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Posts tagged ‘General election’

GOP Eyes Scott Walker for 2016 as Christie’s Star Fades.


Image: GOP Eyes Scott Walker for 2016 as Christie's Star Fades

By Melanie Batley

Republican Party strategists say Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker could be the new hope to lead the GOP presidential ticket in 2016 as the George Washington Bridge traffic scandal takes its toll on the presumed frontrunner, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Walker, according to pundits, carries the necessary appeal among conservatives to win a GOP primary, but his success in a blue state indicates he may be one of the few possible contenders capable of winning over independent voters in a general election, Politico reports.

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“Chris Christie took a big fall after bridge-gate. It makes sense that Scott Walker’s stock would rise,” Ron Bonjean, a GOP strategist and Wisconsin native, told Politico. “I think he has as excellent a chance as anyone else in the GOP primary at this point.”

Walker was elected governor in 2010 and went on to survive a bruising recall fight in 2012 that was fueled by the unions who were irate over his proposed budget repair plan and changes to collective bargaining rights for state employees.

“Look at the guy — he got elected in Milwaukee County twice [as Milwaukee County Executive], then governor, then a recall election,” a former top Romney bundler told The Daily Beast. “He’s battle-tested.”

Walker currently faces a re-election battle against Democrat Mary Burke, the daughter of the founder of bicycle manufacturer Trek. He already has a significant financial advantage over Burke, having raised $4.6 million in the second half of 2013. Burke has just $1.3 million, $400,000 of which are her own funds.

“I’ve heard a lot of interest in Walker,” Charlie Black, veteran GOP strategist and adviser to Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign, told Politico. He added that if Walker wins re-election, he’ll “have a great record not only in Wisconsin but a great electoral record, having won three times in five years in a blue state.”

Commentators say Walker is also unique for his solidly middle class image and status as a Washington outsider. Nevertheless, they say, the GOP field for 2016 remains wide open, and Christie’s national political profile could still recover.

“There are no frontrunners. There are six to 10 really good candidates,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said, according to Politico. “I think we’ll have a very broad campaign group.”

Gingrich added, “Assuming that he survives the bridge problem, and I think he will, Christie is going to end up a very formidable candidate.”

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AP PHOTOS: Kenya votes; long lines and violence.


  • Masaai line up to vote in a general election in Ilbissil, Kenya, Monday March 4, 2013. Five years after more than 1,000 people were killed in election-related violence, Kenyans went to the polls on Monday to begin casting votes in the nationwide election seen as the country's most important - and complicated - in its 50-year history. (AP Photo/Riccardo Gangale)

    View PhotoAssociated Press/Riccardo Gangale – Masaai line up to vote in a general election in Ilbissil, Kenya, Monday March 4, 2013. Five years after more than 1,000 people were killed in election-related violence, Kenyans …more 

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  • A Kenya Army truck patrols along the Mombasa-Malindi highway following election day attacks by secessionists near Mombasa, Kenya Monday, March 4, 2013. Multiple attacks against security forces in Kenya on Monday killed at least 12 people as Kenyans waited in long lines to cast ballots five years after more than 1,000 people died in election-related violence. (AP Photo)View PhotoA Kenya Army truck patrols along …
  • An elderly man leaves after casting his vote, while long lines of other waiting voters form outside, at the Mutumo primary school near Gatundu, north of Nairobi, in Kenya Monday, March 4, 2013. Multiple attacks against security forces in Kenya on Monday killed at least 12 people as Kenyans waited in long lines to cast ballots five years after more than 1,000 people died in election-related violence. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)View PhotoAn elderly man leaves after casting …

Kenyans are waiting in long lines to cast their ballots five years after more than 1,000 people died in election-related violence. Multiple attacks against security forces in Kenya on Monday killed at least 19 people. The country’s top two presidential candidates condemned the attacks. Prime Minister Raila Odinga called it a “heinous act of aggression” during a historic exercise. Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta said he was discouraged by the news but he was sure the security situation would be brought under control.

Here is a collection of images from AP’s team of photographers covering this tense day of voting in Kenya.

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Follow AP photographers on Twitter: http://apne.ws/XEJ4O2

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By The Associated Press | Associated Press

Violent start to Kenya vote: Police die in attack.


  • Masaai women line up at dawn to vote in a general election in Kumpa, Kenya, Monday, March 4, 2013. Five years after more than 1,000 people were killed in election-related violence, Kenyans went to the polls on Monday to begin casting votes in a nationwide election seen as the country's most important - and complicated - in its 50-year history. (AP Photo/Riccardo Gangale)

    View PhotoAssociated Press/Riccardo Gangale – Masaai women line up at dawn to vote in a general election in Kumpa, Kenya, Monday, March 4, 2013. Five years after more than 1,000 people were killed in election-related …more 

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NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A pre-dawn attack on police in Kenya on Monday killed several officers hours before Kenyans began casting votes in a nationwide election being held five years after more than 1,000 people died in election-related violence.

