primaries

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. 

Race Rating: 2018 Montana At-Large Race Starts as Leans Republican
Gianforte not in immediate danger of losing re-election

Montana Rep.-elect Greg Gianforte is a favorite for re-election next year. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

It’s not good to start your tenure in Congress with a misdemeanor assault charge, but that’s where Republican Greg Gianforte finds himself. It also doesn’t mean he is immediately and automatically vulnerable in 2018.

On May 25, Gianforte won a special election to replace Republican Ryan Zinke (who vacated his seat to become secretary of the Interior) in a race that received some national attention but went viral after an altercation between the candidate and a reporter resulted in assault body-slamming allegations and formal charges. Gianforte pleaded guilty on June 12 and narrowly avoided a few days in jail with 40 hours of community service and 20 hours of anger management counseling.

Labrador Backs Candidate in Race to Succeed him
Idaho Republican running for governor and vacating House seat

Labrador is vacating his seat to run for governor. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

The Idaho GOP primary is about one year away, but Rep. Raúl R. Labrador has already chosen who he wants to succeed him in the House.

Labrador announced Thursday that he is backing former state Sen. Russ Fulcher in the primary to replace Labrador, who is running for governor. Fulcher had also announced a gubernatorial bid, but dropped out of the race Thursday to run for Congress instead.

Republicans Prove Press Releases Are Useless
RNC’s statement after Virginia primaries includes some ‘alternative facts’

RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel said the Democratic gubernatorial contest in Virginia was “a nasty race to the left” while the GOP managed to “emerge unified” from its own contested primary. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

I hate press releases, and election night press releases are a special breed of terrible. They are often a string of cliches and manicured facts in search of a sucker to print them. And the Republican National Committee release on Tuesday night after Virginia’s gubernatorial primaries only reinforced my opinion.

“I would like to congratulate Ed Gillespie on securing the Republican nomination and moving one step closer towards becoming Virginia’s next governor,” said RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel in a statement emailed to reporters at 10:46 p.m. Tuesday.

Yoder Gets New Challenger in Kansas
Democrat Andrea Ramsey points to GOP health care bill as a catalyst

Democrat Andrea Ramsey is challenging Kansas Rep. Kevin Yoder in 2018. (Courtesy Andrea Ramsey for U.S. Congress Facebook page)

Kansas Republican Rep. Kevin Yoderreceived another challenger Tuesday when the former president of a children’s health clinic launched her campaign for the Democratic nomination in the 3rd District.

Andrea Ramsey recently left her position as president and board chairwoman of Turner House Children’s Clinic Kansas City, Kansas, the Associated Press reported.

Polis’ Run for Governor Opens Up Solidly Democratic Seat
Democratic primary could be crowded in Colorado race

Colorado Rep. Jared Polis is currently serving his fifth term in Congress. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Colorado Democrat Jared Polis announced Sunday that he is running for governor, opening up a House seat that should stay in his party’s hands.

“I’m running for Governor to protect what keeps CO special, 100% renewable energy, economy that works 4 all!,” Polis tweeted Sunday.

Race Rating: New Jersey Governor Likely Democratic Takeover
Trump and Christie’s low job ratings hurt GOP chances of winning

Low job approval ratings for President Donald Trump and outgoing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will make it hard for a Republican to replace Christie. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

While it’s still unclear whether Democrats will get their first signature victory of the year in Georgia’s 6th House District, a takeover in New Jersey’s gubernatorial race looks likely later this fall. 

On Tuesday, Lt. Gov Kim Guadagno won the GOP primary with 47 percent against four other candidates. Former Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy won the Democratic primary with 48 percent against five other contenders.  

Blackburn Passes on Corker Challenge
Tennessee congresswoman will seek ninth term in Congress instead

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., will not face Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., in a Senate primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn has decided to pass on challenging Republican Sen. Bob Corker in a primary next year.

“I am running for re-election to the House of Representatives,” she told the Tennessean in Nashville on Tuesday.

Gomez Will Fit In Well With Democrats’ Liberal Wing
Newly elected California lawmaker brings wealth of political experience

State Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez won the special election in California’s 34th District on Tuesday. (Courtesy Jimmy Gomez Facebook page)

California Rep.-elect Jimmy Gomez has spent his career in politics and labor organizing and will fit into the liberal wing of the Democratic caucus.

Given that experience, expect him to be a major voice on labor and workplace issues. His bill to expand California’s paid family leave was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in April 2016.

GOP Attorneys General May Shake Up Senate Primaries
Three could run for Senate in toss-up races

Some Missouri Republicans are urging newly elected state Attorney General Josh Hawley, right, to run for Senate. He's seen here last November with the state’s junior senator, Roy Blunt. (Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images file photo)

Republicans have no shortage of House members interested in promotions to the Senate next year. But in three of four states with toss-up races, GOP attorneys general are also readying for potential Senate bids.

The top lawyers of Indiana, West Virginia and Missouri are contemplating primary bids against GOP House members who are either already running for the Senate or who are widely assumed to be running.