Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
January 27, 2015

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

January 8, 2015

Democrat Kicks Off Race for Open Pennsylvania Seat

Democrat Kicks Off Race for Open Pennsylvania Seat

Fitzpatrick is leaving Congress after this term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The cycle’s first race for a competitive House contest began in earnest Thursday, when Democratic state Rep. Steve Santarsiero filed paperwork to run in southeastern Pennsylvania’s 8th District.

Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., has indicated he will not seek another term thanks to self-imposed term limits. On paper, the district is competitive: President Barack Obama narrowly lost it in 2012, while Fitzpatrick won re-election there by double-digit margins in the past two cycles.  Full story

Barbara Boxer to Retire (Video)

Barbara Boxer to Retire (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

California Sen. Barbara Boxer announced Thursday she will not run for re-election in 2016, opening up an attractive seat for ambitious fellow Democrats.

Boxer made the announcement in a video posted to her campaign website, in which she conducted a mock interview with her grandson Zach. Full story

Rob Collins Heads Downtown, Joins S-3

Rob Collins Heads Downtown, Joins S 3

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Fresh off a tour of duty at the National Republican Senatorial Committee that saw the GOP net nine seats and take control of the Senate, Rob Collins is joining an old friend in the lobbying world.

Collins will be a senior principal at the S-3 group, the boutique firm announced Thursday morning. Collins led the NRSC through the 2014 cycle during the chairmanship of Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan.

“I couldn’t be more excited for Rob to join our firm. He is a game-changer and a super thoughtful strategist who knows D.C. and all of the players. He will add tremendous value for our clients and causes,” said S-3 Co-Founder and Managing Partner John Scofield, who was a senior aide at the House Appropriations Committee before leaving the Capitol for the government affairs realm.

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DCCC Kicks Off 2016 Recruitment

DCCC Kicks Off 2016 Recruitment

Luján is a Democrat from New Mexico. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats will formally start recruitment efforts for 2016 this week, kicking off with the cycle’s first meeting of new committee leadership and a weekend trip to Illinois to find prospective candidates.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will name Rep. Denny Heck of Washington as recruitment chairman for 2016, according to information provided first to CQ Roll Call. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois will aid the DCCC’s recruitment efforts as the national chairman for candidate services, and the committee’s chairman, Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, will take a leading role in seeking stellar candidates for 2016.  Full story

Congressman Says Wife Nixed Senate Run

Congressman Says Wife Nixed Senate Run

Huelskamp could face a primary challenge in his House district in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., does not plan to run for Senate, he told CQ Roll Call Wednesday.

“Nope. My wife’s pretty clear on that,” he said just outside the House chamber, when asked if he was still thinking about running for Senate. Full story

January 5, 2015

Sources: Chris Gibson Will Announce Retirement

Sources: Chris Gibson Will Announce Retirement

Gibson is a New York Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Chris Gibson, R-N.Y., will announce his retirement Tuesday, according to two GOP sources.

The Republican, who was re-elected to a third term in November, will open a competitive seat in 2016 with his departure following this Congress. President Barack Obama carried the district with 52 percent, making it a must-win for House Democrats if they want to put a dent in the GOP’s historic majority this cycle.  Full story

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