Amee LaTour

Amee LaTour is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at

Rep. Paul Cook (R) won’t seek re-election

Rep. Paul Cook (R-Calif.) announced Tuesday that he would not seek re-election to the U.S. House in 2020 and will instead run for the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. Cook was first elected to represent California’s 8th Congressional District in 2012, and he won re-election in 2018 by 20 percentage points.
In a statement announcing his retirement, he said, “Serving in Congress has been an absolute honor, and I’m proud of my numerous victories amid a tough partisan atmosphere. … Our high desert needs continued strong leadership at the county level, and I pledge to fight for this area with the same dedication and conviction I’ve demonstrated my entire career.”
Cook is the 16th Republican member of the U.S. House to announce he would not be seeking re-election in 2020. There are also four Democratic members of the U.S. House to announce 2020 retirements so far.
Currently, Democrats hold a 235-199 majority in the U.S. House. There is also one independent member. In November 2020, all 435 seats will be up for election. Ballotpedia has identified 73 U.S. House races as general election battlegrounds. Of the 73 seats, 43 are held by Democrats and 30 are held by Republicans heading into the election.

Cooper defeats incumbent Briley in Nashville mayoral runoff

At-Large Metro Councilmember John Cooper defeated incumbent Mayor David Briley in the runoff election for Nashville mayor Thursday. Briley conceded the race after the results of early voting showed that, of around 49,000 votes, Cooper received 70 percent to Briley’s 30 percent.

Briley was the first mayor of Nashville’s Metro government (formed in 1963) to lose a re-election bid. He assumed the office upon the resignation of Mayor Megan Barry in March 2018 and won a special election in May 2018 to complete Barry’s term.

Cooper emphasized shifting focus to neighborhoods and away from economic incentives for downtown projects in his campaign. He criticized Briley’s plan to fund affordable housing through municipal bond-borrowing. Cooper said the city needs to use it surpluses more efficiently as opposed to raising property taxes.

Briley campaigned on his record since becoming mayor, saying his accomplishments included not raising property taxes, establishing a college scholarship program for public school graduates, and a $500 million public investment in affordable housing over a decade.

Briley said he had fought for progressive causes and that Cooper had a conservative approach, while Cooper called his own approach effective progressivism. Both Briley and Cooper identify as Democrats.

Among the 100 largest cities by population in the U.S., 62 mayors are Democrats, 30 are Republicans, four are independents, and four are nonpartisan. Though most mayoral elections in the 100 largest cities are nonpartisan, most officeholders are affiliated with a political party.

Nashville was the 25th-largest city in the U.S. as of 2013, according to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates.

Dan Bishop (R) wins NC-09 special election

State Sen. Dan Bishop (R) defeated Dan McCready (D), Jeff Scott (L), and Allen Smith (G) in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District special election on September 10, 2019. Bishop received 50.8% of the vote to McCready’s 48.6% with 99% of precincts reporting, in addition to early voting results. The state board of elections called the special election following allegations of absentee ballot fraud in the 2018 race.
As of September 6, the special election had seen more than $10.7 million in satellite spending, the second-highest total for a U.S. House special election (Georgia’s 6th Congressional District special election in 2017 saw $27 million spent by satellite groups). McCready’s campaign raised $5 million to Bishop’s $2 million through August 21.
Throughout the race, Bishop highlighted his support for President Donald Trump (R), who endorsed and campaigned for Bishop, and sought to connect McCready to Democrats in Congress such as Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who Bishop called radical socialists. Bishop described himself as a “pro-life, pro-gun, pro-wall” conservative.
McCready emphasized his plan to lower prescription drug prices and criticized Bishop’s voting record on the issue. McCready said he would “always put country over party” and pursue bipartisan legislation on healthcare, taxes, and education. He was endorsed by former Vice President Joe Biden (D).
Trump won the 9th District by 12 percentage points in 2016. In the uncertified results of the 2018 House race, Republican candidate Mark Harris led McCready by 905 votes.

