Brian Baird retires

According to Hotline, U.S. Rep Brian Baird is retiring.  This is being confirmed by Chuck Todd

Baird represents Washington’s 3rd congressional district which according to Cook’s PVI is even.  Bush won here in 04, But Obama won with 53% so the district is clearly trending Democratic.  Chuck Todd thinks this will be a competetive race but will not be an easy pickup for the Republicans.  I personally think with the trend of the district, that if we have anyone to run on the Dem side that we should defend it rather handily.  

Baird never had problems getting re-elected and wasn’t expected to have any this year.  His closest win was 55% when he first ran for the seat.  If memory serves, Baird was a blue dog…lets hope we can find someone who can improve upon his performance.  

The Democrats seem to be having Reps in Red areas give up their seats.  I suspect this might be because of the more liberal agenda being pushed in the house is opposed by some of these blue dogs and they don’t want to take the time to oppose it and could be weary of having to deal with tons of phone calls from people who do support it, like you and me.  

Anyone know what the Dems have for a bench here?

Helping the CfG help us

for a good laugh, I set myself up on the Club for Growth e-mail list.  I love to see what Democrats they target and I especially love to see them promote primary challenges to Republicans….especially when they are Republicans that we are targetting…like Mark Kirk.  

Recently, the CfG sent out an e-mail complaining about 8 RINO’s who voted in favor the “dangerous cap and trade bill” last Friday.  They are looking for viable candidates to run primary challenges against these 7 (McHugh is the 8th vote but he’s retiring)

Bono Mack, Mary (CA-45)

Castle, Mike (DE-AL)

Kirk, Mark (IL-10)

Lance, Leonard (NJ-07)

LoBiondo, Frank (NJ-02)  

Reichert, Dave (WA-08)

Smith, Chris (NJ-04)

I can’t help but notice that Democrats ran strong challenges in several of these districts and are primed to do so again.  It would certaintly work to our benefit if we gave the CfG a little boost in helping to find some viable primary challengers to these Republican candidates.  

Does anybody have any knowledge of potential Republican candidates in these races that we could give some encouragement to get into these races or give the CfG some encouragement to try and get them in themselves??

Republicns looking to defeat McCain

Cross posted at

John McCain, fresh off his loss of the 2008 presidential race was looking forward to going home, resting and recuperating with a nice easy senate race ahead of him.  But it appears all is not well in Arizona for McCain and things may not turn out all that easy for him.

There has bee na lot of speculation that Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano may get involved in the Senate race here in the state but that specualtion has begun to die down with word that she will be in President-elect Obama’s cabinet.  It was then assumed that Democrats would not be able to mount a credible challenge to McCain, but it may not be McCain we have to face.  


It appears that some Republicans, even some in the power structure of the state party, want John McCain to go away.  They are advocating for a primary challenge and it is possible that not only could they get that challenge, but that the challenge may come from a big name.  According to the national review, Former Congressman and current conservative talk radio show host J.D. Hayworth is getting some pressure put on him to run in the race.  Rob Haney, the former district 11 chairman has been putting the pressure on and Hayworth has apparently been getting calls into his show urging him to run.  

I personally could not envision a better scenario as I think  Hayworth would be much easier to defeat than McCain and that even a Jim Pederson type of candidate could win in this case.  If you live in the state of Arizona, you should really consider calling in to Hayworth’s radio show and tell him all abouthow he should run for the senate against McCain.  With a little luck, the Club for Growth will help him out and give us a chance to win in 2 states instead of one.  

supporting the troops in a way GWB never intended

The winner of the contest held by Election Inspection was Lt. Colonel Bill O’Neill.  More below the fold.

Bill O’Neill resigned from his seat on the Appelate Court in Ohio’s 11th district to run for Congress in Ohio’s 14th congressional district.  The seat is current held by Rethug Steve LaTourette.  

LaTourette is another one of the family values for you but not for me crowd having an extra marital affair with his former Chief of Staff who became a lobbyist with whom he is now married.  This is just one example of LaTourette’s relationships (literally) with lobbyists.  

The district is an R + 2 district that is trending blue so it is a winnable district with a conservative Republican that needs to be replaced.  O’Neill, despite solid fundraising numbers and a good district to play in, has not been named in either votevets endorsements or the the DCCC Red to Blue program.  We are hoping that with a successful donor bomb on this Memorial Day, that O’Neill will get the publicity and money he needs to achieve both of these crucial endorsements.

The actblue page can be found here…

So support your troops in a way George W. Bush never intended you to do, give Lt. Colonel Bill O’Neill some money and support him in his effort to throw the Republicans out of office.

