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Leading Off:

California: It can't have been easy to write a piece on the GOP "bench" in California, so credit to Roll Call's Kyle Trygstad for managing to do so. (Indeed, I had assumed the prior installment, which focused entirely on the Democratic Party, was all there was to the story!) As Trygstad notes, though, the few viable Republicans left in the Golden State are all focusing on Congress, since Dems have a supermajority lock on the legislature and the GOP can't win statewide. We've previously taken note of the potential candidacies Trygstad mentions in CA-03, 07, and 52, but here are a few new ones on us:

CA-16: Fresno County Supervisor Andreas Borgeas is a "top possible contender" against perpetually lazy veteran Democrat Jim Costa.

CA-26: Ex-state Sen. Tony Strickland "is expected" to seek a rematch against freshman Julia Brownley, though he could run in the much redder CA-25 if GOP Rep. Buck McKeon retires. MLB pitcher Jeff Suppan (currently a 38-year-old free agent) might also run if he doesn't sign for another season.

CA-36: Assemblymember Brian Nestande is reportedly "likely" to take on freshman Raul Ruiz.

There are many other names cited in the piece, but all of them involve candidates who, like Strickland, could move up if particular Republican incumbents opt to hang up their spurs.

Senate:

KY-Sen: This is about as sweet a gig as you can get in the diplomatic corps: President Obama will reportedly tap one of his top fundraisers, Matthew Barzun, as the US's next ambassador to our alma mater, the good ol' United Kingdom. Why are we mentioning this here? Because Barzun, a native of Louisville, had been suggested as a possible Democratic Senate candidate. Assuming he's nominated and confirmed to his post in London, though, that option will come off the table.

Gubernatorial:

MN-Gov: Republican state Sen. Dave Thompson, a former conservative talk radio host, says he's giving "consideration" to running against Gov. Mark Dayton next year (and that he's "serious" about it), but that he hasn't made a decision yet. Thompson also thought about challenging Sen. Amy Klobuchar last cycle but ultimately demurred.

OH-Gov: Can't say I'm surprised: Former Rep. Betty Sutton announced on Friday that she would not seek the Democratic nomination for governor, leaving Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald a pretty clear path to the nomination. Sutton outperformed the top of the ticket in her bruising member-vs.-member re-election battle against GOP Rep. Jim Renacci last fall, but she never seemed particularly enthusiastic about running another race and didn't even secure a speaking slot at the state Democratic Party's big annual dinner just a week ago. Sutton also said she wouldn't make a bid for any other state office next year either.

The only potential wrinkle for Fitz now is if, as we've noted a number of times, Senate Republicans deny former state AG Richard Cordray confirmation to the Consumer Financial Protection Board and he returns home to run for governor instead. While Cordray's nomination hopes don't seem particularly good (gotta love the Senate's twisted notions of "democracy"), FitzGerald has been moving to consolidate support and gear up for a serious campaign, so Cordray would be at a disadvantage if he tried to pursue Plan B. My advice to FitzGerald would be to formally declare his candidacy as soon as possible and get this game on, because Gov. John Kasich is no pushover.

House:

CT-05: Wealthy businessman Mark Greenberg is like some kind of not-giving-up-guy: After two consecutive failed attempts to secure the GOP nomination in Connecticut's 5th Congressional District, he's already launching a campaign for a third try. The sad thing about Greenberg is that he's already poured about $3 million of his own money into his earlier runs (split about equally) and has very little to show for it: In 2010, he finished third in a three-way race with a mere 29 percent of the vote, and last year, he wound up in second place with just 27 percent. The one thing he has going for him is that 2012 nominee Andrew Roraback, who narrowly lost the general election to Democrat Elizabeth Esty, was recently tapped for a judgeship and won't run again. But given Greenberg's limited popularity, other Republicans may decide to jump in anyway.

SC-01: It seems like the also-rans in the SC-01 GOP primary aren't, for the most part, especially eager to declare allegiances in the April 2 runoff between ex-Gov. Mark Sanford and attorney Curtis Bostic. Bostic did secure the endorsement of former state Sen. John Kuhn, who finished sixth and also declared he wouldn't support Sanford even if he won the nomination. But so far, everyone else (except for a couple of dweebs who earned less than 1 percent of the vote each) is remaining quiet, including fourth place candidate Teddy Turner, who moaned that "It's kind of really hard to kiss and make up" after running a competitive campaign. Oh, and that he's going on spring break with his family. Was Turner ever a serious candidate?

