Hotline: May 17, 2017

SPOTLIGHT

A Palmetto State Special

The Republican nominee isn’t official yet, but the election for Mick Mulvaney’s former seat is set for June 20.

By Kyle Trygstad

Pres­id­ent Trump’s latest con­tro­ver­sies are only fuel­ing the fire on the left, and the primary run­off Tues­day in South Car­o­lina’s 5th Dis­trict kicked off an­oth­er spe­cial gen­er­al elec­tion that will test just how much Demo­crats can over­per­form in a Re­pub­lic­an-held seat.

The dis­trict has been red since Mick Mul­vaney un­seated Budget Chair John Spratt in 2010 and is solidly Re­pub­lic­an, but it doesn’t lean as far to the right as some might think.

Kan­sas’s 4th Dis­trict, where Re­pub­lic­an Rep. Ron Estes won last month by a sur­pris­ingly close mar­gin, is 6 points more Re­pub­lic­an than SC-05, ac­cord­ing to the Cook PVI. And the Montana and Geor­gia dis­tricts that have at­trac­ted sub­stan­tial out­side spend­ing for up­com­ing spe­cials are re­l­at­ively close in their par­tis­an scores.

One ques­tion is wheth­er na­tion­al Demo­crats’ polling in­dic­ates enough of an op­por­tun­ity to ex­pend re­sources on be­half of tax at­tor­ney Arch­ie Par­nell, who won’t have the lux­ury of sneak­ing up on na­tion­al Re­pub­lic­ans as did Estes’s op­pon­ent.

Par­nell ap­pears likely to face former state Rep. Ral­ph Nor­man, who was backed by the Club for Growth and has said he will join the House Free­dom Caucus if elec­ted.

Kyle Tryg­stad



Trump Asked Comey to Scrap Flynn Investigation

Comey documented the request in a memo, which may be requested by Congress.

By karyn-bruggeman

“Pres­id­ent Trump asked” former F.B.I. dir­ect­or James Comey “to shut down the fed­er­al in­vest­ig­a­tion in­to … Trump’s former na­tion­al se­cur­ity ad­viser, Mi­chael T. Flynn, in an Oval Of­fice meet­ing in Feb­ru­ary, ac­cord­ing to a memo. … Comey wrote shortly after the meet­ing.” (New York Times)

“The bad-news stor­ies slammed in­to the White House in piti­less suc­ces­sion on Tues­day, leav­ing Pres­id­ent Trump’s battle-scarred West Wing aides star­ing at their flat screens in glassy-eyed shock. The dis­clos­ure that…Trump di­vulged clas­si­fied in­tel­li­gence to Rus­si­an of­fi­cials that had been provided by Is­rael was an­oth­er blow to a be­sieged White House staff re­cov­er­ing from the mis­handled fir­ing of … Comey. … And the day was capped by the even more stun­ning rev­el­a­tion that the pres­id­ent had prod­ded…Comey to drop an in­vest­ig­a­tion in­to … Flynn.” (New York Times)

RE­PER­CUS­SIONS. “It’s hushed right now, and al­most all off the re­cord — but it’s there, and it’s Re­pub­lic­ans who are be­gin­ning to grapple with the real — but far off — pos­sib­il­ity that the pres­id­ent might’ve gone too far this time. That’s not to say Pres­id­ent Don­ald Trump will be im­peached, but the pro­spect is be­gin­ning to creep in­to Re­pub­lic­ans’ minds, and it’s note­worthy that they are not rul­ing it out. There’s a sense Mike Schmidt’s story that Trump asked Jim Comey to drop an in­vest­ig­a­tion in­to Mike Flynn is go­ing to have drastic con­sequences for every­one in the White House.” (Politico)

Trump’s dis­clos­ure of clas­si­fied na­tion­al se­cur­ity in­form­a­tion to Rus­si­an of­fi­cials meant that “[t]he life of a spy placed by Is­rael in­side IS­IS is at risk to­night, ac­cord­ing to cur­rent and former U.S. of­fi­cials…The spy provided in­tel­li­gence in­volving an act­ive IS­IS plot to bring down a pas­sen­ger jet en route to the United States, with a bomb hid­den in a laptop that U.S. of­fi­cials be­lieve can get through air­port screen­ing ma­chines un­detec­ted.” (ABC News)

“Rus­si­an Pres­id­ent Vladi­mir Putin said Wed­nes­day he would be will­ing to provide the U.S. Con­gress a re­cord of Pres­id­ent Trump’s meet­ing with top Rus­si­an en­voys, bring­ing scoffs on Cap­it­ol Hill that the Krem­lin could help shed light on the dis­clos­ures of re­portedly highly clas­si­fied in­tel­li­gence.” (Wash­ing­ton Post)

Con­ser­vat­ive blog­ger Er­ick Erikson said he knows one of the sources who con­veyed the clas­si­fied in­form­a­tion story, de­scrib­ing them as a Trump loy­al­ist who likely leaked the in­form­a­tion know­ing Trump pays more at­ten­tion to the news than his own ad­visors.

AC­TU­AL PROBE UP­DATE. Trump’s former cam­paign chair­man Paul Man­a­fort is tar­get of in­vest­ig­at­ive in­quir­ies in­volving his move to take out a mys­ter­i­ous $3.5 mil­lion mort­gage after leav­ing the Trump cam­paign, which he nev­er paid taxes on. (NBC News)

FIRST FOR­EIGN TRIP. Trump is tak­ing nearly all his top staff with him on his first trip abroad as pres­id­ent, with the ex­cep­tion of seni­or coun­selor Kel­ly­anne Con­way and his com­mu­nic­a­tions dir­ect­or. (Politico)

ALL ABOUT THE $$. Two former Trump cam­paign aides are form­ing a new email fun­drais­ing group. (Wash­ing­ton Post)



DEMOCRATS

CAP Ideas Conference Overshadowed by Trump

The day epitomized the party’s central problem.

