Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 20, 2014

June 6, 2013

Christie Appoints State Attorney General to Senate #NJSEN

Christie Appoints State Attorney General to Senate #NJSEN

Christie appointed New Jersey's attorney general to the vacant Senate seat. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appointed state Attorney General Jeff Chiesa to the late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg’s now vacant Senate seat.

At a Thursday afternoon news conference to announce the pick, Christie said Chiesa will not be a candidate in the special election to fill the remainder of Lautenberg’s term. Chiesa will serve for the next four months until a candidate is elected in October. Full story

Rush Holt Confirms Senate Bid #NJSEN

Rush Holt Confirms Senate Bid #NJSEN

Holt, right, is running for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Rush D. Holt, D-N.J., announced to supporters Thursday morning that he is running in the New Jersey Senate special election.

In an email, Holt asked for volunteers to help as he seeks the 1,000 signatures needed by Monday to qualify for the Aug. 13 primary. The parties’ nominees will face off on Oct. 16 to fill the remaining 15 months of Lautenberg’s term. Full story

June 5, 2013

NRCC Memo: We Will Expand the Playing Field for 2014

NRCC Memo: We Will Expand the Playing Field for 2014

Walden heads the National Republican Congressional Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden signaled that he plans to stay on offense in 2014 with the aim of expanding his party’s 17-seat majority.

In a Wednesday memo to the House Republican Conference obtained exclusively by CQ Roll Call, Walden says his committee will be “aggressively expanding the playing field” thanks, in part, to Democratic recruitment struggles.

“The question facing Democrats is how, if they are struggling on their home court, will they ever win the Republican-leaning districts they need to regain the majority?” Walden wrote to his colleagues.

He went on to highlight Democratic candidates who dropped their House bids early in the cycle, framing them as recruitment failures. He named-checked former candidates such as hotel magnate Jim Graves in Minnesota’s 6th District and former state Sen. Staci Appel in Iowa’s 3rd District.

Walden also cited promising polling in a handful of House seats held by Democrats, including:

Full story

Democrats Line Up for Senate Special Election #NJSEN

Democrats Line Up for Senate Special Election #NJSEN

Holt will run for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

At least two Democratic members of Congress from New Jersey are likely to run in the special election to fill the remaining term of the late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J.

No one has officially entered the race yet; Lautenberg’s funeral was held Wednesday and he’ll be buried on Friday. But the Monday deadline to file petitions to make it onto the Aug. 13 primary ballot is forcing potential candidates to move quickly behind the scenes.

The GOP field remains murky, but the Democratic field is shaping up to include Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. and Rush D. Holt. Full story

Environmental Group Helps Markey in Massachusetts Special Election #MASEN

Environmental Group Helps Markey in Massachusetts Special Election #MASEN

Markey leads a new poll of the Senate special election in Massachusetts. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The League of Conservation Voters launched a direct-mail program Wednesday to assist Democratic Rep. Edward J. Markey in the Massachusetts special election for Senate.

With just three weeks left, the group announced it is spending almost $400,000 to highlight Markey’s leadership on environmental issues and the positions of Republican nominee Gabriel Gomez — which the LCV labels as “extreme.”

The first mail piece lands at homes this week. The glossy paper states that “no one has fought harder than Ed Markey” for clean-energy jobs and reducing the dependence on foreign oil. It also hits Gomez as a “Wall Street insider” and accuses him of being “in the pocket of Big Oil.” Full story

Hagan Challenger Builds Campaign Team | Shop Talk

Hagan Challenger Builds Campaign Team | Shop Talk

Hagan's opponent is building his team for 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Speaker Thom Tillis has started to build his campaign team for his Senate bid in North Carolina, one of the top targeted races of the 2014 cycle.

Tillis announced his challenge to Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., last week. He’s the first well-known Republican to enter the race.

His team includes: Full story

Republican to Enter Race for Bachmann Seat #MN06

Former state Rep. Tom Emmer is expected to announce on Wednesday evening that he is seeking GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann’s seat, according to local reports.

Emmer, a Republican who waged an unsuccessful gubernatorial bid in Minnesota in 2010, is the first GOP hopeful to announce his candidacy in the 6th District race since Bachmann announced her retirement last week.

Full story

Conservative Group Launches Second Attack Against Pryor #ARSEN

Senate Conservatives Action will launch Wednesday the second in a series of three TV ads in Arkansas against Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor.

