AK-AL: Democrats have a novice candidate to challenge Don Young in 29-year-old Forrest Dunbar (D), who has a pretty interesting biography. Still, Don Young (R) is such an institution in the state that despite his shameless porking he's safe barring DG/LB.
AZ-7: Apparently some local reporters are surprised that Phoenix Hispanics don't want to be represented in Congress by a carpet-bagging White Progressive in Kristen Sinema (D), and prefer a local Hispanic Democrat instead for the Hispanic-majority seat.
CA-49: Darrell Issa (R) has said that while he plan on running for re-election this year, he might retire sooner rather than later. Issa's Northern-San-Deigo-County seat should be an easy hold for the Republicans, even in a presidential year, though it did narrowly vote for Obama in 2008 before swinging back to a ~5 point Romney win in 2012.
HI-1: Former representative Charles Djou, who won a 3-way special election in 2010 in this strongly D seat before losing it in the 2010 general elections, is rumored to be considering another run. Djou did surprisingly well in 2012 against a sitting D incumbent, and could potentially win this open seat if all the pieces fall into place. Djou was also rumored to be looking at running for the Senate seat currently held by Brian Schtaz.
LA-6: Convicted Felon and former Governor (no, its not Illinois, surprisingly) Edwin Edwards (D) is running in this overwhelmingly Republican district covering the white parts of Baton Rouge and the territory inbetween it and New Orleans. Edwards, who was easily the most nakedly corrupt governor in recent history, has a decent shot at making a runoff spot here based on name recognition and the large pool of Republican candidates, but would probably lose to any candidate who is not an active member of the KKK.
MI-12: Rebekah Warren (D), the Bold Progressive State Senator from Ann Arbor, is not running for this open seat. Her decision means Debbie Dingell (D), wife of the current congressman, will almost certainly keep this Downriver/Ann Arbor district in Dingell family hands. At this point, the Dingells should probably consider listing the district as a family possession on their tax returns, as its rumored Debbie is only keeping the seat until her son wants it.
PA-13: Josh Shapiro (D) has endorsed Marjorie Margolies (D) for this Philadelphia & Suburbs district. Shapiro's endorsement helps give Margolies some Bold-Progressive credentials in the chaotic, multi-way primary for this district.
WA-10: Pierce County Councilwoman Joyce McDonald (R) is running for this Olympia-based seat. McDonald, who is a former 5-term state legislator, is unlikely to prevail in this D+mid single digits seat against incumbent Dennis Heck (D).
MT-Sen: Former Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger (R->D), who had previously stated that he was going to drop his Senate bid in favor of appointed Senator John Walsh (D), has officially filed to run. Walsh has most of the D establishment behind him and is probably the favorite in a primary, but Bohlinger is unlikely to be a pushover and will force a potentially nasty primary battle by running against the sort of insider politics that got Walsh the seat (Baucus, the previous incumbent, was appointed ambassador to China to open the seat up for a Walsh appointment to). Republican Steve Daines (R), the likely R candidate for this Senate Seat, is the obvious benefactor here.
OK-Sen-Coburn: T.W. Shannon (R), the current Speaker of the State House of Representatives, is getting some significant outside support in his primary bid against current OK-5 Congressman James Lankford (R), in the form of TV ads and mailers. Shannon, who is closer to the Tea party than Lankford has been as a congressman, is probably going to try to base his campagin off of the Cruz or Rubio model as the outsider-candidate-who-is-already-a-major-player-in-the-state. The primary winner is most likely going to sail into the Senate Seat in overwhelmingly Republican Oklahoma.
FL-Gov: Charlie Crist (R->I->D) is coming around to being a Democrat more and more, and has now given a full-fleged endorsement of Obamacare amoung other issues. While Crist does need to shore up his left flank, he's probably going a bit too far, as signing onto Obamacare now is sort of like annoucing your support for the Iraq war in December 2005. He is currently leading in the polls, but that's mostly due to incumbent Governor Rick Scott's unpopularity.
PA-Gov: The SWPA Democratic establishment has officially backed buisnessman Tom Wolf in the D primary for Governor. Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, and Congressman Mike Doyle (all D), had a public appearance with Wolf on Saturday and announced their support for his bid, along with a host of other local Democratic officials. This is a huge get for Wolf, as the Union-based SWPA Democrats bring a solid ground game that his big-money ad campaign needed, and help to give the wealthy Wolf working-class credentials in the primary.
VT-GOV: Emily Peyton has annouced a run as a Republican for governor. However, Peyton's ideology is unusual and seems to be a form of Libertarian Environmentalist Populism and she has said she would govern as a member of the "De Udder" party, a local "party" in the loosest sense of the word. She favors full legalisation of marijuana, abolishment of the IRS and property taxes, state purchase of farming equipment for cooperative use by Vermont farmers for Hemp cultivation, internet-based direct Democracy, and "A full integration of indigenous environmental wisdom in policy reformation".
State & Local:
WATN: Scott Mcinnis, last seen losing the CO-GOP primary for governor in 2010, is running for Mesa county comissioner.
CA-Dem Convention: The CA Democrats have endorsed Marijuana legalization, and a state-wide fracking ban at their state party convention over the weekend. Governor Jerry Brown (D) however, seemed much less enthusiastic about the propositions, and is probably the entire reason both ideas are not already CA law.
NH-EC-1: A special election for this executive council seat covering most of Northern New Hampshire (the Little Vermont part) will be held tomorrow night. Republican Joe Kenney and Democrat Mike Cryans will be vying for this important state office vacated by the death of 35-year incumbent Ray Burton (R).
