Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 12, 2016

March 18, 2014

Outside Group’s Poll Shows Tightening Oklahoma Senate Primary

The special-election primary to replace resigning Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn is tightening after an advertising blitz benefiting Republican state Speaker T.W. Shannon.

A poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies on behalf of Oklahomans for a Conservative Future, an outside group backing Shannon, found the state speaker cutting into the early GOP primary lead of Rep. James Lankford. Lankford, who is the favorite to fill the remaining two years of Coburn’s term, led with 37 percent, followed by Shannon with 28 percent and former state Sen. Randy Brogdon with 7 percent.

A half dozen candidates are running to replace Coburn, a favorite among conservatives, who is stepping down at the end of the year. The special is following the state’s regular election schedule: If no candidate receives a majority of support in the June 24 primary, the top two finishers will face off in an Aug. 26 runoff and the winner will move on to November. Full story

Democrat Drops Out of Competitive Pennsylvania House Race

Trivedi is now the lone Democratic candidate in the field. (Douglas Graham/Roll Call File Photo)

Businessman Mike Parrish, a Democrat touted as a top recruit in Pennsylvania’s open 6th District, announced Tuesday he will drop out of the contest to avoid a costly primary, PolitcsPA.com first reported.

“While I was asked by the national and local leaders of our Democratic party and encouraged by YOU to run for Congress, I have come to realize that an expensive and contentious Democratic primary fight would seriously risk our party’s ability to win this seat in November to accomplish our goals,” Parrish said in a statement to supporters. “I am therefore suspending my campaign in order to join with Manan Trivedi to help ensure that a Democrat is elected in November.”

Parrish, who launched his campaign two months ago in the wake of Rep. Jim Gerlach’s, R-Pa., retirement announcement, had earned the endorsement of Rep. Robert A. Brady, D-Pa., and been a beneficiary of a fundraiser headlined by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Full story

Oprah to Headline Fundraiser for Virginia House Candidate

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey will headline a D.C.-area fundraiser next month for Lavern Chatman, former CEO of the Northern Virginia Urban League and one of nearly a dozen Democrats running for Virginia’s open 8th District seat.

According to a Chatman campaign release, the fundraiser will be held April 5 in Arlington, Va. Further details were not provided.

“Oprah is a good friend and we both share a passion for empowering women and girls for leadership,” Chatman said in a statement. “I’m delighted she is coming to town to help with my congressional campaign.”

Full story

Democrats Count on Good News Out of Illinois Primaries

One week after a disappointing loss in the closely watched Florida special election, national Democrats expect brighter news from the top race to watch in Tuesday’s primaries in Illinois, where the party hopes to cut into Republicans’ House majority.

In one of Democrats’ top targeted districts in the country, Ann Callis is likely to prevail in the 13th District Democratic primary. That would set up a competitive race against freshman Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., in a swing district that stretches across the state.

Davis’ primary challenge from a former Miss America has received far more national press. But it’s Callis, a former Madison County judge and top recruit of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, who has had the bumpier ride to the nomination — and Republicans believe she will emerge weakened for the general.

Illinois is the second state to host primaries for the 2014 midterms. But among the various federal races on Tuesday, including the GOP primary to take on Democratic Sen. Richard J. Durbin, the 13th features nomination fights with the greatest impact on the general elections in November. Full story

Democratic Candidate Wants Pelosi Out as Leader (Video)

The candidate: Nick Casey, an attorney and former West Virginia Democratic Party chairman
The member: Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is vacating the seat to run for Senate.
The district: West Virginia’s 2nd stretches from Charleston in the west to the Washington, D.C. exurbs. After a close 2000 race when first elected to Congress, Capito repeatedly racked up solid re-election margins over the last 10 years. Still, the Republican field is crowded and disorganized, and the district could be competitive.
The candidate’s team:  Jef Pollock of Global Strategy Group (polling), Karl Struble of Struble Eichenbaum Communications (media), Ed Peavy of Mission Control (direct mail), Jeremy Gold (fundraising) and Derek Scarbro (campaign manager).

There is a very real chance that Sen. Joe Manchin III will be the only Democrat left representing West Virginia after this year’s midterm elections, with Sen. Jay Rockefeller retiring and Rep. Nick J. Rahall II facing a tough race. Full story

March 17, 2014

Shane Osborn Up With First Nebraska Senate TV Ad

Former Nebraska Treasurer Shane Osborn, who is running in a competitive GOP Senate primary, launched his first TV ad Monday.

With less than two months to go before the May 13 primary, Osborn is running a biographical ad that reaches back to an international incident he was involved in as a Naval aviator. It will be a two-week, $80,000 buy, according to an Osborn source, but Nebraska is a relatively cheap media market and Osborn’s advertising is expected to increase.

Osborn is one of several veterans who are using their military biographies to make their case for public office.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0wg6fDpc2g&feature=youtu.be

Full story

Northern Virginia Democrats Cancel 10th District Convention

After clearing the field for the party’s preferred candidate, Northern Virginia Democrats have canceled their 10th District nominating convention.

Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust will face the eventual GOP nominee in November in the race to replace retiring Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va. — a top pickup opportunity for the party. Foust was set to face attorney Richard Bolger in an April 26 convention, but Bolger dropped out of the race Friday, allowing Foust to begin preparing for the general immediately.

State Del. Barbara Comstock is the front-runner for the GOP nomination, but she faces primary opposition from a handful of Republicans, including conservative state Del. Bob Marshall and retired Naval Officer Howard Lind. Republicans will select their nominee in an April 26 firehouse primary, a state party-run election with less than a dozen polling locations.

Virginia’s 10th District is rated Leans Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Edwin Edwards Kicks Off House Bid in Louisiana

Disgraced former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards, who served eight years in federal prison for racketeering and extortion, formally launched a bid for Congress on Monday.

