Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 24, 2014

April 24, 2014

Super PAC Ties GOP Challenger to Koch Brothers

Super PAC Ties GOP Challenger to Koch Brothers

Rahall faces a competitive race for a 20th term (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Majority PAC, a super PAC that aims to elect House Democrats, has a new ad tying a GOP challenger in West Virginia to conservative businessmen David and Charles Koch.

The ad hits state Sen. Evan Jenkins, who is running against Rep. Nick J. Rahall II, D-W.V., in one of this cycle’s most competitive House races.

But Jenkins only makes a cameo in the super PAC’s ad. Images of the brothers — who spend heavily in politics — are featured in the spot for 26 seconds in the 30-second spot.

“The Koch brothers wouldn’t be billionaires, if they didn’t get what they paid for,” a narrator said of Jenkins. “In Washington, Evan Jenkins won’t work for us.”

Full story

April 23, 2014

Ex-Congressman’s Son Touts Trucking Business in TV Spot

Ex Congressmans Son Touts Trucking Business in TV Spot

Collins is running for Congress in Georgia. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Trucking company owner Mike Collins, one of seven Republicans looking to succeed Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., debuted Wednesday a biographical spot to introduce himself to voters less than one month from the primary.

According to a copy of the ad shared first with CQ Roll Call, Collins touts his business experience in the open-seat race in Georgia’s 10th District. The ad also features his father, former Rep. Mac Collins, a Republican who served from 1993 to 2005; he appears at the end of the spot wearing a black cowboy hat and his member pin.

“At 15 he overhauled his first engine, by 25 he bought his first truck. Today Mike Collins is a successful businessman with a whole fleet of trucks,” a narrator says in the ad. “Mike believes Washington needs an overhaul.”

Full story

Americans for Prosperity Targets N.H. Senate Race (Video)

Americans for Prosperity Targets N.H. Senate Race (Video)

Shaheen is seeking re-election in New Hampshire. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Americans for Prosperity is scheduled to air a new ad Wednesday attacking Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., for supporting the president’s health care overhaul law.

In the spot, shared first with CQ Roll Call, a female narrator argues the law has put “your doctors and hospitals further out of reach.”

“What’s health insurance worth, if care isn’t there if you need it?” she asks.

Full story

April 22, 2014

Self-Funding Republican Wins Primary in Race to Replace Trey Radel

Businessman Curt Clawson won the Republican nomination Tuesday night in the Florida special-election race to replace former Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., and he is now likely to be the district’s next member of Congress.

Clawson won with 38 percent of the vote, with 95 percent of precincts reporting at the time the Associated Press called the race. Finishing behind him were state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto with 26 percent and state Rep. Paige Kreegel with 25 percent.

He will now face Democrat April Freeman in the June 24 special, where Clawson is heavily favored. Full story

Former Michigan Congressman Is Running Again

Former Michigan Congressman Is Running Again

Clarke is running for Congress again. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 

Former Michigan Rep. Hansen Clarke has filed to run for Congress again.

The Democrat is seeking the seat he lost in a 2012 member-vs.-member primary to Rep. Gary Peters, who is now seeking the state’s open Senate seat.

“Thank you for your support and encouragement — I’m running for Congress!” Clarke wrote on Twitter. Full story

Clay Aiken Slammed in TV Ad

Clay Aiken Slammed in TV Ad

Aiken is running for Congress. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images File Photo)

The top primary opponent to Clay Aiken in North Carolina is slamming the “American Idol” runner-up’s public service record in a TV ad launched two weeks before they face off for the Democratic nomination.

Keith Crisco, a former North Carolina Commerce secretary, hits his opponent in the ad for skipping meetings for a commission Aiken was appointed to by then-President George W. Bush — an appointment Aiken has touted since launching his campaign in February.

Crisco and Aiken are competing in the May 6 primary for the chance to take on Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers in the GOP-leaning district.

“Clay Aiken says helping children with special needs is one of his top priorities, but when the president appointed Clay Aiken to the Presidential Commission for People With Intellectual Disabilities, no-show Clay Aiken skipped every single meeting,” a narrator says in the 30-second spot.

Full story

Clay Aiken Is Back on TV (Updated)

Clay Aiken Is Back on TV (Updated)

Aiken is running for Congress in North Carolina. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:22 p.m. | “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken, who is running for a North Carolina House seat as a Democrat, launched his first TV ad Tuesday — a bio spot highlighting his difficult childhood and his recent help for children with autism.

“I’m running for Congress, and I approve this message because every child deserves a chance,” Aiken says in the ad, released two weeks ahead of the state’s May 6 primaries.

Full story

Senator Rides Snowmachine Across Arctic in Latest Ad

Senator Rides Snowmachine Across Arctic in Latest Ad

Begich is seeking re-election in Alaska. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Alaska Sen. Mark Begich hops back on a snowmachine in his latest TV ad, cruising across a frozen Arctic Ocean to highlight his efforts over the last five years to win approval for oil drilling.

It’s the fourth ad from the first-term Democrat, who’s stressing his Alaska roots and priorities as he runs in one of the most competitive races of the cycle. The spot is airing in Anchorage and Fairbanks on both broadcast and cable stations, according to the campaign.

