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Friday's Campaign Round-Up, 7.21.17

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

* There's a little over three months remaining in Virginia's gubernatorial race, and Republican nominee Ed Gillespie has decided he needs strong turnout from Donald Trump supporters if he's going to prevail. "Virginia needs a governor who is eager to work with President Trump, not be at odds with him," he said this week. Trump lost Virginia last year by five points.

* By all accounts, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray is preparing to launch a Democratic gubernatorial campaign in Ohio next year. Cordray, before joining the CFPB, was the Buckeye State's attorney general.

* In Alabama's U.S. Senate special election primary, a super PAC supporting appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R) has launched a new ad, highlighting Rep. Mo Brooks' (R) previous criticism of Trump. Viewers are told the far-right congressman is "Wrong on Trump. Wrong for Alabama." The primary is Aug. 15.

* The Washington Post did an interesting analysis of the interviews Trump's done since taking office, which found the president tends to turn his attention to Hillary Clinton, unprompted, very early on in almost every conversation.

* In Ohio's U.S. Senate race, Republican Josh Mandel this week took the unusual step of condemning the Anti-Defamation League and expressing solidarity with right-wing conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich, who's perhaps best known for promoting the bizarre "Pizzagate" theory.

* In Arizona, Deedra Abboud, an attorney and civil rights activist, is running for the U.S. Senate next year as a Democrat. But because Roberts is Muslim, she's also been the target of intense criticism from the far-right. Her would-be opponent, Sen. Jeff Flake (R), encouraged her this week to "hang in there," adding, "Sorry you have to put up with this." [Correction: I initially typed Ms. Abboud's name incorrectly. The text is not correct.]

* And in St. Petersburg, Fla., Republican mayoral candidate Paul Congemi argued this week that he doesn't support having all black people "go back to Africa," just those who support reparations. He added at a local forum this week, "Your reparations came in the form of a man named Barack Obama." I don't think he was kidding.