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September 19, 2014

Posts in "Ala.-6"

July 20, 2014

Megachurches Prove Mega-Influential in GOP Primaries

Megachurches Prove Mega Influential in GOP Primaries

Collins, left, is a Georgia Republican and former senior pastor at his church. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The influence of religious conservatives might be waning nationwide, but the movement only stands to grow in Congress.

Already this year, three candidates with close ties to massive churches won decisive Republican primaries. A fourth — Pastor Jody Hice — could win a Tuesday GOP primary runoff in Georgia and come to Congress in November.

Their victories come as public opinion has shifted dramatically on some social issues, notably same-sex marriage, denounced by most religious conservatives. The rise of the tea party and libertarian factions in the Republican Party has also diluted the influence of social conservative activists in the GOP.

But in the case of these faith-figures-turned-pols, the candidates’ close relationships to their churches played a factor — perhaps the deciding one — in their victories.

“People generally like their pastor, and in politics it’s always good to be liked by voters,” said National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon.

Full story

July 15, 2014

Alabama Runoff Results: Gary Palmer Wins Republican Nomination (Video)

Alabama Runoff Results: Gary Palmer Wins Republican Nomination (Video)

Bachus, right, is not seeking re-election. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Conservative activist Gary Palmer defeated state Rep. Paul DeMarco Tuesday to win the GOP nomination in Alabama’s 6th District.

Palmer defeated DeMarco, 62 percent to 38 percent, with 50 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.

GOP operatives say DeMarco’s loss is partly a result of the Club for Growth’s barrage of spending in the final weeks of the runoff. The GOP nominee will almost certainly succeed Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., who is retiring from this conservative district.

Full story

Voters to Pick GOP Nominees in Alabama, North Carolina Runoffs

Voters in Alabama and North Carolina head to the polls Tuesday to choose the Republican nominees in two deeply conservative House districts.

In Alabama’s 6th District, GOP voters have a choice between conservative activist Gary Palmer and state Rep. Paul DeMarco. Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., announced his retirement last fall, creating this open-seat race.

Full story

July 10, 2014

Club for Growth Gets Second Chance in Alabama Race

Club for Growth Gets Second Chance in Alabama Race

Chris Chocola is president of the Club for Growth. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A six-week mulligan for the Club for Growth ends on July 15, when voters will pick a GOP nominee in Alabama’s 6th District runoff.

After the club’s preferred candidate did not advance to the runoff, it regrouped by endorsing the second-place primary finisher, conservative activist Gary Palmer. And this time, GOP operatives in the state said the club’s spending could be enough to propel Palmer to victory over his foe, state Rep. Paul DeMarco, in the race to succeed retiring Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus.

“Palmer has benefited from the Club for Growth,” said Bob Kish, a GOP operative who has worked on Alabama races. “I think it’s enough to put Gary over the top.”

June 3, 2014

Primary Results: New Jersey, Alabama House Races

Primary Results: New Jersey, Alabama House Races

Runyan is retiring from Congress, leaving a competitive race for his seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:18 p.m. | Former Randolph Mayor Tom MacArthur won the GOP nomination to succeed retiring GOP Rep. Jon Runyan in New Jersey, relieving Republicans of a candidate who could have lost the seat for them this fall.

MacArthur defeated that candidate, ex-Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, carrying 60 percent of the vote when The Associated Press called the race. Lonegan had 40 percent, with 41 percent precincts reporting.

MacArthur will face Burlington County Freeholder Aimee Belgard in November. She ran in largely uncontested Democratic primary. The race is rated a Tossup by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. Full story

Primary Preview: 7 Things to Watch on Tuesday

Primary Preview: 7 Things to Watch on Tuesday

Cochran and his staff make their way to their bus after a tour of City Hall in Olive Branch, Miss. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Tuesday is the busiest primary night of 2014, with voters heading to the polls in Alabama, California, Mississippi, Iowa, New Jersey, Montana, New Mexico and South Dakota.

It’s a big night, with the tea party’s last chance to save face in the Mississippi Republican Senate primary, a close contest in Iowa’s Republican Senate primary, plus highly competitive House races in California, New Jersey, Iowa and Alabama.

(For a full list of the contests this cycle, check out Roll Call’s handy primary calendar, or our June cheat sheet.)

After the polls close, Roll Call’s Politics Team will have a live blog of the results. In the meantime, here are seven things to watch in Tuesday’s primaries:

Full story

June 1, 2014

Cheat Sheet: House and Senate Primaries in June

Cheat Sheet: House and Senate Primaries in June

McDaniel is challenging Cochran in the June primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After a relatively unsurprising series of primaries this month, June brings another collection of intraparty contests. More than half of the states will have selected their nominees by the end of the month.

Republicans will pick nominees in key Senate races in Mississippi, Iowa and South Dakota. Down the ballot, House primaries in several open seats will likely determine the future members of Congress from both parties.

Here is Roll Call’s comprehensive look at watch to watch in June. Bookmark this page, and check out our primary map for results from past primaries.

June 3
With primaries in eight states, this date marks the busiest night of the cycle.

