Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 23, 2014

July 1, 2013

Is Gary Miller District Shopping? | The Field #CA45

Is Gary Miller District Shopping? | The Field #CA45

Miller could run in another district in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. John Campbell’s retirement from his California seat will spark a crowded GOP primary, perhaps creating a ripple effect in nearby House districts, according to local Republican sources.

There are already a handful of potential GOP candidates for the 45th District — including GOP Rep. Gary G. Miller — who may consider leaving the 31st District to run there instead.

Full story

24-Year-Old GOP Lawmaker Runs for House #ME02

Republican state Rep. Alex Willette announced on Monday that he will run in Maine’s 2nd District, a  likely competitive open-seat race in 2014.

Willette is the first Republican to announce a bid for the seat since Rep. Michael H. Michaud, a Democrat, announced last month that he is exploring a gubernatorial bid in the Pine Tree State.

Full story

Money Race: Senate Fundraising Hauls to Watch

As outside-group crossfire blasts through two Senate races, candidates aren’t just raising money early — they’re spending it.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., don’t have opponents yet, but both are already participating in an ad war unleashed exceedingly early in the cycle, starting 20 months before Election Day in one case.

With the close of the second fundraising quarter on June 30, the threat — and, for those two, the reality — of early attacks reinforces the need for candidates to lay the groundwork now for an expensive election season that’s grown longer in recent years.

It’s why national Democrats, who are defending most of the vulnerable seats up this cycle, have increasingly pushed their incumbents to raise money early. And Republican challengers, even those who haven’t officially announced, must begin socking away for next year.

After losing two seats last cycle, Republicans must add a net of six seats to take the majority.

Fundraising reports covering April through June are due to the Federal Election Commission by July 15. The toplines will shine a spotlight on incumbents’ financial positioning, indicate who has a head start in primaries and provide clues about who is moving closer to a Senate bid.

Here is what to watch for as reports begin rolling in over the next two weeks: Full story

June 28, 2013

GOP Announces Female Candidate Recruitment Program

With a stagnant number of women in its caucus, the House GOP’s campaign organization announced a new program Friday, Project Grow, to recruit, mentor and elect more female candidates in 2014.

“We need more women to run,” Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., said. “Project Grow will plant that seed that will get them thinking of doing it.”

CQ Roll Call reported earlier this week that the National Republican Congressional Committee was in the early stages of formalizing a female candidate recruitment program for the upcoming midterm cycle. The NRCC’s announcement was part of a joint event with six GOP committees that are making an new organized effort to help female candidates. Full story

Tea Party Fund Targets Graham, Alexander, Collins for Immigration Votes

The leader of the Senate Conservatives Fund emailed supporters on Friday promising to back primary challenges against three Republican incumbents who voted for the Senate immigration bill that passed the chamber Thursday.

“There are three incumbents up next year who supported the amnesty bill,” SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins wrote, calling out Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Lamar Alexander or Tennessee, and Susan Collins of Maine. “If strong, conservative challengers emerge in these races, we will support them.”

Senate Conservatives Fund is a tea-party aligned group that was founded by former Sen. Jim DeMint. The South Carolina Republican is no longer with the group. Graham, a member of the bipartisan “gang of eight” that drafted the underlying immigration overhaul, indicated in a Thursday Senate floor speech that he knew his position on immigration might create primary problems for him.

“I have never been more proud to be involved in an issue than I have trying to fix illegal immigration because it is a national security threat, it is an economic threat, and it is a cultural threat,” Graham said.

“As to my politics, I am doing great among Hispanics in South Carolina. The bad news is that there are not very many who vote in the Republican primary,” he added. Full story

Ellmers Delays Senate Decision Timeline #NCSEN

Ellmers Delays Senate Decision Timeline #NCSEN

Ellmers is considering a bid for Senate. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., has pushed back her timeline to make a decision about the Senate race for another couple weeks.

“I haven’t quite reached my full decision, but I think I know where I’m leaning,” Ellmers told Roll Call on Thursday between votes on Capitol Hill.

The second-term congresswoman has previously stated she is considering a primary bid to challenge Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., one of the 2014 cycle’s most vulnerable senators. Earlier this year, s spokeswoman told CQ Roll Call that Ellmers would make a decision by June. Full story

June 27, 2013

John Campbell to Retire From House #CA45

Five-term Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif., announced on Thursday that he will retire at the end of his term, citing a desire to start a new chapter in his life after 14 years in elected office.

“At the end of this term, I will have spent 14 years serving in full-time, elected politics. I am not nor did I ever intend to be a career politician,” Campbell said in a statement. “I am ready to begin a new chapter in my life.” Full story

Democrats Run for Watt’s Seat Amid Rocky Confirmation Process #NC12

Democrats Run for Watts Seat Amid Rocky Confirmation Process #NC12

Watt has been nominated to a post in the Obama administration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate Banking Committee started confirmation hearings on Thursday for Rep. Melvin Watt, D-N.C., the president’s nominee to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Watt’s confirmation is uncertain for the role as regulator of bailed out mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But that hasn’t stopped several Democratic candidates from starting their campaigns in earnest for his seat in the 12th District.

