State by State: California, Georgia, Minnesota, New Hampshire

California

After initially telling Rep. John Doolittle (R) that he would not give him a second straight primary challenge, Auburn City Council member and former Mayor Mike Holmes has opened an exploratory committee.
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Holmes said the FBI raid of Doolittle’s home in April helped push him toward a repeat run. He announced his exploratory committee on Monday.

Holmes spent about $90,000 in 2006 and took 33 percent of the vote.

He told The Hill that raising more money this time will be key but declined to attach a figure to his goals.

“We sent out this press release, quite frankly, as sort of a trial balloon to see what people say,” Holmes said. “We’re getting a lot of encouragement. Yes, we’re going to have to raise a lot more money than last time.”

Holmes could have company — Air Force reservist Eric Egland is also weighing a primary challenge.

Holmes said he expects to make a formal announcement by the end of September.

Democrat Charlie Brown, who fell just shy of beating Doolittle in 2006, is running again and out-raised Doolittle in the second quarter.

 — Aaron Blake


Georgia

Rep.-elect Paul BrounPaul Collins BrounJoe Lieberman's son running for Senate in Georgia California lawmaker's chief of staff resigns after indictment Republican candidates run against ghost of John Boehner MORE (R) was set to be sworn in Wednesday night after his opponent, former state Sen. Jim Whitehead (R), Tuesday decided against asking for a recount in the 10th congressional district special election.

Broun’s 394-vote victory was certified on Monday, and Whitehead was prepared to ask for a recount, to which he was entitled because the margin was less than 1 percent.

Broun replaces the late Rep. Charles Norwood (R), who died earlier this year.

 — A. B.


Democratic attorney and former state Rep. Wyc Orr has turned down a bid against Sen. Saxby ChamblissClarence (Saxby) Saxby ChamblissThe Hill's Morning Report - Gillibrand drops out as number of debaters shrinks Hoekstra emerges as favorite for top intelligence post Republicans say Democrats holding up disaster relief as 'Sandy payback' MORE (R) in 2008, according to The Gainesville (Ga.) Times.

Orr had been the subject of a drafting movement. He ran for a U.S. House seat in the 1990s.

“To run for the U.S. Senate, you have to spend at least four hours a day, or more, on the telephone raising money,” Orr told the paper. “I’m not willing to do that. I think that’s a great deal of what’s wrong with Congress today.”

Former television reporter Dale Cardwell and DeKalb County chief executive Vernon Jones currently constitute the Democratic field in the race.

— A. B.


Minnesota

Retired Army Lt. Col. Joe Repya (R) Wednesday said his decision about whether to challenge Sen. Norm Coleman (R) in a primary has been pushed back until at least mid-October due to surgery.

Repya said he has talked to potential members of a financial team and is seeking out a possible campaign manager. But a recent operation on his rotator cuff has slowed the process.

“That’s as far as it went,” Repya told The Hill. “Quite frankly, for the last four weeks leading up to the surgery, I haven’t done a whole heck of a lot.”

He told The Hill last month that he was considering a challenge to Coleman. He had just lost a race for state party chairman, in which he fell to incumbent Ron Carey 195–150.

Repya was back in the local news this week after sending an open letter to Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) and Republican operatives asking for an audit of the state GOP. It was a continuation of his campaign against Carey, in which he focused on the party’s financial problems.

— A. B.


New Hampshire

State Health and Human Services Commissioner John Stephen has announced that he will leave his post next month, and speculation is building that he might enter the Republican primary to challenge Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D), according to local reports.

Stephen finished second to former Rep. Jeb Bradley (R) in a 2002 primary, taking 23 percent to Bradley’s 31 percent.

Bradley went on to win the seat and serve two terms until Shea-Porter unseated him last year. He is running for his old seat, setting up a potential primary rematch.

— A. B.