No Noem. At-large GOP Rep. Kristi Noem won’t run for Senate in South Dakota, sparking Republicans a potentially costly and messy primary with former Gov. Mike Rounds, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports. Former Tom Daschle aide Rick Weiland is the only announced Democrat after other top prospects passed, giving Republicans an advantage to take over retiring Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson’s seat.
Decision Day. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) will also make a decision on Friday as to whether he’ll run for his state’s open Senate seat, the National Journal reports, but it’s not looking likely that the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee will take the risky gamble. Rogers holds a particularly plum post at a critical time, with NSA surveillance tactics under fire, and though he may have been a top candidate statewide, national Republicans were never particularly optimistic he’d jump into what was already an uphill race for retiring Democratic Sen. Carl Levin’s seat. Former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land is already in for the GOP, though others could still run as well, while Democrats have coalesced behind Rep. Gary Peters.
Immigration go time. “In an initial victory for proponents of comprehensive immigration reform, the Senate on Tuesday easily passed a procedural vote to begin debate on the broad bipartisan measure, with just 15 senators – all Republicans – objecting,” NBC News reports. “The preliminary 82-15 vote – which required 60 votes for passage – offers an initial show of strength for supporters of the legislation, although some Republicans who voted for the initial procedural measure say they will not support the final product unless amendments are added to strengthen the legislation’s requirements to secure the nation’s southern border.”
NBC’s Michael O’Brien notes, though, that while Republicans are in agreement something has to be done to fix the country’s immigration system, especially as the party is losing Hispanic voters, a”n internal tug-of-war rages between party luminaries who regard immigration reform as essential to the party’s future health and conservatives who decry the proposal beginning to make its way through Congress as ‘amnesty,’ leaving the party apparatus largely on the sidelines thus far in the current debate.