● WV-Gov: Former U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin is on the airwaves with a couple of new ads. The first is narrated by his wife, who highlights the motto she says her husband lives by (which is posted on the wall of his closet): "Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good." Goodwin himself provides the voiceover for the second spot, saying he doesn't "care about money or power" and adding, "I'm not wealthy, but I'm rich where it counts." That's setting up a not-so-subtle contrast with the frontrunner in the May 10 Democratic primary, coal company billionaire Jim Justice, who has spent heavily.
As for Justice, he's apparently the target of new attack ads from a mysterious outside group called Americans for Integrity in Government Officials. The ads themselves don't appear to be online, but according to the Associated Press, they highlight lawsuits filed against Justice's businesses and workplace safety issue at his coal mines. Justice has accused Goodwin of being behind the ads, a charge Goodwin denies.
● CA-Sen: In a team-up worthy of its own comic book film, the Democratic pollster Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and the GOP group American Viewpoint have joined forces to take a look at the June top-two primary on behalf of the Los Angeles Times and the University of Southern California. (We can skip Greenberg Quinlan Rosner v. American Viewpoint: Dawn of Polling, though.) Like pretty much every poll we've seen, they find two Democrats, Attorney General Kamala Harris and Rep. Loretta Sanchez, grabbing the two general election spots.
Harris leads Sanchez 28-19 while Republicans Tom Del Beccaro and Duf Sundheim are all the way back at 8 and 6 respectively. The poll did not include GOP activist Ron Unz, who entered the race late. Unless one of these three Republicans can consolidate the GOP vote, we're in for a Democratic vs. Democratic showdown in November.
● IN-Sen: A second big outside group is getting involved in Indiana's GOP Senate primary. Karl Rove's One Nation had been running ads for Rep. Todd Young, and now the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is doing the same. Their spot praises Young as a conservative who stands up to Obama and wants to "dismantle the worst parts of Obamacare" (sounds like a bit of a retreat from "repeal and replace," huh?). Politico says the buy is for a hefty $500,000. Young will face tea partying Rep. Marlin Stutzman on May 3.
● LA-Sen: Democratic businessman Josh Pellerin has made it no secret that he plans to run, and he will reportedly announce he's in on April 5. Meanwhile, we have another potential Republican contender. Jeremy Alford reports that former Wall Street investment banker Abhay Patel is being encouraged to enter the race. There's no word on who is doing the encouraging or how closely Patel is listening, especially since Patel hasn't said anything publicly. But if Patel gets in and he's willing and able to spend big, he could put up a fight against better-known rivals like Reps. Charles Boustany and John Fleming and state Treasurer John Kennedy. All the candidates will compete on one November jungle primary ballot; in the very likely event that no one takes more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters will advance to the December runoff.
● AL-Gov: On Tuesday, the Alabama Ethics Commission said it would investigate Gov. Robert Bentley and his senior political advisor, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, after state Auditor Jim Zeigler, a fellow Republican, filed a complaint alleging the two had used state resources "in furtherance of their personal relationship"—that is, to conceal an affair they were allegedly having. A separate report from Local 15 News, citing nameless sources, says that a criminal inquiry is also underway. Bentley is definitely in "gonna get worse before it gets better" territory.
● NJ-Gov: Next year's Democratic primary has been going on behind the scenes for a long time, with state Sen. Ray Lesniak already in and Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, state Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Assemblyman John Wisniewski, and wealthy ex-Ambassador Phil Murphy all laying the groundwork for their own likely bids. This week, Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo told PolitickerNJ that he's interested in running as well. DiVincenzo outright endorsed Republican Gov. Chris Christie in 2013, which is very unlikely to play well in a Democratic primary.
● IA-03: On behalf of veteran and 2014 4th District nominee Jim Mowrer, GBA Strategies has released the toplines for a March 22-24 survey of the June Democratic primary. They give Mowrer a 36-17 lead over Desmund Adams, with investor Mike Sherzan at 13. However, while Adams has struggled to raise money, Sherzan is wealthy and he shouldn't have much trouble boosting his name recognition if he opens his wallet. The Democratic nominee will face freshman Republican David Young in this 51-47 Obama seat.
● MD-04: Democrat Parris Glendening left the governor's mansion with poor approval ratings in 2003, but apparently, someone still wants his endorsement. On Tuesday, Glendening backed ex-Prince George's County State's Attorney Glenn Ivey in the April 26 primary for this safely blue seat. Glendening used to serve as Prince George's County Executive, so maybe voters at home have some fond memories of his tenure.
● NC-02: Filing closed last week for North Carolina's June 7 House primaries, and the state has a list of candidates here. The state's new congressional map has still not been approved in federal court, and it's possible North Carolina will need to redraw its districts (and reopen filing) again. The state has done away with runoffs for the year, so a simple plurality is all that's needed to secure the nomination.
Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers was elected in 2010 as an avowed tea partier, but she angered her former allies after she got too close to the House leadership. Ellmers only represents about 18 percent of the new 2nd District, while fellow GOP incumbent George Holding represents more than half of this safely red Raleigh area-seat. Ellmers isn't a very good fundraiser and she doesn't have many powerful friends left, while Holding is wealthy and doesn't appear to have made any major enemies.
Ellmers is arguing that, because redistricting placed Holding's home outside the 2nd, he's an outsider. That's not a very compelling argument, but it's not like Ellmers has many good cards to play here. Physician Greg Brannon, who took 25 percent earlier this month against Sen. Richard Burr, is also running, but he faces very tough odds.
● NC-03: About 80 percent of this safely red seat remains the same after redistricting, and Republican Rep. Walter Jones still needs to fend off a challenge from former George W. Bush aide Taylor Griffin. The two faced off in 2014, and Griffin held Jones to a weak 51-45 win. Jones has been a pain in the ass for his party's House leadership for a long time, and few establishment-types will be sad if he loses in June. Former marine Phil Law is also running in the primary: Law has very little money, but he could save Jones if he takes a few votes from Griffin.
● NC-09: Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger is facing an FBI investigation over allegations that he improperly transferred money from his former real estate company into his 2012 campaign. Pittenger also only represents about 40 percent of the new Charlotte-area 9th, so he could be in real trouble in June. However, Pittenger has two primary rivals who could end up splitting the vote enough to secure the congressman another term. Megachurch pastor Mark Harris ran for the Senate in 2014 and notched an unimpressive 18 percent of the vote. Ex-Union County Commissioner Todd Johnson may the more serious candidate, but it's unclear if he has the resources to go toe-to-toe with Pittenger. This seat remains solidly red.
● NC-12: Redistricting left Rep. Alma Adams without her Greensboro base, but she's announced that she is moving to Charlotte and will run for this safely blue seat. Adams represents about half the district, but a number of Charlotte politicians are hoping that they can take advantage of the chaos from the new map and come out on top in June.
Ex-state Sen. Malcolm Graham ran against Adams in 2014 for the old version of this seat; while he had problems raising money, he did well in the Charlotte area. State Reps. Tricia Cotham, Carla Cunningham, and Rodney Moore are also in. Adams only needs a plurality of the vote to win renomination, and the clown car could save her. Influential groups like EMILY's List and the League of Conservation Voters have also thrown their support behind the incumbent. However, Cotham could also benefit by being the only white candidate (the other four main contenders are African Americans).
● NC-13: Redistricting created a completely new House seat around Greensboro, and a number of Republicans are seeking it. We have (deep breath): Davie County Commissioner Dan Barrett; state Reps. John Blust, Julia Howard, and Harry Warren; state Sen. Andrew Brock; Guilford County Commissioner Hank Henning; Iredell County Register of Deeds Matt McCall; wacko perennial candidate Vernon Robinson; and ex-CIA agent George Rouco. There's really no way to handicap this primary at this point.
Romney won this seat 53-47, so it could go blue in a good Democratic year. Bob Isner, a Greensboro developer (and the father of pro-tennis player John Isner) is in, and he may have the money and connections to make this interesting. None of the other primary contenders look viable: Ex-Guilford County Commissioner Bruce Davis has held elected office, but his recent campaigns have all gone badly. Daily Kos Elections rates the general as Safe Republican, but we'll keep an eye on this one to see if Isner catches fire.
● PA-09: In his ongoing effort to avoid becoming the tea party's next victim, GOP Rep. Bill Shuster is out with a new ad touting how he's conservatively conservative, with a conservative cherry on top. In what sounds like a recognition of just how despised Republican incumbents are, though, the spot's narrator claims that Shuster "stood up to the leadership of both parties to oppose raising the debt ceiling." Shuster faces businessman Art Halvorson in the April 26 primary.
● RI-01: On Monday, four-term Democratic state Rep. Karen MacBeth joined the GOP and expressed interest in challenging Democratic Rep. David Cicilline. This seat backed Obama 66-32 so suffice to say, this may just be a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. Cicilline, a former mayor of Providence, had some problems during his first term after voters learned that he left his city in poor financial shape when he left for DC. However, Cicilline beat a top-tier GOP challenger in 2012 with 53 percent of the vote, and it's unlikely that someone like MacBeth would be able to unseat him years later. Cicilline did take a weak 63 percent in the 2014 primary so if MacBeth really wanted this seat, she'd probably have been better off challenging him as a Democrat. But as a different Shakespearean character said, what's past is prologue.
● Virginia Beach, VA Mayor: It hasn't been a great few months for Mayor Will Sessoms. In December, Sessoms pleaded "no contest" for violating the state's conflict of interest laws after he cast votes that involved his previous employer. Sessoms says he'll run for re-election in November's non-partisan race, but he's likely to face a credible challenge.
Patricia West, who served as chief deputy under then-Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, says she's considering; Cuccinelli confirms that he'll endorse West. Sessoms is also a Republican, though he crossed party lines in 2013 when he backed Democrat Terry McAuliffe over Cuccinelli in the gubernatorial contest. The candidate filing deadline for Virginia's largest city is in June.
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.