Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 29, 2015

Posts by Alexis Levinson

246 Posts

May 26, 2015

Democrats Search for Candidate Who Can Beat Coffman

Coffman is a top target for Democrats in 2016. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Coffman is a top target for Democrats in 2016. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After two consecutive cycles of trying and failing to oust Republican Rep. Mike Coffman from his Colorado swing district, Democrats are searching for the right candidate to take him out once and for all.

Coffman has proved resilient over his four terms. He has been a top Democratic target since redistricting reshaped his solidly Republican district into a more competitive one. After a tight race in 2012, defeating his opponent by 2 points, he easily toppled former state Speaker Andrew Romanoff by 9 points last fall.

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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.”

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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.

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May 14, 2015

Sittenfeld Will Not Exit Ohio Senate Primary (Updated)

Ohio Senate 2016

Strickland is running for Senate in Ohio. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 1:39 p.m. | Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld declared Thursday he would stay in the Ohio Democratic Senate primary, despite efforts by supporters of former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland to convince him to drop out.

“I have come here today to affirm my candidacy and to explain my campaign,” Sittenfeld said Thursday morning, according to prepared remarks. Full story

Russ Feingold Announces Senate Bid

Feingold officially announced a Senate bid Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Feingold officially announced a Senate bid Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold announced Thursday he will run for his old Wisconsin seat.

“Today, I’m pleased to announce that I’m planning to run for the United States Senate in 2016,” Feingold said in an announcement video posted Thursday morning.

Feingold, a three-term senator, was ousted in the 2010 Republican wave by now-Sen. Ron Johnson. Full story

May 11, 2015

A Silver State Waiting Game

Heck is reconsidering a bid for the open Nevada Senate seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Heck would be a strong Republican contender for the open Nevada Senate seat next fall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The news Republican Rep. Joe Heck could run for the now-open Nevada Senate seat has shifted the landscape in the Silver State.

Since Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced his retirement, Heck has said he is reconsidering his earlier declaration he would not get in the race. By all accounts, he would be one of the strongest candidates on the Republican side.

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Kathleen Kennedy Townsend Backing Van Hollen

Van Hollen will get the endorsement of Kennedy Townsend Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Van Hollen will get a big endorsement. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:31 a.m. | Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend won’t run for Senate, and instead is endorsing Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s bid.

The eldest of former Sen. Robert F. Kennedy’s children had been publicly considering a bid for the open Maryland seat being vacated by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski. Late last month, she told The Washington Post running for the seat was her “dream,” but said she was “still working on putting things together and making a decision.”

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May 4, 2015

DSCC Endorses Murphy in Florida

The DSCC endorsed Murphy for Senate in Florida. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The DSCC endorsed Murphy for Senate in Florida. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee endorsed Florida Rep. Patrick Murphy for Senate Monday, perhaps trying to head off a primary as a second candidate prepares to enter the race.

Murphy announced his candidacy last month for the Senate seat currently held by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. With his fundraising prowess and proven ability to win in a swing district, he has long been perceived as the favorite of national Democrats. Full story

May 3, 2015

Van Hollen, Edwards Square Off in First Maryland Senate Race Debate

Van Hollen, second from left, and Edwards, third from right, appeared with Pelosi at the Capitol on April 22. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Maryland Reps. Donna Edwards and Chris Van Hollen faced off for the first time Sunday, showcasing sharply different styles as they vie for the Democratic nomination for Senate.

Speaking here in an office park at a forum hosted by the National Organization for Women, the two candidates running to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski touched on issues of women’s health, economic inequality, trade and violence. Full story

April 30, 2015

Sanders Lays Out Blueprint for Presidential Bid

Sanders leaves a news conference at the Senate Swamp where he spoke about his agenda for the country. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sanders leaves a news conference at the Senate Swamp where he spoke about his agenda for the country. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Railing against the influence of money in politics, Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders laid out a blueprint for a presidential campaign in his first press conference since announcing his candidacy for the Democratic nomination.

Just steps outside the Capitol, with a wisp of white hair atop his head waving in the wind, Sanders delivered brief remarks to the assembled crowd of reporters, cameramen and a few supporters or bystanders. He took a handful of questions before rushing back inside, just more than 10 minutes after he’d arrived. Full story

April 29, 2015

Baltimore Riots Change Senate Race Conversation

Cummings has been a constant media presence as turmoil in Baltimore continues (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cummings has been in the spotlight as Maryland moves forward after the Baltimore riots. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The nascent Maryland Senate race will likely take on a new focus, as the state’s largest city works to heal its wounds following the death of a young black man in police custody and the sometimes violent expressions of anger that followed.

Maryland Democrats say voters are paying attention to how candidates react to the situation in Baltimore, and looking to see if anyone steps up as a leader as the city tries to move forward from the events of the past 10 days.

Full story

April 27, 2015

‘Mistake’ to Oust Hussein, Paul Says in Brooklyn

Stand With Rand

The senator had a chance to showcase the Paul foreign policy platform. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

BROOKLYN — Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul told a group of Jewish community leaders here Monday he thinks the United States made an error ousting Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in 2003.

While insisting he is not an isolationist, Paul said, “I think it was a mistake to topple Hussein. Hussein was the bulwark against Iran.” He told the group assembled here at the headquarters of Torah Umesorah, the National Society for Hebrew Day Schools that now, “Iraq is a vassal state for Iran.”

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April 23, 2015

Freshman’s Campaign Issue Gets D.C. Attention

McSally, a former A-10 fighter pilot, is one of the most vulnerable incumbents in 2016 (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McSally, a former A-10 fighter pilot who championed the issue, is considered a vulnerable Republican in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Arizona Rep. Martha McSally’s top local campaign issue will get legislative play on Capitol Hill, just a few months into the vulnerable Republican’s first term in Congress.

McSally wants to preserve funding in the defense budget for the Air Force’s A-10 Warthog fleet, the very planes she commanded as the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat. The Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, a primary training facility for A-10s, sits squarely in the borders of Arizona’s 2nd District and is a crucial part of her community’s economy.

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April 21, 2015

Special-Election Candidate Gets Unlikely Donation

Thirteen candidates are vying to succeed the late Nunnelee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

More than a dozen candidates are vying in the Mississippi special election to succeed the late Republican congressman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One of the candidates running for the late Rep. Alan Nunnelee’s Mississippi seat got some help from beyond the grave last month.

Trent Kelly, the district attorney for the First Circuit Court District, received a $4,000 donation from Nunnelee for Congress. Consultants for the late congressman — including one now working for Kelly — told CQ Roll Call the March 27 donation was made at the behest of Nunnelee’s widow, Tori.

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April 16, 2015

The 7 Most Interesting First-Quarter Fundraising Facts

Burr stepped up his fundraising game in the first quarter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Burr stepped up his fundraising game in the first quarter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated April 17, 10:30 a.m. | With roughly a year to go before the first primaries of 2016, fundraising numbers are among the few benchmarks to assess candidate strength.

A look at first-quarter reports — which were due to the Federal Election Commission Wednesday — shows which members are taking re-election bids seriously and also reveals weaknesses.

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