House races

House races

Donald Trump demands Obama's birth certificate

Real estate mogul Donald Trump said Wednesday that questions over whether President Obama was born in the United States are legitimate, claiming, "There's something on that birth certificate that he doesn't like." 

Echoing the sentiments of so-called "birthers" during an interview on ABC's "The View," Trump demanded, "I want him to show his birth certificate." 

Obama was born in Hawaii; his birth certificate is on file at the state's Department of Health. 

Still, Trump insisted that questions over Obama's birthplace have not been settled. 

"Why doesn't he show his birth certificate?" Trump asked. "I wish he would, because I think it's a terrible pale that's hanging over him." 


Dem recruit waits on ex-Rep. Sestak to decide on run

A potential Democratic recruit in Pennsylvania is waiting to see whether former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) opts to run again before deciding on a House bid.

Sestak left his 7th district House seat to make an unsuccessful bid for Senate last cycle. Republican Pat Meehan subsequently won the open-seat race.

Now, Jack Stollsteimer says he's being wooed to run, but is waiting to see if Sestak decides to run again before jumping into the race for the nomination.

"For me, the most important consideration is what's good for my family. Second, whether or not Congressman Joe Sestak, whom I strongly support, is going to run," he told the website PoliticsPA. "He gives our party the best opportunity to put this seat in the Democratic column and move toward the majority."

Stollsteimer indicated he's been approached by Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, about running and had met with Rep. Allyson Schwartz (Pa.), who is leading the party's recruiting effort.

"I’m flattered by that. As part of that process, they asked me to meet with Allyson Schwartz and Steve Israel," said Stollsteimer. "At this point, it’s very early in the process, but I’m going to give the race serious consideration."

Israel has been actively recruiting former members to run for their seats and there are signs Sestak might be interested.

But if Stollsteimer runs, the match-up would be noteworthy because he twice served as Meehan's spokesman before he ran for Congress last year.

"Pat and I have been friends, and I know he's a good man, but I have serious problems with what he’s already done as our Congressman," Stollsteimer said. "He's a company man. He’s voted purely along Republican leadership lines. I think we need an independent thinker in Washington."

--Updated at 5:54 p.m.


Angle's 2010 campaign manager will be 'nowhere near' her race for Congress

There are some in the GOP who might have preferred not to see Sharron Angle on a ballot at all next year, but now that she's running for Congress, Republicans are at least breathing a sigh of relief that her 2010 campaign manager won't play a role in her 2012 race. 

Last cycle, Angle campaign manager Terry Campbell was a constant source of tension with many of the more senior strategists brought in to help manage Angle's race. In the wake of a loss to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Campbell was roundly blasted, both publicly and privately, for mismanagement and incompetence. 

Political director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee Chris LaCivita, told Politico late last year, "If they were filming a sequel to the movie 'Dumb and Dumber,' Terry Campbell would have a feature role." 

Despite attempts, strategists proved unsuccessful at convincing Angle to limit Campbell's role in 2010. 

Next year, though, not only will Campbell not reprise his role as campaign manager, which Angle stressed to reporters in a news conference Monday, but he will be "nowhere near this race," according to a knowledgeable GOP source. 

Angle is also working to repair relations with the press, telling reporters in a news conference Monday afternoon that she hopes for "mutual respect" during her 2012 campaign.


NY Dem nominee targeted for DC ties

Republican Jane Corwin has sought to quickly define her Democratic opponent as a "career politician" that was "handpicked" by her party's Washington leadership.

Corwin went up with a new TV ad Tuesday hitting Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul for voting to raise property taxes in "eleven town budgets" when she was a Hamburg town councilwoman.

The attack comes after the National Republican Congressional Committee released a Web video that accused Hochul of "learn[ing] how to tax and spend as a Washington lobbyist."

Hochul lobbied for technology firms for less than a year more than two decades ago, according to WIVB-TV 4 in Buffalo. The Senate Office of Public Records does not having documentation stretching back to the early 1990s.

Hochul also spent time on the staff of former Rep. John LaFalce (D-N.Y.) and the late Sen. Pat Moynihan (D-N.Y.).
In Corwin's second spot of the special-election campaign, she accuses Hochul of "trying to fool you."

"Kathy Hochul and Nancy Pelosi: Now that's a team with a history of raising our taxes," the female announcer says in the 30-second ad.

Hochul's camp dismissed the ads as "smear tactics."

"Kathy Hochul is no one's handpicked candidate and has never shied away from standing up to her own party," Fabien Levy, a spokesman for Hochul, said in a statement. "She saved motorists $129 million when she stood up to Governor Paterson's plan to mandate new license plates. And she stood up to Governor Spitzer's ill-advised plan to give drivers' licenses to illegal immigrants."

Democratic officials confirmed Hochul as their nominee in the special election for New York's 26th congressional district seat on Saturday. She has yet to release a campaign ad. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee hasn't indicated it will spend money on the race.

Corwin's spot is airing districtwide on broadcast, according to her campaign.

--Updated at 4:21 p.m.


Indiana Republican jumps into race against Rep. Donnelly

Indiana Republican Jackie Walorski wants another shot at Rep. Joe Donnelly's (D-Ind.) House seat.

After losing by a slim margin to the centrist Democrat in 2010, Walorski announced Tuesday that she's running again in 2012 amid speculation that Donnelly could jump ship for a Senate or gubernatorial bid next year.

The district could end up more Republican once the boundaries are redrawn ahead of 2012, potentially easing the path for Walorski and making Donnelly more likely to launch a bid for higher office. But Walorski insisted that redistricting didn't play into her decision to launch another campaign for the seat.

"I really want to be out before those [redistricting] numbers are out, because I'm really committed to fighting for this district," Walorski said in an interview with WNDU-TV Tuesday morning.

The Republican alluded to the possibility that Donnelly could decide against running for reelection next year, noting that she's already raising money and will begin campaigning in earnest as Donnelly "ponders his future."

At least some Indiana Democrats are working to convince Donnelly that a run for Senate might be the better play for him in 2012. With a contested GOP primary between Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock and Sen. Dick Lugar, Democrats in the state see a chance to put the seat in play should Lugar lose the nomination.


Another Democrat jumps into race against Rep. Allen West

West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel (D) is jumping into the 2012 race against freshman Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), a top target of national Democrats hoping to take back the House majority next year. 

Frankel's entry makes her the second Democrat to declare an intention to challenge West in as many weeks. 

"I am not running for Congress to win favor with the Washington extremists," Frankel said in a statement announcing her candidacy Monday that slammed West's national profile without mentioning the Republican by name. 

"This is not about scoring points on cable news shows or making partisan speeches across the country," Frankel said. "This is about making South Florida a better place to live for all of our citizens, not just those with the same political affiliation." 


Romney finishes behind Paul in California GOP straw poll

Mitt Romney continued his recent dominance of the straw poll No. 2 spot this weekend in California.

The former Massachusetts governor finished second behind Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) in balloting at the California Republican Party's spring convention. Sarah Palin finished third. Voting was conducted at a booth operated by the Republican Liberty Caucus of California, a group of libertarian-leaning activists.

Paul and Romney were also the top two finishers at the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll in February.

Meanwhile, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R), who addressed the state GOP convention in Sacramento on Saturday, finished below "undecided" in the informal survey, according to the Sacramento Bee. The former chairman of the Republican National Committee took just 2 percent of the vote, though voting was conducted before his speech.

--Updated at 1:35 p.m.


Dems tap Hochul for NY special election

New York Democrats officially announced Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul would be their nominee in the special election for New York's 26th district House seat.

The announcement came after Hochul, who has already filed a statement of organization with the Federal Election Commission, and the other candidates had their final interviews with the seven district county chairmen on Saturday in Geneseo. 

“I am running for Congress because I can do in Washington what I've done in Erie County — cut waste, hold down taxes and help Western New York businesses create jobs for working families," Hochul said in a statement. "I am looking forward to meeting residents throughout the district, and sharing my plan to get people back to work and get our economy back on track."

Hochul's nomination drew immediate fire from her Republican rival's camp.

"It's good to see that Kathy Hochul was able to find the Democrat Chair meeting in Geneseo, considering she doesn't even live in the 26th district," a spokesman for GOP nominee Jane Corwin said in a statement. "A career politician who has routinely voted to raise taxes and fees is just what Nancy Pelosi and Washington Democrats want, but it's exactly what Western New Yorkers are sick of."

Hochul will be Corwin's main rival in the special for former Republican Rep. Chris Lee's seat. Businessman Jack Davis and Iraq war veteran Davis Bellavia are also vying to be on the May 24 ballot.


NY Dems expected to tap Hochul for special election

Democrats are expected to announce Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul as their nominee for the special election for New York's 26th congressional district.

The announcement is expected to come shortly after Hochul, who has already filed a statement of organization with the Federal Election Commission, and the other candidates have their final interviews with the seven district county chairmen on Saturday.

Hochul's expected selection is already drawing fire from Republicans.

"While Jane Corwin has spent 36 years in the private sector helping to create jobs, career politician Kathy Hochul has spent her life doing everything she can to advance her own political career," Nick Langworthy, chairman of the Erie County Republican Committee, said in a statement Friday. "We welcome Kathy Hochul to the race and look forward to hearing her explain why she's repeatedly voted to grow government and raise taxes and fees on hard working Western New Yorkers."

Hochul will face Corwin, a GOP state lawmaker, in the election for former Rep. Chris Lee's seat. Businessman Jack Davis and Iraq war veteran Davis Bellavia are also vying to be on the May 24 ballot. Corwin is considered the favorite, but Democrats and observers consider Hochul to be the party's best chance to capture the seat.