By karyn-bruggeman

The Cen­ter for Amer­ic­an Pro­gress’s “Ideas Con­fer­ence” wrapped Tues­day. The event, “packed with some of Demo­crats’ lead­ing op­er­at­ives and donors — re­peatedly bumped up against the party’s cur­rent pre­dic­a­ment: most of the left’s big new ideas must con­tend with an en­vir­on­ment dom­in­ated by Pres­id­ent Don­ald Trump and the latest news out of a White House un­der siege. …This was no dry policy for­um — it veered from try­out to pep rally and back again, with chat­ter ran­ging from con­crete policy pro­pos­als and party strategy floats to en­raged dis­cus­sion of the pres­id­ent’s con­duct with re­spect to Rus­sia.” (Politico)

Among many oth­er speak­ers, Sen. Kirsten Gil­librand (D-NY) talked about her plan for a na­tion­al fam­ily leave plan. Sen. Kamala Har­ris (D-CA) talked about crim­in­al justice re­form. (Los Angeles Times) Montana Gov. Steve Bul­lock (D) urged Demo­crats to stop only fo­cus­ing on turn­ing out those who already agree with them in elec­tion, us­ing his own 2016 reelec­tion win as an ex­ample. (Billings Gaz­ette)

Lead­ers also de­livered “a stark warn­ing: Their party needs to do more than just talk about Pres­id­ent Don­ald Trump.” (Mc­Clatchy)

CON­SPIR­ACY THE­ORY DE­BUNKED. The Fox News re­port claim­ing that Seth Rich, a former DNC staffer who was killed last sum­mer, had con­nec­tions to Wikileaks has been de­bunked. “For months, right-wing me­dia out­lets have floated un­proven the­or­ies that Rich was the per­son who provided Wikileaks thou­sands of in­tern­al DNC emails, and that his death might have been con­nec­ted with the sup­posed leak. No real evid­ence has been provided to sup­port such claims and Wash­ing­ton’s Met­ro­pol­it­an Po­lice De­part­ment, which con­tin­ues to in­vest­ig­ate the murder, says there is evid­ence to sug­gest he may have been the vic­tim of a botched rob­bery.” (CNN)

DEMO­CRAT­IC NA­TION­AL COM­MIT­TEE. DNC chair Tom Perez was in Seattle on Tues­day ad­dress­ing vari­ous Demo­crat­ic groups. (KING-TV) Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), mean­while, is con­sid­er­ing mak­ing an en­dorse­ment in the newly open Seattle may­or­al race. (KUOW-TV) New Hamp­shire Demo­crat­ic Party chair Ray Buckley is ad­dress­ing a loc­al county party on the DNC’s re­form ef­forts. (Ports­mouth Her­ald)

DEMO­CRAT­IC LE­GIS­LAT­IVE CAM­PAIGN COM­MIT­TEE. The DLCC an­nounced a big round of new hires on Tues­day, in­clud­ing new re­gion­al polit­ic­al dir­ect­ors, a ma­jor gifts dir­ect­or, and data, di­git­al, and so­cial me­dia dir­ect­ors. (re­lease)

IN THE STATES. “Dozens of Demo­crat­ic cam­paign field or­gan­izers who worked around the coun­try lead­ing up to the 2016 pres­id­en­tial elec­tion have joined a class ac­tion fed­er­al law­suit, claim­ing the na­tion­al party and state party or­gan­iz­a­tions didn’t pay min­im­um wages and over­time.” (New­s­week)

In Cali­for­nia, Lt. Gov. Gav­in New­s­om (D), “who is run­ning for gov­ernor, an­nounced Tues­day that he is sup­port­ing Kim­berly El­lis’ run to be­come the new chair­per­son of the Cali­for­nia Demo­crat­ic Party. New­s­om en­dorsed El­lis’ rival, Eric Bau­man, last year and said that he still sup­ports him in an email to state party del­eg­ates.” (Los Angeles Times)



REPUBLICANS

Trump and RNC Raise Money Off Chaos

Republicans are becoming increasingly critical of Trump.

By karyn-bruggeman

“As the White House faced a fresh on­slaught of neg­at­ive news stor­ies on Tues­day about the FBI’s Rus­sia in­vest­ig­a­tion, Pres­id­ent Trump’s cam­paign and the Re­pub­lic­an Na­tion­al Com­mit­tee ap­par­ently saw a money-mak­ing op­por­tun­ity. The Trump Make Amer­ica Great Again Com­mit­tee blas­ted out an email Tues­day even­ing to sup­port­ers with the sub­ject line, “SAB­OT­AGE.” … The Trump Make Amer­ica Great Again Com­mit­tee is a joint fun­drais­ing com­mit­tee that col­lects money for Trump’s re-elec­tion and the na­tion­al party.” (USA Today)

RE­PUB­LIC­ANS ON EDGE. “House over­sight com­mit­tee chair­man Jason Chaf­fetz said Tues­day that if a memo FBI Dir­ect­or James Comey wrote de­tail­ing Pres­id­ent Don­ald Trump’s re­quest to end an in­vest­ig­a­tion ex­ists, then his com­mit­tee is will­ing to is­sue sub­poen­as to get it. … A spokes­wo­man for House Speak­er Paul Ry­an showed sup­port for Chaf­fetz’s push.” (CNN)

“‘I think we could do with a little less drama from the White House on a lot of things so that we can fo­cus on our agenda,’” Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell (R-KY) “said on Bloomberg Tele­vi­sion on Tues­day morn­ing, re­flect­ing the Re­pub­lic­an ma­jor­ity’s in­creas­ing frus­tra­tion over the White House’s mis­haps.” (New York Times) Sen. John Mc­Cain (R-AZ) “re­portedly said Tues­day that scan­dals with­in Pres­id­ent Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion are reach­ing a ‘Wa­ter­gate size and scale.’” (The Hill) Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) weighed in on the or­deal dur­ing a town hall hos­ted by CNN on Tues­day. (CNN)

The Wall Street Journ­al slammed Trump in an op-ed, ar­guing “the Rus­si­an in­tel story shows the price of Trump’s lost cred­ib­il­ity.”

But at least “his­tor­ic­ally speak­ing, even the biggest scan­dals don’t wash away par­tis­an­ship.” Fiv­eThirtyEight went “back and looked at key con­gres­sion­al votes dur­ing three re­l­at­ively re­cent peri­ods in which a pres­id­ent was ac­cused of wrong­do­ing: Wa­ter­gate (Richard Nix­on), Ir­an-con­tra (Ron­ald Re­agan) and the Mon­ica Lew­in­sky scan­dal (Bill Clin­ton). Two trends stick out. First, par­tis­an­ship still mat­ters. And in a big way. Second, when de­fec­tions do come, they’re more likely to come from the cent­rist wing of a party.” (Fiv­eThirtyEight)

UTAH GOP. “Utah GOP chair­man James Evans will com­pete this week­end for a third term as his party’s lead­er, but he’s fa­cing two chal­lengers un­happy with the way he waged a leg­al battle with the state over a law chan­ging how polit­ic­al parties nom­in­ate can­did­ates.” (AP)



BATTLE FOR THE SENATE

American Bridge Targets Potential Candidates on Russia

Red-state Dems are willing to slow down the Senate.

