Roll Call's Chris Cillizza Notes the White House's special interest in the 2006 Senate races in Florida and North Dakota, with Karl Rove chatting regularly with Rep. Katherine Harris whether she plans to run against Sen. Bill Nelson (D) -- but the question is whether he's discouraging her. North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven comes to Washington this week to meet with the NRSC and the White House, Cillizza reports, while throwing in a good look at the White House's past candidate recruiting efforts.
Roll Call reports that Robert Traynham has heard the siren song of Sen. Rick Santorum and is moving from his current job as communications director and deputy staff director for the Republican Conference back into the Senator's fold -- or back in the saddle, as the case may be.
The New York Daily News reports Fred Steeper and Ben Ginsburg have signed up with Ed Cox's Senate campaign. LINK
The Seattle Times' Alex Fryer Notes the star power of Vice President Cheney yesterday, whose appearance for Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) brought in an estimated $100,000. LINK
Joan Vennochi of the Boston Globe looks at the campaign style of Democrat gubernatorial candidate Deval Patrick who may be lacking in funds compared to his competitor state attorney general Thomas Reilly, but is ahead when it comes to rallying voters with his spirit and passion on the campaign trail. Reilly may need to worry if down the road Patrick's charisma translates into greater campaign cash flow. LINK
Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina could be feeling the pressure of 2006 as the governor already has two Democratic contenders running against him, The State reports. Local mayor Frank Willis threw his hat in yesterday. In addition, Sanford may be up against his own primary challenger, Oscar Lovelace, a local doctor formed an exploratory committee last week. LINK
Washington governor's race -- settled:
In the end, it came down to "proportionate deduction," the Republicans' model for determining the number of illegal votes and adjusting the vote tallies -- and in the end, Judge Bridges didn't go along with it, declaring that Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) is the winner of the 2004 gubernatorial election. "Unless an election is clearly invalid, when the people have spoken, their verdict should not be disturbed by the courts," Bridges said. Republican Dino Rossi held a press conference later in the day, declaring that the makeup of the Washington state Supreme Court would make a challenge there impossible to win, and he would not pursue an appeal.
In his excellent wrap-up, the Seattle Times' David Postman Notes that it took Judge Bridges nearly an hour to read his decision aloud in court. LINK
Jim Brunner of the Seattle Times goes through Bridges' reasoning. LINK
"Still left unanswered, at least to political observers, is what Rossi will do next. Rossi has already begun raising money for a governor's race in 2008, but he could face mounting pressure to run for the U.S. Senate next year against Democrat Maria Cantwell, who is considered vulnerable. . . . Rossi took no questions as to his political future, but has said he is not interested in running for Cantwell's seat," write Gordy Hold and Chris McGann of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. LINK
As of this writing, ">LINKhttp://www.rossiforsenate.com has not been purchased.