Fudge joined White House press secretary Jen Psaki at Thursday’s briefing, where she was asked about the special election to fill her now-vacant seat in Congress.
“I think we’re going to put a good person in that race no matter who we choose, but they’re both friends,” Fudge said, adding, “I think we have a good shot at it. I know people have written off Ohio. I haven’t written off Ohio. I believe we can win the Senate race.”
A spokesperson for OSC told CNN Friday the office was unable to comment or confirm whether an investigation has been opened into Fudge’s comments. The White House declined to comment on the issue Friday.
“When I was discussing getting relief to the American People and the American Rescue Plan from the briefing room on Thursday, I answered a question from a reporter related to Ohio politics,” Fudge told CNN on Saturday. “I acknowledge that I should have stuck with my first instinct and not answered the question. I take these things seriously and I want to assure the American people that I am focused on meeting the needs of our country.”
“The Hatch Act prohibits officials from advocating for or against candidates in a partisan political election in their official capacity,” Jordan Libowitz, who serves as communications director for the non-partisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, told CNN Friday. “Talking about which candidates can win elections enters a dangerous territory. Our legal team is currently reviewing this situation for a possible violation, but whether or not there is one, it would be best for Cabinet secretaries to avoid the subject entirely.”
This story has been updated to include comment from Fudge.