Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 19, 2014

November 29, 2012

South Dakota: Johnson Promises ‘Winning Campaign’ Against Rounds

South Dakota: Johnson Promises Winning Campaign Against Rounds

Johnson said he will make a formal announcement regarding his re-election later next year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., said he will make a “formal announcement later next year” about his re-election in a carefully worded statement from his office released Thursday morning.

“As in past campaigns, I will make my formal announcement later next year,” he said. “But I feel great, still have work to do, and I fully intend to put together a winning campaign in the weeks and months ahead.”

Former Gov. Michael Rounds, a Republican, announced Thursday that he’s jumping into the Senate race.His candidacy immediately makes the race competitive, and Roll Call rates it as a Tossup.

“I am here today to ask the people of South Dakota for their support and to allow me to work for them as their United States Senator in 2014,” Rounds said in a statement.

Full story

November 28, 2012

South Dakota: Rounds to Announce Senate Plans on Thursday

South Dakota: Rounds to Announce Senate Plans on Thursday

Sen. Tim Johnson is up for re-election in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Gov. Mike Rounds, a Republican, will make an announcement Thursday about the race against Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson.

Local news outlets reported Rounds will jump into the race during a three-stop tour of the state. A press release did not specify his intentions.

Rounds announced weeks ago that he was exploring a bid for the Senate seat. A two-term governor, Rounds’ candidacy makes the South Dakota race competitive.

What’s more, Johnson has not said yet whether he’s running for another term. If Johnson retires, Rounds will have a head start on the other candidates in the race.

North Carolina: Rouzer Concedes; McIntyre Returns to Congress

North Carolina: Rouzer Concedes; McIntyre Returns to Congress

Rep. Mike McIntyre is coming back to Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After a recount in North Carolina’s 7th District that left Republican candidate David Rouzer trailing by hundreds of votes, he has conceded to Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre.

“I have called Congressman McIntyre to congratulate him on a hard-fought victory, and I wish him well as he joins a new Congress that will be dealing with very difficult issues facing our country,” Rouzer, a state senator, said in a statement.

McIntyre, a conservative Democrat who ran an expert campaign in a Republican district, will begin his 9th term in January.

The decennial redistricting process in the Tar Heel State drew McIntyre’s home out of his district and made the 7th significantly more Republican. But despite the uphill climb he faced, McIntyre managed to squeak out a close victory.

North Carolina’s 7th District was the final outstanding House race in the country.

However, in one Louisiana district, the new member will be decided by a Dec. 8 runoff. Republican Reps. Charles Boustany Jr. and Jeff Landry face each other there.

Inside the 2014 Senate Races

Inside the 2014 Senate Races
Roll Call’s initial Senate ratings outlook projects a potentially bullish cycle for Republicans, with an opportunity to recapture the majority for the first time in eight years.

But that’s exactly how things looked two years before the 2012 elections, when Democrats surprised many with victories in Missouri and North Dakota on their way to picking up two seats. So the challenge for the GOP and incoming National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran of Kansas is to capitalize on their opportunities.

That and how voters feel about President Barack Obama in 2014 could determine how the parties fare at the ballot box less than two years from now. Democrats won their current majority in 2006, in the second midterm election under President George W. Bush.

Republicans are hoping Obama’s second midterm is similarly kind to them, if not equal to the president’s 2010 midterm shellacking, when the GOP won seven seats (and control of the House) despite beginning the cycle as the underdog.

Full story

Walden Taps Liesl Hickey to Be NRCC Executive Director

Walden Taps Liesl Hickey to Be NRCC Executive Director

Walden has selected an executive director to run the National Republican Congressional Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 

Liesl Hickey has been appointed as the executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee for the 2014 cycle.

Newly elected NRCC Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon tapped Hickey to direct the powerful committee, which is tasked with defending a sizable majority in the next election cycle.

Hickey, 38, served as the head of the NRCC’s incumbent retention Patriot Program during the 2012 cycle, a position she was appointed to in January 2011.

“Liesl Hickey gets it,” Walden said in a statement. “She understands how Republicans can win in competitive districts. She has sharp political instincts and led our Patriot Program to help the House retain the second largest GOP majority since the 1940s. With this solid base in place, she will lead our team forward to gaining ground in 2014.”

Full story

By Joshua Miller Posted at 3:10 p.m.
NRCC

Tennessee State Representative Mulls Primary Run Against DesJarlais

Tennessee State Representative Mulls Primary Run Against DesJarlais

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican state Rep. Kevin Brooks confirmed to CQ Roll Call that he is seriously eyeing a bid against embattled Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn.

“We’re in the exploration/prayer mode,” he said. “We are gauging our support, which is growing. And that’s the reason I’ve decided to publicly state that this is something that we’re looking at.”

DesJarlais has taken a number of political hits recently, as records from a decade-old divorce have become public.

Full story

Illinois: Ex-Rep. Reynolds to Run for Former Seat in Special Election

Disgraced former Rep. Mel Reynolds, a Democrat, will announced Wednesday afternoon that he’s seeking the Illinois 2nd District seat he once held, according to The Associated Press.

Reynolds resigned in 1995 after he was sentenced to prison for a sexual relationship with a teenage campaign worker.

Accordingly, local Democrats do not view him as a viable candidate in the special election for former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr.’s seat.

Former Rep. Debbie Halvorson, Alderman Anthony Beale and former NFL Linebacker Napoleon Harris have announced campaigns, and several more Democrats are expected to join the field in the next week. (See a full list of potential candidates here.)

Jackson announced his resignation from Congress last week, and officials have scheduled a special primary for his seat on Feb. 26. In this heavily Democratic district, the winner of the primary will serve in Congress in all likelihood.

