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Heart of the Primaries 2022, Republicans-Issue 34

August 11, 2022

In this issue: Highlights from this week’s primaries and a look at the Republican Main Street Partnership’s agenda 

Primary results roundup

Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin held primaries on Tuesday. Here are some highlights.

Wisconsin Governor: Tim Michels won with 47% of the vote to Rebecca Kleefisch’s 42% as of Wednesday morning. Former President Donald Trump endorsed Michels. Former Gov. Scott Walker and former Vice President Mike Pence endorsed Kleefisch. Michels faces Gov. Tony Evers (D) in the Toss-up general election.

Wisconsin State Assembly District 63: Assembly Speaker Robin Vos defeated Adam Steen 51% to 49%. Vos has been in office since 2005, and his peers chose him as speaker in 2013. Trump endorsed Steen the week before the primary.

Vermont U.S. House: Liam Madden won the primary with 41% of the vote as of Wednesday afternoon. Ericka Redic had 32% and Anya Tynio, 27%. Madden describes himself as an independent and said as of Wednesday he was deciding whether to accept the GOP nomination or run as an independent. In his Ballotpedia Candidate Connection survey, Madden said, “The two party system prevents us from solving our problems. It doesn’t represent us, doesn’t work, drives us apart, and is controlled by elites.”

Also, some updates from Aug. 2 primaries:

Washington’s 3rd District and Washington’s 4th District: Each of these top-two primaries featured a Republican incumbent who voted to impeach Trump in 2021. In the 4th District, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R) and Doug White (D) advanced. The 3rd District race isn’t called yet. As of Wednesday, Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D) had 31%, Trump-backed Joe Kent (R) had 23%, and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R) was third with 22%. Herrera Beutler conceded on Tuesday. If Herrera Beutler loses, she’ll be the 11th U.S. representative who ran for re-election and lost in a primary this year.

Arizona Governor: Kari Lake won with 48% to Karrin Taylor Robson’s 43%. This was another race where Trump and Pence backed different candidates, with Trump endorsing Lake and Pence endorsing Taylor Robson.

Media analysis

Courthouse News Service wrote about Michels’ and Kleefisch’s campaign messages and the possible effects a Republican governor would have on Wisconsin law:

Kleefisch’s campaign connected her to the Walker administration’s highest profile moves, including most prominently the passage of Act 10, a 2011 law that gutted the collective bargaining power of most public sector unions and sparked massive protests from what Kleefisch has called “the liberal mob.”

Michels, who unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate in 2004, ran a campaign based on his business acumen and disregard for the political culture in the state Capitol in Madison. The 60-year-old spent nearly $12 million of his own money on his campaign and cast himself as a disruptive candidate similar to Donald Trump, who endorsed Michels and stumped for him in Waukesha on Aug. 5.

Kleefisch, 47, was backed by Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence, Wisconsin’s most influential business and commerce lobbies, and important figures in the state Republican Party like Vos.

With the Wisconsin Legislature firmly in the control of Republicans for now — and very likely for the near future — either candidate as governor would have been likely to sign into law sweeping changes or maintain current conservative legislation on abortion, education and, maybe most importantly, elections.

Fox6 wrote about the conflict over the 2020 presidential election between Vos and Steen: 

Vos has had a hand in every major Republican initiative over the last decade.

Vos, and the Republican agenda, has been largely blocked by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers the past two years. Vos fell out of favor with Trump after he refused to push to decertify Biden’s win in Wisconsin. Vos, citing legal experts, said decertification was unconstitutional.

Steen, a landlord who has never served in public office, ran on the platform of decertifying the election. Days before the primary, he touted his support for banning all birth control.

The Cook Political Report said of Republican representatives who voted for impeachment:

Herrera Beutler’s loss, combined with Rep. Liz Cheney’s likely defeat in Wyoming next week and California Rep. David Valadao’s vulnerability in November, means it’s possible only one of ten pro-impeachment Republicans — Rep. Dan Newhouse (WA-04) will remain in Congress come January 2023. In the 4th CD, Newhouse only squeaked past extremely weak, Trump-endorsed small town sheriff Loren Culp 25%-21% to advance to the fall. 

