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July 29, 2014

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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

August 19, 2013

Gavin Newsom, Zoe Lofgren Take Sides in Crowded House Primary | #CA31

Gavin Newsom, Zoe Lofgren Take Sides in Crowded House Primary | #CA31

Lofgren joined several California Democrats in endorsing Aguilar in the 31st District primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s recruit to take on vulnerable GOP Rep. Gary G. Miller, touted the endorsements of two more prominent California Democrats on Monday.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Rep. Zoe Lofgren joined several California Democrats, including 13 members of Congress from the Golden State, in backing Aguilar in the crowded Democratic primary field.

Full story

August 14, 2013

Ex-Congressman Won’t Attempt Comeback Bid in Pennsylvania | #PA12

Ex Congressman Wont Attempt Comeback Bid in Pennsylvania | #PA12

Critz will not try to come back to Congress. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Mark Critz, D-Pa., will not attempt a congressional comeback bid in 2014, opting to seek statewide office instead.

He told a local union radio show that he plans to run for lieutenant governor, the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat reported. Full story

July 19, 2013

Wasserman Schultz, Crowley Fundraise for Vulnerable Democrats

Wasserman Schultz, Crowley Fundraise for Vulnerable Democrats

Wasserman Schultz is fundraising for candidates. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic National Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., will host a fundraiser next week to help endangered House Democrats, according to an invitation obtained by CQ Roll Call. Full story

July 18, 2013

House Democrats Land Michigan Recruit #MI07

Democratic former state Rep. Pam Byrnes announced Thursday she’ll challenge Republican Rep. Tim Walberg in Michigan’s 7th District.

“Washington is broken and Rep. Tim Walberg is part of the problem,” Byrnes said in a release. “Michigan’s middle-class is paying the price for his partisan politics that put special interests and corporation before working families.”

The recruit, and the district, had not previously been prominent going into the 2014 cycle. Mitt Romney carried the district by 3 points in 2012, while President Barack Obama carried it by the same margin in 2008. This race is rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Byrnes was a member of the state House until 2010, when she was term-limited out of office. She lost a state Senate bid that cycle, according to AnnArbor.com.

July 17, 2013

Democrats Eye Baucus Aide for House Seat #MTAL

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is eyeing Sen. Max Baucus’ state director to run for Montana’s at-large seat.

John Lewis, a top aide to the Montana Democrat, has met with DCCC Chairman Steve Israel to discuss a campaign, according to two Democratic sources.

Baucus is retiring, and the at-large seat’s current member, GOP Rep. Steve Daines, is seriously thinking about running for his Senate seat. The House race is currently rated Safe Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. Full story

House Republicans Raised More Than House Democrats in June (Updated)

Updated 11:19 a.m.  | The National Republican Congressional Committee raised more than Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in a single month, June, for the first time this cycle.

The NRCC raised $7.1 million in June and finished the month with $11.3 million in the bank and $2.25 million in debt.

The DCCC raised $6.7 million in June and paid off all of its remaining debt from the 2012 cycle, an aide confirmed on Wednesday.

Only last week, NRCC Chairman Greg Walden conceded that the fact that Democrats have come out ahead month after month was a “concern” and he pledged to beef up his team’s online fundraising efforts.

The DCCC still holds on to the cash-on-hand advantage with $13.2 million in the bank. Last cycle, the DCCC did not get rid of its debt until December 2011.

Full story

House Fundraising Winners and Losers

House Fundraising Winners and Losers

Love is a fundraising winner in the second quarter of this year. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Now that all of the House fundraising reports are due, here is CQ Roll Call’s look at the winners and losers in the fundraising game.

Quarterly fundraising offers a quantitative window into the efficiency of a campaign — as well as a candidate’s drive to win. A number of challengers raised more money than incumbents this cycle, while other incumbents are racking up huge sums.

To see a full rundown of the House fundraising landscape, check out CQ Roll Call’s House fundraising chart. Even better: Bookmark it.

Winners:

Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., in the 26th District
$442,000 raised, $801,000 in cash on hand

Garcia’s strong fundraising might be the best news he’s had in a few months. Two members of his official staff resigned during the second quarter amid an investigation into alleged corruption. But despite his legal troubles, he proved to be one of the top House fundraisers in the second quarter.

Former San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio, a Republican in California’s 52nd District
$488,000 raised, $470,000 in cash on hand

DeMaio raised nearly a half-million dollars to challenge freshman Rep. Scott Peters, a Democrat who brought in $363,000 for this competitive district. Peters still holds the cash-on-hand edge with $526,000 in the bank. Full story

July 16, 2013

House Democrats Help Aguilar Raise Big Money in Primary #CA31

House Democrats Help Aguilar Raise Big Money in Primary #CA31

Baca is running for Congress again. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It pays to have the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on your side — at least for fundraising.

Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar — the DCCC’s chosen candidate for the targeted 31st District in California — brought in the most cash in his crowded primary, with $300,000 raised in the second quarter of this year.

Aguilar’s Democratic opponents did not fare so well. Former Rep. Joe Baca, who touted support from many of his former House colleagues, raised just $38,000 in the second quarter. It’s a small haul for any House candidate, but especially for a former member.

Full story

July 12, 2013

Ohio’s Most Vulnerable House Republican Raises Big Bucks

Rep. David Joyce, R-Ohio, raised a strong $406,000 in the second quarter of this year as he gears up for what will likely be a tough re-election race.

