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September 3, 2014

Posts in "Endorsement Watch"

September 2, 2014

Jerry Brown Backs Mike Honda in Democratic Duel

Jerry Brown Backs Mike Honda in Democratic Duel

Honda won the backing of California Gov. Jerry Brown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

California Gov. Jerry Brown has stepped in to one of the most competitive and aggressive Democratic races of the cycle.

Brown, who is expected to cruise to re-election in November, endorsed Rep. Michael M. Honda on Tuesday, praising the seven-term, Golden State Democrat’s support for the San Francisco Bay Area’s commuter rail system.

Honda faces a fierce challenge from fellow Democrat Ro Khanna in the Silicon Valley-based 17th District, where both advanced from the June top-two primary.

“Mike Honda has dedicated his career to tackling difficult issues and doing what’s right for working people,” Brown said in a release. “After leading the local effort to bring BART to San Jose, Mike got $900 million in federal funding for the project creating 10,000 jobs for the Silicon Valley. Mike is an effective advocate in Congress for his district and all of California — I’m proud to support him.”

In the primary, Honda, who also has the backing of President Barack Obama, took 49 percent to 27 percent for Khanna, an attorney whose campaign is run by former Obama campaign staffers.

Full story

Ted Cruz to Rally for Marilinda Garcia in New Hampshire

Ted Cruz to Rally for Marilinda Garcia in New Hampshire

Garcia speaks with a supporter of former Sen. Bob Smith, R-N.H. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Ted Cruz is stumping for congressional hopeful Marilinda Garcia this weekend, just ahead of New Hampshire’s Republican primaries next week.

The Garcia campaign invited supporters to attend a rally with the Texas Republican and potential 2016 presidential candidate Sept. 7 at the Nashua City Hall.

Garcia, a state representative, is in a hotly contested nomination fight in the 2nd District, where Republicans are vying to take on Democratic Rep. Ann McLane Kuster. Garcia’s opponents include former state Sen. Gary Lambert, who has accused Garcia of supporting “amnesty” to undocumented immigrants.

Garcia has disputed that contention throughout the campaign, including in a recent interview with CQ Roll Call. The backing of Cruz, who has been leading the charge against potential executive action by President Barack Obama to expand deferred action on immigration, could well inoculate Garcia against that line of attack days before the Sept. 9 primary. Full story

August 29, 2014

Mitch McConnell’s Campaign Manager Resigns

Mitch McConnells Campaign Manager Resigns

McConnell is the Senate Minority Leader. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Jesse Benton, who had worked as the campaign manager for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election bid, said Friday he would resign.

The veteran operative with close ties to the Paul family released a lengthy statement making the announcement. The Lexington Herald-Leader first reported Benton’s resignation, which is effective Saturday.

The move comes just two days after a former Iowa state senator admitted to accepting $73,000 in concealed payments from former Rep. Ron Paul’s presidential campaign. In exchange for the money, that individual, Kent Sorenson, switched endorsements from Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., to Paul, a Texas Republican.

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July 17, 2014

U.S. Chamber Backs Justin Amash Primary Opponent

U.S. Chamber Backs Justin Amash Primary Opponent

Amash faces a primary opponent in August. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsed GOP Rep. Justin Amash’s primary challenger in Michigan’s 3rd District.

The group’s support could translate into television airtime for Brian Ellis, a former East Grand Rapids School Trustee, before the Aug. 5 primary. The primary has become one of this cycle’s top battles inside the GOP, with the party’s libertarian wing backing Amash and national business interests boosting Ellis.

“The U.S. Chamber is proud to endorse Brian Ellis’ congressional campaign to represent Michigan’s 3rd congressional district. Both candidates in the primary sought our endorsement, and the choice in support of Ellis on pro-growth issues was clear,” U.S. Chamber Senior Vice President and National Political Director Rob Engstrom said in a Thursday statement.

Full story

July 15, 2014

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Endorses Alex Mooney

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Endorses Alex Mooney

Alex Mooney was endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsed Republican Alex Mooney on Tuesday in his competitive bid to replace GOP Rep. Shelley Moore Capito in West Virginia’s 2nd District.

