At the Races

After All That, Virginia’s Tom Garrett Seeking Re-Election
Freshman Republican addressed 2018 plans at end of rambling press conference

Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett speaks to the press Thursday about his accomplishments as a lawmaker before announcing that he will be running for re-election. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett laid to rest rumors he wasn’t seeking re-election in a bizarre press conference Thursday afternoon. 

“There’s no way in heck I’m not going to be here in 2019,” the Republican lawmaker told a handful of print and TV reporters (and his Facebook followers on a livestream) from a Capitol Hill row house.

Could Negative Campaigning in California Primaries Dampen Democratic Energy?
Hard feelings hit crowded Golden State contests two weeks out from the primary

Dave Min and Katie Porter, both Democrats running for California’s 45th District, participate in the DEMOC PAC’s candidate forum in Irvine on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

IRVINE, Calif. — When some volunteers and organizers arrived Tuesday night at the University Synagogue, they found some orange and red pieces of paper on the chairs in the auditorium.

“NEGATIVE CAMPAIGN ALERT” read the paper in bold black letters. “The Dave Min campaign is running attack ads against multiple other Democrats! IS THIS WHAT ORANGE COUNTY WANTS?”

‘That Danger Is Real’ — Democrats’ Final Push to Avoid Shutout in Key California Races
Democrats are especially concerned about being locked out in three key races

Democrat Harley Rouda, who’s running in the 48th District, speaks with supporters during his campaign rally in Laguna Beach, California, on Sunday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. — As supporters for Democrat Harley Rouda chanted while cars drove by on the South Coast Highway on Sunday, Carol Nohra Crane could be heard sharing a concern with her friend: that two Republicans would advance past the June 5 primary in the 48th District.

“I think it’s all about getting the vote out, because there is a valid concern because it is a Republican district, typically,” said Crane, 54, a friend of Rouda’s who’s volunteering with the campaign. “So we just have to get out of the top two.”

Virginia’s Tom Garrett Says He’s Not Resigning
Freshman Republican plans to address reports about possible retirement

Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett says he has no plans to resign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Asked about Wednesday reports that he would not be running for re-election, Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett would only say he has no plans to leave Congress before the end of the session.

“I’m not resigning. I can tell you that definitively,” Garrett told Roll Call.

Georgia Democratic Race to Take On Karen Handel Moves to Runoff
Lucy McBath, Kevin Abel are top two finishers, 7th District contest also heads for runoff

Rep. Karen Handel, R-Ga., will have to wait till July to find out who will be her Democratic opponent this fall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two Democrats in Georgia’s 6th District will advance to a July runoff for the right to take on Republican Rep. Karen Handel in November. 

Since no candidate earned more than 50 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s Democratic primary in the suburban Atlanta district, the top-two finishers — activist Lucy McBath and businessman Kevin Abel — will face each other on July 24. 

Lizzie Fletcher Wins Closely Watched Texas Democratic Runoff for Culberson Seat
Democrats are targeting Houston-area seat that Clinton carried in 2016

Texas Rep. John Culberson is a Democratic target this year, after Hillary Clinton carried his Houston-area 7th District in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawyer Lizzie Pannill Fletcher won the Democratic runoff in Texas’ 7th District on Tuesday, defeating activist and writer Laura Moser, whom the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee considered a weak general election candidate.

With 63 percent of precincts reporting, Fletcher led Moser, 68 percent to 32 percent, according to The Associated Press. 

Clarke Tucker Wins Democratic Primary in Arkansas
State representative will meet GOP Rep. French Hill in November

State Rep. Clarke Tucker won the Democratic nomination for Arkansas’ 2nd District on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

State Rep. Clarke Tucker won the Democratic primary in Arkansas’ 2nd District on Tuesday, to face Republican Rep. French Hill in November.

Tucker was one of four Democrats vying for the nomination, and he comfortably averted a June 19 runoff.

