Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 23, 2014

April 9, 2013

West Virginia: Club for Growth Invites Capito Challenger to Meet

The Club for Growth has not met with Rep. Shelley Moore Capito’s new GOP opponent for Senate yet, but it’s definitely interested in getting to know him better.

Chris Chocola, president of the deep-pocketed conservative group, reached out to former state Del. Pat McGeehan over Twitter on Tuesday — just hours after he announced that he’s challenging Capito, the heavy GOP favorite in the race and a club target:

Full story

McConnell Compares Campaign Recording to Nixon’s Watergate

McConnell Compares Campaign Recording to Nixons Watergate

McConnell responded to the secret recording. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In his first public comments on the subject, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell likened the secret recording of one of his campaign’s strategy sessions to the Watergate scandal that ultimately led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation.

“Last week they were attacking my wife’s ethnicity and apparently also bugging my headquarters, much like Nixon and Watergate,” said McConnell in a Tuesday afternoon news conference. “That’s what the political left does these days.”

The Kentucky Republican’s response echoed statements his campaign had released Tuesday morning in response to a Mother Jones report that published the recorded conversation at his campaign office.

(See also in Roll Call: McConnell Fundraises Off Secret Recording)

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By Kyle Trygstad Posted at 2:56 p.m.
Ky. Senate

North Carolina: Rouzer Announces Rematch Against McIntyre

North Carolina: Rouzer Announces Rematch Against McIntyre

Rouzer will seek a rematch against McIntyre in North Carolina. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After losing by one of the smallest margins in the country last year, former state Sen. David Rouzer officially announced Tuesday that he will seek a rematch against Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C.

Rouzer, who previously said he intended to run again, is hoping to take out one of the most vulnerable House Democrats of the cycle. McIntyre is one of nine Democrats who represent a district President Barack Obama lost in 2012.

(See also on Roll Call: DCCC Announces 26 Members on Frontline Incumbent Retention Program) Full story

Kentucky: McConnell Fundraises Off Secret Recording

Kentucky: McConnell Fundraises Off Secret Recording

McConnell is fundraising for re-election. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign is raising money off a secret recording of their February strategy meetings — as the Kentucky Republican’s aides reached out to the FBI to investigate it.

“Breaking: Liberals Wiretap McConnell’s Office: Stand with Senator McConnell against the liberal media’s illegal and underhanded tactics,” reads the fundraising page from McConnell’s campaign, referring to the recording that appeared in Mother Jones on Tuesday.

McConnell’s campaign, known as “Team Mitch,” launched a promoted tweet Tuesday morning that sends supporters to a new page on the campaign website where donations can be made.

“The liberal left is exposed for illegally wiretapping our campaign HQ,” the campaign wrote on Twitter. “Stand with Sen. McConnell against this.”

(See also in Roll Call: McConnell Campaign Notified FBI About Secret Recording)

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South Carolina: Colbert Busch Targets Female Voters in First Spot Against Sanford

Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch aired her first general election television advertisement on Tuesday, kicking off the imminent airwaves war against former GOP Gov. Mark Sanford in the 1st District special election.

Busch speaks directly to camera in the 30-second spot, describing herself as a “single mom with three young children.” She never mentions Sanford in the advertisement, which appears to target female voters.

(See also in Roll Call: South Carolina 1st District Poll: It’s All About Context)

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Kentucky: McConnell Campaign Notified FBI About Secret Recording

Kentucky: McConnell Campaign Notified FBI About Secret Recording

McConnell will seek re-election. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:15 a.m. | Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s, R-Ky., re-election campaign says they are working with the FBI to take action against a secret recording taken at the campaign headquarters and published in Mother Jones on Tuesday.

The recording revealed a campaign strategy session during which McConnell and his campaign aides plotted to run against potential opponents — including actress and activist Ashley Judd, who decided against a bid last month.

“Senator McConnell’s campaign is working with the FBI and has notified the local U.S. Attorney in Louisville, per FBI request, about these recordings,” McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton said in a statement. “Obviously a recording device of some kind was placed in Senator McConnell’s campaign office without consent. By whom and how that was accomplished will presumably be the subject of a criminal investigation.”

Updated 11:15 a.m.

“We’ve always said the Left would stop at nothing to attack Sen. McConnell, but Watergate-style tactics to bug campaign headquarters are above and beyond,” Benton added.

(See also in Roll Call: Goodbye, Ashley Judd? Why McConnell Might Be More Worried)

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By Kyle Trygstad Posted at 10:35 a.m.
Ky. Senate

EMILY’s List Adds Six to House GOP Target List

EMILY’s List will add six House GOP members to its “On Notice” status Tuesday, signaling the group will make each of them a priority target in 2014:

  • Joe Heck in Nevada’s 3rd District
  • John Kline in Minnesota’s 2nd District
  • Tom Latham in Iowa’s 3rd District
  • Tom Reed in New York’s 23rd District
  • Scott Tipton in Colorado’s 3rd District
  • David Valadao in California’s 21st District

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April 8, 2013

Illinois: Kelly a Shoo-In for Special Election

Illinois: Kelly a Shoo In for Special Election

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats expect Cook County Chief Administrative Officer Robin Kelly to coast to Congress in Tuesday’s special election.

They’re confident in part because her GOP rival, Paul McKinley, is a convicted felon, according to numerous reports.

