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Leading Off:

MA-Sen: Taking advantage of a slow news day on Thursday, Rep. Ed Markey became the first prominent Democrat to declare for the special election to replace Sen. John Kerry, which is likely to take place in June (assuming Kerry is confirmed as Secretary of State). Markey's been in the House an incredibly long time: His 36-year tenure in the lower chamber would be the longest of any member of congress who ascended to the Senate. (The current record-holder is Republican Frederick Gillet, who served 32 years in the House, including several years as Speaker, before winning a Senate seat in 1924—interestingly, also in Massachusetts.) Markey has a reputation as a strong progressive and came out swinging in his announcement:

"With Senator Kerry's departure, Massachusetts voters will decide once again whether we want a Senator who will fight for all our families or one who supports a Republican agenda that benefits only the powerful and well-connected. I refuse to allow the Tea Party-dominated Republican Party to lead us off the fiscal cliff and into recession. I won't allow the NRA to obstruct an assault weapons ban yet again. I will not sit back and allow oil and coal industry lobbyists to thwart our clean energy future or extremists to restrict women's rights and health care."
Markey's not likely to have the field to himself, as a number of other prominent Democrats are still considering the race—as is outgoing GOP Sen. Scott Brown. Markey hasn't faced a competitive election since his first primary all the way back in 1976, but he enters the race with at least one serious advantage: He's got over $3.1 million stashed away in his campaign account, considerably more than the six-figure sums that fellow Reps. Stephen Lynch and Mike Capuano (who are also weighing the race) have on hand. And given his reputation and voting record, liberal groups may rally around him as their standard-bearer. For now, though, game officially on.

Meanwhile, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll says she won't run in the special. She joins AG Martha Coakley and Ted Kennedy, Jr. (son of the late senator) on the list of prominent decliners.

Gubernatorial:

HI-Gov: An unnamed source "close to" Rep. Colleen Hanabusa tells The Hill's Cameron Joseph that the congresswoman is "upset" that Gov. Neil Abercrombie didn't tap her to replace the late Sen. Dan Inouye and that she's receiving "a lot of pressure" to run against Abercrombie in the Democratic primary in 2014. Based on the quotes Joseph provides, it almost sounds like this source is trying to add to this supposed pressure—or perhaps create some him or herself. Alternately, Hanabusa could be trying to test the waters and lay the groundwork for a possible primary challenge.

IA-Gov: Former Democratic Gov. Chet Culver confirms in his own words what his former communications director said a few weeks ago: that he's looking at a possible rematch against Gov. Terry Branstad, the guy who turned him out of office in 2010. However, it sounds like Culver plans to take his time before deciding. Meanwhile, two Democratic state legislators say they are also considering the race: state Sen. Rob Hogg and state Rep. Tyler Olson. Olson sounds more likely to enter the contest (even Hogg says he'd be a "phenomenal candidate), though he says he'll wait until after the 2013 legislative session, which concludes in May, to make up his mind.

NJ-Gov: As expected, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has resigned her post, though she hasn't announced any future plans. Back in July, DGA executive director Colm O'Comartun took the somewhat unusual step of publicly touting Jackson as a potential challenger to GOP Gov. Chris Christie, but it doesn't sound like that's on her mind. She may head back to Jersey, though: Jackson is reportedly being considered for the presidency of Princeton University.

RI-Gov: Independent Gov. Lincoln Chafee looks like he's running for re-election, but he has rather low approval ratings and, maybe more importantly, he's a man without a party, hampering him in terms of fundraising and institutional support. With that in mind, the Providence Phoenix looks at the many potential challengers he might face.

