Thursday’s campaign round-up

THURSDAY’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:

* In New York’s 26th congressional district, where a special election will be held to replace former Rep. Chris “Craigslist” Lee (R), a familiar dynamic is taking shape. Local Republican officials tapped Assemblywoman Jane Corwin (R) for the race, but the Tea Party wing has decided she’s not right-wing enough. So, David Bellavia, co-founder of Iraq Vets for Freedom and a far-right activist, is prepared to pull a Doug Hoffman and make it a three-way race.

* In Utah, a new UtahPolicy.com/Opinionology poll shows a majority of voters in the state want to see Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) retire. In a GOP primary match-up against Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the two are tied at 42% each.

* Also in Utah, the National Republican Congressional Committee is already launching attack ads targeting Rep. Jim Matheson (D) this week, 21 months before the next election.

* Again breaking with tradition, Senator Dan Coats (R) announced yesterday he will not endorse his fellow Hoosier, Sen. Dick Lugar’s (R) re-election bid. Lugar will face a primary, and Coats has vowed to remain neutral.

* Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert (R) is resigning today, apparently in preparation for a U.S. Senate campaign in Texas. He’ll join a crowded GOP primary field for the seat of retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R), led by include Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

* In a related note, the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll suggests Dewhurst is the frontrunner for the GOP nod, but the race is still wide open — his support stands at 27%. Among Democrats, former Rep. Chris Bell appears to have the early edge, though no Dems have yet launched Senate campaigns.

* And crazy or not, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) still knows how to raise money — he took in $700,000 on President’s Day.