Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 19, 2015

Posts in "States"

April 9, 2015

Democrats Considering Female Comstock Challengers

Democrats Considering Female Comstock Challengers

Which Democrat will challenge Comstock? (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Virginia Democrats are narrowing in on a handful of female candidates to take on freshman Rep. Barbara Comstock.

Comstock, already a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee target for 2016, won the open seat to replace GOP Rep. Frank R. Wolf, her former boss, by 16 points in 2014. But given the swing nature of her northern Virginia district and the higher turnout expected in a presidential year, Democrats say if they’re going to take the seat, this is the time.

Full story

Moving Parts Complicate Democratic Challenge to McCain (Updated)

Moving Parts Complicate Democratic Challenge to McCain (Updated)

McCain will run for re-election, he announced Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 8:57 a.m. | Arizona Sen. John McCain’s re-election campaign announcement Tuesday was just one of a handful of moving parts that will determine whether Democrats can make this race competitive.

Democrats trying to game out the Senate race are facing a dizzying number of variables: a pending Supreme Court decision that could result in the redrawing of congressional district lines, the potential for a nasty Republican primary, whether Hillary Rodham Clinton will make a play for Arizona in the presidential race and whether Democratic outside groups would devote resources to a state where the party hasn’t won a Senate seat since 1988. Full story

April 8, 2015

Catherine Cortez Masto Running for Harry Reid’s Seat

Catherine Cortez Masto Running for Harry Reids Seat

Cortez Masto has been endorsed by Reid. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images File Photo)

Updated 4:47 p.m. | Catherine Cortez Masto, the preferred Democratic successor of retiring Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, will run for the minority leader’s seat.

“Catherine Cortez Masto fights to protect Nevada’s seniors, children, women, consumers, and homeowners,” her new Senate website states. “She did it as a prosecutor. She did it as Nevada’s Attorney General. Now she wants to bring her fight to the U.S. Senate.” Full story

April 7, 2015

Rand Paul 2016 Getting Started in Louisville

Rand Paul 2016 Getting Started in Louisville

Paul is seeking the Republican presidential nomination. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is making it official Tuesday: He will seek the Republican nomination for president.

Paul will announce his candidacy to a crowd at the Galt House in Louisville. He’ll follow his announcement with a tour through the early presidential primary and caucus states — New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa and Nevada — over the remainder of the congressional recess week.

Full story

April 2, 2015

Grassley Strives for Seventh Term, Always Wanting More

Grassley Strives for Seventh Term, Always Wanting More

Grassley does a 99-county tour every year in Iowa. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 9:35 a.m. | He has never won re-election with less than 64 percent of the vote. His approval rating is 67 percent.

This is not some senator from a deep red or deep blue state. He is, in fact, a Republican representing a swing state in a presidential year, and Democrats would quite like to unseat him.

So why does Sen. Charles E. Grassley seem almost politically invincible?

Full story

March 31, 2015

Bill Clinton Endorses Strickland in Ohio

Bill Clinton Endorses Strickland in Ohio

Clinton endorsed Strickland for Senate in Ohio. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former President Bill Clinton made his first endorsement of the 2016 cycle Tuesday, backing former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland in his bid for Senate.

Strickland is the front-runner for the nomination to challenge Republican Sen. Rob Portman. One other Democrat is also running — Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld.

Full story

March 19, 2015

Democrats’ Maryland Senate Circus

Democrats Maryland Senate Circus

There is plenty of interest in Mikulski’s seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

CHESAPEAKE BEACH, Md. — When Barbara A. Mikulski announced her retirement last month, she instructed fellow Maryland Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin to brace himself.

“She said it would take about 10 minutes before things would get really interesting in Maryland,” Cardin recounted at a March 12 event on the Chesapeake Bay. “It took about 30 seconds until things got very interesting.” Full story

March 18, 2015

Potential Thune Challenger Bows Out

Potential Thune Challenger Bows Out

Thune is up for re-election in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The son of a former senator who was considered one of Democrats’ best chances to challenge Sen. John Thune told CQ Roll Call he has no plans to run for political office in 2016.

“It’s certainly something that I would consider in the future,” former U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson said. “But it’s not anything that I have any sort of plan or interest in doing at the moment.”

Full story

March 17, 2015

Wasserman Schultz Won’t Run for Senate

Wasserman Schultz Wont Run for Senate

Wasserman Schultz will not run for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz will seek re-election to her House seat and will not run for Senate, she confirmed to Roll Call Tuesday in the halls of Congress.

The Democratic National Committee chairwoman had been considering a bid for the potentially open seat, thanks to Republican Sen. Marco Rubio looking at a run for president. Full story

March 4, 2015

Democrats Have Early Favorite House Pickup Opportunity

Democrats Have Early Favorite House Pickup Opportunity

Blum, right, is a top Democratic target in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In one of the party’s best pickup opportunities this cycle, Democrats have zeroed in on second-time candidate Monica Vernon to win Iowa’s 1st District.

Freshman Rep. Rod Blum, a Republican, holds the seat. But the district’s composition is competitive, if not left-leaning: In 2012, President Barack Obama won it with 56 percent. That makes it a ripe target for Democrats, who must net 30 seats on a GOP-friendly map to win the majority. Full story

February 25, 2015

Ted Strickland Announces Senate Run in Ohio

Ted Strickland Announces Senate Run in Ohio

Strickland, left, is running for Senate. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, announced Wednesday morning he will challenge Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, in 2016.

“I’m running for the United States Senate in 2016 because I am determined to restore the American Dream for working people in this country,” Strickland said in a statement emailed to reporters.

Democrats need to gain five seats in 2016 to secure a majority, and in a presidential year that path could run through Ohio. Full story

February 24, 2015

Democrats Skeptical Ted Strickland Will Face Primary

Democrats Skeptical Ted Strickland Will Face Primary

Strickland previously served in the House. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:48 p.m. | Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat who is expected to announce a bid against Republican Sen. Rob Portman Wednesday, may get a clear shot at the nomination.

The only Democrat in the race until now, Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld, is raking in donations from high-profile donors, announcing endorsements and putting out policy proposals. The Democrat recently told CQ Roll Call he is “running to win.”

Full story

Russ Feingold Hints at Senate Bid in Final State Department Speech

Russ Feingold Hints at Senate Bid in Final State Department Speech

Feingold could run for his former Senate seat in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., hinted at a possible comeback bid in his final speech as an U.S. envoy to Africa for the State Department.

As Feingold, who lost to GOP Sen. Ron Johnson in 2010, concluded his remarks at the U.S. Institute of Peace, he thanked, “My once, current, and I hope, future Chief of Staff Mary Irvine.”

Full story

February 18, 2015

Brendan Johnson Discusses His Future in South Dakota (Updated)

Brendan Johnson Discusses His Future in South Dakota  (Updated)

Thune, left, is a Republican from South Dakota. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:00 p.m. | U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson’s resignation could mean Democrats have found a potential candidate to challenge Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., in 2016.

Johnson, the son of former Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., announced Wednesday he will join a private law firm in Sioux Falls. As a U.S. Attorney, Johnson was prohibited from engaging in politics; as a private lawyer, he would be free to launch a campaign.

Full story

February 17, 2015

Ron Johnson Talks Fundraising Strategy for 2016 Re-Election

Ron Johnson Talks Fundraising Strategy for 2016 Re Election

Johnson is up for re-election in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., is looking for some fundraising help.

The senator is one of Democrats’ top targets in 2016. But while his colleagues in competitive seats have built up million-dollar war chests, Johnson had just $606,000 in his campaign account at the end of the year. Full story

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