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Political Roundup for April 28th, 2015

by: Daniel Surman

Tue Apr 28, 2015 at 07:00:00 AM EDT

Today's roundup comes in the shadow of some pretty dark events in Baltimore. Nevertheless,

President

Cruz: After the New York Times extensively covered the event, NYC real estate developer Ian Reisner apologized for hosting Senator Ted Cruz in his home. Reisner is gay and faced a backlash from LGBT activists who threatened to boycott Reisner's business over Cruz's opposition to gay marriage. 

Jeb: It looks like Jeb Bush will raise $100 million by the end of May. While the number would beat past records for entering presidential candidates, the money is apples-to-oranges with much of it going to Jeb's affiliated (and still coordinating) super PAC.

Warren: Another long-read on Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (D), the darling of the left who will not be running for President.

NH-PRES: A Gravis poll (find some salt) conducted last week found a wide-open Republican primary here, with Bush (18%), Walker (16%), Paul (15%), Rubio (11%) and Cruz (10%) all cracking double-digits. All of the general election matchups with Hillary were within a few points.

Senate

NH-SEN: The same Gravis poll found Senator Kelly Ayotte (R) leading Governor Maggie Hassan 50%-43%.

Governor

NH-GOV: Chris Sununu (R) is quitting his day job as general manager of the Waterville Valley Resort. While Sununu will remain as its CEO, the move frees up his time for other things... like an increasingly likely bid for governor. Sununu has already confirmed his interest in the race and has begun fundraising. If Governor Maggie Hassan (D) runs for Senate as expected, Sununu will enter an open seat race.

LA-GOV: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) confirmed yesterday that he will not run for Governor in 2015. The move was expected after the state Democratic Party formally endorsed state Rep. John Bel Edwards' campaign.

NY-GOV: Sources say Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) is seriously considering a run for Governor, perhaps even if Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) runs for a third term. However, a primary against the incumbent seems less likely than Schneiderman running in an open seat race. Former Rep. Chris Gibson (R) is already looking at his own gubernatorial bid. Another name floated without real sourcing is Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D).

House

NC-2: After a 17-point shellacking, Clay Aiken probably wasn't going anywhere politically. But an interview promoting a new documentary series about his 2014 congressional campaign seals his fate.

“You should see the second episode, because she’s a b----,” Aiken told Stern, referring to Ellmers.

“She’s an idiot,” Aiken said of the 51-year-old lawmaker, “And I think her self-esteem is just in the floor, under the floor.”

Luckily for us, Aiken plans to run for office again "within the next decade." I'll be ready with popcorn.

IL-10: Rep. Bob Dold (R) snagged former Rep. Aaron Schock's seat on the Ways & Means committee. The powerful committee post should be a boon for Dold's fundraising. He'll need the help in this wealthy and Democratic leaning district.

State & Local

San Antonio-Mayor: The San Antonio Express-News endorsed former State Senator Leticia Van De Putte (D) for Mayor last Saturday. Van De Putte ran for Lt. Governor last year as the Democratic nominee.

RIP: A bit belated, but former Rep. Bruce Alger (R) passed away on April 13th at age 96. Alger represented Dallas in Congress for 10 years beginning in 1954. He was a strong opponent of LBJ as a lone Texas Republican.
Discuss :: (42 Comments)

Political Roundup for April 27, 2015

by: Ryan_in_SEPA

Mon Apr 27, 2015 at 07:10:01 AM EDT

POTUS
Bush:  The Washington Post asks whether anyone is actually afraid of former Governor Jeb Bush (R).  I think he has the potential to be a formidable candidate, but he does not rouse excitement among anyone.

Iowa-Social Conservatives: Nine potential or declared Republican candidates for President showed up at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition 2015 Spring Kickoff.  It does not sound like anything remarkable happened other than Senator Marco Rubio took a very non-committal stance on same sex marriage.

