Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 1, 2014

May 14, 2013

Joe Sestak Files Senate Exploratory Committee for 2016

Former Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., wants another shot at the Senate seat he failed to win in 2010.

Sestak announced Tuesday that he has formed an exploratory committee for a 2016 Senate bid. It would likely be a rematch with Republican Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, who defeated Sestak by 2 points in a great year for Republicans nationally.

“The Senate needs an independent leader accountable only to ‘We the People,’ not any other interests … a leader accountable for deeds, not intentions,” Sestak said in a statement. Full story

Another Georgia Republican Closes In on Senate Race #GASEN

David Perdue, a wealthy businessman and the cousin of former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, has formed an exploratory committee to run for the Peach State’s open Senate seat.

Should he run, Perdue would be the fourth Republican to enter the Senate race for the seat of retiring GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

“I am truly concerned about the direction of our country, and I don’t think we can solve our nation’s problems by electing another career politician looking for a promotion,” Perdue said in a statement. “That is why I am strongly considering a run for U.S. Senate.” Full story

May 13, 2013

Paulsen Rules Out Challenge to Franken #MNSEN

Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., on Monday ruled out running for governor or Senate for 2014, leaving Democratic Sen. Al Franken still without a challenger.

“After thinking carefully about how I can best help my fellow Minnesotans, I have decided to not seek election for a different office in 2014,” Paulsen said in a statement. “The warm encouragement from many people to run for U.S. senator or the governorship was deeply humbling. However, it is clear to me that the House is currently where I can best represent the people of my district and state.”

Paulsen had indicated some interest in the race earlier this year but was never considered likely to run. He joins fellow GOP Rep. John Kline in opting not to take on Franken in his first bid for re-election.

Mike McFadden, the head of a finance management firm, is considering challenging Franken. The senator had $2 million in cash on hand as of the end of March.

By Kyle Trygstad Posted at 3:56 p.m.
Minn. Senate

Remainders: Recruitment Woes

Here’s what you may have missed “At the Races” on Monday …

  • Former Democratic Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin announced on her Facebook page that she will not seek the open Senate seat in South Dakota.
  • A GOP poll found that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has a slight lead over likely Republican Senate candidates Joe Miller and Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell. Palin, however, has not indicated that she will run for the seat.
  • A crowded GOP primary in West Virginia’s 2nd District may be likely. The seat is being vacated by Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, who announced last year that she’s running for the state’s open Senate seat following Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s retirement.
  • David Schwarz, a former staffer for Republican Rep. Jack Kingston, is running for his former boss’ seat in Georgia’s 1st District. Kingston left the seat open when he announced he was running for the Peach State’s open Senate seat.

What we’re mulling on Monday …

  • Two new polls out in New Hampshire found Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., has a double-digit lead in a hypothetical match-up with former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass.
  • North Carolina state Sen. Malcolm Graham became the first candidate to announce he will run for Rep. Mel Watt’s seat. Watt was nominated by President Barack Obama to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency, although he has yet to be confirmed and has yet to resign his seat. If confirmed, Watt’s House departure would likely create a crowded special election.

Former Kingston Staffer to Run for #GA01

A former staffer for Republican Rep. Jack Kingston will announce on Wednesday that he’s running for his former boss’ seat.

David Schwarz, who served as a senior staffer for Kingston before moving to the consulting firm Pier Strategies, will become the third Republican to enter the 1st District race.

Full story

Sarah Palin Leads Senate Poll for Alaska GOP Primary

Sarah Palin Leads Senate Poll for Alaska GOP Primary

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has a small lead over two likely Republican Senate candidates in a hypothetical primary matchup, according to a GOP poll.

Palin has given no indication that she’s close to returning to public service, including next year in a challenge to Democratic Sen. Mark Begich. But the poll, conducted by GOP firm Harper Polling on behalf of the Tea Party Leadership Fund, found that a majority of Alaska Republicans still view her in a positive light.

With no indication of a Palin candidacy, the more telling news in the poll was that Joe Miller, who ran for Senate in 2010, had the worst image among the three Republicans and trailed Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell in a two-way race. Treadwell led 45 percent to 26 percent, with 29 percent unsure. Full story

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin Not Running for Senate

Senate Democrats’ primary problem in South Dakota is turning into a recruitment one.

Former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin announced Monday morning that she will not seek South Dakota’s open Senate seat — taking the party’s top recruit in the state out of the running to hold the seat of retiring Sen. Tim Johnson.

Her decision came just a few days after it became apparent that U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson, the senator’s son and Herseth Sandlin’s top possible primary contender, did not intend to run. Democrat Rick Weiland, a former aide to ex-Sen. Tom Daschle, entered the race on Wednesday. He and Johnson’s top supporter both said that Johnson would not run. Full story

Republican Primary Looms for Capito’s Seat | The Field

Republican Primary Looms for Capitos Seat | The Field

Several Republicans are looking at running for Capito's House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The GOP field for the 2nd District has become a potentially crowded one since Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., announced her bid for Senate last year.

