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

April 14, 2013

Tennessee: DesJarlais Primary Opponent Raises $450,000 in First Quarter

DesJarlais' primary opponent announced their quarterly fundraising. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Jim Tracy, a Tennessee state senator challenging scandal-plagued GOP Rep. Scott DesJarlais in the primary, will announce Monday that he raised almost $450,000 in the first quarter of the year, according to fundraising figures provided exclusively to CQ Roll Call.

Tracy will also report that he has $400,000 cash on hand, said a source close to Tracey’s campaign, more than a year ahead of the state’s August 2014 primary.

Full story

April 12, 2013

New Hampshire: Sununu Forgoes Comeback Senate Bid

Former Sen. John E. Sununu, R-N.H., will not challenge Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen to a rematch, he told the  the New Hampshire Union Leader in an interview Friday.

His announcement opens the floodgates for Granite State Republicans looking at the race. Many potential GOP candidates were waiting for Sununu to make a decision about the race before announcing their intentions.

Full story

Empty Inbox? Join Gillibrand’s Campaign Email List

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. is a prolific pen pal.

The Empire State’s junior senator has sent emails to her supporters at a copious clip in the past month — sending a total of four messages just this week. Democratic operatives who monitor campaign email traffic say Gillibrand’s operation emails supporters more often than almost anyone else in the Senate.

“Outside of leadership, probably yes,” said one Democratic digital consultant, who added that the senator might send more messages than the president’s campaign operation.

Why the inbox barrage? It’s not because she has a tough re-election anytime soon. Gillibrand won’t face another Senate race until 2018 and she’s a strong fundraiser, pulling in $15 million for her 2012 re-election, a contest she won by 45 points.  Full story

Alaska: Begich Raises $948K in First Fundraising Quarter

Begich announced his fundraising for the first quarter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, raised just under $1 million in the first quarter of the year, according to a copy of his fundraising report obtained by CQ Roll Call.

Begich raised $948,000 from January through March and had more than $1.5 million in cash on hand at the end of last month.

That’s a solid start for the targeted incumbent Democrat, especially considering the Frontier State’s relatively inexpensive media markets. (See more fundraising totals in Roll Call.)

Full story

Jordan Backs Landry Super PAC for House Conservatives

Jordan supports Landry's efforts to support conservatives in House races. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, has offered his support for former Louisiana Rep. Jeff Landry’s new super PAC, which aims to boost conservatives in House races.

Jordan, one-time chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, sent Landry a note of support Tuesday — just after the Pelican State Republican announced he was launching Restore Our Republic super PAC.

Full story

South Carolina: Jenny Sanford Has No Plans to Endorse in Special Election

Former South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford has no plans to endorse in the 1st District special election that includes her ex-husband, former Gov. Mark Sanford.

Democrats plugged into Palmetto State politics previously speculated that if she would endorse the Democrat in the race, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, it would serve as a death blow to her former husband’s campaign. But that scenario is not materializing.

Jenny Sanford wrote CQ Roll Call in an email:

Full story

By Abby Livingston Posted at 5 a.m.

April 11, 2013

California: Almost Every Democrat in Delegation Gets Behind Honda

Honda was endorsed by many of his California Democratic colleagues. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ-Roll Call File Photo)

All but three Democrats in California’s congressional delegation have now publicly backed Rep. Michael M. Honda’s re-election bid.

The six-term incumbent faces what will likely be a competitive primary in the Silicon Valley. Former Obama administration official Ro Khanna entered the 17th District race last week.

Thirty-three California Democrats endorsed Honda on Thursday in the latest boast of strength from the congressman’s campaign. He’s previously rolled out the endorsements of President Barack Obama, the state’s two senators and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

(See also in Roll Call: Khanna Will Challenge Fellow Democrat Honda in Silicon Valley) Full story

By Kyle Trygstad Posted at 10:03 p.m.

Remainders: If You Got It, Flaunt It. Early.

If you got it, flaunt it. And in campaign fundraising, the best flaunt their numbers early.

There are several days yet until campaigns are required to file their first quarter fundraising reports with the Federal Election Commission. Typically, only campaigns with hauls worth bragging about release their figures early.

