Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
January 27, 2015

January 26, 2015

DCCC Announces Final Fundraising, Debt Figures for 2014

DCCC Announces Final Fundraising, Debt Figures for 2014

Rep. Steve Israel of New York served as chairman of the DCCC in the 2012 and 2014 cycles. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will report raising more than $206 million during the 2014 cycle — a record total, according to a committee aide.

The DCCC will start the 2016 cycle $10 million in debt. Also per the aide, that’s less than the $13.5 million in arrears the committee posted following the 2012 cycle.

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January 23, 2015

Renee Ellmers May Face Primary Challenge

Renee Ellmers May Face Primary Challenge

Ellmers is a Republican from North Carolina. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Renee Ellmers, the North Carolina Republican who led the charge to pull the House GOP’s 20-week abortion ban bill this week, could have a bruising primary from the conservative wing of her party in 2016.

Jim Duncan, the chairman of the Chatham County Republican Party, is mulling a bid against Ellmers, according to multiple GOP sources in the Tar Heel State.

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Several Ohio Democrats Considering Senate Primary

Several Ohio Democrats Considering Senate Primary

Portman is a Republican from Ohio. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ohio Democrats are expecting a crowded primary to challenge Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, in 2016, and the recent announcement by Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld may have accelerated its formation.

The 30-year-old Sittenfeld announced Thursday that he would get into the race. Democrats describe him as a charismatic and a rising star within the party, but his early announcement speaks to the fact that this local office holder has hurdles to raise his name recognition and ample cash for a federal race. And other Democratic candidates won’t let him do that for too long without any competition. Full story

Democrats Set National Convention Date for 2016

Democrats Set National Convention Date for 2016

Wasserman Schultz at the 2012 Democratic National Convention (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Democratic National Convention will be held the week of July 25, 2016, Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced Friday.

Democrats have not yet chosen where the convention will take place, but DNC officials have narrowed the list down to three cities: Columbus, New York City or Philadelphia. Full story

Democrats Could Face Primary Mess in Illinois Senate Race

Democrats Could Face Primary Mess in Illinois Senate Race

Kirk is a Republican from Illinois. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats are driving toward a primary collision course in Illinois, where the party could endure a multimillion-dollar slugfest in a race essential to capturing Senate control in 2016.

A fourth House Democrat, Rep. Robin Kelly, told CQ Roll Call she is weighing a bid against GOP Sen. Mark S. Kirk. She joins the growing list of members considering bids, including Democratic Reps. Cheri Bustos, Tammy Duckworth and Bill Foster.

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Exclusive: NRSC Announces 3 Vice Chairmen

Exclusive: NRSC Announces 3 Vice Chairmen

Ernst is a senator from Iowa. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Senatorial Committee will name Sens. Dean Heller, Joni Ernst and Tom Cotton as its vice chairmen for the 2016 cycle, according to a news release provided first to CQ Roll Call.

All three will work alongside NRSC Chairman Roger Wicker of Mississippi as Republicans seek to defend their new newly acquired majority.

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January 22, 2015

Nevada Congressman Questions Mitt Romney 2016 Plans

Nevada Congressman Questions Mitt Romney 2016 Plans

Amodei is a Nevada Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Staffers for Mitt Romney have reached out to a Nevada congressman about the 2012 presidential nominee’s potential third bid for national office.

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., told CQ Roll Call Thursday that Romney’s staffers talked to him last week. Nevada is typically one of the earliest states to host a nominating contest, and Amodei was one of Romney’s early supporters in 2012. 

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Billionaire Passes on California Senate Race

Billionaire Passes on California Senate Race

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

Hedge fund manager Tom Steyer, the billionaire Democrat who has spent considerable cash on environmental causes and candidates, will not run for Senate in California, he announced Thursday.

Steyer openly mulled entering the race to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., but he passed on it, saying he decided he could have the most impact on environmental issues not in the Senate, but back home in California.

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January 21, 2015

Grassley Preps 2016 Re-Election

Grassley Preps 2016 Re Election

Grassley talks on the phone in his Hart Building office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Charles E. Grassley doesn’t plan to be caught flat-footed if he faces a competitive, expensive re-election battle in 2016.

