Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
January 30, 2015

January 21, 2015

Marco Rubio Names Potential Florida Senate Candidates (Updated)

Marco Rubio Names Potential Florida Senate Candidates (Updated)

Rubio is considering running for president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Updated 12:23 p.m. | If Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., chooses to seek the presidency instead of re-election in 2016, he believes there will be “no shortage of quality” Republican candidates to take his place on the ballot.

“Obviously we have a number of Republican statewide elected officials,” Rubio told reporters at a Wednesday breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. “We have talented people like former speaker of the [state] House Will Weatherford, we’ve got the Lieutenant Governor [Carlos Lopez-Cantera] in Florida, who’s a close friend and very talented as well. … And there could be someone out there now that we haven’t even mentioned — I certainly was not viewed as a top-tier candidate early in the race.” Full story

GOP Presidential Hopefuls Offer Similar SOTU Criticism

GOP Presidential Hopefuls Offer Similar SOTU Criticism

Potential presidential candidates, including Rubio, responded to Obama's speech Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican presidential hopefuls panned President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday, focusing their attacks on economic issues — specifically, the tax package the president proposed.

The presidential primaries will be in full swing a year from now, and potential GOP candidates utilized the president’s annual remarks to highlight their differences. Full story

January 20, 2015

Cheri Bustos Keeps Door Open to Senate Run

Cheri Bustos Keeps Door Open to Senate Run

Bustos is a Democrat from Illinois. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Cheri Bustos said she is not closing the door on running for Senate in Illinois in 2016, marking the third House Democrat to express some level of interest in one of the cycle’s top race targets.

“I’m focusing on my district, focusing on what we hope to accomplish in the coming term,” Bustos said in a Tuesday morning interview with CQ Roll Call in her Longworth office. “And like anything in politics, you don’t close the door to anything and you keep an open mind, and I think you’ve got to weigh what’s good for your district, what’s good for your state and what’s good on a personal level. So for right now, what I would tell you is that I guess that’s kind of the long and short of it: I don’t close the door on anything, but I’m squarely focused on the 17th Congressional District of Illinois.”

Full story

Joni Ernst’s Next Move

Joni Ernsts Next Move

Ernst is a first-term Republican from Iowa. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, will have been in the Senate for just two weeks before she delivers the GOP’s response to the State of the Union Tuesday — and Republicans already predict her influence in the party will extend well beyond that in the coming months.

“I think she’s going to play a very important role,” Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a Monday phone interview. “No. 1, Republicans need more female leaders, so she falls into that category. Another thing is she’s got a commanding personality, and it’s backed up by her military experience as a commander. So she’s been a leader in a previous life and that is gonna be natural for her to lead in Iowa.” Full story

January 19, 2015

Tammy Duckworth: I’m ‘Taking a Real Serious Look’ at Senate Run

Tammy Duckworth: Im Taking a Real Serious Look at Senate Run

Duckworth is a Democrat from Illinois. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a two-term Democrat, told CQ Roll Call Monday that she is seriously considering challenging vulnerable Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., in 2016.

Duckworth, currently finishing maternity leave following the birth of her daughter, said in a phone interview she is beginning the process of exploring a Senate bid as she gears up to return to Capitol Hill.

Full story

January 18, 2015

GOPAC Announces 2015 Advisory Board

GOPAC Announces 2015 Advisory Board

Ernst was a member of GOPAC's Emerging Leaders Program. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

GOPAC, an organization that grooms Republican state lawmakers to run for higher office, will announce its 2015 Legislative Leaders Advisory Board Monday, according to a release provided first to CQ Roll Call.

The board pinpoints promising state legislators for GOPAC’s Emerging Leaders Program, which seeks to foster a bench of talent to eventually run for federal and statewide elected office. Previous members of the Emerging Leaders Program include now-Sens. Joni Ernst of Iowa and Cory Gardner of Colorado. Both Republicans won targeted Senate races in 2014.

Full story

January 15, 2015

Kay Hagan Heads to Harvard

Kay Hagan Heads to Harvard

Hagan served one term as a North Carolina Democrat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Don’t expect to hear from former Sen. Kay Hagan about her 2016 plans for the next few months.

The North Carolina Democrat, who lost to Republican Sen. Thom Tillis by less than two points last year, will be serving as a Resident Fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, according to a Thursday announcement. As part of her duties, she will lead a series of study groups for students during the Spring semester, which ends in May.