By kimberly-railey

"American Bridge is running Google search ads linking Republican House members eyeing Senate runs to the Trump administration's Russia-related troubles."

"Why Did Trump Fire Comey?" the ads ask. "Demand Answers on Trump-Russia."

The ads are targeting: Reps. Todd Rokita (R-IN 04), Luke Messer (R-IN 06), Ann Wagner (R-MO 02) and Vicky Hartzler (R-MO 04), Fred Upton (R-MI 06), Lou Barletta (R-PA 11) and Mike Kelly (R-PA 03). (Politico)

“Demo­crats push­ing for a spe­cial pro­sec­utor to in­vest­ig­ate Rus­si­an elec­tion in­ter­fer­ence say they’re not afraid to grind Sen­ate busi­ness to a halt if needed—even as a large chunk of their caucus bar­rels to­ward tough reelec­tion races in states that Don­ald Trump won. … Though slow­ing down Sen­ate busi­ness is par for the course in the minor­ity, such a move could come at an awk­ward time for Demo­crats. On one hand, their base is de­mand­ing an­swers for a series of un­pre­ced­en­ted moves from the White House, in­clud­ing the sur­prise fir­ing of FBI Dir­ect­or James Comey, and al­leg­a­tions of Rus­si­an med­dling in the 2016 elec­tion. On the oth­er hand, Demo­crats face a largely de­fens­ive map in the 2018 midterms, in­clud­ing a slew of in­cum­bents in red states where Trump re­mains pop­u­lar.”

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI): “I strongly be­lieve there should be a spe­cial pro­sec­utor ap­poin­ted and the most im­me­di­ate op­por­tun­ity to dis­cuss that in great­er depth is when Ro­sen­stein ap­pears be­fore the Sen­ate later this week." (National Journal)



ALABAMA

Del Marsh Won't Run

Strange released a new TV and radio ad.

By kimberly-railey

State Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R) will not run in the special election for Sen. Luther Strange's (R) seat. Meanwhile, "two other candidates - Mary Maxwell and Joseph F. Breault - have ... qualified, according to the Alabama Republican Party." (Al.com)

Former state Rep. Perry Hooper Jr. (R), the Alabama co-chair of President Trump’s campaign in 2016, is expected Wednesday to enter the special election for Strange's seat. (Al.com)

Businessman Bryan Peebles (R) is also set to run. He is a “a territory manager for Heartland Payment Systems and President and CEO of Peeples Consulting.” (Al.com)

State Senate president Del Marsh (R) was set to announce his Senate plans Wednesday morning, though the New York Times cited a "wired" source who said he would not run.

The primary is on Aug. 15.

State Rep. Ed Henry (R) “has called a press conference for Wednesday that he's teasing with new allegations of corruption against” Strange. (AL.com)

Meanwhile, state auditor Jim Zeigler (R), a frequent critic of former Gov. Robert Bentley (R), said he will not run for Senate. (WALA)

Senate candidates “may find ‘fertile’ ground in coastal Alabama where the local vote is up for grabs, according to political insiders.”

"The bottom line is its wide open in Mobile and Baldwin counties," said Steve Flowers, a political commentator, historian and author. "There is a void there." (Al.com)

On the Democratic side, environmental advocacy group leader Michael Hansen (D) declared his candidacy.

"Let's not kid ourselves, this is a long shot," Hansen wrote in the blog post announcing his candidacy. " I'm 35, gay, and a Democrat -- but it's one we have to take." (Al.com)

Consultant Jason Fisher (D) also announced a bid. Mobile’s Robert Kennedy Jr. is the other Democrat running in the race. (Al.com)

Meanwhile, 2016 candidate Ron Crumpton (D) dropped out of the race, citing a back injury. (Al.com)

Republicans are overwhelmingly favored in the deep-red state.

ON THE AIR. Strange released a new TV ad casting him as an "Alabama conservative" who took on corrupt public officials and a state House speaker as Attorney General. The spot also touts work alongside President Trump. Strange also released a new radio ad who fights liberal and corrupt politicians. (Politico)



ARIZONA

Flake: Congress Needs Comey Memo

He's a top Democratic target.

By kimberly-railey

Sen. Jeff Flake (R) tweeted that “Congress needs to see the Comey memo,” following a report that Comey allegedly wrote a memo about President Trump asking him to the end the investigation of Michael Flynn. (Twitter)



HAWAII

Hirono to Undergo Treatment for Kidney Cancer

She said she's expected to make a full recovery.

By kimberly-railey

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D), who faces reelection in 2018, announced Tuesday she has been diagnosed with kidney cancer, will continue to work while undergoing treatment at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital, and is expected to make a full recovery. (release)



MISSOURI

Wagner Defends Trump's Talk With Russians

Her chief of staff said she “may not need as early of an announcement" for Senate.

By kimberly-railey

Rep. Ann Wagner (R-02), a likely Senate candidate, “strongly defended the president, saying his conversation with the Russians was ‘wholly appropriate,’ and that criticism came from ‘Democrats and the Washington press corps’ who are 'desperate ... for a win.'" (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

TIMING. Following a report that Wagner would jump into the Senate race in July, her chief of staff said that the political environment is so “crazy” that Wagner " “may not need as early of an announcement.”

“We’ll see,” he said. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)



NORTH DAKOTA

Cramer Slams Trump for Lacking "Message Discipline"

Heitkamp is splitting with Dems on regulatory reform.

By kimberly-railey

Rep. Kevin Cramer (R), a close ally of President Trump and a potential Senate candidate, “complained that the White House keeps changing its story on big controversies and lashed out at the administration ford a lack of ‘message discipline.’” (CNN)

CROSSING THE AISLE. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) “is breaking with her party to push for a top conservative issue: regulatory reform.” Heitkamp is working with Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) “on a proposal to reform the rulemaking process and force federal agencies to chose the ‘most cost-effective’ ways to regulate.” (The Hill)



OHIO

Mandel Traveled Often in 2016

He started his campaign in December.

By kimberly-railey

State Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) by far “listed the most sources of income, investments and gifts as statewide officials filed financial-disclosure statements this week.” Mandel “also appeared to travel extensively in 2016 ahead of his senatorial campaign." He announced his bid in December.

