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October 24, 2014

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August 26, 2013

EMILY’s List Endorses Michelle Nunn for Georgia Senate | #GASEN

EMILY’s List, an organization that backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights, announced on Monday that it endorsed nonprofit leader Michelle Nunn for Senate from Georgia.

Nunn is seeking retiring GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ seat. She is the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga.

Full story

August 23, 2013

Republican Readies Primary Challenge to Boehner Ally (Video)

The candidate:  Attorney Bryan Smith, a Republican
The member: Smith is challenging Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho.
The district: Idaho’s 2nd District is rated Safe Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/CQ Roll Call. The district incorporates Boise but also includes much of the Gem State’s potato production.
The candidate’s team: Cold Spark Media’s Nachama Soloveichik and Mark Harris (general consultants) and Carrie Brown (campaign manager)

Attorney Bryan Smith earned the Club for Growth’s first major endorsement of the 2014 cycle, but he said he made the decision to challenge one of Speaker John A. Boehner’s top allies in Congress independently of the cash-flush, conservative group.

“People that I know apparently had submitted my name and then I did get a call from the Club for Growth,” Smith said in a Monday interview at the CQ Roll Call offices. “I did go back and interview with them. But I made the decision independent from the Club for Growth.” Full story

August 21, 2013

FreedomWorks Vs. John Cornyn: Round 2 | #TXSEN

FreedomWorks, a national organization aligned with the tea party, took its second shot at Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, this summer as part of a digital advertisement campaign targeting several GOP senators.

The Facebook spots link to a letter that notes “a number of Senators have joined Mike Lee’s efforts to defund ObamaCare.” The Utah Republican’s efforts are essentially a defacto threat to shut down the government if funding for the 2010 health care law is not eliminated.

“Now some are getting cold feet,” FreedomWorks continued. “Senator John Cornyn – one of the original supporters – has bowed to the Republican Establishment and no longer wishes to help Senator Lee. Why is Senator Cornyn withdrawing his support for Mike Lee?”

FreedomWorks Vs. John Cornyn: Round 2 | #TXSEN

Full story

EMILY’s List Endorses Mitch McConnell’s Opponent in Kentucky Senate Race | #KYSEN

EMILYs List Endorses Mitch McConnells Opponent in Kentucky Senate Race | #KYSEN

Schriock is the president of EMILY's List. (Bill Clark/Roll Call via Getty Images)

EMILY’s List has endorsed Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes’ bid against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The group’s president, Stephanie Schriock, called Lundergan Grimes “an energetic rising star” in a Wednesday release announcing the endorsement. Full story

August 7, 2013

Club for Growth Backs Mark Pryor Challenger #ARSEN

Updated 11:55 a.m. |The Club for Growth’s political action committee formally endorsed Republican Rep. Tom Cotton on Wednesday, a day after the freshman announced a challenge to Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor in Arkansas.

The group is set to launch a six-figure TV ad buy against Pryor on Thursday, tying the incumbent to President Barack Obama. The ads will run on broadcast and cable stations, and it’s just the latest media campaign targeting one of the most vulnerable incumbents of the cycle.

“Tom Cotton is a taxpayer hero and a fighter against the Obama agenda,” Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said in a statement.

Full story

August 6, 2013

EMILY’s List Backs Six House Candidates

EMILYs List Backs Six House Candidates

EMILY's List has fully backed Latham's challenger. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

EMILY’s List announced on Tuesday that it would fully endorse six challengers seeking House seats in 2014.

The organization, which backs female Democratic candidates who back abortion rights, will throw its full support behind the following half-dozen candidates:

Full story

July 23, 2013

Super PAC Launches New Ad Against McConnell #KYSEN

A Democratic super PAC is up with a new TV ad targeting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, part of a media campaign that will run through Election Day 2014.

The Senate Majority PAC ad is running statewide with a buy size of nearly $270,000, according to a spokesman. It plays up the label national Democrats are attaching to McConnell in an effort to defeat him next year: “guardian of gridlock.”

The goal is for voters to see McConnell as someone solely focused on obstructing government, rather than on his home state.

“He calls himself the guardian of gridlock, grinding the Senate to a halt, even when it hurts Kentucky,” the ad’s announcer says.

Full story

July 1, 2013

Money Race: Senate Fundraising Hauls to Watch

As outside-group crossfire blasts through two Senate races, candidates aren’t just raising money early — they’re spending it.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., don’t have opponents yet, but both are already participating in an ad war unleashed exceedingly early in the cycle, starting 20 months before Election Day in one case.

With the close of the second fundraising quarter on June 30, the threat — and, for those two, the reality — of early attacks reinforces the need for candidates to lay the groundwork now for an expensive election season that’s grown longer in recent years.

It’s why national Democrats, who are defending most of the vulnerable seats up this cycle, have increasingly pushed their incumbents to raise money early. And Republican challengers, even those who haven’t officially announced, must begin socking away for next year.

After losing two seats last cycle, Republicans must add a net of six seats to take the majority.

