In recent months, we had gotten used to a slower pace in statewide recruitment news but this past few saw a flurry of activity. In Arizona Governor Jan Brewer will seek re-election; Roxane Conlin will challenge Iowa’s Chuck Grassley; Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak filed paperwork to run for Governor in Minnesota; Carly Fiorina confirmed that she’ll challenge Barbara Boxer in the California Senate race; and Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff dropped his challenge to Bob Bennet, a big relief for the embattled senator.
In Connecticut, Ned Lamont formed an exploratory committee for the Governor’s race - a move that I for one did not see coming. Not only had Lamont opened the door to seeking a rematch against Joe Lieberman in 2012, but Democrats already have plenty of candidates in the race - starting with Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz and Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy. Could Lamont ride the good will he gained among liberal activists for taking on Lieberman in 2006 all the way to his party’s nod?
Another election in which the Democratic primary could unexpectedly get more crowded is Florida’s Governor’s race. CFO Alex Sink was considered the party’s presumptive nominee, but two new names surfaced this week. The first, McGillis Records CEO Darrin E. McGillis, doesn’t look like he has the profile to endanger Sink; but the second could attract contributions and media attention by virtue of his last name: Anthony Shriver, who had already considered running for governor in 2006, is the fourth member of the Kennedy dynasty to consider entering politics this year (after Caroline, Chris and Joe Kennedy).
In Maryland, a Republican candidate is starting to attract endorsements for his gubernatorial race: real estate broker Larry Hogan got the support of lawyer Mike Pappas, who dropped out of the race. This suggest the GOP establishment doesn’t think former Governor Bob Ehrlich will challenge Martin O’Malley, and Hogan could very well end up as the Republican nominee. In a blue state like Maryland, that could guarantee that O’Malley is a rare incumbent governor to coast to re-election.
In Oregon, the Republican field is still unsettled. Not only has Rep. Greg Walden still to make up his mind, but a new candidate could soon join businessman Allen Alley and former state Senator John Lim: Former NBA player Chris Dudley, who for a while played for the Portland Trail Blazers, formed an exploratory committee to seek the GOP nomination. At the very least, that could help Republicans compete with Democrats in terms of media coverage. Also in Oregon, a Republican entered the Senate race; but Dennis Hall will be no match for Senator Ron Wyden.
Finally, state Rep. Sam Rohrer formed an exploratory committee to consider joining Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial race. Considered very conservative, Rohrer should have trouble winning a general election in this blue-leaning state. (On the other hand, a Republican ticket led by Toomey and Rohrer would cause massive turnout in the GOP base.) If Jim Gerlach and Tom Corbett go at each other too strong, it could leave an opening for Rohrer to clinch victory thanks to conservative mobilization; alternatively, it could help Gerlach win the nomination by dividing up the hard-right vote between Corbett and Rohrer.
As always, I list all the changes I have logged in during the week to the “retirement watch” and recruitment pages. Written in red are those politicians who announced their definite plans rather than simply expressed interest or stroke speculation. First, updates to Retirement Watch:
|Will retire||No one|
|Will not retire||Arizona Governor Jan Brewer
Rep. Denny Rehberg (MT-AL)
Second, updates to the Senate recruitment page:
|CA-Sen, GOP||Carly Fiorina confirmed run|
|IA-Sen, Dem||attorney Roxane Conlin will run|
|IL-Sen, Indie||Eric Wallace drops out of GOP race, announces as indie|
|NH-Sen, GOP||businessman Andrew Binnie announced run
attorney Ovide Lamontagne announced run
|OR-Sen, GOP||Dennis Hall is running|
|UT-Sen, GOP||Attorney General Mark Shurtleff dropped out|
Third, updates to gubernatorial races:
|CT-Gov, Dem||Ned Lamont formed exploratory committe|
|FL-Gov, Dem||McGillis Records CEO Darrin E. McGillis is running
Anthony Shriver added to list
|IL-Gov, GOP||former Attorney General Jim Ryan is running|
|MD-Gov, GOP||real estate broker Larry Hogan is running
lawyer Mike Pappas dropped out
|MN-Gov, Dem||Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak filed paperwork|
|NJ-Gov, GOP||Chris Christie elected|
|OR-Sen, GOP||former NBA player Chris Dudley formed exploratory cmtee
state Sen. Frank Morse ruled out run
|PA-Sen, GOP||state Rep. Sam Rohrer formed exploratory committee|
|VA-Gov, GOP||Bob McDonnell elected|
|VT-Sen, Dem||former state Senator Matt Dunne is running
state Senator Peter Shumlin added to list