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

May 24, 2013

Democrat Noncommittal on Pelosi #NY11 | The Candidate

Recchia, above, is challenging Grimm. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Editor’s Note: Every year, scores of congressional candidates visit the CQ Roll Call offices to meet with reporters and Contributing Editor Stuart Rothenberg. This new feature, “The Candidate,” will ask these congressional hopefuls five questions about their campaigns. Responses and questions have been edited and condensed.

Have a question for a candidate? We’ll announce their visits via Twitter, and you can tweet your inquiry to @RollCall or email politics@cqrollcall.com.

The candidate: New York City Council Member Domenic M. Recchia Jr.
The member: Two-term Rep. Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y.
The district: Nearly three-quarters of this district is in Staten Island, but it also crosses New York Harbor into Brooklyn. President Barack Obama won the 11th District’s vote 52 percent to 47 percent, but Grimm won the seat by 7 points.
The candidate’s team: Jefrey Pollock of Global Strategy Group (polling); the rest of the team has yet to be announced.

1. You raised $412,000 last quarter. How much will you need to compete in the New York City media market?

Four million dollars.

2. You live in Brooklyn, but a majority of voters in this district live on Staten Island. How do you bridge that divide? 

It’s not a question of Brooklyn versus Staten Island. It’s a question of the whole district is going to be represented by someone who is out there that understands the issues, who’s going to stand up for the middle class … who has a record of delivering four [city] budgets on time without raising taxes, prevented firehouses from being closed on Staten Island, working with the people, and is able to bring the resources that are needed to Staten Island.

My family lives on Staten Island. My mother lives there. My three sisters live there. My nieces and nephews. I talk to people every day. My father built on Staten Island before the bridge was up. I have a lot of contacts with Staten Island.

[After the jump: Recchia on former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s mayoral campaign and his favorite Coney Island ride.]

Full story

Grassley Chief Will Seek Senate #IASEN

A longtime chief of staff for Grassley, above, will run for Senate in Iowa. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

David Young, a longtime chief of staff to Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, intends to run for Senate in the Hawkeye State, a GOP source confirmed to CQ Roll Call.

TheIowaRepublican.com reported on Friday that Young has submitted his resignation to Grassley and will announce his campaign in Iowa next month. The GOP news site also reported that Young has signed up a consulting team that includes media consultant Fred Davis, The Tarrance Group polling firm and Sara Fagen as general consultant.

Davis confirmed he has signed on with the campaign and said he expects an announcement “very soon.” Full story

Ex-Rep. Joe Baca Touts 30 Endorsements From House Democrats #CA31

Baca has support from many of his colleagues. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Joe Baca, a Democrat attempting a comeback bid in California’s 31st District, boasted support from 30 House Democrats on Thursday. The list runs the gamut from members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to Assistant Minority Leader James E. Clyburn of South Carolina.

Baca publicized these endorsements the morning after he hosted a Washington, D.C., fundraiser with Rep. Ed Pastor, D-Ariz. It was one day after his 31st District opponent, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee-backed candidate Pete Aguilar, announced the support of a dozen Democrats in the California delegation.

Full story

May 23, 2013

Jo Bonner to Resign From Congress Soon (Updated) #AL01

A local newspaper reported Bonner will resign soon. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:57 p.m. | Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Ala., will resign from Congress later this year to take a job at the University of Alabama, CQ Roll Call has confirmed.

Sen. Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., told reporters about Bonner’s imminent departure. Bonner sent a personal note to Shelby a few hours ago explaining the move. He will take on the newly created position of vice chancellor of government relations and economic development. Full story

National Republicans Send Staff to Massachusetts #MASEN

National Republicans have dispatched staff to Massachusetts to assist with the Senate special election that has become tantalizingly close.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has committed at least four staffers to help nominee Gabriel Gomez in the final weeks of the June 25 contest. The moves come amid fresh polling that showed Gomez running just behind Democratic Rep. Edward J. Markey in this solidly Democratic state.

Money remains a major hurdle for Gomez to overcome against the well-funded Markey. So the NRSC sent two fundraisers to help Gomez open some financial doors. Sarah Morgan, a regional political director, arrived Wednesday to organize volunteer efforts over the next few weeks. And Kevin McLaughlin, a senior adviser, is in Boston to assist with communications and general strategy. Full story

Will Perseverance Pay Off for Perennial Hawaiian Pols?

Case might run for Congress again. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In Hawaii politics, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. And again. And again.

Or, at least that’s how many candidates in the state have operated over the past few cycles.

Full story

May 22, 2013

House Democrats Fete Top Recruits in D.C.

Israel is bringing his top recruits to town. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:43 p.m. | The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will host a reception Wednesday night for its best recruits, according to an invitation obtained by CQ Roll Call.

Launched earlier this month, the Jumpstart program “provides early financial, communications, operational and strategic support to help top-tier candidates get a head start in these highly-targeted races,” according to a memo sent to donors and supporters upon the program’s launch.

The invitation does not list the Jumpstart candidates, but the DCCC previously announced the group. The group is: Full story

Mike Rounds Hires Dick Wadhams #SDSEN | Shop Talk

Veteran GOP operative Dick Wadhams has signed on as general consultant for the leading candidate in one of the GOP’s top Senate pickup opportunities.

