Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 28, 2015

December 18, 2013

Poll: Braley Leads in Iowa Despite Disapproval for Obama

Despite poor approval ratings for the president in Iowa, the Democratic candidate for Senate led all of his potential Republican opponents in a poll released Wednesday.

Quinnipiac University’s latest poll found that Iowa Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley would defeat each of the six Republicans tested for this open-seat race. His closest competitor was former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker, whom Braley led 43 percent to 40 percent.

Full story

Mia Love Is Clear Front-Runner for Matheson Seat

Love is running for Congress for a second time. (Chris Maddaloni CQ/Roll Call File Photo)

For an ambitious Republican, there is no more attractive House seat than that of retiring Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah — but the congressman’s former foe could be strong enough to hold off a run on the seat.

Matheson’s retirement announcement Tuesday turned a top GOP pickup opportunity into a seat for which national Democrats may not compete for the foreseeable future. No names of potential candidates emerged in the immediate aftermath, but anyone jumping in now would face a truncated timeline and a challenging race for the GOP nomination ahead.

Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love, who lost to Matheson by 768 votes in 2012, got a jump on the GOP competition by kicking off her campaign early this cycle. With the state’s top campaign operative on board and nearly $700,000 in the bank by the end of September, there is a sentiment in the state that her head start could be too much to overcome. Full story

With Wolf Retirement, GOP Fears Nominating Convention Woes in Virginia

Wolf's retirement gives Democrats a shot at picking up his seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

There’s a deep bench of Republican candidates in Virginia’s newly open 10th District, but the threat of a nominating convention picking an unpalatable general-election candidate looms large over the GOP.

Longtime GOP Rep. Frank R. Wolf’s retirement announcement on Tuesday blew open the field for this Northern Virginia-based House seat, creating a competitive contest for the first time in decades. Immediately, GOP operatives rattled off several local Republicans who would fit the district, for example state Dels. Barbara Comstock and Tim Hugo.

But if Virginia Republicans hold a nominating convention instead of a primary, the party might have some problems, operatives said. Nominating conventions typically turn out the party’s most conservative activists who tend to pick highly partisan candidates. That could be an issue in this competitive district, which President Barack Obama narrowly lost with 49 percent.

Full story

December 17, 2013

Bradley Byrne Wins Alabama Special Election for House

Byrne is coming to Congress. (Sharon Steinmann/Associated Press File Photo)

Former state Sen. Bradley Byrne, a Republican, coasted to victory in Alabama’s 1st District special election on Tuesday night, easily defeating Democrat Burton LeFlore in the final congressional special election of 2013.

Byrne defeated LeFlore, 62 percent to 38 percent, with 50 percent of precincts reporting, according to the Associated Press.

In November, Byrne defeated tea-party-aligned businessman Dean Young by 4 points in the competitive GOP runoff that served as a bellwether in the fight for control of the Republican Party. The U.S.Chamber of Commerce aided Byrnemarking the first victory for business in the battle for control of the party.

Full story

Latham Marks Third House Retirement in One Day (Updated)

Updated 5:48 p.m., 6:55 p.m., 7:56 p.m. | Iowa Republican Rep. Tom Latham, a top ally of Speaker John A. Boehner, became the third member of Congress to announce his retirement on Tuesday.

“I want to share with you my decision that I will not be a candidate for any office in November of 2014,” Latham wrote in an email to his supporters. Full story

Cochran Hires Campaign Manager for Tough Re-Election

Cochran will seek re-election in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ-Roll Call File Photo)

After an endorsement from the biggest names in Mississippi Republican politics, Sen. Thad Cochran has chosen Kirk Sims as campaign manager for his competitive re-election next year.

Sims, currently Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant’s chief of staff, will lead Cochran’s bid for a seventh term, the Cochran campaign announced Tuesday.

According to a source with direct knowledge of the situation, Cochran received phone calls endorsing Sims from Sen. Roger Wicker (who is also Sims’ father-in-law), former Gov. Haley Barbour and former Sen. Trent Lott. Full story

Democrat Jim Matheson Announces Retirement (Updated)

Matheson is retiring. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:00 p.m. | Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, announced on Facebook Tuesday afternoon that he “will not seek reelection to the House of Representatives.”

This essentially takes his seat — the heavily Republican 4th District — out of play for Democrats. Full story

Frank Wolf Will Not Seek Re-Election (Updated)

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2 p.m. | Republican Rep. Frank R. Wolf will not seek an 18th term in Congress, according to a statement from his office.

