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Hall Faces Runoff in TX-04; Ernst, Clovis Get Outside Air Support in IA SEN; Sullivan Back Up in AK Hall Faces Runoff in TX-04; Ernst, Clovis Get Outside Air Support in I...

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Hall Faces Runoff in TX-04; Ernst, Clovis Get Outside Air Support in IA SEN; Sullivan Back Up in AK

Wake-Up Call! is Hotline's daily morning briefing on campaigns and elections. Click here to subscribe.


  • In TX-04, after "months of campaigning, voters will decide Tuesday whether to grant longtime" Rep. Ralph Hall (R) "a farewell term or to hand the district to a challenger half his age," former U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe (R). "For a 91-year-old congressman who still runs two miles each day, this has been the toughest race of a long career. ... Ratcliffe has tried to turn Hall's long tenure into his biggest weakness. His campaign called for 'new leadership,' and he tried to draw a contrast by promising to leave office after eight years." (Dallas Morning News)
  • State Sen. Dan Patrick (R) "appears poised to dislodge" Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) "in Tuesday's Republican runoff, and the reason is clear to tea party activists, campaign consultants and political scientists. Patrick, they say, jumped out front for good by appealing to staunchly conservative Republican voters on their top issue: illegal immigration." (Dallas Morning News)
  • In AK SEN, former Attorney General Dan Sullivan (R) released a new TV ad highlighting his efforts to create new energy sources as the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. (Hotline reporting)
  • In IA SEN, Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-FL) leadership PAC, Reclaim America, "is doing a $121,000 statewide ad buy to air a 30-second spot that describes" state Sen. Joni Ernst (R) "as 'exceptional.'" (Des Moines Register) Senate Conservatives Action also launched a TV ad casting Ernst as "the conservative choice" in the race. The group is spending 108,590 to air the spot. (release)
  • Also in IA SEN, Citizens United Political Victory Fund released a new TV ad featuring former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), who calls radio talk show host Sam Clovis (R) "a full-spectrum conservative." The spot, which is backed by a $50,000 buy, will air from May 27 through June 3 on cable TV. (release)
  • Ernst raised $413,000 from April 1-May 14 and had $352,000 cash on hand, while businessman Mark Jacobs (R) raised $1.2 million, including a $1.1 million personal loan, and had $294,000 cash on hand. Clovis raised $28,500 during the same period and had $24,000 cash on hand. (Hotline reporting) Former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker (R) raised $22,000 and had $160,000 cash on hand. (Globe Gazette)
  • In MN SEN, businessman Mike McFadden (R) "has not voted in a primary election for the past 20 years. According to state voter records, McFadden has cast ballots only in general elections." McFadden spokesman Tom Erickson: "Republican primaries in Minnesota generally aren't competitive, so like most Minnesotans, Mike hasn't had a reason to vote in them." (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
  • In MS SEN, Sen. Thad Cochran (R) is airing a TV ad tying Clayton Kelly, "who has admitted to taking photos of the senator's wife in her nursing home bed and now faces felony charges," to state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R). (Jackson Clarion-Ledger)
  • Also in MS SEN, Cochran raised $770,000 from April 1-May 14 and had $681,000 cash on hand, while McDaniel raised $303,000 and had $238,000 cash on hand. (Hotline reporting)
  • In MT SEN, Rep. Steve Daines (R) released a new TV ad attacking Sen. John Walsh's (D) record as the head of the Montana Department of Military Affairs. (release)
  • In MI-13, Rep. John Conyers's (D) "on-again, off-again roller-coaster ride for the Aug. 5 ballot took a new twist Friday when U.S. District Judge Matthew Leitman put the 85-year-old congressman back on the ballot." (Detroit Free Press)
  • In NJ-03, Patriot Majority USA "has spent more than $110,000 on direct mail, online and television advertising. ... Most of the ads attack" former Randolph Mayor Tom MacArthur (R). (Newark Star-Ledger)
  • In NY-11, Rep. Michael Grimm's (R) "campaign manager has quit because the indicted pol can't pay him." (New York Daily News)
  • In FL GOV, Gov. Rick Scott (R) "is already approaching $10 million in spending on TV ads aired or bought since mid-March — an unheard-of sum so early in a campaign." Former Gov. Charlie Crist (D) "t has yet to spend a dime on TV." (Miami Herald)
  • In NM GOV, Attorney General Gary King (D) is out with his first TV ad, which "stresses his experience as a two-term attorney general, describing him as the 'proven candidate for governor.'" (AP)
  • In RI GOV, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung (R) launched his first TV ad, which touts his record as a "proven reformer." (release)
  • In WI GOV, Americans for Prosperity "has reserved more than $550,000 worth of TV air time and another $100,000 worth of radio air time. ... The ad buy lasts from May 27 through June 16." (Politico)


  • In NM GOV, a new Albuquerque Journal poll of LVs, conducted by Research & Polling Inc. from May 20-22, shows King leading the Democratic primary with 22%, compared to 16% for both former Department of Agriculture official Lawrence Rael (D) and Fast Company co-founder Alan Webber (D), 12% for state Sen. Howie Morales (D) and 5% for state Sen. Linda Lopez (D). 29% said they were undecided. (Albuquerque Journal)


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day


• Incumbents have a perfect record in congressional primaries so far this year (though Hall has a tough primary), but one officeholder in Texas's state elections looks set to go down hard tonight. Lt. Gov. Dewhurst is widely expected to lose his bid for renomination to a conservative state senator Tuesday, a second primary defeat in two years for the old-school pol. Adding another loss on top of his defeat at the hands of Ted Cruz in 2012 might just make Dewhurst the single biggest victim of the tea party era. -- Scott Bland

