Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 22, 2014

July 19, 2012

New Hampshire: Tim Pawlenty to Fundraise in August

New Hampshire: Tim Pawlenty to Fundraise in August

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Barring any unforeseen schedule changes or major Romney campaign decisions, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will head to Manchester for the state GOP Ice Cream Social on Aug. 11.

It is an interesting selection of a headliner. Pawlenty is at the center of speculation to be presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s pick for vice president. Only about two weeks ago, fellow VP contender Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio) also traveled to New Hampshire for a state party event.

By all accounts, New Hampshire will be a central battleground in the presidential race in the fall.

According to the state GOP Facebook invite, tickets for the Pawlenty event will cost $20.12.

Maine Dem Nominee Cynthia Dill to Patty Murray: Help!

Maine Dem Nominee Cynthia Dill to Patty Murray: Help!

(Joshua Miller/CQ Roll Call)

Maine state Sen. Cynthia Dill, the Democratic nominee for Senate, penned a letter today to Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), the chairwoman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, asking for a meeting and an endorsement.

“With an open U.S. Senate seat at stake in Maine, we trust Democrats in Washington will act to preserve its ‘true blue’ majority by endorsing the candidate with the greatest respect for the Democratic Party and its platform,” Dill wrote. “With this historic opportunity to turn Maine’s red seat blue and ensure a progressive agenda this November, the DSCC must not abandon its principles and supporters.”

The DSCC has been absent from the Maine Senate race. Former Gov. Angus King (I), a prohibitive frontrunner in the open-seat race, is considered likely to caucus with Democrats. And in a race with a serious GOP candidate, any boost to the Democratic nominee could hurt King, a popular two-term former governor. Full story

Donald Trump Donates to NRSC Again

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) has a generous friend at Trump Tower.

Donald Trump cut a $30,800 check to the NRSC in May, online finance records show.

The real estate mogul has been helpful to Senate Republicans before. In the 2010 cycle, he gave about the same amount to the NRSC, plus hosted a fundraiser for the committee at Trump Tower in New York City a few weeks before Election Day.

“We’re big fans of his and we’re thankful for his support,” NRSC Executive Director Rob Jesmer said.

Online records show Trump also cut checks this cycle for Linda McMahon, a Republican seeking Connecticut’s open Senate seat, and appointed Sen. Dean Heller (R), who is seeking a full term in Nevada.

Trump donated to a couple of House Republicans, too, including Reps. Allen West (Fla.) and Peter King (N.Y.).

DSCC Raised $8M in June

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced today that it raised $8 million in June, ending the month with $31.4 million in cash on hand. Full story

July 18, 2012

Illinois: Tammy Duckworth Fundraises for Nominee in 12th

Just how confident is Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth (D) that she will defeat Rep. Joe Walsh (R)? She’s fundraising — for another candidate.

Duckworth penned a campaign plea for retired Maj. Gen. William Enyart, the new Democratic nominee in the 12th district. Local Democrats selected Enyart after their original nominee dropped out of the race in May for health reasons.

In an email from, Duckworth thanked her supporters and donors before making the pitch for her “personal friend.” Full story

Texas: Tom Leppert Backs David Dewhurst Over Ted Cruz

Texas: Tom Leppert Backs David Dewhurst Over Ted Cruz

Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst received the backing of a former contender for the GOP nomination for Senate, Tom Leppert. (Pat Sullivan/Associated Press)

Tom Leppert, former contender for the GOP nomination for Senate and the former mayor of Dallas, endorsed Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) for Senate this week.

“We must elect leaders who have the experience of creating jobs and dealing with the fiscal issues facing our nation — leaders with a practical understanding of what makes our country work,” Leppert said in a statement released by the Dewhurst campaign. “David Dewhurst has that experience and it is for that reason that I endorse David Dewhurst for the U.S. Senate.”

Dewhurst, the establishment favorite, faces a tough GOP primary runoff against tea party darling Ted Cruz, the former Texas solicitor general.

The runoff is set for July 31.

Illinois: Timothy Johnson Noncommittal on Nominee for His Seat

House Republicans have rallied behind their new 13th district nominee, Rodney Davis, except for the Member vacating the seat.

Rep. Timothy Johnson (R) declined to say whether he’s backing Davis when Roll Call questioned him between floor votes on Wednesday.

“I’m not doing interviews right now,” Johnson said before walking away. He did not return a follow-up interview request placed with his staff. Full story

Michigan: Members Choose Sides in Hansen Clarke-Gary Peters Race

Michigan: Members Choose Sides in Hansen Clarke Gary Peters Race

Rep. Gary Peters received donations from a couple of his House Democratic colleagues. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A few House Democrats have picked sides in the approaching primary between Reps. Gary Peters and Hansen Clarke, according to their finance reports.

Democratic Reps. John Larson (Conn.) and Norm Dicks (Wash.) donated to Peters through their committees. Democratic Reps. Marcia Fudge (Ohio) and Mike Honda (Calif.) gave to Clarke through their campaigns.

Michigan lost a House seat because of population loss, and Republicans in the Legislature dismantled the Detroit area seats in their redraw of the Congressional map last year, prompting the Clarke and Peters matchup.

The two lawmakers will face off Aug. 7. The winner of the primary in the Democratic stronghold will likely be the next Member of Congress for the 14th district.

Chris Christie Misses House Republican Meeting

So much for House Republican’s touted guest at today’s conference meeting: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie didn’t make it.

The popular Garden State Republican was across town at a fundraiser for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. He couldn’t make the trip to the Capitol Hill Club in time before the House Republicans adjourned their meeting, a National Republican Congressional Committee aide said.

Christie was supposed to aid House Republican leadership’s call to its caucus to pay dues to the NRCC’s Battleground program.

Christie addressed House Republicans twice before. He spoke to the caucus in September 2010 and during its retreat at the start of this session of Congress.

New York: NRCC Ties Kathy Hochul to Obama in New Push

New York: NRCC Ties Kathy Hochul to Obama in New Push

(Courtesy National Republican Congressional Committee)

The message is pretty clear.

On a billboard truck that has been driving around freshman Rep. Kathy Hochul’s upstate New York district, there’s a huge cartoon image of the Democratic Congresswoman and President Barack Obama side by side, and next to the word “Obamacare.”

It’s part of a paid political theater effort the National Republican Congressional Committee is launching today in an attempt to tie Hochul — generally well-liked — to Obama, who is very likely to lose the GOP-leaning district in November.

The weeklong effort is backed by five-figures worth of spending, but may be extended.

Full story

Florida: Vern Buchanan Up in GOP Poll

Florida: Vern Buchanan Up in GOP Poll

Rep. Vern Buchanan (above) is leading Democrat Keith Fitzgerald in a new poll of Florida's 16th district race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A new survey from Republican pollster Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies found Rep. Vern Buchanan (R) comfortably ahead of his Democratic opponent in Florida’s newly configured 16th district.

In a horse-race matchup, Buchanan led Democrat Keith Fitzgerald by 22 points, 54 percent to 32 percent. It’s the same lead Buchanan had in a March poll conducted by Bolger.

Full story

New Mexico: Heather Wilson Talks Senate Prospects

New Mexico: Heather Wilson Talks Senate Prospects

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Heather Wilson (R) said today that she bucked her party’s leadership several times during her House tenure and that reaching out to both Republicans and independents for her Senate bid are not mutually exclusive ventures.

Whether Wilson can successfully appeal to both voting blocs could prove decisive in New Mexico this November. Wilson’s opponent, Rep. Martin Heinrich (D), who holds her old House seat, has led the former Congresswoman in recent polls, and she’ll need strong support from Republicans, independents and even some conservative Democrats to win the Democratic-leaning state’s open Senate seat this year.

Speaking with reporters in Washington, D.C., this morning, Wilson stressed that she is independent “in the sense of looking at particular issues and thinking about them and how they affect people, and that means I don’t always agree with people of my own party.” Full story

July 17, 2012

Arizona: Jim DeMint, Pat Toomey Raise Money for Jeff Flake

Arizona: Jim DeMint, Pat Toomey Raise Money for Jeff Flake

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

More and more Republican Senators are actively supporting Rep. Jeff Flake’s Senate campaign.

Flake is set to host a pair of Washington, D.C., fundraisers Wednesday and Thursday, according to an invitation to the events.

Special guests to this evening’s fundraiser at Charlie Palmer Steak include GOP Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.) and Pat Toomey (Pa.). Attendees are being asked to contribute $1,000.

On Thursday, Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) is set to be a special guest at Flake’s luncheon fundraiser at Johnny’s Half Shell. PACs are being asked to contribute $1,000; individuals are being asked to donate $500.

Flake is embroiled in a nasty primary with real estate investor Wil Cardon in the race to replace retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R). Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona is the presumptive Democratic nominee. Roll Call rates this race as Leans Republican.

Washington: Intrigue in 1st District’s Top-Two Primary

With ballots in the mail-only “jungle” primary set to go out this week and five Democrats battling for a spot in the top two, the pace and intrigue of the open-seat 1st district race have picked up considerably.

The Seattle Times reported Sunday that the mother of former state Rep. Laura Ruderman, one of the Democratic candidates, funded a super PAC working against one of the party’s frontrunners, former Microsoft executive Suzan DelBene. Then Ruderman’s campaign released a TV ad Monday that features her mother, who is battling cancer.

On Tuesday, state Sen. Steve Hobbs (D) released an internal poll showing him, DelBene and former Microsoft manager Darcy Burner essentially tied for second place behind Republican John Koster. As the lone Republican in the top-two primary, Koster is all but assured of advancing in this swing district.

Burner is distributing a 12-page “magazine” mail piece this week that highlights her views and ideas, plus a crossword puzzle. And, in a display of just how fractured the redrawn 1st district is after redistricting, Koster announced Tuesday the hiring of a campaign manager dedicated solely to King County, where about half of the district’s residents reside. Valerie Huntsberry will manage all of Koster’s campaign operations south of the Snohomish County line.

Arizona: Bill Clinton, Trent Franks Endorse in 9th District

Arizona: Bill Clinton, Trent Franks Endorse in 9th District

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Bill Clinton endorsed former Arizona Democratic Party Chairman Andrei Cherny on Tuesday in his bid for the 9th district.

Cherny, a former Clinton White House staffer, is running in a competitive Democratic primary against Arizona Senate Minority Leader David Schapira and former state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.

Clinton has methodically endorsed former staffers, donors or supporters of his and his wife’s presidential campaigns, and those whom he has endorsed who have won competitive Democratic primaries include Reps. Bill Pascrell (N.J.) and Mark Critz (Pa.) and businessman John Delaney (Md.).

Republican Rep. Trent Franks endorsed former Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker, who is running against five candidates in a competitive GOP primary.

Roll Call rates this race as a Tossup.

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