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Politics

Hotline Sort: The Deciders

April 25, 2011
6) It's getting crowded in the race to challenge embattled Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.) in the Democratic primary, as Oregon state Rep. Brad Witt (D) is considering challenging Wu. State Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian (D) entered the race last week, and state Sen. Suzanne Bonamici (D) and former state Rep. Greg Macpherson (D) are reportedly also considering bids. The more, the merrier for Wu. If there's a splintered anti-Wu field, it would give the congressman a chance to prevail with a mere plurality of the vote. 5) Former Arizona Democratic Party Chair Don Bivens is the latest name to come up as a possible candidate for retiring Sen. Jon Kyl's (R-Ariz.) seat. 4) The news comes as it's unlikely that Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) will be a Senate candidate in 2012. In long interviews the Arizona Republic conducted with her family, friends, and doctors, she's still sorting out how to form a sentence and how to use the right side of her body. Husband Mark Kelly tells her she's got "all the time in the world" to get better. The bottom line: Giffords is making incredible progress, but it's highly unlikely she'll be ready to mount a Senate bid in 2012. Any speculation otherwise simply covers up the fact that Democrats don't have many other big-name candidates ready to step up in her absence. 3) Last Friday, Sandoval said he expects to appoint Ensign's replacement before his resignation date, which will be May 3. Rep. Dean Heller (R) is still the odds on favorite to receive the appointment. But with uncertainty surrounding the procedure a potential House special election would follow, some Republicans (and not just Sharron Angle supporters) are calling for a placeholder to be appointed for Ensign. Stay tuned to Hotline On Call for the latest developments. 2) Former Sen. George LeMieux (R-Fla.) continues to be dogged by his longtime connections, as much as he tries to disavow them. Insiders from Charlie Crist's administration told the Miami Herald that they were hard-pressed to think of any policy differences between the former governor and his chief of staff. That's going to make things uncomfortable for LeMieux, who has get out of Crist's shadow and run as his own man. 1) Two Republican governors considering White House bids could be closing in on announcements: The Mississippi legislature wrapped up business last week and the AP reports an announcement could come this week from Gov. Haley Barbour (R). The Indiana legislative session is heading down the home stretch and Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) is also expected to announce a decision soon. In an interview with the Washington Post, Daniels said "it's time to cut bait." "Oh, muddled," Daniels told the Post about where he was in his thinking, adding, "I don't want to leave a misimpression. If we get in, we will go all out, and we know a little about how to do that. So reluctance or hesitation about running doesn't mean we would be a reluctant candidate if we got there." -- Jessica Taylor contributed to this post
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