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October 5, 2015

Posts in "Democrats"

May 12, 2014

Clay Aiken Primary Opponent Dies (Video)

Former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco, who was vying for the Democratic nomination in a North Carolina House race, died on Monday, an employee at his company, Asheboro Elastics Corporation, confirmed.

Local media reports stated that Crisco died from a fall at his home in Asheboro. He was pronounced dead when emergency responders arrived on the scene, according to the Asheboro Courier-Tribune. He was 71.

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Pennsylvania Primary: Margolies Comeback Bid Faltering

GLENSIDE, Pa. — A week out from Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary, former Rep. Marjorie Margolies is no longer the front-runner in a race Democratic operatives doubted she could ever lose.

Less than one year ago, Margolies’ commanding lead in the polls, familiarity with voters thanks to her one term in Congress in the early 1990s, and her ties to the Clinton dynasty as Chelsea Clinton’s mother-in-law made her a seemingly untouchable foe. Yet Democratic operatives say Margolies has run an astonishingly poor campaign in the 13th District, an open seat thanks to Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz’s gubernatorial bid in the Keystone State.

That has shifted the focus from Margolies, 71, to state Rep. Brendan Boyle, 37. As he gains traction, the other Democrats in the race have stepped up to paint him as anti-abortion because he voted for a state law that required stricter regulations and inspections of abortion clinics. But Boyle, who  supports abortion rights, says his record has been twisted.

“I’ve been a supporter of Planned Parenthood,” Boyle told CQ Roll Call on May 9. “On 14 votes that I’ve cast related to women’s health, I’ve voted with Planned Parenthood on 12 of the 14. Unfortunately … when you have a record, opponents can misleadingly point to one or two votes, completely mischaracterize it and paint a picture that’s false.”

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May 9, 2014

Democrat Injects $700,000 Into Pennsylvania Primary Campaign (Updated)

Former Rep. Margolies, pictured above in 2005, will get fundraising help from Hillary Clinton next week. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Update 9:45 a.m. | Democrat Val Arkoosh loaned her Pennsylvania congressional campaign $700,000 with weeks to go in a competitive primary, according to her pre-primary report filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission.

Between April 1 and April 30, the physician, one of four Democrats seeking an open Philadelphia-area House seat, brought in $773,000 — including the sizeable personal loan — and reported $430,000 in cash on hand for the final days before the May 20 primary.

Thanks to her personal funds, Arkoosh’s haul far outpaced the other three candidates in the 13th District contest, including former Rep. Marjorie Margolies, state Rep. Brendan Boyle and state Sen. Daylin Leach. However, Boyle and Leach both filed 48-hour reports with the FEC May 8 — a week after the closing of the pre-primary period — showing Boyle giving $40,000 and Leach $250,000 out of pocket to their respective campaigns.

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May 8, 2014

House Democratic Women to Headline Rangel Fundraiser

Rangel faces a competitive June 24 primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A little more than a month out from New York’s primaries, three female House Democrats are hosting a New York City fundraiser on behalf of Rep. Charles B. Rangel, who is again facing a stiff intraparty challenge.

New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney emailed Rangel’s supporter list Thursday with the subject line, “Women Can Count on Charlie Rangel.” The postscript read: “On May 22, I’m hosting a fundraiser at my house for Charlie with Congress Members Nita Lowey and Terri Sewell. Will I see you there?” Full story

Democrats Jockeying to Run DCCC in 2016

Israel is the current chairman of the DCCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The hours are punishing, the travel is relentless and sometimes — no matter how politically shrewd or hardworking a person is — he or she can completely fail on the national stage by nearly no fault of their own.

So who would want to run a House campaign committee, again?

Quite a few Democrats. One of the most intense guessing games currently in the caucus is who will serve as the next chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“If you are looking to get a seat at the table, and right now no one is getting up, then the DCCC post might be the only opening,” former DCCC spokesman Doug Thornell said. “It’s probably the toughest, most thankless job in leadership. But if you excel, a lot of doors open.”

The position offers an opportunity to win the loyalty of incoming freshman that can translate into support for a future House leadership bid.

But more importantly, Democrats bet that next cycle — 2016 —  will be a good one, thanks to improved party performance in presidential years and the possibility of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on the top of the ticket.

Dozens of plugged-in Democratic operatives weighed in to CQ Roll Call on likely contenders. But the caucus leader, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, will make the final selection. And if Pelosi is no longer in leadership, the race for DCCC chairman could completely change.

To compare, House Republicans elected their campaign committee chairman. Insiders say the current National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon will stay for a second term.

Here’s a rundown of the likely candidates for the Democratic field: Full story

May 7, 2014

Pennsylvania Democrat Targets Each Primary Opponent in One Ad

Leach is one of four Democrats running for an open Philly-based seat. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Sen. Daylin Leach, one of four Democrats running for an open Philadelphia-based House seat, takes shots at all three of his opponents in his latest TV ad, which was obtained by CQ Roll Call.

Leach, along with former Rep. Marjorie Margolies, state Rep. Brendan Boyle and physician Val Arkoosh, are all vying for the Democratic nomination in Pennsylvania’s 13th District.

When reached for comment, the Leach campaign said the ad is part of a six-figure buy on cable, broadcast and Internet pre-roll.

In the ad, which went up on air Wednesday and is not yet available on YouTube, Leach says, “If you want Republican politics, vote for one of them.”

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Before Hagan, Tillis First Must Weather General Assembly Session

Tillis is challenging Hagan in a top Senate race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Thom Tillis triumphed Tuesday in a crowded Republican primary field for the right to challenge Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., in November, but it’s not full steam ahead just yet.

Before the North Carolina state speaker can fully focus his sights on Hagan in one of Republicans’ best pickup opportunities, Tillis must first survive the legislative session, where policymaking can produce potential pitfalls for any candidate for higher office.

Tillis has said he will not relinquish his position to pursue his Senate campaign, so the speaker will preside when the General Assembly comes back into session on May 14. It will be a short session — it should last just a few weeks, or as long as it takes to tweak the budget passed last year and deal with a couple of financial issues. But Democrats will undoubtedly target Tillis for anything that comes out of it and his focus won’t be solely on winning the Senate seat.

The General Assembly “needs to get in and get out,” North Carolina Republican operative Dallas Woodhouse said.

“Every day they are there is a day that [Tillis] is not on the campaign trail, is a day that it is hard for him to raise money,” Woodhouse continued. “So every day that they are there is a lost day for Tillis.” Full story

Clay Aiken’s Primary Fate May Be Unclear for Days

Clay Aiken

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images File Photo)

The Democratic House primary between “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken and former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco remained too close to call following Tuesday’s primary.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Aiken leads Crisco by 372 votes, according to The Associated Press.

Crisco has yet to concede and he said in a statement Wednesday morning that the campaign will wait for a report from the State Board of Elections to determine the next steps in the contest.

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May 6, 2014

Clay Aiken Holds Slim Lead With All Precincts In

Aiken is a Democrat from North Carolina. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken leads his Democratic primary opponent by just 372 votes Tuesday night in a North Carolina race for the House.

Aiken had a small advantage over former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco, 41 percent to 40 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press, which had not declared a winner as of midnight.

A third Democrat, mental health counselor Toni Morris, garnered 20 percent, according to the AP.

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Results From Primaries in North Carolina, Ohio

Have a look through our live coverage of the May 6 primaries:


6 Things to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries

Tillis and his wife Susan knock on doors in an upscale Huntersville, N.C., neighborhood north of Charlotte, the evening before the primary election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Primary voters head to the polls Tuesday in North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio, marking the first contests in a long series of contentious Republican battles over the next month.

In North Carolina, state Speaker Thom Tillis, Dr. Greg Brannon, and Pastor Mark Harris are vying for the GOP nomination to challenge Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., in a marquee race that will help determine which party controls the Senate next year.

Further down the ballot, an American Idol runner-up hopes he’ll have better luck in a Tar Heel State House race and longtime Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., will try to avoid becoming the first incumbent to lose a primary this cycle. In Ohio, a spirited challenger — perhaps best known for parodying a Cialis commercial in his bid — will attempt to unseat Speaker John A. Boehner.

In North Carolina, the contests could drag out for months. Primaries for Senate, the 6th and 12th Districts might continue to a runoff on July 15 if no candidate receives at least 40 percent of the vote.

Here are six things to watch in those races and others on Tuesday: Full story

May 5, 2014

Exclusive: EMILY’s 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.

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May 2, 2014

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

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

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

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