Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 20, 2014

May 17, 2013

Karen Handel Enters Georgia Senate Race

Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel announced her campaign for Senate on Friday morning, as the state’s Republican convention was set to kick off in Athens.

“States, especially those with Republican governors, are doing a good job — they are balancing budgets with targeted spending cuts, creating jobs, and tackling tax reform,” Handel said in a statement. “The biggest problems we face today are in Washington, and that’s where we so desperately need fresh thinking, bold solutions, and real leadership.”

Handel is the fourth Republican to enter the race for the seat of retiring GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss. Notably, she is also the first woman and first candidate who is not a member of Congress. GOP Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston are running. David Perdue, the cousin of former Gov. Sonny Perdue, announced an exploratory committee this week.

In the party’s top pickup opportunity of the 2014 midterms, Democrats are awaiting word from Michelle Nunn, a philanthropist and daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn. Full story

May 16, 2013

Another Republican Announces Run in #GA10

It’s hard to keep up with the number of Republicans vying for Georgia’s three open House seats.

Since publishing our Farm Team column on Wednesday about the likely field of candidates in the Peach State, another GOP politician has announced he will run for the open 10th District seat.

Full story

EMILY’s List Backs Six House Candidates

EMILY’s List, an organization that backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights, rolled out six candidates who made their “On the List” designation.

Most of the EMILY’s List candidates are in line with the plans of other Democratic groups, but at least one has the potential to upset other national Democratic groups.

“On the List” is a tier below the group’s full endorsements, which are typically doled out later in the cycle.

Those “On the List” are:

California’s 31st: Attorney Eloise Reyes
Incumbent: Republican Rep. Gary G. Miller
This race is one of  the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s biggest regrets from 2012. This EMILY’s List support could complicate Democratic plans. They lost this winnable seat in 2012 because no Democrat made it through California’s jungle primary system. This year, the DCCC has made it plain that it prefers Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar. Former Democratic Rep. Joe Baca is also running for the seat after losing re-election in another district. Until making EMILY’s List, Reyes was hardly mentioned in campaign coverage, but the backing gives her credibility. No organized Republican has emerged as a threat to block out Democrats again, but a primary with three organized candidates has to make Democrats nervous.

Full story

Georgia Farm Team Stacked With Carters

Thursday’s installment of Roll Call’s Farm Team tackled the long list of up-and-coming politicians in Georgia who are either running for Congress this cycle or who may do so down the line.

While the list of candidates includes everyone from a trail-blazing Atlanta city council member to a former Capitol Hill staffer, one notable trend from the list emerged: the sheer number of Carters looking to ascend Georgia’s political ladder.

Full story

May 15, 2013

Bachmann to Air Early Season TV Ads #MN06

Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann will begin flooding her 6th District with television ads next week, according to a filing with the Federal Communications Commission.

Bachmann’s campaign will air 31 ads that run 30 seconds each on local Fox affiliate KSMP beginning Thursday. The ads were made by Crossroads Media, an Arlington, Va.-based firm, and will air over a 12-day period, according to the filing, which was first reported by National Journal.

Full story

Sanford Unlikely to Get 2014 Primary Challenge

 

 

Sanford Unlikely to Get 2014 Primary Challenge

(Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images File Photo)

Rep. Mark Sanford, who was sworn into the House Wednesday, is unlikely to have a primary challenger in the coming cycle, or any cycle, according to Republicans plugged into Palmetto State politics.

The consensus among state operatives and consultants is that if former governor can avoid any missteps, he will have a lock on the 1st District.

“If he votes right and is controversy-free, it’d be pretty hard to mount a challenge, assuming there nothing out of the ordinary occurs, ” said South Carolina GOP consultant Warren Tompkins.

Palin Endorses in Missouri Special Election #MO08

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed Republican state Rep. Jason Smith in Missouri’s 8th District special election.

She vouched for him through her usual channel, Facebook, writing:

“Jason has worked tirelessly to build on the foundation of his humble beginnings and is a responsible and respected leader in the Show Me State. In Washington DC, Jason will maintain that innate sense of his community and will bring his commonsense conservatism to the halls of Congress. Jason recognizes that government is the problem, not the solution. He will protect our 2ndAmendment rights and work to promote a culture of life. We must all work together to send Mr. Smith to Washington on June 4th.”

While a Palin endorsement is sure to garner a candidate widespread attention, this one comes at an inconsequential time in the campaign. As the Republican nominee in a safely Republican district, Smith is already expected to cruise to a general election win on June 4.

His Democratic opponent is state Rep. Steve Hodges. This is an open-seat race to replace former Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, who resigned earlier this year.

DeMint-Linked Group Eyes Louisiana Senate Candidate

Retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness announced his candidacy this week for Senate in Louisiana, and now the PAC formerly associated with Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint is considering supporting him.

The Senate Conservatives Fund emailed supporters on Wednesday highlighting Maness and making clear that it won’t be supporting Rep. Bill Cassidy, the leading Republican in the race to take on Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu.

“We still need to vet Col. Maness to see if he’s someone SCF can support, but we’re excited about his potential,” SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins wrote. “It’s encouraging to see people run for office who aren’t career politicians and who aren’t part to the political establishment.” Full story

Heineman Consults Former Governors Who Served In Senate

As he contemplates a bid for Senate, the GOP’s top recruit — Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman — is engaging some former governors who made the same transition.

