How 'Dr. Dan' Cured His Campaign Woes

Republicans say Benishek is one of the "most improved" candidates. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Once a top target for Democrats, Rep. Dan Benishek, a former surgeon turned tea party candidate, has turned a corner in his campaign for a second term, and national Republicans have labeled him one of their "most improved" members of the cycle.  

What happened? A combination of staff changes, leveraging his slot on the Veterans' Affairs Committee, and a favorable cycle for Republicans gave Benishek a clear advantage in the 1st District.  

Candidate: Obama Lawsuit Sold Me on Boehner (Video)

Allen is a Georgia Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner can likely count on another vote to keep his gavel — but only if Republican Rick Allen wins his competitive race in Georgia next month.  

"Speaker Boehner's stock went up with me with this constitutional lawsuit [against President Barack Obama], I thought it was time to make a stand," Allen said in a Sept. 9 interview with CQ Roll Call. "He made a stand, I'm proud of him for it.  

Arkansas Candidate Downplays Bill Clinton's Influence (Video)

Hill is a Republican seeking Arkansas' 2nd District. (JM Rieger/CQ Roll Call Photo)

Banker French Hill, the GOP nominee in the open-seat race for retiring Rep. Tim Griffin's seat, said President Bill Clinton's impact will be minimal in Arkansas in the midterms.  

Clinton, an Arkansas native and former governor, has hit the campaign trail for Hill's opponent, former North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Henry Hays, the Democratic nominee.  "President Clinton has a lot of friends in Arkansas and he usually comes and helps Democratic candidates every cycle," Hill said in an interview with CQ Roll Call this summer. "But I don't believe it will have a major impact in this race because I believe the electorate is looking for somebody who's got a business background, that's a conservative person to help represent the district." Arkansas' 2nd District is the most competitive in the state. Even then, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried it by a 12-point margin last cycle. But Democrats argue the party has strong roots in the district and Hays is the kind of moderate Democrat who could win there . What's more, with Sen. Mark Pryor's competitive re-election race topping the ticket, Democrats will target the 2nd District — based in and around Little Rock — to turn out their base. But Hill said the number of competitive races on the ballot, including a competitive gubernatorial contest, will only aid his electoral hopes in November. "I think the Republican team will be on point for turnout and I believe that will help my race," Hill said. Arkansas' 2nd District is rated a Leans Republican contest by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. Hill's Team: Jack Sisson (campaign manager), Bob Wickers, The Wickers Group (general consulting), Impact Management (direct mail), Red Right Strategies (digital)  

Democrat Describes Race as Party's Best Pickup Opportunity (Video)

Aguilar, Democratic candidate for California's 31st District. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call)

Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar called his bid for California’s 31st District the Democrats' best chance to pick up a Republican seat in the midterms.  

“It is the most Democratic seat held by a Republican in the nation,” Aguilar told CQ Roll Call in a July 16 interview. “And the Republican decided to retire. So this is a great opportunity, Democrats’ best opportunity for a pickup.” Aguilar will face GOP businessman Paul Chabot in November in a race to replace retiring  Rep. Gary G. Miller, R-Calif. President Barack Obama won the district by 57 percent in 2012, and The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rates the race as Leans Democrat .

Mary Rose Wilcox Vies for Arizona's 7th District (Video)

Wilcox, D-Ariz., candidate for Congress from Arizona's 7th district. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Former Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, a Democrat, hopes her community ties and political experience will boost her to victory in Tuesday's primary in Arizona's 7th District.  

In an interview with CQ Roll Call in Washington, D.C., Wilcox laid out what she believes will be a winning strategy for the primary. “We’re targeting, we’re making sure that we’re getting the voters out,” said Wilcox in late July. “I know my community. My community has shared with me many of their concerns, and so the message is one that is resonating. And that's how we win.” Out of Wilcox's three primary opponents, her top rival is former state Rep. Ruben Gallego, whom CQ Roll Call interviewed earlier this summer . The candidates are vying to replace Rep. Ed Pastor, a Democrat who announced his retirement  this year after serving 11 terms.  Pastor has backed Wilcox in the race to fill his seat, along with EMILY’s List. Gallego, a former Marine, has received support from liberal veterans group VoteVets and Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz.  

Mia Love Eyes Congressional Black Caucus (Video Interview)

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Former Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love, a safe bet to win her Utah House race this fall, expressed interest in joining the Congressional Black Caucus in a recent CQ Roll Call interview.  

Democrat Picks Preferred GOP Opponent in Maine (Video)

The candidate: State Sen. Emily Cain. The member: Cain is running for the Democratic nomination in Maine's 2nd District, an open-seat race because Democratic Rep. Michael H. Michaud is running for governor. The district:  Located in the northern part of the state, this district voted for President Barack Obama with 53 percent in 2012. The candidate's team: Jill Normington (polling), Steven Stenberg of The Strategy Group (mail), CD2 (media).  

[field name=iframe] State Sen. Emily Cain, the front-runner for the Democratic nod in Maine's open 2nd District, said in a recent interview with CQ Roll Call that of the two potential Republicans she could face in November, she would rather run against tea party firebrand Bruce Poliquin.  

Young N.H. Republican Sees No Reason to Wait on House Bid (Video)

The candidate: State Rep. Marilinda Garcia. The member:  Garcia is running against former state Sen. Gary Lambert for the Republican nomination to take on freshman Democratic Rep. Ann McLane Kuster. The district:  Of New Hampshire's two districts, the 2nd is more favorable to Democrats, as President Barack Obama won it in 2012 with 54 percent. The race is rated Leans Democratic by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

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New Seat, Better Odds for California Republican (Video)

The candidate: Former state Sen. Tony Strickland, a Republican The member: Longtime GOP Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon is retiring from Congress, leaving his competitively drawn southern California House seat open for the first time in two decades. The district: California's 25th, located on the northern edge Los Angeles County, was close in the past two presidential contests but has a slight conservative bent. It's rated Republican Favored by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. The candidate's team: Jamestown Associates (media), Joe Justin of the Justin Company (mail), Jeff Burton of Burton Kamins Advocacy (general consultant), Greg Strimple of GS Strategy Group (polling).

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The Businessman Taking On Mia Love (Video)

The candidate:  Businessman Bob Fuehr The member:  Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson is retiring from Congress after seven terms. The district:  Utah's 4th is House Republicans' most certain pickup this cycle. Matheson had a unique political brand and without him in the equation, the battle to watch for this seat is the GOP nomination process. Fuehr will face off against Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love.

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