Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* Republican Party officials in Virginia’s 5th congressional district will choose a new nominee tomorrow to replace Rep. Tom Garrett (R-Va.), who announced his retirement this week. Quite a few contenders have already asked to be considered.
* Speaking of Virginia, the White House yesterday condemned a campaign ad from Dan Helmer, a Democratic congressional candidate in the commonwealth. Helmer, an Army veteran who served in Iraq, says in the spot, “After 9/11, the greatest threat to our democracy lived in a cave. Today, he lives in the White House. ” Deputy White House Press Secretary Raj Shah said Democratic leaders “must swiftly condemn this abhorrent message.”
* Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), trying to get his old job back after a stint leading a pro-Wall Street group, yesterday announced that the state’s current lieutenant governor, Michelle Fischbach, will be his running mate.
* Interested in which senators may have national ambitions? Watch to see who does the most out-of-state traveling in support of other candidates. With that in mind, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) will be in Cleveland tomorrow, campaigning in support of Rich Cordray’s (D) Ohio gubernatorial campaign.
* In Kansas, Rep. Ron Estes (R), who won a surprisingly competitive special election last year, will face a primary rival ahead of his bid for a full term. The trouble is, Ron Estes’ primary rival is also named Ron Estes. As best as I can tell, the two aren’t related.
* Speaking of quirky campaign stories out of Kansas, former state Sen. Jim Barnett, one of several Republicans running for governor this year, announced this week that his running mate will be his wife, Rosemary Hansen. And while that’s certainly different, I should note that Hansen worked at the State Department for 26 years, with multiple overseas assignments.
* Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein raised more than $7 million in the immediate aftermath of the 2016 campaign, which was ostensibly going to cover the costs of recount efforts. The Daily Beast reported this week that Stein, a year and a half later, “is still spending that money.”
* And looking ahead to next week, election watchers should keep in mind that there are a whole bunch of contests on Tuesday, with primaries in California, Mississippi, Alabama, Iowa, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota.