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February 10, 2016

Posts in "Recruiting"

February 1, 2016

Tennessee’s Stephen Fincher Won’t Run in 2016

UNITED STATES - JUNE 3: Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn., participates in the House Financial Services Committee hearing on "Examining the Export-Import Bank's Reauthorization Request and the Government's Role in Export Financing" on Wednesday, June 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Fincher will not seek a fourth term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:12 p.m. Tennessee Republican Stephen Fincher announced Monday that he would not seek a fourth U.S. House term.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve the people of West Tennessee, but I never intended to become a career politician. The last six years have been the opportunity of a lifetime, and I am honored to have been given the chance to serve,” Fincher said in a statement.

A fierce proponent of reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, Fincher, a member of the Financial Services Committee, split with leadership over the issue and last fall led the effort to reauthorize the bank via discharge petition. Earlier in 2015, Republicans in the House had let the export credit agency’s authorization expire.

First elected in 2010, Fincher won re-election in 2014 with 70 percent of the vote. Republicans have carried his district at the presidential level by comfortable double-digit margins.

Shelby County is the district’s biggest Republican base. “So long as the potential primary doesn’t get diced up, any name that comes out of east Shelby County would have a good jumping off point,” one Republican in the state said.

Among those who Republican sources mentioned as potential candidates are:

  • State Sen. Brian Kelsey has already said he will run and is expected to be a strong contender.
  • Another favorite would be state Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, who sources say has a substantial following and has been behind conservative reforms within the state party. He’s also been mentioned as a 2018 gubernatorial candidate.
  • State Sen. Ed Jackson
  • Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich
  • Shelby County GOP Chairman Mary Wagner, a lawyer in Memphis.
  • Republican National Committee General Counsel and committeeman John Ryder.
  • Former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff, who said on Monday he is running.
  • Scott Golden, Fincher’s district director and a member of the Tennessee GOP State Executive Committee.
  • Radiologist George Flinn, a perennial candidate and self-funder, who placed third in 2014’s Senate primary against Sen. Lamar Alexander.
  • Ron Kirkland, a doctor who lost to Fincher in the 2010 primary. He hails from Jackson, the other major GOP population center in the district, and has been an advocate for Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure TN plan to expand Medicaid.
  • Matthew Stowe, district attorney general for the 24th judicial district, who clerked for former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
  • State Rep. Bill Sanderson of Dyersburg
  • State Rep. Steve McManus
  • Among state legislators who may excite tea party supporters are state Sen. John Stevens and state Rep. Andy Holt.
  • Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell is expected to be able to raise money.

The primary race for the safe Republican seat will likely be crowded and with the filing deadline not until April 7, there’s plenty of time for more names to emerge. Many Republicans who had been eyeing this seat, one Republican source said, were banking on Fincher not making moves until 2018 and were caught off guard by his Monday announcement.  “The question is, who can ramp up their operation at the drop of a hat?” the source said. So far, Norris and Kelsey are the two most widely-cited front runners.

Fincher is the 22nd member to retire this cycle, bringing this cycle’s total up to the average number of House retirements per cycle since 1976. Wisconsin Rep. Reid Ribble announced his retirement over the weekend, setting off a crowded race to replace him.

Contact Pathé at simonepathe@rollcall.com and follow her on Twitter at @sfpathe.

Related:

Roll Call Race Ratings Map: Ratings for Every House and Senate Race in 2016

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Potential Field for Reid Ribble’s Wisconsin Seat Grows

Ribble announced over the weekend he wouldn't seek a fourth term. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Ribble announced over the weekend he wouldn’t seek a fourth term. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Three-term Wisconsin Rep. Reid Ribble’s weekend announcement that he won’t seek a fourth term has set off a potentially crowded race to replace him in what’s now a Favored Republican district.

