Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 30, 2014

Posts in "Primaries"

January 16, 2014

McKeon Formally Announces Retirement

McKeon Formally Announces Retirement

McKeon will retire at the end of this Congress. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., announced on Thursday that he will not seek a 12th term in California’s 25th District.

“For me, it’s time to walk away,” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said at a hearing Thursday morning.

McKeon’s announcement is not a surprise. Political operatives from both parties in the Golden State have long predicted that the would step aside at the end of the 113th Congress.

Full story

January 15, 2014

Republicans Sound Alarm for Outside Groups in Florida Special

Fewer than two hours after lobbyist David Jolly won the GOP nomination in Florida’s 13th District, word leaked that his campaign had bought a modest $50,000 in airtime for the special election.

But Jolly’s Democratic rival has already done the same — with an advertisement buy six times larger than his.

The lopsided spending illustrates the trajectory of the special election to replace the late Republican Rep. C.W. Bill Young.

The Democratic nominee, former Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, begins the general election with a massive financial advantage, boosted by cash-flush outside groups already behind her bid. Jolly must race to catch up after a competitive primary — and Republicans fear he won’t have much help from national conservative outside groups.

Full story

Republican Announces Bid for Gerlach Seat in Pennsylvania (Updated)

Updated 4:20 p.m. | Ryan Costello, chairman of the Chester County Board of Commissioners, announced Wednesday that he will seek the GOP nomination in Pennsylvania’s newly open 6th District.

Costello is the first Republican to announce a bid for the Keystone State seat, which is being vacated by GOP Rep. Jim Gerlach. The six-term congressman announced his retirement last week.

State Sen. John Rafferty is also eyeing a bid, Republican operatives say.

Full story

Paul Ryan Endorses Candidate in Competitive New York House Race

House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin has endorsed Republican Elise Stefanik’s bid to replace retiring Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., in 2014.

“My friend Elise Stefanik is running for Congress to fight for hardworking families in upstate New York. She’s got the values and the work ethic to get the job done,” Ryan said in a Wednesday release. “She’s part of a new generation of leaders who will bring fresh ideas to Washington, and she has my full support.”

Stefanik, 29, a former aide to President George W. Bush, announced her challenge to Owens in this upstate New York district over the summer. But Owens announced Tuesday that he would retire, paving the way for a much more competitive race and boosting Stefanik’s chances. Full story

Tidal Wave of Va. Democrats Eye Newly Open House Seat (Updated)

Tidal Wave of Va. Democrats Eye Newly Open House Seat (Updated)

Moran is retiring. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:41 p.m. | Maybe Virginia Democrats should start figuring out who isn’t running for retiring Rep. James P. Moran’s seat?

Moran’s 12-term hold on the seat, located in the strong Democratic suburbs of Washington, D.C., has left a long line of ambitious pols poised to unload into the primary for Virginia’s 8th District. Full story

Club for Growth Makes Big Ad Buy to Boost Amash

The Club for Growth has sponsored a major television and radio ad buy to boost Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., who faces a primary challenge in the 3rd District.

In the television ad, released on Wednesday, the club hits Amash’s primary rival, former East Grand Rapids School Trustee Brian Ellis, for various votes he took in that role. The conservative group also seeks to tie Ellis to former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, in the spot.

The dual buy is a six-figure radio, broadcast and cable television ad buy, according to club spokesman Barney Keller.

Here’s the television spot:

Full story

January 14, 2014

Rodney Davis Raises Strong Sum in Fourth Quarter

Vulnerable Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., raised $280,000 in the fourth quarter, according to figures provided first to CQ Roll Call. Davis starts the election year with $1.05 million in the bank for this top-target race.

His fourth-quarter haul marks his lowest of the year. Last quarter, Davis raised $300,000, and he posted $455,000 between April 1 and June 30.

Operatives anticipate House Republicans will post relatively low fundraising in the fourth quarter, thanks in part to the government shutdown in October. The three-week-long federal government closure prevented many incumbents from dialing for dollars.

Full story

GOP Businessman Won’t Run for Competitive Seat in Iowa

GOP Businessman Wont Run for Competitive Seat in Iowa

The race to fill Latham's seat is expected to be a tight one. (Tom Williams/Roll Call File Photo)

Cable television executive David Oman announced Tuesday that he will not seek the GOP nomination in Iowa’s most competitive House district, nixing the possibility of a tea party vs. business battle in this competitive seat.

