• GA-14: Now here's a blast from the past: Former Rep. Bob Barr, one of the most notorious of the 13 House impeachment managers from the dark days of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, is reportedly considering a comeback bid, according to Joe Galloway. Delightfully, Barr got screwed in redistricting not long after the impeachment saga concluded and then turned into a GOP gadfly by running for president on the Libertarian ticket and hectoring his former party about the Patriot Act and DOMA. But now he supposedly wants to return to the Republican fold and challenge freshman Rep. Tom Graves in the primary. Graves has only held this seat since a special election last year, and redistricting has already given him a bunch of new constituents. What's more, as you can see from this map of Georgia's 1990s-era congressional districts, Barr's old 7th CD overlaps considerably with the new 14th. So perhaps ol' Bob Barr could put a scare into the incumbent, and I'd definitely enjoy watching Graves try to hammer the crap out of him.
Now that quarterly reports have been filed, we'll be bringing you our complete House fundraising roundup soon. In the meantime, here are a few other numbers:
• AZ-Sen: Wil Cardon (R): $402K raised, in two months (and no self-money)
• CT-Sen: William Tong (D): $155K raised, $350K cash-on-hand (note the burn rate—he's raised $725K total); Susan Bysiewicz (D) (via email): $322K raised, $844K cash-on-hand, and note the statement included in her press release:
"Connecticut is a state where it is not about having the most resources it is about having enough resources to communicate. With nearly $1.3 million total raised so far we are clearly on a path to have enough resources to communicate Susan’s message for the primary election,” said campaign manager Jonathan Ducote.
• IN-Sen: Rep. Joe Donnelly (D): $355K raised, $874K cash-on-hand (also, props to Donnelly for posting his full FEC filing in PDF form on his website); Richard Mourdock (R): $330K raised (plus $100K of his own money), $301K cash-on-hand
• MO-Sen: Sarah Steelman (R): $96K raised, but $562K cash-on-hand thanks to a $400K self-loan
• NE-Sen: Sen. Ben Nelson (D): $443K raised
• NM-Sen: Hector Balderas (D): $250K raised; John Sanchez (R): $161K raised
• TX-Sen: Tom Leppert (R): $640K raised (plus $500K of his own money), $4.14 mil cash-on-hand
• AZ-Sen: Former Rep. Harry Mitchell (who may be plotting a congressional comeback bid of his own) just endorsed former state party chair Don Bivens for the Democratic nomination. Bivens, in fact, is the only guy running so far, but if you've been following along recently, you'll know that a lot of Dems are trying to recruit the (extremely reluctant) former Surgeon General Richard Carmona into the race.
• PA-Sen: As expected, businessman Steve Welch went ahead and joined the field of GOP hopefuls aiming to take on Sen. Bob Casey. This gang of Republicans is notable both for its size (we're up to something like eight candidates now) and for its… shall we say… lack of stature.
• NE-Sen, OR-Sen: So, that New York Times story last week, which proclaimed we were entering a new era of co-ordination on issue ads between candidates and outside groups? Not so new. In fact, back in 2008, now-Sen. Jeff Merkley filmed some issue ads that were paid for by the Democratic Party of Oregon. (You can watch one at the link.) I find it pretty frustrating that the NYT didn't seem to do sufficient legwork on this piece (though I blame myself for not being more skeptical), but what makes it even odder is that Ben Nelson's current campaign manager, Paul Johnson, served as a strategist for Merkley when the DPO ads were deployed!
So I don't know how this didn't come up when they interviewed Johnson, though the piece did off-handedly mention that Nebraska "party officials financed similar ads for Mr. Nelson in 2006." I made the mistake of assuming those 2006 ads were of sufficiently different character from the newest spots as to warrant the Times selling this as some kind of novel development, but it sounds like this is all actually rather old news. (And indeed, my understanding is that Merkley borrowed the strategy from Nelson's 2006 effort.) The only thing really notable is that groups like Crossroads may try to adopt this approach, which would mean lots more money for these kinds of ads. But concept behind the ads themselves is several cycles old.
