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

Posts in "Colo. Senate"

February 27, 2014

Udall Campaign Hits Gardner for ‘Shady Scheme’

Udall Campaign Hits Gardner for Shady Scheme

Udall is seeking re-election in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Now faced with a top-tier Republican challenger, Colorado Sen. Mark Udall’s campaign on Thursday painted the GOP’s swap of candidates between races as a partisan backroom deal unfit for the state’s independent nature.

GOP Rep. Cory Gardner dropped his House bid Wednesday in favor of the Senate race, which immediately put Udall’s seat in more danger. Meanwhile, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, an unsuccessful Senate candidate in 2010 and a long-shot to defeat Udall, dropped out of the Senate race to run for Gardner’s seat.

“It’s no surprise that a Washington ideologue like Congressman Cory Gardner worked with party bosses to cook up the ‘Centennial State Swap,’ the shady scheme hatched behind closed doors that enabled him to swoop into the Senate race,” Udall spokesman Chris Harris said in a statement. “Rather than bring Colorado’s independence to Congress, Gardner is bringing Washington-style backroom deals to Colorado.”

Full story

Tea Party Group Doubles Down on Colorado Senate Race

The Tea Party Express reiterated its endorsement of state Sen. Owen Hill in the wake of a major shake-up in the race for Senate in Colorado.

In a surprising move, Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., opted Wednesday to run against Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck subsequently dropped out of the Senate race to run for Gardner’s 4th District instead. Likewise, state Rep. Amy Stephens reportedly dropped out of the Senate race as well.

But not Hill.

The Tea Party Express backed Buck’s bid for Senate in 2010, but endorsed Hill this cycle. In fact, the Tea Party Express blasted Buck in a Wednesday evening solicitation for donations:  Full story

February 26, 2014

Ken Buck Drops Senate Bid to Run for Cory Gardner’s Seat

With Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner vacating his 4th District seat to run for Senate, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck is dropping his Senate bid to vie for Gardner’s open seat.

The maneuver partially clears the primary field for Gardner, while giving Buck a better shot at coming to Congress. Buck won the GOP Senate nomination in 2010 before losing to Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.

“Ken has decided to step aside because Cory is in a potentially stronger position to pick up the seat,” Buck consultant Walt Klein told CQ Roll Call.

But, he added, “there’s no deal” between the two men to swap places on the ballot. Full story

February 10, 2014

Tea Party Express Endorses Colorado Senate Candidate

The Tea Party Express has endorsed state Sen. Owen Hill in his bid for the GOP nomination to take on Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in the fall.

“I have no doubt that Hill will join the new wave of conservative leaders in the Upper Chamber that have bucked the establishment of both parties to tackle America’s unsustainable debt, crippling taxes, and intrusive, big-government policies,” Tea Party Express Chairwoman Amy Kremer said in a statement.

The backing of the national tea party organization signals Hill’s potential conservative support in the competitive GOP primary, which will be held June 24. Still, none of the contenders so far appear to be giving Udall or national Democrats much of a scare, despite recent polling that indicates otherwise. Full story

December 11, 2013

Jane Norton Endorses in Colorado GOP Senate Primary

Jane Norton Endorses in Colorado GOP Senate Primary

Udall is seeking re-election in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One of the handful of Republicans looking to take on Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., has earned the endorsement of Jane Norton, who was heavily favored to win the GOP Senate nomination in 2010.

On Wednesday, state Rep. Amy Stephens announced that Norton has endorsed her over the rest of the Republican field, which includes 2010 Senate nominee Ken Buck. Full story

September 18, 2013

Recalls Haven’t Changed Colorado Senate Picture — Yet

Last week’s legislative recalls in Colorado, which boosted the spirits of Republicans across the state, are unlikely to alter the competitiveness of next year’s Senate race.

After a disappointing Senate loss in 2010 — and the gaffes that partly led to it — Ken Buck’s early position as the leading Republican in the primary field isn’t exactly striking fear in the hearts of Democrats. At this point, Democratic Sen. Mark Udall is heavily favored for re-election.

Republicans don’t need to win this race to take back Senate control, but putting it in play could at least force Democrats to spend money. As it stands now, that’s unlikely to happen.

“If it were coming up this November, I would guess not terribly competitive,” Colorado-based Republican consultant Katy Atkinson said of the race. “Ken Buck is going to have to tell people why he’s electable this year when he couldn’t get elected against Michael Bennet — with a Democrat candidate who was unknown, in a year that was pretty heavily favored Republican.” Full story

July 15, 2013

The Senate Majority Fight in Post-Schweitzer World

Senate Democrats’ inability so far to lure top-tier talent to run for their three most vulnerable open seats shifts the spotlight to recruits in its two most promising pickup opportunities — a relative term in this lopsided landscape.

Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s decision this weekend to eschew a Senate race came as an unexpected boon for the GOP’s hopes of netting the six seats necessary to win the Senate majority next year. Pulling off that feat would be an accomplishment for Republicans, even if they are waging war in friendly GOP territory.

But there is a realistic scenario that could force Democrats to rely on two first-time federal candidates in states where the party has enjoyed little success in recent years. If Montana moves off the competitive playing field and Republicans are also favored to pick up the open seats in West Virginia and South Dakota, the GOP would need to pick up just three more seats from their most promising targets in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana and North Carolina.
Full story

July 10, 2013

Senate Candidate Making Rounds in D.C. #COSEN

Senate Candidate Making Rounds in D.C. #COSEN

A new GOP challenger for Udall, above, is visiting Washington, D.C., today. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Randy Baumgardner, a Colorado state senator and rancher, is on Capitol Hill today meeting with various organizations as he gets set to formally kick off his campaign against Democratic Sen. Mark Udall on Friday.