The shift from a state’s head honcho to being one of 100 is unique. The slow-moving gears and partisanship of the Senate can be frustrating for a former chief executive.

Still, they constitute about one-tenth of the Senate in the 113th Congress. That includes Nebraska Republican Mike Johanns, whose retirement next year after one term in the Senate has led to the heavy recruitment of Heineman.

“The Governor has had several positive and productive conversations with former Governors who went on to be U.S. Senators,” Heineman spokeswoman Jen Rae Hein told CQ Roll Call. “The Governor appreciates these conversations, and has found them to be insightful and valuable as he continues to contemplate his decision. Every indication is that the Governor will make his decision within the next month’s time frame.”

Full story

May 14, 2013

Romney Aide Heads to GOP Firm | Shop Talk

Longtime Mitt Romney aide Lou Tavares is a new vice president at SCM Associates, a Republican direct marketing firm.

Tavares’ work with Romney goes back seven years, to his time as general counsel during Romney’s stint as governor of Massachusetts. In the 2012 presidential campaign, Tavares held the title of staff secretary and senior adviser. He oversaw outgoing media from the campaign. Previously, he was the chief operating officer and counsel of Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC.

“I am very excited to welcome Lou Tavares to the SCM Associates team,” President Stephen C. Meyers said in a release. “His years of experience helping to manage complex national operations and cross-channel marketing programs for Mitt Romney will help us offer our clients an even more fully-integrated and consistent marketing program.”

SCM’s clients include Romney, former Massachusetts Sen. Scott P. Brown, House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Who Will Take On Ann Kirkpatrick in Arizona? | The Field

The list of Republicans lining up to challenge Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, a Democrat in the marginally Republican 1st District of Arizona, is remarkably short. Among state and national Republican strategists, only one name emerges.

“All the buzz in CD 1 is centering around Adam Kwasman,” Arizona Republican political consultant Chris DeRose said. He described the field as “coalescing” around Kwasman, a 30-year-old freshman state representative.

DeRose is informally advising Kwasman but said he is not on any campaign payroll. While others worry that Kwasman is too green to challenge Kirkpatrick, he is the only name Republicans mention. Full story

Joe Sestak Files Senate Exploratory Committee for 2016

Former Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., wants another shot at the Senate seat he failed to win in 2010.

Sestak announced Tuesday that he has formed an exploratory committee for a 2016 Senate bid. It would likely be a rematch with Republican Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, who defeated Sestak by 2 points in a great year for Republicans nationally.

“The Senate needs an independent leader accountable only to ‘We the People,’ not any other interests … a leader accountable for deeds, not intentions,” Sestak said in a statement. Full story

Another Georgia Republican Closes In on Senate Race #GASEN

David Perdue, a wealthy businessman and the cousin of former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, has formed an exploratory committee to run for the Peach State’s open Senate seat.

Should he run, Perdue would be the fourth Republican to enter the Senate race for the seat of retiring GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

“I am truly concerned about the direction of our country, and I don’t think we can solve our nation’s problems by electing another career politician looking for a promotion,” Perdue said in a statement. “That is why I am strongly considering a run for U.S. Senate.” Full story

May 13, 2013

Paulsen Rules Out Challenge to Franken #MNSEN

Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., on Monday ruled out running for governor or Senate for 2014, leaving Democratic Sen. Al Franken still without a challenger.

“After thinking carefully about how I can best help my fellow Minnesotans, I have decided to not seek election for a different office in 2014,” Paulsen said in a statement. “The warm encouragement from many people to run for U.S. senator or the governorship was deeply humbling. However, it is clear to me that the House is currently where I can best represent the people of my district and state.”

Paulsen had indicated some interest in the race earlier this year but was never considered likely to run. He joins fellow GOP Rep. John Kline in opting not to take on Franken in his first bid for re-election.

Mike McFadden, the head of a finance management firm, is considering challenging Franken. The senator had $2 million in cash on hand as of the end of March.

By Kyle Trygstad Posted at 3:56 p.m.
Minn. Senate

Remainders: Recruitment Woes

Here’s what you may have missed “At the Races” on Monday …

  • Former Democratic Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin announced on her Facebook page that she will not seek the open Senate seat in South Dakota.
  • A GOP poll found that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has a slight lead over likely Republican Senate candidates Joe Miller and Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell. Palin, however, has not indicated that she will run for the seat.
  • A crowded GOP primary in West Virginia’s 2nd District may be likely. The seat is being vacated by Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, who announced last year that she’s running for the state’s open Senate seat following Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s retirement.
  • David Schwarz, a former staffer for Republican Rep. Jack Kingston, is running for his former boss’ seat in Georgia’s 1st District. Kingston left the seat open when he announced he was running for the Peach State’s open Senate seat.

What we’re mulling on Monday …

  • Two new polls out in New Hampshire found Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., has a double-digit lead in a hypothetical match-up with former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass.
  • North Carolina state Sen. Malcolm Graham became the first candidate to announce he will run for Rep. Mel Watt’s seat. Watt was nominated by President Barack Obama to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency, although he has yet to be confirmed and has yet to resign his seat. If confirmed, Watt’s House departure would likely create a crowded special election.

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