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Senator John Walsh (D, MT) withdraws: Aug. 7, 2014

Ends re-election campaign days before deadline, in plagiarism scandal

Under pressure from Democrats, Senator John Walsh of Montana, who has served in office for just six months, said on Thursday that he was dropping his election bid, clearing the path for his party to nominate a new candidate. Walsh, who was appointed by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) to his office in February after Senator Max Baucus was named ambassador to China, will keep his seat through the end of this year. Montana Democrats have until Aug. 21 — when statewide candidates are certified on the ballot —to replace him. His withdrawal from the race comes about two weeks after The New York Times reported that in 2007 Walsh had plagiarized large sections of the final paper he completed to earn his master’s degree at the prestigious Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. Monday is the deadline for Montana candidates to withdraw from the general election.

Democrats in Washington and Montana had concluded that Walsh had virtually no chance to win against the Republican nominee, Rep. Steve Daines. He was mum for much of this week, canceling public events and discussing his decision with his family. After initially denying his plagiarism when confronted with evidence outside his office last month, Walsh suggested after The Times published the article that stress from his tour of combat in Iraq had played a part in his appropriating the work of others. Last week, however, he said that the effects of his military service had not played a part, and indicated that he took “full responsibility” for his behavior. Still, the reaction in his home state was swift and negative. Two Montana newspapers published editorials on Sunday urging him to stop campaigning.

Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, and OnTheIssues Archives
Click for 2014 Montana Senate debates.

Rep. Eric Cantor resigns: Aug. 1, 2014

Effective Aug. 18; special election in November

Less than two months after his stunning primary upset and just hours after stepping down as House majority leader, Rep. Eric Cantor said Thursday that he will resign his seat in the House of Representatives effective Aug. 18. “I want to make sure that the constituents in the 7th District will have a voice in what will be a very consequential lame-duck session,” Cantor said in an exclusive interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Cantor said he has asked Gov. Terry McAuliffe to call a special election for his district that coincides with the general election on Nov. 4. By having a special election in November, the winner would take office immediately, rather than in January with the next Congress. “That way he will also have seniority, and that will help the interests of my constituents (because) he can be there in that consequential lame-duck session,” Cantor said.

Dave Brat, an economics professor from Henrico County, toppled the incumbent in a Republican primary on June 10. Cantor on Thursday reiterated his support of Brat’s election bid. “I hope he will win,” he said.

McAuliffe said Wednesday that he was “heartsick” over Cantor’s defeat, because coupled with the retirements of Rep. Frank R. Wolf, R-10th, and Rep. Jim Moran, D-8th, it represents a significant loss of clout for the state’s congressional delegation.

Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said Cantor deserves credit for making a “generous gesture” to his district and eventual successor by resigning early. “At the same time, it’s highly probable that he has a very lucrative deal in the works for his post-Congress life, and he’s eager to get started,” Sabato said. “The Republicans are nearly guaranteed to retain control of the House of Representatives after November, and a former majority leader with good ties to most of his colleagues is a very valuable commodity,” he said.

Sources: Richmond Times-Dispatch and OnTheIssues archives
Click for Dave Brat's and Rep. Eric Cantor's issue positions.

Georgia Republican Primary runoff results: July 22, 2014

Tea party wins; incumbents lose in 3 out of 4 runoff races

(click for debates)
Winner of GOP runoff Loser of GOP runoff Facing Democrat in November
Georgia Senate David Perdue (R)
cousin of former Governor Sonny Perdue (D)
Rep. Jack Kingston
Incumbent member of House of Representatives
Michelle Nunn (D)
daughter of former Senator Sam Nunn (D)
GA-11 House seat Barry Loudermilk (R)
Tea Party candidate (D)
Rep. Bob Barr
Former member of House of Representatives
No one!
(Democrats did not file a candidate for this seat!)
GA-10 House seat Jody Hice (R)
Tea Party candidate (R)
Mike Collins (R)
Establishment candidate
Ken Dious (D)
GA-1 House seat Buddy Carter (R)
Establishment candidate (R)
Bob Johnson (R)
Tea Party candidate
Brian Reese (D)

Sources: Google News and OnTheIssues archives
Click for Tom Coburn's issue positions.

Gubernatorial race updates: July 13, 2014

New candidates in NY, CA, OK, AK, FL, and AZ (plus HI as of Aug. 9)

OnTheIssues has added coverage for several new gubernatorial candidates based on who won their primaries, or who answered our VoteMatch quiz. The new candidates will have their issue stances filled out over the next couple of weeks.

State Race:
(click for debates)
New candidate coverage: Existing candidates / incumbent:
New York Rob Astorino (R)
Zephyr Teachout (D)
Howie Hawkins (G)
Rep. Kathy Hochul (D, Lt.Gov.)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D)
Oklahoma Joe Dorman (D) Gov. Mary Fallin (R)
California Neel Kashkari (R) Gov. Jerry Brown (D)
Arizona Rep. Frank Riggs (R)
Fred DuVal (D)
JL Mealer (I)
Jan Brewer (R, term-limited)
Arkansas Frank Gilbert (L) Asa Hutchinson (R)
Mike Ross (D)
Florida Alexander Snitker (L for Lt. Gov.) Rick Scott (R)
Charlie Crist (D)
Hawaii David Ige (D, won Aug. 9 primary) Neil Abercrombie (D, lost Aug. 9 primary)
Duke Aiona (R)

Click on the candidates above to see their issue stances; and check back in the coming weeks to see additional coverage.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for issue coverage of all Governor candidates.

