Tossup

Hickenlooper says he’ll give ‘serious thought’ to Senate run after dropping presidential bid
Colorado and national Democrats see former governor as best chance to capture Gardner’s seat

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, shown in Iowa on Saturday, announced Thursday he is ending his bid for the presidency. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper ended his campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday, and said he will consider a run against Republican Sen. Cory Gardner in a battleground state Democrats need to win to take control of the upper chamber.

“People want to know what comes next for me,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. “I’ve heard from so many Coloradans who want me to run for the United States Senate. They remind me how much is at stake for our country. And our state. I intend to give that some serious thought.”

Hickenlooper still fundraising, despite reports he may drop presidential bid
Colorado Democrats have been lobbying former governor to drop presidential bid and run for Senate against Cory Gardner

Democratic presidential candidate and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper speaks at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake on Friday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper sent out a fundraising email for his presidential campaign on Tuesday despite reports that he is weighing an end to his bid for the White House in order to run for a GOP-held Senate seat.

Before the Wing Ding dinner at the Iowa State Fair last Friday, Hickenlooper jumped into the passenger seat of Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet’s car to talk about his political future, the New York Times reported.

Beto O’Rourke ‘very likely’ to back Democrat over GOP friend Rep. Will Hurd, reversing his 2018 position
Hurd defeated Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones by 1,000 votes in 2018 midterms, as O’Rourke declined to endorse her

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke indicated Wednesday that he will “very likely” endorse the Democratic nominee running against his friend Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke will “very likely” support the eventual Democratic nominee challenging one of his best friends in Congress, GOP Rep. Will Hurd. It’s a reversal from O’Rourke’s vow of neutrality in the 2018 midterm elections.

Gina Ortiz Jones, a former Air Force intelligence officer who raised more than $6 million in her failed bid to unseat Hurd in 2018, recently announced she is jumping into the race to challenge Hurd again in 2020. O’Rourke indicated Wednesday that he does not plan to repeat his neutrality vow and, instead, “will be supporting” Ortiz Jones if she emerges victorious from the Democratic primaries.

3 things to watch in the redo primary for North Carolina’s 9th District
Dan Bishop could win GOP nod even if he doesn’t clear 30 percent

State Sen. Dan Bishop may not need to cross 30 percent to avoid a runoff in North Carolina’s 9th District GOP primary. (Courtesy Bishop for Congress)

The race for North Carolina’s 9th District is the 2018 election that just won’t end. Tuesday’s Republican primary will go a long way toward determining where this competitive special election is headed next. 

It all started with Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger. Just over a year ago, he became the first incumbent of the cycle to lose. He lost his primary to Mark Harris, who’d come within 133 votes of knocking him off in a recount two years earlier. Harris then faced Democrat Dan McCready, a solar energy financier and Marine veteran. 

Rep. Brindisi fires aide charged with paying 17-year-old prostitute
John A. Stemen, a longtime aide to Rep. Anthony Brindisi, fired over prostitution charge

Rep. Anthony Brindisi, D-N.Y., represents one of the most closely contested swing districts in the country. His aide, John A. Stemen was charged with patronizing a prostitute who was 17 years old. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Anthony Brindisi has fired a longtime aide who was charged with patronizing a prostitute.

John A. Stemen, 57, had worked for Brindisi for eight years in a previous position before the freshman New York Democrat hired him in January as a caseworker in the 22nd District.

DCCC wastes no time launching positive ads on HR 1 passage
Democrats view legislation as key campaign message even if it won't pass the Senate

The DCCC is running positive digital ads in the districts of its 44 Frontline members, including Georgia Rep. Lucy McBath, left, and Illinois Rep. Lauren Underwood, right. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Immediately after the House passed Democrats’ political money, ethics and voting overhaul on a straight party-line vote, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched digital ads praising the legislation in 44 districts where its incumbents may be facing tough re-elections.

The early digital spending, shared first with Roll Call, underscores how important Democrats view the political optics of HR 1, which is unlikely to go anywhere in the Senate. 

Newly Elected Congressman Says He May Have Broken Campaign Finance Law
Incoming Rep. Ross Spano accepted large personal loans during campaign, delayed reporting them

Incoming Rep. Ross Spano, R-Fla., acknowledged possibly violating campaign finance law in a letter to regulators dated Friday. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Florida member-elect Ross Spano acknowledged he may have violated campaign finance law and promised to repay $180,000 in personal loans by the end of week in a letter to federal regulators.

The freshman Republican and his lenders now recognize they may have transgressed rules against straw donations “in violation of the Federal Campaign Finance Act,” according to a letter from his attorney to the Federal Election Commission dated Friday and first reported by the Tampa Bay Times.

Midterms Wash Away Nearly Half of Climate Caucus Republicans
The bipartisan group has been unable to break the GOP bottleneck on climate change issues

Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., lost his re-election bid to Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in a district that covers the Florida Keys and parts of Miami and is prone to damage from sea level rise. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus lost nearly half of its Republican members in Tuesday’s elections, including co-founder Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida, posing a setback in efforts to break the GOP firewall on environmental issues.

Still, the group behind the initial formation and growth of the caucus says the loss, which came both through retirements and defeats at the polls, does not signal its end.

5 Surprises from the 2018 Midterm Elections
From the Indiana Senate race to the Atlanta suburbs, a scattering of the unexpected

Republican Senate candidate for Indiana Mike Braun defeated Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, by nearly double digits. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Most midterm elections have dozens of individual House and Senate races that remain unpredictable right up until — and after — the polls close on Election Day. The 2018 cycle was no different, with 22 House and three Senate races still uncalled by 10:15 a.m. Wednesday.

But each year, there are a few races that experts thought they had a handle on, only to be flummoxed by the results.

Braun Defeats Donnelly in Indiana
Senate contest in the Hoosier State was expected to be close

Mike Braun won a three-way primary in May by casting himself as a businessman outsider in the model of Trump (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Mike Braun has defeated Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly in Indiana, a blow to Democrats trying to maintain their hold on red states that backed President Donald Trump.

With 58 percent of precincts reporting, Braun led Donnelly percent to 54 percent to 42 percent when The Associated Press called the race. Libertarian nominee Lucy Brenton trailed with 4 percent.