Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 20, 2014

Posts in "Republicans"

March 27, 2014

NRCC Chairman to Fundraise for Illinois House Hopefuls

NRCC Chairman to Fundraise for Illinois House Hopefuls

NRCC Chairman Walden is making a fundraising swing through Illinois (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden is making a campaign swing through Illinois on Friday, headlining fundraisers benefiting four Republican challengers and one of the party’s most vulnerable members.

Walden will host separate fundraising events for all five Republicans in a state the party views as an opportunity to add to its House majority. That includes helping two former members ousted by Democrats in 2012 make it back to Capitol Hill in 2015.

“Chairman Walden is looking forward to highlighting our offensive opportunities in Illinois,” NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek said in a statement to CQ Roll Call. “Illinois is a competitive battleground state where Democrats will be forced to spend big money to defend their members.”

The fundraising beneficiaries are:

Full story

Senate Conservatives Fund Endorses in Oklahoma Senate Race

Senate Conservatives Fund Endorses in Oklahoma Senate Race

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

Former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon, one of a handful of Republicans running in Oklahoma’s open-seat Senate race, received the endorsement of the Senate Conservatives Fund Thursday, a group that spends heavily to boost tea-party-aligned candidates into office.

“T.W. Shannon is a constitutional conservative who will fight to stop the massive spending and debt that are bankrupting our country,” SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins said in a news release. “We’re supporting T.W. Shannon because he’s a principled conservative, he has strong grassroots support in Oklahoma, and he can win if Americans come together to support his campaign.”

Shannon will face off with GOP Rep. James Lankford and handful of other Oklahoma Republicans in a special-election primary on June 24. The seat is open because GOP Sen. Tom Coburn will resign at the end of the 113th Congress.

Conservative groups had initially sought to recruit Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., to face off against Lankford in the contest. However when Bridenstine declined to run, it was unclear whether groups such as the SCF and Club for Growth would play in the Sooner State Senate contest.

The Republican who wins the primary will likely be the next senator from Oklahoma, as GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the state with 67 percent in 2012. If no candidate garners at least 50 percent of the vote in the June 24 primary, the top two contenders head to a runoff on Aug. 26.

Oklahoma’s Senate race is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

March 26, 2014

Texas Delegation Rallies to Get Ralph Hall One Final Term

Texas Delegation Rallies to Get Ralph Hall One Final Term

Rep. William "Mac" Thornberry, R-Texas, left, walks with Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Ralph M. Hall is in a Texas-sized heap of political trouble — and it’s mostly of the 90-year-old Republican’s own doing.

Over the winter, the 17-term incumbent ignored danger signs in his bid for re-election, namely that a self-funding rival was outspending him in a primary. That candidate, attorney John Ratcliffe, has forced Hall into a May 27 runoff.

Now Texas House Republicans are scrambling to help Hall, who has vowed this will be his final campaign. Full story

House GOP Names 17 Promising Candidates as ‘Contenders’

The National Republican Congressional Committee elevated 17 GOP candidates to “contenders” in its Young Guns program on Wednesday, identifying them as top candidates to oust vulnerable Democrats in November.

The “contender” designation is the second level in the Young Guns program, which seeks to provide organizational support to Republican House candidates.

“Contender candidates have completed stringent program metrics and are on the path to developing a mature and competitive campaign operation,” according to an NRCC news release. “They are in congressional seats that appear favorable to the GOP candidate.”

Any Republican House candidate can participate in the program, but only those who meet certain benchmarks are elevated through the ranks. The NRCC doesn’t publicly list the criteria for advancement in the program.

The 17 “contenders” come from an initial pool of 36 candidates the NRCC identified in November. The NRCC says the other candidates from the initial pool still have the opportunity to advance through the program, and notes that these 17 contenders are part of the first wave of candidates to advance.

