NEW HAMPSHIRE: Former Sen. John Sununu made it official yesterday that he would not run for Judd Gregg's seat in 2010. Republicans are now hoping they get their woman in state AG Kelly Ayotte.
NEW JERSEY: Republican candidate Chris Christie said President Obama's planned appearance at a July 16 rally for Gov. Jon Corzine (D) "adds to the challenge" of beating the incumbent, but will not be a game-changer. "Obviously, when Air Force One lands someplace, it gets a lot of attention… Ultimately these races are going to be decided on New Jersey and Virginia issues." Political scientist Peter Woolley, from Farleigh Dickinson University, "said Obama's arrival in July -- rather than waiting until the September and October campaign homestretch -- underscores the need for Corzine to bring Democrats back into the fold."
VIRGINIA: Noticeably absent from President Obama's health care town hall yesterday in Virginia was Democratic candidate Creigh Deeds. Although he was invited, Deeds spent part of the afternoon addressing secondary school principals in Williamsburg. Despite Republicans' attempts to tie Deeds to the national Democratic Party agenda (the union card check bill, cap-and-trade) Deeds "has been just as busy insisting he wants to stick to state issues that relate directly to the governor's portfolio."
His communications director later denied that Deeds was "distancing himself from President Obama." Already, the President has "spoken to Sen. Deeds on the phone and has signed an email sent to the DNC lists. I am certain there will be more opportunities."
Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell challenged state Sen. Creigh Deeds (D) to a series of 10 debates between now and the November election. Said the Deeds camp: "Creigh is eager to go out and debate Bob McDonnell, but we're going to do it on independent terms." A Richmond Times-Dispatch blogger notes that in 2005, Bob McDonnell was also invited to participate in seven debates when running for attorney general against attorney Steve Baril. At the time, McDonnell's campaign accused Baril of "grandstanding."