Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 18, 2014

Posts in "Ill. Senate"

March 25, 2014

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

March 18, 2014

Democrats Count on Good News Out of Illinois Primaries

One week after a disappointing loss in the closely watched Florida special election, national Democrats expect brighter news from the top race to watch in Tuesday’s primaries in Illinois, where the party hopes to cut into Republicans’ House majority.

In one of Democrats’ top targeted districts in the country, Ann Callis is likely to prevail in the 13th District Democratic primary. That would set up a competitive race against freshman Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., in a swing district that stretches across the state.

Davis’ primary challenge from a former Miss America has received far more national press. But it’s Callis, a former Madison County judge and top recruit of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, who has had the bumpier ride to the nomination — and Republicans believe she will emerge weakened for the general.

Illinois is the second state to host primaries for the 2014 midterms. But among the various federal races on Tuesday, including the GOP primary to take on Democratic Sen. Richard J. Durbin, the 13th features nomination fights with the greatest impact on the general elections in November. 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

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

March 8, 2013

Illinois: Durbin Will Run for Re-Election

Illinois: Durbin Will Run for Re Election

Durbin is running for re-election in 2014. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin will seek a fourth term, a source close to the Illinois Democrat confirmed.

The Chicago Tribune reported the news Friday afternoon.

Durbin is the second-ranking Senate Democrat. He is actively involved in immigration reform negotiations and recently took the gavel of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.

This essentially keeps the seat in the Safe Democratic column. Had he not run, it might have been competitive, although Republicans have a relatively weak bench in the state.

November 28, 2012

Inside the 2014 Senate Races

Inside the 2014 Senate Races
Roll Call’s initial Senate ratings outlook projects a potentially bullish cycle for Republicans, with an opportunity to recapture the majority for the first time in eight years.

But that’s exactly how things looked two years before the 2012 elections, when Democrats surprised many with victories in Missouri and North Dakota on their way to picking up two seats. So the challenge for the GOP and incoming National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran of Kansas is to capitalize on their opportunities.

That and how voters feel about President Barack Obama in 2014 could determine how the parties fare at the ballot box less than two years from now. Democrats won their current majority in 2006, in the second midterm election under President George W. Bush.

Republicans are hoping Obama’s second midterm is similarly kind to them, if not equal to the president’s 2010 midterm shellacking, when the GOP won seven seats (and control of the House) despite beginning the cycle as the underdog.

Full story

November 13, 2012

Illinois: Walsh Floats Statewide Bid

Illinois: Walsh Floats Statewide Bid

Rep. Joe Walsh is considering his political future after he his lost re-election bid. (Tom Williams/Roll Call File Photo)

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.”

Full story

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