“I’m Mark Begich — I fought for five years to get the permits so we could drill under this ice,” Begich says in the ad. “And we won. I approved this message because sooner or later, Washington’ll figure out that I don’t take no for an answer.” Full story

Republican, Democrat Enter Wide-Open Wisconsin Race for Congress

Republican, Democrat Enter Wide Open Wisconsin Race for Congress

Petri is retiring. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two more candidates have entered the race to fill retiring GOP Rep. Tom Petri’s House seat in Wisconsin.

Republican state Senator Joe Leibham said Tuesday afternoon that he will join the race for the GOP nomination.

Earlier on Tuesday, Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris became the first Democrat to announce his candidacy, telling Oshkosh Northwestern Media he is a “fiscally conservative progressive.” Full story

GOP Senate Hopeful Rebuts ‘War on Women’ in First TV Ad

GOP Senate Hopeful Rebuts War on Women in First TV Ad

Peters is running for Senate. (Douglas Graham/ CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate hopeful Terri Lynn Land, a Republican, is up with her first ad of the cycle in Michigan, making fun of the idea that she — a woman — is waging a war on women.

Land is running against Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich., for the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.

“Congressman Gary Peters and his buddies want you to believe I’m waging a war on women,” Land says, speaking directly to the camera in the 30-second ad.

“Really? Think about that for a moment,” says Land, who pauses, takes a sip of coffee, shakes her head and looks at her watch before beginning to speak again.

Full story

Internal Poll: GOP Primary Wide Open in Alabama Race

A new internal poll shows the crowded primary in Alabama’s open 6th District is wide open less than two months before the primary, according to information provided first to CQ Roll Call.

The poll, conducted for GOP surgeon Chad Mathis’ campaign, found two of the six candidates in a statistical dead heat, with the third- and fourth-place contenders not far behind, and a large portion of respondents remain undecided. Full story

Front-runner Emerges in GOP Special Election for Trey Radel Seat

Front runner Emerges in GOP Special Election for Trey Radel Seat

Radel pleaded guilty to cocaine possession in November. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Florida Republicans head to the polls for a special election Tuesday to pick a nominee to succeed former Rep. Trey Radel, who exited Congress earlier this year following his arrest for cocaine possession that culminated in a national scandal for Republicans.

The 19th District marks safe GOP territory, so whomever wins Tuesday’s primary will likely become the next member of Congress after the June 24 special election. Polling results — public and internal — have varied for the GOP contest.

But many Florida Republicans wager that a self-funding businessman, Curt Clawson, boasts an advantage over his top two primary rivals, state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto and former state Rep. Paige Kreegel. Full story

Leach, Boyle Go On Air in Philly-Area House Race (Updated)

Leach, Boyle Go On Air in Philly Area House Race (Updated)

Leach is the first Democrat to hit the airwaves in the Pennsylvania primary. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 10:26 a.m. | Pennsylvania state Sen. Daylin Leach and state Rep. Brendan Boyle, two of the four Democrats vying for a Philadelphia-area House seat, launched the first TV ads of the race on Tuesday — one month out from the hotly contested primary.

Both ads highlight the candidates’ working-class upbringings, which they say is their motivation for public service.

Leach’s ad features his childhood in the state’s foster care system, while Boyle references his father’s career as a janitor for Philadelphia’s commuter rail system.

Full story

April 21, 2014

Republicans Spend Millions on TV in Primary for Trey Radel Seat

Republicans Spend Millions on TV in Primary for Trey Radel Seat

Radel resigned from Congress earlier this year, prompting a special election for his seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans have spent millions ahead of Tuesday’s special primary to replace former Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla. — and the 19th District television airwaves show it.

Three of Radel’s potential successors boast at least $1 million in airtime behind each of their efforts — both from their own campaigns and outside groups boosting them. It’s a staggering number for an otherwise under-the-radar primary in a special election.

The spending leader is businessman Curt Clawson, who has loaned $2.65 million of his own funds to his campaign, according to his most recent campaign fundraising report. But outside groups have helped two other GOP candidates, state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto and former state Rep. Paige Kreegel, stay in the game.

Whomever wins the GOP primary on Tuesday is all but certain to carry the seat in the June 24 special election. The race is rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Here’s a look at how much campaigns and outside groups have spent on television in the race, according to two GOP media buying sources monitoring the race. Numbers are approximated. Full story

Romney Endorses in Targeted Arizona Race

Romney Endorses in Targeted Arizona Race

Mitt Romney endorsed in an Arizona House race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mitt Romney threw his support behind Arizona state Speaker Andy Tobin on Monday, marking the latest candidate Romney has  endorsed in the midterm elections.

Other Republicans backed by Romney this cycle include Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson, who is facing a competitive GOP primary next month, state Del. Barbara Comstock in Virginia’s open 10th District, and state Sen. Joni Ernst for Iowa’s open Senate seat, among others.

“I am proud to support Andy Tobin for Congress,” Romney said in a statement. “Andy is a proven conservative whose leadership in Arizona has been crucial to cutting state government spending, lowering taxes and fighting to stop ObamaCare.” Full story

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