Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 6, 2016

April 4, 2014

Pelosi, Hoyer Recruit Michigan Candidate

The Democratic Party is all-in behind Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum, their recruit for the race to replace retiring Republican Rep. Mike Rogers.

Byrum visited Washington, D.C. this week and met with most of the highest-ranking Democrats in Congress, according to multiple national Democratic operatives with knowledge of her schedule.

With Rogers out of contention this cycle, Democrats are making a serious offensive play for the Leans Republican seat.

So serious that Byrum met with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel, D-N.Y. and Democratic National Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.

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April 3, 2014

Westmoreland: Perdue ‘High School Graduate’ Comments ‘Stupid’

Westmoreland weighs in to Senate primary spat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland on Thursday knocked down Georgia Senate candidate David Perdue’s assertion that his opponent is not qualified to run for the Senate because she does not have a college education.

Westmoreland, who himself never graduated from college, said Perdue’s comments about former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel are “stupid.” He is a five-term Georgia Republican and has yet to endorse a candidate in the race, which includes three of his House colleagues, Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston. He noted that Perdue’s comment is unlikely to affect his choice.

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Internal Poll: Tierney Holds Wide Lead in Democratic Primary

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

National Democrats say Massachusetts Rep. John F. Tierney is not facing a Democratic primary challenge nearly as competitive as some in the party had feared.

In an automated poll released Thursday by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Tierney led veteran Seth Moulton 64 percent to 17 percent, with 20 percent undecided. The wide lead is largely a testament to Tierney’s familiarity with voters in Massachusetts’ 6th District, which he has represented for nine terms, and illustrates that Moulton remains unknown.

“In sum, Tierney’s commanding lead, combined with his strong, positive profile, signify that he is the clear choice among likely primary voters” in the district, Christina Coloroso, the DCCC’s targeting and analytics director, said in a polling memo obtained by CQ Roll Call. Full story

Heitkamp Heads to West Virginia for Tennant Campaign

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who pulled off one of the most unlikely upsets of the 2012 cycle, is heading to West Virginia for the next two days to help a fellow Democratic underdog.

Heitkamp will headline three fundraisers in Morgantown and Charleston on Friday and Saturday for West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, a Democrat trying to hold one of the party’s most vulnerable open seats. The freshman senator will also join Tennant in meetings with young Democrats and state energy leaders, according to the campaign.

In an interview with CQ Roll Call, Heitkamp said she sees similarities between her own race against Rep. Rick Berg and Tennant’s uphill bid against GOP Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, starting with the voters in both states wanting to know and see their representatives.

“It is very personal, it is very retail. That’s really how I won,” Heitkamp said. “I just got out there and met as many people as I could meet. I told them I was for North Dakota, first and foremost, and it’s always the way it’s going to be. I think it’s how I governed or legislated since I’ve been here, and I think that’s a very strong similarity between West Virginia and North Dakota politics.” Full story

Rodney Davis Topped $600,000 in First Quarter

Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., raised more than $600,000 in the first quarter, according to figures provided first to CQ Roll Call.

Davis, who emerged unscathed from the 13th District Republican primary last month, will also report more than $940,000 in cash on hand.

Davis faces Democrat Ann Callis, a former judge, in this central-Illinois-based district, which includes the state capital of Springfield. National Democrats tout Callis as a top recruit in one of the party’s top targets this cycle.

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April 2, 2014

Long Island Republican Airs First TV Ad

Zeldin launched his first TV ad Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

New York state Sen. Lee Zeldin launched his first TV ad of the 2014 campaign on Wednesday, a positive spot that highlights his legislative and military careers.

Zeldin, a top Republican recruit, is running in a competitive June 24 primary to take on Democratic Rep. Timothy H. Bishop in the Long Island-based 1st District. A Zeldin campaign source characterized the airtime purchase as “a substantial six-figure buy” on Fox News.

The spot highlights his family and career, and a female narrator promises that he will fight to “repeal and replace Obamacare.”

www.youtube.com/watch?v=dugKwe8mDDU

 

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Democratic Senate Candidate: McCutcheon ‘Worst Ruling Since Dred Scott’

Former Capitol Hill staffer Rick Weiland is running for Senate in South Dakota, and he was among the Democrats upset with the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on campaign finance.

The Supreme Court struck down aggregate contribution limits in a Wednesday ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.

“Today’s decision of the United States Supreme Court to strike down any real limit on the purchase of our democracy by big money may be the worst decision made by any Supreme Court since the Dred Scott case reaffirmed slavery in 1857,” he wrote in a fundraising missive to supporters.

Really? Full story

Columbus, Phoenix Eliminated as 2016 Republican National Convention Cities

The Republican National Committee announced Wednesday the elimination of Columbus, Ohio, and Phoenix as contenders for its 2016 convention.

