Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 21, 2014

Posts in "Democrats"

May 5, 2014

Exclusive: EMILY’s List Blankets California House Contest

Exclusive: EMILYs List Blankets California House Contest

Waxman is retiring, leaving an open race for his Hollywood-area House district. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

EMILY’s List will launch a six-figure campaign this week to promote former Los Angeles Controller Wendy Greuel’s bid for a House seat in California.  

The group, which supports Democratic women who back abortion rights, will begin sending mail on Tuesday and later launch targeted radio ads to boost Greuel over the more than one dozen candidates running in California’s 33rd District.

The Hollywood-area seat is open this cycle because Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., is retiring.

Full story

May 2, 2014

Senator Encourages Hillary Clinton to Run in 2016

Senator Encourages Hillary Clinton to Run in 2016

Kaine is a Democrat from Virginia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia will join the growing chorus of Democrats encouraging former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to run for president in 2016, according to remarks Kaine is scheduled to give Saturday at a South Carolina event and obtained by CQ-Roll Call. 

Kaine joins Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., other elected officials and party operatives, who support the Ready for Hillary operation — a super PAC building a campaign infrastructure if Clinton decides to run in 2016. The super PAC is not affiliated with Clinton.

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John Conyers’ Ballot Slot in Peril

John Conyers Ballot Slot in Peril

Conyers may not qualify for the primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The counsel to Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., insisted Friday afternoon that the 25-term incumbent will qualify for the primary ballot in August, despite a Wayne County clerk’s statement to a local news outlet that the congressman did not have enough signatures.

“I am confident that at the end of these proceedings Congressman Conyers will be certified and on the primary election ballot in August,” attorney John D. Pirich said in a statement.

Michigan statute dictates that petition gatherers, “circulators,” must be registered to vote in order to complete this task. Local outlets reported that Democratic primary rival, the Rev. Horace Sheffield, challenged the eligibility of Conyers’ circulators, and it’s uncertain whether Conyers will be able to meet the 1,000-ballot threshold needed to qualify for the primary.

A final decision will come May 7, according to WDIV. The filing deadline was April 22, and the primary will be held Aug. 5.

“It’s not over, but it doesn’t look good,” a Michigan Democratic operative said of Conyers’ ballot chances, echoing the vast sentiment of operatives interviewed by Roll Call on Friday afternoon. Most of the operatives noted that the chaos was not unexpected. Full story

May 1, 2014

Clay Aiken Could Be Runner-Up in House Primary

Clay Aiken Could Be Runner Up in House Primary

Aiken is running for Congress in North Carolina. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken could come in second place again on Tuesday – this time in a congressional primary in North Carolina.

Aiken is running for the Democratic nomination in the Tar Heel State’s 2nd District, along with former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco and mental health counselor Toni Morris. All three are looking to take on GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers in this heavily Republican district in November.

But the “Idol” star has largely banked on his famous name to get him through the May 6 primary — and the state’s political operatives say his celebrity status may not be enough to win the nomination.

Even Aiken’s campaign is hedging their chances.

“We’ve been outspent and that concerns me,” said Gary Pearce, a longtime North Carolina Democratic operative who advises Aiken’s campaign. “Clay has a lot going in the district and has strong popularity, but right now I wouldn’t be surprised either way.”

Full story

Donna Edwards to Lead DCCC ‘Red to Blue’ Program

Donna Edwards to Lead DCCC Red to Blue Program

Edwards will lead the DCCC's Red to Blue program (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Maryland Rep. Donna Edwards has been named chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Red to Blue” program, which assists the party’s top challengers.

Edwards, now in her third full term in the House, spent the first half of the cycle leading the committee’s recruitment program. With primary season kicking into high gear this month, the congresswoman is shifting to this new leadership position.

