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August 29, 2014

Posts in "Democrats"

May 1, 2013

Mel Watt Departure Would Create Crowded Special Election #NC12 | The Field

Mel Watt Departure Would Create Crowded Special Election #NC12 | The Field

Watt has been nominated to a post in the Obama administration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Longtime Rep. Melvin Watts nomination to serve in President Barack Obama’s administration would spark a crowded race for his heavily Democratic district in North Carolina.

On Wednesday, Obama officially nominate the 11-term Democrat to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency. If confirmed, Watt’s subsequent resignation will create an opportunity that local and state politicians have been seeking for decades to ascend the state’s political ladder.

“These guys for years had ceilings on the local level and the federal level, and all of a sudden there are no ceilings,” said Morgan Jackson, a Democratic consultant with North Carolina’s Nexus Strategies and a former Watt staffer.

Jackson added that the open mayoral seat in Charlotte (Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, a Democrat, was nominated to serve as Transportation secretary last week) could create two simultaneously open positions that state politicians have been eyeing for years. Full story

April 29, 2013

Gary Peters to Enter Michigan Senate Race #MIsen

Gary Peters to Enter Michigan Senate Race #MIsen

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Gary Peters will announce his campaign for Senate on Wednesday, giving Democrats a top candidate to run for the open seat in Michigan.

Peters will make the announcement in his hometown of Rochester Hills, a top Democratic aide confirmed to CQ Roll Call. However, the surrounding area in Oakland County has also proved pivotal for victory in recent statewide victories.

Democrats have the advantage to hold retiring Sen. Carl Levin’s seat. Peters is not expected to face a primary, and Republicans are still looking for a candidate. CQ Roll Call Contributing Writer Stuart Rothenberg rates this race as Safe Democrat.

Full story

April 26, 2013

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: I am NOT Retiring #FL27

Ileana Ros Lehtinen: I am NOT Retiring #FL27

Ros-Lehtinen is not retiring. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., is not retiring from Congress — much to the chagrin of Democrats eyeing her increasingly competitive Miami-area seat.

After top House Democrats suggested the 12-term Republican could call it quits soon, Abby Livingston emailed the congresswoman’s press staff, expecting a boilerplate statement from her spokesman for Roll Call’s weekly Farm Team series.

Instead, an animated Ros-Lehtinen called her back personally within a couple hours. From Farm Team:

Full story

April 25, 2013

Bill Nelson Mulls Bid for Florida Governor

Bill Nelson Mulls Bid for Florida Governor

Nelson is considering running for governor in Florida. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., is considering a bid against GOP Gov. Rick Scott in 2014.

“I’d say that’s true, that he’s considering it,” said Nelson spokesman Dan McLaughlin. “An awful lot of people have contacted him and asked him to do so. But — and as he’s said a number of times — he presently doesn’t have any intention of running. He’s got a job to do as a senator.”

Privately, top Florida Democrats described Nelson’s consideration as “fairly serious,”as Abby Livingston reported in Roll Call’s weekly Farm Team column.

“It’s on the way to being fairly serious. I think he is going to take a very close look at it,” a senior Florida Democratic official told CQ Roll Call. “It’s not very far along. I wouldn’t tell you it’s likely … [but] I think he will really look at it.”

Full story

House Dems Tout Recruits to Caucus

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel penned a Thursday memo to the caucus boasting about their edge in recruitment and fundraising for 2014.

According to a copy of the memo obtained by CQ Roll Call, the New York Democrat outlines section-by-section how, in his view, House Democrats are on track to make gains in 2014.

“We are ahead-of-schedule on recruitment, ahead-of-expectations on fundraising, and ahead-of-the-curve on defining the Republican Congress,” Israel wrote of his second cycle leading the DCCC. Full story

April 24, 2013

McSally Inches Toward Rematch Against Barber #AZ02

McSally Inches Toward Rematch Against Barber #AZ02

McSally came close to beating Barber in 2012. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats got their hopes raised recently that retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally might be recruited to run for Arizona governor or to run to replace Republican Sen. John McCain in 2016 — instead of running for Congress in 2014. But it appears to be much ado about nothing.

Democrats were hoping that remarks McSally made in an amateur online video about Republicans recruiting her for other offices meant she was no longer serious about challenging Democratic Rep. Ron Barber in Arizona’s 2nd District. McSally nearly defeated Barber in the 2012 general election.

McSally seemed baffled in a phone interview about the Democratic reaction.

“I’m very strongly considering running for Congress,” she said, an almost verbatim comment she made in the video. Full story

April 23, 2013

Manchin Campaign Manager Joins Mack-Sumner | Shop Talk

Fiona Conroy, a former campaign manager for Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., has joined the new Democratic consulting firm Mack-Sumner.

“We are thrilled to have Fiona on our team,” partner Kevin Mack said in a Tuesday release. “She brings unmatched energy, unique experience and boundless creativity to Mack-Sumner.” Full story

Max Baucus to Retire in 2014 #MTsen

Max Baucus to Retire in 2014 #MTsen

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 12:42 a.m. | Montana Sen. Max Baucus has decided to retire instead of seek re-election next year, a sudden move that caught many colleagues and state Democrats off guard.

Democratic sources confirmed the news to CQ Roll Call on Tuesday morning — after which Baucus told reporters he was working to spread word to his staff.

“I’ve got people I’ve got to talk to first before I talk to the press, and that includes my staff,” he said. “I’m going to talk to my staff right now. And phone calls I’ve got to make. We’ll be talking later today.”

The Senate Finance chairman was considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats up in 2014 and Republicans had made clear they would heavily target the race. Baucus has served in the Senate since 1979 and has not faced difficult races in recent years.

Now that Baucus is exiting after this congress, Roll Call contributing editor Stuart Rothenberg rates this race as a Tossup in the Rothenberg Report.

Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer will be at the top of Democrats’ wish list as the candidate in the open-seat race. A Democratic source indicated the ex-governor is leaning toward running.

The retirement also opens up the Finance gavel come 2104. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., is next in line for that post, and Democratic sources indicated he would be likely to take it. Full story

April 22, 2013

Democrats Markey, Lynch Resume Campaigns #MAsen

Democrats Markey, Lynch Resume Campaigns #MAsen

Markey has led in all polls of the Massachusetts Senate special election so far. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Reps. Edward J. Markey and Stephen F. Lynch resumed their Senate special-election campaigns on Monday. It’s been one week since the two Bay State Democrats suspended political activities after the Boston Marathon bombing.

Markey’s spokesman confirmed via email that he will start campaigning again, although neither candidate is running television ads yet:

Full story

April 18, 2013

Money Reveals Some Members Aren’t Really Serious About Senate Bids (Yet)

Money Reveals Some Members Arent Really Serious About Senate Bids (Yet)

Rahall is still considering a Senate run. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If Reps. Steve King, Jeff Fortenberry and Nick J. Rahall II are serious about running for Senate, their campaign fundraising does not show it.

Several House members eyeing Senate bids posted meager numbers, according to Roll Call’s Senate fundraising chart for the first quarter.

In general, members raise major cash to show their political force if they are seriously weighing jumping into a Senate race. For example, Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., had raised $525,000 by the end of the first quarter this year, days before he announced he would challenge Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu.

(See which House candidates are on Roll Call’s retirement watch list thanks to their anemic fundraising).

Here are a few House candidates who haven’t taken their names out of the mix when it comes to potential Senate bids and who reported lackluster hauls:

Full story

April 17, 2013

House Retirement Watch Clues Found in First Fundraising Reports

House Retirement Watch Clues Found in First Fundraising Reports

Coble was hospitalized in February but has returned to work. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Not a single House member has announced they will retire in 2014, but first-quarter fundraising reports indicate some may be headed in that direction.

Most of the Senate retirement announcements have come and gone, as Senate campaign officials tend to push members to step aside early in the cycle. However, House members generally don’t reveal their intentions until about a year before the elections.

For now, a dose of weak fundraising showings from the first three months of the midterm cycle offer clues as to which members could be considering the end of their congressional tenures. Whether they actually plan to retire likely won’t be known for some time, but the lack of motivation in fundraising will continue to feed speculation about some members’ political futures. Full story

Hey, Big (House Race) Spender!

Hey, Big (House Race) Spender!

Bachmann reported spending about $200,000 more in the first quarter than she raised in that time period. (By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Running a congressional campaign can be expensive. But it’s rare for House members to spend almost as much as they raised in the first quarter of a two-year election cycle.

Still, a few incumbents achieved this feat during the first three months of this year, according to a CQ Roll Call review of their fundraising reports.

Here’s a selection of “big spender” House members in the first quarter: Full story

April 10, 2013

Top 5 House Rematches to Watch (So Far)

As Reps. Andy Barr, R-Ky., Ami Bera, D-Calif., and Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H., can attest, sometimes the second time is the charm.

All three freshmen won rematch races in 2012 after narrowly losing bids for Congress in 2010.

Three months into the 2014 midterm cycle, there are at least a handful of highly anticipated House race rematches on tap. More are likely to materialize in the next year.

The 2012 opponent of Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., made his comeback official Tuesday, and Minnesota hotelier Jim Graves is expected to announce Thursday whether he will again challenge GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann. Observers believe he will run.

The House landscape is far from set at this early juncture, with first-quarter fundraising reports due Monday and challengers just starting to roll out their campaigns.

Also, a presidential-year electorate differs (in some districts greatly) from a midterm electorate. Depending on the district, that could mean that a rematch race is less — or more — competitive. Full story

April 9, 2013

Remainders: #BluegrassGate

Remainders: #BluegrassGate

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Maybe you were hiding under a rock today. Or stuck in multiple, hours-long meetings. Or outside enjoying the unseasonably nice Washington, D.C., weather.

In any case, here is a timeline to catch you up on the hottest political story of the day involving Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and #BluegrassGate:

Stay tuned, folks. This is just starting to get good.

April 8, 2013

Illinois: Kelly a Shoo-In for Special Election

Illinois: Kelly a Shoo In for Special Election

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats expect Cook County Chief Administrative Officer Robin Kelly to coast to Congress in Tuesday’s special election.

They’re confident in part because her GOP rival, Paul McKinley, is a convicted felon, according to numerous reports.

Also, the 2nd District, which includes Chicago’s south side and suburbs, traditionally elects Democrats by a wide margin. Former Democratic Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. won re-election there with at least 80 percent of the vote in all but one of his elections. Jackson resigned a few days after the 2012 election in the face of a corruption investigation, spurring a special election to replace him earlier this year.

In February, Kelly won a contested Democratic primary for his seat, defeating former Rep. Debbie Halvorson. Much credit for Kelly’s win went to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. His super PAC invested more than $2 million to boost Kelly in the primary because she supported gun control measures.

Polls close Tuesday at 7 p.m. Central time.

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