National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran released a memo Tuesday warning that his committee “is ready to capitalize” on President Barack Obama’s “aggressively liberal and partisan” second-term agenda
In his lengthiest statement since taking the helm of the NRSC, Moran cites Louisiana, North Carolina, West Virginia, South Dakota, Arkansas and Alaska as examples of states where the committee will actively highlight ties between the president and the Democratic incumbent or candidate.
The NRSC released the Kansas Republican’s memo ahead of Tuesday night’s State of the Union address.
“The reality is while President Obama and his team burns the political capital that he believes was earned last November, he is lighting an inferno under the electoral prospects for a number Democratic Senate candidates in 2014,” Moran wrote.
Meanwhile, Democratic opposition research firm American Bridge released a video Tuesday morning that features news clips covering Republican infighting. The clips are largely related to a new GOP effort to help nominate the strongest Senate candidates possible, which invited immediate criticism from conservative corners of the party.
Massachusetts Republican Gabriel Gomez, a private equity investor and former Navy SEAL and aircraft carrier pilot, pulled nomination papers Monday for a Senate bid in the special election, a Republican official confirmed to CQ Roll Call.
Gomez will have until Feb. 27 to collect 10,000 valid signatures of Republican and nonpartisan voters to get on the primary ballot — a daunting challenge for any candidate.
There is only one other GOP candidate vying for the open Senate seat who is seen as likely to get on the ballot: state Rep. Dan Winslow, who announced his campaign last week.
Two congressmen, Edward J. Markey and Stephen F. Lynch, are squaring off for the Democratic nomination for the seat formerly held by their Democratic colleague, Secretary of State John Kerry.
CQ Roll Call rates the Massachusetts Senate special election as Likely Democratic.
Wealthy businessman Martin Skelly on Monday dropped out of the special election for South Carolina’s 1st District and endorsed fellow Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert.
“Elizabeth Colbert Busch has demonstrated that she is an outstanding candidate,” Skelly said in a statement released by the Busch campaign. “She inspires both the party faithful and the political center that we need to generate consensus and end gridlock in Congress.”
Price will decide later this year about a Senate bid. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Price on Monday announced he would not make a decision on a Senate run until May, citing his responsibilities as vice chairman of the Budget Committee.
“The election of Georgia’s next senator is 21 months away and there is plenty of time for campaigning,” Price said in a statement. “To announce a decision prior to the completion of the work on the debt ceiling and critical fiscal policy in May 2013, would be distracting and unwise. At that time, Betty and I will then be prepared to come to a decision on my candidacy for the U.S. Senate as Georgia’s conservative voice.”
Businessman Mike Sherzan, a Democrat, announced Monday that he will run for Iowa’s 3rd District in what could be an open-seat race next year.
“I look forward to meeting with people all across Iowa, working together to begin to break through the old Washington ways, and instead solving problems to move Iowa forward – together,” Sherzan said in a statement.
The National Republican Congressional Committee on Monday announced its regional political team for the 2014 cycle.
The committee’s political director, Rob Simms, said in a statement, “Each member has unique experience working within the political realm, which will prove to be an invaluable tool as we head into the 2014 election cycle.”
Updated 11:08a.m. | Americans for Responsible Solutions, the gun control group backed by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, has released a new television advertisement advocating for background checks.
“Take it from me, Congress must act,” Giffords says in the spot. “Let’s get this done now.”
The spot will air in the home districts of congressional leaders in the following markets: Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Calif., Cincinnati, Ohio, Louisville, Ky, and Las Vegas, Nev., and will air locally on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC.
Local Republican officials nominated Saturday 32-year-old state Rep. Jason Smith for the open seat in Missouri’s 8th District.
“Jason is a hard worker, good conservative,” Missouri GOP strategist James Harris said. “He fits the district very well. And he’s very knowledgeable about [agricultural] issues.”
Given the very heavy Republican bent of the district, Smith is all but certain to become the newest Show-Me State House member after the June 4 special election. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., resigned from Congress last month, prompting a special election to succeed her.