State legislative incumbents defeated

The figures below were current as of Wednesday morning. Click here for more information on defeated incumbents.

Six state legislative incumbents—four Democrats and two Republicans—lost in primaries over the past week in Connecticut, Minnesota, and Tennessee. No incumbents have lost in Vermont or Wisconsin, though races remain uncalled. Overall, there are 23 uncalled state legislative primaries featuring incumbents: nine Democratic, nine Republican, and five top-two.

Across the 38 states that have held state legislative primaries this year, 182 incumbents, 4.6% of those running for re-election, have lost, continuing an elevated rate of incumbent primary defeats compared to recent election cycles.

Of the 38 states that have held primaries, 10 have Democratic trifectas, 19 have Republican trifectas, and nine have divided governments. Across these states, there are 5,106 seats up for election, 81% of the nationwide total.

Republican Main Street Partnership releases policy agenda

The Republican Main Street Partnership (RMSP) released its agenda on energy, jobs, the supply chain, public safety and policing, and “standing for freedom.” Proposals include resuming Keystone Pipeline construction, decreasing the reduction of Social Security benefits for retirees who return to work, and instituting “strict guidelines to hold district attorneys and prosecutors accountable for the safety of their communities.”

Five U.S. senators and 62 U.S. representatives are members of RMSP. Roll Call‘s Kate Ackley wrote:

The effort is designed to give candidates a message to sell on the campaign trail. It also aims to build public support for what to expect and to avoid what [RMSP member] Rep. Mike Bost , R-Ill., said were problems that developed after Republicans took the House majority during Democratic President Barack Obama’s administration.

“I’m a conservative, but I watched, I watched last time people pursuing ‘No,'” Bost said, referring to colleagues whose goal was to block Obama’s agenda and even to thwart their own House speaker, such as John A. Boehner of Ohio. “We can’t pursue ‘No.’ We’ve got to govern.”

RMSP’s website says it is “dedicated to working across the aisle to enact common-sense legislation on issues such as healthcare, family issues, workforce development, the environment (including clean water), and transportation/infrastructure.”

The group’s PAC endorsed 17 U.S. House candidates this year, 14 of whom won contested primaries. One endorsee lost, and two have outstanding primaries. Allan Fung is running unopposed in Rhode Island’s 2nd District and Amanda Makki is running in Florida’s Aug. 23 13th District primary.

Makki is in a rematch with Anna Paulina Luna, who has Trump’s endorsement. Luna defeated Makki and three others in 2020 with 36% of the vote to Makki’s 28%. Rep. Charlie Crist (D), who is running for governor this year, defeated Luna in the general election 53-47%. Five candidates are running in this year’s GOP primary.

After redistricting, the 13th District went from Even to R+6 in Cook’s Partisan Voting Index (PVI), indicating a shift in favor of Republicans. The PVI compares each congressional district’s results from the last two presidential elections to the country’s results as a whole.  

Rep. Jackie Walorski dies, special election will be called for IN-02

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) died in a car accident on Aug. 3. Walorski had represented Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District since 2013. Before that, Walorski served in the state House of Representatives and worked as a television reporter and nonprofit director. Walorski’s funeral will be held on Aug. 11 in Granger. 

According to state law, Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) must call a special election to fill the remainder of Walorski’s term ending Jan. 3, 2023, because the seat became vacant more than 74 days before the general election. Holcomb had not announced a date for the election as of Wednesday.

Democratic and Republican party officials will choose candidates for the special election. Since Walorski was running for re-election, Republicans will also select a candidate for the regular election ballot. 

The special election will use the current district lines, while the regular election will use lines drawn after redistricting. Cook‘s PVI for the district changed little after redistricting—from R+13 to R+14. 

Seventeen special elections have been or will be called during the 117th Congress. That’s tied with the 115th Congress for the most special elections over the past three decades.

Competitiveness data: Delaware and Hawaii

Hawaii’s primaries are on Aug. 13. Delaware holds primaries on Sept. 13. We’ve crunched some numbers to see how competitive the primaries will be compared to recent election cycles.

