SPONSORED:

The Hill's Campaign Report: 19 years since 9/11 | Dem rival to Marjorie Taylor Greene drops out | Collin Peterson faces fight of his career | Court delivers blow to ex-felon voting rights in Florida

The Hill's Campaign Report: 19 years since 9/11 | Dem rival to Marjorie Taylor Greene drops out | Collin Peterson faces fight of his career | Court delivers blow to ex-felon voting rights in Florida
© Getty Images

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:

LEADING THE DAY: 19 YEARS SINCE 9/11

ADVERTISEMENT

Friday marked the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks that forever changed the U.S. and the world. 

President TrumpDonald TrumpHead of firms that pushed 'Italygate' theory falsely claimed VA mansion was her home: report Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting VA moving to cover gender affirmation surgery through department health care MORE, Vice President Pence, former Vice President Biden and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisThe U.S. and Mexico must revamp institutions supporting their joint efforts Harris signals a potential breakthrough in US-Mexico cooperation Watch live: Harris delivers remarks on vaccination efforts MORE (D-Calif.) all honored the day in public but did not take part in the campaign events that normally take place in the last two month before Election Day. 

Trump marked the day in Shanksville, Pa., where he attended and delivered remarks at the annual Flight 93 memorial service. 

"The heroes of Flight 93 are an everlasting reminder that no matter the danger, no matter the threat, no matter the odds, America will always rise up, stand tall and fight back," Trump said. 

Additionally, Trump and his staff observed a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., marking the time the first plane hit the north tower of the World Trade Center.

Meanwhile, in New York City, Biden and Pence bumped elbows in Manhattan at the World Trade Center memorial site, marking a rare show of respect in the presidential campaign. 

ADVERTISEMENT

A number of officials, including New York Sens. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Senate confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar MORE and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandGillibrand: Military must make changes beyond sexual assault cases COVID-19 long-haulers press Congress for paid family leave Ocasio-Cortez, Gillibrand and Moulton call for more high-speed rail funding in infrastructure package MORE were also in attendance and looked on at the greeting between the vice presidents. 

Pence went on to speak at a Tunnel to Towers Foundation event, while Biden traveled to Shanksville. He did not cross paths with Trump. 

In Fairfax, Va., Harris spoke at a memorial ceremony, and called for national unity.

"Let us also remember that honoring them is also about reminding us of who we are as Americans,” Harris said. “Because in times of tragedy, in times of despair, in times of suffering and pain, we, by our very nature as who we are, stand together. We stand together."

The tone of the day is a rarity for this campaign cycle, which is regularly marked with a constant slew of attacks in person, online and over the airwaves. 

HOUSE RACES:

Breaking news…

The Democratic candidate challenging Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene, a controversial figure who has promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory, for a Georgia House seat abruptly ended his campaign on Friday, announcing that he is leaving the state.

Kevin Van Ausdal said he would have to leave the race for “personal and family reasons.”

“I am deeply saddened by the personal and family reasons that prevent me from continuing on as a candidate for Georgia’s 14th Congressional District," he said in a statement. “Although all the details will remain my family’s alone, please understand this was not an easy decision. We are real people managing hard choices.”

Greene was already heavily favored to win the red district — Trump carried it in 2016 by more than 50 points — although House Republicans are worried the controversial candidate will create headaches for the GOP.

It’s unclear if the Georgia Democratic Party will have the chance to choose a replacement for Van Ausdal, though it doesn’t look likely. Georgia state law holds that a vacancy for a party nomination due to a candidate’s withdrawal can’t be filled within 60 days of an election. The Nov. 3 election is 53 days away.

Max Greenwood reports.

Rep. Collin PetersonCollin Clark Peterson Progressives fight for leverage amid ever-slimming majority Six ways to visualize a divided America On The Trail: The political losers of 2020 MORE (D-Minn.) faces the toughest reelection contest of his 30-year career as he seeks to hold off Republican Michelle Fischbach in a sprawling rural district in Western Minnesota that went for Trump by 30 points in 2016.

Peterson has survived for a long time by being willing to buck his own party in the ruby red district. He is one of two Democrats to vote against impeaching Trump. The other Democrat was Rep. Jeff Van DrewJeff Van DrewWe can't let sand mining threaten storm-buffering, natural infrastructure Sunday shows preview: Biden administration grapples with border surge; US mourns Atlanta shooting victims Pro-union bill passes House, setting up lobbying battle in Senate MORE of New Jersey, who has since switched parties to become a Republican.

Peterson matches his district — he’s a rare anti-abortion, pro-gun Democrat and one of the founders of the centrist Blue Dog Democrats.

But Republicans say he’s never faced a real challenger. They believe he has one now in Fischbach, the first woman to be elected president of the Minnesota Senate and the state’s former lieutenant governor.

Jonathan Easley reports.

ADVERTISEMENT

FROM THE STATES:

A federal court of appeals delivered a blow to voting rights advocates on Friday, ruling that a Florida law requiring people with serious criminal convictions to pay fines and fees before they are eligible to register to vote. 

The 6-4 ruling by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta reverses a previous decision from a lower court judge’s decision that held that the Florida law imposed an unfair “pay-to-vote system” for ex-felons. 

Some background: Florida voters approved a ballot initiative in 2018 that restores the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions. The measure, Amendment 4, does not apply to people convicted of murder and sex crimes and requires those convicted of other felonies to complete their sentences before they’re eligible to vote.

But the state’s Republican-controlled legislature argued after the measure’s approval that lawmakers should decide how it’s implemented, leading to the requirement that ex-felons pay all restitution before registering to vote. That’s a tall order for many ex-felons, many of whom don’t have the money or the means to pay those fees and fines.

The Hill’s J. Edward Moreno has more here.