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February 13, 2016

Posts in "Open Seat"

February 11, 2016

National Republicans Side With Indiana’s Todd Young in Fight Over Ballot Access

Young is running for Senate in Indiana. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Young is running for Senate in Indiana. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Indiana Democratic Party’s decision to challenge Rep. Todd Young’s petitions to be on the Senate primary ballot amounted to voter deprivation, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee said Thursday.

The party has formally challenged Young, the third-term Republican, accusing him of failing to file the requisite number of signatures to appear on the Indiana ballot. If successful, the move could eliminate Young from the primary ballot and elevate Rep. Marlin Sutzman, who Indiana Democrats view as easier for former Democratic Rep. Baron Hill to beat in November. Full story

February 8, 2016

Randy Forbes Switches Virginia Districts for 2016 Race

 

Democrats are hoping that a redrawn 4th District will allow them to take on Forbes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Forbes will run in the 2nd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Facing a redrawn 4th District much friendlier to Democrats, Virginia Republican Rep. J. Randy Forbes has decided to run for the 2nd District, currently held by retiring Rep. Scott Rigell.

Forbes, chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee, made national security the focus of his Monday announcement streamed live on his Facebook page, arguing that his place on the committee is good for Virginia and the military.

Full story

February 3, 2016

Time Is Running Out for Senate Primaries Fundraising

Duckworth is running for Senate, opening the 8th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Duckworth has outraised her primary and general election opponents. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For several of this year’s competitive Senate primaries, the fourth quarter of 2015 was the last fundraising quarter before primary day.

In Ohio, Illinois and North Carolina, voters go to the polls on March 15, a month before the next Federal Election Commission fundraising report deadline. In all three of those states, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has backed the better-known candidate, who, unsurprisingly, raised more money from October through December of 2015. Full story

February 1, 2016

Tennessee’s Stephen Fincher Won’t Run in 2016

UNITED STATES - JUNE 3: Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn., participates in the House Financial Services Committee hearing on "Examining the Export-Import Bank's Reauthorization Request and the Government's Role in Export Financing" on Wednesday, June 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Fincher will not seek a fourth term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:12 p.m. Tennessee Republican Stephen Fincher announced Monday that he would not seek a fourth U.S. House term.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve the people of West Tennessee, but I never intended to become a career politician. The last six years have been the opportunity of a lifetime, and I am honored to have been given the chance to serve,” Fincher said in a statement.

A fierce proponent of reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, Fincher, a member of the Financial Services Committee, split with leadership over the issue and last fall led the effort to reauthorize the bank via discharge petition. Earlier in 2015, Republicans in the House had let the export credit agency’s authorization expire.

First elected in 2010, Fincher won re-election in 2014 with 70 percent of the vote. Republicans have carried his district at the presidential level by comfortable double-digit margins.

Shelby County is the district’s biggest Republican base. “So long as the potential primary doesn’t get diced up, any name that comes out of east Shelby County would have a good jumping off point,” one Republican in the state said.

Among those who Republican sources mentioned as potential candidates are:

  • State Sen. Brian Kelsey has already said he will run and is expected to be a strong contender.
  • Another favorite would be state Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, who sources say has a substantial following and has been behind conservative reforms within the state party. He’s also been mentioned as a 2018 gubernatorial candidate.
  • State Sen. Ed Jackson
  • Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich
  • Shelby County GOP Chairman Mary Wagner, a lawyer in Memphis.
  • Republican National Committee General Counsel and committeeman John Ryder.
  • Former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff, who said on Monday he is running.
  • Scott Golden, Fincher’s district director and a member of the Tennessee GOP State Executive Committee.
  • Radiologist George Flinn, a perennial candidate and self-funder, who placed third in 2014’s Senate primary against Sen. Lamar Alexander.
  • Ron Kirkland, a doctor who lost to Fincher in the 2010 primary. He hails from Jackson, the other major GOP population center in the district, and has been an advocate for Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure TN plan to expand Medicaid.
  • Matthew Stowe, district attorney general for the 24th judicial district, who clerked for former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
  • State Rep. Bill Sanderson of Dyersburg
  • State Rep. Steve McManus
  • Among state legislators who may excite tea party supporters are state Sen. John Stevens and state Rep. Andy Holt.
  • Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell is expected to be able to raise money.

