open-seat

Supreme Court to Hear Maryland Gerrymandering Case
Republican voters are challenging 6th District lines drawn by Democrats

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a challenge to Maryland’s 6th District lines. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court late Friday agreed to hear a challenge to the lines of a Maryland congressional district that were drawn by Democrats.  

The court has already heard a partisan gerrymandering case from Wisconsin, where Republicans drew the state legislative map. 

Ratings Change: Franken Steps Down Amid Allegations, Seat Starts Likely Democratic
Minnesota Senator resigns after colleagues call for his exit

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and his wife Franni, leave the Capitol on Thursday, after Franken announced on the Senate floor that he will resign his seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Al Franken’s resignation puts another Democratic seat into the 2018 mix, but it’s still unclear whether his departure provides Republicans with a legitimate takeover opportunity.

To handicap a race, it’s helpful to know where the contest will take place and who is running. In this case, we know the place is Minnesota, where, despite Donald Trump’s surge in the Midwest, Hillary Clinton narrowly prevailed in 2016, 46-45 percent, and where Republicans haven’t won a Senate race since Norm Coleman’s 2-point victory in 2002.

Ratings Update: Tennessee Senate Remains Solid R for Now
Democrats may still have uphill battle, even with Bredesen

Former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen. (Courtesy the American Academy of Arts and Sciences)

Democrats made a big splash this week with the entry of former Gov. Phil Bredesen into the Tennessee Senate race, but the party still has an uphill battle in a state President Donald Trump won convincingly, and it’s not even clear Bredesen gives Democrats the best chance of winning.

On the surface, having a former two-term governor running for an open seat (GOP Sen. Bob Corker is not running for re-election) looks like a great takeover opportunity for Democrats, but there are some signs that the race should still be considered a long shot.

Franken Makes Democrats Remember ‘Minnesota Massacre’
Botched 1976 Senate pick led to Democratic-Farmer-Labor party being swept from top offices two years later

Embattled Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., is expected to make an announcement about his future on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton will reportedly appoint Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to replace Sen. Al Franken, who is expected to announce his resignation today.

Sources told the Minnesota Star-Tribune that Smith is the likely choice to fill Franken’s seat before a special election in 2018.

Conyers Resignation: What the Race to Replace Him Could Look Like
Longest-serving member’s exit set to spark crowded Democratic primary

The departure of Michigan Rep. John Conyers Jr., who was first elected in 1964, will invite lots of interest from Democrats looking to run for office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:39 p.m. | Michigan Rep. John Conyers Jr. endorsed his son, John Conyers III, to replace him Tuesday after announcing he’s leaving Congress.

The longest-serving current member on Capitol Hill faced allegations of sexual harassment from several women. He’d admitted to reaching a monetary settlement with a former staffer who accused him of unwanted sexual advances.

Ruben Kihuen Weighs Future as 2018 Looms
Some believe he would lose re-election after harassment allegations

Top Democrats are calling on Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., to resign. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo )

Sexual harassment allegations against Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen have raised serious doubts about whether he could win re-election, and questions about who could run in the swing Nevada district if he steps aside.  

Kihuen has not yet weighed in on his future, even as top Democratic leaders have called on him to resign following a Buzzfeed report detailing sexual harassment and unwanted advances towards a former campaign staffer.

Barton Not Running for Re-Election
Decision comes after nude photo and racy text messages surfaced

Texas Rep. Joe L. Barton, the longest-serving member of the Texas delegation, is retiring. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Rep. Joe L. Barton is not running for re-election after a nude photo and suggestive text messages surfaced over the last week. 

Barton, the dean of the Texas delegation, announced Thursday he would not seek an 18th term. The Republican lawmaker had previously decided to run again before the photo and messages became public.

New Democrats’ PAC Adds 10 More Challengers to Watch List
PAC now has 23 candidates on watch list for 2018

Lauren Baer, who’s running in  Florida’s 18th District, is one of 10 more Democratic candidates that NewDemPAC is adding to its list of candidates to watch in 2018. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call file photo).

The political arm of the moderate New Democrat Coalition is adding 10 more challengers to its list of candidates to watch in 2018 — a continued effort to get involved in House races earlier this cycle. 

The latest additions by NewDemPAC, obtained first by Roll Call, come from across the country and include a second former member of the coalition. The PAC announced its first 13 candidates to watch earlier this year. 

Democrat Jeff Van Drew Running for LoBiondo Seat in New Jersey
GOP incumbent’s retirement makes 2nd District more competitive for Democrats

Democratic State Sen. Jeff Van Drew is regarded as the top Democratic candidate for the seat New Jersey Rep. Frank LoBiondo, above, is vacating in 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New Jersey State Sen. Jeff Van Drew announced Wednesday he’s running for the 2nd District, which will be an open seat in 2018. 

One of the most conservative Democrats in the state legislature, Van Drew has long been a top pick for the national party in this district, which voted for President Donald Trump by about 5 points, according to Daily Kos Elections.

Special Election Kicks Off for Tim Murphy’s Seat
Murphy resigned his seat amid a sex scandal

Democrat Conor Lamb, left, and Republican Rick Saccone are competing for Pennsylvania’s open 18th District seat. (Courtesy Conor Lamb/Rick Saccone/Facebook)

The special election for former Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy’s seat is kicking into gear now that each party has its candidate. Democrat Conor Lamb, a former Marine and federal prosecutor, will face Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone, a former Air Force special agent, in the March 13 election.

Murphy, a Republican, resigned his 18th District seat in the wake of a scandal that included an extramarital affair.