• MT-Gov: Well that's odd. I had thought that former Montana Department of Transportation director Jim Lynch was considering a bid for governor as a Democrat. After all, he had been tapped for the DoT job by Dem Gov. Brian Schweitzer, and at least one newspaper report suggested he was interested in running for Team Blue. But with Schweitzer appointees, you never know—his current Lt. Gov. is (or perhaps was) a Republican. And so, too, with Lynch, who is now the tenth candidate to announce he'll seek the GOP gubernatorial nod. (You may also recall that Lynch left his transportation job abruptly this summer, under a little bit of a cloud.)
• CA-31: Nonprofit founder Renea Wickman, who lost a race for the state Assembly last year, says she'll seek the Democratic nomination in the new 31st CD. This district is probably best thought of as the descendant of Dem Rep. Joe Baca's 43rd, even though Baca is seeking re-election in the new (and bluer) 35th next door. Democrat Russ Warner, who has made a few unsuccessful congressional bids, is also running for this seat. It's not clear, though, who will represent the GOP here: Rep. Jerry Lewis may run here or, more likely, in the new 8th—or he could very well retire.
• CA-52: Though he's refusing to confirm anything on the record, Port of San Diego Commission Chairman Scott Peters is apparently gearing up to run against GOP Rep. Brian Bilbray. We first mentioned Peters as a possible candidate back in August; things have been quiet since then, but now he's reportedly staffing up—and tells the North Country Times he'll "be in touch soon." Two other Democrats are already running, Assemblywoman Lori Saldana and businessman Bob Nascenzi; if Peters gets in, he and Saldana would probably be the top contenders for the Dem nomination. Meanwhile, John Boehner is hosting a high-dollar fundraiser for Bilbray this weekend in the resort town of Coronado.
• GA-09: Clifton McDuffie, a former head of the Hall County Chamber of Commerce, says he may join the GOP field seeking Georgia's brand-new (and incumbent-less) House seat.
• HI-02: The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers just announced it would back former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann for the 2nd CD, which I think may be the first union endorsement in this open-seat race.
• NC-08: Richard Hudson, a former district director for ex-Rep. Robin Hayes, is getting into the race to try to defeat the man who beat his old boss, Dem Rep. Larry Kissell. This is interesting because talk surfaced just a week ago that Hayes himself could seek to return to his former seat. So perhaps Hudson's entry means Hayes doesn't have any such plans.
• ND-AL: North Dakota Tax Commissioner Cory Fong says he won't seek the Republican nomination for his state's open House seat. Meanwhile, Public Service Commissioner Kevin Cramer says (in the AP's words) there's an "even chance" he'll join the GOP field.
• OH-06: Another good catch by Greg Giroux: Former Democratic Rep. Charlie Wilson, who's been talking about making a comeback bid, has paperwork with the FEC to create a new campaign committee. This would set him up for a rematch against GOP freshman Bill Johnson, and, LSAT game-style, it would start to limit the options for other Democrats looking to run next year. Two other 2010 victims, John Boccieri and Zack Space, also expressed interest in the 6th CD, but unless they want a difficult primary and a difficult general, then I suspect they'll look elsewhere if Wilson pulls the trigger. Both have other options, though: Boccieri could seek a rematch in the 16th and Space in the 7th.
• OH SB5: We Are Ohio is out with a new ad featuring Marlene Quinn, the great-grandmother whose words were now-infamously stolen by the front group Building a Better Ohio to make it appear as though she supports the new anti-collective bargaining bill SB5, on the ballot next month as Issue 2. In this spot, Quinn reiterates her firm "no" vote on Issue 2, and lambastes Better Ohio as "desperate" for twisting her first ad:Grab Bag:
• Congressional District Maps (PDF): Here's another useful link from the creative minds at SSP Labs. It's a PDF of congressional districts for all 50 states as they existed in the late 1990s, taken from here. The drawings are not so great for dense urban areas, but they do the trick for most CDs and most states—plus, old maps are generally pretty hard to find online. So bookmark and enjoy! (Warning: Large PDF.)