Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 2, 2014

April 10, 2013

Top 5 House Rematches to Watch (So Far)

As Reps. Andy Barr, R-Ky., Ami Bera, D-Calif., and Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H., can attest, sometimes the second time is the charm.

All three freshmen won rematch races in 2012 after narrowly losing bids for Congress in 2010.

Three months into the 2014 midterm cycle, there are at least a handful of highly anticipated House race rematches on tap. More are likely to materialize in the next year.

The 2012 opponent of Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., made his comeback official Tuesday, and Minnesota hotelier Jim Graves is expected to announce Thursday whether he will again challenge GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann. Observers believe he will run.

The House landscape is far from set at this early juncture, with first-quarter fundraising reports due Monday and challengers just starting to roll out their campaigns.

Also, a presidential-year electorate differs (in some districts greatly) from a midterm electorate. Depending on the district, that could mean that a rematch race is less — or more — competitive. Full story

Illinois: Rodney Davis Raises $401K in First Quarter

Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., raised just north of $401,000 in his first full fundraising quarter in Congress, according to figures provided exclusively to CQ Roll Call.

The freshman will report having $334,000 in cash on hand and zero debt at the end of March, which marks the deadline to close the books on the first fundraising period of the year.

It’s a strong first showing for Davis, who represents a competitive district in downstate Illinois. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has indicated that it plans to target that seat as a pick-up opportunity in 2014.

Shop Talk: RNC Names Director to Oversee State Party Rebuilding

Shop Talk: RNC Names Director to Oversee State Party Rebuilding

Priebus is the RNC chairman. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican National Committee on Wednesday named outgoing Oklahoma GOP Chairman Matt Pinnell as its new chief liaison to state parties.

As RNC state party director, Pinnell will lead the committee’s efforts to rejuvenate its state-based affiliations, many of which have proved ineffective since President George W. Bush left office. Pinnell will report to Chairman Reince Priebus and Political Director Chris McNulty, who are rebuilding the party based on recommendations from the RNC’s self-imposed autopsy, the “Growth and Opportunity Project.”

“At the RNC, we’re revamping our entire political field operation to be bottom-up and community based,” Priebus said in a statement. “That means the 50 state parties and territories must take a leading role.”

(See also in Roll Call: RNC Looks to Refurbish Ailing State Parties) Full story

Michigan: Republican Cardiologist Steele Considers Senate Run

Cardiologist Rob Steele is considering a bid for the open Senate seat in Michigan in 2014, according to a local source with direct knowledge of his interest.

Steele is best-known among Republicans for his 2010 bid against longtime Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Mich. During that campaign, Steele picked up former Alaska Republican Gov. Sarah Palin’s endorsement and gave national Democrats a brief scare that Dingell could lose his safe Democratic seat. Steele lost by 17 points.

(See also in Roll Call: Johnson Retirement Gives Senate GOP Another Opportunity)

Full story

Illinois: Republican Preps for Foster Challenge With D.C. Trip

Illinois: Republican Preps for Foster Challenge With D.C. Trip

Foster, right, is close to getting a GOP challenger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Rep. Darlene Senger will meet with Republicans in Washington, D.C., this week in preparation to challenge Democratic Rep. Bill Foster next year.

Senger will sit down with staff at the National Republican Congressional Committee, as well as with House GOP leadership and U.S. Chamber of Commerce officials, according to a knowledgeable Illinois Republican.

She is also scheduled to speak with several Illinois members, including GOP Reps. Adam Kinzinger, Rodney Davis, Peter Roskam, Randy Hultgren and John Shimkus. Full story

North Carolina: Ellmers Will Decide on Hagan Challenge in June

North Carolina: Ellmers Will Decide on Hagan Challenge in June

Hagan is vulnerable in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The GOP field to challenge Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan will likely take shape in June, local Republican operatives say.

Most notably, GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers — who is currently weighing whether to challenge one of the cycle’s most vulnerable Democratic senators — said through an aide that she hopes to have a decision then.

“Congresswoman Ellmers is praying about it, discussing it with supporters and monitoring how things develop,” Ellmers campaign spokeswoman Jessica Wood told CQ Roll Call. “She expects to have a decision in June.”

(See also in Roll Call: Rothenberg: Most Vulnerable of ’14? Pryor by a Hair ) Full story

April 9, 2013

Illinois: Democrat Kelly Wins Special Election to Replace Jackson

Illinois: Democrat Kelly Wins Special Election to Replace Jackson

Kelly won a first term on Tuesday in the special election to replace Jackson. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cook County Chief Administrative Officer Robin Kelly won the special election to replace former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. on Tuesday.

Kelly, a Democrat, defeated Republican Paul McKinley, 89 percent to 6.6 percent, with 19.8 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.

Her victory came as no surprise. The 2nd District is heavily Democratic and Kelly had minimal opposition in the general election. McKinley is a convicted felon, according to numerous news outlets.

(See also in Roll Call: Obama Endorses Robin Kelly in Special Election (Finally))

Full story

Remainders: #BluegrassGate

Remainders: #BluegrassGate

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Maybe you were hiding under a rock today. Or stuck in multiple, hours-long meetings. Or outside enjoying the unseasonably nice Washington, D.C., weather.

In any case, here is a timeline to catch you up on the hottest political story of the day involving Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and #BluegrassGate:

Stay tuned, folks. This is just starting to get good.

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)

Full story

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)

Full story

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)

Full story

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)

Full story

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

Full story

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