Another Tuesday, another primary: June 24, 2014

Primaries in CO, MD, NY, OK, SC, and UT; plus specials in MS and FL

Race: New candidates / won primary: Lost primaries or withdrew:
Colorado Gubernatorial GOP Primary: Bob Beauprez (R) Tom Tancredo (R)
Colorado Senate GOP Primary: Cory Gardner (R) Randy Baumgardner (R)
Owen Hill (R)
Florida Special Election House 19th district : Curt Clawson (R)  
Mississippi Senate GOP Runoff: Thad Cochran (R) State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R)
Oklahoma Senate primary for 2-year term: Rep. James Lankford (R)
Connie Johnson (D)
House Speaker T. W. Shannon (R)
South Carolina Senate Democratic primary for 6-year term: Brad Hutto (D) Jay Stamper (D)

Click on the candidates above to see their issue stances (and others'); and check back in the coming weeks to see additional coverage.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for issue coverage of all Senate candidates.

House Leadership shakeup: June 10-23, 2014

Majority leader resigns; new GOP leadership elected

  • June 10: Dave Brat (R,VA-7): Won Republican primary: “I plan to cross this entire district and knock on thousands of additional doors and spread this message. That’s how we won the primary and that’s how we’re going to win the election in November.”

  • June 11: Eric Cantor (R,VA-7): Announced his resignation as Majority Leader effective July 31: "[I] suffered a personal setback last night, [but] I couldn’t be more optimistic about the future of this country.”

  • June 19: Kevin McCarthy (R,CA-23) Elected Majority Leader. Asked to respond to grassroots Republicans who felt Cantor’s defeat by a Tea Party insurgent should have resulted in a more conservative majority leader, McCarthy said: “They elected a guy who is a grandson of a cattle-rancher, the son of a firefighter; they elected a guy who has only grown-up with the grassroots.”

  • June 19: Raul Labrador (R,ID-1): Lost bid for Majority Leader, as Tea Party candidate: "If you vote for the status quo, you will prove that we are still not listening," Labrador told his colleagues.

  • June 19: Steve Scalise (R,LA-1). Won election as Majority Whip, as the Tea Party candidate: “This is a win for America because were going to be a more united team moving forward.”

  • June 19: Peter Roskam (R,IL-6): Lost bid for Majority Whip, as the moderate candidate: Asked whether he would run again for the position in November, Roskam demurred: “Today is Steve Scalise day, so let's celebrate Steve Scalise."

  • June 23: Speaker John Boehner (R,OH-8): His leadership position is unaffected by the shakeup: "After Cantor’s primary loss and the subsequent change of his top deputies, Boehner has assured colleagues that he will remain in place to provide the conference with stability."

Sources: ABC News (June 11); Idaho Statesman (June 20); The Hill (June 23); MSNBC (June 19), Breitbart.com (June 20); The Guardian (June 19)
Click for issue coverage of all House candidates.

Republican Primaries: June 3, 2014

GOP nominees decided in primaries in Mississippi, Iowa, South Dakota, Alabama, California, and New Jersey

Sources: OnTheIssues archives and misc. news sources
Click for issue coverage of all Senate candidates.

Cabinet Shakeup: May 30, 2014

Gen. Shinseki resigns; 3rd Cabinet announcement this year

Since the start of Obama's second term in January 2013, six Cabinet officers have resigned, including three in 2014. The roster of changes now includes:

Sources: Misc. news sources and OnTheIssues Archives
Click for complete Cabinet coverage.

Republican Senate Primaries: May 20 & 27, 2014

Senate GOP nominees decided in primaries in Georgia, Oregon, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Nebraska; plus Texas non-Senate races the next week

Sources: OnTheIssues archives and misc. news sources
Click for issue coverage of all Senate candidates.

Candidate update: May 15, 2014

Who entered races in March/April, and who lost in April?

OnTheIssues has added some new candidates for 2014 Senate and gubernatorial races; the primaries are now underway, too, so we note the candidates who have lost their primaries. OnTheIssues serves as a political archive, so we keep information on candidates even after they drop out -- ready for the next race or for referencing.

    Lost primaries or withdrew:

  • CO Senate election, Owen Hill (R, withdrew March 17)

  • CO Senate election, Ken Buck (R, withdrew March 2)

  • CO Senate election, Amy Stephens (R, withdrew March 2)

  • MI House election, John Conyers (D, May 14, failed ballot access)

  • NE Senate election, Jon Bruning (R, lost May 13 primary)

  • NE Senate election, Shane Osborn (R, lost May 13 primary)

  • TX Senate election, Steve Stockman (R, lost March 4 primary)

  • WV Senate election, John Raese (R, lost May 13 primary)

  • WV Senate election, Pat McGeehan (R, lost May 13 primary)

  • WY Senate election, Liz Cheney (R, withdrew Jan. 6)

Click on the new candidates above to see their issue stances (and others'); and check back in the coming weeks to see additional coverage. We will now focus on adding depth to each candidate issue page (the current average is 67% coverage for challengers; i.e., 2/3rds of all VoteMatch questions are answered for each candidate).

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for issue coverage of all Senate candidates.

Rep. Michael Grimm arrested: April 28, 2014

Two Congressmen embroiled in scandals vow to serve out their terms

New York Rep. Michael Grimm was indicted Monday on 20 counts of fraud and other charges relating to a Manhattan restaurant he owned and operated, accused by federal prosecutors of evading the IRS and making over $1 million in revenue "disappear." The Republican congressman, who is a former FBI agent, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Brooklyn. After he was arrested earlier in the day, Grimm will be released on $400,000 bond. He was ordered to stay within the continental U.S., and surrender his passport by May 11.

The congressman has vowed to fight. After learning that charges were forthcoming, Grimm's attorney William McGinley said Friday that the "government has pursued a politically driven vendetta against Congressman Grimm and not an independent search for the truth." The statement said Grimm "asserts his innocence of any wrongdoing" and "will be vindicated." McGinley said Grimm will "continue to serve his constituents."

The indictment covered mail and wire fraud charges and charges pertaining to false federal tax returns. At the heart of the indictment was an alleged "scheme" to hide sales and wages at his Upper East Side restaurant, Healthalicious, which he ran from 2007 to 2010 before entering Congress. Prosecutors described a relatively simple scheme, where Grimm allegedly took cash from the register of his restaurant and used part of that to pay workers off the books. In doing so, he allegedly under-reported his revenue, "making over a million dollars simply disappear."