The primary race for the safe Republican seat will likely be crowded and with the filing deadline not until April 7, there’s plenty of time for more names to emerge. Many Republicans who had been eyeing this seat, one Republican source said, were banking on Fincher not making moves until 2018 and were caught off guard by his Monday announcement.  “The question is, who can ramp up their operation at the drop of a hat?” the source said. So far, Norris and Kelsey are the two most widely-cited front runners.

Fincher is the 22nd member to retire this cycle, bringing this cycle’s total up to the average number of House retirements per cycle since 1976. Wisconsin Rep. Reid Ribble announced his retirement over the weekend, setting off a crowded race to replace him.

Contact Pathé at simonepathe@rollcall.com and follow her on Twitter at @sfpathe.

Related:

Roll Call Race Ratings Map: Ratings for Every House and Senate Race in 2016

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Potential Field for Reid Ribble’s Wisconsin Seat Grows

Ribble announced over the weekend he wouldn't seek a fourth term. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Ribble announced over the weekend he wouldn’t seek a fourth term. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Three-term Wisconsin Rep. Reid Ribble’s weekend announcement that he won’t seek a fourth term has set off a potentially crowded race to replace him in what’s now a Favored Republican district.

Republicans mention several potential candidates:

Full story

January 31, 2016

Reid Ribble Won’t Seek Re-Election

UNITED STATES - APRIL 12: Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Wisc., speaks at a "Countdown to Tax Day" news conference in the Capitol to address the tax in increases in President Obama's FY 2014 budget. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ribble won’t seek a fourth term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Three-term Wisconsin Republican Reid Ribble announced Saturday that he won’t run for re-election — one term shy of the four-term limit pledge he made when first elected in 2010.

“My reasons are fairly simple and straightforward. I feel very fortunate to have a strong marriage, grown children, and three wonderful grandchildren. I want to dedicate more time to them,” Ribble said in a statement. Additionally, I’ve always said elected office shouldn’t be a career. I come from the private sector and am anxious to return to it and to a more private life.”

Full story

January 26, 2016

The Quietest Resignation: Puerto Rican Delegate Running for Governor

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 19: Del. Pedro Pierluisi, D-PR, speaks during the rally in support of Puerto Rico statehood on the east side of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Pierluisi will not run for re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In Puerto Rico, it’s common knowledge that its nonvoting delegate to the House of Representatives, Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Pedro R. Pierluisi, is running for governor in 2016, and thus cannot seek re-election to Congress. But in Washington, D.C., his office has not put out an official announcement that the Democrat, currently serving his second four-year term, is leaving at the end of this Congress.

Full story

January 19, 2016

GOP Poll Underscores Competitiveness of Israel’s District

A new GOP poll underscores the competitiveness of the seat Israel is vacating. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A new GOP poll underscores the competitiveness of the seat Israel is vacating. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When Democratic Rep. Steve Israel announced his retirement earlier this year, he said he wanted to leave Congress during a presidential year to give Democrats a greater shot at holding his seat.

But Republicans are pointing to new poll commissioned by the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC tied to House GOP leadership, and obtained by Roll Call to underscore the competitiveness of his district.

Full story

January 15, 2016

Democrats Look to Narrow Field in District They Can’t Afford to Lose

Gibson's retirement sets off a competitive open-seat race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats think Gibson’s retirement gives them a good shot at picking up the 19th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic county chairs in New York’s 19th District are meeting Saturday to select their candidate of choice in a must-win seat for the party to make gains in the House.

Democrats have no shortage of interested people in this Hudson Valley district that President Barack Obama carried twice. But the 19th isn’t classically blue. It’s rural and agricultural, and Democrats are anxious about landing a candidate who fits the turf — someone who will allow them to capitalize on presidential-year turnout and GOP Rep. Chris Gibson finally being off the ballot.

Full story

January 14, 2016

Virginia’s Scott Rigell Not Running for Re-election

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 29: Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va., arrives for the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rigell was first elected to the House in 2010. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:23 p.m.: Three-term Virginia GOP Rep. Scott Rigell announced Thursday that he will not seek re-election in 2016 because he’s achieved what he set out to do.

“You might ask, ‘Why is now the time to leave?’ The answer is found in why I set aside all else and sought the office: to build a strong House majority that would check and balance the party that then controlled both political branches of the federal government. With your help we did just that,” Rigell said in a statement that includes a chart showing discretionary spending falling since he came to Washington.

