GOP Senate nominee Katherine Harris of FLORIDA got a little love yesterday when the visiting President urged people at a fundraiser for gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist to "support" Harris, who was also in attendance.
Not counting Louisiana's free-for-all on election day, HAWAII tomorrow becomes the last state in the union to hold its primaries. And unlike past races in the Aloha State, one contest actually bears watching: the Democratic showdown between Sen. Daniel Akaka and his challenger, Rep. Ed Case. As we all know, the last time a Senate Democrat faced a serious intraparty challenge was last month, when moderate Joe Lieberman lost to anti-war Ned Lamont. But in this case, Akaka is being challenged from the right on the Iraq war -- Akaka favors a US troop withdrawal by 2007, while Case opposes that. Other issues in the race are age and ethnicity: Akaka is 82 and Native Hawaiian, while Case is 53 and white. Public polls show Akaka with a comfortable lead, yet no matter who wins tomorrow, Democrats are assured of holding this Senate seat in November. Polls open at 1:00 pm ET and close at midnight ET.
ILLINOIS Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) acknowledged yesterday that "he helped get a state job for a friend whose husband wrote a $1,500 check to the governor's daughter, but said it was 'ludicrous' to suggest the job and gift were connected," the Chicago Tribune says.
Presidential candidate and former Sen. John Edwards campaigns for top Democratic candidates in MINNESOTA tomorrow.
NEW YORK Sen. Hillary Clinton has agreed to debate her GOP foe twice this fall. "The face-offs will be almost back to back. The first will be hosted in Rochester by cable news station NY1 on Oct. 20. The next will be two days later, Oct. 22, at WABC's Manhattan studios."
The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports that some area residents are not happy about Cheney's visit to fundraise for Rep. Randy Kuhl (R) as they were when Bush visited there in March. "Kuhl, who is seeking a second two-year term, defended the visits, saying it's an opportunity for the heads of the country to spend some time in Rochester and learn about the area. But he said the main reason for Cheney's visit is to raise money for his campaign."
The Columbus Dispatch reports on how GOP Rep. Bob Ney's guilty plea on corruption charges is playing in his OHIO district. Voters "are deciding whether Ney's downfall should play a role in judging the candidates vying for his job," but "there is no doubt his behavior has disgusted many."
With a significant lead in his own race, PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Ed Rendell (D) delivered checks to Democrat Bob Casey's Senate campaign yesterday. "It's a contrast to the 2004 Senate race, when Democrat Joe Hoeffel struggled to pry cash out of Rendell donors loyal to the governor's friend, Republican Sen. Arlen Specter."
The New York Times writes up the entertaining gubernatorial race in TEXAS, where recent polling has suggested the contest could be a four-way free-for-all. "Will President Bush's home state stay in the Republican column, where it has been since Mr. Bush won in an upset in 1994? Or will it fall to a Democrat or independent - even a cigar-toting country music satirist touting his political virginity and running on the slogan, 'How hard could it be?'"
In a story profiling Bill Hillsman, the ad guru behind Kinky Friedman's gubernatorial campaign, the Dallas Morning News notes that some past remarks by Friedman could prove challenging for a campaign that was relying on Hillsman to paint a softer picture of him. Hillsman's "task was made all the more difficult this week with revelations of insensitive remarks from Mr. Friedman's past, including a 1997 newspaper interview in which he said 'I applaud teenage suicide' and his use of the n-word in a comedy act 26 years ago at a Houston club... Mr. Friedman said that he was being satirical and that his remarks are being taken out of context. He advised those who want a politically correct candidate to vote for one of his opponents."