SSP Daily Digest: 5/29

MO-Sen: Rep. Roy Blunt got some unwelcome news yesterday: he and his wife owe $6,820 in back taxes on their three-bedroom home in Georgetown, Washington D.C. assessed at $1.62 million. (The problem seems to be an improperly declared homestead exemption.) True to Republican form, the Blunt camp is blaming the government (more specifically, the D.C. government, for bungling the update of their homestead status).

NV-Sen: The Nevada GOP may be closer to landing a credible candidate to go against Harry Reid. State Senator Mark Amodei of Carson City (who’s term-limited out in 2010) was unusually vocal on the senate floor in the session’s closing weeks. When pressed in a recent interview, he said that if Rep. Dean Heller didn’t run against Reid (which seems unlikely; Heller, if he moves up, is usually mentioned as a primary challenger to toxic Gov. Jim Gibbons), then he’d “consider” running.

NY-Sen-B: Rep. Carolyn McCarthy endorsed Mayor-for-Life Michael Bloomberg for another term at the helm of New York City. As Daily Kos’s Steve wisely points out, this may be an indicator she’s not looking to run in the Dem primary; if she’s going to do so, she’d have to run to Kirsten Gillibrand’s left, but that would be a difficult case to make having just endorsed a Republican-turned-Independent for one of the state’s biggest jobs.

AL-Gov: State Treasurer Kay Ivey announced that she’s joining the crowded field of GOP candidates for Governor (including college chancellor Bradley Byrne, who also announced this week, as the moderate option, and ex-judge Roy Moore as the nuclear option). Ivey, however, may suffer a bit from her role in the state’s messed-up prepaid college tuition plan.

IA-Gov: State Rep. Chris Rants has been traveling the state gauging support for a run at the GOP gubernatorial nomination. Rants, from Sioux City in the state’s conservative west, served as majority leader and then speaker, but was replaced in leadership after the GOP lost the majority in 2006. Fellow Sioux City resident Bob Vander Plaats (the 2006 Lt. Gov. nominee) is expected to announce his candidacy soon as well.

MN-Gov: Tim Pawlenty has deferred his decision on whether or not to run for re-election to a third term until later this summer. The decision may turn on who’s more pissed at him after he decides whether or not to certify Al Franken — the nationwide GOP base, or Minnesotans.

OR-Gov: Former Gov. John Kitzhaber seems to be moving closer to a return to Salem, meeting with some of the state’s insiders about steps toward a comeback. Ex-SoS Bill Bradbury, who’s already in the running (and won’t stand down if Kitzhaber gets in), confirms that Kitzhaber is “looking very seriously” at the race. Kitzhaber seems to be looking forward to a “do-over” now that there’s a firmly Democratic legislature; he spent most of his two terms in the 90s playing defense against a GOP-held legislature.

RI-Gov: Two of Rhode Island’s key Democrats are taking steps to run for the open Governor’s seat: AG Patrick Lynch and Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts. Roberts is staffing up with top-tier campaign staff, while Lynch said that he has “every intention” of running for Governor during a radio interview. (Treasurer Frank Caprio is also mentioned as a likely candidate and is sitting on the most cash, but hasn’t done anything visible yet.) A Brown Univ. poll just released tested their approvals; Lynch was at 47/39 and Caprio at 41/24, while Roberts was in worse shape at 22/36. (A poll from March is the only test of the Dem primary so far, with Caprio leading with 30%, compared with 17 for Lynch, 12 for Roberts, and 13 for Providence mayor David Cicilline, who won’t be running.)

FL-02: State Senate Minority Leader Al Lawson has been attempting to primary Rep. Allen Boyd from the left, but party power brokers are encouraging him to switch over to the race for state CFO, being vacated by Alex Sink. With Senate President Jeff Atwater already running for CFO for the GOP, this would pit the parties’ two Senate leaders against each other.

IN-05: In this R+17 district, the primary’s where it’s at, and there’s a whole herd of Republicans chasing Rep. Dan Burton, perceived more as vulnerable more for his age and indifference than any ideological reason. State Rep. Mike Murphy just got into the race. He joins former state Rep. and former state party chair Luke Messer, John McGoff (who narrowly lost the 2006 primary against Burton), and Brose McVey (who ran against Julia Carson in IN-07 in 2002).

NM-01: It’s looking there’ll be a contested GOP primary to see who gets flattened by freshman Rep. Martin Heinrich in this now D+5 district. Former state party vice-chair and former Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce president Jon Barela is about to form an exploratory committee. (Given this district’s 45% Latino population, Barela may be a stronger candidate for the general than funeral home director Kevin Daniels.)

