Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 13, 2016

May 8, 2013

Super PACs Fuel GOP Civil War

Republicans who have long pushed for campaign finance deregulation are now paying for one of its consequences: the rise of influential conservative super PACs vying for the soul of a fractured GOP.

That Republicans crushed by the 2012 election results are feuding over what went wrong and what comes next is nothing new. Less noticed has been the big money bankrolling GOP factions and the influential new super PACs and outside groups that hold the party’s future in their hands.

More than a dozen such groups have sprung up since Election Day, CQ Weekly reports this week — some promoting centrists, minorities or liberalized immigration rules, others championing conservatives at odds with “establishment” party leaders. As the story notes: Full story

May 7, 2013

Mark Sanford Wins Special Election #SC01

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Mark Sanford is officially coming back to Congress.

The former South Carolina governor defeated the Democratic nominee, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, on Tuesday night in South Carolina’s 1st District special election.

He defeated Colbert Busch 54 percent to 46 percent with 71 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press. Full story

Remainders: Georgia on the Mind

Polls close at 7 p.m. EDT today for South Carolina’s 1st District special election between former Gov. Mark Sanford and Democratic nominee Elizabeth Colbert Busch. Keep an eye on Roll Call tonight to see if Sanford pulled off his comeback bid.

But in the mean time, here’s what you may have missed “At the Races” on Tuesday …

  • #GASEN: Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga., will not run for the state’s open Senate seat, and now Democrats must continue their search for a Peach State recruit. All eyes are on Democrat Michelle Nunn, daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn and the CEO of Points of Light, a volunteer organization.
  • #HISEN: EMILY’s List endorsed Hawaii Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in the Aloha State’s Democratic primary for Senate in 2014. Hanabusa will face Sen. Brian Schatz, who was appointed to fill the vacancy after Sen. Daniel K. Inouye died last year.
  • #IASEN: Former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker became the first Republican to announce that he will run for Iowa’s open Senate seat on Tuesday.
  • #FL18: Republican Juno Beach Vice Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Andel announced she is challenging freshman Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy in 2014.

What we’re mulling on Tuesday … Full story

John Barrow Not Running for Senate #GASEN

Barrow will not run for Senate. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Georgia Rep. John Barrow announced Tuesday that he will not seek the state’s open Senate seat, leaving Democrats without a top candidate for now in the party’s best pickup opportunity in 2014.

“I’m grateful for the encouragement I’ve received from folks all across the State of Georgia, but I’ve decided that I will not be a candidate for the Senate in 2014,” Barrow said in a statement. “I enjoy my work on behalf of the folks in the 12th District, and I look forward to continuing to serve them in the House of Representatives.” Full story

Republican to Challenge Freshman Patrick Murphy #FL18

Murphy is a top GOP target this cycle, after winning his district narrowly in 2012. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Ellen Andel, the vice mayor pro tem for Juno Beach, announced Tuesday that she will challenge freshman Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy in 2014.

“As a competitive runner, I’m not one to sit on the sidelines and watch, especially now as the debt and spending problems in our country are spiraling out of control,” Andel said in a news release. Full story

GOP Senate Candidate Announces in Iowa #IASEN

Former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker on Monday became the first Republican to announce his intentions to run for Iowa’s open Senate seat.

According to a release, Whitaker told the Simon Conway show on 1040 AM in Des Moines that he is taking the necessary steps toward a run and that he would formally announce his campaign on June 3. Full story

Democrats Land Top Recruit to Challenge Davis #IL13

Former Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis formally launched her campaign Tuesday to challenge freshman GOP Rep. Rodney Davis.

Callis is a top recruit of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Her entrance provides encouragement for a party that lost what it felt was a winnable seat in 2012.

“Like many of my friends and neighbors, I’m frustrated right now that Washington is not listening, and it’s not delivering for the middle class,” Callis said in a statement. “As Chief Judge, I’ve delivered reforms when Washington didn’t, and I’m running to deliver solutions for middle class families who are looking for good-paying jobs, and someone to protect Medicare and Social Security.” Full story

EMILY’s List Endorses Colleen Hanabusa #HISEN

Hanabusa is running for Senate. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

EMILY’s List announced on Tuesday its support for Hawaii Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in next year’s Democratic Senate primary in the Aloha State.