Serving alongside Edwards as vice chairs of the program will be Reps. Lois Frankel of Florida and Denny Heck of Washington. Full story

April 29, 2014

Poll: Majority of Younger Voters Not Planning to Turn Up for Midterms

Candidates running for office in this year’s midterm elections should expect little help from younger voters, most of whom, according to a poll released Tuesday, are unlikely to go to the polls in November.

The Harvard Institute of Politics poll of millenials found that just 23 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds say they will definitely vote in November. That number has fallen 11 percent just since last November, when 34 percent said they planned to vote in the 2014 midterms.

In February of 2010, before the last midterm election, 31 percent said they would definitely be voting.

Pollster John Della Volpe attributed the disinterest to a “decrease in trust” in government institutions and an “increase in cynicism.” Younger voters, he said, “need to feel like they’re making a difference,” a feeling that voting in elections does not necessarily provide. He noted as well that voting is often logistically difficult on college campuses. Full story

House Republicans Push Members for Dues to Fund 2014 Campaigns

House Republicans Push Members for Dues to Fund 2014 Campaigns

Price is making a push among his colleagues for dues to the NRCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee has begun its full-court press on House GOP members to pay their dues to the campaign committee ahead of 2014.

On Tuesday morning, NRCC Chairman Greg Walden put Rep. Tom Price of Georgia in charge of the effort as dues chairman, according to an announcement from the committee obtained first by CQ Roll Call.

“The NRCC is a member-driven organization and I’m so proud of how far we’ve come in marshaling the resources needed to make sure Nancy Pelosi is never speaker again,” he said. “With Tom now leading the effort to encourage and grow member participation on the way to November, I’m confident we’ll be welcoming many new Republican colleagues to Congress.” Full story

April 28, 2014

Florida Democrat Won’t Challenge David Jolly in November

Democrat Jessica Ehrlich has decided not challenge Florida Republican Rep. David Jolly, the winner of a highly competitive special election last month.

“Washington remains gridlocked and broken. After careful consideration, I have decided to not run for Congress at this time,” Ehrlich said in an email to CQ Roll Call. “New and exciting opportunities have come my way which will help me better serve my neighbors, the voters of the 13th, and all Floridians.”

Ehrlich lost to Republican Rep. C.W. Bill Young in Florida’s 13th District in 2012 and had already announced she was challenging him again in 2014 when Young died in October. But in the special-election race to replace Young, national Democrats threw their support behind former Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink.

Ehrlich subsequently suspended her campaign, and Sink later lost the race to Jolly. Sink has also since passed on a challenge to Jolly in November. Full story

April 25, 2014

How a Democrat Could Win a Senate Seat in Georgia

How a Democrat Could Win a Senate Seat in Georgia

Nunn, right, speaks with supporters at her meet-and-greet event in Shellman, Ga., on April 16. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

How a Democrat Could Win a Senate Seat in GeorgiaCOLUMBUS, Ga. — If Democrat Michelle Nunn wins Georgia’s open Senate seat in November, she will undoubtedly have experienced countless scenarios similar to one on a cold and windy mid-April morning on this city’s revitalized Chattahoochee riverbank.

Patty Cardin, a local retiree and Mitt Romney voter, walked alongside Nunn, peppering the Senate candidate with questions about her father. Cardin, who said she came away impressed, wouldn’t be the last Romney supporter lured to a Nunn campaign event that day by the legacy of former four-term Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn.

It’s the blend of that reverence for the candidate’s father with appreciation for Nunn’s own message of business-friendly bipartisanship that’s positioning the former head of the Points of Light Foundation to peel off a chunk of moderate Republicans in November. That’s vital in Georgia, where Democrats have struggled statewide for more than a decade — but it’s also just a piece of Nunn’s uphill path to victory.

And with so many vulnerable Democratic Senate seats this cycle, this GOP-held seat could play a pivotal role in deciding the majority. Full story

April 24, 2014

House Candidate Bleeps F-Word in Campaign Video (Updated)

Updated 1:01 p.m. | Democrat David Kanuth is set to hit the airwaves for a Los Angeles-based congressional race after recently splashing across the radar screen of California political operatives with an $804,000 first-quarter fundraising haul.