Meanwhile, pre-runoff fundraising reports were just due at the FEC, covering the period from Feb. 28 through March 13. Sanford raised $79K and has $272K in the bank, while Bostic pulled in a meager $5K and has $57K on hand, mostly thanks to a $50K loan he made to his own campaign. (That's on top of an earlier $100K loan.) If Bostic has any prayer of winning, it'll come in the form of evangelical shoe leather, because he certainly can't compete in the money department.

TX-36: When we first heard that Steve Stockman was making a comeback bid, we were cautiously excited—excited because here he was, a living, breathing specimen of the Republican class of 1994, exhumed from amber like a Jurassic Park mosquito... but only cautiously, because here he was, a man who defines the term "moran" so well that he managed to get kicked out of Congress after just a single term. By a Democrat. In Texas. Yet... here he is! Back in the House in all his glory, just like we dared to dream. Sure, his seat's now so red that he's at no risk of getting turfed out by a Dem again, but he could always lose a primary—and anyhow, we're not going to pass up the chance to saddle the GOP with this Texan-sized neck-anvil at every opportunity.

With that mission in mind, here's El Steverino's latest outburst, on the Violence Against Women Act:

"This is a truly bad bill. This is helping the liberals, this is horrible. Unbelievable. What really bothers—it's called a women's act, but then they have men dressed up as women, they count that. Change-gender, or whatever. How is that—how is that a woman?"
How is that—how is that a congressman? I'm at a loss for words. But fortunately, the Stock Man never is, on any and all subjects:
The best thing about the Earth is if you poke holes in it oil and gas come out.
@SteveStockmanTX via web
I have a feeling John Boehner wishes one of those holes in the ground would swallow up Stockman whole. (Via Burnt Orange Report)

UT-04: Republican Mia Love, who declared just the other day that she's considering a rematch with Rep. Jim Matheson, has now filed paperwork with the FEC to create a new campaign committee. Beyond that, she hasn't said anything.

Grab Bag:

Sports: If you enjoyed the Daily Kos Elections NCAA bracket based on election results, you might also like a similar project from Open Secrets. They've put together a bracket based on how much each school spends on lobbying! Maybe unsurprisingly, it's the large state schools that spend the most, and (spoiler alert!) the champion is UC Berkeley. (David Jarman)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

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

    by David Nir on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 05:00:09 AM PDT

  •  CT-05 Greenberg is a teabagging nutcase (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wdrath, stevenaxelrod, Gygaxian

    maybe that's why he can't seem to garner more than 27-29% of the GOP here.  Tea baggers just have no traction in CT.  The GOP bench is pretty thin so he may actually break 30% this time and get the nomination but nobody will take him seriously.  Just another Linda McMahon, using his considerable wealth to try and buy a seat.  

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 05:22:27 AM PDT

  •  Seven inches of snow in late March (0+ / 0-)

    ... and still snowing here in Indianapolis.  UUGH!!!  I'm ready for spring!!!

  •  The best thing about Stockman (8+ / 0-)

    is if you poke holes in him oil and gas come out.

  •  Jeff Suppan's moment in the spotlight .... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RLMiller, Loge, stevenaxelrod

    ..... came when he was picked-off third base in the 2004 World Series - which the Bleacher Report voted as one of the Five Biggest Baserunning Fails on YouTube.

    "We should pay attention to that man behind the curtain."

    by Ed Tracey on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 06:32:25 AM PDT

    •  Suppan is also an anti-choice extremist (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ed Tracey, stevenaxelrod

      and Brownley got a lot of support from Emily's List, Sandra Fluke, and similar. So voters will have a clear choice...and I think they'll choose well.

      Jeff Gorell is also mentioned as a possible Brownley challenger. He won't be termed out of AD44 until 2016.

      Do the math. #unfrackCal. @RL_Miller

      by RLMiller on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 08:41:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Brownley! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ed Tracey, stevenaxelrod, RLMiller

        One of the few candidates I actively campaigned for.  :-)  We drove up to Ventura a couple weekends to help campaign for her, going door to door in several neighborhoods.  We even got to meet her the second time we went.

