At the Races

DCCC Raises $11.2 Million in April
Haul includes $3.1 million in online donations

DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján pointed to “historic” grass-roots fundraising in announcing the committee’s cash haul last month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $11.2 million in April, exceeding its monthly fundraising total at the same point last cycle.

Nearly $3.1 million of the April haul came from online donations, with an average donation of $16, according to figures provided first to Roll Call. The $11.2 million total surpassed the $8.5 million the campaign arm of the House Democrats raised in April 2016.

A Clash of Experiences in Kentucky’s 6th District Democratic Primary
McGrath and Gray tout their backgrounds ahead of Tuesday primary

Tim Armstrong, the chief executive officer of Oath and former U.S. Marine and congressional candidate in Kentucky Amy McGrath speak onstage during The 2018 MAKERS Conference at NeueHouse Hollywood on February 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for MAKERS)

Even a casual observer of politics has probably heard of Amy McGrath. 

The retired Marine fighter pilot made a splash last year with an introductory video about the letters she wrote to members of Congress asking them to change the law so that women could fly in combat.

Targeting a Blue Texan: Will National Democrats Pay a Price?
7th District race is an early test of DCCC intervention in primaries

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee took the unusual step of releasing opposition research on Laura Moser, who is running for Congress as a Democrat in Texas’ 7th District. (Courtesy Arun Chaudhary/Moser for Congress)

Two women are facing off in the Houston suburbs Tuesday to take on Republican Rep. John Culberson, in what has become an early test of intervention by national Democrats in competitive primaries. 

Lawyer Lizzie Pannill Fletcher and Laura Moser, a former journalist and activist, made the runoff for the Democratic nomination in Texas’ 7th District. The contest was propelled into the national spotlight less than two weeks before the March 6 primary when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee took the unusual step of releasing opposition research on Moser, whom they considered unelectable in November.

Women Poised to Break Through Pennsylvania’s All-Male Delegation
But further campaign-trail challenges still remain for many

Protesters march down Independence Avenue in Washington holding signs during the Women’s March on Jan. 21, 2017, the day after the President Donald Trump’s inauguration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Pennsylvania holds the distinction of having the largest all-male congressional delegation, but that is likely to change next year following Tuesday’s primaries.

Eight women won their primary races in the Keystone State on Tuesday — seven Democrats and one Republican, who was the lone candidate in the contest. Two female candidates were in races that were too close to call at press time.

Political Foes Turned Podcasting Friends
Democrat Ali Lapp and Republican Liesl Hickey bring House race expertise to podcast

Democratic strategist Ali Lapp and and Republican strategist Liesl Hickey chat before recording an episode of their podcast “House Talk with Ali and Liesl” at the EMILY’s List office in Washington, D.C. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ali Lapp spent several hundred thousand dollars trying to defeat Rep. Mark S. Kirk in 2006. The Illinois Republican, whose office was led by Chief of Staff Liesl Hickey, held on.

Fast forward 10 years, and the two women met for the first time at Tonic, a bar in Washington’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood, for what they jokingly call their “blind date.”

Russ Fulcher Wins GOP Primary for Raúl Labrador’s Idaho House Seat
Labrador opted to run for governor, but lost Republican primary Tuesday

Idaho Republican Russ Fulcher was endorsed by GOP incumbent Raúl R. Labrador in his bid to replace him in the 1st District. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former state Sen. Russ Fulcher won the Republican primary Tuesday night for Idaho’s 1st District, a seat Rep. Raúl R. Labrador vacated to run for governor. 

With 69 percent of precincts reporting, Fulcher had 43 percent of the vote, The Associated Press reported, compared to 17 percent for his nearest rival, Dave Leroy, a former lieutenant governor and attorney general.

Kara Eastman Denies Ex-Rep. Brad Ashford’s Comeback Bid in Nebraska
First-time candidate will face GOP Rep. Don Bacon in November

Kara Eastman won the Democratic primary in Nebraska’s 2nd District. (Courtesy Kara Eastman for Congress)

Nonprofit executive Kara Eastman scored a surprise victory over former Rep. Brad Ashford in the Democratic primary for Nebraska’s 2nd District.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Eastman led Ashford, 51 percent to 49 percent, when The Associated Press called the race early Wednesday morning.  

