The Daily Presidential News Briefing: Tester endorsed Bullock

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

June 10, 2019: Sen. Jon Tester endorsed Steve Bullock for president. Most Democrats spent the weekend campaigning in Iowa at party and Pride events.

Share the latest from the campaign trail.

Candidates chart

There are eight new candidates running since last week, including three Democrats, three Republicans, and one Libertarian. Nineteen candidates are no longer running. In total, 733 individuals are currently filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for president.

Notable Quote of the Day

“If you want to survive, and you want to get the nomination, you have to kill the bear. [Biden is] the biggest bear in the woods. … If he survives and he gets to Iowa, he’s going to be tough to stop.”

– Hank Sheinkopf, Democratic strategist


  • The Des Moines Register compiled the key moments from 19 Democratic presidential candidates’ speeches at the state Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

  • At least ten of those Democrats—Pete ButtigiegCory BookerJohn DelaneyKirsten GillibrandJay InsleeBeto O’RourkeTim RyanBernie SandersMarianne Williamsonand Andrew Yang—also attended Capital City Pride Festival events Saturday in Iowa.

  • During an interview on Cheddar’s Need2Know podcast, Michael Bennetdiscussed student loans, climate change, and why he prefers the term “pragmatic idealist” to “centrist.”

  • Joe Biden will campaign across Iowa Tuesday and Wednesday with stops in Ottumwa, Mount Pleasant, Davenport, and Clinton.

  • While campaigning in IowaBill de Blasio said he was making mental health policy one of the centerpieces of his campaign.

  • Sen. Jon Tester endorsed fellow Montanan Steve Bullock for president Sunday. He is the tenth Democratic U.S. senator to make an endorsement in the 2020 presidential election.

  • Julián Castro spoke with local officials about water filtration systems and food insecurity during a visit to Flint, Michigan.

  • Mike Gravel discussed Brexit, economic development in Africa, and regime change in the Middle East in an interview with Cherwell.

  • While speaking at an NAACP event in South Carolina, Kamala Harris said her career as a prosecutor would be her greatest asset in a general election against Donald Trump.

  • In an interview on CBS News’ Face the NationAmy Klobuchar discussed abortion policy and said the Trump administration’s trade policy was harming farmers.

  • Wayne Messam called on supporters to contribute $5 to his campaign on his birthday Friday.

  • Seth Moulton spoke at the annual party Unity Dinner in Raleigh, North Carolina, Saturday.

  • Tom Steyer’s Need to Impeach advocacy group is targeting Eric Swalwell and 11 other Democrats in key leadership and committee positions in a $360,000 campaign calling for the impeachment of Trump.


  • Donald Trump announced Friday that the U.S. would not impose tariffs on Mexican goods following an agreement with Mexico on border security.

  • Bill Weld criticized Trump’s trade and tariffs policies, saying they “have done great harm to our farmers, workers and businesses large and small across America.”

General Election Updates

  • The Florida Democratic Party released a summary of its report Saturday detailing the party’s performance in the 2018 election and goals for the 2020 election. Brandon Peters, the state party’s voter protection director, also told party leaders at the annual Leadership Blue 2019 meeting that he was preparing for a recount with a goal of 15,000 lawyers and volunteers across the state.

Join Ballotpedia as we speak with Dr. Stevan Hobfoll about how the political environment has changed. 

Flashback: June 10, 2015

Hillary Clinton launched her Instagram with a post referencing her memoir, Hard Choices. Her account now has 4.3 million followers.

Hogan won’t challenge Trump in 2020

June 3, 2019: Larry Hogan announced he will not challenge Donald Trump in the Republican primary in 2020. Kirsten Gillibrand released her LGBT policy platform.

Here’s the latest from the campaign trail.

There are six new candidates running since last week, including one Democrat and one Republican. In total, 744 individuals are currently filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for president.

Notable Quotes of the Day

“You don’t have to be in Des Moines or Manchester to have a viral moment and if that happens you’re in front of millions of people and can raise potentially millions of dollars.”

– Tad Devine, Democratic strategist

“The difference between third and fifth in Iowa could be the difference between staying in and dropping out of [the] race. And if you need to come in third but you came in fifth you’ll say, ‘Shoot, if only I had spent three or four more days in Iowa.’”

