Monday’s campaign round-up

MONDAY’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:

* Late last week, Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D) of New Mexico announced he will not seek re-election in 2012. He’s the fourth member of the Democratic caucus to retire in advance of the coming cycle — following Sens. Jim Webb (Va.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), and Kent Conrad (N.D.) — making next year that much more difficult for the party.

* In the race to replace Bingaman, some credible Democratic candidates, including state Auditor Hector Balderas and U.S. Rep. Martin Heinrich, have already strongly hinted that they’ll run, and 2010 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Diane Denish is also expected to launch a campaign.

* Among New Mexico Republicans, former Rep. Heather Wilson and Rep. Steve Pearce are both reportedly in the mix.

* In Connecticut, Rep. Joe Courtney (D) announced this morning he is not running for the Senate seat currently held by retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman (I). Two other Dems are already in the race — Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz and Rep. Christopher Murphy.

* On a related note, the Republican field in Connecticut hasn’t come together just yet, but GOP officials are reportedly trying to recruit state Sen. L. Scott Frantz.

* Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano made it official late last week that she is not running for the Senate in her home state of Arizona. A DHS spokesperson told reporters, “She cares deeply about Arizona, but the Secretary intends to continue doing the job that the President asked her to do — protecting the American people from terrorism and other threats to our country.”

* RNC Chairman Reince Priebus’ principal goal at this point is to keep a low profile and raise a lot of money. So far, he’s doing just that — Priebus raised $3.5 million in his first two weeks on the job, and has been largely unseen in the media.

* And in case Dems needed yet another reminder of their difficulties in the South, the party lost a state Senate special election in Louisiana the other day, giving the Republicans control of the chamber for the first time since Reconstruction.