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

July 10, 2013

Feinstein Endorses in Contested House Primary #CA31

Feinstein Endorses in Contested House Primary #CA31

Feinstein endorsed in a House primary. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., endorsed Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar for the Golden State’s 31st District on Wednesday, becoming the most high-profile Democrat to endorse in the state’s most contested congressional primary this cycle.

Aguilar, a Democrat who has the support of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, has received the endorsement of the majority of California’s Democratic congressional delegation in a four-way Democratic primary.

But he faces several Democratic opponents: former Rep. Joe Baca, attorney Eloise Gomez Reyes, who is poised to receive the support of EMILY’s List, and school board official Danny Tillman. The quartet of Democrats is looking to unseat Republican Rep. Gary G. Miller in one of their party’s most sought-after seats in 2014.

Full story

Club for Growth Backs Boehner Ally’s Primary Opponent

The Club for Growth backed a primary challenge to longtime Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, in its first major endorsement of the cycle.

On Wednesday, the influential conservative group announced its support for Bryan Smith, an attorney, to challenge Simpson, an eight-term member and close ally of Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio.

“We met with Bryan months ago after hearing about him through PrimaryMyCongressman.com, and we’re confident that he’ll be a strong conservative alternative to RINO incumbent Mike Simpson,” Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said in a press release.

Full story

DesJarlais Challenger Posts Big Fundraising Haul #TN04

Jim Tracy, a Republican state senator in Tennessee, is continuing to stock up his war chest for a primary next year with embattled Rep. Scott DesJarlais.

Tracy raised $303,000 in the second quarter, according to a release obtained first by CQ Roll Call. He’s raised nearly $750,000 since entering the race on Jan. 2 and will file having $656,000 in cash on hand as of June 30 — a strong sum for a House challenger.

“I have now had the opportunity to visit with people from every county in the district and I won’t let them down if I have the honor to serve them in Congress,” Tracy says in the release. Full story

Democratic Primary Challenger Raises $1M #CA17

Democratic attorney Ro Khanna announced Wednesday morning that he raised more than $1 million in the second quarter for his primary challenge to longtime Rep. Michael M. Honda in California’s 17th District.

Khanna now has more than $1.7 million in cash on hand, making him the first legitimate primary challenger Honda has faced in his more than 10 years in Congress. Full story

July 9, 2013

Aguilar Raises $300K in Second Quarter #CA31

Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar announced Tuesday night that he raised $300,000 in the second quarter for his highly contested primary bid in California’s 31st District.

Aguilar now has almost $290,000 cash on hand in the race.

Aguilar, who has the backing of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is facing three fellow Democrats and current Rep. Gary G. Miller, R-Calif., in this targeted race.

Full story

Cory Booker Launches Second TV Ad #NJSEN

Cory Booker, the heavy favorite to win the New Jersey special election for Senate, launched his second TV ad on Tuesday.

Like his first ad, released two weeks ago, Booker’s new spot highlights his record as mayor of Newark. It’s a statewide ad running on cable, according to an aide.

Full story

Tuesday Fundraising Roundup: Mooney’s Money

Former Maryland GOP Chairman Alex Mooney raised $65,000 for his campaign across state lines in West Virginia’s 2nd District.

Mooney had more than $100,000 in cash on hand at the end of the second quarter, according to a campaign press release. Of that haul, $35,000 was left from when he explored a run for ex-Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett’s seat in western Maryland last year.

The congressional hopeful’s tally was one of many fundraising numbers that trickled in on Tuesday. Congressional candidates and members must turn in their second-quarter fundraising reports by July 15.

Here is a roundup of the day’s campaign fundraising news:

Senate Full story

Conservatives Warn Ex-Congressman of ‘Bloody Primary’ if He Runs (Updated) #CA07

Conservatives Warn Ex Congressman of Bloody Primary if He Runs (Updated) #CA07

Ose might run again for Congress. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 2:53 p.m. | Conservative activists are urging former GOP Rep. Doug Ose to stay out of California’s 7th District race, threatening a “bloody primary” if he runs, according to a letter obtained by CQ Roll Call.

“While we respect your commitment to public service, your record in Congress would leave us no choice but to actively oppose your candidacy should you decide to run,” reads the letter signed by more than a dozen conservative and tea party activists from Northern California. (Read the letter below.) Full story

Landrieu Raises Big Bucks for Targeted Re-Election Race #LASEN

Landrieu Raises Big Bucks for Targeted Re Election Race #LASEN

Landrieu is a top GOP target in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., announced Tuesday that she raised $1.7 million for her re-election campaign during the second quarter.

Her haul is half a million more than the likely GOP nominee, Rep. Bill Cassidy, who brought in nearly $1.1 million in the same time period.

Full story

Rounds Gets Conservative Challenger #SDSEN

Former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds, a target of state and national conservatives, now officially has a hurdle in his path to the Republican Senate nomination.

Larry Rhoden, the state Senate majority whip, told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader that he intends to announce a Senate bid on Wednesday. He’s the first to step forward with a GOP primary challenge to Rounds, whose eight-year tenure in the governor’s office left activists on the right unhappy.

Rhoden told CQ Roll Call in March that he was considering running, though conservatives at that time were still awaiting word from GOP Rep. Kristi Noem. She has since declined to run, leaving activists still in search of an alternative. Full story

DeMaio Raises Almost $500K in Second Quarter #CA52

Republican Carl DeMaio announced on Tuesday that he raised more than $480,000 in the second quarter for his quest to unseat freshman Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., in the 52nd District.

