Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* To the surprise of no one, Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen announced this morning that former Gov. Pete Ricketts will fill the vacant U.S. Senate seat left by former Sen. Ben Sasse. Ricketts previously ran a failed Republican Senate campaign in 2006.
* In California, now that Democratic Rep. Katie Porter is running for the Senate, former Democratic Rep. Harley Rouda announced that he’s running to succeed her in the House.
* On a related note, Porter has picked up her first high-profile endorsement: Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts threw her backing behind the congresswoman this morning. It’s notable in part because Warren’s current colleague, incumbent Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, has not officially announced her 2024 plans.
* And speaking of the Golden State’s upcoming Senate race, Porter will likely have plenty of intra-party rivals: Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee reportedly told members of the Congressional Black Caucus yesterday that she, too, intends to run in the statewide contest.
* A Republican elections official in upstate New York pleaded guilty to federal identity theft charges as part of a voter fraud scheme he tried to hatch in 2021. Jason Schofield is scheduled to be sentenced in May.
* In the race to chair the Republican National Committee, Harmeet Dhillon, incumbent RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel’s principal rival, is reportedly facing a whisper campaign from critics who’ve raised concerns about her religion. Dhillon told Politico it’s “hurtful to learn that a handful of RNC members, in a close race for RNC chair, have chosen to question my fitness to run the RNC by using my devout Sikh faith as a weapon against me.”
* In one of last year’s most interesting House races, Democratic Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez narrowly defeated Republican Joe Kent in Washington’s GOP-leaning 3rd congressional district. Yesterday, Kent announced he’s seeking a rematch. As the incumbent was quick to note, the far-right candidate kicked off the race by way of an appearance on Steve Bannon’s show.