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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.

Menendez Trial Opens: Prosecutors Say He ‘Sold His Office’
Menendez attorney says government has no evidence he took bribes

Sens. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., is currently facing a corruption trial. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Prosecutors opened the corruption trial of New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez saying he “sold his office for a lifestyle he couldn’t afford” to achieve favors for campaign donor Salomon Melgen. 

Menendez is accused of using his influence as a senator to assist the Florida opthamologist in securing visas for one of Melgen's girlfriends and her sister from the Dominican Republic. 

Campaigns Aren’t Equipped to Vet Donors
Contributions from white supremacists have slipped through in the past

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign donated to charity money it received from a white supremacist leader in 2015. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As the past week has reaffirmed, most congressional candidates don’t want to be associated with white supremacists.

But when it comes to campaign donations, candidates have little control over who supports them. It’s easy enough for politicians to donate to charity or refund contributions from controversial sources. The hard part is finding them.

Why House Members Aren’t Rushing to Announce for Senate
Here’s a hint: It’s about raising campaign cash

Indiana Rep. Luke Messer is expected to run for Senate but has yet to make an official announcement. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s no secret that a handful of House members are mulling bids for the Senate next year, with several of them all but running their 2018 races already.

Most are in no rush to officially announce their Senate campaigns. Sixteen months is a long time to face the barrage of attacks that comes with running statewide. And in an uncertain political environment, candidates may be taking longer to test the waters. 

Montana Candidate’s Comments Raise Questions About Corporate Money
Gianforte and Quist both claim they refuse industry PAC contributions

Republican Greg Gianforte, left, is running against Democrat Rob Quist in a special election to fill the at-large Montana congressional seat vacated by former Rep. Ryan Zinke, who’s now serving as secretary of the Interior.

Comments made by Montana Republican Greg Gianforte on a national fundraising call last week raise questions about what he meant when he said that industry PACs could contribute to “our Victory Fund.”

Both Gianforte and Democrat Rob Quist say they have refused to accept corporate PAC money in the race for Montana’s at-large House seat. But when asked on last week’s call, audio of which was obtained by CQ Roll Call, whether he still did not accept PAC money, Gianforte gave a confusing answer. 

Defeated Lawmakers Trek From the Hill to Middle Earth — And Beyond
Life after Congress has included ambassadorships for dozens

Former Sen. Scott Brown was nominated by President Donald Trump to be U.S. ambassador to New Zealand. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If three makes a trend and four creates a pattern, then dispatching favored congressional losers to New Zealand has become not just a sliver but a pillar of the American diplomatic order. 

When Scott Brown takes over the embassy in Wellington by this summer — his confirmation virtually assured thanks to the endorsements of both Democratic senators who have defeated him — the onetime matinee idol for Republican centrists will become the fourth former member of Congress who’s assumed that particular ambassadorship after being rejected by the voters.

Trump Order Could Lure Churches into Dark Money Politics
IRS directed to not enforce so-called Johnson Amendment

President Donald Trump signed an order Thursday that would allow religious organizations to engage more in elections without losing their tax exemption. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Halftime for Special Election Bragging Rights
As South Carolina votes Tuesday, neither side in Trump referendum fight has an edge

This year’s special elections could be a more reliable bellwether of President Donald Trump’s effect on the political landscape, Hawkings writes. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One of the many ways sports and politics are alike is that the “expectations game” is central to both.

The incessant boasting and trash talk by the players makes great theater, but no difference in the outcome of any match or any election. Over time, however, critical masses of paying customers will start shifting their passions elsewhere if the advance histrionics and the eventual outcomes don’t occasionally match.

Georgia Runoff Will Test Both Parties’ Political Alliances
Parties gearing up for expensive fight in Georgia's 6th District

Karen Handel, seen her in 2014, is uniting the GOP behind her after finishing second in Tuesday’s 18-candidate primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — For a brief moment, Georgia’s 6th District was quiet.

Out-of-state journalists who flooded this suburban battleground headed for the airport Wednesday morning. After a very late Tuesday night, Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel held no public events in the district the next day. Instead, they gave interviews on cable TV — a reflection of how nationalized this race has become. 

With Enthusiasm High, Democrats School Potential Candidates on Realities of Running
The party is seeing unprecedented early interest in running for Congress

Amid the high interest, many first-time candidates may not be aware of what it takes to run for Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

All around the country, Democrats interested in running for office are crawling out of the woodwork. But how many of these potential candidates will turn into serious congressional candidates? 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has already talked to 275 people in 68 districts wanting to run — 20 people in one Illinois district alone.