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James McAllister

James McAllister is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

Lewis Holley (D) advances to general election in race for North Carolina lieutenant governor


Yvonne Lewis Holley advanced from a field of six candidates in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor of North Carolina. In North Carolina, primary runoffs occur if no candidate wins more than 30% of the vote and the second-place finisher calls for a runoff. Second place finisher Terry Van Duyn announced March 10 she would not request a runoff, making Lewis Holley the Democratic nominee. Lewis Holley received 26.6% of the vote to Van Duyn’s 20.4%. Lewis Holley will face Mark Robinson (R) in the November general election.

North Carolina is one of 17 states where the lieutenant governor is elected independently of the governor. Going into the 2020 election, North Carolina is one of three states where the governor and the lieutenant governor do not share a party affiliation, along with Louisiana and Vermont. That status is at stake in the North Carolina general, as Democrats and Republicans are competing for both offices.



Garcia (R) and Smith (D) advance in two primaries for California’s 25th Congressional District

Mike Garcia (R) and Christy Smith (D) advanced from a special top-two primary election and from a regularly scheduled top-two primary election in California’s 25th Congressional District. Third place finisher Steve Knight (R) conceded the race on March 8 and said he would support Garcia. As of Knight’s concession, Smith led in the special primary with 35.2% of the vote, followed by Garcia with 25.9% and Knight with 17.6%. In the regular primary, Smith led with 31.0% of the vote to Garcia’s 24.9% and Knight’s 19.5%.

Garcia and Smith will run in a May 12, 2020, special general election to fill the vacancy left by Katie Hill (D), who resigned her seat on November 1, 2019, amid allegations of extramarital relationships with staffers. Then, on Nov. 3, 2020, Garcia and Smith will compete in the regular election for a full, two-year term starting Jan. 3, 2021.

Democrats have a 232-197 advantage over Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives. There is one independent member, and there are five vacancies. The 25th District special election could change that balance ahead of November. Currently, if Republicans win 18 Democratic-controlled districts in the Nov. general, they will win control of the House. If Democrats hold as many districts, they will maintain their control of the chamber.



Winegarner and Jackson advance to Republican Party primary runoff in Texas’ 13th Congressional District

Josh Winegarner and Ronny Jackson advanced to a May 26 Republican runoff from a field of 15 candidates in Texas’ 13th Congressional District. As of 1:50 a.m. Eastern Time on Mar. 4, 99% of precincts had reported. Winegarner led with 39.8% of the vote, followed by Jackson with 20.2% and Chris Ekstrom with 15.5%.
President Donald Trump (R) and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) endorsed Jackson. Incumbent Rep. Mac Thornberry and U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) endorsed Winegarner.
Democrats have a 232-197 advantage over Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives. There is one independent member, and there are five vacancies. Currently, if Republicans win 18 Democratic-controlled districts in the November general election, they will win control of the House. If Democrats hold as many districts, they will maintain their control of the chamber.


Davis defeats Leeder in Texas’ 21st Congressional District Democratic primary

Wendy Davis defeated Jennie Lou Leeder in the Democratic primary for Texas’ 21st Congressional District on March 3, 2020. As of 12:48 a.m. ET, 19% of precincts had reported. Davis led with 84.1% of the vote to Leeder’s 15.9%. Davis will face incumbent Rep. Chip Roy in the general election on Nov. 3, 2020.
Davis is a former member of the Texas State Senate and was the Democratic nominee for governor in 2014, losing the general election to Greg Abbott (R). Leeder, the Democratic chairwoman of Llano County, was the Democratic nominee for Texas’ 11th Congressional District in 2018, losing to incumbent Mike Conaway (R).
Democrats have a 232-197 advantage over Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives. There is one independent member, and there are five vacancies. Currently, if Republicans win 18 Democratic-controlled districts in the Nov. general, they will win control of the House. If Democrats hold as many districts, they will maintain their control of the chamber.


Granger defeats Putnam in Texas’ 12th Congressional District Republican primary

Rep. Kay Granger defeated Chris Putnam in the Republican primary for Texas’ 12th Congressional District. As of 11:48 p.m. ET, 84% of precincts had reported. Granger led with 59.1% of the vote to Putnam’s 40.9%. Granger will face the winner of the Democratic primary in the Nov. 3 general election.
Both candidates in the race highlighted their support for President Donald Trump. Granger emphasized Trump’s endorsement of her campaign, while Putnam called Granger a career politician, and said Granger was not supportive of the president.
Democrats have a 232-197 advantage over Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives. There is one independent member, and there are five vacancies. Currently, if Republicans win 18 Democratic-controlled districts in the Nov. general, they will win control of the House. If Democrats hold as many districts, they will maintain their control of the chamber.


Granger and Putnam competing for Republican nomination in Texas’ 12th Congressional District

Incumbent Kay Granger and Chris Putnam are running in the Republican Party primary for Texas’ 12th Congressional District on March 3, 2020. Both candidates have campaigned on supporting President Donald Trump and launched campaign ads attacking each other.