PA-06: Here’s a good tea leaf that Rep. Jim Gerlach is making behind-the-scenes notifications that he’s indeed bailing on his rapidly-bluening district. State Rep. Curt Schroder from rural Chester County (not to be confused with Oregon’s Kurt Schrader), always considered to be the next GOPer to have dibs on this seat, has organized a campaign committee. Dems have journalist Doug Pike running in this race, but someone with more firepower may jump in once Gerlach makes it official.

PA-07: For a few hours there last night, it looked like we were facing real problems in PA-07, a D+3 seat with a good Republican bench that will open up if Rep. Joe Sestak follows through on his threatened primary challenge to Arlen Specter. Former E.D. Pa. US Attorney (and before that, Delaware County DA) Pat Meehan was reported to be mulling a switch from the Governor’s race, where he’s probably lagging AG Tom Corbett in the primary (no polls have been taken, so who knows?), over to PA-07, giving the GOP a top-tier recruit. However, Meehan acted quickly to tamp that down and reaffirm he’s running for Gov. TPM points to another potential GOPer, Steven Welch, founder of local pharma company Mitos Technologies; on the Dem side, as most everyone here knows, state Rep. Bryan Lentz is heir apparent.

20 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 5/29”

  1. Patrick Lynch, he’s been a very good Attorney General and is a lot cleaner than most RI dems tend to be. He’d be a very good, strong governor who’d definitely stick up to the corruption in the legislature. Cilliccine’s votes will probably break heavily for him cause if I’m not mistaken he’s from Providence as well.

    Chris Rants…what a great political name.

    In PA-06 we’d definitely get a stronger candidate. I’m wary on another Montgomery one though, for 3 cycles Gerlach lost Montgomery easily but wracked up enough votes in Chester and Berks to win. The Chester County area is especially one Democrats shouldn’t be losing anymore. A Chester County Democrat would be the best hope.

    Not quite as high on Kitzhaber as many other dems are, I’d like a fresh face in and Kitzhaber, though popular with the liberal Democratic base, brings a tarnished image and a lot of baggage from two divisive terms in the 1990s, even if a lot of that went both ways with the conservative Republican legislature. I think either Defazio or Jim Hill would be better new faces, though Democrats do not need to nominate a candidate like Bradbury, especially if Gordon Smith runs.

  2. With more mainstream GOPers getting in to AL-Gov, this increases the likelihood of Roy Moore winning the nomination, yes?  I imagine the guy has a hardcore base of support, maybe 30-35% of primary voters (he got about a third running against the incumbent Riley), and they won’t budge for other elected officials.  However, the rest of the voting base could easily split down between Ivey, Byrne, and possibly other candidates.  Without the disadvantage of running against an incumbent, Moore may very well improve on his overall percentage, and win with a sizable plurality.

  3.   Curt Schroder’s State House district is more exurban than rural.  Jim Gerlach himself used to hold the same seat.  PA-06 is become blue enough that we may not necessarily need a Chester county Democrat to win an open seat, though it would be nice to have a state legislator as a candidate for a change.

     I’m bullish on Bryan Lentz.  He’s a strong, progressive candidate – a war veteran with legislative experience.  He beat the horrible incumbent state rep. Tom Gannon in 2006.  It was the nastiest campaign in the county.  Tom Gannon was the GOP’s point man on anti-gay bigotry (it’s a socially liberal district too!).  Lentz will wipe the floor with some fool biotech executive.

  4. As for the runoff.  Each of Moore’s Republican opponents has serious problems. Both Ivey and Byrne were on the PACT board and failed in their roles.

    Byrne is a democrat turned Republican who is suspect as to his true loyalities.

    And so forth…

    So Moore could win a runoff.

    Its a long way off so the exact nature of this race has yet to take shape.

  5. “NY-GOV: Politics1 Reports Paterson Convinced Cuomo Won’t Run

    Just yesterday, there was the perplexing report that Sen. Gillibrand seemed to indicate mid-week that there was not going to be a contested Democratic primary for governor. Ron Gunzberger’s Politics1 might have the answer-they have talked to an operative in New York, who indicated that Governor Paterson is convinced that Andrew Cuomo will not run because of lingering concerns over racial disharmony which stemmed from Cuomo’s 2002 race against Carl McCall (who went on to lose to Governor George Pataki). The report also indicated that Paterson would stay in the race as a third party candidate (remember the whole fusion candidate thing exists in New York) even if he lost the Democratic Primary (which polls indicate is likely).”

    Hadn’t heard anything about that.

  6. and an opportunity like this won’t come again any time soon.  paterson is so deluded he may think no one will challenge him, but that is an absurdity.  a second rate state rep or state senator could beat him fairly easily in a primary if it came to that.

    i don’t have any reports denying your report, but it doesn’t make any sense.  and again, i wouldn’t trust anything paterson said.

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