Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 31, 2015

November 12, 2013

Cochran to Reveal Future Plans by End of the Month

Cochran will announce a decision by the end of the month about his political future. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., will decide whether he will seek re-election by the end of the month, according to a local news station.

Cochran, 73, has publicly waffled about whether he will run for another term. The senator’s low fundraising hauls only fueled speculation the six-term Mississippi Republican is eyeing retirement.

Full story

November 11, 2013

McCotter Claims Aide Was Bribed to ‘Sabotage’ His Career

Former Rep. Thad McCotter, the Michigan Republican who resigned last year after aides submitted forged nominating petitions, now alleges one aide was bribed to sabotage the congressman’s political career.

In a complaint filed with a local U.S. bankruptcy court, McCotter alleges his former aide, Don Yowchuang, was “motivated by the promise of financial gain” when he submitted nominating petitions for the then-congressman’s re-election with duplicate signatures, according to The Detroit News.

Full story

Conservative Groups Divided in Nebraska Senate Race

Osborn got an endorsement today. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In a display of the unpredictability of the race, conservative groups are falling on opposite sides of the Republican Senate primary in Nebraska.

FreedomWorks, a tea-party-affiliated group that has backed candidates like Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rand Paul, R-Ky., announced Monday that it has endorsed former state Treasurer Shane Osborn. Full story

McKeon Challenger Sees Advantages in Open-Seat Race (Video)

The candidate: Podiatrist Lee Rogers, a Democrat.
The member: Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, a Republican.
The district:
 California’s 25th District, which McKeon has held since 1992.
The candidate’s team:
Bill Wachob of The Campaign Group (general consultant and media), Eric Hogensen of HSG Campaigns (direct mail), Jonathan Brown of Global Strategy Group (polling), Adam Nashban (fundraising and strategy).

Podiatrist Lee Rogers, a Democrat, views an open-seat race as advantageous in his second attempt for Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon’s 25th District in California.

“There will be more attention on the district if it’s an open seat,” Rogers said in an Oct. 11 interview with CQ Roll Call. “This is one that already shows [McKeon] to be vulnerable. I think more attention is probably good for the challenger.”

Insiders have speculated this could be the top Republican’s last term in Congress, although his aide said in April he has no plans to retire. President Barack Obama lost the district by a slim margin in 2012, which makes Democrats optimistic they could compete there if McKeon leaves.

Full story

November 8, 2013

Ayotte: Scott Brown Would Be ‘Very Strong Candidate’ for Senate in N.H.

Ayotte praised Brown's work in the Senate (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Boston Globe reported Friday that national Republicans are actively recruiting former Massachusetts Sen. Scott P. Brown to run again — this time in New Hampshire.

With former Rep. Charles Bass the latest Republican to take a pass on the Senate race, the party is still in search of a top-tier challenger to take on Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran told the Globe that despite the speculation that Brown is simply flirting with a bid, he doesn’t think the former senator “is just fooling around.”

Of course, a successful Brown Senate bid would be nearly unprecedented. Just two senators have ever represented more than one state in the Senate, and it hasn’t happened since the 1870s, according to a list maintained by the Senate Historical Office.

“It will be uphill, no question about it, for him,” former Rep. Jeb Bradley, who also took a pass on this race, told CQ Roll Call. “But I think he’s certainly got as good a chance as any Republican that I can think of to be successful.”

New Hampshire’s other senator echoed that sentiment, believing that Brown would help expand the Senate landscape into New England. Full story

Biden Tops Michigan Democrat’s List of Pols to Bolster House Bid (Video)

The candidate: Former state Rep. Pam Byrnes, a Democrat.
The member: Rep. Tim Walberg, a Republican.
The district:
Michigan’s 7th District, which favored GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012, but only by 3 points.
The candidate’s team:
Al Quinlan of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (polling), Martha McKenna and Jennifer Pihlaja of McKenna Pihlaja (media), Terry Walsh of The Strategy Group (mail), Karen Defilippi (campaign manager)

http://youtu.be/T3T84bq2WCU

Former state Rep. Pam Byrnes, a Democrat, faces an uphill battle in unseating Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., in Michigan’s 7th District. But there’s at least one national Democrat that Byrnes thinks could help sway the vote her way.

“I think [Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.] would relate to the people very well,” she said in an Oct. 10 interview with CQ Roll Call. “He is a very personable guy. I’ve met him before and I believe he could connect with people and help me.” Full story

November 7, 2013

Howard Coble Announces Retirement

Coble will leave Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C., announced Thursday he will retire at the end of his term, creating an opening in his strong Republican district for the first time in 30 years.

Coble, who was first elected to North Carolina’s 6th District in 1985, cited his failing health as the reason why he will step down. Earlier this year, the 82-year-old was rushed to George Washington University Hospital from the Capitol to undergo emergency hernia surgery.

Coble cited back pain and skin cancer as the main reasons for his retirement, saying his health would prohibit him from the long hours needed to campaign. But he stressed, “Mentally and emotionally I am stable and reliable,” to the audience watching his announcement in Greensboro, N.C.

