Author

Ethan Rice

Ethan Rice is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) will not seek re-election in 2022

On Sept. 16, 2021, U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) announced he would not seek re-election in 2022. Gonzalez, who represents Ohio’s 16th Congressional District, said his choice to not seek re-election was a result of the current political environment: “Politically the environment is so toxic, especially in our own party right now,” he said. “You can fight your butt off and win this thing, but are you really going to be happy? And the answer is, probably not.”

Gonzalez assumed office in 2019 after defeating Susan Moran Palmer (D) in the 2018 general election 57% to 43%. In the 2020 general election, he won re-election against challenger Aaron Godfrey (D) 63% to 37%. Gonzalez was one of 10 House members who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump (R) for incitement of insurrection on January 13, 2021.

As of September 2021, 22 members of Congress— five members of the U.S. Senate and 17 members of the U.S. House— have announced they will not seek re-election. Twelve members—five senators and seven representatives—have announced their retirement. All five retiring Senate members are Republicans, and of the retiring House members, four are Democrats and three are Republicans.

Ten U.S. House members are running for other offices. Four Republicans and three Democrats are seeking seats in the U.S. Senate, one Republican and one Democrat are running for governor, and one Republican is running for secretary of state. No U.S. Senate members are running for other offices.

Additional reading:



North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper vetoes bill on nonprofit donation disclosure and privacy

On Sept. 3, 2021, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) vetoed S636, a bill making donations to nonprofit corporations confidential.

S636 prohibited the public disclosure of the “identity of any person donating monies or other tangible goods to the nonprofit corporation…if the person has notified the nonprofit corporation, in writing prior to or at the time of the donation.” Donor information would not be considered a public record, and nonprofit membership lists could not be “obtained or used by any person for any purpose unrelated to a member’s interest as a member” without the consent of the organization’s board of directors. Government employees who disclosed such information would be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor.

“This legislation is unnecessary and may limit transparency with political contributions,” Cooper said in a press release following the veto.

The bill’s supporters say it would protect donors from harassment or discrimination based on the organizations they choose to support. People United for Privacy lobbyist Susan Vick said donations “are often deeply personal and potentially put us at odds with what family members or friends believe is a worthy cause. This bill simply protects donor lists from being required for disclosure under the guise of state action as we’ve seen in other states.” State Sen. Norm Sanderson (R), who sponsored the bill, said the bill does not change current campaign disclosure laws in North Carolina, and that investigators would still be able to get donor records with a subpoena. “It does not change any law that is currently in North Carolina,” Sanderson said. 

Opponents say the bill would decrease transparency around political campaign contributions and allow politically active nonprofits to hide their donors. Melissa Price Kromm, director of the North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections Coalition, said the bill “protects wealthy special interest and dark money groups,” In response to bill supporters who say it protects donors’ free speech and privacy, State Rep. Marcia Morey (D) said “That’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about money… money that has power to influence and oftentimes money that has power to corrupt.”

S636 passed the North Carolina House 59-33 on Aug. 19 with one Democrat, Rep. Abe Jones, voting in favor of the bill. The Senate approved the bill on August 25 in a 25-19 vote along party lines. Lawmakers must have a three-fifths majority vote in both chambers of the General Assembly to override Cooper’s veto, and neither party currently has a veto-proof majority in either chamber.

Ballotpedia is currently tracking 39 pieces of legislation dealing with donor disclosure and privacy that have been introduced this year.

Additional reading:



Seattle city attorney candidates’ platforms highlight divide over issues of crime, public safety

In the November 2, 2021, general election for city attorney of Seattle, Washington, Nicole Thomas-Kennedy leads Ann Davison in total fundraising and both candidates have gained endorsements since they advanced from the primary election on August 3, 2021. In that race, Thomas-Kennedy received 36.4% of the vote and Davison received 32.7%, ousting three-term incumbent Pete Holmes, who received 30.6% of the vote and conceded before results were certified.