The 86-year-old Democrat unveiled his intentions last month to seek the open 6th District seat, but he made it official Monday with a colorful news conference, during which he laid out his policy agenda and reasons why he is giving elected office another go.

“I did not vote for Obama — where I was at the time there were no voting machines,” Edwards said, referring to his time in jail, garnering laughter from the room. “But I would not have voted for Obamacare.”

Full story

Collin Peterson to Seek 13th Term in Minnesota

Longtime Rep. Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., will announce Monday that he will seek a 13th term in Minnesota’s 7th District, according to the Minnesota Star Tribune, ending months of speculation about his future political plans.

Political observers said Peterson could retire this cycle after successfully negotiating a farm bill as ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee.

However, Peterson will announce at a news conference that he will stand for re-election in this northern Minnesota House district.

“I still have a lot of work to do,” Peterson said in a news release, according to the Star Tribune.

Full story

By Emily Cahn Posted at 10:40 a.m.
House 2016, Minn.-7

March 14, 2014

Scott Brown Announces Preparations for Senate Bid

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Sen. Scott P. Brown, R-Mass., announced Friday he is preparing to run for Senate in New Hampshire, kicking off a nearly unprecedented bid to represent a second state in the Senate.

Brown’s decision, unveiled in a speech at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua, N.H., comes 16 months after he was defeated for re-election in the neighboring Bay State by Democrat Elizabeth Warren.

If he wins the Sept. 9 GOP primary and can defeat Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Brown would become just the third person in history — and first since the 1870s — to have represented more than one state in the Senate, according to the Senate Historical Office.

“Starting tomorrow morning, and for the next several weeks, Gail and I will be traveling around the state to introduce ourselves, to ask questions, to speak with everyone of every background — Republicans, independents and Democrats alike — and above all to listen to them and learn of their concerns,” Brown said, according to his prepared remarks. Full story

Goodlatte to Fundraise in Silicon Valley as Tech Community Pushes Immigration Fix

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., is scheduled to hold a high-dollar fundraiser in Silicon Valley next week — but frustrated tech donors are already grumbling about the event, disappointed by the lack of progress from House Republicans on one of their top policy priorities: immigration legislation.

According to an invitation obtained by CQ Roll Call, the Goodlatte fundraiser is organized by TechNet, which bills itself as the “preeminent bipartisan political network of CEOs and Seniors Executives that promotes the growth of technology-led innovation.” Suggested contribution levels for Wednesday’s round table and reception with the powerful chairman range between $10,000 and $40,000 for the Goodlatte Victory Committee.

Not every big-time tech donor, however, is ready to cut a check, because Goodlatte’s Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over immigration legislation.
Full story

Fox Terminates Scott Brown’s Contract Ahead of Senate Announcement

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Fox News has terminated its contract with former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., ahead of his expected move toward a Senate bid, the network announced Friday.

“Scott Brown’s contributor agreement was officially terminated today once he notified FOX News of his intention to form an exploratory committee to run for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire,” Bill Shine, the network’s executive vice president of programming, said in a statement.

Brown is scheduled to deliver a speech at 4:30 p.m. today in Nashua at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference, where he may for the first time confirm he is moving closer to launching a Senate campaign in New Hampshire. The Associated Press reported Thursday that Brown has begun reaching out to potential campaign staff and would announce the formation of an exploratory committee as early as today. Full story

Ralph Hall Challenger Commits to Term Limits

The Republican primary challenger to longtime Texas Rep. Ralph M. Hall says 4th District voters should not expect a Hall-length tenure from him if elected.

Just more than two months out from their primary runoff showdown, attorney John Ratcliffe said in an interview with CQ Roll Call that he not only supports a congressional term limit but would self-impose one if he wins the seat.

Ratcliffe has committed to serving only “four to five” terms in the House, a stark contrast to Hall’s career. The 90-year-old congressman, who has said this will be his last race, is finishing up his 17th term this year.

“I was mayor of a town that did not have term limits, but I term-limited myself,” Ratcliffe said. “I believe that our founders never intended for there to be a permanent political class.”

Full story

Democrats Clear Primary Field in Competitive Virginia House Race

Democrats have cleared the primary field in Virginia’s 10th District, one of the party’s top open-seat targets this cycle.

Attorney Richard Bolger announced Friday he is suspending his campaign, paving the way for Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust — who was already the favorite — to earn the Democratic nomination for this Northern Virginia-based seat.

Bolger launched his bid in September, before longtime Republican Rep. Frank R. Wolf announced his retirement and the seat moved toward the top of national Democrats’ wish list.

“When Congressman Wolf retired, the seat became one of the top pick-up opportunities for Democrats in the nation,” Bolger said in a statement. “At this point, it has become clear to me that John Foust is our strongest choice with the best chance of helping our party win this seat and change the direction of Congress.”

Full story

EMILY’s List Endorses Debbie Dingell

EMILY’S List has endorsed Democratic National Committeewoman Debbie Dingell of Michigan to replace her husband in Congress.

Dingell is already the favorite to replace retiring Democratic Rep. John D. Dingell in Michigan’s 12th District. The only prominent candidate to consider a run backed off last week from competing in the Aug. 5 primary for the seat, which John Dingell has held since replacing his father in 1955.

But the backing by EMILY’s List, which helps Democratic women who support abortion rights, offers the potential for significant financial support should Dingell face a surprisingly competitive race.

“Debbie Dingell is a strong Democratic leader with over 30 years of experience as a business executive, and she is deeply committed to helping Michigan women and families have a fair shot,” EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock said in a news release. “The EMILY’s List community — now more than three million members strong — is proud to endorse this champion for Michigan to represent the 12th Congressional District.”

The general-election race is rated Safe Democrat by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

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