Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 20, 2014

Posts in "Democrats"

April 1, 2014

Two Democrats Interested in Mike Rogers’ Seat in Michigan

Two Democrats Interested in Mike Rogers Seat in Michigan

Rogers is retiring. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As national Democrats coalesce behind Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum in the wide-open race to succeed Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero is not ruling out a run.

“It’s a very simple fact that I am looking at it,” Bernero said in a Tuesday morning phone interview. “I am considering it. I don’t need to run for Congress … but if it’s a viable possibility then I would consider it.”

Rogers announced his retirement last week, giving Democrats a much-needed pick-up opportunity in the Wolverine State. But his departure has left both parties scrambling for top candidates ahead of the April 22 filing deadline.

For Democrats, Byrum and Bernero are the top two candidate prospects. But at least one national Democratic group is posturing to back Byrum. She has been in communication with EMILY’s List, a group that helps Democratic women candidates who support abortion rights. Full story

Ruben Gallego Raised $160K in First Month of Campaign

Arizona state Rep. Ruben Gallego will announce raising $160,000 in his first month of campaigning for the seat of retiring Democratic Rep. Ed Pastor.

According to a campaign release shared first with CQ Roll Call, the Arizona Democrat will report having $150,000 in cash on hand as of Monday, the close of the first fundraising quarter of 2014.

Gallego declared his intent to run for the Phoenix-based 7th District seat moments after Pastor’s surprise Feb. 28 retirement announcement. But he faces a competitive primary for the open seat. Full story

March 31, 2014

Obama Endorses in Competitive Hawaii Senate Primary

Obama Endorses in Competitive Hawaii Senate Primary

Schatz faces a primary in August. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama has endorsed Sen. Brian Schatz in Hawaii — a move that could help the appointed senator in a competitive Democratic primary in the Aloha State later this year.

“I have worked with Senator Schatz on the issues that matter to Hawaii. Brian’s deep commitment to the people of Hawaii and his effective leadership are why I believe it is important to return him to the Senate,” Obama said in a Monday news release. “Senator Schatz is protecting Hawaii’s values and fighting every day on behalf of middle-class families.” Full story

Bernie Sanders Endorses in Crowded Pennsylvania House Primary

Bernie Sanders Endorses in Crowded Pennsylvania House Primary

Sanders endorsed a House candidate in Pennsylvania. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., one of the Senate’s most liberal members, has endorsed state Sen. Daylin Leach — one of four Democrats running in the primary for Pennsylvania’s 13th District.

Sanders joins a crowd of liberal Democrats in Congress who are backing Leach, including the Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs, Reps. Raul M. Grijalva of Arizona and Keith Ellison of Minnesota, plus Alan Grayson of Florida.

“At a time when our country has more income and wealth inequality than any other major country on earth, and when the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider – it is imperative that we send candidates like Daylin Leach to the U.S. Congress,” Sanders said in a news release Monday. Full story

March 25, 2014

Honda’s Challenger Debuts First TV Ad in California

Attorney Ro Khanna, a Democrat waging a primary against Democratic Rep. Mike Honda in California’s 17th District, released his first TV ad on Tuesday — a positive spot highlighting his pledge not to accept money from special interests.

“Here’s my promise to you: I will never take money from corporations or lobbyists,” Khanna says in the 30-second spot, which doesn’t mention Honda at any point. “And I’ll say no to the special perks in Congress: no pay raises, no fancy trips funded by special interests, and no gold plated pensions.”

Full story

March 24, 2014

Brian Schatz Launches First TV Ad in Hawaii Senate Primary

Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz launched his first TV ad Monday in the state’s highly competitive Democratic primary for Senate.

The ad, running statewide on broadcast and cable stations, features Schatz’s family, including his wife Linda’s parents, and highlights the senator’s efforts on Social Security.

Full story

Hank Johnson Faces First Serious Primary Threat in Georgia

Hank Johnson Faces First Serious Primary Threat in Georgia

Johnson faces a serious primary challenge in May. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., will likely confront the toughest primary challenge of his congressional career this cycle from a well-known local law enforcement official.

The four-term Democrat, known for his unscripted comments in the House, will face former DeKalb County Sheriff Tom Brown in a May 20 primary in the deep blue 4th District in the Atlanta suburbs.

Although there are no independent public polls of the race yet, Brown has so far raised more money than Johnson — a rare feat for a challenger. What’s more, Brown enjoys high name recognition due to his long tenure as sheriff in one of the Peach State’s largest counties. For these reasons, plus a few more, local Democrats see him as a formidable primary challenger for Johnson.

“Assuming that Tom can keep up his fundraising pace, he’s probably the most credible challenge that Hank has had so far,” said Cabral Franklin, a Georgia Democratic consultant.

Full story

March 21, 2014

Obama Warns Donors of Turnout Problems in Midterm Elections

Obama Warns Donors of Turnout Problems in Midterm Elections

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama warned Democratic donors Thursday night about dipping turnout in midterm elections, stressing the party’s need to push women and minorities to vote in the high-stakes congressional elections this November.

At a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser in Miami, Obama stressed the party gets “clobbered” without these key constituencies, according to a pool report of his remarks.

“During presidential elections, young people vote, women are more likely to vote, blacks, Hispanics more likely to vote. And suddenly a more representative cross-section of America gets out there and we do pretty well in presidential elections,” said Obama. “But in midterms we get clobbered – either because we don’t think it’s important or we’ve become so discouraged about what’s happening in Washington that we think it’s not worth our while.”

