Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 6, 2016

February 3, 2014

Goss Out, Benacquisto Running For Radel Seat (Updated)

Updated 10:58 a.m.| Florida State Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto will run for former Rep. Trey Radel’s seat in Congress, according to a Monday news release. On the same morning, her fellow Republican, Chauncey Goss, announced he will not run in the same race.

“I will respect the trust you place in me, and I will serve you with a dignity that reflects our shared commitment to getting Florida and our great nation back on the road to prosperity,” Benaquisto wrote in an email to supporters.

As for Goss, he ran against Radel in the 19th District’s 2012 primary and publicly said after Radel’s resignation that he was seriously considering another run. The son of former Rep. Porter Goss made his announcement in a Monday news release.

“After careful thought and discussion with my family, I am announcing that I will not be a candidate in this upcoming special election,” he said. “As a husband and a father, my responsibility to my family must at this time take priority over the level of commitment required to properly serve as our Representative in Congress.”

Businessman Curt Clawson and former Rep. Paige Kreegel are the most notable contenders for the seat at this point.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced the special election dates on Friday. The primary, which will all-but-determine the next occupant of this safe Republican seat, will take place on April 22. The general election is June 24.

January 31, 2014

DCCC Outraised NRCC in December

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $1.4 million more than its GOP counterpart in December.

A National Republican Congressional Committee source said Friday that the committee raised $4.2 million in December. The NRCC ended the year with $21 million in cash on hand.

The DCCC, which released its fundraising numbers Thursday, raised $5.6 million and had $29.3 million in cash on hand as of Dec. 31.

Both House campaign committees eliminated their debt earlier this cycle.

DSCC, NRSC Raised $4M in December

The Democratic and Republican Senate campaign arms both raised $4 million in December, according to figures released Friday.

The month ended a strong fundraising year for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which outraised its Republican counterpart by $16 million on the year.

The DSCC, which raised $52.6 million in 2013, paid down its debt to $3.75 million and ended the year with $12 million in cash on hand.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, which got off to a slow start in 2013, raised $36.7 million last year and ended December with $8 million on hand and no debt.

Republicans must net six seats to win the majority in November.

Comstock Gets Boost From House Republican Women

Diane Black, R-Tenn., is among the House GOP Conference women fundraising for Comstock (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republican women are hosting a fundraiser next month for Virginia state Del. Barbara Comstock, according to an invitation obtained by CQ Roll Call.

Comstock, who is running to replace retiring Republican Rep. Frank R. Wolf in Virginia’s 10th District, is a former Wolf staffer and consultant to GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign. She is a front-runner for the Republican nomination in this competitive district, located in the northern Virginia suburbs. Romney won here in 2012 by a 1-point margin.

This the latest push by the women of the House GOP Conference, who are making it a priority this cycle to help elect Republican women.

Full story

Democrats Begin to Flood Race to Replace Waxman

Waxman is retiring after 20 terms in the House (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic state Sen. Ted Lieu announced Friday that he will enter the race to replace retiring Rep. Henry A. Waxman in California’s 33rd District.

Lieu is now the second Democrat to announce a bid since Waxman announced his retirement on Thursday, and many more are considering jumping in. Former Los Angeles Controller Wendy Greuel, who lost a mayoral bid last year, announced her campaign Thursday night.

“I have made the hard choices that helped turn California’s budget deficit into a budget surplus; fought to protect our environment; co-authored legislation to divest California’s pension funds from Iran’s energy and nuclear industries; and authored landmark civil rights legislation,” Lieu, a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserve, said in a statement.

Full story

2 New Ads Drop in Florida Special

The two House campaign committees released TV ads Friday, each attacking the opposition nominee in the special election race for Florida’s 13th District.

In the competitive March 11 special to replace the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla., both parties have made six-figure TV airtime buys. Advertising is likely to flood the district over the next month and the ads released Friday are just the latest forays from the two committees.

The National Republican Congressional Committee’s ad slams Democrat Alex Sink for air travel during her tenure as the state’s chief financial officer. Full story

Obama’s Cousin Hopes to Stop President From ‘Destroying America’ (Video)

The candidate: Physician Milton Wolf
The member: Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.
The state: Roberts ran unopposed in his 2008 primary and won the general with 60 percent. Kansas hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1932.
The candidate’s team: Jason Miller of Jamestown Associates is the general and media consultant.

Milton Wolf, a physician challenging Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts in a Republican primary, may be a distant relative of Barack Obama, but he is no fan of the second-term president.

In an interview with CQ Roll Call this week, Wolf said Obama’s policies “are destroying America” and called him “maybe the worst president of our history.”

“Indeed we are cousins, but I am quick to remind that you cannot choose your family,”  Wolf said. “What you can do is choose to rise up and stop your family from destroying America.” Full story

Former Congresswoman Nan Hayworth Raised $37K in Fourth Quarter

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Nan Hayworth, R-N.Y., raised $37,000 in the fourth quarter for her comeback bid, according to her Federal Election Commission filing.

Hayworth is in a rematch against Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney for New York’s 18th District. Full story

Club for Growth Action Hires Blacklisted Firm

The Club for Growth’s political action arm announced Friday that it has added Jamestown Associates, a media firm that the GOP’s House and Senate campaign arms have reportedly blacklisted, to its media production team.

