Simone Pathé

Minnesota Governor to Announce Senate Appointment Wednesday
Senator Al Franken still hasn’t said when he’s resigning

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday will announce his selection to fill the seat of Sen. Al Franken, who has yet to set a date for his resignation. 

Dayton has been expected to appoint Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, his former chief of staff, to the seat. She’d have the option of running next fall to fill out the rest of Franken’s term, which is up in 2021. 

Some GOP Senate Candidates Follow Party’s Evolution on Moore
Like McConnell, candidates moved away from calling on Ala. Republican to step aside

While many sitting Republican senators — including Alabama’s own Richard C. Shelby — have continued to criticize Roy Moore, a few candidates who’d like to join them in the Senate have taken a more measured tone leading up to Tuesday’s election.

In several cases, that warmer embrace (or less forceful rejection) of the Alabama GOP Senate nominee is a change in tone from their previous public statements.

Supreme Court to Hear Maryland Gerrymandering Case
Republican voters are challenging 6th District lines drawn by Democrats

The Supreme Court late Friday agreed to hear a challenge to the lines of a Maryland congressional district that were drawn by Democrats.  

The court has already heard a partisan gerrymandering case from Wisconsin, where Republicans drew the state legislative map. 

Arizona Rep. Trent Franks Now Resigning Immediately
The congressman cited his wife's hospitalization

Updated 4:30 p.m. After announcing Thursday that he would resign from Congress as of January 2018, Arizona Rep. Trent Franks announced on Friday he’s resigning immediately, citing a family illness. 

“Last night, my wife was admitted to the hospital in Washington, D.C. due to an ongoing ailment. After discussing options with my family, we came to the conclusion that the best thing for our family now would be for me to tender my previous resignation effective today, December 8th, 2017,” Franks said in Friday afternoon statement. 

At Odds with NRSC, Montana’s Rosendale Stands by Roy Moore
Rosendale is running for GOP nod to take on Tester

Montana State Auditor Matt Rosendale said he supports Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore "until he’s found guilty of a crime" and praised his public service in a Thursday radio interview. 

Rosendale’s comments put him at odds with the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which cut off ties to Moore, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has called on Moore to step aside

Former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen Running for Senate in Tennessee
Democrats already have an Iraq War veteran in the open-seat race

Former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen is running for the open Senate seat in Tennessee. 

“I’m running for the Senate because I have the right kind of experience, and the actual track record that it will take to start working across party lines to fix the mess in Washington,” Bredesen said in announcement video Thursday morning. 

What Happens to Franken’s Seat If He Resigns?
Governor would appoint placeholder, followed by special election in November 2018

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken isn’t up for re-election until 2020. But if he announces his resignation Thursday, the North Star State will be holding two Senate elections next fall.

Ahead of next November, though, not much would shift in the Senate. If Democratic-Farmer-Labor Gov. Mark Dayton appoints another Democrat immediately, the balance of power in the Senate would remain unchanged.

North Carolina Philanthropist Challenging Ted Budd in 13th District
Democrat Kathy Manning had considered running for Senate in 2016

On paper at least, North Carolina’s 13th District seat is the most competitive in the state for Democrats next year. And now, the national party has a candidate they’re excited about in Kathy Manning, who announced her campaign Wednesday. 

Manning, a philanthropist and former immigration lawyer, is hoping to take on freshman Republican Ted Budd, a member of the House Freedom Caucus.

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray Challenging Andy Barr
Gray lost a 2016 Senate bid to Rand Paul

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray is announcing Tuesday he’s running for Congress in Kentucky’s 6th District against three-term GOP Rep. Andy Barr

Gray lost a 2016 Senate bid against GOP Sen. Rand Paul, winning 43 percent of the vote to Paul’s 57 percent. The Democrat would have been the first openly gay man to serve in the Senate — a fact that drew little interest from voters on the trail last year. Gray defeated Paul in the 6th District. 

Conyers Resignation: What the Race to Replace Him Could Look Like
Longest-serving member’s exit set to spark crowded Democratic primary

Updated 4:39 p.m. | Michigan Rep. John Conyers Jr. endorsed his son, John Conyers III, to replace him Tuesday after announcing he’s leaving Congress.

