State by State

Alaska

Two Alaska political legends could be headed toward arduous reelection bids, according to a poll commissioned by the liberal Daily Kos blog.

Both Sen. Ted Stevens (R) and Rep. Don Young (R) trail Democrats by single digits in the poll, which was conducted by Research 2000 and posted Monday.

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Former lieutenant governor candidate Ethan Berkowitz (D) leads Young 49-42, and Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich (D) leads Stevens 47-41.

Berkowitz is running against Young, while Begich will likely wait several months before making a decision on the Senate race.

Stevens and Young have both been hampered by their ties to a federal investigation into the Veco Corporation.

— Aaron Blake


Arizona

Democratic congressional candidate Bob Lord has signed up freshman Rep. Chris Carney’s (D-Pa.) former campaign manager for his uphill battle against Rep. John Shadegg (R).

Andrew Eldredge-Martin helped Carney upset Rep. Don Sherwood (R-Pa.) last year in one of the most conservative districts now held by a Democrat. Sherwood fell victim to ethics charges and damaging revelations about his relationship with a mistress.

Shadegg is not thought of as a top target and has not faced a tough race since getting elected in 1994. But Lord’s fundraising has put him on the map and landed him a new campaign manager.

Eldredge-Martin will join the campaign next month.

Lord has raised $400,000 this cycle, while Shadegg has raised $525,000. Shadegg holds a $450,000 to $330,000 cash-on-hand advantage.

Shadegg won reelection with 59 percent of the vote in 2006, his lowest take ever.

— A.B.


Georgia

Iraq war veteran Wayne Mosley (R) has decided not to run for the seat of Rep. John Barrow (D), according to The Savannah Morning News.

Mosley, an orthopedic surgeon who had been recruited by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), never officially entered the race but was expected to run.

He had been making the rounds in the district since returning from overseas several months ago.

The NRCC has instead recruited former congressional aide John Stone (R), who worked for former Georgia Reps. Max Burns (R) and Charles Norwood (R). Stone announced in late November that he would run for the seat.

— A.B.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R) leads all of his potential Democratic opponents by at least 30 points, according to a Strategic Vision poll released Wednesday.

DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones comes closest and trails Chambliss 57-27. Former television reporter Dale Cardwell is behind 57-25. Two other Democrats, Rand Knight and Josh Lanier, trail 58-23 and 58-22, respectively.

Chambliss is not a top target for the Democrats in 2008.

— A.B.


Illinois

New Lenox Mayor and Chicago Ridge Police Chief Tim Baldermann (R) officially announced his candidacy Monday to succeed seventh-term Rep. Jerry Weller (R), who announced in September he would not seek reelection to Illinois’s 11th district House seat.

 Baldermann enjoys the backing of Weller, who endorsed the mayor in October shortly after announcing his retirement.

Baldermann will compete with two Republicans in the Feb. 5 primary: Terry Heenan, an airline pilot; and Jimmy Lee, a community development executive who headed President Bush’s White House Initiative for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in 2006.

The GOP primary winner will likely face state Sen. Debbie Halvorson (D) in the general election.

Weller won with 55 percent of the vote in 2006, and the district voted 53 percent for Bush in 2004.

— Chris Good

Democratic congressional candidate Mark Pera went up on Monday with the second television ad of his primary challenge to Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D).

The ad blames Lipinski for rising gas prices and says he and President Bush are letting oil companies dictate energy policy. It shows a gas pump acting like a vacuum and sucking up a pile of money.

Pera is challenging the centrist Lipinski from the left in the Feb. 5 primary, believing Lipinski doesn’t represent the more liberal values of his Chicago district.

Lipinski was appointed his party’s nominee in 2004 after his father, former Rep. Bill Lipinski, retired after the primary but before the general election.

— A.B.


Maryland

 State Sen. Andy Harris (R) has been endorsed by The Washington Times editorial board for his primary challenge to centrist Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R).

The conservative board on Wednesday called Harris “the antithesis of Mr. Gilchrest.”

“Mr. Harris did yeoman work in helping lead a filibuster against anti-gun legislation, and he has consistently fought for lower taxes and state spending,” the board wrote. “He is pro-life, and has led the fight against in-state tuition and driver’s licenses for illegal aliens.”

Harris has been out-raising Gilchrest and challenging him from the right, and Gilchrest has acknowledged he is fighting for his political life.

State Sen. E.J. Pipkin (R) also recently joined the race, further blurring expectations for the Feb. 12 primary.

— A.B.


Minnesota

One of the Republican candidates for freshman Rep. Tim Walz’s (D) seat dropped out of the race on Tuesday.

Local school board official Mark Meyer (R) exited the race and endorsed one of his opponents, state Rep. Randy Demmer (R).

Two other GOP candidates also remain in the race: state Sen. Dick Day and physician Brian Davis.

Meyer cited a lack of money as his reason for dropping out, according to local reports.

— A.B.


New Jersey

The GOP field for retiring Rep. Jim Saxton’s (R) 3rd district seat was whittled down to two this week. Joseph Vicari, an Ocean County freeholder, dropped his bid and endorsed John Kelly, another Ocean County freeholder.

Kelly will likely face Christopher Myers, a Lockheed Martin contractor and Medford deputy mayor.

Myers is expected to be endorsed by the Burlington County Republican Party.

Democrats in the district have rallied around state Sen. John Adler as their nominee. No other Democrat has announced a bid.

Saxton, 64, has held the seat since 1984. He announced last month that he was retiring because he had prostate cancer. He won reelection in 2006 with 58 percent of the vote.

— Walter Alarkon


North Carolina

After months of toying with the idea, former Rep. Charles Taylor (R) officially announced over the weekend that he would not run to regain the seat he lost in last year’s election.

Taylor loomed over the race due to his stature in the district and his ability to personally finance a campaign, and some local Republicans criticized his drawn-out thought process.

He finally said Saturday at a fundraiser that he will not run against freshman Rep. Heath Shuler (D).

Attorney John Armor, Asheville City Councilman Carl Mumpower and former Henderson County GOP Chairman Spence Campbell are running for the seat, although Taylor’s decision could open the door to others.

— A.B.


Texas

Sen. John Cornyn (R) will officially file for reelection on Saturday, his campaign announced Wednesday.

Cornyn was expected to run again and will likely face state Rep. Rick Noriega (D) in the general election.

His reelection hopes appeared to be bolstered when self-funding attorney Mikal Watts (D) ended his campaign several months ago.

Cornyn is one of the top fundraisers in the 2008 class, while Noriega has to show he can raise significant money for the race.

A.B.