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AO 2022-08: Candidates whose primary date changed may accept additional contributions – FEC.gov

Candidates seeking nomination to the House of Representatives from New York are entitled to separate contribution limits for a court-ordered August 23 primary.

Background

Congressional candidates in New York were originally seeking their party’s nomination in a June 28, 2022, primary under district maps enacted in February 2022. On March 31, 2022, a trial court found the maps unconstitutional. That ruling was upheld in mid-April, with new maps ordered to be drawn by May and a new date of August 23 set for the primary.

Analysis

Under the Federal Election Campaign Act, candidates and their authorized committees are entitled to separate contribution limits with respect to “any election for Federal office.” Because contribution limits apply separately with respect to each election, participating in multiple elections may render a candidate eligible for separate contribution limits, and “separate contribution limits are permitted when a judicial decision creates a new election.”

In this case, candidates were preparing for a June primary by the time state courts established a new election date, and new district lines were not set until a May 20 order from the court. The effect of the courts’ multiple orders created a new electoral situation requiring candidates to file in districts with new boundaries and campaign for a new election held under new rules and potentially against new opposition. Because of this, the Commission concluded that those seeking nomination to the House of Representatives from New York for the June 28 primary are entitled to a new contribution limit for August 23. This limit applies to contributions made after the May 20 court order.

Date issued: June 23, 2022; Length: 6 pages

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