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October 9, 2015

Posts in "Primaries"

May 6, 2014

House Race Results in North Carolina (Updated)

Jones won despite outside group's significant investment in his challenger. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:17 p.m. | Longtime Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., defeated his GOP challenger Tuesday night, declaring victory in the toughest primary since he came to Congress 20 years ago.

Jones defeated Taylor Griffin, a former aide to President George W. Bush, 52 percent to 45 percent, with 66 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.

Outside groups spent more than $1 million to paint Jones as “liberal” and boost Griffin’s candidacy in the 3rd District. But Republican operatives in North Carolina said Jones’ deep ties to the Tar Heel State were too much for Griffin to overcome.

Jones will keep his seat this November in all likelihood. North Carolina’s 3rd District is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Full story

John Boehner, David Joyce Clobber Tea Party Challengers (Updated)

Boehner is from Ohio. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 10:32 p.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio beat three GOP primary opponents on Tuesday to win the Republican nomination in the district he has represented for 12 terms.

Boehner defeated teacher J.D. Winteregg, his most formidable primary opponent in the 8th District race, 74 percent to 15 percent, with just early votes reporting, according to The Associated Press.

Computer consultant Eric Gurr and tea party activist Matthew Ashworth, the two other Republicans in the primary, received 7 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

Full story

Results From Primaries in North Carolina, Ohio

Have a look through our live coverage of the May 6 primaries:


Republican Dance Studio Owner Mulls House Bid in Louisiana

Cassidy is running for Senate in Louisiana. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican state Rep. Lenar Whitney, an account executive and dance studio owner, is mulling a bid for Louisiana’s 6th District, according to multiple GOP operatives.

Whitney did not immediately return request for comment on her plans. But if she enters the contest, she becomes the ninth Republican in the open-seat race to replace Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La.

Full story

McConnell Touts Jobs Record in Latest TV Ad

McConnell is favored to win the May 20 GOP primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell released a second television ad in as many weeks ahead of his GOP primary in Kentucky.

The latest statewide TV ad works to stem any damage caused by McConnell’s recent comment to the Beattyville Enterprise that bringing jobs to Kentucky his not his job. Titled “Hero,” the ad lays out specific instances where McConnell “helped save” Kentucky jobs.

Full story

6 Things to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries

Tillis and his wife Susan knock on doors in an upscale Huntersville, N.C., neighborhood north of Charlotte, the evening before the primary election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Primary voters head to the polls Tuesday in North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio, marking the first contests in a long series of contentious Republican battles over the next month.

In North Carolina, state Speaker Thom Tillis, Dr. Greg Brannon, and Pastor Mark Harris are vying for the GOP nomination to challenge Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., in a marquee race that will help determine which party controls the Senate next year.

Further down the ballot, an American Idol runner-up hopes he’ll have better luck in a Tar Heel State House race and longtime Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., will try to avoid becoming the first incumbent to lose a primary this cycle. In Ohio, a spirited challenger — perhaps best known for parodying a Cialis commercial in his bid — will attempt to unseat Speaker John A. Boehner.

In North Carolina, the contests could drag out for months. Primaries for Senate, the 6th and 12th Districts might continue to a runoff on July 15 if no candidate receives at least 40 percent of the vote.

Here are six things to watch in those races and others on Tuesday: Full story

May 5, 2014

Ex-Democratic Congressman Gene Taylor May Help a Vulnerable Republican

Taylor, unseated in 2010 GOP wave, is attempting a comeback, this time as a Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One of the most conservative Democrats in House history is mounting a comeback bid in Mississippi — and his unconventional campaign could potentially boost the re-election hopes of Sen. Thad Cochran, one of this cycle’s most vulnerable Republicans.

Former Democratic Rep. Gene Taylor switched parties in late February to launch a primary challenge in the coastal 4th District against GOP Rep. Steven M. Palazzo, the Republican who ended Taylor’s career four years ago.

Mississippi Republicans cast doubt on Taylor’s chances in the June 3 primary. But they think a competitive House primary could increase Republican turnout in the district, which happens to be a stronghold for Cochran, a six-term senator facing a tough primary from state Sen. Chris McDaniel.

Full story

Exclusive: EMILY’s List Blankets California House Contest

Waxman is retiring, leaving an open race for his Hollywood-area House district. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

EMILY’s List will launch a six-figure campaign this week to promote former Los Angeles Controller Wendy Greuel’s bid for a House seat in California.  

The group, which supports Democratic women who back abortion rights, will begin sending mail on Tuesday and later launch targeted radio ads to boost Greuel over the more than one dozen candidates running in California’s 33rd District.

The Hollywood-area seat is open this cycle because Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., is retiring.

Full story

May 2, 2014

John Conyers’ Ballot Slot in Peril

Conyers may not qualify for the primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The counsel to Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., insisted Friday afternoon that the 25-term incumbent will qualify for the primary ballot in August, despite a Wayne County clerk’s statement to a local news outlet that the congressman did not have enough signatures.

“I am confident that at the end of these proceedings Congressman Conyers will be certified and on the primary election ballot in August,” attorney John D. Pirich said in a statement.

Michigan statute dictates that petition gatherers, “circulators,” must be registered to vote in order to complete this task. Local outlets reported that Democratic primary rival, the Rev. Horace Sheffield, challenged the eligibility of Conyers’ circulators, and it’s uncertain whether Conyers will be able to meet the 1,000-ballot threshold needed to qualify for the primary.

A final decision will come May 7, according to WDIV. The filing deadline was April 22, and the primary will be held Aug. 5.

