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April 17, 2014

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October 10, 2013

Conservative Super PAC Ups Ad Buy Against Cheney

A conservative super PAC is increasing its TV ad buy against Liz Cheney, who is vying for the Republican Senate nomination in Wyoming.

American Principles Fund initially launched its ad on Monday for a one-week flight backed by $75,000. But the group announced Thursday that it has now invested $140,000 for a three-week run on statewide broadcast and cable. The ad hits Cheney on gay marriage.

Cheney is challenging Sen. Michael B. Enzi in the Republican primary. In a statement in August, Cheney said there was a push poll being conducted against her on this issue and that she is “not pro-gay marriage.”

The group is promising to invest further in this and other races around the country. Full story

October 7, 2013

John Cornyn Airs First Re-Election Campaign Spot

Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn may not have a serious primary rival yet in his reliably Republican home state of Texas — but he’s running campaign ads as if he did.

On Monday Cornyn aired his first spot of the cycle, called “Conservative Like Texas.” His campaign made an initial buy of “several hundred thousand dollars,” according to a Cornyn source.

“Our John Cornyn, conservative like you, like Texas,” the narrator declares in the spot.

Full story

September 23, 2013

Lindsey Graham Challenger Dismisses Financial Disadvantage (Video)

The candidate: Republican Lee Bright, a South Carolina state senator
The member: Bright is challenging Sen. Lindsey Graham in the Republican primary.
The state: This is one of two Senate races in South Carolina next year. Appointed Sen. Tim Scott, a Republican, is running unopposed in the special election to fill out the remaining term of Jim DeMint. Both races are rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
The candidate’s team: Chris Sullivan (general consultant)

Full story

September 11, 2013

The Open-Seat Senate Race No One’s Talking About

The Open Seat Senate Race No Ones Talking About

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

The open Senate seat that no one is talking about could get a little more interesting this month.

The retirement of Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., next year has invited a crop of ambitious Republicans that includes rising stars and fresh faces in Nebraska’s political realm. Given the state’s Republican lean, Johanns’ replacement will most likely be decided among them in the May 13 GOP primary.

Already in the race are former state Treasurer Shane Osborn, Midland University President Ben Sasse and attorney Bart McLeay. Sid Dinsdale, head of one of the largest banks in the state and son of a well-known businessman, Roy Dinsdale, will reportedly announce his intentions as early as next week.

Dinsdale’s entrance would provide another wrinkle into what will be an intriguing intraparty slugfest by early next year. Unlike other primaries around the country, this one in the heavily Republican Cornhusker State is not expected to affect the competitiveness of the general election.

But a year after a surprise outcome in the GOP Senate primary produced now-Sen. Deb Fischer, this year’s lineup could be equally unpredictable. Full story

August 20, 2013

Lamar Alexander Challenger Swiftly Loses Consultant | #TNSEN

Republican strategist Chip Saltsman announced he has resigned from the campaign of Joe Carr — just hours after the candidate switched from a House race to challenge Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., in the primary.

“I signed up to help you run for Congress, not the Senate,” Saltsman wrote in his letter of resignation, which the operative released to the press Tuesday morning.

Carr, a state representative, initially launched a campaign to challenge embattled Rep. Scott DesJarlais in the 4th District GOP primary. However, that race was getting crowded, with state Sen. Jim Tracy also vying for the nomination and so far leading in the fundraising battle. Full story

August 5, 2013

Lindsey Graham’s Primary Strength in Numbers

Lindsey Grahams Primary Strength in Numbers

Graham got a new challenger on his right this weekend. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It was inevitable that the field of primary challengers to Lindsey Graham would grow, but the sheer number of ambitious Republicans seeking to oust the South Carolina senator may end up being the undoing of them all.

With a new opponent entering the race over the weekend and another poised to join soon, the question is whether enough variables could fall into place to cause a different result this time.

It’s possible, according to several South Carolina GOP operatives who spoke with CQ Roll Call in recent days. But it would take an extraordinarily large amount of money, extensive support from outside groups and an unlikely coalescing of the anti-Graham vote. A top challenger would need all of those things, plus cash to spare for a runoff. Full story

July 23, 2013

Nebraska Senate Field Grows #NESEN

Nebraska Senate Field Grows #NESEN

Osborn is running for Senate. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

The Nebraska Senate GOP field is beginning to take shape this week, as one Republican moves toward entering the race and another appears likely to seek a different office.

According to The Associated Press, Midland University President Ben Sasse filed paperwork Monday with the Nebraska secretary of state’s office to incorporate “Ben Sasse for U.S. Senate.” If Sasse, who has been on a statewide listening tour, has filed with the Federal Election Commission, it is not yet available online.

Meanwhile, sources close to Pete Ricketts, a wealthy businessman and 2006 Republican nominee for Senate, indicated that he is leaning toward seeking the governorship rather than another bid for Senate. Leavenworth Street, a conservative blog in Nebraska, reported July 18 that Ricketts is all but officially running for governor. Full story

July 18, 2013

Shane Osborn on Steak, Football and Being ‘Beautiful’ | The Candidate #NESEN

Shane Osborn on Steak, Football and Being Beautiful | The Candidate #NESEN

Osborn is running for Senate in Nebraska. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Every year, scores of congressional candidates visit the CQ Roll Call offices to meet with reporters and Contributing Editor Stuart Rothenberg. This feature, “The Candidate,” will ask these congressional hopefuls five questions about their campaigns. Responses and questions have been edited and condensed.