Alabama: In the 6th District, seven Republicans are running in an open-seat race to replace retiring GOP Rep. Spencer Bachus. This district is located in and around Birmingham. State Rep. Paul DeMarco is the front-runner, followed by Club for Growth-backed surgeon Chad Mathis and businessman Will Brooke. If no candidate garners at least 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates will continue to a July 15 runoff. Polls close at 8 p.m. EST. (Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call Race Rating: Safe Republican)

California: In this House race battleground, the top-two vote recipients, regardless of party, advance to the general election. Republicans will also pick a gubernatorial nominee who could have an impact down the ballot in November. Polls close at 11 p.m. EST. Here are the primaries to watch in the Golden State:

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May 29, 2014

Alabama Candidate Makes Fun of His Cooking in New Ad

Five days before the primary, surgeon Chad Mathis has released a positive spot in an open Alabama House race that features his kids playfully making fun of his cooking.

“Dad’s not a great cook, but he’d be a great congressman,” said Mathis’ daughter, Abby, in the ad — her name written in font similar to the widely-ridiculed Comic Sans. Mathis’ campaign says the ad is a five-figure digital buy and will air online as preroll on YouTube videos.

GOP operatives said the positive spot is a change of tone for Mathis, one of seven Republicans running in the open 6th District primary. They say Mathis has received heat in the district for negative campaign tactics, taking shots at almost all of the other Republicans running in this race to replace retiring Rep. Spencher Bachus. Full story

May 20, 2014

Club for Growth Launches Ad in Open Alabama House Race

The Club for Growth is up with an ad attacking an Alabama Republican primary hopeful for his donations to “liberal Democrats in Congress.”

The 30-second spot says businessman Will Brooke, one of seven Republicans running in the 6th District open-seat race, donated “tens of thousands of dollars” to a Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Alabama and that his company helped pass tax increases in the state.

“That’s liberal, that’s Will Brooke,” a narrator says in the ad, backed by a six-figure buy in the Birmingham broadcast and cable markets.

Full story

April 22, 2014

Internal Poll: GOP Primary Wide Open in Alabama Race

A new internal poll shows the crowded primary in Alabama’s open 6th District is wide open less than two months before the primary, according to information provided first to CQ Roll Call.

The poll, conducted for GOP surgeon Chad Mathis’ campaign, found two of the six candidates in a statistical dead heat, with the third- and fourth-place contenders not far behind, and a large portion of respondents remain undecided. Full story

April 11, 2014

Alabama Hopeful Raises $484,000 in Open-Seat Contest

State Rep. Paul DeMarco, one of seven Republicans running for Alabama’s open 6th District, raised $484,000 in the first quarter, according to numbers provided first to CQ Roll Call.

DeMarco’s haul brings his total in cash on hand to $650,000.

Full story

April 1, 2014

Alabama Republican Releases Pair of Ads in Race to Replace Bachus

Alabama businessman Will Brooke launched a pair of introductory ads on Monday, two months out from a crowded and competitive open-seat Republican primary.

Brooke is one of a handful of Republicans vying to replace GOP Rep. Spencer Bachus, who announced his retirement from this Birmingham-based district in September. The race has thus far been marked by hefty fundraising by nearly all the top-tier candidates involved.

The bio ads will air in rotation on district-wide cable and broadcast, according to Brooke’s campaign. Full story

March 11, 2014

Senate Conservatives Fund Endorses House Candidates

Senate Conservatives Fund Endorses House Candidates

SCF just endorsed Loudermilk, a candidate for the House in Georgia. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Conservatives Fund — an organization that has traditionally supported conservative Senate hopefuls — has backed five House candidates.

On Tuesday, SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins wrote the endorsements, which are part of the organization’s new “House Conservatives Project.”

“These candidates believe deeply in our nation’s founding principles and will be strong voices for freedom in Washington,” Hoskins wrote. “They are strong conservatives who will fight to balance the budget and repeal Obamacare.” Full story

November 19, 2013

Fourth Republican Announces Bid for Open Alabama House Seat

Fourth Republican Announces Bid for Open Alabama House Seat

Bachus is retiring. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

GOP businessman Will Brooke announced a bid for Alabama’s 6th District on Tuesday, becoming the fourth Republican to enter the open-seat contest.

“We all know that things in Washington are not as they should be,” Brooke said in a release. “Whether they are on the shop floor, in the boardroom, or sitting around the kitchen table, Alabamians live with the intrusion of dysfunctional and detrimental government policies every day. Americans should insist on honest, competent, limited government that supports their efforts, rather than getting in the way. I want to do my part to bring common sense conservative solutions to Congress.”

Full story

October 28, 2013

Republicans Stampede Open Alabama House Seat

Republicans Stampede Open Alabama House Seat

Bachus is retiring at the end of this Congress. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Rep. Paul DeMarco announced Sunday night that he is running for Congress in Alabama’s 6th District, marking the third Republican candidate to enter the race to replace retiring GOP Rep. Spencer Bachus.

The race to replace Bachus was expected to be crowded, as the powerful former chairman of the House Financial Services Committee has represented the district for 11 terms. But the GOP race for this seat blew wide open after state Sen. Cam Ward, Bachus’ former district director, declined to run for the seat earlier this month, saying he wanted to focus on his young family. Full story

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