Thursday’s campaign round-up

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.

* After taking some steps towards the race, former Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.) announced that he will not run for the Senate next year. While Rep. Paul Hodes is well positioned as the Democratic candidate, Republicans are now left without a top-tier challenger, though attention is shifting to state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte and conservative businessman Fred Tausch.

* Reports yesterday that Rep. Joe Sestak (D) had announced he would take on Sen. Arlen Specter in a Democratic primary in Pennsylvania next year may have been premature. Sestak, according to his spokesperson, has not yet “made a final decision.”

* For months, polls in New Jersey have shown Gov. Jon Corzine (D) trailing Republican Chris Christie in this year’s gubernatorial campaign by wide margins. A Fairleigh Dickinson University poll released yesterday, however, shows a closer contest, with Christie leading the incumbent, 45% to 39%.

* In related news, Corzine will get some help from President Obama in two weeks, when the two appear at a rally at Rutgers University on July 16. The president will also appear at a Corzine fundraiser.

* Former eBay president Meg Whitman’s (R) gubernatorial campaign in California is off to a good start, at least as far as fundraising is concerned. Whitman collected $6.5 million over the last five months, on top of the $4 million she invested in her own campaign.

* Rep. Artur Davis’ (D) gubernatorial campaign in Alabama got a little easier yesterday when state Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb decided not to run. As of now, it looks like Davis will not face a primary opponent will face off against state Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks in a primary.

* Rhode Island Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts (D) said yesterday she will seek re-election, instead of running for governor. State Attorney General Patrick Lynch and state Treasurer Frank Caprio are now expected to fight it out for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

* Now that his Senate campaign is officially over, will Norm Coleman (R) direct his attention to the gubernatorial race in Minnesota next year? Maybe.