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.

* As was briefly mentioned earlier, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D) announced late yesterday that he will not seek a second term in November. Dems don’t seem especially broken up over the news — Ritter’s poll numbers looked very weak — and there are several credible Dems waiting in the wings. Look for former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff (D) or Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper (D) to seriously consider the race.

* With Sen. Byron Dorgan (D) retiring this year in North Dakota, in-state Democratic leaders have apparently reached out to MSNBC host Ed Schultz about a possible campaign. Schultz is thinking about it.

* Less than a day after conceding he doesn’t think Republicans can take the House majority, RNC Chairman Michael Steele spent a fair amount of time yesterday walking back his prediction.

* Rep. Pete King (R) of New York has gone back and forth so many times on whether he’s interested in this year’s Senate race, it’s hard to keep track of where he stands. As of late last week, King told Don Imus he might run. This morning, he told ABC he’s “leaning against” it.

* Speaking of New York, talk of former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D) running for the Senate in the Empire State keeps getting louder. Ford, a center-right Dem who unsuccessfully ran for the Senate in his home state of Tennessee, has apparently had “discussion” with “top Democratic donors” about challenging appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) in a primary.

* In yet another setback for Charlie Crist’s (R) Senate campaign in Florida, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), considered a rising star in right-wing politics, threw his support today to Marco Rubio, Crist’s primary rival.

* Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s (R-Texas) gubernatorial campaign will spent quite a bit of money tomorrow night, buying an ad during the Texas-Alabama college football national championship game.

* And in Florida, Republicans have finally recruited a credible challenger for Rep. Alan Grayson (D), with state Rep. Kurt Kelly (R) kicking off his campaign yesterday.