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- Dan Donovan Wins Special Election to Succeed Michael Grimm
- Grimm's N.Y. District Stays in Republican Hands
- Senate Races, Pro Salaries and Perspective on Spending
- Democrats Look Past Tuesday's New York Special Election
July 13, 2013
Updated 1:15 p.m. | Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat, will not run for the Senate, according to an Associated Press report.
The stunning decision immediately puts the open seat in jeopardy for Democrats and makes the party’s hold of the majority in 2014 a heavier lift.
“I love Montana. I want to be here. There are all kinds of people that think I should be in the U.S. Senate,” Schweitzer told the AP. “But I never wanted to be in the U.S. Senate. I kicked the tires. I walked to the edge and looked over.”
Just a few days ago, he was expected to run. Earlier in the cycle, operatives believed he would have been the frontrunner if he sought the seat given his popularity as governor.
Members continued to release impressive fundraising numbers as the final full week to report second-quarter fundraising drew to a close, but the stragglers have not been as impressive as the early birds.
Both House and Senate candidates have raised the bar as to what constitutes an eye-catching quarterly fundraising total, but history dictates that members who release their reports toward the end of the filing deadline usually have lower hauls to report. That rung true for some reported totals.
Check out Friday’s fundraising numbers:
July 12, 2013
Updated 4:34 p.m. | Veteran Brendan Mullen will not launch a rematch against Rep. Jackie Walorski.
He was a top Democratic recruit, but he exclusively informed CQ Roll Call on Friday afternoon of his decision not to run again. He lost to her by a 1-point margin in 2012.
“For the many supporters who knocked countless doors, made thousands of telephone calls, and supported our campaign, I am deeply moved and grateful,” Mullen wrote in an email to supporters. “It’s a true testament to the power of good, hard-working, and motivated people that our first-time campaign nearly toppled the institution of a career politician.”
“For now, I’m enjoying quality time with my with amazing and talented wife, cooking dinner, doing the laundry, and trying desperately to potty-train our 2 year old daughter, Lilly, and helping teach our 11 month old daughter, Frankie, how to walk,” he added.
The name Democrats are most likely to coalesce around now that Mullen is taking a pass is state Rep. Ryan Dvorak. His name surfaced in the Indiana edition of CQ Roll Call’s “Farm Team” series.
After the drip-drip of campaign fundraising leaks over the past two weeks, it’s now clear that the amount of money it took to look impressive is staggering.
Challengers and incumbents raised the bar so high that to be considered a standout this time around, a candidate had to have raised $2 million for a Senate campaign or more than half a million for the House.
A number of nervous senators raised more than a million dollars in the second quarter, but it was the $2 million mark that made us look twice at recent reports.
As for the House, it was only last cycle when $200,000 to $400,000 marks were above-average for candidates in competitive races. That is no longer the case. At least 10 incumbents or challengers raised between $400,000 and $500,000 this quarter.
Here are some of the numbers raised our eyebrows over the past two weeks:
Rep. David Joyce, R-Ohio, raised a strong $406,000 in the second quarter of this year as he gears up for what will likely be a tough re-election race.
National Democrats have already said they see the 14th District as a pick-up opportunity in 2014. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel named Joyce as a top GOP target in an interview with CQ Roll Call, although the only organized challenger so far is attorney Michael Wager. Full story
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced Friday two staff changes for the 2014 cycle.
Ben Nathanson will be the DSCC’s new policy director, and the committee promoted Matthew Kehres to digital director. More about their new gigs: Full story
July 11, 2013
Ret. Air Force Colonel Martha McSally, a Republican, would be locked in a tight race with Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., in the 2nd District, according to a new poll commissioned by the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Barber led McSally by a single point in the survey, 46 percent to 45 percent, released on Thursday evening.
McSally has not officially announced, but she filed a statement of candidacy last week. Last cycle, Barber narrowly defeated McSally by just 2,500 votes. There’s been speculation about a rematch ever since.
Several Senate candidates posted seven-figure hauls on Thursday as second-quarter fundraising announcements trickled in ahead of the July 15 reporting deadline.
Here’s today’s fundraising roundup:
- #NJSEN: Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a Democrat, raised $4.6 million and will report $4.5 million in cash on hand for his special-election bid.
- #NHSEN: Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen raised $1.2 million and will report $2.15 million in the bank.
- #SCSEN: Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham reported more than $1.4 million raised in the first quarter. That’s the most the senator has ever brought in during a single quarter, according to his campaign. He will report $6.25 million in cash on hand. Full story
The House GOP’s campaign chief expressed interest in Republican Gabriel Gomez running in Massachusetts’ 9th District next year against Democratic Rep. William Keating.
Gomez lost to Democrat Rep. Edward J. Markey in the special election for Senate last month. But the former Navy SEAL’s candidacy caught the attention of the national GOP — including National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden.
“He did outperform Markey in the [9th District] by 7 points,” Walden told CQ Roll Call in a Wednesday interview. “That got our attention.” Full story
Former Gov. Brian Schweitzer is widely expected to run for Montana’s open Senate seat — the only question is when.
State legislators and operatives had heard he was preparing to announce his bid on Tuesday, but that day came and went without a peep from the populist Democrat.
Another likely option? The state party is holding a convention in Lewiston on Friday and Saturday, offering Schweitzer a room already packed with party faithful. At least one local Democratic official speculated he could make an announcement then.
“I think that there’s probably a 99.9 percent likelihood that he will [run],” said state Senate Minority Whip Robyn Driscoll, a Democrat supportive of Schweitzer. “Rumors have been floating around for a few weeks about when the announcement would be made. … We are having our Democratic convention this weekend, and so I’ll be looking for an announcement maybe then.”
Attempts to reach Schweitzer and his team about the delay were unsuccessful, and Schweitzer — who is known for personally calling reporters — did not return a call to his cellphone.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, has hired former FreedomWorks Campaigns Director Brendan Steinhauser to manage his 2014 re-election campaign.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker will report raising $4.6 million in the second quarter, his New Jersey Senate campaign announced on Thursday.
The heavy favorite in the Garden State’s special election, Booker had $4.5 million in cash on hand as of June 30.
“Every donation is critical for taking the mayor’s message directly to voters in this unprecedented special election,” Booker campaign manager Addisu Demissie said. Full story
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., raised $1.2 million for her re-election campaign in the second quarter of this year.
She will report $2.15 million in the bank for her bid in the Granite State, which has served as a congressional battleground for the last several cycles.
But Shaheen has not attracted a serious challenger for her 2014 race yet. Full story
A super PAC that supports Sen. David Vitter raised a whopping $750,000 in the past six months to aid the Louisiana Republican’s re-election or a possible gubernatorial bid in the next couple of years.
The Fund for Louisiana’s Future will report more than $700,000 in the bank at the end of June, according to figures provided exclusively to CQ Roll Call before they plan to file later this week.
The super PAC is set up to help Vitter with his re-election in 2016, or a potential gubernatorial bid in 2015. In January, veteran GOP fundraiser and attorney Charlie Spies filed paperwork with both the Federal Election Commission and Louisiana election officials to create the super PAC. Full story