May 15, 2017

5-15-2017 POLITICO Election info on MT,GA & AL….

DISPATCH FROM BIG SKY – 10-day sprint to finish off the Montana special election: Democrat Rob Quist and Democratic Sen. Jon Tester headlined a standing-room-only rally this weekend in Flathead County, traditionally a conservative bastion. Republican Greg Gianforte won by 15 points here in his failed 2016 gubernatorial bid. But Democrats are mining for votes everywhere in the unusual special election between Quist and Gianforte. “These are all voters Rob can get, but you’ve got to reach out to them,” Tester said. “People here in the state, if they know, doesn’t matter what party affiliation you got. They’ll vote for you if they like you.”

NEW SPECIAL ADS – In MT-AL, Quist releases TV ad on Gianforte’s health care comments to lobbyists: “Highlighting two different stances to two very different audiences,” a news anchor says in a clip in the ad. The narrator kicks in: “Gianforte said he was ‘thankful’ for a bill that takes away protections for preexisting conditions and raises premiums. Thankful, because he got a huge tax break in return.” The ad is referencing The New York Times story on Gianforte’s donor call with lobbyists just after the GOP health care bill passed the House, in which he made more supportive comments after previously demurring in public. Watch the ad here.

– In GA-06, Ossoff ad touts local economy: Name-dropping the CDC, local colleges and the Alpharetta tech corridor, Democrat Jon Ossoff again promises to “cut wasteful spending and prioritize high-tech research” in Congress to help keep the Atlanta-area economy growing. Watch the ad here.

Watch for Karen Handel on the airwaves this week: Full story.

2018 WATCH – Some Michigan Democrats have been hoping another candidate could emerge for governor since Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee said no. University of Michigan Regent Mark Bernstein’s name has popped up, and Bernstein confirmed that he met with Democratic Governors Association officials for breakfast on Thursday in D.C. Bernstein said he had no timeline for deciding if he will run for governor but is “seriously” considering it. If he does run, he’ll join a Democratic primary that already includes former state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer and physician and former Detroit public health administrator Abdul El-Sayed.

– 2016 re-run: Democrats’ 2016 nominee in CA-25, Bryan Caforio, announced over the weekend that he will run again for GOP Rep. Steve Knight’s seat in 2018. Several Democrats, including nonprofit director Katie Hill and scientist Jess Phoenix, are already in the race. Caforio lost by 6 points in 2016 and now joins a small crew of candidates trying again this year. On the Democratic side, Angie Craig (MN-02) is currently traveling the district and weighing another run against now-GOP Rep. Jason Lewis, while former NE-02 Rep. Brad Ashford and his wife are deciding which one of them will run next year. Doug Applegate (CA-49), the narrowest loser in 2016, has been running again for months, though he now has a Democratic opponent too. On the GOP side, MN-01’s Jim Hagedorn and MN-07’s Dave Hughes quickly launched 2018 campaigns after closer-than-expected showings for those rural Democratic seats.

– CASH UPDATE – Quist outraised Gianforte in pre-primary reports: “… But Gianforte had more cash to spend in the weeks before the May 25 vote. Quist raised $2.36 million to Gianforte’s $1.77 million from April 1 through May 5, according to his FEC report. Most of Gianforte’s money came from a $1 million loan from the candidate himself, according to his report . Quist’s money came largely from small donations ($1.69 million) … Quist spent $2.38 million and had $669,000 on hand for the final days of the special election, while Gianforte spent $1.49 million and had $826,000 left in the bank on May 5.” Full story.

BROOKS ISN’T DONE – “Rep. Mo Brooks expected to announce Alabama Senate run,” by Campaign Pro’s Daniel Strauss: On Sunday evening, Brooks aides released a set of four media availabilities for Monday, all in Alabama. … Brooks’ office would not say whether the media events indeed meant he was running for Senate, … [but] one Republican who has spoken with Brooks said this was indeed his campaign kickoff” for appointed GOP Sen. Luther Strange’s seat. Strange was appointed after Jeff Sessions resigned to become attorney general; there will be a special election later this year. The primary is scheduled for Aug. 15. Full story.

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