Morning Digest: Why some rich GOP donors don’t want two ex-congressman making comebacks

The Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, and Stephen Wolf, with additional contributions from the Daily Kos Elections team.

Subscribe to The Downballot, our weekly podcast

Leading Off

Primary Night: Indiana on Tuesday plays host to a busy downballot primary night, and as always, Jeff Singer has put together an in-depth look at what to watch.

One of the most-watched races will take place in the central part of the state as no-longer-retiring Rep. Victoria Spartz tries to hold off self-funding state Rep. Chuck Goodrich in the GOP primary for the 5th District. But seven other candidates are also on the ballot, so their presence could help Spartz win the plurality she needs to avoid an involuntary retirement.

If Goodrich manages to get past Spartz, though, she'd be just the second House incumbent to lose renomination this cycle. Currently, the sole member of this unhappy group is Alabama Republican Jerry Carl, who lost an incumbent vs. incumbent primary two months ago after redistricting transformed his state's congressional map.

Meanwhile, two former House members―Marlin Stutzman and John Hostettler―are waging comeback bids for open seats on opposite ends of the state. Both men lost the 2010 Senate primary to eventual winner Dan Coats, but this time, they have a similar set of allies and enemies.

Some wealthy donors haven't forgotten how both Stutzman and Hostettler caused trouble for their party's leaders during their first stints in Congress and are hoping to make sure they don't get a second chance to cause chaos. However, one well-known senator from a neighboring state is working to help the two ex-congressmen advance through nasty and expensive primaries.

Check out our preview for much more on these contests and more. We'll be liveblogging all of these races at Daily Kos Elections on Tuesday night, starting when polls close in most of Indiana at 6 PM ET. Join us for our complete coverage!

Senate

MD-Sen: With just a week to go before Maryland's primaries, EMILYs List has come in with a major ad buy to boost Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks past Rep. David Trone for the Democratic nomination for Senate.

According to reports filed with the FEC, EMILYs is spending $1.6 million to air this ad on television and digital platforms, which makes this by far the largest outlay by a third-party group—though still just a fraction of what Trone has put in.

EMILYs' opening spot, which was obtained by Inside Elections' Jacob Rubashkin, hammers Trone "and his companies" for $500,000 in past donations to "extreme and MAGA Republicans to win their elections."

While the narrator doesn't mention any candidates by name, she specifically calls out Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, saying "the Trump-loving governor signed an abortion ban with no exceptions for rape and incest." She also references former Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, noting the state Supreme Court's recent ruling that revived the state's 1864 abortion ban.

The ad goes on to reference a Washington Post article on Trone's history of giving to GOP candidates that was published shortly after he launched his first bid for the House in 2016. Trone, the wealthy founder of the alcoholic beverage chain Total Wine, was blunt in explaining his donations in that piece.

"I sign my checks to buy access," he told reporter Bill Turque. That quote is displayed on-screen as the narrator emphasizes it. In his interview with Turque, Trone added, "We disagree categorically with their political positions on everything social and economic." He responded to the new attack by arguing that EMILY is supported by a Republican donor.

In recent weeks, Trone dumped another $12 million into his own coffers, bringing his total self-funding to $54 million. That puts him second all-time among Senate candidates behind only Florida Republican Rick Scott, who spent $63 million on his successful 2018 bid. Trone, however, has self-funded more in a primary than anyone else on record.

MI-Sen: Self-funding businessman Sandy Pensler has launched his first negative ad in the Republican primary, attacking former Rep. Mike Rogers. Pensler's spot recycles a bogus GOP talking point from yesteryear to ... blame Hillary Clinton for the deaths of Americans in the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. The narrator claims that Rogers, who chaired the House Intelligence Committee from 2011 to 2015, "covered for Hillary then and covers for her now."

VT-Sen: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, announced on Monday that he'd seek a fourth term.

Sanders, 82, is unlikely to face any serious opposition as he's won his three previous campaigns with at least 65% of the vote. Sanders has also always easily prevailed in the Democratic primary before officially declining the nomination, a move that's allowed him to run in the general election without either a party label or a nominal Democratic opponent.

Sanders is the last incumbent senator up for reelection this year to confirm his plans except for New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez, who goes on trial for federal corruption charges next week. Menendez declined to participate in the Democratic primary but has said he might run again as an independent.

Sanders was also one of two prominent Vermont incumbents who had yet to reveal if he'd run again in 2024. Local politicos are still waiting for GOP Gov. Phil Scott to announce his plans, though the VT Digger recently reported that he's "widely expected" to seek another two-year term. The filing deadline is May 30 for major-party candidates and Aug. 1 for independents.

WV-Sen: Research America finds Gov. Jim Justice demolishing Rep. Alex Mooney in a 67-23 landslide in its newest poll of next week's Republican Senate primary. But Mooney's prospects were dire even before the publication of this survey, which was conducted for MetroNews and a health insurance provider called The Health Plan, something even his biggest ally has now openly acknowledged.

Club for Growth head David McIntosh tells Politico's Burgess Everett that, while he still believes Mooney is the best choice for Republicans, Donald Trump's decision to endorse Justice in October meant "there wasn't a viable path forward" for the congressman.

The Club's pessimism has long been plain: Everett reports that, according to data from AdImpact, the organization has only spent $1.8 million of the $10 million it publicly promised to expend on Mooney's behalf a year ago.

Governors

DE-Gov: State House Minority Leader Mike Ramone announced Monday that he was seeking the Republican nomination for governor, prompting state GOP chair Julianne Murray to respond by ending her own brief campaign. Ramone is campaigning for an office that Republicans last won in 1988.

NJ-Gov: Montclair Mayor Sean Spiller hasn't entered the 2025 Democratic primary for governor just yet, but a nonprofit he runs called Protecting Our Democracy has begun spending $500,000 on a TV ad that suggests he might do so soon. The spot features Spiller extolling the benefits of democracy, calling it the foundation for "how we create solutions" for issues like investing in education, infrastructure, and housing affordability.

In addition to being mayor of a suburb of 40,000 residents near Newark, Spiller is president of the New Jersey Education Association, which the New Jersey Globe's David Wildstein says is "the state's largest public employee union." Spiller previously opted not to seek reelection in 2024.

UT-Gov: State Rep. Philip Lyman announced Saturday that attorney Natalie Clawson would be his new running mate for the June 25 GOP primary, a move that came one day after a state judge ruled that Lyman's original pick, former Trump administration official Layne Bangerter, did not meet Utah's residency requirements. The new Lyman-Clawson ticket is hoping to deny renomination to Gov. Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson.

