- Poll Shows Nunn Leading in Georgia
- Perry Puts Mugshot on Campaign Schwag
- Politicians Aren't More Corrupt Than Usual
- Axelrod Says Democrats Were Wrong About Bush Vacations
- Bonus Quote of the Day
April 24, 2013
A beekeeper and farmer from Kingsburg, Calif., announced Tuesday that he will challenge GOP Rep. Jeff Denham in a Central Valley district with swing potential.
April 23, 2013
What you might have missed “At the Races” on Tuesday …
- #MTsen: All eyes are on former Gov. Brian Schweitzer to see if he runs for the Democratic nod in Montana. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., suddenly announced his retirement Tuesday morning, and soon after a top Democratic official confirmed that Schweitzer was already considering the race.
- #HIsen: Rep. Colleen Hanabusa will likely challenge appointed Sen. Brian Schatz for the Democratic nomination in 2014. Notable timing here: Hours earlier, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee indicated it would support Schatz.
- #SDsen: Democrats remain divided over who should run for the open Senate seat: U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson or former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. Neither has announced a campaign yet. Meanwhile, former Sen. James Abourezk joined the “Draft Brendan Johnson” movement.
- Shop Talk: A top GOP ad-maker, Nick Everhart, was fired from Rex Elsass’ firm via an email late on April 20.
- Shop Talk: A former campaign manager for Sen. Joe Manchin III has joined the new Democratic consulting firm Mack-Sumner. That firm sound familiar? Earlier this year, conflicting interests split Kevin Mack’s longtime partnership with Jim Crounse and the direct-mail firm Mack|Crounse Group.
Fiona Conroy, a former campaign manager for Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., has joined the new Democratic consulting firm Mack-Sumner.
“We are thrilled to have Fiona on our team,” partner Kevin Mack said in a Tuesday release. “She brings unmatched energy, unique experience and boundless creativity to Mack-Sumner.” Full story
Sen. Max Baucus’ surprising retirement announcement puts the onus on Democrats to recruit the state’s popular former governor, who could be the only candidate capable of holding the seat.
Thanks to a head’s up from the Senate Finance Committee chairman, party operatives have already begun with former Gov. Brian Schweitzer.
The bolo tie-wearing national party figure could tap into a fundraising network far beyond any other Democrat in the state — except, of course, for Baucus. There is little doubt that the two-term former governor would give Democrats a good chance at holding the seat.
The question is whether the unpredictable and ambitious Schweitzer will actually run. Full story
Updated 12:42 a.m. | Montana Sen. Max Baucus has decided to retire instead of seek re-election next year, a sudden move that caught many colleagues and state Democrats off guard.
Democratic sources confirmed the news to CQ Roll Call on Tuesday morning — after which Baucus told reporters he was working to spread word to his staff.
The Senate Finance chairman was considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats up in 2014 and Republicans had made clear they would heavily target the race. Baucus has served in the Senate since 1979 and has not faced difficult races in recent years.
Now that Baucus is exiting after this congress, Roll Call contributing editor Stuart Rothenberg rates this race as a Tossup in the Rothenberg Report.
Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer will be at the top of Democrats’ wish list as the candidate in the open-seat race. A Democratic source indicated the ex-governor is leaning toward running.
The retirement also opens up the Finance gavel come 2104. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., is next in line for that post, and Democratic sources indicated he would be likely to take it. Full story
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, has decided to run for Senate and will likely make a public announcement in the Aloha State next week during recess, a source close to the congresswoman told CQ Roll Call.
The decision comes four months after Hanabusa was passed over for the appointment to the seat of the late Sen. Daniel Inouye and sets up what will be a spirited Democratic primary battle with appointed Sen. Brian Schatz.
Hanabusa met with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee last week, and on Monday the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that the DSCC would back Schatz should Hanabusa challenge him in the November 2014 special election to fill the remaining two years of Inouye’s term.
April 22, 2013
What we’re mulling on Monday …
- #MIsen: Michigan’s Democratic primary waters are clear now — so when will Rep. Gary Peters jump into the Senate race? Debbie Dingell announced in a Saturday Facebook post that she will not seek the Democratic nomination to replace retiring Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. No word yet from Peters on an announcement.
- #SC01: Not everyone has abandoned former Gov. Mark Sanford’s special election bid. National Right to Life PAC spent almost $6,000 on mailers for Sanford, according to online records with the Federal Election Commission.
- #HIsen: Your move, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee will back Sen. Brian Schatz in the Democratic primary, via the Honolulu Star Advertiser.
Usually, it’s Texans who are notorious for invoking the Alamo amid tough circumstances.
But this weekend, former Gov. Mark Sanford referenced the epic battle in a full-page newspaper advertisement in the Sunday edition of Charleston’s The Post and Courier.
Sanford, the GOP’s nominee in South Carolina’s 1st District special election, is going through some trying times.
Last week, The Associated Press reported that his former wife had accused him of trespassing on her property. In the next two days, national Republicans abandoned his campaign and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee bought air time for a hard-hitting television advertisement against him.
