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First Read's Morning Clips: About last night

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
Image: U.S. Democratic congressional candidate Conor Lamb speaks during his election night rally in Pennsylvania's 18th U.S. Congressional district special election against Republican candidate and State Rep. Rick Saccone, in Canonsburg
Democratic congressional candidate Conor Lamb speaks during his election night rally in Pennsylvania's 18th U.S. Congressional district special election against Republican candidate and State Rep. Rick Saccone, on March 13, 2018 in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.Brendan McDermid / Reuters

MIDTERM MADNESS: About last night

PA-18: Here’s NBC’s latest on the very, very close race: “Democrat Conor Lamb is the apparent winner over Republican Rick Saccone in Tuesday's special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, according to an NBC News projection. With 99 percent of the votes counted, Lamb was leading by 641 votes in a district long held by the GOP and one that President Donald Trump — who backed Saccone — carried by 20 points in 2016.”

The Washington Post’s lede: “The neck-and-neck result in Tuesday’s special congressional election in a reliably Republican Pennsylvania district revealed that the appetite for President Trump’s style of politics may have its limits in the land of shuttered steel mills and coal mines that has been the core of his support base.”

And here’s the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on how a potential challenge could conceivably work: “If the race is still too close to call after the absentee ballots are counted, voters or candidates could call for a recount or recanvass of votes, but the process is onerous. Voters have until officials are done with the computation of the votes on Friday to file a challenge with their county Board of Elections. The computation includes the counting of absentee ballots.”

AZ-SEN: Meghan McCain says she’s “cautiously optimistic” that her father will be back to the Senate by summer, but she said there’s no clear timetable.

CA-21: David Valadao’s family farm is facing a lawsuit over debts.

CA-39: Democratic candidate Jay Chen is dropping out, helping the party consolidate the field.

GA-GOV: New Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is planning to endorse in the Democratic gubernatorial primary “in the near future,” writes Buzzfeed — and most people think she’ll endorse Stacey Evans.

MO-SEN: The Koch network is boosting its spending in Missouri and Indiana.

NH: This could have big implications for New Hampshire and for the 2020 presidential race: Secretary of State Bill Gardner is getting a reelection challenger in former 2016 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Colin Van Ostern.

NJ-19: The Democratic field has a new contender — and she’s introducing herself by saying “I’m not gonna let those boys beat me.”

NY-GOV: Cynthia Nixon’s spouse has quit her job with the city in another sign that the “Sex and the City” star is mulling a gubernatorial run.

And a former top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo was convicted on fraud and bribery charges in a federal corruption case on Tuesday.

TN: No flip for Democrats in yesterday’s state Senate special election in Tennessee.

TX-GOV: The contenders for Texas Democratic gubernatorial nominee are debating about debates.


The Washington Post does a deep dive into Tillerson’s firing and the areas of disagreement that soured the relationship between himself and the president.

And the New York Times writes that Trump is increasingly turning to loyalists who reflect his own views.

The AP describes Trump’s scandal-ridden and often irrelevant Cabinet.

Leigh Ann Caldwell outlines why Trump’s nominees for Secretary of State and the CIA will face tough questions (and in a midterm election season, too).

Here’s how Tillerson’s ouster could kill the Iran nuclear deal, per POLITICO.

Could Trump replace David Shulkin with Rick Perry?

Trump wants larger tariffs to punish China for stealing trade secrets.

CNN reports that Ben Carson and his wife may have been more involved than they let on in the selection of pricey furniture.

Democrats are vowing to issue a rebuttal to the House Intelligence Committee’s Republican report on Trump and Russia.

And a judge says that Paul Manafort could face the “rest of life in prison.”

The parents of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich are suing Fox News.

Democrats are distancing themselves from Hillary Clinton’s comments about the “backward” message that attracted Trump voters.