House

CO-05: Retiring Rep. Doug Lamborn endorsed conservative radio host Jeff Crank on Monday in the June 25 Republican primary to replace him, a move that once would have seemed unthinkable given the nasty battles the pair went through in both 2006 and 2008.

But Lamborn has his own ugly—and far more recent—history with Crank's only intra-party foe, state GOP chair Dave Williams, who tried to unseat Lamborn just two years ago. Crank, meanwhile, sought to play down his past run-ins with the incumbent.

"We were primary foes 18 years ago, but Congressman Doug Lamborn and I became friends and joined forces to support our community," he tweeted.

NJ-10: Newark City Council President LaMonica McIver became the first major candidate to enter the July 16 special Democratic primary to succeed the late Democratic Rep. Don Payne, launching her bid on Monday with an endorsement from Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.

The New Jersey Globe's David Wildstein also reports that two other powerful figures in Essex County, County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo and party chair LeRoy Jones, agreed to back McIver on Friday. Essex County, which includes Newark, forms 58% of the safely blue 10th District; the balance is split between Hudson and Union counties.

Wildstein adds that Darryl Godfrey, who is the chief operations officer of the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority, is considering running and that a "formal announcement [is] expected to come within the next few days." Pastor Ronald Slaughter, however, said he was supporting McIver rather than running himself. The candidate filing deadline is Friday, so any potential contenders have only a short window to decide.

OR-05: With just two weeks to go before Oregon's primaries, the Democratic primary to take on GOP Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer in the swingy 5th Congressional District has turned into a negative affair.

Mainstream Democrats PAC, a group funded by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, is spending at least $750,000 to air a new ad attacking attorney Jamie McLeod-Skinner, who was the Democratic nominee in 2022. The spot focuses on reports that she mistreated her staff during previous bids for office and as the city manager for the small community of Phoenix.

"Fired by City Council for creating a toxic work environment, then five former campaign staffers described her as a 'nightmarish boss,'" says a narrator. "McLeod-Skinner's driver texted, 'I'm scared she's gonna hit me.'" The spot ends by praising state Rep. Janelle Bynum as someone who will "fight to restore abortion rights and restore decency to politics."

McLeod-Skinner is firing back with an attack ad of her own, claiming that Bynum "voted to cut teacher pensions" and says that in the legislature "she was the only vote against giving rape survivors more time to seek justice against their rapists." Regarding the latter vote, Bynum argued at the time, "It's not popular to protect the accused but it is our job."

The voice-over then says that McLeod-Skinner will "ban politicians from stock trading and "[s]tand up to anyone who'd outlaw abortion." There's no word on how much McLeod-Skinner is spending, though new fundraising reports due Thursday night will give us more insight into each campaign's finances.

TX-23: Republican Rep. Tony Gonzales is continuing his TV ad offensive against gun maker Brandon Herrera with a spot portraying his intra-party challenger as hostile to Trumps—yes, plural.

The ad utilizes footage from last year of Herrera saying that Donald Trump "messed up a lot of stuff" and predicting that he'd "win the primary by a landslide and lose the general" in 2024. The commercial then makes use of a March story from the Daily Beast detailing how Herrera mocked 18-year-old Barron Trump, complete with video of the candidate saying, "Daddy is coming, Daddy is angry."

Gonzales and Herrera face off in the May 28 GOP runoff, a contest that the elder Trump has not waded into.

WA-04: 2022 GOP Senate nominee Tiffany Smiley unexpectedly announced Monday that she would wage an intra-party challenge against Rep. Dan Newhouse, who voted to impeach Donald Trump following the Jan. 6 riot. Smiley launched her surprise effort a little more than two weeks after Trump himself endorsed a different challenger, former NASCAR driver Jerrod Sessler, in the Aug. 6 top-two primary for Washington's conservative 4th District.

Newhouse himself on Monday made it clear he would seek a sixth term despite what the Seattle Times' Jim Brunner characterized in February as "rampant speculation" he'd retire. The incumbent both filed with the state and issued a statement announcing his reelection campaign while also faulting Smiley for racking up $1 million in campaign debt last cycle.

Smiley, a former nurse and motivational speaker, challenged Democratic Sen. Patty Murray in 2022 and attracted the attention of donors who believed a red wave could carry her to an upset. Smiley ultimately raised $20 million for a quest that, according to several conservative pollsters, had a real chance to succeed in an otherwise blue state.

However, while those GOP firms drowned out numbers from Democrats and non-aligned pollsters showing Murray well ahead, they didn't alter reality. Murray prevailed 57-43 against Smiley, who took to conservative media a few months later to announce that she was forming a new PAC to aid "political outsiders." Brunner reported months later that donations to the group were directed toward paying off the Republican's campaign debt.

Newhouse's 4th District, which is based in the central part of the state, favored Trump 57-40 in 2020; Smiley, according to data calculated by the state, carried it 66-34 two years later. However, it remains to be seen whether Democrats will field a single candidate who would have a strong shot to claim one of the two general election spots, which is what happened in 2022, or if the Democratic field will be split enough for two Republicans to advance. The candidate filing deadline is Friday.

WV-02: Politico highlights that Defend American Jobs, a super PAC with ties to the crypto industry, is spending at least $725,000 on a late ad buy to promote state Treasurer Riley Moore ahead of next week's Republican primary. This is the first major independent expenditure for the race to succeed Senate candidate Alex Mooney, who supports Moore, in West Virginia's 2nd District.

Moore, the grandson of the late Gov. Arch Moore and the nephew of Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, is the frontrunner in the five-way primary for this safely red seat in the northern half of the state. (His cousin, former Del. Moore Capito, is taking part in the GOP primary for governor that same day.) However, at least one of Moore's intra-party opponents may be able to put up a fight on May 14.

Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Chris Walker launched his campaign in January, a kickoff that came well after Moore's entry in November of 2022. Walker, though, hauled in $620,000 from donors through April 24, a notable sum in a relatively short amount of time, while he self-funded another $70,000.

Moore, who had a 14-month head start, took in about $1 million during the entire campaign, but he enjoyed a big $400,000 to $100,000 cash advantage over Walker at the end of the most recent reporting period. A trio of other Republicans are also running, though, and their presence could make it tougher for Walker, who would be West Virginia's first Black member of Congress, to get past Moore.