Oman, a former aide to Gov. Terry E. Branstad, was eyeing a bid for retiring GOP Rep. Tom Latham’s seat, but he said he decided against a run in order to avoid a potential nominating convention. Full story

McKeon’s Office Denies Retirement Report

McKeons Office Denies Retirement Report

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 4:20 p.m. | Armed Services Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon’s office denied a local report that he will not seek re-election in 2014.

“He’s decided that he will make a decision and an announcement soon, but he has yet to decide whether he will seek re-election,” said McKeon spokeswoman Alissa McCurley.

The 11-term Republican’s exit would give Democrats a shot of picking up his seat in 2014. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the 25th district by a 2-point margin in 2012.

Two Republicans have already announced that they would seek McKeon’s seat when or if it became vacant. They include former state Sen. Tony Strickland and state Sen. Steve Knight.

Full story

January 13, 2014

Jolly Is Frontrunner in Florida’s Special Election Primary

Republicans will pick a nominee Tuesday for the special election for the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young’s Florida seat.

Most Republicans closely watching the primary predict lobbyist David Jolly, a former Young aide, will defeat state Rep. Kathleen Peters and veteran Mark Bircher in the 13th District.

“I don’t think there are any surprises coming tomorrow,” Florida GOP consultant Rick Wilson said. “Every bit of information I’ve seen so far says that David’s going to have a good day tomorrow.”

Full story

Weston Wamp to Challenge Fleischmann Again in Tennessee

Weston Wamp to Challenge Fleischmann Again in Tennessee

Fleischmann is a two-term Republican in the House. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Businessman Weston Wamp, a Republican, announced Monday that he will challenge two-term Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., for a second time.

“America is too great for this Congress to continue to divide our nation and avoid their responsibilities,” Wamp said in a release. “I want to give the Third District an independent conservative voice and a reason to believe our government can still work and serve the people.”

Wamp, the son of former Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., challenged Fleischmann in 2012. He came in third in a three-way primary against Fleischmann and dairy magnate Scottie Mayfield.

Full story

January 12, 2014

New Jersey Republicans Wrestle With Steve Lonegan

New Jersey Republicans Wrestle With Steve Lonegan

Runyan is retiring. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The open-seat race to replace retiring Rep. Jon Runyan, R-N.J., might sound familiar: A tea party firebrand threatens to upend a GOP primary, meanwhile Democrats cleared the field for an all-but-anointed nominee.

But this is New Jersey, where machine politics trump national trends.

The tea party candidate is former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, the GOP’s nominee for the Senate special election last year who lost to Cory Booker by 11 points. Democrats have touted Burlington County Freeholder Aimee Belgard, who announced her candidacy for the seat in November.

Lonegan announced his House candidacy this month in The Newark Star-Ledger, infuriating operatives in the district. In other states, congressional candidates — especially Republicans — can successfully run as political outsiders. But New Jersey is different. Full story

January 10, 2014

Cornyn Goes Up With New TV Ad

Judging by his second ad, Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas is running against President Barack Obama instead of his primary challenger, Rep. Steve Stockman.

The new spot hits Obama and portrays Cornyn as the conservative counter to an “astonishingly liberal” president. The ad makes no mention of Stockman.

“He stands up to Obama, everyday. Pushes back,” the narrator says of Cornyn.

The buy size is “well into the six figures” and is a “substantial statewide buy,” according to a Cornyn aide.  Full story

January 9, 2014

Lamar Alexander Launches First TV Ad

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., launched the first TV ad of his re-election campaign on Thursday, reminding voters of his conservative principles and years of fighting on behalf of the state.

As he seeks a third term and fends of a GOP primary challenge, the Alexander campaign is pushing out the ad statewide. The 60-second spot will hit the airwaves on Monday and run for four weeks, according to an Alexander consultant, who would not reveal the exact buy size.

“To that land where politics too often doesn’t work, Tennessee sends Lamar Alexander,” the ad’s announcer says to kick off the ad. “Conservative, honest, smart. Lamar Alexander is Tennessee.”

Full story

Shuster Primary Opponent Posts Another Paltry Quarter

Shuster Primary Opponent Posts Another Paltry Quarter

Shuster faces a primary this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Retired Coast Guard Capt. Art Halvorson, a Republican challenging Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., raised just $8,700 in the fourth quarter, according to his most recent fundraising report.

That paltry sum brings Halvorson’s total cash on hand to $72,000 — just five months out from the May 20 primary.

Political operatives have previously described Halvorson’s primary challenge as Shuster’s toughest political fight in almost a decade. But another low quarterly haul will only cast doubt on Halvorson’s viability to topple the House Transportation and Infrastructure chairman. Full story

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