Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 19, 2014

Posts in "Safe Democratic"

August 24, 2014

Temps and Tensions Max Out in Arizona Primary

Temps and Tensions Max Out in Arizona Primary

Gallego speaks to Arizona primary volunteers before they canvass. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

PHOENIX — It’s a dry 108-degree heat this August afternoon, and Tony Valdovinos only prays it gets hotter. The curly-haired field director for Ruben Gallego, a Democrat running in the open House race here, has his reasons.

“We know when it’s hot, we’re the only ones out there,” says Valdovinos, slighting the opposition’s turnout operation as he drives through a wide boulevard en route to an early evening canvass.

Temps and Tensions Max Out in Arizona Primary

In Arizona’s 7th District, a generational party brawl has consumed urban Latino politics, pitting a longtime local pol, former Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, against Gallego, a former two-term state representative three decades her junior.

The decisive Democratic primary for retiring Rep. Ed Pastor’s seat is Tuesday, but the race has been culminating for weeks thanks to Arizona’s burgeoning permanent early voter list. In the Valley of the Sun’s prohibitively expensive media market, the victor will be decided by direct mail and, most importantly, a month-long get-out-the-vote push in the late summer heat.

In the weeks leading up to the primary, Gallego’s team expressed more confidence they will prevail. They’re probably right: A high-tech ground game has served him well, even in some of the southwest’s oldest barrios.

Full story

August 22, 2014

Mary Rose Wilcox Vies for Arizona’s 7th District (Video)

Mary Rose Wilcox Vies for Arizonas 7th District (Video)

Wilcox, D-Ariz., candidate for Congress from Arizona's 7th district. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Former Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, a Democrat, hopes her community ties and political experience will boost her to victory in Tuesday’s primary in Arizona’s 7th District.

In an interview with CQ Roll Call in Washington, D.C., Wilcox laid out what she believes will be a winning strategy for the primary.

“We’re targeting, we’re making sure that we’re getting the voters out,” said Wilcox in late July. “I know my community. My community has shared with me many of their concerns, and so the message is one that is resonating. And that’s how we win.” Full story

August 10, 2014

Hawaii Primary Results: Hurricane Iselle Delays Force Brian Schatz, Colleen Hanabusa to Wait

Hawaii Primary Results: Hurricane Iselle Delays Force Brian Schatz, Colleen Hanabusa to Wait

Hanabusa challenged Schatz in the primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic primary between Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa was too close to call early Sunday morning, and the race may not be decided for days.

Voting in two precincts on the Big Island, which was hit hardest by Hurricane Iselle, was postponed because of storm damage, KITV reported. Those Democrats will vote absentee and essentially decide the contest, though Hanabusa has some ground to make up.

Both campaigns told Civil Beat they will be heading to the Big Island before the crucial final ballots are cast.

With all but those two precincts reporting, Schatz led Hanabusa 49.4 percent to 48.6 percent — separated by just less than 1,800 votes out of some 214,000 cast. After Schatz was appointed to the seat in December 2012 following the death of Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, the winner will likely prevail in November and serve out the remaining two years of Inouye’s term, and then undoubtedly run for a full term in 2016.

The race kicked off amid an inescapable feeling of bitterness among Inouye and Hanabusa allies, perturbed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s selection of Schatz to serve in the Senate instead of Inouye’s preferred successor, Hanabusa. It had nearly as rocky a finish, as the islands avoided a one-two punch of hurricanes that threatened to disrupt the election to a greater degree than it did.

Full story

July 31, 2014

Hawaii Senator Gets Distance From Governor Who Appointed Him

Hawaii Senator Gets Distance From Governor Who Appointed Him

Brian Schatz is an appointed senator from Hawaii. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The careers of Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz and Gov. Neil Abercrombie have been linked for several years, but the Schatz campaign has worked for the past 18 months to ensure their political fates are not.

With the Aloha State Democratic primaries just a week away, it’s increasingly possible Schatz, the former lieutenant governor appointed by Abercrombie in December 2012, could win the Senate nomination, even as the governor loses his own re-nomination.

Schatz faces Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in the Aug. 9 contest, which both campaigns say is close.

Schatz hasn’t overtly run away from Abercrombie, whom he supports, but his campaign has focused squarely on the influence and accomplishments the freshman senator garnered in less than two years on Capitol Hill. The intent is to differentiate him from Hanabusa, with the added benefit of building a profile unique from his association with the unpopular governor. Full story

July 25, 2014

Senator Gets Outside Help for Final Days of Hawaii Primary (Video)

Senator Gets Outside Help for Final Days of Hawaii Primary (Video)

Schatz hopes to win the Aug. 9 primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The League of Conservation Voters is spending $380,000 on a TV ad campaign over the next two weeks to boost Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz in the Aug. 9 Democratic primary.

Schatz, who was appointed to fill the seat of Daniel K. Inouye in December 2012, faces Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in the competitive nomination fight. They’re running to serve the remaining two years of Inouye’s term.

LCV’s first ad, which begins running Saturday, focuses on the threat of climate change to Hawaii and states Schatz is “holding corporate polluters who cause it accountable.” It also highlights the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s recent endorsement of him. Full story

June 9, 2014

Ruben Gallego Seeks Arizona’s 7th District (Video Interview)

State Rep. Ruben Gallego, an Arizona Democrat, said he’s unsure how much money he’ll need to succeed retiring Rep. Ed Pastor, D-Ariz., in the 7th District, according to an interview with CQ Roll Call.

“It’s hard to say,” Gallego said. “It’s not going to be a cheap race. This is a five month race.”

The Democrat is running in a crowded Aug. 26 primary in this Hispanic-majority district based in PhoenixThe Democratic nominee is expected to win the general election in this strong Democratic district.

