IL-10: Bond Drops Out

Michael Bond will return… to the Illinois Senate. From a statement posted on his campaign website:

After careful consideration, I have decided not to seek the Democratic nomination for Congress in the Tenth District, and will instead seek reelection to the Illinois Senate. While I am grateful for the encouragement I have received to run for Congress, I feel an obligation to continue working to address the enormous challenges our state is confronting.

Bond was considered an early recruitment success for House Democrats, but his star quickly faded once Mark Kirk bailed on this seat for his Senate bid and it was revealed that he Bond had only raised $86K since announcing his candidacy in late April. Two other very credible Democratic candidates — ’06/’08 nominee Dan Seals and state Rep. Julie Hamos — quickly pounced on the open seat, so perhaps Bond felt getting out of a three-way primary may have been too daunting a task for him without a lot of money in the bank.

RaceTracker Wiki: IL-10

SSP Daily Digest: 7/27

CA-Sen: Sorry none of us could be bothered to talk about this poll on Friday: Rasmussen polled the California Senate race again and found former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina gaining some ground on Sen. Barbara Boxer. Boxer leads 45-41 (it was 47-38 in March). Interestingly, though, Fiorina, who quite publicly drove HP into a ditch, already has negative favorable ratings (30/35, with 35% unsure), which has to be a bad sign for any challenger. Boxer is still in positive territory (50/47), so I have no idea to square those results with the head-to-head.

IL-Sen: State treasurer Alexi Giannoulias had his official campaign launch this weekend, where he name-dropped Barack Obama at every opportunity.

NY-Sen-B: Is this a sign that Rep. Carolyn Maloney may be backing away from the Senate race, or is she just sidetracked by the chaos in the House? She had been scheduled to announce her primary campaign against Kirsten Gillibrand today or tomorrow, but now Maloney tells the New York Post that the timetable is no longer in effect, and didn’t say anything about a new timetable, other than to say that “This week we are confronting health care.”

AK-Gov: If the world seems a slightly lighter place today, it’s because it’s our first Sarah Palin-free day in a while; she turned the keys to the state over to Sean Parnell yesterday. I guess now I and other members of the media can, in honor of the American soldier, quit makin’ stuff up about her.

MA-Gov: The Boston Globe polled Deval Patrick’s prospects and found he’s still in trouble. (The poll was conducted on the Globe’s behalf by often-clueless UNH, so take with the requisite spoonful of salt.) His job approvals are 35/56, and he narrowly loses head-to-heads with both prospective GOPers, 41-35 to Charlie Baker and 41-40 to Christy Mihos. If Dem-turned-Independent treasurer Tim Cahill gets in the race as planned, though, the Republicans fade into the background, as Cahill seems to vacuum up the anti-Patrick votes. Patrick and Cahill tie both matchups: 30-30-20 with Baker, and 31-31-18 with Mihos.

NJ-Gov: Jon Corzine picked his Lt. Gov. running mate: state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, a 74-year-old granny from Bergen County noted for pushing for ethics reform. This comes instead of, as rumored, Apprentice winner Randal Pinkett. Those in the know seem to think that Corzine may have been motivated to pick her in order to emphasize ethics in the wake of the federal arrests of a swarm of lower elected officials, including some Corzine allies. The New York Times presents a dark picture of Corzine’s campaign, framing the corruption sweep as one more blow that he can’t handle, and actually starts speculating on what Dem might replace Corzine at the top of the ticket should be back out (it mentions Newark mayor Cory Booker and Rep. Frank Pallone). The NYT says Corzine still has no plans to bail, but state machine boss George Norcross is making no secret that he wants Corzine out of the race.

VA-Gov: Barack Obama will be coming to Virginia to stump for Creigh Deeds, with both a public rally and private fundraiser on Aug. 6. This comes as GOP candidate Bob McDonnell has been seeking to increasingly go after Deeds on national issues, as at their first debate where McDonnell challenged Deeds on cap-and-trade and EFCA. Deeds may need some outside help, as he’s had trouble nailing down some of the local big names, most prominently former Gov. Douglas Wilder.

IL-10: State Rep. Julie Hamos says she’ll officially announce tomorrow that she’s running for the Democratic nod in the now-open 10th. She had been planning to run for AG until Lisa Madigan surprised everyone by deciding to run for another term. Instead, she joins a top-drawer field with state Sen. Michael Bond and 06/08 candidate Dan Seals already in.