– David Plouffe, 2008 Obama presidential campaign manager


  • Michael Bennet discussed gun violence and advocated passing national background checks in an interview on ABC’s This Week.
  • Joe Biden campaigned in Ohio, attending an event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. He said passing the Equality Act would be his first legislative priority.
  • Bill de Blasio received his first endorsement from Michael Butler, the mayor of Orangeburg, South Carolina.
  • Cory Booker announced his Iowa steering committee, including party leader Jerry Crawford and state Reps. Amy Nielsen and Jennifer Konfrst.
  • Steve Bullock discussed his presidential campaign on This Week in Iowa.
  • Speaking at the California Democratic Party Convention, Pete Buttigieg said Trump would win again if Democrats played it safe in 2020. “He wins if we look like defenders of the system. He wins if we look like more of the same,” Buttigieg said. “He wins if we look like Washington. And so the riskiest thing we could do is try too hard to play it safe.”
  • Julián Castro, Kamala Harris, Jay Inslee, and Bernie Sanders attended the  Immigrant Unity and Freedom Presidential Forum in Pasadena, California, Friday.
  • John Delaney said there should be universal healthcare but criticized Medicare for All at the California Democratic Party Convention. “Medicare for All may sound good, but it’s actually not good policy, nor is it good politics,” he said.
  • Following her speech at the California Democratic Party Convention, Tulsi Gabbard held a meet and greet in San Francisco.
  • Marking the first day of Pride Month, Kirsten Gillibrand released her LGBT policy platform Saturday. She said she would direct the Department of Justice to include gender identity and sexual orientation as protected classes under anti-discrimination laws, federally recognize a third gender on ID cards, codify Obergefell v. Hodges into law, and enact a ban on conversion therapy, among other policies.
  • Mike Gravel tweeted the campaign had passed 40,000 donors and needed 25,000  more to qualify for the July debates.
  • While speaking at the California Democratic Party Convention, John Hickenlooper denounced socialism. “If we want to beat Donald Trump and achieve big progressive goals, socialism is not the answer,” he said.
  • Speaking at the #BigIdeas Forum, Amy Klobuchar promoted expanding voting rights as her idea to improve Americans’ lives.
  • Wayne Messam met with Cambridge Rindge & Latin School students in Massachusetts.
  • During an interview on CNN, Seth Moulton spoke of his struggles living with PTSD and survivor’s guilt after serving four tours in the Iraq War. He also discussed impeachment, systemic racism, and his critique of Medicare for All in a town hall on the network.
  • Beto O’Rourke campaigned in Oklahoma, including a meeting with Democratic officials in Oklahoma City to discuss the severe flooding across the state.
  • Tim Ryan discussed the economy and wage growth during a campaign stop in Iowa City. “We cannot be the party that talks about 15 [dollars] an hour,” Ryan said. “[Democrats] need to be the party that talks about $30, $40, $50 an hour.”
  • Ryan also participated in a CNN town hall. He said he now believes that Trump should be impeached, opposed a presidential ticket with white men only, and criticized Trump’s tariffs on imports from China.
  • During a town hall on CNN, Eric Swalwell said he disagreed with Sanders on extending voting rights to incarcerated individuals and eliminating private insurance.
  • Elizabeth Warren held her largest campaign event in Oakland, California, with 6,500 people in attendance. She also said that she would reverse Justice Department policy prohibiting the indictment of a sitting president.
  • Marianne Williamson spoke at Santa Monica College’s Emeritus College Friday.
  • Andrew Yang posted about Pride Month and his LGBT policy on his campaign website.


  • Donald Trump will formally launch his re-election campaign with a rally in Orlando, Florida on June 18.
  • Bill Weld said in an interview on Real Time with Bill Maher that he did not believe Trump would voluntarily leave office if he lost the 2020 election.

On the Cusp: Tracking Potential Candidates

  • Larry Hogan announced Saturday he will not run for president. Instead, he is launching the advocacy group An America United to “support bipartisan, common-sense solutions to create more and better jobs, cut taxes, protect the environment, build our infrastructure, and improve education.”
  • John Kasich also discussed his potential candidacy Friday, saying, “There is no path right now for me. I don’t see a way to get there.”

What We’re Reading

Flashback: June 3, 2015

Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee announced he was running for president, bringing the Democratic field up to four candidates.

2020 Democratic candidates campaign in Iowa State Senate district ahead of special election

On March 19, 2019, Cedar Falls School Board member Eric Giddens (D) and former state Rep. Walt Rogers (R) are running in a special election for the District 30 seat in the Iowa State Senate. The previous officeholder, Jeff Danielson (D), resigned on February 14, 2019. The two candidates were chosen by party conventions rather than primary elections.

Republicans currently hold a 32-17 majority in the chamber. If Rogers wins, Republicans will hold 33 seats. If Giddens wins, Democrats will hold 18 seats.

Still, the race is drawing attention as current and potential candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination are coming to support and campaign for Giddens, trying to earn the favor of state and local party members in advance of the state caucus.

By election day, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Gov. Steve Bullock (D-Mont.), former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) will have made appearances at events for Giddens or held their own campaign events in the district. Other 2020 hopefuls, like Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), have sent campaign staff to canvass for Giddens.

