The Democratic field narrowed Friday in the race for a full two-year term in the Tucson, Ariz., area, but it did not clear.
State Sen. Paula Aboud (D) became the second Democratic contender to drop out of the race and throw support behind former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords staffer Ron Barber. But one candidate is staying put. State House Rep. Matt Heinz said in an interview Friday afternoon that he is “absolutely” still in the race.
Heinz, who is not running in the June special election to fill out Giffords’ term, said that his level of support has”intensified” since Barber made his intention to run for the full term known. Full story
As most New Jersey politicos expected, Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) issued a writ setting the special election primary and general dates to fill the term of the late Rep. Donald Payne as concurrent with the previously scheduled state primary and general election dates for 2012.
State tradition has it that special elections are rarely held because of the costs associated. Instead, the special election is held in conjunction with the state’s scheduled primary and general elections. A candidate’s name appears twice on the ballot, once for the special election and again in the contest for a full term.
The winner of the special election will fill out the lame-duck term after the November election.
In other 10th district news, Newark City Councilman Ron Rice picked up the endorsements of two of his colleagues, Newark South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka and Central Ward Councilman Darrin Sharif.
After weeks of wrangling with local election officials, Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) will be able to use his family farm’s address to vote in the Hoosier State.
Lugar’s agreement with the Marion County Elections Board is good news for the six-term Senator, who’s facing the toughest primary challenge of his career from state Treasurer Richard Mourdock on May 8.
A couple of weeks ago, the Marion County Election Board ruled Lugar ineligible to vote at his listed address because he and his wife no longer live there. Lugar successfully appealed the ruling — spurring several unflattering headlines in the process — by registering to vote at his family farm instead.
“Today, the court has obtained from the Marion County Election Board assurances that the Lugars may vote from the Lugar family farm, which has been in the family for generations and has been managed by Senator Lugar continuously for many years, and this is now where they should vote,” said a statement from Lugar’s campaign.
Retiring Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) endorsed state Sen. Derek Kilmer to replace him in the 6th district, a move that could keep the Democratic field cleared for Kilmer.
“Derek’s career has been spent trying to retain and attract good jobs for our region and Congress needs more people with that kind of experience,” the Appropriations Committee ranking member said in a statement Thursday. “He’s hard-working, effective, and he’s committed to bringing people together to get the job done.” Full story
Sen. Tom Coburn endorsed Senate candidates in Texas and Missouri today. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
There were Senate endorsements galore in GOP circles today, with a few of the highest profile conservative Senators coming out in support of candidates locked in tough GOP primaries. Here’s a quick rundown of what happened:
Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz picked up an endorsement from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). Alluding to one of the most intense rivalries in college football (between the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma), Coburn wrote in a statement, “Oklahoma and Texas may have our friendly rivalry, but when it comes to fighting for limited government, I’m proud to endorse my neighbor across the Red River.”
Along with Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Coburn also gave his nod to businessman John Brunner, one of three contenders for the GOP nomination in the Missouri Senate race. ”John Brunner will be a force for fiscal conservatism in the U.S. Senate, and I am proud to endorse his candidacy,” Coburn said in a statement released by the Brunner campaign. Earlier this year, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) endorsed former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman, another GOP contender hoping to take on vulnerable Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in November.
Finally, Lee backed Maine Treasurer Bruce Poliquin in the Pine Tree State’s GOP Senate primary. A source in the Poliquin camp told Roll Call that a statement is forthcoming.
State Sen. Rob Garagiola (right) trailed businessman John Delaney (left) by a wide margin according to polls done for Delaney's campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
State Senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola and businessman John Delaney are playing their trump cards today, as the race for the Democratic nomination in Maryland’s 6th district enters the homestretch.
Garagiola announced he has the backing of Gov. Martin O’Malley, the state’s most prominent Democrat. Hours after news of the endorsement surfaced, the Delaney campaign released two internal polls showing him way up over his rivals with less than a week to go before Tuesday’s primary.
The latest poll, conducted March 26-27, showed Delaney garnering 49 percent of the vote, with Garagiola garnering 23 percent of the vote. Dr. Milad Pooran came in third with 10 percent. Sixteen percent of those surveyed were undecided. The winner of the Democratic primary will challenge Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in the fall in a race that Democrats are slightly favored to win.
