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Seth McLaughlin

Seth McLaughlin, a reporter on the Politics Desk, can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com. Follow him on Twitter: @SethMcLaughlin1

Articles by Seth McLaughlin

U Street watering hole celebrates Phelps death

The death of the Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps Sr. has spurred a new sales pitch at a local watering hole on historic U Street in the nation's capital. Published March 20, 2014

Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, a Republican, is exploring the possibility of running for senate in his new home state of New Hampshire. The seat is currently occupied by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat. (Associated press)

Brown's bid for New Hampshire's U.S. Senate seat a win-win for GOP

Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown's bid for a Senate seat in neighboring New Hampshire is shaping up to be a win-win for the GOP — giving the party a chance to unseat first-term Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and, at the same time, forcing Democrats to spend money defending her. Published March 19, 2014

** FILE ** In this Jan. 24, 2014, file photo, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus is seen at the RNC winter meeting in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Reince Priebus urges GOP to tone down anti-immigrant rhetoric

Republican Party chief Reince Priebus said Tuesday that the GOP can make big gains among Hispanic voters even if it doesn’t support legalizing illegal immigrants, as long as the party finds better messengers and tones down anti-immigrant rhetoric. Published March 18, 2014

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has received credit for making changes necessary to help the GOP win a special congressional election in Florida last week. (Associated Press)

A year after RNC postmortem: GOP outreach advances, but key voters still distant

Republican officials said Monday that they have improved their nuts-and-bolts campaign and are making big strides in voter outreach — but there is little evidence that it is making a difference in reaching the minorities, women and young voters who are key to winning national elections. Published March 17, 2014

Midland University president and Republican Senate candidate Ben Sasse is pictured on campus in this photo from June 5, 2013, in Fremont, Neb. The Senate Conservatives Fund, a national conservative group, has endorsed Sasse in Nebraska's U.S. Senate race on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, setting him up as the race's tea party candidate. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

No clear-cut leader in Nebraska Republican primary

Tea party and conservative groups have been able to pick a clear favorite in most of this year's Senate GOP primaries — but that's not the case in Nebraska, where four candidates, all claiming conservative bragging rights, are running. Published March 16, 2014

Republican David W. Jolly won Tuesday in a Florida congressional race in an election emblematic of the new reality of money in politics. (Associated Press)

Florida election emblematic of new reality of money

So much outside money poured into this week's special election in Florida that the battle in the Tampa-area district felt more like a fight for the presidency than a congressional race. Published March 12, 2014

Iowa Republican Party chairman A.J. Spiker.

Former Iowa GOP chief takes post with Rand Paul PAC

The former head of the Iowa Republican Party has taken a job with Sen. Rand Paul's political action committee — providing more evidence that the Kentucky Republican is laying the foundation for a 2016 presidential bid. Published March 10, 2014

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held at the Gaylord Hotel, National Harbor, Md., Friday, March 7, 2014. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

CPAC 2014: Straw poll signals Paul-Cruz showdown for conservative voters

The one-two finish of Rand Paul and Ted Cruz in The Washington Times/CPAC straw poll over the weekend cemented their rock star status among grass-roots activists — and signaled that the two tea party favorites are destined for a showdown over which senator will carry the conservative flag in the contest for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. Published March 9, 2014

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. speaks at the Conservative Political Action Committee annual conference in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, March 6, 2014. Ryan said GOP leaders and conservative activists should "give each other the benefit of the doubt" in the debate over the party's future. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Poll shows GOP discontent, Congress frustration

Last week's Conservative Political Action Conference did little to dispel the notion of a deep rift between grass-roots activists and national GOP leaders, with CPAC's three-day straw poll showing frustration with Congress and a growing discontent with "establishment" presidential candidates. Published March 9, 2014

** FILE ** Former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin addresses the Conservative Political Action Committee annual conference in National Harbor, Md., Saturday, March 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Palin dings Obama, calls for conservative reinforcements in Washington

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin called on conservatives Saturday to strengthen their limited government ranks in the midterm election - even if it means replacing GOP lawmakers that have been reluctant to take a more aggressive stance against the Obama administration. Published March 8, 2014

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks at the Conservative Political Action Committee annual conference in National Harbor, Md., Friday, March 7, 2014. Friday marks the second day of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, which brings together prospective presidential candidates, conservative opinion leaders and tea party activists from coast to coast. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Rand Paul urges conservatives to fight with him for liberty

Sen. Rand Paul urged the thousands that turned out for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to imagine electing a "friend of liberty" to the White House who will defend the Constitution and push back against a federal government that is trampling over their individual rights. Published March 7, 2014

Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times

Despite GOP push on immigration, doubts rampant

Despite a year of pressure from top Republican leaders saying it's politically necessary for the party to pass an immigration bill, rank-and-file conservatives at CPAC are unconvinced, saying they want their party focus to be on border security rather than working with Democrats to legalize illegal immigrants. Published March 6, 2014