Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 1, 2014

Posts in "Conn.-5"

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

April 29, 2013

Remainders: Special (Election) Report

What you might have missed “At the Races” on Monday …

  • #MAsen: The special-election primary to fill Secretary of State John Kerry’s Senate seat is Tuesday. Here are the five things to know about the race.
  • #SC01: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee upped its television ad buys against former Gov. Mark Sanford in this special election.
  • #SCsen: Vice President Joesph R. Biden Jr. teased that he would endorse Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., or “rip” his skin off — whatever helps his 2014 prospects.
  • #IAsen: Iowa Republican Gov. Terry E. Branstad suggested (again) that he does not think Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, would make the best GOP Senate candidate.
  • #MIsen: Rep. Gary Peters, a Democrat, will formally announce his candidacy for Senate on Wednesday in the town where he was raised, Rochester Hills.

What we’re mulling on Monday … Full story

March 25, 2013

Connecticut: Greenberg Announces Another Bid for 5th District

 

Connecticut: Greenberg Announces Another Bid for 5th District

Democrats say Esty, right, could be vulnerable in 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican businessman Mark Greenberg will make a third run for Congress in Connecticut’s 5th District, the Hartford Courant is reporting.

If Greenberg wins his party’s nod in 2014, he will challenge freshman Democratic Rep. Elizabeth Esty. This western Connecticut district is competitive and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently named Esty part of its Frontline incumbent protection program.

Full story

March 5, 2013

DCCC Announces 26 Members on Frontline Incumbent Retention Program

DCCC Announces 26 Members on Frontline Incumbent Retention Program

Israel leads the DCCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel named 26 of his colleagues to the Frontline program, a committee program designed to protect their most vulnerable incumbents.

“We call this program Frontline for a reason – these Members are on the vanguard of protecting and expanding the middle class,” Israel said in a written statement released Tuesday morning.

“While the 2014 campaign will be dominated by a strong offense taking on the Tea Party Republican Congress, our success begins with our Members,” added Israel, a Democrat from New York. “These battle-tested men and women have proven time and again that they can win because no one better reflects the values of their districts.”

Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn. will spearhead the program as its chairman. He’s a Frontline alumnus as recently as the 2012 cycle.

Otherwise, the list includes several freshman members and Blue Dog Democrats:

Full story

January 24, 2013

Connecticut: Roraback to Be Nominated as Judge, Diminishing Likely Rematch With Esty

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is about to do fellow Democrat Rep. Elizabeth Esty a big favor. He is nominating her 2012 Republican rival, former state Sen. Andrew Roraback, to a state judgeship, according to local reports.

Connecticut political operatives are abuzz with the news. Democrats are elated, while Republicans are concerned. All wonder if the move neutralizes Roraback’s ability to challenge Esty next year. The 5th District saw one of the closest House races in the country and is a place where Republicans had been looking to go on offense — with Roraback as their standard-bearer. A local newspaper recently named Roraback its 2012 Person of the Year.

Roraback is a long-time officeholder and a passionate moderate. In November, reflecting on a dreadful year for Republicans in New England, he was on the fence about another run against Esty.

“I view my race not as a reason for pessimism,” he told CQ Roll Call at the time. “I think my race was a reason for optimism for our party because it shows that victory is within reach for Republicans in New England.”

October 25, 2012

Connecticut: NRCC Poll Shows Andrew Roraback Up Over Elizabeth Esty

Connecticut: NRCC Poll Shows Andrew Roraback Up Over Elizabeth Esty

Republican House candidate Andrew Roraback led Elizabeth Esty in a recent poll. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Sen. Andrew Roraback (R) led former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D) by 6 points in Connecticut’s 5th district, according to a National Republican Congressional Committee poll conducted earlier this week.

In a head-to-head matchup, Roraback had the support of 45 percent of respondents, while 39 percent backed Esty.

According to the poll, Esty’s favorability ratings are underwater. Thirty-two percent had a positive impression of her, while 36 percent said they held a negative view. Roraback was rated favorably by 44 percent, while 25 percent said they had an unfavorable view.

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.

