- McConnell Campaign Manager Quits Amid Scandal
- Obama Weighs Delay in Action on Immigration
- Judge Strikes Down Texas Abortion Law
- Neck-and-Neck in Arkansas
- Judge Dismisses McDaniel Challenge
February 29, 2012
Maine Democratic Reps. Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud have begun the process of building Senate campaigns, even though neither has come to a final decision on whether to run to succeed retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R).
Sources in both camps maintain that the looming March 15 deadline to file forced the two Representatives to move ahead with gathering petition signatures as they still mull a Senate run.
While there have been reports that national Democrats are pushing for the two Members to decide between themselves which of them will run for Senate, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the two will square off in the Democratic primary, according to a Maine Democrat.
Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey filed to run for Senate today, boosting Senate Democrats in a state considered a lost cause for the party ever since Sen. Ben Nelson (D) announced his retirement there.
Kerrey initial ruled out a bid earlier this month. But this week, Kerrey indicated he was reconsidering his choice just a few days before the filing deadline.
“Doing things the conventional way has never been my strong suit,” Kerrey said in a statement. “This afternoon, I will file to become a candidate for the United States Senate in Nebraska. I came to realize that my previous decision was the easy one, not the right one. My commitment to serve Nebraska and America, and to be part of the debate about the challenges we face was too strong to dismiss.” Full story
The disjointed, perpetually deadlocked, rumor-filled, agita-inducing drama of New York Congressional redistricting moves into its final act today, with the Legislature expected to submit proposed lines to a judge by midnight and a final map approved within less than a month.
Magistrate Judge Roanne L. Mann has ordered all the parties involved in a redistricting lawsuit, which include state Assembly and Senate Democrats and Republicans, to submit their proposed Congressional plans to the court by today, if they are submitting plans at all. With control of the Legislature split, the main plans are expected to be submitted by Democrats from the Assembly and Republicans in the Senate. The opposing sides reportedly remained deadlocked this morning. Full story
California Rep. David Dreier announced his long-expected retirement on the House floor this morning.
The Rules Committee chairman, a 16-term Republican from San Dimas, was essentially a man without a home after the state’s new independent redistricting process that left him with no good options for re-election. Full story
February 28, 2012
A federal three-judge panel in San Antonio released a new interim Texas Congressional map today after both parties failed to produce a compromise following weeks of wrangling in court.
The court-ordered map resembles a February proposal from state Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) that gave Democrats a new district in the Fort Worth area, effectively giving Republicans a 25-to-11 advantage in the Congressional delegation.
The fate of the Texas 2012 map remained uncertain for weeks after the Supreme Court ruled in January that the San Antonio court overstepped its boundaries with its original proposal for an interim map. There are several seats at stake on the new Texas map, which increased by four House districts due to explosive population growth, mostly in the Hispanic community.
Texas officials were forced to delay their primary twice while maps worked their way through two separate court systems. The San Antonio court released a revised interim map just in time for both parties to hold their primary on May 29.
Sen. Olympia Snowe announced today that she is retiring from the Senate, citing the partisanship of Washington as her reason for not running for re-election.
“With my Spartan ancestry I am a fighter at heart; and I am well prepared for the electoral battle, so that is not the issue. However, what I have had to consider is how productive an additional term would be,” the Maine Republican said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, I do not realistically expect the partisanship of recent years in the Senate to change over the short term,” she added. “So at this stage of my tenure in public service, I have concluded that I am not prepared to commit myself to an additional six years in the Senate, which is what a fourth term would entail.”
Roll Call Politics had rated this race as Safe Republican. Snowe’s decision means that the race is seriously in play for Democrats. She was first elected to the Senate in 1994 and won her last re-election in 2006 with 74 percent of the vote.
Amid speculation that former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.) is reconsidering a run for his old seat, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) today acknowledged that he has had extensive conversations with Kerrey, but gave no other details.
“There is a lot of speculation out there; number one is whether Bob is going to be running,” Reid said at a press conference. “I have had, over the last several weeks, lots of conversations with Bob Kerrey and none of those am I going to talk about here.”
Other Democrats were also quiet about Kerrey including Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.) who is chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Full story
Ret. Air Force General John Douglass is expected to announce next week that he will run in Virginia’s 5th district instead of in the 10th.
The Democrat’s campaign said today that Douglass will travel through each county in the expansive 5th district, currently held by freshman Rep. Robert Hurt (R), before his March 6 announcement. Douglass had originally filed to run against Rep. Frank Wolf (R) in Northern Virginia, but Douglass’ home was drawn into the 5th under the redistricting plan signed into law last month.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will appear at a fundraising event Saturday hosted by Florida GOP Rep. Vern Buchanan, who is reportedly under investigation by federal authorities.
Virginia is one step away from completing redistricting after the Richmond Circuit Court on Monday dismissed a lawsuit challenging the Legislature-drawn Congressional map.
The lawsuit argued that the state Legislature, which Republicans won complete control of in November’s state elections, was constitutionally mandated to complete redistricting in 2011. A similar lawsuit filed in federal court was dismissed Feb. 10. Full story
Updated 2:55 p.m. | Missouri Rep. Russ Carnahan filed today to run in the urban St. Louis 1st district, setting off a potentially racially charged Democratic primary with Rep. William Lacy Clay that pits two Missouri political dynasties — one white, one black — against each other.
In the majority-minority district, both Congressmen will be familiar to voters, but Clay probably has the early edge. Only a third of Carnahan’s current constituents were drawn into the reconfigured 1st.
“It’s impossible to overlook the minority aspect here,” said Mike Kelley, a St. Louis Democrat who is a former executive director of the Missouri Democratic Party. “There will be a lot of downticket races that will have primaries, particularly in the African-American community, that will drive some turnout in this election. It will be something Caranhan will have to overcome, and it will be something that Clay will have to capitalize on.” Full story
February 27, 2012
With just a few hours left before Monday’s filing deadline, one Democrat and four Republicans had filed nominating petitions with the Arizona secretary of state’s office to run in the 8th district special election. Democrat Gabrielle Giffords resigned from the seat Jan. 25. Full story
Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), who had flirted with a gubernatorial run earlier this year and who was drawn into Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell’s district by the GOP-controlled Legislature, filed to run in the 7th district Monday. Full story
Former state Sen. Richard Tisei (R), who is taking on Rep. John Tierney (D) in Massachusetts’ 6th district, got the endorsement of Sen. Scott Brown (R) on Monday. Full story