Welcome to the Thursday, August 11, Brew.
By: David Luchs
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- A third state will vote on marijuana legalization this November
- Reviewing the results of this week’s primaries
- Both candidates in the election for Washington’s 3rd Congressional district complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey
A third state will vote on marijuana legalization this November
Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (R) announced Tuesday that a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana qualified for the Nov. 8 general election ballot.
The citizen-initiated ballot measure, led by the Legal Missouri 2022 campaign, needed 171,592 signatures to qualify for the ballot. Legal Missouri 2022 submitted more than 385,000 signatures in May.
If approved, the measure would amend the Missouri Constitution to legalize recreational marijuana for adults over the age of 21. It would also allow personal cultivation of marijuana with prescribed limits and regulations and impose a six percent tax on the retail price of marijuana. It would also allow people with a record of certain marijuana-related non-violent offenses to petition for release from incarceration or parole and probation and to have their records expunged. It would also establish a lottery selection process to award licenses and certificates for cultivation and sale and distribute licenses within each congressional district.
Currently, medicinal marijuana is legal for those with a medical ID card in Missouri.
John Payne, the campaign manager of Legal Missouri 2022, said, “We look forward to engaging with voters across the state in the coming weeks and months. Missourians are more than ready to end the senseless and costly prohibition of marijuana.”
Supporters of the initiative include the ACLU of Missouri, the NAACP of St. Louis City, and NORML of Kansas City. “Cannabis reform is about more than establishing a safe and legal market,” said Jamie Kacz, the executive director of NORML KC, “It is about righting the many wrongs prohibition has caused to our communities, especially communities of color.”
Christina Thompson, with ShowMe Canna-Freedom, is critical of the regulations regarding commercial licenses. Thompson said, “This initiative eliminates nearly all competition through constitutionally protected license caps. Recreational licenses created under the initiative will go straight to established businesses as well, meaning instead of opening up more business opportunities for others, money only goes to those who are already profiting.”
The Missouri initiative joins two other marijuana legalization ballot measures that will appear on the ballot in the November general election–a constitutional amendment in Maryland and an initiated state statute in South Dakota.
There are now five certified measures on the Missouri ballot for November 2022. So far, 19 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana, 12 of which did so via a ballot measure and seven of which did so via legislation. Medical marijuana is legal in 37 states, 19 of which legalized via legislation and 18 of which legalized via a ballot measure.
Reviewing the results of this week’s primaries
Ballotpedia covered statewide primaries in Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin Tuesday. Be sure to subscribe to our free weekly The Heart of the Primaries newsletter for more on these primaries. In the meantime, here’s a look at results in some of the races we were watching:
- Michels wins GOP nomination for governor of Wisconsin: Tim Michels defeated Rebecca Kleefisch and three other candidates to win the Republican nomination for governor of Wisconsin. Michels had 47% of the vote to Kleefisch’s 42%. National observers cast the race in terms of competing endorsements. Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Michels, while former Vice President Mike Pence (R) and former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) endorsed Kleefisch.
- Mandela Barnes wins Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate: Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes won 78% of the vote in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, defeating seven other candidates. The only three candidates besides Barnes who raised more than $1 million each unofficially withdrew in the last week of July and endorsed Barnes.
- Finstad holds MN-01 for GOP: Brad Finstad (R) defeated Jeff Ettinger (D) and two other candidates 51% to 47% in a special election for Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District. The previous incumbent, Jim Hagedorn (R), died in February. Finstad’s margin of victory was greater than Hagedorn’s 49% to 46% win in 2020 and his 50.1% to 49.7% win in 2018. Finstad and Ettinger are also running in the November general election for the redrawn district, which election forecasters expect will be safe for Republicans. Once Finstad is sworn in, the partisan balance of the U.S. House will be a 220-211 majority for Democrats.
As of this writing, three incumbent state legislators had lost re-nomination in primaries in Minnesota and a fourth lost re-nomination in a primary in Connecticut. All four incumbents were Democrats.
So far this year, Republican state legislators have lost primaries at a higher rate than Democrats. Of the 2,186 Republican incumbents who filed to run for re-election, 134 (6.1%) have lost to primary challengers. Forty-eight of the 1,753 Democrats who filed to run for re-election (2.7%) have lost their primaries.
Both candidates in the election for Washington’s 3rd Congressional district complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey
Both candidates running in the November 8, 2022, general election for Washington’s 3rd Congressional District —Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez (D) and Joe Kent (R)—completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. These survey responses allow voters to hear directly from candidates about what motivates them to run for office.
The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 118th Congress. All 435 seats in the House are up for election. As of August 10, Democrats hold a 220-210 advantage in the U.S. House with five vacant seats (including the seat that will be filled by member-elect Brad Finstad (R)). Washington’s current congressional delegation consists of seven Democrats and three Republicans.
Here are excerpts from candidates’ responses to the question: What do you perceive to be the United States’ greatest challenges as a nation over the next decade?
“Money in politics. Love of money is the root of all evil and we cannot address our biggest threats like climate change or a disappearing middle class without having political leaders who are honest dealers that put the interest of their constituents above high-dollar donors.”
“We have to break away from the failed economic policies and national security strategies that have only benefited the ruling class and China. We must fully audit the 2020 Presidential Election to restore the American people’s faith in our democratic system. We have to return critical industries and manufacturing back to America, restore energy independence, and end our wasteful post 9/11 wars.”
Click on candidates’ profile pages below to read their full responses to this and other questions.
At Ballotpedia, we believe that everyone deserves meaningful, reliable, trustworthy information about their candidates. We also know that good information—especially at the local level—is hard to find. That’s why Ballotpedia created Candidate Connection.
We ask all federal, state, and local candidates with profiles on Ballotpedia to complete a survey and share what motivates them on political and personal levels. Want to see Candidate Connection continue to grow in future elections? Ask the candidates in your area to fill out the survey. Share your favorite responses with family and friends. Donate to Ballotpedia, or simply spread the word on Twitter and Facebook.
Ballotpedia appreciates how important it is that voters everywhere have access to the best information to make an informed decision. By supporting our work, you’ll become an instrument for the spread of knowledge and understanding in political discourse.