Ben Smith calls the following a “pretty Shermanesque” statement from Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) regarding the 2012 presidential race:
RUBIO: "No, I’m not going to be on a ticket in 2012."
GREGORY: "Under no circumstances?"
RUBIO: "Under no circumstances."
That’s from an interview airing today on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Nevada “Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) will appoint Rep. Dean Heller (R) to serve the remainder of Sen. John Ensign’s (R) term, Sandoval announced Wednesday, triggering the state’s first ever House special election and altering the dynamic of an already active Senate race,” Hotline On Call reports.
Ensign announced earlier this year that he would not run for re-election. Last week, facing pressure from a Senate Ethics Committee investigating his conduct in an affair with a married aide, Ensign said he would resign, effective May 3.
Ensign’s seat is up for re-election in 2012.
Former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner (R) “is no longer exploring the idea of running for U.S. Senate, he is running,” the AP reports.
Hasner, 41, released a video on his website announcing plans to run. He earlier formed an exploratory committee.
In the video, he said Republicans and Democrats are both to blame for the nation’s fiscal troubles and Republicans need to go beyond just holding Democrats accountable on budget and tax issues and make sure the party adheres to its principles.
He will challenge Senate President Mike Haridopolos and former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux for the GOP nomination. Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson is seeking his third term.
New Mexico Auditor Hector Balderas “announced Tuesday that he is running for Senate, setting up a primary between two rising stars in the state’s Democratic Party,” Roll Call reports.
If Balderas can compete financially, state insiders expect a competitive primary battle with Rep. Martin Heinrich, who announced his Senate candidacy earlier this month.
Alan Khazei “today officially declared he is running for the Democratic nomination for the seat currently held by Republican US Senator Scott Brown,” the Boston Globe reports.
On his website, through Twitter and Facebook, the founder of City Year sent out the same message.
"It’s official,” he wrote. "I’m in.”
Khazei “ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for the seat in 2009.”
North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk (R) “plans to make an announcement Wednesday about running for the seat of retiring Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.),” Roll Call reports.
Signs indicate that he will “become the first GOP candidate to formally enter the open-seat race.”
Kalk established an exploratory committee in January and said Monday that he will make a formal statement about a bid this week, followed by a 20-stop tour of North Dakota — a strong indication that he will officially kick off his campaign.
Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R) “has reached out to both the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) operation to talk about a bid against Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) as part of his continued interest in the race,” Roll Call reports.
Encouraged by recent polls that show him leading the GOP field, Blackwell told Roll Call this week that he is still actively considering a bid against Brown — but it will be several weeks until he makes any kind of formal announcement about his intentions.
“Whether it’s the NRSC, whether it’s Sen. DeMint and his grass-roots operation, people are data-driven,” said Blackwell. “I think when it comes time to pull the trigger … I will be looking at it from 16 years experience running in a very big state. You don’t just come out and build the sort of support base that I have overnight.”
Blackwell said he “will not go public with his decision about the Senate race until after his new book publishes at the end of May.”
Public polls “show Blackwell would be in a strong position to run in the primary, although local Republicans have serious concerns about his viability in the general election, given that in 2006 when he was the GOP nominee for governor, he lost by more than 20 points.”