Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 27, 2014

November 14, 2014

Harry Reid Considers Three Names for Campaign Manager

Harry Reid Considers Three Names for Campaign Manager

Reid is considering at least three to serve as campaign manager. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is considering at least three Democratic operatives to manage his re-election campaign in Nevada in 2016, according to a national Democratic source familiar with the discussions.

Preston Elliott, Sarah Benzing and Anne Caprara are all under discussion as top choices to lead a potential Reid bid for a sixth term, the source said.

Reid will be a top target of national Republicans, who have few offensive opportunities on a map far more favorable to Democrats than 2014. In winning back the majority, Republicans picked up eight seats this month and could add a ninth in the Dec. 6 runoff in Louisiana.

Widely considered three of the party’s most talented political hands, the candidates for campaign manager could also have other options for 2016. Full story

By Kyle Trygstad Posted at 3:31 p.m.
DSCC

Mark Kirk: ‘No Frickin’ Way Am I Retiring’

Mark Kirk: No Frickin Way Am I Retiring

Kirk says he'll run for a second term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., has a message for anyone who doubts his will or appetite for a second term.

“No frickin’ way am I retiring,” he told CQ Roll Call in an exclusive interview Thursday from his Capitol Hill office, following some speculation in local press over the senator’s future and his shifting political operation. ”With all this rehab, for me just to walk was a huge effort. I had to re-learn how to walk again after the stroke. And all the rehab and all the effort shows the mental determination times 10 to keep serving.”

In an extended interview, Kirk sought to dispel any notion he’s ready to leave the Senate — or that he lacks the stamina to seek re-election after suffering an ischemic stroke in January 2012. Kirk said he feels great, and any opponents who question his fitness to serve will regret it.

“That would not be taken well by the people of Illinois, who would not like that kind of attack,” Kirk said. “That would be an advantage to me if they did that.”

Full story

November 13, 2014

Pelosi Meets With 5 Potential DCCC Chairmen

Pelosi Meets With 5 Potential DCCC Chairmen

Pelosi is a California Democrat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has met with five possible contenders to run the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2016, according to her office, though she has not decided whom she will ultimately select.

On Thursday, Pelosi met with Reps. Jared Polis of Colorado, Jim Himes of Connecticut and Joaquin Castro of Texas. Also per her office, Pelosi had a meeting Tuesday with Rep. Lois Frankel of Florida, and she met Friday with Rep. Donna Edwards of Maryland.

A number of those members have been publicly angling for the role, including Frankel and Edwards — who spent the final days of the 2014 cycle on the trail with House candidates.

Full story

Democrats Eyeing 5 House Race Rematches in 2016

Democrats Eyeing 5 House Race Rematches in 2016

House Democrats want Horsford to run for the Nevada seat he lost this month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

There’s no rest for the weary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has yet to name the new committee chairman for 2016, but the DCCC is already getting a jump on recruiting during the final days of New York Rep. Steve Israel’s tenure.

On Thursday morning, Israel held the first 2016 recruitment meeting since Election Day. He named two northeastern congressional districts as top targeting opportunities, and party strategists are readying for at least five rematches from 2014, according to a committee aide. Full story

Jon Tester Named DSCC Chairman

Jon Tester Named DSCC Chairman

Tester will chair the DSCC for the 2016 cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Montana Sen. Jon Tester was appointed chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for the 2016 cycle.

Senate Democrats are coming off a brutal cycle, in which Republicans won back the majority for the first time since 2006 and could have a nine-seat net gain. But the Senate should be in play next cycle, with a far more favorable map for Democrats than in 2014.

At a news conference following an extended Democratic meeting in the Capitol, Tester said his role will be “going out and finding candidates that can lead, that can win, that can advocate for the middle class in their elections.” Tester said he will continue to focus on his job as senator and still has a farm to keep up back home.Jon Tester Named DSCC Chairman Full story

How Thom Tillis Defeated One of 2014′s Best Campaigns

How Thom Tillis Defeated One of 2014s Best Campaigns

Sen.-elect Thom Tillis is a North Carolina Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call).

It’s rare a losing campaign has no regrets. But to the last person, Democrats involved in Sen. Kay Hagan’s re-election say they would not have done anything differently.

Hagan ran one of the best campaigns of the cycle, defying headwinds of an unpopular Democratic president in a state that elected Mitt Romney in 2012. But on Election Day, it was not enough, and she fell to Republican state Speaker Thom Tillis by 1.7 points.

“Except for if I could have run this race during a presidential year,” Hagan’s campaign manager, Preston Elliott, told CQ Roll Call. “Maybe I would have moved Election Day to August.” Full story

Senate Republicans Elect NRSC Chairman (Updated)

Senate Republicans Elect NRSC Chairman (Updated)

Wicker is a Republican from Mississippi. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:05 p.m. | Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker will chair the National Republican Senatorial Committee in the 2016 cycle, when the party will likely be defending a 54-seat majority.

Senate Republicans chose Wicker over Nevada Sen. Dean Heller in a closed-door meeting Thursday morning to elect the conference’s leaders in the next Congress.

