As a state Senator, Democrat Jeff Van Drew keeps a photo of Ronald Reagan in his South Jersey office and has voted against several major liberal priorities - but he is still backed by national Democrats in one of the most important congressional races in the country. The move has chafed liberals, who say the party should back someone who will faithfully push progressive ideas. The June 5 primary features the kind of debate between moderates and liberals that has cleaved several Democratic races.
A prominent conservative group is taking aim at U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, a Pennsylvania Republican running in a key U.S. Senate race, over his support for a vast spending bill. In putting Barletta on its list of targets, Americans for Prosperity is pounding a Republican who is running an uphill challenge against U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) and counting on conservative groups to help his cause.
Powell, a retired general and former secretary of state, was honored at the National Constitution Center for completing a 12-year stint as chairman of the Eisenhower Fellowships, which bring mid-career professionals from overseas to spend several weeks in the United States working on projects, and send a handful of Americans abroad.
Until recently, few people saw U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta as a potential Senate candidate. Then Donald Trump happened. Now, Barletta - one of Trump's most vocal supporters - is the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, and he's trying to recreate the president's path to Republican victory in the state, discarding old methods that called for appealing to moderates in the Philadelphia suburbs.
Here are the key races and themes we'll be watching as Pennsylvania's primary election results come in Tuesday night. The election comes as Democrats eye the Keystone State as a critical piece of their hopes to win control of the U.S. House this fall, with the results tonight setting the stage for what could be some of the country's toughest congressional races.
The vast majority of Democratic candidates in the Philadelphia area won't say whether they would endorse Nancy Pelosi as their leader in the House. Several said they'd seek a change and only a few unequivocally said they would endorse Pelosi, including candidates running on fairly Democratic turf. The hesitation reflects the potency of GOP attacks, some Democrats' desire for new leadership, and the success some Democrats have had when distancing themselves from one of their party's longtime leaders.
Scores of candidates, mostly Democrats, are heading into the final weeks of unusually crowded primary contests in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The campaigns will set the stage for fall races critical to control of the U.S. House. Democrats see a chance to gain six or more House seats in the two states, a significant share of the 23 they need to take control of the chamber.
U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan resigned Friday, choosing to leave Congress months after it was revealed that he had secretly used taxpayer funds to settle a sexual harassment accusation. Meehan, who has denied any wrongdoing, said he would nonetheless pay back the $39,000 used for the settlement with a former aide.
Cory Booker went to Stanford as a star football recruit, but by the end of his time there was pushed off the team. "It was like the first time in my life I ever felt like I failed at something," the U.S. Senator from New Jersey says now. Here’s what he learned, and what stuck with him as he eyes a potential 2020 presidential run.
U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (R., Pa.) will leave office in May, hastening his planned departure from Congress. Dent, one of Congress' leading centrist voices, had already said he was not seeking reelection this year. The Allentown congressman represents a moderate district that is already shaping up as a fierce battleground.
For some, House Speaker Paul Ryan's decision not to seek reelection was the strongest signal yet that Republicans are in serious trouble heading into November's mid-term races, and struggling in the choppy waters. Ryan said his decision was based on a desire to spend more time with family, and fellow Republicans said his departure would not affect other races.
U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, the leading Republican vying to challenge Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.), raised $1.26 million for his campaign fund. It was a significant increase over his previous fund-raising, which had drawn some criticism from fellow Republicans for being too weak.
Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) has will report having more than $10 million in his reelection fund in upcoming filings, the most any Senate candidate in Pennsylvania has ever reported in such reports, according to his campaign. The amount highlights one sign of Casey's political strength and a likely gap between himself and his most-likely Republican challenger, U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta.
Rep. Ryan Costello filed to remove his name from the May primary ballot, likely short-circuiting any chance for Republican leadership to later name a replacement candidate for this fall's election. Costello had already said he would not seek reelection, but had still filed petitions to appear on the primary ballot - which could have opened the door to the GOP picking a replacement candidate at a later date.
A string of Republicans in the Philadelphia area have turned away from tough congressional contests, leaving Democrats with a cluster of opportunities to net a chunk of the House seats they need to gain control of the chamber this fall. The latest example came when Rep. Ryan Costello, of Chester County, decided he would not seek reelection, bowing out of a contest that had once been heralded as a national bellwether for control of the House.
U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello, a Republican from Chester County, announced he won't seek reelection, citing frustration with partisan divisions as well as new congressional lines that made his reelection campaign even tougher. His decision opens the door for Democrats to capture the moderate Sixth District.
Before President Trump attacked him on Twitter Tuesday, former vice president Joe Biden had been crossing the country and much of Pennsylvania as Democrats' informal liaison to white working class who have largely abandoned them. In the process, Biden has stirred speculation that he is angling for a showdown with Trump in 2020.
The U.S. Senate confirmed William McSwain as the new U.S. attorney in Philadelphia, making him the face of federal law enforcement in the region. McSwain is a former prosecutor who more recently worked at the Center City law firm Drinker, Biddle & Reath. The 48CHECK-year-old nominee will lead an office of 130 lawyers that handles federal prosecutions and civil matters in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Delaware, Chester, Berks, Bucks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton Counties. He was recommended by Pennsylvania Sens. Pat Toomey, a Republican, and Bob Casey, a Democrat, and nomina
I cover national politics and policy from Washington D.C., with a focus on Pennsylvania and New Jersey lawmakers and issues.