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April 18, 2014

Posts in "Iowa Senate"

March 28, 2014

Bruce Braley’s Farmer Insult Hits Airwaves in New TV Ad

Energy Executive Mark Jacobs, an emerging candidate in a crowded GOP field for Iowa’s open Senate seat, debuted a new ad Friday attacking the de facto Democratic nominee, Rep. Bruce Braley, for recent comments he made about Iowa’s senior senator, Republican Charles E. Grassley.

The 30-second spot features Braley’s comments, which were taped at a fundraiser earlier this year in Texas. At that event, Braley said if Republicans win the Senate, “a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law,” would take the gavel on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The ad will air on cable in eastern Iowa, according to Jacobs’ campaign.

Full story

March 26, 2014

Braley’s Opponent? Two Seem Most Likely From Crowded Field

Braleys Opponent? Two Seem Most Likely From Crowded Field

Iowa Democratic Senate hopeful Rep. Bruce Braley doesn't know yet which Republican candidate he'll be facing in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Residing outside of the competitive Senate landscape’s top tier most of this election cycle, Iowa Republicans believe they are finally gaining some momentum for the state’s open seat, particularly by avoiding a nominating convention.

The release Tuesday of a video taken of Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley’s remarks at a Texas fundraiser was just the cherry on top of an already renewed sense of optimism among Republicans that the party will put up a competitive nominee. Several things still need to go the GOP’s way for success in November, but Republican insiders in the state see positive signs.

Along with President Barack Obama’s approval ratings in the Hawkeye State falling to 36 percent in a Des Moines Register poll taken last month, the crowded and unproven Republican primary field is beginning to shake out, and the party’s chances of nominating a candidate in the primary — and dodging a potentially debilitating convention — are improving.

“I think the notion of a convention choosing our Senate nominee gets more remote by the day,” said one veteran Iowa Republican operative without ties to any of the campaigns. 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

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

March 5, 2014

Mitt Romney Endorses Candidate in Iowa Senate Race

Mitt Romney Endorses Candidate in Iowa Senate Race

Romney has endorsed a candidate for Senate in Iowa. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Wednesday endorsed state Sen. Joni Ernst in the crowded Republican primary in Iowa’s open Senate seat.

“It is going to take an incredibly strong Republican to defeat the Democrats as they look to defend this open seat that has been in their control for over three decades. Thankfully, Iowa Republicans have such a candidate in Joni Ernst,” Romney said in a mailer endorsing Ernst, according to the Des Moines Register. Full story

November 12, 2013

Iowa’s GOP Senate Field Grows Again

Iowa Businessman Mark Jacobs will enter the open-seat Iowa Senate race next week, according to a local news outlet, making him the seventh Republican to join a crowded GOP field.

Jacobs, who has been exploring a bid for the seat since June, will make the announcement Nov. 19 at a series of events across the state.

Full story

October 10, 2013

Wednesday Fundraising Roundup

Fundraising may not exactly be en vogue during the government shutdown, but releasing and filing last quarter’s numbers is.

Here is the latest in House and Senate third-quarter fundraising:

Senate:

  • #GASEN: Republican businessman David Perdue invested $1 million in his Senate campaign. He will report $1.8 million raised and $1.3 million in cash on hand.
  • #MNSEN: Republican finance executive Mike McFadden, challenger to Sen. Al Franken, will report $700,000 raised and $1.2 million in cash on hand.
  • #IASEN: Republican Joni Ernst raised $252,000, according to The Des Moines Register.

House:

Full story

September 20, 2013

Iowa Senate Hopeful Prepares for All Scenarios (Video) | #IASEN

The candidate: Republican David Young, former chief of staff to Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa
The member: Young is running against five other Republicans in a GOP primary to replace retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.
The state: This is the first open Senate seat in the Hawkeye State since 1974, and it has drawn a host of interest from Republican candidates hoping to flip the seat into the GOP category. On the Democratic side, Rep. Bruce Braley is the likely nominee as the only candidate thus far running in the Democratic primary.
The candidate’s team: The Tarrance Group (polling), Smart Media Group (media), Heather Swift (communications), Zach Lahn (campaign manager).