Kevin Giken, the executive director of the Iowa Democratic Party, said the candidates coming to the district “shows that they’re committed to actually seeing Iowa Democrats succeed, and giving back resources rather than taking resources.”

Rogers said that the campaign visits would create an opportunity to nationalize the race. He has called his opponent an “avowed socialist” for donating to the campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) and said that their race was “sort of a microcosm of what’s happening in the country because I think socialism is going to be an issue in the coming election as well.”

Ten file for 4 Pittsburgh school board seats

Ten candidates filed paperwork to run in the May 21 primary for four of the nine seats on the Pittsburgh School District Board of Directors in Pennsylvania. The general election is on November 5, and the filing deadline was March 12.

Out of the four seats up for election, District 8 incumbent Kevin Carter was the only board member to file for re-election. He is running unopposed in both the primary and general election. District 2 incumbent Regina Holley, District 4 incumbent Lynda Wrenn, and District 6 incumbent Moira Kaleida did not file for re-election.

Nine candidates filed to run for the three open seats. In District 2, four candidates are running in the Democratic primary. One of those candidates will also appear on the Republican primary ballot. In District 4, three candidates are running in the Democratic primary. Two of those candidates will also appear on the Republican primary ballot. In District 6, two candidates have filed to run in the Democratic primary. In Pennsylvania, school board candidates can file to run as both Democratic and Republican candidates simultaneously.

Pittsburgh Public Schools served 22,359 students during the 2016-2017 school year.

Michigan legislators reject executive order for first time in 42 years; governor issues revised order

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) issued a revised executive order on February 20, 2019, that restructures the state’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The Republican-majority Michigan State Legislature voted to reject Whitmer’s original version of the executive order on February 14—the first time state legislators had rejected a governor’s executive order in 42 years.
Whitmer’s executive order aims to create “a principal department focused on improving the quality of Michigan’s air, land, and water, protecting public health, and encouraging the use of clean energy.” The order renames and restructures the DEQ into the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. The order also establishes an Interagency Environmental Justice Response Team, an Office of Climate and Energy and Office, and a Clean Water Public Advocate, among other organization modifications.
Michigan legislators rejected the original version of the executive order because it eliminated three environmental oversight commissions that legislators had established in 2018. Legislators claimed that the commissions serve to guard citizens against potentially harmful environmental regulations. Whitmer argued that the commissions are dominated by industry leaders and slow down the regulatory process. The new version of the executive order only eliminates one of the three commissions.
The executive order will take effect on April 22 if no action is taken by the state legislature.

North Carolina governor appoints next state supreme court chief justice

Gov. Roy Cooper (D) appointed Justice Cheri Beasley to succeed Mark Martin as the chief justice of the state supreme court. Martin is retiring from the court on February 28, 2019. Beasley will assume the position on March 1, 2019.

To remain in this position, Beasley must run for election in 2020. Voters elect the chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court to serve in that capacity for a full eight-year term. North Carolina is one of only seven states in which the chief justice is elected by voters.

Gov. Bev Perdue (D) appointed Beasley to the North Carolina Supreme Court as an associate justice in 2012. In 2014, Beasley was elected to serve a full eight-year term. Beasley was previously a judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals from 2008 to 2012 and a judge for the North Carolina 12th Judicial District from 1999 to 2008. She earned her B.A. in political science and economics from Rutgers University/Douglass College in 1988. She obtained her J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1991.

Gov. Cooper must now appoint an associate justice to serve on the seven-member state supreme court. Martin’s replacement will be Cooper’s first associate justice nominee to the court. Like Beasley, the associate justice appointee will also have to run for election in November 2020 to remain on the court.

24 candidates file for seven vacant Louisiana House seats

On January 11, 2019, the candidate filing deadline passed to run in Louisiana’s special primary on February 23. The election was called to fill vacancies in seven Louisiana House of Representatives districts: 12, 17, 18, 26, 27, 47, and 62. A total of 24 candidates filed to run for these open seats. Of these candidates, 15 filed as Democrats, eight filed as Republicans, and one filed as an independent.
The special elections were triggered after three Democrats and four Republicans resigned to either take another job or serve in another elected position. Heading into 2019, the Louisiana House is controlled by the Republican Party, with 59 Republican members, 36 Democratic members, three independent members, and seven vacancies.
Louisiana’s filing deadline was the sixth special election filing deadline covered by Ballotpedia this year. If no candidate receives at least 50 percent of the vote in the primary, a general election will be held on March 30.
All 105 seats in the Louisiana House of Representatives are up for regular election in 2019. The primary is on October 12 and the general election will be held on November 16, if necessary. The candidate filing deadline is August 8.