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

May 30, 2012

Illinois: Democrats Look for Brad Harriman Ballot Replacement

Southern Illinois Democrats started their search for a new nominee in the 12th district today after their elected candidate dropped off the ballot for health reasons this week.

Potential candidates include Madison County Circuit Court Chief Judge Ann Callis, former state Rep. Jay Hoffman and state Rep. John Bradley, according to Illinois Democrats.

Former St. Clair County Regional Superintendent of Schools Brad Harriman, who won the Democratic primary in March, left the race this week because a longtime “neurological condition” forced him to curtail campaigning. Now Democrats must find a new candidate to face GOP nominee Jason Plummer in the competitive race for retiring Rep. Jerry Costello’s (D) seat.

Full story

New Mexico: Eric Griego Fires Back After Michelle Lujan Grisham Ad

New Mexico state Sen. Eric Griego is slamming his 1st district Democratic primary opponent, Michelle Lujan Grisham, in a new TV ad set to be released today.

With less than a week to go until the primary, the ad comes in response to an attack ad Lujan Grisham leveled against Griego. Both candidates have been neck and neck in public and private polling, with former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez in third place.

The Griego ad is part of a large ad buy and directs its focus to Lujan Grisham’s time as director of the New Mexico Agency on Aging and as state secretary of Health. It cites a U.S. Justice Department investigation into the Fort Bayard Medical Center.

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Florida: John Mica Poll Shows Him Up Big Against Sandy Adams

Florida: John Mica Poll Shows Him Up Big Against Sandy Adams

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

A new poll of likely GOP primary voters commissioned by Rep. John Mica showed him leading fellow Republican Rep. Sandy Adams by more than 30 points in Florida’s newly configured 7th district.

In a horserace matchup between the two Members, Mica led 55 percent to 25 percent for Adams.

In a poll commissioned by Adams earlier this year, Mica led by 16 points. Full story

Illinois: Bobby Schilling Poll Shows Him Over 50 Percent

Illinois: Bobby Schilling Poll Shows Him Over 50 Percent

A poll for the campaign of Rep. Bobby Schilling shows him leading the Democratic nominee in the 17th district. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A new poll done for Rep. Bobby Schilling’s (R-Ill.) re-election campaign showed him with a double-digit lead over former East Moline Alderwoman Cheri Bustos, the Democratic nominee.

The poll — paid for by Schilling’s campaign — gave the Republican a large 16-point lead, 51 percent to 35 percent, over Bustos. Full story

New York: Charlie Rangel Picks Up Bloomberg Endorsement

New York: Charlie Rangel Picks Up Bloomberg Endorsement

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Charlie Rangel, facing a serious primary challenge next month, today picked up the endorsement of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) and former New York Mayor and Rep. Ed Koch (D).

“I’m proud to join with Ed Koch and so many others in endorsing Charlie Rangel,” Bloomberg said in a statement released by the veteran Democrat’s campaign. “For more than four decades, he has delivered for New York City time and time again. We’ve had six very different Mayors during his tenure in Congress, but we all shared one thing in common: when the City needs results in Washington, you pick up the phone and call Congressman Rangel.” Full story

Texas: Silvestre Reyes Ousted in Democratic Primary

Texas: Silvestre Reyes Ousted in Democratic Primary

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2 a.m. | Rep. Silvestre Reyes was defeated Tuesday by former El Paso City Councilman Beto O’Rourke in the 16th district Democratic primary.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, the eight-term lawmaker trailed 44 percent to 50 percent. O’Rourke had been hovering around the key 50 percent mark needed to avoid a runoff all night as results trickled in. The Associated Press called the race a little before 2 a.m. Full story

Several Texas House Races Headed for Runoffs

Several Texas House Races Headed for Runoffs

Former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (left) will face state Rep. Pete Gallego in the Democratic runoff for the 23rd district. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:10 a.m. | HOUSTON — With few House incumbents facing competitive primaries Tuesday in Texas, most of the action was in a handful of contests for safe open and new seats. As expected, almost all of those crowed races will be decided by July 31 runoffs after no candidate was able to get at least 50 percent of the primary vote.

Democrats were unable to avoid a runoff in the one district that is expected to be competitive this fall. State Rep. Pete Gallego will face former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez in the Democratic runoff in the redrawn majority-Hispanic 23rd district. The winner will take on freshman Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco (R), who is a top target for Democrats.

Rodriguez got 48 percent of the vote, nearly avoiding a runoff with Gallego, the favored nominee of national party operatives. Full story

New York: Gary Ackerman Backs Grace Meng in 6th

Retiring Rep. Gary Ackerman (D) endorsed state Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D) on Tuesday in her competitive primary in the 6th district.

“Grace is without question the most qualified candidate in this race,” he said in a statement released by her campaign.

Meng, backed by Queens Democratic Party Chairman Rep. Joe Crowley and the local political establishment, faces a surprisingly tough race against ambitious state Assemblyman Rory Lancman. He has the backing of a number of local unions.

Also in the primary in the safe Democratic district: New York City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D), the cousin of the Congressman.

South Carolina: With Ted Vick Out, Preston Brittain Is the Leading Democrat

Attorney Preston Brittain, vying for the Democratic nod in the Palmetto State’s new 7th district, caught a huge break last week when the frontrunner, state Rep. Ted Vick, landed in jail.

Vick was arrested Thursday on suspicion of driving under the influence and possessing an illegal firearm, according to local media reports. Also in his vehicle: a 21-year-old woman who was not his wife.

Vick, who had been the party establishment favorite, dropped his Congressional bid Friday. Full story

New Jersey: Bill Clinton Holds Rally for Bill Pascrell

New Jersey: Bill Clinton Holds Rally for Bill Pascrell

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Bill Clinton will headline a Friday rally for Rep. Bill Pascrell, whom he previously endorsed over a fellow Democratic Member.

“I know Bill Pascrell, and he is the fighter we need to support President [Barack] Obama,” Clinton said in a statement offered by Pascrell’s campaign.

Pascrell faces Rep. Steven Rothman in next week’s primary after the Garden State lost a House seat in redistricting. Full story

May 29, 2012

David Dewhurst, Ted Cruz Headed to Senate Runoff in Texas

David Dewhurst, Ted Cruz Headed to Senate Runoff in Texas

Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst did not garner the 50 percent of the vote necessary to avoid a runoff for the GOP Senate nomination. (Pat Sullivan/Associated Press)

HOUSTON — Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz are headed to a July 31 runoff to determine the Republican nominee for Senate, igniting a showdown between the Washington, D.C., tea party community and the Texas GOP establishment.

With 35 percent of precincts reporting, Dewhurst led the primary field with 47 percent of the vote, followed by Cruz at 32 percent. But Dewhurst failed to garner 50 percent of the vote, giving Cruz another shot at upsetting the generally popular lieutenant governor. Dewhurst has been the favorite in this race throughout the campaign and has never trailed in polling of the contest.

Full story

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.”

Full story

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.

Full story

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

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