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November 25, 2015

Posts in "Republicans"

May 29, 2014

Alabama Candidate Makes Fun of His Cooking in New Ad

Five days before the primary, surgeon Chad Mathis has released a positive spot in an open Alabama House race that features his kids playfully making fun of his cooking.

“Dad’s not a great cook, but he’d be a great congressman,” said Mathis’ daughter, Abby, in the ad — her name written in font similar to the widely-ridiculed Comic Sans. Mathis’ campaign says the ad is a five-figure digital buy and will air online as preroll on YouTube videos.

GOP operatives said the positive spot is a change of tone for Mathis, one of seven Republicans running in the open 6th District primary. They say Mathis has received heat in the district for negative campaign tactics, taking shots at almost all of the other Republicans running in this race to replace retiring Rep. Spencher Bachus. Full story

May 28, 2014

Ad Deluge Intensifies in Final Week Before Iowa Senate Primary

Former energy executive Mark Jacobs has debuted two more ads in the final days before the GOP’s primary for Senate in Iowa.

Jacobs, a multimillionaire, has used his personal wealth to boost his campaign coffers, allowing him to spend more than his opponents. He faces State Sen. Joni Ernst, who is widely regarded as the front-runner, along with radio host Sam Clovis and former District Attorney Matt Whitaker.

Jacobs’ first new ad touts his position as an “outsider,” not a “Washington politician,” who has “real world, common-sense experience.”

The second trumpets his support for a balanced budget amendment, and attacks congress for “not doing the job they were elected to do.” Full story

May 27, 2014

Texas Runoff Results: First Incumbent of 2014 Loses Re-Election (Updated)

Hall lost re-election Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)


Updated 11:42 p.m. | Rep. Ralph M. Hall, R-Texas, lost his bid for an 18th term Tuesday night, making him the first incumbent to not win re-election in 2014.

Attorney John Ratcliffe defeated Hall with 52 percent of the vote. Hall had 48 percent when the AP called the race with 66 percent of precincts reporting.

Ratcliffe is all-but-certain to hold this seat for Republicans in the fall. Full story

Live Coverage: Tuesday’s Texas Runoffs

Join Roll Call Politics Editor Shira T. Center and Reporter Abby Livingston as they track results live and provide in-depth analysis from Tuesday’s runoff action in the Lone Star State.

Follow their coverage here, starting at 7:30 p.m.:


First Incumbent Could Lose in Tuesday’s Texas Runoff (Video)

Hall has said this will be his final re-election bid. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Could Ralph Hall be saying goodbye to Congress Wednesday morning? It’s fight night in Texas and that’s the biggest question of Tuesday’s runoff.

Most of the political excitement in the Lone Star State is expected to take place in state races. Even though tea-party-aligned candidates hit recent road blocks in GOP primaries in federal races, anti-establishment conservative candidates are expected to dominate state-level politics Tuesday evening in Texas.

But in that shadow, there are a few House race runoffs with the potential to impact Capitol Hill — especially in Texas’ 4th District. After Republican Rep. Ralph M. Hall failed to win the majority of the vote in the March primary, he faces the fight of his career to return to Congress.

Lone Star State polls close at 9 p.m. EST (this cycle’s complete political calendar is available on CQ Roll Call’s Primary Chart).

Full story

May 22, 2014

Another McDaniel Supporter Arrested in Connection to Photographs of Cochran’s Wife (Video)

Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel weighed in Thursday on the illegal photographing of Sen. Thad Cochran’s wife, now that multiple McDaniel supporters have been arrested in connection to the incident.

Mark Mayfield, the vice chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party, was arrested Thursday along with Richard Sager, The Clarion-Ledger reported. Last week, blogger Clayton Kelly was arrested after allegedly posting online images of Rose Cochran, who suffers from dementia, that were taken at the nursing home where she lives.

The connections to the McDaniel campaign has raised some issues for the challenger since Kelly’s arrest was first reported over the weekend. The Clarion-Ledger has a photograph of McDaniel with a group of volunteers, including Mayfield, and Kelly had written about his support for McDaniel on his blog.

Still, McDaniel continues to deny any connection to the alleged crimes.

Full story

Club for Growth Endorses in Two Georgia Runoffs

The Club for Growth endorsed two House candidates facing primary runoffs in Georgia Thursday, two days after the Peach State primaries.

The club endorsed former state Sen. Barry Loudermilk in Georgia’s 11th District and surgeon Bob Johnson in Georgia’s 1st District.

Loudermilk, who has the support of a number of different tea party organizations, faces former Rep. Bob Barr in the July 22 GOP primary runoff to replace Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey, who lost a GOP Senate primary in Georgia. Johnson faces state Sen. Buddy Carter in a runoff in the race to replace GOP Rep. Jack Kingston, who advanced to a runoff of his own in the Republican Senate primary.

The club’s financial might could help push Loudermilk and Johnson over the finish line in July in these contests, which have thus far been marked by low fundraising.

Full story

May 21, 2014

Still No Clarity in Iowa Republican Senate Primary

Harkin's seat is an attractive pickup opportunity for Republicans. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With less than two weeks until Iowa’s congressional primaries, it’s still unclear whether a Republican Senate candidate can clear the 35 percent vote threshold needed to win the nomination outright.

In an attractive pickup opportunity for national Republicans, there are four major candidates seeking the nomination for the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin. The leading contenders are state Sen. Joni Ernst, who has the tacit support of the governor and earned national attention with an ad about castrating hogs, and Mark Jacobs, a self-funding former energy executive. Radio host Sam Clovis and former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker round out the top four.

