Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 28, 2015

June 12, 2013

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

June 6, 2013

Democratic Super PAC Goes on TV for Markey #MASEN

Markey is getting help from national Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority PAC, a top Democratic super PAC, announced plans for a “major statewide buy” Thursday in the special election in Massachusetts.

“We will not stand idly by while Mitch McConnell and national Republicans try to use backdoor dollars to buy this race for [GOP nominee Gabriel] Gomez,” said Craig Varoga, senior strategist for Senate Majority PAC, in a release.

Full story

Endorsement Squabble Continues in California Race (Updated) #CA31

Updated June 7, 11:04 a.m. | The debacle over former Rep. Joe Baca’s announced endorsements continued Thursday, when four local leaders declined to support the Democrat’s candidacy for California’s 31st District anymore.

Baca touted these four local leaders on a lengthy endorsement sheet a few weeks back. But now they’re backing one of Baca’s Democratic challengers, lawyer Eloise Gomez Reyes, according to an endorsement announcement provided exclusively to CQ Roll Call by her campaign.

The defectors include former Baca staffer and community college trustee Jess Vizcaino, Inland Empire Utilities Agency Director Angel Santiago, and local businessmen Gary Liaou and Leno Moreno.

“I saw them on his list and I called them because they have endorsed me,” Reyes said in a Thursday phone interview. “And there’s no question that they have been supporters of Joe’s in the past, but they are supporting me. Many of us have supported Joe in the past, but it is time for something different, a fresh perspective in Washington.”

In an interview with CQ Roll Call, Baca called Reyes’ endorsement release an attempt to mischaracterize him and attack his integrity.

Full story

Christie Appoints State Attorney General to Senate #NJSEN

Christie appointed New Jersey's attorney general to the vacant Senate seat. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appointed state Attorney General Jeff Chiesa to the late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg’s now vacant Senate seat.

At a Thursday afternoon news conference to announce the pick, Christie said Chiesa will not be a candidate in the special election to fill the remainder of Lautenberg’s term. Chiesa will serve for the next four months until a candidate is elected in October. Full story

Rush Holt Confirms Senate Bid #NJSEN

Holt, right, is running for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Rush D. Holt, D-N.J., announced to supporters Thursday morning that he is running in the New Jersey Senate special election.

In an email, Holt asked for volunteers to help as he seeks the 1,000 signatures needed by Monday to qualify for the Aug. 13 primary. The parties’ nominees will face off on Oct. 16 to fill the remaining 15 months of Lautenberg’s term. Full story

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