Brown had more cash on hand going into the primary than Johnson — a rare feat for a challenger. Fundraising reports, due April 15, will shed light on whether Johnson stepped up his fundraising for Brown’s challenge.
Johnson does have time on his side. This primary is coming soon, which gives Brown less time to make his case to voters.
Johnson hopes an endorsement from President Barack Obama will also boost his re-election bid. The president remains overwhelmingly popular in this majority-minority district.
Race Rating: Georgia’s 4th District is rated a Safe Democratic contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.Incumbent Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho
Primary: May 20
Challenger: Attorney Bryan Smith
Simpson’s re-election battle marks the epicenter of this cycle’s fight for control of the House GOP conference.
A top ally to Boehner, Simpson faces his first tough challenge in years. Groups such as the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund have endorsed Smith.
As a result, both Republicans are likely to run well-funded campaigns. In the next few weeks, television and radio ads will swamp the inexpensive Idaho stations.
National Republicans who are rooting for Simpson are growing cautiously confident in his chances. But if the club or SCF decides to invest heavily in the race, that could change quickly.
Race Rating: Idaho’s 2nd District is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.Incumbent: Rep. Ralph M. Hall, R-Texas
Primary: May 27
Challenger: Attorney John Ratcliffe
Like Jones in North Carolina, this House primary showcases a battle between a member’s name-brand versus an outsider onslaught. But Hall’s real political vulnerability stems more from the fact that the 90-year-old has never run a modern campaign.
Ratcliffe spent his own money to launch his bid and pushed Hall into a runoff. Soon after that, the club and other conservative groups jumped on the Ratcliffe bandwagon. Meanwhile, Republicans in the Lone Star State delegation and some operatives are rallying behind Hall.
Hall’s allies argue he barely missed the 50 percent threshold to avoid a runoff with Ratcliffe. But it’s not a good sign that more than half of the electorate voted against him in the primary.
Race Rating: The race is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.Incumbent: Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y.
Primary: June 24
Challengers: State Sen. Adriano Espaillat and Rev. Michael Walrond
Rangel barely defeated Espaillat in 2012. Espillat is back this cycle to challenge the 22-term Democrat, along with a third foe, Walrond.
Rangel’s relationship with President Barack Obama has a rocky history, but it’s local politics that presents new problems for him this time. The congressman was on the wrong side of 2013 Democratic mayoral primary: He endorsed another candidate over now-Mayor Bill de Blasio, his former campaign manager. Soon after Walrond announced his challenge to Rangel, de Blasio offered praise for the minister, per numerous reports.
Rev. Al Sharpton also stopped short of a Walrond endorsement, but he did question whether Rangel deserved a graceful exit from Congress at a speech in the First Corinthian Baptist Church — Walrond’s church, according to Capital New York.
Race Rating: The race is rated a Safe Democrat contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.