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Hotline Sort: Christie's Big Victory

7) The Nevada Supreme Court still needs to decide how the special election in the 2nd District will ultimately be conducted, but the campaigning is already taking place in the race. Jon Ralston reports that state Treasurer Kate Marshall, who is the frontrunner for Democratic nomination at a Saturday meeting of state Democrats, is fundraising off an ad from GOP nominee Mark Amodei. 6) Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson has hired two veteran GOP fundraisers -- Mary Stitt and Dan Morse -- another signal he's gearing up for a Senate bid. But don't expect an imminent announcement from Thompson; he's said he'll announce his intentions after the state's recall races, which, due to primaries that will not likely take place in July, are slated to take place in August. Meanwhile, over on the Democratic side, Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., who has also been closely eying a bid, sent out a fundraising note saying: "But, before I can commit to a race for the U.S. Senate, I need to know that I'll have enough financial backing ... the kind of backing that will allow me to run a campaign equal to the enthusiasm and spirit of my supporters on the ground. 4) A news report behind a widely criticized and highly controversial web ad Turn Right USA against CA-36 Democratic candidate Janice Hahn that was also condemned by Republican opponent Craig Huey is now being used by the Huey campaign, the Daily Breeze reports. Huey campaign workers are reportedly handing out DVD copies of the Fox 11 story that accused Hahn of giving taxpayer funds to active gang members. But the Daily Breeze notes: a review of the report showed that P.J. Steve, a key figure in the story, was not a gang intervention worker as was claimed. Additionally, gang-intervention workers identified in the report had not received city money. Hahn does, however, support the city's gang intervention programs. 3) The Washington Post reported that former aides to Mitt Romney are starting a Super PAC that can spend unlimited amounts on behalf of the former Bay State govenor. It's another sign that, as National Journal's Alex Roarty predicted earlier this year, third party groups, not campaigns or political parties, will dominate the 2012 campaign. 2) At a fundraiser Thursday, President Obama weighed in on the debate over legalizing same-sex marriage, celebrating those fighting for a vote by New York state lawmakers that would allow gay couples to marry, but stopping short of expressing outright support for gay marriage, the Wall Street Journal reports. 1) Six Republican presidential candidates (Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., Herman Cain, former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., who has not announced his intention for the presidential race) offered bids on Thursday for spots at the Aug. 13 Ames Straw Poll. Newt Gingrich didn't buy a spot, and Paul bought the most expensive spot (speaking preferences and tent locations are what candidates are mainly bidding on). The Des Moines Register reports tensions flared when one candidate initially refused to be identified. But the protest ended when McCotter agreed to be identified. Meanwhile, in an interview with National Journal's Beth Reinhard, Jon Huntsman says he always intended to cut his tenure as ambassador to China short because his seven children were split between the United States and China. But he says his decision to run for president wasn't part of his plan until recently. Asked if he informed Obama that he would resign as ambassador after two years, Huntsman said: "You don't have those specific conversations. You serve as long as you're able to. It's open-ended for the most part." -- Kathy Kiely and Josh Kraushaar contributed to this post

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