In their own words – what candidates are saying in Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

Welcome to the Friday, September 30, 2022, Brew. 

By: Dave Beaudoin

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

  1. Hear from Iowa secretary of state and Oregon Court of Appeals candidates in their  own words
  2. Download the latest episode of our weekly podcast, On the Ballot
  3. Ohio voters to decide three toss-up congressional races this year

Hear from Iowa secretary of state and Oregon Court of Appeals candidates in their own words

If you’re a regular reader of the Daily Brew, then you’ve seen previous stories about our Candidate Connection survey. We created it to help solve the ballot information problem because we believe everyone deserves meaningful, reliable, trustworthy information about their candidates. The survey allows voters to hear directly from candidates about what motivates them and what their priorities are.

In races where all candidates completed the survey, voters (like you!) get a unique opportunity to compare and contrast the candidates’ backgrounds, objectives, and experiences. 

Iowa Secretary of State

Both candidates running in the Nov. 8 general election for Iowa Secretary of State — incumbent Paul Pate (R) and Joel Miller (D) — completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. Iowa’s secretary of state serves as the state commissioner of elections, maintains corporations’ records, registers trademarks, commissions notaries public, and preserves original documents. 

This is one of 27 secretaries of state up for election in 2022. The partisan control before the election in those 27 races is 14 Republicans and 13 Democrats. Iowa is one of 26 states with a Republican secretary of state and one of 9 states with a divided government triplex. 

Here’s how Pate and Miller answered the following question: What are the main points you want voters to remember about your goals for your time in office? 


  • “Continuing to protect the sanctity and security of Iowa’s elections are my top priorities. while increasing voter registration and participation. Iowa was recently named one of the top three states in the nation for election administration. I’d like us to be #1. We’ve made it easy to vote but hard to cheat. Under my watch, that will continue.
  • Under my watch, Iowa has set record highs for voter registration and participation multiple times. Iowa is a national leader in both. We implemented Iowa’s online voter registration system in 2016, making it faster and easier to register than ever. We also created the Safe at Home address confidentiality program, so survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse, trafficking, stalking and assault can vote without fear of their address becoming public.”


  • “Make Voting Easy Again! But to do so, Iowans must #FirePaulPate. Why? 
  • Pate pocket vetoed two proposed amendments to the Iowa Constitution by failing to publish them in official newspapers. Pate blamed the mistake on staff and fired a top appointee. Legislature took away Pate’s duty to publish amendments.
  • Pate negligently inactivated 17-year-olds not eligible to vote in the November 2020 election. Pate blamed the Legislature for making the law. Legislature changed law to prohibit Pate from inactivating 17 year-olds in the future. 
  • Pate silent on voter suppression contained in 2021 election law changes. No leadership. Did not register For/Against/Neutral on law during debate or after passage.”

In 2018, Pate defeated Deidre DeJear (D), 53% to 45%, to win re-election to a second term.

Oregon Court of Appeals

Darleen Ortega and Vance Day are running in the nonpartisan general election for Position 3 on the Oregon Court of Appeals. This intermediate appellate court in Oregon hears all civil and criminal appeals from the state’s circuit courts. Oregon Court of Appeals justices serve six-year terms and are elected statewide. The Position 3 race is the only one of five state appeals court elections this year that is contested. In the May 17 primary, Ortega finished first with 62% and Day received 38%.

Here are excerpts from Ortega’s and Day’s responses to the question: What characteristics or principles are most important for an elected official?


Even for those of us who come from historically marginalized communities, elected office is a place of privilege that insulates us from the experiences of most citizens, especially those who are most vulnerable. I think it’s especially important for an elected official to make the extra and ongoing effort needed to put herself in a position to listen to the perspectives of the most vulnerable, who have the hardest time being heard inside systems like the legal system where I do my work. I need to allow what I learn about their experiences to motivate me to stay curious about what I don’t know, about the injustices that I won’t readily see, and also to help me to maintain the necessary urgency to stay engaged even when I can’t see a way to make things better. It’s only by staying engaged in that way that I can hope to do my job with integrity and to move the system toward justice.


