Special Election

Pennsylvania 12 special election: Is Marino’s seat at risk?
It’s a solid red seat, but nothing has come easy for the GOP the last two years

Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., is saying goodbye to the House for a job in the private sector. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

North Carolina’s 9th District was the clear front-runner to host the first congressional election of 2019 until Republican Tom Marino announced his resignation from Pennsylvania’s 12th District. The seat has a significant GOP lean to it, but Republicans seem to find new ways to make special elections closer and more competitive than they should be.

The four-term congressman said Thursday he would be leaving Jan. 23 for a job in the private sector. Marino was re-elected last November with 66 percent and just began his fifth term. 

Two weeks after being sworn in, Tom Marino announces resignation from Congress
Pennsylvania Republican will depart Jan. 23 for private sector

Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., leaves the U.S. Capitol building after final votes of the week on Friday, June 15, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Marino announced Thursday he would be resigning from Congress. 

The Republican lawmaker, who represents the 12th District in northeast and central Pennsylvania, said he will be leaving his post Jan. 23 for a job in the private sector.

STEM group launches ‘Draft Mark Kelly’ effort in Arizona
314 Action is urging former astronaut to challenge appointed Sen. McSally

Mark Kelly, the husband of former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, is being encouraged to run for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

314 Action, a group that backs candidates with scientific backgrounds, is launching a new effort Wednesday to encourage former astronaut and Navy veteran Mark Kelly to run for Senate in Arizona. 

Kelly, who is married to former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, is among a handful of potential Democratic challengers to appointed Sen. Martha McSally. The race is expected to be a top party target in 2020, and 314 Action is hoping a show of support will bolster Kelly’s decision to run.

3 yards and a cloud of shutdown
What’s next in the partial government shutdown border wall standoff? Who knows?

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., speaks with a reporter as he boards the Senate subway in the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Three yards and a cloud of dust was how Ohio State University coach Woody Hayes described his style of football, a steady, if unglamorous and gritty, progress toward the goal line.

The negotiations over the partial government shutdown — although the term negotiation is used loosely here — could be described as minus-three yards and a cloud of dust. Instead of progress, the president and the Senate Judiciary chairman say a national emergency should be invoked, despite the legal tenuousness of such a move.

Can Doug Jones win a full term in Alabama?
Democrat faces a very different voter dynamic in 2020 Senate race

Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., faces voters in 2020 in what is likely to be a very different voting dynamic than his 2017 special election win. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — Alabama’s junior senator, Democrat Doug Jones, has been in office for only 13 months, but he’s already preparing to face voters again in 2020. With the Senate at 53 Republicans and 47 Democrats, Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer can’t afford to lose any seats next year if he hopes to win back control of the chamber. Does Jones have any chance of winning, or is the handwriting already on the wall for a GOP pick-up in Alabama?

The top race handicappers are split on Jones’s re-election prospects.

House Republicans came back from being written off before. They can again
Close 2018 midterm losses show a path for the GOP

The House Republican leadership team for the 116th Congress speaks to the media on Nov. 14, 2018. From left, Tom Emmer, R-Minn., Gary Palmer, R-Ala., Jason Smith, R-Mo., Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., Steve Scalise, R-La., and Mark Walker, R-N.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Through much of 2018 and especially in the weeks following the midterm elections, many opinion writers and other political pundits enthusiastically declared the Republican Party dead or at least relegated to life support.

The commentary was eerily reminiscent of the post-2006 declarations that the GOP was finished … over … no longer a viable political party.

The most penny-ante government shutdown since, well, ever
In the grand scheme of the budget, $5.6 billion is a rounding error

If Shapiro were Nancy Pelosi (and he is not), he’d let Donald Trump have his trompe-l’oeil presidency and walk away with something to show for it. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — There have been notable examples of persistence in modern politics, from Joe Biden planning to run for president more than three decades after his first attempt to Jerry Brown becoming California governor after a 28-year hiatus.

But ranking right up there is Nancy Pelosi’s return as House speaker eight years after the 2010 tea party uprising confiscated her gavel. Never before in American history has there been more than a four-year gap between terms as speaker.

Democrats Fundraise off of Possible North Carolina Special Election
Through ActBlue, politicians solicit funds to be divided between them and McCready

Democrats are sending out fundraising solicitations for contributions to be split between themselves and North Carolina Democrat Dan McCready.  (Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer via AP)

It’s not yet known when or if there will be another election in North Carolina’s 9th District, but that’s not stopping politicians and PACs from using the prospect of such a contest for end-of-the-year fundraising — for Democrat Dan McCready and for themselves. 

McCready had conceded the race to Republican Mark Harris, but after the Associated Press retracted its call for Harris, McCready withdrew his concession. 

To Prevent Election Meddling, Invest in Black Voters, Groups Say
Russian disinformation campaign seized on long history of suppressing black votes

A voter enters the polling station at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Birmingham, Ala., to vote in the 2017 special election to fill Jeff Sessions' seat in the U.S. Senate. In the foreground is a historical marker noting a 1963 civil rights march to the courthouse to register African-American women as voters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Political leaders seeking to prevent future meddling in American elections could take a lesson from the Russians: Invest in black voters.

That’s one takeaway from reports this week that Russian operatives disproportionately targeted African-Americans during the 2016 election, according to groups that seek to increase black participation and representation in American politics. 

Arizona Governor to Appoint Martha McSally to McCain’s Senate Seat
Sinema will be sworn in first, with McSally becoming the state's junior senator

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey will appoint Republican Rep. Martha McSally to fill the late Sen. John McCain’s seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is appointing GOP Rep. Martha McSally to the late Sen. John McCain’s Senate seat. 

After McCain’s death in August, Ducey tapped former Sen. Jon Kyl to fill the post. Kyl is vacating it at the end of the year.