Author

Juan Garcia de Paredes

Juan Garcia de Paredes is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

New Jersey sees the most candidates running for the U.S. House since at least 2014

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in New Jersey this year was April 4, 2022. Fifty-five candidates are running for New Jersey’s 12 U.S. House districts, including 20 Democrats and 35 Republicans. That’s 4.58 candidates per district, more than the 4.17 candidates per district in 2020 and the 4.08 in 2018.

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  • This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census. New Jersey was apportioned 12 districts, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.
  • The 55 candidates running this year are the highest number of candidates running for New Jersey’s U.S. House seats since at least 2014, when 45 candidates filed.

  • Rep. Albio Sires (D) is retiring, making the 8th district the only open seat this year. That’s one more than in 2020, when there were no open seats, and one less than in 2018, when the 2nd and the 11th districts were open.
  • Nine candidates — seven Republicans and two Democrats, including incumbent Rep. Tom Malinowski (D) — filed to run in the 7th district, the most running for one seat this year. That’s two more than in 2020, when seven candidates ran in the 2nd district, and one less than in 2018, when 10 candidates ran in the 11th district.  
  • There are six contested Democratic primaries this year, the lowest number since 2016, and 10 contested Republican primaries, the most since at least 2014. 
  • Five incumbents — all Democrats — are not facing any primary challengers this year. That’s one more than in 2020, when four incumbents did not face any primary challengers. 
  • Candidates filed to run in the Republican and Democratic primaries in all 12 districts, so no seats are guaranteed to either party this year. 

New Jersey and six other states — California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, and South Dakota — are holding primary elections on June 7. Winners in New Jersey primary elections are determined via plurality vote, meaning that the candidate with the highest number of votes wins even if he or she did not win more than 50% of votes cast.

Additional reading:



Four candidates are running in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Arkansas

Four candidates — Jake Bequette, Heath Loftis, Jan Morgan, and incumbent John Boozman — are running in the Republican primary on May 24, 2022, for U.S. Senate in Arkansas. Boozman, Bequette, and Morgan have led in polling and fundraising.

In Arkansas, a primary candidate must win more than 50% of the votes cast in order to win the election. If no candidate meets that threshold, a runoff will be held between the top two vote-getters on June 21.

Roby Brock, editor-in-chief of Talk Business & Politics, an Arkansas news website, said, “The key question in the U.S. Senate GOP primary is whether two-term U.S. Senator John Boozman can avoid a runoff election with a decidedly more conservative opponent. While our survey shows Boozman coming up just short of the magic 50% to avoid a costly and time-consuming contest, a chunk of probable GOP primary voters remain undecided.”

Boozman, a former optometrist, was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010. Boozman has the endorsements of former President Donald Trump (R), U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and former White House Press Secretary and 2022 Arkansas gubernatorial candidate Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R). Boozman has highlighted Trump’s endorsement and has focused on his legislative record, saying, “[President Trump and I] rebuilt our military, stood up for our veterans, helped our farmers through challenging and unprecedented times, confirmed three conservative Justices to the Supreme Court and completely reshaped the judiciary.”

Bequette is a U.S. Army veteran and a former football player from Little Rock. Bequette cited immigration and law enforcement as top issues and has highlighted his military service and time as a player for the Arkansas Razorbacks and the New England Patriots. Bequette described himself as a political outsider, saying, “I’m no squish career politician. I’m a former all-SEC Razorback and an army veteran who left the NFL and volunteered for the 101st Airborne in Iraq.” Reps. Madison Cawthorn (R) and Burgess Owens (R) have endorsed Bequette.

Morgan is a former journalist and gubernatorial candidate who owns a firearms training facility in Hot Springs. Morgan has focused on immigration and election administration and has said she supports term limits. Morgan described herself as a conservative fighter, saying, “America needs aggressive fighters in D.C. who will get in the ring and boldly take on our enemies rather than stand on the sidelines.” Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has endorsed Morgan.

Bequette and Morgan have called Boozman a RINO (Republican in Name Only) and have criticized him for not challenging the results of the 2020 presidential election. Bequette has also criticized Boozman for not committing to a debate. Boozman’s campaign has responded by highlighting Trump’s endorsement and Boozman’s record. In one of Boozman’s campaign ads, the narrator says, “[Boozman] is a workhorse, not a show pony.” It continues, “Others have words; Boozman does the work.”

