Senate New Mexico: Jon Barela (R) is opting out of a challenge to Senator Udall (D). Former state party Chairman Allen Weh is considering a bid, and former Governor Gary Johnson (R, then L) has mentioned the possibility of a Republican bid.
Minnesota: We did not mention yesterday that former Senator Norm Coleman (R) also talked up Reps. John Kline and Erik Paulsen for a Senate bid; he further declined to say if he has met with either of them yet.
Minnesota: Norm Coleman may have said no to a senatorial bid, but that doesn't mean a run for office is out of the question. Quite the contrary- he tweeted right after he was quoted declining a Senate bid that he hoped "2 be spending more time focused on Minnesota, not on Washington." Coleman told the Star Tribune after saying no the Senate that "I haven't ruled out other things," sounding like a candidate when he noted that "Washington is too dysfunctional." While plenty of candidates are name-dropped for the seat- RNC Committeeman and Hennepin County Commssioner Jeff Johnson is exploring a bid, Senate Minority Leader David Hann is the subject of a draft effort that he seems awfully close to, and State Senator Julie Rosen is considering a run- the assumption is that Coleman would skip the endorsing convention and go straight to a primary (Coleman was fourth alternate out of his BPOU convention in 2012).
Massachusetts: Former Deval Patrick and Obama aide David Simas will not run for Governor or put himself forward as a candidate for the interim Senate appointment. Instead, he will take a job with the DNC. Fun fact: Simas has a working phone bank in the basement of his home in Taunton.
KY-04: Rep. Thomas Massie (R), the Paul acolyte and wealthy inventor, has already proven a rebellious legislator with votes against Boehner, Hurricane Sandy aid, and the fiscal cliff package. Massie is worth keeping an eye on though- if/when Rand runs for President in 2016, I find it hard to believe Massie would not take a look at the seat. He will be Chair of the subcommittee on Technology and Innovation.
A note: With session just starting up, now is the time to watch local newspapers for profiles of congressmen you know little about.
TX-23: The NRCC has reached out to public utility commissioner Rolando Pablos about running against Rep. Pete Gallego (D). Pablos considered running against then-Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D) in 2008 and 2010.
MI-11: Our favorite reindeer rancher, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R), promises to focus on the national debt and constituent service. The latter is probably wise for Bentivolio, who sees trouble on the horizon.
Looking ahead to 2014, he noted a litany of Republicans is talking about running for his seat.
"At first I was a little disappointed to hear that here I haven't even been sworn in yet and they are already lining up to run against me," Bentivolio said. "On the other hand it keeps me on my toes, but I have some advice: Make sure they get all their signatures on their petitions."
SC-01: State Rep. Chip Limehouse (R) has confirmed he will run in the special election for Tim Scott's now-vacant seat. If you are having trouble keeping track of who is running and who is not, this link is a good and regularly-updated resource.
California GOP: Former State Senator Jim Brulte is slated to become the next Chair of the Republican Party of California. Hilda Solis: The former Representative (D) has resigned her position as US Secretary of Labor to run for the LA County Board of Supervisors.
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