Welcome to the Thursday, September 8, Brew.
By: Samuel Wonacott
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- Candidate Connection helps voters understand more about the people and issues on their ballots
- Nearly half of Texas state legislative seats lack major party competition
- A look at Delaware’s upcoming primaries
Candidate Connection helps voters understand more about the people and issues on their ballots
If you’re a regular reader of the Daily Brew, then you’ve probably heard us talk about our Candidate Connection survey. We created the survey to help solve the ballot information problem, because we believe that everyone deserves meaningful, reliable, trustworthy information about their candidates. The survey allows voters to hear directly from candidates about what motivates them to run for office.
In races with a 100% survey completion rate, voters get a unique opportunity to compare and contrast their candidates’ platforms and visions. So far, nine races on the ballot this November have seen all candidates complete the survey.
Today, we’re taking a look at two state legislative races in California and Alabama where all candidates have completed the survey. If you’d like to learn more about your candidates, you can ask them to fill out the survey here.
Both of the candidates running in the Nov. 8 general election for Alabama House of Representatives District 3—Wesley Thompson (D) and Kerry Underwood (R) completed the survey. The incumbent is Andrew Sorrell (R), who is running for Alabama Auditor. In 2018, Sorrell defeated Chad Young (D) 52.5% to 47.4%. District 3 is near Alabama’s northwest corner.
Here’s how Thompson and Underwood answered the question: What are the main points you want voters to remember about your goals for your time in office?
- “Small Businesses, Economic Growth, and Jobs: I believe in the dignity of a hard day’s work, but right now, hard working families are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet.
- “Education: Kids in the Shoals, whether they’re Black, Brown, or White, rich or poor, deserve the best education possible. We owe it to our kids to make sure they’re ready for what the future holds.
- “Healthcare: I believe we can repair a healthcare system that leaves thousands across the Shoals unable to afford to go to the doctor or fill a prescription. It is time we prioritize investment in the lives of Alabamians, in the lives of the people of the Shoals.
- “I will connect this district by my working relationships with local elected officials at city and county levels and work to help them achieve their priorities for your communities.”
- “I will continue to recruit industry into the area for good employment as I have for six years from my position on Shoals EDA board as Mayor.”
- “I will work to improve our mental health / addiction model at the State level to improve a person’s chances to become productive members of our community.”
Gail Pellerin (D) and Liz Lawler (R) are running in the general election for California Assembly District 28. The incumbent is Evan Low (D). Low is running for re-election in District 26. In 2020, Low defeated Carlos Rafael Cruz (R) 71.6% to 28.4%. District 28 covers an area south of San Jose.
Here’s how Pellerin and Lawler answered the question: What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?
Pellerin: “Tackling the Housing Shortage and Homelessness Stimulating Jobs, Wages and our Economy Addressing Environmental Impacts and Climate Change Investing in Quality Affordable Education Fighting for Equality Strengthening Public Safety Improving Physical and Mental Healthcare Protecting Voting Rights and Fighting for Democracy”
Lawler: “I am passionate about education, public safety, mental health and fiscal accountability. Our schools are failing our most vulnerable students, and a good education is key to breaking the cycle of poverty and opens doors for life. Providing school choice and reforming our public system will help our children succeed.”
Click below to see all races with a 100% survey response rate.
Nearly half of Texas state legislative seats lack major party competition
Today is the seventh day of our 50 States in 50 days series, and we’re featuring Texas, the Lone Star State.
On the ballot in Texas
Voters in Texas will elect 38 U.S. Representatives. At the state level, Texans will vote for the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, comptroller, agriculture commissioner, public lands commissioner, railroad commissioner, and for seven seats on the State Board of Education.
Both chambers of the state legislature are up for election this year. All 31 seats are up for election in the Texas Senate, and all 150 seats are up for election in the Texas House of Representatives. Voters will also elect candidates for the state supreme court, court of criminal appeals, and district court of appeals.
There are six open U.S. House seats in Texas and 30 open seats in the state legislature.
At the municipal level, Ballotpedia is covering elections in Houston, Garland, Irving, Austin, El Paso, Arlington, Corpus Christi, Laredo, and Lubbock.
After the 2020 census, the number of U.S. House districts in Texas increased from 36 to 38.
Congressional and state legislative elections will take place under new district lines following the census. Our side-by-side map comparison tool allows you to immediately see what redistricting looks like in your state. Here are the congressional maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle in Texas:
To use our tool to view Texas’ state legislative maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle, visit our Texas redistricting page.
Republicans hold both of Texas’ U.S. Senate seats. In the U.S. House, 12 of Texas’ representatives are Democrats and 26 are Republicans.
Republicans also hold majorities in both chambers of the state legislature, with 18 Republicans and 13 Democrats in the Texas State Senate and 83 Republicans and 65 Democrats in the Texas House of Representatives. Texas has been a Republican trifecta since 2003.
The state is also a Republican triplex, meaning the governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are all Republicans.
Seats contested by only one major party
In 2022, 81 state legislative seats in Texas, or 45% of all seats up for election, do not have major party competition. When a candidate from only one of either the Democratic or Republican parties runs for a state legislative seat, the seat is all but guaranteed to be won by that party.