NJ-Corruption: Former Trenton Mayor Tony Mack (D), who was convicted of multiple counts of corruption earlier this year, is asking for a retrial. His argument is that he could not have possibly have given his full attention to the bribe he was paid as part of a sting operation, because . . . he might have been on the phone at the time.
NY-Corruption: State Assemblyman William F. Boyland (D) was convicted of bribery and other felonies. In an amusing bit of irony, Boyland was charged with accepting bribes to pay legal fees for his previous corruption case (which he won), showing once again how casually New York Politicians take corruption.
TX-Comptroller: Harvey Hilderbran (R), the 2nd-place finisher in the GOP primary for this office, has conceded to first-place finisher Glenn Hegar (who won very close to 50% of the vote in the primary last tuesday).
MI-Sen: After a campaign that has seen him go from strong favorite(according to some) to a tossup race, Rep. Gary Peters (D) is changing campaign managers. Julie Petrick, who managed his successful 2008 campaign for the House, is said to be leaving the campaign for "personal reasons" in favor of Paul Tencher, who ran the successful 2012 campaign of Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) of Indiana. However, considering some of the campaign's recent missteps, including publicly criticizing a cancer patient who appeared in an anti-Obamacare ad, the change should not be a surprise.
NC-Sen: Sen. Mike Lee (R) of Utah is joining fellow Sen. Rand Paul and endorsing Greg Brannon in the Senate primary. The move is somewhat curious for its timing as Brannon has been the subject of negative publicity recently concerning a judgment against him in a civil suit that will force him to pay more than $250,000 to settle the case.
SC-Sen(Scott): Rick Wade has become the 2nd Democrat this week to drop a candidacy for a major office, dropping his campaign against Sen. Tim Scott (R). Although Wade wasn't expected to pose much of a threat to Scott, he was the likely Democratic nominee-a spot which will now go to Richland County Councilwoman Joyce Dickerson unless another candidate files for the seat.
AZ-7/AZ-9: AZ-9 Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D), who considered running in the AZ-7 seat being vacated by Rep. Ed Pastor (D), will continue running for re-election in her current district. Also, former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon has announced he will not run for the AZ-7 seat. He also went on to say that he would not run again for mayor either.
CO-4: State Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg (R) of Sterling is not running for the seat being left open by Rep. Cory Gardner (R), who is running for US Senate. He will instead continue seeking the state Senate seat being left open by Sen. Greg Brophy (R) of Wray, who is running for governor.
LA-6: One of the latest forming races in the country is now starting to get crowded. Republican businessman Craig McCulloch of Baker is joining the race. McCulloch, who is a political newcomer, joins a field of 4 other Republicans and 1 Democrat in the all-party "top 2" primary.
TN-9: Rep. Steve Cohen (D) is once again being challenged in the Democratic primary by a black candidate, this time attorney Ricky Wilkins. Cohen, who is white, has succeeded in holding this majority black seat and has not been seriously challenged by previous black candidates. Some Democratic strategists think this race could be different however as Wilkins does have self-funding ability and Cohen has had some embarrassing comments on Twitter recently.
RI-Gov: Former gubernatorial candidate Myrth York is endorsing the campaign for governor of State Treasurer Gina Raimondo over Providence Mayor Angel Tavares. The move by York, who lost 3 consecutive gubernatorial elections as the Democratic nominee in 1994, 1998 and 2002 is somewhat surprising as York chaired the campaign of Tavares for Providence Mayor in 2010 and co-chaired his transition team.
SC-LG: Mike Campbell, son of the late former Gov. Carroll Campbell (R) is said to be heavily leaning toward a run for Lieutenant Governor. Campbell ran for the office in 2006 as well, losing to Andre Bauer in a runoff. He would face Charleston developer Pat McKinney in the Republican primary. State Rep. Bakari Sellers is in for the Democrats. This is the last election in which the LG in South Carolina will be elected separately-beginning in 2018, gubernatorial candidates will select their own LG running mate.
UT-AG: The Utah Senate has given preliminary approval to a bill that would place a proposal on the November ballot to make Utah's Attorney General an appointed, rather than elected position. The proposal would give the governor the power to select a person from 5 people chosen by a bipartisan commission and that person would serve one 6 year term. The proposal would make Utah one of only 8 states that appoint their AGs.
AR-Sen: His Noble Excellency, Senator Marcus, second Baron Pryor, son of Senator David, first Baron Pryor, hath spoken regarding that rebellious serf, Thomas of Cotton:
And I think that's part of that sense of entitlement that he gives off is that, almost like, I served my country, let me into the Senate.
To think - a mere commoner takes a tour in the King's cavalry, and then he suddenly thinks he's entitled to sit in the House of Lords! A man of stock as undistinguished as he, with not a drop of noble blood, is not fit to rule among dogs, let alone men. So kudos to you, Lord Marcus, for upholding the divine order of our feudal system. (Alright, that concludes the over-the-top dramatic sarcasm portion of today's roundup, but I couldn't resist with that story.)
NH-Sen: As expected, quirky ex-Sen. Bob Smith (R) kicked off his comeback bid for the seat he lost to Sununu in a 2002 primary and is now held by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D). Smith is the biggest name in the current field, but New Hampshire Republicans seem to be eager to help promote Scott Brown's book tour for a while longer.
