# of contested primaries in Oregon at 10-year high

By: David Luchs

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

  1. # of contested primaries in Oregon at 10-year high
  2. Candidate Connection spotlight: More updates from congressional candidates in Virginia
  3. Eight candidates running in Republican primary for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District

# of contested primaries in Oregon at 10-year high

Voters in Oregon will have more decisions to make in their upcoming state legislative primaries than at any point since at least 2014. Of the 150 possible primaries, 38—or 25.4%—are being contested by more than one candidate. 

This is also the first time since 2014 with more contested Republican primaries than Democratic primaries. Similarly, for the first time since at least 2014, more Republicans filed to run for state legislative office than Democrats: 190 major party candidates filed, 90 Democrats (47%) and 100 Republicans (53%).

Here are some other key takeaways from Oregon’s primary filing deadline:

  1. Twenty-four districts were left open, meaning no incumbents filed to run. That’s the largest number of open districts since at least 2014. Fifteen of those districts have Democratic incumbents, and nine have Republican incumbents. With 75 districts up for election, that also means 32% of districts are guaranteed to be won by newcomers.
  2. Nine incumbents are facing primary challengers, or 18% of those who filed for re-election. That’s the largest percentage since at least 2014.
  3. Overall, 190 major party candidates filed, equaling 2.5 candidates per district, the same as in 2020 but higher than all previous cycles back to at least 2014.

The filing deadline for candidates running for state or federal office in Oregon this year was March 8. Candidates filed to run for all 100 state House districts and 15 of the state’s 30 Senate districts.

Oregon is a Democratic trifecta, with Democrats controlling the governorship and holding majorities in both chambers of the legislature: 18-11-1 in the Senate and 37-23 in the House.

Oregon’s state legislative primaries are scheduled for May 17, making them the sixth in the nation this election cycle.

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Candidate Connection spotlight: More updates from congressional candidates in Virginia

Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey asks candidates for federal, state, and local office to share what motivates them on a personal and political level. We’ll be providing regular updates on races with a 100% survey completion rate in Thursday editions of the Brew this year.

As of April 19, 2022, we’re tracking 32 races with final candidate lists and a 100% Candidate Connection completion rate. Five of those races reached 100% completion in the past week.

What’s new this week

This week, we’re featuring two U.S. House primaries from Virginia—one Republican and one Democratic. Let’s start with the Republican primary in the 3rd Congressional District.

Ted Engquist (R) and Terry Namkung (R) are the two candidates on the Republican primary ballot in Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District. Located near Norfolk in southeastern Virginia, the 3rd District leans towards Democrats; incumbent Robert Scott (D), who is running for re-election this year, defeated John Collick (R) 68% to 31% in 2020.

Here’s how both candidates answered the question, “What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?”

Ted Engquist:

“I feel we need to be fiscally responsible, protect the sanctity of human life, and improve education.”

Terry Namkung:

“Education: Virginians are rightfully worried about their children’s education. With schools spending more time teaching anti-conservative agendas, and less time teaching reading, math, and science, our educational outcomes are in rapid decline.

Medical: Your medical decisions should be between you and your doctor. You deserve the freedom to decide what is best for you and your family, and not for the federal government to decide on your behalf.

Immigration: A nation without borders is not a nation at all. In less than a year, the current Administration has created a historic economic and humanitarian crisis along the southern border. 1.7 million illegal immigrants have been apprehended attempting to enter the United States. And there are reports that over 1 million more may have entered the United States undetected.

Energy: Climate change is a real problem deserving of a real solution and conservatism for GOD’s green earth is the solution. We do not have to choose between economic growth and climate sustainability. In fact, sustainability is essential to long-term economic growth. But we must take an evidence-based approach to sustainability utilizing a capitalistic ideology from climate policy and technology integration.”