Congress
Senate Whip: Senate Minority Whip Senator Dick Durbin (D) says he has the votes to remain as Whip as Senator Chuck Schumer (D) becomes Minority Leader in 2016.  Some have speculated that Schumer would push Durbin out and replace him with his own lackey.  

NY-11: Richmond County District Attorney Dan Donovan (R) is running away with the money race for the special election to occur next week.  Donovan has $462,000 cash on hand while NYC City Councilman Vincent Gentile (D) has $116,000 cash on hand as of April 15.

PA-7: Representative Pat Meehan (R) will face retired professor Mary Ellen Balchunis (D) once again.  Balchunis was crushed by Meehan in 2014 and there is no reason to believe such a crushing will not happen again.

PA-9: A more meaningful challenge might be in the works for Representative Bill Shuster (R).  Former US Senate candidate Tom Smith is mulling a run against Shuster in the Republican primary due to Shuster's ties to a lobbyist whom he is now dating after divorcing his wife.  Everyone has known Shuster is way too close to lobbyists and transportation interests before, but now we know he is actually in bed with them!

States
PA-AG: Morning Kathleen Kane Corruption Update time... Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D) will be in court today for her attorney and Clinton bagman Lanny Davis to explain why firing an employee subject to a protective order does not violate the order.

International
UK-Labour and SNP: Despite statements to the contrary by Labour leader Ed Miliband, a consultancy ran by Lord Mandelson, former senior cabinet minister under former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, has put out a paper articulating how Labour will have to work with the SNP.  This comes on the heels of some of Labour's biggest allies pushing the idea of a coalition between Labour and the SNP.

UK-Tories and Small Business:  The Tories continue to push their support among small business by releasing a list of 5025 who have signed a letter supporting the Conservatives and their economic agenda.  The Tories have been playing this angle for awhile as they are trying to push the fact the British economy is doing better than the rest of Europe and almost all of the developed world.

Alberta: The CBC has a good take on the bizarre electoral insanity that is going on in Alberta at the moment including some insights to polls showing the Progressive Conservatives lacking support, but most voters thinking they will win!

More Alberta:  We are entering the last week of the campaign to determine if the Progressive Conservatives will win a 13th election in a row and continue being the most electorally successful party in the English speaking world.  While the Progressive Conservatives waged war against the Wildrose Party in 2012, now the PCs are battling the NDP by brashing their right wing credentials and claiming the NDP are extremists, which they really are by Alberta terms.

Discuss :: (177 Comments)

UK Election Preview Part I: Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales

by: Greyhound

Sat Apr 25, 2015 at 12:00:00 PM EDT

On May 7, the UK will hold elections for all 650 seats in the House of Commons. This will be the first election held under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act of 2011, where elections will be held every 5 years on the first Thursday in May. The only exceptions will be if the government loses a no-confidence motion, or if two-thirds of the membership calls for an early election. Previously, a government could call for earlier elections by requesting a dissolution of Parliament by the monarch. The previous Parliament was dissolved as of March 30. During the period in between the dissolution of the previous Parliament and the election of the next one, no Parliament exists and there are no MPs. The government stays in power in the interim as they are appointed to their position by the monarch.

Check after the fold for an in-depth look at the first section of the UK Parliament, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Analysis of England will be coming next week.

Northern Ireland: written by Greyhound

Overview:  
Northern Ireland, unlike the rest of the UK, basically has its own individual political system with (almost) none of the main British parties seriously competing for its 18 seats.  It's been this way for decades and dates back to the original partition of Ireland in 1921, with the majority of the mostly Protestant British settlers favoring staying as part of the United Kingdom (generally called the Unionists or Loyalists) and the minority of mostly Catholic Irish natives favoring joining the Republic of Ireland (the Republicans or Nationalists) that comprises the rest of the population.  The Troubles, the name given to the mass terrorist and counter-terrorist campaigns by the IRA, UVF/UDA, and the British Military over the political status of Northern Ireland in the late 20th century, further solidified the ethnic divisions in the region to the point where the Unionist/Nationalist distinction is generally the single biggest decider of political loyalty, often above ideology.  While the issue of the political status of Northern Ireland has receded from the forefront (as recent polls show a significant portion of the Catholic population prefers staying in the UK to joining the Republic of Ireland), related issues such as which flags can be flown over government buildings, sectarian marching, the status of the Irish language among others continue to divide the region along ethnic lines.

