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

January 9, 2015

Exclusive: NRCC Names Senior Staff for 2016

Exclusive: NRCC Names Senior Staff for 2016

Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon is the NRCC Chairman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee will announce Friday its senior staff for the 2016 cycle and the return of several top aides, according to information shared first with CQ Roll Call.

“This exceptional team is already working to gain and maintain our majority in the 2016 cycle,” NRCC Executive Director Rob Simms said in a statement. “We are very fortunate that many members of the team who built the historic majority in 2014, are moving into senior positions to continue helping successful Republican campaigns.” Full story

January 8, 2015

Democrat Kicks Off Race for Open Pennsylvania Seat

Democrat Kicks Off Race for Open Pennsylvania Seat

Fitzpatrick is leaving Congress after this term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The cycle’s first race for a competitive House contest began in earnest Thursday, when Democratic state Rep. Steve Santarsiero filed paperwork to run in southeastern Pennsylvania’s 8th District.

Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., has indicated he will not seek another term thanks to self-imposed term limits. On paper, the district is competitive: President Barack Obama narrowly lost it in 2012, while Fitzpatrick won re-election there by double-digit margins in the past two cycles.  Full story

Barbara Boxer to Retire (Video)

Barbara Boxer to Retire (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

California Sen. Barbara Boxer announced Thursday she will not run for re-election in 2016, opening up an attractive seat for ambitious fellow Democrats.

Boxer made the announcement in a video posted to her campaign website, in which she conducted a mock interview with her grandson Zach. Full story

Rob Collins Heads Downtown, Joins S-3

Rob Collins Heads Downtown, Joins S 3

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Fresh off a tour of duty at the National Republican Senatorial Committee that saw the GOP net nine seats and take control of the Senate, Rob Collins is joining an old friend in the lobbying world.

Collins will be a senior principal at the S-3 group, the boutique firm announced Thursday morning. Collins led the NRSC through the 2014 cycle during the chairmanship of Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan.

“I couldn’t be more excited for Rob to join our firm. He is a game-changer and a super thoughtful strategist who knows D.C. and all of the players. He will add tremendous value for our clients and causes,” said S-3 Co-Founder and Managing Partner John Scofield, who was a senior aide at the House Appropriations Committee before leaving the Capitol for the government affairs realm.

Full story

DCCC Kicks Off 2016 Recruitment

DCCC Kicks Off 2016 Recruitment

Luján is a Democrat from New Mexico. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats will formally start recruitment efforts for 2016 this week, kicking off with the cycle’s first meeting of new committee leadership and a weekend trip to Illinois to find prospective candidates.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will name Rep. Denny Heck of Washington as recruitment chairman for 2016, according to information provided first to CQ Roll Call. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois will aid the DCCC’s recruitment efforts as the national chairman for candidate services, and the committee’s chairman, Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, will take a leading role in seeking stellar candidates for 2016.  Full story

Congressman Says Wife Nixed Senate Run

Congressman Says Wife Nixed Senate Run

Huelskamp could face a primary challenge in his House district in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., does not plan to run for Senate, he told CQ Roll Call Wednesday.

“Nope. My wife’s pretty clear on that,” he said just outside the House chamber, when asked if he was still thinking about running for Senate. Full story

January 5, 2015

Sources: Chris Gibson Will Announce Retirement

Sources: Chris Gibson Will Announce Retirement

Gibson is a New York Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Chris Gibson, R-N.Y., will announce his retirement Tuesday, according to two GOP sources.

The Republican, who was re-elected to a third term in November, will open a competitive seat in 2016 with his departure following this Congress. President Barack Obama carried the district with 52 percent, making it a must-win for House Democrats if they want to put a dent in the GOP’s historic majority this cycle.  Full story

Which Coffman Runs for Colorado Senate in 2016?

Which Coffman Runs for Colorado Senate in 2016?

Mike Coffman is a Colorado Republican. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

This Senate race could make for interesting dinner conversation in one Colorado household.

Republicans say battle-tested Rep. Mike Coffman and his wife, Cynthia, the state’s newly elected attorney general, are two of the party’s top prospects to challenge Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in 2016.

Full story

January 4, 2015

Exclusive: NRSC Names Senior Staffers

Exclusive: NRSC Names Senior Staffers

Wicker is the chairman of the NRSC in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Senatorial Committee will announce its senior staff for the 2016 cycle Monday, according to a release provided first to CQ Roll Call.

Last year, Senate Republicans netted nine seats to take control of that chamber for the first time since 2006. Several of the top staffers are staying on from last cycle, while others come from the other side of the Capitol.

