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Leading Off:

OH-Gov: Can't say I'm surprised at all: Dem Rep. Tim Ryan announced on Friday morning that he will not, in the end, run for governor. Ryan has long had "rising star" attached to his name, and he's often been mentioned for higher office, but he hemmed and hawed for quite a while over this one and just never seemed enthused about the prospect of running against Gov. John Kasich. Instead, he'll be able to seek re-election to his safe House seat in northeastern Ohio. Ryan did not endorse any other candidates.

But there are still three other notable Democrats in the mix: Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, former state AG Richard Cordray, and ex-Rep. Betty Sutton. FitzGerald has formed an exploratory committee while Cordray is awaiting Senate confirmation to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If that doesn't pan out—Republicans are extremely hostile to him and the agency—running for governor may be his fallback plan. But Fitz seems to have the most enthusiasm behind him: Ohio Dems held their big annual dinner in Columbus on Friday night, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer dubbed FitzGerald the "true headliner." Sutton doesn't seem to have made a splash at the event, and Cordray is busy in D.C., so with Ryan out, FitzGerald does indeed seem to be Democrats' top choice at the moment.

Senate:

LA-Sen: Good news: Louisiana's Republican lieutenant governor, Jay Dardenne, has finally confirmed that he is "not going to run" next year against Dem Sen. Mary Landrieu. Dardenne has long seemed to have his eye on the governor's mansion, but a recent PPP poll showed him as the strongest potential GOP candidate for the upcoming Senate race. That prompted a brief moment of speculation, combined with a vague expression of possible interest on Dardenne's part. But now that door is firmly shut, and Pelican State Republicans will have to turn back to the mess of current and former congressmen who are all eager for a promotion.

NJ-Sen: While the "Dominican prostitutes" story now looks like utter b.s., Bob Menendez's ethics woes are apparently not over. Reports the Washington Post: "A federal grand jury in Miami is investigating Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), examining his role in advocating for the business interests of a wealthy donor and friend, according to three people aware of the probe."

Grab Bag:

DCCC: Obama Alert! The POTUS is making good on his promise to help the DCCC with their efforts in the 2013-14 election cycle and will headline a major fundraiser in San Francisco on April 4 along with Nancy Pelosi. Tickets start at $1,000, and for a cool $32,400, you can join the president for brunch with only 30 other people. (Some of the events will also help retire the DNC's outstanding debt.) In addition, reports The Hill's Justin Sink, "The White House has confirmed that the president intends to hold at least 14 fundraisers for Democratic congressional candidates, with 10 of the events set for outside of Washington D.C."

North Carolina: Really finding it hard to say much about PPP's March batch of Tarheel miscellany, but hey, there is one new question I like which Tom Jensen ought to ask in every one-party state: "Do you approve or disapprove of the job Republicans as a whole are doing of running state government?" The answer is 38 percent of voters approve while 52 percent disapprove. The North Carolina GOP might have gerrymandered itself into the majority, but you can't gerrymander popularity.

Redistricting: Could the GOP have sacrificed their long-term health for short-term political gain in the House? Veteran political analyst Charlie Cook makes a pretty intriguing case to that effect in a new column for the National Journal.

Cook notes that even as the nation has grown more diverse, with a 5-point drop in the non-Hispanic white population between 2000-2010, the districts represented by the GOP in that time span have actually become more white, going from 73 percent white to 75 percent white in the same time frame. Which, as Cook opines, is a potentially huge liability for the GOP down the line:

What do all these numbers boil down to? House Republicans have done a remarkable job of "sequestering" Democrats into the minority, but in the process they've also reduced their own incentive to reach out to groups their party badly needs if it wants to stay relevant beyond the Southern confines of the Capitol.
It's a piece worth reading in full. Aside from one muffed detail (saying that Republican Dan Webster won "easily," when he prevailed by just a 52-48 in 2012), there are a ton of observations here that are spot on. (Steve Singiser)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    Get the Daily Kos Elections Digest in your inbox every weekday. Sign up here.

    by David Nir on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 05:00:12 AM PDT

  •  The headline had me fooled (or confused) (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, Turbonerd, anastasia p

    Ryan?  Fitzgerald?  Where have I heard those names before?  Hmmm, Walker isn't term-limited out, is he?  Why would Ryan give up his crazy pulpit  House chairmanship to run for that job; maybe one of the state house leaders named Fitzgerald would want to move up the cheesehead ladder.

