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 Senate Minority
Leader Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) retiring, some high-profile Republicans in Arizona are already expressing interest in his seat. Rep. Jeff Flake, a close ally of the far-right Club for Growth, appears likely to launch a campaign soon, and Rep. Trent Franks said yesterday he’s “seriously considering” a run.
* On the other side of the aisle, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) had told confidants she would run for the Senate in the event of Kyl’s retirement. That, obviously, was before last month’s shooting. If her recovery progresses quickly enough, it’s possible she might consider the race, and it appears likely other Arizona Democrats will wait and see, at least for a while, what Giffords decides.
* On a related note, with Kyl departing, the race is also on to replace him as the #2 person in the Senate Republican leadership. For now, it appears the race for GOP Whip will come down to Sen. John Cornyn of Texas and Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.
* The right-wing billionaire Koch brothers are making plans for the 2012 election cycle, and are reportedly planning to spend $88 million on conservative causes.
* Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) will seek re-election next year in Utah, but he won’t get a primary endorsement from his fellow Republican from his home state, Sen. Mike Lee. It’s a dynamic with no modern precedent.
* In Virginia, former Gov. Tim Kaine (D) is reportedly “disinclined” to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Jim Webb (D), but we should get a formal decision from him fairly soon. If Kaine skips the race, expect much of the party’s focus to turn to former Rep. Tom Perriello (D).
* Neil Livingstone, an occasional Fox News personality, will reportedly launch a gubernatorial campaign in Montana today.
* Failed U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle (R-Nev.) has apparently ruled out a presidential campaign. Good to know.
* And reality-show star Donald Trump apparently wants some attention as a possible presidential candidate, as evidenced by his odd speech at CPAC yesterday. (Trump didn’t mention in his remarks that he was, up until fairly recently, pro-choice, an advocate of universal health care, and a donor to Democratic candidates. Maybe he forgot.)