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David Luchs

David Luchs is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

All three Democratic candidates for Florida’s 15th Congressional District complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

Three Democrats—Alan Cohn, Adam Hattersley, and Jesse Philippe—are running to challenge Rep. Ross Spano (R), the freshman legislator representing central Florida’s 15th Congressional District. All three have completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey.

Ballotpedia asks all federal, state, and local candidates to complete a survey so voters can discover what motivates them on political and personal levels.

Responses to selected questions are included below. Some responses are edited for length; to view the full survey responses, visit Ballotpedia’s article on this primary.

What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?

Alan Cohn: “I’m running for Congress to hold the powerful accountable. I’m running because while our current Congressman is mired in a federal investigation into illegal loans to his campaign, 60-percent of our friends and neighbors still don’t earn what they did before the economic collapse. 40-percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.”

Adam Hattersley: “As a former naval officer and Iraq War Veteran, I am passionate about foreign policy. One of the most important jobs of the next democratic President will be repairing America’s reputation on the global stage. I support dramatically increasing our funding in diplomacy-this kind of investment is essential to preventing armed conflict.”

Jesse Philippe: “I am super passionate about people and how we can help them.”

In 2018, 1,957 candidates completed a Candidate Connection survey. This number represents 6.9% of all 28,315 candidates Ballotpedia covered during that cycle. Out of the 1,957 respondents, 477 (24.4%) won their elections.

To read more about Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey or if you are a candidate who would like to submit a survey, click here: Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection.


Blue Dog Coalition co-chairman O’Halleran faces Our Revolution-backed Putzova in Arizona primary

Rep. Tom O’Halleran faces challenger Eva Putzova in the Democratic primary for Arizona’s 1st Congressional District on August 4. O’Halleran was first elected to the House in 2016 and did not face a primary challenger in 2018.

O’Halleran, who served eight years in the state legislature as a Republican before leaving the party in 2014, is co-chairman of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of House Democrats describing themselves as “pragmatic Democrats, appealing to the mainstream values of the American public.” His endorsers include Everytown for Gun Safety, the League of Conservation Voters, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Putzova, an immigrant from former Czechoslovakia and a former member of the Flagstaff City Council, says she is running to limit the influence corporations have over policy. Putzova says she will fight for “freedom from illness and medical bills, freedom from crushing student loan debt, freedom to enjoy a healthy life on this planet.” Former 2020 presidential candidate Marianne Williamson (D), Brand New Congress, and Our Revolution each endorsed her.

Arizona’s 1st Congressional District is one of 30 districts nationwide represented by a Democrat that Donald Trump (R) carried in 2016. Trump carried the district by a margin of 1.1 percentage points that year, while O’Halleran was re-elected in 2018 by a margin of 8.8 percentage points.

Arizona is among five states holding Congressional primaries next Tuesday. Ballotpedia identified one other Congressional primary in Arizona as a battleground: the special Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Incumbent Sen. Martha McSally, who was appointed to the seat in 2018, will face Daniel McCarthy and write-in candidate Sean Lyons as she seeks the Republican nomination to fill the remainder of Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) unexpired term.

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RNC outraises DNC by nearly three-to-one

The Republican National Committee (RNC) outraised the Democratic National Committee (DNC) by nearly three-to-one last month, according to July 2020 campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission Monday. This was the third month in a row in which the RNC outraised the DNC.

The RNC raised $36.9 million and spent $19.0 million, while the DNC raised $12.6 million and spent $15.2 million. So far in the 2020 cycle, the RNC has raised 75.0% more than the DNC ($409.7 million to $186.2 million). The RNC’s 75.0% fundraising advantage is up from 72.9% in June and 72.4% in May.

At this point in the 2016 campaign cycle (the most recent presidential cycle), the RNC had a smaller 40.7% fundraising advantage over the DNC ($180.7 million to $119.5 million).

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) raised $14.0 million and spent $23.5 million last month, while the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) raised $13.6 million and spent $8.2 million. So far in the 2020 cycle, the NRSC has raised 6.5% more than the DSCC ($133.6 million to $125.1 million). The NRSC’s 6.5% fundraising advantage is down from 7.0% in June and 8.8% in May.

