Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 31, 2015

August 7, 2013

Rand Paul Backs RNC on Primary Debates

Paul has openly acknowledged his interest in running for president. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said he supports a move by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus to take more control of GOP presidential primary debates.

“Should we be scheduling debates and allowing people who used to, and still do, have contact with the active Democrat party? Should we be subjecting ourselves to that or should we try to have more neutral or objective type of moderators?” Paul said in a radio interview Wednesday morning, referring to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos’ past work as a top adviser to President Bill Clinton.

On Tuesday, Priebus sent letters to the heads of NBC Entertainment and CNN Worldwide calling on the executives to scrap planned features on former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton — or else they might be barred from holding RNC-sanctioned debates in 2016. Full story

Paul Ryan Endorses in Special Election

Ryan has picked sides in a special election in Alabama. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., endorsed GOP operative Wells Griffith in the upcoming special election for Alabama’s 1st District, according to AL.com.

“I’ve known Wells Griffith for a long time and consider him a true friend,” the former vice presidential nominee told the paper. “Wells is committed to moving our country and our party forward. His dedication to advancing conservative principles is admirable and he will be a strong conservative voice for South Alabama.” Full story

Club for Growth Backs Mark Pryor Challenger #ARSEN

Updated 11:55 a.m. |The Club for Growth’s political action committee formally endorsed Republican Rep. Tom Cotton on Wednesday, a day after the freshman announced a challenge to Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor in Arkansas.

The group is set to launch a six-figure TV ad buy against Pryor on Thursday, tying the incumbent to President Barack Obama. The ads will run on broadcast and cable stations, and it’s just the latest media campaign targeting one of the most vulnerable incumbents of the cycle.

Tom Cotton is a taxpayer hero and a fighter against the Obama agenda,” Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said in a statement.

Full story

Louisiana Congressman to Endorse Candidate for Alexander’s Seat #LA05

Fewer than 24 hours after Republican Rep. Rodney Alexander announced his retirement, state Sen. Neil Riser is set to pick up an endorsement from Rep. John Fleming, R-La.

“I’m going to support him,” Fleming told CQ Roll Call. “He’s got a strong conservative voting record.” Full story

Poll: Cory Booker Posts Massive Lead in Final Week of Primary #NJSEN

Newark Mayor Cory Booker likely can’t be caught by his Democratic primary opponents in the final week of the New Jersey Senate special election.

According to a poll released Wednesday from the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, Booker led the three other candidates with 54 percent among likely Democratic primary voters. Of the other three candidates, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. took 17 percent, Rep. Rush D. Holt took 15 percent, and state Speaker Sheila Oliver took 5 percent. Full story

August 6, 2013

Rodney Alexander to Retire From Congress (Updated)

Alexander will be walking out the doors of Congress after this term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:49 p.m. | Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La., will not seek a seventh term, according to an interview he gave The Monroe News-Star on Tuesday.

“I’ve represented the best people in the world; it’s been a privilege and I’ve enjoyed it,” Alexander told the paper. “But I never wanted to be in Washington all my life.” Full story

Cory Booker Dominates Fundraising Again #NJSEN

Booker continues to raise big money for his Senate bid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Newark Mayor Cory Booker dominated his New Jersey Senate special-election foes in fundraising during the first three weeks of July, pre-primary reports filed with the Federal Election Commission showed.

Booker raised $2.1 million from July 1 to 24 — six times more than his closest competitor in the Aug. 13 race for the Democratic nomination.

Booker reported having more than $4 million in cash on hand by the end of the pre-primary period. Reports were due to the FEC on Aug. 1. Full story

Ex-Gitmo Commander to Challenge House Republican

Retired Army Maj. Gen Jerry Cannon officially announced on Tuesday that he will challenge Republican Rep. Dan Benishek in Michigan’s 1st District.

“Throughout my military and law enforcement careers I have lived the values of sacrifice and service everyday. People have counted on me to step up, serve our community and protect our way of life in northern Michigan. I’m ready to answer that call again,” Cannnon said in a news release.

CQ Roll Call previously reported that a Cannon announcement was imminent. Full story

Ex-Bush Aide Elise Stefanik Will Challenge Bill Owens #NY21

Former Bush administration aide Elise Stefanik will announce her bid to challenge Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., on Tuesday, kicking off her quest for one of the GOP’s most elusive House seats in the Empire State.

Stefanik, who ran debate preparations for Rep. Paul D. Ryan during the 2012 campaign, recently returned to upstate New York to work on her family’s plywood business. She introduced her candidacy via an online video shared with CQ Roll Call.

“Growing up in a small business family, I learned the values of hard work and humility,” Stefanik, 29, says in the spot. “I’ve seen firsthand how insiders in Washington have forgotten to fight for average small businesses like ours on Main Street. I want to change that. ”

Full story

EMILY’s List Backs Six House Candidates

EMILY's List has fully backed Latham's challenger. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

EMILY’s List announced on Tuesday that it would fully endorse six challengers seeking House seats in 2014.

The organization, which backs female Democratic candidates who back abortion rights, will throw its full support behind the following half-dozen candidates:

Full story

August 5, 2013

House Republicans Target Nolan With Small TV Buy #MN08

Nolan is the likely target of a new TV buy. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee has made a small television buy likely intended to target Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn.

The $24,800 worth of airtime in the Duluth, Minn., market is for a spot slated to run Aug. 6-12, confirmed two media-buying sources not associated with the NRCC to CQ Roll Call.

Full story

Lindsey Graham’s Primary Strength in Numbers

Graham got a new challenger on his right this weekend. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It was inevitable that the field of primary challengers to Lindsey Graham would grow, but the sheer number of ambitious Republicans seeking to oust the South Carolina senator may end up being the undoing of them all.

With a new opponent entering the race over the weekend and another poised to join soon, the question is whether enough variables could fall into place to cause a different result this time.

It’s possible, according to several South Carolina GOP operatives who spoke with CQ Roll Call in recent days. But it would take an extraordinarily large amount of money, extensive support from outside groups and an unlikely coalescing of the anti-Graham vote. A top challenger would need all of those things, plus cash to spare for a runoff. Full story

Yet Another Democrat Declines Montana Senate Bid #MTSEN

Another Montana Democrat is declining to run for the state’s open Senate seat, which remains one of the party’s most vulnerable in the country.

On Monday, Denise Juneau, the state superintendent of public instruction, announced on Facebook that she was taking her name out of the running for the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Max Baucus.

“After much deliberation, I have decided not to seek the U.S. House or Senate seats in 2014,” Juneau said. “I sincerely appreciate the outpouring of support and encouragement I have received from people all across Montana and the country. It has been very humbling to be considered for such a leadership role representing our great state; however, my decision not to run for Congress is the right one for me at this time.” Full story

Senate Democrats to Highlight GOP Primaries in Online Campaign

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is launching an online ad campaign on Monday to run during August recess that highlights competitive Republican primaries.

Called the “GOP Tea Party Primary-Palooza,” the significant media buy will include web video ads, online ads, Facebook and Twitter ads, and “news alerts” to highlight the latest developments, according to a release obtained by CQ Roll Call.

“We are seven months into the cycle, and each week a new GOP primary or Senate candidate seems to emerge, further complicating their path to the majority,” DSCC spokesman Justin Barasky said in a statement. Full story

By Kyle Trygstad Posted at 10:42 a.m.
Ads, DSCC, Senate 2014

August 2, 2013

Democratic Polls Show Tight Race for McConnell #KYSEN

McConnell sent one of his top aides to his campaign this week. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two Democratic polls released in the past two days showed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell virtually tied in his re-election race in the Bluegrass State.

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who formally launched her challenge to the Republican this week, led 44 percent to 42 percent in a survey conducted by her pollster, Mark Mellman. The poll of 750 likely voters was taken July 20-24.

The Democrat’s 2-point lead was within the poll’s 3.6-point margin of error, but the results indicate at this early point that McConnell has a race on his hands in this Republican-leaning state. Full story

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