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82 new House members and 13 new Senators
The outgoing 112th Congress was panned by pundits and Americans alike, with approval ratings as low as 12%. But 95% of members who made it to the ballot retained their seats. The new incoming class features a record number of female (100), Latino (31), Asian American (12) and openly gay or bisexual (7) members, along with 43 African Americans.
And while a great many of those serving the previous two years are returning, the 113th Congress' class of more than 90 new lawmakers features plenty of historical firsts, including enough new women, LGBT members, Asian Americans and Latinos to set records.
There are 82 new members of the House -- 35 Republicans and 47 Democrats -- and 13 new senators, including appointee Tim Scott, R-S.C., who will be the upper chamber's only African-American. Scott, an appointee who replaces Jim DeMint, will be the first black senator from the South since Blanche Bruce of Mississippi in 1881 and the first Republican African-American senator since the 1970s.
Republican Ted Cruz, a Cuban-American who beat Texas's lieutenant governor in an upset primary, is the first Latino to represent the diverse state of Texas in the Senate.
Massachusetts' Elizabeth Warren, who became a folk hero among financial system reformers after the financial crisis, will sit on the Senate's banking committee. She's one of a record 20 women in the new Senate.
Democrat Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, who defeated Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson, will be the first openly gay senator.
Six of the new senators came from service in the U.S. House, including former Rep. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, the first Asian-American woman to serve in the upper chamber. (She's also the first Buddhist.)
Arizona's Jeff Flake will join six other Mormon colleagues in the upper chamber.
All told, the partisan breakdown will narrow slightly in Democrats' favor. In the House, there will be a total of 233 Republicans, 200 Democrats, and two vacancies (likely to be filled by one Republican and one Democrat, respectively.)
In the Senate, Democrats will continue to control the Senate--but with a slightly larger 55-45 majority than the 112th, counting Sens. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.) and Angus King (I-Maine), who will caucus with the Democratic Party. Republicans lost two seats, and Democrats gained two, including the closely-watched race in Massachusetts between Elizabeth Warren and departing Sen. Scott Brown.
Joins Senate immediately; will become Hawaii's Senior Senator in January
U.S. Sen.-designate Brian Schatz left for Washington aboard Air Force One tonight after he was selected by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to replace the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye. Schatz, 40, will be sworn in Thursday so he can participate in Senate votes to avert a fiscal cliff of federal tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to take effect in January.
Abercrombie chose Schatz from a list of recommendations from the Democratic Party of Hawaii that included U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and and Esther Kiaaina, the deputy director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Inouye had asked Abercrombie to name Hanabusa, who represents urban Honolulu's 1st Congressional District, as his "last wish" before he died last week at 88 of respiratory complications. "Having served as chair of the Hawaii Senate Judiciary Committee when the succession law was passed, I fully respect the process and the governor's right to appoint a successor," Hanabusa said in a news release.
Schatz will become the state's senior senator. U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, who was elected in November to replace the retiring U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, would be the junior senator. Schatz will serve until voters in 2014 elect a senator to fill out the remainder of Inouye's six-year term, which runs through 2016. Schatz said he plans to run in 2014 and in 2016.
Click for issue stances of Sen. Brian Schatz (D, HI)
Gov. Deval Patrick (D, MA) to appoint successor
President Obama nominated Kerry as the next secretary of state, a post friends and colleagues say he is well-suited for. The son of a Foreign Service officer has thought deeply about matters of war and peace, and has logged thousands of hours traveling the globe on various diplomatic quests. As a boy living in Europe during the Cold War, Kerry biked around communist East Germany despite his father’s warnings and hunted for D-Day casings on the beaches of Normandy. Those close to him said they believe he made a conscious decision after the 2004 presidential race to leverage his new influence in the international arena.