Gallego’s most formidable opponent is former Maricopa County Board Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, a longtime local official backed by Pastor and EMILY’s List. Full story

May 21, 2014

Monica Wehby Wins GOP Senate Primary in Oregon

Pediatric neurosurgeon Monica Wehby clinched the Republican Senate nomination in Oregon on Tuesday, beating out state Rep. Jason Conger.

Wehby will now face Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley — who handily won his primary — in an uphill race for Republicans. She led Conger 55 percent to 32 percent when the Associated Press called the race with 52 percent of precincts reporting.

Merkley is running his first Senate re-election race after unseating Republican Sen. Gordon Smith in 2008.

The blue-state seat has not been a top target for national Republicans, who must pick up a net six seats to regain the Senate majority. But Wehby’s resume as a physician and strong first TV ad have Republicans optimistic they can expand the playing field into Oregon. Full story

April 22, 2014

Former Michigan Congressman Is Running Again

Former Michigan Congressman Is Running Again

Clarke is running for Congress again. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 

Former Michigan Rep. Hansen Clarke has filed to run for Congress again.

The Democrat is seeking the seat he lost in a 2012 member-vs.-member primary to Rep. Gary Peters, who is now seeking the state’s open Senate seat.

“Thank you for your support and encouragement — I’m running for Congress!” Clarke wrote on Twitter. Full story

March 25, 2014

The Many Reasons Mark Kirk Won’t Stump for Oberweis

The Many Reasons Mark Kirk Wont Stump for Oberweis

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Mark S. Kirk’s decision not to campaign this year against his in-state Democratic colleague should come as no surprise.

While Kirk has said he will support the Republican ticket in November and has committed to actively assisting the party’s gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner, the Illinois Republican told the Chicago Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet that he won’t be stumping for Republican Senate nominee Jim Oberweis.

Kirk said he wants to protect his working relationship with Democratic Sen. Richard J. Durbin by “not launching into a partisan jihad.” But there are other equally compelling reasons not to hit the campaign trail against Durbin. 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.

Full story

March 3, 2014

Virginia Democrats Gather to Celebrate, Replace Moran

Virginia Democrats Gather to Celebrate, Replace Moran

Lavern Chatman was one of nearly a dozen candidates to compete in a Saturday night straw poll to replace retiring Rep. Jim Moran (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Hundreds of Northern Virginia Democrats packed into a Volvo dealership outside of Washington, D.C., Saturday night to celebrate the career of longtime Rep. James P. Moran and begin the process of replacing him.

Since Moran’s January announcement that he wouldn’t seek a 13th term, at least 11 Democrats have thrown their hats into the ring. Nearly all of them appeared at the Saturday event to rub elbows with potential supporters and stake their claim to the safe Democratic seat.

Former Lt. Gov. Don Beyer, who hosted the festivities at his dealership in Alexandria, won the night’s straw poll decisively with 25 percent of the vote. Community activist Lavern Chatman and state Del. Patrick Hope took second and third place.

The straw poll was held as part of an annual Mardis Gras celebration to raise money for the Mount Vernon District Democratic Committee. Nearly 500 people attended the event, where tickets cost $45 and up, depending on the sponsorship level.

Moran, the guest of honor, donned Mardis Gras beads and greeted attendees with a beer in hand. He predicted that the winner of the June 10 Democratic primary will likely win by the same margin Beyer did on Saturday.

“I think that anybody that gets 25 percent of the vote will win. It’ll be a plurality,” Moran told CQ Roll Call. Full story

February 18, 2014

Joe Baca Apologizes for Calling Negrete McLeod a ‘Bimbo’

Joe Baca Apologizes for Calling Negrete McLeod a Bimbo

Baca has apologized for his remarks. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., apologized Tuesday for calling retiring Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod a “bimbo” earlier in the day.

Reacting to the fellow California Democrat’s retirement announcement to The Hill newspaper, Baca described her as a “bimbo” and said outside interests were again spending money in a race he is running.

But in a phone call to CQ Roll Call late Tuesday afternoon, Baca, who is running for the open 31st District and struggling to raise money, backtracked.

“I wanted to apologize for the poor choice of words,” he said. “I was upset and disappointed that we have a person that’s not running again. To me [Negrete McLeod's retirement] was a disservice to the area.”

Full story

January 16, 2014

Gillespie Announces Virginia Senate Campaign

Gillespie Announces Virginia Senate Campaign

Gillespie is running for Senate in Virginia. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ed Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, announced Thursday that he will challenge Democratic Sen. Mark Warner.

Despite Warner’s inherent advantages in this swing state, Gillespie’s entrance gives Republicans a competent opponent who will be able to raise money and make the race at least one to keep an eye on this year. In a video statement, Gillespie wasted no time in criticizing the incumbent over his fiscal record in the Senate and support for Obamacare. Full story

January 13, 2014

First Potential Miller Successor Announces Candidacy

California state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier quickly launched his campaign Monday to replace retiring Rep. George Miller.

The 20-term incumbent announced earlier in the day that he would not seek another term, opening a safe Democratic seat that could attract a number of ambitious contenders.

“I plan to hit the ground running hard in this campaign,” DeSaulnier said in a statement. “I am ready to run and ready to serve the people of the 11th District.” Full story

December 19, 2013

Scott Brown: New Hampshire Move Is ‘Strictly Personal’

Scott Brown: New Hampshire Move Is Strictly Personal

Brown has moved to New Hampshire. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Sen. Scott Brown said goodbye to Massachusetts on Thursday, confirming in a statement released to the press that he is moving to New Hampshire.

The Republican has been flirting with a Senate bid in the neighboring Granite State for months. But in the statement published by WMUR, Brown called his move to the Granite State “strictly personal” and said he had “nothing to announce with regard to my future political plans.” Full story

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