At the Races

Mark Harris Open to ‘New Election’ in North Carolina’s 9th District
Harris says he needs to see proof that illegal activity would have changed the results

North Carolina Republican Mark Harris said Friday he would support a new election in the 9th District if illegal activity is found to have changed the results. (John D. Simmons /The Charlotte Observer via AP file photo)

North Carolina Republican Mark Harris said Friday he’s open to a new election in the 9th District, where allegations of election fraud have thrown his victory into question.

The state board of elections is investigating absentee voting irregularities and confirmed Friday that a contractor for the Harris campaign is a person of interest in connection with an alleged absentee ballot operation. 

Scott Fairchild Named DSCC Executive Director
Fairchild is incoming chairwoman Cortez Masto’s chief of staff

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., is the incoming DSCC chairwoman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Nevada Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is bringing her chief of staff over to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, naming Scott Fairchild on Friday as the committee’s new executive director.

Democrats are largely on offense in the 2020 cycle, but they will have to protect vulnerable incumbents including Alabama Sen. Doug Jones. Democrats are defending 12 seats while Republicans are defending 22.

Democrats Complete California Sweep as Valadao Concedes Central Valley Race
TJ Cox unseats three-term congressman in 21st District by 862 votes

Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., conceded Thursday to his Democratic opponent TJ Cox in California’s 21st District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Republican Rep. David Valadao has conceded his re-election race to Democratic businessman TJ Cox, with the final vote count showing Cox ahead by 862 votes in the Central Valley district. 

Cox’s victory means Democrats have swept all seven GOP-held seats in California that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016. Clinton won the 21st District by more than 15 points two years ago, while Valadao was winning re-election by 13 points. 

Louisiana’s Ralph Abraham Running for Governor
Edwards has accused him of ‘abandoning’ responsibilities in Congress

Louisiana GOP Rep. Ralph Abraham is running for governor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Louisiana Rep. Ralph Abraham is running for governor in 2019.

“I’m running for governor and I intend to win,” the Republican lawmaker tweeted Thursday morning. 

McHenry Chief of Staff Moves to NRCC as Executive Director
Parker Hamilton Poling will lead the campaign committee for 2020 cycle

Parker Hamilton Poling will help Republicans try to regain the House majority in 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Parker Hamilton Poling will serve as executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee for the 2020 cycle. 

She most recently served as chief of staff to North Carolina Rep. Patrick McHenry, the chief deputy whip during the 115th Congress. 

NRCC Hacked in 2018 By ‘Unknown Entity’
FBI investigating but no further comment

Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee was hacked in 2018 by an “unknown entity,” a committee spokesman acknowledged Tuesday.

“The NRCC can confirm that it was the victim of a cyber intrusion by an unknown entity,” spokesman Ian Prior said in a statement. “The cybersecurity of the committee’s data is paramount, and upon learning of the intrusion, the NRCC immediately launched an internal investigation and notified the FBI, which is now investigating the matter.”

Dan Conston Takes Helm of Top House GOP Outside Groups
Conston will lead the Congressional Leadership Fund and American Action Network

Interns work the phones at the Congressional Leadership Fund office in GOP Rep. Steve Knight’s district in Lancaster, Calif. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The two major GOP outside groups involved in House races are getting a new leader. Dan Conston will take over as the president of both American Action Network and its related Super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, the groups announced Tuesday. 

The move comes after Republicans lost 40 seats in the midterm elections, meaning Republicans will shift from defense to offense in the upcoming 2020 elections. Conston will replace Corry Bliss, who oversaw record fundraising for the group and the creation of a new Congressional Leadership Fund field program with offices in 40 districts. Bliss will remain an advisor to both groups.

Elise Stefanik Wants to Play in Primaries to Help Republican Women
NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer thinks playing in primaries is a “mistake”

New York Rep. Elise Stefanik is stepping back from her role at the NRCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Rep. Elise Stefanik recruited more than 100 women as the first female head of recruitment at the National Republican Congressional Committee. But only one of them prevailed, with many failing to make it through their primaries.

