At the Races

Yarmuth says effort to unseat McConnell could be national marquee battle next year
Kentucky Democrat says challengers face long odds against Senate GOP leader, however

Retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath is one of Rep. John Yarmuth’s top picks to challenge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell next year. (Jason Davis/Getty Images file photo)

Kentucky Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth said Friday his two top picks to challenge Mitch McConnell in 2020 are Amy McGrath, a retired Marine fighter pilot whose unsuccessful House race last year caught national attention, and sports radio talk show host Matt Jones.

Yarmuth admitted, however, that either candidate would face long odds in the Bluegrass State.

Susan Brooks won’t seek a fifth term, opening up targeted Indiana seat
GOP congresswoman will stay on as recruitment chair for the NRCC for 2020

Rep. Susan W. Brooks, R-Ind., has decided not to seek another term in the House in 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Susan W. Brooks — one of just 13 Republican women in the House — is not running for re-election in Indiana’s 5th District, a Democrat target in 2020.

“It’s a very, very personal decision — not really a political decision, as odd as that may sound,” Brooks told CQ Roll Call on Friday morning. She solidified her decision after spending time at the end of May in Alaska with her son, who recently moved there to teach.

Trump’s comments blur line between ‘oppo research’ and stolen information
President said he might accept dirt from a foreign government

President Donald Trump said he would consider accepting opposition research from a foreign government. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump’s argument in an interview that it was acceptable, and even common, to use opposition research from foreign governments threw a spotlight Thursday on how campaigns research opponents and whether they draw a line at foreign interference.

Trump said in a Wednesday interview with ABC News he would consider accepting “oppo research” from a foreign government and wouldn’t necessarily alert the FBI. He also said members of Congress “all do it, they always have.”

Rep. Mark Walker won’t challenge him, but Sen. Thom Tillis still faces a primary
Walker may be eyeing open North Carolina Senate seat in 2022

North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker is passing on a Republican primary challenge to Sen. Thom Tillis this cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker will not be launching a primary bid against Sen. Thom Tillis, one of the most vulnerable Republicans facing re-election next year.

“After prayerful reflection and consideration, I am confident that my continued service in the House will best help our efforts to reclaim the majority from Nancy Pelosi and advance our shared conservative goals,” Walker said in a statement to Politico, which first reported the news. 

More men with babies are running for president, but few face questions about parenting
Male candidates with young children and working spouses could challenge traditional assumptions about caregivers

Balancing his family duties while running for president was a key consideration for California Rep. Eric Swalwell before he joined the 2020 race. Above, the California Democrat carries his 2-year-old son, Nelson, into his home in Washington on May 30. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

When a mother with babies or preschoolers runs for office, the question inevitably arises: Who will take care of her kids while she is on the campaign trail?

But in a year when 23 Democrats are vying for their party’s presidential nomination, it’s the men who have children ages 5 or younger — enough to fill a small day care center. They are rarely asked about parenting, however, a review of their television interviews found.

Silently, Buttigieg joins protest at White House against Trump policies
Democratic presidential candidate in listen-only mode at ‘Repairers of the Breach’ rally

Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg sits down to wait before he attends a rally protesting President Donald Trump’s policies outside of the White House on Wednesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

It’s a rare thing for a presidential candidate to keep his mouth shut at a campaign appearance. But that’s what Pete Buttigieg did, resolutely, during a 45-minute stop at a Washington, D.C. march Wednesday.

Buttigieg was not planning to speak at the event, a rally in front of the White House held by a group called Repairers of the Breach, organizers said.

These senators running for president made $7.1 million writing books
Disclosures show extracurricular activities pay off for some candidates

(Composite by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

Wealth of Candidates: A dive into CQ Roll Call’s Wealth of Congress data to illustrate the finances of some of the Democrats running for president.

Writing a book is a good way for politicians to get their message out to voters and promote their biographies, core values and platforms.

National Democrats take sides in Iowa Senate primary
DSCC and EMILY’s List back Theresa Greenfield in race to take on GOP Sen. Joni Ernst

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, is running for a second term in 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Update 3:26 p.m. | National Democrats are taking sides in the primary to take on Republican Sen. Joni Ernst in Iowa, with two groups and a presidential candidate backing Theresa Greenfield, who was an early favorite for a House race last year. 

