Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 24, 2014

June 10, 2013

Fourth Republican Enters Crowded Georgia Race #GA01

Fourth Republican Enters Crowded Georgia Race #GA01

Kingston is running for Senate, prompting a crowded primary for his House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Another Republican entered Georgia’s already crowded 1st District race on Monday, making him the fourth GOP candidate in the open-seat race to replace GOP Rep. Jack Kingston.

Bob Johnson, a surgeon and former Army Ranger, announced on Monday that he is running.

“I pledge to you that I am not going to compromise my conservative Republican principles,” Johnson said in a news release. “I am not going to Washington to go along and get along. I am running for Congress to bring about real conservative change.”

Full story

Matt Whitaker Announces Senate Campaign Team #IASEN | Shop Talk

Republican Matt Whitaker has a full campaign team in place after officially launching his bid for the open Senate seat in Iowa last week.

The list, shared first with CQ Roll Call, includes a bevy of veteran national and Hawkeye State consultants and operatives to help the former U.S. attorney win what will be a competitive Republican nomination fight and capture a Democratic-held Senate seat.

His team includes: Full story

Alan Grayson Draws GOP Opponent #FL09

Rep. Alan Grayson, the liberal firebrand who won a comeback bid to Congress in 2012, officially has a Republican challenger in Florida’s 9th District.

Jorge Bonilla, a conservative blogger and Navy veteran, announced on Monday that he will challenge Grayson for the 9th District seat.

“The central question of the 2014 election is this,” Bonilla said in a video announcing his candidacy. “Are we the people still capable of self-rule? Or do we abandon the American revolution and concede that a small connected elite from Washington, D.C., and New York is better capable of running our lives than we are ourselves.”

Full story

Poll: Booker Starts Special Election Way Ahead #NJSEN

A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday morning found Newark Mayor Cory Booker with a substantial lead over his Democratic primary opponents in the New Jersey Senate special election.

As the most well-known of three Democrats expected to qualify for the primary, Booker took 53 percent, Rep. Rush D. Holt took 10 percent and Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. received 9 percent. Twenty-three percent were undecided.

Booker’s name recognition and positive image — 57 percent view him favorably, 14 percent unfavorably — pushed him to the front of the pack at the starting gun of the two-month sprint to the nomination. Petitions to qualify for the primary ballots are due at 4 p.m. Monday. The primary is scheduled for Aug. 13, and the special election will take place Oct. 16. Full story

June 7, 2013

Democratic Ads Tie Gomez to National GOP #MASEN

In the party’s first major television foray into the competitive June 25 Massachusetts Senate special election, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Senate Majority PAC released ads Friday in an effort to define Gabriel Gomez as an ordinary Republican.

That’s the ultimate goal for the party in this Democratic-leaning state. And the two ads released Friday by the national Democratic groups specifically target seniors — potential high-propensity voters even in odd-timed elections. Neither ad mentions Rep. Edward J. Markey, the Democratic nominee, preferring instead to accuse Gomez of supporting cutting Medicare and raising the retirement age.

According to a Republican source tracking ad buys, the DSCC has purchased $751,000 in TV time through June 25 and Senate Majority PAC $448,000 through June 17. Full story

June 6, 2013

Democratic Super PAC Goes on TV for Markey #MASEN

Democratic Super PAC Goes on TV for Markey #MASEN

Markey is getting help from national Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority PAC, a top Democratic super PAC, announced plans for a “major statewide buy” Thursday in the special election in Massachusetts.

“We will not stand idly by while Mitch McConnell and national Republicans try to use backdoor dollars to buy this race for [GOP nominee Gabriel] Gomez,” said Craig Varoga, senior strategist for Senate Majority PAC, in a release.

Full story

Endorsement Squabble Continues in California Race (Updated) #CA31

Updated June 7, 11:04 a.m. | The debacle over former Rep. Joe Baca’s announced endorsements continued Thursday, when four local leaders declined to support the Democrat’s candidacy for California’s 31st District anymore.

Baca touted these four local leaders on a lengthy endorsement sheet a few weeks back. But now they’re backing one of Baca’s Democratic challengers, lawyer Eloise Gomez Reyes, according to an endorsement announcement provided exclusively to CQ Roll Call by her campaign.

The defectors include former Baca staffer and community college trustee Jess Vizcaino, Inland Empire Utilities Agency Director Angel Santiago, and local businessmen Gary Liaou and Leno Moreno.

“I saw them on his list and I called them because they have endorsed me,” Reyes said in a Thursday phone interview. “And there’s no question that they have been supporters of Joe’s in the past, but they are supporting me. Many of us have supported Joe in the past, but it is time for something different, a fresh perspective in Washington.”

