AL GOV: Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle (R), in light of the recent controversy regarding allegations that Gov. Kay Ivey (R) is a closeted gay woman, tried to return the race to discussing the issues facing the state. Noting the statements this week have been “deeply upsetting” to him, Battle said: “Running for political office should be about listening to the people, discussing the issues and challenges facing our state and determining how best to take advantage of our opportunities. It should be about evaluating a candidate’s record of achievement, their ability to solve the problems facing this state. It needs to be about their record.” (release)
CA GOV: A Bay Area Council poll (March 20-April 3; 466 LV) showed Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) leading in the Bay Area region with 39 percent, followed by state Assemblyman Travis Allen (R) and businessman John Cox (R) with 9 percent each. State Treasurer John Chiang (D) received 5 percent, and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) and former state Superintendent Delaine Eastin (D) received 4 percent. Twenty-six percent of voters were undecided. (San Jose Mercury News)
Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas (D) endorsed Newsom. He is the third supervisor in the county to back Newsom. (Los Angeles Times)
Philanthropist Robert A. Day donated $250,000 to an independent expenditure committee supporting Villaraigosa (D). (Secretary of State)
GA GOV: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) endorsed former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D) on Thursday, calling her “the only candidate for governor of Georgia who has real solutions that will help the lives of working people in Georgia.” (release)
Abrams received 43 percent in a poll (May 10-15; 2,339 RVs; +/- 6%) conducted by SurveyUSA for 11Alive News. Former state Rep. Stacey Evans (D) followed with 24 percent. Thirty-three percent of voters said they were undecided.
On the Republican side, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (R) received 35 percent followed by Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) with 17 percent and former state Sen Hunter Hill (R) with 10 percent. Twenty-seven percent of respondents were undecided. (May 10-15; 2,339 RVs; +/-5%) (WXIA-TV)
Former Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R) endorsed Cagle (R). (release) Cagle was also endorsed by former Rep. Phil Gingrey (R). (release)
IA GOV: Local union head Cathy Glasson (D) has released an ad narrated by Iowa middle and high-schoolers. In the ad, the students talk about gun reform and how they’re not old enough to vote for Glasson, but that the viewer can. (release)
Former state Party Chairman Andy McGuire (D) believes her experience in the medical field gives her an advantage in the race at a time when health care is a top issue for many voters.
Glasson: “I’ve been a doctor and in health care my whole life. I’ve been an executive. I know health care inside and out. And it is not an easy field. It is a complicated field. And so I think that gives me very unique expertise and experience to do this job in a better way for those than anyone else.” (Des Moines Register)
ID GOV: “There is no question that Jordan faces an uphill race in the fall. But she has a plan for running a truly statewide campaign that goes deep into the rural regions of Idaho. … Raised in a family of farmers and ranchers, this member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe still resides in Plummer, Idaho, population 1,017. And she speaks about her ranching roots in language that resonates with rural voters. … The devastating defeats in 2014 and 2016 have left too many Democratic ‘strategists’ imagining that rural America is so conservative that the party must trim its ideological sails in order to compete. But they’re forgetting that states like Idaho have progressive histories … and that those histories extended from rural populist traditions that can and must be renewed.” (The Nation)
KS GOV: Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) named state Rep. J.R. Claeys (R) as campaign manager. Danedri Herbert, a former editor and writer at the conservative news site The Sentinel, joined as campaign spokeswoman. She replaces Moriah Day who resigned his positions with the campaign and the secretary of state office. Jared Suhn, a principal at Singularis Group also departed the team. The consulting firm is providing print and digital strategy for the Kobach campaign. (Wichita Eagle)
LA GOV: Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) confirmed he “will run for reelection for governor as a Democrat.” (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
MA GOV: State Rep. Geoff Diehl (R), who won his party’s endorsement for the Senate, was the only Republican state lawmaker not to sign a letter endorsing Gov. Charlie Baker (R). “[S]ome pro-Trump voters on the right view the moderate Mr. Baker, a Trump opponent, as a RINO, a Republican in Name Only. And these populist conservatives are tea party favorite Mr. Diehl’s base.” This week, Diehl avoided discussing Baker, saying instead that he was focused on his own race. Diehl did note he voted for Baker at the party convention, and that he has supported the governor in the past. (Worcester Telegram & Gazette)
MD GOV: Sources close to former Montgomery County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin (D) confirm that she is expecting “a large financial contribution” from EMILY’s List—a sign she will stay in the race. Ervin, who was the running mate of the late Kevin Kamenetz, has until 5 p.m. Thursday to decide if she will run in Kamenetz’s place. (NBC)
“Gov. Larry Hogan (R) signed a bill into law that will launch a new investigation into whether senior officials in the” Baltimore Police Department “knew of recent corruption scandals before they went public. The new law establishes a commission with subpoena power to probe potential misconduct … that may have been connected to convictions of eight members of the Gun Trace Task Force on federal corruption charges.” (Baltimore Sun)
NY GOV: Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (D) announced his support for actress Cynthia Nixon’s (D) promise to convene a Moreland Commission to investigate corruption in Albany.
