Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 25, 2014

February 21, 2013

South Carolina: Duncan, Mulvaney Endorse Grooms in 1st District

South Carolina: Duncan, Mulvaney Endorse Grooms in 1st District

Mulvaney has endorsed in a South Carolina House race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Palmetto State Republican Reps. Jeff Duncan and Mick Mulvaney backed state Sen. Larry Grooms on Thursday for the GOP nomination in the 1st District special election.

Grooms, who faces 15 opponents including former Gov. Mark Sanford in a March 19 primary, will likely receive a major boost from their endorsements.

GOP insiders see Grooms as ideologically similar to Sanford — very conservative — but without the former governor’s political baggage. While governor in 2009, Sanford infamously disappeared from the state for days and then admitted to an extramarital affair with a woman from Argentina.

Full story

Nevada: Running Again in 2016? Reid Says, ‘Sure, Why Not?’

Nevada: Running Again in 2016? Reid Says, Sure, Why Not?

Reid indicated he will seek re-election in 2016. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

His answer wasn’t exactly Shermanesque, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., indicated to his home-state press Wednesday that he intends to run for re-election in 2016.

“Sure, why not?” Reid, 73, responded to a question, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.

That’s certainly not the kind of statement that will halt questions about his political future, and Reid has years before he needs to make a decision. Full story

By Kyle Trygstad Posted at 1:42 p.m.
Nev. Senate, Nevada

New Jersey: Survey Shows Menendez’s Popularity Sliding

New Jersey: Survey Shows Menendezs Popularity Sliding

Menendez's poll numbers went south in a recent survey. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Robert Menendez’s popularity in the Garden State has taken a big hit following the drumbeat of media reports about his alleged improprieties.

In a new poll from Quinnipiac University, 41 percent of registered New Jersey voters surveyed said they disapprove of the way Menendez is handling his job as senator, while only 36 percent approve. A month ago in a similar poll, 51 percent approved and 33 percent disapproved.

Twenty-eight percent of those polled said Menendez was “honest and trustworthy,” while 44 percent said he was not.

Those numbers would be daunting for any incumbent facing re-election. But Menendez, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, will not face voters until 2018. He won re-election with 59 percent of the vote last November.

Another Democrat, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, on the other hand, is exploring a run for the state’s open Senate seat in 2014. He fared well in the poll, with 59 percent saying they had a favorable opinion of him and only 11 percent seeing him unfavorably. Potential Republican candidate Geraldo Rivera didn’t do as well: only 20 percent had a favorable opinion of him, with 39 percent seeing him unfavorably.

The Quinnipiac University poll used live interviewers to survey 1,149 registered voters on land lines and cellphones Feb. 13-17. The poll’s margin of error was 2.9 points.

Shop Talk: DSCC Picks Caprara as Political Director

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee officials plan to name Anne Caprara as their political director for the 2014 cycle Thursday.

“Anne is a rising star in the Democratic Party and I’m pleased that she is returning as a member of our team for the 2014 cycle,” DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil said in a statement. “We know the challenges that we face this time around and it’s not going to be easy — but battle tested talent like Anne who knows what it takes to build strong campaigns will be one of the reasons we hold the Senate.”

Caprara served as the committee’s deputy political director during the 2012 cycle. She has also been a top aide to former Rep. Betty Sutton, D-Ohio, and has worked for EMILY’s List, an advocacy group promoting female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights.

Check out more of the committee’s hires for the 2014 cycle here.

February 20, 2013

DSCC Raised $4.2M in January

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $4.2 million in January, a strong kickoff to what appears to be a challenging election cycle.

After picking up two seats in November, Democrats entered the 2014 election cycle with a 55-45 Senate majority and $3 million in the bank as of Jan. 30. Despite the added cushion, the party faces a lopsided landscape that put its control of the chamber in jeopardy next year, if Republicans can capitalize. Democrats are defending 21 seats, compared with 14 for the GOP.

The committee released its fundraising figures Wednesday, when monthly reports were due to the Federal Election Commission. The National Republican Senatorial Committee, which is still revving up for the cycle under new leadership, had not yet announced its monthly fundraising.

The DSCC did not release the amount of debt it has left over from last cycle, and neither committee’s report was available by press time. As of Dec. 31, the DSCC carried $16 million in debt and the NRSC owed $10 million.

Nebraska: Senate Conservatives Fund Warns Against Fortenberry Bid

Nebraska: Senate Conservatives Fund Warns Against Fortenberry Bid

The Senate Conservatives Fund will not support Fortenberry if he runs for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

An influential conservative group has warned its members about a potential Senate bid from Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb.

The Senate Conservatives Fund declared, “BEWARE OF FORTENBERRY,” in a Wednesday email.

“Congressman Fortenberry has a big-spending voting record in the House of Representatives and is not the kind of fiscal conservative we need in the U.S. Senate,” the group’s executive director, Matt Hoskins, wrote in the email. “In fact, he received a dismal 51% rating in the latest Heritage Action for America scorecard.”

Fortenberry already publicly acknowledged his interest in running for retiring Sen. Mike Johanns’ seat. But Nebraska Republicans are waiting for Gov. Dave Heineman to make a decision about the seat. They say the governor would clear the field if he ran for Johanns’ seat.

In the meantime, ambitious Republicans are making preparations if Heineman does not run. The race could pit more establishment-backed Republicans against grass-roots-supported, more conservative candidates.

“It’s going to be the Wild West if the governor decides not to run,”said Jordan McGrain, executive director of the Nebraska Republican Party.

Full story

Nebraska: Former State Treasurer Osborn Interested in Senate Run

Nebraska: Former State Treasurer Osborn Interested in Senate Run

Johanns will retire in 2014. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Nebraska state Treasurer Shane Osborn, a decorated naval aviator, said he is “undoubtedly interested” in running for the GOP nomination to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Mike Johanns.

In a Wednesday interview with CQ Roll Call, Osborn said he has received many encouraging calls to run since Johanns shocked Nebraska Republicans with his retirement announcement Monday.

Republicans see Gov. Dave Heineman as their most formidable candidate for Johanns’ seat, and many potentials candidates are waiting for him to decide before they make a move on the race. A spokeswoman for Heineman told CQ Roll Call in a Wednesday email, “The Governor is taking a very serious look at it.”

Other names on the GOP radar include state Attorney General Jon Bruning and state Treasurer Don Stenberg, who both lost bids for Senate in 2012; plus the state’s three House members, Reps. Jeff Fortenberry, Adrian Smith and Lee Terry; and businessman Pete Ricketts.

Fortenberry already acknowledged his interest in the race.

Osborn became famous in 2001 when, as a naval aviator, a plane he piloted collided with a Chinese plane in international waters.

CQ Roll Call rates this as a Safe Republican seat.

NRA Targets Democratic Senators Up in 2014 With Local Newspaper Ads

NRA Targets Democratic Senators Up in 2014 With Local Newspaper Ads

The National Rifle Association will target several senators up for re-election in 2014, including Pryor. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Rifle Association will launch a print advertising campaign targeting mostly Democratic senators up for re-election in 2014, according to sources close to the group.

On Thursday, full-page ads are scheduled to run in local newspapers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, North Carolina and West Virginia. They will be supplemented by digital advertising in these states and 10 others, including Alaska, Colorado, Montana, New Hampshire and South Dakota.

Additionally, the group has scheduled full-page ads to run Feb. 25 in regional editions of USA Today, reaching parts of 15 states.

The campaign is estimated to cost north of $375,000, sources said. Full story

February 19, 2013

West Virginia: Goodwin Forgoes Senate Bid in 2014

West Virginia: Goodwin Forgoes Senate Bid in 2014

Goodwin will not run for Senate in 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Sen. Carte P. Goodwin will not run for Senate, citing his family as the reason in a West Virginia MetroNews report.

His decision ensures Democrats must continue their search for a candidate to run in this competitive Senate race in 2014.

Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s retirement paved the way for an open-seat race in West Virginia this cycle. Both parties expect a competitive race, and CQ Roll Call rates it as a Tossup.

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican, declared her candidacy for the Senate seat last year. Polling shows she’s a strong contender — possibly the front-runner, depending on which Democrat wins the nomination.

Democrats considering runs include businessman Ralph Baxter, state Supreme Court of Appeals Justice Robin Davis, Rep. Nick J. Rahall II and Secretary of State Natalie Tennant.

In 2010, Goodwin was appointed to the Senate as a caretaker for the seat after the death of Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va.

Supreme Court to Take Up Contribution Limits Challenge

Supreme Court to Take Up Contribution Limits Challenge

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In a move with significant campaign finance implications, the Supreme Court has agreed to consider a challenge to the aggregate limit on how much an individual may donate to political players each election cycle.

In McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the Republican National Committee has joined an Alabama man in challenging the limits that block an individual from giving more than $46,200 to candidates as a whole and more than $70,800 collectively to parties and political action committees in any two-year election cycle.

Full story

South Carolina: A Contrite Sanford Insists He’s Always Stood by Taxpayers

South Carolina: A Contrite Sanford Insists Hes Always Stood by Taxpayers

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Gov. Mark Sanford walked the line between contrition and a commitment to his GOP campaign for the 1st District in a live appearance on NBC’s “Today” show on Tuesday.