Gov. Deval Patrick wants the next interim senator to pledge not to run in the upcoming special election — adding he expects to name someone to the temporary spot “pretty quickly” after U.S. Sen. John Kerry is confirmed as Secretary of State by the Senate. “I expect to appoint someone who does not plan to run for the seat because, practically, I think that’s going to be hard for that person to do successfully,” said Patrick. He refused to rule out the possibility that the appointee may also run, however.
Gov. Patrick has spoken with the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s widow, Vicki Kennedy, about the appointment. “Those conversations are in the spirit of confidentiality and I will respect that confidentiality,” said Patrick. In addition to Kennedy’s name, former Gov. Michael Dukakis and the retiring U.S. Rep. Barney Frank have been mentioned for the appointment. Patrick will not name a temporary appointment until after Kerry is confirmed by the Senate, which is likely after Jan. 3. The special election won’t start until Kerry hands in his letter of resignation.
A WBUR poll of 500 registered voters finds voters view Sen. Scott_Brown favorably, despite the fact that in November they chose to elect Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren in his stead. [The poll] matched him up theoretically against U.S. Reps. Ed Markey, Mike Capuano, Steve Lynch and former U.S. Rep. Marty Meehan, and in each one of those cases, Brown led by between 17 and 19 points. Lynch did issue a statement saying if a Senate seat were to become available, he “would give serious consideration to running.”
Click for issue stances of Sen. John Kerry (D, MA)
or Sen. Scott_Brown (R, MA)
Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D, HI) to appoint successor
Daniel K. Inouye died today of a respiratory ailment at a Bethesda, Md., hospital, ending a life of remarkable service for his country and Hawaii that included sacrificing his right arm in World War II combat and spending 50 years as a U.S. senator. He was 88. His last words were, "Aloha."
In a letter to Gov. Neil Abercrombie that was delivered at 11 a.m. on Monday, just hours before his death, Senator Daniel Inouye apologized for his inability to fulfill his term and made a request for his successor to the United States Senate, according to Senator Inouye's office. Inouye's representatives said that his last wish was for U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa to replace him, citing her intellect and presence and saying it would be a seamless transition if he were to choose her. By law, the state Democratic party will submit three names to Abercrombie for consideration.
As the most-senior member of the majority party, Inouye served as Senate Pro Tempore, making him third in line to the presidency behind Vice President Biden and House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). Less than two hours after Inouye’s died, the Senate passed a resolution naming Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) as the new president pro tempore. Leahy was first elected to the Senate in 1974.
In other Senate news, Republican U.S. Rep. Tim Scott will become the first African-American senator from the South since the late 19th century after he was chosen Monday by Gov. Nikki Haley to fill Jim DeMint’s soon-to-be-vacated seat.
Click for issue stances of Daniel Inouye (D, HI)
or Rep. Colleen Hanabusa
Runoff election decided on Dec. 8, 2012
In Louisiana's 3rd District runoff election, four-term Congressman Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, beat freshman Tea Party member Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, by a healthy margin. Boustany received 61 percent and over 58,000 votes in the district, which was redrawn after a 2010 census showed a population slowdown in the state. Fellow Republican incumbent Rep. Landry received 39 percent and over 37,000 votes.
Boustany's victory represents another victory for the Republican rank-and-file over its right flank, piggybacking on several GOP establishment and Democratic wins over Tea Party candidates on Nov. 6.
Landry was heavily favored by Tea Party groups and picked up several key conservative endorsements, including the now-split FreedomWorks, Citizens United, Tea Party Nation and the Family Research Council, which hosts the annual Value Voters Summit. Meanwhile, Boustany has been able to grab some key local endorsements, including Louisiana House of Representatives Speaker Chuck Kleckley, state legislators from both sides of the aisle and various mayors and local officials.
* * *
Both Reps. Boustany and Landry are currently serving in the "lamw duck" session of Congress. Four special election winners have also been seated in the "lame duck" session; please see OnTheIssues' coverage of the special election newcomers' sponsorships and the lame duck bills.