    Funny about those coincidental names in the midwest.

    •  I call Congressman TIM Ryan (0+ / 0-)

      Tim "The Good" Ryan. I get confused all the time too when I see "Congressman Ryan" advocating for this or that. Of course, it's easy to tell which one is meant by what he is advocating for. These two are exact opposites.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:13:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Goodness Gracious! (0+ / 0-)

    Man, oh man.

    Wow!  What a headline for a badger to read on a Monday morning.

  •  Ryan may not be running for governor but another (0+ / 0-)

    even more freakish one is in Virginia. For some nice opinions on the Kook see "Book review: ‘The Last Line of Defense: The New Fight for American Liberty’ by Ken Cuccinelli" and "Cuccinelli misleads Virginians on transportation" in the Washington Post. In the second the punch line is that the Kook is truly a Tooth Fairy kind of guy:

    Mr Cuccinelli likes to tell people that whatever they think of his views, he’s a straight shooter. The reality is that for years he has been peddling the fantasy that roads can be built for free.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 07:23:19 AM PDT

  •  RE: Cordray. Every time the GOP blocks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Turbonerd

    Senate confirmation to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is that person going to win statewide office?

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 08:05:21 AM PDT

    •  one can hope (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dopper0189

      Cordray would be a better candidate than FitzGerald. He has already run statewide - he got bounced in the 2010 elections, along with Ted Strickland.

      Reforms come from below. No man with four aces howls for a new deal.
      Keystone XL will raise gas prices!

      by Turbonerd on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 08:57:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, if Cordray plans to run, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dopper0189

      he's going to have to make a move soon. You would think he'd have done it before they began the charade of confirmation hearings again. If he's not confirmed he can stay until the end of this year. If he does that, it's too late for him to run for governor. The race will be well under way by then. My own personal feeling (and I have no proof of this, but no one seems to have real proof to the contrary) is that Rich likes what he's doing in D.C. and will stay as long as he can. And he DOESN'T really enjoy campaigning. I've seen proof of that with my own eyes. So I think if his gig at the CFPB ends at the end of this year, he'll take a job at a think tank or nonprofit or advocacy organization. He'll be in huge demand and probably offered way more money than he's ever made. With two teenagers heading to college soon, that would have to be tempting. I also wonder whether he would uproot his twins while they are in high school to move back to Ohio.

      I think Ed is a terrific candidate. He's hard-working, honest, pragmatic and an engaging campaigner. He can efficiently dismantle Kasich's hideous budgets. I also think Kasich will come off as an arrogant bully next to him.  Ed is very genial and even-tempered in public meetings.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:11:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I like your predictions but with the worry that (0+ / 0-)

        Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson will drop some kind of steamy mess in the county's lap in the mean time and blame Fitzgerald, maybe concerning consolidation of the various municipalities in the county.

        I'd tip you but they cut off my tip box. The TSA would put Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad on the no-fly list.

        by OHdog on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 11:23:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Bolling drops out (0+ / 0-)

    Bob Bolling has announced that he's not going to run as an indpendent against Cuccinelli and McAuliffe for VA governor this year.  Coming so soon after Cuccinelli's speech at CPAC -- notable for the dog that didn't bark in the night, for its lack of fiery and extreme rhetoric -- you have to wonder if it wasn't this signal that the Cooch is going to tack to the center that made the decision for Bolling.  A tack to the center was never a given, and the long and extensive history of jaw-droppingly radical statements by Cooch are what made a Bolling run for the middle a reasonable, if admittedly still long-shot, prospect.  

    But Cuccinelli has been cooling it lately, first by downplaying transvaginal US, and now by going all bland on a CPAC audience that would have gone nuts over the rhetorical stylings of the old, unrestrained Cooch.   "Nuts" is the operative word, as that's exactly what the Cooch has to run away from to avoid being abandoned by non-nuts among the electorate.

    The states must be abolished.

    by gtomkins on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 11:31:40 AM PDT

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