Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 4, 2015

December 16, 2013

EMILY’s List Endorses in North Carolina Special Election

EMILY’s List endorsed state Rep. Alma Adams in the crowded Democratic primary for a North Carolina special election, according to a news release shared first with CQ Roll Call.

Adams is one of at least seven Democrats, including two women, looking to succeed Rep. Melvin Watt, the longtime Democrat. He is vacating the 12th District after the Senate confirmed his appointment to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency last week.

“Throughout her career, Alma Adams has shown incredible commitment to the women and working families of North Carolina,” EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock said in a news release. “Alma is a trusted and proven public servant and the EMILY’s List community — now three million members strong — is proud to continue supporting her strong campaign.”

Full story

Nebraska Republican to Make TV Buy During BCS Game

Midland University President Ben Sasse has scheduled airtime on Jan. 6 during the Bowl Championship Series game between Auburn University and Florida State University, according to multiple sources who track media buys.

The buy is worth about $8,500. Full story

DSCC Raised $5.1 Million in November

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced Monday that it raised $5.1 million last month — its best off-year November ever.

The DSCC has now raised $48.6 million through the first 11 months of the year and had more than $12 million in cash on hand as of Nov. 30. It paid down its remaining debt last month by $1.25 million and now owes $5 million. Full story

December 15, 2013

The Most Expensive Senate Race of the Cycle — So Far

Hagan's race has already witnessed a barrage of advertising. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

About halfway through the midterm election cycle, North Carolina is on pace to host the most expensive Senate race of 2014.

But the Tar Heel State shouldn’t necessarily get too comfortable in the top spot.

Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan’s re-election battle is one of at least four Senate contests where outside spending has already eclipsed the $2 million mark. The others include the re-election races of Sens. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

The potential for Republicans to win back the Senate majority, combined with the media-market makeup of the competitive landscape, has invited a superfluity of early spending. Republicans need a net gain of six seats next year, and most of the competitive races are for Democrat-held seats in less populous states.

“Given the president’s plummeting job approval ratings, there is growing optimism that Republicans can win back the Senate, and that’s why you’re seeing some very early spending in key U.S. Senate races,” GOP media consultant Erik Potholm said. “And Democrats, especially their vulnerable incumbents, are feeling that same pressure — that’s why Sens. Landrieu and Pryor are on the air.” Full story

December 12, 2013

GOP Field for North Carolina House Seat Continues to Grow

Former banker Bruce VonCannon announced Wednesday that he will seek the GOP nomination for North Carolina’s 6th District, becoming the sixth Republican to enter the crowded race.

VonCannon joins Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger Jr., Greensboro City Council member Zack Matheny, Baptist pastors Dan Collison and Bradley Walker, and navy veteran Don Webb in the contest. All six are looking to replace Rep. Howard Coble, the 15-term Republican who announced his retirement this fall.

Local GOP operatives say Berger is the front-runner in the race. As the son of the state Senate president pro tem, Berger boasts connections and the name identification to run a smooth campaign.

Full story

Super PAC Ad Targets Landrieu Challenger in Louisiana

Landrieu is vulnerable in 2014. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 9:31 a.m. | A Democrat-aligned super PAC has booked airtime in Louisiana, where Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., is facing one of the toughest re-election races in the country.

Senate Majority PAC’s first ad in the Bayou State criticizes GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy for voting to raise the retirement age, “to raise Medicare costs $6,000 per year” and to shut down the federal government.

Watch the ad here:

Full story

DCCC Unveils Final 2014 Recruits for Jumpstart Program

Israel is the DCCC chairman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee unveiled its final wave of Jumpstart candidates for the 2014 cycle on Thursday, giving the seal of approval to one final set of recruits before the election year begins.

New this cycle, the Jumpstart program provides “early financial communications, operational and strategic support” to candidates, according to the committee. It also gives members and potential donors a sense of the DCCC’s top candidates in competitive primaries.

“These four standout candidates are being added to the Jumpstart program because they’re committed to the right priorities, like working together to create good jobs, protect our seniors and give the middle class financial peace of mind,” said DCCC Chairman Steve Israel of New York in a statement.

The latest round of candidates are: Full story

December 11, 2013

Pelosi Fundraises for John Tierney

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi attended a fundraiser Wednesday evening for Rep. John F. Tierney, D-Mass., according to an invitation obtained by CQ Roll Call.


