2017

Trump Disbands Advisory Councils as CEOs Flee
Merck, Under Armor and Intel chief executives departed earlier this week

President Donald Trump has decided to shut down two White House advisory councils.(Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump announced Wednesday he is disbanding two White House advisory councils following the resignation of several members.

That came after chief executives for Merck, Under Armor and Intel announced they all would be leaving the President’s American Manufacturing Council over Trump’s response to the violence that broke out shortly before a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Extremist groups, including neo-Nazis and the Klu Klux Klan, had gathered to oppose plans to remove a statute of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. 

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

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, said he would run for re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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.

Rating Change: Alabama Senate Race No Longer Solid GOP
Polarizing potential nominee could give Democrats a shot at takeover

Alabama Republican Roy Moore finished first in Tuesday’s special election GOP Senate primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Alabama Senate special election certainly isn’t a toss-up, but the possibility that former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore might become the Republican nominee creates the potential for a Democratic upset.

President Donald Trump’s polarizing persona is creating significant risk for congressional Republicans in next year’s midterm elections. But his decision to pluck Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions out of the Senate for his Cabinet created a special election this year that is turning out to be more adventurous than expected, considering Trump won the Yellowhammer State by 28 points less than a year ago.

Brooks Declines to Endorse Moore or Strange After Conceding Defeat
Congressman announces he will seek re-election after finishing third in Senate race

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., finished third after receiving 20 percent of the vote in the Republican primary Tuesday for Alabama's special election to the U.S. Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Mo Brooks is moving on after a distant third-place finish in the Republican primary on Tuesday for the Alabama Senate special election.

And Brooks is doing that without endorsing either of the two men, Judge Roy Moore and appointed Sen. Luther Strange, who beat him to enter a runoff on Sept. 26 to decide the GOP nominee.

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

New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján chairs the DCCC, which said it has received contributions from more than 200,000 first-time donors so far this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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

Utah Republican John Curtis won the 3rd District Republican primary on Tuesday. (Courtesy John Curtis Facebook page)

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. 

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

Doug Jones won the special election Senate Democratic primary in Alabama on Tuesday night. (Courtesy Doug Jones Facebook page)

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. 

Far-Right Protesters in Virginia Included ‘Very Fine’ People, Trump Says
Trump says ‘both sides’ to blame for Charlottesville unrest

President Donald Trump delivers remarks following a meeting on infrastructure at Trump Tower on Tuesday. He appeared to defend some of the white supremacist groups who help spawn deadly violence Saturday in Virginia. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday defended some of the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who were part of the deadly Charlottesville, Virginia, protests last weekend, saying there were “very fine people” on both sides of the racially charged unrest.

A defiant Trump, just a day after slamming the pro-white groups who organized the two-day protests of the planned removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, appeared to give some of their members cover. “There is blame on both sides,” he told reporters during what amounted to a brief impromptu press conference at Trump Tower in New York.

Russia Portfolio Comes in Handy for Senate Staffer
Shaheen aide Naz Durakoglu comes via Atlantic Council, State Dept., House

Naz Durakoglu is a senior foreign policy adviser to New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. (Screenshot, Middle East Institute)

Naz Durakoglu started her new job working for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in early June, shortly after the New Hampshire Democrat had pushed to add Russia sanctions to an Iran sanctions bill as it moved through the Foreign Relations Committee.

But after Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker of Tennessee said he would move ahead with a bipartisan effort to tighten sanctions against Moscow, Shaheen withdrew her amendments. The timing, though, put Durakoglu, as a senior foreign policy adviser to Shaheen, in the middle of discussions about how to respond to Russia’s efforts to meddle in the 2016 election.

3 Things to Watch in Alabama Senate Primary
GOP candidates face off Tuesday

Republican Roy Moore exits the building after a Senate candidate forum in Pelham, Ala., on Aug. 4. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican candidates in the Alabama Senate primary are facing off Tuesday in the special election for the remaining term of former Sen. Jeff Sessions.

If none of the nine candidates garner more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two contenders will head to a Sept. 26 runoff. The top three candidates who have been polling ahead of the rest of the field are the incumbent Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed to the seat in February after Sessions resigned to become attorney general; Roy Moore, the former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice; and Rep. Mo Brooks of the 5th District.