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March 5, 2015

Posts in "Republicans"

January 28, 2014

Cornyn Responds to Stockman’s Absence: ‘Hmm … ‘

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Cornyn will seek re-election in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, would like voters to “reach their own conclusions” about his Republican primary challenger’s recent whereabouts.

On Tuesday, Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, who launched his Senate campaign last month on the filing deadline, resurfaced on Capitol Hill after he “mysteriously disappeared from public view nearly two weeks ago,” according to the Dallas Morning News.

Multiple Texas-based outlets reported that Stockman said he was on a Congressionally-sanctioned trip to Israel, Egypt, Russia and the United Kingdom. But the lawmaker, who is serving his second one-term stint in the House, was gone longer than other colleagues who made the trip. He ended up missing 17 House votes.

“I have seven opponents in the primary, and I know while some people find him the most fascinating one, I don’t really want to treat any of them differently from each other,” Cornyn told CQ Roll Call. “And so I don’t really have a comment particularly. I’ll let people reach their own conclusions.” Full story

Local Lawmaker Eyes Primary to Ohio’s Most Vulnerable House Republican

Freshman Rep. David Joyce, R-Ohio, may get his first big test as a candidate earlier than expected.

State Rep. Matt Lynch has pulled paperwork to challenge to Joyce in the primary in the 14th District, according to a local report that was confirmed separately by a GOP operative.

Lynch, who did not immediately return request for comment, has until Feb. 5 to file the necessary paperwork to run. But if he enters the race, the May 6 primary will be the first competitive contest Joyce will face in the state’s most targeted seat in 2014.

Full story

Shuster Raises Big Bucks Ahead of Primary Challenge

Shuster Raises Big Bucks Ahead of Primary Challenge

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., raised over a half a million dollars during the fourth quarter of last year, according to figures shared first with CQ Roll Call.

The chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee faces a tea party challenger in the May 20 primary.

Full story

Schock, Hensarling Contribute $1 Million Each to NRCC

Reps. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., and Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, gave $1 million each to boost the House GOP’s efforts in 2014.

At a closed-door Tuesday morning conference meeting, Schock presented his $1.1 million check to National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon. Hensarling also gave Walden a $1 million check at the meeting, according to a Republican source who attended the Capitol Hill Club confab.

The NRCC also announced Tuesday that Schock will serve as chairman of the NRCC’s March dinner — one of the committee’s top fundraising events of the year. Schock pledged to raise an additional $1 million for the committee before the March 26 event. Full story

Tom Cole: Outside Groups Will Waste Money in Okla. Special

Tom Cole: Outside Groups Will Waste Money in Okla. Special

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole says conservative outside groups that consider getting involved in the race to replace Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., will be wasting their money.

The Senate Conservatives Fund and Madison Project have encouraged GOP Rep. Jim Bridenstine to enter the special election field as a conservative alternative to Rep. James Lankford, who is so far the only declared candidate in what’s expected to be a competitive race.

In an interview with CQ Roll Call, Cole said he doesn’t believe well-financed outside groups interested in assisting a particular candidate will have a great effect on the outcome of the race — no matter how much they spend.

“Groups coming from outside the state, coming to try and set the agenda, sorry,” Cole said. “You are welcome to come, but you ought to look at your track record.”

Full story

January 27, 2014

Kirk Vs. Duckworth for Senate in 2016?

Kirk Vs. Duckworth for Senate in 2016?

Duckworth is a first-term House Democrat. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Political circumstance could one day bring Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., and Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., together on a ballot against each other. But for now, military service and traumatic injury have united them at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where they often run into one another and visit with troops.

Kirk, who is partially paralyzed from a stroke he suffered two years ago, does rehabilitation at the center when he’s in Washington for Senate sessions. He is diligent about his treatment there, in part because he is getting in shape for a grueling 2016 re-election bid.

Duckworth, a former assistant secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs, spent a year at Walter Reed after she lost her legs in a helicopter crash in Iraq in 2004. She frequently visits the center that’s now in Bethesda, Md., and bumps into Kirk while he’s making his rounds.

Duckworth tops the Democrats’ list of lawmakers who could run for Senate in Illinois someday. But in a recent extended interview with Roll Call, Kirk talked about his “good” relationship with Duckworth, showing off the braces he wears on his legs to help him walk — equipment he says is very similar to hers.

Full story

DesJarlais Primary Challenger Flush With Cash for 2014

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DesJarlais faces a tough primary in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Sen. Jim Tracy, a Republican challenging embattled GOP Rep. Scott DesJarlais in Tennessee’s 4th District, raised $150,000 in the fourth quarter, according to figures provided first to CQ Roll Call.

Tracy’s fourth-quarter haul brings his cash-on-hand total to $840,000 with about six months until the primary.

DesJarlais has yet to file his end-of-year fundraising report, which is due to the Federal Election Commission on Jan. 31. At the end of September, DesJarlais reported he had $170,000 in the bank.

Full story

Connie Mack, Florida Republicans React to Radel Resignation (Updated)

Connie Mack, Florida Republicans React to Radel Resignation (Updated)

Mack is a former member of Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 1:55 p.m. | Rep. Trey Radel’s former rivals and potential successors in Florida’s 19th District reacted Monday to his resignation from Congress.

“Trey’s decision to resign from Congress was undoubtedly very difficult, but it was the right decision,” former Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla., said in a statement. “Trey’s been a friend for many years, and I just can’t imagine how difficult this situation has been for his entire family.” Full story

Ex-Congressman Hints at Comeback Bid in Kansas (Updated)

Update 3:02 p.m. | Former Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., said this weekend he has not ruled out a primary challenge to two-term Rep. Mike Pompeo in Kansas’ 4th District.

“How can we hold Republican incumbent elected officials accountable if they don’t have a a primary?” Tiahrt asked the Kansas City Star.

In 2010, Tiahrt lost a primary for Senate to Jerry Moran, R-Kan., who was also a House member at the time. Prior to that failed bid, Tiahrt served the Wichita-based district for eight terms.

Full story

Trey Radel Submits Letter of Resignation (Updated)

Trey Radel Submits Letter of Resignation (Updated)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:32 a.m. | First-term Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., will resign from Congress at 6:30 p.m., according to his letter of resignation sent Monday to Speaker John. A. Boehner of Ohio.

In his letter, Radel says he cannot “effectively serve” anymore.

Radel was arrested in October for cocaine possession and later pleaded guilty to that charge. He would have faced several primary challengers if he sought re-election.

“Unfortunately, some of my struggles had serious consequences,” he wrote in his letter to Boehner. “While I have dealt with those issues on a personal level, it is my belief that I cannot fully and effectively serve as a United States Representative to the place I call home, Southwest Florida.”

Full story

January 22, 2014

Lankford to Conservative Groups: ‘I’m Not Their Enemy’

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Lankford is running for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A political unknown just four years ago, Rep. James Lankford has swiftly positioned himself as the front-runner in what could be a crowded GOP primary field to replace retiring Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

Conservative groups quickly panned Lankford after he announced his Senate bid on Monday. But the 5th District lawmaker starts the contest both with $450,000 in the bank and an established base of faith-based conservatives that GOP operatives argue will be tough for other Senate hopefuls to overcome — especially in a runoff.

“[Lankford] has that incredible base that nobody else has in terms of the Baptist community, which is huge here,” said one Oklahoma Republican operative, who was granted anonymity to speak candidly. “The faith-based community has always been very influential and important in these types of things. I mean, this is the Bible Belt.” Full story

In Radel District, Florida Republicans Demand Super PAC Remove Ad

In Radel District, Florida Republicans Demand Super PAC Remove Ad

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican Party of Florida has demanded a local television affiliate cease airing a spot from a GOP super PAC, according to a letter obtained by CQ Roll Call.

At issue is an ad backed by supporters of former state Rep. Paige Kreegel, a candidate who is challenging Rep. Trey Radel in the GOP primary for Florida’s 19th District. Radel faces an increasingly competitive nomination fight in this safe Republican district, thanks to his recent legal issues. Radel pleaded guilty last year to cocaine possession.

But Radel is not the subject of the ad. Full story

Va. GOP Losses May Help Gillespie’s Convention Fight

Va. GOP Losses May Help Gillespies Convention Fight

Gillespie should be able to get through Virginia's GOP nominating convention. (Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images File Photo)

With the stink of their party’s statewide sweep not yet three months old, Virginia Republicans said Ed Gillespie should have little trouble winning the GOP Senate nomination in June and advancing to take on Democrat Mark Warner.

Republicans concede that Gillespie, a former lobbyist and political consultant who announced his candidacy last week, faces a challenging fight against the first-term senator and popular former governor. But getting through the state GOP’s nominating convention, which invites a more conservative swath of the party than a primary and last year produced a surprising result, should not be nearly as significant a hurdle.

As former Gov. Bob McDonnell’s felony indictment Tuesday and a state Senate victory for the Democrats added to Republicans’ woes, elected officials and party insiders said last year’s stinging losses in races for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general have left GOP activists clamoring for, above all, a conservative candidate who can raise the kind of money it will take to legitimately compete with Warner.

Gillespie “does have to take [the convention] seriously, but I think people want to win a statewide race in Virginia,” Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., said. “Having lost three races last fall, I think they recognize we need a candidate who is in the hunt when it comes to the last part of the race … and that means somebody who is capable of raising the money.” Full story

January 18, 2014

GOP Frets About Year-End Fundraising Thanks to Shutdown

A financially damaging mix of a government shutdown and the holiday shopping season has prompted top Republican operatives to temper expectations for fourth-quarter fundraising reports, which are due at the end of the month.

The final three months of the year are always a notoriously difficult time for members to raise money, as donor interest and candidate call time decline during the holidays. But the 16-day government shutdown in October further poisoned the financial well, especially for House Republicans, who polls show took most of the blame for the standoff.

As year-end fundraising reports trickle in over the next few weeks, GOP campaign operatives and consultants are setting a low bar for the first financial numbers candidates will announce in the election year. They argue that the president’s HealthCare.gov website woes did not serve as a fundraising specter to boost their bottom line. Full story

January 15, 2014

Republicans Sound Alarm for Outside Groups in Florida Special

Fewer than two hours after lobbyist David Jolly won the GOP nomination in Florida’s 13th District, word leaked that his campaign had bought a modest $50,000 in airtime for the special election.

But Jolly’s Democratic rival has already done the same — with an advertisement buy six times larger than his.

The lopsided spending illustrates the trajectory of the special election to replace the late Republican Rep. C.W. Bill Young.

The Democratic nominee, former Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, begins the general election with a massive financial advantage, boosted by cash-flush outside groups already behind her bid. Jolly must race to catch up after a competitive primary — and Republicans fear he won’t have much help from national conservative outside groups.

Full story

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