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April 18, 2015

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January 15, 2014

Virginia’s Moran Announces Retirement From Congress (Updated) (Video)

Virginias Moran Announces Retirement From Congress (Updated) (Video)

Moran will leave Congress after 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senior appropriator and progressive stalwart James P. Moran will step down at the end of this year, making him the third House Democrat in just three days to announce his retirement.

The 12-term Virginia lawmaker announced his decision in a Wednesday morning statement obtained early by CQ Roll Call.

“After 35 years as a public servant, as Mayor of Alexandria, and for the past 23 as a member of the House of Representatives, it’s time to close this chapter of my life and move on to the next challenge,” Moran said. Full story

California Democrat Could Leave Congress After 1 Term

California Democrat Could Leave Congress After 1 TermGloria Negrete McLeod, D-Calif., speaks to reporters after a news conference with democratic members-elect in the Capitol Visitor Center. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)" src="http://atr.rollcall.com/wp-content/uploads/negrete-mcleod-011414-445x296.jpg" alt="Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Calif. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)" width="312" height="207" />

Negrete McLeod (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Freshman Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Calif., is keeping her options open to seek a San Bernadino County supervisor seat back home in the Golden State, according to multiple Democratic sources.

“She’s keeping an open mind, that’s all I know,” said Rep. Mark A. Takano, one of Negrete McLeod’s fellow freshman Democrats and allies in the California delegation. “She’s keeping all her options open.”

Negrete McLeod, 72, who defeated former Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., in a bruising race last cycle for California’s 35th District, has more than $900,000 stashed in an account to run for the supervisor seat. The account was created in 2010, and a majority of the funds are reportedly left over from Negrete McLeod’s time as a state senator.

Full story

January 14, 2014

White House Defends Hagan Skipping Obama N.C. Event

White House Defends Hagan Skipping Obama N.C. Event

Hagan will stay in Washington, D.C., to vote this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney defended Tuesday the decision of Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., to skip an event in the Tar Heel State, citing the Senate’s potential voting schedule.

The Senate is currently considering an extension of unemployment benefits, and North Carolina ranks 15th in highest jobless rates by state. Senators could also vote on legislation to avert a government shutdown.

“I think Sen. Hagan’s office has addressed that,” Carney said in his daily press briefing. “I think she’s here working on important business. The president looks forward to his visit to North Carolina.” Full story

Bill Owens to Retire From Congress (Updated) (Video)

Bill Owens to Retire From Congress (Updated) (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:31 PM | Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., announced Tuesday that he will retire from Congress after just two full terms.

“After careful thought and consideration, I have decided not to seek re-election for the 21st Congressional District this November,” he wrote in a news release. “It has truly been a privilege to serve, and I plan on continuing to work for a brighter future for the region.”

Owens faced a somewhat competitive race against former Bush White House staffer Elise Stefanik. Republicans view the now-open seat in upstate New York as a potential pickup opportunity in 2014. In 2012, Owens won re-election with just 50 percent.

The retirement instigated a Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call ratings change. The race, previously Democrat Favored, is now a Tossup. Last cycle, President Barack Obama carried the 21st District with 52 percent.

Stefanik is considered a rising star in New York Republican politics. She is 29-years-old and a former Bush White House official. The National Republican Congressional Committee named her as one of their “On the Radar” candidates, which means she passed an assortment of internal organizational and fundraising benchmarks.

Still, The Post-Star, a local newspaper, noted that she faces competition in the primary. The report noted that John James, who played Jeff Colby on “Dynasty” is eyeing the seat.

What will be key to any contender in this race are the local party endorsements.

“It’s a very difficult and or expensive process if you don’t have the support of the local committees,” an Empire State GOP operative said in a Tuesday phone interview with Roll Call.

One potential issue for Republicans is the state’s unique ballots, in which candidates can be listed on more than one party line. The process helped Democrats win the district in both the 2009 special, when Owens first ran, and his subsequent re-election in 2010.

In 2009, the Conservative Party’s candidate led the GOP candidate DeDe Scozzafava in fundraising and polling heading into the final week, causing Scozzafava to withdraw from the special. A year later, Owens again won a tight race as the Republican and Conservative parties’ candidates split the vote.

That same New York Republican operative noted that Stefanik is a speaker at the Conservative Party conference later this month. That source said it was a sign that Stefanik had made inroads with the Conservative Party and the hope is that if she is the nominee, she can reduce the threat of a spoiler candidate emerging from the right.

Owens marks the fifth House Democrat to announce their retirement. To see which other House members are retiring this cycle, check out Roll Call’s Casualty List.

Updated 3:20 PM | A New York Democratic consultant floated three possible contenders: former state Agriculture Commissioner Darrel Aubertine, Town of Plattsburgh Supervisor Bernie Bassett and state Assemblywoman Addie Russell.

January 13, 2014

Louisiana Senate Contenders Race to Fund Flood Insurance Bill

Louisiana Senate Contenders Race to Fund Flood Insurance Bill

Cassidy is running for Senate in Louisiana. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., and her top 2014 opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., are in a de facto race to pass competing flood insurance legislation pending in both chambers.

As one of this cycle’s most vulnerable incumbents, Landrieu has emphasized her seniority in her re-election. She’s argued it makes her a powerful voice for Louisiana in Washington — powerful enough to convince leaders to push forward flood insurance extension.

For Cassidy, getting enough support for the flood insurance bill would demonstrate an ability to put his state above the conservative politics that often drive the House GOP. Disaster relief, even though historically bipartisan, has proven to be a lightning rod over the past few years, with a near-revolt among GOP ranks over a delayed Hurricane Sandy relief bill in 2012. Full story

Top Pelosi Ally to Retire From House (Updated) (Video)

Top Pelosi Ally to Retire From House (Updated) (Video)George Miller" width="445" height="299" />

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 12:26 p.m. | Longtime Democratic Rep. George Miller announced he will not seek a 21st term in California’s 11th District.

Miller, who was first elected to this Bay Area House seat in 1974, is a top ally to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who also represents Northern California.

This is a great institution and I cannot thank my family and my constituents enough for having given me the honor and privilege of representing my district in Congress these past 40 years,Miller said in a Monday news release.

I look forward to one last year in Congress fighting the good fight and then working in new venues on the issues that have inspired me,” Miller continued. “What a wonderful experience this has been.

Full story

January 10, 2014

Iowa Democrat Posts Huge Fundraising as Latham Retires

Former state Sen. Staci Appel, a Democrat running in Iowa’s competitive 3rd District, raised a whopping $500,000 in the past year, according to a local report.

The huge haul could serve as a deterrent for other Democrats looking to enter the open-seat race. Longtime Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, unexpectedly announced his retirement last month.

Full story

House Dems Raise Money at Jay Z, Sting and Paul Simon Concerts

House Dems Raise Money at Jay Z, Sting and Paul Simon Concerts

Jay Z attended the president's inauguration. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Democrats may have 99 problems heading into the midterms — but for some members, creative fundraising ain’t one.

At least a dozen House Democrats will raise money at sporting events and concerts between January and March, including an upcoming Jay-Z performance at the Verizon Center, according to a fundraising schedule obtained by CQ Roll Call.

Full story

January 8, 2014

Longtime Dems McIntyre, McCarthy to Retire (Updated) (Video)

Longtime Dems McIntyre, McCarthy to Retire (Updated) (Video)

(CQ Roll Call File Photos)

Updated 1:09 p.m. | Two longtime House Democrats — Reps. Mike McIntyre of North Carolina and Carolyn McCarthy of New York — will not seek re-election in 2014, according to multiple Democratic sources.

The duo of House Democrats mark the third in that caucus to announce he or she won’t return to Congress after 2014. Last month, vulnerable Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, announced he would not seek an 8th term, also nearly assuring Republicans will pick up his seat.

McIntyre was one of this cycle’s most vulnerable Democrats and his departure will likely allow the GOP to pick up his seat. Mitt Romney carried the 7th District a 19-point margin in 2012, while McIntyre won re-election by a slim margin.

Former state Sen. David Rouzer, who lost to McIntyre by just 654 votes in 2012, is running again this cycle. Prior to McIntyre’s retirement announcement, the 7th District was rated a Tossup by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

By comparison, McCarthy’s Long Island-based 4th District is much less of a political opportunity for Republicans. She won re-election in 2012 by a near 2-to-1 margin, and President Barack Obama carried the seat by 12 points in 2012.

McCarthy went public with her battle against lung cancer in June.

The Long Island local parties wield enormous power in selecting a congressional nominee, but in Roll Call’s recent look at the New York State Republican Farm Team, state operatives named state Sen. Jack Martins and Hempstead Councilman Anthony J. Santino as potential contenders in an open-seat race.

Democrats named Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice as a potential successor prior to McCarthy’s announcement.

McCarthy came to Congress in 1997 as a gun-control activist. Her husband was killed in 1993, when a gunman went on a shooting rampage on the Long Island commuter rail.

See all House retirements on Roll Call’s Casualty List.

January 7, 2014

Democrats, GOP Lament Benches for Competitive Open Seat in Iowa

Democrats, GOP Lament Benches for Competitive Open Seat in Iowa

Latham is retiring, leaving a wide-open race for his seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Longtime Rep. Tom Latham’s unexpected retirement has induced turmoil in the Hawkeye State, as both parties scramble to find top candidates to succeed the 10-term Republican.

But operatives from both parties have lamented the thin roster of top House hopefuls with a broad appeal in the competitive district. President Barack Obama carried the 3rd District — the state’s most competitive House territory — by 4 points in 2012.

“This isn’t a slam-dunk district for Republicans,” said former Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn. “It’s important that we nominate a candidate who can win in November.”

Democrats backed former state Sen. Staci Appel this summer, when she announced a bid to challenge Latham, but now party operatives emphasize the field is open for other Democrats to join. Meanwhile, Republicans have privately expressed concern about two announced candidates, four other likely GOP contenders and the crowded field that could result.

Full story

Republican Announces Bid to Succeed Frank Wolf in Virginia (Updated) (Video)

State Del. Barbara Comstock announced on Tuesday that she will vie for the GOP nomination to succeed retiring Rep. Frank R. Wolf, R-Va., in the competitive 10th District.

Comstock marks the first Republican to officially announce a bid for the seat, which operatives from both parties say will be a battleground in 2014. They also say Comstock, who was first elected to the state House in 2010, had been positioning herself to run for Congress if the 17-term congressman called it quits.

Full story

January 6, 2014

Election Scheduled to Replace Watt in North Carolina

Updated 6:35 p.m. | North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory announced a Nov. 4 special election to replace longtime Democratic Rep. Melvin Watt, ensuring the contest coincides with previously scheduled elections in the Tar Heel State.

The 12th District primary — which will mostly likely determine the next member of Congress from this deeply Democratic district — will be held May 6. A runoff is scheduled for July 15.

Full story

January 3, 2014

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Florida’s 13th District

 

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Floridas 13th District

Jolly, left, and Peters, right, are Republicans. (CQ Roll Call composite)

The competitive composition of Florida’s 13th District makes this race fascinating, but it’s also the first big contest on the calendar for 2014. This special election will serve as a test balloon for the parties to check their messaging with a split electorate months ahead of Election Day.

Longtime Rep. C.W. Bill Young’s death has spurred the first competitive race for the western Florida district in a few decades. Young carried the district easily, but President Barack Obama narrowly won the seat with 50 percent in 2012.

Full story

January 2, 2014

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: North Carolina Senate

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: North Carolina SenateKay Hagan" src="http://atr.rollcall.com/wp-content/uploads/kagan_054_120711-445x327.jpg" alt="" width="445" height="327" />

Hagan is vulnerable in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

This cycle’s best bellwether for Senate control is North Carolina, where Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat, is seeking re-election in this increasingly frequent battleground state.

Senate Republicans must pick up a net of six seats to win control, and the Tar Heel State has served as that chamber’s best barometer in recent cycles. Since 2000, the party of North Carolina’s Senate victor has picked up seats across the country.

That’s what happened in 2008, when Hagan defeated then-Sen. Elizabeth Dole, and Democrats picked up several Senate seats on the coattails of President Barack Obama’s first election. Hagan won’t have that benefit in 2014, when the president’s poor approval rating will not help her re-election efforts. Full story

January 1, 2014

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Pennsylvania’s 13th District

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Pennsylvanias 13th District

Schwartz is running for governor, leaving an open race for her House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House isn’t very popular these days, so why would anyone want to return there after a 20-year hiatus? The answer — if there is one — is just one reason why the crowded primary for this suburban Philadelphia, strong Democratic district is so fascinating.

Former Rep. Marjorie Margolies, D-Pa., is waging a comeback bid for the 13th District nearly tw0 decades after she supported President Bill Clinton’s budget and famously lost re-election in 1994. The 71-year-old is back with a vengeance and strong political connections: Her son is married to Chelsea Clinton. Full story

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