Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* In Oklahoma yesterday, Democrats won in two state legislative special elections – one in the state House, the other in the state Senate – in districts that had been held by Republicans. According to the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee these are the third and fourth times, respectively, that Dem candidates have flipped GOP seats in state legislatures so far this year.
* Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.) was sworn in as a member of Congress yesterday, after winning a special election in his Los Angeles district last month. There is now only one congressional vacancy: Utah’s Jason Chaffetz resigned two weeks ago.
* The AP reported yesterday on new voting restrictions in New Hampshire, imposed by the state’s Republican-led government: “A new law in New Hampshire requires that voters moving to the state within 30 days of an election provide proof that they intend to stay and subjects them to an investigation if they can’t provide the proof and want to vote in future elections.”
* In Maryland’s 2018 gubernatorial race, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is throwing his support to Ben Jealous (D). Jealous, the former head of the NAACP, backed the Vermont senator’s presidential campaign last year.
* Speaking of Bernie Sanders, the independent lawmaker has a new book coming out, and he’s headed to Iowa to help promote it – which, naturally, is leading to speculation about the senator’s 2020 plans.
* In Oklahoma, former Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is so displeased that Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) is breaking his term-limits pledge that he’s threatening to support a primary challenge to the congressman next year.
* And though Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) is generally seen as the Senate Republicans’ most vulnerable incumbent next year – he’s the only GOP senator up in 2018 who represents a state Donald Trump lost – FiveThirtyEight has a new report suggesting Sen. Jeff Flake (R) of Arizona is quite beatable.