Rep. Walter Jones Jr. is one of two Members that an anti-incumbent super PAC has decided to target. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Updated 7:39 p.m. | The Campaign for Primary Accountability plans to launch spending crusades against Reps. Walter Jones Jr. (R-N.C.) and Jim Moran (D-Va.) as part of the super PAC’s growing list of targeted races.
The deep-pocketed super PAC also announced a “Watch List” of more than two dozen veteran Members whom it plans to evaluate and potentially target during the height of primary season during the next three months. Full story
Rep. Mark Critz got the endorsement from the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Updated 7:30 p.m. | A new poll released today by the campaign of Rep. Mark Critz (D) showed him in a tightening primary with frontrunner Rep. Jason Altmire (D) in Pennsylvania’s newly reconfigured 12th district. The poll coincided with the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO’s endorsement of Critz today.
“We’re proud to endorse Congressman Critz in the 12th Congressional District. He’s the best candidate to represent the over 100,000 union members in CD12 who are looking for someone to fight for jobs and an economy that works for everyone,” Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Richard Bloomingdale said in a statement to Roll Call.
A Democratic operative familiar with the race said by endorsing, the labor group is asserting independence and a willingness to wade into Democratic primary fights. The source also said the race is a dry run for the AFL-CIO’s post-Citizens United campaign operation. Beyond endorsing, an AFL-CIO official said the group would be putting resources into campaigning for Critz. Full story
State Rep. Ric Killian, an Army Reserve colonel running in a crowded GOP primary in the Tar Heel State’s 9th district, picked up the endorsement of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) today.
“Leaders need the courage to make hard choices for the long-term benefit of our country. Ric has shown that kind of courage throughout his lifetime of service,” McCain said in a statement released by the Killian campaign. “His experience in business and the legislature make him the best candidate for this seat and I am proud to support him, but it is his record of duty, honor and service to our country that will make him an outstanding Congressman.”
A McCain aide confirmed the endorsement to Roll Call. Killian co-chaired a Veterans for McCain coalition in North Carolina in 2008.
The Club for Growth backed former Rep. David McIntosh’s (R) comeback bid in Indiana’s open 5th district today.
“David McIntosh has long been a champion of economic freedom, and we are excited to endorse his candidacy,” Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said in a statement.
McIntosh is in a crowded field of GOP candidates seeking retiring Rep. Dan Burton’s (R) seat in central Indiana. The club’s support will only boost the former Member ahead of the May 8 primary. Full story
Updated 6:55 p.m. | Sen. Dick Lugar’s (R-Ind.) re-election campaign has seen better days, even this cycle.
The six-term Senator faces a tough primary against state Treasurer Richard Mourdock on May 8, but this must be Lugar’s worst week yet for his prospects. A request for response from Lugar’s team was not immediately returned this afternoon.
In the meantime, here’s the countdown of Lugar’s lackluster week:
1. This morning, former Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) chimed in with his support for Lugar on C-SPAN. Conservatives loathe Specter — a former Republican who lost re-election as a Democrat in 2010 — and Lugar’s backers probably wish he kept these four words to himself:
2. Lugar will have to cough up $4,500 to pay back the government for his Indianapolis hotel stays during visits to the Hoosier State, according to a Politico report out this morning. Forget the actual sum: The news underscores Lugar’s residency problems again. He doesn’t own a home in Indiana, and his office made taxpayers foot the bill for his overnight trips — accidentally, Lugar says.
Rep. Donna Edwards announced her support of businessman John Delaney in the 6th district race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Maryland Rep. Donna Edwards today endorsed businessman John Delaney in the 6th district race, putting her on the opposite side of three of her fellow Democratic colleagues.
While it does not carry the stature of a national endorsement from President Bill Clinton, Edwards’ support has strategic and symbolic resonance of its own.
Delaney is facing state Senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola in what has become a tough Democratic primary. The 6th district was essentially redrawn with Garagiola, who is deeply entrenched with Maryland Democratic insiders, in mind. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer is backing Garagiola, along with Reps. Elijah Cummings and Dutch Ruppersberger. Full story