On the Dem side, state Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Providence mayor Angel Taveras are the big names. The real question may be who labor decides to back, and, intriguingly, Chafee may be in a better position with unions than either of the actual Dems, and he might further improve his standing by opting to run in the Democratic primary in '14. In fact, the article poses the question of whether Raimondo, apparently more centrist than the current version of Chafee, might be the one running under the indie banner, though a spokesperson confirms that she wouldn't consider that. (There's not much talk of potential Republicans here, though Cranston mayor Allan Fung seems to get top billing.) (David Jarman)

Other Races:

Minneapolis Mayor: Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak announced on Thursday that he won't run for a fourth term in 2013, after 12 years as mayor. The link mentions a number of city councilors interested in succeeding him, but I'm more curious about Rybak's next plans, which aren't discussed. He's long been considered one of the top options on Minnesota's Democratic bench, but if he's interested in running for something in 2014, I'm not sure what it'd be; assuming Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken opt for re-election, he's boxed out of a promotion. (David Jarman)

Grab Bag:

Recalls: After Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's victory in the June recall election, you might have figured the steam went out of the recall movement in general. But Joshua Spivak of the laser-focused Recall Elections Blog is once again out with his year-end catalog of recalls nationwide, and he finds that the number of recalls actually went up in 2012 compared to 2011. This year, there were at least 168 recalls in 93 different jurisdictions, versus 151 last year, though Spivak notes his canvass, while thorough, can't be considered perfect, so it's likely there were more in both years. What's more, the success rate was very high: 82 officials were kicked out while 26 resigned rather than face recall. Spivak expects that recalls will remain popular, and indeed, several have already been scheduled for 2013. For now, though, you can click through for his full roundup.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This soon after his loss to Elizabeth Warren, (15+ / 0-)

    I wonder if Scott Brown really thinks the special election would be a cakewalk back to the Senate.

    I'm thinking it wouldn't be, and there's likely to be some serious money slapped down on the barrel against Brown's efforts.  

    Could he maybe pass on this Senate race and run for Governor instead next time?  Or, since he does seem to have a very healthy ego, could he launch a presidential bid for 2016?

    Bottom line: I want that seat to stay blue, and the deeper the shade the better.

  •  I wish the recall effort against Gov. Rick Snyder (9+ / 0-)

    here in MI would have been delayed and launched a couple of weeks ago after he signed Right to Work legislation.  The initial effort to recall fizzled due to lack of public outrage because MI voters didn't recognize who was pulling Snyder's strings. Now they do, but will have to wait until 2014 to take the state government back to its Democratic roots.  Political ennui allows very bad things to happen, like a GOP controlled state government.
    On the other hand, there was a successful recall of one state rep.  We can correct some mistakes.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 05:35:24 AM PST

    •  Many bought the subterfuge... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bush Bites

      ...that Snyder was "Milliken II", especially certain people who hold leadership positions in MEA and tend to view the Milliken years as the "Golden Age of Public Education."

      I'm sure the various MI Kossacks who write here regularly will acquaint us with properly researched back stories over the coming months. The inside-the-organization finger pointing has only just begun, and will unavoidably spill over into the light of day.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:20:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Snyder seems to be good at picking his spots... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike

      ....and at least shading his motivations from the uninformed voters.

      Something Kasich and Walker have learned the hard way.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:35:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jim McGovern has also said he won't run (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, Answer Guy, betelgeux

    He said he'd rather stick needles in his eyes than run for senate - which is a pity, of all the MA congressional reps, I would have loved to see McGovern running.

    Follow our efforts to turn Southern Worcester County (MA) blue! Greater Blackstone Valley Dems

    by AnotherMassachusettsLiberal on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:03:32 AM PST

  •  Markey sounds like a great progressive candidate (16+ / 0-)

    who would be a terrific addition to the US Senate.

    I just hope that no matter which other Democrats run, the Democratic primary is clean and focused on the TeaBagger, woman/science/minority/LGBT/poor hating right wingers running on the Republican side.

    This is no time for Democrats to be tearing each other down. There will be plenty of dirty Koch/Adelson/Citizens United money for that.

    Filibuster reform now. No more Gentleman's agreements.

    by bear83 on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:17:59 AM PST

    •  I was surprised he didn't run when Kennedy died. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, Aquarius40, betelgeux

      He always seemed like a Senator-in-waiting to me.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:38:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  One Worrying Thing... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      Ed Markey has been in the House for almost as long as I've been alive. For essentially that entire time he's had a very safe Democratic district and has not had a seriously contested election - primary or general - in many moons.
      I wonder if his debate and stump speech skills are up to par, because he hasn't really needed them in so long.

