Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 22, 2014

Posts in "Open Seat"

June 24, 2014

Live Results: Cochran-McDaniel Runoff and Other Races

Join the Roll Call Politics Team for coverage of tonight’s big primary runoff in Mississippi and other races in Florida, Oklahoma, New York and Colorado.

Starting at 7 p.m., we’ll have live results and analysis from the races below. Full story

June 23, 2014

6 Things to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries

6 Things to Watch in Tuesdays Primaries

As part of Tuesday's primaries, Cochran, center, faces a tea-party-challenger in a runoff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mississippi Republicans and New York Democrats face a similar quandary Tuesday: Hold onto an old political hand and his seniority in Congress, or turn the page to a new era?

Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., and Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., have challenges from their own party that headline this week’s bevy of primaries — the last crop of contests until later this summer. Beyond the fate of these two longtime pols, Tuesday’s results will test a House GOP program for female candidates in primaries, as well as decide a handful of races in Colorado, Florida and New York.

Here is what to watch for in these contests: Full story

June 21, 2014

Iowa GOP Convention Picks Nominee for Top House Race (Video)

Iowa GOP Convention Picks Nominee for Top House Race (Video)

An Iowa GOP convention picked a nominee to try to succeed Latham, right. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Capitol Hill aide David Young won the Republican nomination in Iowa’s 3rd District on Saturday, overcoming five other Republican opponents in an hourslong nominating convention.

Young defeated state Sen. Brad Zaun, 276 votes to 221 votes, in the fifth round of balloting among hundreds of local delegations, according to the Republican Party of Iowa. Young now moves on to face the Democratic nominee, former state Sen. Staci Appel, in November.

Young’s win comes as a relief to Republicans, who hoped the nominating convention would turn out a candidate other than Zaun.

Full story

June 20, 2014

Republicans Angle for Open Oklahoma House Seat (Video)

Republicans Angle for Open Oklahoma House Seat (Video)

James Lankford is running for Senate, leaving an open race for his House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. James Lankford’s high-profile bid for Senate in Oklahoma has left a crowded race to replace him in the Sooner State’s 5th District.

Six Republicans will face off Tuesday after struggling to break through airwaves dominated by the primary between Lankford and former Oklahoma Speaker T.W. Shannon.

Like the Senate race, Republicans expect the primary to proceed to an August runoff, which occurs when no candidate gets 50 percent of the vote. The GOP nominee is all but certain to come to Congress and represent this strong conservative district based in Oklahoma City.

Full story

June 19, 2014

Elise Stefanik Leads in New York Primary Poll

Elise Stefanik Leads in New York Primary Poll

Doheny trailed in a new poll. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former White House aide Elise Stefanik is in a strong position to win Tuesday’s GOP primary in an upstate New York district, according to a new poll.

Stefanik led 45 percent to 37 percent for businessman Matt Doheny in the automated poll conducted by Republican firm Harper Polling. The poll follows more than $1 million in outside spending in the 21st District on Stefanik’s behalf.

Doheny is slightly better known in the district, but 41 percent of respondents had a negative view him while 39 percent viewed him favorably. Nearly half of all those surveyed, 49 percent, said they had a positive image of Stefanik while 29 percent had a negative opinion of her. Full story

Republican Calls for Recount in Targeted California Race

Republican Calls for Recount in Targeted California Race

Miller, a California Republican, is retiring. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Lesli Gooch’s campaign called for a recount Wednesday evening in California’s 31st District, a top pick-up opportunity for Democrats in 2014.

“We have been in consultation with campaign attorneys and polling data experts over the past several days. They feel a recount is warranted and have identified precincts that will be recounted,” Gooch’s campaign said in a news release.

Gooch trails Democrat Pete Aguilar for second place by 209 votes and therefore faces long odds to victory in the recount. Her campaign had until Wednesday to determine whether to call for a recount — a costly endeavor they must pay for out of pocket.

In California’s primary, the top two vote recipients proceed to the general election, regardless of party. Democrats need Aguilar to advance to the general election to have any shot at competing here this fall, as businessman Paul Chabot has already secured the first-place spot in the top-two primary.

Full story

June 10, 2014

Maine Primary Results: Cain, Poliquin to Face Off in November

Maine Primary Results: Cain, Poliquin to Face Off in November

In the Maine Primary, Cain ran for the Democratic nod. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Sen. Emily Cain, the new Democratic nominee, will face former state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin, a Republican, in the targeted race for Maine’s 2nd District in November.

Cain defeated fellow Democratic state Sen. Troy Jackson, 72 percent to 28 percent, with 61 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press. She raised more money than Jackson, making her large margin of victory unsurprising.

Poliquin defeated Raye, 55 percent to 45 percent, with 61 percent of precincts reporting, according to the AP. This was Raye’s third attempt to win this seat — he lost in both 2002 and 2012 to Democratic Rep. Michael H. Michaud. Michaud is vacating the seat to run for governor.

Full story

Virginia Primary Results: Don Beyer Wins Democratic Nod

Virginia Primary Results: Don Beyer Wins Democratic Nod

In Virginia's primary, Beyer ran for the Democratic nod. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Virginia Lt. Gov. Don Beyer handily defeated a crowded Democratic primary field Tuesday night in a win that will almost certainly send him to Congress next year in this Arlington-based district.

In a crowded field, Beyer defeated his next closest primary opponent, state Del. Patrick Hope, 45 percent to 20 percent, with 67 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.

He is now the favorite to succeed retiring Rep. James P. Moran in this district, which voted for President Barack Obama with 68 percent in 2012.

But Beyer’s win was largely overshadowed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s primary defeat in Virginia’s 7th District. Cantor lost to a underfunded tea party opponent David Brat by a large margin.

Full story

June 9, 2014

Tuesday Primaries: Eric Cantor, Lindsey Graham Face Tepid Opposition

Tuesday Primaries: Eric Cantor, Lindsey Graham Face Tepid Opposition

Cantor, the House Majority Leader, is on the primary ballot Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Sen. Lindsey Graham — two of  the most recognizable names in Congress — face primary challenges Tuesday from their right flank.

“I feel good,” Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said in a brief interview Thursday at the Capitol. “[We're] running like we’re behind and got a lot of energy. Just got to run through the tape.”

Both Cantor and Graham are poised to defeat their party foes, but their margins will reveal insight into their political positions in their respective states.

Full story

June 6, 2014

In California’s 31st District, Democrats Hold on to Second Place

In California’s 31st District, Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar maintained a 181-vote lead over Republican Lesli Gooch Friday, after the San Bernardino County Elections Office released an updated vote tally.

Aguilar currently leads Gooch, 17.36 percent to 17.01 percent. Gooch knocked into Aguilar’s lead by two votes on Friday.

It is unclear how many ballots have yet to be counted in the 31st District race. But Gooch’s campaign manager said the candidate is not conceding, offering a stinging criticism of the National Republican Congressional Committee for not helping their campaign.

“The NRCC did nothing,” said campaign manager Jeff Stinson. “The NRCC has failed this campaign. Not only that, they failed the party because they did not step in when they could have. A dollar would have won this seat. That’s an embarrassment to the party.”

In California, the top-two vote recipients, regardless of party, advance to the general election. GOP businessman Paul Chabot is in a secure first-place position, so Democrats need Aguilar to maintain his second-place spot or else get shut out of the general election.

Full story

June 5, 2014

Democrats Claim Victory in California’s 31st District Primary

Democrats Claim Victory in Californias 31st District Primary

In California's 31st District, Miller is retiring, leaving a competitive race for his seat. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 8:18 p.m. | Democrats have claimed victory in California’s 31st District primary, with the party’s candidate holding on to a 183-vote lead ahead of the third-place Republican, and more ballots yet to be counted.

Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, a Democrat, maintained his second-place standing in the top-two primary Thursday, after state election officials tallied more than 30,000 outstanding mail-in ballots.

“I am honored that Inland Empire families have given me the chance to move on to the November election and ultimately represent them in Congress,” Aguilar said in a statement shortly after results were released.

He currently leads former Capitol Hill aide Lesli Gooch, a Republican, 17.35 percent to 17 percent.  But there are about 5,200 provisional and other “emergency” ballots yet to be tallied in San Bernardino County. Officials have not set a date to count those ballots.

Jeff Stinson, Gooch’s campaign manager, said Gooch will “absolutely not” concede the race until all of the remaining ballots are counted.

Full story

Iowa Republicans Face Unpredictable Convention for Coveted House Seat

Iowa Republicans Face Unpredictable Convention for Coveted House Seat

Iowa Republicans will use a convention to pick a nominee to succeed retiring Rep. Tom Latham, right. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In Iowa, a rare and unpredictable convention will pick the Republican nominee in one of the country’s most competitive House districts — and the results could determine whether Republicans hold the seat in 2014.

None of the six Republican candidates received the 35 percent necessary to win the nomination outright in the 3rd District. Instead, the nomination fight continues at a June 21 convention, in which hundreds of party activists select the nominee.

It’s a process that has only happened twice in 50 years. The last time was in 2002, when now-Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, won the nomination.

“Any one of them could win legitimately,” said Doug Gross, a former chief of staff to Gov. Terry E. Branstad and a 3rd District convention delegate. “Anybody who tells you they can handicap that race is smarter than anyone around or is lying — one of the two. No one knows what is actually going to happen.”

Although the convention is unpredictable, some GOP operatives in the Hawkeye State said the process gives them a second chance to avoid state Sen. Brad Zaun as their nominee. Zaun finished first with 25 percent in Tuesday’s primary, among a field of six candidates.

Full story

June 4, 2014

Wendy Greuel Concedes California House Contest

Democratic state Sen. Ted Lieu is poised to become the next member of Congress from Hollywood’s House seat — California’s 33rd District.

Lieu advanced to the general election Tuesday, and in November he will face a Republican opponent in a strong Democratic district.

In California’s primary, the two highest vote recipients regardless of party advance to the general election. Full story

California Democrat Endorses Republican Opponent

California Democrat Endorses Republican Opponent

Rogers backed one of his former Republican opponents. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With two Republicans advancing to the general in California’s 25th District open-seat race, the losing Democrat conceded the race on Wednesday and backed one of his two former GOP opponents.

Podiatric surgeon Lee Rogers, the top Democrat in the race, finished third behind two Republicans, former state Sen. Tony Strickland and state Sen. Steve Knight. In a Wednesday morning statement, Rogers recommended Democrats in the district back Knight — a rare endorsement from a member of an opposing party.

Rogers called Knight “an honest man with integrity” before going on to take jabs at Strickland.

“To the contrary, Tony Strickland is a politician in search of a district,” Rogers continued. “Recommending a Republican for Congress may not sit well with some in my party, but I didn’t create the rules and I care too much about our district to let it fall to a dishonest carpetbagger who is interested only in himself, like Tony Strickland.”

Full story

Primary Results: California House Races (Updated)

Primary Results: California House Races (Updated)

Ose will face Bera, above. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 10:33 a.m., 2:15 p.m. | The race for California’s coveted 31st District remained too close to call Wednesday morning, with just 390 votes separating the second- and third-place finishers.

The results will make or break the race for Democrats, who have invested significant resources in this competitive district and named it one of their top targets of the cycle.

In California, the top two vote recipients, regardless of party, advance to the general election.

Full story

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