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

May 29, 2012

Illinois: Democratic Nominee Brad Harriman Drops Off Ballot

The Democratic nominee for the seat of retiring Rep. Jerry Costello (D)  dropped out of the race suddenly on Tuesday, leaving the field for the competitive southern Illinois House seat in flux.

Citing health reasons, former St. Clair County Regional Superintendent of Schools Brad Harriman told reporters that “voters of Southern Illinois … deserve a candidate that can withstand the pace that this race will require.”

Harriman’s departure leaves Democrats searching for a nominee to face the GOP’s candidate, Jason Plummer, two months after the primary.

Local Democratic Party chairmen from the 12th district will select a replacement nominee in the coming weeks. Costello will reportedly head that selection committee.

Oddly, this isn’t the first time this cycle southern Illinois officials are in this position. Less than two weeks ago in a neighboring district, local Republican Party chairmen picked a new GOP nominee for the 13th district after Rep. Timothy Johnson dropped out of the race in April.

David Dewhurst: D.C. Insiders Can’t Buy Texas Senate

HOUSTON — Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst today likened attorney Ted Cruz to President Barack Obama, tarring his opponent in Texas’ Senate Republican primary as the Washington insiders’ bought-and-paid-for candidate who is practicing the same negative attacks that Obama is using against presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Meeting with voters lunching at a popular Jewish deli in the Galleria neighborhood just west of downtown, Dewhurst used his only campaign stop of primary day to stump for last-minute votes and make the case that he is the only candidate in the race with Texas’ interests at heart. Speaking to reporters before the made-for-local-TV-news event, a relaxed Dewhurst reaffirmed his conservative credentials and called Cruz a liar.

“What we’re seeing in Washington is President Obama, who can’t run on his record, is now running on the politics of personal destruction of Governor Romney. And I submit that Mr. Cruz has no record, and so he’s trying to run against me by impugning my fiscally conservative and social conservative record,” Dewhurst said, before speaking to voters inside Kenny & Ziggy’s Deli. “Mr. Cruz will lie and say one thing one day, and he’ll say something else the next.”

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Arizona: Jesse Kelly Uncommitted to Vote for John Boehner

Arizona: Jesse Kelly Uncommitted to Vote for John Boehner

Republican Jesse Kelly is locked in a tight race to succeed ex-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

TUCSON, Ariz. — Veteran Jesse Kelly (R) is noncommittal about how he would vote in party leadership races should he be in Congress after the November elections, much like his Democratic opponent in Arizona’s competitive special election.

“It depends on who is running,” he said in an email on Monday when asked if he would vote for Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) to lead his party in the new Congress.

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New Mexico: Martin Heinrich, Heather Wilson Headed for Primary Wins

New Mexico: Martin Heinrich, Heather Wilson Headed for Primary Wins

Rep. Martin Heinrich is expected to face off against his predecessor, ex-Rep. Heather Wilson, in New Mexico's Senate race this fall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The last two people to represent Albuquerque in Congress are likely to face off in the race for New Mexico’s open Senate seat, a new independent poll found — confirming an outcome that has been expected for weeks.

Rep. Martin Heinrich (D) and former Rep. Heather Wilson (R) held wide leads over their June 5 primary opponents in polls conducted for the Albuquerque Journal by Brian Sanderoff of Research & Polling Inc. They’re vying for the seat of retiring Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D) in what will be a top battleground for control of the Senate. Full story

Massachusetts: New Scott Brown Ad Focuses on Bipartisan Credentials

Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown launched a new positive TV spot today that emphasizes his folksy, bipartisan credentials. In the 30-second ad, filmed at a diner, he says he’ll “work with anyone to get things done.”

“I was the tie-breaking vote on Wall Street reform, led the way on a jobs bill for veterans and helped pass a strong new ethics law for Congress,” Brown says.

“You know what makes me really proud?” he says to camera from a booth in the diner, “Being called one of the most bipartisan Senators in the country.”

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Michigan: Thaddeus McCotter to Run as a Write-In

Michigan: Thaddeus McCotter to Run as a Write In

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter will run a write-in campaign for the GOP nomination after botching the signature requirement to make the Congressional ballot in Michigan.

The five-term Republican announced Tuesday that he will launch a write-in bid while the secretary of state’s office continues its investigation into his ballot petitions.

“The buck stops with me,” McCotter, who ran a quixotic presidential bid earlier this cycle, said in a statement. “That’s why I urge the continued investigation into the petitions. Everyone deserves to know what happened regarding this filing.”

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May 28, 2012

Arizona: Ron Barber Noncommittal on Vote for Nancy Pelosi

Arizona: Ron Barber Noncommittal on Vote for Nancy Pelosi

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

TUCSON, Ariz. — Ron Barber, the Democrat running to succeed ex-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, remains noncommittal on whether he would vote for Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to lead his party after the November elections.

