House races

House races

Clinton cites Medicare in robo-call in NY-26; Christie backs Corwin

Former President Bill Clinton urged supporters to mobilize on Tuesday for the Democrat running in western New York's special congressional election, while the Republican nominee was boosted by an endorsement from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Clinton is the highest-ranking Democrat to wade into the 26th district race after President Obama and Vice President Biden largely steered clear of the campaign to replace Republican Chris Lee.

"Hi, this is Bill Clinton. I'm calling to ask you to support Kathy Hochul for Congress," the former president says in the call, which went out Monday. "Because she'll protect Medicare and create jobs for hard-working western New York families."

Clinton mentions Medicare twice in the 30-second call, which was paid for by the Democratic National Committee. "You can count on Kathy to say 'no' to partisan politics that would end Medicare as we know it to pay for more tax cuts for multi-millionaires," Clinton adds. 

Meanwhile, Christie recorded a call for Corwin that went out Monday.

"I ran for governor of New Jersey because like you, I wanted to see real change," Christie says, according to a script of the call. "We're in critical times for our country, and Washington needs standup leaders who will fight to control spending and change business as usual. Please go out and vote for Jane Corwin this Tuesday."

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House Republicans see April fundraising drop

Coming off its "best March ever," the National Republican Congressional Committee raised $4.06 million in April. 

The NRCC had finished the last quarter with a massive $10.2 million total in March thanks, in part, to its annual fundraising dinner, and it's kept much of that in the bank. The NRCC had $9.60 million cash on hand at the end of April, according to officials. 

The Democrats, meanwhile, raised slightly less last month, pulling in $4.01 million as they look to steal a victory in New York's 26th district special election. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had $5.53 million banked and $7.33 million in debt.

The NRCC is carrying slightly more red ink, reporting being $7.5 million in debt at the end of April.

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Pelosi asks for cash to deliver a 'devastating blow' to GOP in NY-26

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) sent out a fundraising pitch Friday on behalf of New York Democrat Kathy Hochul.

"A Republican loss in a ruby-red district like New York’s 26th would deal a devastating blow to the GOP plan to end Medicare but protect tax breaks for the wealthy and Big Oil," Pelosi wrote in the email, which was sent to supporters by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

"We cannot let this opportunity pass."

Hochul is vying with Republican Jane Corwin and independent Jack Davis in the special election set for May 24. The GOP has already made support from Pelosi an issue in the campaign, releasing a TV ad featuring her as a puppet master controlling Hochul and Davis.

The former speaker's leader PAC gave Hochul's campaign $5,000, and Pelosi addressed on May 13 a fundraiser for her in Manhattan.

Noting the Democrats are being outspent 2-to-1, Pelosi asked for help raising $87,000 by midnight.
 
"Every dollar you contribute will help us knock on more doors, call more Democratic voters, and fight back with more ads against misleading right-wing attacks," she wrote.

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Nevada GOP wins legal challenge to special-election format

Nevada Republicans won a legal victory Thursday when a District Court judge overruled Secretary of State Ross Miller's decision to open up the special election for former Rep. Dean Heller's (R-Nev.) seat to all candidates.

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

The judge enjoined the secretary of state from moving ahead and gave the political parties until June 30 to nominate their candidates. ...

Judge James Todd Russell said the two statutes governing special elections were confusing and contradictory. But taken together, he believes they call for the political parties to nominate candidates to put on the ballot.

 "The secretary of state is picking and choosing" the portions of the law that back up his decision, the judge said. "That doesn't make sense to the court."

... The attorney general's office said it was reviewing whether it would appeal the decision to the Nevada Supreme Court, which the judge said he expected.

Cory Adair, the executive director of the Nevada GOP, said the party was pleased with the result.

"Our position is and has always been consistent with election law and tradition in Nevada; today's ruling reaffirmed our position," Adair said in a statement. "We look forward in moving forward with the Central Committee's nomination and with the general election this fall."

Republicans had been concerned an open special election would split the conservative vote, allowing Democrats to capture the GOP-leaning district.

There's still the possibility that multiple conservative candidates will be on the Sept. 13 special-election ballot. Former Senate candidate Sharron Angle and Navy veteran Kirk Lippold are unlikely to pursue the state central committee's nomination and could run as independents.

Nevada GOP Chairman Mark Amodei and state Sen. Greg Brower are expected to compete for the party's blessing.

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Republicans worried a tough primary will protect vulnerable Calif. Dem

Republicans are worried history is about to repeat itself in California's 11th district, where a tough primary in 2010 hamstrung the party's nominee against a vulnerable Democratic incumbent.

Republican David Harmer emerged from the four-way primary race and came within some 2,700 votes of unseating Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) in November.

During the primary, "David was the target and he came out of it with high negatives," said Tim Clark, a GOP consultant who advised Harmer. "Our guy or gal, whoever it is, cannot go through that wringer again and face McNerney."

Clark said he's concerned about the potential for a multi-candidate GOP field competing in the state's new primary system. The new rules stipulate that the top-two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, will advance out of an open primary to the general election.

"It could potentially make it a more brutal process," Clark said. "It would potentially be a more expensive process."

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