AL GOV: Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle (R) tried to paint Gov. Kay Ivey (R) as out of touch, writing that “while we were talking to regular people about the future of Alabama, Kay Ivey was going around to cocktail parties in Montgomery. There seems to be lots of receptions in Montgomery.” In response, Ivey’s campaign said that she attends many events to represent the state, adding “That’s the Ivey way: while others are out talking on the campaign trail, she’s leading and getting results for real people.” (AL.com)
Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox (D) criticized a proposal to arm school teachers and said that the government should be more focused on improving the quality of life for Alabamians. (AL.com)
AR GOV: When asked if she would endorse Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) if he were to win the primary, 2nd Amendment advocate Jan Morgan (R) said, “Absolutely not, no I can’t. … If Asa was even remotely conservative I wouldn’t be in this race.” (KATV)
Jared Henderson (D), the former head of an education nonprofit, has filed to run in the Democratic primary. (AP)
CA GOV: Rep. Mark Takano (D-41) endorsed state Treasurer John Chiang (D). (release)
HI GOV: Former state Sen. Clayton Hee (D) announced via Facebook he is joining the race. He “said Tuesday tax dollars should pay for health care, affordable housing and universal preschool instead of projects like Honolulu’s planned rail line. He says he’s running to stop spending on projects that are ‘out of control.’” (AP)
“[T]here are few ideological differences between” Hee, Gov. David Ige (D), and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D). “But Hee could be helped by the anti-rail crowd. Hanabusa helped forge the compromise legislation to continue paying for rail, and Ige signed the bill into law.” (Honolulu Civil Beat) “To make up ground, he’s hoping appeal to millennials and working class voters, pushing issues like the high cost of rail, a lottery and recreational marijuana — new revenue sources instead of raising taxes.” (Hawaii News Now)
NE GOV: Secretary of State John Gale (R) ruled that state Sen. Bob Krist (D) will be able to appear on the primary ballot. Krist’s challenger, university instructor Tyler Davis (D), cited a law that says “candidates’ party changes must happen before the first Friday in December of the previous year” and challenged Krist’s eligibility. Gale said that Krist’s switch from nonpartisan to Democrat was a declaration of party, not switching parties. (Omaha World Herald)
SC GOV: Former state cabinet member Catherine Templeton (R) has changed her stance on restrictive abortion legislation after first voicing concerns that the law did not include an exception for victims of incest. Templeton received a lot of criticism for that opinion from supporters of the “Personhood Act,” a law that “would define life as beginning at fertilization and extend constitutional protections to all unborn children.” (Charleston Post & Courier)
TN GOV: While speaking at a luncheon hosted by anti-abortion organization Susan B. Anthony List & Life Institute, Rep. Diane Black (R) said, “Abortion is not family planning. It’s family destruction.” She praised President Trump and Vice President Pence for their stance on the issue, saying “I think the torch that burns in Congress is the brightest on life issues in the years since I’ve been there. I believe in my lifetime they are the strongest administration on the issues.” (Nashville Tennessean)
TX GOV: President Trump endorsed Gov. Greg Abbott (R) for renomination on Tuesday, saying he and other Republican incumbents “are helping me to Make America Great Again!” The primary is March 6. (Twitter)
Houston investor Andrew White (D) “reported raising $130,000 since the end of January, with $944,000 in campaign cash in the bank, according to his latest disclosure report filed Monday with the Texas Ethics Commission.” Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez (D) “reportedly has raised $70,000, according to a text late Monday from her campaign.” (Houston Chronicle)
Abbott believes the Republican Party can pursue their immigration agenda while still showing the Hispanic community respect. “Everybody deserves to be respected, and I think that the same goals that the president is seeking to achieve can be achieved with a tone of respect and dignity. There’s a righteousness in the cause of safety and security for our country that can be achieved by using the right tone, Abbott said. (The Hill)
“Through Sunday in the 15 Texas counties with the most registered voters, 135,070 people had voted in the Republican primary and 151,236 in the Democratic. Compared with the first six days of early voting in 2014, Democratic turnout increased 69 percent, while Republicans saw a 20 percent increase. The Democrats even surpassed their early voting totals from the 2016 primary — a presidential election year. … Abbott’s campaign sent supporters an email Monday asking for donations to help him get out the vote, warning that the early voting numbers ‘should shock every conservative to their core.’” (Dallas News)
White “said Abbott … needs to call a special session to promote ‘common sense gun-safety legislation.’” (Dallas News)
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"The U.K. is sharing secret intelligence about the nerve agent attack on a former spy with key allies, in an effort to persuade them to expel Russian diplomats across Europe, people familiar with the matter said. ... May will deliver a hard-hitting warning over the threat posed to the whole of Europe by Vladimir Putin’s government during a dinner with fellow leaders at the EU summit in Brussels on Thursday."
President Trump is planning to announce new sanctions against Chinese technology companies Thursday, and China may respond "by targeting U.S. agricultural exports from Farm Belt states," including "soybeans, sorghum and live hogs ... The U.S. is among the top suppliers of these products to China." The Chinese sanctions are being calibrated to target states "that helped elect Donald Trump in 2016."
"Federal prosecutors have dropped charges against 11 of 15 members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security team who were accused in connection with the beating of protesters during their visit to Washington last year, the latest twist in a case that caused a diplomatic rift between the U.S. and Turkey. The decision by the U.S. to prosecute the 15 men added to political strains as the Trump administration was trying to reset relations with Turkey, a key U.S. ally in the fight against Islamic State. Prosecutors first asked a judge in November to dismiss charges against four members of Mr. Erdogan’s security detail. Then they dropped charges against seven others on Feb. 14, the day before Secretary of State Rex Tillerson flew to Ankara for a meeting with Mr. Erdogan meant to ease tensions."