Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 25, 2014

June 26, 2012

South Carolina: Tom Rice Likely Next Member From New District

Horry County Council Chairman Tom Rice beat former Lt. Gov. André Bauer in GOP primary runoff in South Carolina’s new 7th district. In November, he’ll face economist and former Georgia state Rep. Gloria Bromell Tinubu, who won the Democratic primary runoff against attorney Preston Brittain.

Shortly after 9 p.m., the Associated Press called the race for Rice. With 94 percent of precincts reporting, he had 56 percent to Bauer’s 44 percent.

Around the same time, the AP called the race for Bromell Tinubu. With 94 percent of precincts reporting, she had 73 percent to Brittain’s 27 percent.

Democrats and Republicans in the state do not believe Bromell Tinubu can win the race in the Myrtle Beach-anchored district. Roll Call rates the 7th district race as Safe Repubican.

Since the 7th is a new district granted to the Palmetto State in reapportionment, if Rice wins, as expected, this will be a pickup for Republicans.

Fundraising: Campaigns Send Last-Minute Appeals

With the June 30 second-quarter campaign fundraising deadline looming, House and Senate campaigns sent out a flurry of emails to supporters today seeking donations.

They included:

  • Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson‘s (R) campaign manager Ryan Burchfield sent out an appeal that made no mention of Thompson’s GOP rivals. Burchfield did, however, mention the word “liberal” three times and “Madison” five times in reference to Democratic presumptive nominee Rep. Tammy Baldwin. Full story

Michigan: Freshman Justin Amash Backs Kerry Bentivolio

Reindeer rancher Kerry Bentivolio (R) picked up the backing of freshman Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) today in the primary race in the 11th district.

“Having spent time with Kerry over the last few weeks and having listened to his vision for our country, I believe that Kerry is someone we can count on to do what’s right, not just what’s easy,” Amash said in a statement released by Bentivolio’s campaign.

The endorsement comes one day after Bentivolio’s campaign announced it was on the air with a TV ad. It’s yet another sign the once-unknown Republican aims to run a competitive race for the GOP primary against former state Sen. Nancy Cassis, a write-in candidate.

Earlier this month, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R) dropped his re-election bid after his campaign submitted ballot petitions filled with errors and duplicate names. Bentivolio was then the only Republican left on the party’s ballot, but local GOP officials started searching for a new write-in candidate to support in the Aug. 7 primary.

Michigan GOP officials settled on Cassis, who sources say plans to put $200,000 of her own money into the race.

DSCC Reserves $1.2 Million in North Dakota

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee reserved $1.2 million in fall airtime in North Dakota today.

The buy caps the committee’s first wave of ad investments in five key states with top Senate races, including $4.5 million in Missouri, $3.2 million in Montana, $7.5 million in Virginia and $5.1 million in Ohio.

According to a source familiar with the buy, the North Dakota reservation is for Oct. 2 through Nov. 5. But committees can change the reservation at any time without financial penalty — and they often do just that in the final months before Election Day depending on the competitiveness of a race. Full story

Minnesota: Michele Bachmann Opponent’s Poll Shows Competitive Race

Minnesota: Michele Bachmann Opponents Poll Shows Competitive Race

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A newly released Democratic poll shows Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) could face a competitive race in November, although there is little other evidence at this point that she is in danger.

Bachmann led businessman Jim Graves (D) 48 percent to 43 percent, according to a survey paid for by the likely Democratic Farmer Labor nominee’s campaign. Nine percent of respondents were undecided.

The survey marks the first public indication that the 6th district race could be competitive. Democrats unsuccessfully targeted Bachmann in the 2008 cycle, but they argue the Congresswoman is more vulnerable than ever following her failed presidential bid. Full story

North Carolina: Candidate Appears to Flirt With Birtherism

North Carolina: Candidate Appears to Flirt With Birtherism

Congressional candidate Mark Meadows made comments about President Barack Obama and Kenya in recent weeks. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

GOP Congressional candidate Mark Meadows, likely to be the GOP nominee in the heavily Republican 11th district of North Carolina, appears to have flirted with birtherism on at least two occasions in recent weeks.

“2012 is the time we’re going to send Mr. Obama home to Kenya or wherever it is,” Meadows said to applause at a June 9 tea party rally. “We’re going to do it!”

At an appearance at a tea party forum on June 12, Meadows said, “we” will send Obama “back home to Kenya or wherever it is.”

In an interview with Roll Call today, Meadows clarified his remarks. “I think it’s a non-issue,” he said. “Obviously bringing it back is probably a poor choice of words on my part more than anything else. I believe he’s an American citizen and I believe, in my district, he is going to lose overwhelmingly.”

Both are true.

Full story

Colorado: Doug Lamborn Vulnerable in GOP Primary

Colorado: Doug Lamborn Vulnerable in GOP Primary

Rep. Doug Lamborn faces a primary against a self-funding opponent. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) is facing the toughest primary of his House career today.

His challenger, wealthy businessman Robert Blaha, has outspent Lamborn in the race for the 5th district over the course of this year. Running as an “outsider,” Blaha charges that while Lamborn has been a reliable conservative, Blaha would be a more effective Member.

Full story

Florida: Ron DeSantis Gets Club for Growth Endorsement

If endorsements equal momentum, Florida Congressional candidate Ron DeSantis has it.

Running for the GOP nomination in the open coastal 6th district, he picked up the nod from the PAC of the powerful anti-tax Club for Growth today. On Monday, tea-party-affiliated Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) gave DeSantis his endorsement. Last week, former Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.), now the Sunshine State’s commissioner of agriculture, gave DeSantis his endorsement. And last month, FreedomWorks gave DeSantis its nod.

