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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"Rudy Giuliani said Friday that special counsel Robert Mueller has agreed to narrow the scope of a potential interview with President Donald Trump from five topics to two. The former New York City mayor, who is now one of Trump's lawyers in the Russia investigation, told CNN's Chris Cuomo on New Day that Mueller is not considering asking the President about his former personal attorney Michael Cohen, who's under investigation in New York over his business dealings."
Michael Cohen's financial records, given to the media last week, were leaked by a law enforcement official who "had grown alarmed after being unable to find two important reports on Cohen’s financial activity in a government database. The official, worried that the information was being withheld from law enforcement, released the remaining documents." He told the New Yorker: "This is a terrifying time to be an American."
"President Donald Trump said he was working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to keep ZTE Corp. in business, throwing an extraordinary lifeline to the Chinese telecommunication giant that has been laid low by U.S. moves to cut off its suppliers. The surprise intervention comes less than a month after ZTE was hit with an order banning U.S. companies from selling components to the Chinese business."