Thursday’s campaign round-up

THURSDAY’S CAMPAIGN ROUND-UP…. Today’s installment of campaign-related news items that wouldn’t necessarily generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers:

* In one of the nation’s closest gubernatorial contests, former Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) won his old job back in Oregon this week, narrowly defeating retired basketball player Chris Dudley (R), who conceded yesterday. (Interesting tidbit: the last time Kitzhaber won was in 1994 — the last GOP “wave” election.)

* Speaking of close gubernatorial elections, former Mayor Dan Malloy (D) was declared the winner in Connecticut yesterday, narrowly defeating former Ambassador Tom Foley. This is another Dem pick-up — Malloy will succeed incumbent Gov. M. Jodi Rell (R), who decided not to run for re-election.

* There will be no recount in Colorado’s U.S. Senate race — Ken Buck (R) conceded the race to Sen. Michael Bennet (D) yesterday afternoon.

* It may be weeks before we know the final results in the state of Washington’s U.S. Senate race, but as ballots are tallied, incumbent Sen. Patty Murray’s (D) lead appears to be getting a little bigger.

* And in the other undecided U.S. Senate race, it may be quite a while before we know who won in Alaska, but Scott McAdams (D) won’t be in the mix — he came in third and conceded yesterday.

* House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R) gave up his post in the GOP leadership yesterday, and apparently intends to run for governor in Indiana in 2012.

* Another interesting tidbit: after Massachusetts inexplicably elected Scott Brown (R) to the U.S. Senate, his supporters said it was the start of expanded GOP support in the Bay State. Ten months later, Democrats won every U.S. House race in Massachusetts.

* And in case you’ve heard rumors to the contrary, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), defeated this week, “has no interest in challenging President Obama in 2012.”

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.