IA-Sen: State Sen. Joni Ernst (R), who was once considered the primary front-runner but has slipped behind energy executive Mark Jacobs, scored an endorsement from Mitt Romney.
SC-Sen-G: Democrats, having failed to come up with an alternative to their lone candidate for this seat, felon Jay Stamper, are considering an attempt to recruit an independent candidate to run if Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) loses his primary. Whoever runs would face a major uphill battle to collect 10K signatures in the month between the primary and the July 15 deadline.
NJ-Sen, NJ-3: Veteran Chris Isola, who has been running a little-noticed campaign for NJ-3, is being encouraged by the local machine to drop his bid and jump into the crowded Senate primary to be the sacrificial lamb against Booker. The two most prominent names in the Senate race are 1978 nominee Jeff Bell and professor/2008 candidate Murray Sabrin.
NY-Gov: To nobody's surprise, Westchester CE Rob Astorino (R) is running for Governor. Astorino, the NYGOP's brightest rising star, stands no chance of beating Cuomo, but a credible performance could make him a serious contender for a more winnable race when Cuomo leaves, and/or help GOP downballot candidates this year.
KY-Gov '15: Ex-Louisville councilman Hal Heiner (R) is the first candidate running for Governor in this race, with ex-Lexington councilwoman and 2011 Treasurer nominee KC Crosbie as his LG running mate. Heiner, who can self-fund, likely will enter an urban-vs-rural primary showdown with Agriculture Commissioner James Comer (R), who is expected to run.
State & Local:
CA-Cont: Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin (R) has filed to run for the (suprisingly powerful) office of State Controller, giving the CAGOP perhaps its best statewide recruit this year. Of course, Swearengin's chances are slim to nil, but it's nice to have credible candidates. She will face Board of Equalization member Betty Yee (D) and State House Speaker John Perez (D) in the top-two primary.
SC-Supt: State Rep. Mike Anthony (D-Union) has abruptly dropped his campaign for the open Superintendent slot, leaving SC Dems more-or-less up the creek in the only race besides Governor they were seriously contesting.
ICYMI, yesterday was the Texas Primary. Candidates who didn't top 50% are now set to head to a runoff on May 27th, the highest profile of which is the Republican Lt.-Gov nomination.
CA-Sen: A Source close to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is denying that she's planning on challenging Barbra Boxer (D) for the California Senate Seat up in 2016 (EDIT: Not the State Senate Seat). Sandberg probably wouldn't have made top 2 with Boxer (The CAGOP isn't dead yet) and I doubt she would have been a real threat, as Boxer doesn't really have any space to her left and Sandberg is pretty Liberal herself (though in the Silicon Valley mold rather than the San Francisco one).
MI-Sen: If you're picking a fight with a cancer patient over her medical care, you're doing something wrong. After Gary Peters (D), the D candidate for this open seat, attacked the subject of an AFP ad blasting Obamacare for canceling her healthcare plan, AFP is striking back with another ad. At this point Peters is mostly just giving free press to a pretty well put together ad.
MN-Sen: Citizens United has released a poll for the GOP nomination, and by far the front-runner is "Undecided" with Julianne Ortman leading the pack of actual candidates with 16%. Also, by a 62-32 margin MN GOP voters want a "Conservative" candidate as opposed to a "Establishment" one.
NE-Sen: Mike Lee (R-Sen-UT) has endorsed Ben Sasse (R) for this open seat. Sasse's got a handful a high-profile endorsements for this seat, and is running neck-and-neck with former state treasurer Shane Osburn.
FL-9: Alan Grayson's (D) wife has accused the congressman of shoving her during a domestic dispute, and a judge has issued a temporary protective injunction against the Orlando Congressman. Grayson's camp is furiously denying the charges, and claims that they "are absolutely false, completely unfounded, and clearly designed to vilify and harm Congressman Grayson". This D+high single digits (EDIT: Previously put the old CPVI) seat might be out of reach for the GOP, but Grayson isn't exactly making it hard to run against him.
FL-13: An amazing 191 ads per day are currently running in this Pinellas-county district ahead of its special election next week. The majority of them are from outside groups rather than the candidate's official campagins. Its times like this that make me glad I live in an entirely uncompetitive area, as I imagine FL-13 residents are already sick to death of the race.
FL-19: Former Congressman Connie Mack (R) is endorsing buisnessman Curt Clawson (R) for the April 22nd special election for this SW Florida seat. Mack cited Clawson's support for the "Penny Plan" to reduce the federal budget by 1% a year, as a reason for his endorsement. FL-St-Sen Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto (R) is still likely the frontrunner for this seat.
NY-4: Kevan Abrahams (D) is rumored to be considering running for this open Long Island Seat. Abrahams is the county legislative minority leader, and is a big underdog to Nassau DA Kathleen Rice (who has all the major endorsements already), who is a heavy favorite to win this seat and therefore open up the far more valuable DA office for the Nassau R Machine, who don't appear to be seriously contesting the house seat.
CA-St-Sen: Senators Calderon and Wright (both D) are both taking a "Leave of Absence" to deal with their felony charges. This was after State Senate Leader Steinberg (D) told them both that they would either take the leave or be expelled from the chamber. This technically puts the Democrat's real votes at 26/40, which is still a 2/3rds majority of sitting Senators (Republicans only have 11 right now)
CT-Gov: A new Quinnipac poll is out, and incumbent Dan Malloy (D) has worked his way back to a tie with 2010 candidate Tom Foley. Malloy also posts 48-45 approval rating, which is the more troubling number, as Connecticut generally elects Democrats it likes over Republican it likes, and is a sign that Malloy has turned around his previously poor image.
