Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 2, 2014

Posts in "Florida"

July 29, 2014

Congressman Says Gwen Graham’s Dad ‘Not on the Ballot’

Congressman Says Gwen Grahams Dad Not on the Ballot

Southerland faces a tough re-election in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Steve Southerland II, R-Fla., said he isn’t buying the hype around his opponent, attorney Gwen Graham, the daughter of Bob Graham, a former senator and governor.

“The Grahams aren’t from Northwest Florida,” Southerland said in a recent sit-down interview with CQ Roll Call. “They’re a South Florida family.”

“We respect the Graham name,” the two-term Republican continued. “We respect greatly the governor’s service and the senator’s service, but unfortunately, he’s not on the ballot.”

National Democrats have touted Graham as one of their best recruits this cycle, saying she’ll be able to close the deal with voters in Florida’s 2nd District, thanks in part to her father’s legacy. Southerland’s re-election is quickly becoming one of the most competitive House races in the country, and it’s ratedTossup/Tilts Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Democrats also boast Graham is better equipped than their 2012 nominee, Al Lawson Jr. Southerland disagreed. Full story

June 4, 2014

Florida Redistricting Trial to Conclude Wednesday

Florida Redistricting Trial to Conclude Wednesday

Jolly represents a legally controversial district in a Florida redistricting trial. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A congressional redistricting trial in Florida was scheduled to conclude Wednesday afternoon, the results of which could force the legislature to redraw the district boundaries before November, throwing current congressional campaigns into chaos.

“I don’t think there’s any congressional campaign here that’s discounting that possibility,” said one Florida Democratic insider, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the ongoing case.

The issue in the trial, known locally as Florida’s “Game of Thrones,” is whether the GOP-led Legislature violated the state’s new Fair Districts Amendment during redistricting following the 2010 U.S. Census. A verdict is expected by the end of the month.

Full story

May 22, 2014

Tom Steyer’s 2014 Targets Start With Four Senate Races

Tom Steyer, the Democrats’ financial answer to the Koch brothers, has set his sights on specific Senate and gubernatorial races to spend the $100 million he’s earmarked for the midterm elections.

His super PAC, NextGen Climate Action, aims to promote candidates who support action to mitigate the effects of climate change. It was active in last year’s elections for Virginia governor and a vacant Senate seat in Massachusetts.

The group has now targeted the competitive Senate races in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan and New Hampshire, and the Florida, Pennsylvania and Maine gubernatorial contests. It will back the Democratic candidate in each case. Full story

May 5, 2014

House Democrats Boost David Jolly Challenger

With a recruit now on board, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has named Florida’s 13th District to its Red to Blue program, with an “Emerging Races” designation.

Democrats shocked House race observers as the Florida filing deadline closed May 2, unveiling Col. Ed Jany as the party’s candidate to challenge Republican Rep. David Jolly. Because of a voter registration issue, Jany will appear on the ballot as an independent — but, Jany has the full backing of the DCCC and no other Democrat is running.

“In just a few short days in the race, Colonel Ed Jany’s campaign has already generated enthusiasm among Pinellas County voters, and his strong start and the fundamentals of this district have earned him a spot on the Emerging Races program,” DCCC Chairman Steve Israel said in a statement.

The DCCC uses the Red to Blue program’s Emerging Races designation to highlight “candidates and districts that are making themselves competitive by running smart campaigns which are becoming increasingly competitive,” according to its website. Israel recently named Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., as chairwoman of the Red to Blue program. Full story

April 22, 2014

Self-Funding Republican Wins Primary in Race to Replace Trey Radel

Businessman Curt Clawson won the Republican nomination Tuesday night in the Florida special-election race to replace former Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., and he is now likely to be the district’s next member of Congress.

Clawson won with 38 percent of the vote, with 95 percent of precincts reporting at the time the Associated Press called the race. Finishing behind him were state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto with 26 percent and state Rep. Paige Kreegel with 25 percent.

He will now face Democrat April Freeman in the June 24 special, where Clawson is heavily favored. Full story

April 21, 2014

Republicans Spend Millions on TV in Primary for Trey Radel Seat

Republicans Spend Millions on TV in Primary for Trey Radel Seat

Radel resigned from Congress earlier this year, prompting a special election for his seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans have spent millions ahead of Tuesday’s special primary to replace former Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla. — and the 19th District television airwaves show it.

Three of Radel’s potential successors boast at least $1 million in airtime behind each of their efforts — both from their own campaigns and outside groups boosting them. It’s a staggering number for an otherwise under-the-radar primary in a special election.

The spending leader is businessman Curt Clawson, who has loaned $2.65 million of his own funds to his campaign, according to his most recent campaign fundraising report. But outside groups have helped two other GOP candidates, state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto and former state Rep. Paige Kreegel, stay in the game.

Whomever wins the GOP primary on Tuesday is all but certain to carry the seat in the June 24 special election. The race is rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Here’s a look at how much campaigns and outside groups have spent on television in the race, according to two GOP media buying sources monitoring the race. Numbers are approximated. Full story

April 18, 2014

Michele Bachmann Endorses in Florida Special Election

Michele Bachmann Endorses in Florida Special Election

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., endorsed in a Florida special election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has endorsed businessman Curt Clawson with days to go in the Republican primary race to replace former Florida Rep. Trey Radel.

Clawson’s announcement of the endorsement offered no statement from the retiring congresswoman, but the candidate heaped praise on Bachmann, the founder of the House Tea Party Caucus.