Grimm was also accused of hiring undocumented workers. The charges did not appear to focus on the financing of Grimm's 2010 congressional campaign, which was initially thought to be the focus of a long-running FBI investigation.

[In an unrelated scandal], U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister said that he won't be seeking reelection to his seat next fall.

Gov. Bobby Jindal, Louisiana's Republican Party state chairman Roger Villere and others asked McAllister to step down early after the married congressman was caught on video kissing a member of his staff. McAllister said that he plans to serve out the rest of his term, which ends in December. The congressman's decision not to run for relection is likely to spur a lot of interest in his position representing the 5th district in Louisiana.

Sources: Fox News and New Orleans Times Picayune
Click for Michael Grimm's and Vance McAllister's issue positions.

Republican wins Florida special election: March 11, 2014

Representative-elect David Jolly will be seated this week

Rep. Bill Young (R, FL-13) passed away on Oct. 18, 2013; a special election was called by Gov. Rick Scott (R) for March 11, 2014. David Jolly (R) beat Alex Sink (D), and because this is a special election, will be seated immediately, but will be up for re-election in November 2014.

Sources: OnTheIssues archives
Click for David Jolly's issue positions.

New candidates for Senate & Governor: March 1, 2014

Who entered the races in February?

OnTheIssues has added some late entries for the 2014 Senate and gubernatorial races. February 2014 is considered a "late entry" for the November 2014 election (the first Senate primary takes place in Texas in March!).

Click on the new candidates above to see their issue stances (and others'); and check back in the coming weeks to see additional coverage. We will now focus on adding depth to each candidate issue page (the current average is 50% coverage for challengers; i.e., half of all VoteMatch questions are answered for each candidate); and on adding third-party candidates (who typically enter the race later than major-party candidates, since they usually have no primary).

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for issue coverage of all Senate candidates.

New Senator appointed: Feb. 7, 2014

One Senator and one Rep. resign; one new Senator appointed

Sen. Max Baucus (D, MT) resigns; Lt. Gov. John Walsh (D, MT) appointed:

Win or lose in November, Democratic Lt. Gov. John Walsh will be the next senator from Montana. Gov. Steve Bullock appointed his former running mate to fill the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, who is leaving the Senate early after being confirmed as ambassador to China.

Walsh was already running for the seat, but he'll now run as the incumbent senator. That change could provide some inherent advantages in his quest to hold one of the party's most vulnerable seats. "I wanted to appoint someone who I truly believed would wake up each and every day wanting to put Montana and Montanans first," Bullock said in a news conference to announce the appointment.

National Democrats recruited Walsh to run after former Gov. Brian Schweitzer took a pass on the race. The open seat is a top target of national Republicans, who landed a top-tier candidate in Rep. Steve Daines. Two other Democrats, former Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger and rancher Dirk Adams, are also seeking the nomination.

Rep. Rob Andrews (D, NJ) resigns:

New Jersey Congressman Rob Andrews has announced he's resigning from his congressional post after holding the seat for more than two decades. The 56-year-old will join a Philadelphia law firm. "It appeared that this was an opportunity that was here now and that would not be here in the coming months," he said. Andrews plans to vacate his post on Feb. 18, but his staff will stay on board until a successor is chosen. N.J. Gov. Chris Christie will need to schedule a special election to fill Andrews' seat. No word yet on when that may be. The New Jersey 1st Congressional District is a strongly Democratic seat that is expected to stay blue in the upcoming election.

The congressman's resignation comes as he is being investigated for potential ethics violations related to the use of campaign funding for travel. A watchdog group called for an investigation into his use of $11,000 for a trip to California. His daughter, an aspiring performer, was in Los Angeles at the same time for a music recording session. Andrews also reimbursed his campaign $13,000 after coming under scrutiny for taking his family to a wedding on the campaign's dime. His campaign then donated the money to charity. The congressman has said multiple times that all of the spending was legal and fully disclosed. His resignation would shut down the investigation since he would no longer be a member of Congress and would be out of the purview of the U.S. House Ethics Committee.

Sources: Rollcall.com (MT) and NBC Philadelphia (NJ)
Click for issue stances of newly-appointed Senator John Walsh.

State of the State speeches: Feb. 1, 2014

Governors lay out plans for the year

Most governors (but not all) are required to make an annual speech to their state legislature on the "State of the State", analogous to the presidential requirement of an annual "State of the Union" speech. These speeches typically take place early in the year; below are excerpts from those which have taken place in January. More will follow in February, with a few in March.

Republican Governor State of the State speeches Democratic Governor State of the State speeches

Click on the governors above to see their policy plans as laid out in their annual State of the State speeches.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for complete State of the State speech coverage.

State of the Union address: Jan. 28, 2014

Excerpts from President Obama's speech and the Republican responses

President Obama delivered the State of the Union address, telling numerous tales of ObamaCare, and assigning Joe Biden a new task. The mainstream media focused on how Obama promised, on several issues, to bypass Congress and implement new policy by Executive Order.

The Republican response was marked by numerous separate responses this year:

Click for full excerpts of SOTU speeches.

Rep. Trey Radel resigns: Jan. 27, 2014

Arrested for cocaine possession; special election to follow

Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) will resign from Congress on Monday, according to multiple sources. Radel, 37, was caught buying cocaine last year from an undercover federal agent in Washington and spent nearly a month in a rehabilitation facility. He returned to Congress after the winter recess. Before this incident, Radel looked like he had a bright career. He gained prominence by playful banter on Twitter. He called himself the hip hop Congressman.

It’s up to Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott to schedule a special election for Radel’s seat. His southwest Florida district is solidly Republican — Mitt Romney won the district with 61 percent of the vote. The race for Radel’s seat had begun even before he decided to resign. Republican Paige Kreegel, a former state representative, has already launched a campaign for the 19th district. Kreegel, who finished third to Radel in a 2012 primary, has drawn the support of a super PAC, which has raised $1 million with the intention of helping him win the seat.

