Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 2, 2015

Posts in "Primaries"

February 25, 2014

Debbie Dingell to Announce House Bid

Debbie Dingell to Announce House Bid

Democratic National Committeewoman Debbie Dingell is expected to announce her candidacy for Michigan’s 12th District on Friday, according to multiple news outlets.

The news comes only a day after her husband, Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Mich., announced his retirement from the House after 29 full terms. Full story

LGBT Group Picks Sides in Crowded Northern Virginia Race

The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund endorsed state Sen. Adam Ebbin on Tuesday in the crowded Democratic primary for Virginia’s 8th District.

Ebbin is one of two openly gay state legislators in Virginia. The other, state Del. Mark Sickles, who announced his orientation in a Washington Post op-ed, is also running in the 8th District race.

“Adam Ebbin has distinguished himself as an outspoken voice of progressive values,” Torey Carter, chief operating officer at the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, said in a Tuesday news release. “After ten years in the state legislature, he has remained committed to his goal of increasing equality and opportunity for those that are often left behind.”

Full story

Democrat Hits the Air in Top Illinois Race

Former Judge Ann Callis, a Democrat running in Illinois’ competitive 13th District, went on the air Tuesday with her first ad of the cycle.

Callis is challenging freshman GOP Rep. Rodney Davis in this downstate district — the state’s most competitive seat. Davis won here in 2012 by one of the slimmest margins of the cycle, while President Barack Obama and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney each received 49 percent of the district’s vote.

The ad, which highlights Callis’ support for veterans — a bipartisan issue — will air on broadcast and cable in the Springfield market, and is backed by a $20,000 buy, according to a source tracking ad buys. The Callis campaign has already distributed the ad as an email fundraising pitch.

Full story

The Candidate Who Bounced a $42 Check Might Be a Problem for Central Valley Democrats

The Candidate Who Bounced a $42 Check Might Be a Problem for Central Valley Democrats

Hernandez is back in California's 21st District race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

California’s Central Valley was home last cycle to a botched open-seat opportunity for Democrats, and the party could be facing a replay in 2014.

After squeaking out of the 2012 top-two primary over the party’s preferred candidate, Democrat John Hernandez was defeated by Republican David Valadao by a 16-point margin for the new 21st District, even as President Barack Obama won there with 55 percent.

This cycle, Democrats are again targeting the seat and have recruited former Capitol Hill aide Amanda Renteria to run.

But back as a potential spoiler is Hernandez, a former president of the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The issues many say contributed to his 2012 loss — a disorganized campaign and difficulty raising money — seem to be plaguing him once again.

Full story

First Republican Goes Up on Air in Georgia House Primary

State Sen. Buddy Carter, one of more than a half-dozen Republicans running for Georgia’s open 1st District, will go up on television Tuesday with an ad touting his opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

“As a pharmacist practicing for over 30 years, I’ve seen a lot of changes in health care, and I still maintain we have the greatest health care system in the world,” Carter says in the 30-second spot. “But Obamacare’s a train wreck, and it has to go. In Congress, I’ll continue my pursuit to get rid of it.”

Full story

February 24, 2014

Hilda Solis Endorses in California House Primary

Former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis endorsed attorney Eloise Gomez Reyes on Monday in the crowded primary field in California’s open 31st District.

Gomez Reyes is one of four Democrats running for the seat of retiring GOP Rep. Gary G. Miller — a race that’s splitting the party establishment. Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, another Democrat in the race, has the backing of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“In this day and age when the powerful special interests are gaining even more power, the working families that make our country strong need a strong voice and their own tenacious fighter in Congress. Eloise Gomez Reyes is the person for the job,” Solis, who represented the area from 2001 through 2009, said in a statement. “She has spent her entire career fighting for working families and people who can’t fight for themselves.”

Full story

Will Debbie Dingell Succeed Her Husband in Congress?

Will Debbie Dingell Succeed Her Husband in Congress?

Dingell, left, announced his retirement this morning. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For the first time in 81 years, Michigan Democrats are contemplating a Congress without a Dingell.

Maybe not.

Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Mich., announced his retirement on Monday, finishing his 29th full term in the House after succeeding his father in the southeastern Michigan district. In the wake of his announcement, Democrats are already touting the congressman’s wife, Debbie, as the most serious contender for his seat.

(Update: Indeed, Debbie Dingell is expected to announce her candidacy on Friday.)

Full story

Cruz, Lee Top Club for Growth’s 2013 Conservative Scorecard

Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Mike Lee, R-Utah, were the only two senators to receive perfect scores from the Club for Growth for their 2013 voting records, according to the conservative group’s annual scorecards released Monday.

Four House Republicans, including three from Arizona — Matt Salmon, Trent Franks and David Schweikertalso had 100 percent rankings.

