• AR-Sen: It took new Arkansas Senate candidate Conrad Reynolds only the first day of his candidacy to descend to the same levels of right-wing gaffe insanity as fellow candidates Kim Hendren and Curtis Coleman. Speaking before about a dozen Young Republicans yesterday, he said, "I never thought it would be domestic, but in today's world I do believe we have enemies here," and then said "We need someone to stand up to Barack Obama and his policies. We must protect our culture, our Christian identity." Following his speech, though, before he took questions, he said he'd be careful with answers, as "I don't want to do a Kim Hendren," he said.
• NH-Sen: It looks like Ovide Lamontagne is going full speed ahead on a run in the New Hampshire Senate primary, with his path, be it as it may, gaving gotten easier with fellow renegade Fred Tausch dropping out. He hired two key members of the Mitt Romney camp: Charlie Spies, who was the Romney campaign's CFO, and Jim Merrill, who managed Romney's NH campaign.
• NV-Sen: Here's another bad sign for John Ensign: his chief of staff, John Lopez, just bailed out. The timing, with Ensign facing fallout over trying to cover up an affair with a staffer, probably isn't coincidental.
• PA-Sen: In the wake of yesterday's ominious Quinnipiac poll, Arlen Specter has retreated to the last refuge of troubled politicians: attacking the poll's composition. (Hey! That's our job!) Nate Silver re-ran the numbers using the actual 2008 party split (D 44, R 37, I 18) and found it really didn't make much difference: 46-43 in Specter's favor. Meanwhile, a popular new activity among Democratic party bigwigs in Pennsylvania is telling Joe Sestak to shut up; both Allegheny Co. party chair Jim Burn and Philly-area official Penny Gerber took loud exception to implications from the Sestak camp that they were backing him.
• AK-Gov: Two Democrats both officially announced their candidacies to run, presumably, against Sean Parnell in 2010: state Senator Hollis French, and former Dept. of Administration Commissioner Bob Poe. Former state House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz also says he'll officially become a candidate in late summer or early fall.
• MN-Gov: Democratic State Rep. Paul Thissen announced his candidacy for Minnesota's governor today. Hard to see, though, how a state Representative stands out in a field that seems to contain every major politician in the state.
• CA-10: EMILY's List finally got involved in the special election in CA-10. As you'd expect, they're backing Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, who as the only woman in the race has a definite shot to sneak through while the better-known male candidates (Lt. Gov. John Garamendi and state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier) split the vote.
• IL-10: A new Roll Call piece on IL-10 adds a few more names to the potential primary fields. For the Dems, Highland Park City Councilor Jim Kirsch may get in. And for the GOP, it sounds like state Sen. Matt Murphy is now thinking about running here; he's currently running for Governor, in a crowded field of second-stringers, and might stand better odds here.
• NC-08: Lou Huddleston, an African-American veteran and defense industry consultant, may wind up being the GOP's candidate against Larry Kissell; after having visited Capitol Hill for some wooing, he says he'll decide by Labor Day. (His one attempt at elective politics was a losing campaign for a state House seat in 2008.) Some bigger names, including ex-Rep. Robin Hayes and Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory, haven't ruled the race out yet, though.
• NJ-03: The Burlington County GOP is saying that moderate state Sen. Diane Allen (who'd been on the short list for Chris Christie's Lt. Gov. pick) is now their top choice to run against freshman Rep. John Adler. Interestingly, this is the same organization that basically torpedoed her interest in running for the open seat in 2008, leaving more conservative Chris Myers (and presumably less electable) to run instead. Allen is still sounding non-commital, especially since the party leadership in more conservative Ocean County continues to sound lukewarm about her.
• NY-23: The Conservative Party isn't at all pleased with the selection of socially liberal Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava as the GOP's candidate in the NY-23 special election. State party chair Mike Long said that likely Democratic candidate Darrel Aubertine actually has a more "palatable" record. The Conservatives plan to run their own candidate on their line, he says, and party activist Jim Kelly has expressed interest.
• OH-02: This is good news: the Democrats actually found an honest-to-gosh state Representative to go against Rep. Jean Schmidt: Todd Book. David Krikorian, who got a sizable share of the vote as an Independent in 2008, is already running as a Democrat in the primary, but looks like he's getting shoved over: Governor Ted Strickland has already endorsed Book. (Book is from Strickland's hometown of Portsmouth.)
• SC-01: A Georgetown restauranteur, Robert Dobbs, announced he'll run for the Democrats in SC-01. He has electoral experience... but in Wisconsin, where he was a Manitowoc County Supervisor. (Although I hope it is, I assume this isn't the "Bob" Dobbs.) Other more prominent Democratic figures, like state Rep. Leon Stavinrakis, are also considering the race.
• SC-03: Former Cincinnati Bengals coach Sam Wyche, who led the Bengals to the Super Bowl in 1989, is considering running as a Republican for the open seat in the 3rd, vacated by Gresham Barrett, running for Governor. Wyche isn't a total newbie to politics, as he's currently serving on the Pickens County Council. He'd bring a lot of name recognition to the field, where state Representative Rex Rice is probably current frontrunner. (Democrats are unlikely to strongly contest this freakishly red district.)