Friday’s Campaign Round-Up, 1.5.18

Updated

Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.

* Two weeks after picking up Donald Trump’s apparent endorsement, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) kicked off his 2018 gubernatorial campaign this morning during a “Fox & Friends” appearance.

* In the fight between Trump and Steve Bannon, billionaire conservative donor Rebekah Mercer is siding with the president.

* On a related note, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked yesterday whether Breitbart News should part ways with Bannon. “I certainly think that it’s something they should look at and consider,” she replied. (Putting aside any personal feelings about Bannon, I think it’s problematic for public officials to offer guidance to news organizations about whom they should hire and fire.)

* With a congressional special election coming up in Pennsylvania’s 18th district, Republicans are acting like they’re a little worried. Two Republican super PACs are investing heavily in the race to replace former Rep. Tim Murphy (R), and GOP officials are pumping money into an “aggressive ground game.” This is, for the record, an R+11 district.

* House Administration Committee Chairman Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) announced he’s retiring at the end of this year. His district is expected to remain in Republicans’ hands.

* Roy Moore’s candidacy may be over, but we’re not yet done with his political operation: Moore’s campaign manager, Rich Hobson, announced this week he’s running against Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.) in a GOP primary this year.

* On a related note, it turns out Roy Moore’s Jewish lawyer isn’t Jewish.

* And in New York, Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro (R) announced yesterday he’s skipping this year’s gubernatorial race. It’s the second time this week that a prominent state Republican has bowed out of consideration, leaving the party without a top-tier challenger for Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) as he seeks a third term.