Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 31, 2014

November 25, 2012

West Virginia: Capito Running for Senate

West Virginia: Capito Running for Senate

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito plans to run for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia will announce a bid for the Senate on Monday, taking aim at Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller, Roll Call has confirmed.

Rockefeller, 75, and a West Virginia institution first elected to the Senate in 1984, is considered a top potential Senate retirement.

Full story

November 21, 2012

Jackson Resigns From Congress

Jackson Resigns From Congress

Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. tendered his resignation from Congress Wednesday afternoon. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:18 p.m. | Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. submitted his letter of resignation from the House on Wednesday, a spokesman for Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, confirmed.

In the letter to Boehner, the Illinois Democrat said that his resignation would be effective as of Wednesday, citing ongoing health issues.

“The constituents of the Second District deserve a full-time legislator in Washington, something I cannot be for the foreseeable future. My health issues and treatment regimen have become incompatible with service in the House of Representatives,” Jackson wrote.

Jackson  also acknowledged the ongoing federal probe into his conduct, without getting into details of legal matters. Full story

November 20, 2012

Rumors Swirl About Jesse L. Jackson Jr. Announcement

For a few minutes Tuesday night, it looked as if Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. might make his first substantive comments since reports of a federal investigation of the Illinois Democrat over misuse of campaign funds.

A report by the Fox affiliate in Chicago said Jackson planned to “break his silence” on a conference call with staff Wednesday morning. According to the TV station, sources said there would also be an email from the Jackson camp about future plans.

Jackson’s office quickly sought to dismiss the report, but the CBS station in the Windy City confirmed the call had been scheduled only to be quickly scrapped.

Full story

Virginia: Warner Won’t Run for Governor

Virginia: Warner Wont Run for Governor

Warner barnstormed Virginia on behalf of President Barack Obama and Sen.-elect Tim Kaine in the runup to Election Day. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., announced Tuesday that he will not seek a return to the governorship next year, setting up a likely bid for re-election in 2014.

“Over the last year, a lot of Virginians – Democrats, Republicans, and independents – have approached me and asked that I consider running for Governor a second time,” Warner said in a statement. “I loved being governor, but I have a different job now — and it’s here in the United States Senate.”

It’s well-known that Warner enjoyed his time as governor from 2002 to 2006, and rumors of a potential return to Richmond have wafted through the Old Dominion political scene for the past year. As the most popular politician in the state, Warner would have been the heavy favorite in the gubernatorial race, and he is currently favored to win his first bid for re-election to the Senate. Full story

McIntyre Campaign Slams Rouzer for Recount Expense

McIntyre Campaign Slams Rouzer for Recount Expense

The campaign of McIntyre, above, said Rouzer's request for a recount is an unnecessary cost to taxpayers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The campaign of Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., begrudgingly accepted a recount of the vote in the 7th Congressional District but slammed Republican David Rouzer for requesting one. McIntyre currently leads the state senator by 655 votes.

McIntyre campaign manager Lachlan McIntosh said Rouzer’s request is hypocritical because he supports fiscal responsibility and is “asking taxpayers to pay for his pursuit of his own personal political ambition.”

“While we respect the legal right for a recount, it is unfortunate that taxpayer dollars, time, and resources will be spent on a process that has been closely monitored,”  McIntosh said in a statement. ”All twelve county boards of elections in the 7th District have carefully reviewed the votes and the results have already shown Mike McIntyre to be the winner.” Full story

North Carolina: Rouzer Calls for Recount in Race Against McIntyre

North Carolina: Rouzer Calls for Recount in Race Against McIntyre

Rouzer is requesting a recount in the only House race still outstanding from the Nov. 6 elections. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican state Sen. David Rouzer, who trails North Carolina Rep. Mike McIntyre by 655 votes, is requesting a recount in the last House race yet to be decided after the Nov. 6 elections.

“Considering this is the closest Congressional race in the country and in light of the irregularity previously found in Bladen County, which significantly reduced the vote margin at that time, I have decided to request a mandatory recount of the votes cast in the 7th Congressional District as allowed by law,” Rouzer said in a statement. “In a race this close, accidental human error could easily change the outcome. It is important to ensure that every legal vote cast is properly and accurately counted.”

McIntyre, a Blue Dog Democrat, declared victory on Nov. 16 after a recanvassing effort gave him the 655-vote lead. Rouzer faced a noon deadline on Tuesday to ask for a recount. Full story

Florida: West Concedes to Murphy

Florida: West Concedes to Murphy

West will not be returning to the 113th Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Florida Republican Rep. Allen B. West, one of the highest-profile and most-controversial members of the 2010 freshman class, conceded to Democrat Patrick Murphy after a nasty, brutish and long campaign.

