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Corporate PACs in Spotlight as Candidates Reject Their Money
So far, 85 primary winners are rejecting money from corporations

The candidates pledging not to accept corporate PAC money have mostly been Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Corporate PACs have been thrust into the political spotlight as more Democratic candidates make rejecting corporate money a central theme of their campaigns. Seven of those congressional hopefuls won their primaries Tuesday.

Those results bring the total number of primary winners who are not accepting corporate PAC contributions to 85, according to the group End Citizens United, which supports an overhaul of the campaign finance system. These candidates are instead relying on donations from individuals and other groups.

6 Times Things Got Physical on the Campaign Trail
Davis campaign aide latest to cross the line

Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte posted a public apology to a reporter and pledged to donate $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists after he admitted to body-slamming him the night before a 2017 House special election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Levi Lovell, campaign field director for Illinois Republican Rep. Rodney Davis, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault after chasing the congressman’s Democratic opponent, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, around a local bar.

Amid all the heat and pressure of an election year, political disputes hardly ever get physical — until they do.

Hagedorn Wins GOP Nomination for Toss-Up Minnesota Race
This is Hagedorn’s fourth bid for 1st District and third as the nominee

Jim Hagedorn won the GOP nomination for Minnesota’s 1st District on Tuesday and will face Democrat Dan Feehan in November. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Jim Hagedorn has won the Republican nomination for Minnesota’s 1st District, hoping the third time is the charm to win the highly competitive seat. 

With 88 percent of precincts reporting, Hagedorn led state Sen. Carla Nelson 60 percent to 33 percent, when The Associated Press called the race. 

Leah Vukmir Wins Wisconsin GOP Primary to Take On Tammy Baldwin
Baldwin is one of 10 Senate Democrats running in a state Trump won in 2016

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., will face Republican state Sen. Leah Vukmir in her bid for a second term in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

State Sen. Leah Vukmir won Tuesday’s Republican Senate primary in Wisconsin, notching a victory for the state GOP. Vukmir’s win sets up another opportunity for Wisconsin Republicans to take down one of the last remaining high-profile Democrats in the state.

Vukmir led Marine veteran and businessman Kevin Nicholson 54 percent to 40 percent, when The Associated Press called the race with 56 percent of precincts reporting. She will now take on vulnerable incumbent Tammy Baldwin, who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.

In Minnesota’s 1st District, a Test Between New and Old GOP Candidates
Jim Hagedorn is running for the nomination for the fourth time

Jim Hagedorn, who’s been endorsed by the Minnesota GOP, is facing a primary in the 1st District on Tuesday. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Jim Hagedorn has done this before — three times, in fact.

The Minnesota Republican has never won any of those congressional races in the 1st District, but he’s trying again this year. Hagedorn came within a point of defeating Democratic-Farmer-Labor Rep. Tim Walz in 2016, and now that it’s an open seat — Walz is running for governor — Hagedorn sees another opening.

Amid Chris Collins Scandal, Pelosi Vows Ethics Overhaul Under Democratic Majority
Democrats also want to rewrite campaign finance laws

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says a Democratic majority would overhaul ethics and campaign finance laws. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Pointing to New York Rep. Chris Collins’s indictment as an example of corruption in the Republican-controlled Congress, House Minority Nancy Pelosi vowed Thursday that if Democrats retake the House they will overhaul ethics and campaign finance laws. 

Collins was indicated on charges of securities fraud, which Pelosi said “shows that Republicans have turned the already swampy GOP Congress into a cesspool of self-enrichment, secret money and special interests.”

Democratic Candidates Walk Political Tightrope on Drug Prices
Pharmaceutical industry employs many potential voters in some districts

Making the cost of prescription drugs an issue may be complicated for Democrats running in areas that are big pharmaceutical hubs. (John Moore/Getty Images file photo)

Democrats working to regain control in Congress this fall are making the cost of prescription drugs a centerpiece of the party’s message. The path to a majority, however, runs through some places where the pharmaceutical industry employs a lot of potential voters.

Southern California, New Jersey, and the Philadelphia suburbs are among the areas where Democrats have the strongest chances to turn red House seats blue. Yet since these states are some of the biggest pharmaceutical hubs in the United States — the industry estimates it directly employs 44,000 people in Pennsylvania, 65,000 people in New Jersey, and 131,000 in California — candidates there tread a little more cautiously on the issue of drug prices.

Republicans Dismiss 2012 Repeat Ahead of Wisconsin Senate Primary
State Sen. Leah Vukmir faces Kevin Nicholson for GOP nomination

Republicans are battling to take on Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A costly, divisive primary race with Democrat Tammy Baldwin waiting on the other side may be causing unwanted flashbacks for Republicans in Wisconsin. But so far, they’re not worried. 

State Sen. Leah Vukmir and Kevin Nicholson, a businessman and Marine veteran, will face off in next Tuesday’s GOP primary for the chance to take on the freshman senator. Republicans had hoped to avoid a messy primary similar to 2012, when their nominee emerged battered and broke and ended up losing to Baldwin.

Congress Isn’t Perfect but the Politicians Aren’t Always to Blame
Fixing the Hill is easier said than done

Politicians aren’t always to blame for the dysfunction in Congress and the perceived solutions are more complicated than many realize, Gonzales writes. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After 30 years of covering Congress, David Hawkings has a good idea of how Capitol Hill works — or more important, how it doesn’t — and he laid out five key reasons why Congress is broken.

But whether it’s money, maps, media, mingling or masochism, there are no easy solutions. Nor are they entirely the responsibility of the politicians to address.

Washington Could Be Key Battleground for Women in Both Parties
Female Democrats could emerge as challengers in all four GOP-held House seats

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers is a Democratic target this year in Washington’s 5th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With a surge of female House candidates across the country, Washington is emerging as a key battleground for women on both sides of the aisle. 

All four of the state’s Republican-held districts could have female Democratic challengers following next week’s primary. And two of those Republican targets are women.