Walker: Buzz is building around a potential candidacy by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) on Capitol Hill. The buzz seems to be coming from across the party with establishment and tea party types warm to a Walker candidacy.
Huckacbee: In case you did not know, former Governor Mike Huckabee (RINO) remains a moron. Huckabee spouted out some nonsense about professional women using profanity and women in the south and Midwest not doing the same. From experience I know Huckabee is wrong, but I have more important things to do than argue with a moron.
Koch: The Democrats are already whining about the Koch brothers and their plot to spend nearly a billion dollars on the 2016 elections.
Hillary: Former Senator Hillary Clinton (D) has little to no actual operation in Iowa even though the Ready for Hillary crowd is organizing in every county. Some are worried that Hillary is not taking Iowa seriously.
OH-Sen: Congressman Tim Ryan (D) has put out an op-ed where he shifts around his abortion stance to repudiate his pro-life heresy so he can potentially run in a Democratic primary statewide. As someone who cares very little about the issue, I find the heartfelt appeals of politicians on it to often be a bit fake. This just reinforces it.
PA-Sen: In one of those moves that leave you scratching your head, State Senator Vincent Hughes (D) of Philadelphia is throwing together a campaign for US Senate. Hughes would be a C lister for the Democrats, but it really shows how weak support for Congressman Joe Sestak (D) is among Democrats.
Senate: Roll Call has a nice handy list of Senate incumbents who are running for reelection, retiring, or unannounced.
WATN-PA-13: Former congressional candidate, Emilys List favorite, and Obamacare promoting doctor Valerie Arkoosh (D) has been appointed to replace Leslie Richards (D) as Montgomery County Commissioner. Seeing Arkoosh came in third in the Montgomery County portion of PA-13 (and only beat Congressman Brendan Boyle by 4%), I am scratching my head why Josh Shapiro (D) wants her to run with him.
MN-2: Angela Craig (D), an executive with medical-device company St. Jude Medical, is leaving her company post to prepare for a run for Congress. The status of this race largely depends on whether Rep. John Kline (R) seeks re-election. If he runs again, Kline should be favored to hold the seat, but if he retires, this will turn into a Democratic pickup opportunity and she will likely have a lot of company on the Democratic side.
MN-7: Rep. Collin Peterson (D) appears to be putting the retirement rumors to rest early this time as he has announced he plans to run for re-election next year. Peterson claims to be fired up over Republican efforts last year to pour in money to win the Republican-leaning seat in a Republican year-efforts that didn't bear any fruit as Peterson won re-election by 9 points.
KY-Gov: Former Senate candidate Matt Bevin is making a surprising last-minute entry into the governor's race, forgoing a bid for a lower-level office that he could win the nomination for relatively easily and making a 4-way Republican gubernatorial primary. It's anyone's guess at this point how the late and unexpected entry by Bevin will affect the race-Bevin figures to be popular with Tea Party-type voters that Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has been courting, but he may end up hurting businessman Hal Heiner more as the two share a Louisville base.
MO-Gov: State Auditor Tom Schweich (R) is making a "major announcement" today with all signs pointing toward him officially announcing his long expected bid for governor. Schweich will face former state House Speaker Catherine Hanaway in the Republican primary with the winner likely to face Attorney General Chris Koster (D) in the general election.
State and Local:
IL-LG/Comp./Treas.: Constitutional amendments have been proposed in the Legislature to eliminate the office of Lieutenant Governor and to combine the offices of Comptroller and Treasurer. The amendment to eliminate the LG office, which would make the Attorney General first in line of succession, received 80 votes in the House last session, but died in the Senate. The push to combine the offices of Comptroller and Treasurer has gained more attention with the recent death of State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka (R), who had previously served as State Treasurer and favored the idea. Analysts say eliminating offices though has always been difficult because legislators, particularly from downstate, have been reluctant to eliminate offices that give them a chance to build name recognition and open fundraising doors for runs for higher offices.
KY-Treas.: State Rep. Jim Glenn (D-Owensboro) is running for State Treasurer. He joins a crowded Democratic primary field that includes 4 other candidates. 3 candidates are running on the Republican side.
MS-Treas.: Attorney David McRae has filed to challenge incumbent State Treasurer Lynn Fitch (R) in the Republican primary. McRae is considered a serious opponent and has hired a campaign manager who formerly ran LG Tate Reeves (R) campaign, making some wonder if Reeves recruited McRae to challenge Fitch.
