2020 Cong. Endorsements

Update 445 — 2020 Cong. Endorsements:
June Primary Winners in IA, IN, MD, MT, NM, PA

We are delighted to present the next round of 20/20 Vision’s endorsements for the 117th Congress. Today, we feature nominees for the U.S. Senate from Iowa, Montana, and New Mexico and for selected House seats in those states as well as Indiana, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. 

All the endorsees — three incumbents and five challengers — won their nominations this week and all face tight races in the general election in November. They deserve consideration and need support.

Good weekends, all…

Dana

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U.S. Senate

Theresa Greenfield – Iowa

  • Cook PVI: Lean R
  • 2020 Dem. Primary: Greenfield 48 / Franken 25
  • Total Amount Raised in 2020 Cycle*: Greenfield $7.1M / Ernst $12.2M

The 2020 Iowa Senate election is a key target for Democrats seeking to retake the chamber this November, and Theresa Greenfield is the candidate who can make this happen. A real estate developer who grew up on a farm, Greenfield is taking on increasingly unpopular incumbent Sen. Joni Ernst. Ernst has faced backlash for her vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and her support for the Trump tax cuts, which gave billionaires massive handouts. Recent polls between Ernst and Greenfield show them neck and neck. 

Greenfield has stressed her rural background and her experience as a young widow surviving on Social Security and union benefits after her husband’s tragic death in a workplace accident. Greenfield supports strengthening the social safety net through popular programs like Medicare and Social Security, broadening rural healthcare access, protecting workers’ rights to organize, and expanding public pre-kindergarten. Before the primary, Greenfield won endorsements from the Iowa AFL-CIO and EMILY’s list and the backing of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. 

Steve Bullock – Montana

  • Cook PVI: Lean R
  • 2020 Democratic Primary: Bullock 96 / Mues 3
  • Total Amount Raised in 2020 Cycle*: Bullock $5.9M / Daines $9.4M

A popular governor with a strong legislative track record in his home state, Steve Bullock’s late entry into the Montana Senate race gives Democrats an excellent candidate in a must-win contest. Montanans are independent — they elected Bullock governor on the same ballot that Trump won by 20 points. Bullock’s opponent, Sen. Steve Daines, is in hot water with Montanans over efforts to privatize public lands and his staunch defense of Trump during impeachment proceedings. Cook PVI rates this race as “Lean R,” but recent polling shows Bullock opening up a slight lead.

As governor, Bullock has a reputation for working across party lines. He expanded the state’s Medicaid program and bolstered investment in public education and workforce development programs. Bullock was the first Attorney General to bring a legal challenge against Citizens United to the Supreme Court. He also spearheaded Montana’s DISCLOSE Act, which increases transparency in political ad funding. 

Ben Ray Luján – New Mexico

  • Cook PVI: Likely D
  • 2020 Democratic Primary: Uncontested
  • Total Amount Raised in 2020 Cycle*: Lujan $5.4M / $850K

As Chair of the DCCC in 2018, Rep. Ben Ray Luján was crucial in Democrats retaking the House. Now the current Assistant Speaker of the House, Luján is running for the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Tom Udall. Udall won the seat over his Republican opponent by double digits in 2014, indicating a likely Democratic hold this year. Luján, who was uncontested in the primary, will face Republican candidate Mark Ronchetti, an outspoken Trump supporter, in November. 

Luján, the highest ranking Hispanic member of Congress, is a leading proponent of environmental regulation and a public option for health insurance. He also supports raising the minimum wage, enacting more progressive taxes, strengthening unions, and expanding Social Security benefits. 

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U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03)

  • Cook PVI: R+1
  • 2020 Democratic Primary: Uncontested
  • Total Amount Raised in 2020 Cycle*: Axne $3.3M / Young $1.6M

Rep. Cindy Axne is one of the first women to represent Iowa in the House of Representatives. Her 2-point win in 2018 helped Democrats secure the majority in that chamber. Now, Rep. Axne is defending her seat in a rematch with Republican David Young, the incumbent she previously unseated. 

A member of the Financial Services Committee, Axne has introduced legislation on corporate offshoring, job outsourcing, rural small business access to credit, and rental assistance for low-income rural residents. During the coronavirus crisis, she’s been outspoken on adequate federal assistance to states and localities and supported measures to increase flexibility for small businesses under the Paycheck Protection Program.