August 28, 2012

Connecticut: New Polls Give Parties Mixed Senate, House News

Connecticut: New Polls Give Parties Mixed Senate, House News

Rep. Christopher Murphy is in a more competitive Senate race than once thought. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two polls released today offer mixed news for Republicans and Democrats in competitive Connecticut Senate and House races.

A new poll commissioned by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee surveying the 5th district House race showed former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D) had a 9-point lead over state Sen. Andrew Roraback (R). Forty-four percent of those polled said they intended to vote for Esty, while 35 percent said they would back Roraback. Full story

August 14, 2012

Connecticut: Elizabeth Esty Wins 5th District Democratic Nomination

Updated 10:10 p.m. | Former State Rep. Elizabeth Esty has won the Democratic nomination in the open-seat race for Connecticut’s 5th district, according to the Associated Press. Esty had garnered 43 percent of the vote when the race was called.

State Speaker Chris Donovan was in second with 35 percent. Public relations executive Dan Roberti was in third with 23 percent.

It is the conclusion to one of the toughest-fought Congressional primaries this cycle.

Donovan was the early frontrunner, until two of his campaign staffers were indicted over the summer for alleged campaign finance violations. Labor and base liberals continued to steadfastly back him.

The foundation of Esty’s campaign was based in EMILY’s List support.

A super PAC backed television ads that supported Roberti in recent weeks, and he also received a last-minute endorsement from President Bill Clinton on Monday.

This is an open-seat race to replace Rep. Christopher Murphy (D), who is running for Senate.

As events unfolded over the summer, Republicans have played close attention to the race.

Updated 10:10 p.m.

On the Republican side in the 5th district, state Sen. Andrew Roraback won the primary with 33 percent at the time the Associated Press called the race. Businessman Mark Greenberg was in second place at 28 percent, businesswoman Lisa Wilson-Foley and veteran Justin Bernier were tied for third at 19 percent.

Both parties nominated what were likely their strongest general election candidates.

Connecticut: House and Senate Primaries on Tap

Connecticut: House and Senate Primaries on Tap

Rep. Christopher Murphy is favored in today's Democratic Senate primary in Connecticut. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Connecticut Senate race may turn out to be more interesting than expected in the fall. But for today’s primary contests, all of the excitement is in the 5th district.

This seat’s Democratic primary has pitted EMILY’s List, base liberals and President Bill Clinton against each other, and the outcome is not clear. There is similar uncertainty in the GOP race. Both have become increasingly nasty as the summer progressed. The fall outcome could ride on whom the parties nominate.

As for that Senate race, former WWE CEO Linda McMahon is expected to handily defeat former Rep. Christopher Shays in the state’s Senate GOP primary. Likewise, Rep. Christopher Murphy is expected to coast to the nomination on the Democratic side.

Connecticut’s 5th District

The Democratic primary to replace Rep. Christopher Murphy (D), who is running for Senate, has been one of the wildest races of the cycle.

The early frontrunner, state Speaker Chris Donovan, was coasting to the nomination until his campaign went into turmoil in June when two staffers were indicted for alleged campaign finance violations. Donovan has continually denied any knowledge of the matter.

That development gave his two competitors an opening. Former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty seemed at first to benefit the most. She has an organized campaign and the backing of EMILY’s List. That rivalry has set off a proxy fight between EMILY’s List and liberals who are doubling down on Donovan.

Meanwhile, political newcomer Dan Roberti had a low profile for most of the campaign. But in recent weeks, super PAC money has come to his aid through television ads, and he has aired negative spots against Esty and Donovan. On Monday, Roberti was endorsed by President Bill Clinton.

It is hard to tell who has the edge in this race.

The Republican primary has unfolded similarly.

Democrats are most afraid of state Sen. Andrew Roraback. He is a moderate and well-liked. It is for that reason he is perceived as the most dangerous Republican candidate in the context of ethics dominating the Democratic Party’s primary.

But the Republican primary has had ethical issues surface as well.  Businesswoman Lisa Wilson-Foley’s self-funded effort has come under scrutiny, and Democrats are hopeful that she will win the Republican primary. Businessman Mark Greenberg and 2010 candidate Justin Bernier are also in the hunt for the GOP nod.

Much rides on which nominees emerge from both parties. With ethics issues hanging over Donovan and Wilson-Foley, certain matchups will strongly influence each party’s chances in the fall.