Scotland Overview: written by GoBigRedState

Scotland has long been a Labour stronghold with the Lib Dems and the Scottish National Party(SNP) the other two major parties. The Tories are not very competitive, currently holding only one seat. The party breakdown for Scotland's 59 seats after the 2010 elections was Labour 41, Lib Dems 11, SNP 6, and Conservative 1. But Labour domination of the country seems poised to change in this election, and in a big way. Despite the "Yes" side losing by a 55%-45% margin in last September's Scottish Independence Referendum, the independence-favoring SNP is leading Labour in polls by 20+ points(Labour led the SNP 42%-20% in voting in 2010). Some of the more optimistic projections for the SNP indicate Labour could be facing a near total wipeout in Scotland. The Liberal Democrats(known usually as the "Lib Dems") appear to face a loss of most of their seats as well.

The SNP is a center-left party, like Labour, and that fact is what is driving their success-many, particularly young people who haven't grown up with the Labour allegiance of their elders, are seeing the SNP as more authentically liberal. As the Tories are hated in most of Scotland, the fact that Labour campaigned with the Tories on the "No" side of the independence referendum has hurt them as well. As Labour Leader Ed Miliband has ruled out a formal coalition with the SNP, their biggest argument to Scottish voters ready to turn to the SNP is that electing Labour MPs is the only way to guarantee them official representation in government. Helping the SNP as well is that party leader Nicola Sturgeon has by most accounts performed well in televised debates. Their hope is to hold the balance of power in a Labour government and push Labour to support some of their priorities such as doing away with the nation's Trident nuclear submarine defense system. Contrary to a report in early April that Sturgeon had confidentially told the French Ambassador that she preferred David Cameron as Prime Minister and said Miliband was "not Prime Minister material", a claim which both sides deny, she says they will "never, ever" do any deal with the Tories to allow them to form another government. The Lib Dems for their part are encouraging right leaning voters to vote tactically for them in areas where the Tories have no chance of winning in order to try to minimize the SNP surge.

Wales Overview: written by GoBigRedState

Wales is mostly a Labour stronghold, although not to the extent that Scotland has been. The Party breakdown for Wales' 40 seats after the 2010 Election was Labour 26, Conservative 8, Lib Dems 3, Plaid Cymru 3. Labour's strength historically has come mostly from their domination in the coal-mining regions of South Wales, an area which has gone into economic decline as the coal mines have mostly closed. The Tories are strong in areas too, mostly the SW,SE and North. Plaid Cymru(pronounced like KUM-ree), the Welsh nationalist party, is strong primarily in Welsh-speaking areas in the West.
Plaid Cymru, who normally don't play much of a role in the UK as a whole, could play a small role this time around if Labour is far short of getting a majority. There has been talk of a progressive coalition of the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens banding together and pushing a potential Labour government to support anti-austerity policies.

Flip over for a full seat-by-seat overview!

There's More... :: (37 Comments, 10849 words in story)

Weekend Open Thread for April 24-26, 2015

by: Right Reformer

Fri Apr 24, 2015 at 17:30:00 PM EDT

Happy last weekend of April.  Just think, a year from now, we'll probably know who the likely general election candidates will be.
 
We will have Part 1 of our UK Elections Preview (covering NI, Scotland, and Wales) out at Noon tomorrow.

1.  Last week, we asked you who the smartest of the GOP presidential candidates was.  In terms of book smarts, the answer was overwhelmingly Ted Cruz.  Who is the least smart potential GOP candidate?
 
2.  Chart a path to victory in the primaries/caucuses for one of the following:  Ben Carson, Chris Christie, or John Kasich.
 
