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Joel Williams

Joel Williams is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

Willie Wilson leads Chicago mayoral candidates in fundraising through 2022; Mayor Lori Lightfoot leads in spending

Willie Wilson has reported the most fundraising of all nine candidates running for mayor of Chicago, Illinois, on Feb. 28. Wilson reported raising $6.1 million. WTTW reported that $5 million was self-funded. Mayor Lori Lightfoot spent the most at $4.3 million. These figures include all reports filed through Dec. 31, 2022.

Four other candidates reported receipts of more than $1 million: Lightfoot ($4.5 million), former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas ($2.2 million), Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson ($1.8 million), and U.S. Rep. Jesus Garcia ($1.5 million).

Three other candidates reported spending more than $500,000: Wilson ($2.0 million), Vallas ($1.0 million), and Johnson ($578,000).

The other candidates in the election are Kambium Buckner, Ja’Mal Green, Sophia King, and Roderick Sawyer. If no candidate receives a majority of votes in the general election, the top two candidates will compete in a runoff on Apr. 4. The last two mayoral elections (2019 and 2015) resulted in runoffs.



Results of state executive endorsements in 2022 school board elections

Ballotpedia tracked 106 endorsements of school board candidates by state executive officials and candidates in 2022. Endorsements included official statements, appearances at campaign rallies, and direct participation in campaign ads and materials. The state executives and candidates to make endorsements were:

  • Arizona: Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake (R) and Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate Shiry Sapir (R)
  • California: Attorney general candidate Eric Early (R)
  • Florida: Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist (D), and Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez (R)
  • Maryland: Gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox (R)

DeSantis was the only executive whose full slate of candidates won. Across all 106 endorsements, candidates had a 56.6% success rate.



Following the 2022 elections, more Americans now live in a Democratic trifecta than a Republican trifecta

As a result of the 2022 elections, a greater percentage of Americans now live in a Democratic state government trifecta than in a Republican trifecta. Once all newly elected officials take office, 41.7% of Americans will live in a state with a Democratic trifecta, 39.6% in a state with a Republican trifecta, and 18.8% in a state with divided government.

This will be the lowest percentage of Americans living in a Republican trifecta and the highest percentage of Americans living in a Democratic trifecta since at least 2018.

State government trifecta is a term to describe single-party government, when one political party holds the governorship and majorities in both chambers of the state legislature. The 2022 elections resulted in 22 Republican trifectas, 17 Democratic trifectas, and 11 states with divided government. The 17 Democratic trifectas are the most since 1993 and the 11 divided governments are the fewest since at least 1992.

Before the election, 41.8% of Americans lived in a state with a Republican trifecta, 33.9% with a Democratic trifecta, and 24.3% in a state with no trifecta.

The table below shows the percentage of Americans living in each type of state going back to before the 2018 elections.



Republicans increase control over state legislative districts overlapping with Pivot Counties and Reverse-Pivot Counties

After the 2022 elections, Republicans hold 540 (65.9%) state legislative seats overlapping a Pivot County, up from 507 (63.6%) after the 2020 elections. Democrats hold 280 state legislative seats (34.1%) overlapping a Pivot County, down from 290 (36.4%) after the 2020 elections. Pivot Counties are the 206 counties that voted for Barack Obama (D) in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections and Donald Trump (R) in the 2016 presidential election.

Reverse-Pivot Counties overlapped with 104 state legislative seats (32 state senate seats and 72 state house seats). Democrats won 63 seats (60.6%) and Republicans won 41 (39.4%). Following the 2020 elections, 58 Democratic legislators (61.1%) represented districts overlapping a Reverse-Pivot County and 37 Republican legislators (38.9%) represented districts overlapping a Reverse-Pivot County. Reverse-Pivot Counties are the six counties that voted for John McCain (R) in the 2008 presidential election, Mitt Romney (R) in the 2012 presidential election, and Hillary Clinton (D) in the 2016 presidential election.

In the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump (R) won 181 Pivot Counties and Joe Biden (D) won 25 Pivot Counties. The counties that Trump won in 2020 are Retained Pivot Counties, while those that Biden won are Boomerang Pivot Counties.



Eleven candidates running for mayor of Chicago in 2023

Eleven candidates are running for mayor of Chicago, Illinois, in the February 28, 2023, general election. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, a runoff election will take place on April 4, 2023. The filing deadline for this election was November 28, 2022.

Incumbent Lori Lightfoot, Jesus Garcia, and Brandon Johnson have received the most media attention and endorsements. The other candidates are Kambium Buckner, Frederick Collins, Ja’Mal Green, Sophia King, Johnny Logalbo, Roderick Sawyer, Paul Vallas, and Willie Wilson.

Lightfoot was elected mayor in 2019. Lightfoot won 17.5% of the vote in a 14-candidate field in the general election. In the runoff, she defeated Toni Preckwinkle 74% to 26%. Lightfoot has campaigned on her record as mayor, saying she “led the city through the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic with tough, fair leadership — all while keeping or overdelivering on campaign promises.” U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D), U.S. Reps. Danny K. Davis (D), Robin Kelly (D), and Bobby Rush (D), two city aldermen, and the LGBTQ Victory Fund endorsed Lightfoot. Lightfoot is affiliated with the Democratic Party.

