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Friday's campaign round-up

Today's installment of campaign-related news items that won't necessarily generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers:

* In Kentucky, Senate hopeful Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) hopes to capitalize on public outrage over the government shutdown with videos like this one, blaming the fiasco in part on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), whom Grimes has labeled "Senator Gridlock."

* In Virginia, E.W. Jackson, the Republican Party's bizarre candidate for lieutenant governor, has repeatedly boasted about having been the former chaplain of the Boston Red Sox. As it turns out, those claims are now in doubt and there is no evidence to bolster them.

* In New Jersey, Senate candidate Cory Booker (D) has begun canceling campaign events in the wake of his father's death yesterday. The special election is this upcoming Wednesday.

* Because it's a three-way contest, the gubernatorial race in Maine remains very close, with a new statewide poll showing Rep. Mike Michaud (D) leading incumbent Gov. Paul LePage (R), 33% to 30%. As was the case in 2010, independent Eliot Cutler is splitting the mainstream vote, and is third with 24%.

* In Texas, Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R) is worried enough about support from his far-right base that he's running his first batch of re-election ads with this tagline: "Conservative Like Texas." The campaign is investing "several hundred thousand dollars" as part of this initial ad buy.

* And while Senate candidates' quarterly fundraising reports are generally not terribly interesting, Georgia's Michelle Nunn (D) has raised $1.7 million since kicking off her campaign in July, which is kind of amazing given that she's in a "red" state and she isn't an incumbent. Nunn has no primary opponent, and the GOP field is crowded. In other words, keep an eye on this one.