• AZ-Sen: Wealthy investment manager Wil Cardon tells Dave Catanese he plans to challenge Rep. Jeff Flake for the GOP nomination and promises that he'll out-spend the congressman, too.
• MA-Sen: New Bedford Mayor Scott Lang, who has said he won't seek a fourth term this fall, says of the Senate race: "I'm certainly not going to rule out running for office, but that is not something I will think about until after I'm done being mayor." Lang, a Democrat, leaves office this January.
• NM-Sen: The Sierra Club's first endorsement of the 2012 elections goes to Rep. Martin Heinrich, who is facing state Auditor Hector Balderas in the Democratic primary.
• PA-Sen: Remember Steve Welch from PA-06 last year? He's back! In pog form! Well, actually, in PA-Sen form — maybe. Dan Hirschhorn says that Welch, who abandoned a run for the House last year after Rep. Jim Gerlach dropped down from the governor's race to seek re-election instead, met with the NRSC in DC last week, and other sources say he's considering the race. But Welch, who has personal wealth he could bring to the race, isn't commenting.
• FL-Gov: Cue the Rick Scott comeback narrative! Quinnipiac finds the Republican governor's approval ratings moving up from an atrocious low of 29-57 in May to a slightly-less-atrocious 35-52. Who knows where these numbers will head in the future, but this is a good occasions to remind folks of the obvious: that early polling can and often does bear little resemblance to final election results.
• MO-Gov: Hahah, man. This story about GOP Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder is just too good to summarize, especially the absolutely flailing response from his campaign spokesman. You're going to have to click through, but to entice you, let me just say it involves "pantless parties."
• MT-Gov: A line from an in-depth interview of 75-year-old Republican-turned-kinda-sorta-Democrat Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger, by Charles Johnson of the Billings Gazette: "At one point during the interview, Bohlinger almost seemed to concede the impracticality of his running for governor by acknowledging he could still play a role outside elective office in the future."
• AR-02: Roll Call's Joshua Miller reports that former Dem Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, whose name has consistently come up on the usual lists, is considering a run against freshman Tim Griffin — and Halter's spokesman didn't deny it. Miller also says that DCCC recruiting chair Allyson Schwartz was in Arkansas last week on a trip to talk to possible candidates, but no word as to whether she met with Halter.
• CA-26: We mentioned David Pollock's entry into the possibly-open 26th CD race last week, but several other Democrats are also looking at the race: Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett, former Ventura City Councilman Richard Francis, and Oxnard Harbor District Commissioner Mary Anne Rooney
• CA-30: Rep. Brad Sherman is very, very serious about his intention to seek re-election in the new West San Fernando Valley-based 30th CD, rather than light out for Ventura County. Writes Timm Herdt in the Ventura County Starr:
Sherman, whose district during the 1990s included Thousand Oaks, said he knows of only one person who has suggested that he make such a move.Sherman added that he's made some similar suggestions to Berman, but I suspect they've been equally well-received… though perhaps Berman is giving things a second thought. Sherman has an insane amount of cash in the bank ($3.7 million) and has already rolled out a list of endorsers, including Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. (BTW, you might wanna think about spending some of that scrilla on a nicer website, dude.)
"Howard Berman has indicated his preference that I not run in Congressional District 30," Sherman said. "He has pointed out that there is an open seat in Seattle, one in Eureka and one in Ventura County. That's three seats where I could go to take up surfing, but I'm not interested in taking up surfing."
• NC-08: Rep. Larry Kissell's 2010 opponent, sportscaster Harold Johnson, says he will "probably not" try again this cycle.
• NV-02: Kate Marshall finally has an ad out attacking her Republican opponent, Mark Amodei, for saying nice things about the Ryan Medicare plan, though I'm not super-impressed with this ad. I guess this whole "raised our taxes" line must poll well, because her media team insisted on including it twice in this spot (you can watch it at the link). But I really think Kathy Hochul's ads focusing on entitlements with laser-like intensity had greater emotional impact.
• WA-01: Just when you thought this Kucinich stuff couldn't become any more implausible, well… at that Seattle labor gathering we mentioned the other day, Special K received a particularly warm welcome, and it sounds like at least some union organizers would like to see him run. The linked article mentions Kucinich has taken a vocal stance on a complaint before the NLRB which alleges local giant Boeing moved a plant to South Carolina to punish Washington unions — an issue which the state's congressional delegation has taken a more muted position on.
