State by State


House Minority Leader John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerDemocrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit Stopping the next insurrection Biden, lawmakers mourn Harry Reid MORE (R-Ohio) might want to see indicted Rep. Rick Renzi (R) leave Congress, but Renzi could be doing him a favor by delaying his resignation for a couple months.

If Renzi were to retire before May 4, Gov. Janet Napolitano (D) would be required to set a special election date between 110 and 150 days away. If he retires after May 4, which is six months before the general election, there would be no special election.

A special election would appear to help Democrats, who are in a much better financial position in the district and nationally. The GOP is still trying to settle on a candidate for the seat, while several Democrats have been running and raising money for months.


The seat also leans Republican in presidential elections, meaning unpredictable turnout in a special election could help a Democrat.

A primary for the special election would be set between 75 and 105 days in the future. The state’s attorney general and secretary of state, however, could also decide to avoid the cost and trouble of a special primary if they agree to let the parties pick their nominees through delegate conventions. The attorney general is a Democrat, and the secretary of state is a Republican.

— Aaron Blake


Emily’s List announced Monday that it is endorsing former state Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D) in her campaign against Rep. Tom Feeney (R).

Kosmas has already raised $360,000 to campaign for a seat that hasn’t been highly contested in Feeney’s three previous campaigns.

She faces a primary against 2006 Feeney challenger Clint Curtis.

“Emily’s List is pleased to support Suzanne Kosmas as she works to share her expertise and leadership with her community, the state of Florida and the U.S. Congress,” said Emily’s List President Ellen Malcolm.

— A.B.


Attorney Mike Ciresi has plugged another $2 million into his candidacy for the Democratic nomination to face Sen. Norm Coleman (R).

Ciresi, who self-funded millions for a failed 2000 Senate primary bid, said when he launched his campaign that he was going to raise the money and not self-fund. But the $2 million loan brings his contribution to his own campaign to $2.5 million now.

Ciresi’s contribution will trigger the Millionaire’s Amendment, the federal election rule that allows candidates to exceed caps on individual donations if they face an opponent who has self-funded a certain amount. But Ciresi’s fortune won’t help top Democratic rival Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenMeet the Democrats' last best hope of preserving a House majority Franken rules out challenge against Gillibrand for Senate seat Franken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour MORE, who has raised too much to see his per-donor limit upped.

The $1.9 million that Ciresi has raised is significantly less than the about $7 million raised by both Coleman and Franken.

— A.B.


Former congressional candidate Scott Kleeb filed the paperwork Monday to run for the Democratic nomination in this state’s open Senate seat, setting up a primary battle with businessman Tony Raimondo.

Kleeb announced on his website Sunday that he would run for the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelInterpreter who helped rescue Biden in 2008 escapes Afghanistan Overnight Defense & National Security — Pentagon chiefs to Congress: Don't default Pentagon chiefs say debt default could risk national security MORE (R). Raimondo, who initially joined the race as a Republican but is now running as a Democrat, also made his campaign official Monday.

The winner is likely to face former Gov. Mike JohannsMichael (Mike) Owen JohannsMeet the Democratic sleeper candidate gunning for Senate in Nebraska Farmers, tax incentives can ease the pain of a smaller farm bill Lobbying World MORE (R), who left his job as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to run for the seat.

Kleeb, a 32-year-old rancher and history teacher at Hastings College, lost a spirited open-seat race to Rep. Adrian Smith (R) in 2006 by 10 points, a strong showing in a conservative House district. He also considered running against Smith again this cycle.

“After a long conversation with my family and many of you across the state, I have come to the conclusion that the best way to serve my country is by joining the political process and running for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate,” Kleeb said on his website.

— A.B



Businessman Chris Hackett notched an important endorsement in what is shaping up to be an expensive race, after the Club for Growth political action committee announced Monday that it will back him.


Hackett, who has shown some fundraising prowess, is facing wealthy businessman Dan Meuser in the GOP primary and would battle freshman Rep. Chris Carney (D), who raised $1 million last year, in the general election.

The Club, known for hard-edged primary attacks, didn’t take aim at Meuser in announcing its endorsement but does figure to give Hackett a boost in funds.

Both GOPers had about $400,000 cash on hand at the end of 2007.

— A.B.


Though his father’s presidential hopes ended in a concession, Josh Romney may have caught the campaign bug.

The Mill Creek, Utah-based son of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) announced Monday that he is considering a run for Congress this fall.

Josh Romney revealed to the Deseret Morning News that he is mulling over a request from Republican Party officials to contest Rep. Jim MathesonJames (Jim) David MathesonMcAdams concedes to Owens in competitive Utah district Trump EPA eases standards for coal ash disposal Utah redistricting reform measure likely to qualify for ballot MORE (D) to represent the 2nd congressional district. He said he would draw from the experience he gained while campaigning for his father to launch his own run for office and would count on the voters he courted on his father’s behalf to support him.


The middle of Mitt and Ann Romney’s five sons is a 32-year-old real estate developer, as well as a husband and father of three.

Matheson is a frequent GOP target who sits in one of the most conservative districts held by a Democrat. He won reelection by fewer than 2,000 votes in 2002 but then beat the same opponent by 12 points in 2004 and easily won again in 2006.

— Kris Kitto