The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.
● PA-01: Bucks County Prothonotary Judi Reiss ended her bid for the Democratic nomination in Pennsylvania's 1st Congressional District on Monday. The move leaves a trio of candidates in the race for the right to take on GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick: Bucks County housing department official Christina Finello, Pennsbury school board member Debbie Wachspress, and businessman Skylar Hurwitz.
Interestingly, one reason Reiss cited for her departure was her increased responsibilities in county government. That came about because Democrats won control of the Bucks County Board of Commissioners in November for the first time since 1983.
● CA-22: Devin Nunes (R-inc): $2.1 million raised, $7.2 million cash-on-hand
● FL-18: Brian Mast (R-inc): $764,000 raised, $1.2 million cash-on-hand
● NJ-02: David Richter (R): $40,000 raised, additional $200,000 self-funded, $515,000 cash-on-hand
● NJ-03: Kate Gibbs (R): $143,000 raised, $138,000 cash-on-hand
● NV-04: Steven Horsford (D-inc): $455,000 raised, $1 million cash-on-hand
● PA-10: Eugene DePasquale (D): $300,000 raised, $500,000 cash-on-hand
● GA-Sen-B: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Rev. Raphael Warnock, a senior pastor at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church and a voting rights advocate, is "expected to announce his candidacy within days." The paper had previously reported that national Democrats were keen on Warnock's candidacy, and they also relay that 2018 gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams is rumored to be backing Warnock.
● KS-Sen: Keep America Great PAC, which is supporting Rep. Roger Marshall for the GOP nomination, has released a poll from the firm co/Efficient that finds Marshall holding a 29-28 edge over former 2018 gubernatorial nominee Kris Kobach, while state Senate President Susan Wagle takes just 6% and none of the other candidates were tested. While national Republicans have fretted that the damaged Kobach could win the nomination and risk their hold over what should be a strongly Republican seat, this survey suggests that Marshall has room to grow, since his name recognition is much lower than Kobach's.
● NC-Sen: Politico reports that VoteVets has spent or reserved a total of $3.3 million to help elect former state Sen. Cal Cunningham, who is national Democrats' preferred candidate to take on GOP Sen. Thom Tillis this fall.
Meanwhile, Cunningham has debuted his first TV ad ahead of the March 3 primary. The spot features Cunningham speaking to the camera and highlighting his military service, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star. Cunningham denounces corruption in D.C. and says he'll fight to lower prescription drug costs, guarantee coverage for pre-existing conditions, and finally expand Medicaid (North Carolina is one of the few holdouts to not expand Medicaid under Obamacare thanks to Republican state legislative opposition).
● MT-Gov: Democratic Sen. Jon Tester has endorsed Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney in the Democratic primary for governor, where Cooney's main rival so far appears to be businesswoman Whitney Williams.
● UT-Gov: State Attorney General Sean Reyes announced on Friday that he won't be joining the crowded Republican field for governor and will instead seek re-election in November.
● CA-50: San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has endorsed former Rep. and fellow Republican Darrell Issa.
● FL-03: Former Gainesville Mayor Ed Braddy, who serves as Alachua County GOP chair, is the latest candidate to enter the crowded Republican primary for this safely red open seat. Braddy joins a GOP field that includes Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn, 2018 House candidate Judson Sapp, Clay County Commissioner Gavin Rollins, businesswoman Amy Pope Wells, physician James St. George, and Kat Cammack, who has worked as an aide to retiring Rep. Ted Yoho. Meanwhile, former Gainesville City Commissioner Todd Chase has formed an exploratory committee and said that he thinks he'll decide before the end of the month.
● FL-16: Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan has released an internal poll from Data Targeting that finds him holding a large 53-33 edge over Democratic state Rep. Margaret Good. While Good is almost certainly starting out with much lower name recognition than the incumbent, Buchanan's 42-22 positive favorable rating could be indicate he’ll be tough to beat in November.
● GA-14, GA-07: Air Force veteran Ben Bullock has dropped out of the crowded Republican primary for the competitive open 7th District and will instead join the growing primary for the open and safely red 14th District. Bullock enters a field in the 14th that includes fellow Air Force veteran Clayton Fuller, neurosurgeon John Cowan, and construction company owner Marjorie Greene.
