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Posts in "Va. Senate"
May 30, 2014
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.
May 2, 2014
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.
January 27, 2014
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
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
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
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.
July 5, 2013
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:
- #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.
May 20, 2013
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 …
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
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.
November 20, 2012
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
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
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:
- 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.
- Attorney Kathy Boockvar (D) contributed $15,000 to her campaign to unseat Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.). Roll Call rates this race as Safe Republican.
- Rep. Mark Critz (D-Pa.) loaned his campaign $35,000 on Oct. 25. That’s in addition to the $64,400 Critz, a former House aide, still owes his campaign from his primary against fellow Rep. Jason Altmire (D). Critz faces attorney Keith Rothfus (R) in a race Roll Call rates as a Tossup.
- Former Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.) contributed $500,000 to his campaign to defeat Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.) in the 11th district southwest of Chicago. A scientist and businessman, Foster has loaned his campaign big bucks in his previous bids. Roll Call rates this race as a Tossup.
- Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.) wrote a check for $100,000 to her campaign on Oct. 29. She faces attorney Sean Patrick Maloney (D) in a race Roll Call rates as a Tossup. She also donated funds to her 2010 bid.
- State Rep. Randy Weber (R) gave his campaign $25,000 to defeat former Rep. Nick Lampson (D-Texas). Weber already loaned his campaign $226,500 earlier this cycle. Roll Call rates this race as Leans Republican.
November 1, 2012
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
October 31, 2012
ASHLAND, Va. — Former Gov. Tim Kaine spent an hour today in a Democratic town within a heavily Republican county in an effort to encourage his supporters to persuade the remaining undecided voters to vote for him and to increase turnout among Democrats.
Standing on a stage where live bluegrass bands often play, Kaine, who is running against former Gov. George Allen (R) for the state’s open Senate seat, said that 3 percent of voters are probably still undecided. He said “person-to-person contact” is vital at this point in the campaign. Kaine said that more than $20 million in outside money has been spent against him by rich individuals from out of state who can write checks with a lot of zeros, and said he wants to “show there aren’t enough zeros in the world” to beat a grass-roots campaign run by Virginians.
Truman Parmele, the owner of the coffee shop and music venue, said bands play there five nights a week, performing any kind of music but hip-hop. Parmele, 67, said he’s independent, formerly in the Air Force and moderate on social issues. He told Roll Call that Obamacare scares him, and he asked Kaine whether he would support a flat tax. Parmele said Kaine is “very personable” and said he will probably support him.