Click for issue stances of Charles Boustany or Jeff Landry,
or coverage of the 2012 lame duck session
Will take $1 million think tank salary, leaving SC taxpayers with Special Election bill
DeMint announced Thursday that he would resign to become president of the Heritage Foundation. The move puts DeMint at the head of the most prominent conservative nonprofit organization in Washington. DeMint’s decision marks a monumental change from a not-so-long-ago era when abandoning a prime perch in the Senate to head a think tank would have been unthinkable. But the past decade has shown the influence that figures outside of elected office — whether tea party leaders or anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist — can have on the conservative movement.
DeMint’s job at Heritage will almost certainly come with a great deal more money than his $174,000 Senate salary. The terms of his deal are unknown, but the man DeMint will replace, Edwin Feulner, makes more than $1 million a year.
DeMint retires from the Senate having exerted an enormous amount of influence on the institution — yet without ever having passed a single piece of significant legislation. Rather than rising up the Senate ranks to influence legislation, DeMint chose to be a cheerful starter of civil wars. With his Senate Conservatives Fund, DeMint assembled candidates and money to wage primary fights against establishment Republicans he deemed insufficiently conservative.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will appoint someone to fill the seat until a special election in 2014. She could appoint herself, or buy some time by appointing someone who is seen as having no ambition to run in 2014—such as David Wilkins, a well-liked and respected former state lawmaker who served as U.S. ambassador to Canada under President George W. Bush.
But conservatives are urging her to name someone who would be interested in keeping the seat. A popular pick would be Rep. Tim Scott, who could become the only current black U.S. senator at a time when the GOP is trying to reach out to minorities.
Click for issue stances of Sen. Jim DeMint
or his book Saving Freedom
Organizatonal ratings of all incoming House members
OnTheIssues has gathered issue stance summaries by several 2012 rating organizations. All of the organizations rated some or all of the 2013 newly incoming House members.
We also include older ratings from the same organizations, for comparison. When the organization's ratings are identical from year to year, we just include the newly-elected people with a new date on the old page. When the rating system differs, we include both pages separately. For example, the new "NARAL" page is just endorsements; the older one rates every member on a 0% to 100% scale.
Click for our organizatonal ratings notebook
or click for incoming House Freshmen.
Kay Hagan (D, NC) in; Jay Rockefeller (D, WV) undecided
Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) told a local radio station she plans to run for reelection in 2014, when she is expected to be a top target of Republicans. In 2012, North Carolina voted for Mitt Romney, elected a Republican governor and netted the GOP at least three House seats.
Sen Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) said Tuesday that he hasn’t decided whether he will run for reelection in 2014. “I’ll make that decision in time,” Rockefeller said, without offering specifics. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) announced Monday that she will run for Rockefeller’s seat.
OnTheIssues.org is now prepared for the 2014 Senate races. Our 2013-2014 Senate page includes the list of 33 Senators up for re-election in 2014, plus their likely opponents (including Rep. Capito in WV, and Sen. Hagan's possible opponents in NC).
If you think it's ridiculously earrly to start considering the 2014 elections, please see our page for the 113th Senate as elected. It contains only the newly-elected Senators from the November elections, plus those re-elected and those serving in the Senate which will be sworn in, come January 2013 (that's called the "113th Congress").
Click for 2014 Senate races
or U.S. Senate as elected Nov. 6, 2012
Gov. Pat Quinn (D, IL) to set a special election date in 2013
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned from Congress on Wednesday, ending a once-promising political career. House Speaker John Boehner has received Jackson's letter of resignation, a Boehner spokesman said.
Jackson, the son of the civil rights leader, was first elected in 1995. He has been on medical leave since mid-June and twice sought treatment at the Mayo Clinic for bipolar disorder. The Democrat was easily re-elected to a ninth full term on Election Day, even though his constituents haven't seen or heard from him in months.
