open-seat

Club for Growth backs a woman in 17-person North Carolina primary
Celeste Cairns is one of three women running for GOP nod in safe seat

The Club for Growth PAC has backed one of the three women vying for the GOP nomination in a safe Republican seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call.)

The Club for Growth PAC backed accountant Celeste Cairns in the crowded primary for North Carolina’s 3rd District on Wednesday, elevating one of three women seeking the nomination in this safe Republican seat. 

Seventeen Republicans are vying for the nomination for the eastern North Carolina seat that has been vacant since Walter B. Jones died earlier this year. A candidate must win at least 30 percent of the vote in the April 30 primary to avoid a runoff in July. 

Rating change: Loebsack’s retirement in Iowa expands House playing field
Race for open seat in 2nd District is now a Toss-up

Rep. David Loebsack, D-Iowa, will not be seeking an eighth term next year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

No one really gave Cornell College professor Dave Loebsack a chance of knocking off Republican Rep. Jim Leach in 2006. But the Democrat won that race, and more than a dozen years later, he’s announced that his current seventh term in Congress will be his last.

Democrats now have to defend a competitive open seat that wasn’t previously on the list of vulnerable districts.

Iowa’s Dave Loebsack will not run for re-election in 2020
Democrat’s retirement opens up a competitive seat

Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, is retiring at the end of this Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Iowa Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack will not seek a seventh term in 2020, opening up a potentially competitive district that President Donald Trump carried in 2016.

Announcing his retirement Friday evening, Loebsack said he’d originally planned to serve no more than 12 years. But that changed when Trump was elected. 

There are only 4 Latino senators. Will more be joining them after 2020?
Playing field for Latino Senate candidates shifted after developments in Arizona and New Mexico

Assistant House Speaker Ben Ray Luján is considering running for the open Senate seat in New Mexico. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Activists looking to increase the number of Latino senators are regrouping this week after an Arizona congressman they had backed passed on a Senate run and a seat in plurality-Hispanic New Mexico opened up.

The parallel developments changed the playing field but ultimately kept alive hopes there will be more Hispanic representation in the Senate after the 2020 elections.

New York Rep. José Serrano has Parkinson’s, won’t seek re-election
Democrat says disease has not affected his work in Congress, and he will serve the remainder of his term

Rep. Jose Serrano, D-N.Y., announced that he has Parkison’s disease and will not seek re-election in 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Democratic Rep. José E. Serrano announced Monday that he has Parkinson’s disease and will not seek re-election in 2020.

The 75-year-old said he plans to finish his current term, which is his 15th full one in Congress, as the disease has not yet affected his ability to work.

House GOP is down to 13 women. Will North Carolina special elections boost their ranks?
Of the 27 Republicans running in 3rd or 9th districts, seven are women

Women listen to candidate Donald Trump at a 2016 rally in Raleigh, N.C. Seven GOP women are running in the North Carolina special elections this year. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

With two special elections in North Carolina this year, Republicans have a chance to send to Congress some company for West Virginia Rep. Carol Miller, the only female GOP lawmaker in the House freshman class.

The number of Republican women in the chamber is at a new low with just 13 in the 116th Congress, down from 23 the previous session. About 100 GOP women ran for the House in the 2018 cycle, but many of them struggled to get through primaries. 

Utah bill would give primary voters less say on who appears on special election ballots
Measure is latest development in yearslong struggle over party nomination process

Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, right, with his wife, Sue, and Speaker Paul D. Ryan at his mock swearing-in ceremony in November 2017. Curtis won his special election after successfully petitioning to get on the GOP primary ballot. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Utah voters would have fewer opportunities to weigh in on candidates to fill certain congressional seats under legislation that quietly passed the state Legislature this week. 

The bill, which has yet to be signed by the governor and has so far received little attention from local media, would change the process by which candidates appear on primary ballots in special elections to replace House members who resign in the middle of their terms. For those elections, only candidates nominated by delegates from either party would be able to run. Candidates would not be able to make the ballot by petitioning voters. 

It’s no longer all about Republican primaries for the Club for Growth
The club played in more general elections in 2018 and expects that to continue in 2020

David M. McIntosh, the president of the Club for Growth, believes his group needs to play in general elections, not just Republican primaries. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Club for Growth has long been an arbiter of crowded primaries in safe Republican seats, but its role is evolving in the era of President Donald Trump. 

The group’s super PAC and PAC are still major players in internecine battles — the club successfully torpedoed a candidate in a Pennsylvania nominating convention over the weekend and is already interviewing candidates for two House special elections in North Carolina. 

Why this North Carolina Democrat thinks he can succeed Walter Jones
Conservative 3rd District backed Trump by 24 points in 2016

Retired Marine Col. Richard Bew is running for North Carolina’s 3rd District as a Democrat. (Courtesy Richard Bew’s campaign)

No Democrat stepped up to challenge Rep. Walter B. Jones last fall. The Republican congressman ran unopposed for a 13th term in North Carolina’s 3rd District.

But Jones’ death last month has triggered a September special election, and some Democrats are giving this military-heavy district another look. 

Mark Harris will not run in North Carolina’s 9th District special election
2018 GOP nominee cites health reasons for decision

Republican Mark Harris, center, announced on Tuesday that he won’t run in the special election for North Carolina’s 9th District. Above, Harris campaigns in Charlotte, N.C., in October 2018 with President Donald Trump and Rep. Ted Budd. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images file photo)

Less than a week after his surprise call for a new election in North Carolina’s 9th District, Republican Mark Harris announced he will not be a candidate in that contest. 

Harris, the 2018 GOP nominee for the seat, cited health reasons and noticeably didn’t mention the election fraud scandal that was the subject of last week’s dramatic evidentiary hearing before the North Carolina State Board of Elections. He led Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes after last fall’s election, but the board refused to certify the result because of allegations that a contractor for the Harris campaign had tampered with absentee ballots.