LA-Gov-2015: Former D Party Chair and Buisnessman Jim Bernhard is telling people he's looking to run for governor next year. Bernhard, who has deep pockets, is an interesting possibliy since the current LA-D bench starts and ends Mitch and Mary Landrieu.
NY-Gov: Rob Astorino (R) has tweeted that he's going to announce his decision on whether or not run today. Astorino would be a heavy underdog against incumbent Andrew Cuomo, though he is the Republican's best nominee for the office.
3:26 ET Greyhound here with the final update. Aside from ~40 precincts in Dallas county all the results are currently in, and we are going to a runoff for Sen-D, Lt. Gov-R, AG-Commisioner R&D, Attorney General-R, Railroad Commisioner R, TX-4-R, TX-23-R, TX-36-R, TX-SD-2-R, TX-SD-10-R, and Hegar is right on the 50% line for the Comptroller-R nomination. Incumbent State Senators K. Seliger (R-31) and D. Campbell (R-25) are both over 50%, while incumbent J. Carona (R-16) is at 49% and down a few hundred votes to his primary challenger.
12:49 ET And the LaRouchie strikes back! The correction of a major counting error has knocked Alameel down to 48, so it looks like he and Kesha will move to a runoff after all! Elsewhere, we're on a surprise upset watch in SD-16 (North Dallas & 'burbs), where incumbent John Carona (R) is trailing 51-49 to real estate developer Don Huffines. Several State House members (mostly Republicans) have already been defeated for renomination.
11:57 ET The Dem Senate race is called for David Alameel, so no LaRouchie fun this fall. Hegar is stuck on 49 in Comptroller, so Harvey Hilderbran may fight on to see a runoff. In the State Senate, Campbell and Seliger both win outright, while Deull may be headed for a runoff with Bob Hall in SD-2. Finally, the expected Hurd-Canseco runoff in TX-23 has been made official.
10:45 ET Couple more runoff calls: Christian-Sitton for RRC, Miller-Merritt for Ag Comm (R), and Hogan-Kinky for Ag Comm (D).
10:40 ET Another runoff is official: Ken Paxton (43%) and Dan Branch (33%) for AG. Both legislators are from the Metroplex; Branch is more establishment while Paxton plays more to the grassroots.
10:36 ET The only statewide drama left tonight is the Comptroller's race, where Hegar has nudged up to 49%. Can he avoid a runoff? It will likely come down to Dallas, which hasn't reported any election day votes yet, but where Hegar cleared 60% in the early vote. I'd bet on him wrapping it up tonight. (Also, for lolz, David Alameel has dropped to 48 in the Dem Senate primary and now may be heading for a runoff with the LaRouchie.)
10:28 ET State Senate update: Deull drops below 50 in SD-2, albeit with all of Dallas County out. SD-10 heads to a Burton-Shelton runoff, while incumbents Campbell (SD-25) and Seliger (SD-31) are both sitting a few points about the runoff line right now.
10:23 ET One of tonight's most surprising storylines has been the complete collapse of incumbent LG David Dewhurst, who is only at 28%. (For comparison's sake, Dewhurst took 45% in the first round of his Senate primary against Ted Cruz in 2012.) A runoff has been called for Dewhurst and Dan Patrick (43%, and cleaning up in every major urban area); it will probably be a Gowdy-over-Inglis style landslide.
10:18 ET Another GOP runoff is official: Ben Streusand and Brian Babin in TX-36. Streusand ran strongly in the suburban Houston part of the district, while Babin cleaned up in the rural counties. The rurals outvoted the suburbs 60:40 in the 2012 runoff, so Babin looks like the early favorite.
10:12 ET With the runoff pairings in most statewide races fairly set in stone at this point (see our recap in thread #1), Comptroller bears watching as Glenn Hegar flirts with 50%. He's at 48 now, but most of Harris and Fort Bend (his home turf) are still out.
10:02 ET Howdy! Let's start this new thread with a call: Hall and Ratcliffe are heading to a runoff in TX-04.
9:40 ET: Alameel has slipped narrowly under 50, and may face a runoff with Rogers. George P. Bush has won Land Commissioner.
9:24 ET: On the D side, Alameel has 51, Some Dude Jim Hogan is at 42 with Kinky Friedman at 37 in Ag Comm., and Willis is beating Martinez in SD-10.
9:22 ET: Heading to the State Senate, Deuell (SD-2) is at 52, Bettencourt (open seat SD-7) is at 90(!). Burton and Shelton headed to a runoff in the open SD-10. Incumbents Campbell (SD-25) and Seliger (SD-31) at 55.
9:20 ET: Cornyn takes the check.
9:15 ET: Let's do the rundown again. Sen Cornyn 62. TX-4 Hall 46/Ratcliffe 29. TX-23 Canseco 42/Hurd 41. TX-36 Babin 30/Streusand 26. LG Patrick 45/Dewhurst 26. AG Paxton 43/Branch 31. Comp Hegar 49/Hildebran 29. Lands Comm Bush 75 Ag Comm Miller 39/Merritt 21. RRC Christian 41/Sitton 32.
9:00 ET: AP calls TX-33 for Veasey (74%).
8:57 ET: 10% in for TX-23, and it looks like we're headed to a runoff: Canseco 42 Hurd 39. Looks like a runoff as well in TX-4: Hall 46/Ratcliffe 30. Babin and Streusand are neck-and-neck and miles ahead of the field in TX-36.