We are also debuting a "Because its the weekend...." feature for our weekend roundup, where we'll offer a humorous piece like a video or political cartoon.  Here is your first of many to come. Enjoy!
 
And a poll ... 
Discuss :: (138 Comments)

Political Roundup For April 24, 2015

by: Right Reformer

Fri Apr 24, 2015 at 06:00:00 AM EDT

Happy Friday everyone. Here's the news of the day.

President:

Primary:  Fox News shows Rubio jumping out to a lead on the field, though he's only at 13%, which is only 1 point ahead of Walker. Hillary dominates the Democratic side with 62%.

Clinton:  In a somewhat complicated story, cash was flowing from Russian interests attempting to expand control over uranium at the same time those interests were donating money to the Clinton foundation, and the State Department was signing off on the expanded uranium control.  All circumstantial, of course.  But the trickle continues. 

Kasich:  Kasich is obviously leaning toward jumping in the race, though he gives himself several outs here.  Not thinking he can win, not raising money, etc.  It's telling that he hasn't fully committed to the race, even if he's seriously learning that way. 

Sanders:  One of the few candidates who may be able to effectively paint a contrast with Hillary, Sanders says if he runs, it will be to win. 

Rand Paul:  Paul's son was arrested for Driving Under the Influence in Kentucky, after crashing into a parked car while drunk.  Paul offered no comment on the charge or the crash. 

Senate:

NV-Sen:  Joe Heck says he's considering jumping into the race, and talking to people about a potential candidacy.  Which basically means Sandoval is leaning toward a no at this point. 

FL-Sen:  Buried in this poll from a few days ago is that Grayson is underwater--though only slightly--with Democrats, having favorables of 13/14. 

AK-Sen:  Mark Begich has joined the K-Street firm Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, & Schreck, which also has strong connections in Colorado, by the way.  Seems unlikely he'll come back to challenge Senator Murkowski in 2016. 

WV-Sen (2018):  This article makes the point that Manchin's decision to run for re-election in 2018 is a big get for the Dems. 

Congress:

CO-6:  Mike Coffman has taken down some recent Google Ads related to the VA scandal.  Democrats had recently attacked Coffman for fundraising off of the scandal, even though it's one of Coffman's big issues for reform.

IA-1:  Here's an old SNL clip featuring a "drunk" Gary Kroeger talking to Julia Louis Dreyfus about gay bars and making light of suicide.  Nothing that'll sink his campaign against Rod Blum, but I wouldn't be surprised if there's some other colorful jokes from the Democrat.

NE-2:  Ashford is benefitting from some corporate PACs that backed Terry in 2014 but are now giving to the incumbent for business purposes. 

Miscellany:

Gay Marriage:  Oral argument in the gay marriage cases will take place next Tuesday.  A decision will be issued in late June or early July.

Attorney General: Loretta Lynch has been confirmed. Ten Republicans voted to confirm. Perhaps surprisingly, Senator Toomey was not among them.

Armenian "mass atrocity":  Obama won't call it a genocide. 

Discuss :: (120 Comments)

Political Roundup for April 23, 2015

by: izengabe

Thu Apr 23, 2015 at 07:00:00 AM EDT

President: 

Walker: National Review takes in-depth look at politicized political prosecution run amok in Wisconsin. Using the cover of a John Doe investigation partisan Milwaukee district attorney John Chisholm (D) used his proprietorial powers to investigate and harass Scott Walker (R) and his conservatives supporters for the "crime" of exercising their 1st amendment rights. It is beyond shocking that this kind of thing can and did happen in America. As Scott Walker enters the national spot expect this story to get a lot more national attention. The whole article can he found here and is well worth a read.

Rubio: Sen Marco Rubio leads the GOP field in the latest Quinnipiac national poll and polls the best vs Hillary Clinton.