"Mandel listed 184 sources of income, largely from stock dividends and capital gains."

"Mandel also reported accepting 74 gifts ... and filed records indicating spending of about $73,000 on travel paid by his political action committee, Justice Opportunity Strength Honor PAC or JOSHPAC.” (Columbus Dispatch)



TEXAS

Cornyn Withdraws as FBI Director Candidate

McCaul, Castro, and O'Rourke had voiced interest in his Senate seat.

By kimberly-railey

Sen. John Cornyn (D) took himself out of the running to become FBI director, removing the possibility of a potential Senate vacancy. (release)

Reps. Mike McCaul (R-10), Joaquin Castro (D-20), and Beto O'Rourke (D-16) had expressed interest in Cornyn's seat if it became open.



WEST VIRGINIA

Manchin Blasts Trump's Disclosure to Russians

He's close with the president.

By kimberly-railey

Sen. Joe Manchin (D), said President Trump’s alleged Russia disclosure “flies in the face of how he and other Intelligence Committee members have been trained to treat classified information.”

"I know the severity of what happens and people's lives are out on jeopardy," Manchin said. "This is not the way we conduct business. This is not the way you do things." (Politico)



COMMITTEES

NRCC Raises Record $10M in April

The committee has raised $46 million in 2017.

By Ally Mutnick

The NR­CC raised $10 mil­lion last month, a re­cord for April fun­drais­ing. Speak­er Paul Ry­an (R-WI) trans­ferred $2.75 mil­lion to the com­mit­tee, bring­ing his total for 2017 to $20 mil­lion. The com­mit­tee raised $46 mil­lion in the first four months of the year, com­pared to $24.9 mil­lion dur­ing that same peri­od in 2015. (Hot­line re­port­ing)



RACE FOR THE HOUSE

Democrats to Force Vote on Independent Commission on Russia

Vulnerable Republicans are calling for more disclosure from the White House after recent scandals.

By Ally Mutnick

Minor­ity Lead­er Nancy Pelosi (CA 12) said Demo­crats will file a dis­charge pe­ti­tion, for­cing a vote on a meas­ure that would es­tab­lish an in­de­pend­ent com­mis­sion to in­vest­ig­ate Pres­id­ent Trump’s ties to Rus­sia. (MS­N­BC)

Vul­ner­able House Re­pub­lic­ans are quickly los­ing pa­tience with Pres­id­ent Trump after re­ports that he pres­sured ous­ted FBI dir­ect­or James Comey to drop an in­vest­ig­a­tion on ex-NSA ad­viser Mi­chael Flynn’s ties to Rus­sia and re­vealed top secret in­tel­li­gence to Rus­sia.

Reps. Le­onard Lance (R-NJ 07) and Car­los Cur­belo (R-FL 26) called for ous­ted FBI dir­ect­or James Comey to testi­fy be­fore Con­gress. Reps. Bar­bara Com­stock (R-VA 10) and Pat Mee­han (R-PA 07) were among those who force­fully called for Trump to brief Con­gress on what clas­si­fied in­form­a­tion was dis­closed.

Com­stock: “Once again we are faced with in­ex­plic­able stor­ies com­ing from the White House that are highly troub­ling.”

Mean­while, Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA 25) called for a spe­cial pro­sec­utor to look in­to Rus­si­an elec­tion in­ter­fer­ence. (Roll Call/Wash­ing­ton Post/Phil­adelphia In­quirer/Los Angeles Times)

ON THE WEB. House Ma­jor­ity PAC is tar­get­ing six GOP law­makers who voted for the AHCA. “The spots draw at­ten­tion to House Re­pub­lic­ans’ reck­less health care plan that in­cludes an ‘age tax’ – cost­ing Amer­ic­ans over 50 years old up to five times more for their premi­ums.” Tar­geted mem­bers: Reps. Dana Rohra­bach­er (CA-48), Bri­an Mast (FL-18), Erik Paulsen (MN-03), Lee Zeld­in (NY-01), John Faso (NY-19) and John Cul­ber­son (TX-07). (re­lease)

An ex­ample ad, on­line in Mast’s dis­trict, can be found here.

TALK­ING STRATEGY. “A day after a re­port that the pres­id­ent re­vealed highly sens­it­ive in­tel­li­gence from a U.S. ally to Rus­si­an lead­ers, a lit­any of top Demo­crat­ic of­fi­cials and pos­sible 2020 pres­id­en­tial can­did­ates tried to find a bal­ance between de­noun­cing the latest Trump con­tro­versy and mak­ing time to ex­plain their own vis­ion and agenda.” (Mc­Clatchy)

“In a sig­ni­fic­ant de­vel­op­ment, party op­er­at­ives say they now ex­pect Demo­crats will poll-test the pub­lic’s views on im­peach­ment, try­ing to ac­quire hard data about an is­sue that un­til now has not been ser­i­ously ana­lyzed. Oth­ers strategists also say can­did­ates and party or­gan­iz­a­tions to be­gin con­duct­ing fo­cus groups on the ques­tion.” (Mc­Clatchy)



REDISTRICTING

Report: Gerrymandering Gives GOP at Least 16-Seat Advantage

Democrats need 24 to win back the House.

By Ally Mutnick

A new re­port on ger­ry­man­der­ing by the Bren­nan Cen­ter for Justice found in “the 26 states that ac­count for 85 per­cent of con­gres­sion­al dis­tricts, Re­pub­lic­ans de­rive a net be­ne­fit of at least 16-17 con­gres­sion­al seats in the cur­rent Con­gress from par­tis­an bi­as.” Michigan, North Car­o­lina, and Pennsylvania are cited as hav­ing the most ex­treme par­tis­an bi­as.” (Politico)



ARIZONA 09 (D -- SINEMA)

Ex-Navy Doctor to Run for Sinema’s Seat

He served as the chief medical officer of the Navy.

By Ally Mutnick

Former Navy phys­i­cian Steve Fer­rara (R) entered the race for Rep. Kyrsten Sinema’s (D) sub­urb­an Phoenix dis­trict.

Fer­rara, the former Chief Med­ic­al Of­ficer of the Navy, “was born and raised in Phoenix and joined the Navy at the out­set of the first Gulf War. As a com­bat doc­tor, he pi­on­eered new and lifesav­ing ther­apies on the bat­tle­fields of Afgh­anistan.” (re­lease)

Hil­lary Clin­ton won the dis­trict by 16 points in 2016 and it has a PVI of D+4. It was cre­ated in 2012 when Sinema won the seat.



