Eli Yokley

Super Tuesday Means High Stakes for Anti-Trump Republicans

By the time Super Tuesday results are tallied, 11 states will have committed 595 delegates to particular candidates for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland — a large chunk of the 1,237 needed to win the party's presidential nomination. As Texas Republican Ted Cruz told reporters in San Antonio on Monday, “Super Tuesday, is, I believe, the most important day of this primary" — one he said could be an important day to slow Republican front-runner Donald Trump's momentum.  

Actually doing so would be a big feat. Trump, who already has the delegate advantage from victories in three of the four states that have already held contests, leads the polls in most states that vote on Tuesday, as well as nationally .  

Sanders Gets Another Hill Endorsement: Alan Grayson

Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, a Democrat known for bucking the Democratic establishment, announced his endorsement of Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders, the Democratic socialist challenging Hillary Clinton for the party's presidential nomination.  

Like Sanders, Grayson is in an uphill fight against his party's leaders, challenging Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy for the party's nomination for Senate in the Sunshine State.  

Incumbents Who Thought They Were Safe Getting a Scare

In three states, the first congressional primaries of the year will be held on Super Tuesday.  And particularly in the mega-state of Texas, the 2016 presidential race could discomfit some House incumbents who have been seen as safe bets for re-election.  

Texas sports the Republican Party's largest House delegation -- it has 25 members -- and 14 of those running for re-election face primary challengers. That's more daunting than usual in a year when the unconventional Donald Trump is the GOP front-runner, and voters are giving a more serious look to candidates who are targeting the Republican establishment. “People who come out [to vote] sometimes, but not always, are very persuadable,” said James Harris, a Republican consultant advising Russ Ramsland, a wealthy businessman who is one of three candidates challenging Texas Rep. Pete Sessions for re-election.  

Tony Perkins to Endorse John Fleming in Louisiana Senate Race

Social conservative leader Tony Perkins and his political organization, the Family Research Council Action PAC, will endorse Rep. John Fleming, R-La., in the Louisiana Senate race, he told Roll Call on Friday.  

"He’s a known quantity," said Perkins, who ran for Senate in Louisiana in 2002. "I know exactly what he’s going to do. And it’s going to be good."  

House Democratic Campaign Leader Endorses Clinton

Rep. Ben Ray Luján, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Friday he supports Hillary Clinton for president.  

In a statement, the New Mexico lawmaker said, "Clinton is the best choice for President by far," opting against her opponent in the Democratic primary, Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders. 

Chris Christie Endorses Donald Trump for President

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the Republican who dropped his own campaign for president earlier this month after a poor showing in New Hampshire, announced his support for Donald Trump at a news conference Friday.  

“He is strong enough to take on the D.C. establishment," Christie told reporters in Fort Worth, criticizing Trump's chief rivals, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. "Turn away from the amateur acts from Washington, D.C., and turn toward a strong leader. That's who this is.”  

Shelby's Conservative Credentials Get Pre-Primary Boost

As Republican Sen. Richard C. Shelby of Alabama prepares to defend his conservative credentials against what could be one of the toughest primary challenges of his Senate career next Tuesday, a conservative national group has thrown its support to him.  

The Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund – a political action committee that arrived on the scene in 2009 as the tea party movement was taking off – offered its last-minute stamp of approval on Thursday, opting against his chief rival, Marine veteran Jonathan McConnell, just five days before Alabama voters head to the polls. In a statement that praised Shelby's opposition to the 2008 Wall Street bailout and his efforts against illegal immigration, Jenny Beth Martin, the group’s chairman, said Shelby has “earned” another term.

Arizona's Matt Salmon Will Not Seek Re-Election

Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon, a fifth-term Republican, said Thursday he will not run for re-election this fall, lending his support to state Senate President Andy Biggs to replace him.  

“I couldn’t be more pleased that Andy has decided to run for my seat and continue the fight to return our nation to the values that made it great," Salmon said in a statement. "As Senate President, he has proven his commitment to advancing legislation that will make government smaller, more efficient and more accountable to the people.”  

Will GOP Debate Slow Trump on the Way to Super Tuesday?

Republicans opposed to the rise of businessman Donald Trump said Thursday night’s GOP debate should be used as a moment for his remaining opponents to slow his political momentum.  

Rather than attack each other during the debate — which airs from Houston on CNN at 7:30 p.m. CDT — strategists said Trump's four rivals should focus their charges squarely on him.  “Start making this significantly less fun for him than it is right now. If it’s not fun for him, he’ll perform worse,” said Liz Mair, a Republican strategist leading an anti-Trump super PAC.  

Harry Reid Endorses Hillary Clinton

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., endorsed Hillary Clinton for president Wednesday, joining the majority of congressional Democrats who are supporting her bid for the party's nomination over Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders.  

Reid's support, revealed during an interview with CNN , came just a few days after the Democratic presidential campaign rolled through the Silver State. He became the 40th Senate Democrat to back her bid, according to Roll Call's Endorsement Tracker .  "I think the middle class would be better served by Hillary," Reid told CNN. "I also think she's the woman to be the first president of the United States that's a female."  

New Ads Target Senate GOP Over Supreme Court 'Obstructionism'

Senate Majority PAC, a group aligned with Democrats, unveiled a new round of digital ads Tuesday accusing Senate Republicans of “unprecedented obstructionism" by vowing not to consider anyone whom President Barack Obama nominates to succeed Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.  

Their effort came on the same day Senate leaders including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., reiterated their belief  that the next president should choose a nominee to take the place of Scalia, who died earlier this month. “People across the country are fed up with Republicans putting politics ahead of the public good and McConnell’s unprecedented obstructionism has made his entire caucus that much more vulnerable this November,” Shripal Shah, a spokesman for Senate Majority PAC, said in a statement to Roll Call.  

Joe Heck Keeps His Distance From Presidential Caucus in Nevada

In Nevada and New Hampshire, two Senate battleground states that also have early presidential preference contests, Democratic candidates endorsed and served as as surrogates for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign.  

Catherine Cortez Masto, the Nevada Democrat who Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid wants to take his seat, attended get-out-the-vote events aimed at women and Latinos.  

Daniel Webster Opts to Run in Redrawn District

Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., said Monday he will run in the state's new 11th District, two months after a court imposed a new map  that morphed the Orlando-area district he now represents in the favor of Democrats.  

In an email to the Tampa Bay Times , Webster said he was running for another term because more was to be done to "reform the process and fix what is broken in Washington."  “For the past five years, I have fought to change the power based, staff-driven congressional process into one based upon principles," he told the paper. Touting his own conservative credentials, he added, "Last year, I ran for speaker against John Boehner and the powerful Washington establishment because I believe that our country deserves a legislative process that works.”  

Kathleen Matthews Endorses Chris Van Hollen's Senate Bid

Kathleen Matthews, a Democrat running for Congress in Maryland's 8th District, announced her support for the man she is trying to succeed, endorsing the Senate bid of Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen.  

In a statement posted  on her website Monday, Matthews lauded the seven-term member as a "progressive" but a "pragmatist" — the same way she is trying to present herself in a race where, until recently , she had faced fiercest opposition from liberal state Sen. Jamie Raskin.  "It’s time that I make my support of his campaign official," Matthews said. "His ability to work with people of both parties is critical during this era of divided government."  

How Harry Helped Hillary Win Nevada

LAS VEGAS – Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid had a lot riding on Saturday's Nevada Democratic caucuses, namely securing his political legacy, establishing his state's position in the presidential nominating process and setting up Democrats for success into November.  

So after the returns showed a fairly smooth process, with Hillary Clinton's win over Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders, Reid celebrated with some fireworks.  

How Harry Helped Hillary Win Nevada

LAS VEGAS – Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid had a lot riding on Saturday’s Nevada Democratic caucuses, namely securing his political legacy, establishing his state’s position in the presidential nominating process and setting up Democrats for success into November.

So after the returns showed a fairly smooth process, with Hillary Clinton’s win over Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders, Reid celebrated with some fireworks.

Cruz Only Candidate So Far to Attend Scalia Services

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will take a break from the presidential campaign trail Saturday morning to attend the funeral of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, the Republican's campaign said late Thursday.  

Cruz, who interacted with the high court both as a law clerk to then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist and as a former Texas solicitor general, had been scheduled to be in South Carolina on the day of its presidential primary election.  "Justice Scalia was a lion of the law. He was someone I knew for 20 years. He was brilliant, principled. Like Ronald Reagan was to the presidency, so Justice Scalia was to the Supreme Court. And his passing leaves a huge void on that court," Cruz said at a forum hosted by CNN Thursday night.  

Labor Unions Line Up Behind Murphy in Florida Senate Primary

Rep. Patrick Murphy announced the endorsements of two additional labor unions Thursday, adding to a list of traditionally key Democratic constituency groups rallying behind his campaign for Senate.  

“Of course, Alan Grayson has a great record," said Frank Ortis, the mayor of Pembroke Pines and the president of the Florida Machinist State Council, pointing to Murphy's opponent in the Democratic primary. "I feel personally that Patrick Murphy is going to be a great U.S. senator."  Ortis said the Machinist State Council — aligned with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers — joined the International Association of Ironworkers in lending Murphy financial and organizational support ahead of the Aug. 30 primary.  

Pope Francis Says Donald Trump 'Is Not Christian'

Speaking to reporters aboard his plane after a visit to the U.S-Mexico border, Pope Francis questioned Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's sincerity as a Christian, citing his rhetoric on immigrants.  

“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian,” Francis said , questioning the billionaire's plan to build a wall along the border.  Trump responded in a statement that it was "disgraceful" for a religious leader to question anyone's faith.  

Maryland Republican Gives Carson His First Congressional Endorsement

After weak finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson got some good news: His first congressional endorsement.  

GOP Maryland Rep. Andy Harris joined Carson on the campaign trail in South Carolina on Wednesday, just a few days before the state's presidential primary. “Americans want an outsider. As difficult as that is for a politician to say, people don’t want a politician,” Harris told Roll Call by phone, outside a Carson event in Columbia ahead of Saturday's primary.