8:55 ET: Hispanics are really exicted about turning out for Wendy Davis! That's why she is losing most of the counties along the Mexican border to non-serious Some Dude Ray Madrigal.
8:52 ET: AP calls TX-32 for Sessions (69%) and TX-30 for Johnson (71%).
8:49 ET: Looks like there's no mystery about TX-36 anymore: Just 2% in, but Babin is at 30, Streusand at 29, and nobody else cracks 9%.
8:39 ET: Alameel still at 52. Babin down to 49 in TX-36, Streusand at 19. Paxton 44/Branch 32. Hegar 48/Hilderbran 28. In Agriculture Commissioner, Miller 37/Merritt 22. RRC Christian 43/Sitton 31.
8:35 ET: Looking down to the State Senate, 3 of the 4 vulnerable GOP incumbents, Duell (SD-2), Campbell (SD-25), and Seliger (SD-31) are all in the mid-to-high 50s.
8:28 ET: One percent in: Cornyn 64. Hall 45/Ratcliffe 29. Canseco 44/Hurd 40. Babin 53. Patrick 44/Dewhurst 28. Paxton 45/Branch 32. Hegar 49/Hildebran 29. Alameel 52. Veasey 80. Kinky Friedman is headed to a runoff with Jim Hogan, who spent no money.
8:22 ET: 58 precincts in: Cornyn 63. Hall 45/Ratcliffe 29. Canseco 44/Hurd 40. Lamar Smith back up to 66. Babin 53 in TX-36. Patrick 46/Dewhurst 26. Paxton 47/Branch 32. Hegar 51/Hildebran 27. Alameel 53.
8:18 ET: On the D side, Alameel is clearing the runoff boundary with 53.
8:16 ET: More: Dewhurst 37/Patrick 30/Staples 22 for LG. Branch 36/Paxton 35 for AG. Hegar 46/Hildebran 29 for Comptroller.
8:15 ET: Finally some actual votes in. 21 precincts: Cornyn 65%. Hall 41/Ratcliffe 35. Canseco 39/Hurd 32. Lamar Smith (!) only has 51%.
8:10 ET: Two precincts on the Dem side are in, Alameel 43 Rogers 20.
8:00 ET: From China Grove to LaGrange, polls have closed in the Lone Star State. Polls are also closed for our other elections in OK and MA.
Today, we have our first primary of the year, Round 1 in Texas. And it is very much Round 1, as most of the competitive races will head on to runoffs on May 27th; 50% is needed to win outright today. All primaries are Republican unless otherwise noted. Polls close at 8 ET and we'll be liveblogging.
In the highest profile race, Governor, there isn't much to see: Republican AG Greg Abbot and Democratic State Sen. Wendy Davis are certain to prevail against token opposition. Let's get to the real events...
TX-Sen (R): This race briefly created a media firestorm when loose-cannon Rep. Steve Stockman decided at the last minute to run a very uphill bid in this primary. However, Stockman (then as now) has had no time, no money, no campaign organization, and not much of a platform for his candidacy. Meanwhile, for months Cornyn's camp battered his opponent with ads about "Shady Stockman." With Stockman's litany of ethics issues continuing to unfold, many Tea Party and anti-establishment groups have shunned him in favor of Some Dude Dwayne Stovall. Regardless, Stovall does not have the cash, profile, or time to make this a race either. It looks likely that incumbent Sen. John Cornyn will easily clear 50% today.
TX-Sen (D): The Dem primary could be more interesting, because of the presence of two-time TX-22 nominee Kesha Rogers, a perennial candidate and LaRouchie who could create some real hilarity if she were to do well tonight. Polls show Rogers in the lead in this race, despite establishment Dems lining up behind wealthy dentist and 2012 TX-33 candidate David Alameel. Alameel may be embarrassed by coming in second to Rogers today, but it is likely that the many Some Dudes in this race will splinter the field enough to keep both far below 50%. One of those Some Dudes, Maxey Scherr, has become a netroots favorite and may actually beat Alameel for the second slot.
TX-LG: After his 2012 Senate primary loss, LG David Dewhurst has had a target on his back, with three big-name Republicans deciding to take him on in the primary for the state's most powerful office. It seems almost certain that Dewhurst will come in first today, but still be forced into a runoff. The second slot is still up for grabs; most recent poll of the race showed State Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston, a firebrand conservative talk radio host who has been running a grassroots-oriented campaign, as Dewhurst's most likely runoff opponent. However, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, who is essentially Generic Non-Dewhurst R, could upset Patrick for the second runoff slot. The fourth wheel in this primary is Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, a maverick who will not make the runoff and wouldn't stand a chance of winning it if he did. This will definitely be the marquee race to watch on May 27. Democrats are set to nominate State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio.
TX-AG: This is a three-way race for Abbott's open seat that will be winnowed down to two today. State Rep. Dan Branch, a chamber of commerce type who represents a very wealthy district in North Dallas, has been the best-funded candidate and has run a basically establishment-oriented campaign. State Sen. Ken Paxton of McKinney has doubled down on a grassroots approach, casting himself as the anti-establishment conservative. Polls show Branch and Paxton essentially tied, suggesting a heated runoff between the two is likely. The final candidate is Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman of Houston, who has found himself squeezed between the two as more grassroots-friendly than Branch but more establishment than Paxton. Initially thought the front-runner due to his statewide elected office and posiiton as the only candidate not from the Metroplex, it looks like Smitherman is most likely to be the odd one out tonight. Attorney Sam Houston is unopposed on the D side.
