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Monday’s Campaign Round-Up, 1.9.23

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

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

* In a bit of a surprise, Sen. Gary Peters has agreed to serve a second term as chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. The Michigan Democrat, who led the DSCC quite effectively in the 2022 cycle, had previously said he would not stay on.

* Ben Sasse officially stepped down yesterday as a Republican senator from Nebraska, leaving Congress to become a university president in Florida. Republican Gov. Jim Pillen will appoint a successor, but in the meantime, Democrats will enjoy a 51-48 advantage in the chamber.

* A three-judge panel ruled Friday that South Carolina’s 1st congressional district is gerrymandered in a racially discriminatory way and will need to be redrawn. State lawmakers are now facing a March deadline for an improved map.

* In Missouri, Marine veteran Lucas Kunce kicked off a campaign against Republican Sen. Josh Hawley last week, two years after coming up short in a Democratic Senate primary. It is not a coincidence that Kunce chose the anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack to launch his candidacy against the far-right incumbent with a highly controversial Jan. 6 record.

* Quite a few Michigan Democrats expressed an interest in a 2024 Senate campaign following Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s retirement announcement, but Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson pointed in the opposite direction late last week. “I’m really happy in my current job,” the statewide Democratic official said.

* As GOP officials try to embrace mail-in ballots, Donald Trump continues to lobby against postal balloting, clinging to conspiracy theories that have no basis in fact. In a social media missive published late Friday, the former president wrote, “All Republican Governors should immediately begin the process of ENDING MAIL IN BALLOTS (which are fraught with corruption, and always will be!) ... Governors have the power and authority to do this. GET IT DONE, or we will never have honest elections in our Country again!”

* And while House Speaker Kevin McCarthy finally won the gavel early Saturday morning, one of his fiercest intraparty opponents, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, sent an appeal to donors a day later, continuing to accuse McCarthy of being a “squatter” in the speaker’s office.