Robert J Dold

At the Races: The Wheels on McDaniel’s Bus Go ’Round and ’Round
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter. Sign up here. We want to hear what you think. Send us your questions, tips or candidate sightings at — Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman

This week … Chris McDaniel launched another Senate primary run in Mississippi, voters picked their candidates in Arizona, and underdog Democrats used the gun debate to make their mark.

Decision Time in the Desert: Former state Sen. Debbie Lesko won the GOP primary Tuesday in the special election to replace GOP Rep. Trent Franks (who resigned amid sexual harassment allegations). She’s in a strong position heading into the April 24 special election, since President Donald Trump carried the seat by 21 points. Lesko will face emergency room physician Hiral Tipirneni, whom Democrats see as a strong candidate. So Lesko might not want to get too confident. Nathan Gonzales shifted this race rating from Solid Republican to Likely Republican, because, well, special elections have been pretty crazy this cycle.

Bob Dold Starts New Group to Thank ‘Centrist’ GOP Incumbents
American Solutions Action Project is already running ads for Walters and Comstock

Former Illinois Rep. Robert J. Dold is behind a new nonprofit social welfare organization educating Americans about “center-right” Republicans and their work in Congress. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Illinois Rep. Robert J. Dold knows what it’s like to break from his party. 

That wasn’t enough to save the moderate Republican lawmaker in 2016. He lost to Democrat Brad Schneider, while Hillary Clinton was carrying his 10th District by nearly 30 points. 

Lawmakers Still Sending Thoughts and Prayers, Despite Criticism
Outcry over expressions of sympathy symptom of deadlock on guns

A small memorial near the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Wednesday, three days after a gunman killed more than two dozen people during a Sunday service. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Criticism of lawmakers who send “thoughts and prayers” to victims of mass shootings has attracted a lot of attention in the media. But it doesn’t appear to have caused many on Capitol Hill to find something else to say.

Roll Call reviewed statements by lawmakers after Sunday’s mass shooting during a church service in Sutherland Springs, Texas, which left 26 people, including an unborn child, dead, authorities said. The analysis found that dozens of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle reverted to some form of the expression, sparking an increasingly familiar backlash from gun control advocates and other critics who said the words have become meaningless in light of congressional inaction.

K Street Eyes Outgoing Lawmakers for Jobs
Premium on figuring out Trump and who knows who

Nebraska Rep. Brad Ashford says he hadn’t determined whether K Street would be the right fit for him. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The more than 50 lawmakers who will be jobless in a few weeks may encounter an unpredictable market on K Street, should they consider taking a spin through the revolving door.

Business interests feel bullish on next year’s potentially frenzied legislative agenda, stocked with tax and health care overhauls and debate over new infrastructure projects. But most lobbying groups have a tenuous rapport with the incoming Trump administration and are evaluating their hiring through that lens.

Democrat Schneider Unseats Dold in Illinois 10th District Rematch
The race was a tossup heading into Election Day

Democrat Brad Schneider of Illinois is set to return to Congress. (Tom WIlliams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic former Rep. Brad Schneider is set to return to Congress, with The Associated Press projecting that he will his rematch against Republican Rep. Robert J. Dold in Illinois’ 10th District. 

Schneider led Dold 52 percent to 47 percent with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

The House: 10 Most Vulnerable
List includes two new Republican faces

Florida Rep. John L. Mica, center, makes Roll Call's 10 most vulnerable House members list for the first time this month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As the past few days have shown, a lot can change in a weekend, and certainly, in a month.

The last ranking of the top 10 most vulnerable House incumbents came out just after Labor Day, when polls showed a tightening presidential race.

No, Democrats Aren't Abandoning Illinois' 10th District
Shift of $800,000 allows closer coordination between Schneider and DCCC

The DCCC is moving money from its IE side to its coordinated side in Illinois' 10th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently cancelled about $800,000 in television reservations for Illinois' competitive 10th District race, where former Rep. Brad Schneider is looking to reclaim his seat from Republican Rep. Robert J. Dold.

That's not because Democrats suddenly think they've got the race locked up. The contest remains a tossup. The DCCC is simply moving the money from its independent expenditure side (which cannot coordinate with campaigns) to the coordinated side. 

House Passes Bill Giving Tax Breaks to Olympic Medalists
Legislation excludes medals, bonus money from taxes

U.S. athletes won 121 medals at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (Mario Tama/Getty Images file photo)

Update Sept. 22 | The House passed a bill Thursday that would give tax breaks to many Olympic and Paralympic athletes who win medals. The measure does not extend the tax breaks to athletes with incomes over $1 million. 

Congress is still cheering about the Olympics but some tax experts aren't enthused.

Hybrid Ads Allow Parties and Campaigns to Save Money, But at What Cost?
In rare technique, campaigns and committees can split the cost of an ad

Former Rep. Brad Schneider has split the cost of "hybrid ads" with the DCCC in his campaign to retake Illinois' 10th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If there's one thing Democratic former Rep. Brad Schneider wants voters in Illinois' 10th District to know, it's that incumbent Rep. Robert J. Dold has sided with Republicans in Congress. 

The narrator in one of Schneider's most recent ads repeats the phrase "Dold and the Republicans" four times. The phrase flashes on screen more times than that. 

Human Rights Campaign Criticizes Democrat's Ad in Illinois
Gay rights group has endorsed Republican Bob Dold in 10th District

Former Rep. Brad Schneider is casting doubts on Republican opponent Robert J. Dold's record on gay rights. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider is trying to retake his 10th District seat in Illinois by tying current GOP Rep. Robert J. Dold to House Republicans on gay rights.

But that's more difficult to do when Dold has the backing of the Human Rights Campaign, the gay rights advocacy group.