Former Illinois GOP Rep. Joe Walsh
• IL-14, Sen: Oh Joe Walsh, don't get our hopes up again. The former tea partying congressman has been publicly considering a longshot primary bid against Sen. Mark Kirk, but GOP sources tell the Daily Herald's Kerry Lester that Walsh is considering challenging Republican Rep. Randy Hultgren instead. The two almost came into conflict in 2012 after they were thrown into the same safely-red House seat, but national Republicans convinced Walsh to seek re-election in the Democratic leaning 8th District instead. The NRCC pledged to send millions of dollars to help Walsh if he took one for the team, but it didn't stop him from losing to Tammy Duckworth 55-45.
Hultgren is one of the many bland but usually dependable conservatives in the House GOP caucus, and it would be fun to watch him try and fend off the fire-breathing Walsh. Of course, who knows how serious Walsh actually is about this. Many people have speculated that Walsh's flirtations are really just his way of getting some attention for his radio show. But Walsh is an unpredictable enough guy that we can still hold out hope that he'll go after either Kirk or Hultgren.
• CA-Sen: The top-two primary doesn't get polled a lot, and right now, that may be for the best. A new Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research/American Viewpoint poll conducted for the Los Angeles Times and USC gives state Attorney General Kamala Harris a 26-17 lead over Rep. Loretta Sanchez, a fellow Democrat. Ex-state GOP leader Tom Del Beccaro takes 10, while GOP Assemblyman Rocky Chavez is at 9 (another ex-GOP chair, Duf Sundheim, entered the race too late to be included). With so many undecideds, it's just hard to read much into this survey.
• MD-Sen, 06: Democratic Rep. John Delaney has been quiet about his Senate plans over the last few months, but he still won't close the door to a statewide bid. Delaney said on Sunday that he's planning to run for re-election to the House "right now," and he didn't rule anything out when asked. Delaney is wealthy, so he could jump-start a campaign if he wanted. However, announced candidates and fellow Reps. Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards also hail from the D.C. area, so there may just not be much space left for Delaney to carve out his own niche, especially if a Baltimore-area congressman like Elijah Cummings or Dutch Ruppersberger gets in.
• LA-Gov: Depending on which polls you believe, David Vitter is either heavily favored to get into a November runoff with Democrat John Bel Edwards or in danger of losing his spot to fellow Republican Scott Angelle. In any case, Vitter's well-funded super PAC is taking no chances, and they're out with another spot hitting both Angelle and Jay Dardenne (who is also a Republican).
The Fund For Louisiana's Future's ad accuses both Angelle and Dardenne of supporting higher taxes and then taking advantage of taxpayer funded car benefits. While Dardenne currently doesn't look like a threat to Vitter, LaPolitics' Jeremy Alford explains why Vitter's allies are going after both men equally: If they only attack one, conservative voters who don't like Vitter could just end up flocking to the undamaged candidate. Dardenne has also been saving his money so he can go on the air during the leadup to the Oct. 24 jungle primary, so he may do a bit better than the polls indicate right now.
• OR-Gov: A few weeks ago, conservative Democratic state Sen. Betsy Johnson refused to rule out speculation that she would join the Independent Party and challenge interim Democratic Gov. Kate Brown in next year's general election. However, Thursday was the deadline for Johnson to register with the Independent Party if she wanted to run with them in 2016, and she didn't go through with it. Johnson admits to The Daily Astorian that she did think about it, and she said little beyond that. However, Johnson didn't rule out running for governor, only saying that she decided not to "change my party affiliation." Given Johnson's conservative record, she'd have an extremely uphill climb if she wants to take on Brown in a Democratic primary.
• WA-Gov: In a bit of a surprise, Republican state Sen. Andy Hill announced on Friday that he won't be running in the 2016 Washington gubernatorial race against Democratic incumbent Jay Inslee. Hill had been considered the likely GOP frontrunner to oppose Inslee; he framed his demurral as a decision to spend more time with his teenaged children, so it's likely he's biding his time until 2020 when it'll most likely be an easier lift as an open seat (there aren't term limits in Washington, but seeking a third term is almost never done).
With much less fanfare, earlier in the week, state Sen. Steve Litzow—the other moderate Republican representing Seattle's light-blue Eastside suburbs—also announced that he wouldn't run. (Few people were expecting Litzow to pursue it; he was considered more of a fallback option in lieu of Hill.) That leaves little-known former Port of Seattle Commissioner Bill Bryant as the GOP's only candidate here, unless either Rep. Dave Reichert, who invariably gets mentioned for a promotion but never runs, or ex-Attorney General Rob McKenna surprise everyone and get in after all.
If you need some confirmation that it's Bryant or bust for the GOP, though, on Monday, Dan Evans tipped his hand, endorsing Bryant. Evans served as governor from 1965 to 1977 and as a U.S. senator from 1983 to 1989; even at age 89, he's still the guy that other moderate Republicans in Washington take their cues from. It seems likely that Evans knows that Reichert won't run and that it has to be Bryant (though possibly, he could just be trying to dissuade Reichert from running).
