special-election

Brooks Defends Replica Military Badge He Received
Alabama Senate opponent says veterans complained to him

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., is facing criticism from a Republican primary opponent and Iraq War veteran for wearing a replica military badge on his jacket lapel. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Mo Brooks responded Wednesday to criticism by a 2018 Republican challenger for wearing what appeared to be a military pin on his jacket lapel even though Brooks has not served in the military.

Brooks told Roll Call Wednesday the badge, which is a replica and not U.S.-issued, was given to him by a constituent, decorated Vietnam War veteran Col. John Reitzell, for aiding two wounded victims of the shooting at the Republican baseball practice in Alexandria in June where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four others were shot.

Meet the Special Election Class of 2017 (So Far)
This year’s elections have brought a new crop of freshmen to Congress

California Rep.-elect Jimmy Gomez hugs his mother, Socorro, as his wife, Mary Hodge, looks on, during his ceremonial House swearing-in Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By CHRIS HALE, BILL CLARK and TOM WILLIAMS

California Democrat Jimmy Gomez became the newest member of the House on Tuesday after being officially sworn in by Speaker Paul D. Ryan

Brooks in Senate Ad: Build the Wall or Face Shutdown
Alabama congressman running for Senate promises to read Bible on Senate floor ‘until the wall is funded’

Republican Rep. Mo Brooks, a candidate in the special election for the open Senate seat in Alabama, casts himself as an opponent of establishment Republicans. (Mo Brooks for Senate via YouTube)

Rep. Mo Brooks’ new TV ad is titled “Build the Wall,” and he uses it to cast himself as a Trump ally and opponent of “establishment Republicans” who stand in his way, a sentiment that could determine who wins the Alabama Senate special election.

In the ad, Brooks says he will “fight every spending bill that doesn’t fund that wall,” if elected to the Senate, and he promises to “read the King James Bible” on the Senate floor to filibuster any such legislation.

What’s Ohio’s Tim Ryan Up To?
Youngstown Democrat in media spotlight again — and on the trail

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan greets voters in South Carolina's 5th District, where he campaigned earlier this month for Democratic candidate Archie Parnell. (Simone Pathé/CQ Roll Call)

The weekend before South Carolina’s special election, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan had been thrown into the lion’s den — “literally,” he joked. 

As a surrogate for an under-the-radar Democratic candidate in the 5th District race, the congressman from Youngstown, Ohio, was addressing a Lions Club candidate forum in a gated community south of Charlotte, North Carolina, where the room was mostly white, elderly and Republican.

Gomez Swearing-In Delayed By Cap-and-Trade Vote
Source: Week of July 10 earliest Gomez could be sworn in

Jimmy Gomez has received endorsements from party leaders and progressive groups. (Photo courtesy of Gomez campaign)

Meet the Man Behind the Ossoff Campaign — He’s Just Getting Started
Keenan Pontoni’s a rising star in a party desperate for fresh blood

Keenan Pontoni, campaign manager for Democrat Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s 6th District, conducts one final tele-town hall session in his Sandy Springs office on the final day of the runoff campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — Just 45 minutes after polls closed Tuesday in Georgia’s 6th District, Keenan Pontoni knew Jon Ossoff was in trouble.

The Democratic candidate’s advantage in early voting didn’t look like it was going to be enough to make up for Republican turnout on Election Day.

Pelosi Blows Off Calls to Step Down
‘It's not up to them,’ she says of Democrats calling for new leadership

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dismissed calls on Thursday for her to step down. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Describing herself as “worth the trouble,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Thursday blew off calls from some chamber Democrats for her to step down from leadership in the wake of special election losses this year and a failure to win a House majority in four straight national elections. 

“It’s not up to them,” the California Democrat said of members calling for her to let someone else give it a try, before calling herself a “master legislator.”

Will Georgia’s 6th District Do This All Again in 2018?
Closely watched district likely won’t be as competitive next year

Republican Karen Handel, seen here the day before the election, won the closely watched special election in Georgia’s 6th District on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — Despite initial relief among Georgia’s 6th District residents that the barrage of campaign ads has come to an end, the reprieve might not last too long.

“Now we know what New Hampshire looks like,” said Chip Lake, a GOP consultant based in Georgia.

Trump Mocks Democrats After Election Losses
‘Obstruction Doesn't Work,’ president says after Republican wins in Georgia, South Carolina

Supporters of Democrat Jon Ossoff get the news Tuesday night at his campaign headquarters that the Georgia 6th District special election is called for his GOP rival Karen Handel. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats should learn from their latest two House race defeats and work with Republicans to pass health care and tax overhaul legislation, a celebratory President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.

Republicans were victorious Tuesday in special elections in Georgia and South Carolina, with voters sending Karen Handel and Ralph Norman to the House of Representatives. By doing so, Georgians and South Carolinians handed Trump personal victories — and the president responded by declaring himself undefeated in congressional races since taking office.

11 Things I Think I Think After the Special Elections
Lessons from the Georgia and South Carolina races

Jon Ossoff supporters at the Georgia Democrat’s election night watch party are stunned as CNN calls the state’s 6th District race for Republican Karen Handel on Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

One of the best parts about covering elections is that there is a final result. What seems like an endless stream of campaigning and ads and analysis finally comes to an end every time with vote tallies to digest until the next round.

President Donald Trump and the Republicans continue to play with electoral fire, but the GOP pulled off two more special election victories; this time in Georgia’s 6th District and South Carolina’s 5th District. As with the previous results in Kansas and Montana, there are enough tidbits in each result to formulate whatever conclusion helps you sleep better at night.