At the Races

Tennessee Republicans Prepare for Another Senate Primary
Field will grow if Bob Corker retires; Blackburn and Fincher could run

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker is facing at least one primary challenger, with a few more looking at getting in the race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker asked President Donald Trump to campaign for Alabama Sen. Luther Strange ahead of next week’s Senate Republican runoff, he might have had a little self-preservation in mind. 

A win by Roy Moore, the controversial former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, would throw a wrench into the deliberative body in which the moderate Tennessee Republican serves. But a Moore victory could also embolden primary challengers to other sitting senators, like Corker.

314 Action Hopes to be the ‘EMILY’s List for Scientists’
Endorsements come with PAC check and potential IE investments

314 Action is rolling out four more endorsements of Democratic challengers Monday. The organization has already backed Nevada Rep. Jacky Rosen’s Senate bid.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

An organization dedicated to electing scientists and STEM professionals is endorsing four more Democratic House challengers Monday.

Monday’s congressional endorsements — part of a broader rollout of state and local candidates – comes in traditionally GOP seats, two of which may look more competitive for Democrats in 2018, while two others still look more challenging to flip.

Half of New Jersey Voters Don’t Think Menendez Should Be Re-Elected’
Only 20 percent said he deserves to be re-elected in Quinnipiac Poll

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., leaves the Senate Democrats' weekly policy lunch in the Capitol on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez is in the legal fight of his life. And if he runs for re-election in 2018, he may be in for his toughest political fight, too. 

Half of New Jersey voters said the state’s senior Democratic senator does not deserve to be re-elected next year, according to a Quinnipiac Poll released Thursday.

GOP Sees Offensive Opening on Health Care for 2018
Republicans plan to tie all Democrats to “Medicare for all” proposals

Supporters waved signs Wednesday as Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced the Medicare for All Act of 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As more and more Democrats come out in favor of some form of “Medicare for all” legislation, Republican campaign strategists are salivating.

In much the same way the GOP has tried to tie all Democrats to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in attack ads, they’re planning to tie all Democratic incumbents and challengers to different proposals from Vermont independent Bernie Sanders in the Senate and Michigan Rep. John Conyers Jr. in the House, regardless of whether they’ve personally embraced those policies.

GOP Gears Up for Primary in Wisconsin Senate Race
Candidates already battling over conservative bona fides

Donald Trump supporters at a campaign rally in Janesville, Wis., in March 2016 (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Republican primary is officially underway in the Wisconsin Senate race, with candidates facing off over who should take on Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin next year.

President Donald Trump won the Badger State by less than one point in November, the first time a Republican presidential nominee had won Wisconsin in more than 30 years. GOP Sen. Ron Johnson also ran 2 points ahead of Trump in winning a second term.

Trump Smiles With Manchin at Bipartisan Senate Tax Dinner
West Virginia Democrat posts photograph with the president

President Donald Trump posed for a photo with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III Tuesday evening. (Photo Via Manchin on Twitter)

Many Democrats might not want to be photographed alongside a smiling President Donald Trump, but then there’s Joe Manchin III.

Trump has been very popular in Manchin’s West Virginia. And Manchin was one of three Democratic senators who showed up for dinner and a tax overhaul discussion with the president Tuesday evening.

GOP Rep. Pete Sessions Gets Another Democratic Challenger
Lillian Salerno worked for the Obama administration

Salerno entered the Democratic primary in the race against GOP Rep. Pete Sessions. (Photo courtesy of Salerno’s campaign)

Lillian Salerno announced Tuesday that she is jumping into the field of Democrats hoping to take on Texas GOP Rep. Pete Sessions, as Sessions emphasizes that he is definitely running for re-election.

Democrats are targeting the district that includes northern Dallas, which Hillary Clinton narrowly won in November. In 2016, Sessions did not have a Democratic opponent. But Salerno, who worked in the Obama administration, is joining an already crowded field of Democrats who will face off in a March 6 primary.

Michigan’s Dave Trott Won’t Seek Re-Election in 2018
11th District race is rated Likely Republican

Michigan Rep. Dave Trott won’t run for a third term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Michigan Republican Rep. Dave Trott announced Monday that he won’t seek re-election in 2018.

“I have decided that the best course for me is to spend more time with my family and return to the private sector,” the 11th District congressman said in a statement.

Report: Romney Prepping Senate Run in Utah if Hatch Retires
Hatch has said Romney would not challenge him for the seat

Mitt Romney could run for Senate if Sen. Orrin G. Hatch decides to retire. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

Former presidential nominee Mitt Romney is prepared to run for Senate in Utah if the state’s senior GOP senator Orrin G. Hatch decides to retire, Utah Policy reported Monday.

The report cited unnamed sources close to Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, who said he is preparing a Senate run in case Hatch opts not to run again. Hatch had previously said this term would be his last, but he has since signaled he could run for an eighth time.

Could More House Retirements Imperil GOP Majority in 2018?
Retirements of three moderates spark fears about more leaving

Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent’s decision makes the race for his 15th District seat more competitive. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House retirements are a staple of each election cycle. But the decision by three moderate Republicans not to seek re-election is worrying party members, already nervous about holding the majority in 2018.

“You hate to have an open seat in what you know is going to be a bad year,” said Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, a former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Moderate GOP Rep. Charlie Dent Not Running for Re-Election
Dent often the voice of the GOP conference’s moderate wing

Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., will not seek an 8th term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Charlie Dent announced Thursday night that he would not be seeking re-election. The Pennsylvania Republican is one of the leading moderates in the GOP conference.

“I’ve always said down the street there’s been a fair amount of instability, uncertainty and dysfunction. I’ve always come to accept a certain amount of dysfunction in government,” Dent said Thursday night. “But, I guess they’ve taken it to a new level. They’ve taken the fun out of dysfunction.”

Former Rep. Mike Honda Joins California PAC
“Red to Blue California” PAC aims to flip Golden State House seats

California Rep. Michael M. Honda lost his bid for re-election last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Michael M. Honda is the new chairman of the “Red to Blue California” political action committee, which is focused on unseating House Republicans in the Golden State.

The California Democrat, who served eight terms in the House, will serve in an advisory role and as a surrogate for the PAC, which aims to pick up seven GOP seats that Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton carried last fall.

House Challengers Find Fundraising Success Outside Their Districts
Eleven Democrats have raised nearly all their money from other parts of their states — and beyond

Democrat Bryan Caforio is challenging Republican Rep. Steve Knight for the second time in California’s 25th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats are energized. They’re running for Congress. And they’re raising money — lots of it.

And for nearly a dozen Democratic challengers who have raised at least $50,000 in individual contributions worth at least $200 each during the first half of this year, more than 90 percent of the money raised came from outside their districts, a Roll Call review of Federal Election Commission data found.

Washington’s Dave Reichert Won’t Seek Re-Election in 2018
Open seat gives Democrats a top takeover opportunity

Washington Rep. Dave Reichert will leave behind a competitive race in Washington’s 8th District in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Washington Republican Dave Reichert announced Wednesday he won’t seek re-election to the 8th District, opening up a top takeover opportunity for Democrats next year.  

“After spending time during the August work period with family and friends, reflecting on the past, discussing the future, and celebrating another birthday, I have decided this will be my last term,” Reichert said in a statement. 

GOP Super PAC Expands Field Presence to 17 Districts
Congressional Leadership Fund opens offices in six more districts

Congressional Leadership Fund is opening a field office in New Jersey Rep. Leonard Lance’s district. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican super PAC backed by House leadership is expanding its field program by opening new offices in six GOP-held districts. 

Congressional Leadership Fund now has a 17 field offices across the country.