MO-AG: St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman (D) is running for Attorney General, joining state Sen. Scott Sifton of St. Louis County in the Democratic primary. Zimmerman is a former Assistant Attorney General and state Representative. State Sen. Kurt Schaefer of Columbia is the only candidate so far on the Republican side.
More MO-AG: Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders (D) is considering a run for Attorney General. Sanders has been considered as a likely candidate for higher office at some point, and some see this as a good shot for Sanders to run as the other two candidates in the race are from the St. Louis area and may split the vote, giving him a better chance being from Kansas City. Sanders has turned down opportunities to run statewide before however, and many are wondering if he will again. He is also known to be interested in the MO-5 US House seat, but Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver (D) has given no indication he plans to retire soon, and if he did, it would likely trigger a crowded Democratic primary.
MO-LD-68: State Rep. Keith English is leaving the Democratic caucus and becoming an independent. English is pro-gun and pro-life and often breaks ranks with Democrats on votes-last year he was the only Democrat to vote to override a veto by Gov. Jay Nixon (D) on a tax cut bill, providing Republicans with the margin they needed to override. English represents a heavily Democratic district in Florissant in North St. Louis County, and may find it difficult to be re-elected as an independent. English's party switch leaves Democrats with 44 seats in the 163-member House.
There were 3 special elections in Florida yesterday in SD-6, LD-17 and LD-24. The elections in the districts based between Jacksonville and Daytona Beach were triggered by the resignation of former state Sen. John Thrasher (R), who resigned to become president of Florida State University. State Reps. Travis Hutson (R) and Ronald "Doc" Renuart (R) both ran to succeed Thrasher, and had to resign their House seats due to Florida's "resign to run" law. Hutson won the Republican primary in SD-6 with 52%, while Renuart received 35% and a 3rd candidate received 13%. In LD-17, St. Johns County Commissioner Cindy Stevenson won the primary, while Paul Renner won the Republican primary in LD-24. Hutson and Renner will face Democratic opponents in the April 7 general election while Stevenson will face a write-in candidate and an independent. All 3 will be strong favorites in the heavily Republican districts.
Today we present our baseline rankings of the 34 Senate seats up in 2016. Here is how the map looks right now:
At this very early point, RRH is projecting a net shift in Senate seats of between R+1 and D+4; however, Democrats have considerable upside from there, as the near-totality of the playing field (13 of 15 seats we currently rate as competitive) is on GOP-held turf.
Iowa/Bush: Is Terry Branstad worried about Iowa's continued dominance of the early primary season? The governor urged Jeb Bush to "campaign hard" in the state after Bush skipped a Steve King-hosted forum last weekend, and noted that the way to win Iowa is to campaign in all 99 counties like Santorum and other recent winners did. That neither Bush nor Romney has any inclination to do so suggests that this year's field may be comfortable conceding the caucuses to second-tier, SoCon-oriented candidates.
Sanders: He's making the rounds to Iowa and New Hampshire, and will also speak at a gathering of liberal activists in Pennsylvania.
Money: Freedom Partners, a network of groups associated with Charles and David Koch, is planning to spend $889 million on 2016. That's in the neighborhood of what President Obama spent in 2012.
CA-Sen: Kamala Harris picked up an endorsement from LA City Council President Herb Wesson. As most other big names have passed, this race has become a "shadow primary" between Harris and Antonio Villaraigosa, and Harris appears to be doing what she can at this early juncture to keep the former LA mayor out of the race.
FL-Sen: Quick, when is Debbie Wasserman Schultz not being the Democratic nominee in this race a good thing? When the backup is Alan Grayson! Florida's most polarizing, abrasive moonbat has said he'll weigh a challenge to Marco Rubio (or an open-seat run if Rubio goes for the White House), but only if the state's second-most polarizing, abrasive moonbat passes. Grayson believes it is "likely" that DWS runs, but then again, it's hard to put too much stock in what Grayson believes.
NC-Sen: Sen. Richard Burr (R), who despite his relatively young age (he'll be 60 on Election Day) has been the subject of many retirement rumors, rolled out his 2016 campaign staff and looks set to run for a third term.
KS-03: Milton Wolf, the ethically-challenged doctor who lost to Pat Roberts in last year's Senate primary, is weighing a primary challenge to Rep. Kevin Yoder (R), who holds down the closest thing to a swing seat in Kansas. Yoder has always been on the conservative side of the R/RINO divide in Kansas, and while this suburban district was Wolf's best in 2014, it's hard to see this challenge as anything but dead on arrival.
