Bridget Bowman

One year after Parkland, gun control advocates eye 2020
Advocates say midterm results proved gun control was a winning policy issue

One year after the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that galvanized young voters and jump-started a movement to combat gun violence, gun control advocates say there’s still more work to be done.

“We’re just gearing up,” said Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat and proponent of stricter gun laws. “There were a lot of candidates who got it in 2018. But there are more candidates that are going to learn the lesson from 2018.”

Colorado has never had a female senator. Could that change in 2020?
Democratic Senate primary field expected to be a ‘mosh pit’

Colorado Democrats have their sights on Sen. Cory Gardner, one of the most vulnerable senators in 2020 and one of two Republicans running in a state won by Hillary Clinton. And some see the race as an opportunity to do something historic: send a woman to the U.S. Senate. 

Women now make up a majority in the state House after the recent midterms. And wins by Democratic women helped the party recapture the state Senate. But higher office has proved more elusive. Colorado is one of just five states that has never elected a female governor or senator. 

Mark Kelly launches Senate run in Arizona
Former astronaut is vying to take on GOP Sen. Martha McSally

Former astronaut and Navy veteran Mark Kelly announced Tuesday that he is running for Senate in Arizona, looking to take on GOP Sen. Martha McSally.

Kelly is married to former Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was seriously injured during a shooting at a constituent event in 2011. Kelly and Giffords have since been vocal advocates for gun control. 

GOP super PAC ties 2 freshmen to Ocasio-Cortez in new digital ads
CLF knocks lawmakers over Green New Deal even though they aren’t co-sponsors

A Republican super PAC is wasting no time tying vulnerable House Democrats to New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as it launches digital ads in two districts Monday. 

Congressional Leadership Fund, a group aligned with House GOP leadership, is targeting two freshman lawmakers, Antonio Delgado of New York and Colin Allred of Texas, in the new ads shared first with Roll Call. The ads are part of a five-figure digital buy.

Amy Klobuchar launches 2020 presidential campaign
Minnesota senator got national attention at hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh

Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar launched her presidential campaign Sunday amid reports of a toxic work environment in her Senate office.

Klobuchar did not address the reports that she would demean her staff, detailed by HuffPost and Buzzfeed, in her announcement speech. Her campaign has responded by telling the news outlets that the senator, recently elected to her third term, loves her staff. 

Republicans name 55 House Democrats as 2020 targets
A majority of the targets represent districts that backed Trump

Republicans will be targeting 55 House Democrats in 2020, the majority of whom are new members, the National Republican Congressional Committee announced Thursday.

The lengthy target list, shared first with Roll Call, includes all 31 Democrats in districts President Donald Trump carried in 2016. The list also includes 20 districts that Hillary Clinton won in 2016 that were previously represented by Republicans.

Will the ‘green wave’ return for House Democrats?
Fundraising for 2020 cycle may not come as easy for chamber’s new majority

A tidal wave of cash, much of it from small-dollar grassroots donors, helped Democrats win back the House in 2018, but replicating that fundraising success this cycle won’t be easy. 

For one, they’ll be competing with a growing field of Democratic presidential contenders, several of whom have already pledged to lean heavily on grassroots donors as they bid to take on President Donald Trump.

House members are more diverse, but does the same go for staff?
Roughly 40 percent of new House members have hired a top staffer of color

More women and people of color are serving in the House than ever before. And at least one office has fueled hopes of that diversity extending to congressional staffers.

New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland announced earlier this month that she had assembled a majority-minority team, fulfilling a campaign promise to hire a diverse staff.

J.D. Scholten launches nonprofit amid speculation of Steve King rematch
Iowa Democrat narrowly lost to King in district Trump easily carried in 2016

Democrat J.D. Scholten is launching a new nonprofit to fight poverty, amid speculation that he’ll run for Iowa’s 4th District again after narrowly losing to controversial Republican Rep. Steve King last year.

Scholten announced Wednesday that he is launching “Working Hero Iowa,” a group aimed at educating and assisting Iowans who are eligible for the earned income tax credit.

Shutdown kick-starts the 2020 congressional campaign
From the airwaves to inboxes, both parties are already in attack mode

While it’s impossible to predict what issues will dominate the campaign trail 22 months out from Election Day, the partial government shutdown could be an early test for both parties’ 2020 messaging.

For Democrats, the shutdown reinforces their message that congressional Republicans are not willing to stand up to President Donald Trump — a theme that resonated last November among independent voters who helped deliver a Democratic House majority. Trump has insisted that any legislation to reopen the government include funding for a wall along the southern border, something most Democrats remain opposed to.

