Contested state legislative primaries increase in Hawaii this year

There are 51 contested state legislative primaries in Hawaii this year, representing 34% of the total number of possible primaries. This is a 65% increase from 2020.

A primary is contested when more candidates files to run than there are nominations available, meaning at least one candidate must lose.

Of the 51 contested primaries, 36 are for Democrats and 15 are for Republicans. For Democrats, this is up from 29 in 2020, a 24% increase. For Republicans, the number increased 650% from two in 2020.

Twenty-five contested primaries feature an incumbent, representing 40% of all incumbents running for re-election. This is a higher rate of incumbents in contested primaries compared to 2020, but lower than rates in the 2018 and 2016 cycles.

All 25 incumbents in contested primaries are Democrats.

Overall, 205 major party candidates—126 Democrats and 79 Republicans—filed to run. All 51 House districts and 25 Senate districts are holding elections.

Hawaii has had a Democratic trifecta since the party won control of the governorship in 2010. Democrats currently hold a 47-4 majority in the House and a 24-1 majority in the Senate.

Hawaii’s state legislative primaries are scheduled for Aug. 13, the 13th statewide primary date of the 2022 state legislative election cycle.

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