NY-23: We’ll have to wait until tomorrow for Democrats in the 23rd District to have even a plan for picking a candidate, let alone have a candidate, as they seem to have not had much of a Plan B in the event that Darrel Aubertine didn’t run. The Dems say they’ve received about 18 applications; Watertown Daily Times gotten confirmations from 06 nominee Michael Oot, 94 nominee Danny Francis, attorney Stuart Brody, attorney Keith Caughlin, and state assistant inspector general for Medicaid John Sullivan that they are among the 18. Meanwhile, Jim Kelly (no, not the quarterback) sounds like he’s gearing up to run on the Conservative line.

VA-05: Ex-Rep. Virgil Goode made it official that he won’t be running against Tom Perriello to get his seat back. (Now maybe he can stop running around the district handing out oversize checks.) Speculation turns to GOP state Senator Rob Hurt and delegate Rob Bell, who don’t have the name rec or fundraising power of Goode, but don’t have the polarizing reputations either.

IL-10: Seals In, Garrett Out

The field to replace GOP Rep. Mark Kirk in the House is quickly taking shape. First, ’06/’08 Democratic nominee Dan Seals is back for a third try, according to an e-mail that his campaign sent to his supporters (Lynn Sweet has the full text here). Dan Seals is a heck of a nice guy, and he was a prodigious fundraiser last cycle, but it remains to be seen if he’ll enjoy anything close to the groundswell of financial and grassroots support that he received in the ’08 Democratic primary, where he absolutely crushed attorney Jay Footlik.

One thing that could make his task easier, as he attempts this third bite at the apple, is the announcement from state Sen. Susan Garrett that she will be staying put in legislature. From Roll Call:

National Democrats have tried to recruit state Sen. Susan Garrett (D) in the 10th district for the past few cycles, but she has resisted a bid each time. In a phone interview Monday, Garrett said she has decided not to run for the open-seat race.

“I made the decision this weekend, albeit it wasn’t easy,” Garrett said. “I’m here to stay for a while.”

Garrett is close with state Rep. Julie Hamos (D), who she said will move from Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s (D) neighboring district into the 10th district to run. Hamos did not return a call for comment on the race, but Garrett said she would be likely to support her at some point in the campaign.

At this point it’s just Seals, state Sen. Michael Bond (whose underwhelming $86K second quarter haul did his candidacy no favors) and attorney Elliot Richardson vying for the Democratic nod, but it’s possible that more names from local offices could emerge.

For the GOP, Roll Call and CQ both rattle off a similar batch of names:

  • Businessman Dick Green, CEO of
  • Businessman Bill Strong, former Illinois finance chairman for John McCain’s Presidential campaign
  • State Rep. Ed Sullivan
  • Businesswoman/ex-Mount Prospect mayoral candidate Patricia Bird
  • Lake County Board Member Ann Maine
  • Wilmette Village President Chris Canning
  • State Rep. Beth Coulson*

Take a look at that last name on the list. Beth Coulson, a moderate Republican, would be a pretty strong choice for the GOP in theory. In an interview with Roll Call, she says that the NRCC has been in contact with her and that she’ll make a decision on the race next month, but her staff doesn’t seem to be on the same page — they told CQ that she will be running for re-election instead of Congress next year. So which is it?

RaceTracker wiki: IL-10

SSP Daily Digest: 7/10

WI-Gov: Hot on the heels of changing Ohio to Lean Dem yesterday, today we’re downgrading the Wisconsin gubernatorial race to Lean Dem as well. We aren’t reacting to any one recent event (the only two polls so far have dramatically disparate results, but they average out to a tight race), but realized that we had no business keeping WI-Gov at Likely Dem if OH-Gov is going to be Lean Dem.

CA-Sen: Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina seems to be moving toward running against Barbara Boxer after all, not taking formal steps but rubbing elbows with the right people. Here’s some ill-timed bad PR for her, though: Fiorina has been telling people that she’s now CEO of her own company (Carly Fiorina Enterprises) and her own foundation (Fiorina Foundation), but neither one has been registered with the proper state or federal authorities… which might lead some to question her vaunted business organization skills.

IL-Sen: The Fix reports that alleged field-clearing heavyweight Rep. Mark Kirk may still face a contested GOP primary in the Senate race; state party chair Andy McKenna, recruited as the GOP’s Plan B, seems to be staying in for now, and the state’s Republican congressional delegation is staying, at least publicly, neutral. The flashpoint may be Kirk’s recent vote in favor of cap-and-trade.

MO-Sen: In the “did he really just say that file?” Roy Blunt offers up a doozy: in a conservative talk radio interview, he said that maybe it would have been better if the federal government had never created Medicare, Medicaid, or VA health care, because it “distorts the marketplace.” Way to put the senior citizen vote in play there, Roy!

