Bill Schuette Wins Michigan GOP Gubernatorial Primary

Attorney General Bill Schuette has won the Republican nomination in the Michigan governor’s race.  He will face off against former prosecutor and legislator Gretchen Whitmer.

Here is the statement from the Republican Governors’ Association:

“With an established record as a conservative reformer, Bill Schuette is uniquely qualified to lead Michigan forward,” said RGA Chairman Governor Bill Haslam. “As governor, Bill will work to expand opportunity, fight to keep taxes low, and continue Michigan’s economic comeback. The Republican Governors Association is proud to support Bill Schuette’s campaign to be the next governor of Michigan.”

John James Wins Michigan GOP Senate Primary

The Associated Press calls the race for veteran and businessman John James.  He will face off against incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow, who is currently favored to win re-election in November.

Josh Hawley Wins Missouri GOP Gubernatorial Primary

CNN projects the Missouri Attorney General will face off against incumbent Democratic senator Claire McCaskill in what will probably be one of the most competitive Senate races of the cycle.

Indiana Attorney General Accused of Inappropriately Touching Women

Curtis Hill, the top law enforcement officer in the state of Indiana, was accused of touching four different women inappropriately at a party at the end of the recent legislative session, according to a report first obtained by the Indianapolis Star. The allegations were recounted in a confidential eight-page memo dated June 18, prepared by the law firm of Taft Stettinius & Hollister on behalf of state legislative leaders.

The alleged incidents happened during the early hours of March 15, at a party at a bar near downtown Indianapolis. The women accusing Hill include a lawmaker and three legislative employees.  Republican leaders in the state assembly announced they were launching an investigation into the leak of the report.

“No one should be subjected to unwanted sexual advances. I commend House and Senate leaders for their immediate and formal follow up to the allegations presented to them,” Governor Eric Holcomb (R-Ind.) said in a statement. He declined further comment until after he had “reviewed the facts in detail.” Indiana Republican Party chairman Kyle Hupfer praised the way the state legislature handled the investigation in a statement and added, “As the Republican Party, we have zero tolerance for sexual harassment, and that’s the standard to which we all should adhere. Actions like these alleged have no place in public life or anywhere else.”

Two state Democratic leaders, Senator Tim Lanane and Indiana Democratic Party chairman John Zody, have called for Hill’s resignation.

Hill, a Republican, denied the allegations.  He is not up for re-election until 2020.

UPDATE: Statement from Washington DC AG Karl Racine and Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum, co-chairs of the Democratic Attorneys General Association:

“The Democratic Attorneys General Association abhors any and all forms of unwanted physical contact, period. We commend these strong women for standing up. State Attorneys General are the chief law officers of our states, and as such we have a solemn duty to demonstrate the highest standards of behavior and accountability. We trust this commitment is shared by all our colleagues, no matter their party affiliation. We encourage a continued, thorough, and transparent investigation into the Indiana Attorney General’s conduct.”

Three Virginia Republican Leaders Resign, As Party Remains Divided Over Its Senate Nominee

Tucked in this Washington Post story is an ominous detail that does not bode well for the Virginia Republicans: State party chairman John Whitbeck and Kevin Gentry, a member of the executive committee resigned from their posts, as did Davis Rennolds, chairman of the Richmond Republican Party.  Most of the other Republicans quoted in the article threw Corey Stewart under the bus.

This is not a good sign four months before Election Day, especially from a party that has not won a statewide race since 2009.

Voter ID Constitutional Amendment Qualifies for North Carolina Ballot

North Carolina voters will decide next fall whether voter ID requirement should be part of the state constitution.  The Republican-controlled state Senate approved the measure, which would bring back photo ID requirements that were part of a 2013 state election law that was later struck down by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2016. The ruling concluded, “the new provisions target African Americans with almost surgical precision,” and called it, “the most restrictive voting law North Carolina has seen since the era of Jim Crow.” Amendments do not require the approval of the governor, in this case Democrat Roy Cooper.

Governor Cooper released a statement earlier this month saying, “Here they go again. After being stopped by the Courts for discriminating against African Americans with ‘surgical precision,’ this Republican legislature is once again reducing access to the ballot box. We should be making it easier for people to vote, not harder.”

In a statement, Let America Vote president Jason Kander said, “North Carolinians who believe in a free and fair democracy now must stand up and fight to defeat this amendment so that this un-democratic policy is not enshrined in the state constitution. Let America Vote stands with voting-rights champions to make sure that political consequences exist for politicians who suppress the vote.”

According to North Carolina Republican Party executive director Dallas Woodhouse, the State Executive Committee will meet in Charlotte on August 4 to formally endorse the amendments that will appear on the ballot, and work to ensure their passage. Because the amendments were passed by a Republican-controlled legislature, they would presumably help drive Republican turnout in the 2018 election with no governor or U.S. Senate race on the ballot this cycle. Voter ID will be one of six constitutional amendments on the North Carolina ballot this November. Only two states currently have voter ID requirements in their constitutions.

Virginia Republican Delegate Running for Clerk of the Court in Prince William County

Some news out of Prince William County last night, according to the conservative Virginia political blog The Bull Elephant:

At the Prince William County Lincoln Reagan dinner on Saturday night Delegate Jackson Miller announced he is running for Clerk of the Court in a special election on April 18th.  Jackson Miller has been in the House of Delegates since 2007. The position is vacant following the death of Clerk Michele McQuigg last month.  She was elected in 2008.

According to the Virginia Public Access Project, Miller was first elected to represent Virginia’s 50th district in the House of Delegates in a special election in 2006 and, with the exception of 2011 when he ran for reelection unopposed, has been reelected by a low-50 to low-60 percent margin. The 50th district includes the Washington DC suburbs of the city of Manassas and part of Prince William County. According to official results from the Virginia Department of Elections,  Hillary Clinton won Prince William County 57-36. This means Democrats will probably see the 50th District as an even bigger pickup opportunity this fall if Miller is elected Clerk of the Court and the Virginia GOP has to defend his open seat. Lee Carter is the only Democrat currently running for this seat, although if Carter resigns from the seat, it is possible more Democrats and certainly more Republicans will get in the race and compete for their respective party’s nomination.