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Seth McLaughlin

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

Articles by Seth McLaughlin

Huckabee, Santorum urge GOP not to go soft on social issues like gay marriage

The last two Republican winners of Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses say that the GOP will shoot itself in the foot if it softens its stance on social issues such as same-sex marriage — countering calls from others within the GOP ranks who say that is one way for the party to broaden its national appeal. Published April 1, 2013

Ashley Judd

Ashley Judd will not run for Senate in Kentucky

Actress Ashley Judd announced Wednesday she will not run for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky, ending hopes within some Democratic circles that her star power would give her a chance of knocking off Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the 2014 election. Published March 27, 2013

** FILE ** A Customs and Border Protection agent patrols by car along the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Ariz., in April 2010. (Associated Press)

Immigration agreement 'very close' in Congress; guest workers still a hurdle

Members of the “Gang of Eight” tasked with carving out a comprehensive immigration package said Wednesday that they hope to file a bill when they return to Washington from their Easter break, and suggested that they are on the verge of a deal between business and labor leaders on visas for low-skilled workers. Published March 27, 2013

**FILE** Former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds smiles Nov. 29, 2012, in Pierre, S.D., at a press conference where he announced he will run for the U.S. Senate in 2012. (Associated Press)

GOP infighting begins over S.D. Senate race

The head of the Senate Conservative Fund said Wednesday that the group will not support former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds in the race to replace retiring Sen. Tim Johnson, the Democrat who announced this week he will not seek re-election in 2014. Published March 27, 2013

Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz threaten hold on gun restrictions

Pushing back against the Obama administration's call for stricter gun control laws, Republican Sens. Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz are threatening to block any legislation they think tramples on the Second Amendment - marking the latest salvo from a trio of lawmakers who have been busy banding together to assert their vision on the direction of their party. Published March 26, 2013

Tim Johnson

S.D.’s Johnson not expected to run again in 2014

Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota plans to announce on Tuesday that he will not seek re-election in 2014, according to news reports — opening up a prime opportunity for Republicans to pick up a seat in a red state and cut into the Democratic majority in the Senate. Published March 25, 2013

Political parties struggle with gay marriage issue

Gay marriage goes to the Supreme Court this week, but it's already a major dividing line in the 2016 presidential primaries, where Democrats are scrambling to embrace it and Republicans are searching for a way to balance their traditional beliefs with a new focus on being a kinder, gentler party. Published March 24, 2013

**FILE** Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 7, 2013. (Associated Press)

Rand Paul maps quick path to balanced budget

Sen. Rand Paul formally rolled out his 2014 budget blueprint on Friday, offering a combination of tax and spending proposals that he said would balance the federal budget in five years without raising taxes. Published March 22, 2013

**FILE** A worker throws a piece of meat among cattle carcass scraps dropped into a truck at the Hallmark Meat Packing slaughterhouse in Chino, Calif., on Jan. 30, 2008. (Associated Press)

Senate votes to keep White House closed, slaughterhouses open

Senators voted Wednesday to make the first significant changes to the budget sequesters, shifting money to keep slaughterhouse inspectors on the job full time but refusing to rearrange money to reopen the White House for public tours. Published March 20, 2013

CPAC 2013: Marco Rubio, Rand Paul get a boost as conservatives endorse new generation

As the Republican Party ponders its future, this year's Conservative Political Action Conference showcased two men who could be its leader: Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who activists saw as the man who can unite their movement, and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has staked his claim to be the GOP's fighting heart. Published March 17, 2013

Ann Coulter (Associated Press) **FILE**

CPAC 2013: Ann Coulter slaps Christie with fat joke

Conservative commentator and author Ann Coulter used the recent "sequester" cuts to make a fat joke about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was not invited to the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference. Published March 16, 2013

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin leaves the stage carrying a 7-Eleven 'super big gulp' cup after speaking during the final day of the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference in Fort Washington, Md. on March 16, 2013. The drink was a reference to an effort in New York City to ban sodas and sugary drinks from being sold in containers larger than 16 ounces, an effort that was struck down recently by a state Supreme Court judge.
(T.J. Kirkpatrick/Special to The Washington Times)

CPAC 2013 FLASHBACK: Palin takes aim at Obama, Bloomberg and Rove

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the party's 2008 vice presidential nominee, blasted away at President Obama on Saturday with a flurry of verbal jabs and zingers that revved up the thousands gathered for the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference. Published March 16, 2013

Jeb Bush (R), former Governor of Florida, speaks during a dinner engagement at the Conservative Political Action Conference (C.P.A.C.) held at the Gaylord National Hotel, National Harbor, Md., Friday, March 15, 2013. (Andrew S. Geraci/The Washington Times)

CPAC 2013: Jeb Bush calls for more inclusive Republican Party

Looking to step out from his brother's shadow, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush reached out to the largest annual gathering of conservatives on Friday, telling the thousands in attendance that in order to rebound from the disappointment of November, Republicans "need to be the party of inclusion and acceptance." Published March 16, 2013

Former Massachusetts Gov. and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md. on March 15, 2013. (Andrew S. Geraci/The Washington Times)

CPAC 2013: Romney urges GOP to look to governors for guidance

Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, returned Friday to the political stage for the first time since his disappointing loss in the November election, urging conservatives to learn from the mistakes that he made on the campaign trail to take back the White House and Senate — and put conservative principles in place. Published March 15, 2013