Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 19, 2014

April 17, 2012

Virginia: Tim Kaine Skipping Shad Planking

Virginia: Tim Kaine Skipping Shad Planking

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) will not attend Wednesday’s Shad Planking, the state’s largest annual political event.

According to a schedule released by his campaign, Kaine will instead attend an economic roundtable with female business and community leaders near Richmond at the time of the event. He’ll attend another roundtable event with veterans and military families in Norfolk earlier in the day and hold a tele-town hall Wednesday evening. Full story

United Front: Mitch McConnell Follows John Boehner in Backing Mitt Romney

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) officially backed GOP presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney today, just hours after Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) did the same.

“I support [former Massachusetts] Gov. Romney for president of the United States,” McConnell told reporters at his weekly media availability. “We’re all behind him and looking forward to the fall campaign.”

McConnell is just the latest high-profile Republican to endorse Romney after former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) dropped out of the race last week. With Santorum out, no other challenger appears able to overcome the deficit in convention delegates to best Romney for the nomination. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) and Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) remain in the race, however.

Tennessee: Scottie Mayfield up Against Chuck Fleischman in Early Poll

In Tennessee’s 3rd district GOP primary, dairy magnate Scottie Mayfield led freshman Republican Rep. Chuck Fleischman and 25-year-old entrepreneur Weston Wamp in a survey conducted for Mayfield’s campaign.

In a poll of 400 likely Republican primary voters in the newly configured district, 34 percent said they’d vote for Mayfield; 25 percent for Wamp, the son of former Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.); and 25 percent for Fleischman. Seventeen percent of those surveyed were undecided.

All three candidates have relatively strong name identification in the district, making this a truly competitive primary. Full story

Washington: Rick Larsen Backs Suzan DelBene

Washington: Rick Larsen Backs Suzan DelBene

Rep. Rick Larsen is endorsing a candidate for Washington's vacant 1st district seat, parts of which he currently represents. (Tom Williams/CQ Rolll Call File Photo)

Rep. Rick Larsen (D) is endorsing former Microsoft executive Suzan DelBene in Washington state’s open and redrawn 1st district, a large portion of which Larsen currently represents.

This is the second major endorsement for DelBene in the past two days in her bid to succeed former Rep. Jay Inslee (D), who resigned to run for governor. Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) backed DelBene on Monday. Full story

John Boehner Fully Backs Mitt Romney

John Boehner Fully Backs Mitt Romney

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John Boehner broke his silence on the GOP presidential nomination today and endorsed presumptive nominee Mitt Romney.

At a press conference, the Ohio Republican said, “I’ve not taken a position on his presidential campaign because, as chairman of the convention, I wanted to make sure that all candidates had a fair process and fair opportunity.”

But now with Romney’s ascent to the GOP nod all but certain, Boehner offered his full backing of the former Massachusetts governor.

“I think Mitt Romney has a set of economic policies that can put Americans back to work and frankly contrast sharply with the failed economic policies of President [Barack] Obama,” Boehner said. “And I will be proud to support Mitt Romney and do everything I can to help him.”

Boehner had declined to back anyone in the GOP field, reiterating to reporters that he remains focused on his work in the House and promising that he would back whomever primary voters selected to run against Obama. Other GOP House leaders, notably Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), as well as Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.), endorsed Romney earlier in the cycle.

Pennsylvania: LCV Drops $230K to Defeat Tim Holden

The pile-on for Rep. Tim Holden (D-Pa.) continued today when the League of Conservation Voters announced a $230,000 television advertisement buy aimed at the Blue Dog Democrat in his upcoming primary and endorsed Holden’s opponent, attorney Matt Cartwright.

Holden is now the underdog in the April 24 primary against Cartwright, Roll Call reported from the ground in the 17th district last week.

About 80 percent of the redrawn district includes new turf for Holden, who’s also losing the spending war in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Cartwright infused almost $400,000 of his own cash into his campaign, plus the Campaign for Primary Accountability vowed to spend $200,000 against Holden.

Now the environmental group joins the spending spree against Holden with its own buy. This spot will run on broadcast and cable stations in the Scranton media market, according to LCV.

Full story

DCCC Outraises NRCC Again in March

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee pulled in $9.8 million in March, raising more than the National Republican Congressional Committee for the fifth month in a row.