Several Mountain State Republicans are giving her seat a serious look, according to a handful of state and national operatives.

Here’s a look at some of Capito’s potential successors: Full story

May 10, 2013

Karen Handel Senate Run Likely in Georgia

Karen Handel Senate Run Likely in Georgia

Handel is likely to run for Senate. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Georgia Republicans expect Secretary of State Karen Handel to jump into the open-seat Senate race now that Rep. Tom Price announced he won’t run.

“I think it’s virtually guaranteed that Karen Handel is going to be announcing in the near future,” Georgia-based GOP consultant Joel McElhannon said.

A spokesman for Handel said it was unlikely she would announce her intentions at or before the state Republican convention on the weekend of May 18. In a statement released after Price’s announcement, Handel remained coy about her intentions.

“I am honored that so many people from across Georgia continue to urge me to run for US Senate, and I will let everyone know my decision in the very near future,” Handel said. Full story

Tom Price Declines Georgia Senate Bid #GASEN

 

Tom Price Declines Georgia Senate Bid #GASEN

Price announced Friday that won't run for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Georgia Rep. Tom Price said Friday that he will not run for the state’s open Senate seat.

The five-term Republican becomes the second congressman this week to opt against the race, joining Democratic Rep. John Barrow.

Full story

Republicans Push American Indian Outreach With Murkowski

Republicans Push American Indian Outreach With Murkowski

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski will lead the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s outreach effort to the American Indian community.

The move, announced Thursday evening, is intended to help further open lines of communication between the party and American-Indian voters. The community makes up about 14 percent of the population in Alaska, where Republicans are targeting Democratic Sen. Mark Begich in 2014. Full story

May 9, 2013

Remainders: Recruitment Season

Here’s what you may have missed “At the Races” on Thursday …

  • Following a couple of Senate recruitment setbacks for both parties this week, Shira Toeplitz posted a timeline of when candidates announced their Senate bids in the 2012 cycle for comparison.
  • Kyle Trygstad looked into whether former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-S.D., will jump into South Dakota’s open Senate race now that Democrat Rick Weiland announced his candidacy. It wouldn’t be the first time Herseth Sandlin and Weiland have faced off in a primary.
  • Missouri state  Speaker Pro Tem Jason Smith, a Republican, released his first ad in the special election to fill former Rep. Jo Ann Emerson’s seat.
  • The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched a new program to cultivate strong candidates in targeted districts for 2014. The DCCC has tapped eight Democratic candidates for the program so far.

What we’re mulling on Thursday … Full story

Fourth Republican Enters Georgia House Race

Tricia Pridemore, a businesswoman and former official in Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s administration, will announce on Monday that she will run for the 11th District, according to a source close to her campaign.

Pridemore will announce her campaign at a barbecue with family and friends, the source added.

Full story

Senate Candidate Recruitment Timelines Compared

Both parties suffered Senate recruitment setbacks last week when incumbent House members announced their decisions not to run statewide in 2014. But is it too early to declare a recruitment failure for either party in these races?

Despite the reluctance of Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa and Democratic Rep. John Barrow of Georgia to make bids for the Senate, it’s probably too soon to judge either party’s fortunes this election cycle. Kyle Trygstad’s review of Senate candidate announcement dates in the last cycle shows there’s a lot that can happen before the point of no return arrives. (See this Roll Call story: Senate Race Recruitment: Too Early to Fail?)

For example, on this exact date last cycle, then-Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., entered the Senate race as an underdog. The following candidates hadn’t jumped into the race yet: Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Deb Fischer, R-Neb. All four are now senators.

Also notable: All four candidates who flipped party control of a seat either announced on this date (Donnelly) or later in the 2012 cycle (Warren, Fischer and Sen. Angus King, I-Maine).

Here’s a timeline of when the top eventual Senate nominees jumped into the race last cycle: Full story

Will Stephanie Herseth Sandlin Run for Senate?

Will Stephanie Herseth Sandlin Run for Senate?

Herseth Sandlin might run for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrat Rick Weiland’s recent announcement to run for Senate leaves one massive question in the South Dakota race: Will former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-S.D., run too?

With Weiland in, the potential for a high-profile primary between Herseth Sandlin and the son of retiring Sen. Tim Johnson appears to be over. Weiland and Ryan Casey, the head of the Draft Brendan Johnson for Senate movement, both told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader that they no longer believe Johnson, a U.S. attorney in South Dakota, is interested in seeking his father’s seat.

But Johnson supporters are already being encouraged to back Weiland, which means the potential for a competitive primary remains.

Full story

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