Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 27, 2015

Posts in "Calif.-52"

November 19, 2015

Vulnerable House Democrats Side With GOP on Refugee Bill

Ashford voted against the  Republican bill to add an extra layer of bureaucratic certification to security checks for Syrian and Iraqi refugees. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ashford voted against the Republican bill to add an extra layer of bureaucratic certification to security checks for Syrian and Iraqi refugees. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Nearly every member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Frontline Program for vulnerable members voted Thursday for a Republican bill that would add bureaucratic security checks for Syrians and Iraqis hoping to enter the U.S. as refugees.

In the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, Democratic strategists say the vote was good politics for those 13 Democratic incumbents, who represent competitive districts of varying degrees. The vote gave them an opportunity to appear tough on national security, an issue they often struggle with.

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November 9, 2015

House Hopeful Keeping Bush, Rove in Her Back Pocket

Denise Gitsham, the latest Republican to declare for the congressional seat currently held by California Democrat Scott Peters, is committed to standing on her own two feet — for now.

“This is my first time being a candidate … and it’s exhilarating!” the nascent candidate, who worked for the Bush-Cheney campaign and the second Bush administration, told CQ Roll Call about her inaugural House bid.

Her career track includes a pivotal stint on Capitol Hill; she enjoyed a front seat to history courtesy of the heavy lifting done by then-Pennsylvania Republican Arlen Specter. Full story

November 6, 2015

Rove Aide Enters Race Against Scott Peters

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Capitol Hill vet and former George W. Bush aide Denise Gitsham on Friday officially put incumbent Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., on notice that she wants his job.

“I’m running because I believe public servants should be just that, servants, not self-serving,” the first-time candidate told supporters at a campaign kickoff covered by KBPS.

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October 21, 2015

West Coast Wasteland: Why the GOP Struggles in California

Democratic Reps. Ami Bera, center left, and Scott Peters, center, have a firm grip on their California swing districts. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican consultants are pessimistic about their chances to oust Democratic Reps. Ami Bera, center left, and Scott Peters, center, from their competitive California House seats. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As 2016 quickly approaches, Republicans are struggling to find top recruits in a trio of competitive House districts in California — a state where the party has suffered defeat at the congressional level for decades.

The National Republican Congressional Committee sent a staffer out to the Golden State last week to search for and meet with potential candidates and convince them to run in competitive districts in San Diego, Palm Springs and Sacramento, according to a source with knowledge of the visit.

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August 18, 2015

NRCC Goes On Air, Online Targeting Three House Democrats

Ashford is the target of GOP ads in his Omaha-based House seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ashford is the target of GOP ads in his Omaha-based House seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee will go up with television and digital ads in three districts this week targeting Democratic incumbents the committee hopes to pick off in 2016, according to a source with knowledge of the buys.

The NRCC will spend a combined six-figure sum on a month’s worth of ads hitting Democratic Reps. Scott Peters, Brad Ashford and Rick Nolan on national security issues, according to the source. The early buy is a sign Republicans will still play offense against vulnerable House Democrats in 2016, even as the GOP defends a number of seats Democrats often carry in presidential cycles.

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March 16, 2015

Potential Scott Peters Challenger Surfaces (Updated)

Peters is a California Democrat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:41 p.m. | National Republicans are in talks with a potential challenger to California Rep. Scott Peters, whose tossup district makes him a perennial target.

San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith is slated to have a phone conversation soon with Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., recruitment chairman at the National Republican Congressional Committee, according to a source with knowledge of the discussion.

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February 12, 2015

Exclusive: DCCC Announces 14 Incumbents in Frontline Program


Luján, right, is a Democrat from New Mexico. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will announce Thursday the first 14 members who will join its Frontline program for the party’s most vulnerable incumbents, according to an early copy of a news release obtained by CQ Roll Call.

The incumbents represent competitive districts, making them likely GOP targets in 2016. The Frontline program,which Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., is chairman of,  provides these members with fundraising and organizational support for their re-elections.

