Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 6, 2015

April 15, 2015

Democratic Candidates Are Ready for Hillary Clinton

Clinton’s candidacy is a boon to Democratic recruiting. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s candidacy for president became official Sunday, but Democrats already see the down-ballot benefits she brings as the presumptive nominee.

Staring down Republican majorities in the House and Senate, Democrats have secured recruits in five top Senate contests. At the House level, where the process gets cranking later in the cycle, the party has landed its preferred candidates in a handful of targeted races. Full story

April 14, 2015

Possible Primary Brewing in Michigan’s 1st District

Republicans could mount a primary challenge to Benishek. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s not just Democrats considering a challenge to Michigan Rep. Dan Benishek, who plans to run for a fourth term after pledging to serve only three.

Several Republicans in the state were mentioned as potential primary challengers to the 1st District incumbent. Full story

April 13, 2015

Marco Rubio’s Presidential Bid Creates Open-Seat Scrum (Updated)

Rubio for president

Rubio is running for president in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 6:19 p.m. | Marco Rubio on Monday became the third Republican senator to announce a bid for president and the first of the group to leave behind a competitive seat.

Rubio vacating his seat in Florida in favor of national ambition gives the GOP another potentially strong White House contender. But it presents new challenges for Senate Republicans pushing to hold their newly acquired majority by leaving an expensive open seat in a state at the heart of the presidential election.

Full story

April 10, 2015

House Democrat Passes on Illinois Senate Race

Foster will not run for Senate in Illinois. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Foster will not run for Senate in Illinois. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Illinois Rep. Bill Foster announced Friday he will not run for Senate next year and instead endorsed fellow House Democrat Tammy Duckworth, who joined the race last month.

That decision by Foster, who was actively mulling a Senate bid, brings Democrats one step closer to avoiding a potentially damaging primary in what may be the party’s best opportunity to pick up a seat. Full story

April 9, 2015

Democrats Considering Female Comstock Challengers

Comstock is a top target in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Which Democrat will challenge Comstock? (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Virginia Democrats are narrowing in on a handful of female candidates to take on freshman Rep. Barbara Comstock.

Comstock, already a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee target for 2016, won the open seat to replace GOP Rep. Frank R. Wolf, her former boss, by 16 points in 2014. But given the swing nature of her northern Virginia district and the higher turnout expected in a presidential year, Democrats say if they’re going to take the seat, this is the time.

Full story

Moving Parts Complicate Democratic Challenge to McCain (Updated)

McCain will run for re-election, he announced Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McCain will run for re-election, he announced Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 8:57 a.m. | Arizona Sen. John McCain’s re-election campaign announcement Tuesday was just one of a handful of moving parts that will determine whether Democrats can make this race competitive.

Democrats trying to game out the Senate race are facing a dizzying number of variables: a pending Supreme Court decision that could result in the redrawing of congressional district lines, the potential for a nasty Republican primary, whether Hillary Rodham Clinton will make a play for Arizona in the presidential race and whether Democratic outside groups would devote resources to a state where the party hasn’t won a Senate seat since 1988. Full story

April 8, 2015

Catherine Cortez Masto Running for Harry Reid’s Seat

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images File Photo)

Cortez Masto has been endorsed by Reid. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images File Photo)

Updated 4:47 p.m. | Catherine Cortez Masto, the preferred Democratic successor of retiring Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, will run for the minority leader’s seat.

“Catherine Cortez Masto fights to protect Nevada’s seniors, children, women, consumers, and homeowners,” her new Senate website states. “She did it as a prosecutor. She did it as Nevada’s Attorney General. Now she wants to bring her fight to the U.S. Senate.” Full story

Lois Capps to Retire (Video)

Capps will not seek re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Capps will not seek re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 2:24 p.m. | California Rep. Lois Capps announced Wednesday she will not run for re-election.

Capps, 77, has represented the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based 24th District since 1998. The Democrat ran in a special election that year to replace her husband, Walter Capps, who died of a heart attack less than a year into his first term in Congress.

Full story

Democrats Down on Potential Iowa Candidate

2016 house races

Young is a top Democratic target in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Iowa state Sen. Matt McCoy is seriously considering a challenge to Republican Rep. David Young, a top target in 2016.

But Democrats in both Washington, D.C., and Iowa are concerned about the Des Moines Democrat’s congressional ambitions in the 3rd District, a must-win seat for Democrats looking to slice into the Republican majority this cycle.

Full story

April 7, 2015

Rand Paul 2016 Getting Started in Louisville

Paul is seeking the Republican presidential nomination (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Paul is seeking the Republican presidential nomination. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is making it official Tuesday: He will seek the Republican nomination for president.

Paul will announce his candidacy to a crowd at the Galt House in Louisville. He’ll follow his announcement with a tour through the early presidential primary and caucus states — New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa and Nevada — over the remainder of the congressional recess week.

Full story

April 6, 2015

Democrat Announces Bid Against Valadao in California

Valadao is a top Democratic target in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Valadao is a top Democratic target in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A California mayor will announce a challenge to Republican Rep. David Valadao Monday in California’s 21st District — a top Democratic pick-up opportunity in 2016.

“I am running for Congress to be a bold voice on behalf of Central Valley families and local neighborhoods throughout the 21st District,” Daniel Parra — the mayor pro tem of Fowler, Calif., an Air Force veteran who had been contemplating a bid — said in a news release provided first to CQ Roll Call.

Full story

When Jeb Bush Managed a House Campaign

Jeb Bush

Ros-Lehtinen is backing Bush for president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With the final votes concluded before the House left town for the two week recess, Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was running 20 minutes late for a scheduled interview.

Her legislative director’s dog, Maya, an office staple for the past half-dozen years, roamed as staffers munched on a fried chicken lunch served in honor of the current intern crop. Full story

April 2, 2015

Two Former Members Announce Comeback Bids

House races 2016

Schneider is one of two former House Democrats to announce a comeback bid on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two former House Democrats ousted in 2014 announced Friday they’re giving it another go.

Former Reps. Pete Gallego of Texas and Brad Schneider of Illinois released statements within minutes of each other confirming they will challenge the freshman Republicans who defeated them in the midterms. Full story

LaHood Banks Big Haul in Race to Succeed Schock

Schock resigned from Congress March 31. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Schock resigned from Congress March 31. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A top candidate to replace disgraced former Rep. Aaron Schock raised $210,000 since the Illinois Republican announced his plans to resign, CQ Roll Call has learned. The haul solidifies state Sen. Darin LaHood as a front-runner in the special election to replace Schock in the 18th District — a safe GOP seat located in and around Peoria, Ill.

Full story

Grassley Strives for Seventh Term, Always Wanting More

Grassley has never won re-election with less than 64 percent of the vote. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Grassley does a 99-county tour every year in Iowa. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 9:35 a.m. | He has never won re-election with less than 64 percent of the vote. His approval rating is 67 percent.

This is not some senator from a deep red or deep blue state. He is, in fact, a Republican representing a swing state in a presidential year, and Democrats would quite like to unseat him.

So why does Sen. Charles E. Grassley seem almost politically invincible?

Full story

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