Category Archives: Election

North Dakota Senate: Brian Kalk Expected to Enter Race

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.

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Ohio Senate: Ken Blackwell Discussing Run

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.”

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New Mexico Senate: Balderas to Seek Democratic Nomination

State Auditor Hector Balderas (D) will be a candidate “for the U.S. Senate seat that fellow Democrat Jeff Bingaman plans to vacate next year,” the New Mexican reports.

Balderas filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission and formally will announce his candidacy next week, a source close to Balderas said Thursday.

Balderas, 37, will face at least one other candidate in next year’s Democratic primary: U.S. Rep Martin Heinrich of Albuquerque.

The news of Balderas’ FEC filing came shortly after the political committee of the largest public employee union — the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees — voted unanimously to endorse Heinrich.

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Ensign Expected to Resign

Senator John Ensign (R-NV) “will announce as soon as tomorrow that he plans to resign from the Senate, according to a well-placed source,” Roll Call reports.

The Nevada Republican announced March 7 that he would not run for re-election in 2012, saying “there are consequences to sin,” referring to an extramarital affair he admitted having with the wife of his former top aide.

According to the Huffington Post, his departure “could clear the way for Nevada’s Republican governor to appoint Rep. Dean Heller (R) to the seat, giving the GOP an incumbent in 2012.”

Ensign’s full statement is linked here. He says his resignation is “effective as of May 3, 2011.”

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) issued the following press release statement:

“From fighting Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada to protecting Lake Tahoe in the north, I have appreciated John’s partnership in working with me to address our state’s needs. He was a strong advocate for Nevada, and worked for many years to improve our state. My relationship with the Ensign family began many years ago with his father, Mike, a pioneer who has been a force in Nevada gaming and tourism for decades. I know this is a difficult time for the family and I wish them all well as they work through it.”

Update (4/22): According to the AP, the “Senate Ethics Committee said scandal-scarred Nevada Republican Sen. John Ensign made the right decision to turn in a letter of resignation Friday, and indicated a nearly two-year probe of his conduct wasn’t over.”

The panel’s chairman, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and the vice chairman, Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, issued a terse statement saying the committee had spent 22 months investigating “and will complete its work in a timely fashion.”

The investigation was expected to end with Ensign’s resignation.

“Senator Ensign has made the appropriate decision,” the statement said.

Update (4/23): Political Wire summarizes some questions being raised as to the timing of this resignation.

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Virginia Senate: Donner to Join Republican Primary Field

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, another Republican is joining the Senate race in Virginia.

Timothy E. Donner, a Northern Virginia television production company owner, has filed for candidacy.

He joins former U.S. Sen. and Gov. George Allen, Richmond-area tea-party activist Jamie Radtke, Chesapeake minister Earl W. Jackson Sr. and Hampton Roads attorney David McCormick.

Donner, founder of Horizons Television Inc. and a member of the Virginia Institute for Public Policy, was described by a spokesman Tuesday as "very conservative" and "closely in line philosophically with the tea party."

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