Bridget Bowman

At the Races: Get Ready for Another Special Election
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

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

Tammy Duckworth and Baby Cast Their First Senate Vote Together, Opposing NASA Nominee
But Bridenstine confirmed to lead space agency, leaving House seat vacant for months

Maile Pearl Bowlsbey made Senate history Thursday, becoming the first newborn allowed on the Senate floor.

Maile, the daughter of Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth, born just last week, came to the floor the day after the chamber changed its antiquated rules to allow senators to bring in children under the age of 1.

Arizona’s Special Election Heads to Home Stretch
Both parties watching whether 8th District race will be close

Rep. Trent Franks resigned in December amid allegations that he sexually harassed female staffers. Next week, no matter which party wins the race to replace the Arizona Republican, a woman will be elected to succeed him.

The April 24 special election in the 8th District pits former GOP state Sen. Debbie Lesko against Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, a cancer research advocate and former emergency room physician. The two could also meet again in November since both intend to file to run for a full term.

Young Kim Launches First TV Ad in California’s 39th District
Kim is the first Republican in the crowded race to go on the airwaves

Congressional hopeful Young Kim is the first Republican to go on the airwaves in the crowded race for California’s 39th District, launching a television ad Thursday. 

The spot, shared first with Roll Call, highlights the former assemblywoman’s ties to the man she is hoping to replace — retiring GOP Rep. Ed Royce. Kim worked for the congressman for two decades 

What to Know in Arizona's Upcoming Special Election
 

Republican candidate Debbie Lesko and Democrat Hiral Tiperneni will face off on April 24 in a special election in Arizona's 8th District. The seat became vacant after former Rep. Trent Franks resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment....
NRCC Chairman Urges Members to Keep Talking Taxes
Republicans view the tax overhaul as a salient campaign issue

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers had a message for House Republicans on Tuesday morning: keep talking about the tax overhaul.

The Ohio Republican presented attendees at a GOP conference meeting with polling that showed voters have not heard from them lately about the tax overhaul, according to a source with knowledge of the discussion. Stivers “implored them to continue to sell it,” the source said.

Rep. Charlie Dent Resigning ‘In the Coming Weeks’
Pennsylvania Republican had already announced he was not seeking re-election

Updated 12:41 p.m. | Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Charlie Dent announced Tuesday that he would resign from Congress “in the coming weeks,” adding later that his last day would come sometime in May.

Dent, a moderate who was first elected to his 15th District in 2004, had already announced he was not running for re-election. In a statement Tuesday that was also posted on Twitter, he said he decided to leave the Hill early “after discussions with my family and careful reflection.” 

Congressional Leadership Fund Reserves $48 Million in TV, Digital Ads
Super PAC is aligned with House GOP leadership

The Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC aligned with House Republican leadership, is making $38 million worth of television reservations for ads in the fall, and an additional $10 million investment for digital ads.

CLF is the first outside GOP group to make early advertising reservations ahead of the November elections, and it is investing four months earlier than it did in the 2016 cycle. Locking in airtime early allows the group to make the reservations at lower rates.

Democratic Divide Flares in Pennsylvania’s 7th District
Race to replace Charlie Dent became more competitive after new map

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — At a recent Democratic candidate forum here in Pennsylvania’s 7th District, five hopefuls raised their hands to show their support for abortion rights. One candidate kept his hand down.

North Hampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said after the event that he supports abortion under certain circumstances, but described himself as “a pro-life Democrat like Sen. Bob Casey.”

Not One Penny Targets GOP Lawmakers With New Billboards
Billboards say GOP lawmakers personally benefit from their tax overhaul

The liberal group Not One Penny is launching new billboards targeting GOP lawmakers and highlighting how they personally benefited from tax overhaul.

The campaign, shared first with Roll Call, includes figures from a recent report from the left-leaning Center for American progress on lawmakers’ own tax cuts under the GOP tax law. The billboards target 20 House members and 10 senators who have some of the highest tax cuts according to the report.