He’s now the underdog in the heavily GOP district against the Democratic nominee, Elizabeth Colbert Busch.
So Sanford is invoking the Alamo in his struggle to return to Congress:
“In March of 1863, there was similarly little time. A South Carolinian by the name of William Travis drew a line in the sand with his sword and simply asked those who would stay and fight, to cross it. His efforts, and that of those who died with him there at the Alamo, ultimately inspired Texans to come to the aid of their brethren and defeat Santa Anna’s army though they were outnumbered at the onset by six to one. I’m outnumbered right now, but will fight to the end toward freedom and financial sanity in Washington so important to sustaining it. I’d ask you to cross the like and fight with me.”
There’s a problem with this anecdote: the Alamo fell on March 6, 1836.
Alaska Republican Joe Miller said he is leaning toward once again seeking his party’s nomination for Senate — likely to the chagrin of some GOP leaders in Anchorage and Washington, D.C.
“Certainly those in the establishment of the Republican Party aren’t going to be terribly excited to see me,” Miller said in an interview with CQ Roll Call last week.
Miller said he’s already met with National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran, a fellow Kansas native, and described their conversation as “frank.”
In 2010, the attorney and tea party favorite won the GOP Senate nomination by defeating Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski. After the primary, national Republicans publicly supported Miller, but his campaign quickly faltered in the general election and Murkowski won re-election as a write-in candidate.
Last week, Miller launched an exploratory committee to challenge Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, a top GOP target in 2014. He’s currently shoring up grass-roots support and donations to ensure he has what it takes to win it all this time.
Reps. Edward J. Markey and Stephen F. Lynch resumed their Senate special-election campaigns on Monday. It’s been one week since the two Bay State Democrats suspended political activities after the Boston Marathon bombing.
Though we are still saddened by last week's events, we must move forward.Today we will be respectfully restarting the campaign. #masen— Stephen F. Lynch (@lynchforsenate) April 22, 2013
Markey’s spokesman confirmed via email that he will start campaigning again, although neither candidate is running television ads yet:
The House GOP’s campaign arm unveiled the first round of vulnerable incumbents for its Patriot program on Monday morning, suggesting which members it believes could need the most help in 2014.
However, these 11 new members in their incumbent-retention program have also signed a contract pledging they will reach certain communications, fundraising and strategy benchmarks to receive support later in the cycle.
“Our Members in the Patriot Program have proven that they are ready to run aggressive, organized campaigns,” National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon said in a press release.
A couple of names are notably absent from the list below, including Rep. Gary G. Miller, R-Calif., who represents a district that President Barack Obama won with 57 percent last November. House Democrats have already indicated Miller will be one of their top targets in 2014. Full story
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised nearly $7 million more than its GOP counterpart in the first three months of this year.
According to figures provided by the committees, the DSCC raised more than $5.2 million in March, which is about $2 million more than the National Republican Senatorial Committee brought in last month.
The monthly haul helped the DSCC record its best first quarter ever, raising $13.7 million over the past three months and ending March with $8.4 million in cash on hand. The NRSC raised some $6.9 million in the first three months and had $5.3 million on hand.
April 21, 2013
Editor’s Note: The field is a new, reoccurring series that examines the political landscape in specific House or Senate races. Want to read about the field for a particular district or state? We take requests: Tweet @rollcall with #thefield or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rep. Bill Cassidy’s, R-La., decision this month to challenge Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu opened a highly desirable district for ambitious Republicans, including a former congressman.
According to GOP sources, there are several Republicans seriously considering running for the 6th District, which President Barack Obama lost by 34 points last year. The district is based in Baton Rouge, but it stretches arms out in several directions, including into the outskirts of New Orleans.
The field of potential Republican candidates could be long, though several of the following people are based in Baton Rouge. It’s unlikely they would all attempt to run from the same home turf. The list includes: Full story
April 19, 2013
The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised nearly $3.2 million in March, according to a source in the committee.
The committee ended last month with almost $5.3 million in the bank.
This is a jump from February, when the committee raised $2.2 million and had $3.1 million in cash on hand. The NRSC will report $9.5 million in debt.
The NRSC, which is chaired by Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas, got a late start on hiring this cycle, so the improvement is attributable to getting staff in place.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee did not have its fundraising numbers available Friday. Monthly fundraising reports are due to the Federal Election Commission by midnight Saturday.
Correction, 6:15 pm | An earlier post misidentified the amount of debt the NRSC reported based on inaccurate information provided by the source.
April 18, 2013
Three days after the Boston Marathon bombing, the Democratic candidates for the Massachusetts special Senate election still aren’t sure how to proceed with an imminent primary.
Campaigns for the top two Democrats — Reps. Edward J. Markey and Stephen F. Lynch — have spoken informally. But they have no agreement on a specific date to resume political activities after suspending them earlier this week.
Markey and Lynch, plus all three Republicans seeking the GOP nomination, were scheduled to attend Thursday’s interfaith service, according to The Boston Globe. President Barack Obama and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, spoke at the service.
Now comes the uneasy transition back to politics, with the primary scheduled for April 30. Full story