• MI-Sen: In response to public pleas from former Gov. John Engler that he quit the GOP primary, Christian private school entrepreneur Clark Durant says he'll do no such thing, and noted to a radio host that Engler has "been in Washington for a while since he left Michigan." Meanwhile, Durant's rival for the Republican nod, Pete Hoekstra, picked up another endorsement, this one from 10th CD Rep. Candice Miller.
• NE-Sen: AG Jon Bruning, who might be described as the nominal front-runner in the GOP primary, is coming under fire for some shady behavior. I'll let Robynn Tysver at the Omaha World-Herald explain:
In the summer of 2007, Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning waived a $1 million settlement reached with a student loan company accused of improper business practices.
He later backed down after being accused of showing favoritism to Nelnet, a company whose executives had donated $16,000 to his campaigns.
A year after the controversy, Bruning and two top Nelnet executives purchased a $675,000 house together near the Platte River.
Click the link for the full story, which may indeed have some legs. Not only is Don Stenberg, who is probably Bruning's chief rival for the nomination, on the attack, two top Nebraska Republicans, Gov. Dave Heineman and Speaker of the Legislature Mike Flood, are refusing to defend Bruning. This one looks like it's going to get worse before it gets better.
• VA-Sen: I'm really not seeing how supporting Eric Cantor's insistence on predicating disaster aide on further budget cuts is a political winner — yet here's George Allen doing just that, while Tim Kaine has the good sense to rip Cantor. It's all the more absurd since Virginia, too, was struck by Irene — not as horribly as upstate New York and Vermont, but the state saw flooding and widespread power outages. Even Virginia's arch-conservative Gov. Bob McDonnell took sides against Cantor's craven posturing. But hell, if Allen wants to go down with this ship, let him.
• WI-Sen: No real surprise here, since they've already aired ads in the race, but the Club for Growth just officially endorsed ex-Rep. Mark Neumann in the GOP primary.
• CA-32, CA-38: A pair of inter-related developments in the Los Angeles area Congressional reshuffle: On Wednesday, Dem Rep. Grace Napolitano declared that she'd changed her mind and would not run in the 38th. Instead, Napolitano said she'd switch over to the new 32nd District, noting: "[Rep.] Linda [Sanchez] and I rarely disagree on issues. And after some consideration I felt that it would be better to have two strong Latina congresswomen representing the people of this area instead of just one."
The following day, in response, Sanchez said she'd run in the 38th CD. She doesn't necessarily have a clear shot, though, as another Democrat, state Sen. Ron Calderon, is already in the race. With the merry-go-round in full tilt, now is a good time to plug the updated version of the Race Tracker Wiki, a collaboration between Daily Kos Elections and the Sunlight Foundation's OpenCongress. Longtime DK Electioneer/Swingnut Benawu has been populating the wiki with candidate information — you can see the CA-38 page here. Since it's a wiki, you're welcome to sign up for an account and start adding info yourselves! In any event, you'll definitely want to bookmark the Race Tracker.
• GA-09: The AJC's Jim Galloway reports that GOP state Rep. Doug Collins will run for Georgia's new congressional district — and also says that Galloway is the first to do so. I'm a little confused, though, because we've seen reports that conservative radio host Martha Zoller is running, but other sources say she is "seriously considering" the race. I'd be surprised if she didn't get in, but I'd just like a little more clarity here. (That final link, to Roll Call, at least quotes her directly, so I think "considering" is probably the right label.)
• IL-13: Former state Rep. Jay Hoffman, the biggest Democratic name still considering the race in the redrawn 13th CD, says he will file paperwork to form an exploratory committee. GOP Rep. Tim Johnson has decided to seek re-election here, so if Hoffman gets in, it'll be a serious battle.
• NY-09: Hmm. A new survey from GOP polling firm McLaughlin & Associates has the special election between Democrat David Weprin and Republican Bob Turner a dead heat at 42 apiece, as compared to a 43-35 Weprin lead in July. But note that a) the poll was in the field for a single day and b) the sample size is just 300. Colin Campbell also reminds me of this NY-04 poll McLaughlin produced last October, showing a tied race that Democrat Carolyn McCarthy ultimately won by 17 points.
