Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 30, 2015

December 9, 2013

Five GOP Candidates File for Stockman’s House Seat

Five Republicans have filed to run for the unexpectedly open-seat race for GOP Rep. Steve Stockman’s 36th District, according to Texas Republican Party spokesman Spencer Yeldell.

In Texas, the state parties must approve the applications of candidates for public office. After one term back in the House, Stockman shocked Texas Republicans by filing paperwork Monday to challenge Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

The filing deadline passed on Monday, so Stockman’s decision leaves a last-minute, open-seat race for his district northeast of Houston.

The five GOP candidates who filed for the 26th District race are: Full story

Stockman Files to Challenge Cornyn in Texas Senate Primary

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

Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn will face Rep. Steve Stockman in the GOP primary for Senate next year in Texas.

In a surprising move on the last day for candidates to file for federal office in the Lone Star State, Stockman promised “a vigorous campaign” against Cornyn in an interview with The World Net Daily.

Stockman, who was elected to the House in 2012 after serving a single term in the 1990s, said his impetus for running was Cornyn’s decision to not sign the letter with Sen. Ted Cruz that eventually instigated the government shutdown. He had not informed Cruz of his decision to run, according to the interview. Full story

Yet Another Democrat Runs for Open House Seat in Michigan

State Sen. Bert Johnson declared his candidacy on Monday for the Democratic nomination to succeed Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich., in Congress.

“I represent the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party,” Johnson said to a Detroit audience, per a news release. The statement was a nod to the late Democratic Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, who coined the phrase. Full story

House Democratic Recruit Drops Bid in Nebraska

Omaha City Councilman Pete Festersen, a Democrat, has dropped his bid to challenge Republican Rep. Lee Terry in Nebraska’s 2nd District, according to a national Democratic source.

Festersen served as the poster child for House Democrats’ candidate recruitment spree during the government shutdown in October. The source said he is leaving the race for personal reasons, but also noted that Festersen’s fundraising and campaign did not meet expectations. Full story

McConnell, NRSC to Help Cochran Fundraise

Cochran will seek another term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With Sen. Thad Cochran’s decision last week to seek re-election, the six-term incumbent must now begin hiring a political team and getting serious about fundraising.

After avoiding a significant challenge for 30 years, the Mississippi Republican hasn’t needed a robust political operation. Now facing an outside-group-backed primary opponent in state Sen. Chris McDaniel, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., are assisting Cochran’s campaign kickoff.

“We are working closely with Senator Cochran in putting together his team and developing a plan,” NRSC spokesman Brad Dayspring said. “There’s a fundraiser this week headlined by Mitch McConnell at the NRSC.” Full story

Democratic Official Challenges Sean Duffy in Wisconsin

Duffy has a new challenger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ashland City Council member Kelly Westlund, a Democrat, will announce Tuesday her bid to challenge to Rep. Sean P. Duffy, R-Wis., in the 7th District.

Westlund will launch her campaign with a series of meetings with labor groups, as well as “small business owners, Social Security recipients and other voters,”  throughout the northwestern Wisconsin district, according to her campaign. Full story

House GOP Women Fundraise for Florida Special Candidate (Updated)

Wagner is one of a handful of women who are supporting Peters in the special election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:07 a.m. | Six House Republicans — including a handful of women — are slated to host a fundraising luncheon for state Rep. Kathleen Peters’ special-election bid on Wednesday, according to an invitation obtained by CQ Roll Call.

Peters is running against lobbyist David Jolly in the competitive primary for Florida’s 13th District. Republican Rep. C.W. Bill Young died earlier this year, creating the vacancy.

Five House Republican women, plus one GOP congressman from Florida, are on the Washington, D.C., event invitation. Full story

December 6, 2013

Cochran Faces Toughest Test in 30 Years

Cochran will seek another term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In one of the last red-state bastions of appreciation for appropriations, Sen. Thad Cochran’s decision to seek re-election sets up a unique test for hard-line conservative groups that have targeted incumbents over the past few cycles.

