Wednesday’s campaign round-up

WEDNESDAY’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 DCCC is determined to keep retirements to a minimum, but in the second time in two weeks, a center-right House Democratic incumbent is heading home. Rep. John Tanner (D) of Tennessee will wrap up his congressional career after more than two decades. The district backed John McCain last year, and is expected to be a key GOP pick-up opportunity.

* On a related note, Dems quickly moved to recruit a credible candidate for Tanner’s seat, and got the person they were looking for — Tennessee state Sen. Roy Herron (D) ended his gubernatorial bid this morning to begin running for Congress.

* Good news: “A federal judge in New Jersey on Tuesday rejected an attempt by the Republican National Committee to end nearly three-decade-old restrictions on GOP ‘ballot security’ programs that historically discriminated against minority voters.”

* A few months ago, the DSCC tried to recruit Iraq war veteran and former state Sen. Cal Cunningham (D) to take on Sen. Richard Burr (R) in North Carolina next year. Cunningham announced several weeks ago that he would pass on the race, but apparently, he’s reconsidering that decision.

* Illinois state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is the Democratic frontrunner in next year’s Senate race, but former Chicago Inspector David Hoffman is still in the game, and has launched a new television ad. The primary is in two months.

* Republicans intend to mount a serious challenge to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) next year in New York, but so far, the field of GOP candidates isn’t especially daunting. Attention has now turned to Mike Balboni of Long Island, a former Republican New York State Senator and state homeland security official.

* Voters in Atlanta chose a new mayor yesterday, but the results are too close to call, and a recount is likely.

* Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) isn’t surprised he fares poorly in 2012 polls. “[O]utside of Minnesota or a few other places, nobody knows who I am,” he said.