Here’s are the congressional campaign fundraising figures that caught our eye on Thursday:

Full story

North Carolina: McHenry Won’t Run Against Hagan

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, R-N.C., announced on Thursday that he will not challenge Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in the 2014 Senate race.

The five-term member’s name was floated in the state as a potential challenger to the first-term Democrat — who is considered one of the most vulnerable senators up for re-election this cycle – and recent polls put him at the top of the heap among a handful of  potential GOP candidates.

However, McHenry said in a statement that he “has too much to get done” in the House and thus is declining to enter the race.

“My colleagues in the House have entrusted me with important responsibilities as a subcommittee chairman on the Financial Services Committee as well as leading recruitment efforts for the” National Republican Congressional Committee, McHenry said. “But with her unwavering support for President Obama’s failed policies, I have no doubt that North Carolinians will think twice before sending Kay Hagan back to Washington.” Full story

Progress Kentucky Fingered for Secret McConnell Tape

Updated 2:05 p.m.| A Louisville news radio station reported Thursday that Progress Kentucky, a group seeking to oust Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, was behind the secret recording of a McConnell campaign strategy session.

WFPL reported that Shawn Reilly and Curtis Morrison, a founder and volunteer for the group, respectively, “bragged” about recording the meeting to Jacob Conway, a member of the Jefferson County Democratic Party executive committee.

(See also in Roll Call: Secret Recording Spurs Ethics Complaint Against McConnell)

Conway told WFPL that they stood in the hallway of the Lousiville office building where McConnell’s campaign headquarters is located and recorded the meeting through a vent in the door. Full story

By Kyle Trygstad Posted at 1:51 p.m.
Ky. Senate

Minnesota: Graves All In for Rematch With Bachmann

Graves announced he will see a rematch against Bachmann, above. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With a top Democratic recruit on board, Rep. Michele Bachmann’s re-election will be one of the most closely watched contests of the midterm elections.

Minnesota hotelier Jim Graves announced Thursday that he will seek a rematch against the four-term House Republican. Graves lost by just a single point in their 2012 matchup, and national Democrats are in turn expected to expend far more resources there than last cycle.

(Read more about House races in Roll Call: Top 5 House Rematches to Watch) Full story

Texas: Cornyn Raised $1.85M in First Quarter

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, raised $1.85 million in the first quarter — a handsome sum for the senator up for re-election in 2014.

Cornyn will report having $4.2 million in cash on hand, according to figures provided exclusively to CQ Roll Call from a source close to the senator. Full story

New York: County Legislator Announces Reed Challenge in 23rd District

Tom Reed

Reed, center, just picked up a challenger in the 23rd District. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Martha Robertson, an upstate county legislator, announced Thursday that she will challenge three-term Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., in the 23rd District.

Robertson – a Democrat who currently chairs the Tompkins County Legislature – said her work there has helped bring more than 700 jobs to her community, which includes Cornell University and Ithaca College.

Full story

Kentucky: Secret Recording Spurs Ethics Complaint Against McConnell

Updated 4:20 p.m. | An outside watchdog group filed ethics complaints against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., suggesting possible misuse of official staff for campaign purposes.

But McConnell’s office asserts that the complaint is based on an erroneous transcript of a secret audiotape obtained by Mother Jones.

“Using taxpayer-funded resources to pay staffers to dig up dirt on political opponents isn’t just an ethics violation, it’s a federal crime,” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington Executive Director Melanie Sloan said in a statement that explained the complaints filed with both the FBI and the Senate Ethics Committee.

The allegation is that legislative assistants were working on government time for political purposes, conducting opposition research against potential Democratic challenger Ashley Judd. As CREW itself acknowledges, the campaign has said that the individuals in question conducted the research on their own time.

Full story

Hawaii: Schatz’s Fundraising Sends Message to Potential Primary Foes

Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, is trying to ward off potential primary challengers with hefty first-quarter fundraising and a veteran campaign team already in place for 2014.

The Democrat, appointed Dec. 26 to replace the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, announced on Thursday he raised more than $1.1 million in the first three months of this year.

A news release states that 79 percent of the money came from Hawaii donors. But he also received a boost from some Senate colleagues. Full story

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