At the Races

Mitt Romney Faces GOP Primary in Utah
GOP delegates at their convention backed a state lawmaker

Romney did will face a primary in the Utah Senate race. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mitt Romney will head to a primary in the Utah Senate race after falling short of the threshold needed to win the nomination at the GOP convention Saturday.

Romney had hoped to garner 60 percent of the delegate votes to win the nomination, but 51 percent backed state Rep. Mike Kennedy instead, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Romney garnered 49 percent of the vote.

At the Races: Get Ready for Another Special Election
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

AT-THE-RACES-LOGO-01

Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman

Tammy Duckworth and Baby Cast Their First Senate Vote Together, Opposing NASA Nominee
But Bridenstine confirmed to lead space agency, leaving House seat vacant for months

Sen. Tammy Duckworth arrived with her newborn baby Maile to cast a vote on the Senate floor on Thursday afternoon. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Maile Pearl Bowlsbey made Senate history Thursday, becoming the first newborn allowed on the Senate floor.

Maile, the daughter of Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth, born just last week, came to the floor the day after the chamber changed its antiquated rules to allow senators to bring in children under the age of 1.

Arizona’s Special Election Heads to Home Stretch
Both parties watching whether 8th District race will be close

Arizona Republican Debbie Lesko has benefited from significant outside spending in the 8th District special election. (Courtesy Debbie Lesko for Congress)

Rep. Trent Franks resigned in December amid allegations that he sexually harassed female staffers. Next week, no matter which party wins the race to replace the Arizona Republican, a woman will be elected to succeed him.

The April 24 special election in the 8th District pits former GOP state Sen. Debbie Lesko against Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, a cancer research advocate and former emergency room physician. The two could also meet again in November since both intend to file to run for a full term.

Young Kim Launches First TV Ad in California’s 39th District
Kim is the first Republican in the crowded race to go on the airwaves

Former California Republican Assemblywoman Young Kim is running for the open 39th District seat. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo).

Congressional hopeful Young Kim is the first Republican to go on the airwaves in the crowded race for California’s 39th District, launching a television ad Thursday. 

The spot, shared first with Roll Call, highlights the former assemblywoman’s ties to the man she is hoping to replace — retiring GOP Rep. Ed Royce. Kim worked for the congressman for two decades 

Phifer Drops out of Race to Succeed Nolan in Minnesota’s 8th District
Former FBI analyst received most votes at DFL convention but decided against running in primary

Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan is not running for re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite winning the most delegate votes at the Democratic-Farmer-Labor convention for Minnesota’s 8th District on Saturday, Leah Phifer announced Wednesday she will not run in the August primary.

The convention did not result in an endorsement because no candidate received the required 60 percent of the delegate votes.

Corker Won’t Campaign Against Democratic Ex-Governor Who Wants to Succeed Him
Retiring Republican has contributed to Blackburn, but has long relationship with Bredesen

Sen. Bob Corker thinks the Democratic candidate is fairly well ahead in the race to succeed him. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen has significant crossover appeal, but just how much may depend on whether Tennessee voters think control of the Senate is at stake.

That is the view of the retiring senator who Bredesen and Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn are seeking to replace, who thinks the Democrat might be ahead by six points today.

DCCC Adds Five More Candidates to Red to Blue Program
Two of them have said they won’t back Pelosi for Democratic leader

New Jersey Democrat Tom Malinowski, a former assistant secretary of State for democracy, human rights, and labor, is among the latest additions to the DCCC’s Red to Blue list. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is announcing its fifth round of Red to Blue candidates Wednesday. 

The five latest additions, obtained first by Roll Call, include two candidates running in districts that President Donald Trump carried by double digits, both of whom have said they wouldn’t support Nancy Pelosi for Democratic leader if elected. 

Inside the Antique Mall That’s Greg Pence’s Largest Asset
Vice president’s brother is running for Congress but seldom gives interviews

A worker arranges merchandise at the Exit 76 Antique Mall in Edinburgh, Ind., on April 6. The store is owned by Denise and Greg Pence, the latter a candidate for the Republican nomination for Indiana’s 6th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

EDINBURGH, Ind. — He’s not big on talking to the media, but if you want to see Indiana congressional candidate Greg Pence, the brother of the vice president, the Exit 76 Antique Mall here may be a good place to look.

Along with another smaller antique mall in nearby Bloomington, this 72,000-square-foot mall is Pence’s largest asset. The warehouse-like building carries everything from a $10 U.S. Capitol porcelain plate to an $800 barbecue bull that lets smoke out of its nose, with plenty of Elvis figurines, costume jewelry, knives and grandfather clocks stuffed in between.

NRCC Chairman Urges Members to Keep Talking Taxes
Republicans view the tax overhaul as a salient campaign issue

NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers wants House Republicans to keep talking about the tax overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers had a message for House Republicans on Tuesday morning: keep talking about the tax overhaul.

The Ohio Republican presented attendees at a GOP conference meeting with polling that showed voters have not heard from them lately about the tax overhaul, according to a source with knowledge of the discussion. Stivers “implored them to continue to sell it,” the source said.

Rep. Charlie Dent Resigning ‘In the Coming Weeks’
Pennsylvania Republican had already announced he was not seeking re-election

Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent is considering several professional opportunities for his post-congressional career. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 12:41 p.m. | Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Charlie Dent announced Tuesday that he would resign from Congress “in the coming weeks,” adding later that his last day would come sometime in May.

Dent, a moderate who was first elected to his 15th District in 2004, had already announced he was not running for re-election. In a statement Tuesday that was also posted on Twitter, he said he decided to leave the Hill early “after discussions with my family and careful reflection.” 

Congressional Leadership Fund Reserves $48 Million in TV, Digital Ads
Super PAC is aligned with House GOP leadership

Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman is among the beneficiaries of the Congressional Leadership Fund’s fall ad reservations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC aligned with House Republican leadership, is making $38 million worth of television reservations for ads in the fall, and an additional $10 million investment for digital ads.

CLF is the first outside GOP group to make early advertising reservations ahead of the November elections, and it is investing four months earlier than it did in the 2016 cycle. Locking in airtime early allows the group to make the reservations at lower rates.

Democratic Divide Flares in Pennsylvania’s 7th District
Race to replace Charlie Dent became more competitive after new map

Greg Edwards, center, speaks at a forum with Democratic candidates in Pennsylvania’s 7th District. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — At a recent Democratic candidate forum here in Pennsylvania’s 7th District, five hopefuls raised their hands to show their support for abortion rights. One candidate kept his hand down.

North Hampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said after the event that he supports abortion under certain circumstances, but described himself as “a pro-life Democrat like Sen. Bob Casey.”

Toast the Vote? Steyer Group Hosts First Democratic Forum in PA
NexGen America looks to energize young voters in Pennsylvania

NextGen America will host a series of candidate events at breweries and coffeehouses. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Where will millennials go for a political event? A local brewery, of course! That’s at least the calculation from NextGen America, a group hoping to mobilize young Democratic voters in 2018.

Roughly 150 people gathered on the fifth floor of Fegley’s Allentown Brew Works to hear from Democratic candidates’ in Pennsylvania’s 7th District, which became more competitive for Democrats after the state Supreme Court imposed a new congressional map.

Rosen’s First Major Digital Ad Buy Targets Latino Voters
Nevada Democrat is challenging Republican incumbent Dean Heller

The new digital ad by Rep. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., says she “didn’t back down” in her fight to protect “Dreamers.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Nevada Rep. Jacky Rosen’s Senate campaign announced its first major digital buy Friday, launching ads in both English and Spanish aimed at Latino voters. The freshman Democrat is challenging Republican incumbent Dean Heller in a race that could be one of her party’s best pickup opportunities in the Senate.

The digital ads, shared first with Roll Call, focus on Rosen’s background and her support for so-called Dreamers, young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. The ads include a 30-second video and a shorter 15-second version, in both languages.