Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 18, 2014

January 9, 2014

Portman Can Run for Re-Election and VP in 2016, Per Election Officials

Portman Can Run for Re Election and VP in 2016, Per Election Officials

Portman, left, is a senator from Ohio. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If the 2016 GOP nominee picks Sen. Rob Portman as a running mate, the Buckeye State senator will not have to chose between his Senate seat and a slot on the GOP national ticket.

This week’s Ohio edition of Roll Call’s Farm Team series looked at the future of Portman’s seat, and according to the Ohio secretary of state’s office, a Buckeye State candidate may appear on the ballot twice in federal races. Full story

Christie Nixes N.J. GOP Chairman Amid Bridge Scandal

Christie Nixes N.J. GOP Chairman Amid Bridge Scandal

Christie is the second-term governor of New Jersey. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Just days after Gov. Chris Christie named his campaign manager to run the New Jersey Republican Party, Christie withdrew his support Thursday amid a scandal over a dayslong September traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge.

The scandal has sent the governor’s administration into turmoil, culminating at a Thursday morning news conference, when he explained his change of heart about former top campaign aide.

“I was disturbed by the tone, and behavior, and attitude of callous indifference that was displayed in the emails by my former campaign manager, Bill Stepien,” Christie said. “As a result, I’ve instructed Bill Stepien to not place his name in nomination for state party chairman, and he will not be considered for state party chairman.” Full story

Shuster Primary Opponent Posts Another Paltry Quarter

Shuster Primary Opponent Posts Another Paltry Quarter

Shuster faces a primary this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Retired Coast Guard Capt. Art Halvorson, a Republican challenging Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., raised just $8,700 in the fourth quarter, according to his most recent fundraising report.

That paltry sum brings Halvorson’s total cash on hand to $72,000 — just five months out from the May 20 primary.

Political operatives have previously described Halvorson’s primary challenge as Shuster’s toughest political fight in almost a decade. But another low quarterly haul will only cast doubt on Halvorson’s viability to topple the House Transportation and Infrastructure chairman. Full story

Family Research Council Endorses in Primary to Replace Capito

Family Research Council Endorses in Primary to Replace Capito

Mooney is running for Congress. ( Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Maryland GOP Chairman Alex Mooney has picked up the endorsement of the Family Research Council Action PAC in his bid for West Virginia’s 2nd District.

“Our economy has been decimated. The culture has been challenged beyond all reasonable limits,” FRC Action PAC Chairman Tony Perkins said in a Thursday news release. “The strong, conservative men and women elected in 2010 and 2012 need reinforcements. That is we are endorsing Alex Mooney in his run to represent West Virginia’s Second District.” Full story

January 8, 2014

Jack Kingston Raised $880K in 4th Quarter

Jack Kingston Raised $880K in 4th Quarter

(Douglas Graham/Roll Call File Photo)

Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston will file yet another strong fundraising period when fourth-quarter reports are due at the end of the month.

Kingston, one of the three Republican congressmen running for the state’s open Senate seat, pulled in $880,000 from September through December, according to figures first obtained by CQ Roll Call. He ended the year with $3.4 million on hand after raising a total of $4.2 million for the cycle.

It’s the best quarter of the cycle for Kingston, who brought in just more than $800,000 in the third quarter. None of the other Republicans in the deep primary field have released their fourth-quarter fundraising numbers. Full story

Longtime Dems McIntyre, McCarthy to Retire (Updated) (Video)

Longtime Dems McIntyre, McCarthy to Retire (Updated) (Video)

(CQ Roll Call File Photos)

Updated 1:09 p.m. | Two longtime House Democrats — Reps. Mike McIntyre of North Carolina and Carolyn McCarthy of New York — will not seek re-election in 2014, according to multiple Democratic sources.

The duo of House Democrats mark the third in that caucus to announce he or she won’t return to Congress after 2014. Last month, vulnerable Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, announced he would not seek an 8th term, also nearly assuring Republicans will pick up his seat.

McIntyre was one of this cycle’s most vulnerable Democrats and his departure will likely allow the GOP to pick up his seat. Mitt Romney carried the 7th District a 19-point margin in 2012, while McIntyre won re-election by a slim margin.

Former state Sen. David Rouzer, who lost to McIntyre by just 654 votes in 2012, is running again this cycle. Prior to McIntyre’s retirement announcement, the 7th District was rated a Tossup by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

By comparison, McCarthy’s Long Island-based 4th District is much less of a political opportunity for Republicans. She won re-election in 2012 by a near 2-to-1 margin, and President Barack Obama carried the seat by 12 points in 2012.

McCarthy went public with her battle against lung cancer in June.

The Long Island local parties wield enormous power in selecting a congressional nominee, but in Roll Call’s recent look at the New York State Republican Farm Team, state operatives named state Sen. Jack Martins and Hempstead Councilman Anthony J. Santino as potential contenders in an open-seat race.

Democrats named Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice as a potential successor prior to McCarthy’s announcement.

McCarthy came to Congress in 1997 as a gun-control activist. Her husband was killed in 1993, when a gunman went on a shooting rampage on the Long Island commuter rail.

See all House retirements on Roll Call’s Casualty List.

January 7, 2014

Republicans Form New Polling Firm

GOP pollsters Tony Fabrizio and David Lee rolled out a new firm — Fabrizio, Lee & Associates — that they describe as a “successor” to Fabrizio’s former company, Fabrizio McLaughlin & Associates.

