Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 21, 2014

Posts in "Ariz.-2"

August 18, 2014

Martha McSally Tries to Fly to Victory

Martha McSally Tries to Fly to Victory

McSally is running for Congress in Arizona. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

TUCSON, Ariz. — Operatives couldn’t make up a better candidate résumé if they tried: retired Air Force Colonel, first in her class at the U.S. Air War College, the first female fighter pilot in combat who flies the very plane — an A-10 Warthog — that’s economically essential to the 2nd District.

At a time when Republicans wrangle with messaging to female voters, this 48-year-old’s spunk and articulate bite is made for television — and unlike anything the House GOP Conference has seen in a while.

Martha McSally Tries to Fly to VictoryBut can Martha McSally finally win this House seat on her third try, and, more pressing for this Friday evening, can the Republican spell “logomachy”?

“L-O-G-O-M-A-C-H-Y,” McSally enunciates to the judges, who nod in approval at a spelling bee fundraiser just off the Old Pueblo’s newly booming downtown strip. It means an argument about words — something of which there’s plenty in her race.

After nearly a dozen rounds, the competition has dwindled from 15 local celebrities and the judges have to regroup because they’ve run out of pre-selected words to challenge the two finalists. McSally is one of them, and when it’s her turn, she walks into the single spotlight on stage and tries to spell “sayonara.”

She blows it. Full story

August 12, 2014

This Fall’s House Ad Wars Have Officially Started (Video)

This Falls House Ad Wars Have Officially Started (Video)

Grimm is one of the NRCC's first targets with an independent expenditure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The flood gates opened Tuesday when the House campaign committees began the barrage of fall television advertisements.

Exactly a year ago, CQ Roll Call predicted the House’s fall campaign ad wars would begin as early as mid-August, creeping back a few weeks from the traditional start around Labor Day. Now the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and several top tier House candidates rolled out their first television spots of the cycle.

To be sure, some House candidates and outside groups have already been airing general election spots. But these new television ads mark the committee’s first major independent expenditures of the season — and the start of the campaign airwaves war that will only intensify through November.

Full story

August 8, 2014

Shooting in the Rear View, Ron Barber Drives His Own Way

Shooting in the Rear View, Ron Barber Drives His Own Way

Barber gives a tour of Tucson. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

TUCSON, Ariz. — Rep. Ron Barber guides his Ford through the flat, four-lane paved streets, ticking off landmarks on the corners of his desert city surrounded by jagged mountains.

That’s Rincon High School, where he enrolled as a sophomore in 1959. There’s the middle school his grandson attends. As he makes a left turn, Barber points to St. Cyril of Alexandria Church, where he married his wife, Nancy, 47 years ago.

Shooting in the Rear View, Ron Barber Drives His Own Way“It was the middle of the summer, and what do you know, the air conditioner broke,” he recalled, driving by rows of adobe office parks.

On the opposite corner of the church is another Barber landmark, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ office, where he worked as her district director for several years. One memory sticks out: On the night of the Affordable Care Act vote, he put out a press release and left around midnight. A couple of hours later, someone shattered the office door and window. He said they later discovered bullets inside.

It’s not the most notorious time Barber risked gunfire — not even close. At the main gate of the University of Arizona campus, the former state bureaucrat gestures up the road toward the trauma center where he was treated after a gunman killed six and injured a dozen more, including Barber and Giffords, in January 2011. Full story

July 22, 2014

Ron Barber Airs First TV Ad (Video)

Ron Barber Airs First TV Ad (Video)

Barber faces a competitive re-election race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Arizona Rep. Ron Barber is up with his first TV ad for one of the most competitive races in the country.

The 60-second positive spot is narrated by the Democrat’s wife, Nancy, and stresses his political independence and deep ties to the Tucson-based 2nd District. Prior to his service in Congress, Barber was a staffer to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, whom he succeeded.

“Ron’s done what’s right for Southern Arizona, not what’s easy,” Nancy says in the ad. “He loves this place, because this is our home.”

Full story

July 9, 2014

Martha McSally Places Fall TV Reservation for Top Race

Martha McSally Places Fall TV Reservation for Top Race

McSally is placing fall TV reservations. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The fall air wars are amping up in a top House race in Arizona.

