The candidate: Republican state Sen. Julianne Ortman The member: First-term Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. The state: Franken won by the smallest margin of any Senate race in 2008. He defeated then-Sen. Norm Coleman, a Republican, following a recount. The candidate’s team: Campaign manager Andy Parrish and media consultant Ed Brookover.
The candidate: Donna Sheldon, a Republican The member: Rep. Paul Broun, a three-term Republican who will run for Senate in 2014, leaving the seat open The district: Georgia’s 10th District, which Mitt Romney carried with 62 percent The candidate’s team: Chad Holland (manager), Ron Butler of Creative Direct (mail), Tony Marsh of Savanna Communications (media), Laura Dunaway of Capitol Strategy Group (fundraising), Dan McLagan of Tactical Communications Solutions (communications), and Scott Riles of RightPass Strategic Affairs (general consulting).
The candidate: Podiatrist Lee Rogers, a Democrat. The member: Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, a Republican. The district: California’s 25th District, which McKeon has held since 1992. The candidate’s team: Bill Wachob of The Campaign Group (general consultant and media), Eric Hogensen of HSG Campaigns (direct mail), Jonathan Brown of Global Strategy Group (polling), Adam Nashban (fundraising and strategy).
Podiatrist Lee Rogers, a Democrat, views an open-seat race as advantageous in his second attempt for Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon’s 25th District in California.
“There will be more attention on the district if it’s an open seat,” Rogers said in an Oct. 11 interview with CQ Roll Call. “This is one that already shows [McKeon] to be vulnerable. I think more attention is probably good for the challenger.”
Insiders have speculated this could be the top Republican’s last term in Congress, although his aide said in April he has no plans to retire. President Barack Obama lost the district by a slim margin in 2012, which makes Democrats optimistic they could compete there if McKeon leaves.
The candidate: Former state Rep. Pam Byrnes, a Democrat. The member: Rep. Tim Walberg, a Republican. The district: Michigan’s 7th District, which favored GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012, but only by 3 points. The candidate’s team: Al Quinlan of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (polling), Martha McKenna and Jennifer Pihlaja of McKenna Pihlaja (media), Terry Walsh of The Strategy Group (mail), Karen Defilippi (campaign manager)
“I think [Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.] would relate to the people very well,” she said in an Oct. 10 interview with CQ Roll Call. “He is a very personable guy. I’ve met him before and I believe he could connect with people and help me.” Full story
The candidate: Democratic National Committeewoman Erin Bilbray The member: Two-term Rep. Joe Heck, a Republican, who won re-election by a 7-point margin last year. The district: President Barack Obama carried the 3rd District by a single point in 2012.
The candidate’s team: Bradley Mayer (manager), Mark Mellman of The Mellman Group (pollster), Ann Liston of Adelstein | Liston (media), Achim Bergmann of Bergmann Zwerdling Direct (direct mail), Rhonda Foxx (finance director)
Democrat Erin Bilbray said she will seek support from former President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama in her campaign for 3rd District in the southern tip of Nevada.
“I hope [Clinton] will, and of course I would ask,” Bilbray said in an Oct. 10 interview with CQ Roll Call. She later added that she believes an endorsement from Obama would help her in the district. Full story
The candidate: Former chief judge Ann Callis, a Democrat The member: Freshman Rep. Rodney Davis, a Republican The district: Mitt Romney narrowly won this district with 49 percent of the vote. The candidate’s team: Marshall Cohen (manager), Travis Lowe and Clare Gannon of Three Point Media (media), Jason McGrath and Mike Bocian of GBA Strategies (polling), Emily Parcell and Beth Hernandez of The Pivot Group (mail)
Former chief judge Ann Callis said she will need to raise $2 million to $2.5 million to wage a competitive campaign in the 13th District next year, according to an Oct. 10 interview she gave CQ Roll Call.
Callis is seeking to oust freshman Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., in the competitive district that split nearly evenly between the two presidential candidates. Davis first faces a primary against former Miss America Erika Harold. Full story
The candidate: Democrat Jennifer Garrison, former state lawmaker. The member: Two-term Rep. Bill Johnson, a Republican from Ohio. The state: In 2012, GOP nominee Mitt Romney carried the district with 55 percent. The candidate’s team: Charlie Hale (campaign manager), Mark Riddle (senior adviser), The Campaign Group (media consultant), Benenson Strategy Group (pollster), New Partners (research), New Blue Interactive (digital strategist)
Former state Rep. Jennifer Garrison said any campaign help from President Barack Obama would not help her chances of winning the 6th District in southeastern Ohio.
