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Off to the races: Priebus' outreach to minorities, techies

“Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus will head west this week to hear from minority voters and technology experts as a part of his committee’s efforts to rebuild and modernize the GOP,” Roll Call reports. “Priebus’ four-day swing is scheduled to take him to Denver on Monday for a listening session with Hispanic voters and GOP activists, then to Los Angeles on Tuesday for listening sessions with Hispanic and Asian voters. On Wednesday, Priebus will be in San Francisco for meetings with technology experts; a visit to Facebook is included on the chairman’s itinerary. Priebus will then travel to Seattle for a meeting focused on early voting, an aspect of voter turnout where Republicans continue to trail the Democrats significantly.”

Mitt Romney will do his first post-election interview (with his wife Ann) on FOX March 3.

ARKANSAS: There’s speculation that Rep. Tom Cotton (R) might run for the Senate.

ILLINOIS: The Chicago Tribune: “The complexities of a special primary contest to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress gave way the final weekend before the election to more traditional campaigning as candidates spent Sunday visiting churches and restaurants in search of votes. The three top contenders for the Democratic nomination in the 2nd District — Robin Kelly, Debbie Halvorson and Anthony Beale — each displayed optimism that they would cross the finish line first after the voting is finished Tuesday.”

More: “Several diners told Kelly they recognized her from the TV endorsement ads run by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's super political action committee. Halvorson has been attacked in many of those ads for opposing an assault weapons ban.” Kelly’s the favorite. Here’s Halvorson: "The first thing out of people's mouth is, 'We're voting for you. We're sick of those commercials. We don't want a mayor from New York coming in and trying to buy a seat in Congress.’”

KENTUCKY: The liberal group Progressive Change Campaign Committee is targeting Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell on guns with a new ad, spending about $100,000 online and on TV, USA Today notes. A former Vietnam vet in the ad says, “I only shot my rifle one time this last season. One shot. One deer. But I'd be a pretty bad hunter if I needed an assault rifle to shoot that buck. I support the plan to ban assault weapons and keep 'em out of the wrong hands. Because I know these guns. I know what they can do."

And Planned Parenthood is running an ad against McConnell, too. “Think Mitch McConnell's listening to you? Listen to this,” an announcer says. “McConnell voted to let your boss pay women less for the same work. And he wants to let your boss deny you birth control coverage while men get their Viagra covered. McConnell would cost Kentucky women up to an extra $600 a year for our health care. Call Mitch McConnell. Tell him that with birth control, we all benefit.” (h/t: New York Daily News)

MASSACHUSETTS: Republican Gabriel Gomez, a private equity investor, is out with a video showing him gathering signatures. He mentions that he was a Navy SEAL three times and throws in a little Spanish. Feb. 27 is the deadline to submit the 10,000 signatures to get on the ballot. The primary’s April 30th.

NEW YORK: “Gov. Cuomo has quietly been seeking to raise $5 million to finance an array of television ads promoting his agenda — and he is doing it apart from a secret lobbying outfit that sparked controversy in the past,” the New York Daily News’ Lovett reports. “Donors are being asked to contribute to the Cuomo-controlled state Democratic Party, which technically is responsible for running the ads, sources said. The fund-raising arrangement is a departure from his first two years as governor, when much of the coin used to push his initiatives came from the Committee to Save New York, a private lobbying group that was not subject to state campaign finance law.”

TEXAS: Rick Perry on the prospect of Texas becoming a blue state. “The University of Texas will change its colors to maroon and white before Texas goes purple, much less blue,” he told the Wall Street Journal. (H/t: Political Wire.)… But as one of your Longhorn authors notes, things can always change. Who knew that a Texas A&M football program that struggled MIGHTILY over the past decade would switch conferences and have a Heisman Trophy winner? Things can change.

VIRGINIA: “For the first time in more than a year, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is riding high,” Politico writes. “With a successful weekend vote in Richmond to enact sweeping transportation reform, the popular Republican set himself on a path to leave office on an upbeat note – and turn the page on a string of state-level controversies that have clouded the second half of his tenure.”