Tuesday’s campaign round-up

TUESDAY’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.

* Former Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R) is poised to formally announce a gubernatorial campaign in Rhode Island. Chafee parted ways with the Republican Party after his 2006 defeat, and it’s unclear what party affiliation he’ll use in next year’s campaign.

* In a setback for DCCC recruiting, Alabama Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks (D) announced that he will not run for Congress next year, and will instead continue his gubernatorial campaign. Party leaders hoped to see Sparks run against Rep. Park Griffith, who became a Republican last week.

* Rep. Mark Kirk (R) is the leading Republican candidate in Illinois’ 2010 Senate race, prompting some desperation from his primary challenger, Andy Martin. This week, Martin, a right-wing lawyer, launched a radio ad speculating as to whether Kirk “is a homosexual.” Subtle.

* Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) isn’t up for re-election until 2012, but if Gov. Dave Heineman (R) decides to challenge him, a new Rasmussen poll suggests Nelson would be a big underdog.

* In Maryland, former state lawmaker George W. Owings III is poised to challenge incumbent Gov. Martin O’Malley in a Democratic gubernatorial primary. Owings, perhaps best known for his work in former Gov. Bob Ehrlich’s Republican administration, apparently intends to challenge O’Malley from the right.

* Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal (D) would appear ineligible for a third term — the state has a term-limits law — but he’s apparently commissioned a poll to “assess his political standing as he considers whether to challenge a state law that prohibits governors from serving three terms.” If Freudenthal decides to step down after eight years in office, he’ll likely throw his support to state Sen. Mike Massie (D).