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Democratic Field Narrows in Minnesota's Second District

Lawrence was running to replace Kline, who's retiring at the end of this term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrat Mary Lawrence announced Tuesday that she is dropping out of the race for the Democratic-Farmer-Labor endorsement in Minnesota's 2nd District.  

"At this juncture, it is clear that I would not win the DFL endorsement through the caucus process," Lawrence said in a statement.  

Democratic Challengers Make Gun Control a Security Issue

In the wake of terror attacks and mass shootings, Democrats are making their gun control argument more about national security. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Gun control has rarely been a winning general election issue for Democrats — and they know it. But the renewed focus on homeland security after the terror attacks in Paris and two mass shootings at home has given Democrats an opening to try to make it one. Democratic challengers in some of this year’s most competitive races  are appealing to Americans' fears about terrorism to broach gun control, specifically by calling out Republican incumbents for not backing New York Republican Rep. Peter T. King's bill, first introduced nine years ago, to prevent people on the terror watch list from purchasing firearms.  

"It's an easier issue to talk about because it seems so obvious and logical," a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee aide said on Dec. 4.  

Minnesota Democrat Wins Congressional Progressive Caucus Backing

Craig is seeking the DFL endorsement for the seat currently held by Kline, above. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Minnesota Democrat Angie Craig won the backing of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Wednesday in her quest to secure the Democratic-Farmer-Labor endorsement in Minnesota's open 2nd District.  

Securing the support of 72 members of Congress is a strong boost for Craig, who will be competing with physician Mary Lawrence for the party's support at its convention next spring.  

New Names Surface as Republicans Pass on Race to Succeed Kline

The list of potential GOP successors to Kline has changed in the past week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In a district that’s been in Republican hands for seven terms, Democrats have at least two candidates lined up to contest the newly open race for retiring Minnesota Rep. John Kline's seat. Republicans, not so much.  

“It is wide open,” one Minnesota Republican strategist said of the race on the GOP side.  

Two Women Vie to Be the Democrat in Race for Kline's Seat

Both Democratic women vying for the DFL endorsement think they have a better shot now that Kline is retiring. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Without seven-term GOP Rep. John Kline on the ballot, Democrats in Minnesota suddenly have a much better shot at flipping a district President Barack Obama carried twice.  

The question now is which of two Democratic women will be the candidate. So far, Minnesota's Democratic delegation isn't choosing sides between health care executive Angie Craig and physician Mary Lawrence.  

Minnesota's John Kline Will Not Seek Eighth Term (Updated)

Kline will not seek re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 12:10 p.m.| Seven-term Minnesota GOP Rep. John Kline announced Thursday he will not run for re-election, putting Republicans in a tough spot to hold the southeastern Minnesota district in a presidential year. "It has been and will continue to be a privilege serving the men and women of Minnesota’s 2nd District for the next 16 months,” he said in a statement Thursday morning.  

Kline was first elected in 2002 and won re-election last November by 17 points. But his seat has been a perennial Democratic target since President Barack Obama narrowly carried the district twice. His retirement announcement is prompting The  Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report /Roll Call to move the race from Safe Republican to Tossup. Adding to Republican challenges this cycle is that there's no gubernatorial or Senate race in Minnesota. And as the state is not competitive at the presidential level, the party is unlikely to have a strong turnout operation in place to aide down-ballot contests.  Even before Kline’s announcement, Democrats were enthused about two female candidates in the race: health care executive Angie Craig and physician Mary Lawrence. Lawrence, who loaned her campaign $500,000 in the second quarter, had more than $1 million in the bank at the end of the period. Craig had $231,000 in the bank by the end of June. On the Republican side, multiple party operatives said to expect a crowded primary. Possible candidates include:

EMILY's List Targets 15 Republicans for 2016

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

EMILY's List put 15 GOP incumbents "On Notice" for their re-election bids Monday, naming its top GOP targets for 2016, according to a release provided first to CQ Roll Call.  

The group, which backs women who support abortion rights, says each incumbent has a bad record on women's health issues, and will make it a priority to find female recruits to challenge them next fall. The list is almost identical to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's top targets in 2016, when the party will seek to put a dent in Republicans' historic House majority.  

DCCC Promotes Nine Candidates to 'Red to Blue' Program for 2014

The DCCC Chairman is Israel. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Friday its latest round of candidates in "Red to Blue," a program that targets open-seat races and districts held by Republicans.  

House Democrats must pick up 17 seats to win control of that chamber — a daunting task in a midterm election. Offensive opportunities, like those in the Red to Blue program, are vital to the party's mission. The DCCC released its first round  of 35 Red to Blue candidates earlier this year.  

Where Is Democratic Super PAC Spending Money? These 24 Districts Get Fall TV Reservations

Raul Ruiz, seen here during his 2012 campaign in California, is among the freshmen Democrats getting a boost from a super PAC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Majority PAC, a super PAC with the aim of electing House Democrats, announced its first round of television reservations for the fall.  

The reservations, totaling about $6.5 million, are for "the final weeks of the election in 24 districts," a news release stated.  

Democratic Super PAC Slams GOP in Shutdown Ads

Coffmann is a top Democratic target in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Majority PAC, a super PAC that aims to elect House Democrats, announced Thursday it will unleash a major advertising campaign against nine House Republicans over the shutdown.

The total buy is for a "mid-six figure" sum, according to the political action committee's spokesman. It will run web and TV ads against Republican Reps. Mike Coffman of Colorado's 6th District, Steve Southerland II of Florida's 2nd, Joe Heck of Nevada's 3rd and David Joyce of Ohio's 14th.