On the House side, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) raised $17.1 million and spent $9.3 million, while the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) raised $13.6 million and spent $6.9 million. So far in the cycle, the DCCC has raised 25.9% more than the NRCC ($207.8 million to $160.1 million). The DCCC’s 25.9% fundraising advantage is down from 26.2% in June and 27.8% in May.

At this point in the 2018 campaign cycle, Democrats led in both Senate and House fundraising. The DSCC had raised 15.0% more than the NRSC ($87.2 million to $75.0 million), while the DCCC had raised 27.6% more than the NRCC ($177.4 million to $134.4 million).

So far in the 2020 cycle, the RNC, NRSC, and NRCC have raised 30.1% more than the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC ($703.4 million versus $519.2 million). The Republican fundraising advantage is up from 29.3% in June and 28.9% in May.

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Richter defeats Gibbs to win the Republican primary in New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District

David Richter defeated Kate Gibbs to win the Republican nomination in New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District. As of 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time on July 7, Richter had received 67% of the vote to Gibbs’ 33% with 53% of precincts reporting.

Richter, the former chief executive officer of Hill International, had been endorsed by the National Rifle Association and state Senate Deputy Minority Leader Robert Singer (R). Gibbs, a former Burlington County freeholder, had the support of the Republican Main Street Partnership and state Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. (R).

Richter will face incumbent Andy Kim (D), who was first elected in 2018, in the general election. Two forecasters say the race leans towards Kim and a third says it is a toss-up.


Van Drew defeats Patterson to win renomination in New Jersey’s 2nd District

Incumbent Jeff Van Drew defeated challenger Bob Patterson to win the Republican primary in New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District. As of 9:45 p.m. Eastern Time on July 7, Van Drew had received 81% of the vote to Patterson’s 18% with 36% of precincts reporting.

Van Drew was first elected to the district as a Democrat in 2018 and joined the Republican Party in December 2019. Van Drew said he would work with President Trump and that Trump had endorsed him, while Patterson said Van Drew had not supported President Trump’s agenda during his first term in office. Van Drew will face Amy Kennedy, the winner of the Democratic primary, in the general election. Two forecasters say the race leans towards Van Drew and a third says it tilts towards him.



Kennedy wins Democratic nomination in New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District

Amy Kennedy defeated Brigid Callahan Harrison and three other candidates to win the Democratic nomination in New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District. As of 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time, Kennedy had received 55% of the vote to Harrison’s 32%.

Local political observers described the race as part of a larger battle among state Democrats. Harrison’s supporters included Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, state Senate President Stephen Sweeney, and six of the district’s eight county Democratic parties. Kennedy had support from Gov. Phil Murphy and the Atlantic County Democratic Party, which is the district’s largest. Kennedy will face incumbent Jeff Van Drew (R), who was elected as a Democrat in 2018 and joined the GOP the following year.



Tlaib, Jones complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection Survey

