pacs

What to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries
GOP picks nominee in top Senate race; 2 Toss-up House races will be set

Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith faces a DFL primary challenge Tuesday from five other candidates, including former Republican Richard Painter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

From New England to the upper Midwest, four states are hosting primaries Tuesday.

The most interesting contests are in Wisconsin and Minnesota, which both hold primaries for Senate and for several competitive House seats. And in two safe Democratic districts — one in Minnesota and one in Connecticut — primaries will likely pick new members of Congress.

California Wildfires Headed to Capitol Hill
Funding fire suppression a looming issue

A firefighting helicopter drops water as the Holy Fire burns near homes on Friday in Lake Elsinore, California. Wildfires continue to burn in the state. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Lawmakers thought they fixed the U.S. Forest Service’s “fire borrowing” problem earlier this year. But the breadth and intensity of fires scorching the West this year is likely to prompt the agency to raid other accounts one last time before budgetary changes go into effect in fiscal 2020.

The issue could come to a head once again on Capitol Hill in the coming weeks and months, as lawmakers and the administration weigh the need for another infusion of taxpayer dollars ahead of the midterm elections — and California’s devastating fires have already become a campaign issue.

Minnesota DFL Primary Will Shape Toss-up House Race
Five candidates face off in 8th District for right to take on top GOP recruit

Former Minnesota state Rep. Joe Radinovich is running for the DFL nomination in the 8th District. (Courtesy Joe Radinovich for Congress)

Looking at a map of potential Democratic takeover opportunities, Republicans’ see their bright spot in Minnesota’s 8th District. Just how bright it is, however, could largely depend on the outcome of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party primary on Tuesday.

There are few House districts that have attracted more outside spending during the previous two cycles than Minnesota’s 8th, where DFL Rep. Rick Nolan has twice defeated businessman Stewart Mills — the last time by just half a point while President Donald Trump was carrying the seat by 16 points. 

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.

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.

Republican Balderson Leads in Too-Close-To-Call Ohio Special Election
One GOP super PAC spent more than $3.3 million to hold longtime GOP seat

Ohio state Rep. Troy Balderson, seen here at the Licking County Hartford Fair on Monday, is leading in the special election in Ohio’s 12th District. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Republican Troy Balderson was narrowly ahead in the special election in Ohio’s 12th District on Tuesday night, but even with all precincts reporting, the race remained too close to call. 

Balderson led Democrat Danny O’Connor 50 percent to 49 percent, according to The Associated Press, which hadn’t called the race as of 11:50 p.m.

Trump Tries to Save Reliable GOP House Seat in Ohio
Republican Troy Balderson is in tight race against Democrat Danny O’Connor

President Donald Trump, here in South Carolina in June, was in Ohio Saturday to stump for GOP House candidate Troy Balderson in his tight race. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images file photo)

Updated 20:29 p.m. | President Donald Trump dove headfirst into a House special election Saturday evening, aiming to give Ohio Republican Troy Balderson a final push three days before Election Day.

The race in the suddenly competitive 12th District between the state lawmaker and Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor, polls say, is now essentially tied. Trump and Republican leaders are eager to keep the seat in GOP hands after the retirement of former Republican Rep. Pat Tiberi earlier this year.

Foreign Influence Peddlers Show Face in Wake of Manafort Woes
Foreign Agent registrations have spiked since former Trump aide indictment

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse after a court hearing in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It will be months before we know the full extent of Paul Manafort’s impact on the culture of Washington influence peddling. 

But as Manafort’s trial continues this week, this much is already clear: the former Trump aide’s legal woes have made the world of D.C. lobbyists who work for foreign governments slightly less murky.

3 Things to Watch in Tennessee’s Thursday Primaries
Can a woman win a seven-way GOP primary in Knoxville area?

Ashley Nickloes is the only woman running in a seven-way GOP primary in Tennessee’s 2nd District. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Tennessee has the honor of voting on a Thursday — yes, a Thursday. While most of the attention will be on the competitive Republican gubernatorial primary, there’s plenty of action on the GOP side at the congressional level, too.

Three House Republicans from the Volunteer State aren’t seeking re-election. Diane Black is running for governor, Marsha Blackburn is running for Senate and John J. Duncan Jr. is retiring. That’s made for a few crowded primaries among ambitious conservatives looking to take advantage of open-seat races. Meanwhile, a freshman in the delegation is being outspent more than 2-to-1 by his primary challenger.

Ohio’s 12th District Race Tightens in Final Stretch of Special Election
Republican Balderson is still favored, but Democrat O’Connor is closing the gap

Democrat Danny O’Connor is waging a surprisingly competitive race in Ohio’s ancestrally Republican 12th District. (Jonathan Quilter/The Columbus Dispatch via AP file photo)

The first week of August isn’t normally for politicking.

But all eyes are on the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio, for the next few days ahead of the last special election before the November midterms.