Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* Republican Reps. Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey and Ted Poe of Texas yesterday became the latest GOP incumbents to announce their retirement plans. LoBiondo’s district is one of the most competitive in the Northeast, and will be a key pick-up opportunity for Democrats.
* While Democrats had a very good day yesterday, a Republican did prevail in a congressional special election in Utah. Rep.-elect John Curtis (R) scored an easy victory yesterday in one of the nation’s reddest districts, and he’ll succeed Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R), who retired a few months ago.
* St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman (D), one of only a few 2017 candidates to receive a personal endorsement from Barack Obama, won his re-election bid yesterday.
* In Arizona, Rep. Martha McSally (R) hasn’t made an official announcement yesterday, but she’s begun telling colleagues she’ll run for retiring Sen. Jeff Flake’s (R) Senate seat. Some far-right groups, including the Club for Growth, have already said McSally isn’t extreme enough.
* In Kansas, Gov. Sam Brownback’s (R) former commerce secretary, Antonio Soave, has ended his GOP congressional campaign after the Kansas City Star uncovered suspicious government contracts he awarded to his associates.
* In Ohio, Brook Park Mayor Tom Coyne left the Democratic Party last year to become a Republican and endorse Donald Trump. Yesterday, Coyne lost his re-election bid.
* And speaking of off-the-beaten-path elections yesterday, New Jersey’s John Carman (R), an Atlantic County freeholder, shared a meme on Facebook during January’s Women’s March in Washington asking whether the protest would be “over in time for them to cook dinner.” As the Associated Press reported, one of his constituents, Ashley Bennett (D), was offended, so she launched a campaign against him. Yesterday, the first-time candidate prevailed.