So Stefanik is stepping back from the NRCC to be involved where she thinks it matters.

AP Retracts Call for Republican in North Carolina’s 9th District
State officials are investigating allegations of fraud

North Carolina Republican Mark Harris defeated Democrat Dan McCready in the 9th District, but the state board of elections has not yet certified the result. (John D. Simmons /The Charlotte Observer via AP file photo)

The Associated Press on Friday retracted its call in North Carolina’s 9th District. The press agency had called the race for Republican Mark Harris on Nov. 9, three days after Election Day, but with state election officials investigating allegations of fraud and delaying the certification of the results, the AP is now treating the race as if it’s proceeded to a recount.

State officials in North Carolina are investigating allegations of fraud in the 9th District, where Harris leads Democrat Mark McCready by less than a thousand votes.

Cheri Bustos Elected DCCC Chair
Illinois Democrat was in charge of ‘heartland engagement’ during 2018 cycle

Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos, center, is the new head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats elected Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos on Thursday to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for the 2020 election cycle.

Bustos won in the first round of voting, finishing ahead of Washington Reps. Denny Heck and Suzan DelBene. The tally was 117 votes for Bustos, with Heck at 83 and DelBene at 32. 

Campaigns Don’t Shut Down When the Election Is Over
It takes time to unwind a multimillion-dollar operation

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s campaign team is still working to make sure his vendors are paid and his staff lands on their feet. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Campaigning for most offices ended three weeks ago. But that doesn’t mean the campaigns themselves folded on Nov. 6.

Closing up shop takes time.

Hyde-Smith Wins Mississippi Senate Runoff
GOP nominee lost corporate support over controversial “public hanging” remark

Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith has won a runoff to fill out the remainder of former Sen. Thad Cochran’s term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite controversial comments and an embrace of Confederate history that cost her the support of corporate donors, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith has won the runoff in Mississippi’s special Senate election.

With 76 percent of precincts reporting, Hyde-Smith led former Democratic Rep. Mike Espy 56 percent to 44 percent when The Associated Press called the race. The appointed senator becomes the first woman from Mississippi to be elected to Congress.

3 Things to Watch in the Mississippi Senate Runoff
Will the Democrats pull off another Alabama on Tuesday?

Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith has campaigned on her strong support for President Donald Trump. Above, the two rally in Tupelo on Monday. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

This time last year, Democrats were becoming increasingly optimistic about flipping a Senate seat in a deep-red state.

And by running against an alleged pedophile, they did — just barely. Doug Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore, who was accused of inappropriate sexual conduct with minors, by a point and a half in an Alabama special election runoff.

Nate McMurray Concedes to Chris Collins, Will Run Again When ‘Time Is Right’
Collins was ahead by nearly 1,400 votes according to latest the ballot count

GOP Rep. Chris Collins was an early supporter of President Donald Trump. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrat Nate McMurray conceded to GOP Rep. Chris Collins on Monday, nearly three weeks after Election Day. The Associated Press has yet to call the race in Collins’ favor, but it appears Collins will return to Congress despite an indictment for insider trading.

The three-term Republican led McMurray, the Grand Island Town Supervisor, by nearly 1,400 votes according to The Buffalo News.

Rob Woodall Wins by 433 Votes in Georgia’s 7th District
Four-term congressman defeats Democrat Bourdeaux in once safe GOP seat

Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., has won a fifth term representing Georgia’s 7th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Georgia Republican Rep. Rob Woodall barely survived his re-election against Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux, prevailing in a recount two weeks after Election Day. 

Woodall led Bourdeaux by just 419 votes after the first count, which was a slim enough margin for the challenger to request a recount. The four-term congressman’s margin grew to 433 votes after Wednesday’s recount, and Bourdeaux conceded in the afternoon, shortly before The Associated Press called the race.