These are the most important qualities for a judge:

– The ability to master the law, the facts of the case, and the implications of a decision. Undergirding this must be the humility to learn continually and listen conscientiously. – The ability to work collegially, constructively, and respectfully with other judges, attorneys, plaintiffs and defendants, and staff. – The ability to communicate clearly and unambiguously both orally and in writing. – The ability to work hard and for the long haul. – A deep respect and deference for the rights and freedoms of the individual to self-govern while adhering to the principles of individual accountability and personal responsibility under the law. – A sincere desire to listen to and understand citizens’ concerns regarding the preservation of their liberty under our Constitutions. – Character, as defined by the words of renowned College Basketball Coach John Wooden, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

As of Sept. 29, we’ve posted Candidate Connection survey responses for 92 races nationwide where all candidates running completed our survey — including for six U.S. House districts and three statewide races. Is an election on your ballot one of them?  

Click below to view all races with a 100% survey response rate, and if you’d like to learn more about the candidates on your ballot, ask them to fill out the survey.

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Download the latest episode of our weekly podcast, On the Ballot 

In the latest episode of our weekly On the Ballot podcast, host Victoria Rose talked with our editor-in-chief, Geoff Pallay, about Ballotpedia’s 15th anniversary and highlighted some of the noteworthy milestones in our history.

The podcast also delved into the voter registration data that states collect, including what information is made available to the public or perhaps sold. States don’t just differ in election administration and voter registration policies. They also track voter data differently. Some don’t even track voters’ party affiliation–in fact, 19 states do not do so. But otherwise, you can generally visit a state’s elections division to look up how many voters belong to each party. 

You can find the latest episode of On the Ballot by clicking the link below, along with all our recent episodes. And learn how to subscribe so you never miss an update!

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Ohio voters to decide three toss-up congressional races this year

Nearly halfway there – Today is the 24th day of our 50 States in 50 days series, and we’re featuring Ohio, the Buckeye State.

Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota
Week Two: California, Georgia, Texas, Montana
Week Three: North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Illinois, Idaho
Week Four: Kentucky, Michigan, Arkansas, Minnesota, West Virginia
Week Five: Vermont, Nevada, Wyoming, Arizona

On the ballot in Ohio

At the federal level, one of Ohio’s U.S. Senate seats and all 15 of its U.S. House districts are up for election this year.

Voters will also decide 11 state executive offices: governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, and five seats on the state board of education.

Seventeen of the 33 seats in the state senate and all 99 seats in the state house are up for election.

Incumbents are not running for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat and for one of the 15 U.S. House districts up this year, leaving those seats open. Thirty-one of Ohio’s 116 state legislative districts also have open seats.

Three of the seven seats on the state supreme court are up for election. Two members of the court are running against one another for the position of chief justice, while two other members are running for re-election.

These will be Ohio’s first fully partisan elections for state supreme court and intermediate appellate courts. In previous election years, these offices had partisan primaries but nonpartisan general elections. Starting this year, general elections for those offices are also partisan.

Redistricting highlights

Ohio lost a single U.S. House district in the round of apportionment following the 2020 census, going from 16 districts in 2020 to 15 this year.

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 Ohio:

To use our tool to view Ohio’s state legislative maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle, visit our Ohio redistricting page.

Partisan balance

  • One of Ohio’s U.S. senators, Sherrod Brown, is a Democrat. The other, Rob Portman, is a Republican.
  • Twelve of Ohio’s 16 members in the U.S. House are Republicans. The other four are Democrats.
  • Republicans have a 25-8 majority in the state Senate and a 64-35 majority in the state House. Because the governor, Mike DeWine, is also a Republican, Republicans have a trifecta in Ohio. Republicans have had a trifecta in Ohio since winning the governorship and state house in 2010.
  • The attorney general, Dave Yost, and the secretary of state, Frank LaRose, are both Republicans. Because the governor is also a Republican, Ohio is a Republican triplex.

