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Fitzhugh Hires Campaign Manager for Tennessee Bid

Former Rep. Chris Gibson is advising Marc Molinaro’s challenge to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Zach C. Cohen and Nia Prater
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Zach C. Cohen and Nia Prater
April 3, 2018, 11:26 a.m.

AL GOV: Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle (R), evangelist Scott Dawson (R) and state Sen. Bill Hightower (R) will participate in a televised debate April 12 at 7 p.m. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) “was invited to debate but declined.” Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox (D), former state Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb (D), and former state James Fields (D) will also debate April 11 at 9 p.m. (WVTM)

If elected to a full term, Ivey said she plans “to reform Alabama’s unique budget process … upgrade interstate projects,” and “make improvements in education.” (

CA GOV: “Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) latest ad showcases the diversity of California’s population and how citizens in the state don’t just tolerate it, but celebrate it.” (Daily Kos)

State Assemblyman Travis Allen (R) believes the state should place homeless individuals in institutions statewide, potentially by force. Allen last month: “We need state-run mental institutions where people can actually go, (where) the indigent can go and get the help that they need. What we’re doing is not working.” (Sacramento Bee)

San Jose City Councilmembers Raul Peralez, Chappie Jones and Sergio Jimenez endorsed former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D). (release) The AAPI Democratic Club of San Diego endorsed state Treasurer John Chiang (D). (release)

GA GOV: The Working Families Party plans to spend in the “high six-figures” on canvassing efforts in Atlanta in support of former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D). The group intends to use a message focused on economics and jobs to reach African-American voters, particularly those that tend not to vote in midterm elections. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Abrams will release her new book, “Minority Leader: How to Lead from the Outside and Make Real Change,” on April 24. (Twitter)

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (R) won a straw poll conducted at the 9th District Republican Party debate with 41 percent with Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) following with 22 percent. Former Navy SEAL Clay Tippins (R) and former state Sen. Hunter Hill (R) got 15 and 12 percent, respectively. (Gainesville Times) Cagle also announced a list of conservative activists supporting him, including Forsyth County GOP Chair Justin Hawkins. (release)

HI GOV: The State of Hawai‘i Organization of Police Officers on Monday “unanimously endorsed” Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D). (release)

ID GOV: “Lt. Gov. Brad Little (R) missed 34 Senate floor sessions this year— the most out of his three terms in the post.” (AP)

KS GOV: State Sen. Laura Kelly (D) and state House Minority Leader Jim Ward (D) were statistically tied 19-17 percent in a Expedition Strategies poll (March 5-8; Democratic LVs; +/-4.4%) for Ward’s campaign. Former state Agriculture Secretary Joshua Svaty (D) got 7 percent.

Former Gov. John Carlin (D), “who served as governor from 1979 to 1987 after a stint as speaker of the Kansas House, has embraced … Svaty … who represented the same House district as Carlin did.” (Kansas City Star)

NY GOV: Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro (R) “kicked off his gubernatorial campaign Monday, pledging to ‘restore accountability to New York state government.’ … Comparing himself with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D), Molinaro talked of being poor enough to receive a ‘free lunch’ at school and not someone ‘born with a famous last name or into a leading political family.’” Cuomo: “Look, they want to run a Trump mini-me in New York? Good luck. … No one is going to vote for a Trump clone in New York.” (Newsday)

Former Rep. Chris Gibson (R) is advising Molinaro. Molinaro “said he wrote in Mr. Gibson’s name for president in 2016, citing ‘differences’ with Mr. Trump.” (Wall Street Journal) “Underlining his lack of affinity with the president, he added that he didn’t think ‘tweeting meaner’ was a ‘way to govern.’” (New York Times)

Former Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy (D) said there was “not a chance” she would run for governor. “It’s way too much work,” she added. (New York Post)

SC GOV: Gov. Henry McMaster (R)’s Republican challengers criticized him for sending out a fundraising message from Ports Authority Chairman Bill Stern, who has ties to former state Rep. Rick Quinn (R) and Quinn’s father, Richard Quinn, who was McMaster’s former political consultant. Both were recently indicted on corruption charges. “Stern has described Richard Quinn as a friend and consulted with him on a possible run for governor.” (Charleston Post & Courier)

SD GOV: State Attorney General Marty Jackley (R) “will be listed first on the” primary ballot. Rep. Kristi Noem (R) will appear on the ballot second.” “South Dakota officials held a drawing Monday for statewide and legislative candidates’ ballot orders.” State Senate Minority Leader Billie Sutton (D) doesn’t have a primary challenger. (AP)

TN GOV: State House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh (D) has hired Matt Kuhn as his campaign manager. Fitzhugh filed his petition to appear on the primary ballot on Tuesday. (release) Housing services executive Bill Lee (R) also submitted his petition on Monday. (Twitter)

Lee and former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean (D) “literally ran into each other outside the offices of the Division of Elections where both filed the petitions with the required names to get on the ballot.” (WKRN)

“Lee said Monday he supports arming some teachers as a ‘cost-effective’ way to increase security.” (Nashville Tennessean) Dean and Fitzhugh “believe lawmakers should defer to doctors on medical cannabis and support its use where doctors agree. They believe arming teachers and imposing a work requirement for TennCare recipients are bad ideas. Also both believe lawmakers have ‘missed the point’ of offering in-state tuition to students who entered the country illegally as children but have grown up here.” (Nashville Tennessean)

Rep. Diane Black (R) said she opposes Nashville’s state infrastructure plan referendum because it “would cost every man, woman and child in Davidson County almost $15,000.” (Nashville Tennessean)

912 Project founder Lee Douglas endorsed Black over the weekend. (release)

TX GOV: Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez’s (D) “campaign manager, Bill Romjue … was hit by a car in a bookstore parking lot in Dallas … Feb. 24. … Romjue ended up with a compound fracture of his left leg and was hospitalized for two-and-a-half weeks in Dallas. … He got out of rehab last week and currently is using a walker and wheelchair to get around, he said. He can’t bear weight on his leg for another couple of months.” (San Antonio Express-News)

Houston investor Andrew White (D) “on Tuesday will unveil a plan to create a million new jobs.” (Houston Chronicle)

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