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Updated 11:18 p.m. | Former Randolph Mayor Tom MacArthur won the GOP nomination to succeed retiring GOP Rep. Jon Runyan in New Jersey, relieving Republicans of a candidate who could have lost the seat for them this fall.
MacArthur defeated that candidate, ex-Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, carrying 60 percent of the vote when The Associated Press called the race. Lonegan had 40 percent, with 41 percent precincts reporting.
MacArthur will face Burlington County Freeholder Aimee Belgard in November. She ran in largely uncontested Democratic primary. The race is rated a Tossup by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. Full story
New Jersey Republicans are on track to get their preferred nominee through the primary in the state’s most competitive House race, thanks to the local political machine and a deep-pocketed candidate.
On Tuesday, Randolph Township Mayor Tom MacArthur, is expected to defeat a spirited challenge from a tea-party-aligned frequent candidate, Steve Lonegan. The stakes for this South Jersey open seat are high: The race is rated a Tossup by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call, and the district includes the pricey Philadelphia media market.
“Tom MacArthur is going to win this race because he is a strong conservative, a successful businessman and has the support of both county Republican organizations and more than 160 locally elected Republicans across the district,” wrote Burlington County GOP Chairman William Layton in a Thursday email.
Five days before the primary, surgeon Chad Mathis has released a positive spot in an open Alabama House race that features his kids playfully making fun of his cooking.
“Dad’s not a great cook, but he’d be a great congressman,” said Mathis’ daughter, Abby, in the ad — her name written in font similar to the widely-ridiculed Comic Sans. Mathis’ campaign says the ad is a five-figure digital buy and will air online as preroll on YouTube videos.
GOP operatives said the positive spot is a change of tone for Mathis, one of seven Republicans running in the open 6th District primary. They say Mathis has received heat in the district for negative campaign tactics, taking shots at almost all of the other Republicans running in this race to replace retiring Rep. Spencher Bachus. Full story
Join Roll Call Politics Editor Shira T. Center and Reporter Abby Livingston as they track results live and provide in-depth analysis from Tuesday’s runoff action in the Lone Star State.
Follow their coverage here, starting at 7:30 p.m.:
Updated, 3:31 p.m. | Rep. Bruce Braley is up with a new ad for his Senate bid touting his career as a lawyer — a résumé that’s caused the Democrat some grief in his bid for the competitive, open seat in Iowa.
In his 30-second spot, the congressman casts his oft-maligned profession as one of fighting for people and helping them solve their problems.
“Equal justice under the law is what this country is built upon, is one of the things that motivated me to want to become a lawyer, and fight for people,” Braley says in the ad, which shows footage of him talking to a variety of people in Iowa.
“You have to get to know people to be an effective voice for what they care about,” he says. “I’ve spent my lifetime trying to be the voice for someone who has a problem that they can’t solve by themselves.” Full story
Mitt Romney has endorsed former Bush administration aide Elise Stefanik’s bid for an open House seat less than a month before her competitive primary.
The old slogan for MGM during the 1940s was that the studio had “more stars than there are in the heavens.”
The same could be said of the fresh fundraising reports from the upcoming primary in California’s 33rd District — which covers Beverly Hills and Malibu. Dozens of Hollywood stars and executives donated during the past six weeks in this race to replace retiring Rep. Henry A. Waxman.
There are at least six serious candidates running for the seat, and all filed pre-primary reports by Thursday’s deadline. These are the final comprehensive campaign financial reports ahead of the June 3 primary. The top-two finishers will proceed to the general election.
These reports reflect spending and fundraising from April 1 to May 14. Stars crowded the race’s first quarter reports as well.
New York Rep. Steve Israel pushed back Wednesday on House Republicans’ newly revealed ambitious goals for the midterms, but what amounts to victory for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman remains unclear.
On Tuesday, Oregon Rep. Greg Walden, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, underscored the GOP’s offensive position this cycle by announcing it aims to expand the party’s House majority by 12 seats in November. A day later, Israel fired back, making public a massive DCCC polling project that promised to address the party’s turnout concerns.
The reality facing Democrats in this challenging midterm cycle is that any loss of seats will make it that much taller of a climb for the majority in a potentially favorable 2016 and beyond — while possibly even putting the party back where it started in the wake of the 2010 Republican wave.
“Let’s talk as we get deeper into the cycle,” Israel said Wednesday at a briefing with reporters. “I still believe it’s too early to say what a victory is.”
