At the Races

Martha Roby Survives GOP Primary Runoff in Alabama
Onetime Trump critic defeated ex-Democrat Bobby Bright

Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., fended off a primary challenge from party-switching former Rep. Bobby Bright, whom she defeated in 2010. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Alabama Rep. Martha Roby survived her Republican primary runoff Tuesday night, rebounding from her sharp criticism of President Donald Trump in 2016 that sparked several challenges this year. 

With 47 percent of precincts reporting, Roby led with 67 percent of the vote to 33 percent for party-switching former Rep. Bobby Bright, when The Associated Press called the 2nd District race. 

Democratic House Challengers Raise More Than Senate Candidates
New Jersey’s Mikie Sherrill raised $1.9 million in second quarter

New Jersey Democrat Mikie Sherrill raised nearly $1.9 million in the second quarter in her quest to flip a longtime GOP House seat. (Courtesy Mikie Sherrill for U.S. Congress)

It used to be normal for fundraising by Senate candidates to dwarf that of House candidates. Not this year.

New Jersey’s Mikie Sherrill, a Democrat trying to flip a longtime Republican stronghold, raised nearly $1.9 million during the second quarter of the year.

Republican John Chrin Launches Opening Ad in GOP Targeted District
Chrin is challenging Pennsylvania Democrat Matt Cartwright

Republican John Chrin is challenging Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright in Pennsylvania’s 8th District. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call)

Republican John Chrin launched his opening argument Monday in his campaign against Democrat Matt Cartwright in Pennsylvania’s 8th District. The seat represents a rare pickup opportunity for the GOP this cycle in which it is largely on defense.  

Republicans, hoping to stave off potential losses in the House, are looking to win in districts like the 8th, one of a dozen held by a Democratic lawmaker that President Donald Trump carried in 2016.  

Republican Main Street Partnership Backs Four More Candidates
Three of the four endorsees are women

Republican Main Street Partnership is endorsing West Virginia state Del. Carol Miller in the 3rd District after originally backing one of her opponents in the primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Republican PAC that supports lawmakers from the “governing wing of the GOP” is endorsing four more candidates Monday.

The Republican Main Street Partnership’s endorsement comes with a $5,000 PAC check. The group made its first 10 nonincumbent endorsements in April. Three of those endorsees have since lost their primaries. 

California Democratic Party Endorses Dianne Feinstein Opponent Kevin de León
De León took 65 percent of the delegate vote

California state Sen. Kevin de León is challenging Sen. Dianne Feinstein in the all-Democratic general election in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The California Democratic Party has endorsed state Sen. Kevin de León over Sen. Dianne Feinstein, backing a challenger who is taking on a longtime incumbent.

The endorsement came after Feinstein had encouraged party leaders not to endorse either candidate for Senate in the name of party unity. But on Saturday, de León won 65 percent of the delegates’ votes, surpassing the 60 percent threshold necessary to secure the endorsement.

Only Woman in Crowded Tennessee GOP Primary Touts Her Combat Experience
Ashley Nickloes, candidate in 2nd District, released her first ad Thursday

Tennessee Air National Guard Lt. Col. Ashley Nickloes, a Republican running for Tennessee’s 2nd District, is touting her experience as a combat aviator. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats aren’t the only ones with female veterans who are dipping their toes into politics for the first time year by deciding to run for Congress. 

Republican Ashley Nickloes, a lieutenant colonel in the Tennessee Air National Guard, is highlighting her combat aviation experience in her first TV ad that debuted on broadcast Thursday in the Knoxville media market. The starting buy is 550 gross ratings points.

At the Races: The Unlikely Team Behind a 2018 Star
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Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. —Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman

Ocasio-Cortez, Crowley Feud on Twitter Over November Ballot
Crowley won on third-party line, but he says he won’t actively campaign

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated Rep. Joe Crowley in a Democratic primary last month. (Scott Heins/Getty Images)

Updated 1:30 p.m. | Rep. Joseph Crowley said Thursday he would not run against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated the New York Democrat in a primary last month. Ocasio-Cortez had accused him on Twitter earlier in the day of waging a third-party campaign against her.

