Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 19, 2014

April 4, 2012

Georgia: NRCC Hits John Barrow in TV Spot to Air During Masters

The National Republican Congressional Committee will begin airing a television ad in the Augusta, Ga., media market Thursday knocking vulnerable Democratic Rep. John Barrow and attempting to tie him to President Barack Obama.

The ad, set to air during the Masters Tournament, uses a golf theme. It shows two silhouetted figures holding golf clubs — who appear to look something like Obama and Barrow — with one’s arm around the other. The NRCC is backing the ad with a weeklong $36,000 buy.

Full story

Arizona: Pat Toomey Endorses David Schweikert Against Ben Quayle

Arizona: Pat Toomey Endorses David Schweikert Against Ben Quayle

Sen. Pat Toomey endorsed Rep. David Schweikert (above) in his Member-vs.-Member primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. David Schweikert, who is locked in a heated GOP primary against fellow Rep. Ben Quayle, picked up an endorsement this morning from Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).

The two Arizona lawmakers are facing off in a race to the ideological right in their Member-vs.-Member primary in the suburban Phoenix 6th district. Toomey’s support helps Schweikert make his case as the most conservative candidate in the race, although Quayle has prominent conservative supporters of his own.

“Congressman Schweikert is one of the great defenders of liberty in the U.S. Congress,” Toomey said in a press release from the Schweikert campaign. Full story

New York: Tim Bishop Poll Shows Him Up 17 Points

A Democratic poll from late last month showed New York Rep. Tim Bishop, who won a squeaker of an election against businessman Randy Altschuler in 2010, faring quite well in their likely rematch this November.

The survey, done by for Bishop by respected firm Global Strategy Group, found the Democrat led Altschuler 53 percent to 36 percent among likely voters in New York’s 1st district, with 11 percent undecided. Full story

April 3, 2012

Maryland: John Delaney, Roscoe Bartlett Win Primaries

Maryland: John Delaney, Roscoe Bartlett Win Primaries

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It would have shocked the Maryland political world six months ago, but businessman John Delaney beat out the state establishment favorite, state Senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola, in the Maryland 6th district Democratic primary today, according to the Associated Press.

The seat’s current occupant, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, eased past the GOP primary as well. His closest challenger, state Sen. David Brinkley, came in second place. The tone between the two turned especially nasty in recent days.

The wins are not yet official, but Garagiola already conceded to Delaney.

The Democratic primary was a race between a candidate favored by mapmakers versus a candidate with a massive capacity to self-fund.

Full story

Maryland: Mitt Romney Snags Easy Win

Maryland: Mitt Romney Snags Easy Win

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 9:31  p.m. | Mitt Romney easily won the Maryland primary tonight, putting the finishing touches on his quest for the Republican presidential nomination.

Continuing his string of wins in moderate Northeastern states, the former Massachusetts governor did well enough in exit polls that the Associated Press called the race less than 15 minutes after polls closed at 8 p.m.

Updated 8:46 p.m.

Romney was projected to win a primary in Washington, D.C., by multiple news outlets before 9 p.m., when polls close in Wisconsin.

Updated 9: 31 p.m.

News networks also called Wisconsin for Romney around 9:30 p.m., essentially ending the Republican primary season.

In a defiant speech, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum vowed to stay in the race.

Florida: Alan Grayson Pulls in Big Bucks

Former Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) said he raised more than $550,000 in the first quarter of this year in his bid to return to Congress representing the new Orlando-area 9th district.

“We are doing something special. Our campaign model shows that you can raise money and win elections without having to sell out to special interests or the lobbyists,” Grayson said in a statement. The campaign said it raised the massive haul from almost 12,000 contributors.

Grayson spokesman Todd Jurkowski said the campaign didn’t yet have a firm sense of how much cash on hand it ended the quarter with. Full story

Virginia: George Allen Raised $1.4 Million in First Quarter

Virginia: George Allen Raised $1.4 Million in First Quarter

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

George Allen’s Senate campaign announced today that the former governor and Senator raised more than $1.4 million in the first quarter of 2012, leaving the Republican with $2.7 million in cash on hand as of the end of March.

Allen is likely to advance beyond the June 12 primary to face off against former Gov. Tim Kaine (D), who earlier today announced raising $2.2 million last quarter. Kaine’s campaign is expected to report $4.4 million in the bank as of Saturday. Full story

California: Brad Sherman Leads Howard Berman in Internal Poll

California: Brad Sherman Leads Howard Berman in Internal Poll

Rep. Brad Sherman's (above) campaign said they expect to continue being outspent by fellow Rep. Howard Berman. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

An internal poll for California Rep. Brad Sherman found him ahead of fellow Democratic Rep. Howard Berman by 27 points in a potential general election matchup that is expected to be a close race as November nears.

