Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wins renomination over three challengers

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) defeated challengers Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, Badrun Khan, and Sam Sloan in the Democratic primary for New York’s 14th Congressional District. As of 11:15 p.m. Eastern Time on June 23, Ocasio-Cortez had received 73.8% of the vote to Caruso-Cabrera’s 18.6%. This was Ocasio-Cortez’s first primary after she unseated incumbent Joseph Crowley in the 2018 election. Election forecasters project Ocasio-Cortez is a solid favorite to win re-election in November.

All candidates in New York’s 10th District Democratic primary complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) recently completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. Nadler, a 28-year incumbent and Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is running for re-election in New York’s 10th Congressional District. He joins Lindsey Boylan and Jonathan Herzog, the two other candidates in the race, in completing a 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.

One question in the survey asks candidates to list three key messages of their campaigns. Each candidate listed three topics, shown below:


  • “Strengthen Democracy & Rule of Law”
  • “Reduce Economic Inequality”
  • “Fight Climate Change”


  • “Climate Change”
  • “Mental Health”
  • “Protecting our Democracy”


  • “Universal Basic Income”
  • “Universal Healthcare”
  • “Publicly Financed Elections”

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.

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

Scott Taylor wins Republican nomination for VA-02, sets up rematch with Elaine Luria

Scott Taylor defeated Ben Loyola and Jarome Bell to win the Republican nomination for U.S. House in Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. Taylor had received 48.2% of the vote to 28.3% for Loyola and 23.4% for Bell as of 8:00 PM Eastern with 74% precincts reporting. Taylor served a single term in the U.S. House before being unseated by Elaine Luria (D) in 2018. Luria was unopposed in the Democratic primary. Two election forecasters say the general election leans towards Luria and a third calls it a toss-up.

Cawthorn defeats Bennett in NC-11 Republican primary runoff

Madison Cawthorn defeated Lynda Bennett in North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District Republican primary runoff Tuesday. With 60% of precincts reporting, Cawthorn had received 66% of the vote to Bennett’s 34%.
Former incumbent Mark Meadows (R) did not seek re-election and left office early to serve as White House chief of staff. Meadows, along with President Donald Trump, endorsed Bennett in the race. Cawthorn was endorsed by several former primary candidates, local sheriffs, and the Protect Freedom PAC.
Cawthorn described Bennett as the candidate picked by Washington D.C. insiders and said he could bring young people into the Republican Party. Cawthorn is 24 years old. He owns a real estate investment company and is a motivational speaker. He was paralyzed in a car accident at age 19.
Bennett emphasized her decades of experience in business. She owns a real estate company and served as vice chairwoman of the Haywood County Republican Party.
Bennett received 22.7% of the March 3 primary vote to Cawthorn’s 20.4%. Twelve candidates ran. The Mountaineer’s Kyle Perotti reported that “much of the territory Cawthorn claimed was only brought into the district after a three-judge panel approved the new Congressional district in December of last year.”

Massie defeats challenger McMurtry in KY-04

Incumbent Thomas Massie defeated challenger Todd McMurtry in the Republican primary for Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District. As of 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time, Massie had received 88.2% of the vote to McMurtry’s 11.8%. McMurtry was Massie’s first primary challenger since he was elected in 2012. Election forecasters project Massie is a solid favorite to defeat the Democratic nominee in November.

2,989 major party candidates filed for 2020 Congress elections

As of June 22, 2,989 major party candidates have filed to run for the Senate and House of Representatives in 2020.

So far, 453 candidates are filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to run for U.S. Senate. Of those, 362—185 Democrats and 177 Republicans—are from one of the two major political parties. In 2018, 527 candidates filed with the FEC to run for U.S. Senate, including 137 Democrats and 240 Republicans.

For U.S. House, 2,974 candidates have filed with the FEC to run. Of those, 2,627—1,238 Democrats and 1,389 Republicans—are from one of the two major political parties. In 2018, 3,244 candidates filed with the FEC, including 1,566 Democrats and 1,155 Republicans.

Thirty-six members of the U.S. House are not seeking re-election in 2020. That includes 27 Republicans and nine Democrats. Four senators (three Republicans and one Democrat) are not running for re-election. In 2018, 55 total members of Congress—18 Democrats and 37 Republicans—did not seek re-election.

On November 3, 2020, 35 Senate seats and all 435 House seats are up for election. Of those Senate seats, 33 are regularly scheduled elections, while the other two are special elections in Arizona and Georgia. Twelve are Democratic-held seats and 23 are Republican-held seats. In the House, Democrats currently hold a majority with 233 seats.

Additional Reading:

U.S. Supreme Court rules DACA ended improperly; dissenting opinion argues ruling creates double standard

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in  DHS v. Regents of the University of California that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not properly follow Administrative Procedure Act (APA) procedures when it sought to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2017. DHS started the program in 2012 with a memo that itself did not go through the APA rulemaking process.

The court’s ruling argued that DHS failed to provide required analysis of all relevant factors associated with ending the DACA program. The majority opinion argued that rendered the decision arbitrary and capricious under the APA. The court thus remanded the issue back to DHS, which can reattempt to end the program by providing a more thorough explanation for its decision.

