Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 20, 2014

Posts in "Tossup"

November 5, 2013

Democratic Super PAC Defends Hagan on TV

A Democrat-aligned super PAC is coming to the defense of North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan, who was hit last week in a TV ad from a conservative outside group.

Senate Majority PAC launched a TV ad today that attempts to debunk the attack ad from Americans for Prosperity, which slammed the Democrat over her support for the health care law. The new spot, backed by a $400,000 buy, also highlights Hagan’s record, calling her an “independent senator working to help balance budgets and create jobs.”

Full story

November 4, 2013

Potential Senate Opponent Instead Backs Cassidy in Louisiana

Potential Senate Opponent Instead Backs Cassidy in Louisiana

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

A potential GOP rival to Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy reversed course over the weekend and endorsed the three-term Louisiana congressman, who is running for Senate.

As first reported by the New Orleans Times-Picayune, state Rep. Alan Seabaugh, who had seriously considered running, instead endorsed Cassidy in a statement on Sunday. The move rids one potential hurdle for Cassidy in his attempt to defeat Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu.

The Cassidy campaign touted the news Monday, releasing another statement from Seabaugh, who had recently criticized Cassidy as not sufficiently conservative. Full story

October 31, 2013

Daines Holding ‘Special Event’ Next Week

Montana Rep. Steve Daines, who is widely expected to run for Senate, is inviting supporters to a “special event” next week.

According to an invitation distributed by the Daines campaign on Thursday, the Republican’s event will take place Nov. 6 at a Holiday Inn in Bozeman. The missive included an unchanged logo, “Daines U.S. Congress.”

“Steve wants an opportunity to thank supporters like you — we hope to see you there!” the invitation reads. Full story

October 30, 2013

Florida House Special-Election Date Scheduled

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has scheduled a special election to replace the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla., for next year.

The primary election will be Jan. 14, and the general election will be March 11.

Young died Oct. 18. Operatives from both parties expect a highly contested and competitive race for his seat. The district narrowly voted for President Barack Obama last year, making it the first special election of the cycle that could serve as a harbinger for the 2014 midterm elections.

Former state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink joined attorney Jessica Ehrlich in the Democratic primary Wednesday morning. Soon after Sink’s announcement, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee indicated that that organization would back her over Ehrlich.

As for the Republicans, GOP political consultant Nick Zoller jumped in earlier this month, and other Republicans are giving the seat a look as well.

The Tampa Bay Times first reported the news of the special-election date.

The race is rated Tossup by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Alex Sink Will Run in Competitive Florida House Race

Former Democratic gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink will run to replace the late Republican Rep. C.W. Bill Young in Florida’s 13th District.

“I never let politics, fingert-pointing or name-calling stand in the way of getting results for the people I represent, and it’s these results-oriented values that I want to bring to Washington,” she said in a statement. “For the sake of our economy, our businesses and our families, we have to restore problem-solving leadership.”

The announcement was widely expected. Sink, for now, does not have a clear shot at the nomination but is the Democratic front-runner. Attorney Jessica Ehrlich is also running for the seat.
A crucial group to watch in this primary is EMILY’s List. Full story

October 23, 2013

Top GOP Recruit Expected to Make Senate Announcement Soon

Top GOP Recruit Expected to Make Senate Announcement Soon

Daines will likely run for Senate in 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Steve Daines, one of the last remaining 2014 Senate recruit holdouts, is expected to announce his decision by the end of this year, according to a Montana Republican source familiar with his thinking.

To this point, Daines has refused to offer a timeline for a decision about whether to seek the Big Sky State’s open Senate seat, a top GOP pickup opportunity. He’s also noted that Montana voters want a shortened election season after a nearly two-year battle last cycle.

Daines reiterated both points in an Oct. 17 interview with Montana Public Radio, and he even seemed to indicate that he wouldn’t make an announcement until the new year. But the GOP source said that an announcement should come this quarter. Full story

GOP Poll: Cotton Holds Edge Over Pryor in Arkansas

GOP Poll: Cotton Holds Edge Over Pryor in Arkansas

Pryor faces a tough re-election race in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A poll conducted on behalf of Rep. Tom Cotton’s campaign found the Arkansas Republican with a 4-point lead over Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor — within the margin of error for the survey.

In one of the GOP’s top pickup opportunities in 2014, Cotton led 45 percent to 41 percent, with 15 percent of those surveyed undecided.

The poll of 600 likely voters was conducted by GOP firm OnMessage Inc. on Oct. 15-17. The margin of error was 4 points. Full story

October 16, 2013

Rand Paul Endorses in North Carolina Primary

Rand Paul Endorses in North Carolina Primary

Paul picked a side in a top Senate primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., offered an endorsement on Wednesday to a tea party activist running for the GOP Senate nomination in North Carolina — a top pickup opportunity for Republicans.