“Congresswoman Bachmann was tea party before there was a tea party, and after this year she will be missed in Congress,” Clawson said. “With a victory next Tuesday, we can continue the work she has started to protect our Constitution and restore fiscal integrity to Washington.”

Clawson faces a competitive primary on Tuesday. His chief rivals are state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto and former state Rep. Paige Kreegel.

Bachmann joins several national Republicans who backed candidates in the race for Florida’s 19th District. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., also endorsed Clawson. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and two members of Congress recently backed Benacquisto.

The winner of the primary is likely to win the June 24 special election. The race is rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

April 15, 2014

Democrats Lose Top Recruit in Florida House Race

Democrats Lose Top Recruit in Florida House Race

(Tim Boyles/Getty Images)

Alex Sink, the Democratic nominee in a recent high-stakes special election in Florida, will not challenge GOP Rep. David Jolly to a rematch in the 13th District this November.

“I am so honored and humbled by the outpouring of support our campaign received, but after reflection with my family I have made a personal decision not to run for the 13th Congressional District seat in the 2014 election,” she said in a statement released Tuesday. Full story

April 14, 2014

Rand Paul Endorses in Race to Replace Trey Radel

Rand Paul Endorses in Race to Replace Trey Radel

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has endorsed in another GOP primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., endorsed Republican businessman Curt Clawson in the upcoming special election for a House seat in Florida.

Clawson, who has loaned his campaign more than $2.6 million and released a TV ad Monday, is running in the highly competitive April 22 primary to succeed former Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla. His chief rivals are state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto and former state Rep. Paige Kreegel.

“Washington is desperate for outside leadership, Curt Clawson is an outsider who will bring refreshing ideas to the halls of Congress,” Paul said in a statement. “I urge the voters of Florida’s 19th Congressional District to send Curt to Washington.” Full story

April 1, 2014

Primary for Trey Radel’s Seat Escalates on TV Airwaves

Primary for Trey Radels Seat Escalates on TV Airwaves

Radel resigned from Congress earlier this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In the special election to succeed former Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., former state Rep. Paige Kreegel has gone on the airwaves with a campaign ad intended to introduce him to GOP voters ahead of the April 22 primary.

Kreegel is running in a competitive special election to succeed Radel, who resigned from Congress in January after he pleaded guilty to cocaine possession. The GOP nominee is expected to win the June 24 special election. Full story

March 12, 2014

Steve Israel Lobbies Alex Sink to Run in the Fall

 

Steve Israel Lobbies Alex Sink to Run in the Fall

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In the aftermath of his party’s special election loss in Florida, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel refused to blame his candidate. Instead, he doubled down on her prospects to win in the fall.

“I believe if Alex Sink decides to run, she will win in November,” Israel said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday morning. “We will do everything — and I mean everything — to support her in that endeavor.”

Sink came up 2 points short Tuesday against Republican Rep.-elect David Jolly. Whether or not Sink runs again is unclear.

“I did call her last night and left a message,” Israel said. “My message was, I think she ran a great race and if this election were in November versus March, I believe she would have won, and I encouraged her to speak with us about continuing this campaign to victory in November.”

“I have not heard back from her,” he added. Full story

March 11, 2014

Republicans Win Florida Special Election With David Jolly

Republicans Win Florida Special Election With David Jolly

(Courtesy David Jolly)

 

Republican David Jolly won Tuesday’s high-stakes race to replace his former boss, the late GOP Rep. C.W. Bill Young of Florida, in Congress.

The Republican nominee defeated Democrat Alex Sink 49 percent to 47 percent, with all of the precincts reporting when the Associated Press called the race at 7:49 p.m. Libertarian candidate Lucas Overby took 5 percent. Full story

March 6, 2014

Lessons and Regrets Precede Florida Special Election

With just days to go in the smash-mouth special election on Florida’s Gulf Coast, both parties are managing expectations ahead of what could be a narrow margin of victory.

The race to replace the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla., is the most competitive special election of the 2014 cycle. Neither party is exuding confidence about the contest for the swingy 13th District, and nearly anyone who claims to have seen an internal poll says this tossup race will go down to the wire. Full story

March 5, 2014

Alex Sink Ends Special Election Campaign With Positive Spot

In what is likely her final ad in the special election for Florida’s 13th District, the Democrat nominee, Alex Sink, struck a bipartisan tone in positive spot that started to air Wednesday.

Polls show Sink in a virtual tie with the GOP nominee, lobbyist David Jolly, in the race to replace the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla.

Full story

February 13, 2014

Who’s Spending What on TV in the Florida Special

Whos Spending What on TV in the Florida Special

Sink is the Democratic nominee in the competitive special election in Florida. (Tim Boyles/Getty Images File Photo)

Ad wars have escalated in a highly competitive special election in Florida, with Democrats spending more overall, but Republicans quickly catching up with their ad buys.

The already profuse ad spending demonstrates the high stakes for both parties in this March 11 special election. Although the election is one month away, elections officials started to send out mail-in ballots last week for the 13th District contest.

That means television time — especially early advertisements — come at a premium in this Tampa-area media market.

Cumulatively, the Democratic nominee, Alex Sink, and her allies have spent about $1 million more on television advertisements than Republicans.

But the GOP’s nominee, lobbyist David Jolly, and his allies have spent more than Democrats in the past two weeks. Most recently, the National Republican Congressional Committee aired a spot that links Sink to national Democrats and the president’s 2010 health care law.

Here’s a breakdown of approximately how much each party has spent on television advertisements in the general election as of Tuesday afternoon, according to multiple media-buying sources from both parties who are monitoring the race:

Full story

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...