Afternoon Fix: Huckabee is (still) not running

at 05:14 PM ET, 09/30/2011

Huckabee isn’t running again, Bachmann’s pollster has quit, Newt Gingrich is just smarter than everyone else, and Huntsman is moving his campaign to New Hampshire.

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* A top official in Mike Huckabee’s political action committee says there’s no truth to a Reuters report that the former Arkansas governor is reconsidering his decision to stay out of the presidential race. “The Governor is still content with his decision to stay out of the race,” the source said.

* In Fort Dodge, Iowa today, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said he’s just better equipped to run the country than the other Republican contenders. “The difference in the depth of knowledge ... They’re nice people, but they don’t have the knowledge to do something like this on this scale,” he said. Gingrich called gay marriage a “temporary aberration that will dissipate.”

* Ed Goeas, the pollster for the presidential campaign of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), has quit, according to a Politico report. A Bachmann spokeswoman did not return a request for comment.

* It never made much sense for former Utah governor Jon Huntsman to put his campaign headquarters in Orlando. Now he’s moving them to New Hampshire, just another sign of how important the state is to the Huntsman campaign. The Florida office will move to Miami, and some staff will be laid off.

* Mitt Romney’s wife Ann filed for her husband to run in South Carolina, handing his filing papers and a check for the $35,000 filing fee to state Republican Party chairman Chad Connelly. She said the former Massachusetts governor would now be “actively” campaigning in the state.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* Florida made it official today, with a bipartisan primary scheduling committee voting 7-2 to move the state’s primary up to Jan. 31st. The decision will almost certainly prompt earlier primaries among the traditional early states. “The arrogance shown by Florida’s elected leadership is disappointing, but not surprising,” Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn said in a press release. “Iowa will remain first.”

* Republicans in California have filed a lawsuit against the state’s bipartisan redistricting map. Led by former congressman George Radanovich, the Republicans allege that the map was drawn to protect three incumbents in the Los Angeles area.

* Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s chief of staff has resigned, saying he’s planning to return to political consulting. Keith Gilkes said his resignation was timed to a possible recall campaign against the Republican governor and the need to prepare for that, adding that it was unrelated to an ongoing investigation over whether former Walker aides participated in political activity on taxpayer time.

* Former Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle (R) endorsed former Rep. Pete Hoekstra’s (R-Mich.) Senate campaign against Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) today, although the endorsement was not touted in a press release, Hoekstra has been lining up conservative supporters in the primary against charter school founder Clark Durant.

* A bit of a twist in the West Virginia gubernatorial race — a former greyhound kennel operator arrested on extortion charges has been linked to Republican candidate Bill Maloney. Maloney has claimed that the greyhound breeding business owned by the mother of acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) costs taxpayers money. The election is on Oct. 4th.

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