Special Election

Candidate for Trent Franks’ Seat Admits He Received Nude Picture
Steve Montenegro said he alerted wife when topless photo of junior legislative staffer came in

Arizona House candidate Steve Montenegro said Thursday he did not have an inappropriate relationship with a staffer who sent him topless photos. (SteveMontenegro.com)

Republican congressional candidate Steve Montenegro, who is running to replace disgraced Arizona Rep. Trent Franks, copped to receiving a topless photograph of a junior state legislative staffer, but said he did nothing inappropriate.

The admission came less than 72 hours after he called initial media reports of the racy exchange “false tabloid trash.”

Candidate for Franks’ Seat Denies Receiving Topless Photos
Steve Montenegro faces scandal in race to replace disgraced Arizona congressman

Arizona congressional candidate Steve Montenegro calls a report that he received topless photos from a legislative staffer “tabloid trash.” (SteveMontenegro.com)

Republican congressional candidate Steve Montenegro, who is running to replace disgraced Arizona Rep. Trent Franks, is facing his own scandal a week before next Tuesday’s primary.

Montenegro, who resigned his state Senate seat to run for the House post, received topless photos from a legislative staffer, according to a series of text messages that were reviewed and reported by KPNX in Phoenix.

New Pennsylvania Map, New Pennsylvania House Ratings
Six races shift in Democrats’ direction, two in GOP’s favor

Under the new lines, Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick’s district shifted from one carried narrowly by President Donald Trump to one carried narrowly by Hillary Clinton. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If you’ve been wondering what political handicapping is like in a redistricting cycle — or it’s been long enough for you to forget — the Pennsylvania Supreme Court offered a good reminder.

With newly drawn districts, misplaced incumbents and new district numbers, confusion is inevitable. But the bottom line for Pennsylvania is that Democrats had a half-dozen takeover opportunities with the old map and they have a half-dozen takeover opportunities with the new map, although they have a distinctly better chance at gaining those seats.

Trent Franks Still a Factor in Arizona Race to Replace Him
Republican primary to replace the former congressman is Feb. 27

Arizona Rep. Trent Franks resigned in December amid allegations of sexual harassment. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Trent Franks resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment. But that hasn’t stopped him from being a factor in the race for his seat.

Republican strategists say the former congressman is still well-liked among GOP voters in Arizona’s 8th District, which could explain why he hasn’t disappeared from the race to replace him. Franks appeared briefly in an ad for one of the candidates as voters head to the polls next Tuesday in the primary election to replace him.

Democrats See Blue in Pennsylvania With New Map
GOP legislators are expected to challenge new boundaries

Pennsylvania Rep. Ryan A. Costello’s district is now more Democratic, under the new congressional map. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Pennsylvania’s state Supreme Court released a new congressional map Monday, potentially bolstering Democratic opportunities in the Keystone State. 

Republicans are expected to launch a challenge to stop the new lines from taking effect. In the meantime, as candidates and incumbents digest the new boundaries, Democrats see better chances for victory in some of their top targets. 

Jones Calls Arming Teachers ‘Dumbest Idea I’ve Ever Heard’
Responding to Alabama legislator’s call to give teachers guns to prevent school violence

Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., called arming teachers “the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Alabama Sen. Doug Jones criticized the idea of arming teachers as numerous state legislatures weigh measures to prevent violence in schools after the shooting at a Florida high school.

“I think that’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. I think it’s crazy,” Jones said.

California Democrats Hope to Mitigate Primary Problem
Some lawmakers are concerned they have too many Democrats running

Sam Jammal is one of several Democrats running to replace Rep. Ed Royce in California’s 39th District. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Democrats know they have a primary problem. 

“Put it this way,” Rep. Raul Ruiz said. “It’s part of my prayers.”

Podcast: It’s the Economy Stupid? Maybe Not​
Political Theater, Episode 6

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. warned House Democrats at their recent retreat not to be complacent about their chances for winning the majority in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Roll Call Political analyst Stu Rothenberg explains why GOP gains in a generic ballot represent just a part of the overall political picture and political reporter Bridget Bowman previews Arizona's upcoming special election.

Show Notes:

DCCC Chairman Coy on Spending in PA Special Election
Luján said the committee is monitoring the race

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., leads the DCCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Congressional Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján remains noncommittal on whether Democrats will spend more resources ahead of the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th District.

Democrat Conor Lamb will face GOP state Rep. Rick Saccone in the March 13 election in a district that President Donald Trump won by nearly 20 points in 2016. The seat was vacated by GOP Rep. Tim Murphy, who resigned amid allegations the anti-abortion rights congressman encouraged his mistress to pursue an abortion.

Vern Buchanan’s Son Loses ‘Trump Country’ Florida House Race
Democrats laud win as another harbinger for November

Rep. Vern Buchanan’s son James was running for a Florida House seat vacated by another Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Vern Buchanan’s son on Tuesday lost a special election for a Florida state House seat in a race that attracted national attention.

Democrat Margaret Good defeated Republican James Buchanan by seven points, 52-45, in a state House district that broke strongly for President Donald Trump in the 2016 election.