• FL-Sen: Charlie Crist barely survived another county-level GOP censure vote, this time in heavily-Democratic Palm Beach County, where one would expect the GOP faithful to be Chamber of Commerce types and not run-of-the-mill teabagging rageaholics. The censure bid failed on a 65-65 tie. The party member who led the bid referred to Crist as “nothing more than Arlen Specter with a tan.”
• NV-Sen: Rep. Dean Heller, who recently declined to run for Senate, laid his cards on the table, confirming what many suspected, that the John Ensign scandal contributed to Heller’s decision not to run against Harry Reid. Any Ensign support for Heller would have been a distraction rather than an asset. In the same interview, Heller also encouraged Ensign to answer remaining questions about payoffs to the former staffer he had the affair with. (One other interesting question raised here… does Heller calling out Ensign mean Heller is trying to help push Ensign out the door and then run for the open Senate seat in 2012? Because that would mean Heller wouldn’t run in the primary against Jim Gibbons in 2010, making it likelier that Gibbons survives the primary — and I know Democrats would rather face Gibbons than Heller in the governor’s race.)
Also, CQ is reporting that, bolstered by an internal poll giving her a small edge over Harry Reid (and also by Heller’s decision to stand down), state GOP party chair Sue Lowden is getting more interested in making the race, and she’s testing the fundraising waters.
• PA-Gov: Rep. Jim Gerlach got another endorsement from Pennsylvania’s GOP House delegation, Bill Shuster from PA-05 (coming on the heels of endorsements from Todd Platts and ex-Rep. Phil English). Of course, House colleagues tend to stick together, and their endorsements are of questionable value since they generally don’t bring local machines along with them, but these endorsements are at least interesting to the extent that they’re coming from the rural, most conservative parts of the “T,” not from Gerlach’s moderate southeastern suburban base.
• VA-Gov: There’s been some shuffling of personnel on the Creigh Deeds campaign, which has seemed kind of listless for the last month. Larry Sabato reported that campaign manager Joe Abbey, who engineered the primary victory, had been shoved over in favor of Mark Warner ally Monica Dixon. Dixon, however, says that Abbey’s still in charge but that she and some other new additions are there to bolster the ranks.
• KS-04: One more random wealthy Republican to add to the ever-expanding field in the open seat race in the Wichita-based 4th: oilman Willis “Wink” Hartman. State Sen. Dick Kelsey and RNC member Mike Pompeo are considered the GOP frontrunners.
• NY-23: GOP nominee for the special election, Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, had temporarily put her campaign on hold to tend to her father, who is recovering from heart surgery. Without a John McHugh Senate confirmation or a set election date, though, this isn’t likely to be much of a setback. (Stuart Rothenberg, as part of a good overview of the race, says it’s likely it’ll be held on Election Day in November, meaning that the significance of whatever happens may be subsumed by NJ-Gov and VA-Gov.)
• OH-SoS: The Secretary of State field for the Democrats may keep growing, with a potential new entrant with an impressive resume. Paul Gains is the Prosecutor in Mahoning County (where Youngstown is); he says he’s leaning toward the race. (His biggest claim to fame is surviving a mob hit upon first taking office in 1996.) Ohio SoS is one of the most important lower-tier statewide offices in the country, given the state’s narrow divide and the SoS’s role on the legislative apportionment board. Franklin Co. Commissioner Marilyn Brown and State Rep. Jennifer Garrison are also likely to run for the Dems.