Physician Greg Brannon, one of several Republicans vying to take on Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, touted the endorsement from the conservative senator and potential presidential contender as a momentum boost for the campaign. The campaign’s announcement referred to Brannon as “an anti-establishment candidate … who will oppose the Big Government, big spending status quo in both parties.”

In a statement, Paul called Brannon “a true constitutional conservative who will join me in fighting against business as usual in Washington.” Full story

October 3, 2013

Democrats Land Montana Senate Recruit

Montana Lt. Gov. John Walsh will run for Senate, providing Democrats with a key recruit for an open-seat race in a highly competitive state.

“Too many lawmakers back in Washington put their own agendas ahead of their responsibility to their constituents and to all Americans,” Walsh said in an advance statement obtained by the Associated Press.

Full story

September 24, 2013

Begich Challenger Hopes to Carry On Ted Stevens Legacy (Video)

The candidate: Republican Mead Treadwell, lieutenant governor of Alaska
The member: Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, who is up for his first re-election
The state: In 2008, Begich became the first Democrat elected to the Senate from Alaska since 1974. Four years later, Barack Obama became the first Democratic presidential nominee to break the 40 percent mark there in four decades.
The candidate’s team: Eddie Mahe and Ladonna Lee (general consultants), Dave Sackett of the Tarrance Group (polling),
Burke Wood (media).

Full story

September 12, 2013

Alaska GOP Primary Set to Expand #AKSEN

Updated 1:22 p.m. | Republican Dan Sullivan resigned his post as commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources on Thursday and is set to launch a bid for Senate.

Sullivan consultant Art Hackney said Sullivan would file for the race no later than Sept. 24, the date Sullivan’s resignation becomes effective. He will join Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and 2010 Senate nominee Joe Miller in a competitive nomination battle to take on Democratic Sen. Mark Begich.

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell announced Sullivan’s departure in a press release on Thursday, including a copy of Sullivan’s resignation letter.

“As I explore new opportunities and challenges in the next phase of my life, I intend to seek ways to continue to serve my fellow Alaskans,” Sullivan wrote. Full story

Conservative Preacher Joins North Carolina Senate Primary | #NCSEN

Conservative Preacher Joins North Carolina Senate Primary | #NCSEN

Hagan is vulnerable in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Rev. Mark Harris told a meeting of more than 200 supporters in North Carolina Thursday that he will formally launch a Senate campaign on Oct. 2, according to his consultant Tom Perdue.

Speaking to the group in Clemmons, a suburb of Winston-Salem, Harris confirmed that after 117 meetings during a 70-county listening tour this summer, he has decided to challenge Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan.

According to Perdue, a longtime consultant to Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., Harris also announced that former Rep. Robin Hayes, who most recently served as state party chairman, and longtime state political activist Mary Frances Forrester would chair the campaign.

“Now Mark is the conservative in this campaign,” Perdue told CQ Roll Call. Full story

September 3, 2013

Montana Senate Field Now Cleared for Daines | #MTSEN

Former Montana state Sen. Corey Stapleton confirmed to CQ Roll Call on Tuesday that he is dropping his Senate bid to run for the House instead.

“It’s official,” he said by phone.

The exit of the last remaining Republican in a top pickup opportunity for the GOP is the latest indication that Rep. Steve Daines will run for the open Senate seat.

Stapleton appeared to let Daines’ decision slip in an earlier interview with Montana’s Lee Newspapers. But Daines spokeswoman Alee Lockman said the congressman hasn’t “made any final decision yet” and still does not have a timeline to do so. Full story

August 9, 2013

Baucus Barbecue to Boost Local Democrats’ Fundraising #MTSEN

Baucus Barbecue to Boost Local Democrats Fundraising #MTSEN

Baucus is raising money for local Democrats. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Retiring Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., will host his annual Sieben Ranch Barbecue and Hoedown on Saturday on his family ranch outside Helena, with proceeds going to the state Democratic Party.

The fundraiser marks the senator’s latest effort to help keep his seat in the Democratic column next year. With Baucus not seeking re-election and the party still searching for a candidate to replace him, the seat is one of Democrats’ most vulnerable of the midterm election cycle. Full story

August 7, 2013

Club for Growth Backs Mark Pryor Challenger #ARSEN

Updated 11:55 a.m. |The Club for Growth’s political action committee formally endorsed Republican Rep. Tom Cotton on Wednesday, a day after the freshman announced a challenge to Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor in Arkansas.

The group is set to launch a six-figure TV ad buy against Pryor on Thursday, tying the incumbent to President Barack Obama. The ads will run on broadcast and cable stations, and it’s just the latest media campaign targeting one of the most vulnerable incumbents of the cycle.

“Tom Cotton is a taxpayer hero and a fighter against the Obama agenda,” Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said in a statement.

Full story

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