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2009/2010: LeMieux, Rammell, T-Paw

FLORIDA: Charlie Crist has decided to appoint his former chief of staff, George LeMieux, to replace Sen. Mel Martinez in the U.S. Senate. "At 40 years old LeMieux will become the youngest Senator in the chamber when he is sworn in… A Crist loyalist, LeMieux ran the governor's 2006 campaign and emerged last week as a top contender for the appointment out of a field that eventually included 10 names."

IDAHO: The New York Daily News: "Rex Rammell, a long-shot candidate slated to run against incumbent C.L. 'Butch' Otter in the May 2010 GOP primary [in Idaho], made the comment at a Republican rally Tuesday in Twin Falls where talk turned to the state's planned wolf hunt, for which hunters must purchase an $11.50 wolf tag. The hunt is due to begin on Tuesday. When an audience member shouted a question about 'Obama tags,' Rammell responded, 'The Obama tags? We'd buy some of those.'" He told AP: "What I would say to all my Democrat Idahoans: Take a deep breath and relax," he said. "We're not going to go out and hunt Obama." He also told the Times-News newspaper, "I would never support him being assassinated."

NEW JERSEY: Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will campaign for New Jersey Republican gubernatorial nominee Chris Christie next week. Pawlenty, who is thought to be considering running for president in 2012, said he will base his decision in part on whether "the message that I'm conveying, both here and nationally, [is] making a difference."

SOUTH CAROLINA: To mark 500 days until the term for embattled Gov. Mark Sanford (R), Dwight Drake -- one of the Democrats running for South Carolina governor in 2010 -- has produced a Web video entitled, "(500) Days of Sanford," a spoof of the indie film "(500) Days of Summer."

VIRGINIA: Twenty years after Republican gubernatorial nominee wrote a thesis on "harmful social impact of working women, feminists and nontraditional families" and other social issues, the paper has resurfaced as a political rallying point for both McDonnell's supporters and opponents. In the thesis, McDonnell wrote, "Every level of government should statutorily and procedurally prefer married couples over cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators. The cost of sin should fall on the sinner, not the taxpayer." Democratic nominee Creigh Deeds called the paper "a window into archconservative values that belie the moderate image McDonnell has tried to portray." Gary C. Byler, the Republican chairman of a Virginia congressional district, said, "if this is the best they can come up with it just shows how desperate the Democrats are." Larry Sabato, political science director at the University of Virginia, said the impact of the thesis on both nominees' campaigns is still unclear. "It's a piece of the mosaic that is created prior to Election Day," Sabato said. "The only question is how big a piece, and that's up to the candidates."