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September 22, 2014

Posts in "Senate 2014"

March 18, 2014

Outside Group’s Poll Shows Tightening Oklahoma Senate Primary

The special-election primary to replace resigning Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn is tightening after an advertising blitz benefiting Republican state Speaker T.W. Shannon.

A poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies on behalf of Oklahomans for a Conservative Future, an outside group backing Shannon, found the state speaker cutting into the early GOP primary lead of Rep. James Lankford. Lankford, who is the favorite to fill the remaining two years of Coburn’s term, led with 37 percent, followed by Shannon with 28 percent and former state Sen. Randy Brogdon with 7 percent.

A half dozen candidates are running to replace Coburn, a favorite among conservatives, who is stepping down at the end of the year. The special is following the state’s regular election schedule: If no candidate receives a majority of support in the June 24 primary, the top two finishers will face off in an Aug. 26 runoff and the winner will move on to November. Full story

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

March 17, 2014

Shane Osborn Up With First Nebraska Senate TV Ad

Former Nebraska Treasurer Shane Osborn, who is running in a competitive GOP Senate primary, launched his first TV ad Monday.

With less than two months to go before the May 13 primary, Osborn is running a biographical ad that reaches back to an international incident he was involved in as a Naval aviator. It will be a two-week, $80,000 buy, according to an Osborn source, but Nebraska is a relatively cheap media market and Osborn’s advertising is expected to increase.

Osborn is one of several veterans who are using their military biographies to make their case for public office.

Full story

March 14, 2014

Scott Brown Announces Preparations for Senate Bid

Scott Brown Announces Preparations for Senate Bid

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Sen. Scott P. Brown, R-Mass., announced Friday he is preparing to run for Senate in New Hampshire, kicking off a nearly unprecedented bid to represent a second state in the Senate.

Brown’s decision, unveiled in a speech at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua, N.H., comes 16 months after he was defeated for re-election in the neighboring Bay State by Democrat Elizabeth Warren.

If he wins the Sept. 9 GOP primary and can defeat Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Brown would become just the third person in history — and first since the 1870s — to have represented more than one state in the Senate, according to the Senate Historical Office.

“Starting tomorrow morning, and for the next several weeks, Gail and I will be traveling around the state to introduce ourselves, to ask questions, to speak with everyone of every background — Republicans, independents and Democrats alike — and above all to listen to them and learn of their concerns,” Brown said, according to his prepared remarks. Full story

Fox Terminates Scott Brown’s Contract Ahead of Senate Announcement

Fox Terminates Scott Browns Contract Ahead of Senate Announcement

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Fox News has terminated its contract with former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., ahead of his expected move toward a Senate bid, the network announced Friday.

“Scott Brown’s contributor agreement was officially terminated today once he notified FOX News of his intention to form an exploratory committee to run for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire,” Bill Shine, the network’s executive vice president of programming, said in a statement.

Brown is scheduled to deliver a speech at 4:30 p.m. today in Nashua at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference, where he may for the first time confirm he is moving closer to launching a Senate campaign in New Hampshire. The Associated Press reported Thursday that Brown has begun reaching out to potential campaign staff and would announce the formation of an exploratory committee as early as today. Full story

March 12, 2014

Club for Growth PAC Backs GOP Candidate in Alaska

Club for Growth PAC Backs GOP Candidate in Alaska

Chocola is the president of the Club for Growth. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Club for Growth’s political action arm announced Wednesday that it is supporting Dan Sullivan in the Republican Senate primary in Alaska.

Sullivan, a former state attorney general and Natural Resources commissioner, is one of three Republicans vying for the nomination to take on Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, a top target of national Republicans.

In recent cycles, the club sometimes backed primary challengers to GOP incumbents and upstarts whom national Republicans do not always view as the best candidate for the race. But that’s not the case here.

Full story

March 7, 2014

Cochran Upbeat About Primary Fight, Not Running Scared

Cochran Upbeat About Primary Fight, Not Running Scared

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran was upbeat this week that he will prevail over his tea-party-backed Republican primary challenger when voters go to the polls in June.

“I’m very pleased. I’m enjoying getting around the state and visiting with friends and supporters,” Cochran said in a brief interview. “We’re making good progress, I think, in our campaign. We have more candidates than we’ve had in a Senate race I think since my first race for Congress in 1972 — independents, a Democrat or two and a Republican or two.”

Cochran and his supporters, including a super PAC, are making the case about the importance of the clout of the longtime GOP senator. A recent super PAC ad specifically highlighted Cochran’s work to bring federal funds to rebuild the ravaged Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, dinging challenger state Sen. Chris McDaniel for his comments on the aid question.

Full story

Tea Party Senate Candidates Descend on CPAC

Tea Party Senate Candidates Descend on CPAC

Maness is running for Senate in Louisiana. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Much of the attention surrounding the Conservative Political Action Conference is understandably focused on the plethora of Republicans here who may be running for president at this time next year.

But, mostly offstage and behind the scenes, a handful of tea-party-backed Senate candidates — each running uphill against better-funded Republicans — are here among the thousands of conservative activists. They’re shaking hands, meeting potential supporters and raising some money.

