Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* The DNC officially announced the participants for the upcoming presidential primary debate. Arguably the most notable exclusion was two-term Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D).
* Believe it or not, as White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gets ready to exit her current job, she’s reportedly had conversations about running for governor in her native Arkansas.
* Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) announced this morning that she’s retiring from politics and won’t seek re-election next year. The news is especially notable because Brooks is supposed to be overseeing candidate recruitment for her party in the 2020 cycle.
* Justice Democrats, which helped elect Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) last year, now has its eyes on Texas’ 28th congressional district. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) is among the least progressive Dems on Capitol Hill, despite representing a relatively safe Democratic district, and Justice Democrats is now rallying behind immigration lawyer Jessica Cisneros’ primary campaign.
* Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) used some rather pointed language yesterday on MSNBC, saying in reference to former Vice President Joe Biden’s candidacy, “You cannot go back to the end of the Obama administration and think that that’s good enough…. We cannot return to the past.”
* Asked this week about a possible third-party presidential bid in 2020, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), the only Republican who supports impeaching Donald Trump, said, “I have no interest in playing spoiler. When I run for something, I run to win.” He added, however, “I haven’t ruled anything out.”
* And Joe Biden this week became the latest Democratic contender to endorse the idea of a climate-specific debate for the 2020 candidates. The DNC, however, insists it will stick to the existing debate schedule and avoid issue-specific events.