Granger highlighted the president’s endorsement of her campaign and said she would support him in “rebuilding our military, securing the border, and restoring America’s rightful place in the world.” She also said she was “honored to be endorsed by leading right to life groups like the Texas Alliance for Life and the Susan B. Anthony List.” Granger said she has returned to the district every weekend to listen to constituents, and called Putnam “a millionaire who just moved here four months ago.” The Congressional Leadership Fund launched a $640,000 television ad buy supporting Granger and criticizing Putnam.

Putnam called Granger a career politician and claimed in an ad she supported President Barack Obama’s immigration policy. He said, “Unlike our 24-year incumbent, I will support President Trump’s efforts to build the wall, eliminate the free government incentives that motivate people to migrate here illegally and end sanctuary cities.” Putnam also said of Granger, “It’s only at election time when she claims to be pro-life.” The Club for Growth endorsed Putnam and is supporting him with a seven-figure ad buy attacking Granger’s congressional spending record. The Protect Freedom PAC also released a $1.1 million television ad buy against Granger.

The winner of the primary will run in the general election on November 3, 2020.

In the 2018 general election, Granger defeated Vanessa Adia (D) 64% to 34%. Granger defeated Bill Bradshaw (D) 69% to 27% in 2016. The 2017 Cook Partisan Voter Index for this district was R+18, meaning that in the previous two presidential elections, this district’s results were 18 percentage points more Republican than the national average.

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Two primaries will take place for California’s 25th Congressional District on March 3

Two top-two primaries will take place on Mar. 3, 2020, in elections to represent California’s 25th Congressional District. The seat is currently vacant following the resignation of Katie Hill (D) on Nov. 1, 2019.

The top two finishers in the primary for the regularly scheduled House election will advance to the Nov. 3, 2020, general election. The top two finishers in the primary for the special election scheduled following Hill’s resignation will advance to a May 12, 2020, election to complete Hill’s term.

Ten candidates are running in both primaries, so it will be possible for voters to select a candidate twice on the same ballot, or choose two different candidates.

Media coverage and endorsements in both races have focused on four candidates: Mike Garcia (R), Stephen Knight (R), Christy Smith (D), and Cenk Uygur (D). All four are running in both primaries. Knight represented the district in Congress from 2015 to 2019.

Among Democrats, Smith was endorsed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Sen. Kamala Harris, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the California Democratic Party. Smith said it is “clear that big money is corrupting our political system,” but that she would “fight within the system as it is set up to make sure that we hold this seat.” She also said she would “work with both parties to make healthcare affordable.” Uygur says his campaign is not accepting endorsements or corporate PAC donations, and he has criticized Smith for accepting money from private industries. He also said, “I’m the only candidate in this race who is in favor of Medicare for All.”

On the Republican side, Garcia was endorsed by the Los Angeles Republican Party and the Ventura County Republican Party. Knight was endorsed by U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Garcia is campaigning on supporting the armed forces. He said he will “make it a priority to ensure our men and women in uniform have the funding and tools necessary to keep America safe.” Garcia also said he supports congressional term limits. Knight highlights his previous experience in Congress. His campaign website says Knight “quickly became known as a fierce advocate for fiscal responsibility, job creation and public safety in our nation’s Capitol.”

The other candidates in both primaries are Robert Cooper (D), Getro Elize (D), Kenneth Jenks (R), David Lozano (R), Daniel Mercuri (R), David Rudnick (D), and Anibal Valdez-Ortega (D). Otis Lee Cooper (I) and George Papadopoulos (R) are only running in the regular primary, while Courtney Lackey (R) is only running in the special primary.

Hill defeated Knight 54% to 46% in the 2018 general election. In 2016, Knight defeated Bryan Caforio (D) 53% to 47%. The 2017 Cook Partisan Voter Index for this district was even, meaning that in the previous two presidential elections, this district’s results were within one percentage point of the national average. Race raters have given Democrats an edge in the general election.

Nine special elections have been called during the 116th Congress. Seven of those were called for seats in the U.S. House, and two were called for seats in the U.S. Senate.

Click here to learn more about California’s 25th Congressional District election.

Additional reading:
Special elections to the 116th United States Congress (2019-2020)
California’s 25th Congressional District election, 2018 
Katie Hill 



Nine candidates running in California’s 50th Congressional District top-two primary

Nine candidates are running in the primary election for California’s 50th Congressional District in the U.S. House on March 3, 2020.

Duncan Hunter (R), who had represented the district since 2013, resigned Jan. 13, 2020, after pleading guilty to misusing campaign funds.

The top two finishers in the primary will advance to the Nov. 3, 2020, general election. One Democrat and one Republican have advanced from the primary in every election since the state began using top-two primaries in 2012.

