The Hill's Campaign Report: Democrat concedes in California House race

The Hill's Campaign Report: Democrat concedes in California House race

Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail. 

BREAKING NEWS: Democratic state Assemblywoman Christy Smith on Wednesday conceded defeat in the special election in California’s 25th District after vote returns showed her opponent, Republican Mike Garcia, with a comfortable lead.


The concession flips the seat that was won by former Democratic Rep. Katie HillKatherine (Katie) Lauren HillObamas to attend Biden inauguration Trump pardons George Papadopoulos in latest batch of pardons Former Rep. Katie Hill files lawsuit against ex-husband, Daily Mail over nude photos MORE in 2018. Hill resigned amid a House ethics investigation into an inappropriate relationship between her and one of her congressional staffers.  


Allies of former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenLawmakers, activists remember civil rights icons to mark 'Bloody Sunday' Fauci predicts high schoolers will receive coronavirus vaccinations this fall Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersLawmakers, activists remember civil rights icons to mark 'Bloody Sunday' Progressives' majority delusions politically costly Sinema pushes back on criticism of her vote against minimum wage MORE’s (I-Vt.) are set to form six unity task forces ahead of the Democratic National Convention in August.

Biden’s campaign announced the news on Wednesday, and said the working groups will explore six policy issues — climate change, criminal justice reform, economy, education, health care and immigration. Additionally, each task force will develop recommendations for their policy area. 

Analilia Mejia from the Sanders campaign and Carmel Martin from the Biden campaign will lead the initiative. And a number of high-profile names will lead the group’s task forces. Former Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryEconomic growth in Africa will not be achieved by a blanket ban on fossil fuels Biden can build on Pope Francis's visit to Iraq OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats reintroduce road map to carbon neutrality by 2050 | Kerry presses oil companies to tackle climate change | Biden delays transfer of sacred lands for copper mine MORE and progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezProgressives' majority delusions politically costly Manchin: Every member of the Senate thinks minimum wage should increase Progressives won't oppose bill over limits on stimulus checks MORE will both co-chair the climate task force, while progressive Washington Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalProgressives won't oppose bill over limits on stimulus checks Democrats snipe on policy, GOP brawls over Trump House Democrats' ambitious agenda set to run into Senate blockade MORE and former Surgeon General Vivek MurthyVivek MurthyMurthy vows to focus on mental health effects of pandemic if confirmed as surgeon general The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Senate ref axes minimum wage, House votes today on relief bill Watch live: Biden surgeon general pick testifies at confirmation hearing MORE will lead the health care panel.

On the economy panel, California Rep. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassHouse approves George Floyd Justice in Policing Act House sets vote for George Floyd police reform bill Lobbying world MORE and union leader Sara Nelson will lead, while Rep. Marcia FudgeMarcia FudgeWe need to lay the foundation for meaningful housing policy change Black Caucus members lobby Biden to tap Shalanda Young for OMB head Sanders votes against Biden USDA nominee Vilsack MORE and former Sanders campaign senior policy adviser Heather Gautney will co-chair the education committee. California Rep. Lucille Roybal-AllardLucille Roybal-AllardHouse Democrats introduce bill providing citizenship to Dreamers Overnight Health Care: CDC panel recommends who gets vaccine first | McConnell offering new relief bill | Hahn downplays White House meeting on vaccines Democrats were united on top issues this Congress — but will it hold? MORE and Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, will lead the immigration task force. 

This is the strongest effort to unify the centrist and progressive wings of the party, which has been fractured since the 2016 Democratic presidential primary. And the two sides have a lot of work ahead of them. 


Progressives have made demands for left-leaning policies, like "Medicare for All" and the Green New Deal. However, the establishment wing of the party, now under Biden’s banner, has warned that these ideas may not be that realistic when Democrats are looking to gain ground in a number of swing states. Additionally, establishment Democrats have cited protecting their House majority in a number of districts they flipped in 2018. 

Progressive leaders and their supporters have signaled in the past that they will not be willing to compromise on a number of these issues and remain skeptical of Biden. Ocasio-Cortez told The New York Times last month that bringing the party together behind Biden should be “uncomfortable for everyone involved.” 

