open-seat

At the Races: Is Iowa over yet?

By Bridget Bowman, Simone Pathé and Stephanie Akin 

Welcome to At the Races! Each week we’ll bring you news and analysis from the CQ Roll Call team that will keep you informed about the 2020 election. Know someone who’d like to get this newsletter? They can subscribe here.

Cummings’ predecessor, Kweisi Mfume, wins Democratic nod in Maryland
Mfume last served in the House in 1996

Former Rep. Kweisi Mfume has won the Democratic nomination for Maryland’s 7th District, which has been vacant since Elijah E. Cummings died last fall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Former Rep. Kweisi Mfume, who last served in the House in 1996, has won the Democratic nomination for the seat vacated by his successor, the late Rep. Elijah E. Cummings. Defeating 23 Democrats — including Cummings’ widow — he’s heavily favored to be the next member of Congress from the solidly Democratic Baltimore-area seat.

With nearly all the precincts reporting, Mfume had 43 percent of the vote. Cummings’ widow, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, was in second place with 17 percent, followed by state Sen. Jill Carter with 16 percent.

Democrats fight for Elijah Cummings’ legacy — and a seat in Congress
Support from black women will be key in next Tuesday’s special election primary

Maryland Democrat Maya Rockeymoore Cummings greets worshippers Sunday before a service at the Zion Baptist Church in Baltimore. She is running in a crowded Democratic primary to succeed her late husband, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, in the 7th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BALTIMORE — Two dozen Democrats are running for the nomination in Maryland’s 7th District, but no one looms larger over the race than the late Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, whose death last fall prompted the upcoming special election.

What Cummings wanted in a successor — and what people think he would have wanted — have become big factors in this contest, where the two best-known candidates are his widow, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, and his friend and predecessor, Kweisi Mfume, who left Congress in 1996 to lead the NAACP.

At the Races: Trial vs. Trail

By Simone Pathé, Stephanie Akin and Bridget Bowman 

Welcome to At the Races! Each week we’ll bring you news and analysis from the CQ Roll Call team that will keep you informed about the 2020 election. Know someone who’d like to get this newsletter? They can subscribe here.

Democrats try to expand House battlefield by targeting six more districts
With legislation stalled, campaign memo recommends blaming GOP and McConnell

The DCCC has once again added Alaska Rep. Don Young, the longest-serving House Republican, to its target list. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is adding six new targets to its 2020 battlefield, hoping to flip more Republican-held seats while protecting its House majority.

Having made historic gains in the 2018 midterms, Democrats started the year on defense. Republicans need a net gain of 18 seats to retake the House, and their first targets will be the 30 districts President Donald Trump won in 2016 that are currently represented by Democrats.

Rating change: With Hunter gone, California race shifts to Solid Republican
Democrat took 48 percent against wounded incumbent in 2018

Former Rep. Darrell Issa is seeking a House comeback bid from the district recently vacated by his fellow California Republican Duncan Hunter. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Corrected 2:02 p.m. | California Republican Duncan Hunter finally left the House and took any Democratic chances of winning the 50th District with him.

Hunter won reelection in 2018 by 3 points in a Southern California seat that Republicans shouldn’t have to worry about defending, considering President Donald Trump carried it by 15 points in 2016. Hunter was under indictment at the time, which shows the strength any GOP candidate should have in the district.

California governor declines to call a special election to replace Duncan Hunter
Gavin Newsom’s decision means 50th District seat will remain vacant until 2021

California Rep. Duncan Hunter is resigning Jan. 13 and his seat will remain vacant until 2021. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday he would not call a special election to replace Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, who is resigning next week after pleading guilty to misusing campaign funds.

“The governor’s office received Rep. Hunter’s resignation letter. Based on the timing of the resignation, a special election will not be called,” Newsom spokeswoman Vicky Waters said.

Tennessee’s Phil Roe won’t run for reelection in 2020
Roe’s retirement will open up a district Trump carried by nearly 60 points in 2016

Rep. Phil Roe is not running for a seventh term in 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Tennessee Rep. Phil Roe, the ranking Republican on the House Veterans Affairs Committee, will not run for reelection in 2020, opening up a solidly Republican seat.

“As someone who practiced medicine for over 30 years, I said I would serve five or six terms because I never intended this job to be a second career,” Roe said in a statement Friday morning. “After prayerful consideration, I have decided to retire at the end of the 116th Congress.”

North Carolina’s Mark Meadows won’t run for reelection
Former Freedom Caucus chairman signals he may go work for Trump

North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, right, is not running for reelection in 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, one of President Donald Trump’s closest allies and most vocal defenders on Capitol Hill, is not running for reelection in 2020.

In an exclusive interview with CQ Roll Call, Meadows said he knows the timing of his retirement announcement — just after House Democrats voted to impeach Trump — will be spun a thousand different ways but that he’s been mulling this decision a long time. 

Walker not running for reelection in House, will consider 2022 Senate bid
North Carolina Republican faced troubles after redistricting, said Trump will support him for Senate

Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., takes the Senate subway in the Capitol on Oct. 16, 2019. Walker announced Monday that he will not seek reelection to the House next year but will consider a Senate bid in 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Walker announced Monday that he will not run for reelection in the House next year but is considering running for Senate in 2022.

“I believe the best way we can continue to serve the people of North Carolina is as a United States Senator,” Walker said in a statement. “As I have always sought to have serving people supersede our ambition, I will dedicate my full heart and efforts to finishing my term in Congress. After we have secured more conservative policy and Republican electoral victories for North Carolina, we will take a look at the 2022 Senate race and we are thankful to have President [Donald] Trump’s support.”