Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 28, 2014

July 17, 2014

Oregon Republican Raises $955,000 for Senate Bid

 

Oregon Republican Raises $955,000 for Senate Bid

Wehby is challenging Merkley, above. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Oregon Republican Monica Wehby will report raising more than $955,000 in her bid for Senate in the second quarter, according to fundraising figures provided first to CQ Roll Call.

Wehby, a pediatric neurosurgeon, is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley. She raised most of that haul — $846,000 — since May 1. Full story

July 16, 2014

Chris McDaniel Attorney: Mississippi Election Challenge Coming

Chris McDaniel Attorney: Mississippi Election Challenge Coming

Chris McDaniel is preparing to challenge the Mississippi runoff results. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Attorneys for state Sen. Chris McDaniel said Wednesday they have sufficient evidence to challenge the results of Mississippi’s Republican Senate runoff — which McDaniel lost to Sen. Thad Cochran last month — and expect to do so in the next 10 days.

“We’ve heard it our entire life in Mississippi,” McDaniel campaign attorney Mitch Tyner said at a press conference in Jackson. “Votes are being bought. Ballot boxes are being stuffed. … Personally, I’m 51 years old, it’s the first time I saw it up close and personal. And it exists. And we are committed to finding it and rooting it out and stopping it.”

Cochran was declared the winner of the June 24 primary runoff by a margin of 7,667 votes. McDaniel has refused to concede, and his campaign is now reviewing the voting records in all 82 counties of Mississippi. Full story

House Democrats Bank on Fundraising in 2014

House Democrats Bank on Fundraising in 2014

Steve Israel of New York is the chairman of the DCCC. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats don’t have much in their favor in the upcoming elections — except their bank accounts.

There’s a sour national political environment, a history of the president’s party losing seats in midterms and an unfavorable congressional map drawn mostly by Republicans. But less than four months before Election Day, it’s clear that House Democrats have a major financial advantage among their candidates and committees that is already translating to television airtime for the fall.

On average, Democrats in competitive House races have more than one-third more in the bank than their Republican opponents, according to a CQ Roll Call tabulation of the most recent fundraising reports due Tuesday to the Federal Election Commission. Across 59 House races considered remotely competitive by CQ Roll Call, Democratic candidates and incumbents had, on average, $955,000 in the bank, while Republicans had an average of $667,000 in the bank.

It’s unlikely Democrats can net the 17 seats necessary to take control of the House this November, so party operatives are trying to mitigate any massive losses this year as part of a long-term, multi-cycle plot to win the majority. Meanwhile, Republicans aim to extend their majority to a modern-history record of 245 seats — and they believe the financial gap could leave a handful of seats on the table this year. Full story

July 15, 2014

Alabama Runoff Results: Gary Palmer Wins Republican Nomination (Video)

Alabama Runoff Results: Gary Palmer Wins Republican Nomination (Video)

Bachus, right, is not seeking re-election. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Conservative activist Gary Palmer defeated state Rep. Paul DeMarco Tuesday to win the GOP nomination in Alabama’s 6th District.

Palmer defeated DeMarco, 62 percent to 38 percent, with 50 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.

GOP operatives say DeMarco’s loss is partly a result of the Club for Growth’s barrage of spending in the final weeks of the runoff. The GOP nominee will almost certainly succeed Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., who is retiring from this conservative district.

Full story

North Carolina Runoff Results: Phil Berger Jr. Loses Nod (Video)

North Carolina Runoff Results: Phil Berger Jr. Loses Nod (Video)

Coble endorsed Berger to succeed him in Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Baptist Pastor Mark Walker defeated Rockingham District Attorney Phil Berger Jr. Tuesday to win the Republican nomination in North Carolina’s open 6th District.

Walker garnered 57 percent to Berger’s 43 percent, with 59 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.

The 6th District is open this cycle because GOP Rep. Howard Coble is retiring.

Full story

John Boehner Raises More Than $6.2 Million

John Boehner Raises More Than $6.2 Million

Boehner is an Ohio Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio will report bringing in more than $6.2 million in the second quarter across three committees, according to fundraising figures provided first to CQ Roll Call.

In that haul, Boehner raised $871,000 for his re-election, $5 million for his nationally focused joint fundraising committee, and $300,000 for his leadership PAC.

Full story

Democrats Try to Turn Cory Gardner Into Todd Akin (Video)

Democrats Try to Turn Cory Gardner Into Todd Akin (Video)

Udall is a co-sponsor on the Senate bill in response to the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats want to make Rep. Cory Gardner the next Todd Akin — but it’s not so easy.

The Colorado Republican is challenging Sen. Mark Udall and putting a pivotal race in play for his party, which must net six seats to win control of the Senate. In response, Democrats have focused their attacks on Gardner on women’s health issues — a topic that has proved to be a land mine for some Republican hopefuls in past races.

On Wednesday, the Senate is expected to have a procedural vote on a measure that would effectively nullify the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, which allowed some employers to not offer birth control coverage in health insurance plans. The vote will likely fail, but it’s given Udall a prime opportunity to serve as one of his party’s top voices on the issue in Washington and home in Colorado.

Full story

DCCC Tops NRCC in Second Quarter Fundraising

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee topped its Republican counterpart by $1.3 million in June fundraising and $5.6 million in the second quarter overall, according to figures released Tuesday.

The DCCC’s $10.9 million haul in June was bolstered by digital fundraising efforts tied to the Supreme Court decision on the Hobby Lobby case and Speaker John A. Boehner’s lawsuit against President Barack Obama. The committee ended June with $50.9 million in cash on hand, with four months left to go until the elections.