Delaware

Hawaii

Notes on how these figures were calculated:

  • Candidates per district: divides the total number of candidates by the number of districts holding elections.
  • Open districts: divides the number of districts without an incumbent running by the number of districts holding elections.
  • Contested primaries: divides the number of major party primaries by the number of possible primaries.
  • Incumbents in contested primaries: divides the number of incumbents in primaries by the number seeking re-election in the given election cycle.


Heart of the Primaries 2022, Democrats-Issue 34

August 11, 2022

In this issue: Highlights from this week’s primaries and a look at conflicts in NY congressional races

Primary results roundup

Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin held primaries on Tuesday. Here are some highlights.

U.S. Senate

Wisconsin U.S. Senate: Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes won the primary with 78% of the vote. As we wrote last week, the three other top candidates withdrew in late July and endorsed Barnes. He’ll face incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson (R) in the competitive general election.

U.S. House

Minnesota’s 5th District: Rep. Ilhan Omar won with 50% to Don Samuels’ 48% as of Wednesday morning. We wrote in March about the conflicts in this primary over police policy and Omar’s vote against the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act last year. Omar was first elected in 2018. This is a Safe/Solid Democratic district.

Vermont At-Large District: State Senate President Pro Tempore Becca Balint won with 60% of the vote. Lt. Gov. Molly Gray was second with 36%. Election forecasters view Vermont’s lone House district as Safe or Solid Democratic. If she wins in November, Balint would be Vermont’s first female and first openly gay member of Congress. 

Media analysis

The Associated Press said Barnes and Johnson are casting one another as extreme and discussed polarization in the state:  

The Johnson vs. Barnes race will likely be one of the closest watched campaigns of the 2022 cycle. It pits a Republican who has drawn the ire of Democrats for his ties to former President Donald Trump and his adoption of a string of conspiracy theories against a Democrat who holds several progressive positions that Republicans believe make him out of step with most Wisconsin voters.

Although Johnson and Barnes are political opposites, they have already begun using strikingly similar language to define the other, calling one another “out of touch,” extreme and someone out of line with the state’s voters.

Wisconsin is one of the two Senate seats up this cycle that is currently held by Republicans in a state President Joe Biden won in 2020. The state has been a political hotbed ever since the 2011 fights over union bargaining rights, leading the electorate in the state to be polarized long before the 2016 election of Trump.

CNN wrote about the conflict between Omar and Samuels: 

Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar survived a primary challenge Tuesday, CNN projected — but barely, and the narrow result could encourage critics of the progressive “squad” member to try again in two years.

Omar, who is running for a third term in Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, held off a primary challenge from former Minneapolis City Councilman Don Samuels and three other Democratic primary candidates.

Samuels had run as a pro-police critic of Omar’s calls to “defund the police.” Samuels and his wife successfully sued the city of Minneapolis to force it to increase police staffing levels to the 741 officers required by the city’s charter.

Momentum behind what had been widely seen as a long-shot challenge built after Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey endorsed Samuels last week. He was also backed by building trades unions, several suburban mayors and more moderate DFL leaders. His close call could inspire another effort to oust Omar in 2024.

Omar’s victory comes the week after two other liberal members of the “squad,” Missouri Rep. Cori Bush and Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, also beat back primary challenges.

State legislative incumbents defeated

The figures below were current as of Wednesday morning. Click here for more information on defeated incumbents.

Six state legislative incumbents—four Democrats and two Republicans—lost in primaries over the past week in Connecticut, Minnesota, and Tennessee. No incumbents have lost in Vermont or Wisconsin, though races remain uncalled. Overall, there are 23 uncalled state legislative primaries featuring incumbents: nine Democratic, nine Republican, and five top-two.

Across the 38 states that have held state legislative primaries this year, 182 incumbents, 4.6% of those running for re-election, have lost, continuing an elevated rate of incumbent primary defeats compared to recent election cycles.

Of the 38 states that have held primaries, 10 have Democratic trifectas, 19 have Republican trifectas, and nine have divided governments. Across these states, there are 5,106 seats up for election, 81% of the nationwide total.

