Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 30, 2015

May 8, 2015

GOP Searches for Patty Murray Challenger

Republicans are hoping to target Murray, but they're still looking for candidates. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans are hoping to target Murray, but they’re still looking for candidates. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee might be Sen. Patty Murray’s best friend in 2016.

A Republican operative confirmed to CQ Roll Call the party is looking to target Murray this cycle, but with many of the state’s most eligible Republicans expressing more interest in challenging the Democratic governor, a formidable candidate remains elusive.

Full story

May 6, 2015

Ron DeSantis Announces Florida Senate Bid

DeSantis is running for Senate in Florida. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday he is running for Florida’s open Senate seat, becoming the first well-known Republican to enter what’s expected to be among the most competitive races of the cycle.

The second-term member is a favorite of tea party-aligned conservative groups, a number of which encouraged DeSantis to run after GOP Sen. Marco Rubio said he would vacate the seat to run for president.

Full story

Democrat Eyes Rematch in West Virginia’s 2nd District

Depending on who runs for governor, Casey may challenge Mooney. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Casey, who lost by 3 points in 2014, may run again. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former West Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Nick Casey is considering challenging freshman Republican Rep. Alex Mooney, who narrowly beat him last year for the open seat long held by GOP Sen. Shelley Moore Capito.

“Oh you never say ‘never,’” Casey told CQ Roll Call when asked about his interest in the 2nd District seat.

A Democratic operative confirmed the party is trying to recruit Casey and that he’s met with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Full story

May 5, 2015

Dan Donovan Wins Special Election to Succeed Michael Grimm

Voters in Staten Island elected a successor to Grimm. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Voters in Staten Island elected a successor to Grimm. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Dan Donovan easily won a special election in New York’s 11th District Tuesday night, solidifying his role as the successor to disgraced ex-Rep. Michael G. Grimm.

The Staten Island district attorney defeated his Democratic opponent, New York City Councilman Vincent Gentile, 58 percent to 41 percent, with 72 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press. With his victory, the seat stays in GOP hands.

Full story

Democrats Look Past Tuesday’s New York Special Election

Voters will elect a Grimm successor Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Daniel Donovan is expected to cruise to victory Tuesday in the special election to replace disgraced former Rep. Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y.

Despite the apparent opportunity for Democrats stemming from Grimm’s resignation in January, after the three-term Republican pleaded guilty to tax fraud, national Democrats did not see a path to victory and spent almost nothing to aid their party’s candidate, New York City Councilman Vincent Gentile. Full story

May 4, 2015

Darin LaHood Raises $500K in Race to Replace Aaron Schock

A special election is being held to replace Schock. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Illinois state Sen. Darin LaHood raised more than $500,000 in five weeks since entering the special election to replace Republican Aaron Schock, according to figures provided first to CQ Roll Call.

LaHood, the son of former Illinois Rep. Ray LaHood, faces a Republican primary against Mike Flynn, an editor of the conservative website Breitbart News. LaHood touted the haul in an early show of strength, with the pre-primary fundraising reporting deadline still seven weeks away.

Full story

DSCC Endorses Murphy in Florida

The DSCC endorsed Murphy for Senate in Florida. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The DSCC endorsed Murphy for Senate in Florida. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee endorsed Florida Rep. Patrick Murphy for Senate Monday, perhaps trying to head off a primary as a second candidate prepares to enter the race.

Murphy announced his candidacy last month for the Senate seat currently held by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. With his fundraising prowess and proven ability to win in a swing district, he has long been perceived as the favorite of national Democrats. Full story

Ad Man Scott Howell Back At It After Cardiac Arrest

Howell is back at work after suffering cardiac arrest in January. (Photo courtesy Scott Howell)

Howell is back at work after suffering cardiac arrest in January. (Photo courtesy Scott Howell)

Scott Howell doesn’t remember Jan. 25.