“Ron DeSantis is a principled conservative and America desperately needs him in Washington,” Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said in a statement. “Ron will fight to cut spending, balance the budget, and reform our nearly bankrupt entitlement system. We need more citizen-legislators like Ron who will stand up to both parties and make the hard choices to save our country from fiscal ruin. The Club for Growth PAC strongly endorses Ron DeSantis for Congress.” Full story

New Mexico: Enviro Groups Launch New Ad Against Heather Wilson

The League of Conservation Voters and Defenders of Wildlife Action Committee launched a new round of television advertising in New Mexico against Republican Senate nominee Heather Wilson.

The former Congresswoman, who is running for the open Senate seat against Rep. Martin Heinrich (D), has been the target of a coalition effort from several environmental and conservation groups in recent weeks. The two groups responsible for the latest ad have already spent $700,000 in independent expenditures on the race this month, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Full story

VoteVets Action Fund Runs Ads in Montana, Hawaii

VoteVets Action Fund is spending $200,000 to air an attack ad against the Republican Senate nominee in Montana and to continue an ad buy on behalf of a Democratic House candidate in Hawaii.

VoteVets, a progressive veterans organization, announced a $100,000 ad buy for a television spot slamming Montana Rep. Denny Rehberg, who is challenging Sen. Jon Tester (D) in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country. The dark ad in Montana takes a critical look at Rehberg’s voting record on veterans issues.

Full story

Utah: Poll Shows Jim Matheson With Healthy Lead Over Mia Love

Utah: Poll Shows Jim Matheson With Healthy Lead Over Mia Love

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson led his Republican opponent by 15 points in an independent poll released over the weekend.

The vulnerable incumbent, running in new territory thanks to redistricting, is facing Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love, for whom national Republicans have high hopes. The new poll showed Love has a name recognition gap to overcome before November, but that margin is likely to close by then in this Republican-leaning district.

In the Deseret News/KSL-TV poll, Matheson took 53 percent to Love’s 38 percent, with 8 percent undecided. The survey of 379 registered voters in the 4th district was taken June 15-21 and had a 5.1-point margin of error.

Virginia: Former Gov. Linwood Holton Lends Name for Tim Kaine

Virginia: Former Gov. Linwood Holton Lends Name for Tim Kaine

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Senate candidate Tim Kaine distributed a fundraising appeal Monday from former Gov. Linwood Holton (R).

As the subject line states, Kaine is Holton’s son-in-law. But Holton, who was governor in the early 1970s, says he is backing Kaine because “we need people who will roll up their sleeves and focus on getting things done instead of fighting over everything all the time.”

Kaine is running against fellow former Gov. George Allen (R) in a race Roll Call rates as a Tossup.

“Tim is a great leader and a great guy — and he also happens to be married to my daughter Anne!” Holton says in the email, which asks for a contribution of $5 or more before Saturday’s fundraising deadline.

Washington: Seattle Times Backs Steve Hobbs in 1st District

The Seattle Times on Saturday endorsed state Sen. Steve Hobbs (D) in the crowded race for the open 1st district, the most competitive in the state.

Hobbs is one of five Democrats who will appear on the Aug. 7 top-two primary ballot, along with Republican John Koster and Independent Larry Ishmael. The other Democrats are former Congressional candidates Suzan DelBene and Darcy Burner, former state Rep. Laura Ruderman and technology executive Darshan Rauniyar.

“Hobbs, who has served in the state Senate since 2006, blossomed with the formation of the Roadkill Caucus, a gathering of moderates more interested in crafting and passing effective legislation than political gamesmanship,” the Times wrote.

Centrist Group Launches Ad Campaign

Center Forward, a centrist group previously known as the Blue Dog Research Forum, announced Monday that it will begin running a $1.25 million ad campaign on deficit reduction in eight House districts around the country.

The group, led by former Rep. Bud Cramer (D-Ala.), is airing ads on behalf of Democratic Reps. John Barrow (Ga.), Ben Chandler (Ky.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Jim Matheson (Utah) and Mike McIntyre (N.C.) as well as GOP Reps. Tim Huelskamp (Kan.), David McKinley (W.Va.) and Todd Platts (Pa.). Barrow, Chandler, McIntyre and Matheson are facing competitive races, Donnelly is running for Senate, and Platts is retiring.

“Americans know we’re drowning in debt, but some politicians just don’t get it. They want to essentially end Medicare, increasing costs on seniors,” the announcer says. “Ben Chandler knows there’s a better way. It’s why Chandler opposed a dangerous plan to privatize Medicare and supports balancing the budget by cutting wasteful spending while protecting Medicare for those who’ve earned it after a lifetime of hard work.”

The group said its primary purpose is to facilitate constructive dialogue in Washington, D.C., on the critical issues facing the country.

Michigan: Kerry Bentivolio Releases First TV Ad in GOP Race

Reindeer rancher Kerry Bentivolio released his first television spot in the primary for the seat of retiring Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R).

It’s the strongest indication yet that the relatively unknown Republican is ready to fight former state Sen. Nancy Cassis, a write-in candidate, for the GOP nomination on Aug. 7.

After McCotter dropped his bid because of faulty ballot petitions, only a single Republican remained on the 11th district GOP ballot — Bentivolio. In early June, local Republican officials opted to support Cassis’ write-in bid instead of Bentivolio. Full story

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