• IL-08: The GOP isn't going to have an easy time flipping this open Obama 57-41 seat, but Team Red now at least has a credible candidate. DuPage County Commissioner Pete DiCianni has confirmed he's in; while a few other Republicans have been mentioned here, none of them ever sounded anywhere near as interested as DiCianni. On the Democratic side, businessman Raja Krishnamoorthi looks like the clear frontrunner against state Sen. Mike Noland and Villa Park Village President Deb Bullwinkel.
• MD-07: Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings hasn't publicly decided if he'll run for the Senate or seek re-election to this safely blue Baltimore City seat, but one potential successor isn't waiting for an answer. The Rev. Jamal Bryant, who leads a 12,000-person congregation, announced that he would run on Monday.
Bryant was very visible during the April riots and his church has been very active in building a community center named after Freddie Gray, so he should have some name-recognition and connections. However, plenty of other local Democrats are thinking about running here if Cummings leaves, so he should expect some very serious competition. It's also unclear what Bryant will do if Cummings runs for re-election: Bryant says that he expects the incumbent to run for the Senate, but will talk to Cummings if he decides to stay put. In any case, Bryant would face very steep odds if he actually decided to oppose Cummings.
• MN-02: Now that former Minnesota First Lady Mary Pawlenty is reportedly considering a run for this open swing seat, the University of Minnesota's Smart Politics blog takes a look at other state first ladies who have gone on to be House members. It's not a very long list though: Only New Jersey's Helen Stevenson Meyner has ever pulled it off. It's a similar story for the Senate: Hillary Clinton was elected to the chamber, but the other five state first ladies-turned-senators were appointed and didn't serve in the next Congress (though Missouri's Jean Carnahan ran and lost).
• NY-19: It's been clear for a while that ex-Assembly Minority Leader and 2006 GOP gubernatorial nominee John Faso will run for this open swing seat, but Faso only made it official on Monday. Right now, Faso only faces businessman Andrew Heaney in the primary, though several local Republicans are mulling bids. However, state Sen. James Seward announced on Sunday that he would not go for it. Democrats are still looking for a serious candidate here.
• PA-08: National Democrats haven't been happy with state Rep. Steve Santarsiero's campaign and the DCCC has even reportedly tried to convince him to drop out of the race so the party could consolidate behind primary rival Shaughnessy Naughton. Santarsiero has refused to go anywhere and he just unveiled endorsements from three unions, so it looks like he still has some juice left.
• Houston, TX Mayor: The Houston Chronicle's Rebecca Elliott checks in on what's become a pretty stagnant race. The conventional wisdom says that Democratic state Rep. Sylvester Turner will advance past the November non-partisan primary into the December runoff, and the other candidates are mostly focused on preventing Democratic ex-Harris County Adrian Garcia from joining him there.
However, Councilor Stephen Costello and ex-Kemah Mayor Bill King have also been competing for the city's conservative vote. Costello has more money at his disposal, but many Republican activists detest him over his support for a drainage fee. Additionally, 2013 runner-up Ben Hall has been winning support from social conservatives due to his opposition to an equal rights referendum. Hall has also been trying to take African American voters away from Turner. Ex-Rep. and 2006 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Chris Bell has been going after Garcia from the left, though he may not have the resources to do much damage, while businessman Marty McVey seems to be running a pretty low-key campaign overall.
• VA State Senate: If you're looking to see which races will decide control of the Virginia state Senate this fall, TV ads are a good place to start. Via the Richmond Times-Dispatch's Jim Nolan, both Democrat Dan Gecker and Republican Glen Sturtevant are running spots in SD-10, an open GOP-held Richmond-area seat that Obama carried 50-48. Both Republican incumbent Frank Wagner and Democratic challenger Gary McCollum are also on the air in SD-07, a Virginia Beach seat that Obama narrowly won.
The GOP is trying to flip SD-29 in Northern Virginia: While Obama won it 64-35, Democrats are worried that weak turnout and a strong campaign from Manassas Mayor Hal Parrish will cost them the seat. Parrish has been running ads for a little while, and Democrat Jeremy McPike just joined him on the airwaves.
Both parties have a few other targets, but the ad wars haven't started yet. Democrats are hoping to take out social conservative Richard Black, but his 51-48 Romney seat is a tough nut to crack. The GOP is going after John Edwards in Roanoke, and Republican Nancy Dye got a boost when she learned that Democratic Roanoke Commonwealth's Attorney Donald Caldwell would run as an independent. The GOP is also hoping to beat Lynwood Lewis after his extremely narrow 2014 win. The GOP holds a 21 to 19 majority in the state Senate, and Democrats need to net one seat to retake control.
• UK General: Members of the opposition Labour Party chose a new leader last week, but their pick is nothing if not controversial. Jeremy Corbyn successfully campaigned on an uncompromising defense of socialism, left-wing economics, and anti-austerity. However, his foreign policy views are what has many Labour figures especially worried about his viability in a general election. In a new piece, David Beard takes a look at how Corbyn won, and what his victory means for British politics.
• WATN? Former California GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been picked to host Celebrity Apprentice. Sadly, this doesn't seem to be the start of a showbiz boom for ex-California governors: We're still probably years away from getting "The Tonight Show With Pete Wilson," "Gray Davis Wants to Be a Millionaire," or "Dancing With Deukmejian."
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 Stephen Wolf.