Time Is Running Out for Senate Primaries Fundraising

Duckworth has outraised her primary and general election opponents. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For several of this year's competitive Senate primaries, the fourth quarter of 2015 was the last fundraising quarter before primary day.  

In Ohio, Illinois and North Carolina, voters go to the polls on March 15, a month before the next Federal Election Commission fundraising report deadline. In all three of those states, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has backed the better-known candidate, who, unsurprisingly, raised more money from October through December of 2015. In Illinois, Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth, the DSCC's pick , raised $1.6 million, beating the $314,000 haul of her closest primary opponent, former Chicago Urban League CEO Andrea Zopp. State Sen. Napoleon Harris reportedly raised about $1 million. Notably for Duckworth, she again slightly out-raised  vulnerable GOP Sen. Mark S. Kirk and substantially narrowed the gap between their cash-on-hand totals.  

Becerra Won't Run for Senate

Becerra will run for re-election. (CQ Roll Call File Photo/Tom Williams)

Ending months of speculation, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra announced Thursday he won't run for Senate.  

The decision by the Californian keeps the highest-ranking Latino lawmaker in the mix for future leadership races , and avoids what would have been a very difficult primary battle for the seat being vacated by Barbara Boxer. “My decision came down to this: ‘Where can I make the biggest difference for hardworking people like my parents?’" Becerra said of his decision to run for re-election.  

Sanchez Stumbles Prompt SoCal Angst

Sanchez had a rough week announcing a Senate bid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Long shut out of statewide office, Southern California Democrats saw a glimmer of hope last week, when Orange County Rep. Loretta Sanchez announced a bid for the Golden State's open Senate seat.  

But a series of stumbles out of the gate has left some of them hesitant about whether they will back her uphill battle against state Attorney General Kamala Harris — with some waiting on Rep. Xavier Becerra, who is still considering jumping into the primary.  

Sanchez Senate Bid Opens Orange County House Seat

Sanchez is running for Senate in California. (By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After waffling on a run earlier this week, Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez announced Thursday she is  running for California's open Senate seat.  

"I'm running to give a voice to every Californian," Sanchez said at a rally in Santa Ana. While her candidacy sets up a competitive Senate race, Sanchez's bid also leaves vacant the Orange County-based 46th District for the first time in two decades, which could draw a crowded field of contenders looking to ascend to Congress.  

Loretta Sanchez May Announce California Senate Bid

Sanchez is running for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated, 8 p.m. | Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., may announce a bid for Senate in the Golden State Thursday, which would set up a primary in the open-seat race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.  

Citing an email intended for Sanchez supporters, sources told CQ Roll Call the congresswoman would make her announcement Thursday morning. That's one day before Democratic operatives and activists gather in Anaheim, located in her district, for the annual California Democratic Party Convention. The plan described in the email was for Sanchez to stand beside her "husband, family and friends," at the Santa Ana train station.  

EMILY's List Names VP of Independent Expenditures

Stephanie Schriock is president of EMILY's List. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

EMILY's List named Lucinda Guinn vice president of independent expenditures for the 2016 cycle, according to a release provided first to CQ Roll Call.  

In this role, Guinn will be tasked with running the Women Vote! program, which spends millions of dollars in support of the group's endorsed gubernatorial, Senate and House candidates. An EMILY's List aide said Guinn will also oversee potential spending in targeted state-level races that could impact redistricting in 2020.  

House Democrats Get Better Odds in California Senate Race

Villaraigosa, center, decided against a Senate bid in California. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A few House Democrats have found more favorable odds in California's Senate race after former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa eschewed a bid  for the open seat.  

Reps. Xavier Becerra, Loretta Sanchez and Adam B. Schiff — who all represent districts in and around Los Angeles — continue to consider bids for the seat of retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer. Without Villaraigosa, who also hails from the southern part of the country's most populous state , these House members have more of an opening to run.  

Antonio Villaraigosa Won't Seek Senate in California

Boxer is retiring. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will not run for California's open Senate seat, he announced in a Tuesday Facebook post. Villaraigosa's decision surprised California and Washington, D.C. operatives, who until recently said he was leaning toward running to succeed retiring  Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.  

"I am humbled by the encouragement I’ve received from so many to serve in the United States Senate. But as I think about how best to serve the people of this great state, I know that my heart and my family are here in California, not Washington, D.C.," Villaraigosa wrote in the post. "I have decided not to run for the U.S. Senate."  

Senators Confirm Re-Election Bids for 2016

Vitter has announced a bid for governor, leaving the future of his Senate seat in flux in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The 2016 cycle could feature the fewest open Senate seats in at least a decade.  

Of the 34 senators facing re-election next year, just one has announced retirement . A CQ Roll Call survey of the entire Senate class showed only one more senator publicly undecided about re-election, plus three additional senators considering bids for other offices. Two more Senate offices did not return requests for comment on re-election plans, though Democrats are near certain one of them — Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., will seek another term.  

Billionaire Passes on California Senate Race

Boxer is retiring. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hedge fund manager Tom Steyer, the billionaire Democrat who has spent considerable cash on environmental causes and candidates, will not run for Senate in California, he announced Thursday .  

Steyer openly mulled entering the race to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., but he passed on it, saying he decided he could have the most impact on environmental issues not in the Senate, but back home in California.