FLORIDA: The Miami Herald on Lincoln Diaz-Balart's announcement that he would be stepping down from his House seat: "Within minutes of Lincoln Diaz-Balart's announcement, his brother, Mario Diaz-Balart, launched a campaign to succeed him in the more Republican-leaning congressional district. Mario Diaz-Balart called it a `natural move,' noting that he has represented -- at the state and federal level -- several of the communities in the district."
The Herald speculates on the "domino effect" of Lincoln Diaz-Balart's retirement and his brother Mario's decision to leave his own seat open and run for his brother's. Some possible successors: David Rivera and Anitere Flores, who are currently running for a state Senate seat. And "there's speculation the open seat could entice Democrat Joe Garcia to try again. Garcia came close to ousting the younger Diaz-Balart in 2008, but is now working in Washington for the Obama administration."
INDIANA: A new Daily Kos/Research 2000 finds that Indiana Senate hopeful Dan Coats (R) trails Sen. Evan Bayh (D) 55% to 35% in a general election matchup. The blog writes: "While Evan Bayh could be vulnerable to a true outsider, given the incumbent senator's strong ties to lobbyists, and his wife trading on his position to enrich herself on various corporate boards, the fact that Coats is actually a lobbyist (with Hugo Chavez a client, no less) gives him no credibility on those legitimate issues."
MASSACHUSETTS: The Boston Globe's Lehigh curtain-raises the race for governor: The well-liked Republican Charlie "Baker faces some clear challenges. For one, the former state budget chief will have to explain what his call for tax rollbacks would spell for state services. Further, he's had some brand-denting bumps, such as his recent brief but silly claim that Governor Patrick had inherited a $5 billion surplus. And though the issue is hardly central to state government, Baker's too cute by half temporizing about global warming has raised eyebrows about his epistemological approach."
On the Democrat side: "Deval Patrick has improved his situation markedly when it comes to government accomplishments. The Democratic incumbent deserves real (if not singular) credit for the ethics, transportation, and education reforms of the last year or so, plus an assist on the crackdown on public pension abuses. He's now pivoting to focus more on the business climate, a move that is politically smart, if long overdue. That said, some of his proposed remedies look more like short-term political expedients than reforms truly designed to solve the underlying problems. But though the substantive story he has to tell has improved, politically Patrick finds himself in a difficult position."
NEVADA: "Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki (R) announced Thursday evening that he will not run for Senate against Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)," Roll Call reports.
NEW YORK: "Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand boxed out Harold Ford on his own turf Thursday night, reeling in the coveted endorsement of the New York County Democratic Party," the New York Daily News. (New York County is Manhattan.)
NORTH CAROLINA: Former state Sen. Cal Cunningham (D) announced his campaign team for his senatorial bid. Cunningham's campaign manager, Rick Fromberg, most recently saw success in bringing Rep. Glenn Nye (D-VA) to a House seat in a 2008 upset, CQ reports.
TENNESSEE: "Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam is drawing criticism from a fellow Republican gubernatorial candidate for tapping into his considerable campaign funds to launch a statewide television advertising campaign" so soon before the Aug. 5th primary, the AP reports. Fellow candidate Rep. Zach Wamp said the ad was borne of "big money." The ad was created by Fred Davis, he of Carly Fiorina's "Demon Sheep" campaign, according to the Nashville Post. It will debut today in every major state media market on broadcast and/or cable TV and radio.