Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 29, 2014

July 3, 2013

Ken Buck, Local Lawmakers Consider Senate Race #COSEN

Ken Buck, Local Lawmakers Consider Senate Race #COSEN

Buck is thinking about running for Senate again. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rocky Mountain State Republicans continue to struggle in their search for a challenger for Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., thanks to the fractious nature of the state’s party.

The field of potential candidates reflects a shallow GOP bench in a race that should pique the interest of any ambitious Colorado Republican. Since the start of the cycle, the field of potential candidates has evolved into a mix of young talent, old names, and middle-rank state legislators.

“There are a lot of viable candidates who wouldn’t scare the hell out of suburban women …who could actually win a general,” said lobbyist Mike Beasley, a former staffer to former Gov. Bill Owens, a Republican. “But a lot of them wouldn’t want to suffer through … what continues to be these weird, stranger and stranger primaries.”

Martha McSally Files Paperwork for Rematch (Updated) #AZ02

Martha McSally Files Paperwork for Rematch (Updated) #AZ02

McSally wants to run for Congress again. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 3:19 p.m. | Ret. Air Force Colonel Martha McSally filed federal paperwork on Monday to once again challenge Democratic Rep. Ron Barber in Arizona’s 2nd District.

Republicans view the seat as one of their best pickup opportunities this cycle, as Barber is considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents of 2014. Full story

Ex-Bush Official Prepares Run for Capito Seat #WV02

Another Republican is poised to enter the race for GOP Rep. Shelley Moore Capito’s seat in West Virginia

Ex-U.S. International Trade Commissioner Charlotte Lane told CQ Roll Call on Tuesday that she is “in the process” of getting her papers together to file her candidacy. She expects to file sometime this week. Full story

July 2, 2013

Mitch McConnell’s Unusual Attack Video

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell unleashed his first attack Tuesday on his new Democratic opponent, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who announced her candidacy Monday in the Kentucky Senate race.

It’s, um, unique. We offer this Web video without any other commentary because, frankly, we don’t know what else to say about it:

Rounds Rebounds in Second-Quarter Fundraising

Former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds raised more than $600,000 for his Senate campaign in the second quarter of this year, confirmed a spokesman for the Republican’s campaign.

Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., is retiring, and his seat is a top pickup opportunity for Republicans. The national GOP has touted Rounds as its strongest candidate in the race.  Full story

Democrats Recruiting Gitmo Commander #MI01

Democrats Recruiting Gitmo Commander #MI01

Democrats are recruiting a retired Army general to challenge Benishek. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A retired Army general is close to announcing he will challenge Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Mich., next year, according to Democratic operatives familiar with Michigan politics.

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Jerry Cannon is considered the party’s top prospect to win the Wolverine State’s seat in the Upper Peninsula. A Michigan Democratic operative said “the party is quite hot on” the longtime military official as a recruit, and national Democratic sources concurred about the former commander of the Joint Detention Operations Group at Guantánamo Bay.

Full story

House GOP Leaders Donate to Gay Republican in Top Race #CA52

House GOP Leaders Donate to Gay Republican in Top Race #CA52

Cantor gave campaign cash to a GOP candidate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Three top House GOP leaders donated to their party’s most prominent openly gay House candidate, former San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio, a top prospect in a competitive California race.

Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California and former Republican Study Committee Chairman Tom Price of Georgia gave campaign cash to DeMaio in June.

“I’m grateful to receive this strong early support, which I believe reflects both my record of getting fiscal reforms done in San Diego and my more inclusive vision for the future as a new generation Republican,” DeMaio said in a Tuesday news release.

Full story

Iraq War Veteran Challenges Steve King #IA04

Iraq War veteran Jim Mowrer announced on Tuesday that he will challenge Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, in the 4th District.

Mowrer, a Democrat, struck a nonpartisan tone in his announcement for the GOP district. He also took subtle shots at King, who is known nationally and in Iowa as a conservative firebrand who often makes controversial comments.

