Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 26, 2015

March 10, 2015

Donna Edwards Replacements Start Lining Up (Updated)

Donna Edwards Replacements Start Lining Up (Updated)

Edwards is running for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated March 11, 4:04 p.m. | Rep. Donna Edwards’ Senate bid sounded the starting bell Tuesday for a competitive primary for her House Seat.

“I think it’s very likely that you could have a very crowded field,” said former Democratic Rep. Albert Wynn, who represented the Maryland district for more than a decade until 2008, when Edwards ousted him. “It’s a window of opportunity for another generation.” Full story

Edwards Makes Senate Bid Official (Video)

Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., made her Senate bid official on Tuesday, announcing her intention to run in a web video.

“I’m announcing my candidacy for the United States Senate,” she says in the autobiographical video. The 5-term congresswoman narrates the just over 2-minute long video, which shows Maryland’s National Harbor in the background.

Full story

Democrats Line Up Behind Ted Strickland in Ohio Primary (Updated)

Democrats Line Up Behind Ted Strickland in Ohio Primary (Updated)

Strickland is a Democrat from Ohio. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Updated 11:36 a.m. | The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee threw its weight behind former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland Tuesday — a sign the national party is trying to avoid a primary in a key 2016 state.

Strickland currently faces Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld for the Democratic nod in the Buckeye State. Both hope to challenge GOP Sen. Rob Portman, who is seeking re-election in a state President Barack Obama carried in 2008 and 2012.

Full story

March 9, 2015

DCCC in Talks With California House Candidate

DCCC in Talks With California House Candidate

Valadao is a Republican from California. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

National Democrats are courting a third recruit for a top California House race, after two other potential candidates recently took themselves out of contention.

Fowler Mayor Pro-Tem Daniel Parra is considering challenging GOP Rep. David Valadao in the Central Valley-based 21st District, according to a source with knowledge of Parra’s plans.

Full story

A House Republican Moves Closer to Middle

A House Republican Moves Closer to Middle

Dold, left, attended a news conference introducing a bipartisan gun control bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

While some GOP lawmakers veer right for fear of primary threats, one vulnerable House Republican continues to inch closer to other end of his party’s spectrum for political survival.

Last week, Illinois Rep. Robert Dold, one of the most endangered House Republicans, signed onto a bipartisan bill that would expand background checks for gun purchasers. It was the latest in a series of moves by Dold — now serving his second, non-consecutive term — that showcased his moderate stripes.

Full story

March 8, 2015

Report: Donna Edwards to Announce Senate Bid

Report: Donna Edwards to Announce Senate Bid

Edwards is reportedly running for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., will announce a run for Senate Tuesday to succeed retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., the Washington Post reported Sunday.

Edwards, the lone woman in Maryland’s House delegation, joins a field that already includes her colleague, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., who announced his candidacy Wednesday.

Full story

March 6, 2015

Harry Reid Backs Maryland Senate Candidate

Harry Reid Backs Maryland Senate Candidate

Van Hollen is running for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In an unusual move, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has endorsed Rep. Chris Van Hollen for the newly open Senate seat in Maryland.

Van Hollen, a Democrat, announced Wednesday he would run for the Senate seat, after Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., announced she would not seek another term. But Reid’s endorsement comes as a number of other House Democrats publicly mull the Senate race. Full story

March 5, 2015

Democratic Floodgates Open for Maryland House Seat

Democratic Floodgates Open for Maryland House Seat

Van Hollen is running for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 7:55 p.m. | Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s decision to run for Senate in Maryland marks the likely start of a crowded Democratic primary for Senate — and for his newly open House seat too.

Van Hollen represents Maryland’s 8th District, a reliably Democratic district bordering Washington, D.C. With its affluent population and proximity to the Capitol, Democrats will have no shortage of candidates who could run. Van Hollen has held the seat since 2002, and for many ambitious Democrats, this is their shot. Full story

Michigan Congresswoman Won’t Run for Re-Election (Updated) (Video)

Updated 6:03 p.m. | Rep. Candice S. Miller, R-Mich., the sole female House committee chairman, will not seek a ninth term, she announced Thursday.

“This is the community that I love, that I call home, and at the conclusion of my current term in office, I will be coming home. I will not seek re-election,” Miller announced in a video posted to Facebook.

Full story

How a Tea Party Favorite May Influence Mississippi Race

How a Tea Party Favorite May Influence Mississippi Race

McDaniel is a state senator from Mississippi. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel, the tea party firebrand who nearly ousted a Republican senator in a primary last year, has attempted to shape the state’s upcoming 1st District special election.

But more than a week since Gov. Phil Bryant set the date to replace the late Rep. Alan Nunnelee, the candidates who fit McDaniel’s tea party mold have either passed on a bid or dropped out of the contest. It leaves the rabble-rouser and fellow anti-establishment conservatives without a candidate to support in the two-month sprint to the election.

Full story

March 4, 2015

Van Hollen May Not Have Field to Himself (Updated)

Van Hollen May Not Have Field to Himself (Updated)

Mikulski will not seek another term in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:50 p.m. | Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen announced Wednesday he will run for the seat of retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, moving swiftly as numerous other ambitious Democrats have their eye on the race.

“I am excited to share that I have decided to run for the United States Senate from our great State of Maryland,” Van Hollen said in a statement. Full story

Joe Sestak Kicks Off Rematch With Pat Toomey

Joe Sestak Kicks Off Rematch With Pat Toomey

Sestak is running for Senate again in Pennsylvania. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak formally launched his long-expected challenge to Republican Sen. Patrick J. Toomey Wednesday, setting up a possible rematch in one of Democrats’ best pick-up opportunities.

During an announcement outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Sestak said he is running to “restore the trust deficit,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. After showing up in a pair of old sneakers, Sestak vowed to walk across the state in a pair of Army boots — to walk symbolically in the shoes of Pennsylvanians.

Full story

Democrats Have Early Favorite House Pickup Opportunity

Democrats Have Early Favorite House Pickup Opportunity

Blum, right, is a top Democratic target in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In one of the party’s best pickup opportunities this cycle, Democrats have zeroed in on second-time candidate Monica Vernon to win Iowa’s 1st District.

Freshman Rep. Rod Blum, a Republican, holds the seat. But the district’s composition is competitive, if not left-leaning: In 2012, President Barack Obama won it with 56 percent. That makes it a ripe target for Democrats, who must net 30 seats on a GOP-friendly map to win the majority. Full story

March 3, 2015

Top Democratic Campaign Staffers Chart 2016 Paths

Top Democratic Campaign Staffers Chart 2016 Paths

Tester is the chairman of the DSCC (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With Democrats relegated to the minority in both chambers for the first time since 2006, the two top staffers at the party’s House and Senate campaign arms charted a path back to the majority during an EMILY’s List event Tuesday.

Tom Lopach, executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Kelly Ward, who’s holding the same position at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for a second straight cycle, have a similar goal — but starkly different odds of achieving it. Full story

Ex-Rep. Brad Schneider Inches Closer to Rematch in Illinois

Ex Rep. Brad Schneider Inches Closer to Rematch in Illinois

Schneider is a former member. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Illinois Rep. Brad Schneider is inching closer to a rematch with Republican Rep. Robert Dold, according to a Democratic source with knowledge of his plans.

Schneider was in Washington, D.C., Tuesday for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference. He attended the Democratic Caucus meeting Tuesday morning, where he received a standing ovation from his former colleagues, according to the source, and he was scheduled to meet with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in the afternoon. Full story

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