Attorneys General

VA-AG: Democrat Steve Descano, the top prosecutor in Northern Virginia's populous Fairfax County, has opted against running for state attorney general next year and instead gave his endorsement to former Del. Jay Jones on Monday.

Jones himself has not announced a bid, but Virginia Scope's Brandon Jarvis says that "sources close to" the ex-lawmaker "say he will be running." Jones, who would be Virginia's first Black attorney general, challenged Democratic incumbent Mark Herring in the 2021 primary but lost 57-43. Herring in turn fell to Republican Jason Miyares that November in a nailbiter, losing his bid for a third term by a margin of 50.4 to 49.6.

Miyares is a potential candidate for governor in 2025, but he has not confirmed his plans and could seek reelection. Only one other Democratic name has surfaced so far as a possibility for the attorney general's race, Shannon Taylor, who is the prosecutor for Henrico County in the Richmond suburbs. Taylor had considered a bid in 2021 but opted out after Herring said he'd run again. She has yet to say anything publicly about next year's contest.

Poll Pile

  • CA-27: Impact Research (D) for George Whitesides: George Whitesides (D): 47, Mike Garcia (R-inc): 44

Ad Roundup

Campaign Action

Morning Digest: Mitt Romney, facing a difficult path to reelection, won’t run for second term

The Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, and Stephen Wolf, with additional contributions from the Daily Kos Elections team.

Subscribe to The Downballot, our weekly podcast

Leading Off

UT-Sen: Republican Sen. Mitt Romney announced on Wednesday that he would not run for reelection next year, bringing to an end a three-decade political career that featured several bids for office but only two victories years apart. Romney's decision creates a wide-open race to succeed him in a deeply conservative state dominated by Republicans but one where critics of Donald Trump, including Romney himself, retain a measure of support.

Romney was born in Detroit in the years immediately after World War II and, as a 15-year-old in 1962, watched his father win election as governor of Michigan. While George Romney would serve three two-year terms and wage an ill-fated bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968, Mitt, his youngest son, did not get involved in politics until the early 1990s—and did so in a different state.

The younger Romney had moved to Massachusetts in 1972 to pursue a joint JD/MBA program at Harvard and went on to make his name in the business world, co-founding the private equity firm Bain Capital in 1984. A decade later, he sought to challenge veteran Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy, hoping that a favorable political climate for Republicans would help him oust the "liberal lion" of the Senate. But despite polls that showed a tight race, Kennedy prevailed by a comfortable 58-41 margin, though it would be the closest contest of his long career.

Romney immediately returned to Bain and was later credited with turning around the financially trouble committee responsible for running the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Just weeks after the closing ceremonies, though, Romney announced a campaign for governor after acting Gov. Jane Swift, a fellow Republican, dropped her bid for a full term.

While Massachusetts had for many decades seldom sent Republicans to Congress, it had a long tradition of electing them to the governorship; when Romney sought the post, the last time a Democrat had won it was in 1986, when Michael Dukakis secured his third and final term. As he had in his race against Kennedy, Romney campaigned as a moderate and claimed to support abortion rights. (Kennedy had jeered that Romney was not pro-choice but "multiple-choice.") Thanks in part to a large financial advantage—the wealthy Romney self-funded $6 million, a record at the time—he defeated his Democratic opponent, state Treasurer Shannon O'Brien.

The victory was Romney's first, and it also marked the fourth straight gubernatorial win for Massachusetts Republicans. But the streak wouldn't last long for Romney: With more than a year left in his term, he announced he would not seek reelection. The move came ahead of a widely expected campaign for president, which he'd telegraphed by shifting to the right on key issues like abortion.

Romney's metamorphosis left many conservatives unconvinced, however, and he lost the nomination to John McCain, who in turn was beaten by Barack Obama. Four years later, though, true believers failed to rally around a strong alternative and Romney captured the GOP nod, but he, too, lost to Obama. (Romney was reportedly "shellshocked" by the loss despite the incumbent's consistent polling leads.)

Romney later relocated to Utah, where he'd earned his undergraduate degree at Brigham Young and had long maintained a vacation home. But despite declaring he'd been branded a "loser for life" in a documentary about his attempts to win the presidency, he made one last foray into the political arena. Following Sen. Orrin Hatch's retirement, Romney easily won both the GOP primary and general election to succeed him in 2018, making him the first person in 150 years—and just the second ever, after the legendary Sam Houston—to serve as governor and senator in two different states.

While Romney remained a traditional conservative, his Senate tenure was marked by his criticism of Trump. (Hard as it may be to believe now, Trump actually endorsed Romney's initial campaign for Senate.) He made history in 2020 when he became the first senator to vote in favor of convicting a president from his own party at an impeachment trial during Trump's first impeachment, then voted (along with a handful of other Republicans) to convict him again at his second impeachment the next year.

The hatred his apostasies engendered from the MAGA brigades all but ensured he'd face a difficult fight to win renomination had he sought another term. An August poll showed him taking just 44% in a hypothetical primary matchup, a soft showing for an incumbent. It turned out that his 2018 victory would not only be just his second ever but also his last.

In remarks on Wednesday announcing his departure, Romney noted that he'd be in his mid-80s at the end of a second Senate term and said that "it's time for a new generation of leaders." That new generation likely won't look much like the outgoing senator, though it's possible that a split among extremists could see the GOP nominate a relative pragmatist: In the recent special election primary for Utah's 2nd Congressional District, former state Rep. Becky Edwards took a third of the vote despite saying she'd voted for Joe Biden and opposed the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

At the moment, though, the only Republican in the race is Trent Staggs, mayor of the small community of Riverton. Other candidates, however, are already hovering in the wings, so we're likely to see a crowded primary in 2024.

The Downballot

What do you do if you're associated with one of the biggest election fraud scandals in recent memory? If you're Republican Mark Harris, you try running for office again! On this week's episode of "The Downballot," we revisit the absolutely wild story of Harris' 2018 campaign for Congress, when one of his consultants orchestrated a conspiracy to illegally collect blank absentee ballots from voters and then had his team fill them out before "casting" them. Bipartisan officials wound up tossing the results of this almost-stolen election, but now Harris is back with a new bid for the House—and he won't shut up about his last race, even blaming Democrats for the debacle.

