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

June 13, 2013

Competitive House Race Surfaces in Maine | The Field #ME02

Democratic Rep. Michael H. Michaud’s Thursday announcement that he is exploring a run for governor in Maine could spark crowded primaries for his competitive 2nd District.

Michaud has won that district with comfortable margins for six terms, but his seat could be competitive if he launches a gubernatorial bid. President Barack Obama won it with 53 percent last year.

“This obviously becomes a nationally targeted race if Michaud runs for governor,” said Erik Potholm, a Republican consultant who has worked extensively in Maine politics. “For Republicans, it’s a tremendous opportunity to pick up a new seat, because the … rural areas [located in the district] do really well for Republicans.”

Local and national Republican operatives rattled off several potential GOP candidates who could run in the 2nd District. Full story

Mike Michaud Exploring Bid for Governor in Maine #MEGOV #ME02

Rep. Michael H. Michaud, D-Maine, announced Thursday that he is officially exploring a run for governor.

“During the last few months, I’ve been deeply honored by the countless Mainers across the state — Democrats, Republicans and independents alike — who have asked me to consider a run for governor,” Michaud said in a video on his campaign website. “I’ve listened and I heard their frustrations and concerns about the lack of real leadership in our state.”

Full story

June 12, 2013

Second Republican Announces Bid for Bachmann Seat #MN06

Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah announced on Wednesday that she is running for Minnesota’s 6th District seat.

Sivarajah is the second GOP candidate in the primary to replace GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann, who announced last month that she would not seek re-election.

Former state Rep. Tom Emmer, a Republican who lost a 2010 gubernatorial bid, announced his candidacy last week.

Full story

Isakson: ‘Perfect Storm’ Could Flip Senate Seat #GASEN

Isakson said a "perfect storm" could put the Georgia Senate seat in play. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., said the mixture of a trending-purple state and a bloody GOP primary could hinder the party’s ability next year to hold the Georgia Senate seat of his retiring colleague.

“It should be a Republican seat, but there’s a perfect storm that could happen that could make that challenging,” said Isakson when he was asked about the race Wednesday at the annual tax, budget and health care policy seminar hosted by BakerHostetler. Full story

Top GOP Recruit Won’t Challenge Rahall #WV03

Rahall is a top GOP target in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican state Sen. Bill Cole announced on a local radio show this week that he will not run against Rep. Nick J. Rahall II, D-W.Va., in the 3rd District.

“While I believe that now is the time for a new kind of leader to represent the 3rd District of West Virginia, I believe that I have an obligation to continue to serve those who put their trust in me by electing me to the state Senate,” Cole said later in a news release. “It is for that reason alone that I have decided not to run for a national office at this time.”

Cole’s decision is a blow for Republicans, who had been recruiting Cole since April. Rahall tops the National Republican Congressional Committee’s target list in 2014. Full story

Chamber Sitting Out Massachusetts Special #MASEN

While no national GOP-aligned outside groups have spent so far in the race, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has definitively decided it won’t expend any resources on the Massachusetts Senate special election.

“The Chamber has not engaged in the MA senate race and does not have any plans to do so,” Chamber spokeswoman Blair Latoff Holmes said in an email to CQ Roll Call. Full story

Senate Special Could Start Democratic Domino Effect | The Field #NJ06, #NJ12

Pallone will run in the special election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. and Rush D. Holt face tough odds in the Senate special election in New Jersey. A recent poll of the race to replace the late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., showed Newark Mayor Cory Booker leading his fellow Democrats by a wide margin.

But in the unlikely case that either Democratic House member wins, a crowded primary would follow in their House districts. Pallone and Holt have held these safe Democratic districts for much of the past two decades, so there is a long list of Democrats who have been waiting to run for these seats.

Democrats mentioned the following potential candidates who could run for Pallone’s seat in the 6th District: Full story

June 11, 2013

Kristi Noem Not Running for Senate #SDSEN

Noem announced Tuesday that she won't run for Senate. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans are now on track to avoid a costly, high-profile primary in the South Dakota Senate race next year.

Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., announced Tuesday she will seek re-election rather than take on former Gov. Mike Rounds in the primary for the open seat. Her move clears a major hurdle in the GOP’s path to picking up the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson.

“I am grateful to everyone who has encouraged me and pledged support for a potential campaign for the U.S. Senate,” Noem said in a statement. “However, after spending the weekend discussing our future with Bryon and our children, we decided that right now we are in the best position to serve South Dakota as a member of the U.S. House.”