A Rhode Island style boost for Obama

cross-posted at Election Inspection

In a demonstration of his cross over appeal, Barack Obama recieved the endorsement of former Republican Senator Lincoln Chaffee today stating that Obama is “the best candidate to restore American credibility”.

Lincoln Chaffee lost his senate seat to Sheldon Whitehouse in the 2006 anti-GOP wave despite his enormous in state popularity.  While Chaffee is not a super delegate for Democrats, his endorsement will get significant play on the local media in Rhode Island.

While not a particularly large state, Rhode Island will in fact gets its share of political posturing as its delegates will be extremely important here in the home stretch where every delegate will matter.  

The race to November…..Illinois and Maryland

cross-posted at Election Inspection

In a follow up to my races to watch segment, we take a look at the primary results of the states that have already passed the filing deadlines.  Illinois held its primary a couple weeks ago and Maryland held its primary on the same day as its Presidential primary.

There has been good news and bad news in these races but most of the news has been good.  Strong Democratic challengers have been emerging in these states and things look good for taking the fight directly to the Republicans as well as sending a message to the Democratic establishment.  

In Illinois, we were watching the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 10th, 11th,  14th and 18th.  On the bubble, especially if Obama is the nominee, were the 13th, 16th, and 18th.

We faced great dissapointment in the 3rd district as Mark Pera failed to defeat Dan Lipinski in the primary.  Lipinski is expected to easily hold the seat come november so at a minimum, a Democrat will hold this seat, even if it is Lipinski.

In the 6th CD, Iraqi War veteran Colonel Jill Morganthaler easily won the primary and takes on Peter Roskam, who narrowly defeats Tammy Duckworth in 2006.  The 6th CD is supposed to be a throw away race but Morganthaler is a good candidate and has begun to raise decent amounts of money.

In the 8th district, Democratic Congresswoman Melissa Bean won handily and faces lower tier opposition in the general election and sshould easily win here.  This is one race the Republicans had hoped to contest heavily.  

In the 10th CD, Dan Seals easily won a chance to have a re-match and with his added name recognitition from last year and additional funds, this race should be a great race to watch.  Democrats have an excellent pick up opportunity here.

In the 11th CD, Debbie Halvorsen, a top tier recruit moves on in her race and app[ears to be the favorite to win in this Democratic pick up opportunity.

In the 13th CD, Businessman Scott Harper has seriously begun raising funds and could make this race competetive.  If Obama is at the top of the ticket, Harper would have some significant Democratis winds blowing at his back and that could help push him over the top, but he needs some early support to make sure he has some legs to stand on when that wind hits him.

In the 14th CD, it appears that Bill Foster has pulled off a narrow victory over 2006 nominee John Laesch/  Foster will be the candidate in the special election against Republican Jim Oberweis and is in a statistical deadheat despite his lack of name recognition.  Foster has a great chance to pick up the seat that once belonged to Denny Hastert and what a glorious day it will be when that happens.

In the 16th CD, Robert Abboud got past the primary and is looking like a decent candidate.  Abboud is another tailwind candidate that needs to have legs to stand on in the event that Obama turns this state super blue this year.

The Democrats have no candidate in the 18th CD after Dick Versace dropped out but they will be able to pick one.  No candidate has emerged as a predictable choice yet but once one does, this should be a competetive seat.  Potential cash defecit to the Republican shouldn’t be a problem with the cash advantage the DCCC has.  As long as a strong candidate emerges, this seat will be competetive.

The 19th CD has fallen off my watch list as the strongest candidate in the race, Joe McMenamin ran a lousy campaign and failed to get past the primary.  The Democrat in the race, Daniel Davis, is penniless and does not appear to be in any position to take on Shimkus.  If Davis could even be able to take advantage of the Obama effect even with support from the netroots at this time is questionable.  It would take a ton of DCCC money in this district to win and I don’t see that happening.

Maryland is a bastion of good news today.

In the 1st CD, Moderate Republican Wayne Gilchrest lost his primary to a super conservative republican in State Senator Andy Harris.  The Democratic nominee, Frank Kratovil is well positioned to take a hold of the Democratic and Independent vote in this district and hopefully steal some moderate Republican support too.  This is the best chance Democrats have had to take this district in a long long time.

The great news continue in the 4th CD, where Donna Edwards sent a message to the Democratic establishment saying that we the people won’t take their lack of effectiveness much longer by defeating Bush Dog Democrat Al Wynn.  This is a great day when we can send better Democrats to Washington.

In the final race of this post, Maryland’s 6th CD will be a match up of Republican Roscoe Bartlett, who has a very low supply of cash against former Frederick Mayor Jennifer Dougherty.  Dougherty defeated the 2006 nominee, Andrew Duck, in the primary and could be the strongest candidate the Dems could send.  This should be an interesting race.