Paul: Rand Paul might think his future's so bright he's gotta wear shades but Ray-Ban disagrees. The sunglass manufaturer has asked Sen Paul to remove his signature "Rand"-branded Wayfarer sunglasses from his online store.  Paul was selling the sunglasses for $150. While the glasses might be gone Paul fans can still get their Rand Paul beer steins, flip flops, cornhole sets and NSA spy cam blockers from Paul's online store.

Governor: 

WV-Gov: Billionaire Greenbrier Resort owner Jim Justice (D) told the Beckley Register-Herald that he is considering a run for Governor of West Virginia in 2016. Justice is the richest man in West Virginia and has an estimated net worth of $1.69 billion. Sen. Joe Manchin (D) recently announced that he will not run for Governor. If Justice runs it would give the Democrats a top notch candidate who could easily self finance the race.

MA-Gov 2018: Newly elected Governor Charlie Baker (R) has a 74% approval rating according to a new Suffolk University Political Research Center. This is a remarkably high approval rating for a Republican in Massachusetts.

Senate:

MD-Sen: Howard Fineman is reporting that Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (D) has said she will run for the US Senate seat of retiring Sen Barbara Mikulski. Kennedy Townsend is the daughter of Robert F Kennedy Jr. She served as Maryland's Lt Governor from 1995 to 2003 and lost the 2002 Maryland governor election to Robert Ehrlich (R). By all accounts Kennedy Townsend ran a horrible campaign in 2002 and blew an election she was heavily favored to win. If Fineman's report is true, Kennedy Townsend will face Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) and Rep. Donna Edwards (D) who have already announced a run.

UT-Sen: In case anyone had any doubts, Mitt Romney's son Josh Romney (R) will not challenge Sen Mike Lee (R) in 2016 Republican primary.  Although Romney did tell the Deseret News that he hopes another Republican will challenge Senator Lee. 

IL-Sen: Chicago Urban League President and CEO Andrea Zopp (D) has said that she is considering running for Senate against incumbent Sen Mark Kirk (R). Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D) is already in the race and thought to be the Democrat establishments preferred candidate. Zopp, who is African-American, stated in an interview that she feels that the black community should have a candidate in the race. Two other African Americans, Rep Robin Kelly (D) and former NFL linebacker and current State Senator Napoleon Harris (D), are also exploring running for Senate. 

House: 

CA-36: Indio Mayor Lupe Ramos Watson (R) has announced that she's running againt Rep Raul Ruiz (D) in this swing district. Watson has met with the NRCC and seems to be their preferred candidate to challenge Ruiz.  

NV-4: Former gangbanger Assemblyman Lucy Flores (D) announced she will run for Congress. Flores was the unsuccesful Democrat candidate for Lt Governor in 2014. She will join a very crowded Democrat primary in NV-4. Eight serious Democrats have expressed an interest in challenging freshman Rep. Cresent Hardy (R) who rode a low turnout GOP Nevadan wave into his upset victory over Rep. Steven Horsford (D) last year.

NY-11: Rudy Giuliani will host a fundraiser for Republican congressional candidate Dan Donovan on Saturday. Appearing with Rudy (who is still very popular on Staten Island) should get Donovan some good free publicity ahead of the upcoming May 5th special election.

State, Local & Other:

Navajo President: Russell Begaye easily defeated former two-term president Joe Shirley Jr. in Tuesday’s special presidential election for the Navajo Nation.

Maricopa County Sheriff: Will Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (R) have to run for re-election out of tent city or a federal detention center? The man known as America's toughest sheriff, who is often talk about as a potential statewide candidate in AZ, is facing a contempt charge in regards to a federal judge's order in a racial profiling case involving the use of Maricopa County police to detain illegal immigrants.  

Discuss :: (127 Comments)

Political Roundup for April 22, 2015

by: GoBigRedState

Wed Apr 22, 2015 at 07:00:00 AM EDT

Senate:

FL-Sen: Rep. Jeff Miller (R) says he is "very seriously considering" running for the US Senate. Miller had not previously been among the names usually cited as possible candidates. A Miller candidacy would be interesting as he represents the panhandle-based FL-1, far away from most of the state's population.

