Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 26, 2014

May 29, 2013

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

May 24, 2013

Democrat Noncommittal on Pelosi #NY11 | The Candidate

Democrat Noncommittal on Pelosi #NY11 | The Candidate

Recchia, above, is challenging Grimm. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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 new 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: New York City Council Member Domenic M. Recchia Jr.
The member: Two-term Rep. Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y.
The district: Nearly three-quarters of this district is in Staten Island, but it also crosses New York Harbor into Brooklyn. President Barack Obama won the 11th District’s vote 52 percent to 47 percent, but Grimm won the seat by 7 points.
The candidate’s team: Jefrey Pollock of Global Strategy Group (polling); the rest of the team has yet to be announced.

1. You raised $412,000 last quarter. How much will you need to compete in the New York City media market?

Four million dollars.

2. You live in Brooklyn, but a majority of voters in this district live on Staten Island. How do you bridge that divide? 

It’s not a question of Brooklyn versus Staten Island. It’s a question of the whole district is going to be represented by someone who is out there that understands the issues, who’s going to stand up for the middle class … who has a record of delivering four [city] budgets on time without raising taxes, prevented firehouses from being closed on Staten Island, working with the people, and is able to bring the resources that are needed to Staten Island.

My family lives on Staten Island. My mother lives there. My three sisters live there. My nieces and nephews. I talk to people every day. My father built on Staten Island before the bridge was up. I have a lot of contacts with Staten Island.

[After the jump: Recchia on former Rep. Anthony Weiner's mayoral campaign and his favorite Coney Island ride.]

Full story

Grassley Chief Will Seek Senate #IASEN

Grassley Chief Will Seek Senate #IASEN

A longtime chief of staff for Grassley, above, will run for Senate in Iowa. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

David Young, a longtime chief of staff to Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, intends to run for Senate in the Hawkeye State, a GOP source confirmed to CQ Roll Call.

TheIowaRepublican.com reported on Friday that Young has submitted his resignation to Grassley and will announce his campaign in Iowa next month. The GOP news site also reported that Young has signed up a consulting team that includes media consultant Fred Davis, The Tarrance Group polling firm and Sara Fagen as general consultant.

Davis confirmed he has signed on with the campaign and said he expects an announcement “very soon.” Full story

Ex-Rep. Joe Baca Touts 30 Endorsements From House Democrats #CA31

Ex Rep. Joe Baca Touts 30 Endorsements From House Democrats #CA31

Baca has support from many of his colleagues. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Joe Baca, a Democrat attempting a comeback bid in California’s 31st District, boasted support from 30 House Democrats on Thursday. The list runs the gamut from members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to Assistant Minority Leader James E. Clyburn of South Carolina.

Baca publicized these endorsements the morning after he hosted a Washington, D.C., fundraiser with Rep. Ed Pastor, D-Ariz. It was one day after his 31st District opponent, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee-backed candidate Pete Aguilar, announced the support of a dozen Democrats in the California delegation.

Full story

May 23, 2013

Jo Bonner to Resign From Congress Soon (Updated) #AL01

Jo Bonner to Resign From Congress Soon (Updated) #AL01

A local newspaper reported Bonner will resign soon. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:57 p.m. | Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Ala., will resign from Congress later this year to take a job at the University of Alabama, CQ Roll Call has confirmed.

Sen. Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., told reporters about Bonner’s imminent departure. Bonner sent a personal note to Shelby a few hours ago explaining the move. He will take on the newly created position of vice chancellor of government relations and economic development. Full story

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