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CT-Sen: After some sketchy reports in various outlets the past few days (which I wasn't inclined to touch), Roll Call is now saying that "a source close to" former GOP Rep. (and former Connecticut citizen) Chris Shays is staffing up for a Senate run. Now, we all know that members of Congress don't have to live in the districts they represent, but the Constitution does still specify that Senators have to live in the states they represent. And as I like reminding people, Chris Shays does not live in Connecticut. After losing his House seat in 2008, Shays sold his home in Bridgeport and moved to the waterfront community of Saint Michaels on Maryland's Eastern Shore, where Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld also own property. And, fun fact: Shays has negative $280,000 cash-on-hand.

FL-Sen: If the GOP is still hoping for a savior, it's going to have to come in a package not labeled "Cornelius Harvey McGillicuddy IV." The four-term rep. (better known as Connie Mack) once again said he will not run for Senate.

IN-Sen: Dick Lugar's "McCain moment"?

"The American economy is still strong, that we're making progress although it's very slow in terms of job creation, and that we still have a dollar that is the world currency and we are still selling bonds to everybody all over the world despite the S&P downgrade."
MO-Sen: This takes pre-non-announcements to a new level of patheticness. Some sources claim that Republican businessman John Brunner's entry into the GOP primary field is "imminent"… but three weeks ago, Brunner was saying he was "ready." Maybe in September he'll be imminently ready. Just. Announce. Already.

NE-Sen: Not only is Nebraska AG (and GOP Senate candidate) Jon Bruning offensive, but he also sounds like an absolute weirdo here:

"The raccoons figured out the beetles are in the bucket. And it's like grapes in a jar. The raccoons, they're not stupid, they're gonna do the easy way if we make it easy for them. Just like welfare recipients all across America. If we don't send them to work, they're gonna take the easy route."
He sounds like an even bigger freak in the video, with a crazy extended riff about beetles, like some Republican Lenny Bruce. Now Bruning claims he "regrets" the remarks. Sure.

NV-Sen: If a Byron Georgiou falls in the forest, does it make a sound? The unlikeable but wealthy attorney has pulled the plug on his stillborn campaign for Senate. Georgiou had been the subject of intense pressure to clear the way for Rep. Shelley Berkley in the Democratic primary, which polls showed he had zero chance of winning. He'd also threatened to run as an independent, a sign of his true team spirit. But I guess he got tired of wondering what kind of horse head would wind up in his bed, so now he's out. By the way, another smashing success for Joe Trippi.

PA-Sen: Thomas Fitzgerald at the Philadelphia Inquirer reminds us of some useful background information about Steve Welch, the wealthy businessman being recruited to run for Senate by Republicans. Welch was actually a registered Democrat from 2006 to 2009, until he decided to make an abortive run for Congress. While a Dem, Welch was a supporter of none other than Joe Sestak, even donating $300 to him — though he later said he "made the mistake of believing" Sestak. (So he's a dupe?) But before that, Welch was a Republican, going back to at least 1995. Some history, huh?

TX-Sen: Ricardo Sanchez, the only notable Democrat in the Senate race, made his first public campaign appearance earlier this week, giving a speech in Austin. Did any DK Electioneers happen to hear it? Any thoughts?

VA-Sen: Courtney Lynch, who sounds like she might have a decent resume for, say, a state legislative race or perhaps even the House, definitely sounds like a Some Dude on the Senate level. So it's a bit beyond me as to why she's getting into the race for the Democratic nomination against Tim Kaine, but hey, democracy!


KY-Gov: A few new ads in the governor's race. In the first one (you can view it at the link), Gov. Steve Beshear tries to distance himself from Washington, DC. The rest are third-party ads from a group called "Kentucky Family Values" that attack Republican David Williams for being a "big spender" on himself who nonetheless wants to cut education spending, and for being a hypocrite on gambling. The buy apparently is for at least $110K.

WI-Gov: Though it's a little short on specifics, Dave Catanese says "Democrats are forging ahead with efforts to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker next year."

WV-Gov: The NRA endorsed acting Dem Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, backing he's apparently received "in every election since the formation of the NRA’s Political Victory Fund." Meanwhile, Republican Bill Maloney is up with two new ads (both available at the link), and hoo boy do they make me cringe. They're basically the same, so here's one of `em.


CA-02: Petaluma City Councilwoman Tiffany Renee is joining the Democratic field in the race to succeed retiring Rep. Lynn Woolsey. (Woolsey occupies the current 6th CD, but the new 2nd is the clear successor district.) Assemblyman Jared Huffman, activist Norman Solomon and Marin County Supervisor Susan Adams are already running.

