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October 24, 2014

Posts in "Senate 2014"

May 8, 2014

Alison Lundergan Grimes Launches First TV Ad

Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democrat challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, launched her first TV ad of the cycle on Thursday.

The 30-second spot, backed by a six-figure buy and running statewide, highlights the Kentucky secretary of State’s efforts to improve voting procedures for the state’s overseas military servicemembers. Full story

May 7, 2014

New Senate TV Ad Pokes Fun At Crying Babies

New Senate TV Ad Pokes Fun At Crying Babies

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., has debuted a new ad making fun of a spot from his Senate primary foe, businessman David Perdue, that portrays members of Congress as a pack of crying babies.

In Perdue’s ad, four crying babies wear shirts bearing the names of his four major opponents in the Senate race.

Gingrey, an OB-GYN, begins his own ad with a clip of Perdue’s ad, showing a baby meant to represent Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., and a baby meant to represent Karen Handel, the former Georgia secretary of State.

In the spot, Gingrey dismisses the spot as too “clever” by half.

“You deserve better than politics as usual,” he says, speaking to the camera. “Having delivered over 5,200 babies, I understand, when it’s time, it’s time. And the time to stop Obama is now.”

Full story

Before Hagan, Tillis First Must Weather General Assembly Session

Before Hagan, Tillis First Must Weather General Assembly Session

Tillis is challenging Hagan in a top Senate race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Thom Tillis triumphed Tuesday in a crowded Republican primary field for the right to challenge Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., in November, but it’s not full steam ahead just yet.

Before the North Carolina state speaker can fully focus his sights on Hagan in one of Republicans’ best pickup opportunities, Tillis must first survive the legislative session, where policymaking can produce potential pitfalls for any candidate for higher office.

Tillis has said he will not relinquish his position to pursue his Senate campaign, so the speaker will preside when the General Assembly comes back into session on May 14. It will be a short session — it should last just a few weeks, or as long as it takes to tweak the budget passed last year and deal with a couple of financial issues. But Democrats will undoubtedly target Tillis for anything that comes out of it and his focus won’t be solely on winning the Senate seat.

The General Assembly “needs to get in and get out,” North Carolina Republican operative Dallas Woodhouse said.

“Every day they are there is a day that [Tillis] is not on the campaign trail, is a day that it is hard for him to raise money,” Woodhouse continued. “So every day that they are there is a lost day for Tillis.” Full story

DNC Chairwoman: Benghazi Committee ‘Political Ploy’

DNC Chairwoman: Benghazi Committee Political Ploy

Wasserman Schultz is a Democrat from Florida. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Wednesday accused House Republicans of creating a select investigative committee on the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, solely to motivate their base to turn out in the November midterm elections.

“Let’s call this what it is — it is nothing more than a political ploy because continuing to focus obsessively on repealing the Affordable Care Act has lost its luster, even among their own party members,” the Florida lawmaker said at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. Full story

May 6, 2014

Thom Tillis Wins GOP Nomination Outright in North Carolina Senate Race

Thom Tillis Wins GOP Nomination Outright in North Carolina Senate Race

Tillis is the GOP's nominee in North Carolina. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis scored a major victory on Tuesday night, when he won the GOP primary outright to become his party’s nominee to challenge Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C.

Tillis garnered 46 percent of the vote when The Associated Press called the race for him around 9:20 p.m. He defeated Greg Brannon, an obstetrician aligned with the tea party who had support from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who finished with 27 percent of the vote, and Mark Harris, a pastor, who had focused his appeal on social conservatism and was backed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who had 17 percent of the vote.

The Republican needed at least 40 percent of the vote to avoid a late-summer runoff against one of his opponents.

Hagan is considered one of the cycle’s most vulnerable incumbents and a top target for Republicans in their quest to take back the Senate. Full story

Super PAC Uses Candidate’s Kids to Attack His Campaign

A Super PAC released a new advertisement attacking Republican Ben Sasse for trying to “hide behind” his children, one week before the Senate GOP primary in Nebraska.

