IL-Sen: Have I mentioned lately that Mark Kirk is an utter wiener? No? Well, Mark Kirk is an utterly predictable wiener. After charging gung-ho in the direction of “Repeal!”, Kirk has decided to quickly drop his push to roll back healthcare reform, preferring instead to remind everyone how expensive it is.
NV-Sen: Here’s some bitter tea for fans of right-wing vote-splitting. It appears that Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian is facing criminal charges for theft relating to bad checks he allegedly wrote for his asphalt business. Ashjian won’t have to withdraw his candidacy if arrested, but headlines like these can’t help him syphon off any substantial amount of votes from the GOP’s flank.
PA-Sen: Arlen Specter landed a huge endorsement in his primary battle against Joe Sestak yesterday, with the news that the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO has elected to back the five-term incumbent.
TX-Sen: Kay Bailey Hutchison will announce her future plans in San Antonio this morning, flanked by Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn. I think it’s probably a safe guess to say that she’s likely going to serve out the remainder of her term, despite her many promises otherwise.
FL-Gov: Republican Bill McCollum leads Democrat Alex Sink by 49-34 according to the latest Mason-Dixon poll of the race.
douchebags Republican state legislators have signed a resolution calling for the impeachment of Democratic AG Thurbert Baker after his refusal to challenge the constitutionality of the recent healthcare reform legislation. Baker, who has been struggling in the polls for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination against ex-Gov. Roy Barnes, is probably enjoying the free publicity, if nothing else.
MA-Gov: State Treasurer Tim Cahill got busted for sending out a mass fundraising solicitation for his Independent gubernatorial bid to state legislators from his official e-mail account, which is a violation of Massachusetts campaign finance rules.
MD-Gov: Former Gov. Bob Ehrlich confirmed on Tuesday that he will attempt a comeback against Democrat Martin O’Malley this year.
AR-01: This one ranks pretty low on the list of unexpected political news. Retiring Democratic Rep. Marion Berry will endorse his former chief of staff, Chad Causey, for the Dem nomination to succeed him. Causey also recently picked up the support of the Arkansas AFL-CIO.
FL-19: At least one of these things may strain your credulity. Republican Ed Lynch, running in the April 13 special election to replace Democrat Robert Wexler in the House, says that his fundraising has seen “probably a thousand percent increase” since Congress passed healthcare reform, and that “polling we’ve done” shows him ahead of Democrat Ted Deutch. Of course, his campaign isn’t coming forward with any evidence of the existence of any such polls.
GA-12: Republican Ray McKinney, a nuclear power project manager who lost the GOP primary in 2008 for the right to take on John Barrow, says that he’s going to try again this year. McKinney joins Thunderbolt Fire Chief Carl Smith, retired businessman Mike Horner, activist Jeanne Seaver and restaurant owner George Brady in the GOP primary.
MI-13: Metro Detroit pastor Glenn Plummer, the founder of the African American Christian Television Network, has announced that he’ll challenge Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick in the Democratic primary, joining state Sen. Hansen Clarke for a three-way race. Don’t expect Plummer to be a progressive choice, though: he freely admits that he voted for Bush in 2004, spoke to a GOP convention that same year, and has also used his pulpit to argue in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Yuck.
MO-03: Rusty Wallace — not the NASCAR champion, but a CAD technician and avid teabagger — will join the highly-touted Ed Martin in the Republican primary for the right to upset Dem Rep. Russ Carnahan.
MO-07: It looks like a couple of high profile candidates have slipped under the wire for the race to fill the seat of Senatorial aspirant Roy Blunt. Ex-state Rep. Steve Hunter will become the ninth GOP candidate in the mix, which some local observers suspect may be a ploy from one of the other candidates to syphon off votes from state Sen. Gary Noodler, who shares Hunter’s regional base. For the Democrats, Scott Eckersley, an attorney who served in ex-Gov. Matt Blunt’s administration, also filed to run for this R+17 seat. Eckersley settled a wrongful termination lawsuit with the state last year after alleging that he was dismissed for raising questions within the administration over the destruction of controversial state e-mails. Eckersley isn’t committed to a run, though, and said he filed in order to keep his options open.
NV-03: Ex-state Sen. Joe Heck (R) is leading Democratic frosh Rep. Dina Titus by 40-35, according to a new internal poll conducted by Wilson Research Strategies for Heck’s campaign.
NY-29: Local Democrats still haven’t settled on a nominee for the special election in this upstate New York district, but at least we now know the names of six of the potential candidates:
The interviewed candidates include Southern Tier native Matthew Zeller, former Allegany County District 4 Legislator Michael McCormick, David Nachbar, a former state Senate candidate and businessman from Pittsford, Rush-Henrietta Central School District teacher David Rose, and Assemblyman David Koon, D-Perinton. Mary Wilmot, an aide to Gov. David Paterson, was the lone women interviewed.
PA-10: I never thought I’d say this, but why can’t we have more Dems like Chris Carney? After harshly criticizing Sarah Palin for putting his House district in literal cross hairs, Carney defended his HCR vote to a local TV station:
“You can’t vote worried about your career, you have to vote the right way,” Carney said. “You have to vote your conscience and for me this was a vote of conscience.”
Remember when the GOP tried to recruit Carney to join their caucus?
SC-05: John Spratt is a true hero. Just a day after filing for re-election in the face of persistent retirement rumors fueled by NRCC schemers and beltway natterers, Spratt has announced that he’s been diagnosed with early stage Parkinson’s disease. Spratt insists that his symptoms are mild and that his condition won’t impede his ability to serve in Congress — or run a vigorous re-election race.
SD-AL: Physician Kevin Weiland has dropped his plans to challenge Stephanie Herseth Sandlin in the Democratic primary, citing his concern for party unity. Weiland issued a joint press release with Herseth Sandlin announcing the news, and based his decision partly on assurances from Herseth Sandlin that she would not vote to repeal healthcare reform. (Hat-tip: doug tuttle)
TN-06: Democrats have finally found a candidate to run for the seat held by retiring Democratic Rep. Bart Gordon. Marine Capt. Ben Leming, an Iraq War veteran, received permission from the secretary of the Navy to file his candidacy. However, Leming can’t actively campaign until his active duty ends on May 1st.
WA-01: This seat isn’t on anyone’s radar, but Republican businessman James Watkins recently released an internal poll, conducted by Moore Information, showing him trailing Democrat Jay Inslee by 41-27.
WI-03: Is this what state Sen. Dan Kapanke signed up for when he decided to run for Congress against Democrat Ron Kind? Kapanke jumped into the race with much fanfare in the anticipation that Kind would bail on the race to run for Governor. That didn’t happen, and now Kapanke is facing a primary from ex-banker Bruce Evers, who has some truly wild ideas on constraining government spending.