Today’s installment of campaign-related news items that won’t necessarily generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers:
* It appears the 2016 presidential campaign is, for better or for worse, officially underway. Former Sen. Jim Webb (D) of Virginia has launched a presidential exploratory committee and a campaign website.
* There are still some unresolved U.S. House races, though some of these races are finally being called. Last night, for example, the Associated Press declared Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.) the winner in his re-election bid, prevailing by just 1,319 votes.
* On a related note, Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.) also appears to have prevailed, narrowly defeating former Rep. Doug Ose (R-Calif.). Though several California Dems were targeted in 2014, none of them lost.
* Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) hasn’t announced the details of his 2016 plans, which will get complicated because of Kentucky’s election laws. He told Salon yesterday, ”Well, we’re definitely running for reelection for the U.S. Senate and we’ll actually have an announcement on that probably next week, but we will run for reelection. On the other, there are various possibilities that have been discussed in the media on how to do it.”
* It’s not yet clear who’ll succeed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) as the chair of the Republican Governors Association, but Tennessee’s Bill Haslam (R) has emerged as an unlikely frontrunner for the post.
* In Kansas, Sen. Jerry Moran (R) is up for re-election in 2016 and there’s already chatter about a potential primary. Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R), a constant thorn in House Speaker John Boehner’s side, was asked yesterday about his Senate ambitions. “We haven’t decided what we’re doing yet, so that’s a good question,” he replied.
* Speaking of possible Republican Senate primaries, Sen. John McCain (R) appears likely to run for a sixth term, though Rep. David Schweikert (R) didn’t deny yesterday that he may take on the longtime incumbent.
* Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) will no doubt be targeted heavily in Nevada in 2016, but Rep. Mark Amodei (R) announced yesterday that he won’t be a U.S. Senate candidate, at least not in the next election cycle.
* And there’s apparently no chance of Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) running for president anytime soon. Asked if he had national ambitions, the governor said yesterday, “No, my God.”