AL-02: Former Senate Campaign Manager Rich Hobson, a longtime aide to former state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, is planning to primary Rep. Martha Roby (R). (New York Times)
The move doesn’t come as a surprise. In November, Al.com reported that Hobson “purchased six web domains last month that suggest Hobson has been preparing to make a 2018 run for Congress.”
Roby holds seat in southeast Alabama that President Trump carried by 32 points. She handily beat her last primary challenger.
HI-01: Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) said she doesn’t intend to endorse a candidate in the race for the Democratic-leaning House seat she is vacating to run for governor. (Hawaii News Now) State Attorney General Doug Chin (D), Former state Senate President Donna Mercado Kim (D), state Rep. Kaniela Ing (D) and Honolulu City Councilman Ernie Martin (D) are in the race.
MI-09: Former state Rep. Ellen Lipton (D) entered the race for retiring Rep. Sander Levin’s (D) safe Democratic seat. “I’m appalled at Donald Trump’s corporate agenda that attacks our families’ health care, passes tax giveaways for wealthy corporations, and harms our public schools,” Lipton said in a campaign announcement where she promised to fight for public education. (release) Former state official Andy Levin (D), the congressman’s son, is running, as is state Sen. Steve Bieda (D).
TX-06: Tarrant County Tax Assessor-Collector Ron Wright (R) released a long list of endorsements for his bid to replace retiring Rep. Joe Barton (R), including Texas Right to Life, Texas for Fiscal Responsibility, state Sen. Konni Burton (R) and state Rep. Matt Krause (R). (Texas Tribune)
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"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."
The United States and South Korea have suspended "another major joint military exercise to give the diplomatic process with North Korea 'every opportunity to continue.'" Exercise Vigilant Ace, which last year "involved 12,000 US troops and some 230 military aircraft from the US and South Korea," was due to take place in December. Trump has canceled other operations in the past, which Gen. Robert Abrams said "had resulted in a 'slight degradation' to the readiness of US and Korean troops," but were a "prudent risk" to improve improve relations with Pyongyang.
"Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has decided to take part in an anti-terror finance meeting with Saudi security officials and their Middle Eastern counterparts in Riyadh later this month, opting to attend despite growing global outrage over the suspected murder of a U.S.-based journalist at the hands of Saudi operatives, according to three people familiar with his travel plans. The security gathering next week is separate from a Riyadh financial summit that Mnuchin announced on Thursday he would not attend."
"Steve Penny, the former president and CEO of USA Gymnastics, has been indicted on a felony count of tampering with evidence" in the sexual assault case against disgraced USA gymnastics physician Larry Nassar. Nassar was found guilty in January of sexually abusing dozens of young gymnasts, and was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison. Penny, who was arrested on Wednesday in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, "is accused of ordering the removal of documents from the Karolyi Ranch in Texas," where much of Nassar's abuse occurred.
Defense attorneys involved in the Mueller probe say the public "shouldn’t expect a comprehensive and presidency-wrecking account of Kremlin meddling and alleged obstruction of justice by Trump — not to mention an explanation of the myriad subplots that have bedeviled lawmakers, journalists and amateur Mueller sleuths. ... Perhaps most unsatisfying: Mueller’s findings may never even see the light of day."