Next, let’s head north to the 8th Congressional District, located in the Washington, D.C. suburbs. Incumbent Don Beyer (D) and Victoria Virasingh (D) are the two Democrats running. Three election forecasters rate this seat Solid Democratic, meaning the winner of the Democratic primary is likely to win the general election. 

Here’s how the two answered the question, “What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?”

Don Beyer:

“Don’s passions and key legislation are focused on climate change and the environment. In Congress, he is the leading voice on fusion energy and carbon pricing, leading the charge in working to take carbon out of the atmosphere.”

Victoria Virasingh:

“NEW LEADERSHIP FOR THE NEW ECONOMY New Leadership for the New Economy means investing in our workers, our small businesses, and our community. This means supporting small business owners and working families and making sure our district is building a bridge towards the future.

HOUSING Housing matters – a lot. Stable, affordable housing is critical for health and is tied to childhood academic performance. Home ownership often acts as a springboard for social mobility. And in an enduring legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic, the home has become much more than just a place of rest, a place of family, food, and friends. It has become an essential workplace and classroom. While the federal government is not in charge of local zoning decisions, policies at the federal level can facilitate and enable the creation of affordable and amenable living.

HEALTHCARE Healthcare is a human right. We need to expand Medicare to include dental and vision. We need lower prescription drug prices. The federal government should provide Medicare for all citizens and green card holders. This is a baseline service that people should expect to have in return for paying taxes, simple as that.”

About Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

We use the term race to describe a primary, runoff, or general election for a single office or seat or for a single set of seats that are elected as a batch. For example, a school board general election for three at-large seats where each voter selects three candidates would be one race, while a school board general election for three seats elected by district where each voter is voting for one candidate would be three separate races.

Some other details about the 32 races with a 100% response rate:

  • As of this week, there are 12 states with at least one race with a 100% response rate.
  • Thirteen of the 32 races are taking place in Texas.
  • Three of the 32 races are general elections.
  • Of the 29 primaries and runoffs, 17 are for the Democratic nomination and 12 are for the Republican nomination.
  • Sixteen of the 32 are races for U.S. House.

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Eight candidates running in Republican primary for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District

Eight candidates are running in the Republican primary election for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District on May 17, 2022. If no candidate receives more than 30% of the vote in the primary election, a runoff between the top two finishers will take place on July 26, 2022. The general election will take place on November 8, 2022. Incumbent Rep. Madison Cawthorn and Chuck Edwards have received the most media attention and endorsements.

Cawthorn was first elected to Congress in 2020. Cawthorn’s campaign website identified him as an America First candidate, a term often associated with the platform of former President Donald Trump (R) and candidates who say they support his agenda. Cawthorn has said that groups from across the political spectrum want to defeat him, saying, “the radical left, the establishment, and the media want to take me down . . . I won’t stop fighting. I won’t bow to the mob. They want to silence the America First movement. I’m not going anywhere.”

Edwards was first elected to the North Carolina State Senate in 2016. He told Jewish Insider that although he supported Cawthorn and wanted him to succeed, he “feel[s] that Western North Carolina can do better.” He has accused Cawthorn of increasing political tensions and criticized him for comments Cawthorn made suggesting supporters threaten House members to overturn the 2020 election results. Edwards has contrasted his legislative experience to Cawthorn’s, highlighting sponsorship of a bill that banned sanctuary cities in North Carolina and working on the state’s balanced budget.

Trump endorsed Cawthorn for re-election on March 31, 2021. U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis (R) endorsed Edwards, saying Cawthorn “has fallen well short of the most basic standards Western North Carolina expects from their representatives.”

The Republican nominee is expected to also win the general election. As of April 2022, three independent race forecasters rated the race as Safe Republican or Solid Republican, and Cook Political Report estimated that the district’s PVI was R+8. The 11th Congressional District contains all or parts of 15 counties in western North Carolina, including the city of Asheville.

Also running in the primary are Matthew Burril, Rod Honeycutt, Wendy Nevarez, Bruce O’Connell, Kristie Sluder, and Michele Woodhouse.

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