Ruben Gallego

Mark Kelly launches Senate run in Arizona
Former astronaut is vying to take on GOP Sen. Martha McSally

Mark Kelly is running for Senate in Arizona. He is married to former Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former astronaut and Navy veteran Mark Kelly announced Tuesday that he is running for Senate in Arizona, looking to take on GOP Sen. Martha McSally.

Kelly is married to former Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was seriously injured during a shooting at a constituent event in 2011. Kelly and Giffords have since been vocal advocates for gun control. 

Contenders for McCain‘s Arizona Senate seat huddle with Sen. Chuck Schumer
Rep. Ruben Gallego and astronaut Mark Kelly are among the possible candidates

Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., confirmed he has met with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer ahead of a possible run for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The three top Democratic Party contenders considering a challenge to appointed Republican Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona have met with Sen. Chuck Schumer, one of the potential candidates confirmed Monday.

“He knows that Arizona is a swing state and he’s talking to a couple of candidates here in Arizona,” Rep. Ruben Gallego said in an interview with KTVK. “He’s very realistic about what we need to do to win this state and I made a good case for why I’d be the best candidate should I decide to run.”

STEM group launches ‘Draft Mark Kelly’ effort in Arizona
314 Action is urging former astronaut to challenge appointed Sen. McSally

Mark Kelly, the husband of former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, is being encouraged to run for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

314 Action, a group that backs candidates with scientific backgrounds, is launching a new effort Wednesday to encourage former astronaut and Navy veteran Mark Kelly to run for Senate in Arizona. 

Kelly, who is married to former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, is among a handful of potential Democratic challengers to appointed Sen. Martha McSally. The race is expected to be a top party target in 2020, and 314 Action is hoping a show of support will bolster Kelly’s decision to run.

The Largest Congressional District, Montana’s, Also Had the Highest Turnout
In contrast, California’s 21st District saw fewest number of voters show up

Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., won a first full-term representing Montana’s at-large district, defeating Democratic opponent Kathleen Williams by 5 points. Above, the two talk at the Crow Fair in Crow Agency, Mont., on Aug. 18. Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., appears at left. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The turnout for the midterm elections was the highest — 49 percent of those eligible to cast ballots did — since 1914, according to the United States Election Project.

But the enthusiasm was not evenly spread. The number of votes cast in some House districts was much higher than others and it did not depend on the competitiveness of the races.

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Selects Joaquin Castro As Next Chairman
Gallego, Barragán, Espaillat and Rep.-elect Escobar round out CHC leadership team

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, will chair the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the 116th Congress. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro was elected Friday as the next chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which will begin the next Congress with its largest membership since the group’s founding. 

The CHC had 31 members this Congress and will grow to 39 members next year — two senators and 37 House members.

Jayapal Joins Pocan As Co-Chair of Congressional Progressive Caucus
Ro Khanna replaces Jayapal as the caucus’s first vice chair

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., will co-chair the Congressional Progressive Caucus with Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan will serve as co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus for the 116th Congress.

The CPC — which will have more than 90 members next year — held its leadership elections Thursday, which also saw California Rep. Ro Khanna chosen to replace Jayapal as first vice chair. 

Another Democrat Who Signed Letter Opposing Pelosi Opens Door to Backing Her
Massachusetts’ Lynch says he would ‘obviously’ vote for Pelosi over a Republican

Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., is leaving open the door to vote for Nancy Pelosi as speaker. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic Rep. Stephen Lynch signed a letter earlier this month opposing Nancy Pelosi’s bid for speaker when Democrats take back the majority in January — but he has since left the door open to voting for her if no Democrat steps up to bat and challenges to the minority leader.

“If it becomes a choice between a Republican and Nancy Pelosi, I’ll obviously support Nancy Pelosi,” Lynch said in an interview with WCVB in Boston.

Democratic Victory in Arizona and Nevada Hinges on Latino Turnout
Groups are working on the ground to turn out Hispanic voters

Dancers with the Mexico Vivo group prepare to perform at the East Las Vegas Community Center, an early voting location, on Oct. 20. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

PHOENIX — Astrid Pizarro stood in front of a dozen high school students last week as her fellow organizers scrambled to find umbrellas. 

Dark clouds loomed as Pizarro prepped her team to canvass a nearby neighborhood. She began by asking them how they felt about the upcoming election. Some were excited, others were nervous.

Sinema Hews to the Middle in a Changing Arizona. Will It Be Enough to Win?
Democrat has positioned herself as moderate with bipartisan appeal in Senate race

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, the Democratic nominee for Senate in Arizona, speaks to supporters at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 570 in Tucson on Sunday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

TUCSON, Ariz. — Kyrsten Sinema is trying to do something that no Arizona Democrat has done in 30 years: win a Senate election.

“We know we can win this election,” the three-term congresswoman told supporters packed into a union hall here Sunday. “This year, the votes in the Senate matter.”

Gallego Weighs 2020 Senate Run, Confident About Primary Prospects
Possibility of party winning back House will factor in Arizona Democrat’s decision

Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., is weighing a run for Senate in 2020. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

PHOENIX — Rep. Ruben Gallego is focused on helping Democrats win in Arizona in 2018, but he’s also weighing a Senate run of his own in two years time. And he’s confident he would win a Democratic primary.

The Arizona Democrat has previously said he is considering a run for the 2020 special election for the last two years of the late Republican Sen. John McCain’s term. Former GOP Sen. Jon Kyl was appointed to McCain’s seat, but he has said he plans to step down at the end of the year.