Nashville to elect mayor on September 12

The runoff election for mayor of Nashville, Tennessee, takes place September 12. Incumbent Mayor David Briley and At-large Metro Councilmember John Cooper advanced from the August 1 general election, with Cooper receiving 35 percent of the vote to Briley’s 25 percent. Early voting for the runoff runs from August 23 through September 7.
A mayor of Nashville’s Metro government (formed in 1963) has never lost a re-election bid. Briley was the first incumbent to not receive the highest share of the vote in a general election. Briley assumed the office upon the resignation of Mayor Megan Barry in March 2018. He won the special election on May 24, 2018, to complete Barry’s term.
Briley has campaigned on what he says are his progressive credentials and his accomplishments since taking office in 2018, including an affordable housing plan and a new scholarship fund. He has criticized Cooper as being conservative and for sponsoring a budget in the council that Briley says harmed the city.
Cooper has emphasized fiscal stewardship in his campaign, criticizing Briley’s support for funding affordable housing with municipal bonds and privatizing the city’s parking meters. He says the city needs to invest more in neighborhoods instead of downtown and has called his focus on the city’s finances effective progressivism.
Nashville was the 25th largest city in the U.S. as of 2013. Among the 100 largest cities, there are 62 Democratic mayors, 30 Republicans, four independents, and four nonpartisans. Briley is a Democrat. Cooper’s affiliation is unknown.

Klobuchar releases climate plan

 Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

September 3, 2019: Amy Klobuchar released a climate plan. Seven Democratic candidates attended Labor Day picnics in Iowa and Illinois.

Eight new candidates filed with the FEC since last week, including two Democrats, one Libertarian, and one Green. In total, 840 individuals are currently filed with the FEC to run for president.

Which of the following presidential candidates did not carry any state by a margin larger than 90%?

Notable Quote of the Day

“[S]ince no incumbent president has been denied his party’s nomination for re-election since 1852, assessing the merits of a president’s primary opponent is a subjective venture. It is, however, clear that any serious candidate challenging a sitting president position themselves as ideologically more doctrinaire than the incumbent. Ronald Reagan’s strike at Gerald Ford in 1976, Ted Kennedy’s 1980 bid against Jimmy Carter, Pat Buchanan’s 1992 challenge to George H.W. Bush all followed this model. And that explains why former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld’s primary challenge has generated almost no traction, whereas former Reps. Joe Walsh and former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford might do so.”