      Almost no one living west of 495 or south of Back Bay or north of Reading has ever heard of him.  If the election were a year or more away, and there was a contested primary to get voters' attention than I wouldn't worry too much about this.  But that's not the situation we're facing.

      He's very much a creature of D.C. Now that can be better for swing voters in MA than being a creature of Beacon Hill, which is the kiss of death in many elections, and a small part of what did Coakley in. But it's a pretty easy line of attack for which Markey has little defense. (Capuano or McGovern would probably have an easier time fighting that tag, even though the latter was a Congressional staffer before his House career started.)

      Don't get me wrong: I'd be fine, for a variety of reasons, with endorsing Markey for my MA-based family...but the idea of a primary where he doesn't have to work to get the nomination because everyone else is scared off too easily, only to find out that Scott Brown or someone like him will out-work, out-debate, out-campaign, or out-maneuver Markey down the stretch and put the seat back in GOP hands frightens me.

      Stuck Between Stations : Thoughts from a bottomless pool of useless information.

      by Answer Guy on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:40:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Are there (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        any MA reps who do have a history of tough re-election fights?  

        I know Tierney had a tough time this year, but wasn't this also his first close election since he first won the seat?

        •  Depends.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          betelgeux

          McGovern finished second in a contested three-way Dem primary in MA-03 in '94 to state Rep. Kevin O' Sullivan, who lost to incumbent Republican Peter Blute in November, because, hey, it was 1994. He then tried again in 1996, and won a contested primary and a close general election, boosted by Bill Clinton's strong performance that year. The GOP put up the best guy they had in the area in Matt Amorello in 1998 and it was a tough election McGovern won. He hasn't really had to break a sweat since then...but knowing that Central MA is a place the GOP really has done better in lately, he's plugged himself into things in Worcester in a way that the rest of the delegation doesn't do in their respective home towns.  

          Capuano had to emerge from a crowded MA-08 Dem primary (it's the safest Dem seat you can imagine) in 2004, winning with 21% of the vote.  Nothing since then really except for a little experience in the primary for that MA-Sen special election.

          Nikki Tsongas has had to work at least a little for re-election every time. Of course, the right Republican in the right cycle could win that seat, which is not true of most MA seats.  

          As for the other people...

          John Tierney had to knock off a Republican incumbent back in '96. Not much between then and 2010, but he's been hammered pretty hard his last two times out. He's probably lucky that certifiable loon Bill Hudak was his opponent in '10 and that he got to face Richard Tisei in a better cycle with Obama coattails and the perception that Tierney's family scandals were overblown and/or stale news.

          Barney Frank had to win an incumbent-versus-incumbent race against Republican Margaret Heckler in 1982. Generally easy races until his last one in 2010 that's already been discussed to death.

          Stephen Lynch won a tight special election primary in 2001. He faced a predictable primary challenge from his left in 2010 that he fought off relatively quietly. His district is odd in that it's conservative by Bay State standards but even after 2010 has very little in terms of Republican bench.

          Bill Keating had a pretty close call to win his open-seat race against Republican Jeff Perry in 2010.

          John Olver's first couple of elections were tougher than later campaigns turned out to be. There were more residual Republican voters in that district back in the '90s.

          So there's not a lot of hotly contested elections, but most people have had to work at least a little bit.

          The only person in the delegation with anywhere near the history of one cakewalk after another that Markey has would be Richard Neal. And while Markey frequently runs unopposed, Neal's district has generally had enough Republican-leaning areas in it to attract someone on Team Red to give it a shot, who gets, depending on the year, anywhere from 30 to 40% of the vote. Those races never make "races to watch" lists but they at least exist.

          Stuck Between Stations : Thoughts from a bottomless pool of useless information.

          by Answer Guy on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 09:46:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Markey (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, Answer Guy

        He might make a fine progressive addition to the Senate but his role in extending Daylight Saving Time to a majority of the year limits my personal enthusiasm for him.  Not that this really matters to anyone else.

        “I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point--race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.” ― Molly Ivins

        by RoIn on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:36:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, That Was His Idea?! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RoIn

          As someone who has to wake up early to start his commute, and that's made a lot harder when it's pitch dark outside...boo.

