| • MN-Sen: Our long national nightmare is finally over: Senator Al Franken was sworn in today, without any weird last minute gambits by Norm Coleman. Harry Reid announced he'll be on the HELP, Judiciary, Aging, and Indian Affairs Committees.
• KY-Sen: Jim Bunning, via his regular teleconference with reporters, reminds us that he's still running for Senate. Bunning also thinks that he won't outraise SoS Trey Grayson (who raised $600,000 in the 2nd quarter) for the quarter, but it doesn't matter because Grayson won't stay in the race if Bunning stays in too.
• OR-Gov: Here's a surprise: Democratic rising star state Rep. Brian Clem suddenly made his presence known in the Oregon governor's race, launching an exploratory committee and filling up his coffers with a $500,000 loan from his mother-in-law. The 37-year-old Clem, who has represented part of Salem since 2006, implied that he wouldn't pull the trigger on a run, though, if former Gov. John Kitzhaber got into the race.
• SC-Gov: Mark Sanford may get to keep his job after all (thanks in part to Sarah Palin creating a distraction). The state GOP voted yesterday to censure Sanford over his doomed tango, rather than call for his resignation.
• HI-01: Roll Call takes a quick look at who might run for the seat being left behind by Rep. Neil Abercrombie. Top of the list is Ed Case, a Blue Dog who used to represent HI-02 but gave up his seat for an ill-fated primary run against Sen. Dan Akaka and pissed off a lot of the Democratic base along the way. They also cite state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, former state House majority leader Kirk Caldwell, state Democratic Party chair Brian Schatz, and also Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who's currently exploring the governor's race but conceivably could switch races if he doesn't get any traction in the primary against Abercrombie. Also, we can't rule out Republican Honolulu city councilor Charles Djou, who seems well-thought-of but faces a steep climb given the state's lean.
• IL-07: CQ provides a similar laundry list of potential candidates in IL-07, assuming Rep. Danny Davis leaves an open seat to run for President of the Cook County Board instead. Davis's former Chief of Staff Richard Boykin tops the list, but there's also state Reps. LaShawn Ford and Karen Yarbrough, state Sen. Rickey Hendon, and Aldermen Dorothy Tillman and Ed Smith. (No mention of any Republicans here, unsurprising since it's D+35.)
• NY-03: Here are some folks who'd especially like Rep. Peter King to Beat It, following his Off the Wall remarks disparaging the nonstop coverage of Michael Jackson. They've started "Michael Jackson Fans Against Peter King" on ActBlue and have already raised several thousand dollars for whoever steps up to run in the 3rd.
• NY-14: With Rep. Carolyn Maloney looking more likely to follow through on her Senate primary challenge, state Sen. Liz Krueger, whose turf closely overlaps the 14th, has been getting a lot of encouragement to run for the open seat. Krueger sounds politely interested, saying "I've never been in Congress so I don't know if it's less frustrating. But I suspect pretty much any job in the United States of America would be less frustrating than Albany in the last three weeks."
• NY-23: A potentially strong candidate for the GOP nomination in the upcoming NY-23 special election has taken himself out of consideration: Assemblyman Will Barclay. Unfortunately for us, this may make the primary path easier for moderate GOP Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, who would be a tougher general election foe; the more conservative Barclay, remember, was the loser of the state Senate special election to Darrel Aubertine last year. Two other minor GOPers added their names to the list as well: YMCA director Andrew Bisselle and businessman Bart Bonner.
• OH-15: His candidacy was already well in the works, but GOP former state Senator Steve Stivers made it official today that he's seeking a rematch against Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy, who barely won the open seat in 2008. Stivers may have an opening in 2010 if there's less Obama-driven college turnout in this district dominated by Ohio St., and no pro-life independent candidate siphoning votes from his right flank.
• TN-09: Burned-out Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton seems to have a pattern and practice of delaying his planned resignations whenever things don't quite go right for him. Herenton, who'd planned to resign in order to devote himself full-time to his primary challenge to Rep. Steve Cohen, pushed back his resignation date (planned for July 11) to July 30, citing some unfinished items of business.
• House: The Hill throws together an interesting catch-all of ten "dark horse" House races, one of which is already threatening to be top tier (TX-10), one of which features an intriguing Dem primary (FL-02), and some of which are interesting because of changing demographics (TX-32) or changing political tides (all three Dem seats in Arkansas).
• DGA/RGA: In keeping with the sense that the real battlegrounds in 2010 are going to be the gubernatorial races, the DGA and RGA are both raising like gangbusters. The DGA raised $11.6 million in the first half of the year, a record for them, but the RGA nosed ahead of them, raising $12.2 million.
• Census: A coalition of Colorado local governments joins New York's legislature in laying out its own funds to help assist the Census Bureau in putting together an accurate count by reducing undercounting. While Colorado isn't likely to gain or lose a House seat in 2010, it's still important in terms of securing federal funds, and with much of the state's growth coming among Latinos, the risk of undercounting is high.
• Campaign Finance: Florida's Republican SoS, Kurt Browning, has decided not to appeal a federal court's ruling that found a state law regulating 527s was unconstitutional. With major implications for the Florida governor's race, now 527s can operate without disclosure requirements on who they are and who funds them. (Florida has strict $500 limits on individual contributions, so 527s are especially important there.)
• Trivia: Wondering who the last Governor to resign in mid-term to focus on a presidential run was? New York's Nelson Rockefeller, in 1973. He never made it to the presidential run, although he did wind up briefly serving as Gerald Ford's fill-in vice-president.
• DSCC: Friend of SSP and once-and-future DKos editor Arjun Jaikumar (f/k/a brownsox) is not just the DSCC's new media guru - he's also up for The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful in DC. Vote for the good-looking bastard by sending an email. (D)