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

May 3, 2012

Nebraska: Rick Santorum Backs Jon Bruning for Senate

Nebraska: Rick Santorum Backs Jon Bruning for Senate

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) threw his support behind state Attorney General Jon Bruning’s (R) primary bid for the open Nebraska Senate seat today.

The endorsement marks the former presidential candidate’s first foray into Congressional politics since dropping out of the national race in April, and it puts him at odds with some conservatives and tea party champions in Washington, D.C. — including Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) — who have backed state Treasurer Don Stenberg. Full story

Arkansas: Tom Cotton Gets John McCain Endorsement

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) today gave his endorsement to Tom Cotton, who is running for the GOP nomination in Arkansas’ 4th district. Cotton, an Army reservist with an impressive biography and a Harvard Law School degree, may get a boost from the endorsement in his competitive primary with 2010 GOP nominee Beth Anne Rankin.

“Tom Cotton volunteered to fight for our freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan when he could have continued a promising legal career,”  McCain said in a statement. “We badly need this kind of courage and selfless service in Congress — particularly to address our economic challenges. I’m asking the voters of the Fourth District to send Tom to Congress so he can join the fight for freedom there.” Full story

New Jersey: Steven Rothman Notes Past Loyalty to President Bill Clinton

New Jersey: Steven Rothman Notes Past Loyalty to President Bill Clinton

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

WOOD-RIDGE, N.J. —Rep. Steven Rothman isn’t losing sleep over President Bill Clinton and the possibility that he might endorse Rep. Bill Pascrell in the contentious Democratic primary.

It has been widely noted that the 2008 Democratic presidential primary has come back to haunt several House candidates who backed now-President Barack Obama over then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, as did Rothman. The former president, in some cases to devastating effect, has waded into redistricting-generated Member-vs.-Member Democratic primaries on behalf of the individual who backed his wife for president in 2008.

But Rothman, now embroiled in a bitter primary with 2008 Clinton-backer Pascrell, points to a loyalty to the former president that goes back a decade before 2008, when his political survival was on the line. Rothman emphasized his ”very strong defense of him when I was on the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment proceedings” in explaining why he doesn’t fear Clinton or expect him to get involved in this race.

Full story

Mark Kirk Released From Rehab, Moves Home With Family

Mark Kirk Released From Rehab, Moves Home With Family

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) reached a new milestone in his recovery today, when his family announced that the first-term Senator would move home to continue his recuperation from a January stroke.

In a statement provided by Kirk’s office, the Senator’s family said he will continue his recovery as an “out-patient” at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. He will live with various members of his family during this time, his office confirmed. Full story

Nevada: Shelley Berkley Launches First TV Ad

Nevada Rep. Shelley Berkley began her on-air introduction to Washoe County voters today with her first TV ad of the Senate campaign.

In the 60-second ad, the Democrat highlights a piece of legislation she sponsored that ensures all Veterans Affairs medical centers are outfitted with substance abuse treatment services. The ad features the father of Iraq War veteran Justin Bailey, whose death following a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder led to the passage of the bill.

Full story

May 2, 2012

Arizona: DCCC Ad Buys Reach Almost $500K for Special Election

House Democrats have purchased a total of $473,000 in ad time for the June 12 special election for Arizona’s 8th district, a committee official confirmed to Roll Call today.

That sum includes a previous $150,000 buy from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for advertisements running through May 10. The new ad reservation targets airtime for the final two weeks of the race.

The large purchase is a symbol of just how competitive the race for the seat of retiring Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) has become. The DCCC’s reservation marks the largest buy from a candidate or campaign so far in the race. Full story

New Mexico: Rand Paul Backs Greg Sowards in GOP Primary

New Mexico: Rand Paul Backs Greg Sowards in GOP Primary

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul today endorsed a heavy underdog in the New Mexico Republican Senate primary.

Paul, a tea party leader in Congress, is backing businessman Greg Sowards, who has an uphill climb against former Rep. Heather Wilson in the June 5 GOP contest.

“I’m calling on conservatives, libertarians, and Tea Party activists in New Mexico and across the nation to support Greg Sowards,” Paul said in a statement. “He will stand for the Constitution and I’m proud to stand with him.” Full story

North Carolina: Eric Cantor-Affiliated Group Backs Richard Hudson on Radio

North Carolina: Eric Cantor Affiliated Group Backs Richard Hudson on Radio

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The YG Action Fund, a super PAC affiliated with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), is on the radio in North Carolina’s 8th district with an ad backing former Hill staffer Richard Hudson.