Democrat Susan Wild Wins Pennsylvania Primary for Dent’s Seat
She turns back challenge from more conservative rival John Morganelli

Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent opted not to seek re-election and resigned from the House last week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Allentown City Solicitor Susan Wild won the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania’s 7th District on Tuesday, besting a more conservative Democrat who was seen as one of the front-runners. 

With 94 percent of precincts reporting, Wild had 33 percent of the vote when the AP called the race. Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli,who opposes abortion rights and so-called sanctuary cities, trailed with 30 percent, while pastor Greg Edwards had 25 percent. 

November House Matchups Almost Set in Pennsylvania
Democrats eye several pickup opportunities under new congressional map

A cutout of Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., at a protest outside his town hall meeting in Bensalem, Pennsylvania., in August 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Pennsylvania hosted its first primaries Tuesday under a new congressional map, solidifying general election matchups in an important swing state. And the Keystone State appears set to add at least one woman to its all-male congressional delegation in the next Congress.

Democrats view Pennsylvania as key to their effort to flip 23 seats and win back the House, eyeing between three and five pickups in the state alone. Tuesday’s primaries set the stage for some competitive races in November, as well as likely new members of Congress in some of the open seats. 

Raybould Wins Nebraska Democratic Senate Primary to Take on Fischer
Raybould is a Lincoln City councilwoman who previously ran for Lieutenant Governor

Jane Raybould will challenge GOP Sen. Deb Fischer in Nebraska. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Lincoln City councilwoman Jane Raybould won the Democratic Senate primary in Nebraska Tuesday night. She will face GOP Sen. Deb Fischer in the fall. 

With 75 percent of precincts reporting, Raybould had 64.8 percent of the vote to 18.5 percent for Chris Janicek,  11.8 percent for Frank Svoboda and 4.9 percent for Larry Marvin, The Associated Press reported.

Rep. Lou Barletta Wins Pennsylvania GOP Senate Primary
Congressman will face off against Sen. Bob Casey in November

Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., won Tuesday’s GOP Senate primary in Pennsylvania. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Lou Barletta won the Republican Senate primary in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, advancing to a November matchup against Democratic incumbent Bob Casey.

With 65 percent of precincts reporting, Barletta had 61 percent of the vote to 39 percent for state Rep. Jim Christiana, according to The Associated Press. 

4 Things to Watch During Tuesday’s Primary Elections
Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Idaho and Oregon will be hosting primaries

Voters head to the polls for primary elections in four states. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Four states will host primary elections Tuesday, setting up matchups for several key races this fall. 

Pennsylvania, Idaho and Nebraska all have House primaries to watch. And the Keystone State’s new congressional lines will be tested for the first time. The state’s Supreme Court tossed out the old map earlier this year, deeming it an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. 

Pennsylvania Remapped: Primaries Enter New Territory
Keystone State is hosting several competitive House primaries

After losing a special election in March, Pennsylvania state Rep. Rick Saccone seeks another shot at the House on Tuesday from the new 14th District. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images file photo)

Tuesday’s primary elections in Pennsylvania will be the first contests under the state’s new congressional map, and they will set the November matchups in a state that has seen a surge of House candidates.

Ninety-four people — 59 Democrats and 35 Republicans — filed to run for Congress in the Keystone State this cycle. The high number of candidates is due in part to several open-seat races.

Former Rep. Brad Ashford Faces Primary in Comeback Bid
Democratic primary pits Ashford against a political newcomer

Nebraska Democratic Rep. Brad Ashford, who lost re-election in 2016 after serving one term, is seeking a comeback this year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On the surface, the Democratic primary in Nebraska’s 2nd District had the makings of a bitter intraparty battle, with a moderate onetime congressman facing off against a liberal, female political newcomer. 

But the contest between former Rep. Brad Ashford and nonprofit CEO Kara Eastman hasn’t gotten the same attention as some other primaries that have morphed into proxy fights for the soul of the Democratic Party.

DCCC Takes Sides to Avoid Shutout in Crowded California Primary
Democrats are targeting Dana Rohrabacher, backing Harley Rouda

Harley Rouda, Democratic challenger to GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, has been added to the DCCC’s Red to Blue program. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file Photo).

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is taking sides in a crowded California primary in the 48th District, backing businessman Harley Rouda, in an attempt to avoid a nightmare scenario of being shut out of the November ballot.

Rouda was added to the DCCC’s “Red to Blue” program on Friday, giving him additional access to committee resources. The move is also evidence that Democrats are stepping up the effort to coalesce around one candidate.