The 15-second ad, posted to YouTube on Tuesday, which says it is paid for by the Freedom Pioneers Action Network, takes footage from an ad run by Sasse, in which his two daughters talk about how conservative their father is and how much he dislikes Obamacare.

“Fact: Ben Sasse said Obamacare ‘is an important first step,’ ” says a female narrator, pointing to a quote that has been repeatedly leveled against Sasse, which he says was taken entirely out of context.

Full story

McConnell Touts Jobs Record in Latest TV Ad

McConnell Touts Jobs Record in Latest TV Ad

McConnell is favored to win the May 20 GOP primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell released a second television ad in as many weeks ahead of his GOP primary in Kentucky.

The latest statewide TV ad works to stem any damage caused by McConnell’s recent comment to the Beattyville Enterprise that bringing jobs to Kentucky his not his job. Titled “Hero,” the ad lays out specific instances where McConnell “helped save” Kentucky jobs.

Full story

6 Things to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries

6 Things to Watch in Tuesdays Primaries

Tillis and his wife Susan knock on doors in an upscale Huntersville, N.C., neighborhood north of Charlotte, the evening before the primary election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Primary voters head to the polls Tuesday in North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio, marking the first contests in a long series of contentious Republican battles over the next month.

In North Carolina, state Speaker Thom Tillis, Dr. Greg Brannon, and Pastor Mark Harris are vying for the GOP nomination to challenge Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., in a marquee race that will help determine which party controls the Senate next year.

Further down the ballot, an American Idol runner-up hopes he’ll have better luck in a Tar Heel State House race and longtime Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., will try to avoid becoming the first incumbent to lose a primary this cycle. In Ohio, a spirited challenger — perhaps best known for parodying a Cialis commercial in his bid — will attempt to unseat Speaker John A. Boehner.

In North Carolina, the contests could drag out for months. Primaries for Senate, the 6th and 12th Districts might continue to a runoff on July 15 if no candidate receives at least 40 percent of the vote.

Here are six things to watch in those races and others on Tuesday: Full story

May 5, 2014

Cavalry Comes to Save Senate Candidates in North Carolina

Cavalry Comes to Save Senate Candidates in North Carolina

Tillis makes a few phone calls to voters along with with phone bank volunteers at the Tillis for US Senate Campaign Headquarters in Cornelius, N.C., on Sunday, May 4, 2014, two days before North Carolina's primary election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call Photo)

Less than 24 hours before polls open in North Carolina on Tuesday, high-profile reinforcements are sending support in the state’s competitive primary for Senate.

On Monday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney endorsed the primary’s front-runner, North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis.

Tillis must receive more than 40 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff this summer, and national Republicans are helping him get his best shot at ousting the incumbent, Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., in November. If there’s a runoff, Tillis will have to spend two months battling the second place finisher in the primary — either Dr. Greg Brannon or Mark Harris, a pastor — instead of being able to focus on Hagan.

“Tomorrow is the first step in regaining a majority in the US Senate,” Romney wrote in an email blasted out by the Tillis campaign. “I hope Thom and I can count on your vote tomorrow in this critical primary!” Full story

May 2, 2014

Senator Encourages Hillary Clinton to Run in 2016

Senator Encourages Hillary Clinton to Run in 2016

Kaine is a Democrat from Virginia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia will join the growing chorus of Democrats encouraging former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to run for president in 2016, according to remarks Kaine is scheduled to give Saturday at a South Carolina event and obtained by CQ-Roll Call. 

Kaine joins Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., other elected officials and party operatives, who support the Ready for Hillary operation — a super PAC building a campaign infrastructure if Clinton decides to run in 2016. The super PAC is not affiliated with Clinton.

Full story

Veterans Blast Shane Osborn on TV in Senate Race

Updated 4:56 p.m. | The 60 Plus Association has debuted a new ad in the Nebraska Senate race that features veterans attacking former state Treasurer Shane Osborn as dishonest and deceitful.