Garcia was elected to the U.S. House as a Democrat in 2018. Before serving in Congress, he was a member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, the Illinois Senate, and the Chicago City Council. Garcia said his time at multiple levels of government would help him serve as mayor. “Mark my words: my values and my commitment to build a better, more inclusive Chicago has never waivered. I’m the only candidate in the race with the experience of serving the city at every level of government,” he said. Four members of the state legislature, two city aldermen, and three railroad unions endorsed Garcia.

Johnson was elected to the Cook County Board of Commissioners as a Democrat in 2018. He was a teacher with Chicago Public Schools and an organizer with the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU). Johnson highlighted his experience in education and said he is “the only candidate who has been a leader in our communities in the fights for fully funded public schools, affordable housing, green jobs and access to mental health care.” U.S. Rep. Delia Ramirez (D), two city aldermen, the CTU, and Service Employees International Union endorsed Johnson.

Although elections are officially nonpartisan, candidates are typically affiliated with one of the major political parties. Among the candidates, there are eight affiliated with the Democratic Party, one affiliated with the Republican Party, and two independents. The last Republican mayor of Chicago, William Thompson, left office in 1931.



Republicans win 61 districts overlapping a Pivot County, Democrats win 35

Remember Pivot Counties? Those 206 counties that voted for Barack Obama (D) in 2008 and 2012 before voting for Donald Trump (R) in 2016? 

We last checked in on those counties in 2020 and found that 181—called Retained Pivot Counties—supported Trump again, while 25—called Boomerang Pivot Counties—switched back and supported Joe Biden (D).

Today, we are looking at how U.S. House races turned out in districts that overlap with these counties.

This year, 98 U.S. House districts overlapped with at least one Pivot County. As of Nov. 16, Republicans won 61 of those districts and Democrats won 35. Among the two uncalled races, a candidate from each party leads in one.

These figures are about the same as in previous U.S. House elections (2020 and 2018) even after redistricting. 

Before redistricting, there were 102 districts overlapping Pivot Counties, of which Republicans won 64 in 2020 and Democrats won 38.

Although they began as swing counties in the 2016 election cycle, the voting pattern in these Pivot Counties appears to have become more reliable for one political party.

  1. Seventy-three districts up in 2022 contained only Retained Pivot Counties. Republicans won 50 of those districts and Democrats won 23.
  2. Twelve districts contained only Boomerang Pivot Counties. Democrats won eight of those districts and Republicans won four.
  3. Thirteen districts contained both Boomerang and Retained Pivot Counties. Republicans won seven of those districts, Democrats won four, and another two are uncalled.

The map below shows the winner of each district in 2022 and what type of Pivot Counties the district overlaps.

We also took a look at Reverse-Pivot Counties, those six counties that voted for John McCain (R) in 2008, Mitt Romney (R) in 2012, and Hillary Clinton (D) in 2016. All six counties supported Biden in 2020.

Nineteen U.S. House districts overlapped these Reverse-Pivot Counties. As of Nov. 16, Democrats had won nine and Republicans had won eight. Both parties each lead in one of the two uncalled races.



Democrats gain three trifectas, Republicans lose one in 2022 elections

As a result of the 2022 elections, there will be at least 22 Republican trifectas, 17 Democratic trifectas, and 10 divided governments where neither party had trifecta control. Alaska’s trifecta status remains unclear. Before the election, Alaska was under divided government.

State government trifecta is a term to describe single-party government, when one political party holds the governorship and majorities in both chambers of the state legislature.

Trifecta status changed in six states. In Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Minnesota, divided governments became Democratic trifectas. In Nevada, the Democratic trifecta became a divided government. In Arizona, the Republican trifecta became a divided government.

The Democratic gains and Republican loss were the first for each party since the 2019 general elections, when Kentucky went from a Republican trifecta to divided government and Virginia went from divided government to Democratic trifecta.

At the time of the 2022 election, there were 23 Republican trifectas, 14 Democratic trifectas, and 13 divided governments where neither party held trifecta control.



Campaign finance deadline today in North Carolina

Candidates and organizations involved in North Carolina’s statewide elections must file campaign finance information by November 1, 2022. The general election will take place in North Carolina on November 8, 2022.

What state-level offices are on the ballot this year in North Carolina?

Want to review the campaign finance data in North Carolina so far? Click here to explore the data on Transparency USA.

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here. 



Campaign finance deadline today in Indiana

Candidates and organizations involved in Indiana’s statewide elections must file campaign finance information by November 1, 2022. The general election will take place in Indiana on November 8, 2022.

What state-level offices are on the ballot this year in Indiana?

Want to review the campaign finance data in Indiana so far? Click here to explore the data on Transparency USA.

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here. 



Campaign finance deadline today in Minnesota

Candidates and organizations involved in Minnesota’s statewide elections must file campaign finance information by October 31, 2022. The general election will take place in Minnesota on November 8, 2022.

What state-level offices are on the ballot this year in Minnesota?

Want to review the campaign finance data in Minnesota so far? Click here to explore the data on Transparency USA.

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.