But there's some much better news for the Democrat: FEC filings were due yesterday, and Weprin handily outraised Turner. Weprin pulled in $451K between July 1 and Aug. 24 and has $202K on hand. In a press release, Weprin also says he's taken in an additional $100K since the end of the reporting period. Meanwhile, Bob Turner reported a pretty feeble haul: Just $138K (plus a $65K personal loan), with $92K left in the bank.
• NY-19: I told you Nan Hayworth really fucked this one up hard. Yesterday, the GOP freshman echoed Eric Cantor's remarks that budget cuts must accompany any disaster aid offered to victims of Hurricane Irene — even though much of her district suffered massive damage and is still badly flooded. (Just one example: The vital commuter rail Port Jervis line has been "devastated" and won't be fixed for "months.") Now a fellow Republican, state Sen. Greg Ball, is lambasting her, with remarks that sound like they could have been uttered by a Democrat:
[Ball] said he doesn’t know “if she’s taking orders from (House Speaker John) Boehner or (House Majority Leader Eric) Cantor or whoever, but she needs to spend a little bit more time in the district and see the pain,” Ball told Gannett’s Albany Bureau. “I mean you can’t be attaching people’s lifeline to a political game in D.C.”
I should note that Ball isn't some "moderate" relic — he's a young arch-conservative and self-declared tea partier. He also ran for this seat in Congress in 2009, until Hayworth's entry (and money) priced him out of the race. I have to wonder if he's thinking about a primary challenge here.
• OR-01: State Rep. Brad Witt, himself a former labor official, just announced the backing of four local unions. (Jeff Mapes's writeup for some reason say three, but Witt's press release (PDF) says four.) One of Witt's rivals for the Democratic nomination, Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, had previously scored endorsements from ten unions, but as Mapes notes, "they are all smaller than the UFCW and IBEW locals that endorsed Witt." Mapes also points out that the third big wheel in this race, Suzanne Bonamici, hasn't announced any labor backing as yet.
• UT-02, UT-Sen, UT-Gov: Dem Rep. Jim Matheson says he'll decide which office he'll run for "sometime this fall." As you probably know, Matheson is a redistricting target for the state GOP, so he's been openly looking at a gubernatorial or Senate run for some time. He also claims that Rep. Jason Chaffetz's unexpected decision not to challenge Orrin Hatch for the GOP Senate nomination will have no bearing on his plans.
• WA-01: Republican business consultant James Watkins, who scored 43% running against Jay Inslee last year, says he'll try again now that this seat is open (Inslee is running for governor). I'd be surprised if the GOP could make this race competitive if the best they could must was 43% in their high-water year, but Watkins did manage to raise a slightly-better-than-Some Dude $350K. Meanwhile, on the Dem side, local attorney Andrew Hughes, who also seems to fit the Some Dude profile, has joined the race and has raised $50K in his first month. Lot of big boppers in the Democratic field, though.
• WI-02: Dem state Rep. Mark Pocan will launch a bid for Congress next week, according to the Madison-based Channel 3000, even though Rep. Tammy Baldwin hasn't yet launched her (widely expected) campaign for Senate yet. It wouldn't be the first time this cycle that this kind of out-of-order announcement happened (see state Sen. Eric Griego jumping the gun on Rep. Martin Heinrich's seat in NM-01), but perhaps Baldwin will jump in before Pocan does — or maybe this is Pocan's way of giving Baldwin a nudge. Anyhow, we're sure to see a serious Democratic primary for this seat, given its safe blue hue. Other likely candidates include state Sen. Jon Erpenbach and state Rep. Kelda Helen Roys, but I wouldn't be surprised if more names got in.
• Kentucky: Public Policy Polling has radically overhauled their website, consolidating their blog with the rest of their site. You can take a look at the link, which points to Tom Jensen's newest post on a batch of KY miscellany. Could someone please explain to me the 7% of Kentuckians who are Yankees fans? That makes me want to hurl.