Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 7, 2015

Posts in "Democrats"

November 14, 2013

Top Consultants Join Primary Campaign Against Democratic Incumbent (Updated)

Updated 10:10 p.m. | Former Marine Seth Moulton’s campaign announced Thursday that two top Democratic consulting firms have joined his effort to unseat six-term Rep. John F. Tierney, D-Mass.

Mark Mellman of The Mellman Group will handle Moulton’s polling, while Dover Strategy Group will be his direct mail vendor, according to a campaign news release. They join Joe Trippi & Associates, which signed on with the campaign in July.

This is the same team of consultants that worked for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, who is also a military veteran.

But it’s notable that two high-profile firms are going to work against an incumbent. It’s unlikely the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee approves, but a committee spokesperson declined to comment. Full story

Ex-NRCC Chairman to Raise Money for Democrat in New York

Ex NRCC Chairman to Raise Money for Democrat in New York

Reynolds retired from Congress in 2008. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Three former GOP congressmen, including former National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Thomas M. Reynolds, will co-host a fundraiser for Democratic Rep. Brian Higgins next month, according to the Buffalo News.

The New York Republicans — Reynolds, plus former Reps. Jack F. Quinn and Amo Houghton — will co-host the Higgins fundraiser on Dec. 16 at the home of GOP fundraiser Anthony Gioia.

“The message I want to convey is Congressman Higgins has done a darn good job for Buffalo and Western New York, and it doesn’t matter whether he’s a Democrat or Republican, he’s a congressman and, in doing his job as a congressman, he’s done a fine job for our community,” Reynolds said in a Thursday morning phone interview.

Full story

November 13, 2013

Schweitzer Not Helping Senate Democrats With Montana Primary

 

Schweitzer Not Helping Senate Democrats With Montana Primary

Schweitzer is in the middle of a new Senate primary in Montana. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Former Montana Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger’s decision to seek the Democratic Senate nomination invited a primary the party didn’t want to have — and pushed a former player in that race back into the picture: former Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

Schweitzer, who turned down the chance to run for the open seat, spoke with his former lieutenant before Bohlinger’s announcement last week. But Montana Democratic sources said he declined pleas from state party leaders to dissuade Bohlinger from running, with Lt. Gov. John Walsh already in the race.

In a phone interview with CQ Roll Call on Tuesday, Schweitzer said only that he had “conversations” with Bohlinger about “the good, the bad and the ugly” about the Senate and Washington, D.C. He thinks both Democrats would make “very good senators” and could defeat likely GOP nominee Rep. Steve Daines, but deciding the nominee is up to Montana voters.

In his trademark brashness, Schweitzer also claimed some credit for the fight.

“In fact, I guess I’m responsible since I plucked both of them from obscurity,” Schweitzer said. “To ask me to pick favorites is like asking a father to pick his favorite son.” Full story

November 11, 2013

McKeon Challenger Sees Advantages in Open-Seat Race (Video)

The candidate: Podiatrist Lee Rogers, a Democrat.
The member: Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, a Republican.
The district:
 California’s 25th District, which McKeon has held since 1992.
The candidate’s team:
Bill Wachob of The Campaign Group (general consultant and media), Eric Hogensen of HSG Campaigns (direct mail), Jonathan Brown of Global Strategy Group (polling), Adam Nashban (fundraising and strategy).

Podiatrist Lee Rogers, a Democrat, views an open-seat race as advantageous in his second attempt for Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon’s 25th District in California.

“There will be more attention on the district if it’s an open seat,” Rogers said in an Oct. 11 interview with CQ Roll Call. “This is one that already shows [McKeon] to be vulnerable. I think more attention is probably good for the challenger.”

Insiders have speculated this could be the top Republican’s last term in Congress, although his aide said in April he has no plans to retire. President Barack Obama lost the district by a slim margin in 2012, which makes Democrats optimistic they could compete there if McKeon leaves.

Full story

November 5, 2013

Steny Hoyer to Campaign for DCCC Jumpstart Candidates

Steny Hoyer to Campaign for DCCC Jumpstart Candidates

Hoyer will fundraise for several candidates this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer has jam-packed several campaigning events and fundraisers over recess on behalf of House candidates.

The Maryland Democrat’s tour will take him to Michigan, Ohio and Massachusetts, where he will campaign and fundraise for a handful of House contenders and one incumbent over the next few days.

Hoyer is only campaigning for challengers who have made the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Jumpstart program, according to a release from his leadership PAC, AmeriPAC. Candidates in Jumpstart have received the committee’s de facto seal of approval.

Here are the districts where Hoyer is scheduled to campaign on Wednesday and Friday: Full story

Ex-FEMA Director Seeks Open House Seat in Arkansas

Ex FEMA Director Seeks Open House Seat in Arkansas

Witt, right, served as the director of FEMA under Clinton. (Manny Ceneta/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Federal Emergency Management Agency Director James Lee Witt, a Democrat, announced on Tuesday he is running in the open-seat contest in Arkansas’ 4th District.

“I’ve spent my adult life bringing people together at the toughest times of their lives and dealing with disasters,” Witt said in a conference call announcing his bid, according to the Associated Press. “Nowhere needs disaster relief more than Washington. No place needs to be brought together more than Congress.”

Full story

November 4, 2013

Martha McKenna to Lead DSCC’s Independent Expenditure Program

Veteran strategist Martha McKenna will lead the independent expenditure program for Senate Democrats in the 2014 midterms.

It’s the second straight cycle that McKenna will lead the unit for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee that controls the tens of millions of dollars spent on Senate races each cycle. In 2012, McKenna became the first woman to head a Senate committee’s IE arm.

“Martha McKenna is one of the best Democratic operatives in the country who has helped oversee some of the top campaigns in the last decade, and I am thrilled she will again head the DSCC’s independent expenditure arm in 2014,” DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil said in a statement to CQ Roll Call.

House Democrats Promote Alex Sink to Jumpstart Program

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has named former Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink to its Jumpstart program for top recruits. It’s yet another sign House Democrats have given the former gubernatorial nominee their seal of approval for the upcoming special election in Florida’s 13th District.

“In the first few days since she launched her campaign, Alex Sink is again demonstrating what the people of Florida know — she is results-oriented, and her approach to solving problems would help get Washington focused on the right priorities, like creating good jobs,” DCCC Chairman Steve Israel said in a statement.

The Jumpstart program provides specific candidates with “early financial communications, operational and strategic support,” according to the committee. In the past, the DCCC announced batches of candidates to the program at a time.

But this singular announcement also shows the DCCC prefers Sink as a candidate over another Democrat in the race, attorney Jessica Ehrlich. Full story

October 31, 2013

Obama: I’m ‘Very Proud’ of John Tierney

Obama: Im Very Proud of John Tierney

Obama visited Boston on Wednesday. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama praised embattled Democratic Rep. John F. Tierney at a fundraiser held at a private residence near Boston.

The Wednesday event sought to raise funds for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at a private home in Weston, Mass. According to a White House transcript, Obama called out Tierney to praise his work in Congress during his remarks. Full story

Uncertainty Reigns in Race for Watt’s House Seat

Uncertainty Reigns in Race for Watts House Seat

Watt has been nominated for a post in the administration. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The future of North Carolina’s 12th District remains uncertain after Senate Republicans filibustered Rep. Melvin Watt’s confirmation to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency on Thursday.

Seven Democrats have announced campaigns for Watt’s seat since President Barack Obama nominated him in April. They assumed Watt would be confirmed and there would be a special election to fill the vacancy in his seat.

However, Watt told CQ Roll Call earlier this month that he could still run for re-election if his confirmation fails in the Senate. He added that the Democrats who have announced bids for his seat told him they would suspend their campaigns if his nomination failed and if he chose to run for re-election. Full story

EMILY’s List Backs Sink After Ditching Ehrlich in Florida Special Election

EMILY’s List, the organization that seeks to boost women who support abortion rights into elected office, endorsed former Democratic gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink on Thursday in the special election to replace the late C.W. Bill Young, a Republican, in Florida’s 13th District.

The endorsement comes one day after the organization removed a rival Democratic candidate — Jessica Ehrlich — from its website.

EMILY’s List had placed Ehrlich “on the list” earlier this year, before Young announced his retirement and then passed away shortly thereafter – a denotation that is often a precursor to a full-on endorsement from the organization.

Full story

October 30, 2013

House Candidate Removed From EMILY’s List Website (Updated)

Updated 3:24 p.m. | EMILY’s List has removed attorney Jessica Ehrlich from its online page of favored candidates — an ominous sign for the Democrat running in the highly competitive special election for Florida’s 13th District.

In May, EMILY’s List put Ehrlich “On the List” — a designation that often serves as a precursor to a candidate receiving a full-blown endorsement from the influential organization that backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights.

Her absence from the website suggests that some Democrats are dropping their support of Ehrlich, who is on her second bid for the district. On Wednesday morning, former Democratic gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink announced her candidacy. Sink is another favorite of EMILY’s List.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel issued a statement crowing about Sink’s entrance into the race on Wednesday morning, but it fell short of a full endorsement. Full story

October 29, 2013

Democratic Candidate Says Gitmo Experience Is Not a Liability (Video)

Democratic Candidate Says Gitmo Experience Is Not a Liability (Video)

Cannon is running in a competitive House district in Michigan. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The candidate: Ret. Army Major General Jerry Cannon, a Democrat.
The member: Rep. Dan Benishek, a two-term Republican.
The district: In 2012, Benishek defeated Democratic challenger Gary McDowell by less than 2,000 votes in this Upper Peninsula district. Mitt Romney carried the district with 54 points.
The candidate’s team: Travis Lowe and Clare Gannon of Three Point Media (media), Al Quinlan and Andrew Baumann of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (polling), Terry Walsh at The Strategy Group (mail).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2K40bWSQfws Full story

October 28, 2013

Montana Democrat Sets $2 Million Fundraising Goal (Video)

The candidate: Democrat John Lewis, a former top aide to Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.
The member: Freshman Rep. Steve Daines, a Republican who represents the at-large district and is most likely running for Senate in 2014. Both parties expect an open race for this House seat in 2014.
The state:
Last cycle, Mitt Romney won Montana by more than a 13-point margin and Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., won re-election by 4 points. But Republicans have held onto the state’s sole House seat for the past 17 years.
The candidate’s team
: Aaron Murphy (communications director), Barrett Kaiser (manager), Bob Funk (deputy manager), Geoff Garin of Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group (pollster), Mattis Goldman of Three Point Media (media), Colleen Martin (finance director).

Former Capitol Hill aide John Lewis, a Democrat, predicted he will need at least $2 million to “have a chance” next year at Montana’s at-large seat — a district Republicans have held for nearly two decades.

“There’s going to be, as we saw last year, a flood of outside money,” Lewis told Roll Call in a Oct. 9 interview. “Montana is cheap airwaves. No one saw more outside money than Montana last year. … I’m going to have to raise at least $2 million to have a chance.” Full story

October 25, 2013

Democrat Will Hire Cybersecurity Firm for Alleged Website Hack (Video)

Democrat Will Hire Cybersecurity Firm for Alleged Website Hack (Video)

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

The candidate: Tompkins County Council Chairwoman Martha Robertson, a Democrat.
The member: Rep. Tom Reed, a Republican.
The district: New York’s 23rd District is a competitive seat. Voters picked GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012 by a 1-point margin, and in 2008 they elected President Barack Obama by the same margin.
The candidate’s team: Snyder Pickerill (media); Normington, Petts, and Associates (polling); The Strategy Group (mail).

Full story

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