Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 2, 2015

September 3, 2013

Democrat Challenges Pearce in New Mexico | #NM02

Democrat Roxanne “Rocky” Lara announced Tuesday that she will run for the nomination to challenge New Mexico’s lone Republican delegation member, Rep. Steve Pearce.

“New Mexicans deserve someone in Congress who is committed to our needs and values, but we haven’t been getting that from Washington lately,” Lara said in a release. “I’ll change that by following a straightforward principle: I will work with anyone who shares a willingness to work for a better New Mexico.”

Lara is a former Eddy County Commission chairwoman; she unsuccessfully ran for state party chair in April, according to the El Paso Times. Lara has met previously with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee about a House run, per a national Democratic operative.

New Mexico Democratic Party Chairman Sam Bregman said Lara’s entry in the race means there are two qualified candidates available to take on Pearce, pointing to attorney Leslie Endean-Singh, who previously announced  her run for the 2nd District’s Democratic nomination.

Doug Ose to Vie for California Comeback Bid | #CA07

Former Rep. Doug Ose, R-Calif., announced Tuesday that he will challenge freshman Rep. Ami Bera in California’s 7th District, becoming the second Republican candidate in an open primary field that is expected to grow in the coming weeks.

Ose represented a large chunk of the redrawn 7th District from 1999 to 2005, when he retired after a self-imposed term-limit was up. In a release, Ose’s campaign said the former congressman’s name ID and familiarity among the district’s constituents give him a leg up in this contest.

Full story

No New Hampshire Senate Bid for Ex-Congressman | #NHSEN

Former Rep. Jeb Bradley, R-N.H., told New Hampshire’s WMUR-TV that he will not run for statewide office next year, removing one of the party’s top potential Senate candidates.

Bradley, now the state Senate majority leader, cited family health issues for his decision. He would have been the favorite in a GOP primary for Senate. Some Republican insiders had said in recent weeks that Bradley might opt for a gubernatorial bid, but he made clear Tuesday that he was not interested in either the governor’s mansion or the Senate.

The announcement leaves former state Sen. Jim Rubens and conservative activist Karen Testerman as likely candidates to take on Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who is running for a second term.

Republicans also are eyeing a third candidate for the race: Dan Innis, dean of the business and economics school at the University of New Hampshire. Innis, who is gay and married, also owns the Ale House Inn in Portsmouth. Full story

DeMaio Won’t Run for Mayor of San Diego | #CA52

Top Republican recruit Carl DeMaio announced on Tuesday that he will continue his bid for Congress against freshman Democratic Rep. Scott Peters and will not run in a mayoral special to replace disgraced San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.

Although DeMaio had toyed with a mayoral run after Filner officially resigned following allegations by numerous women of sexual harassment, DeMaio, a gay Republican, said he has received broad support from Washington for his new approach to governing for the GOP.

“Anyone who knows me knows I care more about getting things done, the right things, than any … political office or title,” DeMaio said at a news conference, adding that he felt he can make positive changes in Washington, D.C.

Full story

Outcast Nick Everhart Lands at GOP Direct-Mail Firm (Updated)

Updated 2:07 p.m. | Nick Everhart, formerly a top Republican ad-maker, has a new job at Majority Strategies, a Florida-based GOP direct mail firm.

Everhart was abruptly fired via email in April from his position as president of The Strategy Group for Media, a GOP ad firm. The Ohio-based company made television spots for Republicans all over the ballot, and Everhart was at the center of many of those productions.

Everhart will be a national salesman in his new job, according to a release. At SGM, he pitched to clients and was also involved in ad production.

“Nick Everhart has proven himself to be one of the most talented operatives in Republican politics today,” Majority Strategies President Brett Buerck said in a release. “He brings an invaluable wealth of experience, insight and political intuition to our firm.”

After his termination, Everhart’s former boss at SGM, Rex Elsass, sued him for violating a non-compete agreement. At issue is how broadly to interpret the agreement that Everhart signed two weeks before his termination.

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Republican to Make Third Bid for Maine House Seat | #ME02

Former state Sen. Kevin Raye announced late last week that he is running for Maine’s open 2nd District, according to a local newspaper, becoming the fourth GOP candidate in an increasingly crowded primary contest.

This is Raye’s third congressional bid: He tried twice, unsuccessfully, to beat Democratic Rep. Michael H. Michaud, once in 2002 and again last cycle. Michaud is vacating the 2nd District to run for governor in the Pine Tree State.

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Rand Paul to Stump for Republican in New Jersey Special | #NJSEN

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., will rally supporters next week for the Republican nominee in the New Jersey Senate special election.

Steve Lonegan’s campaign announced Tuesday that Paul will join him in Clark, N.J., on Sept. 13 for an afternoon “Liberty and Victory Rally.” Lonegan, a conservative activist and former Bogota mayor, is an underdog against Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a Democrat, in the Oct. 16 special.

Lonegan sought Paul’s endorsement during a trip to Capitol Hill last month, when he also met with conservative groups such as the Club for Growth to argue his case for electability in Democratic-leaning New Jersey. On Aug. 20, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is up for re-election in November and who had a policy feud with Paul this summer, endorsed Lonegan, a former gubernatorial rival.

A poll released last week found Booker ahead by a wide margin in the race for the seat of the late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg. The seat is up for a full term in 2014.

The race is rated Safe Democrat by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. Politico first reported that Paul would campaign with Lonegan.

