At the Races

Special Election Kicks Off for Tim Murphy’s Seat
Murphy resigned his seat amid a sex scandal

Democrat Conor Lamb, left, and Republican Rick Saccone are competing for Pennsylvania’s open 18th District seat. (Courtesy Conor Lamb/Rick Saccone/Facebook)

The special election for former Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy’s seat is kicking into gear now that each party has its candidate. Democrat Conor Lamb, a former Marine and federal prosecutor, will face Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone, a former Air Force special agent, in the March 13 election.

Murphy, a Republican, resigned his 18th District seat in the wake of a scandal that included an extramarital affair.

DCCC Launches Digital Ads Over GOP Tax Vote
Seven Republicans who voted against the tax plan are also targeted

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock speaks with reporters as she leaves the Capitol after voting for the GOP’s tax plan Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Seizing on the House’s passage of the Republican tax plan Thursday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is launching digital ads in more than 40 GOP-held districts, including against Republicans who voted against the plan.

The ads, provided first to Roll Call, will run on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The committee is also rolling out a website, TaxCutsandJobsAct.com, that allows voters to submit their own video testimonials about the tax plan. The site will be promoted in Google search ads.

Gillibrand PAC Endorses Lipinski Primary Challenger in Illinois
Marie Newman is challenging the anti-abortion Democrat

Marie Newman is challenging Rep. Daniel Lipinski in the Democratic primary in Illinois’ 3rd District. (Courtesy Marie Newman/Twitter)

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s political action committee has endorsed a primary challenger to an incumbent Democratic congressman. 

Off the Sidelines PAC backed marketing consultant Marie Newman, who’s running against Rep. Daniel Lipinski in Illinois’ 3rd District.

Michigan’s Fred Upton Not Running for Senate
16-term Republican will seek re-election to 6th District

Michigan Rep. Fred Upton will seek re-election instead of running for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Michigan Rep. Fred Upton announced Friday he will run for re-election instead of trying to challenge Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow in 2018.

“I will not be a candidate for the U.S. Senate. There was a path, but today we are choosing not to follow it,” the Republican lawmaker said in a statement. The former chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee had been publicly weighing a Senate bid for much of this year. 

NRCC Targets Democrats on Tax Overhaul in New Digital Ads
Republicans see taxes as a potent campaign issue

Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolanis one of the Democrats targeted in the latest NRCC ads. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee is launching new digital ads targeting Democrats who voted against the tax overhaul that passed the House on Thursday. No members of the minority party voted for the legislation.

The 15-second videos, provided first to Roll Call, will start running on Facebook on Friday and target 25 House Democrats. The NRCC ad buy was described as “five figures” and the ads will run online for a week.

Alabama GOP Officially Stands by Roy Moore
State party says voters will be ‘the ultimate jury’

GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore is facing allegations of sexual misconduct. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Alabama Republican Party is officially standing by its Senate nominee Roy Moore, closing the door on one of the few options to block him from being elected. 

On Wednesday evening, the 21-member state GOP steering committee convened to discuss the Senate race, which has been rocked by allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore. Nine women have accused the former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice over the past week of sexual advances, and three have accused him of sexual assault. Most of the women were teenagers at the time and Moore was in his 30s.

Meet the Republicans Who Voted ‘No’ on the Tax Bill
13 GOP members, most from high-tax states, voted against leadership

California Rep. Darrell Issa, who voted “no” on the House GOP tax bill, finds himself in a Toss-up re-election race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republican leaders cheered passage of their sweeping tax overhaul Thursday, but 13 GOP lawmakers bucked their party and voted against the bill. 

All but one of them hailed from New York, New Jersey and California — each a high-tax state. These lawmakers largely opposed the legislation because it curtailed the state and local tax deduction, also known as SALT. The measure caps the deduction for property taxes at $10,000 while eliminating the tax break for state and local income or sales taxes. 

Why the RNC Has Been Slower than NRSC to Respond to Moore
The NRSC was quick to cut ties; it took the RNC four days longer

The RNC didn’t cut ties with Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, seen here during a visit to the Capitol last month, until five days after The Washington Post published allegations against him. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Republican National Committee are theoretically supposed to be working toward a shared goal of growing the party. 

But the committees’ differently timed responses to allegations against Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore illustrate just how much President Donald Trump has complicated traditional alliances within the Republican Party.

Ivey Quashes Idea of Strange Resigning Early to Block Roy Moore
Alabama governor says special election will go forward as planned Dec. 12

Alabama Sen. Luther Strange has said he does not intend to resign early. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has rejected the idea that Sen. Luther Strange could resign his Senate seat, sparking a new special election and potentially blocking Roy Moore from being elected to the Senate. 

National Republican leaders have called on Moore to step aside as the GOP nominee following allegations of sexual misconduct and assault. Politico reported Wednesday that one idea GOP leaders have contemplated is having Strange resign his seat so Ivey could set a new special election. Strange was appointed to the seat in February when Sen. Jeff Sessions resigned to become attorney general. 

Vulnerable Republicans in Political Catch-22 on Tax Overhaul
Democrats will attack them for the GOP tax plan even if they vote against it

New York Rep. Dan Donovan said the tax plan “kills the people who I represent.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It’s decision time on the ultimatum Republican leaders have been issuing to members all fall: Pass a tax overhaul or wave the House majority goodbye. 

But some of the party’s most vulnerable members, many from high-tax states in the Northeast, have come out against the House tax plan over its curtailing of deductions for state and local taxes and mortgage interest. Others are still undecided, afraid of how the measure will affect their districts. 

Alabama GOP Appears to Still Support Roy Moore
Party steering committee met for more than three hours Wednesday

Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore has been accused of sexual misconduct. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Alabama Republican Party will reportedly continue to support Roy Moore as allegations of sexual misconduct rock the Senate contest.

NBC News first reported that the state GOP would maintain its support for Moore, its Senate nominee and a former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, after the steering committee met Wednesday night. It is too late to remove his name from the ballot. But the party does have the option of formally withdrawing Moore as its nominee for the seat vacated by former Sen. Jeff Sessions, meaning votes for him in the Dec. 12 special election would not be counted. 

Super PAC Staffs Up for Morrisey in West Virginia GOP Primary
Morrisey led Jenkins in mid-October poll commissioned by 35th PAC

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is running for the GOP Senate nomination. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A super PAC supporting West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in the GOP Senate primary is staffing up for the 2018 contest. 

The hires, shared first with Roll Call, will be announced Wednesday. 

DCCC Names First 11 Candidates in ‘Red to Blue’ Program
2018 program will include more targeted and frequent additions

Angie Craig, back for a rematch against Rep. Jason Lewis in Minnesota’s 2nd District, is one of 11 candidates named to the DCCC’s Red to Blue program. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is naming 11 candidates Wednesday in the first round of its Red to Blue program, which highlights strong Democratic recruits.

The list of 11 candidates, obtained first by Roll Call, includes recruits running in 10 competitive Republican-held seats and in an open seat Democrats are hoping to keep blue.

RNC Cuts Ties With Roy Moore Campaign
Decision comes amidst sexual misconduct allegations

Roy Moore is accused of sexual misconduct. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Republican National Committee has pulled out of the joint fundraising committee it set up with Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore’s campaign following allegations of sexual misconduct. 

The decision, first reported by Politico, comes five days after the Washington Post reported that Moore had made inappropriate sexual advances towards four women when they were teenagers and Moore was in his thirties. Another woman came forward Monday and said Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16 years-old. 

Senate Republicans Weigh Next Steps for Roy Moore
Some said there isn’t much more they can do to pressure Moore to step aside

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Republicans are examining options to block Roy Moore from the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that Republicans were examining options to prevent Roy Moore from becoming a U.S. senator. But some GOP senators acknowledged there isn’t much more they can do with Moore refusing to step aside. 

GOP lawmakers have called on Moore to withdraw his nomination in the special election for the seat vacated by now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions following a bombshell Washington Post story. The Post reported that four women accused Moore of sexual advances while they were teenagers and he was in his thirties. Another woman said Monday that Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16 years old.