Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 6, 2015

July 6, 2015

Joe Heck to Run for Nevada Senate (Video)

Heck plans to run for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Heck twice won re-election in his district by large margins. (File Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep Joe Heck announced Monday he’ll run for Senate in Nevada, giving Republicans a top pick in a crucial contest that could determine Senate control.

I see a Nevada of unlimited opportunity, a place with better jobs, higher wages and the chance to rise as far as the path will take us,” the GOP lawmaker said in a video announcing his Senate run. “And that’s why I’m running for the United States Senate.”

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GOP Women’s Recruitment Effort Adapts for 2016

Ellmers was one of the founders of Project GROW. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ellmers was one of the founders of Project GROW. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Republican women’s recruitment effort is experiencing some growing pains.

Project GROW (which stands for Growing Republican Opportunities for Women) was launched in 2013 to try to elect more GOP women to Congress. But with the historic Republican majority in the House, the effort has a big challenge to address in its second cycle: limited room to grow.

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July 3, 2015

Edwards Releases Senate Fundraising Totals

Edwards and Van Hollen are running for Senate in 2016. (Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly File Photo)

Edwards and Van Hollen are running for Senate in 2016. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Donna Edwards’ Senate campaign said Friday the Democrat raised $590,000 in the second quarter — ending the first half of the year with less than $1 million in the bank for her primary race for the open Maryland Senate seat.

The campaign said the $924,000 raised year-to-date comes from more than 10,000 donors.

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Academics Say Higher Education Prepared Them for Higher Office

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Economics professor Brat said his 20-minute stump speeches played well with voters because they recognized his genuine concern. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

When sociology professor John Trammell ran for Congress in 2014, he was “amazed” by how well prepared he was to be a politician.

Public speaking, prolific writing, research, the internal politics of higher education and the experience of being critiqued through peer review — all were skills applicable both in the ivory tower and in politics.

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July 2, 2015

Republicans Aiming to Register Voters at NASCAR

Many of the fans the RNC plans to approach this weekend would want to see Dale Earnhardt Jr. in victory lane. (Jerry Markland/Getty Images File Photo)

Many of the fans the RNC plans to approach this weekend would want to see Dale Earnhardt Jr. in victory lane. (Jerry Markland/Getty Images File Photo)

Reince Priebus won’t be behind the wheel of a stock car, but the the Republican National Committee is going to Daytona International Speedway.

Spectators at this weekend’s NASCAR races in Florida will be encouraged to register to vote. You might say the party’s staff and volunteers will be “at the races” — literally.

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July 1, 2015

Retired Army Colonel to Challenge Stefanik

Stefanik leaves the Capitol Hill Club with aide Anthony Pileggi Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Stefanik leaves the Capitol Hill Club with aide Anthony Pileggi on June 24. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrat Mike Derrick, a retired Army colonel, said Wednesday he will run for Congress in New York’s 21st District, challenging freshman Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik in a district President Barack Obama won twice.

In a statement from his hometown of Peru, New York, Derrick touted his 30 years in the military — which took him from the Demilitarized Zone in South Korea, to the German border and to domestic posts — but said his campaign would focus on issues such as education, agriculture and income inequality.

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June 30, 2015

Murphy to Announce He’ll Seek Rematch With Blum (Updated)

A handful of Democrats are looking to take on Blum in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A handful of Democrats are looking to take on Blum in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:20 p.m. | Former state Rep. Pat Murphy, D-Iowa, will announce a bid for the Iowa House seat he lost in 2014, according to a source with knowledge of Murphy’s plans.

Murphy will face a crowded Democratic primary field looking to take on freshman Republican Rep. Rod Blum, one of the most vulnerable House GOP incumbents in the country.

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June 29, 2015

State Senator Considering Run for Arizona Open House Seat

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Kirkpatrick is giving up her House seat to run for McCain’s Senate seat. (File Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Arizona State Sen. Barbara McGuire, a Democrat, said Monday she is considering a run for the Democratic nomination in the state’s 1st Congressional District.

In a statement, McGuire stopped short of declaring her candidacy. Instead, she said she plans to “take the next few weeks to discuss the possibility” with people she knows and her constituents.

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Voting-Rights Advocates Get Win at Supreme Court

Monday’s big election law news came from the Supreme Court’s penultimate decision of the term upholding Arizona’s congressional districts.

But before handing down its last three decisions, the court made voting-rights advocates happy by deciding not to review a different election case.

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Cruz Says McConnell Misled on Funding Incumbents

Cruz is a Republican from Texas. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cruz is a Republican from Texas. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz is suggesting current Majority Leader Mitch McConnell misled him about the objectives of the National Republican Senatorial Committee last cycle.

The Texas Republican’s vice chairmanship of the party campaign committee was always a bit mysterious, and in his new book to be released Tuesday, Cruz contends that McConnell, the longtime Kentucky senator who faced perhaps the most vociferous tea party primary challenger of the year, said the NRSC would not be defending its own incumbents.

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Supreme Court Upholds Arizona’s Congressional Map (Updated)

U.S. Supreme Court

The court could have thrown elections in Arizona and California into chaos. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 11:20 a.m. | The Supreme Court upheld Arizona’s congressional map Monday, declaring in a 5-4 ruling the use of an independent redistricting commission that drew House district lines in the 2012 cycle did not violate the Constitution.

If the court had thrown out the state’s map, it could have sent the 2016 elections into chaos in Arizona and it could have had implications for neighboring California’s map, drawn by a similar independent commission.

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June 26, 2015

Vermont Rep. Welch Won’t Run for Governor

Welch is running for re-election and not for governor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Welch is running for re-election and not for governor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Vermont’s Democratic Rep. Peter Welch announced Friday morning that he will run for re-election to his at-large district and not return to the Green Mountain State to run for governor.

After Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin said earlier this month that he would not seek a fourth term, speculation immediately turned to the five-term congressman as a strong contender who could clear the Democratic field.

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GOP Tries to Portray Feingold as a Hypocrite Over PAC Spending

Feingold is running a comeback bid in Wisconsin. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Feingold is running a comeback bid in Wisconsin. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans are eager to use former Sen. Russ Feingold’s signature issue against him in 2016, as the Democrat wages a comeback bid in a Senate contest key to his party’s quest for the majority.

After losing re-election to a fourth term in 2010, Feingold, who had championed limits on spending in federal elections, launched the Progressives United PAC, which the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported spent a large percentage of the $7.1 million it raised on overhead and staff salaries. Republicans are already attempting to use that news to paint Feingold as a hypocrite.

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June 25, 2015

Michigan’s Benishek Gets a Democratic Challenger — or Two

Johnson's entrance into the 1st District race puts Benishek on defensive. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Benishek now has a credible Democratic challenger. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans have a new defensive responsibility in their quest to maintain their House majority.

Michigan Rep. Dan Benishek, who has represented the 1st District for three terms, not only faces potential primary threats for breaking his term-limit pledge, but now also has a credible Democratic challenger.

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Democrats Search for Katko Opponent in New York Swing District

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Democrats have targeted freshman incumbent Katko but haven’t yet come up with a candidate to challenge him. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As political parties pick up the pace of recruiting candidates ahead of next year’s congressional elections, Democrats are searching for a candidate in NY’s 24th Congressional District to challenge what they see as a vulnerable incumbent.

Considered one of only 10 Tossup districts in the country by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call, both parties have made winning the seat a top priority. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has targeted first-term Rep. John Katko on its “One-Term Wonders” list of Republican freshmen, and the National Republican Congressional Committee placed Katko in the party’s Patriot Program, which is meant to protect its most at-risk incumbents.

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