Monday’s campaign round-up

MONDAY’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.

* Wondering when New York’s Senate vacancy will be filled? Gov. David Paterson said to expect an announcement within two or three days of Hillary Clinton’s confirmation.

* Five years ago, Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ken.) won re-election despite odd and erratic personal behavior. Now, a year before another re-election fight, Bunning is acting strangely again, including not having shown up yet for the 111th Congress. The Louisville Courier-Journal tracked him down, but he would not explain why he hasn’t appeared on the Hill alongside his colleagues.

* Democratic state Senator Dan Gelber will run for the open U.S. Senate race in Florida next year. U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd (D-Fla.), the only Democrat in Congress to endorse Bush’s Social Security privatization scheme, is also considering the race and is “very close to a decision.”

* On a related note, U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV (R-Fla.) — the son and grandson of senators, and great-grandson and great-great grandson of congressmen — is also eyeing Florida’s open Senate race next year, and has received “very positive feedback from a lot of big money players all around the state.”

* Former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.) only served one term before retiring from Congress, but he’s not quite done with politics. Dayton is apparently preparing to run for governor in 2010.

* And in my adopted home state of Vermont, there’s no real indication that Gov. Jim Douglas (R) plans to challenge Sen. Pat Leahy (D) next year, but a Research 2000 poll should discourage Douglas from even thinking about it — Leahy leads in a hypothetical match-up by 22 points.