Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 21, 2014

Posts in "Open Seat"

April 8, 2014

Democrats Lose Recruit for Mike Rogers Seat

Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum, who was in town last week meeting with senior House Democrats, announced Tuesday she will not run for Michigan’s open 8th District seat.

The decision is a blow to national Democrats’ hopes to contend in the district of Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, who recently announced his retirement.

Byrum met with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., members of the Michigan delegation, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and EMILY’s List, among others, while on Capitol Hill last week. But she ultimately opted against running for the Republican-leaning district. Full story

House Republican Women Endorse in Florida Special Primary

House Republican Women Endorse in Florida Special Primary

Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., endorsed a candidate in the Florida special. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The two women leading the effort to support female candidates in Republican primaries endorsed Florida Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto in the special election to replace former Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla.

Republican Reps. Ann Wagner of Missouri and Diane Black of Tennessee both used the word “trust” in their statements about Benacquisto, who faces businessman Curt Clawson and former state Rep. Paige Kreegel in the April 22 special primary.

“The people of the 19th District have lost faith in their elected officials. And the only candidate that can restore the sacred foundation of trust and integrity is Lizbeth Benacquisto,” Wagner said. “I am proud to endorse Lizbeth because she is the only conservative in this race that will get the job done.” Full story

April 7, 2014

Runoff Likely for North Carolina Seat Known as ‘I-85 District’

North Carolina’s 12th, once referred to as the “I-85 district,” is vacant for the first time since it was drawn following the 1990 census, and its unique geography is again a central feature in the race to represent it.

The recent departure of longtime Democratic Rep. Melvin Watt to direct the Federal Housing Finance Agency sparked a crowded primary for the black-majority district, which Watt first won in 1992 when it stretched all the way to Durham. A half-dozen Democrats qualified to run for the heavily Democratic district, whose population centers of Charlotte in the south and Winston-Salem and Greensboro in the north are separated by about 90 miles of territory, roughly along Interstate 85.

Half of the Democratic vote comes from Charlotte’s Mecklenburg County, which four of the six candidates in the race hail from — potentially diluting some of the population advantage a leading Charlotte candidate might otherwise enjoy. Conversely, state Rep. Alma Adams is one of just two candidates from the Greensboro area, and party insiders in the state believe Adams will win enough support from her wing of the district to give her the advantage in the May 6 primary.

“Alma Adams is the person to watch,” said Democratic consultant Morgan Jackson. “She has put together the best organization, the most money and has locked away one end of that district in Greensboro.”

Full story

Eric Cantor Endorses Republican for Waxman Seat

Eric Cantor Endorses Republican for Waxman Seat

Cantor endorsed in an LA-based House race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., endorsed attorney and Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity President Elan Carr on Monday in the race to replace retiring Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif.

“We need leaders like Elan who place service to others above all else,” Cantor said in a statement released by the Carr campaign. “Elan understands the importance of maintaining a strong and agile military and he understands that we need to come together to get America working again. I am proud to support Elan’s campaign this year.”

Carr is one of just a few Republicans vying for the solidly Democratic district based in some of the wealthier parts of Los Angeles. Cantor’s endorsement could help Carr coalesce the Republican vote in an effort to advance beyond the June 3 top-two primary, which features a crowded Democratic field. Full story

Republican Empties TV Budget Into New Special Election Ad in Florida

Florida State Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto has hit the airwaves with a new ad in the upcoming special election to replace former Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla.

The entire remaining Benacquisto television budget of “nearly six-figures” will go toward the ad, according to a campaign source. The spot is a direct-to-camera appeal, in which the candidate is both positive and defensive.

“My opponents and liberals are spending millions smearing my name, even attacking my family, with false, negative ads,” she said. “But I won’t back down from this fight.”

Full story

By Abby Livingston Posted at 11:15 a.m.
Open Seat

Mike Rogers Endorses Republican to Succeed Him in Michigan

Mike Rogers Endorses Republican to Succeed Him in Michigan

Rogers is retiring. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Retiring Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., has endorsed former Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop for the GOP nomination to succeed him in Congress.

“Mike Bishop is the right conservative for the 8th District,” Rogers said in a Monday news release. “Bishop will stand up to liberal policies of the Obama administration, just like he stood up and fought for us against the liberal policies of the Granholm administration.”

Full story

Tea Party Tested: In One Month, Establishment on Defense

Tea Party Tested: In One Month, Establishment on Defense

Cochran faces a June 3 primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A seven-week gauntlet of Republican Senate primaries kicking off next month will decide the fate of the tea party’s success this year.

If a Republican senator loses a primary this year, it will more than likely occur in a span of nominating contests premiering in one month. Incumbents got the boot thanks to tea-party-backed hopefuls in both 2010 and 2012, and those lesser known Republican nominees went on to both triumphs and failures.

In the third election cycle since the rise of the tea party, fundraising and organization remain significant hurdles for anti-establishment candidates. The outside groups helping to fuel many of the primary campaigns concede they are realistic about their slim chances against incumbents and mainstream Republican candidates.

Still, tea party organizers said they remain hopeful about picking off a few House seats and perhaps a couple Senate seats in their continued pursuit of increased congressional influence.

“Some of our guys could lose, many of them could lose. We understand that,” said Daniel Horowitz of the Madison Project, which recruits and supports conservative candidates. “We take calculated risks. We want to see a path, but it’s very much an uphill path in many of these races, especially if you’re going up against an incumbent and even some of the open seats where you’re starting out with a lot less money.”