“Greg Walden can spend all his time looking into a crystal ball,” he added. “I’m spending all my time looking at polling data.” Full story
With less than two weeks until Iowa’s congressional primaries, it’s still unclear whether a Republican Senate candidate can clear the 35 percent vote threshold needed to win the nomination outright.
In an attractive pickup opportunity for national Republicans, there are four major candidates seeking the nomination for the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin. The leading contenders are state Sen. Joni Ernst, who has the tacit support of the governor and earned national attention with an ad about castrating hogs, and Mark Jacobs, a self-funding former energy executive. Radio host Sam Clovis and former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker round out the top four.
A recent poll found Ernst with 31 percent support — in the lead and within striking distance of the nomination. But Jacobs, who outspent Ernst by more than 5 to 1 through March, has dominated his opponents on the airwaves, and a potential late surge by Clovis could spread the vote around and force the nomination process to a convention, where anything can happen.
“I think either Ernst or Jacobs will get to 35 percent,” said Craig Robinson, a former political director of the Iowa Republican Party and editor-in-chief of The Iowa Republican politics blog. But, he continued, “Clovis has plenty of room to grow” and can improve his standing if he is more “aggressive in drawing distinctions between himself and the other candidates” and seizing the “social conservative mantle.” Full story
Assistant House Minority Leader James E. Clyburn and 20 other Democratic members are headlining a fundraiser Wednesday for a candidate running in a competitive primary to succeed retiring Rep. Rush D. Holt, D-N.J.
The Capitol Hill cocktail reception will benefit the campaign of New Jersey state Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman. The Democrats listed on the invitation obtained by CQ Roll Call are mostly Congressional Black Caucus members, including Rep. Donald M. Payne Jr., D-N.J., and CBC Chairwoman Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio.
Two weeks out from the 12th District primary, Coleman is in a dead heat against state Sen. Linda Greenstein, according to a newly-released Monmouth University poll. Two other candidates, state Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula and physicist Andrew Zwicker, lagged far behind. Full story
Businessman David Perdue and Rep. Jack Kingston advanced Tuesday to the runoff for the Republican Senate nomination in Georgia.
Perdue and Kingston were the top vote-getters, beating out former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, and Reps. Phil Gingrey and Paul Broun.
Perdue led with 30 percent when The Associated Press called the race with 87 percent of precincts reporting. As expected, he was unable to secure the 50 percent of the vote necessary to win the nomination outright. Kingston finished second with 26 percent, edging out Handel, who had 22 percent. Full story
Updated 12:19 a.m. | Construction company owner Rick Allen avoided a GOP primary runoff in Georgia’s 12th District and now moves on to face Democratic Rep. John Barrow in November.
Allen defeated his next closest primary opponent, businessman Eugene Yu, 54 percent to 16 percent, with 93 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.
The five-candidate GOP primary in this district was expected to head to a runoff — triggered when no candidate garners at least 50 percent. That scenario would have benefited Barrow, a top target of national Republicans, as Republicans would have faced nine more weeks of not focusing time and money on defeating the incumbent.
Two Republican primaries in Arkansas on Tuesday finalized the makeup of potentially competitive House races this fall.
National Democrats, who have lost several seats in Arkansas over the last couple of cycles, are targeting Arkansas’ 2nd and 4th districts. With their own nominees already in hand, Democrats now know which Republicans will be vying to keep the open seats in GOP hands.
Both races will run under the umbrella of competitive statewide races for governor and Senate. The latter will feature Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor and Republican Rep. Tom Cotton, who both avoided primary challenges.
Updated 12:01 a.m. | State Rep. Brendan Boyle easily defeated three other Democrats Tuesday night, including former Rep. Marjorie Margolies, to win an open-seat primary in Pennsylvania’s 13th District.
Boyle defeated Margolies, his next closest primary opponent, 41 percent to 27 percent, with 98 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press. The Democratic primary is tantamount to the general election in this district, which President Barack Obama carried with 66 percent in 2012. Full story
Arizona state Sen. Steve Gallardo withdrew on Tuesday from the crowded race to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Ed Pastor.
Gallardo, a potentially competitive candidate in the race, will instead run to replace one of his former Congressional rivals, Mary Rose Wilcox, in her seat on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.
The race for Pastor’s 7th District will now come down to the two most organized Democrats of the handful of contenders — Wilcox and state Rep. Ruben Gallego. Full story