In the race to succeed retiring Democratic Rep. Henry A. Waxman, the attorney will soon go on the air with a $62,000 ad buy, specifically in Palos Verdes, the South Bay and the Westside, which includes the cities of Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, according to a source tracking media buys.

The ad was not on Kanuth’s YouTube page as of press time, but the Harvard University alumnus has several other campaign videos up, including a one-minute bio spot and one in which he congratulates the runners of the Boston Marathon.

“Way to take this marathon right back. This is our [bleep]-ing city,” Kanuth says in the video, taking a cue from Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz.

Full story

Poll: Colorado Senate Race Virtually Tied

Poll: Colorado Senate Race Virtually Tied

Gardner is running for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday showed a virtually tied race for Senate in Colorado.

Democratic Sen. Mark Udall led his GOP challenger, Rep. Cory Gardner, by a single point  — 45 percent to 44 percent — in the survey. That split was within the poll’s margin of error of 2.7 points.

This survey was the first independent, live-interview poll conducted in the race since Gardner announced his candidacy in March. Until then, Udall had not attracted any top-tier opposition, but Gardner’s entrance into the race immediately made the contest more competitive.

Full story

Democratic Front-Runner Airs First Ad in Open Virginia Race

Democratic Front Runner Airs First Ad in Open Virginia Race

Beyer released his first ad this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The front-runner in a crowded Democratic primary to succeed retiring Rep. James P. Moran, D-Va., released the first television ad of the race on Thursday, less than two months from the primary.

Former Lt. Gov. Don Beyer, one of 10 Democrats running in the June 10 primary, touts his commitment to women’s issues, such as abortion rights and equal pay, in the 30-second spot.

“I was in the Senate when Don Beyer was lieutenant governor and saw him in action. There is no one I would trust more than Don Beyer with protecting a woman’s right to choose,” former state Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple says in ad.

Full story

April 23, 2014

Americans for Prosperity Targets N.H. Senate Race (Video)

Americans for Prosperity Targets N.H. Senate Race (Video)

Shaheen is seeking re-election in New Hampshire. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Americans for Prosperity is scheduled to air a new ad Wednesday attacking Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., for supporting the president’s health care overhaul law.

In the spot, shared first with CQ Roll Call, a female narrator argues the law has put “your doctors and hospitals further out of reach.”

“What’s health insurance worth, if care isn’t there if you need it?” she asks.

Full story

April 22, 2014

Clay Aiken Slammed in TV Ad

Clay Aiken Slammed in TV Ad

Aiken is running for Congress. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images File Photo)

The top primary opponent to Clay Aiken in North Carolina is slamming the “American Idol” runner-up’s public service record in a TV ad launched two weeks before they face off for the Democratic nomination.

Keith Crisco, a former North Carolina Commerce secretary, hits his opponent in the ad for skipping meetings for a commission Aiken was appointed to by then-President George W. Bush — an appointment Aiken has touted since launching his campaign in February.

Crisco and Aiken are competing in the May 6 primary for the chance to take on Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers in the GOP-leaning district.

“Clay Aiken says helping children with special needs is one of his top priorities, but when the president appointed Clay Aiken to the Presidential Commission for People With Intellectual Disabilities, no-show Clay Aiken skipped every single meeting,” a narrator says in the 30-second spot.

Full story

Clay Aiken Is Back on TV (Updated)

Clay Aiken Is Back on TV (Updated)

Aiken is running for Congress in North Carolina. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:22 p.m. | “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken, who is running for a North Carolina House seat as a Democrat, launched his first TV ad Tuesday — a bio spot highlighting his difficult childhood and his recent help for children with autism.

“I’m running for Congress, and I approve this message because every child deserves a chance,” Aiken says in the ad, released two weeks ahead of the state’s May 6 primaries.

Full story

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