I encourage all readers to take a good look at the races and put their support and donations behind these candidates.  The more races we open up to a challenge for Democrats. the harder it will be for Republicans to try to focus their efforts on beating Democrats in endangered seats.  

Races to watch….New Mexico and Pennsylvania

“cross posted at Election Inspection

Things are heating up down south in New Mexico and even the wind driven snow and ice falling in Pennsylvania today can’t cool off the great news Democrats have at the filing deadline today.

The turmoil in New Mexico continues with all 4 seats up for election this year open.  All 3 of the Congressman from this state are running for the open Senate seat which has created a free-for-all at the Congressional level in all 3 seats.

In Pennsylvania, Democrats have quietly racked up several pick up opportunities.  In a state that is trending blue, more and more pressure is being put on long time Republican incumbents and the Democrats are putting the pedal to the metal in their efforts to oust them.  

New Mexico’s 1st CD is our best pick up opportunity in this state and Albuquerque City Councilor Martin Heinrich is running.  Heinrich has done a good job so far of raising money and support, but will have a very competetive primary as several Democrats have gotten into this race including former Secratary of State Rebecca Virgil Giron and former State Health Secratary Michelle Lujon Grisham.  Heinrich appears to enjoy a slight early advantage and no matter who the candidate is out of these 3, this Dem leaning district will be a hotly contested seat.

New Mexico 2 is also a pick up opportunity though it is a Republican leaning district.  Dona Ana County Commissioner Bill McCamley and former Lea County Commissioner Harry Teague appear to be the front runners in this race.  McCamley raised more money in donations this past quarter but Teague gave himself over 200,000 dollars and has a financial advantage.  Either candidate should run strong in this district and keep Republicans defending their own turf instead of attacking ours.

In Pennsylvania’s 3rd CD, Incumbent Republican Phil English is starting to feel the brunt of Democratic efforts to oust him.   Erie County Councilman Kyle Foust has entered this race and has begun raising money, but he lists as 4th for the most total funds raised last quarter behind Kathleen Dahlkemper, Thomas Myers, and Mike Waltner.  While I believe that Foust is probably the best positions candidate to win the race, with the amount of cash flowing in this district, Democrats will keep it competetive.

CD 4 is a Democratic defensive district with Congressman Jason Altmire facing off against the former incumbent, Melissa Hart.  Altmire has the advatage going into this race and should be able to hold it, but this will be competetive none the less unless Democrats can really restrain the Republicans finances, which they may well do.

In the 5th CD, Republican John Peterson is retiring.  The Republicans have a huge primary while the Democrats have 2 major candidates in the race.  Clearfield County Commissioner Mike McCracken and Lock Haven Mayor Rick Vilello.  While this district does lean to the Republicans, it is another location that can be contested with the money we have available.

CD 10 is another defensive district for the Democrats.  Congressman Chris Carney represents this Republican leaning district and faces a slew of Republicans that will hopefully battle to each others death in the primary.  Carney has been raising money and is set to face this match up and hold this seat.

CD 15 is held by Republican Charlie Dent and the lone Democrat is Sam Bennett, the former Allentown Democratic party chair and 1 time candidate for Allentown Mayor.  Bennett has raised a decent amount of money though he still lacks in the cashflow department to Dent.  If Democrats really want to heavily contest this seat, the money needs to start coming in.  This race has potential if it is taken advantage of.

For the final district in PA. we visit CD 18, where Republican Tim Murphy faces a big challenge by Democrats with Beth Hafer as the lead candidate.  Hafer is the daughter of former State Treasurer Barbara Hafer and is a businesswoman in the community.  Hafer is considered a good recruit by the DCCC and should have the funds to make this race a good one.

With 8 seats up for grabs in these 2 states and 2 of those seats being defensive seats, it is imperative for Democrats to apply the pressure to take as many seats as possible in these 2 states.  Both states will be crititcal in the efforts to expand noth only the house majority, but the senate majority now and into the future as well as capture the White House this year.  The more solid and well funded challengers we have at the lower levels of the ballot, the better off the higher levels of the ballot will be.  

Races to watch…The death of West Virginia and the rise of Kentucky

While things have gone well for Democrats in recent days in these 2 states, things have also gone poorly.  

The lone decent challengers in West Virgnina, State Senator John Unger, has dropped his bid for the seat presently held by Republican Congresswoman Shelly Moore Capito.  With Unger out of the race, West Virginia ia dead to Democratic challenges as we have no seats that we have a chance of taking in that state.  

Kentucky has all but washed away that bad news with recent announcments and challenges already in progress.  