“While many questions remain unanswered, today I am announcing that I will take no further action to contest the outcome of this election,” West said in a statement Tuesday. “While a contest of the election results might have changed the vote totals, we do not have evidence that the outcome would change.”

He added: “I want to congratulate my opponent, Patrick Murphy, as the new Congressman from the 18th Congressional District. I pray he will serve his constituents with honor and integrity, and put the interests of our nation before his own.”

Election Day results left West trailing Murphy by almost 2,000 votes but he pressed for retabulation of early votes in St. Lucie County, one of three in the newly configured 18th District. After a judge declined to order the retabulation — in effect, a recount — the county canvassing board decided to go ahead with the procedure. That was completed Sunday and ended up increasing Murphy’s margin of victory, giving West few avenues to continue to contest the election’s results. Full story

November 18, 2012

Recount Complete, Patrick Murphy’s Lead Over Allen West Increases

After a long-awaited recount of early voting ballots in St. Lucie County was completed Sunday, businessman Patrick Murphy, a Democrat, increased his lead over Republican Rep. Allen B. West and re-declared victory.

West has not conceded the race, which remains uncalled by The Associated Press. But his path to the 113th Congress now looks significantly narrower.

“We will review the results of today’s recount and the other available data to determine how to proceed,” he said in a statement.

“I have been humbled by the support we have received and the hard work of so many to ensure the integrity of this process. We look forward to the report which will be issued by the secretary of State’s auditors this coming week which we hope will shed light on some of the outstanding issues,” West added.

In still-unofficial results — the state of Florida is expected to certify final results soon — Murphy led West by more than 2,000 votes in their contest in the 18th District. St. Lucie County, the site of much of the post-Election Day wrangling, recounted all the early vote ballots over the weekend, which increased Murphy’s margin. St. Lucie County is one of three in the newly configured district.

“Patrick Murphy expanded his lead to over 2,100 votes after Allen West’s latest recount, and now the congressman needs to come to grips with the reality that he lost,” Murphy campaign manager Anthony Kusich said in a statement.

The 18th District race was one of the nastiest and hardest-fought congressional elections of the 2012 cycle.

November 17, 2012

Arizona: Barber Defeats McSally

Democratic Rep. Ron Barber has defeated Republican Martha McSally in the over-time ballot counting for Arizona’s 2nd District, according to The Associated Press.

She is set to hold a news conference Saturday in Tucson.

Barber led McSally by 1,400 votes at the time The Associated Press called the race.

The close margin surprised many in Arizona politics. National Republicans have been quick to credit McSally for making the race so competitive. Still, it was just not enough.

Redistricting improved the district slightly for Democrats but it will likely be a competitive seat for the lifetime of the state’s new congressional map.

Allen West Gets Requested Recount in Post-Election Day Fight

Florida Republican Rep. Allen B. West, trailing his Democratic opponent by about 1,900 votes, won a victory Friday evening when the St. Lucie County Canvassing Board agreed to retabulate all the early votes.

Earlier Friday a judge had declined to force the canvassing board to do just that. Retabulation is a legal term that means the board will, essentially, recount all the early votes, running them through the electronic vote reader again.

The board began the effort this morning at 9 a.m. and is expected to finish today. The county has to issue a final certification of its winners to the state tomorrow.

Earlier in this post-Election Day saga, the county recounted only some of the early votes after it said it would recount all of them. The St. Lucie County supervisor of elections is a Democrat and the West campaign alleged impropriety.

St. Lucie county is one of three in the newly configured 18th District, where West faced off with businessman Patrick Murphy, a democrat. It was one of the nastiest, most bitter, and hard fought congressional races in the country. As the vote count stands now, West trails just outside the 0.5 percent margin that would trigger an automatic recount across the whole district. But there’s the possibility that, if this retabulation narrows the vote margin, a recount could be triggered.

Murphy has declared victory and has been attending freshman orientation on Capitol Hill. The Associated Press has not yet called the race.

Murphy’s team has asked a court to issue an injunction, stopping the retabulation. It’s unclear if that effort will succeed, given that it’s a Saturday.

“The election was conducted the first time properly and legally,” said Murphy advisor Eric Johnson. “Patrick Murphy won outside the percentage for an automatic recount. The canvassing baord does not have the legal authority to operate a recount. They’re operating outside the law.”

Johnson said no matter how this turns out, Murphy is and will be the winner.

West was pleased with the Board’s decision.