Full story

September 13, 2013

Iowa GOP Chairman Takes Heat for Changing Convention Date | #IASEN

Iowa GOP Chairman Takes Heat for Changing Convention Date | #IASEN

Grassley is frustrated with his party's rescheduled nominating convention. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Some Iowa Republicans are frustrated with their state party chairman, A.J. Spiker, for changing the GOP’s nominating convention date — and at least one top local operative has called for his resignation.

By pushing back the party’s nominating convention by a month, Democrats will have an advantage in a rare open Senate race, Republicans argue. Spiker has called a Sept. 23 meeting for the state central committee to address the convention date, according to The Iowa Republican blog. CQ Roll Call confirmed the meeting.

In Iowa, candidates must receive 35 percent of the vote in a primary or delegates decide the nominee in an unpredictable convention process. (Read Roll Call’s primer on the situation here.) At least six Republicans have announced bids to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, almost ensuring a nomination convention will be held in the Hawkeye State for the first time since 2002.

Full story

August 20, 2013

Braley Hires Top Operative as Senate Race Campaign Manager | #IASEN

Braley Hires Top Operative as Senate Race Campaign Manager | #IASEN

Braley is the front-runner for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With a Senate victory already under her belt this cycle, top Democratic operative Sarah Benzing is headed home to Iowa to manage the Senate campaign of Rep. Bruce Braley.

Most recently, Benzing led Edward J. Markey’s victorious campaign in the June special election for Senate in Massachusetts. But she’s worked for Braley before as campaign manager on his first election to Congress seven years ago and later as his chief of staff. She will officially rejoin Braley on Sept. 3 for his campaign for the competitive open-seat race in 2014, according to a news release obtained by CQ Roll Call.

“Sarah Benzing is the best campaign manager in the country, period,” Braley said in a statement. “I’m so proud to have her return to lead my campaign team.” Full story

July 25, 2013

Matt Whitaker on Football, Geography and Bear’s | The Candidate #IASEN

Matt Whitaker on Football, Geography and Bears | The Candidate #IASEN

Whitaker will run for Senate. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Every year, scores of congressional candidates visit the CQ Roll Call offices to meet with reporters and Contributing Editor Stuart Rothenberg. This feature, “The Candidate,” will ask these congressional hopefuls five questions about their campaigns. Responses and questions have been edited and condensed.

The candidate: Former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker, a Republican
The member: Retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa
The state: This will be Iowa’s first open-seat Senate race since 1974. The state is a perennial battleground.
The candidate’s team: Jeff Roe of Axiom Strategies (general consultant), Terry Nelson of FP1 Strategies (media), Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research (pollster), Jeff Livingston (finance).

1. You’re one of several candidates vying for the nomination. How can you distinguish yourself in such a crowded primary?

I think there’s two things that are going to help us in this campaign. One is that I’m a full-spectrum conservative that appeals to a broad section of Republican primary voters. At the same time, we have geography in both central and eastern Iowa, which I have spent a lot of time in. So stances on issues, along with geography, are what make me a competitive candidate. 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

Republican Joins Crowded Senate Primary #IASEN

State Sen. Joni Ernst appears set to join the crowded GOP primary field for the Senate seat in Iowa.

On Wednesday, a campaign website set up for Ernst went public ahead of a formal announcement. First reported by the Des Moines Register, Ernst says on the site, “Washington has failed us. We need and deserve better leadership. And that’s why I am running for U.S. Senate.”

Reached by phone, Ernst told CQ Roll Call she had no comment at this time but might have one “later next week.” Meanwhile, media consultant Todd Harris tweeted that he has joined her team.

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.

June 10, 2013

Matt Whitaker Announces Senate Campaign Team #IASEN | Shop Talk

Republican Matt Whitaker has a full campaign team in place after officially launching his bid for the open Senate seat in Iowa last week.

The list, shared first with CQ Roll Call, includes a bevy of veteran national and Hawkeye State consultants and operatives to help the former U.S. attorney win what will be a competitive Republican nomination fight and capture a Democratic-held Senate seat.

His team includes: Full story

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