open-seat

The Important Connection Between Governors and Congress
A first look at the gubernatorial race ratings for 2017-18

South Dakota Rep. Krisit Noem is a candidate for governor in 2018 and leaves behind a safe Republican seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In Washington, it’s easy to ignore governors as distant rulers over far away lands. But now is a good time to start paying attention to what’s happening in state races.

Voters in 38 states (including nine of the 10 most populated) will elect a governor over the next two years, and the results have a direct connection to Capitol Hill. The large number of races give aspiring (or weary) members an opportunity to leave the House, and consequently, leave behind potentially vulnerable open seats. And governors in 28 of those states will have a role (specifically veto power) in the next round of redistricting, which will impact what party controls the House in the next decade. 

GOP Super PAC Pours Millions More Into Georgia Runoff
Congressional Leadership Fund invests additional $3.5 million to boost Handel

The Congressional Leadership Fund is more than doubling its spending in the special election runoff for Georgia’s 6th District to boost Republican nominee Karen Handel. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Now that the Republican field has been winnowed from 11 to one in Georgia’s 6th District, a major GOP super PAC is increasing its spending to boost GOP nominee Karen Handel in the June runoff. 

The Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC endorsed by House GOP leadership, is investing an additional $3.5 million in the race, bringing their total investment in the district to $6.5 million. 

Should Democrats Turn to South Carolina’s Special Election Next?
Next week’s primaries could set up another competitive contest

Archie Parnell is the leading Democrat running for the seat left behind by former Rep. Mick Mulvaney, who’s now the director of the Office of Management and Budget. (Screenshot, Courtesy Archie Parnell for Congress)

Democrats enthused by last week’s primary in Georgia, and their strong showing in Kansas earlier this month, have been making noise about playing more aggressively in upcoming elections that were previously dismissed as long shots — specifically Montana.

Mentioned less often, however, is South Carolina.

Ossoff Campaign Steps Up Field Efforts for June Runoff
Georgia Democrat’s campaign spent $2 million in field for primary

A volunteer for Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff arrives at a campaign office to canvass the district the day before the April 18 open primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ahead of the June runoff in Georgia’s 6th District, Democrat Jon Ossoff’s big-spending campaign is ramping up its “field-first” strategy for the next two months.  

Ossoff’s team spent nearly $2 million on its field efforts for last week’s primary, including paying for a Lyft code in the district so that voters without a ride could get to the polls on Election Day.

GOP Super PAC Ties Montana's Rob Quist to Nancy Pelosi
Congressional Leadership Fund begins $800,000 media campaign

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As national attention turns to the special election in Montana, the super PAC backed by House GOP leadership is deploying House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in a new TV attack on Democratic nominee Rob Quist. 

The ad, which will debut Friday on broadcast and cable, marks the start of an $800,000 media buy from Congressional Leadership Fund. The super PAC ran its first TV ad against Quist last month, using many of the same attacks.  

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. 

D.C. Home Rule Advocates to Continue Fight After Chaffetz Retirement Announcement
Others on Oversight Committee may be targeted next

Golf balls with Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s face imprinted on them were a party favor at the Americans for Self-Rule PAC launch party this week. (Courtesy Lynette Craig)

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s announcement that he will retire from Congress at the end of 2018 has made some folks in Washington, D.C., very happy.

Advocates for District of Columbia sovereignty see Chaffetz, the chairman of the powerful House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, as one of their biggest tormentors. The Republican lawmaker especially riled local groups to action by attempting to exercise the committee’s authority to overturn D.C. laws under the Home Rule Act, long a sore spot for District residents.

Opinion: How Jon Ossoff Became the Face of the Anti-Trump Fight
Liberal blog Daily Kos led the way in resistance to president

Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff’s rise to national prominence happened largely thanks to the efforts of the liberal blog Daily Kos, Patricia Murphy writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In the days after Donald Trump was inaugurated in January, liberals in America were depressed, despondent, and asking themselves what to do next. David Nir, the political director of the liberal blog Daily Kos, had an answer and that answer was Jon Ossoff.

Nir and the Daily Kos team had been crunching the numbers from Trump’s election since the day after it happened. Which districts did Trump underperform in? Where were the opportunities for Democrats? They quickly noticed that in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, which Mitt Romney won by 23 points in 2012, Trump had won by just a point and a half. Could Rep. Tom Price be vulnerable the next time around?

Jon Ossoff, Karen Handel Advance to Runoff in Georgia Special Election
Democrat Ossoff falls short in bid to win race outright Tuesday

Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel will meet in the June runoff. (Photos by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

ATLANTA — With Tuesday turning into Wednesday, Democrat Jon Ossoff has fallen short of the majority needed to win outright in the Georgia special election primary and is headed for a June runoff against Republican Karen Handel.

With 88 percent of precincts reporting, Ossoff had 48 percent to Handel’s 20 percent in the 18-candidate field in the 6th District, The Associated Press reported. 

Among 18 Georgia Candidates, One Competitive Woman
Karen Handel could take possible runoff slot in special election

Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel has lost her last two bids for higher office, but now could be poised to finish in the top two Tuesday night and advance to a runoff for the open 6th District seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

ROSWELL, Ga. — No campaign push in Georgia’s 6th District is complete without a stop at Rhea’s, an old-fashioned burger joint.

“If you want to win, you gotta have Jimmy’s help,” said Republican candidate Karen Handel, nodding to the owner who was flipping burgers behind the counter at the Roswell location Monday afternoon.