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

Posts in "Senate 2014"

April 17, 2014

Michelle Nunn Hits Bipartisan Tone in Georgia Senate Stump Speech

Michelle Nunn Hits Bipartisan Tone in Georgia Senate Stump Speech

Michelle Nunn leaves a campaign event in Shellman, Ga. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Michelle Nunn Hits Bipartisan Tone in Georgia Senate Stump SpeechSHELLMAN, Ga. — Michelle Nunn strolled along train tracks stretching past a depleted downtown lined with empty storefronts and toward a crowd of supporters hoping to meet the state’s next senator.

At a private home in the southwestern corner of the state, the first-time candidate greeted a bipartisan duo of state legislators, chatted up some 50 curious admirers and delivered a rhythmic 10-minute stump speech that was heavy on bipartisanship and light on an unpopular president.

“We have a real viable race here,” Nunn said.

How viable depends in part on which Republicans emerge from the May 20 primary and who is nominated in the July 22 runoff. That crowded race remains up in the air, with five Republicans capable of advancing. As a result, the contest to replace retiring GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss is stuck in idle until mid-summer, giving Nunn another three months to prepare for the general. Full story

April 16, 2014

Ted Cruz Endorses Candidate in Oklahoma Senate Race

 

Ted Cruz Endorses Candidate in Oklahoma Senate Race

Cruz is a Republican from Texas. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, endorsed former state Speaker T.W. Shannon in Oklahoma’s Senate special election, marking the latest tea party leader to back his candidacy in the Sooner State.

Shannon will face GOP Rep. James Lankford, as well as a handful of other lesser-known Republicans, in a June 24 special election primary. There is a special election because Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has announced he will vacate his Senate seat at the end of this Congress, two years before his term expires in 2016.

“T.W. Shannon is a strong Constitutional conservative who will fight for individual liberty and help turn our country around,” Cruz said in a Wednesday news release. “T.W. embodies the American dream. I’m proud to offer T.W. my enthusiastic endorsement because not only will he vote the right way, but he’ll stand up and fight with us in the Senate to stop President Obama’s assault on our liberties and defend America’s founding principles.”

A Low-Key Paul Broun Campaigns for Senate in Georgia

A Low Key Paul Broun Campaigns for Senate in Georgia

Broun speaks with supporter Jim Serrate, of Acworth, Ga., at the conclusion of the Cobb County Republican Women's Club candidate forum on Tuesday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A Low Key Paul Broun Campaigns for Senate in GeorgiaMARIETTA, Ga. — If one knew of Rep. Paul Broun only from a 90-minute Senate candidate forum Tuesday, it wouldn’t be obvious he is the cause of so much heartburn among Republican strategists from Capitol Hill to Atlanta — all hoping to hold the party’s most vulnerable open seat.

Broun, known widely for his controversial comments on evolution and other topics, sat stoic and expressionless on the dais as four other Georgia Republican hopefuls professed their conservative credentials. Each time the moderator called on him, Broun took a slow, deep breath before calmly — though sometimes haltingly — laying out his views and record on a range of issues.

That included his bill to prohibit “amnesty” in any comprehensive immigration overhaul, his bills to repeal the Affordable Care Act and his staunch support of the Second Amendment. All are firmly conservative positions, but his answers lacked any hint of the rhetoric that has some party insiders concerned his nomination would put in jeopardy a seat the party must hold for any hope of winning the Senate majority. Full story

April 11, 2014

First Karen Handel TV Ad Features Sarah Palin

Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, one of about a half-dozen Republicans running in the Peach State’s open Senate contest, will hit the airwaves Monday with a new ad that prominently features former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

The 30-second ad, which is narrated with audio from the April event where Palin endorsed Handel, will air statewide on cable and broadcast, according to Handel’s campaign.

“You know her background, you know her record, the conservative who has walked the walk cutting budgets,” Palin says of Handel in the ad.