Once considered a rising star in the Democratic Party, Jackson is being investigated on allegations that he misused campaign funds; any deal would likely include jail time. He also has been the subject of a long-running House Ethics Committee investigation stemming from allegations that he raised money for then-Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich in exchange for appointment to the U.S. Senate. Jackson has denied wrongdoing.
Click for issue stances of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D, IL-2)
or Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.
35 new Republicans; 49 new Democrats (final count)
There are still several House races being recounted, but OnTheIssues has set up issue coverage for all of the incoming members of the United States House of Representatives.
The final count is 35 new Republicans and 49 new Democrats -- we'll be filling in all of their contacts and issue stances over the next week or two -- plus filling in the several undecided race results.
Following are the most interesting new House members, in three categories:
35 newly-elected Republicans in 2012, and 49 newly-elected Democrats.
For comparison, in the previous House election, 94 new House members were elected. Not significantly more -- but the party balance was significantly different:
85 newly-elected Republicans in 2010, and only 9 newly-elected Democrats.
In other words, the 2010 House elections showed a very strong pro-Republican leaning; while the 2012 House elections showed a weaker -- but still significant -- pro-Democratic leaning.
These final House election results mean the 113th Congress (beginning in January 2013) will be divided 234 Republicans to 201 Democrats. OnTheIssues predicted 235 Republicans to 200 Democrats, so we were only off by one out of 435 seats!
Democrats gain a few seats; GOP maintains majority
The Republicans held control of the U.S. House 240-190 before the election; the Democrats had a net gain of about 5 seats, so the 113th Senate, starting in January 2013, will still be controlled by the Republicans. (OnTheIssues predicted a net gain of 7 seats for the Democrats). The exact number is still not yet known because of several ongoing recounts; and the 3rd Louisiana House district will conduct a Dec. 8 runoff election.
The table below indicates, by category, the number of seats that changed hands in this election (with asterisks* indicating the races still undecided at this time).
Is this a Democratic "mandate"? No, not quite -- maybe more of a "message" about hyper-partisanship. The Democrats needed 25 seats to win control of the House -- THAT would have been a mandate! Even if all of the redistricting changes are ignored -- and we assume that all open seat takeovers were due to demographic changes from redistricting -- the Democrats would still have gained only 12 seats -- not nearly enough to take over control of the House.
Overall we will see about 82 new faces in the U.S. House of Representatives (we'll report the exact number, and rework our House member list, when the final tallies are completed). But it's not actually 82 NEW faces, because 8 of the incoming "freshmen" have been in the U.S. House before! They were re-elected after having been out of Congress, usually returning by taking advantage of some redistricting changes. They are:
Click for detailed House prediction or House results for the new 113th Senate
5 new governors; 6 re-elected
The recounts are completed for all 11 gubernatorial elections that took place on Election Day:
Click for all governors
Democrats maintain control of Senate, 52-48
The Democrats held control of the U.S. Senate 53-47 before the election; the Democrats had a net gain of one or two seats, so the 113th Senate, starting in January 2013, will still be controlled by the Democrats, 55-45.
Senator-Elect Angus King (I-ME) has not stated with which party he will caucus; if he decides on the Republican Party, that would reduce the Democratic majority to 54-46 but would not change majority control. Majority control determines which party chairs each Senate committee, and hence which bills get debated on the Senate floor.
OnTheIssues predicted a Democratic majority of 50-50 (with V.P. Joe Biden casting the majority vote for the Democrats; we predicted the Presidential race correctly also). We were wrong in our prediction of 7 Senate races -- but right in 26 out of the 33 Senate races (a rate of 79% correct!), and right in predicting the Senate majority. Mostly, we over-predicted the number of Republican takeovers. The Republican Senate candidates did not do nearly as well as expected; hence the Democrats held on to many seats. Our prediction compared to actual results:
One Governor's race and several House races are still to be decided as of today; we will report on those results when they are known.