IL-Sen: State Sen. Napoleon Harris (D), who is also a former NFL player, is considering running for US Senate according to multiple sources. Harris has shown an interest in moving up quickly, and as he comes from outside the traditional political quarters in the state, he is more likely than others who have declined a bid to resist those who want to clear the field for Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D). Harris has considering running for higher office before-originally jumping in the special election for IL-2 in 2013, but he eventually dropped out and endorsed now Rep. Robin Kelly (D), who is mulling a bid of her own for Senate.

PA-Sen: Maybe now we know one of the reasons why so many Democrats don't seem to want former Rep. Joe Sestak (D) to have a rematch with Sen. Pat Toomey (R). Sestak raised only $312,000 in the 1st quarter, a number dwarfed by the over $2 million raised by Toomey. Sestak reports $1.7 million cash on hand, well behind the $7.2 million cash on hand that Toomey reports. 

Governor

IN-Gov: Ex-Gov. Mitch Daniels (R), now president of Purdue University, has no interest in running for governor again. Bill Oesterle, who recently left his position as CEO of Angie's List and managed Daniels' 2004 campaign for governor, brought Daniels' name up as a possibility to run if Gov. Mike Pence (R) didn't run for re-election. But Daniels said "No I'm not. Nope, nope, nope, nope". 

MO-Gov: Businessman and former US Senate candidate John Brunner (R), who is considering a run for governor, appears to be the favored candidate of some former donors to the campaign of the late Tom Schweich (R). The campaign of Schweich refunded more than $490,000 to donors, and 7 of those donors turned around and donated $85,000 to Brunner's exploratory committee.

House:

AZ-2: The Hill has a good story on Rep. Martha McSally (R), who they call "the GOP's unconventional new star".

CA-24: State Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian (R) has officially launched his campaign for Congress. Present at his campaign launch were former Republican Congressional candidates Chris Mitchum, Dale Francisco, and Brooks Firestone, significant as it increases the chances that Achadjian will be the only significant Republican candidate on the ballot. 

MI-10: Former state Sen. Alan Sanborn (R) is running for Congress. Sanborn, who served in the state House from 1998-2002 and in the state Senate from 2003-2011, joins state Sen. Phil Pavlov (R) in the race to replace retiring Rep. Candice Miller (R). 

NY-11: The campaign of Staten Island DA Dan Donovan (R) may be violating FEC rules. But the violation is a pretty minor one-his campaign signs do not have a disclaimer on them stating that they are paid for by his campaign. Still, his campaign could receive a civil penalty for the violation.

State & Local:

MO-term limits: The state House has given initial approval to a bill that would extend term limits to all state executive offices. Currently, the governor and state treasurer are limited to two terms, but there are no term limits on the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general and state auditor. The bill would impose a two term limit on all offices. It faces another vote in the House and would then have to be approved by the Senate and then submitted to voters.

Special election:

In TX-HD-124, Ina Minjarez (D) won 55%-45%. 

Discuss :: (137 Comments)

RRH April 2015 Senate Rankings

by: shamlet

Sat Apr 18, 2015 at 12:00:00 PM EDT

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...

There's More... :: (71 Comments, 5462 words in story)

Political Roundup for April 21, 2015

by: BostonPatriot

Tue Apr 21, 2015 at 07:00:00 AM EDT

President

Bush/Christie: NJ State Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R) has endorsed Jeb. Why is this leading the roundup? Because Kyrillos is--or was--one of Chris Christie's staunchest legislative allies--thus, this is as strong a sign as any that Christie either won't run or will do so with minimal support, even within his home state.

Walker: Charles and David Koch have pledged to support whoever wins the GOP nomination, but their pick is Scott Walker. So yeah, that should be the end of the "Walker can't match Jeb's money" storyline.

de Blasio: Run Bill Run! After explicitly declining to endorse Hillary last week and then setting out on a "progressive speechmaking trip" to Iowa, NYC's moonbat-in-chief is reportedly begging people to make a "Draft de Blasio" movement into a thing. De Blasio-Grayson 2016: in your guts you know they're nuts!