Full story

April 9, 2014

Jack Kingston Raised $1.1 Million in 1st Quarter

Jack Kingston Raised $1.1 Million in 1st Quarter

Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., is one of a handful of Republicans seeking the state's open Senate seat. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston, one of a handful of Republicans vying for the state’s open Senate seat, raised $1.1 million in the first fundraising quarter of 2014, according to figures provided first to CQ Roll Call.

Kingston’s quarterly haul stemmed in part from 45 fundraisers and meet-and-greets held from January through March, the campaign said, and 89 percent of the total haul were from within the Peach State. Kingston ended March with $2.1 million in cash on hand.

“The generosity of so many both in volunteer hours and financial support has been overwhelming,” Kingston said in a statement. “Libby and I cannot thank everyone enough for their dedication to our campaign. Together we can retake the Senate and restore the American Dream.” Full story

DSCC Outraised NRSC in March

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee outraised its Republican counterpart in March, ending the month with more than $22 million in cash on hand for the competitive midterms.

Both the DSCC and the National Republican Senatorial Committee said they posted their best fundraising months of the cycle in March. The DSCC announced Wednesday it raised $8.1 million last month, bringing its total raised for the cycle to more than $74 million — $21 million more than the NRSC. The DSCC paid off its remaining debt from 2012 last month.

The NRSC announced Tuesday that it brought in $6.4 million and ended March with $15.9 million in cash on hand. It paid off its debt last year. Full story

April 8, 2014

NRSC Raised $6.4 Million in March for Elections

NRSC Raised $6.4 Million in March for Elections

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, is encouraged by the NRSC's March fundraising. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Senatorial Committee announced Tuesday it raised nearly $6.4 million in March — its best fundraising month of the midterm cycle so far.

The monthly total boosted the NRSC’s fundraising in the first quarter of 2014 to more than $16.4 million. It ended March with about $15.9 million in cash on hand and no debt. Full story

April 7, 2014

Kay Hagan Raised $2.8 Million for Re-Election in 2014

Kay Hagan Raised $2.8 Million for Re Election in 2014

Kay Hagan raised $2.8 million in the first quarter. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan raised $2.8 million in the first quarter — an impressive sum for the top target of outside spending in the 2014 midterms.

The first-term Democrat ended March with $8.3 million in cash on hand, according to the Hagan campaign. That’s far more than any of her potential Republican opponents are likely to report, though she’s already the target of millions of dollars worth of ads from Americans for Prosperity.

“Kay’s strong fundraising total for the first quarter shows the excitement and momentum behind her campaign,” Hagan spokeswoman Sadie Weiner said. “These funds will ensure the campaign can reach voters in every corner of the state to talk about Kay’s record of putting North Carolina first.” Full story

Multiple Outside Groups Launch Ads in Mississippi Senate Primary (Updated)

Updated 3:10 p.m. | Two big-spending outside groups launched TV ads Monday benefiting the Republican primary opponent to Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran.

Club for Growth Action launched a six-figure ad buy targeting Cochran’s record, as Senate Conservatives Action released a positive spot on behalf of state Sen. Chris McDaniel.

The six-term Republican is the only senator being challenged this cycle by the political action arm of the Club for Growth, which along with the Senate Conservatives Fund endorsed McDaniel in October. The Senate Conservatives Fund and its political action arm are backing two other primary challengers to GOP incumbents.

Cochran and McDaniel will face off in two months in the June 3 primary. The multiple ads aim to chip away at Cochran’s support, while also increasing McDaniel’s name I.D. Full story

April 3, 2014

Westmoreland: Perdue ‘High School Graduate’ Comments ‘Stupid’

Westmoreland: Perdue High School Graduate Comments Stupid

Westmoreland weighs in to Senate primary spat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland on Thursday knocked down Georgia Senate candidate David Perdue’s assertion that his opponent is not qualified to run for the Senate because she does not have a college education.

Westmoreland, who himself never graduated from college, said Perdue’s comments about former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel are “stupid.” He is a five-term Georgia Republican and has yet to endorse a candidate in the race, which includes three of his House colleagues, Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston. He noted that Perdue’s comment is unlikely to affect his choice.

