Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 4, 2015

September 4, 2015

Crowded Presidential Field Pushes Congressional Races Out of Limelight

Ayotte speaks with local media outlets as she arrives for a tour of Mikrolar Inc., a robotics company in Hampton, N.H. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ayotte speaks with local media outlets as she arrives for a tour of Mikrolar Inc., a robotics company in Hampton, N.H. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Members of Congress running for re-election in early presidential states are learning a lesson: It’s hard to get attention when the circus is in town.

Over the five-week August recess, an opportunity for members to spend time at home to connect with constituents, members like GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte have had the unique challenge of fighting for voters’ attention as 17 Republican and five Democratic candidates traipsed through her turf.

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September 3, 2015

Heitkamp to Decide on Campaign for Governor Over Next Week

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Heitkamp, whose Senate seat could be vulnerable in 2018, told a local radio station her decision would come by next week. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat whose seat could likely be a top target for national Republicans in 2018, will soon announce whether she will pursue a political path that could take a re-election campaign out of the picture.

Evers since the state’s Republican governor, Jack Dalrymple, announced he would not seek re-election next year, Heitkamp has been mulling a run. Speaking on her brother’s radio show on Wednesday, Heitkamp said she would reveal her decision in the next five to seven days.  Full story

Harry Reid Endorses Kihuen in Nevada House Race

Reid endorsed Kihuen in a crowded Democratic primary in Nevada's 4th District. (Douglas Graham/Roll Call File Photo)

Reid endorsed Kihuen in a crowded Democratic primary in Nevada’s 4th District. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, the dean of the Nevada congressional delegation, endorsed state Sen. Ruben Kihuen in a crowded Democratic primary in Nevada’s 4th District on Thursday.

Reid’s endorsement of Kihuen, a former Reid aide, was widely expected. But his support could help Kihuen distinguish himself among the three other Democrats vying for the chance to take on freshman GOP Rep. Cresent Hardy — one of the most vulnerable House Republicans in the country.

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Minnesota’s John Kline Will Not Seek Eighth Term (Updated)

Kline will not seek re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Kline will not seek re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 12:10 p.m.| Seven-term Minnesota GOP Rep. John Kline announced Thursday he will not run for re-election, putting Republicans in a tough spot to hold the southeastern Minnesota district in a presidential year.

“It has been and will continue to be a privilege serving the men and women of Minnesota’s 2nd District for the next 16 months,” he said in a statement Thursday morning.

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DCCC Targets 18 House Republicans in Labor Day Digital Campaign

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

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

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will begin a digital ad campaign over the Labor Day weekend, hitting 18 GOP incumbents on labor issues such as increasing the minimum wage and overtime rules.

The paid digital ad campaign will run on Twitter, and are geo-targeted to voters in these 18 contests Democrats are hoping to pick up in 2016. They are designed like coupons “good for one sellout on issues that matter to working families.”

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September 2, 2015

Fifth Republican Joins Indiana GOP Primary to Succeed Stutzman

 

Stutzman is running for Senate in Indiana. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Stutzman is vacating his seat to run for the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Agribusinessman Kip Tom filed Tuesday to run in Indiana’s 3rd District, joining four Republicans already vying for the nomination to succeed Rep. Marlin Stutzman, who’s running for Senate.

Tom had been openly considering jumping in the race, posting a letter to that effect on his farm’s website this spring. In a subsequent letter sent to friends and supporters Tuesday, Tom said he stepped down from running his family’s business, Tom Farms LLC, one of the largest suppliers to Monsanto.

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10 Jobs That Launch Congressional Candidates

Mowrer ran in the 4th District in 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Mowrer, an Iraq war veteran, is running for the second time. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

With an actress, an opera singer and a former NFL-linebacker jockeying for Congress, it’s again apparent that there’s no professional barrier to mounting a congressional, or even a Senate, campaign.

But the best candidates are really the ones with the best personalities.

