U.S. Congress

Meet the Candidates: Winners of the Congressional Primaries in Louisiana

(For a full list of candidates, see the Louisiana portal.)

By Congresspedia assistant editor Avelino Maestas

Louisiana finally held their primaries on Saturday, which had been delayed from their original September 6th date by Hurricane Gustav. Under Louisiana's system, only congressional candidates who win 50.1% in the primary move on to the general election. In the 2nd and 4th congressional districts, no one reached that threshold and a run-off primary will be held for their candidates on Election Day, November 4th, with the general election following on December 6th.

The 2nd district is home to Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.), who only won 25% of the vote on Saturday and will now face TV anchorwoman Helena Moreno in the Democratic runoff on November 4. The winner will be up against Republican nominee Anh Cao on December 6th. That may be inconvenient for Jefferson, however, because he is scheduled to head to trial on federal corruption charges on December 2nd (full details here).

In the 4th congressional district, where Rep. Jim McCrery is retiring, two runoffs are required. Republicans John Fleming Jr. and Chris D. Gorman survived the primary, as did Democrats Willie Banks Jr. and Paul Carmouche. Both parties will have runoffs on November 4, with the winners squaring off in December.

In the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th districts, the parties' nominees gained a majority of the vote and citizens will choose their representative when they cast presidential ballots on November 4.

Also, one of the country’s most closely-watched Senate races is playing out in Louisiana, where Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) is fighting to retain her seat. However, recent trendlines show her pulling ahead with a double-digit lead over Republican nominee and state treasurer John Kennedy (R), once considered the GOP’s best chance for flipping a Senate seat this cycle.

As part of Congresspedia's Wiki the Vote project, citizen journalists from around the country (and even some candidates!) have been logging information about the candidates' positions, biographies and records. A full list of the candidates and their professions are below, but you can also find them at their respective state portals via the Wiki the Vote project homepage. We need your help to find out more about these candidates, so if you know something about them please add it to their profile. (You can always contact one of the staff editors for help.)

Congresspedia Preview: This Week in Congress (September 21-27, 2008)

New details have emerged about the Bush Administration’s plan to inject an estimated $700 billion into the country’s financial sector, which would be used to buy risky and possibly bad debt. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) has released a counter-proposal, which includes a number of restrictions not included in the original plan. Lawmakers from both parties have pledged to take action by the end of the week while also tackling a continuing resolution to keep the government operating past the end of the fiscal year next week.

Over the weekend, a draft of the Administration’s plan was leaked and members of the public (and some lawmakers) had their first opportunity to review the proposal. The legislation would give Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson broad authority to use federal funds to purchase assets that have no defined value, including loans that are unlikely to be repaid and securities backed by those loans. The government would purchase these assets from banks and other institutions through an auction or some other mechanism.

The plan precludes the courts, Congress or other federal agencies from reviewing the program and, while Paulson hopes to recover most of the funds by selling off the assets once the markets stabilize, there is no guarantee that the taxpayer money will be recovered.

Sen. Dodd’s proposal (leaked to the press Sunday night) introduces several measures that would substantially change the recovery program. Dodd’s bill creates an oversight board that would include congressionally-appointed officials. It also authorizes bankruptcy judges to modify existing mortgage loan terms for Americans facing foreclosure, and limit executive compensation for firms that take taxpayer cash.

Congresspedia Review: This Week in Congress (September 13-20, 2008)

Coming off of the August recess, most expected the 2009 fiscal year budget and energy legislation to dominate the Congressional agenda for the five weeks until the scheduled October adjournment. However, with the recent shocks in the U.S. financial markets and the resulting calls for government action, Congress and President Bush scrambled to figure out their gameplans. Plus, Massachusetts had its congressional primaries and Don Young narrowly edged out his primary challenger in Alaska when the final votes were in.

Proposals for the crisis recovery scenario generally involve the government infusing the financial sector with massive funds, either through purchases of rapidly devaluing mortgage-based securities, loans, loan guarantees or purchases of large stakes in the companies, effectively making U.S. taxpayers the largest shareholders in some of the big Wall Street players.

