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Thursday's Campaign Round-Up, 3.18.21

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


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

* This week, supporters of the recall effort targeting California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said they've submitted 2,117,730 signatures, which should be enough to force the issue onto the ballot, even if some of the signatures are rejected. The governor concedes that his opponents have likely met the threshold, setting the stage for one of this year's premier contests.

* Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) is scheduled to launch a U.S. Senate campaign in Alabama this evening. Brooks, one of the most prominent voices supporting Donald Trump's anti-election efforts, will reportedly have Stephen Miller at his side while kicking off his 2022 candidacy.

* With Interior Secretary Deb Haaland having stepped down from Congress -- she was sworn in as a cabinet member this morning -- New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver announced plans for a congressional special election for June 1 to fill the vacancy.

* While Republican state legislators in much of the country are pushing new voting restrictions, Illinois Democrats are moving forward with plans to "expand ballot drop boxes and curbside voting throughout the state."

* In Kentucky, the GOP-led state legislature this week passed a bill that would require "a governor to fill a vacant U.S. Senate seat with a member of the departed senator's party." There is currently no vacancy to fill, but Kentucky's current governor is Democrat Andy Beshear, and Republicans apparently aren't willing to take any chances. Beshear is likely to veto the new measure, but the GOP appears to have the votes to override him.

* Though Republicans are widely seen as the favorites to keep retiring Sen. Roy Blunt's (R) seat in Missouri, the Democratic field is starting to get a little crowded. The newest candidate is Lucas Kunce, a Marine veteran who did three tours in the Middle East, who currently works for a non-profit organization that combats corporate monopolies.

* And remember former Rep. Vito Fossella? The New York Republican's career was derailed when the public learned that the conservative Republican lawmaker had a secret second family, separate from his wife and kids in New York. (This came to light after a DUI charge in Virginia.) More than a decade after his fall from grace, Fossella is apparently eyeing a comeback: he's running for Staten Island borough president.