Randy Hultgren

DCCC Adds Two Black Candidates to Red to Blue
Women now make up the majority of 33 candidates in program

Texas Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones made the DCCC’s Red to Blue list. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is releasing its fourth round of Red to Blue candidates Thursday. 

The nine latest additions include two African-Americans. The DCCC had been criticized for not including any black candidates on the list so far this cycle.

Illinois Primaries: Ratings Changes in Two Races
Land of Lincoln may help Democrats gain seats

Rep. Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., narrowly survived a primary challenge Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Illinois primaries are in the books, setting the stage for an important batch of congressional elections in November. 

Assuming Democrat Conor Lamb is certified as the winner of the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th District, Democrats still need a net gain of 23 seats to win the House majority. That’s a wide enough gap that Democrats, instead of cherry-picking victories around the country, will look to score big in a handful of states. Illinois might be one of them.

Most Illinois General Election Match-Ups Set for November
Democrats are targeting four GOP-held seats in Prairie State

Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan will face off against Republican Rep. Rodney Davis in Illinois’ 13th District. (Courtesy Betsy Dirksen Londrigan for Congress/YouTube)

Updated 3/21/18

Tuesday’s Democratic primaries in Illinois are setting the stage for general election match-ups in four Republican-held districts that Democrats are targeting in November.

Illinois Democrats Seek to Chip Away at Republicans’ House Majority
Second-in-nation primaries set stage for targeting GOP seats

Democrats are targeting four GOP-held seats in Illinois, where voters head to the primaries Tuesday. (Composite by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats are targeting four seats in Illinois, where voters will pick their nominees Tuesday in the second congressional primaries of the year. 

It’s an early test for the party’s ability to nominate candidates it thinks are viable in the general election. Unlike in Texas, which held the cycle’s first primaries two weeks ago, there are no runoffs in Illinois. So a simple plurality would be enough to advance to the November general election. 

Rep. Rodney Davis Recalls Lessons From His Staffer Days
Illinois Republican was longtime projects director for Rep. John Shimkus

Rep. Rodney Davis talks about a picture of himself, fellow Illinois Rep. John Shimkus and former Vice President Dan Quayle, taken when Davis worked in Shimkus’ office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Rodney Davis was a staffer in fellow Republican Rep. John Shimkus’ Illinois office before running for Congress.

Davis, now 48, worked for Shimkus for 16 years.

Pyeongchang Send-Off: Members of Congress Share Their Excitement for Local Celebrities
States with several Olympians tout their accomplishments

U.S. athletes model the outfits they’ll wear in the opening ceremonies. (Courtesy of U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team on twitter)

As members of Team USA arrive in Pyeongchang, South Korea, for the Olympic Games, the White House is eyeing the hermit kingdom to the north. 

Vice President Mike Pence left for the games on Monday, with a few stops planned along the way. He’ll tour a ballistic missile defense facility, attend talks with Japanese leaders and otherwise “send a clear message of American resolve to the North Korean regime,” according to an aide.

American Action Network Pushing Tax Law in New Digital Ads
Republicans trying to make overhaul central message ahead of November

Minnesota Rep. Jason Lewis is among 20 Republican beneficiaries of a digital ad campaign by the American Action Network. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With Republicans focusing on the economy as their strongest message for the midterms, an issue advocacy group with close ties to House GOP leadership is launching a million-dollar digital ad campaign to tout the Republican tax law. 

American Action Network’s latest digital push, shared first with Roll Call, will run in the districts of 20 Republican lawmakers who voted for the GOP tax plan in December, including members of leadership and others who are more vulnerable this year. 

Illinois House Primaries Will Be Early Testing Ground for Democrats
Democrats have several pickup opportunities, but they need viable candidates first

Democrats are confident they’ll have a general election nominee who can take on Illinois GOP Rep. Peter Roskam. The primary is on March 20. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With early voting starting in less than a month, Illinois will be a testing ground for Democrats’ ability to nominate general election candidates they think can win out of crowded primaries. 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting four Republican-held districts, but the committee is not explicitly picking favorites in all those primaries. 

Ai Weiwei Brings Politics, Humanity to ‘Human Flow’
Movie about refugees gets Republican and Democratic lawmakers to agree on something

Ai Weiwei’s film “Human Flow” traverses the globe to examine the refugee crisis. (Courtesy “Human Flow”)

Politics is seldom far removed from Ai Weiwei’s art, whether it comes in the form of a memorial to his dissident father, an iconic Olympics stadium in Beijing, Lego portraits of political prisoners or, in his latest venture, a documentary about refugees, “Human Flow.”

Aside from the accomplishment of shooting a movie in extremely dangerous locations across the globe about extremely desperate people, the artist has now been able to do that rarest of things for Washington: get a Republican and Democrat in the same room to agree on something.

Lawmakers Watch Eclipse From Back Home
With Congress on recess, members watched the show with friends, family, and constituents

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas,  watches Monday’s eclipse from San Antonio, where he was visiting the Chamber of Commerce. (Sen. Ted Cruz via Twitter)

Unlike President Donald Trump, many lawmakers listened to the warnings and wore solar eclipse glasses to look at the sun on Monday.

The president briefly looked skyward before putting on his protective glasses when he and first lady Melania Trump joined millions of Americans to view the solar eclipse.