Co-hosts David Nir and David Beard also discuss a late entrant into the race for North Carolina governor; why Republicans are struggling to recruit in Ohio now that they can't gerrymander their congressional map again; how a Freedom Caucus member has bizarrely emerged as a voice of sanity within the GOP—and why it'll likely doom him; Mitt Romney's retirement in Utah; and proposed maps that our Daily Kos Elections colleague Stephen Wolf submitted to the federal court in Alabama that's about to impose new congressional districts.

Subscribe to "The Downballot" on Apple Podcasts to make sure you never miss a show—new episodes every Thursday! You'll find a transcript of this week's episode right here by noon Eastern time.

Senate

MI-Sen: Wealthy businessman John Tuttle, who's the vice chair of the New York Stock Exchange, has declared that he won't run for the GOP nomination next year. Tuttle's announcement leaves former Rep. Mike Rogers as the only major candidate in the primary so far, though some other big GOP names are still considering the open seat contest.

WI-Sen: Trempealeau County Board Supervisor Stacey Klein has filed paperwork to run as a Republican and said she would officially kick off her campaign on Saturday. Klein, who first won her board seat in April 2022, hails from a county that is home to less than 1% of Wisconsin's population, but her entry nonetheless makes her the most prominent GOP candidate so far in a longtime swing state where Republicans have struggled to land a major candidate to take on Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

Governors

DE-Gov: Term-limited Gov. John Carney has endorsed Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long just one day after his fellow Democrat announced she was running to succeed him next year. Both Democrats are currently serving their second terms (governors and lieutenant governors are elected separately in Delaware), and Hall-Long faces a primary against New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer, whose county contains 58% of the state's population.

IN-Gov: The far-right Club for Growth has endorsed Republican Sen. Mike Braun in his primary to succeed term-limited Gov. Eric Holcomb. Braun, who previously won the Club's endorsement during his competitive initial primary for Senate in 2018, faces a crowded GOP field for governor that includes Lt. Gov. Susanne Crouch, former state Commerce Secretary Brad Chambers, former Indiana Economic Development Corporation president Eric Doden, and former state Attorney General Curtis Hill.

House

AR-03: Republican Rep. Steve Womack announced that he'll seek another term representing his safely red seat in northwestern Arkansas, which he first won in 2010. Although Womack himself is solidly conservative, he had nonetheless recognized Joe Biden's 2020 victory and had previously told the Washington Post that he had been considering retirement due to dissatisfaction with GOP leadership caving to far-right hardliners, though he's never had any trouble winning renomination before.

OH-13: Former state GOP chairwoman Jane Timken, who unsuccessfully competed in her party's 2022 primary for Senate, announced Wednesday that she wouldn't run for the 13th District next year. Timken's decision comes just a week after the state Supreme Court granted a request by plaintiffs to dismiss their legal challenges against the GOP's current gerrymander, which ensured that Republicans won't get a chance to draw an even more extreme map for 2024 that could have targeted freshman Democratic Rep. Emilia Sykes in this 51-48 Biden seat in Akron.

Ballot Measures

OH Ballot: Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights, which is supporting November's ballot initiative that would enshrine reproductive rights in the state constitution, has launched their first TV ad buy for $687,000 over the next week. The new spot argues that the government shouldn't be making difficult reproductive healthcare choices for Ohioans and that voting yes on Issue 1 would "end Ohio's extreme abortion ban," which has "no exceptions for rape or incest." It also emphasizes that the amendment would protect access to birth control and emergency care for miscarriages.

Legislatures

NY State Assembly: Democrat Sam Berger won Tuesday's special election to fill a Democratic-held seat in Queens by a 55-45 spread against Republican David Hirsch. This district contains large Asian American and Orthodox Jewish populations, two demographics that Democrats have lost some ground with in recent years in New York City, and some had feared that Republican Lee Zeldin's 56-44 win over Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul here last year was a warning sign of things to come.

However, Berger enjoyed a large fundraising advantage and nearly matched Joe Biden's 56-43 victory in the district. Assembly Democrats will retain a 102-48 supermajority once he's sworn in, which will make the 25-year-older Berger the chamber's youngest member.

Morning Digest: Three new GOP hopefuls for New Hampshire governor are bound by one unfortunate thing

The Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, and Stephen Wolf, with additional contributions from the Daily Kos Elections team.

Subscribe to The Downballot, our weekly podcast

Leading Off

NH-Gov: Republican Gov. Chris Sununu confirmed Wednesday that he would not seek a fifth two-year term as New Hampshire's chief executive next year, a long-expected announcement that nonetheless instantly turns this race into one of the cycle's top battlegrounds.

Sununu, whose first victory in a tight 2016 race ended 12 years of Democratic control, went on to decisively win his next three campaigns. His departure gives Granite State Democrats their best chance in years to take back this post in a light blue state that hasn't backed a Republican for president since 2000.

Multiple Republican replacements, all of whom showed interest during Sununu's months-long deliberations, immediately started surfacing, but they all share one regrettable thing in common: each of them lost their last race for public office.

Former state Senate President Chuck Morse, who served as acting governor for two days in 2017, immediately confirmed he was in, but party leaders may not be excited to have him as their standard-bearer following his 2022 campaign for the U.S. Senate."Morse, who even a supporter characterized as someone who "is not flashy, and does not have charisma," struggled in the primary against retired Army Brig. Gen. Donald Bolduc, a Big Lie conspiracy theorist who'd called Sununu a "Chinese communist sympathizer" with a family business that "supports terrorism."

Sununu, unsurprisingly, sided with Morse in the race to take on Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan, while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's allies also spent a hefty $4.6 million on an ad campaign to promote Morse and attack Bolduc as a surefire loser with "crazy ideas." Democrats, though, retaliated with an expensive ad campaign of their own tying Morse to lobbyists, a move aimed at weakening him for the general election if they couldn't keep him from the GOP nomination. But Democrats got exactly what they wanted in the primary: Bolduc edged out Morse 37-36 two months before losing to Hassan in a 54-44 rout.

Morse is once again likely to be in for a tough primary. Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who Hassan unseated in a 2016 squeaker even as Sununu was flipping the governor's office, put out a statement saying she "look[s] forward to announcing some big news in the coming days." State education commissioner Frank Edelblut, a self-funder who lost a close primary to Sununu seven years ago, also said Wednesday he'd reveal in the next few days if he'd run to succeed his boss.

A pair of prominent Democrats, meanwhile, had already announced campaigns even before Sununu confirmed he wouldn't be on the ballot. Cinde Warmington, who is the only Democrat on the state's unique five-member Executive Council, launched her bid in June while Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig joined her last week. No other notable Democrats have shown any obvious interest in running, though Rep. Chris Pappas didn't quite rule out his own campaign back in April.

