Friday's Campaign Round-Up, 3.16.18

Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.

* Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) died this morning at the age of 88, following a three-decade career on Capitol Hill. Roll Call  reports that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) will reportedly have some discretion "over when to call a special election."

* At an appearance in New Hampshire this morning, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) offered another not-so-subtle rhetorical shot at Donald Trump. "We have ... succumbed to what can only be described as a propaganda-fueled dystopian view of conservatism," the retiring senator argued.

* On a related note, Flake told the Associated Press, "It's not in my plan to run for president, but I am not ruling it out. Somebody needs to stand up for traditional Republicanism."

* How are Democrats preparing to defend vulnerable Democratic incumbents? The Senate Majority PAC unveiled this new ad today, defending Sen. Joe Donnely (D-Ind.), who's already facing an aggressive ad campaign from the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity.

* According to an AP article, the chair of the West Virginia Republican Party apparently criticized Democratic congressional candidate Richard Ojeda for receiving a military pension. If so, that was probably unwise.

* In Alabama, Gov. Kay Ivey (R) launched her first TV ad of the cycle, claiming she "steadied the ship" after her predecessor, former Gov. Robert Bentley (R), was forced to resign in the wake of a sex scandal.

* Former Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.) announced this week that he won't seek a rematch against Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) this year, citing Donald Trump's unpopularity and the results of Tuesday's special election in Pennsylvania.

* And in Maine, a Republican state House candidate, Leslie Gibson, lashed out at some of the student activists in south Florida working on gun reforms, calling one student a "skinhead lesbian" and denouncing another as a "bald faced liar." Gibson was running unopposed. Now, however, he has a Democratic rival: Eryn Gilchrist told the Portland Press Herald she didn't intend to run for elected office, but she felt "horrified and embarrassed" at the thought of Gibson representing her.