Also, the 2nd District, which includes Chicago’s south side and suburbs, traditionally elects Democrats by a wide margin. Former Democratic Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. won re-election there with at least 80 percent of the vote in all but one of his elections. Jackson resigned a few days after the 2012 election in the face of a corruption investigation, spurring a special election to replace him earlier this year.

In February, Kelly won a contested Democratic primary for his seat, defeating former Rep. Debbie Halvorson. Much credit for Kelly’s win went to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. His super PAC invested more than $2 million to boost Kelly in the primary because she supported gun control measures.

Polls close Tuesday at 7 p.m. Central time.

Arizona: Ex-ASU Quarterback Files to Challenge Sinema

Arizona: Ex ASU Quarterback Files to Challenge Sinema

Sinema has already attracted a couple of GOP challengers. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Arizona State University quarterback Andrew Walter filed a statement of candidacy last week to challenge freshman Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.

The Arizona Capitol Times first posted the news on Monday that Walter had formed a campaign committee. He is a credit analyst at MidFirst Bank and an owner at an eponymous LLC, according to his LinkedIn profile.

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California: Panetta Fundraising for Farr as Son Eyes His Seaside Seat

California: Panetta Fundraising for Farr as Son Eyes His Seaside Seat

Farr will seek re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta will headline a June fundraiser for Democratic Rep. Sam Farr in the coastal California district that the former congressman’s son is now eyeing.

The June 8 Pacific Grove event will commemorate the 20th anniversary of Farr’s special-election victory to replace Panetta, who had resigned from the House to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Meanwhile, James Panetta, a Monterey County deputy district attorney, said recently he is considering running for his father’s former seat when Farr, 71, retires. Farr filed for re-election five months ago and is planning to serve at least one more term.

(See also in Roll Call: Many Democrats Size Up Increasingly Tempting House Seats in California)

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Pennsylvania: Schwartz Officially Enters Race for Governor

Pennsylvania: Schwartz Officially Enters Race for Governor

Schwartz will run for governor in 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz, D-Pa., has officially entered the race for governor, filing paperwork Monday to run against GOP Gov. Tom Corbett.

If Schwartz wins a contested Democratic primary and topples Corbett later in 2014, the five-term congresswoman would be the Keystone State’s first female governor.

“I’m running to be governor, not the ‘first woman’ governor,” Schwartz told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “But the fact that I am the only woman in the congressional delegation and in a senior policymaking role means people know I can beat the odds. I have brought a different perspective. … It does change the dynamic.”

(Which other members of Congress are running for another office or retiring in 2014? See Roll Call’s Casualty List.) Full story

Pennsylvania: Democrats Continue to Line Up for Schwartz Seat

It’s quickly getting crowded in the Democratic primary to replace Pennsylvania Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz — and she hasn’t even officially announced her campaign for governor yet.

But state Rep. Brendan Boyle announced his candidacy for her House seat on Monday, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

He joins at least two other Democrats already running for the 13th District in suburban Philadelphia: Valerie A. Arkoosh, a medical professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and state Sen. Daylin Leach previously announced their campaigns. Full story

By Kyle Trygstad Posted at 12:16 p.m.
Open Seat, Pa.-13

Iowa: Democrat to Challenge Steve King

Iowa: Democrat to Challenge Steve King

King will attract a Democratic challenger soon. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Jim Mowrer, a special assistant to the undersecretary of the Army, is all but certain to run for the seat held by GOP Rep. Steve King, according to a source close to his thinking.

Mowrer has met with staff at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and, per the source, will run regardless of whether King seeks the open Senate seat or re-election to the 4th District.

Democrats competed fiercely for the 4th District in 2012, but King won by a resounding 8 points. But an open-seat race would likely make it easier for Democrats to pick up the seat.

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April 5, 2013

Rand Paul Gets Presidential Profile Treatment From CBN

Rand Paul Gets Presidential Profile Treatment From CBN

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Host David Brody explained at the outset of his Christian Broadcasting Network show that he doesn’t usually spend an entire half-hour on a single subject, but that Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul merited a closer look  — and that’s exactly what Paul got.

“The Special Rand Paul Edition of The Brody File,” as Brody described it, has the look and feel of the kind of profiles that are given to serious presidential candidates — including questions about Paul’s favorite bands, an interview with his wife, Kelly, and b-roll of the couple bird-watching near their Kentucky home.

The topics centered on Paul’s religious faith as well as his plans for a possible White House bid in 2016. Paul said he hasn’t yet decided whether to run for president, but he reaffirmed his desire to still be in politics three years from now.

“I think I’m in a position to be part of the solution to help the country grow again and to find its way. I do want to be part of that,” Paul said. “We don’t have an answer yet on whether that means I’ll do it still as a senator for Kentucky or whether it might be running for president. I haven’t sorted that out yet.” Full story

New Hampshire: Local Republicans Skeptical on Scott Brown

New Hampshire: Local Republicans Skeptical on Scott Brown

Brown did not rule out running for Senate in New Hampshire. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:14 p.m. | National Republicans are encouraged by former Massachusetts Sen. Scott P. Brown’s interest in the New Hampshire Senate race.

But Granite State Republicans are surprised and, in some cases, privately skeptical about him challenging Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in 2014.

“It was a big surprise to me,” former state GOP Chairman Jack Kimball said. “I saw the article. I read it. It was the last thing on my mind with Scott Brown being a Massachusetts resident.”

“He wasn’t even on the radar,” Kimball added, echoing comments from multiple conversations with Granite State GOP strategists.

(See also in Roll Call: New Hampshire: Democrats Use Brown to Fundraise)

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