Wednesday’s campaign round-up

WEDNESDAY’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:

* As expected, Minnesota state Canvassing Board agreed yesterday to start a hand recount of all 2.1 million votescast in the Nov. 2 gubernatorial election. At this point, Mark Dayton (D) leads Tom Emmer (R) by 8,770 votes.

* Rep. Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.) conceded yesterday in his re-election bid, losing to Ann Marie Buerkle by 567 votes. Maffei had the option of asking for a hand recount of the more than 200,000 ballots cast, but chose to step aside instead. It brings the net gain for House Republicans to 63 seats. Buerkle, by the way, is a former spokesperson for Operation Rescue, a militant anti-choice and anti-gay organization.

* On a related note, Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.) has narrowly won re-election, as vote counting yesterday showed him with an insurmountable lead over his GOP challenger, Andy Vidak.

* There are now just two unresolved U.S. House races: New York’s 1st district and California’s 11th district. Democratic incumbents currently lead in both contests.

* Don’t be surprised if appointed Sen. Roland Burris (D), who’ll give up his seat next week, becomes the 21st candidate to enter Chicago’s mayoral race.

* Gentry Collins, the former RNC political director who’s marveled publicly at Michael Steele’s incompetence and mismanagement, will now take on his former boss in the race for the RNC’s chairmanship.

* If Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) intends to stay in the Senate beyond 2012, it seems likely he’d have to seek the Republican nomination. “That’s his only hope,” said John Olsen, president of the Connecticut AFL-CIO and a former state Democratic chairman.

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