Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 28, 2014

Posts in "Democrats"

March 3, 2014

Democrats Announce House Targets for 2014

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rolled out the first 35 districts of its “Red to Blue” program Monday, highlighting the GOP-held seats the party believes it can flip and open seats it hopes to keep in the Democratic column in the 2014 midterms.

Needing to net 17 seats to win back the House majority, the announcement makes clear where the party believes its most important fights will take place.

“This is our initial roll out,” DCCC Chairman Steve Israel said Monday morning on MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown.” “There will be more, and we will have a very competitive battlefield as we go deeper into the cycle.” Full story

Potential Rival Urges Kyrsten Sinema to Stay Put

Potential Rival Urges Kyrsten Sinema to Stay Put

If Sinema runs for Congress in another district, she will face a primary challenge, one candidate promised Sunday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Democrat running for the seat of retiring Arizona Rep. Ed Pastor said Sunday he would not drop his bid in deference to freshman Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, a fellow Democrat who may opt to run for the newly opened seat instead of her own.

Pastor’s 7th District is solidly Democratic, while any Democrat running for Sinema’s neighboring 9th District could face a tough general election fight every cycle until the next round of redistricting. Because of that, speculation about the possibility that Sinema might move to the open district emerged immediately after Pastor’s Feb. 27 retirement announcement.

Democratic state Rep. Ruben Gallego, who announced his candidacy on Twitter minutes after Pastor made his retirement plans public, said in a Sunday interview with CQ Roll Call that he will run for Pastor’s seat regardless of Sinema’s plans.

“I’m a big supporter of Kyrsten Sinema,” Gallego said. “I got to work for her, work with her. I’ve donated to her campaign the first time around, the second time around, and I hope she stays in District 9 because she is the right moderate, business-oriented voice for that district.”

He added: “But, if she decides to move to District 7, we will have a very spirited race and I will run against her.”

Full story

February 28, 2014

President Obama Endorses Texas Democrat in Primary Race

President Obama Endorses Texas Democrat in Primary Race

Obama endorsed Veasey ahead of the incumbent's primary on Tuesday (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama endorsed freshman Texas Rep. Marc Veasey in his re-election bid on Friday.

Veasey faces a primary challenge Tuesday in Texas’ 33rd District from Tom Sanchez, a self-funding attorney from the technology sector. Most local Democrats expect Veasey to win, but Sanchez is running a spirited campaign against him in a regionally and ethnically complex district.

In a Veasey campaign release, which included a photo of the pair shaking hands, Obama touted the freshman Democrat on the very issue on which Sanchez has criticized him: immigration. Full story

Former Congressman Seeking Mississippi Senate Seat

Former Congressman Seeking Mississippi Senate Seat

Childers was sworn in to the House just a few years ago. (Ryan Kelly/CQ Roll Call)

Former Mississippi Rep. Travis Childers announced Friday he will run for Senate, putting a legitimate contender in place for Democrats as a potentially nasty primary plays out on the Republican side.

Childers, who won a 2008 special election to Mississippi’s 1st District and then a full term later that year, gives Democrats a top recruit in a state that leans heavily Republican. The odds are against him, but the move puts pressure on Republicans as Sen. Thad Cochran faces a spirited challenge from tea party-backed state Sen. Chris McDaniel. Full story

February 27, 2014

Udall Campaign Hits Gardner for ‘Shady Scheme’

Udall Campaign Hits Gardner for Shady Scheme

Udall is seeking re-election in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Now faced with a top-tier Republican challenger, Colorado Sen. Mark Udall’s campaign on Thursday painted the GOP’s swap of candidates between races as a partisan backroom deal unfit for the state’s independent nature.

GOP Rep. Cory Gardner dropped his House bid Wednesday in favor of the Senate race, which immediately put Udall’s seat in more danger. Meanwhile, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, an unsuccessful Senate candidate in 2010 and a long-shot to defeat Udall, dropped out of the Senate race to run for Gardner’s seat.

“It’s no surprise that a Washington ideologue like Congressman Cory Gardner worked with party bosses to cook up the ‘Centennial State Swap,’ the shady scheme hatched behind closed doors that enabled him to swoop into the Senate race,” Udall spokesman Chris Harris said in a statement. “Rather than bring Colorado’s independence to Congress, Gardner is bringing Washington-style backroom deals to Colorado.”

Full story

Rangel Primary Challenger To Announce Rematch

Rangel Primary Challenger To Announce Rematch

Rangel's 2012 primary challenger is running again in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Sen. Adriano Espaillat is scheduled to announce at noon Thursday that he will once again challenge 22-term Rep. Charles B. Rangel in New York’s 13th District.

Rangel narrowly defeated Espaillat, another Democrat, in 2012. The New York state legislator’s candidacy for the Harlem and Bronx-based district was widely expected. Full story

February 26, 2014

Harry Reid’s War On Koch

“The Koch Brothers are ‘un-American’” is the new “Mitt Romney didn’t pay taxes for 10 years” in the Senate, per a series of floor speeches given Wednesday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Reid, who has picked up the habit of making political floor statements, took the conservative mega-donors to task as part of an emerging narrative from Senate Democrats that such massive campaign spending — and the negative ads that come with it — are destroying the political process.

The Koch-backed Americans For Prosperity already has poured tens of millions of dollars into the 2014 cycle in an attempt to knock out vulnerable incumbent Democrats, and it appears Democrats are trying to discredit the effort knowing they might never be able to match it financially.

“You see, when you make billions of dollars a year, you can be as immoral and dishonest as your money will allow you to be,” Reid said in his second floor speech of the day on the Kochs. “It’s too bad they’re trying to buy America, and it’s time that the American people spoke out against this terrible dishonesty of these two brothers who are about as un-American as anyone that I can imagine.”

Full story

Manchin Heading to Alaska for Begich Fundraiser

Manchin Heading to Alaska for Begich Fundraiser

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., will travel to Anchorage this weekend to campaign for Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska., according to multiple sources in both camps familiar with the trip.

Manchin will appear at two fundraisers at the home of former Democratic Gov. Bill Sheffield, each with a different suggested contribution level. Sources would not confirm the specific, suggested dollar amounts. The events are co-hosted by Sheffield and Wally Hickel Jr., son of former Gov. Wally Hickel.

Manchin, who has a penchant for state fairs, also will appear at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the 2014 Anchorage Fur Rendezvous (aka “Fur Rondy”), the annual 10-day festival kicking off the famous Iditarod race.

“Senator Manchin will be in Alaska to support Senator Begich because he believes he is the independent-minded Senator who always fights for Alaska and will help move our country forward,” a Manchin campaign spokesman said in an email.

Full story

D.C.’s Democratic Mayoral Candidates, Potential Challenger Pick Up Endorsements

With little more than a month until the District’s April 1 primary election, endorsements are rolling in for the candidates vying to be the next mayor of the nation’s capital.

Incumbent Vincent Gray has scored support from five big labor groups, including the Service Employees International Union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Building Trades Council.

Gray’s leading challenger, Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser, gained the backing of EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for Democratic women in politics, as well as the influential endorsement of the Washington Post editorial board.

But, the latest winner has not yet entered the mayoral race. Full story

February 25, 2014

McConnell Says Bill Clinton Is His Electoral Rabbit’s Foot

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that former President Bill Clinton can stump in Kentucky whenever he wants, characterizing the Democratic icon as his election good-luck charm.

Clinton campaigned in Louisville earlier Tuesday for McConnell’s Democratic opponent, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who has put the Republican-leaning state in play for Democrats. Grimes’ father, Jerry Lundergan, is a longtime Democratic operative and ally of the powerful Clinton family.

McConnell, who faces opposition from Grimes on his left and tea-party-backed Matt Bevin on his right, seemed unfazed by the political activity at home.

“I welcome him back,” McConnell told reporters in the Capitol.

“The last time he ran in 1996 he eked out a narrow victory in Kentucky, while I beat the current governor by 160,000 votes, 10 points,” McConnell said. “In 2008, both Bill and Hillary Clinton came to town, including the day before the election, and I won by 100,000 votes. So I welcome President Clinton back to Kentucky. Every time he’s come its been really good for me.”

Full story

Debbie Dingell to Announce House Bid

Debbie Dingell to Announce House Bid

John D. Dingell, left, and his wife, Debbie Dingell, are from Michigan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic National Committeewoman Debbie Dingell is expected to announce her candidacy for Michigan’s 12th District on Friday, according to multiple news outlets.

The news comes only a day after her husband, Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Mich., announced his retirement from the House after 29 full terms. Full story

LGBT Group Picks Sides in Crowded Northern Virginia Race

The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund endorsed state Sen. Adam Ebbin on Tuesday in the crowded Democratic primary for Virginia’s 8th District.

Ebbin is one of two openly gay state legislators in Virginia. The other, state Del. Mark Sickles, who announced his orientation in a Washington Post op-ed, is also running in the 8th District race.

“Adam Ebbin has distinguished himself as an outspoken voice of progressive values,” Torey Carter, chief operating officer at the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, said in a Tuesday news release. “After ten years in the state legislature, he has remained committed to his goal of increasing equality and opportunity for those that are often left behind.”

Full story

The Candidate Who Bounced a $42 Check Might Be a Problem for Central Valley Democrats

The Candidate Who Bounced a $42 Check Might Be a Problem for Central Valley Democrats

Hernandez is back in California's 21st District race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

California’s Central Valley was home last cycle to a botched open-seat opportunity for Democrats, and the party could be facing a replay in 2014.

After squeaking out of the 2012 top-two primary over the party’s preferred candidate, Democrat John Hernandez was defeated by Republican David Valadao by a 16-point margin for the new 21st District, even as President Barack Obama won there with 55 percent.

This cycle, Democrats are again targeting the seat and have recruited former Capitol Hill aide Amanda Renteria to run.

But back as a potential spoiler is Hernandez, a former president of the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The issues many say contributed to his 2012 loss — a disorganized campaign and difficulty raising money — seem to be plaguing him once again.

Full story

February 24, 2014

Will Debbie Dingell Succeed Her Husband in Congress?

Will Debbie Dingell Succeed Her Husband in Congress?

Dingell, left, announced his retirement this morning. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For the first time in 81 years, Michigan Democrats are contemplating a Congress without a Dingell.

Maybe not.

Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Mich., announced his retirement on Monday, finishing his 29th full term in the House after succeeding his father in the southeastern Michigan district. In the wake of his announcement, Democrats are already touting the congressman’s wife, Debbie, as the most serious contender for his seat.

(Update: Indeed, Debbie Dingell is expected to announce her candidacy on Friday.)

Full story

House Dean John Dingell to Announce Retirement (Updated) (Video)

Updated 11:32 a.m. | Rep. John D. Dingell, the longtime Michigan Democrat and dean of the House, will announce on Monday that he will not seek re-election.

“I’m not going to be carried out feet first,” Dingell said in an interview with the Detroit News.

“I find serving in the House to be obnoxious,” Dingell, 87, added in the interview. “It’s become very hard because of the acrimony and bitterness, both in Congress and in the streets.”

Full story

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