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EMILY’s List put 15 GOP incumbents “On Notice” for their re-election bids Monday, naming its top GOP targets for 2016, according to a release provided first to CQ Roll Call.
The group, which backs women who support abortion rights, says each incumbent has a bad record on women’s health issues, and will make it a priority to find female recruits to challenge them next fall. The list is almost identical to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s top targets in 2016, when the party will seek to put a dent in Republicans’ historic House majority.
The National Republican Congressional Committee added eight more members to its Patriot program Friday, according to a list provided first to CQ Roll Call.
The program provides fundraising and organizational support to the GOP Caucus’ most vulnerable incumbents. Democrats are targeting these members in 2016, when the party will look to make a dent in the House Republican majority.
A possible Democratic challenger is emerging in California’s Simi Valley to take on freshman Republican Rep. Steve Knight.
Maria Gutzeit, a member of the Santa Clarita Water Board, told CQ Roll Call Tuesday she’s spoken to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, EMILY’s List and others about the race. She said her decision will come down to whether she sees a path to victory.
With two Republicans advancing to the general in California’s 25th District open-seat race, the losing Democrat conceded the race on Wednesday and backed one of his two former GOP opponents.
Podiatric surgeon Lee Rogers, the top Democrat in the race, finished third behind two Republicans, former state Sen. Tony Strickland and state Sen. Steve Knight. In a Wednesday morning statement, Rogers recommended Democrats in the district back Knight — a rare endorsement from a member of an opposing party.
Rogers called Knight “an honest man with integrity” before going on to take jabs at Strickland.
“To the contrary, Tony Strickland is a politician in search of a district,” Rogers continued. “Recommending a Republican for Congress may not sit well with some in my party, but I didn’t create the rules and I care too much about our district to let it fall to a dishonest carpetbagger who is interested only in himself, like Tony Strickland.”
Updated 10:33 a.m., 2:15 p.m. | The race for California’s coveted 31st District remained too close to call Wednesday morning, with just 390 votes separating the second- and third-place finishers.
The results will make or break the race for Democrats, who have invested significant resources in this competitive district and named it one of their top targets of the cycle.
In California, the top two vote recipients, regardless of party, advance to the general election.
House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan will endorse former state Sen. Tony Strickland in a competitive open-seat House race in California, according to a release provided first to CQ Roll Call.
Strickland is one of eight candidates running in the June 3 top-two primary for the 25th District seat, and the endorsement from the Wisconsin Republican and former vice presidential nominee could help provide some separation from the pack.
“Tony Strickland has a long record of fighting for taxpayers in Sacramento, and that’s why we need him in Washington,” Ryan said in a statement. “I support Tony because I know that if he’s elected to Congress, he will help me balance the budget, pay down our debt, and create new jobs.”
Former state Sen. Tony Strickland released his first ad in his bid for California’s open 25th District on Wednesday, laying out his priorities, including GOP favorites like repealing the Affordable Care Act, cutting spending and balancing the budget.
Strickland, a Republican, is one of a number of candidates seeking to succeed retiring Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif. He will face GOP state Sen. Steve Knight, podiatrist Lee Rogers, a Democrat, and several other candidates in a June 3 top-two primary. The two candidates with the highest vote totals advance to the general election in November, regardless of party.
California Republican Tony Strickland raised more than $400,000 for his House bid in the first quarter, according to numbers provided first to CQ Roll Call.
The former state senator, who is vying for California’s open 25th District seat, had $640,000 in cash on hand as of March 31. Full story
The candidate: Former state Sen. Tony Strickland, a Republican
The member: Longtime GOP Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon is retiring from Congress, leaving his competitively drawn southern California House seat open for the first time in two decades.
The district: California’s 25th, located on the northern edge Los Angeles County, was close in the past two presidential contests but has a slight conservative bent. It’s rated Republican Favored by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
The candidate’s team: Jamestown Associates (media), Joe Justin of the Justin Company (mail), Jeff Burton of Burton Kamins Advocacy (general consultant), Greg Strimple of GS Strategy Group (polling).
Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., announced on Thursday that he will not seek a 12th term in California’s 25th District.
“For me, it’s time to walk away,” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said at a hearing Thursday morning.
McKeon’s announcement is not a surprise. Political operatives from both parties in the Golden State have long predicted that the would step aside at the end of the 113th Congress.
“He’s decided that he will make a decision and an announcement soon, but he has yet to decide whether he will seek re-election,” said McKeon spokeswoman Alissa McCurley.
The 11-term Republican’s exit would give Democrats a shot of picking up his seat in 2014. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the 25th district by a 2-point margin in 2012.
Two Republicans have already announced that they would seek McKeon’s seat when or if it became vacant. They include former state Sen. Tony Strickland and state Sen. Steve Knight.
Knight marks the second Republican to stake his claim on the district. Former state Sen. Tony Strickland filed federal paperwork over the weekend to run in the district, but the GOP hopeful said through an aide he will only follow through with the bid if McKeon retires.
Strickland had initially launched a rematch bid in the neighboring 26th District, where he lost to freshman Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Calif., in 2012.
But Strickland had hinted that he was eyeing a run in the 25th District if McKeon retired — an event many California Republicans speculated is imminent. Now that Strickland has officially filed to run in McKeon’s district, additional questions remain whether McKeon will seek a 12th term.
GOP state Rep. Jeff Gorell announced on Tuesday that he will challenge freshman Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Calif., in the 26th District — a move that temporarily sets up a GOP primary in one of the state’s more competitive House seats.
Gorell joins former state Sen. Tony Strickland in the contest against Brownley. Last year, the Democrat defeated Strickland by a 6 points — smaller than President Barack Obama’s 10-point victory in the district that same year.
Members continued to release impressive fundraising numbers as the final full week to report second-quarter fundraising drew to a close, but the stragglers have not been as impressive as the early birds.
Both House and Senate candidates have raised the bar as to what constitutes an eye-catching quarterly fundraising total, but history dictates that members who release their reports toward the end of the filing deadline usually have lower hauls to report. That rung true for some reported totals.
Check out Friday’s fundraising numbers: