Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 28, 2015

July 9, 2015

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

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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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July 7, 2015

Darin LaHood Wins GOP Primary to Succeed Schock

Schock resigned from Congress in March amid questions around travel spending and redecorating his congressional offices. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Schock resigned from Congress in March amid questions around travel spending and redecorating his congressional offices. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Sen. Darin LaHood easily won a GOP primary in Illinois’ 18th District Tuesday night, making him the odds-on favorite to succeed disgraced ex-Rep. Aaron Schock in this downstate seat.

LaHood defeated his Republican opponent, Breitbart Editor Mike Flynn, by about 69 percent to 29 percent with most precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.

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Vulnerable Republican McSally Draws Democratic Challenger

McSally, a former A-10 fighter pilot, is one of the most vulnerable incumbents in 2016 (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McSally, a former Air Force pilot, is one of the most vulnerable incumbents in 2016 (File Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Arizona state Rep. Victoria Steele on Tuesday became the first Democrat to launch a campaign against Rep. Martha McSally, who represents one of the districts that has national Republicans worried most.

Steele, a former television and radio news broadcaster from Tucson, said in a post on her campaign website that she hoped to “build on the legacies” of the Democrats who held the seat until 2015, including Reps. Ron Barber and Gabrielle Giffords. Full story

Walter Jones Primary Challenger Looks for Rematch in 2016

Jones is facing a repeat primary challenge in his quest for a 12th term. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Jones is facing a repeat primary challenge from Griffin. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Taylor Griffin plans to announce a primary bid against North Carolina 3rd District Rep. Walter B. Jones on Wednesday, according to a release first obtained by CQ Roll Call.

Republicans in the state had long expected Griffin to mount a repeat challenge after he came within 6 points of knocking off the 11-term congressman in 2014. In a conservative district that Mitt Romney carried by double digits, the winner of the GOP primary will win the seat.

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Russ Feingold Outpaces Ron Johnson in Second Quarter

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

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

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson raised $2 million in the second quarter, as the Republican prepares for a rematch with former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold in one of the country’s most closely watched races.

That’s less than Feingold’s $2.2 million raised, but Johnson’s campaign said it would report $2.75 million in cash on hand, $750,000 more than Feingold. Full story

Tech Consultant to Run Against Republican Sean Duffy

Duffy has received a new Democratic challenger. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A Wisconsin tech consultant and who has appeared on stage says he will challenge Duffy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrat Kirk Bangstad, a Wisconsin entertainer and consultant who has worked with some of the country’s largest tech companies, announced Tuesday he will challenge Republican Rep. Sean P. Duffy in the state’s 7th District.

Like other candidates who have never held elected office, Bangstad said his message will be simple: “Washington is broken, and it will take someone who has not been there to fix it.”

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Democrats Land Mike Coffman Challenger in Colorado

Carrroll is challenging the four-term congressman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Carroll is challenging four-term congressman Coffman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Colorado state Senate Minority Leader Morgan Carroll announced her candidacy Tuesday against Republican Rep. Mike Coffman in Colorado’s 6th District.

Carroll, who will be term-limited out of her state Senate seat, had been considering a bid this spring and had met with both the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and EMILY’s List in May. While in Washington, she also attended a House Democratic Caucus meeting.

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LaHood Distances Himself From Dad in Race for Schock’s Seat

Darin LaHood, the son of former Rep. Ray LaHood, above, is expected to win a GOP primary in Illinois' 18th District. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Darin LaHood, the son of former Rep. Ray LaHood, above, is expected to win a GOP primary in Illinois’ 18th District. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Illinois state Sen. Darin LaHood may share a surname with his well-known father, former Congressman-turned-Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. But LaHood wants voters to know he has his own conservative record to stand.

And that’s been a theme of LaHood’s campaign in Illinois’ 18th District special election — a race to replace disgraced ex-Rep. Aaron Schock, who resigned earlier this year amid an ethics scandal.

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July 6, 2015

Joe Heck to Run for Nevada Senate (Video)

Heck plans to run for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Heck twice won re-election in his district by large margins. (File Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep Joe Heck announced Monday he’ll run for Senate in Nevada, giving Republicans a top pick in a crucial contest that could determine Senate control.

I see a Nevada of unlimited opportunity, a place with better jobs, higher wages and the chance to rise as far as the path will take us,” the GOP lawmaker said in a video announcing his Senate run. “And that’s why I’m running for the United States Senate.”

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GOP Women’s Recruitment Effort Adapts for 2016

Ellmers was one of the founders of Project GROW. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ellmers was one of the founders of Project GROW. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Republican women’s recruitment effort is experiencing some growing pains.

Project GROW (which stands for Growing Republican Opportunities for Women) was launched in 2013 to try to elect more GOP women to Congress. But with the historic Republican majority in the House, the effort has a big challenge to address in its second cycle: limited room to grow.

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July 3, 2015

Edwards Releases Senate Fundraising Totals

Edwards and Van Hollen are running for Senate in 2016. (Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly File Photo)

Edwards and Van Hollen are running for Senate in 2016. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Donna Edwards’ Senate campaign said Friday the Democrat raised $590,000 in the second quarter — ending the first half of the year with less than $1 million in the bank for her primary race for the open Maryland Senate seat.

The campaign said the $924,000 raised year-to-date comes from more than 10,000 donors.

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By Eli Yokley Posted at 2:09 p.m.
Md. Senate

Academics Say Higher Education Prepared Them for Higher Office

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Economics professor Brat said his 20-minute stump speeches played well with voters because they recognized his genuine concern. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

When sociology professor John Trammell ran for Congress in 2014, he was “amazed” by how well prepared he was to be a politician.

Public speaking, prolific writing, research, the internal politics of higher education and the experience of being critiqued through peer review — all were skills applicable both in the ivory tower and in politics.

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