As the prominent GOP ad maker later learned from his family, he went to church that morning, then to lunch with his in-laws before settling back at his house in Dallas to watch “Mission Impossible III” with his wife, Julie, and daughter, Madeleine. Then, his heart stopped. Full story

May 3, 2015

Van Hollen, Edwards Square Off in First Maryland Senate Race Debate

Van Hollen, second from left, and Edwards, third from right, appeared with Pelosi at the Capitol on April 22. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Maryland Reps. Donna Edwards and Chris Van Hollen faced off for the first time Sunday, showcasing sharply different styles as they vie for the Democratic nomination for Senate.

Speaking here in an office park at a forum hosted by the National Organization for Women, the two candidates running to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski touched on issues of women’s health, economic inequality, trade and violence. Full story

May 1, 2015

Robin Kelly Met With DSCC on Possible Illinois Senate Bid

Kelly has spoken with the DSCC about an Illinois Senate bid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kelly has spoken with the DSCC about an Illinois Senate bid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Illinois Rep. Robin Kelly met with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee about a possible Senate bid, according to a source with knowledge of the meeting.

Kelly’s office declined to comment about the discussion but said the Chicago Democrat “continues to weigh a Senate bid” against Republican Mark S. Kirk, possibly the most vulnerable senator in 2016.

Full story

Koch-Backed Conservative Group Seeks to Woo Latinos

Castro, D-Texas, speaks to a reporter after a press conference at the House Triangle on many democrat's desire to bring an immigration reform bill up for a vote in the House. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Conservatives are making a bid for Hispanic voters, but Democrats such as Castro are skeptical. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Koch brothers-backed group is making a new push to persuade Hispanics to vote for conservative candidates in the 2016 elections.

As reported by The Washington Post, the LIBRE Initiative, started in 2011 and is based in Texas, is now active in nine states, and, after having a modest presence in the 2014 elections, aims to make a big play for the Latino vote next year. Full story

Exclusive: NRCC Adds 8 More Vulnerable Members to Patriot Program

Walden is the chairman of the NRCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Walden is the chairman of the NRCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee added eight more members to its Patriot program Friday, according to a list provided first to CQ Roll Call.

The program provides fundraising and organizational support to the GOP Caucus’ most vulnerable incumbents. Democrats are targeting these members in 2016, when the party will look to make a dent in the House Republican majority.

Full story

April 30, 2015

Sanders Lays Out Blueprint for Presidential Bid

Sanders leaves a news conference at the Senate Swamp where he spoke about his agenda for the country. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sanders leaves a news conference at the Senate Swamp where he spoke about his agenda for the country. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Railing against the influence of money in politics, Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders laid out a blueprint for a presidential campaign in his first press conference since announcing his candidacy for the Democratic nomination.

Just steps outside the Capitol, with a wisp of white hair atop his head waving in the wind, Sanders delivered brief remarks to the assembled crowd of reporters, cameramen and a few supporters or bystanders. He took a handful of questions before rushing back inside, just more than 10 minutes after he’d arrived. Full story

Sanders Presser May Flout Ethics Rules (Updated)

The Sanders press conference walks a fine line when it comes to Senate ethics rules. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Sanders Radio/TV Gallery press conference seems to skirt a fine line when it comes to Senate ethics rules. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 10:55 a.m. | Running for president is hard. But it’s even harder to do while balancing the ethics rules of your day job on Capitol Hill.

It’s a lesson Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., is learning the day after he told The Associated Press he’s running for president in 2016.

Full story

Northern Virginia Republican Bucks Party on Metro Cuts

Comstock's is the only Republican district served by the Metro. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call).

Comstock’s is the only GOP district served by the Metro. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call).

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock was the only Republican among the nine Washington, D.C.-area members who issued a joint statement Wednesday expressing their disappointment with a proposal for deep funding cuts to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority.

Comstock’s position on the issue now puts her at odds with her party’s leadership, but it’s unlikely to hurt the freshman congresswoman in November 2016 in a swing district where the Metro system plays a central transportation role. Full story

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