by David Nir
Leading Off:• KS Redistricting: New congressional maps have finally been introduced in the Kansas legislature, one of the very last states where the redistricting process hadn’t even begun at all. (The two remaining laggards? New Hampshire and New York.) The plans have been put forth by Republican state Sen. Tim Owens, but he has three separate proposals (Sunflower 9a, 9c, and 9d, the last of which is on the second page) and it’s not entirely clear which one he’s running with. They are all very similar, and 9c has the lowest population deviation, so that’s the one I’m presenting here:
4Q Fundraising:• CA-30: Rep. Howard Berman (D): >$1 mil raised, $2.9 mil cash-on-hand (uh, wow, that is a hell of a quarter)
• IL-10: Ilya Sheyman (D): “nearly” $180K, >$200K cash-on-hand
• NM-Sen: Rep. Martin Heinrich (D): $483K raised, $1.4 mil cash-on-hand
• WI-Sen: Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D): $1.1 mil raised, $1.8 mil cash-on-hand
• NJ-Sen: Republican state Sen. Joe Kyrillos, who has been looking at a Senate bid for quite some time, said on Thursday that he had “converted my exploratory effort into a campaign committee and will soon formally announce my candidacy.” I really think you minimize the impact of an announcement when you drag it out like this.
• NY-Sen: Harry Wilson, the 2010 GOP comptroller nominee who has been courted for a run against Dem Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, says he is “very unlikely” to join the contest. Republicans were mostly interested in Wilson because of his vast personal wealth, but it seems like he’s smart enough to realize he’d almost certainly get stomped no matter how much he might spend.
• OH-Sen: Another good set of numbers for Dem Sen. Sherrod Brown from Quinnipiac: He continues to lead Republican Treasurer Josh Mandel by 15 points, just as he did in October. Click the link for our full post at Daily Kos Elections.
• PA-Sen: GOP Gov. Tom Corbett has reportedly been trying to gather support for businessman Steve Welch in the Republican primary, apparently fearful that former coal company owner Tom Smith, a first-time candidate with little political experience, will win the nomination thanks to the $5 mil of his own money that he’s pumped into the race.
• WA-Sen: SurveyUSA’s Washington poll for KING5-TV also included a Senate portion, as it first began doing back in November. They find Dem Sen. Maria Cantwell still leading Republican state Sen. Michael Baumgartner by a pretty healthy margin, 50-41, though that’s tightened a bit from her 51-39 edge two months ago. The important thing, though, is really Cantwell’s performance. If she remains at 50, it’s very difficult to see how Baumgartner could overtake her.
• TX-Gov: Heh. Rick Perry may have quit the presidential race, but he may stick around in Texas for quite some time yet. Perry, who took office in Dec. of 2000 and is the longest continuously-serving current governor in the U.S., reportedly isn’t ruling out running for another term in 2014. He’s also supposedly saying that he might run for presidential again in 2016, which is an entertaining thought.
• WI-Gov: Some tea leaves from The Hotline regarding the Democratic primary field for the gubernatorial recall:
State Sen. Jon Erpenbach is frequently mentioned as a potential challenger, but he reportedly told AFSCME that he won’t run. Former Rep. David Obey also turned down an endorsement interview with the powerful union, making a bid seem unlikely.
• CA-??: Almost a year ago, term-limited Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Portantino began gearing up for a run against veteran GOPer David Dreier. He looked like exactly the sort of candidate we’d been longing for, since Dreier had seemed weak for quite some time but never drew top-notch opposition. Portantino fit the bill, though, and even managed to attracted attention from DCCC chair Steve Israel, who came out west to throw a fundraiser for him last spring.
Redistricting, of course, was always a huge wild-card, though Portantino made it sound like he’d run for Congress no matter where he wound up. But the map-makers made that nearly impossible. Portantino’s hometown, the awesomely-named La Cañada Flintridge, wound up in the 28th CD, where Dem Rep. Adam Schiff is seeking re-election. Most of the rest of his Assembly district wound up in the neighboring 27th—and another Democratic incumbent, Judy Chu, is running there. The nearest open seat turned out to be the adjacent 29th, but Portantino’s base is well outside the district, Los Angeles City Councilman Tony Cardenas has seemingly had the field to himself since June.
So Portantino finally decided this week not to make a bid for federal office, though stressed that “this decision in no way ends my political career.” Indeed, he’s given strong hints that he’s likely to run for the 21st state Senate District in 2016, when incumbent Carol Liu is termed-out.
