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Nation: Whip Cracks His Way Through the Rust Belt

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) helped out Democratic candidates in the Rust Belt this past weekend, stumping and fundraising in Ohio and Michigan as part of the respective campaigns’ outreach to black voters.

In Ohio’s 1st Congressional district, Clyburn campaigned for state Rep. Steve Driehaus (D) at a prayer breakfast Saturday for community leaders and ministers. Driehaus is challenging Rep. Steve Chabot (R) for the Cincinnati-based seat.

Also on Saturday, Clyburn taped a radio show and did a fundraiser for Franklin County Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy’s (D) campaign for Ohio’s 15th district seat, according to the Democrat’s campaign. Kilroy is taking her second stab at the seat, which is now open, after narrowly losing to retiring Rep. Deborah Pryce (R) in 2006. This time Kilroy faces state Sen. Steve Stivers (R) in November.

Afterward, Clyburn headed north to Michigan’s 9th district to campaign for former state Lottery Commissioner Gary Peters (D). According to Peters’ campaign, the two Democrats visited three churches together in Oakland County. Peters is challenging longtime Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R) this November.

A National Republican Campaign Committee spokesman said he viewed the visit as “Washington doublespeak at its finest.”

“It is comical to listen to these very same Democratic candidates campaign on a mantra of so-called ‘change’ while they embrace Jim Clyburn and the Democrat-led Congress’ disastrous policies of massive tax hikes and soaring energy costs,” said National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Ken Spain.

With Eye on NRSC, Cornyn Boosts GOPers

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) hosted two fundraisers Monday — one in Dallas, the other in Houston — with the proceeds going to three GOP Senate candidates.

Cornyn, who is actively considering a run for National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman in the upcoming election cycle should he win re-election this year, expected to raise a total of $300,000 at Monday’s events for the GOP Senate nominees in Colorado, Louisiana and New Mexico.

“Sen. Cornyn is committed to doing everything he can to support the good work Sen. [John] Ensign is doing at the NRSC in the effort to regain a Republican majority in the Senate,” Cornyn spokesman Brian Walsh said about the Republican from Nevada.

Democrats are favored to win open Senate seats in Colorado and New Mexico. In the Centennial State, former Rep. Bob Schaffer (R) is running against Rep. Mark Udall (D). In the Land of Enchantment, Rep. Steve Pearce (R) is taking on Rep. Tom Udall (D). The two Udalls are first cousins.

Louisiana is considered the one state where Republicans have an opportunity to upend a Democratic incumbent. There, state Treasurer John Kennedy (R), a former Democrat, is challenging Sen. Mary Landrieu (D).

Cornyn, facing state Rep. Rick Noriega (D) in November, is currently favored to win re-election.

— David M. Drucker and Shira Toeplitz

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