endorsement-watch

The Lone Leadership Hopeful Not Yet Backing Pelosi for Speaker
Most leadership candidates have made sure to let the press know they support Pelosi

Rep. Matt Cartwright, R-Pa., who is running for one of the three Democratic Policy and Communications Committee co-chair slots, is the only leadership candidate who has not yet committed to supporting Nancy Pelosi for speaker. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

All but one House Democrat running for an elected leadership position is supporting Nancy Pelosi for speaker. 

The lone candidate who hasn’t yet backed the California Democrat in her quest to retake the gavel is Pennsylvania Rep. Matt Cartwright

Top Trump PAC to Flood Mississippi Airwaves Ahead of Senate Runoff
Cindy Hyde-Smith faces Mike Espy in last undecided Senate race of the cycle

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., is in a Nov. 27 special election runoff with Democrat Mike Espy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A top super PAC aligned with President Donald Trump is infusing the Mississippi Senate special election runoff with nearly $300,000 to help Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith.

Hyde-Smith will face former Democratic Rep. Mike Espy, who also served as Agriculture secretary in the Clinton administration, in the Nov. 27 runoff. Neither cleared 50 percent in the Nov. 6 jungle primary, which saw two Republicans and two Democrats run together on the same ballot.

Veterans Still Outpace Civilians in Congress, But Declines Continue
Midterms saw House increase in Democratic Vets, women with military experience

Jason Crow, Democratic candidate for Colorado’s 6th Congressional District won his election Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file)

The number of military veterans in both chambers of Congress will at best remain unchanged despite a midterm cycle featuring dozens of candidates with military experience on both sides of the aisle.

Seventy-four veterans won House seats Tuesday night. Eight others were locked in races still too close to call Wednesday afternoon. In the Senate, a projected win for retired Air Force office Martha McSally in an Arizona race would bring the number of veterans in the next Congress to 17 — the same number that finished the 115th Congress. Even if veterans win all the outstanding races in the House, the percentage of House lawmakers with military experience will remain unchanged: 19 percent. 

Marsha Blackburn — The Name That at Least a Couple of GOP Colleagues Are Loath to Say
Tennessee Sen. Corker and Gov. Haslam declined to explicitly say they voted for her

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., who is running for Senate, has tepid support from two of the top three Republicans in her state. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two of the top three Republican lawmakers in Tennessee declined to explicitly say this week whether they voted for the GOP’s Senate nominee, Rep. Marsha Blackburn.

Sen. Bob Corker, the retiring chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, whose Volunteer State seat Blackburn is running to fill, and term-limited Gov. Bill Haslam, each hinted that they voted for Blackburn over centrist Democratic candidate and former governor Phil Bredesen — but declined to use Blackburn’s name when answering reporters’ questions.

Scalise Won’t Speculate About What Leadership Position He’d Seek In Minority
Majority whip confident that Republicans will defy odds and hold House majority

Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., won’t speculate what he’d be doing if the GOP loses the House. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

LYNCHBURG, Va. — Confident that Republicans will defy historical midterm odds and hold onto their House majority, Steve Scalise won’t even speculate about where he sees himself in leadership if the GOP ends up in the minority next year. 

The current House majority whip has ruled out a direct challenge to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy for speaker if Republicans hold onto the majority. Retiring Speaker Paul D. Ryan has endorsed McCarthy to succeed him. 

Trump to Headline Rally for Sen. Ted Cruz in Texas Ahead of Midterms
Dem opponent O’Rourke is mounting one of most expensive campaigns in history to unseat Cruz

President Donald Trump will rally for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, next Monday, Oct. 22. (George LeVines/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump will rally Texans for Sen. Ted Cruz in Houston next Monday, Oct. 22, as Cruz’s race with Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke enters the home stretch before the Nov. 6 midterm elections there.

Trump had promised in August to campaign on Cruz’s behalf, a promise Cruz heartily welcomed.

Trump PAC Spends More Defending Texas House Seat Than Any Race This Cycle
America First Action has spent $2.6 million to help longtime GOP Rep. Pete Sessions keep his seat

Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, speaks with reporters as he leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The top super PAC aligned with President Donald Trump is releasing another ad Tuesday in Texas’ 32nd District, where longtime GOP Rep. Pete Sessions is facing arguably his toughest test for re-election yet against Democrat Colin Allred.

America First Action, the super PAC promoting candidates who support the president’s agenda, has sunk $2.6 million into defending Sessions’ seat. That’s the most the PAC has spent on any race this cycle.

EMILY’s List Spending Arm Hits North Carolina Rep. Holding in Attack Ad
Pro-choice Democratic group has endorsed Democrat Linda Coleman in North Carolina’s 2nd District

Rep. George Holding, R-N.C., is in a tight race with Democratic opponent Linda Coleman for North Carolina’s 2nd District seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At least one progressive super PAC has jumped into the outside spending battle that’s ramping up in North Carolina’s hotly contested 2nd District, where GOP Rep. George Holding faces a narrowing path to re-election against Democrat Linda Coleman.

WOMEN VOTE!, the independent expenditure arm of the political action committee EMILY’s List, which promotes pro-choice Democratic female candidates for Congress, dropped $406,470 on a new ad attacking Holding for allegedly cozying up to the pharmaceutical industry by giving it a $42 million tax break.

Trump Jr., Top Trump PAC Helping Vulnerable GOP Rep. Pete Sessions
Trump political machine trying to stave off top Dem pickup opportunity in Texas’ 32nd District

Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, is receiving a boost from the Trump political machine as he looks to stave off Democratic challenger Colin Allred in the upcoming midterm elections on Nov. 6. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump political machine is out in full force in Texas’ 32nd District to boost GOP Rep. Pete Sessions as his race against Democratic challenger Colin Allred tightens.

First, Vice President Mike Pence stumped for Sessions there on Monday. Then, the top Trump-aligned super PAC shelled out millions of dollars on airtime for a new ad attacking Allred. And on Wednesday, the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., announced he will host a fundraiser in the district for Sessions later this month.

Grassley Wants to Raise $3 Million for Collins Amid Kavanaugh Backlash
Three progressive groups have raised more than $4 million in what Collins calls ‘quid pro quo’ for her vote

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, wants to raise $3 million to help re-elect Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Charles E. Grassley, the Judiciary chairman who helped guide new associate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh through his confirmation process, wants to raise $3 million to support the 2020 re-election campaign of the decisive Republican swing voter, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.

Collins’ re-election is a far way off considering voters are still roughly a month away from heading to the polls for the 2018 midterms. But a cadre of progressive groups has already crowdsourced more than $4.4 million to bolster Collins’ Democratic opponent in 2020, money it would have used to back Collins had she voted against Kavanaugh, who was confirmed on Saturday on a mostly party line vote, 50-48.