CALIFORNIA 34 (D -- VACANT)

Los Angeles Times Backs Gomez

The newspaper said it was “no contest” between him and Ahn.

By Ally Mutnick

The Los Angeles Times en­dorsed As­sembly­man Jimmy Gomez (D), prais­ing his “clear policy plat­forms and sig­ni­fic­ant ex­per­i­ence” and a “his wonky un­der­stand­ing of the le­gis­lat­ive pro­cess.” The news­pa­per said it was “no con­test” between Gomez and his run­off com­pet­it­or former L.A. city plan­ning com­mis­sion­er Robert Lee Ahn (D), whose po­s­i­tions are “for the most part gen­er­al and vague.” (Los Angeles Times)

The race to re­place Rep. Xavi­er Be­cerra (D) is on June 6.



GEORGIA 06 (R -- VACANT)

Democrats Lose Special Election for Hill’s State Senate Seat

It was billed as a test case for June 20.

By Ally Mutnick

“If the Sen­ate spe­cial elec­tion to re­place” GA-06 can­did­ate Jud­son Hill (R) “really is an in­dic­at­or for how next month’s 6th Dis­trict run­off will turn out, then Re­pub­lic­ans are feel­ing a bit more con­fid­ent.”

Phys­i­cian Kay Kirk­patrick (R) “eas­ily de­feated” law­yer Christine Trieb­sch (D) “in Tues­day night’s vote, calm­ing some con­ser­vat­ives who wor­ried that the ‘Jon Os­soff ef­fect’ could cost them Hill’s deep-red seat. The Sen­ate dis­trict stretches through a swath of east Cobb and Sandy Springs that over­laps Geor­gia’s 6th Dis­trict, and Trieb­sch showed sur­pris­ing strength in a first-place fin­ish in the April 18 vote.” (At­lanta Journ­al-Con­sti­tu­tion)



NEW JERSEY 11 (R -- FRELINGHUYSEN)

DCCC Digital Ad Hits Frelinghuysen for Targeting Activist

A watchdog group filed an ethics complaint.

By Ally Mutnick

The DCCC is launch­ing a five-fig­ure ad cam­paign hit­ting Rep. Rod­ney Frel­inghuysen (R) for con­tact­ing the em­ploy­er of a con­stitu­ent in­volved in a Demo­crat­ic act­iv­ist group. The con­gress­man sent a fun­drais­ing let­ter to a board mem­ber of a loc­al bank, and wrote a mes­sage telling him “a ringlead­er” of the group worked at the bank. That act­iv­ist, Saily Avel­enda, said she resigned after be­ing in­ter­rog­ated by the com­pany. The cam­paign will tar­get voters in the dis­trict on Face­book and In­s­tagram. (re­lease)

The Cam­paign for Ac­count­ab­il­ity filed a com­plaint Tues­day with the Of­fice of Con­gres­sion­al of Eth­ics “re­quest­ing an in­vest­ig­a­tion in­to wheth­er the New Jer­sey Re­pub­lic­an vi­ol­ated House eth­ics rules by singling out the em­ploy­ee.” (Politico)



NEW YORK 19 (R -- FASO)

Hosptial Exec to Challenge Faso

She cited Trumpcare as a reason for running.

By Ally Mutnick

Hos­pit­al ex­ec Sue Sul­li­van (D) entered the race to chal­lenge Rep. John Faso (R).

A lifelong res­id­ent of the dis­trict, non­profit dir­ect­or and small busi­ness own­er, Sul­li­van said she de­cided to enter the race after the Wo­men’s Match in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. “Con­gress is para­lyzed by par­tis­an­ship and Con­gress­man Faso won’t even meet with his con­stitu­ents. He just toes the party line vot­ing with Pres­id­ent Trump 90% of the time, in­clud­ing the dev­ast­at­ing Trump­care,” she said in a state­ment. (re­lease)

Faso beat 2014 gubernat­ori­al can­did­ate Zephyr Teachout in 2016 in an open seat race to re­place re­tir­ing Rep. Chris Gib­son (R).



NEW YORK 22 (R -- TENNEY)

Tenney Hosts Fundraiser at Trump Hotel

Democrats are accusing her of “lining his pockets.”

By Ally Mutnick

Rep. Claudia Ten­ney (R), “an early sup­port­er of Don­ald Trump’s pres­id­en­tial cam­paign, has de­cided to hold a big-donor fun­draiser at the lux­ury Trump In­ter­na­tion­al Hotel near the White House. The $500 per per­son event at 3 p.m. May 22 is billed as a ‘Wo­men’s Tea with Ten­ney at Trump.’” (Syra­cuse Post-Stand­ard)

The DCCC has already hit back at Ten­ney in an email blast, ac­cus­ing her of be­ing in “Trump’s corner” and ac­cused her of “lin­ing his pock­ets.” (re­lease)



NEW YORK 27 (R -- COLLINS)

Congressional Ethics Office Investigates Collins Investments

Investigators have been interviewing his business partners in New York.

By Ally Mutnick

“Con­gres­sion­al eth­ics in­vest­ig­at­ors are prob­ing” Rep. Chris Collins’ (R) “role in at­tract­ing in­vestors to an Aus­trali­an bi­otech com­pany, in­ter­view­ing sev­er­al of them in the Buf­falo area Tues­day and Wed­nes­day, ac­cord­ing to two sources fa­mil­i­ar with the situ­ation who asked not to be iden­ti­fied.”

“Earli­er this year re­port­ers over­heard Collins in a cell­phone con­ver­sa­tion just off the House floor, say­ing ‘how many mil­lion­aires I’ve made in Buf­falo the past few months.’ … Since then, the eth­ics of­fice has re­ceived at least four com­plaints in­volving the Clar­ence Re­pub­lic­an and his In­nate in­vest­ments.” (Buf­falo News)



OREGON 02 (R -- WALDEN)

Blind Sled-Dog Racer Launches Walden Challenge

Trump won the district by 19 points.

By Ally Mutnick

Leg­ally blind sled-dog racer Ra­chael Scdor­is-Salerno (D) filed pa­per­work Monday to chal­lenge Rep. Greg Walden (R), a former NR­CC chair­man and cur­rent chair­man of the En­ergy and Com­merce com­mit­tee, who holds an R+11 dis­trict that Pres­id­ent Trump won by 19 points. Scdor­is-Salerno “com­peted in four Id­it­ar­od races with a “visu­al in­ter­pret­er,” and also has en­gaged in cross-coun­try run­ning and went to the Para­lympics in tan­dem cyc­ling.” (KTVZ)



SOUTH CAROLINA 05 (R -- VACANT)

Pope, Norman Head to Recount

Norman claimed victory with a 203-vote advantage.

