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Senate ’14

North Carolina: Renee Ellmers Mulls 2014 Senate Run

While Democrat Kay Hagan of North Carolina is considered one of the more potentially vulnerable incumbents in the Senate, the race has been slow to move on the Republican side.  While Dr. Greg Brannon has announced a run and House Speaker Thom Tillis is openly mulling one, no real frontrunner has announced.

That could change though as two-term Rep. Renee Ellmers stated she was “praying on it” in regards to a 2014 Senate bid.  Ellmers, a nurse who catapulted to the House after a fractured primary in 2010, has been considered one of the better candidates to run against Hagan.  Ellmers though, if the comments in the link above is any indication, wouldn’t exactly beloved by the Tea Party movement who might be more in line for Brannon or Rep. Virginia Foxx.

Still, it looks like we are getting some movement here.

Louisiana: Rep. Inches Toward Run As Another Takes The Plunge

Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu has to be one of the luckier incumbents in the U.S. Senate and her good fortune (and campaigning) appear to be continuing.  Landrieu has seen both of her top two challengers, Gov. Bobby Jindal and LG Jay Dardenne, turn down runs against her and now it appears a couple of Representatives are the frontrunners.

One of those is Rep. John Fleming who may be a thorn in the side of the considered “establishment” choice of fellow Rep. Bill Cassidy.  If anything though, Fleming has been the most active potential candidate.  He has blasted Landrieu over her votes on the Affordable Care Act and on tax increases and has also hired John Brabender who was a consultant to Rick Santorum’s 2012 presidential campaign and David Vitter.

Still, if Fleming is the ultimate choice for Louisiana Republicans it could be a blessing for Democrats who want to keep their Senate majority.

After staying quiet for the past few months, Rep. Bill Cassidy has announced he will run for the Republican nomination for Senator of Louisiana.  Cassidy has served in the House since 2008 and also announced that he had raised $500,000 for the first quarter which is a fairly healthy number.

The speculation now rests on Fleming and former Rep. Jeff Landry to see if they will join Cassidy in a potentially bloody primary.

South Dakota:  A Draft Movement Begins

Now that Senator Tim Johnson has announced his run, it appears that local Democrats have begun an effort to draft his son, U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson, to run for his father’s seat.

Brendan Johnson is young but as stated earlier he might be suited best to run for South Dakota’s Congressional seat which could be vacated if Kristi Noem decides to run (and ultimately wins) for the Republican Senate nomination against ex-Gov. Mike Rounds.  The draft movement however, only has 11 signatures including that of Nate Daschle, the son of former Senator and Majority Leader Tom Daschle.

Virginia:  Mark Warner To Run For Re-Election

Though he spurned the idea of running for the Governor’s Mansion in Virginia (after serving from 2002-2006), Senator Mark Warner will run for re-election.  Warner has expressed frustration over partisan gridlock and his recent moves to the left on marriage equality and gun control had people questioning if he would seek a second term.

Warner is a lower-tier prospective presidential candidate but he has deep pockets and could very well be a top VP candidate due to his high statewide popularity in Virginia.

Race For The White House 2016

This might be a little too early but it appears the enthusiasm amongst Hillary Clinton diehards hasn’t ebbed an inch since 2008.  Today supporters announced the launch of a new SuperPAC called “Ready For Hillary” that presumably will raise money to use for a potential Clinton candidacy.

While Hillary, along with every other possible contender, will likely not announce a run (if she decides to) for another two or so years; she has the fans to make a run.  Clinton fans, as of this writing, appear to be the most vocal of all the potential candidates (with respect to Rand Paul of course) but remember; we were all saying this in 2005 as well.

Texas Senator and Tea Party darling Ted Cruz will keynote a speech for the South Carolina Republican Party’s Silver Elephant dinner (yes it’s really called that) in May.  The relevancy of this is that due to Cruz’s rising star and the fact that South Carolina is the third primary of the season; this might be seen as a test run for 2016.