House races

House races

Dem field takes shape in Nevada special election

Nevada Democrats are beginning to rally around a candidate in the special election for Sen. Dean Heller's (R) former House seat.

Jill Derby, a former state education official who ran against Heller in 2006 and 2008, announced Thursday she won't pursue the Democratic nomination, which is being bestowed by the state party's central committee. Instead, Derby said, she'll back state Treasurer Kate Marshall (D).

"In spite of all the encouragement I've gotten from friends and supporters in recent weeks, I've decided that this isn't the right time for me to seek the CD2 seat," Derby said in a statement posted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "Democrats have a strong candidate in Kate Marshall, and I look forward to supporting her in her run."

Former House candidate Nancy Price, who was the 2010 nominee, has filed to run and is expected to stay in the race.

Nevada's 2nd district is heavily Republican and has never been held by a Democrat. Several strong GOP candidates are pursuing their party's nomination to compete in the Sept. 13 special election for the open seat.

With that in mind, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is taking a wait-and-see approach on the September vote.

DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) told reporters Thursday it was "too early" to say whether they'll get involved.


Angle leaves Nevada House race as candidate filing starts

Nevada Republican Sharron Angle passed on making a bid for the open House seat in the state's 2nd district, calling the special election an "illegitimate process that disenfranchises the electorate."

Candidates in the race need the state parties central committees' nomination in order to compete after district court judge struck down the original all-comers format for the seat earlier this month.

Angle called District Court Judge James Todd Russell's decision an "injury to free and open elections."

The Nevada attorney general filed papers with the state Supreme Court earlier this week, indicating it plans to appeal Russell's ruling.

"I do not have any desire to participate in a process described by others as a 'ballot royale' or a situation where the party central committees choose their nominees because it makes a mockery of the most important constitutional element in exercising freedom," Angle said in a statement.

The former Senate nominee had been the first candidate to declare her bid for Sen. Dean Heller's (R-Nev.) former seat. In her statement, she added: "Although I do not intend to participate as a candidate in the special election, I am not ruling out a future run for office." 

Wednesday was the first day candidates could file could file for the Sept. 13 vote. State Sen. Greg Brower (R) and Mark Amodei, the chairman of the state Republican Party, both filed with the Secretary of State on Wednesday in Carson City. A third Republican, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Eric Hintermeyer, also filed to run as a Republican, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.


With his budget plan the top issue, Rep. Ryan waded into NY-26 (updated)

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan (R) contributed to New York Republican Jane Corwin's special-election campaign.

The House Budget Committee chairman's political action committee, Prosperity PAC, sent a fundraising email on Corwin's behalf earlier this month and subsequently donated $2,500 to her effort on May 13 and again on May 16, records show. Ryan's PAC appeared on Corwin's donor rolls even though his controversial Medicare reform plan has been the No. 1 issue in the race.

Other House members also opened their checkbooks in the 26th district special election.

Corwin received large contributions from the House GOP leadership. Speaker John Boeher (Ohio), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) each gave Corwin's camp $5,000 through PACs.

Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert (R) gave Corwin $2,000 and Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.) gave her $500, according to FEC records.

Meanwhile, Democrat Kathy Hochul has received $5,000 contributions from the leadership PACs of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).

She also received $4,000 from the campaign committee of Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.) and $3,000 from the PAC of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.).

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) gave Hochul $1,000 through her PAC, as did Colorado Rep. Jared Polis, who serves as co-chairman of the DCCC's candidate-assistance program, according to FEC reports and research by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP). Pennsylvania Rep. Allyson Schwartz, who leads member and candidate services at the DCCC, also gave Hochul $1,000, as did New York Reps. Eliot Engel (D) and Paul Tonko (D). 

The CRP has more details on the millions spent in the special election and how it compares to other races.

  • Only nine House races saw candidates themselves raise more hard money in the 2010 cycle than has been raised by three candidates in NY-26 this spring.
  • Corwin has reported $3,268,660 in receipts — with 84 percent of that sum being her own personal funds.
  • Hochul has reported $1,067,579 in receipts — with 23 percent of that sum being her own personal funds.
  • Republican-turned-Democrat-turned-Tea Party candidate Jack Davis has reported $2,666,820 in receipts — with 100 percent of that sum being his own personal funds.
  • Fifteen outside groups have spent $2,285,701 in NY-26, with conservative groups accounting for 60 percent of that sum and liberal ones accounting for 40 percent. American Crossroads and the NRCC alone spent more than $1 million. Only 54 House races saw more spending by outside groups last cycle.

--Update: An earlier version of this post reported incorrectly that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) had not donated to Jane Corwin.


Candidates make last-minute scramble in NY-26

The polls in western New York are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday as the special election reaches its finale. 

Republican Jane Corwin was scheduled to vote in the morning in Clarence and then go on to greet voters in Amherst.

Democrat Kathy Hochul doesn't live in the 26th district and won't vote on Tuesday as a result. She did have stops scheduled in Amherst and Rochester before her election-night party in Buffalo.

Independent Jack Davis, who is running on the Tea Party line, was scheduled to cast his ballot at the Clarence Senior Center on Tuesday morning. He had no other public events on his schedule.


Rep. Schwartz to take over for Wasserman Schultz at DCCC

Pennsylvania Rep. Allyson Schwartz will take over Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's (Fla.) duties at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).

Wasserman Schultz was tapped in April to lead the Democratic National Committee. She had been serving as chairwoman of member and candidate services at the DCCC.

On Tuesday, the DCCC announced Schwartz, who had been serving as chairwoman of national recruiting, would take over Wasserman Schultz's role.

Rep. Donna Edwards (Md.), who served as 2010 co-chairwoman of the DCCC candidate-assistance program Red to Blue, will reprise her role, serving alongside Rep. Jared Polis (Colo.).

Rep. Jim Himes (Conn.) will lead the committee's Frontline program.

"Reps. Allyson Schwartz, Jim Himes, Donna Edwards and Jared Polis [are the] perfect combination of drive, experience, political know-how and leadership savvy to make this the shortest Republican majority in history," Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.), chairman of the DCCC, said in a statement. "I'm thrilled they will be working with us this cycle to ensure Democratic members and candidates have the tools and resources they need to win."