Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 30, 2014

Posts in "Open Seat"

February 18, 2014

Rush Holt Announces Retirement

Rush Holt Announces Retirement

Holt will not seek a ninth term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Rush D. Holt, the New Jersey Democrat who last year lost a special-election primary to now-Sen. Cory Booker, announced Tuesday he will not seek re-election to a ninth term.

Holt, a physicist-turned-congressman, is the third member of the New Jersey delegation to either resign or not seek re-election in 2014. His 12th District, which includes Trenton, is not competitive for Republicans.

“There is no hidden motive for my decision,” Holt said in a statement to supporters. “As friends who have worked with me know, I have never thought that the primary purpose of my work was re-election and I have never intended to make service in the House my entire career. For a variety of reasons, personal and professional, all of them positive and optimistic, the end of this year seems to me to be the right time to step aside and ask the voters to select the next representative.”

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Top Democrat Enters Special Election for Andrews Seat in New Jersey

Top Democrat Enters Special Election for Andrews Seat in New Jersey

Andrews is a Democrat from New Jersey. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic state Sen. Donald Norcross announced Monday in Bellmawr, N.J., his candidacy for the state’s 1st District.

Norcross is running in the special election to replace Rep. Robert E. Andrews, D-N.J., who announced his resignation earlier this month. Andrews’ resignation is effective Tuesday. Full story

Internal Poll: Wendy Greuel Tops Field for House Race in California

Former Los Angeles Controller Wendy Greuel boasts a lead in the crowded field to replace retiring Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., in the 33rd District, according to her own survey provided first to CQ Roll Call.

The poll showed Greuel, one of three Democrats in the contest, with support from 29 percent of likely primary voters in the race. Her survey also showed her top competitor, state Sen. Ted Lieu, with 21 percent of the likely primary vote.

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February 14, 2014

Former Clinton Aide Announces Bid for Waxman’s Seat

Matt Miller, a former aide to President Bill Clinton and current Washington Post columnist, announced a bid for the seat of retiring Rep. Henry A. Waxman on Friday.

With his announcement, Miller becomes the third Democrat to announce a bid for the district, located in the heart of Los Angeles County.

“I’m a proud Democrat; but too often, politicians in both parties care more about winning elections than solving problems. We have to tackle huge challenges – from the runaway costs of college and health care, to the threats of climate change, the shortage of good jobs and internationally lagging schools,” Miller said in a release. “Getting serious about these challenges means embracing bold ideas – the kind of fresh thinking we aren’t likely to get from career politicians. I’m running for Congress because it’s time to expect more.”

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Democrat Announces Candidacy for Lankford Seat

Oklahoma Democratic state Sen. Al McAffrey announced his candidacy for the 5th District on Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

“I’m running for Congress to bring some good old-fashioned Oklahoma common-sense to a place that desperately needs it,” he said in a statement provided to the AP and KGOU.

McAffrey is running in the Oklahoma City-based district to replace Republican Rep. James Lankford, who is campaigning for the open Senate race to replace retiring GOP Sen. Tom Coburn.

This House race would be a major lift for any Democrat. Mitt Romney carried the district by 18 points in 2012.

February 13, 2014

EMILY’s List Endorses 3 House Candidates

EMILY’s List, an organization that backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights, announced Thursday a trifecta of endorsements for candidates in open-seat in races in Michigan, New Jersey and New York.

The three endorsed candidates are: Full story

Tim Griffin to Run for Lt. Gov. in Arkansas

Tim Griffin to Run for Lt. Gov. in Arkansas

Griffin had announced earlier he would not seek re-election. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., who months ago said he would not seek re-election in Arkansas’ 2nd District, announced Thursday he is running for another office.

On his personal Facebook page, Griffin said he will run for lieutenant governor of Arkansas. The position is currently vacant, after Republican Mark Darr resigned amid ethics inquiries.

Griffin announced in October that he would not seek re-election to Congress. In a January op-ed in Roll Call, Griffin cited his young family and the strains of traveling between Washington, D.C., and his home state as the reason.

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Who’s Spending What on TV in the Florida Special

Whos Spending What on TV in the Florida Special

Sink is the Democratic nominee in the competitive special election in Florida. (Tim Boyles/Getty Images File Photo)

Ad wars have escalated in a highly competitive special election in Florida, with Democrats spending more overall, but Republicans quickly catching up with their ad buys.

The already profuse ad spending demonstrates the high stakes for both parties in this March 11 special election. Although the election is one month away, elections officials started to send out mail-in ballots last week for the 13th District contest.

That means television time — especially early advertisements — come at a premium in this Tampa-area media market.

Cumulatively, the Democratic nominee, Alex Sink, and her allies have spent about $1 million more on television advertisements than Republicans.

But the GOP’s nominee, lobbyist David Jolly, and his allies have spent more than Democrats in the past two weeks. Most recently, the National Republican Congressional Committee aired a spot that links Sink to national Democrats and the president’s 2010 health care law.

Here’s a breakdown of approximately how much each party has spent on television advertisements in the general election as of Tuesday afternoon, according to multiple media-buying sources from both parties who are monitoring the race:

Full story

February 12, 2014

Democrats Endorse Documentary Filmmaker for Owens’ Seat

Democrats Endorse Documentary Filmmaker for Owens Seat

Aaron Woolf (Courtesy 21st District Democratic Committee)

A political quagmire on the Democratic bench in New York’s open 21st District has emboldened Republicans in a district that was already a GOP pick-up opportunity.