Lizbeth Benacquisto, a Republican leader in the Florida Senate in Tallahassee, is widely expected to run for the seat. Former Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.), who held the seat before Radel, has also mulled a run. Former Congressman Connie Mack has talked to others about potentially running for the Fort Myers-based seat he used to hold, and former candidate Chauncey Goss hasn't ruled out a bid, either. Both Goss and Kreegel, a former state representative, ran against Radel and lost in 2012.

The race’s lone Democratic candidate, April Freeman, issued a written statement skirting whether Radel’s less-than-reputable departure would lead to positive opinions for a Democrat in the seat, but it touched on Freeman being an “independent voice” to replace the Republican’s “hurtful, harmful and extreme” political policies. “They did not support Southwest Florida business, protect seniors or improve government. More of the same will not help our community,” she wrote.

Sources: Southwest Florida News-Press, Politico.com and Miami Herald
Click for Trey Radel's issue positions.

Sen. Tom Coburn announces resignation: Jan. 18, 2014

Special election scheduled for Nov. 2014

Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn will retire at the end of 2014, triggering a special election for his deep-red Senate seat in November That means the Republican primary to replace Coburn could be a free-for-all.

Three of Oklahoma’s five U.S. House members are seen as potential candidates: Reps. Tom Cole, James Lankford, and
Jim Bridenstine. Insiders in the state expect Lankford to jump into the race; Cole, too, has long been seen as someone who could run for, and is interested in, seeking higher office. Bridenstine, should he decide to run, would likely be the choice of outside conservative and tea party groups.

Also on the shortlist are several state-level officials: Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb and Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas. And T.W. Shannon, the African-American speaker of the state House, will certainly be on Oklahoma insiders’ minds for the seat.

Gov. Mary Fallin announced Friday morning that the special election to fill Coburn’s seat will be held on Oklahoma’s regular election days this year: a primary on June 24, runoff election on Aug. 26 if necessary, and the general election on Nov. 4. The filing deadline is April 11.

Kirk Humphreys, the former mayor of Oklahoma City who ran and lost against Coburn in the 2004 GOP primary, said the race to fill Coburn’s seat could be “like a cattle call.” At the same time, he said, one factor could keep the field smaller: because the special election will be held at the same time as the state’s regularly scheduled elections, anyone whose current position is up for reelection this year will have to consider whether to give up his or her seat in order to run for Senate. That applies to almost all of the potential candidates being mentioned: Cole, Lankford and Bridenstine all have House elections in November, and Pruitt, Lamb and Douglas all are up for reelection statewide this fall as well.

Sources: Politico.com [Update Jan. 21: Cole said No; Lankford said Yes; Bridenstine still has not said].
Click for Tom Coburn's issue positions.

House retirement coverage: Jan. 16, 2014

It's retirement week!

A spate of House retirement announcements this week highlights that January is a traditional time to announce retirement. "Retirement" means the House incumbent will not seek re-election in November 2014, and will leave office in January 2015. The January timing allows challengers to file for candidacy in time for early primaries (some as early as spring 2014). The list so far for the entire 113th Congress appears below -- we'll add next week's list as announcements are made; next week will be another "retirement week"!

CA-25 R Buck McKeon January 16, 2014
VA-8 D James Moran January 15, 2014
NY-21 D Bill Owens January 14, 2014
CA-11 D George Miller January 13, 2014
NY-4 D Carolyn McCarthy January 8, 2014
NC-7 D Mike McIntyre January 8, 2014
PA-6 R Jim Gerlach January 6, 2014
IA-3 R Tom Latham December 18, 2013
UT-4 D Jim Matheson December 17, 2013
VA-10 R Frank Wolf December 17, 2013
NJ-3 R Jon Runyan November 7, 2013
NC-6 R John Howard Coble November 7, 2013
AR-2 R Tim Griffin October 21, 2013
AL-6 R Spencer Bachus September 30, 2013
CA-45 R John Campbell June 27, 2013
MN-6 R Michele Bachmann May 29, 2013

Click on the candidates above to see their issue stances.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for complete House coverage.

Gubernatorial debate coverage: Jan. 5, 2014

Governors and challengers in 2014 races

OnTheIssues begins its coverage of gubernatorial races. The list below include races where the two opposing candidates have announced early enough that we can cover them early (some will likely drop out, and we will likely add some others later). Click on the state names for debate coverage, or on the incumbent and challenger names for candidate coverage. Check back in coming weeks as we fill in the coverage of each of the races below.

State raceIncumbent running for re-election
or successor of incumbent party
Arkansas Secy. Asa Hutchinson (R)Rep. Mike Ross (D)
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D)Secy. Hilda Solis (D)
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D)
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D)Rep. Tom Tancredo (R)
Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (D)Amb. Tom Foley (R)
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R)Gov. Charlie Crist (D)
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D)Rep. Charles Djou (R)
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R)Gov. Chet Culver (D)
Massachusetts A.G. Martha Coakley (D)
Treas. Steve Grossman (D)
Secy. Charlie Baker (R)
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R)Rep. Mike Michaud (D)
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R)Rep. Mark Schauer (D)
New Jersey (2013)Gov. Chris Christie (R)State Sen. Barbara Buono (D)
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R)Gov. Gary Johnson (L)
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R)Rep. Dan Boren (D)
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R)Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D)
Rep. Mark Critz (D for Lt.Gov.)
Virginia (2013)Gov.-Elect Terry McAuliffe (D)A.G. Ken Cuccinelli (R)

Click on the candidates above to see their issue stances (and others'); and check back in the coming months as we "freshen" their coverage as the campaigns progress.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for Gubernatorial debate coverage, or all Gubernatorial incumbents and candidates.

