| • CT-Sen: Pro wrestling CEO Linda McMahon is apparently doing the things that normal candidates do when running for office, starting with her first radio ad. However, she's already having to acknowledge that she hasn't done a good job recently of doing another thing that normal politicians do, which is vote. She skipped the 2006 general election (the same year in which she donated $10K to the DCCC) and also the 2008 GOP primary.
• DE-Sen: There are a couple of interesting rumors that Delaware scribe Ron Williams (who doesn't have the highest batting average out there) examines: one is that Beau Biden may run for AG again instead of Senate. (However, Williams seems to debunk that rumor, using some pretty definite phrasing in saying that "AG Biden will soon announce his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat..." and also saying that Mike Castle is unlikely to want to run against Biden.) Meanwhile, there are rumors that the state's other Senator, Tom Carper, is having some health problems and may not seek re-election in 2012. Carper himself denies the rumor, though, saying he's fine. New Castle County Exec Chris Coons gets flagged as a likely Carper successor, though.
• MA-Sen: The bill to allow a temporary appointed Senator to fill Ted Kennedy's seat until the Jan. 19 special election cleared another hurdle yesterday, passing the state Senate 24-16. A reconciled version still has to pass both houses but could do so today, so conceivably we could have a Deval Patrick signature today too. The momentum today seems to be with former DNC chair Paul Kirk, not Michael Dukakis for the appointment; Kennedy's widow Victoria and sons Patrick and Teddy Jr. now all publicly back Kirk for the job (Kirk now chairs the JFK Presidential Library).
Meanwhile, former Red Sox rightie (although he'll always be a Phillie to me) Curt Schilling says he won't run for Senate. However, City Year head Alan Khazei made his entry into the race, on the Democratic side, official today.
• CA-Gov: Two decidedly unsurprising developments: ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman formally "opened" her Republican candidacy with a rally and her first ads (although technically she's been running since February), while AG Jerry Brown opened an exploratory committee for the Dem nod.
• NJ-Gov: Yet another poll of the New Jersey governor's race shows Chris Christie with a sizable lead, although Jon Corzine does break through that 40% ceiling that's been plaguing him. Rasmussen shows Christie ahead of Corzine 48-41, with independent Chris Daggett at 6%. Rasmussen's previous look in early September pegged it at 46-38. And if there's any doubt about what Jon Corzine's last-ditch strategy is for winning this thing, check out this picture of his new billboard.
• VA-Gov: After a bit of post-debate waffling on the issue last week, Creigh Deeds came out in favor of new taxes to fund transportation projects. Promising to raise taxes is always a risky strategy, but given how paralyzed northern Virginia is, taxes to build infrastructure might actually be a winner in that part of the state. Also, Josh Goodman has a thoughtful piece on Deeds' belated momentum in the polls: it's a delayed reaction to the Bob McDonnell thesis, as it took a while to trickle down, via negative ads, to the non-WaPo-reading rabble.
• AR-04: It's looking like the scandal surrounding Blue Dog Mike Ross, concerning his sale of a $263K pharmacy to the USA Drug chain (which is actively lobbying in the health care debate) for $420K, may have some legs. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint with the Justice Department asking for an investigation if there was a quid pro quo. Ross is busy attacking the messenger, calling ProPublica.com (which broke the story) a "leftist" organization.
• NY-23: The NRCC is up with a radio ad in the 23rd, and Dede Scozzafava's camp seems flummoxed by it, to the extent that her spokesperson publicly asked the NRCC to save its money instead of spending it this way. The ad spends most of its time attacking Dem Bill Owens, trying to link him to Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi, with only a brief mention of Scozzafava's positive qualities at the end. Scozzafava already questioned the NRCC's airing of an anti-Darrel Aubertine ad when it looked like he'd be the candidate, and in a weird development, the NRCC's website features a link to a story from Human Events questioning whether Scozzafava is too liberal. Not exactly what we'd call "teamwork." Meanwhile, Bill Owens just got the endorsement of the regional SEIU, ordinarily a foregone conclusion for a Democrat but maybe not a sure thing with labor-friendly Scozzafava in the mix.
• SC-01: Carroll "Tumpy" (his actual nickname) Campbell III made it official; he'll be challenging Henry "Smoky" (that's just our unofficial nickname for him) Brown in the GOP primary. The challenge from the son of the popular governor may prod the rather lackadaisical 73-year-old Brown into retirement.
• VA-02: Democratic freshman Rep. Glenn Nye got a sixth potential GOP opponent, in the form of Scott Taylor, a businessman, former Virginia Beach mayoral candidate, and former Navy SEAL. Taylor isn't even the only former Navy SEAL running (so too is Ed Maulbeck); other GOPers are auto dealer Scott Rigell, Army Reserve Brig. Gen. Bert Mizusawa, businessman Ben Loyola, and former local GOP chair Chuck Smith. Although Nye's R+5 district poses a theoretical challenge, note that none of his challengers has held elective office.
• Mayors: Boston mayor Tom Menino, who's been in office for 16 years, had the weakest electoral showing of his mayoral career in yesterday's primary election, pulling in 50.5% of the vote against a fractured field. He'll face off in November against city councilor Michael Flaherty, who finished second with 24%. Flaherty, who is also an insider, doesn't present as much as a contrast with Menino as the candidates who fell by the wayside.