Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* Miami Mayor Francis Suarez claimed this morning that he’s now qualified for next week’s Republican presidential debate. If his claims are true, he’ll be the ninth candidate to have met the fundraising and polling thresholds. (An Associated Press report cited unnamed Republican National Committee advisers who questioned whether his claims were accurate.)
* Speaking of Suarez, the mayor appeared on NBC News NOW this week and Chuck Todd asked why his presidential campaign doesn’t appear to have much of a staff. “We have been very lean and mean,” Suarez responded, adding that he and his operation “don’t want to peak too soon.”
* In related news, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has not qualified for the debate, but he still thinks he has a chance to meet the thresholds by Monday night’s deadline. The debate itself is scheduled to be held in Milwaukee on Wednesday, Aug. 23.
* In North Carolina, the Republican-led legislature is moving forward with election administration legislation that would, among other things, impose new restrictions on casting ballots through the mail. The state’s Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, is very likely to veto the measure, but Republicans enjoy veto-proof majorities.
* In Montana’s U.S. Senate race, much of the Republican establishment does not want Rep. Matt Rosendale to take on Democratic Sen. Jon Tester next year. Nevertheless, the GOP congressman picked up support yesterday from the top two Republicans in Montana’s legislature, raising the prospect of a tough statewide 2024 primary.
* Sen. Tim Scott’s presidential campaign is poised to make some significant new investments, with the launch of an $8 million ad buy in Iowa and New Hampshire.
* And in Tennessee, state Rep. Gloria Johnson — a member of the “Tennessee Three” — has launched an exploratory committee as the Democrat moves forward with plans to take on Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn next year.