Click for detailed Senate prediction & results or Senators in new 113th Senate
OnTheIssues predicts Obama 279 to Romney 259
OnTheIssues.org predicts that President Obama will win re-election by an electoral margin of 279-259.We predict that the popular vote will be much closer, with Romney holding Obama to under 50% of thepopular vote. Hence we predict that the pundits will claim that the third party candidates acted as"spoilers" in this race. This map summarizes our prediction, or click for state-by-state prediction.
We base our prediction on Obama's state-by-state victories in 2008, modified by the redistricting changes due to the 2010 census, and then further modified by several special considerations, including:
Click for detailed electoral prediction
OnTheIssues predicts Republican majority 235-200
OnTheIssues predicts the Democrats will gain 7 House seats, leaving control of the United States House of Representatives in Republican hands, 235-200. Our evidence is laid out below.
So why do the Democratic pundits claim that they can gain the 25 seats necessary for their party to gain control of the House? For example, the Kansas City Star on Oct. 24, 2012, cites a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) spokesperson saying "The Republican majority is in jeopardy," and expressing that he is "confident that his party can buck the odds and pick up the 25 seats needed to regain control of the House of Representatives." Let's look at the sort of evidence they present, starting with the current party split -- a large Republican majority -- of 242R-193D.
OnTheIssues conducted a "vulnerability analysis" which found 26 vulnerable Republican incumbents. If all of them lose, the Democrats would gain the House majority -- it would result in a House split with a slight Democratic majority, 217R-218D.
But of course that's only a half-truth, because some Democrats are vulnerable also. Our same analysis for vulnerable Democrats knocks down the Dems' hopes to a weaker Republican majority, 230R-205D.
But it's even worse than that, due to redistricting. The 2010 census takes effect in this House election -- and will cost the Democrats another 6 seats. Some special considerations reduce that by one loss, making our final prediction 235R-200D.
OnTheIssues does not claim to be prognosticators -- but we do claim to have real substantiation for our prediction, especially when compared to the hocus-pocus of other pundits. Our vulnerability analysis has worked to identify incumbents in our local State House who have been ousted; the redistricting analysis is complicated but accurate. We would be very shocked if the Democrats do better than 230R-205D or if the Republicans do any better than 240R-195D. More extreme results than that would indicate a "landslide mandate" for one party over the other.
Click for detailed U.S. House prediction
or click for U.S. House vulnerability analysis
or click for detailed U.S. House races
At Lynn University, Boca Raton, Florida
At Hofstra University, Long Island, New York
Vice Presidential debate in Kentucky
In Denver Colorado
OnTheIssues predicts: Republicans gain 3 seats
Following are the OnTheIssues predictions for each Senate race nationwide. 33 Senate seats (out of 100) are up for election in 2012, but 23 of those seats are currently held by Democrats and 10 by Republicans. That means the Democrats have more to lose in 2012 -- but the Dems also hold the majority in the Senate, 53-47.
To gain control of the Senate, the Republicans must gain 4 seats. We arrange the chart below based on which Senate seats we predict will stay in the same party and which will change hands:
To summarize our prediction by party status:
The more likely scenario is that one of our predictions goes the other way: The most likely? Connecticut, where a wrestling executive takes on a long-term Congressman. And then Indiana, where a Tea Party Republican beat the incumbent Senator in the GOP primary. If either of those races goes against our prediction, the Democrats maintain control of the Senate. But a 50-50 split is MUCH more fun!
A 50-50 split means that control of the Senate is determined by the presidential race: If Romney wins the Presidency, Paul Ryan would get the tie-breaking vote in the Senate; if Obama wins re-election, Joe Biden retains his tie-breaking Senate vote. So stay tuned for our House and presidential prediction next week....
