Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 26, 2015

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.”

Full story

Sanchez Stumbles Prompt SoCal Angst

Sanchez is running for Senate in California. (By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sanchez had a rough week announcing a Senate bid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Long shut out of statewide office, Southern California Democrats saw a glimmer of hope last week, when Orange County Rep. Loretta Sanchez announced a bid for the Golden State’s open Senate seat.

But a series of stumbles out of the gate has left some of them hesitant about whether they will back her uphill battle against state Attorney General Kamala Harris — with some waiting on Rep. Xavier Becerra, who is still considering jumping into the primary.

Full story

Stutzman Staffs Up for Senate Bid

Jesmer will help Stutzman’s Senate bid. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

GOP Rep. Marlin Stutzman, who is vacating his House seat to run in Indiana’s open Senate contest, has hired an experienced senior campaign team to help his bid, according to a release provided first to CQ Roll Call.

Democrats, who will attempt to pick up the seat in 2016, are hoping to paint Stutzman as the type of fringe, tea party candidate that has caused the GOP troubles in cycles past. But Stutzman’s senior leadership lineup includes former top aides at the National Republican Senatorial Committee and National Republican Congressional Committee, as well as GOP consultants well-respected on Capitol Hill — a move that signals is willing to shed that image.

Full story

NRSC Raised $4.2 Million in April

nrsc fundraising

Wicker is chairman of the NRSC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Senatorial Committee will report raising more than $4.2 million in April and ending the month with $5 million in cash on hand, according to figures provided to CQ Roll Call.

Its monthly haul allowed the committee to pay down some of its debt from the 2014 cycle, when the party netted nine seats and won control of the Senate for the first time since losing it in 2006. Full story

Heck Close to Senate Bid

Heck has told people he plans to run for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Heck has told people he plans to run for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 9:38 a.m. | Rep. Joe Heck has told some Nevada Republicans he is close to deciding to run for Senate, a source told CQ Roll Call Tuesday, and the conversations have prompted speculation among Nevada Republicans that an announcement could come sooner rather than later.

Heck would be a top recruit for Republicans looking to take the seat being vacated by Sen. Harry Reid. The congressman had initially said he would not run, but recently declared he was reconsidering.

Full story

DCCC Outpaces NRCC in April Fundraising (Updated)

nrcc fundraising

Walden is chairman of the NRCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 8 a.m. | The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee slightly outpaced its Republican counterpart in April fundraising, and is now debt-free as the party gears up for the 2016 cycle.

The DCCC raised $5.4 million last month, as opposed to the $5.1 million the National Republican Congressional Committee raised in the same time period.

Full story

Why This Vulnerable Freshman Is Surprising People

Poliquin is making a name for himself in Washington . (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Poliquin might be vulnerable, but he’s making a name for himself in Washington anyway. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

He may be new to the halls of Congress, but when the Energizer Bunny pauses, it’s not for long.

Ray-Bans shading his eyes, Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin stood on his tip-toes after votes one recent afternoon to whisper in the ear of a guard outside the House chamber. The freshman needed directions.

Full story

May 18, 2015

Scott Walker to Meet and Greet Congress Tuesday (Updated)

Walker will meet with lawmakers Tuesday on Capitol Hill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Walker will meet with lawmakers Tuesday on Capitol Hill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated May 19, 9:55 a.m. | When you’re a Midwestern governor pondering a presidential campaign as a Washington outsider, there are plenty of people to meet on Capitol Hill.

And that’s just what Gov. Scott Walker plans to do Tuesday. In addition to meeting with a group of top social conservatives, the Wisconsin Republican has a full schedule of closed-door events with senior congressional aides and lawmakers, including a few senators, according to sources familiar with Walker’s plans.

Full story

Republicans Fear Guinta Scandal Could Imperil 2016

Guinta is facing mounting pressure to resign. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Guinta is facing pressure to resign. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Frank C. Guinta’s campaign finance troubles could expand from a personal headache to a partywide migraine for New Hampshire Republicans worried about holding his House seat next fall.

Last week, the Federal Election Commission found Guinta violated campaign finance rules by accepting more than $350,000 in illegal campaign contributions, ordering him to pay back the funds along with a $15,000 fine. Guinta has refused to admit wrongdoing, but New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte Monday became the highest-profile Republican to suggest the congressman step down.

Full story

May 15, 2015

Murkowski Facing a Primary Puzzle

Murkowski may have face another competitive primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Murkowski may face another competitive primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Joe Miller isn’t the only conservative Alaskan with eyes on Sen. Lisa Murkowski — state Sen. Mike Dunleavy is also considering coming after the Republican senator from the right.

Full story

NRCC Adds Another Member to Program for Vulnerable Incumbents

Donovan is a top Democratic target in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Donovan is a top Democratic target in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The National Republican Congressional Committee added newly minted Rep. Dan Donovan to its Patriot program Friday, signaling to its donor base that the New Yorker is among the GOP’s most vulnerable House incumbents in 2016.

The Patriot program provides organizational and fundraising support to the House GOP’s most endangered members.

Full story

Ousted Democrat Announces Indiana Senate Bid (Updated)

Hill, center, is a former member of Congress. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hill, center, is a former member of Congress. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated, 1 p.m. | Former Democratic Rep. Baron Hill told a crowd at a Jefferson Jackson Dinner in Columbus, Ind., he’ll run for the open Senate seat in the Hoosier State in 2016, becoming the first Democrat to enter the contest.

“I want to be your next senator,” Hill told the audience, according to the Republic, a local newspaper based in Columbus.

Full story

May 14, 2015

Sanchez Senate Bid Opens Orange County House Seat

Sanchez is running for Senate in California. (By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After waffling on a run earlier this week, Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez announced Thursday she is  running for California’s open Senate seat.

“I’m running to give a voice to every Californian,” Sanchez said at a rally in Santa Ana. Full story

Lieutenant Governor Moves Closer to Florida Senate Bid

Rubio is running for president in 2016.  (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rubio’s seat is open because he is running for president in 2016. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera moved closer to entering the open Florida Senate contest late Wednesday, announcing a super PAC to help him raise money for a potential candidacy.

Lopez-Cantera would be the second top-tier Republican to enter the contest — left vacant thanks to GOP Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential bid. GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis, a favorite of tea party-aligned outside groups, announced a bid earlier this month.

Full story

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