House races

House races

Rep. Cohen wins primary

Rep. Stephen Cohen (D-Tenn.) staved off a primary challenge from former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton Thursday. 

Cohen, who's white, took almost 80 percent of the vote in the majority black district. Herenton, an African American, had run a campaign based mostly on race. Still, Cohen got the backing of the Congressional Black Caucus. He was also endorsed by President Obama. "You don't ask, you don't get," he told The Hill.

Cohen now faces Republican tea party candidate Charlotte Bergmann, an African-American woman, in the general.

--Updated at 1:12 p.m. Aug. 6

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Angle on gay adoption, role of clergy

The Associated Press got a hold of a four-page questionnaire Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle (R) submitted to the group "Government is not God," in which Angle weighed in on gay adoption.  

Angle said she believes members of the clergy should be permitted to endorse political candidates from the pulpit and said that she is an opponent of gay adoption.

From the AP:

Angle says she would oppose making sexual orientation a protected minority in civil rights laws. And she opposes any federal regulation of public or private education.

In a section on school prayer, she affirms that students and teachers should be able to talk openly about religion — including the right to "publicly acknowledge the Creator."

Angle is running against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and has come under increasing fire in recent days from Democratic critics over comments on religion and on the role of women.

Earlier Thursday, Reid was backed by Lois Tarkanian, the mother of one of Angle's Republican primary opponents, Danny Tarkanian.

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NRSC fundraises off Gibbs's reaction to Missouri healthcare referendum

Senate Republicans are turning the results of Tuesday’s Missouri healthcare referendum into a fundraising pitch. 

Slightly more than 71 percent of Missouri primary voters on Tuesday rejected a mandate that they buy health insurance. The mandate was included in the Democrats' healthcare reform bill, which passed in March.

The White House on Wednesday flatly dismissed the results. Asked what it means that voters in Missouri would vote against the federal mandate, spokesman Robert Gibbs said: "Nothing."

John Cornyn (Texas), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, took issue with Gibbs's comment. "This arrogance and political tone deafness from the Obama White House is simply astounding," he wrote in an e-mail solicitation for donations.

"That the White House has shown such blatant disregard for the votes cast by Missourians as 'nothing' is startling, and it should make clear just how out-of-touch the Obama Administration and Democrats are with average Americans," he added.

In reality, the result of the Missouri referendum is largely for show, since the nation's courts — not popular opinion — will decide whether the federal government can in fact impose such a mandate. Democrats have argued the bill is increasingly popular following their nonstop efforts to sell its benefits over the past four months. But Republicans have seized on the Missouri vote as a sign of unease with the legislation, much of which has yet to be implemented.

—Julian Pecquet and Sam Youngman contributed to this post.

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Arkansas Republican hampered by old debt

Arkansas House candidate Rick Crawford (R) is being dogged by a 1994 bankruptcy that has emerged as a niggling issue in the race to succeed Rep. Marion Berry (D-Ark.), who's retiring.

Crawford had indicated that he paid back all of the $12,611.67 debt that was legally dissolved by his bankruptcy, but told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "there is no way I can prove it."

Crawford faces former Berry staffer Chad Causey (D) for the seat.

The Democrat-Gazette subsequently asked him to sign privacy waivers that would allow reporters to confirm whether he had repaid his creditors. Crawford declined and also refused to release the billing records, receipts or a copy of his bankruptcy filing.

"Everything that's in the public realm is there for discernment and debate, but anything outside of the public record is not," Jonah Shumate, Crawford's campaign manager, told the paper. "It's not about proving it; it's about what's on the public record is the public record. That's just where we're going to be on this."

The Causey camp noted there were discrepancies in Crawford's account of his money troubles.

"While the story concerning our opponent's bankruptcy is changing every day, our focus remains the same: creating jobs here in Arkansas, bringing back fiscal responsibility, and getting America back on track," said Candace Martin, Causey's spokesman.

Meanwhile, Crawford has tried to his financial troubles into a positive. 

"In some small way, if my personal experience can help us avoid that type of experience for the country, then I think that experience [bankruptcy] is important and relevant to my campaign," he said.

Crawford, a top prospect of the National Republican Congressional Committee, had previously made government spending an issue in the campaign. 

A Republican strategist insisted the bankruptcy issue would blow over. The strategist noted that Crawford was in his 20s at the time of the bankruptcy and is now a successful small business owner. 

An official with the Causey camp said they're waiting on Crawford's next move before deciding whether to push the issue.

--Updated at 5:15 p.m.

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House candidates borrow kids, pets for the campaign

At least two Republican House candidates this cycle have taken heat from their opponents for using other people's children in their campaign advertising.

Kansas Republican Kevin Yoder and Arizona Republican Ben Quayle are both childless but have appeared with borrowed families — including pets — during their primary campaigns.

Yoder won the 3rd district GOP nod Tuesday to face Democrat Stephene Moore. Quayle is running in the Republican primary for retiring Rep. John Shadegg's (R-Ariz.) seat.

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Rep. Schauer faces rematch with ousted former rep.

Rep. Mark Schauer (D-Mich.) will have a rematch in November against 2008 foe Tim Walberg.

The freshman Democrat took the seat from Walberg last cycle after the Republican had held it for a single term.

Walberg claimed the nod by besting attorney Brian Rooney 58-32 percent. He was declared the winner by the Associated Press. Rooney's grandfather, Art Rooney, founded the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In 2008, Schauer beat Walberg by about 7,500 votes.

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Huelskamp wins Republican nomination in Rep. Moran's district

Kansas state Sen. Tim Huelskamp (R) won a six-way primary Tuesday in the Republican contest for Rep. Jerry Moran's (R) seat. 

The AP called the race with 89 percent of precincts reporting. Huelskamp led with 35 percent of the vote to state Sen. Jim Barnett's 25 percent. Real estate agent Tracey Mann took third with 21 percent of the vote.

In a district that went for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) with 69 percent of the vote in 2008, Tuesday's Republican primary might as well have been the general election to fill Moran's seat.

The six-person field headed into the primary with no clear frontrunner. A Survey USA poll had Mann, Barnett and Huelskamp tied at 24 percent. 

Mann did have the financial edge in the contest — he spent some $100,000 of his own cash on the race and close to $500,000 total.

But last week, Mann stirred up a controversy on a Kansas radio show when asked about President Obama's citizenship. "I think the President of the United States needs to come forth with his papers and show everyone that he's an American citizen and put this issue to bed," Mann said.

A local newspaper rescinded its endorsement of Mann over the comments. 

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