Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 31, 2014

Posts in "Primaries"

August 11, 2014

McAllister Moving Past ‘Kissing Congressman’

McAllister Moving Past Kissing Congressman

McAllister gets welcomed back home. (Margaret Frances Eldridge/CQ Roll Call)

TALLULAH, La. — Vance McAllister’s political career flatlined earlier this year, a victim of self-inflicted wounds from an embarrassing infidelity scandal.

But less than three months before the midterm elections, the Louisiana Republican has suddenly, improbably, become the man to beat this November.

McAllister, who was holding a series of businesslike, low-drama town hall meetings in small communities in the east end of his mostly rural district last week, told CQ Roll Call that both he and his constituents have moved on from the ”Kissing Congressman” scandal that erupted in April, after a video surfaced showing him embracing a married staffer.

“It’s really only the Washington media that’s keeping that going,” he said in an interview outside the community meeting room in the small farm town of Winnsboro, population 4,910.

And, at least among the business leaders, city council members, farmers and veterans who attended the question-and-answer sessions in Winnsboro and nearby Tallulah, McAllister seemed to have a point.

The congressman was asked about the border crisis, the Keystone XL pipeline, national security issues and the problems with Department of Veterans Affairs — but not a single question arose about the video.

Full story

August 8, 2014

With DesJarlais Up 35 Votes, What’s Next in Tennessee Primary?

With DesJarlais Up 35 Votes, Whats Next in Tennessee Primary?

DesJarlais, right, is still awaiting votes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Tennessee Rep. Scott DesJarlais held a 35-vote lead over his GOP primary challenger, state Sen. Jim Tracy, as of Friday afternoon, nearly 24 hours after polls closed in the 4th District.

The vote tally fluctuated a bit Friday morning, but Republican operatives and election administrators pointed to close-of-business Monday as the next big ballot counting deadline.

Even then, it’s likely the election won’t be decided for days — perhaps weeks, they said. Full story

August 7, 2014

Tennessee GOP Primary Results: Lamar Alexander Wins

Tennessee GOP Primary Results: Lamar Alexander Wins

Alexander has served two terms. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander likely secured his Senate seat for another term Thursday, handily winning the GOP primary in a safe Republican state.

Alexander led state Rep. Joe Carr 52.4 percent to 37.4 percent, with 20 percent of precincts reporting when The Associated Press called the race.

His victory means no Republican senators have lost a primary challenge, ending the tea party’s streak at two cycles. None of the remaining primaries feature a Republican senator .

Full story

August 6, 2014

Tennessee Primary: Tea Party’s Last Chance

Tennessee Primary: Tea Partys Last Chance

Alexander is favored to prevail in his primary Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Tennessee Republicans head to the polls Thursday to decide the fate of Sen. Lamar Alexander, marking the last chance for tea-party-aligned conservatives to oust an incumbent senator in a primary.

It will likely be an anticlimactic finish to the primary season in a cycle that featured several potentially vulnerable incumbents, who all swatted away challenges from their right. Full story

August 5, 2014

Kansas Primary Results: Pat Roberts Tops Tea Party Challenger (Updated) (Video)

Kansas Primary Results: Pat Roberts Tops Tea Party Challenger (Updated) (Video)

Roberts is a Kansas Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:56 p.m. | Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts survived a Republican primary challenge Tuesday, defeating Milton Wolf and extinguishing conservative hopes of taking down another incumbent this cycle.

Roberts led Wolf, 48 percent to 41 percent, when The Associated Press called the race for the incumbent with 70 percent of precincts reporting. That’s a weak performance for a three-term incumbent, but he held on in a year featuring several challenges to Republican senators.

Roberts, who was first elected to Congress more than three decades ago, battled the perception he was a creature of Washington, D.C., who spent little time at home in the Sunflower State. Wolf, a tea-party-aligned candidate and distant cousin of President Barack Obama, battered Roberts on the topic. Full story

Michigan Primary Results: GOP Congressman Defeated (Updated)

Michigan Primary Results: GOP Congressman Defeated (Updated)

Bentivolio is a Michigan Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated, Wednesday 7:00 a.m. | The accidental congressman‘s tenure in Washington came to an end Tuesday evening, when Michigan Rep. Kerry Bentivolio lost the Republican primary to attorney David Trott in this district northwest of Detroit.

Trott had 66 percent of the 11th District vote when The Associated Press called the race for him. Bentivolio trailed with 34 percent of the vote at that time.

Trott spent heavily on his own campaign and secured significant support from Michigan Republicans for his effort to oust the incumbent.

Bentivolio is the third incumbent to lose in a primary, following Reps. Ralph M. Hall, R-Texas, and Eric Cantor, R-Va. To see more on this, check out Roll Call’s Casualty List. Full story

Live Coverage: GOP Primary Results in Kansas, Michigan

 

Live Coverage: GOP Primary Results in Kansas, Michigan

Can Bentivolio survive his first real political test? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Roll Call’s Politics Team provides live coverage and results on one of the biggest nights of the GOP primary season Tuesday with a large slate of tea party-vs.-business contests in Kansas and Michigan and a crowded race to replace retiring Washington Rep. Doc Hastings.

Get live numbers, analysis and reaction from the candidates and their campaigns, starting at 8 p.m. below:

Live Blog Primary Night: Kansas, Michigan and Washington
 

August 4, 2014

6 Things to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries

6 Things to Watch in Tuesdays Primaries

Roberts faces a primary on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Tuesday night features some of the most intense — and final — tea party-vs.-business contests of the GOP primary season.

Polls close in Michigan and Kansas at 9 p.m. EST. Washington State has a mail-in ballot system, with the first set of results expected to be released by 11:30 p.m. EST.

