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The House section of this digest was written by James L.


CT-Sen: In an interview with Roll Call, ex-Rep. Chris Shays says he's "very interested" in seeking the GOP Senate nomination — but don't forget that Shays moved to a seaside Maryland vacation community after losing in 2008 and even sold his home in Connecticut. Meanwhile, Some Dude Brian Hill, a military veteran, formally became the first Republican to enter the race.

NE-Sen: Is there anything to this? You may recall that AG Jon Bruning briefly ran for Senate in 2008, bowing out in favor of ex-Gov. Mike Johanns not long after Chuck Hagel announced his retirement. Bruning raised quite a bit of money back then ($780K), and now Democrats are arguing that Bruning can't solicit donations from anyone who maxed out to his 2008 account, unless that money was actually spent back then. Dems are also claiming that Bruning failed to properly register his old committee and consequently owes $230K in back taxes.

NM-Sen: Ryan's Curse is turning into quite the sticky wicket for Republicans in the GOP primary. Lt. Gov. John Sanchez tried to paint ex-Rep. Heather Wilson as inconsistent for praising Paul Ryan's efforts to "steer the conversation about the budget," but also voting against a Ryan budget amendment from 2007 that Sanchez called "similar" to his current proposal. However, the attack seems to be backfiring, because Sanchez said he'd have voted for this 2007 amendment but has refused (like Wilson) to take a position on the Ryan budget. If the 2007 legislation was so "similar" to the current Ryan plan, then how can Sanchez say he supports one and not the other?

UT-Sen, UT-Gov, UT-02: Dem Rep. Jim Matheson has made it clear for a while that he might seek a statewide escape hatch if his district gets utterly eviscerated in redistricting. He confirmed his intentions in a recent interview with the Deseret News, saying "I know I'm going to be running for office in Utah." Meanwhile, AG Mark Shurtleff says he might run for the House (unclear on which district), but has also ruled out primary challenges to fellow Republicans Sen. Orrin Hatch and Gov. Gary Herbert.

WI-Sen: Is ex-Gov. Tommy Thompson trying to give himself an out? After initially sounding pretty excited about seeking the GOP nod for the open Senate seat, he's now saying he'll postpone any decision until after the state senate recall elections.


AR-Gov, AR-04: Republican LG Mark Darr, who won a narrow upset last year, says he's interested in a run for governor in 2014, when the seat will be open thanks to term limits, though he could also seek re-election to his current post. He also refused to rule out a run against Dem Rep. Mike Ross, but it doesn't sound likely (Darr doesn't live in the district). However, he says it's possible he could do both: run against Ross next year and governor two years later.

FL-Gov: Adam Smith at the St. Petersburg Times runs through a list of possible Democratic challengers to Rick Scott in 2014, many of whom were seen making the rounds at the party's annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner this past weekend: 2010 nominee Alex Sink, state Sen. Jeremy Ring, state party chairman Rod Smith, ex-state Sen. Dan Gelber, former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, Fort Lauderdale mayor Jack Seiler, and Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer. But several Democrats are talking about a possible new name who could seriously shake things up: former Gov. Charlie Crist, who of course left the GOP to run as an independent for Senate last year. If Crist formally switched parties, he would indeed be quite the wildcard.

Smith also says that national Republicans are so disgusted with Scott that they're supposedly looking for primary challengers of their own. Some possibilities include state CFO Jeff Atwater, AG Pam Bondi, or Ag. Commish Adam Putnam.

IN-Gov: This is just an embarrassing headline and lede for Mike Pence:

Mike Pence will delay campaign specifics to next year

On the eve of his campaign’s official kickoff, Republican gubernatorial hopeful Mike Pence said he has a “bold vision” for Indiana — but he’s not ready to say how he proposes to achieve it.

Meanwhile, it looks like former state House Speaker John Gregg may not have the Democratic field all to himself, though I'm not sure this is exactly major news: Plant nursery owner Thomas Lenfert says he, too, will seek the party's nomination. Lenfert sounds like a Some Dude and a perennial candidate.

KY-Gov: Republican gubernatorial nominee David Williams released memo criticizing Braun Research after they put out a poll showing Williams getting hammered by Gov. Steve Beshear to the tune of 21 points. But I guess Williams just somehow forgot to release an internal poll showing different numbers from Braun's. Total oversight, right?

OK-Gov: Though he's retiring from the House, Dem Rep. Dan Boren, just 37, says he might run for office in the future, possibly for governor.


AR-01: GOP Rep. Rick Crawford is beginning to change his tune on healthcare reform. Crawford, who was elected in 2010 after staunchly campaigning against the legislation, now says that he doesn't think that "all of Obamacare is bad", and that he would only want to change parts of the plan. Wouldn't it be amusing if this kind of talk inspired some upstart teabagger to jump into the primary?

AZ-??, AZ-Sen: Democratic state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema says she'd like to run for the House, but is waiting on the results of redistricting before deciding where. She lives in the same neighborhood as fellow Dem Rep. Ed Pastor (who represents AZ-04) but says she wouldn't challenge him in a primary. She's also ruled out a run for the open Senate seat as well. (DN)

AZ-08, AZ-Sen: E.J. Montini of the Arizona Republic wrote an incredible piece on the condition of Dem Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who is still recovering from a gunshot wound to her brain sustained on January 8th. The article makes it clear that Giffords is nowhere near ready to return to Congress, which seems a pretty clear indication that a Senate campaign by Giffords is most likely off the table. In fact, her staff still do not know whether or not she'll be able to run for re-election in 2012. Really, though, the entire article is worth a read, so click the link. In other Giffords news, two photographs of Giffords were posted on her official Facebook page; the New York Times has also published the images.

