Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 18, 2014

March 13, 2014

Young N.H. Republican Sees No Reason to Wait on House Bid (Video)

The candidate: State Rep. Marilinda Garcia.
The member: Garcia is running against former state Sen. Gary Lambert for the Republican nomination to take on freshman Democratic Rep. Ann McLane Kuster.
The district: Of New Hampshire’s two districts, the 2nd is more favorable to Democrats, as President Barack Obama won it in 2012 with 54 percent. The race is rated Leans Democratic by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Full story

Third California Democrat Endorses Wendy Greuel

Democratic Rep. Adam B. Schiff is now the third member of California’s Democratic House delegation to endorse former Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel in the race for the state’s open 33rd District seat, according to a release shared first with CQ Roll Call.

“Wendy Greuel is the right choice to replace the irreplaceable Henry Waxman,” Schiff, who represents the neighboring 28th District, said in a statement Thursday. “I have worked with Wendy for more than a decade and she knows how to make government work for everyone.”

Democratic Reps. Tony Cardenas and Lucille Roybal-Allard — also LA-based members — previously endorsed Greuel.

The race to replace Democratic Rep. Henry A. Waxman, who announced his retirement in January, is rated a Safe Democrat contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. But under California’s top-two primary system, the district could host a competitive general-election race.

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March 12, 2014

McConnell Supports Kentucky Ballot Change Pushed by Paul to Allow Multiple Candidacies

McConnell Supports Kentucky Ballot Change Pushed by Paul to Allow Multiple Candidacies

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he supports legislation passed by a Kentucky Senate committee Wednesday to change the state’s election law to allow one candidate to run in multiple federal races on the same ballot.

The law would potentially benefit current Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who is up for re-election to his Senate seat in 2016 but has his eye on a potential White House run.

“I favor that,” McConnell told CQ Roll Call in the Capitol basement Wednesday afternoon. “Did they approve that? Yeah. I think that’s a good idea.”

McConnell’s support is not a surprise given his political alliance with Paul, whose early endorsement in this year’s Senate GOP primary in the Bluegrass State has helped gird the leader against a potential primary upset from the right. Full story

By Meredith Shiner Posted at 3:33 p.m.
Republicans

Democrats Duel for Open House Seat in Iowa

Democrats Duel for Open House Seat in Iowa

Braley, right, is running for Senate and leaving a wide-open race for Democrats in the 1st District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In a state that was expected to play host to multiple competitive contests this year, Democrats are dueling for the nomination — and most likely, the seat — in northeastern Iowa’s open 1st District.

The filing deadline is Friday, and House Republicans have all but written off the district to focus on the state’s other open-seat race, in the 3rd District. After a top-tier Republican recruit unexpectedly dropped out of the race, the next member of Congress from the 1st District will likely be decided by a Democratic primary on June 3.

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Club for Growth PAC Backs GOP Candidate in Alaska

Club for Growth PAC Backs GOP Candidate in Alaska

Chocola is the president of the Club for Growth. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Club for Growth’s political action arm announced Wednesday that it is supporting Dan Sullivan in the Republican Senate primary in Alaska.

Sullivan, a former state attorney general and Natural Resources commissioner, is one of three Republicans vying for the nomination to take on Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, a top target of national Republicans.

In recent cycles, the club sometimes backed primary challengers to GOP incumbents and upstarts whom national Republicans do not always view as the best candidate for the race. But that’s not the case here.

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Landrieu: Flood Insurance Decided Florida’s Special Election

Landrieu: Flood Insurance Decided Floridas Special Election

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., said Wednesday that she believes flood insurance legislation was the deciding factor in Tuesday’s special election in Florida, not health care.

Landrieu has championed the legislation in the Senate and, as CQ Roll Call reported previously, has her own political motivations for doing so, given her own tough re-election bid in 2014. But the Louisiana Democrat said Wednesday that House GOP leaders saw the importance of the issue in the Florida gulf district and pushed through a bill, which the Senate could take up as soon as this week, to its own political benefit. Full story

By Meredith Shiner Posted at 2:15 p.m.
Democrats

Steve Israel Lobbies Alex Sink to Run in the Fall

 

Steve Israel Lobbies Alex Sink to Run in the Fall

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In the aftermath of his party’s special election loss in Florida, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel refused to blame his candidate. Instead, he doubled down on her prospects to win in the fall.

“I believe if Alex Sink decides to run, she will win in November,” Israel said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday morning. “We will do everything — and I mean everything — to support her in that endeavor.”

Sink came up 2 points short Tuesday against Republican Rep.-elect David Jolly. Whether or not Sink runs again is unclear.

“I did call her last night and left a message,” Israel said. “My message was, I think she ran a great race and if this election were in November versus March, I believe she would have won, and I encouraged her to speak with us about continuing this campaign to victory in November.”

“I have not heard back from her,” he added. Full story

March 11, 2014

Republicans Win Florida Special Election With David Jolly

Republicans Win Florida Special Election With David Jolly

(Courtesy David Jolly)

 

Republican David Jolly won Tuesday’s high-stakes race to replace his former boss, the late GOP Rep. C.W. Bill Young of Florida, in Congress.

