State by state

Kentucky

The AFL-CIO announced Wednesday that it will kick off its “final four” program Saturday, aimed at mobilizing voters in the last four days of the Kentucky governor’s race on behalf of challenger Steve Beshear (D).

The labor group said an “army” of volunteers will try to mobilize almost 350,000 voters in a state that where 26 percent of voters will be unionized workers.

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“This election is about taking Kentucky in a new direction, plain and simple,” Bill Londrigan, president of the Kentucky AFL-CIO, said in a statement. “Working people care about quality healthcare and family-supporting jobs. That’s why they are enthusiastic to vote next Tuesday for working family candidates like Steve Beshear.”

The latest polling in the race shows Beshear leading Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R), whose one term has been marred by a hiring scandal, by a 23-point margin. The (Louisville) Courier-Journal Bluegrass poll shows Beshear with 56 percent to Fletcher’s 23 percent.

— Sam Youngman


Minnesota

Retired Lt. Col. Joe Repya has decided not to challenge Sen. Norm Coleman (R) in a primary next year, citing the monetary demands and the effect that a contest would have on his party.

The Iraq war veteran and former Coleman adviser told The Hill in June, after losing a bid for state party chairman, that he was examining a challenge to Coleman. That challenge would have come from the right.

“I feel a challenge at this time would be financially difficult for my family and divisive to Minnesota Republican Party unity,” Repya said in a statement Monday. “I wish Sen. Coleman success in his race in 2008.”

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Coleman will face the winner of a crowded Democratic primary in what is expected to be a difficult reelection race. Comedian Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenBill Press: Don't forget about Amy Key moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far Al Franken mocks McConnell: 'Like listening to Jeffrey Dahmer complain about the decline of dinner party etiquette' MORE and attorney Mike Ciresi are the front-runners for their party’s nomination.

— Aaron Blake


State Sen. Terri Bonoff (D) will announce on Monday her candidacy for retiring Rep. Jim Ramstad’s (R) seat, becoming the first major Democrat to officially enter the race.

Edina Mayor John Hovland (R) is weighing whether to switch parties and run for the Democratic nod as well. State Rep. Erik Paulsen is running on the Republican side.

Bonoff’s announcement will come at a local high school.

— A.B.


Ohio

Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy on Tuesday won the endorsement of EMILY’s List, which boasts a huge political action committee, for her bid for the 15th congressional district.

Kilroy is still running unopposed for the seat. Her opponent in the 2006 general election race, Rep. Deborah Pryce (R), plans to retire at the end of the term, and the GOP is struggling to find a candidate.

Several top choices have already declined to run, and Kilroy’s growing war chest could make recruitment more difficult: She reported $383,000 cash on hand in her last fundraising report.

EMILY’s List, which supports pro-abortion rights women for political office, has also endorsed: former New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne Shaheen2020 forecast: A House switch, a slimmer Senate for GOP — and a bigger win for Trump Lewandowski decides against Senate bid Biden would consider Republican for VP 'but I can't think of one right now' MORE (D) in her Senate bid, Colorado 2nd district candidate Joan Fitz-Gerald (D), Maine 1st district candidate Chellie Pingree (D), presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), Missouri 6th district candidate Kay Barnes (D), Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.) and Florida 13th district candidate Christine Jennings.

The group supported Kilroy in 2006 as well.

— Jessica Holzer


Oklahoma

With Senate Democrats’ growing list of pickup opportunities in 2008, state Sen. Andrew Rice’s (D) uphill campaign for Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeBroad, bipartisan rebuke for proposal to pull troops from Africa Lawmakers push back at Pentagon's possible Africa drawdown Senators take oath for impeachment trial MORE’s (R) seat has flown largely under the radar. But it appears Democratic leaders and his opponents are starting to take notice.

At a briefing with reporters on Wednesday, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerBolton book alleges Trump tied Ukraine aid freeze to Biden investigations: NYT Trump legal team offers brisk opening defense of president Impeachment has been a dud for Democrats MORE (D-N.Y.) suggested Rice might make the state competitive.

Rice raised about $310,000 in the third quarter, a figure Schumer found encouraging.

“State Sen. Rice in Oklahoma is a good candidate,” Schumer said. “He’s going to surprise people.”

Also on Wednesday, the state Republican Party launched a website (www.andrewricesweb.com) attempting to tie Rice to a series of left-of-center groups, including MoveOn.org and Daily Kos.
— A.B.

Pennsylvania

Another candidate has entered the Democratic primary to take on Rep. Phil English (R) in 2008.

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Local arboretum director Kathy Dahlkemper announced her candidacy for the seat last week, joining Erie County Councilman Kyle Foust, Erie attorney Tom Myers and activist Mike Waltner.

English also has an independent challenger in Steve Porter, who ran against him in 2006 as the Democratic nominee. English beat the under-funded Porter 54-42 and is a top target this cycle.

— A.B.


Virginia

Former Gov. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerDemocrats worry Trump team will cherry-pick withheld documents during defense Commerce Department withdraws Huawei rule after Pentagon pushback: reports  Hillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Bezos phone breach raises fears over Saudi hacking | Amazon seeks to halt Microsoft's work on 'war cloud' | Lawmakers unveil surveillance reform bill MORE (D), who is running for the open seat of outgoing Sen. John Warner (R), has attended more than 48 events for specific candidates and the Democratic Party in advance of next Tuesday’s state elections, according to his campaign.

He has also been actively campaigning for the Democrat running against the wife of Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), who until last week was thought of as another potential Senate candidate.

Mark Warner has attended one event for J.C. “Chap” Petersen, who is challenging incumbent state Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (R) in a tight race in the 34th district. Rep. Davis last week announced he would not run against Warner for Senate. Among his reasons, Davis cited the strains of constant campaigning on his household.

“I want to make sure [Gov.] Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineKaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Senate Dems to Pompeo: Comments about NPR reporter 'insulting and contemptuous' Iran resolution supporters fear impeachment will put it on back burner MORE gets some allies in Richmond,” Warner said of his efforts.

— Nathaniel Weixel