Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 9, 2015

August 9, 2013

Baucus Barbecue to Boost Local Democrats’ Fundraising #MTSEN

Baucus is raising money for local Democrats. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Retiring Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., will host his annual Sieben Ranch Barbecue and Hoedown on Saturday on his family ranch outside Helena, with proceeds going to the state Democratic Party.

The fundraiser marks the senator’s latest effort to help keep his seat in the Democratic column next year. With Baucus not seeking re-election and the party still searching for a candidate to replace him, the seat is one of Democrats’ most vulnerable of the midterm election cycle. Full story

Third Congressman Backs Republican in Louisiana Special Election #LA05

Scalise is taking sides in a special election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., endorsed GOP state Sen. Neil Riser in the special election race to replace Rep. Rodney Alexander.

“I served with Neil in the state legislature and have admired his strong leadership when it comes to defending Louisiana’s conservative values, protecting our 2nd Amendment rights, cutting wasteful spending and working to strengthen our economy,” Scalise said in a statement provided to CQ Roll Call from the Riser campaign on Friday. “I am confident Neil will bring those strong values and work ethic to Washington, and make an excellent Congressman for Louisiana’s Fifth District.” Full story

August 8, 2013

Ken Buck Back in Colorado #COSEN

After losing a Senate race in 2010, Buck is running again this cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After a close defeat in 2010, Republican Ken Buck announced on Thursday that he is running for Senate in Colorado again.

The Weld County district attorney, whose last bid included some highly publicized gaffes, becomes at least the fourth Republican to announce a challenge to Democratic Sen. Mark Udall.

In 2010, Buck lost to Michael Bennet, then an appointed senator and now the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. That race brought $16 million in independent expenditures, Political MoneyLine reported today.

However, at this point in the cycle, Colorado does not appear to be the same battleground that it was in 2010. It would be surprising if Buck were able to attract that kind of attention again, which could mean he’s on his own for fundraising. Full story

Internal Email Names 17 House GOP Targets for Recess

Israel is the chairman of the DCCC. (Bill Clark CQ/Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee plans to target 17 House Republicans with a grass-roots push over the August recess, according to an internal party email obtained by CQ Roll Call.

On Monday, a DCCC aide sent a message to an email list sponsored by Americans United for Change, a liberal organization, describing the committee’s plans for the month-long break and including the warning, “please do not share this list with press.”

“In the majority of these districts we have field staffers on the ground, coordinated through the respective state parties, to define and hold accountable vulnerable Republican incumbents, through earned media tactics, messaging amplification, and community outreach,” wrote Ryan Daniels, the deputy national press secretary and African-American media adviser.

The DCCC’s list includes some of this cycle’s most-often mentioned vulnerable Republicans, but there are some lesser-known targets as well: Full story

August 7, 2013

Candidates Line Up for New Special Election | The Field #LA05

Jindal will choose when to have a special election for Alexander's House seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

That was fast. Just hours after Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La., announced he would leave Congress this week, several local pols publicly indicated their interest in running for the 5th District.

CQ Roll Call broke the news Wednesday afternoon that Alexander will accept an appointment as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs in Gov. Bobby Jindal’s cabinet. Alexander’s resignation will be effective Sept. 26, per a news release from Jindal’s office.

Jindal will set the special-election date, according to a spokeswoman in the Louisiana secretary of state’s office. She added that the governor has complete discretion on the timing of a special election as long as the date allows for overseas military ballots to be distributed.

In the meantime, Republicans floated the following names for Alexander’s seat:

Full story

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

“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

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