August 30, 2013

Liz Cheney Accuses NRSC of Push Poll Against Her | #WYSEN (Updated)

Updated 4:21 p.m. | Republican Liz Cheney announced on Friday that she is against gay marriage and accused the National Republican Senatorial Committee of sponsoring a “push poll” against her.

“I am strongly pro-life and I am not pro-gay marriage,” Cheney said in a campaign news release.

She added that it is an issue that ought to be decided at the state level.

“I believe the issue of marriage must be decided by the states, and by the people in the states, not by judges and not even by legislators, but by the people themselves,” she added.

She voiced these opinions in the context of what her campaign alleged was a push poll which suggested that Cheney “supports abortion and aggressively promotes gay marriage.”

The statement included a sentence that tied the NRSC to the push poll. A push poll is typically a phony survey where the intent is not data collection but rather the dissemination of false information about a candidate.

“I call on Senator Enzi to denounce this poll and to tell the National Republican Senatorial Committee, or anyone else promoting untruths on his behalf, to stop,” Cheney added. Her spokeswoman, Celeste Colgan, tied Sen. Michael B. Enzi to the poll in the statement.

An NRSC spokesman told CQ Roll Call that they were “baffled by the statement and are not polling in Wyoming.” And an Enzi spokesman vigorously disputed Cheney’s allegation. Full story

Transgender Candidate Enters Minnesota House Contest | #MN02

Paula Overby, a 59-year-old transgender quality assurance analyst, filed federal paperwork this week to run in Minnesota’s 2nd District, becoming the third Democrat to enter a crowded primary in this top-target race in the midterm cycle.

Overby is looking to unseat Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., who won the seat in 2012 by 8 points, even as President Barack Obama and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney each received 49 percent of the district’s vote.

Overby told the Pioneer Press that she believes she is the first openly transgender person from Minnesota to run for Congress.

Full story

August 29, 2013

Ad War Heats Up in Alabama House Special | #AL01

Former state Sen. Bradley Byrne announced Thursday that he will be up with his first television ad in Alabama’s 1st District special election, highlighting his work as a public servant to clean up the state’s community college system.

The $47,000, positive spot will air on broadcast for the week beginning Sept. 3, and on cable beginning Friday through Sept. 9.

Full story

Booker Out to Wide Lead in New Jersey Special | #NJSEN

A poll released Thursday only confirmed Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s solid advantage in the New Jersey Senate special election.

Fairleigh Dickinson University found Booker ahead of Republican Steve Lonegan, 50 percent to 22 percent. Twenty-three percent remained undecided with less than two months to go, including 15 percent of Democratic respondents and 23 percent of Republicans.

Booker and Lonegan won their respective primaries on Aug. 13 by wide margins. They’re facing off in the Oct. 16 special election to replace the late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg.

Although his support was not in question, President Barack Obama formally endorsed Booker last week. Lonegan knows he’ll need some help from the national party to win in this Democratic-leaning state, which hasn’t sent a Republican to the Senate in four decades.

The poll of 700 registered voters was conducted Aug. 21-27. It had a 3.7-point margin of error.

August 28, 2013

N.C. GOP House Hopeful Signs New, Old Team | Shop Talk

Former state Sen. David Rouzer announced Wednesday the campaign team that will lead his rematch bid against Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C.

The new team includes two recent National Republican Congressional Committee officials and some returning players from his 2012 team. McIntyre defeated Rouzer in 2012 by about 700 votes and the race is rated a Pure Tossup  by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

 New: 

  • General Consultant: Brock McCleary of Long Nyquist & Associates. McCleary was the NRCC’s 2012 polling director/deputy political director; he left the committee not long after last year’s elections.
  • Media/digital consultants: Brad Todd and Guy Harrison of On Message, Inc. Harrison was the NRCC’s 2012 cycle executive director.

Full story

GOPAC Goes Up With Ad in Alabama House Special | #AL01

GOPAC, an organization that seeks to build a Republican bench of candidates, released a 30-second television ad on Wednesday in support of state Rep. Chad Fincher, a candidate in the upcoming Alabama House special election.

The $30,000 cable and broadcast television ad buy touts Fincher’s conservative record of taking on teachers unions.

“Rep. Fincher has a long record of fighting for conservative policies and sound economic principles,” GOPAC Chairman Frank Donatelli said in a news release. “We know that he is a tested leader and does not back down from a fight against liberal special interests. We need his continued leadership in Washington.”

Full story

Alexander Holds Large Lead Over Primary Challengers | #TNSEN

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., holds a massive lead over current and potential primary opponents, and holds a high job performance rating from likely Republican primary voters in the Volunteer State, according to an internal poll provided exclusively to CQ Roll Call.

Alexander leads recently announced primary opponent Joe Carr 64 percent to 22 percent, according to the poll conducted by North Star Opinion Research.

Full story

August 27, 2013

Two Conservative Groups Target McConnell in Radio Ads | #KYSEN

Two outside groups that support conservative candidates have launched radio ads this week targeting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The Senate Conservatives Fund announced Tuesday that it’s spending nearly $50,000 to run a statewide radio ad for the next two weeks that urges the Kentucky Republican to oppose funding President Barack Obama’s health care law. It’s run similar ads against six other Republican senators, though not all are up for re-election next year.

The Madison Project, which has officially endorsed McConnell’s GOP primary opponent, Matt Bevin, went a step further in its ad, calling on conservatives to “dump” McConnell. The group spent just more than $27,000 on its statewide ad, according to Federal Election Commission filings. Full story

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