Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 14, 2016

Posts in "States"

January 31, 2016

Reid Ribble Won’t Seek Re-Election

UNITED STATES - APRIL 12: Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Wisc., speaks at a "Countdown to Tax Day" news conference in the Capitol to address the tax in increases in President Obama's FY 2014 budget. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ribble won’t seek a fourth term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Three-term Wisconsin Republican Reid Ribble announced Saturday that he won’t run for re-election — one term shy of the four-term limit pledge he made when first elected in 2010.

“My reasons are fairly simple and straightforward. I feel very fortunate to have a strong marriage, grown children, and three wonderful grandchildren. I want to dedicate more time to them,” Ribble said in a statement. Additionally, I’ve always said elected office shouldn’t be a career. I come from the private sector and am anxious to return to it and to a more private life.”

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January 29, 2016

Trump Plays Veterans Trump Card

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 28 - Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee speaks alongside Donald Trump and Rick Santorum at a event at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. Trump boycotted the Fox News Republican Presidential Debate also occurring in Des Moines at the same time. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Santorum, left, and Huckabee, right, attended the rally that Trump, center, held after they finished their undercard debate. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

DES MOINES, Iowa — Donald Trump’s veterans’ rally at Drake University started with a stark admission from the GOP front-runner: “I didn’t want to be here. I have to be honest with you.”

The sentiment didn’t seem to dampen the crowd’s enthusiasm, which waited several hours in line in the cold and a couple before the candidate took the stage on Thursday to launch into a relatively standard stump speech — the trade deficit, foreign policy, etc. —  that wove in nods to veterans’ sacrifices.

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January 15, 2016

Obama Suggests Trump’s Dominance Is Doomed

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 15 - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives at an event at the Living History Farms Visitor Center in Urbandale, Iowa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Republican presidential candidate Trump arrives at an event at the Living History Farms Visitor Center in Urbandale, Iowa, on Jan. 15. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama poured cold water on Donald Trump’s dominance of the Republican presidential primary, saying Friday he bets voters soon will look to other candidates.

Obama suggested Trump’s big lead nationally could be doomed, saying it is merely the latest example of a long-running trend of bombastic candidates getting a lot of attention early in the process. But when it comes time to actually vote, Americans tend to get “serious” and vote for other candidates, Obama said during a YouTube-hosted online interview.

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January 13, 2016

Strickland’s Past Positions on Guns Put Him in a Tough Spot

UNITED STATES - APRIL 21: Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland (D) talks with reporters before the senate policy luncheons in the Capitol, April 21, 2015. Strickland is running for the Senate in Ohio. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Strickland says his views on guns have changed in the wake of school shootings.
(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As the Democratic Party and President Barack Obama make moves on gun policy, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland’s past record on the issue has put him under scrutiny.

When he was up for re-election in 2010, the Democrat was given an A-plus rating by the National Rifle Association, which endorsed him over Republican John Kasich, who got a B.

“We don’t give a lot A-pluses,” said Catherine Mortensen, a spokeswoman for the NRA. Kasich would go on to defeat Strickland.

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January 8, 2016

Before Donald Trump, There Was Maine’s Paul LePage

LePage, shown here in 2013, is again garnering national media attention.  (John Ewing/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

LePage, shown here in 2013, is again garnering national media attention. (John Ewing/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

It’s not unusual for Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s comments to make national news.

The two-term Maine Republican has a penchant for speaking off the cuff in a similar tell-it-like-it-is manner as the presidential candidate whom he’s endorsed, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

But his most recent comments sound a lot more like current GOP front-runner Donald Trump, earning LePage — who as recently as Thursday said he was thinking “very seriously” about running for Senate in 2018 — more national attention. Full story

December 17, 2015

Gyrocopter Pilot Plans Run for Congress

Hughes plans to run for Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hughes plans to run for Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Florida man who flew a gyrocopter onto the Capitol lawn is turning toward a more conventional means to get into Congress: being elected.

Douglas Hughes, who pleaded guilty in November to a felony charge related to his April 15 flight, said he plans to run for a seat in the House, but is not yet announcing which Democrat he plans to challenge. Hughes faces a maximum of three years in prison with his guilty plea, which means he could be running for Congress from behind bars depending on his sentencing in April.

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December 14, 2015

Before He Runs for Governor in 2017, Wittman Faces Uncertain District in 2016

UNITED STATES - MARCH 29: Rep. Robert Wittman, R-Va., speaks during the news conference on American Energy Initiative legislation to expand U.S. energy production on Tuesday morning, March 29, 2011. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Wittman is running for governor in 2017. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Virginia’s 1st District Rep. Rob Wittman announced over the weekend that he’s running for the GOP nomination for governor in 2017.

“Obviously our focus is on winning in 2016, but I am preparing for 2017,” Wittman told The Washington Post on Dec. 12.

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November 30, 2015

Gubernatorial Races to Watch in 2016

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 23:  North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory holds a news conference with fellow members of the Republican Governors Association at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce February 23, 2015 in Washington, DC. Republican and  Democratic governors met with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House Monday during the last day of the National Governors Association winter meeting.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Democrats in North Carolina are hoping McCrory has overplayed his hand. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images File Photo)

Despite Democrats’ surprising victory last week in Louisiana — where state Rep. John Bel Edwards beat Republican Sen. David Vitter in the runoff –  they hold only 18 gubernatorial seats, compared to the 31 held by Republican governors.