Max Baucus to resign Senate seat: Dec. 20, 2013

Senator Baucus (D, MT) appointed Ambassador to China

The news that Sen. Max Baucus may resign his seat to become U.S. ambassador to China could throw a new wrinkle into the 2014 race for his Senate seat, as Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock would appoint Baucus’ successor. Would Bullock appoint his own lieutenant governor, John Walsh, who’s already a top Democratic candidate for the seat that Baucus planned to vacate anyway, through retirement?

Already, Lt. Gov. John Walsh (D) is running for the open seat against Rep. Steve Daines (R), the freshman congressman whom Republicans believe is in the strongest position to win the race. It could very well shake up the 2014 landscape where Republicans need to pick up a net of six seats to recapture the Senate majority.

While Democrats might cite the power of incumbency, incumbent appointees are very different from incumbents who were elected. Sitting senators rarely lose reelection; during the post-war period, senators have been reelected about 85% of the time when they chose to run for another term. But of the 52 senators appointed to fill Senate seats only 42% have been reelected. So appointing Walsh to the Senate seat is hardly the game changer you might think.

If confirmed, Baucus would succeed Ambassador Gary Locke, that he was stepping down to return to his family in Seattle.

Sources: Helena (MT) Independent Record; NPR.org; Politico.com; and Washington Post
Click for full record of Max Baucus' issue positions.

Former candidates re-running in 2014: Dec. 17, 2013

Former elected Reps and nominees return for 2014 races

OnTheIssues retains archives of retired House or Representative members and previous Senate candidates, because many of them run for office again. The list below comprise numerous candidates who are running for office again after they had previously "retired" (or lost their electoral race).

Click on the candidates above to see their issue stances (and others'); and check back in the coming months as we "freshen" their coverage as the campaigns progress.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for issue coverage of all Senate candidates, or all House candidates, or all Gubernatorial candidates.

New candidates for Senate: Dec. 10, 2013

Plus new House and Mayoral electees during November-December

OnTheIssues has completed the candidate list for the 2014 Senate races. January 2014 is considered a "late entry" for the November 2014 election (primaries take place in the spring and summer). Perhaps there will be a few more late entries, but our Senate candidate list is more-or-less complete for all 35 races. Below are our new candidate issue pages first posted in November and December (plus one newly-elected House member and two newly-elected Mayors):

RaceNew Challenger
AK SenateDan Sullivan (R)
AL-1 HouseRep.-Elect Bradley Byrne (R, updated Dec. 17)
Boston MayorMayor-Elect Marty Walsh (D)
HI SenateCam Cavasso (R)
IA SenateJoni Ernst (D)
Matt Whitaker (R)
IL SenateJim Oberweis (R)
Sharon Hansen (L)
LA SenateRob Maness (R)
LA-5 HouseRep.-Elect Vance McAllister (R)
MA-5 HouseRep.-Elect Katherine M. Clark (D)
MA GovernorCharlie Baker (R)
N.Y.C. MayorMayor-Elect Bill de Blasio (D)
SC SenateRick Wade (D)
SD SenateGov. Mike Rounds (R)
MI SenateTerri Lynn Land (R)
Matthew Wiedenhoeft (R)
NH SenateKaren Testerman (R)
Bob Smith (R)
TX SenateRep. Steve Stockman (R)
WV SenateNatalie Tennant (D)

Click on the new candidates above to see their issue stances (and others'); and check back in the coming weeks to see additional coverage. We will now focus on adding depth to each candidate issue page (the current average is 50% coverage for challengers; i.e., half of all VoteMatch questions are answered for each candidate); and on adding third-party candidates (who typically enter the race later than major-party candidates, since they usually have no primary).

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for issue coverage of all Senate candidates.

Tea Party and anti-Tea Party targets: Nov. 15, 2013

Hotly-contested House races for 2014

This round of House targets includes four categories:

  • Tea Party targets: Several Tea Party organizations have targeted incumbent Republican House members who voted to end the federal government shutdown, to allow ObamaCare, or both. Generally there are no candidates yet, just targets.

  • Anti-Tea Party targets: Establishment Republican Party and business organizations are funding candidates to beat Tea Party incumbents or Tea Party challengers.

  • Red State hot race watch: RedState.com watches races of interest to Republican takeovers or losses to Democrats; these are its top seven "races to watch".

  • Roll Call vulnerable incumbent list: RollCall.com reveals its Top Ten list of whom it considers Congress' most vulnerable incumbents.

Tea Party targetsAnti-Tea Party targets
ID-2 Rep. Mike Simpson (R)
IL-13 Rep. Rodney Davis (R)
LA-3 Rep. Charles Boustany (R)
NC-9 Rep. Robert Pittenger (R)
NY-2 Rep. Peter King (R)
OK-1 Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R, endorsed)
OR-2 Rep. Greg Walden (R)
PA-9 Rep. Bill Shuster (R)
TX-32 Rep. Pete Sessions (R)
  Red State hot races
AZ-2 Rep. Ron Barber (D)
CA-31 Rep. Gary Miller (R)
CO-6 Rep. Mike Coffman (R)
IL-13 Rep. Rodney Davis (R)
NC-7 Rep. Mike McIntyre (R)
UT-4 Rep. Jim Matheson (D)
IA-4 Rep. Steve King (R)
GA-10 Rep. Paul Broun (R)
MI-3 Rep. Justin Amash (R)
MI-11 Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R)
TN-4 Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R)
  Roll Call's vulnerable incumbents
AZ-2 Rep. Ron Barber (D)
CA-31 Rep. Gary Miller (R)
CO-6 Rep. Mike Coffman (R)
FL-26 Rep. Joe Garcia (D)
IL-13 Rep. Rodney Davis (R)
MA-6 Rep. John Tierney
MI-1 Rep. Dan Benishek (R)
MI-11 Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R)
NC-7 Rep. Mike McIntyre (R)
NH-1 Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D)
NY-23 Rep. Tom Reed (R)
TN-4 Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R)
UT-4 Rep. Jim Matheson (D)

Also see below our previous listing of Congress' most vulnerable incumbents.

