Florida

At the Races: The Ghost of Midterms Past
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

AT-THE-RACES-LOGO-01

Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman.

This week … Some Republicans started worrying about retirements, Mainers have been recounting ballots faster than expected, and one Pelosi rebel faced a primary threat.

Tennessee Rep.-Elect Walks Back ‘Anti-Vaxx’ Comments
But Mark Green says ‘More research should be done’ after alleging a CDC coverup

Rep.-elect Mark Green, R-Tenn., said his comments endorsing a conspiracy theory that vaccines cause autism were “misconstrued.” (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep.-elect Mark Green, R-Tenn., has softened his endorsement of the myth that vaccines cause autism in statements to the media, claiming his comments had been distorted.

“Recent comments I made at a town hall regarding vaccines has been misconstrued. I want to reiterate my wife and I vaccinated our children, and we believe, and advise others they should have their children vaccinated,” the 7th District Republican said.

House Primaries on the Horizon for Democrats in 2020
Illinois’ Dan Lipinski is most likely to face intraparty challenge

Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., narrowly beat back a primary challenge earlier this year. He’s unlikely to go unchallenged in the next cycle, Gonzales writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

We already know the Democratic presidential primary is going to be crowded and crazy as a few dozen candidates battle for the right to take on President Donald Trump.

But at least a handful of 2020 House primaries are also on the horizon for Democrats as the party fights over ideology and loyalty. And there’s still plenty of time for more intraparty races to take shape.

Florida Republican Not Even Sworn In, Facing Campaign Finance Questions
New reports raise questions about Ross Spano super PAC coordination, 2012 campaign

Rep.-elect Ross Spano, R-Fla., has not been sworn into Congress yet, but already faces bipartisan calls for an inquiry into his alleged campaign finance violations. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The campaign finance issues looming around Rep.-elect Ross Spano, R-Fla., have grown more troublesome in recent days with new questions about the role of a longtime friend in funding his campaigns and hiring his new Congressional staff.

Spano has not been sworn into Congress yet, but already faces bipartisan calls for inquiries by the Federal Election Commission and the House Ethics Committee into how he funded his campaign to replace in Rep. Dennis A. Ross in the 15th District.

Beto O’Rourke Gauging Potential Presidential Support from Obama, Gillum
Texas Democrat is weighing a 2020 bid for the party nomination

Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke is considering a 2020 presidential bid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Beto O'Rourke has continued to put out feelers for a possible run for the presidency in 2020 — most recently gauging interest from prominent black Democrats like former president Barack Obama and Florida governor candidate Andrew Gillum.

O'Rourke, the lame-duck Democratic congressman who narrowly lost to GOP Sen. Ted Cruz in the Texas Senate race in November, has spoken with Obama, Gillum, and Rev. Al Sharpton over the last few of weeks.

Frederica Wilson Still Waiting for Apology From John Kelly
Democratic congresswoman still contends chief of staff’s ‘empty barrel’ insult had racial connotations

Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., is still waiting for an apology from soon-to-be-former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With the news that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly will leave his post at the end of the year, his false statements about Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson have drawn renewed outrage. But Kelly has had no change of heart.

The 24th District Democrat confirmed to McClatchy Monday that she has heard “not a word” from Kelly — despite fresh calls for him to apologize from Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.

This Bipartisan Holiday Party Was for the Dogs
Florida representatives dress up Congress’ furry friends for their second annual howliday bash

From left, Reps. Susan Wild, D-Pa., Mini Poodle, Zoey, Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., and Welsh Terrier, Riggins, Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., and Mini Goldendoodle, Carmela, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., and D.C. pound dog, Maya, pose for a picture at the Bipawtisan Howliday in Rayburn Building on December 10, 2018. Riggins is owned by Curbelo's communications director Joanna Rodriguez. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

For nearly 15 minutes, Riggins, a 3 1/2-year-old Welsh terrier, sat alone in his elf costume, surrounded by fawning Hill staffers. The House’s second annual Bipawtisan Howliday celebration was off to a slow start.

When another canine finally joined the party, Riggins couldn’t contain his excitement. The male dog mounted Carmela, a 1-year-old mini goldendoodle, and the human attendees erupted in laughter as the owners broke up the display of affection.

Rick Scott Spent Record $64 Million of His Own Money in Florida Senate Race
GOP senator-elect made fortune as health care executive

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), spent nearly $65 million of his own money on his Senate campaign. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Florida Gov. Rick Scott will become the most junior member of the Senate next month after the 116th Congress is sworn in after defeating three-term Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. But that victory won without a steep price tag.

Scott spent a record $63.6 million of his own money on his campaign to oust Nelson and turn the Florida Senate delegation all red, according to his most recent Federal Elections Commission report.

9 New Members Who Previously Served at the Pleasure of a President
Newcomers to 116th Congress bring bevy of executive branch experience

There’s a group of new members of the 116th Congress who have served former presidents, including Reps.-elect Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., and Colin Allred, D-Texas. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A group of newcomers to Capitol Hill is bringing experience from the executive branch to the 116th Congress. 

They draw from a cast of former White House or Cabinet staffers and high-ranking officials from the administrations of the past two Democratic presidents. These new members, who once had to defend their administration’s policies, now find themselves on the other side of the table, promising oversight of the executive branch. 

At the Races: Newsflash! GOP Women Call Their own Shots
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

AT-THE-RACES-LOGO-01

Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman