Simone Pathé

After All That, Virginia’s Tom Garrett Seeking Re-Election
Freshman Republican addressed 2018 plans at end of rambling press conference

Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett laid to rest rumors he wasn’t seeking re-election in a bizarre press conference Thursday afternoon. 

“There’s no way in heck I’m not going to be here in 2019,” the Republican lawmaker told a handful of print and TV reporters (and his Facebook followers on a livestream) from a Capitol Hill row house.

Virginia’s Tom Garrett Says He’s Not Resigning
Freshman Republican plans to address reports about possible retirement

Asked about Wednesday reports that he would not be running for re-election, Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett would only say he has no plans to leave Congress before the end of the session.

“I’m not resigning. I can tell you that definitively,” Garrett told Roll Call.

Georgia Democratic Race to Take On Karen Handel Moves to Runoff
Lucy McBath, Kevin Abel are top two finishers, 7th District contest also heads for runoff

Two Democrats in Georgia’s 6th District will advance to a July runoff for the right to take on Republican Rep. Karen Handel in November. 

Since no candidate earned more than 50 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s Democratic primary in the suburban Atlanta district, the top-two finishers — activist Lucy McBath and businessman Kevin Abel — will face each other on July 24. 

Amy McGrath Wins Democratic Nod in Kentucky
Marine veteran will take on GOP Rep. Andy Barr in November

Marine veteran Amy McGrath won the Democratic nomination in Kentucky’s 6th District on Tuesday and will take on Republican Rep. Andy Barr in November. 

With 95 percent of precincts reporting, McGrath led Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, 49 percent to 41 percent, when The Associated Press called the race. 

4 Races to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries
 

Senior political reporter Simone Pathé talks about four of the races she’s watching closely in the primaries taking place Tuesday in Texas, Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky....
5 Things to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries
Outside of Texas runoffs, this week’s action is mostly on the Democratic side

Voters again head to the polls Tuesday, this time in Texas, Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky. 

Texas held its primaries in March, but more than a few of those contests advanced to runoffs since the winners did not surpass 50 percent of the vote. None has received more attention that the Democratic runoff in the 7th District. 

Meet the Democrat Who’s Not Giving Up on Rural, Working-Class Districts
Charlie Kelly is executive director of House Majority PAC

By 7 a.m. on a recent Monday morning, Charlie Kelly was well into the weeds of America’s congressional districts and halfway through a cup of coffee.

Seated in a cramped conference room in downtown Washington, the executive director of House Majority PAC was meeting with each of his regional political desks. He rattled off candidates’ names — their strong suits, as well as their flaws — and dropped encyclopedic knowledge of each district.

Campaign Staff for Archie Parnell Quit After Candidate’s Past Abuse Revelations
South Carolina Democrat is running for the 5th District

South Carolina Democrat Archie Parnell physically abused his former wife in the 1970s, according to court documents unearthed by his campaign and obtained by The (Charleston) Post and Courier.

Parnell’s campaign manager and his finance manager have quit, according to a source close to the campaign.

Blankenship to Run as Third-Party Senate Candidate in WV
Former convict says he’ll challenge state’s ‘sore loser’ law

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, who finished third in the West Virginia Republican Senate primary, plans to run for West Virginia Senate as a third-party candidate.

Blankenship announced on Monday he’d run as the Constitution Party nominee, Politico reported. He said he’s willing to challenge the state’s “sore loser” law that would prohibit him from running in the general election since he already lost a major party’s nomination.  

Who’s Going to Challenge Karen Handel Without Jon Ossoff?
Georgia’s 6th District primary is on Tuesday

Georgia’s 6th District was in the news nonstop this time last year when the special election to fill former Republican Rep. Tom Price’s seat became the most expensive House race in history.

GOP nominee Karen Handel, the former Georgia secretary of state, ended up defeating big-spending Democrat Jon Ossoff by 4 points (with plenty of help from outside Republican groups). She is now running for her first full term.

A Clash of Experiences in Kentucky’s 6th District Democratic Primary
McGrath and Gray tout their backgrounds ahead of Tuesday primary

Even a casual observer of politics has probably heard of Amy McGrath. 

The retired Marine fighter pilot made a splash last year with an introductory video about the letters she wrote to members of Congress asking them to change the law so that women could fly in combat.

Political Foes Turned Podcasting Friends
Democrat Ali Lapp and Republican Liesl Hickey bring House race expertise to podcast

Ali Lapp spent several hundred thousand dollars trying to defeat Rep. Mark S. Kirk in 2006. The Illinois Republican, whose office was led by Chief of Staff Liesl Hickey, held on.

Fast forward 10 years, and the two women met for the first time at Tonic, a bar in Washington’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood, for what they jokingly call their “blind date.”

At the Races: 6 Months to Go
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. 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

Six Months Out: The 10 Most Vulnerable Senators in 2018
Nevada Republican Dean Heller remains in top spot

Senate Democrats are still defending 10 states that President Donald Trump won in 2016, but six months out from Election Day, the most vulnerable senator remains a Republican.

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller no longer faces a primary threat, but he’s the only Republican up for re-election in a state Hillary Clinton won, and in this national environment that’s a tricky place to be.

Six Months Out: The 10 Most Vulnerable House Incumbents
Republicans fill out the list

With the House GOP on defense in a difficult national environment, the 10 most vulnerable incumbents six months out from Election Day are all Republicans.

Republicans have pickup opportunities in November, but this is a ranking of the incumbents most likely to lose, not of seats most likely to flip — so there are no open seats on the list.

Iowa’s Blum Now Most Vulnerable House Member, Nelson Moves Up List for Senate
 

Senior political reporter Simone Pathé breaks down the changes in Roll Call’s list of the 10 most vulnerable lawmakers in each chamber. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., moved up on the list after Florida Governor Rick Scott entered the race, and Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa., moved up after Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., announced he would not be seeking re-election....
Podcast: Joe Manchin and the Mountain State Midterm Melee
Political Theater, Episode 18

Show Notes: ...
Balderson and O’Connor to Face Off in Ohio Special Election for Tiberi Seat
Establishment GOP candidates win in 12th and 16th districts

Ohio Republican state Sen. Troy Balderson and Democrat Danny O’Connor, the Franklin County recorder, will face off in the August special election to fill former GOP Rep. Pat Tiberi’s seat in the 12th District.

Balderson won the GOP primary with 29 percent of the vote, finishing narrowly ahead of Liberty Township Trustee Melanie Leneghan, who had 28 percent. The fight between them had become a traditional Republican proxy war.

West Virginia House Matchups Set for November
Democrats are targeting 2nd and 3rd Districts

West Virginia state Del. Carol Miller won the Republican nomination for the open 3rd District on Tuesday night.

She took 24 percent of the vote in a seven-way GOP field and will face Democratic state Sen. Richard Ojeda in November.  Her nearest challenger, fellow state Del. Rupie Phillips, had 20 percent. 

North Carolina’s Robert Pittenger Is First Incumbent to Lose in 2018
GOP congressman fell to repeat primary challenger Mark Harris

North Carolina Rep. Robert Pittenger is the first incumbent of 2018 to lose, falling to former pastor Mark Harris in Tuesday’s 9th District Republican primary.

Harris defeated Pittenger 48.5 percent to 46 percent, reversing the result from two years ago when the latter won by just 134 votes in a recount.