Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 24, 2014

Posts in "Democrats"

April 9, 2014

Democrat Starts Mail Campaign in Targeted California House Contest

Eloise Gomez Reyes, one of four Democrats vying for a highly targeted district in California’s Inland Empire, is kicking off a direct mail campaign this week ahead of the upcoming top-two primary.

The pair of mail pieces, provided first to CQ Roll Call, are tantamount to an opening bio ad in the 31st District, located east of Los Angeles. They describe the attorney’s background as a field worker who went on to college and later law school.

Mailers are the most popular form of voter communication in California House contests, as TV airtime often comes at a premium in the major metropolitan media markets of L.A. and San Francisco.

Full story

John Tierney Survived 2012. Now What?

John Tierney Survived 2012. Now What?

Tierney at a recent event in Peabody, Mass. (Shira T. Center/CQ Roll Call)

SALEM, Mass. — Rep. John F. Tierney may have successfully put a family legal scandal far enough behind him to win re-election in 2012, but he’s facing another test. And this time, the Massachusetts Democrat’s challenge is primarily political.

Last cycle, Democrats had all but written off Tierney as a goner, but he managed a 4,300-vote victory — about 1 percent — over the Republicans’ best candidate for the seat in years, the affable former state Sen. Richard Tisei.

This year, Tierney first faces a Sept. 9 primary challenge from Seth Moulton, a Marine with a stellar résumé. Tisei, who is openly gay, is aiming for a rematch and will face the Democratic victor.

CQ Roll Call talked with voters in the 6th District — which includes the swath of suburbs north of Boston, is peppered by coastal towns and curves all the way to the New Hampshire border — over the past two months. The picture that emerged is that voters know and like their congressman, despite his recent ethics issues and his family’s legal foibles.

On a chilly March morning as he courted voters at the Salem Democratic Caucuses, Tierney sported a charcoal blazer and pressed pants and appeared certain the storm was behind him. The coiffed congressman told CQ Roll Call he is confident that this cycle’s battle will be easier than his last. But his supporters, like Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, are more cautious.

“I think it’s definitely going to be a challenging race,” Driscoll said in the three-story Salem High School library reminiscent of 1985’s classic film, “The Breakfast Club.” “We had a lot more turnout last time. We’re talking about an election that had the president and Elizabeth Warren on the ballot. So you had just a lot more grass-roots effort going on, a lot of help in terms of field organization statewide.”

Full story

April 8, 2014

Democrats Lose Recruit for Mike Rogers Seat

Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum, who was in town last week meeting with senior House Democrats, announced Tuesday she will not run for Michigan’s open 8th District seat.

The decision is a blow to national Democrats’ hopes to contend in the district of Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, who recently announced his retirement.

Byrum met with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., members of the Michigan delegation, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and EMILY’s List, among others, while on Capitol Hill last week. But she ultimately opted against running for the Republican-leaning district. Full story

April 7, 2014

Runoff Likely for North Carolina Seat Known as ‘I-85 District’

North Carolina’s 12th, once referred to as the “I-85 district,” is vacant for the first time since it was drawn following the 1990 census, and its unique geography is again a central feature in the race to represent it.

The recent departure of longtime Democratic Rep. Melvin Watt to direct the Federal Housing Finance Agency sparked a crowded primary for the black-majority district, which Watt first won in 1992 when it stretched all the way to Durham. A half-dozen Democrats qualified to run for the heavily Democratic district, whose population centers of Charlotte in the south and Winston-Salem and Greensboro in the north are separated by about 90 miles of territory, roughly along Interstate 85.

Half of the Democratic vote comes from Charlotte’s Mecklenburg County, which four of the six candidates in the race hail from — potentially diluting some of the population advantage a leading Charlotte candidate might otherwise enjoy. Conversely, state Rep. Alma Adams is one of just two candidates from the Greensboro area, and party insiders in the state believe Adams will win enough support from her wing of the district to give her the advantage in the May 6 primary.

“Alma Adams is the person to watch,” said Democratic consultant Morgan Jackson. “She has put together the best organization, the most money and has locked away one end of that district in Greensboro.”

Full story

April 4, 2014

Democrat Drops Out of Race to Replace Moran in Virginia

Democrat Drops Out of Race to Replace Moran in Virginia

Lopez speaks at a March straw poll for the 8th District seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

State Del. Alfonso Lopez, one of nearly a dozen Democrats seeking to replace retiring Rep. James P. Moran in Virginia’s 8th District, announced on Friday that he will drop out of the contest.

Citing a lack of resources to run a campaign, Lopez said in a statement he is suspending his bid for this Northern Virginia-based House seat.

“I am proud of how my campaign resonated with many voters in the Eighth District, especially new Americans, and that we assembled a coalition of many generous supporters,” Lopez said in a release. “However, after we closed the fundraising quarter, I took the time to evaluate, with my team, the position of my campaign. It is clear to me that I do not have the resources necessary to run the campaign we wanted and that the people of the Eighth District deserved.”

Full story

Pelosi, Hoyer Recruit Michigan Candidate

The Democratic Party is all-in behind Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum, their recruit for the race to replace retiring Republican Rep. Mike Rogers.

Byrum visited Washington, D.C. this week and met with most of the highest-ranking Democrats in Congress, according to multiple national Democratic operatives with knowledge of her schedule.

With Rogers out of contention this cycle, Democrats are making a serious offensive play for the Leans Republican seat.

So serious that Byrum met with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel, D-N.Y. and Democratic National Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.

Full story

April 3, 2014

Internal Poll: Tierney Holds Wide Lead in Democratic Primary

Internal Poll: Tierney Holds Wide Lead in Democratic Primary

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

National Democrats say Massachusetts Rep. John F. Tierney is not facing a Democratic primary challenge nearly as competitive as some in the party had feared.

In an automated poll released Thursday by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Tierney led veteran Seth Moulton 64 percent to 17 percent, with 20 percent undecided. The wide lead is largely a testament to Tierney’s familiarity with voters in Massachusetts’ 6th District, which he has represented for nine terms, and illustrates that Moulton remains unknown.

“In sum, Tierney’s commanding lead, combined with his strong, positive profile, signify that he is the clear choice among likely primary voters” in the district, Christina Coloroso, the DCCC’s targeting and analytics director, said in a polling memo obtained by CQ Roll Call. Full story

April 2, 2014

Democratic Senate Candidate: McCutcheon ‘Worst Ruling Since Dred Scott’

Former Capitol Hill staffer Rick Weiland is running for Senate in South Dakota, and he was among the Democrats upset with the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on campaign finance.

The Supreme Court struck down aggregate contribution limits in a Wednesday ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.

“Today’s decision of the United States Supreme Court to strike down any real limit on the purchase of our democracy by big money may be the worst decision made by any Supreme Court since the Dred Scott case reaffirmed slavery in 1857,” he wrote in a fundraising missive to supporters.

Really? Full story

DCCC Chairman Says “Middle Class” 35 Times in 45-Minute News Conference

DCCC Chairman Says Middle Class 35 Times in 45 Minute News Conference

Israel, a New York Democrat, is chairman of the DCCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

After a rough couple of months for his caucus, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel has pinned his hopes for the party on the recently released House GOP budget proposal.

“Let me stipulate, it’s a tough climate for us right now,” Israel told reporters at a Wednesday morning news conference at the National Press Club. “But I believe that this budget, this Republican budget, helps change the narrative by reminding voters we’ve got their backs. “

“And climates change,” he added. Full story

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

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