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April 16, 2014

Posts in "Open Seat"

November 6, 2013

Democrat to Announce Campaign for Runyan’s Seat

While New Jersey operatives continued to process Tuesday’s election results, Republican Rep. Jon Runyan’s surprise retirement announcement in the 3rd District set off swirls of speculation of who could run for his seat.

Democrats already indicated they wanted to target the seat, but an open-seat race gives the party a much better opportunity to win it. Upon the Runyan announcement, the Rothenberberg Political Report quickly moved the seat from Safe Republican to Tossup.

Democrats are circulating two names as potential candidates for the seat — the most prominent of which is Burlington County Freeholder Aimee Belgard. She filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission in mid-October and, according to a news release, is scheduled to announce her campaign on Thursday.

Full story

Democrat Suspends Campaign Against Alex Sink in Florida District

Attorney Jessica Ehrlich is suspending her campaign for the highly competitive 13th District in Florida, according to a news release from the state Democratic Party.

Ehrlich was under pressure to step aside in the special-election primary to replace the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla. Former Democratic gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink entered the race last week, and national Democratic power brokers quickly threw their support her way. Full story

November 5, 2013

Byrne and Business Prevail in Alabama Special

Former state Sen. Bradley Byrne defeated tea-party-backed candidate Dean Young in a special GOP runoff in Alabama’s 1st District on Tuesday, marking the first big win for more moderate Republicans in the fight for control of the GOP since the government shutdown.

With 91 percent of precincts reporting, Byrne led Young, 53 percent to 47 percent, according to The Associated Press.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business-oriented groups, such as TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts’ Ending Spending PAC, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the final days of the contest to ensure a Byrne victory.

The win sends a message to the tea party that business groups are willing to play in GOP primaries to send more pragmatic, business-minded Republicans to Congress.

Full story

Ex-FEMA Director Seeks Open House Seat in Arkansas

Ex FEMA Director Seeks Open House Seat in Arkansas

Witt, right, served as the director of FEMA under Clinton. (Manny Ceneta/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Federal Emergency Management Agency Director James Lee Witt, a Democrat, announced on Tuesday he is running in the open-seat contest in Arkansas’ 4th District.

“I’ve spent my adult life bringing people together at the toughest times of their lives and dealing with disasters,” Witt said in a conference call announcing his bid, according to the Associated Press. “Nowhere needs disaster relief more than Washington. No place needs to be brought together more than Congress.”

Full story

November 4, 2013

Alabama Special Election Is Proxy Battle for National GOP

With one day until the special-election runoff in Alabama’s 1st District, conservative groups are making a final push to affect the GOP contest that has become a national bellwether for Republicans.

Business groups are trying to boost former state Sen. Bradley Byrne over Dean Young, a tea-party-backed businessman who’s already made some controversial comments. Over the weekend, Ending Spending Inc., a PAC launched in 2010 by TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, spent $102,000 in ads to promote Byrne, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

“Who can you trust with your money? Career politician Dean Young started numerous PACs, then paid most of the money raised to his own company,” says the ad.

Full story

House Democrats Promote Alex Sink to Jumpstart Program

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has named former Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink to its Jumpstart program for top recruits. It’s yet another sign House Democrats have given the former gubernatorial nominee their seal of approval for the upcoming special election in Florida’s 13th District.

“In the first few days since she launched her campaign, Alex Sink is again demonstrating what the people of Florida know — she is results-oriented, and her approach to solving problems would help get Washington focused on the right priorities, like creating good jobs,” DCCC Chairman Steve Israel said in a statement.

The Jumpstart program provides specific candidates with “early financial communications, operational and strategic support,” according to the committee. In the past, the DCCC announced batches of candidates to the program at a time.

But this singular announcement also shows the DCCC prefers Sink as a candidate over another Democrat in the race, attorney Jessica Ehrlich. Full story

October 31, 2013

Daines Holding ‘Special Event’ Next Week

Montana Rep. Steve Daines, who is widely expected to run for Senate, is inviting supporters to a “special event” next week.

According to an invitation distributed by the Daines campaign on Thursday, the Republican’s event will take place Nov. 6 at a Holiday Inn in Bozeman. The missive included an unchanged logo, “Daines U.S. Congress.”

“Steve wants an opportunity to thank supporters like you — we hope to see you there!” the invitation reads. Full story

EMILY’s List Backs Sink After Ditching Ehrlich in Florida Special Election

EMILY’s List, the organization that seeks to boost women who support abortion rights into elected office, endorsed former Democratic gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink on Thursday in the special election to replace the late C.W. Bill Young, a Republican, in Florida’s 13th District.

The endorsement comes one day after the organization removed a rival Democratic candidate — Jessica Ehrlich — from its website.

