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Posts in "Senate 2012"
May 14, 2013
Former Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., wants another shot at the Senate seat he failed to win in 2010.
Sestak announced Tuesday that he has formed an exploratory committee for a 2016 Senate bid. It would likely be a rematch with Republican Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, who defeated Sestak by 2 points in a great year for Republicans nationally.
“The Senate needs an independent leader accountable only to ‘We the People,’ not any other interests … a leader accountable for deeds, not intentions,” Sestak said in a statement. Full story
February 21, 2013
His answer wasn’t exactly Shermanesque, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., indicated to his home-state press Wednesday that he intends to run for re-election in 2016.
“Sure, why not?” Reid, 73, responded to a question, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.
That’s certainly not the kind of statement that will halt questions about his political future, and Reid has years before he needs to make a decision. Full story
February 20, 2013
An influential conservative group has warned its members about a potential Senate bid from Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb.
The Senate Conservatives Fund declared, “BEWARE OF FORTENBERRY,” in a Wednesday email.
“Congressman Fortenberry has a big-spending voting record in the House of Representatives and is not the kind of fiscal conservative we need in the U.S. Senate,” the group’s executive director, Matt Hoskins, wrote in the email. “In fact, he received a dismal 51% rating in the latest Heritage Action for America scorecard.”
Fortenberry already publicly acknowledged his interest in running for retiring Sen. Mike Johanns’ seat. But Nebraska Republicans are waiting for Gov. Dave Heineman to make a decision about the seat. They say the governor would clear the field if he ran for Johanns’ seat.
In the meantime, ambitious Republicans are making preparations if Heineman does not run. The race could pit more establishment-backed Republicans against grass-roots-supported, more conservative candidates.
“It’s going to be the Wild West if the governor decides not to run,”said Jordan McGrain, executive director of the Nebraska Republican Party.
December 17, 2012
In a letter delivered just hours before his death, Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii, wrote to Gov. Neil Abercrombie asking him to appoint Rep. Colleen Hanabusa to succeed him.
An Inouye aide described this as the senator’s “last wish” as a political figure. Inouye was a larger-than-life figure in Hawaii, suggesting that his dying request could carry tremendous weight with Abercrombie, a former 10-term House member. The Inouye endorsement should make Hanabusa the favorite for the seat.
December 7, 2012
Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz made waves Friday morning by picking up a new finance director with statewide experience. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported the Democratic lawmaker’s hire of Aubrey Montgomery fuels speculation she’s looking at running for governor of Pennsylvania in 2014.
Schwartz has long been discussed as a potential statewide candidate, although sources say she’s eyeing a challenge to Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., in 2016. She’s ascended the House leadership ladder, taking a prominent role as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s recruitment chairwoman last cycle.
But the Congresswoman’s top aide did nothing to tamp down the gubernatorial speculation when asked about Schwartz’s political future.
Updated 11:55 a.m. | In the last days of the 2012 campaign, the National Republican Senatorial Committee sent $760,000 to the Missouri Republican Party, which appears to have used the money to run TV ads for Rep. Todd Akin’s ill-fated Senate campaign.
By not transferring the money until the first two days of November, people could only speculate as to the source of the cash infusion until after casting their ballots. Democrats would no doubt have targeted Republicans in other battleground states with ads and statements that the GOP was effectively backing Akin, despite indications to the contrary by the group’s chairman, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.
Democrats were quick to pounce on the news Friday morning after a report by the Springfield News-Leader outlining the apparent connection between the $760,000 transfer and an ad buy by the Missouri GOP for practically the same amount in support of Akin.
December 4, 2012
Update, 1:30 p.m. | Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet will chair the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for the 2014 cycle, as Democrats look to hold their newly expanded majority.
“Michael is one of the brightest rising stars in the Democratic Party, and he is exactly the right person to lead our efforts over the next two years,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said in a statement Tuesday. “Not only does Michael know how to win tough races, he has the trust and loyalty of the entire Democratic caucus behind him.”
Bennet, who turned down the job two years ago, was the top choice, and Reid was expected to inform Senate Democrats of the decision Tuesday during the party’s weekly lunch. Full story
November 29, 2012
The conservative Club for Growth is taking a hands-off approach to former Gov. Michael Rounds’ Senate bid — at least for now.
“We are not focused on South Dakota’s Senate race at this time, and we do not feel the need to comment on every candidate that announces for office,” said Barney Keller, a spokesman for the group, in response to an email inquiry from Roll Call. “We will continue to watch every race and go through our normal evaluation process.”
Outgoing Rep. Frank Guinta, R-N.H., will consider running statewide in 2014, perhaps challenging Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.