Full story

First Democrat Jumps Into Targeted Iowa Race

First Democrat Jumps Into Targeted Iowa Race

Democrats partially blame Braley for the loss. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:28 p.m. | Cedar Rapids City Councilwoman Monica Vernon announced her candidacy for Iowa’s 1st District on Thursday, she announced Thursday, marking the first Democrat in a race that will top the party’s target list in 2016.

“Northeast Iowans deserve a representative in Congress with a track record of solving problems and getting results for families and small businesses across our community. That’s why I’m excited to announce my candidacy,” Vernon said in a release.

Full story

Why California Members May Think Twice About Running for Senate

Why California Members May Think Twice About Running for Senate

Rep. Darrell Issa, left, and Sanchez, right, are from California. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

More than a half-dozen House Democrats are considering a bid for California’s first open Senate seat in more than two decades — and unlike in most other states, none would start as a front-runner.

Sen. Barbara Boxer’s retirement has given ambitious but stifled Democrats an avenue to higher office, and it’s part of a significant changing of the guard among the party’s leaders in the state. State Attorney General Kamala Harris entered the race Tuesday, with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and billionaire Tom Steyer expected to announce their decisions within days.

Full story

January 12, 2015

Kamala Harris to Run for Open California Senate Seat

Kamala Harris to Run for Open California Senate Seat

Harris speaks onstage during Children's Defense Fund - California Hosts 24th Annual Beat The Odds Awards in Culver City on Dec. 4. (Jesse Grant/Getty Images File Photo)

Kamala Harris, the first woman to serve as attorney general of California, will run for the Senate seat being vacated in 2016 by retiring Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, according to The Associated Press.

Harris will make the announcement Tuesday, five days after Boxer announced her retirement, and one day after fellow Democrat Gavin Newsom, the Golden State’s lieutenant governor, passed on the contest. Harris and Newsom run in the same political circles in the state, and many California Democratic operatives speculated there was not room for both in the contest.

Full story

A Dilemma for Democrats in New York’s 11th District

A Dilemma for Democrats in New Yorks 11th District

Grimm resigned from Congress earlier this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call).

Updated 4:23 p.m.| Democrats have a tough decision to make on Staten Island: How much of a play do they make in the special election for a seat they are likely to lose?

“I’ve always believed that that is a very tricky district,” Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., the former chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told CQ Roll Call recently outside the House chamber. “In a presidential year, it is competitive. In a midterm, not so competitive. In a special election, it could be exceedingly difficult.” Full story

Gavin Newsom Won’t Seek California Senate Seat

Gavin Newsom Wont Seek California Senate Seat

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

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday he will not seek the Senate seat opened by the retirement of Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.

Newsom, a former mayor of San Francisco, was among the Democrats mentioned last week as potentially formidable candidates in 2016. Others still in the mix include Attorney General Kamala Harris, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and billionaire Tom Steyer, as well as a few members of Congress. Full story

Claire McCaskill Won’t Run for Governor

Claire McCaskill Wont Run for Governor

McCaskill is a Democrat from Missouri. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., will not run for governor in the Show-Me State in 2016 — an open-seat race to replace term-limited Gov. Jay Nixon.

“It is a firm no,” McCaskill told KCUR radio Monday about her gubernatorial ambitions. Full story

January 9, 2015

Scramble Starts for Barbara Boxer’s Senate Seat

Scramble Starts for Barbara Boxers Senate Seat

Boxer, center, is a California Democrat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer’s Thursday announcement she will not seek re-election kicked off what will likely be one of the most competitive — and expensive — Senate races of 2016.

Democrats have a deep bench of potential candidates, some of whom are salivating at the opportunity to run for California’s first open Senate seat in 24 years. But with 10 media markets, including four massive ones, seeking statewide office in California is an expensive proposition. Full story

Exclusive: NRCC Names Senior Staff for 2016

Exclusive: NRCC Names Senior Staff for 2016

Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon is the NRCC Chairman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee will announce Friday its senior staff for the 2016 cycle and the return of several top aides, according to information shared first with CQ Roll Call.

“This exceptional team is already working to gain and maintain our majority in the 2016 cycle,” NRCC Executive Director Rob Simms said in a statement. “We are very fortunate that many members of the team who built the historic majority in 2014, are moving into senior positions to continue helping successful Republican campaigns.” Full story

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