california

Ratings Changes: 15 Races Shift Toward Democrats, 1 Toward Republicans
Democratic chances have improved beyond Pennsylvania

From left, Democrats Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey and Stephanie Murphy of Florida are looking more secure in their re-elections this fall, while, from right, Republicans Ted Budd and Mimi Walters may be more vulnerable. (Bill Clark/Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photos)

Less than eight months before Election Day, the midterm landscape is still taking shape. It’s still not clear whether Democrats will have a good night (and potentially fall short of a majority) or a historic night in the House that puts them well over the top. But mounting evidence nationally and at the district level points to a Democratic advantage in a growing number of seats.

Democratic prospects improved in a handful of seats in Pennsylvania, thanks to a new, court-ordered map. And the party’s successes in state and local elections over the last 14 months demonstrate a surge in Democratic voters, particularly in blue areas, that could be problematic for Republican candidates in the fall. GOP incumbents in districts Hillary Clinton carried in 2016 might be particularly susceptible to increased Democratic enthusiasm.

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.”

With Hunter Floundering, Democrats Eye Flipping Red California Seat
Retired Navy SEAL, ex-Obama official competing in 50th District

Democrats think that with incumbent California Rep. Duncan Hunter under criminal investigation, they have a chance of flipping a solid GOP seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter facing legal troubles, Democrats running in California’s 50th District are increasingly hopeful about picking up a reliably GOP seat.

Hunter won his previous elections in the district by high double digits, beginning in 2008, when he succeeded his father, who served in Congress for almost three decades. President Donald Trump carried Hunter’s district by 15 points in 2016.

Issa Announces Who He Wants to Replace Him
Diane Harkey was one of the first of a slew of Republicans to get into the race

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., endorsed Diane Harkey, a member of the California Board of Equalization, to replace him as he retires from Congres. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa endorsed California Board of Equalization Member Diane Harkey to succeed him in California’s 49th District.

Issa endorsed Harkey in an interview Fox5 San Diego

Kristin Gaspar is the Latest Republican to Run for Issa’s Seat
Comes after a slew of Republicans jump in.

Kristin Gaspar said she met with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan last week in Washington before getting into the race for Rep. Darrell Issa’s seat. (Supervisor Kristin Gaspar via Facebook)

San Diego County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar is the latest Republican to jump into California’s 49th District race to replace departing Rep. Darrell Issa.

Gaspar’s decision comes a week after visiting Washington, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported, following Issa’s announcement that he would not seek re-election.

Royce Retirement Prompts Foreign Affairs Successor Questions
Potential successors, Smith and Rohrabacher, have histories of bucking party

With Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce, left, retiring at the end of this term, fellow California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is a potential successor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce announced his retirement Monday, joining a wave of fellow senior Republicans in the House and Senate declining to seek re-election in a tough political environment.

The 13-term California lawmaker had only one year remaining on his term as committee chairman, but his retirement announcement nonetheless casts a spotlight on his potential successors, two of whom have histories of bucking the party.

Northeastern Lawmakers Unite Against Trump Offshore Drilling Plan
Republicans and Democrats from region join Florida and West Coast colleagues blasting plan

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, penned a joint letter on Monday to resist the Trump administration’s offshore drilling plans off their state’s coast. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers in the Northeast united across party lines on Monday to hazard against President Donald Trump’s offshore drilling plan to re-open more than 90 percent of the U.S. coastline to oil and gas companies.

Roughly 94 percent of the coastline, including the entire Atlantic and Pacific coasts, remains off limits to oil and gas drilling. But Trump’s Interior Department revealed a five-year plan proposing 47 potential lease sales to energy companies through 2024, including two in the North Atlantic region from Maine to New Jersey.

Sherman Changes Office Policy After Staffer Accused of Harassment
New approach will have senior staffers ask junior ones of same gender if they’ve seen anything

Former aide Matt Dababneh, left, then a California state assemblyman, appears with Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., at a town hall meeting last February. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

California Rep. Brad Sherman said he would change his office’s policy on reporting sexual harassment following allegations against a former staffer.

Sherman’s former aide Matt Dababneh, who resigned from the California Assembly last month, faced multiple allegations of sexually harassing women while he worked in Sherman’s office.

Democratic Candidate Misspeaks When Asked About Potential Influence
California’s Hans Keirstead suggested he would sit on an influential committee and become a chairman

Democratic candidate Hans Keirstead said leadership wanted to give him an “early appointment” on Appropriations. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic candidate Hans Keirstead faced a familiar question at a local party meeting in November: What kind of committees could you sit on, and how would that benefit the district?

But his answer has caused some confusion.

Speier, ‘MeToo’ Spearhead in House, Shoots Down Governor Run Rumor
Former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown speculated about her plans in newspaper column

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., denied through a spokesman Wednesday she was weighing a possible bid for governor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Jackie Speier tamped down gossip from the New Year’s weekend that she was considering entering the California governor race with a statement Wednesday flatly denying any such claims.

“I still have a lot of work to do in Washington,” the Bay Area Democrat said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.