AL GOV: A spokesman for Gov. Kay Ivey (R) says she “is willing to debate her opponents ahead of the June primary.” (AP)
AR GOV: Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) said he “is not in favor of raising the age to buy a rifle to 21 but does feel background checks need to be strengthened and we need to do a better job on dealing with mental illness.” (Fox Radio)
CA GOV: San Mateo Mayor Rick Bonilla (D) endorsed state Treasurer John Chiang (D). (release)
GA GOV: Former state Rep. Stacey Evans (D) asked state Attorney General Chris Carr (R) “Wednesday to investigate whether Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (R) violated state criminal and ethics laws for his threat to ‘kill’ a lucrative tax break for Delta Air Lines unless it restored business ties with a national gun group. … Former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D) … praised Delta’s decision to ‘reject NRA extremism that has prevented commonsense reform for too long.’” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
HI GOV: Gov. David Ige (D) held two fundraisers in D.C. last month while in town for National Governors Association meetings. “One event was held at 1201 New York Ave. and the other at 1900 K St., both in northwest Washington. The former address appears to be the location of the William T. Golden Center for Science and Engineering, while the latter is on the thoroughfare synonymous with lobbying.” Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) “raised money in San Francisco in November and has a fundraiser set for March 20 at what looks to be a private home on SE New Jersey Avenue in Washington.” (Honolulu Civil Beat)
KS GOV: Gov. Jeff Colyer (R) in an interview Monday distinguished himself from Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) in terms of style: “My approach is—as a doctor, as a surgeon—that we work with people. We’re going to solve problems, and you’re going to find that I’m absolutely tenacious about doing that. Style may be different. And my style is I work with people. Everything is not a confrontation. The strongest voice in the room is not necessarily the loudest voice.” (National Journal)
Former state Sen. Jim Barnett (R) and Democrats “support raising the age limit from 18” for buying semi-automatic weapons. “Among the Republicans, all but Barnett were steadfast in their support of the AR-15 as a weapon for hunting.” Only Kobach supported President Trump’s proposal to arm teachers. (Kansas City Star)
“Colyer is promising that discrimination against LGBT state employees won’t be tolerated. But he won’t say whether he will reinstate an executive order providing protections to those workers that was repealed by his predecessor, Sam Brownback.” (Wichita Eagle)
OK GOV: Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb (R) released his first TV ad on Tuesday, which recalls as a Secret Service agent he “took an oath of office to step into the line of fire,” and that as governor he “will fight just as hard to turn Oklahoma around” by growing the economy and standing with President Trump, “because Oklahoma’s future is worth fighting for.” (release) “The ad has been in rotation on the Fox News Channel. Lamb’s campaign manager, Keith Beall, said it is airing on multiple channels in multiple media markets. He declined to say how much money the campaign spent.” (NewsOK)
TN GOV: State House Speaker Beth Harwell’s (R) campaign “sent out a fundraising email plugging the television ad the [super] PAC [supporting her] is running. … Per state campaign finance law, some coordination between campaigns and PACs is permitted. But as the General Assembly is in session, Harwell is not permitted to fundraise, nor to run campaign ads.”
“Recent telephone push polls from G1 Research — thought to be paid for by [former state cabinet officialy Randy Boyd’s (R)] campaign or a PAC supporting him — have asked questions about” housing services executive Bill Lee’s (R) and Rep. Diane Black’s (R) records, “with nary a mention of Harwell. A different, more neutral G1 telephone poll this reporter received more than a week ago asked that if the primary were held tomorrow, would you vote for Boyd, Lee or Black — with, again, no mention of Harwell.” (Nashville Post)
“Saturday’s Lincoln Day Gala in Memphis, Tenn., wasn’t without drama after Chip Saltsman — campaign CEO for … Boyd — publicly confronted Republican Party of Shelby County Chairman Lee Mills for allowing … Black, to introduce keynote speaker Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina.” (Daily Caller)
“Lee announced over 25 community leaders from across Tennessee have joined to form a Community and Faith-Based Advisory Council for the Lee gubernatorial campaign.” (release)
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"White House chief of staff John Kelly has tapped Chris Liddell, a senior White House aide and former executive at Microsoft and General Motors, as his deputy." Prior to his appointment, Kelly had just one deputy: "Joe Hagin, who focuses on the day-to-day operations" in the White House. "Up until now, the White House had not named a deputy chief of staff for policy, though several aides, including [DHS Secretary Kirstjen] Nielsen, had informally played that role."
The Supreme Court on Monday "rejected a plea to undertake a historic reassessment of the constitutionality of the death penalty nationwide. The court denied certiorari in Hidalgo v. Arizona, which challenged the constitutionality of that state’s death penalty statute but also attacked capital punishment generally 'in light of contemporary standards of decency.'" The Court did not act on another case, Evans v. Mississippi, which would have prompted a broader review of the death penalty. "Justice Stephen Breyer, joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan issued a separate statement agreeing that the Hidalgo case should be denied because the record in the case was not fully developed, but hoping a future case would be a better platform for reviewing capital punishment."
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman begins his two-week visit to the U.S. this week, meeting with "political and business leaders in Washington, New York, Silicon Valley and elsewhere" in an effort to shore up financial support for his government and rehabilitate its image abroad. "The crown prince employed a similar public relations strategy on a three-day visit to the UK," where he met with "an array of British business and defense leaders." Bin Salman has been widely criticized for his alleged political chicanery in the Gulf, and for Saudi Arabia's devastating air campaign in neighboring Yemen.
A fourth package bomb injured two people in Austin on Sunday evening, "which the police chief says was caused by a tripwire and showed 'a different level of skill' than the package bombs used in the three prior attacks." The police are still searching for the perpetrator, and have warned residents to not pick up or approach suspicious packages. Previous explosions, which the police believe are connected, have killed two and wounded several others.
White House Lawyer Ty Cobb said that President Trump not considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller. Speculation swirled after Trump attacked the investigation on Twitter, and called out Mueller directly for the first time. “In response to media speculation and related questions being posed to the Administration," Cobb said, "...the President is not considering or discussing the firing of the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller." Several members of Congress, "including some top Republicans, warned Trump to not even think about terminating Mueller."