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Downballot: Franken the winner?

COLORADO: Roll Call offers a shortlist for GOP challengers to both Gov. Bill Ritter and his new appointee to fill Ken Salazar's seat, Michael Bennet: "Popular state Attorney General John Suthers (R) is mentioned as a possible candidate for both offices, but if he declines to run for Senate, the GOP may be forced to turn to old political hands: former Rep. Bob Beauprez -- who was wiped out by Ritter in the 2006 gubernatorial election -- or former Reps. Scott McInnis (R) and Tom Tancredo (R). Former University of Denver President Marc Holtzman has also been mentioned as a possible GOP candidate, though he is more likely to try to run for governor."

MINNESOTA: The Minneapolis Star Tribune writes that the state canvassing board is expected to declare Al Franken the winner of the state's thisclose Senate contest. But that doesn't mean the race is officially over. "The board was to meet Monday and was expected to declare which candidate received the most overall votes from nearly 3 million ballots cast. The latest numbers showed Franken, a Democrat, with a 225-vote lead over Republican Sen. Norm Coleman. But after the announcement, there will be a seven-day waiting period before an election certificate is completed. If any lawsuits are filed during that waiting period, certification is conditional until the issue is settled in court."

"Coleman, who led Franken on election night, hasn't ruled out a lawsuit challenging the results, claiming there were irregularities that gave Franken an unfair advantage. The Coleman campaign also has a petition pending before the state Supreme Court to include 650 ballots that it says were improperly rejected but not forwarded by local officials to St. Paul for counting." 

Not surprisingly, Chuck Schumer wants Franken seated. http://www.nypost.com/seven/01052009/news/politics/seat_al___chuck_147247.htm

Not surprisingly, the Wall Street Journal editorial page thinks Franken is the illegitimate winner.

NORTH CAROLINA: Will the Democrats' newfound confidence in places like North Carolina lead to better candidate recruiting in key Senate races? Dems are wooing the state's sitting attorney general, Roy Cooper, to challenge Republican Richard Burr. Keep this in mind: Burr sits in a Senate seat that hasn't seen an incumbent successfully win a second term in four decades.

TENNESEE: Is Harold Ford now more likely to run for Tennessee governor now that Bill Frist has taken himself out of the 2010 race?

VIRGINIA: Over the weekend, Terry McAuliffe said in a webcast that he has decided to run for governor.

"In the video, McAuliffe said he will make his intention to run official on Wednesday as part of a week-long campaign kickoff. The stops include town hall meetings in Hampton Roads, Bristol, Richmond and others, where McAuliffe will unveil plans for job creation, education and renewable energy."