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

August 4, 2015

Former Republican Running as Democrat to Replace Kirkpatrick

kirkpatrick003_050714

Kirkpatrick is vacating her House seat to run for the Senate. (File Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In Arizona’s 1st District, Democrats may turn to a former Republican as they try to hold on to outgoing Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick’s seat.

Former state Sen. Tom O’Halleran, 69, on Tuesday said he would seek the party’s nomination, becoming the first Democratic candidate to enter the race. Kirkpatrick is vacating her seat to run for the Senate.

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Joe Baldacci Complicates Cain’s Challenge to Poliquin in Maine

Cain will have to win a primary before facing off in a rematch against Poliquin. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cain will have to win a primary before facing Poliquin in a rematch. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

New England’s only Tossup election got a little more complicated last week, when Maine’s Joe Baldacci, the brother of former Gov. John Baldacci, filed to run as a Democrat in the 2nd District.

Democrats’ anointed candidate, former state Sen. Emily Cain, who lost by 5 points to Rep. Bruce Poliquin last November, has been in the race since March.

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August 3, 2015

In Senate Race, Alan Grayson Could Be Own Worst Enemy

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

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

In his bid for Senate in Florida, the biggest thing standing in Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson’s way is … Alan Grayson.

The three-term Orlando lawmaker is a hero among progressives for his stances on health care policy and regulating Wall Street — something that makes him a seemingly formidable candidate in a Democratic primary. But as he looks to secure his party’s nomination in a statewide bid, his unfiltered remarks and the circus that surrounds his private life threaten to derail his statewide ambitions before primary day.

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July 31, 2015

Onetime DCCC Prospect Greitens Running as Republican in Missouri

Greitens, a former Republican, used to be a Democrat. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images File Photo.)

Greitens, a Republican, used to be a Democrat. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images File Photo.)

Depending on how things shake out, Missouri voters could face a bizarro world next fall: A former Democrat running as the Republican nominee for governor against a Democrat who used to be a Republican.

Eric Greitens is part of a crowded and growing field of Republican candidates who will face off next August. As he launched a statewide tour earlier this month, the former Democrat attempted to turn what could be a weakness in the crowded Republican primary into a strength.

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Democrats Hope Baron Hill Can Follow Donnelly’s Path to the Senate

Donnelly won in Indiana by 6 points in 2012. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Donnelly won in Indiana by 6 points in 2012. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Indiana Rep. Baron P. Hill’s road to the Senate won’t be any easy one, but Democrats think they have a roadmap to get him there.

Although Hill declared his candidacy in mid-May, in the middle of the 2nd quarter, he raised just $151,000 with $143,000 in the bank. That included a $2,700 donation from Indiana native son singer John Mellencamp. Meanwhile, Rep. Todd Young, one of three Republicans in the race, posted a $1 million haul in the 2nd quarter, before even declaring his Senate candidacy.

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July 30, 2015

Illinois Democrat Abruptly Drops Congressional Bid

Cullerton dropped his bid only a week after he visited Washington, D.C.  (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call)

Cullerton dropped his bid only a week after he visited Washington, D.C. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call)

Only a week after a visit to Washington for his first time as a candidate in Illinois’ open 8th District, state Sen. Tom Cullerton said he has changed his mind and decided to drop his bid.

In a statement released early Thursday morning, the Democrat from DuPage County said he would instead run for re-election to the state Senate.

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Jeff Miller Won’t Run for Florida Senate Seat

Miller decided against a run for Senate in Florida. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Miller decided against a run for Senate in Florida. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., opted against a bid for the Senate in the Sunshine State on Thursday, winnowing an already crowded GOP field in the highly competitive contest.

Miller opting out of the race is a surprise to Florida Republicans. Before the July 4 recess, Miller had called a handful of Republicans who were eyeing his Panhandle-based House seat to alert them of his Senate plans, and hired the top Republican consulting firm OnMessage to help prepare his bid.

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Becerra Won’t Run for Senate

Becerra will run for reelection. (CQ Roll Call File Photo/Tom Williams)

Becerra will run for re-election. (CQ Roll Call File Photo/Tom Williams)

Ending months of speculation, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra announced Thursday he won’t run for Senate.