“[Lee] is certainly at the top of the next generation of GOP pollsters and I am proud to have him as my partner,” Fabrizio said in a Tuesday news release. Full story

Democrats, GOP Lament Benches for Competitive Open Seat in Iowa

Democrats, GOP Lament Benches for Competitive Open Seat in Iowa

Latham is retiring, leaving a wide-open race for his seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Longtime Rep. Tom Latham’s unexpected retirement has induced turmoil in the Hawkeye State, as both parties scramble to find top candidates to succeed the 10-term Republican.

But operatives from both parties have lamented the thin roster of top House hopefuls with a broad appeal in the competitive district. President Barack Obama carried the 3rd District — the state’s most competitive House territory — by 4 points in 2012.

“This isn’t a slam-dunk district for Republicans,” said former Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn. “It’s important that we nominate a candidate who can win in November.”

Democrats backed former state Sen. Staci Appel this summer, when she announced a bid to challenge Latham, but now party operatives emphasize the field is open for other Democrats to join. Meanwhile, Republicans have privately expressed concern about two announced candidates, four other likely GOP contenders and the crowded field that could result.

Full story

Republicans Gear Up to Challenge Trey Radel in Primary

Republicans Gear Up to Challenge Trey Radel in Primary

Radel pleaded guilty to cocaine possession in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Florida Republicans are gearing up for challenges against Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., who pleaded guilty in November for cocaine possession.

Former state Rep. Paige Kreegel officially announced his campaign on Tuesday for the 19th District, and another potential candidate, state Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, signaled she might also test the waters.

Benacquisto is airing a biographical television ad unusually early for her uncompetitive state House re-election bid, according to the local NBC affiliate. Benacquisto had not filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission, according to online records. Full story

Republican Announces Bid to Succeed Frank Wolf in Virginia (Updated) (Video)

State Del. Barbara Comstock announced on Tuesday that she will vie for the GOP nomination to succeed retiring Rep. Frank R. Wolf, R-Va., in the competitive 10th District.

Comstock marks the first Republican to officially announce a bid for the seat, which operatives from both parties say will be a battleground in 2014. They also say Comstock, who was first elected to the state House in 2010, had been positioning herself to run for Congress if the 17-term congressman called it quits.

Full story

January 6, 2014

Enzi Encourages Prayers for Cheney Family After High-Fives on Senate Floor (Video)

Sen. Michael B. Enzi, R-Wyo., sought to tamp down the upbeat reception he received on the Senate floor Monday afternoon, emphasizing the severity of the medical situation that prompted Liz Cheney to drop her primary challenge in the Wyoming Senate race earlier in the day.

“Not many of them knew the reason that she was pulling out, so I asked for them to support her and her family with their prayers,” the Wyoming Republican told reporters outside the chamber.

A few minutes earlier, a group of senators greeted Enzi on the floor with high-fives.

Full story

Election Scheduled to Replace Watt in North Carolina

Updated 6:35 p.m. | North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory announced a Nov. 4 special election to replace longtime Democratic Rep. Melvin Watt, ensuring the contest coincides with previously scheduled elections in the Tar Heel State.

The 12th District primary — which will mostly likely determine the next member of Congress from this deeply Democratic district — will be held May 6. A runoff is scheduled for July 15.

Full story

Why It Didn’t Work for Liz Cheney

Liz Cheney cited family health concerns as her reason for dropping out of the Wyoming Senate race, but her exit Monday came after months of struggling to gain traction in a Republican primary challenge to Sen. Michael B. Enzi.

Nearly six months after announcing her first bid for public office, the campaign of the former State Department official and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney had grabbed more headlines for causing intrafamily drama than for offering a decisive argument for her candidacy.

Cheney would have had another eight months to argue her case, but among the many reasons her campaign hadn’t erupted with support already was the fact that Wyoming voters simply still like Enzi. Now it will never be known whether she could have overcome that.

“It was never about people not liking Liz or the Cheney family,” said Joe Milczewski, a former campaign manager for the other Wyoming senator, Republican John Barrasso. “But voters like Sen. Enzi, they’ve pulled the lever for him two or three times before, and nobody likes to have to pick between two friends.” Full story

Jim Gerlach Won’t Seek Re-Election (Updated)

Jim Gerlach Wont Seek Re Election (Updated)

(Douglas Graham/Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 1:48 PM, 2:20 PM, 4:53 PM | Rep. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa., announced Monday he will not seek re-election in 2014, marking yet another moderate House Republican to leave Congress.

“Nearing the end of my sixth term in the House and following 12 years of public service in the Pennsylvania House and Senate, it is simply time for me to move on to new challenges and to spend more time with my wife and family,” Gerlach said in a statement to PoliticsPA.com, which first reported the news.

Gerlach’s departure gives Democrats a decent opportunity in southeastern Pennsylvania. Mitt Romney carried the 6th District with 51 percent in 2012. Full story

January 3, 2014

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Florida’s 13th District

 

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Floridas 13th District

Jolly, left, and Peters, right, are Republicans. (CQ Roll Call composite)

The competitive composition of Florida’s 13th District makes this race fascinating, but it’s also the first big contest on the calendar for 2014. This special election will serve as a test balloon for the parties to check their messaging with a split electorate months ahead of Election Day.

Longtime Rep. C.W. Bill Young’s death has spurred the first competitive race for the western Florida district in a few decades. Young carried the district easily, but President Barack Obama narrowly won the seat with 50 percent in 2012.

Full story

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...