Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 9, 2016

February 1, 2016

With Wednesday Deadline Looming, Cummings Hasn’t Filed for Office in Maryland

Cummings has been a constant media presence as turmoil in Baltimore continues (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cummings, at left, still has not decided whether he will run for Senate or re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 5:52 p.m. | If you were browsing the Maryland Board of Elections website midday on Monday, you might have thought you’d stumbled upon some news.

For at least a couple hours, the board’s official website showed that Rep. Elijah E. Cummings — the Democrat considering joining the competitive Democratic primary for the seat being vacated by Maryland Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski — had filed for re-election in the state’s 7th District, with just two days to spare until Wednesday night’s filing deadline.

But according to an email to Roll Call by Cummings and a Roll Call interview with Jared DeMarinis, the director of candidacy and campaign finance at the board, Cummings did not, in fact, file the paperwork. The website, Cummings said, was “not accurate.”  Full story

Tennessee’s Stephen Fincher Won’t Run in 2016

UNITED STATES - JUNE 3: Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn., participates in the House Financial Services Committee hearing on "Examining the Export-Import Bank's Reauthorization Request and the Government's Role in Export Financing" on Wednesday, June 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Fincher will not seek a fourth term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:12 p.m. Tennessee Republican Stephen Fincher announced Monday that he would not seek a fourth U.S. House term.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve the people of West Tennessee, but I never intended to become a career politician. The last six years have been the opportunity of a lifetime, and I am honored to have been given the chance to serve,” Fincher said in a statement.

A fierce proponent of reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, Fincher, a member of the Financial Services Committee, split with leadership over the issue and last fall led the effort to reauthorize the bank via discharge petition. Earlier in 2015, Republicans in the House had let the export credit agency’s authorization expire.

First elected in 2010, Fincher won re-election in 2014 with 70 percent of the vote. Republicans have carried his district at the presidential level by comfortable double-digit margins.

Shelby County is the district’s biggest Republican base. “So long as the potential primary doesn’t get diced up, any name that comes out of east Shelby County would have a good jumping off point,” one Republican in the state said.

Among those who Republican sources mentioned as potential candidates are:

  • State Sen. Brian Kelsey has already said he will run and is expected to be a strong contender.
  • Another favorite would be state Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, who sources say has a substantial following and has been behind conservative reforms within the state party. He’s also been mentioned as a 2018 gubernatorial candidate.
  • State Sen. Ed Jackson
  • Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich
  • Shelby County GOP Chairman Mary Wagner, a lawyer in Memphis.
  • Republican National Committee General Counsel and committeeman John Ryder.
  • Former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff, who said on Monday he is running.
  • Scott Golden, Fincher’s district director and a member of the Tennessee GOP State Executive Committee.
  • Radiologist George Flinn, a perennial candidate and self-funder, who placed third in 2014’s Senate primary against Sen. Lamar Alexander.
  • Ron Kirkland, a doctor who lost to Fincher in the 2010 primary. He hails from Jackson, the other major GOP population center in the district, and has been an advocate for Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure TN plan to expand Medicaid.
  • Matthew Stowe, district attorney general for the 24th judicial district, who clerked for former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
  • State Rep. Bill Sanderson of Dyersburg
  • State Rep. Steve McManus
  • Among state legislators who may excite tea party supporters are state Sen. John Stevens and state Rep. Andy Holt.
  • Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell is expected to be able to raise money.

The primary race for the safe Republican seat will likely be crowded and with the filing deadline not until April 7, there’s plenty of time for more names to emerge. Many Republicans who had been eyeing this seat, one Republican source said, were banking on Fincher not making moves until 2018 and were caught off guard by his Monday announcement.  “The question is, who can ramp up their operation at the drop of a hat?” the source said. So far, Norris and Kelsey are the two most widely-cited front runners.

Fincher is the 22nd member to retire this cycle, bringing this cycle’s total up to the average number of House retirements per cycle since 1976. Wisconsin Rep. Reid Ribble announced his retirement over the weekend, setting off a crowded race to replace him.

Contact Pathé at simonepathe@rollcall.com and follow her on Twitter at @sfpathe.

Related:

Roll Call Race Ratings Map: Ratings for Every House and Senate Race in 2016

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

Quiz: How Many Past Iowa Caucus Winners Can You Name?

A volunteer moves yard signs in Iowa on Jan. 20, 2016 (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call).

A volunteer moves yard signs in Iowa on Jan. 20, 2016 (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call).

