CategoryFederal

South Carolina sees the highest number of contested Republican primaries since at least 2012

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in South Carolina this year was March 30, 2022. Twenty-eight candidates are running for South Carolina’s seven U.S. House districts, including nine Democrats and 19 Republicans. That’s four candidates per district, more than the 2.86 candidates per district in 2020 and less than the 6.14 in 2018. 

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  • This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census. South Carolina was apportioned seven districts, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.
  • All incumbents are running for re-election, meaning there are no open seats this year. The only years to feature open seats between 2012 and 2022 were 2018, when the 4th district was open, and 2012, when the newly-drawn 7th district was open. 
  • There are two contested Democratic primaries this year, the lowest number since 2016, and four contested Republican primaries, the highest number since at least 2012.
  • Eight candidates — one Democrat and seven Republicans, including incumbent Rep. Tom Rice (R) — filed to run in the 7th district, more than in any other. That’s three less than the highest number of candidates who ran for a seat in 2020, when five candidates ran in the 1st district. 
  • There are three districts — the 2nd, the 3rd, and the 5th — where incumbents do not face primary challengers. 
  • One district — the 3rd — is guaranteed to Republicans because no Democrats filed. No districts are guaranteed to Democrats because no Republicans filed.

South Carolina and three other states — Maine, Nevada, and North Dakota — are holding primary elections on June 14. A primary candidate must win a majority of the vote in order to be declared the winner in South Carolina. If no candidate wins a majority of the vote, the top two finishers will advance to a June 28 runoff.

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Economy and Society: ESG Task Force issues first enforcement action

Economy and Society is Ballotpedia’s weekly review of the developments in corporate activism; corporate political engagement; and the Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) trends and events that characterize the growing intersection between business and politics.

ESG Developments This Week

In Washington, D.C.

Wall Street Journal notes opposition to SEC’s rapid rule-making, including among Democrats        

Two weeks ago, The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board published a piece that highlighted objections to what it described as rapid rule-making at the SEC under Chairman Gary Gensler. It noted that even some Democrats have been frustrated by the tactics Gensler has employed:

“Progressives lobbied President Biden to appoint Gary Gensler as Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman because of his record as a hell-for-leather financial regulator during the Obama days. But now even some House Democrats are asking the Chairman to tap the brakes.

“We write to express concern over some of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s comment periods for complex rulemakings that may hamper the ability for the public to provide effective and meaningful input,” 47 House Members, including 28 Democrats, wrote Mr. Gensler recently. They cite two new proposed rules that would expand SEC control over private markets.

One rule would impose stringent disclosure requirements for fees, expenses and annual independent audits on private fund advisers that are similar to those for public advisers. A second would require private funds to report more information to the SEC about investment losses, among other things, supposedly so the agency can monitor systemic financial risks….

The rule-makings aren’t exactly beach reading and will require teams of lawyers and analysts to sort through their implications. Yet Mr. Gensler provided a mere 30 days for public comment. “This abbreviated period will likely hinder engagement from Congress, investors, and other market participants,” the House Members write.

House Members want Mr. Gensler to extend the public comment period to at least 90 days, which was the norm for highly complicated rules during previous administrations. The Office of the Federal Register suggests that agencies may provide up to 180 or more days for “complex” rule-makings. Mr. Gensler’s drive-by regulation seems to be a pattern.

Energy companies this week also asked Mr. Gensler to extend the 60-day public comment for a proposed 506-page climate disclosure rule, which would require businesses to report their greenhouse gas emissions including those of their suppliers and customers. “SEC should give the public ample time to consider the full impacts of this wide-ranging rule designed to deny financing to the energy sources that meet 80% of global demand now and well into the future,” they write.

Under the Administrative Procedure Act, agencies must take into account public comments. If they disagree with the comments, they have to explain why. A short public comment period will mean fewer detailed comments, which will let the agency finalize the proposals faster with few changes.

The SEC has undertaken more than 50 rule-makings that would affect nearly every investor and public company in America, and many private ones too. Mr. Gensler is rushing to complete as many of them as he can before next January, when Republicans appear likely to take control of the House and could use their appropriations power to rein him in.”