• Tonight's runoff between Hall and Ratcliffe doesn't fit neatly into the frequently referenced battle between the Republican establishment and the tea party. Ratcliffe is backed by the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Club For Growth, but Hall has received endorsements from Sen. Ted Cruz and former Rep. Ron Paul. And Ratcliffe hasn't spent much time arguing that Hall isn't conservative enough -- just that it's time for a change. A Ratcliffe win tonight may not be as much of a win for the tea party, or a loss for the establishment, as it would be a win for self-funders and a loss for 91-year-olds. -- Jack Fitzpatrick

• We've got our latest example of Democrats trying to meddle in a GOP primary in NJ-03. Patriot Majority USA's mailers ostensibly hit MacArthur and Longean, but the charges -- that MacArthur raised taxes and that the "conservative" Lonegan wants to eliminate the Education Department and criminalize abortion -- look pretty obviously designed to draw a contrast for GOP primary voters. -- Scott Bland


    "A Maine woman is finally celebrating her college graduation more than 75 years after she left school. Jessie White was supposed to graduate from Beal College ... in 1939, but a $5 transcript fee kept her from receiving her degree." (ABC News)


  • With California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) "expected to romp to reelection this year against little-known rivals, many donors who gave Republican candidates more than $37 million in the last gubernatorial contest are now keeping their hands in their pockets. But those who are writing checks are largely giving them to ... Brown. The governor has received nearly $2 million ... from donors who fueled" 2010 CA GOV candidates Meg Whitman's (R) and Steve Poizner's (R) bids. GOP donor Mark Chapin Johnson on former Treasury Department official Neel Kashkari (R): "I have a better chance of being pope than he has of being governor." (Los Angeles Times)
  • "In La., Landrieu tests power of clout" (Washington Post)
  • The RNC "on Friday sued the" FEC "for the ability to raise unlimited cash from individual donors. The central committee, chairman Reince Priebus and Louisiana Republicans filed a joint lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia asking for permission to set up an independent account that could raise and spend potentially enormous sums of money to help federal candidates." (AP)
  • "Political Ad Man Finds the Personal in Democratic Hopefuls" (New York Times)
  • A faction of Republicans including" Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) "is agitating for party leaders to unveil a policy manifesto in the midterm elections, detailing for voters what the GOP would attempt with a Senate majority its members are increasingly confident they'll achieve. Advocates of the strategy, which has triggered a closed-door debate in recent weeks among the party's current 45 senators, say it would serve as a firm rejoinder to Democrats casting the GOP as the 'party of no.'" (Politico)
  • "At the outset of the midterm-election season," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell "vowed to oppose all tea-party candidates, telling the New York Times in March that 'we are going to crush them everywhere'; now, McConnell will attend a Washington, D.C., fundraiser for" NE SEN nominee Ben Sasse (R). (National Review)
  • "Split-ticket voting is quite rare for top offices like president and senator. But those who do choose candidates from different parties on Election Day have at least one thing in common: They know less about politics than people who vote the straight party line." (New York Times)
  • Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) "is the latest Democratic senator to come out for a potential" former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) "presidential candidacy. Blumenthal will make a 'special announcement' at a June 6 fundraiser for the super PAC Ready for Hillary in Westport, Conn." (National Journal)
  • Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) "is coming under fire from veterans' organizations after he wrote 'An Open Letter to American Veterans,' in which he was critical of several veterans groups for not being critical enough of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki." (WNCT-TV)
  • "Hillary Clinton Spends A Day As Local Notable In Westchester" (BuzzFeed)
  • "Sensing trouble ahead for Wisconsin's gay marriage ban," Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen (R) "took the unusual step Friday of asking a federal judge to immediately block her own decision if she does strike down the ban. Also Friday," Gov. Scott Walker (R) "backed away from his previous support for the state ban on gay marriage passed in 2006, saying he didn't know if it violated the U.S. Constitution, would still be approved by voters today or would amount to a big change for the state's values and economy if overturned." (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
  • Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) "on Friday signed a bill into law that will increase the state's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by January 2018." (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)
  • "Piece of advice about that BFD stuff: Assume every microphone is on. ... Thank God my mother was gone or I'd have been one dead vice president." -- Vice President Biden, speaking at the Road 2 Recovery Memorial Challenge (CNN)


  • Labor Secretary Thomas Perez participates in a live Facebook Q&A beginning at 11 a.m. on the minimum wage and equal pay.
  • The White House hosts its 2014 Science Fair. President Obama delivers remarks. (White House, 11:45 a.m.)
  • The House and Senate both meet at noon for pro forma sessions.
  • The Nationals take on the Marlins. (Nationals Park, 7:05 p.m.)
  • Biden attends a fundraiser for Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) in Denver at 8:30 p.m. ET.
  • Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!


  • The current senators from Maine, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming have at some point in their careers run against each other.
  • No one answered correctly. Here's today's Swizzle Challenge: "Name the only father-son pair to have served simultaneously in the Senate and the states they represented." The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) "spent part of his Memorial Day doubling as a street musician in downtown Annapolis. As captured by photos on Twitter, O'Malley played a six-string banjo at City Dock on Monday night, wearing a Baltimore Ravens t-shirt, cargo shorts and flip flops. He appeared to accept tips in his open banjo case." (Washington Post)



"Is It Time to Take Martin O'Malley Seriously?" (National Journal)

Adam Wollner, Editor

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