Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* After losing two court fights, Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine) has finally conceded in the state’s 2nd congressional district. In his Christmas Eve statement, the outgoing congressman continued to insist that Maine’s system of ranked-choice voting is unconstitutional, but Poliquin added that he’s decided to end “this confusing and unfair chapter of voting history.”
* The race to take on Martha McSally (R) in Arizona’s Senate special election in 2020 is apparently already underway, with four prominent Democrats weighing candidacies. According to Politico, among the likely contenders is Mark Kelly, the former astronaut and Navy veteran married to former Rep. Gabby Giffords.
* The Associated Press reported late last week that North Carolina’s top elections official issued “an urgent plea nearly two years ago for the Trump administration to file criminal charges against the man now at the center of ballot fraud allegations that have thrown a 2018 congressional race into turmoil.”
* According to a report commissioned by the Senate, Russian operatives launched a social media blitz in support of Jill Stein’s Green Party presidential bid in 2016, all in the hopes of helping put Donald Trump in power.
* At a bill-signing ceremony on Friday, the president took a not-so-subtle shot at Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), saying, “I thought you were supposed to win before you run for president, no?” For the record, Trump hadn’t won a race before he ran for president.
* In Nebraska’s 2nd congressional district, easily the state’s most competitive, Kara Eastman (D) only lost by a couple of points last month to incumbent Rep. Don Bacon (R). Last week, Eastman said she’s already eyeing a rematch in 2020.
* And speaking of Democratic House candidates who came up a little short, a variety of Kentucky Democrats are eyeing next year’s race against Gov. Matt Bevin (R), but former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath (D) won’t be part of the field.