But, Horowitz added, “on a large scale we have already won by forcing most of the incumbents to embrace, at least publicly, many of our policies.”

The races to watch begin May 6 in North Carolina, followed by Nebraska on May 13, Kentucky and Georgia on May 20, Mississippi on June 3 and South Carolina on June 10. South Dakota’s open seat has also invited a June 3 primary with similar dynamics, but it has drawn less outside interest than the others.

Full story

April 4, 2014

Democrat Drops Out of Race to Replace Moran in Virginia

Democrat Drops Out of Race to Replace Moran in Virginia

Lopez speaks at a March straw poll for the 8th District seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

State Del. Alfonso Lopez, one of nearly a dozen Democrats seeking to replace retiring Rep. James P. Moran in Virginia’s 8th District, announced on Friday that he will drop out of the contest.

Citing a lack of resources to run a campaign, Lopez said in a statement he is suspending his bid for this Northern Virginia-based House seat.

“I am proud of how my campaign resonated with many voters in the Eighth District, especially new Americans, and that we assembled a coalition of many generous supporters,” Lopez said in a release. “However, after we closed the fundraising quarter, I took the time to evaluate, with my team, the position of my campaign. It is clear to me that I do not have the resources necessary to run the campaign we wanted and that the people of the Eighth District deserved.”

Full story

Pelosi, Hoyer Recruit Michigan Candidate

The Democratic Party is all-in behind Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum, their recruit for the race to replace retiring Republican Rep. Mike Rogers.

Byrum visited Washington, D.C. this week and met with most of the highest-ranking Democrats in Congress, according to multiple national Democratic operatives with knowledge of her schedule.

With Rogers out of contention this cycle, Democrats are making a serious offensive play for the Leans Republican seat.

So serious that Byrum met with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel, D-N.Y. and Democratic National Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.

Full story

April 1, 2014

Two Democrats Interested in Mike Rogers’ Seat in Michigan

Two Democrats Interested in Mike Rogers Seat in Michigan

Rogers is retiring. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As national Democrats coalesce behind Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum in the wide-open race to succeed Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero is not ruling out a run.

“It’s a very simple fact that I am looking at it,” Bernero said in a Tuesday morning phone interview. “I am considering it. I don’t need to run for Congress … but if it’s a viable possibility then I would consider it.”

Rogers announced his retirement last week, giving Democrats a much-needed pick-up opportunity in the Wolverine State. But his departure has left both parties scrambling for top candidates ahead of the April 22 filing deadline.

For Democrats, Byrum and Bernero are the top two candidate prospects. But at least one national Democratic group is posturing to back Byrum. She has been in communication with EMILY’s List, a group that helps Democratic women candidates who support abortion rights. Full story

Ruben Gallego Raised $160K in First Month of Campaign

Arizona state Rep. Ruben Gallego will announce raising $160,000 in his first month of campaigning for the seat of retiring Democratic Rep. Ed Pastor.

According to a campaign release shared first with CQ Roll Call, the Arizona Democrat will report having $150,000 in cash on hand as of Monday, the close of the first fundraising quarter of 2014.

Gallego declared his intent to run for the Phoenix-based 7th District seat moments after Pastor’s surprise Feb. 28 retirement announcement. But he faces a competitive primary for the open seat. Full story

Eva Longoria Endorses House Candidate in Los Angeles (Video)

Eva Longoria Endorses House Candidate in Los Angeles (Video)

Longoria is getting involved in a House race in California. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Actress Eva Longoria has endorsed spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson, one of more than a dozen candidates looking to succeed retiring Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., in the 33rd District.

“There is a problem in the political system right now. And I find that we have to approach solving this problem in a new way, in a conscious way, in a way that is going against the tide. I find Marianne has the tools, the capability, the intellect, the ideology that is going to push against the status quo,” Longoria said in a video endorsement released on Tuesday.

Full story

Primary for Trey Radel’s Seat Escalates on TV Airwaves

Primary for Trey Radels Seat Escalates on TV Airwaves

Radel resigned from Congress earlier this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In the special election to succeed former Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., former state Rep. Paige Kreegel has gone on the airwaves with a campaign ad intended to introduce him to GOP voters ahead of the April 22 primary.

Kreegel is running in a competitive special election to succeed Radel, who resigned from Congress in January after he pleaded guilty to cocaine possession. The GOP nominee is expected to win the June 24 special election. Full story

Alabama Republican Releases Pair of Ads in Race to Replace Bachus

Alabama businessman Will Brooke launched a pair of introductory ads on Monday, two months out from a crowded and competitive open-seat Republican primary.

Brooke is one of a handful of Republicans vying to replace GOP Rep. Spencer Bachus, who announced his retirement from this Birmingham-based district in September. The race has thus far been marked by hefty fundraising by nearly all the top-tier candidates involved.

The bio ads will air in rotation on district-wide cable and broadcast, according to Brooke’s campaign. Full story

March 31, 2014

Dave Camp Retirement Pushes House Past Average Number of Retirements

Dave Camp Retirement Pushes House Past Average Number of Retirements

Camp will not seek re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Dave Camp announced Monday he will not seek a 13th term, becoming the second Michigan Republican in the past week to announce his retirement.

“Today, I am announcing that I will not seek re-election to the United States House of Representatives,” Camp said in a statement. “This decision was reached after much consideration and discussion with my family.”

Camp, the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, is the fourth member of the Michigan congressional delegation to retire this cycle. His announcement follows GOP Rep. Mike Rogers’ retirement decision last week.

Full story

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...