Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 28, 2015

Posts in "Open Seat"

April 24, 2014

Democratic Front-Runner Airs First Ad in Open Virginia Race

Beyer released his first ad this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The front-runner in a crowded Democratic primary to succeed retiring Rep. James P. Moran, D-Va., released the first television ad of the race on Thursday, less than two months from the primary.

Former Lt. Gov. Don Beyer, one of 10 Democrats running in the June 10 primary, touts his commitment to women’s issues, such as abortion rights and equal pay, in the 30-second spot.

“I was in the Senate when Don Beyer was lieutenant governor and saw him in action. There is no one I would trust more than Don Beyer with protecting a woman’s right to choose,” former state Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple says in ad.

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April 23, 2014

Ex-Congressman’s Son Touts Trucking Business in TV Spot

Collins is running for Congress in Georgia. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Trucking company owner Mike Collins, one of seven Republicans looking to succeed Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., debuted Wednesday a biographical spot to introduce himself to voters less than one month from the primary.

According to a copy of the ad shared first with CQ Roll Call, Collins touts his business experience in the open-seat race in Georgia’s 10th District. The ad also features his father, former Rep. Mac Collins, a Republican who served from 1993 to 2005; he appears at the end of the spot wearing a black cowboy hat and his member pin.

“At 15 he overhauled his first engine, by 25 he bought his first truck. Today Mike Collins is a successful businessman with a whole fleet of trucks,” a narrator says in the ad. “Mike believes Washington needs an overhaul.”

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April 22, 2014

Self-Funding Republican Wins Primary in Race to Replace Trey Radel

Businessman Curt Clawson won the Republican nomination Tuesday night in the Florida special-election race to replace former Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., and he is now likely to be the district’s next member of Congress.

Clawson won with 38 percent of the vote, with 95 percent of precincts reporting at the time the Associated Press called the race. Finishing behind him were state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto with 26 percent and state Rep. Paige Kreegel with 25 percent.

He will now face Democrat April Freeman in the June 24 special, where Clawson is heavily favored. Full story

Former Michigan Congressman Is Running Again

Clarke is running for Congress again. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 

Former Michigan Rep. Hansen Clarke has filed to run for Congress again.

The Democrat is seeking the seat he lost in a 2012 member-vs.-member primary to Rep. Gary Peters, who is now seeking the state’s open Senate seat.

“Thank you for your support and encouragement — I’m running for Congress!” Clarke wrote on Twitter. Full story

Front-runner Emerges in GOP Special Election for Trey Radel Seat

Radel pleaded guilty to cocaine possession in November. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Florida Republicans head to the polls for a special election Tuesday to pick a nominee to succeed former Rep. Trey Radel, who exited Congress earlier this year following his arrest for cocaine possession that culminated in a national scandal for Republicans.

The 19th District marks safe GOP territory, so whomever wins Tuesday’s primary will likely become the next member of Congress after the June 24 special election. Polling results — public and internal — have varied for the GOP contest.

But many Florida Republicans wager that a self-funding businessman, Curt Clawson, boasts an advantage over his top two primary rivals, state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto and former state Rep. Paige Kreegel. Full story

Leach, Boyle Go On Air in Philly-Area House Race (Updated)

Leach is the first Democrat to hit the airwaves in the Pennsylvania primary. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 10:26 a.m. | Pennsylvania state Sen. Daylin Leach and state Rep. Brendan Boyle, two of the four Democrats vying for a Philadelphia-area House seat, launched the first TV ads of the race on Tuesday — one month out from the hotly contested primary.

Both ads highlight the candidates’ working-class upbringings, which they say is their motivation for public service.

Leach’s ad features his childhood in the state’s foster care system, while Boyle references his father’s career as a janitor for Philadelphia’s commuter rail system.

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April 21, 2014

Republican Marks First TV Foray in Hollywood House Race

A Republican candidate in the crowded race to replace Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., went on the air Monday with the first television spot of the ultra-competitive contest.

Six weeks before the primary, Elan Carr, a deputy district attorney in Los Angeles and president of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, released a biographical spot touting his legal experience.

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April 20, 2014

Georgia Republicans Brawl for Conservative Mantle in Senate Debate

Handel, left, and Perdue, right, debate for the Senate seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Seven Republican Senate hopefuls stood before a mammoth American flag Saturday afternoon for the sixth of seven debates hosted by the state GOP.

In front of a couple hundred voters at the Columbia County Exhibition Center just outside Augusta, the candidates sought to fortify their conservative credentials on immigration, the Second Amendment, abortion and what can be done to improve confidence in the economy.

With so many candidates running for the state’s open Senate seat, none are expected to win a majority of the vote in the May 20 primary. They’re fighting to finish in the top two and advance to the July 22 runoff, when all bets are off.

Michelle Nunn, the likely Democratic nominee, wasn’t mentioned until the final three minutes of the 90-minute debate — symbolic of where the GOP’s focus still is in the race to replace retiring GOp Sen. Saxby Chambliss. Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel first uttered the Nunn name in her closing remarks, as she portrayed herself as the most electable conservative on the stage.

“I would just love to see Michelle Nunn try to drop the ‘war on women’ on me,” Handel said.

Handel is the only woman in the field of GOP candidates, five of whom have at least an outside shot at making the runoff. Former Reebok and Dollar General CEO David Perdue, the cousin of former Gov. Sonny Perdue, continually pitches himself as the outsider with the business background, grouping Handel in with the three members of Congress as the “career politicians.”

