House races

House races

Ex-Rep. Kirkpatrick outraises Rep. Gosar for rematch

Former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) has raised more money than Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) in the past three months.

Kirkpatrick brought in $240,000 since the start of April and has $215,000 cash on hand for the election after paying off debts from her 2010 race. Gosar raised $170,000 during the same period. His campaign has not yet said how much cash on hand he has.

Both fundraising totals are respectable in the northeastern Arizona district, most of which is in the expensive Phoenix media market.

Kirkpatrick almost doubled Gosar's spending in 2010: she spent close to $2 million, while he spent a bit more than $1 million. Despite that, Gosar beat Kirkpatrick by a 50 percent to 44 percent margin.

The district is currently Republican-leaning — it gave both Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former President George W. Bush 54 percent of its vote in past presidential elections. While the rest of the state has trended Democratic, this area has added many exurban, wealthier white voters who lean Republican. Arizona has a nonpartisan redistricting commission, which could choose to make the district easier to win for Democrats, or a little more favorable to the GOP.


Lampson eyeing a run for Congress from Ron Paul's seat

Former Rep. Nick Lampson (D-Texas) is seriously considering a run for Congress in the district being vacated by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who announced Tuesday that he would not seek another term in the House.

"I certainly have an interest in taking a look at being back in Congress," Lampson told the Houston Chronicle on Tuesday. "I don't want to go back and get caught up in all the divisiveness that's going on now, but I would really look at an opportunity to explore serving Texas."

Lampson, a conservative Democrat, was first elected in 1996, and held the seat until the mid-decade redistricting pushed through by former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) in 2004. He returned to Congress for one term, two years later, winning DeLay's old seat after the House majority whip left the House to avoid ethics charges.

Texas Republicans approved a new redistricting map that, if it stands up to legal scrutiny, would create a district very similar to the one Lampson held from 1997-2005. The district, which would stretch from Galveston and Houston's suburbs to the Louisiana border, would include much territory Lampson has already represented. Galveston County is increasingly Republican, but the areas around Beaumont and Port Arthur, while conservative, still vote for Democrats with a conservative bent.

Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski, a Democrat, might also consider a run. Former Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas), who Lampson beat in 1996, has indicated he might also be interested in the race.


Illinois Rep. Dold raises big money for tough reelection

Rep. Robert Dold (R-Ill.) has raised more than half a million dollars since the beginning of April in preparation for what will likely be a tough reelection campaign. Dold has reported $748,000 cash on hand for the race.

The freshman congressman's suburban Chicago district, which already leaned strongly Democratic at the presidential level, became even more liberal due to a redrawing of the map in a process controlled by state Democrats. The old district gave President Obama 61 percent of its vote; the new one would have given him 63 percent.

Dold narrowly won the district by a 51 percent to 49 percent margin in 2010, a great year for Republicans; this was one of seats Dems had hoped to pick up last year. With home-state favorite son Obama on the top of the ticket next year, it will be harder for him to hold the seat.

The district is also an expensive one because it is in the Chicago media market. Dold and his opponent combined spent almost $6 million in the last election.

The crowded Democratic field to challenge Dold includes businessman Brad Schneider, who has more than $300,000 cash on hand, and liberal activist Ilya Sheyman, who has the backing of Howard Dean, his old boss at Democracy for America. State Rep. Carol Sente is also considering a run.

Dold is just one of several Illinois Republicans facing a tough election year due to gerrymandering. Illinois Democrats passed a redistricting map that could end the House careers of six Republicans. Others in trouble because of the new map include Reps. Judy Biggert, Joe Walsh, Adam Kinzinger, Timothy Johnson and Randy Hultgren.

The map will be challenged in court.


Rep. Allen West's Dem challenger has good fundraising quarter

West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel raised more than $440,000 in the last three months for her run against Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), according to Frankel's campaign. This is a good number for any House candidate. But, as The Hill reported earlier this week, tea party darling West raised a whopping $1.5 million since the beginning of April.

She has not yet released how much money in the bank she has, but Frankel raised an additional $250,000 in the first three weeks of the campaign. Another Democrat in the district, Patrick Murphy, announced he raised $450,000 in the quarter. It is unclear whether the Democrats will face each other in a primary then face West or if one or both will run in another district, as the state has yet to complete its redistricting.

The suburban Florida district, centered around Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, is an expensive place to campaign. West and former Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.) spent nearly $12 million combined in their 2010 face-off, making it one of the costliest House races of the cycle.

