Pete Aguilar

For 20, a New Year’s Boost in House Legislative Sway
How the winners of top committee assignments made their own luck

Keep an eye peeled for these House members with plum new committee assignments, from left to right, first row: Pete Aguilar, Earl L. “Buddy” Carter, Katherine M. Clark, Ryan A. Costello, Carlos Curbelo; second row: Suzan DelBene, Debbie Dingell, Brian Higgins, John Moolenaar, Grace Meng; third row: Dan Newhouse, Scott Peters, Mark Pocan, Raul Ruiz, David Schweikert; fourth row: Terri A. Sewell, Scott Taylor, Tim Walberg, Jackie Walorski and Mimi Walters. (Bill Clark, Meredith Dake-O’Connor and Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photos. Scott Taylor courtesy Scott Taylor for U.S. Congress)

Specialization seasoned with seniority is the surest recipe for a meaningful legislative career in the House, which is more than big enough to swallow all the dilettantes and short-timers without a trace. It’s finding a substantive niche, then fitting in over the long haul, that proves perennially frustrating for many members. 

But the goal of becoming a successful and substantive lawmaker just got a whole lot easier for a score of them.

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

Will Applegate’s Rematch With Issa Be Successful?
Mixed record for California challengers on their second chance

California Rep. Darrell Issa will face another challenge from Doug Applegate, a retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel, in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

No one paid much attention to Doug Applegate’s challenge to California Rep. Darrell Issa until there were only five months left in the campaign, and the Democrat came within 2 points of knocking off the Republican incumbent.

Applegate didn’t waste any time and has already announced his 2018 candidacy, but will more time be enough to put him over the top? 

Scouting Report From Congressional Baseball Game Insiders
Texas Rep. Joe Barton and New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell share expectations
Republicans and Democrats Diverge After Orlando Attack
Lawmakers take different approaches to the shootings at gay nightclub

People stand in line at OneBlood Donation Center in Orlando on Sunday to donate blood for victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. (Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)

Wings, Beer and Baseball
Buffalo Wild Wings, Anheuser-Busch sponsoring Congressional Baseball Game pre-game party

From left, Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., coach of the the Democrats' baseball team, Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., practice for the June 23 game. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The pregame to the Congressional Baseball Game you’ve been waiting for is finally here. Can’t get into Roll Call’s Taste of America party? Buffalo Wild Wings and Anheuser-Busch have you covered.  

The two are co-hosting the inaugural Official Pregame Party at Nationals Park from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m., before the 7:05 p.m. game on June 23 .  

California House Candidate Offers ISIS Hunting Permit
Former military intelligence officer Paul Chabot seeking $25 donation

California congressional candidate Paul Chabot is asking for a $25 donation for his ISIS hunting permits. (PaulChabot.com)

California Republican House candidate Paul Chabot is fundraising off what he calls an "ISIS hunting permit," car sticker.  

The decal reads, “ISIS Hunting Permit. Also Valid For: Al Qaeda, Taliban, Boko Haram. No Bagging Limit. No Tagging Required.”  

‘14 Losers Looking for Second Chance in ‘16
A dozen House candidates hoping to turn narrow losses into future victories

Illinois Democrat Brad Schneider is running against Rep. Robert Dold to reclaim his old seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In sports and in politics, losing by a little can be harder than losing by a lot. At least a dozen 2016 candidates are hoping that their close calls in 2014 were more than a mirage of a missed opportunity.  

California Republican Paul Chabot could barely get national GOP strategists to acknowledge his existence last cycle when he lost to Democrat Pete Aguilar, 52-48 percent, in the 31st District open-seat race.