Next year, Democrats will defend eight seats, including ones in targeted U.S. Senate battle grounds such as Missouri and New Hampshire, while Republicans will defend four.  Full story

November 24, 2015

Kentucky Governor Restores Thousands of Ex-Felons’ Right to Vote

 (File Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

(Win McNamee/Getty Images)

As Kentucky Gov. Steven L. Beshear, a Democrat, prepares to leave office, he is attempting to leave his mark on an issue that has made his state an outlier.

On Tuesday, he issued an executive order that put in place an automatic process to restore voting rights to nonviolent, ex-felons once they have completed their sentence — a move that might allow 170,000 more Kentuckians the right to register to vote.  Full story

By Eli Yokley Posted at 4:22 p.m.
Kentucky

November 21, 2015

Vitter Won’t Seek Re-Election After Louisiana Governor’s Loss

Louisiana gubernatorial candidate Sen. David Vitter, R-La., reacts to the crowd during his election night watch party in Kenner, La., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)

Vitter thanks supporters during his election night watch party in Kenner, La., on Saturday. (Max Becherer/AP Photo)

Republican Sen. David Vitter said he will not seek re-election next year after his stunning loss to Democrat John Bel Edwards in the Louisiana governor’s race.

“I came up short tonight,” he told supporters at his election night watch party in Kenner, La.

Full story

November 20, 2015

Vitter’s Future on the Line as Louisiana Votes for Governor

Louisiana gubernatorial candidate, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., center, speaks to reporters after his debate against Democratic candidate John Bel Edwards, in Baton Rouge, La., Monday, Nov. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Vitter speaks to reporters after Monday’s debate in Baton Rouge. (Gerald Herbert/AP Photo)

As Louisiana voted Saturday in the runoff election for governor, Sen. David Vitter flooded the three-parish New Orleans metro area with robocalls striking a contrite tone: “I humbly ask for your vote.”

To Republican strategist James Farwell, who lives in New Orleans and has a long record of working with Newt Gingrich, Vitter’s self-defending TV ads with his family in the campaign’s final days are a sign of how well Democrat John Bel Edwards’ campaign executed its strategy.

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November 18, 2015

Judge Tosses Artur Davis’ Suit Against Alabama Democrats

Former Democratic congressman from Alabama Artur Davis speaks at the 2012 Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Democratic congressman from Alabama Artur Davis speaks at the 2012 Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

An Alabama judge has dismissed the suit former Rep. Artur Davis filed against the Yellowhammer State’s Democratic infrastructure, finding that party leaders are justified in keeping the Democrat-turned-Republican from rejoining the party.

“The Board is well within its discretion to conclude that allowing a prodigal son to run against a Democratic stalwart is not beneficial to the party,” Hobbs ruled Tuesday, denying Davis’ petition for relief from those who’ve blocked his return into the Democratic fold. Full story

November 16, 2015

Following Paris Attacks, Syrian Refugees Emerge As Issue in Louisiana Governor’s Race

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The race to replace outgoing Gov. Jindal is getting nasty, with both Vitter and Edwards trading angry punches. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While some have suggested the Paris attacks might have implications on the 2016 presidential race, voters in Louisiana are dealing with the issue in a much more immediate way.

As voters prepare to head to the polls in Saturday’s gubernatorial runoff, Republican Sen. David Vitter — who is trailing in the polls to state Rep. John Bel Edwards — released a new television commercial that attempted to capitalize off of fears about Syrian refugees following reports that one of the attackers in France may have gotten into the country along with others who were fleeing the war that is raving their home country. Full story

November 12, 2015

Artur Davis Determined to Win Grudge Match With Democratic Leader

UNITED STATES - MARCH 16:  Former Rep. Artur Davis (R-Ala.) during the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort & Conference Center at National Harbor, Md., on Saturday, March 16, 2013.(Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Davis, shown here speaking to the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference, is suing to get back into the Democratic Party.(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Artur Davis says there’s a very simple reason the Alabama Democratic Party won’t bend on letting him back into the fold: Power broker Joe Reed wants to clear a path for his son, Montgomery County Probate Judge Steven L. Reed, to run for mayor in 2019.

The four-term House lawmaker for weeks has been embroiled in a tug-of-war with party leaders after being denied the opportunity to rejoin the ranks. Davis defected to the GOP in 2012 but wants back in so he can challenge incumbent Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Harris for the District 1 seat.

Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 3:22 p.m.
Alabama, Democrats

Vitter’s Governor Race Raises Concerns Over His Senate Seat in 2016

Vitter's gubernatorial bid is proving to be a tough battle. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A narrative that had once defined Vitter as the inevitable leader in the Louisiana governor’s race has flipped, raising concerns about his Senate seat. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Louisiana Sen. David Vitter’s gubernatorial campaign won’t entertain questions about his future should he lose the Nov. 21 runoff.

But plenty of other Republicans are already looking past then to whether Vitter would run for re-election to the Senate in 2016 and the implications of what that means for keeping control of the Senate in their party’s hands.
Full story

By Eli Yokley Posted at 1:16 p.m.
Louisiana, RGA

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