The key to your heart this primary season

Welcome to the Thursday, December 16, Brew. 

By: David Luchs

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

  1. Ballotpedia’s The Heart of the Primaries delivered weekly starting Jan. 6
  2. Maine Question 1 saw $99.6 million in contributions, totaling $241.75 per vote
  3. County supervisor recalled, state legislative vacancies filled in Tuesday’s elections

Ballotpedia’s The Heart of the Primaries delivered weekly starting Jan. 6

Texas will hold the first primary elections of the 2022 midterms on March 1. North Carolina was scheduled to hold the second statewide primary on March 8, but a recent state supreme court decision postponed those primaries until May. 

Who’s running? What issues are they debating? What do these primaries—and the hundreds of others approaching—mean for the direction of the major parties and the nation? And how can you possibly keep up with so many elections throughout the year?

Ballotpedia has you covered.

We have stories on these primaries and more in our third issue of The Heart of the Primaries, which goes out this afternoon. Then, starting in January, we’ll send out one Democratic version and one Republican version of The Heart of the Primaries each week, allowing you to follow stories happening within the party you care most about (or both!).

In October and November, we published two special editions of the newsletter looking back at the top primaries of 2018 and 2020, followed by a preview of what we thought would be the most interesting congressional and state-level primaries in 2022. 

For a taste of the types of stories you’ll find in the newsletter, here’s what you’ll find in today’s edition:

The Heart of the Primaries – Democrats

  1. Abortion stances a focal point in TX-28 rematch
  2. North Carolina Supreme Court postpones statewide primary to May 17
  3. Gray, Balint announce bids for open U.S. House seat in Vermont
  4. Endorsements for Newman, Casten in incumbent-vs.-incumbent IL-6 primary
  5. Nancy Pelosi endorses Tom Perez for Maryland governor
  6. Letitia James out of New York gubernatorial race
  7. Betsy Johnson, running as independent, receives Knute Buehler’s endorsement for Oregon governor
  8. Texas primary update after Dec. 13 filing deadline – Democratic candidates and primaries

The Heart of the Primaries – Republicans

  1. Early messaging in ads for U.S. Senate in Ohio
  2. North Carolina Supreme Court postpones statewide primary to May 17
  3. Rep. Miller might challenge either Rep. Davis or Rep. Bost after Illinois redistricting
  4. Former Sen. David Perdue challenging Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp
  5. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey draws several primary challengers
  6. Former Johnson County commissioner to challenge Kansas SoS
  7. Texas primary update after Dec. 13 filing deadline – Republican candidates and primaries
  8. Texas county GOP to conduct its own party primary

Subscribe to The Heart of the Primaries here to read the stories above and to keep up to date on the direction of one or both major parties throughout the 2022 primary election cycle.

Keep reading

Maine Question 1 saw $99.6 million in contributions, totaling $241.75 per vote

Voters approved Maine Question 1 on November 2, 2021 – 59.2% to 40.8%. The measure prohibited the construction of electric transmission lines defined as high-impact in the Upper Kennebec Region, including the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC). It also required a two-thirds vote of each state legislative chamber to approve high-impact electric transmission line projects. The NECEC is a planned 145-mile long, high-voltage transmission line project that would transmit around 1,200 megawatts from hydroelectric plants in Quebec to electric utilities in Massachusetts and Maine.

Question 1 saw $99.62 million raised between supporters and opponents, making it the most expensive ballot measure in Maine history. As 412,086 people voted on the ballot measure, the cost-per-vote was $241.75.

Maine Question 1 was the most expensive ballot measure of 2021 and had the highest cost-per-vote. Since 2016, Question 1 had the highest cost-per-vote total and highest cost-per-vote for a single campaign due to the opposition’s contributions received. In 2020, the highest cost-per-vote was $65.48 for Alaska Ballot Measure 1, which addressed oil taxes. Prior to Maine Question 1, the highest cost-per-vote for a campaign since 2016 was $163.97. That campaign was the support campaign for a Maine ballot initiative to authorize a casino in York County, Maine. Voters rejected that ballot measure.

Keep reading 

County supervisor recalled, state legislative vacancies filled in Tuesday’s elections

Voters in Saunders County, Nebraska, voted to recall Doris Karloff (R) from the seven-member Board of Supervisors Tuesday. The final vote was 72% to 28% in favor of the recall. The county’s recent approval of a solar farm permit for a company Karloff’s son had a business relationship with was mentioned by both supporters and opponents of the recall during the campaign. 

Recall supporters said Karloff had not looked out for the county’s best interests. Karloff said she had abstained from all discussions related to the permit and did not attend the meeting where it was approved.

So far in 2021, 334 recall efforts have taken place targeting 521 officials. Twenty-five of the targeted officials (4.8%) have been recalled and another 18 resigned before the recall could go to the ballot. 

State legislative special elections also took place in four states Tuesday.

In Arkansas, party primaries were held for Senate District 7, last represented by Lance Eads (R). Colby Fulfer (R) and Steven Unger (R) were the top two finishers in the Republican primary with 47% and 32% of the vote, respectively, and advanced to a Jan. 11 runoff. Lisa Parks (D) defeated Derek Van Voast (D) 84% to 16% to win the Democratic nomination. The general election is set for Feb. 8. The last contested general election in the district took place in 2012.

In Connecticut, Trenee McGee (D) defeated Richard DePalma (R) 53% to 43% to win election to House District 116, last represented by Michael DiMassa (D). DePalma’s 43% performance was the largest vote share a Republican candidate won in the district since at least 2012; the next-best performance was DePalma’s 26% against DiMassa in the 2016 general election.

In Iowa, Dave Rowley (R) defeated Mark Lemke (D) 76% to 24% to win election to the Senate District 1 seat last held by Zach Whiting (R). The last time a contested election took place in this district was in 2010 when Rick Bertrand (R) defeated Rick Mullin (D) 51% to 49%.

In Massachusetts, Lydia Edwards (D) defeated Anthony D’Ambrosio (D) 78% to 22% to win the Democratic primary in the 1st Suffolk and Middlesex Senate District. No other candidates filed for the seat, meaning Edwards will be unopposed in the Jan. 11 general election. The seat was last held by Joseph Boncore (D) and last had a contested general election in 2012.

The holidays may be almost here, but the elections calendar is as active as ever! We’re watching a recall election taking place today in the Butternut School District in Wisconsin and a special general election for a city council recall in Lannon, Wisconsin, Dec. 21. 

Elections will pick back up in 2022 on Jan. 11 with a special election for a U.S. House seat in Florida, state legislative special elections in four states, and two school board recalls in Nebraska. We’ll be watching all these races as they unfold; check our elections calendar for more.

Keep reading