3) Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel
(R) is leaning toward
a Senate run and will make an announcement in the spring.
The 33-year-old Mandel is a rising star in the party: He's a Jewish Iraq war veteran who won a Democratic-leaning Cuyahoga County legislative seat before winning the race for state Treasurer, winning more votes than any other state officeholder.
Democrats have criticized Mandel for running an ad in 2010 suggesting his opponent was Muslim, a decision Mandel has since said he regrets.
2) Mitt Romney
secured support from some notable 2008 backers on Tuesday, landing the backing
of Rep. Joe Heck
(R-Nev.) and getting commitments from GOP strategists Jim Merrill
and Jason McBride
to help lead his Granite State campaign
, if he runs for president.
1) Rep. Jeff Flake
(R-Ariz.), who is running for the Senate, is rejecting
his past advocacy for comprehensive immigration reform including a temporary worker program. The shift is a notable turnaround for the congressman who has been has been a supporter of comprehensive immigration legislation in the past and has worked for years with Rep. Luis Gutierrez
(D-Ill.). Flake's shift looks a lot like Sen. John McCain
's (R-Ariz.) hard pivot to the right on the issue in 2010.
In February, shortly after announcing his Senate bid, Flake defended his record on immigration. "I've always felt that we could help secure the border faster if we have -- in addition to border security -- a legal framework for people to come here legally to work and then to return home," he told Hotline On Call
at the time.
10:31 am clarification: Ohio Democratic Party spokesperson Seth Bringman noted that in the general election race for chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court (in which party affiliation does not appear on the ballot), now-Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor received more votes than Mandel did in the state Treasurer's race.