Former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds announced on Wednesday that he has retained Wadhams to help lead his campaign.

The election next year will come a decade after Wadhams’ last triumph in the state — managing now-Sen. John Thune’s 2004 upset of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.

“Dick’s reputation as a battle tested strategist, coupled with his insight into South Dakota’s political landscape make him the perfect complement to our team,” Rounds said in a statement. “We’ve been considering individuals to fill this role for months and we continued to come back to Mr. Wadhams.” Full story

Sander Levin Picks Sides in Primary #MI14

Levin endorsed Hobbs in the 14th District primary. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Sander M. Levin endorsed state House Democratic Floor Leader Rudy Hobbs on Wednesday in the Democratic primary for Michigan’s 14th District.

“When elected to the U.S. House, Rudy will be a powerful advocate and a tireless fighter for the residents throughout the 14th District in Detroit and Oakland County,” Levin said in a press release. “I look forward to actively supporting his campaign.” Full story

Ten House Democrats Endorse Pete Aguilar #CA31

Baca is running for congress again. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ten Democrats in California’s congressional delegation announced their support Wednesday morning for Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar for the 31st District.

Their endorsements are likely an effort to push other Democratic candidates out of this competitive race — including an ex-colleague, former Rep. Joe Baca.

The party had primary problems in this district last cycle, when a bevy of candidates splintered the Democratic vote, allowing two Republicans to head to the general election. California’s primary allows the top two candidates, regardless of party, to advance to the general.

This election cycle is looking like déjà vu for Democrats in the 31st District, which is a targeted race again. In 2012, Republican Rep. Gary G. Miller won re-election in this district that President Barack Obama carried. Full story

May 21, 2013

Gary Peters Leads Poll, Hires Campaign Manager #MISEN

Peters is running for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Rep. Gary Peters has a campaign manager and a lead in the polls — but he’s still awaiting a GOP opponent for the open-seat Senate race in Michigan.

With the Republican field likely to begin to take shape next month, the third-term Democrat announced on Tuesday that Julie Petrick has signed on as campaign manager. Petrick managed Peters’ first election to Congress in 2008 and is coming from the political team at EMILY’s List.

In the race for the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, the 14th District’s Peters took an early lead in a hypothetical matchup with the 8th District’s GOP Rep. Mike Rogers, who is considering a bid. The poll was conducted by EPIC-MRA and found Peters with a 7-point lead, though a third of voters were undecided. Full story

Mike Honda’s Endorsement Parade Continues #CA17

Honda has announced many endorsements. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

What do the president’s half sister, actor Kal Penn and Star Trek legend slash Facebook celebrity George Takei have in common?

All of them have endorsed Rep. Michael M. Honda, who on Tuesday announced support from six Asian-American and Pacific Islander leaders.

Full story

Bachmann Opponent on Term Limits and Tipping Etiquette #MN06 | The Candidate

Graves is running for Congress a second time. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Note: Every year, scores of congressional candidates visit the CQ Roll Call offices to meet with reporters and Contributing Writer Stuart Rothenberg. This new feature, “The Candidate,” will ask these congressional hopefuls five questions about their campaigns. Responses have been edited and condensed.

Have a question for a candidate? We’ll announce their visits via Twitter, and you can tweet your inquiry to @RollCall or email politics@cqrollcall.com.

The candidate: Hotel magnate Jim Graves, a Democrat
The member: Four-term Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann
The district: Republican-leaning Minneapolis exurbs, which have experienced significant population growth from young, conservative families. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney won the 6th District’s vote 56 percent to 41 percent.
The candidate’s team: Aaron Wells (campaign manager), Julie Pearl (press); the rest of the team has yet to be announced.

Q. You came so close to defeating Bachmann last cycle, losing by just over 4,000 votes. What mistakes did you make?

Graves: The biggest mistake was that we got into the game too late. We had a very abbreviated campaign. When we announced, we had nobody on the team, so we had to create a team and had to create a field operation and we had to do all those things in a very abbreviated time frame up against a very well-funded candidate. Full story

Top Firm Hires Ex-NRSC Spokesman | Shop Talk

Former National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brian Walsh has joined Singer Bonjean Strategies, the public affairs firm announced on Tuesday.

“Phil and Ron are two of the most respected communications strategists in the country today, and I couldn’t be more excited about joining their growing public affairs practice,” Walsh said in a press release. “Singer Bonjean brings a campaign approach to helping clients navigate the ever-changing environment in Washington, and I look forward to adding my experience to this effort.” Full story

By Abby Livingston Posted at 8:33 a.m.
Shop Talk

Tea Party Express Backs Special-Election Candidate

Missouri Speaker Pro Tem Jason Smith picked up the endorsement of the Tea Party Express on Tuesday, less than three weeks before the special election in the Show Me State’s 8th District.

“Jason is a promising young conservative who will bring fiscal responsibility to Washington, D.C.,” Tea Party Express Chairwoman Amy Kremer said in a news release. “Tea Partiers across the country applaud his commitment to repealing Obamacare and reining in the federal government’s out-of-control spending.”

Full story

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