Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 22, 2014

Posts in "DCCC"

November 6, 2013

Jon Runyan Will Not Seek Re-Election in 2014 (Updated)

Jon Runyan Will Not Seek Re Election in 2014 (Updated)

Runyan is a Republican from New Jersey. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 10:51 a.m. | Rep. Jon Runyan, R-N.J., announced on Wednesday that he will not seek re-election in the Garden State’s 3rd District, creating an unexpected opening in a competitive district for 2014.

“After a great deal of thought and discussions with my family, I have decided not to seek re- election in 2014,” Runyan said in a statement. “Politics shouldn’t be a career and I never intended to make it one.”

Full story

By Emily Cahn Posted at 10:15 a.m.
DCCC, House 2014, N.J.-3

November 5, 2013

Ex-FEMA Director Seeks Open House Seat in Arkansas

Ex FEMA Director Seeks Open House Seat in Arkansas

Witt, right, served as the director of FEMA under Clinton. (Manny Ceneta/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Federal Emergency Management Agency Director James Lee Witt, a Democrat, announced on Tuesday he is running in the open-seat contest in Arkansas’ 4th District.

“I’ve spent my adult life bringing people together at the toughest times of their lives and dealing with disasters,” Witt said in a conference call announcing his bid, according to the Associated Press. “Nowhere needs disaster relief more than Washington. No place needs to be brought together more than Congress.”

Full story

October 31, 2013

Obama: I’m ‘Very Proud’ of John Tierney

Obama: Im Very Proud of John Tierney

Obama visited Boston on Wednesday. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama praised embattled Democratic Rep. John F. Tierney at a fundraiser held at a private residence near Boston.

The Wednesday event sought to raise funds for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at a private home in Weston, Mass. According to a White House transcript, Obama called out Tierney to praise his work in Congress during his remarks. Full story

October 28, 2013

Montana Democrat Sets $2 Million Fundraising Goal (Video)

The candidate: Democrat John Lewis, a former top aide to Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.
The member: Freshman Rep. Steve Daines, a Republican who represents the at-large district and is most likely running for Senate in 2014. Both parties expect an open race for this House seat in 2014.
The state:
Last cycle, Mitt Romney won Montana by more than a 13-point margin and Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., won re-election by 4 points. But Republicans have held onto the state’s sole House seat for the past 17 years.
The candidate’s team
: Aaron Murphy (communications director), Barrett Kaiser (manager), Bob Funk (deputy manager), Geoff Garin of Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group (pollster), Mattis Goldman of Three Point Media (media), Colleen Martin (finance director).

Former Capitol Hill aide John Lewis, a Democrat, predicted he will need at least $2 million to “have a chance” next year at Montana’s at-large seat — a district Republicans have held for nearly two decades.

“There’s going to be, as we saw last year, a flood of outside money,” Lewis told Roll Call in a Oct. 9 interview. “Montana is cheap airwaves. No one saw more outside money than Montana last year. … I’m going to have to raise at least $2 million to have a chance.” Full story

October 22, 2013

Special Election Gives Florida Democrats a Pick-Up Opportunity

A special election in Florida will present House Democrats with their best test case yet this cycle to see if they can put a dent in the GOP’s majority — or perhaps even take the speaker’s gavel.

Later this week, Floridians will lay to rest the dean of their congressional delegation, Republican Rep. C.W. Bill Young. Even as respects are being paid, both parties will be gearing up to elect his successor in the 13th District.

In recent cycles, Young’s political dominance papered over the competitive nature of the district. He never won re-election with less than 56 percent of the vote, but President Barack Obama carried the district in both of his national campaigns. Full story

October 18, 2013

House Democrats Break Fundraising Record in September

House Democrats Break Fundraising Record in September

Israel is the DCCC chairman. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced on Friday that it raised $8.4 million in September, a record monthly haul for the committee.

The fundraising haul brings the DCCC’s total cash on hand to $21.6 million, double the amount of cash it had at the same point last year, according to a DCCC aide. Full story

October 16, 2013

Democrats Recruiting Challenger to Bentivolio in Michigan

Democrats may have landed a candidate to run for the House seat currently occupied by Republican Rep. Kerry Bentivolio.

Interim Wayne State University Law School Dean Jocelyn Benson attended Wednesday’s House Democratic Caucus meeting and told attendees she is considering a run for the seat, according to two Democratic sources.

One of the sources said that House Democrats had unsuccessfully attempted to recruit her in the past, but the current government shutdown is a source of motivation for her run.

Bentivolio is in potential re-election trouble in both the primary and the general. In September, attorney David Trott announced he would challenge the incumbent in the primary.

Bentivolio produced a grim Federal Election Commission report this week — he raised just $59,000 — but he picked up several local endorsements over the past two days.

Five state party vice-chairmen endorsed Bentivolio on Tuesday, according to his Facebook page. Also, Michigan Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema endorsed Bentivolio on Wednesday, per a news release.

The race is rated Favored Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Ring, Ring: Dems Make It Easy to Call GOP to Complain About Shutdown (Updated)

Ring, Ring: Dems Make It Easy to Call GOP to Complain About Shutdown (Updated)

Israel is the chairman of the DCCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:09 p.m. | Ring, Ring: It’s the voters.

This week, House Democrats have started a round of automated phone calls that allow recipients to connect directly to the campaign offices of their Republican opponents. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will target 16 GOP challengers in competitive districts with the calls, according to a party source.

The political benefits of this tactic are unclear. But it has the potential to be pretty annoying.

Callers are read a negative profile of the Republican that accuses him or her of supporting the shutdown. Then the caller is given the option to be transferred to the GOP candidate’s campaign to tell their office that “the shutdown is hurting our families” and the candidate “shouldn’t be part of the problem.”

Here are the targeted GOP challengers:

Full story

September 20, 2013

House Democrats Outraise GOP in August

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised about $800,000 more than the National Republican Congressional Committee in August. The House Democratic campaign arm will also report a cash-on-hand advantage in its monthly Federal Election Commission filing, according to a DCCC aide.

House Democrats reported $4.6 million raised last month and $16.1 million in the bank, while House Republicans raised $3.8 million and ended the month with $12.7 million in cash on hand.

Both committees previously eliminated their outstanding debt from the 2012 cycle.

Friday was the deadline for the House campaign committees to report their monthly fundraising hauls.

September 18, 2013

DCCC Chief Touts Dues at Private Dinner for Members

DCCC Chief Touts Dues at Private Dinner for Members

Israel says DCCC money is being put to good use in GOP strongholds (Bill Clark CQ/Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel announced at a Tuesday evening private dinner for the caucus that 80 percent of House Democrats have paid at least some portion of their dues.

Israel boasted to the 75 members in attendance that DCCC money was put to use in GOP-held districts during August recess. The New York representative also pushed members to open their campaign pocketbooks to the committee before the Sept. 30 monthly fundraising deadline, according to a source in the room.

In her remarks to the crowd, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi specifically hailed the fundraising efforts of Reps. Suzanne Bonamici of Oregon, Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, Jared Polis of Colorado, Joseph P. Kennedy III of Massachusetts, and John B. Larson of Connecticut. Full story

September 12, 2013

The Shrinking House Map: A Regional Breakdown

The Shrinking House Map: A Regional Breakdown

Republicans and Democrats are getting ready to spend 14 months and hundreds of millions of dollars on a House campaign that is likely to end in a split decision with a small gain for one party or the other.

The likelihood that only a handful of incumbents from either side will lose may in the end give the winning party a pickup as small as a single seat.

Because redistricting has given the parties — primarily Republicans — lopsided control of many districts and a working majority in many others, this is one of the narrowest fields of competitive races in recent memory. Twenty-six Democratic seats and 23 Republican seats are currently considered less than safe, according to ratings compiled by the Rothenberg Political Report and used by CQ Weekly and Roll Call. Of those, only 14 are regarded as highly competitive. (View ratings map.)

What’s more, this election is the first in at least a decade without a presidential race and also with no sign of an overriding issue such as the health care debate that helped Republicans win the House in 2010.

Region by region, and in some cases, state by state, Democrats and Republicans are battening down to protect the seats they have, while at the same time launching aggressive campaigns to pick off seats held by the opposition. Full story

September 10, 2013

DCCC Chief: Syria Not Big Issue in 2014 Elections

DCCC Chief: Syria Not Big Issue in 2014 Elections

Israel is the DCCC chairman. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Democratic campaign chief told reporters Tuesday that while Capitol Hill is consumed with debate on Syria, the issue will not affect the 2014 midterms.

“2014 is not going to be a referendum on Syria,” said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast. Instead, he added, the 2014 midterms will be about “solutions,” helping the middle class, extremism and partisanship.

Israel declined to detail the Syria issue in his role as DCCC chairman, reiterating the committee does not endorse policy positions. Instead, he argued that many House Republicans who oppose authorization for intervention in Syria would support the same policy if Mitt Romney were president and proposed it instead of President Barack Obama. Full story

September 3, 2013

Democrat Challenges Pearce in New Mexico | #NM02

Democrat Roxanne “Rocky” Lara announced Tuesday that she will run for the nomination to challenge New Mexico’s lone Republican delegation member, Rep. Steve Pearce.

“New Mexicans deserve someone in Congress who is committed to our needs and values, but we haven’t been getting that from Washington lately,” Lara said in a release. “I’ll change that by following a straightforward principle: I will work with anyone who shares a willingness to work for a better New Mexico.”

Lara is a former Eddy County Commission chairwoman; she unsuccessfully ran for state party chair in April, according to the El Paso Times. Lara has met previously with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee about a House run, per a national Democratic operative.

New Mexico Democratic Party Chairman Sam Bregman said Lara’s entry in the race means there are two qualified candidates available to take on Pearce, pointing to attorney Leslie Endean-Singh, who previously announced  her run for the 2nd District’s Democratic nomination.

August 26, 2013

Former Baucus Staffer Readies House Campaign

John Lewis, a former staffer to retiring Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., is moving closer to a run for Congress.

Lewis filed a statement of organization with the Federal Election Commission on Aug. 22.

“He’s going to announce a campaign for the House seat,” a national Democratic operative said. “I would expect a formal launch in the next couple of weeks.”

CQ Roll Call reported in July that Lewis met with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“John is moving forward because we need more bridge-builders in Congress,” Lewis spokesman Aaron Murphy said in a written statement. “Montanans are asking John to be a candidate because we need more independent-minded public servants committed to good-paying jobs and working together to find solutions — like looking after our families and neighbors, and living within our means.”

If Lewis follows through, it is uncertain who his opponent will be. An open-seat race could be in the cards. The seat’s current occupant, Republican Rep. Steve Daines, is currently mulling a run for Senate to replace Lewis’ old boss.

For now, the race is rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Kyle Trygstad contributed to this report.

August 20, 2013

House Campaign Committees Virtually Tied in July Fundraising

House Campaign Committees Virtually Tied in July Fundraising

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

The National Republican Congressional Committee brought in just slightly more cash than House Democrats’ campaign arm during the month of July, according to new fundraising reports filed on Tuesday.

House Republicans raised $4.44 million, while the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee brought in $4.36 million. Full story

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