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July 29, 2014

Posts in "Primaries"

July 14, 2014

Paul Broun Endorses Candidate in Georgia

Paul Broun Endorses Candidate in Georgia

Jody Hice was endorsed by Paul Broun. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Paul Broun, the Georgia Republican who lost a Senate primary in May, endorsed pastor Jody Hice in the July 22 runoff to replace him.

Broun had stayed out of the GOP primary in the 10th District until now, saying he did not want to anoint a successor. But in a Monday radio interview in Georgia, Broun said recent events pushed him to support Hice over businessman Mike Collins in the July 22 runoff.

“Just recently Mike Collins has rejected and repudiated my simple four-way test. … Jody Hice has pledged that he is going to use that same four-way test as he evaluates legislation and Mike Collins just recently said that he rejects that test,” Broun said on Georgia’s Morning News with Zoller & Bryant.

Full story

Louisiana Senate Race Has One Fewer Republican

State Rep. Paul Hollis, a Republican waging a bid in Louisiana’s competitive Senate contest, withdrew his candidacy Monday.

Hollis was running as a more conservative option to GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy, as Republicans challenge Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu. His exit provides one less hurdle for Cassidy to advance to a runoff with Landrieu, but Cassidy’s main intraparty adversary remains: Rob Maness, a Sarah Palin-backed retired Air Force colonel.

Candidates have until Aug. 22 to file the necessary paperwork for a bid. Fewer candidates in the race — no matter the party — should give Landrieu slightly better odds of avoiding a runoff.  The top-two finishers in the November jungle primary advance to a December runoff unless a candidate receives a majority of the vote. Full story

July 10, 2014

Club for Growth Gets Second Chance in Alabama Race

Club for Growth Gets Second Chance in Alabama Race

Chris Chocola is president of the Club for Growth. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A six-week mulligan for the Club for Growth ends on July 15, when voters will pick a GOP nominee in Alabama’s 6th District runoff.

After the club’s preferred candidate did not advance to the runoff, it regrouped by endorsing the second-place primary finisher, conservative activist Gary Palmer. And this time, GOP operatives in the state said the club’s spending could be enough to propel Palmer to victory over his foe, state Rep. Paul DeMarco, in the race to succeed retiring Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus.

“Palmer has benefited from the Club for Growth,” said Bob Kish, a GOP operative who has worked on Alabama races. “I think it’s enough to put Gary over the top.”

July 9, 2014

Howard Coble Wields Influence in North Carolina Race

Howard Coble Wields Influence in North Carolina Race

Coble has endorsed a candidate to replace him. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Outgoing Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C., has become a fixture in the GOP runoff to determine his successor in the 6th District.

Coble, 83, announced in November he would not seek another term in his Greensboro-based district. Nine Republicans vied to succeed him in a May primary, and the race culminates in a GOP runoff between Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger Jr. and Baptist Pastor Mark Walker on July 15.

Initially, the 15-term Republican refused to take sides in the race, but he endorsed Berger after the primary. Since then, he’s become a frequent presence in the contest, appearing at Berger’s campaign events and fundraisers, making robocalls to voters on behalf of his campaign and riding in the July Fourth parade alongside the front-runner.

Coble told CQ Roll Call that he decided to endorse a potential successor after getting numerous inquiries from the press and candidates about whom he supported. Full story

July 7, 2014

Chris McDaniel Campaign Wants Runoff Redo

Chris McDaniel Campaign Wants Runoff Redo

The McDaniel campaign is challenging the results of last month's runoff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Sen. Chris McDaniel’s attorney confirmed Monday the campaign’s plans to challenge the results of last month’s Senate runoff, arguing the only solution is to hold a new election for the GOP nomination.

McDaniel lost to Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., in the June 24 GOP runoff by about 6,700 votes. Since then, McDaniel’s allies have contested the results and his team offered a cash prize for anyone who can provide evidence of voter fraud.

“The correct remedy is a new election,” said Mitch Tyner, lead counsel for the McDaniel campaign. He added campaign volunteers have reviewed runoff results in 82 counties and have found evidence of voter fraud.