“Sometimes real change takes an outsider’s perspective,” Perdue said. “Fresh eyes, determination and a bucket-load of common sense. That’s what I will bring to the United States Senate.”

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April 18, 2014

Jack Kingston Works His Base at Rural Cookout

GLENNVILLE, Ga. — Rep. Jack Kingston, who’s represented Savannah in Congress for the last two decades, was at home Thursday evening in nearby Tattnall County, where elected officials and candidates streamed in to put their face in front of the loads of sheriffs, police and first responders gathered on the grounds of a rural pond house.

The Republican was one of three candidates vying for the party’s Senate nomination to attend the 27th annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Cookout, held just outside Kingston’s district. More than 1,000 people from around the state were on hand, sipping light beer and munching on pork barbecue, smoked chicken, Cadillac rice and Brunswick stew. Kingston, the only candidate with a campaign booth, could barely turn around without running into someone he knew, inevitably wearing his campaign sticker.

Southeast Georgia is Kingston country. His campaign has been working for months to broaden his brand beyond this area and into vote-rich Atlanta ahead of the competitive May 20 primary. But on this day, the congressman was sewing up his base.

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April 17, 2014

Runoff Likely in Crowded N.C. Open-Seat Race

Coble will leave Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican nominee in the crowded race to replace retiring GOP Rep. Howard Coble likely won’t be known until mid-summer.

Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger Jr., the son and namesake of one of North Carolina’s most powerful Republican officials, has a firm grip on the front-runner position. But GOP operatives in the Tar Heel State said Berger, whose father Phil Berger Sr. is president pro tem of the state Senate, is unlikely to surpass the 40 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff in the May 6 primary.

“I believe [Berger Jr.] has a name ID advantage just because of who his dad is,” said Matt Bales, a researcher with the non-partisan FreeEnterprise Foundation in North Carolina.

The primary has become a race for second place, and many North Carolina operatives said the rest of the nine-candidate GOP field is largely unknown, unwieldy and hard to assess.

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Michelle Nunn Hits Bipartisan Tone in Georgia Senate Stump Speech

Michelle Nunn leaves a campaign event in Shellman, Ga. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

SHELLMAN, Ga. — Michelle Nunn strolled along train tracks stretching past a depleted downtown lined with empty storefronts and toward a crowd of supporters hoping to meet the state’s next senator.

At a private home in the southwestern corner of the state, the first-time candidate greeted a bipartisan duo of state legislators, chatted up some 50 curious admirers and delivered a rhythmic 10-minute stump speech that was heavy on bipartisanship and light on an unpopular president.

“We have a real viable race here,” Nunn said.

How viable depends in part on which Republicans emerge from the May 20 primary and who is nominated in the July 22 runoff. That crowded race remains up in the air, with five Republicans capable of advancing. As a result, the contest to replace retiring GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss is stuck in idle until mid-summer, giving Nunn another three months to prepare for the general. Full story

‘Desperate Housewives,’ Spielberg Donate in L.A. Race

Actress Marcia Cross, seen at a 2008 Capitol Hill press conference about breast cancer, is among the stars donating in California's 33rd District race. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., counts many of Hollywood’s biggest names among his constituents in his 33rd District, located in the wealthy areas of L.A. County including Santa Monica, Malibu and Beverly Hills.

But now that he’s retiring from Congress after 20 terms, many of those famous names are appearing in the fundraising reports of the more than one dozen candidates seeking to replace him.

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April 16, 2014

Ted Cruz Endorses Candidate in Oklahoma Senate Race

 

Cruz is a Republican from Texas. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, endorsed former state Speaker T.W. Shannon in Oklahoma’s Senate special election, marking the latest tea party leader to back his candidacy in the Sooner State.

Shannon will face GOP Rep. James Lankford, as well as a handful of other lesser-known Republicans, in a June 24 special election primary. There is a special election because Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has announced he will vacate his Senate seat at the end of this Congress, two years before his term expires in 2016.

“T.W. Shannon is a strong Constitutional conservative who will fight for individual liberty and help turn our country around,” Cruz said in a Wednesday news release. “T.W. embodies the American dream. I’m proud to offer T.W. my enthusiastic endorsement because not only will he vote the right way, but he’ll stand up and fight with us in the Senate to stop President Obama’s assault on our liberties and defend America’s founding principles.”

Tony Strickland Up With First TV Ad in California House Contest

Former state Sen. Tony Strickland released his first ad in his bid for California’s open 25th District on Wednesday, laying out his priorities, including GOP favorites like repealing the Affordable Care Act, cutting spending and balancing the budget.

Strickland, a Republican, is one of a number of candidates seeking to succeed retiring Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif. He will face GOP state Sen. Steve Knight, podiatrist Lee Rogers, a Democrat, and several other candidates in a June 3 top-two primary. The two candidates with the highest vote totals advance to the general election in November, regardless of party.

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April 15, 2014

Bachmann Endorses Emmer as Successor in Minnesota

Emmer is sporting a new endorsement. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Retiring Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., on Tuesday endorsed former state Rep. Tom Emmer as her successor in her soon-to-be former House seat, according to a local report.

“I will give Tom every measure that I possibly can. Whether it’s fundraising, whether it’s personal help, whatever I can do I’m there more than 100 percent to ensure that Tom Emmer is the next member of the United States Congress,” Bachmann said at a news conference Tuesday, according to Minnesota Public Radio.

Over the weekend, Emmer received the endorsement of the Republican Party of Minnesota in the Gopher State’s 6th District. He defeated Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah and former state Rep. Phil Krinkie to earn the state party’s seal of approval.

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