Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 24, 2014

Posts in "Republicans"

April 24, 2014

The House GOP’s Next All-Star Female Contender?

The House GOPs Next All Star Female Contender?

Wolf is retiring. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While some House GOP efforts to nominate top-notch female candidates have faltered this cycle, Republicans are poised to gain at least one all-star woman contender after a Saturday primary in Virginia.

Republicans expect state Del. Barbara Comstock to cruise to the nomination in this competitive district, located in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. A seasoned political operative, Comstock is one of a half dozen Republicans seeking to succeed retiring Rep. Frank R. Wolf, R-Va., in the 10th District.

Her nomination would boost Republicans, who recently watched two female candidates lose primaries in special elections in Florida. House Republicans have declared they want to increase the number of women in their caucus from the current level of 19.

If she gets through the primary on Saturday, Comstock is also the slight favorite in the general election in November. Republicans — and even some Democrats privately — say the political climate favoring the GOP in this district, which has a modest Republican lean, would give her an advantage this cycle.

Full story

Poll: Colorado Senate Race Virtually Tied

Poll: Colorado Senate Race Virtually Tied

Gardner is running for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday showed a virtually tied race for Senate in Colorado.

Democratic Sen. Mark Udall led his GOP challenger, Rep. Cory Gardner, by a single point  — 45 percent to 44 percent — in the survey. That split was within the poll’s margin of error of 2.7 points.

This survey was the first independent, live-interview poll conducted in the race since Gardner announced his candidacy in March. Until then, Udall had not attracted any top-tier opposition, but Gardner’s entrance into the race immediately made the contest more competitive.

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April 23, 2014

Ex-Congressman’s Son Touts Trucking Business in TV Spot

Ex Congressmans Son Touts Trucking Business in TV Spot

Collins is running for Congress in Georgia. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Trucking company owner Mike Collins, one of seven Republicans looking to succeed Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., debuted Wednesday a biographical spot to introduce himself to voters less than one month from the primary.

According to a copy of the ad shared first with CQ Roll Call, Collins touts his business experience in the open-seat race in Georgia’s 10th District. The ad also features his father, former Rep. Mac Collins, a Republican who served from 1993 to 2005; he appears at the end of the spot wearing a black cowboy hat and his member pin.

“At 15 he overhauled his first engine, by 25 he bought his first truck. Today Mike Collins is a successful businessman with a whole fleet of trucks,” a narrator says in the ad. “Mike believes Washington needs an overhaul.”

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April 22, 2014

Republican, Democrat Enter Wide-Open Wisconsin Race for Congress

Republican, Democrat Enter Wide Open Wisconsin Race for Congress

Petri is retiring. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two more candidates have entered the race to fill retiring GOP Rep. Tom Petri’s House seat in Wisconsin.

Republican state Senator Joe Leibham said Tuesday afternoon that he will join the race for the GOP nomination.

Earlier on Tuesday, Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris became the first Democrat to announce his candidacy, telling Oshkosh Northwestern Media he is a “fiscally conservative progressive.” Full story

GOP Senate Hopeful Rebuts ‘War on Women’ in First TV Ad

GOP Senate Hopeful Rebuts War on Women in First TV Ad

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

Senate hopeful Terri Lynn Land, a Republican, is up with her first ad of the cycle in Michigan, making fun of the idea that she — a woman — is waging a war on women.

Land is running against Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich., for the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.

“Congressman Gary Peters and his buddies want you to believe I’m waging a war on women,” Land says, speaking directly to the camera in the 30-second ad.

“Really? Think about that for a moment,” says Land, who pauses, takes a sip of coffee, shakes her head and looks at her watch before beginning to speak again.

Full story

Internal Poll: GOP Primary Wide Open in Alabama Race

A new internal poll shows the crowded primary in Alabama’s open 6th District is wide open less than two months before the primary, according to information provided first to CQ Roll Call.