DeMaio, a former San Diego City Council member, boasts nearly $470,000 in the bank for this highly targeted race.

DeMaio, an openly gay candidate who has branded himself as a “new generation Republican,” filed his federal paperwork to run in this San Diego-area district at the beginning of June.

Full story

Poll: Booker Tops 50 Percent #NJSEN

Poll: Booker Tops 50 Percent #NJSEN

Booker is the frontrunner for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s commanding Democratic primary lead in the New Jersey Senate special election is holding strong.

The latest Quinnpiac University Poll, released Tuesday, found Booker far ahead of the competition. He led with 52 percent, followed by Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. with 10 percent, Rep. Rush D. Holt with 8 percent and state Speaker Sheila Oliver with 3 percent.

With the race half over, the numbers highlight how difficult it will be for Booker’s opponents to move the needle. The institute’s previous poll, released June 10, showed almost identical results. Full story

Graham Scion Could Face Primary in Florida #FL02

Graham Scion Could Face Primary in Florida #FL02

Lawson is thinking about running again. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Attorney Gwen Graham, daughter of the state’s former governor and senator, is raising cash and consolidating Democratic establishment support behind her bid for Florida’s 2nd. But looming over her campaign is a potential primary challenge from the party’s 2012 nominee, former state Sen. Al Lawson.

“I’m interested,” Lawson said in an interview with CQ Roll Call. He indicated that his decision on whether to run will come in the next 30-60 days.

Florida’s 2nd District tops Democrats’ list of pickup opportunities this cycle. The seat is held by freshman Republican Rep. Steve Southerland II, who beat Lawson by 6 points in 2012.

State and national Democrats like Graham’s chances against Southerland. Their fear is that Lawson has high enough name identification to win the primary but his fundraising weaknesses could hurt him in the general election.

Lawson is well-known in the Tallahassee-based district from more than two decades in the state legislature. One Florida Democratic operative praised his political skills but acknowledged that his ability to raise money is a serious concern.

Democrats say raising money is one of Graham’s strengths. She hauled in more than $375,000 in the second quarter — her first in the race — and will report more than $300,000 in cash on hand.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee named her to its Jumpstart program, a designation for the committee’s top-tier recruits. Graham announced her candidacy in early April and recently made the rounds in Washington to meet with national reporters. (Read Roll Call’s interview with Graham.)

Bob Graham served as the Sunshine State’s governor from 1979 to 1987 and as senator from 1987 to 2005. He unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004.

“The national Democrats, from what I can observe, they pretty much have been leaning more toward Graham,” Lawson said. “They say they’re not going to get involved but her father knows a lot of people who can give money.”

Lawson says his own name identification would offset any Graham financial advantage, adding that lobbying groups approached him about running. He is trying to schedule a trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with those groups and members who have supported him in the past. He hopes several officials who backed his 2012 bid will help him again, including House Assistant Minority Leader James E. Clyburn, Rep. Corrine Brown and her fellow Floridian, former Rep. Peter Deutsch.

So far, no meeting with the DCCC is scheduled.

Lawson described Graham as “a nice lady” but criticized her for not being well-known enough in the area. “She has a lot of work to do,” he said. “Even if I don’t run, she will have a major uphill battle against Southerland.”

Lawson is no fan of Graham’s father, a result of a bad experience they had two years ago.

“I called him and asked him for help against the Republican [Southerland], and he said he didn’t want to get involved,” Lawson said of his 2012 campaign.

He said Graham went so far as to refuse to make a $25 donation. The former senator cited being “out of politics” as the reason for not donating, Lawson said.

“I was really surprised,” he said. “I helped him a lot and thought he’d be interested in helping a candidate for U.S. Congress. But I was a guy that really campaigned hard for him that was running.”

Gwen Graham’s camp declined to address Lawson’s charge. Her campaign manager, Julia Gill, wrote in an email, “Gwen is committed to bringing a new kind of leadership to Washington and to be an independent voice for the people of North Florida.”

Lawson’s central strategy, if he runs and wins the primary, is to run a general-election campaign that reaches out to the region’s rural voters who are registered Democrats but habitually cross over to vote Republican.

He added that he will conduct polling before he makes his decision.

“I’ve always wanted to go to Congress,” Lawson said.

The race is rated Lean Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Romanoff Raised $500K Last Quarter #CO06

Romanoff Raised $500K Last Quarter #CO06

Romanoff had a strong fundraising quarter. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Colorado Speaker Andrew Romanoff, a top Democratic recruit, raised more than $500,000 in the second quarter of this year to challenge Republican Rep. Mike Coffman for the 6th District.

Romanoff finished June with almost $920,000 in the bank, according to a campaign press release. Full story

July 8, 2013

Reyes Raises $200K in Second Quarter #CA31

Attorney Eloise Gomez Reyes will announce on Tuesday that she raised more than $203,000 in the second quarter in her quest for California’s 31st District, according to figures provided exclusively to CQ Roll Call.

Reyes is facing a highly contested primary against three other Democrats — Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, former Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., and local school board official Danny Tillman — as well as current Rep. Gary G. Miller, R-Calif. The top two vote recipients, regardless of party, will advance to a general election under the state’s new primary system.

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