Christina Hale (IN-05)

  • Cook PVI: R+9
  • 2020 Democratic Primary: Hale 39 / Thornton 28 / Christie 18 / Jacobs 14
  • Total Amount Raised in 2020 Cycle*: Hale $1.1M / Spartz $842K

After her victory in a packed Democratic primary, Christina Hale offers Democrats the opportunity to flip Indiana’s 5th District for the first time in nearly 30 years. Republicans are losing their incumbency advantage this cycle as Rep. Susan Brooks is retiring. Hale will face off against Republican Victoria Spartz. Shifting demographics on Indianapolis’ north side combined with the increasingly blue sentiment of suburban counties make this seat very much in play.

A lifelong Hoosier, Hale put herself through college as a single mother. During her time in the Indiana State House, she was one of its most active legislators despite serving in a super-minority. Hale also has experience in community and economic development, having served as Executive Director for Kiwanis International. She has made lowering healthcare costs central to her campaign and focuses her economic message on supporting small business and strengthening the middle class.

Kathleen Williams (MT-AL) 

  • Cook PVI: R+11
  • 2020 Democratic Primary: Williams 90 / Winter 10
  • Total Amount Raised in 2020 Cycle*: Williams $1.9M / Rosendale $1.5M

After an 80-point victory in Tuesday’s primary, Kathleen Williams is primed to flip Montana’s At-Large House seat from red to blue for the first time in over 20 years. Williams will be up against State Auditor Matt Rosendale, a staunchly pro-Trump conservative who tried unsucesfully to unseat Sen. Jon Tester in 2018. Williams narrowly lost this same race in 2018 to Rep. Greg Gianforte, and recent polling has her virtually tied with Rosendale.

Williams has years of experience in natural resource planning and would be a key player in Democrats’ environmental protection agenda-setting. She has also made healthcare and economic opportunity central to her platform. Her economic priorities include: increasing worker protections, strengthening the social safety net, upskilling the workforce, and transitioning towards a more inclusive, sustainable economy.

Rep. Brendan Boyle (PA-02)

  • Cook PVI: D+25
  • 2020 Democratic Primary: Uncontested
  • Total Amount Raised in 2020 Cycle: Boyle $963K 

Rep. Brendan Boyle is a leading advocate in the House Ways and Means Committee on fighting economic inequality. A Democratic champion of the working class, Boyle has served as a Representative for Pennsylvania since 2015. He won his race uncontested in 2018. While he faces Republican candidate David Torres this cycle, it should be an easy win for Boyle as an incumbent in a safe Democratic district.

Boyle is in favor of increasing the minimum wage (including for tipped workers), enacting stronger workplace discrimination protections, providing paid sick days for all workers during public health emergencies, and protecting Social Security benefits. Additionally, he has been outspoken about large corporations laying off their employees while giving their executives exorbitant pay increases and has supported boycotts of those companies. 

Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05)

  • Cook PVI: D+13
  • 2020 Democratic Primary: Uncontested
  • Total Amount Raised in 2020 Cycle*: Scanlon $893K / Pruett $11K

Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon has been at the forefront of the 116th Congress’ push for democracy reform. She is running for re-election in Pennsylvania’s 5th district, where she faces Republican Dasha Pruett. Scanlon handily defeated her Republican opponent in 2018, and, after an uncontested primary, looks set for a relatively easy hold.

Scanlon served as a floor manager for H.R. 1, the For the People Act, the most important and ambitious set of democracy and voting reforms in half a century. She is a strong advocate for shoring up ethics rules for elected officials, increasing Presidential inaugural fund transparency, and ensuring equal ballot box access for all Americans.

Special Honoree:

  • John Sarbanes (MD-3) has been a leader on democracy initiatives in the Democratic caucus. In 2019, Sarbanes introduced H.R. 1 which would institute the most significant anti-corruption, campaign finance, and voting reforms since Watergate. After his overwhelming win on Tuesday, Sarbanes is poised to win an eighth term in November and continue the fight for democracy reform in the 117th Congress. 

*Total campaign receipts according to most recent FEC filings.

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