OVERNIGHT CAMPAIGN: NRCC showdown?

Rep. Roger WilliamsRoger WilliamsNY rep swipes at Kaepernick after NYC bombing suspect caught Overnight Regulation: House bill to block Obama regs advances Lawmakers launch Congressional Football Caucus MORE (R-Texas) is making moves to challenge National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) for the chairmanship after this fall's elections.

It’s an unusual move for a House freshman, one that shows how much the “wait your turn” mentality for getting ahead in Congress has been demolished and that reflects Williams’s unusual rolodex.

Walden remains very popular within the House GOP conference and will be hard to unseat — when Williams told Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerRepublican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare The disorderly order of presidential succession MORE (R-Ohio) of his intentions BoehnerJohn BoehnerRepublican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare The disorderly order of presidential succession MORE made it clear that he’ll back Walden, and a number of other members also issued statements in support of him following Williams’s comments. 

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But the fact that Williams is even considering a challenge shows how much the House has changed. It used to take years of seniority to make a play for any House leadership slot. But as incoming House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) rise in four terms from freshman to party leader can attest, things have sped up.

Members also don’t fear leadership as much anymore, giving them less reason to sit around respectfully waiting for party elders to give them clearance for a boost.

Williams is also not your typical House freshman. The wealthy auto dealer has been a fundraising power player for decades, starting with his work to help his friend, then-gubernatorial candidate George W. Bush, raise big dollars in 1994. Walden’s one weakness has been fundraising, something Williams will be sure to hit on if he challenges the popular chairman.

 

SENATE SHOWDOWN 

KY-SEN (MCCONNELL): Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes slammed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellTrump slams Obama for ‘shameful’ 9/11 bill veto GOP chairman lobbies against overriding Obama on 9/11 bill Black Caucus demands Flint funding from GOP MORE on women’s issues in a new ad out Wednesday. The spot is another in a series where Grimes has local Kentucky voters ask McConnell a question and then tells viewers she can “never get him to answer.” The new ad features a woman who asks why McConnell voted twice against the Violence Against Women Act and against pay equity across genders. But Grimes drew scrutiny over comments she made about the Israeli air defense system, known as the Iron Dome, preventing terrorists from “tunneling” into Israel.

AK-SEN (BEGICH): Republican candidate Dan Sullivan debuted an ad Wednesday that touts his veteran status. The spot features the father of a soldier who died in the Iraq War who calls Sullivan “a man of the highest personal integrity that will not compromise his principles for political gain.”

WV-SEN (OPEN): Rep. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Moore CapitoSenate committee to consider miner pension bill GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase GOP to Obama: Sanction Chinese entities to get to North Korea MORE (R-W.Va.) is linking her opponent, Natalie Tennant, to President Obama’s “war on coal” in her new ad, using photos that show Tennant campaigning for Obama in 2008. Capito speaks to a group of factory workers in the minute-long spot, telling them at the close of the ad that “the president doesn’t understand West Virginia.”

MT-SEN (WALSH): Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.) could face an investigation by the Department of Defense and U.S. Army for the plagiarism charges made against him in a New York Times report last week, which accused Walsh of copying more than a quarter of his master’s thesis without proper attribution. 

IA-SEN (OPEN): NextGen Climate, a liberal environmental super-PAC, is up on the air with an ad accusing Joni Ernst (R) of being beholden to billionaires.

GA-SEN (OPEN): A Republican poll out Wednesday shows newly chosen GOP candidate David Perdue leading Democrat Michelle Nunn by 49 to 40 percent. 

Democratic-leaning group People for the American Way launched a small Spanish-language radio ad campaign Wednesday hitting Perdue on outsourcing jobs and calling immigration reform “a waste of time.” “Republican David Perdue does not fight for workers, and he won’t fight for us,” the spot’s narrator says at the close of the ad, urging Hispanic voters to turn out against Perdue.

AR-SEN (PRYOR): Americans for Prosperity is slamming Sen. Mark PryorMark PryorCotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Top Democrats are no advocates for DC statehood MORE (D-Ark.) on ObamaCare in a new ad. “In this matter, he simply either didn’t know or didn’t care,” a man says of Pryor and the healthcare law in the spot, which will run for three weeks. 

A Democratic poll released Wednesday found Pryor topping his Republican challenger by 2 percentage points, the third poll of the race released in two days. The survey shows Pryor leading Rep. Tom CottonTom CottonFears mount that Obama will change course on Israel in final months GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase GOP to Obama: Sanction Chinese entities to get to North Korea MORE (R-Ark.) by 48 to 46 percent. A Pryor poll from Tuesday showed him with a 6-point lead, while a nonpartisan poll out the same day found Cotton leading by 2 points.

NH-SEN (SHAHEEN): Republican candidate Scott Brown picked up the endorsement of former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton on Wednesday, who called Brown “the type of public servant who isn’t afraid to be independent and make bold decisions for the state of New Hampshire.” Bolton’s political action committee also donated $10,000 to Brown’s campaign. 

MI-SEN (OPEN): A new poll out Wednesday from conservative Rasmussen Reports has Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) ahead of Republican Terri Lynn Land by 45 to 39 percent, with a third-party candidate pulling 6 percent.

KS-SEN (ROBERTS): Sen. Pat RobertsPat RobertsSenate panel approves pension rescue for coal miners Congress set for Saudi showdown with Obama GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase MORE (R-Kan.) dismissed his primary challenger, radiologist Milton Wolf, during a face-to-face confrontation on the street in Kansas. Wolf asked Roberts to debate, and Roberts told him it’s “not the time ... this is not the way to conduct yourself.” Wolf demanded, “When would be the time, Senator?” as Roberts walked off.

 

BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE

NRCC: Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) is eyeing a challenge of National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) after the November elections, The Hill confirmed on Wednesday. Walden, though, who intends to seek reelection, will have the backing of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), a leadership aide confirmed with The Hill.  

KS-01 (HUELSKAMP): Now or Never PAC, which spent about $109,000 on ads attacking Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), released a single-day survey showing his primary challenger, farmer Alan LaPolice, closing Huelskamp’s lead to 21 points, with an equal number of likely GOP primary voters undecided. The survey, however, should be taken lightly — it offers no details on the question wording and surveyed an abnormally large number of voters. Taken just a week out from the primary, it’s unlikely LaPolice can close such a huge gap.

 

2016 WATCH 

RYAN: Rep. Paul RyanPaul RyanSunday shows preview: Both sides gear up for debate FULL SPEECH: Obama celebrates African American museum opening Trump slams Obama for ‘shameful’ 9/11 bill veto MORE (R-Wis.) said Wednesday that he plans to make a decision on whether to run for president after the 2014 elections. “I consciously decided not to think about my personal ambitions or personal career moves or how I can think about something after 2014. ... In 2015, at the appropriate time, Janna [his wife] and I will sit down and have the proper deliberation and conversations that are necessary for that,” he said.

PERRY: Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) will hit an ice cream social, backyard barbecue, grocery store and more during his four-day swing through the all-important early caucus state of Iowa, a trip sure to fuel further speculation over his potential run for president in 2016.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Stop being mad all the time. Stop. Stop just hating all the time. C'mon ... I know they're not happy that I'm president but that's OK. I got a couple of years left. C'mon ... then you can be mad at the next president.”

—President Obama to Republicans in Congress during a speech Wednesday in Kansas City, Mo.