Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 1, 2014

May 6, 2014

Clay Aiken Holds Slim Lead With All Precincts In

Clay Aiken Holds Slim Lead With All Precincts In

Aiken is a Democrat from North Carolina. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken leads his Democratic primary opponent by just 372 votes Tuesday night in a North Carolina race for the House.

Aiken had a small advantage over former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco, 41 percent to 40 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press, which had not declared a winner as of midnight.

A third Democrat, mental health counselor Toni Morris, garnered 20 percent, according to the AP.

Full story

House Race Results in North Carolina (Updated)

House Race Results in North Carolina (Updated)

Jones won despite outside group's significant investment in his challenger. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:17 p.m. | Longtime Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., defeated his GOP challenger Tuesday night, declaring victory in the toughest primary since he came to Congress 20 years ago.

Jones defeated Taylor Griffin, a former aide to President George W. Bush, 52 percent to 45 percent, with 66 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.

Outside groups spent more than $1 million to paint Jones as “liberal” and boost Griffin’s candidacy in the 3rd District. But Republican operatives in North Carolina said Jones’ deep ties to the Tar Heel State were too much for Griffin to overcome.

Jones will keep his seat this November in all likelihood. North Carolina’s 3rd District is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

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Thom Tillis Wins GOP Nomination Outright in North Carolina Senate Race

Thom Tillis Wins GOP Nomination Outright in North Carolina Senate Race

Tillis is the GOP's nominee in North Carolina. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis scored a major victory on Tuesday night, when he won the GOP primary outright to become his party’s nominee to challenge Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C.

Tillis garnered 46 percent of the vote when The Associated Press called the race for him around 9:20 p.m. He defeated Greg Brannon, an obstetrician aligned with the tea party who had support from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who finished with 27 percent of the vote, and Mark Harris, a pastor, who had focused his appeal on social conservatism and was backed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who had 17 percent of the vote.

The Republican needed at least 40 percent of the vote to avoid a late-summer runoff against one of his opponents.

Hagan is considered one of the cycle’s most vulnerable incumbents and a top target for Republicans in their quest to take back the Senate. Full story

John Boehner, David Joyce Clobber Tea Party Challengers (Updated)

John Boehner, David Joyce Clobber Tea Party Challengers (Updated)

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

Updated 10:32 p.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio beat three GOP primary opponents on Tuesday to win the Republican nomination in the district he has represented for 12 terms.

Boehner defeated teacher J.D. Winteregg, his most formidable primary opponent in the 8th District race, 74 percent to 15 percent, with just early votes reporting, according to The Associated Press.

Computer consultant Eric Gurr and tea party activist Matthew Ashworth, the two other Republicans in the primary, received 7 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

Full story

Results From Primaries in North Carolina, Ohio

Have a look through our live coverage of the May 6 primaries:

 

Republican Dance Studio Owner Mulls House Bid in Louisiana

Republican Dance Studio Owner Mulls House Bid in Louisiana
Cassidy is running for Senate in Louisiana. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican state Rep. Lenar Whitney, an account executive and dance studio owner, is mulling a bid for Louisiana’s 6th District, according to multiple GOP operatives.

Whitney did not immediately return request for comment on her plans. But if she enters the contest, she becomes the ninth Republican in the open-seat race to replace Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La.

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Super PAC Uses Candidate’s Kids to Attack His Campaign

A Super PAC released a new advertisement attacking Republican Ben Sasse for trying to “hide behind” his children, one week before the Senate GOP primary in Nebraska.

The 15-second ad, posted to YouTube on Tuesday, which says it is paid for by the Freedom Pioneers Action Network, takes footage from an ad run by Sasse, in which his two daughters talk about how conservative their father is and how much he dislikes Obamacare.

“Fact: Ben Sasse said Obamacare ‘is an important first step,’ ” says a female narrator, pointing to a quote that has been repeatedly leveled against Sasse, which he says was taken entirely out of context.

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Candidate’s Wife Stars in New TV Ad in Montana Race

Former Montana Senate Minority Leader Corey Stapleton went on the air with a new advertisement that follows a recent trend in campaign television spots: Having a family member make the case.

Stapleton’s wife, Terry, touts his biography in the positive spot.

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McConnell Touts Jobs Record in Latest TV Ad

McConnell Touts Jobs Record in Latest TV Ad

McConnell is favored to win the May 20 GOP primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell released a second television ad in as many weeks ahead of his GOP primary in Kentucky.

The latest statewide TV ad works to stem any damage caused by McConnell’s recent comment to the Beattyville Enterprise that bringing jobs to Kentucky his not his job. Titled “Hero,” the ad lays out specific instances where McConnell “helped save” Kentucky jobs.

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6 Things to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries

6 Things to Watch in Tuesdays Primaries

Tillis and his wife Susan knock on doors in an upscale Huntersville, N.C., neighborhood north of Charlotte, the evening before the primary election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Primary voters head to the polls Tuesday in North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio, marking the first contests in a long series of contentious Republican battles over the next month.