National Democrats have already said they see the 14th District as a pick-up opportunity in 2014. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel named Joyce as a top GOP target in an interview with CQ Roll Call, although the only organized challenger so far is attorney Michael Wager. Full story

July 10, 2013

Walden Pledges Improvement for GOP Online Fundraising

Walden Pledges Improvement for GOP Online Fundraising

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

After Democrats trounced Republicans in online fundraising in recent cycles, the House GOP’s campaign chief has promised improvements for the party’s digital donor base in 2014.

“We’re coming out of this cycle wondering what the heck happened to us, and how did we fall behind, and how do we leapfrog ahead?” said Greg Walden, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, in a Wednesday interview with CQ Roll Call. “I look at this as an opportunity.”

The NRCC’s effort comes as the party looks to protect, and possibly even expand, its 17-seat advantage over House Democrats. Despite holding the majority, the NRCC has brought in less cash than the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee every month this election cycle. Full story

July 9, 2013

Aguilar Raises $300K in Second Quarter #CA31

Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar announced Tuesday night that he raised $300,000 in the second quarter for his highly contested primary bid in California’s 31st District.

Aguilar now has almost $290,000 cash on hand in the race.

Aguilar, who has the backing of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is facing three fellow Democrats and current Rep. Gary G. Miller, R-Calif., in this targeted race.

Full story

Graham Scion Could Face Primary in Florida #FL02

Graham Scion Could Face Primary in Florida #FL02

Lawson is thinking about running again. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Attorney Gwen Graham, daughter of the state’s former governor and senator, is raising cash and consolidating Democratic establishment support behind her bid for Florida’s 2nd. But looming over her campaign is a potential primary challenge from the party’s 2012 nominee, former state Sen. Al Lawson.

“I’m interested,” Lawson said in an interview with CQ Roll Call. He indicated that his decision on whether to run will come in the next 30-60 days.

Florida’s 2nd District tops Democrats’ list of pickup opportunities this cycle. The seat is held by freshman Republican Rep. Steve Southerland II, who beat Lawson by 6 points in 2012.

State and national Democrats like Graham’s chances against Southerland. Their fear is that Lawson has high enough name identification to win the primary but his fundraising weaknesses could hurt him in the general election.

Lawson is well-known in the Tallahassee-based district from more than two decades in the state legislature. One Florida Democratic operative praised his political skills but acknowledged that his ability to raise money is a serious concern.

Democrats say raising money is one of Graham’s strengths. She hauled in more than $375,000 in the second quarter — her first in the race — and will report more than $300,000 in cash on hand.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee named her to its Jumpstart program, a designation for the committee’s top-tier recruits. Graham announced her candidacy in early April and recently made the rounds in Washington to meet with national reporters. (Read Roll Call’s interview with Graham.)

Bob Graham served as the Sunshine State’s governor from 1979 to 1987 and as senator from 1987 to 2005. He unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004.

“The national Democrats, from what I can observe, they pretty much have been leaning more toward Graham,” Lawson said. “They say they’re not going to get involved but her father knows a lot of people who can give money.”

Lawson says his own name identification would offset any Graham financial advantage, adding that lobbying groups approached him about running. He is trying to schedule a trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with those groups and members who have supported him in the past. He hopes several officials who backed his 2012 bid will help him again, including House Assistant Minority Leader James E. Clyburn, Rep. Corrine Brown and her fellow Floridian, former Rep. Peter Deutsch.

So far, no meeting with the DCCC is scheduled.

Lawson described Graham as “a nice lady” but criticized her for not being well-known enough in the area. “She has a lot of work to do,” he said. “Even if I don’t run, she will have a major uphill battle against Southerland.”

Lawson is no fan of Graham’s father, a result of a bad experience they had two years ago.

“I called him and asked him for help against the Republican [Southerland], and he said he didn’t want to get involved,” Lawson said of his 2012 campaign.

He said Graham went so far as to refuse to make a $25 donation. The former senator cited being “out of politics” as the reason for not donating, Lawson said.

“I was really surprised,” he said. “I helped him a lot and thought he’d be interested in helping a candidate for U.S. Congress. But I was a guy that really campaigned hard for him that was running.”

Gwen Graham’s camp declined to address Lawson’s charge. Her campaign manager, Julia Gill, wrote in an email, “Gwen is committed to bringing a new kind of leadership to Washington and to be an independent voice for the people of North Florida.”

Lawson’s central strategy, if he runs and wins the primary, is to run a general-election campaign that reaches out to the region’s rural voters who are registered Democrats but habitually cross over to vote Republican.

He added that he will conduct polling before he makes his decision.

“I’ve always wanted to go to Congress,” Lawson said.

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

July 8, 2013

Reyes Raises $200K in Second Quarter #CA31

Attorney Eloise Gomez Reyes will announce on Tuesday that she raised more than $203,000 in the second quarter in her quest for California’s 31st District, according to figures provided exclusively to CQ Roll Call.

Reyes is facing a highly contested primary against three other Democrats — Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, former Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., and local school board official Danny Tillman — as well as current Rep. Gary G. Miller, R-Calif. The top two vote recipients, regardless of party, will advance to a general election under the state’s new primary system.

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