By Ally Mutnick

The GOP primary run­off between former state Rep. Ral­ph Nor­man (R) and state Speak­er Pro Tem Tommy Pope (R) is headed for a re­count after Nor­man had just a 203-vote lead. Still, Nor­man claimed vic­tory “and the Club for Growth, whose polit­ic­al arm backed Nor­man, sent out an email mes­sage con­grat­u­lat­ing him. Pope’s cam­paign didn’t have an im­me­di­ate com­ment on the run­off res­ults.” (AP)

With 100 per­cent of pre­cincts re­port­ing, Nor­man had 17,755 to Pope’s 17,552.

The win­ner is heav­ily favored to win over tax at­tor­ney Arch­ie Par­nell (D) in the June 20 gen­er­al elec­tion. The GOP primary split along typ­ic­al party fault lines. Nor­man is backed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and vowed to join the Free­dom Caucus. Pope has more es­tab­lish­ment sup­port, boast­ing en­dorse­ment from the Cham­ber of Com­merce and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-04).



TEXAS 07 (R -- CULBERSON)

Two More Democrats Enter Race to Challenge Culberson

It will be a crowded Democratic primary.

By Ally Mutnick

Two more can­did­ates have entered the race to chal­lenge Rep. John Cul­ber­son (R). Law­yer Liz­zie Pan­nill Fletch­er (D) and act­iv­ist Laura Moser (D) both launched bids. Hil­lary Clin­ton won the dis­trict in 2016. Sev­en Demo­crats are now in the race. (Hou­s­ton Chron­icle)



ARKANSAS

Hutchinson to Seek Reelection

The Republican governor is up for a second term.

By Zach C. Cohen

Gov. Asa Hutchin­son (R) “an­nounced on Tues­day that he will seek reelec­tion next year, say­ing he has ‘made and kept’ his 2014 prom­ises to grow jobs, lower taxes, re­form gov­ern­ment, and pro­mote com­puter lit­er­acy.”

“No ma­jor can­did­ates have de­clared bids to chal­lenge the former con­gress­man and Drug En­force­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion chief.” (Na­tion­al Journ­al)



FLORIDA

John Lewis Endorses Graham

Putnam called the “timing” of Comey’s firing “curious” but typically doesn’t criticize Trump.

By Zach C. Cohen

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) en­dorsed former Rep. Gwen Gra­ham (D).

Lewis: “The things we care about most — from pre­serving our vot­ing rights and ac­cess to health care, to pro­tect­ing our en­vir­on­ment and hold­ing Wall Street ac­count­able — are un­der at­tack like nev­er be­fore. Only one Demo­crat for Gov­ernor of Flor­ida —my good friend Gwen Gra­ham — has the pas­sion and com­mit­ment, the track re­cord and the lead­er­ship skills to stand up, speak out, pro­tect our pri­or­it­ies, and get things done.” (re­lease)

TRUMPED UP. “The 2018 races will in part serve as a ref­er­en­dum on how voters feel about Trump, who won Flor­ida by about 1 per­cent­age point. Asked about Trump’s per­form­ance,” state Ag­ri­cul­ture Com­mis­sion­er Adam Put­nam (R) “praised his choice of Neil Gor­such for the U.S. Su­preme Court and his ef­fort to cut reg­u­la­tions.

“When asked about Trump’s de­cision to fire FBI Dir­ect­or James Comey, Put­nam offered a speck of mild cri­ti­cism. ‘I find the tim­ing curi­ous,’ he said. … Put­nam punted when asked if he dis­agrees with any ac­tions by Trump.” (Miami Her­ald)



ILLINOIS

GOP Pounces on Pritzker’s Taxes

The Democrat defended his decision to take a deduction on an “uninhabitable” mansion.

By Zach C. Cohen

“Smelling a chance to change the cam­paign nar­rat­ive, op­pon­ents of” bil­lion­aire J.B. Pritzker (D) “jumped all over news that he got an 83 per­cent tax break on a sup­posedly ‘un­in­hab­it­able’ his­tor­ic man­sion in the city’s Gold Coast.

“Both a top sur­rog­ate for” Gov. Bruce Rau­ner (R) “and, in more re­strained form, the cam­paign of” busi­ness­man Chris Kennedy (D) “at­tacked one of his key sources of strength: the back­ing from in­side party and labor groups that he’s rap­idly been pulling in.” (Crain’s Chica­go Busi­ness)

“Pritzker has said he ap­plied ‘only one year’ to have prop­erty taxes re­duced for a man­sion he bought next to his Chica­go home. Pritzker told WVON ra­dio Monday that what he did was com­mon and ‘many people do it every year.’” (AP)



IOWA

Prichard Embraces Free Community College

He released a biographical web video.

By Zach C. Cohen

State Rep. Todd Prichard (D) is “pro­pos­ing ‘free’ com­munity col­lege tu­ition for all Iow­ans as the center­piece of his cam­paign.”

Prichard: “An edu­cated work­force al­lows em­ploy­ers to grow and it at­tracts em­ploy­ers to come to the state and it com­mands high wages.” (Ra­dio Iowa)

Prichard also re­leased a bio­graph­ic­al web video high­light­ing his “simple” life, mil­it­ary ser­vice, and ca­reer as a le­gis­lat­or.

Prichard: “I’m go­ing to be a gov­ernor for all 99 counties. … Des Moines has a lot of op­por­tun­it­ies. But we need to make sure the en­tire state has that same op­por­tun­ity.” (re­lease)



KANSAS

Svaty to Run for Governor

Democrats have their first contested gubernatorial primary in 20 years.

By Zach C. Cohen

Former state Agriculture Secretary Josh Svaty (D) “says he’s running for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2018. Svaty announced his candidacy Tuesday in his central Kansas hometown of Ellsworth.” (AP)

“Dressed casually in jeans and an open-collared shirt, Svaty told a small crowd of supporters that he was running to ‘undo the damage’ done to education, health care and the state’s transportation system by” Gov. Sam Brownback’s (R) “economic policies.”

