Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* In a bit of a surprise, Sen. John Kennedy (R) announced this morning that he will not take on Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) in Louisiana’s gubernatorial race next year.
* In what may be the final big race of 2018, voters in Georgia will pick their next secretary of state tomorrow. Among the issues on the line: the voter-suppression tactics imposed by Brian Kemp (R) during his tenure in this position.
* Less than a month after getting elected to Congress for the first time, Rep.-elect Ross Spano (R) from Florida’s 15th district has acknowledged that his campaign financing “may have been in violation” of federal law. As the Tampa Bay Times reported, at issue are two $180,000 loans the Republican received, which were very likely illegal.
* If you enjoyed this year’s U.S. Senate race in Mississippi, I have good news: you’re about to see it again. Former Rep. Mike Espy (D) has filed the paperwork to run against Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) once more in 2020. Though Espy lost by six points in last week’s runoff, he was the most competitive Democratic candidate in Mississippi in three decades.
* Election officials in Alaska agreed on Friday to reject a mysterious ballot that could break the tie in the undecided state House race, concluding that it belonged to someone who made a mistake and submitted a corrected ballot that was included in the final tally.
* Last month, voters in Missouri easily approved a major new ethics reforms for state government. Republicans in the state legislature are reportedly exploring possible avenues to negate the voter-approved reforms.
* And if you’re waiting for Michelle Obama to seek elected office, it’s really time to stop. “My path has never been politics,” she said over the weekend. “I just happened to marry somebody whose passion was politics. Just because he likes it doesn’t mean that I like it!”