Connecticut Senate

Most Connecticut politicos have long declared Rep. Christopher Murphy as the frontrunner over former Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz.

With the exception of EMILY’s List, most of the national Democratic establishment has made it known that Murphy is its preferred candidate. Some on the ground say  Bysiewicz has a record of getting out the vote and should not be underestimated. But on primary day, this is Murphy’s race to lose.

In the Republican primary, former WWE CEO Linda McMahon is making her second run for Senate and former Rep. Christopher Shays is attempting his political comeback.

It has been a bitter fight that McMahon is expected to win. She picked up the state party’s endorsement in May. Shays has fought hard, but he has not been able to keep up with McMahon’s self-funded financial effort.

National Republicans wrote off this seat last fall, but they have recently changed their posture, praising McMahon’s campaign execution.

July 26, 2012

Connecticut: Former Chris Donovan Campaign Manager Charged

Updated 5:44 p.m. | State Speaker Chris Donovan’s (D) former campaign manager, Joshua Nassi, has been charged in connection with a contribution scandal that has put the Donovan campaign for the 5th district on the skids, according to the Danbury News Times.

Federal authorities have spent the past several months investigating an alleged quid pro quo scheme involving donations to the Donovan campaign and tobacco tax legislation in the state House. Nassi was dismissed from the campaign in early June.

Full story

July 5, 2012

Connecticut: Internal Investigation Clears Chris Donovan

Updated, 4:26 p.m. | An internal investigation released today shows that Connecticut House Speaker Chris Donovan (D) “had no knowledge of illegal contributions to his campaign,” according to the Hartford Courant.

A quid pro quo scandal involving tobacco legislation and campaign donations has rocked the Donovan campaign for the past month. An FBI sting resulted in the arrest of Donovan’s finance director and the termination of two other staffers.

Donovan’s political opponents from both parties were highly critical of the report, conducted by former U.S. Attorney Stanley Twardy. Per the Courant, Twardy lacked subpoena power and attorneys prevented interviews with central figures in the investigation.

Full story

June 28, 2012

NRCC Elevates Six Young Guns Candidates

The National Republican Congressional Committee has announced that six candidates have reached the committee’s “Contender” stage of the Young Guns program.

Four of those six are running in the same district: businesswoman Lisa Wilson-Foley, state Sen. Andrew Roraback, veteran Justin Bernier and real estate developer Mark Greenberg. All are vying for Connecticut’s 5th district GOP nomination.

The others are ex-Erie County Executive Chris Collins, who won a GOP primary Tuesday and is challenging Rep. Kathy Hochul (D) in New York’s 27th district, and former Rep. Charles Djou (R-Hawaii). He is challenging Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D), a rematch of their 2010 contest.

“These candidates have worked hard to meet the benchmarks that have been laid out before them and are determined to hold Washington Democrats accountable this November,” NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) said.

The Contender level is the third of four steps to attaining Young Gun status at the NRCC.

June 5, 2012

Connecticut: Chris Donovan Facing Campaign Scandal

Connecticut: Chris Donovan Facing Campaign Scandal

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Speaker Chris Donovan, the Democratic frontrunner in the 5th district, is in a heap of political trouble.

On Wednesday, his campaign aide Robert Braddock Jr. was arrested and charged with improperly concealing campaign contributions ostensibly solicited to kill state legislation to regulate tobacco, according to the Connecticut Mirror.

Donovan has denied any awareness of the activity and promised to press on with his campaign. Full story

February 10, 2012

Connecticut Supreme Court Rules on Redistricting Map

The Connecticut Supreme Court announced today that it has adopted a map for the state’s redistricting.

An independent expert known as “the special master” drew the map, according to the Associated Press.

Republicans had complained earlier this week that the special master’s plan did not adequately redraw the lines of the 5th Congressional district, according to the Associated Press, but the court rejected the GOP’s argument today.

The 5th district is considered the most competitive in the state. Currently, Rep. Christopher Murphy (D) holds the seat, but the race in the fall will be for an open seat because Murphy is running for Senate.

The state Supreme Court was tasked with redistricting after a state commission was unable to agree on a map.

The state did not lose or gain a seat in reapportionment.

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