Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 9, 2016

Posts in "Gubernatorial"

January 14, 2016

Beshear Looks Back, Forward on Kentucky’s Political Landscape


WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 05:  Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear (R) talks to reporters after attending a caucus meeting with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)  (C), Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and other leaders in the Capitol Visitors Center December 5, 2013 in Washington, DC. While touting his state's healthcare reform success, Beshear told reporters that voters and politicans neet to be patient with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and the Healthcare.gov website.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Beshear talks to reporters in 2014 after attending a caucus meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Joseph Crowley to tout his state’s health care reform success. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images File Photo)

In 2014, Steve Beshear sat in the first lady’s box during the State of the Union as President Barack Obama applauded the Democratic governor’s work on health care in Kentucky. Just two years later, Beshear is out of office and feuding with his Republican successor, who vowed to undo his work.

“And if you want to know the real impact this law is having, just talk to Gov. Steve Beshear of Kentucky, who’s here tonight,” said Obama, referencing the Affordable Care Act. “Kentucky’s not the most liberal part of the country. That’s not where I got my highest vote totals. But he is like a man possessed when it comes to covering his commonwealth’s families.”

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December 8, 2015

What Does It Take To Crack the Inner Circle of Political Consultants?


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Edwards’ “prostitutes over patriots” ad is credited with helping him beat Vitter (YouTube)

Democrat John Bel Edwards’ “prostitutes over patriots” ad will be remembered as one of the most-hard hitting television spots in campaign history. But did it catch the attention of national Democratic strategists?

Political consulting is a competitive sport with millions of dollars at stake. There is plenty of jockeying to be on top strategists’ unofficial list of approved consultants in order to be recommended to candidates and be in line for independent expenditure work.

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November 12, 2015

Outsider Bevin Hires Insider Chief of Staff


With his wife Glenna Bevin, center, and Lieutenant Governor-elect Jenean Hampton, right, looking on, Kentucky Republican Governor-elect Matt Bevin, speaks to his supporters at the Republican Party victory celebration, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Establishment Republicans gave Bevin’s chief of staff choice high marks. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Maybe Republican Matt Bevin isn’t going to burn down Frankfort after all.

The Kentucky Republican rocked the GOP establishment by challenging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in last year’s primary and irked some party strategists this year by running his gubernatorial campaign strictly on his own terms.

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November 10, 2015

Is Vitter on the Verge of Losing Everything?


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(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Louisiana isn’t anywhere close to belonging on a list of swing states, yet Republican David Vitter is at risk of losing not only his gubernatorial race this month, but also his Senate seat next year.

The Pelican State’s senior senator has struggled to unify the Republican vote after finishing second in the Oct. 24 jungle primary with just 23 percent. He trails Democrat John Bel Edwards in multiple public polls heading into the Nov. 21 runoff. Full story

November 4, 2015

What Does Bevin’s Victory Mean for Vitter?


 

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 4: Sen. David Vitter, R-La., leaves the bipartisan Senate luncheon in the Kennedy Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Office Building on Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Much like Bevin in Kentucky, Vitter has trailed his Democratic opponent in the Louisiana governor’s race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Matt Bevin’s victory in the Kentucky governor’s race is yet another sobering reminder that polling is a risky business. And for some Republicans, Kentucky could be a glimmer of hope for GOP Sen. David Vitter’s gubernatorial bid in Louisiana.

Bevin’s victory wasn’t the political shockwave on par with Eric Cantor’s primary loss in 2014, but the Republican’s margin of victory was stunning.

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October 26, 2015

Vitter’s Primary Performance Prompts Rating Change in Louisiana


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Vitter’s personal history makes it complicated for Republicans to stick their necks out for him. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Louisiana has transitioned to a Republican state, but GOP Sen. David Vitter will test the political gravity of the Pelican State in next month’s gubernatorial runoff.

Vitter was regarded as the front-runner to replace presidential candidate/current Gov. Bobby Jindal for much of the cycle, but the senator’s consistently poor performance in the polls and his showing in Saturday’s all-party primary has some Republicans very concerned that Vitter could let the governorship slip into Democratic hands.

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October 16, 2015

Kentucky Governor Race Tilts Toward Democrats


UNITED STATES - APRIL 12: Matt Bevin, republican Senate candidate for Kentucky, talks with gun dealers at the Knob Creek Gun Range Machine Gun Shoot Out in West Point, Ky. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Bevin, shown here during his 2014 Senate campaign, has underwhelmed some Republican strategists in his run for governor. (File Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

With just weeks to go before the Nov. 3 election, Democratic state Attorney General Jack Conway has a narrow advantage over Republican Matt Bevin in the Kentucky governor race.

The race certainly isn’t over, and public polling has the two candidates virtually running even. But Bevin’s personal ratings have declined in the face of Democratic attacks, while Conway’s image has consistently been in better shape.

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October 5, 2015

Hassan’s Decision Changes Outlook in 2 New Hampshire Races


UNITED STATES - AUGUST 26: Gov. Margaret "Maggie" Hassan, D-N.H., speaks during the breakfast meeting with the State of New Hampshire Executive Council at the Children's Museum of New Hampshire in Dover, N.H., on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Hassan’s entry had been expected for months. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After months of speculation, Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan announced her bid Monday to challenge GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire, setting up what should be one of the most competitive Senate races in the country.