NV-Sen: Off-the-record GOP consultants say that a John Ensign resignation may be “on the table” and that there are worries that there may still be even more undisclosed payments to the Hamptons floating around. If there are public calls for resignation from the other key GOPers in Nevada — Gov. Jim Gibbons, Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, Rep. Dean Heller — it’s time to prepare the fork for sticking (of course, with two of those three in deep scandal of their own, there’s a certain pot/kettle thing going on).

PA-Sen: Arlen Specter made his first aggressive moves against possible primary challenger Rep. Joe Sestak today, calling him a “flagrant hypocrite” for not being a Democrat until 2006. (Sestak was an Independent during his decades of military service, and switched to Dem once he was out of the service.) Hmmm… remind me again which year Arlen Specter became a Democrat? Meanwhile, on the GOP side, the NRSC just can’t help themselves from hiking the Appalachian Trail despite their efforts to fall back in love with Pat Toomey. They’ve been talking behind the scenes with state Sen. Jane Orie about running in the primary (although she’s almost as conservative as Toomey, so it’s not clear what benefit that would provide).

AK-Gov: Guess who’s saying “thanks but no thanks” to the assistance offered by the divine Sarah Palin: the GOP candidates in the two very-close blue-state gubernatorial races this year, Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell. (On the other hand, Rick Perry, who needs to rally every wingnut he can get his hands on in order to win his primary in Texas, welcomes her.) The Hill also sniffs out a number of other candidates facing possibly tough races who’d like her to stay far, far away, including Reps. Lee Terry, Frank Wolf, Mike Castle, and Pete Hoekstra. (In his efforts to become World’s Most Tone-Deaf Man, Roy Blunt welcomes her help, though.) Finally, check out Peggy Noonan‘s authoritative takedown of Palin today; say what you will about the whole pure evil thing, the woman has a way with words.

PA-Gov: With a lot of people looking at the Democratic field in the Governor’s race and asking “is that all there is?” a familiar face is considering the race: Montgomery Co. Commissioner (and former Rep. and 2004 Senate candidate) Joe Hoeffel. In his favor, he’d be the only elected official from the Philly area in the race (Tom Knox is from Philly, but has never held office).

IL-10: With Rep. Mark Kirk kindly leaving an open seat for us, both the Daily Herald and Roll Call take a look at the developing fields in this race. On the Dem side, the leading contenders are state Sens. Michael Bond (already in the race) and Susan Garrett. Dan Seals, who lost in 2006 and 2008 to Kirk, is also considering a third try. The only GOPer in the race is Patricia Bird, but businessman Dick Green and state Rep. Elizabeth Coulson are likely contestants.

NY-23: Don’t count out state Sen. Darrel Aubertine on becoming the Democratic candidate in NY-23, despite the ongoing craziness in the New York state Senate. Although the July 17 filing deadline is coming up and he hasn’t made any noise about it, Aubertine is still considering it and will have the requisite family sit-down about it once he has the time (which maybe he’ll have, now that the Senate is back to “normal”).

VA-05: Rep. Tom Perriello has become the focus in the tug-of-war over cap-and-trade. A week after the NRCC made him the sole target of a TV attack ad for voting in favor, the League of Conservation Voters is running thank-you ads in his central Virginia district.

Mayors: Louisiana Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu has options, but he ruled out a third run at New Orleans mayor, for which he’d been considered front-runner. A run for Governor in 2011 (or maybe not until the open seat in 2015) now seems likelier. This leaves city councilor Arnie Fielkow in the driver’s seat for the next mayoral election.

Caucuses: This seems like an odd time for this to happen, in the middle of the fight over health care reform: the Congressional Progessive Caucus canned its executive director, Bill Goold, without much explanation.

IL-10: Bond Will Run for Kirk’s Seat

Democrats have lined up a very credible challenger for GOP Rep. Mark Kirk — that is, assuming that Kirk decides to run for another term. In a press release just issued this morning, state Sen. Michael Bond has announced his candidacy for the 10th CD:

“After speaking with people in our communities, listening to their ideas and hearing their concerns, I’ve decided to run for Congress. Our country is facing enormous challenges. Decisions are being made that will affect Americans for generations to come, and it’s important to have people in Washington who will take a fresh approach to today’s problems, who will fight for what’s right and get something done.