Recent polling and friction in NY-12

A recent Emerson College poll in New York’s 12th Congressional District primary showed Rep. Jerry Nadler with 40% to Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s 31%. Suraj Patel was third with 11%, and 17% were undecided. The poll’s margin of error was +/- 3 percentage points.

As we wrote previously, Nadler and Maloney have both served in the House since 1993 and are running against one another due to redistricting. Patel challenged Maloney in 2018 and 2020. 

At an Aug. 2 debate, the candidates largely agreed on current policy issues while responding differently to the question of whether President Joe Biden should run for re-election. Patel said, “Yes.” Nadler said it was “too early to say.” Maloney said, “I don’t believe he’s running for re-election.” (Maloney later said she’ll support Biden if he runs.)

Other responses showed friction between the candidates. According to Politico

Nadler and Maloney, who call each other friends despite their current rivalry, at times teamed up against Patel, though the long-time Upper West Side congressman pointed to policy differences he’s had with his House colleague.

He opposed both the U.S. invasion into Iraq and the post-Sept. 11 PATRIOT Act, both of which she supported; he embraced America’s Iran nuclear deal, which she opposed.

Patel said that “1990s Democrats have lost almost every major battle to Mitch McConnell and Republicans. Trumpism is on the rise, even if we defeated Trump. … To defeat it, we need people with new ideas and energy.”

Patel criticized Maloney’s 2012 comments about a possible link between vaccines and autism. Maloney said she regrets her past questioning and that she worked to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates in her district. Patel also criticized Nadler for endorsing Maloney in 2020 in light of her previous comments. Nadler said Maloney was a better candidate than Patel in 2020 and still is. 

The primary is Aug. 23.

DCCC ad spending an issue in NY-17

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) chair Sean Patrick Maloney is facing criticism from primary challenger Alessandra Biaggi and Democratic elected officials over the DCCC’s ad spending in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District, where Rep. Peter Meijer (R) lost to John Gibbs in last week’s Republican primary. 

Before the primary, the DCCC spent $450,000 on an ad calling Gibbs “too conservative for West Michigan” and highlighting Trump’s endorsement of Gibbs. Politico wrote that Democrats see Gibbs as an easier candidate to beat than Meijer in the general election.

Maloney represents New York’s 18th Congressional District and is running in the redrawn 17th against Biaggi. 

On July 27, Biaggi said Maloney was “wasting valuable Democratic resources by investing in far-right Republicans instead of funding Democratic candidates. This is a dangerous investment and asymmetric risk. Just a few years ago, many Democrats also wrongly believed Donald Trump winning the Republican primary would ensure a Democratic Presidential victory — and they were sorely mistaken.”

Maloney campaign spokesperson Mia Ehrenberg said, “Unlike his primary opponent, Congressman Maloney has experience winning tough elections in a Trump district and reaching swing voters, which is why he was chosen by his peers to lead the DCCC during this critical moment. Just as he’s won close elections in the past, he will lead the party to victory this November.”

Maloney more recently responded to criticism from Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) about the Gibbs ad: “It’s flat wrong to say that we were promoting an election denier. We were attacking an election denier.”

Reps. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), and Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) are among Democratic House members who’ve criticized the DCCC ad. In addition, 35 former Democratic members of Congress and governors signed a letter saying, “The DCCC should never be working on Trump’s side in Republican primaries to bolster and promote a candidate who undermines our constitution and democratic system.”

DCCC spokesperson Helen Kalla said, “Kevin McCarthy is an anti-choice insurrectionist coddler and conspiracy enabler, and we will do what it takes to keep the speaker’s gavel out of his hands.”

New York’s U.S. House and state Senate primaries are on Aug. 23.

Union endorsers split in Rhode Island governor’s race 

On Aug. 4, the Rhode Island Council 94 American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) endorsed incumbent Gov. Dan McKee. The same day, the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals endorsed Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea for governor. Each union represents more than 10,000 public and private sector employees.

McKee also has endorsements from the National Education Association Rhode Island, the Rhode Island AFL-CIO, and other unions. Gorbea’s union endorsers include the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 328, the Carpenters Union Local 330, and the United Steelworkers Local 12431.