Senate

CA-Sen: The long-awaited (well, within the Sanchez household at least) Loretta Sanchez Senate decision will come this week. If Sanchez passes, it's likely Kamala Harris (D) will have an entirely clear field.

FL-Sen: Rep. Tom Rooney (R) of the Florida Heartland became the third top FL GOP recruit to pass on this race in the past two weeks (following Will Weatherford and Jeff Atwater). The name now generating the most buzz is Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) of Jacksonville, who has a compelling military background, although many machine elements favor LG Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R) of Miami who is a close ally and friend of Sen Marco Rubio (R).

IN-Sen: Rep. Susan Brooks (R) is out, which appears to signal that Rep. Todd Young (R) is close to getting in (it's unclear whether the NRSC brokered a ceasefire between Brooks and Young, but he's sounding increasingly like their pick). Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R) also looks like a likely candiate, and about a half-dozen state-level Republicans are still considering bids (with former state GOP chairman Eric Holcomb the only announced candidate).

House

CA-21, CA-31: A pair of interesting nuggets: ex-State Sen. Michael Rubio (D), the man the DSCC wanted in this race back in 2012, may challenge Rep. David Valadao (R) in the most Democratic California seat held by Republicans. This being the Central Valley, Rubio is naturally in a feud with another faction supporting Daniel Parra (D), who has already declared. And speaking of feuds, ex-Rep. Joe Baca (D?) may run in the 31st as a Republican, although given how he flamed out in his comeback bid in this district last year it's hard to see the GOP welcoming him with open arms.

IL-12:  Democrats won this seat in 2012 with an Air Force General, and now they'll try their luck with an Heir Force Lieutenant. CJ Baricevic, the 20-something son of a longtime local party boss, will run against freshman Rep. Mike Bost (R).

NY-02: Rep. Peter "No, Not the NFL Guy" King (R) has always been the safest Republican in New York, but his race may be at least headline-worthy next year if Martin Tankleff (D) gets in. Tankleff, who was convicted of murdering his parents as a teenager and spent 17 years in prison before being declared innocent, is a local celebrity on Long Island and is apparently looking for a way to blow his $3M wrongful imprisonment judgment.

NC-Redistricting: SCOTUS sent the NC congressional map (a masterful Republican gerrymander) back to the NC Supreme Court yesterday with orders to review it for racial packing. The GOP-controlled court seems unlikely to order radical changes to the map, but could order a few changes to black-majority NC-01 and the famous NC-12 vote sink.

Special Elections Today (courtesy of shamlet)

Today we have two special elections, one of them contested. The actual race is for TX-LD-124. The D-on-D runoff for this seat on the west side of San Antonio is between former prosecutor Ina Minjarez (D) and ex-San Antonio councilwoman Delicia Herrera (D). Minjarez led the first round 42-28 and should be favored today. FL-LD-64, straddling the Hillsborough-Pinellas line around Oldsmar, also votes today; ex-State Rep. James Grant (R) will win back his old seat unopposed after a crazy court case. The case had nothing to do with Grant, but rather centered around the eligibility of a write-in candidate. To make a very long story short, a series of decisions and appeals led to the 2014 election results being thrown out and this special election being scheduled. Don't feel too sorry for Grant though; his brief break from the legislature resets his term-limit clock.

Discuss :: (158 Comments)

Political Roundup for April 20, 2015

by: shamlet

Mon Apr 20, 2015 at 07:00:00 AM EDT

Happy Patriots' Day!

Senate:

GA-Sen: 2014 Senate nominee Michelle Nunn (D) is taking a job as head of an anti-poverty nonprofit, likely taking her out of a race against two-term Sen. Johnny Isakson (R). Ex-Rep. John Barrow (D) and ex-State Sen. Jason Carter (D) are still possibilities, but this race seems to be low on Dems' priority lists.