“When I served in Iraq, there were no Democrats or Republicans — just Americans working together to protect our safety and stability,” Mowrer said in a news release. “In Congress, too many politicians are trying to score political points for partisan gain or pushing sound bytes to please their extreme base. I’ve decided to run for Congress to restore that true sense of public service.”

Full story

Don Young to File for Re-Election #AKAL

Don Young to File for Re Election #AKAL

Young, left, will seek re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young will file paperwork to seek his 21st term in Congress on Tuesday afternoon in Anchorage, according to a campaign news release.

Young won his 2012 re-election race by a 2-to-1 margin. But given his long tenure in the House, the 80-year-old Young often graces Roll Call’s list of potential member retirements. Full story

July 1, 2013

Democrat Challenges Joe Heck #NV03

Democratic National Committeewoman Erin Bilbray-Kohn announced she will challenge Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., in the 3rd District.

“We need a strong voice in Congress who is on our side because of his or her values, not because there is another election coming up,” she said in an announcement Web video released Monday.

Full story

Mitch McConnell Gets Top Democratic Challenger #KYSEN

Mitch McConnell Gets Top Democratic Challenger #KYSEN

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

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced she will challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014, ending months of speculation about whether Democrats could deliver a top recruit for that targeted race.

“I have met with my supporters, we have had a great conversation, and determined and decided that we can next make the best move, the best difference in the commonwealth of Kentucky, by running for the U.S. Senate,” Grimes said at a Monday event in Kentucky.

National Democrats had laid all their hopes with Grimes’ bid since March, when actress Ashley Judd announced she wouldn’t run against McConnell. A top fundraiser and brutal campaigner, McConnell is a top target for Democrats this cycle.

Full story

Second Florida Aide Resigns Amid Voter Fraud Investigation #FL26

A second aide to Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., resigned last week as part of an ongoing election fraud investigation that continues to fester in the freshman’s office.

Garcia’s communications director, Giancarlo Sopo, submitted his resignation only weeks after Garcia’s chief of staff, Jeffrey Garcia (no relation to the congressman) resigned at the end of May. Full story

By Abby Livingston Posted at 3:21 p.m.
Fla.-26

Is Gary Miller District Shopping? | The Field #CA45

Is Gary Miller District Shopping? | The Field #CA45

Miller could run in another district in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. John Campbell’s retirement from his California seat will spark a crowded GOP primary, perhaps creating a ripple effect in nearby House districts, according to local Republican sources.

There are already a handful of potential GOP candidates for the 45th District — including GOP Rep. Gary G. Miller — who may consider leaving the 31st District to run there instead.

Full story

24-Year-Old GOP Lawmaker Runs for House #ME02

Republican state Rep. Alex Willette announced on Monday that he will run in Maine’s 2nd District, a  likely competitive open-seat race in 2014.

Willette is the first Republican to announce a bid for the seat since Rep. Michael H. Michaud, a Democrat, announced last month that he is exploring a gubernatorial bid in the Pine Tree State.

Full story

Money Race: Senate Fundraising Hauls to Watch

As outside-group crossfire blasts through two Senate races, candidates aren’t just raising money early — they’re spending it.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., don’t have opponents yet, but both are already participating in an ad war unleashed exceedingly early in the cycle, starting 20 months before Election Day in one case.

With the close of the second fundraising quarter on June 30, the threat — and, for those two, the reality — of early attacks reinforces the need for candidates to lay the groundwork now for an expensive election season that’s grown longer in recent years.

It’s why national Democrats, who are defending most of the vulnerable seats up this cycle, have increasingly pushed their incumbents to raise money early. And Republican challengers, even those who haven’t officially announced, must begin socking away for next year.

After losing two seats last cycle, Republicans must add a net of six seats to take the majority.

Fundraising reports covering April through June are due to the Federal Election Commission by July 15. The toplines will shine a spotlight on incumbents’ financial positioning, indicate who has a head start in primaries and provide clues about who is moving closer to a Senate bid.

Here is what to watch for as reports begin rolling in over the next two weeks: Full story

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