The 8th District, which stretches over a vast swath of the southeastern part of the state, including the Bootheel, is strongly Republican turf. In 2012, voters there only gave Barack Obama about 32 percent of the vote.
Schwartz had previously indicated some interest in challenging GOP Gov. Tom Corbett in 2014. She would enter the race as a top contender, although other well-known state Democrats are also openly considering a bid.
Her chief of staff, Rachel Magnuson, confirmed the congresswoman’s interest in the race to CQ Roll Call.
“It’s under deliberation of course, and it’s something that I had been looking at before Tom Harkin announced his retirement and now that that has happened, of course it accelerated the decision making process,” King said as he was leaving a Heritage Foundation-sponsored retreat for conservative Republicans in Baltimore.
“I don’t want to step into this thing and make an announcement in the face of the issue that Karl Rove has raised,” he continued. “We’ve got to decide first who’s going to nominate people for public office in America: Somebody outside the state with a big checkbook, or the people of Iowa.”
LEESBURG, Va. — At a retreat here that has been notable for the improbable exuberance of an energized House Democratic Caucus, President Bill Clinton offered doubt.
Drawing on lessons from his own presidency, Clinton said 2014 poses a more difficult challenge than 2012 and urged lawmakers to tread carefully on the issues of health care, gun control and the economy.
“I can’t tell you how many nights — countless nights in the White House. Every single night before I went to bed for months and months and months after the 1994 election, I thought about the people who were defeated because they voted for the economic plan, I thought about the people who were defeated because they voted for the assault weapons ban. I knew exactly what had happened. And I thought a lot about those who survived and why they did,” Clinton told lawmakers, referring to the 1994 midterm elections that were a GOP landslide.
“I think it’s important to take some action now that it is possible on the issue of gun violence, but it’s important to do it right,” he added. Full story
Democratic state Rep. Carl Sciortino today announced a bid for Massachusetts’ 5th District seat.
“I am really proud of the progressive leadership that Ed Markey has brought to our district, and I’m looking forward to continuing that leadership in Washington for communities here,” Sciortino said in a telephone interview with CQ Roll Call.
Rep. Edward J. Markey currently serves the safely Democratic 5th District, which includes suburbs to the north and west of Boston. Markey is the frontrunner in the Senate special election.
Sciortino cited “equality, reproductive health and the future of our environment” as issues that he is focused on and would emphasize if he gets to Capitol Hill.
Sciortino first ran for state representative in 2004 at age 25. The race pivoted on same-sex marriage, which the openly gay Sciortino supports. He faced an incumbent who opposed it. After a hard-fought race, Sciortino won the primary by 93 votes. He took office in 2005 and has been re-elected ever since.
Updated 2:30 p.m. | LEESBURG, Va. — President Barack Obama has agreed to do more than just raise money for House Democrats’ effort to win back the majority in 2014: He is also going to help with candidate recruitment.
Obama will headline eight fundraising events in 2013 for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and more fundraisers are planned for 2014. But Obama’s agreement to help DCCC Chairman Steve Israel of New York make the sell to would-be candidates in targeted districts is also significant.
“It’s transformational,” Israel said in an interview, adding that House Democrats are “firing on all cylinders like I’ve never seen before.”
The president’s efforts to assist House Democrats politically are more than Israel initially even asked for.
Obama initially reached out to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Israel just after leaving the stage where he delivered his victory speech in Chicago on election night. Four years into his presidency, and after keeping the DCCC practically at arm’s length as he focused on his own re-election in the 2012 cycle, he was finally turning his gaze toward winning back the House. Full story
With Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin retiring, poll respondents were read a list of possible candidates and asked whether each would be appealing. Fifty-six percent said Vilsack would be an appealing candidate, and 36 percent said the same of Braley, who represents a northeastern Iowa district. Rep. Tom Latham received the best score among the Republicans, with 40 percent viewing him as an appealing candidate. Full story