- McDonnell Apologizes for Taking Gifts and Money
- Rubio Hints at Government Shutdown Over Immigration
- Close Three-Way Senate Race in Kansas
- Police Union Won't Back Democratic Convention in Brooklyn
- Is Obamacare Helping Some GOP Governors?
August 27, 2014
The GOP primary remained too close to call Wednesday morning in the race to challenge vulnerable Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, a Democrat, in Arizona’s 1st District.
State House Speaker Andy Tobin had 36 percent of the vote, while rancher Gary Kiehne trailed with 35 percent, according to The Associated Press. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, 291 votes separates the two Republicans.
State Rep. Adam Kwasman followed with 29 percent of the vote.
The eventual winner will face Kirkpatrick with little time to prepare for the general election. Kirkpatrick, who had an uncompetitive primary, spent the past 18 months stockpiling her fundraising and now has a $1.35 million in cash on hand.
Even so, this is hostile territory for any Democrat. Mitt Romney carried the district by 2 points.
The race is rated Tilts Democrat by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
Former Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox conceded the Democratic nomination to former state Rep. Ruben Gallego Tuesday night. Wilcox announced her concession over Twitter, prior to the Associated Press’ official call of the race for retiring Rep. Ed Pastor’s seat.
— Mary Rose Wilcox (@MaryRoseWilcox) August 27, 2014
The campaign both ended and began on Twitter: Gallego announced his candidacy over Twitter just minutes after Pastor made his retirement announcement. Wilcox boasted endorsements from Pastor and EMILY’s List. It was a rough race, but Gallego ran a more organized campaign.
He had 48 percent of the vote at the time the Associated Press called the race.
Gallego’s primary victory over Wilcox all but seals his arrival in Congress. Arizona’s 7th District is rated Safe Democratic by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Wendy Rogers won the Republican nod to take on freshman Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat, in November.
Rogers defeated former Arizona State University quarterback Andrew Walter with 59 percent of the vote at the time the AP called the race.
Rogers has substantial ground — and not much time — to make up to run a viable campaign against Sinema. The congresswoman had $900,000 in the bank, while Rogers reported $220,000 in cash on hand for the final stretch of the primary.
Rogers’ win is a victory for Project GROW, a Republican effort to guide female candidates through competitive primaries.
Sinema is a rising star in Democratic circles and spent her first term burnishing a centrist image. At the same time, neither Walter or Rogers received high praise in Washington for their campaign organizations.
Republicans in Washington, D.C., are increasingly discouraged about their prospects in this Tempe-based 9th District.
Arizona’s 9th District is rated Democrat Favored by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
August 26, 2014
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Freshman Rep. Rodney Davis entered the midterms as one of the most vulnerable Republicans on the map.
In 2012, the former staffer for Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., won the 13th District by a mere 1,002 votes to a perennial Democrat panned by party operatives. This cycle, Democrats in Illinois and Washington, D.C., recruited former judge Ann Callis, billing her as a top-tier challenger who could win this Springfield-based swing seat.
But nearly two months from Election Day, Republican operatives in the Land of Lincoln and Washington, D.C., are cautiously optimistic about Davis’ chances, thanks to his adept political skills and favorable tail winds behind the GOP in the midterms. At the same time, Republicans and, privately, Democrats say Callis has not lived up to her candidacy’s hype and or made the necessary inroads to win the district.
“Other than knowing her name I don’t know if she even exists, frankly,” said Mark Scranton, a Republican and blasting and painting company owner from Decatur at the Illinois State Fair. “It’s going to be a challenging race, but I think Rodney’s been in office long enough that he’s proven himself, he makes himself available to his constituents, he’s been in my business several times over the last two or three years.”
Davis also appeared confident at Republican Day, Aug. 14, at the fair, where he glad-handled his way through the crowd of GOP insiders at the unofficial kick-off to election season. A red cup in hand, Davis handed out hugs and back slaps, catching up with operatives, insiders and elected officials, many of whom were pals from his years as a political operative in Illinois and on Capitol Hill.
Former state Sen. Steve Russell easily defeated State Corporations Commissioner Patrice Douglas in Tuesday’s GOP runoff, and now he is on a clear course to join Congress this fall representing Oklahoma’s 5th District.
Russell defeated Douglas, 59 percent to 41 percent, with 31 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press. Full story
Miami Dade School Board Member Carlos Curbelo won the Republican nomination and will face Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia in the fall in Florida’s 26th District,
Curbelo had 48 percent of the vote when the AP called the primary for him.
The penultimate primary night of the 2014 midterm elections season is upon us Tuesday as the Roll Call Politics Team tracks results in Arizona, Oklahoma and Florida.
Starting at 7 p.m., follow along below for live results and analysis from congressional races.
Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar called his bid for California’s 31st District the Democrats’ best chance to pick up a Republican seat in the midterms.
“It is the most Democratic seat held by a Republican in the nation,” Aguilar told CQ Roll Call in a July 16 interview. “And the Republican decided to retire. So this is a great opportunity, Democrats’ best opportunity for a pickup.” Full story
New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte stars in the latest ad from Republican Scott P. Brown, her former Senate colleague from Massachusetts who is trying to oust Granite State Democrat Jeanne Shaheen.