Full story

January 12, 2016

Senate Conservatives Fund Makes First House Endorsements of 2016

Ellmers denied "completely false allegations" against her Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

SCF has backed one of Ellmers’ primary challengers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate Conservatives Fund endorsed its first three House candidates of the cycle on Tuesday.

The SCF has traditionally backed conservative Senate candidates, but in 2013 the organization started playing in House races with its “House Conservatives Project.”

“These candidates are all principled conservative leaders who have strong grassroots support. We need them in the U.S. House to reinforce the efforts of our conservative allies,” SCF President Ken Cuccinelli said in a statement. “They will stand up to the big spenders in both parties and work to defend the principles of freedom that make our nation great. We are proud to support Jim Banks, Mary Thomas, and Jim Duncan,” he said.

  • Indiana’s 3rd District: State Sen. Jim Banks is running in a crowded GOP primary for the seat Rep. Marlin Stutzman is vacating to run for the Senate. Banks also has the backing of the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and Tea Party Express.
  • Florida’s 2nd District: Mary Thomas, currently general counsel at the Department of Elder Affairs in Gov. Rick Scott’s administration, is trying to unseat Democratic Rep. Gwen Graham, who faces a daunting re-election due to redistricting.
  • North Carolina’s 2nd District: Jim Duncan, who chairs North Carolina’s Chatham County Republican Party, is running in the Republican primary to unseat three-term Rep. Renee Ellmers. The Club for Growth endorsed Duncan in December.

At the Senate level, SCF has backed Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis, running for the Senate seat currently held by Marco Rubio, and Stutzman.

Contact Pathé at simonepathe@rollcall.com and follow her on Twitter at @sfpathe.

Roll Call Race Ratings Map: Ratings for Every House and Senate Race in 2016

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

January 5, 2016

Stupak Endorses Lon Johnson in Former District

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Bart Stupak Tuesday endorsed House hopeful Lon Johnson in the race to replace retiring Republican Dan Benishek in Michigan’s 1st District.

The nine-term lawmaker, who held the same seat from 1993 until 2010, billed Johnson as being best suited to now take the reins. “I support Lon Johnson because he will work to create a U.P. and Northern Michigan where our families can stay and succeed,” Stupak said in a release.

Full story

January 4, 2016

Top Races to Watch in 2016

WILTON, NH - JANUARY 09: A voter leaves Town Hall on January 10, 2012 in Wilton, New Hampshire. Voters in the Granite State are heading to the poll in the nation's first primary election to pick their choice for the U.S. presidential candidates.   (Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)

A voter leaves Town Hall in Wilton, N.H. on primary day in 2012. (MatthewCavanaugh/Getty Images File Photo)

Technically, there are 469 races for the House and Senate this year, but we’ve boiled down that list to a trio of races to watch in each of eight regions across the country.

From vulnerable incumbents to competitive open seats to intra-party squabbles, the batch of races has a little of everything and can be a useful guide to track the trajectory of the election cycle in the months ahead.

Full story

December 29, 2015

8 Senate Races to Watch as 4th Quarter Fundraising Ends

Hassan ignored a question from CQ Roll Call about her 2016 plans to greet two mounted police officers in Dover, N.H. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The fourth quarter will be Hassan’s first to file as a Senate candidate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the end of the year comes the end of another fundraising quarter. And while campaigns are not required to file their quarterly reports with the Federal Election Commission until Jan. 31, now begins a month of speculation about who will end the year on a high note and who will ring in 2016 needing to step up their cash game.

Full story

December 22, 2015

Boehner-Backed Candidate Out of Race to Replace Him

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 25: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, holds a news conference on Friday, Sept. 25, 2015, to discuss his decision to resign his position as Speaker and leave Congress at the end of October. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call/Pool)

Reynolds was believed to be who Boehner favored to replace him. (Bill Clark/Pool/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds’ abrupt withdrawal last week from the 16-way contest to fill the vacancy created by Speaker John A. Boehner’s retirement is another sign of how little conservatives think of the former speaker.

Reynolds was seen as a favorite among the 14 Republicans in the race and was believed to have Boehner’s backing. But that didn’t work in Reynolds’ favor among some conservatives.

Full story

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