Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 18, 2014

Posts in "Primaries"

April 1, 2014

Ruben Gallego Raised $160K in First Month of Campaign

Arizona state Rep. Ruben Gallego will announce raising $160,000 in his first month of campaigning for the seat of retiring Democratic Rep. Ed Pastor.

According to a campaign release shared first with CQ Roll Call, the Arizona Democrat will report having $150,000 in cash on hand as of Monday, the close of the first fundraising quarter of 2014.

Gallego declared his intent to run for the Phoenix-based 7th District seat moments after Pastor’s surprise Feb. 28 retirement announcement. But he faces a competitive primary for the open seat. Full story

Eva Longoria Endorses House Candidate in Los Angeles (Video)

Eva Longoria Endorses House Candidate in Los Angeles (Video)

Longoria is getting involved in a House race in California. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Actress Eva Longoria has endorsed spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson, one of more than a dozen candidates looking to succeed retiring Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., in the 33rd District.

“There is a problem in the political system right now. And I find that we have to approach solving this problem in a new way, in a conscious way, in a way that is going against the tide. I find Marianne has the tools, the capability, the intellect, the ideology that is going to push against the status quo,” Longoria said in a video endorsement released on Tuesday.

Full story

Primary for Trey Radel’s Seat Escalates on TV Airwaves

Primary for Trey Radels Seat Escalates on TV Airwaves

Radel resigned from Congress earlier this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In the special election to succeed former Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., former state Rep. Paige Kreegel has gone on the airwaves with a campaign ad intended to introduce him to GOP voters ahead of the April 22 primary.

Kreegel is running in a competitive special election to succeed Radel, who resigned from Congress in January after he pleaded guilty to cocaine possession. The GOP nominee is expected to win the June 24 special election. Full story

Alabama Republican Releases Pair of Ads in Race to Replace Bachus

Alabama businessman Will Brooke launched a pair of introductory ads on Monday, two months out from a crowded and competitive open-seat Republican primary.

Brooke is one of a handful of Republicans vying to replace GOP Rep. Spencer Bachus, who announced his retirement from this Birmingham-based district in September. The race has thus far been marked by hefty fundraising by nearly all the top-tier candidates involved.

The bio ads will air in rotation on district-wide cable and broadcast, according to Brooke’s campaign. Full story

March 31, 2014

David Rouzer Debuts First Spot Ahead of North Carolina Primary

David Rouzer Debuts First Spot Ahead of North Carolina Primary

Rouzer is running a second time for Congress in North Carolina. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former state Sen. David Rouzer, a Republican running in North Carolina’s open 7th District, went up on air last week with his first ad of the cycle.

The ad will air district-wide on cable and on broadcast in the Wilmington market, according to Rouzer’s campaign.

“I’ve put more than three hundred thousand miles on this truck. Most days I’m visiting with folks in small businesses. They’re worried about our future, and they should be,” Rouzer says in the ad.

Full story

Obama Endorses in Competitive Hawaii Senate Primary

Obama Endorses in Competitive Hawaii Senate Primary

Schatz faces a primary in August. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama has endorsed Sen. Brian Schatz in Hawaii — a move that could help the appointed senator in a competitive Democratic primary in the Aloha State later this year.

“I have worked with Senator Schatz on the issues that matter to Hawaii. Brian’s deep commitment to the people of Hawaii and his effective leadership are why I believe it is important to return him to the Senate,” Obama said in a Monday news release. “Senator Schatz is protecting Hawaii’s values and fighting every day on behalf of middle-class families.” Full story

Bernie Sanders Endorses in Crowded Pennsylvania House Primary

Bernie Sanders Endorses in Crowded Pennsylvania House Primary

Sanders endorsed a House candidate in Pennsylvania. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., one of the Senate’s most liberal members, has endorsed state Sen. Daylin Leach — one of four Democrats running in the primary for Pennsylvania’s 13th District.

