calif-24

West Coast Wasteland: Why the GOP Struggles in California

Republican consultants are pessimistic about their chances to oust Democratic Reps. Ami Bera, center left, and Scott Peters, center, from their competitive California House seats. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As 2016 quickly approaches, Republicans are struggling to find top recruits in a trio of competitive House districts in California — a state where the party has suffered defeat at the congressional level for decades.  

The National Republican Congressional Committee sent a staffer out to the Golden State last week to search for and meet with potential candidates and convince them to run in competitive districts in San Diego, Palm Springs and Sacramento, according to a source with knowledge of the visit.  

Democrat to Detractors: I'm Doing Better Than Your Guy

Schneider is running for an open Santa Barbara House seat. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Seeking to avoid a contentious primary, some national Democrats have been working behind the scenes to force Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider out of a competitive open-seat House contest in California's 24th District.  

But Schneider has no plans to bow out of the race, and on Wednesday released a poll showing a slight lead in a primary against the candidate national Democrats prefer: Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal.  

Laura Capps Won't Seek Mother's Seat in California

Capps is not seeking re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Laura Capps announced Monday she will not seek the California seat being vacated by her mother, Democratic Rep. Lois Capps.  

The younger Capps, a Democratic political operative and nonprofit consultant, had long been viewed as a potential successor in the Santa Barbara-based 24th District.  

Candidates Look to Make Family Legacies in Congress

Murkowski, right, and her father are among those who claim a family legacy in Congress. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11 a.m. | When nine-term Democratic Rep. Lois Capps announced her retirement , all eyes turned to a potential successor: her daughter.  

A nonprofit consultant and community activist who has never run for office, Laura Burton Capps has long been seen as a possible successor to her mother. (Her father Walter Capps first held the seat, but died after just nine months in office. Lois Capps won a special election to succeed him.)  

Republican Launches Bid to Succeed Lois Capps in California

Capps will not seek re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans have landed a top recruit for a competitive open-seat House race in California.  

State Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian will launch his campaign Friday in the race to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Lois Capps in the coastal Santa Barbara-based 24th District. Achadjian will hold a kick-off event at 2 p.m. ET at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, according to a news release. His state Assembly district overlaps with a large portion of the congressional district, and the release already lists a line of local elected officials backing his candidacy.  

Lois Capps to Retire (Video)

Capps will not seek re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 2:24 p.m. | California Rep. Lois Capps announced Wednesday she will not run for re-election.  

Capps, 77, has represented the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based 24th District since 1998. The Democrat ran in a special election that year to replace her husband, Walter Capps, who died of a heart attack less than a year into his first term in Congress.  

Is This a House Race, or Just a Rumor?

House Democrats recently spent $100,000 on radio ads for Capps. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In what is already a strange cycle, operatives on both sides are bracing for surprises on election night.  

Rumors flew last week about a surprise poll or errant television reservation that could spell doom for an incumbent considered a safe bet for re-election a week ago.  

DCCC Announces 26 Members on Frontline Incumbent Retention Program

Israel leads the DCCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel named 26 of his colleagues to the Frontline program, a committee program designed to protect their most vulnerable incumbents.

“We call this program Frontline for a reason – these Members are on the vanguard of protecting and expanding the middle class,” Israel said in a written statement released Tuesday morning.

California: GOP Polls Find Competitive House Races

Rep. Lois Capps is in a competitive re-election race in California. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Polls conducted for two California Republicans found close races in Democratic-leaning districts that rank among the GOP's targets for November.

According to memos released by their campaigns, former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado (R) trailed Rep. Lois Capps (D) by 2 points in the 24th district, and Long Beach City Councilman Gary DeLong (R) trailed state Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D) by 3 points in the 47th district.