They raised millions and lost. Now what?
Democrats who were top fundraisers look to stay involved in politics

Democrats who ran for the House in 2018 shattered fundraising records, some even surpassing Senate candidates. But not all of the cycle’s top fundraisers ended up winning their races. 

That’s left a number of candidates — with high profiles and massive donor lists — pondering their next moves. And some are still eyeing careers in politics. 

STEM group launches ‘Draft Mark Kelly’ effort in Arizona
314 Action is urging former astronaut to challenge appointed Sen. McSally

314 Action, a group that backs candidates with scientific backgrounds, is launching a new effort Wednesday to encourage former astronaut and Navy veteran Mark Kelly to run for Senate in Arizona. 

Kelly, who is married to former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, is among a handful of potential Democratic challengers to appointed Sen. Martha McSally. The race is expected to be a top party target in 2020, and 314 Action is hoping a show of support will bolster Kelly’s decision to run.

Henry Cuellar says liberals targeting him don’t understand his district
Texas congressman says his polling shows his Democratic constituents are moderates

Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar said Friday that the liberal Democrats recruiting primary challengers against him are in for a rude awakening. 

The Washington Post first reported that Justice Democrats, a group targeting sitting Democratic lawmakers, launched a fund to support a primary challenge against Cuellar, one of the more conservative House Democrats.

Steve King primary challenger slams his ‘caustic nature’
Iowa Republican won re-election by just 3 points in solid GOP district

Controversial Iowa Rep. Steve King will face a Republican primary challenger next year, with state Sen. Randy Feenstra announcing Wednesday that he is running in the 4th District.

Feenstra, the assistant majority leader in the state Senate, did not mention the nine-term incumbent by name in his statement announcing he was forming a congressional campaign committee, but slammed King’s lack of influence.

&pizza, Au Bon Pain coming to the Capitol complex
The East Coast pizza company confirmed the move via text

Update 5:58 p.m. | Heads up hungry Hill staffers: &pizza will set up shop on the House side of the Capitol this month, and an Au Bon Pain will open later this year.

House Chief Administrative Officer Philip Kiko, who oversees food service on the House side of the Capitol, confirmed the news Monday evening. Kiko told HOH that &pizza will be opening in the Rayburn Building, and Au Bon Pain will open in the Cannon Building in the spring. The "pop-ups" from restaurants like Mission BBQ and Hissho Shushi that began in 2018 will also continue.

Roberts’ retirement likely to spark crowded GOP primary
Roberts announced Friday he would not run for re-election

Kansas GOP Sen. Pat Roberts announced Friday that he would not run for re-election in 2020, launching what is expected to be a competitive Republican primary for his seat. 

“I have had the honor and privilege of representing Kansas for 16 years in the House, 22 years so far in the Senate,” Roberts said at an event in Manhattan, Kansas, on Friday. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would become the longest serving member of Congress in Kansas history.”

Vulnerable new Democrats savor first day as 2020 looms
Democrats now shift to defense after winning back the House

Standing a few strides away from the House floor on Thursday, Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips put his arm around another new Democrat, Haley Stevens of Michigan.

“It’s for real!” Phillips exclaimed.

Kevin McLaughlin Returns to the NRSC as Executive Director
McLaughlin served as the committee’s deputy executive director in 2016

Kevin McLaughlin is returning to the National Republican Senatorial Committee as its new executive director, Chairman Todd Young announced Friday.

McLaughlin was the committee’s deputy executive director for the 2016 cycle, when Young was elected to the Senate in Indiana, and he served as a senior adviser in the 2014 cycle. Like 2016, Republicans are largely on defense in 2020. Twenty-two GOP senators are up for re-election compared to 12 Democrats.

Papadopoulos Confirms Plan to Run for Congress
Former Trump campaign aide recently served time in prison

George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide who recently served time in prison, confirmed Friday that he does plan to run for Congress.

“It is true. I will be running for Congress in 2020, and I will win,” Papadopoulos tweeted Friday. “Stay tuned.”

Defeated GOP Rep. Bruce Poliquin Calls for Recount to End
Maine Republican still has concerns about state’s ranked-choice voting system

Rep. Bruce Poliquin called Friday for the recount in his 2nd District to end. The Maine Republican initially requested the recount following his apparent loss to Democrat Jared Golden

Poliquin lost his race as part of the state’s new ranked-choice voting system for congressional races. Voters rank their choices in order of preference. If no candidate receives a majority, the last place candidate’s votes are distributed to his or her supporters’ second choice. The process of elimination continues until a candidate gets majority support.