AL GOV: Evangelist Scott Dawson (R) was on the Matt and Aunie Show on Talk 99.5 at 8 a.m., following a 7 a.m. slot with state Rep. Patricia Todd (D), who alleged that Gov. Kay Ivey (R) is a closeted gay woman. Dawson said he met Todd for the first time at the station Friday, and he reiterated that he did not coordinate the rumors about Ivey coming forward following his press conference. Dawson struggled to explain why he brought up the rumors about Ivey at his press conference if he did not intend to make that the news story. Todd refused to answer on air whether she believes Ivey is gay, but she noted that Ivey would not identify as gay and she implied that she believes the longstanding rumors that Ivey has had a romantic relationship with a woman despite having no evidence. (Hotline reporting)
Ivey released a radio ad discussing her faith and Christian values, including how her faith guides her policies. (release)
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin endorsed Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox (D). (Birmingham News) The NRA endorsed Ivey. (release)
GA GOV: During a debate at hosted by the Atlanta Press Club, the candidates tried to show who was the strongest defender of gun rights.
Former state Sen. Hunter Hill (R): “Having fought in three combat tours overseas, I know what it’s like to have my life threatened. It’s wrong to have folks that have put their lives in harm’s way and come home and not be able to defend their families.”
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (R): ““During campaign time, people will talk one way, but you have to look at the record. Look at my record defending the Second Amendment and expanding our gun rights. I’ve been able to do that, and that’s why I have the NRA endorsement.”
State Sen. Michael Williams (R): “I’m tired of politicians that they know all the right things to say, but when they get elected they do something different. We need somebody in our state that’s going to stand up against those who are trying to take away our rights.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
After announcing that he would be embarking on a “Deportation Bus Tour” to Georgia’s sanctuary cities, Williams’s bus ended up breaking down on the side of the road. Williams was temporarily stopped “after water somehow got into the fuel tank, stopping the bus on the side of Interstate 75. The tour continued after repairs to the vehicle, a campaign spokesperson said in a statement. The campaign said it plans to keep a closer eye on the bus during stops.”
Seth Weathers, campaign spokesman: “We certainly would not blame this on ANTIFA or others who are openly plotting to damage or destroy the bus. We know the left would never stoop to such a pathetic low.” (USA Today)
ID GOV: Rep. Raul Labrador (R) and developer Tommy Ahlquist (R) both appeared with Lt. Gov. Brad Little (R) at a unity rally Thursday. Little thanked both of his defeated primary opponents. (Idaho Press-Tribune)
KS GOV: Thirty percent of voters are undecided in the Republican primary, according to a poll conducted by Remington Research Group. (May 14-15; 1,441 RVs; +/-3%) Twenty-nine percent of respondents said they would vote for Gov. Jeff Colyer (R), with 27 percent choosing Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R). Former state Sen. Jim Barnett (R) and state Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer (R) received 9 percent and 5 percent respectively. (Kansas City Star)
Former state Agriculture Secretary Joshua Svaty (D) said marijuana could be legal in Kansas as early as next year and he’s open to supporting legislation to get rid of penalties for possession.
Svaty: “I think that it’s very possible we could see a bill on my desk within maybe the next year. It’s only failed … by a few votes even this last year.” (Wichita Eagle)
KY GOV: Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) hinted Thursday that she might run against Gov. Matt Bevin (R) in 2019. Lundergan Grimes said she is listening to those encouraging her to run. She and state Attorney General Andy Beshear (D), who has also been mentioned as a potential contender, have repeatedly clashed with Bevin—who has yet to indicate if he will run for reelection. (WKYT)
MA GOV: Rep. Seth Moulton (D-06) “isn’t exactly bullish about his party’s prospects against Gov. Charlie Baker (R) this fall.”
Moulton: “I have been outspoken in my disagreements with Governor Baker, more than some of the other Democrats in the state. … But I’ve also worked very closely with Governor Baker on shared priorities, and I know there are a lot of Democrats in the state who are supporting him. I think that he is a governor who very much tries to be bipartisan.” (Politico)
MD GOV: “Forty days before the primary, former Montgomery County Council member Valerie Ervin (D) said she will run … in place of her deceased running mate Kevin Kamenetz, launching a bid that could shake up the crowded Democratic field. Ervin, 61, is an outspoken progressive with a reputation for sharp-elbowed campaigning. She said her ties to Emily’s List and other national groups will generate funding and support that will help her draw votes away from other Democratic hopefuls vying for the nomination to challenge Gov. Larry Hogan (R) this fall.”
“Ervin, who was the first black woman elected to the Montgomery County Council, had until Thursday to decide whether to dissolve the campaign, choose a new candidate for governor or run for the position herself. She filed candidacy papers with her new running mate, Marisol A. Johnson (D), a former Baltimore County school board member who was born in El Salvador and is the first Latino to hold public office in the county. State Board of Elections officials have not said whether Ervin is entitled to the money in Kamenetz’s campaign account. He had amassed $2 million as of January. … As of mid-April, Ervin had $50,000 in her campaign account, and the slate she and Kamenetz formed had $1,000.” The primary is on June 26. (Washington Post)
Like the money, Kamenetz’s political network is not guaranteed to transfer to Ervin. “Where Kamenetz’s supporters go – and he was running second or a close third in all public polls – will also have a major impact on the Democratic race. Just as significant, Kamenetz’s name will remain on the ballot as a candidate for governor, with Ervin listed as the candidate for lieutenant governor.” (Maryland Matters)
NH GOV: Former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand (D) plans to return approximately $14,000 in corporate contributions that his campaign received.
Marchand: “We seek to practice what we preach in terms of fundamentally transforming the way campaigns are funded in New Hampshire.” (WMUR)
NY GOV: After deciding to make Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) handling of the MTA crisis a major campaign platform, actress Cynthia Nixon (D) is selling t-shirts using an MTA logo without the company’s permission. “The shirts say, ‘What the F?’ using the distinctive orange-and-white symbol for the Brooklyn-to-Queens line.”
“The MTA — which zealously protects its trademarks and collected $221,000 in brand-licensing payments last year — said Thursday that Nixon’s campaign neither sought nor received permission to use the logos.”
RI GOV: Sarah Hale Folger, spokeswoman for former state Sen. Giovanni Feroce’s (R) campaign, has resigned her position, writing in a statement, “I appreciated the honor of serving in this capacity and wish Mr. Feroce all the best in his race for Governor of Rhode Island.” (GoLocalProv)
SC GOV: The NRA Political Victory Fund endorsed Gov. Henry McMaster (R). (release)
TN GOV: “During a recent call with mayors supporting his campaign,” former state cabinet member Randy Boyd (R) said primary opponent Rep. Diane Black (R) “has ‘painted herself in such a corner’ that the GOP could lose in November if she’s the party’s nominee. … Last week, a campaign spokeswoman said Black’s name was not mentioned on the call.” But after a recording of the call was found by the Tennessean, a spokesperson said: “None of us had any recollection of Randy making that comment on the call.” Participants on the call said they saw Nashville Mayor Karl Dean (D) as a challenge. (Nashville Tennessean)
Boyd released a TV ad highlighting his similarities with Trump. Boyd: “I just don’t tweet so much.” (release)
Black released a TV ad, “Catch and Release,” that highlights her tough stance on illegal immigration and her support for law enforcement. (release)
VT GOV: Former utility executive Christine Hallquist (D) made a campaign stop in Bennington and spoke about her policy positions including a $15 minimum wage, criminal justice reform, and an expansion of broadband internet access in the state, particularly in rural areas.
Hallquist: “For the past 10 years, I’ve been on the strategies and technical advisory committee for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, which oversees the electric distribution to 75 percent of the landmass, which is rural America. So, I’ve been working on the national level with rural America, and this issue of broadband has been our number one concern.” (Bennington Banner)