Police in the coastal city of Mombasa reported a 2 a.m. attack by an armed gang. Reports indicated several officers — perhaps four or five — and several attackers were killed. Police didn’t immediately confirm a death toll.

Reports emerged of a second deadly attack on police just north of Mombasa. The U.N. restricted the movement of its staff on the coast because of the violence.

Long lines around the country left voters frustrated in the election’s early hours. Anti-fraud fingerprint voter ID technology being used for the first time appeared to be greatly slowing the process.

Prime Minster Raila Odinga — one of two top candidates for president — voted at an elementary school and acknowledged what he called voting challenges. He said poll workers were taking action to “remedy the anomalies.”

“Never before have Kenyans turned up in such numbers,” he said. “I’m sure they’re going to vote for change this election.”

The country’s leaders have been working for months to reduce election-related tensions, but multiple factors make more vote violence likely. The police said late Sunday that criminals were planning to dress in police uniforms and disrupt voting in some locations.

In addition, intelligence on the Somali-Kenya border indicated Somali militants planned to launch attacks; a secessionist group on the coast threatened — and perhaps already carried out — attacks; the tribes of the top two presidential candidates have a long history of tense relations; and 47 new governor races are being held, increasing the chances of electoral problems at the local level.

Perhaps most importantly, Uhuru Kenyatta, the other top presidential candidate, faces charges at the International Criminal Court for orchestrating Kenya’s 2007-08 postelection violence. If he wins, the U.S. and Europe could scale back relations with Kenya, and Kenyatta may have to spend a significant portion of his presidency at The Hague. Kenyatta’s running mate, William Ruto, also faces charges at the ICC.

Long lines began forming early across the nation. In Kibera, Nairobi’s largest slum, some 1,000 people stood in several lines at one polling station before daybreak. Voter Arthur Shakwira said he got in line at 4 a.m. but left the queue over confusion about which line to stand in.

“We should prepare these voting areas sooner,” Shakwira said. “Confusion. All the time it’s confusion.”

Kenyatta, a Kikuyu who is the son of Kenya’s founding president, faces Raila Odinga, a Luo whose father was the country’s first vice president. Polls show the two in a close race, with support for each in the mid-40-percent range. Eight candidates are running for president, making it likely Odinga and Kenyatta will be matched up in an April run-off, when tensions could be even higher.

Most voters in Kibera —like Amos Achola, who said he arrived at the polling station at 2 a.m. — support Odinga.

“I think he wins but if he doesn’t win I’ll abide by the outcome,” Achola said. “The other guy is also a Kenyan. If Kenyatta wins I’ll accept it but I won’t like. But I don’t want violence.”

New technology — in part to prevent the allegations of rigging that haunted the 2007 vote — appeared to slow the voting. At the Mutomo Primary School in Gatundu, where Kenyatta is expected to cast his ballot, voting officials seemed overwhelmed by the finger-print technology. The election worker behind the computer looked nervous and sometimes scratched his head.

The first person to vote, an eldery woman, cast her ballot at 6:25 a.m., 25 minutes after the polls opened.

In Mombasa, police boss Aggrey Adoli said that police were attacked at 2 a.m. by a marauding gang while on patrol. He didn’t immediately confirm a death toll but reporters at the scene said police indicated that up to five officers and several attackers were killed.

A late Sunday attack in the city of Garissa, near the Somali border, killed two people — a Red Cross paramedic and a driver. Officials said a candidate for parliament had been the target but was not hit.

Garissa County Commissioner Mohamed Ahmed Maalim said Sunday that officials intercepted communications that indicated terror attacks were planned. Maalim said soldiers are patrolling the region to prevent attacks from al-Shabab, the al-Qaida-linked Somali militant group. He said 300 specialized troops known as GSU are patrolling the Dadaab refugee camp, where more than 400,000 Somalis live.

In the weeks leading up to Monday’s vote, described by Odinga as the most consequential since independence from the British in 1963, peace activists and clerics worked to ensure the election would be peaceful despite lingering tensions.

Odinga’s acrimonious loss to President Mwai Kibaki in 2007 triggered violence that ended only after the international community stepped in. Odinga was named prime minister in a coalition government led by Kibaki, with Kenyatta named deputy prime minister.

Some 99,000 police officers will be on duty during an election in which some 14 million people are expected to vote.

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Associated Press reporter Daud Yussuf in Garissa contributed to this report. Rodney Muhumuza reported from Gatunda.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By JASON STRAZIUSO and RODNEY MUHUMUZA | Associated Press

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