As of May 2022, groups not directly affiliated with any of the candidates had spent a total of $2,787,346 in the race, the second-largest amount of satellite spending for a primary where a GOP incumbent is running for re-election, according to data from Open Secrets. The Arkansas Patriots Fund has spent $1,471,182 in support of Bequette, the most of any group. The group received a $1M donation from businessman Richard Uihlein last year, according to data from the FEC. Several different groups have spent a combined total of $1,163,214 in support of Boozman.

As of May 2022, three independent election forecasters considered the general election as Solid Republican.



North Dakota sees the lowest number of candidates running for the U.S. House since 2016

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in North Dakota this year was April 11, 2022. Two candidates are running for North Dakota’s one U.S. House seat, the lowest number since 2016 (when there were also two candidates). Three candidates ran in 2020, and five candidates ran in 2018. 

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  • Because it has only one U.S. House seat, North Dakota did not need to redistrict after the 2020 census.
  • Incumbent Kelly Armstrong (R) is running for re-election. He was first elected in 2018 after Kevin Cramer (R) retired to run for the U.S. Senate.
  • Kelly is the only candidate who filed to run in the Republican primary, and Mark Haugen is the only candidate who filed to run in the Democratic primary, making this year the first election cycle since 2016 in which there are no contested primaries. Two candidates ran in the Democratic primary in 2020, and four candidates ran in the Republican primary in 2018.

North Dakota and three other states — Maine, Nevada, and South Carolina — are holding primary elections on June 14. In North Dakota, the winner of a primary election is the candidate who receives the greatest number of votes, even if he or she does not win an outright majority of votes cast.



South Carolina sees the highest number of contested Republican primaries since at least 2012

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in South Carolina this year was March 30, 2022. Twenty-eight candidates are running for South Carolina’s seven U.S. House districts, including nine Democrats and 19 Republicans. That’s four candidates per district, more than the 2.86 candidates per district in 2020 and less than the 6.14 in 2018. 

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  • This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census. South Carolina was apportioned seven districts, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.
  • All incumbents are running for re-election, meaning there are no open seats this year. The only years to feature open seats between 2012 and 2022 were 2018, when the 4th district was open, and 2012, when the newly-drawn 7th district was open. 
  • There are two contested Democratic primaries this year, the lowest number since 2016, and four contested Republican primaries, the highest number since at least 2012.
  • Eight candidates — one Democrat and seven Republicans, including incumbent Rep. Tom Rice (R) — filed to run in the 7th district, more than in any other. That’s three less than the highest number of candidates who ran for a seat in 2020, when five candidates ran in the 1st district. 
  • There are three districts — the 2nd, the 3rd, and the 5th — where incumbents do not face primary challengers. 
  • One district — the 3rd — is guaranteed to Republicans because no Democrats filed. No districts are guaranteed to Democrats because no Republicans filed.

South Carolina and three other states — Maine, Nevada, and North Dakota — are holding primary elections on June 14. A primary candidate must win a majority of the vote in order to be declared the winner in South Carolina. If no candidate wins a majority of the vote, the top two finishers will advance to a June 28 runoff.

Additional reading:



Pennsylvania sees the fewest candidates running for the U.S. House since 2016

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in Pennsylvania this year was March 15, 2022. Forty-eight candidates are running for Pennsylvania’s seventeen U.S. House districts, including 23 Democrats and 25 Republicans. That is 2.82 candidates per district, slightly less than the 2.83 candidates per district in 2020, and less than the 4.66 in 2018. 

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  • This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census, which resulted in Pennsylvania losing one U.S. House district. 
  • The 48 candidates running this year are the lowest number of candidates running for Pennsylvania’s U.S. House seats since 2016, when a total of 44 candidates filed. 
  • Two seats — the 12th and the 17th — are open, meaning no incumbents are running. That’s two more than in 2020, when there were no open seats. There were seven open seats in 2018, two in both 2016 and 2014, and no open seats in 2012.
  • Representative Fred Keller (R), who represents the 12th district, is retiring, and Rep. Conor Lamb (D), who represents the 17th district, is running for the U.S. Senate.
  • Six candidates — one Republican and five Democrats — are running in the 12th district, the most running for one seat this year. Five candidates — three Republicans and two Democrats — are running in the 17th district. 
  • There are five contested Democratic primaries this year, the lowest number since 2016. There are six contested Republican primaries, one more than in 2020, but two less than in 2018.
  • There are 13 districts where incumbents do not face primary challengers. 
  • One district — the 3rd — is guaranteed to Democrats because no Republicans filed. Two districts — the 13th and the 14th — are guaranteed to Republicans because no Democrats filed. 