• WA-03: Clark County Commissioner Steve Stuart, a Democrat, says he's "watching and evaluating" a possible run against GOP freshman Jamie Herrera Beutler.
• WV-01: Former state Sen. Mike Oliverio, who beat incumbent Rep. Alan Mollohan in the Democratic primary last year only to lose the general election to David McKinley, isn't ruling out another run — and was seen hanging out at the state capitol building all week, while his former colleagues in the legislature deal with redistricting (see bullet below).
• OH HB194: A group called Fair Elections Ohio is trying to get Ohio's newly-passed
voter ID law restricting early voting (and limiting the franchise in other ways) on the ballot for a possible repeal in 2012. First the group needs to get their petition approved by the state AG and SoS, then they have until Sept. 29 to collect 231,000 signatures. (This whole process may sound a bit familiar, since you probably know about the effort to repeal the anti-collective bargaining bill called SB5, which will go before voters this November.)
• Special Elections: Two races tomorrow — apart from the Wisconsin recalls, of course — courtesy Johnny Longtorso:
New Hampshire House, Strafford 3 District: Open Republican seat, candidates are former State Rep. Robert Perry for the Democrats, engineer Honey Puterbaugh for the Republicans, and independent Ross McNamara. It's a pretty closely divided district, having gone 53-46 for Obama in 2008 and 52-45 for Lynch in 2010. The district elected an 8-0 Democratic delegation in 2006, a 6-2 Democratic delegation in 2008, and an 8-0 Republican delegation in 2010.Grab Bag:
Wisconsin AD-48: This one's just a formality; Democrat Chris Taylor is unopposed.
• Trivia: Here's a trivia question — and I don't know the answer myself, so I'm curious to see what you come up with. Whenever a wave year is brewing, some folks in the about-to-get-swept-under party insist that it's really an "anti-incumbent year" and that both parties are vulnerable. Has this ever actually been true? To make this question more discrete, has there ever been an election where, say, more than 10 Democratic incumbents and more than 10 Republican incumbents in the House all lost in the same year? How about 15 and 15? And in the Senate, four and four? Six and six? (These are arbitrary thresholds, but you have to set a baseline somewhere.) I ask because the topic is coming up again (see this Ron Brownstein piece), and with 2012 shaping up to be very weird, who knows? The unlikely might just happen.
• ME Redistricting: GOP Gov. Paul LePage will convene the legislature for a special session to take up congressional redistricting on Sept. 27. As you'll recall, Maine used to conduct its remapping in years ending in "3," but a recent lawsuit was successful in forcing the state to undertake redistricting when everyone else in the nation does it — i.e., right after the Census Bureau releases its population data. According to the linked article, the lege doesn't have much time under this schedule — they need to finish by Sept. 30, or else the courts will intervene. Anyhow, The goal for the Republican-held lege will likely be to undermine Dem Rep. Mike Michaud as much as possible.
• NY Redistricting: It sounds like something out of The Onion, but this Albany Times Union piece could just as easily been titled: "Legislature Agrees to Follow Law Passed by Legislature." More specifically, the legislature's redistricting task force (known as LATFOR) says it will respect a law passed last year which requires map-makers to count prisoners as residents of the places they hail from, not where they are currently incarcerated. Republicans (who benefitted from the old system) have filed a lawsuit against the new law, and allegedly there were some issues with data from the Dept. of Corrections, but doughty LATFOR says it will persevere.
• WV Redistricting: It sounds like the Dem-held state legislature has utterly wimped out. Bold plans to combine GOP Reps. David McKinley and Shelley Moore Capito into a single district and give Democrats a chance to re-take one or both seats were shelved in favor of a map that makes the absolute smallest adjustment possible. State Senate Majority Leader John Unger, the architect of the aggressive map, seems to have lost control of the process, but he still thinks the minimum-change map currently advancing through the lege will be subject to suit on population equality grounds. (It refuses to split counties, so the deviation is almost 2,500 people. In Iowa, which also doesn't split counties, the deviation was something like 76.) Democrats will still likely target McKinley's WV-01, and if there's one upside, it's that making Capito's district too hostile could have pushed her into a run for Senate or governor instead.