Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* Rep. George Holding (R-N.C.) this morning became the latest Republican member of Congress to announce his retirement, citing North Carolina’s new congressional map that makes his district more Democratic.
* On a related note, Holding’s announcement comes just one day after Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) said he, too, has decided not to run for re-election next year. For those keeping score, 19 House Republican incumbents are now retiring from elected office, while an additional three GOP House members are giving up their seats to seek statewide office.
* Speaking of 2020 plans, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) still hasn’t yet officially declared her electoral intentions, though the Maine Republican told a reporter yesterday that she’ll announce her decision within the next two weeks. (For the record, I don’t really expect Collins to retire.)
* Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) this morning released a letter from her physician describing her as “very healthy.” Referring to the senator, who turned 70 over the summer, Dr. Beverly Woo, a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, wrote, “There are no medical conditions or health problems that would keep her from fulfilling the duties of the President of the United States.” The letter was accompanied by several pages of medical records.
* John Kerry, a former senator, former secretary of State, and former presidential nominee, endorsed Joe Biden’s candidacy in a written statement yesterday.
* Democratic presidential hopeful Julian Castro announced last night that he’s reached the 200,000-donor threshold – the minimum for qualifying for this month’s presidential primary debate – though his polling support leaves him short of making it onto the stage.
* Though Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hasn’t officially launched a U.S. Senate campaign in his native Kansas, CNN reports the Republican “attended an off-the-books sit-down meeting with a conservative group that included a small number of wealthy Republican donors, which was not on his official schedule while he was in London to attend this week’s NATO Summit.”
* And speaking of prospective Senate candidates, Politico reports that Democratic Party leaders still hope to convince Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) to take on incumbent Sen. Steve Daines (R) next year. The same article noted that there is no comparable effort to persuade former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) to launch a Senate campaign in Texas.