The starting gun is ready to fire on the run of House members facing each other in Senate primaries. A total of 14 House members are running for Senate this year, and 10 of them must first dispatch with a fellow member of their state’s delegation before moving on to the general election.
— On Tuesday, the tense race between Democratic Reps. Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards will finally be decided. Van Hollen always looked to have the upper hand in both establishment support and money, but Edwards has benefited from a few million dollars in outside spending, including from EMILY’s List, and has kept the contest tantalizingly close. Van Hollen, a former DCCC chairman, has emphasized his effectiveness in Congress, something that could help him significantly in the D.C. area. This race nearly featured a third member, as Rep. Elijah Cummings didn’t announce he would seek reelection until early February, less than three months before the primary.
— Two members of the Republican wave class of 2010 are locked in a competitive battle in Indiana for the outsider mantle in the May 3 primary. An establishment-aligned super PAC is spending significantly to help Rep. Todd Young over the finish line. He might be aided by an Associated Press report last week that pointed out that Rep. Marlin Stutzman’s campaign since he entered Congress has spent about three times as much as Young’s on flights, vehicle charges, meals, and hotels. Young would be heavily favored in the general against Democratic former Rep. Baron Hill, Stutzman less so.
— Nearly four months later, on Aug. 30, two pairs of House members will tee off in the Republican and Democratic primaries in Florida. Rep. Patrick Murphy, who was endorsed by President Obama and the DSCC, has the upper hand in the Democratic race against ethically challenged Rep. Alan Grayson. The Republican side is a jumble, with Reps. David Jolly and Ron DeSantis, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, also facing the lieutenant governor, a defense contractor, and a wealthy real estate developer with strong ties to the governor.
Louisiana Reps. John Fleming and Charles Boustany will face off in the crowded jungle primary for the state’s open Senate seat on Nov. 8. Of the four other House members running for Senate, Reps. Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat in Illinois, and Joe Heck, a Republican in Nevada, stand the best chance in November. But two other Democrats are putting up a fight: Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick in Arizona and Loretta Sanchez, who could face a fellow Democrat, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, in the general.
— Kyle Trygstad
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"Saudi Arabia said Saturday that Jamal Khashoggi, the dissident Saudi journalist who disappeared more than two weeks ago, had died after an argument and fistfight with unidentified men inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Eighteen men have been arrested and are being investigated in the case, Saudi state-run media reported without identifying any of them. State media also reported that Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, the deputy director of Saudi intelligence, and other high-ranking intelligence officials had been dismissed."
"Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is scrutinizing how a collection of activists and pundits intersected with WikiLeaks, the website that U.S. officials say was the primary conduit for publishing materials stolen by Russia, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Mueller’s team has recently questioned witnesses about the activities of longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone, including his contacts with WikiLeaks, and has obtained telephone records, according to the people familiar with the matter."
"Special Counsel Robert Mueller is expected to issue findings on core aspects of his Russia probe soon after the November midterm elections ... Specifically, Mueller is close to rendering judgment on two of the most explosive aspects of his inquiry: whether there were clear incidents of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, and whether the president took any actions that constitute obstruction of justice." Mueller has faced pressure to wrap up the investigation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, said an official, who would receive the results of the investigation and have "some discretion in deciding what is relayed to Congress and what is publicly released," if he remains at his post.
"The Justice Department on Friday charged a Russian woman for her alleged role in a conspiracy to interfere with the 2018 U.S. election, marking the first criminal case prosecutors have brought against a foreign national for interfering in the upcoming midterms. Elena Khusyaynova, 44, was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Prosecutors said she managed the finances of 'Project Lakhta,' a foreign influence operation they said was designed 'to sow discord in the U.S. political system' by pushing arguments and misinformation online about a host of divisive political issues, including immigration, the Confederate flag, gun control and the National Football League national-anthem protests."