Massachusetts: Rep. Ed Markey (D) has released a list of state legislators who support his bid for Senator Kerry's open seat, including Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo. The list serves as further warning to potential primary opponents, including Rep. Steven Lynch. New Jersey: Senator Lautenberg and Newark Mayor Cory Booker both have strong name recognition in a poll by Farleigh Dickinson University, but Booker has the advantage in a primary. Among self-identified and lean Democrats, Booker leads Lautenberg 42-20.
Kentucky: There has been a lot of attention paid to Ashley Judd's potential run against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, but less on the intra-party distaste for McConnell. Some of the energy for a Republican primary seemed to dissipate when McConnell picked the campaign manager for both the Rand Paul senatorial and Ron Paul presidential campaigns, Jesse Benton (Benton is also married to a granddaughter of Ron). But now Kentucky Tea Party groups are expressing their desire for a primary, and the Paul-inspired Liberty for All Super PAC (which maintains offices in Kentucky after helping Rep. Massie when his primary in KY-04 last year) is willing to spend for "the right candidate."
Nebraska: Former Senator Ben Nelson, the 60th vote for Obamacare, will now head the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, a regulator that will serve as an intermediary between the states and federal government as the health care reform law is implemented.
New Jersey: After making the rounds in DC scouting fundraising pledges, State Senator and former Governor Dick Codey (D) is dragging out his gubernatorial announcement by letting an aide note he will reveal his plans "very soon."
More New Jersey: Quinnipiac finds Governor Chris Christie riding a wave of popularity with 74/21 approval ratings, His lowest margin is against Codey, who he leads 59-30. 79% of voters and 70% of Republicans approve of his criticism of House Republicans on their delay on voting for Hurricane Sandy relief.
Virginia: The redistricting snafu has given Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling another opportunity to posture as a moderate type as he continues to publicly toy with an independent run for Governor.
Bolling... had “grave concerns” about the Republicans’ plan partly because it would erase district lines adopted just two years ago. “He’s concerned that it could create a hyper-partisan atmosphere that could make it very difficult for us to address other important priorities,” said Ibbie Hedrick, deputy chief of staff for Bolling.
Minnesota: PPP finds Governor Mark Dayton (DFL) posting even higher numbers than Senator Franken for re-election. He leads former Senator Norm Coleman 52-39. A variety of other names are all basically unknown- former Speaker Kurt Zellers, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, State Senator Julie Rosen, and former State Rep. Keith Downey. The approval ratings are worth looking at- 53/39 for Dayton and 35/43 for Coleman. At least Coleman leads a hypothetical Republican primary with 57% and the rest of the field in single digits.
WV-02: Former Delegate Larry Faircloth (R) has announced a bid for Rep. Shelly Moore-Capito's (R) seat, which will soon open as she runs for US Senate. Faircloth lost a campaign for state Auditor in 2012 and two gubernatorial bids (both losing the Republican nod) in 2004 and 2011. Sounds like a step above your some dude perennial candidate.
NY-11: Former Rep. Michael McMahon (D), who lost to Rep. Michael Grimm in the 2010 Republican wave, is eyeing a comeback bid. He told Roll Call he is "certainly taking a look at it," and he acknowledged that he has a short time-frame to make a decision.
Miscellaneous TX State Senate: State Senator Wendy Davis (D) has had some bad luck lately. First, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst stripped her education committee assignment this session, a position from which she has served as a consistent thorn in the side of the Republican Senate caucus. Now, Davis will be up in 2014 aftera post-redistricting random draw to decide which Senators would face re-election in two years and which in four. Davis has been talked up as a gubernatorial recruit for Democrats in the past, but now she will have to focus on winning re-election without presidential turnout working in her favor instead of a free shot at statewide office.