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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"Two more House Republicans have joined the discharge petition to force votes on immigration, potentially leaving centrists just two signatures short of success. Reps. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) signed the discharge petition Thursday before the House left town for the Memorial Day recess. If all Democrats endorse the petition, just two more GOP signatures would be needed to reach the magic number of 218."
"A missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine in 2014 was fired from a launcher belonging to Russia's 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade, investigators said Thursday. The announcement is the first time the investigative team has identified a specific division of the Russian military as possibly being involved in the strike. Russia has repeatedly denied involvement in the incident."
"House Republicans are preparing to conduct the first interviews in over four months in their investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email probe. A joint investigation run by the Judiciary and Oversight Committees has set three witness interviews for June, including testimony from Bill Priestap, the assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division, and Michael Steinbach, the former head of the FBI’s national security division."
"The White House confirmed Wednesday it is planning for a bipartisan group of House and Senate leaders, known as the 'Gang of 8,' to receive a highly-classified intelligence briefing on the FBI's investigation into Russian meddling, reversing plans to exclude Democrats altogether. ABC News first reported the plans to hold a separate briefing for Democrats, citing multiple administration and congressional sources. While details of the bipartisan meeting are still being worked out, a Republican-only briefing will go on as scheduled Thursday."