AL GOV: Evangelist Scott Dawson (R) sent in his qualification papers and paid the fee while appearing as a guest on the radio program “The Rick and Bubba Show.” Dawson was joined in the studio by Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill (R) as he filed the documents online. (AL.com)
AZ GOV: Spokesmen for state Sen. Steve Farley (D) and former state associate schools superintendent David Garcia (D) said they won’t pursue public funds. (National Journal)
State Treasurer John Chiang (D) accused Newsom of being inconsistent with his stance on universal healthcare. Newsom has been calling for the institution of a single-payer healthcare program in the state. Chiang and former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) have voiced concern about the potential cost of the venture and Chiang says Newsom himself had the same worries when he was mayor of San Francisco and that city began introduced a similar plan. (Los Angeles Times)
HI GOV: “A spokeswoman for … Gov. David Ige (d), who secured over $100,000 in public financing in 2014, said he hasn’t determined whether he will seek that funding again but is ‘committed to securing the resources needed to communicate.’” Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) and state House Minority Leader Andria Tupola (R) “haven’t expressed interest in participating, either.” (National Journal)
KS GOV: Former state Rep. Ed O’Malley (R) dropped out of the race on Thursday. O’Malley: “I have realized that the funding necessary to remain competitive through August and then November is beyond our reach.” (release)
NE GOV: State Sen. Bob Krist (I) filed a lawsuit to contest a 2016 law that significantly raised the amount of required signatures needed for nonpartisan candidates to qualify for the ballot. Originally, the number needed was at least 4,000 signatures, with 750 from each congressional district. Now, the threshold has been raised to at least 10 percent of the state’s registered voters which comes out to about 119,000. (AP)
A 20-year-old memo might allow Krist to join the Democratic Party in time to make primary ballot. According to the Secretary of State’s election calendar, all party changes should’ve been submitted by Dec 1. of last year. But in a letter from then Secretary of State Scott Moore to the Keith County clerk, Moore outlined another possibility, “It is my position that someone who amends their registration from non-partisan to affiliate with a political party has not affected ‘A change in political party affiliation …’ but has instead chosen to declare an affiliation.” So, instead of changing parties, Krist would be joining one. (Sandhills Express)
SC GOV: A political committee based in Ohio purchased ad time in Greenville before the Super Bowl to promote Gov. Henry McMaster’s (R) call for all South Carolinians to stand for the national anthem during the game. The Government Integrity Fund Action Network spent $21,100 on the ads. McMaster’s campaign has said that they are not coordinating with the group. (Charleston Post & Courier)
TN GOV: Rep. Diane Black (R) released a new TV ad on Thursday urging viewers to stand for the National Anthem during the Super Bowl. (release)
Candidates from both parties attended a forum hosted by the Tennessee Press Association. Former Nashville Karl Dean (D), former state cabinet member Randy Boyd (R), state House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh (D), realtor Kay White (R), and businessman Bill Lee (R) discussed several issues, particularly governmental transparency. Despite past remarks saying that he doesn’t intend to make his tax returns public, Lee said, “I do believe that the taxpayers of Tennessee deserve transparency. I think that one of the challenges we face is that people don’t trust the government.” (Nashville Tennessean)
TX GOV: Houston investor Andrew White (D) in 2005 donated $2,500 to the Kentucky Republican Party. White said he made the donation “as a business owner, I’ve made contributions in the past to both parties, but the majority have been to Democrats.” He attributed the resurfacing of the old donation to “Republican research efforts.” (Texas Tribune)
White thinks that his more moderate views as a Democrat are a strength rather than a weakness. Besides calling himself “personally pro-life” and supporting border security, White says most of his views are in-line with the Democratic norm. (Austin American-Statesman)
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President Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen was paid at least $400,000 to arrange a meeting between Victor Poroshenko and President Trump, according to sources in Kiev. Shortly after the meeting, which was held at the White House was last June, the Ukrainian "anti-corruption agency stopped its investigation into Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort." Poroshenko was reportedly desperate to meet with Trump, after documents leaked under his watch revealed that President Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort had failed to disclose his connections with the Ukrainian presidential elections, in violation of U.S. election law.
Ohio Democratic voters have filed suit against Ohio Governor John Kasich and other Republican state officials over alleged partisan gerrymandering in Ohio's electoral map. Despite capturing between 51 and 59 percent of the statewide vote in the past three elections, Republicans hold three-quarters of state congressional seats. "The U.S. Supreme Court is due by the end of June to issue major rulings in two partisan gerrymandering cases from Wisconsin and Maryland that could affect the Ohio suit."
An Iranian missile scientist, killed in a strike in 2011 along with his research center, oversaw the development of a secret, second facility in the remote Iranian desert that ... is operating to this day," according to a team of California weapons experts. "For weeks, the researchers picked through satellite photos of the facility. They found, they say, that work on the site now appears to focus on advanced rocket engines and rocket fuel, and is often conducted under cover of night."