• IL-02: Hah! Talk about a self-fulfilling prophesy. When Jesse Jackson, Jr. belatedly began whining about the state’s new congressional map, one possible explanation I considered was that he feared a primary challenge from another black politician. I didn’t write about it, though, because there hadn’t been even an inkling that any such person was considering the race. Well, now there is — and the delicious irony is that, according to Shira Toeplitz, Jackson’s recent outburst is one of the reasons Chicago City Alderman Anthony Beale is now thinking about a run. (As an aside, I wonder if, should Beale prove a capable candidate, he might split the black vote and allow Debbie Halvorson — who is now apparently circulating petitions — to pull off an unlikely victory.)
Meanwhile, things are getting worse all over the place for JJJ. Shira notes that the state’s two other black congressmen, Danny Davis and Bobby Rush, are backing away from a Jackson-led pledge not to support Illinois Democrats in defending the new map in court. And in a broader piece on Monday, Shira reported that Jackson very nearly had a hot confrontation with Rep. Luis Gutierrez on the House floor. Gutierrez is rightly furious that Jackson is arguing that the map should have created a second Hispanic-majority district — a pure pretext for his own unhappiness over taking in new suburban/exurban territory. It also happens to be the one even remotely plausible line of attack the GOP has against the map, so Jackson’s statements have also helped to undermine Democrats. But the person he most appears to be undermining now is himself.
• FL-Sen: After holding the door ajar for the better part of a year, Rep. Vern Buchanan is slamming it shut. The ultra-wealthy Republican congressman (net worth of about $ 50 million) confirms to The Hotline that he won’t run for Senate this cycle.
• MI-Sen: The Hill got an advance look at a poll from Marketing Resource Group, a Michigan firm that Cameron Joseph describes as “nonpartisan” but which has at least one Republican on its client list. In any event, the survey shows Dem Sen. Debbie Stabenow up 50-35 over ex-Rep. Pete Hoekstra. A previously-released portion of the poll (PDF) showed Hoekstra with a predictably huge lead over newcomer Clark Durant in the GOP primary (41-3), and it also had Mitt Romney tied with Barack Obama in the state at 44 apiece. Obama led Rick Perry 50-39.
• KY-Gov: Dem Gov. Steve Beshear didn’t appear at a debate with Republican David Williams and oddball Gatewood Galbraith on Monday, which I guess is a sign that he’s pretty comfortable with his massive leads in the polls. It looks like Beshear never said he’d attend in the first place, so he didn’t pull a David Weprin — and what more, he’s scheduled for two debates next month, so this sounds like pretty small potatoes.
• MI-Gov: This isn’t something you see every day:
Gov. Rick Snyder told MIRS at the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference this weekend that he might not run for re-election in 2014 if he gets his agenda accomplished in his first term. […]
Snyder said if he gets his agenda accomplished, he would not seek re-election and allow “better, smarter people” to take over so he can see Michigan ” be successful in the long term.” The governor told MIRS he’s “happy to go fishing, go teach or do something else.”
“My criteria are two things. Did I do what I said I was going to do? And if I did the things I said I was going to do, that would be great,” Snyder said. “The second thing is, it’s not about me. I really want to create a long-term legacy of success. The changes we’re making are for 10, 20, 30 years from now…. Have we started creating a culture where people want to take this ball and run for a long time?”
I’m not sure whether to hope for a single Snyder term, or be afraid of what Snyder fully “accomplishing his agenda” looks like.
• WA-Gov: There’s a third poll in two weeks of the Washington governor’s race out now, although it’s from a Republican pollster. Ordinarily I take anything from Portland-based Moore Information with a big dose of salt, but their finding of a 37-32 lead for Republican AG Rob McKenna over Democratic Rep. Jay Inslee is right in line with the other two polls (a smidge more optimistic for the Dems, with more undecideds), creating a sort of unhappy consensus. Similarly, that SurveyUSA poll from Tuesday had an Attorney General component, in the open-seat race to replace McKenna, which should dispel any thoughts of ‘outlier’ regarding the Gov portion, seeing how it gives the Dem a decent lead in a race between two King County Councilors who are blank slates in the rest of the state. Dem Bob Ferguson leads GOPer Reagan Dunn 39-34. (David Jarman)
• OH-03: Does this mean that former SoS Jennifer Brunner is out of the running for the new Columbus-area House seat? She was tapped by, of all people, GOP Gov. John Kasich, to a spot on the Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission. It doesn’t sound like a full-time job (though I’m not 100% certain), but it’s pretty surprising that Kasich would want to do any favors for Brunner, particularly since she’s busy working on a repeal of Ohio’s new voter suppression laws. So I’m just not sure what to make of this.
• RI-01: As part of their Rhode Island poll from Starr Opinion Research (Senate portion here) GoLocalProv tested ballot matchups in the potentially competitive 1st CD as well. Dem Rep. David Cicilline, bruised by revelations about his management of Providence’s finances while he was mayor, faces a serious race in the general election and possibly in the primary as well. He leads former state police chief Brendan Doherty 45-39 and former state Rep. John Loughlin 45-37. Anthony Gemma, the Democrat who has made the most noise about challenging Cicilline, is up 31-29 and 33-30 respectively. However, the sample size is super small — just 206 respondents — so an appropriate serving of salt is necessary.
