Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 2, 2015

Posts in "Republicans"

January 15, 2014

Club for Growth Makes Big Ad Buy to Boost Amash

The Club for Growth has sponsored a major television and radio ad buy to boost Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., who faces a primary challenge in the 3rd District.

In the television ad, released on Wednesday, the club hits Amash’s primary rival, former East Grand Rapids School Trustee Brian Ellis, for various votes he took in that role. The conservative group also seeks to tie Ellis to former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, in the spot.

The dual buy is a six-figure radio, broadcast and cable television ad buy, according to club spokesman Barney Keller.

Here’s the television spot:

Full story

January 14, 2014

GOP Businessman Won’t Run for Competitive Seat in Iowa

GOP Businessman Wont Run for Competitive Seat in Iowa

The race to fill Latham's seat is expected to be a tight one. (Tom Williams/Roll Call File Photo)

Cable television executive David Oman announced Tuesday that he will not seek the GOP nomination in Iowa’s most competitive House district, nixing the possibility of a tea party vs. business battle in this competitive seat.

Oman, a former aide to Gov. Terry E. Branstad, was eyeing a bid for retiring GOP Rep. Tom Latham’s seat, but he said he decided against a run in order to avoid a potential nominating convention. Full story

January 13, 2014

Jolly Is Frontrunner in Florida’s Special Election Primary

Republicans will pick a nominee Tuesday for the special election for the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young’s Florida seat.

Most Republicans closely watching the primary predict lobbyist David Jolly, a former Young aide, will defeat state Rep. Kathleen Peters and veteran Mark Bircher in the 13th District.

“I don’t think there are any surprises coming tomorrow,” Florida GOP consultant Rick Wilson said. “Every bit of information I’ve seen so far says that David’s going to have a good day tomorrow.”

Full story

Weston Wamp to Challenge Fleischmann Again in Tennessee

Weston Wamp to Challenge Fleischmann Again in Tennessee

Fleischmann is a two-term Republican in the House. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Businessman Weston Wamp, a Republican, announced Monday that he will challenge two-term Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., for a second time.

“America is too great for this Congress to continue to divide our nation and avoid their responsibilities,” Wamp said in a release. “I want to give the Third District an independent conservative voice and a reason to believe our government can still work and serve the people.”

Wamp, the son of former Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., challenged Fleischmann in 2012. He came in third in a three-way primary against Fleischmann and dairy magnate Scottie Mayfield.

Full story

January 12, 2014

New Jersey Republicans Wrestle With Steve Lonegan

New Jersey Republicans Wrestle With Steve Lonegan

Runyan is retiring. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The open-seat race to replace retiring Rep. Jon Runyan, R-N.J., might sound familiar: A tea party firebrand threatens to upend a GOP primary, meanwhile Democrats cleared the field for an all-but-anointed nominee.

But this is New Jersey, where machine politics trump national trends.

The tea party candidate is former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, the GOP’s nominee for the Senate special election last year who lost to Cory Booker by 11 points. Democrats have touted Burlington County Freeholder Aimee Belgard, who announced her candidacy for the seat in November.

Lonegan announced his House candidacy this month in The Newark Star-Ledger, infuriating operatives in the district. In other states, congressional candidates — especially Republicans — can successfully run as political outsiders. But New Jersey is different. Full story

January 10, 2014

Cornyn Goes Up With New TV Ad

Judging by his second ad, Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas is running against President Barack Obama instead of his primary challenger, Rep. Steve Stockman.

The new spot hits Obama and portrays Cornyn as the conservative counter to an “astonishingly liberal” president. The ad makes no mention of Stockman.

“He stands up to Obama, everyday. Pushes back,” the narrator says of Cornyn.

The buy size is “well into the six figures” and is a “substantial statewide buy,” according to a Cornyn aide.  Full story

January 9, 2014

Lamar Alexander Launches First TV Ad

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., launched the first TV ad of his re-election campaign on Thursday, reminding voters of his conservative principles and years of fighting on behalf of the state.

As he seeks a third term and fends of a GOP primary challenge, the Alexander campaign is pushing out the ad statewide. The 60-second spot will hit the airwaves on Monday and run for four weeks, according to an Alexander consultant, who would not reveal the exact buy size.

“To that land where politics too often doesn’t work, Tennessee sends Lamar Alexander,” the ad’s announcer says to kick off the ad. “Conservative, honest, smart. Lamar Alexander is Tennessee.”

Full story

Christie Nixes N.J. GOP Chairman Amid Bridge Scandal

Christie Nixes N.J. GOP Chairman Amid Bridge Scandal

Christie is the second-term governor of New Jersey. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Just days after Gov. Chris Christie named his campaign manager to run the New Jersey Republican Party, Christie withdrew his support Thursday amid a scandal over a dayslong September traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge.

The scandal has sent the governor’s administration into turmoil, culminating at a Thursday morning news conference, when he explained his change of heart about former top campaign aide.

“I was disturbed by the tone, and behavior, and attitude of callous indifference that was displayed in the emails by my former campaign manager, Bill Stepien,” Christie said. “As a result, I’ve instructed Bill Stepien to not place his name in nomination for state party chairman, and he will not be considered for state party chairman.” Full story

Shuster Primary Opponent Posts Another Paltry Quarter

Shuster Primary Opponent Posts Another Paltry Quarter

Shuster faces a primary this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Retired Coast Guard Capt. Art Halvorson, a Republican challenging Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., raised just $8,700 in the fourth quarter, according to his most recent fundraising report.

