Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 24, 2014

Posts in "N.C.-12"

May 6, 2014

House Race Results in North Carolina (Updated)

House Race Results in North Carolina (Updated)

Jones won despite outside group's significant investment in his challenger. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:17 p.m. | Longtime Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., defeated his GOP challenger Tuesday night, declaring victory in the toughest primary since he came to Congress 20 years ago.

Jones defeated Taylor Griffin, a former aide to President George W. Bush, 52 percent to 45 percent, with 66 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.

Outside groups spent more than $1 million to paint Jones as “liberal” and boost Griffin’s candidacy in the 3rd District. But Republican operatives in North Carolina said Jones’ deep ties to the Tar Heel State were too much for Griffin to overcome.

Jones will keep his seat this November in all likelihood. North Carolina’s 3rd District is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Full story

6 Things to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries

6 Things to Watch in Tuesdays Primaries

Tillis and his wife Susan knock on doors in an upscale Huntersville, N.C., neighborhood north of Charlotte, the evening before the primary election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Primary voters head to the polls Tuesday in North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio, marking the first contests in a long series of contentious Republican battles over the next month.

In North Carolina, state Speaker Thom Tillis, Dr. Greg Brannon, and Pastor Mark Harris are vying for the GOP nomination to challenge Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., in a marquee race that will help determine which party controls the Senate next year.

Further down the ballot, an American Idol runner-up hopes he’ll have better luck in a Tar Heel State House race and longtime Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., will try to avoid becoming the first incumbent to lose a primary this cycle. In Ohio, a spirited challenger — perhaps best known for parodying a Cialis commercial in his bid — will attempt to unseat Speaker John A. Boehner.

In North Carolina, the contests could drag out for months. Primaries for Senate, the 6th and 12th Districts might continue to a runoff on July 15 if no candidate receives at least 40 percent of the vote.

Here are six things to watch in those races and others on Tuesday: Full story

April 7, 2014

Runoff Likely for North Carolina Seat Known as ‘I-85 District’

North Carolina’s 12th, once referred to as the “I-85 district,” is vacant for the first time since it was drawn following the 1990 census, and its unique geography is again a central feature in the race to represent it.

The recent departure of longtime Democratic Rep. Melvin Watt to direct the Federal Housing Finance Agency sparked a crowded primary for the black-majority district, which Watt first won in 1992 when it stretched all the way to Durham. A half-dozen Democrats qualified to run for the heavily Democratic district, whose population centers of Charlotte in the south and Winston-Salem and Greensboro in the north are separated by about 90 miles of territory, roughly along Interstate 85.

Half of the Democratic vote comes from Charlotte’s Mecklenburg County, which four of the six candidates in the race hail from — potentially diluting some of the population advantage a leading Charlotte candidate might otherwise enjoy. Conversely, state Rep. Alma Adams is one of just two candidates from the Greensboro area, and party insiders in the state believe Adams will win enough support from her wing of the district to give her the advantage in the May 6 primary.

“Alma Adams is the person to watch,” said Democratic consultant Morgan Jackson. “She has put together the best organization, the most money and has locked away one end of that district in Greensboro.”

Full story

January 6, 2014

Election Scheduled to Replace Watt in North Carolina

Updated 6:35 p.m. | North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory announced a Nov. 4 special election to replace longtime Democratic Rep. Melvin Watt, ensuring the contest coincides with previously scheduled elections in the Tar Heel State.

The 12th District primary — which will mostly likely determine the next member of Congress from this deeply Democratic district — will be held May 6. A runoff is scheduled for July 15.

Full story

December 18, 2013

LGBT Victory Fund Endorses in Special Election

The Victory Fund, an organization that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political candidates, on Wednesday endorsed state Rep. Marcus Brandon for North Carolina’s 12th District special election.

Brandon is one of at least seven Democrats running to succeed Rep. Melvin Watt, who will soon leave the 12th District seat. Earlier this month, the Senate confirmed Watt to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

If Brandon wins, he would be the first openly gay African-American member of Congress in history, as well as the first openly gay member from the South, according to his campaign.

Full story

December 16, 2013

EMILY’s List Endorses in North Carolina Special Election

EMILY’s List endorsed state Rep. Alma Adams in the crowded Democratic primary for a North Carolina special election, according to a news release shared first with CQ Roll Call.

Adams is one of at least seven Democrats, including two women, looking to succeed Rep. Melvin Watt, the longtime Democrat. He is vacating the 12th District after the Senate confirmed his appointment to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency last week.

“Throughout her career, Alma Adams has shown incredible commitment to the women and working families of North Carolina,” EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock said in a news release. “Alma is a trusted and proven public servant and the EMILY’s List community — now three million members strong — is proud to continue supporting her strong campaign.”

Full story

December 10, 2013

Watt Confirmation Kicks Off North Carolina Special Election

Watt Confirmation Kicks Off North Carolina Special Election

Several Democrats are seeking Watt's House seat. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After more than seven months of delays, a special election for North Carolina’s 12th District will begin in earnest now that the Senate confirmed Rep. Melvin Watt, D-N.C., to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency on Tuesday.

Watt was ultimately confirmed to head the FHFA, the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac overseer, 57-41, after Senate Republicans previously rejected a bid to cut off debate on the nomination. That was back before Democrats set a new Senate precedent using the “nuclear option,” a move that made Watt’s confirmation inevitable.

Watt’s departure from the district will kick off a frenzy among Tar Heel State Democrats looking to succeed him in the safe Democratic seat he has held for two decades.