A recent poll found Ernst with 31 percent support — in the lead and within striking distance of the nomination. But Jacobs, who outspent Ernst by more than 5 to 1 through March, has dominated his opponents on the airwaves, and a potential late surge by Clovis could spread the vote around and force the nomination process to a convention, where anything can happen.

“I think either Ernst or Jacobs will get to 35 percent,” said Craig Robinson, a former political director of the Iowa Republican Party and editor-in-chief of The Iowa Republican politics blog. But, he continued, “Clovis has plenty of room to grow” and can improve his standing if he is more “aggressive in drawing distinctions between himself and the other candidates” and seizing the “social conservative mantle.” Full story

Paul: McConnell Win ‘Consistent With the Tea Party’

Sen. Rand Paul is dismissing the idea that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Republican primary victory in Kentucky Tuesday night was a defeat for the tea party movement.

Paul, who upset the establishment-backed candidate in his own 2010 primary, had endorsed McConnell early in the race, which was a sour point for some on the right who viewed the incumbent as too entrenched and insufficiently conservative.

“I’m probably considered to be from the tea party, but I supported Sen. McConnell because I like, you know, that he’s a conservative,” Paul told reporters Wednesday in the Capitol. “I don’t know that that’s a defeat of the tea party necessarily when he wins. I think he stands for conservative principles, and him winning is consistent with the tea party.” Full story

Simpson Overwhelms Tea Party Rival in Idaho Primary

Simpson was re-nominated Tuesday and is now favored to win a ninth term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A fierce tea-party-backed primary challenge in Idaho came up short Tuesday, as Republican Rep. Mike Simpson won his party’s nomination and is headed for a ninth term.

With a little help from his friends, Simpson, an appropriator and one of the most targeted GOP incumbents of the cycle, brushed back an effort to oust him by the Club for Growth, which supported attorney Bryan Smith.

Simpson led 63 percent to 37 percent when the Associated Press called the race with 36 percent of precincts reporting. Full story

Monica Wehby Wins GOP Senate Primary in Oregon

Pediatric neurosurgeon Monica Wehby clinched the Republican Senate nomination in Oregon on Tuesday, beating out state Rep. Jason Conger.

Wehby will now face Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley — who handily won his primary — in an uphill race for Republicans. She led Conger 55 percent to 32 percent when the Associated Press called the race with 52 percent of precincts reporting.

Merkley is running his first Senate re-election race after unseating Republican Sen. Gordon Smith in 2008.

The blue-state seat has not been a top target for national Republicans, who must pick up a net six seats to regain the Senate majority. But Wehby’s resume as a physician and strong first TV ad have Republicans optimistic they can expand the playing field into Oregon. Full story

May 20, 2014

Perdue, Kingston Head to Runoff in Georgia GOP Senate Primary

Kingston, middle, and Perdue, far right, advanced to the runoff on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Businessman David Perdue and Rep. Jack Kingston advanced Tuesday to the runoff for the Republican Senate nomination in Georgia.

Perdue and Kingston were the top vote-getters, beating out former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, and Reps. Phil Gingrey and Paul Broun.

Perdue led with 30 percent when The Associated Press called the race with 87 percent of precincts reporting. As expected, he was unable to secure the 50 percent of the vote necessary to win the nomination outright. Kingston finished second with 26 percent, edging out Handel, who had 22 percent. Full story

Arkansas Primary Results: French Hill, Bruce Westerman Win GOP Primaries

Pryor didn't have to wait to learn his GOP challenger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two Republican primaries in Arkansas on Tuesday finalized the makeup of potentially competitive House races this fall.

National Democrats, who have lost several seats in Arkansas over the last couple of cycles, are targeting Arkansas’ 2nd and 4th districts. With their own nominees already in hand, Democrats now know which Republicans will be vying to keep the open seats in GOP hands.

Both races will run under the umbrella of competitive statewide races for governor and Senate. The latter will feature Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor and Republican Rep. Tom Cotton, who both avoided primary challenges.

Full story

Club for Growth Launches Ad in Open Alabama House Race

The Club for Growth is up with an ad attacking an Alabama Republican primary hopeful for his donations to “liberal Democrats in Congress.”

The 30-second spot says businessman Will Brooke, one of seven Republicans running in the 6th District open-seat race, donated “tens of thousands of dollars” to a Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Alabama and that his company helped pass tax increases in the state.

“That’s liberal, that’s Will Brooke,” a narrator says in the ad, backed by a six-figure buy in the Birmingham broadcast and cable markets.

Full story

McConnell, Grimes Race Has Already Begun as Primary Concludes

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell might be the headliner of the “Super Tuesday” primaries, but the Kentucky Republican’s general election has already started.

Tuesday features intriguing Republican and Democratic primaries at the House and Senate levels across six states, including a still-unpredictable Georgia GOP Senate race and an open-seat Democratic House contest in Philadelphia. In Kentucky, McConnell was once considered vulnerable to a conservative challenger, but he’s likely to easily defeat Louisville businessman Matt Bevin, a tea-party-backed, partially self-financing contender.

For McConnell, Tuesday night will serve as a test-run for the general against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes and the formal kickoff to the more challenging leg of his already lengthy re-election campaign.

“Our goal was to come out of the primary stronger than we went in, and by any objective measure the McConnell campaign has exceeded that goal,” McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore said in a statement to CQ Roll Call. Full story

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