| • TX-Gov: Holy crap, Kay Bailey Hutchison is running for Governor of Texas! Of course, everyone with a pulse has known this for most of a year, but it's now official: she's done exploring the race and formally launched her campaign yesterday. She also found a lot of cash under the couch cushions during all those explorations, as she put together $6.7 million during the first half of the year. Factoring in her $8 million transfer from her Senate account, she's sitting on about $12 million CoH. Her primary opponent, incumbent Gov. Rick Perry, raised $4.2 million in the year's first half (a lot, considering he couldn't raise during the legislative session) and has $9.3 million CoH.
• FL-Sen: Ordinarily, you probably wouldn't want to spotlight an endorsement from an unlikable jerk with a ridiculous name, but Marco Rubio is trying to rally the nationwide wingnut brigade to his financially faltering campaign ($340K last quarter), so he rolled out an endorsement from ex-House Majority Leader Dick Armey today.
• IL-Sen: Now that he's done holding his breath and turning blue until that nasty Andy McKenna would go away, Rep. Mark Kirk has announced that he'll announce that he'll announce that he'll announce his candidacy, or something like that, "in one week." Roll Call also has a look at the consternation that Kirk's messed-up rollout caused both local and national GOP figures, stepping on their attempts to crow "recruitment success."
Meanwhile, people are starting to wonder openly when if ever businessman Chris Kennedy is going to pull the trigger on getting into the Dem field. His hesitation is already landing him in legal hot water: a local police officer filed an FEC complaint against Kennedy for allegedly spending more than $5,000 on campaign outlays without actually having a campaign in place.
• NV-Sen: John Ensign (apparently emboldened by fellow C Street dweller Mark Sanford's seat-of-his-pants survival of his own affair) is proceeding full speed ahead, not just planning not to resign but to run for re-election in 2012. TPM wonders out loud if Harry Reid is one of the Dems who've urged Ensign to stay on board.
• PA-Sen: The NRSC finally officially endorsed Pat Toomey today. This comes hot on the heels of news that state Sen. Jane Orie (who was being chatted up by the NRSC last week) has decided against running against Pat Toomey in the GOP senate primary. Rumors abound that Rick Santorum, nursing some sort of grudge against Toomey, was the driving force behind the Orie boomlet. Meanwhile, Arlen Specter today announced a 2Q haul of $1.7 million, narrowly topping both Toomey ($1.6 million) and Joe Sestak ($1 million in his House account).
• CA-Gov: Meg Whitman is sitting on a ton of cash now, having added $15 million of her own money on top of $6.7 million in private contributions, bringing her total stash to more than $25 million. Her GOP primary rival, Insurance Comm. Steve Poizner anted up $5 million of his own money, along with $1.2 million in contributions, during that same period.
• CT-Gov: A strangely quiet fundraising period for Jodi Rell has some wondering if she's going to run for re-election. She raised $20,000 in the most recent quarter, with $71K CoH, outpaced by potential Democratic challengers SoS Susan Bysiewicz ($141K for the quarter) and Stamford mayor Dan Malloy ($147K).
• OH-Gov: Betcha didn't know that ex-Rep. John Kasich had an opponent in the GOP gubernatorial primary in Ohio: state Sen. Kevin Coughlin. Well, apparently no one else knew that either, and having gotten nowhere on the fundraising front in the face of party opposition, Coughlin bailed out yesterday.
• VA-Gov: Creigh Deeds beat Bob McDonnell in fundraising in June ($3.4 million for Deeds, $1.8 million for McDonnell), but he had to blow through a lot of that in the primary. McDonnell is sitting on a lot more cash on hand, with almost $5 million compared with Deeds' $2.7 million.
• CA-11: This is the first I've heard of this guy -- vintner Brad Goehring -- who's planning to challenge Jerry McNerney in the 11th. He's not getting off on the right foot, though, with the appearance of 2006 statements where he shrugged off the problem of 40% of his workforce being undocumented immigrants... not likely to help him much with the nativist core of what's left of the California GOP base.
• CA-32: In case you'd forgotten (and most likely you had; I know I did), the general special election for the race to fill the vacant seat left behind by Labor Sec. Hilda Solis is today. Today's election is an afterthought, given that the race was basically won in a heavily-contested May primary in this solid Dem district. Someone named "Chu" is guaranteed to win, although in all likelihood it'll be Democratic Board of Equalization member Judy Chu over Republican Monterey Park city councilor Betty Chu.
• FL-12: The Blue Dogs have already weighed in with their first endorsement of the cycle, endorsing Polk Co. Elections Supervisor Lori Edwards in the open 12th district to replace Rep. Adam Putnam, who's running for Florida Agricultural Commissioner.
• KY-St. Sen.: Gov. Steve Beshear is seemingly taking a page from Barack Obama, picking off Republican legislators and giving them secure appointive positions instead, opening up their seats for possible Democratic takeove. Sens. Dan Kelly and Charlie Borders were appointed to a judgeship and the Public Service Commission, respectively. Dems are optimistic about retaking both the seats, with state Rep. Robin Webb looking at Borders' seat in Kentucky's NE corner, and former state Rep. Jodie Haydon looking at Kelly's seat in Bourbon territory in the state's center. This will hopefully put a dent in the GOP's 21-16-1 edge.
• Census: Census Director Robert Groves was finally confirmed after the Dems used a cloture vote to break the hold on him, leaving him with only eight months to whip the Census into shape. Only 15 GOPers voted against cloture, including Richard Shelby and David Vitter, the ones who'd had the hold on the nomination, and some of the other dead-enders (Brownback, Bunning, Cornyn, Ensign, Sessions, etc.... although, interestingly, Coburn and Kyl voted for cloture). Meanwhile, Michele Bachmann continues her one-woman war on the Census, proposing legislation that would limit the number of question the American Community Survey (the annual supplement, not the 2010 full count) can ask.
• Polltopia: PPP is asking for your input on another state to poll, so let 'em hear it. The finalists are California, Iowa, and Louisiana.