Booker continues to raise big money for his Senate bid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Newark Mayor Cory Booker dominated his New Jersey Senate special-election foes in fundraising during the first three weeks of July, pre-primary reports filed with the Federal Election Commission showed.
Booker raised $2.1 million from July 1 to 24 — six times more than his closest competitor in the Aug. 13 race for the Democratic nomination.
Booker reported having more than $4 million in cash on hand by the end of the pre-primary period. Reports were due to the FEC on Aug. 1. Full story
Retired Army Maj. Gen Jerry Cannon officially announced on Tuesday that he will challenge Republican Rep. Dan Benishek in Michigan’s 1st District.
“Throughout my military and law enforcement careers I have lived the values of sacrifice and service everyday. People have counted on me to step up, serve our community and protect our way of life in northern Michigan. I’m ready to answer that call again,” Cannnon said in a news release.
Former Bush administration aide Elise Stefanik will announce her bid to challenge Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., on Tuesday, kicking off her quest for one of the GOP’s most elusive House seats in the Empire State.
Stefanik, who ran debate preparations for Rep. Paul D. Ryan during the 2012 campaign, recently returned to upstate New York to work on her family’s plywood business. She introduced her candidacy via an online video shared with CQ Roll Call.
“Growing up in a small business family, I learned the values of hard work and humility,” Stefanik, 29, says in the spot. “I’ve seen firsthand how insiders in Washington have forgotten to fight for average small businesses like ours on Main Street. I want to change that. ”
Graham got a new challenger on his right this weekend. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
It was inevitable that the field of primary challengers to Lindsey Graham would grow, but the sheer number of ambitious Republicans seeking to oust the South Carolina senator may end up being the undoing of them all.
With a new opponent entering the race over the weekend and another poised to join soon, the question is whether enough variables could fall into place to cause a different result this time.
It’s possible, according to several South Carolina GOP operatives who spoke with CQ Roll Call in recent days. But it would take an extraordinarily large amount of money, extensive support from outside groups and an unlikely coalescing of the anti-Graham vote. A top challenger would need all of those things, plus cash to spare for a runoff. Full story
Another Montana Democrat is declining to run for the state’s open Senate seat, which remains one of the party’s most vulnerable in the country.
On Monday, Denise Juneau, the state superintendent of public instruction, announced on Facebook that she was taking her name out of the running for the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Max Baucus.
“After much deliberation, I have decided not to seek the U.S. House or Senate seats in 2014,” Juneau said. “I sincerely appreciate the outpouring of support and encouragement I have received from people all across Montana and the country. It has been very humbling to be considered for such a leadership role representing our great state; however, my decision not to run for Congress is the right one for me at this time.” Full story
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is launching an online ad campaign on Monday to run during August recess that highlights competitive Republican primaries.
Called the “GOP Tea Party Primary-Palooza,” the significant media buy will include web video ads, online ads, Facebook and Twitter ads, and “news alerts” to highlight the latest developments, according to a release obtained by CQ Roll Call.
“We are seven months into the cycle, and each week a new GOP primary or Senate candidate seems to emerge, further complicating their path to the majority,” DSCC spokesman Justin Barasky said in a statement. Full story
McConnell sent one of his top aides to his campaign this week. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Two Democratic polls released in the past two days showed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell virtually tied in his re-election race in the Bluegrass State.
Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who formally launched her challenge to the Republican this week, led 44 percent to 42 percent in a survey conducted by her pollster, Mark Mellman. The poll of 750 likely voters was taken July 20-24.
The Democrat’s 2-point lead was within the poll’s 3.6-point margin of error, but the results indicate at this early point that McConnell has a race on his hands in this Republican-leaning state. Full story
Moran will speak with his former House colleague about a Senate run. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran has yet to discuss a Senate bid with Michigan Rep. Dave Camp, but he said the Ways and Means chairman would be a “viable candidate” and he plans to reach out to him soon.
“I know Dave Camp very well. We served together in the House,” Moran told reporters in the Capitol on Thursday, noting that he planned to speak with the congressman by phone or in person in the next few days. “I’m very interested in having that conversation to see what his interest and issues are.” Full story
Steve Lonegan, the underdog and likely Republican nominee in New Jersey’s Senate special election, is making the rounds in Washington, D.C., this week.
The goal of the meetings: to prove there is a path to victory in the solidly Democratic Garden State and encourage financial assistance in the Oct. 16 special. Newark Mayor Cory Booker, for whom Oprah is headlining a fundraiser Thursday night, is favored to win the Democratic nomination. Full story
A contentious Democratic primary threatens in Florida’s 2nd District and August is shaping up to be a consequential point in the race.
Florida Rep. Corrine Brown plans on traveling to Tallahassee in the coming days to meet with former state Sen. Al Lawson, the party’s 2012 nominee. Lawson is publicly mulling another run, as national Democrats are overtly behind contender Gwen Graham, daughter of former Sen. Bob Graham. Florida Democrats point to Brown as a top power broker in this conflict.
“I would like to say that I’m going to talk with the parties involved and make a decision at that time,” Brown said in a phone interview when asked if she will endorse.
Walters is running for Congress in California's 45th District. (Douglas Graham/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: Republican state Sen. Mimi Walters. The member: Retiring Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif. The race: Located in Orange County, Calif., the 45th District is a safe Republican seat. Walters is running against two announced Republican candidates: Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach and Col. Greg Raths. The candidate’s team: David Gilliard, Gilliard Blanning & Associates (lead consultant); Anne Dunsmore, Capital Campaigns (fundraising).
Bennet is the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Senate Democrats’ campaign chief urged patience with the party’s recruitment progress as Republicans picked up a top challenger this week in a key race.
“Everyone wants the races to be jelled today,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Michael Bennet told reporters in a Wednesday briefing after the quarter-mark of the cycle. “They’re not, and they never are.”
Congress may be preparing for a monthlong recess, but the 2014 battle for the Senate is only gaining steam. Fifteen months removed from the midterm elections, both Senate campaign committees are still deep in the recruitment phase of cycle.
Cotton's bid for Senate opens his House seat (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton’s bid to challenge Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor opens up a potentially competitive House contest in 2014.
Cotton, a freshman, is the second Republican since Reconstruction to represent the district, following longtime Democratic Rep. Mike Ross’ retirement last cycle. Democrats argue that with a strong candidate, they might have a chance to take back this district, which GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney won with 62 percent in 2012.
“Without [President Barack Obama] at the top of the ticket, candidates will be able to talk about local issues, without being hampered by the president’s baggage,” one Democratic operative said.