The special election will probably take place on previously scheduled election dates, according to a source familiar with North Carolina election law. That would mean a primary in February, with a runoff on May 6 — the same day as the previously scheduled midterm election primaries in North Carolina. The special election could then be held July 15 — the same day as the regularly scheduled runoff date for 2014 elections.

So far, at least seven Democrats filed federal paperwork to run for the safe Democratic seat: Full story

October 31, 2013

Uncertainty Reigns in Race for Watt’s House Seat

Uncertainty Reigns in Race for Watts House Seat

Watt has been nominated for a post in the administration. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The future of North Carolina’s 12th District remains uncertain after Senate Republicans filibustered Rep. Melvin Watt’s confirmation to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency on Thursday.

Seven Democrats have announced campaigns for Watt’s seat since President Barack Obama nominated him in April. They assumed Watt would be confirmed and there would be a special election to fill the vacancy in his seat.

However, Watt told CQ Roll Call earlier this month that he could still run for re-election if his confirmation fails in the Senate. He added that the Democrats who have announced bids for his seat told him they would suspend their campaigns if his nomination failed and if he chose to run for re-election. Full story

October 15, 2013

Veteran Congressman Raises $10 in Third Quarter

Veteran Congressman Raises $10 in Third Quarter

Watt is up for a position in the Obama administration. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Longtime Rep. Melvin Watt, D-N.C., reported raising just $10 in the third quarter — the smallest haul of any incumbent in recent memory.

In an interview with CQ Roll Call, Watt chalked up his low total to the fact that he halted his fundraising operation during a prolonged Senate confirmation process for a role at the Federal Housing Finance Agency. President Barack Obama nominated the 11-term Democrat to head the agency in May.

“Actually once I found out I was going to be nominated for this position from the president, and once I was nominated, I thought I had shut down my entire operation,” Watt said in a phone interview with CQ Roll Call. “So I’m surprised I have $10 in this quarter. Somebody didn’t get the message I guess.” Full story

July 22, 2013

EMILY’s List Puts 6 House Candidates ‘On the List’

EMILY’s List announced their preliminary support for six new female House candidates from across the country on Monday.

The organization, which supports female Democratic candidates who back abortion rights, stopped short of giving the contenders their full endorsements.

But the following candidates have been placed “On the List,” giving them access to EMILY’s List’s fundraising and grass-roots supporters:

Full story

June 27, 2013

Democrats Run for Watt’s Seat Amid Rocky Confirmation Process #NC12

Democrats Run for Watts Seat Amid Rocky Confirmation Process #NC12

Watt has been nominated to a post in the Obama administration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate Banking Committee started confirmation hearings on Thursday for Rep. Melvin Watt, D-N.C., the president’s nominee to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Watt’s confirmation is uncertain for the role as regulator of bailed out mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But that hasn’t stopped several Democratic candidates from starting their campaigns in earnest for his seat in the 12th District.

State Sen. Malcolm Graham and state Reps. Alma Adams and Marcus Brandon will run for Watt’s seat if he’s confirmed, according to two local Democratic consultants. Graham and Brandon have already set up exploratory committees and are actively raising funds. Brandon has also sent out direct mail in the district, according to one Democratic operative.

Full story

May 20, 2013

Remainders: And Then There Was Nunn

Here’s what you may have missed “At the Races” on Monday …

  • #IRS – CQ Roll Call’s Eliza Newlin Carney examines what the IRS mess means for campaign finance laws.
  • #GASEN – Michelle Nunn, daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., will soon announce her decision on a Senate bid.
  • #NC12 – A Democratic fundraiser is mulling a bid for Rep. Melvin Watt’s seat. Watt was recently nominated to run the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
  • #VASEN – The Virginia GOP changed how it will nominate Democratic Sen. Mark Warner’s 2014 challenger.
  • #UT04 – Sarasota Springs Mayor Mia Love announced she will challenge Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson to a rematch in 2014.

What we’re mulling on Monday …

Full story

Democratic Fundraiser Mulls Run for Melvin Watt Seat

Democratic Fundraiser Mulls Run for Melvin Watt Seat

Watt has been nominated for a post in the Obama administration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Scott Dworkin, a Democratic fundraiser, is considering a run for North Carolina’s 12th District, he confirmed to CQ Roll Call  Monday morning.

Dworkin joins the long list of Democrats mulling whether to enter the race. President Barack Obama nominated the district’s current member, longtime Democratic Rep. Melvin Watt, to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency earlier this month.

May 13, 2013

Remainders: Recruitment Woes

Here’s what you may have missed “At the Races” on Monday …

  • Former Democratic Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin announced on her Facebook page that she will not seek the open Senate seat in South Dakota.
  • A GOP poll found that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has a slight lead over likely Republican Senate candidates Joe Miller and Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell. Palin, however, has not indicated that she will run for the seat.
  • A crowded GOP primary in West Virginia’s 2nd District may be likely. The seat is being vacated by Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, who announced last year that she’s running for the state’s open Senate seat following Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s retirement.
  • David Schwarz, a former staffer for Republican Rep. Jack Kingston, is running for his former boss’ seat in Georgia’s 1st District. Kingston left the seat open when he announced he was running for the Peach State’s open Senate seat.

What we’re mulling on Monday …

  • Two new polls out in New Hampshire found Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., has a double-digit lead in a hypothetical match-up with former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass.
  • North Carolina state Sen. Malcolm Graham became the first candidate to announce he will run for Rep. Mel Watt’s seat. Watt was nominated by President Barack Obama to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency, although he has yet to be confirmed and has yet to resign his seat. If confirmed, Watt’s House departure would likely create a crowded special election.

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