Full story

Club for Growth Makes Endorsement in Nebraska GOP Primary

The Club for Growth is taking sides in the GOP Senate primary in Nebraska, where a competitive nomination battle has unfolded for a safely Republican seat.

On Thursday, the club’s political action arm announced its endorsement of Midland University President Ben Sasse, one of a handful of Republicans running for the state’s open seat. In a statement, Club for Growth President Chris Chocola highlighted Sasse’s outspoken opposition to President Barack Obama’s health care law, which stems from Sasse’s experience as an assistant secretary at Health and Human Services.

Ben Sasse is the rare candidate who can clearly and forcefully prosecute the case against ObamaCare, not only because it’s an unconstitutional assault on our liberty, but also because he’s read every word of it,” Chocola said. Full story

November 6, 2013

Democrat to Announce Campaign for Runyan’s Seat

While New Jersey operatives continued to process Tuesday’s election results, Republican Rep. Jon Runyan’s surprise retirement announcement in the 3rd District set off swirls of speculation of who could run for his seat.

Democrats already indicated they wanted to target the seat, but an open-seat race gives the party a much better opportunity to win it. Upon the Runyan announcement, the Rothenberberg Political Report quickly moved the seat from Safe Republican to Tossup.

Democrats are circulating two names as potential candidates for the seat — the most prominent of which is Burlington County Freeholder Aimee Belgard. She filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission in mid-October and, according to a news release, is scheduled to announce her campaign on Thursday.

Full story

Coble to Announce ‘Future Political Plans’ on Thursday

Coble has served 15 terms in Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Longtime Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C., will announce his future political plans at a news conference Thursday in Greensboro, N.C., according to an announcement from the congressman’s office.

Coble’s office declined to give any more details on the announcement — the 15-term Republican has long been the target of retirement speculation.

Coble, 82, has struggled with his health. Earlier this year, he was rushed to George Washington University Hospital from the Capitol to undergo emergency hernia surgery.

Full story

By Emily Cahn Posted at 4:24 p.m.
House 2016, N.C.-6

Democrat Suspends Campaign Against Alex Sink in Florida District

Attorney Jessica Ehrlich is suspending her campaign for the highly competitive 13th District in Florida, according to a news release from the state Democratic Party.

Ehrlich was under pressure to step aside in the special-election primary to replace the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla. Former Democratic gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink entered the race last week, and national Democratic power brokers quickly threw their support her way. Full story

Jon Runyan Will Not Seek Re-Election in 2014 (Updated)

Runyan is a Republican from New Jersey. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 10:51 a.m. | Rep. Jon Runyan, R-N.J., announced on Wednesday that he will not seek re-election in the Garden State’s 3rd District, creating an unexpected opening in a competitive district for 2014.

“After a great deal of thought and discussions with my family, I have decided not to seek re- election in 2014,” Runyan said in a statement. “Politics shouldn’t be a career and I never intended to make it one.”

Full story

By Emily Cahn Posted at 10:15 a.m.
DCCC, House 2016, N.J.-3

Nevada Democrat Seeks Clinton, Obama Endorsements (Video)

The candidate: Democratic National Committeewoman Erin Bilbray
The member: Two-term Rep. Joe Heck, a Republican, who won re-election by a 7-point margin last year.
The district:
President Barack Obama carried the 3rd District by a single point in 2012.

The candidate’s team: Bradley Mayer (manager), Mark Mellman of The Mellman Group (pollster), Ann Liston of Adelstein | Liston (media), Achim Bergmann of Bergmann Zwerdling Direct (direct mail), Rhonda Foxx (finance director)

Democrat Erin Bilbray said she will seek support from former President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama in her campaign for 3rd District in the southern tip of Nevada.

“I hope [Clinton] will, and of course I would ask,” Bilbray said in an Oct. 10 interview with CQ Roll Call. She later added that she believes an endorsement from Obama would help her in the district. Full story

November 5, 2013

Byrne and Business Prevail in Alabama Special

Former state Sen. Bradley Byrne defeated tea-party-backed candidate Dean Young in a special GOP runoff in Alabama’s 1st District on Tuesday, marking the first big win for more moderate Republicans in the fight for control of the GOP since the government shutdown.

With 91 percent of precincts reporting, Byrne led Young, 53 percent to 47 percent, according to The Associated Press.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business-oriented groups, such as TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts’ Ending Spending PAC, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the final days of the contest to ensure a Byrne victory.

The win sends a message to the tea party that business groups are willing to play in GOP primaries to send more pragmatic, business-minded Republicans to Congress.

Full story

Steny Hoyer to Campaign for DCCC Jumpstart Candidates

Hoyer will fundraise for several candidates this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer has jam-packed several campaigning events and fundraisers over recess on behalf of House candidates.

The Maryland Democrat’s tour will take him to Michigan, Ohio and Massachusetts, where he will campaign and fundraise for a handful of House contenders and one incumbent over the next few days.

Hoyer is only campaigning for challengers who have made the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Jumpstart program, according to a release from his leadership PAC, AmeriPAC. Candidates in Jumpstart have received the committee’s de facto seal of approval.

Here are the districts where Hoyer is scheduled to campaign on Wednesday and Friday: Full story

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