Montana Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock
• MT-Gov: Republicans are planning to target Gov. Steve Bullock, a red state Democrat who only narrowly won his first term. No one serious has jumped in yet, but the Bozeman Daily Chronicle tells us that state Democrats are preparing to face wealthy businessman Greg Gianforte.
Gianforte hasn't said much about his intentions but he's been traveling the state raising his profile with both the public and with local Republicans, and he hasn't been shy about using his money to help state candidates. State Sen. Taylor Brown has also been mentioned as a potential gubernatorial candidate, though he doesn't appear to be as interested as Gianforte.
• CA-Sen: It seems like a lifetime ago, but shortly after Sen. Barbara Boxer announced her retirement, state Controller Betty Yee was great mentioned as a potential successor. However, Yee never expressed any public interest, and her name soon fell off the radar. On Wednesday, Yee endorsed fellow Democrat Kamala Harris, ensuring that the 9,000 "Betty Yee for Senate 2016" t-shirts I ordered in January will never be put to proper use.
• IL-Sen: Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth kicked off her campaign against Republican incumbent Mark Kirk on Monday, but she doesn't have a clear primary field yet. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Chicago Urban League President and CEO Andrea Zopp, who also serves on the Chicago School Board, is being encouraged to run. Zopp hasn't said anything publicly but former White House Chief of Staff William Daley, who waged an abortive gubernatorial campaign last cycle, confirmed that he's talking to her.
A Zopp campaign would be bad news for Rep. Robin Kelly, who is also considering and would rather not face another African American from Chicago. But Zopp's time on the school board could be a liability: She was one of the members who made the controversial decision to shutter 49 schools.
• IN-Sen: While Evan Bayh was frequently a huge pain in the ass for his fellow Senate Democrats, he would almost certainly give Team Blue its best chance to flip retiring Republican Sen. Dan Coats' seat next year. Bayh hasn't ruled out a comeback bid but he doesn't sound incredibly interested right now, telling the Huffington Post that while he's "flattered by the speculation," "I think that's very unlikely, simply because -- well for a variety of factors, that's very unlikely." If Bayh sits it out, former Rep. Baron Hill is likely to emerge as the prime recruit for national Democrats.
• NJ-Sen: As expected, Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez was indicted in federal court on Wednesday, on charges of bribery, fraud, conspiracy, and making false statements. Prosecutors allege that Menendez used his office to benefit a friend of his, wealthy eye surgeon Salomon Melgen, who had provided Menendez with lavish gifts, including private air travel. Unsurprisingly, Menendez remained defiant at a press conference that evening.
• OR-Sen: Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden has never had to worry about re-election, but some liberal groups are frustrated with his support for a free-trade bill backed by the Obama Administration. Democracy for America is openly talking about challenging him in the primary, but it's far from clear who they could find that's willing to run against him. Rep. Peter DeFazio is the preferred pick of anti-Wyden Democrats, but he's already said no and there's no obvious alternative.
• PA-Sen, AG: Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski has been mentioned as a potential Democratic primary opponent against 2010 nominee Joe Sestak, but until now he's been very quiet about his plans. However, Pawlowski tells the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he has "a lot to think about and will be giving the run the serious consideration it deserves." Pawlowski ran for governor last year but he raised little money and dropped out long before the primary, and he'll need to run a much more focused campaign if he's going to beat Sestak.
Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro was the original choice for Pennsylvania Democrats who dreaded a Sestak rerun, but he's shown little public interest so far. But "figures familiar with his thinking" tell the Post-Gazette that he's definitely considering and is expected to decide later in the spring. However, Gov. Tom Wolf just picked Shapiro to chair the state Commission on Crime and Delinquency. It's quite possible this job could help Shapiro raise his profile for a statewide bid, but not necessarily for U.S. Senate. It looks very likely that Democratic Attorney General Kathleen Kane will be indicted, and her party will want a replacement candidate. Shapiro's name has been floated and while he hasn't said much about his plans for this office either, he'd probably have a much easier time winning here than he would in a Senate contest.
Former Rep. Chris Carney, state Sen. Vincent Hughes, and Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams are all publicly mulling primary bids against Sestak, who has a terrible relationship with the state Democratic establishment. The winner will take on Republican Sen. Pat Toomey in a must-win contest for Team Blue.
• IL-18: Now that Aaron Schock has officially resigned from the House, Gov. Bruce Rauner has set the dates for the special election to succeed him. However, the June 8 primary and July 24 general are both likely to be moved soon.
As Roll Call explains, Illinois law requires that special elections be held within 115 days of a vacancy, but the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act requires more time for ballots to be mailed to military personnel serving overseas. Rauner says that the primary will probably end up in late June or early July, and the general will ultimately be in late August. However, it appears that the April 20 filing deadline is safe.
• NH-01: It was fun to see former Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter hint that she might run for something other than NH-01 next year, but we've all been waiting for her to settle on her inevitable fourth match with Republican incumbent Frank Guinta. And sure enough, Shea-Porter sent an email to her supporters reminding them how close she came to holding her swing seat in the GOP wave. While she said that she and her team "are hard at work looking at everything," it's sounds very clear that she's seriously considering another bout with Guinta.
• Deaths: John Paul Hammerschmidt, who represented Arkansas' 3rd District from 1967 until 1993, will be remembered for two firsts. Hammerschmidt was the first Republican since Reconstruction to represent Arkansas in Congress, and for a long time, his northwestern seat was the only reliable bastion of GOP support in the state.
He was also the first person to ever beat Bill Clinton in an election. While the University of Arkansas law professor and first time candidate came close to retaking this seat for the Democrats, the 1974 post-Watergate wave wasn't quite enough to get even the Big Dog over the top. In fact, only one other person ever beat Clinton: Frank White unseated the future president in the 1980 gubernatorial campaign, though Clinton avenged the loss just two years later. Hammerschmidt died on Wednesday at age 92.
The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir and Jeff Singer, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, and Taniel.