Chief Justice Roberts delivered the majority opinion of the court saying, “The dispute before the Court is not whether DHS may rescind DACA. All parties agree that it may. The dispute is instead primarily about the procedure the agency followed in doing so.” Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan joined the full opinion. Justice Sonia Sotomayor joined most of the majority opinion, giving it the fifth vote it needed to become the official decision of the court.

Justice Sotomayor agreed with the court that DHS improperly followed the APA, but she wrote separately to argue that the court should have given those challenging the agency the opportunity to develop claims that the agency violated the equal protection guarantee of the 5th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Thomas argued that an administration should be able to rescind policies not lawfully implemented: “To state it plainly, the Trump administration rescinded DACA the same way that the Obama administration created it: unilaterally, and through a mere memorandum.” He argued that the court’s decision was “an effort to avoid a politically controversial but legally correct decision.” Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch joined Thomas’s opinion.

Justice Kavanaugh defended DHS’s reasons for ending DACA as adequate in a separate opinion. He added that the court’s decision applied precedent incorrectly when it held that a memo written by former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen came too late to provide the analysis the court said DHS needed to end the program.

Additional reading:

Pelosi press release:
Trump tweet:

Lucia settles with SEC after eight years of litigation

Raymond Lucia, the plaintiff in the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court case Lucia v. SEC, reached a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on June 17 after eight years of litigation. The settlement requires Lucia to pay a $25,000 fine and allows him to reapply for reinstatement as an investment advisor.

The Lucia case challenged the constitutionality of the SEC’s appointment of its administrative law judges (ALJs). The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June 2018 that the agency’s ALJ appointments violated the U.S. Constitution’s Appointments Clause. The court found that the SEC’s ALJs are inferior officers (rather than agency employees) who must be appointed by the agency’s commissioners as required by the Constitution’s Appointments Clause. Lucia’s case was sent back to the SEC for a new hearing before a different, constitutionally appointed ALJ.

ALJs are officials who preside over federal administrative hearings and serve as both the judge and the jury. The Administrative Procedure Act requires that ALJs preside over hearings during formal adjudication proceedings, but they may also preside over hearings during informal adjudication. Adjudication proceedings include agency determinations outside of the rulemaking process that aim to resolve disputes between either agencies and private parties or between two private parties

Additional reading:

Federal Register weekly update; tops 37,000 pages

The Federal Register is a daily journal of federal government activity that includes presidential documents, proposed and final rules, and public notices. It is a common measure of an administration’s regulatory activity.

From June 15 to June 19, the Federal Register grew by 1,192 pages for a year-to-date total of 37,330 pages. Over the same period in 2019 and 2018, the Federal Register reached 29,370 pages and 29,434 pages, respectively. As of June 19, the 2020 total led the 2019 total by 7,960 pages and the 2018 total by 7,896 pages.

The Federal Register hit an all-time high of 95,894 pages in 2016.

This week’s Federal Register featured the following 477 documents:

• 393 notices
• five presidential documents
• 24 proposed rules
• 55 final rules

One notice related to hazardous air pollutants was deemed significant under E.O. 12866—meaning that it could have large impacts on the economy, environment, public health, or state or local governments. The Trump administration in 2020 has issued 21 significant proposed rules, 28 significant final rules, and one significant notice as of June 19.

Not all rules issued by the Trump administration are regulatory actions. Some rules are deregulatory actions pursuant to President Trump’s (R) Executive Order 13771, which requires federal agencies to eliminate two existing significant regulations for each new significant regulation issued.

Ballotpedia maintains page counts and other information about the Federal Register as part of its Administrative State Project. The project is a neutral, nonpartisan encyclopedic resource that defines and analyzes the administrative state, including its philosophical origins, legal and judicial precedents, and scholarly examinations of its consequences. The project also monitors and reports on measures of federal government activity.

Click here to find more information about weekly additions to the Federal Register in 2018 and 2017.

Additional reading:

Primary runoff in North Carolina is June 23

The statewide primary runoff for North Carolina is on June 23, 2020. The primary was held March 3, 2020, and candidates needed more than 30% of the vote to advance to the general election. The primary runoff was originally scheduled for May 12, 2020, but was postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic. The filing deadline to run passed on December 20, 2019.

Candidates are running in a Republican primary runoff for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District. Lynda Bennett (R) and Madison Cawthorn (R) are competing to advance to the general election scheduled for November 3, 2020. Bennett received 22.7% of the Republican primary vote, and Cawthorn received 20.4%. No other North Carolina congressional seat advanced to a primary runoff.

South Carolina also scheduled its primary runoff election for June 23, but no congressional races advanced to a primary runoff.

Entering the 2020 election, North Carolina’s U.S. House delegation consists of three Democrats, nine Republicans, and one vacancy. The U.S. House has 233 Democrats, 197 Republicans, one Libertarian, and four vacancies. All 435 seats are up for election. A majority in the chamber requires 218 seats.

Additional reading: