Friday Early Afternoon Update
Idaho: Former Congressman and current Senate candidate Larry LaRocco will be holding his second liveblog session today at 2pm Eastern, 1pm Central, Noon Mountain, 11am Pacific, or about 90 minutes from now. Check it out and bring your questions.
Alaska: The Anchorage Daily News has a terrific article today highlighting Ted Stevens' potential vulnerability:
Supporters say he's as vital and feisty as ever. But he is 83 years old and now in the Senate minority.The article also discusses possible challengers:
His son, former state Sen. Ben Stevens has been linked to -- although not indicted in -- a federal corruption investigation.
"He's not as popular as he was in years past, and each day that goes by he gets a little bit softer," said Ivan Moore, an Anchorage pollster who often works for Democrats.
Moore said two high-profile Democrats are potential candidates: Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich and former Anchorage state Rep. Ethan Berkowitz. With the stench of corruption surrounding Ted Stevens, it would be a shame not to step up to him and force him through the rigors of a contentious campaign. It would also help further highlight the Republican Culture of Corruption theme, which will also be a factor in Senate races in other states like New Mexico and Kentucky as well as campaigns at all levels around the country. If nothing else, a 2008 challenger would be well primed for a 2010 challenge to the much less popular Lisa Murkowski.
Asked Thursday if he'll run, Begich said he's focused on the job he has. Uprooting his family and jumping into the meat grinder of D.C. politics isn't something he'd do lightly, he said. ...
Berkowitz ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor alongside fellow Democrat Tony Knowles in last year's gubernatorial race. He said he's thinking about a potential U.S. Senate run but hasn't made a decision.
Two lesser-known candidates, Unalaska City Councilman Rocky Caldero and Nels Anderson, a Soldotna doctor, plan to challenge Stevens, said Jake Metcalfe, chairman of the state Democratic Party.
Minnesota: Thanks to reader Josh who came through with this info on Minnesota Senate candidate Bob Olson:
Bob Olson, a businessman and lawyer who ran unsuccessfully against U.S. Rep. Jim Ramstad in 1994, is also seeking the DFL endorsement. Frequent candidate Dick Franson is in the race as well.Meanwhile, MN Publius says that State Rep. Joe Atkins, about whom there was brief Senate speculation, will make a "major announcement" later today.