The Downballot

Latinos have played an increasingly crucial role in our elections, but Democrats' understanding of these voters has often lagged. This week's guest on "The Downballot" is Carlos Odio, the co-founder of EquisLabs, an organization devoted to rectifying this problem. Odio helps us move away from viewing Latino voters as a monolith and offers a helpful framework for getting to know different subsets of this diverse group. He discusses key findings of Equis' 2022 post-mortem, including why Florida went so wrong and how Democrats can make a course correction. He also explains how Latino voter identity can wind up getting dialed up or down depending on the broader election environment.

Host David Nir and guest host Joe Sudbay, meanwhile, dive into Chris Sununu's retirement announcement and why it instantly makes New Hampshire's race for governor a top Democratic target; the Republican shenanigans in Alabama, where lawmakers seem dead-set on ignoring a court order to draw two majority-Black congressional districts or something close to it; why Democrats will take a new effort to recall several Michigan state representative seriously even if the state GOP is a clown-show; and yet another special election in Wisconsin where Republicans badly underperformed the top of the ticket.

Subscribe to "The Downballot" on Apple Podcasts to make sure you never miss a show—new episodes every Thursday! You'll find a transcript of this week's episode right here by noon Eastern time.

Redistricting

AL Redistricting: Each chamber in Alabama's Republican-run legislature passed a new congressional map on Wednesday, but neither complies with a court directive to include "two districts in which Black voters either comprise a voting-age majority or something quite close to it." Both plans retain a Black majority in the state's 7th District, but the new 2nd District falls well below that mark in each case: In the House version, just 42% of voters are Black, while in the Senate's, only 38% are. Lawmakers face a Friday deadline to enact a new map. If they fail to do so, or if their final product does not comply with the Voting Rights Act, a federal court will likely impose its own map.

Senate

OH-Sen: Leadership for Ohio Fund, a super PAC that supports Secretary of State Frank LaRose, has released a late June GOP primary survey from Causeway Solutions that shows him leading state Sen. Matt Dolan 28-10, with businessman Bernie Moreno at 5%. This poll, which was taken weeks before LaRose announced his bid against Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown, isn't too different from the 24-11 advantage that Causeway showed in May.

Dolan, for his part, is continuing to air TV ads far ahead of the primary, and the self-funder's latest message features two sheriffs praising him as "tough on illegal immigration."

Governors

IN-Gov: Campaign finance reports are in for the first six months of 2023, though as the Indiana Capitol Chronicle notes, candidates were forbidden from raising money during most of these first four months because the legislature was in session.

  • Sen. Mike Braun (R): $2.2 million raised, $4.6 million cash on hand
  • former state cabinet official Eric Doden (R): $1.8 million raised, $3.8 million cash on hand
  • Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch (R): $1.1 million raised, $3.9 million cash on hand
  • former state education superintendent Jennifer McCormick (D): $200,000 raised, $200,000 cash on hand

The Chronicle notes that about a third of Doden's haul came from his father.

Another Republican, former Attorney General Curtis Hill, launched his bid this month after the fundraising period ended. Hill, who lost renomination in 2020 after multiple women accused him of sexual assault, began with $20,000 left over from his prior campaigns.

House

DE-AL, DE-Sen, DE-Gov: State Treasurer Colleen Davis announced Wednesday that she'd campaign for the statewide House seat that her fellow Democrat, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, is giving up to run for the Senate. Davis, who had also previously expressed interest in running for the Senate or governor, will face an expensive primary against state Sen. Sarah McBride, who would be the first openly trans person to ever serve in Congress: McBride launched her campaign June 26 and quickly raised $410,000 during the final five days of the quarter.  

Davis, writes the Delaware Online' Meredith Newman, was "largely unknown in Delaware" before she entered the 2018 race to unseat Treasurer Ken Simpler, who was the last Republican in statewide office. But Davis, who had no intra-party opposition, rode the blue wave to a 52-46 victory, a win Newman says made her the rare statewide Democrat to hail from conservative Sussex County. The treasurer went on to win her second term 54-46 last year.

MD-06: Former Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner tells the Frederick Post she's considering seeking the Democratic nod for this open seat, and the paper characterizes her timeframe as "fairly soon." Inside Elections' Jacob Rubashkin noted in mid-May that Gardner is a proven vote-getter in a community that's home to about 35% of the 6th District's denizens, which could make her a formidable contender in a race where most of the other candidates are likely to hail from Montgomery County.

MI-04: Attorney Jessica Swartz on Wednesday became the first notable Democrat to announce a campaign to unseat Republican Rep. Bill Huizenga in Michigan's 4th District, a historically red constituency around Kalamazoo that Donald Trump would have taken by a small 51-47 margin in 2020. Swartz, though, said that Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer carried it last year, and new numbers from Daily Kos Elections find the governor did indeed prevail by a tight 50-49 as she was pulling off a 54-44 statewide landslide.

The Democrat is a first-time candidate, though she's not quite a political novice. Swartz previously volunteered for Voters Not Politicians, a nonpartisan organization that successfully promoted a 2018 referendum to create Michigan's independent redistricting commission. That body ended up drawing a map for the 2022 elections that led Huizenga, who'd previously represented the reliably red 2nd District along the western Michigan coast, to run for the more competitive 4th even though he only represented about a quarter of the new seat.

For months it looked like there would be an incumbent vs. incumbent primary clash between the Trump-backed Huizenga and longtime Rep. Fred Upton, who'd voted to impeach the GOP's leader after the Jan. 6 attack, but Upton ended up retiring ahead of what would have been a challenging race. Swartz, in an interview with the Holland Sentinel, argued the district needed someone more like Upton, whom she praised for working across party lines and providing for his constituents, than the hard-right Huizenga.

Huizenga, who won his last race 54-42 against an underfunded Democrat, finished June with $630,000 in the bank, though it's possible he won't use it on this contest. The congressman has expressed interest a few times this year in running for Michigan's open Senate seat, with his most recent public comments coming from a May interview with the conservative site The Dispatch. Huizenga acknowledged the state presents a "tough environment" for his party, but while he said he was "hoping to have a decision probably this quarter," June 30 came and went without any word about his plans.