On May 9, the SEC acceded to demands from interested parties and agreed to extend the comment period for the three rules noted above by 30 days each:

“The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it has extended the public comment period on the proposed rulemaking to enhance and standardize climate-related disclosures for investors until June 17, 2022. The SEC also announced that it will reopen the comment periods on the proposed rulemaking to enhance private fund investor protection and on the proposed rulemaking to include significant Treasury markets platforms within Regulation ATS for 30 days.

“Today, the Commission acted to provide the public with additional time to comment on three proposed rulemakings that have drawn significant interest from a wide breadth of investors, issuers, market participants, and other stakeholders,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler. “The SEC benefits greatly from hearing from the public on proposed regulatory changes. Commenters with diverse views have noted that they would benefit from additional time to review these three proposals, and I’m pleased that the public will have additional time to provide thoughtful feedback.””


Some observers are expecting Gensler’s climate disclosures to fail

On May 2, Shivaram Rajgopal and Bruce Usher, two professors at Columbia Business School, penned a piece for Bloomberg Law in which they looked at SEC’s climate disclosure proposal, as well as the possibility that it may be disrupted, and then examined possible alternative means for achieving the same goals. They wrote:

“[E]ven though the ink has barely dried on these newly released SEC climate rules, it’s important to recognize that the 510 pages of regulations may never be enacted. There is no consensus in Congress to act on the climate problem, Republican lawmakers have already urged the SEC to withdraw their proposal, and a more conservative U.S. Supreme Court could view the new rules as an overreach. And, state attorneys are also vowing to challenge the SEC’s proposal.

So if these rules are dead on arrival, where are the areas of promise? There are a few….

Here’s what could happen next.

First, this momentum toward climate disclosure might encourage businesses to change strategy, taking steps to move capital out of fossil fuels and toward renewable technologies and other solutions to climate change….

Second, it’s likely that the need for climate leadership will lead to businesses adding expertise. While companies like Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft already report extensive emissions data, many companies lack the same level of expertise.

The Big Four accounting firms along with other professional-service firms have already started to invest in climate expertise. Ernst & Young announced that it will spend $10 billion over the next three years on audit quality, sustainability, and technology, and KPMG is planning to spend more than $1.5 billion over the next three years on climate-change-related initiatives and training on ESG issues….

Third, increased climate literacy will allow for more scrutiny of green claims, meaning capital will be more likely to flow to truly sustainable projects. As tougher climate policies are proposed and implemented, the days of corporate greenwashing—and investors being misled—could finally come to an end.

That could lead to more money flowing to projects like Apple’s Green bonds which raise capital for projects with environmental benefits, and recently funded over a gigawatt of clean power globally, equivalent to removing 200,000 cars from the road. More companies are likely to follow Apple in investing in truly sustainable projects with more regulation around climate reporting.”

Though not noted in professors Rajgopal and Usherarticle, some analysts in the capital markets and related investment community are expecting publicly traded corporations to comply with disclosure standards whether the SEC passes them or not:

“The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) is rallying regulators from the U.S., Europe, Japan and other jurisdictions around common rules for disclosures about climate risk and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

The working group of regulators will meet this month and in July to craft a “global baseline” of ESG disclosure standards, according to the ISSB, which in March released for public comment proposed rules on how a company should disclose the ways it gauges and manages ESG risks. A company would also need to publicly describe how sustainability risks, such as drought or flood, affect its total value.

“There is strong public interest in seeking to align where possible the international and jurisdictional requirements for sustainability disclosures,” ISSB Chair Emmanuel Faber said in a statement. 

The ISSB, aiming to bring consistency across borders, intends to urge regulators worldwide to consider adopting its proposals as a foundation for their own domestic sustainability disclosure rules, including those focused on carbon emissions….

The ISSB, backed by the architects for global accounting rules, has asked for public feedback on its proposal by July 29. It plans to complete standard-setting by the end of 2022.

The ISSB was created by the IFRS Foundation, a London-based group that oversees the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), and launched in November during the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.

As with IASB rules, companies could voluntarily adopt the ISSB standards or a regulator could endorse the guidelines and require compliance by companies under its jurisdiction.