Sanders joins a crowd of liberal Democrats in Congress who are backing Leach, including the Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs, Reps. Raul M. Grijalva of Arizona and Keith Ellison of Minnesota, plus Alan Grayson of Florida.

“At a time when our country has more income and wealth inequality than any other major country on earth, and when the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider – it is imperative that we send candidates like Daylin Leach to the U.S. Congress,” Sanders said in a news release Monday. Full story

Will Walter Jones Be the First Incumbent to Fall?

Will Walter Jones Be the First Incumbent to Fall?

A conservative outside group is targeting Jones. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A well-funded conservative outside group is devoting significant money to an attempt to make North Carolina GOP Rep. Walter B. Jones the first incumbent to fall this cycle, but Republicans in the state are skeptical the sudden burst of spending will ultimately be enough to take Jones out.

With the investment by Ending Spending Action Fund, a super PAC formed by TD Ameritrade Founder Joe Ricketts, Jones faces what will likely end up being the best-financed primary opposition of his 20-year congressional tenure. The group reported last week spending $156,000 on an ad attacking Jones, one of the last remaining Republicans from the class of 1994, for his “liberal” voting record and for “losing his North Carolina values.”

It’s a significant ad buy in the 3rd District, located along the Tar Heel State’s coast. But while Republican strategists say the outside money may give Jones his most competitive challenge to date, they also downplay Jones’ chances for defeat in the May 6 primary.

“People see the money, people see the outside spending, they see who is spending from the outside — you have Joe Ricketts’ PAC, which is a recognizable name — and they see that and think [Jones] is vulnerable,” said one unaffiliated Republican operative. “But I just think Walter’s entrenched in that district. Walter’s father was a congressman from that district before him, and I just don’t see him as being vulnerable.” Full story

March 28, 2014

Bruce Braley’s Farmer Insult Hits Airwaves in New TV Ad

Energy Executive Mark Jacobs, an emerging candidate in a crowded GOP field for Iowa’s open Senate seat, debuted a new ad Friday attacking the de facto Democratic nominee, Rep. Bruce Braley, for recent comments he made about Iowa’s senior senator, Republican Charles E. Grassley.

The 30-second spot features Braley’s comments, which were taped at a fundraiser earlier this year in Texas. At that event, Braley said if Republicans win the Senate, “a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law,” would take the gavel on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The ad will air on cable in eastern Iowa, according to Jacobs’ campaign.

Full story

March 27, 2014

Senate Conservatives Fund Endorses in Oklahoma Senate Race

Senate Conservatives Fund Endorses in Oklahoma Senate Race

Lankford is running for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon, one of a handful of Republicans running in Oklahoma’s open-seat Senate race, received the endorsement of the Senate Conservatives Fund Thursday, a group that spends heavily to boost tea-party-aligned candidates into office.

“T.W. Shannon is a constitutional conservative who will fight to stop the massive spending and debt that are bankrupting our country,” SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins said in a news release. “We’re supporting T.W. Shannon because he’s a principled conservative, he has strong grassroots support in Oklahoma, and he can win if Americans come together to support his campaign.”

Shannon will face off with GOP Rep. James Lankford and handful of other Oklahoma Republicans in a special-election primary on June 24. The seat is open because GOP Sen. Tom Coburn will resign at the end of the 113th Congress.

Conservative groups had initially sought to recruit Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., to face off against Lankford in the contest. However when Bridenstine declined to run, it was unclear whether groups such as the SCF and Club for Growth would play in the Sooner State Senate contest.

The Republican who wins the primary will likely be the next senator from Oklahoma, as GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the state with 67 percent in 2012. If no candidate garners at least 50 percent of the vote in the June 24 primary, the top two contenders head to a runoff on Aug. 26.

Oklahoma’s Senate race is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

March 26, 2014

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

Braleys Opponent? Two Seem Most Likely From Crowded Field

Iowa Democratic Senate hopeful Rep. Bruce Braley doesn't know yet which Republican candidate he'll be facing in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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.

Full story

Texas Delegation Rallies to Get Ralph Hall One Final Term

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.”

Full story

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