NY-17: Former Rep. Mondaire Jones has released an internal from Public Policy Polling giving him a wide 43-8 edge over local school board trustee Liz Gereghty in the Democratic primary to face freshman GOP incumbent Mike Lawler. This survey, which was conducted about a week after Jones launched his comeback campaign, is the first we've seen of this nomination contest. The poll did not test former Bedford Town Supervisor MaryAnn Carr, who did not report raising any money through June 30.

RI-01: State Sen. Sandra Cano has earned the backing of the state affiliate of the National Education Association ahead of the crowded Sept. 5 special Democratic primary.

Legislatures

PA State House: Democratic state Rep. Sara Innamorato, who won the May primary for Allegheny County executive, announced Wednesday that she'd resigned to focus on the November general election, and the chamber will be tied 101-101 until the already-scheduled Sept. 19 special election takes place. Innamorato's absence may not matter much, though, because state representatives aren't scheduled to return until Sept. 26. Her seat in the Pittsburgh area supported Joe Biden 61-38 in 2020.

If the lower house does reconvene early, however, Democrats, who won 102 of the 203 seats in November and defended their edge in a series of special elections this year, will still remain the majority party in the deadlocked body thanks to a rule they adopted in March. The majority is now defined as the party that "won the greater number of elections for the 203 seats in the House of Representatives" in the most recent general election, and should a vacancy open up, "the political party that won that seat at the last election shall remain the party that won that seat until any subsequent special election is held to fill that seat." Control would still shift, though, if the other side flipped enough seats before the next general election.

It's unlikely that will happen in the race to replace Innamorato, but Democrats will have a more competitive seat to defend later. State Rep. John Galloway won both the Democratic and Republican nominations for a judgeship in Bucks County, and once he resigns to take his new job, there will be a special for his 55-44 Biden constituency in the Philadelphia suburbs. Galloway told Spotlight PA Wednesday that he wouldn't be leaving his current office until he's officially elected in November.

WI State Assembly: Republicans won a special election for a dark-red seat in the Wisconsin legislature Tuesday night, but once again, their candidate badly underperformed compared to other recent elections in the same district.

Republican Paul Melotik beat Democrat Bob Tatterson 54-46 in the 24th Assembly District, which became vacant after Republican Dan Knodl won a closely contested special for the state Senate earlier this year. The 24th is traditionally conservative turf in the northern Milwaukee suburbs: It voted for Donald Trump by a 57-41 margin in 2020 and backed Knodl for reelection 61-39 last year. But judged against Trump's share of the vote, Melotik ran 9 points behind, accounting for rounding. Knodl (whose new Senate district includes all of his old Assembly district) had likewise trailed the top of the ticket in his own special election by 3 points, prevailing by a narrow 51-49 spread.

Overall, Democratic candidates in special elections this year have outperformed the 2020 presidential numbers in their districts by an average of 7 points. Research by Daily Kos Elections contributing editor Daniel Donner has shown that these elections often correlate closely with the results of the ensuing general elections for the U.S. House.

Morning Digest: Here’s what comes next for Texas’ impeached attorney general

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, and Stephen Wolf, with additional contributions from Daniel Donner, David Jarman, Steve Singiser, James Lambert and David Beard.

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Leading Off

TX-AG: The Texas State Senate on Monday passed a resolution declaring that its trial for Attorney General Ken Paxton, whom the state House impeached over corruption allegations two days before, must begin by Aug. 28. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who like Paxton and every other statewide official is a Republican, is tasked with choosing the starting date and presiding over the tribunal. It would take two-thirds of the 31-member chamber, where the GOP holds a 19-12 majority, to convict Paxton and thus bar him from ever holding state office again.

Paxton will remain suspended until a verdict is reached, and Assistant Attorney General Brent Webster, who joined his boss in trying to overturn Joe Biden's 2020 win, automatically assumed the office. Gov. Greg Abbott has not yet said if he'd select someone to take over from Webster, a key Paxton ally who used his first day on the job to praise the scandal-ridden attorney general in an email to staffers.

If the Senate removed Paxton, though, election law professor Quinn Yeargain writes in Guaranteed Republics that Abbott would be tasked with picking a replacement, and that this person would require the support of two-thirds of the Senate in order to be confirmed. Yeargain adds that a November 2024 special election would take place for the final two years of Paxton's term should he be convicted.

This could be a consequential pick should Abbott get to make it, as political observers point out that whoever holds the powerful post of attorney general could be the frontrunner in 2026 to succeed the governor in the event that he doesn't seek a fourth term. (Abbott himself used this office as a springboard to the governorship in 2014.)

Yeargain, however, notes that, because Republicans are two seats shy of the two-thirds supermajority needed to unilaterally confirm a new attorney general, Democrats could try to pressure Abbott to pick someone who wouldn't run next year. If the Senate failed to oust Paxton, though, he'd be free to run for reelection or higher office three years down the line.

It also remains to be seen if two GOP senators, Angela Paxton and Bryan Hughes, will act as jurors, though the Houston Chronicle says that two-thirds of the total body would need to vote for conviction whether or not there are any recusals. Angela Paxton is Ken Paxton's wife, and she's remained his close ally even though he allegedly convinced a wealthy ally named Nate Paul to hire the woman that the attorney general was having an affair with. The House's articles of impeachment, meanwhile, accuse Paxton of utilizing Hughes as a "straw requestor" for a legal opinion used to aid Paul.

Patrick indicated that neither senator would be required to step aside, saying, "I will be presiding over that case and the senators—all 31 senators—will have a vote." Kenneth Williams, who is a professor of criminal procedure, told the Associated Press that there wasn't any way to prevent Angela Paxton from taking part in the proceedings, saying, "It's up to her ethical standards and compass, basically."

Until a week ago, it didn't look like Ken Paxton was in any immediate danger of losing the office he was reelected to twice while under felony indictment. The attorney general was charged with securities fraud all the way back in 2015, but that trial still has yet to be scheduled. In November of 2020, the AP reported that the FBI was probing him in an unrelated matter for allegedly using his office to help Paul in exchange for favors. Four of Paxton's former top aides also filed a whistleblower lawsuit claiming that he'd retaliated against them for helping this investigation; their suit also alleges that Webster took part in this retaliation.

Paxton and his former personnel reached a tentative settlement in February that was contingent on the Texas legislature approving $3.3 million in state funds to the quartet, but it soon became apparent that House Speaker Dade Phelan and other fellow Republicans weren't keen to pay this. And while things seemed to stall, the House General Investigating Committee actually quietly began its own report into Paxton's alleged misbehavior.