Jackson won the special election to succeed Reynolds in 1995.

Romney to Meet With Obama, Ryan on Thursday

Romney to Meet With Obama, Ryan on Thursday

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mitt Romney will sit down Thursday for a private lunch at the White House with President Barack Obama.

The White House announced Wednesday that the two will meet in the private dining room for their first visit since Obama defeated the former Massachusetts governor just more than three weeks ago. The White House is not allowing press coverage.

While in town, Romney will reportedly also meet with his former running mate, Rep. Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., who will again chair the House Budget Committee in the 113th Congress.

November 27, 2012

Illinois: Harris to Play Ball in 2nd District Special Election

Count former NFL linebacker Napoleon Harris in for Illinois’ 2nd District special election.

Harris, a Democrat, won a state Senate seat earlier this month. But on Tuesday morning, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Harris will run for the seat held by former Democratic Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. until last week.

Harris joins two fellow Democrats, Alderman Anthony Beale and former Rep. Debbie Halvorson, in the race. Democrats expect an extremely crowded field (for a full rundown of potential candidates, see Tuesday’s Roll Call story).

The 2nd District south of Chicago is a heavily Democratic district. The Feb. 26 primary victor is expected to serve in Congress.

Harris dumped more than $200,000 of his own cash into his state legislative bid. His deep pockets could prove to be an even greater asset in this short, 16-week special election because raising cash is at a premium.

Harris played defensive end for Northwestern University’s football team. He later played for the Oakland Raiders and Minnesota Vikings. Harris also owns two Beggars Pizza franchises.

Illinois: Beale Joins Special Election for Jackson Seat

Alderman Anthony Beale has filed paperwork to run in the special election for former Democratic Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr.’s 2nd District seat on Chicago’s South Side.

The Democrat’s campaign announced that he “officially formed a political committee” late Monday with the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Beale marks the second Democrat to officially jump into the race, following former Rep. Debbie Halvorson’s Monday morning announcement. The district is heavily Democratic, and the winner of the primary will serve in Congress in all likelihood.

Jackson announced his departure from Congress last week. His resignation was reportedly part of a plea deal with federal investigators for allegedly spending his campaign funds on personal purchases.

The special election primary is scheduled for Feb. 26.

Tuesday’s Roll Call includes a rundown of all of the potential and announced candidates for the special election.

Westmoreland Named NRCC Deputy Chairman

Westmoreland Named NRCC Deputy Chairman

Westmoreland has been appointed deputy chairman of the NRCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia has been appointed deputy chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee for the 2014 election cycle by incoming NRCC Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon.

Westmoreland oversaw a very successful nationwide redistricting effort for the NRCC during the 2012 cycle, helping the GOP keep control of the House on Nov. 6.

The decennial redraw of maps helped push a number of vulnerable GOP-held seats into the safe Republican category, creating a map that would likely require a wave election if Democrats are to be successful in taking back the House.

“Lynn is savvy, thoughtful and a hard worker.  He knows what it takes to win elections,” Walden said in a statement.

November 26, 2012

Georgia: Chambliss and Norquist Fight Over Tax Pledge

Georgia: Chambliss and Norquist Fight Over Tax Pledge

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who faces a likely primary challenge in 2014, said last week he could abandon the Grover Norquist-backed Taxpayer Protection Pledge he signed if it meant moving the country forward.

“I care more about this country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge,” he told Georgia TV station WMAZ on Nov. 21. “If we do it his way, we’ll just continue in debt.”

Chambliss, who said he was against raising taxes, explained he wasn’t worried about the political ramifications of potentially bucking the pledge and crossing Norquist.

“I care too much about my country. I care a lot more about it than I do about Grover Norquist,” he said. Full story

New Jersey: Christie Running for Second Term as Governor

New Jersey: Christie Running for Second Term as Governor

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Gov. Chris Christie announced Monday that he will run for re-election next year, when New Jersey and Virginia are the only two states holding gubernatorial elections.

The gubernatorial elections in the two states, which are always held in the year immediately following a presidential election, are often seen as bellwethers for the following midterms.

“The people need to know I’m in this for the long haul,” Christie said at a news briefing in Middletown, according to The Associated Press. The state is just beginning to recover from the devastating damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute was scheduled to release results of a survey in New Jersey on the response to Sandy, which should provide evidence for Christie’s standing heading into next year.

The Virginia race will likely be between former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe and one of two Republican statewide elected officials, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling or Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, a former governor, considered running for the governorship but announced last week that he will not seek another term.

North Carolina: Shuler to Run Government Affairs for Energy Giant

North Carolina: Shuler to Run Government Affairs for Energy Giant

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Duke Energy, the largest electric power holding company in the country, announced Monday that retiring Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., will be a senior vice president for federal government affairs for the behemoth utility.

The company said Shuler will work on building the D.C.-based federal affairs team and help inform employees about federal issues.

“Though I will be leaving public office, my family and I remain committed to public service,” Shuler said in a statement. “As a private citizen, I will also continue to promote deficit reduction efforts, increasing domestic energy production to put our country on a path to energy security and breaking through the hyper-partisan gridlock that plagues our great nation.”

Utah: Matheson Won by 768 Votes, Final Count Shows

Utah: Matheson Won by 768 Votes, Final Count Shows

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson won by just 768 votes, according to final election returns announced last week.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, that was just outside of the margin that would have allowed Republican Mia Love to request a recount.

One of the most vulnerable members of Congress in 2012, the Blue Dog Democrat has said he faced the “perfect storm” by running against a strong challenger and in a district carried overwhelmingly by GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Matheson has always run in a Republican-leaning district, but the Republican redistricting mapmakers ensured his path will get no easier in the next decade.

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