Hassan’s decision is yet another victory for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which continues to succeed in fights with the other Democratic campaign committees for top recruits. But it won’t be an easy race.

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October 2, 2015

Louisiana Governor’s Race Less Certain for David Vitter


UNITED STATES - JUNE 23: Sen. David Vitter, R-La., participates in a press conference on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 to introduce a six-year highway reauthorization bill titled the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act (DRIVE Act). (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A couple recent polls show Vitter struggling to consolidate support against a Democrat in a runoff. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For months, GOP Sen. David Vitter has been the front-runner in this year’s race to succeed term-limited governor/Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal.

But even though Louisiana has completed its transformation to a Republican state, Vitter’s election is not a foregone conclusion.

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September 2, 2015

Sources: Reichert Seriously Considering Washington Governor’s Race


UNITED STATES - JULY 28: Rep. David Reichert, R-Wash., speaks during an interview in his office in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, July 28, 2015. Reichert is the previous Sheriff of King County, Wash. and is working to improve community policing. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Reichert’s former chief of staff said this is “the most serious” he’s ever seen his old boss about running for governor. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Rep. Dave Reichert is seriously considering a gubernatorial bid in Washington state, according to multiple GOP sources.

The congressman has been the consistent source of rumors for a statewide bid over the past decade. But those rumors were often fueled by House Democrats who wanted him to leave behind a competitive open seat or Republicans focused on the Senate and governorships.

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September 1, 2015

Does David Vitter Have Something to Worry About?


UNITED STATES - JUNE 23: Sen. David Vitter, R-La., participates in a press conference on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 to introduce a six-year highway reauthorization bill titled the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act (DRIVE Act). (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Poll numbers in the 20s are a red flag for someone with high name recognition like Vitter. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Two-term Republican Sen. David Vitter started his bid for Louisiana governor as a solid, if not prohibitive, favorite. But Pelican State watchers believe that Vitter’s prospects look less certain now than they did six months ago.

Does Vitter really have something to worry about? The answer to that question depends on whether you think three recent polls are close to being correct.

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August 26, 2015

Campaign Committees Open Holes While Filling Others


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Democrats believe Heitkamp could be a competitive candidate for governor but would loosen the party’s hold on her Senate seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats want to hold the White House, take back the majorities in the Senate and the House, and gain ground in governorships. But what happens when those are conflicting goals?

In Florida, strategists at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee are excited Rep. Patrick Murphy is running for the state’s open seat. But Murphy is leaving behind a competitive House district that will be difficult for strategists at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to hold next fall.

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August 24, 2015

Ratings Changes in Two Governors’ Races


INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 31: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence speaks during a press conference March 31, 2015 at the Indiana State Library in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pence spoke about the state's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act which has been condemned by business leaders and Democrats.  (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Indiana’s Pence angered both moderates and conservatives over how he handled the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. (File Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Gubernatorial races don’t get a lot of coverage in the nation’s capital, but based on the field of presidential contenders, the chief executive of each state can be a consequential figure.

Republicans are looking to sweep Kentucky, Mississippi and Louisiana this year for the first time in history. And the GOP is largely playing offense next year including Montana, where wealthy tech entrepreneur Greg Gianforte announced his candidacy against Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock.

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August 21, 2015

Crist, Culver Contemplate Humbling Transition to the House


TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 24:  Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) answers a question during the Times/CNN Senate and Gubernatorial debates at the Marshall Student Center at the University of South Florida, Tampa October 24, 2010 in Tampa, Florida. Republican Marco Rubio, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL) are in contention for a U.S. Senate seat and battled it out live on-air during the Times/CNN Senate and Gubernatorial debates.  (Photo by Scott Mcintyre-Pool/Getty Images)

Crist, shown here debating Rubio during their 2010 Senate campaign, is considering a run for the House. (Getty Images File Photo)

It’s not easy to transition from governor to become one of 100 senators. But former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and former Iowa Gov. Chet Culver are contemplating something even more humbling — jumping from chief executive to become one of 435 in the House.

Earlier this month, my Roll Call colleague Kyle Trygstad sat down with some of the “recovering governors,” a 10-member caucus of former chief executives serving in the Senate, to talk about the challenges of transitioning to a legislative body.

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July 29, 2015

More Democratic Losses Could Be on the Horizon


Bevin, shown during his unsucessful Senate race in 2014, is far more popular in Kentucky than inside the Beltway. (CQ Roll Call File Photo by Tom Williams)

Bevin, shown during his unsuccessful Senate race in 2014, is more popular in Kentucky than inside the Beltway. (CQ Roll Call File Photo by Tom Williams)

For Democrats anxious to turn the page from a terrible 2014 cycle, the news might get worse before it gets better.

Last fall, Democrats lost control of the Senate and fell further into the minority in the House, but pinned much of the blame on low turnout in the midterm elections. Party strategists were more than ready to look ahead to 2016, when the presidential race should boost turnout among Democratic constituencies. But at least one race this fall could dampen some of the Democratic enthusiasm heading into next year.

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