Paxton made news Tuesday when he called for Phelan to resign for presiding over his chamber "in a state of apparent debilitating intoxication," but all that was overshadowed the next day when the committee unexpectedly released its report reiterating many of the allegations related to Paul. The committee, which recommended impeachment the next day, went on to say, "We cannot over-emphasize the fact that, but for Paxton's own request for a taxpayer-funded settlement . . . Paxton would not be facing impeachment."

On Saturday, the GOP-dominated House was presented with 20 counts of impeachment. Most of the charges accused Paxton of illegally using his powers to help Paul, though some said he'd tried to interfere in the securities fraud case. Donald Trump, who endorsed the attorney general in last year's primary, tried to pressure Republicans with a TruthSocial message threatening to "fight" anyone who voted for impeachment, while one Republican member of the General Investigating Committee claimed that Paxton himself had contacted representatives "threatening them with political consequences in their next election."

Ultimately, though, impeachment passed 121-23, with 60 Republicans joining 61 Democrats in the affirmative. All 23 noes came from Republicans, with one member from each party voting present: The lone Democrat to do this was Harold Dutton, who infuriated his party earlier this month by backing an anti-trans bill.

Paxton characteristically responded by writing, "Phelan's coalition of Democrats and liberal Republicans is now in lockstep with the Biden Administration, the abortion industry, anti-gun zealots, and woke corporations to sabotage my work as Attorney General." He also predicted he'd be acquitted by the Senate where, as Yeargain writes, Angela Paxton would likely become the first person in American history to have the chance to vote on an impeached spouse's conviction.

Senate

MD-Sen: AdImpact tells Politico that Rep. David Trone has already reserved close to $2 million as he continues his TV ad campaign almost a year ahead of the Democratic primary. The congressman's newest commercial features him talking about his nephew's death after a long struggle with substance addiction.

NV-Sen: Nevada Newsmakers has released a survey from Vote TXT, a firm whose work we hadn't seen before, showing Democratic incumbent Jacky Rosen posting a 39-34 lead in a hypothetical general election over Jim Marchant, the election conspiracy theorist who was the 2022 GOP nominee for secretary of state. The survey also finds 2022 Senate nominee Adam Laxalt edging out Rosen 42-41, though Laxalt said all the way back in December that he didn't "see a scenario where I'm on the ballot in 2024."

OH-Sen: Republican Rep. Warren Davidson has announced he won't run for Senate against Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown next year, avoiding a potential headache for establishment Republicans in one of their top pickup opportunities this cycle. The far-right Davidson had been urged to run by the anti-tax hardliners at the Club for Growth, who had reportedly promised to spend on his behalf if he had joined the Republican primary.

Davidson's decision to stay put helps ease the path for wealthy businessman Bernie Moreno to consolidate Trump-supporting primary voters, though Secretary of State Frank LaRose could still join the race and recently said he would decide "by the middle part of summer." Moreno has won praise from Trump himself and a recent endorsement from GOP Sen. J.D. Vance, and he currently faces wealthy state Sen. Matt Dolan, an avowed Trump critic who unsuccessfully ran against Vance in the primary for Ohio's other Senate seat when it was open last year.

PA-Sen: Politico relays that state Treasurer Stacy Garrity isn't ruling out running for the GOP nomination to face Democratic Sen. Bob Casey next year instead of seeking reelection, though Garrity acknowledged that taking on the three-term senator is "going to be tough no matter who runs against him." Garrity won her current office in 2020 when she unseated Democratic incumbent Joseph Torsella 49-48 in an upset even as Biden was pulling off his own close win, and she has gone on to endorse Trump's 2020 election conspiracy theories.

Politico also reports that Carla Sands, a wealthy donor who was Trump's ambassador to Denmark, isn't ruling out a run of her own, though she took a distant fourth place with only 5% when she ran in the primary for Pennsylvania's other Senate seat last year.

WV-Sen: East Carolina University has polled next year's Senate contest in West Virginia and finds Republican Gov. Jim Justice in a dominant position to win. Justice holds a 53-12 lead over Rep. Alex Mooney in the primary and would go on to trounce Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin 54-32 if he's the nominee next year. The poll also tested Mooney against Manchin and finds the congressman leading by a much smaller 41-40 spread.

Governors

IN-Gov: Disgraced former Attorney General Curtis Hill tells the Hamilton County Reporter that he is indeed considering running in next year's Republican primary for governor. Hill narrowly lost renomination at the 2020 convention to former Rep. Todd Rokita two years after multiple women accused the attorney general of groping them.

KY-Gov: The RGA's State Solutions affiliate has launched what the GOP firm Medium Buying says is a $325,000 opening general election ad campaign against Democratic incumbent Andy Beshear, though its first commercial is the same one it used against him in mid-April. The spot targets Beshear for vetoing a bill that bans gender-affirming care for young trans people, something the GOP-dominated legislature quickly overrode.

LA-Gov: Far-right state Attorney General Jeff Landry is running new ads with a tough-on-crime message that are anything but subtle in their racist appeals. Landry's ads tout his law enforcement background, and he claims he'll "hold everyone, and I mean everyone, accountable for violent crime." Yet somehow that means just focusing on local officials who are Black Democrats, not their white Democratic counterparts and certainly not any Republicans such as the one who has been the state's top law enforcement officer for the past eight years.

Indeed, Landry's campaign is running similar versions in the New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Shreveport areas, which are Louisiana's three biggest cities and each have large Black populations. As Gambit's Clancy DuBos notes, each version singles out local Black Democrats serving as mayor or district attorney to blame them for crime problems while ignoring white Democrats (let alone Republicans) in similar positions of power there or elsewhere in the state.

Medium Buying relays that Landry has thus far spent or reserved just $376,000 on ads, and it's notable that he's resorting to racist messaging right out of the gate in a race for governor where the lone major Democrat, former state Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson, is Black.

ND-Gov, NH-Gov: North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, whom multiple media outlets report has decided to wage a longshot GOP presidential bid, has “a special announcement” set for June 7, while New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said Sunday he’d decide on his own White House plans “in the next week or two.” Both Republicans could seek reelection in 2024 should their presidential hopes fail, though Sununu sounds unlikely to run again for his current post.

WA-Gov: A bipartisan pair of political consultants mention 2022 GOP Senate nominee Tiffany Smiley as a possible candidate for governor to Crosscut, but there's no word if she's interested.