        Bruin Democrats also won the contest among all the local universities by turning out the most number of boots on the ground to go door-to-door for Brownley, beating USC and UCSB and some others.  8-)

        I'd like to think it was our canvassing in October that helped her beat Strickland.  8-)

        Oh, and as an added benefit, as we were campaigning for Brownley, we were also asking people to vote for Fran Pavley for state senate, and thankfully she edged out rising GOP star Todd Zink.

  •  Supermajority is not a lock in CA (0+ / 0-)

    Yes, we currently have a bare 2/3 in each house, but some of those races were pretty close, and a few were not called for the Dems until the very last votes were counted.   2012 was a very good year, with a motivated Democratic electorate.  

    2014 will probably not be as congenial.  I venture to guess that 4-6 Assembly seats (at least) will be at risk, and we'll almost certainly lose at least one Senate seat.  Granted, Congress is a more attractive gig, but the GOP is not doomed to permanent irrelevance yet.

    •  CA GOP ust doesn't have good elections (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stevenaxelrod

      The 2010 election was a midterm and the worst election nationally we've had in a very long time.  CA Dems still swept every statewide race, lost no House seats and gained in the legislature.

    •  Put yourself in Brulte's shoes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stevenaxelrod

      Jim Brulte, Chair of the California Republican Party, has vast experience in recruiting candidates.  How, exactly does he recruit today?  Does he tell some Supervisor or businessperson or City Council member that if they run for a legislative spot, they will probably have to self-fund and if they win, the Democrats might lose their super-majority?

      There is no chance that Republicans will see an actual majority in the California legislature for a long, long time.  Minority status sucks in the legislature sucks like nothing else sucks.

      He's got nothing.

      •  Brulte's dilemma (0+ / 0-)

        Sounds like a reversed version of Jim Dabakis's problem in Utah. Same concerns, but a different party.

        Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

        by Gygaxian on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 07:00:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think so... (0+ / 0-)

        The Reeps haven't had a majority in either house since 1994-96, and that was (I think) a bare 41 seats in the Assembly.   I think anyone in the CAGOP who isn't sniffing glue realizes they don't stand a snowball's chance of winning a majority.

        However, preventing the supermajority IS important to the Reeps.  That prevents taxes from being raised and constitutional amendments from being put on the ballot, at least without their consent.  The thought of the Democrats being able to raise taxes or proposes meaningful structural reforms scares the bejeesus out of them.  They will fight like wildcats to get those seats back.

        Also, I think you're under-estimating the ego stroke that comes from being called the Assemblymember or the Senator.  Being in the legislature means they are (one of) the most powerful and influential Republicans in their corner of Far West Texas.  Never mind the only bills they pass are inconsequential.  They're still top kick in Republicans on parade.

    •  From talking... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stevenaxelrod

      to an operative who helped Sharon Quirk-Silva win a stunning upset victory in north Orange County, our chances in the Assembly are better than the state senate.  We're keeping the same district lines that elected the supermajority in the Assembly, and thanks to Steve Fox winning in a race NOBODY expected him to win, we have a bit of a cushion there.

      But we're going to lose Lou Correa's state senate seat in 2014, as he's term limited out, and the district will probably go back to its natural red state.

      We defied national expectations in 2010 by still having a pretty decent turnout for a midterm election.  If we can maintain enough of that as well in 2014, then the Assembly seats won't be in as much jeopardy as some people think.

      But again, turnout is key.  It's all about GOTV.

  •  Ed is no pushover either (0+ / 0-)

    and he's very sharp in his messaging. He's also already booked a full schedule of evening/weekend appearances at dinners and forums around the state. If Rich intends to run for governor, he cannot wait for the confirmation process to play out. He's got to resign and come back to Ohio now. Something tells me he doesn't want to. He has a bright future in D.C., no matter what happens with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

    Jon Husted is a dick.

    by anastasia p on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 09:10:03 AM PDT

  •  Brian Nestande (0+ / 0-)

    Any relation to Gabrielle, the rich girl/republican Texas legislature staffer who got off without jail time last month for drunkenly running over and killing a nanny walking in a bike lane in Austin?

    •  Yes, she's his half-sister. (0+ / 0-)

      He's the son of Bruce Nestande, a long-time Republican pol in California and a well-known name. Brian grew up in California and has been in Republican politics forever. There's nothing faintly scandalous about him, as far as I know.

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