In an interview with CQ Roll Call, Baca called Reyes’ endorsement release an attempt to mischaracterize him and attack his integrity.

Full story

Christie Appoints State Attorney General to Senate #NJSEN

Christie Appoints State Attorney General to Senate #NJSEN

Christie appointed New Jersey's attorney general to the vacant Senate seat. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appointed state Attorney General Jeff Chiesa to the late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg’s now vacant Senate seat.

At a Thursday afternoon news conference to announce the pick, Christie said Chiesa will not be a candidate in the special election to fill the remainder of Lautenberg’s term. Chiesa will serve for the next four months until a candidate is elected in October. Full story

Rush Holt Confirms Senate Bid #NJSEN

Rush Holt Confirms Senate Bid #NJSEN

Holt, right, is running for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Rush D. Holt, D-N.J., announced to supporters Thursday morning that he is running in the New Jersey Senate special election.

In an email, Holt asked for volunteers to help as he seeks the 1,000 signatures needed by Monday to qualify for the Aug. 13 primary. The parties’ nominees will face off on Oct. 16 to fill the remaining 15 months of Lautenberg’s term. Full story

June 5, 2013

NRCC Memo: We Will Expand the Playing Field for 2014

NRCC Memo: We Will Expand the Playing Field for 2014

Walden heads the National Republican Congressional Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden signaled that he plans to stay on offense in 2014 with the aim of expanding his party’s 17-seat majority.

In a Wednesday memo to the House Republican Conference obtained exclusively by CQ Roll Call, Walden says his committee will be “aggressively expanding the playing field” thanks, in part, to Democratic recruitment struggles.

“The question facing Democrats is how, if they are struggling on their home court, will they ever win the Republican-leaning districts they need to regain the majority?” Walden wrote to his colleagues.

He went on to highlight Democratic candidates who dropped their House bids early in the cycle, framing them as recruitment failures. He named-checked former candidates such as hotel magnate Jim Graves in Minnesota’s 6th District and former state Sen. Staci Appel in Iowa’s 3rd District.

Walden also cited promising polling in a handful of House seats held by Democrats, including:

Full story

Democrats Line Up for Senate Special Election #NJSEN

Democrats Line Up for Senate Special Election #NJSEN

Holt will run for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

At least two Democratic members of Congress from New Jersey are likely to run in the special election to fill the remaining term of the late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J.

No one has officially entered the race yet; Lautenberg’s funeral was held Wednesday and he’ll be buried on Friday. But the Monday deadline to file petitions to make it onto the Aug. 13 primary ballot is forcing potential candidates to move quickly behind the scenes.

The GOP field remains murky, but the Democratic field is shaping up to include Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. and Rush D. Holt. Full story

Environmental Group Helps Markey in Massachusetts Special Election #MASEN

Environmental Group Helps Markey in Massachusetts Special Election #MASEN

Markey leads a new poll of the Senate special election in Massachusetts. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The League of Conservation Voters launched a direct-mail program Wednesday to assist Democratic Rep. Edward J. Markey in the Massachusetts special election for Senate.

With just three weeks left, the group announced it is spending almost $400,000 to highlight Markey’s leadership on environmental issues and the positions of Republican nominee Gabriel Gomez — which the LCV labels as “extreme.”

The first mail piece lands at homes this week. The glossy paper states that “no one has fought harder than Ed Markey” for clean-energy jobs and reducing the dependence on foreign oil. It also hits Gomez as a “Wall Street insider” and accuses him of being “in the pocket of Big Oil.” Full story

Hagan Challenger Builds Campaign Team | Shop Talk

Hagan Challenger Builds Campaign Team | Shop Talk

Hagan's opponent is building his team for 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Speaker Thom Tillis has started to build his campaign team for his Senate bid in North Carolina, one of the top targeted races of the 2014 cycle.

Tillis announced his challenge to Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., last week. He’s the first well-known Republican to enter the race.

His team includes: Full story

Republican to Enter Race for Bachmann Seat #MN06

Former state Rep. Tom Emmer is expected to announce on Wednesday evening that he is seeking GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann’s seat, according to local reports.

Emmer, a Republican who waged an unsuccessful gubernatorial bid in Minnesota in 2010, is the first GOP hopeful to announce his candidacy in the 6th District race since Bachmann announced her retirement last week.

Full story

Conservative Group Launches Second Attack Against Pryor #ARSEN

Senate Conservatives Action will launch Wednesday the second in a series of three TV ads in Arkansas against Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor.

The latest ad, “Deciding Vote,” features a North Little Rock business owner directly criticizing Pryor for his vote to support the health care law. It’s a line of attack Pryor will likely see for the next 17 months and one Republicans believe can move votes in this GOP-trending southern state. Full story

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