State Sen. Malcolm Graham and state Reps. Alma Adams and Marcus Brandon will run for Watt’s seat if he’s confirmed, according to two local Democratic consultants. Graham and Brandon have already set up exploratory committees and are actively raising funds. Brandon has also sent out direct mail in the district, according to one Democratic operative.

Full story

LePage Won’t Run for Congress #ME02

LePage Wont Run for Congress #ME02

Michaud is exploring a run for governor. (Joshua Miller/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Embattled Maine Gov. Paul R. LePage said Thursday he will not run for Congress in the 2nd District, according to local reports.

Earlier this month, Democratic Rep. Michael H. Michaud launched an exploratory committee to challenge LePage for governor in in 2014. If Michaud officially enters the governor’s race, the 2nd District would be open in 2014.

LePage, a Republican, told reporters last week that he was considering running for Michaud’s seat, after a difficult week in the state capital.

Full story

Democrats Target Cotton on TV in Arkansas #ARSEN

A Democratic outside group launched a TV ad in Arkansas on Thursday targeting GOP Rep. Tom Cotton, a potential Senate candidate.

The ad, which will air statewide for the next two weeks, portrays the freshman Republican as someone “out for himself, not us.” A source said the total ad buy from the affiliated groups Senate Majority PAC and Patriot Majority USA is for about $270,000.

Full story

Quayle Rules Out 2014 Run for Anything

Quayle Rules Out 2014 Run for Anything

Quayle said he won't run for office in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Ben Quayle, R-Ariz., is not running for public office anytime soon — especially next year.

“On the political side, there’s nothing on the radar for me right now,” Quayle told CQ Roll Call in a Wednesday phone interview. “2014 is definitely not happening, but who knows what’ll happen sometime down the road.” Full story

June 26, 2013

Rick Perry Signs Texas Congressional Map Into Law

Rick Perry Signs Texas Congressional Map Into Law

Perry signed the interim map into law on Wednesday. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has signed the Lone Star State’s new congressional map into law, ending the state’s long and twisted redistricting saga of the 2012 cycle.

A Perry aide confirmed to CQ Roll Call that the GOP governor inked the House district boundaries, passed by the legislature in a special session, on Wednesday afternoon.

The governor’s approval comes one day after the Supreme Court gutted a provision in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that forced Texas to seek federal approval for any changes to its voting laws — including its congressional maps. The state was one of several covered by Section 5 because, according to the original law, it had a history of discrimination in its voting practices. Full story

Wendy Davis for Congress? Not so Fast

Nothing could sit Wendy Davis down during an 11-hour filibuster on the Texas Senate floor Tuesday night. But the state’s Republican lean may put a ceiling on her immediate political future — at least in 2014.

There is both a Senate and gubernatorial race in Texas next year, but a Democrat hasn’t been elected to either office since 1990. Still, the state’s booming population and demographic shifts have enticed the party to launch preparations for a potentially competitive statewide race. The only question is how soon an opportunity will come.

“To win statewide in Texas, it’s beyond having a good candidate,” said Lone Star Project director Matt Angle, a Davis ally. “You don’t necessarily want to encourage somebody to run unless you are sure that the infrastructure and the financial support are there for them.” Full story

Crowded Race Forms for Markey’s House Seat #MA05

Special elections in the Bay State might not be that special anymore.

Democratic Rep. Edward J. Markey defeated GOP nominee Gabriel Gomez in Tuesday’s special election for former Sen. John Kerry’s seat. His victory kicks off yet another special contest to fill the seat he’ll vacate in the 5th District — the third special election in as many years in Massachusetts.

Starting months ago, a handful of Democrats announced their candidacies for this imminent House race. That’s because, in part, open seats are rare in the commonwealth’s congressional delegation. Markey held his deep-blue seat in the Boston suburbs since 1976.

Full story

Iowa, Illinois GOP Chairmen Form New Firm | Shop Talk

Two former state GOP chairmen announced on Tuesday they formed a new Chicago-based venture, New Generation Public Affairs Inc.

Former Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn and former Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady joined with Chicago-area businessman Bob Fitzsimmons to create the new firm that will, according to a release, “have a distinctive upper Midwest focus and initial offices in Chicago and Des Moines.”

Their announcement comes about a month after Brady resigned from his post following his declaration of support for same-sex marriage — an announcement that angered some local party members. After three productive years at the state party, Strawn left his role earlier this year in the midst of continued fallout from the GOP’s handling of the Iowa caucuses.

The three principals’ portfolios will include: Full story

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