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Thursday’s Campaign Round-Up, 3.30.17

Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.

* Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) announced yesterday that he’s going to take on Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) next year in the Lone Star State. Though there have been rumors about Cruz possibly facing a primary challenger, no GOP rival has yet announced any such plans.

* The latest poll from Public Policy Polling shows Donald Trump’s approval rating at 40%, the lowest to date in a PPP survey.

* In case Trump’s team weren’t already enough of a family affair, the Associated Press reports that Lara Trump has been brought on to serve as a senior consultant for Trump’s campaign team. Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law, is married to Eric Trump, one of the president’s adult sons.

* Despite all kinds of annoying chatter to the contrary, Chelsea Clinton said this week, “I am not running for public office…. I’ve been asked this question a lot throughout my life, and the answer has never changed.”

* Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) originally said he was likely to retire in 2018. More recently he said the opposite. Yesterday, Hatch said he still might retire, but only if “a really outstanding person” stepped up to succeed him. The senator’s choice? Mitt Romney.

* In Pennsylvania, Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner shared some rather unique thoughts on climate change. “We have more people. You know, humans have warm bodies. So is heat coming off?” Wagner said. “Things are changing, but I think we are, as a society, doing the best we can.” He’s currently a state senator in the Keystone State.

* And while I wouldn’t ordinarily take note of county sheriff races, Milwaukee’s David A. Clarke Jr. has become a controversial national figure, which is why it was notable to see former Milwaukee Police Capt. Earnell Lucas, a vice president for Major League Baseball, announcing his plans to take Clarke on next year.