Ret. Air Force Col. Martha McSally, a Republican challenging Democratic Rep. Ron Barber, placed television reservations in the Tucson media market for the final weeks of the 2nd District race, according to a campaign source.

The total sum of the McSally buy is $460,000 on broadcast and cable in the relatively inexpensive market.

Additionally, House Majority PAC, a Democrat-aligned super PAC, is upping its own reservation in the district from $140,000 to $440,000, according to a Democratic source watching the Tucson media market.

Full story

July 1, 2014

Republicans Circulate List of Top Female House Candidates

Republicans Circulate List of Top Female House Candidates

Wagner is a Missouri Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The end of primary season is nigh, and Republicans are now optimistic their slate of House candidates will yield a net gain of female members in the conference after November. 

Republicans are now focusing their efforts on a specific slate of top female candidates with a strong chance of coming to Congress. 

On Tuesday morning, a top aide to Rep. Ann Wagner, a Missouri Republican and leading voice in the conference for women, emailed Capitol Hill colleagues and K Street allies to highlight these female candidates, according to an email obtained by CQ Roll Call.

“As many of you know, my boss, Ann Wagner (MO-2), and Congresswoman Diane Black (TN-6) have worked over the last year to recruit, support and promote Republican women candidates for Congress across the country,” wrote Christian Morgan, Wagner’s chief of staff. ”As we are winding down Primary season, I wanted to send you a list of our top candidates.”

Morgan named the following candidates: Full story

June 17, 2014

NRCC Reserves $30 Million for TV Ads in 2014

NRCC Reserves $30 Million for TV Ads in 2014

The NRCC Chairman is Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee has reserved $30 million in television airtime this fall, signaling it is preparing to go on offense in 17 districts and defend nine more.

The NRCC has put its marker down in many of the same House districts as its counterpart, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. It’s a good indicator of which races both parties think will be most competitive in November.

But there are a few competitive districts not included in the NRCC’s initial reservations, such as Iowa’s 3rd District — an open seat currently held by a Republican that is one of this cycle’s few Tossup races.

Also, the NRCC’s television reservations total $13.5 million less than what the DCCC has already reserved for this fall. The committees will likely shift and add more airtime as individual races develop during the rest of the cycle.  

But the DCCC has raised more money than the NRCC this cycle. As of the end of April, the DCCC had $43.3 million in the bank, while the NRCC had $32.3 million.

Here are the districts where the NRCC has already reserved airtime for this fall:

Full story

May 29, 2014

DCCC Reserves $43.5 Million in TV Airtime for Midterms

DCCC Reserves $43.5 Million in TV Airtime for Midterms

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

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved $43.5 million in television airtime in dozens of targeted House districts this fall — a signal the party is attempting to play defense and offense in a challenging midterm cycle.

The money is split across 36 districts, including 17 pickup opportunities, according to a DCCC aide. More districts and more money could be added to the reservations as the cycle progresses, the aide said.

The DCCC had $43.3 million in the bank at the end of April and has raised more than its Republican counterpart by large margins this cycle. The committee ended April with an $11 million cash-on-hand advantage over the National Republican Congressional Committee.

These ad reservations give insight into which members Democrats see as vulnerable, and which seats the DCCC sees as the best possibility to take in November. They also signal to outside groups where the the party might need help on the airwaves this fall.

However, parties can cancel or change these reservations until shortly before the advertisements air in most cases.

Here are the districts where the DCCC has reserved airtime:

Full story

May 12, 2014

Meet the NRCC’s New Young Guns

Meet the NRCCs New Young Guns

Dold, seen at the Capitol in 2012, was selected to be of the NRCC's Young Guns this cycle. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden on Monday unveiled the first round of House GOP candidates elevated to “Young Gun” status.

The NRCC’s Young Guns program is the highest designation for recruits in either open-seat races or in districts where the GOP is on offense. The program allows the party to communicate to donors and the political world who are the most organized recruits of the cycle.

Candidates earn this status by demonstrating “their ability to build a formidable campaign structure and achieve important goals and benchmarks,” according to a news release.

“Candidates that reach ‘Young Gun’ status have met a series of rigorous goals that will put them in a position to win on Election Day,” Walden said in a statement. “Our job as a committee is to help elect Republicans to office that will serve as a check and balance on the Obama Administration.”