EMILY’s List had placed Ehrlich “on the list” earlier this year, before Young announced his retirement and then passed away shortly thereafter – a denotation that is often a precursor to a full-on endorsement from the organization.

Full story

October 30, 2013

Florida House Special-Election Date Scheduled

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has scheduled a special election to replace the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla., for next year.

The primary election will be Jan. 14, and the general election will be March 11.

Young died Oct. 18. Operatives from both parties expect a highly contested and competitive race for his seat. The district narrowly voted for President Barack Obama last year, making it the first special election of the cycle that could serve as a harbinger for the 2014 midterm elections.

Former state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink joined attorney Jessica Ehrlich in the Democratic primary Wednesday morning. Soon after Sink’s announcement, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee indicated that that organization would back her over Ehrlich.

As for the Republicans, GOP political consultant Nick Zoller jumped in earlier this month, and other Republicans are giving the seat a look as well.

The Tampa Bay Times first reported the news of the special-election date.

The race is rated Tossup by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

House Candidate Removed From EMILY’s List Website (Updated)

Updated 3:24 p.m. | EMILY’s List has removed attorney Jessica Ehrlich from its online page of favored candidates — an ominous sign for the Democrat running in the highly competitive special election for Florida’s 13th District.

In May, EMILY’s List put Ehrlich “On the List” — a designation that often serves as a precursor to a candidate receiving a full-blown endorsement from the influential organization that backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights.

Her absence from the website suggests that some Democrats are dropping their support of Ehrlich, who is on her second bid for the district. On Wednesday morning, former Democratic gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink announced her candidacy. Sink is another favorite of EMILY’s List.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel issued a statement crowing about Sink’s entrance into the race on Wednesday morning, but it fell short of a full endorsement. Full story

Alex Sink Will Run in Competitive Florida House Race

Former Democratic gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink will run to replace the late Republican Rep. C.W. Bill Young in Florida’s 13th District.

“I never let politics, fingert-pointing or name-calling stand in the way of getting results for the people I represent, and it’s these results-oriented values that I want to bring to Washington,” she said in a statement. “For the sake of our economy, our businesses and our families, we have to restore problem-solving leadership.”

The announcement was widely expected. Sink, for now, does not have a clear shot at the nomination but is the Democratic front-runner. Attorney Jessica Ehrlich is also running for the seat.
A crucial group to watch in this primary is EMILY’s List. Full story

October 29, 2013

Chamber of Commerce Battles Tea Party in Alabama Special Election

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a group that regularly spends millions to boost business-friendly congressional candidates, will endorse former state Sen. Bradley Byrne in Alabama’s 1st District special election on Tuesday.

The chamber will endorse Byrne over GOP businessman Dean Young, a social conservative whose views align with the tea party movement, in the Nov. 5 GOP primary runoff to replace former Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Ala.

The Byrne endorsement marks the chamber’s first big move to combat tea party conservatives in the GOP whom they blame — along with many Americans — for the shutdown of the U.S. government earlier this month.

Full story

October 28, 2013

Republicans Stampede Open Alabama House Seat

Republicans Stampede Open Alabama House Seat

Bachus is retiring at the end of this Congress. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Rep. Paul DeMarco announced Sunday night that he is running for Congress in Alabama’s 6th District, marking the third Republican candidate to enter the race to replace retiring GOP Rep. Spencer Bachus.

The race to replace Bachus was expected to be crowded, as the powerful former chairman of the House Financial Services Committee has represented the district for 11 terms. But the GOP race for this seat blew wide open after state Sen. Cam Ward, Bachus’ former district director, declined to run for the seat earlier this month, saying he wanted to focus on his young family. Full story

October 22, 2013

Senate Conservatives Fund Endorses in Nebraska Senate Race

The Senate Conservatives Fund has endorsed Midland University President Ben Sasse in the GOP primary for Nebraska’s open Senate seat.

On Tuesday, the conservative group backed Sasse, choosing him over another top candidate, Shane Osborn, a former state treasurer and war hero, in this unpredictable race to replace retiring Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb.

Full story

October 21, 2013

GOP Retirement Sparks Competitive House Race in Arkansas

GOP Retirement Sparks Competitive House Race in Arkansas

Griffin will not seek a third term. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two-term Rep. Tim Griffin’s unexpected retirement announcement will likely spur a crowded GOP primary for a competitive seat that Democrats hope to pick up in 2014.

Democrats had been targeting Arkansas’ 2nd District even before the Republican lawmaker announced Monday he wasn’t running for re-election. On Sunday, Griffin alerted GOP leadership of his retirement after just two terms in the House, according to a national Republican operative.

Hours after Griffin’s announcement, local Republican operatives say there are now a host of potentially strong candidates eyeing bids to succeed him. Some of those GOP candidates are: Full story

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