Pennsylvania and four other states — Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Oregon — are holding primary elections on May 17. Pennsylvania utilizes a closed primary process, so voters are required to register with a political party to vote in the primary election. The winner of a primary election is the candidate who receives the greatest number of votes, even if he or she does not win an outright majority of votes cast.

Additional reading:



Alabama U.S. House races to feature the fewest open seats since 2018

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in Alabama this year was Feb. 11, 2022. Twenty-two candidates are running for Alabama’s seven U.S. House districts, including 13 Republicans and eight Democrats. That’s 3.14 candidates per district, less than the 3.57 candidates per district in 2020 and 3.28 in 2018.  

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  • This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census. Alabama was apportioned seven districts, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.
  • Six districts are currently represented by Republicans and one district—the 7th—is represented by a Democrat, Rep. Terri Sewell. This number has not changed since 2010, when Sewell was first elected. 
  • Sewell will face a general election challenger for the first time since 2012, making this year the first time in a decade that Democrats are not guaranteed to win a seat because no Republicans filed. 
  • Two districts — the 1st and the 6th — are guaranteed to Republicans since no Democrats filed for election, the highest number since 2016.
  • One district — the 5th — is open, with incumbent Rep. Mo Brooks (R) running for the U.S. Senate. Brooks was first elected in 2010, and eight candidates — two Democrats and six Republicans — are running to replace him. 
  • The eight candidates running in the 5th district are the most running for one seat this year. That’s one less than in 2020, when nine candidates — two Democrats and seven Republicans — ran for the 2nd district.
  • This year’s open seat is one more than in 2012, the previous post-redistricting election year. There were two open seats in 2020, no open seats in 2018 and 2016, and one open seat in 2014.
  • There are two contested Republican primaries this year, the lowest number since at least 2012. There are three contested Democratic primaries, one more than in 2020, but one less than in 2018. 
  • Five incumbents – four Republicans and one Democrat – will not face any primary challengers. 

Alabama and two other states — Arkansas and Georgia — are holding primary elections on May 24. A primary candidate must win a majority of the vote in order to be declared the winner in Alabama. If no candidate wins a majority of the vote, the top two finishers will advance to a June 21 runoff.

Additional reading:



Nine candidates are running in the May 17 Republican primary for Governor of Pennsylvania

Nine candidates are running in the May 17 Republican primary for Governor of Pennsylvania. Incumbent Tom Wolf (D) is term-limited and cannot run for re-election.

The 2022 race features the largest number of candidates in a Pennsylvania Republican primary since at least 1978. The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Andrew Seidman wrote, “Campaign aides say this year’s winner could prevail with as little as 28%.”

The state Republican Party decided not to endorse a candidate this year. Lou Barletta, Doug Mastriano, Bill McSwain, and Dave White have led in the polls.

Barletta represented Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional District from 2011 to 2019 and served as mayor of Hazleton from 2000 to 2010. Barletta has highlighted his experience in elected office, saying, “I actually have a record that people can look at, so you won’t have to guess what I’ll do tomorrow. You can see what I did yesterday.” At an April 27 debate, Barletta criticized McSwain for having been a registered Democrat.

Mastriano, a U.S. Army veteran and state representative, has focused on his opposition to Covid-19 measures and has said he would defend election integrity while in office. Mastriano has claimed that voting fraud was prevalent in the 2020 election and has criticized McSwain for not supporting Mastriano’s efforts to investigate the results of the election.

McSwain served in the U.S. Marine Corps and worked as a private attorney before former President Donald Trump (R) appointed him U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. McSwain has emphasized his work as a U.S. Attorney, saying, “What the other candidates in this race know about crime, they read in the newspaper. I’m the only one who has actually done something about it.” McSwain has criticized Mastriano for voting for Act 77, a law that expanded vote-by-mail in Pennsylvania, and has accused Barletta of supporting higher gas taxes. McSwain criticized White for receiving campaign contributions from union political action committees.