SEC’s Climate an ESG Task Force issues first enforcement action 

Among other ESG tasks, the Securities and Exchange Commission has promised to keep ESG practitioners honest. To ensure compliance with promises made, the SEC created an ESG enforcement task force in early 2021. That task force has now issued its first enforcement action:

“The SEC’s Climate and ESG Task Force has now issued its first enforcement action.  The SEC has brought a 76-page complaint in federal district court against Vale, S.A., a Brazilian mining company, alleging that Vale “ma[de] false and misleading claims about the safety of its dams.”  Significantly, Vale “regularly misled local governments, communities, and investors about the safety of the Brumadinho dam through its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosures.”…

In essence, the SEC has brought a classic enforcement action against a company for allegedly misleading disclosures–and these disclosures are not just present in typical SEC forms (e.g, 20-F and 6-K), or in investor presentations, but in the separate ESG reports issued by Vale.  As stated in the SEC’s complaint, the “false statements to investors [were] in SEC filings, the 2016 and 2017 Sustainability Reports, and the 2018 ESG Webinar.”  This enforcement action by the SEC demonstrates that statements made in ESG reports should now be considered as ripe for litigation–whether public enforcement actions or private securities litigation–as classic sources of disclosures.    

Notably, the complaint also features allegations concerning corporate governance failures and problems with the auditing process related to the ESG reports and other disclosures.  The presence of these allegations may act to reinforce the SEC’s focus on corporate governance and attestation in its proposed mandatory climate disclosures.”

In the spotlight: Tesla joins Musk in pushing back against ESG 

While Tesla is, by definition, a company that exists specifically to reduce carbon emissions from internal combustion engine vehicles, Elon Musk and others at the company have been reluctant to share ESG-related information with ratings agencies and have, therefore, been given relatively poor ESG scores. Now, Musk and his company are pushing back:

“Tesla Inc., whose Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has criticized ESG for making little sense, said current ways of measuring environmental, social and governance issues are “fundamentally flawed.”

In a 144-page annual report, the electric vehicle-maker said ESG ratings are based on how corporate profits are affected by ESG-related factors, rather than gauging a company’s real-world impact on society and the environment. The ratings are used by money managers to help decide where to invest. 

In effect, individual investors who park their money in ESG funds managed by large asset managers are unaware that their capital is being used to buy shares of companies that are exacerbating the effects of climate change, rather than mitigating it, Tesla said. 

“We need to create a system that measures and scrutinizes actual positive impact on our planet, so unsuspecting individual investors can choose to support companies that can make and prioritize positive change,” the Austin, Texas-based company said. It added that large investors, ratings agencies, companies and the public need to push for change.” 

Musk has been a recent critic of ESG, and has said its investment principles should be “deleted if not fixed.”



Congressional Democratic retirements at highest percentage since 2014

Fifty-six members of Congress are not running for re-election in 2022, including 33 Democrats and 23 Republicans. For Democrats, this is a larger percentage of the party’s House and Senate caucus to retire in one cycle—12.22%— than in any cycle dating back to 2014. For Republicans, this represents 8.75% of the party’s caucus.

The number of retirements in each party as a percentage of the party’s total number of Congressional members illustrates the amount of turnover happening within a party in a given election cycle. 

The highest recent percentage of Republicans retired in the 2018 election cycle when 12.63% of the party’s caucus—37 members—did not run for re-election. In that cycle, Republicans gained two Senate seats but lost 35 House seats.

The lowest recent percentage of Democrats retired in the 2020 cycle when 10 members——3.57% of the caucus—did not run. In the 2020 general election, Democrats gained three seats in the Senate and lost 10 seats in the House. 

The lowest recent percentage of Republican Congressional retirements was in the 2016 election cycle. Twenty-six Republicans announced their retirement, accounting for 8.64% of the caucus. In the 2016 election, Republicans lost two Senate seats and five House seats.



Monthly tracker: Article III federal judicial nominations by president by days in office since 2001

Through May 1, 2022, there were 890 authorized federal judicial posts and 77 vacancies. Seventy-five of those were for Article III judgeships. This report is limited to Article III courts, where appointees are confirmed to lifetime terms.

  • In the past month, two judges have been confirmed
  • In the past month, 10 judges have been nominated*

*Note: This figure includes nomination announcements in addition to nominations officially received in the Senate.

