Bridget Bowman

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

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.

NRCC Targets Democrats on Tax Overhaul in New Digital Ads
Republicans see taxes as a potent campaign issue

The National Republican Congressional Committee is launching new digital ads targeting Democrats who voted against the tax overhaul that passed the House on Thursday. No members of the minority party voted for the legislation.

The 15-second videos, provided first to Roll Call, will start running on Facebook on Friday and target 25 House Democrats. The NRCC ad buy was described as “five figures” and the ads will run online for a week.

Alabama GOP Officially Stands by Roy Moore
State party says voters will be ‘the ultimate jury’

The Alabama Republican Party is officially standing by its Senate nominee Roy Moore, closing the door on one of the few options to block him from being elected. 

On Wednesday evening, the 21-member state GOP steering committee convened to discuss the Senate race, which has been rocked by allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore. Nine women have accused the former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice over the past week of sexual advances, and three have accused him of sexual assault. Most of the women were teenagers at the time and Moore was in his 30s.

Meet the Republicans Who Voted ‘No’ on the Tax Bill
13 GOP members, most from high-tax states, voted against leadership

House Republican leaders cheered passage of their sweeping tax overhaul Thursday, but 13 GOP lawmakers bucked their party and voted against the bill. 

All but one of them hailed from New York, New Jersey and California — each a high-tax state. These lawmakers largely opposed the legislation because it curtailed the state and local tax deduction, also known as SALT. The measure caps the deduction for property taxes at $10,000 while eliminating the tax break for state and local income or sales taxes. 

Ivey Quashes Idea of Strange Resigning Early to Block Roy Moore
Alabama governor says special election will go forward as planned Dec. 12

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has rejected the idea that Sen. Luther Strange could resign his Senate seat, sparking a new special election and potentially blocking Roy Moore from being elected to the Senate. 

National Republican leaders have called on Moore to step aside as the GOP nominee following allegations of sexual misconduct and assault. Politico reported Wednesday that one idea GOP leaders have contemplated is having Strange resign his seat so Ivey could set a new special election. Strange was appointed to the seat in February when Sen. Jeff Sessions resigned to become attorney general. 

Alabama GOP Appears to Still Support Roy Moore
Party steering committee met for more than three hours Wednesday

The Alabama Republican Party will reportedly continue to support Roy Moore as allegations of sexual misconduct rock the Senate contest.

NBC News first reported that the state GOP would maintain its support for Moore, its Senate nominee and a former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, after the steering committee met Wednesday night. It is too late to remove his name from the ballot. But the party does have the option of formally withdrawing Moore as its nominee for the seat vacated by former Sen. Jeff Sessions, meaning votes for him in the Dec. 12 special election would not be counted. 

RNC Cuts Ties With Roy Moore Campaign
Decision comes amidst sexual misconduct allegations

The Republican National Committee has pulled out of the joint fundraising committee it set up with Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore’s campaign following allegations of sexual misconduct. 

The decision, first reported by Politico, comes five days after the Washington Post reported that Moore had made inappropriate sexual advances towards four women when they were teenagers and Moore was in his thirties. Another woman came forward Monday and said Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16 years-old. 

Senate Republicans Weigh Next Steps for Roy Moore
Some said there isn’t much more they can do to pressure Moore to step aside

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that Republicans were examining options to prevent Roy Moore from becoming a U.S. senator. But some GOP senators acknowledged there isn’t much more they can do with Moore refusing to step aside. 

GOP lawmakers have called on Moore to withdraw his nomination in the special election for the seat vacated by now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions following a bombshell Washington Post story. The Post reported that four women accused Moore of sexual advances while they were teenagers and he was in his thirties. Another woman said Monday that Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16 years old. 

Write-In Candidate Would Be ‘Serious Error,’ AL GOP Chairwoman Says
Talk of a write-in campaign followed allegations of sexual misconduct against Roy Moore

It would be a “serious error” for Republican officeholders to support a write-in candidate in the Senate race, the chairwoman of the Alabama Republican Party said in a statement.

Speculation of a write-in campaign mounted following allegations of sexual misconduct against Roy Moore, the GOP candidate. 

3 Ways Republicans Can Block Roy Moore From the Senate
GOP senators have called on their Alabama nominee to step aside

Republicans looking to block Roy Moore from becoming a senator are exploring a number of options, though the window is closing with the Alabama Senate race just four weeks away.

After The Washington Post reported that four women described sexual advances from Moore, when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s, GOP leaders called on the candidate to quit if the allegations were true. Another accuser came forward Monday to say Moore sexually assaulted her. 

NRSC Chairman: Senate Should Expel Moore if Elected
Sen. Cory Gardner said Moore is unfit to serve in the Senate

Sen. Cory Gardner, who leads Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, said Monday the Senate should vote to expel Roy Moore if he wins the Alabama Senate race.

