At the Races

Previously unseen messages from Harris roil N.C. House race hearing
Mark Harris said he believed Dowless over his own son about absentee ballot program

North Carolina Republican Mark Harris said he believed operative Leslie McCrae Dowless over the warnings of his own son. (John D. Simmons /The Charlotte Observer via AP)

The fourth day of hearings into election fraud in North Carolina’s 9th District started with a potential evidentiary bombshell that roiled the proceedings and could extend them beyond this week.

Attorneys for Republican candidate Mark Harris’s campaign committee turned over a new message Wednesday night to the State Board of Elections that had not been previously submitted. In the message, Harris asks for an introduction to Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr., the operative who orchestrated the collection of absentee ballots.

Alabama Republicans don’t see Roy Moore redux as Senate primary kicks off
But Bradley Byrne stresses need for ‘right Republican’ to take on Doug Jones

Alabama Rep. Bradley Byrne announced Wednesday that he was running for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 9:21 p.m. | Alabama Republican Rep. Bradley Byrne launched his Senate campaign Wednesday, kicking off the contest to take on one of the most vulnerable senators in the country: Democrat Doug Jones

“The main reason I’m running is that we’ve got somebody in the United state Senate, Sen. Doug Jones, who does not reflect the values or policy positions of the state of Alabama,” Byrne said in a phone interview after announcing his Senate run in Mobile.

Mark Harris’ son warned him about Dowless illegally collecting ballots in North Carolina race
Testimony by John Harris contradicts earlier interviews his father gave about GOP operative

The son of North Carolina Republican Mark Harris testified Wednesday that he warned his father about hiring an operative whom he believed ran an illegal ballot operation scheme. Above, Harris, center, campaigns with President Donald Trump and Rep. Ted Budd in Charlotte, N.C., on Oct. 26, 2018. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images file photo)

In remarkable testimony Wednesday afternoon, the son of North Carolina Republican Mark Harris said he warned his father about Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. illegally collecting ballots before Harris hired him. 

John Harris, the son of the Republican nominee in North Carolina’s 9th District, told his father that collecting ballots was illegal and offered to send his father the statute proving that. 

You lost a House race in 2018? Now run for Senate in 2020
Some losing House candidates may try to ‘fail up’ to the Senate

National Democrats are encouraging Kentucky’s Amy McGrath, who narrowly lost a race for the 6th District last fall, to consider challenging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2020. (Jason Davis/Getty Images file photo)

“What’s next?” is a question J.D. Scholten often hears when he’s at the grocery store.

For most failed House candidates like Scholten, the answer doesn’t include running for Senate. But the Iowan is not your average losing candidate.

Most 2020 Democratic candidates opposed spending bill
Booker, Harris, Gillibrand and Warren voted no, while Klobuchar voted yes

Gillibrand and her liberal colleagues in the Senate who are running for president opposed the spending bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Democrats eyeing the White House split their vote Thursday on the compromise spending package that would avert another government shutdown, with nearly all the candidates who have already announced bids voting against it.

The Senate overwhelmingly adopted the conference report, 83-16, but five Democrats, including four presidential contenders — Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts — joined 11 Republicans in voting ‘no.’

To run or not to run again? Failed 2018 candidates weigh 2020 options
House nominees who fell short consider repeat bids

Arizona Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, who lost two elections in the 8th District last year, is leaning toward running in the 6th District in 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Carolyn Bourdeaux was at a thank-you party for her supporters in December when she decided she was running for Congress again in 2020. 

She’d just lost a recount in Georgia’s 7th District to Republican incumbent Rob Woodall — by 419 votes. 

One year after Parkland, gun control advocates eye 2020
Advocates say midterm results proved gun control was a winning policy issue

Students rally on the West Front of the Capitol on March 14, 2018 as they participate in a national school walkout to call for action on preventing gun violence. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

One year after the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that galvanized young voters and jump-started a movement to combat gun violence, gun control advocates say there’s still more work to be done.

“We’re just gearing up,” said Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat and proponent of stricter gun laws. “There were a lot of candidates who got it in 2018. But there are more candidates that are going to learn the lesson from 2018.”