 – Noah Rothman, associate editor of Commentary magazine


  • Michael BennetJoe BidenSteve BullockPete Buttigieg, and Amy Klobuchar attended the Hawkeye Area Labor Council Labor Day Picnic in Iowa. Bennet, Klobuchar, Tulsi Gabbard, and Marianne Williamson attended the Salute To Labor Chicken Fry Picnic held by the Rock Island County Democratic Party in Illinois.
  • Joe Biden said he “wasn’t trying to mislead anybody” in response to a Washington Post piece that said the details of a story he told on the campaign trail about a Navy captain who refused a Silver Star medal were not accurate. Biden said, “[T]he story was that he refused the medal because the fella he tried to save — and risked his life saving — died. That’s the beginning, middle and end. The rest of you guys can take it and do what you want with it.”
  • Michael Bennet told a crowd in Aspen, Colorado, Friday that he would remain in the race after not qualifying for the third primary debate.
  • Bill de Blasio appeared on WMUR’s “Conversation with the Candidate” series in New Hampshire.
  • Cory Booker published a piece in Time magazine titled, “A Waitress I Knew Made $2.13 an Hour. I Wish She Lived to Get a Fair Shake in This Economy,” in which he called for making it easier to join a union, reinvigorating antitrust agencies, and prioritizing long-term investments in workers over short-term returns to investors.
  • Bullock and Gabbard marched in the Dubuque, Iowa, Labor Day Parade Monday.
  • Buttigieg‘s campaign manager Mike Schmuhl said, “Labor Day for us is really going to be a turning point. … It’s when we’ll flip the switch.” Schmuhl said the campaign will have 100 staffers in Iowa by the end of September.
  • Julián Castro and Bernie Sanders attended a forum as part of the Islamic Society of North America’s annual convention in Houston, Texas, on Saturday.
  • John Delaney appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews on MSNBC Friday, where he discussed his campaign strategy and said Iowa’s economy is being destroyed by the trade war.
  • Kamala Harris published a piece in The Denver Post titled, “Colorado teachers’ pay is unacceptably low. Here’s how I’ll fix it,” in which she proposed increasing teacher pay with a mix of federal and state funding and recruiting diverse teachers. 
  • Klobuchar released a climate plan Sunday, including the goals of 100% net zero emissions by 2050, participating in the Paris Climate Agreement, and restoring the Clean Power Plan. 
  • Wayne Messam helped fill sandbags in Miramar, Florida, ahead of Hurricane Dorian.
  • Beto O’Rourke responded to a shooting in Midland-Odessa, by saying, “We don’t know how many have been killed. We don’t know the motivation. But here’s what we do know: This is f***** up.” His campaign began selling T-Shirts featuring the final phrase, saying proceeds would go to Moms Demand Action and March for Our Lives.
  • Tim Ryan campaigned in Canfield, Ohio, on Saturday, where he told WFMJ there was “no shot” he would drop out of the race after not qualifying for the third primary debate.
  • Joe Sestak and Gabbard spoke at a Western Iowa Labor Federation picnic Sunday.
  • Tom Steyer said on MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari that he would continue running after not qualifying for the third primary debate and criticized the Democratic National Committee for rejecting Iowa’s proposed virtual caucus.
  • Politico reported that aides to three presidential candidates said they were increasing opposition research against Elizabeth Warren ahead of the third primary debate.
  • Marianne Williamson published a piece in The Washington Post titled, “America doesn’t just have a gun crisis. It has a culture crisis,” in which she says the country has a culture of violence and calls for a U.S. Department of Peace.
  • Axios published a piece saying that, while Andrew Yang ranks 6th in polling average among Democratic presidential candidates, he is 13th in cable news mentions and 14th in “articles written about.”


  • Donald Trump‘s campaign flew planes with campaign banners over beaches and riverfronts in Detroit, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Erie, and Virginia Beach on Labor Day.
  • Joe Walsh was on WTMJ’s Wisconsin’s Weekend Morning News to discuss why he’s running in the Republican primary. He talked about things he thinks Trump has done right and wrong.
  • Bill Weld campaigned in New Hampshire, making a stop at the Rotary Club of Manchester’s Cruising Downtown classic car event Saturday.

On the Cusp: Tracking Potential Candidates

  • Mark Sanford said in an interview with Fox News about a potential Republican primary bid, “It would be something of a David and Goliath story. I mean it’s impossible at many different levels. It’d be a very steep climb. But you know that going in.” He planned to announce whether he is running around Labor Day but said Monday he would delay his decision until after Hurricane Dorian passes.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: September 3, 2015

Donald Trump signed a pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee. Jeb Bush said he would support Trump if he became the

Bishop, McCready meet for only debate of NC-09 special election

On Wednesday, Dan Bishop (R) and Dan McCready (D) met in their first and only debate of North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District special election, which takes place Sept. 10. The candidates began the debate by addressing criticisms from their opponent and opposition ads from satellite groups before moving on to discuss healthcare, immigration, and other policy areas.
Some highlights from the event:
Addressing criticisms: Ads from satellite groups have criticized McCready’s business practices as a solar energy investor; satellite groups and McCready’s campaign have released opposition ads focusing on Bishop’s vote in the state Senate against a bill allowing doctors to discuss lower-cost prescription drugs with patients. Both candidates defended their records at the debate. Bishop stated that he voted to approve a similar bill but did not have time to read the version of the bill in question. McCready said his business practices were ethical.
On healthcare: Bishop discussed his support of association health plans and repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), calling for market-based innovations to lower healthcare costs. McCready emphasized his prescription drug plan and his support of Medicaid expansion in the state under the ACA.
On immigration: Bishop criticized some North Carolina sheriffs for not following detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement and said he supports the border wall Trump has called for. McCready called for comprehensive bipartisan immigration reform and said he supports securing borders while opposing a wall.
President Donald Trump (R), Vice President Mike Pence (R), and former Vice President Joe Biden (D) have weighed in on the special election. Trump endorsed Bishop in May. Bishop spoke at a Trump rally and Pence appeared at a fundraiser for Bishop in July. Trump is planning to campaign for Bishop in North Carolina again on September 9. Joe Biden endorsed McCready on Wednesday.
The special election has seen $8 million in ad spending from satellite groups, including $2.6 million from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and $1.2 million from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).
Bishop, McCready, Jeff Scott (L), and Allen Smith (G) are running in this special election after the state board of elections did not certify the results from the 2018 race following an investigation into allegations of absentee ballot fraud.