August 25, 2014
LOUDON, N.H. — Will the 2014 midterms prove the death-knell for the traditional New Hampshire town hall?
Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott P. Brown and his backers have been relentless in pushing the case that the Democratic rival he’s trying to unseat, New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, has eschewed the traditional format in a way that dodges tough questions from ordinary Granite State voters about supporting President Barack Obama’s agenda.
But should Shaheen and several other Democrats on the ballot in New Hampshire prevail, even in an unfavorable national climate, it might be grounds to reconsider the town hall format even for national candidates like those aiming to win the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary.
Shaheen’s argument is that town halls have the propensity to be taken over by outside interest groups. She brushed off the Republican criticism last week, after an official Senate and Department of Agriculture event at a local farm.
The end of the midterm primary season is nigh, and Tuesday marks the penultimate date of intra-party brawls this cycle.
Most notably, Rep. Ann Kirkptrick, D-Ariz., will at last her learn her general election rival as 1st District’s GOP voters pick a nominee in this competitive race. To the west, suburban Phoenix Republicans will nominate their challenger to freshman Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.
Another pair of House contests in Arizona and Oklahoma will almost certainly pick future House members in districts with highly partisan voting populations. EMILY’s List and a GOP effort to help female candidates also have skin in these contests.
Florida polls close at 7 p.m. EST, while Oklahoma’s close at 8 p.m. EST. Arizona latest polls close out the night at 10 p.m. EST. Check out Roll Call’s “At the Races” blog for live results as soon as the first polls close.
Here are the four things to watch on Tuesday evening:
1. Which Republican will Kirkpatrick face this fall?
Rep. Scott DesJarlais has officially won his primary, barely squeaking past state Sen. Jim Tracy, who conceded Monday after more than two tense weeks following Tennessee’s Republican primary in the 4th District.
“A contest would not be the right thing for the Republican party and the conservative cause in Tennessee,” Tracy said in a statement detailing why he decided not to contest the results.
“I have called Rep. DesJarlais to inform him of my decision to concede and congratulated him,” Tracy continued.
Tracy trailed DesJarlais by 38 votes after all of the votes from the Aug. 7 primary were certified.
August 24, 2014
PHOENIX — It’s a dry 108-degree heat this August afternoon, and Tony Valdovinos only prays it gets hotter. The curly-haired field director for Ruben Gallego, a Democrat running in the open House race here, has his reasons.
“We know when it’s hot, we’re the only ones out there,” says Valdovinos, slighting the opposition’s turnout operation as he drives through a wide boulevard en route to an early evening canvass.
In Arizona’s 7th District, a generational party brawl has consumed urban Latino politics, pitting a longtime local pol, former Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, against Gallego, a former two-term state representative three decades her junior.
The decisive Democratic primary for retiring Rep. Ed Pastor’s seat is Tuesday, but the race has been culminating for weeks thanks to Arizona’s burgeoning permanent early voter list. In the Valley of the Sun’s prohibitively expensive media market, the victor will be decided by direct mail and, most importantly, a month-long get-out-the-vote push in the late summer heat.
In the weeks leading up to the primary, Gallego’s team expressed more confidence they will prevail. They’re probably right: A high-tech ground game has served him well, even in some of the southwest’s oldest barrios.
August 22, 2014
Updated 6:38 p.m. | Sen. Kay Hagan doesn’t sound thrilled President Barack Obama is coming to town.
The North Carolina Democrat, one of the most vulnerable senators, issued a terse statement about Obama’s veterans policy ahead of his planned Tuesday visit to her home state.
The White House announced late Friday that Obama will deliver remarks at the American Legion’s 96th National Convention. The appearance gave Hagan an opportunity to criticize the president in the wake of a scandal that has captured national attention. Hagan’s office blasted her statement just 31 minutes after the White House released the schedule.
“The Obama Administration has not yet done enough to earn the lasting trust of our veterans and implement real and permanent reforms at the VA,” Hagan said.
A state judge upheld the Florida legislature’s newly revised congressional map Friday, ruling the redrawn House districts should apply to the 2016 elections.
“The 2014 elections will have to be held under the map as enacted in 2012,” Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis wrote in his ruling, siding with Florida lawmakers who argued that applying new district lines to this election cycle would create chaos.
The ruling allows the Aug. 26 primaries to continue as scheduled. Even so, the new map makes minor changes to the state’s House districts and will likely have a minimal effect in 2016 on the congressional delegation, where House Republicans currently outnumber Democrats 17 to 10.
After a week and a half of uncertainty, the Republican nominee to represent Wisconsin’s 6th District will be state Sen. Glenn Grothman.
After the 11 counties in the district verified their vote counts Wednesday, Grothman maintained his lead by 219 votes, or 0.47 percent, but it was unclear whether the second place finisher, state Sen. Joe Leibham, would call for a recount. Full story
Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Calif., went up Friday with her first ad of the cycle, touting her commitment to women’s issues.
“I believe we are strongest when women are in charge of their own decisions,” Brownley says in the 30-second spot, which will air on cable districtwide and was provided first to CQ Roll Call. “That’s why I will always fight for equal pay for equal work, and defend your right to choose.” Full story