Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* As if Arizona Republicans hadn’t received enough bad news, a state judge ruled on Friday that attorney general candidate Abe Hamadeh’s election challenge cannot proceed. Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee F. Jantzen concluded that there simply wasn’t enough evidence.
* There was some chatter overnight about Mike Pence filing the paperwork for a 2024 campaign, but the former vice president’s team soon after clarified that the documents were part of an apparent hoax. “Former Vice President Mike Pence did not file to run for President today,” his spokesperson explained via social media.
* In Alaska, a state judge ruled late last week that Republican state Rep. David Eastman is eligible to hold office, despite his membership in the right-wing Oath Keepers organization.
* Rep. Matt Gaetz is one of the ringleaders working to derail House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s bid for House speaker, and the Florida Republican is now pressing Rep. Jim Jordan to seek the job. The Ohioan is currently slated to chair the House Judiciary Committee, and he’s expressed no public interest in the speaker’s gavel.
* The conventional wisdom in GOP circles is that Sen. Mitt Romney, increasingly unpopular in far-right circles, won’t seek a second term, but the Utahan told Politico he’s still weighing his options — though he assumes he’d succeed if he runs. “I’ve faced long odds: Getting the nomination in 2012 was a long shot, becoming a Republican governor in one of the most liberal states in America, Massachusetts,” Romney said, adding, “So I’m convinced that if I run, I win. But that’s a decision I’ll make.”
* Democrats in Pennsylvania won a majority in the state House this year, but there’s a surprising amount of uncertainty about whether they’ll actually control the chamber in 2023.
* And while this might seem like satire, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell recently began raising questions about the legitimacy of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ successful re-election campaign in Florida this year. Pointing to the governor’s surprisingly strong showing in Miami-Dade County, the conspiracy theorist declared last week, “I don’t believe it.”