Fisher Wins in Ohio, A Run-Off in North Carolina

Here's what we know: Lt. Governor Lee Fisher has won the Democratic nomination for the US Senate in Ohio beating back a challenge from Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. With almost 50% of precincts reporting when the Associated Press called the race at 10:15 p.m. ET, Fisher had just over 193,000 votes (56%) to Brunner's 169,600 (44%). Fisher now face Republican nominee Rob Portman in November for the right to replace retiring Republican George Voinovich.

In North Carolina, neither Elaine Marshall, the Secretary of State nor Cal Cunningham, an Iraq War veteran and a former state lawmaker, cleared the 40 percent threshold required to claim victory. The two will square off in a run-off on June 22nd.

In Indiana, former right wing Senator Dan Coats has won the GOP nomination. He's likely to face Representative Brad Ellsworth in the general election. The race is to fill the seat of the retiring Evan Bayh. Coats served in the U.S. House from 1981 to 1989 and the U.S. Senate from 1989 to 1999 when he retired. He has been a registered lobbyist since retiring from Congress and represents everything that's wrong with the revolving door in Washington politics. 

More primary coverage from the New York Times.

Cape Wind Project Likely to Receive Approval

The long-stalled Cape Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts is likely to receive approval and financial backing from the Federal Government as Interior Secretary Ken Salazar heads to Boston for what is being as a "major announcement." The Cape Wind project will be the nation's first off-shore wind farm. The proposed 130-turbine farm would lie in Nantucket Sound, about five miles from the nearest shoreline, and cover 24 square miles, roughly the size of Manhattan or half the size of San Francisco.

Even so, the project still faces numerous hurdles as the New York Times reports:

Opponents say the wind farm would mar the area’s pristine beauty and change the region’s character for the benefit of a private developer and that the financial costs have not been fully explored.

Supporters say the benefits would outweigh any loss of aesthetics and provide a clean, renewable source of energy that could meet up to 75 percent of the power needs on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. They say it would provide hundreds of construction jobs, decrease the region’s reliance on fossil fuels and benefit the environment by decreasing emissions of greenhouse gases.

An Indian tribe that uses the area for sacred rituals that require an unobstructed view of the sunrise has vowed to sue if Mr. Salazar approves the project.

After the two sides failed to reach a compromise, the interior secretary said he would settle the fate of Cape Wind by the end of April.

If Mr. Salazar gives the project the green light, opponents are prepared to go to court immediately, according to Audra Parker, president and chief executive of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.

“Litigation remains the option of last resort,” she said before the announcement. “We will not stand by and allow our treasured public lands to be marred forever by a corporate giveaway to private industrial energy developers.”

If the Interior Department clears the project, the alliance would sue on behalf of a coalition of environmental groups, although some major environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, favor the offshore wind farm.

The challenges would include suits against the federal Fish and Wildlife Service and the Minerals Management Service, alleging violations of the Endangered Species Act.

The Town of Barnstable has filed a notice of intent to sue under a different law, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. And the Wampanoag tribe announced on Monday that it was preparing to challenge the project for violations of tribal rights.

[UPDATE] It's official! Cape Wind is a go. 

 

Rep. Brad Ellsworth Will Seek Indiana Senate Seat

Democratic Congressman Brad Ellsworth, who represents the Eight Congressional District in Indiana, is set to announce that he will seat the Senate seat left vacant by the retirement of Senator Evan Bayh.

More details from WFIE-Evansville:

Democratic Congressman Brad Ellsworth told 14 News Friday morning that he has decided he wants to take Evan Bayh's place in the U.S. Senate.

Ellsworth is in his second term from southwestern Indiana's 8th district and has been mentioned as a possible choice for Democrats since Bayh's unexpected announcement Monday that he wouldn't seek a third Senate term.

The 51-year-old Ellsworth has won by big margins in both his congressional campaigns.

He was a career police officer and was twice elected as sheriff in Vanderburgh County sheriff.

Others have expressed interest in being the Democratic nominee like Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr.

On Thursday, the representatives with the Democratic party said they had spoke with State Representative Trent VanHaaften about running for Ellsworth's congressional seat if he decides to run for Senate.

 

The Rentable Dan Coats

Dan Coats is so committed to Indiana that he has decided to rent a home in Indianapolis.

Dan Coats Rents Home For Indiana Senate Run

(Indianapolis) -- Recent Virginia resident Dan Coats now has a rented home in Indianapolis as he plans a run for the U.S. Senate in Indiana. Coats says he is now also registered to vote in Indiana as supporters work to get enough signatures for a GOP run.

Coats is also refuting claims brought up by a 2008 video showing him telling North Carolina Republicans that he planned to retire there.

Coats says he also plans to discuss his lobbying work for foreign governments and the Bank of America in the near future.

Coats is hoping to challenge Evan Bayh in November.

I can't decide who is off to the worst start to a Senatorial campaign, Harold "I have yet to file taxes in NY" Ford or Dan "The Renter" Coats. Whichever is the case, it is all rather enjoyable.

 

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