“Svaty has the backing of several prominent Democrats in his race for the nomination against former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer.” State House Minority Leader Jim Ward (D) “could make it a three-way race for the Democratic nomination. It would be the party’s first gubernatorial primary since 1998.” (KCUR)



MASSACHUSETTS

Massie Kicks Off Campaign

Setti Warren will take the “first step” of his campaign Saturday.

By Zach C. Cohen

En­vir­on­ment­al­ist Bob Massie (D) “told about 200 sup­port­ers dur­ing his form­al cam­paign kick­off Tues­day night that he is ‘ir­re­voc­ably com­mit­ted to liberty and justice for all.’” (Bo­ston Globe)

“New­ton May­or Setti War­ren (D), who has spent months con­sid­er­ing a run for gov­ernor, plans on Sat­urday to an­nounce ‘the first step he’ll take to lead the com­mon­wealth for­ward,’ ac­cord­ing to an email cir­cu­lated Tues­day by his wife, Tassy War­ren. … War­ren’s 2 p.m. block party will be held on Beau­mont Av­en­ue in New­ton.” (State House News Ser­vice)



NEW JERSEY

Guadagno TV Ad Attacks Ciattarelli on Taxes

Jim Johnson hopes to capitalize on anti-Trump sentiment.

By Zach C. Cohen

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R) “this week un­leashed neg­at­ive ads against” As­sembly­man Jack Ci­at­tarelli (R).

“The first came in the form of a web ad, which … charges him with flip-flop­ping.

“The second – ‘Jack it up’ – ap­peared on cable tele­vi­sion this morn­ing. The 30-second spot ham­mers the as­sembly­man on a vari­ety of is­sues, in­clud­ing the gas tax. In the de­bate last week, Ci­at­tarelli ac­know­ledged that he favored an in­cre­ment­al gas tax in­crease over time.” (In­siderNJ)

“The ad began run­ning statewide this week.” (re­lease)

“[A]lthough he has closed the gap and sources in his camp in­sist that the con­test has nar­rowed to a single-di­git slug-fest, Ci­at­tarelli faces the daunt­ing pro­spect of try­ing to gal­van­ize moun­tain men, skeet-pulling gun own­ers, and move­ment con­ser­vat­ive voters who strenu­ously res­ist so-called RI­NOs and gen­er­al elec­tion GOP brand names. In short, the as­sembly­man ar­gu­ably must seal the deal with that 25-30% Schund­ler-Loneg­an-Do­herty wing of the Re­pub­lic­an Party in the fi­nal weeks of the cam­paign to fin­ish off es­tab­lish­ment Re­pub­lic­an Lieu­ten­ant Gov­ernor Kim Guadagno, while not mov­ing too far to the right to jeop­ard­ize his gen­er­al elec­tion stand­ing.” (In­siderNJ)

THE TRUMP EF­FECT. “Stand­ing a few miles from the Bed­min­ster golf club that Pres­id­ent Don­ald Trump owns,” former Treas­ury Un­der­sec­ret­ary Jim John­son (D) “said Tues­day that the Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­ent has been a ‘night­mare’ so far and pro­posed a ‘Trump Pro­tec­tion Plan’ to de­fend New Jer­sey from his policies ‘of hate and fear.’”

“John­son said he would … cre­ate a pool of law­yers to work for free on im­mig­ra­tion cases” and “sup­port a single-pay­er health care sys­tem with Medi­care for all if the Af­ford­able Care Act is over­turned.” (NJ Ad­vance Me­dia)

“John­son mel­ded his anti-Trump mes­sage with a call to break the Demo­crat­ic ma­chine that has long held sway in New Jer­sey.” (Politico)

“John­son … en­vi­sions a lib­er­al para­dise in the post-Chris Christie New Jer­sey that will be achieved without pain or sac­ri­fice — un­less, of course, you’re a mil­lion­aire.” (Ber­gen Re­cord)

ME, THREE! As­sembly­man John Wis­niewski (D) an­nounced Tues­day he has joined le­gis­lat­ors’ law­suits against Christie’s plan to ren­ov­ate the state­house. (re­lease)

This post has been up­dated with video of Guadagno’s ad and de­tails about the buy.



NEW MEXICO

Balderas to Seek Reelection

The Democrat won’t run for governor.

By Zach C. Cohen

“End­ing months of spec­u­la­tion, state At­tor­ney Gen­er­al Hec­tor Bal­der­as (D) an­nounced Tues­day that he will run for re-elec­tion in 2018 rather than enter the Demo­crat­ic primary elec­tion for gov­ernor.”

Bal­der­as: “It has been an hon­or to serve New Mex­ico and I plan on run­ning for re-elec­tion next year in or­der to con­tin­ue to fight for our state.” (Santa Fe New Mex­ic­an)

“That puts” Rep. Michelle Lu­jan Grisham (D) “in the cat­bird’s seat to se­cure the nom­in­a­tion with the im­port­ant caveat that here is still a year to go un­til the primary and oth­er ma­jor entries are pos­sible, if in­creas­ingly un­likely. ABQ busi­ness­man Jeff Apo­daca and anti-al­co­hol edu­cat­or Pete Debene­det­tis are the only oth­er Dem con­tenders in the con­test and both have a ma­jor hill to climb in rais­ing money and gar­ner­ing name ID. … Des­pite the lure of a race with no in­cum­bent, ob­serv­ers see the high cost of run­ning a primary elec­tion—up­wards of $2 mil­lion—as a ma­jor dis­in­cent­ive to join the fray.” (Joe Mo­n­ahan)



PENNSYLVANIA

Mango Kicks Off Campaign Today

Wolf is stressing his outsider appeal, even as governor.

By Zach C. Cohen

Busi­ness­man Paul Mango (R) “kicks off his 2018 bid for the Re­pub­lic­an gubernat­ori­al nom­in­a­tion [today] with a two-day, statewide tour.” (PennLive)

WOLF’S DEN. Gov. Tom Wolf (D) “is work­ing to make the case for his re-elec­tion. The first-term Demo­crat gave a key­note speech Monday morn­ing at a break­fast event at­ten­ded by law­makers and busi­ness lead­ers from around the re­gion. And he took the op­por­tun­ity to set him­self apart from the cor­rup­tion fears that have lately plagued Wash­ing­ton.

