House and Senate primaries

Dogged By Sexual Misconduct Claims, Farenthold Slogs Ahead in Texas
Texas GOP delegation remains tight-lipped about support of congressman’s fifth-term bid

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, has carried on his re-election campaign amid a sexual misconduct controversy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Blake Farenthold signaled Monday he intends to slog ahead with his re-election campaign against the storm of sexual misconduct claims against him, the Texas Tribune reported.

The fourth-term Lone Star State Republican, 56, will face a crowded GOP primary to keep his 27th District seat, with five challengers declaring they’ll take him on.

Some GOP Senate Candidates Follow Party’s Evolution on Moore
Like McConnell, candidates moved away from calling on Ala. Republican to step aside

Indiana Rep. Todd Rokita said he’d be “comfortable” with Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore in the Senate. He previously suggested Moore should drop out. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While many sitting Republican senators — including Alabama’s own Richard C. Shelby — have continued to criticize Roy Moore, a few candidates who’d like to join them in the Senate have taken a more measured tone leading up to Tuesday’s election.

In several cases, that warmer embrace (or less forceful rejection) of the Alabama GOP Senate nominee is a change in tone from their previous public statements.

Democrats Making Push for Millennial Voters Ahead of 2018
Recent elections in Virginia give party a blueprint, operatives say

California Rep. Eric Swalwell says while young voters don’t like labels, they do see eye to eye with Democrats on issues such as women’s rights, gay rights, universal health care and protection for undocumented immigrants. (David A. Banks/CQ Roll Call)

Some people in Washington might scoff at millennials’ overpriced artisanal toasts or fancy-schmancy watches-that-are-actually-phones, but there’s at least one thing they want from them: their votes.

A year out from the 2018 midterms, young adults aged 18 to 29 who are likely to vote prefer Democratic control of Congress by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, 65 percent to 33 percent, a recent survey by Harvard’s Institute of Politics found.

Brady Aide Pleads Guilty in Payoff Scheme
Agreed to cooperate with federal investigation into Pennsylvania Democrat

An aide to Rep. Robert Brady pleaded guilty to a scheme to pay off a primary opponent to drop out of the race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A strategist for Rep. Robert A. Brady of Pennsylvania admitted his role in covering up a $90,000 payment to a Democratic primary opponent to drop out of the race. 

Donald “D.A.” Jones pleaded guilty to charges of lying to federal agents and agreed to cooperate in the investigation, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. 

Arpaio ‘Seriously, Seriously, Seriously’ Considering Run for Flake’s Seat
Former sheriff and immigration lightning rod has teased runs for the Senate in the past

Former Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio turned down the notion of running for Arizona Republican Rep. Trent Franks’ seat after Franks announced his resignation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Disgraced former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says he has no interest in running for Rep. Trent Franks’ seat but is considering running for Arizona’s open Senate seat.

“I am seriously, seriously, seriously considering running for the U.S. Senate,” he told the Daily Beast. “Not the congressman’s seat.”

Arizona State Sen. Kimberly Yee Expresses Interest in Franks’ Seat
Staunchly conservative Republican would be first Chinese-American Republican woman in House

Kimberly Yee has made her mark on a host of issues including abortion, education and government mismanagement. (Kimberly Yee for Arizona 2016)

Arizona state Sen. Kimberly Yee expressed interest in replacing Republican Rep. Trent Franks after he announced his resignation on Thursday.

Franks, who represents Arizona’s 8th District, announced he would resign after amid a House Ethics Committee Investigation about discussions he had with two female staffers about surrogacy.

Arizona’s Trent Franks to Resign Jan. 31
GOP lawmaker said to have made female staffers uncomfortable with talk of surrogacy

Arizona Rep. Trent Franks was first elected in 2002. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 7:24 pm | Arizona Republican Trent Franks said Thursday he is resigning from Congress effective Jan. 31 amid an Ethics Committee investigation into discussions he had with two female staffers about surrogacy. 

In a lengthy statement Thursday evening, Franks said he and his wife struggled with fertility.

Ratings Update: Tennessee Senate Remains Solid R for Now
Democrats may still have uphill battle, even with Bredesen

Former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen. (Courtesy the American Academy of Arts and Sciences)

Democrats made a big splash this week with the entry of former Gov. Phil Bredesen into the Tennessee Senate race, but the party still has an uphill battle in a state President Donald Trump won convincingly, and it’s not even clear Bredesen gives Democrats the best chance of winning.

On the surface, having a former two-term governor running for an open seat (GOP Sen. Bob Corker is not running for re-election) looks like a great takeover opportunity for Democrats, but there are some signs that the race should still be considered a long shot.

What Happens to Franken’s Seat If He Resigns?
Governor would appoint placeholder, followed by special election in November 2018

There could be two Senate elections next fall in Minnesota instead of just one. If Sen. Al Franken steps down, there would be a special election for the remainder of his term. Senior Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s seat is also up next year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken isn’t up for re-election until 2020. But if he announces his resignation Thursday, the North Star State will be holding two Senate elections next fall.

Ahead of next November, though, not much would shift in the Senate. If Democratic-Farmer-Labor Gov. Mark Dayton appoints another Democrat immediately, the balance of power in the Senate would remain unchanged.

Bannon a ‘Specialist’ in Picking Loser Senate Candidates, McConnell Says
Majority Leader said he expects Hatch decision soon

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does not anticipate a wave of Senate GOP retirements. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 10:58 a.m. | Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he did not expect to lose any campaigns in 2018 because of fringe candidates who might have the backing of Breitbart’s Steve Bannon.

“We’re not going to lose any nominations to the kind of candidates that guy you were talking about endorsed,” McConnell said. “What he’s a specialist in is nominating people who lose.”