Early voting begins in NC-09 special election

A special election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District will be held on September 10, 2019, and early voting began Wednesday. Voters will be able to cast early ballots until September 6.
The state board of elections called a new election following allegations of absentee ballot fraud in the 2018 race. Dan Bishop (R), Dan McCready (D), Jeff Scott (L), and Allen Smith (G) are running for the U.S. House seat. Unofficial returns from the 2018 election showed Mark Harris (R) leading McCready, who was also the Democratic candidate in 2018, by 905 votes.
Bishop describes himself as a pro-life, pro-gun, pro-wall conservative. He says McCready would fall in line with Democrats in Congress such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Ilhan Omar, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who Bishop calls radical socialists. McCready says he’d seek bipartisan legislation on healthcare, education, and taxes in the House. He emphasizes his plan to lower prescription drug prices while criticizing Bishop’s voting record on the issue.
The race has seen satellite spending from a number of groups, including the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). The NRCC has released three ads opposing McCready; the group had reserved $2.6 million in airtime as of July 31. The DCCC spent $626,000 on an ad opposing Bishop that began airing August 16. The group also announced spending more than $2 million on nonadvertising efforts, such as increasing voter turnout among African Americans and members of the Lumbee tribe in the district.
Other groups spending and advertising in the district include Club for Growth, Congressional Leadership Fund, Environmental Defense Fund, and House Majority Forward.

Seattle City Council results: Incumbents, Chamber of Commerce-backed candidates and more advance

Nonpartisan, top-two primary elections for seven of nine seats on the Seattle City Council took place August 6. Seattle uses a vote-by-mail process, so while results may not be certified until August 20, media outlets have projected winners in each race who will move on to the November 5 general election.
All three incumbents running for re-election advanced from the primary. Lisa Herbold in District 1 and Kshama Sawant in District 3 will each face a candidate endorsed by the local Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee, while District 5 incumbent Debora Juarez was herself endorsed by the group.
Herbold will face attorney Phil Tavel. In District 3, Sawant, who is a member of the Socialist Alternative Party, goes up against Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce Director Egan Orion. And Juarez faces attorney Ann Davison Sattler.
Between seven and 14 candidates filed to run in each of the four open council races. One candidate backed by the Chamber of Commerce and one endorsed by the King County Democrats advanced to the general election in each race.
The District 2 election features community organizer Tammy Morales and Seattle Police Department Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon.
The District 4 election is between Alex Pedersen, who worked as a legislative aide for former councilmember Tim Burgess, and journalist Shaun Scott in District 4.
The District 6 election is between Dan Strauss, who is policy advisor to councilmember Sally Bagshaw, and Heidi Wills, who served on the city council from 1999 to 2003.
And finally, the District 7 election features Assistant City Attorney Andrew Lewis and former Police Chief Jim Pugel.
The Chamber of Commerce backed Solomon, Pedersen, Wills, and Pugel. Morales, Scott, Strauss, and Lewis were endorsed by the King County Democrats.
The elections are taking place a year after the city council unanimously passed and then repealed by a 7-2 vote a head tax proposal that was opposed by the city’s business community, including Amazon. Sawant and another councilmember not up for re-election in 2019 were the two votes against repeal, and Herbold was a main supporter of the initial proposal.
Amazon contributed $250,000 to the Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee, which had spent more than $350,000 supporting endorsed candidates and opposing Herbold and Sawant ahead of the primary. Overall, the seven primary races saw around $875,000 in independent expenditures, which was more than the primary and general elections combined in 2015—the last time these same seven seats were up for election.

