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First Read's Morning Clips: More Ward v. McSally

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
Image: Kelli Ward
Dr. Kelli Ward concedes to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in Scottsdale, Arizona on August 30, 2016.David Kadlubowski / AP file

MIDTERM MADNESS: Ward blasts McSally over her vote for spending bill

The DCCC has added nine candidates to its red-to-blue program, writes one of us(!)

AL: A record number of black women are running for office in Alabama.

AZ-SEN: Kelli Ward is blasting Martha McSally over her vote for the omnibus.

IL-GOV: Jeanne Ives is refusing to speak with Bruce Rauner.

ND-SEN: Leigh Ann Caldwell reports on how a Koch-backed group solicited actors for an anti-Heitkamp ad.

MA-GOV: Charlie Baker still has high approval ratings — and most voters haven’t heard of the Democrats running against him.

MI-GOV: The Michigan Chamber of Commerce is endorsing Attorney General Bill Schuette.

WI: A judge has ruled that Gov. Scott Walker must call special elections to fill two open seats in the legislature.

TRUMP AGENDA: “The most radically aggressive foreign policy team” in modern memory

Here’s our reporting on Trump’s selection of Bush-era hawk John Bolton as National Security Adviser.

The New York Times describes Bolton’s ascension as a part of “the most radically aggressive foreign policy team around the American president in modern memory.”

Trump appears to be moving toward sitting down with Mueller after the departure of John Dowd, our team scoops.

And from Hallie Jackson and Carol Lee: “In the midst of a Cabinet shake-up and a possible staff upheaval, President Donald Trump considered firing his chief of staff this month and not naming a successor, according to three people familiar with the discussions. Trump has mused to close associates about running the West Wing as he did his business empire, essentially serving as his own chief of staff, these people said.”

No government shutdown. Here’s Rebecca Shabad on the passage of the $1.3 trillion spending bill to fund federal operations through September 30.

And here’s POLITICO on the behind-the-scenes negotiations of Mitch McConnell to get the bill passed.

From one of us (!): Nearly six-in-10 Americans say that gun ownership increases safety, even as a plurality of respondents support gun-control organizations.

China is threatening to raise tariffs on about $3 billion of U.S. imports.

Here’s what former Playboy model Karen McDougal said about her alleged 10-month affair with Trump.