open-seat

Freshmen Backed by Freedom Caucus Aren’t Committing to Joining
Caucus leaders expect some non-freshmen to help replenish their ranks

The political arm of the House Freedom Caucus backed Indiana Republican Jim Banks, but he has not yet decided to join the caucus if invited. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Freedom Caucus is currently down seven members from the 114th Congress — and possibly two more.

South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney is awaiting confirmation as President-elect Donald Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget.

House Republicans Entrust Majority to Rogers at NRCC
New York native begins fourth cycle at committee, but first as executive director

John Rogers was part of the National Republican Congressional Committee team that limited the party’s losses in the House to a net of just six seats in last year’s election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Midterm elections are supposed to be trouble for the president’s party, but House Republicans are confident that if they have a problem, John Rogers can solve it.

Rogers was born in Amsterdam, New York, a small-town about a half-hour west of Albany, but Republican friends know him best for once identifying an unlikely takeover opportunity three hours south in New York City.

California Assemblyman Racking Up Endorsements to Replace Becerra
Becerra is in line to replace Kamala Harris as California attorney general

California Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez has racked up a number of high-profile endorsements in his bid to replace Rep. Xavier Becerra in Congress. (Courtesy Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez Facebook page)

Endorsements keep rolling in for California Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez in the race to replace outgoing Democratic Rep. Xavier Becerra.

Gomez has now been endorsed by many local and national Hispanic political leaders, including California Reps. Grace F. Napolitano, Pete Aguilar and Juan C. Vargas, Texas Rep. Filemon Vela and Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego, the Los Angeles Times reported

New Mexico Rep. Lujan Grisham to Run For Governor in 2018
Her bid for statewide office creates an opening New Mexico's 1st District

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., has decided to run for governor instead of seek re-election to the House in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New Mexico Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Tuesday she would not seek re-election to the House in 2018 and instead run for governor in her home state on the promise of “a new beginning.”

In a message posted on YouTube, the New Mexico Democrat emphasized a campaign focused on the state’s unemployment rates, schools, poverty and addiction.

Milder Persona, Same Hard Line from New Freedom Caucus Chairman
Mark Meadows is eager to back Trump, but only when he adheres to the House GOP conservative group’s views

Mark Meadows, R-N.C., as elected to become the new chairman of the House Freedom Caucus. (Bill Clark/RC Roll Call)

A defining principle for the House Freedom Caucus can be summarized this way: The painful short-term political consequences for the Republican Party from provoking internal discord must be steadfastly disregarded in the name of long-term conservative purification.

The second lawmaker to lead the group, Mark Meadows of North Carolina, has a reputation as one of the friendliest and folksiest newcomers to influence in Congress. But he is signaling no interest in deviating from that combative rubric even in the coming era of unified GOP control over Washington, born out of an election where voters signaled an intense desire to end the capital norms of backbiting gridlock.

Gubernatorial Losers Descend on Next Congress
Up to six new House Members previously lost a race for governor

Rep.-elect Anthony Brown, who lost a governor’s race in Maryland two years ago, walks down the House steps for the 115th Congress freshman class group photo during the first week of orientation on Nov. 15. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Getting to know your new classmates is always an awkward experience, but a handful of new House members will have at least one thing in common: losing a race for governor.

Two years ago, Democrat Anthony Brown lost the Maryland gubernatorial race to Republican Larry Hogan in an upset, 51 percent to 47 percent. But the former lieutenant governor rebounded to win a competitive Democratic primary this year in Maryland’s 4th District when Rep. Donna Edwards decided to run for the Senate. Brown cruised in the general election and will be coming to Congress next year.

South Dakota Rep. Kristi Noem to Run for Governor in 2018
Republican congresswoman will not seek re-election to the House

South Dakota GOP Rep. Kristi Noem is not seeking re-election to the House in 2018 and will instead will run for governor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

South Dakota Republican Rep. Kristi Noem announced Monday that she will run for governor in 2018 instead of seeking re-election to the House, according to the Argus Leader

Noem’s decision opens up the state’s at-large congressional seat, which she has held since 2011. She was elected to a fourth term last week by an overwhelming 28-point margin. 

Newly Elected House Members Arrive for Orientation
Monday marked the start of orientation for representatives elected on Nov. 8

Rep.-elect Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del., arrives at the Capitol Hill Hotel for orientation. Rochester will be the first woman and African American to represent the state in Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

New member orientation kicked off Monday in Washington. The traditional welcome program for newly elected members of Congress began with the freshman class checking in to the Capitol Hill Hotel.

Orientation continues through Wednesday, takes a break for Thanksgiving recess, and starts back up on Tuesday, Nov. 29 and runs through Thursday, Dec. 1.

The Week When the Capitol Is Like College in the Fall
Freshman orientation: a time of wide-eyed wonder, bureaucracy and savvy positioning

Rep.-elect Ruben Kihuen, second from left, kisses his mother as he delivers his victory speech flanked by his family and supporters at the Aria Resort & Carino in Las Vegas on Election Day, Nov. 8. Kihuen joins the other incoming freshman for orientation on the Hill this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

While the capital remains convulsed over Donald Trump’s astonishing election and transfixed by every aspect of his presidential transition, the second-most important transfer of federal power will have a straightforward start this week.

The freshly elected members of the House arrive on Capitol Hill on Monday to begin an elaborately choreographed and photographed orientation, while incoming senators are expected Tuesday to begin an indoctrination that’s both less formal and more secretive.

Democratic Ex-Rep. Hanabusa Takes Back Hawaii's 1st District Seat
Wins seat left vacant by the death of Rep. Mark Takai

Democrat Colleen Hanabusa is headed back to Congress after winning her race in Hawaii's 1st District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Hawaii Rep. Colleen Hanabusa had not planned to run for Congress again.

That changed when 1st District Democratic Rep. Mark Takai died in July, creating an open seat. After losing a Senate bid in 2014, it appeared that Hanabusa’s run in Washington was over, but a landslide victory earlier this year in a seven-way Democratic primary changed that.