Full story

January 2, 2015

10 Races to Watch in 2016: Wisconsin Senate

10 Races to Watch in 2016: Wisconsin Senate

Johnson, center, is a Wisconsin Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., may face the Democrat he ousted in 2010, former Sen. Russ Feingold, next year — which would make the rematch one of 2016’s marquee races.

It’s why the Badger State’s Senate race completed Roll Call’s list of the Top 10 Races to Watch in 2016. In no particular order, the list also included contests for California SenateIllinois SenateNevada SenateNorth Carolina SenatePennsylvania SenateFlorida’s 2nd District, New Hampshire’s 1st DistrictNew York’s 11th District and Virginia’s 10th District.

Full story

January 1, 2015

10 Races to Watch in 2016: Virginia’s 10th District

10 Races to Watch in 2016: Virginias 10th District

Comstock will represent Virginia's 10th District in the new Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A court-mandated redraw of Virginia’s congressional map could have sweeping implications for the delegation — including the new member representing the competitive 10th District, Rep.-elect Barbara Comstock, a Republican.

A judge tossed Virginia’s congressional map in October, ruling the lines drawn in 2012 unconstitutionally packed black voters into the 3rd District held by Rep. Robert C. Scott, D-Va. State lawmakers must draw and pass a new map by April 2015, meanwhile the delegation’s eight GOP members have appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court.

Even slight shifts could alter the 10th District — which includes parts of Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun counties. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the district by a slim 1-point margin in 2012, while President Barack Obama carried it by a 3-point margin in 2008.

Comstock handily defeated her Democratic opponent, Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust, to win the open seat in 2014. It was left vacant when her former boss, GOP Rep. Frank R. Wolf, retired. 

But a new congressional map could either make Comstock’s seat safe for the foreseeable future, or make the district more competitive by including more Democrats from Fairfax County.

Currently, the 10th District is one of the most expensive in the country to run a House campaign because it’s located in the prohibitively expensive Washington, D.C., media market. Even under the new lines, it’s extremely unlikely that will change.

Editor’s Note: Over the two weeks, Roll Call will unveil its Top 10 Races to Watch for 2016. The final edition will run Jan. 2 with the full list. In no specific order, additional races to watch in 2016 include California SenateIllinois Senate, Nevada Senate, North Carolina SenatePennsylvania Senate, Florida’s 2nd District, New Hampshire’s 1st District and New York’s 11th District

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December 31, 2014

10 Races to Watch in 2016: California Senate

10 Races to Watch in 2016: California Senate

Boxer, left, is a Democrat from California. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With her campaign account nearly dry, and staring down at least two years in the minority, Democratic operatives in California say there is a strong possibility Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, 74, will retire in 2016.

Boxer has indicated she will decide whether to seek another term in early 2015. But if she steps aside, pols will encounter the Golden State’s first open Senate seat in more than two decades — a scenario that would have reverberations throughout California’s political ranks.

Full story

December 30, 2014

10 Races to Watch in 2016: New Hampshire’s 1st District

10 Races to Watch in 2016: New Hampshires 1st District

Guinta will return to Congress after a two-year hiatus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Will 2016 host another rematch between Republican Frank Guinta and Democrat Carol Shea-Porter?

Shea-Porter narrowly lost to Guinta this year, handing him the seat the two have traded back and forth for the three cycles. Despite this, the Democrat is not ruling out round four. Full story

December 29, 2014

10 Races to Watch in 2016: Nevada Senate

10 Races to Watch in 2016: Nevada Senate

Reid will return to Congress in January as the Senate minority leader. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans ousted Sen. Harry Reid as majority leader in 2014. This cycle, the GOP wants to finish the job and defeat the Democrat at home in Nevada.

In a year where the Senate map looks better for Democrats, Reid is one of just two Democrats on track for a competitive re-election challenge. That will make him a top target for Republicans looking to hold, and perhaps expand, their majority. Full story

December 26, 2014

10 Races to Watch in 2016: North Carolina Senate

10 Races to Watch in 2016: North Carolina Senate

Burr is a Republican from North Carolina. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Tar Heel State residents should enjoy the absence of political ads on their airwaves while they can.

The 2016 Senate race in North Carolina could be just as competitive as the 2014 contest, which flooded local televisions with more than $100 million in political ads to become one of the most expensive congressional races in history. Sen. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., has said he will seek re-election, and some Democrats hope outgoing Sen. Kay Hagan will challenge him. Full story

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