Tuesday’s campaign round-up

TUESDAY’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:

* Sen. Kent Conrad (D) of North Dakota, one of the top Republican targets for the 2012 cycle, announced this morning that he will not seek re-election next year. Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk (R) has already taken steps to run for the GOP nomination, and former Gov. Ed Schafer (R) may also run. Among Dems, former Rep. Earl Pomeroy is likely to take a long look at the race.

* Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz (D) will launch her U.S. Senate campaign today, a top-tier candidate who won’t wait for Sen. Joe Lieberman (I) to announce his plans. Bysiewicz had some miscues last year, abandoning campaigns for governor and state attorney general, but is considered a top contender for Lieberman’s seat.

* Former Sen. George Allen (R) will reportedly kick off his comeback bid within the week, announcing plans for a rematch against Sen. Jim Webb (D) in Virginia next year. Webb has not yet said whether he’ll seek a second term.

* On a related note, Allen would appear to be a heavy favorite to win the GOP nod in the commonwealth, but far-right activist Jamie Radtke has already moved towards taking Allen on in a Republican primary.

* It was never really in doubt, but Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) announced this morning that he will seek re-election next year. If he can make it through a very likely GOP primary, Lugar is considered a heavy favorite for another term.

* Former President George H.W. Bush has thrown his support to Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams (R) in next year’s open U.S. Senate race in the Lone Star State. Williams is generally not considered a top contender for the Republican nomination, and Bush’s endorsement hasn’t necessarily meant much of late — he endorsed Kay Bailey Hutchison’s gubernatorial campaign, too.

* On a related note, it looks like Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert (R) is also moving closer to running for Hutchison’s Senate seat.

* Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) will clearly seek some higher office next year, but he has not yet said which one. A new outfit called “America’s President Committee,” organized by a former Reagan administration official, has begun a push to draft Pence into a presidential campaign. The more likely scenario is a gubernatorial campaign, but look for a Pence announcement fairly soon.

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