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- It's primary election day in Illinois: "On the statewide ballot, Republicans will choose among primary candidates for U.S. Senate, governor and state treasurer. The GOP ballot also features pockets of congressional and Illinois House and Senate primary contests. For Democrats, there's not as much at stake." Gov. Pat Quinn (D) "faces a minor primary challenge and the other statewide offices are uncontested. ... Early voting, which ran from March 3 through Saturday, indicated that Republican turnout could remain low and perhaps comparable to four years ago." (Chicago Tribune)
- The polls close in Illinois at 8 p.m. ET.
- In CO SEN, state Sen. Owen Hill (R) told supporters he was ending his campaign in an email Monday night. (ColoradoPeakPolitics.com)
- In KY SEN, the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, a pro-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell nonprofit group, "is launching a three-week, $1.8 million advertising campaign." The ads "will appear statewide on cable, broadcast television and radio" and focus "on McConnell's record on veterans' issues." (Lexington Herald-Leader)
- IN MI SEN, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is "scheduled to host a fundraiser for" former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land (R) "on Wednesday." (MLive.com)
- In MT SEN, Rep. Steve Daines (R) launched a TV ad touting his business experience. (release)
- In NE SEN, former Treasurer Shane Osborn (R) launched his first TV ad, focusing "on a 2001 incident in which Osborn, then a Navy pilot, landed a crippled spy plane in China" and faced interrogation for 12 days. (Omaha World-Herald)
- In SC SEN, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) released a new TV and radio ad, highlighting his willingness to challenge President Obama on foreign policy. "The six-figure statewide ad buy began last weekend during college basketball conference tournaments." (release)
- In AR GOV, former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R) raised $167,000 in February and has "more than" $1.3 million cash on hand, while former Rep. Mike Ross (D) raised $141,000 and has "more than" $1.9 million cash on hand. (AP)
- In KS GOV, Road Map Solutions, a nonprofit group "closely tied to" Gov. Sam Brownback (R), "has reserved airtime starting Tuesday. Media trackers said the buy is a significant booking in the Wichita and Topeka markets; neither the full-dollar value nor the content of the ads was immediately available." (Politico)
- In SC GOV, the RGA released its second TV ad, attacking state Sen. Vincent Sheheen (D) over Obamacare. (release)
- In ID-02, the National Rifle Association endorsed Rep. Mike Simpson (R). (Idaho Statesman)
- In MN-07, Rep. Collin Peterson (D) officially announced he will run for reelection. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
- "Records released" Monday "by a legislative panel investigating the George Washington Bridge lane closings link ... Christie's chief political strategist to discussions about fallout from the scandal, and show that Christie's campaign manager," Bill Stepien, "was more in the loop than previously known." (Newark Star-Ledger)
- In FL GOV, a new University of North Florida poll of RVs, conducted March 6-16, shows former Gov. Charlie Crist (D) leading Gov. Rick Scott (R) 34-33%, while 17% said they prefer someone else. (release)
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• As Chuck Todd mentioned on "Morning Joe" today, the race to watch in Texas isn't the governor's race, where hyped Democrat Wendy Davis is a huge underdog against Republican Greg Abbott. It's the lieutenant governor's race, which could feature an even more conservative nominee (Dan Patrick) against a Hispanic state senator (Leticia Van de Putte). If Van de Putte can't outperform Davis among Hispanics, it's hard to see a demographic sea change in Texas politics in the near future. -- Josh Kraushaar
HAIR OF THE DOG
"Go ahead, hock a loogie: Bizarre Grand Rapids law to be repealed" (Grand Rapids Press)
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- "A Campaign Inquiry in Utah Is the Watchdogs' Worst Case" (New York Times)
- Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) "has launched a leadership PAC ... to support 'like-minded' candidates and issues important to him." (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
- "Charles Rangel and Bill de Blasio: Political Silence" (Politico)
- "Defeated in historic recall elections last year," Colorado state "Senate Democrats on Monday unveiled a measure meant to update state statutes surrounding the special elections and to ensure that more individuals will be able to cast ballots." (Denver Post)
- Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) "said Monday that neither she nor" Gov. Terry Branstad (R) "were aware until Sunday of six secret settlements paid to former state employees, most who claim they lost their jobs because of their Democratic ties." (Des Moines Register)
- "Rachel 'Bunny' Mellon, a wealthy arts and fashion patron, friend of first lady Jacqueline Kennedy and political benefactor who funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to former presidential candidate John Edwards that was used to hide his mistress, died Monday. She was 103." (AP)
- "My Lithuanian-born mother would be proud her son made Vladimir Putin's American enemies list." -- Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) (The Daily Beast)
- "Gov. Scott Walker goes 'bananas' on Sesame Street ad" (Wisconsin State Journal)
- CO GOV candidate/ former Rep. Tom Tancredo's (R) campaign "is raffling off an AR-15 rifle. And they've chosen a controversial poster boy: Ted Nugent." (ABC News)
PLAY OF THE DAY!
- Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Cloudy. Highs in the upper 30s. Northeast winds 5-10 mph.
- The Senate convenes for a pro forma session at 10:30 a.m., while the House meets for a pro forma session at 1 p.m.
- The White House holds an event to award 24 Army veterans of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War the Medal of Honor.
- The National Press Club, the Sunlight Foundation, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, OpentheGovernment.org, ProPublica and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press hold a discussion on "Partly Cloudy: Why 'Public Information' Doesn't Always = Accessible Information." (National Press Club, 6:30 p.m.)
- NCAA Tournament play-in games: Albany battles Mount St. Mary's. (truTV, 6:40 p.m.)
- And North Carolina State takes on Xavier (truTV, 9:10 p.m.)
- Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!
- James Shields represented Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri in the Senate throughout his career.
- The winner is Derek Douglas, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "What position did Henry Clay receive after the House elected John Quincy Adams president in 1824?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- Did Social Security Cost Democrats a Seat In Florida?
- 6 Ways Washington Will Stay the Same
- Obamacare Hits 5 Million Enrollees
- GOP 'Message Guru' Heads for K Street
- Connecticut Governor Wages Food Fight With Boehner
"I acknowledge there are good reasons I should not run. But there are better reasons why I should." -- Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards (D), who officially entered LA-06 on Monday (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
"Too much coverage? There's no such thing." -- Edwards, in 2011, referring to the media coverage of his release from prison (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
Adam Wollner, Editor