open-seat

Liberal group endorses Democrats in competitive primaries
PCCC says its backing includes outreach to supporters seeking grassroots donations

Michigan Rep. Fred Upton’s district in Michigan is one of the Republican seats Democrats are seeking to capture this year. A liberal advocacy group endorsed one of the Democrats vying to unseat him. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Five Democrats in competitive House primaries in four states were endorsed Friday by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a group pushing for liberal policies including the Green New Deal and expansion of Medicare and Social Security. 

The group called the move a “show of progressive energy,” in a news release obtained by CQ Roll Call, and said its endorsements follow those by preferred presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren. The Massachusetts senator earlier this week endorsed two of the PCCC-backed candidates, Mondaire Jones in New York’s 17th District and Candace Valenzuela in Texas’s 24th. A third, Georgette Gómez  in California’s 53rd, was endorsed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Warren’s rival for the progressive mantle in the Democratic presidential primaries.

Democrats try to expand House battlefield by targeting six more districts
With legislation stalled, campaign memo recommends blaming GOP and McConnell

The DCCC has once again added Alaska Rep. Don Young, the longest-serving House Republican, to its target list. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is adding six new targets to its 2020 battlefield, hoping to flip more Republican-held seats while protecting its House majority.

Having made historic gains in the 2018 midterms, Democrats started the year on defense. Republicans need a net gain of 18 seats to retake the House, and their first targets will be the 30 districts President Donald Trump won in 2016 that are currently represented by Democrats.

Liz Cheney is not running for Senate in Wyoming
Cheney is the only woman in House GOP leadership

Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., announced Thursday that she is not running for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Liz Cheney, the only woman in House Republican leadership, announced Thursday that she is not running for an open Senate seat in Wyoming.

“I believe I can have the biggest impact for the people of Wyoming by remaining in leadership in the House of Representatives and working [to] take our Republican majority,” Cheney told the Casper Star-Tribune.

Duncan Hunter resigns from Congress
Convicted congressman set to be sentenced in March

Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., resigned from Congress on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Duncan Hunter submitted his resignation from Congress on Tuesday, marking the end of an 11-year stint in the House marred by his misuse of campaign funds for a variety of endeavors, including spending money on Lego sets, movie tickets, a $14,000 family vacation to Italy and flights for his family’s pet bunny rabbit.

In his resignation letters to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Hunter said his resignation would be effective Jan. 13. “It has been an honor to serve the people of California’s 50th District, and I greatly appreciate the trust they have put in me over these last 11 years,” he wrote. 

Amy Kennedy running to challenge Jeff Van Drew in New Jersey
Kennedy, a mental health advocate, is the wife of former Rep. Patrick Kennedy

Democrat Amy Kennedy, who announced a campaign for congress in New Jersey's 2nd district Monday, is pictured next to her husband, former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., and children at a Senate hearing in July 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Amy Kennedy announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for New Jersey’s 2nd District on Monday.

The wife of former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy is hoping to take on Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who flipped the district from red to blue in the 2018 midterms but has since changed parties and is now a Republican.

Tennessee’s Phil Roe won’t run for reelection in 2020
Roe’s retirement will open up a district Trump carried by nearly 60 points in 2016

Rep. Phil Roe is not running for a seventh term in 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Tennessee Rep. Phil Roe, the ranking Republican on the House Veterans Affairs Committee, will not run for reelection in 2020, opening up a solidly Republican seat.

“As someone who practiced medicine for over 30 years, I said I would serve five or six terms because I never intended this job to be a second career,” Roe said in a statement Friday morning. “After prayerful consideration, I have decided to retire at the end of the 116th Congress.”

Trump announces Jeff Van Drew will become a Republican
Van Drew, as a Democrat, voted against impeaching the president Wednesday night

Rep. Jeff Van Drew is seen in the Capitol during procedural votes related to the articles of impeachment on Wednesday, December 18, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that New Jersey Democratic Rep. Jeff Van Drew is, as expected, switching parties. 

“Jeff will be joining the Republican Party,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, with the freshman congressman by his side.

Meet the Democrats who broke with their party on impeachment
Three Democrats voted against at least one article, but one might soon be a Republican

Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson opposed both articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two House Democrats opposed both articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Wednesday, while one split his vote on the two articles. A fourth voted “present.”

All three Democrats — one powerful committee chairman and two freshmen — represent districts Trump carried in 2016, but their votes put them at odds with the 28 other Democrats in Trump districts, all of whom voted for both articles of impeachment.

Ratings change: Van Drew going Republican tilts NJ race to GOP
Primary may still loom for freshman, who won district carried by Trump in ’16 and Obama in ’08 and ’12

New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who is preparing to switch parties from Democrat to Republican, reacts after drawing a disappointing number during the new member lottery draw for office space in Rayburn Building weeks after winning his seat in November 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As if impeachment wasn’t providing enough news, New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew has decided to switch parties. Even though it’s not quite official, more than half of his staff resigning should be a significant clue.

His decision changes the partisan makeup in the House by one seat without fundamentally altering the 2020 fight for the majority.

Impeachment costing Democrats a House member as Van Drew plans party switch
New Jersey freshman met with Trump and plans to vote against impeachment next week

New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who cast one of two Democratic votes against launching an impeachment investigation and plans to vote against it again next week, was telling staff he would jump to the Republican Party after meeting with President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew, whose election to a GOP-held district last fall helped Democrats flip the House, plans to switch parties after meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday, according to multiple Garden State sources.

Members of his party were already wishing him good riddance.