The cities that remain in contention are Cincinnati and Cleveland, Ohio, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Mo., and Las Vegas.

“A small team of RNC staff will visit the six cities for a more in-depth and technical look at financing, convention venues, media workspace, and hotels,” an RNC news release said.

“The [Site Selection Committee] will reconvene soon after the RNC’s Spring Meeting to make a determination on which of these six cities will receive official site visits from the full RNC delegation.”

Columbus and Phoenix are expected to make runs at the 2016 Democratic convention.

By Abby Livingston Posted at 2:27 p.m.
Conventions

DCCC Chairman Says “Middle Class” 35 Times in 45-Minute News Conference

Israel, a New York Democrat, is chairman of the DCCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

After a rough couple of months for his caucus, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel has pinned his hopes for the party on the recently released House GOP budget proposal.

“Let me stipulate, it’s a tough climate for us right now,” Israel told reporters at a Wednesday morning news conference at the National Press Club. “But I believe that this budget, this Republican budget, helps change the narrative by reminding voters we’ve got their backs. “

“And climates change,” he added. Full story

Ami Bera Challenger Starts Television Ads in California Race (Video)

Bera has several GOP challengers this cycle. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Doug Ose, one of three Republicans looking to oust vulnerable freshman Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif., hit the airwaves Wednesday with his first advertisement of the cycle.

The 30-second spot, which highlights his biography, will air on cable across the 7th District, an Ose aide confirmed.

“We need to get out of debt. Debt is an anchor that will drown us,” Ose says in the ad, shared first with CQ Roll Call. “We need to reduce taxes, that’s why I’m running for Congress now. I do understand how the economy works. And I know how to create jobs.”

Full story

April 1, 2014

Two Democrats Interested in Mike Rogers’ Seat in Michigan

Rogers is retiring. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As national Democrats coalesce behind Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum in the wide-open race to succeed Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero is not ruling out a run.

“It’s a very simple fact that I am looking at it,” Bernero said in a Tuesday morning phone interview. “I am considering it. I don’t need to run for Congress … but if it’s a viable possibility then I would consider it.”

Rogers announced his retirement last week, giving Democrats a much-needed pick-up opportunity in the Wolverine State. But his departure has left both parties scrambling for top candidates ahead of the April 22 filing deadline.

For Democrats, Byrum and Bernero are the top two candidate prospects. But at least one national Democratic group is posturing to back Byrum. She has been in communication with EMILY’s List, a group that helps Democratic women candidates who support abortion rights. Full story

Thad Cochran’s Fourth TV Ad Touts Record, Endorsements

Cochran will seek re-election in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ-Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Sen. Thad Cochran launched a new TV ad Tuesday touting both a conservative record and a history of “standing up for Mississippi.”

It’s the fourth ad in the past month from the six-term incumbent, who faces his toughest race in 30 years from a tea party-backed primary challenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel. This is arguably the most competitive primary any Senate Republican is facing this cycle.

The new ad, which is running statewide, attempts to undercut the attack line by McDaniel — and the conservative outside groups supporting him — that Cochran’s track record over 35 years is not conservative enough. The primary is June 3. Full story

Ruben Gallego Raised $160K in First Month of Campaign

Arizona state Rep. Ruben Gallego will announce raising $160,000 in his first month of campaigning for the seat of retiring Democratic Rep. Ed Pastor.

According to a campaign release shared first with CQ Roll Call, the Arizona Democrat will report having $150,000 in cash on hand as of Monday, the close of the first fundraising quarter of 2014.

Gallego declared his intent to run for the Phoenix-based 7th District seat moments after Pastor’s surprise Feb. 28 retirement announcement. But he faces a competitive primary for the open seat. Full story

Eva Longoria Endorses House Candidate in Los Angeles (Video)

Longoria is getting involved in a House race in California. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Actress Eva Longoria has endorsed spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson, one of more than a dozen candidates looking to succeed retiring Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., in the 33rd District.

“There is a problem in the political system right now. And I find that we have to approach solving this problem in a new way, in a conscious way, in a way that is going against the tide. I find Marianne has the tools, the capability, the intellect, the ideology that is going to push against the status quo,” Longoria said in a video endorsement released on Tuesday.

Full story

Primary for Trey Radel’s Seat Escalates on TV Airwaves

Radel resigned from Congress earlier this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In the special election to succeed former Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., former state Rep. Paige Kreegel has gone on the airwaves with a campaign ad intended to introduce him to GOP voters ahead of the April 22 primary.

Kreegel is running in a competitive special election to succeed Radel, who resigned from Congress in January after he pleaded guilty to cocaine possession. The GOP nominee is expected to win the June 24 special election. Full story

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