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

April 9, 2014

Jack Kingston Raised $1.1 Million in 1st Quarter

Jack Kingston Raised $1.1 Million in 1st Quarter

Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., is one of a handful of Republicans seeking the state's open Senate seat. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston, one of a handful of Republicans vying for the state’s open Senate seat, raised $1.1 million in the first fundraising quarter of 2014, according to figures provided first to CQ Roll Call.

Kingston’s quarterly haul stemmed in part from 45 fundraisers and meet-and-greets held from January through March, the campaign said, and 89 percent of the total haul were from within the Peach State. Kingston ended March with $2.1 million in cash on hand.

“The generosity of so many both in volunteer hours and financial support has been overwhelming,” Kingston said in a statement. “Libby and I cannot thank everyone enough for their dedication to our campaign. Together we can retake the Senate and restore the American Dream.” Full story

Andrew Romanoff Raised $600,000 in First Quarter

Colorado Democrat Andrew Romanoff raised $600,000 in the first quarter of 2014 and ended March with nearly $2.1 million, his campaign announced Wednesday.

In a top pickup opportunity for Democrats, Romanoff, a former state speaker and Senate candidate, is challenging Republican Rep. Mike Coffman.

The third-term incumbent’s fundraising numbers from January through March were not immediately available. Both candidates started the year in similar financial position, with Romanoff ahead in cash on hand, with $1.7 million to Coffman’s $1.5 million.

Between these fundraising numbers and Denver’s relatively pricey media market, the race for Colorado’s 6th District is shaping up to be one of the most expensive House races in the country.

The race is rated Tossup by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Rahall Challenger Raised $200K in 1st Quarter (Updated)

Rahall Challenger Raised $200K in 1st Quarter (Updated)

Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is facing a competitive race for a 20th term (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:12 p.m. | West Virginia state Sen. Evan Jenkins raised $200,000 in the first quarter for his bid to unseat 19-term Democratic Rep. Nick J. Rahall II.

The Republican will report about $500,000 in cash on hand as of the end of March, according to figures provided to CQ Roll Call.

Jenkins, a former Democrat, is shaping up as Rahall’s most competitive rival in decades, and the incumbent is already the target of outside spending. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently added Rahall to its incumbent protection program. Full story

Democrat Starts Mail Campaign in Targeted California House Contest

Eloise Gomez Reyes, one of four Democrats vying for a highly targeted district in California’s Inland Empire, is kicking off a direct mail campaign this week ahead of the upcoming top-two primary.

The pair of mail pieces, provided first to CQ Roll Call, are tantamount to an opening bio ad in the 31st District, located east of Los Angeles. They describe the attorney’s background as a field worker who went on to college and later law school.

Mailers are the most popular form of voter communication in California House contests, as TV airtime often comes at a premium in the major metropolitan media markets of L.A. and San Francisco.

Full story

DSCC Outraised NRSC in March

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee outraised its Republican counterpart in March, ending the month with more than $22 million in cash on hand for the competitive midterms.

Both the DSCC and the National Republican Senatorial Committee said they posted their best fundraising months of the cycle in March. The DSCC announced Wednesday it raised $8.1 million last month, bringing its total raised for the cycle to more than $74 million — $21 million more than the NRSC. The DSCC paid off its remaining debt from 2012 last month.

The NRSC announced Tuesday that it brought in $6.4 million and ended March with $15.9 million in cash on hand. It paid off its debt last year. Full story

John Tierney Survived 2012. Now What?

John Tierney Survived 2012. Now What?

Tierney at a recent event in Peabody, Mass. (Shira T. Center/CQ Roll Call)

SALEM, Mass. — Rep. John F. Tierney may have successfully put a family legal scandal far enough behind him to win re-election in 2012, but he’s facing another test. And this time, the Massachusetts Democrat’s challenge is primarily political.

Last cycle, Democrats had all but written off Tierney as a goner, but he managed a 4,300-vote victory — about 1 percent — over the Republicans’ best candidate for the seat in years, the affable former state Sen. Richard Tisei.

This year, Tierney first faces a Sept. 9 primary challenge from Seth Moulton, a Marine with a stellar résumé. Tisei, who is openly gay, is aiming for a rematch and will face the Democratic victor.

CQ Roll Call talked with voters in the 6th District — which includes the swath of suburbs north of Boston, is peppered by coastal towns and curves all the way to the New Hampshire border — over the past two months. The picture that emerged is that voters know and like their congressman, despite his recent ethics issues and his family’s legal foibles.

On a chilly March morning as he courted voters at the Salem Democratic Caucuses, Tierney sported a charcoal blazer and pressed pants and appeared certain the storm was behind him. The coiffed congressman told CQ Roll Call he is confident that this cycle’s battle will be easier than his last. But his supporters, like Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, are more cautious.

“I think it’s definitely going to be a challenging race,” Driscoll said in the three-story Salem High School library reminiscent of 1985’s classic film, “The Breakfast Club.” “We had a lot more turnout last time. We’re talking about an election that had the president and Elizabeth Warren on the ballot. So you had just a lot more grass-roots effort going on, a lot of help in terms of field organization statewide.”

Full story

April 8, 2014

Schneider, Dold Both Top $500,000 in First Quarter

Freshman Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., and his Republican opponent, former Rep. Robert Dold, each raised more than $500,000 in the first quarter.

Looking to win back the 10th District seat he lost last cycle to Schneider, Dold brought in $520,000 in the first quarter and ended March with nearly $1.3 million in cash on hand, according to figures provided first to CQ Roll Call. Schneider, who announced his fundraising numbers Tuesday morning, raised more than $550,000 and had more than $1.3 million in cash on hand at the end of the quarter.