“My name comes up for Senate, House and governor,” Guinta told Roll Call Thursday in a phone interview. “Obviously, it’s nice to be thought of in that way. Quite frankly, at this point, it’s something that I will focus on sometime next year.”
But two well-placed New Hampshire GOP sources noted that Guinta, the former mayor of Manchester, expressed a particular interest in the Senate race. Roll Call rates the contest as Leans Democratic.
Republicans view the seat as enticing because the party not controlling the White House historically picks up seats in midterm elections. What’s more, the Granite State has proved itself as the ultimate barometer of Congressional races, electing a new set of House Members in three of the past four cycles.
Guinta emphasized that he thought it was too early to select a race, but said he plans to “see how things play out and keep options open.”
“I’m certainly going to take some time in 2013 to assess and make a determination at some point if I would run,” Guinta said.
Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., said he will make a “formal announcement later next year” about his re-election in a carefully worded statement from his office released Thursday morning.
“As in past campaigns, I will make my formal announcement later next year,” he said. “But I feel great, still have work to do, and I fully intend to put together a winning campaign in the weeks and months ahead.”
“I am here today to ask the people of South Dakota for their support and to allow me to work for them as their United States Senator in 2014,” Rounds said in a statement.
November 28, 2012
Former Gov. Mike Rounds, a Republican, will make an announcement Thursday about the race against Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson.
Local news outlets reported Rounds will jump into the race during a three-stop tour of the state. A press release did not specify his intentions.
Rounds announced weeks ago that he was exploring a bid for the Senate seat. A two-term governor, Rounds’ candidacy makes the South Dakota race competitive.
What’s more, Johnson has not said yet whether he’s running for another term. If Johnson retires, Rounds will have a head start on the other candidates in the race.
November 13, 2012
Outgoing Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., didn’t rule out a statewide bid in 2014 in a recent interview with The Daily Herald.
Last week, Walsh, one of the House GOP’s most outspoken and controversial conservatives, lost re-election to Democratic Rep.-elect Tammy Duckworth. Walsh had this to say to the suburban Chicago newspaper when asked about a gubernatorial bid in 2014:
“Am I going to do something? Oh gosh, I don’t know,” he said. “People approach me every day and ask, ‘Walsh, are you going to run for the governor? Are you going to run for Senate?’ I want to do my part to lead a movement to present a vision to this. I’d rather go down fighting. Democrats have ruined this state but they’ve been able to do it because the Republicans have allowed them to.”
November 7, 2012
Rep. Rick Berg (R) conceded to former state Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D) in the North Dakota Senate race. It was the final outstanding Senate race of the the 2012 cycle.
This means that out of the seriously competitive Senate races, Republicans only won one Democratic-held seat. It also means that Democrats will have a majority of 55 Senators, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and assuming that Sen.-elect Angus King (I) of Maine will caucus with the party.
Republicans, who a year ago were expected to pick up seats and possibly the majority, actually lost 2 seats and will hold 45 seats in the 113th Congress.
Updated 11:23 a.m. | The Associated Press this morning declared Montana Sen. Jon Tester (D) the winner of his re-election race against Rep. Denny Rehberg (R).
The win means Democrats are guaranteed to have a larger majority in the Senate next year, with at least 54 seats. The open-seat race in North Dakota has still not been called, but Democrat Heidi Heitkamp is currently leading by nearly 3,000 votes over Republican Rep. Rick Berg. If Heitkamp wins, Democrats would have their majority expanded by two seats.
“Jon Tester knows his state like the back of his hand, and he is exactly the type of quality leader we need in the US Senate,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (Wash.) said in a statement. “Montanans saw right through the millions in attack ads from Karl Rove and others.”
With 85 percent of precincts reporting, Tester led Rehberg by about 18,000 votes. Montanans also had a third choice in the race. Libertarian candidate Dan Cox took more than 6 percent of the vote, much of that likely from voters who otherwise would have supported Rehberg.
“Senator Tester and I share an abiding love for Montana and America, a value which transcends political party or disagreements on matters of policy,” Rehberg said in a statement. “I congratulate Jon on his victory in this hard-fought campaign.”
The morning after winning the open-seat Senate race in Maine, Angus King (I) still wouldn’t say which party he will caucus with, though he acknowledged he will probably pick a side.
“Next week is an orientation session. I’m going to be going down, probably this weekend, to Washington and talking to the leadership” on both sides, King told MSNBC. ”My goal is to be as independent as I possibly can, but I also want to be effective.”
Speaking by telephone from Maine, the popular former governor said he received a courtesy call from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) but has not yet heard from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Reid’s quick outreach is no surprise — national Democrats largely avoided the Maine Senate seat while Republicans were actively engaged because both sides have assumed King would caucus with the Democrats. Nonetheless, King said he would speak with both parties before making a decision.