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February 6, 2016

Posts in "Primaries"

February 5, 2016

Anti-Abortion Groups to GOP: Include Fiorina in Debate

US Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina (C) arrives to attend an Addiction Recovery Roundtable at the Hope for NH Recovery center in Manchester, New Hampshire, on February 5, 2016.  / AFP / JEWEL SAMAD        (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Fiorina arrives at an addiction recovery roundtable at the Hope for NH Recovery center in Manchester, N.H., on Friday. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

The leaders of two influential anti-abortion rights groups are blasting the decision to exclude Carly Fiorina from Saturday’s presidential debate, arguing that GOP voters deserve to see the primary field’s lone female candidate — and one of the race’s sharpest critics of Planned Parenthood — on stage in New Hampshire.

In a statement shared with Roll Call, the women — Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List, and Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life – said that they are “dumbfounded” at Fiorina’s exclusion.

Full story

February 3, 2016

Owens, Mills Outraising Incumbents in Rematches

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 9: Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, runs down the House steps barefoot as she leaves the Capitol for the Columbus Day recess after final votes on Friday Oct. 9, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Love’s Democratic challenger outraised her by $25,000. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In Utah’s ‘Safe Republican‘ territory, where Democrat Doug Owens is again vying for the 4th District seat he lost by 5 points in 2014, he is one of the rare rematch candidates to have raised more than the incumbent.

Freshman Republican Rep. Mia Love has been looking to solidify her hold in a district Mitt Romney carried by 37 points in 2012. She brought in $325,000 in the final three months of 2015, and spent $302,000 of it, leaving her with $781,000 in the bank. But Owens raised $350,000, spending only $135,000, and has $500,000 in the bank.

Wealthy Minnesota businessman Stewart Mills is making a second attempt to unseat the Democratic congressman who defeated him by a point and a half in 2014. Mills’ 4th-quarter fundraising report shows him raising $258,000 for his bid for the 8th District. That’s more than Rep. Rick Nolan’s $187,000, even excluding Mills’ $11,000 contribution to his own campaign. Nolan still has some $400,000 more in the bank.

In another House rematch, vulnerable New Hampshire Republican Frank Guinta was outraised by his Democratic opponent. Guinta, however, has been in hot water for campaign finance violations, and his Democratic opponent, Carol Shea-Porter, is a former member of Congress.

Shea-Porter raised $211,000 to Guinta’s $71,000. Although Guinta maintains a cash-on-hand advantage over Shea-Porter, he’ll have to make it through a primary before facing Democratic competition. His primary opponent, businessman Dan Innis, also outraised him, though by only about $20,000.

It’s much more typical, of course, for rematch challengers to lag in fundraising. That’s been the case in Maine’s 2nd District, where freshman GOP Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a member of the Financial Services Committee, has consistently raised more than Democrat Emily Cain, whom he defeated by 5 points in 2014. But only $61,000 separated their 4th quarter fundraising hauls. Thanks to a hefty 1st quarter haul, Poliquin’s cash on hand total still dwarfs Cain’s.

The same has been true in Texas’ 23rd District, the site of a rematch between Democratic former Rep. Pete Gallego and freshman GOP Rep. Will Hurd. Gallego raised $224,000 and has $424,000 in the bank. Hurd, as he has throughout the cycle, raised more, taking in $312,000 and leaving him with over $1 million in the bank.

In Illinois’ 10th District, Democratic former Rep. Brad Schneider has been raising serious money in his bid to take back the 10th District seat from Republican Rep. Robert J. Dold, but Dold is still raising more. The Republican raised $464,000 compared to Schneider’s $391,000. Dold also has more cash on hand.

Incumbency isn’t always a fundraising advantage. A number of challengers in competitive or closely-watched House races that aren’t rematches upended the incumbency-advantage narrative in the 3rd quarter. In Iowa’s 1st District, for example, Democrat Monica Vernon raised more than freshman Republican Rep. Rod Blum, one of the most vulnerable members of the House. She did so again in the 4th quarter.

In New Jersey’s 5th District, former Bill Clinton speech writer Josh Gottheimer again raised more than longtime GOP Rep. Scott Garrett, who angered some Republicans, including his Wall Street allies, when he said in July he wouldn’t contribute to the NRCC because of the committee’s support of gay candidates.

