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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

With his wife Elaine Chao, left, looking on, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell addresses his supporters following his victory in the republican primary, Tuesday, May 20, 2014, at the Mariott Louisville East in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

McConnell wins Kentucky Senate primary in landslide

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell promised to "crush" the tea party in this primary election season, and the Kentucky Republican did his part Tuesday night by winning a landslide primary victory over businessman Matt Bevin — the latest victory for the Republican establishment. Published May 20, 2014

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell won a primary victory over businessman Matt Bevin.  (AP Photo/Daily News, Miranda Pederson)

GA, KY primaries key to GOP control of Senate

Republicans on Tuesday will cast votes in the two states where they are most vulnerable heading into November's elections — Georgia and Kentucky — where primaries could leave the GOP champions bruised as they prepare to face strong female Democrats. Published May 19, 2014

**FILE** Rep. Michael K. Simpson, Idaho Republican (Associated Press)

Outside interests spend big in Idaho Republican primary

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce looks to keep its perfect primary record intact on Tuesday when Idaho voters head to the polls to decide between GOP establishment favorite Rep. Michael K. Simpson or tea party-backed political novice Bryan Smith. Published May 18, 2014

Social conservatives wary of RNC convention in Las Vegas

Social conservatives say the Republican Party should deny Las Vegas's bid to host its 2016 presidential convention after the Nevada Republican Party erased from its platform the pro-life and traditional-marriage language. Published May 18, 2014

Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, spoke out Tuesday in favor of gradually raising the retirement age, which currently sits at 67, and transitioning Medicare to a voucher system. (associated press)

Sen. Marco Rubio takes on entitlement reform

Sen. Marco Rubio said Tuesday that Congress has a responsibility to tackle entitlement reform sooner rather than later, making him the latest of the likely 2016 Republican presidential contenders to say it is time for the party to address the thorny subject head-on. Published May 13, 2014

** FILE ** This Jan. 8, 2014, file photo shows Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaking on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Sen. Marco Rubio calls former Gov. Charlie Crist a 'phony'

Looking to help raise money for the Florida GOP, Sen. Marco Rubio is labeling former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who has jumped between parties and is running again for the governor's mansion, as a "phony." Published May 13, 2014

Rep. Raul Labrador, Idaho Republican, said the GOP will loosen penalties on illegal immigrants if Democrats will increase visas for high-tech workers. (Associated Press)

Republicans look to loosen penalties on illegal immigrants

Republican Rep. Raul Labrador on Thursday offered a potential immigration deal to the White House, saying the GOP would agree to loosen penalties on illegal immigrants if President Obama would agree to increase visas for foreigners who work in high-tech fields. Published May 8, 2014

House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, joined at right by Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., responds to a point from Democrats on the panel as lawmakers work on the creation of a special select committee to investigate the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the ambassador and three other Americans, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, May 7, 2014. House Republicans on Wednesday moved toward an election-year special investigation of the deadly attack, brushing aside Democratic concerns over the panel's scope and composition. The Obama administration, meanwhile, accused Republicans of "political motivation" after they issued a fundraising email linked to the Benghazi probe. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House votes to create special panel for Benghazi investigation

Saying they were tired of administration stonewalling, House Republicans voted Thursday to create a select committee to investigate the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi — but drew only scant support from Democrats who rallied around President Obama and called the probe a partisan inquisition. Published May 8, 2014

** FILE ** Rep. Steve King, Iowa Republican (Associated Press)

Rep. Steve King: Ambassador Stephens' autopsy should be made public

Rep. Steve King said Thursday that he hopes the public gets a glimpse of the autopsy report for J. Christopher Stephens, the late U.S. Ambassador to Libya, during the select committee investigation into the attacks on diplomatic posts in Benghazi. Published May 8, 2014

** FILE ** Steven LaTourette (Associated Press)

GOP establishment trumps tea party in early primaries

The GOP establishment has rattled off a series of victories in the opening rounds of the 2014 primary season, sending a strong reminder of the power its web of fundraisers, donors and kingmakers wield at the ballot box and leaving the tea party looking for its first signature win of the election year. Published May 7, 2014

Thom Tillis speaks to supporters at a election night rally in Charlotte, N.C., after winning the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate Tuesday, May 6, 2014.   Tillis, the Republican establishment’s favored son in North Carolina, won the state’s Senate nomination by running as a proud conservative who’s not terribly different from his tea party and Christian-right opponents.  (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

GOP establishment defeats tea partyers in Ohio, N.C. and Indiana primaries

In matchups of the Republican establishment versus tea party challengers, House Speaker John A. Boehner won his GOP primary race Tuesday night and North Carolina state House Speaker Thom Tillis came out on top in the U.S. Senate primary race — and won the 40 percent of the vote required to avoid a July run-off election. Published May 6, 2014

Rep. Paul Broun. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Republican Senate candidates stake out difficult immigration stances

While most of the Republicans testing the 2016 presidential waters are in favor of a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, the GOP's Senate candidates are generally focusing on the enforcement side, calling for a crackdown — a striking difference that underscores just how difficult the issue is for the party. Published May 5, 2014

Republican senatorial candidate Thom Tillis, front-runner in North Carolina's primary, may face a runoff election in July that could impede his Senate bid. (Associated Press)

North Carolina Republican primary could hamper Senate hopes

The biggest question looming over North Carolina's GOP Senate primary on Tuesday is whether state House Speaker Thom Tillis can gain enough support to win the nomination outright and shift all of his attention to Sen. Kay Hagan, one of the more vulnerable Democrats in the midterm elections. Published May 5, 2014

Tilting Right? Republicans are gearing up for efforts to control both chambers of the Capitol after the November midterm elections. The outcome may become more clear after Senate primary contests in several swing states next month. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Republican hopes for Senate could hinge on winners of primaries

The Republican primary season kicks into high gear next month with a series of high-profile Senate contests that will help determine whether the GOP can take control of the upper chamber from Democrats in the midterm elections. Published April 29, 2014

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks during an event to announce the expansion of Family Care, a state-administered program that provides long-term care to disabled and elderly residents under Medicaid during an event at Options for Independent Living in Green Bay Monday, April 21, 2014.  (AP Photo/Press-Gazette Media, Jim Matthews)

Federal judge strikes down Wisconsin's voter ID law

A federal judge reopened the voter identification debate Tuesday when he struck down a new Wisconsin law, saying it discriminated against blacks and Hispanics, and renewing doubts about the Republican push for stricter voting laws across the country. Published April 29, 2014

President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, are on the first green as they play golf at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.,  Saturday, June 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

John Boehner foe canned over 'electile dysfunction' ad

"Signs of electile dysfunction may include extreme skin discoloration, the inability to punch oneself out of a wet paper bag, or maintain a spine in the face of liberal opposition... smoking, and golf," a narrator says. "If you have a Boehner lasting longer than 23 years, seek immediate medical attention." Published April 28, 2014

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks at the leadership forum at the National Rifle Association's annual convention Friday, April 25, 2014, in Indianapolis. Several potential Republican contenders for president planned on courting gun-rights supporters at the convention Friday. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

Mitch McConnell vows to stand with gun owners

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged to be an advocate for gun owners on Capitol Hill if Republicans capture the Senate in the fall election and he becomes the next majority. Published April 25, 2014