“I have decided not to seek re-election to the U.S. Congress in 2014,” Wolf, the dean of Virginia’s congressional delegation, said on Tuesday. “It has been an honor to serve the people of northern Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley.”

“I thank my constituents for giving me the privilege of representing them in Congress for 34 years,” he added. Full story

Herman Cain to Campaign for Louisiana House Candidate

Cain is campaigning for a House candidate. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former GOP presidential hopeful and businessman Herman Cain will help kick off Republican Paul Dietzel’s campaign for Louisiana’s 6th District next month, according to a release from the candidate’s campaign.

Dietzel is running in the open 6th District, which is being vacated by GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy. The congressman is running for the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landreiu in 2014.

“Paul’s business experience, energy and passion for service are much needed assets in Congress,” Cain said in a news release announcing his upcoming appearance at the Jan. 17 event. “It is time for the next generation of conservatives to lead.”

Full story

Democrats Avoid Primary for Southerland Seat in Florida

Florida Democrat Al Lawson will not run for Congress in 2014, clearing the way for attorney Gwen Graham to cruise to the party’s nomination in the competitive race against Republican Rep. Steve Southerland II, according to The Tallahassee Democrat.

Lawson told the paper in a Tuesday story that he still has “too much debt from two previous congressional campaigns to run again this year.”

Lawson, a former state senator, has strong name identification that would have helped him win the primary. But Florida Democrats were grim about his chances in the general election. He came up short as the Democratic nominee in 2012 against Southerland.

Full story

December 16, 2013

Peterson Targeted in New Ad From Outside Group

A GOP outside group has started attacking Rep. Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota on the airwaves — less than two weeks after a local Republican state lawmaker announced he would challenge the longtime Democrat in 2014.

The ad, released by the American Future Fund, accuses the 12-term Democrat of “losing his Minnesota nice” after being in Washington, D.C., too long.

“He’s been in Washington for decades and the choices he makes affect our lives. So where is he when we want answers?” says the announcer in the 30-second spot. “… Tell Collin Peterson if he’s lost his Minnesota nice he’s been in Washington too long.”

Full story

EMILY’s List Endorses in North Carolina Special Election

EMILY’s List endorsed state Rep. Alma Adams in the crowded Democratic primary for a North Carolina special election, according to a news release shared first with CQ Roll Call.

Adams is one of at least seven Democrats, including two women, looking to succeed Rep. Melvin Watt, the longtime Democrat. He is vacating the 12th District after the Senate confirmed his appointment to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency last week.

“Throughout her career, Alma Adams has shown incredible commitment to the women and working families of North Carolina,” EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock said in a news release. “Alma is a trusted and proven public servant and the EMILY’s List community — now three million members strong — is proud to continue supporting her strong campaign.”

Full story

Nebraska Republican to Make TV Buy During BCS Game

Midland University President Ben Sasse has scheduled airtime on Jan. 6 during the Bowl Championship Series game between Auburn University and Florida State University, according to multiple sources who track media buys.

The buy is worth about $8,500. Full story

DSCC Raised $5.1 Million in November

Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado is chairman of the DSCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced Monday that it raised $5.1 million last month — its best off-year November ever.

The DSCC has now raised $48.6 million through the first 11 months of the year and had more than $12 million in cash on hand as of Nov. 30. It paid down its remaining debt last month by $1.25 million and now owes $5 million. Full story

December 15, 2013

The Most Expensive Senate Race of the Cycle — So Far

Hagan's race has already witnessed a barrage of advertising. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

About halfway through the midterm election cycle, North Carolina is on pace to host the most expensive Senate race of 2014.

But the Tar Heel State shouldn’t necessarily get too comfortable in the top spot.

Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan’s re-election battle is one of at least four Senate contests where outside spending has already eclipsed the $2 million mark. The others include the re-election races of Sens. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

The potential for Republicans to win back the Senate majority, combined with the media-market makeup of the competitive landscape, has invited a superfluity of early spending. Republicans need a net gain of six seats next year, and most of the competitive races are for Democrat-held seats in less populous states.

“Given the president’s plummeting job approval ratings, there is growing optimism that Republicans can win back the Senate, and that’s why you’re seeing some very early spending in key U.S. Senate races,” GOP media consultant Erik Potholm said. “And Democrats, especially their vulnerable incumbents, are feeling that same pressure — that’s why Sens. Landrieu and Pryor are on the air.” Full story

Sign In

Forgot password?



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

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...