Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* In a familiar dynamic, Russia has already targeted Democratic presidential candidates, specifically going after Joe Biden, as part of the Kremlin’s 2020 efforts. (If you missed Rachel’s A block last night, it’s well worth your time.)
* Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R) announced this morning he will not seek re-election next year. The move comes on the heels of a controversy surrounding a secret recording in which Bonnen made controversial comments about his party and its members.
* Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is making yet another trip to Kansas this week, reinforcing speculation that the controversial cabinet secretary is eyeing the state’s open U.S. Senate race. Pompeo, a central figure in Donald Trump’s Ukraine scandal, has publicly ruled out a 2020 candidacy, but his trips to Kansas have led many to believe his claims weren’t sincere.
* Trump singled out Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) for support yesterday, insisting during a White House cabinet meeting that the Hawaii Democrat is “not a Russian agent.” Of course, given that Gabbard is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, support from Trump may not be especially helpful for her right now.
* Andrew Yang, a Democratic presidential candidate, told the Washington Post yesterday that he will not run as a third-party candidate or an independent in 2020. Yang also suggested he’s open to running on a ticket with Joe Biden as the party’s vice presidential nominee.
* We don’t yet know who’ll run for the late Rep. Elijah Cummings’ (D-Md.) Baltimore-area U.S. House seat, but Ben Jealous, a former NAACP president and the Democrats’ gubernatorial nominee last year, has said he will not be a candidate.
* Elizabeth Warren’s lack of endorsements has drawn some attention – the New York Times recently noted she lacks the backing “of a single governor, big-city mayor or fellow senator outside Massachusetts” – but FiveThirtyEight’s Perry Bacon noted yesterday that most Democratic officials have remained on the sidelines, for now choosing to endorse no one.