Special Election

Sen. Jon Kyl Will Resign at the End of the Year
Arizona governor will have opportunity to appoint new senator

Sen. Jon Kyl is expected to retire from the Senate again, effective Dec. 31. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl is expected to retire from the Senate at the end of the month.

The Republican senator returned to the chamber in September after Gov. Doug Ducey appointed him to replace the late Sen. John McCain. He previously served three terms in the Senate from 1995 to 2013. 

Are the Suburbs Getting More Progressive on Guns? Moms Demand Action Bets Yes
Gun control group found winning candidates within its own ranks

Rep.-elect Lucy McBath, D-Ga., was previously a national spokeswoman for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Amid a debate within the Democratic Party about whether progressive ideas can sway voters in suburbia, candidates affiliated with an advocacy group that campaigns against gun violence sought — and won — elected office even in historically conservative suburban districts.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America appealed to suburban women on overhauling gun laws amid a rash of mass shootings in recent years, including the one in Parkland, Florida, in February. 

Former Tennessee Rep. Van Hilleary Returns as Chief of Staff
Will join small fraternity of lawmakers-turned-staffers

Former Rep. Van Hilleary will head back to Capitol Hill to serve as chief of staff to Rep.-elect John Rose, R-Tenn. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Van Hilleary will head back to Capitol Hill next year, this time as chief of staff to Rep.-elect John W. Rose.

A member of the GOP class that swept to power in the mid-1990s, Hilleary represented Tennessee’s 4th District until 2003. He left office to run for Tennessee governor, but lost to Democrat Gov. Phil Bredesen. He ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 2006.

She Won Two Elections in One Day
Take 5: Susan Wild just took the oath. Come January, she’ll do it all over again

Rep.-elect Susan Wild, D-Pa., is seen after the freshman class photo on the East Front of the Capitol on Nov. 14. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Susan Wild got elected to Congress this fall. Twice.

A resignation and a bout of redistricting paved the way for her dual wins. The Democrat got sworn in Nov. 27 to replace Charlie Dent, who had resigned to take a television gig

The Largest Congressional District, Montana’s, Also Had the Highest Turnout
In contrast, California’s 21st District saw fewest number of voters show up

Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., won a first full-term representing Montana’s at-large district, defeating Democratic opponent Kathleen Williams by 5 points. Above, the two talk at the Crow Fair in Crow Agency, Mont., on Aug. 18. Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., appears at left. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The turnout for the midterm elections was the highest — 49 percent of those eligible to cast ballots did — since 1914, according to the United States Election Project.

But the enthusiasm was not evenly spread. The number of votes cast in some House districts was much higher than others and it did not depend on the competitiveness of the races.

These House Newbies Are Already Fundraising for 2020
Just weeks after midterms, some candidates have started raising money for the next round

Rep.-elect Jeff Van Drew, D-N.J., picked a disappointing number during the new member office lottery draw in Rayburn Building. But his campaign is already working on keeping him behind the desk. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

New Jersey Democrat Jeff Van Drew just got elected to Congress. He won’t be sworn in until Jan. 3. But his campaign is already working to keep him there.

Just weeks after he flipped a South Jersey seat that President Donald Trump carried in 2016, Van Drew joined a handful of other newly elected lawmakers in making appeals for donations for their next campaigns.

Sweet Smell of Succession, House Democrats Edition
The upward mobility of people who played the leadership game

From left, Rep.-elect Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, Reps. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., and Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, arrive Thursday for the House Democrats’ leadership elections in the Longworth Building. Bustos went on to win the race for Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

For those House Democrats frustrated that Nancy Pelosi won’t provide them (Seth Moulton, Kathleen Rice, Tim Ryan) with a succession plan that entails her leaving and someone, anyone else taking over, consider — wait for it — this week’s House Democratic Caucus leadership elections

Let’s back up for a second. 

Democrats Developing Strategy to Use Trump’s Words Against Him
While Trump’s MAGA rallies stir up his base, they also give Democrats fodder with moderates and independents

Dan Sena, executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said the party did extensive polling to determine its response to MAGA rallies. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith notched a win Tuesday in her special election runoff by tacking closely to President Donald Trump and campaigning with him the day before voters went to the polls, reinvigorating a debate within the Democratic Party about the best way to respond to the president’s freewheeling “Make America Great Again” rallies. 

Hyde-Smith won by 8 points, even after many voters recoiled from her comment that she would be “on the front row” of a “public hanging” if invited by a supporter, and corporate donors publicly requested that she return their contributions. 

Brenda Jones Sworn Into the House for Remainder of Lame Duck
Questions surrounded her unwillingness to resign from Detroit City Council

Michigan Rep. Brenda Jones was sworn in Thursday to the House for a short term that expires at the end of the 115th Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Michigan Democrat Brenda Jones was sworn into the House on Thursday for a brief term that will expire at the end of the 115th Congress. Her tenure is a break with more than 100 years of precedence since she will continue to serve in another elected office simultaneously. 

Jones won a special election in Michigan’s 13th District earlier this month to fill the unexpired term of former Rep. John Conyers Jr., a Democrat who resigned last December following accusations of sexual misconduct. Jones had also run for the full term that begins next year but lost in the August Democratic primary to Rashida Tlaib, who easily won the general election on Nov. 6. 

Five Thoughts After the Mississippi Senate Race
Lots of fighting and money spent, little change

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., won the special election runoff Tuesday night, becoming the first woman elected to Congress from Mississippi. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Even though it looks like California will be counting votes until Christmas, I’m ready to close the book on the 2018 midterm elections now that the Mississippi special Senate election is over. Yes, I know there are runoffs in Georgia and Louisiana for state races, but the marquee matchups are complete.

Here are some thoughts before we turn all our attention to 2020.