Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 5, 2015

July 18, 2012

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

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

(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

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

(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

(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

(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.

North Carolina: Establishment-Backed Richard Hudson Wins

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In a victory for the Republican establishment, former Hill aide Richard Hudson won his GOP primary runoff in North Carolina’s 8th district tonight, beating dentist Scott Keadle, who was strongly backed by the anti-tax Club for Growth.

With 63 percent of precincts reporting, Hudson was ahead with 64 percent of the vote to Keadle’s 36 percent. In the Republican primary and the runoff, outside groups spent more than $1.6 million on this race.

Hudson will now face vulnerable Rep. Larry Kissell (D), whose district was made significantly more Republican in redistricting. The GOP nominee has a better-than-even chance of unseating Kissell.

Hudson, who most recently worked on the Hill as Texas GOP Rep. Mike Conaway’s chief of staff, had support from the YG Action Fund, a super PAC aligned with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.). Full story

DCCC IE Backs John Barrow and Jim Matheson

The independent expenditure of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved time in the districts of vulnerable Democratic Reps. Jim Matheson (Utah) and John Barrow (Ga.).

The DCCC reserved just less than $400,000 of time from Oct. 16 through Election Day in the Salt Lake City media market, covering Utah’s 4th district. Matheson faces a serious challenge there from Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love (R) in a district that will vote strongly for Republican Mitt Romney in the presidential race.

A recent poll showed Matheson leading. The National Republican Congressional Committee reserved $948,000 in that market. Full story

By the Numbers: Fundraising in Member-Vs.-Member Races

Four down, and just eight more Member-vs.-Member matchups left this cycle. Here’s how the second-quarter fundraising went in the remaining races between two House Members:

Michigan’s 14th district (Aug. 7 primary)

  • Rep. Gary Peters (D) raised $316,000, spent $733,000 and reported $813,000 in the bank.
  • Rep. Hansen Clarke (D) raised $70,000, spent $253,000 and reported $381,100 in the bank. Full story

Montana: Cancer Remains at Heart of Senate Ads

Montana Rep. Denny Rehberg today responded to his opponent’s ad that rebuked his voting record on funding for cancer screenings with an ad of his own that features a cancer survivor very close to him — his mother.

The Republican is challenging Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in a race expected to be close until November. It’s also likely to get negative, highlighted most recently by the Tester ad. It featured a cancer survivor discussing how the cuts in an appropriations bill Rehberg supported could have affected her recovery. Full story

Indiana: Jackie Walorski on the Air With First TV Spot

Former state Rep. Jackie Walorski’s (R) campaign went on the air today with her first television spot in the competitive 2nd district race against Iraq War veteran Brendan Mullen (D).

“I was born in South Bend, and I’ve been a Hoosier all my life,” Walorski says in the ad, which highlights her local roots in the north-central Indiana district.

Full story

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