Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 30, 2014

July 24, 2012

Arizona: Wil Cardon Dismisses Jeff Flake Endorsements

Arizona: Wil Cardon Dismisses Jeff Flake Endorsements

Rep. Jeff Flake's GOP primary opponent for the Arizona Senate seat said Flake's backing from Sen. John McCain will have no effect on the race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Businessman Wil Cardon on Tuesday politely dismissed the ability of Republican Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain to influence voters in his Senate GOP primary battle with Rep. Jeff Flake.

Kyl and McCain endorsed Flake earlier this month, a move Cardon described as expected.

“I have respect for the service of Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain, but they’re part of the old guard,” he said.

Kyl, whose retirement created this open-seat race, is appearing in a television ad alongside Flake. The spot began airing this week. McCain has called the Cardon campaign “disturbing” and said he worried that Cardon’s attacks “might make it harder in the general election for us to elect Jeff Flake to the United States Senate.”

Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona is the presumptive Democratic nominee. Roll Call rates this race as Leans Republican.

California Poll: Julia Brownley Leads Tony Strickland in Open 26th

Assemblywoman Julia Brownley (D) led state Sen. Tony Strickland (R) in the race for the 26th district, according to a poll conducted for the Democrat’s campaign and obtained by Roll Call.

In a top pickup opportunity for Democrats, Brownley topped Strickland by 4 points, 48 percent to 44 percent, in the competitive battle for this open, Ventura County-based seat. While Brownley’s lead was within the margin of error, Democrats view this poll as a good sign for her in what could be among the closest House races in California. Full story

Wisconsin: Negative Ads Dominate Airwaves

Congressional candidates and outside groups in Wisconsin have picked up the pace of TV and radio attack ads as the state’s primaries loom three weeks away.

Roll Call counted 10 attack ads released in the past 11 days, including three spots released today.

Most of the ads focus on the race for the state’s open Senate seat. Ads from both sides of the aisle have targeted the GOP primary’s perceived frontrunners, former Gov. Tommy Thompson and businessman Eric Hovde.

The Club for Growth and former Rep. Mark Neumann, who is also competing in the GOP primary, have been especially critical. Majority PAC, which supports Democrats running for the Senate, and EMILY’s List targeted Hovde and Thompson in hopes of aiding presumptive Democratic nominee Rep. Tammy Baldwin. Full story

Georgia: Martha Zoller Gets Sarah Palin Endorsement

Georgia: Martha Zoller Gets Sarah Palin Endorsement

(Roberto Gonzalez/Getty Images)

Congressional candidate Martha Zoller, locked in a tough GOP primary with state Rep. Doug Collins in Georgia’s new 9th district, today picked up the endorsement of Sarah Palin, Zoller’s campaign said.

Zoller, a conservative talk radio host, has positioned herself as the insurgent candidate against Collins, who is close with Gov. Nathan Deal (R) and the Atlanta GOP establishment. Both candidates are very conservative.

“Martha is running against the establishment, which, as we know, is an uphill battle; but with all of our support she can win. In Congress, she’ll vote to cut spending, lower taxes, and repeal Obamacare,” Palin said in a statement released by the Zoller campaign. “I hope you’ll join me and other conservatives like Sean Hannity and Mark Levin in supporting Martha Zoller for Congress!”

Zoller had an absurdly low $7,873 in cash on hand on July 11 while Collins had $60,000 in the bank. Still, unaligned Republicans in the state see the primary race as close, with either candidate having a shot at victory.

Roll Call rates the 9th, one of the most Republican in the country, as Safe Republican. The winner of the July 31 primary will almost certainly be coming to Congress next January.

Arizona: Kyrsten Sinema Airs Women’s Issues Ad

Former Arizona state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D) began airing her “first TV ad of the summer primary season,” according to a campaign press release.

Sinema is running in the open seat race for the newly drawn 9th district and the new ad focuses on women’s issues. It has five figures behind it and is a targeted cable buy.

In the spot, a quick montage of male Republicans scrolls across the screen. They include former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), Rush Limbaugh and Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl and Arizona Rep. Ben Quayle.

“They’re more focused on dictating women’s personal health care decisions, like birth control, than getting our economy back on track,” Sinema says. Full story

Missouri: Sarah Steelman Gives Campaign $100,000

Missouri Senate candidate Sarah Steelman gave her campaign $100,000 on Friday, according to a Federal Election Commission filing.

Steelman, a former state treasurer who has struggled to raise money, had already loaned her campaign $400,000 this cycle.

While she ended June with $562,000 in cash on hand, Steelman’s campaign spent more than it took in during the second quarter.

Steelman’s spokesman didn’t immediately have a comment on why the candidate had given herself the financial infusion. Full story

Hawaii: Don Young Backs Mazie Hirono

Members of Congress from Hawaii and Alaska have a history of bipartisan cooperation, and that was on full display today in the Hawaii Senate race.

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) appeared in a 90-second web ad alongside Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) to endorse her for Hawaii’s open Senate seat. Hirono is facing former Rep. Ed Case in the Aug. 11 Democratic primary, the winner of which will take on former Gov. Linda Lingle (R) in the general election.