They include Matt Bevin of Kentucky and Milton Wolf of Kansas, each waging primary challenges to Republican senators. Also in attendance are lesser-known hopefuls Rob Maness of Louisiana, Greg Brannon of North Carolina and David Clements of New Mexico, plus Joe Miller of Alaska, who are fighting for their party’s nomination to take on Democratic senators.

Kentucky, Louisiana, Alaska and North Carolina are on the front lines of the battle for Senate control. Republicans need to pick up a net six seats to win the majority.

“It’s a good opportunity in one centralized location to meet as many people as possible, and get your name and face in front of them,” said Maness, a retired Air Force colonel who is battling GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy and Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu in Louisiana’s jungle primary. Full story

Rand Paul Headlining CPAC Fundraiser for N.C. Senate Hopeful

Rand Paul Headlining CPAC Fundraiser for N.C. Senate Hopeful

Paul will make time for a fundraiser for a Senate hopeful while at CPAC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is headlining a fundraiser Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference for a tea-party-backed Senate candidate in North Carolina.

Greg Brannon, a physician, is one of a handful of Republicans hoping to take on Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, who is a top GOP target in her bid for a second term. Brannon has collected the endorsements of Paul and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, though state Speaker Thom Tillis is the GOP front-runner.

Paul will follow up his mid-afternoon address at CPAC by appearing with Brannon at a McCormick & Schmick’s near where the conference is being held. Tickets to the event cost up to $500, according to the online invitation. Full story

A Campaign’s Favorite Spokesperson: the Daughter

A candidate recently aimed to make a positive impression on voters by starring his female offspring in a TV ad.

It happens nearly every cycle — and it did again last week, with a new Senate campaign spot from Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont.

His two daughters, Annie and Caroline, told voters all about the positive points of his biography, highlighting the fact that he is a “fifth-generation Montanan.”

Full story

March 6, 2014

McConnell Dodges Criticism From Both Sides With Vote on Gillibrand Bill

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., made what appeared to be a politically savvy move Thursday, voting to advance a measure from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., to remove the prosecution of serious crime, including sexual assault, from the military chain of command.

McConnell was one of 11 Republicans to vote to break a filibuster of the bill, which had the support of conservative firebrands Rand Paul, also of Kentucky, and Ted Cruz. Though the measure failed to receive the 60 votes necessary to proceed, McConnell’s vote could potentially inoculate him from attacks on both his left and right flank.

McConnell, who has the endorsement of Paul, has been careful this Congress especially to vote with the junior senator on as many measures as possible. The veteran Kentucky lawmaker is facing a challenge from conservative Matt Bevin, who likely would have attacked McConnell for breaking with Paul and Cruz.

Full story

Condoleezza Rice Headlines McConnell Fundraiser at Rupp Arena

Condoleezza Rice Headlines McConnell Fundraiser at Rupp Arena

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is headlining a fundraiser in Lexington, Ky., Thursday for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a spokesperson for the campaign confirmed.

The event, which will also feature McConnell’s wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, is scheduled to be held in the locker room at Rupp Arena, where the University of Kentucky plays basketball.

Full story

McConnell Vows Conservative Agenda if He’s Senate Leader

McConnell Vows Conservative Agenda if Hes Senate Leader

McConnell brandishes a musket on stage during the speech. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell promised a ballroom full of activists Thursday that he would fight “tooth and nail” for a conservative agenda if he takes the helm of a Republican majority next year.

That, of course, will require Republicans to pick up six Senate seats in November and McConnell to win his own re-election in Kentucky. The five-term incumbent faces a GOP primary challenger who regularly attacks him as an insufficient conservative leader.

McConnell walked on stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference to applause, thanks in part to a large rifle he held over his head before handing it to conservative icon Tom Coburn, who is resigning from his Oklahoma Senate seat at the end of the year. He went on to blast President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid before laying out how the Senate would be run under his leadership. Full story

March 5, 2014

Vote on Controversial Nominee Exposes Political Risk of Nuclear Option

Vote on Controversial Nominee Exposes Political Risk of Nuclear Option

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Likely fearful of attack ads, seven Senate Democrats joined Republicans on Wednesday to block the nomination of Debo P. Adegbile to be the next assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

Three of those Democrats — Chris Coons of Delaware, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and John Walsh of Montana — are on the ballot this fall. The others either had regional ties to the controversy dogging Adegbile or are from red states. Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa. voted against cloture, as did Democrats Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia.

Full story

Obama Headlines DSCC Fundraiser

President Barack Obama addressed a group of donors Tuesday night at a fundraiser for Senate Democrats, who are hoping to maintain their majority in the upcoming midterm elections.

The Democrats gathered at the home of former Sen. Chuck Robb and Lynda Robb in McLean, Va.  Sen. Michael Bennet, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Virginia Democratic Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner attended the event, where tickets ranged from $10,000 to $32,400, a DSCC official said.

According to a transcript of his remarks, Obama stressed the importance of the midterm elections, pledging to “spend a lot of time and energy” supporting Democratic candidates. The president said Democrats must passionately support their candidates, especially since midterm elections typically have lower voter turnout rates.

Referring to the 2010 midterms, when Democrats lost their House majority and a half-dozen Senate seats, Obama said, “We paid a dear price for not paying enough attention to these midterm elections. We cannot repeat the same mistake this year.” Full story

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