AFL-CIO Chief Warns Red to Blue Candidates That Being a Democrat Isn’t Enough
Richard Trumka met with candidates and leadership at DCCC on Thursday

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, here at the Democratic National Convention in 2016, met with the DCCC’s Red to Blue candidates at the committee’s headquarters Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democratic candidates in town this week for training at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Washington got a visit from AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka for some tips on how they can win back working-class voters.

“I don’t have to tell you that you can’t count on the D next to your name to gain our support,” Trumka told Democratic leadership and a room full of candidates on Red to Blue, the DCCC’s program for its strongest candidates.

Does a Clinton Campaign Staffer Stand a Chance in Trump Country?
Talley Sergent banks on her West Virginia roots in bid to unseat Rep. Alex Mooney

Democrat Talley Sergent, who is running against GOP Rep. Alex X. Mooney in West Virginia’s 2nd District, marches in a July Fourth parade in Ripley, W.Va., last week. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

RIPLEY, W.Va. — There are few places where Hillary Clinton is more toxic than West Virginia. 

So why does a former Clinton campaign staffer think she stands any chance of flipping a House district here?

New Democrats’ PAC Endorses 13 More Candidates
NewDemPAC is now backing 27 hopefuls, most running for GOP-held seats

NewDemPAC is endorsing Mel Hall, who’s running in Indiana’s 2nd District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The political arm of the moderate New Democrat Coalition is endorsing 13 more candidates on Thursday, bringing to 27 the PAC’s current endorsements for the 2018 cycle.

The endorsed candidates, whose names were obtained first by Roll Call, are all running in GOP-held seats. Each candidate received a maximum contribution of $5,000 for their primary, with the endorsement now signaling additional support to come for the general election. 

DCCC Poll: Democrat Ahead in Key New York House Race
Upstate New York race in the 19th District is expected to be competitive

Rep. John Faso, R-N.Y., is a vulnerable incumbent in New York’s 19th District this election cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 2:29 p.m. | A poll commissioned by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee showed a hotly competitive race in New York’s 19th District, a top target for Democrats hoping to win back the House. 

Freshman Republican Rep. John J. Faso trailed Democratic lawyer Antonio Delgado by 7 points in the poll. Forty-nine percent of respondents supported Delgado, while 42 percent backed the incumbent.

NRCC Names 18 Likely New Members to Young Guns ‘Vanguards’ Program
All except one are running in races rated Solid Republican

Indiana state Rep. Jim Baird, the GOP nominee in the 4th District, has been named to the NRCC’s Young Guns “Vanguards” program. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee on Tuesday named the first members of its Young Guns “Vanguards” program for GOP candidates likely heading to Congress next year. 

Young Guns is the committee’s program to boost House candidates in competitive general election races. But there’s also a Vanguards program for those Republicans in mostly open-seat races who are favored to win in November. The NRCC first launched the program in 2010 to connect these likely new House members to the committee and GOP lawmakers.

Past Trump Criticism Might Not Doom Martha Roby in Alabama
Congresswoman faces ex-Democrat Bobby Bright in GOP primary runoff

Alabama GOP Rep. Martha Roby is facing a primary runoff against her predecessor Bobby Bright next week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Eighteen months ago, it might’ve been a good bet that Alabama Rep. Martha Roby would lose her Republican primary. But ahead of next week’s GOP runoff for the 2nd District, she’s now favored to win.  

That’s due in part to an endorsement from President Donald Trump, help from allies, and a primary opponent who used to be a Democrat. 

The Unlikely Campaign Behind Richard Ojeda’s Rise in West Virginia
Democrat’s campaign manager was still driving a tractor trailer three months ago

West Virginia Democrat Richard Ojeda, left, stands outside his campaign headquarters Thursday in Logan, W.Va., alongside his communications director Madalin Sammons, center, and campaign volunteer Heather Ritter. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

LOGAN, W.Va. — Richard Ojeda has become one of the stars of the 2018 midterms.

First, the national media latched on to this Trump-voting Democrat, and now the national party is behind him too. A recent independent poll found him ahead here in southern West Virginia’s coal-mining 3rd District that President Donald Trump carried by nearly 50 points in 2016.