Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 27, 2015

December 12, 2013

GOP Field for North Carolina House Seat Continues to Grow

Former banker Bruce VonCannon announced Wednesday that he will seek the GOP nomination for North Carolina’s 6th District, becoming the sixth Republican to enter the crowded race.

VonCannon joins Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger Jr., Greensboro City Council member Zack Matheny, Baptist pastors Dan Collison and Bradley Walker, and navy veteran Don Webb in the contest. All six are looking to replace Rep. Howard Coble, the 15-term Republican who announced his retirement this fall.

Local GOP operatives say Berger is the front-runner in the race. As the son of the state Senate president pro tem, Berger boasts connections and the name identification to run a smooth campaign.

Full story

Super PAC Ad Targets Landrieu Challenger in Louisiana

Landrieu is vulnerable in 2014. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 9:31 a.m. | A Democrat-aligned super PAC has booked airtime in Louisiana, where Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., is facing one of the toughest re-election races in the country.

Senate Majority PAC’s first ad in the Bayou State criticizes GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy for voting to raise the retirement age, “to raise Medicare costs $6,000 per year” and to shut down the federal government.

Watch the ad here:

Full story

DCCC Unveils Final 2014 Recruits for Jumpstart Program

Israel is the DCCC chairman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee unveiled its final wave of Jumpstart candidates for the 2014 cycle on Thursday, giving the seal of approval to one final set of recruits before the election year begins.

New this cycle, the Jumpstart program provides “early financial communications, operational and strategic support” to candidates, according to the committee. It also gives members and potential donors a sense of the DCCC’s top candidates in competitive primaries.

“These four standout candidates are being added to the Jumpstart program because they’re committed to the right priorities, like working together to create good jobs, protect our seniors and give the middle class financial peace of mind,” said DCCC Chairman Steve Israel of New York in a statement.

The latest round of candidates are: Full story

December 11, 2013

Pelosi Fundraises for John Tierney

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi attended a fundraiser Wednesday evening for Rep. John F. Tierney, D-Mass., according to an invitation obtained by CQ Roll Call.

Full story

Super PAC Ad Ties McConnell Opponent to Obama on Coal

A super PAC backing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is again hitting the radio airwaves to tie the Kentucky Republican’s opponent to national Democrats.

Kentuckians for Strong Leadership’s latest ad argues that Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes would be an ally to President Barack Obama’s war on coal, an issue likely to be at the forefront for the duration of the race. A previous ad from the group tied Grimes to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on the issue of Obamacare.

A spokesman for the group said it spent $90,000 to air the ad statewide from Wednesday through Dec. 17. Here is the radio ad airing for the next week: Full story

‘Price Is Right’ Legend Endorses Jolly in Florida Special Election

Updated 5:12 p.m. | Former game show host Bob Barker will endorse GOP lobbyist David Jolly in a television ad on Thursday that will air during a special episode of “The Price is Right.”

“Because with Jolly, the choice is right,” says Barker in the spot.

Full story

Jane Norton Endorses in Colorado GOP Senate Primary

Udall is seeking re-election in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One of the handful of Republicans looking to take on Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., has earned the endorsement of Jane Norton, who was heavily favored to win the GOP Senate nomination in 2010.

On Wednesday, state Rep. Amy Stephens announced that Norton has endorsed her over the rest of the Republican field, which includes 2010 Senate nominee Ken Buck. Full story

Landrieu’s First TV Ad Highlights Her Obamacare Fix

Landrieu is a top GOP target in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Louisiana Sen. Mary L. Landrieu launched the first TV ad of her re-election campaign on Wednesday, highlighting her bill that would allow individual health care plan holders to keep their insurance under Obamacare.

The ad is an effort to defend the third-term Democrat from GOP attacks over the president’s health care law that have already hit the Bayou State airwaves — with more sure to come.

“Thousands of Louisianians and millions of Americans that carried individual policies will now have an opportunity to keep those health care plans,” Landrieu campaign manager Adam Sullivan said in a statement. “The President made a promise, and Sen. Landrieu is working to make sure it is kept and will continue her legislative efforts to fix and improve the Affordable Care Act.”

According to a release, the ad, backed by a $250,000 buy, will air in the Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Alexandria, Shreveport and Monroe media markets.

Watch Keeping the Promise here: Full story

December 10, 2013

7 Things to Know About Katherine Clark

State Sen. Katherine M. Clark, a Democrat, seized victory Tuesday in the special election for Massachusetts’ 5th District.

