governors

Florida to Be Spared In Offshore Drilling Expansion, Zinke Says
Sen. Bill Nelson alleges move was aimed at helping rival score political points

The Interior Department has backed away from a proposal to expand offshore drilling on Florida’s two coasts. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images file photo)

A plan to open Florida’s tourism-dependent Atlantic and Gulf coasts to offshore oil and gas drilling was dropped by the Trump administration on Tuesday after a bipartisan backlash that also threatened to complicate a must-pass fiscal 2018 spending bill.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, whose department on Jan. 4 revealed a draft five-year plan for expanding the sale of federal offshore drilling leases to the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans, as well as the eastern Gulf of Mexico, announced Tuesday night on Twitter that Florida’s two coasts would not be included in the expansion.

Northeastern Lawmakers Unite Against Trump Offshore Drilling Plan
Republicans and Democrats from region join Florida and West Coast colleagues blasting plan

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, penned a joint letter on Monday to resist the Trump administration’s offshore drilling plans off their state’s coast. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers in the Northeast united across party lines on Monday to hazard against President Donald Trump’s offshore drilling plan to re-open more than 90 percent of the U.S. coastline to oil and gas companies.

Roughly 94 percent of the coastline, including the entire Atlantic and Pacific coasts, remains off limits to oil and gas drilling. But Trump’s Interior Department revealed a five-year plan proposing 47 potential lease sales to energy companies through 2024, including two in the North Atlantic region from Maine to New Jersey.

DeSantis Touts Trump Endorsement in Announcing Florida Governor Run
Florida rep is 10th GOP House member to announce run for higher office

Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., announced Friday he will run for governor of Florida. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ron DeSantis will run for Florida governor in 2018, the third-term Republican announced Friday morning.

Appearing on the morning cable show “Fox & Friends,” DeSantis touted his strong relationship with President Donald Trump — who endorsed the 39-year-old lawmaker for a governor bid in recent weeks — before revealing his intention to run.

Speier, ‘MeToo’ Spearhead in House, Shoots Down Governor Run Rumor
Former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown speculated about her plans in newspaper column

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., denied through a spokesman Wednesday she was weighing a possible bid for governor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Jackie Speier tamped down gossip from the New Year’s weekend that she was considering entering the California governor race with a statement Wednesday flatly denying any such claims.

“I still have a lot of work to do in Washington,” the Bay Area Democrat said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Black to Give Up Top Budget Slot, Focus on Governor’s Race
Competition expected for House Budget gavel

After announcing her gubernatorial bid in August, many expected Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., to step aside after the fiscal 2018 budget resolution was adopted. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Diane Black announced Wednesday that she plans to step aside as House Budget chairwoman to focus on her gubernatorial campaign.

The Tennessee Republican announced that she will remain in Congress, but will give up her gavel as soon as the GOP Steering Committee picks, and the Republican Conference ratifies, her successor.

Trump Says GOP Will Do ‘Well’ in 2018
‘I said Gillespie and Moore would lose,’ president tweets

Roy Moore rides away on his horse after voting at the Gallant Volunteer Fire Department in Gallant, Ala., on Dec. 12. President Donald Trump says he predicted Moore’s loss. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated at 9:01 a.m. | In the wake of Democrat Doug Jones’ stunning upset over Roy Moore in Alabama’s special Senate election, President Donald Trump on Monday used a tweet to tout the Republican Party’s performance this year in House races.

Trump last week referred to himself as “the leader of the party” — something he rarely does. He used a tweet Monday morning to imply that the GOP should listen to his prognostications about which potential candidates can and cannot win general election races.

LePage Calls ‘Fake News’ on Report Trump Wants Him to Challenge King
Report didn’t adequately list his accomplishments as Maine’s governor, LePage political adviser says

Maine Gov. Paul LePage greets the crowd before then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks in Portland in August 2016. (Sarah Rice/Getty Images file photo)

Maine Gov. Paul LePage did not take kindly to a report that President Donald Trump wants him to challenge Maine Sen. Angus King, branding the story as “fake news.”

LePage, a businessman-turned-Republican politician, called the report “vile,” according to a tweet by a WCSH-TV reporter. 

Meet the Man Who Carried the Capitol Christmas Tree From Montana to D.C.
Larry Spiekermeier drove a 79-foot Engelmann Spruce from Kootenai National Forest

A baby visits Larry Spiekermeier in the truck. (Courtesy US Capitol Tree/Twitter)

Everyone in the Montana trucking industry knows Larry Spiekermeier. And now people on the road between the Treasure State and D.C. know him too — as the man who delivered the 53rd annual Capitol Christmas tree.

Spiekermeier drove the truck carrying the 2017 tree for two weeks, starting from Kootenai National Forest in northwestern Montana. Spiekermeier and the 79-foot-tall Engelmann Spruce made twenty stops between Nov. 13 and Nov. 27 in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri and Kentucky before arriving at the Capitol on Monday.

Podcast: What Tuesday's Elections Signal for the 2018 Congressional Map
The Big Story, Episode 79

Virginia Gov.-elect Ralph Northam greets supporters at an election night rally November 7, 2017 in Fairfax, Virginia. Northam defeated Republican candidate Ed Gillespie. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

While the Democratic surge in the off-year voting gives the party reason to smile, the midterm election is a long way off. Roll Call reporters Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman detail what the results in Virginia, New Jersey and elsewhere mean for the Democrats' quest to take back the House. 

 

5 Things Tuesday’s Results Tell Us About 2018
GOP losses could spell trouble for Virginia’s Barbara Comstock

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock is one of the most vulnerable incumbents up for re-election next year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Tuesday’s victories in Virginia and New Jersey had Democratic strategists practically tripping over themselves to predict 2018 good fortunes.

Democrats won the governor’s mansion in both states by wide margins. They picked up at least 16 state legislative seats in Virginia. That included a transgender Democrat defeating a longtime conservative Republican state legislator who authored a so-called bathroom bill. And in Maine, voters supported a ballot measure to expand Medicaid.