Hanabusa, who officially entered the race last week, will face appointed Sen. Brian Schatz in the special election to fill the remaining two years of the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye’s term.

The endorsement is not a surprise. The group, which backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights, has supported Hanabusa for years. It also comes on the heels of an endorsement from Inouye’s widow, Irene Hirano Inouye. Full story

May 6, 2013

Remainders: A Very Special, Special Election

Keep an eye on Roll Call and this blog for ongoing coverage of former Gov. Mark Sanford’s bid to come back to Congress via the 1st District special election. It could really happen on Tuesday.

Until then, here’s what you might have missed “At the Races” on Monday …

  • #GASEN: GOP Rep. Jack Kingston raised more than a quarter-million dollars at a fundraiser for his Senate campaign to replace retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.
  • #IASEN: Since Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, declined to run for Senate, Republicans are on the prowl for a new  candidate.
  • #CA31:  Two of former Rep. Joe Baca’s, D-Calif., Democratic House colleagues are not backing his congressional comeback bid. The blood feud continues!
  • #SC01: Polls close at 7 p.m. EDT Tuesday for the special election between Sanford and the Democratic nominee, Elizabeth Colbert Busch.

What we’re mulling on Monday …

Full story

Jack Kingston Raised $270K at Senate Fundraiser #GASEN

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

Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., announced he raised $270,000 at a fundraiser on May 3 — one day after he formally entered an already crowded primary for Senate.

The Kingston campaign boasted it set a fundraising record for an event in Savannah, surpassing the mark previously set by GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney last year. Full story

With Steve King Out, Who Will Win the GOP Crown? #IASEN

King announced last week that he will not run for Senate. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:23 p.m. | Rep. Steve King declared late on May 3 that he will not run for Senate in 2014, setting off rampant speculation in the Hawkeye State about who the GOP could run for retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin’s seat.

The conservative congressman marks one of several top Iowa Republicans to recently decide against a run, but a handful of lesser-known, potential GOP Senate candidates are still eyeing this open seat. Full story

Mark Sanford Could Win on Tuesday #SC01

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Could Mark Sanford pull off this special election on Tuesday after all? It’s more than possible.

Democrats and Republicans agree the former governor has half a shot at winning the 1st District special election Tuesday.

Only a week ago, operatives were preparing Sanford’s political obituary. But internal and public polls showed the race closing — and suddenly his return to the Palmetto State’s congressional delegation has become more than a possibility. Full story

Two House Democrats Back Aguilar Over Baca #CA31

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

Two members of Congress from Southern California endorsed Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, who is part of a growing field of Democrats hoping to defeat Rep. Gary G. Miller, R-Calif., in 2014.

On Monday, Reps. Loretta Sanchez and Gloria Negrete McLeod endorsed Aguilar over former Rep. Joe Baca, who was planning for a rematch with Negrete McLeod before switching to the 31st District last month. Not surprisingly, both members have unpleasant histories with Baca. (See also in Roll Call: ‘Blood Feud’ Between Baca, Negrete McLeod) Full story

May 4, 2013

Steve King Will Not Run for Senate #IASEN

King will not run for Senate. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll File Photo).

Republican Rep. Steve King announced on Twitter late Friday night that he would not run for Senate:

Full story

May 3, 2013

Democrat David Gill’s Convenient Appointment #IL13

A four-time unsuccessful Democratic congressional candidate was appointed Friday to a state government post — the same day a top national Democratic recruit made it clear she will run for Congress.

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn’s appointment of David Gill removes a potential primary spoiler for Ann Callis, a Madison County Circuit Court chief judge. The party has been pursuing Callis for months to challenge freshman GOP Rep. Rodney Davis.

After defeating a top recruit in the 2012 Democratic primary, Gill lost to Davis in the general election for the competitive 13th District. Some Democrats were concerned about a repeat in 2014. Gill was mentioned as recently as this week in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch story looking into potential Democratic challengers.

But the move by the Democratic governor likely takes him out of the running and helps clear the path for Callis. Full story

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