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January 25, 2015

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May 13, 2014

John Conyers Does Not Qualify for Primary Ballot

John Conyers Does Not Qualify for Primary Ballot

Conyers will not appear on the primary ballot. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 6:14 p.m. | Democratic Rep. John Conyers Jr. failed to qualify for the Michigan 13th District primary ballot, a local county clerk ruled Tuesday.

“Seeing that I do not have the authority to rule on the constitutionality of laws and statutes, that the County Clerks are bound by, it is my determination that in accordance with the current laws and statutes of the State of Michigan, the nominating petitions filed by Congressman John Conyers, Jr. are insufficient to allow his name to appear on the August 5, 2014 Primary Ballot,” Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett said, according to Detroit affiliate WDIV. Full story

Clay Aiken Will Officially Become Democratic Nominee in North Carolina

Clay Aiken Will Officially Become Democratic Nominee in North Carolina

Aiken will be the Democratic nominee for North Carolina's 2nd District. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images File Photo)

“American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken is set to be certified as the Democratic nominee in North Carolina’s 2nd District, after the North Carolina State Board of Elections received the tally of all votes cast in last Tuesday’s primary.

As of May 6, Aiken led former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco by about 370 votes. After all of the votes were reported from the nine counties within the district on Tuesday, Aiken gained an additional 21 votes, leaving him with 40.86 percent to Crisco’s 39.49 percent.

That tally pushed Aiken over the 40 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff, and out of the range possible to trigger a recount.

The news comes one day after Crisco, 71, died suddenly in his home in Asheboro after a fall.

Full story

Democrat Withdraws From Competitive Florida House Race

The candidate aiming to oust Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., withdrew from the race Tuesday, leaving Democrats without a challenger.

Col. Ed Jany, who was running as an independent with the support of national Democrats, cited work obligations for his withdrawal from his short campaign — which lasted less than two weeks. Jany entered the race at the May 2 Florida filing deadline, shocking state political observers.

The announcement came four days after the Tampa Bay Times raised questions about his educational background. Full story

Begich Could Benefit From a Ballot Initiative Bounce

Begich Could Benefit From a Ballot Initiative Bounce

Begich is seeking re-election in Alaska. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Alaska Sen. Mark Begich is all of a sudden the likely beneficiary of a legislative blunder that may send more voters to the polls this fall.

Begich’s midterm electorate is expected to expand as a result of the Republican-controlled state Legislature’s failure to gavel out by its April 20 deadline, an error — or conscious decision, depending on whom you ask — that has been the talk of Alaska political circles for the past few weeks. It automatically shifted to the general election three ballot initiatives on marijuana, the minimum wage and the environment — issues that could draw to the polls voters more likely to also support the Democratic incumbent.

Winning re-election in Alaska, where Republicans outnumber Democrats 2 to 1, is more than a base-turnout game for Begich. It will also require the first-term senator to persuade enough independents and Republicans to support him over his GOP opposition.

Begich was elected in 2008, just days after Sen. Ted Stevens was convicted in federal court on corruption charges, helping boost the then-Anchorage mayor to a winning margin of less than 4,000 votes. Democrats in the state see the ballot initiative moves as similarly beneficial.

“No Democrat in Alaska wins by much statewide,” said state Senate Minority Leader Hollis French, a Democrat running for lieutenant governor. “You need some miracle to win, and this might be just enough of that final boost to carry over the line.” Full story

May 12, 2014

Clay Aiken Primary Opponent Dies (Video)

Former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco, who was vying for the Democratic nomination in a North Carolina House race, died on Monday, an employee at his company, Asheboro Elastics Corporation, confirmed.

Local media reports stated that Crisco died from a fall at his home in Asheboro. He was pronounced dead when emergency responders arrived on the scene, according to the Asheboro Courier-Tribune. He was 71.

Full story

Pennsylvania Primary: Margolies Comeback Bid Faltering

Pennsylvania Primary: Margolies Comeback Bid FalteringGLENSIDE, Pa. — A week out from Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary, former Rep. Marjorie Margolies is no longer the front-runner in a race Democratic operatives doubted she could ever lose.

