Ben Ray Lujan

The House Democrats Considering Leadership Bids — So Far
Most are keeping their options open for now

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley, center, lost his primary last month, which opens up his leadership slot in the next Congress. Vice Chairwoman Linda T. Sánchez and DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján are current members of leadership who could seek to move up. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ahead of a potential wave election, few House Democrats have declared their interest in running for specific leadership positions. But more than a dozen are keeping their options open as the caucus members consider how much change they want to see in their top ranks next Congress.

The number of potential Democratic leadership contenders has ballooned since Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley lost his primary in New York’s 14th District late last month. His leadership position is the only one guaranteed to be open for the next Congress, but his loss has also raised questions about who can usher in the next generation of Democratic leaders

House Democratic Leadership Talk Starts Moving Into the Open
Lee, Sánchez could face off again, this time for caucus chairmanship

California Rep. Barbara Lee is among the House Democrats looking to fill an upcoming leadership vacancy left by New York Rep. Joseph Crowley who lost his primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats have largely tried to avoid talking about potential leadership battles in an effort to focus on winning the majority in November, but an unexpected opening is making that more difficult.

When New York Rep. Joseph Crowley lost his primary June 26, it created a guaranteed opening for the caucus chairmanship in the next Congress. It’s the only leadership slot where the current officeholder won’t be able to run in intraparty elections in late November or early December.

Crowley Loss Creates Open Field for Next Generation of Democratic Leaders
Plenty of options, but who wants to — and who’s ready to — step up?

From left, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner and Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos attend a rally in Berryville, Va., in July 2017. The event featured a wide swath of Democratic leaders from both chambers. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

“Not so fast. Not so fast.”

That was House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s initial response — albeit a joking one — Wednesday morning to a reporter who pointed out that “at some point” the California Democrat and her top two lieutenants will no longer be in Congress.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Green is watching; Flake is a grad dad; and new art to hang

From left, Reps. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., leave the Capitol after the last votes in the House before the Memorial Day recess on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Marcy Kaptur Has a 2018 Message for House Democrats
Longtime Ohio lawmaker recently became the longest-serving woman in the House

Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur, flanked by Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, right, and Ohio Rep. Bob Latta, attends a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony in Emancipation Hall on March 21 to honor members of the Office of Strategic Services. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Marcy Kaptur was at a Toledo, Ohio, funeral home when The New York Times interviewed her during her first campaign for the House. It was 1982. But the headline of the resulting story could have been written today: “Democrats in Ohio Woo Disenchanted Defectors.”

For a party still grappling with what went wrong in 2016, taking back the House in November now looks like the Democrats’ best chance of reclaiming some power in a Republican-controlled government. And although the most natural pickups might be in Virginia, California or New York, party strategists acknowledge they need to play for the center too.

Dan Lipinski Survives Primary Challenge From the Left
Seven-term Illinois Democrat defeats progressive challenger Marie Newman

Illinois Rep. Daniel Lipinski faced the toughest fight of his political career in this year’s 3rd District Democratic primary.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Seven-term Democratic Rep. Daniel Lipinski survived his most competitive political contest yet, defeating first-time candidate Marie Newman in Illinois’ 3rd District primary.

Lipinski led Newman 51 percent to 49 percent, with 97 percent of precincts reporting, when The Associated Press called the race for the incumbent early Wednesday morning.

DCCC Raised $10.6 Million in February
House Democrats’ campaign arm breaks fundraising record for the month

The DCCC, chaired by New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján, broke its February fundraising record this year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised nearly $10.6 million in February.

That’s the most the committee has ever raised during the second month of the year, according to figures obtained first by Roll Call. 

Democratic Showdown in Illinois’ 3rd District
Lipinski-Newman primary is flashpoint in party’s identity struggles

Illinois Rep. Daniel Lipinski is facing a tough primary challenge on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In a state where Democrats are targeting four Republican-held seats in November and need viable candidates to make it through Tuesday’s primaries, the nominating contest in Illinois that’s receiving the most attention is in a safe Democratic district. 

Rep. Daniel Lipinski, co-chairman of the moderate Blue Dog Coalition, is facing the toughest contest of his seven-term congressional career with a primary challenge from marketing executive Marie Newman for his 3rd District seat.

Women Who Run the Show
Monica Popp and Alexis Covey-Brandt are chiefs of staff in leadership offices

Monica Popp has been Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn’s chief for almost three years. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans haven’t exactly followed the advice of conservative icon Margaret Thatcher, who liked to say, “If you want anything done, ask a woman.”

The GOP has five female senators, and none in leadership. It can seem like a man’s caucus, at least from the outside looking in.

Pelosi Mum on Whether Kihuen Should Seek Re-election
Nevada congressman announced he wouldn’t seek re-election after sexual harassment allegations

Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., and his guest Astrid Silva, a Dreamer, are seen in the Capitol Rotunda before President Donald Trump's State of the Union address in January. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was mum on whether Nevada Rep. Ruben Kihuen should seek re-election after saying he would not after being accused of sexual harassment.

“When he makes a decision, I’ll give you a reaction to it,” the Democratic leader said at a press conference Thursday.