At the Races

Virginia’s Tom Garrett Says He’s Not Resigning
Freshman Republican plans to address reports about possible retirement

Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett says he has no plans to resign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Asked about Wednesday reports that he would not be running for re-election, Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett would only say he has no plans to leave Congress before the end of the session.

“I’m not resigning. I can tell you that definitively,” Garrett told Roll Call.

Georgia Democratic Race to Take On Karen Handel Moves to Runoff
Lucy McBath, Kevin Abel are top two finishers, 7th District contest also heads for runoff

Rep. Karen Handel, R-Ga., will have to wait till July to find out who will be her Democratic opponent this fall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two Democrats in Georgia’s 6th District will advance to a July runoff for the right to take on Republican Rep. Karen Handel in November. 

Since no candidate earned more than 50 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s Democratic primary in the suburban Atlanta district, the top-two finishers — activist Lucy McBath and businessman Kevin Abel — will face each other on July 24. 

Lizzie Fletcher Wins Closely Watched Texas Democratic Runoff for Culberson Seat
Democrats are targeting Houston-area seat that Clinton carried in 2016

Texas Rep. John Culberson is a Democratic target this year, after Hillary Clinton carried his Houston-area 7th District in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawyer Lizzie Pannill Fletcher won the Democratic runoff in Texas’ 7th District on Tuesday, defeating activist and writer Laura Moser, whom the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee considered a weak general election candidate.

With 63 percent of precincts reporting, Fletcher led Moser, 68 percent to 32 percent, according to The Associated Press. 

Clarke Tucker Wins Democratic Primary in Arkansas
State representative will meet GOP Rep. French Hill in November

State Rep. Clarke Tucker won the Democratic nomination for Arkansas’ 2nd District on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

State Rep. Clarke Tucker won the Democratic primary in Arkansas’ 2nd District on Tuesday, to face Republican Rep. French Hill in November.

Tucker was one of four Democrats vying for the nomination, and he comfortably averted a June 19 runoff.

Amy McGrath Wins Democratic Nod in Kentucky
Marine veteran will take on GOP Rep. Andy Barr in November

Marine veteran Amy McGrath, here at a conference in Los Angeles in February, won the Democratic nomination in Kentucky’s 6th District. (Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for MAKERS file photo)

Marine veteran Amy McGrath won the Democratic nomination in Kentucky’s 6th District on Tuesday and will take on Republican Rep. Andy Barr in November. 

With 95 percent of precincts reporting, McGrath led Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, 49 percent to 41 percent, when The Associated Press called the race. 

5 Things to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries
Outside of Texas runoffs, this week’s action is mostly on the Democratic side

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray is running in Kentucky’s 6 District Democratic primary Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Voters again head to the polls Tuesday, this time in Texas, Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky. 

Texas held its primaries in March, but more than a few of those contests advanced to runoffs since the winners did not surpass 50 percent of the vote. None has received more attention that the Democratic runoff in the 7th District. 

Meet the Democrat Who’s Not Giving Up on Rural, Working-Class Districts
Charlie Kelly is executive director of House Majority PAC

Charlie Kelly, the executive director of House Majority PAC, controls tens of millions of TV spending for the fall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By 7 a.m. on a recent Monday morning, Charlie Kelly was well into the weeds of America’s congressional districts and halfway through a cup of coffee.

Seated in a cramped conference room in downtown Washington, the executive director of House Majority PAC was meeting with each of his regional political desks. He rattled off candidates’ names — their strong suits, as well as their flaws — and dropped encyclopedic knowledge of each district.

Campaign Staff for Archie Parnell Quit After Candidate’s Past Abuse Revelations
South Carolina Democrat is running for the 5th District

South Carolina Democrat Archie Parnell says he will remain in the 5th District race despite revelations that he physically abused his ex-wife in the 1970s. (Simone Pathé/CQ Roll Call file photo)

South Carolina Democrat Archie Parnell physically abused his former wife in the 1970s, according to court documents unearthed by his campaign and obtained by The (Charleston) Post and Courier.

Parnell’s campaign manager and his finance manager have quit, according to a source close to the campaign.