CA-Ontario: Democratic state Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod should win an award for her forthrightness. “I’m in, I’m in, I’m in, I’m in," she said in announcing her candidacy for a proposed new district which would include the city of Ontario. There's certainly no parsing that! The new district, which would essentially be an open seat, has a 52% Hispanic voting age population according to our analysis. Of course, who knows if this seat will still exist when California's redistricting commission wraps up their work in August. (Since the commission didn't number the districts on their draft map, we're using their Canadian-style riding names as an interim placeholder until the situation resolves itself; for further information, please check out this post, which crunches the data for the new districts.)

CA-11: Just in case you were wondering, Dem Rep. Jerry McNerney told the Contra Costa Times that he will "absolutely" run again in 2012.

CA-East San Fernando Valley: Los Angeles city Councilman Tony Cardenas, a Democrat, announced that he'll run in a newly-drawn district in the San Fernando Valley. While much of the district is rep'd by Dem Rep. Howard Berman, his home has been drawn into the same district as fellow Democrat Brad Sherman. The new district has a 63% Hispanic voting age population, so Cardenas would seem to be well-positioned in a primary campaign.

CA-51: With Dem Rep. Bob Filner officially in the race for San Diego mayor, state Sen. Juan Vargas (who previously mounted three unsuccessful primary campaigns against Filner) announced that he'll run for the newly-open seat.

NY-09: Roll Call picks up on a pretty quirky angle on this sordid Anthony Weiner affair. If Weiner ends up resigning, Rep. Joe Crowley, as Queens County Democratic chairman, would have the ultimate say over which Democrat would run in the special election to replace him. And, if Crowley does indeed appoint such a candidate, the expectation is that he'll appoint an unambitious placeholder who wont seek re-election in 2012, in order to give Crowley more space for redistricting. (Crowley's 7th District abuts Weiner's 9th race.) I wonder just how weak of a candidate Crowley could put forward here!

NY-23: Sheesh. Kelly Eustis, a 23 year-old executive director of something called the "One Nation PAC", says that he's laying the groundwork for a run against Democratic Rep. Bill Owens, with a final decision to come next month. Eustis touts his "years of experience in politics and business". I just wonder if his "business experience" includes delivering phonebooks.

UT-02: RNC committeeman and Neutraceutical Corporation president Bruce Hough says that he's considering running for Congress, perhaps against Dem Rep. Jim Matheson, if the redistricting process leaves them both in the same district. Hough says he won't "worry about it" until the redistricting process produces a settled map.

Other Races:

KY-AG, KY-SoS: Braun Research also polled the downballot races for cn|2 and found Democrats leading all the way. AG Jack Conway crushes Vulcan Ambassador Todd P'Pool 56-33, up from 52-33 in March. Meanwhile, Treasurer Todd Hollenbach has a big 45-28 lead over K.C. Crosbie. The other statewide contents are all for open seats. In the SoS race, Allison Lundergan Grimes leads Bill Johnson 44-33; in the auditor race, Adam Edelen leads John Kemper 38-35; and in the ag commish race, Bob Farmer leads James Comer 48-33.

NYC-Mayor: Former comptroller and 2009 candidate Bill Thompson formally filed paperwork to seek the job of mayor a second time. The Democrat ran far ahead of expectations a year-and-a-half ago, losing by just four points to Mike Bloomberg despite getting outspent something like ten-to-one.

Redistricting Roundup:

California: The chair of California's independent redistricting commission says that a second draft of maps will be released on July 7, and that there's no limit on the possible changes that could be made to them. In case you missed our analysis of the first drafts which were released on Friday, you should definitely check out this post (which contains maps) and this post (which is full of demographic data).

Mississippi: The NAACP plans to appeal a three-judge federal district court's ruling that state legislative elections should proceed this year under existing maps. Thanks to the VRA, the appeal goes directly to the Supreme Court — and the SCOTUS is obliged to rule on the case (they don’t have the option of denying certiorari).

New York: One major state where we've heard very little about redistricting is New York, apart from a failed effort to institute an independent line-drawing commission. But the Ithaca Journal's Jon Campbell takes note of a possible tea leaf: Three members of Congress have hired lobbyists to represent their redistricting-related interests in Albany, specifically Eliot Engel (NY-17), Brian Higgins (NY-27), and Joe Crowley (NY-07). Is it a sign that the map-making process is about to heat up?

Oregon: The split state lege passed a compromised legislative redistricting plan, and Gov. John Kitzhaber said he'd sign it, the first time this has happened since 1981.

Texas: A committee in the Texas House passed a redistricting map, but it differs slightly from the version that passed the full Senate. The intent was apparently to shore up GOPer Quico Canseco, but if you want the full run-down, check out Charles Kuffner, as per usual.

General: Loyola Law School has a handy map which is color-coded to show how far along the redistricting process each state is. You can also check out our own redistricting tracker.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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