Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 31, 2014

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

National Republicans Send Staff to Massachusetts #MASEN

National Republicans Send Staff to Massachusetts #MASEN

Jerry Moran is the NRSC's chairman. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

National Republicans have dispatched staff to Massachusetts to assist with the Senate special election that has become tantalizingly close.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has committed at least four staffers to help nominee Gabriel Gomez in the final weeks of the June 25 contest. The moves come amid fresh polling that showed Gomez running just behind Democratic Rep. Edward J. Markey in this solidly Democratic state.

Money remains a major hurdle for Gomez to overcome against the well-funded Markey. So the NRSC sent two fundraisers to help Gomez open some financial doors. Sarah Morgan, a regional political director, arrived Wednesday to organize volunteer efforts over the next few weeks. And Kevin McLaughlin, a senior adviser, is in Boston to assist with communications and general strategy. Full story

Will Perseverance Pay Off for Perennial Hawaiian Pols?

Will Perseverance Pay Off for Perennial Hawaiian Pols?

Case might run for Congress again. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In Hawaii politics, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. And again. And again.

Or, at least that’s how many candidates in the state have operated over the past few cycles.

Full story

May 22, 2013

House Democrats Fete Top Recruits in D.C.

House Democrats Fete Top Recruits in D.C.

Israel is bringing his top recruits to town. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:43 p.m. | The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will host a reception Wednesday night for its best recruits, according to an invitation obtained by CQ Roll Call.

Launched earlier this month, the Jumpstart program “provides early financial, communications, operational and strategic support to help top-tier candidates get a head start in these highly-targeted races,” according to a memo sent to donors and supporters upon the program’s launch.

The invitation does not list the Jumpstart candidates, but the DCCC previously announced the group. The group is: Full story

Mike Rounds Hires Dick Wadhams #SDSEN | Shop Talk

Veteran GOP operative Dick Wadhams has signed on as general consultant for the leading candidate in one of the GOP’s top Senate pickup opportunities.

Former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds announced on Wednesday that he has retained Wadhams to help lead his campaign.

The election next year will come a decade after Wadhams’ last triumph in the state — managing now-Sen. John Thune’s 2004 upset of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.

“Dick’s reputation as a battle tested strategist, coupled with his insight into South Dakota’s political landscape make him the perfect complement to our team,” Rounds said in a statement. “We’ve been considering individuals to fill this role for months and we continued to come back to Mr. Wadhams.” Full story

Sander Levin Picks Sides in Primary #MI14

Sander Levin Picks Sides in Primary #MI14

Levin endorsed Hobbs in the 14th District primary. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Sander M. Levin endorsed state House Democratic Floor Leader Rudy Hobbs on Wednesday in the Democratic primary for Michigan’s 14th District.

“When elected to the U.S. House, Rudy will be a powerful advocate and a tireless fighter for the residents throughout the 14th District in Detroit and Oakland County,” Levin said in a press release. “I look forward to actively supporting his campaign.” Full story

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