Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 16, 2014

March 7, 2012

New Jersey: John Lewis Backs Pascrell Over Rothman

New Jersey: John Lewis Backs Pascrell Over Rothman

Rep. Bill Pascrell (above) was endorsed by Georgia Rep. John Lewis in his New Jersey race against Rep. Steven Rothman. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Georgia Rep. John Lewis is the first to take sides in New Jersey’s Democratic Member-vs.-Member race, backing Rep. Bill Pascrell over Rep. Steven Rothman.

“Bill Pascrell is my friend and my brother,” Lewis said in a statement. “I serve on the Ways & Means Committee with him. We work together. I have visited his district. He is a hard working and dedicated Member of Congress. He speaks up and speaks out for the people he serves. He deserves the help and support of all the people of his district.”

Florida: Local Official Says Stearns Tried to Buy Him Out of Race

Florida: Local Official Says Stearns Tried to Buy Him Out of Race

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 7:40 p.m. | A clerk of courts running for Congress in Florida has accused GOP Rep. Cliff Stearns of offering him incentives to drop out of the race.

Clay County Clerk of Courts James Jett’s accusations were first reported by the political blog of Jacksonville’s Florida Times-Union after Jett told a South Clay Republicans meeting this afternoon that he had been offered perks to drop his Congressional bid.

Stearns’ office vigorously denied Jett’s allegations.

“Mr. Jett’s claim is totally unfounded — no one is authorized to make any claims or concessions on behalf of Rep. Stearns. He has not communicated with Mr. Jett at any time to get out of the race.  This is a pure and simple political maneuver by Mr. Jett to illegally entrap former friends for vindictive reasons,” Press Secretary Paul Flusche said in a statement. Full story

Super Tuesday Analysis: The Long Slog Continues

Super Tuesday Analysis: The Long Slog Continues

(Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

Several hours removed from the final Super Tuesday contest being called in Alaska for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the long, drawn-out, momentum-less Republican presidential primary campaign appears as protracted as ever.

Romney won six of the 10 contests, but only narrowly survived in Ohio with a 38 percent to 37 percent victory over former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) — and the results of the Buckeye State campaign are shaping the political analysis of events. Romney could have delivered a symbolic knock-out blow to Santorum with a victory in the realm of 4 points or more. But the tight outcome there, combined with Santorum’s wins in North Dakota, Oklahoma and Tennessee have revived the narrative — one somewhat quashed last week after Romney victories in Arizona and Michigan — that Romney can’t close the deal and that at least one of his opponents is well-positioned for an upset. Full story

Missouri: State Auditor Tom Schweich Eyeing Senate Bid

The GOP field against vulnerable Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill might not be set yet.

Show-Me State Auditor Tom Schweich is considering entering the race, according to a Missouri Republican familiar with his thinking. Schweich supporters have even filed paperwork with the IRS to begin the process of setting up an organization that could support his campaign. That news was first tweeted by Greg Giroux of Bloomberg News. Full story

Ohio: More Members Donated to Marcy Kaptur in Primary’s Final Days

Ohio: More Members Donated to Marcy Kaptur in Primarys Final Days

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur got an influx of campaign cash from fellow House Democrats in the final days before her primary victory Tuesday over Rep. Dennis Kucinich.

Rep. John Olver (D-Mass.), a longtime appropriator who serves on the panel with Kaptur and is retiring this year, cut her a check for $2,000, according to Federal Election Commission reports. The political action committees of Reps. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) and Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) also gave $1,000 each to Kaptur.

Rep. Bennie Thompson’s (D-Miss.) SECURE PAC gave Kaptur $2,000 just a couple of days before the primary. Also, Rep. Dan Lipinski’s (D-Ill.) re-election campaign sent her $1,000 a day later, per online records. Full story

Maine: Chellie Pingree Passes on Senate Bid

Maine: Chellie Pingree Passes on Senate Bid

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Maine Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree has opted not to run for retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe’s seat.

“After careful consideration I have decided to run for re-election to the U.S. House this year,” she said in a statement. “There is much at stake in this election and although the prospect of running for and possibly serving in the United States Senate was very exciting, in the end I concluded that I will best serve the people of Maine by running for re-election to the House.” Full story

March 6, 2012

Jean Schmidt Loses GOP Primary in Big Upset

Jean Schmidt Loses GOP Primary in Big Upset

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 1 a.m. | Rep. Jean Schmidt lost her GOP primary in Ohio to foot surgeon Brad Wenstrup in a surprising upset on Tuesday evening.

Wenstrup, who unsuccessfully ran for Cincinnati mayor in 2009, defeated Schmidt 49 percent to 43 percent, according to the Associated Press.

Republicans did not expect Schmidt to lose her primary, and her re-election race was not even on the radar of many Ohio and national operatives. Schmidt’s defeat marks the first incumbent Republican to lose re-election this cycle. Full story

Marcy Kaptur Defeats Dennis Kucinich in Ohio

Marcy Kaptur Defeats Dennis Kucinich in Ohio

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 12:35 a.m. | Rep. Marcy Kaptur defeated fellow Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich in a redistricting-forced primary tonight, capping the Congressional career of Cleveland’s one-time “Boy Mayor” and the House’s resident peace advocate.

Kaptur, the dean of the Ohio delegation, beat the two-time presidential candidate by a margin of 56 percent to 40 percent, according to results from the Associated Press.

Speaking by phone on MSNBC after midnight, Kaptur said she hadn’t yet spoken to Kucinich or gotten a concession from him. “We really haven’t had a chance to connect yet. But we will,” Kaptur said, adding that it had been “a very intense campaign.” Full story

Joyce Beatty Denies Mary Jo Kilroy’s Comeback Bid in Ohio

Former Ohio House Minority Leader Joyce Beatty defeated former Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy in the 3rd district Democratic primary on Tuesday, denying the one-term Congresswoman’s comeback bid.

Beatty bested Kilroy, who lost re-election in the GOP wave of 2010, 38 percent to 35 percent, according to the Associated Press.

When Ohio Republicans redrew the Congressional map late last year, they crafted the new 3rd district to collect all the Democratic voters in the Columbus area. The result is a strong Democratic performing seat, and the party’s nominee will in all likelihood be the next Member of Congress.

Beatty served in the state House for nearly nine years until 2008, and Ohio insiders said she maintained a strong political organization in Columbus since then. She used that support to overcome Kilroy’s name identification advantage.

If Beatty wins the general election, as expected, her victory will mark the first time in history that Ohio will have two black Members of Congress.

Full story

Super Tuesday Results

Super Tuesday Results

From left: Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have tasted victory in tonight's Super Tuesday contests. (Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty)

Updated 12:45 a.m. | It’s 8 p.m. on the East Coast, and Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have all picked up victories so far as the Super Tuesday showdown for Ohio remains uncalled.

Gingrich won his native state of Georgia by a wide margin — he represented the state for two decades in Congress, including his four years as Speaker. Romney easily picked up Massachusetts, where he served as governor from 2002 to 2006, as well as Vermont and Virginia. Oklahoma was quickly called for Santorum, the former Pennsylvania Senator.

But the real prize is Ohio, where Romney and Santorum are battling in a close race, according to early returns. Tennessee might also be shaping up as a close race between Romney and Santorum. Full story

Nebraska: Bruning Internal Poll Shows Big Lead

Nebraska: Bruning Internal Poll Shows Big Lead

A poll conducted for Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning showed him with a wide lead in the GOP Senate primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

An internal poll commissioned by Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning’s Senate campaign showed him holding a strong lead over his Republican primary rivals.

Bruning garnered 52 percent, followed by state Treasurer Don Stenberg, who got 19 percent, and state Sen. Deb Fischer, who got 11 percent.

Full story

Maine: Poll Shows Independent Leading Senate Race

A poll on the open-seat Maine Senate race was released today showing Democrats could have trouble winning a three-way contest.

The Public Policy Polling survey showed Rep. Chellie Pingree, who’s considering running for the Democratic nomination, soundly beating GOP contenders. But when factoring in now-declared Independent candidate former Gov. Angus King, Pingree falls to second place behind King.

The poll was the source of  much discussion on Monday among Maine political operatives. Several unaligned Democrats privy to the results Monday were spooked and expressed uncertainty about a Democratic victory given the dynamics of a three-way contest. Full story

New York: Court Releases Draft Congressional Map

A federal magistrate judge released a draft Congressional map late Monday that drew some Members together and riled Empire State politics, putting immense pressure on the long-deadlocked state Legislature to find a redistricting solution of its own.

On first take, analysts of both parties saw freshman Reps. Chris Gibson (R), Kathy Hochul (D) and Bob Turner (R) in the biggest trouble under the new map. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D), who was drawn into the same district as Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D), appears to have a district to run in, though it won’t be the one he lives in. He is not expected to run against Israel.

Hochul’s home appears to have been drawn into four-term Rep. Brian Higgins’ (D) district, setting up the potential of a Member-vs.-Member primary. The district that is most similar to the one she currently represents remains difficult turf for any Democrat. Full story

N.J. Seat Likely to Remain Vacant Until Lame Duck

The special election to succeed the late Rep. Donald Payne (D-N.J.) isn’t likely to be held until November — meaning the seat will remain vacant for eight months.

The New Jersey Constitution includes provisions for a special election to fill a Congressional vacancy. But state tradition has it that special elections are rarely held because of the costs associated. Instead, the special election is held in conjunction with the state’s scheduled primary and general elections. A candidate’s name appears twice on the ballot, once for the special election and again in the contest for a full term.

The 10th district is a safe Democratic seat, so whichever candidate wins the June 5 regular and special election primary is all but assured of winning the November contests. The winner of the special would be sworn in at the beginning of the lame-duck session. Full story

New Jersey: Rep. Donald Payne Passes Away at 77

New Jersey: Rep. Donald Payne Passes Away at 77

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 9:15 a.m. | Rep. Donald Payne (D) of New Jersey has passed away, two sources confirmed to Roll Call this morning.

The 77-year-old Congressman had been suffering from colon cancer. In a press release earlier this year, his office expressed optimism about his prognosis but news began to circulate last week that his health took a turn for the worse.

He was transported back to New Jersey on Friday. One New Jersey delegation Hill staffer told Roll Call that a member of the Payne family spoke to his boss telling him of the news.

Tributes to Payne from his colleagues began rolling in Tuesday morning.

“Donald Payne was a true trailblazer — a champion for education and civil rights who sought to combat injustice all over the world,” Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) said in a statement. “I will greatly miss my friend and brother. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. May Donald Payne rest in peace.”

Read the full Payne obituary here.

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