In a Wednesday interview with CQ Roll Call, the Iowa Republican said he began work on his campaign last year, and there will be more involvement from the national party than in his past efforts, given the exploding costs of campaigns. Full story

Marco Rubio Names Potential Florida Senate Candidates (Updated)

Marco Rubio Names Potential Florida Senate Candidates (Updated)

Rubio is considering running for president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Updated 12:23 p.m. | If Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., chooses to seek the presidency instead of re-election in 2016, he believes there will be “no shortage of quality” Republican candidates to take his place on the ballot.

“Obviously we have a number of Republican statewide elected officials,” Rubio told reporters at a Wednesday breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. “We have talented people like former speaker of the [state] House Will Weatherford, we’ve got the Lieutenant Governor [Carlos Lopez-Cantera] in Florida, who’s a close friend and very talented as well. … And there could be someone out there now that we haven’t even mentioned — I certainly was not viewed as a top-tier candidate early in the race.” Full story

GOP Presidential Hopefuls Offer Similar SOTU Criticism

GOP Presidential Hopefuls Offer Similar SOTU Criticism

Potential presidential candidates, including Rubio, responded to Obama's speech Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican presidential hopefuls panned President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday, focusing their attacks on economic issues — specifically, the tax package the president proposed.

The presidential primaries will be in full swing a year from now, and potential GOP candidates utilized the president’s annual remarks to highlight their differences. Full story

January 20, 2015

Cheri Bustos Keeps Door Open to Senate Run

Cheri Bustos Keeps Door Open to Senate Run

Bustos is a Democrat from Illinois. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Cheri Bustos said she is not closing the door on running for Senate in Illinois in 2016, marking the third House Democrat to express some level of interest in one of the cycle’s top race targets.

“I’m focusing on my district, focusing on what we hope to accomplish in the coming term,” Bustos said in a Tuesday morning interview with CQ Roll Call in her Longworth office. “And like anything in politics, you don’t close the door to anything and you keep an open mind, and I think you’ve got to weigh what’s good for your district, what’s good for your state and what’s good on a personal level. So for right now, what I would tell you is that I guess that’s kind of the long and short of it: I don’t close the door on anything, but I’m squarely focused on the 17th Congressional District of Illinois.”

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Joni Ernst’s Next Move

Joni Ernsts Next Move

Ernst is a first-term Republican from Iowa. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, will have been in the Senate for just two weeks before she delivers the GOP’s response to the State of the Union Tuesday — and Republicans already predict her influence in the party will extend well beyond that in the coming months.

“I think she’s going to play a very important role,” Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a Monday phone interview. “No. 1, Republicans need more female leaders, so she falls into that category. Another thing is she’s got a commanding personality, and it’s backed up by her military experience as a commander. So she’s been a leader in a previous life and that is gonna be natural for her to lead in Iowa.” Full story

January 19, 2015

Tammy Duckworth: I’m ‘Taking a Real Serious Look’ at Senate Run

Tammy Duckworth: Im Taking a Real Serious Look at Senate Run

Duckworth is a Democrat from Illinois. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a two-term Democrat, told CQ Roll Call Monday that she is seriously considering challenging vulnerable Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., in 2016.

Duckworth, currently finishing maternity leave following the birth of her daughter, said in a phone interview she is beginning the process of exploring a Senate bid as she gears up to return to Capitol Hill.

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January 18, 2015

GOPAC Announces 2015 Advisory Board

GOPAC Announces 2015 Advisory Board

Ernst was a member of GOPAC's Emerging Leaders Program. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

GOPAC, an organization that grooms Republican state lawmakers to run for higher office, will announce its 2015 Legislative Leaders Advisory Board Monday, according to a release provided first to CQ Roll Call.

The board pinpoints promising state legislators for GOPAC’s Emerging Leaders Program, which seeks to foster a bench of talent to eventually run for federal and statewide elected office. Previous members of the Emerging Leaders Program include now-Sens. Joni Ernst of Iowa and Cory Gardner of Colorado. Both Republicans won targeted Senate races in 2014.

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