The new Young Guns are:

Full story

May 8, 2014

Vulnerable Democrats Vote for Benghazi Committee

Vulnerable Democrats Vote for Benghazi Committee

Barber is one of several vulnerable Democrats who voted with Republicans. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Six House Democrats facing competitive challenges in November voted Thursday evening in favor of creating a special committee to re-investigate the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.

Five of the seven Democrats who voted with the GOP are part of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Frontline program, which supports the party’s most vulnerable incumbents. Full story

April 24, 2014

GOP Internal Poll: McSally, Barber Are Deadlocked

GOP Internal Poll: McSally, Barber Are Deadlocked

McSally is challenging Barber again in Arizona. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

An internal poll conducted for the campaign of retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally found the Arizona Republican had a slight, within-the-margin-of-error lead over Democratic Rep. Ron Barber.

McSally led 45 percent to 42 percent, with 13 percent undecided. The margin of error was 4.9 points in the OnMessage Inc. poll obtained by CQ Roll Call.

The pair are locked in a rematch of 2012, when Barber narrowly defeated McSally, and they are likely to stay close in the polls heading into November in this swing district. Full story

April 18, 2014

Where Is Democratic Super PAC Spending Money? These 24 Districts Get Fall TV Reservations

Where Is Democratic Super PAC Spending Money? These 24 Districts Get Fall TV Reservations

Raul Ruiz, seen here during his 2012 campaign in California, is among the freshmen Democrats getting a boost from a super PAC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Majority PAC, a super PAC with the aim of electing House Democrats, announced its first round of television reservations for the fall.

The reservations, totaling about $6.5 million, are for “the final weeks of the election in 24 districts,” a news release stated.

The super PAC during the 2012 cycle made its first round of reservations in early July in partnership with the Service Employees International Union.

“By placing these reservations early, we will make our dollars go further and ensure we have the air time to effectively fight back against the flood of Koch brothers’ dollars,” House Majority PAC Executive Director Alixandria Lapp said in a statement.

The super PAC is on offensive in six Republican-held districts and on defense in 18 Democratic districts. Often, releasing ad reservations to the press is a means to telegraph to allies, like the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, how outside groups intend to spend money.

Below is a breakdown of the buys, categorized by offensive and defensive targets:

Full story

April 10, 2014

Top Arizona Republican Recruit Raised $449,000 in First Quarter

Top Arizona Republican Recruit Raised $449,000 in First Quarter

Martha McSally hopes the second time is the charm against Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz. (Douglas Graham/Roll Call File Photo)

Retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally, a Republican challenging Democratic Rep. Ron Barber in Arizona’s 2nd District, raised $449,000 in the first quarter, according to figures provided first to CQ Roll Call.

McSally, touted as a top recruit by national Republicans, did not release how much cash she had on hand at the end of the quarter. As of Dec. 31, she had $548,000 in the bank.

Part of McSally’s first-quarter haul includes money from a fundraiser headlined by Speaker John A. Boehner in Tucson, Ariz., just before the end of the quarter.

Full story

December 28, 2013

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Arizona’s 2nd District

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Arizonas 2nd District

Barber, center, was at top aide to Giffords, right, before he ran for the seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In the simplest terms, Democratic Rep. Ron Barber faces a rematch with retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally, a Republican, in this highly competitive district based in Tucson, Ariz.

But over the past four years, this district’s story has proven anything but simple.

Full story

November 21, 2013

House Republicans Put 36 Recruits ‘On the Radar’

The National Republican Congressional Committee announced on Thursday 36 candidates who have achieved the committee’s “On the Radar” status.

This ranking is the first of three levels of the committee’s fundraising and infrastructure program. Earning this status means the NRCC “will help to provide candidates and their campaigns the tools they need to run successful, winning campaigns against their Democratic opponents,” according to an NRCC release.

The final level is “Young Gun” status.

“These 36 candidates all provide a stark contrast to their liberal opponents, whose support of ObamaCare and this Administration’s big-government, job-destroying agenda has taken a toll on the American people,” NRCC Chairman Greg Walden said in a statement.

Four of those rated are former members who lost re-election bids in 2012: former Reps. Robert Dold and Bobby Schilling of Illinois, Frank Guinta of New Hampshire and Nan Hayworth of New York.

Some of the other challengers are running in the same districts.
Full story

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