“We’ve long admired Jamestown Associates for their creativity, winning record in tough campaigns, and the quality of their product,” Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said in a news release. “When we heard recently that they would have more time to work with Club for Growth Action we immediately seized the opportunity.”

Chocola’s statement alludes to the fact that both the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee reportedly will not use Jamestown Associates’ services and are encouraging others in the party not to as well.

The committees’ decisions were based in part on Jamestown’s work on behalf of the Senate Conservatives Fund, which is backing primary challengers to Republican senators.

The club also supports primary challengers to Republican incumbents. It’s even set up a website called, “Primary My Congressman!”

January 30, 2014

Republican Considers Switch to Okla. Senate Special

Coburn is resigning at the end of 2014 (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Randy Brogdon, a conservative former state senator currently challenging Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, is considering running in the Senate special election instead.

“He has got a lot of people inside of Oklahoma, probably eight or nine out of 10, that are urging him to run for Senate, and he is listening very intently to those urges,” Brogdon senior adviser Louis Waller said when reached by CQ Roll Call.

Brogdon’s potential entrance comes just after Rep. Jim Bridenstine, a favorite among conservative outside groups, decided against a bid. Groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project had pushed for Bridenstine to run as a conservative alternative to Rep. James Lankford, who announced his bid for the seat earlier this month.

Brogdon, who lost to Fallin in the 2010 gubernatorial primary, has the kind of tea party profile that could garner support from those groups. If he runs, Brogdon would be the third major Republican in the race, along with state Speaker T.W. Shannon. Candidates have until April 11 to file for the race, which follows the state’s regular election year schedule.

The Madison Project, which recruits conservative candidates, declined to comment on whether they have met with Brogdon.

Full story

Henry Waxman Announces Retirement (Updated) (Video)

Updated 1:20 p.m. | Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., announced Thursday that he will not seek a 21st term in his Los Angeles-based House seat.

In his statement, Waxman said it was simply his time to go.

“It’s time for someone else to have the chance to make his or her mark, ideally someone who is young enough to make the long-term commitment that’s required for real legislative success,” he said. “I still feel youthful and energetic, but I recognize if I want to experience a life outside of Congress, I need to start soon.”

Waxman is now the 17th member of the House and 7th Democrat to announce retirement this cycle. He and fellow California Democratic Rep. George Miller, who is also retiring this year, were the last remaining of the Watergate class of 1974 serving their 20th terms in the House. (One other member of the class of 1974 would remain in the House, Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., but he spent a couple of decades out of Congress in the interim).

Full story

House Democrats Raise $5.6 Million in December

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $5.6 million in December, according to fundraising figures shared with CQ Roll Call by a DCCC aide.

The committee had $29.3 million in cash on hand at the end of the year and holds no debt.

The National Republican Congressional Committee has yet to release its December fundraising figures. Reports are due to the Federal Election Commission by Jan. 31.

House Democrats put an early emphasis on pulling in dues from individual members, assisting in a strong year of fundraising in 2013. The party must net 17 seats in November to take back control of the House.

Democrat to Challenge Bucshon in Indiana

Democrats have finally landed a challenger to Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-Ind., who was among the party’s targets in 2012.

Tom Spangler, the owner of a marketing and distribution company for commercial furniture, announced Thursday that he is launching a bid in Indiana’s 8th District.

After coming up 10 points short against the incumbent in 2012, national Democrats hope Spangler can give the party a legitimate shot at a seat it controlled before Bucshon won an open-seat race in 2010.

“I’m running because since 2012, Congress has only gotten more reckless and irresponsible and Congressman Bucshon is part of the problem,” Spangler said in a statement. Full story

Conservative Groups Could Give Up on Okla. Senate Special

Conservative outside groups are increasingly likely to stay on the sidelines in the Oklahoma Senate special election now that Rep. Jim Bridenstine has decided not to run, multiple GOP sources said.

Groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project had encouraged Bridenstine to run in the GOP primary as a conservative alternative to Rep. James Lankford, who was the first candidate to announce a bid. The entrance Wednesday by state Speaker T.W. Shannon, an African American named a rising star by the Republican National Committee, was met with equally little excitement among the groups.

Unless another candidate is recruited, these groups may choose to sit out the race to replace resigning GOP Sen. Tom Coburn —  a hero among the conservative grass roots for his battles against government waste.

“For the outside groups to back T.W., it means they really, really hate Lankford enough that they would back an RNC-touted candidate instead of sitting the race out,” said one Republican insider in Oklahoma.

Full story

January 29, 2014

George Miller Endorses a Successor

Democratic Rep. George Miller endorsed a potential successor Wednesday in the California district he’s retiring from after 20 terms.

Miller, who announced his retirement this month, is supporting state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, the only Democrat so far to announce a bid in 11th District.

“I know Mark DeSaulnier exceedingly well,” Miller said in a statement released by the DeSaulnier campaign. “Mark is the most qualified and capable candidate to carry on my work in Congress on behalf of the residents in the 11th district. He is progressive, results-driven, and has a deep connection to the communities and neighborhoods in this district. Most importantly, Mark embodies the issues and values that I have fought for throughout my career.” Full story

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