By May 1, 467 days in office, President Joe Biden (D) had nominated 93 judges to Article III judgeships. For historical comparison**: 

  • President Donald Trump (R) had nominated 123 individuals, 80 of which were ultimately confirmed to their positions.
  • President Barack Obama (D) had nominated 69 individuals, 62 of which were confirmed.
  • President George W. Bush (R) had nominated 140 individuals, 85 of which were confirmed.

**Note: These figures include unsuccessful nominations.

The following data visualizations track the number of Article III judicial nominations by president by days in office during the Biden, Trump, Obama, and W. Bush administrations (2001-present). 

The first tracker is limited to successful nominations, where the nominee was ultimately confirmed to their respective court:

The second tracker counts all Article III nominations, including unsuccessful nominations (for example, the nomination was withdrawn or the U.S. Senate did not vote on the nomination), renominations of individuals to the same court, and recess appointments. A recess appointment is when the president appoints a federal official while the Senate is in recess.

The data contained in these charts is compiled by Ballotpedia staff from publicly available information provided by the Federal Judicial Center. The comparison by days shown between the presidents is not reflective of the overall status of the federal judiciary during their respective administrations and is intended solely to track nominations by president by day.

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Federal Register weekly update: Highest weekly presidential document total so far in 2022

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, accounting for both regulatory and deregulatory actions.

From May 2 through May 6, the Federal Register grew by 1,870 pages for a year-to-date total of 27,438 pages.

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

This week’s Federal Register featured the following 506 documents:

  • 394 notices
  • 14 presidential documents
  • 42 proposed rules
  • 56 final rules

Three proposed rules, including a correction to a proposed rule to amend regulations relating to the decommissioning process from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and seven final rules, including an update to the National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS) for highway bridges from the Federal Highway Administration were deemed significant under E.O. 12866—defined by the potential to have large impacts on the economy, environment, public health, or state or local governments. Significant actions may also conflict with presidential priorities or other agency rules. The Biden administration has issued 70 significant proposed rules, 86 significant final rules, and one significant notice as of May 6.

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.

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Tim Ryan wins Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in Ohio

Tim Ryan defeated Morgan Harper and Traci Johnson in the Democratic primary for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat on May 3, 2022. Based on unofficial totals, Ryan received 73% of the vote, Harper received 16% of the vote, and Johnson received 11% of the vote. 

Ryan will face J.D. Vance (R) and five other candidates in the general election on Nov. 8. U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R) did not run for re-election.

Ryan was elected to the U.S. House in 2002. Ryan campaigned on a range of economic issues, including revitalizing the state’s manufacturing industry, a federal $15 minimum wage, the PRO Act, renegotiating existing foreign trade deals, and expanding affordable healthcare. According to the Dayton Daily News, Ryan’s campaign focused primarily on blue-collar workers and issues.

Donald Trump (R) won Ohio by eight percentage points in 2016 and 2020. Portman won re-election in 2016 by 19 percentage points. Sherrod Brown (D), Ohio’s other U.S. senator, last won re-election in 2018 by seven percentage points. Three independent race forecasters consider the race between Lean Republican and Solid Republican.



Shontel Brown defeats Nina Turner in OH-11 Democratic primary rematch

Incumbent Rep. Shontel Brown defeated Nina Turner in the Democratic primary for Ohio’s 11th Congressional District on May 3. As of Wednesday morning, Brown had received 66% of the vote to Turner’s 34%. This was a rematch. Brown defeated Turner 50% to 45% in the Aug. 3, 2021, special primary election.

Brown assumed office in November 2021, succeeding Rep. Marcia Fudge (D), who resigned that year to become U.S. secretary of housing and urban development. Brown said she had progressive bona fides and a commitment to bipartisanship. She said she kept her promise to voters to work with President Joe Biden (D) by voting for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which she said would “repair the bridge on Martin Luther King, replace every lead pipe, create thousands of jobs, and finally, every home in Cleveland will have access to high-speed internet.”