The endorsement could potentially lead to support on the airwaves from the organization, which has already spent more than $14 million on races this cycle, according to numbers compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

“Senator Alex Mooney has a demonstrated record leading on policies that promote job growth and a flourishing economy,” U.S. Chamber National Political Director Rob Engstrom said in a statement. “In today’s economy, it is critical that we have pro-growth leaders like Alex Mooney in Congress.” Full story

July 3, 2014

2016 Hopefuls Steer Clear of Scott Brown Senate Bid

2016 Hopefuls Steer Clear of Scott Brown Senate Bid

Brown is running for Senate in New Hampshire. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: July 3, 8:20 a.m. | Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott P. Brown got Mitt Romney’s endorsement in New Hampshire Wednesday — but it might be a while until his comeback bid gets a lift from any of the Republicans seeking the GOP nod in 2016.

Typically, presidential hopefuls hustle to make inroads into the Granite State, which hosts the first primary on the national nominating calendar.

But the GOP’s 2016 prospects are so far staying away from that Senate race for fear of upsetting prickly Republican activists by endorsing Brown, who was a more moderate Republican in the Senate and supports abortion rights.

Brown is the odds-on favorite to win the Republican nomination on Sept. 9, when he will likely defeat former Sen. Robert C. Smith, R-N.H., and former state Sen. Jim Rubens. The GOP nominee will face Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., in November. Full story

June 30, 2014

Environmental Group Backs Republican in 2014

Environmental Group Backs Republican in 2014

Susan Collins is a Republican from Maine. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The League of Conservation Voters Action Fund, an environmental organization, has thrown its support behind a Republican, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who is seeking re-election in 2014.

The Collins race is uncompetitive at this point in the cycle. But she is the first Republican to pick up the group’s nod this cycle. Full story

June 26, 2014

Newt Gingrich Endorses Senator’s Re-Election

Newt Gingrich Endorses Senators Re Election

Newt Gingrich endorsed Alexander in Tennessee. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich endorsed Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Thursday.

“We need Lamar’s experience and shrewdness to fix Washington,” Gingrich, a Georgia Republican and former presidential candidate, said in a statement released by the Alexander campaign.

Alexander, a second-term senator, is heavily favored to win his Republican primary on Aug. 7. Conservatives initially marked Alexander as a potential primary target in 2014, but top opposition never came close to materializing like some of his colleagues, for example Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss.

Full story

June 16, 2014

Elizabeth Warren Endorses in Targeted Massachusetts Race

Elizabeth Warren Endorses in Targeted Massachusetts Race

Elizabeth Warren is in demand on the 2014 campaign trail for Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., endorsed Rep. John F. Tierney’s re-election bid at a campaign rally in the Bay State’s 6th District Monday, calling the House Democrat a “tireless champion for Massachusetts families.”

“I had the chance to work closely with Congressman Tierney on consumer protection issues years before I ran for the Senate, and I’m very glad to work as his partner in Congress today,” Warren said in a release. “Throughout his career, he has fought hard to strengthen our schools, to improve access to high-quality, affordable education, and to make the kinds of investments that grow our economy in the 6th District and across the Commonwealth.”

Tierney faces a primary in September against veteran Seth Moulton and attorney Marisa DeFranco. Moulton has raised more money than Tierney — one of only a few challengers to bring in more bucks than an incumbent this cycle — although the congressman has more cash in the bank.

Full story

May 31, 2014

Iowa Senate Primary Becomes 2016 Battleground

Iowa Senate Primary Becomes 2016 Battleground

Perry supports a candidate for Senate in Iowa. (Tom Williams/CQRoll Call File Photo)

The campaign trail in Iowa this week might look a little familiar: As Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry stump around the state, former Sen. Rick Santorum’s face is plastered on the local airwaves.

The 2012 presidential primary is long gone, but a couple of the GOP’s future presidential hopefuls are using the Senate primary in the crucial nominating state to their advantage.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has backed the GOP front-runner, state Sen. Joni Ernst. Romney, who is not expected to run in 2016, has also given her his support. Meanwhile, Perry has endorsed former District Attorney Matt Whitaker. Santorum is supporting radio host Sam Clovis. A fourth candidate in the race, former energy executive Mark Jacobs, does not have any endorsements from likely presidential candidates.

The contest marks a rare opportunity for 2016 hopefuls: There hasn’t been an open-seat Senate race in the Hawkeye State in three decades. By backing a Senate candidate, presidential prospects can cement relationships with them and their staff that could be valuable next cycle — no matter if their chosen Republican wins or loses.

“The caucuses are an activist-driven process and activists put a premium on who stands with them,” said Republican radio host Steve Deace, who has endorsed Clovis.

“After all,” he added, “if you’re going to ask activists to stand with you, they’ll want to know if you stood with them.” Full story

May 22, 2014

Club for Growth Endorses in Two Georgia Runoffs

The Club for Growth endorsed two House candidates facing primary runoffs in Georgia Thursday, two days after the Peach State primaries.

The club endorsed former state Sen. Barry Loudermilk in Georgia’s 11th District and surgeon Bob Johnson in Georgia’s 1st District.

Loudermilk, who has the support of a number of different tea party organizations, faces former Rep. Bob Barr in the July 22 GOP primary runoff to replace Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey, who lost a GOP Senate primary in Georgia. Johnson faces state Sen. Buddy Carter in a runoff in the race to replace GOP Rep. Jack Kingston, who advanced to a runoff of his own in the Republican Senate primary.

The club’s financial might could help push Loudermilk and Johnson over the finish line in July in these contests, which have thus far been marked by low fundraising.

Full story

May 16, 2014

Congressman Backs Ex-Hill Staffer for California Seat

Congressman Backs Ex Hill Staffer for California Seat

Royce endorsed a former Capitol Hill staffer on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce has endorsed former Capitol Hill aide Lesli Gooch, becoming the latest Southern California congressman to back the Republican seeking her former boss’ open House seat.

Gooch, one of several candidates vying for the seat of retiring GOP Rep. Gary G. Miller in California’s 31st District, worked for Miller as a senior policy adviser in the district, which is a top Democratic pick-up opportunity in November. Royce’s endorsement follows that of Miller and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Lesli Gooch and our delegation in the United States Congress to get things done for Californians,” Royce said in a statement Friday. “The Inland Empire needs Lesli Gooch’s strong conservative leadership in Congress to beat back the failed policies of Reid and Pelosi that are hurting our economy and crippling our national security.”

Full story

Angus King Rolls Out Bipartisan Senate Endorsements (Video)

Angus King Rolls Out Bipartisan Senate Endorsements (Video)

King is backing Republican and Democratic Senate colleagues. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Maine’s Angus King, one of two independents serving in the Senate, is endorsing two colleagues on Friday: New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen and Maine Republican Susan Collins.

Collins, who lost to King in the 1994 gubernatorial race, is a solid favorite for re-election, despite the fact President Barack Obama carried Maine by double digits in both 2008 and 2012.

“I think she’s one of the Senate’s MVP’s — smart, tough, and always willing to listen,” King said in a statement shared with CQ Roll Call. “In my book, she’s a model senator and I’m delighted to support her re-election.”

Despite Collins’ advantage, the endorsement, which was first reported by the Associated Press, is nonetheless noteworthy because King caucuses with Senate Democrats. Collins is being challenged by Democrat Shenna Bellows, who released a statement Friday noting that King gave her a heads-up about his endorsement.

Full story

May 15, 2014

Howard Coble Endorses Successor in North Carolina

Howard Coble Endorses Successor in North Carolina

Coble has endorsed a candidate to replace him. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Retiring North Carolina Rep. Howard Coble has endorsed Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger Jr. as his successor, touting the candidate’s experience and conservative credentials.

In last week’s primary, Berger and Baptist Pastor Mark Walker advanced to a July 15 runoff from a nine-candidate GOP field running to replace the longtime Republican lawmaker in the 6th District.

“It’s clear to me that Phil Berger is the right conservative for the job,” Coble, 83, said in a statement. “He has the experience, knowledge and determination to hit the ground running in Washington.” Full story

May 14, 2014

U.S. Chamber Endorses Kerry Bentivolio’s GOP Challenger

U.S. Chamber Endorses Kerry Bentivolios GOP Challenger

Bentivolio is considered one of the cycle's most vulnerable candidates. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsed attorney David Trott in his Republican primary challenge to freshman Rep. Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan’s 11th District.

Bentivolio is one of the most vulnerable incumbents of the cycle. Many on Capitol Hill refer to him as an “accidental congressman” because he came to Washington, D.C., in the aftermath of ex-Rep. Thaddeus McCotter’s 2012 ballot implosion.

“On behalf of the U.S. Chamber, I am proud to support Dave Trott for Congress,” said Rob Engstrom, U.S. Chamber senior vice president and national political director. “Dave has a strong record of creating jobs and promoting the principles of free enterprise and leadership in the private sector.”

Full story

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