Capitol Ink | Trump Country Mile

David Jolly Cites Pennsylvania Results for Not Running in 2018
Former congressman says he’ll be focused on Trump primary in 2020

Former Rep. David Jolly tweeted Tuesday night that he won’t run for his old seat in 2018 (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Florida Rep. David Jolly has decided against a 2018 rematch with Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist, who defeated him in 2016. 

The former GOP congressman, who has alienated himself from the national GOP, tweeted his decision late Tuesday night while all eyes on Twitter were following the results of the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th District. 

Former Democratic Rep. Bright to Challenge Roby as a Republican
Former congressman was elected as a Democrat in 2008, lost in 2010

Former Rep. Bobby Bright, D-Ala., announced he would challenge Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., as a Republican. (Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly file photo)

Former Democratic Rep. Bobby Bright announced he will challenge Rep. Martha Roby in the Republican primary in Alabama’s 2nd District.

Bright was elected in 2008 before losing to Roby in the tea party wave in 2010. Despite serving as a Democrat, Bright said he always voted conservatively, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.

Pulling Out of Politics: How Members Retire From the Hill
Every lawmaker handles announcements a little differently

Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen didn’t tell leadership or the NRCC she was leaving before making her announcement. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s getting to be that time of year when family moments over holiday recesses inspire lawmakers to think twice about making the weekly slog back to Capitol Hill.

Sixteen current House members have already announced they’re not running for anything next year — short of the 22 members, on average, who have retired each cycle since 1976 without seeking another office. Illinois Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez is expected to make a retirement announcement Tuesday.

Vulnerable Republicans in Political Catch-22 on Tax Overhaul
Democrats will attack them for the GOP tax plan even if they vote against it

New York Rep. Dan Donovan said the tax plan “kills the people who I represent.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It’s decision time on the ultimatum Republican leaders have been issuing to members all fall: Pass a tax overhaul or wave the House majority goodbye. 

But some of the party’s most vulnerable members, many from high-tax states in the Northeast, have come out against the House tax plan over its curtailing of deductions for state and local taxes and mortgage interest. Others are still undecided, afraid of how the measure will affect their districts. 

Ohio GOP Consultant Joins NRCC as Senior Adviser
Joe King, a friend of Steve Stivers, expected to direct independent expenditure efforts

NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers has been friends with incoming senior adviser Joe King since their Ohio State University days. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee announced Tuesday that Joe King is joining the committee as senior adviser. 

The Ohio-based consultant is expected to direct the committee’s independent expenditure efforts once the wall goes up between NRCC’s official and outside spending arms in 2018. 

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

Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent’s decision makes the race for his 15th District seat more competitive. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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.

Stivers says Both Parties’ Rhetoric Inciting Hate
NRCC chairman said culture hasn’t changed after Congressional Baseball practice shooting

Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, said both parties are to blame for hateful rhetoric and increased violence (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Ohio Republican said neither side took initiative to say enough was enough, despite the fact Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot in the hip and faces a long road for recovery.

“We all need to look ourselves in the mirror and figure out how we might be contributing to the problems with our society,” he said.

Hurd Gets Two More Democratic Challengers
Ally of Castro brothers and San Antonio teacher get into the race against Texas Republican incumbent

Texas Republican Rep. Will Hurd R-Texas, faces one of the toughest re-election campaigns among all incumbents next year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Texas Rep. Will Hurd received two more potential Democratic challengers in what will be the most-watched race in the state and likely the nation next year.

Former federal prosecutor Jay Hulings from San Antonio, an ally of Rep. Joaquin Castro and his brother former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, announced his campaign on Sunday.

Former NFL Player Considering Congressional Bid in Ohio
Anthony Gonzalez has met with NRCC about seat being vacated by Rep. Jim Renacci

Anthony Gonzalez played for five seasons in the NFL. (

Anthony Gonzalez, a former wide receiver for Ohio State University and later the Indianapolis Colts of the NFL, is weighing a run for Congress in Ohio’s 16th District, sources told

The seat will likely be up for grabs as Republican Rep. Jim Renacci, who has occupied it since 2010, plans a run to replace term-limited Ohio Gov. John Kasich.