What's News

DEMOCRATS: Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) “is calling close allies and informing them he is not running for president in 2020.” An announcement can “come as soon as this week.” (Politico) Attorney Michael Avenatti (D) said on Tuesday he will not run for president in 2020 after “consultation with my family.” Avenatti: “I do not make this decision lightly -- I make it out of respect for my family. But for their concerns, I would run.” (release)

Two former staffers who left Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) office to join the New Hampshire Democratic Party in senior positions over the summer have departed, according to multiple sources familiar with the moves. The state party’s political director, Adrienne Viarengo, and its communications director, Gabrielle Farrell, left the NHDP in November, after the midterm elections. (Hotline reporting)

NC-09: Incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer “said Democrats might refuse to seat” pastor Mark Harris (R) “next year unless and until ‘substantial’ questions about the integrity of his election are resolved. … Hoyer’s comment” suggest “that even if his apparent narrow victory is ultimately certified by the state, Harris could be subject to a months-long process in the House to determine whether he is ultimately sworn in.” (Washington Post)

COMMITTEES: The NRCC “suffered a major hack during the 2018 midterm campaigns, exposing thousands of sensitive emails to an outside intruder, according to three senior party officials. The email accounts of four senior aides ... were surveilled for several months, the party officials said. The intrusion was detected in April by an NRCC vendor, who alerted the committee and its cybersecurity contractor. An internal investigation was initiated, and the FBI was alerted to the attack. … None of the information accessed during the hack ... has appeared in public, party officials said.” (Politico)

BATTLE FOR THE SENATE: Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) said last week “she ‘absolutely’ plans to seek a second term.” Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) also said he’ll run again. (National Journal) Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) said he won’t run for Senate in 2020, when a special election to replace appointed Sen. Jon Kyl (R) will take place. Ducey: “I’m going to serve the four years of my governorship.” (KTAR) Montana Gov. Steve Bullock’s (D) chief of staff, Tom Lopach, on Wednesday quickly shot down Sen. Jon Tester’s (D) assertion Tuesday that Bullock is “running” for Senate. Lopach: “Bullock is not interested in a Senate run. He’s about to head into his final legislative session as governor of Montana and that’s his focus.” Sen. Steve Daines (R) is up for reelection to a second term in 2020. (Hotline reporting)

FL SEN: Gov. Rick Scott (R) “announced Tuesday that he will remain in his current role until” Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis (R) is sworn in on Jan. 8. “New and re-elected U.S. Senators are sworn in Jan. 3. … A delay in the swearing-in ceremony will affect Scott’s seniority. … Most Florida officeholders who seek other office are required to put their resignation in writing under the state’s resign-to-run law.” (Miami Herald)


Our Call

Two Republican state party chairs in critical battlegrounds announced yesterday that they're not seeking reelection. New Hampshire and Florida’s GOP party chairmen Wayne MacDonald and Blaise Ingoglia will both depart ahead of 2020, creating a bind–or potential opportunity–to elect new leadership that will help steer President Trump to victory in both states. In 2016, Trump lost New Hampshire by less than a point, but the successful re-election of his ally Gov. Chris Sununu to another term in the governor’s office in 2018 provided some hope, while Republicans' sweep of Florida’s gubernatorial and Senate races with Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis and Sen.-elect Rick Scott built on the success the president had in Florida in 2016, where he won narrowly over Clinton. -- Hanna Trudo 

Republican senators seeking a second term in two years will have to run very different campaigns than they did in 2014. Four years ago, state legislators Joni Ernst and Thom Tillis and businessman David Perdue stumped as political outsiders in a successful bid to demote Democrats to the Senate minority. With the "Bear Den" on the ballot in 2020, they'll run on their influence in Congress and the White House, balancing the advantages and vulnerabilities of incumbency as Republicans defend both the Senate and the presidency. -- Zach C. Cohen


Fresh Brewed Buzz

“Republican candidates appeared to hold onto two powerful Georgia offices in runoffs Tuesday, but ballots were still being counted for secretary of state and Public Service Commission.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

"There's not a smoking gun, there's a smoking saw.” -- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (The Hill)

“Abolish the Senate.” -- Former Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), on how to fix minority rule in Congress. (The Atlantic)

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY 14) “is making a push for a seat on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee,” a panel freshmen are rarely placed on. (The Intercept) Additionally, she announced she will pay her interns “at least” $15 an hour. (Washington Post)

“Lawsuit Urges Court To Make Blake Farenthold’s Employer Stop Paying Him” (HuffPost)

After a meeting between Rep.-elect Anthony Brindisi (D-NY 22) and Rep. John Katko (R-NY 24), “one senior legislative staffer” said “it would be accurate to term the relationship between the two — both plain-spoken, politically moderate, CNY-born-and-bred attorneys by trade — as a ‘budding bipartisan bromance.’” (Oswego Palladium-Times)

“For the first time in seven years, a sitting president will attend the Army-Navy Game. President Trump will be at Lincoln Financial Field for the 119th installation of the interservice rivalry Saturday in Philadelphia.” (Washington Post)

New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman Wayne MacDonald said “Tuesday morning that he has decided not to seek a full, two-year term leading the party. The Republican State Committee will elect party officers for 2019 and 2020 on Jan. 26.” (WMUR)

“We the People: Your Freshmen Congresswomen Recite the Preamble to the Constitution” (Elle)

“The Office of Congressional Ethics released its report on allegations against” retiring Rep. Tom Garrett (R-VA 05) that the congressman and his wife “used his congressional aides to run personal errands.” (Roll Call)

Connecticut Gov.-elect Ned Lamont (D) “made his first appointments Tuesday, naming his transition director, Ryan Drajewicz, as his chief of staff.” Drajewicz was an aide to former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT). (Connecticut Mirror)

New York CIty Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) “has shown up less and less. In 2015, he averaged 17 days a month at City Hall; in 2016 it fell to 14; last year, it dropped to nine. This year, through September, Mr. de Blasio averaged 10 days.” (New York Times)


Rooster's Crow

The House is not in session. The Senate will meet at 2:30 p.m.

Trump and first lady Melania Trump will attend the funeral of President George H.W. Bush at 11 a.m.


Swizzle Challenge

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made her fortune from an MLM company: Amway.

Nathan Sloanker won yesterday's Swizzle. Here's his challenge: "In honor of President George H.W. Bush, how many Presidents served exactly 1 term (a full 4 years) in office?"

The 3rd correct email gets to submit the next question.


Justice Gilpin-Green, Wake-Up Call! Editor

Editor: Kyle Trygstad
Digital Editor: Justice Gilpin-Green
Staff Writers: Zach C. Cohen, Ally Mutnick, Hanna Trudo, Madelaine Pisani
Fellows: Nia Prater, Drew Gerber


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