Seattle City Council primary election preliminary results

Seattle held a primary election for the seven district seats on its nine-member city council Tuesday. Seattle uses a vote-by-mail process; due to the delay between ballots being mailed by voters and received by election officials, races have not yet been called. King County Elections is scheduled to count ballots each day until the primary results are certified on August 20, 2019.
Once results are finalized, the top two finishers in each race will head to a November 5 general election. Four of the races are open, while three incumbents are seeking re-election.
The following were preliminary results as of 6am PDT Wednesday for races with incumbents:
  • In District 1, incumbent Lisa Herbold led her two opponents with 48 percent of the vote. Phil Tavel was second with 34 percent.
  • In District 3, incumbent Kshama Sawant led with 33 percent of the vote, and Egan Orion had 24 percent; the nearest challenger of the four others was Pat Murakami with 14 percent.
  • In District 5, incumbent Debora Juarez led with 43 percent and Ann Davison Sattler had 28 percent. In third was John Lombard with 14 percent. A total of six candidates are running.
Preliminary results for the four open races were as follows:
  • In District 2, Tammy Morales led with 44 percent and Mark Solomon was second with 24 percent in the seven-candidate field.
  • In District 4, Alex Pedersen led with 46 percent, and Shaun Scott was second with 20 percent. Ten candidates are running in District 4.
  • In District 6, Dan Strauss and Heidi Wills led with 31 percent and 23 percent, respectively, in the 14-candidate field.
  • In District 7, Andrew Lewis led with 29 percent and Jim Pugel was second with 27 percent. Ten candidates are running.
On Tuesday, King County Elections reported having received 138,171 ballots from Seattle voters, accounting for 29 percent of active registered voters in the city. Results as shown above are based on 106,668 counted ballots.
Ballotpedia will update our Seattle City Council election coverage as more results become available.

Councilmember Cooper, Mayor Briley advance to Nashville mayoral runoff election

At-Large Nashville Metro Councilmember John Cooper and incumbent Mayor David Briley advanced to a September 12 runoff election for mayor of Nashville, Tennessee, on Thursday. Cooper received 35 percent of the vote and Briley received 26 percent with 61 percent of precincts reporting, in addition to early and absentee votes tallied.
Former professor Carol Swain was in third place with 21 percent, followed by state Rep. John Clemmons (D), who received 16 percent.
Briley, formerly vice mayor, took office in March 2018 upon the resignation of Mayor Megan Barry; Briley won a special election in May 2018 to complete her term. He’s campaigning on his record over the past year, emphasizing his affordable housing plan, the creation of a college scholarship program for public school graduates, and his opposition to property tax increases.
Cooper has highlighted his background in real estate and finance and says the city needs to focus on neighborhoods instead of economic incentives for downtown projects. He says fiscal stewardship is among his top priorities and that he entered the race partly out of opposition to Briley’s plan to fund his affordable housing initiative through municipal bond-borrowing.
Heading into the August 1 election, Briley had been endorsed by the Nashville Business Coalition, former Tennesse Governor and Nashville Mayor Phil Bredesen (D), and the Nashville Tennessean editorial board, among others. Cooper’s endorsers included the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police, the Nashville Neighborhood Defense Fund, and his brother U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (D).
Thirty-one mayoral elections in the country’s 100 largest cities are being held in 2019. In 20 of those cities, the incumbent was a Democrat at the start of 2019. Seven incumbents were Republican, three were independent, and the affiliation of one was unknown. Briley is considered a member of the Democratic Party. Cooper’s affiliation is unknown.
In addition to mayor, Nashville voted for all 41 Metro Council seats, including vice mayor, Thursday.
Additional reading: