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October 1, 2014

Posts in "Va. Senate"

September 1, 2014

The 10 Most Vulnerable Senators

The 10 Most Vulnerable Senators

Roll Call ranks Landrieu as the most vulnerable senator. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

There is a new chart-topper in Roll Call’s latest monthly ranking of the 10 most vulnerable senators.

Montana’s appointed Sen. John Walsh was by far the most endangered incumbent in the chamber at the time of the previous installment in early August, but his decision last month to not seek a full term opened the top slot to a couple other worthy contenders.

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., is still in a perilous political position, but Louisiana Sen. Mary L. Landrieu has leapfrogged him on the list to become the Senate’s most vulnerable incumbent. Full story

May 30, 2014

Mark Warner Pitches Bipartisanship at Senate Campaign Rally

Mark Warner Pitches Bipartisanship at Senate Campaign Rally

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

ARLINGTON, Va. — Democratic Sen. Mark Warner emphasized his bipartisan credentials Thursday to the local voters he hopes will re-elect him in November.

“This is gonna be won with Democrats, independents, Republicans and everyone else,” Warner told the crowd at The Spectrum Theatre, part of a six-day, 14-stop tour of the commonwealth that coincides with the release of his first television ad.

The rally’s venue had the feel of a lecture hall, with pull-out desks on each seat. Signs were neatly stacked in a grid along a side wall as Warner spoke on a stage against a backdrop of two large signs and a flag.

Warner is favored to win over likely GOP nominee Ed Gillespie, a former RNC chairman and George W. Bush adviser. But his race could be more competitive than anticipated, in part thanks to his well-connected foe.

Virginia is a competitive state that’s elected both Republicans and Democrats to statewide office over the past decade. Though Democrats currently control both Senate seats and the governor’s mansion, statewide elections are fiercely contested.

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

January 27, 2014

John Warner Endorses Mark Warner (Updated)

John Warner Endorses Mark Warner (Updated)

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:45 p.m. | Former Virginia Sen. John Warner is crossing party lines to support Democratic Sen. Mark Warner’s re-election campaign this year.

Warner, a former five-term Republican senator, told the Associated Press on Monday he is backing his successor in the Senate over former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie.

Speaking later with CQ Roll Call, John Warner said he encouraged Mark Warner to seek re-election, citing the state’s need for seniority in the Senate.

“I’m not jumping my traces,” John Warner said. “I’m just exercising what I think is a responsible judgment, because Mark Warner is gaining seniority and stature, and has a proven ability to cross the aisle and make things happen.”

The two Warners faced off in a 1996 Senate race, with the incumbent holding on by a 5-point margin. After the loss, Mark Warner went on to win a term as governor in 2001, before running again for the Senate seat of the retiring John Warner.

This is the second time this cycle the former Republican senator has backed a Democratic Senate candidate. Warner contributed to the campaign of Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn, who is running for an open seat in Georgia. Full story

January 22, 2014

Va. GOP Losses May Help Gillespie’s Convention Fight

Va. GOP Losses May Help Gillespies Convention Fight

Gillespie should be able to get through Virginia's GOP nominating convention. (Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images File Photo)

With the stink of their party’s statewide sweep not yet three months old, Virginia Republicans said Ed Gillespie should have little trouble winning the GOP Senate nomination in June and advancing to take on Democrat Mark Warner.

Republicans concede that Gillespie, a former lobbyist and political consultant who announced his candidacy last week, faces a challenging fight against the first-term senator and popular former governor. But getting through the state GOP’s nominating convention, which invites a more conservative swath of the party than a primary and last year produced a surprising result, should not be nearly as significant a hurdle.

As former Gov. Bob McDonnell’s felony indictment Tuesday and a state Senate victory for the Democrats added to Republicans’ woes, elected officials and party insiders said last year’s stinging losses in races for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general have left GOP activists clamoring for, above all, a conservative candidate who can raise the kind of money it will take to legitimately compete with Warner.

Gillespie “does have to take [the convention] seriously, but I think people want to win a statewide race in Virginia,” Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., said. “Having lost three races last fall, I think they recognize we need a candidate who is in the hunt when it comes to the last part of the race … and that means somebody who is capable of raising the money.” Full story

January 16, 2014

Gillespie Announces Virginia Senate Campaign

Gillespie Announces Virginia Senate Campaign

Gillespie is running for Senate in Virginia. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ed Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, announced Thursday that he will challenge Democratic Sen. Mark Warner.

Despite Warner’s inherent advantages in this swing state, Gillespie’s entrance gives Republicans a competent opponent who will be able to raise money and make the race at least one to keep an eye on this year. In a video statement, Gillespie wasted no time in criticizing the incumbent over his fiscal record in the Senate and support for Obamacare. 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 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.

May 20, 2013

Remainders: And Then There Was Nunn

Here’s what you may have missed “At the Races” on Monday …

  • #IRS – CQ Roll Call’s Eliza Newlin Carney examines what the IRS mess means for campaign finance laws.
  • #GASEN – Michelle Nunn, daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., will soon announce her decision on a Senate bid.
  • #NC12 – A Democratic fundraiser is mulling a bid for Rep. Melvin Watt’s seat. Watt was recently nominated to run the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
  • #VASEN – The Virginia GOP changed how it will nominate Democratic Sen. Mark Warner’s 2014 challenger.
  • #UT04 – Sarasota Springs Mayor Mia Love announced she will challenge Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson to a rematch in 2014.

What we’re mulling on Monday …

Full story

Virginia GOP to Nominate Mark Warner Challenger via Convention

Virginia GOP to Nominate Mark Warner Challenger via Convention

Republicans will attempt to challenge Warner. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Virginia Republicans voted on May 17 to hold a nominating convention next year — rather than a primary — to select a challenger to Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, the Virginian-Pilot reported.

The move, which came at the state party’s annual convention in Richmond, could affect the GOP field that vies for the nomination. Conventions, where only party activists vote, often nominate more conservative candidates than the broader GOP primary electorate. Full story

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 20, 2012

Virginia: Warner Won’t Run for Governor

Virginia: Warner Wont Run for Governor

Warner barnstormed Virginia on behalf of President Barack Obama and Sen.-elect Tim Kaine in the runup to Election Day. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., announced Tuesday that he will not seek a return to the governorship next year, setting up a likely bid for re-election in 2014.

“Over the last year, a lot of Virginians – Democrats, Republicans, and independents – have approached me and asked that I consider running for Governor a second time,” Warner said in a statement. “I loved being governor, but I have a different job now — and it’s here in the United States Senate.”

It’s well-known that Warner enjoyed his time as governor from 2002 to 2006, and rumors of a potential return to Richmond have wafted through the Old Dominion political scene for the past year. As the most popular politician in the state, Warner would have been the heavy favorite in the gubernatorial race, and he is currently favored to win his first bid for re-election to the Senate. Full story

November 6, 2012

Virginia: George Allen Concedes to Tim Kaine

Virginia: George Allen Concedes to Tim Kaine

George Allen kisses his wife, Susan, during his concession speech at the Virginia Republicans' election night party in Richmond. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Former Sen. George Allen (R) has conceded to former Gov. Tim Kaine (D) in the race to replace retiring Sen. Jim Webb (D).

The two men, fond of each other personally, were vying for a Senate seat that was central to GOP plans to take control of the Senate.

At the time of Allen’s concession, Kaine was leading by about 1 point and the presidential contest was almost completely tied.

November 5, 2012

Candidates Make Last-Minute Loans to Campaigns

A slew of Congressional candidates dipped into their own wallets over the past week to fund one final push in their campaigns.

Here’s Roll Call’s running tally, according to local reports and online filings with the Federal Election Commission:

Senate races:

  • Last week, former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) guaranteed a $500,000 loan for his campaign against former Gov. Tim Kaine (D). An Allen aide described it as a bridge loan to ensure available funds while the campaign processed credit card donations. Roll Call rates this race as a Tossup.
  • Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) made a last-minute, $250,000 loan to aid her bid against Sen. Dean Heller (R). Roll Call rates this as a Tossup.
  • Former WWE CEO Linda McMahon (R) continued to fund much of her campaign against Rep. Christopher Murphy (D). As of Oct. 17, she had contributed $40 million of her own funds to her race. Roll Call rates this as Leans Democratic.

House races:

November 1, 2012

Virginia: Mitt Romney, George Allen Rally GOP Faithful

Virginia: Mitt Romney, George Allen Rally GOP Faithful

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets the crowd at a campaign stop at the Farm Bureau Center in Doswell, Va. Romney was joined on the stump by Republican Senate candidate George Allen, who is locked in a tight race with Democrat Tim Kaine. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

DOSWELL, Va. — Presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Senate candidate George Allen rallied the GOP faithful today to begin a final joint push across this crucial battleground state.

In the second event of a three-stop tour, several hundred supporters donning stickers for Romney, Allen and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) crowded into the expansive Farm Bureau Center outside Richmond to hear the nominees for president and Senate. Full story

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