Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 19, 2014

Posts in "Primaries"

April 18, 2014

Michele Bachmann Endorses in Florida Special Election

Michele Bachmann Endorses in Florida Special Election

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., endorsed in a Florida special election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has endorsed businessman Curt Clawson with days to go in the Republican primary race to replace former Florida Rep. Trey Radel.

Clawson’s announcement of the endorsement offered no statement from the retiring congresswoman, but the candidate heaped praise on Bachmann, the founder of the House Tea Party Caucus.

“Congresswoman Bachmann was tea party before there was a tea party, and after this year she will be missed in Congress,” Clawson said. “With a victory next Tuesday, we can continue the work she has started to protect our Constitution and restore fiscal integrity to Washington.”

Clawson faces a competitive primary on Tuesday. His chief rivals are state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto and former state Rep. Paige Kreegel.

Bachmann joins several national Republicans who backed candidates in the race for Florida’s 19th District. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., also endorsed Clawson. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and two members of Congress recently backed Benacquisto.

The winner of the primary is likely to win the June 24 special election. The race is rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Jack Kingston Works His Base at Rural Cookout

Jack Kingston Works His Base at Rural Cookout

Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., greets supporters as he arrives at an annual cookout. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Jack Kingston Works His Base at Rural CookoutGLENNVILLE, Ga. — Rep. Jack Kingston, who’s represented Savannah in Congress for the last two decades, was at home Thursday evening in nearby Tattnall County, where elected officials and candidates streamed in to put their face in front of the loads of sheriffs, police and first responders gathered on the grounds of a rural pond house.

The Republican was one of three candidates vying for the party’s Senate nomination to attend the 27th annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Cookout, held just outside Kingston’s district. More than 1,000 people from around the state were on hand, sipping light beer and munching on pork barbecue, smoked chicken, Cadillac rice and Brunswick stew. Kingston, the only candidate with a campaign booth, could barely turn around without running into someone he knew, inevitably wearing his campaign sticker.

Southeast Georgia is Kingston country. His campaign has been working for months to broaden his brand beyond this area and into vote-rich Atlanta ahead of the competitive May 20 primary. But on this day, the congressman was sewing up his base.

Full story

April 17, 2014

Runoff Likely in Crowded N.C. Open-Seat Race

Runoff Likely in Crowded N.C. Open Seat Race

Coble will leave Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican nominee in the crowded race to replace retiring GOP Rep. Howard Coble likely won’t be known until mid-summer.

Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger Jr., the son and namesake of one of North Carolina’s most powerful Republican officials, has a firm grip on the front-runner position. But GOP operatives in the Tar Heel State said Berger, whose father Phil Berger Sr. is president pro tem of the state Senate, is unlikely to surpass the 40 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff in the May 6 primary.

“I believe [Berger Jr.] has a name ID advantage just because of who his dad is,” said Matt Bales, a researcher with the non-partisan FreeEnterprise Foundation in North Carolina.

The primary has become a race for second place, and many North Carolina operatives said the rest of the nine-candidate GOP field is largely unknown, unwieldy and hard to assess.

Full story

Republican Super PAC Ad Attacks Club for Growth

Republican Super PAC Ad Attacks Club for Growth

Simpson, left, conducts a hearing in early April. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A super PAC that defends Republican incumbents went up on air Thursday with an ad that both touts Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson’s conservative credentials and attacks the outside groups seeking to oust him in an upcoming primary.

The ad, released by Defending Main Street, seeks to discredit the Club for Growth — the main group attacking Simpson in the May 20 primary. It ties Club for Growth President Chris Chocola to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., a villain to the Republican Party, and questions the club’s priorities.

“His group spends more money trying to defeat Republicans than defeating Democrats,” the narrator accuses, before going on to highlight Simpson’s votes against the Affordable Care Act and his endorsement from the National Rifle Association.

Full story

‘Desperate Housewives,’ Spielberg Donate in L.A. Race

Desperate Housewives, Spielberg Donate in L.A. Race

Actress Marcia Cross, seen at a 2008 Capitol Hill press conference about breast cancer, is among the stars donating in California's 33rd District race. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., counts many of Hollywood’s biggest names among his constituents in his 33rd District, located in the wealthy areas of L.A. County including Santa Monica, Malibu and Beverly Hills.

But now that he’s retiring from Congress after 20 terms, many of those famous names are appearing in the fundraising reports of the more than one dozen candidates seeking to replace him.

Full story

April 16, 2014

Bentivolio’s Republican Rival Goes On the Air

The Republican challenger to Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich., is on the air with a positive spot and is putting big money behind it.

Attorney David Trott’s campaign aired a spot featuring him commuting to work and touts him as a job creator and Washington outsider. A spokeswoman said the campaign’s ad buy was well into the six figures.