In North Carolina, state Speaker Thom Tillis, Dr. Greg Brannon, and Pastor Mark Harris are vying for the GOP nomination to challenge Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., in a marquee race that will help determine which party controls the Senate next year.

Further down the ballot, an American Idol runner-up hopes he’ll have better luck in a Tar Heel State House race and longtime Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., will try to avoid becoming the first incumbent to lose a primary this cycle. In Ohio, a spirited challenger — perhaps best known for parodying a Cialis commercial in his bid — will attempt to unseat Speaker John A. Boehner.

In North Carolina, the contests could drag out for months. Primaries for Senate, the 6th and 12th Districts might continue to a runoff on July 15 if no candidate receives at least 40 percent of the vote.

Here are six things to watch in those races and others on Tuesday: Full story

Daring Young Congressman Hosts Trapeze School Fundraiser

There are plenty of inspired fundraisers out there, but Illinois Rep. Bill Foster may have the most unique event of the cycle.

The Democrat now in his second stint on Capitol Hill is scheduled to host a trapeze school fundraiser in June, according to an invitation obtained by CQ Roll Call.

 

Daring Young Congressman Hosts Trapeze School Fundraiser

 

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May 5, 2014

‘Superman’ Dean Cain Mulls Run for Congress

Superman Dean Cain Mulls Run for Congress

Actor Dean Cain is interviewed May 3 at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. (Christina Bellantoni/CQ Roll Call)

Actor Dean Cain, best known for playing Superman on TV, is seriously considering a run for Congress — someday.

Cain, who starred in the popular 1990s series “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” is now eyeing California’s 33rd District, which is home to many movie stars. Cain’s roots run deep in the area — he grew up in Malibu and attended Santa Monica High School.

“At some point in time, at a later date, it would be interesting, perhaps. Yes,” Cain said in a May 3 interview at the Washington Hilton, where he was attending the White House Correspondents’ Dinner as a guest of RealClearPolitics. Full story

Ex-Democratic Congressman Gene Taylor May Help a Vulnerable Republican

Ex Democratic Congressman Gene Taylor May Help a Vulnerable Republican

Taylor, unseated in 2010 GOP wave, is attempting a comeback, this time as a Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One of the most conservative Democrats in House history is mounting a comeback bid in Mississippi — and his unconventional campaign could potentially boost the re-election hopes of Sen. Thad Cochran, one of this cycle’s most vulnerable Republicans.

Former Democratic Rep. Gene Taylor switched parties in late February to launch a primary challenge in the coastal 4th District against GOP Rep. Steven M. Palazzo, the Republican who ended Taylor’s career four years ago.

Mississippi Republicans cast doubt on Taylor’s chances in the June 3 primary. But they think a competitive House primary could increase Republican turnout in the district, which happens to be a stronghold for Cochran, a six-term senator facing a tough primary from state Sen. Chris McDaniel.

Full story

House Democrats Boost David Jolly Challenger

With a recruit now on board, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has named Florida’s 13th District to its Red to Blue program, with an “Emerging Races” designation.

Democrats shocked House race observers as the Florida filing deadline closed May 2, unveiling Col. Ed Jany as the party’s candidate to challenge Republican Rep. David Jolly. Because of a voter registration issue, Jany will appear on the ballot as an independent — but, Jany has the full backing of the DCCC and no other Democrat is running.

“In just a few short days in the race, Colonel Ed Jany’s campaign has already generated enthusiasm among Pinellas County voters, and his strong start and the fundamentals of this district have earned him a spot on the Emerging Races program,” DCCC Chairman Steve Israel said in a statement.

The DCCC uses the Red to Blue program’s Emerging Races designation to highlight “candidates and districts that are making themselves competitive by running smart campaigns which are becoming increasingly competitive,” according to its website. Israel recently named Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., as chairwoman of the Red to Blue program. Full story

Cavalry Comes to Save Senate Candidates in North Carolina

Cavalry Comes to Save Senate Candidates in North Carolina

Tillis makes a few phone calls to voters along with with phone bank volunteers at the Tillis for US Senate Campaign Headquarters in Cornelius, N.C., on Sunday, May 4, 2014, two days before North Carolina's primary election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call Photo)

Less than 24 hours before polls open in North Carolina on Tuesday, high-profile reinforcements are sending support in the state’s competitive primary for Senate.

On Monday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney endorsed the primary’s front-runner, North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis.

Tillis must receive more than 40 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff this summer, and national Republicans are helping him get his best shot at ousting the incumbent, Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., in November. If there’s a runoff, Tillis will have to spend two months battling the second place finisher in the primary — either Dr. Greg Brannon or Mark Harris, a pastor — instead of being able to focus on Hagan.

“Tomorrow is the first step in regaining a majority in the US Senate,” Romney wrote in an email blasted out by the Tillis campaign. “I hope Thom and I can count on your vote tomorrow in this critical primary!” Full story

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