Iowans head to their caucus sites Monday evening while the rest of the country — and world — has nothing to do but await the results. While you do that, test your knowledge of Iowa races past.

Select the person you think won Iowa on a given year and view your results at the end of the quiz. Don’t forget to share your score on Twitter so you can beat your friends.


Sources: Iowa Secretary of State and the Des Moines Register.

Related:

Roll Call Race Ratings Map: Ratings for Every House and Senate Race in 2016

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

Potential Field for Reid Ribble’s Wisconsin Seat Grows

Ribble announced over the weekend he wouldn't seek a fourth term. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Ribble announced over the weekend he wouldn’t seek a fourth term. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Three-term Wisconsin Rep. Reid Ribble’s weekend announcement that he won’t seek a fourth term has set off a potentially crowded race to replace him in what’s now a Favored Republican district.

Republicans mention several potential candidates:

Full story

Rand Paul Doubles Down on Wonky

Paul thanked volunteers and stuck to a wonky script on Monday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Paul thanked volunteers and stuck to a wonky script on Monday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

WAUKEE, Iowa — Sen. Rand Paul has employed a close-to-the-bone strategy for the Iowa caucuses, relying on the enthusiasm of student volunteers to get out the vote and, down to the wire, going all in on wonky policy to make his case.

“You guys have made a million phone calls for me and I really appreciate it,” he told a rowdy crowd at the Hy-Vee Market Grille here Monday. Full story

Watch Bernie Sanders and Vampire Weekend Sing an Old Subversive Folk Song

Screenshot from Sanders campaign video.

Screenshot from Sanders campaign video.

Sen. Bernard Sanders’ (I-VT) last rally before the Iowa caucus was a giant concert. Underscoring his significant lead among younger voters, Sanders was supported by members of several popular rock acts in Iowa City on Saturday, including Vampire Weekend, Dirty Projectors and Foster The People.

But once the rally portion of the evening concluded, Sanders came back out to reprise his own unlikely musical past as a folk singer, joining in for “This Land Is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie, the sneakily subversive tune that has become a singalong standard in the decades since 1940. The day after the rally, Vampire Weekend visited Sanders’ Des Moines headquarters to hang out with staff and volunteers.

Full story

By Andrew Breiner Posted at 12:48 p.m.
Uncategorized

Ad Politicizing Violence Against Women Law is Pulled

 

Kasich is focusing his attention on the Grantie State. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Kasich is focusing his attention on the Grantie State. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

An ad criticizing presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio for voting against the Violence Against Women Act will not be making it to the airwaves in New Hampshire, after the state’s GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte objected strenuously.

The ad, created by a presidential Super PAC supporting Ohio Gov. John Kasich, featured Ayotte’s support for reauthorizing the law, which became contentious and political in 2012 and 2013. The Senate GOP split on the question, with Ayotte among the vocal supporters. Rubio, a Florida Republican, opposed it.

Full story

Going Full Grassley on the Iowa Caucuses

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 29 - Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks as Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, departs during a campaign stop at the National Czech & Slovak Museum and Library, Friday, Jan. 29, 2016, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Kasich, left, and Grassley address a rally at the National Czech & Slovak Museum and Library in Cedar Rapids. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

WATERLOO, Iowa — Republican candidates learn a lot on the trail when they’re competing in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses. Along with the sanctity of ethanol and the primacy of pork products, they eventually grasp this is Sen. Charles E. Grassley’s state. When you run for president here, at some point, Iowa’s senior senator will appear alongside you, and everyone knows who he is.

“I didn’t know Grassley was going to show up,” said Bill Davidson, a bartender at The Supervisors Club, where the senator was introducing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Davidson sounded impressed, as if the event, being repeated over and over throughout the state in the run-up to Monday’s caucuses, had been elevated.

Full story

January 31, 2016

DSCC Raised More in 2015 Than Senate Republican Group

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., is chairman of the DSCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Tester, D-Mont., is chairman of the DSCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $51.6 million in 2015, $10 million more than the National Republican Senatorial Committee did in the same time period.

The total came after a $13.4 million haul in the fourth quarter. In the final month of 2015, the DSCC raised $5.1 million, $2 million more than its Republican counterpart. Full story

Huckabee and Santorum and Coffee and Pizza

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 28 - Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee speaks alongside Donald Trump and Rick Santorum at a event at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. Trump boycotted the Fox News Republican Presidential Debate also occurring in Des Moines at the same time. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Huckabee, right speaks alongside Trump, center, and Santorum, left, at a Trump event at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 28. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — The last two Republicans to win Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses have formed an odd fraternity: mired in the low-single digits in polling, marooned in the undercard debates and even finding themselves attending a campaign rally Jan. 28 for the frontrunner, Donald Trump.