TX-19: Lubbock Mayor Glen Robinson (R) is considering a primary challenge to Rep. Randy Neugebauer, ostensibly based on Neugebauer's insufficient support for the cotton industry. It's hard to tell whether Robinson wants to run to the incumbent's left or is simply playing the insider-outsider game. Lubbock is the largest city in the 19th (the "middle one" of the three huge West Texas seats); Neugebauer is a conservative backbencher best known for a name that someone at Ellis Island should have shortened.
DE-Gov: Ex-AG Beau Biden (D) has been the expected nominee in this open-seat race for months, but his long absence from the public eye--going back the end of his term in office--have spurred whispers about his health and ability to run. The Veep's son was treated for a brain lesion in 2013. If Biden is out, this race becomes more of an opportunity for Republicans, although Democrats still have a strong bench in AG Matt Denn, Rep. John Carney, and New Castle CE Tom Gordon.
MA-Gov: Charlie Baker (R) is off to a good start, sporting a 58/17 approval spread in the city of Boston and its immediate suburbs.
State and Local
KY-Ag. Comm.: State Rep. Richard Heath (R-Mayfield) got in just before the deadline, setting up a primary with State Rep. Ryan Quarles (R-Georgetown). The lone Democrat here is radio host Jean-Marie Lawson Spann; Republicans are favored to hold the open seat of KY-Gov candidate James Comer.
KY-SoS: Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) ended her Hamlet act and announced for re-election as SoS. Alison Lundergan Grimes had been considering bids for governor (where Jack Conway is running) and AG (where Steve Beshear's son is running). Republicans have two Some Dudes in the race and until 4 PM today to find a more serious candidate.
CA-State Senate: Filing closed for three upcoming specials to replace new members of Congress, all of which are safe for the incumbent party. In now-Rep. Mark DeSaulnier's SD-07, State Rep. Susan Bonilla (D) will face ex-State Rep. Joan Buchanan (D). In now-Rep. Steve Knight's SD-21, ex-Sen. Sharon Runner (R) appears to have avoided serious opposition. And in now-Rep. Mimi Walters' SD-37, State Rep. Don Wagner (R) faces former OC Supervisor John Moorlach (R) along with a Some Dude.
Jacksonville-Mayor: Former state GOP chairman Lenny Curry (R) leads Mayor Alvin Brown (D) 45-42 in a hypothetical runoff election, and 52% of voters want to oust Brown. America's 13th-largest city is the only one in the top 30 that votes Republican at the national level, and Republicans controlled the mayorship for 20 years before Brown won in a major upset in 2011.
Rubio: He has apparently told his staff to "proceed as if he is running for President", a sharp departure from the tea leaves that had been pointing to him staying out.
CA-Sen: Rep. Adam Schiff (D), who represents the Pasadena area, is considering a Senate run. Though Schiff has been a backbencher in the House, as a relative moderate from SoCal he may have a slight opening.
More CA-Sen: State Treasurer John Chiang (D) has taken himself out of contention. Chiang, who just finished two terms as Controller before bouncing over to Treasurer, is broadly popular but not particularly well-known.
Even More CA-Sen: AG Kamala Harris (D), the only declared candidate, has released an internal designed to cement her status as the race's front-runner. The internal shows Harris leading ex-LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) 41-16 in a one-on-one matchup and Harris leading a crowded field with 34.
IL-Sen: Rep. Robin Kelly (D) has become the fourth sitting member of Congress to consider a run for this seat, raising the likelihood that Democrats will see a bruising primary here. Kelly could potentially win support from urban black voters as the field's only African American. In addition to Kelly, Reps. Tammy Duckworth, Bill Foster, and Cheri Bustos are considering runs for the D nomination against Sen. Mark Kirk (R).
KY-Gov, KY-SoS, KY-AG: SoS Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) will announce today whether she will go for Governor, SoS, or AG this year. Grimes hasn't tipped her hand as to her intentions - and given that she apparently only made the decision to run for Senate last year minutes before that press conference, it's possible she doesn't even know yet either.
LA-Gov, LA-AG, LA-Treas: Treasurer John N. Kennedy (R) will make his decision on whether to run for Governor, AG, or re-election by March 1. He is considered most likely to run for AG.
WA-Gov: We have our first Republican officially exploring a race against Gov. Jay Inslee (D) in Seattle Port Commissioner Bill Bryant (R). Bryant has been elected twice countywide in King County, albeit in low-turnout, odd-year elections. Bryant also cuts a moderate profile that could make him a credible general election candidate in medium-blue Washington.
