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West Virginia House Hopeful Says He's No Carpetbagger (Video)

The candidate: Former Maryland state Sen. Alex Mooney The member: Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., is running for Senate, leaving an open race for her House seat in 2014. The district: In 2012, Mitt Romney won the 2nd District, which includes Charleston and the Eastern Panhandle, by more than 20 points. But Democrats continue to win local office in this region in West Virginia, making the race somewhat competitive.

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Doctor Candidate Plans to Tap Medical Community for Fundraising (Video)
The candidate: Surgeon Bob Johnson, a Republican. The member: Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., who is running for Senate, leaving his seat open in 2014. The district: Kingston has held the 1st District, which includes all of of Georgia's coastline, since 1992. It's a strong district for the GOP, and Mitt Romney carried it with 56 percent last cycle. The team: John Konkus at Jamestown Associates (general c...
Republican Hopeful Explains Van Damme Truck Trick (Video)

The candidate: Mike Collins, a Republican The member: Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., is running for Senate, leaving his seat open in 2014. The 10th District: Broun has held this strong GOP district since 2007, soundly winning re-election each cycle since then. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the district with 62 percent. The candidate’s team: Brandon Phillips at Wiregrass Strategy Group (general consultant) and Bob Kish at Third Wave Communications (media).

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Yule and YOLO: The 2013 Dingell Jingle

Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., released his annual "Dingell Jingle," a lyrical gift rife with potshots, holiday jeer and even the acronym "YOLO."

Parodying the poem "A visit from St. Nicholas," the longest serving member of Congress penned a rhyming condemnation of the 2013 government shutdown spanning a full eight stanzas.

Republicans Seek Straight Flush in North Dakota

If politics were poker, North Dakota Republicans would hold all the right cards and the deck would be stacked in their favor.

Except for Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, the GOP controls every state and federal elected position in the Sioux State. The GOP’s good political fortune continues with the state’s booming economy, fueled by recently tapped oil reserves, and an unemployment rate that sits below 3 percent.

Reps, Wizards Christen Horton's Kids Hoops

"Do y'all know how to shoot any hoops out here in Ward 8?" Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., asked the crowd gathered to cut the ribbon on the newly refurbished outdoor basketball court at the Horton Kid's Community Resource Center.

Norton, along with House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., both congressional hoopsters, were on hand Tuesday evening to celebrate the court's reopening, a project funded by Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation — a charitable wing of the Washington Wizards organization — and the Hoops for Youth Foundation.

Big John Cornyn Hangs Out on Google

In describing his typical week, Sen. John Cornyn said in a Google Hangout Monday that he's "kind of a boring guy." Outside of work, the Texas Republican said he likes to hunt, read and exercise, but he doesn't want constituents to think he doesn't like his job in Senate.

That squares with the "Big John" imagery of his last campaign's advertising, but we digress.

On Reddit AMA, Niels Lesniewski Discusses Nuclear Option, Movember

Roll Call's own Niels Lesniewski took to Reddit Friday to field questions about what happened in the Senate Thursday in the wake of the nuclear option being triggered.

His "Ask Me Anything" thread is still live on the site.

For Holiday Season, Hillys Offer a Guide

Now that the Roll Call holiday gift and eating guide is out, it seems like as good a time as any to plug the Capitol Hill businesses, nonprofits and services that were recently honored at the Hilly Awards.

About 100 people milled about the Stars and Stripes Club on Nov. 16, drinking, snacking and chatting in a large room that overlooked Nationals Park from behind home plate.

Republican Seeks to Succeed Paul Broun in Georgia (Video)

The candidate:

 Donna Sheldon, a Republican The member: Rep. Paul Broun, a three-term Republican who will run for Senate in 2014, leaving the seat open

Tolar's Natural Transition From Florida to Arkansas | Hill Climbers

Talk about trial by fire. When Helen Walker Tolar joined Sen. John Boozman as his chief of staff in the midst of the government shutdown, nothing was typical.

“I couldn’t have come at a more bananas time,” Tolar said. Throughout it, she and the rest of the office were “flooded with calls” from constituents concerned about a wide array of issues regarding the shutdown, such as the state of federal hunting grounds.

What We Learned From Manchin's AMA

Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., opened up last week, answering 10 questions submitted by Redditors in a video posted by The Atlantic.

In a visual version of Reddit's "Ask Me Anything" posts, Manchin spoke widely on his political beliefs. In fewer than 20 minutes, Manchin said he believes in traditional marriage, that redistricting can and should be done by objective computer models and that identification should be required when voting in federal elections.

Take Five: Rep. Bill Flores

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to his or her legislative work.

This week, Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, discusses Texas A&M football, life on the ranch and snow skiing.

Manchin Preaches Common Sense at Common Ground Awards

The D.C.-based group No Labels wants to bridge the growing gap between Republicans and Democrats, a lofty goal but one that the Search for Common Ground praised at its Thursday night awards ceremony.

Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., and Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., were on hand at the National Geographic Museum to accept the award. A couple of hundred people crowded into the museum's auditorium for the ceremony.

K Streeters Downplay Their Influence on Reddit

Two D.C.-based lobbyists bore down on their keyboards Wednesday, telling Redditors in their “Ask Me Anything” that lobbyists are people, too.

In a rare occurrence, K Streeters Jack Quinn and John Feehery of  QGA Public Affairs came to Reddit — a site not known for its appreciation of corporate or special interests —with open arms.

K Street Heads to Reddit

Two veteran lobbyists are about to go boldly where others on K Street have not — Reddit, where they're scheduled for an "Ask Me Anything" session this afternoon.

At 3 p.m., Jack Quinn and John Feehery of QGA Public Affairs will start their AMA on the popular social media site, subjecting themselves to questioning by anyone with an Internet connection.

Redditors Ask Joe Manchin, Well, Anything

Sen. Joe Manchin will release a video response on Friday to questions submitted to a thread on Reddit over Monday and Tuesday.

The West Virginia Democrat will spend a fair amount of his screen time addressing the Mountain State's long ties to the coal industry, a popular theme in the user-submitted comments. Manchin will divvy up the rest of his time talking about gay rights, voter identification requirements, gun control and more.

McKeon Challenger Sees Advantages in Open-Seat Race (Video)

The candidate:

 Podiatrist Lee Rogers, a Democrat. The member: Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, a Republican.

John Schlimm Delivers a Mouthful for Veggie Caucus

John Schlimm grew up in rural Pennsylvania working in his father's butcher shop — a long way from the Capitol Visitor Center, where the vegan cookbook writer lunched on Thursday with the Congressional Vegetarian Staff Association.

The veggie caucus, as it's known colloquially, has been hosting vegetarian lunches and educational events since a small group of like-palated staffers decided to fight back against the lack of vegetarian fare in congressional dining halls.

Biden Tops Michigan Democrat's List of Pols to Bolster House Bid (Video)

The candidate: Former state Rep. Pam Byrnes, a Democrat. The member: Rep. Tim Walberg, a Republican. The district: Michigan’s 7th District, which favored GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012, but only by 3 points. The candidate’s team: Al Quinlan of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (polling), Martha McKenna and Jennifer Pihlaja of McKenna Pihlaja (media), Terry Walsh of The Strategy Group (mail), Karen Defilippi (campaign manager)

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