Fundraising reports covering April through June are due to the Federal Election Commission by July 15. The toplines will shine a spotlight on incumbents’ financial positioning, indicate who has a head start in primaries and provide clues about who is moving closer to a Senate bid.

Here is what to watch for as reports begin rolling in over the next two weeks: Full story

June 28, 2013

Tea Party Fund Targets Graham, Alexander, Collins for Immigration Votes

The leader of the Senate Conservatives Fund emailed supporters on Friday promising to back primary challenges against three Republican incumbents who voted for the Senate immigration bill that passed the chamber Thursday.

“There are three incumbents up next year who supported the amnesty bill,” SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins wrote, calling out Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Lamar Alexander or Tennessee, and Susan Collins of Maine. “If strong, conservative challengers emerge in these races, we will support them.”

Senate Conservatives Fund is a tea-party aligned group that was founded by former Sen. Jim DeMint. The South Carolina Republican is no longer with the group. Graham, a member of the bipartisan “gang of eight” that drafted the underlying immigration overhaul, indicated in a Thursday Senate floor speech that he knew his position on immigration might create primary problems for him.

“I have never been more proud to be involved in an issue than I have trying to fix illegal immigration because it is a national security threat, it is an economic threat, and it is a cultural threat,” Graham said.

“As to my politics, I am doing great among Hispanics in South Carolina. The bad news is that there are not very many who vote in the Republican primary,” he added. Full story

June 27, 2013

Democrats Target Cotton on TV in Arkansas #ARSEN

A Democratic outside group launched a TV ad in Arkansas on Thursday targeting GOP Rep. Tom Cotton, a potential Senate candidate.

The ad, which will air statewide for the next two weeks, portrays the freshman Republican as someone “out for himself, not us.” A source said the total ad buy from the affiliated groups Senate Majority PAC and Patriot Majority USA is for about $270,000.

Full story

June 25, 2013

Markey Wins Senate Special Election #MASEN

Markey Wins Senate Special Election #MASEN

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After more than 36 years representing Massachusetts in the House, Democratic Rep. Edward J. Markey will be the commonwealth’s next senator.

Backed by millions of dollars in air and ground support from national Democrats, the eighth-longest-tenured House member succeeded in holding the seat of Democrat John Kerry, who resigned to become secretary of State earlier this year.

In Tuesday’s special election, The Associated Press called the race for Markey with 82 percent of precincts reporting. At that point, Markey led Republican Gabriel Gomez, 54 percent to 45 percent. Full story

Inouye’s Legacy in the Hawaii Special Election #HISEN

Inouyes Legacy in the Hawaii Special Election #HISEN

Inouye's legacy lives on with his staff. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

There is no question that the Inouye name will have a presence in next year’s Hawaii Senate special election; the only question is how much it will affect the race.

Irene Hirano Inouye, the widow of the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii, endorsed Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in the Democratic primary back in May. And on Monday, Inouye signed her name to an EMILY’s List email asking for donations for Hanabusa’s bid against appointed Sen. Brian Schatz.

“I have full confidence that Colleen will serve Hawai’i in the way the people deserve — with honorable leadership and continued respect,” Inouye said in the email. “This is not the time for on-the-job-training.”

Meanwhile, Peter Boylan, a former deputy chief of staff to Inouye, said last week that he would be helping Hanabusa’s campaign as a spokesman. And the Honolulu Civil Beat reported Monday that former Inouye Chief of Staff Jennifer Sabas will also help Hanabusa’s campaign. Full story

June 17, 2013

Democrats Tie Republican to Romney in Special Election #MASEN

With a new poll showing Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., pulling away, yet another outside group spot is hitting GOP nominee Gabriel Gomez in the Massachusetts Senate special election.

The new Senate Majority PAC advertisement, released on Monday, ties Gomez to Mitt Romney, the former Bay State governor and presidential nominee whose business background was tarnished in early 2012 ads. The ad is part of a $1 million media buy from the group, contributing to the overwhelming spending advantage Markey and his Democratic allies enjoy in this race.

Full story

June 12, 2013

Chamber Sitting Out Massachusetts Special #MASEN

While no national GOP-aligned outside groups have spent so far in the race, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has definitively decided it won’t expend any resources on the Massachusetts Senate special election.

“The Chamber has not engaged in the MA senate race and does not have any plans to do so,” Chamber spokeswoman Blair Latoff Holmes said in an email to CQ Roll Call. Full story

June 7, 2013

Democratic Ads Tie Gomez to National GOP #MASEN

In the party’s first major television foray into the competitive June 25 Massachusetts Senate special election, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Senate Majority PAC released ads Friday in an effort to define Gabriel Gomez as an ordinary Republican.

That’s the ultimate goal for the party in this Democratic-leaning state. And the two ads released Friday by the national Democratic groups specifically target seniors — potential high-propensity voters even in odd-timed elections. Neither ad mentions Rep. Edward J. Markey, the Democratic nominee, preferring instead to accuse Gomez of supporting cutting Medicare and raising the retirement age.

According to a Republican source tracking ad buys, the DSCC has purchased $751,000 in TV time through June 25 and Senate Majority PAC $448,000 through June 17. Full story

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