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.

* West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D) won’t announce his Senate campaign until after an interim senator is named and after “a special session of the state legislature clarifies the law determining when an election for the seat to replace the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd can be held.” As for when Manchin might name a placeholder, that’s still unclear, too.

* In case you missed it over the weekend, retired Judge Chet Traylor will take on scandal-plagued Sen. David Vitter (R) in a Republican primary.

* On a related note, Rep. Charlie Melancon (D), Vitter’s opponent, is launching robocalls going after the right-wing senator’s Brent Furer problem. A woman’s voice tells voters, “As you may have seen on the news, even after one of Vitter’s staffers was convicted for attacking his girlfriend, stabbing her with a knife and threatening to kill her as he held her captive for an hour and a half, Vitter kept him on the payroll after he was convicted. AND gave him a raise. AND left him in charge of women’s issues in the Senate office.”

* Law-enforcement officials in South Carolina have ended their inquiry into how Senate candidate Alvin Greene (D) could afford the $10,440 filing fee for the Democratic primary.

* Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) was facing a primary challenge from state Treasurer Dean Martin, but Martin has ended his campaign and thrown his support to the incumbent. He cited the federal lawsuit against Arizona’s anti-immigrant law as part of his rationale.

* In Connecticut, gubernatorial hopeful Tom Foley (R) boasts on his website that, during his tenure working with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, it was “routine” for him to be “donning bulletproof vests, dodging rockets and mortars, and avoiding IEDs.” Evidence suggests Foley’s claims are wild exaggerations.

* In Alabama, Robert Bentley remains the frontrunner in the Republican gubernatorial runoff, but incumbent Gov. Bob Riley (R) has thrown his support to former college chancellor Bradley Byrne. The election is tomorrow.

* With no opponents, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) has decided to shut down his re-election campaign operation.

* And on a related note, Democrats also can’t seem to find a candidate willing to take on Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman (R) this year. Mark Lakers (D) was running, but he dropped out last week, citing weak fundraising.