Click for Senate races
or click for detailed U.S. Senate prediction
or click for Senate debates
|Romney and Obama Joint Interview: Sept. 19-20, 2012|
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney answered questions in a live forum hosted by the Spanish-language Univision network. Held at the University of Miami on Sept. 19, 2012, co-hosted by Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas
The TV network's presidential forums continued the next day, Sept. 20, 2012, with the same hosts questioning President Barack Obama.
The hosts made a special point of drawing attention to the fact that the formal "Presidential Debate Commission" declined to have any Hispanic journalists as moderators or panelists for the upcoming trio of presidential debates.
|Romney and Obama "debate": Sept. 12, 2012|
ScienceDebate.org managed to get both Romney and Obama to answer their candidate questionnaire. Their statement:
"Science now affects every aspect of life and is an increasingly important topic in national policymaking.
"ScienceDebate.org invited thousands of scientists, engineers and concerned citizens to submit what they felt were the the most important science questions facing the nation that the candidates for president should be debating on the campaign trail.
"ScienceDebate then worked with the leading US science and engineering organizations listed at left to refine the questions and arrive at a universal consensus on what the most important science policy questions facing the United States are in 2012.
"Candidates readily debate jobs and the economy even though they are not economists; they debate foreign policy and military intervention even though they are not diplomats or generals; they debate faith and values even though they are not priests or pastors. We call on the candidates for President to also debate these Top American Science Questions that affect all voters' lives."
|Democratic National Convention coverage: Sept. 4-6, 2012|
OnTheIssues excerpted speeches from the Democratic National Convention, and incorporating them into the candidates' websites. Coverage of key speakers:
|Republican National Convention coverage: Aug. 28-30, 2012|
OnTheIssues is excerpting speeches from the Republican National Convention as they occur, and incorporating them into the candidates' websites. Coverage after the first full Convention day (and additional speeches added):
|Primaries in six states: Aug. 28, 2012|
Primary elections took place in four states on Tuesday, (plus two states last Tuesday), resulting in the following races for the November general election:
|District||Primary winner||Primary loser|
|AZ Senate||Jeff Flake(R)
vs. Richard Carmona(D)
|VT Senate||Tommy Thompson(I)
vs. Tammy Baldwin(R)
|H. Brooke Paige (R)|
|WY Senate||John Barrasso(R)
vs. Tim Chesnut(D)
|Emmett Mavy (R); Thomas Bleming (R); Al Hamburg (D)|
|AZ-6 House||David Schweikert(R)||Ben Quayle(R)|
|Primaries in four states: Aug. 14, 2012|
Primary elections took place in four states on Tuesday, resulting in the following races for the November general election:
|District||Primary winner||Primary loser|
|CT Senate||Linda McMahon(R)
vs. Chris Murphy(D)
|FL Senate||Connie Mack(R)
vs. Bill Nelson(D)
|MN Senate||Kurt Bills(R)
vs. Amy Klobuchar(D)
|WI Senate||Tommy Thompson(R)
vs. Tammy Baldwin(D)
|FL-6 House||Ted Yoho (R)||Cliff Stearns(R)|
|FL-7 House||John Mica(R)||Sandy Adams(R)|
|Mitt Romney chooses Paul Ryan: Aug. 11, 2012|
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan will be in two places on the ballot Nov. 6 now that he has been picked by Republican Mitt Romney as his running mate. Ryan will remain on the ballot for re-election to his seat in the House of Representatives.
Ryan represents the 1st Congressional District that includes much of southeastern Wisconsin. He has won election to the seat seven times. Ryan can run both for vice president and for re-election to Congress thanks to a 1968 law that permits a candidate to be on the ballot twice, but only if he or she is running for president or vice president.
Ryan faces Democrat Rob Zerban of Kenosha in November.
|Michigan and Missouri GOP Senate primaries: Aug. 7, 2012|
Rep. Todd Akin, who played up his tea party credentials and conservative appeal, broke out from a three-way Missouri Republican primary on Tuesday to earn the right to take on Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, setting up one of the most closely watched Senate races of 2012. Akin won a contest defined by which candidate was the most conservative. In doing so, he beat out Sarah Palin's candidate of choice, former state treasurer Sarah Steelman, and John Brunner, a businessman who poured more than $7.5 million of his own money into the race.
