Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
June 3, 2015

June 2, 2015

Kelly Wins Runoff for Mississippi House Seat

Kelly won a special election in Mississippi. (Rogelio V. Solis/AP File Photo)

Kelly had the support of Nunnelee’s widow, and a base of voters from his role as DA in a number of the district’s counties. (Rogelio V. Solis/AP File Photo)

District Attorney Trent Kelly, a Republican, will win a special-election runoff in Mississippi’s 1st District by a nearly 2-1 margin Tuesday night, succeeding the late Rep. Alan Nunnelee, The Associated Press projects.

With just over half of the vote in, Kelly was leading Democrat Walter Zinn, 69 percent to 31 percent, the AP reported.

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DNC’s Mo Elleithee Leaving Politics for Georgetown

Elleithee is leaving politics. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Elleithee said he is leaving politics “to learn how to do it better.” (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mo Elleithee, communications director for the Democratic National Committee, announced in a post on Medium Tuesday that he’s leaving the DNC to serve as executive director of the newly created Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service at the McCourt School of Public Service.

“I’m leaving politics to learn how to do it better,” Elleithee wrote. “And I’m counting on young people to show me how.” Full story

Rematches Invite ‘Retread’ Label, Familiar Themes

It’s a Senate rematch for Toomey, left, and Sestak, right. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s a good thing neither former Rep. Joe Sestak nor Sen. Patrick J. Toomey has grown a mustache in the past six years.

That’ll give ad-makers for both campaigns plenty of footage to work with as the two men face off in a rematch of Pennsylvania’s 2010 Senate race.

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June 1, 2015

Mike Coffman Rules Out Colorado Senate Bid

Coffman will seek re-election to the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Coffman will seek re-election to the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Colorado 6th District Rep. Mike Coffman will not challenge Sen. Michael Bennet for Senate, The Denver Post reported Monday afternoon.

“I have decided to seek re-election in the House so that I may continue my mission to clean up the VA, where my position as Chairman of the House Veterans Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee has allowed me to shine a light on the culture of bureaucratic incompetence and corruption,” Coffman said in a prepared statement obtained by the Post.

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David McKinley Not Running for Governor in West Virginia

McKinley's decision ends speculation about who might run for his House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McKinley’s decision ends speculation about who would run for his seat in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

West Virginia Rep. David McKinley plans to announce Monday that he’s not running for governor in 2016, according to two sources with knowledge of McKinley’s plans. McKinley plans to make the announcement at a 3:30 p.m. Eastern conference call with reporters.

The congressman’s office declined to comment, but his decision to bow out of the race ends months of speculation about who would take over his safe Republican seat if he left Washington. Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain carried the district by double-digit margins in 2012 and 2008, respectively. A number of GOP state legislators had expressed interest in the seat. Full story

Appealing to Hawks, Lindsey Graham Jumps Into 2016 Presidential Ring

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Graham announced he’s running for president and vowed to defeat “radical Islam.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:42 p.m. | Just hours after Sen. Rand Paul claimed a temporary victory in his quest to rein in the National Security Agency, the leader of what the Kentucky Republican blasted as the “eye-roll caucus” threw his own hat into the 2016 presidential ring.

Sen. Lindsey Graham formally launched his presidential bid with a predictably foreign policy-heavy speech in his hometown of Central, S.C., where he grew up in a tiny space at his parents’ bar room and pool hall.

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EMILY’s List Targets 15 Republicans for 2016

Schriock is the president of EMILY's List. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Schriock is the president of EMILY’s List. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

EMILY’s List put 15 GOP incumbents “On Notice” for their re-election bids Monday, naming its top GOP targets for 2016, according to a release provided first to CQ Roll Call.

The group, which backs women who support abortion rights, says each incumbent has a bad record on women’s health issues, and will make it a priority to find female recruits to challenge them next fall. The list is almost identical to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s top targets in 2016, when the party will seek to put a dent in Republicans’ historic House majority.

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DCCC Isn’t ‘Rushing’ to Make Endorsements

Luján is the chairman of the DCCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ben Ray Luján is the chairman of the DCCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Exactly two years ago, a crop of Democratic House recruits were in Washington, D.C., being fêted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The seven recruits were in the initial crop of the newly launched Jumpstart program, which sought to squash potential primary battles in top-target races by supporting seemingly strong recruits early.