• SC-01: Businesswoman and supermarket heiress Linda Ketner, who came within four points of unseating GOP Rep. Henry Brown in 2008, says she won’t run for Congress in 2012. Her name had also surfaced last year for a possible last-ditch independent campaign to save South Carolina Democrats from Alvin Greene, but she wisely declined. Ketner didn’t rule out a future run for office, but I do note that she is 61 years old.
• SC-07: Parnell Diggs, and attorney and activist for the blind (he himself was born blind), became the first Democrat to announce a run for South Carolina’s newest congressional district. So far the only Republican running is state Rep. Thad Viers, but according to the linked article, other possible candidates include state Rep. Alan Clemmons and 2010 state House candidate Mande Wilkes, who nearly knocked off an incumbent last year. Given that this seat was drawn to elect a Republican, I’m sure the field will get more crowded on that side of the aisle.
• WI-02: This is somewhat surprising to me, but not entirely a shock: State Sen. Jon Erpenbach, one of the most prominent public faces of the Wisconsin legislators who left the state to thwart Scott Walker’s union-busting legislation, says he will not run for Rep. Tammy Baldwin’s open seat. He’d have faced a Democratic primary against state Reps. Mark Pocan and Kelda Roys, as well as Dane County Treasurer Dave Worzala, so victory was far from assured. However, Erpenbach’s been mentioned as a possible gubernatorial candidate, so I think a run for higher office in the future could definitely be in the cards.
• OH SB5: Quinnipiac’s newest Ohio poll confirms the drop in support for repealing SB5, a bill that would limit collective bargaining rights. The legislation is on the ballot this fall, and voters still want to see it gone, by a 51-38 margin. But that’s down from 56-32 in July. PPP showed a similar trend from May to August (55-35 to 50-39). Fortunately, election day is only six weeks away, so hopefully opponents won’t have enough time to make up the gap.
• CBC: A pair of interesting pieces looks at the challenges faced by a number of members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Shira Toeplitz points out three races where black incumbents are facing (or may face) primary fights with white incumbents: MI-14 (Hansen Clarke vs. Gary Peters); CA-44 (Laura Richardson vs. Janice Hahn, with Assemblyman Isadore Hall, who is black, also in the mix); and possibly MO-01 (Lacy Clay vs. Russ Carnahan, potentially). The Michigan race, I should note, is off to the kind of start you’d wish for all Democratic primaries:
Clarke and Peters appear congenial about their upcoming contest. Just off the House floor Friday, Peters put his arm around Clarke, who affectionately referred to his white opponent as “brother Peters.”
I hope this sentiment lasts — and spreads to other races. But it’s hard to be hopeful. Meanwhile, on the flipside, Aaron Blake catalogs a number of contests where black members of Congress face potentially serious challenges from local up-and-comers. On his list: John Conyers (MI-13), Cedric Richmond (LA-02), Ed Towns (NY-10), Marcia Fudge (OH-11), John Lewis (GA-05), and Bennie Thompson (MS-02). With redistricting adding new territory to each of these seats, I wouldn’t be surprised if at least a couple of these reps did not wind up returning for the 113th Congress.
• Pennsylvania: How could PA’s electoral college vote-rigging plan not be dead in the water at this point? According to the subscription-only publication Capitolwire, 11 of the state’s 12 Republican congressmen met with state legislative leaders to voice their opposition to a proposed scheme to award Pennsylvania’s electoral votes by congressional district rather than winner-take-all. The brief excerpt ThinkProgress posts doesn’t indicate who the lone holdout was, but that hardly seems to matter: The legislature would be risking serious ire if they went against the wishes of pretty much the entire delegation.
• HI Redistricting: It sounds like mapmaking is complete in Hawaii, with the redistricting commission signing off on a set of plans on Monday. An earlier item in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser says that the maps are little-changed from the original proposals published in August. I believe those are viewable here; I’m not sure if copies of the modified maps are available online yet.
• ID Redistricting: I’m not sure why they bothered, but it wound up being too much, too late. Idaho’s (now former) redistricting commissioners finally broke a partisan deadlock and reached agreement on new legislative and congressional maps, but Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said their work doesn’t have the force of law because, as we explained previously, a new redistricting commission has to be created. So these maps will serve only as suggestions to the reconstituted board, though the chairs of both parties seem to support the plans.
• ME Redistricting: A deal was reached yesterday between Democrats and Republicans in Maine’s fraught redistricting negotiations, and a new congressional map quickly passed through both chambers by near-unanimous votes. The final plan simply moves the city of Waterville (pop. 15,722) in Kennebec County from the 2nd CD to the 1st. This seems like a win for the Dems, since Republicans originally supported a much more radical plan. But Republicans were apparently concerned about legal challenges and possibly a “people’s veto,” so it looks like they caved.