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

March 13, 2013

West Virginia: Snuffer Mulls Another Campaign for Rahall Seat

State Del. Rick Snuffer is considering a third campaign against Democratic Rep. Nick J. Rahall II.

“I’m very interested,” confirmed Snuffer, a Republican, in a phone interview with CQ Roll Call. “It’s a matter of what’s right for my family.”

If Snuffer runs again, it would mark a third rematch with Rahall. Rahall stomped Snuffer by a 30-point margin in 2004.

But Rahall’s margin of victory narrowed to 8 points when he faced Snuffer again last year. It was the congressman’s smallest winning margin since 1990. Full story

Shop Talk: Gingrey Puts Together Team for Likely Ga. Senate Bid


Gingrey might run for Senate in Georgia. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., has started to assemble a political team for his increasingly likely bid for retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ seat.

CQ Roll Call has learned that if he runs, Gingrey’s team will very likely include respected Georgia operative Chip Lake as a general consultant, Sonny Scott of Rising Tide Media Group for media, and the Stoneridge Group for direct mail.

Republican Rep. Paul Broun is the only declared candidate in the race. CQ Roll Call rates this race as Likely Republican.

Full story

Shop Talk: Democrats Devine Mulvey Expand Firm

Democratic consultants Tad Devine, Julian Mulvey and Mark Longabaugh announced Wednesday the formation of a “media consulting partnership” named Devine Mulvey Longabaugh.

This signals an expansion of the Devine Mulvey firm, which the two Democrats founded in 2007. Longabaugh was previously with Wild Bunch Media, a firm he founded in 2006.

“I’m thrilled to join Tad and Julian,” Longabaugh said in a release. “They have a great practice and share my progressive values. I’ve admired their work from a distance over the last few cycles and look forward to combining our talents.” Full story

DCCC Trumpets Recruitment Strategy for ’14

Israel leads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. (Bill Clark CQ/Roll Call File Photo)

Recruitment matters for House Democrats, who are already aggressively pursuing potential candidates in order to the expand the congressional playing field and put House control in play, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel said Wednesday.

“We will win in 2014 in 2013,” he said in a briefing for reporters and groups allied with the party.

Israel ticked through a number of internal DCCC recruiting programs which he said would put his party on a strong footing for the mid-term elections. In 2014, the party must net 17 seats to take control of the House.

Among handful of potential candidates he floated: Gwen Graham, the daughter of former Florida governor and Sen. Bob Graham, in Florida’s 2nd District, currently held by two-term Republican Rep. Steve Southerland II; and Brendan Mullen, a 2012 nominee who fell short against now-freshman Rep. Jackie Walorski, a Republican, in Indiana’s 2nd District. Voters in both districts tend to lean Republican.

“We will make 2014 a referendum on the tea party and we will win that referendum by recruiting. deploying and fielding candidates who run as solutionists and problem solvers,” Israel said.

Full story

New Jersey: Poll Shows Booker Boosted After Lautenberg Retirement Announcement

Booker's position in the polls has improved.

A new poll shows Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s commanding lead in the 2014 primary in New Jersey has increased since Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg’s retirement announcement.

Half of the respondents said they would back Booker in a new Fairleigh Dickinson PublicMind survey — a score that’s increased by 8 points since a similar January poll.

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., another Democrat who has expressed interest in the Senate race, picked up 4 percent in the poll. Meanwhile, 7 percent supported Democratic Rep. Rush D. Holt, who has also floated his name as a contender. Thirty-two percent of respondents were undecided.

Full story

House Democrats Outraise GOP Counterparts by $1.3M in February

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee outraised the National Republican Congressional Committee in February and ended the month with more money in the bank.

The DCCC took in $6.3 million in February to the NRCC’s $5 million haul. The DCCC had $7.6 million in cash on hand as of the end of last month, while the NRCC had only $4.4 million.

The NRCC had slightly less debt though: $10 million to the DCCC’s $10.9 million. The DCCC announced its fundraising totals earlier on Wednesday.