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November 10, 2014

1 Senate, 5 House Races Still Too Close to Call (Updated)

uncalled races

McSally is a Republican from Arizona. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated Nov. 11, 7:35 a.m. | A week after Election Day, six races remain too close to call as local officials continue to count mail-in and provisional ballots.

On Nov. 4, Republicans took control of the Senate by picking up seven seats so far, while House Republicans have picked up a net of 12 seats to date.

In Alaska, Republican Dan Sullivan leads Democratic Sen. Mark Begich by about 8,000 votes. It could be another week before outstanding 50,000 outstanding ballots — and an unknown number of absentee ballots from rural Alaskan villages — are counted. Republicans are confident Sullivan will maintain his lead.

Republican retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally’s lead over Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., narrowed to 341 votes this weekend. After additional ballots were counted on Monday, McSally’s lead shrunk further to 179 votes. The margin currently falls within the range for an automatic recount.

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November 7, 2014

Democrat Wins California House Contest

Peters, center, won re-election on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., officially defeated Republican Carl DeMaio Friday, after a new bunch of ballots gave the freshman Democrat an insurmountable lead in California’s 52nd District.

Peters leads DeMaio by a nearly 4,500-vote margin. Operatives say not enough uncounted ballots remain for a DeMaio victory, and The Associated Press called the race for Peters.

The hotly contested race was a Tossup the entire contest.

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10 Uncalled Races Remain as Democrats Pick Up California Seat (Updated)

uncalled races

Aguilar is a Democrat from California. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:39 p.m. | Democrats picked up their third House seat late Thursday, stemming the party’s losses to 13 seats — for now.

After more absentee and provisional ballots were counted, Democrat Pete Aguilar maintained a lead over Republican Paul Chabot, 51 percent to 49 percent, in California’s 31st District. Aguilar declared victory and Chabot conceded; the seat was open because Republican Rep. Gary G. Miller is retiring.

The Associated Press also called a House race in Maryland’s 6th District in favor of the Democrat. Freshman Rep. John Delaney defeated his Republican opponent, 50 percent to 48 percent, in an unexpectedly close contest.

In Virginia, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., defeated Republican Ed Gillespie by a 16,000-vote margin.

Gillespie announced at a news conference Friday afternoon that he would not contest the results.

Elsewhere, several other races remain too close to call:

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October 20, 2014

San Diego DA: No Charges in Carl DeMaio Campaign Incidents

carl demaio

DeMaio is a top Republican recruit. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The San Diego District Attorney’s office said it will not press criminal charges at this time regarding two investigations dogging Republican Carl DeMaio in a competitive House contest in California, according to a statement from the office Monday.

DeMaio is challenging freshman Democratic Rep. Scott Peters in a top pickup opportunity for Republicans, but the spate of news reports about the incidents has threatened to derail his bid.

In May, DeMaio’s campaign headquarters was vandalized in an alleged break-in, with thousands of dollars of computer equipment and other technology damaged. Then earlier this month, DeMaio revealed at a news conference that a former campaign staffer, Todd Bosnich, had accused DeMaio of sexual harassment. DeMaio denied the accusation, calling it a “smear” tactic to hurt his chances in the final month of the race.

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said in a statement that the two cases involving DeMaio and his campaign were investigated by the San Diego Police Department, and there was insufficient evidence at this point to move forward with charges.

Full story

By Emily Cahn Posted at 5:07 p.m.
Calif.-52, House 2016

October 10, 2014

Carl DeMaio Sexual Harassment Allegations Threaten to Derail Bid (Updated)

DeMaio is a California Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 6:40 p.m. | In one of the hottest House races in the country, a top Republican recruit has become mired in a dispute over sexual harassment allegations, presenting the GOP with a high-profile distraction in one of its best pickup opportunities.

Former San Diego Councilmember Carl DeMaio is a Republican running against freshman Democratic Rep. Scott Peters in a San Diego-based district. One of DeMaio’s former staffers, Todd Bosnich, sat down for an interview with CNN in which he described in vivid detail his harassment allegations. DeMaio has denied Bosnich’s allegations.

