AL-02: Former Rep. Bobby Bright (D) “announced Thursday that he was mounting a campaign to reclaim his old seat from” Rep. Martha Roby (R) “as a Republican. Bright was mayor of the Alabama capital from 1999 to 2009, when he won” AL-02 as a Democrat. He lost reelection to Roby amid the Tea Party wave in 2010. The one-term congressman downplayed his switching parties, pointing out that at one point Gov. Kay Ivey, Sen. Richard Shelby and even President Donald Trump were Democrats. Bright said the GOP more closely aligns with his values.” Roy Moore aide Rich Hobson (R) is also primarying Roby.
“Bright claimed that residents in the district are not being ‘properly represented’ because Roby does not currently sit on the Armed Services or Agriculture committees and the district has a sizeable military presence and a robust farming community.” (AL.com)
MA-03: The field of Democrats to replace retiring Rep. Niki Tsongas (D) hit a new high of 14, after attorney Leonard Golder (D) and labor organizer Jeff Ballinger (D) both said they will run. Golder “launched unsuccessful bids for state representative in 2008 and state Senate in 1999, among others.” Ballinger has been a “commentator on several television networks and has been published in multiple newspapers” but has never run for office. The candidates have not filed with the Federal Election Commission, but “both said they planned to ensure paperwork was in order in the coming days.” (Lowell Sun)
MS-03: Banker Perry Parker (R) announced his candidacy to replace Rep. Gregg Harper (R), who is not seeking another term in office. Parker, an experienced banker who has worked in Chicago, New York, and London said he will bring “a new era of wealth and prosperity” to the district. Prominent candidates in the district include state senator Sally Doty (R), state Rep. Mark Barker (R) and Madison and Rankin County District Attorney Michael Guest (R). (AP)
TN-01: Rep. Phil Roe (R) will seek reelection to a sixth term. “The chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee was undecided earlier this week, citing family considerations as a reason he could opt against re-election. … Roe cited his role as chairman, which he assumed at the beginning of the 115th Congress, as a reason to stick around.” (Roll Call)
TEXAS: The Dallas Morning News endorsed former state Rep. Kenneth Sheets (R) in the open-seat race to replace retiring Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-05), and retired Naval aviator Jake Ellzey (R) in the open-seat race to replace retiring Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX 06). (Dallas Morning News)
UTAH: A state legislator introduced a bill that “would eliminate primaries in special elections — allowing only a general election. It most cases, it would give parties 30 days to determine their nominees in any way they choose. For the Utah Republican Party, that would almost surely result in state convention delegates choosing the nominee. The bill’s structure and timing would not allow qualifying by collecting signatures.” (Salt Lake Tribune)
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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."