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:

Five states to hold congressional primaries on August 4

On August 4, Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington are holding statewide primaries. Between these five states, 48 congressional seats—45 U.S. House seats and three U.S. Senate seats—are up for election.

Arizona is holding a special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by former Sen. John McCain’s (R) death on August 25, 2018. Martha McSally (R) is the current appointed incumbent, and she is running in the August 4 Republican primary. The winner of the November 3 general election will take office on January 3, 2021, and serve the remaining two years of McCain’s term. Arizona is also holding primary elections for all nine of its U.S. House seats on August 4.

Both Kansas and Michigan are holding congressional primaries for Senate and House seats. In Kansas, elections are being held for the state’s Class II Senate seat currently held by Pat Roberts (R) and all four of the state’s U.S. House seats. Michigan is holding elections for the Class II Senate seat held by Gary Peters (D) and all 14 of its House seats.

Neither Missouri nor Washington has a Senate seat up for election in 2020. Missouri is holding elections for its eight House seats, and Washington is holding elections for its 10 House seats.

The 45 House seats up for election on August 4 represent 10.3% of the 435 total seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, all of which are up for election in 2020. The three Senate seats up for election that day equal 3% of the Senate’s 100 total seats and approximately 8.6% of the 35 Senate seats up for election this year (33 are up for regular election; two are up for special election).

Candidates in all five states are competing to advance to their respective states’ general elections scheduled for November 3, 2020.

Additional links:

Biden outraised Trump by $8 million, closed cash-on-hand gap in June

Joe Biden outraised Donald Trump by $8 million and closed the cash-on-hand gap in June, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission on July 20.

The Biden campaign raised $63.4 million in June, a percentage difference of 13.8% from the Trump campaign’s $55.2 million. Trump’s campaign spent $50.3 million compared to Biden’s $36.9 million. As of June, the Biden and Trump campaigns were nearly matched in cash on hand with $108.9 million and $113 million, respectively. Trump continues to lead Biden in overall fundraising since the beginning of 2017 ($342.7 million to $278.8 million).

Biden’s campaign raised 71% more in June than it did in May ($63.4 million versus $37 million), while Trump more than doubled his receipts ($24.9 million versus $55.2 million).

Trump’s $342.7 million in overall fundraising is the third-highest figure for any presidential candidate at this point in the past four cycles. The only candidate to have outraised him was Barack Obama (D), who had raised $444.3 million in inflation-adjusted funds at this point in 2008 and $358.2 million at this point in 2012. Trump’s cash-on-hand total of $113 million is the highest of any candidate’s at this point in the election cycle, topping Obama’s $112.2 million in inflation-adjusted cash-on-hand in July 2012.

Biden and Trump’s combined $621.6 million in fundraising is the second-highest combined total across the four most recent election cycles. At this point in the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama and John McCain (R) had raised a combined inflation-adjusted $634.1 million. Obama and Mitt Romney (R) had raised a combined $538.5 million in 2012, while Trump and Hillary Clinton (D) had raised a combined $384.1 million.

Additional reading:

3,077 major party candidates filed for 2020 Congress elections

As of July 27, 3,077 major party candidates have filed to run for the Senate and House of Representatives in 2020.

So far, 481 candidates are filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to run for U.S. Senate. Of those, 382—194 Democrats and 188 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, 3,092 candidates have filed with the FEC to run. Of those, 2,695—1,263 Democrats and 1,432 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 232 seats.

Additional reading:

Four congressional races in Georgia move to runoffs on August 11

Four primary runoff elections are scheduled in three of Georgia’s congressional districts on August 11, 2020. Primary runoffs in Georgia were originally scheduled to be held on July 21 but were postponed to August 11 amid concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. The statewide primary election was held on June 9, 2020.

To avoid a runoff, candidates for select federal and state offices in Georgia must receive a majority (50% +1) of the votes cast in the election. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, a runoff between the top two candidates is required. The filing deadline to run in the primary election passed on March 6, 2020, and the general election is scheduled on November 3, 2020.

Candidates are in primary runoff elections in the following congressional districts:

U.S. House District 1

• Democrats Joyce Marie Griggs and Lisa Ring are facing off to determine who will challenge incumbent Earl Carter (R) in the general election.

U.S. House District 9
• The seat is open after incumbent Doug Collins (R), who was first elected in 2012, opted not to run for re-election this cycle. He has instead filed to run in a special election to the U.S. Senate to represent Georgia. Primary runoffs are being held for both the Democratic and Republican parties.
• Democratic primary runoff: Devin Pandy and Brooke Siskin are facing off to determine who will advance to the general election.

• Republican primary runoff: Andrew Clyde and Matt Gurtler are facing off for a spot in the general election.

