Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 5, 2016

January 19, 2014

Lankford Seeks Senate as Cole Declines in Oklahoma

Lankford is reportedly running for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 9:57 p.m. | Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., intends to run for GOP Sen. Tom Coburn’s seat and could make a formal announcement as early as Monday, according to NewsOK.

Meanwhile, six-term Republican Rep. Tom Cole announced Sunday that he would pass on running for the seat.

“I am very flattered to be among those mentioned, as any Oklahoma Republican would be honored to succeed someone as distinguished as Tom Coburn,” Cole said in a news release. “After considerable thought, however, I have decided not to run for the U.S. Senate in 2014.”

Cole cited his seniority, role as a Republican deputy whip and committee assignments as his reasons for not running. These roles “make me much more valuable to Oklahoma and the Fourth District in the House than I could be as a freshman U.S. Senator,” he said.

Coburn, who is battling cancer, announced last week that he will exit the Senate two years before the end of his second term. The special election will take place concurrent with the 2014 midterm elections, with a primary on June 24.

Full story

January 18, 2014

GOP Frets About Year-End Fundraising Thanks to Shutdown

A financially damaging mix of a government shutdown and the holiday shopping season has prompted top Republican operatives to temper expectations for fourth-quarter fundraising reports, which are due at the end of the month.

The final three months of the year are always a notoriously difficult time for members to raise money, as donor interest and candidate call time decline during the holidays. But the 16-day government shutdown in October further poisoned the financial well, especially for House Republicans, who polls show took most of the blame for the standoff.

As year-end fundraising reports trickle in over the next few weeks, GOP campaign operatives and consultants are setting a low bar for the first financial numbers candidates will announce in the election year. They argue that the president’s HealthCare.gov website woes did not serve as a fundraising specter to boost their bottom line. Full story

January 17, 2014

DCCC Slams Jolly’s Lobbyist Past in Major TV Buy

Sink is the Democratic nominee in the competitive special election in Florida. (Tim Boyles/Getty Images File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will soon begin a six-figure television advertising campaign in Florida’s 13th District, its first foray onto the airwaves in the competitive special election.

The House Democrats’ political arm has reserved “more than $200,000″ in advertising between Jan. 21-27, according to a Democratic official. Full story

Special Election Dates Set to Replace Coburn

Coburn is resigning at the end of 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The special election to replace Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., will take place concurrent with the regularly scheduled 2014 primary and general elections, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin announced Friday.

The primary will be held June 24, a runoff would be Aug. 26, and the general will be Nov. 4. The timeline ensures that the Sooner State will not have to spend extra funds to choose the two-term senator’s replacement.

Coburn announced late Thursday night that he will resign at the end of the 113th Congress. His exit will likely set off a crowded and competitive primary for the seat in this solidly Republican state.

Full story

January 16, 2014

NRCC Spends Almost $100,000 in Florida Special Election

The National Republican Congressional Committee spent $93,500 this week against Democrat Alex Sink in Florida’s 13th District special election, according to a Federal Election Commission report filed Thursday.

According to an NRCC source, at least part of that money will go toward this Web ad:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsRNZVqzAw8

This is the first expenditure the NRCC has placed in the race this year. The committee is backing the newly minted GOP nominee, David Jolly, in this race.

Full story

Pro-McConnell Super PAC Slams Democrat on Coal

Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, a super PAC backing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has hit the radio airwaves with an ad that slams his Democratic rival over the issue of coal.

The minute-long ad rails against Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes on the issue of coal.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiMVX3ZBC0Y

Full story

Gillespie Announces Virginia Senate Campaign

Gillespie is running for Senate in Virginia. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ed Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, announced Thursday that he will challenge Democratic Sen. Mark Warner.

Despite Warner’s inherent advantages in this swing state, Gillespie’s entrance gives Republicans a competent opponent who will be able to raise money and make the race at least one to keep an eye on this year. In a video statement, Gillespie wasted no time in criticizing the incumbent over his fiscal record in the Senate and support for Obamacare. Full story

McKeon Formally Announces Retirement

McKeon will retire at the end of this Congress. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., announced on Thursday that he will not seek a 12th term in California’s 25th District.