The decision by the Californian keeps the highest-ranking Latino lawmaker in the mix for future leadership races, and avoids what would have been a very difficult primary battle for the seat being vacated by Barbara Boxer. Full story

July 29, 2015

Democrat to Detractors: I’m Doing Better Than Your Guy

Schneider is running for an open Santa Barbara House seat. ((Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Schneider is running for an open Santa Barbara House seat. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Seeking to avoid a contentious primary, some national Democrats have been working behind the scenes to force Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider out of a competitive open-seat House contest in California’s 24th District.

But Schneider has no plans to bow out of the race, and on Wednesday released a poll showing a slight lead in a primary against the candidate national Democrats prefer: Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal.

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Will a Candidate Emerge From Baltimore in Maryland Senate Primary?

Ruppersberger, left, is a Baltimore Democrat mulling a campaign for U.S. Senate in Maryland. (File Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ruppersberger is a Baltimore Democrat mulling a campaign for U.S. Senate in Maryland. (File Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

While two candidates from the D.C. suburbs are running for the Democratic nomination for Maryland’s open U.S. Senate seat, no candidate has emerged from Baltimore.

Democratic Reps. Donna Edwards and Chris Van Hollen have already begun their fight to grab retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski’s seat. But members of the state’s congressional delegation from Baltimore are still quietly considering whether there is a path to victory for a candidate such as them to run as a voice for the state’s less affluent urban core against those from the wealthy suburbs.

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Despite Fattah Indictment, Don’t Expect a Scramble for His Seat (Video)

Fattah was indicted on corruption charges, likely opening his Philadelphia House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Fattah was indicted on corruption charges, but hasn’t discussed his future. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:17 p.m. | Despite Philadelphia Rep. Chaka Fattah’s indictment on 29 counts of corruption Wednesday, multiple Pennsylvania Democratic consultants say not to expect a flurry of candidates to announce primary challenges to the long-serving Democrat anytime soon.

While Fattah gave up his position on the Appropriations Committee in the wake of the indictment, he professed his innocence and said he plans to run for re-election in seat he’s held since 1994.

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The Software That Draws the Political Landscape

Maptitude for Redistricting

Maptitude’s dominance in the redistricting software market came about nearly by accident. (Photo Courtesy of Caliper Corporation)

Maptitude for Redistricting may not be a household name, but it is dominant in the niche market of redistricting software and is used to literally shape the political landscape.

Its client roster features a majority of state legislatures, two national party committees and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, plus the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, which was upheld in a Supreme Court decision last month.

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House Democrats Going Good Cop, Bad Cop Against GOP

The DCCC, led by Luján, right, and DPCC, led by Isreal, left, are teaming up on an ambitious August project. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The DCCC, led by Luján, right, and DPCC, led by Israel, are teaming up on an ambitious August project. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats met Wednesday to review an ambitious new plan to target Republicans when lawmakers head home for the August recess.

The strategy — devised jointly over the past few months by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Democratic Policy and Communications Committee — is part of an effort to “make the case locally that Republicans and their misguided priorities are failing hardworking Americans across the country,” DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., said in a statement to CQ Roll Call. Full story

Tech Experts: Expect Innovation, Investment on Established Platforms for 2016

Political tech experts expect investment in established platforms. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two weeks before Scott Walker announced his presidential bid, he set up a Snapchat account so followers could get a behind-the-scenes look at the Wisconsin governor grilling brats and singing karaoke. When Hillary Rodham Clinton held her first major campaign rally of the cycle on Roosevelt Island in New York, she live-streamed it on Periscope so supporters could tune in from afar.

As candidates utilize the latest social media platforms ahead of the 2016 elections to expand their potential reach with voters, political and technology experts say they should be investing the most in the older guard (relatively speaking) technologies, led by email and established giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Ads. Full story

July 28, 2015

Democrats’ Window to Find Strong House Candidates Slowly Closing

Gardner entered the Colorado Senate race late, and has become the retort for campaigns that  wait longer than usual to launch. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Gardner entered the Colorado Senate race at the last minute in 2014, and has become the model for campaigns that wait longer than usual to launch. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When former Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller passed on a bid in the Silver State’s 3rd District last week, it sent Democrats back to the drawing board again to find a nominee for this Tossup seat in 2016.

Miller’s decision to sit the race out was a disappointment for national Democrats, who thought his profile would make him a strong candidate for this highly competitive seat. But it’s indicative of a larger issue Democrats face this cycle: Recruiting House candidates in 2016 hasn’t been as easy as many predicted two years ago.

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