Tennessee GOP Rep. Scott DesJarlais has been outraised before; he barely won his 2014 primary and is facing what some have described as a more daunting challenger in young Republican Grant Starrett this year. Starrett again outraised DesJarlais this quarter, although Starrett’s $92,000 4th quarter haul is less impressive than the $733,000 haul (including a $227,000 personal loan) he reported in his first fundraising report.

The 4th quarter saw several challengers post higher numbers than incumbents for the first time. In Michigan’s 7th District, for example, Democratic state Sen. Gretchen Driskell raised more than four-term Republican Tim Walberg. Walberg only raised a few thousand dollars more than Driskell in the previous quarter, but his cash on hand has now grown to more than $1 million, while Driskell has only $604,000 in the bank.

California Republican Steve Knight’s fundraising got off to a rough start this cycle. He took in only $29,000 during the first quarter of 2015, but as a member of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Patriot Program for vulnerable members, he got a significant boost in the 2nd quarter, posting an impressive $405,000 haul. He slipped again in the 3rd quarter, though, raising just $77,000. In the final quarter of 2015, his haul returned to the six-figures. But Democratic attorney Bryan Caforio, who got in the race in December, managed to raise $35,000 more in less time.

Contact Pathé at simonepathe@rollcall.com and follow her on Twitter at @sfpathe.

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Pat Toomey Endorses Marco Rubio for President

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)

Toomey is up for re-election this year.

Updated: 5:30 p.m | Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick J. Toomey endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio for president Wednesday during an interview on CNN.

“We face a huge national security crisis, obviously, emanating from the Middle East. There is tension all across the world,” he said. “Marco has demonstrated clear understanding. He’s done the hard work, he’s knowledgeable, thoughtful and a smart guy.”

Full story

Time Is Running Out for Senate Primaries Fundraising

Duckworth is running for Senate, opening the 8th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Duckworth has outraised her primary and general election opponents. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For several of this year’s competitive Senate primaries, the fourth quarter of 2015 was the last fundraising quarter before primary day.

In Ohio, Illinois and North Carolina, voters go to the polls on March 15, a month before the next Federal Election Commission fundraising report deadline. In all three of those states, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has backed the better-known candidate, who, unsurprisingly, raised more money from October through December of 2015. Full story

February 2, 2016

Baltimore the Battleground for Two Maryland Senate Candidates

Edwards and Van Hollen are running for Senate in 2016. (Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly File Photo)

With Cummings out of the Maryland Senate race, Baltimore, his hometown, will be key for Edwards and Van Hollen. (Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly File Photo)

In the political theater Maryland voters will see over the next nearly three months ahead of the April elections, the main characters in the state’s Democratic primary finally know their roles.

Reps. Donna Edwards and Chris Van Hollen, two Democrats who had been looking over their shoulder for months to see if Rep. Elijah E. Cummings was looking to join them in the race for retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski’s Senate seat, got the news they were hoping for on Tuesday: He won’t.  Full story

Liz Cheney ‘Taking Nothing for Granted’ in Second Campaign

Cheney. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Cheney is running for Wyoming’s sole seat in the House. (Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Liz Cheney has many of the things one might hope to have when launching a campaign for Congress in a state as red as Wyoming.

As a Fox News contributor and author, she built a national profile she could use to leverage support from conservative donors. She has past, though unsuccessful, experience running for office. And she has a last name that is still revered in parts of the Republican electorate because of her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, who served a decade in the same seat.

Full story

What We Learned From the Iowa Caucuses

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Rubio plays with his children Monday after addressing supporters at a caucus night party in Des Moines. (Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

The first contest in the 2016 presidential election ended with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz winning the angry vote over Donald Trump while Sen. Marco Rubio’s strong showing made him the party’s establishment favorite. The two Democrats battled to a “virtual tie,” as Sen. Bernard Sanders put it.

The race on the GOP side had been predicted to be a tight one between Cruz and Trump but Rubio’s close third-place finish was the surprise of the night. Sanders’ performance against Hillary Clinton, finishing just a few tenths of a point behind the former secretary of state, will make that fight for the nomination a longer one.