TX-Comp: One of the runoff slots here is all but certain to go to fringey 2010 gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina on account of her name recognition. However, it's a likely bet that she'll lose the runoff, so the real race is for second. Much like the AG race, this one is a clear establishment/outsider divide. State Rep. Harvey Hildebran of Kerrville is running as a chamber of commerce type Republican, highlighting his work as chair of the House Ways and Means committee. His chief rival, State Sen. Glenn Hegar of Katy, is more grassroots-oriented, emphasizing his authorship of the abortion bill that launched Wendymania. Hegar has also secured the endorsment of retiring incumbent Susan Combs. Polls show the race between Hildebran and Hegar as a dead heat. The fourth wheel in the race is ex-State Rep. Raul Torres of Corpus Christi, who generated some positive buzz in the chattering class but did not raise enough cash to be competitive. Democrats are nominating energy executive Mike Collier, who might be the only statewide Dem with a chance. To be competitive, Collier would need the realization of the slight (but nonzero) possibililty that Medina overperforms today and wins without a runoff.
TX-Ag Comm (R): Without a doubt, this race for the open seat of Todd Staples, who is seeking the LG seat, has gotten the least attention of the row offices. The front-runner appears to be TXGOP official Eric Opiela of Karnes City, who has far outraised his competition and is the only candidate on TV statewide. It's probably a safe bet that Opiela will get the first spot today. But this race has been low-profile enough that any of the other four GOP candidates have a chance to join him. They include Uvalde mayor J. Allen Carnes, ex-State Reps. Sid Miller of Stephensville and Tommy Merritt of Longview, and Some Dude Joe Cotten. Most agriculture-interest organizations have endorsed Carnes, so right now I'd bet on him to take the second slot, but fundraising for everyone but Opiela has been weak.
TX-Ag Comm (D): Dems actually have a contested primary here between rancher Hugh Fitzsimmons, who has gotten all of the Dem establishment support, and "Singin' Jewish Cowboy" Kinky Friedman, who will win the nomination on name rec.
TX-Lands Comm: Dynasty politics still rules here, as George P. Bush is the prohibitive GOP primary favorite for the seat of Jerry Patterson, who is running for LG. Bush will beat a few Some Dudes today. He will face Democratic former El Paso Mayor John Cook in the general election.
TX-RRC: In a race (for the open seat of AG candidate Smitherman) that gets precious little press, it's impossible to say which two of the four GOP candidates running for this seat will advance. They differ little on the issues, mostly using biography as a discriminator: Ex-State Rep. Wayne Christian, chemical engineer and businessman Ryan Sitton, attorney and venture capitalist Malachi Boyuls, and geologist Becky Berger. Christian has name rec from his legislative term, Boyuls has raised the most money of the four, and Boyuls and Sitton have split most establishment support. But in such a low-profile race with wide vote-scattering it all may not matter. On the D side, Fort Bend County Dem Party chair Steve Brown faces 4-time nominee Dale Henry in a race that will likely be decided by random chance.
TX-4: Rep. Ralph Hall, the oldest member of the House, turns 91 this year. After filing for re-election, Hall said that this term, his 18th, will be his last. However, he may not get to see past #17 if ex-US Attorney John Ratcliffe has his way. Ratcliffe entered late but has self-funded extensively, running a series of positive biographical ads. Hall has beaten back numerous primary opponents since switching to the GOP in 2004, but Ratcliffe looks more likely than any of Hall's prior opponents to force a runoff.
TX-23: The sequel is never as good as the original: in 2010, now ex-Rep. Quico Canseco and CIA agent Will Hurd were touted recruits duking it out for a tossup race against a weak incumbent in one of America's most closely watched contests. In the rerun, they're a pair of C-listers duking it out for a longshot race against a strong incumbent in one of the GOP's worst recruiting failures. Expect Canseco to win this on account of his higher name recognition, in spite of the fact that his campaign quality has gone from good in 2010 to bad in 2012 to godawful this year.
TX-30 (D): Corrupt Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson faces a challenge from ex-State Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway, whom Johnson beat by a large margin in 2012. As Caraway has raised less than $9K for her campaign, expect this round to have a similar result.
TX-32: As an archetypal insider who makes the district only his third home (after DC and FL), Rep. Pete Sessions could be vulnerable in a primary. But, in spite of recieving some support from Tea Party groups, Some Dude Katrina Pierson is not going to be the one to beat him. Despite some high-profile endorsements, Pierson has struggled with getting name recognition in the expensive district and is unlikely to force a runoff.
TX-33 (D): Rep. Marc Veasey won this gerrymandered district connecting Blacks in Fort Worth with Hispanics in Dallas by turning out the former and largely ignoring the latter. That formula looks likely to work for him again as he is favored in his challenge with attorney and recent R-to-D party-switcher Tom Sanchez, who is hoping against the odds that his self-funding will help low-income Hispanics in Dallas turn out to back his campaign.