The action to bail out Wall Street would have far-reaching effects. Not only would it supplant other congressional priorities this session, but the amount of money required would handicap domestic spending in the 111th Congress as well. That would leave little discretionary funding heading into the next congressional cycle, and a new president would have few options to pursue on the domestic spending front.

Meet the Candidates: Winners of the Congressionals Primaries in Massachusetts

For the full roster of candidates, see the Massachusetts state portal.

By Congresspedia assistant editor Avelino Maestas

The incumbents in Massachusetts’ contested primaries Tuesday were universally victorious, setting up November matchups that will likely keep members of the state’s congressional delegation in their jobs come January.

Sen. John Kerry (D), facing his first primary opponent in 24 years, easily defeated challenger Ed O'Reilly Tuesday. O’Reilly, an attorney who questioned Kerry’s commitment to liberal issues, took several precincts, but conceded defeat before ¾ of results were in. Kerry will go on to face Republican nominee Jeff Beatty, the founder of an anti-terrorism consulting firm.

In the state’s other contested primary, Rep. John Olver defeated his Democratic opponent, Robert Feuer. Olver will now shift focus to his general election challenger, Nathan Bech (R). Bech is a veteran of the Iraq War who now runs his family’s property management business.

Only three other incumbents face challengers in November (see the unchallenged incumbents after the jump):

As part of Congresspedia's Wiki the Vote project, citizen journalists from around the country (and even some candidates!) have been logging information about the candidates' positions, biographies and records. A full list of the candidates and their professions are below, but you can also find them at their respective state portals via the Wiki the Vote project homepage. We need your help to find out more about these candidates, so if you know something about them please add it to their profile. (You can always contact one of the staff editors for help.)

Meet the candidates: Congressional primaries in Massachusetts today

(For a full list of candidates, see the Massachusetts portal.)

By Congresspedia assistant editor Avelino Maestas

In the scheme of America politics, states don’t come much bluer than Massachusetts. With a Senate race and ten House contests on the November ballot, only five Republicans are running, and there are no contested GOP primaries. In fact, there are only two contested races during today’s primary election.

Sen. John Kerry (D) is virtually assured of being re-elected in November, but he does face a primary challenger this year. Attorney Ed O'Reilly has launched a long-shot bid to challenge the six-term incumbent, who received 22% of the vote during a state party convention to determine who gets on the Democratic primary ballot.

In the state’s 1st congressional district, Rep. John Olver (D) also faces a primary challenger: Robert Feuer (D). Olver was a long-time state lawmaker before he won a special election to Congress in 1991. Feuer is a Coast Guard veteran who now has a law practice in Stockbridge. Olver is expected to win the primary.

Congresspedia Preview: This Week in Congress (September 13-20, 2008)

By Congresspedia assistant editor Avelino Maestas

Heavy criticism from Republican House members and high gas prices appear to have made an impact on Democratic leaders in the House, as they are now preparing to debate legislation this week to allow some offshore drilling. In addition, the bipartisan group of senators pushing its own compromise legislation has grown to include 20 members. Also on the Hill's agenda this week is discussion of a second stimulus package amid growing concern about the deterioration of the country’s private financial system.

House Democrats on Tuesday are expected to begin debate on energy legislation that would allow some coastal states to determine whether drilling should be allowed off their shores. The bill would end a congressional moratorium – in place for more than 25 years – preventing drilling within 200 miles offshore. President Bush rescinded an executive moratorium earlier this summer.

The legislation proposed by the House Democratic leadership does not go as far as plans put forward by Republican lawmakers, as it would only authorize some states to approve drilling projects 50 miles out (drilling would be allowed off all coastal areas 100 miles out). It also differs significantly from legislation being prepared in the Senate.

More on this week's legislation and committee schedules after the break.

Meet the Candidates: Winners of the Congressionals Primaries in Minnesota and Wisconsin

For full information, including candidates, click on a state's name

By Congresspedia assistant editor Avelino Maestas

Our wrap-up of Tuesday’s primary elections is pretty hefty, so we've split it into three parts; you can find results from Minnesota and Wisconsin in this post. Remember, we have a full list of candidates after the break, including the professions of all the challengers. You can find the candidates from New England at the Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont portals and at the New England wrap up, and mid-Atlantic candidates at the District of Columbia and New York portals and at the mid-Atlantic wrap up.