“We are pleased the Canvassing Board has done the right thing for the voters of St Lucie County by agreeing to a retabulation of early votes,” Allen West said in a statement. “All we have been fighting for since the very beginning is to ensure the citizens of this county have their votes accurately and fairly counted.”

November 16, 2012

Arizona: Barber Postured to Win Re-Election in 2nd District

Arizona: Barber Postured to Win Re Election in 2nd District

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ballot returns over the past week indicate that Democratic Rep. Ron Barber is on the verge of defeating Republican Martha McSally in Arizona’s 2nd District.

Democrats have been increasingly bullish on the numbers they are seeing for Barber, not just because his margin has increased to 923 votes, but because of the geography of the returns. The outstanding ballots to be counted are in Pima County, home to Tucson, which is Barber’s stronghold.

Even Republicans are beginning to that concede the outlook is grim. There is a sense in Arizona circles that The Associated Press is especially cautious to call this race, which explains why it is one of three races still outstanding after Election Day. The counting is expected to continue into next week. Full story

Priebus Running for Another Term as RNC Chair

Priebus Running for Another Term as RNC Chair

Priebus announced Friday that he is seeking a second term as chairman of the Republican National Committee. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Reince Priebus is running for a second two-year term as chairman of the Republican National Committee, he announced in a letter to RNC members.

Priebus, who in the letter claimed the backing of 130 committee members, was credited throughout the past election cycle with rehabilitating the RNC’s reputation among the major donor set and bringing sound management to an organization that was saddled with debt. The RNC had more than $20 million in debt when he took over in early 2011 and was deemed to have been mismanaged by Priebus’ predecessor, Michael Steele. Many Republicans have encouraged him to run for re-election.

But Priebus’ leadership has been questioned by some conservative and GOP activists since the Nov. 6 elections, which saw President Barack Obama handily defeat Mitt Romney for re-election and the Republicans lose two Senate seats despite a favorable playing field. Receiving particular focus were the perceived failings of Romney’s voter turnout operation, jointly led by the RNC through its Victory program. Priebus touted the GOP ground game in his letter to committee members.

“Through all of our hard work and focus we changed course and got our committee back on sound financial footing, breaking fundraising records, and restoring donor trust,” Priebus wrote in the letter, which was obtained by Roll Call. “We deployed a Republican ground game that was the strongest in history.  We harnessed new technology and built upon our outreach efforts, reaching more voters and spreading the Republican message. However, there is still much more that needs to be done to strengthen and grow our Party, and to overcome new challenges we now face.”

Priebus, the Wisconsin GOP chairman in the 2010 cycle, said he was headed out of town Friday for a vacation with his family and planned to reach out to those RNC members he hasn’t spoken with after he returns.

By David M. Drucker Posted at 5:52 p.m.
Republicans, RNC

Judge Rules Against West’s Recount Request

Judge Rules Against Wests Recount Request

West, right, had his recount request denied by a St. Lucie County judge Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A St. Lucie County Judge ruled against Rep. Allen B. West, R-Fla., Friday, denying his request to force the county to recount all of the early ballots.

Earlier, the county recounted only some of the early votes after it said it would recount all of them. The St. Lucie County supervisor of elections is a Democrat and the West campaign alleges impropriety.

But the judge declined to force a recount of all early votes in St. Lucie County, one of three counties that are in the 18th District.

West trails Democrat Patrick Murphy by more than 1,900 votes, according to The Associated Press. Murphy has declared victory and attended freshman orientation on Capitol Hill this week.

Full story

California: Bilbray Concedes to Peters

California: Bilbray Concedes to Peters

Democrat Scott Peters will be the next congressman from California's 52nd District after he defeated an incumbent. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Brian P. Bilbray, R-Calif., has conceded his re-election bid in the 52nd District to Democrat Scott Peters.

Bilbray called Peters Friday to deliver the news, a spokesman said, and released a statement to the press.

Peters, a San Diego port commissioner, led Bilbray by 2,660 votes when counting concluded on Thursday, according to the California secretary of state’s office. His lead grew in the week and a half since Election Day, when the two were separated by fewer than 1,000 votes. Full story

NRCC Took Out $12 Million Loan in October

House Republicans borrowed $12 million in the waning weeks before Election Day, according to a source with knowledge of the transaction.

The National Republican Congressional Committee secured the loan in late October to help fund the final push of TV ads and boost its candidates to victory.

It’s common for the campaign committees to go into debt in a campaign year. But the NRCC’s loan is significantly smaller than the $17 million the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee borrowed in October, according to reports.

There’s some risk to taking out large sums because the committees must pay them back during the next cycle. It often takes parties months, sometimes even more than a year, to get rid of this debt. Full story

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