“Former President Donald Trump’s backing of football great Herschel Walker to run for the Georgia Senate seat has been enough to effectively freeze the GOP field in place — even though some Republicans privately worry the political neophyte might fizzle against Sen. Raphael Warnock in a high-stakes general election,” CNN reports.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told party officials that she’s considered stepping down from her post to challenge Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in 2022, Politico reports.
“How serious McDaniel is about running for governor is unclear. Several people familiar with her remarks say that, while she has given consideration to waging a 2022 campaign, she was speaking more out of frustration on Wednesday.”
Former Rep. Joe Cunningham (D) filed paperwork to mount a formal challenge against incumbent South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) in 2022, the Columbia State reports.
ProPublica: “Two of the leading Republican firebrands in Congress touted big fundraising hauls as a show of grassroots support for their high-profile stands against accepting the 2020 election results.”
“But new financial disclosures show that Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) relied on an email marketing vendor that takes as much as 80 cents on the dollar. That means their headline-grabbing numbers were more the product of expensively soliciting hardcore Republicans than an organic groundswell of far-reaching support.”
Andrew Giuliani told CNN he is set to meet with former President Trump next week in Florida as he mulls a gubernatorial bid in New York.
Washington Examiner: “The National Republican Congressional Committee outraised its counterpart, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, by $1.7 million in online fundraising in the first quarter for 2021.”
“Mark McCloskey — the gun-toting St. Louis attorney who drew headlines last year for brandishing an assault rifle at Black Lives Matter protesters — says he’s looking at running for Missouri’s open Senate seat,” Politico reports.
Said McCloskey: “I can confirm that it’s a consideration, yes.”
The Atlantic: “Ron Johnson has brought Republicans and Democrats together: They all seem to agree that they want the senator from Wisconsin to run for a third term next year.”
Former U.S. Education Secretary John King Jr. (D) is launching a campaign for governor of Maryland, joining a nascent but growing field of candidates vying to replace term-limited Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in the 2022 election, the Baltimore Sun reports.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) is leaning toward challenging Sen. Mark Kelly (D) in 2022 after initially moving toward a run for governor, the Washington Examiner reports.
Brnovich has won two statewide elections in Arizona, which means he has survived two Republican primaries — including one since former President Donald Trump came to dominate the party.
Former Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer (R) picked up a key endorsement in his bid to reclaim the governorship, earning the backing of Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS), as he launched a full-throated appeal as the “only conservative” in the nascent race, the Topeka Capital Journal reports.
“It comes as Colyer formally announced his gubernatorial bid at the Capitol Plaza Hotel — a race he already effectively entered when he announced the beginnings of a campaign apparatus in February.”
“Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D), whose profile grew following tornadoes and a mass shooting in 2019, is running for governor, but to win the job next year she’ll need to defeat Democratic primary rivals and then beat an Ohio icon,” the Columbus Dispatch reports.
“Whaley is the first Democrat to officially join the race and her announcement crosses one name off Democrats’ list for an open U.S. Senate seat next year.”
A new Dallas Morning News poll in Texas finds actor Matthew McConaughey leading Gov. Greg Abbott in the race for governor, 45% to 33%.
“However, the film actor and political newcomer could hit potholes in either major party’s primary if he enters next year’s governor’s race.”
Washington Post: “Just months into his tenure, Scott has undertaken a rapid effort to reorient the party committee toward small-dollar digital fundraising, hired some of Trump’s top campaign operatives, made a controversial decision not to support favored candidates in key primaries, and placed himself at the center of much of the group’s communications — to the point that some GOP operatives have privately snickered that NRSC now stands for the ‘National Rick Scott Committee.'”
“McConnell firmly rebuked the former president following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, prompting Trump to lash out on several occasions, including during a private speech this month to GOP donors. With the two most powerful men in the GOP at odds, Scott has taken steps to bridge the divide — including by lavishing Trump with the newfangled award.”
Politico: “The four swing-state Senate Democrats likeliest to face the toughest reelection fights — Raphael Warnock of Georgia, Mark Kelly of Arizona, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada — each raised more than $2 million, posting higher totals than any incumbent senator two years ago. All four had over $4 million in the bank, a total only two senators had at this point in 2019.”
“Meanwhile, House Democrats quickly assuaged any fears that they would struggle to keep up fundraising with their main antagonist, Donald Trump, out of office. Over two dozen of the 45 House Democrats that Republicans plan to target in 2022 raised over $500,000. Four of them, including California Reps. Katie Porter and Josh Harder, raised over $1 million — an impressive amount for the first quarter of an off-year.”
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), the most prominent Republican in Illinois, told the Chicago Sun Times that if Democrats carve up his congressional district in the pending remap, he would consider a statewide run for senator or governor in 2022.
Said Kinzinger: “My intention is to run again for the House. But you know, look, we’re coming up on redistricting, so if I end up without a district, of course that comes into play.”
“Two House Democrats in safe Democratic seats used a party-sponsored video call with donors on Wednesday to solicit help against progressive challengers,” the HuffPost reports.
“The conversation offers insight into how incumbent Democrats in deep-blue areas think about the activist left and use the resources of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, House Democrats’ official campaign arm, to fight off competition within the party.”