Colorado has never had a female senator. Could that change in 2020?
Democratic Senate primary field expected to be a ‘mosh pit’

Former Colorado state House Speaker Crisanta Duran has been working with EMILY’s List as she considers a Senate run. (Brennan Linsley/AP file photo)

Colorado Democrats have their sights on Sen. Cory Gardner, one of the most vulnerable senators in 2020 and one of two Republicans running in a state won by Hillary Clinton. And some see the race as an opportunity to do something historic: send a woman to the U.S. Senate. 

Women now make up a majority in the state House after the recent midterms. And wins by Democratic women helped the party recapture the state Senate. But higher office has proved more elusive. Colorado is one of just five states that has never elected a female governor or senator. 

Mark Kelly launches Senate run in Arizona
Former astronaut is vying to take on GOP Sen. Martha McSally

Mark Kelly is running for Senate in Arizona. He is married to former Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former astronaut and Navy veteran Mark Kelly announced Tuesday that he is running for Senate in Arizona, looking to take on GOP Sen. Martha McSally.

Kelly is married to former Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was seriously injured during a shooting at a constituent event in 2011. Kelly and Giffords have since been vocal advocates for gun control. 

There’s at least one special election coming to North Carolina soon
Death of Rep. Walter Jones opens up a reliably red seat

The death of North Carolina Rep. Walter B. Jones opens up a seat in a Republican area that's used to being represented by a Jones in Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The death of North Carolina Rep. Walter B. Jones over the weekend opens up a safe Republican seat on the state’s east coast.

The governor must call a special election for the 3rd District. But there is no statutory time frame, so the timing will be up to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. 

GOP super PAC ties 2 freshmen to Ocasio-Cortez in new digital ads
CLF knocks lawmakers over Green New Deal even though they aren’t co-sponsors

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is featured in new digital ads from the Congressional Leadership Fund. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Republican super PAC is wasting no time tying vulnerable House Democrats to New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as it launches digital ads in two districts Monday. 

Congressional Leadership Fund, a group aligned with House GOP leadership, is targeting two freshman lawmakers, Antonio Delgado of New York and Colin Allred of Texas, in the new ads shared first with Roll Call. The ads are part of a five-figure digital buy.

Amy Klobuchar launches 2020 presidential campaign
Minnesota senator got national attention at hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., launched her presidential campaign Sunday. She shown her at the confirmation hearing for William P. Barr, nominee to be Attorney General of the United States, on Tuesday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar launched her presidential campaign Sunday amid reports of a toxic work environment in her Senate office.

Klobuchar did not address the reports that she would demean her staff, detailed by HuffPost and Buzzfeed, in her announcement speech. Her campaign has responded by telling the news outlets that the senator, recently elected to her third term, loves her staff. 

Most Democrats from Virginia delegation call on Fairfax to resign
Only Scott and Warner did not call for immediate resignation

Freshman Rep. Elaine Luria was of six Virginia Democrats in the House to call for Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax to step aside Friday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The majority of Virginia’s Democratic delegation on Friday night called for the resignation of Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who’s facing allegations of sexual assault from two women. 

Only Robert C. Scott, the dean of the House delegation, and Sen. Mark Warner did not call for Fairfax's resignation immediately.

After narrow victory in 2018, Rep. Rob Woodall won’t run in 2020
Woodall barely prevailed in Georgia 7th District recount last fall

Georgia Rep. Rob Woodall recently lost his father, which he said was a consideration in his decision not to run again. (By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Georgia Rep. Rob Woodall barely survived 2018, and he’s decided not to try again in 2020. 

The 7th District Republican told the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Thursday he will not seek a sixth term.  

Democrats identify 44 vulnerable House members to defend in 2020
Almost all the members named to the Democrats’ Frontline Program are freshmen

Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger, left, and Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin are among the freshmen whom the DCCCC has named to its Frontline program for its most vulnerable incumbents. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats made historic gains in the House last fall, and now they need to defend those seats heading into the 2020 election. 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Thursday named 44 members to its Frontline Program for its most vulnerable incumbents.