Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 27, 2014

July 26, 2013

Rudy Hobbs on Detroit, Bankruptcy and Michigan Democrats | The Candidate #MI14

Rudy Hobbs on Detroit, Bankruptcy and Michigan Democrats | The Candidate #MI14

Hobbs is running in Michigan's 14th District (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Every year, scores of congressional candidates visit the CQ Roll Call offices to meet with reporters and Contributing Editor Stuart Rothenberg. This feature, “The Candidate,” will ask these congressional hopefuls five questions about their campaigns. Responses and questions have been edited and condensed.

The candidate: Michigan House Democratic Floor Leader Rudy Hobbs
The member: Democratic Rep. Gary Peters, who is running for Senate
The district: This is a heavily Democratic district that includes both suburban and urban Detroit. The August 2014 Democratic primary will most likely determine Peters’ successor. In 2012, the 14th was the site of a heated member-versus-member race between Peters and Democrat Hansen Clarke.
The candidate’s team: Michigan-based operatives Diana McBroom, Jamaine Dickens and Kristen Caswell. He is still assembling the rest of his team.

1. Have you talked to Hansen Clarke and do you have any insight into whether he’s running? 

I have not touched base with Hansen Clarke and I have very little insight into whether he is running. Full story

Freshman Republican Holds the Keys in Montana #MTSEN

Freshman Republican Holds the Keys in Montana #MTSEN

Daines is mulling a Senate bid. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Montana Rep. Steve Daines showed no signs of haste as he trekked from his Cannon office late Wednesday afternoon to the Capitol for a last-minute vote.

So far, the freshman Republican has taken a similarly measured approach to his looming decision about whether to run for the Big Sky State’s open Senate seat, one of the top pickup opportunities for Republicans in 2014.

In an interview with CQ Roll Call, Daines said he hasn’t made a final decision and hasn’t set a timeline to make one. Full story

July 25, 2013

Doug Lamborn Draws Democratic Challenger #CO05

Doug Lamborn Draws Democratic Challenger #CO05

Lamborn has a new challenger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Irv Halter announced on Wednesday that he will challenge Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn in Colorado’s 5th District, according to a release from Halter’s campaign.

Halter, a Democrat, told supporters at a Wednesday campaign announcement in Colorado Springs that he is running because he feels there is a “crisis of confidence in political leaders and especially the United States Congress.”

Full story

Reid Assumes Cory Booker Will Win Special Election #NJSEN

Reid Assumes Cory Booker Will Win Special Election #NJSEN

Reid assumes Booker will come to the Senate. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid portrayed Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s election to the Senate as a foregone conclusion and gushed with encouragement for Hillary Rodham Clinton to run for president in 2016 in a recent interview.

The Nevada Democrat was pressed about the lack of black senators in the wake of President Barack Obama’s comments last week on Trayvon Martin.

“Oh, just hold your breath,” Reid told PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff in an interview, parts of which aired Wednesday. “Cory Booker’s on his way from New Jersey. And that’ll happen in October.” Full story

Matt Whitaker on Football, Geography and Bear’s | The Candidate #IASEN

Matt Whitaker on Football, Geography and Bears | The Candidate #IASEN

Whitaker will run for Senate. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Every year, scores of congressional candidates visit the CQ Roll Call offices to meet with reporters and Contributing Editor Stuart Rothenberg. This feature, “The Candidate,” will ask these congressional hopefuls five questions about their campaigns. Responses and questions have been edited and condensed.

The candidate: Former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker, a Republican
The member: Retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa
The state: This will be Iowa’s first open-seat Senate race since 1974. The state is a perennial battleground.
The candidate’s team: Jeff Roe of Axiom Strategies (general consultant), Terry Nelson of FP1 Strategies (media), Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research (pollster), Jeff Livingston (finance).

1. You’re one of several candidates vying for the nomination. How can you distinguish yourself in such a crowded primary?

I think there’s two things that are going to help us in this campaign. One is that I’m a full-spectrum conservative that appeals to a broad section of Republican primary voters. At the same time, we have geography in both central and eastern Iowa, which I have spent a lot of time in. So stances on issues, along with geography, are what make me a competitive candidate. Full story

July 24, 2013

The Most Unpredictable Senate Primary of 2014

An unknown Baptist, Korean-American businessman from Augusta, Ga., delivered a speech July 19 to a regional conference of the National Federation of Republican Women. Sources say he shelled out $5,000 to serve as a “presenting sponsor” of the Atlanta event for 300 top Republicans, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal.

So who was he?

Eugene Yu had just joined the most intriguing primary in the country: the GOP race for Georgia’s open Senate seat. He and at least six other Republicans are vying for the nomination in one of the Senate’s top contests of 2014.

As Democratic recruit Michelle Nunn entered a nearly empty primary field this week, Yu’s candidacy — even as an underdog — is emblematic of the free-for-all that has ensued on the Republican side since Sen. Saxby Chambliss announced his retirement in January. Full story

Minnesota Businessman Eyes Peterson Challenge #MN07

Minnesota Businessman Eyes Peterson Challenge #MN07

Peterson might have a new challenger soon. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Scott Van Binsbergen, a Minnesota businessman and former staffer for retired Rep. Vin Weber, R-Minn., confirmed to CQ Roll Call on Wednesday that he is eyeing a bid against Rep. Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., in the 7th District.

Van Binsbergen said in a phone interview that he didn’t have a timeline for his decision but said he has met with the National Republican Congressional Committee, as well as delegates from the Minnesota Republican Party, as he considers the race.