Osborn, who served in the Navy, faces Midland University President Ben Sasse and banker Sid Dinsdale in a competitive Republican primary for Senate.

The group airing the spot, 60 Plus, is backing Sasse in the May 13 primary.

In the script for the ad, published first by Roll Call, three retired Nebraska veterans, Col. Kevin L. Neuman, who served in the Army; Capt. Danny Mason, who served in the Navy; and Brig. Gen. Carl Lorenzen, who served in the Air Force, say they cannot vote for Osborn because they feel he has been dishonest in his behavior since his military service. Full story

May 1, 2014

2016 Prospects Wage Proxy Battle in North Carolina Senate Race

2016 Prospects Wage Proxy Battle in North Carolina Senate Race

Paul is a potential presidential candidate in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A trio of Republican presidential prospects is facing off in North Carolina by throwing their weight behind the top three contenders in the state’s high-stakes GOP primary for Senate.

Most recently, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush endorsed the frontrunner, state Speaker Thom Tillis, on Thursday.

“I am confident that the road to a majority runs through Thom Tillis in North Carolina,” Bush wrote in an email to Tillis supporters.

A candidate must get 40 percent of the vote  in Tuesday’s primary to avoid a July runoff in the Tar Heel State. The winner will face Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., in one of the most competitive Senate races of the cycle.  Full story

April 30, 2014

Congressman’s Children Tout His Cheapness

The children of Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., highlight their father’s frugality in the Senate candidate’s newest television spot.

“Our dad is Jack Kingston,” says his daughter Betsy in the ad, sitting on a couch with her three siblings — John, Ann and Jim — facing the camera. “He really is cheap, and it’s not just the car he drives.”

“We thought ‘Hand-Me-Down’ was the name of a department store,” says Jim, then he and John display holes in the elbows of their shirts.

Full story

April 29, 2014

Republicans Predict Top North Carolina Senate Candidate Avoids Runoff

Republicans Predict Top North Carolina Senate Candidate Avoids Runoff

Tillis is running for Senate. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For several months, the Republican Senate primary in North Carolina has been a race for second place: state Speaker Thom Tillis, with his superior financial resources, is a shoo-in for first, while Dr. Greg Brannon and Pastor Mark Harris vied for second place to challenge Tillis in a runoff.

But, one week before the primary, many local operatives now expect Tillis will reach the 40 percent threshold on Tuesday to avoid a runoff later this summer with the second-place finisher.

The winner of the primary will face Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., in one of the cycle’s marquee competitive contests. For Tillis, the stakes to avoid a runoff are high because it would force him to spend another two months running against a Republican opponent — instead of Hagan.

What’s more, the state’s General Assembly comes back into session on May 14, eight days after the primary. Tillis would have to balance his duties as speaker while still campaigning for the nomination.

But, many local Republicans now see that scenario as increasingly unlikely, arguing that Tillis will most likely win the primary outright.

“About two weeks ago, I would’ve said we would definitely see a primary runoff,” said Chad Adams, the director of Priorities NC, an advocacy group focused on promoting limited government, who is not aligned with any campaign. “But looking at the landscape now and how we’re shaping up, it looks like that gap is closing.” Full story

Cheat Sheet: House and Senate Primaries in May

Cheat Sheet: House and Senate Primaries in May

McConnell faces a primary challenge in late May. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Primary season for the midterms begins in earnest in May, when voters head to the polls for some of this cycle’s marquee House and Senate contests.

By the end of next month, parties will know whether Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell survived a GOP primary in Kentucky (likely), whether Sen. Kay Hagan will face a top GOP opponent in North Carolina (increasingly likely), and whether Georgia Republicans are on track to get a choice nominee for Senate (probable, but who knows?).

And that’s just the top of the ticket. There are several other primary contests further down the ballot.

This is Roll Call’s one-stop shop for primaries in May, including top races, dates and poll closing times. Bookmark this post, and check out the At the Races blog for live results and commentary on every congressional primary next month.

Full story

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