Full story

Super PAC Ad Ties McConnell Opponent to Obama on Coal

A super PAC backing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is again hitting the radio airwaves to tie the Kentucky Republican’s opponent to national Democrats.

Kentuckians for Strong Leadership’s latest ad argues that Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes would be an ally to President Barack Obama’s war on coal, an issue likely to be at the forefront for the duration of the race. A previous ad from the group tied Grimes to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on the issue of Obamacare.

A spokesman for the group said it spent $90,000 to air the ad statewide from Wednesday through Dec. 17. Here is the radio ad airing for the next week: Full story

‘Price Is Right’ Legend Endorses Jolly in Florida Special Election

Updated 5:12 p.m. | Former game show host Bob Barker will endorse GOP lobbyist David Jolly in a television ad on Thursday that will air during a special episode of “The Price is Right.”

“Because with Jolly, the choice is right,” says Barker in the spot.

Full story

Jane Norton Endorses in Colorado GOP Senate Primary

Udall is seeking re-election in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One of the handful of Republicans looking to take on Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., has earned the endorsement of Jane Norton, who was heavily favored to win the GOP Senate nomination in 2010.

On Wednesday, state Rep. Amy Stephens announced that Norton has endorsed her over the rest of the Republican field, which includes 2010 Senate nominee Ken Buck. Full story

Landrieu’s First TV Ad Highlights Her Obamacare Fix

Landrieu is a top GOP target in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Louisiana Sen. Mary L. Landrieu launched the first TV ad of her re-election campaign on Wednesday, highlighting her bill that would allow individual health care plan holders to keep their insurance under Obamacare.

The ad is an effort to defend the third-term Democrat from GOP attacks over the president’s health care law that have already hit the Bayou State airwaves — with more sure to come.

“Thousands of Louisianians and millions of Americans that carried individual policies will now have an opportunity to keep those health care plans,” Landrieu campaign manager Adam Sullivan said in a statement. “The President made a promise, and Sen. Landrieu is working to make sure it is kept and will continue her legislative efforts to fix and improve the Affordable Care Act.”

According to a release, the ad, backed by a $250,000 buy, will air in the Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Alexandria, Shreveport and Monroe media markets.

Watch Keeping the Promise here: Full story

December 10, 2013

7 Things to Know About Katherine Clark

State Sen. Katherine M. Clark, a Democrat, seized victory Tuesday in the special election for Massachusetts’ 5th District.

Clark will succeed Sen. Edward J. Markey in the suburban Boston district. Markey vacated the seat after he won a special election for the Senate seat Secretary of State John Kerry once held.

Here are seven things to know about the newest member of Congress:

Full story

Katherine Clark Wins Massachusetts Special Election

Democratic state Sen. Katherine M. Clark handily defeated GOP attorney Frank Addivinola in Massachusetts’ 5th District special election Tuesday night.

Clark defeated Addivinola, 64 percent to 34 percent, with 35 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.

With her win, Clark becomes the sixth woman elected to Congress from the Bay State. She’s also the second House member to represent this district, which includes the Boston suburbs, in 37 years.

Full story

Watt Confirmation Kicks Off North Carolina Special Election

Several Democrats are seeking Watt's House seat. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After more than seven months of delays, a special election for North Carolina’s 12th District will begin in earnest now that the Senate confirmed Rep. Melvin Watt, D-N.C., to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency on Tuesday.

Watt was ultimately confirmed to head the FHFA, the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac overseer, 57-41, after Senate Republicans previously rejected a bid to cut off debate on the nomination. That was back before Democrats set a new Senate precedent using the “nuclear option,” a move that made Watt’s confirmation inevitable.

Watt’s departure from the district will kick off a frenzy among Tar Heel State Democrats looking to succeed him in the safe Democratic seat he has held for two decades.

The special election will probably take place on previously scheduled election dates, according to a source familiar with North Carolina election law. That would mean a primary in February, with a runoff on May 6 — the same day as the previously scheduled midterm election primaries in North Carolina. The special election could then be held July 15 — the same day as the regularly scheduled runoff date for 2014 elections.

So far, at least seven Democrats filed federal paperwork to run for the safe Democratic seat: Full story

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