Baumgardner, likely a long-shot candidate at this point, has not reached out to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and has no meetings scheduled there, according to a GOP source. But he was spotted on the other side of the Hill at the National Republican Congressional Committee headquarters. Full story

July 5, 2013

Second-Quarter Fundraising Roundup

Second quarter fundraising hauls trickled in all week and offer insight into the health of a handful of House and Senate campaigns.

The fundraising deadline was June 30. The reporting deadline is July 15. Here is what we know so far:

Senate

  • #TNSEN: Lamar Alexander raised around $2 million.
  • #IASEN: Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley raised $1.5 million and has $2 million in cash on hand, according to the The Des Moines Register.
  • #VASEN: Democratic Sen. Mark Warner raised $1.4 million and has $5.3 million in cash on hand, according to a press release.
  • #MNSEN: Republican finance executive Mike McFadden raised $700,000 in his first quarter, according to a press release. Of that, $10,400 came from individual contributions from him and his wife.
  • #COSEN: Sen. Mark Udall raised $1.3 million and has $3.4 million in cash on hand, according to the The Denver Post.
See the House numbers after the jump.

July 3, 2013

Ken Buck, Local Lawmakers Consider Senate Race #COSEN

Ken Buck, Local Lawmakers Consider Senate Race #COSEN

Buck is thinking about running for Senate again. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rocky Mountain State Republicans continue to struggle in their search for a challenger for Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., thanks to the fractious nature of the state’s party.

The field of potential candidates reflects a shallow GOP bench in a race that should pique the interest of any ambitious Colorado Republican. Since the start of the cycle, the field of potential candidates has evolved into a mix of young talent, old names, and middle-rank state legislators.

“There are a lot of viable candidates who wouldn’t scare the hell out of suburban women …who could actually win a general,” said lobbyist Mike Beasley, a former staffer to former Gov. Bill Owens, a Republican. “But a lot of them wouldn’t want to suffer through … what continues to be these weird, stranger and stranger primaries.”

May 29, 2013

Republicans Lose Top Senate Prospect in Colorado #COSEN

Republicans Lose Top Senate Prospect in Colorado #COSEN

Gardner will not run for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Rep. Cory Gardner decided against challenging Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., on Wednesday, according to The Denver Post.

Many Colorado Republicans viewed Gardner as their strongest potential candidate. But in recent months, he showed little evidence that he was gearing up for a Senate bid.

“I’ve got work to do, I’m not in a hurry to run for another office,” he told the paper. “I think the most important thing for people is to know now.” Full story

April 18, 2013

Money Reveals Some Members Aren’t Really Serious About Senate Bids (Yet)

Money Reveals Some Members Arent Really Serious About Senate Bids (Yet)

Rahall is still considering a Senate run. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If Reps. Steve King, Jeff Fortenberry and Nick J. Rahall II are serious about running for Senate, their campaign fundraising does not show it.

Several House members eyeing Senate bids posted meager numbers, according to Roll Call’s Senate fundraising chart for the first quarter.

In general, members raise major cash to show their political force if they are seriously weighing jumping into a Senate race. For example, Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., had raised $525,000 by the end of the first quarter this year, days before he announced he would challenge Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu.

(See which House candidates are on Roll Call’s retirement watch list thanks to their anemic fundraising).

Here are a few House candidates who haven’t taken their names out of the mix when it comes to potential Senate bids and who reported lackluster hauls:

Full story

April 15, 2013

Remainders: They Work Hard for the Money

Congressional candidates work hard for the money, and it shows in the first-quarter fundraising reports filed on Monday.

This quarter, seven figures marked the high bar for Senate campaign fundraising bragging rights — a large sum for hauls from this early in the cycle.

To be sure, the political fundraising market is different in every state (for example, it’s easier for incumbents to raise money in New Jersey than Alaska). But across the map, senators seeking re-election in 2014 — most of whom of are Democrats — raised big bucks.

Here’s a roundup of Monday’s fundraising announcements and filings: Full story

April 1, 2013

Colorado: Mark Udall Raises $1.5 Million in First Quarter of Cycle

Colorado: Mark Udall Raises $1.5 Million in First Quarter of Cycle

Udall had a strong first fundraising quarter (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., raised $1.5 million in the first quarter of 2013 and has $2.5 million in the bank to kick off his re-election campaign in 2014.

On paper, the re-election race should worry Senate Democrats: Colorado is a competitive state, and in recent cycles national parties have dumped millions into races there.

But Udall’s supporters list his strong fundraising as one of the reasons the first-term senator does not top this cycle’s list of the most competitive races. More importantly, Udall has yet to field a serious GOP challenger.

Full story

February 20, 2013

NRA Targets Democratic Senators Up in 2014 With Local Newspaper Ads

NRA Targets Democratic Senators Up in 2014 With Local Newspaper Ads

The National Rifle Association will target several senators up for re-election in 2014, including Pryor. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Rifle Association will launch a print advertising campaign targeting mostly Democratic senators up for re-election in 2014, according to sources close to the group.

On Thursday, full-page ads are scheduled to run in local newspapers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, North Carolina and West Virginia. They will be supplemented by digital advertising in these states and 10 others, including Alaska, Colorado, Montana, New Hampshire and South Dakota.

Additionally, the group has scheduled full-page ads to run Feb. 25 in regional editions of USA Today, reaching parts of 15 states.

The campaign is estimated to cost north of $375,000, sources said. Full story

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