First quarter fundraising reports, covering January through March, are due April 15 to the Federal Election Commission. Full story

NRSC Raised $6.4 Million in March for Elections

NRSC Raised $6.4 Million in March for Elections

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, is encouraged by the NRSC's March fundraising. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Senatorial Committee announced Tuesday it raised nearly $6.4 million in March — its best fundraising month of the midterm cycle so far.

The monthly total boosted the NRSC’s fundraising in the first quarter of 2014 to more than $16.4 million. It ended March with about $15.9 million in cash on hand and no debt. Full story

Democrats Lose Recruit for Mike Rogers Seat

Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum, who was in town last week meeting with senior House Democrats, announced Tuesday she will not run for Michigan’s open 8th District seat.

The decision is a blow to national Democrats’ hopes to contend in the district of Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, who recently announced his retirement.

Byrum met with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., members of the Michigan delegation, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and EMILY’s List, among others, while on Capitol Hill last week. But she ultimately opted against running for the Republican-leaning district. Full story

House Republican Women Endorse in Florida Special Primary

House Republican Women Endorse in Florida Special Primary

Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., endorsed a candidate in the Florida special. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The two women leading the effort to support female candidates in Republican primaries endorsed Florida Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto in the special election to replace former Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla.

Republican Reps. Ann Wagner of Missouri and Diane Black of Tennessee both used the word “trust” in their statements about Benacquisto, who faces businessman Curt Clawson and former state Rep. Paige Kreegel in the April 22 special primary.

“The people of the 19th District have lost faith in their elected officials. And the only candidate that can restore the sacred foundation of trust and integrity is Lizbeth Benacquisto,” Wagner said. “I am proud to endorse Lizbeth because she is the only conservative in this race that will get the job done.” Full story

Primary Challenger Airs First Ad Against ‘Liberal’ Boehner Ally

Primary Challenger Airs First Ad Against Liberal Boehner Ally

Smith, above, is challenging Simpson. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Attorney Bryan Smith went on the air with a new television ad calling his primary rival, Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, a “liberal.”

Smith is challenging Simpson, an eight-term incumbent and top ally of Speaker John A. Boehner, for the 2nd District in one of the cycle’s top primary battles. Smith also boasts the backing of several conservative outside groups, including the Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund.

The spot features an edited clip of Simpson saying, “Let me tell you about earmarks. I’ve always been a supporter of earmarks.”

Full story

April 7, 2014

Kay Hagan Raised $2.8 Million for Re-Election in 2014

Kay Hagan Raised $2.8 Million for Re Election in 2014

Kay Hagan raised $2.8 million in the first quarter. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan raised $2.8 million in the first quarter — an impressive sum for the top target of outside spending in the 2014 midterms.

The first-term Democrat ended March with $8.3 million in cash on hand, according to the Hagan campaign. That’s far more than any of her potential Republican opponents are likely to report, though she’s already the target of millions of dollars worth of ads from Americans for Prosperity.

“Kay’s strong fundraising total for the first quarter shows the excitement and momentum behind her campaign,” Hagan spokeswoman Sadie Weiner said. “These funds will ensure the campaign can reach voters in every corner of the state to talk about Kay’s record of putting North Carolina first.” Full story

Vance McAllister Kissing Video Could Prompt Flood of GOP Challengers

Vance McAllister Kissing Video Could Prompt Flood of GOP Challengers

McAllister invited Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty to be his State of the Union guest. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Freshman Rep. Vance McAllister’s days in Congress could be numbered.

No matter whether the Louisiana Republican resigns after asking for forgiveness for an extramarital affair, Republican operatives said at least four members of his own party could look to challenge McAllister this fall.

In Louisiana, candidates have until Aug. 22 to file the necessary paperwork for a bid, and all candidates who qualify for the ballot run on Election Day in November. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote, the race kicks to a runoff in December between the two top vote recipients.

“There’s no doubt I’ve fallen short and I’m asking for forgiveness,” McAllister said in a statement. “I’m asking for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff, and my constituents who elected me to serve. Trust is something I know has to be earned whether your a husband, a father, or a congressman. I promise to do everything I can to earn back the trust of everyone I’ve disappointed.”

Full story

N.C. Republican Launches TV Ad in Targeted District

Woody White, one of two Republicans running for North Carolina’s open 7th District seat, released a TV ad Monday touting his conservative principles.

The New Hanover County commissioner’s 30-second bio spot will air on cable and broadcast district-wide, according to White’s campaign. It’s the latest primary ad to hit the airwaves in this top target for national Republicans.

“I’m a conservative who will stand up for our values and God-given liberties,” White says in the ad, while voicing his opposition to the Affordable Care Act and amnesty for undocumented immigrants.

Full story

Multiple Outside Groups Launch Ads in Mississippi Senate Primary (Updated)

Updated 3:10 p.m. | Two big-spending outside groups launched TV ads Monday benefiting the Republican primary opponent to Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran.

Club for Growth Action launched a six-figure ad buy targeting Cochran’s record, as Senate Conservatives Action released a positive spot on behalf of state Sen. Chris McDaniel.

The six-term Republican is the only senator being challenged this cycle by the political action arm of the Club for Growth, which along with the Senate Conservatives Fund endorsed McDaniel in October. The Senate Conservatives Fund and its political action arm are backing two other primary challengers to GOP incumbents.

Cochran and McDaniel will face off in two months in the June 3 primary. The multiple ads aim to chip away at Cochran’s support, while also increasing McDaniel’s name I.D. Full story

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