Full story

March 18, 2014

Ann Callis, Rodney Davis to Face Off in Targeted Illinois District

Former Madison County Judge Ann Callis picked up the Democratic nomination in Illinois’ 13th District Tuesday night and will now face a top target of national Democrats, freshman GOP Rep. Rodney Davis.

Callis defeated physics professor George Gollin 59 percent to 28 percent, with 56 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press. A third candidate, David Green, garnered 13 percent.

Davis defeated former Miss America Erika Harold 57 percent to 38 percent, with 65 percent of precincts reporting.

Full story

Democrat Drops Out of Competitive Pennsylvania House Race

Democrat Drops Out of Competitive Pennsylvania House Race

Trivedi is now the lone Democratic candidate in the field. (Douglas Graham/Roll Call File Photo)

Businessman Mike Parrish, a Democrat touted as a top recruit in Pennsylvania’s open 6th District, announced Tuesday he will drop out of the contest to avoid a costly primary, PolitcsPA.com first reported.

“While I was asked by the national and local leaders of our Democratic party and encouraged by YOU to run for Congress, I have come to realize that an expensive and contentious Democratic primary fight would seriously risk our party’s ability to win this seat in November to accomplish our goals,” Parrish said in a statement to supporters. “I am therefore suspending my campaign in order to join with Manan Trivedi to help ensure that a Democrat is elected in November.”

Parrish, who launched his campaign two months ago in the wake of Rep. Jim Gerlach’s, R-Pa., retirement announcement, had earned the endorsement of Rep. Robert A. Brady, D-Pa., and been a beneficiary of a fundraiser headlined by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Full story

Oprah to Headline Fundraiser for Virginia House Candidate

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey will headline a D.C.-area fundraiser next month for Lavern Chatman, former CEO of the Northern Virginia Urban League and one of nearly a dozen Democrats running for Virginia’s open 8th District seat.

According to a Chatman campaign release, the fundraiser will be held April 5 in Arlington, Va. Further details were not provided.

“Oprah is a good friend and we both share a passion for empowering women and girls for leadership,” Chatman said in a statement. “I’m delighted she is coming to town to help with my congressional campaign.”

Full story

Democratic Candidate Wants Pelosi Out as Leader (Video)

The candidate: Nick Casey, an attorney and former West Virginia Democratic Party chairman
The member: Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is vacating the seat to run for Senate.
The district: West Virginia’s 2nd stretches from Charleston in the west to the Washington, D.C. exurbs. After a close 2000 race when first elected to Congress, Capito repeatedly racked up solid re-election margins over the last 10 years. Still, the Republican field is crowded and disorganized, and the district could be competitive.
The candidate’s team:  Jef Pollock of Global Strategy Group (polling), Karl Struble of Struble Eichenbaum Communications (media), Ed Peavy of Mission Control (direct mail), Jeremy Gold (fundraising) and Derek Scarbro (campaign manager).

There is a very real chance that Sen. Joe Manchin III will be the only Democrat left representing West Virginia after this year’s midterm elections, with Sen. Jay Rockefeller retiring and Rep. Nick J. Rahall II facing a tough race. Full story

March 17, 2014

Northern Virginia Democrats Cancel 10th District Convention

After clearing the field for the party’s preferred candidate, Northern Virginia Democrats have canceled their 10th District nominating convention.

Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust will face the eventual GOP nominee in November in the race to replace retiring Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va. — a top pickup opportunity for the party. Foust was set to face attorney Richard Bolger in an April 26 convention, but Bolger dropped out of the race Friday, allowing Foust to begin preparing for the general immediately.

State Del. Barbara Comstock is the front-runner for the GOP nomination, but she faces primary opposition from a handful of Republicans, including conservative state Del. Bob Marshall and retired Naval Officer Howard Lind. Republicans will select their nominee in an April 26 firehouse primary, a state party-run election with less than a dozen polling locations.

Virginia’s 10th District is rated Leans Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Edwin Edwards Kicks Off House Bid in Louisiana

Disgraced former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards, who served eight years in federal prison for racketeering and extortion, formally launched a bid for Congress on Monday.

The 86-year-old Democrat unveiled his intentions last month to seek the open 6th District seat, but he made it official Monday with a colorful news conference, during which he laid out his policy agenda and reasons why he is giving elected office another go.

“I did not vote for Obama — where I was at the time there were no voting machines,” Edwards said, referring to his time in jail, garnering laughter from the room. “But I would not have voted for Obamacare.”

Full story

March 14, 2014

Democrats Clear Primary Field in Competitive Virginia House Race

Democrats have cleared the primary field in Virginia’s 10th District, one of the party’s top open-seat targets this cycle.

Attorney Richard Bolger announced Friday he is suspending his campaign, paving the way for Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust — who was already the favorite — to earn the Democratic nomination for this Northern Virginia-based seat.

Bolger launched his bid in September, before longtime Republican Rep. Frank R. Wolf announced his retirement and the seat moved toward the top of national Democrats’ wish list.

“When Congressman Wolf retired, the seat became one of the top pick-up opportunities for Democrats in the nation,” Bolger said in a statement. “At this point, it has become clear to me that John Foust is our strongest choice with the best chance of helping our party win this seat and change the direction of Congress.”

Full story

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