The Republican nominee defeated Democrat Alex Sink 49 percent to 47 percent, with all of the precincts reporting when the Associated Press called the race at 7:49 p.m. Libertarian candidate Lucas Overby took 5 percent. Full story

Ronnie Cho ‘Very Close’ to Making Decision on House Run in Arizona

Ronnie Cho Very Close to Making Decision on House Run in Arizona

(Grace Dobush/CQ Roll Call)

AUSTIN, Texas — Ronnie Cho, a former White House staffer, is “very close” to making a decision on whether he’ll run for Arizona’s 7th District this year.

The Arizona he knows and loves “hasn’t been represented by the people who are put up for office,” Cho said. “Certainly I’m an unconventional candidate, if that’s the case. I haven’t gone through the ranks, but maybe that’s OK.” Full story

By Grace Dobush Posted at 7:47 p.m.
Ariz.-7, Democrats

Two Democrats Running for Virgin Islands’ Delegate Seat

Two Democrats Running for Virgin Islands Delegate Seat

Christensen is running for governor of the Virgin Islands, creating an open-seat race to succeed her in Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Virgin Islands’ non-voting delegate to Congress, Donna M.C. Christensen, announced Saturday that she will run for governor, opening a seat she has safely held for nearly 20 years.

So far, two Virgin Islands Democrats have entered the race to succeed her.

Stacey Plaskett, a St. Croix attorney, announced her intention last November to run for Congress. Plaskett is making her second run for the House after losing to Christensen in the 2012 Democratic primary. Full story

Senate Conservatives Fund Endorses House Candidates

Senate Conservatives Fund Endorses House Candidates

SCF just endorsed Loudermilk, a candidate for the House in Georgia. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Conservatives Fund — an organization that has traditionally supported conservative Senate hopefuls — has backed five House candidates.

On Tuesday, SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins wrote the endorsements, which are part of the organization’s new “House Conservatives Project.”

“These candidates believe deeply in our nation’s founding principles and will be strong voices for freedom in Washington,” Hoskins wrote. “They are strong conservatives who will fight to balance the budget and repeal Obamacare.” Full story

March 10, 2014

Vulnerable Democrats Missing From All-Night Climate Change Debate

Vulnerable Democrats Missing From All Night Climate Change Debate

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Thirty Senate Democrats are scheduled to stage an all-night talkathon to address climate change and its deniers, but notably missing from the extensive roster of speakers are moderate Democrats, especially those who are up for re-election in 2014.

According to a list of participating senators provided by Democrats, the most politically vulnerable among them will not speak: Mark Begich of Alaska, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and John Walsh of Montana. Interviews with several moderate Democrats on Monday suggested they were not invited to contribute to the event, while GOP campaigns hit Senate Democrats generally for staging such a stand on the floor.

“I will not be [speaking],” Landrieu, chairwoman of the Senate Energy Committee, said before votes Monday. “I will not be, but I think what they’re doing is helpful.”

Full story

Elizabeth Warren Campaign Staffers Talk Strategy at SXSW

Elizabeth Warren Campaign Staffers Talk Strategy at SXSW

Firestone, Miller, Coulombe and Myers said email and social-media efforts were key to the campaign's success. (Grace Dobush/CQ Roll Call)

AUSTIN, Texas — Staffers from Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s 2012 campaign gave an inside look at the strategies that helped the Massachusetts Democrat clinch victory at a South by Southwest panel Monday.

Warren had never run for office before her Senate campaign, but thanks to grass-roots organizing and extensive online efforts, she went on to defeat incumbent Scott Brown by 7.5 points. The panelists were digital director Lauren Miller, field director Mike Firestone, get-out-the-vote director Amanda Coulombe and campaign manager Mindy Myers, who is now Warren’s chief of staff. Full story

By Grace Dobush Posted at 5:43 p.m.
Uncategorized

House Delegate to Run for Governor in Virgin Islands

House Delegate to Run for Governor in Virgin Islands

From left to right: Del. Madeleine Z. Bordallo, D-Guam, and Christensen (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House is losing yet another Democrat, the latest to make the list of the retirements and resignations in the 113th Congress.

The Virgin Islands’ non-voting delegate to Congress, Donna M.C. Christensen, announced she is running for governor.

Christensen is one of three House members running to be the chief executive back home this year.  Democrats Michael H. Michaud of Maine and Allyson Y. Schwartz of Pennsylvania are also vying for the governor’s mansion in their states.

Full story

March 7, 2014

DCCC Adds Nick Rahall to Incumbent Protection Program

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel has named Rep. Nick J. Rahall II of West Virginia to the committee’s Frontline program.

Frontline is a designation for endangered Democratic incumbents.

“As a battle-tested campaigner, Nick Joe Rahall has been the overwhelming choice of southern West Virginians because he stands for commonsense values, will protect Social Security and Medicare and will relentlessly fight for good-paying West Virginia jobs,” Israel said in a release.

“We won’t stand on the sidelines while outside groups spend millions of dollars to deceive voters about an incumbent.”

Full story

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