Polls have shown McKee and Gorbea leading the five-candidate Democratic primary field. 

McKee took office in March 2021 after former Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) was appointed U.S. secretary of commerce. McKee had served as lieutenant governor since 2015. McKee said he is running “to deliver an economic recovery from the pandemic that improves our state’s economy for this generation of Rhode Islanders and the next.” McKee said he’s “provided the experience Rhode Island needs” as governor. 

Gorbea has served as Rhode Island’s secretary of state since 2015. Gorbea said she is running “to make government more accountable to the people, to bring diverse voices to the table and connect people to hopeful opportunities that will help them thrive.” She said, “I am the only candidate who’s actually transformed an agency of government in Rhode Island[.]”

The primary is on Sept. 13.

Competitiveness data: Delaware and Hawaii

Hawaii’s primaries are on Aug. 13. Delaware holds primaries on Sept. 13. We’ve crunched some numbers to see how competitive the primaries will be compared to recent election cycles.

Hawaii

Notes on how these figures were calculated:

  • Candidates per district: divides the total number of candidates by the number of districts holding elections.
  • Open districts: divides the number of districts without an incumbent running by the number of districts holding elections.
  • Contested primaries: divides the number of major party primaries by the number of possible primaries.
  • Incumbents in contested primaries: divides the number of incumbents in primaries by the number seeking re-election in the given election cycle.


Missouri’s average gas price falls to $3.62

As of August 10, Missouri’s average gas price according to AAA was $3.62 for regular gas, which was below the national average of $4.01. Gas prices fell from the previous week’s average of $3.79 and were below the July average of $4.41. On August 10, 2021, the state’s average price was $2.87.

Joplin was the metro area in the state with the lowest average price at $3.37. Jefferson City was the metro area in the state with the highest average price at $3.81.

Missouri has a gas tax of $0.1742 cents per gallon, making it the fourth-lowest in the United States. The lowest is Alaska ($0.0895) and the highest is Pennsylvania ($0.586). The average across the country is $0.2885.

The price of gasoline is affected by several factors. Gas prices are primarily driven by crude oil prices, which are in turn affected by supply and demand, financial markets, international politics, environmental regulation, taxes, weather, and other factors. When the supply of oil increases due to increased production, the price will likely decrease. When demand increases—either from individual consumers or oil-dependent industries—the price will likely increase. Production may increase or decrease depending on advances in technology, changes in industry regulation, policy changes, political forces, and more.



Missouri state legislative incumbents lost in primaries at an increased rate

Seven state legislative incumbents—four Democrats and three Republicans—lost to primary challengers on August 2. 

This represents 5.3% of incumbents who filed for re-election, the largest number and highest rate of incumbent primary defeats in the state in five election cycles.

A list of incumbents defeated, all of whom were first elected to office within the past four years, is included below:

Of these seven defeats, one was guaranteed before a single ballot was cast. This is because two incumbents—Reps. Mike Person and Raychel Proudie—were drawn into the same district following redistricting, meaning one or the other had to lose.

This year, Democratic incumbents lost at a higher rate than Republicans. Among Democrats, the four defeats represent 8.7% of the 46 incumbents who ran for re-election. For Republicans, the three defeats represent 3.5% of the 86 incumbents in that party who ran.

Learn more about incumbents defeated in Missouri and across other states by clicking “Learn More” below.



Wyoming sees most U.S. House candidates since 2016

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in Wyoming this year was May 27, 2022. Eight candidates are running for Wyoming’s At-Large U.S. House district, including three Democrats and five Republicans. That’s three more than the five candidates who ran in 2020 and in 2018.

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  • Because it has only one U.S. House seat, Wyoming did not need to redistrict after the 2020 census.
  • The eight candidates running this year are the most candidates running for the U.S. House since 2016, when ten candidates ran.
  • Incumbent Rep. Liz Cheney (R) is running for re-election. Cheney was first elected in 2016, the last year Wyoming’s At-Large seat was open.
  • Both primaries are contested. The last year a Wyoming U.S. House primary wasn’t contested was 2014. 