• CA-30: Well, as my colleague David Jarman put it, “I think this headline says everything you need to know about Sherman vs. Berman”:
Michael Dukakis Headlining Brad Sherman Fundraiser
This bit also made me LOL:
“Just one week after the New Hampshire primary, come for a unique analysis of presidential politics from a man who won the New Hampshire primary in 1988,” the invitation reads.
Seriously, I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody tout a Dukakis anything anywhere.
• CO-06: Well, that was quick. Just days after first floating his name for a possible run in the redrawn 6th CD, Democratic state Senate Majority Leader John Morse says he’s abandoning the idea—not least because he lives pretty far outside the district. But state Senate President Brandon Shaffer (who pulled in a pretty soft fundraising quarter) is still considering a switch from the 4th to the 6th; he’s apparently waiting on the results of a poll to help him decide.
• FL-22: Ex-Rep. Kendrick Meek, who waged an unsuccessful bid for Senate last cycle, just gave his endorsement to former West Palm Beach mayor Lois Frankel, who is vying with accountant Patrick Murphy for the right to take on GOP freshman Allen West.
• MI-11: So much for that: State Sen. Mike Kowall just dropped his GOP primary challenge to Rep. Thad McCotter. Kowall began gearing up to run when McCotter was engaged in his amusingly short-lived presidential bid last year, but nevertheless decided to stick with it after McCotter pulled the plug and opted to seek re-election instead. I’d guess that McCotter’s decision made fundraising pretty tough, though Kowall certainly had a good argument that the incumbent wasn’t particularly interested in staying in Congress. Maybe next time….
• MO-04: According to the blog Show Me Progress, Cass County Prosecuting Attorney Teresa Hensley will challenge GOP freshman Vicki Hartzler in the redrawn 4th CD this year. The 4th is a very red district that was held for many years by veteran Dem Ike Skelton, but like so many others in his position, he found himself unable to hang on against the brutal headwinds in 2010 and lost a tough race to Hartzler. Consequently, this seat hasn’t been on a lot of radar screens, though it was made slightly bluer in redistricting, from 61-38 McCain to 57-42. This will still be a very hard race, but at least on paper, Hensley looks like a good get and could make things interesting.
• NY-13: Democrat Mark Murphy made it official on Wednesday, kicking off his campaign against GOP freshman Mike Grimm. Murphy is a former aide to New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and the son of former Rep. John Murphy. He’s also the only announced candidate, and at this point, unless ex-Rep. Mike McMahon decided to make a comeback bid, he has the inside track to the nomination.
• PA-03: Penn State Shenango psychology prof Missa Eaton became the first Democrat to launch a challenge GOP freshman Mike Kelly. But with filing starting on Jan. 24, it’s starting to look like Kelly might escape without a top-tier opponent, unless someone unexpectedly jumps in at the last minute.
• PA-12: On Thursday, Aaron Blake teased that Rep. Jason Altmire would release a poll later in the day showing him up 50-34 in the Democratic primary against fellow Rep. Mark Critz. The only additional detail provided by the fix was that it was taken by Anzalone-Liszt, but I’m not seeing anything else, like sample size, field dates, or the traditional one-page memo.
• VA-10: Republican Rep. Frank Wolf has always kinda-sorta been on our retirement watch list, just given his age (he’s almost 73) and the fact that he’s been in office five-ever (since 1981). But Wolf nevertheless kicked off a bid for a 17th term on Thursday night. Also worth noting is that Democratic his opponent this year, retired Air Force Gen. John Douglass, was just added to the DCCC’s “Emerging Races” list.
• KY Redistricting: So Kentucky’s GOP-controlled Senate just passed its own congressional map—different, of course, from the version passed by the Dem-held Houselast week. That will send things to a conference committee, though Democratic state House Speaker Greg Stumbo is optimistic that a compromise can be worked out by the end of the week. Kentucky’s filing deadline is very soon, though (Jan. 31), so if a deal can’t be reached soon, that date might have to get shoved. (The primary isn’t until May 22.) Of course, this could also all end up in court, though no one seems to be talking about that possibility.
• Chicago Redistricting: Chicago’s city council voted to approve a new redistricting plan with 41-8 margin, which means that dueling maps won’t go before voters, as they did two decades ago—anything less than 41 votes would have forced a referendum. (This possibility was the inspiration for our Chicago redistricting contest, which we’ll announce winners for soon.) In any event, things aren’t necessarily settled, since litigation is still very possible, but in the meantime, you can find a cool Google Maps version of the plan here.