“This was a race between friends, a contest decided among friends, and we began it and ended it that way,” Wicker said. “So, I congratulate him on a very fine race.”

Full story

Exclusive: NRCC Chairman Reveals Top Targets for 2016

Exclusive: NRCC Chairman Reveals Top Targets for 2016

Walden is seeking a second term running the NRCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Fresh off a historic House majority, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden said he is already pivoting to focus on protecting the incoming GOP members elected last week.

In an exclusive interview with CQ Roll Call, Walden said his main priority will be defending the seats — at least 244 — his party captured on Election Day.

Many of the newly elected members represent districts that traditionally favor Democrats — and could again, especially in a presidential year. Walden said fortifying those new incumbents be his main focus.

“It’s a wonderful burden to have,” Walden said Wednesday afternoon at the NRCC.

Full story

November 12, 2014

Martha McSally Declares Victory as Race Heads to Recount

Martha McSally Declares Victory as Race Heads to Recount

McSally is a Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Retired Air Force Col. Martha E. McSally, a Republican, retained a small lead over Democratic Rep. Ron Barber Wednesday, as initial ballot-counting ended in Arizona’s 2nd District.

McSally leads Barber by 161 votes, according to a local affiliate. As a result, the race will automatically go to a recount, because it is within a 200-vote margin mandated by Arizona law. Full story

Republican Concedes Tight New York House Race

Republican Concedes Tight New York House Race

Slaughter, left, is a New York Democrat. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After an election night scare, Rep. Louise M. Slaughter of New York won a 15th term Wednesday when her Republican rival conceded the race.

The race was close — currently 869 votes — and officials tabulated ballots for almost a week after Election Day. Slaughter’s razor-slim margin over Republican Mark Assini shocked Democrats and Republicans — both of whom were surprised by the close race.

Assini conceded Wednesday, according to The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. A Slaughter spokesman confirmed the concession to CQ Roll Call and added Assini called the congresswoman to congratulate her.

House Democrats have lost a net of 12 seats so far in last week’s elections. The Associated Press has yet to declare a winner in five House races, including Slaughter’s contest.

Other recent developments in uncalled races include: Full story

How David Perdue Knew He Would Win

How David Perdue Knew He Would Win

Perdue, center, speaks with reporters as he and his fellow newly elected GOP senators walk from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's office to Minority Whip John Cornyn's office in the Capitol Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The morning after he won Georgia’s open Senate seat, Republican David Perdue was asked on “Fox & Friends” how he avoided a runoff when every available poll had shown a tight race.

It was the question of the day in the Democrats’ best pickup opportunity — where millions of dollars poured in from both sides during the final month of the contest, yet the Republican emerged with an unexpectedly large 8-point victory.

His answer indicated the Perdue campaign may have been the only ones not in the dark.

“Our pollster, Chris Perkins, had it pegged all along,” the former corporate CEO and first-time candidate responded. Full story

Club for Growth Endorses 6 Senators for 2016

Club for Growth Endorses 6 Senators for 2016

Lee, left, and Scott have been endorsed for 2016 by the Club for Growth. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Club for Growth endorsed six Republican senators up for re-election in 2016 — including three top Democratic targets.

The club, a fiscally conservative group sometimes at odds with GOP leaders, announced Wednesday it is backing Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida, Tim Scott of South Carolina and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania.

“The pro-growth class of 2010 has done excellent work in the United States Senate,” Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said in a statement. ”Our members want to make sure they stay there for another six years.”

Alaska Senate Race Called for Dan Sullivan

Alaska Senate Race Called for Dan Sullivan

The AP called the Alaska Senate race for Dan Sullivan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Associated Press called the Alaska Senate race early Wednesday for Dan Sullivan, the Republican challenger to Democratic Sen. Mark Begich.

The decision came in the early morning hours on the East Coast, after election workers counted about 20,000 absentee ballots. An unknown number of ballots remain, but Sullivan’s lead of some 8,100 votes was little changed after that significant chunk of votes was counted, the AP stated.

Full story

November 11, 2014

How Elise Stefanik Became the Youngest Woman Ever Elected to Congress

How Elise Stefanik Became the Youngest Woman Ever Elected to Congress

Stefanik leaves the Capitol Hill Club with aide Anthony Pileggi. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep.-elect Elise Stefanik’s path to victory in New York reflected the trajectory of the midterms nationally, as Republicans invaded Democratic territory to make double-digit gains in the House.

But in so many other ways, Stefanik’s dominant win was of her own making.

Stefanik defeated a wealthy Democrat, Aaron Woolf, by more than 20 points in a district the president carried just a couple years ago. At 30 years old, she’s the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, and New York Republicans now tout her as the future of their party.

But that’s nowhere close to where Stefanik started the cycle in the upstate wilderness. Full story

November 10, 2014

Georgia Senator to Seek Re-Election

Georgia Senator to Seek Re Election

Isakson, left, is running for re-election. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Johnny Isakson will seek a third term in the Senate and will soon launch his campaign.

The Georgia Republican will kick off his campaign on Nov. 17 at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, according to an email to supporters. Full story

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