WV-Gov: Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has hired WVDP chair Larry Puccio to run his PAC, suggesting he is growing increasingly serious about turning towards the state level for a gubernatorial run.
NJ-Gov '17: Philip Murphy (D), Obama's former ambassador to Germany, is exploring a run for Governor in 2017. Murphy will likely need to buy off the local machines Corzine-style to have any chance of winning as an outsider.
NY-11: State Rep. Mike Cusick (D), who had been considered Dems' most likely candidate in this special election, has ruled himself out after polling showed him trailing Staten Island DA Dan Donovan (R) by mammoth margins. Democrats will apparently go with Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge, Brooklyn), because running a Brooklynite with no ties to Staten Island worked so well for them last year.
NC-2: Rep. Renee Ellmers (R) has underperformed against no-name primary challengers in both 2012 and 2014, and this could be the year her luck runs out. After her role in killing a pro-life bill this month, pro-life activists are eager to mount a serious challenge. One possible challenger is Chatham County GOP chair Jim Duncan (R), who considered a bid in 2014 but demurred.
FL-9: This may be the political headline of the year.
KY-Treas: At the last possible moment, Republicans finally have found a credible candidate here in State Rep. Kenny Imes (R). Imes should be favored in the primary over Some Dude Allison Ball (R) and will face one of three Democrats squaring off in their party's primary. Thankfully, Republicans now have at least semi-credible candidates for all 5 downballot offices.
ME-LG: Gov. Paul LePage (R) is proposing a Constitutional Ammendment that would establish a popularly elected (on a "Team Primary" basis) Lieutenant Governor in place of the legislatively-elected SoS. It would also change the posts of AG and Treasurer from legislative election to gubernatorial appointment. Maine is currently one of 7 states with no popularly elected LG. Here is our complete reference map of the various LG selection systems.
KY-SD-30: Here's today's "how do these idiots get elected?" moment. State Sen. Brandon Smith (R-Hazard) is contesting his DUI charge on the grounds that the state constitution prohibits legislators from being arrested for misdemeanors while the legislature is in session.
NY-Assembly: Indicted State House Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Lower Manhattan) is stepping aside - but in name only. A cabal of five State Reps. appointed by Silver will now run the Assembly and Silver says he will attempt to regain control of the chamber if he is acquitted. However, there is already talk among some junior members of taking the opportunity to oust Silver entirely and get a new Speaker.
Houston-Mayor: Ex-Rep. Chris Bell (D), who represented TX-25 (now TX-9) for one term from 2003 to 2005 before being beaten in a redistricting-induced primary, is running for Mayor. Bell previously ran for Mayor in 2001.
Philadelphia-Mayor: City Councilman James Kenney (D) is running for mayor, and may wind up being the front-runner. Liberals have been grumbling about their choices in this race, as both of the other major candidates, ex-DA Lynne Abraham (D) and State Sen. Anthony Williams (D), are relatively moderate by northeast urban standards. Kenney will apparently enter the race with significant labor backing and may benefit from a split in the moderate vote between Abraham and Williams.
Charlotte-Mayor: A pair of Democratic city councilmen, Michael Barnes (D) and David Howard (D), have entered this contest. Appointed incumbent Dan Clodfelter (D) and Mecklenburg County Commissioner Jennifer Roberts (D) are also running.
Las Vegas-Mayor: City councilman Stavros Anthony (R) is running for Mayor, and expected to be the major challenger to incumbent Carolyn Goodman (I). Anthony strongly opposes Goodman's plan for a downtown soccer stadium.
NY-Albany-CE: Albany County Executive Dan McCoy (D) will face a challenge from school board member Dan Egan (D), a charter school opponent who is challenging McCoy from the left. Albany is a liberal county, but a famously machine-hack driven place rather than a progressive stronghold, so Egan will probably face a very uphill battle.
NY-Monroe-CE: Monroe County Clerk Cheryl DiNolfo (R) has announced her run for County Executive this year to succeed the termed-out Maggie Brooks (R). Monroe County is blue in presidential years but Democrats are prone to extreme turnout dropoff in Rochester's minority-heavy Fatal Crescent. As a result, the county-level electorate is purple to even light red. Democrats will likely unite behind a candidate in the next month or so.
Since this the closest thing to a breaking story we have right now in the doldrums of an off-year January, it gets its own section of the roundup today.
