Welcome to the Thursday, June 17, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- New Jersey, Virginia state legislative primaries saw decade-high numbers of defeated incumbents
- Redistricting review: Opponents file suit over new IL districts; three states hold public redistricting hearings
- Don’t miss our briefing: Union Membership Three Years After Janus
New Jersey, Virginia state legislative primaries saw decade-high numbers of defeated incumbents
New Jersey and Virginia held state legislative primaries on June 8. We crunched the numbers and found that both legislatures saw a decade-high number of incumbents defeated.
Challengers defeated three members of New Jersey’s General Assembly, a decade-high number for the legislature. Before 2021, only one state legislative incumbent had lost in a primary election within the preceding decade: Assemblyman Joe Howarth (R) in 2019. No incumbent state senator has lost in a primary since 2003.
The incumbents who lost primaries are:
- Serena DiMaso (R) – Multi-member District 13
- BettyLou DeCroce (R) – Multi-member District 26
- Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D) – Multi-member District 31 (Chiaravalloti unofficially withdrew from the race before the primary, but his name remained on the ballot.)
All four state Senate incumbents facing primary challenges won.
In addition to the three primary defeats, five Democrats and three Republicans did not run for re-election in the General Assembly, meaning at least 11 newcomers will be elected to the 80-person chamber in November. In the state Senate, one Democrat and three Republicans did not run for re-election, guaranteeing at least four newcomers.
The charts below show the total number of incumbents by party for both chambers of the New Jersey State Legislature in green. The yellow bars show the number of incumbents who will not advance to the general election either due to primary defeat or retirement. The total number of incumbents by party are shown in parentheses.
New Jersey is one of 15 Democratic trifectas, meaning Democrats currently control both chambers of the state legislature as well as the governorship. Democrats currently hold a 52-28 majority in the General Assembly and a 25-15 majority in the state Senate.
Challengers defeated five members of the Virginia House of Delegates, also a decade-high number. These House incumbents were the first to lose in primaries since 2015 when two incumbents lost to challengers. Two incumbents also lost in the 2013 primaries, and none lost in 2011.
The defeated incumbents are:
• Charles Poindexter (R) – District 9
• Mark Levine (D) – District 45
• Lee Carter (D) – District 50
• Steve Heretick (D) – District 79
• Ibraheem Samirah (D) – District 86
Two of the five incumbents—Carter and Levine—also ran in primaries for statewide offices. Carter ran for governor, and Levine ran for lieutenant governor. Both lost in their respective statewide primaries, as well.
In addition to the five incumbents defeated in primary elections, six incumbents—one Democrat and five Republicans—did not seek re-election, meaning at least 11 newcomers will be elected to the 100-person chamber in November.
This is the first election since 1999 with Democrats defending a majority in the House of Delegates. Following the 2019 elections, Democrats flipped control of both the House and the state Senate, creating the state’s first Democratic trifecta since 1994. Democrats currently hold a 55-45 majority in the House and a 21-19 majority in the Senate.
Redistricting review: Opponents file suit over new IL districts; three states hold public redistricting hearings
The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) filed a lawsuit on June 10 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois challenging the state legislative district maps that Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed into law on June 4. MALDEF alleges that the maps violate the ‘one-person, one-vote’ standard mandated by the Fourteenth Amendment because the American Community Survey data used for redistricting in lieu of census data is, MALDEF argues, “inadequate for that purpose.” MALDEF is asking that the court enjoin use of the newly-enacted maps. This lawsuit is similar to one filed by Republican lawmakers on June 4.
Additionally, lawmakers or commissions in three states held public hearings this week on redistricting. Click the links to learn about these and future hearings:
Georgia: Georgia lawmakers announced a schedule for public redistricting hearings, the first of which took place virtually on June 15. Ten more public hearings are scheduled, with the next taking place in Atlanta on June 28 and the last taking place virtually on July 30.
Maryland: The Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission held its second public hearing virtually on June 16 and is expected to hold at least six more public hearings between now and July 28.
Michigan: The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission conducted two public hearings, one on June 15 and one on June 17, both in Detroit. The commission is scheduled to conduct four more hearings before July 1.
Don’t miss our briefing: Union Membership Three Years After Janus
This month marks three years since the Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that public-sector unions cannot require non-members to pay fees to cover the costs of non-political union activities. What kind of effect has Janus had on public-sector union membership? In our June 30 briefing, we’ll dive into the data. We’ll discuss the complexities associated with tracking public-sector union membership, describe our methodology for gathering data, and review the numbers for several states.
The briefing will take place on Wednesday, June 30, at 11:00 a.m. Central Time. As always, if you can’t make it during that time, we’ll send you a recording after it’s complete. Click the link below to grab your spot!