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David Luchs

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

Michelle Fischbach wins nomination to challenge Collin Peterson in MN-07

Michelle Fischbach defeated four other candidates to win the Republican nomination in Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District. As of 9:45 p.m. Central Time, Fischbach had received 59% of the vote, followed by Dave Hughes with 22% and Noel Collis with 15%. Two other candidates each received under 3% of the vote.

Fischbach, who served as state senate president for two terms before resigning in 2018 to succeed Tina Smith (D) as lieutenant governor, was endorsed by President Donald Trump (R), U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), and the 7th District GOP. Hughes, who was the Republican nominee in 2016 and 2018, was backed by Americans for Legal Immigration PAC.

Fischbach will face incumbent Collin Peterson (D), who has represented the district since 1990. The 7th District is one of 30 districts currently represented by a Democrat which President Trump carried in 2016 and is the district where Trump had his widest margin of victory. Trump’s margin over Hillary Clinton (D)—30.8 percentage points—was nearly double the 15.5-point margin he received in New York’s 22nd District, his next-best performance. Two election forecasters say the general election is a toss-up and a third says it tilts in Peterson’s direction.



Scott Fitzgerald wins Republican nomination in Wisconsin’s 5th Congressional District

Wisconsin state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) defeated Clifford DeTemple to win the Republican nomination in Wisconsin’s 5th Congressional District. As of 9:00 p.m. Central Time, Fitzgerald had received 78% of the vote to DeTemple’s 22%.

Incumbent Jim Sensenbrenner (R), who was first elected to the House in 1978 and is the second-most senior member of the U.S. House, did not run for re-election. He and former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) endorsed Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald said he was an early supporter of President Donald Trump’s and would be an effective ally to the president in Congress. DeTemple, a Coast Guard veteran and small business owner, said he would bring a new perspective to Washington.

Election forecasters say the Fifth District, which is located to the west and northwest of Milwaukee, is a safe Republican district.

All 435 seats in the U.S. House will be up for election on November 3, 2020. As of August 2020, Democrats have a 232-198 advantage over Republicans. There is one Libertarian member and four vacancies.



Andrew Clyde wins Georgia’s 9th Congressional District Republican primary runoff

Andrew Clyde defeated Matt Gurtler in the Republican primary runoff for Georgia’s 9th Congressional District on August 11, 2020. With 62% of precincts reporting, Clyde had received 56% of the vote to Gurtler’s 44%.

Clyde and Gurtler advanced from a nine-candidate field in the June 9 Republican primary. Gurtler finished first in that race with 21.3% of the vote. Clyde followed with 18.5%. Three other candidates received more than 10% of the vote.

Incumbent Rep. Doug Collins (R) is running in a special election to the U.S. Senate to represent Georgia, rather than running for re-election to the House. Collins won re-election in 2018 by a margin of 59 percentage points, and the district is rated Safe Republican.

Clyde is a gun store owner and has previously worked to get legislation passed by Congress to limit the IRS’s ability to seize assets. Gurtler has been a member of the Georgia House of Representatives since 2017.

All 435 seats in the U.S. House will be up for election on November 3, 2020. As of August 2020, Democrats have a 232-198 advantage over Republicans. There is one Libertarian member, and four vacancies.



Willis defeats incumbent Howard Jr. in Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Democratic primary runoff

Fani Willis defeated incumbent Paul Howard Jr. in the Democratic primary runoff for Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney on August 11, 2020. With 15% of precincts reporting, Willis had received 74% of the vote to Howard Jr.’s with 26%.

Howard Jr. has been in office since 1997. Howard Jr. and Willis were the top-two finishers in a three-candidate primary on June 9.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote on August 4, “As the runoff nears, both candidates have been fiercely attacking one another, both during online debates and in ads. Howard has criticized Willis for accepting donations from police unions. Willis has condemned the DA for the sexual harassment complaints filed against him. (Howard strongly denies the allegations.)”

The county seat of Fulton County is Atlanta.



Marjorie Taylor Greene wins Georgia’s 14th Congressional District Republican primary runoff

Marjorie Taylor Greene defeated John Cowan in the Republican primary runoff for Georgia’s 14th Congressional District. At 8:28 p.m. EST, the race was called by Decision Desk HQ with 42% of precincts reporting. Greene received 59.4% of the vote and Cowan followed with 40.6%. Incumbent Tom Graves (R), in office since 2010, did not run for re-election.

In the June 9 primary, Greene received 40% of the vote to Cowan’s 21%. Nine candidates ran. A candidate needed more than 50% of the vote to win the primary outright.

The race received national attention after Politico reported on comments Greene made about Muslims and Black people. Other reports discussed comments she made about QAnon.

Greene defended her comments, saying, “Every Republican, every Christian Conservative is going to be called a racist and a bigot by the Fake News Media, as have Steve Scalise and Liz Cheney. I’m sorry my future colleagues are unable to stand up to the pressure and fight back.” She criticized Cowan by saying he never donated to President Donald Trump but donated to Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Cowan told Greene at a debate, “I’ll be the best ally that Donald Trump has by getting elected and keeping you out of office, because the Democrats will use you as their chief fundraiser for all the crazy and ludicrous things that you say.” He also criticized Greene for switching from running in the 6th District primary to the 14th District primary after Graves announced he wasn’t seeking re-election.

Graves won re-election in 2018 by a margin of 53 percentage points.

All 435 seats in the U.S. House will be up for election on November 3, 2020. As of August 2020, Democrats had a 232-198 advantage over Republicans. There was one Libertarian member, and there were four vacancies.



Kahele wins Democratic nomination to succeed Gabbard in Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District

Hawaii State Sen. Kaiali’i Kahele defeated Brian Evans, Brenda Lee, and Noelle Famera to win the Democratic nomination in Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District Aug. 8. Kahele received 77% of the vote to Evans’ 9%, Lee’s 8%, and Famera’s 6%.

Kahele, who has served in the Hawaii state Senate since 2016, said his policy priorities were increasing funding for public education, expanding access to healthcare, and funding measures to respond to climate change.

Both Evans and Famera completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. Evans, who was the Republican nominee for the seat in 2018 and a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in 2014, said he would focus on ending the disrespectful treatment of sacred land, increasing tax rates on foreign residents, and responding to medical errors.

Famera, a businesswoman with experience in insurance sales, said she supported a universal basic income program, a data rights bill, and funding measures to respond to climate change.

Incumbent Tulsi Gabbard (D), who was first elected in 2012, ran for president this year rather than seeking re-election. Gabbard won each general election in the 2nd District by a margin of 50 percentage points or greater, and election forecasters say the district is safely Democratic.



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.

Additional reading:


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.

Additional reading:


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.


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