Trott has plenty of money to spend on advertising. He raised $587,000 in the first quarter of this year and reported a little more than $1 million in cash on hand. Part of his haul was self-funded: Trott contributed $400,000 to the campaign earlier this year.

Full story

Tony Strickland Up With First TV Ad in California House Contest

Former state Sen. Tony Strickland released his first ad in his bid for California’s open 25th District on Wednesday, laying out his priorities, including GOP favorites like repealing the Affordable Care Act, cutting spending and balancing the budget.

Strickland, a Republican, is one of a number of candidates seeking to succeed retiring Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif. He will face GOP state Sen. Steve Knight, podiatrist Lee Rogers, a Democrat, and several other candidates in a June 3 top-two primary. The two candidates with the highest vote totals advance to the general election in November, regardless of party.

Full story

A Low-Key Paul Broun Campaigns for Senate in Georgia

A Low Key Paul Broun Campaigns for Senate in Georgia

Broun speaks with supporter Jim Serrate, of Acworth, Ga., at the conclusion of the Cobb County Republican Women's Club candidate forum on Tuesday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A Low Key Paul Broun Campaigns for Senate in GeorgiaMARIETTA, Ga. — If one knew of Rep. Paul Broun only from a 90-minute Senate candidate forum Tuesday, it wouldn’t be obvious he is the cause of so much heartburn among Republican strategists from Capitol Hill to Atlanta — all hoping to hold the party’s most vulnerable open seat.

Broun, known widely for his controversial comments on evolution and other topics, sat stoic and expressionless on the dais as four other Georgia Republican hopefuls professed their conservative credentials. Each time the moderator called on him, Broun took a slow, deep breath before calmly — though sometimes haltingly — laying out his views and record on a range of issues.

That included his bill to prohibit “amnesty” in any comprehensive immigration overhaul, his bills to repeal the Affordable Care Act and his staunch support of the Second Amendment. All are firmly conservative positions, but his answers lacked any hint of the rhetoric that has some party insiders concerned his nomination would put in jeopardy a seat the party must hold for any hope of winning the Senate majority. Full story

April 15, 2014

Bachmann Endorses Emmer as Successor in Minnesota

Bachmann Endorses Emmer as Successor in Minnesota

Emmer is sporting a new endorsement. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Retiring Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., on Tuesday endorsed former state Rep. Tom Emmer as her successor in her soon-to-be former House seat, according to a local report.

“I will give Tom every measure that I possibly can. Whether it’s fundraising, whether it’s personal help, whatever I can do I’m there more than 100 percent to ensure that Tom Emmer is the next member of the United States Congress,” Bachmann said at a news conference Tuesday, according to Minnesota Public Radio.

Over the weekend, Emmer received the endorsement of the Republican Party of Minnesota in the Gopher State’s 6th District. He defeated Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah and former state Rep. Phil Krinkie to earn the state party’s seal of approval.

Full story

April 14, 2014

GOP Candidate’s Response to Attacks? Silence and Ocean Waves

In the final week before a special primary in Florida, businessman Curt Clawson has a message for his opponents: silence.

Clawson, who is running in the GOP primary to succeed former Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., has released a new television spot featuring a silent shot of the ocean’s waves rolling up over the shore. Without a narrator, title cards over the sea state the ad is a 30-second respite from negative “attacks” from his GOP opponents, state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto and former state Rep. Paige Kreegel.

Full story

Club for Growth Hits Simpson on Bailout Vote in TV Ad

Club for Growth Hits Simpson on Bailout Vote in TV Ad

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, faces a competitive May 20 primary (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Club for Growth’s political action arm released a TV ad Monday against Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson, hitting the eight-term Republican on his vote for the Wall Street bailout in 2008 — a key point of contention for the conservative outside group.

Simpson faces attorney Bryan Smith in a competitive May 20 GOP primary. Smith is backed by the club and other tea party-affiliated groups.

The 30-second spot is a fact-check on Simpson’s claim in a recent ad that he voted to repeal the Troubled Assets Relief Program, better known as TARP. The ad utilizes video footage of Simpson speaking at an event in 2010, telling an audience that he voted for TARP.

Full story

Honda Challenger Releases Second Spot in California Race

Honda Challenger Releases Second Spot in California Race

Honda, left, has a challenge from another Democrat this cycle. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Attorney Ro Khanna, a Democrat seeking to defeat longtime Rep. Michael M. Honda, D-Calif., has started to air his second advertisement of the race — a sign the challenger is becoming more aggressive ahead of a June primary.

In the 30-second ad, released on Monday, Khanna broadly describes a few of his policy proposals if elected to Congress. For example, he suggests adding computer coding to the curriculum in public schools – an issue that could resonate in the Silicon Valley-based 17th District.

Full story

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.

Full story

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.

Full story

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

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