“The reality of our lives is, if we live long enough, we’re gonna fail at something,” said Sanford, referring to his sudden disappearance as governor in 2009 and extramarital affair with an Argentinian woman. “And I absolutely failed in my personal life and my marriage. But one place I didn’t ever fail was with the taxpayer. If you were to look at my 20 years in politics, what you would see is a fairly remarkable consistency in trying to watch out for the taxpayer.”

NBC host Savannah Guthrie questioned Sanford, who hewed to his two-pronged message: he had experienced a personal failure but had a political record of successful fiscal conservatism. He’s repeated this message throughout his comeback campaign to Congress in the 1st District, much of which he once represented in the House in the 1990s.

Sanford released his first ad of the race on Monday, in which he made reference to his “mistakes.”

Guthrie pressed Sanford on whether his re-entry to politics was worth it.

“I failed mightily,” said Sanford, sitting in Rockefeller Plaza. “The saying is, ‘the higher you rise, the bigger you fall.’ I failed. But, in some ways, what I’ve come to learn is that, ultimately,  our brokenness as human beings is ultimately our connection.”

Full story

DCCC Raised More Than NRCC in January

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised more than the National Republican Congressional Committee by almost $2 million in January.

The DCCC raised $6.1 million to the NRCC’s $4.4 million in the first month of 2013.

The House Democrats’ campaign arm ended the month with $4.6 million in cash on hand but had $12.6 million in debt at the end of last month.

The NRCC had $2.8 million in the bank but posted less debt — $11 million — at the same time.

A DCCC aide said it was the best January fundraising in the committee’s history.

In 2014, House Democrats must net 17 seats to win control of their chamber.

February 18, 2013

Heineman, Fortenberry Considering Senate Run in Nebraska

Heineman, Fortenberry Considering Senate Run in Nebraska

Fortenberry said, "I will listen to Nebraskans, explore the questions of how I might most effectively serve, and weigh the demands of such an endeavor " before deciding whether to run. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:46 p.m. | Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman will take “a few days” to consider a run to succeed fellow Republican Sen. Mike Johanns, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

Heineman would be the heavy front-runner if he decided to enter the race to succeed Johanns, who surprised politicos in Washington, D.C., and Nebraska when he announced his retirement plans on Monday.

“As far as Senate, it’s a little different situation this time [than in 2011],” Heineman told the newspaper. One major difference? He is term-limited at the end of his current term that ends in 2014.

He added that he has never “indicated that being in the Senate is my dream job.”

Given the governor’s previous reluctance to run, other potential candidates aren’t waiting for Heineman’s decision to announce they are weighing the race.

“I will consider a run for the United States Senate,” Rep. Jeff Fortenberry said in a statement on Monday. “I will listen to Nebraskans, explore the questions of how I might most effectively serve, and weigh the demands of such an endeavor with my family.” Full story

Nebraska: Mike Johanns Won’t Seek Re-Election

Nebraska: Mike Johanns Wont Seek Re Election

After 32 years in public service, Johanns has decided to step down. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 1:08 p.m. | Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns, who was a safe bet to win a second term in 2014, announced Monday that he would forgo re-election.

“With everything in life, there is a time and a season. At the end of this term, we will have been in public service over 32 years,” Johanns wrote in an email to constituents co-signed with his wife, Stephanie. “Between the two of us, we have been on the ballot for primary and general elections 16 times and we have served in eight offices. It is time to close this chapter of our lives.”

Republicans are heavily favored to hold the open seat in the conservative state.

Nebraska GOP Gov. Dave Heineman is term-limited from seeking re-election in 2014 and is considered a likely candidate in the race to replace Johanns. The governor has the right of first refusal, and if he runs he would be the “400-pound gorilla” in the race, according to state GOP strategist Sam Fischer. Most other Republicans would likely defer to him.

“My guess is that he’s not going to be in a rush” to make a decision, Fischer said of Heineman.

If Heineman doesn’t run, the GOP faces the prospect of a crowded and bruising primary. “There’s no shortage of people,” Fischer said of a field of prospective GOP candidates. Full story

South Carolina: Mark Sanford Launches First TV Ad (VIDEO)

Mark Sanford, the former South Carolina governor and congressman running for his old House seat, released his first television spot on Monday.

In it, the Republican best known nationally for disappearing from the state for days in 2009 and then admitting to an extramarital affair with a woman from Argentina, talks about fiscal responsibility and refers to his “mistakes.”

Full story

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...