TX-36: The only really interesting Congressional primary today is in this seat stretching from the southeast Houston suburbs to the Golden Triangle. Rep. Steve Stockman bailed on this district after one term for the aformentioned suicidal Senate primary run - but he did so right at the filing deadline. Filing for this race was extended, but with a catch: incumbent officeholders were unable to run because they had already filed for re-election: a deliberate slight to state Rep. James White. The race is horribly undefined as a result of the compressed 3-month time frame, but there appear to be four major candidates. Free-spending banker, state AfP director, and 2004 TX-10 candidate Ben Streusand still looks like the front-runner, as he has been advertising the heaviest. However, his runoff position is not assured. Three other candidates have decent chances to make the runoff. Ex-Pasadena Mayor John Manlove has strong name recognition in the Harris county portion of the district. Ex-Woodville mayor and 2-time TX-2 candidate (in the 90s) Brian Babin has won a couple straw polls and has a strong following in the rural portion of the district, but his fundraising has been weak. Doug Centilli, CoS to TX-8 Rep. Kevin Brady, has been seen as the insider/establishment choice. It's anyone's guess which two of these will make it to the second round - and there is the possibility of one of the other 12 (!) little-known candidates running sneaking into one of the top two spots as well.
The other major election today is for Oklahoma City Mayor, using Louisiana Rules Top Two. Incumbent Mick Cornett (R) is heavily favored to clear the 50% mark and win an outright victory over his only serious opponent, city councilman Ed Shadid (I), whose campaign has imploded with revelations of past cocaine use and domestic violence.
There are 3 legislative special primaries in Massachusetts today. In the race for now-Rep. Katherine Clark's (D) 5th Middlesex State Senate seat north of Boston, State Reps. Jason Lewis (D-Winchester) and Chris Fallon (D-Malden) are facing off with Wakefield school board chair Anthony Guardia (D). Fallon is a blue-collar Conservadem, Lewis is a standard-issue upscale liberal, and Guardia is a hardcore moonbat. Lewis should be the favorite here. Republican Malden councilwoman Monica Medeiros is unopposed and will meet the winner in the April 1 general. Two other elections are occuring in Mass. today, to decide the new State Rep. for now-mayor Marty Walsh's seat in Dorchester, Boston, and the D nominee for a mildly competitive State Rep. race in Revere.
Star Wars people like May 4th, but I'm partial to the only day of the year that is also a command. It's another big news day, and with the first primaries of the year tonight (full Texas preview coming this afternoon), it looks like busy season has officially arrived!
CA-Sen-16: What happens when a fresh-faced liberal outsider with more money than Zeus runs against an entrenched moonbat that Republicans love to hate in a Top Two race? California's new system may get its first big test in 2016 if Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg pulls the trigger on a bid against Barbara Boxer (as either a Dem or NPP). Would you risk letting a young, rich progressive embark on a high-profile career if it meant finally KO'ing Boxer?
KY-Sen-16: Republicans in the State Senate are considering pushing a bill that would allow Rand Paul to run simultaneously for President and re-election to the Senate in 2016. (Current KY law is murky but suggests he cannot.) With Dems controlling the House and Governor's office, the bill looks like a long shot.
MS-Sen: Sen. Thad Cochran is getting up on the air with a series of positive spots in anticipation of his first competitive race in 30 years. Primary foe Chris McDaniel is not advertising yet.
NC-Sen: Elon doesn't appear to have polled the horserace (why, I have no idea), but they did find Kay Hagan's approvals dropping for the 4th time in a row. Hagan is all the way down to 33/49 (even worse than Obama, who checks in at 38/51), making her a positively appetizing target for Thom Tillis (unknown to 59% of respondents). Pass the butter.
NH-Sen: Scott Brown is taking a page out of the Collin Peterson Gamesmanship Handbook, telling Democrats that their attacks on him are making him more likely to get in the race. And this colossal tease may yet drag on: Brown says he will "probably" decide by the June filing deadline. Um, Scott? The second word in "filing deadline" is DEADLINE. Sigh.
SC-Sen-G: Lindsey Graham is up with his second "six-figure, statewide" buy, touting his conservative credentials ahead of the June primary. Russia's decision to march forth on Ukraine may prove convenient for Graham, a noted FoPo hawk.
AR-02: After the state declined to allow retired Army Col. Conrad Reynolds to list his rank on the ballot, he responded as anyone else in the same situation would: by changing his first name to "Colonel." Colonel Reynolds will now appear as the third name on the ballot in the tightly contested GOP primary between banker French Hill and State Rep. Ann Clemmer.
AZ-07: As it turns out, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) of AZ-09 did not immediately bat down rumors that she'd bolt for this much bluer open seat, prompting presumptive frontrunner Ruben Gallego to try to flatter her away from the race. Gallego suggested that Sinema's "moderate" record better fits the 9th, which, naturally, is a backhanded way of Gallego saying he'll run to her left if she jumps districts. So yes, apparently there is room to Sinema's left!
CO-04: Count 'em: one, two, three Weld County candidates for this open seat--Ken Buck, State Sen. Scott Renfroe, and now county commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer. Buck is known districtwide from his 2010 Senate bid, but the potential for a three-way split in Weld opens the door for a candidate from the district's other population center, ruby-red exurban Douglas County, perhaps State Rep. Frank McNulty. (And in a serious case of WATN?, also running is Steve Laffey, a former Cranston, RI mayor who challenged Lincoln Chafee in the 2006 RI-Sen primary. Laffey apparently now lives in Colorado, but not in this district.)
NJ-03: The events of the next few weeks will be pivotal in determining whether we'll hold this open tug-of-war district in the fall. The Ocean and Burlington county GOP conventions will soon meet to decide party endorsements, and machine screening committees in both counties have recommended Tom MacArthur, a self-funding former mayor of Randolph--which is about 90 miles north of the district. With the other major candidate (Steve Lonegan) also a North Jersey mayor with questionable ties to the district, some Ocean County kingmakers are now pushing Toms River councilman Mo Hill and have promised a convention floor fight. Whoever emerges will then need to win the Burlington nod the next week, as Republicans struggle to win this district when the two county machines are divided (see 2008).
