45 candidates share a last name with one or more of their opponents in November

Welcome to the Thursday, October 27, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

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

  1. Twenty-two elections on Nov. 8 are between candidates with the same last name
  2. Help Desk—here’s where you can check the status of your ballot 
  3. Hawaii voters to decide open-seat governor’s race

Twenty-two elections on Nov. 8 are between candidates with the same last name

As a digital encyclopedia, we have nearly 400,000 pages on just about every area and facet of U.S. politics and elections. If you want to know something about the U.S. political system, there’s a good chance we’ve got the answer. 

Today, let’s take a quick break from talking about high-stakes elections to explore a lighter question that probably hasn’t crossed your mind—how many candidates facing off in upcoming elections share the same last name?

Our team looked through our database—and out of the more than 19,000 candidates we’re covering on Nov. 8, we found 22 races with candidates sharing a last name running against one another. Overall, 45 candidates share a last name with one or more of their opponents in 22 elections in 13 states or territories. 

In alphabetical order, the shared last names are Baker, Bouldin, Carrion, Clark, Duck, Fromuth, Garcia, Guerra, Healey, James, Johnson, Lekas, Manglona, May, Montoya, Newman, Rich, Rose Terlaje, and Tudela.

One of the more interesting matchups is the general election for Illinois House of Representatives District 58, where write-in candidate Michael Clark is running against Mike Clark (R) (and incumbent Bob Morgan (D). 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Johnson is the second most common last name in America. Garcia is ranked sixth. Clark is 27th, Baker is 44th, and James is 85th. The others were not ranked among the top one hundred last names in America.

The U.S. Virgin Islands features the only election where three candidates share the same last name—Javan James (D), Marise James (D), and Patricia James (I). New Hampshire has six elections between candidates with the same last name, more than any of the other states or territories. 

Of the 22 elections:

  • One is a special election.
  • Two are school board races.
  • One race is for a state executive office. 
  • Seventeen of the races are state and territorial legislative elections.
  • Fourteen of these are in multimember districts. Eighteen of the candidates are incumbents, and four of them are write-in candidates. 
  • Nineteen of the candidates are Democrats, and 15 are Republicans. 
  • Eight candidates are running for nonpartisan offices.

You can find out more about the candidates and the races in which they’re participating at the link below. 

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Here’s where you can check the status of your ballot 

In a previous edition of this newsletter, we told you about our 2022 Election Help Desk, which contains articles answering frequently asked questions about elections and election administration.

People are asking how they can track the status of their absentee/mail-in ballot. Because all states have some form of absentee/mail-in balloting, the answer to that question is important to voters across the country. 

Forty-four states and the District of Columbia have statewide online ballot tracking systems, and we’ve collected links to those tracking systems here

In California, Florida, and Illinois, local officials provide ballot tracking. In those cases, we’ve included a link to a state website allowing you to look up your local election office. Wyoming, Missouri, and Mississippi do not provide any tracking at the state level. 

Click here to access our full 2022 Election Help Desk. Follow the link below to learn more about how you can check the status of your ballot. 

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Hawaii voters to choose new governor

Today is the 43rd day of our 50 States in 50 days series, and we’re featuring Hawaii, the Aloha 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, Ohio
Week Six: South Carolina, Iowa, Kansas, Oregon, Tennessee
Week Seven: Colorado, New Jersey, Washington, Alabama, Utah
Week Eight: Mississippi, Maryland, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Maine
Week Nine: Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Alaska

On the ballot in Hawaii

Hawaii voters will elect one member of the U.S. Senate. Incumbent Brian Schatz (D) is running for re-election. Voters will also elect representatives to both of the state’s U.S. House districts. The race for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District is open as current Rep. Kaiali’i Kahele (D) ran for governor. 

Voters will elect the state’s governor, lieutenant governor, and six of nine members of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Gov. David Ige (D) is term-limited. The state’s lieutenant governor is elected separately from the governor. 

Both chambers of Hawaii’s state legislature are holding elections this year. All 76 legislative seats—25 in the state Senate and 51 in the state House of Representatives—are up for election. Across both chambers, 13 races are open.

Voters in Honolulu—the state’s capital—will elect four of nine members of the city council

Redistricting highlights

Hawaii was apportioned two U.S. House districts after the 2020 census, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.

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 Hawaii:  

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

Partisan balance

  • Both of Hawaii’s U.S. Senators—Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono—are Democrats.
  • Both members of Hawaii’s U.S. House delegation are Democrats.
  • Democrats hold veto-proof majorities in both chambers of the Hawaii legislature. In the state Senate, Democrats have a 24-1 majority, and in the state House, Democrats have a 47-4 majority.
  • Hawaii is one of 14 states with a Democratic trifecta, where Democrats control the governorship and both chambers of the legislature. Republicans gained a trifecta in 2011 after Neil Abercrombie (D) was elected governor, succeeding Linda Lingle (R). Before 2011, Hawaii had a divided government.
  • Hawaii’s governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are all Democrats, meaning the state is one of 18 with Democratic triplex control. 

Seats contested by only one major party

In 2022, 15 state legislative seats in Hawaii, or 20% 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 party is all but guaranteed to win.

Democrats are running in 97% of all state legislative races. Two state legislative seats (3% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Democratic candidate and a Republican is likely to win.

Republicans are running in 83% of all state legislative races. Thirteen seats (17% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Republican candidate and a Democrat is likely to win.

Key races

Ballot measures

There are no statewide ballot measures in Hawaii in 2022.

Sixty-two ballot measures appeared on statewide ballots between 1985 and 2018. Forty-four ballot measures were approved, and 18 were defeated.


  • Hawaii conducts elections by mail. All eligible voters automatically receive mail ballots, which must be returned to election officials by 7:00 p.m. local time on Election Day.
  • Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time for those who choose to vote in person.
  • Voters in Hawaii are generally not required to provide identification while voting. 
  • Voters may cast their ballot early in person at designated locations from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7. Click here to learn more about early voting or for early voting locations.
  • Registration may be completed online, by mail, or in person. The deadline for registering by mail is Oct. 31. Same-day registration is available during early voting and on Election Day. 
  • Hawaii law allows qualified individuals to pre-register at 16 years of age. Upon turning 18, such residents will be automatically registered and mailed a ballot.
  • Voters can check the status of their ballot by contacting their county elections division.

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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