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April 21, 2014

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August 23, 2013

Fall Filled With Special Elections for House, Senate

Fall Filled With Special Elections for House, Senate

Alexander's resignation means yet another special election this fall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Are these elections really that “special” anymore?

Between now and Christmas, four different states will hold special elections for federal office: a Senate race in New Jersey, plus House elections in Alabama, Louisiana and Massachusetts.

Not special enough for you? Three special elections are scheduled over a four-day stretch in mid-October.

Here’s a look at the upcoming “special” election calendar:

New Jersey Senate

Reason for vacancy: The passing of the late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J.
Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating: Safe Democrat
The field: Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the Democratic nominee, and conservative activist Steve Lonegan, the GOP nominee.
Primary election: Booker and Lonegan won their party nominations on Aug. 13.
General election: Oct. 16

Full story

Top Republican Eschews House Bid in New Hampshire | #NH02

Top Republican Eschews House Bid in New Hampshire | #NH02

Republicans are looking to find a candidate to challenge Kuster. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former New Hampshire state Speaker Bill O’Brien, a Republican, has ruled out a challenge to Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H., according to WMUR.

Some Granite State Republican operatives welcomed O’Brien’s decision given another potential candidate, former state Sen. Gary Lambert, is eyeing the race. These Republicans argue the party might avoid a competitive GOP primary this way. Full story

Republican Readies Primary Challenge to Boehner Ally (Video)

The candidate:  Attorney Bryan Smith, a Republican
The member: Smith is challenging Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho.
The district: Idaho’s 2nd District is rated Safe Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/CQ Roll Call. The district incorporates Boise but also includes much of the Gem State’s potato production.
The candidate’s team: Cold Spark Media’s Nachama Soloveichik and Mark Harris (general consultants) and Carrie Brown (campaign manager)

Attorney Bryan Smith earned the Club for Growth’s first major endorsement of the 2014 cycle, but he said he made the decision to challenge one of Speaker John A. Boehner’s top allies in Congress independently of the cash-flush, conservative group.

“People that I know apparently had submitted my name and then I did get a call from the Club for Growth,” Smith said in a Monday interview at the CQ Roll Call offices. “I did go back and interview with them. But I made the decision independent from the Club for Growth.” Full story

August 22, 2013

Eric Cantor Backs Candidate in Louisiana House Special | #LA05

Eric Cantor Backs Candidate in Louisiana House Special | #LA05

Cantor has endorsed a candidate in the special election to replace former Rep. Rodney Alexander. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican state Sen. Neil Riser received the backing of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor this week in the special election to replace former Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La., according to a local news source.

Riser, who will seek the 5th District seat in the Oct. 19 special election, has also received endorsements from three Louisiana Republicans — John Fleming, Steve Scalise and Charles Boustany Jr.

Republican operatives consider Riser to be the front-runner in the crowded, 14-candidate field to replace Alexander, who resigned in August to take a position in Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration.

Full story

McConnell Poll Shows Lead With Tea Party Republicans | #KYSEN

Facing a spirited Republican primary challenge in Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell released a poll on Thursday that found he still has the support of more than two-thirds of GOP voters.

McConnell led Louisville businessman Matt Bevin, 68 percent to 21 percent, with 8 percent of voters undecided. Given the six-term incumbent’s superior name ID, his wide lead is not surprising.

But the internal poll offered the incumbent some encouraging numbers among the primary voters likely to be Bevin’s base. According to the campaign’s polling memo, the lead holds up across several several demographic segments of the party, including “very conservative” voters and “Tea Party Republicans.” Full story

August 21, 2013

Margolies Poll Gives Her Large Lead in Crowded Democratic Primary | #PA13

Former Rep. Marjorie Margolies’ new poll shows her with a strong lead in the 13th District primary, boasting a 28-point advantage over her closest Democratic opponent.

The Pennsylvanian is attempting a comeback bid two decades after losing re-election to the House.

The poll, released Wednesday, shows her garnering 48 percent of the vote in a four-way primary, followed by state Rep. Brendan Boyle, who picked up just 15 percent.

Full story

FreedomWorks Vs. John Cornyn: Round 2 | #TXSEN

FreedomWorks, a national organization aligned with the tea party, took its second shot at Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, this summer as part of a digital advertisement campaign targeting several GOP senators.

The Facebook spots link to a letter that notes “a number of Senators have joined Mike Lee’s efforts to defund ObamaCare.” The Utah Republican’s efforts are essentially a defacto threat to shut down the government if funding for the 2010 health care law is not eliminated.

“Now some are getting cold feet,” FreedomWorks continued. “Senator John Cornyn – one of the original supporters – has bowed to the Republican Establishment and no longer wishes to help Senator Lee. Why is Senator Cornyn withdrawing his support for Mike Lee?”

FreedomWorks Vs. John Cornyn: Round 2 | #TXSEN

Full story

August 20, 2013

Lamar Alexander Challenger Swiftly Loses Consultant | #TNSEN

Republican strategist Chip Saltsman announced he has resigned from the campaign of Joe Carr — just hours after the candidate switched from a House race to challenge Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., in the primary.

