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February 20, 2018
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Democrat Linda Belcher won a special election in Kentucky's Bullitt County on Tuesday, defeating Republican Rebecca Johnson with 68.45 percent of the vote.

Belcher is replacing state Rep. Dan Johnson (R), Rebecca Johnson's late husband, in House District 49. Dan Johnson died by suicide last year after a report came out accusing him of molesting a 17-year-old girl at the church where he was pastor. Belcher said she ran a "very positive campaign," which was all about "trying to reach out and touch the people of Bullitt County, and we did. I have to thank them for listening to our message."

Belcher's husband, Larry Belcher, held the seat at the time of his death in October 2008; she replaced him on the ballot and served in the legislature from 2008 to 2012 and 2014 to 2016, when Johnson won the election. In 2016, the district overwhelmingly went for President Trump, who won with a 72-23 percent margin. Catherine Garcia

February 1, 2018
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For those who have been waiting with bated breath for news on Mitt Romney's next move, hang tight for another two weeks.

The 2012 Republican presidential nominee and former governor of Massachusetts tweeted Thursday afternoon that he is "looking forward to making an announcement on February 15th about the Utah Senate race." It's been rumored for months now that Romney plans to run for the seat that will be vacated by retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch (R), and people close to him say he will formally announce he's running on the 15th, CNN reports.

A vocal critic of President Trump, Romney is popular in Utah. Since 2014, his primary residence has been in Park City, and he helped turn around the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. He's also Mormon, as is more than half of the Utah population. To get on the primary ballot, Romney can either seek the nomination at the Republican Party's April convention or get 28,000 signatures from registered Republicans in Utah. Catherine Garcia

November 27, 2017
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Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), an immigration reform activist who has held his seat since 1993, will not seek re-election, three Democratic sources with knowledge of his decision told Politico Monday.

The 63-year-old filed nominating petitions on Monday, but is expected to announce on Tuesday afternoon he is withdrawing them and endorsing Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, Politico reports. Gutierrez and Garcia began discussing an endorsement Friday, the Democrats told Politico, after polling in the district showed Garcia ahead of other possible candidates. Douglas Rivlin, a spokesman for Gutierrez, said he couldn't comment on the story. Catherine Garcia

October 8, 2017
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In exchange for letting young undocumented immigrants, dubbed DREAMers, stay in the United States legally, the Trump administration will ask Congress to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and limit federal grants to "sanctuary cities," The Washington Post reports.

The Post obtained a document the administration distributed to Congress that listed its hard-line demands for any deal, including a major crackdown on unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in Central America. White House aides told reporters Sunday that these proposals are necessary for public safety and to make jobs for Americans.

Democrats have already denounced the wish list, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) releasing a statement saying they told Trump "we were open to reasonable border security measures ... but this list goes so far beyond what is reasonable. This proposal fails to represent any attempt at compromise." Read more about the Trump administration's demands at The Washington Post. Catherine Garcia

October 1, 2017
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Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) isn't ready to turn his back on the Republican Party just yet, but told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday that he won't remain part of the GOP if it stays on its current path.

"If the party can't be fixed, Jake, then I'm not going to be able to support the party," he said on Tapper's show State of the Union. "Period. That's the end of it." Kasich, an outspoken critic of President Trump, wants the GOP to stop bending to the will of the nationalist wing, and for the "party to be straightened out."

The public is unhappy with Republicans and Democrats alike, he said, and they want a return to the center. "What I'm trying to do is struggle for the soul of the Republican Party the way that I see it," he said. "And I have a right to define it, but I'm not going to support people who are dividers." That includes right-wing Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore, who as a judge was twice removed from the bench for ignoring federal rulings and has made inflammatory statements regarding race and sexuality. "I don't run the party," Kasich said. "I can tell you, for me, I don't support that. I couldn't vote for that." Catherine Garcia

September 27, 2017
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California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill on Wednesday moving the state's primary elections from June to March, in an attempt to get presidential candidates to spend time campaigning in the state.

The candidates often focus on smaller states that hold early primaries and caucuses, and now, they will "not be able to ignore the largest, most diverse state in the nation as they seek our country's highest office," Secretary of State Alex Padilla said. In 2016, the California presidential primary was held June 7, and in 2020, it's scheduled for March 3, most likely following the Iowa and Nevada caucuses and primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The bill's author, state Sen. Ricardo Lara (D), said California needs "to have a greater influence at the national level," and the new law also moves the state's congressional and legislative primaries to March. Brown has until Oct. 15 to act on another bill that was passed by the Legislature earlier this month, which keeps presidential candidates who refuse to publicly release their personal tax returns off the ballot. Catherine Garcia

July 17, 2017
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She was able to keep up with the Kardashians for years, but can Caitlyn Jenner take care of business with the senators?

Jenner, a lifelong Republican, told New York's AM 970 on Sunday she is considering running for Senate, out of California. "I like the political side," she said. "I gotta find out where I can do a better job. Can I do a better job from the outside, kind of working the perimeter of the political scene, being able to talk to anybody? Or are you better off from the inside, and we are in the process of determining that."

A transgender activist, Jenner said she is going to meet with U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley to discuss international LGBTQ issues, and told AM 970 she hopes to "change the perception of the Republican Party and make it the party of equality." California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, has not announced if she will run again in 2018, and Jenner said she will make her decision sometime within the next six months. If she does decide to throw her hat in the ring, she doesn't have to look far for a campaign momager. Catherine Garcia

June 14, 2017
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Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, and Republican Ed Gillespie will face off in the Virginia gubernatorial election in November.

In the Tuesday primaries, Northam defeated his slightly more liberal challenger, former Rep. Tom Perriello, while Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, had a narrow victory over Corey Stewart, who served as President Trump's state campaign chairman. Stewart did not concede immediately, and said "there's one word you will never hear from me and that's 'unity.' Because look, folks, we've been backing down too long ... in defense of our culture, our heritage, and our country."

Northam said he would work to ensure that Democrats take control of the state's House of Delegates, adding it's "time for us to get back on offense and stop playing so much defense." Catherine Garcia

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