“That’s a decision that’s way off in the future, and I wouldn’t know the answer to that question until we know who the candidates are for Speaker,” he said in an interview today. “I think it’s important to make decisions like that, or any decision, based upon what’s in front of you and what the facts are. I don’t know who will be up for Speaker in 2013, and I’ll reserve judgment on who I would vote for.” Full story

May 26, 2012

Michigan: Thaddeus McCotter Could Get Booted from the Ballot

Michigan: Thaddeus McCotter Could Get Booted from the Ballot

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) is at risk of losing his place on the Aug. 7 primary ballot because of problems with his petition signatures, wreaking havoc on the GOP’s once-secure hold on his seat.

In a Friday statement, McCotter announced the secretary of state had questioned whether he collected sufficient signatures to make the ballot.

“I have been apprised my campaign may have submitted insufficient petition signatures to appear on the August primary ballot as a candidate for the 11th Congressional District’s Republican nomination,” he said in the late-night statement.

If the five-term Congressman gets booted from the ballot, Republicans will be forced to nominate a perennial candidate or mount a challenging write-in campaign for McCotter or another candidate.

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May 25, 2012

California: DCCC, Members of Congress Aid Julia Brownley in 26th District

National Democrats are rushing to the aid of California Assemblywoman Julia Brownley as the party faces the realistic possibility of being left off of the general election ballot.

Brownley is one of a handful of Democrats running in the top-two primary June 5 in the open 26th district. State Sen. Tony Strickland (R) is favored to advance, while Brownley and Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks (I) are angling for the second spot. A splintered Democratic vote could help Parks finish ahead of Brownley. Full story

May 24, 2012

Missouri: Claire McCaskill Launches New TV Spot

Sen. Claire McCaskill is set to launch a new television ad across Missouri on Memorial Day that emphasizes her record on veterans issues.

The spot highlights the Democrat’s work to address mismanagement at Arlington National Cemetery and seeks to bolster her credibility as a government watchdog. Visuals of headlines about the scandal at the hallowed burial ground fade on and off the screen over B-roll of gravestones.

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Ohio: CEO Talks FBI Investigation Into Josh Mandel, Jim Renacci Donors

A Republican donor implicated in a federal investigation over campaign contributions to Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) and the Senate campaign of Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) is talking to the media about the probe.

“This is punishment because we’re Republican donors,” Benjamin Suarez said in an interview with the Canton Repository published today. Suarez is president of the North Canton, Ohio-based Suarez Corporation Industries.

The investigation has proved to be a major distraction this week for Renacci and Mandel, who are running competitive races in the Buckeye State, although neither candidate has been accused of improper actions.

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Iowa: Tom Latham Introduces Himself On Air

Rep. Tom Latham (R) went up with a biographical spot this week in his race against fellow Rep. Leonard Boswell (D) in southwestern Iowa.

The advertisement buy is for “six figures” on television and radio, according to a Latham aide.

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Indiana: Harry Reid Fundraising for Joe Donnelly

Indiana: Harry Reid Fundraising for Joe Donnelly

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (above) will host a fundraising event for Indiana Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly in his Senate bid. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Joe Donnelly’s (D) Senate campaign will have some fundraising help from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) next month.

The Senate’s top Democrat will host his first event for Donnelly on June 6 in Washington, D.C., according to the candidate’s campaign.

Donnelly will likely welcome the help, given the fight ahead of him. He faces the newly minted GOP nominee, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, this November.

Roll Call rates this race as Leans Republican, but Democrats contend it is competitive. Donnelly released an internal poll last week showing him tied with Mourdock at 40 percent in early May.

No independent polls of the race have been released since Mourdock defeated six-term Sen. Dick Lugar in the Republican primary earlier this month.

Florida: Tom Coburn Backs Former Colleague George LeMieux

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) on Wednesday endorsed former Sen. George LeMieux’s uphill battle to win his old job back.

“I served with George and have seen firsthand his commitment to reducing our national debt and stopping Washington’s out-of-control spending,” Coburn said in a statement.

In the Republican primary, LeMieux faces frontrunner Rep. Connie Mack IV, who has the backing of everyone from tea-party-affiliated Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to presumptive GOP White House nominee Mitt Romney.

The winner of the primary will face two-term Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, who is in a strong position to win re-election even if President Barack Obama loses Florida.

In the general election, Roll Call rates this race as Leans Democratic.

May 23, 2012

Massachusetts: Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren in Dead Heat

Massachusetts: Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren in Dead Heat

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If there were ever any doubt that the Massachusetts Senate race is close (and there wasn’t), let it be vanquished.

A new poll of likely Massachusetts voters from Suffolk University and 7News found the race to be a statistical dead heat. In a horse-race matchup, Republican Sen. Scott Brown got 48 percent while presumptive Democratic nominee Elizabeth Warren got 47 percent. Five percent were undecided.

While 72 percent of voters knew about the controversy surrounding Warren and her claim that she is of Native American heritage, it did not appear to have a demonstrable effect on the race. Earlier polls, taken before the controversy, found the race to be neck and neck.

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