(See also in Roll Call: Search For Anti-Rounds Candidate Continues In South Dakota) Full story

Georgia Race Attracts Fifth GOP Candidate #GA01

A fifth Republican entered Georgia’s 1st District primary on Monday night, making the race to replace Republican Rep. Jack Kingston one of the most crowded in the country.

State Rep. Jeff Chapman announced his bid on his personal Facebook page, a day after Republican Bob Johnson’s announcement that he will also seek the 1st District seat.

“Its [sic] official, late this afternoon I filed the necessary paperwork to run for the first Congressional District seat that is being vacated by Jack Kingston who is a candidate for the US Senate,” Chapman wrote in the Facebook post.

Full story

June 10, 2013

Bobby Schilling Eyes Rematch #IL17

Schilling is leaning towards running for his former House seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Ill., is eyeing a rematch with freshman Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos in Illinois’ 17th District, according to a local report.

Schilling, who lost to Bustos in 2012 by 6 points, told the Quad City Times that his race last cycle was “an impossible task” with President Barack Obama on the top of the ticket.

But in a midterm election year, where turnout favors the party not in the White House, Schilling said he is “leaning toward” a rematch.

Full story

Fourth Republican Enters Crowded Georgia Race #GA01

Kingston is running for Senate, prompting a crowded primary for his House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Another Republican entered Georgia’s already crowded 1st District race on Monday, making him the fourth GOP candidate in the open-seat race to replace GOP Rep. Jack Kingston.

Bob Johnson, a surgeon and former Army Ranger, announced on Monday that he is running.

“I pledge to you that I am not going to compromise my conservative Republican principles,” Johnson said in a news release. “I am not going to Washington to go along and get along. I am running for Congress to bring about real conservative change.”

Full story

Matt Whitaker Announces Senate Campaign Team #IASEN | Shop Talk

Republican Matt Whitaker has a full campaign team in place after officially launching his bid for the open Senate seat in Iowa last week.

The list, shared first with CQ Roll Call, includes a bevy of veteran national and Hawkeye State consultants and operatives to help the former U.S. attorney win what will be a competitive Republican nomination fight and capture a Democratic-held Senate seat.

His team includes: Full story

Alan Grayson Draws GOP Opponent #FL09

Rep. Alan Grayson, the liberal firebrand who won a comeback bid to Congress in 2012, officially has a Republican challenger in Florida’s 9th District.

Jorge Bonilla, a conservative blogger and Navy veteran, announced on Monday that he will challenge Grayson for the 9th District seat.

“The central question of the 2014 election is this,” Bonilla said in a video announcing his candidacy. “Are we the people still capable of self-rule? Or do we abandon the American revolution and concede that a small connected elite from Washington, D.C., and New York is better capable of running our lives than we are ourselves.”

http://youtu.be/EV3qM8istRs Full story

Poll: Booker Starts Special Election Way Ahead #NJSEN

A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday morning found Newark Mayor Cory Booker with a substantial lead over his Democratic primary opponents in the New Jersey Senate special election.

As the most well-known of three Democrats expected to qualify for the primary, Booker took 53 percent, Rep. Rush D. Holt took 10 percent and Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. received 9 percent. Twenty-three percent were undecided.

Booker’s name recognition and positive image — 57 percent view him favorably, 14 percent unfavorably — pushed him to the front of the pack at the starting gun of the two-month sprint to the nomination. Petitions to qualify for the primary ballots are due at 4 p.m. Monday. The primary is scheduled for Aug. 13, and the special election will take place Oct. 16. Full story

June 7, 2013

Democratic Ads Tie Gomez to National GOP #MASEN

In the party’s first major television foray into the competitive June 25 Massachusetts Senate special election, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Senate Majority PAC released ads Friday in an effort to define Gabriel Gomez as an ordinary Republican.

That’s the ultimate goal for the party in this Democratic-leaning state. And the two ads released Friday by the national Democratic groups specifically target seniors — potential high-propensity voters even in odd-timed elections. Neither ad mentions Rep. Edward J. Markey, the Democratic nominee, preferring instead to accuse Gomez of supporting cutting Medicare and raising the retirement age.

According to a Republican source tracking ad buys, the DSCC has purchased $751,000 in TV time through June 25 and Senate Majority PAC $448,000 through June 17. Full story

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