Less than one year ago, Margolies’ commanding lead in the polls, familiarity with voters thanks to her one term in Congress in the early 1990s, and her ties to the Clinton dynasty as Chelsea Clinton’s mother-in-law made her a seemingly untouchable foe. Yet Democratic operatives say Margolies has run an astonishingly poor campaign in the 13th District, an open seat thanks to Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz’s gubernatorial bid in the Keystone State.

That has shifted the focus from Margolies, 71, to state Rep. Brendan Boyle, 37. As he gains traction, the other Democrats in the race have stepped up to paint him as anti-abortion because he voted for a state law that required stricter regulations and inspections of abortion clinics. But Boyle, who  supports abortion rights, says his record has been twisted.

“I’ve been a supporter of Planned Parenthood,” Boyle told CQ Roll Call on May 9. “On 14 votes that I’ve cast related to women’s health, I’ve voted with Planned Parenthood on 12 of the 14. Unfortunately … when you have a record, opponents can misleadingly point to one or two votes, completely mischaracterize it and paint a picture that’s false.”

Full story

May 9, 2014

Democrat Injects $700,000 Into Pennsylvania Primary Campaign (Updated)

Democrat Injects $700,000 Into Pennsylvania Primary Campaign (Updated)

Former Rep. Margolies, pictured above in 2005, will get fundraising help from Hillary Clinton next week. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Update 9:45 a.m. | Democrat Val Arkoosh loaned her Pennsylvania congressional campaign $700,000 with weeks to go in a competitive primary, according to her pre-primary report filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission.

Between April 1 and April 30, the physician, one of four Democrats seeking an open Philadelphia-area House seat, brought in $773,000 — including the sizeable personal loan — and reported $430,000 in cash on hand for the final days before the May 20 primary.

Thanks to her personal funds, Arkoosh’s haul far outpaced the other three candidates in the 13th District contest, including former Rep. Marjorie Margolies, state Rep. Brendan Boyle and state Sen. Daylin Leach. However, Boyle and Leach both filed 48-hour reports with the FEC May 8 — a week after the closing of the pre-primary period — showing Boyle giving $40,000 and Leach $250,000 out of pocket to their respective campaigns.

Full story

May 8, 2014

House Democratic Women to Headline Rangel Fundraiser

House Democratic Women to Headline Rangel Fundraiser

Rangel faces a competitive June 24 primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A little more than a month out from New York’s primaries, three female House Democrats are hosting a New York City fundraiser on behalf of Rep. Charles B. Rangel, who is again facing a stiff intraparty challenge.

New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney emailed Rangel’s supporter list Thursday with the subject line, “Women Can Count on Charlie Rangel.” The postscript read: “On May 22, I’m hosting a fundraiser at my house for Charlie with Congress Members Nita Lowey and Terri Sewell. Will I see you there?” Full story

Democrats Jockeying to Run DCCC in 2016

Democrats Jockeying to Run DCCC in 2016

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

The hours are punishing, the travel is relentless and sometimes — no matter how politically shrewd or hardworking a person is — he or she can completely fail on the national stage by nearly no fault of their own.

So who would want to run a House campaign committee, again?

Quite a few Democrats. One of the most intense guessing games currently in the caucus is who will serve as the next chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“If you are looking to get a seat at the table, and right now no one is getting up, then the DCCC post might be the only opening,” former DCCC spokesman Doug Thornell said. “It’s probably the toughest, most thankless job in leadership. But if you excel, a lot of doors open.”

The position offers an opportunity to win the loyalty of incoming freshman that can translate into support for a future House leadership bid.

But more importantly, Democrats bet that next cycle — 2016 —  will be a good one, thanks to improved party performance in presidential years and the possibility of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on the top of the ticket.

Dozens of plugged-in Democratic operatives weighed in to CQ Roll Call on likely contenders. But the caucus leader, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, will make the final selection. And if Pelosi is no longer in leadership, the race for DCCC chairman could completely change.

To compare, House Republicans elected their campaign committee chairman. Insiders say the current National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon will stay for a second term.

