End of Week Rundown

    • Pennsylvania: Demonstrating the Republican establishment’s continued displeasure with Pat Toomey, several GOP names continue to get bandied about, including Rep. Jim Gerlach, former Lt. Gov. Bill Scranton, state Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, Lt. Gov. Joe Scarnati, and former U.S. Attorney Pat Meehan.  Additionally, a longtime law enforcement/public safety officer, Rob Townsend, says that he is entering the race for the Republican nomination for Senate in 2010.Elsewhere, Congressman Joe Sestak continues his ubiquity, this time both discussing repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell on Rachel Maddow (Congressman Sestak joins the conversation at about the 6-minute mark in the video) and also in a phone interview with Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks.  In other news, recently-Republican Arlen Specter is taking it from the right and the left in new ads.  The right-wing “Workforce Fairness Institute” uses ham-handed rhetoric (“forced choice”) to warn Pennsylvanians of Specter flipping back on his Employee Free Choice Act flip-flop, while MoveOn.org highlights Specter’s nay vote on “cramdown,” which put banks before families.  Both videos are below.
  • Oklahoma: Could we see a competitive 2010 Senate race in Oklahoma after all?

    The word from the Sooner State is that Gov. Brad Henry (D), a moderate Democrat, is getting lots of pressure from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to run for the US Senate next year if — as is looking likely — US Sen. Tom Coburn (R) decides to step down. Henry has managed to stay reasonably popular despite having to contend with a Republican legislature. Coburn, who has yet to say yea or nay on a 2010 re-election bid, raised only a pittance ($17,000) in the 1st Quarter, which suggests he isn’t planning to run again.

    Coburn remains uncommitted about a re-election bid, and his fundraising numbers (including only $57,000 in cash-on-hand) scream retirement.  Governor Henry has not sounded enthusiastic about a Senate bid thus far, but maybe he just doesn’t want to clash with Coburn.  Could an open seat race pique his interest?  Governor Henry is term-limited and very popular despite Oklahoma’s Republican tilt.  Keep an eye out.

  • Kentucky: Will Republican Jim Bunning announce his retirement tomorrow?  Stay tuned.
  • Utah: Republican state Attorney General Mark Shurtleff will hold a press conference on Wednesday, May 20 in Salt Lake City at which he will announce whether or not he will challenge Republican Bob Bennett in a 2010 GOP Senate primary.  Attorney General Shurtleff says that he is “99 percent sure” of what his decision will be.  AG Shurtleff isn’t up for re-election to his current office until 2012, so he wouldn’t have to give up his office to run for Senate, suggesting that he might run.  If a Shurtleff-Bennett primary is costly and divisive, Democrats could take advantage given the candidacy of Sam Granato, businessman and Chairman of the Utah Liquor Control Commission.
  • Texas: Although some operate under the impression that there will be a May 2010 special election for the Senate seat from which Kay Bailey Hutchison will ostensibly resign months before, KBH remains publicly cryptic about her plans.  The Guru’s prediction: a December resignation and a Spring ’10 special.
  • Colorado: Republican businessman Cleve Tidwell is joining the crowded primary on the GOP side to see who will face Senator Michael Bennet in 2010, a primary that already includes Aurora city Councilman Ryan Frazer and Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck.
  • Illinois: White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is reportedly talking up businessman and RFK-son Chris Kennedy as a strong potential Democratic candidate for Senate in 2010.  This is a particularly interesting development given the close relationship between President Obama and Illinois state Treasurer & announced Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias.  Those close to Kennedy say that a 2010 Senate bid is a “done deal.”
  • New York: The New York Times profiles Senator Chuck Schumer’s support for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
  • Missouri: Further burnishing Sarah Steelman’s “outsider” credentials, Republican Congresscritter Roy Blunt snared the endorsement of retiring Kit Bond as well as the endorsement of fellow Rep. Jo Ann Emerson.

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