Seats contested by only one major party

In 2022, 41 state legislative seats in Ohio, or 35% 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, that candidate is all but guaranteed to win.

Democrats are running in 76% of all state legislative races. Twenty-eight state legislative seats (24% of all state legislative seats up) do not have a Democratic candidate, meaning the Republican is likely to win.

Republicans are running in 89% of all state legislative races. Thirteen state legislative seats (11% of all state legislative seats up) do not have a Republican candidate, meaning the Democrat is likely to win.

Key races

  • U.S. Senate election in Ohio, 2022: Tim Ryan (D) and J.D. Vance (R) are running. Incumbent Rob Portman (R), first elected in 2010, is retiring. Ohio is one of three states holding elections for U.S. Senate this year to have a Democratic Senator and a Republican Senator, alongside Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It is the only state of the three that Donald Trump (R) won in the 2020 presidential election.
  • Ohio’s 1st Congressional District election, 2022: Incumbent Steve Chabot (R) and Greg Landsman (D) are running. Chabot, first elected in 1994, won re-election 52%-45% in 2020. Redistricting following the 2020 census tilted this district more towards Democrats. The Cook Partisan Voter Index, a measure of the district’s partisan lean relative to the national average, shifted from R+4 under the old district lines to D+2 under the new lines. 
  • Ohio’s 9th Congressional District election, 2022: Incumbent Marcy Kaptur (D) and J.R. Majewski (R) are running. Kaptur, first elected in 1982, won re-election 63%-37% in 2020. The 9th district tilted more towards Republicans in the post-2020 round of redistricting. The District’s Cook Partisan Voter Index shifted from D+9 under the old lines to R+3.
  • Ohio’s 13th Congressional District election, 2022: Emilia Sykes (D) and Madison Gesiotto Gilbert (R) are running. Incumbent Tim Ryan (D) is running for the U.S. Senate, leaving the seat open. According to Daily Kos, Joe Biden (D) won 51%-48% over Donald Trump (R) within the borders of the new 13th District during the 2020 presidential election. The Cook Partisan Voter Index for the new district is R+1. 
  • Ohio Supreme Court elections, 2022: Three of the seven seats on the Ohio Supreme Court are up for partisan election. Incumbents Pat Fischer (R) and Pat DeWine (R) are running for re-election against Terri Jamison (D) and Marilyn Zayas (D), respectively. Incumbents Jennifer Brunner (D) and Sharon Kennedy (R) are running for chief justice. The governor will appoint an associate justice to replace the winner of that election. Republicans currently have a 4-3 majority on the court.

Ballot measures

Ohio voters will decide two statewide measures on Nov. 8.

  • Issue 1 would require that courts take factors including public safety, the seriousness of an offense, and the accused’s criminal record and likelihood of returning to court when setting bail.
  • Issue 2 would prohibit local governments from allowing noncitizens or individuals who otherwise lack the qualifications of an elector to participate in local elections.

Sixty-three measures appeared on statewide ballots in Ohio between 1985 and 2018. Thirty-eight measures were approved, and 25 were defeated.


  • Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Eastern time.
  • Ohio requires voters to announce their full name and current address and present identification before voting. For more information about voter ID requirements in Ohio, click here.
  • Early voting starts Wednesday, Oct. 12, and runs through Monday, Nov. 7.
  • The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday, Oct. 11. Registration can be completed in person, by mail, or online. Mail-in registration forms are valid as long as they are postmarked Oct. 11 or earlier. Ohio does not permit same-day voter registration.
  • All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Ohio. Absentee ballots may be requested at any point within 90 days of the election up until noon on Saturday, Nov. 5. A returned absentee ballot must be postmarked no later than Monday, Nov. 7, and received by the elections board no later than Friday, Nov. 18. Absentee ballots may be submitted via mail or in person, although only the voter themself or a family member may return an absentee ballot in person. Absentee ballots contain an identification statement the voter must sign in order for the ballot to be considered valid.

Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool!  

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