April 25, 2018
AP Photo/Ralph Freso

Republican Debbie Lesko won a special election in Arizona's 8th congressional district on Tuesday, a race that was closer than expected in this conservative area.

When the race was called by The Associated Press, Lesko had 53 percent of the vote, compared to Democrat Hiral Tipirneni's 47 percent. The seat was vacated by former Rep. Trent Franks (R), who resigned last year in the midst of a sexual impropriety scandal.

Lesko winning with a single-digit margin is worrisome, GOP pollster Mike Noble told Politico. "This district isn't supposed to be competitive, and so to see this margin, especially with the Republicans pouring in resources here — again, it's a tough year." Republican groups plowed more than $1 million into the race, a boost that came after Democrats won several other special elections across the country, including Sen. Doug Jones in Alabama and Rep. Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania. Catherine Garcia

April 24, 2018
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Democrat Steve Stern is the winner in New York's 10th Assembly district's special election on Tuesday, flipping a state legislative seat that had been held by Republicans for more than 30 years.

The district, on Long Island, gave Hillary Clinton 52 percent of its vote in 2016 and handed 51 percent to former President Barack Obama in 2012. This is the 40th legislative flip since President Trump's inauguration, The Daily Beast reports. Catherine Garcia

April 23, 2018
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On Monday, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn cannot appear on the June 26 primary ballot because the signatures his campaign gathered were invalid.

Five voters sued the Colorado secretary of state, arguing that the 1,000 signatures Lamborn handed in to get on the ballot didn't count because they were gathered by petition circulators who did not live in the state. Lamborn hired a firm called Kennedy Enterprises to collect the signatures, CBS Denver reports, and they were approved by the secretary of state on March 29.

Earlier this month, a lower court ruled against the plaintiffs, but they appealed, leading to the state Supreme Court decision. An attorney for Lamborn's campaign said he plans on appealing in federal court. A six-term congressman, Lamborn represents the conservative 5th congressional district. Catherine Garcia

February 20, 2018
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Democrat Linda Belcher won a special election in Kentucky's Bullitt County on Tuesday, defeating Republican Rebecca Johnson with 68.45 percent of the vote.

Belcher is replacing state Rep. Dan Johnson (R), Rebecca Johnson's late husband, in House District 49. Dan Johnson died by suicide last year after a report came out accusing him of molesting a 17-year-old girl at the church where he was pastor. Belcher said she ran a "very positive campaign," which was all about "trying to reach out and touch the people of Bullitt County, and we did. I have to thank them for listening to our message."

Belcher's husband, Larry Belcher, held the seat at the time of his death in October 2008; she replaced him on the ballot and served in the legislature from 2008 to 2012 and 2014 to 2016, when Johnson won the election. In 2016, the district overwhelmingly went for President Trump, who won with a 72-23 percent margin. Catherine Garcia

February 1, 2018
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For those who have been waiting with bated breath for news on Mitt Romney's next move, hang tight for another two weeks.

The 2012 Republican presidential nominee and former governor of Massachusetts tweeted Thursday afternoon that he is "looking forward to making an announcement on February 15th about the Utah Senate race." It's been rumored for months now that Romney plans to run for the seat that will be vacated by retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch (R), and people close to him say he will formally announce he's running on the 15th, CNN reports.

A vocal critic of President Trump, Romney is popular in Utah. Since 2014, his primary residence has been in Park City, and he helped turn around the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. He's also Mormon, as is more than half of the Utah population. To get on the primary ballot, Romney can either seek the nomination at the Republican Party's April convention or get 28,000 signatures from registered Republicans in Utah. Catherine Garcia

November 27, 2017
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Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), an immigration reform activist who has held his seat since 1993, will not seek re-election, three Democratic sources with knowledge of his decision told Politico Monday.

The 63-year-old filed nominating petitions on Monday, but is expected to announce on Tuesday afternoon he is withdrawing them and endorsing Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, Politico reports. Gutierrez and Garcia began discussing an endorsement Friday, the Democrats told Politico, after polling in the district showed Garcia ahead of other possible candidates. Douglas Rivlin, a spokesman for Gutierrez, said he couldn't comment on the story. Catherine Garcia

October 8, 2017
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In exchange for letting young undocumented immigrants, dubbed DREAMers, stay in the United States legally, the Trump administration will ask Congress to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and limit federal grants to "sanctuary cities," The Washington Post reports.

The Post obtained a document the administration distributed to Congress that listed its hard-line demands for any deal, including a major crackdown on unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in Central America. White House aides told reporters Sunday that these proposals are necessary for public safety and to make jobs for Americans.

Democrats have already denounced the wish list, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) releasing a statement saying they told Trump "we were open to reasonable border security measures ... but this list goes so far beyond what is reasonable. This proposal fails to represent any attempt at compromise." Read more about the Trump administration's demands at The Washington Post. Catherine Garcia

October 1, 2017
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Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) isn't ready to turn his back on the Republican Party just yet, but told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday that he won't remain part of the GOP if it stays on its current path.

"If the party can't be fixed, Jake, then I'm not going to be able to support the party," he said on Tapper's show State of the Union. "Period. That's the end of it." Kasich, an outspoken critic of President Trump, wants the GOP to stop bending to the will of the nationalist wing, and for the "party to be straightened out."

The public is unhappy with Republicans and Democrats alike, he said, and they want a return to the center. "What I'm trying to do is struggle for the soul of the Republican Party the way that I see it," he said. "And I have a right to define it, but I'm not going to support people who are dividers." That includes right-wing Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore, who as a judge was twice removed from the bench for ignoring federal rulings and has made inflammatory statements regarding race and sexuality. "I don't run the party," Kasich said. "I can tell you, for me, I don't support that. I couldn't vote for that." Catherine Garcia

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