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

August 13, 2013

Ex-Congressman Says No to Montana Senate Bid #MTSEN

Former Rep. Pat Williams, D-Mont., told Lee Newspapers on Monday that he strongly considered, but ultimately opted against, running for the Big Sky State’s open Senate seat.

Williams, who left Congress in 1997 after nine terms and would turn 77 before Election Day next year, said he’d been fielding calls urging him to run for three months — though he didn’t say whether any of them came from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Since former Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s surprise decision not to run, a few other prospective Democratic candidates have followed suit. The top names that remain in the recruitment mix include Lt. Gov. John Walsh and state Supreme Court Justice Brian Morris. Full story

House Republicans Attack John Barrow on Ga. Television #GA12

The National Republican Congressional Committee will start its second television campaign targeting Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga., on Tuesday.

The advertisement — backed by a modest $10,000 buy in the Augusta media market — seeks to tie Barrow to the president’s health care law, which remains unpopular in Georgia.

Full story

August 12, 2013

Reid: West Virginia Democratic Recruit to Announce ‘Shortly’ #WVSEN

Reid assessed his party's recruitment status in a recent interview. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After eight months of searching, have Senate Democrats finally found a recruit in West Virginia? Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said yes in a recent interview.

“I think we’re going to be very competitive in — in West Virginia, we have a candidate there who should be announcing shortly,” the Nevada Democrat told a local PBS affiliate about the race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller.

Reid did not divulge the Democrat’s name during the interview on “Nevada Week in Review.” Several Democrats have passed on the race, and Secretary of State Natalie Tennant remains as the only prominent recruit who has not declined to run yet. Full story

2020 Redistricting? The Arizona GOP Is ON IT

Quayle, a Republican, lost re-election last year when he faced another GOP member in a redrawn district. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s never too early to start planning for redistricting, right?

On Monday, Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham announced he has formed a new committee of GOP election experts to monitor the state’s independent redistricting process — in 2020.

Local Republicans remain angry after the party got shellacked in the most recent congressional redraw ahead of the 2012 cycle. The next time the decennial redistricting process come around — eight years from now, after the 2020 cycle — the GOP does not want to be caught flat-footed again. Full story

Howard Coble Opponents Line Up in North Carolina #NC06

Coble has a new challenger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Laura Fjeld, a former vice president and general counsel for the University of North Carolina system, announced Monday that she will challenge longtime Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C.

“I have great optimism about our future in North Carolina, but partisan politics are toxic,” said Fjeld, a Democrat, in a statement to the News Observer. “I haven’t created the problems in Washington D.C. — but I will be part of the solution.”

Full story

By Emily Cahn Posted at 4:23 p.m.
House 2016, N.C.-6

GOP Poll Finds John Tierney in Trouble in Massachusetts #MA06

A new GOP poll shows Tierney is vulnerable. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A new GOP poll shows Rep. John F. Tierney, D-Mass., and his likely rematch opponent, Republican Richard Tisei, in a statistical dead heat.

The 6th District survey showed Tisei with 42 percent and Tierney with 40 percent — a minor lead within the poll’s margin of error of 4.8 percent. Full story

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

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