Welcome to the Tuesday, January 18, Brew.
By: Samuel Wonacott
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- Subscribe to The Heart of the Primaries to stay abreast of the latest key congressional and state-level primaries in 2022
- Austin initiative to decriminalize marijuana and prohibit no-knock warrants submitted more than 20,000 valid signatures
- New Hampshire Secretary of State retirement triggers triplex status change
Subscribe to The Heart of the Primaries to stay abreast of the latest key congressional and state-level primaries in 2022
Voters will decide thousands of races, including all 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 34 seats in the U.S. Senate. That’s in addition to the roughly 6,000 state legislative candidates that will appear on ballots across the country, or all the races for state executive positions, county and local offices, and school board seats.
Sounds like a lot, right? Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered.
Our Heart of the Primaries newsletter is the key to keeping up with what promises to be a frenetic primary season. First launched in January 2018, Heart of the Primaries takes you to the front lines of primary battles, where readers witness intraparty conflict as Democrats and Republicans compete to make it to the general election. We cover key congressional, legislative, and executive races from state to state. We also look at the policy differences between candidates, which donor groups are behind which candidates (and why!), polling, and more. Two versions are published each week: one for Democratic primaries and one for Republican primaries.
Here’s a summary of stories from our most recent Republican and Democratic editions:
- Chicago Ald. Dowell drops SoS bid to run in 1st District primary
- On Jan. 5, Chicago Ald. Pat Dowell (D) announced she would end her bid for Illinois secretary of state and instead run in the Democratic primary for the 1st Congressional District. Dowell made the announcement following 1st District Rep. Bobby Rush’s (D) announcement that he would not seek re-election. The Chicago Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet said Dowell’s political and fundraising campaign operation would give her a strong position in the primary.
- Clay Aiken launches second U.S. House bid in N.C.
- Clay Aiken, an entertainer and former American Idol contestant, announced his bid for North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District on Jan. 10. In 2014, Aiken won the Democratic primary in North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District. Incumbent Renee Ellmers (R) defeated him in the general election 59% to 41%.
- Multiple Tennessee counties switch to partisan school board elections
- At least eight of the 10 largest counties in Tennessee will hold partisan primary elections for school board in 2022. Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed a bill in November giving county parties the ability to hold partisan primary elections. Previously, school board elections were nonpartisan with candidates prohibited from identifying or campaigning with any political party.
- State Sen. Coram challenges U.S. Rep. Boebert in Colorado
- State Sen. Don Coram announced last week he is challenging Rep. Lauren Boebert in the Republican primary for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. Coram said, “I’m looking at our state and our nation and I’m very concerned that the 10% on the right and the 10% on the left are making all the noise and getting all the attention, and the 80% in the middle are totally ignored.” Boeber called Coram a “self-serving, super-woke social liberal who would have a far better chance of winning the Democrat nomination.”
Our next editions come out Jan. 20. Click the link below to subscribe and follow along!
Austin initiative to decriminalize marijuana and prohibit no-knock warrants qualifies for the May 7 ballot
On Jan. 10, the Austin City Clerk, in Austin, Texas, announced that an initiative to decriminalize marijuana and prohibit no-knock warrants had qualified for the ballot. Proponents submitted over 20,000 valid signatures, meeting the required number to appear on the ballot.
The city council has 10 days to adopt the proposed charter amendment outright or vote to send it to the May 7 ballot.
Here is a summary of the initiative:
- Chapter 1: The proposed initiative would prohibit Austin police from issuing any citations or making any arrests for misdemeanor marijuana possession offenses, so long as the offenses are not involved in the investigation of a narcotics-related case designated as a high priority or a violent felony case. Austin police officers would be able to seize marijuana if they have probable cause to believe that an individual possesses it, but they must write up a full report and are not permitted to detain the individual if marijuana possession is the sole charge. The initiative would also prohibit police officers from issuing citations for possession of drug residue or paraphernalia.
- Chapter 2: The proposed initiative would prohibit Austin police from requesting, executing, or participating in a no-knock search warrant. The initiative would define a no-knock search warrant as “any search warrant that does not require the officer to knock and announce their presence and wait at least 15 seconds prior to execution.”
In 2020, voters approved 20 local police-related ballot measures in 10 cities and four counties within seven states. Two were overturned after the election. In 2021, voters approved seven of 12 local police-related ballot measures in 10 cities and one county within nine states. Among the approved measures was a ban on no-knock warrants in Pittsburgh that won 81.16% of the vote.
In 2021, we covered 202 local measures on the ballot for voters in the top 100 largest cities and state capitals in the U.S.
New Hampshire Secretary of State retirement triggers triplex status change
On Jan. 10, 2022, New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner (D), the longest-serving secretary of state in U.S. history, retired. The New Hampshire legislature first elected Gardner to the position in 1976.
Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan (R) was sworn in after Gardner resigned. According to the New Hampshire Constitution, the deputy secretary of state replaces the secretary until a new secretary is appointed. Scanlan will serve the remainder of Gardner’s term, which ends in December 2022.
Scanlan’s swearing-in created a Republican triplex in New Hampshire, meaning that Republicans control the executive offices of governor, attorney general and secretary of state.
In New Hampshire, the joint session of the state legislature chooses the secretary of state.
In 2022, 27 states are holding an election for secretary of state. Click here to read more about those elections.
There are 21 Democratic secretaries of state and 26 Republican secretaries of state. The position does not exist in Alaska, Hawaii, or Utah.