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Posts in "Endorsement Watch"

January 30, 2013

California: Obama Backs Honda as Primary Threat Looms

President Barack Obama on Monday endorsed Rep. Michael M. Honda, a seven-term Democrat representing a safe district.

“We need Congressman Mike Honda in the United States Congress, and I urge you to vote to keep him there,” Obama said in a statement.

The endorsement comes fewer than three months after the 2012 elections, a remarkably early show of support from the president. But it’s no doubt in reaction to the rumored threat of a primary from attorney Ro Khanna, who has congressional ambitions and a war chest in excess of $1 million.

Khanna had also been rumored to be considering a bid in the neighboring 15th District, where Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell knocked off veteran Democrat Pete Stark last year. That was the first federal election under the state’s new top-two primary format, which allows for members of the same party to face off in the general.

January 29, 2013

Illinois: Bloomberg Super PAC Targets Halvorson With Negative Ads

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Independence USA PAC has started airing TV ads in Illinois’ 2nd district special election targeting the front-runner’s support for the Second Amendment.

Former Rep. Debbie Halvorson leads a crowded field of Democrats, according to polls released by her opponents’ campaigns this month.

But the super PAC’s ad buy marks a shift in the race for former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr.’s seat on Chicago’s south side. It’s possible none of the candidates, including Halvorson, will raise enough money to air campaign ads in the Windy City’s pricey market. So far, the better-funded campaigns have relied on direct mail to reach voters.

Also, gun control is a major issue in the 2nd district, which includes areas of Chicago that have been greatly affected by a recent wave of gun violence.

Full story

November 3, 2012

Nebraska: Condoleezza Rice Endorses Deb Fischer

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State in the George W. Bush administration, today endorsed state Sen. Deb Fischer in the open-seat Nebraska Senate race against former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.).

Deb Fischer is an effective legislator who will promote economic competitiveness and private sector growth and will change the current standstill in Washington,”  Rice said in a news release from the Republican’s campaign. “Her fresh perspective will allow her to be a leader in Congress and I’m proud to stand with her in this important race.”

Fischer, who is in a tightening race with Kerrey, was happy to receive Rice’s backing.

“I have deep respect and admiration for Dr. Rice, and I’m truly honored to have her support,” Fischer said in the release. “Dr. Rice understands the importance of maintaining American exceptionalism by advancing our nation’s domestic and international interests.”

Rice’s endorsement of Fischer comes after Kerrey has racked up several notable endorsements, including former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.). Fischer is still favored to win the seat, which is being vacated by retiring Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.). Roll Call rates the race as Likely Republican.

November 1, 2012

Nebraska: Bob Kerrey Nabs Chuck Hagel Endorsement

Nebraskans should send former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.) back to the Senate on Tuesday because he has a history of working across the aisle and would help end partisan gridlock, former GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel said today in endorsing his former colleague.

Some polls have shown the race between Kerrey and Republican Deb Fischer tightening in recent days.

Hagel, who stressed that he is still a Republican, noted that Kerrey has also received endorsements from other Republican former Senators, including Alan Simpson of Wyoming, who co-chaired a commission that proposed cutting the deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years. Kerrey has also won the support from New Hampshire’s Warren Rudman, who helped draft the 1980s budget agreement known as the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act. Full story

Michael Bloomberg Endorses Barack Obama Despite ‘Disappointing’ Term

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed President Barack Obama’s re-election today, highlighting the issue of climate change in the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation, as well as other issues, including health care, abortion and gay rights.

“The devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to New York City and much of the Northeast — in lost lives, lost homes and lost business — brought the stakes of Tuesday’s presidential election into sharp relief,” Bloomberg said in a column on his eponymous news service.

Bloomberg pointed to the hurricane as a sign that the world should act on the climate change issue.

“Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be — given this week’s devastation — should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action,” he said.

Full story

October 29, 2012

Nebraska: Bob Kerrey Touts Endorsements From Alan Simpson, Erskine Bowles

The bipartisan leaders of President Barack Obama’s deficit reduction commission today endorsed former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D) in his uphill bid against GOP candidate Deb Fischer for the open Nebraska Senate seat.

Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) and former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles “are supporting Bob Kerrey because he has told Nebraskans the honest truth about the critical necessity of assuring the 75 year solvency of the Social Security system, and stabilizing Medicare and Medicaid in a way that preserves and strengthens the needed protections for seniors and the most vulnerable in our society,” Simpson said in a statement released by the Kerrey campaign. Full story

October 24, 2012

California: Steny Hoyer Backs Howard Berman Over Brad Sherman

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer has endorsed Rep. Howard Berman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) has endorsed California Rep. Howard Berman in his heated, redistricting-forced race with fellow Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman.

“Howard Berman is a highly-respected leader sought after by his colleagues from both parties for his expertise in both domestic and foreign policy, and world affairs,” Hoyer said in a statement posted to Berman’s campaign Facebook page. “Howard Berman is respected by both Republicans and Democrats because of his approach as a legislator and decency as an individual. It would be a great loss to the country if Howard Berman did not return to serve in the Congress of the United States.” Full story

October 17, 2012

Nebraska: John McCain, Joe Lieberman Pick Their Horses

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) weighed in on the Nebraska Senate race today, with respective endorsements of GOP hopeful Deb Fischer and former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D).

“I’m proud to support Deb Fischer in this important election for U.S. Senate,” McCain said in a release on Fischer’s campaign website. “She has the character and commitment to change Washington.”

“She will work to eliminate wasteful spending, balance the budget, and grow the private sector economy,” McCain’s statement continued. “Facing an ever-growing debt, we need fiscally conservative leadership like Deb’s in the U.S. Senate to get our nation back on the right track.” Full story

October 15, 2012

Connecticut: SEIU Gives Elizabeth Esty Post-Primary Support

The Service Employees International Union Connecticut State Council endorsed Democrat Elizabeth Esty on Monday in the 5th district.