          Stuck Between Stations : Thoughts from a bottomless pool of useless information.

          by Answer Guy on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:51:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That Was Him (0+ / 0-)

            And to ad insult to injury when he was on TV promoting the idea he'd always say that "when we are on Daylight Saving Time people are just so much sunnier" with this really grating and exaggerated cheerful tone that just annoyed me to no end.

            I've no problem with DSL in the summer but to extend it to a time of year when the nights are longer than the days makes it too dark in the mornings to get moving --  not to mention having school kids wait for the bus in the dark.

            “I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point--race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.” ― Molly Ivins

            by RoIn on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 12:50:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Markey running suggests that he thinks (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dalearden1942, MichaelNY, betelgeux

    we have little to no chance of recapturing the house in the next few years or that we are not going to do much on climate change even if we did.

    •  Being a Dem in the GOP House can't be much fun. (0+ / 0-)
      •  No fun. Boehner has frozen out Dems... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pistolSO, cocinero

        Every bill coming out of the house needs 218 GOP votes before he'll put it on the floor to pass.  Then if goes to Senate/House committee where the Dems are then expected to help pass that bill when Boehner loses his far right.  So all House Dems are is rubber stamps for the eventual committee bill.

        Whereas Senate Dems have a decent shot to hold majority in 2014 and surely will have it in 2016, so Markey could be in Senate majority for at least four of the next six years and work from the Senate side to make the committee bills better for the Dem House to then help pass with no imput otherwise.  

        The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

        by Jacoby Jonze on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 09:33:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Why do you say so? n/t (0+ / 0-)
      •  Seniority (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pistolSO, betelgeux

        Markey would be giving up a lot of it to become the low man on the Senate totem pole.  He's fairly high-ranking on the coveted Energy & Commerce Committee.  And he has a D+15 district he could hold onto indefinitely.

        That's a lot to give up, and I assumed that Markey wasn't interested when the '09 vacancy happened after Ted Kennedy passed away for that reason.

        Of course, there's now a Republican House. And the next election is a Year 6 Midterm, which is almost always terrible for whoever holds the White House, so it's pretty easy to be pessimistic about Democratic chances of winning back the House, between that and all the GOP congressional maps that were drawn after the 2010 wave election.  

        Stuck Between Stations : Thoughts from a bottomless pool of useless information.

        by Answer Guy on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:37:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  How is it that Scott Brown (0+ / 0-)

    wins in the polls against all the Democrats considering a run? I heard this on NPR and I can't believe the people of MA would elect that doofus again.

    I'm pretty tired of being told what I care about.

    by hulibow on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:29:10 AM PST

  •  Martha wanted to enter the race for Mass. Senate. (8+ / 0-)

    But filling out the forms would have cut into her vacation time.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:33:06 AM PST

  •  I hope Capuano is okay with this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, betelgeux

    because I don't want to see him and Markey (either of whom I'd happily vote for in the general) cancel each other out in the primary so that we'd get someone like Lynch (or even worse, Coakley) instead.

    The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

    by raboof on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:37:50 AM PST

    •  Markey passed in '09 and endorsed Capuano IIRC (7+ / 0-)

      So I'd expect Capuano to pass now and endorse Markey.  

      The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

      by Jacoby Jonze on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:45:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Coakley's progressive, Lynch is not. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MethuenProgressive

      And Capuano, whose smear-machine against Coakley helped elect Scott Brown, will never get my vote now, ever.

      Reporter to Mahatma Gandhi: What do you think of Western Civilization? Gandhi to reporter: I think it would be a good idea.

      by tryptich2 on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:03:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Seriously, what's the backstory here? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JBraden

        I'm not looking to pick a fight about the past.  But I was paying attention to that election, and did what I could to drag my neighbors out to vote for Coakley when the time came, and I saw nothing, ever, to suggest that what Capuano did or didn't say or do post-primary had any influence at all on the election.  He lost the primary; his voters out here went on to vote for our nominee.  (Which was pretty much a gimme: anyone who bothered to vote for anyone in the primary in my part of the state was going to turn out to vote for the Democratic nominee in the general.)

