A rundown of Super Tuesday’s battleground primary results

Welcome to the Thursday, March 7, Brew. 

By: Joel Williams

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

  1. A rundown of Super Tuesday’s most interesting races
  2. One state supreme court vacancy created and filled in February
  3. Learn about 2024’s gubernatorial battleground elections in the latest episode of On the Ballot, our weekly podcast

A rundown of Super Tuesday’s battleground primary results

ICYMI, more than one-third of the country had something to vote on during Super Tuesday. Here’s a rundown of some of the 25 battleground primaries across five states we covered:

Eight Texas House Republicans lose primaries, nine more face runoffs

On Tuesday night, 46 Republican members of the Texas House of Representatives faced primary challengers. Eight lost their primaries outright, and another seven are in runoffs because no candidate won a majority of the vote. Among those facing a May runoff is current Speaker Dade Phelan. Two primaries with incumbents remain uncalled.

The nine defeated incumbents are the most in any election since 2012. If at least three of the remaining incumbents in a runoff lose, it would be the most incumbents defeated since at least 2010.

The 2024 elections took place against the backdrop of two votes in 2023 that divided the House GOP caucus.

One was the impeachment of Attorney General Ken Paxton (R). The House voted 121-23 to impeach Paxton. Sixty Republicans joined with 61 Democrats in support of impeachment. Paxton endorsed three incumbents who voted against impeachment, one incumbent who voted for impeachment, and 35 challengers to Republican incumbents who voted for impeachment.

In the other, the caucus split over removing a provision for school vouchers from an education bill. The House voted 84-63 to remove the voucher provision. Twenty-one Republicans joined 63 Democrats to remove the provision. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) supported the measure and said he would oppose legislators who voted against it. Abbott endorsed all 59 Republican incumbents who voted in favor of the proposal and ran for re-election. Abbott also endorsed 10 challengers to incumbents who voted against school vouchers.

To get a full rundown of these primaries, click here.

Harris County DA loses re-election bid

Sean Teare defeated Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg in the Democratic primary on Tuesday night. Teare worked in the district attorney’s office as a supervisor in the Vehicular Crimes Division from 2017 to 2023. During the campaign, Teare accused Ogg of not following through on campaign promises and causing decreased morale in the office.

Ogg was first elected in 2016 on a platform that included prosecuting violent offenders, offering diversion programs as an alternative to jail time, and making less use of cash bail. The Harris County Democratic Party publicly admonished Ogg in December 2023 for allegedly intimidating elected officials, supporting Republican-proposed firearms and sentencing laws, and not reducing the use of cash bail.

Teare will face Dan Simons (R) in the November general election. Ogg won both the 2016 and 2020 general elections 54%-46%. Ogg was the first Democrat elected Houston County DA since 1980.

To read more about this primary, click here.

San Francisco’s local elections

Voters in San Francisco voted on three ballot measures Tuesday night:

  • Voters defeated Proposition B, which would have amended provisions regarding minimum police officer staffing levels and established a policing fund if voters approved a future tax or amended an existing tax to fund it.
  • Voters approved Proposition G, which makes it the policy of the city and county of San Francisco to encourage the San Francisco Unified School District to offer Algebra 1 to students by eighth grade.
  • Voters approved Proposition F, which will require benefit recipients the city suspects of drug use to be tested and participate in treatment programs (if the treatment program is free) to continue receiving benefits.

There were also two Superior Court of San Francisco County judges up for re-election on Tuesday night. Incumbent Michael Begert defeated challenger Chip Zecher, while incumbent Patrick Thompson led challenger Jean Myungjin Roland in a race that was too close to call. The group Stop Crime Action targeted both judges and claimed they had “a demonstrated track record of releasing serious and dangerous offenders back into the public.” Click here to read more.

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One state supreme court vacancy created and filled in February

February had one state supreme court vacancy created across the 29 states where replacement justices are appointed instead of elected. Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Justice David Lowry resigned on Feb. 2. The Governor’s Council confirmed his successor, Appellate Court judge Gabrielle Wolohojian, on Feb. 28. Wolohojian may serve until she reaches the court’s mandatory retirement age of 70 in 2030.

Wolohojian is Gov. Maura Healey’s (D) second nominee confirmed to serve on the state’s highest court. Former Gov. Deval Patrick (D) appointed Wolohojian to the Massachusetts Appeals Court in 2008.

Since the start of 2024, there have been 11 supreme court vacancies across these 29 states. Retirements were the reason for all 11 vacancies. Of those 11 vacancies, Democrats control the process for filling seven of the vacancies and Republicans do so for the remaining four.

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Learn about 2024’s gubernatorial battleground elections in the latest episode of On the Ballot, our weekly podcast

On the Ballot, Ballotpedia’s weekly podcast, is taking a deep dive into the most interesting gubernatorial elections in 2024. This episode takes a closer look at the races for the governor’s mansion in New Hampshire and North Carolina.

In this episode, Marquee Team Lead Joel Williams talked to our host, Victoria Rose, about how Ballotpedia determines which elections are most likely to be competitive. Then, they took a look at the candidates running in those more competitive contests.

In New Hampshire, Gov. Chris Sununu (R) did not run for re-election. The field of candidates seeking to replace Sununu includes a member of the state’s Executive Council, a former U.S. senator, and a former state legislator who served as acting governor for two days in 2007.

In North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) is term-limited. Attorney General Josh Stein (D) and Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson (R) are running to replace him.

And remember, new episodes of On the Ballot drop every Thursday afternoon. If you’re reading this on the morning of March 4, there’s still time to subscribe to On the Ballot on your preferred podcast app and catch this episode on gubernatorial elections!

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