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Senate:

AZ-Sen: Well this is a serious bummer. Businessman Wil Cardon initially promised to seriously self-fund his campaign against Rep. Jeff Flake in the GOP primary, but now it sounds like he's backing away from that pledge. The Arizona Republic reports that Cardon, rather, "is focusing on traditional fundraising." We'll see if he manages to gain any traction with this approach, or whether he eventually goes back to Plan A.

HI-Sen: The Hotline's Sean Sullivan digs out a key nugget from a paywalled article at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, which describes how establishment forces are lining up in the primary between Ed Case and Mazie Hirono. While the state Democratic Party is, of course, pledging neutrality, other key players most certainly are not. Reports the paper: "Labor leaders met privately Wednesday at the International Longshore and Warehouse Union's headquarters and reached consensus on what participants later described as a 'solid front' for Hirono." I'm certainly glad to see this.

MA-Sen: Last week, we noted that we were still waiting on Dem Rep. Mike Capuano, who once said he's make up his mind "by the summer," to announce a decision on the Senate race. The long silence suggested he was going to let this race pass him by. However, a spokesman now says Capuano's "in the final phase of the decision-making process and will be making an announcement regarding the Senate soon."

MI-Sen: So Gov. Rick Snyder's endorsement of Pete Hoekstra in the GOP primary came off as planned earlier today — interesting mostly because just last year, the two were rivals for the Republican gubernatorial nod. I also don't see a lot of upside here for Snyder, which makes this kind of a strange move.

WI-Sen: It's official: As expected based on a yet another one of those annoying pre-announcements last week, Republican ex-Rep. Mark Neumann said on radio yesterday that he will enter the GOP primary field. Neumann is actually the first big-name candidate to join the race, and his conservative track record and personal wealth make me wonder if Tommy Thompson might not back down after all. Also worth noting is that Neumann's announcement focused entirely on Tammy Baldwin, not Thompson, saying "I believe our opponent is Tammy Baldwin and I believe it is essential that we bring Tammy Baldwin's record to the forefront" while adding that he has "a great deal of respect for Tommy Thompson."

Relatedly, Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald on Friday said that he is "99% sure" he'll join the GOP field as well. Getting pretty crowded out there.

Gubernatorial:

KY-Gov: Yet another new ad from Dem Gov. Steve Beshear (hitting similar themes about his economic stewardship of the state), plus a reminder: "According to the last campaign finance report, Beshear had $2.7 million in the bank compared to less than $100,000 for [Republican David] Williams."

MO-Gov: Oh, this is a good one. Republican Peter Kinder's campaign explains that donations have lately ground to a halt because "[t]he month of August is usually a period when we try to make sure that donors have a break." Yep! And Tammy Chapman's got nothing to do with it, right?

House:

AR-04: Democrats have landed a candidate in the race to replace retiring Rep. Mike Ross: state Sen Gene Jeffress, who says he'll formally launch his campaign later this fall. Meanwhile, on the GOP side, 2010 nominee Beth Anne Rankin is going to give it another try, joining fellow Republicans Tom Cotton and Marcus Richmond.

IL-08: Another Republican is thinking about a bid in the redrawn 8th CD, despite the district's much bluer lines: state Rep. David Harris. Already considering a run is Assistant DuPage County state's attorney Rick Veenstra. (Democrats have big boppers Raja Krishnamoorthi and Tammy Duckworth going at it in the primary.)

MD-01: Former Dem Rep. Frank Kratovil is taking a job overseeing homicides and major crimes in the Prince George's County State's Attorney's office, which is interesting because PG is outside of the current 1st CD lines, where Kratovil has been weighing a comeback bid. But Kratovil, who used to be the Queen Anne’s County State’s Attorney and had worked for the PG state's attorney in the `90s, says: "I wouldn't read anything into that. The bottom line is I'm going back to one of the things I love to do.... I still haven't made a final decision."

NC-08: State Rep. Jerry Dockham says he won't challenge Rep. Larry Kissell this cycle, but there are still a ton of other Republicans who are very interested in doing so.

NH-01: This is a very strange detail related to the already very strange story from last week concerning the RGA's attempt to ease New Hampshire GOP chair Jack Kimball out of his post with a $100,000 donation to the state party. As Dean Barker explains, the New Hampshire Union Leader is reporting that Republican Rep. Frank Guinta had been dialing for dollars on behalf of the NHGOP and tried “to get up to $100,000 from the Republican Governors Association." The RGA declined, as long as Kimball remained in his job.

But as Dean points out, why the heck was Guinta soliciting contributions from a group that would only be interested in helping gubernatorial candidates, and not a congressman like Guinta? Are we really supposed to believe Guinta — who still has an unexplained $355K loan on his books — is some kind of selfless team player? Or does it make more sense that Guinta is interested in fluffing the coffers of the NHGOP with unlimited soft-money contributions so that they can help him?

NV-02: Another $60K on ads from the NRCC, bringing their total to almost $600K. With two weeks until election day, it sure looks like the DCCC has completely given up on this one.

NY-09: Oy vey. Is David Weprin just determined to lose this thing? Colin Campbell sums up two separate Weprin stumbles in one day: (1) flubbing the size of the national debt by a huge margin in an interview, and (2) inexplicably pulling out of a debate last night. If these were isolated instances in a normal campaign, I might be tempted to write them off. But the Weprin campaign hasn't inspired a lot of confidence so far, and with the election just two weeks away and turnout likely to be low, these kind of local blunders can take on outsize importance.

If there's one positive tea leaf, it looks like Weprin might be outraising Republican Bob Turner. While FEC reports aren't due for the special election until this Thursday, candidates have had to file so-called "48-hour notices" since last Thursday. Weprin's filed three so far, totaling almost $20K in donations, while Turner's filed just one, cataloging a single $2000 contribution.

TX-14: While I don't usually write about "draft" movements, I'm making an exception in this case for two reasons: First off, the new "Draft Nick Lampson for TX-14" page on Facebook was started by one of our own, longtime Swingnut and DK Electioneer Trowaman (who has a diary on the draft effort) — and secondly, former Dem Rep. Nick Lampson himself "liked" the page. So perhaps a second comeback attempt is indeed in the offing.

Other Races:

Baltimore Mayor: Baltimore's Democratic primary is coming up fast on Sept. 13, and it looks like Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will cruise to victory, according to a Baltimore Sun poll taken by OpinionWorks. Rawlings-Blake, who inherited the mayoralty last year after Sheila Dixon resigned after being convicted of embezzlement, scores 62%, while a whole mess of rivals trails badly. Balmur hasn't had a Republican mayor since 1967, so winning the Democratic nomination is what matters.

Grab Bag:

Pennsylvania: The rapid Democratic trend over the last decade in Philadelphia's once-dark-red suburbs may have a lot to do with changes in demographics, but there's always more to a story than just numeric data... in this case, organizational breakdown and outsized personality conflicts in the local machine. Philadelphia Magazine has some interesting local color, with a long piece tracing the decline of Montgomery County's once-utterly-dominant GOP. (David Jarman)

Redistricting Roundup:

AZ Redistricting: This is unusual — and welcome, if somewhat belated. Former AG Terry Goddard, a Democrat, co-wrote an op-ed ripping his Republican successor Tom Horne for trying to bully the independent redistricting commission. Goddard (and former Phoenix mayor Paul Johnson) note that Horne "recently announced an investigation of the commission — breaking a longstanding attorney general protocol of never discussing pending investigations before a lawsuit is filed or a grand jury has returned an indictment." They go on to demand that Horne "end his part in the intimidation campaign," though unfortunately, Horne's aim of terrorizing the commission has already been achieved.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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