CA-18: Is Dennis Cardoza thinking about riding off into the Golden State sunset? The fifth-term Democrat, whose district is about to get officially carved up into several pieces, isn't denying rumors that he might retire rather than potentially face his BFF Jim Costa in a primary. The quote from his chief of staff: "Congressman Cardoza has not finalized his decision and will not for some time."

A couple of other tidbits from the same piece. Freshman Republican Jeff Denham, who represents the old 19th and lives in the new 16th, says he'll seek re-election in the open 10th, the riding district formerly known as "Stanislaus." Meanwhile, Costa (represents old 20th, lives in new 21st) says he'll run in the new 16th (aka "Merced"), which is also home now to Cardoza.

CA-38: Dem state Sen. Ron Calderon plans to run in the new 38th CD, which means he'll face off against incumbent (and fellow Democrat) Rep. Grace Napolitano, who now lives here and has said she'll seek re-election here. It's also possible Rep. Linda Sanchez could run here, too, which would make for a very crowded Democratic field indeed.

HI-02: Esther Kiaaina, described as "a chief advocate for the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs and a veteran congressional aide," just joined the Democratic primary for Mazie Hirono's open House seat. I'm surprised that more names haven't gotten in yet, for what would probably be a safe-for-life seat. Priot to this, only Honolulu City Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard had formally declared.

NC-02: I hadn't heard this before, and maybe Joshua Miller is reporting this for the first time, but supposedly ex-Rep. Bob Etheridge is thinking about a rematch against GOP frosh Renee Ellmers. Is that really a good idea?

NC-06: Republican geezer Howard Coble (80 years young) hasn't made up his mind about retirement yet; he'll "wait to the end of the year to decide" says a spokesman. Possible replacements on the GOP side include Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger, Jr. and Guilford County GOP Chairman Bill Wright. Berger had previously said he was interested in the 13th, but that was under the first iteration of the new maps.

NC-08: One more North Carolina item: Insurance exec Daniel Barry says he's eyeing a run in the Republican primary, and that he could partially (but not fully) self-fund a campaign.

NY-20: Democrat Joel Tyner, a member of the Dutchess County Legislature, says he'll challenge GOP frosh Chris Gibson. A little bit of background on Tyner is here.

OK-02: In a surprise move occasioned by the death of his mother, former state Sen. Ken Corn says he will not seek Dan Boren's open House seat. Though Democrats have a strong bench in this otherwise very read seat, two of our top candidates have now declined: Corn and ex-Rep. Brad Carson, who had previously held this seat.

Other Races:

Special Elections: Johnny Longtorso, recapping Tuesday:

In New Hampshire's Strafford-3 district, former State Rep. Bob Perry made the second NH House pickup in a row for Democrats, defeating Republican Honey Puterbaugh by a 58-42 margin.

And in Wisconsin's AD-48, Chris Taylor won a hard-fought battle against... nobody, actually, to become the newest member of the Wisconsin Assembly.

WI Recall: GOP state Sen. Dale Schultz, who had actually sided with Democrats now and again and doesn't seem to be a mouth-breathing movement conservative, has been the target of much speculation. He's definitely in the cat-bird seat in the 17R-16D legislature right now, but says: "I have no intention of declaring as an independent." I guess if you wanted to be a real optimist, he didn't say he's ruling out a switch to the Democratic Party….

Grab Bag:

Nevada: PPP has their usual assortment of miscellany on Nevada, including approval numbers for GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval (decent) and a Harry Reid-Sharron Angle rematch (Reid crushes).

WATN?: Gov. Pat Quinn has tapped 2010 Dem Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias to serve as chair of the Illinois Community College Board. It's a part-time, unpaid gig.

Redistricting Roundup:

NC Redistricting: Has anyone ever polled the popularity of a redistricting map before? Anyway, PPP finds NC residents don't like it:

[V]oters are responding pretty negatively to the new redistricting maps that were approved by the legislature last month. Unsurprisingly, 41% of voters expressed no opinion on such an inside baseball topic. But among those who have one only 19% of voters support the new district lines to 41% opposed. Independents oppose them by a 47/20 margin and while Republicans support them, as you would expect, the 33-20 spread is much tighter than the 54-8 one by which Democrats are against them.
I'm actually impressed that 60% did have an opinion!

WV Redistricting: That sure is odd. Not long after saying he'd sign the legislature's new redistricting bill, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin now says he'll veto it, apparently because it contains "technical" errors. Not quite sure what those are, but I'd guess the lege would just clean those up and pass it all again. Probably vain to hope they'll go back to the drawing board and try for a better map.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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