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  • Press Release

FEC elects James E. "Trey" Trainor as Chair, Steven T. Walther as Vice Chair for the remainder of 2020

June 18, 2020

WASHINGTON – At its open meeting today, the Federal Election Commission elected James E. "Trey" Trainor III as Chair and Steven T. Walther as Vice Chair for the remainder of 2020.

Chair Trainor was nominated to the Commission by President Donald J. Trump and confirmed by the United States Senate on May 19, 2020. He was appointed to a term ending April 30, 2023.

Chair Trainor has practiced in the areas of election law, campaign finance law and ethics for two decades. He served as General Counsel to the Texas Secretary of State and Counsel to the Texas House Committee on Regulated Industries, and has represented the Texas Republican Party and two presidential campaigns. Chair Trainor also served on the Advisory Board of the United States Election Assistance Commission. Prior to joining the Commission, Chair Trainor was a partner at Akerman, LLP, and he had his own practice. He graduated from Texas A&M University (Corps of Cadets member) in 1997 and earned his law degree from Texas A&M University School of Law in 2002.

Vice Chair Walther was first sworn in as a Commissioner on January 10, 2006, as a recess appointee, but his recess term expired on December 31, 2007, before the Senate acted. On June 24, 2008, he was confirmed by the Senate to resume the balance of his statutory term. He served as Vice Chair for the balance of 2008 and as Chair in 2009 and 2017.

Vice Chair Walther is a former president of the State Bar of Nevada, the Western States Bar Conference, and the National Caucus of State Bar Associations. He is a past chair of the 6,000 member Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, the legal research arm of the ABA. From 1971 until his FEC appointment, Vice Chair Walther served as a member of the Nevada State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He received his undergraduate degree, with a major in Russian, from the University of Notre Dame in 1965 and his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1968.

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an independent regulatory agency that administers and enforces federal campaign finance laws. The FEC has jurisdiction over the financing of campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, the Presidency and the Vice Presidency. Established in 1975, the FEC is composed of six Commissioners who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.