Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 1, 2015

Posts in "Primaries"

March 26, 2014

Braley’s Opponent? Two Seem Most Likely From Crowded Field

Residing outside of the competitive Senate landscape’s top tier most of this election cycle, Iowa Republicans believe they are finally gaining some momentum for the state’s open seat, particularly by avoiding a nominating convention.

The release Tuesday of a video taken of Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley’s remarks at a Texas fundraiser was just the cherry on top of an already renewed sense of optimism among Republicans that the party will put up a competitive nominee. Several things still need to go the GOP’s way for success in November, but Republican insiders in the state see positive signs.

Along with President Barack Obama’s approval ratings in the Hawkeye State falling to 36 percent in a Des Moines Register poll taken last month, the crowded and unproven Republican primary field is beginning to shake out, and the party’s chances of nominating a candidate in the primary — and dodging a potentially debilitating convention — are improving.

“I think the notion of a convention choosing our Senate nominee gets more remote by the day,” said one veteran Iowa Republican operative without ties to any of the campaigns. Full story

Inside Look at 2014 Midterms: A Webinar (Video)

As part of an ongoing Roll Call political webinar series, our editors took a detailed look at upcoming House and Senate primaries. From the heated Democratic primary in Northern Virginia to questions of Republican conservatism up and down the ballot, the group gabbed about the races that ultimately will determine the makeup of the next Congress. Check out the video for some highlights from the conversation.

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Texas Delegation Rallies to Get Ralph Hall One Final Term

Rep. William "Mac" Thornberry, R-Texas, left, walks with Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Ralph M. Hall is in a Texas-sized heap of political trouble — and it’s mostly of the 90-year-old Republican’s own doing.

Over the winter, the 17-term incumbent ignored danger signs in his bid for re-election, namely that a self-funding rival was outspending him in a primary. That candidate, attorney John Ratcliffe, has forced Hall into a May 27 runoff.

Now Texas House Republicans are scrambling to help Hall, who has vowed this will be his final campaign. Full story

March 25, 2014

Candidate Touts ‘Castrating Hogs’ Experience in TV Ad

Talk about cutting through the clutter — or at least cutting through something.

State Sen. Joni Ernst, one of five Republicans seeking Iowa’s open Senate seat, boasted her experience “castrating hogs”  will help her “cut pork” in Washington, D.C.

“I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm, so when I come to Washington, I’ll know how to cut pork,” Ernst says in the 30-second spot released Tuesday. “Washington’s full of big spenders, let’s make ‘em squeal.”

Full story

Honda’s Challenger Debuts First TV Ad in California

Attorney Ro Khanna, a Democrat waging a primary against Democratic Rep. Mike Honda in California’s 17th District, released his first TV ad on Tuesday — a positive spot highlighting his pledge not to accept money from special interests.

“Here’s my promise to you: I will never take money from corporations or lobbyists,” Khanna says in the 30-second spot, which doesn’t mention Honda at any point. “And I’ll say no to the special perks in Congress: no pay raises, no fancy trips funded by special interests, and no gold plated pensions.”

http://youtu.be/IXdr4ViVUHI Full story

Conservative Groups Rally Behind Ralph Hall Challenger in Texas (Updated)

Ratcliffe is challenging Hall, a Republican from Texas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 10:20 a.m. | The Club for Growth and the Madison Project, two conservative groups, announced Tuesday  endorsements of attorney John Ratcliffe, a Texas Republican who pushed Rep. Ralph M. Hall into a May 27 primary runoff.

“Like Senator Ted Cruz, John Ratcliffe understands that the big spenders in both parties have led us to $17 trillion in debt, and he’ll stand up for pro-growth policies in Washington,” club president Chris Chocola said in a release.

John Ratcliffe has actually accomplished what so many conservative candidates desire by drawing one of the longest serving establishment incumbents into a competitive runoff,” said Madison Project political director Drew Ryun in a separate statement released earlier on Tuesday. Full story

March 24, 2014

Brian Schatz Launches First TV Ad in Hawaii Senate Primary

Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz launched his first TV ad Monday in the state’s highly competitive Democratic primary for Senate.

The ad, running statewide on broadcast and cable stations, features Schatz’s family, including his wife Linda’s parents, and highlights the senator’s efforts on Social Security.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDLh9Di4pMM

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Hank Johnson Faces First Serious Primary Threat in Georgia

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

Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., will likely confront the toughest primary challenge of his congressional career this cycle from a well-known local law enforcement official.

The four-term Democrat, known for his unscripted comments in the House, will face former DeKalb County Sheriff Tom Brown in a May 20 primary in the deep blue 4th District in the Atlanta suburbs.

Although there are no independent public polls of the race yet, Brown has so far raised more money than Johnson — a rare feat for a challenger. What’s more, Brown enjoys high name recognition due to his long tenure as sheriff in one of the Peach State’s largest counties. For these reasons, plus a few more, local Democrats see him as a formidable primary challenger for Johnson.

