Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* The scandal in North Carolina’s 9th district is still growing: “McCrae Dowless, the man whose ‘get-out-the-vote’ activities are the center of the election fraud investigation in North Carolina, told a local political campaign volunteer that he was holding onto 800 absentee ballots, according to a new affidavit obtained by NBC News.”
* On a related note, following reports of early voter data being leaked to Republicans in the district, the chair of the North Carolina Republican Party inched closer to endorsing calls for a new election.
* Julian Castro (D), the former San Antonio mayor who served as HUD secretary in the Obama administration, told the Associated Press today that he’s creating a presidential exploratory committee for 2020. It looks like he’ll be the first to do so.
* The party probably won’t call it an “autopsy” the way they did six years ago, but Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel said yesterday the RNC will take a “deep data dive” to help understand why the party struggled so badly in the 2018 midterms. The gender gap, McDaniel said, is of particular interest.
* Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) has positioned himself as one of Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) most ardent intra-party foes, and that may not be helping his career. In an interview with the NBC affiliate in Boston this week, Massachusetts state Sen. Barbara L’Italien (D) suggested she might launch a primary challenge against Moulton in two years.
* With the Senate Republican majority growing a bit next year, Senate Democratic leaders are having to shuffle some committee assignments, but they’ve taken steps to ensure that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) remains on the Judiciary Committee. As the California Democrat eyes a possible 2020 presidential bid, that’s a post she’s reportedly eager to keep.
* And though he says he’s moving to Florida, Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) said yesterday he’s open to running for governor again in 2022 if he’s dissatisfied with Gov.-elect Janet Mills (D). I’d recommend taking this with a grain of salt: LePage’s claims about his plans are about as reliable as Trump’s.