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April 24, 2014

Posts in "Open Seat"

April 11, 2014

First Karen Handel TV Ad Features Sarah Palin

Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, one of about a half-dozen Republicans running in the Peach State’s open Senate contest, will hit the airwaves Monday with a new ad that prominently features former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

The 30-second ad, which is narrated with audio from the April event where Palin endorsed Handel, will air statewide on cable and broadcast, according to Handel’s campaign.

“You know her background, you know her record, the conservative who has walked the walk cutting budgets,” Palin says of Handel in the ad.

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Alabama Hopeful Raises $484,000 in Open-Seat Contest

State Rep. Paul DeMarco, one of seven Republicans running for Alabama’s open 6th District, raised $484,000 in the first quarter, according to numbers provided first to CQ Roll Call.

DeMarco’s haul brings his total in cash on hand to $650,000.

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April 10, 2014

California Republican Tops $400,000 for Open-Seat Race

California Republican Tops $400,000 for Open Seat Race

Republican Tony Strickland is one of eight candidates running in California's 25th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

California Republican Tony Strickland raised more than $400,000 for his House bid in the first quarter, according to numbers provided first to CQ Roll Call.

The former state senator, who is vying for California’s open 25th District seat, had $640,000 in cash on hand as of March 31. Full story

Democratic Front-Runner Goes Up With First Ad in Iowa House Race

State Rep. Pat Murphy, the front-runner in a crowded open-seat race in Iowa’s 1st District, went up Thursday with his first ad of the cycle.

The 30-second bio spot will air on broadcast television in Cedar Rapids, which makes up a large chunk of the district, according to Murphy’s campaign. The seat is open this cycle thanks to Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley’s Senate bid.

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April 9, 2014

Jack Kingston Raised $1.1 Million in 1st Quarter

Jack Kingston Raised $1.1 Million in 1st Quarter

Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., is one of a handful of Republicans seeking the state's open Senate seat. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston, one of a handful of Republicans vying for the state’s open Senate seat, raised $1.1 million in the first fundraising quarter of 2014, according to figures provided first to CQ Roll Call.

Kingston’s quarterly haul stemmed in part from 45 fundraisers and meet-and-greets held from January through March, the campaign said, and 89 percent of the total haul were from within the Peach State. Kingston ended March with $2.1 million in cash on hand.

“The generosity of so many both in volunteer hours and financial support has been overwhelming,” Kingston said in a statement. “Libby and I cannot thank everyone enough for their dedication to our campaign. Together we can retake the Senate and restore the American Dream.” Full story

Democrat Starts Mail Campaign in Targeted California House Contest

Eloise Gomez Reyes, one of four Democrats vying for a highly targeted district in California’s Inland Empire, is kicking off a direct mail campaign this week ahead of the upcoming top-two primary.

The pair of mail pieces, provided first to CQ Roll Call, are tantamount to an opening bio ad in the 31st District, located east of Los Angeles. They describe the attorney’s background as a field worker who went on to college and later law school.

Mailers are the most popular form of voter communication in California House contests, as TV airtime often comes at a premium in the major metropolitan media markets of L.A. and San Francisco.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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