Sources: RedState.com; Tea Party Leadership Fund PAC; Club For Growth; RollCall.com; House Conservative Project of the Senate Conservatives Fund; and OnTheIssues archives

2013 midterm election results: Nov. 5, 2013

Two more House elections still pending in 2013

Winners and losers in Tuesday's election for the races we cover nationwide:

Electoral ContestWinnerAlso Ran
N.J. GubernatorialGov. Chris Christie (R)
Biography: Rise to Power, 2012
Biography: Teachers Under Attack, 2011
State Sen. Barbara Buono (D)
Virginia GubernatorialFormer DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe (D)
Author, What A Party!
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R)
Author, Last Line of Defense
Libertarian nominee Robert Sarvis (L)
N.Y.C. MayoralNYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (D) CEO Joe Lhota (R)
Boston MayoralState Rep. Marty Walsh (D) Boston City Councilor John R. Connolly (D)
New Jersey Senatorial Special Election
(Election held October 15)
Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan (R)
Massachusetts House district 5 Special Election
(Primary held October 15;
general election on Dec. 10)
State Senator Katherine M. Clark (D)
Frank Addivinola (R)
Middlesex County Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian (D)
State Rep. Carl M. Sciortino (D)
Alabama House district 1 Special Election
(Primary held Nov. 5;
general election on Dec. 17)
Former State Senator Bradley Byrne (R)
Burton LeFlore (D)
Dean Young (R)

Click on the candidates above to see their issue stances (and others'); and check back in the coming weeks to see additional coverage of the newly-elected officials.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for issue coverage of all governors and candidates for 2014.

Cory Booker wins N.J. Senate seat: Oct. 16, 2013

Cory Booker wins New Jersey special Senate election

Democrat Cory Booker, the charismatic mayor of Newark, defeated conservative Republican Steve Lonegan, a former small-town mayor, according to tallies published online by The New York Times, Politico and the Star-Ledger newspaper.

Booker becomes the first black U.S. senator from New Jersey. In Washington, Booker will join Republican Tim Scott of South Carolina as the nation's only two black senators. He will fill the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Frank Lautenberg, who died in June at age 89.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican seeking re-election and a possible White House contender in 2016, chose October 16 as the special election date. Democrats said he could have scheduled the special election for November 5, the day of the general election, and accused him of self-interest and wasteful spending. They said he was avoiding being on the same ballot as Booker, who could attract Democratic and minority turnout and cut into Christie's chances of winning re-election by a large margin. Christie, who said politics did not play a role in the decision, said he wanted to let New Jersey voters have a permanent voice in the Senate as soon as possible.

Source: Reuters News Service
Click for full voting record of Cory Booker's and Steve Lonegan's issue positions.

Katherine Clark wins MA House primary: Oct. 15, 2013

Clark wins Massachusetts Democratic primary in special House election, district MA-5

State Senator Katherine M. Clark bested six Democratic rivals Tuesday, winning her party’s nomination in the race to succeed Edward J. Markey in the US House of Representatives and setting her on course to likely become the state’s newest member of Congress. Clark, a Melrose lawyer captured 31.6 percent of the vote. Middlesex County Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian and state Representative Carl M. Sciortino trailed with 22 percent and 16.1 percent, respectively. As the Democratic nominee in a liberal district north and west of Boston — one that voted by more than 30 percentage points for President Barack Obama over Mitt Romney last November — Clark is now the strong favorite going into the December general election. She will face Frank J. Addivinola Jr., the Republican nominee, who won the Republican primary Tuesday night. Should Clark, 50, win on Dec. 10, she would become only the fifth woman in history to represent Massachusetts in the US House.

Source: Boston Globe
Click for Katherine Clark's issue positions.

New candidates for Senate, Governor, and Mayor: Oct. 5, 2013

New candidate pages during September

OnTheIssues uses the off-season (when there are few immediate elections pending) to establish issue pages for candidates in upcoming elections (mostly 2014). Below are our new candidate issue pages first posted in September:

CA-7 House raceFormer U.S. Rep. Doug Ose (R)
CA-31 House raceFormer U.S. Rep. Joe Baca (D)
Los Angeles Mayoral electionMayor Eric Garcetti (D)
IA Senate raceState Senator Joni Ernst (D)
IA Senate raceU.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker (R)
MA-5 House raceState Representative Carl Sciortino (D)
MA-5 House raceMiddlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian (D)
MI Senate raceTerri Lynn Land (R)
PA-13 House raceFormer U.S. Rep. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky (D)
SD Senate raceGov. Mike Rounds (R)
VA Gubernatorial raceLibertarian nominee Robert Sarvis (L)

Click on the new candidates above to see their issue stances (and others); and check back in the coming weeks to see additional coverage.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for issue coverage of all Senate candidates.

Peter King accounces candidacy for president: Sept. 8, 2013

New York Representative first in GOP to formally announce

Long Island Congressman Peter King has thrown his hat in the 2016 presidential ring. King is the first Republican to [formally] announce he’s running.

The congressman currently serving his 11th term announced his candidacy on a New Hampshire radio station during a visit to the state. New Hampshire historically holds the first primary in the nation

Source: CBS-2 New York
Click for issue stances of Rep. Peter King (R, NY).

Syria war coverage: Sept. 4, 2013

Presidential contenders' opinions on Syria policy

As the United States prepares for military action against Syria, OnTheIssues.org opens a new "News" page this week, Topics in the News: Syria, to cover presidential contenders' opinions on Syria policy. This new page complements our prior "Topics in the News" coverage of Arab Spring; Israel & Palestine; and Iranian Nukes.