Here are the six things to watch in those states:

Full story

Chris McDaniel Files Challenge to Mississippi Runoff Results

Chris McDaniel Files Challenge to Mississippi Runoff Results

McDaniel is challenging the results of the June 24 runoff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel announced Monday he will formally challenge the results of the Republican Senate primary runoff.

Six weeks after the runoff and a month after the state GOP certified Sen. Thad Cochran as the nominee, the McDaniel campaign announced they were filing a challenge with the Mississippi Republican Party’s State Executive Committee.

“They asked us to put up or shut up,” McDaniel said at a press conference in front of his attorney’s office, holding up a large binder. “Here we are. Here’s the evidence.” Full story

An Ex-Congressman’s Shaky Comeback Bid in Michigan

An Ex Congressmans Shaky Comeback Bid in Michigan

In the Michigan primary, Hansen Clarke will attempt to win his former Detroit-based district. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Hansen Clarke’s hopes of returning to Congress in a definitive Tuesday primary might be just that for the Michigan Democrat — hopes.

He’s attempting to leverage his name recognition as a former one-term member, but Clarke’s top two Democratic rivals, state Rep. Rudy Hobbs and Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence, have major political heft behind their campaigns. Several of Clarke’s former colleagues have lined up behind his opponents, and others expressed doubt about his prospects of coming back to Congress.

“I wanted Hansen to come back, but Hansen didn’t get any labor endorsements,” said Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., who is neutral in the race, in between votes last week. “I think that that’s almost fatal.” Full story

August 1, 2014

How Lamar Alexander Staved Off His Primary Challenger

How Lamar Alexander Staved Off His Primary Challenger

Alexander faces a primary on Aug. 7. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Conservatives have poured millions into primary challenges to senators this cycle, even in races where chances of success were slim.

But Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., has proved one of the greatest exceptions, and now he’s poised to defeated state Rep. Joe Carr and several lesser-known challengers in the Aug. 7 GOP primary.

So how did Alexander avoid the fate of many of his colleagues? Full story

July 31, 2014

Hawaii Senator Gets Distance From Governor Who Appointed Him

Hawaii Senator Gets Distance From Governor Who Appointed Him

Brian Schatz is an appointed senator from Hawaii. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The careers of Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz and Gov. Neil Abercrombie have been linked for several years, but the Schatz campaign has worked for the past 18 months to ensure their political fates are not.

With the Aloha State Democratic primaries just a week away, it’s increasingly possible Schatz, the former lieutenant governor appointed by Abercrombie in December 2012, could win the Senate nomination, even as the governor loses his own re-nomination.

Schatz faces Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in the Aug. 9 contest, which both campaigns say is close.

Schatz hasn’t overtly run away from Abercrombie, whom he supports, but his campaign has focused squarely on the influence and accomplishments the freshman senator garnered in less than two years on Capitol Hill. The intent is to differentiate him from Hanabusa, with the added benefit of building a profile unique from his association with the unpopular governor. Full story

Club For Growth Back on TV for Justin Amash

Club For Growth Back on TV for Justin Amash

Amash faces a primary on August 5. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Club for Growth’s independent expenditure arm has started airing television spots again on behalf of Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., according to Federal Election Commission records.

The move could be indicative that Amash is in some political jeopardy just days ahead of the August 5 primary.

Amash is fending off a primary challenge from former East Grand Rapids School Trustee Brian Ellis, a self-funding candidate with endorsements from a slew of business-friendly groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The club is one of several tea party groups and members of Congress who are circling their wagons around the libertarian-minded Amash.

Full story

Scott DesJarlais’ Re-Election Hopes Rise, Despite Abortion Scandal (Video)

Scott DesJarlais Re Election Hopes Rise, Despite Abortion Scandal (Video)

Scott DesJarlais practices ahead of the congressional football game. (Tom Williams/Roll Call File Photo)

Two years is a lifetime in politics. Just ask Rep. Scott DesJarlais.

GOP operatives had all but written off the Tennessee Republican. In October 2012, it was revealed the anti-abortion rights physician had encouraged an ex-wife to have two abortions prior to their marriage and had carried on multiple affairs with patients and co-workers — an infraction for which he was fined $500 by a medical board.

It was too late for DesJarlais to face a serious challenge that cycle, but he soon became one of 2014′s most vulnerable House members. As DesJarlais’ campaign cash flow dried up, he faced a formidable foe: state Sen. Jim Tracy.

Until recently, Tennessee Republicans expected Tracy, a longtime state politician, to cruise past DesJarlais in the Aug. 7 primary. But in the final days of the race, DesJarlais is in a better position than Republicans ever anticipated.

He might even win. Full story

July 30, 2014

GOP Congressman’s Abortion Scandal Broadcast in New TV Ad

GOP Congressmans Abortion Scandal Broadcast in New TV Ad

DesJarlais is a Republican from Tennessee. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Scott DesJarlais, the Tennessee Republican who came under fire in 2012 after unearthed divorce proceedings revealed he encouraged an ex-wife to have two abortions, is contending with the scandal again, days out from the Volunteer State primary.

State Sen. Jim Tracy, the top Republican challenging DesJarlais in the Aug. 7 GOP primary in the 4th District, is airing a scathing ad in the final two weeks of the contest. It’s on the airwaves during the pivotal early voting period, which began July 18 and runs through Aug. 2.

“The press says Congressman DesJarlais no longer has credibility,” a narrator says in the 30-second spot. “Reprimanded, fined for unethical conduct, he deliberately deceived the voters. Conservatives said DesJarlais should resign because of his hypocrisy. Scandal makes DesJarlais ineffective in Washington.”

Full story

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