Minnesota
Al Franken (D) and Sen. Norm Coleman (R) easily dispatched the competition in their respective parties’ primary elections on Tuesday. Coleman, at one time behind Franken in polling, has opened a lead over the actor/comedian. Both candidates are performing well on the fundraising front, in what has become a high-visibility contest on the national level. A half-dozen candidates from other parties will join Coleman and Franken on the November ballot.

Unopposed in their respective primaries, Democrat Jigar Ashwin Madia and Republican Erik Paulsen are preparing for the general election in Minnesota’s 3rd congressional district. Incumbent Rep. Jim Ramstad (R) is retiring at the end of the 110th Congress.

There are a couple of freshman incumbents in Minnesota being targeted by the opposition. In CD-01, Republican Brian Davis is challenging Rep. Timothy Walz (D). Meanwhile, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) is trying to hold off a Elwyn Tinklenberg (D).

Wisconsin
In the 1st congressional district, Rep. Paul Ryan (R) was unopposed Tuesday, and Marge Krupp beat out two other Democrats for the shot to challenge the incumbent. Most of the incumbents appear to be favored for victory in the general election, though freshman Rep. Steve Kagen is facing a rematch of the 2006 election: he narrowly defeated Republican John Gard in that contest.


As part of Congresspedia's Wiki the Vote project, citizen journalists from around the country (and even some candidates!) have been logging information about the candidates' positions, biographies and records. A full list of the candidates and their professions are below, but you can also find them at their respective state portals via the Wiki the Vote project homepage. We need your help to find out more about these candidates, so if you know something about them please add it to their profile. (You can always contact one of the staff editors for help.)

Meet the Candidates: Winners of the Congressionals Primaries in the District of Columbia and New York

For full information, including candidates, click on a state's name

By Congresspedia Assistant Editor Avelino Maestas

Our wrap-up of Tuesday’s primary elections is pretty hefty, so we've split it into three parts; you can find results from the District of Columbia and New York in this post. Remember, we have a full list of candidates after the break, including job info for all the challengers. You can find the candidates from New England at the Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont portals and at the New England wrap up, and midwestern candidates at the Minnesota and Wisconsin portals and at the midwestern wrap up.

District of Columbia
Rep. Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D), the District’s non-voting delegate to Congress, is unopposed by major party candidates. One member of DC’s “shadow” delegation (positions created by a failed bid for statehood) faces opposition. Shadow Senator Paul Strauss (D), who defeated Philip Pannell in Tuesday’s election, will face Republican Nelson F. Rimensnyder in November.

Mike Panetta (D), the shadow representative, is unopposed.

New York
There are quite a few open House seats this year, including that of Rep. Vito Fossella (R) in the13th congressional district. He is retiring at the end of the 110th Congress, following his driving-while-intoxicated arrest in May. In November, Michael McMahon (D), a member of the New York City Council, is up against Robert Straniere (R), a former state legislator.

Another open seat is in the 21st congressional district, where Rep. Mike McNulty is retiring. Republicans in the district nominated James Buhrmaster, while Paul Tonko (D) will try to hold the district for New York Democrats.

In the 25th and 26th districts, Reps. Jim Walsh and Tom Reynolds are also retiring. Dan Maffei, a Democrat, is challenging Dale Sweetland (R) for Walsh’s seat in CD-05. In the 26th congressional district, Alice Kryzan bested several other Democrats for the nomination; she’ll face Chris Lee come November.


As part of Congresspedia's Wiki the Vote project, citizen journalists from around the country (and even some candidates!) have been logging information about the candidates' positions, biographies and records. A full list of the candidates and their professions are below, but you can also find them at their respective state portals via the Wiki the Vote project homepage. We need your help to find out more about these candidates, so if you know something about them please add it to their profile. (You can always contact one of the staff editors for help.)

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