Media coverage and endorsements have focused on three Republicans and one Democrat: Ammar Campa-Najjar (D), Carl DeMaio (R), Darrell Issa (R), and Brian Jones (R).

San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond and Former San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgecock have endorsed DeMaio. U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R) and Rep. Steve Scalise (R) endorsed Issa, who retired from representing the 49th Congressional District in 2019. The California Republican Assembly, the San Diego Police Officers Association, and the Peace Officers Research Association of California endorsed Jones.

Campa-Najjar advanced to the general election in 2018 and lost to Hunter 52% to 48%. He was endorsed by Reps. Susan Davis (D), Eric Swalwell (D), and Adam Schiff (D).

Also running in the primary are Jose Cortes (Peace and Freedom Party of California), Helen Horvath (I), Lucinda Jahn (I), Henry Ota (I), and Nathan Wilkins (R). Marisa Calderon (D) suspended her campaign on Jan. 31, 2020, but her name will still appear on the ballot.

The Cook Partisan Voter Index for this district was R+11, meaning that in the previous two presidential elections, this district’s results were 11 percentage points more Republican than the national average. Race raters have given Republicans an edge in the general election. All three major race rating outlets view the general as Safe/Solid Republican.

California’s 50th Congressional District is located in the southern portion of the state and includes much of San Diego County and portions of Riverside County.

Click here to learn more.



Nine candidates to face off in California’s 50th District primary

Nine candidates are running in the primary election for California’s 50th Congressional District in the U.S. House on March 3, 2020. Duncan Hunter, who had represented the district since 2013, resigned Jan. 13, 2020, after pleading guilty to misusing campaign funds.

Media coverage and endorsements have focused on three Republicans and one Democrat: Ammar Campa-Najjar (D), Carl DeMaio (R), Darrell Issa (R), and Brian Jones (R). Only the top two finishers in the primary will advance to the November 3, 2020, general election.

DeMaio says he has “a three-part strategy to fix our broken political system,” arguing that Congress operates above America’s laws. Issa has highlighted his previous congressional experience and support for President Donald Trump and his policies. Jones says he has a history of representing communities in the 50th District and says neither Issa nor DeMaio are district residents.

San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond and Former San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgecock endorsed Demaio. U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R) and Rep. Steve Scalise (R) endorsed Issa. The California Republican Assembly, the San Diego Police Officers Association, and the Peace Officers Research Association of California endorsed Jones.

Campa-Najjar says he “has introduced sweeping bipartisan legislation to end government corruption and restore power to the American people.” He was endorsed by Reps. Susan Davis (D), Eric Swalwell (D), and Adam Schiff (D).

Also running in the primary are Jose Cortes (Peace and Freedom Party of California), Helen Horvath (I), Lucinda Jahn (I), Henry Ota (I), and Nathan Wilkins (R). Marisa Calderon (D) suspended her campaign on January 31, 2020, but her name will still appear on the ballot.

In the 2018 general election, Hunter (R) defeated Campa-Najjar (D) 52% to 48%. In 2016, Hunter defeated Patrick Malloy (D) 63.5% to 36.5%. The 2017 Cook Partisan Voter Index for this district was R+11, meaning that in the previous two presidential elections, this district’s results were 11 percentage points more Republican than the national average. Three major race rating outlets view the general as Safe/Solid Republican.

California’s 50th Congressional District is located in the southern portion of the state and includes much of San Diego County and portions of Riverside County.

Click here to learn more about the 2020 50th Congressional District elections



Mfume (D) and Klacik (R) advance to special general election in Maryland’s 7th Congressional District

Kweisi Mfume (D) and Kim Klacik (R) advanced from their parties’ primaries to the special general election for Maryland’s 7th Congressional District on April 28, 2020. The winner of that election will serve the remainder of the late Congressman Elijah Cummings’ term in the 116th Congress.

On the Democratic side, Mfume won 43% of the vote to defeat 23 opponents, including Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, who earned 17%, and Jill Carter, who earned 16%.

On the Republican side, Klacik won 41% of the vote to defeat seven opponents, including Elizabeth Matory, who earned 25%, and James Arnold, who earned 12%.

A Democrat has represented the 7th Congressional District since 1953 when the seat was re-added to Maryland’s district map after the 1950 census. In the 2018 general election, Cummings defeated Richmond Davis (R) 76% to 21%. The 2017 Cook Partisan Voter Index for this district was D+26, meaning that in the previous two presidential elections, this district’s results were 26 percentage points more Democratic than the national average. This made Maryland’s 7th Congressional District the 41st-most Democratic nationally.

As of February 4, 2020, eight special elections had been called during the 116th Congress. Six of those were for seats in the U.S. House, and two were for seats in the U.S. Senate. From the 113th Congress to the 115th Congress, 40 special elections were held.

Additional reading:

Maryland’s 7th Congressional District special election (February 4, 2020 Democratic primary)
Maryland’s 7th Congressional District special election (February 4, 2020 Republican primary)



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