Friday’s campaign round-up

FRIDAY’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:

* With Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) announcing her retirement next year, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) almost immediately declared his intention to run.

* On a related note, Dewhurst should probably be considered the frontrunner, but he won’t be the only candidate in the open-seat contest. Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, Railroad Commissioners Elizabeth Ames Jones and Michael Williams, and former Secretary of State Roger Williams are all Republicans eyeing the race. Among Democrats, former state Comptroller John Sharp’s name has been in the mix.

* Sen. Bill Nelson (D) picked up his first GOP opponent yesterday, with Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos (R) noting his intention to run in the 2012 contest.

* Despite his scandals and the investigations into his misconduct, Sen. John Ensign (R) has begun campaigning for re-election in Nevada.

* New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) won’t face voters again before 2013, but a new survey from Public Policy Polling shows Christie tied with Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) in a hypothetical match-up.

* Michigan Republicans had hoped to recruit former state Attorney General Mike Cox (R) to run against Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) in 2012, but he announced this week that he’s not interested.

* Former one-term Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R) presidential plans aren’t exactly a secret, but yesterday he began staffing up, suggesting his campaign will get officially underway sometime soon.

* With Rep. Joe Donnelly’s (D) Indiana district likely to be eliminated in the redistricting process, the likelihood of Donnelly running for governor next year is getting better.

* And while I don’t think anyone was really taking the idea seriously, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) has apparently ruled out a presidential campaign next year.