Steve Pearce

New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver preparing run for Senate
Would face Luján in primary for seat being vacated by Udall retirement

New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver is considering a run to become the state's first female Senator. (photo courtesy of Maggie Toulouse Oliver for Secretary of State)

New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver is “gearing up” for a run for the state's open Senate seat, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

She plans to make an announcement this month, said Heather Brewer, Toulouse Oliver's campaign manager for her 2018 campaign for secretary of state.   

Latino Victory Fund wants to draft Ben Ray Luján for Senate in New Mexico
Influential House Democrat is among a long list of potential candidates

Rep. Ben Ray Luján is considering a run for Senate in New Mexico. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A political action committee that works to recruit Hispanic candidates across the country is putting its weight behind Democratic Rep. Ben Ray Luján for the newly open Senate seat in New Mexico.

The Latino Victory Fund announced its “Run, Ben Ray, Run!” digital campaign Wednesday in an exclusive release to Roll Call.

Congress Cashes Out as Rich Members Depart
Of the top 10 flushest lawmakers, four are packing their bags

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has been Congress’ richest member for years. Now he and several other multimillionaires are headed for the exits. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The combined wealth of Congress is set to plummet next year after a deluge of departures and the results of the midterm elections. Some of the wealthiest lawmakers on Capitol Hill won’t be returning next year, and the body’s $2.43 billion of personal net worth will drop by $933 million. 

Of the top 10 richest members of Congress, four are packing their bags. Most are staying in the public sector. California Rep. Darrell Issa, net worth of $283 million and the perennially richest member of Congress, announced his retirement in January 2018. The inventor of the Viper car alarm was expected to leave public office but will move to the Trump administration, after being appointed to the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.

Iowa and Kansas and Pennsylvania, Oh My  — Split Midterm Decision Likely I Spy
No predictions for the 2018 outcome, but expectations? Sure we got ’em

Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke has run a tough race against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, but it would be a major upset if he won. Such electoral dynamics make it hard for Democrats to take the majority in the Senate next week. In the House, though, they are favored to win the majority, Rothenberg writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — Predictions? Not from me. But I do have expectations as Election Day approaches, and I am happy to share them.

I expect Republicans to hold on to their Senate majority, quite possibly even adding a seat or two.

Remembering Tim Johnson: Congressional Baseball Game Was the ‘Love of His Life’
Former Oxley staffer died at 59 years old

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, center, sets the lineup during a scrimmage between Republican team members in 2016 with Rep. Mike Bishop, R-Mich., right, and coach Tim Johnson, left. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former staffer and Congressional Baseball Game staple Tim Johnson died Sunday after a decade-long battle with multiple myeloma.

He died at his sister’s house in Leola, Pennsylvania, at 59 years old. He had just celebrated his birthday Oct. 3.

Ocelots, Butterflies in Path of Border Wall
As DHS waives its way across Texas, Congress is rethinking a thirteen-year-old law

Barriers at the southern border hem in more than people, environmentalists say. Wildcats, tortoises and other animals can get trapped. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

When rains pushed the Rio Grande River to flood stage in 2010, an existing border wall acted as a flood barrier, protecting some lowlands but also trapping some animals. A 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Sierra Club noted the discovery after the flooding of shells from “hundreds” of Texas tortoise, which that state lists as a threatened species.

“Animals caught between the river and the flood wall that could not escape around the edges of the floodwalls likely perished,” said the report. Endangered species like the ocelot and jaguarundi, both small wildcats, also might have died, according to the report.

Lujan Grisham and Pearce Will Face Off in N.M. Governor’s Race
Lujan Grisham easily wins Democratic nomination; Pearce ran unopposed

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., won the Democratic nomination for the state's governor's race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New Mexico’s governor’s race will have two members of Congress competing against each other after Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham won the Democratic gubernatorial primary Tuesday.

With nearly all the vote counted, Lujan Grisham was projected to win the three-way Democratic primary on Tuesday with 66 percent of the vote, according to The Associated Press.

Torres Small, Herrell to Battle for New Mexico Open Seat
Democrats are targeting the 2nd District as a potential pickup opportunity

Xochitl Torres Small earned the Democratic nod in New Mexico’s 2nd District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New Mexico Republicans and Democrats chose female candidates Tuesday night for what could be a competitive race for the 2nd District. GOP incumbent Rep. Steve Pearce vacated the seat to run for governor, and Democrats eye it as a potential pickup opportunity.

Lawyer Xochitl Torres Small won the Democratic nod, and state Rep. Yvette Herrell is the GOP pick in the district, which covers the southern half of the state. 

Rating Changes in 19 House Races, All Toward Democrats
In total, 68 GOP-held seats are now rated competitive

New Mexico Democrat Xochitl Torres Small is running for the seat GOP Rep. Steve Pearce is vacating to run for governor. The 2nd District race is now rated Leans Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite forecasts of a blue tsunami, it’s still not guaranteed that Democrats will win back the House majority. But the playing field of competitive House races is expanding and shifting to almost exclusively Republican territory.

After the latest round of changes, Inside Elections now has 68 Republican seats rated as vulnerable compared to just 10 vulnerable Democratic seats. And there are at least a couple dozen more GOP-held seats that could develop into competitive races in the months ahead.

Nine House Members Pushing for Gubernatorial Promotion
But for many, the road to the governor’s mansion won’t be easy

Of all the House members running for governor this year, Hawaii Rep. Colleen Hanabusa may have the best shot. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Just seven of the 50 current governors have previously served in the House, and only five of those were elected directly from the House without holding a statewide office or another job in the interim period. But a handful of lawmakers are hoping to buck the trend and push that total number closer to double digits.

Many of them have to navigate competitive primaries first, and the precedent for members getting elected governor isn’t great. But while most of them are leaving behind safe seats, there’s an upside: becoming their state’s top elected official and departing from an unpopular Congress.