“For me, it’s time to walk away,” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said at a hearing Thursday morning.

McKeon’s announcement is not a surprise. Political operatives from both parties in the Golden State have long predicted that the would step aside at the end of the 113th Congress.

Full story

Shaheen Reports $1.1 Million Raised Last Quarter

Shaheen will seek re-election in 2014. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., raised $1.1 million in the final quarter of 2013 and will report $3.4 million in the bank to kick off her re-election year.

Full story

January 15, 2014

Republicans Sound Alarm for Outside Groups in Florida Special

Fewer than two hours after lobbyist David Jolly won the GOP nomination in Florida’s 13th District, word leaked that his campaign had bought a modest $50,000 in airtime for the special election.

But Jolly’s Democratic rival has already done the same — with an advertisement buy six times larger than his.

The lopsided spending illustrates the trajectory of the special election to replace the late Republican Rep. C.W. Bill Young.

The Democratic nominee, former Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, begins the general election with a massive financial advantage, boosted by cash-flush outside groups already behind her bid. Jolly must race to catch up after a competitive primary — and Republicans fear he won’t have much help from national conservative outside groups.

Full story

Democratic Congressman Endorses for Miller Seat

State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, a Democrat vying for California’s newly open 11th District, will announce Wednesday the endorsement of California Rep. Jared Huffman, according to a release provided first to CQ Roll Call.

“There are a lot of differences between Washington, D.C., and Sacramento, but one similarity is how partisan bickering, parochialism, and petty transactional politics persistently stand in the way of getting things done,” Huffman said in a forthcoming release. “I’m enthusiastically endorsing Mark DeSaulnier for Congress because having served with him for six years in the State Legislature, I know that he’s the type of leader who can help change the tone and productivity of Congress.

Full story

Republican Announces Bid for Gerlach Seat in Pennsylvania (Updated)

Updated 4:20 p.m. | Ryan Costello, chairman of the Chester County Board of Commissioners, announced Wednesday that he will seek the GOP nomination in Pennsylvania’s newly open 6th District.

Costello is the first Republican to announce a bid for the Keystone State seat, which is being vacated by GOP Rep. Jim Gerlach. The six-term congressman announced his retirement last week.

State Sen. John Rafferty is also eyeing a bid, Republican operatives say.

Full story

Paul Ryan Endorses Candidate in Competitive New York House Race

House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin has endorsed Republican Elise Stefanik’s bid to replace retiring Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., in 2014.

“My friend Elise Stefanik is running for Congress to fight for hardworking families in upstate New York. She’s got the values and the work ethic to get the job done,” Ryan said in a Wednesday release. “She’s part of a new generation of leaders who will bring fresh ideas to Washington, and she has my full support.”

Stefanik, 29, a former aide to President George W. Bush, announced her challenge to Owens in this upstate New York district over the summer. But Owens announced Tuesday that he would retire, paving the way for a much more competitive race and boosting Stefanik’s chances. Full story

Tidal Wave of Va. Democrats Eye Newly Open House Seat (Updated)

Moran is retiring. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:41 p.m. | Maybe Virginia Democrats should start figuring out who isn’t running for retiring Rep. James P. Moran’s seat?

Moran’s 12-term hold on the seat, located in the strong Democratic suburbs of Washington, D.C., has left a long line of ambitious pols poised to unload into the primary for Virginia’s 8th District. Full story

Club for Growth Makes Big Ad Buy to Boost Amash

The Club for Growth has sponsored a major television and radio ad buy to boost Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., who faces a primary challenge in the 3rd District.

In the television ad, released on Wednesday, the club hits Amash’s primary rival, former East Grand Rapids School Trustee Brian Ellis, for various votes he took in that role. The conservative group also seeks to tie Ellis to former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, in the spot.

The dual buy is a six-figure radio, broadcast and cable television ad buy, according to club spokesman Barney Keller.

Here’s the television spot:

Full story

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