In Michigan, meanwhile, Republicans selected former Rep. Pete Hoekstra to oppose Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow in November. Democratic Rep. John Conyers staved off a primary challenge in a slightly redrawn district to advance to November's election, when he will be strongly favored to win a 25th consecutive term in Congress.
Rep. Gary Peters defeated Rep. Hansen Clarke in a member versus member Democratic primary also brought on by congressional redistricting. In another closely watched Missouri race, Rep. William Lacy Clay defeated Rep. Russ Carnahan in a showdown of two of Missouri's most prominent Democratic families. The two were also drawn together because of congressional redistricting.
|Ted Cruz wins GOP Senate primary: July 31, 2012|
Texas' drift toward the Tea Party brand of GOP conservatism continued Tuesday when lawyer Ted Cruz scored a surprisingly easy win over David Dewhurst in the Republican primary runoff for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Cruz once was considered a long shot to take down well-heeled Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst – the favorite of the party establishment and Hutchison's heir apparent. Cruz told a jam-packed crowd of supporters that when he started his campaign, he was largely unknown. "This is a victory for the grassroots, We should take it as a providential sign that today would be the 100th birthday of Milton Friedman," he said.
Cruz praised God – "To Him be the glory" – and Martin Luther King Jr., and thanked a long list that included Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Ron Paul and Rand Paul, Martin Luther King Jr. and even Dewhurst. On the Democratic side, former state Rep. Paul Sadler trounced San Antonio educator Grady Yarbrough for the chance to face Cruz in November.
|Thad McCotter resigns Congress: July 6-23, 2012|
Michigan Republican Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, who launched a short-lived White House bid in 2011, announced Friday that he was resigning from Congress, citing personal family issues. In March, McCotter failed to acquire the necessary amount of signatures to appear on the party's primary ballot to represent his district near Detroit. He initially launched a write-in campaign, but announced he would end his efforts, choosing instead to retire from Congress when his term ended in January 2013.
McCotter chose to resign amid a scandal and criminal investigation regarding his election signature petitions. A special primary election will be held on Sept. 6 and then a special general election will be held simultaneously with the general election in November. The special election winner will be elected under the old House district and seated until Jan. 2013; the general election winner will be elected under the new House district and will be seated in Jan. 2013.
Gov. Rick Snyder called a special election, saying it was constitutionally required. His administration says it will cost $650,000 to run the special election in suburban Detroit's 11th District.
There will be five Republicans — Milford teacher Kerry Bentivolio, former state Sen. Nancy Cassis of Novi and Livonia residents Steve King, Kenneth Crider and Carolyn Cavanagh — and one Democrat, David Curson on the Sept. 5 special primary ballot.
McCotter joins our OnTheIssues Rogues' Gallery of elected members of Congress who resigned prior to completing their term, which breaks their promise to their constituents to serve out their term, to avoid a scandal or just for personal enrichment, resulting in costing their state funds to hold a special election. The updated Rogues' Gallery for the 112th Congress:
|District||Resignation Date||Rogue Representative|
|Kentucky, 4th||July 31, 2012||Geoff Davis|
|Michigan, 11th||July 6, 2012||Thaddeus G. McCotter|
|Washington, 1st||March 20, 2012||Jay Inslee|
|Oregon, 1st||August 3, 2011||David Wu|
|New York, 9th||June 21, 2011||Anthony D. Weiner|
|Nevada, 2nd||May 9, 2011||Dean Heller|
|California, 36th||February 28, 2011||Jane Harman|
|New York, 26th||February 9, 2011||Christopher John Lee|
|Wendy Long wins N.Y. GOP Senate primary: June 27, 2012|
Wendy Long, who promoted her conservative credentials on her way to a convincing win in New York's Republican Senate primary, now faces a broader and more liberal electorate as she takes on Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand.
