SSP Daily Digest: 8/5

NV-Sen: Looks like John Ensign might be starting to get the Jim Bunning treatment from GOP Senate leadership even though it’s three years till he’s up in 2012. Today John Cornyn made a point of refusing to endorse Ensign when asked, instead retreating to boilerplate about giving him the time and space to work out his issues. This follows revelations earlier this week from the Las Vegas Sun detailing how Ensign’s staff, contrary to earlier claims, knew about Ensign’s affair almost one year before it became public.

NH-Sen: As the GOP establishment annointment of Kelly Ayotte as Senate candidate continues apace, she’s nailed down former Gov. Steve Merrill (who had been touted as a possible candidate himself) as her campaign co-chair.

NC-Sen: Polls have shown that voters are pretty lukewarm about Richard Burr, and now comments from Burr suggest that he’s pretty lukewarm about being Senator, too. By way of decrying the increased partisanship on the Hill (by which he no doubt means being in the minority), he says “When people ask me if I enjoy what I’m doing, now is the time that I try not to answer the question.”

OH-Gov: While the fundraising numbers in the Ohio Secretary of State’s race that we talked about yesterday are a cause for concern, Dems are doing well in the two other races that will determine control of the legislative reapportionment board. Not just the Governor’s race, where incumbent Ted Strickland is far outpacing Republican ex-Rep. John Kasich ($2.5 million to $516K), but also Hamilton Co. Commissioner David Pepper, who is challenging incumbent Republican Auditor Mary Taylor, and leading the money chase $317K to $107K. Cumulatively, Democrats in the state House have also more than doubled up on their Republican colleagues.

PA-07: Now that Joe Sestak has made it official that he’s running for Senate, that puts the wheels in motion in the 7th. Democratic State Rep. Bryan Lentz says he’ll make a formal announcement of his candidacy in the next month. Lentz doesn’t seem like he’ll have the Dem field to himself, though; state Rep. Greg Vitali says he’s also considering the race. On the GOP side, businessman Steven Welch is staffing up for his campaign; unless Pat Meehan does an about-face and drops down from the gubernatorial race, Welch seems likely to have the field to himself.

Ads: Prepare to watch and hear nothing but ads about health care reform for the next month. The Club for Growth is running ads playing up the “deather” line of argument, targeting Democratic congressional delegations in Nevada, Arkansas, Colorado, and North Dakota. On the Dem side, the DNC is running health care radio ads on behalf of 19 House members (Driehaus, Dahlkemper, Kirkpatrick, Giffords, McNerney, Perlmutter, Kosmas, Grayson, Walz, Heinrich, Titus, Maffei, Massa, Kilroy, Boccieri, Space, Wilson, Nye, and Kagen).

DE-St. Sen.: A Republican, state Rep. Joe Booth, won a vacant Senate seat in a special election that had been held by the Democrats for decades (of course, it was always the same Democrat: state Senate President Pro Tem Thurman Adams recently passed away, after holding the seat for 37 years). Booth defeated Adams’ daughter, Polly Adams Mervine, who’d never run for office before. The victory in this rural seat in Republican-leaning Sussex County brings the GOP total in the state Senate up to a whopping 6 (Dems hold 15 seats). One silver lining is that Democrats now have a shot at picking up Booth’s House seat, where their margin is narrower and could use some padding (they control the state House for the first time in ages, by a 24-16 margin with the 1 vacancy).

FL-St. Sen.: Remember Joe Negron, the Republican state Rep. who lost to slimy Tim Mahoney in the 2006 FL-16 election (largely due to the fact that his name was listed as “Mark Foley” on the ballot)? Well, he’s back in the legislature, this time as a Senator, winning a special election yesterday to take over from Republican Ken Pruitt, who’s stepping down from the solidly Republican seat for health reasons.

33 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 8/5”

  1. Should we all start referring to Senator Burr as “Dick Burr”? I had a friend in college named Richard, and there were these two girls that enjoyed referring to him as “Dick,” even though it was not for any malicious purposes.  

  2. A quick recap of history first:


    – Moderate Joe Schwarz defeats Tim Walberg (and several others) in the GOP primary.

    – Sharon Renier, a quirky organic farmer, defeats two other no-name candidates in the Democratic primary.

    – Schwarz defeats Renier 59-36.


    – With the Club for Growth endorsement in hand, Tim Walberg defeats “RINO” Rep. Joe Schwarz in the GOP primary.

    – Sharon Renier defeats three third-tier candidates once again, winning the Democratic primary.

    – Since Walberg really was that bad, Renier makes it close, losing to Walberg but holding him to just under 50 percent.


    – Walberg wins the GOP primary unchallenged.

    – Top-tier recruit state Senator Mark Schauer defeats Sharon Renier in the Democratic primary, yielding this quote:

    Renier, of Munith, said her apparent defeat is a loss for the people of Michigan.

    “I believe people are sheeples and they will go wherever they think the feed is the sweetest,” she said. “They will stand out in the rain but they don’t realize that the big bad wolf is coming and that’s too bad for them.”

    – Schauer defeats Walberg in one of the most expensive races of the year. Walberg announces in July of 2009 that he’ll run in 2010 to reclaim his seat.

    Now we come to…


    – Former state Rep. Mike Nofs defeats a no-name candidate in the GOP primary to fill the vacancy Mark Schauer left in the state Senate.

    – State Rep. Martin Griffin defeats Sharon Renier in the Democratic primary for the same seat. Sharon Renier reacts:

    Renier said she was disappointed by the primary’s outcome.

    “I’m officially a Republican,” she said, adding that she will “absolutely” take on Tim Walberg in the Republican primary for U.S. House District 7 in 2010.

    “I am no longer a Democrat,” Renier said. “They don’t even know when they’ve got a good candidate.”

    Oh boy.

    The thing is, Sharon Renier actually has a few decent ideas, and she ran a passionate (if not particularly effective) campaign against Tim Walberg in 2006. But a few decent ideas don’t make up for some of the other things she says. Her issues pages from 2008 put her in the fringe, and her primary campaign against Schauer was a bit of a joke, with wild accusations being thrown about.

    But now she’s Tim Walberg’s problem.

  3. Before anyone concludes the end of the world from the result here, the loss was pretty much a paper one. Adams was a DINO (as you tend to get in Sussex County), the district went something like 54-46 for McCain, and Polly Mervine Adams was a terrible candidate, from what I heard.

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