“We endorse Elizabeth Esty for Congress because our members are confident she will stand up and fight the radical right wing tea party agenda,” said Paul Filson, director of the SEIU’s state branch. “We know she will champion rights for workers and their families. She will fight to protect the promise of Social Security and Medicare. She will push for common sense investments in education, services and vital infrastructure improvements for Connecticut’s 5th Congressional district.”

While at first glance it would seem unremarkable that a union endorsed a Democrat, the unions strongly backed state Speaker Christopher Donovan in the Democratic primary.

According to an August Hartford Courant article, Esty “hasn’t always agreed with labor’s agenda,” and a decision to sit out this race would “undercut the Democratic Party.”

Esty is in a tough general election battle with state Sen. Andrew Roraback, a moderate Republican.

Roll Call rates this race as Leans Democratic.

October 11, 2012

California: Howard Berman Endorsed by 10 GOP Members

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

ENCINO, Calif. — In yet another unprecedented moment in California House races this cycle, 10 Republican members of the state’s Congressional delegation have endorsed Democratic Rep. Howard Berman.

The Foreign Affairs ranking member is running in a highly competitive race against fellow Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman in a San Fernando Valley district that the two were merged into during redistricting. The endorsements are part of Berman’s outreach across the political spectrum in a district where Republicans could make up about a quarter of the vote in November.

According to a release the Berman campaign will roll out today, the Republicans endorsing him are: Reps. David Dreier, Wally Herger, Dan Lungren, Elton Gallegly, Buck McKeon, Ed Royce, Jerry Lewis, Ken Calvert, Mary Bono Mack and Darrell Issa. Full story

October 4, 2012

Maryland: Bill Clinton Hosts Fundraiser for John Delaney

President Bill Clinton is set to appear Oct. 16 at a Washington, D.C., fundraiser for businessman John Delaney’s campaign for Maryland’s 6th district

No minimum donation was requested for the afternoon event, according to a copy of the invitation obtained by Roll Call. Delaney is challenging Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R).

Delaney is widely expected to win the race, thanks in part to a dramatically redrawn district that favors the Democrats — and because outside Republican groups have shown no interest in aiding Bartlett’s campaign.

Still, it is no surprise that Clinton is lending a hand. Delaney is a longtime Clinton donor, and the former president has displayed deep loyalty to former staffers, friends and campaign contributors.

The fundraiser is set for the Georgetown home of David and Katherine Bradley, the invitation said.

October 1, 2012

John McCain Hits the Campaign Trail for Fellow Republicans

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It is a busy week on the campaign trail for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Except this time around, he is hitting the trail in support of others in his party.

On Monday, he endorsed former WWE CEO Linda McMahon in Danbury, Conn., for her Senate bid to replace McCain’s friend, retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman (I), according to the Hartford Courant. McMahon faces Rep. Christopher Murphy in a race that Roll Call rates as Leans Democratic.

Today and Wednesday, McCain will campaign across Florida on behalf of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. That tour will include mostly veterans events in Pensacola, Niceville, Panama City and Tallahassee.

September 30, 2012

Roy Blunt: Missouri Senate Race Is More About Senate Majority Than Todd Akin

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Missouri GOP Sen. Roy Blunt today offered a lukewarm defense of his decision to campaign for embattled Senate nominee Rep. Todd Akin, saying the debate in the Show-Me State is more about who should control the Senate.

In an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Blunt said that Republicans still have a 50-50 chance of retaking the Senate and that the Missouri race to unseat Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill will “largely become a debate about the majority in the Senate.”

In August, Blunt called on Akin to step out of the race after the conservative lawmaker defended his opposition to abortion in cases of rape and incest by erroneously saying that a woman’s body is able to prevent pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape.” But last week, after Akin let a state deadline to withdraw from the ballot pass without resigning the nomination, Blunt said he would work to elect him.

“I think anybody else would have been a candidate that clearly would have won, and Todd very well may win,” Blunt told CNN. “He’s on a ticket at a time when people look at a Senate that’s not doing its work, and the only way to change that is to change the majority in the Senate.”

When accused by co-panelist Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) of flip-flopping and now endorsing Akin’s candidacy, Blunt attempted to clarify: “What I said was that the national issues are big enough that we need to have a discussion of these issues rather than those that Todd managed to bring to the table.”

September 26, 2012

Missouri: Jim DeMint, Rick Santorum Throw Support Behind Beleaguered Todd Akin

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has decided to wade into the Missouri Senate race in support of GOP Rep. Todd Akin.

DeMint is joining former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, a fellow social conservative who sought the Republican presidential nomination this year, in endorsing Akin’s controversial candidacy.

In a statement released through Santorum’s Patriot Voices PAC, DeMint and Santorum made a fundraising appeal for the beleaguered Republican Senate candidate. Full story

September 25, 2012

Missouri: Roy Blunt Backs Todd Akin as Deadline for Withdrawal Passes

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hours after the deadline passed for Republican Rep. Todd Akin to drop out of the Missouri Senate race against Sen. Claire McCaskill, the Show-Me State’s current GOP Senator announced that he would back Akin’s candidacy.

“From Governor Romney to the county courthouse, I’ll be working for the Republican ticket in Missouri, and that includes Todd Akin,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said in a statement issued late Tuesday. Blunt said that despite some policy disagreements, “he and I agree the Senate majority must change.”

Akin faced a concerted push from Republicans, including presidential nominee Mitt Romney, to drop out of the Senate race after winning the nomination because of concerns that he would have no chance to prevail in November, in what could be a critical contest for GOP efforts to retake the Senate. Full story

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