While OnTheIssues does not serve as a news source (we consider ourselves an "archive" instead), we do cover presidential contenders' views on current events, since they often serve as the basis for campaign debates. We sample below some of the 2016 contenders' views on Syria, focusing on how they apply to Mideast policy in general:

  • Joe Biden: Syria chemical attack violates essential international norm
  • John Bolton: Military force in Syria is counterproductive
  • Hillary Clinton: Obama rejected her 2012 plan to arm the Syrian rebels
  • Barack Obama: Syria's Assad crossed "red line" by using chemical weapons
  • Sarah Palin: No military intervention in Syria: 'Let Allah sort it out'
  • Rand Paul: No US weapons to kill Christians in Syria
  • Paul Ryan: Equivocating makes our enemies more likely to attack us
  • Marco Rubio: Equip and train non-jihadist Syrians to topple Assad

Click on any presidential candidate above to see their issue stances (and others); and check back in the coming weeks to see additional coverage.

Sources: ABC News; Politico.com; and OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for issue coverage of Syria war.

John Bolton accounces candidacy for president: Aug. 29, 2013

Former U.N. Ambassador to run in 2016 GOP primary

Ambassador John Bolton announced this week his candidacy for the 2016 Republican nomination for President. Bolton announced early and unambiguously because he is not as well-known as many other possible contenders. His credentials include:

  • U.S. ambassador to the United Nations from August 2005 until December 2006
  • Assistant secretary for International Organization Affairs at the Department of State (1989–93)
  • Assistant Attorney General, Department of Justice (1985–89)
  • Assistant administrator for program and policy coordination, USAID (1982–1983)
  • Senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (a conservative think-tank)
  • Fox News Channel commentator
  • Op-ed contributor to the Wall Street Journal and the National Review
  • Author of several books focusing on foreign policy
Despite those strong credentials, the mainstream media have focused primarily on just one thing: Bolton's mustache. (Ok, a few places reported that he is pro-gay-marriage, too, because of the shock value). We at OnTheIssues hereby pledge to never report on the color nor style nor any other aspect of Bolton's mustache, nor whether he plans to keep it for the duration of the campaign. Instead, we have initiated a webpage covering Bolton's issue stances (including gay marriage), and we commit to building it incrementally over the coming months. Here are how some of the mainstream media covered Bolton's announcement:
  • "John Bolton Intends to Keep Walrus Mustache for Presidential Run" (New York Magazine, Aug. 22)
  • "Fans of the 'stache, rejoice. Former US Ambassador to the United Nations and foreign policy analyst John Bolton is contemplating a 2016 presidential run." (TownHall.com, Aug, 23)
  • "If elected, John Bolton would be the first mustachioed president since William Howard Taft" (The Week, Aug. 22)
  • "Save for his trademark snow-white mustache, he could be mistaken for just another Washington, D.C., lawyer" (National Review, Aug. 22)
  • "...best known for his hawkish views on national security and hirsute upper lip, is now considering running for President in 2016" (The Daily Beast, Aug. 22)
Source: The Mainstream Media;
Click for issue stances (with no mustache references) of Amb. John Bolton (R).

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner resigns: Aug. 22, 2013

Sex scandal ousts former U.S. Rep.

Mayor Bob Filner reached a proposed settlement agreement with his legal adversaries Wednesday that likely sets the stage for the end of his brief, scandal-plagued tenure as San Diego’s 35th mayor. The tentative agreement centers around a lawsuit filed against the mayor and the city by a former Filner aide who accused him of sexual harassment and unwanted sexual advances. The City Council will consider the proposal at 1 p.m. Friday in closed session.

In exchange for Filner's resignation, the city will reportedly pay "some, if not all" of Filner's share of damages awarded in the lawsuit. At least 18 women have come forward to accuse the mayor, a Democrat and former member of Congress, of inappropriate behavior such as groping and unwanted kissing. He has apologized for his behavior and recently went through two weeks of therapy.

Filner, 70, served in Congress for 10 terms until he became the first Democrat elected to lead San Diego in 20 years.

Source: Craig Gustafson and Mark Walker in San Diego Union-Tribune (Aug. 21) and Catalina Camia in USA Today (Aug. 22)
Click for full voting record of Bob Filner's issue positions.

Cory Booker wins N.J. Democratic Senate primary: Aug. 13, 2013

Steve Lonegan wins N.J. Republican Senate primary

The Associated Press projected a win by Cory A. Booker, the mayor of Newark, who had a wide lead over his nearest challenger, Representative Frank Pallone. They were trailed by Representative Rush D. Holt and the State Assembly speaker, Shelia Y. Oliver.

A victory, after an abbreviated and contentious contest with some of the state’s best-known Democrats, would make Mr. Booker a heavy favorite to win the October general election in an overwhelmingly Democratic state that has not sent a Republican to the Senate in four decades. That would make him the country’s only elected black senator.

In the special general election in October, Mr. Booker will face Steven M. Lonegan, a former mayor of Bogota, N.J. and gubernatorial candidate, who easily won the Republican primary on Tuesday, the A. P. projected.

Source: Raymond Hernandez in New York Times
Click for full voting record of Cory Booker's and Steve Lonegan's issue positions.

2014 Gubernatorial Race coverage: Aug. 12, 2013

17 competitive Governor's races so far, for 2014

There are only two gubernatorial elections in 2013, but 36 elections in 2014. Of the 36 elections next year, 17 have serious challengers so far. Those 17, plus the 2 races for 2013, are listed below, with links to OnTheIssues coverage of each candidate we have covered so far.

