Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 2, 2015

July 15, 2015

Florida Redistricting Creates Giant Game of Musical Chairs

Jolly is running for Senate in Florida in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Jolly’s House district is likely to become a Democratic one. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The music has started in a game of musical chairs in Florida that will have sweeping implications for the state’s political landscape.

Republican Rep. David Jolly will likely announce a bid for Florida’s open Senate seat next week, the first implication from the Florida State Supreme Court last week striking down the state’s congressional map. Jolly’s 13th District is likely to favor a Democratic candidate after the map is redrawn, pushing the one-term Republican to enter the already crowded GOP Senate primary to replace GOP Sen. Marco Rubio, who is forgoing re-election to run for president.

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July 13, 2015

McCain Primary Opponent’s Website Reveals Plans Early

A screen shot of Ward's website where her campaign prematurely plans to run for U.S. Senate. (Roll Call photo)

A screen shot of Ward’s website where her campaign prematurely revealed plans to run for U.S. Senate. (Roll Call photo)

Arizona state Sen. Kelli Ward is expected to announce her primary challenge against Republican Sen. John McCain on Tuesday. But on Monday, her campaign sort of let the cat out of the bag.

The main page of Ward’s campaign website on Monday showed a fundraising appeal. But earlier in the day, if a visitor typed in “KelliWard.com/about,” they would see a 404 error page, which linked to a series of posts on the “campaign news” section declaring Ward’s intentions. The posts were taken down from the section later Monday.

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Harry Reid Talks Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton

Reid talks Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Reid talks Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said Monday that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump used to raise money for him and that he really likes Hillary Rodham Clinton, even if he hasn’t formally endorsed her presidential bid quite yet.

The Nevada Democrat’s comments about Trump, Clinton and predicting a 2016 Democratic takeover of the Senate came on a Las Vegas radio program where the retiring senator has appeared frequently over the years. Full story

Rick Santorum Undeterred by Debate Format

Rick Santorum speaks to reporters at the Monitor Breakfast (Courtesy of Bryan Dozier/The Christian Science Monitor).

Rick Santorum speaks to reporters Monday at the Monitor Breakfast. (Courtesy of Bryan Dozier/The Christian Science Monitor).

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is at risk of being excluded when the presidential primary debates kick off next month, but that doesn’t mean he’s worried about his chances in 2016.

“I don’t really pay a whole lot of attention to things that go on this far ahead of a national vote,” the Republican White House hopeful told reporters Monday at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. Full story

Danny Tarkanian to Run for Nevada House Seat

Tarkanian is running for Nevada's open 3rd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Tarkanian is running for Nevada’s open 3rd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Danny Tarkanian, the son of the legendary University of Nevada, Las Vegas, basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, announced a bid Monday for the Silver State’s open 3rd District, setting up a GOP primary in a tossup race.

Tarkanian will challenge state Sen. Michael Roberson for the Republican nomination in this seat — left vacant because of GOP Rep. Joe Heck’s Senate bid.

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July 12, 2015

Todd Young Announces Indiana Senate Bid

Young is running for Senate in Indiana. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Young’s background has appeal to both the tea party and pragmatic Republican bases in Indiana. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind., will run for Senate in the Hoosier State, he announced Sunday, becoming the third Republican to enter a competitive race to replace retiring GOP Sen. Dan Coats.

“Everything in my life I owe to God, my family, the Naval Academy and the Marine Corps,” Young said in a video announcing his candidacy shared first with CQ Roll Call. “The best way I can think of to give back is to ensure that every Hoosier family enjoys a better future. That’s why I’m running for U.S. Senate.”

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Steve Israel: Hard for Democrats to Win House Majority in 2016

Israel is tasked with communicating House Democrats' message to voters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Israel is tasked with communicating House Democrats’ message to voters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Steve Israel, the New York Democrat who led the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for the 2012 and 2014 cycles, said winning the House majority will be tough for Democrats, but predicted his party will pick up between eight to 10 seats in 2016.

“It’s going to be hard for us to win the majority,” Israel said on C-SPAN’s “Newsmaker’s” program that aired Sunday, and added later, “When you take a look at all the recruits, when you take a look at presidential performance, I believe that not only will be pick up seats, but I really think that the DCCC can expect to pick up at least a foundation of eight to 10 seats, maybe more with a strong wind behind us.”