“It’s not over, but it doesn’t look good,” a Michigan Democratic operative said of Conyers’ ballot chances, echoing the vast sentiment of operatives interviewed by Roll Call on Friday afternoon. Most of the operatives noted that the chaos was not unexpected. Full story

Campaign Spot-Light: Nancy Pelosi Returns to TV In a GOP Primary

Welcome to Roll Call’s new feature to highlight the most interesting campaign ads every week.

In fall 2012, Roll Call ran a similar daily feature highlighting the goodthe vicious and the wild of political ads. We planned to bring the feature back this fall, but the early influx of advertising in campaigns this cycle prompted a speedier comeback.

More than anything else, Roll Call seeks to highlight ads that break through the clutter in this new weekly feature. Here are those TV ads from this week:

Idaho’s 2nd District: Nancy Pelosi’s GOP Primary Cameo 

Conservative groups spent big bucks over the last four years making House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the bogeyman in television ads targeting Democrats.

Now, outside groups backing the two Republicans running in this safe GOP primary are trying to tar the opposition with an association to Pelosi.

The most recent instance of this came this week from a tea party group.

Ad Buyer: Madison Action Fund
Ad buy: The group says they put $34,000 behind the spot, which includes Fox News and “some broadcast.”
The Race: Attorney Bryan Smith is challenging Republican Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho. Groups like Madison and the Club for Grown would like to see their candidate, Smith, oust Simpson, a Boehner ally.

In the spot, Simpson “joined Pelosi in voting to take more of your money to fund sex study programs of San Francisco prostitutes.”

But Pelosi also surfaced in an ad from Defending Main Street super PAC, a group that backs Simpson.

Full story

May 1, 2014

Clay Aiken Could Be Runner-Up in House Primary

Aiken is running for Congress in North Carolina. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken could come in second place again on Tuesday – this time in a congressional primary in North Carolina.

Aiken is running for the Democratic nomination in the Tar Heel State’s 2nd District, along with former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco and mental health counselor Toni Morris. All three are looking to take on GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers in this heavily Republican district in November.

But the “Idol” star has largely banked on his famous name to get him through the May 6 primary — and the state’s political operatives say his celebrity status may not be enough to win the nomination.

Even Aiken’s campaign is hedging their chances.

“We’ve been outspent and that concerns me,” said Gary Pearce, a longtime North Carolina Democratic operative who advises Aiken’s campaign. “Clay has a lot going in the district and has strong popularity, but right now I wouldn’t be surprised either way.”

Full story

Jack Kingston Poll Finds Him Ahead in Georgia Senate Primary

Kingston speaks at an April 19 debate in Augusta, Ga. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With less than three weeks until Georgia’s Republican Senate primary, Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., released an internal poll Thursday that found him leading the crowded field.

Kingston led with 20 percent, followed by former Dollar General and Reebok CEO David Perdue with 17 percent, former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel with 14 percent, Rep. Phil Gingrey with 13 percent and Rep. Paul Broun with 8 percent. Twenty-eight percent of voters were undecided.

The primary is essentially a race to finish in the top two. If no candidate receives a majority of the primary vote, the two leading vote recipients will advance to a July 22 runoff. The winner is expected to face former Points of Light Foundation CEO Michelle Nunn in the general election for the seat of retiring GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss. Full story

April 29, 2014

Republicans Predict Top North Carolina Senate Candidate Avoids Runoff

Tillis is running for Senate. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For several months, the Republican Senate primary in North Carolina has been a race for second place: state Speaker Thom Tillis, with his superior financial resources, is a shoo-in for first, while Dr. Greg Brannon and Pastor Mark Harris vied for second place to challenge Tillis in a runoff.

But, one week before the primary, many local operatives now expect Tillis will reach the 40 percent threshold on Tuesday to avoid a runoff later this summer with the second-place finisher.

The winner of the primary will face Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., in one of the cycle’s marquee competitive contests. For Tillis, the stakes to avoid a runoff are high because it would force him to spend another two months running against a Republican opponent — instead of Hagan.

What’s more, the state’s General Assembly comes back into session on May 14, eight days after the primary. Tillis would have to balance his duties as speaker while still campaigning for the nomination.

But, many local Republicans now see that scenario as increasingly unlikely, arguing that Tillis will most likely win the primary outright.

“About two weeks ago, I would’ve said we would definitely see a primary runoff,” said Chad Adams, the director of Priorities NC, an advocacy group focused on promoting limited government, who is not aligned with any campaign. “But looking at the landscape now and how we’re shaping up, it looks like that gap is closing.” Full story

Cheat Sheet: House and Senate Primaries in May

McConnell faces a primary challenge in late May. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Primary season for the midterms begins in earnest in May, when voters head to the polls for some of this cycle’s marquee House and Senate contests.

By the end of next month, parties will know whether Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell survived a GOP primary in Kentucky (likely), whether Sen. Kay Hagan will face a top GOP opponent in North Carolina (increasingly likely), and whether Georgia Republicans are on track to get a choice nominee for Senate (probable, but who knows?).

And that’s just the top of the ticket. There are several other primary contests further down the ballot.

This is Roll Call’s one-stop shop for primaries in May, including top races, dates and poll closing times. Bookmark this post, and check out the At the Races blog for live results and commentary on every congressional primary next month.

Full story

April 28, 2014

Michigan Republican Places Ad in Race to Replace Dave Camp

Michigan Republican Paul Mitchell will go on the air Tuesday with a positive TV ad in his bid to replace retiring GOP Rep. Dave Camp.

The bio spot shows Mitchell both in a suit in an office, as well as outdoors in flannel and boots, with a couple shots of waving American flags. He is one of a few Republicans running in the Aug. 5 primary for Michigan’s 4th District, located in the central part of the state.

“This is Paul Mitchell, conservative working for our America,” the male narrator says. Full story

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