GOP Members Host Ga.’s Westmoreland in D.C.
A majority of Republicans in the Peach State’s Congressional delegation will host an event today in Washington, D.C., for state Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R), who is seeking the open 8th district seat.
Hosts of the luncheon at the Capitol Hill restaurant La Colline include Sen. Saxby Chambliss and Reps. Jack Kingston, John Linder, Max Burns and Nathan Deal. Reps. Mac Collins and Johnny Isakson are seeking the GOP Senate nomination and have not gotten involved in the 8th district primary.
Westmoreland, considered the frontrunner in the race to replace Collins, has raised more than $1 million for his campaign so far.
He faces state Sen. Mike Crotts and former GOP staffer Dylan Glenn, who worked for Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) and in both Bush administrations, in the July 20 GOP primary.
Glenn has been endorsed by former Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.), who lost to Linder in a 2002 primary.
— Lauren W. Whittington
Poll: Castillo, If Funded, Can Beat Dan Lungren
The long-shot Democratic candidate in the open 3rd district race is touting a new poll that shows him 30 points behind the Republican nominee.
Gabe Castillo (D), a financial adviser who is running against former California Attorney General Dan Lungren (R), says the poll shows that voters in the Sacramento-area district will be more responsive to his moderate message than to Lungren’s conservative stances. He has been shopping the poll around to Democratic leaders during a visit to Washington, D.C., this week.
In an initial head-to-head matchup, Lungren had 60 percent and Castillo had 30 percent. The poll of 300 likely voters, conducted for Castillo on May 13 and 15 by Decision Research, had a 5.7 percent margin of error.
In a memo to Castillo, pollsters Bob Meadow and Mark Mehringer attributed Lungren’s strong showing to his high name recognition — 93 percent of voters knew who he was. They also found that Castillo’s positions were far more in line with voters’ than Lungren’s, and that Castillo does quite well when voters learn more about the candidates.
“Our data indicate that with sufficient resources, Castillo can win,” the pollsters concluded.
That may be a tall order, however: Through March 31, Castillo’s campaign treasury was running on empty. Lungren, fresh off a bitter Republican primary in which he spent upwards of $650,000, wasn’t faring much better.
— Josh Kurtz
Business PAC Chooses Stenholm Over GOPer
Rep. Charlie Stenholm (D) was endorsed by the Business Industry Political Action Committee on Monday in his race against Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R) in the West Texas 19th district.
“Business candidates don’t always cut neatly along party lines,” said BIPAC president Greg Casey.
A news release from the group added that Stenholm has “built a strong reputation of forging alliances on key business issues including regulation and trade.”
The endorsement of Stenholm bolsters his case that he is one of the most conservative Democrats in the Caucus.
He still faces a very difficult race against Neugebauer in this strongly Republican seat that was drawn by GOP legislators to favor their party.
Stenholm’s legislative record (he has served in Congress since 1978) likely trumped Neugebauer’s appeals to the group; he has served in Congress for only a year after winning a special election in June 2003.
Neugebauer still has the financial edge. He ended March with $727,000 in the bank to $588,000 for Stenholm.
— Chris Cillizza
McCarthy’s Republican Foe Is Dotting His I’s
In New York political tradition, candidates for higher office need to make pilgrimages to “the three I’s” — Ireland, Italy and Israel.
Hempstead Mayor James Garner, the likely Republican challenger to Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D) in Long Island’s 4th district, is making two of those stops — courtesy of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Garner, who is president of the national organization, is leading a delegation of mayors to Rome this week to report to Pope John Paul II and other Vatican leaders on the conference’s mission to Africa last year. Garner is also attending the third annual international “Glocalization” conference, hosted by Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni, to discuss ways to help children in distress.
Earlier this year, Garner led a delegation of U.S. mayors to Israel to attend the 22nd annual Jerusalem Conference of Mayors.
The Conference of Mayors post gives Garner gravitas, but it may detract from his ability to campaign: Through March 31, he had just $31,000 in his campaign account. McCarthy, who was elected in 1996, had $553,000.
New Names Continue to Surface for Erie Seat
Although national and local party leaders are subtly — and in some cases, not so subtly — expressing their preferences in the tossup race to succeed retiring Rep. Jack Quinn (R), that hasn’t stopped ambitious would-be Representatives from eyeing the race.
Erie County Comptroller Nancy Naples (R) and state Assemblyman Brian Higgins (D) appear to be the establishment favorites for their party’s nominations.
But the Buffalo News is reporting that Buffalo City Judge Tim Franczyk is being urged to leave the bench and pursue the Democratic nomination. The Solidarity Task Force, a political action committee in Western New York that promotes Polish-American interests, is leading the call for Franczyk to run, the newspaper said.
West Seneca Town Supervisor Paul Clark and lawyer Peter Crotty Jr. are already seeking the Democratic nomination.
On the Republican side, Rick Snowden, the owner of a topless bar called Rick’s Tally-Ho, is exploring a run. He told the News that he could spend up to $1 million of his own money to win the seat.
Snowden is no political virgin, having been the Republican nominee in 1976 for a different Western New York House seat.
Attorney Plans to Make Case Against Bradley
A second Democrat has entered the race in the 1st Congressional district, although he is not the powerhouse that Democrats were hoping to attract in their quest to oust freshman Rep. Jeb Bradley (R).
Justin Nadeau, a Portsmouth attorney, entered the race last week, joining software developer Bob Bruce in the Sept. 14 Democratic primary. The filing deadline is June 11.
“We need to get away from the policies of the current administration and Jeb Bradley trickle down economics, tax breaks for the super wealthy and lost American jobs overseas,” Nadeau said in a statement.
Bradley won a surprising 20-point victory two years ago against a well-funded state lawmaker in a district that only leans slightly to the GOP. He faces businessman Bob Bevill in the Republican primary; Bevill finished last in the seven-candidate GOP primary that Bradley won in 2002.