Incumbent Governor2014 Challengers
AR: Mike Beebe (D) term-limited Former Rep. Mike Ross (D)
Former Rep. & DEA Administrator Asa Hutchison (D)
CA: Jerry Brown (D) running for re-election Former Secy. of Labor Hilda Solis (D);
Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D).
CO: John Hickenlooper (D) running for re-election Rep. Tom Tancredo (C), 2010 challenger
CT: Dan Malloy (D) running for re-election Former Ambassador Tom Foley (R)
FL: Rick Scott (R) running for re-election Former Gov. Charlie Crist (D)
Former Rep. Kendrick Meek (D)
HI: Neil Abercrombie (D) running for re-election Former Rep. Charles Djou (R)
IA: Terry Branstad (R) running for re-election Former Gov. Chet Culver (D);
ID: Butch Otter (R) running for re-election Rep. Raul Labrador (R)
MA: Deval Patrick (D) retiring State Senator Dan Wolf (D)
Rep. Mike Capuano (D)
Former Atty.Gen. Martha Coakley (D)
Treasurer Steve Grossman (D)
Former Senator Scott Brown (R)
MD: Martin O'Malley (D) term-limited Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D);
ME: Paul LePage (R) running for re-election Rep. Mike Michaud (D)
Former Gov. John Baldacci (D)
MI: Rick Snyder (R) running for re-election Former Rep. Mark Schauer (D)
NH: Maggie Hassan (D) running for re-election Former Rep. Jeb Bradley (R)
Former Rep. Frank Guinta (R)
NJ: Chris Christie (R) running for re-election 2013 State Sen. Barbara Buono (D)
NM: Susana Martinez (R) running for re-election Former Gov. Gary Johnson (L)
OH: John Kasich (R) running for re-election Former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D)
PA: Tom Corbett (R) running for re-election Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D);
SD: Dennis Daugaard (R) running for re-election Former U.S. Rep.Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D)
VA: Bob McDonnell (R) term-limted 2013 Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R)
Former DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe (D)

Click on any gubernatorial candidate above to see their issue stances; check back in a few weeks to see additional coverage.

Sources: The Cook Political Report; Abby Livingston on Congressional Quarterly Roll Call; and OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for complete 2014 Gubernatorial coverage

2014 House Race coverage: Aug. 8, 2013

DCCC targets 17 House Republicans; Cook lists 8 vulnerable Dems

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee plans to target 17 House Republicans with a grass-roots push over the August recess, according to an internal party email obtained by CQ Roll Call. “In the majority of these districts we have field staffers on the ground, coordinated through the respective state parties, to define and hold accountable vulnerable Republican incumbents, through earned media tactics, messaging amplification, and community outreach,” wrote Ryan Daniels, the deputy national press secretary and African-American media adviser. The DCCC’s list includes some of this cycle’s most-often mentioned vulnerable Republicans, but there are some lesser-known targets as well.

On the other side of the aisle, the Cook Political Report listed 8 Democratic races as "toss-up's", meaning that those incumbents are particularly vulnerable to a Republican challenge. Only one Republican incumbent, Gary Miller (R, CA-31) was listed as equally vulnerable on the GOP side. Some of the DCCC-targeted Republicans are only "Lean Republican" districts, according to Cook's report, which means they are possibly vulnerable; and most are "Likely Republican" districts or "Solid Republican" districts.

Update Oct. 2013: Added target list from National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC)

DCCC targeted RepublicansCook's most vulnerable Democrats
AR01 Rep. Rick Crawford
AR02 Rep. Tim Griffin
CA10 Rep. Jeff Denham
CA21 Rep. David Valadao
CO06 Rep. Mike Coffman
IA03 Rep. Tom Latham
IL13 Rep. Rodney Davis
MN02 Rep. John Kline
MN03 Rep. Erik Paulsen
MI07 Rep. Tim Walberg
MI11 Rep. Kerry Bentivolio
NE02 Rep. Lee Terry
NJ02 Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo
NJ03 Rep. Jon Runyan
NY11 Rep. Michael G. Grimm
NY23 Rep. Tom Reed
PA08 Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick
AZ-01 Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick
AZ-02 Rep. Ron Barber
CA-36 Rep. Raul Ruiz
CA-52 Rep. Scott Peters
FL-18 Rep. Patrick Murphy
FL-26 Rep. Joe Garcia
IL-10 Rep. Brad Schneider
NH-01 Rep. Carol Shea-Porter
  NRCC targeted Democrats
CA-17 Rep. Michael M. Honda
MA-6 Rep. John F. Tierney
MN-7 Rep. Collin C. Peterson
TN-4 Rep. Scott DesJarlais

Democrats face a tough task this cycle in their quest for the majority. They must pick up 17 seats to take the speaker’s gavel, but the number of competitive races this cycle is much smaller than in previous years. Still, the committee plans to target dozens of Republicans throughout the fall and this cycle.

To summarize the combination of the two reports above: The Democrats would have to win all 17 of their targeted races against incumbent Republicans, while simultaneously holding all 8 vulnerable seats, in order to win a majority of the House of Representatives.

Sources: The Cook Political Report; Abby Livingston on Congressional Quarterly Roll Call; and OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for complete 2014 House coverage

2014 Senate Race coverage: July 27, 2013

Coverage of early entrants into 2014 Senate races

OnTheIssues this month begins our coverage of the 2014 Senate races. While it might seem "early" to regular voters, the 2014 Senate races are well under way, and there are plenty of races to cover. We list below the newly-covered entrants -- at least those who look like they will survive until the primary voting -- and ask our readers to check back over the next few weeks as we fill in their issue stances.

RaceNew CandidatesNotes
Alaska Republican Primary Joe Miller (R, 2012 nominee)
vs. Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell (R)
To challenge
Sen. Mark Begich (D)
Georgia Republican Primary Michelle Nunn (R, daughter of Former Sen. Sam Nunn)
vs. David Perdue (R, cousin of Former Gov. Sonny Perdue)
vs. Former Secretary of State Karen Handel (R)
To replace retiring
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R)
Kentucky Republican Primary Matt Bevin (R) Primary challenge to
Mitch McConnell
Kentucky General Election Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) General Election challenge to
Mitch McConnell
Minnesota General Election State Rep. Jim Abeler (R) To challenge
Al Franken (D)
North Carolina General Election Speaker of the N.C. House of Representatives Thom Tillis (R) To challenge
Kay Hagan (D)
South Carolina 6-year-seat Election Jay Stamper (D) General Election challenge to
Lindsey Graham
Wyoming Republican Primary Liz Cheney (R, daughter of Former V.P. Dick Cheney) To challenge
Sen. Michael Enzi (R)

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for complete 2014 Senate coverage

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