Cheri Bustos

The House Democrats Considering Leadership Bids — So Far
Most are keeping their options open for now

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley, center, lost his primary last month, which opens up his leadership slot in the next Congress. Vice Chairwoman Linda T. Sánchez and DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján are current members of leadership who could seek to move up. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ahead of a potential wave election, few House Democrats have declared their interest in running for specific leadership positions. But more than a dozen are keeping their options open as the caucus members consider how much change they want to see in their top ranks next Congress.

The number of potential Democratic leadership contenders has ballooned since Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley lost his primary in New York’s 14th District late last month. His leadership position is the only one guaranteed to be open for the next Congress, but his loss has also raised questions about who can usher in the next generation of Democratic leaders

House Democratic Leadership Talk Starts Moving Into the Open
Lee, Sánchez could face off again, this time for caucus chairmanship

California Rep. Barbara Lee is among the House Democrats looking to fill an upcoming leadership vacancy left by New York Rep. Joseph Crowley who lost his primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats have largely tried to avoid talking about potential leadership battles in an effort to focus on winning the majority in November, but an unexpected opening is making that more difficult.

When New York Rep. Joseph Crowley lost his primary June 26, it created a guaranteed opening for the caucus chairmanship in the next Congress. It’s the only leadership slot where the current officeholder won’t be able to run in intraparty elections in late November or early December.

Crowley Loss Creates Open Field for Next Generation of Democratic Leaders
Plenty of options, but who wants to — and who’s ready to — step up?

From left, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner and Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos attend a rally in Berryville, Va., in July 2017. The event featured a wide swath of Democratic leaders from both chambers. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

“Not so fast. Not so fast.”

That was House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s initial response — albeit a joking one — Wednesday morning to a reporter who pointed out that “at some point” the California Democrat and her top two lieutenants will no longer be in Congress.

Beat the Press: Lawmakers Look to Break Media Team’s Softball Streak
‘We get to get a little physical and we get to do something really good’ in charity game

The media team celebrates after its 2-1 victory over female lawmakers at the Congressional Women’s Softball Game last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After months of strong female voices challenging male-dominated institutions, Sen. Kristen Gillibrand is eager to direct that fervor onto the softball field.

“I think there’s a lot of energy on our team right now and there’s a lot of enthusiasm for women and women’s voices,” the New York Democrat said at practice for the Congressional Women’s Softball Game last week.

Ernst Only New Face on Congressional Softball Game Roster
Check out the members and media rosters ahead of the June 20 game

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pose with the members team before the 2017 Congressional Women’s Softball game. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The rosters for the 10th annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game on June 20 are out and include one new face on the members team: Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa.

The members team will battle it out against the women of the Washington press corps, known as the Bad News Babes, who are the reigning champs after winning, 2-1, last year.

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

Marine veteran Amy McGrath, here at a conference in Los Angeles in February, won the Democratic nomination in Kentucky’s 6th District. (Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for MAKERS file photo)

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. 

Democrats Pitch Voting Rights, Ethics Overhaul With Focus on Trump
Latest 2018 campaign theme reminiscent of 2006

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks at Monday afternoon’s “A Better Deal for Our Democracy” press conference hosted by House and Senate Democrats. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Congressional Democrats have returned to a playbook that might look familiar to anyone around Capitol Hill back in 2006.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer are seeking to overhaul a number of laws and root out government corruption.

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

Tim Armstrong, the chief executive officer of Oath and former U.S. Marine and congressional candidate in Kentucky Amy McGrath speak onstage during The 2018 MAKERS Conference at NeueHouse Hollywood on February 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for MAKERS)

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

Democratic strategist Ali Lapp and and Republican strategist Liesl Hickey chat before recording an episode of their podcast “House Talk with Ali and Liesl” at the EMILY’s List office in Washington, D.C. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

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.”

Women Reaching New Levels in Political Donations
Rise parallels similar surge in female candidates for public office

Demonstrators rally outside the Capitol on March 8, 2017, in support of “A Day Without a Woman” protests across the country to coincide with International Women’s Day. There has been a surge in female donors to federal candidates this election cycle. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photos)

An unprecedented rise in female donors to political campaigns, fueled largely by opposition to President Donald Trump, continues to grow in the run-up to the 2018 elections.

The number of women donating to federal candidates has surged by 182 percent when compared with this time in the 2016 cycle, according to new data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Much of the activity has been among Democratic donors, a trend that first began to appear after the Women’s March on Washington the day after Trump’s inauguration.