The latest ad, “Deciding Vote,” features a North Little Rock business owner directly criticizing Pryor for his vote to support the health care law. It’s a line of attack Pryor will likely see for the next 17 months and one Republicans believe can move votes in this GOP-trending southern state. Full story

June 4, 2013

Republican Wins Missouri Special Election #MO08

State Speaker Pro Tem Jason Smith won the the special election in Missouri’s 8th District on Tuesday night, keeping the conservative territory in GOP hands.

Smith defeated state Rep. Steve Hodges, 68 percent to 27 percent, with 66 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.

Full story

Pallone Prepares Senate Special Election Run #NJSEN

Pallone Prepares Senate Special Election Run #NJSEN

Pallone will run in the special election to replace the late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. has called at least a dozen Democrats in the state to inform them he is running for Senate, according to a source who has spoken with the congressman.

Pallone was widely expected to run for Senate if a special election was held this year, because he won’t have to risk his seat to do so. The decision was essentially made on Tuesday, once GOP Gov. Chris Christie set the special election for Oct. 16, with the primaries scheduled for Aug. 13.

(See also in Roll Call: Christie Sets Special Election for October) Full story

By Kyle Trygstad Posted at 4:11 p.m.
Primaries

Christie Sets Special Election for October (Updated) #NJSEN

Christie Sets Special Election for October (Updated) #NJSEN

Christie announced the special-election dates. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:40 p.m. | New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie set the special election to replace the late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg for Oct. 16, with a special primary to elect nominees on Aug. 13.

At a news conference announcing the special-election process, the governor said he has not decided whom to appoint to hold the seat for the next four months until someone is elected.

The decision to hold the election this year sets up a likely Democratic primary clash between Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. The winner will likely be heavily favored in the general election, though the odd timing of the election and the quality of the eventual GOP nominee will no doubt be consequential. Full story

Poll: Markey’s Lead Increases in Special Election #MASEN

Poll: Markeys Lead Increases in Special Election #MASEN

Another public poll showed Markey in the lead over the Republican candidate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A new automated poll out Tuesday found Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., with a 12-point lead over Republican Gabriel Gomez in the upcoming Senate special election.

Markey took 52 percent in the New England College poll, with 40 percent backing Gomez and 8 percent undecided. Both candidates received the support of about three-quarters of voters in their own party, which — given the state’s severe Democratic lean — gave Markey a big edge over Gomez.

The poll arrived as both campaigns launched new TV ad campaigns this week. Just three weeks remain before the June 25 race to fill the remaining Senate term of Secretary of State John Kerry. Full story

Former Miss America Challenges GOP Freshman #IL13

Former Miss America Challenges GOP Freshman #IL13

Davis has a primary challenger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Erika Harold, the 2003 winner of the Miss America pageant, will announce on Tuesday that she plans to challenge a vulnerable freshman Republican from Illinois, according to local reports.

Harold, also a Republican, will take on Rep. Rodney Davis in the 13th District primary next year.

Full story

10 Things to Know About Jason Smith #MO08

Another Mr. Smith is on track to come to Washington, D.C., following Tuesday’s special election in Missouri’s 8th District.

Missouri Speaker Pro Tem Jason Smith, a Republican, is favored to win this heavily GOP district over state Rep. Steve Hodges, a Democrat.

The race to replace former Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., has proved to be a low-profile contest — especially compared to the high-stakes special election earlier this year that brought Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., back to Congress. Emerson resigned to take a job in the private sector in January.

That’s partially because Smith is almost guaranteed a win in this deep-red district, located in the southeastern corner of the state. Mitt Romney carried the district with 66 percent as the GOP’s presidential nominee in 2012, and Emerson won by more than 30 points in each of her past few elections.

Special-election polls will close at 8 p.m. EDT on Tuesday. In the meantime, here are 10 things to know about the man who will likely be the next congressman from Missouri:

Full story

June 3, 2013

Ex-Maryland GOP Chairman to Run in West Virginia #WV02

Former Maryland GOP Chairman Alex Mooney announced on Monday that he will venture across state lines to run for West Virginia’s 2nd District.

“I have been encouraged by the many words of support from grassroots activists I have received since my interest in running was first reported in Roll Call in February,” Mooney said in a press release. “People want a fighter for their conservative values, and that is exactly who I am.”

Earlier this year, CQ Roll Call reported that Mooney was seriously considering a campaign for the seat, which is open because Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., is running for Senate in 2014. He submitted his resignation as his state party’s leader in February and has since moved to the Mountain State. Full story

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