“I signed up to help you run for Congress, not the Senate,” Saltsman wrote in his letter of resignation, which the operative released to the press Tuesday morning.

Carr, a state representative, initially launched a campaign to challenge embattled Rep. Scott DesJarlais in the 4th District GOP primary. However, that race was getting crowded, with state Sen. Jim Tracy also vying for the nomination and so far leading in the fundraising battle. Full story

McConnell Strikes Again on TV Against GOP Challenger | #KYSEN (Video)

In his latest TV ad, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attempts to undercut the credibility of his Republican primary challenger in Kentucky.

Referring to tea-party-backed Louisville businessman Matt Bevin as “Bailout Bevin,” the ad, supported by a six-figure buy, claims Bevin has prevaricated about past tax issues and his connection to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

A McConnell news release from this morning states that “it appears the only thing we really know about Matt Bailout Bevin is that he’s not a Kentucky conservative.” Full story

Lamar Alexander Draws GOP Primary Opponent in Senate Race | #TNSEN

Lamar Alexander Draws GOP Primary Opponent in Senate Race | #TNSEN

Alexander has a new challenger. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Rep. Joe Carr, a conservative Republican who has been running against embattled Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., announced Tuesday that he will switch gears to challenge Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., instead.

Carr is the first Republican to announce a primary challenge to Alexander, who has received fierce backlash from some tea party groups for his work with his Democratic colleagues.

Local tea party activists are currently vetting other potential Alexander challengers — a process they say will begin this month. Other potential GOP primary challengers include Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and former Williamson County Chairman Kevin Kookogey, according to the Tennessean.

Full story

August 19, 2013

Gavin Newsom, Zoe Lofgren Take Sides in Crowded House Primary | #CA31

Gavin Newsom, Zoe Lofgren Take Sides in Crowded House Primary | #CA31

Lofgren joined several California Democrats in endorsing Aguilar in the 31st District primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s recruit to take on vulnerable GOP Rep. Gary G. Miller, touted the endorsements of two more prominent California Democrats on Monday.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Rep. Zoe Lofgren joined several California Democrats, including 13 members of Congress from the Golden State, in backing Aguilar in the crowded Democratic primary field.

Full story

Republicans Wait on Daines’ Decision in Montana Senate Race | #MTSEN #MTAL

Republicans Wait on Daines Decision in Montana Senate Race | #MTSEN #MTAL

Daines is mulling a Senate bid. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Montana state Sen. Matt Rosendale, a Republican, recently filed papers with the Federal Election Commission to start raising money to run for Congress — he’s just not sure which office yet.

Like several other ambitious Republicans in the state, his decision to run for either the House or Senate will depend on whether Rep. Steve Daines, a freshman Republican, enters the race for Montana’s open Senate seat. Even state Rep. Champ Edmunds, who is currently in the Senate race, has said he would switch races if Daines jumps in.

As Rosendale’s campaign treasurer, Bill VanCanagan, wrote in a note filed Aug. 16 to the FEC, “we will not designate which office is being sought until Representative Steve Daines announces whether he’s seeking re-election for the U.S. House of Representatives or running for the U.S. Senate.”

Either would be a statewide race, as Montana has only one representative in the House. Full story

Mike Simpson Hires Ex-Romney Aides for Re-Election Bid | #ID02

Mike Simpson Hires Ex Romney Aides for Re Election Bid | #ID02

Simpson is hiring staff in the wake of a new challenger entering the race. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, has hired two former Mitt Romney aides for his re-election bid in the wake of his new primary challenge from attorney Bryan Smith.

Simpson hired Todd Cranney, Romney’s national deputy political director, and Travis Hawkes, who served as Idaho finance chair for the Romney campaign, according to the Idaho Statesman.

Full story

Alan Grayson Endorses Two Democrats in Primaries | #MA05 #PA13

Alan Grayson Endorses Two Democrats in Primaries | #MA05 #PA13

Grayson has backed a pair of candidates. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., endorsed two fellow liberal Democrats in crowded House primaries — state Sen. Daylin Leach in Pennsylvania’s 13th District and state Rep. Carl Sciortino in Massachusetts’ 5th District special election.

Grayson detailed his reasons in a Sunday email to supporters, writing that both candidates are against the NSA’s controversial domestic surveillance programs and would have voted for Michigan GOP Rep. Justin Amash’s amendment to scale back the NSA’s reach. Amash’s amendment failed in the House by 12 votes, despite strong bipartisan support. Full story

August 15, 2013

Michaud Officially Enters Maine Gubernatorial Race | #ME02

Michaud Officially Enters Maine Gubernatorial Race | #ME02

Michaud will leave Congress to run for governor. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Michael H. Michaud, D-Maine, formally announced Thursday that he is running for governor in the Pine Tree State, creating a competitive and crowded race for the 2nd District he leaves behind.

Michaud had been exploring a gubernatorial bid since June.

Three Democrats and one Republican have already entered the race for his House seat, which operatives say will likely be competitive now that it’s an open-seat race.

Full story

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