The poll, conducted for GOP surgeon Chad Mathis’ campaign, found two of the six candidates in a statistical dead heat, with the third- and fourth-place contenders not far behind, and a large portion of respondents remain undecided. Full story

Front-runner Emerges in GOP Special Election for Trey Radel Seat

Front runner Emerges in GOP Special Election for Trey Radel Seat

Radel pleaded guilty to cocaine possession in November. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Florida Republicans head to the polls for a special election Tuesday to pick a nominee to succeed former Rep. Trey Radel, who exited Congress earlier this year following his arrest for cocaine possession that culminated in a national scandal for Republicans.

The 19th District marks safe GOP territory, so whomever wins Tuesday’s primary will likely become the next member of Congress after the June 24 special election. Polling results — public and internal — have varied for the GOP contest.

But many Florida Republicans wager that a self-funding businessman, Curt Clawson, boasts an advantage over his top two primary rivals, state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto and former state Rep. Paige Kreegel. Full story

April 21, 2014

Republicans Spend Millions on TV in Primary for Trey Radel Seat

Republicans Spend Millions on TV in Primary for Trey Radel Seat

Radel resigned from Congress earlier this year, prompting a special election for his seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans have spent millions ahead of Tuesday’s special primary to replace former Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla. — and the 19th District television airwaves show it.

Three of Radel’s potential successors boast at least $1 million in airtime behind each of their efforts — both from their own campaigns and outside groups boosting them. It’s a staggering number for an otherwise under-the-radar primary in a special election.

The spending leader is businessman Curt Clawson, who has loaned $2.65 million of his own funds to his campaign, according to his most recent campaign fundraising report. But outside groups have helped two other GOP candidates, state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto and former state Rep. Paige Kreegel, stay in the game.

Whomever wins the GOP primary on Tuesday is all but certain to carry the seat in the June 24 special election. The race is rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Here’s a look at how much campaigns and outside groups have spent on television in the race, according to two GOP media buying sources monitoring the race. Numbers are approximated. Full story

Romney Endorses in Targeted Arizona Race

Romney Endorses in Targeted Arizona Race

Mitt Romney endorsed in an Arizona House race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mitt Romney threw his support behind Arizona state Speaker Andy Tobin on Monday, marking the latest candidate Romney has  endorsed in the midterm elections.

Other Republicans backed by Romney this cycle include Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson, who is facing a competitive GOP primary next month, state Del. Barbara Comstock in Virginia’s open 10th District, and state Sen. Joni Ernst for Iowa’s open Senate seat, among others.

“I am proud to support Andy Tobin for Congress,” Romney said in a statement. “Andy is a proven conservative whose leadership in Arizona has been crucial to cutting state government spending, lowering taxes and fighting to stop ObamaCare.” Full story

Mitch McConnell Launches Ad for Final Month of Primary

Mitch McConnell Launches Ad for Final Month of Primary

McConnell has one month left in his primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s latest TV ad kicks off his closing argument for the final month of the Kentucky Republican primary and sets up his message for the start of the general election.

The positive spot, launched Monday and running for an undetermined amount of time, paints McConnell, a five-term incumbent, as “a genuine Kentucky workhorse.” It highlights his work in the Senate against the president’s health care law and “war on coal,” as well as his efforts against tax increases and on a local fishing issue.

“Mitch McConnell fights for our values, our future and our jobs,” the ad’s narrator says.

Full story

Republican Marks First TV Foray in Hollywood House Race

A Republican candidate in the crowded race to replace Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., went on the air Monday with the first television spot of the ultra-competitive contest.

Six weeks before the primary, Elan Carr, a deputy district attorney in Los Angeles and president of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, released a biographical spot touting his legal experience.

Full story

April 20, 2014

House Democrats Raise More Money Than GOP in March

House Democrats Raise More Money Than GOP in March

Steve Israel of New York is the chairman of the DCCC. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Democrats’ political arm raised about $400,000 more than its GOP counterpart in March — although both committees posted strong fundraising last month.

The National Republican Congressional Committee will report raising $9.9 million in March and had $31.2 million in cash on hand at the end of the month. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $10.3 million during the same month and had $40.2 million in the bank. Full story

Georgia Republicans Brawl for Conservative Mantle in Senate Debate

Georgia Republicans Brawl for Conservative Mantle in Senate Debate

Handel, left, and Perdue, right, debate for the Senate seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Georgia Republicans Brawl for Conservative Mantle in Senate DebateAUGUSTA, Ga. — Seven Republican Senate hopefuls stood before a mammoth American flag Saturday afternoon for the sixth of seven debates hosted by the state GOP.

In front of a couple hundred voters at the Columbia County Exhibition Center just outside Augusta, the candidates sought to fortify their conservative credentials on immigration, the Second Amendment, abortion and what can be done to improve confidence in the economy.

With so many candidates running for the state’s open Senate seat, none are expected to win a majority of the vote in the May 20 primary. They’re fighting to finish in the top two and advance to the July 22 runoff, when all bets are off.

Michelle Nunn, the likely Democratic nominee, wasn’t mentioned until the final three minutes of the 90-minute debate — symbolic of where the GOP’s focus still is in the race to replace retiring GOp Sen. Saxby Chambliss. Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel first uttered the Nunn name in her closing remarks, as she portrayed herself as the most electable conservative on the stage.

“I would just love to see Michelle Nunn try to drop the ‘war on women’ on me,” Handel said.

Handel is the only woman in the field of GOP candidates, five of whom have at least an outside shot at making the runoff. Former Reebok and Dollar General CEO David Perdue, the cousin of former Gov. Sonny Perdue, continually pitches himself as the outsider with the business background, grouping Handel in with the three members of Congress as the “career politicians.”

“Sometimes real change takes an outsider’s perspective,” Perdue said. “Fresh eyes, determination and a bucket-load of common sense. That’s what I will bring to the United States Senate.”

Full story

April 18, 2014

Michele Bachmann Endorses in Florida Special Election

Michele Bachmann Endorses in Florida Special Election

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., endorsed in a Florida special election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has endorsed businessman Curt Clawson with days to go in the Republican primary race to replace former Florida Rep. Trey Radel.

Clawson’s announcement of the endorsement offered no statement from the retiring congresswoman, but the candidate heaped praise on Bachmann, the founder of the House Tea Party Caucus.

“Congresswoman Bachmann was tea party before there was a tea party, and after this year she will be missed in Congress,” Clawson said. “With a victory next Tuesday, we can continue the work she has started to protect our Constitution and restore fiscal integrity to Washington.”

Clawson faces a competitive primary on Tuesday. His chief rivals are state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto and former state Rep. Paige Kreegel.

Bachmann joins several national Republicans who backed candidates in the race for Florida’s 19th District. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., also endorsed Clawson. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and two members of Congress recently backed Benacquisto.

The winner of the primary is likely to win the June 24 special election. The race is rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Jack Kingston Works His Base at Rural Cookout

Jack Kingston Works His Base at Rural Cookout

Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., greets supporters as he arrives at an annual cookout. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Jack Kingston Works His Base at Rural CookoutGLENNVILLE, Ga. — Rep. Jack Kingston, who’s represented Savannah in Congress for the last two decades, was at home Thursday evening in nearby Tattnall County, where elected officials and candidates streamed in to put their face in front of the loads of sheriffs, police and first responders gathered on the grounds of a rural pond house.

The Republican was one of three candidates vying for the party’s Senate nomination to attend the 27th annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Cookout, held just outside Kingston’s district. More than 1,000 people from around the state were on hand, sipping light beer and munching on pork barbecue, smoked chicken, Cadillac rice and Brunswick stew. Kingston, the only candidate with a campaign booth, could barely turn around without running into someone he knew, inevitably wearing his campaign sticker.

Southeast Georgia is Kingston country. His campaign has been working for months to broaden his brand beyond this area and into vote-rich Atlanta ahead of the competitive May 20 primary. But on this day, the congressman was sewing up his base.

Full story

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