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First Read's Morning Clips: Roadblocks for female GOP candidates

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club in 2015.Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call via AP

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MIDTERM MADNESS: GOP is throwing up roadblocks for its female candidates

Nathan Gonzales in Roll Call: “Republicans have to get better about encouraging and cultivating women to seek higher office — but at some point, they’ll also have to stop throwing up roadblocks in front of the credible women who decide to run.”

What exactly is Rand Paul up to with his endorsements? McClatchy takes a look at whether the Kentucky Republican is a “new Steve Bannon.”

AZ-08: Well, this is something. In the Arizona Republic: “Days before Steve Montenegro decided to run for Congress, a state Senate staffer was trading flirtatious text messages with a cellphone number associated with Montenegro, according to a record of the messages viewed by The Arizona Republic.” (Montenegro is the candidate endorsed by outgoing Rep. Trent Franks.)

CA-50: Carl DeMaio is considering a primary challenge against Duncan Hunter.

FL-SEN: The Washington Post writes on the political risk of Marco Rubio’s move to support raising age limits on gun purchases and to “reconsider” his opposition to high-capacity magazine limits.

IA-1: “U.S. Rep Rod Blum violated House ethics rules by failing to disclose his role in a company that he formed, a company that used one of his federal staffers in a false testimonial for its services, an Associated Press review shows.”

IL-3: Dan Lipinski and Marie Newman faced off in their only debate last night. Meanwhile, super PACs are now playing in the race.

IL-SEN: Republican candidate Mike Braun is up with a new ad invoking the death of a Colts linebacker in a car crash with an undocumented immigrant who was driving drunk.

KS-GOV: Kris Kobach may consider former rival Wink Hartman as a running mate.

MO-GOV: In the wake of the allegations against Eric Greitens, the Missouri House is advancing an anti-“revenge porn” bill.

NY-21: Former MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan is running for Congress.

NY-22: Rep. Claudia Tenney, in a radio interview yesterday: “It’s interesting that so many of these people that commit the mass murders end up being Democrats … but the media doesn’t talk about that either.”

OH-GOV: Richard Cordray, who has a top rating from the NRA, laid out a new gun reform position that includes universal background checks and a pledge to “rethink our approach” on assault weapons.

PA-2: The Wall Street Journal reports that Democratic Rep. Brendan Boyle will run in the new Second District, under the new congressional map.

PA-GOV: Alex Trebek will moderate a gubernatorial debate.

PA-SEN: Pat Toomey says that talk about impeachment of some members of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is “a conversation that has to happen.”

TN-2: The House Ethics Committee has opened an investigation into retiring Rep. Jimmy Duncan Jr.

TN-SEN: Marsha Blackburn has netted the endorsements of 18 GOP state senators despite chatter about Corker’s reentry.

TX-29: Local Democrats aren’t happy with Chuck Schumer’s endorsement of a wealthy donor over a Hispanic female candidate.

TRUMP AGENDA: CPAC is back

NBC’s Jonathan Allen sums up the pre-CPAC clash between conservatives heading into the annual conference.

Ali Vitali reports on yesterday’s listening session at the White House in the wake of the Parkland shooting, when Trump expressed support for arming school officials and teachers.

The New York Times looks at the rise of NRATV, where some of the most strident pro-gun messages are disseminated.

Trump, in a tweet this morning: “I never said “give teachers guns” like was stated on Fake News @CNN & @nbc. What I said was to look at the possibility of giving “concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience - only the best.”

A scoop yesterday in the Washington Post: “Melania Trump’s parents are legal permanent residents, raising questions about whether they relied on ‘chain migration’”

“The White House has given Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin the green light to quash an internal rebellion among conservative foes of his leadership, he told POLITICO late Tuesday.”

What was going on with the “#TwitterLockOut” hashtag yesterday? The Washington Post takes a look at Twitter’s suspension of thousands of accounts.

POLITICO sums up the past year of ethics problems in the House.

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