Sherman took 52 percent to 25 percent for Berman, while 23 percent remained undecided in the poll conducted by the Feldman Group. In the top-two primary, Sherman led with 40 percent, followed by Berman with 17 percent and Republican businessman Mark Reed with 12 percent. Another Democrat, two Republicans and a Green Party member totaled 13 percent, while 20 percent were undecided. Full story

Florida: John Quiñones Announces Bid in 9th District

Osceola County Commissioner John “Q” Quiñones (R) will run for Congress in Florida’s new strongly Democratic 9th district, he announced yesterday.

Quiñones, a former state Representative, faces a handful of Republicans in the primary. The winner of that contest will take on likely Democratic nominee former Rep. Alan Grayson in a district that would have voted 60 percent for Barack Obama in 2008. Quiñones, 46, is the second Latino GOP candidate to throw his hat in the ring. The district is more than 44 percent Hispanic.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean he, or any Latino candidate, has a straight shot at the nomination. Full story

Virginia: Tim Kaine Rakes In $2.2 Million in First Quarter

Virginia: Tim Kaine Rakes In $2.2 Million in First Quarter

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine’s Senate campaign had a monster first quarter, raking in $2.2 million and ending March with $4.4 million in the bank.

Kaine, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is unchallenged in the June 12 primary and likely to face George Allen, a former governor and Senator, in a general election race anticipated to be among the closest in the country and instrumental to both parties’ quest for the Senate majority.

The Kaine campaign highlighted in a release today that it has raised a total of $7.4 million in the past year from 19,000 individual donors, including more than 14,000 who have given $200 or less.

Allen has not yet announced his first-quarter fundraising. Reports for the Jan. 1 through March 31 fundraising quarter are due April 15 at midnight.

Washington: 1st District Special Election Set

Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) called for a special election to fill the seat of former Rep. Jay Inslee (D), setting up a confusing situation as a result of redistricting.

The special election will be held concurrently with the regular election schedule, with the primary on Aug. 7 and the general on Nov. 6. Voters will have representation for the last two months of the year, but that means candidates running for both a full term and in the special will be running under two different sets of lines at the same time. Full story

April 2, 2012

Romney’s Chief Whip Roy Blunt Has a Good Week

Romneys Chief Whip Roy Blunt Has a Good Week

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By all accounts, the end of March and the beginning of April have been kind to Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), the leader of Mitt Romney’s effort to secure Member endorsements.

In recent days, the former Massachusetts governor and GOP presidential frontrunner has been endorsed by a group of much sought after tea party stalwarts, including GOP Sens. Ron Johnson (Wis.), Mike Lee (Utah) and Marco Rubio (Fla.). Also endorsing on the cusp of Tuesday’s key Badger State presidential primary was House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

But in an interview with Roll Call last week, during which Blunt discussed his plans to use his leadership position as Senate GOP Conference vice chairman to improve coordination between House and Senate Republicans, the Missourian reflected on an endorsement whip operation that functioned much differently than when he did the same thing in 2000 for George W. Bush, the Texas governor who would go on to be elected president. Full story

Internal Poll: Orrin Hatch Can Win Nomination at Convention

Internal Poll: Orrin Hatch Can Win Nomination at Convention

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

An internal poll of Utah Republican delegates conducted for Sen. Orrin Hatch’s campaign found the six-term incumbent with enough support to secure the nomination at this month’s state convention.

Hatch is supported by 62 percent of attendees, followed by former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist with 16 percent and state Rep. Chris Herrod with 5 percent. Hatch needs at least 60 percent of the 4,000 total delegates to win the nomination at the convention. If no candidate takes 60 percent, the top two finishers advance to the June 26 primary. Full story

Maryland: GOP Field Accuses Each Other of Dirty Tricks in Roscoe Bartlett Race

Maryland: GOP Field Accuses Each Other of Dirty Tricks in Roscoe Bartlett Race

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Few races this cycle have had as much drama as Maryland’s 6th district. And the day before Tuesday’s primaries, Republicans are occupied with accusing each other of pulling dirty tricks.

Someone posted online audio of two 911 calls from a 2008 domestic dispute involving Rep. Roscoe Bartlett’s primary opponent, state Sen. David Brinkley.

The incident is widely known in Maryland and was covered in the local press at the time.

But the emergence of the actual audio of distressed phone calls from both Brinkley and his wife at the time, along with the intrigue of who did it, has fascinated both Republicans and Democrats watching this race.

While the audio surfaced online last week, it caught little notice until over the weekend, when a Twitter account that includes Bartlett’s publicity photo and a link to the campaign website tweeted links to the 911 calls. The account has no followers and had no tweets before Saturday.

Full story

Shop Talk: Dan Conston Takes 2012 Focus; Nebraska Senate Hires

Dan Conston started today as communications director for a consortium of Republican-aligned groups.

Conston is moving over from the office of Chief Deputy Majority Whip Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) to take a leadership role at the issue advocacy firm American Action Network, the policy institute American Action Forum and the Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC, which supports House candidates.

“I’m excited to work with such talented people and to have the opportunity to influence the central political and policy fights of 2012 and beyond,” Conston said in an email. Full story

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