Amy McGrath Wins Democratic Nod in Kentucky
Marine veteran will take on GOP Rep. Andy Barr in November

Marine veteran Amy McGrath, here at a conference in Los Angeles in February, won the Democratic nomination in Kentucky’s 6th District. (Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for MAKERS file photo)

Marine veteran Amy McGrath won the Democratic nomination in Kentucky’s 6th District on Tuesday and will take on Republican Rep. Andy Barr in November. 

With 95 percent of precincts reporting, McGrath led Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, 49 percent to 41 percent, when The Associated Press called the race. 

5 Things to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries
Outside of Texas runoffs, this week’s action is mostly on the Democratic side

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray is running in Kentucky’s 6 District Democratic primary Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Voters again head to the polls Tuesday, this time in Texas, Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky. 

Texas held its primaries in March, but more than a few of those contests advanced to runoffs since the winners did not surpass 50 percent of the vote. None has received more attention that the Democratic runoff in the 7th District. 

Meet the Democrat Who’s Not Giving Up on Rural, Working-Class Districts
Charlie Kelly is executive director of House Majority PAC

Charlie Kelly, the executive director of House Majority PAC, controls tens of millions of TV spending for the fall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By 7 a.m. on a recent Monday morning, Charlie Kelly was well into the weeds of America’s congressional districts and halfway through a cup of coffee.

Seated in a cramped conference room in downtown Washington, the executive director of House Majority PAC was meeting with each of his regional political desks. He rattled off candidates’ names — their strong suits, as well as their flaws — and dropped encyclopedic knowledge of each district.

Campaign Staff for Archie Parnell Quit After Candidate’s Past Abuse Revelations
South Carolina Democrat is running for the 5th District

South Carolina Democrat Archie Parnell says he will remain in the 5th District race despite revelations that he physically abused his ex-wife in the 1970s. (Simone Pathé/CQ Roll Call file photo)

South Carolina Democrat Archie Parnell physically abused his former wife in the 1970s, according to court documents unearthed by his campaign and obtained by The (Charleston) Post and Courier.

Parnell’s campaign manager and his finance manager have quit, according to a source close to the campaign.

Blankenship to Run as Third-Party Senate Candidate in WV
Former convict says he’ll challenge state’s ‘sore loser’ law

Don Blankenship isn't giving up on his Senate quest. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, who finished third in the West Virginia Republican Senate primary, plans to run for West Virginia Senate as a third-party candidate.

Blankenship announced on Monday he’d run as the Constitution Party nominee, Politico reported. He said he’s willing to challenge the state’s “sore loser” law that would prohibit him from running in the general election since he already lost a major party’s nomination.  

Who’s Going to Challenge Karen Handel Without Jon Ossoff?
Georgia’s 6th District primary is on Tuesday

GOP Rep. Karen Handel is running for her first full term, but there won’t be a rematch of last year’s special election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Georgia’s 6th District was in the news nonstop this time last year when the special election to fill former Republican Rep. Tom Price’s seat became the most expensive House race in history.

GOP nominee Karen Handel, the former Georgia secretary of state, ended up defeating big-spending Democrat Jon Ossoff by 4 points (with plenty of help from outside Republican groups). She is now running for her first full term.

DCCC Raises $11.2 Million in April
Haul includes $3.1 million in online donations

DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján pointed to “historic” grass-roots fundraising in announcing the committee’s cash haul last month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $11.2 million in April, exceeding its monthly fundraising total at the same point last cycle.

Nearly $3.1 million of the April haul came from online donations, with an average donation of $16, according to figures provided first to Roll Call. The $11.2 million total surpassed the $8.5 million the campaign arm of the House Democrats raised in April 2016.

A Clash of Experiences in Kentucky’s 6th District Democratic Primary
McGrath and Gray tout their backgrounds ahead of Tuesday primary

Tim Armstrong, the chief executive officer of Oath and former U.S. Marine and congressional candidate in Kentucky Amy McGrath speak onstage during The 2018 MAKERS Conference at NeueHouse Hollywood on February 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for MAKERS)

Even a casual observer of politics has probably heard of Amy McGrath. 

The retired Marine fighter pilot made a splash last year with an introductory video about the letters she wrote to members of Congress asking them to change the law so that women could fly in combat.