Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* Fresh off his better-than-expected showing in a GOP gubernatorial primary, Virginia’s Corey Stewart (R) is launching a 2018 U.S. Senate campaign in the commonwealth, hoping to take on incumbent Sen. Tim Kaine (D). “I’m going to run, as I always do, a very vicious, ruthless campaign,” Stewart told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
* In New Jersey, one of only two states hosting gubernatorial races this year, the latest Monmouth University poll shows former Ambassador Phil Murphy (D) leading Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R) by a two-to-one margin, 53% to 26%.
* In Colorado, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) isn’t just scrapping the gubernatorial campaign he launched in April; he’s also decided not to run for re-election to the House, choosing not to be on the ballot at all next year.
* The Louisiana Democratic Party became the latest state to change the name of its annual “Jefferson-Jackson” dinner. Going forward, it’ll be the “True Blue Gala” in Louisiana.
* House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) continues to lead an impressive fundraising operation, with his political organization bringing in nearly $33 million in the first six months of the year – which is amazing given that this isn’t an election year.
* Helping guarantee that he remains in the national spotlight, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), asked about whether he’ll run for president again in 2020, said yesterday it’s “much too early” to decide, but he’s “not taking it off the table.”
* And in Michigan, entertainer Kid Rock, a prominent Donald Trump supporter, launched a “Kid Rock For Senate” website. For now, it’s hard to tell whether this is a publicity stunt or genuine interest in a 2018 campaign against incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).