On Sunday, they rallied the troops with coffee and pizza. Full story

Reid Ribble Won’t Seek Re-Election

UNITED STATES - APRIL 12: Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Wisc., speaks at a "Countdown to Tax Day" news conference in the Capitol to address the tax in increases in President Obama's FY 2014 budget. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ribble won’t seek a fourth term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Three-term Wisconsin Republican Reid Ribble announced Saturday that he won’t run for re-election — one term shy of the four-term limit pledge he made when first elected in 2010.

“My reasons are fairly simple and straightforward. I feel very fortunate to have a strong marriage, grown children, and three wonderful grandchildren. I want to dedicate more time to them,” Ribble said in a statement. Additionally, I’ve always said elected office shouldn’t be a career. I come from the private sector and am anxious to return to it and to a more private life.”

Full story

January 30, 2016

Liz Cheney Plans to Run for Wyoming’s House Seat

Cheney. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Cheney’s challenge against Enzi in 2012 caused some heartburn in Republican political circles. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A couple months of “consideration” will come to an end early next week, when Wyoming Republican Liz Cheney plans to announce her candidacy for the state’s at-large House seat, a Republican official confirmed Saturday following an Associated Press report.

Cheney — a Republican political commentator whose father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, represented Wyoming in the House from 1979 to 1989 — plans to join the growing field of candidates running to replace Rep. Cynthia M. Lummis, who announced in November she would not run for re-election.  Full story

January 29, 2016

New Light Shed on Old Scandal in Arizona Sheriff’s Congressional Race

Babeu, pictured with Sen. John McCain, has drawn national attention for his efforts against illegal immigration. (Joshua Lott/Getty Images File Photo)

Babeu, pictured with Sen. John McCain, has drawn national attention for his efforts against illegal immigration. (Joshua Lott/Getty Images File Photo)

When Paul Babeu first tried to run for Congress in 2012, his exploratory campaign was rocked by allegations by a 34-year-old man that the Arizona sheriff threatened to have him deported if their relationship was publicly revealed. But even though he was eventually cleared of criminal wrongdoing, Babeu’s campaign did not make it out of the gate.

The spectacle surrounding the conservative Republican’s relationship overshadowed another issue that had risen for Babeu. A 2000 investigation by the Massachusetts Office of Child Care Services found what it deemed “abusive” disciplinary practices being used on students at a private school he once led for troubled youth had begun to circulate in Arizona. And while the story got some attention in the Arizona press at the time, he denied any personal wrongdoing, said he was never named in any lawsuit against the school and was easily re-elected sheriff that same year.

Almost four years later, as Babeu campaigns again for Congress, this time for the Republican nomination in Arizona’s highly contested, open 1st District, the issue of the DeSisto School has re-emerged, with video. Full story

Trump Plays Veterans Trump Card

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 28 - Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee speaks alongside Donald Trump and Rick Santorum at a event at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. Trump boycotted the Fox News Republican Presidential Debate also occurring in Des Moines at the same time. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Santorum, left, and Huckabee, right, attended the rally that Trump, center, held after they finished their undercard debate. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

DES MOINES, Iowa — Donald Trump’s veterans’ rally at Drake University started with a stark admission from the GOP front-runner: “I didn’t want to be here. I have to be honest with you.”

The sentiment didn’t seem to dampen the crowd’s enthusiasm, which waited several hours in line in the cold and a couple before the candidate took the stage on Thursday to launch into a relatively standard stump speech — the trade deficit, foreign policy, etc. —  that wove in nods to veterans’ sacrifices.

Full story

January 28, 2016

Democratic Recruit Challenges Minnesota’s Erik Paulsen

Tollefson is challenging Paulsen, above. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Tollefson is challenging Paulsen, above. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Former U.S. diplomat Jon Tollefson announced a challenge to Minnesota 3rd District Rep. Erik Paulsen on Thursday.

“I’m running to bring the true values of Minnesotans to Washington: real fiscal responsibility, investments in education and transportation that lead to jobs and economic growth, and affordable access to health care for all,” the Democrat said in a statement.

Full story

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...