The candidate: Former Nebraska Treasurer Shane Osborn, a Republican
The member: Retiring GOP Sen. Mike Johanns
The state: Nebraska has voted Republican in all but one presidential election since 1936.
The candidate’s team: Dave Boomer (campaign manager), Brad Todd of OnMessage Inc. (media and general consultant), Sam Fischer of Meridian (direct mail), Dean Dennhardt (finance)

1. Governors, including one in your own state, are turning down opportunities to be one of 100 in the Senate. As someone with a record of running things on your own, why does it interest you?

All my life passions have been fixing things that were broken, and I can’t think of anything more broken than the U.S. Congress.

2. You’re running in part on your credentials as an elected state treasurer. Why would that make you a good senator?

The biggest problem America faces in the future is problems with the debt. My background can provide great value in the U.S. Senate as we try to get the country back on track.

3. What’s the best thing about, or favorite place to go, in your hometown of Waterloo?

Farmer Browns Steak House. You can get a huge steak for $11 or $12.

4. You attended the University of Nebraska on an ROTC scholarship. How are they going to do in football this year?

I think we’ll continue to improve, but our defense is going to have to step up this year. My junior and senior years [1994 and 1995] we won back-to-back championships.

5. Not many candidates can say this: You were featured in People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People in 2001, fresh off playing a central role as a naval aviator in an international incident between the United States and China. How did that come about, and can you talk about the experience?

People did a whole thing on the crew called, “Born to Fly,” which is what I titled my book. They took a bunch of pictures, and then there it was. … By the time I got back, there were copies hung up all over the base. While some people may like to be named in People’s “Most Beautiful” list, I took a beating. [Editor's note: Osborn was flying a combat mission in Afghanistan following 9/11 on the night of People's gala to celebrate the issue in New York.]

July 16, 2013

Liz Cheney to Primary Enzi #WYSEN

Liz Cheney to Primary Enzi #WYSEN

Enzi has a primary challenger. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Liz Cheney, the eldest daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, announced on Tuesday that she will challenge Wyoming Sen. Michael B. Enzi next year in the Republican primary.

Cheney’s decision sets up what will undoubtedly be a spirited primary with Enzi, 69, who confirmed in a statement on Tuesday that he will indeed run for a fourth term. Full story

July 10, 2013

DesJarlais Challenger Posts Big Fundraising Haul #TN04

Jim Tracy, a Republican state senator in Tennessee, is continuing to stock up his war chest for a primary next year with embattled Rep. Scott DesJarlais.

Tracy raised $303,000 in the second quarter, according to a release obtained first by CQ Roll Call. He’s raised nearly $750,000 since entering the race on Jan. 2 and will file having $656,000 in cash on hand as of June 30 — a strong sum for a House challenger.

“I have now had the opportunity to visit with people from every county in the district and I won’t let them down if I have the honor to serve them in Congress,” Tracy says in the release. Full story

June 19, 2013

Another Republican Is Running for Bachmann’s Seat #MN06

The GOP primary for Minnesota’s 6th District became more crowded this week, when state Sen. John Pederson filed federal paperwork to run for the seat.

Pederson is the third Republican to enter the primary after GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann announced her retirement last month.

Former state Rep. Tom Emmer, who unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2010, announced earlier this month that he will seek Bachmann’s seat. Emmer was followed into the race by Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah, who announced last week that she too is running in the GOP primary. Full story

June 10, 2013

Fourth Republican Enters Crowded Georgia Race #GA01

Fourth Republican Enters Crowded Georgia Race #GA01

Kingston is running for Senate, prompting a crowded primary for his House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Another Republican entered Georgia’s already crowded 1st District race on Monday, making him the fourth GOP candidate in the open-seat race to replace GOP Rep. Jack Kingston.

Bob Johnson, a surgeon and former Army Ranger, announced on Monday that he is running.

“I pledge to you that I am not going to compromise my conservative Republican principles,” Johnson said in a news release. “I am not going to Washington to go along and get along. I am running for Congress to bring about real conservative change.”

Full story

June 3, 2013

Osborn Is First Republican to Enter Senate Race #NESEN

Osborn Is First Republican to Enter Senate Race #NESEN

Johanns will retire in 2014. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ-Roll Call File Photo)

Former state Treasurer Shane Osborn is the first Republican to enter the wide-open GOP primary for Nebraska’s open Senate seat.

In an email to the Lincoln Journal-Star, Osborn campaign manager Dave Boomer — who has managed campaigns for GOP Rep. Lee Terry — said Osborn has filed papers with the Federal Election Commission and will be holding kickoff rallies at a later time. Full story

May 29, 2013

Fortenberry not Running for Senate #NESEN

Fortenberry not Running for Senate #NESEN

Fortenberry, right, will not run for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., announced Wednesday he will seek re-election instead of running for the state’s open Senate seat.

“I greatly appreciate the support and encouragement of the many Nebraskans who have urged me to consider a campaign for the United States Senate. After considerable reflection, I have decided not to run for the Senate,” Fortenberry said in a statement.

Fortenberry is the second Republican in the past week to take his name out of the running for a seat that the GOP is heavily favored to hold in 2014. Gov. Dave Heineman, who is term-limited next year and was the top GOP recruit for this race, opted out of running on May 25. Full story

May 25, 2013

Gov. Heineman Won’t Seek Senate #NESEN

Gov. Dave Heineman announced Saturday that he will not seek Nebraska’s open Senate seat, inviting a free-for-all in the Republican primary.

“After careful consideration of all of the issues involved in a race for the United States Senate, I have decided to keep my focus on being the best Governor that I can for the citizens of Nebraska,” Heineman said in a Saturday morning email to supporters. “A race for the United States Senate would distract from the State’s priorities of tax relief, job creation and education.”

Full story

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