“When Wolf ran for gov­ernor, one of the most im­port­ant fig­ures in his cam­paign wasn’t a per­son. It was his 2006 Jeep Wran­gler. Three years later, the vehicle’s still very much in the pic­ture. It re­mains an im­port­ant sym­bol for the gov­ernor, as does the fact that he donates his salary and doesn’t live in the gov­ernor’s man­sion. … In Wolf’s pitch to voters, these de­lib­er­ate moves are meant to sig­ni­fy that he’s not a lifelong politi­cian. Pennsylvani­ans, he ar­gues, can trust him.” (WITF)



VIRGINIA

Northam, Perriello Have Different Targets in Last Debate

Perriello is highlighting his home in Alexandria.

By Zach C. Cohen

“The Demo­crat­ic can­did­ates for gov­ernor seemed to be run­ning against dif­fer­ent op­pon­ents in their fourth de­bate Tues­day night, as” former Rep. Tom Per­ri­ello (D) “re­peatedly at­tacked Pres­id­ent Trump and” former RNC Chair Ed Gillespie (R) “in­stead of his primary op­pon­ent, Lt.Gov. Ral­ph Northam (D). Northam, by con­trast, kept his fo­cus on state is­sues and in­voked his Demo­crat­ic al­lies in Vir­gin­ia polit­ics.” (Wash­ing­ton Post)

“Throughout the de­bate, the two can­did­ates rarely ad­dressed the oth­er’s plat­form and back­ground dir­ectly. One ex­cep­tion, though, was Northam’s re­peated ref­er­ence to Per­ri­ello re­ceiv­ing an ‘A’ rat­ing from the Na­tion­al Rifle As­so­ci­ation when he was in Con­gress. … One of the oth­er dif­fer­ences high­lighted by Northam is that Per­ri­ello sup­por­ted the Stupak-Pitts Amend­ment while he was in Con­gress.”

Northam: ”I have un­equi­voc­ally been pro-choice. We don’t need someone who’s go­ing to be mul­tiple choice.” (Vir­gini­an-Pi­lot)

IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS. Per­ri­ello’s “ad fea­tur­ing Pres­id­ent Barack Obama has an ad­ded bo­nus for view­ers in the D.C. area: tiny let­ter­ing in­dic­at­ing Per­ri­ello is speak­ing dir­ect to cam­era from Al­ex­an­dria, Va. The loc­a­tion isn’t noted in ver­sions of the ad that have been run­ning out­side of the north­ern Vir­gin­ia sub­urbs.” (Politico)

OLD DOMIN­ION. “Northam … has taken heat from en­vir­on­ment­al­ists for re­fus­ing to con­demn a pair of nat­ur­al gas pipelines be­ing built in the state, but a re­cent let­ter from Vir­gin­ia’s biggest util­ity sug­gests the po­ten­tial polit­ic­al pay­off from his neut­ral stance.

“Domin­ion En­ergy chief ex­ec­ut­ive Thomas Far­rell sent a let­ter May 12 to the com­pany’s 76,000 em­ploy­ees, re­tir­ees and share­hold­ers throughout Vir­gin­ia that urged them to con­sider Domin­ion’s pipeline pro­ject when vot­ing in the June 13 gubernat­ori­al primary.” (Wash­ing­ton Post)

CAP & TRADE. McAul­iffe on Tues­day “dir­ec­ted the Vir­gin­ia De­part­ment of En­vir­on­ment­al Qual­ity to be­gin as­sem­bling reg­u­la­tions to re­duce car­bon emis­sions from Vir­gin­ia power plants.” (Rich­mond Times-Dis­patch)

Northam: “Very proud that our ad­min­is­tra­tion is do­ing the work to com­bat cli­mate change in Vir­gin­ia—you can bet I’ll con­tin­ue it as gov­ernor.” (Twit­ter)

Per­ri­ello: “Gov. McAul­iffe’s bold move fi­nally shifts Vir­gin­ia in­to a 21st Cen­tury en­ergy eco­nomy and gives us a bet­ter shot at good-pay­ing jobs and at pro­tect­ing our coast­line and cli­mate. … In Con­gress, I sup­por­ted cap-and-trade, which would have led to job cre­ation in rur­al com­munit­ies around al­tern­ate en­ergy and put trades­men and con­struc­tion work­ers on the job.” (re­lease)

Gillespie: “We all want clean­er air; we all want clean­er wa­ter. We can get those things without these ex­cess­ive reg­u­la­tions that are job-killing and cost-in­creas­ing.” (re­lease)

GILLESPIE’S CONUN­DRUM. “After the June 13 primar­ies to de­cide the gubernat­ori­al nom­in­a­tions of both parties, Gillespie may no longer have the lux­ury of stra­tegic si­lence. Gillespie can yam­mer all he wants about Vir­gin­ia slip­ping in the rat­ings of busi­ness-friendly states, about Demo­crats’ hos­til­ity to the ban on com­puls­ory uni­on mem­ber­ship as a con­di­tion for a job, about his pro­posed in­come tax cut that Re­pub­lic­an le­gis­lat­ors privately con­cede the state can’t af­ford, and Obama-like over­reach by de­part­ing” Gov. Terry McAul­iffe (D).

“But in a state com­fort­ably car­ried by Hil­lary Clin­ton and where a fresh poll by The Wash­ing­ton Post shows that hos­til­ity for Trump is great­er than in the na­tion as a whole, the polit­ic­al en­vir­on­ment will fully test the verbal acu­ity of a guy who, as an aide to the second George Bush, art­fully used sound bites and stage­craft to help an un­pop­u­lar pres­id­ent out of a jam or two.”

“Gillespie gets away now with dia­phan­ous plat­it­udes about health care and the Comey dis­missal” for now be­cause “Stew­art and Wag­n­er badly lag Gillespie” and “Gillespie has the good for­tune of a power­ful dis­trac­tion: the Demo­crat­ic primary fight between Ral­ph Northam and Tom Per­ri­ello, both of whom have said they fully in­tend to link the pre­sumed Re­pub­lic­an nom­in­ee to Trump.” (Rich­mond Times-Dis­patch)



OVERLOOKED

Blast From the Past

By kimberly-railey

The establishment-versus-tea party divide in the SC-05 recount has echoes of a GOP primary last year in another 5th District, AZ-05, where a former Freedom Caucus member also vacated his seat. In that race, to replace former Rep. Matt Salmon (R), now-Rep. Andy Biggs (R), who had the support of conservative groups, narrowly prevailed over the more establishment-aligned Christine Jones (R), after a recount gave him a 27-vote lead.



Quote of the Day

" I spend time in a place where a Democrat is as rare as a tweetless Twitter feed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in the early-morning hours. " Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D), in a speech at the Center for American Progress’ Ideas Conference, Billings Gazette, 5/16.