| • AR-Sen: To few people's surprise, Blanche Lincoln folded faster than Superman on laundry day on the public option issue when faced with a non-ridiculous challenge from the right. Still, her erstwhile GOP rival, Gilbert Baker, may not be quite as problem-free as the Beltway media have touted him as; ArkDem provides some essential local color in the diaries.
• CO-Sen: This isn't going to endear the NRSC to the Colorado rank-and-filers (and even the party establishment, like state party head
Dickwad Hams Dick Wadhams) any more: they just got caught building websites for former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton. This may help fuel whatever fire is suddenly burning under Weld Co. DA Ken Buck.
• MA-Sen: After contrasting reports yesterday about whether ex-Rep. Marty Meehan might or wouldn't run for Senate, Politics magazine got him on the record saying that he "hadn't ruled it out" but that he was absorbed in his university chancellor job and that he'd defer to either Vicky or Joe Kennedy. No word on what happens to his $4 million if he doesn't run.
• NY-Gov: The Eliot Spitzer boomlet lasted about one day before he laughed it off, but a quickie SurveyUSA poll verified that he's still got some political mojo left. 15% of New Yorkers said they'd still vote for him no matter what office, 47% said they might, depending on the office, and only 39% said no way. He also won against David Paterson on the curiously worded question of "who's better qualified" to be Governor, 41-24, although Rudy Giuliani wins the same question against Spitzer, 59-25.
• OR-Gov: As we reported yesterday, ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber made it official this morning: he's in the race. Former SoS Bill Bradbury, who's already in the Dem primary, now says he will be announcing something on Sept. 17 (he'd previously alluded to staying in even if Kitzhaber got in, but we'll have to see what he says now that it's happened). Meanwhile, SurveyUSA has another snap poll, this time of the favorables of the race's announced players so far: Kitzhaber has a fave of 33/26, Bradbury is at 21/20, and moderate Republican Allen Alley (the 2008 Treasurer candidate, and a former deputy CoS to Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski) is at a woeful 8/10.
• VT-Gov: Two other names for potential GOP gubernatorial candidates have surfaced, in addition to Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie. One is Mark Snelling, who's never held office before but benefits from a prominent family name (he's the son of ex-Gov. Richard Snelling and ex-Lt. Gov. Barbara Snelling). Another possibility is former Auditor Randy Brock who served one term, 2004-2006, before losing re-election.
• CA-24: Marta Jorgensen, a nurse who held Rep. Elton Gallegly to 56% in 2008, said she's back for another try in 2010. Gallegly, frequent retirement speculation target, hasn't formally announced he's running but informally said he'll run again.
• IL-14: Another GOPer is taking a look at the race against Bill Foster, joining Ethan Hastert and Mark Vargas. Bill Cross is a former member of the Aurora City Council and owns two hardware stores in the district.
• KS-03: Rep. Dennis Moore has proven pretty entrenched in his light-red district in the Kansas City suburbs, repelling state Sen. Nick Jordan in 2008 without much trouble. Still, he's drawn another credible challenge for 2010, from GOP former state Rep. Patricia Lightner.
• LA-03: One more name to add to the seemingly endless pile of possible candidates in the open seat in the 3rd: Craig Webre, sheriff of Lafourche Parish (popu. 90,000). The article is strangely unclear about what party he'd be running for -- Webre is registered as a Republican, but Democrat Reggie Dupre (the former state Senator whose resignation triggered last week's successful special election in SD-20) was advising Webre and was the article's source -- although considering how porous party lines can be in Louisiana, that seems typical. Dupre, who just took over as Terrebonne Parish levee director, confirmed that he himself wouldn't run.
• VA-02, 05, 11: The trio of Virginia freshmen (Tom Perriello, Glenn Nye, and Gerry Connolly) have banded together in a joint fundraising committee. Connolly has to be seen as less vulnerable than the other two, but still needs resources for a potentially expensive rematch against Keith Fimian.
• CA-Lt. Gov: With the now very-high likelihood that John Garamendi will be heading to Washington DC in a few months, the question arises of who Arnold Schwarzenegger will replace him with. Sorta-moderate state Sen. Abel Maldonado gets the most press; his appointment would open up a Senate seat in a Dem-leaning area that could get Senate Dems closer to that magic 2/3s mark. Assemblyman (and former minority leader) Mike Villines is another possibility; another idea is giving the job to ex-Rep. Tom Campbell in order to pry him out of the Governor's race. Schwarzenegger is mavericky enough he might appoint a Democrat, too; one name mentioned is former Assembly speaker Bob Hertzberg, who has occasionally cooperated with the Governator.
• Seattle Mayor: The mayor's race in Seattle, between two unknowns (Mike McGinn and Joe Mallahan) who won the primary after incumbent Greg Nickels KO'd himself, briefly threatened to get much more interesting when prominent state Sen. Ed Murray started exploring running as a write-in, sensing an opening for someone who actually knows what the hell he's doing. Although he could have counted on a lot of both labor and real estate developer support, he decided against it yesterday, aware of the extreme technical difficulty in mounting a successful write-in campaign on weeks' notice. Murray instead remains the most-talked-about successor to Rep. Jim McDermott, although it seems like he could be waiting another decade for that seat to open up.