Toast the Vote? Steyer Group Hosts First Democratic Forum in PA
NexGen America looks to energize young voters in Pennsylvania

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Where will millennials go for a political event? A local brewery, of course! That’s at least the calculation from NextGen America, a group hoping to mobilize young Democratic voters in 2018.

Roughly 150 people gathered on the fifth floor of Fegley’s Allentown Brew Works to hear from Democratic candidates’ in Pennsylvania’s 7th District, which became more competitive for Democrats after the state Supreme Court imposed a new congressional map.

Rosen’s First Major Digital Ad Buy Targets Latino Voters
Nevada Democrat is challenging Republican incumbent Dean Heller

Nevada Rep. Jacky Rosen’s Senate campaign announced its first major digital buy Friday, launching ads in both English and Spanish aimed at Latino voters. The freshman Democrat is challenging Republican incumbent Dean Heller in a race that could be one of her party’s best pickup opportunities in the Senate.

The digital ads, shared first with Roll Call, focus on Rosen’s background and her support for so-called Dreamers, young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. The ads include a 30-second video and a shorter 15-second version, in both languages.

At the Races: A Better Way Out?
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

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

November Just Got Cloudier for House Republicans With Ryan’s Exit
‘You don’t want the captain leaving the ship,’ ex-NRCC chairman says

House Republicans’ most prolific fundraiser is vowing to continue to do all he can to help them keep the majority in the midterms.

But Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s announcement Wednesday that he doesn’t want to be a part of that majority next year has only crystalized the perception that the House GOP is in for a drubbing in November.

Ryan’s Exit Opens Up Race in Wisconsin’s 1st District
Republicans are confident they will hold the seat

Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s decision not to run for re-election opens up the race for his seat in southeast Wisconsin, which Democrats are targeting this year.

Ryan, who was first elected in 1998, said Wednesday he could not in good conscience ask 1st District voters for their support when he was not going to stay in Congress.

Ryan Won’t Run for Re-Election, Ready to Go Home to Family
Democrats say speaker’s retirement is a sign of things to come in November

Speaker Paul D. Ryan announced Wednesday he will not run for re-election and will leave Congress at the end of his term.

“This has been one of the two greatest honors of my life,” the speaker said. The other, he said, is his role as a husband and father, which he cited as his reason for leaving.

Tariffs Could Complicate Key Senate Races
Some Democrats already criticizing GOP opponents over tariffs’ impact

The potential for a trade war with China is already complicating some key Senate races ahead of the November midterms, especially for Republicans hoping to expand their majority.

President Donald Trump’s announcement that he would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports sparked retaliatory threats from China. The country vowed to slap tariffs on top U.S. exports that also come from states with some of the most competitive Senate contests.

DSCC Hires New Field Director
Lauren Brainerd coordinated campaigns in Virginia

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced Monday that a veteran of recent successes in Virginia will be leading the group’s field program this year.

Lauren Brainerd, who was most recently the campaign director for the Virginia Democratic Party, will be the DSCC’s new field director, according to an announcement shared first with Roll Call. Brainerd oversaw last year’s campaigns for statewide office in the Old Dominion, including the gubernatorial race. She also oversaw campaigns for the state House of Delegates, where victories (the party won 15 seats) signaled Democratic energy heading into the 2018 midterms.

Farenthold Resigns After Sexual Harassment Scandal
Texas Republican’s resignation takes effect Friday

Texas GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold resigned Friday, roughly four months after news broke that he had settled a sexual harassment lawsuit with taxpayer money.

“While I planned on serving out the remainder of my term in Congress, I know in my heart it’s time for me to move along and look for new ways to serve,” Farenthold said in a statement Friday. He said he sent a letter to GOP Gov. Greg Abbott resigning his position effective 5 p.m. Friday.

Democrats Grapple With Gun Control Positions in Must-Win District
General agreement in New York’s 19th District that more gun control is needed

More than 100 town hall meetings across the country this week are focusing on gun violence — including two in New York’s traditionally gun-friendly 19th District.

Two Democratic candidates hoping to take on GOP Rep. John Faso are hosting town hall meetings as activists look to sustain focus on gun control issues following the Feb. 14 shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.