Full story

February 1, 2016

Tennessee’s Stephen Fincher Won’t Run in 2016

UNITED STATES - JUNE 3: Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn., participates in the House Financial Services Committee hearing on "Examining the Export-Import Bank's Reauthorization Request and the Government's Role in Export Financing" on Wednesday, June 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Fincher will not seek a fourth term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:12 p.m. Tennessee Republican Stephen Fincher announced Monday that he would not seek a fourth U.S. House term.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve the people of West Tennessee, but I never intended to become a career politician. The last six years have been the opportunity of a lifetime, and I am honored to have been given the chance to serve,” Fincher said in a statement.

A fierce proponent of reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, Fincher, a member of the Financial Services Committee, split with leadership over the issue and last fall led the effort to reauthorize the bank via discharge petition. Earlier in 2015, Republicans in the House had let the export credit agency’s authorization expire.

First elected in 2010, Fincher won re-election in 2014 with 70 percent of the vote. Republicans have carried his district at the presidential level by comfortable double-digit margins.

Shelby County is the district’s biggest Republican base. “So long as the potential primary doesn’t get diced up, any name that comes out of east Shelby County would have a good jumping off point,” one Republican in the state said.

Among those who Republican sources mentioned as potential candidates are:

  • State Sen. Brian Kelsey has already said he will run and is expected to be a strong contender.
  • Another favorite would be state Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, who sources say has a substantial following and has been behind conservative reforms within the state party. He’s also been mentioned as a 2018 gubernatorial candidate.
  • State Sen. Ed Jackson
  • Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich
  • Shelby County GOP Chairman Mary Wagner, a lawyer in Memphis.
  • Republican National Committee General Counsel and committeeman John Ryder.
  • Former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff, who said on Monday he is running.
  • Scott Golden, Fincher’s district director and a member of the Tennessee GOP State Executive Committee.
  • Radiologist George Flinn, a perennial candidate and self-funder, who placed third in 2014’s Senate primary against Sen. Lamar Alexander.
  • Ron Kirkland, a doctor who lost to Fincher in the 2010 primary. He hails from Jackson, the other major GOP population center in the district, and has been an advocate for Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure TN plan to expand Medicaid.
  • Matthew Stowe, district attorney general for the 24th judicial district, who clerked for former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
  • State Rep. Bill Sanderson of Dyersburg
  • State Rep. Steve McManus
  • Among state legislators who may excite tea party supporters are state Sen. John Stevens and state Rep. Andy Holt.
  • Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell is expected to be able to raise money.

The primary race for the safe Republican seat will likely be crowded and with the filing deadline not until April 7, there’s plenty of time for more names to emerge. Many Republicans who had been eyeing this seat, one Republican source said, were banking on Fincher not making moves until 2018 and were caught off guard by his Monday announcement.  “The question is, who can ramp up their operation at the drop of a hat?” the source said. So far, Norris and Kelsey are the two most widely-cited front runners.

Fincher is the 22nd member to retire this cycle, bringing this cycle’s total up to the average number of House retirements per cycle since 1976. Wisconsin Rep. Reid Ribble announced his retirement over the weekend, setting off a crowded race to replace him.

Contact Pathé at simonepathe@rollcall.com and follow her on Twitter at @sfpathe.

Related:

Roll Call Race Ratings Map: Ratings for Every House and Senate Race in 2016

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Quiz: How Many Past Iowa Caucus Winners Can You Name?

A volunteer moves yard signs in Iowa on Jan. 20, 2016 (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call).

A volunteer moves yard signs in Iowa on Jan. 20, 2016 (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call).

Iowans head to their caucus sites Monday evening while the rest of the country — and world — has nothing to do but await the results. While you do that, test your knowledge of Iowa races past.

Select the person you think won Iowa on a given year and view your results at the end of the quiz. Don’t forget to share your score on Twitter so you can beat your friends.


Sources: Iowa Secretary of State and the Des Moines Register.

Related:

Roll Call Race Ratings Map: Ratings for Every House and Senate Race in 2016

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Potential Field for Reid Ribble’s Wisconsin Seat Grows

Ribble announced over the weekend he wouldn't seek a fourth term. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Ribble announced over the weekend he wouldn’t seek a fourth term. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Three-term Wisconsin Rep. Reid Ribble’s weekend announcement that he won’t seek a fourth term has set off a potentially crowded race to replace him in what’s now a Favored Republican district.

