Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 25, 2014

Posts in "Republicans"

July 2, 2014

Lamar Alexander Argues With Obama Over Obamacare in New Ad (Video)

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn, raised over $900,000 for his re-election bid in the second quarter, his campaign said Wednesday. He also launched a new ad featuring the senator arguing with President Barack Obama.

Alexander now has $3.4 million cash on hand, according to his campaign, with just over a month to go until Tennessee’s Aug. 8 Republican primary.

The new ad shows C-SPAN footage of the White House Healthcare Summit in February of 2010. Alexander was one of several Republicans to attend the bipartisan meeting, and at one point, he engaged with Obama over whether healthcare premiums would rise as a result of Obamacare.

“When you said, ‘premiums go up,’ that’s just not case,” Obama says in the clip, addressing Alexander.

“The Congressional Budget Office report says that premiums will rise,” Alexander responds.

“No, no, no, no, and this is an example of where we’ve got to get our facts straight,” Obama says.

“That’s my point,” says Alexander.

“Lamar was proven right,” a narrator says in the ad.

The ad will begin running statewide on July 6, according to the campaign.

Alexander faces a primary challenge from state Rep. Joe Carr. Carr has drawn significantly more attention in recent weeks since House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., was defeated in a primary by unknown and underfunded college professor Dave Brat. He recently went up with his first ad of the campaign, attacking Alexander for voting for the Senate’s immigration overhaul bill.

The race is rated Safe Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Conservative Lawsuit Challenges Cochran Runoff Win

Conservative Lawsuit Challenges Cochran Runoff Win

Thad Cochran defeated Chris McDaniel, above, in the GOP runoff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A conservative group has taken up state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s cause, filing a lawsuit against the Mississippi Secretary of State and the Republican Party of Mississippi  to challenge the results of the recent runoff for Senate.

Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., defeated McDaniel by a 6,700-vote margin in the June 24 runoff and won the GOP nomination.

Now a conservative group, True the Vote, alleged Wednesday they were denied access to election records, specifically in Hinds and Rankin Counties. They also allege that they found evidence of unlawful “double-voting,” in which Mississippians who voted in the Democratic primary later voted in the Republican runoff three weeks later.

But McDaniel and his supporters face long odds to overturn the results of the runoff. Mississippi state election law has no provision for a recount, and observers say McDaniel is unlikely to find enough illegally cast votes to make up the difference between him and Cochran. What’s more, it’s difficult to prove a runoff voter does not plan to vote for a Republican in the general election.

Full story

June 30, 2014

Vance McAllister Announces He Will Seek Re-Election

Vance McAllister Announces He Will Seek Re Election

Following some "hard praying," McAllister has decided to seek re-election after all. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Vance McAllister, the Louisiana Republican known as the “Kissing Congressman” after he was caught kissing a married aide, will seek re-election in November.

“We spent the weekend trying to make sure this was exactly right for us and the family,” McAllister said on the Moon Griffon radio show in Louisiana Monday morning. “It’s taken a lot of hard praying,”

McAllister, who won the seat in a special election in November, will formally make the announcement at a news conference Monday morning.

McAllister had recently waffled on whether he would seek a full term in Louisiana’s 5th District. He announced in April — weeks after security camera footage leaked of him kissing his aide— that he would not run again for the seat. Just a few weeks later, McAllister recanted that decision, saying he was keeping all of his options open for another bid.

Full story

Rick Santorum Endorses in Georgia Race

Rick Santorum Endorses in Georgia Race

Rick Santorum is a Republican from Pennsylvania. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., endorsed businessman Mike Collins in Georgia’s 10th District GOP runoff Monday, calling him a “rock-solid conservative who will be guided by the U.S. Constitution in Congress.”

“Mike has laid out a bold plan of conservative policies that will push back overbearing federal regulations, revitalize the entrepreneurial spirit and provide more opportunities for blue collar Americans,” Santorum added in the release. “We need more conservative businessmen like Mike Collins in Congress.”

Collins faces pastor Jody Hice, a Republican, in a July 22 runoff. Republicans have described Rice as a candidate in the mold of the congressman he is trying to succeed, conservative firebrand Paul Broun. Broun, known for his outspoken comments on evolution, ran an unsuccessful bid for Senate in Georgia, leaving his House district open. Full story

June 25, 2014

Club for Growth Stumbles With Mississippi Senate Loss (Video)

Club for Growth Stumbles With Mississippi Senate Loss (Video)

The Club for Growth worked against Sen. Thad Cochran, who won Tuesday's runoff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Club for Growth, a perpetual thorn in the side of many Republican operatives, took a hit Tuesday in Mississippi, where Sen. Thad Cochran survived a primary challenge despite a significant investment from the anti-tax group.

The Club for Growth’s super PAC arm spent $2.4 million against Cochran, according to figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. That’s a significant chunk of the $3.8 million it’s expended so far this cycle against Republicans.

What’s more, the defeat of state Sen. Chris McDaniel means the club has now failed to topple arguably its top two GOP incumbent targets of the midterm cycle — Cochran and Rep. Mike Simpson. The club spent nearly $500,000 for Bryan Smith, who lost his May 20 challenge to the Idaho Republican.

Full story

How James Lankford Won Big in Oklahoma (Video)

How James Lankford Won Big in Oklahoma (Video)

Lankford will likely come to the Senate next year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. James Lankford had momentum on his side Tuesday, when the Republican captured the GOP nomination outright and avoided a costly runoff.

The big surprise? His massive 23-point margin of victory over T.W. Shannon, who had been hailed as a rising GOP superstar.

Shannon, 36, was the youngest person to ever serve as Speaker of the Oklahoma House. He is African-American, an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation, and had the support of many of the big national tea party names, including Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. On paper, Shannon seemed like he might follow in the footsteps of another Cruz-backed candidate, Ben Sasse, the 42-year-old GOP Senate nominee in Nebraska who rose from relative obscurity to beat the front-runner with the help of national tea party groups.

But Lankford had a number of advantages from the start in the race to succeed Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who is leaving Congress at the end of this year.

Full story

June 24, 2014

Mississippi Runoff Results: Thad Cochran Wins

Mississippi Runoff Results: Thad Cochran Wins

Cochran won a runoff Tuesday and is favored to win a seventh term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran overcame the odds Tuesday to win a contentious Republican runoff and is now favored to win a seventh term.

Two weeks after the stunning loss by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., state Sen. Chris McDaniel hoped to become the latest challenger to unseat a sitting member of Congress in a GOP primary.

But, after finishing 1,400 votes behind McDaniel in the June 3 primary, Cochran was able to expand the electorate  — a feat, pro-Cochran Republican insiders cautioned in the days leading up to the runoff, that hadn’t been achieved in Mississippi statewide elections in recent decades. Full story

Oklahoma Primary Results: Lankford Wins Senate Nomination (Updated)

Oklahoma Primary Results: Lankford Wins Senate Nomination (Updated)

Lankford is a Republican from Oklahoma. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 9:54 p.m. | Rep. James Lankford has won the Oklahoma primary, and now the Republican is likely headed to the Senate.

The Oklahoman defeated former state Speaker T.W. Shannon and several lesser-known candidates to win the Republican nomination Tuesday. In the strongly conservative state of Oklahoma, Lankford is all but certain to become the next senator after November.

Lankford is on track to succeed Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who is stepping down at the end of this Congress. Full story

Curt Clawson Wins Special Election to Succeed Trey Radel in Florida

Curt Clawson Wins Special Election to Succeed Trey Radel in Florida

Trey Radel resigned in January. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican businessman Curt Clawson won the special election Tuesday to replace former Rep. Trey Radel in Florida’s 19th District — an outcome long expected in this heavily Republican district on the state’s Gulf Coast.

Clawson defeated Democrat April Freeman, 67 percent to 30 percent, with 1 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press. He is expected to be sworn in later this week. Full story

Live Results: Cochran-McDaniel Runoff and Other Races

Join the Roll Call Politics Team for coverage of tonight’s big primary runoff in Mississippi and other races in Florida, Oklahoma, New York and Colorado.

Starting at 7 p.m., we’ll have live results and analysis from the races below. Full story

June 23, 2014

Travis Childers Awaits Cochran, McDaniel Primary Finale

Travis Childers Awaits Cochran, McDaniel Primary Finale

Childers is awaiting the Cochran runoff results. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As his two potential Republican opponents duked it out over the past three weeks, former Rep. Travis Childers has been traveling Mississippi and working the phones in preparation for an uphill Senate race.

If state Sen. Chris McDaniel is able to topple longtime Sen. Thad Cochran in the GOP runoff Tuesday, Childers would suddenly be the Democratic nominee in a race that could invite outside spending from both sides and give his party a third possible pickup opportunity as it defends the majority in a lopsided landscape.

But his Tuesday night plans do not involve any sort of watch party as Republican votes roll in.

“I don’t want to be sitting around waiting on their results,” Childers told CQ Roll Call in a phone interview. “I will probably be on the road.”

Full story

6 Things to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries

6 Things to Watch in Tuesdays Primaries

As part of Tuesday's primaries, Cochran, center, faces a tea-party-challenger in a runoff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mississippi Republicans and New York Democrats face a similar quandary Tuesday: Hold onto an old political hand and his seniority in Congress, or turn the page to a new era?

Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., and Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., have challenges from their own party that headline this week’s bevy of primaries — the last crop of contests until later this summer. Beyond the fate of these two longtime pols, Tuesday’s results will test a House GOP program for female candidates in primaries, as well as decide a handful of races in Colorado, Florida and New York.

Here is what to watch for in these contests: Full story

June 21, 2014

Iowa GOP Convention Picks Nominee for Top House Race (Video)

Iowa GOP Convention Picks Nominee for Top House Race (Video)

An Iowa GOP convention picked a nominee to try to succeed Latham, right. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Capitol Hill aide David Young won the Republican nomination in Iowa’s 3rd District on Saturday, overcoming five other Republican opponents in an hourslong nominating convention.

Young defeated state Sen. Brad Zaun, 276 votes to 221 votes, in the fifth round of balloting among hundreds of local delegations, according to the Republican Party of Iowa. Young now moves on to face the Democratic nominee, former state Sen. Staci Appel, in November.

Young’s win comes as a relief to Republicans, who hoped the nominating convention would turn out a candidate other than Zaun.

Full story

June 20, 2014

Club for Growth Backs New Hampshire House Candidate

Club for Growth Backs New Hampshire House Candidate

Chocola is the president of the Club for Growth. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Club for Growth PAC has endorsed state Rep. Marilinda Garcia in the GOP primary in New Hampshire’s 2nd District.

Garcia faces former state Sen. Gary Lambert on Sept. 9, and the winner will challenge Democratic Rep. Ann McLane Kuster in November.

“The Club for Growth PAC enthusiastically endorses Marilinda Garcia for Congress,” Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said in a Friday statement.

Full story

Nick Rahall Opponent Airs Positive TV Campaign

Nick Rahall Opponent Airs Positive TV Campaign

Nick Rahall's opponent, Evan Jenkins, has a new TV ad. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Sen. Evan Jenkins, a Republican, debuted a new positive television advertisement Friday that emphasizes the coal industry in his bid to unseat Rep. Nick J. Rahall II, D-W.Va., in the 3rd District.

“If Barack Obama had his way, none of this would exist,” Jenkins said in front of a mining operation. “Coal would be out of business, and so would West Virginia.”

The ad makes no mention of the incumbent. The rest of the spot plays up Mountain State imagery and industry.

Full story

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