TX-04: John Ratcliffe's primary challenge to Rep. Ralph Hall (R) picked up a head of steam in the closing weeks, and those in the know now believe the two will head to a runoff after today's primary (three Some Dudes also adorn the ballot). And Hall may not even make it through the night, as the tone coming out of both camps suggests that an outright win for Ratcliffe (a former US Attorney) isn't outside the realm of possibility.
TX-33: Needing to rally black voters in a district with a larger but less active Hispanic voting bloc, Rep. Marc Veasey rolled out a last-minute endorsement from President Obama. (His opponent is self-funder Tom Sanchez.)
CA-15: In related news, Obama also endorsed freshman Rep. Eric Swalwell, who faces a stiff Top Two challenge from fellow Dem Ellen Corbett, the CA Senate Majority Leader. Obama liked Veasey on "immigration and voting rights," and he apparently now likes Swallwell for "veterans' benefits and equal pay for women." My (serious) guess is that Obama signs blank endorsements, lets these guys fill them in themselves, and puts them under a "Break Glass In Case Of Impending Primary Defeat" sign.
VA-08: It's hardly surprising that Don Beyer, an ex-LG and prominent car dealer with high local name rec, won a Democratic straw poll, leading the field of 11 with 25%. But it is surprising that the runner-up, at 20%, was black community organizer Lavern Chatman. The district is only 13% black, but if the two other black candidates in the field (State Del. Charniele Herring and Alexandria mayor Bill Euille, neither of whom broke 3%) drop out, Chatman could emerge as the surprise anti-Beyer candidate.
DCCC: The D-Trip rolled out its first batch of "Red to Blue" candidates, notable in that the candidate with the best shot at winning (Kathleen Rice) isn't even running in a Republican district.
AZ-Gov: An internal poll for Fred DuVal (D) found that no one knows any of the candidates for governor, and Generic R leads 43-39 (although that lead shrinks to 43-42 when Generic D is subbed out for his High and Holy cousin, Generic Moderate D! It's like New Coke trying to win the Pepsi challenge!)
MA-Gov: Remember when there was discussion over whether folks like Claire McCaskill should campaign with Obama or not? Well, here's where we are today: the president will be in Boston tonight, and all major Democrats running for governor will be attending to "pressing issues" somewhere else.
MN-Sen, Gov: SUSA's visit to Minnesota finds Gov. Mark Dayton (D) in strong shape, leading each of his (many) Republican challengers by about 20 points and clearing 50 against all of them. The Senate race looks like it has more potential to become competitive, as Julianne Ortman and Chris Dahlberg each hold Al Franken to a 49-41 lead. It's a shame that Ortman, a strong retail campaigner, isn't better funded, as this would be a nice state for the NRSC to add to the map.
NV-LG: As expected, State Sen. Mark Hutchinson and ex-State Sen. Sue Lowden both filed to run in the GOP primary for this must-hold office. State Rep. Lucy Flores is the likely Dem nominee.
Arkansas: Yesterday's filing deadline brought no significant surprises; Republicans appear to be running a fuller and deeper slate. The GOP will automatically retain the Senate, and look favored to hold if not expand their narrow House majority. Statewide, Republicans face primaries for almost every office and look poised to pick up Auditor and Treasurer while hanging onto LG and SoS, with AG the only truly competitive downballot race.
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With under two weeks before polls close in the closely-watched special congressional election in Pinellas County, Florida's thirteenth congressional district, a Red Racing Horses (RRH) survey by PMI inc. shows Republican David Jolly, a former aide to the late Rep. Bill Young, holding a narrow 2-point lead over Democrat Alex Sink, a former Florida state CFO, 46-44. The lead is within the poll's 6 percent margin of error. 5 percent of voters favor "another candidate on the ballot", which can be understood as an approximation of the vote share of Libertarian Lucas Overby, and 5 percent remain undecided. Encouragingly for Sink, the survey shows that those that have already cast their ballots (approximately half the electorate) have done so for Sink by a margin of 48-46.
Separately, the survey finds that voters still have an overwhelmingly good opinion of the late Congressman Bill Young in spite of negative stories about his personal life that came out after his death. RRH also finds that voters in this bellwether district favor native son Democrat Charlie Crist over Republican Rick Scott in this year’s upcoming gubernatorial race by a margin of 44-36.
The IVR poll of 391 likely and actual voters was conducted on February 25, 26, and 27 by PMI inc. of Marianna, Fla., and has a margin of error of 6%. Red Racing Horses is solely responsible for survey design and data analysis, while PMI conducted the IVR calling. The poll was funded through the generous contributions of RRH readers and a presenting sponsorship from a partner blog, amerikanskpolitikk.no. If you have questions or comments about this survey, please do not hesitate to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elections have consequences -- from the race for President to the race for one seat on a city council. The political economist Max Weber wrote that the state possesses a monopoly on the legitimate use of force. But in the United States, the state is divided into myriad federal, state, and local entities. And the elections to fill those entities are the products of the fascinating interactions between campaigns, party affiliations, voter turnout, and the media spotlight. Red Racing Horses analyzes those elections -- from a Republican-leaning perspective -- to keep a close eye on the process of electing officials, and to offer our perspective on the election-related issues of the day. Thank you for visiting, and we hope you'll enjoy the blog.
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