As of the most recent filings reported by the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission on August 30, Thomas-Kennedy has raised $206,965, while Davison has raised $63,336. Seattle newspapers The Stranger and The Urbanist have endorsed Thomas-Kennedy, along with Former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn (D), Washington’s 32nd, 34th, and 46th District Democrats, and the Seattle Transit Rider’s Union. Davison received endorsements from The Seattle Times, Former King County Prosecutor Chris Bayley, Former Gov. Dan Evans (R), and the Concerned Taxpayers of Washington.

Crosscut, a nonprofit Seattle news site, said the race “will be one of clear contrasts and highlights just how divided the city is over issues of crime, public safety and criminal justice.” Davison, who ran as a Republican for lieutenant governor of Washington in 2020, said she was a moderate Democrat who ran as a Republican because “some parts of the Democratic Party in Seattle didn’t have room anymore for a pragmatist like me, with liberal values, wanting to make our city a better place.” She said Thomas-Kennedy “advocates the most extreme viewpoints: defund the police and abolish the city’s criminal justice system” and “believes such an approach would magically make crime disappear.” Davison said she would “build upon and offer alternative, non-criminal solutions, and interventions with measurable outcomes for those willing to seek help for their underlying problems,” but “there also must be accountability for actions that hurt other people.”

Thomas-Kennedy said “policing and prison do not meet their alleged goals” but instead accomplish “what they were actually designed to do: control and disappear the poor, the disabled, and BIPOC.” She said she would “address the root causes of poverty, homelessness, and despair” with a platform that includes ending prosecutions for drug crimes, defunding the Seattle Police Department, decriminalizing sex work, and ending homeless sweeps. Thomas-Kennedy said, “Every year the City Attorney chooses to prosecute petty offenses born out of poverty, addiction and disability. These prosecutions are destabilizing, ineffective, and cost the City millions each year. We must dismantle this wasteful system of criminal punishment.”

In Seattle, the city attorney heads the city’s Law Department and supervises all litigation in which the city is involved. The city attorney supervises a team of assistant city attorneys who provide legal advice and assistance to the City’s management and prosecute violations of City ordinances.

Additional reading:



Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) announces retirement

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D) announced Tuesday that he will not run for re-election in 2022. Kind has represented Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District since 1997. He said in his announcement, “For 26 years, I’ve flown to and from Washington, DC and traveled the 18 counties of the most beautiful Congressional District in the Nation almost every week. But 26 years is enough–it’s time for me to step back.”

A former state prosecutor for the La Crosse County district attorney’s office, Kind won his House seat in the 1996 election against James E. Harsdorf with 52% of the vote. He has been a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means since 2011. In 2020, Kind defeated challenger Derrick Van Orden (R) by less than 3% after winning re-election in 2018 against Steve Toft (R) by nearly 20%.

Kind is the fourth Democrat to announce their retirement this year, including Ann Kirkpatrick (D), Cheri Bustos (D) and Filemon Vela (D). A total of 16 U.S. House members have announced they will not seek re-election so far this year, with six retiring and 10 seeking other offices.

Additional reading:



Incumbent Pete Holmes concedes Seattle city attorney election

Pete Holmes, the incumbent Seattle city attorney, conceded to challengers Ann Davison and Nicole Thomas-Kennedy on August 6, 2021, in the top-two primary election held August 3. As of August 10, the latest election results showed Thomas-Kennedy with 35.5% of the vote followed by Davison with 33% and Holmes with 31.2%. Davison and Thomas-Kennedy will advance to the general election on November 2, 2021.

Davison is an attorney and arbitrator and attended Willamette University College of Law and Baylor University. She ran for lieutenant governor as a Republican in 2020. Davison said the city needs “balanced leadership that makes us smart on crime: proactive not reactive” and that she would “focus on improving efficiencies within division in regards to zoning” and “transform existing Mental Health Court to specialized Behavioral Health Court for cases that involve mental health, substance use disorder or dual diagnosis.” Former Gov. Dan Evans (R), former King County Prosecutor Chris Bayley (R), former Seattle Municipal Judge Ed McKenna, and the Seattle Times endorsed Davison.

Thomas-Kennedy is a former public defender and criminal and eviction attorney and attended Seattle Community College, the University of Washington, and Seattle University School of Law. She described her policy priorities as decriminalizing poverty, community self-determination, green infrastructure, and ending homeless sweeps. Her campaign website said, “Every year the City Attorney chooses to prosecute petty offenses born out of poverty, addiction and disability. These prosecutions are destabilizing, ineffective, and cost the City millions each year.” The Seattle newspaper The Stranger endorsed Thomas-Kennedy.

Holmes won re-election in 2017 against challenger Scott Lindsay with 75% of the vote to Lindsay’s 25% and ran unopposed in the 2013 general election. Although he led in fundraising leading up to the primary election, The Cascadia Advocate‘s Andrew Villeneuve said that Davison and Thomas-Kennedy were “right behind Holmes as voting begins in the August 2021 Top Two election, with 53% of likely voters not sure who they’re voting for.” In a poll conducted by Change Research for the Northwest Progressive Institute from July 12 through July 15, 2021, 16% of respondents chose Holmes, 14% chose Davison, and 14% chose Thomas-Kennedy. David Kroman of Crosscut called Holmes’ concession “a tectonic political upset that sets the stage for a stark and divisive race to succeed him as the city’s top lawyer.”

In Seattle, the city attorney heads the city’s Law Department and supervises all litigation in which the city is involved. The city attorney supervises a team of assistant city attorneys who provide legal advice and assistance to the City’s management and prosecute violations of City ordinances.

Additional reading:



Duggan and Adams advance from Detroit, Michigan mayoral primary

Incumbent Mayor Mike Duggan and Anthony Adams advanced from Detroit, Michigan’s mayoral primary on Aug. 4, 2021. Duggan received 72.4% of the vote and to Adams’ 10%. Tom Barrow received 6% of the vote followed by Myya Jones with 5%. No other candidate received more than 2%.

Before becoming mayor, Duggan was president and CEO of Detroit Medical Center from 2004 to 2012. He was assistant corporation counsel for Wayne County from 1985 to 1986, deputy Wayne County executive from 1987 to 2000, and Wayne County prosecutor from 2001 to 2003. Duggan was first elected mayor in 2013 when he defeated opponent Benny Napoleon (D) with 55% of the vote to Napoleon’s 45%. In 2017, he was re-elected by a margin of nearly 44 points, defeating Coleman Young II (D) with 71.6% of the vote to Young’s 27.8%. Duggan said that, if re-elected in 2021, he would “work every day to continue to make sure every neighborhood has a future and every Detroiter has a true opportunity to achieve your dreams.”

Adams was an attorney as of the primary and served as deputy mayor of Detroit under former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (D). He was also an executive assistant to Mayor Coleman Young, was a board member and general counsel for Detroit Public Schools, and was interim director of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. Adams said his “extensive leadership experience, unwavering commitment, and enlightened skill-set uniquely position him to move the city of Detroit forward” and that he was “committed to serving the ordinary people of Detroit and not Special Interest Groups.”

Economic development and public safety were major issues in the race. Duggan said he would work with the city council and manufacturers to bring more high-paying jobs into the city. Adams said he would support a universal basic income plan and an income-based water billing system and emphasized early intervention as a means to reduce crime. Barrow also supported a water affordability program for Detroit residents and said neighborhood revitalization projects should focus on a broader area and not just downtown.

The city of Detroit uses a strong mayor and city council system. In this form of municipal government, the city council serves as the city’s primary legislative body and the mayor serves as the city’s chief executive.

Additional reading:



Seattle city attorney primary undecided

The nonpartisan primary election for city attorney of Seattle, Washington, was undecided as of 8:00 p.m. on August 3, 2021. Elections in Washington are conducted primarily by mail (ballots may also be deposited in drop boxes or returned in person). Ballots postmarked by Aug. 3 will be counted. King County Elections plans to release updated vote totals each weekday until results are certified on Aug. 17. 

The top two candidates will advance to the general election on Nov. 2, 2021. Ann Davison led with 34.6% of the vote followed by incumbent Pete Holmes with 32.8% and Nicole Thomas-Kennedy with 32.2%.

According to a survey conducted by Crosscut, a nonprofit news site, the top issues for voters were housing and homelessness, police and public safety, taxes and the economy, and urban planning and transportation.

