is close to being a consensus candidate and most delegates are open to changing their minds. Fellow State Rep. Linda Black (D-Bonne Terre) is considered the prohibitive favorite for the D nomination.
State & Local:
NYC-Mayor: Billionare grocery magnate John Catsimatidis (R) entered the race this week, setting up a contested Republican primary with former MTA Chair Joe Lhota. Catsimatidis brings a major plus in his wealth, and also a major minus in his gaffe-prone nature.
VA-Redistricting: Two African-American Democratic State Delegates, Onzlee Ware of Roanoke and Rosalyn Dance of Petersburg, are sounding tentatively in favor of the plan. I said several days ago that Dance would be a front-runner for the new black-majority seat in Southern VA; Ware's motivations are somewhat less obvious, but he seems to be slightly mavericky in general.
WATN: ex-NYS Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Jamaica, Queens), who was defeated in the primary this year after being indicted on embezzlement charges, will be joining quite a few of her former colleagues at a very popular post-Albany destination: the Big House.