At the Races

Former Illinois Lt. Gov. Eveyln Sanguinetti announces House run in suburban Chicago
Vying to challenge freshman Democrat Sean Casten in key 6th District

Rep. Sean Casten, D-Ill., may face former Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti in 2020.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti announced Monday that she will run for Congress in Illinois’ 6th District, a longtime Republican stronghold captured last year by Democrat Sean Casten

“I really wanted to see Sean Casten be the voice this district needed when he won election last November,” Sanguinetti said at a morning announcement in her hometown of Wheaton, according to a campaign press release. “Unfortunately, all we have is another politician cozying up to progressives and socialists in support of increased taxes and expanded government — when he should be fighting for the district he was sent to represent.”

Rep. Seth Moulton becomes the 19th Democratic candidate for president
Marine Corps vet has championed veterans issues in Congress

Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., has endorsed 19 veterans to who are running for Congress for the first time in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Seth Moulton, a Massachusetts congressman known for prioritizing veterans issues and for an unsuccessful push to unseat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, declared his bid for the White House on Monday.

In announcing his candidacy, Moulton becomes the 19th Democrat in the race.

Warren: 'House should initiate impeachment proceedings' against Trump
Other 2020 hopefuls say impeachment shouldn't be off the table

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren called on the House to begin impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The day after the release of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report, reaction from 2020 Democrats — as well as one leading Republican — intensified. 

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Friday called for the House to begin impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, while Utah Sen. Mitt Romney said he was “sickened” by the “dishonesty” coming from the White House. 

House Republicans identify vulnerable members for 2020
NRCC announces initial eight members of Patriot Program

The NRCC has added New York Rep. Lee Zeldin to its Patriot Program for the 2020 cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Eight House Republicans, including the three from districts won by Hillary Clinton in 2016, have been named to the National Republican Congressional Committee’s list of incumbents expected to face tough re-elections. 

Members of the Patriot Program typically benefit from fundraising and organizational assistance. The list can be a signal to donors to direct checks to members in need.

Mueller report is a reminder that Russian hack hit House races, too
Talks between the DCCC and NRCC about using stolen information stalled in September

The Justice Department on Thursday released special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report provided new details Thursday about how Russian agents hacked into Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee computers in 2016, renewing the question of whether the two parties would agree not to use stolen material in future political attacks.

Leaders of the DCCC and the National Republican Congressional Committee came close to such an an agreement in late 2018, but talks broke down.

Democratic 2020 hopefuls aim political firepower on Barr
California’s Eric Swalwell calls for Barr to resign over handling of Mueller report

California Rep. Eric Swalwell has called for Attorney General William Barr to resign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats looking to succeed President Donald Trump picked up a new target on Thursday: Attorney General William Barr. 

As 2020 candidates continued to read a redacted copy of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s full report into Russian interference in the 2016 election, it was Barr — as much as Trump — who was in the crosshairs in the hours after the report’s release.

What candidates running to replace Trump are saying about Barr and Mueller report
Attorney general reiterates decision that president’s actions did not qualify as obstruction

Protesters gather in Lafayette Square across from the White House on Feb. 18 to oppose President Donald Trump’s border wall emergency declaration (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Presidential hopefuls on Thursday quickly denounced Attorney General William Barr and renewed calls for the release of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s full report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

California Rep. Eric Swalwell, who entered the presidential race last week, called on Barr to resign, saying he should never have been confirmed and should have recused himself from oversight of the Mueller investigation. 

O’Rourke touts Senate run in White House bid — even though he lost
Texan cites battle with Cruz as evidence he can energize Democrats, win over Republicans

Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke speaks during his town hall event in Alexandria, Va. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Ruth traveled to Texas last year to knock on doors when former Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke ran for Senate. Now she’s concerned he’s repeating mistakes from that race, and she told him so to his face.  

Ruth, who declined to give her last name, told O’Rourke at a town hall meeting Wednesday she did not think he drew enough of a contrast with GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, who was narrowly re-elected in November.