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May 28, 2015

Carol Shea-Porter ‘Ready to Win’ N.H. Seat Back

Shea-Porter is contemplating a fourth rematch in New Hampshire. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Shea-Porter is signaling she wants a fourth rematch with Guinta next fall in New Hampshire. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire told supporters in an email Thursday she is “ready to win” back the seat she was ousted from in 2014.

Shea-Porter has been contemplating another rematch with Rep. Frank C. Guinta, the Republican she has sparred with since the 2010 cycle who is currently embattled in a campaign finance scandal. While it’s unclear whether Shea-Porter is running again in 2016, her declarative statement is a clear sign she is moving closer to another comeback bid in the Granite State’s 1st District.

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May 27, 2015

Why Titus Won’t Run for Reid’s Senate Seat

Titus will seek re-election in Nevada's 1st District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Titus will seek re-election in Nevada’s 1st District instead of running for the Senate seat that Reid is vacating. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Some jobs are too good to risk. Even for a Senate bid.

That’s how Nevada Rep. Dina Titus feels about her job representing the state’s 1st District.

“I’d hate to start over as a freshman in the Senate from a small state,” she told CQ Roll Call Wednesday afternoon.

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Veteran Democratic Consultants Launch New Media Firm

Ken Morley and Philip de Vellis, two longtime Democratic political operatives, have joined forces to launch Beacon Media — a Democratic media consulting firm based in Washington, D.C.

“We formed Beacon Media to provide Democratic candidates and issue advocacy groups with advertising that combines groundbreaking creative with a solid strategic foundation that leverages the latest delivery technology to reach voters in today’s fractured media landscape,” de Vellis said in a news release, provided to CQ Roll Call.

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May 26, 2015

Democrats Search for Candidate Who Can Beat Coffman

Coffman is a top target for Democrats in 2016. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Coffman is a top target for Democrats in 2016. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After two consecutive cycles of trying and failing to oust Republican Rep. Mike Coffman from his Colorado swing district, Democrats are searching for the right candidate to take him out once and for all.

Coffman has proved resilient over his four terms. He has been a top Democratic target since redistricting reshaped his solidly Republican district into a more competitive one. After a tight race in 2012, defeating his opponent by 2 points, he easily toppled former state Speaker Andrew Romanoff by 9 points last fall.

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Kirkpatrick to Challenge McCain in Arizona

Kirkpatrick is running for Senate in Arizona. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kirkpatrick is running for Senate in Arizona. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated, 2:05 p.m. | Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick will challenge Republican Sen. John McCain, according to a source with knowledge of Kirkpatrick’s plans, giving Democrats a top recruit and a potential pickup opportunity.

Kirkpatrick made calls Monday to inform people of her plans, the source told CQ Roll Call. Her bid also opens up Arizona’s 1st District, a GOP-leaning seat spanning the northeast quadrant of the state.

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May 22, 2015

Knight: 2nd Quarter Will Quell Fundraising Doubts

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 19: Rep.-elect Steve Knight, R-Calif., celebrates after drawing the 1st pick in the room lottery draw and selection for the incoming members of the 114th Congress on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Knight, celebrating after drawing the first pick in the Capitol office lottery last November, acknowledges he has to kick up his fund-raising a notch. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Freshman California Republican Steve Knight promises he’ll do much better raising campaign money in the second quarter than he did in the first.

Knight raised less than $29,000 in the first quarter, stirring doubts about his ability to defend his seat in a district that leans only slightly Republican and that President Barack Obama carried in 2008. Full story

May 20, 2015

What Happens If Coffman Says No

Republicans are courting Coffman to run for Senate in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans want Coffman to run for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans are trying to recruit Rep. Mike Coffman to challenge Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in Colorado. If he stays put in the House, that gives the GOP a crop of candidates who could have a harder time in what will be one of Republicans’ few offensive opportunities in 2016.

Coffman will have breakfast Thursday with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who will surely make the case to convince the four-term lawmaker to try and join him across the rotunda. Asked about recruitment efforts, Coffman quipped, “Pressure, pressure, pressure.”

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