Robert Hurt

It’s not ‘Astroturf’ if the Anger is real
Politicians should pay attention to protesters

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he “absolutely” believes that disruptions at a recent town hall meeting in his district were orchestrated by paid protesters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

To town hall or not to town hall? That is the question Republicans are struggling with this week as they’re putting their recess schedules together. 

If they hold town hall meetings, they could risk a “Chaffetz,” like the moment last week when an angry crowd shouted Rep. Jason Chaffetz down in his Utah district with news cameras on hand. But refusing to hold town hall meetings could make a member look out of touch or scared to meet with their own voters. A “tele-town hall” feels like a happy medium, right? Members can say they’ve met with constituents, without actually having to meet with constituents.

Word on the Hill: Liberty and Justice for Hurt
Speaker of the House has a birthday

Former Virginia Rep. Robert Hurt, center, is shown with Shawn Akers, left, dean of Liberty University’s Helms School of Government, and B. Keith Faulkner, dean of the Liberty University School of Law. (Courtesy Liberty University)

Former Rep. Robert Hurt, R-Va., will head Liberty University’s new Center for Law & Government, which the school says aims to influence public policy and spread conservative ideals.

“I could not be more thrilled to be a part of this project,” said Hunt, who represented Virginia’s 5th District from 2011 to 2017. “I think this is an excellent opportunity for Liberty University to be a part of the policy-making process in a way that other places cannot.”

Vulnerable House Republicans Hold On
Democrats have gained a net of at least six seats

Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., won re-election, signaling that down-ballot Republicans in competitive districts may be able to overcome Democratic efforts to tie them to Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 10:00 a.m.

With Donald Trump winning the White House, Republicans continue to hold a comfortable House majority. 

New Member: Republican Tom Garrett Elected in Virginia’s 5th District
Incumbent GOP Rep. Robert Hurt did not seek re-election

(Photo courtesy Tom Garrett)

Republican Tom Garrett will defeat Democrat Jane Dittmar in Virginia’s 5th District, The Associated Press projects.

Garrett led Dittmar, 60 percent to 40 percent with 65 percent of precincts reporting.

Ratings Change: 9 House Races Shift in Final Days
As Trump closes in on Clinton, some Democratic House targets fade away

Democrats have invested plenty of time and money into defeating vulnerable Republicans including Florida Rep. John L. Mica. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Democratic majority in the House has always been a stretch. But now that Donald Trump is closing in on Hillary Clinton at the top of the ticket, Democratic hopes of making Nancy Pelosi speaker of the House once again have all but evaporated.

There is no question House Republicans have vulnerabilities and will lose seats, they just won’t lose the 30 that Democrats need for a majority, even with Trump’s volatility at the top of the ticket.

Ratings Change: 7 House Races Shift Toward Democrats
But one change toward Republicans isn’t particularly good news for majority chances

California Rep. Jeff Denham faces a competitive re-election fight with less than two weeks before Nov. 8. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When nearly 90 percent of the batch of House ratings changes are in your favor, it’s normally great news. But with a limited House playing field, Democrats need to win virtually all of the competitive seats, and some initial takeover targets look like they are slipping out of reach.

In the most recent set of ratings changes by The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call, seven races shift toward the Democrats. Takeover prospects improved in a couple of California districts (the 10th and 49th), a couple of districts with weakened GOP incumbents (Florida’s 7th and New Jersey’s 5th), and two suburban districts (Kansas’ 3rd and Pennsylvania’s 8th).

Could Trump Help Turn an Open Virginia Seat Blue?
Both parties paying closer attention to traditionally Republican 5th District

Republican Tom Garrett and Democrat Jane Dittmar are facing off for Virginia's 5th District seat, left open by the retirement of GOP Rep. Robert Hurt. (Photos courtesy campaign websites)

Jane Dittmar had tried to tie her Republican opponent in Virginia’s 5th District to Donald Trump Wednesday, something that most Democratic congressional candidates are doing to their opponents these days.

She wanted GOP state Sen. Tom Garrett to condemn two armed Trump supporters who protested outside her office last week. 

Virginia's Robert Hurt To Retire After Three Terms

Hurt is expected to retire at the end of this term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:30 a.m. December 23 |  After representing Virginia's 5th District for just three terms, GOP Rep. Robert Hurt will retire at the end of this term, he announced Wednesday.  

Several Republican sources had confirmed to Roll Call on Tuesday that Hurt would retire at the end of this term.