Scorecards like those released by Club for Growth and other groups like Heritage Action have played a significant role since the Republican takeover of the House in 2010 in pressuring lawmakers to hold the conservative line on votes the groups deem key. The club’s political action arm also financially supports primary challenges to low-scoring Republican incumbents, including Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran, who was one of the lowest-scoring Republicans last year. Full story

February 21, 2014

Texas Pols File Fundraising Reports Before Primary

Texas will hold the first congressional primaries of 2014 in less than two weeks, but so far the races are so under the radar that one of the candidates to watch failed to file a pre-primary fundraising report due Thursday.

The reports that did come in ahead of the March 4 primaries offered some new insight into the limited number of contests worth keeping an eye on, including four House incumbents and an open-seat race.

Facing a competitive GOP primary challenge, Rep. Ralph M. Hall, who could be running is his last race, stepped up his fundraising game. Meanwhile, freshman Rep. Marc Veasey’s Democratic primary opponent dropped $800,000 of his own money on the race.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, kept up his fundraising dominance, bringing in $928,000 from Jan. 1 to Feb. 12. With Rep. Steve Stockman challenging Cornyn in the primary, the incumbent spent $2.6 million during the first six weeks of the year, much of that on media buys. Stockman’s report, which was not filed electronically, was not immediately available.

In numerical order by district, here’s how Texas House candidates in the races to watch fared during the pre-primary fundraising period:

Full story

The Slowest House Race of 2014

In the last few weeks, congressional hopefuls have piled into newly open House seats across the country, climbing over each other for a head start and their best shot in decades to ascend to Capitol Hill.

Except for one: The Pelican State’s 6th District has experienced a remarkably slow start, even for Louisiana, and especially for safe GOP territory filled with ambitious local Republican politicians. Full story

February 20, 2014

Olympic Snowboarder Makes Senate Endorsement

Olympic Snowboarder Makes Senate Endorsement

Stassel, left, has endorsed Treadwell for Senate in Alaska. (Joe Scarnici via Getty Images)

In what’s likely the first congressional endorsement by an Olympian in 2014, snowboarder Ryan Stassel has left the winter games in Russia and returned home to Anchorage, where he will formally endorse Alaska Senate candidate Mead Treadwell.

In a statement released Thursday by the Republican’s campaign, the 21-year-old Stassel said he worked as a fisherman to support his dream of making the 2014 Winter Olympics and sees in Treadwell the same dedication it takes to become an Olympian. He also trumpeted the campaign’s argument that Treadwell, currently the state’s lieutenant governor, is the true Alaskan in the Republican primary. Full story

New Internal Poll Gives Murphy Wide Lead in Crowded Iowa Race

A new poll from state Rep. Pat Murphy, one of five Democrats running for Iowa’s open 1st District, shows him with a wide lead, according to a memo from his House campaign.

Murphy received 36 percent in the poll of 400 likely Democratic primary voters, conducted by Myers Research and paid for by his campaign. Also per the poll, Murphy has a 19-point lead over Cedar Rapids City Councilwoman Monica Vernon.

Full story

Former NRCC Chairman Endorses in Competitive New York Primary

The chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee during the 1994 Republican revolution is backing investment banker Matt Doheny in the race for New York’s 21st District.

Doheny, who launched his campaign for the open seat on Wednesday, announced the endorsement of former Rep. Bill Paxon, R-N.Y., in a release shared first with CQ Roll Call. In a statement, Paxon sought to undercut a perceived weakness — that Doheny already lost the district twice as the GOP nominee — and instead portrayed it as a strength.

“In my judgment, Bill Owens is not seeking re-election solely because of the tireless groundwork laid over the last four years by Matt Doheny,” he wrote. “Now, Matt will have the opportunity to finish the job he started in 2010 and win this seat for the GOP.” Full story

February 19, 2014

Jason Mraz to Perform at LA Fundraiser for House Hopeful

Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Jason Mraz will headline an upcoming fundraiser for author Marianne Williamson, an independent running for Congress in California’s 33rd District.

The $500-a-head fundraiser will be held Feb. 23 at a private residence in Malibu.

Mraz, who knew Williamson before she announced her bid for Congress, is not being paid to perform at the event, according to Williamson’s campaign.

“He’s a supporter of the campaign and he wanted to participate in some way, so he agreed to do a performance at this fundraiser,” said Ileana Wachtel, a spokeswoman for Williamson’s campaign.

Full story

T.W. Shannon Releases First Ad in Oklahoma Senate Special (Video)

State Speaker T.W. Shannon, one of a handful of Republicans running for the Senate special election in Oklahoma, is up with his first TV ad of the cycle, his campaign announced Wednesday.

The minute-long bio spot, which details Shannon’s faith and his stance on lowering the debt, is backed by a $150,000 buy. It will run on broadcast stations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and statewide on cable stations.

“T.W. Shannon is a sixth-generation Oklahoman,” a narrator says in the ad. “T.W. is guided by his faith. Raised by working class parents, T.W. learned that success comes from hard work, not handouts. And it’s those values that T.W. and his wife, Devon, are teaching their two kids.”

Full story

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