Special Election

Georgia Democrat Picks Up Progressive Endorsement
End Citizens United backs Jon Ossoff in special election

Democrat Jon Ossoff is one of 18 candidates vying for Georgia’s 6th District seat. (Courtesy Jon Ossoff for Congress Facebook page)

End Citizens United, a liberal political action committee, is throwing its weight behind Democrat Jon Ossoff in the race to replace Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price in Georgia’s 6th District. 

The endorsement is the latest sign that Democrats want to make a play for the district, which President Donald Trump carried by less than 2 points last fall, and that Ossoff is their top candidate. 

Georgia Candidates Are Not Afraid to Embrace Donald Trump
But is there room for multiple Trump loyalists in district that only narrowly voted for him?

Several Georgia Republicans are vying to take succeed newly confirmed Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price in the state’s 6th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump only carried Georgia’s 6th District by a point and a half last fall. But that’s not stopping multiple Republicans from wrapping their arms around him in the upcoming special election to replace newly confirmed Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price

Bruce LeVell, executive director of Trump’s National Diversity Coalition, and technology executive Bob Gray are vying to become the first Trump loyalists elected to Congress during his administration. Republican committeemen picked the establishment candidate over a Trump campaign staffer in last week’s nominating convention for Kansas’s 4th District.

Like Democrats Before Them, GOP Dismisses Town Hall Threat
There’s little data to gauge electoral threat protests pose for 2018

New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen says he’ll be sticking with tele-town halls for the near future. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ask Republican lawmakers about the specter of protests in their districts next week, and they’ll likely shrug off constituent outbursts as “manufactured” or “scripted.” 

The GOP is largely adopting the Democratic posture from the summer of 2009 that angry voices at town halls don’t represent a political threat. That may be true. The question is how Republicans now, and Democrats back then, arrived at that conclusion. 

Year-End Coffers Pad the Two-Year Fundraising Sprint
Some senators started 2018 cycle with millions; others with much less

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown’s campaign committee ended 2016 with $3.2 million in cash on hand, ahead of what is likely to be very competitive re-election for the two-term senator next year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With the 2018 election cycle underway, incumbents gearing up for re-election will begin fundraising in full force this spring.

It helps to have a stockpile of cash already in the bank, but not everyone starts with an equally comfortable cushion. 

At DGA, Pearson Quietly Pulling Democrats Back to Prominence
Executive Director is a leading strategist in party’s redistricting effort

Elisabeth Pearson, Executive Director, Democratic Governors Association (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic lawmakers probably wouldn’t recognize Elisabeth Pearson if she walked into their Capitol Hill office, but they might be owing her their jobs before too long. 

As executive director of the Democratic Governors Association and a leading strategist in the party’s redistricting efforts, Pearson’s success will determine how long members stay in Washington.

Kansas GOPers Pick Establishment Candidate for Pompeo Seat
State Treasurer Ron Estes chosen over a Trump campaign staffer

Kansas Treasurer Ron Estes is likely the next congressman from the 4th District. (Courtesy Kansas for Estes Facebook page)

Ahead of the first special election of Donald Trump’s presidency, a small group of Kansas Republicans has effectively handpicked an establishment-backed candidate as the next congressman from the Wichita-based 4th District.

At a special nominating convention Thursday night, 126 district committeeman elected state Treasurer Ron Estes to be the GOP nominee for the open seat, which was vacated by Mike Pompeo after his confirmation as CIA director. Estes received 66 votes on the final ballot.

Meet Alabama’s New Senator: Luther Strange
Alabama governor appoints state attorney general to fill Sessions’ seat

Alabama’s Luther Strange, seen here testifying on Capitol Hill in 2014 on gun control proposals, replaces Jeff Sessions in the Senate. (Molly Riley/AP file photo)

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has appointed state Attorney General Luther Strange to fill the Senate seat of Jeff Sessions, whom the Senate confirmed as U.S. attorney general Wednesday night. 

“Alabama has surely been well represented by Sen. Sessions, and I am confident Sen. Strange will serve as a fine representative for our people,” the governor said in a Thursday morning statement.

Three Trump Campaign Aides Who Could Get Elected to Congress
Candidates trying to leverage presidential connection to upset victories

Mike Pompeo’s departure from Congress for a new job as CIA director gives Alan Cobb, a Trump campaign official, a shot at the 4th District seat in Kansas. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

During the campaign, there probably weren’t enough full-throated Donald Trump supporters on Capitol Hill to fill a minivan. But two Trump campaign aides could get elected in House special elections later this year, while another adviser may challenge a Republican senator in a primary next year.

Their candidacies will test the popularity and allure of Trump at the local level (since each of them would start their races as underdogs against establishment candidates) and indicate how interested the new president is in interjecting himself into local fights.

Lynn Jenkins Won’t Seek Any Political Office in 2018
Jenkins won’t run for 6th term in the House, may move into private sector

Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., won’t run for re-election in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins, a Republican from the 2nd District, announced Wednesday that she will not seek a 6th term in Congress, nor will she run for any political office in 2018.

“I will not be running for any office in 2018,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “In two years, at the conclusion of this Congress, I plan to retire and explore opportunities to return to the private sector, allowing a new citizen legislator to step up and serve Kansans,” Jenkins wrote.

Becerra, Pompeo Prepare to Leave House
Appointments bring the number of the House down by two

California Democratic Rep. Xavier Becerra  will become his state’s attorney general Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Xavier Becerra is expected to be sworn-in as the next attorney general of California Tuesday after he formally resigns from Congress.

The California Democrat had been handpicked for the position by Gov. Jerry Brown shortly after the November election. The state Senate voted to approve his nomination Monday.