Recent news in Kentucky’s 2nd CD has been a boon for Democrats as Republican Congressman Ron Lewis is retiring.  State Senator David Boswell looks to be a strong contender though Judge Executive Reid Haire will challenge him in the primary.  Haire was a last minute entry so he starts at a bit of a disadvantage though I have no FEC report to look at for Boswell at this time to see what advantage he’ll start with.  The Republicans have a state senator as well as a no name candidate on their side of the aisle so they don’t lack a decent candidate as far as I can tell.  This district isn’t hugely to the right as Lewis was held to just 55% in 06.  

In Kentucky’s 3rd CD, the Democrats will have a fairly tough defense of Congressman John Yarmuth.  Yarmuth’s 2006 opponent, the former incumbent Anne Northup is running again and while she seems to face what will be a nasty primary to get back her seat, she will have good name recognition in the district and a lot of cash.  My belief is that since Yarmuth beat her as a challenger when she didn’t have a primary and he did, that he should beat her again, but she will atleast make the race interesting.  

Races to watch…… The questions of Mississippi

At this juncture, with the recent drop outs in these races, its really hard to tell what will happen in Mississippi.  

Both Republican Congressman have left their seats, one for retirment and the other for the senate.  Democrats have credible challengers in each seat but it is unknown if either seat is really a pickup opportunity.  

I will be describing both races here to give a run down as both races will be on the radar until they show they shouldn’t be.  I can really give very little in the way of an opinion as to who the favorites are but will give it my best shot.  

In the 1st CD, Republicans have 2 major candidates in Southaven Mayor Charles Davis and former Tupelo Mayor Glenn McCullough.  Both appear to be very conservative in nature.  On the Democratic side, Chancery Clerk Travis Childers, Calhoun Alderman Marshall Coleman and State Representative Daniel Holland appear to be the big 3 names in the race though 2006 nominee J.K. Hurt is running as well.  

In the 3rd CD, there are seveal Republican candidates and I have no idea who will come out on top.  The Democratic side is much better with only 2 candidates, Banker Randy Eads and Pickens Alderman Joel Gill.  Gill is the only candidate to have held political office and appears to speak fluent Republican on his website as it appears he supports the war effort.  While he doesn’t seem to be the type of candidate I would normally support, he would vote to keep the Democrats in leadership and I guess that will have to do as I know nothing about Randy Eads at this time, he has no website.  

Hope this helps with sorting out atleast some information.  I’ll have more coverage on this race after the primary as I hope to cover the eventual nominees to narrow down potential pick up opportunities.  

The races to watch……High on Ohio

Democratic chances in this state have never been better and a large contingent of credible well funded candidates have emerged to take on the Republicans.  

With 5 chances for a takeover and only 1 seat in defense, Ohio looks like an huge opportunity to make the NRCC spend some of that precious money they don’t have.  There is one race that will have a hard hitting primary it appears which could well work against us in the long run, lets hope it stays clean.  

In the 1st CD, State Representative Steve Driehaus represents a strong chance to knock Steve Chabot from his seat.  The Democrats have contested this seat and come close in svseral of the past elections but no candidate they have sent has looked as strong as Driehaus.  

The Dems have a competetive primary in the 2nd CD with the 06 nominee Vic Wulsin going toe to toe with Steve Black, a local attorney with deep local roots.  This district is the home of the nutjob Jean Schmidt, and this lady is such a nutjob, she’d still be a whacko even without her nutty positions on the issues.  Shes the fish that got away from the nice men in white jackets.  Either candidate could put up quite a fight though I give the early advatage to Wulsin as she has higher name recognition from her previous campaign.  

In the 14th CD, Judge Willaim O’Neil is taking the fight to Steve LaTourette.  While this district isn’t overly competetive, O’Neil is by far the strongest candidate to attemot to take this seat and we should give him all the help we can.  It is incredibly important to help any and all strong challengers even in questionable districts like this one because you never know when a Republican might stumble, like George Allen.  

In the 15th CD, a candidate who needs no introduction is Mary Jo Kilroy.  After coming within a few thousand votes last time, she once again vying for this now open seat.  Kilroy is the odds on favorite to win this race and we need to make sure she has the support to take advantage of that.  

In the 16th CD, State Senator John Boccieri is vying for the open seat.  Boccieri is the strongest candidate the Democrats can field and if he doesn’t win this seat this year, it is unlikely that we will be able to take it anytime soon.  The pressure is on for this seat and we must work hard to make sure we win it.  

The 18th CD could be a competetive Democratic hold district with Zach Space winning the seat after Bob Ney lost it with his corruption.  Thus far, Space lacks any significant opposition and has raised plenty of money, but this race could get competetive if any Republican candidate gains real traction.