White is a former member of the Delaware County Council who worked as a steamfitter before founding a mechanical contractors company. White has said his labor background would help him attract former Democratic blue-collar voters to the GOP. “That’s what differentiates me from the other candidates, is that I’m the only one that’s capable of doing that,” White said. White has highlighted a statement from Trump in which the former president told voters not to support McSwain.

Also running in the primary are Jake Corman III, Joe Gale, Charlie Gerow, Melissa Hart, and Nche Zama.

As of 2022, candidates for governor and lieutenant governor in Pennsylvania run in separate primaries for their party’s nomination and then form a joint ticket. John Brown, Jeff Coleman, Teddy Daniels, Carrie DelRosso, Russell Diamond, Chris Frye, James Jones, Rick Saccone, and Clarice Schillinger are running in the Republican primary for lieutenant governor.



Eight candidates running in the Republican primary for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District

Eight candidates are running in the Republican primary for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District on May 17, 2022. Incumbent Rep. Ted Budd (R) is running for the U.S. Senate and is not seeking re-election.

The boundaries of North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District changed as a result of redistricting, with the new district including all of Johnston County as well as parts of Harnett, Wake, and Wayne counties. According to FiveThirtyEight, the old district map had an R+38 partisan lean, while the new map has an R+3 partisan lean.

WRAL’s Travis Fain said, “The district is one of the most competitive between Republicans and Democrats in North Carolina, based on past election results.” As of April 12, three independent election forecasters considered the general election a Toss-up.

Bo Hines, Kelly Daughtry, Kent Keirsey, and Renee Ellmers have attracted the most media coverage.

Hines is a former college football player who interned for Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) and U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.). Hines has said there’s a need for younger voices in Congress. In his responses to Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey, Hines criticized incumbency and said he would sign a pledge not to serve more than four consecutive terms. “I’m a fresh new voice that will work to refurbish the Republican party. Incumbency has hurt our party and our country,” he wrote. Former President Donald Trump (R), the Club for Growth, and Reps. Matt Gaetz (R), Madison Cawthorn (R), and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R) have endorsed Hines.

Daughtry is an attorney from Johnston County and the daughter of Leo Daughtry, the former Majority Leader of the North Carolina House of Representatives. She has highlighted inflation and deficit spending as key issues. Daughtry’s campaign website says, “Bidenomics is crushing the American economy and middle-class families. We will face grave financial danger if we do not address inflation and spending head-on.” Former Rep. George Holding (R), who represented District 13 from 2013 to 2017, has endorsed Daughtry.

Keirsey is a U.S. Army veteran and businessman. He has emphasized his military career and business experience throughout the campaign. Keirsey’s campaign website says, “While career politicians have legislated comfortably from Washington, Kent has been on the front lines. He led in combat and built businesses that address some of our country’s biggest challenges.” Senator Tom Cotton (R) endorsed Keirsey.

Ellmers is a registered nurse and a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District from 2011 to 2017. Ellmers has said her previous congressional experience would be an asset in Congress. Referring to gas prices, she said, “We don’t have time to wait for a learning curve to fix this mess. Experience is essential. I’ll start work on this the first day of the 118th Congress.”

Also running in the primary are DeVan Barbour IV, Jessica Morel, Chad Slotta, and Kevin Alan Wolff.

If no candidate wins more than 30% of the primary vote, a runoff will be held on July 26.



Fourteen candidates are running in the Republican primary on May 17 for U.S. Senate in North Carolina

Fourteen candidates are running in the Republican primary on May 17, 2022, for U.S. Senate in North Carolina. Incumbent Richard Burr (R) is not running for re-election. The candidates that have performed best in recent polling and have received the most media attention are Ted Budd, Pat McCrory, and Mark Walker.

The primary is one of the first U.S. Senate races in 2022 to include a candidate endorsed by former President Donald Trump (R). Intelligencer’s Ed Kilgore wrote, “[North Carolina is] a particularly big deal for Trump, whose midterm strategy is to show his clout in both primary and general-election races.”

Budd, the owner of a gun range and store in Rural Hall, has represented North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District since 2017. Trump endorsed Budd in June 2021, and Budd has made his support of Trump and his record a key focus of his campaign. Budd’s website says, “Ted was elected to Congress along with President Donald Trump in 2016 and has established a strong, conservative record supporting efforts to secure our borders and stand up for America First policies.”

