Monday’s Campaign Round-Up, 1.29.18

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

* Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.), the House Appropriations Committee chairman, announced this morning he won’t seek re-election. The 12-term incumbent backed the Republican health care and tax plans, despite their effects on his constituents, putting his future in jeopardy. Frelinghuysen’s GOP-leaning district will now be a key 2018 pick-up opportunity for Democrats.

* Steve Wynn stepped down over the weekend as the Republican National Committee’s finance chair following a report of widespread misconduct allegations. What the party intends to do with the billionaire casino mogul’s contributions is unclear.

* CNBC reports that a “network of advocacy groups tied to billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch pledged to spend close to $400 million on campaign contributions and policy initiatives” between now and the midterm elections in November. That will include a $20 million campaign to tout the regressive Republican tax plan.

* On a related note, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) recorded a video message for Republican mega-donors at a Koch-backed event in California over the weekend.

* Following up on Saturday’s installment of “This Week in God,” the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll found Trump’s job approval among white evangelical Protestants at 68%, nearly double the president’s support among Americans at large.

* Officials with the Arizona Republican Party are reportedly working on a resolution that would “heap praise on former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s long career in law enforcement and GOP politics and then gently nudge him to exit this year’s U.S. Senate race.”

* Former Colorado GOP Chair Steve Curtis is on record saying, “Virtually every case of voter fraud, that I can remember in my lifetime was committed by Democrats.” Last week, Curtis was sentenced after having been convicted of committing voter fraud.

* Speaking of Colorado, the latest statewide survey from the University of Colorado shows Sen. Cory Gardner (R) with a 25% approval rating. It’s worth noting that Donald Trump lost Colorado, but Gardner nevertheless votes with the president’s position, by at least one metric, more than 93% of the time.

* And in New Jersey, where Sen. Bob Menendez (D) will soon be re-tried on corruption allegations, Michael Starr Hopkins, a Democratic political pundit and attorney, is launching a primary campaign against the incumbent senator.