Long, a New York City attorney, defeated U.S. Rep. Bob Turner and Nassau County comptroller George Maragos in a primary election Tuesday notable for low turnout.
|New House member Ron Barber sworn in: June 19, 2012|
Ron Barber, the former staffer to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who was also wounded during the Arizona shooting Jan. 8, 2011, took the oath of office today and his place in the House of Representatives, closing another chapter in the “Tragedy in Tucson.”
“Congratulations. You are now a member of the 112th Congress,” House Speaker John Boehner said after administering the oath of office on the House floor this afternoon.
Barber then acknowledged his predecessor, who resigned from office Jan. 25, a little more than a year after the shooting. The newly minted congressman was shot in the cheek and leg during the rampage at a constituent event he staffed with Giffords.
Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said, “Welcome Ron Barber, we are glad to have you here. Nobody would have wished for the circumstances that made this seat vacant. We all miss our colleagues Gabby Giffords, but it was her wish that you fill this seat for the remainder of her term, and she got her wish, as was the wish of so many Arizonans.”
|Scott Walker wins recall election: June 5, 2012|
|Most vulnerable House Democrats: June 3, 2012|
|NY-26||Kathy Hochul||D||46%||52%||43%||55%||-18||Special Election 2011; NY redistricting loses 2 seats|
|Thad McCotter withdraws from House race: June 2, 2012|
U.S. Rep. Thad McCotter, plagued by a criminal probe into his nominating petitions, on Saturday said he is ending his write-in campaign for re-election and will focus on serving out the final days of his 10-year congressional career.
The decision by the five-term congressman ends a stunning political week that began with the Secretary of State's office determining he was ineligible for the Aug. 7 primary ballot with widespread invalid and tampered petition signatures. McCotter, in agreement with the office, launched a write-in campaign and requested a criminal investigation into fraudulent petitions he said he trusted his longtime staff to handle.
"I have ended my write-in campaign in Michigan's 11th Congressional District," McCotter said in a statement released Saturday afternoon.
With about 87 percent of his nominating petitions tossed, McCotter, R-Livonia, didn't meet the minimum number of 1,000 signatures to get his name on the ballot. The Michigan attorney general launched its criminal investigation Thursday of the suspect signatures.
"One can't clean up a mess multitasking," McCotter said in his statement. "Honoring my promise to the sovereign people of our community only allows me to finish the official duties of my present Congressional term; and aid the State Attorney General criminal investigation that I requested into identifying the person or persons who concocted the fraudulent petitions that have cost me so dearly.
McCotter's withdrawal is notable because he ran for President briefly in 2011. OnTheIssues ranked McCotter as one of the most vulnerable Republican incumbents for the 2012 elections. We base that ranking on the 2008 presidential campaign results; McCotter's district went for Obama 54% to 45%, so the Democrat gets a head-start from Obama's coattails. McCotter was not among the top ten most vulnerable Republicans because his district went for Bush over kerry in 2004. Those top ten (plus McCotter) are:
|IL-10||Robert Dold||R||61%||38%||53%||47%||-29||Freshman; IL redistricting loses 1 seat|
|PA-11||Lou Barletta||R||57%||42%||53%||47%||-21||Freshman; PA redistricting loses 1 seat|
|PA-6||Jim Gerlach||R||58%||41%||51%||48%||-20||PA redistricting loses 1 seat|
|IL-17||Bobby Schilling||R||57%||42%||51%||48%||-18||Freshman; IL redistricting loses 1 seat|
|WA-8||Dave Reichert||R||57%||42%||51%||48%||-18||WA redistricting gains 1 seat|
|NY-25||Ann Marie Buerkle||R||56%||43%||5%||48%||-15||Freshman; NY redistricting loses 2 seats|