However, the progressive and establishment figures on the panel appear to be united on at least one front: defeating President TrumpDonald TrumpUS, South Korea reach agreement on cost-sharing for troops Graham: Trump can make GOP bigger, stronger, or he 'could destroy it' Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump MORE in November. 

“A united party is key to defeating Donald Trump this November and moving our country forward through an unprecedented crisis,” Biden said in a statement. “As we work toward our shared goal, it is especially critical that we not lose sight of the pressing issues facing Americans.”

--Julia Manchester 



Republican flips House seat in California special election, by Max Greenwood.

Biden and Sanders allies create 'unity task forces' to explore policy initiatives, by Justine Coleman



Biden on Wednesday backed rent and mortgage forgiveness for those struggling to get by during the coronavirus pandemic. Sylvan Lane reports.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday grappled with the issue of “faithless electors,” and many of the justices appeared uncomfortable with the idea of unleashing Electoral College representatives to disregard the popular vote in their states. Harper Neidig reports.



Republican Tom Tiffany won the special election in Wisconsin’s 7th District on Tuesday to fill the vacancy left by former Rep. Sean DuffySean DuffyLobbying world CNN's Ana Navarro to host Biden roundtable on making 'Trump a one-term president' Bottom line MORE (R), defeating Democrat Tricia Zunker. Tal Axelrod reports.

Meanwhile, in Nebraska’s 2nd district, liberal Kara Eastman prevailed in the Democratic primary over a centrist challenger and will move on to face Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.). The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a poll on Wednesday showing Bacon and Eastman running neck and neckTal reports.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats near pressure point on nixing filibuster  We need a voting rights workaround Biden takes victory lap after Senate passes coronavirus relief package MORE (R-Ky.) on Wednesday acknowledged that Republicans face a “challenging environment” as they battle to protect their Senate majority, Alexander Bolton reports.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Senate begins marathon vote-a-rama before .9T COVID-19 relief passage The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Virus relief bill headed for weekend vote Biden turns focus to next priority with infrastructure talks MORE’s new political action committee rolled out a slate of endorsements Wednesday focusing on local elected positions, J. Edward Moreno reports.

The liberal group Democracy for America (DFA) is backing former public defender Keeda Haynes’s (D) primary challenge against Rep. Jim CooperJim CooperDeJoy apologizes for mail delays while defending Postal Service changes Colorado presses Biden to reverse Trump Space Command move Five centrist Democrats oppose Pelosi for Speaker in tight vote MORE (D-Tenn.) in the race to represent Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District, Jonathan Easley reports.



Phil Arballo, the Democrat challenging Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesRepublican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC What good are the intelligence committees? CPAC, all-in for Trump, is not what it used to be MORE (R-Calif.), has raised more than $2.1 million. Nunes, who received national attention during the Russia investigation as the top ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, will still have a cash advantage, having raised $11.7 million this cycle.




Biden: 47 percent

Trump: 46 percent




PERDUE: 43 percent

OSSOFF: 41 percent



COLLINS: 19 percent

LOEFFLER: 18 percent

LIEBERMAN: 17 percent

WARNOCK: 9 percent



(Keep in mind these dates could change because of the outbreak.)

May 19:

Oregon primaries


May 22:

Hawaii Democratic primary


June 2:

Delaware primaries

District of Columbia primaries

Indiana primaries

Maryland primaries

Montana primaries

New Mexico primaries

Pennsylvania primaries

Rhode Island primaries

South Dakota primaries


June 9:

Georgia primaries

West Virginia primaries


June 23:

Kentucky primaries


July 7:

New Jersey primaries


July 11:



July 14:

Alabama Republican Senate primary runoff


August 11:

Connecticut primary


August 17-20:

Democratic National Convention


August 24-27:

Republican National Convention


One hopeful thing 

Broadway star Nick Cordero’s wife announced that the performer is awake after going through a medically induced coma due to coronavirus complications. 

"He is awake. ... We did it,” Cordero’s wife, Amanda Kloots, announced on Instagram on Tuesday. 

Cordero has been hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles since March 30. 

While Cordero’s wife says this is certainly good news, she added that the road to a full recovery will be a tough one. 

"Even closing his eyes, takes it out of him. They're waiting for him to regain strength. Of course, time and recovery will help with that and then eventually [physical therapy] will help him get stronger," she said. "But he's a true superhero."

We’ll see you tomorrow with more campaign news of the day.