tossup

Arizona Senate Primary Battle Officially Kicks Off
Martha McSally joins Joe Arpaio and Kelli Ward in likely drawn-out primary

Rep. Martha McSally kicked off her bid for the open Arizona Senate seat on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Arizona Senate primary officially kicked off Friday, and it’s going to be a battle — with war planes and all. 

Republican Rep. Martha McSally launched her Senate run at the Tucson Jet Center on Friday morning and will travel to other areas of the state later in the day. She donned a blue flight suit to fly in a World War II-era AT-6 trainer to Phoenix, and then to Prescott. McSally, of course, is piloting the plane herself. 

Joe Arpaio Senate Candidacy ‘Won't Last Long,’ Flake Says
Former sheriff fires back, saying Flake didn’t have the ‘guts’ to run again

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., has been critical of his own party for nominating controversial conservative candidates for high office. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake on Wednesday dismissed Joe Arpaio’s bid for his Arizona Senate seat in 2018, laughing off the controversial former sheriff as a fringe candidate whose campaign will quickly fizzle.

“You’d better write about it and talk about it fast because it won’t last long,” Flake said in an interview with CNN.

New Democrats’ PAC Adds 10 More Challengers to Watch List
PAC now has 23 candidates on watch list for 2018

Lauren Baer, who’s running in  Florida’s 18th District, is one of 10 more Democratic candidates that NewDemPAC is adding to its list of candidates to watch in 2018. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call file photo).

The political arm of the moderate New Democrat Coalition is adding 10 more challengers to its list of candidates to watch in 2018 — a continued effort to get involved in House races earlier this cycle. 

The latest additions by NewDemPAC, obtained first by Roll Call, come from across the country and include a second former member of the coalition. The PAC announced its first 13 candidates to watch earlier this year. 

Democrats Face Messaging Hurdles on GOP Tax Plan
Condensed timeline, dissension complicate strategy

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, followed by Hawaii Sen. Mazie K. Hirono and Delaware Sen. Chris Coons walks to the microphones in the Capitol after the Senate Democrats’ policy lunch on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Democrats and their supporters had a unified message when it came to standing against Republican efforts to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law. But when it comes to resisting President Donald Trump and the GOP on tax legislation, it might get more complicated.

Democratic leadership is sending signals it is not willing to negotiate on the GOP tax bill until the current partisan effort fails, but some members of the conference appear ready to buck that message, if need be.

Flake’s Exit Rocks GOP and Arizona Senate Race
Trump critic sees a narrowing path for traditional conservatives in the GOP

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and his wife, Cheryl, enter the Russell Building on Tuesday after he announced he would not be running for re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Jeff Flake announced on Tuesday that he is leaving the Senate. But his speech was an indictment of modern politics at large.

The Arizona Republican took to the Senate floor to decry the state of political discourse, the leadership of President Donald Trump and the future of conservatism.

Rating Change: New Hampshire Open Seat Moves to Toss-Up
Shea-Porter was already considered vulnerable in 1st District

New Hampshire Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, right, will not seek a fifth term next year.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter’s retirement leaves an already competitive seat more vulnerable for her party as an open one, considering President Donald Trump carried New Hampshire’s 1st District 48 percent to 46 percent last fall.

“I felt the tug of family at our reunion on Independence Day, and I have continued to feel it,” Shea-Porter said in a statement Friday.

As Messer and Rokita Squabble, Third GOP Indiana Senate Hopeful Sees Opening
Self-funded state representative looks to sneak around infighting en route to nomination

Indiana state Rep. Mike Braun, who owns an automotive supply business, said if you’re not willing to spend big, it doesn’t “matter how well people might like you.”  (Mike Braun for Indiana)

With Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita trading insults in the Indiana Senate Republican primary, a third candidate seeks to quietly bypass the kerfuffle en route to the GOP nod.

State Rep. Mike Braun has flooded his war chest with nearly $800,000 of his own money and raised $200,000 more, mostly from business associates of his automotive supply business. The GOP primary winner will face vulnerable Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly

Court Finds Two House Districts in Texas Were Illegally Drawn
27th and 35th districts were drawn on the basis of race, judges rule

A federal court found that the drawing of Texas Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett’s 35th district violated federal law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A federal panel ruled Tuesday that the drawing of two Texas House districts violated federal law and that the state’s congressional map needs to be redrawn ahead of the 2018 midterms.

The unanimous ruling from the three-judge panel found that the 35th District, represented by Democrat Lloyd Doggett, and the 27th District, represented by Republican Blake Farenthold, were drawn primarily on the basis of race, violating the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act. 

McCaskill Gets Primary Challenger
Former Obamacare marketplace worker running to Missouri Democrat’s left

Missouri Senate candidate Angelica Earl says Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill is too conservative on issues such as health care. (AngelicaforMissouri.com)

A former health care marketplace worker is challenging Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill for the Democratic nomination in 2018, calling the incumbent “too conservative.”

Angelica Earl, a political novice, said she rejects McCaskill’s push for a bipartisan solution to health care. The 31-year-old from St. Louis County said she supports “single-payer health care for all,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Indiana Rep. Luke Messer Running for Senate
GOP primary candidates have already been sparring

Indiana Rep. Luke Messer announced he’s running for Senate on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:30 p.m. | Indiana Rep. Luke Messer announced on Wednesday he’s running for Senate.

In declaring his bid to challenge vulnerable Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly, the third-term Republican congressman tweeted, “We’re in!!” with a link to his new campaign site just before noon.