Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* With House Speaker Paul Ryan (R) retiring, Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball ratings now list the race for his Wisconsin district as a “toss-up,” from “likely Republican.”
* While the Ryan news is going to get far more attention, Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) also announced this morning that he’s retiring after four terms in Congress. By my count, he’s the 38th Republican retirement this cycle.
* Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) was sworn in this week as Thad Cochran’s (R) successor, following his recent health-related resignation. Hyde-Smith, a former Democrat, intends to run this fall in the special election for this seat, and if she prevails, she’ll serve the remainder of Cochran’s term, which ends in 2020.
* A Nevada Republican plan to launch recall campaigns against some Democratic state senators has apparently come to an end, at least for now. The Nevada Independent reported, “Nevada election officials say that signatures for the two recall campaigns targeting Democratic state senators have failed to trigger a special election, though an appeal is possible.”
* According to Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), she met with Donald Trump during his transition period and in December 2016, the then-president-elect urged her to change parties. That obviously didn’t happen, and Heitkamp is running for a second term this year as a Dem.
* In Florida yesterday, Lori Berman (D) easily won a state Senate special election – as was expected – prevailing with about 75% of the vote. According to the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, which focuses on state races, Berman outperformed Hillary Clinton’s vote share in the same district by about 14 percentage points.
* And in Iowa, Annette Sweeney (R) prevailed in yesterday’s other state Senate special election, keeping the seat in GOP hands. She won by about 12 points, which is only notable because Donald Trump carried this same district by 26 points.