The six-term Republican and veteran appropriator is beloved in Mississippi for his efforts to direct federal funding to a state in need — especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina — so labeling him the “king of pork” won’t necessarily be a winning argument, even in a low-turnout Republican primary.

“If you can’t identify a Bridge to Nowhere, which I think they’re going to be hard-pressed to do, then you better come with something better than that,” said Hayes Dent, a Mississippi-based lobbyist. Full story

Second Republican Goes on the Air in Florida Special Election (Updated)

Updated 2:16 p.m. | State Rep. Kathleen Peters has joined lobbyist David Jolly on the airwaves for the Republican primary in the special election to succeed the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla.

Peters is even spending more than Jolly — so far — in television advertising, according to a Democratic media buyer monitoring the Tampa media market.

Peters placed a one-week ad buy on Tampa cable worth around $22,000. Roll Call reported on Thursday that Jolly placed about $6,000 in ads. Media buying sources said Jolly’s team expanded its buy to around $15,000 later that day. Both buys are set to last between Dec. 6-12.

The Peters campaign confirmed the ad and the buy on Friday. The 30-second spot seeks to frame the race as a local politician versus a Washington insider: Full story

Club for Growth Stands With Cochran Challenger

The Club for Growth reiterated its support for state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s GOP bid for Senate in Mississippi, hours after longtime Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., announced he will seek a seventh term.

“Senator Cochran … is a strong supporter of wasteful earmarks — something that is opposed by Republican leaders in both the Senate and the House. Mississippi voters will make the final judgment as to whether it is time for a change,” Club for Growth President and former Rep. Chris Chocola, R-Ind., said in a release. Full story

December 5, 2013

David Jolly Goes on the Air in Florida Special (Updated)

Updated 3:52 p.m. | Lobbyist David Jolly put up his first television ad Thursday.

It’s worth at least around $5,800 in cable advertising, according to a GOP media buyer who is not involved in the race. The Jolly campaign did not immediately reply to an email request for the buy size.

Jolly is facing off against state Rep. Kathleen Peters in the Republican primary to succeed the late Republican Rep. C.W. Bill Young in Florida’s 13th District.

Full story

Democratic Super PAC Drops Major Buy in North Carolina

The latest ad targets Tillis. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While Democrats up for re-election are facing heat over Obamacare, a Democratic-aligned super PAC launched a TV ad targeting the leading Republican in the North Carolina Senate race on the issue of health care.

According to a Republican tracking ad buys, Senate Majority PAC is spending $736,000 over the next two weeks across four media markets to defend Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and criticize her top Republican challenger, state Speaker Thom Tillis. Full story

Chamber Launches Second Coal Ad This Week

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is launching its second TV ad this week highlighting a Republican Senate candidate’s support of the coal industry.

The chamber’s latest spot comes to the defense of West Virginia Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, who is running for an open Senate seat in the Mountain State. Full story

Conservative Group Backs State Lawmaker Over Bob Barr in Georgia

The Madison Project PAC, a group that supports conservative candidates across the country, endorsed Republican state Sen. Barry Loudermilk in Georgia’s 11th District, according to a release obtained exclusively by CQ Roll Call.

“As an expert on the history of our founders and the founding documents, Sen. Loudermilk understands that the only path to fundamentally restoring our constitutional republic is over the heads of leadership in both parties,” Madison Project President Drew Ryun said in a release.

Full story

December 4, 2013

Republican Will Challenge Peterson in Minnesota

Peterson has a new opponent. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

GOP state Sen. Torrey Westrom will announce Thursday that he will challenge longtime Rep. Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., in the 7th District.

Westrom, the first legally blind person elected to the Minnesota Legislature, will make the announcement Thursday morning in the northwestern part of the state, according to a news release from the campaign.

Westrom is the first Republican to announce a bid against Peterson. Republicans have made the 12-term Democrat a top target in 2014.

Full story

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