Club for Growth backs a woman in 17-person North Carolina primary
Celeste Cairns is one of three women running for GOP nod in safe seat

The Club for Growth PAC has backed one of the three women vying for the GOP nomination in a safe Republican seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call.)

The Club for Growth PAC backed accountant Celeste Cairns in the crowded primary for North Carolina’s 3rd District on Wednesday, elevating one of three women seeking the nomination in this safe Republican seat. 

Seventeen Republicans are vying for the nomination for the eastern North Carolina seat that has been vacant since Walter B. Jones died earlier this year. A candidate must win at least 30 percent of the vote in the April 30 primary to avoid a runoff in July. 

No letup in congressional fundraising after ‘green wave’ election
Retirement-watch Republicans and no-corporate-PAC Democrats both stepped up

California Rep. Josh Harder, a freshman Democrat, raised the most money of all the Democrats the NRCC is targeting in 2020. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The race for the White House is already dominating headlines, but new campaign finance disclosures show donors in both parties are also opening their wallets to renew the fight to control the House in 2020.

Presidential campaign years tend to boost fundraising for down-ballot candidates, and early fundraising reports show 2020 is no exception.

Democrats launch Tax Day ad attack aimed at GOP overhaul
Effort on Facebook signals 2018 messaging on tax law is here to stay for 2020

The DCCC is attacking Texas Rep. Pete Olson in its latest round of digital ads (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

To coincide with Tax Day, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is rolling out digital ads on Monday attacking 12 Republicans for the GOP tax plan that passed during the 115th Congress.

The new Facebook ads, obtained first by Roll Call, signal Democrats will continue to use the 2017 tax overhaul, which passed with only Republican votes, as a key part of their economic message heading into 2020, when the party will be trying to protect their midterm gains and expand the map by investing heavily in such places as Texas.

California Democrats brand attack by Duncan Hunter campaign ‘racist’
Republican renewed effort to tar challenger Campa-Najjar as ‘national security threat’

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., faces condemnation from two Democratic members of the California delegation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A California lawmaker ripped Rep. Duncan Hunter for relying on a “racist” campaign strategy by repeatedly describing his challenger, who has Palestinian heritage, as a “national security threat.”

Democrat Rep. Mike Levin called on the Hunter campaign to stop relying on anti-Muslim conspiracy theories to undercut his challenger in the 2020 race, Ammar Campa-Najjar.

Iowa’s Dave Loebsack will not run for re-election in 2020
Democrat’s retirement opens up a competitive seat

Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, is retiring at the end of this Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Iowa Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack will not seek an eighth term in 2020, opening up a potentially competitive district that President Donald Trump carried in 2016.

Announcing his retirement Friday evening, Loebsack said he’d originally planned to serve no more than 12 years. But that changed when Trump was elected. 

Bustos to Democrats: ‘We know our job is different this time’
DCCC chairwoman counting on energy, focus, message discipline to ‘lock down’ majority in 2020

DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos, D- Ill., outlined her 2020 strategy at the House Democrats’ 2019 retreat in Leesburg, Va. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

LEESBURG, Va. — It’s no coincidence that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairwoman was the closing act at House Democrats’ annual retreat Friday.

Three days of private meetings included strategies for winning 2020 elections and expanding the majority Democrats won last fall. And that means the DCCC has to do its job of protecting vulnerable members and recruiting challengers in winnable takeover districts. 

With less Lululemon and less partisan sniping, campaign staffers adjust to the Hill
Some 2018 campaign staffers are working on the official side for the first time

Joshua Kelley, right, managed the winning Senate campaign of Indiana Republican Mike Braun, center. Kelley is now Braun’s chief of staff.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While some Hill aides flock to New Hampshire and Iowa to staff Democratic presidential teams, plenty of others have been making the opposite transition.

These staffers worked on 2018 House and Senate campaigns and now find themselves immersed in the official side in Congress. Cycling on and off the Hill every two years is common. But for those who have never held official-side jobs before, the first 100 days of the 116th Congress have been an interesting transition period.