KY-Sen: Lunsford Files

Make of this what you will:

Bruce Lunsford, a wealthy Louisville businessman, declared his candidacy for Senate just before Tuesday’s filing deadline, and becomes the frontrunner in the crowded fight for the Democratic nomination. […]

“Last November, Kentuckians embraced change and elected a good man, Steve Beshear (D), to serve as Governor and he will deliver,” Lunsford said in a statement. “This November, Kentuckians should again embrace change and bring Mitch McConnell back home to Kentucky where he belongs. Today, I filed paperwork to enter the race for United States Senate because I can bring Mitch home.”

Beshear, who defeated Lunsford in last year’s gubernatorial primary, called Lunsford “an exceptionally strong candidate,” though he stopped short of offering an endorsement.

Lunsford will square off with another rich dude, Greg Fischer (a CEO of a company that offers “stadium and bleacher solutions”), Iraq vet Andrew Horne, and a merry band of also-rans.

Not being a fan of Lunsford’s two gubernatorial runs, I’m waiting to be impressed by this bunch.

KY-02: Lewis Quits Congress

Expect more of these surprises in the weeks and months ahead:

In perhaps the biggest surprise of the day Republican U.S. Rep. Ron Lewis of Cecelia will not seek re-election, declining to run for another term in the 2nd district.

Daniel London, Lewis’s chief of staff, filed minutes before the filing deadline, with his wife dropping off the papers.

State Sen. Brett Guthrie of Bowling Green, having heard of the possibility of Lewis getting out, also filed for the Republican primary.

It all came down with just moments to spare before the 4 p.m. filing deadline. And it came on the heals of Democrat Reid Haire, the Daviess County judge executive, filing to give fellow Democrat David Boswell of Owensboro, a competitive primary on May 20.


(H/T: S2G)

MI-09: Life on the Campaign Trail

The 2008 Federal Election may be 280 days away, but life on the trail in a targeted congressional district has already heated up. We in the blogosphere do so much to impact the process, from contributions to candidates and volunteering our time (sometimes across the nation thanks to technology such as virtual phone banks) to simply giving attention to well deserving candidates who aren’t receiving any from the mainstream media. But what is it like inside of these campaigns that we track, influence, and cheer for?

I work for Gary Peters for Congress in Michigan’s 9th Congressional district. I’m focused on the campaign. I could tell you in my sleep that the district is currently represented by Republican Joe Knollenberg, however it has a Partisan Voter Index of R+0, making it one of our best pickup opportunities. I can rattle off the cities equally as effortlessly, and even give you a tour to some of the districts many landmarks including The Palace in Auburn Hills (home of the NBA’s Pistons and WNBA’s Shock), the Somerset Mall in Troy, the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak, or the Fallen Heroes Memorial in Pontiac.

You’ll see me blogging about the race more and more as the election heats up, but currently a lot of staff energy is spent on fundraising and organization building. One day we might be preparing for a major fundraiser to collect the resources we’ll need to beat an incumbent, the next we may be at a house party snacking on chips and pop while Gary meets with voters, local activists and (hopefully!) future volunteers.

A great way to stay in touch with our supporters is through email. Email is one of the least expensive ways to communicate with our supporters, and we’d love for you to hear what we have to say this year. Recent emails have asked our supporters to vote for Gary Peters in DFA’s Grassroots All Star Contest (where Gary is in the Top 5 and closing in on becoming a finalist), spread the word about upcoming house parties and highlighted contrasts between Gary and our opponent on issues from ranging global warming to the economy to the war.

Also important are phone calls and letters inviting friends of the campaign to participate. I’ve stuffed envelopes with invitations, and then followed them up with phone calls so we can be sure to involve as many as possible. Gary loves connecting with voters, and it is our job to make sure that he can meet lots of them at our events.

The days are long- working constantly- but the hours seem to fly by. I’m usually awakened by my blackberry buzzing to let me know it’s time to check the daily political briefings that come out via email- NBC’s First Read, CNN’s Political Ticker, Politico’s Playbook and Daily Digest, check Hotline’s Wake Up Call, and Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire. Some are better than others ;). Throughout the day, breaking news about the Presidential race might be interesting, but unless it affects my district I work through it. After everything I can possibly get down that day is completed, I take some quick notes on what I’ve gotten done and what still needs to be done for the week. I take a quick jog to clear my head, before coming back to my notes when I realized I’ve forgotten something or I’ve been hit with an idea. On Friday night I send a full report for the week to our campaign manager.

I’m proud of my work and I love putting the time in. I feel a lot of responsibility to our campaign supporters, the Party, to Gary and his family, my coworkers, but especially to all of you who are following the race and want to see Gary win.

While this isn’t necessarily “Part 1” of a series, you can expect many more updates like this throughout the campaign. Very soon we will be moving out of Gary’s basement and into a campaign office, and soon thereafter ramping up our field operation. But we’ll also be communicating our same message to the netroots community through blogging here and at our campaign blog, videos on YouTube, and at social networks like Facebook (Are you a supporter of Gary Peters yet?)

