Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 22, 2014

Posts in "Tossup"

July 30, 2013

House Republican Won’t Run for Senate #NCSEN

House Republican Wont Run for Senate #NCSEN

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

North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers is taking a pass on a Senate bid in 2014.

The Republican announced on Tuesday that she will seek re-election instead, removing a potential top-tier challenger to Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in one of the GOP’s best pickup opportunities. Full story

EMILY’s List President Won’t Run for Senate #MTSEN

EMILYs List President Wont Run for Senate #MTSEN

Schriock won't run for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock announced Tuesday that she will not run for Montana’s open Senate seat, further dwindling a short list of potential candidates for the Democratic nomination.

“Montana raised me, and it will always be my heart,” said Schriock, a Montana native and former top aide to Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. “It has been truly incredible to hear from so many folks who believe in me. I would love to say yes, but this is not the right time.” Full story

July 16, 2013

Another Democrat Opts Against Senate Bid in Montana #MTSEN (Updated)

Updated 4:20 p.m. | A second Democrat in the last four days has announced he or she will not seek Montana’s open Senate seat.

According to local reports, state Auditor Monica Lindeen took her name out of the running on Tuesday for the seat of retiring Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.

Lindeen’s name popped up along with a few other Democrats on Saturday after former Gov. Brian Schweitzer, the likely front-runner for the nomination, declared he was no longer considering a bid. Like Schweitzer, Lindeen said she did not want to leave Montana. Full story

July 11, 2013

Schweitzer Expected to Run, but When? #MTSEN

Schweitzer Expected to Run, but When? #MTSEN

Schweitzer is considering a bid for Senate. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Former Gov. Brian Schweitzer is widely expected to run for Montana’s open Senate seat — the only question is when.

State legislators and operatives had heard he was preparing to announce his bid on Tuesday, but that day came and went without a peep from the populist Democrat.

Another likely option? The state party is holding a convention in Lewiston on Friday and Saturday, offering Schweitzer a room already packed with party faithful. At least one local Democratic official speculated he could make an announcement then.

“I think that there’s probably a 99.9 percent likelihood that he will [run],” said state Senate Minority Whip Robyn Driscoll, a Democrat supportive of Schweitzer. “Rumors have been floating around for a few weeks about when the announcement would be made. … We are having our Democratic convention this weekend, and so I’ll be looking for an announcement maybe then.”

Attempts to reach Schweitzer and his team about the delay were unsuccessful, and Schweitzer — who is known for personally calling reporters — did not return a call to his cellphone.

Full story

July 3, 2013

Martha McSally Files Paperwork for Rematch (Updated) #AZ02

Martha McSally Files Paperwork for Rematch (Updated) #AZ02

McSally wants to run for Congress again. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 3:19 p.m. | Ret. Air Force Colonel Martha McSally filed federal paperwork on Monday to once again challenge Democratic Rep. Ron Barber in Arizona’s 2nd District.

Republicans view the seat as one of their best pickup opportunities this cycle, as Barber is considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents of 2014. Full story

June 27, 2013

Democrats Target Cotton on TV in Arkansas #ARSEN

A Democratic outside group launched a TV ad in Arkansas on Thursday targeting GOP Rep. Tom Cotton, a potential Senate candidate.

The ad, which will air statewide for the next two weeks, portrays the freshman Republican as someone “out for himself, not us.” A source said the total ad buy from the affiliated groups Senate Majority PAC and Patriot Majority USA is for about $270,000.

Full story

June 19, 2013

Brian Schweitzer Wants You to Know He Hates Washington, D.C. #MTSEN

In Washington, D.C., the “traffic is bad,” “most of the people you talk to are frauds” and Georgetown “sucks,” at least according to former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

Schweitzer, a possible Democratic candidate for Senate, called CQ Roll Call on Monday to chat after we reached out to a source close to him for comment on this story.

Schweitzer would be favored to win if he decided to run for the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Max Baucus. Of course, he didn’t say much in the five-minute interview and boasted as much at its conclusion.

The Big Sky Democrat is no stranger to national politics: He had a prime speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention, plus he once served as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association. But in the interview, Schweitzer highlighted his outsider status, downplaying connections to party leadership in Washington or any interest in the city itself.

Here is an excerpt from the Q&A with Schweitzer:

Full story

June 18, 2013

Republican Announces Begich Challenge #AKSEN

Republican Announces Begich Challenge #AKSEN

Begich has a new GOP challenger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell formally announced Tuesday that he will challenge Democratic Sen. Mark Begich next year.

His candidacy, which has been expected for some time, gives Republicans a top-tier opponent in one of the party’s best pickup opportunities in the country.