        We didn't have the turnout in the general out here, but that wasn't because resentment over the primary campaign suppressed Dem turnout.  Lack of excitement over the actual nominee, combined with excitement for Brown on the other side plus a sense for a lot of low-information voters that he seemed like an okay enough guy that it wouldn't be a catastrophe if he won, is what suppressed Dem turnout.  The people who didn't show up to vote were people who would likely have been utterly oblivious even if Capuano was doing or saying something; but again, if he did even those of us who were paying a fair amount of attention didn't hear about it.  

        So now I'm curious about how things went down from where you were standing.  What didn't we see out here in 413?

  •  Markey is gonna need our help (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    betelgeux

    fighting off the dark money bound to flood into this race for Brown or whoever runs for the Teapublicans.

    Send him $5 here:

    https://secure.actblue.com/...

    Filibuster reform now. No more Gentleman's agreements.

    by bear83 on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:53:13 AM PST

  •  PLEASE MA - Pick a NON DLC Kerry-Dudcrapkis (0+ / 0-)

    sell out, or, in the case of Kerry, and enabler of sell outs

    (pst! what did John Kerry ever do to cut kent or max or joe off at the political knees ?? )

    I lived in MA until I was 29 in '89 - all those sell-out-0-craps I voted FOR cuz they had fancy ivy degrees!

    I didn't think it was possible to work as hard as you had to work to get into an Ivy AND then go into freaking politics AND then NOT be driven by a desire to improve the world!!  

    IF you're gonna be a selfish lying greedy fuck & you can work the system to go Ivy, aren't there more profitable things to do than go into politics ??

    ha ha. stoooooooooooooopid me!

    rmm.

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:53:21 AM PST

  •  Let Barney Frank fill in for 6 months! (6+ / 0-)

    I'd love to see him on the Senate floor ripping McConnell a new asshole every day.

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:56:36 AM PST

    •  I love Barney, but (0+ / 0-)

      I think he wants to retire and enjoy married life.  Plus, let's face it--he's a polarizing figure.  (Mainly the result of conservative smears and gay-baiting, but a polarizing figure nonetheless.)

      I hope the placeholder is someone boring and safe.

    •  Meanwhile, back at the interim senator thing… (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      darthstar, cocinero, betelgeux

      Head and shoulders above all: Barney Frank.
      We know where he stands, he knows the ropes, he won’t run in the general.
      He's brilliant, attacks with a rapier wit, has no filter or tolerance for idiots.

      "Your opponent can't talk when he has your fist in his mouth." - Bill Clinton

      by MethuenProgressive on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:21:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Love to see Culver win (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero

    oh, and the spox mentioned?

    OFA head in the 2012 election and potential SOS candidate against Matt Shultz:  http://www.desmoinesregister.com/...

    Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

    by Loge on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:11:35 AM PST

  •  This is an excellent replacement (6+ / 0-)

    I always considered Kerry and establishment liberal. We need more progressives like Markey in high profile seats.

    Hope he wins!

    -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

    by Blueslide on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:23:36 AM PST

  •  Mayor Rybak (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, betelgeux

    may be in line for an appointment in the Obama administration.  There will be some cabinet opening soon and I would suspect he would be looked at.

  •  Climate change is the most urgent issue. (6+ / 0-)

    Markey would be a great addition to the Senate who would continue Kerry's work on climate change. With such a large campaign fund, it's hard to see why anyone else would get in the race.

  •  Brown would be smarter to run for Governor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBraden

    If Scott Brown runs for Senate in 2013, he'll have Democrats nationwide plus Obama, Michelle Obama, Biden, Bill Clinton and maybe Mrs. Clinton all actively campaigning and raising money for his Democratic opponent.

    If Scott Brown runs for Governor in 2014, most Democrats outside of Massachusetts won't care enough to get involved and the Obamas, Biden and Clintons may spend some time helping his Dem opponent but will be spread out helping in all the other 2014 campaigns.

    Scott Brown would have the same negatives for both campaigns, but negative memories (some of them at least) will have faded by 2014 and his opposition in 2014 would be less intense and less focused than on a singular special election campaign.

    If I were Scott Brown, I'd increase my odds of victory by trying for Governor in 2014, not Senate special election in 2013.

    But then, I've never posed nude in a national magazine so what do I know?

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