● MA-04: Attorney Ben Sigel is the newest Democrat to enter the packed primary for the heavily Democratic 4th District. Sigel's campaign notes that he would be the first Latino member of Congress from Massachusetts if elected, and his rivals for the Democratic nomination include City Year co-founder Alan Khazei; Newton City Councilors Becky Walker Grossman and Jake Auchincloss; Dave Cavell, who is a former senior adviser to state Attorney General Maura Healey; former Wall Street regulator Ihssane Leckey; and former Alliance for Business Leadership head Jesse Mermell.
● MD-07: While former Democratic Rep. Kweisi Mfume has long insisted that he voluntarily resigned as president of the NAACP in 2004, a new article in the Baltimore Sun confirms reports from 2005 that said Mfume had in fact been let go by the organization's board.
According to a document prepared by civil rights movement leader Julian Bond, who at the time was chair of the NAACP's board, the decision not to renew Mfume's contract "came after a long period of growing dissatisfaction with high and constant staff turnovers, falling revenues, falling memberships, three consecutive negative performance appraisals, highly questionable hiring and promotion decisions, creation of new staff positions with no job descriptions, and personal behavior which placed each of us at legal and financial risk." The last part may be a reference to an NAACP employee who accused Mfume of sexual harassment and threatened to sue.
Mfume has also maintained that the board never informed him of its displeasure, but Bond's papers (which are maintained in a public archive at the University of Virginia, where he taught before his death in 2015) record that members of the board's executive committee met with Mfume "face-to-face" to tell him of their decision. Mfume would not speak with the Sun about Bond's documents and instead released a statement saying, "Sometimes strong-willed leaders have differences of opinion. Julian and I were no different."
Questions about Mfume's tenure at the NAACP did not arise during his unsuccessful 2006 bid for Senate, and his opponents in the Feb. 4 primary for the April 28 special election haven't raised the topic either. However, at the first and only debate of the race on Monday night, a moderator asked Mfume, "How can we trust you not to take advantage of your position?" Mfume acknowledged that a relationship he had with a subordinate at the NAACP was a mistake but did not discuss the sexual harassment allegations.
● MT-AL: Rancher Matt Rains dropped out of the Democratic primary for Montana's open House seat on Tuesday and endorsed former state Rep. Kathleen Williams, who was the party's nominee in 2018. That leaves state Rep. Tom Winter as the only other notable candidate seeking the Democratic nomination. Five different Republicans, meanwhile, are running for this seat, which GOP Rep. Greg Gianforte is leaving to run for governor.
As for Rains, he announced a bid for the 22nd State House District in Great Falls area, which is currently held by Republican Lola Sheldon-Galloway. This seat moved sharply toward Trump in 2016, giving him a 55-36 win, but in 2012, Mitt Romney carried it by just a 49-47 margin. Republicans control the chamber 58-42.
● NJ-11, NJ-07: The New Jersey Globe reports that tax attorney Rosemary Becchi will drop out of the GOP primary in the 7th District, making way for state Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean Jr. to have a clear path to the Republican nomination there, and instead challenge Democratic Rep. Mikie Sherrill in the 11th District. Becchi said on Sunday that she'd decide early this week, but the Globe conveys that it's already a done deal. If Becchi does indeed switch races, former Kinnelon Councilman Larry Casha wouldn't rule out dropping out of the GOP primary in the 11th District to make way for her to run there, but he said he's still running as of now.
● PA-08: Kevin McCarthy, the top-ranking Republican in the House, has endorsed Army veteran Earl Granville, one of several Republicans vying to take on Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright.
● TX-17: Construction company owner Scott Bland has launched his first TV ad ahead of the March 3 GOP primary. Bland relays his experience serving in the secret service after 9/11 and says he's "ready to take a bullet for President Trump ...." Bland then attacks Democratic congresswomen of color in "the Squad" and the "liberal media" before listing off his support for typical pro-Trump priorities such as building the border wall.
● TX-22: Retiring Republican Rep. Pete Olson has endorsed Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star CEO Pierce Bush, the Bush family scion who is running in the crowded primary to succeed Olson.
● TX-28: Jessica Cisneros, who is challenging Rep. Henry Cuellar in the March Democratic primary, has now joined the incumbent on the airwaves. Cisneros narrates her first TV ad (which she's airing in both English and Spanish) herself, saying that she decided to become a lawyer as a child and eventually became an immigration attorney. She says she's running for Congress "to fight for health care for everyone and stand up against Donald Trump's wall and cruel immigration policies." While she doesn't mention Cuellar, she concludes by saying that "South Texas needs a new voice."
● WI-07: Army veteran Jason Church's latest ad ahead of the Republican primary shows him handling and shooting a rifle at a moving target while he denounces "liberals" and the effort to impeach Trump.