“Obama isn’t very popular in my part of the state, and I respect the office of the presidency of the United States,” Garrison said in an Oct. 8 interview with CQ Roll Call. “But I suspect that the president would not be campaigning for someone unless he thought that would be helpful, and in my case it probably would not.” Full story
Cannon is running in a competitive House district in Michigan. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
The candidate: Ret. Army Major General Jerry Cannon, a Democrat. The member: Rep. Dan Benishek, a two-term Republican. The district: In 2012, Benishek defeated Democratic challenger Gary McDowell by less than 2,000 votes in this Upper Peninsula district. Mitt Romney carried the district with 54 points. The candidate’s team: Travis Lowe and Clare Gannon of Three Point Media (media), Al Quinlan and Andrew Baumann of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (polling), Terry Walsh at The Strategy Group (mail).
The candidate: Democrat John Lewis, a former top aide to Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. The member: Freshman Rep. Steve Daines, a Republican who represents the at-large district and is most likely running for Senate in 2014. Both parties expect an open race for this House seat in 2014. The state: Last cycle, Mitt Romney won Montana by more than a 13-point margin and Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., won re-election by 4 points. But Republicans have held onto the state’s sole House seat for the past 17 years. The candidate’s team: Aaron Murphy (communications director), Barrett Kaiser (manager), Bob Funk (deputy manager), Geoff Garin of Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group (pollster), Mattis Goldman of Three Point Media (media), Colleen Martin (finance director).
“There’s going to be, as we saw last year, a flood of outside money,” Lewis told Roll Call in a Oct. 9 interview. “Montana is cheap airwaves. No one saw more outside money than Montana last year. … I’m going to have to raise at least $2 million to have a chance.” Full story
The candidate: Tompkins County Council Chairwoman Martha Robertson, a Democrat. The member: Rep. Tom Reed, a Republican. The district: New York’s 23rd District is a competitive seat. Voters picked GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012 by a 1-point margin, and in 2008 they elected President Barack Obama by the same margin. The candidate’s team: Snyder Pickerill (media); Normington, Petts, and Associates (polling); The Strategy Group (mail).
The candidate: North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis, a Republican The member: Sen. Kay Hagan, a first-term Democrat. The state: In 2012, GOP nominee Mitt Romney carried North Carolina by a 2-point margin. In 2008, Hagan defeated former Sen. Elizabeth Dole, a Republican, by 8 points in a favorable year for Democrats. The candidate’s team: Brad Todd of OnMessage Inc. (media), Paul Shumaker (general consultant), Bellwether Consulting Group (fundraising), Public Opinion Strategies (polling).
The candidate: Republican Mead Treadwell, lieutenant governor of Alaska The member: Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, who is up for his first re-election The state: In 2008, Begich became the first Democrat elected to the Senate from Alaska since 1974. Four years later, Barack Obama became the first Democratic presidential nominee to break the 40 percent mark there in four decades. The candidate’s team: Eddie Mahe and Ladonna Lee (general consultants), Dave Sackett of the Tarrance Group (polling), Burke Wood (media).
The candidate: Republican Lee Bright, a South Carolina state senator The member: Bright is challenging Sen. Lindsey Graham in the Republican primary. The state: This is one of two Senate races in South Carolina next year. Appointed Sen. Tim Scott, a Republican, is running unopposed in the special election to fill out the remaining term of Jim DeMint. Both races are rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. The candidate’s team: Chris Sullivan (general consultant)
The candidate: Republican David Young, former chief of staff to Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa The member: Young is running against five other Republicans in a GOP primary to replace retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. The state: This is the first open Senate seat in the Hawkeye State since 1974, and it has drawn a host of interest from Republican candidates hoping to flip the seat into the GOP category. On the Democratic side, Rep. Bruce Braley is the likely nominee as the only candidate thus far running in the Democratic primary. The candidate’s team: The Tarrance Group (polling), Smart Media Group (media), Heather Swift (communications), Zach Lahn (campaign manager).
The candidate:State Rep. Mike Bost, a Republican The member: Bost is challenging freshman Rep. Bill Enyart, a Democrat. The district: Illinois’ 12th District is located in the southwest corner of the state and is one of the most competitive congressional districts in Illinois. President Barack Obama won the district by a slim 2-point margin in 2012. The candidate’s team: Julie Wadler (fundraising), Ben Burger, SRCPmedia (media), Tarrance Group (polling).
Illinois state Rep. Mike Bost, who garnered YouTube fame when his heated “Let my people go” floor speech on the state House floor went viral, said he could show that same passion in Congress, should he be elected next fall.
Bost is challenging freshman Rep. Bill Enyart, D-Ill., in the competitive 12th District next year. Last cycle, Enyart defeated his Republican opponent by a 9-point margin.
But many Republicans lamented that their nominee for this race last cycle was lackluster. They believe Bost — who has represented a large chunk of the district over his 20 years in the state legislature — will have a better shot in 2014.