Full story

July 3, 2014

Chris McDaniel Offers $15,000 Reward for Voter Fraud Evidence

Chris McDaniel Offers $15,000 Reward for Voter Fraud Evidence

Chris McDaniel is a Republican from Mississippi. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

State Sen. Chris McDaniel has offered 15 rewards of $1,000 each to any person who can “provide evidence leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in voter fraud” in the Republican primary for Senate in Mississippi.

On Thursday, his campaign announced the “challenge” in the latest episode in a circus of a Senate race. Full story

2016 Hopefuls Steer Clear of Scott Brown Senate Bid

2016 Hopefuls Steer Clear of Scott Brown Senate Bid

Brown is running for Senate in New Hampshire. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: July 3, 8:20 a.m. | Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott P. Brown got Mitt Romney’s endorsement in New Hampshire Wednesday — but it might be a while until his comeback bid gets a lift from any of the Republicans seeking the GOP nod in 2016.

Typically, presidential hopefuls hustle to make inroads into the Granite State, which hosts the first primary on the national nominating calendar.

But the GOP’s 2016 prospects are so far staying away from that Senate race for fear of upsetting prickly Republican activists by endorsing Brown, who was a more moderate Republican in the Senate and supports abortion rights.

Brown is the odds-on favorite to win the Republican nomination on Sept. 9, when he will likely defeat former Sen. Robert C. Smith, R-N.H., and former state Sen. Jim Rubens. The GOP nominee will face Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., in November. Full story

July 2, 2014

Lamar Alexander Argues With Obama Over Obamacare in New Ad (Video)

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn, raised over $900,000 for his re-election bid in the second quarter, his campaign said Wednesday. He also launched a new ad featuring the senator arguing with President Barack Obama.

Alexander now has $3.4 million cash on hand, according to his campaign, with just over a month to go until Tennessee’s Aug. 8 Republican primary.

The new ad shows C-SPAN footage of the White House Healthcare Summit in February of 2010. Alexander was one of several Republicans to attend the bipartisan meeting, and at one point, he engaged with Obama over whether healthcare premiums would rise as a result of Obamacare.

“When you said, ‘premiums go up,’ that’s just not case,” Obama says in the clip, addressing Alexander.

“The Congressional Budget Office report says that premiums will rise,” Alexander responds.

“No, no, no, no, and this is an example of where we’ve got to get our facts straight,” Obama says.

“That’s my point,” says Alexander.

“Lamar was proven right,” a narrator says in the ad.

The ad will begin running statewide on July 6, according to the campaign.

Alexander faces a primary challenge from state Rep. Joe Carr. Carr has drawn significantly more attention in recent weeks since House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., was defeated in a primary by unknown and underfunded college professor Dave Brat. He recently went up with his first ad of the campaign, attacking Alexander for voting for the Senate’s immigration overhaul bill.

The race is rated Safe Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Conservative Lawsuit Challenges Cochran Runoff Win

Conservative Lawsuit Challenges Cochran Runoff Win

Thad Cochran defeated Chris McDaniel, above, in the GOP runoff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A conservative group has taken up state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s cause, filing a lawsuit against the Mississippi Secretary of State and the Republican Party of Mississippi  to challenge the results of the recent runoff for Senate.

Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., defeated McDaniel by a 6,700-vote margin in the June 24 runoff and won the GOP nomination.

Now a conservative group, True the Vote, alleged Wednesday they were denied access to election records, specifically in Hinds and Rankin Counties. They also allege that they found evidence of unlawful “double-voting,” in which Mississippians who voted in the Democratic primary later voted in the Republican runoff three weeks later.

But McDaniel and his supporters face long odds to overturn the results of the runoff. Mississippi state election law has no provision for a recount, and observers say McDaniel is unlikely to find enough illegally cast votes to make up the difference between him and Cochran. What’s more, it’s difficult to prove a runoff voter does not plan to vote for a Republican in the general election.

Full story

June 30, 2014

Rick Santorum Endorses in Georgia Race

Rick Santorum Endorses in Georgia Race

Rick Santorum is a Republican from Pennsylvania. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., endorsed businessman Mike Collins in Georgia’s 10th District GOP runoff Monday, calling him a “rock-solid conservative who will be guided by the U.S. Constitution in Congress.”

“Mike has laid out a bold plan of conservative policies that will push back overbearing federal regulations, revitalize the entrepreneurial spirit and provide more opportunities for blue collar Americans,” Santorum added in the release. “We need more conservative businessmen like Mike Collins in Congress.”