Turner said Brown had not done enough to change the material conditions for poor and low-income residents. Turner said when announcing her second bid for the district, “Voting the right way is one thing, but using the full force and weight of the office to fight for things is another. … And that is a primary difference between me and the person that holds that office.” Turner referred to her work on Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) Democratic presidential campaigns and said she would fight for Medicare for All, a living wage, and good union jobs.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC endorsed Brown, a change from 2021 when it endorsed Turner. Brown became a member of the caucus after she took office. Brown’s other endorsers included President Joe Biden (D), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D), Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb (D), and the Democratic Majority for Israel PAC. Turner’s endorsers included Sanders, former Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson (D), and the cleveland.com editorial board.



Six candidates running in U.S. Senate Republican primary election in Georgia

Six candidates are running in the Republican Party primary election for U.S. Senator from Georgia on May 24, 2022. Gary Black, Kelvin King, Latham Saddler, and Herschel Walker have led in fundraising and media attention. Josh Clark and Jonathan McColumn are also running.

NPR‘s Domenico Montanaro said, “Walker, a former Heisman-winning University of Georgia Bulldog who has Trump’s endorsement, may have high name identification in the state, but he’s untested as a candidate. Walker has written about his battle with dissociative identity disorder and is facing allegations of domestic abuse from past relationships and that he exaggerated his post-football business success.” Politifact‘s Louis Jacobson wrote, “Walker’s primary opponents aren’t hitting him on policy. Rather, they are focusing on past allegations of domestic violence made between 2001 and 2008.”

Black was elected Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture in 2011 and occupied the office at the time of the election. Black worked as a cattle rancher and held positions in the Georgia Farm Bureau and Georgia Agribusiness Council. “I’m running for the U.S. Senate to take America back! We need our government to focus on its fundamental responsibility — not the change to the foundations of our country being pushed by Raphael Warnock and Joe Biden,” Black said. Black challenged Walker’s electability based on past allegations of domestic abuse, saying, “Folks, he can’t win in November. The baggage is too heavy. It’ll never happen.” Former Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R), U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R), and U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde (R) endorsed Black.

King served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force and worked in procurement, business development, and construction. King founded Osprey Management, a construction firm. “I believe our nation deserves better than President Biden and his weak leadership, just as I believe our state deserves better than Senator Warnock’s divisive far-left representation,” King said. King’s campaign released an ad focused on allegations of domestic violence against Walker: “After the violence, the abuse, the stalking, the death threats, Herschel Walker still has not been forthright with the people of Georgia, not about his violent behavior or the threats he has made against women and police.” The Georgia Republican Assembly endorsed King.

Saddler served as a U.S. Navy SEAL officer and was Director of Intelligence Programs for the National Security Council. Saddler also worked as a White House Fellow from 2018 to 2019. Saddler said his platform is based on the “three foundational pillars” of security, liberty, and prosperity, and his campaign website said, “Latham Saddler has fought for our nation abroad and at home to ensure just that — an America that is strong, secure and free. For you, your children and many generations to come. As your United States Senator, Latham will be relentless in this pursuit.” Saddler criticized Walker’s absence at debates and GOP events, saying, “If Herschel Walker can’t even debate Republicans, how is he going to hold Raphael Warnock accountable in a general election?” The Republican Jewish Coalition of Georgia endorsed Saddler.

Walker was a professional athlete and Olympian and worked for a number of food-supply businesses. Former President Donald Trump (R) appointed Walker as chairman of the Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition in 2018. Walker said his campaign was about “saving our country and the great state of Georgia from President Biden’s disastrous agenda which has led to higher prices, out-of-control crime, dangerous open borders, and ‘America Last’ foreign policy.” Responding to criticism of Walker’s electability, campaign spokesperson Mallory Blount said, “The other Republicans in this race are at less than 15% combined. Their only strategy to gain any sort of relevance is to obsess over Herschel. Herschel is solely focused on beating Raphael Warnock.” Trump endorsed Walker in September of 2021, and Walker also received endorsements from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Fox News host Sean Hannity, and evangelist Franklin Graham.

The Cook Political Report rated the general election a Tossup, meaning neither party has an advantage. In the last regular general election for the seat, incumbent Johnny Isakson (R), who assumed office in 2005, defeated Jim Barksdale (D) with 55% of the vote to Barksdale’s 41%. Gov. Brian Kemp (R) appointed Kelly Loeffler (R) to the Senate seat after Isakson resigned in December 2019 for health reasons. Raphael Warnock (D) defeated Loeffler in the special general runoff election on Jan. 5, 2021, with 51% of the vote to Loeffler’s 49%.