The 17 contenders are: Full story

By Emily Cahn Posted at 9:34 a.m.
NRCC, Republicans

Gay Republican Candidate ‘Comfortable’ in GOP (Video)

The candidate: Richard Tisei, a real estate broker, former state Senate minority leader and the 2012 GOP nominee in this district.
The member: Nine-term Democratic Rep. John F. Tierney, who defeated Tisei in 2012 by about 1 point. Tierney racked up double-digit victories over the past decade or so, but ethical questions (a case since closed by the House Ethics Committee) plunged him into political vulnerability.
The district: Massachusetts’ 6th stretches from the northern Boston suburbs along the coast to the New Hampshire border and reaches west to include Bedford and the outskirts of Lowell.
The candidate’s team: David Paleologus of Dapa Research (polling), Todd Harris and Heath Thompson of Something Else Strategies (media), Gridiron Communications (direct mail), Nathan Wurtzel (fundraising) and  Ryan Gough (campaign manager).

Full story

March 25, 2014

Bruce Braley Apologizes to Grassley for ‘Farmer’ Slight

Bruce Braley Apologizes to Grassley for Farmer Slight

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo

Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, apologized for his critical comments of Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, that were posted online Tuesday by a Republican research group.

Speaking at a fundraiser, Braley, who is running for the Hawkeye State’s open Senate seat, said the Senate could end up with “a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law, serving as the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee,” before identifying that person as Grassley.

“I apologize to Senator Grassley and anyone I may have offended,” Braley said in a statement released a couple of hours after the video posted. “I respect Senator Grassley and enjoy our working relationship even though we disagree on some issues.”

The Des Moines Register reported that the video was taken by a donor at a Jan. 23 fundraiser in Corpus Christi, Texas, before being released Tuesday by America Rising. Braley also told the assembled donors — presumably lawyers — that he is “someone with your background, your experience, your voice, someone who’s been literally fighting tort reform for 30 years in a visible and public way.”

A Grassley spokesperson responded in a statement pointing to Grassley’s years of service and accomplishments on the committee. Full story

The Many Reasons Mark Kirk Won’t Stump for Oberweis

The Many Reasons Mark Kirk Wont Stump for Oberweis

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Mark S. Kirk’s decision not to campaign this year against his in-state Democratic colleague should come as no surprise.

While Kirk has said he will support the Republican ticket in November and has committed to actively assisting the party’s gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner, the Illinois Republican told the Chicago Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet that he won’t be stumping for Republican Senate nominee Jim Oberweis.

Kirk said he wants to protect his working relationship with Democratic Sen. Richard J. Durbin by “not launching into a partisan jihad.” But there are other equally compelling reasons not to hit the campaign trail against Durbin. Full story

Candidate Touts ‘Castrating Hogs’ Experience in TV Ad

Talk about cutting through the clutter — or at least cutting through something.

State Sen. Joni Ernst, one of five Republicans seeking Iowa’s open Senate seat, boasted her experience “castrating hogs”  will help her “cut pork” in Washington, D.C.

“I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm, so when I come to Washington, I’ll know how to cut pork,” Ernst says in the 30-second spot released Tuesday. “Washington’s full of big spenders, let’s make ‘em squeal.”

Full story

Conservative Groups Rally Behind Ralph Hall Challenger in Texas (Updated)

Conservative Groups Rally Behind Ralph Hall Challenger in Texas (Updated)

Ratcliffe is challenging Hall, a Republican from Texas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 10:20 a.m. | The Club for Growth and the Madison Project, two conservative groups, announced Tuesday  endorsements of attorney John Ratcliffe, a Texas Republican who pushed Rep. Ralph M. Hall into a May 27 primary runoff.

“Like Senator Ted Cruz, John Ratcliffe understands that the big spenders in both parties have led us to $17 trillion in debt, and he’ll stand up for pro-growth policies in Washington,” club president Chris Chocola said in a release.

“John Ratcliffe has actually accomplished what so many conservative candidates desire by drawing one of the longest serving establishment incumbents into a competitive runoff,” said Madison Project political director Drew Ryun in a separate statement released earlier on Tuesday. Full story

March 18, 2014

Outside Group’s Poll Shows Tightening Oklahoma Senate Primary

The special-election primary to replace resigning Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn is tightening after an advertising blitz benefiting Republican state Speaker T.W. Shannon.

A poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies on behalf of Oklahomans for a Conservative Future, an outside group backing Shannon, found the state speaker cutting into the early GOP primary lead of Rep. James Lankford. Lankford, who is the favorite to fill the remaining two years of Coburn’s term, led with 37 percent, followed by Shannon with 28 percent and former state Sen. Randy Brogdon with 7 percent.

