At the Races

Attacks Come to Life in First Indiana Senate Primary Debate
Messer, Rokita and Braun sparred in Americans for Prosperity debate

Three Indiana Republicans, including Rep. Todd Rokita, sparred in Tuesday’s debate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The first debate among Indiana’s three Republican Senate candidates began much as this primary race started — with some punches.

In his opening statement, Rep. Todd Rokita came out swinging. “Mike, welcome to the Republican Party. Luke, welcome back to Indiana,” he said.

Scott Walker Backs Patrick Morrisey in West Virginia Senate Primary
Morrisey is running for GOP nod to take on Manchin in November

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is picking up the endorsement of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday endorsed West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in his bid for the GOP nomination for Senate. 

“Attorney General Morrisey’s strong, conservative record is exactly what West Virginia needs in its next senator,” Walker said in a statement obtained first by Roll Call. 

Democrats See Blue in Pennsylvania With New Map
GOP legislators are expected to challenge new boundaries

Pennsylvania Rep. Ryan A. Costello’s district is now more Democratic, under the new congressional map. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Pennsylvania’s state Supreme Court released a new congressional map Monday, potentially bolstering Democratic opportunities in the Keystone State. 

Republicans are expected to launch a challenge to stop the new lines from taking effect. In the meantime, as candidates and incumbents digest the new boundaries, Democrats see better chances for victory in some of their top targets. 

DCCC Announces Six More ‘Red to Blue’ Candidates
The candidates will benefit from additional DCCC resources

Lauren Baer, a former Obama Administration foreign policy expert , is challenging first-term GOP Rep. Brian Mast in Florida’s 18th District. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is adding six more candidates to its Red to Blue program, which helps congressional hopefuls stand out to donors and gain access to committee resources.

The candidates must meet goals for fundraising and grassroots engagement to be added to the program. The candidates will also be able to benefit from additional DCCC staff resources, guidance, trainings and organizational support.

Florida’s Tom Rooney Not Running for Re-Election
The GOP congressman leaves behind Solid Republican seat

Florida Rep. Tom Rooney will not seek a sixth term. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Florida Rep. Tom Rooney announced Monday he will not seek a sixth term in November. 

“After what will be 10 years in the United States Congress representing the good people of Florida’s Heartland, it’s time to ‘hang ‘em up,’ as my old football coach used to say,” the GOP congressman said in a statement. 

Mitt Romney Announces Utah Senate Run
Onetime GOP presidential nominee will make a bid for Hatch’s open seat

Mitt Romney is running for Senate in Utah. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced Friday that he will run for Senate in Utah.

“I am running for United States Senate because in these trying times there is no better moment to bring Utah’s values to Washington,” Romney said in a statement. “Utah’s economic and political success is a model for our nation; I am ready to fight for this great state and advocate for solutions that improve the lives of Utahns.”

At the Races: A Not-So Golden Opportunity?
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

AT-THE-RACES-LOGO-01

This week … Democrats fretted about primaries, Republicans were rethinking running for Senate, and some candidates got personal in ads.

Cramer Running for Senate
The congressman had originally said he wouldn’t run

Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., is running for Senate in North Dakota. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer is reversing course and running for Senate in North Dakota after all, according to multiple media reports and an announcement notice posted on his campaign’s Facebook page.

The name of his campaign’s Facebook page, linked to on his congressional campaign website, is now titled, “Kevin Cramer for US Senate.” The page also links to a Friday event in Bismarck titled “Cramer for Senate Announcement & Rally.” A GOP strategist confirmd Cramer is running.

Nolan’s Former Campaign Manager Running for Minnesota’s 8th District
Joe Radinovich joins emerging DFL field

Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan is not running for re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan’s decision not to seek re-election has shaken up the race in one of the GOP’s top pickup opportunities, with the Democratic-Farmer-Labor field just beginning to take shape.

Former state Rep. Joe Radinovich, Nolan’s 2016 campaign manager, is getting into the race Thursday.

California Democrats Hope to Mitigate Primary Problem
Some lawmakers are concerned they have too many Democrats running

Sam Jammal is one of several Democrats running to replace Rep. Ed Royce in California’s 39th District. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Democrats know they have a primary problem. 

“Put it this way,” Rep. Raul Ruiz said. “It’s part of my prayers.”

DCCC Chairman Coy on Spending in PA Special Election
Luján said the committee is monitoring the race

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., leads the DCCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Congressional Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján remains noncommittal on whether Democrats will spend more resources ahead of the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th District.

Democrat Conor Lamb will face GOP state Rep. Rick Saccone in the March 13 election in a district that President Donald Trump won by nearly 20 points in 2016. The seat was vacated by GOP Rep. Tim Murphy, who resigned amid allegations the anti-abortion rights congressman encouraged his mistress to pursue an abortion.

Cramer Reverses Course, Reconsiders North Dakota Senate Run
GOP lawmaker expects to make a decision over the weekend

Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., is reconsidering running for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer is reconsidering running for Senate in North Dakota, despite previously saying he would run for re-election to the House. Cramer said he expects to make a final decision by the end of the weekend.

Cramer said Tuesday night that he had received encouragement from people in D.C. and in North Dakota to reconsider his decision not to run. He did not directly answer a question as to whether President Donald Trump was personally encouraging him to challenge Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.

Corker ‘Listening’ to Encouragement to Reconsider Senate Race
Blackburn campaign blasts ‘ego-driven, tired old men’

A spokesperson for Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker confirmed he’s been “encouraged” to rethink his decision to retire at the end of this term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A spokesperson for Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker confirmed Tuesday night the Foreign Relations Committee Chairman is “listening” to pleas to reconsider his decision not to seek a third term.

“In recent days, people across Tennessee have reached out to Senator Corker with concerns about the outcome of this election because they believe it could determine control of the Senate and the future of our agenda,” spokeswoman Micah Johnson said in a statement.

Democratic Candidates Open Up About Sexual Abuse in Campaign Videos
Sol Flores and Mary Barzee Flores have made their stories part of their campaign messages

Sol Flores, who is seeking the Democratic nomination in Illinois’ 4th District, talks in a campaign ad about being sexually assaulted as a child. (Screenshot of Sol Flores ad)

When Sol Flores sat down with her campaign team to talk through the messaging of her story, she envisioned the Chicago apartment where she grew up, specifically her bedroom. 

The Illinois Democrat told her team about the man who lived with her family when she was 11 years old, who would come into her bedroom at night — sometimes touching himself, sometimes touching her. 

Conservative Group Targets McCaskill, Donnelly on Tax Vote
Americans for Prosperity has pledged $20 million to support the tax law

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is the target of a new ad on the tax overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 10:41 a.m. | The conservative group Americans for Prosperity is launching a multi-million dollar ad campaign Monday aimed at two vulnerable Senate Democrats over their vote against a bill overhauling the tax code. 

Americans for Prosperity, which is backed by billionaires Charles and David Koch, is dedicating $4 million  for television and digital ads targeting Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Joe Donnelly of Indiana. Both senators are running for re-election in states that President Donald Trump won by wide margins in 2016.