• IL-10: Roll Call takes a look at the potential GOP and Dem fields to replace Rep. Mark Kirk should he decide to run for Senate. A spokesperson for ’06/’08 nominee Dan Seals says that he’s in for a third crack at the seat if Kirk vacates the scene, but state Sens. Michael Bond and Susan Garrett are also possible recruits. For the GOP, potential contenders include state Reps. Beth Coulson, JoAnn Osmond, and Ed Sullivan Jr — as well as state Sens. Dan Duffy and Matt Murphy. Coulson, perhaps the most moderate choice the GOP has to offer, might run into some problems in a GOP primary against a more conservative choice like Murphy. (J)
• PA-Sen: The Republican caucus in the Pennsylvania state Senate seems reluctant to comply with Arlen Specter’s desire to allow independents to vote in closed-party primary elections. If the state ultimately leaves the primary rules as they are, Specter will face the daunting task of convincing independents and Democrats to change their party registrations over to the GOP column in order for him to gain leverage against Pat Toomey. (J)
On a very related note, Specter just announced this afternoon that he will be opposing EFCA (an about-face from his previous support for it in previous sessions). Apparently he now thinks the GOP primary is his biggest worry, not maintaining union support for the general.
• MN-06: We’ll never get tired of loving Michele Bachmann. Her latest:
I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us ‘having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,’ and the people – we the people – are going to have to fight back hard if we’re not going to lose our country. And I think this has the potential of changing the dynamic of freedom forever in the United States.
• CO-04: Speculation is growing about who the GOP will find to take on freshman Rep. Betsy Markey in this one-time GOP stronghold turned swing district. State rep. Cory Gardner seems to generate the most buzz, who has already met with the NRCC. Other possibilities include former UC regent Tom Lucero and Ft. Collins city councilor Diggs Brown.
• MI-12: Sander Levin must have had a lot of advance notice of the just-announced primary challenge from state senator Mickey Switalski, because he’s already produced an internal poll from the Mellman Group showing him demolishing Switalski. Levin beats Switalski 62-14 in a head-to-head, and maintains a 74-15 favorable rating. (Switalski’s favorables are 23-8, leaving 69% unsure.)
• NH-02: Another GOPer has lined up for the open House seat left behind by Paul Hodes: Len Mannino, former Milford selectman and current school board member, is publicly expressing his interest. He’ll face an uphill fight against talk radio host Jennifer Horn, who seems to be aiming for a rematch.
• CT-Sen: In 1970, Connecticut’s senior senator, beset by ethical issues (including a Senate censure) and health troubles, failed to re-claim the Democratic Party’s nomation and came in third as an independent that November. That man was Thomas Dodd, Chris Dodd’s father. Click the link for some fascinating details about his saga. And let’s hope that history doesn’t repeat – or even rhyme. (D)
• TX-Gov: Todd Hill of the Burnt Orange Report sat down for an extended interview with Democratic candidate Tom Schieffer. (D)