McCrory served as governor of North Carolina from 2013 to 2017 and as mayor of Charlotte from 1995 to 2009. He has focused on economic issues and has highlighted his record as governor throughout the campaign. His website says that, as governor, McCrory “turned around North Carolina’s economy from the fourth highest unemployment rate in the country to one of the highest for job growth.”

Walker represented North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District from 2015 to 2021 and served as a pastor for sixteen years before that. He has described himself as a conservative warrior and as a bridge-builder. He said, “[O]ut of 1,000 elected Republicans in North Carolina, I’m the only one to speak or give a commencement address at one of our state’s HBCU’s, and I’m the only Republican in all of Congress to win the United Negro College President’s Award.”

McCrory and Walker have criticized Budd for not participating in some public events, including a debate on February 26. Jordan Shaw, a strategist for McCrory, said, “US Senators don’t get to hide from the voters, run from the media, avoid debates, and refuse to answer tough questions.” Walker said, “[Budd] does not want to have to be on the same stage with me because it creates a contrast.” McCrory has also criticized Budd for comments he made about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and has compared Budd to U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R), calling them both “[an] embarrassment, to the state, to our party and to Congress.”

Budd’s campaign has described McCrory as a career politician and has criticized him for his electoral record. A website sponsored by Budd’s campaign says, “The sad reality is that Pat McCrory lost his last 2 out of 3 statewide bids this century.” Budd’s campaign has also criticized McCrory for what they described as “[McCrory’s] sad record of bashing President Trump.”

U.S. Reps. Jim Jordan (R) and Elise Stefanik (R), radio host Mark Levin, and the Club for Growth have endorsed Budd. Rep. Cawthorn, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R), and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R) have endorsed Walker.

As of April 2022, three independent election forecasters considered the general election as “Lean” or “Likely Republican.”

Also running in the primary are Jennifer Banwart, Lee Brian, Leonard Bryant, Drew Bulecza, Marjorie K. Eastman, David Flaherty, Benjamin Griffiths, Kenneth Harper Jr., Charles Moss, Lichia Sibhatu and Debora Tshiovo.



Nineteen candidates are running in the Republican primary on May 17 for governor of Oregon

Nineteen candidates are running in the Republican primary for governor of Oregon on May 17, 2022. Incumbent Kate Brown (D) is term-limited and cannot run for re-election.

Christine Drazan, Bud Pierce, and Stan Pulliam have led in fundraising and media coverage.

All three candidates have highlighted education and public safety as critical issues for their campaigns. On education, Pierce said he would set up a non-political oversight board to look after education in the state, and Drazan said she would make the superintendent of public instruction a statewide position that she argues would be accountable to voters. Pulliam said the state should empower parents and local boards. On public safety, Drazan said she would increase funding for state troopers, while Pulliam said he would triple the size of the Oregon State Police and temporarily deploy them in Portland. Pierce said he would work with federal, state, and local authorities to better public safety.

Drazan and Pierce have said there is a homelessness crisis in the state. To tackle it, Drazan said that she would address addiction, mental health, and affordability, which she said are the root causes of homelessness. Pierce said he would address those same issues by building more affordable housing and public shelters with services to tackle addiction and mental health.

On the campaign trail, Pulliam has also focused on economic growth, saying, “we’ve got to stand up for our local small business owners and ignite the economic sector in this state.”

Pierce is an oncologist who ran as the Republican nominee in the 2016 special election to finish the term of former Gov. John Kitzhaber (D). Governor Brown, who replaced Kitzhaber after he resigned in February 2015, defeated Pierce and three other candidates in that election.

Drazan represented District 39 in the Oregon House of Representatives from 2019 until she resigned on Jan. 31, 2022. She was elected House Minority Leader in September 2019 and served in that position until Nov. 30, 2021, when she stepped down.

Pulliam is an insurance executive who has served as the mayor of Sandy, Oregon, since 2019.

Oregon’s last five governors have been Democrats, and as of March 2022, three independent election forecasters considered the general election as Likely or Lean Democratic. The last Republican to win the governorship in Oregon was Victor Atiyeh, who served from 1979 to 1987.

Also running in the primary are Raymond Baldwin, Bridget Barton, Court Boice, David Burch, Reed Christensen, Jessica Gomez, Nick Hess, Tim McCloud, Kerry McQuisten, Brandon Merritt, John Presco, Amber Richardson, Bill Sizemore, Stefan Strek, Marc Thielman, Bob Tiernan.