“Assuming that Tom can keep up his fundraising pace, he’s probably the most credible challenge that Hank has had so far,” said Cabral Franklin, a Georgia Democratic consultant.

Full story

March 21, 2014

Ron Paul Endorses in Competitive California House Race

Paul is supporting a candidate in California. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Ron Paul, the Texas Republican who sparked a libertarian movement that has rankled the GOP, has thrown his support behind a House candidate in California.

Paul endorsed former Capitol Hill aide Igor Birman in the 7th District, according to a letter shared first with CQ Roll Call.

Birman, who served as chief of staff to Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., is one of three Republicans seeking to oust freshman Rep. Ami Bera, a Democrat, from this competitive, Sacramento-based House district. Full story

March 19, 2014

Raul Grijalva Endorses Ruben Gallego in Arizona Open-Seat Race

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., endorsed state Rep. Ruben Gallego on Wednesday for the open-seat race in Arizona’s 7th District.

In the race to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Ed Pastor, Gallego is running in what is shaping up to be a crowded primary field for the solidly Democratic, Phoenix-based district.

“I worked with Ed Pastor for many years,” Grijalva said in a statement. “He was the best partner I could have asked for in Phoenix, and I couldn’t think of a better candidate to replace him than Ruben Gallego.”

Full story

March 18, 2014

Ann Callis, Rodney Davis to Face Off in Targeted Illinois District

Former Madison County Judge Ann Callis picked up the Democratic nomination in Illinois’ 13th District Tuesday night and will now face a top target of national Democrats, freshman GOP Rep. Rodney Davis.

Callis defeated physics professor George Gollin 59 percent to 28 percent, with 56 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press. A third candidate, David Green, garnered 13 percent.

Davis defeated former Miss America Erika Harold 57 percent to 38 percent, with 65 percent of precincts reporting.

Full story

League of Conservation Voters Endorses in Maine Primary

The League of Conservation Voters’ political action arm announced Tuesday it has endorsed state Sen. Emily Cain, one of two Democrats seeking Maine’s open 2nd District seat.

The group, which spends significant funds on congressional races, endorsed Cain over her Democratic primary opponent, state Sen. Troy Jackson, saying Cain has a better record on environmental issues. The endorsement could come with financial support in both the primary and the general, as Republicans are targeting the seat.

“Emily Cain is a leader who embraces our moral obligation to address climate change,” LCV Action Fund President Gene Karpinski said in a statement. “She stands up for public health and our environment and will be a strong voice against polluters seeking to stop the scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from protecting the air we breathe and the water we drink.”

Full story

Outside Group’s Poll Shows Tightening Oklahoma Senate Primary

The special-election primary to replace resigning Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn is tightening after an advertising blitz benefiting Republican state Speaker T.W. Shannon.

A poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies on behalf of Oklahomans for a Conservative Future, an outside group backing Shannon, found the state speaker cutting into the early GOP primary lead of Rep. James Lankford. Lankford, who is the favorite to fill the remaining two years of Coburn’s term, led with 37 percent, followed by Shannon with 28 percent and former state Sen. Randy Brogdon with 7 percent.

A half dozen candidates are running to replace Coburn, a favorite among conservatives, who is stepping down at the end of the year. The special is following the state’s regular election schedule: If no candidate receives a majority of support in the June 24 primary, the top two finishers will face off in an Aug. 26 runoff and the winner will move on to November. Full story

Democrat Drops Out of Competitive Pennsylvania House Race

Trivedi is now the lone Democratic candidate in the field. (Douglas Graham/Roll Call File Photo)

Businessman Mike Parrish, a Democrat touted as a top recruit in Pennsylvania’s open 6th District, announced Tuesday he will drop out of the contest to avoid a costly primary, PolitcsPA.com first reported.

“While I was asked by the national and local leaders of our Democratic party and encouraged by YOU to run for Congress, I have come to realize that an expensive and contentious Democratic primary fight would seriously risk our party’s ability to win this seat in November to accomplish our goals,” Parrish said in a statement to supporters. “I am therefore suspending my campaign in order to join with Manan Trivedi to help ensure that a Democrat is elected in November.”

Parrish, who launched his campaign two months ago in the wake of Rep. Jim Gerlach’s, R-Pa., retirement announcement, had earned the endorsement of Rep. Robert A. Brady, D-Pa., and been a beneficiary of a fundraiser headlined by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

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Oprah to Headline Fundraiser for Virginia House Candidate

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey will headline a D.C.-area fundraiser next month for Lavern Chatman, former CEO of the Northern Virginia Urban League and one of nearly a dozen Democrats running for Virginia’s open 8th District seat.

According to a Chatman campaign release, the fundraiser will be held April 5 in Arlington, Va. Further details were not provided.

“Oprah is a good friend and we both share a passion for empowering women and girls for leadership,” Chatman said in a statement. “I’m delighted she is coming to town to help with my congressional campaign.”

Full story

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