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President Joe Biden’s new Housing and Urban Development secretary, Marcia Fudge, violated the Hatch Act in March when she highlighted Democrats’ chances to win a U.S. Senate seat from Ohio in the 2022 election, according to the Office of Special Counsel. The 1939 Hatch Act bans most partisan political activities by government officials while acting in their official capacity. The Office of Special Counsel — an independent federal investigative agency — issued a Thursday letter on the matter to Americans for Public Trust, a nonpartisan watchdog group that had complained to the office about Fudge’s conduct that day. According to a White House transcript of her March 18 briefing, the former House representative from Ohio was first asked to discuss who might take her place in Congress, but passed on making any comments about that race. “How about the Senate race in your state?” a reporter asked. “Is there a Democrat that should run?” “Oh, absolutely,” replied Fudge, a Democrat, who was then asked to identify the fellow Democrats she thought should run.

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