Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 29, 2015

November 27, 2013

In Alaska, Dan Sullivan Helps Dan Sullivan

Begich has a tough re-election battle ahead in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Alaska Republican primary ballot next year will be a tale of two Dan Sullivans.

Former state Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan, a first-time candidate, announced a challenge last month to Democratic Sen. Mark Begich. Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, the better-known of the two, is running for lieutenant governor.

The presence of more than one Dan Sullivan is causing some confusion in polling on the two races, but it may not necessarily have negative repercussions for either candidate in the Aug. 19 primaries. While there will undoubtedly be plenty of advertising in this inexpensive state over the next nine months, any lingering confusion could conceivably provide the Senate candidate a few extra points of support. Full story

Zoller Too Young to Run in Florida Special Election

Days after Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla., announced his retirement, GOP political consultant Nick Zoller was one of the first Republican candidates to jump into the race to replace the  22-term congressman.

But upon Young’s Oct. 18 death, Zoller repeatedly clarified on social media and in interviews that he would not run in the special election to replace Young. Zoller will instead seek the full two year-term that will commence in January 2015.

“I never really had the intentions of ramping up an operation to run in a special election,” he said in a Tuesday phone interview with CQ Roll Call. Full story

November 26, 2013

GOP Lawmaker Challenges Freshman for California Seat

GOP state Rep. Jeff Gorell announced on Tuesday that he will challenge freshman Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Calif., in the 26th District — a move that temporarily sets up a GOP primary in one of the state’s more competitive House seats.

Gorell joins former state Sen. Tony Strickland in the contest against Brownley. Last year, the Democrat defeated Strickland by a 6 points — smaller than President Barack Obama’s 10-point victory in the district that same year.

But Gorell’s announcement also fuels speculation about the neighboring 25th District, currently held by longtime Republican Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon. Full story

Florida Governor Calls on Trey Radel to Resign

Florida Gov. Rick Scott called on embattled Republican Rep. Trey Radel of Florida to resign Tuesday morning, according to The Fort Myers News-Press.

“I agree with the party chairman,” Scott said, referring to Florida GOP Chairman Lenny Curry’s similar call for resignation. “Trey is going through a tough time. My prayers and my wife’s prayers are with his family. But we have to hold all of our elected officials to the highest standards.”

For now, this is a split in tone from the Republican House leadership. Last week, a spokesman for Speaker John A. Boehner said that “Members of Congress should be held to the highest standards, and the alleged crime will be handled by the courts. … Beyond that, this is between Rep. Radel, his family, and his constituents.”

A Radel resignation would have almost no bearing on control of the House — his 19th District is safe Republican territory. A slew of GOP contenders are in a position to run against him in a primary or in an open-seat special election.

Another Republican Eyes Cochran Seat in Mississippi

Updated 12:09 p.m. | Mississippi Republicans are preparing for a Senate without Thad Cochran.

State Auditor Stacey E. Pickering told “The Gallo Show,” a statewide radio program, on Tuesday morning that if Cochran opts for retirement, he will run for Senate. Full story

Florida GOP Honcho Calls on Trey Radel to Resign

Florida Republican Party Chairman Lenny Curry on Monday called for Rep. Trey Radel to resign, marking the highest-ranking local GOP official yet to push for the embattled Republican congressman to step down.

“The people of Florida’s 19th Congressional District need a Congressman who is 100 percent focused on the needs of Southwest Florida,” Curry said in a statement. “Therefore, Congressman Radel should step down and focus his attention on rehabilitation and his family.” Full story

November 25, 2013

GOP Rising Star Launches House Bid in New Hampshire

New Hampshire state Rep. Marilinda Garcia announced Monday that she will enter the Republican primary for a targeted House race for the party.

“To solve our country’s problems, we have to change the kind of people we send to Washington and that’s why I’m running for Congress,” Garcia tweeted on Monday. Full story

By Kyle Trygstad Posted at 2:35 p.m.
House 2016, N.H.-2

Franken Challenger Says Minnesota GOP ‘Starting to Unify’ (Video)

The candidate: Republican state Sen. Julianne Ortman
The member: First-term Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.
The state:
Franken won by the smallest margin of any Senate race in 2008. He defeated then-Sen. Norm Coleman, a Republican, following a recount.
The candidate’s team:
Campaign manager Andy Parrish and media consultant Ed Brookover. Full story

November 21, 2013

Trey Radel’s Would-Be Primary Challengers

Radel might face a primary challenge in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Florida Republicans have started sizing up the political prospects of freshman Rep. Trey Radel, who said he will not resign after pleading guilty for a misdemeanor charge of cocaine possession.

Several potential primary challengers have emerged in Florida’s 19th District — which includes Cape Coral, Fort Myers and Naples — in the last couple days: Full story

Obama Campaign Media, Analytics Gurus Partner Up

A relationship fostered over the course of the president’s re-election campaign morphed Thursday into a partnership to capitalize on the two Democratic consulting firms’ data and media capabilities.

GMMB, a top Democratic advertising firm, and Civis Analytics, a big data firm launched by a group of former Obama campaign staffers, announced a new effort that will offer campaigns, non-profits and brands similar voter targeting and media buying that helped President Barack Obama in 2012.

“We’re excited about it, and that’s where we think the value is,” Daniel Jester, a senior vice president at GMMB, told CQ Roll Call about offering clients the combined expertise of both firms.

“We work with them because they are the smartest people in the analytics business, and we think we’re pretty good at what we do,” Jester said. “So bringing the two together just seemed like a no-brainer.” Full story

By Kyle Trygstad Posted at 3:15 p.m.
DCCC, DGA, DSCC, Shop Talk

Ex-Congressman Warned Khanna Against Challenging Honda

Honda, left, has a challenge from another Democrat this cycle. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Pete Stark, the 20-term Democrat ousted last year, warned attorney Ro Khanna against challenging Rep. Michael M. Honda, D-Calif., this cycle.

At the start of the 2014 cycle, Khanna eyed a bid against Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell, who defeated Stark last year, in the 15th District. But Khanna, also a Democrat, instead launched a challenge against Honda in the neighboring 17th District earlier this year.

“I tried to convince Ro not to do that,” Stark said in a Wednesday phone interview. “I think that’s impertinent of him. I mean … Mike is a fantastic member of Congress.”

Full story

House Republicans Put 36 Recruits ‘On the Radar’

The National Republican Congressional Committee announced on Thursday 36 candidates who have achieved the committee’s “On the Radar” status.

This ranking is the first of three levels of the committee’s fundraising and infrastructure program. Earning this status means the NRCC “will help to provide candidates and their campaigns the tools they need to run successful, winning campaigns against their Democratic opponents,” according to an NRCC release.

The final level is “Young Gun” status.

“These 36 candidates all provide a stark contrast to their liberal opponents, whose support of ObamaCare and this Administration’s big-government, job-destroying agenda has taken a toll on the American people,” NRCC Chairman Greg Walden said in a statement.

Four of those rated are former members who lost re-election bids in 2012: former Reps. Robert Dold and Bobby Schilling of Illinois, Frank Guinta of New Hampshire and Nan Hayworth of New York.

Some of the other challengers are running in the same districts.
Full story

LCV Launches Ads in Battleground House, Senate Races

Schatz will get some help from an environmental group. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The League of Conservation Voters has launched a $1 million ad campaign across five states, including two battleground House districts and two competitive Senate races.

The group, which backs candidates who support its environmental policy goals, is running television ads praising Sens. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., as well as Reps. Pete Gallego, D-Texas, and Scott Peters, D-Calif., “for protecting public health and promoting clean energy jobs.” Full story

November 20, 2013

House Republicans Raise $2 Million Less Than Democrats in October

Greg Walden is the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised at least $2 million more than its GOP counterpart in October. Full story

GOP Operatives Pile Into Florida Special Election

State Rep. Kathleen Peters and lobbyist David Jolly have started the sprint toward the GOP primary in the special election to replace the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla.

And their campaign teams have also joined the race. Jolly quickly moved into place a campaign team, and now Peters has done the same for her bid for the 13th District. Her band of operatives includes two Tallahassee-based consultants: Full story

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