Full story

Massachusetts: New Poll Shows Close Senate Race

Massachusetts: New Poll Shows Close Senate Race

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R) and Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren remain locked in a statistical dead heat, according to a nonpartisan poll released today.

A MassINC Polling Group survey found if the election were held today, 38 percent of registered voters would cast their ballot for Brown, while 40 percent would cast their vote for Warren, a Harvard professor and consumer advocate. Sixteen percent were undecided.

Because this was a poll of registered voters, as opposed to likely voters, the undecided number is probably higher than the actual number of voters who haven’t yet made up their mind in the white-hot race which could decide control of the Senate. Full story

New York: Democratic Poll Has Tim Bishop Up Big

New York: Democratic Poll Has Tim Bishop Up Big

Rep. Tim Bishop faces a rematch with his 2010 opponent. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A new poll from Democratic-aligned House Majority PAC and the Service Employees International Union found Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) in very comfortable shape four months before his rematch with businessman Randy Altschuler (R) in the Empire State’s 1st district.

In a horse-race matchup, Bishop led Altschuler 56 percent to 32 percent, with 12 percent of those polled undecided. The poll of likely voters, conducted by respected Democratic firm Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group and obtained by Roll Call, also found Bishop with a relatively favorable image in the eastern Long Island district. Full story

Michigan: FreedomWorks Backs Clark Durant in GOP Primary

FreedomWorks PAC today backed the underdog in Michigan’s Republican Senate primary.

Charter schools executive Clark Durant received the conservative group’s endorsement, although Republicans expect former Rep. Pete Hoekstra will win the GOP primary and the right to challenge Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) on Aug. 7

FreedomWorks PAC joins several conservatives and affiliated groups that have backed Durant, including Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).

Stabenow is favored to win re-election, and Roll Call rates this race as Likely Democratic.

July 23, 2012

Montana: Denny Rehberg Launches Second Cancer Ad

Montana: Denny Rehberg Launches Second Cancer Ad

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate campaign of Rep. Denny Rehberg (R) is running another ad responding to a spot launched a couple of weeks ago by Sen. Jon Tester (D) that charged the Congressman with voting against cancer funding.

“Newspapers across Montana say Jon Tester’s attack on Denny Rehberg is not true,” the ad’s announcer says.

This is Rehberg’s second ad in two weeks since Tester launched an ad on July 11 that featured a cancer survivor and charged that Rehberg supported a 2011 appropriations bill that reduced funding for breast cancer screenings. Rehberg responded last week with an ad featuring his mother, a cancer survivor.

Texas: Early Voting Begins; Senate Runoff Escalates

Texas: Early Voting Begins; Senate Runoff Escalates

Former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz was endorsed by Sarah Palin on Facebook on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The two candidates in the runoff to decide the GOP nominee for Senate cast their ballots Monday amid some fanfare.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst was accompanied to the polls by Gov. Rick Perry. His opponent, former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz, was joined by his family while voting in Houston, his hometown.

The first day of early voting before the July 31 runoff was a busy one in other respects. Full story

Hawaii: EMILY’s List on the Air in 2nd District Primary

Hawaii: EMILY’s List on the Air in 2nd District Primary

Tulsi Gabbard has gotten the full stamp of approval from EMILY's List. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Honolulu City Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard is getting more air support from outside groups in her Democratic primary bid for the open 2nd district.

EMILY’s List, which helps elect Democratic women who support abortion rights, launched a “significant six-figure buy” on Monday for an ad running through Aug. 6, a spokeswoman said. The Honolulu Civil Beat first reported the news.

“Accomplished leader, decorated veteran — Tulsi Gabbard for Congress,”an announcer says in the closing of the ad.

VoteVets.org has already spent about $240,000 for TV advertising on Gabbard’s behalf.

Her top opponent in the Aug. 11 Democratic primary is Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who was endorsed over the weekend by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Other candidates in the race include former state Rep. Bob Marx and former longtime Congressional aide Esther Kiaaina.

Iowa: Ben Lange Plays Up Bruce Braley’s Statewide Ambition

Attorney Ben Lange (R) used Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley’s not-so-secret statewide ambitions in his uphill campaign against the three-term Congressman.

“Folks in Iowa are investing in our race because they know it’s a cost-effective investment for them because Bruce wants to run statewide for governor or Senator next cycle,” Lange said in a Monday interview.

House Republicans plan to target the northeastern Iowa district, but Braley is favored to win re-election. The 1st district is the state’s most Democratic House seat. Full story

Massachusetts: Independent Seth Moulton Will Not Run

Seth Moulton (I), a Marine veteran who had considered a bid for Congress against Rep. John Tierney (D), said today he had decided not to run.

“The time and the logistics of putting together all the campaign infrastructure, organizing the volunteers … the fundraising — it’s just too much to accomplish in three months,” he said.

Had he run for the Bay State’s 6th district seat, Moulton would have had to submit 2,000 valid signatures by the end of the month, no small task. Moulton said he would have caucused with Democrats, had he been elected.

Moulton told Roll Call that he did some polling that “showed there was in fact a clear path to victory” and left open the possibility of a future bid for political office. Full story

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