That paltry sum brings Halvorson’s total cash on hand to $72,000 — just five months out from the May 20 primary.

Political operatives have previously described Halvorson’s primary challenge as Shuster’s toughest political fight in almost a decade. But another low quarterly haul will only cast doubt on Halvorson’s viability to topple the House Transportation and Infrastructure chairman. Full story

Family Research Council Endorses in Primary to Replace Capito

Family Research Council Endorses in Primary to Replace Capito

Mooney is running for Congress. ( Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Maryland GOP Chairman Alex Mooney has picked up the endorsement of the Family Research Council Action PAC in his bid for West Virginia’s 2nd District.

“Our economy has been decimated. The culture has been challenged beyond all reasonable limits,” FRC Action PAC Chairman Tony Perkins said in a Thursday news release. “The strong, conservative men and women elected in 2010 and 2012 need reinforcements. That is we are endorsing Alex Mooney in his run to represent West Virginia’s Second District.” Full story

January 8, 2014

Jack Kingston Raised $880K in 4th Quarter

Jack Kingston Raised $880K in 4th Quarter

(Douglas Graham/Roll Call File Photo)

Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston will file yet another strong fundraising period when fourth-quarter reports are due at the end of the month.

Kingston, one of the three Republican congressmen running for the state’s open Senate seat, pulled in $880,000 from September through December, according to figures first obtained by CQ Roll Call. He ended the year with $3.4 million on hand after raising a total of $4.2 million for the cycle.

It’s the best quarter of the cycle for Kingston, who brought in just more than $800,000 in the third quarter. None of the other Republicans in the deep primary field have released their fourth-quarter fundraising numbers. Full story

Longtime Dems McIntyre, McCarthy to Retire (Updated) (Video)

Longtime Dems McIntyre, McCarthy to Retire (Updated) (Video)

(CQ Roll Call File Photos)

Updated 1:09 p.m. | Two longtime House Democrats — Reps. Mike McIntyre of North Carolina and Carolyn McCarthy of New York — will not seek re-election in 2014, according to multiple Democratic sources.

The duo of House Democrats mark the third in that caucus to announce he or she won’t return to Congress after 2014. Last month, vulnerable Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, announced he would not seek an 8th term, also nearly assuring Republicans will pick up his seat.

McIntyre was one of this cycle’s most vulnerable Democrats and his departure will likely allow the GOP to pick up his seat. Mitt Romney carried the 7th District a 19-point margin in 2012, while McIntyre won re-election by a slim margin.

Former state Sen. David Rouzer, who lost to McIntyre by just 654 votes in 2012, is running again this cycle. Prior to McIntyre’s retirement announcement, the 7th District was rated a Tossup by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

By comparison, McCarthy’s Long Island-based 4th District is much less of a political opportunity for Republicans. She won re-election in 2012 by a near 2-to-1 margin, and President Barack Obama carried the seat by 12 points in 2012.

McCarthy went public with her battle against lung cancer in June.

The Long Island local parties wield enormous power in selecting a congressional nominee, but in Roll Call’s recent look at the New York State Republican Farm Team, state operatives named state Sen. Jack Martins and Hempstead Councilman Anthony J. Santino as potential contenders in an open-seat race.

Democrats named Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice as a potential successor prior to McCarthy’s announcement.

McCarthy came to Congress in 1997 as a gun-control activist. Her husband was killed in 1993, when a gunman went on a shooting rampage on the Long Island commuter rail.

See all House retirements on Roll Call’s Casualty List.

January 7, 2014

Democrats, GOP Lament Benches for Competitive Open Seat in Iowa

Democrats, GOP Lament Benches for Competitive Open Seat in Iowa

Latham is retiring, leaving a wide-open race for his seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Longtime Rep. Tom Latham’s unexpected retirement has induced turmoil in the Hawkeye State, as both parties scramble to find top candidates to succeed the 10-term Republican.

But operatives from both parties have lamented the thin roster of top House hopefuls with a broad appeal in the competitive district. President Barack Obama carried the 3rd District — the state’s most competitive House territory — by 4 points in 2012.

“This isn’t a slam-dunk district for Republicans,” said former Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn. “It’s important that we nominate a candidate who can win in November.”

Democrats backed former state Sen. Staci Appel this summer, when she announced a bid to challenge Latham, but now party operatives emphasize the field is open for other Democrats to join. Meanwhile, Republicans have privately expressed concern about two announced candidates, four other likely GOP contenders and the crowded field that could result.

Full story

Republicans Gear Up to Challenge Trey Radel in Primary

Republicans Gear Up to Challenge Trey Radel in Primary

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

Florida Republicans are gearing up for challenges against Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., who pleaded guilty in November for cocaine possession.

Former state Rep. Paige Kreegel officially announced his campaign on Tuesday for the 19th District, and another potential candidate, state Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, signaled she might also test the waters.

Benacquisto is airing a biographical television ad unusually early for her uncompetitive state House re-election bid, according to the local NBC affiliate. Benacquisto had not filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission, according to online records. Full story

Republican Announces Bid to Succeed Frank Wolf in Virginia (Updated) (Video)

State Del. Barbara Comstock announced on Tuesday that she will vie for the GOP nomination to succeed retiring Rep. Frank R. Wolf, R-Va., in the competitive 10th District.

Comstock marks the first Republican to officially announce a bid for the seat, which operatives from both parties say will be a battleground in 2014. They also say Comstock, who was first elected to the state House in 2010, had been positioning herself to run for Congress if the 17-term congressman called it quits.

Full story

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