The longest-serving current member on Capitol Hill faced allegations of sexual harassment from several women. He’d admitted to reaching a monetary settlement with a former staffer who accused him of unwanted sexual advances.

TV Pundit Exploring Primary Bid Against Menendez in New Jersey
Michael Starr Hopkins has filed with FEC

Democratic political pundit and attorney Michael Starr Hopkins is exploring a primary bid against Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez in New Jersey. 

“I’m taking the first steps towards challenging Bob Menendez because I believe New Jersey deserves a fresh start, the chance to vote for someone who hasn’t been tainted by the culture of corruption in Trenton and Washington, someone who doesn’t owe any favors to the political establishment or powerful interests,” he wrote in an op-ed in The Hill on Monday afternoon. 

With Levin Leaving, Dan Kildee Seeks Ways and Means Spot
Third-term Michigan Democrat spent the weekend lobbying leadership

With longtime House Ways and Means member Sander M. Levin announcing Saturday he won’t run for re-election next year, his fellow Michigan Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee spent the weekend lobbying leadership for a spot on the influential panel.

Kildee sent letters to each member of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, which is responsible for making committee assignments after the midterms.

Democrat Sander M. Levin Not Running for 19th Term
Andy Levin likely to run for his father's seat

Michigan Rep. Sander M. Levin will not seek re-election in 2018, he announced Saturday.

“I have been incredibly honored to serve the people of Michigan in Congress and to work on so many issues important to our communities, our state, and our nation,” the 18-term Democrat said in a statement.

Nancy Pelosi Joins DCCC Chairman in Calling on Ruben Kihuen to Resign
Former finance director alleges Kihuen assaulted her during 2016 campaign

Updated Dec. 2, 12:15 a.m. | House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has joined in the calls for Nevada Rep. Ruben Kihuen to resign.

The statement from the California Democrat comes in response to allegations that Kihuen sexually harassed his finance director on the campaign trail last year.

At the Races: ‘I Want to Spend More Time With Family’
With holiday recesses, come congressional retirement announcements

Thanks for subscribing to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter. We want to hear what you think. Reply to this email with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman

This week … two more lawmakers announced their retirements, red-state Democrats took a stand on taxes, an Indiana super PAC jumped into the Alabama Senate race and liberals started attacking Democrat Dan Lipinski.

NARAL Goes on Air Against Democrat Dan Lipinski
Abortion rights group has endorsed Marie Newman in primary

NARAL Pro-Choice America is launching a five-figure TV buy attacking Illinois Democrat Dan Lipinski on Thursday.

The ad, shared first with Roll Call, hits the congressman for voting against the 2010 health care law, opposing abortion rights and background check and same-sex marriage legislation. It will run on cable TV in his 3rd District for a week.

New Democrats’ PAC Adds 10 More Challengers to Watch List
PAC now has 23 candidates on watch list for 2018

The political arm of the moderate New Democrat Coalition is adding 10 more challengers to its list of candidates to watch in 2018 — a continued effort to get involved in House races earlier this cycle. 

The latest additions by NewDemPAC, obtained first by Roll Call, come from across the country and include a second former member of the coalition. The PAC announced its first 13 candidates to watch earlier this year. 

Why Did an Indiana Super PAC Endorse Alabama’s Roy Moore?
Locally, Indiana First PAC endorsed Jim Banks, plans to play in open 4th and 6th Districts

Indiana First PAC earned attention this week for endorsing Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore.

But what is an Indiana-based super PAC — which has yet to file with the Federal Election Commission — doing in another state’s Senate race when it doesn’t even plan to play in its own?

Democrat Jeff Van Drew Running for LoBiondo Seat in New Jersey
GOP incumbent’s retirement makes 2nd District more competitive for Democrats

New Jersey State Sen. Jeff Van Drew announced Wednesday he’s running for the 2nd District, which will be an open seat in 2018. 

One of the most conservative Democrats in the state legislature, Van Drew has long been a top pick for the national party in this district, which voted for President Donald Trump by about 5 points, according to Daily Kos Elections.

An Inside Look at Congressional Retirements
 

More members of Congress are announcing their retirements this cycle. Political reporter Simone Pathé gives insight into the members’ decision-making process, and what happens after lawmakers make their announcements....