Bridget Bowman

GOP Gears Up for Primary in Wisconsin Senate Race
Candidates already battling over conservative bona fides

A Republican primary is officially underway in the Wisconsin Senate race, with candidates facing off over who should take on Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin next year.

President Donald Trump won the Badger State by less than one point in November, the first time a Republican presidential nominee had won Wisconsin in more than 30 years. GOP Sen. Ron Johnson also ran 2 points ahead of Trump in winning a second term.

GOP Rep. Pete Sessions Gets Another Democratic Challenger
Lillian Salerno worked for the Obama administration

Lillian Salerno announced Tuesday that she is jumping into the field of Democrats hoping to take on Texas GOP Rep. Pete Sessions, as Sessions emphasizes that he is definitely running for re-election.

Democrats are targeting the district that includes northern Dallas, which Hillary Clinton narrowly won in November. In 2016, Sessions did not have a Democratic opponent. But Salerno, who worked in the Obama administration, is joining an already crowded field of Democrats who will face off in a March 6 primary.

Report: Romney Prepping Senate Run in Utah if Hatch Retires
Hatch has said Romney would not challenge him for the seat

Former presidential nominee Mitt Romney is prepared to run for Senate in Utah if the state’s senior GOP senator Orrin G. Hatch decides to retire, Utah Policy reported Monday.

The report cited unnamed sources close to Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, who said he is preparing a Senate run in case Hatch opts not to run again. Hatch had previously said this term would be his last, but he has since signaled he could run for an eighth time.

Moderate GOP Rep. Charlie Dent Not Running for Re-Election
Dent often the voice of the GOP conference’s moderate wing

Rep. Charlie Dent announced Thursday night that he would not be seeking re-election. The Pennsylvania Republican is one of the leading moderates in the GOP conference.

“I’ve always said down the street there’s been a fair amount of instability, uncertainty and dysfunction. I’ve always come to accept a certain amount of dysfunction in government,” Dent said Thursday night. “But, I guess they’ve taken it to a new level. They’ve taken the fun out of dysfunction.”

Former Rep. Mike Honda Joins California PAC
“Red to Blue California” PAC aims to flip Golden State House seats

Former Rep. Michael M. Honda is the new chairman of the “Red to Blue California” political action committee, which is focused on unseating House Republicans in the Golden State.

The California Democrat, who served eight terms in the House, will serve in an advisory role and as a surrogate for the PAC, which aims to pick up seven GOP seats that Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton carried last fall.

Strange Reverses Filibuster Position as Primary Runoff Nears
Alabama Republican will face Roy Moore on Sept. 26

Updated 6 p.m. | Sen. Luther Strange has changed his position on the 60-vote threshold to advance legislation in the Senate, amid a competitive primary contest for the Alabama Republican’s seat. 

Citing conversations with President Donald Trump, Strange announced Tuesday that he wants to eliminate the threshold for ending debate on legislation in the Senate, and that he would send a letter to chamber leaders asking them to lower the threshold to a majority vote. The change puts Strange in agreement with Trump, who has frequently called on GOP Senate leaders to eliminate the high threshold so they could more easily pass legislation.

Democratic Soul-Searching in One Pennsylvania House Race
Crowded primary candidates battle over who can win GOP district

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. — Democrats across the country are doing some soul-searching as Congress returns to the nation’s capital. The crowded Democratic primaries taking shape raise questions about whether more liberal candidates can win in Republican districts.

For a sense of how that battle for the party is playing out on the ground, look no further than Pennsylvania’s 7th District.

Why Democrats and Republicans See Opportunity in One House Race
Brian Fitzpatrick is a Democratic target, but Republicans say he is in a strong position

BENSALEM, Pa. — Republicans like Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick who have bucked their party will likely have to answer the question he faced after a town hall meeting here: What do you say to President Donald Trump’s supporters who are upset with you?

“It’s very easy. You call balls and strikes individually with every issue that comes up,” Fitzpatrick said. “It shouldn’t matter whether the president supports it or opposes it, whether Nancy Pelosi supports it or opposes it.”

DCCC Launches Health Care Facebook Ads in Targeted Districts
Ad highlights GOP health care bill

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is launching a new Facebook ad campaign aimed at nearly all of its 80 GOP targets that highlights the Republican health care bill. 

The ads are targeted at Republicans who voted for the bill — and even Republicans who voted against it. The committee is delaying launching the ads in the three Texas districts it is targeting in light of the Hurricane Harvey's devastation. But they will eventually run in those districts.

Rob Bishop Says His Next Term Will Be His Last
Bishop is facing a term limit as head of Natural Resources

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop said if he is re-elected for a ninth term in 2018, it would be his last term in Congress.

The Utah Republican said at a town hall meeting on Friday that he would leave Congress after one more term, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick Can’t Escape Trump Back Home
What happens when a Republican in swing district faces his constituents

BENSALEM TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick was not surprised by the first question at his town hall meeting here Tuesday night.

“I’m shocked to get a Donald Trump question tonight,” the Pennsylvania Republican joked, eliciting laughter from the crowd gathered in the Bensalem Township’s Council meeting room prior to the president’s speech in Phoenix

Democrats Hope for ‘Perfect Storm’ in Alabama Senate Race
Doug Jones touted as party’s strongest candidate in years

As Republicans gear up for a grueling primary runoff in the Alabama special election Senate race, Democratic candidate Doug Jones has the race to himself. And Democrats see Jones as their best hope for victory in a ruby-red state.

But that’s a tall order for Jones.

Perlmutter Changes Mind, Decides to Run for Re-Election
Colorado Democratic congressman says he has had time to ‘regroup and recharge’

Rep. Ed Perlmutter reversed course Monday, announcing his decision to run for re-election, shaking up the Democratic primary for his House seat and prompting two candidates to end their campaigns.

The Colorado Democrat had previously said he would not run for re-election after ending his gubernatorial campaign. But Perlmutter changed his mind, saying in a statement that he had decided to run for a 7th term.

GOP State Senator to Challenge Heitkamp
Heitkamp is one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats

North Dakota state Sen. Tom Campbell has decided to challenge Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp for her Senate seat, the state lawmaker confirmed Wednesday. 

Campbell said he made his decision after months of consideration and traveling the state.

Farenthold to Run for Re-Election Despite Redistricting Issues
A court ruled Tuesday that his district was illegally drawn

GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold said Wednesday that he would run for re-election in 2018, even though his southern Texas district might need to be redrawn.

A federal panel ruled Tuesday that the boundaries for Farenthold’s 27th District and the 35th District, represented by Democrat Lloyd Doggett, violated the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act. The court ruled that the districts were drawn primarily on the basis of race. The Republican-controlled state government signaled it would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

DCCC Raises More Than $6 Million in July
Committee’s fundraising outpaces July 2015

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised more than $6 million in July, roughly $2 million more than it did in July 2015.

The campaign arm of House Democrats raked in $6.26 in July, with 40 percent of donations coming from online contributions, according to figures provided exclusively to Roll Call.

John Curtis Wins GOP Primary for Chaffetz’s Seat in Utah
Provo mayor had been attacked for his Democratic past

Provo Mayor John Curtis has won the Republican primary to replace former Rep. Jason Chaffetz in Utah’s 3rd District.

With 91 percent of precincts reporting, Curtis had 41 percent of the vote, The Associated Press reported. The other two contenders, former state Rep. Chris Herrod and businessman Tanner Ainge, trailed with 31 percent and 28 percent, respectively. 

Moore, Strange Advance to Runoff in Alabama Senate Primary
Pair will face off on Sept. 26 for Republican nomination

Judge Roy Moore and Sen. Luther Strange will advance to a Republican primary runoff in the Alabama special election Senate race for the remaining term of former Sen. Jeff Sessions’ seat.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Moore led Strange 39 percent to 33 percent, The Associated Press reported. Since neither candidate garnered more than 50 percent of the vote, Moore and Strange, as the top two finishers in the nine-person field, will face off in a Sept. 26 runoff. 

Doug Jones Wins Democratic Primary in Alabama Senate Race
Republican contest heading for runoff between Moore and Strange

Former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones handily won the Democratic primary in the Alabama special election Senate race Tuesday night, while the Republican primary is heading into a runoff.

Jones, who successfully prosecuted two suspects in the 1963 bombing of a Birmingham church, won the primary outright. With 98 percent of precincts reporting, he led a seven-candidate field with 66 percent of the vote, The Associated Press reported. 

Court Finds Two House Districts in Texas Were Illegally Drawn
27th and 35th districts were drawn on the basis of race, judges rule

A federal panel ruled Tuesday that the drawing of two Texas House districts violated federal law and that the state’s congressional map needs to be redrawn ahead of the 2018 midterms.

The unanimous ruling from the three-judge panel found that the 35th District, represented by Democrat Lloyd Doggett, and the 27th District, represented by Republican Blake Farenthold, were drawn primarily on the basis of race, violating the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.