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and candidate Brenda Jones (D) recently completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection Survey.
Both candidates were separately elected to represent Michigan’s 13th Congressional District following Rep. John Conyers’ (D) resignation in 2018. Jones, the president of the Detroit City Council, won a special election to complete Conyers’ term while Tlaib won the general election to succeed Jones, which was held on the same day. The two are the only candidates on the ballot in this year’s Aug. 4 Democratic primary.
Ballotpedia asks all federal, state, and local candidates to complete a survey so voters can discover what motivates them on political and personal levels.
One question in the survey asked candidates what they perceived to be the greatest challenge the United States faces in the next decade.
Tlaib answered, “The fact that we haven’t truly addressed the economic inequity in our country. It has led to so many broken systems and injustices, many of which are rooted in structural racism. We must make the decision as a country that we will center the most vulnerable and marginalized. We continue to center wealthy individuals, corporations, and profit. We have so many crises happening across the country because of misplaced priorities.”
Jones answered, “Post COVID-19, the greatest challenge for our nation will be the balance of equity, opportunity and resources for people of color and those from impoverished neighborhoods. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed significant disparities in access to health care, funding for hospitals in minority and impoverished neighborhoods, small business resources, educational resources in minority and impoverished communities and fair employment policies for essential workers such as vacation, sick time and a high quality living wage. Elected officials must work collaboratively over the next decade to address disparities and inequality to ensure everyone across America has access to a quality standard of living.”
Tlaib and Jones each also answered featured local questions provided by The Detroit News. One of those questions asked how the candidates would foster a more bipartisan and cooperative atmosphere in Congress.
Tlaib answered, “I would ask members to walk into a room, not as a Republican or Democrat, but as a son, mom, daughter or whatever family role they play. I would ask that they function from that place so that their decisions would remain focused on the people they love, and on real change for the better. The system now is so tainted with special interest groups and others who aren’t thinking about our residents, but how they can make more money.”
Jones answered, “My ability to work across the aisle to create coalitions, develop partnerships and work collaboratively to reach a common goal. I will remain professional, listen to the position of everyone and remain dedicated to developing policies, passing legislation and bringing resources to those in the 13th District, the State and the United States.”
In 2018, 1,957 candidates completed a Candidate Connection survey. This number represents 6.9% of all 28,315 candidates Ballotpedia covered during that cycle. Out of the 1,957 respondents, 477 (24.4%) won their elections.
To read their responses and for more information on the race, click here.


U.S. Rep. Fred Upton completes Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R) completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey recently. Upton, who was first elected in 1986, faces Elena Oelke (R) in the Aug. 4 Republican primary for Michigan’s 6th Congressional District.
Ballotpedia asks all federal, state, and local candidates to complete a survey so voters can discover what motivates them on political and personal levels.
Select responses from Upton’s survey are below. Ballotpedia’s questions are in bold. Please see Upton’s page on Ballotpedia for his full survey responses.
Who are you? Tell us about yourself.
Congressman Fred Upton – known more commonly as “Fred” – is a sincere, hardworking leader who listens to all perspectives and achieves results for folks here in Southwest Michigan.
In the midst of these challenging times, Fred has helped rush coronavirus relief to southwest Michigan families, is working to protect Michigan seniors, and is fighting in Washington to help get our economy on the road to recovery.
Meanwhile, Fred has also continued his efforts to support our extraordinary veterans, protect our country’s national defense, preserve our Great Lakes, and increase opportunities for our agriculture industry.
In D.C. and here at home, Fred is known for his work ethic and has consistently been named one of the “Top 25 Hardest Working Members of Congress.” He delivers results for the folks he represents – always has and always will.
Fred is a graduate of the University of Michigan and remains a die-hard Wolverines fan. He and his wife Amey of 37 years are the proud parents of two children and just had their first grandchild earlier this year.
Please list below 3 key messages of your campaign. What are the main points you want voters to remember about your goals for your time in office?
“Follow the words of Frederick Douglass: ‘I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.'”
“Get Michigan and the United States on the path to recovery”
“Work to make our nation stronger for ALL Americans”
In 2018, 1,957 candidates completed a Candidate Connection survey. This number represents 6.9% of all 28,315 candidates Ballotpedia covered during that cycle. Out of the 1,957 respondents, 477 (24.4%) won their elections.
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Neese and Bice advance to Republican primary runoff in Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District

Businesswoman Terry Neese and state Sen. Stephanie Bice were the top two finishers in the Republican primary for Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District. As of 10:30 p.m. Central Time on June 30, Neese was first with 37% of the vote and Bice was second with 25%. Because neither candidate received more than 50% of the vote, the two will advance to an August 25 primary runoff.
Nearly all of the satellite spending in the primary was by Club for Growth Action, which opposed Bice, and American Jobs & Growth PAC, which supported her. The winner will challenge incumbent Kendra Horn (D).


Boebert wins Republican primary in CO-03, Tipton is fifth House incumbent to lose renomination this cycle

Lauren Boebert defeated incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton (R) in the Republican primary for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. As of 9:15 p.m. Mountain Time on June 30, Boebert had received 54% of the vote to Tipton’s 46% with 85% of precincts reporting.

Tipton is the fifth member of the U.S. House to lose renomination this year, joining Reps. Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.), Steve King (R-Iowa), Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), and Denver Riggleman (R-Va.).

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