A half dozen candidates are running to replace Coburn, a favorite among conservatives, who is stepping down at the end of the year. The special is following the state’s regular election schedule: If no candidate receives a majority of support in the June 24 primary, the top two finishers will face off in an Aug. 26 runoff and the winner will move on to November. Full story

March 14, 2014

Scott Brown Announces Preparations for Senate Bid

Scott Brown Announces Preparations for Senate Bid

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Sen. Scott P. Brown, R-Mass., announced Friday he is preparing to run for Senate in New Hampshire, kicking off a nearly unprecedented bid to represent a second state in the Senate.

Brown’s decision, unveiled in a speech at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua, N.H., comes 16 months after he was defeated for re-election in the neighboring Bay State by Democrat Elizabeth Warren.

If he wins the Sept. 9 GOP primary and can defeat Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Brown would become just the third person in history — and first since the 1870s — to have represented more than one state in the Senate, according to the Senate Historical Office.

“Starting tomorrow morning, and for the next several weeks, Gail and I will be traveling around the state to introduce ourselves, to ask questions, to speak with everyone of every background — Republicans, independents and Democrats alike — and above all to listen to them and learn of their concerns,” Brown said, according to his prepared remarks. Full story

Goodlatte to Fundraise in Silicon Valley as Tech Community Pushes Immigration Fix

Goodlatte to Fundraise in Silicon Valley as Tech Community Pushes Immigration Fix

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., is scheduled to hold a high-dollar fundraiser in Silicon Valley next week — but frustrated tech donors are already grumbling about the event, disappointed by the lack of progress from House Republicans on one of their top policy priorities: immigration legislation.

According to an invitation obtained by CQ Roll Call, the Goodlatte fundraiser is organized by TechNet, which bills itself as the “preeminent bipartisan political network of CEOs and Seniors Executives that promotes the growth of technology-led innovation.” Suggested contribution levels for Wednesday’s round table and reception with the powerful chairman range between $10,000 and $40,000 for the Goodlatte Victory Committee.

Not every big-time tech donor, however, is ready to cut a check, because Goodlatte’s Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over immigration legislation.
Full story

Fox Terminates Scott Brown’s Contract Ahead of Senate Announcement

Fox Terminates Scott Browns Contract Ahead of Senate Announcement

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Fox News has terminated its contract with former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., ahead of his expected move toward a Senate bid, the network announced Friday.

“Scott Brown’s contributor agreement was officially terminated today once he notified FOX News of his intention to form an exploratory committee to run for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire,” Bill Shine, the network’s executive vice president of programming, said in a statement.

Brown is scheduled to deliver a speech at 4:30 p.m. today in Nashua at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference, where he may for the first time confirm he is moving closer to launching a Senate campaign in New Hampshire. The Associated Press reported Thursday that Brown has begun reaching out to potential campaign staff and would announce the formation of an exploratory committee as early as today. Full story

Ralph Hall Challenger Commits to Term Limits

The Republican primary challenger to longtime Texas Rep. Ralph M. Hall says 4th District voters should not expect a Hall-length tenure from him if elected.

Just more than two months out from their primary runoff showdown, attorney John Ratcliffe said in an interview with CQ Roll Call that he not only supports a congressional term limit but would self-impose one if he wins the seat.

Ratcliffe has committed to serving only “four to five” terms in the House, a stark contrast to Hall’s career. The 90-year-old congressman, who has said this will be his last race, is finishing up his 17th term this year.

“I was mayor of a town that did not have term limits, but I term-limited myself,” Ratcliffe said. “I believe that our founders never intended for there to be a permanent political class.”

Full story

March 13, 2014

Mike Simpson Launches First TV Ad of Cycle

Rep. Mike Simpson, an eight-term Idaho Republican facing a tea-party-backed primary challenger, went up Thursday with his first TV ad of the cycle.

Seeking to bolster his conservative record ahead of the May 20 primary, the 30-second ad highlights votes Simpson has taken that tow the conservative line and labels his challenger, attorney Bryan Smith, as a “personal injury lawyer.” The ad is backed by a $27,000 buy on broadcast and cable, according to a Republican source tracking buys in the district.

“There’s no defense for personal injury lawyer Bryan Smith’s attempt to smear Mike Simpson’s conservative record,” the narrator says in ad.

Full story

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