Simone Pathé

Blue Dog PAC Endorses Eight Democrats for 2018
Blue Dogs’ numbers ticked up in 2016

The Blue Dog Coalition’s PAC backed eight Democratic House challengers Thursday in its first round of endorsements of the 2018 cycle. 

Endorsements come with a $5,000 check — the maximum a PAC is allowed to contribute to a federal candidate per election. The PAC can cut each candidate another $5,000 check if they clear the primary and run in the general election.

Susan Brooks Chooses Sides in Indiana Senate Primary
GOP congresswoman endorses Luke Messer, will chair “Women for Luke”

Indiana Rep. Susan W. Brooks endorsed fellow Hoosier Rep. Luke Messer’s Senate bid Wednesday. She’s the first member of the delegation to publicly choose sides in what’s already become a nasty member-on-member primary war between Messer and Rep. Todd Rokita as the GOP tries to unseat the Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly.

“Luke and I have been friends for a long time, and being his colleague and watching him work up close, I have no doubt he'll make a great U.S. Senator,” Brooks said in a statement.

Tennessee Republicans Prepare for Another Senate Primary
Field will grow if Bob Corker retires; Blackburn and Fincher could run

When Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker asked President Donald Trump to campaign for Alabama Sen. Luther Strange ahead of next week’s Senate Republican runoff, he might have had a little self-preservation in mind. 

A win by Roy Moore, the controversial former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, would throw a wrench into the deliberative body in which the moderate Tennessee Republican serves. But a Moore victory could also embolden primary challengers to other sitting senators, like Corker.

314 Action Hopes to be the ‘EMILY’s List for Scientists’
Endorsements come with PAC check and potential IE investments

An organization dedicated to electing scientists and STEM professionals is endorsing four more Democratic House challengers Monday.

Monday’s congressional endorsements — part of a broader rollout of state and local candidates – comes in traditionally GOP seats, two of which may look more competitive for Democrats in 2018, while two others still look more challenging to flip.

Half of New Jersey Voters Don’t Think Menendez Should Be Re-Elected’
Only 20 percent said he deserves to be re-elected in Quinnipiac Poll

New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez is in the legal fight of his life. And if he runs for re-election in 2018, he may be in for his toughest political fight, too. 

Half of New Jersey voters said the state’s senior Democratic senator does not deserve to be re-elected next year, according to a Quinnipiac Poll released Thursday.

GOP Sees Offensive Opening on Health Care for 2018
Republicans plan to tie all Democrats to “Medicare for all” proposals

As more and more Democrats come out in favor of some form of “Medicare for all” legislation, Republican campaign strategists are salivating.

In much the same way the GOP has tried to tie all Democrats to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in attack ads, they’re planning to tie all Democratic incumbents and challengers to different proposals from Vermont independent Bernie Sanders in the Senate and Michigan Rep. John Conyers Jr. in the House, regardless of whether they’ve personally embraced those policies.

Michigan’s Dave Trott Won’t Seek Re-Election in 2018
11th District race is rated Likely Republican

Michigan Republican Rep. Dave Trott announced Monday that he won’t seek re-election in 2018.

“I have decided that the best course for me is to spend more time with my family and return to the private sector,” the 11th District congressman said in a statement.

Could More House Retirements Imperil GOP Majority in 2018?
Retirements of three moderates spark fears about more leaving

House retirements are a staple of each election cycle. But the decision by three moderate Republicans not to seek re-election is worrying party members, already nervous about holding the majority in 2018.

“You hate to have an open seat in what you know is going to be a bad year,” said Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, a former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Washington’s Dave Reichert Won’t Seek Re-Election in 2018
Open seat gives Democrats a top takeover opportunity

Washington Republican Dave Reichert announced Wednesday he won’t seek re-election to the 8th District, opening up a top takeover opportunity for Democrats next year.  

“After spending time during the August work period with family and friends, reflecting on the past, discussing the future, and celebrating another birthday, I have decided this will be my last term,” Reichert said in a statement. 

GOP Super PAC Expands Field Presence to 17 Districts
Congressional Leadership Fund opens offices in six more districts

The Republican super PAC backed by House leadership is expanding its field program by opening new offices in six GOP-held districts. 

