Looking ahead at the primaries and runoff on Tuesday and the latest from the election battles in Kentucky, Texas and Michigan:
Nomination Battles to Be Decided by Voters Tuesday in Four States
Voters go to the polls Tuesday in Connecticut
for contested governor and Senate nomination races.
Georgia is a GOP runoff election. Former Secretary of State Karen Handel
, who had the endorsement of Sarah Palin
, won the July 20 primary with 34 percent of the vote and will face the runner-up, former nine-term Rep. Nathan Deal
who had polled 23 percent. Deal is backed by Mike Huckabee
. A poll published Sunday
by Georgia newspaper had Handel leading by 7 points.
In Minnesota, three Democrats are vying for the party's nomination
to face off for governor against likely Republican nominee Tom Emmer
. A Democrat has not held the governorship since Rudy Perpich left office in 1991 despite the state's Democratic leaning, but the decision of GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty not to run for re-election has opened the door for them.
Rand Paul, Jack Conway Roast Each Other at Kentucky Fair
One of the signature kick-off events to political campaigns in Kentucky is the 130 year-old Fancy Farms picnic in the western part of the state, and the appearance there of Tea Party favorite and Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul along with his Democratic rival, Attorney General Jack Conway, drew not only Kentuckians, but national reporters and C-SPAN.
Paul got off to a less-than-fiery start by talking at length about the U.S. tax and regulatory code, a subject that prompted some Democrats at the fair to chant "boring," reported the Lexington Herald Leader
But he warmed up by reminding the crowd about how Conway had violated the gathering's etiquette last year by describing himself as a "tough son of a bitch" -- prompting organizers to adopt a no-profanity rule for this time around.
"Everybody knows that Jack had to eliminate certain words from his Fancy Farm dictionary: the seven words that you can't say on television," Paul said, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer
. "In addition, there are six more words you won't hear Jack say: President Obama, (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi, (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid. There are three more words you won't hear him say: cap and trade. He was for it before he was against it. Who knows where he is at this point?"
Conway, who denied supporting the cap-and-trade idea which is unpopular here, counter-jabbed at Paul for being quoted as saying "accidents happen" about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
"The accident that Kentucky and the nation cannot allow to happen would be the election of Rand Paul," Conway said. "This race represents a clear choice between my proven record (as Kentucky attorney general) and my responsible proposals for the future, and the risky and radical ideas of my opponent."
Bill White, the Democrats' Governor Candidate in Texas, to Keep Distance from Obama
When President Obama goes to Texas Monday on a campaign fundraising trip, he's probably going to see Republican Gov. Rick Perry -- but not the Democrat that Perry is seeking re-election against, former Houston Mayor Bill White, according to the Houston Chronicle
White didn't seek a get-together with Obama because the paper says he is making a play for moderate voters in this conservative state and is trying to keep some distance between himself and the President, who is not popular here (John McCain carried the state by 55 percent to 44 percent in 2008, and a Rasmussen Reports poll
conducted mid-July said 63 percent disapproved of the job Obama was doing, with 50 percent "strongly" disapproving).
While White has criticized the administration for its spending, Perry has tried to link White to Obama as a fellow liberal. Perry's office said the governor plans to meet Obama when he arrives at the Austin airport and hopes to press him for more federal help in securing the Texas-Mexico border, the Chronicle said.
In Austin, Obama will attend a Democratic National Committee fundraiser where the going price is $5,000 for an individual or $30,400 for a couple. A VIP ticket goes for $15,200. He will also appear at a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee event in Dallas.
First order of Business in Michigan Governor Race: Debating Over the Debates
As often is the case in political campaigns, the first debate is over the debates themselves -- how many, when and what format -- and now that the primaries are settled, the Michigan gubernatorial contest is no exception.
Democrat Virg Bernero, the mayor of Lansing, wants eight televised debates before election day. Republican Rick Snyder, the self-described "one tough nerd" who formerly headed Gateway computers, wants three, and he wants them scheduled before Sept. 18 when absentee ballots are mailed out, according to the Detroit Free Press.
"This isn't the county commission we're running for, come on," Bernero said Friday. "I'll see him three and raise him three." A spokesman for Snyder's campaign said, "It's three debates or no debates."
The Free Press sizes up the adversaries this way: "Bernero, a veteran of politics, is a verbal puncher and master of quips. Snyder the businessman who has never held public office, is deliberate, precise and gives answers that can sound like a boardroom presentation."
Public relations consultant Bob Kolt, who once advised former Democratic Gov. James Blanchard on debates, told the Free Press that while Bernero has more experience, "his rants sometimes remind me of Hugo Chavez" As for Snyder, Kolt described him as "very uncomfortable, very rehearsed, not so smooth."