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Off to the races: Dem priorities for '14 -- guns and minimum wage

The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent: “Dems in charge of the party’s strategy for retaking the House next year are planning to campaign aggressively on not just tax fairness and defending entitlements, as in the last two elections, but on issues like gun control and the minimum wage, too. In an interview today, DCCC chair Steve Israel told me the party’s House candidates will be running aggressively on Obama’s proposals to reduce gun violence and raise the minimum wage.”

“Twice burned, Republicans are treading carefully around tea party groups as they pursue a Senate majority that slipped through their fingers in 2010 and 2012,” the AP writes.

National Journal: “Bashing ‘Obamacare’ just isn’t what it used to be. Just over two years ago, the rallying cry against President Obama’s health care overhaul unified Republicans and hoisted the party to historic electoral gains in state capitals and in Washington. But in the latest sign the script has flipped, Florida Gov. Rick Scott — who rode that tea-party-fueled crusade to victory in 2010 — this week became the seventh Republican governor to agree to the new law’s Medicaid expansion.”

“The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised just $1.5 million in January, according to its most recent fundraising report,” Roll Call writes. “That’s significantly less than the $4.2 million the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee brought in last month.” The DSCC, though, had more debt.

GEORGIA: Rep. Phil Gingrey’s set to run for the Senate, too, The Hill reports.

ILLINOIS: Robin Kelly, the Cook County chief administrative officer, looks like the favorite to replace convicted ex-Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. in next week’s special election.

MASSACHUSETTS: “Representative Edward Markey is refusing to back down from comments he made this week that seemed to compare the US Supreme Court’s decision on campaign finance law to the high court’s 19th-century Dred Scott decision, which upheld slavery,” the Boston Globe writes.

NEBRASKA: Is the next Scott Brown this man, one of People magazine’s 50 most beautiful people?

NEVADA: Harry Reid, retiring to make way for Chuck Schumer? Not so fast… Reid isn’t up again until 2016, but asked by local reporters if he plans to run again, he said, “Sure, why not?”

SOUTH CAROLINA: Grooms-ing him for the seat? “Palmetto State Republican Reps. Jeff Duncan and Mick Mulvaney backed state Sen. Larry Grooms on Thursday for the GOP nomination in the 1st District special election,” Roll Call reports. “Grooms, who faces 15 opponents including former Gov. Mark Sanford in a March 19 primary, will likely receive a major boost from their endorsements. GOP insiders see Grooms as ideologically similar to Sanford — very conservative — but without the former governor’s political baggage.”

The Hill calls the endorsements “a blow to Sanford, who hopes to return to the House and revive a once promising political career.”

SOUTH DAKOTA: John Thune told a class of second graders he has no plans to run for president. Roll Call: “Do I plan on running for president?” Thune said. “I don’t. I enjoy the job I have. And being the president is a very, very hard job.”