open-seat

Internal Poll: Republican Harkey Has Slight Lead Over Levin in Race for Issa’s Seat
California’s 49th District is a top target for Democrats in November

Republican Diane Harkey will face Democrat Mike Levin in November in California’s 49th District. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo).

The open-seat race in California’s 49th District is already close, according to an internal poll from Republican Diane Harkey’s campaign, obtained by Roll Call.

Harkey, an elected member of the California State Board of Equalization that oversees taxation, led Democratic environmental lawyer Mike Levin, 46 percent to 43 percent. Nine percent of respondents were undecided. 

Democrats Keep Raking In the Cash After Costly Primaries
Challengers in key races have on average twice as much money in the bank

California Democrat Katie Porter reported a significant boost in her cash on hand since the pre-primary reporting period in her race against GOP Rep. Mimi Walters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The surge in Democratic candidates running for the House raised a critical question at the start of the cycle: Would crowded and costly primaries weaken the eventual nominees by draining their campaign cash? So far the answer appears to be “no.”

On average, Democrats in competitive races who faced expensive primaries have more than doubled their cash on hand from shortly before their primary elections to the end of the most recent fundraising quarter, campaign finance reports show. 

Democratic House Challengers Raise More Than Senate Candidates
New Jersey’s Mikie Sherrill raised $1.9 million in second quarter

New Jersey Democrat Mikie Sherrill raised nearly $1.9 million in the second quarter in her quest to flip a longtime GOP House seat. (Courtesy Mikie Sherrill for U.S. Congress)

It used to be normal for fundraising by Senate candidates to dwarf that of House candidates. Not this year.

New Jersey’s Mikie Sherrill, a Democrat trying to flip a longtime Republican stronghold, raised nearly $1.9 million during the second quarter of the year.

Republican Main Street Partnership Backs Four More Candidates
Three of the four endorsees are women

Republican Main Street Partnership is endorsing West Virginia state Del. Carol Miller in the 3rd District after originally backing one of her opponents in the primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Republican PAC that supports lawmakers from the “governing wing of the GOP” is endorsing four more candidates Monday.

The Republican Main Street Partnership’s endorsement comes with a $5,000 PAC check. The group made its first 10 nonincumbent endorsements in April. Three of those endorsees have since lost their primaries. 

Only Woman in Crowded Tennessee GOP Primary Touts Her Combat Experience
Ashley Nickloes, candidate in 2nd District, released her first ad Thursday

Tennessee Air National Guard Lt. Col. Ashley Nickloes, a Republican running for Tennessee’s 2nd District, is touting her experience as a combat aviator. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats aren’t the only ones with female veterans who are dipping their toes into politics for the first time year by deciding to run for Congress. 

Republican Ashley Nickloes, a lieutenant colonel in the Tennessee Air National Guard, is highlighting her combat aviation experience in her first TV ad that debuted on broadcast Thursday in the Knoxville media market. The starting buy is 550 gross ratings points.

At the Races: The Unlikely Team Behind a 2018 Star
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

New Democrats’ PAC Endorses 13 More Candidates
NewDemPAC is now backing 27 hopefuls, most running for GOP-held seats

NewDemPAC is endorsing Mel Hall, who’s running in Indiana’s 2nd District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The political arm of the moderate New Democrat Coalition is endorsing 13 more candidates on Thursday, bringing to 27 the PAC’s current endorsements for the 2018 cycle.

The endorsed candidates, whose names were obtained first by Roll Call, are all running in GOP-held seats. Each candidate received a maximum contribution of $5,000 for their primary, with the endorsement now signaling additional support to come for the general election. 

NRCC Names 18 Likely New Members to Young Guns ‘Vanguards’ Program
All except one are running in races rated Solid Republican

Indiana state Rep. Jim Baird, the GOP nominee in the 4th District, has been named to the NRCC’s Young Guns “Vanguards” program. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee on Tuesday named the first members of its Young Guns “Vanguards” program for GOP candidates likely heading to Congress next year. 

Young Guns is the committee’s program to boost House candidates in competitive general election races. But there’s also a Vanguards program for those Republicans in mostly open-seat races who are favored to win in November. The NRCC first launched the program in 2010 to connect these likely new House members to the committee and GOP lawmakers.

The Unlikely Campaign Behind Richard Ojeda’s Rise in West Virginia
Democrat’s campaign manager was still driving a tractor trailer three months ago

West Virginia Democrat Richard Ojeda, left, stands outside his campaign headquarters Thursday in Logan, W.Va., alongside his communications director Madalin Sammons, center, and campaign volunteer Heather Ritter. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

LOGAN, W.Va. — Richard Ojeda has become one of the stars of the 2018 midterms.

First, the national media latched on to this Trump-voting Democrat, and now the national party is behind him too. A recent independent poll found him ahead here in southern West Virginia’s coal-mining 3rd District that President Donald Trump carried by nearly 50 points in 2016.

Republicans Hold On to Farenthold Seat in Texas Special Election
Michael Cloud avoids 27th District runoff by comfortably clearing 50 percent of the vote

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, resigned in April amid a sexual harassment scandal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Michael Cloud won the special election Saturday to replace former Texas Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold, comfortably taking a majority of votes to avoid a runoff. 

Nine candidates from multiple parties competed for the 27th District on the same ballot Saturday. With 63 percent of precincts reporting, Cloud, the former chairman of the Victoria County GOP, led the field with 54 percent, when The Associated Press called the race. Democrat Eric Holguin, a former congressional aide, was in second place with 32 percent.