John Carney

Lobbying After Congress Declines in Popularity
Roll Call looks at what alums of the 114th Congress are up to

Clockwise from top left: former Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada, former Reps. Janice Hahn of California and Candice S. Miller of Michigan, former Sens. Barbara Boxer of California, Mark S. Kirk of Illinois, Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland and David Vitter of Louisiana, former Rep. Steve Israel of New York, former House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and former Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina. (Bill Clark and Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photos)

By KYLE STEWART and GRIFFIN CONNOLLY

Whether it was the ascension of Donald Trump, the endless vitriol of today’s politics or other factors, former members of the 114th Congress departed Washington in droves, a marked difference from previous Congresses when the most popular destinations for former members were D.C. lobbying firms.

Democrats Delight in Delaware Special Election
Party hopes turnout boost in legislative race marks beginning of a trend

Democrat Stephanie Hansen’s victory in Delaware last week kept the state Senate in Democratic hands. (Courtesy Hansen for Senate)

From the women’s marches to town hall protests, Democrats are starting to feel emboldened about their prospects in the midterms. A recent special election for the state Senate in Delaware only added to Democratic optimism, but the realities surrounding the race are more sobering.

Democrat Stephanie Hansen, a former New Castle County Council president, scored a 58 percent to 41 percent victory over Republican realtor John Marino last weekend. The win was described as “critical” by Daily Kos Elections, considering control of the Delaware state Senate was hanging in the balance. Democrats were specifically encouraged by a boost in turnout, particularly for a special election in February. 

Hail to the Chiefs
Incoming members look to different corners for chiefs of staff

Minh Ta, former chief of staff to Wisconsin Rep. Gwen Moore, is moving over to freshman Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester‘s office to serve as her chief. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With President-elect Donald Trump rounding out his Cabinet, new members of Congress have been going through a similar — although more predictable — process of filling out their congressional offices. 

The first and most important hires are almost always the chiefs of staff, who come from all walks of political life. Most commonly, new members tap their campaign managers or the chiefs of departing members. They also often retain members of their kitchen cabinets, or close personal advisers, as their chiefs. 

New Member: Democrat Lisa Blunt Rochester Wins Delaware House Seat
Becomes first woman and African-American to represent state in House

Lisa Blunt Rochester will be the first woman and African-American elected to Congress from Delaware. (Simone Pathe/CQ Roll Call)

Democrat Lisa Blunt Rochester will defeat Republican Hans Reigle in Delaware’s at-large congressional district, The Associated Press projects. 

Blunt Rochester led Reigle 56 percent to 40 percent with 66 percent of precincts reporting. 

Democratic Rep. John Carney Wins Delaware Governor’s Race

Rep. John Carney keeps the Delaware governorship in Democratic hands. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic Rep. John Carney has defeated Republican state Sen. Colin Bonini in Delaware’s gubernatorial race, The Associated Press projects.

Carney led Bonini 49.7 percent to 48.3 percent with 0.93 percent of precincts reporting. 

Candidate Spotlight: Lisa Blunt Rochester Poised for Victory in Delaware
 

Delaware is one of three U.S. states that has never sent a woman to Congress. This November, the First State’s Democratic candidate for its at-large House seat, Lisa Blunt Rochester, may finally change that, and also become the first African-American ever in its congressional delegation.

The House's Fresh Face Already Taking Shape
Partisan districts mean 29 open-seat winners are for sure, and they're a diverse lot

Those who would revive the moribund term limits movement as a prod against congressional dysfunction, Donald Trump newly among them, might be surprised at this statistic:

Come January, 11 percent of the members of the House of Representatives will be brand new — at an absolute minimum. They’ll be the 46 freshmen who have secured open seats, meaning their elections had nothing to do with anti-incumbent sentiment.

Even in Safe Seats, Candidates Hit the Campaign Trail
Lisa Blunt Rochester is heavily favored to win Delaware's at-large seat

Democrat Lisa Blunt Rochester, center, is poised to become the first woman and first African-American elected to Congress from Delaware. (Simone Pathé/CQ Roll Call)

DOVER, Del. — Lisa Blunt Rochester bounced from one side of the street to the other, pausing to shake hands on either side of the Delaware State University homecoming parade route this past Saturday. Jogging in her kitten heels, she’d double back before the parade had even moved on.

Marching ahead of her was Delaware Rep. John Carney, who’s running for governor and vacating the at-large congressional seat Blunt Rochester is expected to win in November. She’d be the first woman and first African-American Delaware sends to Congress — a historic moment a young parade marcher noted with a large sign asking, “Delaware, Are You Ready?”

Absences Pile Up for Some House Members Seeking Other Offices
But others manage perfect voting records in September

California Rep. Loretta Sanchez has missed the most votes so far in September among House members seeking another office. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Labor Day comes and goes, it can be hard for candidates to peel away from the campaign trail to get back to their day jobs — even if that involves voting as a member of Congress.

House members running for a different office, most of whom are seeking promotions to the Senate, have missed about 10 percent more roll call votes this month through Sept. 22 than their colleagues seeking re-election, according to a Roll Call analysis. The lawmakers include a few contenders in high-profile races who have missed a substantial number of votes this month.

Delaware on Path to Electing First Female and African-American
Lisa Blunt Rochester is likely next representative from at-large House seat

Lisa Blunt Rochester won the Delaware Democratic primary for the state's at-large House seat. (Courtesy Lisa Blunt Rochester's Facebook page)

Lisa Blunt Rochester is on the path to making history in Delaware.

The state's former secretary of Labor won the Democratic primary for Rep. John Carney's at-large House seat Tuesday night, and is likely to be the first woman and first African-American the First State sends to Congress.