Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 11, 2016

December 4, 2013

Republican Imitates Van Damme Truck Trick in New Ad

Talk about a wedge issue. Trucking company owner Mike Collins, one of six Republicans vying for Georgia’s open 10th District, has gone where no other House candidate has gone before by attempting to perform Jean-Claude Van Damme’s epic split between two Volvo trucks.

In a Web-only spot released Wednesday, Collins tries the stunt between two semi-trailer trucks to highlight the dangers of Obamacare.

“Starting a trucking business, I’ve had my ups and downs, my fair share of bumpy roads and heavy winds,” says Collins. “That’s what’s made me what I am today. Now I stand here before you, what you see is a small businessman confronted with Obamacare. A disastrous government plan that defies the laws of the market and a mindset that government knows better. “

http://youtu.be/_rzKp6gYpSU

Full story

Internal Poll: Former Miss America Trails Freshman Republican in Illinois

Freshman Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., holds a large lead over his GOP primary opponent, former Miss America Erika Harold, according to a poll obtained exclusively by CQ Roll Call.

Davis leads Harold by a massive 48 points in the poll of likely GOP primary voters commissioned by his campaign and conducted by the GOP survey firm Public Opinion Strategies. Twenty percent of respondents in the poll said they were undecided.

The survey showed Davis with 63 percent and Harold with 15 percent.

Full story

December 3, 2013

House Democrats Shift to Back Bentivolio Challenger in Michigan

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Tuesday swiftly moved behind former State Department adviser Bobby McKenzie’s bid to oust embattled Rep. Kerry Bentivolio — hours after the party’s top recruitment prospect declined to challenge the Michigan Republican.

McKenzie is seeking the Democratic nomination in the 11th District. Bentivolio is also contending with a primary challenge from attorney David Trott.

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Second Republican Calls Dibs on McKeon Seat if He Retires

Republicans speculate McKeon will retire from Congress, but his spokeswoman said he has not made a decision yet. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Sen. Steve Knight told the local press Tuesday that he will run for the 25th District if current Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., retires.

Knight marks the second Republican to stake his claim on the district. Former state Sen. Tony Strickland filed federal paperwork over the weekend to run in the district, but the GOP hopeful said through an aide he will only follow through with the bid if McKeon retires.

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Democrats Lose Top Recruit to Challenge Bentivolio (Updated)

Democrats lost their top recruit to challenge Bentivolio. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:01 p.m. | Interim Wayne State University Law School Dean Jocelyn Benson will not run for Congress, according to a Capitol Hill source.

This fall, Benson expressed interest in running for the Democratic nomination to take on Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich., in the 11th District. Top House Democrats had recruited her to run, and she attended a caucus meeting in mid-October amid the government shutdown. Full story

Scott Brown to Headline New Hampshire GOP Event

Brown is considering a run for Senate in New Hampshire. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott P. Brown will headline the New Hampshire GOP’s holiday party later this month, fueling more speculation about his political aspirations in the Granite State.

The Tuesday announcement from the state party comes as Brown gives serious consideration to challenging Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., after losing his Senate seat in the neighboring Bay State just one year ago.

Brown, who recently donated $10,000 to the state party, will speak at the Dec. 19 event. Tickets to the event cost $50.

“Senator Brown is an outstanding leader and a strong voice for fiscally responsible policies,” New Hampshire GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Horn said in a statement. “He has been a tremendous supporter of our party and we are grateful that he continues to help us raise the resources we need to win in 2014.” Full story

2014’s First Filing Deadline Has Come and Gone

Several Republicans have filed paperwork to challenge Foster. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The first 2014 candidate filing deadline passed on Monday, solidifying a number of competitive primaries in the Land of Lincoln.

Two of the most competitive seats in Illinois, the 11th and 12th Districts, will host crowded primaries — provided the contenders survive petition challenges.

Full story

December 2, 2013

Elizabeth Warren to Campaign in Massachusetts Special Election

Warren will campaign for a special election candidate this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., will boost state Sen. Katherine Clark’s special election bid next week with a campaign event in the 5th District.

On Wednesday afternoon, Warren will join Clark at Framingham State University for a “GOTV Kickoff Counting Down to Election Day,” according to the Democrat’s campaign.

Full story

Chamber Touts McConnell’s Coal Efforts in TV Ad

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is getting a little help from his friends on the airwaves as he fends off challenges to his re-election next year.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced it will launch a TV ad on Tuesday that touts the Kentucky Republican’s efforts against proposed regulations on carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. The ad, which will run statewide for 10 days, brands McConnell as “a fighter who never lets Kentucky down.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQDQnaiQpsY Full story

Another Potential Opponent Instead Backs Cassidy in Louisiana

A second Republican state legislator who previously considered a Senate bid of his own in Louisiana has instead endorsed the campaign of GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy.

Cassidy’s Senate campaign announced Monday that state Sen. Elbert Guillory had joined state Rep. Alan Seabaugh as the latest potential foe to get behind his challenge to Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu — a top target of national Republicans.

Guillory gained some national attention this spring after switching parties. He had joined the Democratic Party in 2007, but he switched back to the GOP in May and became Louisiana’s only black Republican state senator. Full story

Strickland Switches Races to McKeon’s District in California (Updated)

Republicans are speculating whether McKeon will seek another term. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:42 a.m. | Former state Sen. Tony Strickland, a Republican, filed federal paperwork this weekend to run in the same California district as longtime Republican Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon.

Strickland had initially launched a rematch bid in the neighboring 26th District, where he lost to freshman Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Calif., in 2012.

But Strickland had hinted that he was eyeing a run in the 25th District if McKeon retired — an event many California Republicans speculated is imminent. Now that Strickland has officially filed to run in McKeon’s district, additional questions remain whether McKeon will seek a 12th term.

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Maine Republican Won’t Seek Competitive House Contest

Former state Sen. Richard Rosen, a Republican, announced this weekend that he will not seek the GOP nod in Maine’s 2nd District, according to the Bangor Daily News.

Rosen, who now directs the state’s Office of Policy and Management, said in August that he would run for the seat. But in an email to the Bangor Daily News, Rosen said he decided against a congressional bid.

“The opportunity to represent my fellow Mainers in Washington D.C. would be a great and solemn privilege, but I have come to recognize that my preference is to serve the state in a way that allows me to remain close to the people of Maine,”  Rosen wrote.

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Former Senator to Challenge Shaheen in New Hampshire

Smith will attempt to return to the Senate from New Hampshire in 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A former senator said Sunday he will challenge Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., in 2014 — but it’s not the Republican some expected to hear from on the race.

Former Sen. Robert C. Smith, who served two terms before losing the GOP nomination in 2002, told WMUR that he has decided to run for his former seat. This is a change of heart from October, when Smith said he had decided against a bid.

Smith opted to run as most every other top Republican in the state, including former Reps. Charlie Bass and Jeb Bradley, decided against it.

For months, Republicans have been waiting for word from former Sen. Scott P. Brown, R-Mass., who has spent a considerable amount of time in the Granite State this year and is considering a challenge to Shaheen. He is still undecided, but Republicans in the state, including Sen. Kelly Ayotte, have said he would put the seat in play.

Full story

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

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