Wyoming and Alaska are holding their primaries on August 16, 2022. Winners in Wyoming primary elections are determined via plurality vote, meaning that the candidate with the highest number of votes wins even if he or she did not win an outright majority of votes cast.



Twenty-two U.S. House candidates file to run in Alaska’s new top-four primary system, a decade-high

The filing deadline for candidates running for the U.S. House in Alaska was June 1, 2022. This year, 22 candidates are running in Alaska’s At-Large U.S. House district, a decade-high. The candidates running include nine Republicans, one Democrat, nine independents, and three third-party candidates. The 22 candidates running this year are 16 more than the six candidates who ran in 2020 and 15 more than the seven who ran in 2018.

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  • Because it has only one U.S. House seat, Alaska did not need to redistrict after the 2020 census.
  • Alaska’s At-Large seat is open for the first time since 1970. Incumbent Rep. Don Young (R), who represented the district for 49 years, passed away in March. 
  • A special election to replace Young will take place on August 16, concurrently with the regular election primary.

Alaska and Wyoming are holding their primaries on August 16, 2022. This is the first regular election primary to take place using Alaska’s new top-four primary system. Under this system, primary candidates run in a single primary election, regardless of the candidate’s party affiliation. The four candidates that receive the most votes advance to the general election. In the general election, voters use ranked-choice voting to select the winner.



Number of contested state legislative primaries in Alaska drops as state introduces top-four primary system

There is one contested state legislative primary in Alaska this year, fewer than in previous election cycles. This decrease comes after the state began using a new top-four primary system, which voters approved in 2020.

Under the new top-four primary system, every candidate appears on the same ballot and the top-four finishers advance to the general election. As a result, at least five candidates must run to create a contested primary.

This year, the one contested primary represents 2% of all possible primaries, down from 31% in 2020.

Overall, 147 candidates filed to run in the state’s top-four primaries: 39 Democrats, 81 Republicans, and 27 minor party or independent candidates. Every candidate who filed will advance to the general election apart from the one candidate who will lose in the one contested primary.

There are fewer than four candidates on the ballot in 52, or 88%, of districts. 

Previously, Alaska had partisan primaries where members of the same party would compete against each other for a place on the general election ballot. Under this system, if more than one candidate from the same party filed, there would be a contested primary.

Alaska has had a divided government since a multi-partisan coalition formed in the House in 2019. While Republicans hold a numerical majority of seats in the chamber, a group of Democrats, Republicans, and minor party/independent officeholders formed their own governing majority.

Alaska’s state legislative primaries are scheduled for Aug. 19, the 14th statewide primary date of the 2022 state legislative election cycle.

Additional reading:



Both candidates in the election for Washington’s 3rd Congressional district complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

Both candidates running in the November 8, 2022, general election for Washington’s 3rd Congressional District —Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez (D) and Joe Kent (R)—completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. These survey responses allow voters to hear directly from candidates about what motivates them to run for office.

The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 118th Congress. All 435 seats in the House are up for election. As of August 10, Democrats hold a 220-210 advantage in the U.S. House with five vacant seats. Washington’s current congressional delegation consists of 7 Democrats and 3 Republicans.

Here are excerpts from candidates’ responses to the question: What do you perceive to be the United States’ greatest challenges as a nation over the next decade?

Gluesenkamp Pérez:

“Money in politics. Love of money is the root of all evil and we cannot address our biggest threats like climate change or a disappearing middle class without having political leaders who are honest dealers that put the interest of their constituents above high-dollar donors.”

Kent:

“We have to break away from the failed economic policies and national security strategies that have only benefited the ruling class and China. We must fully audit the 2020 Presidential Election to restore the American people’s faith in our democratic system. We have to return critical industries and manufacturing back to America, restore energy independence, and end our wasteful post 9/11 wars.”

Click on candidates’ profile pages below to read their full responses to this and other questions.

We ask all federal, state, and local candidates with profiles on Ballotpedia to complete a survey and share what motivates them on political and personal levels. Want to see Candidate Connection continue to grow in future elections? Ask the candidates in your area to fill out the survey.