If you decide to make a contribution at ActBlue, you’ll know what it is going to. I’ll bring you pictures of the team distributing lawn signs or the snacks for volunteers and bring you updates from the rest of the staff.

We’ve all got big tasks ahead of us in 2008! Let’s get to work.

MO-Gov, MO-09: Hulshof Leaving Congress to Run for Governor

Hoping to fill the vaccum left by incumbent Gov. Matt Blunt's decision not to seek re-election, Rep. Kenny Hulshof (R-MO) is planning to run for governor rather than seek another term in Congress. Hulshof joins the current lieutenant governor and state treasurer in the GOP primary to determine who Democratic AG Jay Nixon gets to defeat in November. In doing so, Hulshof adds his R+6.5 district to the list of open seats Republicans will be defending this fall.

Help us Choose Congressional Candidates

Our PAC, Blue Catapult, is holding its first fundraiser next Tuesday in Washington, DC.  We support Democratic congressional candidates who are challenging incumbent Republicans or Republican-held open seats.  The idea is that incumbents should do well on their own in raising money, but if we want to expand the Democrats’ majority in Congress, then we need to help emerging Democratic challengers in their campaigns.

So we need some help right now in identifying good Democratic challengers, and we are hoping that you can provide some nominations.  Here are our criteria:

1) The Democratic congressional candidate must be running for a seat currently occupied by a Republican, whether the incumbent is running for reelection or not.

2) The candidate must have a clear path to the nomination.  No primary challenge.

3) The candidate must have a decent campaign operation.  Our support is for candidates who, with some more support and attention, could become a competitive seat.

4) The campaign should not be a top target of the DCCC.  We want to help emerging candidates, not ones who are already assured of good support.

If you know of any good candidates, please post them in comments.  We will choose 5 candidates, and at our event next Tuesday the attendees will vote and the top two will be the recipients of our first contributions.

So, in the comments below, please nominate potential candidates for us to support with some explanation as to why they are good investments.  If you want more info about us, please visit  We will of course post our decisions and results as they are determined.

Thanks for your help.

CO-02: Dems Get Virtual in Online Debate Tonight

Democratic candidates Joan Fitz-Gerald, Jared Polis and Will Shafroth will participate in an online debate hosted by Boulder-based blogger DavidThi808 on Tuesday, Jan 29 at 7 p.m. MST.

The winner of the contentious three-way primary will succeed Rep. Mark Udall (D-Eldorado Springs) who is running for the open U.S. Senate seat vacated by the retiring Wayne Allard (R-CO). No GOP candidate has announced for the House race.

Questions from the public are welcome.

Read more here.

Congressional races by state: NV, CO, WY, AK, MA

I am all for running everywhere, and the 50 state strategy.

But neither we nor the Republicans are running everywhere (at least not yet!) In this series, I will look at where we are not running (I am not going to look at where Republicans are not running, as I have no desire to help Republicans, however modestly)

This diary is partly inspired by the great work done by BENAWU.

crossposted to swingstateproject

These are all states with filing deadlines in late May and early June

The numbers after each are a) Cook PVI and b) A rating of tShe district based on a model I created details here – basically a logistic model based on a lot of demographics; the number is the predicted probability of being Republican, based solely on the demographics (details here .  I also have a model that includes Cook PVI, but, well….I give you the Cook number too.

NV has 3 districts, 2 Republican, 1 Democratic

CO has 7 districts, 3 Republican, 4 Democratic

WY has 1 district, held by a Republican

AK has 1 district, held by a Republican

MA has 10 seats, all Democratic

The districts held by Democrats are


district Cook Prob Repub   Incumbent       Challenger?     rating

CO-01    D+18    .28        DeGette           No            Safe

CO-02    D+8     .62        Udall (retiring   Yes           Prob safe for

                          to run for senate) Yes              Dems

CO-03    R+6     .64       Salazar            No            Safe

CO-07    D+2     .40       Perlmutter         No            Safe

MA-01    D+15    .67       Olver              No            Safe

MA-02    D+13    .56       Neal               No            Safe

MA-03    D+13    .54       McGovern           Yes           Safe

MA-04    D+19    .58       Frank              Yes           Safe

MA-05    D+11    .56       Tsongas            No            Mostly safe

MA-06    D+11    .66       Tierney            Yes           Safe

MA-07    D+19    .48       Markey             No            Safe

MA-08    D+33    .11       Capuano            No            Safe

MA-09    D+15    .45       Lynch              No            Safe

MA-10    D+9     .59       Delahunt           No            Safe

NV-01    D+9     .21       Berkley            Yes           Safe

Those held by Republicans:

AK-AL R+14

Alaska.  1 person per square mile. It’s BIG.  If that were the population density of Manhattan, where I live, there would be 23 people here.  

Young, first elected in 1973, had his toughest race since 1994 in 2006: He was held to 57% by Diane Benson, even though Benson spent 1/10 as much.  He might retire. He’s tied to Abramoff, he’s tied to VECO, he’s gotten illegal cash. And he’s getting old.

