Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* Democratic Rep. G.K. Butterfield made his retirement announcement official yesterday, and did so while denouncing North Carolina Republicans for approving a “partisan” and “racially gerrymandered” congressional district map.
* On Wednesday, the House censured Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, and stripped him of his committee assignments. On Thursday, Donald Trump issued a statement giving the Arizonan his “Complete and Total Endorsement!” (The former president still thinks words he considers important are supposed to be capitalized.)
* As Mehmet Oz, better known as “Dr. Oz,” moves forward with his plans for an apparent Republican U.S. Senate campaign in Pennsylvania, Politico reports that GOP officials in the Keystone State are increasingly “baffled” by his prospective candidacy.
* In the state of Washington, incumbent Democratic Sen. Patty Murray probably won’t be near the top of the Republican Party’s 2022 target list: The latest SurveyUSA poll found Murray leading her likely GOP challenger by 18 points.
* In Utah’s U.S. Senate race, independent Evan McMullin recently picked up an endorsement from former Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams. McMullin, a former Republican congressional staffer, is hoping a coalition of Democrats, independents, and disaffected Republicans will make him competitive against incumbent Republican Sen. Mike Lee.
* Rep. Matt Gaetz is planning to run for re-election in Florida, but he’ll have a Republican primary rival: Bryan Jones, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has kicked off a congressional bid, vowing to “restore dignity” to the congressional office.