NJ-Sen: Indicted Sen. Bob Menendez (D) allegedly pulled strings to get three of eye doctor and personal travel agent Salomon Melgen's "girlfriends" visas to enter the country.

RIP: Robert Griffin, the Michigan Republican who served as Senate minority whip in the 70s as part of his 1966-78 Senate tenure, has passed at 91. Perhaps the weirdest little-known fact about Griffin is that a Detroit area garage band - that at the time included the yet-to-be-famous Bob Seger  - recorded a promotional punk-rock song in favor of his 1966 campaign.

House:

MD-4: State Rep. Dereck Davis (D-Mitchellville) is the sixth significant candidate into the race. Davis, a twenty-year legislative veteran, has a strong network in the local establishment but lacks the name rec of front-runners ex-LG Anthony Brown (D) and ex-PG DA Glenn Ivey (D). State Reps. Joseline Pena-Melnyk (D) and Jay Walker (D) and PG County councilwoman Ingrid Turner (D) are also running.

NC-2: Frank Roche (R), an unfunded Some Dude who held Rep. Renee Ellmers (R) to a surprisingly narrow 59-41 victory in the 2014 primary, is running again. Ellmers, who has antagonized much of the grassroots GOP base with her scuttling of a pro-life bill and her overall poor political skills, will probably welcome Roche into the race: his candidacy may draw votes from Chatham County GOP chair Jim Duncan (R), who seems to be a more serious challenger.

NY-19: We have conflicting reports on whether State Rep. Pete Lopez (R-Schoharie) is entering this open-seat race, which has so far been relatively quiet. News reports on Friday said Lopez had decided to enter, but those were later refuted; it's possible that the stories were a red herring, but more likely is that someone jumped the gun on a launch that will be announced when Lopez gets his paperwork together. Three other Republicans, State Sen. James Seward (R), State Rep. Steve McLaughlin (R), and 2006 gubernatorial nominee John Faso (R), are also considering attempting to replace retiring Rep. Chris Gibson (R). While no Dems have publicly indicated interest in the purple seat, ex-State Sen. Terry Gipson (D) and Ulster CE Mike Hein (D) are thought to be possible candidates.

Governor, State, & Local:

WV-Gov: Sen. Joe Manchin (D) will not run for Governor, denying Dems their strongest possible candidate for the race and likely leaving Republicans at least slightly favored to pick up the seat. State Sen. Jeff Kessler (D) is already in the race, while US Attorney Booth Goodwin (D) is also being recruited. The GOP has three credible candidates considering in Rep. David McKinley (R), AG Patrick Morrisey (R), and State Senate Pres. Bill Cole (R). Manchin strongly hinted that the retiement of minority leader Harry Reid played a large part in his decision to stick with the Senate.

WA-Aud: The state legislature may begin impeachment proceedings against State Auditor Troy Kelley (D), who was indicted last week for stealing from clients at his business. Gov. Jay Inslee (D) and a cross-section of leaders of both parties have also called for Kelley's resignation. If Kelley resigns or is impeached by May 10, a special election will be held this year.

NY-Erie-CE: Republicans finally have a candidate to take on popular CE Mark Poloncarz (D) in State Rep. Ray Walter (R-Amherst). Walter is plan "C" for Republicans after County Clerk Chris Jacobs (R) and County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw (R) declined and will start as a clear underdog to Poloncarz.

Houston-Mayor: Councilman Oliver Pennington (R) is dropping out of the race for Mayor, citing family health issues. Pennington, who was the most conservative candidate in the race, likely sends most of his voters toward councilman Steve Costello (R), the only other Republican. However, Costello is more moderate and the void may draw a little-known conservative into the race. Centrist ex-Kemah Mayor Bill King (I) and DINO ex-City Attorney Ben Hall will probably benefit to a lesser extent.

Miscellany:

DRA: Commence panic. Dave's Redistricting App may be shutting down in November 2016 due to a software phaseout. Draw those maps while you can I guess...

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