Westmoreland: Perdue High School Graduate Comments Stupid

Full story

Heitkamp Heads to West Virginia for Tennant Campaign

Heitkamp Heads to West Virginia for Tennant Campaign

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who pulled off one of the most unlikely upsets of the 2012 cycle, is heading to West Virginia for the next two days to help a fellow Democratic underdog.

Heitkamp will headline three fundraisers in Morgantown and Charleston on Friday and Saturday for West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, a Democrat trying to hold one of the party’s most vulnerable open seats. The freshman senator will also join Tennant in meetings with young Democrats and state energy leaders, according to the campaign.

In an interview with CQ Roll Call, Heitkamp said she sees similarities between her own race against Rep. Rick Berg and Tennant’s uphill bid against GOP Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, starting with the voters in both states wanting to know and see their representatives.

“It is very personal, it is very retail. That’s really how I won,” Heitkamp said. “I just got out there and met as many people as I could meet. I told them I was for North Dakota, first and foremost, and it’s always the way it’s going to be. I think it’s how I governed or legislated since I’ve been here, and I think that’s a very strong similarity between West Virginia and North Dakota politics.” Full story

April 2, 2014

Democratic Senate Candidate: McCutcheon ‘Worst Ruling Since Dred Scott’

Former Capitol Hill staffer Rick Weiland is running for Senate in South Dakota, and he was among the Democrats upset with the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on campaign finance.

The Supreme Court struck down aggregate contribution limits in a Wednesday ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.

“Today’s decision of the United States Supreme Court to strike down any real limit on the purchase of our democracy by big money may be the worst decision made by any Supreme Court since the Dred Scott case reaffirmed slavery in 1857,” he wrote in a fundraising missive to supporters.

Really? Full story

April 1, 2014

Thad Cochran’s Fourth TV Ad Touts Record, Endorsements

Thad Cochrans Fourth TV Ad Touts Record, Endorsements

Cochran will seek re-election in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ-Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Sen. Thad Cochran launched a new TV ad Tuesday touting both a conservative record and a history of “standing up for Mississippi.”

It’s the fourth ad in the past month from the six-term incumbent, who faces his toughest race in 30 years from a tea party-backed primary challenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel. This is arguably the most competitive primary any Senate Republican is facing this cycle.

The new ad, which is running statewide, attempts to undercut the attack line by McDaniel — and the conservative outside groups supporting him — that Cochran’s track record over 35 years is not conservative enough. The primary is June 3. Full story

March 31, 2014

Obama Endorses in Competitive Hawaii Senate Primary

Obama Endorses in Competitive Hawaii Senate Primary

Schatz faces a primary in August. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama has endorsed Sen. Brian Schatz in Hawaii — a move that could help the appointed senator in a competitive Democratic primary in the Aloha State later this year.

“I have worked with Senator Schatz on the issues that matter to Hawaii. Brian’s deep commitment to the people of Hawaii and his effective leadership are why I believe it is important to return him to the Senate,” Obama said in a Monday news release. “Senator Schatz is protecting Hawaii’s values and fighting every day on behalf of middle-class families.” Full story

March 30, 2014

The 7 Stock Photos in Mike Rounds’ South Dakota Ad — Including One From Paris

The 7 Stock Photos in Mike Rounds South Dakota Ad — Including One From Paris

A screengrab from the Rounds ad, which featured stock photos.

Updated 6:00 p.m. | In a 60-second, introductory Senate campaign ad released last week, former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds touts his state’s economy and quality of life — but it’s unclear if any of the people featured in the Republican’s ad are actually from the Mount Rushmore State.

“We’ve done it right around here, and Washington can learn a lot from the people of South Dakota,” Rounds says in the spot.

But each of the photos in the ad are available for purchase on stock photo sites like Getty and Shutterstock. That includes, in order of appearance, the roofer, the father and son fishing, the three people at the meeting, the playful family, the guy checking the boxes, the woman at the meeting, and the father and son washing their car.

At least one was definitely not photographed in South Dakota. The “woman at the meeting” photo was taken at the Getty Images office in Paris, the England-based photographer who shot it confirmed in an email to CQ-Roll Call.

Full story

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