J.R. Majewski wins Republican primary in Ohio’s 9th Congressional District

J.R. Majewski defeated three other candidates—including two state lawmakers, Rep. Craig Riedel and Sen. Theresa Gavarone—on May 3 to win the Republican nomination for Ohio’s 9th Congressional District. Majewski will face incumbent U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D), first elected in 1982, in the general election on Nov. 8.

In the primary, Majewski led the field with 36% of the vote followed by Riedel with 31% and Gavarone with 29%. A fourth candidate, Beth Deck, received 5% of the vote.

Majewski worked in the nuclear industry in project management positions and served in the U.S. Air Force from 1999 to 2003. He received endorsements from U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and political consultant Roger Stone.

In a Candidate Connection survey submitted to Ballotpedia, Majewski described himself as “the America First Candidate” and said we would “Bring back good paying American jobs … Maintain a strong national defense and stop the endless wars.” Read Majewski’s full responses here.

Under maps most recently approved during Ohio’s redistricting process, the 9th Congressional District—which race forecasters rated Solid Democratic in 2020—will lean more Republican this year.

According to FiveThirtyEight, the district now has an average margin difference six points more Republican than that of the nation. Race forecasters now describe the general election as a Toss-up.

These new congressional district lines are currently subject to a state lawsuit. On March 29, the Ohio Supreme Court set a schedule for this case in which it expected to review the map plans after the May 3 primaries.



Four candidates compete in Democratic U.S. Senate primary in Pennsylvania

Four candidates are running in the Democratic primary for the open-seat U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania on May 17. Sen. Pat Toomey (R)—who was first elected to the Senate in 2010—announced on Oct. 5, 2020, that he would not run for re-election. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb have received the most campaign contributions and media attention. State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta and Alexandria Khalil are also running.

Toomey’s seat is one of two U.S. Senate seats up for election held by a Republican in a state that President Joe Biden (D) carried in the 2020 presidential election. Pennsylvania is also one of six states represented by one Democratic and one Republican U.S. Senator. Christopher Wilson of Yahoo News wrote that the race for Toomey’s seat “might be the Democratic Party’s best chance to gain a Senate seat in the fall.”

Fetterman served as the mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, from 2005 to 2019 and was elected lieutenant governor in 2018. He finished third in the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania for the U.S. Senate in 2016. Fetterman’s top campaign priorities are adopting a single-payer healthcare system, legalizing marijuana, and supporting LGBTQIA+ rights. His campaign website describes him as “a different kind of Democrat,” saying, “John doesn’t look like a typical politician, and more importantly, he doesn’t act like one.” Marc Levy of the Associated Press described Fetterman as “irreverent, blunt and, well, something to see. At 6 feet 8, he is tattooed and goateed, his head is clean shaven, and he is most often seen wearing shorts — even in winter — and casual work shirts.”

Lamb worked as an assistant U.S. attorney and was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives by defeating Rick Saccone (R), 49.9% to 49.5%, in a March 2018 special election. He was re-elected in 2018 and 2020. Lamb identified his top legislative priorities on his campaign website as “protecting and expanding Medicare and Social Security, raising the minimum wage to $15, cutting prescription drug prices, creating and protecting jobs and strengthening unions.” Lamb described himself as practical and says h will work with both parties to get things done. He told City & State Pennsylvania, “I’m someone that has worked with Republicans when it’s necessary to, say, get an infrastructure bill passed and work with extremely progressive Democrats to try to get Build Back Better passed and include priorities that I really care about, like improving the Medicare program.”

Fetterman was endorsed by affiliates of the United Steelworkers and the United Food and Commercial Workers unions, the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association, and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws PAC. Lamb was endorsed by The Philadelphia Democratic Party, local chapters of the Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D).

According to campaign finance reports through March 31, Fetterman has raised $15.1 million and spent $10.9 million on the race. Lamb has raised $5.7 million and spent $4.4 million.

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