West's huge fundraising numbers were aided by his popularity amongst tea partiers around the country. Frankel and Murphy doesn't need to match him dollar for dollar to make the race competitive, but will need to keep up the fast fundraising clip in order to have a shot at him.

West will need every penny to hold the seat. The district as currently is configured gave President Obama 52 percent of its vote in 2008, and it is likely to become more liberal due to redistricting.

This article was updated at 3:09pm on Wednesday, July 13th.


Polls closed in Calif. special House election

Polls have now closed in the special election to fill a coastal Los Angeles House seat. The election is expected to be closer than would normally be expected in a district that President Obama won with 64 percent of the vote. Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, a Democrat, is facing off against Republican businessman Craig Huey to replace former Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), who resigned to run a foreign policy think tank.

The final days of the campaign featured some shenanigans. Hahn's campaign filed a report with the Justice Department, California's Attorney General and the Los Angeles County District Attorney alleging that Huey supporters were trying to suppress the vote by calling around the district claiming that the election was moved to Wednesday. On a sad note, Hahn's mother passed away Monday, leading her to skip campaign-day appearances in order to be with her family.

Read The Hill's full rundown of the race here, and stay tuned for results.


Ex-Rep. Grayson primary foe to announce Wednesday

Former Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), who announced Tuesday morning that he will seek a return to Congress, might not have the Democratic field to himself. Former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings plans to announce her own run for the House at a rally in Orlando Wednesday, according to a source close to Demings's campaign.

Grayson was first elected in 2008 with a small, 4 percent win. Two years later, he lost to Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), 56 percent to 38 percent. Some Democratic insiders in Florida and Washington, D.C., were hoping he wouldn't run again because of his divisive personality.

He gained national attention in 2009 during the healthcare debate, when he criticized the GOP plan, saying: "Don't get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly.” That was one of several controversial comments that made him a conservative target last cycle, but he proved to be a solid fundraiser, an attribute that will prove useful in another congressional bid.

Demings has some support from some prominent local Democrats: Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, her former boss, will introduce her at Wednesday's rally.


Ex-Rep. Grayson running for Congress again

Former Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) announced Tuesday morning that he will seek a return to Congress.

The favorite of liberal blogs is known for his bombastic personality and unbending faith in the liberal cause. He displayed both traits in his announcement email, saying he'd decided to run for Congress again because "a dying man" who had received insufficient care from the Veterans Administration and his wife had asked him to.

Grayson was elected in 2008 with a small, 4 percent win in a district that includes Orlando. Two years later, he lost to Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), 56 percent to 38.

It is unclear whether Grayson will challenge Webster again or whether he will run in another district. Florida has yet to complete its redistricting, and the Sunshine State is adding two congressional districts and passed a "Fair Districts" law calling for compact districts that aren't drawn for incumbents.

Because of these factors, what the state's congressional map will look like is uncertain. But there could be a new Democratic-leaning district centered in Orlando, which would be a logical place for Grayson to run.


NH GOP reps. have low approval ratings in new poll

Two New Hampshire Republicans who won their seats in 2010 could be in trouble heading into the next election. 

Both Reps. Charlie Bass and Frank Guinta have low favorability ratings, according to the WMUR Granite State Poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire.

Thirty percent of Guinta’s constituents have an unfavorable opinion of him, while 24 percent have a favorable opinion, according to the poll. Bass faces a larger approval gap: Thirty-nine percent of constituents disapprove of him, and 28 percent approve.


Rep. Latham raises $580k for race against Rep. Boswell

Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa) raised over half a million dollars last quarter to support his highly watched battle next fall against Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa).

Latham, whose district merged with Boswell's as a result of redistricting, setting up a battle of political heavyweights next fall in the Hawkeye State, raised over $580,000 between April and the end of June, his campaign said Monday.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) trumpeted the haul Monday as a sign of early advantage by Latham over Boswell, who hasn't yet said what he raised in the second quarter.

"Congressman Latham’s strong fundraising clearly demonstrates his record of putting Iowa taxpayers first has earned him the early momentum in this race," said NRCC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek. "It’s obvious that Leonard Boswell is having difficulty explaining his tireless support for Nancy Pelosi’s spending addiction that has indebted Iowa families to foreign countries like China.”

Latham enjoys a $1.5 million stockpile in his campaign account, money that can go far in Iowa's relatively inexpensive media market.