THURSDAY’S CAMPAIGN ROUND-UP….Today’s installment of campaign-related news items that wouldn’t generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers.

* The statewide recount in Minnesota is off to a good start for Al Franken. With 18% of the ballots recounted, Norm Coleman’s lead went from 215 to 174, a net gain of 41 for Franken.

* On a related note, a Minnesota judge agreed with Franken’s request for access to “rosters of disqualified absentee voters … to determine if they were properly rejected in the counting of ballots.”

* Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) intended to fight to stay on as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, but he withdrew unexpectedly yesterday. Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas will replace him.

* Mike Huckabee will be campaigning promoting his new book in Iowa today.

* Delaware’s Governor-elect Jack Markell (D) will take the oath of office at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 20, 2009, so that he can name Vice President-elect Joe Biden’s replacement to the Senate before the Obama/Biden inauguration in D.C.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.