Gwen Graham

Shutdown kick-starts the 2020 congressional campaign
From the airwaves to inboxes, both parties are already in attack mode

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association rally to “Stop the Shutdown” in front of the Capitol (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While it’s impossible to predict what issues will dominate the campaign trail 22 months out from Election Day, the partial government shutdown could be an early test for both parties’ 2020 messaging.

For Democrats, the shutdown reinforces their message that congressional Republicans are not willing to stand up to President Donald Trump — a theme that resonated last November among independent voters who helped deliver a Democratic House majority. Trump has insisted that any legislation to reopen the government include funding for a wall along the southern border, something most Democrats remain opposed to.

4 Takeaways From the Florida and Arizona Primaries
Progressives have a mixed night, while the DCCC has a good one

Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., delivers her victory speech in Tempe on Tuesday night after she won the Republican nomination for Senate. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Tuesday was the last multi-state primary night for the 2018 cycle, setting up the general election matchups in key competitive races in Florida and Arizona. With one notable exception, it was mostly a good night for front-runners. 

Here are our four takeaways:

Trump-Backed DeSantis Easily Secures GOP Governor Nod in Florida
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is surprise winner of Democratic nomination

Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., won the Florida Republican gubernatorial nomination Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 9:28 p.m. | Buoyed by an endorsement from President Donald Trump, Rep. Ron DeSantis easily secured the Republican nomination for Florida governor Tuesday in the race to succeed GOP Gov. Rick Scott.

With 91 percent of precincts reporting, DeSantis led state Agriculture Commissioner and former Rep. Adam Putnam 56 percent to 37 percent, according to The Associated Press. 

Fall Elections Key Moment in Medicaid Expansion Debate
Recent developments in Virginia are giving advocates hope

From left, former Reps. Adam H. Putnam and Gwen Graham and Rep. Ron DeSantis are running for Florida governor. Graham, a Democrat, supports expanding Medicaid in the state, while Punam and DeSantis, both Republicans, oppose broadening the program. (Ryan Kelly/Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photos)

The midterm elections are poised to play a pivotal role in whether more states expand Medicaid eligibility, as the number of red-state holdouts dwindles.

Governors’ races in states such as Florida and Kansas, along with ballot initiatives in Idaho, Nebraska and Utah, are being watched closely by Medicaid experts this year.

Congressional Women’s Softball Game Ticket Sales Soar
California Democrat Norma Torres gears up for annual charity event

Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos is welcomed into the dugout after scoring the only run in the seventh annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game in 2015. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The week of the Congressional Women’s Softball Game kicks off with the members’ team seeking revenge on their media colleagues, and interest in the annual game skyrocketing after last week’s shooting at a Republican team practice for the Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.

Last year, the press team, known as the Bad News Babes, beat the lawmakers, 8-4. 

Congressional Women’s Softball Prepares to Lose a Staple
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who has played since game was started in 2009, announced retirement earlier

Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is expected to play her final Congressional Women’s Softball Game next year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After an election, there are always comings and goings from the Congressional Women’s Softball Game rosters. But the biggest news of the offseason this year was that the game will soon be losing Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

The Florida Republican has played in the charity event pitting female lawmakers against members of the media since the first one in 2009. But she announced last month that she will be retiring after her current term. 

Former Rep. Gwen Graham Enters Florida Governor’s Race
May face criticism in primary for Keystone, refugee, Wall Street votes

Former Rep. Gwen Graham, D-Fla., served one term in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Florida Rep. Gwen Graham announced Tuesday she would be a Democratic candidate for governor in 2018.

Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott is term-limited and is looking to challenge Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson next year, leaving the race wide open.

‘A Tyrant is Dead’ — Congress Reacts to the Death of Fidel Castro
Longtime Cuban dictator died Friday night at age 90

Former Cuban President Fidel Castro died Friday. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Even in the middle of the night, the reaction to the death of former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro was swift from South Florida lawmakers and those with Cuban-American ties.

“The day that the people, both inside the island and out, have waited for has arrived: A tyrant is dead and a new beginning can dawn on the last remaining communist bastion of the Western Hemisphere,” Florida GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who was born in Havana, said in a statement.

New Member: Republican Neal Dunn Wins Florida's 2nd District
Former Army surgeon replaces retiring Democratic Rep. Gwen Graham

Republican Neal Dunn is the congressman-elect for Florida's 2nd District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Neal Dunn will defeat Democrat Walt Dartland in Florida's 2nd District, The Associated Press projects. 

Dunn led Dartland 66 percent to 31 percent with 28 percent of precincts reporting. 

What Florida Members Are Telling Constituents About Matthew
Floridians prepare for rare Category 4 storm to hit Thursday evening

Kevin Forde, left, and John Haughey put up plywood on a window in Miami Beach, Florida, on Thursday as they prepare for Hurricane Matthew. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

As Florida prepares for Hurricane Matthew to strike, members of Congress are working to keep their constituents in the loop and safe.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio warned in an email Thursday, "Meteorologists are calling this the storm of decades, and it is not something to take lightly." Signed off with "Paid for by Marco Rubio for Senate 2016," the email also suggested people donate to the Red Cross and Salvation Army.