Wednesday’s campaign round-up

WEDNESDAY’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:

* Former Republican Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) accidentally slipped yesterday, dropping the pretense of his exploratory committee, and told CNN, “I’m running for president.” His aides soon after said this didn’t mean Pawlenty is formally running for president.

* On a related note, according to Pawlenty, one of his crowning achievements in office was cutting state spending “in real terms for the first time in 150 years.” Is that claim true? To put it politely, it’s a stretch.

* For all of his radicalism, Rep. Paul Ryan (R) represents a Wisconsin swing district, which could conceivably be in play with a credible, well-funded Democratic challenger. With that in mind, Kenosha County Supervisor Rob Zerban (D) is reportedly poised to launch a campaign challenging the House Budget Committee chairman. One related obstacle: GOP officials are about to draw the district boundaries to make it easier for Ryan to win.

* Speaking of Wisconsin, recall efforts continue apace, targeting Republicans in the state Senate, and now Democratic candidates are stepping up for the recall elections. State Sens. Dan Kapanke (R) and Randy Hopper (R) both have credible Democratic challengers gearing up for their respective recall races.

* In Montana, Democrats have been waiting for state Attorney General Steve Bullock (D) to announce his gubernatorial plans, and apparently, the party is getting tired of waiting. Yesterday, state Sen. Larry Jent (D) kicked off his own gubernatorial campaign.

* In Mississippi, Greenville Mayor Heather McTeer Hudson will take on nine-term Blue Dog Rep. Bennie Thompson in a Democratic primary next year.

* And in Florida, likely U.S. Senate candidate Adam Hasner (R) is facing new ethics allegations after a problem with his financial disclosures. One of his primary opponents, Mike Haridopolos, has already been admonished for his own ethics violations.