Congressional Leadership Fund now has a 17 field offices across the country.

Hanabusa Planning Primary Challenge to Hawaii Governor
Democrat giving up safe seat for second time to seek higher office

Hawaii Democrat Colleen Hanabusa hasn’t been back in Congress for long  — and now she’s planning to leave to once again to run for higher office.

The congresswoman on Friday announced her plans to launch a primary challenge to incumbent Democratic Gov. Dave Ige. Her decision to not run for re-election in the 1st District will open up a safe Democratic seat that Hillary Clinton carried by more than 30 points last fall. 

Trump Nominations Could Prompt Special Elections for Two GOP Seats
Republicans already jockeying in Oklahoma and Pennsylvania

President Donald Trump’s long-expected nomination of two Republican congressmen to posts in his administration could set up special elections in two safe GOP House seats with already crowded fields of potential candidates.

Trump on Friday evening announced his intent to nominate Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine to be administrator of NASA and Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Marino to be director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. 

Democrats Score Marine Veteran to Challenge Poliquin
Jared Golden is a lifelong Mainer

Democrats have landed a top recruit in a rural Maine district where candidate profiles matter — even more so than most places.

State House Assistant Majority Leader Jared Golden, a Marine veteran, announced his candidacy for the 2nd District in Lewiston’s Kennedy Park Thursday morning.

Campaigns Aren’t Equipped to Vet Donors
Contributions from white supremacists have slipped through in the past

As the past week has reaffirmed, most congressional candidates don’t want to be associated with white supremacists.

But when it comes to campaign donations, candidates have little control over who supports them. It’s easy enough for politicians to donate to charity or refund contributions from controversial sources. The hard part is finding them.

Democrats Seize on Tom Garrett’s Meeting with Kessler
Liberals hope Garrett’s meeting could put Virginia’s 5th District in play

Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett says he didn’t know who Jason Kessler was when the white nationalist leader met with him in his Capitol Hill office in March. 

Democrats aren’t buying it.

Could There Soon Be Another Pence in Washington?
Vice President’s older brother likely to run for Congress in Indiana

Greg Pence starred in a recent candidate announcement video, but it wasn’t for his own campaign — at least not yet.

The older brother of Vice President Mike Pence is the finance chairman of Indiana Rep. Luke Messer’s Senate campaign, and on the day Messer tweeted he was getting in the race, Greg Pence was the one who addressed the camera.

Niki Tsongas Won’t Seek Re-Election in 2018
Her retirement opens up safe Democratic seat in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Rep. Niki Tsongas announced Wednesday she won’t be seeking a sixth full term in 2018.

“I have learned in life that there is a time for endings and for beginnings. After much thought, I have decided that this is one of those times,” Tsongas said in a statement. 

Todd Rokita Making Senate Bid in Indiana
Rokita and Messer face member-on-member primary

With Indiana Rep. Todd Rokita set to announce his Senate campaign on Wednesday, the Hoosier State is now officially host to yet another member-on-member GOP primary.

Rep. Luke Messer and Rokita have been sparring out in the open for weeks, vying for the GOP nod to take on Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly in 2018. Even their Senate announcements seemed designed to try to out-do each other’s. 

Missouri’s Josh Hawley Forms Exploratory Committee for Senate Bid
GOP donors have been urging the state attorney general to challenge McCaskill

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has formed an exploratory committee with the Federal Election Commission for a challenge to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

“Josh’s state campaign committee has ceased expenditures and the soliciting or accepting of donations while he considers becoming a federal candidate,” Hawley spokesman Scott Paradise said in an email, according to the Kansas City Star

Carlos Curbelo Gets Democratic Challenger Who Emigrated from Ecuador
Debbie Mucarsel-Powell lost a state Senate bid last fall

Despite winning his second term by double digits, Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo is a top Democratic target in 2018. Democrats now have a candidate against him in Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who announced her candidacy on Wednesday. 

Mucarsel-Powell has spent the past 14 years working in development at Florida International University. She moved to the U.S. from Ecuador when she was 14, settling first in southern California with her mom, and later following her sister to Florida.