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July 10, 2015

Republicans Search for Another Cory Gardner to Challenge Bennet

Republicans have yet to coalesce around a challenger to Bennet. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans have yet to coalesce around a challenger to Bennet. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s been a month of diminishing prospects for Colorado Republicans looking for a candidate to challenge vulnerable Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.

Three Republicans have declined to run, beginning with the party’s top pick, 6th District Rep. Mike Coffman, in a race that could affect the balance of power in the Senate. Drama within the state party has only distracted from the search for a credible candidate.

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July 9, 2015

Florida Supreme Court Strikes Down Congressional Map (Updated)

Corrine Brown's district was at the center of the court case. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Corrine Brown’s district was at the center of the court case. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:05 p.m. | The Florida Supreme Court struck down a sizable portion of the state’s congressional map, throwing the 2016 elections into a state of disarray.

In a 5-2 decision Thursday, the court ruled the GOP-led redistricting process was “tainted” by partisanship and drawn to favor Republican incumbents. The Legislature has now been tasked with redrawing eight of the state’s 27 congressional districts within, as well as adjacent districts affected by the new lines. Full story

DSCC Endorses Duckworth in Illinois Senate Race

The DSCC endorsed Duckworth's Illinois Senate bid. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The DSCC endorsed Duckworth’s Illinois Senate bid. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee endorsed Rep. Tammy Duckworth Thursday in a contested Democratic primary in Illinois — a top Democratic pickup opportunity in 2016.

Tammy Duckworth has spent her life serving this nation and the state of Illinois, and she has a proven record of advocating for veterans, women and working families,” DSCC Chairman Jon Tester said in a news release. “Tammy’s incredible story reflects her persistence and tenacity, even when the odds are stacked against her, and she brings that same determination to her work on behalf of her constituents every single day. We are excited to support Tammy and we are confident that she will be an outstanding Senator for the State of Illinois.”

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Exclusive: Senate Majority PAC Announces Senior Staff

Poersch is one of the senior advisers at Senate Majority PAC in 2016. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Poersch is a senior adviser at Senate Majority PAC. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority PAC will announce Thursday that Stephanie Potter will be executive director for the 2016 cycle, and also will release its senior staff roster.

Potter, who was political operations director there last cycle, will be joined by a number of Democratic operatives who worked in 2014 at the super PAC, which spends tens of millions of dollars backing Democratic senators and candidates.

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GOP Gleeful That Grayson’s Getting Into Florida Senate Race

Grayson will announce a Senate bid Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Grayson will announce a Senate bid Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 9:18 a.m. | Republican operatives are elated about Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson getting into the Senate race in Florida, saying the liberal firebrand’s bid will create headaches for Democrats up and down the ballot.

Grayson released a seven-minute-long video Thursday morning saying he’s running. The seat is open thanks to GOP Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential bid, and is key as Democrats look to net the five seats necessary to ensure Senate control.

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July 8, 2015

Alan Grayson to Announce Senate Bid Thursday

Grayson will run for Senate in Florida. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A source says Grayson will announce his bid on an Orlando-area TV station. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Alan Grayson, a liberal firebrand whose outspokenness irks members of his own party, will announce a bid for Florida’s open Senate seat Thursday morning on a Florida TV station, according to a source with knowledge of Grayson’s plans.

Grayson’s entry into the race could turn into a messy primary with fellow Florida Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy, national Democrats’ pick for this competitive seat, vacant this cycle thanks to GOP Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential bid.

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Van Hollen Raises $1.5 Million in Second Quarter

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo

Van Hollen flexed his fundraising muscle. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Chris Van Hollen raised $1.5 million in the second quarter of 2015, more than double the amount taken in by Rep. Donna Edwards in their campaigns for the Democratic nomination to replace retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski in Maryland.

Edwards’ campaign announced on July 3 that it raised $590,000 in its first full quarter with new campaign manager Garrick Delzell from EMILY’s List.

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Pro-Israel Groups Divided Over Iran Going Into 2016

foreign_hearing022_031115

Kerry, shown here during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in March, said negotiations with Iran could “go either way.” (File Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

With international negotiators in Vienna working to reach a nuclear deal with Iran, and the guarantee of a congressional vote on any accord, both hawks and doves among pro-Israel groups are mobilizing over an issue that’s growing in importance ahead of the 2016 elections.

“Next to the economy, nothing is more important to American voters than national security, and Iran is at the center of that debate,” Omri Ceren, managing director at The Israel Project, a D.C. educational organization, told CQ Roll Call in an email.

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