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MIDTERM MADNESS: Biden heads to Tennessee

Democratic mayors are looking for openings in the 2020 presidential primary race, The Hill reports.

Ohio governor and 2016 GOP candidate John Kasich told CNN he is “unlikely” to challenge Trump as an independent in 2020.

CT-5: The survivor of a deadly home invasion is considering a congressional run to replace outgoing Rep. Elizabeth Esty, the Hartford Courant reports.

FL-22: Conservative blogger and congressional candidate Javier Manjarres accused Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch of “exploiting” the victims of the Parkland shooting.

NV-SEN: Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Las Vegas to raise cash for GOP Sen. Dean Heller, Politico reports.

OH-SEN: Trump’s moves on tariffs are putting GOP Senate candidate Jim Renacci in a tough sport as Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown embraces the strategy, the Washington Post reports.

TN-SEN: Former Vice President Joe Biden will fundraise for Tennessee Senate candidate Phil Bredesen next week.

WV-SEN: Republican Senate candidate Patrick Morrisey drops West Virginia mountains on the U.S. Capitol in a new ad.

TRUMP AGENDA: Staying in Syria – for now

with his national security team on Tuesday to keep U.S. troops in Syria for an undetermined period of time with the goal of defeating ISIS, a senior administration official said Wednesday.”

Trump signed a proclamation Wednesday to send the National Guard to the southern border.

From NBC’s Lee, Kube and Edelman: “President Donald Trump reluctantly agreed in a meeting

“Special counsel Robert Mueller's team has taken the unusual step of questioning Russian oligarchs who traveled into the US,” CNN reports.

The White House is trying to tamp down fears of a trade war with China.

Scott Pruitt and his allies are waging a campaign to save the embattled EPA head’s job,Politico reports.

And the EPA’s principal deputy general counsel said he lacked key facts when evaluating Pruitt’s lease.

“An emboldened President Trump is discovering that the policies he once described as easy fixes for the nation are a lot more complicated in reality,” the Washington Post reports.

From the AP: “Anticipating an unpredictable president’s next moves, U.S. officials have started actively planning for the likelihood that Donald Trump will announce next month that the U.S. is withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal.”

From Politico: Cost-cutting former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had grand ambitions for a department ‘redesign,’ but its clearest impact is a huge bill for consultants, some of whom charged more than $300 an hour.

The Hill reports Chief of Staff John Kelly has lost influence in the West Wing.

The New York Times looks at how the “caravan” story exploded from the conservative media to the top of Trump’s consciousness.

“Trump's top infrastructure adviser is leaving the administration,”NBC’s Adam Edelman and Hallie Jackson report.