Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 25, 2014

Posts by Bridget Bowman

32 Posts

October 23, 2014

Florida Redistricting Case Heads to State Supreme Court

Florida Redistricting Case Heads to State Supreme Court

Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown's district was one of two declared unconstitutional in the redistricting case. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Florida Supreme Court voted Thursday to hear a case challenging Florida’s congressional map, setting oral arguments for March.

According to The Associated Press, the court ruled 5-2 to take up the case, fast tracking it through the appeals process. Full story

October 16, 2014

How ‘Dr. Dan’ Cured His Campaign Woes

How Dr. Dan Cured His Campaign Woes

Republicans say Benishek is one of the "most improved" candidates. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Once a top target for Democrats, Rep. Dan Benishek, a former surgeon turned tea party candidate, has turned a corner in his campaign for a second term, and national Republicans have labeled him one of their “most improved” members of the cycle.

What happened? A combination of staff changes, leveraging his slot on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and a favorable cycle for Republicans gave Benishek a clear advantage in the 1st District.

“It looked as if Michigan’s 1st District was going to be one of maybe the top two or three House races here in Michigan,” said Dennis Darnoi, a Michigan Republican consultant. “It hasn’t really reached the competitive level that, I think, was expected.” Full story

October 8, 2014

House Democrats Cut Ad Buy in Michigan

House Democrats Cut Ad Buy in Michigan

Cannon is challenging Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Mich. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

National Democrats have canceled $425,000 in television ad reservations for a House race the party hoped to put in play in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, according to multiple sources monitoring the media market.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had been targeting Republican Rep. Dan Benishek, who is being challenged by Democrat Jerry Cannon. But the DCCC cut airtime in the 1st District from Oct. 21 through Election Day, following a similar cut made by House Majority PAC in September. Full story

October 7, 2014

Court Tosses Virginia Congressional Map (Updated)

Court Tosses Virginia Congressional Map (Updated)

Scott's district was ruled unconstitutional. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:28 p.m.| A federal court has ruled Virginia’s congressional map violated the 14th Amendment and instructed the legislature to redraw the state’s congressional boundaries by April 1, 2015.

On Tuesday, three federal judges sided with the plaintiffs, who argued the Republican-led legislature drew Virginia’s 3rd District to pack blacks into the district, thus diminishing their influence in neighboring districts and violating the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

The current map will still be in effect for the 2014 elections. The court instructed the legislature to redraw the entire congressional map by April, and there will likely be more legal action before then. Full story

6 Gubernatorial Races With Potential Congressional Consequences

6 Gubernatorial Races With Potential Congressional Consequences

Barber is running as a Democrat in Arizona, where there is a competitive gubernatorial race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The lines separating gubernatorial and congressional candidates on the ballot could blur in several states this cycle, as the top of the ticket proves to be a driving force downballot in a half-dozen states.

Typically, competitive gubernatorial races impact one key factor for victory: turnout. As a result, state parties ramp up their efforts to turn out their base, which could also boost candidates all over the ballot, including congressional races.

Gubernatorial races have less of an impact on Senate contests, where candidates are similarly well known by voters. But they often can make a difference in a close House race.

In alphabetical order, here are six states where the impact of a gubernatorial race could drip down the ballot:  Full story

Poll Shows McAllister Race Is Wide Open

Poll Shows McAllister Race Is Wide Open

McAllister faces five other candidates in the race for his seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A poll released Monday showed no clear front-runner in the race for embattled Rep. Vance McAllister’s seat in Louisiana.

The Republican was among the top three candidates in the automated poll, conducted by a GOP firm, which surveyed 504 likely voters in the 5th District.

Earlier this year, McAllister was caught on camera kissing a married staffer — several months after he won a special election for the seat. But given the crowded field, it is very unlikely any of the six candidates will garner 50 percent of the vote on Election Day, which means the race will continue to a runoff between the top two vote-recipients in December.  Full story

October 2, 2014

Kerry Bentivolio to Wage Write-In Campaign

Kerry Bentivolio to Wage Write In Campaign

Bentivolio is a Michigan Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, who lost his Republican primary in his re-election bid, said Thursday he will stage a write-in campaign in November.

In an afternoon phone interview with CQ Roll Call, Bentivolio said he wanted to send a message to his former GOP opponent, businessman and Republican nominee David Trott, who he alleged has continued attacking him, his family and his staff after their Aug. 5 primary.

“After they won the race, they kept up the attacks, but they expanded it beyond me,” Bentivolio said. ”After they won the race, they continued to beat up me, my family members, as well as my staff.”

Trott trounced Bentivolio by more than 30 points, and now he’s on track to win Michigan’s 11th District, which located in the towns and exurbs northwest of Detroit. The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rates the race as Republican Favored.

Full story

September 29, 2014

Club for Growth Ad Attacks Vance McAllister

Club for Growth Ad Attacks Vance McAllister

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The political action arm of the conservative Club for Growth is launching a TV ad Tuesday attacking embattled incumbent Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La.