Hispanics: California Hispanic Democrats are upset that National Democrats are all eagerly jumping behind Kamala Harris (D) for the Senate seat, as California is one of the few places in the country that a non-Cuban Hispanic D could win a Senate seat. The fact that Hispanics recently became California’s largest racial group only adds to their unhappiness with the all-but-anointment. It remains to be seen whether or not Hispanics can rally behind a single candidate, and top-2 along with the state’s sizable Republican base make the political calculations all the more confusing and unpredictable.
Steyer: Tom Steyer (D), aka the California Billionaire who’s been heavily spending on climate change ads, has announced he isn’t running for the open Senate Seat. This means that Harris probably has the powerful NorCal D base and the “Bold Progressive” mantle to herself, and Steyer will keep up his amusing and high-budget sideshow.
Becerra: Xavier Becerra (D), the Head of the Democratic Conference, has expressed serious interest in running for the seat. Becerra is high in the D house leadership (effectively the 4th highest) but he could potentially rally the state’s Hispanic base around him if he ran. There are probably dozens of behind-the-scenes meetings going on between him and the other SoCal Hispanic Ds, along with every other power player in California.
IA-1: Chet Culver (D), the former Iowa Governor that Branstad beat in 2010 is considering running for Congress in the 1st district. This is a bit surprising as Culver has been mostly out of the public eye since his defeat, and also because Culver lives in the 3rd district (which contains the state capital of Des Moines). This is probably Culver seeing a promising opportunity in the R-held-but-D-leaning 1st district, which is going to be a major D target in 2016, and Culver might have enough name recognition left to win the D primary.
OH-Sen: Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld (D) has announced he is running for the Senate seat currently held by Rob Portman (R). Portman is one of the safer 2010 freshmen with a massive campaign chest and a solid electoral record, and Sittenfeld is barely above some-dude status as a 30-year-old 1st term city councilman. Still, given how thin the D bench is in Ohio at this point, Sittenfeld might wind up being the Democrat’s candidate if Tim Ryan and Ted Strickland both say no.
KY-Gov: Kentucky is now Ground Zero for the Democrat’s attempts to recapture some of the white working class voters that have deserted them over the course of the last 6 years. The Governor (and other row officer) election later this year offers them the best chance to show they can win those voters back, as the Kentucky Democrats are probably the best-organized and most popular D party in a Red state (the Kentucky House is the only state legislature the Democrats hold in a state that didn’t vote for Obama). As such, a failure here would be a bad omen for their chances in these sort of areas in the rest of the country.
MS-All: Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood (D) still hasn’t filed for any Mississippi offices, nor has he made his plans public. Hood is the last Mississippi Democrat who could make a competitive run statewide, and would probably be favored if he ran for re-election, so his decision to run again, run for Governor, or retire will have major shockwaves in Mississippi politics.
NY-St-Assembly: Longtime New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D)’s arrest has thrown the Assembly into chaos. Silver has been speaker for 20+ years and has run the chamber with an iron fist for most of it, and the sudden potential power vacuum in what is usually the less chaotic chamber has led to much speculation about who would take his place if he is convicted.
Montgomery Mayor: Arthur Davis (D->R), the former Democratic Congressman and recent Republican convert, has announced he is running for the officially non-partisan office of Montgomery Mayor. This is a confusing move as the sitting mayor (and fellow Republican) recently announced he is running for re-election, meaning Davis could very well play spoiler and let a Democrat win the office in the majority-black city.
Political Corruption We have some big political corruption stories this morning so we are going to lead with it.
NY-Silver: New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) faces arrest on corruption charges this morning by the Feds. US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara has been investigating Silver for corruption since 2013. To use Joe Biden language, this is a BFD.
PA-AG: A special grand jury investigating Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D) has formally recommended that Kane be charged with perjury and abusing the authority of her office. The contents of the presentment were released as part of Kane's effort to have the state Supreme Court investigate the special prosecutor they appointed to investigate Kane.
Congress NY-11: In one of those moments that leave you wondering WTF are they thinking, the DCCC has released a poll showing Richmond County District Attorney Dan Donovan (R) leading Mike Cusick (D) 48 to 28. After some very suggestive leading, Cusick narrows the margin. One must wonder if Cusick is being advised by the same clowns who would release polls showing Manan Trivedi repeatedly losing to Congressmen Jim Gerlach and Ryan Costello by double digits.
NV-Sen: Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D) will be undergoing eye surgery due to his exercising accident last year. Reid has been working from home and will continue to do on the recommendation of his doctors. Get well Senator!
IA-Sen: Senator Chuck Grassley (R) is gearing up to run for reelection in 2016. This should move this race off the competitive radar as it seems highly unlikely Grassley could lose.