Bharara, in a tweet: “The rare sequel guaranteed to be better than the original. The first Moreland Commission never should have been disbanded and every New Yorker should support a strong anti-corruption measure like this.” (release)
SC GOV: A lawyer for former state cabinet official Catherine Templeton (R) sent cease-and-desist letter to South Carolina TV stations, asking them to pull an anti-Templeton ad being aired by a super PAC.
“Correspondence obtained by The Associated Press confirmed that several stations owned by the Sinclair Broadcasting Group had taken down the 30-second spot critical of Templeton, who says the ad is inaccurate. The Palmetto PAC ad, which began running statewide on Tuesday, likens Templeton to a contestant on ‘The Apprentice,’ with President Donald Trump repeatedly saying, ‘You’re fired’ as an announcer says that Templeton was fired by both the state health agency and Revenue Department.” (AP)
State Rep. James Smith (D) and attorney Marguerite Willis (D) have both released the first ads of their campaigns. “Smith’s ad touts his 22-year record in the Statehouse and his background as a military veteran from the war in Afghanistan.”
“‘He’s been a leader in the Legislature. He’s been a leader on the battlefield. He’ll be a leader as governor,’ the narrator says in the ad. … In Willis’ 30-second spot, the first-time political candidate walks down a dusty rural path and says she will focus on tackling poverty and improving education and healthcare.
“‘I became a nationally respected attorney in a business biased against women because I refused to back down,’ Willis says.” (Charleston Post and Courier)
TX GOV: Houston investor Andrew White (D) indicated how he’ll go after Gov. Greg Abbott (R) if he wins the runoff Tusday: “the state’s response to Hurricane Harvey, public education spending and for not supporting Medicaid expansion.”
“‘He said no thanks to a $6 billion check,’ White said, calling for Medicaid expansion and drawing some applause from attendees. ‘I truly believe he has blood on his hands for doing that.’”
“‘I can’t believe that,” he added. “If people are dying, you’re doing something wrong.’” (Austin American-Statesman)
TN GOV: A poll (April 26-May 8; 1,400 RV; +/– 3.6%) from Vanderbilt University found Rep. Diane Black (R) has the highest name recognition at 86 percent, but the highest unfavorability rating among her competitors at 46 percent—underwater by two points. Among Republicans, her favorability is 71 percent. Former state cabinet member Randy Boyd’s (R) name recognition, 68 percent, is more than doubled from Vanderbilt’s December poll. Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean (D) has the highest name ID and favorability scores in the Democratic field. (release)
Housing services executive Bill Lee (R) released a statewide TV ad, “Serve,” which focuses on Lee’s religious call to serve the state. This is his second TV ad, and more are planned for coming weeks. (release)
“[C]ritics believe Boyd is hypocritical in” his ad highlighting his anti-immigration views, “point[ing] to a donation Boyd made in the past to a Nashville-based nonprofit that seeks to create a welcoming community for Latino families, and his position with a national higher education organization started during President Barack Obama’s administration to suggest his views on immigration are suspect.” (Nashville Tennessean)
At a forum Tuesday, Lee claimed the “‘liberal media,’ teachers unions and the ‘far-left lobby’ have used students who survived Parkland, Florida’s deadly school shooting as ‘props to push their anti-gun agenda.’” Lee was the only candidate to say the Parkland survivors have had a negative impact on the conversation about guns and gun control; the other candidates said the impact was positive. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)