Bond represents a historically Republican state Senate district in Chicago’s northern suburbs that, according to his press release, has a typical Democratic performance of only 44%. Bond surely hopes that his ability to win over GOP-leaning voters will carry over to a congressional race (where the partisan landscape, on paper, is even more favorable with a PVI of D+6).

Of course, Bond may not even have the primary field to himself. Kirk previously indicated that he would make a decision on his political future by the end of this month, and if he decides to parachute into either the Senate or gubernatorial race, Bond may face company from state Sen. Susan Garrett of Lake Forest and ’06/’08 candidate Dan Seals, who both have expressed interest in running for the seat should Kirk vacate the scene.

IL-10: Bond Gearing Up to Run

That’s Bond, Michael Bond:

State Sen. Michael Bond (D) is gearing up to run for Rep. Mark Kirk’s (R) seat, according to sources familiar with the situation. Kirk is pondering a bid for Senate in 2010, and his departure would make his north Chicagoland seat a prime pickup opportunity for Democrats.

Bond has tapped John Lapp to do his media campaign, Bennett, Petts & Normington to his polling and Ed Peavy to do direct mail for the race, according to one source familiar with the arrangement. The source also said a former aide to Rep. Melissa Bean (D), Brian Herman, will manage his campaign.

Kirk himself has set a pretty definite timeline for deciding his 2010 plans (“by the end of the month”), but the fact that Bond is already putting a campaign team together may indicate a willingness to run regardless of Kirk’s intentions. In any case, Bond may have company in an open seat race — fellow state Sen. Susan Garrett says that she’s considering a bid, and ’06/’08 nominee Dan Seals is known to be interested to run again if Kirk bails on the seat.

More info on Bond is available here.

SSP Daily Digest: 3/24

IL-10: Roll Call takes a look at the potential GOP and Dem fields to replace Rep. Mark Kirk should he decide to run for Senate. A spokesperson for ’06/’08 nominee Dan Seals says that he’s in for a third crack at the seat if Kirk vacates the scene, but state Sens. Michael Bond and Susan Garrett are also possible recruits. For the GOP, potential contenders include state Reps. Beth Coulson, JoAnn Osmond, and Ed Sullivan Jr — as well as state Sens. Dan Duffy and Matt Murphy. Coulson, perhaps the most moderate choice the GOP has to offer, might run into some problems in a GOP primary against a more conservative choice like Murphy. (J)

PA-Sen: The Republican caucus in the Pennsylvania state Senate seems reluctant to comply with Arlen Specter’s desire to allow independents to vote in closed-party primary elections. If the state ultimately leaves the primary rules as they are, Specter will face the daunting task of convincing independents and Democrats to change their party registrations over to the GOP column in order for him to gain leverage against Pat Toomey. (J)

On a very related note, Specter just announced this afternoon that he will be opposing EFCA (an about-face from his previous support for it in previous sessions). Apparently he now thinks the GOP primary is his biggest worry, not maintaining union support for the general.

MN-06: We’ll never get tired of loving Michele Bachmann. Her latest:

I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us ‘having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,’ and the people – we the people – are going to have to fight back hard if we’re not going to lose our country. And I think this has the potential of changing the dynamic of freedom forever in the United States.

CO-04: Speculation is growing about who the GOP will find to take on freshman Rep. Betsy Markey in this one-time GOP stronghold turned swing district. State rep. Cory Gardner seems to generate the most buzz, who has already met with the NRCC. Other possibilities include former UC regent Tom Lucero and Ft. Collins city councilor Diggs Brown.

MI-12: Sander Levin must have had a lot of advance notice of the just-announced primary challenge from state senator Mickey Switalski, because he’s already produced an internal poll from the Mellman Group showing him demolishing Switalski. Levin beats Switalski 62-14 in a head-to-head, and maintains a 74-15 favorable rating. (Switalski’s favorables are 23-8, leaving 69% unsure.)

NH-02: Another GOPer has lined up for the open House seat left behind by Paul Hodes: Len Mannino, former Milford selectman and current school board member, is publicly expressing his interest. He’ll face an uphill fight against talk radio host Jennifer Horn, who seems to be aiming for a rematch.

CT-Sen: In 1970, Connecticut’s senior senator, beset by ethical issues (including a Senate censure) and health troubles, failed to re-claim the Democratic Party’s nomation and came in third as an independent that November. That man was Thomas Dodd, Chris Dodd’s father. Click the link for some fascinating details about his saga. And let’s hope that history doesn’t repeat – or even rhyme. (D)

TX-Gov: Todd Hill of the Burnt Orange Report sat down for an extended interview with Democratic candidate Tom Schieffer. (D)