Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 23, 2014

May 29, 2013

Baca Releases Endorsement Signature Sheet (Updated) #CA31

Baca Releases Endorsement Signature Sheet (Updated) #CA31

Baca is running for Congress again. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 8:05 a.m. | Under fire for touting questionable member endorsements, former Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., released on Wednesday the signatures of several House Democrats indicating their support for his campaign.

Baca sent CQ Roll Call a PDF of the signature sign-up sheet — including the autographs of two Democrats who have since disputed they ever agreed to support him in California’s heated 31st District primary.

Last week, Baca announced that 30 House Democrats had endorsed him, including House Assistant Minority Leader James E. Clyburn and Rep. Terri A. Sewell of Alabama. But on Tuesday, Clyburn said through a spokesman that he did not endorse Baca in the highly contested primary and insisted he was staying neutral in the race.

Sewell followed suit, also saying through a spokeswoman that she, too, did not endorse Baca.

Late Wednesday evening, Clyburn’s Communications Director Patrick Devlin sought to clear up  any confusion over the endorsement debacle in an email.

Full story

Margolies Readies Congressional Comeback #PA13

Former Rep. Marjorie Margolies will file papers to run in the open-seat Pennsylvania 13th District race to replace Democratic Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Margolies is the mother-in-law of Chelsea Clinton. But she’s also known for casting a tie-breaking vote to pass President Bill Clinton’s economic plan in 1993. That vote doomed her 1994 re-election campaign in suburban Philadelphia.

The former one-term congresswoman joins an already-crowded field for the primary. State Sen. Daylin Leach is running, as is state Rep. Brendan Boyle and Valerie A. Arkoosh. The current member, Schwartz, is running for governor. Full story

Fortenberry not Running for Senate #NESEN

Fortenberry not Running for Senate #NESEN

Fortenberry, right, will not run for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., announced Wednesday he will seek re-election instead of running for the state’s open Senate seat.

“I greatly appreciate the support and encouragement of the many Nebraskans who have urged me to consider a campaign for the United States Senate. After considerable reflection, I have decided not to run for the Senate,” Fortenberry said in a statement.

Fortenberry is the second Republican in the past week to take his name out of the running for a seat that the GOP is heavily favored to hold in 2014. Gov. Dave Heineman, who is term-limited next year and was the top GOP recruit for this race, opted out of running on May 25. Full story

Obama to Fundraise for House Democrats in Chicago

Obama to Fundraise for House Democrats in Chicago

Obama will fundraise for House Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama will travel to his hometown of Chicago on Wednesday to fundraise for House Democratic campaign efforts in 2014.

He will headline two events for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the evening, according to information provided by a Democratic aide.

The first fundraiser will be at the Chicago Hilton, and the guest list includes House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, DCCC Chairman Steve Israel of New York, House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, Illinois Sen. Richard J. Durbin and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a former chairman of the DCCC. Tickets will range from $1,000 per person to $5,000 per couple. Full story

Republicans Lose Top Senate Prospect in Colorado #COSEN

Republicans Lose Top Senate Prospect in Colorado #COSEN

Gardner will not run for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Rep. Cory Gardner decided against challenging Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., on Wednesday, according to The Denver Post.

Many Colorado Republicans viewed Gardner as their strongest potential candidate. But in recent months, he showed little evidence that he was gearing up for a Senate bid.

“I’ve got work to do, I’m not in a hurry to run for another office,” he told the paper. “I think the most important thing for people is to know now.” Full story

Mark Pryor Going on the Air #ARSEN

Mark Pryor Going on the Air #ARSEN

Pryor is running advertisements for his re-election bid. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., will launch a television ad campaign on Friday — 17 months before this cycle’s most vulnerable incumbent faces voters in the general election.

“It’s an ad in response to the attacks we’re getting on both sides,” Pryor campaign manager Jeff Weaver said. “These outside groups are trying to affect the election. So we’ve produced an ad.”

Pryor has been hit on the air by the conservative groups Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund for his ties to President Barack Obama. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s super PAC, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, just launched a $350,000 ad buy hitting Pryor for his vote against expanded background checks.

(See also in Roll Call: Pryor Can’t Escape 2010 Comparison) Full story

Why Some Democrats Aren’t Happy About Bachmann’s Exit

Why Some Democrats Arent Happy About Bachmanns Exit

Not every Democrat is happy about Bachmann's decision not to seek re-election. (Douglas Graham/Roll Call File Photo)

Not every Democrat is cheering Rep. Michele Bachmann’s upcoming exit from Congress — specifically the party’s bean counters.

The conservative firebrand’s decision not to run for re-election takes a lucrative fundraising tool off the table for Democrats.

“After Joe Walsh and Allen West were defeated, she was by far the most lucrative voice for Democrats in the GOP caucus,” said one top Democratic operative who has worked at a committee. “Direct mail writers are going to have to cultivate new villains.”

The Minnesota Republican’s controversial statements and her mantle as one of the tea party’s loudest advocates on Capitol Hill made her the perfect foil in fundraising solicitations from Democratic campaign committees and candidates. She was among a select crew of rank-and-file GOP House members with national profiles and names capable of prompting Democratic donors to give. Full story

Which Republicans Will Run for Michele Bachmann’s Seat? #MN06 | The Field

Which Republicans Will Run for Michele Bachmanns Seat? #MN06 | The Field

Bachmann will retire. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hours after Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., announced her retirement from Congress, a host of potential GOP candidates emerged as possible successors for the 6th District.

Interviews with Minnesota and national Republicans yielded the following potential GOP candidates: Full story

Michele Bachmann Will Not Seek Re-Election #MN06

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., announced on Wednesday that she will not seek re-election in 2014.

In an 8-minute-long video posted on her website, Bachmann detailed her decision, which she said had nothing to do with the recent investigations into her failed presidential campaign’s finances.

“After a great deal of thought and deliberation, I have decided next year, I will not to seek a fifth congressional term,” she said in a straight-to-camera delivery. Full story

May 28, 2013

Second Democrat Disputes Baca Endorsement Claim #CA31

A second House Democrat has disputed former Rep. Joe Baca’s claim that she endorsed him in a heated primary for California’s 31st District.

Rep. Terri A. Sewell, D-Ala., said through a spokeswoman that she did not endorse Baca’s candidacy and that she is instead supporting his primary challenger, Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar. Aguilar has the backing of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“She is supporting the DCCC’s efforts to elect Pete Aguilar,” said Sewell’s chief of staff, Nichole Francis, in an email. Full story

Baca: Clyburn Gave Me Endorsement in Writing #CA31

Baca: Clyburn Gave Me Endorsement in Writing #CA31

Clyburn says he will stay neutral in this primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., insisted Assistant House Minority Leader James E. Clyburn endorsed his campaign in writing — despite a Tuesday report that the South Carolina Democrat would stay neutral in the heated 31st District primary.

“He signed the endorsement, and I have his signature on a sign-up sheet along with other members who signed on that same day,” Baca told CQ Roll Call on Tuesday. “Other members signed the same sheet.”

Earlier, Clyburn said through his spokesman, Patrick Devlin, that any reports he had endorsed Baca were “incorrect” and “he is staying out of the nomination primary.”

The squabble exacerbates tensions among Democrats for the 31st District — one of the party’s top pickup prospects in 2014. The campaign arm for House Democrats is supporting Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar’s bid over Baca’s comeback campaign there. Last cycle, Baca lost re-election to Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Calif., in the nearby 35th District.

Full story

Gwen Graham Discusses Her Father, Obamacare #FL02 | The Candidate

Gwen Graham Discusses Her Father, Obamacare #FL02 | The Candidate

Graham is running for Congress. (Courtesy Gwen Graham for Congress)

Editor’s Note: Every year, scores of congressional candidates visit the CQ Roll Call offices to meet with reporters and Contributing Editor Stuart Rothenberg. This feature, “The Candidate,” will ask these congressional hopefuls five questions about their campaigns. Responses and questions have been edited and condensed.

Have a question for a candidate? We’ll announce their visits via Twitter, and you can tweet your inquiry to @RollCall or email politics@cqrollcall.com.

The candidate: Democratic attorney Gwen Graham
The member: Two-term Rep. Steve Southerland II, R-Fla.
The district: Both Southerland and Mitt Romney carried the Panhandle district by about 6 points.
The candidate’s team: Julia Gill (campaign manager), Joe Trippi of Trippi & Associates (media), John Anzalone of Anzalone Liszt Research (pollster), Dylan Sumner of Mack Sumner (direct mail), and Steve Schale (senior adviser).

1. As the niece of Watergate-era Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, what is your opinion of the Justice Department’s investigations of reporters? As a member of Congress, what would you do to counter that?

I am very concerned about anything that has a chilling effect on the free press. … I would make sure that there was a full investigation into what went on and make sure that if there were any concerns, that they were addressed properly.

2. @CraigPlazure put in a question for you via Twitter: “How will she campaign in the potential primary with [2012 Democratic nominee] Al Lawson?”

We are going to continue to focus on defeating Congressman Southerland in 2014.

[After the jump: Graham talks about her father, former Sen. Bob Graham, the health care overhaul and her recruitment process.]

Obama Backs Markey for Senate #MASEN

Obama Backs Markey for Senate #MASEN

Markey was endorsed by the president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama on Tuesday endorsed Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., with just four weeks left in the increasingly competitive special election for Senate.

The decision to back a member of his own party is no surprise. Obama remains a popular figure in the Bay State after winning it last year with 61 percent of the vote. Markey hopes to build a similar coalition of voters in his race against Republican Gabriel Gomez.

Full story

Rick Santorum Endorses in Special Election #AL01

Rick Santorum Endorses in Special Election #AL01

Santorum endorsed conservative columnist Quin Hillyer in the special election in Alabama. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., on Tuesday endorsed conservative columnist Quin Hillyer in Alabama’s 1st District special election.

Hillyer, a former editorial writer for the Mobile Press-Register, is one of many candidates who have either announced or are looking at running for the soon-to-be-vacant 1st District. Last week, GOP Rep. Jo Bonner announced he would resign from Congress soon to take a job at the University of Alabama as vice chancellor of government relations and economic development.

“I’ve gotten to know Quin over the last few years and have been enormously impressed with his willingness to fearlessly and without hesitation advance the conservative cause,” Santorum said in a statement to Al.com.

[After the jump: See who else is running in this special election]

Full story

May 25, 2013

Gov. Heineman Won’t Seek Senate #NESEN

Gov. Dave Heineman announced Saturday that he will not seek Nebraska’s open Senate seat, inviting a free-for-all in the Republican primary.

“After careful consideration of all of the issues involved in a race for the United States Senate, I have decided to keep my focus on being the best Governor that I can for the citizens of Nebraska,” Heineman said in a Saturday morning email to supporters. “A race for the United States Senate would distract from the State’s priorities of tax relief, job creation and education.”

Full story

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