On Wednesday, local Democratic officials unanimously endorsed Aaron Woolf, a documentary filmmaker from Elizabethtown, N.Y., in the race to succeed retiring Democratic Rep. Bill Owens.

Woolf’s endorsement from the 21st District’s 12 county chairmen came after some high-profile Democrats, including former Rep. Scott Murphy, D-N.Y., declined bids for the seat.

Sheila Comar, chairwoman of the Washington County party, said in a statement that Woolf was the best candidate to continue Owens’ “work to protect our seniors and the Medicare guarantee, middle class families, and reflect the independent spirit that makes the North Country strong. Woolf is a problem solver who will take a commonsense approach and is committed to working together to find solutions that create more jobs and spur New York’s economy.”

Republicans said the thin bench of candidates to choose from indicates Democrats are not hopeful they can hold on to the upstate New York seat. Full story

Northern Va. Dems Opt for Nominating Convention for Wolf Seat

Northern Virginia Democrats are utilizing a nominating tactic more commonly associated with state Republicans to choose the party’s nominee in a nationally targeted district.

Seeking to bolster its chances at winning the open 10th District seat, the local party decided last weekend to choose a nominee by convention rather than a primary. The rare move limits the number of people who will decide the party’s general election candidate and moves up the nomination process by nearly two months.

Party leaders in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District Democratic Committee hope the earlier date and limited universe of voters will allow their eventual nominee to avoid a costly primary and instead focus on the November general.

“Our committee had a very thoughtful conversation about this, and we just feel very strongly that we need a nominee as soon as possible, and we need to help our eventual nominee conserve resources,” said Charlie Jackson, chairman of Virginia’s 10th District Democratic Party. “Whoever our nominee is can conserve those resources so we spend them in a general election and not against ourselves.”

Full story

February 11, 2014

Paul Broun Picks Up Endorsement in Georgia Senate Race

Rep. Paul Broun, one of several Republicans running in Georgia’s open-seat Senate contest, got an endorsement Tuesday from the Madison Project, a group that seeks to boost tea party candidates into office.

“Congressman Paul Broun is a doctor, soldier, citizen legislator, and proven constitutional warrior,” Madison Project Chairman Jim Ryun said in a news release. “He has been inviolable, while even the fiercest conservative fighters have succumbed to the establishment meat grinder in D.C. Broun is the consummate constitutional champion who puts people and principle before politics. That is why his leadership is needed in the United States Senate, which is full of governing-class elites from both parties who seek endless growth of the federal government.”

Georgia has traditionally been reliable statewide territory for Republicans. But many GOP operatives argue that if Broun wins the Republican nomination, he could jeopardize the party’s control of the Senate seat.

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Democratic Super PAC Airs First Ad in Florida Special Election

House Majority PAC, a super PAC dedicated to elected House Democrats, is up with its first ad in the highly competitive special election in Florida’s 13th District.

The ad attacks the Republican nominee, lobbyist David Jolly. It’s part of a $650,000 investment that House Majority PAC made in the race.

The spot, called “Privatize,” takes shots at Jolly’s lobbying career and his position on Social Security. The latter charge targets a crucial demographic to win the St. Petersburg-based district: voters over 65 years old.

Full story

February 10, 2014

Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity Leader to Vie for Waxman Seat (Updated)

Updated 2:30 p.m. | Elan S. Carr, a veteran, Los Angeles County deputy district attorney and the head of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, will announce his bid Monday for the open California 33rd District seat, according to an email obtained by CQ Roll Call.

AEPi is a prominent, international Jewish fraternity, and Carr is currently the supreme master. With his announcement, Carr would likely become the first Republican to announce a bid for the seat of retiring Rep. Henry A. Waxman in this solidly Democratic, Los Angeles-based district.

“With the retirement of legendary Congressman Henry A. Waxman, West Los Angeles faces an historic election for an open seat in the U.S. House of Representatives,” Carr said in an email to the AEPi fraternity. “After consulting with a team of political professionals and reaching out to supporters, Dahlia and I have decided to enter that race.”

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Coburn Endorses in Competitive Nebraska Senate Primary

Coburn Endorses in Competitive Nebraska Senate Primary

Coburn voiced his support for a candidate in Nebraska. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has declared his support for Midland University President Ben Sasse’s bid for Senate in Nebraska.

“Ben is just the kind of person we need in Washington,” Coburn told the Lincoln Journal Star in a Sunday story. “He is a totally open and honest guy who is very responsive and responsible. If Ben was running in Oklahoma, I’d vote for him.”

Sasse, a Republican, faces a number of other GOP candidates in the primary, including former state Treasurer Shane Osborn, banker Sid Dinsdale and attorney Bart McLeay, among others. The seat is open because Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., is retiring.

Conservative groups are divided between two Republicans: Sasse and Osborn.

Full story

February 7, 2014

EMILY’s List Endorses in Race to Replace Henry Waxman

EMILY’s List, an organization that seeks to boost women who support abortion rights into elected office, announced their endorsement of former Los Angeles Controller Wendy Greuel in her race in California’s 33rd District.

Greuel is one of two Democrats looking to replace Rep. Henry A. Waxman, who announced last week he will retire after a 40 year career in the House. State Sen. Ted Lieu is also running, with other Democrats mulling whether to enter the contest.

“Wendy Greuel has demonstrated outstanding leadership as a public servant fighting for education, small businesses, and government accountability for California families,” Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List, said in a news release.

The EMILY’s List endorsement, which often comes with fundraising and organizational support, could be instrumental in this race, which is likely to see a crowded field of Democratic contenders.

Full story

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