This Saturday marked the one-year anniversary of the state and federal candidate filing deadlines for Alabama and Indiana’s 2018 elections. Both states played host to high-profile elections last year.
In Indiana, offices up for election in 2018 included one of the state’s seats in the U.S. Senate, all nine of its seats in the U.S. House, three state executive offices, all 100 seats in the state house, and half of the 50 seats in the state senate.
This time last year, we were watching the U.S. Senate race, where state Rep. Mike Braun (R) emerged from a three-candidate primary to mount a successful challenge to incumbent Joe Donnelly (D).
Republican U.S. House primaries were also notable, including the seats left vacant by Senate candidates Luke Messer (R) and Todd Rokita (R). State Rep. Jim Baird (R) defeated six other candidates in the primary and went on to win Rokita’s Lafayette-centered seat over Tobi Beck (D). In Messer’s southeastern Indiana district, businessman Greg Pence (R)—the older brother of Vice President Mike Pence (R)—defeated four opponents in the primary before facing Jeannine Lee Lake (D) in the general election.
In Alabama, all seven U.S. House seats, 13 state executive offices, and all 140 seats in the state legislature were up for election. Alabama’s governor and attorney general had both resigned in 2017, leaving their replacements to defend their seats for the first time. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) defeated four challengers in the primary and secured election to a full term over Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox (D). Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) defeated three Republican challengers including former Attorney General Troy King (R), who advanced to a runoff. Marshall defeated attorney Joseph Siegelman (D) in the general election.
Ivey’s accession to the governorship left the lieutenant governorship vacant. State Rep. Will Ainsworth (R) won the Republican nomination following a runoff against state Public Service Commission President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh (R). He defeated Will Boyd (D) in the general election. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Lyn Stuart (R), who had served since the suspension of Roy Moore (R) in 2016, faced a successful primary challenge from Justice Tom Parker (R), who went on to win election to a six-year term.
We also watched the Republican primary in the Mobile-area 2nd Congressional District. Rep. Martha Roby (R) faced four challengers, including Bobby Bright (R), who had represented the district as a Democrat before Roby unseated him in 2010. Roby and Bright advanced to a runoff, which Roby won.