Shira T. Center

Exclusive: NRCC Names Senior Staff for 2016

The National Republican Congressional Committee will announce Friday its senior staff for the 2016 cycle and the return of several top aides, according to information shared first with CQ Roll Call.  

“This exceptional team is already working to gain and maintain our majority in the 2016 cycle,” NRCC Executive Director Rob Simms  said in a statement. “We are very fortunate that many members of the team who built the historic majority in 2014, are moving into senior positions to continue helping successful Republican campaigns." Last cycle, House Republicans picked up a net 13 seats. But party operatives are more wary about 2016, when presidential year turnout likely will boost Democrats up and down the ballot.  

Democrat Kicks Off Race for Open Pennsylvania Seat

The cycle's first race for a competitive House contest began in earnest Thursday, when Democratic state Rep. Steve Santarsiero filed paperwork to run in southeastern Pennsylvania's 8th District. Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., has indicated he will not seek another term thanks to self-imposed term limits. On paper, the district is competitive: President Barack Obama narrowly lost it in 2012, while Fitzpatrick won re-election there by double-digit margins in the past two cycles.  “It’s time we make Washington accountable to our citizens," Santarsiero, an attorney and former high school teacher, said in a statement. "I will make it a priority to focus on keeping the middle class families of the 8th District secure while helping to grow our economy, create jobs and bring real reform to Washington.”

Several Republicans named outgoing Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley as one of their top prospects for the race. But two Pennsylvania GOP operatives noted to CQ Roll Call he's considering other career options, including the private sector or a bid for state treasurer.  

Sources: Chris Gibson Will Announce Retirement

Rep. Chris Gibson, R-N.Y., will announce his retirement Tuesday, according to two GOP sources.  

The Republican, who was re-elected to a third term in November, will open a competitive seat in 2016 with his departure following this Congress. President Barack Obama carried the district with 52 percent, making it a must-win for House Democrats if they want to put a dent in the GOP's historic majority this cycle.  Last year, Gibson annihilated venture capitalist Sean Eldridge, the Democratic nominee with deep pockets, by nearly 30 points.  

Mark Kirk: 'No Frickin' Way Am I Retiring'

Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., has a message for anyone who doubts his will or appetite for a second term.

“No frickin’ way am I retiring,” he told CQ Roll Call in an exclusive interview Thursday from his Capitol Hill office, following some speculation in local press over the senator’s future and his shifting political operation. ”With all this rehab, for me just to walk was a huge effort. I had to re-learn how to walk again after the stroke. And all the rehab and all the effort shows the mental determination times 10 to keep serving.”

How Elise Stefanik Became the Youngest Woman Ever Elected to Congress

Rep.-elect Elise Stefanik's path to victory in New York reflected the trajectory of the midterms nationally, as Republicans invaded Democratic territory to make double-digit gains in the House.  

But in so many other ways, Stefanik’s dominant win was of her own making.  

How Elise Stefanik Became the Youngest Woman Ever Elected to Congress

Rep.-elect Elise Stefanik’s path to victory in New York reflected the trajectory of the midterms nationally, as Republicans invaded Democratic territory to make double-digit gains in the House.

But in so many other ways, Stefanik’s dominant win was of her own making.

The Best Congressional Campaigns of 2014

As a national Republican wave crested on Election Day, there were several campaigns in both parties that stood out as outstanding operations.  

The GOP expanded its House majority and obtained control of the Senate. As a result, more Republican campaigns emerged deserving of the spotlight. But there were also several Democratic operations worthy of recognition.  

The Best Congressional Campaigns of 2014

As a national Republican wave crested on Election Day, there were several campaigns in both parties that stood out as outstanding operations.

The GOP expanded its House majority and obtained control of the Senate. As a result, more Republican campaigns emerged deserving of the spotlight. But there were also several Democratic operations worthy of recognition.

After GOP Wave, Williams Won't Challenge Walden for NRCC

With House Republicans winning their largest majority since 1929, the posturing to challenge National Republican Congressional Committee Greg Walden may be over.  

While there are still some questions whether Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., — or any other House Republican — will challenge Walden, at least one potential contender is out.  

Roll Call Event With Top Senate Campaign Aides Thursday

The cycle's top campaign operatives will delve inside the races that decided the Senate majority in a special post-election briefing at CQ Roll Call's Election Impact Conference .  

Guy Cecil, executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Rob Collins, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, will discuss the top Senate contests of 2014 — their first joint appearance after Election Day.  

Where Should Roll Call Travel to Cover the Midterms?

Less than 36 hours remain for readers to vote on where to send Roll Call reporters Alexis Levinson and Emily Cahn to cover the final weeks of the midterms.

Vote Now in the #RCReadersChoice Runoff

Readers will have one more opportunity this week to pick the House and Senate races Roll Call will cover from the ground in the final weeks of the midterms.  

Last week, thousands of votes were cast to send reporters @cahnemily and @alexis_levinson  on the road in our first #RCReadersChoice survey. Two House races and two Senate races lead their packs, and now readers have until Thursday at 5 p.m. for the runoff contest.  

Top Campaign Aides Reveal Picks for #RCReadersChoice

If the campaign committees had their way, Roll Call reporters would be heading to disparate locations during the final stretch of the midterms.  

As part of our survey to determine our final campaign stops of the midterms,  Roll Call asked top communications aides at each of the four congressional campaign committees for their picks for our next road trip. Not a single one of them chose the same race.  

Vote Now: Where Should Roll Call Travel to Cover the Midterms?

Will it be Omaha or San Diego? Raleigh or Topeka? Lexington or Denver?  

Two days of voting have passed in Roll Call's first reader survey to determine where we should send reporters cover the midterms. The polls for this round close Friday at 5 p.m.  

You Decide: Where Should Roll Call Travel for the Midterm Elections?

In our unprecedented effort to cover the midterm elections, Roll Call has hit the campaign trail in 14 states so far this year, covering 24 congressional races and writing 36 datelined stories from Adel, Iowa,  to Tallulah, Louisiana .  

We've written about House and Senate races in ArizonaGeorgiaIllinoisIowaMassachusettsMississippiNew HampshirePennsylvania , TexasWest Virginia  and more. Later this week, we'll head back to Louisiana to cover this cycle's most vulnerable senator .  

The Complexity of the U.S. Border Crisis, in 7 Photos

NOGALES, Ariz. — Didn't get to the border during your August recess to do research for your boss? We have you covered.  

In the days before they last left town, the House rallied to pass an appropriations bill aiming to curtail the influx of child migrants — legislation that's going to hit a wall in the Senate whether or not the president takes any executive action.  

The Complexity of the U.S. Border Crisis, in 7 Photos

NOGALES, Ariz. — Didn’t get to the border during your August recess to do research for your boss? We have you covered.

In the days before they last left town, the House rallied to pass an appropriations bill aiming to curtail the influx of child migrants — legislation that’s going to hit a wall in the Senate whether or not the president takes any executive action.

Temps and Tensions Max Out in Arizona Primary

PHOENIX — It’s a dry 108-degree heat this August afternoon, and Tony Valdovinos only prays it gets hotter. The curly-haired field director for Ruben Gallego, a Democrat running in the open House race here, has his reasons.  

“We know when it’s hot, we’re the only ones out there,” says Valdovinos, slighting the opposition’s turnout operation as he drives through a wide boulevard en route to an early evening canvass.  

Temps and Tensions Max Out in Arizona Primary

PHOENIX — It’s a dry 108-degree heat this August afternoon, and Tony Valdovinos only prays it gets hotter. The curly-haired field director for Ruben Gallego, a Democrat running in the open House race here, has his reasons.

“We know when it’s hot, we’re the only ones out there,” says Valdovinos, slighting the opposition’s turnout operation as he drives through a wide boulevard en route to an early evening canvass.