The Fuse Progressive Voters Guide, which endorsed Holmes, said his priorities were “passing stronger gun laws, reducing excessive force on the part of the Seattle Police Department, vacating marijuana charges, and keeping people housed post-pandemic, among other policies.”

Davison said the city needs “balanced leadership that makes us smart on crime: proactive not reactive” and said she would “focus on improving efficiencies within division in regards to zoning” and “transform existing Mental Health Court to specialized Behavioral Health Court for cases that involve mental health, substance use disorder or dual diagnosis.”

Thomas-Kennedy ran on a platform of decriminalizing poverty, community self-determination, green infrastructure, and ending homeless sweeps. Her website said, “Every year the City Attorney chooses to prosecute petty offenses born out of poverty, addiction and disability. These prosecutions are destabilizing, ineffective, and cost the City millions each year.”

Holmes won re-election in 2017 against Scott Lindsay with 75% of the vote. In Seattle, the city attorney heads the city’s Law Department and supervises all litigation in which the city is involved. The city attorney supervises a team of assistant city attorneys who provide legal advice and assistance to the City’s management and prosecute violations of City ordinances.

Additional reading:



Seattle city attorney primary to take place August 3, 2021

Incumbent Pete Holmes, Ann Davison, and Nicole Thomas-Kennedy are running in a nonpartisan primary election for city attorney of Seattle, Washington, on August 3, 2021. The top two candidates will advance to the general election on November 2, 2021. According to a survey conducted by Crosscut, a nonprofit news site, the top issues for voters are housing and homelessness, police and public safety, taxes and the economy, and urban planning and transportation.

Holmes won re-election in 2017 against challenger Scott Lindsay with 75% of the vote. In a poll conducted by Change Research for the Northwest Progressive Institute from July 12 through July 15, 53% of voters were undecided in the race. Sixteen percent of respondents backed Holmes, 14% back Davison, and 14% back Thomas-Kennedy. The poll’s margin of error was 4.3%.

As of July 19, Holmes led in fundraising with $92,691, followed by Thomas-Kennedy with $16,102 and Davison with $7,014.

After attending Yale College and the University of Virginia School of Law, Holmes worked for the Natural Resources Defense Council and was a business litigation attorney before being elected city attorney in 2009. According to the Fuse Progressive Voters Guide, which endorsed Holmes, his priorities are “passing stronger gun laws, reducing excessive force on the part of the Seattle Police Department, vacating marijuana charges, and keeping people housed post-pandemic, among other policies.” Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D), Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz (D), State Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti (D), King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, and a number of state senators and representatives also endorsed Holmes.

Davison is a Seattle attorney and arbitrator and attended Willamette University College of Law and Baylor University. Davison said the city needs “balanced leadership that makes us smart on crime: proactive not reactive” and said she would “focus on improving efficiencies within division in regards to zoning” and “transform existing Mental Health Court to specialized Behavioral Health Court for cases that involve mental health, substance use disorder or dual diagnosis.” Former governor Dan Evans (R), former King County Prosecutor Chris Bayley (R), former Seattle Municipal Judge Ed McKenna, and the Seattle Times endorsed Davison.

Thomas-Kennedy is a former public defender and criminal and eviction attorney and attended Seattle Community College, the University of Washington, and Seattle University School of Law. She is running on a platform of decriminalizing poverty, community self-determination, green infrastructure, and ending homeless sweeps. Her campaign website says “Every year the City Attorney chooses to prosecute petty offenses born out of poverty, addiction and disability. These prosecutions are destabilizing, ineffective, and cost the City millions each year.” The Seattle newspaper The Stranger endorsed Thomas-Kennedy.

In Seattle, the city attorney heads the city’s Law Department and supervises all litigation in which the city is involved. The city attorney supervises a team of assistant city attorneys who provide legal advice and assistance to the City’s management and prosecute violations of City ordinances.

Additional reading:



Eighteen congressional incumbents not running for reelection in 2022

As of June 2021, 18 members of Congress—five members of the U.S. Senate and thirteen members of the U.S. House—have announced they will not seek re-election in 2022. Ten members—five senators and five representatives—have announced their retirement.

All five retiring Senate members are Republicans, and of the retiring House members, three are Democrats and two are Republicans. Eight U.S. House members are running for other offices. Three Republicans and two Democrats are running for U.S. Senate, one Republican and one Democrat are running for governor, and one Republican is running in a different district. No U.S. Senate members are running for other offices.

Reps. Val Demings (D) and Vicky Hartzler (R) were the most recent congressional members to announce they would not seek reelection. On June 9, Demings announced that she would challenge Sen. Marco Rubio (R) for one of Florida’s U.S. Senate seats rather than seek reelection in Florida’s 10th Congressional District. Hartzler, who represents Missouri’s 4th Congressional District, announced on June 10 that she is running for U.S. Senate to replace retiring Sen. Roy Blunt (R).

Between 2011 and December 2020, 245 members of Congress announced they would not run for re-election. Fifty-five members did not run for re-election in the 2018 cycle (three Senators and 52 members of the House), the most in any cycle in that period. Forty members did not run for re-election in 2020 (four Senators and 36 members of the House), the fewest in that period.

Additional reading:

United States Congress elections, 2022



Detroit to hold mayoral primary on Aug. 3

Ten candidates are running in a nonpartisan primary election for mayor of Detroit, Michigan, on Aug. 3. Media coverage has focused on incumbent Mike Duggan and challengers Anthony Adams and Tom Barrow. Kiawana Brown, Myya Jones, Jasahn Larsosa, Charleta McInnis, Danetta Simpson, Art Tyus, and Dallias Wilcoxon are also running. The top two candidates will advance to the general election on Nov. 2.

Duggan was first elected mayor in 2013 when he defeated opponent Benny Napoleon (D) 55% to 45%. In 2017, he was reelected by a margin of nearly 44 points, defeating Coleman Young II (D) 71.6% to 27.8%.

Before becoming mayor, Duggan was president and CEO of Detroit Medical Center from 2004 to 2012. He was assistant corporation counsel for Wayne County from 1985 to 1986, deputy Wayne County executive from 1987 to 2000, and Wayne County prosecutor from 2000 to 2001. Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) and former gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed (D) have endorsed Duggan. Duggan said that, if re-elected, he would “work every day to continue to make sure every neighborhood has a future and every Detroiter has a true opportunity to achieve your dreams.”

Adams is an attorney and was deputy mayor of Detroit under former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (D). He was also an executive assistant to Mayor Coleman Young, was a board member and general counsel for Detroit Public Schools, and was interim director of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. Adams said his “extensive leadership experience, unwavering commitment, and enlightened skill-set uniquely position him to move the city of Detroit forward” and he is “committed to serving the ordinary people of Detroit and not Special Interest Groups.”

Barrow is a practicing certified public accountant, led the civic group Citizens for Detroit’s Future, and was an advocate for changes to the municipal election system. This is Barrow’s fifth mayoral run and the second time he has competed against Duggan. In his four previous campaigns, Barrow advanced from the primary to the general election three times: in 1985, 1989, and 2009. Barrow said he would run a campaign based on local pride: “Detroit is in my DNA. Detroit is a city I love and respect deeply. People know that I care, that I will look out for them and will protect them and not allow them to be misused.”

Economic development and public safety have been major issues in the race. Duggan said he would work with the city council and manufacturers to bring more high-paying jobs into the city. Adams said he would support a universal basic income plan and an income-based water billing system and emphasized early intervention as a means to reduce crime. Barrow also supported a water affordability program for Detroit residents and said neighborhood revitalization projects should focus on a broader area and not just downtown.

The city of Detroit uses a strong mayor and city council system. In this form of municipal government, the city council serves as the city’s primary legislative body and the mayor serves as the city’s chief executive. The mayor is responsible for proposing a budget, signing legislation into law, appointing departmental directors and committee members and overseeing the city’s day-to-day operations. The mayor also possesses veto powers, though the Detroit city charter establishes procedures whereby city council may override mayoral vetoes under certain circumstances.

Additional reading: