KENTUCKY: Conway Won’t Try Again Against Northup
Attorney Jack Conway (D) took himself out of contention as a challenger to Rep. Anne Northup (R) Monday but left the door open for future political runs down the line.
“This was not an easy decision nor the one I wanted to make,” Conway said. “We came so close to winning in 2002 despite being massively outspent and facing many unforseen obstacles.”
Conway lost to Northup by less than 8,000 votes in 2002. His loss was largely ascribed to the political scandal surrounding Gov. Paul Patton (D). Conway was a former top lieutenant in the Patton administration.
“Although I will not make this challenge, I still want to serve the public,” Conway said.
Conway’s departure from the race clears the way for Jefferson County Court Clerk Tony Miller (D) to run in 2004. Miller ran for lieutenant governor earlier this year, and his ticket narrowly lost the primary.
Northup is a perennial Democratic target in her Louisville-based district. Though the seat favors Democrats on the statewide level, Northup has won tight races since first being elected in 1996.
— Chris Cillizza
Businessman Wants To Be Graves-Digger
In an attempt to correct its recruiting failure last cycle, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has lured businessman Charles Broomfield (D) into the race against Rep. Sam Graves (R).
Broomfield owns a self-storage company in Platte County and lobbies the state Legislature. He held a Clay County House seat from 1964 to 1972. He ran for Congress in 1972, losing in a Democratic primary for the 6th district to Rep. Jerry Litton. Litton was killed four years later in a plane crash after winning the Democratic Senate primary.
Broomfield is wealthy and is likely to make a personal investment in the race.
Graves has held the northwestern Missouri 6th district since 2000 when he won an open seat. Last cycle, Democrats were unable to convince a serious candidate to run, and Graves took 63 percent.
Graves comes from the more rural portion of the district in the north, and Democrats believe that Broomfield’s base in Clay and Platte counties — both of which are in the Kansas City suburbs — makes him a strong challenger.
The district is competitive between the two parties, although it tends to be more conservative in its thinking. President Bush would have won 53 percent of the vote there in 2000, 3 percent more than he received statewide.
GOP Establishment Lining Up With Bartlett
Facing his first contested primary since taking office in 1993, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R) last week released a long list of elected officials who are supporting him in his battle against Frederick County States Attorney Scott Rolle (R).
Heading the list is Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) and Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (R), followed by 15 state legislators who represent portions of the sprawling 6th district. Perhaps most significant, however, is the news that state Sen. Alex Mooney (R) has signed on to be Bartlett’s campaign chairman.
Mooney, 32, is one of the rising stars in Maryland Republican politics, and his decision to lead Bartlett’s campaign is noteworthy because some state GOP officials had feared that Mooney would jump into the Congressional race when Rolle did, creating an unpredictable free for all.
Mooney, who once worked on Bartlett’s staff, commands a loyal cadre of conservative supporters and has raised record amounts of money for his two state Senate campaigns.
“Every day, Congressman Bartlett’s conservative voting record makes me proud to call him my Congressman,” Mooney said. “Congressman Bartlett has championed the fight for pro-life, Second Amendment rights, less taxes and less government. For those reasons, we owe him our support.”
— Josh Kurtz
State Department Vet to Take on Van Hollen
Former State Department official Charles “Chuck” Floyd (R) made it official on Saturday, with an announcement at Flaps Restaurant in Potomac: He will challenge Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) next year.
“I decided to run for Congress because there are critical quality of life issues in our district that our current representative is not addressing,” Floyd said in a statement.
Floyd, 53, just left his post as a legislative liaison in the State Department. He is also a retired Army Ranger. Van Hollen won the dramatically redrawn 8th district last year, defeating eight-term Rep. Connie Morella (R). The suburban Washington, D.C., district now heavily favors Democrats.
Two Legislators Prepare If Houghton Retires
With Rep. Amo Houghton (R) not expected to announce until next spring whether he will seek a 10th term in 2004, a state assemblyman has set up an exploratory committee to raise money for a House run in case Houghton retires.
Assemblyman Brian Kolb (R) announced the exploratory effort last week, saying, “It would be a privilege to serve the people of the 29th district.”
Kolb becomes the second member of the Legislature to begin preparing for a possible Houghton departure. State Sen. John “Randy” Kuhl (R) has also set up a Congressional fundraising committee.
Should Houghton choose to move on, several other Republicans could enter the race in the GOP-leaning Southern Tier district. No Democrats have come forward yet. The district would have given President Bush 54 percent of the vote in 2000.
Lungren Gets Nod From 2 House Security Experts
Former state Attorney General Dan Lungren (R) continues to rack up support from Members of Congress in his bid to replace retiring Rep. Doug Ose (R) in the 3rd district.
Late last week, Lungren — who served in the House from 1978 to 1988 — announced that Armed Services Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jennifer Dunn (R-Wash.), vice chairwoman of the Homeland Security Committee, would be backing him.
Both endorsements were designed to highlight Lungren’s strength on defense and national security issues.
Earlier, Lungren had snared endorsements from California Republican Reps. Ken Calvert, David Dreier, Elton Gallegly and Gary Miller. Lungren’s Republican primary opponent, state Sen. Rico Oller (R), has been endorsed by Golden State Reps. John Doolittle (R) and Richard Pombo (R).
Self-Styled David Aims His Slingshot at DeLay
In the most quixotic of campaigns, attorney Richard Morrison (D) will challenge Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R) in the 22nd district.
“I will stand up and fight for District 22 to protect our families and homes with a conservative, common-sense approach,” Morrison said. He is making his first bid for elected office.
DeLay is virtually impregnable in the suburban Houston-area district that he has held since 1984. DeLay was the prime architect behind the redistricting efforts in the Lone Star State earlier this year that could deliver as many as seven seats to Republicans in 2004.
His own district was made slightly more Democratic, but it still would have given 2002 statewide Republicans 66 percent of the vote.
Morrison has launched a Web site, www.takingontomdelay.com, that portrays DeLay as Goliath to his David.