Kristi Noem

Some fear new federal rules on hemp production may go too far
Lawmakers and policymakers still aren’t distinguishing between hemp and marijuana, advocates say

Efforts across the nation to regulate hemp production seek a balance between encouraging the new industry and deterring pot growers who might sneak under the plant’s new legal umbrella. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress opened the door in 2018 to what many in the agriculture sector hope will be a 21st-century money crop: hemp. But the budding industry must first escape the shadow of marijuana, hemp’s botanical cousin.

The efforts in Washington, as well as in state and tribal governments, to regulate hemp production seek a balance between encouraging the new industry and deterring pot growers who might sneak under the legal umbrella now covering hemp.

At least senators showed up to vote in 2018: CQ Vote Studies
Senate had highest highest election-year participation rate since 2006

Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., cast just 47 percent of eligible votes in the House in 2018 as she made a run for governor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Leaders of Congress are adept at scheduling votes when members will be available to cast them — avoiding weekends, keeping to short work days and making sure members get days off.

That helps avoid voting participation low points, such as 1970 — when lawmakers cast votes only 79 percent of the time and fewer than a quarter had a 90 percent showing or higher.

Fewer members taking the leap to governor
Don’t expect a chunk of House seats to open up because of people wanting to run

Louisiana Republican Rep. Ralph Abraham is currently the only member running for governor and he doesn’t have to give up his seat to do it. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Last cycle, nine members left Congress to try to become governor and five ended up winning the state’s top job. But this cycle will be a different story. While 38 states elected a governor in 2017 or 2018, just 14 states will elect a governor in the next two years. And fewer opportunities to move up will limit the exodus from the House.

Currently, there’s just one House member running for governor, and he doesn’t have to give up his seat to do it.

Here Are the House Members Who Have Skipped Votes This Lame-Duck Session
Most of the absentees are members who lost re-election, ran for another office or are retiring

The lame-duck session of Congress has seen its fair share of absenteeism in the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

More than 40 percent of House members have missed at least one vote this lame-duck session, leading to attendance problems that have prohibited the outgoing Republican majority from advancing legislation that Democrats don’t want to help them pass — and a smaller subset have missed at least half of all lame-duck votes.

There have been only 20 House roll call votes since the lame-duck session started on Nov. 13, but 17 members have missed at least half of them. Of those 17 repeat offenders, 11 are Republicans and six are Democrats.

Stivers Thinks House GOP Can Grow Number of Women but That’s Unlikely
Six GOP women aren’t running for re-election to the House

Republican Diane Harkey is running in California’s 49th District to succeed GOP Rep. Darrell Issa. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo).

Despite a quarter of the women in the House Republican Conference not running for re-election, the head of the House GOP’s campaign arm said he is “very confident” the party can increase its female members in the chamber next year. 

But looking at the number of female GOP lawmakers leaving the House and how few Republican women won nominations in open seats this year, just breaking even might be hard for House Republicans. 

Big Sky Trip Highlights Trump’s Focus on Senate Races
President also involved in gubernatorial races, Pence takes House contests

President Donald Trump at the White House in July. He will spend part of Thursday and Friday in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota campaigning and raising funds for GOP Senate and gubernatorial candidates. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Donald Trump will return to Montana on Thursday night for another political rally aimed at ousting incumbent Democrat Jon Tester, part of the president’s midterm focus on keeping the Senate under Republican control.

White House and Trump campaign officials have signaled Trump will hit as many as eight states this month alone before picking up the pace in October as the midterm campaign enters its final sprint. Trump will continue to publicly stump for Republican Senate and gubernatorial incumbents and candidates, while Vice President Mike Pence primarily focuses on competitive House races.

Some House Members Flop In Bids for Governor
Colleen Hanabusa is the latest one to fall

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, lost her primary run for governor. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Hawaii Rep. Colleen Hanabusa’s loss in the state’s Democratic gubernatorial primary is the latest example of House members losing their bids for the highest office in a state. 

Hanabusa lost the primary Saturday to incumbent Gov. David Ige. Hanabusa returned to the House in 2016 after the death of former Rep. Mark Takai.

At the Races: Primary Hangovers Are Real
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

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Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. —Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman

Noem Wins South Dakota Gubernatorial Primary
Congresswoman becomes the first woman to win GOP nomination for governor

Rep. Kristi Noem won the Republican party's gubernatorial primary in South Dakota. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Kristi Noem won the Republican primary to become her party’s nominee for governor of South Dakota.

Noem beat state Attorney General Marty Jackley by 14 points, according to results from The Associated Press. The congresswoman pulled ahead of Jackley in the polls in the final days of the primary  by presenting herself as a break from the “status quo,” the Argus Leader reported.

Meet Two Likely New Members of the 116th Congress
South Dakota’s Dusty Johnson and New Mexico’s Deb Haaland are solid favorites for the fall

Deb Haaland won the Democratic primary for New Mexico’s 1st District and is strongly favored to win in November. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Tuesday night’s winners of two open-seat primary contests are likely heading to Congress next year, with their general election races rated safely their party’s column.

Democrat Deb Haaland in New Mexico’s 1st District and Republican Dusty Johnson in South Dakota’s district at large are in strong positions to win in November. Both seats opened up when the female incumbents opted to run for governor.