Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 12, 2016

May 2, 2013

First Republican Enters Race for Cassidy’s House Seat #LA06

The grandson of a former champion Louisiana State University football coach is the first Republican to enter the race for the Bayou State’s open 6th District.

Republican Paul Dietzel, a first-time candidate who owns a Baton Rouge, La.-based software company, announced Thursday his candidacy for the seat of GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy, who is running for Senate.

“Our country needs new leadership and new ideas, and I’m running for Congress to bring that fresh perspective we need,” Dietzel said.

He is likely to have plenty of company once the state legislative session ends.

Full story

Remainders: Conservatives Buy Airtime for Mark Sanford

Here’s what you might have missed “At the Races” on Thursday …
  • #IASEN: Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey will not run for Senate and has encouraged Republican Rep. Steve King to seek the open seat instead.
  • #MTSEN: EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock confirmed her interest in a bid for Senate.
  • #MISEN: Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich. discussed his Senate campaign in an interview with CQ Roll Call.
  • #MI14: Several Detroit-area Democrats are positioning to run for Peters’ seat including his primary foe from 2012, former Rep. Hansen Clarke.

What we’re mulling on Thursday…

Full story

Bill Northey Passes on Iowa Race #IASEN

Northey, left, will not run for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Another potential GOP candidate for Iowa’s open Senate seat has announced he will not run, leaving Republicans to continue their search for a strong prospect to run in this top pick-up opportunity.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey became the second Republican in as many weeks to decide not to run. The party continues to await a decision from Republican Rep. Steve King, who remains undecided about the race.

Some Republicans are concerned about a potential King candidacy, arguing that his conservative politics do not have enough statewide appeal to win. But Northey encouraged King to run in his statement about the race:

Full story

EMILY’s List President Considering Senate Campaign in Montana #MTSEN

Schriock is the president of EMILY's List. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock has confirmed she is considering a bid for Montana’s newly open Senate seat in 2014.

Since Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., announced his retirement plans last week, Schriock has mostly kept quiet about the race — until she spoke with reporters at a Thursday event for EMILY’s List. Full story

Detroit Democrats Expected to Flood Peters House Seat #MI14 | The Field

Clarke, center, might run again. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Now that Democratic Rep. Gary Peters has officially entered the Michigan Senate race, Detroit-area Democrats have started to eye his House seat for 2014.

Democrats are assured to hold this majority-minority district, which voted for President Barack Obama with more than 80 percent. Party operatives expect a crowded 14th District primary filled with familiar names of local lawmakers and candidates who have run for this or nearby seats before.

Potential candidates include: Full story

Gary Peters Kicks Off Senate Bid #MISEN

Peters will run for Senate. (Shira Toeplitz/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich., officially entered the race to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Carl Levin on Wednesday during a visit to his great-great-grandfather’s house in Rochester Hills.

“We’re going to continue the work that I’ve done in the U.S. House, fighting for middle class, fighting and making sure we have jobs and opportunities, growing the economy here in Michigan,” Peters said in his first interview with a national outlet after his announcement.

Democrats have essentially cleared the field for Peters, who represented both suburban and downtown Detroit during his three terms in Congress. CQ Roll Call reported on Monday that Peters would make his Senate announcement in his hometown, which is in politically pivotal Oakland County. Full story

May 1, 2013

Tim Scott, More Republicans Come to Mark Sanford’s Aid #SC01

Scott was appointed to the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Only nine days ago, former Gov. Mark Sanford invoked the Alamo in a full-page advertisement in his local paper, pleading for reinforcements to his embattled special election campaign. The appeal might have worked.

The latest Republican to offer support is the man whose appointment to the Senate created the seat’s special election:  Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. He’s one of several Republicans and conservatives who offered either verbal or financial support to Sanford in the last week Full story

GOP Tests Gay Candidate as ‘New Generation Republican’ in Poll #CA52

Peters is vulnerable in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A new GOP poll tested former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio, an openly gay Republican and potential congressional candidate, as a “new generation Republican” in the highly competitive 52nd District.

DeMaio, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor last year, posted solid favorable ratings. He led freshman Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., in a hypothetical general-election matchup.

The poll informed likely voters that DeMaio is openly gay and he would prefer that the GOP focus on fixing the federal government’s finances rather than on social issues. According to the polling memo, the results of pitching that kind of a profile in this moderate district were encouraging across the political spectrum.

“The data from this survey shows that DeMaio could be very successful in a congressional race portraying himself as a ‘new generation Republican,’” Tarrance Group pollster Dave Sackett wrote.

The survey memo, obtained by CQ Roll Call, was paid for by the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Full story

Todd Young for … ? #INSEN #INGOV

Young represents the 9th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

When does a website signal a politician’s aspirations? When it changes.

An aide for Rep. Todd Young, a savvy Republican from southern Indiana, emailed reporters on Wednesday morning to announce the campaign is transitioning from its old website,, to a new URL, The campaign’s social-media accounts are transitioning to a similar name.

The aide stressed the campaign wanted a simpler address. Mission accomplished — except Republicans also talk up Young  as a statewide candidate down the line. He could run for Senate if Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., retires in 2016 or could challenge newly elected Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., in 2018. He could also run for governor, although that seat will not be open until 2020 as long as Gov. Mike Pence, a Republican, seeks re-election and not national office.

All of those opportunities are a long time away for the two-term Republican. But also consider the following: Full story

Mel Watt Departure Would Create Crowded Special Election #NC12 | The Field

Watt has been nominated to a post in the Obama administration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Longtime Rep. Melvin Watts nomination to serve in President Barack Obama’s administration would spark a crowded race for his heavily Democratic district in North Carolina.

On Wednesday, Obama officially nominate the 11-term Democrat to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency. If confirmed, Watt’s subsequent resignation will create an opportunity that local and state politicians have been seeking for decades to ascend the state’s political ladder.

“These guys for years had ceilings on the local level and the federal level, and all of a sudden there are no ceilings,” said Morgan Jackson, a Democratic consultant with North Carolina’s Nexus Strategies and a former Watt staffer.

Jackson added that the open mayoral seat in Charlotte (Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, a Democrat, was nominated to serve as Transportation secretary last week) could create two simultaneously open positions that state politicians have been eyeing for years. Full story

Lindsey Graham Backs Mark Sanford #SC01 #SCSEN

Graham, above, backed Sanford. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., endorsed former Gov. Mark Sanford in the special election for South Carolina’s 1st District.

The endorsement from the Palmetto State’s senior senator came in the form of a series of tweets from Graham’s campaign Twitter account on Wednesday morning.

Full story

Democrats Blitz Markey’s House Seat #MA05 | The Field

Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., has been the favorite to win the special election for Senate for months — which means his House seat has been an attractive spot for ambitious local Democrats for even longer.

A handful of Democrats have been running for nearly three months to replace Markey, who won a Senate primary on Tuesday and is in a strong position to win the special election on June 25.

Three Democrats made their congressional aspirations known in early February, and each of them turned in six-figure first-quarter fundraising reports. Other potential candidates were waiting for the outcome of Markey’s primary with Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, but nonetheless made their intentions to run for his seat known.

The list of announced candidates include: Full story

April 30, 2013

Rahall Forgoes Senate Run #WVsen


(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Rep. Nick J. Rahall II will not run for Senate next year and plans to seek re-election to West Virginia’s 3rd District instead, a Democratic strategist confirmed Tuesday evening.

His decision means that Democrats will continue to search for a top candidate to run for retiring Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s seat.

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican, announced her candidacy for Senate last year. She got off to a big head start in fundraising in the first quarter as well.

Full story

Markey, Gomez Win Special-Election Primaries #MAsen

Markey won the primary, his first competitive election since winning a 12-candidate primary race in 1976. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Edward J. Markey secured the Democratic nomination in the Massachusetts Senate special election on Tuesday night and is now favored to win the seat outright.

With the Democratic establishment behind him, Markey, 66, defeated fellow Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, 58, in a primary contest that will be remembered most for the time the two were off the campaign trail in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing.

In the June 25 special election, Markey will face GOP primary winner Gabriel Gomez, 47, a private equity investor and former Navy SEAL.

Markey led 57 percent to 43 percent when The Associated Press called the race with 60 percent of precincts reporting. Full story

Remainders: Larry Flynt Backs Mark Sanford

Polls close for the special primary for Senate in Massachusetts at 8 p.m. EDT. Check Roll Call tonight for results.

In the meantime, here’s what you might have missed “At the Races” on Tuesday …

#SC01: Larry Flynt — the publisher of Hustler — endorsed former Gov. Mark Sanford’s special election bid. He’s said he’ll donate the maximum to the struggling Republican’s campaign.

And in what will likely come as more welcome support, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and FreedomWorks PAC backed Sanford over the Democratic nominee, Elizabeth Colbert Busch. Meanwhile, House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, targeted female Republicans in its final ad before Election Day.

#PAgov: GOP Gov. Tom Corbett’s terrible polling makes Republicans nervous about four suburban Philadelphia seats.

#GAsen: Republican Rep. Jack Kingston will hold two news conferences on Thursday — and all signs point to him announcing a bid for Senate.

#2016: Libertarian Gary Johnson sounded like “he’s up for another run” in a speech at George Washington University on Monday night.

What we’re mulling on Tuesday… Full story

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