The 30-second spot, which is backed by a “six-figure buy,” starts out with media coverage of the married congressman being caught on camera kissing a staffer, but quickly pivots to his voting record. The “Kissing Congressman” has been attempting to move past the scandal, including debuting an ad that features McAllister with his wife. Full story

September 12, 2014

Polls Show Two Democrats Trailing in New York

Polls Show Two Democrats Trailing in New York

A new poll showed Gibson ahead of his Democratic challenger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two new polls showed a duo of House Democrats trailing in competitive races in upstate New York.

In the Empire State’s 19th District, GOP Rep. Chris Gibson leads his Democratic challenger, venture capitalist Sean Eldridge, by 24 points, according to a Time Warner Cable News/Siena College poll released Thursday.

North in the 21st District, a similar survey from WWNY-7 News/Siena College showed Republican Elise Stefanik leading Democrat Aaron Woolf by 13 points. Woolf and Stefanik are competing to succeed Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., who is retiring.  Full story

August 26, 2014

Democrat Describes Race as Party’s Best Pickup Opportunity (Video)

Democrat Describes Race as Partys Best Pickup Opportunity (Video)

Aguilar, Democratic candidate for California's 31st District. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call)

Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar called his bid for California’s 31st District the Democrats’ best chance to pick up a Republican seat in the midterms.

“It is the most Democratic seat held by a Republican in the nation,” Aguilar told CQ Roll Call in a July 16 interview. “And the Republican decided to retire. So this is a great opportunity, Democrats’ best opportunity for a pickup.” Full story

August 22, 2014

Judge OKs New Florida Congressional Map for 2016

A state judge upheld the Florida legislature’s newly revised congressional map Friday, ruling the redrawn House districts should apply to the 2016 elections.

“The 2014 elections will have to be held under the map as enacted in 2012,” Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis wrote in his ruling, siding with Florida lawmakers who argued that applying new district lines to this election cycle would create chaos.

The ruling allows the Aug. 26 primaries to continue as scheduled. Even so, the new map makes minor changes to the state’s House districts and will likely have a minimal effect in 2016 on the congressional delegation, where House Republicans currently outnumber Democrats 17 to 10.

Full story

With No Recount in Wisconsin Primary, Grothman Becomes GOP Nominee

After a week and a half of uncertainty, the Republican nominee to represent Wisconsin’s 6th District will be state Sen. Glenn Grothman.

The Associated Press originally declared Grothman the winner of the GOP primary last week but then rescinded its call after additional votes came in and rendered the race too close to call.

After the 11 counties in the district verified their vote counts Wednesday, Grothman maintained his lead by 219 votes, or 0.47 percent, but it was unclear whether the second place finisher, state Sen. Joe Leibham, would call for a recount. Full story

Mary Rose Wilcox Vies for Arizona’s 7th District (Video)

Mary Rose Wilcox Vies for Arizonas 7th District (Video)

Wilcox, D-Ariz., candidate for Congress from Arizona's 7th district. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Former Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, a Democrat, hopes her community ties and political experience will boost her to victory in Tuesday’s primary in Arizona’s 7th District.

In an interview with CQ Roll Call in Washington, D.C., Wilcox laid out what she believes will be a winning strategy for the primary.

“We’re targeting, we’re making sure that we’re getting the voters out,” said Wilcox in late July. “I know my community. My community has shared with me many of their concerns, and so the message is one that is resonating. And that’s how we win.” Full story

August 15, 2014

Joni Ernst Tells TIME She Was Sexually Harassed in the Military

Joni Ernst Tells TIME She Was Sexually Harassed in the Military

Joni Ernst, Iowa Republican Senate Candidate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst told TIME Friday that she was sexually harassed in the military. Separating herself from many of her fellow Republicans, Ernst also said she would support taking sexual assault cases out of the military chain of command.

Ernst, a 20-year veteran, said in the interview with TIME that there are situations when soldiers may be hesitant to report sexual harassment.

“I had comments, passes, things like that,” Ernst said. “These were some things where I was able to say stop and it simply stopped but there are other circumstances both for women and for men where they don’t stop and they may be afraid to report it.”

After reports of high levels of sexual assault in the military, lawmakers worked to address the issue last spring. A main point of contention was whether such cases should be handled by military officers. Full story

Revised Election Schedule Submitted in Florida Map Case

Revised Election Schedule Submitted in Florida Map Case

Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., represents one of the seven districts affected by the proposed new map. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Florida Secretary of State submitted an alternative election schedule Friday to a state judge who is considering whether or not a redrawn congressional map should apply to the midterms.

According to Secretary of State Ken Detzner, should the new map apply to this cycle, the earliest possible primary date for the seven districts affected by the new map would take place on March 17, 2015. The general election would follow on May 26, 2015. Full story

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