Former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak becomes 25th notable Democratic candidate

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

June 24, 2019: On Sunday, former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Penn.) announced he is running for president, becoming the 25th notable Democratic candidate. Twenty-two Democratic candidates spoke at the South Carolina Democratic Convention Saturday.

There are three new candidates running since last week, including two Democrats (Sestak has not yet officially filed with the Federal Election Commission, so he’s not included). Six individuals are no longer filed as candidates with the FEC, including three Democrats. In total, 748 individuals are currently filed with the FEC to run for president.

Notable Quote of the Day

“A divided vote among black Democrats, who represent 60 percent of the primary electorate in this state [South Carolina], could profoundly transform the race, leading to a drawn-out and more brutal fight for the nomination. The race could go on well past South Carolina and Super Tuesday, which are just three days apart next year and will offer the best test of candidate strength with voters of color.” 

— Jonathan Martin and Astead W. Herndon, The New York Times


  • Twenty-two notable Democratic candidates (all but Steve Bullock and Mike Gravelspoke at the South Carolina Democratic Convention Saturday. This was a record-breaking number of presidential candidates speaking at the state party’s convention, The Greenville News reported.
  • Twenty candidates attended a forum hosted by Planned Parenthood Saturday. Eight candidates—Pete ButtigiegJulián CastroJohn HickenlooperAmy KlobucharBeto O’RourkeBernie SandersEric Swalwell, and Elizabeth Warrenparticipated in a National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) forum Friday.
  • Michael Bennet and a group of other senators introduced a bill called the Hunger-Free Summer for Kids Act of 2019 that would allow the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program to provide meals that can be eaten off-site and create an option to give parents $30 per child per summer month to buy eligible food items.
  • Joe Biden was endorsed by the Iowa Professional Fire Fighters union for the 2020 Iowa caucuses.
  • On ABC’s This Week SundayCory Booker said Trump has no strategy on Iran. Booker said that, if elected president, he would strengthen relationships with U.S. allies to denuclearize Iran.
  • Bullock campaigned in New Hampshire this weekend.
  • On Sunday, Buttigieg held a town hall in South Bend, Indiana, with police chief Scott Ruszkowski, where they responded to residents’ questions related to an officer-involved shooting that occurred June 16.
  • Castro referred to a Trump tweet saying he called off a military strike against Iran 10 minutes before it was set to happen, and to Trump delaying raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement over the weekend, as “bull**** politics.” Castro said Trump is “a political conman.”
  • John Delaney spoke about his candidacy on CBSN’s Red & Blue Friday.
  • Tulsi Gabbard discussed “ending wasteful regime change wars” as her priority on NBC’s Nightly News.
  • Kirsten Gillibrand and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Ak.) on Friday introduced a bill called the Summer Meals Act of 2019 that would expand eligibility for the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program and provide transportation for children to meal sites.
  • Related to an officer-involved shooting in South Bend, Indiana, Mike Gravel tweeted, “The media has given Buttigieg a pass on a lackluster record in South Bend that shows him to be more concerned about public acclaim than the lives of average people. Why the pass? Because he’s an articulate white kid with all the right credentials. His constituents know the truth.”
  • Kamala Harris on CBS’ Face the Nation criticized Trump’s approach to Iran and said the U.S. should re-enter the Iran nuclear deal. She also discussed tensions within the Democratic Party over whether to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump.
  • Hickenlooper said at Friday’s NALEO forum that people living in the country without legal permission should be given 10-year visas.
  • Jay Inslee is in Everglades Holiday Park in Florida today, where his campaign said he’ll make a major policy announcement.
  • Wayne Messam was interviewed on Caribbean Riddims, a South Florida radio show.
  • Seth Moulton criticized Trump’s Iran strategy. Moulton said if he were president, he would “respond to Iran by turning off the power in the grid in the southern part of the country where the Iranian missile system is based,” Roll Call reported.
  • Politico reported that O’Rourke hired Carmel Martin as his national policy director. Martin served as policy adviser to John Kerry’s and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns; she has also worked for the Department of Education and the Center for American Progress.
  • Tim Ryan on MSNBC’s Saturday Night Politics discussed the upcoming Democratic debate, the economy, and Iran. He criticized Trump for withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal.
  • Sanders said at Friday’s NALEO forum that his Medicare for All plan would include healthcare for people in the country without legal permission.
  • Joe Sestak announced he is running for president. In his announcement video, Sestak said, “We must convene the world for two primary objectives: Putting a brake on climate change and putting an end to an illiberal world order’s injustices.”
  • Warren published a post on Medium outlining her plan to ban private prisons and detention facilities.
  • New York Magazine published a profile of Marianne Williamson.
  • Andrew Yang talked about his support for a universal basic income and his opposition to private prisons and cash bail with Al Sharpton on MSNBC.


  • Donald Trump said Friday that he called off a military strike on Iran that he had approved Thursday night in response to a U.S. drone having been shot down in Iranian airspace last week. He cited concerns over casualties as the reason for calling off the strike. Saturday, Trump announced he would delay Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in 10 major cities for two weeks to give Congress more time to develop a solution.
  • Bill Weld spoke at the New Hampshire Free State Project’s Porcfest event and attended Portsmouth PRIDE events in New Hampshire Saturday.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: June 24, 2015

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) announced his candidacy for president, bringing the 2016 Republican primary field to 13 notable candidates.