Additional reading:



Ranked-choice voting initiative will not appear on the ballot in Missouri

On August 9, Secretary of State John Ashcroft (R) announced that a top-four ranked-choice voting initiative will not make the Missouri general election ballot due to an insufficient number of valid signatures submitted.

The campaign behind the citizen initiative, Better Elections, needed to submit at least 171,592 valid signatures in order to qualify the initiative for the ballot. To receive a Certificate of Sufficiency, a minimum number of valid signatures must be obtained in six of the eight congressional districts in Missouri. Missouri is one of sixteen states with a signature distribution requirement for citizen-initiated measures, and of those sixteen, Missouri is one of five states where the distribution requirement is based on congressional districts.

In the tabulated results put out by Secretary Ashcroft’s office, the initiative did not meet the valid signature requirement in any of Missouri’s eight congressional districts.

Another citizen initiative, a measure that would legalize marijuana in Missouri, did pass the verification process and will appear on the ballot in November.

Scott Charton, a spokesman for the Better Elections campaign, said the campaign will “remain committed to our core mission: giving voters better and more choices in elections, empowering them to hold politicians accountable when they lose their way, and ensuring integrity in elections.”

The initiative would have changed the electoral system in Missouri for electing state executive, state legislative, and congressional officials. It would have replaced partisan primaries with open top-four primaries, and would have established ranked-choice voting for general elections, in which voters could rank the four candidates that succeeded from the primaries. The system would have been similar to Alaska’s, where voters approved an initiative in 2020. In addition to Alaska, Maine also allows ranked-choice voting in federal elections and certain statewide primaries, and Hawaii has also enacted that ranked-choice voting for federal special elections would take place starting in 2023.

Ranked-choice voting will also appear on the ballot in another state this year–Nevada has put a top-five ranked choice voting initiative on the ballot.

Currently, there are five measures on the ballot in Missouri: three legislatively referred constitutional amendments, one citizen-initiated constitutional amendment, and one constitutional convention question.

Additional reading:



A third state will vote on marijuana legalization this November

Welcome to the Thursday, August 11, Brew. 

By: David Luchs

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. A third state will vote on marijuana legalization this November
  2. Reviewing the results of this week’s primaries
  3. Both candidates in the election for Washington’s 3rd Congressional district complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

A third state will vote on marijuana legalization this November

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (R) announced Tuesday that a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana qualified for the Nov. 8 general election ballot.

The citizen-initiated ballot measure, led by the Legal Missouri 2022 campaign, needed 171,592 signatures to qualify for the ballot. Legal Missouri 2022 submitted more than 385,000 signatures in May.

If approved, the measure would amend the Missouri Constitution to legalize recreational marijuana for adults over the age of 21. It would also allow personal cultivation of marijuana with prescribed limits and regulations and impose a six percent tax on the retail price of marijuana. It would also allow people with a record of certain marijuana-related non-violent offenses to petition for release from incarceration or parole and probation and to have their records expunged. It would also establish a lottery selection process to award licenses and certificates for cultivation and sale and distribute licenses within each congressional district.

Currently, medicinal marijuana is legal for those with a medical ID card in Missouri.

John Payne, the campaign manager of Legal Missouri 2022, said, “We look forward to engaging with voters across the state in the coming weeks and months. Missourians are more than ready to end the senseless and costly prohibition of marijuana.”

Supporters of the initiative include the ACLU of Missouri, the NAACP of St. Louis City, and NORML of Kansas City. “Cannabis reform is about more than establishing a safe and legal market,” said Jamie Kacz, the executive director of NORML KC, “It is about righting the many wrongs prohibition has caused to our communities, especially communities of color.”

Christina Thompson, with ShowMe Canna-Freedom, is critical of the regulations regarding commercial licenses. Thompson said, “This initiative eliminates nearly all competition through constitutionally protected license caps. Recreational licenses created under the initiative will go straight to established businesses as well, meaning instead of opening up more business opportunities for others, money only goes to those who are already profiting.”

The Missouri initiative joins two other marijuana legalization ballot measures that will appear on the ballot in the November general election–a constitutional amendment in Maryland and an initiated state statute in South Dakota.

