Friday Notebook Dump: N.Y. Senate, N.M. 01 and More
With the week drawing to a close, here are few political stories to mull over the weekend:
* In the wake of New York Gov. George Pataki's (R) endorsement of Jeanine Pirro for the Senate, attorney Ed Cox ended his campaign this afternoon. "The Governor is the leader of the Republican Party," said Cox in a statement. "Out of respect for his position and his decision, I have decided to stop my campaign for the United States Senate." Cox's departure leaves Pirro, the former Westchester County district attorney, as well as former Yonkers mayor John Spencer and tax attorney William Brenner in the race on the Republican side. The winner faces Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) in November 2006.
* As anticipated yesterday in The Fix, New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid (D) confirmed Friday she will challenge Rep. Heather Wilson (R) next year in the state's First District.
"I intend to seek election to Congress because change is desperately needed in Washington," said Madrid in a statement. "The marriage of special interest politics and the Republican leadership of George Bush and Tom DeLay and the complicity of Heather Wilson have failed New Mexicans."
Madrid appears to be the most serious Democratic candidate Wilson has faced since winning her Albuquerque-area seat in a 1998 special election. Madrid was elected to her current post in 1998 and reelected in 2002. Her Hispanic heritage is also likely to help her in a district that is approximately 43 percent Hispanic, according to the 2000 Census.
* Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) will be on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday morning to "discuss the Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers and events in Iraq," according to an e-mail sent to The Fix by his leadership political action committee -- Unite Our States. If the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination was decided by appearances on the Sunday talk shows, Biden would win in a walk. Through Oct. 2, Biden was on 21 Sunday shows in 2005, according to tabulations made by Roll Call newspaper. The next most-frequent guest among Democratic senators was Connecticut's Chris Dodd with 10 appearances.
* In response to yesterday's post on the newly open seat in Ohio's 13th District, readers sent in a handful of other names considering the race. Aside from Sawyer, Summit County Democratic Chairman Wayne Jones and Lorain County Commissioner Ted Kalo are also weighing a race on the Democratic side. And, it's still too early to rule out a bid by Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic (D).
Republicans took issue with the idea that the Akron-based 13th District is solidly Democratic, pointing out that several statewide GOP candidates (including Sen. George Voinovich and state Attorney General Jim Petro) have carried the district in recent elections. The Republican mayors of Elyria (Bill Grace) and Lorain (Craig Foltin) are both considering the race, as is Williams & Jensen partner Michael Beer. Beer currently lives in Virginia but is from the district and worked for Ohio Rep. Dave Hobson (R) before joining the law firm, according to an informed Republican source familiar with Ohio politics.
* In the Virginia governors race, Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine (D) is up with a new ad responding to commercials launched earlier this week by state Attorney General Jerry Kilgore (R) that blasted Kaine's stated views on the death penalty.
"Jerry Kilgore's new attacks are a vile attempt to manipulate an emotional issue for political gain," says a narrator as negative comments about the ads from the Roanoke Times, the Virginian Pilot and The Washington Post flash across the screen.
Kaine appears at the ad's close. "As governor I'll carry out death sentences handed down by Virginia juries because that's the law."
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