Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 29, 2015

August 11, 2012

Wisconsin: Paul Ryan Still Heavily Favored Over Rob Zerban Back Home

As Rep. Paul Ryan embarks on a national campaign, he will still have to run for re-election for his House seat.

Wisconsin law allows Ryan to seek both the vice presidency and another term in the House, and that is the understanding of what he will do, according to a Congressional campaign spokesman.

Ryan’s 1st district includes Republican pockets in the southeastern part of the state, and he won re-election last cycle by a 2-to-1 margin. The district was improved for him in redistricting. All of these points indicate that his re-election race should not be competitive, and Roll Call rates this race as Safe Republican.

But even before Ryan was picked as the vice presidential nominee, Democrats were making noise about giving him more of a race than he’s used to. He has a wealthy Democratic opponent, Rob Zerban, who has worked relentlessly to convince the political establishment that this is a real race. His argument is that Ryan has not had a serious opponent in years and that there is an opportunity for an organized Democrat to force an upset. Full story

Mitt Romney Picks Paul Ryan as Running Mate

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 7:19 a.m. | Mitt Romney has tapped Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan to be his vice presidential running mate, his campaign announced Saturday morning.

Official word of the pick came via a press release a little after 7 a.m. titled “Mitt Romney & Paul Ryan: America’s Comeback Team.” The pick was first reported in the wee hours of Saturday morning by NBC News’ Chuck Todd, who cited three sources.

The announcement will come Saturday morning in Norfolk, Va., in front of the USS Wisconsin. The event is the first stop of a multiday campaign bus tour for Romney and his newly minted running mate.

Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, has taken on an increased national profile as the architect of the GOP’s budget plan that proposes dramatic reforms to entitlement programs.

His stock as a VP pick rose in recent weeks as a chorus of conservatives, including the Weekly Standard and Wall Street Journal, publicly encouraged Romney to make a bold choice with Ryan. The pick is viewed as likely to energize the Republican base. Full story

August 10, 2012

Mitt Romney to Announce VP Pick Saturday

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

After weeks and months of speculation about whom Mitt Romney will tap to be his vice presidential running mate, the presumptive GOP nominee will unveil his pick on Saturday morning in Norfolk, Va.

Romney’s campaign released a media advisory just after 11 p.m. tonight announcing that the news would come as the former Massachusetts governor kicks off of his bus tour. Full story

Ohio: Republicans Pick David Joyce to Replace Steven LaTourette on Ballot

Rep. Steven LaTourette is not seeking re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Geauga County Prosecutor David Joyce (R) will take retiring Rep. Steven LaTourette’s (R) spot on the November ballot in Ohio’s 14th district.

Local Republican officials picked Joyce as their new Republican nominee today, a decision that virtually assures he will come to Congress in January.

Full story

Hawaii: Contentious Democratic Primaries Decided Saturday

Republican Senate candidate Linda Lingle awaits the winner of Saturday's Democratic primary. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congressional seats aren’t vacated often in heavily Democratic Hawaii.

So a scrum ensued within the party when two opened up last year, and is set to culminate Saturday when the Democratic nominees for the open Senate seat and 2nd district House seat are decided. In a year when homegrown President Barack Obama leads the ticket, the winners of the Democratic primaries will be especially favored to win in November. Full story

August 9, 2012

Illinois: Jesse Jackson Jr.’s Team Laying Plans for Return to Work

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

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s team launched a new effort this week to reassure supporters that the Member plans to return to work and seek another term to his Chicago-area seat, the redrawn 2nd district.

Rick Bryant, the Illinois Democrat’s chief of staff, said he spoke to mayors to provide them with an update on Jackson’s medical condition and indicate that the Congressman fully intends to return to work on Capitol Hill after treatment for what the Mayo Clinic has described as “depression and gastrointestinal issues.” Full story

Four Thaddeus McCotter Staffers Charged Following AG Investigation

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Four staffers for former Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) will face criminal charges for filing fraudulent ballot petitions on behalf of the former Congressman’s re-election bid.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced today the details of the charges against the accused, which include 34 felony and misdemeanor crimes.

“This was not simply keystone cops run amok — serious criminal acts were committed, and following a thorough and complete investigation, felony charges have been filed,” Schuette said in a statement. Full story

Indiana: New Dem Poll Shows Tied Senate Race

Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) released a new poll today showing he remains in a dead heat with state Treasurer Richard Mourdock in the Hoosier State’s open Senate race.

Donnelly received 41 percent to Mourdock’s 40 percent in the survey obtained by Roll Call and paid for by the Democrat’s campaign.

The survey shows Democrats believe the race remains competitive several months after Mourdock defeated six-term Sen. Dick Lugar for the Republican nomination in May. Roll Call rates the Indiana Senate race as Leans Republican. Full story

House Race Ratings: Changes in Michigan and Washington

House Democrats had a productive primary night Tuesday. But how good was it, really?

In Michigan, Democrats nominated their strongest possible general election candidate, a self-funding former state lawmaker, to challenge freshman Rep. Justin Amash (R) in the 3rd district. Another potential opportunity was solidified in the vacant 11th district, where Republicans nominated a libertarian reindeer rancher who is untested and unvetted as a candidate. Finally, on the West Coast, Democrats nominated the best possible candidate, former Microsoft executive Suzan DelBene, in Washington’s vacant 1st district.

“We were presented with some good opportunities last night,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) boasted to reporters Wednesday. “Make no mistake about it: Michigan was a huge loss for Republicans and a real opportunity for Democrats.”

Full story

August 8, 2012

Michigan: AG Will File Charges in Thaddeus McCotter Petition Scandal Thursday, Per Report

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette will file charges Thursday in the case of former Rep. Thaddeus McCotter’s (R) erroneous ballot petitions, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Schuette is scheduled to announce those criminal charges Thursday, and multiple people will face felony and misdemeanor charges, per the report.

McCotter dropped his re-election bid in June after he failed to file the requisite 1,000 signatures to make the Republican ballot. But his petition errors were so egregious that the attorney general opened an investigation into them.

The Free Press report said it’s unclear whether McCotter will be charged on Thursday. Full story

DCCC Adds New Races to Red to Blue Program

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today announced the addition of 13 races to its Red to Blue program, which brings the total number in the program to more than 50.

The races in the benchmark-based, challenger-support program are a signal of where the DCCC sees opportunities for either taking out a GOP incumbent or winning a Republican-held open seat.

The Red to Blue candidates are:

  • Assemblywoman Julie Brownley, running in California’s open 26th district;
  • State Sen. Alan Lowenthal, running in California’s new 47th district;
  • San Diego Port Commissioner Scott Peters, running in California’s 52nd district against Rep. Brian Bilbray (R);
  • Retired Maj. Gen. Bill Enyart, running in Illinois’ open 12th district;
  • Physician David Gill, running in Illinois’ open 13th district;
  • Former state Rep. Mike Obermueller, running in Minnesota’s 2nd district against Rep. John Kline (R);
  • Former Congressional aide Hayden Rogers, running in the North Carolina’s open 11th district;
  • Former Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, running in New Hampshire’s 1st district, against freshman Rep. Frank Guinta (R);
  • Bernalillo County Commissioner Michelle Lujan Grisham, running in New Mexico’s open 1st district;
  • Former aide to the New York City public advocate Mark Murphy, running in New York’s 11th district against freshman Rep. Michael Grimm (R);
  • Attorney Sean Patrick Maloney, running in New York’s 18th district against freshman Rep. Nan Hayworth (R);
  • State Rep. Pete Gallego, running in Texas’ 23rd district against freshman Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco (R);
  • Former Microsoft executive Suzan DelBene, running in Washington’s open 1st district.
By Joshua Miller Posted at 3:04 p.m.
DCCC, Democrats

Illinois: Jason Plummer Poll Shows Him With Double-Digit Lead

A new poll from businessman Jason Plummer’s campaign shows the GOP nominee leading by double digits in the open 12th district.

Plummer had 45 percent and retired Maj. Gen. William Enyart (D) received 28 percent in the Public Opinion Strategies poll.

The retirement of Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.) created an open-seat race in this downstate district. It’s a competitive race, and Roll Call rates it as a Tossup. Full story

Washington: Suzan DelBene, John Koster Advance in 1st District

Republican John Koster finished first in the top-two primary in Washington's 1st district. He faces a very competitive race this fall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats received some good news tonight, as former Microsoft executive Suzan DelBene (D) advanced to the general election in the top-two primary for Washington state’s open 1st district.

DelBene, who self-funded her primary campaign, will have the early edge in the general election against Snohomish County Councilman John Koster (R).

The Associated Press called the race with 41 percent of precincts reporting. Koster led with 44 percent, followed by DelBene with 23 percent. Behind them were three Democrats: former Microsoft manager Darcy Burner with 15 percent, former state Rep. Laura Ruderman with 7 percent and state Sen. Steve Hobbs with 7 percent.

Koster and DelBene are both looking to win after defeats in different Congressional districts in 2010. Koster lost to Rep. Rick Larsen (D) in the 2nd district, and DelBene lost to Rep. Dave Reichert (R) in the 8th district. Full story

Massachusetts: Richard Tisei Launches First TV Ad

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Richard Tisei, who is challenging eight-term Rep. John Tierney (D), launched his first television ad of the campaign today, Roll Call has learned.

Titled “The District,” the spot is biography-based and backed by upbeat music and a $43,000 weeklong buy on targeted cable stations in the district, which is likely to be expanded.

“I’ve met thousands of people throughout this district,” the former state Senator and 2010 GOP nominee for lieutenant governor narrates over images of him campaigning. “I went to school in this district. I own a small business in this district.”

www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iW7In13GRg Full story

August 7, 2012

Missouri: William Lacy Clay Shellacs Russ Carnahan in St. Louis-Area Democratic Primary

You can’t say Rep. William Lacy Clay (D) isn’t a man of his word.

In May 2011, after redistricting put him and fellow Democratic Rep. Russ Carnahan in the same urban St. Louis district, Clay was direct when asked about the potential primary: “I will run, and I will win decisively,” he promised at the time.

Today, Clay beat Carnahan in the Democratic primary, and his win was indeed decisive. With 60 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press called the race for Clay, who had 65 percent of the vote. Carnahan only had 35 percent.

Carnahan, a four-term Congressman and son of the late Gov. Mel Carnahan (D), never really had a clear shot at winning the newly configured seat, which only included about one-third of his constituents. Carnahan, who is white, also faced tricky racial dynamics running in a majority-minority district against Clay, who is black. Full story

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