Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 6, 2015

Posts by Alexis Levinson

205 Posts

March 5, 2015

Democratic Floodgates Open for Maryland House Seat

Democratic Floodgates Open for Maryland House Seat

Van Hollen is running for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 7:55 p.m. | Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s decision to run for Senate in Maryland marks the likely start of a crowded Democratic primary for Senate — and for his newly open House seat too.

Van Hollen represents Maryland’s 8th District, a reliably Democratic district bordering Washington, D.C. With its affluent population and proximity to the Capitol, Democrats will have no shortage of candidates who could run. Van Hollen has held the seat since 2002, and for many ambitious Democrats, this is their shot. Full story

March 4, 2015

Van Hollen May Not Have Field to Himself (Updated)

Van Hollen May Not Have Field to Himself (Updated)

Mikulski will not seek another term in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:50 p.m. | Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen announced Wednesday he will run for the seat of retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, moving swiftly as numerous other ambitious Democrats have their eye on the race.

“I am excited to share that I have decided to run for the United States Senate from our great State of Maryland,” Van Hollen said in a statement. Full story

Democrats Have Early Favorite House Pickup Opportunity

Democrats Have Early Favorite House Pickup Opportunity

Blum, right, is a top Democratic target in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In one of the party’s best pickup opportunities this cycle, Democrats have zeroed in on second-time candidate Monica Vernon to win Iowa’s 1st District.

Freshman Rep. Rod Blum, a Republican, holds the seat. But the district’s composition is competitive, if not left-leaning: In 2012, President Barack Obama won it with 56 percent. That makes it a ripe target for Democrats, who must net 30 seats on a GOP-friendly map to win the majority. Full story

March 3, 2015

Top Democratic Campaign Staffers Chart 2016 Paths

Top Democratic Campaign Staffers Chart 2016 Paths

Tester is the chairman of the DSCC (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With Democrats relegated to the minority in both chambers for the first time since 2006, the two top staffers at the party’s House and Senate campaign arms charted a path back to the majority during an EMILY’s List event Tuesday.

Tom Lopach, executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Kelly Ward, who’s holding the same position at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for a second straight cycle, have a similar goal — but starkly different odds of achieving it. Full story

March 2, 2015

Long List of Possible Barbara Mikulski Successors

Long List of Possible Barbara Mikulski Successors

Mikulski announced Monday that she will retire at the end of this Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 2:48 p.m. | There is a long list of candidates who might run to replace Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, who announced Monday she would not seek another term.

The Democrat’s exit opens a Senate seat in Maryland for just the second time since 1986, when Mikulski was elected. The floodgates are now open for the lengthy catalog of ambitious politicians in the state, which includes much of the House delegation but extends well beyond that. Full story

Mikulski Will Not Seek Another Term (Updated)

Mikulski Will Not Seek Another Term (Updated)

Mikulski said she would rather raise “hell” than money. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 1:12 p.m. | BALTIMORE — Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski announced Monday she will not seek another term in the Senate.

Speaking at a press conference, the Maryland Democrat said she asked herself: “Do I spend my time raising money, or do I spend my time raising hell?” Full story

February 25, 2015

Ted Strickland Announces Senate Run in Ohio

Ted Strickland Announces Senate Run in Ohio

Strickland, left, is running for Senate. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, announced Wednesday morning he will challenge Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, in 2016.

“I’m running for the United States Senate in 2016 because I am determined to restore the American Dream for working people in this country,” Strickland said in a statement emailed to reporters.

Democrats need to gain five seats in 2016 to secure a majority, and in a presidential year that path could run through Ohio. Full story

February 24, 2015

Democrats Skeptical Ted Strickland Will Face Primary

Democrats Skeptical Ted Strickland Will Face Primary

Strickland previously served in the House. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:48 p.m. | Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat who is expected to announce a bid against Republican Sen. Rob Portman Wednesday, may get a clear shot at the nomination.

The only Democrat in the race until now, Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld, is raking in donations from high-profile donors, announcing endorsements and putting out policy proposals. The Democrat recently told CQ Roll Call he is “running to win.”

Full story

Russ Feingold Hints at Senate Bid in Final State Department Speech

Russ Feingold Hints at Senate Bid in Final State Department Speech

Feingold could run for his former Senate seat in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., hinted at a possible comeback bid in his final speech as an U.S. envoy to Africa for the State Department.

As Feingold, who lost to GOP Sen. Ron Johnson in 2010, concluded his remarks at the U.S. Institute of Peace, he thanked, “My once, current, and I hope, future Chief of Staff Mary Irvine.”

Full story

February 20, 2015

DSCC Raised More Than NRSC in January

DSCC Raised More Than NRSC in January

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., is the Chairman of the DSCC (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised more than its Republican counterpart in January, bringing in $4.5 million as it begins its efforts to take control of the Senate in 2016.

Despite being in the minority, the DSCC said this haul is its best ever in the January of a non-election year. The committee had more than $2.6 million in cash on hand and had $15 million in operating debt at the end of the month. Full story

NRSC Raised $2.5 Million to Kick Off 2016

NRSC Raised $2.5 Million to Kick Off 2016

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., is the chairman of the NRSC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Senatorial Committee kicked off the 2016 cycle by raising $2.5 million during January, according to information from a committee aide.

The NRSC has just more than $4 million in cash on hand, and the committee will report $10 million in debt.

Full story

February 18, 2015

Brendan Johnson Discusses His Future in South Dakota (Updated)

Brendan Johnson Discusses His Future in South Dakota  (Updated)

Thune, left, is a Republican from South Dakota. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:00 p.m. | U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson’s resignation could mean Democrats have found a potential candidate to challenge Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., in 2016.

Johnson, the son of former Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., announced Wednesday he will join a private law firm in Sioux Falls. As a U.S. Attorney, Johnson was prohibited from engaging in politics; as a private lawyer, he would be free to launch a campaign.

Full story

February 17, 2015

Ron Johnson Talks Fundraising Strategy for 2016 Re-Election

Ron Johnson Talks Fundraising Strategy for 2016 Re Election

Johnson is up for re-election in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., is looking for some fundraising help.

The senator is one of Democrats’ top targets in 2016. But while his colleagues in competitive seats have built up million-dollar war chests, Johnson had just $606,000 in his campaign account at the end of the year. Full story

February 12, 2015

Ron Johnson Supports Scott Walker in Presidential Primary

Ron Johnson Supports Scott Walker in Presidential Primary

Johnson is a Wisconsin Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., would back his home state governor, Republican Scott Walker, if he runs for president in 2016.

“Listen I’m a big Scott Walker supporter,” he told CQ Roll Call Thursday in his office. “And he hasn’t announced anything, but you know I’ll be supporting Scott Walker.”

Full story

February 11, 2015

Republicans Fear 2010 Redux in Nevada Senate Race

Republicans Fear 2010 Redux in Nevada Senate Race

Reid, left, is up for re-election in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call Photo)

Nevada Republicans worry their efforts to oust Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid in 2016 could be thwarted again by a crowded GOP primary.

In 2010, Republicans nominated one of their weakest candidates in the primary, Sharron Angle, from a large field of challengers to face Reid. In a banner year for the GOP across the country, Reid won re-election by a handful of points — and now Republicans are anxious history could repeat itself in 2016.

Full story

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