open-seat

Georgia Democrat Picks Up Progressive Endorsement
End Citizens United backs Jon Ossoff in special election

Democrat Jon Ossoff is one of 18 candidates vying for Georgia’s 6th District seat. (Courtesy Jon Ossoff for Congress Facebook page)

End Citizens United, a liberal political action committee, is throwing its weight behind Democrat Jon Ossoff in the race to replace Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price in Georgia’s 6th District. 

The endorsement is the latest sign that Democrats want to make a play for the district, which President Donald Trump carried by less than 2 points last fall, and that Ossoff is their top candidate. 

Georgia Candidates Are Not Afraid to Embrace Donald Trump
But is there room for multiple Trump loyalists in district that only narrowly voted for him?

Several Georgia Republicans are vying to take succeed newly confirmed Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price in the state’s 6th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump only carried Georgia’s 6th District by a point and a half last fall. But that’s not stopping multiple Republicans from wrapping their arms around him in the upcoming special election to replace newly confirmed Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price

Bruce LeVell, executive director of Trump’s National Diversity Coalition, and technology executive Bob Gray are vying to become the first Trump loyalists elected to Congress during his administration. Republican committeemen picked the establishment candidate over a Trump campaign staffer in last week’s nominating convention for Kansas’s 4th District.

Kansas GOPers Pick Establishment Candidate for Pompeo Seat
State Treasurer Ron Estes chosen over a Trump campaign staffer

Kansas Treasurer Ron Estes is likely the next congressman from the 4th District. (Courtesy Kansas for Estes Facebook page)

Ahead of the first special election of Donald Trump’s presidency, a small group of Kansas Republicans has effectively handpicked an establishment-backed candidate as the next congressman from the Wichita-based 4th District.

At a special nominating convention Thursday night, 126 district committeeman elected state Treasurer Ron Estes to be the GOP nominee for the open seat, which was vacated by Mike Pompeo after his confirmation as CIA director. Estes received 66 votes on the final ballot.

Meet Alabama’s New Senator: Luther Strange
Alabama governor appoints state attorney general to fill Sessions’ seat

Alabama’s Luther Strange, seen here testifying on Capitol Hill in 2014 on gun control proposals, replaces Jeff Sessions in the Senate. (Molly Riley/AP file photo)

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has appointed state Attorney General Luther Strange to fill the Senate seat of Jeff Sessions, whom the Senate confirmed as U.S. attorney general Wednesday night. 

“Alabama has surely been well represented by Sen. Sessions, and I am confident Sen. Strange will serve as a fine representative for our people,” the governor said in a Thursday morning statement.

NRCC Goes After Blue-Collar Districts in 2018
GOP campaign arm releases list of 36 initial targets

Rep. Tim Walz speaks with guests during a campaign event in Duluth for fellow Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan last fall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee’s initial list of offensive targets for 2018 includes 36 Democrat-held districts, many in blue-collar areas of the country.

If Democrats are targeting the well-educated suburbs (see New Jersey’s 11th District, for example), where Donald Trump either barely won or underperformed, Republicans are going after many rural districts where Hillary Clinton underperformed the congressional ticket. 

Lynn Jenkins Won’t Seek Any Political Office in 2018
Jenkins won’t run for 6th term in the House, may move into private sector

Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., won’t run for re-election in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins, a Republican from the 2nd District, announced Wednesday that she will not seek a 6th term in Congress, nor will she run for any political office in 2018.

“I will not be running for any office in 2018,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “In two years, at the conclusion of this Congress, I plan to retire and explore opportunities to return to the private sector, allowing a new citizen legislator to step up and serve Kansans,” Jenkins wrote.

Texas’ Sam Johnson Won’t Seek 14th Term
Congressman’s retirement opens up safe GOP seat

South Dakota Rep. Kristi Noem greets Texas Rep. Sam Johnson during a ceremony in the House Ways and Committee hearing room last November to dedicate a room in the Rayburn building in Johnson’s name. Johnson announced Friday that he won’t run for re-election in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Republican Rep. Sam Johnson won’t seek a 14th term in Congress, he announced Friday morning. 

“For me, the Lord has made clear that the season of my life in Congress is coming to an end,” the 3rd District congressman said in a statement.

Is There Space for a Republican EMILY’s List?
Litmus tests might not work the same way on the right

Alabama’s Martha Roby is one of only 26 Republican women in Congress. Some party members wonder if they need their own version of EMILY’s List to increase that number. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As recently as the second Reagan administration, Republicans had more women in Congress than Democrats. Then EMILY’s List took hold.

The political action committee, founded in 1984, dedicated itself to electing Democratic women who support abortion rights, becoming an influential force in primaries even when it clashed with the wishes of party leaders. Now, of the 104 women in the 115th Congress, 75 percent are Democrats.

Self-funder Among GOP Members Asking Colleagues for Debt Help
Indiana’s Trey Hollingsworth is worth nearly $60 million

Indiana Rep.-elect Trey Hollingsworth is on a list of GOP members asking their colleagues for help with unpaid campaign expenses. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Indiana Rep.-elect Trey Hollingsworth loaned his campaign more than $3 million of his own money to get elected in the 9th District this year. But he’s now asking his new colleagues in the House to help with his unpaid campaign bills. 

Hollingsworth is one of ten members-elect on a list of candidates with campaign debt that the National Republican Congressional Committee distributed to the House GOP caucus. Two returning congressmen were on this year’s list, Carlos Curbelo of Florida and Will Hurd of Texas. Lawmakers can use their own campaign accounts or leadership PACs to help their indebted colleagues.

Zinke Appointment Would Open Up Montana At-Large Seat
Democrat Denise Juneau hasn’t ruled out another run for public office

Democrat Denise Juneau, who lost to Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke last month, says she’d like to stay in Montana but hasn’t closed the door on another run for public office. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Montana Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke won re-election last month by 16 points, but now that President-elect Donald Trump has reportedly offered him the job of Interior secretary, there’ll likely be another race for the at-large seat. 

Trump won the state with 56 percent of the vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 36 percent, according to the Montana secretary of state’s office. Mitt Romney carried the 87 percent white state by a smaller 13-point margin.