The National Republican Congressional Committee raised $9.6 million in June, according to The Associated Press, and ended June with $42.5 million on hand.

Faced with the cash disparity, the NRCC is making a strong push for members of the House Republican Caucus to pony up their dues to the committee.

NRCC Chairman Greg Walden named Majority Whip-elect Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Reps. Kevin Brady of Texas, Erik Paulsen of Minnesota and John Shimkus of Illinois as the NRCCs “Battleground Program” chairmen. These members will serve as Walden’s top lieutenants to collect dues from their members.

Democrats hope to cut into the GOP’s 17-seat margin in the House.

Michael Grimm Fundraising Comes to Near Halt in June

Michael Grimm Fundraising Comes to Near Halt in June

Grimm's fundraising has slowed since his indictment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Embattled Rep. Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y., raised just $23,000 from June 5 to June 30, as he continues to struggle for donations to his troubled re-election campaign in his Staten Island district.

Grimm finished the month with $1 million still in cash on hand but was $439,000 in debt, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday.

The incumbent faces tough odds for re-election after being indicted in late April on multiple fraud charges. That led to an immediate plunge in campaign contributions, as he raised $47,000 from April 1 to June 4.

And he faces a top Democratic recruit in former New York City Councilmember Domenic M. Recchia Jr. Full story

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Endorses Alex Mooney

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Endorses Alex Mooney

Alex Mooney was endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsed Republican Alex Mooney on Tuesday in his competitive bid to replace GOP Rep. Shelley Moore Capito in West Virginia’s 2nd District.

The endorsement could potentially lead to support on the airwaves from the organization, which has already spent more than $14 million on races this cycle, according to numbers compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

“Senator Alex Mooney has a demonstrated record leading on policies that promote job growth and a flourishing economy,” U.S. Chamber National Political Director Rob Engstrom said in a statement. “In today’s economy, it is critical that we have pro-growth leaders like Alex Mooney in Congress.” Full story

Clay Aiken Bests Renee Ellmers in Second Quarter Fundraising (Updated)

Clay Aiken Bests Renee Ellmers in Second Quarter Fundraising (Updated)

Aiken is running for Congress as a Democrat. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 12:20 p.m. | “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken announced raising $450,000 from April through June for his bid in North Carolina’s 2nd District — more than his Republican opponent, GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers.

The Democrat, who faces an uphill climb to defeat Ellmers and has not yet reported his second-quarter fundraising to the Federal Election Commission, did not release his cash-on-hand total as of June 30. But that haul is a sharp increase from what he raised in the first three months of the year. Aiken had just $74,000 in cash on hand as of April 16, a few weeks before the state’s May 6 primary.

At that point, Aiken was locked in a competitive Democratic primary with former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco, who died one week after the primary after falling outside his home.

Full story

Voters to Pick GOP Nominees in Alabama, North Carolina Runoffs

Voters in Alabama and North Carolina head to the polls Tuesday to choose the Republican nominees in two deeply conservative House districts.

In Alabama’s 6th District, GOP voters have a choice between conservative activist Gary Palmer and state Rep. Paul DeMarco. Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., announced his retirement last fall, creating this open-seat race.

Full story

July 14, 2014

Paul Broun Endorses Candidate in Georgia

Paul Broun Endorses Candidate in Georgia

Jody Hice was endorsed by Paul Broun. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Paul Broun, the Georgia Republican who lost a Senate primary in May, endorsed pastor Jody Hice in the July 22 runoff to replace him.

Broun had stayed out of the GOP primary in the 10th District until now, saying he did not want to anoint a successor. But in a Monday radio interview in Georgia, Broun said recent events pushed him to support Hice over businessman Mike Collins in the July 22 runoff.

“Just recently Mike Collins has rejected and repudiated my simple four-way test. … Jody Hice has pledged that he is going to use that same four-way test as he evaluates legislation and Mike Collins just recently said that he rejects that test,” Broun said on Georgia’s Morning News with Zoller & Bryant.

Full story

Louisiana Senate Race Has One Fewer Republican

State Rep. Paul Hollis, a Republican waging a bid in Louisiana’s competitive Senate contest, withdrew his candidacy Monday.

Hollis was running as a more conservative option to GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy, as Republicans challenge Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu. His exit provides one less hurdle for Cassidy to advance to a runoff with Landrieu, but Cassidy’s main intraparty adversary remains: Rob Maness, a Sarah Palin-backed retired Air Force colonel.

Candidates have until Aug. 22 to file the necessary paperwork for a bid. Fewer candidates in the race — no matter the party — should give Landrieu slightly better odds of avoiding a runoff.  The top-two finishers in the November jungle primary advance to a December runoff unless a candidate receives a majority of the vote. Full story

NRCC Tasks Members With Collecting Conference Dues

NRCC Tasks Members With Collecting Conference Dues

Scalise is the incoming House Majority Whip. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden announced the names of his top lieutenants in the push for member dues ahead of the fall midterms, according to an internal conference email obtained by CQ Roll Call.

Walden named Majority Whip-elect Steve Scalise and Reps. Kevin Brady of Texas, Erik Paulsen of Minnesota and John Shimkus of Illinois as the NRCCs “Battleground Program” chairs.

“As you know, the Battleground Program is the major dues drive of the year,” Walden of Oregon wrote. “With their enthusiasm and fundraising efforts, I am certain that we will be able to continue our attack on Democrat candidates in for supporting flawed and costly legislation like ObamaCare.”

Full story

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