Confirmed challengers include: Ethan Berkowitz (who was leading Young 49-42 in a poll commissioned in December by Daily Kos); Jake Metcalf ; and the 2006 candidate: Diane Benson ; and possibly Anchorage mayor Mark Begrich.

CO-04 R+9 .64

CO-04 is shaped like a backwards F, with the long side bordering NE and KS, the top bordering NE and WY.

Musgrave, first elected in 2002, has gotten declining percentages: 55% in 2002, 51% in 2004, and 46% in 2006.

This year, she is being challenged by Betsey Markey

CO-05 R+16 .49

CO-05 is pretty much the center of the state, including Colorado Springs

Lamborn, first elected in 2006, won with substantially less than his predecessor usually did.

There is no confirmed challenger

CO-06 R+10 .83

CO-06 is in the middle of the state, including Littleton and Castle Rock

Tancredo, first elected in 1998, is retiring.

The only confirmed Democrat is Mike Collins

NV-02 R+9  .51

NV-02 is nearly all of the state, except for the Las Vegas area. It is the largest district, except for single district states.

Heller, first elected in 2006, had a narrow (50-45) win then.

There are no confirmed challengers

NV-03 D+1 .38

NV-03 is a Y shaped district, composed of most of the suburbs of Las Vegas

Porter, first elected in 2002, had a close race in 2006 against Tessa Hafen (he won 48-47, and outspent her 2-1).

There are three confirmed challengers: Andrew Martin ; Barry Michaels ; and Robert Daskas.

WY-AL R+19 .64

Wyoming has fewer people than any other state

Cubin, first elected in 1994, is retiring

Several Republicans are running, and one Democrat: Gary Trauner who lost by only 1,002 votes in 2006, and who is shown with a slight lead in a poll.


AK is a free-for-all

CO, our seats are safe, CO-04 might be competitive, and CO-06, while a Republican district, has an open seat.

MA – well, we can’t pick up any seats here!  But I don’t see us losing any either

NV-03 has some potential, it seems.

WY-AL is also possible

New Mexico: Who’s Running?

It seems like it is once again time to take a look at who, exactly, is running for the four open seats (three House and one Senate) here in New Mexico.  The last update was more than a month ago!  Some important dates: the filing deadline is February 12.  The pre-primary nominating conventions are March 15.  The primaries are on June 3.

On to the races!

Senate Race


Tom Udall is the odds-on favorite to win.  Lehrman will have trouble getting his way onto the primary ballot.


  • Steve Pearce

  • Heather Wilson

These two candidates will be fighting it out.  Both are currently in the House and both are experience campaigners.  And, perhaps best for Democrats, neither are above a little bit of dirty politics — even in the primary.

For the Congressional races, go below the fold.

First Congressional District


Heinrich is the current favorite in this race.  He has the momentum, the endorsements and — this is important — his campaign seems to have a plan.  Lujan-Grisham has been largely our of the public eye.  And Pidcock… well, I really don’t know anything about him.


  • Darren White

  • Joe Carraro

The two were involved in a PR disaster after their secret debate this weekend.  White is the favorite to win, and has the backing of the Republicans in DC.  But Carraro is outspoken and will make things interesting, if not competitive.

Second Congressional District


Harry Teague has the support of the oil and gas industry, which is a big boost in Southern New Mexico.  He’s a conservative Democrat, and will surely have a big bundle of cash.  McCamley will also have a good amount of cash to campaign in Southern New Mexico, and he has been on the campaign trail for a while.  He is going out to communities and speaking to people.  The Kissling and McKinnon seem to be fringe candidates at this point.


  • Bob Cornelius

  • C Earl Greer

  • Aubrey Dunn, Jr

  • Ed Tinsley

  • Monty Newman

  • Greg Sowards

  • Terry Marquardt

Yes, seven candidates for the Republicans.  I am not even going to attempt to delve into who is the favorite here… but my personal favorite is Greg Sowards, but only because of his campaign slogan.

Third Congressional District


Lujan looks to be the favorite here.  He is hispanic and his father, the Speaker of the House, has northern New Mexico support.  But Wiviott has the cash, and has pledged to spend a big chunk of his own money on the campaign.  Benny Shendo, Jr is a Native American, and they comprise 19 percent of the district.  Very interesting.


  • Marco E. Gonzales

  • Dan East

It doesn’t matter which one wins in June.  This seat will stay Democratic.

GA-Sen: Could this be really in play?

A new Zogby poll shows less than 40% believe Sen. Chambliss deserves reelection.…

While I suspect this is an internal Democratic polls, perhaps this seat is in play.  Previous polling has been consistent in sshowing a big lead for Chambliss.  And after the blind bio questions are read, Lanier actually leads 47%-45%.

Is this another Zogby hoax, or is there real hope here?

4’9″ Senate Candidate With Steel Hook Launches TV Ads

Steve Novick released a new campaign ad today. While the campaign was filming its ad, it was able to make another at the same time entitled "Beer with Steve,". The spot offers a humorous take on Steve's 'unusualities' and his determination to find a way to make things work. So take a moment, watch the video, and pass it on to friends, neighbors and colleagues to help get the word out about Steve.