Republicans mention several potential candidates:

Full story

January 30, 2016

Liz Cheney Plans to Run for Wyoming’s House Seat

Cheney. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Cheney’s challenge against Enzi in 2012 caused some heartburn in Republican political circles. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A couple months of “consideration” will come to an end early next week, when Wyoming Republican Liz Cheney plans to announce her candidacy for the state’s at-large House seat, a Republican official confirmed Saturday following an Associated Press report.

Cheney — a Republican political commentator whose father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, represented Wyoming in the House from 1979 to 1989 — plans to join the growing field of candidates running to replace Rep. Cynthia M. Lummis, who announced in November she would not run for re-election.  Full story

January 29, 2016

New Light Shed on Old Scandal in Arizona Sheriff’s Congressional Race

Babeu, pictured with Sen. John McCain, has drawn national attention for his efforts against illegal immigration. (Joshua Lott/Getty Images File Photo)

Babeu, pictured with Sen. John McCain, has drawn national attention for his efforts against illegal immigration. (Joshua Lott/Getty Images File Photo)

When Paul Babeu first tried to run for Congress in 2012, his exploratory campaign was rocked by allegations by a 34-year-old man that the Arizona sheriff threatened to have him deported if their relationship was publicly revealed. But even though he was eventually cleared of criminal wrongdoing, Babeu’s campaign did not make it out of the gate.

The spectacle surrounding the conservative Republican’s relationship overshadowed another issue that had risen for Babeu. A 2000 investigation by the Massachusetts Office of Child Care Services found what it deemed “abusive” disciplinary practices being used on students at a private school he once led for troubled youth had begun to circulate in Arizona. And while the story got some attention in the Arizona press at the time, he denied any personal wrongdoing, said he was never named in any lawsuit against the school and was easily re-elected sheriff that same year.

Almost four years later, as Babeu campaigns again for Congress, this time for the Republican nomination in Arizona’s highly contested, open 1st District, the issue of the DeSisto School has re-emerged, with video. Full story

January 28, 2016

New Candidate Already Spending Big in Maryland Race for Van Hollen Seat

Van Hollen secured endorsements in an area ripe for primary vote picking. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The race for the Maryland congressional seat currently held by Van Hollen got a last-minute candidate. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated: 3:22 p.m. | With only a few days before the door closes on candidate filing in Maryland, one surprise candidate is on his way through – and he brought a big checkbook with him.

David J. Trone, a 60-year-old businessman who made a fortune from his retail chain, Total Wine & More, announced his candidacy late Wednesday in the Democratic primary for Maryland’s open 8th District – potentially shaking it up with the millions he said he would be willing to spend ahead of the April primary.  Full story

By Eli Yokley Posted at 12:43 p.m.
Democrats, Md.-8, Primaries

Congressional Hopefuls Cozy Up to Iowa Caucus Circus

Mowrer is running against King. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mowrer, who’s running for the Democratic nod in the 3rd District, says he has benefited from all the presidential activity in his backyard. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As presidential candidates storm their state ahead of next week’s caucuses, Iowa’s congressional candidates are struggling to be noticed. But behind the scenes, they’re taking advantage of an energized electorate and organized political infrastructure to help build their own campaign operations.

“Normally in January, 10 months until Election Day, people are not too politically involved. Having the presidential candidates investing time and money and fielding efforts in the state — that helps a lot to get people involved,” said Iraq War veteran Jim Mowrer, who’s running for the Democratic nomination in Iowa’s 3rd District. 

Mowrer would know. Having run for Congress in 2014 in the 4th District, he’s seen the difference between a midterm and presidential election cycle. “You can feel the difference between the level of engagement and the number of people involved,” he said. 

There are practical benefits, too. “It’s a huge boost because you don’t have to spend resources to get on the ballot,” said Travis Lowe, a Democratic consultant working for former state Rep. Pat Murphy in the 1st District and businessman Mike Sherzan in the 3rd District, both of whom are vying for the Democratic nods. “In other cycles,” Lowe said, “you have to knock on doors” to get the necessary signatures to qualify for the ballot. When there’s a competitive presidential caucus, “it all happens on caucus night.” Full story

January 27, 2016

Survey: Cruz Attack on Trump Helps … Trump

Cruz, left, and Trump, right, are at the top of the GOP polls. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A new study suggests Cruz’s attacks on Trump might not be working. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A new survey suggests that a Ted Cruz ad attacking Donald Trump on his “New York values” only strengthens his appeal among blue-collar voters. Full story

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