Democrats are running in 72% of all state legislative races. Fifty state legislative seats (28% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Democratic candidate and are likely to be won by a Republican.
Republicans are running in 83% of all state legislative races. Thirty-one seats (17% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Republican candidate and are likely to be won by a Democrat.
- Texas’ 34th Congressional District election, 2022: Incumbent Mayra Flores (R), Vicente Gonzalez Jr. (D), and Chris Royal (I) are running. Flores was first elected in a special election in June 2022 to fill the vacancy former incumbent Filemon Vela (D) left. He first took office in 2013. On March 22, 2021, Vela announced he would not seek re-election in 2022.
- Texas’ 24th Congressional District election, 2022: Incumbent Beth Van Duyne (R) and Jan McDowell (D) are running. Van Duyne defeated Candace Valenzuela (D) by 1.33 percentage points in 2020.
- Texas’ 23rd Congressional District election, 2022: Incumbent Tony Gonzales (R), John Lira (D), and Francisco Lopez (I) are running. In 2020, Gonzalesdefeated Gina Ortiz Jones (D) 50.6% to 46.6%.
- Texas’ 15th Congressional District election, 2022: Michelle Vallejo (D), Monica De La Cruz (R), and Ross Lynn Leone (L) are running. Incumbent Vicente Gonzalez Jr. (D), who is running in Texas’ 34th Congressional District this November, defeated Monica De La Cruz Hernandez (R) 50.5% to 47.6% in the 2020 election.
- Texas’ 7th Congressional District election, 2022: Incumbent Lizzie Pannill Fletcher (D) and Johnny Teague (R) are running. Fletcher defeated Wesley Hunt (R) in the 2020 election 50.8% TO 47.5%.
- Texas lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2022: Incumbent Dan Patrick (R), Mike Collier (D), and Shanna Steele (L) are running. This race is a rematch. In 2018, Patrick defeated Collier by 51.3% to 46.5%.
- Texas Attorney General election, 2022: Incumbent Ken Paxton (R), Rochelle Garza (D), and Mark Ash (L) are running. Paxton defeated Justin Nelson (D) 50.6% to 47%.
- Texas Agriculture Commissioner election, 2022: Incumbent Sid Miller (R) and Susan Hays (D) are running. In 2018, Miller defeated Kim Olson (D) 51.3% to 46.4%.
There are no statewide ballot measures in Texas on Nov. 8.
Because the legislature convenes regular sessions in odd-numbered years but not even-numbered years, most amendments have been referred to ballots in odd-numbered years. Between 1995 and 2018, 157 of 159 statewide ballot measures appeared on odd-numbered year ballots.
In Texas, a total of 280 ballot measures appeared on statewide ballots between 1985 and 2022. Two hundred forty-seven ballot measures were approved, and 33 ballot measures were defeated.
- On Nov. 8, polls in Texas will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Texas requires voters to present photo identification (ID) while voting. Accepted forms of ID include Texas driver’s licenses, U.S. passports, and Texas handgun licenses. For more information about voter ID requirements in Texas, click here.
- Early voting starts on Oct. 24 and ends on Nov. 4.
- The voter registration deadline is Oct. 11 for both in-person and mail-in registrations. Texas does not offer automatic registration, online registration, or same-day registration. Prospective voters must reside in the county in which they are registering to vote.
- The absentee/mail-in ballot request deadline in Texas is Oct. 28. Texas voters are eligible to vote absentee in an election if:
- They cannot make it to the polls on Election Day because they will be away from the county on Election Day and during early voting;
- They are sick or disabled;
- They are 65 years of age or older; or
- They are confined in jail.
- To vote absentee, a request must be received by county election officials no later than close of regular business on the eleventh day before the election. The completed ballot must then be returned by the close of polls on Election Day. To check the status of your ballot, click here.
Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool!
A look at Delaware’s upcoming primaries
The 2022 election cycle began in March with statewide primaries in Texas. Six months later, we’ve nearly reached the end of the primary season. We’ve only got four more states to go! On Sept. 13, Rhode Island, Delaware, and New Hampshire will hold primaries (the final state to hold primaries, Louisiana, will do so on Nov. 8).
Let’s take a look at what’s on the ballot in Delaware—the First State!
Delaware is one of six states that elects a single at-large representative. U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D) is the incumbent. However, the Republican and Democratic primaries and Rochester and Lee Murphy (R) automatically advanced to the Nov. 8 general election. Cody McNutt (L) and David Rogers (Nonpartisan Party) are also running in the general election.
Delaware has a Democratic trifecta and a Democratic triplex. The Democratic Party controls the offices of governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and both chambers of the state legislature.
All 21 districts in the state Senate and all 41 districts in the state House are up for election. Democrats have a 14-7 majority in the Senate and a 26-15 majority in the House. There are 14 contested state legislative primaries across both chambers this year, an 8% increase from 2020. Of the 14 contested primaries, there are 11 for Democrats and three for Republicans. For Democrats, this is down from 12 in 2020, an 8% decrease. For Republicans, the number is up 67% from one in 2020.
In Delaware, the primary candidate with the most votes wins—even if that candidate receives less than 50% of the total vote. Delaware is one of 40 states without primary election runoffs. The state cancels uncontested primaries. Write-in candidates can only run in general elections.
Click below to learn more about Delaware’s primaries.