Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* As his political career came to an end, Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty (R), who lost a gubernatorial primary most expected him to win, told reporters last night, “The Republican Party has shifted. It is the era of Trump and I’m just not a Trump-like politician.”
* In the wake of his arrest, Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) has suspended his re-election campaign and is prepared to let his party choose a new nominee. With the relevant deadlines having come and gone, New York Democrats are preparing to take the matter to court, insisting that Collins’ name remain on the ballot.
* In the midst of an ongoing controversy surrounding his campaign’s allegedly fraudulent tactics, Rep. Scott Taylor (R-Va.) announced he’s withdrawing from an upcoming debate with his Democratic rival, Elaine Luria. The official explanation is that the debate was sponsored by WHRO, a public-radio outlet in Norfolk, and Taylor disapproves of the station’s coverage.
* In a bit of a surprise, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, a Republican-turned-Libertarian and failed presidential candidate, yesterday launched a U.S. Senate campaign. He’ll take on incumbent Sen. Martin Heinrich (D), who appears to be the heavy favorite for re-election.
* In Kentucky’s 6th congressional district, Rep. Andy Barr’s (R) first general-election ad criticizes Amy McGrath (D) for, among other things, identifying herself as a “feminist.” Why that’s supposed to be a bad thing is unclear.
* Slate had a good piece yesterday on a federal court blocking New Hampshire’s “signature mismatch” law on Tuesday, “prohibiting the state from rejecting ballots on the basis of inconsistent handwriting.”
* And Larry Kudlow, the director of the White House National Economic Council, predicted yesterday that Republicans “will lose seats but keep the House” in this year’s midterms. Given Kudlow’s usual track record – his predictions are nearly always wrong – Democrats should probably consider this very good news.