House

AZ-03: Phoenix City Councilmember Laura Pastor has filed FEC paperwork for a campaign to succeed her fellow Democrat, Senate contender Ruben Gallego, and ABC 15 says her announcement will take place Wednesday. Pastor is the daughter of Gallego’s immediate predecessor, the late Rep. Ed Pastor.

CA-12: Jennifer Tran, a professor at California State University East Bay who also serves as president of the Oakland Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce, is the latest Democrat to announce a campaign to succeed Senate candidate Barbara Lee in this dark-blue Oakland constituency.

Tran joins a race that includes BART board member Lateefah Simon and businessman Tim Sanchez. Simon has endorsements from EMILY's List and some prominent state and local Democrats, and the San Francisco Chronicle recently noted that the locally influential Building and Construction Trades Council of Alameda County is also behind her.

CA-47, CA-45: Board of Equalization member Mike Schaefer, a Democrat who has survived many scandals, tells the Orange County Register that he’ll run for the open 47th District to replace Democratic Senate candidate Katie Porter. Schaefer previously filed FEC paperwork to campaign for GOP Rep. Michelle Steel’s 45th District, but he tells the paper that he only did this because he didn’t know that Porter’s constituency no longer has this number under the new congressional map. “I’m trying to figure out how to unregister myself,” for the 45th, he says, adding, “I’m trying to get past that hurdle first.”

Schaefer, whose San Diego home isn’t in either of these Orange County constituencies, is 86, which would make him by far the oldest House freshman in American history; that record is currently held by Kentucky Republican William Lewis, who won his seat at age 79 in a 1948 special election and didn’t run for a full term later that year. Schaefer says he also doesn’t intend to seek reelection, though plenty of Democrats would prefer it if he doesn’t even get to serve that long. As the San Francisco Chronicle put it in a jaw-dropping paragraph during his reelection campaign last year:

He was accused — and eventually acquitted — in a 1970 Yellow Cab bribery scandal in San Diego, when he served on the City Council. He was convicted of misdemeanor spousal abuse and jailed in 1993, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, and was ordered by a jury in 1986 to pay $1.83 million to former tenants in Los Angeles who sued because they said their apartments, rented from Schaefer, were overrun with rats, cockroaches, sewage and street gangs, according to the Los Angeles Times. And in 2013, a Nevada court ordered him to stay at least 100 feet away from actor and comedian Brad Garrett, who played a cop and brother in "Everybody Loves Raymond," after he allegedly stalked the actor following a dispute over a complimentary ticket to a Las Vegas show.

Schaefer's team responded by insisting people should focus on his performance in office instead of his "colorful past," and voters supported him 59-41 over a fellow Democrat.  

Schaefer joins a contest that includes two fellow Democrats, state Sen. Dave Min and party activist Joanna Weiss, as well as 2022 GOP nominee Scott Baugh. Min, who has Porter’s endorsement, looked like the party’s frontrunner until he was arrested for drunk driving early this month, and one prominent California Democrat has made it clear he wants an alternative. Pete Aguilar, who is the third-ranking member of the Democratic leadership, told the state party convention over the weekend, “The filing deadline is in December.”

DE-AL, DE-Sen, DE-Gov: Bloomberg has the names of some more Democrats who could run for Delaware's top statewide offices if Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester decides to run for Senate following incumbent Tom Carper's retirement announcement. An adviser for Eugene Young, who is the director of the Delaware State Housing Authority, says his boss is considering running for House, and state Treasurer Colleen Davis gave an interview where she didn't rule out running for House, Senate, or to succeed term-limited Gov. John Carney.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that state Sen. Sarah McBride is "assembling plans" to run for House if Blunt Rochester goes for Senate. Lastly, unnamed insiders mentioned state Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro as a potential House candidate, though she doesn't appear to have said anything publicly yet.

IL-12: Darren Bailey, the far-right former state senator who was the GOP's nominee for governor of Illinois last year, did not rule out waging a primary bid against Rep. Mike Bost when KSDK asked him about it, a development that comes a month after Politico first reported that he was considering the idea. Bailey instead texted the station that he and his wife were praying about their next steps, adding, "As of right now there are no plans, but we will keep you up to date."  

MD-06: Inside Elections' Jacob Rubashkin reports that U.S. Commerce Department official April McClain-Delaney not only is considering a bid for the Democratic nod, she's also been speaking to campaign vendors. McClain-Delaney is the wife of former Rep. John Delaney, who won a previous version of this seat in 2012 and gave it up six years later to run for president.

MN-02: Attorney Tayler Rahm over the weekend announced he'd campaign as a Republican against Democratic incumbent Angie Craig. Biden carried this constituency, which is based in the southern Minneapolis-St. Paul suburbs, 53-45, while Craig won her third term 51-46 last year.  

NY-17: Former Bedford Town Supervisor MaryAnn Carr has filed FEC paperwork for a potential bid for the Democratic nod to take on GOP Rep. Mike Lawler. Carr's colleagues on the Town Board in early 2021 chose her to fill the vacant post as leader this community of 17,000, but she lost the primary for a full term later that year to Councilwoman Ellen Calves 67-33.

RI-01: Bella Machado Noka, who is a Narragansett Aboriginal Nation tribal elder, announced Thursday that she was joining the packed Democratic special election primary. Noka would be the first Native American to represent New England in Congress.

TX-32: Justin Moore, a civil rights attorney who previously served as a local prosecutor, has joined the Democratic primary to succeed Senate candidate Colin Allred.

UT-02, UT-Sen: Republican Rep. Chris Stewart, multiple unnamed sources tell the Salt Lake Tribune, plans to resign from the House as soon as this week due to unknown "ongoing health issues with his wife." The departure of Stewart, who has been an ardent conservative hardliner during his decade in Congress, would set off a special election to succeed him in a constituency that Donald Trump carried 57-40. His exit from Congress also almost certainly means that he won't be challenging Sen. Mitt Romney despite not ruling out the idea last month.

International

Alberta, Canada: The governing United Conservative Party, led by the controversial Danielle Smith, secured a second consecutive term in the western Canadian province of Alberta on Monday by winning 49 seats in the provincial legislature, with the remaining 38 seats going to the left-leaning New Democratic Party under the leadership of Rachel Notley. While the NDP did manage to make major gains at the expense of the UCP by flipping 14 seats, the provincewide vote margin favored the ruling party 53-44. However, that margin understates how close the race really was: The UCP won their six most competitive seats in the cities of Calgary and Lethbridge by just over 2,600 votes collectively.