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and EMILY’s List, which backs female Democrats who support abortion rights, both announced they were endorsing Greenfield in the race over two other Democrats who are running.

Think Kirsten Gillibrand has no chance? She’s heard that before — and won anyway
New York Democrat touts 2006 win in GOP-leaning House district as proof she can win tough races

Former President Bill Clinton campaigns with then-challenger Kirsten Gillibrand in October 2006 in Albany, N.Y. Gillibrand cites the victory in upstate New York to argue she could appeal to Republican and independent voters if she wins the Democratic presidential nomination.  (AP/Jim McKnight file photo)

At Kirsten Gillibrand’s Fox News town hall Sunday night, she was asked how she would win over voters who supported Barack Obama and then voted for Donald Trump. She had a simple answer: “Campaigning everywhere.”

For the New York senator struggling to break through a crowded field of 23 Democratic presidential hopefuls, “campaigning everywhere” means traveling to Iowa, South Carolina, New Hampshire and Georgia.

Georgia House races could be ground zero for abortion debate
Restrictive anti-abortion laws could put Republicans on defense with suburban voters

Georgia Democratic Rep. Lucy McBath is running for re-election next year in one of two competitive districts in the state where the abortion debate could be a salient issue with suburban voters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The sponsor of Georgia’s so-called heartbeat law is launching a congressional bid this week, which is likely to keep the abortion debate alive in a crucial state for both parties up and down the ballot in 2020. 

State Sen. Renee Unterman is expected to announce Thursday her campaign for the Republican nomination in Georgia’s 7th District, a demographically changing seat outside Atlanta that had the closest margin of any House race in the country last year. 

More 2020 Democrats join call for House to start impeachment inquiry
But Pelosi says she wants ‘ironclad case’ first

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker added his name Wednesday to the list of 2020 Democratic hopefuls, which includes California Sen. Kamala Harris, calling for Congress to begin an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s brief public remarks Wednesday led more Democratic presidential candidates to call for an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

But concerns remained among House Democratic leaders, as well as Democrats trying to hold their chamber majority in 2020, that going down that road could exacerbate divisions in the country and imperil Democratic electoral prospects.

Runoff for safe Republican seat in North Carolina divides the conference
GOP women in the House line up against Mark Meadows and the Freedom Fund

North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows' backing of state Rep. Greg Murphy in the runoff for North Carolina's 3rd District puts him at odds with all of the women Republicans in the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The runoff in North Carolina’s 3rd District is dividing the House Republican Conference between one powerful man and more than a dozen women.

It’s North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows and the political arm of the House Freedom Caucus versus the Republican women in the chamber — all 13 of them — plus another male lawmaker from the North Carolina delegation.

Supreme Court delays redrawing of Ohio and Michigan House districts
Lower-court rulings found partisan gerrymandering, ordered new maps within months

The Supreme Court on Friday put on hold orders from lower courts for Michigan and Ohio to redraw their congressional maps.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court on Friday put a hold on lower-court decisions mandating that Ohio and Michigan draw new congressional maps this year.  

Federal three-judge panels had struck down portions of Michigan’s map and all of Ohio’s map as partisan gerrymanders in separate cases earlier this spring. The court ordered Michigan to draw a new map by Aug. 1, while the Ohio was given a June 14 deadline.

Who is Rep. Chip Roy?
Texas freshman who blocked disaster bill is a top Democratic target in 2020

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway talk in the House chamber on Feb. 5 before President Donald Trump delivered his State of the Union address. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 6:03 p.m. | Rep. Chip Roy’s decision to stall a disaster aid bill Friday is bringing new attention to the conservative freshman whom Democrats are looking to unseat in 2020. 

The Texas Republican blocked a request to pass the $19.1 billion package by unanimous consent, raising concerns that the funds were not offset and that the package lacked money to process migrants at the southern border. 

The fight for intern pay moves to 2020 campaigns
Eight presidential candidates have committed to paying interns, raising hopes that down-ballot candidates will follow

American University student Rolando Cantu will start a $15-an-hour internship in New Hampshire for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in June. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

It’s early enough in the 2020 campaign season that many candidates haven’t hired any interns.

But if the early months of the crowded presidential race are any indication, one thing is already clear: More of those offers will come with an actual paycheck.