“I came over to his office, door was open. And he was masturbating,” Bosnich told CNN in an interview that aired Friday. “I saw his hand, his penis in his hand and he had a smile on his face. And as soon as I came over, he was looking at me.”

CNN’s Chris Frates confronted DeMaio, who reportedly offered to provide evidence to refute the former aide’s allegations. But the reporter said DeMaio only offered to share the documents if CNN did not report on the situation, and “on its own, the material did not appear to refute Bosnich’s claims.” At one point, CNN was contacted by Washington attorney Ben Ginsberg. After requesting more time, he eventually directed the reporter back to the campaign manager.

Bosnich also told CNN that after he confronted DeMaio about the alleged harassment, he was let go from the campaign and offered $50,000 to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

National Republicans are standing by their candidate.

“We fully support Carl DeMaio and we don’t make decisions based on unsubstantiated claims,” said Andrea Bozek, communications director of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

But the allegations surfaced just as vote by mail ballots were sent to thousands of voters in the district. And if the dust-up gains traction, DeMaio could see the ground shift from underneath him. The race is rated a Tossup by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. Full story

October 2, 2014

The 10 Most Vulnerable House Members

house races 2014

Rahall is one of this cycle's most vulnerable House Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With a month to go until Election Day, House Republicans are poised to add at least a handful of seats to their majority in the midterms.

Need proof? Look no further than this month’s list of Roll Call’s 10 Most Vulnerable House Members, plus the four incumbents who got honorable mentions: The majority of the names are Democrats facing slogs to re-election in tough districts.

What’s more, nearly all of the Republicans on the list made it due to isolated issues — like campaign problems, personal and legal missteps — instead of the national political environment.

The list does not include competitive open-seat contests, where Democrats could stave off major losses.

Since CQ Roll Call last published this feature in September, two incumbents — a Democrat and a Republican — dropped to the honorable mention category. Both are still as vulnerable as they were in September, but a few of their colleagues now face greater political peril than they do.

Roll Call will publish this list one more time, in the week before Election Day. For now, here is the updated list of the 10 Most Vulnerable House Members in alphabetical order:

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September 30, 2014

Republican Cavalry Starts Spending on House Races (Finally)


Walden is the chairman of the NRCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

For months, Republicans feared outside groups would skip over House races this cycle, saving their cash for the battle over Senate control.

But the conservative cavalry has finally arrived.

Republican groups — which have mostly sat on the sidelines in House contests this cycle until recently — have reserved nearly $12 million on the television airwaves in competitive races through Election Day, according to two sources tracking ad buys in House contests across the country. The reservations, placed over the last two weeks, are a mix of GOP pickup opportunities and defensive ground.

The reservations include:

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September 23, 2014

Vote Now in the #RCReadersChoice Runoff


Peters is a freshman in California's 52nd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Readers will have one more opportunity this week to pick the House and Senate races Roll Call will cover from the ground in the final weeks of the midterms.

Last week, thousands of votes were cast to send reporters @cahnemily and @alexis_levinson on the road in our first #RCReadersChoice survey. Two House races and two Senate races lead their packs, and now readers have until Thursday at 5 p.m. for the runoff contest.

On the Senate side, readers can select between Kansas, where GOP Sen. Pat Roberts is unexpectedly fighting for his re-election, and Colorado, where Democratic Sen. Mark Udall is attempting to fend off a strong challenge from GOP Rep. Cory Gardner. In the first round of voting, Kansas was the clear front-runner, and Colorado beat out the North Carolina Senate race by just two votes to make the final round.

The finalist House races are California’s 52nd District, located in San Diego, and Nebraska’s 2nd District, located in Omaha. Both incumbents in these races — Democrat Scott Peters in California and Republican Lee Terry in Nebraska — are on Roll Call’s list of the 10 Most Vulnerable House Members.

Have an opinion on which race we should cover? Tweet your thoughts @RollCall with #RCReadersChoice. Otherwise, vote below:

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