Here’s a rundown of the likely candidates for the Democratic field: Full story

May 7, 2014

Pennsylvania Democrat Targets Each Primary Opponent in One Ad

Pennsylvania Democrat Targets Each Primary Opponent in One Ad

Leach is one of four Democrats running for an open Philly-based seat. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Sen. Daylin Leach, one of four Democrats running for an open Philadelphia-based House seat, takes shots at all three of his opponents in his latest TV ad, which was obtained by CQ Roll Call.

Leach, along with former Rep. Marjorie Margolies, state Rep. Brendan Boyle and physician Val Arkoosh, are all vying for the Democratic nomination in Pennsylvania’s 13th District.

When reached for comment, the Leach campaign said the ad is part of a six-figure buy on cable, broadcast and Internet pre-roll.

In the ad, which went up on air Wednesday and is not yet available on YouTube, Leach says, “If you want Republican politics, vote for one of them.”

Full story

Before Hagan, Tillis First Must Weather General Assembly Session

Before Hagan, Tillis First Must Weather General Assembly Session

Tillis is challenging Hagan in a top Senate race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Thom Tillis triumphed Tuesday in a crowded Republican primary field for the right to challenge Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., in November, but it’s not full steam ahead just yet.

Before the North Carolina state speaker can fully focus his sights on Hagan in one of Republicans’ best pickup opportunities, Tillis must first survive the legislative session, where policymaking can produce potential pitfalls for any candidate for higher office.

Tillis has said he will not relinquish his position to pursue his Senate campaign, so the speaker will preside when the General Assembly comes back into session on May 14. It will be a short session — it should last just a few weeks, or as long as it takes to tweak the budget passed last year and deal with a couple of financial issues. But Democrats will undoubtedly target Tillis for anything that comes out of it and his focus won’t be solely on winning the Senate seat.

The General Assembly “needs to get in and get out,” North Carolina Republican operative Dallas Woodhouse said.

“Every day they are there is a day that [Tillis] is not on the campaign trail, is a day that it is hard for him to raise money,” Woodhouse continued. “So every day that they are there is a lost day for Tillis.” Full story

Clay Aiken’s Primary Fate May Be Unclear for Days

Clay Aikens Primary Fate May Be Unclear for Days

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images File Photo)

The Democratic House primary between “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken and former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco remained too close to call following Tuesday’s primary.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Aiken leads Crisco by 372 votes, according to The Associated Press.

Crisco has yet to concede and he said in a statement Wednesday morning that the campaign will wait for a report from the State Board of Elections to determine the next steps in the contest.

Full story

May 6, 2014

Clay Aiken Holds Slim Lead With All Precincts In

Clay Aiken Holds Slim Lead With All Precincts In

Aiken is a Democrat from North Carolina. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken leads his Democratic primary opponent by just 372 votes Tuesday night in a North Carolina race for the House.

Aiken had a small advantage over former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco, 41 percent to 40 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press, which had not declared a winner as of midnight.

A third Democrat, mental health counselor Toni Morris, garnered 20 percent, according to the AP.

Full story

Results From Primaries in North Carolina, Ohio

Have a look through our live coverage of the May 6 primaries:

 

6 Things to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries

6 Things to Watch in Tuesdays Primaries

Tillis and his wife Susan knock on doors in an upscale Huntersville, N.C., neighborhood north of Charlotte, the evening before the primary election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Primary voters head to the polls Tuesday in North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio, marking the first contests in a long series of contentious Republican battles over the next month.

In North Carolina, state Speaker Thom Tillis, Dr. Greg Brannon, and Pastor Mark Harris are vying for the GOP nomination to challenge Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., in a marquee race that will help determine which party controls the Senate next year.

Further down the ballot, an American Idol runner-up hopes he’ll have better luck in a Tar Heel State House race and longtime Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., will try to avoid becoming the first incumbent to lose a primary this cycle. In Ohio, a spirited challenger — perhaps best known for parodying a Cialis commercial in his bid — will attempt to unseat Speaker John A. Boehner.

In North Carolina, the contests could drag out for months. Primaries for Senate, the 6th and 12th Districts might continue to a runoff on July 15 if no candidate receives at least 40 percent of the vote.

Here are six things to watch in those races and others on Tuesday: Full story

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