But the NRCC ended last month with more cash in the bank, after the GOP committee raised $9.3 million. The DCCC ended March with $22.8 million in cash on hand whereas the NRCC had $27.1 million in the bank.

The March numbers mean the DCCC also beat the NRCC in first-quarter fundraising and has the advantage in cycle-to-date fundraising.

The NRCC begins a big push for Member dues today.

NRCC Raises $9.3M, Starts Push for Dues

The National Republican Congressional Committee will announce a strong month of fundraising and the beginning of a push for Member dues at today’s GOP political conference meeting.

The NRCC raised $9.3 million in March — a total boosted by its annual fundraising dinner — and ended last month with an impressive $27.1 million in the bank. It’s the strongest financial position the committee has been in at this point in the cycle since the passage of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, which eliminated soft money donations to political committees. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ended February with $16.4 million in the bank. Full story

Minnesota: District Parties Back Preferred Candidates

Minnesota: District Parties Back Preferred Candidates

Rep. Michele Bachmann easily earned the Minnesota Republican Party's endorsement in her re-election bid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Minnesota’s Democrats and Republicans endorsed candidates for the fall over the weekend at district-level party conventions.

GOP Reps. Michele Bachmann and Erik Paulsen easily picked up their party’s endorsements for their re-elections. Full story

Washington: Gregoire Endorses Suzan DelBene in 1st District

Washington: Gregoire Endorses Suzan DelBene in 1st District

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Gov. Christine Gregoire endorsed former Microsoft executive Suzan DelBene (D) in the wide open 1st district race to succeed former Rep. Jay Inslee (D), who resigned to run for governor. Full story

Washington: Dennis Kucinich Polling Supporters About Move

Washington: Dennis Kucinich Polling Supporters About Move

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) appears to indeed be considering running for Congress in one of Washington state’s 10 districts. Full story

Florida: State Rep. Costello Joins 6th District Race

State Rep. Fred Costello (R-Fla.), a former mayor of the city of Ormond Beach, announced a long-expected campaign for Congress on Monday in the open and strongly Republican 6th district. Full story

April 16, 2012

Arizona: Poll Shows Jesse Kelly With Small Lead Over Ron Barber

Arizona: Poll Shows Jesse Kelly With Small Lead Over Ron Barber

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 1:16 p.m. | A poll released today shows Jesse Kelly to be the strongest Republican candidate in the June 12 special election to replace former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).

It is unclear who commissioned the poll of 300 likely general election voters. But it showed that Kelly was the only candidate ahead of former Giffords staffer Ron Barber, the de facto Democratic nominee. Voters go to the polls Tuesday to pick the nominees for the tossup special contest, and Kelly is the odds-on favorite to face Barber in June.

Kelly led Barber 49 percent to 45 percent in a head-to-head matchup. Retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally was tied with Barber at 42 percent. Local college sports TV broadcaster Dave Sitton trailed Barber 39 percent to 43 percent. State Sen. Frank Antenori, who has had financial problems in his campaign, trailed Barber 40 percent to 46 percent.

Full story

New York: Edolphus Towns Officially Announces Retirement

New York: Edolphus Towns Officially Announces Retirement

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

As expected, New York Democratic Rep. Edolphus Towns today announced his retirement at the end of the 112th Congress.

“After months of long family discussions, I have decided not to seek reelection for my seat in the United State House of Representatives,” he said in a statement. “I am very grateful for the support I have received over the years. I believe firmly that we would have won a 16th terms [sic] had we decided to run.”

State Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries (D), already running a serious primary campaign against Towns, becomes the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. The safe Democratic nature of the 8th district means the party’s nominee is almost certain to be the new Congressman. Also in the primary: New York City Councilman Charles Barron.

“It has been an honor to have fought so that the people of New York can have more opportunities and a chance to live better lives,” Towns said.

See all the Members of Congress who have decided to make this term their last on Roll Call’s Casualty List.

Obama Raises More Than $53 Million in March; Republicans Pounce

The Obama campaign announced today in a Web video that its collective March fundraising total was “over $53 million.”

The video featured various campaign supporters announcing their small donations to the campaign, followed by a message from campaign manager Jim Messina. The figures include fundraising from the Democratic National Committee.

Full story

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