Clark will succeed Sen. Edward J. Markey in the suburban Boston district. Markey vacated the seat after he won a special election for the Senate seat Secretary of State John Kerry once held.

Here are seven things to know about the newest member of Congress:

Full story

Katherine Clark Wins Massachusetts Special Election

Courtesy Katherine M. Clark

Democratic state Sen. Katherine M. Clark handily defeated GOP attorney Frank Addivinola in Massachusetts’ 5th District special election Tuesday night.

Clark defeated Addivinola, 64 percent to 34 percent, with 35 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.

With her win, Clark becomes the sixth woman elected to Congress from the Bay State. She’s also the second House member to represent this district, which includes the Boston suburbs, in 37 years.

Full story

Watt Confirmation Kicks Off North Carolina Special Election

Several Democrats are seeking Watt's House seat. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After more than seven months of delays, a special election for North Carolina’s 12th District will begin in earnest now that the Senate confirmed Rep. Melvin Watt, D-N.C., to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency on Tuesday.

Watt was ultimately confirmed to head the FHFA, the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac overseer, 57-41, after Senate Republicans previously rejected a bid to cut off debate on the nomination. That was back before Democrats set a new Senate precedent using the “nuclear option,” a move that made Watt’s confirmation inevitable.

Watt’s departure from the district will kick off a frenzy among Tar Heel State Democrats looking to succeed him in the safe Democratic seat he has held for two decades.

The special election will probably take place on previously scheduled election dates, according to a source familiar with North Carolina election law. That would mean a primary in February, with a runoff on May 6 — the same day as the previously scheduled midterm election primaries in North Carolina. The special election could then be held July 15 — the same day as the regularly scheduled runoff date for 2014 elections.

So far, at least seven Democrats filed federal paperwork to run for the safe Democratic seat: Full story

Texas Filing Deadline Solidifies 2014 Contests

Sen. John Cornyn is not the only Texas Republican to face a race in 2014. Several House members will face challenges within their own party this March, or competitive races this November.

The filing deadline passed on Monday evening to run for Congress from the Lone Star State. Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, served up the biggest surprise with his last-minute challenge to Cornyn.

“He obviously was going to be looking at a difficult race in his own congressional seat, so he decided to try something different,” Cornyn said Tuesday at the Capitol. “He wasn’t on my radar screen, but neither were the other five or so other people who filed in … the primary and the other five or so who filed in the general.”

Stockman faces an extremely difficult path to the GOP nomination. But so could a couple of his House colleagues seeking re-election. Here are some of the more interesting races:

Full story

6 Texas-Sized Primary Hurdles for Steve Stockman

Stockman is challenging Cornyn in the Texas Republican Senate primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Texas Rep. Steve Stockman’s last-minute challenge to Sen. John Cornyn sent shock waves through Republican politics Monday night. But the congressman’s bid to upset the two-term incumbent has some Texas-sized hurdles to overcome before it’s competitive — let alone successful.

Cornyn was minutes from avoiding a credible GOP primary challenger altogether before Stockman filed at the eleventh hour. Ideological outside groups in search of another Ted Cruz — who turned in one of the biggest upsets of 2012 in the GOP runoff for Texas Senate — had largely resigned themselves to the likelihood that toppling Cornyn was out of reach.

It’s not yet clear whether Stockman’s candidacy changes that. But, if nothing else, it ensures that Cornyn won’t take the March 4 primary lightly. While many Republican incumbents have faced legitimate primary challenges in the past few cycles, Stockman is not exactly striking fear in the hearts of establishment Republicans who stand firmly behind Cornyn.

Here are six reasons why:

Full story

Club for Growth Passes on Steve Stockman

Cornyn has a primary challenge. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Club for Growth announced Tuesday it will not support Rep. Steve Stockman’s primary bid to unseat Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

“While Congressman Stockman has a pro-economic growth record, so does Senator Cornyn, as witnessed by his 87% lifetime Club for Growth score,” Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said in a statement. Full story

Democratic Super PAC Defends Nick Rahall (Updated)

Updated Dec. 11, 8:12 a.m. | House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, is up with a significant television ad campaign to defend Rep. Nick J. Rahall II in West Virginia.

The positive spot touts his support for the coal industry. House Majority PAC put $150,000 behind the 10-day reservation: Full story

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