Collins faces pastor Jody Hice, a Republican, in a July 22 runoff. Republicans have described Rice as a candidate in the mold of the congressman he is trying to succeed, conservative firebrand Paul Broun. Broun, known for his outspoken comments on evolution, ran an unsuccessful bid for Senate in Georgia, leaving his House district open. Full story

June 26, 2014

Republican Drops Recount in Targeted California Race

Former Capitol Hill aide Lesli Gooch, the Republican who called for a recount in California’s 31st District, has dropped her request and conceded the race Wednesday night.

“My team of polling data experts has reviewed the results of today’s recount and we have decided not to ask the Registrar of Voters to continue with a second day of recounting ballots,” Gooch said in a statement.

The recount started Wednesday — three weeks after the Golden State’s primary. Gooch’s campaign is responsible for the cost of the recount under local election rules.

In California’s primary, the two highest vote recipients, regardless of party, advance to the general election. Gooch trailed Democrat Pete Aguilar by 209 votes for the second-place spot in the top-two primary. 

Full story

June 25, 2014

Club for Growth Stumbles With Mississippi Senate Loss (Video)

Club for Growth Stumbles With Mississippi Senate Loss (Video)

The Club for Growth worked against Sen. Thad Cochran, who won Tuesday's runoff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Club for Growth, a perpetual thorn in the side of many Republican operatives, took a hit Tuesday in Mississippi, where Sen. Thad Cochran survived a primary challenge despite a significant investment from the anti-tax group.

The Club for Growth’s super PAC arm spent $2.4 million against Cochran, according to figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. That’s a significant chunk of the $3.8 million it’s expended so far this cycle against Republicans.

What’s more, the defeat of state Sen. Chris McDaniel means the club has now failed to topple arguably its top two GOP incumbent targets of the midterm cycle — Cochran and Rep. Mike Simpson. The club spent nearly $500,000 for Bryan Smith, who lost his May 20 challenge to the Idaho Republican.

Full story

How James Lankford Won Big in Oklahoma (Video)

How James Lankford Won Big in Oklahoma (Video)

Lankford will likely come to the Senate next year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. James Lankford had momentum on his side Tuesday, when the Republican captured the GOP nomination outright and avoided a costly runoff.

The big surprise? His massive 23-point margin of victory over T.W. Shannon, who had been hailed as a rising GOP superstar.

Shannon, 36, was the youngest person to ever serve as Speaker of the Oklahoma House. He is African-American, an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation, and had the support of many of the big national tea party names, including Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. On paper, Shannon seemed like he might follow in the footsteps of another Cruz-backed candidate, Ben Sasse, the 42-year-old GOP Senate nominee in Nebraska who rose from relative obscurity to beat the front-runner with the help of national tea party groups.

But Lankford had a number of advantages from the start in the race to succeed Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who is leaving Congress at the end of this year.

Full story

June 24, 2014

Mississippi Runoff Results: Thad Cochran Wins

Mississippi Runoff Results: Thad Cochran Wins

Cochran won a runoff Tuesday and is favored to win a seventh term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran overcame the odds Tuesday to win a contentious Republican runoff and is now favored to win a seventh term.

Two weeks after the stunning loss by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., state Sen. Chris McDaniel hoped to become the latest challenger to unseat a sitting member of Congress in a GOP primary.

But, after finishing 1,400 votes behind McDaniel in the June 3 primary, Cochran was able to expand the electorate  — a feat, pro-Cochran Republican insiders cautioned in the days leading up to the runoff, that hadn’t been achieved in Mississippi statewide elections in recent decades. Full story

Oklahoma Primary Results: Lankford Wins Senate Nomination (Updated)

Oklahoma Primary Results: Lankford Wins Senate Nomination (Updated)

Lankford is a Republican from Oklahoma. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 9:54 p.m. | Rep. James Lankford has won the Oklahoma primary, and now the Republican is likely headed to the Senate.

The Oklahoman defeated former state Speaker T.W. Shannon and several lesser-known candidates to win the Republican nomination Tuesday. In the strongly conservative state of Oklahoma, Lankford is all but certain to become the next senator after November.

Lankford is on track to succeed Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who is stepping down at the end of this Congress. Full story

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