U.S. House District 14
• The seat is open after incumbent Tom Graves (R), first elected in 2010, announced he would not seek re-election in 2020.

• Republicans John Cown and Marjorie Taylor Greene are running in the runoff to secure a spot in the general election where the winner will face Democrat Kevin Van Ausdal.

Ballotpedia is also covering Georgia elections in the following areas:
• U.S. Senate
• Public Service Commission
• State Senate
• State House
• State supreme court
• State court of appeals
• Local elections in DeKalb County and Fulton County
Additional reading:

Voters decide primaries in Maine, primary runoffs in Alabama, Texas

The primary election for Maine’s congressional seats took place on July 14, 2020. The filing deadline to run passed on March 16. Candidates competed to advance to the general election scheduled on November 3.

The following races were decided, meaning one or more candidates advanced to the general election, on primary election night:
• U.S. Senate – one seat

• U.S. House of Representatives – two seats

Maine uses a ranked-choice voting system (RCV), in which voters rank candidates by preference on their ballots. If a candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, he or she is declared the winner. If no candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated. First-preference votes cast for the failed candidate are eliminated, and the second-preference choices on those ballots are then tallied. A new tally is conducted to determine whether any candidate has won a majority of the adjusted votes. The process is repeated until a candidate wins an outright majority.

As of July 2020, Maine was the only state that had adopted RCV at the state level, although other states have adopted RCV at the municipal level or have adopted RCV but not yet implemented it.

Maine’s primary election was the 31st to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next primary is on August 4 in Arizona.

Alabama and Texas held statewide primary runoffs on July 14.

The filing deadline to run in Alabama passed on November 8, 2019. To avoid a primary runoff in Alabama, a candidate had to win a majority of votes cast in the primary election. If no candidate won a majority of votes, the top two candidates advanced to the primary runoff. Alabama’s primary election was held on March 3, 2020. Three congressional seats advanced to primary runoffs in Alabama, including one race for the U.S. Senate and two for the U.S. House. All three of these races were decided on election night.

In Texas, the filing deadline to run for office passed on December 9, 2019. To avoid a primary runoff in Texas, a candidate had to win a majority of the votes in the primary election. If no candidate won a majority of votes, the top two candidates advanced to the primary runoff. Texas’ primary was held on March 3, 2020. Fifteen congressional offices—one U.S. Senate seat and 14 U.S. House seats—advanced to primary runoffs in Texas. All but two of those races were decided on election night.

Additional reading:

Hegar wins Democratic primary runoff for Senate in Texas

M.J. Hegar defeated Royce West in the Democratic primary runoff for U.S. Senate in Texas. Hegar received 52% of the vote to West’s 48%.

Hegar’s endorsers included the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and End Citizens United. She is a former U.S. Army search and rescue and medevac pilot. Hegar ran for the U.S. House in Texas’ 31st District in 2018, losing to incumbent John Carter (R) 51% to 48%.

The Texas Working Families Party and several state House members endorsed West. West has served in the state House since 1992.

Incumbent Sen. John Cornyn (R) is running for re-election. Democrats last won a statewide election in Texas in 1994. In the most recent U.S. Senate election, incumbent Ted Cruz (R) defeated then-Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) 51% to 48%.

Nehls defeats Wall in TX-22 Republican primary runoff

Troy Nehls defeated Kathaleen Wall in the Republican primary runoff for Texas’ 22nd Congressional District. Nehls received 70% of the vote to Wall’s 30%.

The Houston Chronicle, SEAL PAC, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsed Nehls. U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), the National Association for Gun Rights, and the Susan B. Anthony List endorsed Wall. According to campaign finance reports, Wall spent $2 million to Nehls’ $98,000 between April 1 and June 24.

Incumbent Pete Olson (R), who was first elected in 2008, did not seek re-election. Since 1979, Republicans have represented the district for all but two years, when Nick Lampson held the seat from 2007 to 2009. In 2018, Olson won re-election 51.4% to 46.5%. Major independent observers rate the 2020 general election as a toss-up or tilt Republican.

Imam defeats Eady Mann in Texas’ 31st Congressional District Democratic primary runoff

Donna Imam defeated Christine Eady Mann in the Democratic primary runoff for Texas’ 31st Congressional District. Imam received 57% of the vote to Eady Mann’s 43%.

Imam, a computer engineer, received an endorsement from former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang (D), who said, “Imam is one of the most solutions-oriented candidates I’ve ever spoken to, which is no surprise as she’s an engineer and entrepreneur.”

Imam will face incumbent Rep. John Carter (R) in the general election. Carter has represented the 31st District since its creation in 2003. He most recently won re-election in 2018 over M.J. Hegar (D), receiving 51 percent of the vote to Hegar’s 48 percent, the first time a Democratic candidate had won over 40 percent of the vote in the district.