Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 3, 2015

April 18, 2012

Arizona: Ron Barber Goes Up With First TV Ad

Ron Barber, an ex-aide to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), went up with his first ad in the race to finish his one-time boss’s term. The buy came less than a day after the GOP selected veteran Jesse Kelly as its nominee in the race.

Barber’s ad is positive and biographical. He touts his work with the mentally disabled, running a small business and as a Congressional staffer. According to GOP ad trackers, the campaign is putting $40,000 behind the ad.

“I’m Ron Barber, and I’ve seen a lot in my life,” Barber says in the narration. Full story

Pennsylvania: New Poll Shows Altmire-Critz Race Close

Pennsylvania: New Poll Shows Altmire Critz Race Close

Rep. Jason Altmire led Rep. Mark Critz by a mere 4 points in a test of Tuesday’s Democratic primary matchup, according to a poll released today.

The Tribune-Review/WPXI-TV poll showed Altmire ahead of Critz 43 percent to 39 percent in the finals days of their increasingly competitive contest.

The two Democrats are facing off in southwestern Pennsylvania’s 12 district after GOP-led redistricting combined their current territory. Full story

DCCC Reserves $32 Million for Fall TV Ads

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is reserving more than $32 million in broadcast television time in the districts of 26 Republican Members, seven Democratic Members and three open seats.

It’s the earliest in a cycle that the DCCC has placed a buy reservation for the fall campaign, a move that saves the committee money and ensures good placement for the spots.

The buy, described to Roll Call by a DCCC official, is mostly concentrated in states where the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney are likely to be playing.

The TV reservation was placed in such a way as to shield the specifics of the DCCC’s strategy. For example, the committee booked $3.6 million in the Philadelphia media market. That means ads could run against Pennsylvania GOP Reps. Jim Gerlach, Patrick Meehan, Mike Fitzpatrick, Charlie Dent or New Jersey GOP Rep. Jon Runyan — or a combination of some of them. No one will know until the ads actually ship, giving the DCCC a strategic advantage. Full story

By Joshua Miller Posted at 1:23 p.m.

Arizona: GOP Nominates Jesse Kelly in Race to Succeed Gabrielle Giffords

Arizona: GOP Nominates Jesse Kelly in Race to Succeed Gabrielle Giffords

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

As expected, Jesse Kelly won the GOP nomination Tuesday in the special election to finish out former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ (D) term. The Associated Press called the race a little before 1 a.m. today with about 55 percent of precincts reporting.

The win sets up a rematch by proxy between Kelly and Giffords. The two faced off in a rough 2010 campaign, and now Kelly will face former Giffords aide Ron Barber in the June 12 special election. Barber, who was unchallenged in the Democratic primary, has the support of the former Congresswoman, her husband and her inner circle.

The special election in the swing seat is expected to be highly competitive, and both parties wasted little time in ratcheting up their rhetoric. Full story

April 17, 2012

Maryland: Delaney Internal Poll Shows Him Up Over Bartlett

Maryland: Delaney Internal Poll Shows Him Up Over Bartlett

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Businessman John Delaney (D), who is running to unseat Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R) in the Maryland 6th district race, released an internal poll today that confirmed what most political observers have already noted: The incumbent is in serious electoral trouble.

The poll shows that Delaney is up over Bartlett 48 to 39 points in the most closely watched federal race in the state.

Full story

Wisconsin: Eric Hovde Spending Big on Television

Wisconsin: Eric Hovde Spending Big on Television

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Businessman Eric Hovde (R) jumped into the race to replace retiring Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) in early March. It was late compared with the rest of the GOP field, but now that he is in, he is making a serious effort in his campaign.

Today, he has put up his second ad on the Wisconsin air, and a source who tracks ad spending said the buy was $450,000. The source also noted that Hovde spent $400,000 on his first ad buy. Between the two ads, Hovde has spent $850,000 on advertising in his first six weeks of campaigning.

Full story

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 (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

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

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