There are now five certified measures on the Missouri ballot for November 2022. So far, 19 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana, 12 of which did so via a ballot measure and seven of which did so via legislation. Medical marijuana is legal in 37 states, 19 of which legalized via legislation and 18 of which legalized via a ballot measure.

Keep reading

Reviewing the results of this week’s primaries

Ballotpedia covered statewide primaries in Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin Tuesday. Be sure to subscribe to our free weekly The Heart of the Primaries newsletter for more on these primaries. In the meantime, here’s a look at results in some of the races we were watching:

  • Michels wins GOP nomination for governor of Wisconsin: Tim Michels defeated Rebecca Kleefisch and three other candidates to win the Republican nomination for governor of Wisconsin. Michels had 47% of the vote to Kleefisch’s 42%. National observers cast the race in terms of competing endorsements. Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Michels, while former Vice President Mike Pence (R) and former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) endorsed Kleefisch.
  • Mandela Barnes wins Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate: Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes won 78% of the vote in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, defeating seven other candidates. The only three candidates besides Barnes who raised more than $1 million each unofficially withdrew in the last week of July and endorsed Barnes.
  • Finstad holds MN-01 for GOP: Brad Finstad (R) defeated Jeff Ettinger (D) and two other candidates 51% to 47% in a special election for Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District. The previous incumbent, Jim Hagedorn (R), died in February. Finstad’s margin of victory was greater than Hagedorn’s 49% to 46% win in 2020 and his 50.1% to 49.7% win in 2018. Finstad and Ettinger are also running in the November general election for the redrawn district, which election forecasters expect will be safe for Republicans. Once Finstad is sworn in, the partisan balance of the U.S. House will be a 220-211 majority for Democrats.

As of this writing, three incumbent state legislators had lost re-nomination in primaries in Minnesota and a fourth lost re-nomination in a primary in Connecticut. All four incumbents were Democrats.

So far this year, Republican state legislators have lost primaries at a higher rate than Democrats. Of the 2,186 Republican incumbents who filed to run for re-election, 134 (6.1%) have lost to primary challengers. Forty-eight of the 1,753 Democrats who filed to run for re-election (2.7%) have lost their primaries.

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Both candidates in the election for Washington’s 3rd Congressional district complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

Both candidates running in the November 8, 2022, general election for Washington’s 3rd Congressional District —Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez (D) and Joe Kent (R)—completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. These survey responses allow voters to hear directly from candidates about what motivates them to run for office.

The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 118th Congress. All 435 seats in the House are up for election. As of August 10, Democrats hold a 220-210 advantage in the U.S. House with five vacant seats (including the seat that will be filled by member-elect Brad Finstad (R)). Washington’s current congressional delegation consists of seven Democrats and three Republicans.

Here are excerpts from candidates’ responses to the question: What do you perceive to be the United States’ greatest challenges as a nation over the next decade?

Gluesenkamp Pérez:

“Money in politics. Love of money is the root of all evil and we cannot address our biggest threats like climate change or a disappearing middle class without having political leaders who are honest dealers that put the interest of their constituents above high-dollar donors.”

Kent:

“We have to break away from the failed economic policies and national security strategies that have only benefited the ruling class and China. We must fully audit the 2020 Presidential Election to restore the American people’s faith in our democratic system. We have to return critical industries and manufacturing back to America, restore energy independence, and end our wasteful post 9/11 wars.”

Click on candidates’ profile pages below to read their full responses to this and other questions.

  1. Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez
  2. Joe Kent

At Ballotpedia, we believe that everyone deserves meaningful, reliable, trustworthy information about their candidates. We also know that good information—especially at the local level—is hard to find. That’s why Ballotpedia created Candidate Connection.

We ask all federal, state, and local candidates with profiles on Ballotpedia to complete a survey and share what motivates them on political and personal levels. Want to see Candidate Connection continue to grow in future elections? Ask the candidates in your area to fill out the survey. Share your favorite responses with family and friends. Donate to Ballotpedia, or simply spread the word on Twitter and Facebook.

Ballotpedia appreciates how important it is that voters everywhere have access to the best information to make an informed decision. By supporting our work, you’ll become an instrument for the spread of knowledge and understanding in political discourse.

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