The DCCC also outraised the NRCC in January.

Kentucky: McConnell Wife Elaine Chao Stars in His Campaign Ad

Former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, the wife of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, stars in a 30-second television spot released by the Kentucky Republican’s campaign.

In the spot set to air on Thursday, Chao pushes back against attack ads that have targeted her husband and references tweets from the liberal group Progress Kentucky about her Chinese ancestry.

“You’ve seen the ads attacking my husband. As Mitch McConnell’s wife, I’ve learned to expect them,” Chao says, with soft music in the background. “Now far-left special interests are also attacking my ethnicity. Even attacking Mitch’s patriotism, because he’s married to me. That’s how low some people will stoop.”

Full story

DCCC Raised $6.3 Million in February

Steve Israel led the DCCC to raise $6.3 million last month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $6.3 million in February, ending last month with $7.6 million in cash on hand.

House Democrats’ campaign organization, charged with netting the 17 seats necessary to win control of the House, reported $10.9 million of debt at the end of February, according to figures provided by a DCCC official.

Fundraising numbers for the National Republican Congressional Committee were not immediately available.

Monthly fundraising reports for the committees are due to the Federal Election Commission on March 20.

In January, the DCCC outraised the NRCC by nearly $2 million.

Virginia: Young Republican Eying Challenge to Connolly

A young Republican will challenge Connolly (above). (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Rep. Gerald E. Connolly may have his first Republican challenger of the 2014 cycle.

Ron Meyer, 23, a former spokesman for a couple of GOP-aligned groups, is exploring a bid for Congress in the suburban 11th District outside Washington, D.C. If successful, Meyer would be among the youngest ever elected to Congress — the Herndon resident turns 25 on Sept. 28, 2014, less than two months before the election.

However, should he run, Meyer would have a challenging road ahead to take out Connolly. Once one of the state’s most competitive areas, this district was redrawn last year as safely Democratic. President Barack Obama won it with 62 percent, and Connolly was re-elected to a third term with 61 percent.

Full story

March 12, 2013

Michigan: Scott Romney Not Running for Senate Source Says

Scott Romney will not run for Senate in Michigan, according to a state GOP source. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Scott Romney will not run for the open Michigan Senate seat in 2014, according to a state GOP source who spoke with Romney late on Tuesday.

Romney, the brother of the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney, would have kicked off the primary in the strongest position in the field, according to a new automated poll released Tuesday by a GOP firm.

But the corporate attorney has decided to forgo a bid for retiring Sen. Carl Levin’s seat. Democrats have an advantage in the race given the state’s electoral history and, barring a top-tier GOP recruit, the party is in a good position to keep the seat.

The list of potential Democratic candidates includes Debbie Dingell, the wife of longtime Rep. John D. Dingell, former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, former Rep. Mark Schauer, Rep. Gary Peters and Rep. Dan Kildee. Full story

Kentucky: McConnell to Launch Six-Figure Ad Buy Thursday

McConnell will begin airing ads for his re-eleciton race this week. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has bought six figures worth of airtime to back a television ad campaign beginning on Thursday. The buy marks the start of what could be one of the cycle’s most contentious races.

McConnell’s ads, up a year and eight months before his name appears on a general election ballot, will air for a week in the Lexington, Ky., and Louisville, Ky., media markets. The buy is in the “low six figures,” a McConnell aide told CQ Roll Call.

Democrats framed the early ad buy as a sign of weakness.

“Running campaign commercials almost two years before an election is an unprecedented admission of fear for a sitting senator,” Dan Logsdon, the chairman of the state Democratic Party, said in a statement.

Full story

Michigan: Granholm, Romney Top Senate Field in New GOP Poll

Granholm is mum so far on a Senate bid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Attorney Scott Romney and former Gov. Jennifer Granholm lead their respective party fields in the 2014 Michigan Senate race, according to a new automated survey from Harper Polling, a GOP firm.

Fifty-nine percent of Democrats surveyed said they would back Granholm in a primary, while 13 percent backed Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich., 6 percent supported Rep. Dan Kildee, and 23 percent of respondents said they were undecided.

Meanwhile, Romney — the brother of the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee — leads the potential Republican field with 26 percent of those surveyed. Rep. Mike Rogers came in second with 17 percent support, followed by Rep. Justin Amash with 11 percent. Thirty-seven percent said they were unsure of whom they supported.

The Rothenberg Political Report rates the race as “Safe Democratic,” due in part to the state’s recent history of rejecting Republicans statewide, explained Stu Rothenberg in his most recent Roll Call column.

The new numbers come just a couple days after Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., announced his retirement, opening the floodgates of potential candidates interested in his seat.

Here’s a look at the current field of possible contenders:


  • Debbie Dingell, the politically active wife of longtime Rep. John Dingell, is considering a run, CNN reported on Monday. Dingell did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on Tuesday.
  • Granholm had no comment on the Senate race, according to her spokeswoman. About a month ago, Granholm left her Current TV program. She ended her gubernatorial tenure with low approval ratings but more recently had delivered one of the most rousing speeches at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
  • A handful of news reports also mentioned Kildee, a freshman, as potential candidate.
  • On Friday, Peters told Detroit Free Press editorial board that he is “going to seriously consider” running.
  • Former Rep. Mark Schauer has not issued a public statement on the race, but sources continue to suggest the former one-term congressman as a potential candidate. Schauer did not return a request for comment. Full story

Shop Talk: Hagan Hires Preston Elliott as Campaign Manager

Hagan hired a campaign manager for her 2014 re-election bid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., announced Tuesday she has hired Preston Elliott to be her 2014 campaign manager in a race that’s expected to be among Democrats’ toughest this cycle.

An experienced operative, Elliott served as campaign manager for Sen. Jon Tester’s re-election campaign in Montana, one of the most heavily targeted races of the 2012 cycle. He is also a veteran of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s 2010 re-election effort, and he was the deputy political director at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

“I am so pleased to have Preston on board as my campaign manager,” Hagan said in a statement. “He has a proven track record of success, and with his help and the help of North Carolinians of all walks of life, I expect to cross the finish line with a victory in November 2014.”

Obstetrician and tea party supporter Greg Brannon is the first Republican challenger to enter the race.

But Republicans say Brannon won’t be the only — or the strongest — contender. They name state House Speaker Thom Tillis, Rep. Renee Ellmers, state Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger and Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry as potential candidates.

Correction Dec. 10, 2014, 11:23 a.m.

A previous version of this article misspelled Preston Elliott’s name in the headline.

West Virginia: Mooney Says ‘No Final Decisions’ Made on House Race

Former Maryland GOP Chairman Alex Mooney confirmed to CQ Roll Call on Tuesday that he has moved to West Virginia but cautioned “no final decisions have been made” on a future run for office.

“Now I am working on a book about door to door campaigning and politics, which will take at least a couple months,” Mooney said in an email, chalking up his delayed response to overseas travel.

On Monday, multiple sources said Mooney had conversations this weekend about running for the open 2nd District seat in West Virginia. Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is leaving that seat to run for Senate in 2014.

Full story

March 11, 2013

West Virginia: Ex-Maryland GOP Chairman Alex Mooney Eyes Capito Seat

Mooney expressed interest in Capito's (above) seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Maryland GOP Chairman Alex Mooney has moved to West Virginia and is considering a run for the open 2nd District, according to a high-ranking state party official.

West Virginia GOP National Committeeman Kris Warner confirmed to CQ Roll Call that Mooney had his eye is on the seat held by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., who is running for Senate in 2014.

“That was something he was considering doing right now,” Warner said, confirming a Friday report in Red Maryland, a conservative blog. “He told me he had purchased property in West Virginia.”

Warner described Friday evening conversations at a party reception in Berkeley Springs, W.Va. The state GOP’s executive committee held a meeting over the weekend in the eastern West Virginia town not far from the Maryland border. Full story

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