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Ted Cruz Hoping to Tap Into Donald Trump’s Star Power

Donald Trump (File Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Rather than to try to soften the glare of Trump’s spotlight, Cruz – like an end of summer beach-goer – has worked to bask in it. (File Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

As a legitimate celebrity from his 14 seasons as the host of NBC’s “The Apprentice,” Donald Trump’s candidacy for president has been a ratings boost for the Republican Party, both literally and figuratively.

But while almost all of his competitors have followed conventional political wisdom and punched upward, hoping to chip away at the front-runner’s lead, Sen. Ted Cruz has openly embraced him. Full story

Senate Majority PAC Releases Second Ad Attacking Ayotte at Home

Ayotte, center, is the target of a new ad by a Democratic super PAC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ayotte, center, is the target of a new ad by a Democratic super PAC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority PAC, a super PAC that backs Senate Democrats, on Wednesday released its second ad attacking Sen. Kelly Ayotte, the New Hampshire Republican who is a top target in 2016.

The 30-second spot, which runs through Sept. 17, blasts Ayotte for “helping the Washington special interests, not you,” charging the freshman Republican with supporting tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.

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September 1, 2015

Donald Trump Tries To Clear Air With Hispanic Business Group

Donald Trump (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Trump will take questions at an October forum with Hispanic business leaders. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Billionaire Donald Trump — the Republican presidential candidate who has claimed credit for launching a divisive debate within the party about illegal immigration — will clear the air with American Hispanics in a public forum next month.

Trump met on Tuesday at his request with Javier Palomarez, the president and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, in New York, according to the group and confirmed by Trump’s campaign — a meeting the group said resulted in Trump’s decision to do a public Q&A with the chamber on Oct. 8.  Full story

August 31, 2015

Internal Poll Shows Cresent Hardy Leading Potential Challengers

Hardy is one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hardy is one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Cresent Hardy, R-Nev., leads all four of the potential Democratic opponents in head-to-head matchups for his 4th District seat, an internal poll conducted for his campaign and obtained by CQ Roll Call shows.

Hardy — who is arguably the most vulnerable House Republican in 2016 — has the slimmest lead over former state Assemblywoman Lucy Flores.

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Hassan Waits to Choose Her Adventure in New Hampshire

Hassan is Democrats' top pick to run for Senate in New Hampshire in 2016, but the governor is keeping her plans close to her chest. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Hassan is Democrats’ top pick to run for Senate in New Hampshire in 2016, but the governor is keeping her plans close to her chest. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

DOVER, N.H. — Gov. Maggie Hassan stands in front of a green screen. To her left, a stick-on motif on the wall prompts her to “Choose Your Adventure Here.”

While Hassan is merely exploring one of the exhibits at the New Hampshire Children’s Museum during a state Executive Council breakfast in Dover on Aug. 26, it is a timely coincidence as the clocks ticks down for her to decide which statewide office to seek next year.

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August 30, 2015

Larry Kudlow Says He Would Challenge Blumenthal Over Iran Deal

Blumenthal remained undecided on the Iran deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Blumenthal is undecided on the Iran deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Conservative economist and media figure Larry Kudlow says he’s talked to national Republicans about running for Senate in Connecticut.

During an interview on his radio program with Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., over the weekend, Kudlow said he would mount a challenge to incumbent Sen. Richard Blumenthal if the Democrat supports the international agreement with Iran over its nuclear program.

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August 28, 2015

DSCC Talking to Potential Burr Challengers in North Carolina

Burr still doesn't have a Democratic opponent. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Burr still doesn’t have a Democratic opponent. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For much of this summer, North Carolina has been Democrats’ Colorado. Looking toward 2016, Democrats have a shot at unseating the incumbent senator but no candidate.

That may be about to change.

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Drowning in Weak Polling, How Long Can Lindsey Graham Stay in 2016 Race?

Sen. Lindsey Graham’s presidential campaign has had a tough time getting traction so far, and a new Quinnipiac University poll keeps him in the conversation about who might be the first of the 17 Republican presidential candidates to fold.

But do his low poll numbers suggest the end is near?

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