Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* Though it was widely assumed that the Democrats’ 2020 presidential field would be the largest in history, this week’s announcements, including Michael Bloomberg bowing out yesterday, suggest the field won’t reach record levels.
* Despite decades of independence, and a brief association with Vermont’s Liberty Union Party, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) yesterday signed a DNC statement committing himself to the Democratic Party.
* In North Carolina’s 9th congressional district, four election workers who tried to help the Republican nominee as part of an illegal election-fraud scheme last fall have now been arrested.
* In eastern Kentucky yesterday, Republicans flipped a state Senate seat from “blue” to “red” in a local special election, expanding their lead in the chamber.
* The news was less good for the GOP in Rhode Island yesterday, where a Democratic candidate won a state House special election, keeping a “blue” seat in Democratic hands.
* Former astronaut Mark Kelly is running for the Democratic nomination in Arizona’s U.S. Senate race, but his relationship with the party is apparently very new. According to the Arizona Republic, Kelly switched his voter registration to Democratic just three months ago, and as recently as 2012, he voted in the Republican presidential primary.
* And in Pennsylvania’s 12th congressional district, which will hold a special election on May 21, local party officials have now chosen their candidates: Marc Friedenberg (D), who lost last fall to then-Rep. Tom Marino (R), will again be the Democratic nominee, and he’ll face state Rep. Fred Keller (R), who received his party’s nod over the weekend.