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Colorado: Udall Files Papers to Make Senate Bid Official

Rep. Mark Udall (D) on Monday filed papers to run for Colorado’s open Senate seat, making official what have long been his stated intentions for the 2008 cycle.

“I intend to run a campaign that breaks the old mold of bitter and partisan politics, in favor of one that is about bringing Coloradans together,” Udall said in a statement.

Udall reported raising $335,000 during the first quarter to finish with $1.5 million in the bank.

Sen. Wayne Allard (R) is retiring next year, and Republicans still are without an announced candidate in what is expected to be a heavily targeted race on both sides.

Former Rep. Scott McInnis (R) had created an exploratory committee, but then dropped out of the race only weeks later. Meanwhile, former Rep. Bob Schaffer (R), who lost the 2004 GOP Senate primary to beer magnate Pete Coors, continues to flirt with a Senate bid but has made no decision either way.

— David M. Drucker


Dent Puts a Little English in His Latest Fundraiser

Rep. Charlie Dent (R) is scheduled on Wednesday to hold a Washington, D.C., fundraiser featuring his Keystone State colleague, Phil English (R), as the special guest.

The 8-9 a.m. event at Charlie Palmer Steak on Capitol Hill, is asking for $2,500 for those wanting to be a member of the host committee, and requesting $1,000 from political action committees and $500 from individuals.

Dent is expected to be a major Democratic target in his quest for a third term. Running against a political unknown last year, he took just 54 percent of the vote. His Lehigh Valley district has leaned Democratic in the past few presidential elections.

— D.M.D.

Harkin Crosses Border to Aid State Democrats

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) will head north Saturday to give the keynote address at the state Democratic Party’s annual dinner.

The Democratic-Farm-Labor Party, as the Democratic Party is known in Minnesota, invited the Senate Agriculture Committee chairman to headline their 30th Hubert Humphrey dinner, named for the former vice president and Senator, Saturday night at the Minneapolis Hilton.

— Nicole Duran

Report: Dayton May Try to Run for Governor

Former Sen. Mark Dayton (D) is eyeing the governor’s mansion in the Gopher State.

According to Politics in Minnesota, a political newsletter, he has hired someone to help launch a 2010 gubernatorial race.

Dayton, who opted not to seek re-election to the Senate last year, twice now has sought and won a public office only to relinquish it after one term.

Dayton is staying active by heading up the presidential efforts of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in Minnesota, the newsletter reported.

— N.D.

While Members Ponder, Activist Targets Smith

The (Portland) Oregonian reported Sunday that political activist Steve Novick (D) intends to announce this week that he’ll seek the Democratic nomination for the right to challenge Sen. Gordon Smith (R) next year.

Reps. Peter DeFazio (D) and Earl Blumenauer (D) continue to hedge on running for Senate, leaving Novick, an attorney, and medical equipment company executive Ty Pettit as the only Democrats in the race thus far.

Novick, a 43-year-old lawyer, is a longtime Democratic operative and activist for liberal causes. He was a top aide to businessman Tom Brugere, the Democratic nominee against Smith in the 1996 open-seat election.

Novick entered college at age 14 and Harvard Law School at age 18. It is not clear whether he’d step aside if a better-known candidate, like DeFazio, decided to run.

— D.M.D.

Regula Issues Statement Saying He’ll Run Again

Rep. Ralph Regula (R) is not doing much to tamp down retirement rumors.

Both Democrats and Republicans are keeping a close eye on the 82-year-old lawmaker.

Regula, who won an 18th term in November, raised only $1,560 in the first three months of the year, according to Federal Election Commission reports.

He still had a little more than $91,000 in cash on hand.

Earlier this year, a Regula spokeswoman said the World War II veteran has not yet made plans for 2008.

Recently, the National Republican Congressional Committee pointed to recent events as proof that Democrats and the White House (Regula was on Karl Rove’s retirement watch list that accidentally became public) are wrong about Regula.

He hosted an NRCC regional fundraising event, for example, a spokeswoman noted.

On Monday, Regula said he is moving ahead.

“I have filed a statement of candidacy with the FEC to prepare for the 2008 election and I am currently focused on my new appropriations subcommittee work and our work on behalf of the nation in this 110th Congress,” he said in a statement.

— N.D.

Legislator Says He’ll Answer DCCC’s Call

State Rep. Steve Driehaus (D) said he will fulfill the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s wish and take on Rep. Steve Chabot (R) next year.

Driehaus, a member of leadership in the state House, is term-limited.

He knows he has to look for something else to do after Election Day, and he told the Cincinnati Enquirer that running for Congress “ranks right up there.”

Democrats think Chabot, who won by just 9,000 votes last year, is vulnerable.

Chabot said it is too soon to talk about whether he will seek an eighth term next year.

— N.D.

Wulsin Hopes the Third Time’s a Charm in 2nd

Victoria Wulsin (D) on Monday officially declared her desire for a rematch with Rep. Jean Schmidt (R) in 2008.

Wulsin narrowly lost to Schmidt, 51 percent to 49 percent, in the Republican-leaning 2nd district despite being outspent by almost $1 million last year.

Wulsin, a physician, also sought the Democratic nomination in the 2005 special election, losing the special primary to Iraq War veteran Paul Hackett, who became a national sensation by losing narrowly to Schmidt.

Although Schmidt has not solidified her hold on the Cincinnati-area district, 2008 will be her first run for the seat in a presidential election year, and given the district’s Republican leanings, that could help her.

— N.D.

Burton’s Primary Foe Collects Almost $100K

Former Marion County Coroner John McGoff (R) is serious about his primary battle with entrenched Rep. Dan Burton (R) in the Hoosier State’s 5th district.

McGoff raised almost $100,000 in five weeks, according to his campaign.

His first report to the Federal Election Commission showed that he began April with more than $83,000 in the bank.

Burton had a little more than $700,000, after raising just $30,000 in the first three months of 2007.

Burton has angered voters and been excoriated by editorial boards back home for missing key House votes so that he could play in a celebrity golf tournament — a ritual he has maintained for years without anyone noticing.

No Democrat has jumped into the race yet. The 5th is heavily Republican. It gave President Bush 71 percent of the vote in 2004.

— N.D.

Hoyer Stumps for Hill, Yarmuth Over Weekend

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) spent time raising money for vulnerable freshmen in Indiana and Kentucky over the weekend.

On Sunday, he headlined a breakfast fundraiser in Louisville to help Rep. John Yarmuth (D), who unseated former Rep. Anne Northup (R) in November.

On Monday, Hoyer was in Indianapolis with Rep. Baron Hill (D-Ind.).

Hill is not a real freshman — he lost his seat in 2004 to Mike Sodrel (R) but was able to win back the 9th district seat in November. Sodrel and Hill have had three consecutive matchups, and Democratic leaders know that Hill’s hold on the seat is not ironclad. Sodrel is thinking about running again in 2008.

— N.D.

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