The spot, backed by a $53,000 buy, is the second independent expenditure the super PAC has made on behalf of Hudson. On April 24, the group spent $22,750 on mailers supporting the candidate, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

“Richard Hudson will cut out-of-control government spending — starting with repealing and replacing Obamacare,” a narrator says in the spot. “Hudson will fight for tax relief for our families and businesses: He’ll protect North Carolina jobs.”

Hudson, the frontrunner, is locked in a competitive race with four other GOP contenders, including dentist Scott Keadle, who is backed by the powerful pro-free-market group the Club for Growth.

Full story

Newt Gingrich Ends Presidential Campaign

Newt Gingrich Ends Presidential Campaign

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista, share a moment before announcing the suspension of his presidential campaign in Arlington, Va., on Wednesday. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

The winner of the South Carolina Republican presidential primary has gone on to win his party’s nomination in every election since 1980 — until now.

Just less than a year after entering the race, former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) ended his presidential campaign today, a week after former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney claimed the mantle of the GOP’s presumptive nominee. Full story

Missouri: Claire McCaskill Up With $300,000 TV Ad Buy

Vulnerable Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, battling for re-election in Missouri, released a new TV ad today knocking third-party groups who attack her. The spot also seeks to reinforce her image as a fighter for average folks.

Since McCaskill does not yet have a GOP opponent — businessman John Brunner, Rep. Todd Akin and former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman are all locked in a primary battle — her strategy appears to be to go on the offensive against third-party groups.

“They just keep coming back,” a male narrator says in the spot, to visuals of TVs on an assembly line with anti-McCaskill ads on them. “Secret money, attacking Claire McCaskill. These big oil and insurance companies don’t want you to know who they are, but here’s what they want to do.”

Full story

Pennsylvania: NRCC Goes Up Early Against Mark Critz

Barely a week after the Pennsylvania primary, the National Republican Congressional Committee kicked off the 12th district general election with an advertisement blasting Rep. Mark Critz (D).

This early spot shows House Republicans want this swing southwestern seat, and they want it badly.

Full story

May 1, 2012

New York: Michael Grimm Kicked Off Independence Party Line

New York: Michael Grimm Kicked Off Independence Party Line

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Less than two months ago, Rep. Michael Grimm’s campaign sent out a press release touting “the coveted, game-changing Independence Party endorsement for his re-election campaign.”

Today, the New York Board of Elections said Grimm did not get enough signatures to qualify for that ballot line, according to the Staten Island Advance. He will still appear on the Conservative and Republican lines.

Grimm faces Democrat Mark Murphy in November.

“Michael Grimm has shown himself again to be just another politician who will say whatever it takes to get to Washington and do whatever it takes to stay there,” Murphy’s spokesman said in a statement.

A call to a Grimm spokeswoman was not immediately returned.

Roll Call rates the race as Likely Republican.

Missouri: Gov. Jay Nixon Endorses William Lacy Clay

Missouri: Gov. Jay Nixon Endorses William Lacy Clay

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) today endorsed Rep. William Lacy Clay in his Democratic primary fight against Rep. Russ Carnahan.

The endorsement was a significant boost for Clay. Full story

Kentucky: Dueling Polls in 6th District

Kentucky: Dueling Polls in 6th District

Two polls give Rep. Ben Chandler (right) the lead in Kentucky's 6th district race, but one shows Chandler in a better position than the other does. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:00 p.m. | Just how competitive is the race in Kentucky’s 6th district, where four-term Rep. Ben Chandler (D) faces a rematch with attorney Andy Barr (R)? That depends on which poll you believe.

Chandler’s campaign released a poll Monday showing him with a 24-point lead in a head-to-head matchup with Chandler, 54 percent to 30 percent.

But a poll from Barr’s pollsters had the Republican trailing Chandler by only 7 points, 49 percent to 42 percent.

What might account for the difference? Chandler’s pollsters, Mark Mellman’s the Mellman Group, surveyed 400 voters representing the “likely 2012 electorate” in late March, while Public Opinion Strategies, Barr’s pollsters, surveyed 400 “likely 2012 voters” in late February.

Full story

By Joshua Miller Posted at 3:12 p.m.
Ky.-6, Polling

Romney Visiting RNC Wednesday

Romney Visiting RNC Wednesday

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Mitt Romney is scheduled Wednesday to make his first visit to Republican National Committee headquarters since becoming the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, according to a party source.

The former Massachusetts governor is expected to drop by the RNC’s Capitol Hill offices around midday, in a visit described as being meant to rally the troops. He’ll be campaigning in Virginia on Wednesday and Thursday.

Such visits are typical of newly minted presidential nominees, who, in securing the GOP nod, become the leader of the national party — at least until Election Day.

The clear leader in nominating delegates to the Tampa convention, Romney secured his presumptive status after former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) and ex-Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) dropped out of the primary. Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) is still running but is not viewed as a factor in the race.

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