“I’ve met with community and business leaders, elected officials, and my party’s grassroots volunteers from all across Alaska,” Treadwell said in a statement. “In Washington, D.C., I’ve met with members of the U.S. Senate and respected national organizations and groups that share my core conservative values. I’ve talked and prayed with my family. Their responses have been positive and encouraging.” Full story

June 5, 2013

Conservative Group Launches Second Attack Against Pryor #ARSEN

Senate Conservatives Action will launch Wednesday the second in a series of three TV ads in Arkansas against Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor.

The latest ad, “Deciding Vote,” features a North Little Rock business owner directly criticizing Pryor for his vote to support the health care law. It’s a line of attack Pryor will likely see for the next 17 months and one Republicans believe can move votes in this GOP-trending southern state. Full story

May 31, 2013

Hagan Gets First Major GOP Challenger #NCSEN

North Carolina state Speaker Thom Tillis announced Friday he will challenge Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan.

The Republican has long been expected to take on the first-term senator, who is among the most vulnerable incumbents facing re-election next year. He’s the first major challenger to Hagan, though other Republicans are eyeing the race.

“Friends, I have decided to run for the US Senate against Kay Hagan in 2014,” Tillis wrote in a morning tweet. “I hope to earn your support.”

In an interview with the Associated Press, Tillis said defeating Hagan would help Republicans win the Senate majority and “turn the country in the right direction.” He plans to officially enter the race next week. Full story

First Senate Democrat Airs 2014 Ad (Video) #ARSEN

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., doesn’t have an opponent yet, but he’s being forced to play defense anyway.

Hit from both sides on the air this week, Pryor launched the first television ad of his re-election campaign on Friday. The ad, coming about 17 months before the general election, is backed by a “significant statewide buy,” according to a Democratic spokesman.

Full story

May 29, 2013

Mark Pryor Going on the Air #ARSEN

Mark Pryor Going on the Air #ARSEN

Pryor is running advertisements for his re-election bid. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., will launch a television ad campaign on Friday — 17 months before this cycle’s most vulnerable incumbent faces voters in the general election.

“It’s an ad in response to the attacks we’re getting on both sides,” Pryor campaign manager Jeff Weaver said. “These outside groups are trying to affect the election. So we’ve produced an ad.”

Pryor has been hit on the air by the conservative groups Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund for his ties to President Barack Obama. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s super PAC, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, just launched a $350,000 ad buy hitting Pryor for his vote against expanded background checks.

(See also in Roll Call: Pryor Can’t Escape 2010 Comparison) Full story

March 26, 2013

South Dakota: Johnson Makes Retirement From Senate Official

South Dakota: Johnson Makes Retirement From Senate Official

Johnson will not seek re-election in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson will not seek re-election in 2014, vacating what was already one of the Democrats’ most vulnerable seats.

Johnson announced his retirement Tuesday at his alma mater, the University of South Dakota, in his hometown of Vermillion.

“I will be 68 years old at the end of this term, and it is time for me to say goodbye,” Johnson said at a press conference. He thanked Democrats, Republicans and independents for supporting him in 12 straight general elections since 1978.

Senate Republicans already indicated they will target the seat, which is one of the party’s top pickup opportunities. The GOP already boasts a top-tier candidate in the race, former two-term Gov. Mike Rounds.

However, the GOP primary field could grow as other Republicans, including Rep. Kristi Noem, continue to consider the race. And the Senate Conservatives Fund announced Tuesday that it is seeking an alternative to Rounds, the first outside group to indicate it intends to play in the primary. Full story

March 1, 2013

Colorado: Bennet Backs Former Primary Foe for House

Colorado: Bennet Backs Former Primary Foe for House

Bennet endorsed Romanoff, who is running for the 6th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., on Friday endorsed his one-time primary opponent, former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, in his campaign for Colorado’s 6th District.

“Andrew Romanoff has a long record of fighting for Coloradans and a commitment to empowering our next generation with greater opportunity,” Bennet, who is now the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said in a statement.

In 2010, Romanoff displeased many party officials when he challenged Bennet, then an appointed senator.  The primary quickly turned bitter, lasted late into the summer and even pitted former President Bill Clinton against national Democrats. Bennet defeated Romanoff by fewer than 10 points and went on to win a full senate term in November.

What a difference three years makes. Now Democratic Party leaders, including Bennet, are lining up behind Romanoff for what’s expected to be one of the most competitive House races.

Full story

February 27, 2013

North Carolina: Hagan Challenger Kicks Off Campaign

North Carolina: Hagan Challenger Kicks Off Campaign

Hagan has a new challenger in her 2014 re-election bid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Greg Brannon, an obstetrician and tea party supporter in North Carolina, kicked off his Senate campaign Wednesday with a two-day tour of the state.

Brannon is the first Republican to announce a challenge to Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, who is running her first re-election campaign since knocking out then-Sen. Elizabeth Dole in 2008.

Hagan is one of the most vulnerable incumbents this cycle, running in a state that President Barack Obama lost in 2012.  CQ Roll Call rates this race as a Tossup. Full story

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