Pennsylvania 18 Special: Democrats’ Next Alabama?

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Leah Askarinam December 15, 2017 · 2:30 PM EST

Democrat Doug Jones scored a historic victory in Alabama on Tuesday, but the next race in this never-ending special election season is just three months away. While the Pennsylvania race isn’t getting much attention now, that should change next year, considering all of the 2017 special elections eventually became national stories. 

If Democrats got their pick of a district with an unexpected vacancy, the 18th District wouldn’t be near the top of the list. It’s not even on the DCCC’s ambitious target list. This western Pennsylvania district shares a border with West Virginia, and like its neighbor, has seen a shift away from the Democratic party as blue-collar jobs in coal and steel have disappeared. Both Mitt Romney and President Donald Trump carried this district by double digits, and the recently-former GOP congressman has been comfortably re-elected.

In September, Rep. Tim Murphy publicly admitted to having an extra-marital affair. In October, text messages surfaced in which he urged the woman he was having an affair with to have an abortion, along with a memo that alleged a toxic work environment in his office. Shortly after, he announced he would resign effective Oct. 21. 

Instead of primaries, a convention of local Republicans chose state Rep. Rick Saccone about a week…

The Fight for the Senate in the Wake of Alabama

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Nathan L. Gonzales December 15, 2017 · 2:29 PM EST

Doug Jones’s historic victory in Alabama gives Democrats an important seat in the fight for the Senate, but most Democratic candidates next year will have to take a different path in order to help the party secure a majority. 

The most obvious difference is that other Democratic candidates don’t…

Texas House Overview: A New Class of Fresh Faces

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Leah Askarinam December 15, 2017 · 2:28 PM EST

For the last few years, Texas has largely been a wasteland of competitive and interesting House races. But with a handful of vulnerable Republican incumbents, a bipartisan group of retiring congressmen, and one congressman running for Senate, the Lone Star State is guaranteed to send a fresh crop…

Candidate Conversation - Sapan Shah (R)

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December 15, 2017 · 2:27 PM EST

Sapan Shah (R)

Candidate for Illinois 10th District 

Interview Date: Dec. 5, 2017

Date of Birth: March 10, 1980; Waukegan, Ill. 

Education: Case Western Reserve Univ. (Bachelor’s 2000, Law School 2003, Medical School 2006)

Elected Office: None; First run for office

Current Outlook: This marks…

Candidate Conversation - Leslie Cockburn (D)

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December 15, 2017 · 2:26 PM EST

Leslie Cockburn (D)

Candidate for Virginia’s 5th District

Interview Date: Nov. 9, 2017

Date of Birth: Sept. 2, 1952; San Mateo, Calif.

Education: Yale (1974); Univ. of London (Masters)

Elected Office: None; First run for office

Current Outlook: Trump carried this central Virginia district…