PA-8/PA-Gov: In another moment that leaves you scratching your head, Governor Tom Wolf (D) has appointed former Lt. Governor Jim Cawley (R) to the Temple University Board of Trustees. Cawley has been rumored to be a candidate to replace Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (R), but he appears to be heading in a different direction, i.e. cashing out. One must wonder why Wolf is handing out patronage to a Republican that really does not do anything to prevent Cawley from running against him in 2018.
POTUS Clinton: Former Co-President Hillary Clinton plans to launch a fundraising blitz that we have never seen before to scare off any challengers for the Democratic nomination. This is similar to how the Bush dynasty is trying to game the Republican field with Jeb shaking the money trees at a frantic pace to scare anyone else off.
Paul: While Bush and Clinton are shaking the money trees early, Senator Rand Paul appears to be building a strong campaign team that will organize his loyal following inherited from his father plus reach out to other parts of the Republican coalition. Paul seems like he is building the team to be the anti-Bush.
IL-Sen: Rep. Cheri Bustos (D) is not closing the door on a Senate run. She says she is focused on her district, but she is keeping an open mind about running for the Senate. Her comments come one day after fellow Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D) also confirmed she is mulling a challenge to Sen. Mark Kirk (R).
OH-Sen: The Hill takes a look at why Sen Rob Portman (R) will be tough to beat in 2016. One big reason-fundraising. Portman is sitting on a $5.8 million warchest. Democrats also have a short list of candidates who would be able to match that fundraising prowess. Their best bet appears to be former Gov. Ted Strickland, but Strickland is 75 and lost his last bid for governor in 2010, albeit narrowly in a big Republican year. Portman also will likely have to deal with a primary challenge from social conservatives upset with his flip-flop on same-sex marriage, although it's unlikely any challenger will be able to topple the Senator in a primary.
PA-Sen: A PPP poll shows Sen. Pat Toomey (R) with a 40-36 lead in a potential rematch with former Rep. Joe Sestak (D). There is good news and bad news for Toomey in the poll-the fact that he only gets to 40% in the poll is not very good and a large percentage of voters don't even have an opinion of him. However, he does lead every challenger pitted against him except for former Gov. Ed Rendell (D), against whom he only trails by 3 points and Rendell is highly unlikely to run anyway.
IA-1: Gary Kroeger may try to join Sen. Al Franken (D) as another former Saturday Night Live cast member in Congress. Kroeger was on the show from 1982-85 and has lived in Cedar Falls since 2003, working as an advertising agency executive. Kroeger confirmed that he is considering a run against Rep. Rod Blum (R) and indicated that public reaction to his potential candidacy may influence his decision on whether to run or not.
NY-13: Adam Clayton Powell IV is making another bid for the seat that his father used to hold. Rep. Charlie Rangel (D), who defeated the elder Powell in 1970, has indicated that he plans to step down after this term, although he hasn't officially announced his plans. Powell lost in primary bids against Rangel in 1994 and 2010.
KY-Gov: Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer (D) says there is "zero chance" he is running for governor. Fischer also declined to endorse Democratic frontrunner Attorney General Jack Conway, saying he prefers to wait and see who else gets in the race.
State and local:
WA-LD-30: Federal Way City Councilman Martin Moore is switching parties from Democrat to Republican to run in a special election for a House seat this fall. Moore says he is becoming a Republican because he is pro-life and feels the party has moved too far to the left. Moore is trying to follow in the footsteps of state Sen. Mark Miloscia (R) another former Democrat who was elected in the district last November(Washington uses the same district lines for Senate and House elections, electing one Senator and two House members in each district).
Indianapolis Mayor: A second Republican is running for mayor, joining Deputy Mayor Olgen Williams. Chuck Brewer, a businessman, is the Marion County Republican Party's choice to be the party's standardbearer, likely against former Secretary of State and US Attorney Joe Hogsett (D).
Las Vegas Mayor: Mayor Pro Tem Stavros Anthony is challenging Mayor Carolyn Goodman in this spring's mayoral election. Anthony is the first person to announce a challenge to the incumbent mayor. Goodman, whose husband Oscar also served 3 terms as mayor, is running for her second term. Goodman is a registered independent and Anthony is a registered Republican in the officially nonpartisan race.
Once again, it's time to gather all our most politically convenient or controversial friends, reach awkwardly off-camera for some water, and listen to our leaders grandstand about policies that have a snowball's chance in hell of ever getting enacted. So here is an Open Thread to discuss the State of the Union and Joni Ernst's response tonight.