“I’m extremely interested,” said Van Binsbergen, who in 2006 ran an unsuccessful bid for state House in Minnesota. “I’ve been out meeting with delegates and political people from around the district and around the state, but I haven’t put a timeline on [an announcement].”

Full story

By Emily Cahn Posted at 3:14 p.m.
House 2014, Minn.-7, NRCC

DesJarlais Will Run for Re-Election in 2014 #TN04

DesJarlais Will Run for Re Election in 2014 #TN04

DesJarlais will seek re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., announced officially on Wednesday that he will seek re-election in 2014, according to a local news report.

DesJarlais will announce his re-election at an Aug. 7 official kickoff event in the 4th District — exactly one year from the primary, reported the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

His announcement comes a little more than a week after he posted a paltry second-quarter fundraising haul, casting doubts as to whether he could run a competitive campaign for Congress.

Full story

By Emily Cahn Posted at 2:30 p.m.
House 2014, Tenn.-4

Well-Known Businessman Joins Crowded Georgia Senate Primary #GASEN

Businessman David Perdue has joined the crowded Georgia primary for Senate, further shaking up the GOP field in one of the cycle’s top races.

Perdue, the former CEO of Dollar General and cousin of former Gov. Sonny Perdue, has been exploring a bid for a few months. He announced his campaign Wednesday with a video on his campaign website.

“The career politicians have created this mess, and we just can’t expect them to clean it up,” Perdue says. “If we want different results from Washington, we just have to send a different kind of person to Washington. Full story

The Race to Define McConnell’s Primary Challenger #KYSEN

It’s the race to define Matt Bevin in Kentucky, as the Republican primary challenger kicks off his Senate campaign and a statewide tour Wednesday.

The campaigns of both Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Bevin, McConnell’s primary challenger, released TV ads this morning introducing the businessman to Kentucky.

While Bevin took shots at McConnell’s votes and leadership in the Senate in his opening salvo, he also made sure to lay out his résumé: “Matt Bevin: Small-town roots, successful businessman, father of nine, veteran, conservative, Republican for U.S. Senate.”

Full story

GOPAC Branches Into Federal Races for 2014

GOPAC, the organization that aims to build the local Republican bench, will announce on Wednesday a new initiative to push its candidates to seek federal office in 2014.

Called Up is a program that will direct a larger portion of GOPAC’s resources to federal elections, both with independent expenditures and strategic advice for the candidates running.

“Much like in Major League Baseball, we have diligently worked to foster the talents of young leaders and build a deep bench of battle-tested candidates,” GOPAC Chairman Frank Donatelli said in a news release. ”These rising conservative stars have proven themselves on the state and local levels, and it is now time to call them up to higher office.”

Full story

July 23, 2013

National Tea Party Group Defends Endorsement of Mitch McConnell

National tea party leaders are not backing down from their endorsement of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, despite pushback from local tea party factions in Kentucky.

Speaking with reporters outside an event that featured appearances by all of the prominent tea-party-backed senators, Scottie Hughes of TPNN.com defended her group’s decision to back the Kentucky Republican. McConnell helped the group organize the event in the Capitol.

Both Hughes’ Tea Party News Network and its umbrella organization TheTeaParty.net have endorsed McConnell, even though he is expected to pick up a tea-party-inspired primary challenger on Wednesday. Local groups in Kentucky have asked the national groups to rescind their support.

“The national tea party doesn’t want to sit here and go against anything a local tea party group says. That being said, however, we need to look to make sure that we’re properly vetting our candidates, which is something the tea party has done very badly in the past,” Hughes told reporters gathered outside the event. “We as a national tea party are encouraging this local tea party group: You need to sit down and vet the candidate you’ve picked, vet his background, make sure that he’s not just coming out as kind of a loose cannon as a tea party candidate.”

Full story

The 7 Most Dysfunctional State Parties

In the past two years, one state party chairman was investigated by the local bar association. Elsewhere, an about-to-be-ousted party leader changed the locks at the headquarters. Two more state parties were threatened with eviction.

Traditionally, state parties have been the meeting point between the national political organizations and the local ground game. But in recent cycles, many of them have become so dysfunctional that they are now irrelevant — or even worse, detrimental, to the national party’s efforts.

The reasons behind their ineptitude vary: Some parties struggle with finances, others with competing personalities. For Republicans, many of the problems stem from power struggles between tea party activists and old guard operatives.

Does it matter if the state party is dysfunctional, especially in the age of shadow campaigns and ubiquitous third-party spending? It depends whom you ask. Full story

Jo Bonner Announces Resignation on Aug. 2 #AL01

Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Ala., announced on Tuesday that he will officially resign from Congress on Aug. 2.

Bonner, who is leaving to take a job at the University of Alabama, initially planned to resign on Aug. 15, according to numerous reports. But Bonner said he decided to resign earlier to ensure that a new member of Congress is in place for the start of the second session of the 113th Congress.

“Earlier today, I notified House Speaker John Boehner of my intent to leave Congress at 11:59PM on August 2, 2013,” Bonner wrote in a news release. ”It was always my intent for this seat to be vacant as little time as possible; therefore, I am moving up my original resignation date to ensure that a new representative can be elected and seated in time for the Second Session of the 113th Congress in January 2014.”

Full story

Ex-Redskins Receiver Not Likely to Seek Rematch #ID01

Ex Redskins Receiver Not Likely to Seek Rematch #ID01

Labrador will likely not see a rematch from a former NFL player. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Washington Redskins wide receiver Jimmy Farris told a local news source on Tuesday that he is eyeing a run for the Idaho Legislature instead of another bid against GOP Rep. Raúl R. Labrador.

Full story

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