Republicans mention several potential candidates:

Full story

January 31, 2016

Reid Ribble Won’t Seek Re-Election

UNITED STATES - APRIL 12: Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Wisc., speaks at a "Countdown to Tax Day" news conference in the Capitol to address the tax in increases in President Obama's FY 2014 budget. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ribble won’t seek a fourth term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Three-term Wisconsin Republican Reid Ribble announced Saturday that he won’t run for re-election — one term shy of the four-term limit pledge he made when first elected in 2010.

“My reasons are fairly simple and straightforward. I feel very fortunate to have a strong marriage, grown children, and three wonderful grandchildren. I want to dedicate more time to them,” Ribble said in a statement. Additionally, I’ve always said elected office shouldn’t be a career. I come from the private sector and am anxious to return to it and to a more private life.”

Full story

January 28, 2016

Democratic Recruit Challenges Minnesota’s Erik Paulsen

Tollefson is challenging Paulsen, above. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Tollefson is challenging Paulsen, above. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Former U.S. diplomat Jon Tollefson announced a challenge to Minnesota 3rd District Rep. Erik Paulsen on Thursday.

“I’m running to bring the true values of Minnesotans to Washington: real fiscal responsibility, investments in education and transportation that lead to jobs and economic growth, and affordable access to health care for all,” the Democrat said in a statement.

Full story

January 26, 2016

Democrats Land Reid Recruit in Competitive Nevada District

UNITED STATES - JUNE 24: Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., speaks during the House GOP leadership media availability following the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Wednesday, June 24, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Heck, a Republican, is vacating the 3rd District to run for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Nevada Republican Rep. Joe Heck’s decision to run for Senate last summer gave Democrats an opening to compete for his 3rd District seat. But up until Tuesday, the national party had taken heat for its struggles to recruit in the district and wasn’t excited about the candidates already in the race.

That changed when Jacky Rosen, the leader of a Henderson synagogue, announced her candidacy for the 3rd District Tuesday.

Full story

January 21, 2016

Army Lawyer Expected to Challenge Mooney in West Virginia

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 9: Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., leaves the House GOP caucus meeting on immigration on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats are excited about a challenger to Mooney. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With the filing deadline just over a week away, West Virginia Democrats are excited about a young recruit soon expected to announce his candidacy against freshman GOP Rep. Alex Mooney.

Cory Simpson, an administrative law attorney in the U.S. Army, is transitioning off of active military duty, and will soon be getting in the race for West Virginia’s 2nd District, multiple Democratic sources confirmed to Roll Call. Full story

January 20, 2016

Democrats Might ‘Roll the Dice’ Hoping Trump or Cruz is on Ballot

A popular Kentucky sports radio host is considering whether he can turn Rep. Andy Barr's seat blue again. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats think a Trump or Cruz nomination could help them turn Kentucky Rep. Andy Barr’s seat blue again. But time is running out. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats are optimistic that a Donald Trump or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz nomination will expand the map in their favor. But because of how long the GOP nominating contest could take, and how early some congressional filing deadlines are, Democrats may need to take a leap of faith on candidates before they know whether the GOP nominee will put certain states in play.

“I’m telling potential candidates, ‘There’s a chance that our party is going to win the lottery. … It might be worth rolling the dice because it turns out the Democratic nominee in some of these states that are not competitive right now may be worth a lot,'” one Democratic consultant said.

Full story

January 15, 2016

Democrats Look to Narrow Field in District They Can’t Afford to Lose

Gibson's retirement sets off a competitive open-seat race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats think Gibson’s retirement gives them a good shot at picking up the 19th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic county chairs in New York’s 19th District are meeting Saturday to select their candidate of choice in a must-win seat for the party to make gains in the House.

Democrats have no shortage of interested people in this Hudson Valley district that President Barack Obama carried twice. But the 19th isn’t classically blue. It’s rural and agricultural, and Democrats are anxious about landing a candidate who fits the turf — someone who will allow them to capitalize on presidential-year turnout and GOP Rep. Chris Gibson finally being off the ballot.

Full story

January 14, 2016

Virginia’s Scott Rigell Not Running for Re-election

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 29: Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va., arrives for the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rigell was first elected to the House in 2010. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:23 p.m.: Three-term Virginia GOP Rep. Scott Rigell announced Thursday that he will not seek re-election in 2016 because he’s achieved what he set out to do.

“You might ask, ‘Why is now the time to leave?’ The answer is found in why I set aside all else and sought the office: to build a strong House majority that would check and balance the party that then controlled both political branches of the federal government. With your help we did just that,” Rigell said in a statement that includes a chart showing discretionary spending falling since he came to Washington.

Full story

January 11, 2016

Republican Jon Keyser Enters Colorado Senate Race

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., is chairman of the DSCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Keyser wants to make his campaign against Bennet about national security. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Another, albeit expected, Republican  has announced that he’s joining the crowded GOP field to take on Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in Colorado.

State Rep. Jon Keyser, a major in the Air Force Reserves who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, announced his candidacy Monday, casting 2016 as a national security election in which his military experience would given him an advantage.

Full story

January 7, 2016

Lynn Westmoreland Won’t Seek Re-election

Westmoreland expects several of his House GOP colleague to run for Senate in Georgia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Westmoreland won’t seek re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Six-term Georgia Rep. Lynn Westmoreland announced Thursday that he will retire from Congress at the end of this term.

“After a busy fall in Congress, I finally had the opportunity for quiet reflection over the Christmas break. I spent time in prayer and with my family, and with their blessing, have decided I will no longer seek re-election for Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District,” the Republican said in a statement.

Full story

January 4, 2016

Top Races to Watch in 2016

WILTON, NH - JANUARY 09: A voter leaves Town Hall on January 10, 2012 in Wilton, New Hampshire. Voters in the Granite State are heading to the poll in the nation's first primary election to pick their choice for the U.S. presidential candidates.   (Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)

A voter leaves Town Hall in Wilton, N.H. on primary day in 2012. (MatthewCavanaugh/Getty Images File Photo)

Technically, there are 469 races for the House and Senate this year, but we’ve boiled down that list to a trio of races to watch in each of eight regions across the country.

From vulnerable incumbents to competitive open seats to intra-party squabbles, the batch of races has a little of everything and can be a useful guide to track the trajectory of the election cycle in the months ahead.

Full story

Jim McDermott Announces Retirement

McDermott has served since 1989. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McDermott has served since 1989. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Fourteen-term Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., announced Monday he’ll retire from Congress at the end of this session.

First elected to Congress in 1988, the 79-year-old has been a liberal leader in the House for 26 years, championing single payer health insurance and voting against the Iraq War.

Full story

December 22, 2015

Conservative Groups Not Rushing to Help Burr Primary Challenger

Brannon speaks during his campaign rally at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Brannon has launched a repeat bid for Senate after losing it in 2014’s GOP primary.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Obstetrician and 2014 Senate candidate Greg Brannon barely snuck under Monday’s filing deadline to challenge North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr in March’s primary.

Whether that’s too late for Brannon to amass the tea party support he might need to unseat a two-term senator remains to be seen, but so far, the kinds of groups that would back an anti-incumbent challenger such as Brannon don’t sound effusive about his candidacy.

Full story

Virginia’s Robert Hurt To Retire After Three Terms

UNITED STATES - MAY 19: Rep. Robert Hurt, R-Va., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington on Tuesday, May 19, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Hurt is expected to retire at the end of this term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:30 a.m. December 23 | After representing Virginia’s 5th District for just three terms, GOP Rep. Robert Hurt will retire at the end of this term, he announced Wednesday.

Several Republican sources had confirmed to Roll Call on Tuesday that Hurt would retire at the end of this term.

The open seat should give Democrats a better opportunity to win, but it won’t vault into the first or second tier of opportunities. Mitt Romney carried the 5th District by 7 points in 2012 and Arizona Sen. John McCain won it by 3 points in 2008. Republican Ken Cuccinelli won the district by 10 points, 51-41 percent, over Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe in the 2013 gubernatorial race, according to Daily Kos Elections.
Full story

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