“If he refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him, because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate,” the Colorado Republican said in a statement Monday afternoon.

Will Sexual Misconduct Allegations Sink Moore Campaign? Stay Tuned
Republican candidate accused of inappropriate advances with four women when they were teenagers

Roy Moore is facing a wave of criticism and national Republicans are bolting from his campaign — but will allegations of sexual misconduct matter in the  Alabama Senate race? 

Four women have accused Moore of sexual and romantic advances when they were teenagers — one when she was  14 — nearly four decades ago. At that time, Moore was in his 30s and an  assistant district attorney.

NRSC Cuts Ties With Roy Moore Fundraising Committee
GOP’s first tangible step of distancing itself from Alabama Senate candidate

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has been removed from a joint fundraising committee with Roy Moore’s Alabama Senate campaign, a sign party leadership is distancing itself from Moore. 

The move, first reported by The Daily Beast, is the first tangible step the party has taken to cut ties with the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. The joint fundraising committee, which would allow donors to make one large campaign contribution rather than several smaller ones, was first set up between the NRSC, the Moore campaign, the Republican National Committee, and the Alabama Republican Party in October. 

Lee Asks Moore Team to Remove Picture From Fundraising Pitch
Lee’s spokesman confirmed reports that Lee wanted his image removed

Update 6:23 p.m. | Sen. Mike Lee, one of the first senators to endorse Roy Moore in Alabama Senate race, has requested that the Moore campaign remove his image from the campaigns fundraising emails. Friday night he also rescinded his endorsement.

"Having read the detailed description of the incidents, as well as the response from Judge Moore and his campaign, I can no longer endorse his candidacy for the US Senate," Lee tweeted Friday, following allegations of Moore's sexual conduct with minors. GOP Sen. Steve Daines of Montana also rescinded his endorsement within minutes of Lee's tweet. 

Trump Says Moore Would Step Aside if Allegations are True
Alabama Senate candidate is accused of sexual misconduct with young women

President Donald Trump believes Roy Moore would step aside from the Alabama Senate race if allegations that he initiated sexual encounters with minors are true, his spokeswoman said. 

“Like most Americans, the president believes that we cannot allow a mere allegation — in this case, one from many years ago — to destroy a person’s life,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Air Force One Friday while the president was traveling from China to Vietnam. 

At the Races: 362 Days to Go
Our weekly roundup of Roll Call’s top campaign stories and more

We’re officially one year out from the 2018 midterms. (Hard to believe, right?) There are a lot of House and Senate races to watch, and you can keep track of them all with At the Races. Each week we’ll round up our top stories and bring you some new content, like the Reader’s Race (scroll down for more on that). Make sure to sign up *here* to receive the newsletter next Thursday. We want to hear from you! Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone and Bridget  

This week… Voters went to the polls, Martha McSally discussed her Senate run, three Republicans retired and Utah got a new congressman. Here’s what happened At the Races:

DCCC Adds 11 GOP Targets, including Paul Ryan
Democrats are now targeting 91 Republican districts in 2018

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has added 11 more Republicans to its 2018 target list, including Speaker Paul D. Ryan.

The DCCC now has its sights on 91 GOP seats next year. Twenty-three are districts that Democrat Hillary Clinton carried last year, while 68 voted for President Donald Trump. The new targets were first reported by The Washington Post.

Roy Moore: ‘The Transgenders Don’t Have Rights’
Controversial Alabama Senate candidate was twice removed from state Supreme Court

Updated 3:54 p.m. | Alabama Republican Roy Moore has long railed against allowing transgender Americans to serve in the military. On Wednesday, the former state Supreme Court chief justice took his statements a step further.

“The transgenders don’t have rights,” he said Wednesday, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. Moore was at a press conference touting endorsements from 13 county sheriffs. 

GOP Knocks Casey for Supporting Assault Weapons Ban
Casey is running for re-election in a state Trump narrowly won

Sen. Bob Casey was the only Democrat in a competitive 2018 race to sign onto a bill banning assault weapons, and Republicans wasted no time criticizing the move. 

The Pennsylvania Democrat has evolved on gun control issues since he was first elected in 2006. And Republicans are accusing him of misleading Pennsylvania voters.

John Curtis Wins Utah Special Election for Chaffetz’s Seat
Provo mayor’s victory keeps 3rd District in Republican hands

Republican John Curtis has won the special election in Utah’s 3rd district, keeping former Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s seat in GOP hands.

With 55 percent of precincts reporting, Curtis, the popular mayor of Provo, the district’s largest city, had 59 percent of the vote, The Associated Press reported. The other top contenders, Democrat Kathie Allen and Jim Bennett of the United Utah Party, trailed with 26 percent and 9 percent, respectively.