Blankenship to Run as Third-Party Senate Candidate in WV
Former convict says he’ll challenge state’s ‘sore loser’ law

Don Blankenship isn't giving up on his Senate quest. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, who finished third in the West Virginia Republican Senate primary, plans to run for West Virginia Senate as a third-party candidate.

Blankenship announced on Monday he’d run as the Constitution Party nominee, Politico reported. He said he’s willing to challenge the state’s “sore loser” law that would prohibit him from running in the general election since he already lost a major party’s nomination.  

Who’s Going to Challenge Karen Handel Without Jon Ossoff?
Georgia’s 6th District primary is on Tuesday

GOP Rep. Karen Handel is running for her first full term, but there won’t be a rematch of last year’s special election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Georgia’s 6th District was in the news nonstop this time last year when the special election to fill former Republican Rep. Tom Price’s seat became the most expensive House race in history.

GOP nominee Karen Handel, the former Georgia secretary of state, ended up defeating big-spending Democrat Jon Ossoff by 4 points (with plenty of help from outside Republican groups). She is now running for her first full term.

DCCC Raises $11.2 Million in April
Haul includes $3.1 million in online donations

DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján pointed to “historic” grass-roots fundraising in announcing the committee’s cash haul last month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $11.2 million in April, exceeding its monthly fundraising total at the same point last cycle.

Nearly $3.1 million of the April haul came from online donations, with an average donation of $16, according to figures provided first to Roll Call. The $11.2 million total surpassed the $8.5 million the campaign arm of the House Democrats raised in April 2016.

A Clash of Experiences in Kentucky’s 6th District Democratic Primary
McGrath and Gray tout their backgrounds ahead of Tuesday primary

Tim Armstrong, the chief executive officer of Oath and former U.S. Marine and congressional candidate in Kentucky Amy McGrath speak onstage during The 2018 MAKERS Conference at NeueHouse Hollywood on February 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for MAKERS)

Even a casual observer of politics has probably heard of Amy McGrath. 

The retired Marine fighter pilot made a splash last year with an introductory video about the letters she wrote to members of Congress asking them to change the law so that women could fly in combat.

Targeting a Blue Texan: Will National Democrats Pay a Price?
7th District race is an early test of DCCC intervention in primaries

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee took the unusual step of releasing opposition research on Laura Moser, who is running for Congress as a Democrat in Texas’ 7th District. (Courtesy Arun Chaudhary/Moser for Congress)

Two women are facing off in the Houston suburbs Tuesday to take on Republican Rep. John Culberson, in what has become an early test of intervention by national Democrats in competitive primaries. 

Lawyer Lizzie Pannill Fletcher and Laura Moser, a former journalist and activist, made the runoff for the Democratic nomination in Texas’ 7th District. The contest was propelled into the national spotlight less than two weeks before the March 6 primary when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee took the unusual step of releasing opposition research on Moser, whom they considered unelectable in November.

Women Poised to Break Through Pennsylvania’s All-Male Delegation
But further campaign-trail challenges still remain for many

Protesters march down Independence Avenue in Washington holding signs during the Women’s March on Jan. 21, 2017, the day after the President Donald Trump’s inauguration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Pennsylvania holds the distinction of having the largest all-male congressional delegation, but that is likely to change next year following Tuesday’s primaries.

Eight women won their primary races in the Keystone State on Tuesday — seven Democrats and one Republican, who was the lone candidate in the contest. Two female candidates were in races that were too close to call at press time.

Political Foes Turned Podcasting Friends
Democrat Ali Lapp and Republican Liesl Hickey bring House race expertise to podcast

Democratic strategist Ali Lapp and and Republican strategist Liesl Hickey chat before recording an episode of their podcast “House Talk with Ali and Liesl” at the EMILY’s List office in Washington, D.C. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ali Lapp spent several hundred thousand dollars trying to defeat Rep. Mark S. Kirk in 2006. The Illinois Republican, whose office was led by Chief of Staff Liesl Hickey, held on.

Fast forward 10 years, and the two women met for the first time at Tonic, a bar in Washington’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood, for what they jokingly call their “blind date.”