Author

Juan Garcia de Paredes

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

Oklahoma sees no contested Democratic U.S. House primaries for the first time since at least 2014

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in Oklahoma this year was April 14, 2022. Twenty-eight candidates are running for Oklahoma’s five U.S. House districts, including five Democrats and 23 Republicans. That’s 5.6 candidates per district, more than the 5.4 candidates per district in 2020 and less than the 7.2 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. Oklahoma was apportioned five districts, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.
  • The 2nd district is the only open seat this year. That’s one more seat than in 2020 and the same as in 2018. Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R), who represents the 2nd district, is running for the U.S. Senate. 
  • Fifteen candidates — one Democrat and 14 Republicans — are running to replace Mullin, the most candidates running for a seat this year. 
  • There are four contested Republican primaries this year, and no contested Democratic primaries. That’s the fewest contested primaries since at least 2014, and the first time since at least then when there are no contested Democratic primaries.
  • Rep. Kevin Hern (R), who represents the 1st district, is the only incumbent not facing a primary challenger this year. 
  • Republican and Democratic candidates filed to run in all five districts, so no seats are guaranteed to either party this year. 

Oklahoma and four other states — Colorado, Illinois, New York, and Utah — are holding primary elections on June 28. In Oklahoma, winners in primary contests are determined by majority vote. In the event no candidate wins a majority of the vote, the top two finishers will advance to an August 23 runoff.

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Incumbents Sean Casten and Marie Newman are running in the Democratic primary for Illinois’ 6th Congressional District on June 28

Sean Casten, Marie Newman, and Charles Hughes are running in the Democratic primary for Illinois’ 6th Congressional District on June 28, 2022. Casten and Newman are members of the U.S. House of Representatives running for re-election in the same district due to redistricting. They have led in fundraising and media attention.

Newman represents Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District. Casten is the incumbent in the current 6th district, but the district lines are different this year due to redistricting. According to political researcher Frank Calabrese, 41% of the constituents in the new district come from Newman’s district and 23% come from Casten’s. Two election forecasters rate the general election as Likely Democratic, while one rates it as Lean Democratic, meaning the primary winner will likely have an edge in the general election.

Both Casten and Newman have cited climate change as a top issue. Casten, a member of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis and the co-founder of an energy recycling company, said he supported market-based climate change legislation. Casten has introduced several climate-related bills while in Congress, including the End Oil and Gas Tax Subsidies Act, a measure to reduce certain subsidies for oil companies. Newman supports the Green New Deal and sponsored the America’s Clean Future Fund Act, a measure to impose a carbon fee on the use of certain fuels and use the proceeds to fund clean energy initiatives.

The League of Conservation Voters and Clean Energy for America have endorsed Casten. The Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition have endorsed both Casten and Newman.

Both incumbents have also focused on abortion. Newman has spoken about her experience getting an abortion when she was 19 years old, saying, “It was not a shameful act. No woman should feel guilty for making a decision over her body, no matter the circumstances.” Newman added, “It is very clear that if we don’t have quality access to abortion health care, women will die.” Newman has criticized Casten for voting for George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole, Republicans she described as anti-choice.

Casten said his voting record was 100% pro-choice. In a campaign ad, Casten said, “Women have a fundamental right to make their own decisions, especially when it comes to abortion.” Casten added, “I fought against defunding Planned Parenthood. I always have and always will oppose any measure, any attempt, to diminish or take away your rights.”

Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) have endorsed both Casten and Newman. EMILY’s List has endorsed Newman.

Casten has criticized Newman for not disclosing the details of a settlement between her and a man who said Newman offered him a job in exchange for him not to run against her in the 2020 Democratic primary. Newman has called the allegations a distraction and said Casten should address an FEC complaint alleging that his campaign coordinated with a Super PAC during the 2018 Democratic primary.

Newman was first elected in 2020. That year, she defeated incumbent Rep. Dan Lipinski (D) in the Democratic primary. In 2020, Newman won the general election 56.4% to 43.6%.

Casten was first elected in 2018 after defeating six-term incumbent Rep. Peter Roskam (R) 53.6% to 46.4%. Casten won re-election in 2020 52.8% to 45.4%. Casten’s win in 2018 was the first time a Democrat won in the 6th district since 1972.

As of May 2022, six U.S. House races had two incumbents running for the same congressional district in the 2022 elections.



Eight candidates are running in the Republican primary on June 14 for U.S. Senate in Nevada

Eight candidates are running in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Nevada on June 14. Incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto (D) is running for re-election.

As of June 1, 2022, three election forecasters rated the general election as a Toss-up. Politico’s Sabrina Rodriguez wrote, “Republicans […] see Nevada as one of the prime states to pick up a Senate seat.”

Sam Brown and Adam Laxalt have led in polling and fundraising.

Former President Donald Trump (R), Sen. Ted Cruz (R), Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), and other national Republican figures have endorsed Laxalt, and Laxalt has made these endorsements a key part of his campaign message. At a May 9 debate, Laxalt said, “President Trump looked into a camera and said the only person that he can trust in this state is me, and that’s because I have stood consistently and concretely for our conservative values.”

Brown has the endorsement of the Nevada Republican Party. To win an official endorsement from the state party, a candidate needed to earn the support of more than 50% of the delegates present at the state convention, and the delegates could vote to endorse more than one candidate in the race. Brown received the vote of 80% of the delegates, and Laxalt received the vote of exactly 50%, below the threshold needed for an official endorsement. After the vote, Brown said, “I’m grateful to be the only U.S. Senate candidate to receive the endorsement of the Nevada Republican Party.”

Both Laxalt and Brown have highlighted inflation and immigration as key issues. On inflation, Laxalt has said he would reduce government spending and pursue energy independence, while Brown said the Federal Reserve should raise interest rates at a rapid pace.

On immigration, Laxalt’s website says he supports the Migrant Protection Protocols, a policy under which the U.S. returns to Mexico citizens and nationals of countries other than Mexico while their U.S. removal proceedings are processed. Brown has said the length of the immigration process should be expedited, but said he “opposed amnesty in any way, shape or form.”

Brown has accused Laxalt of ignoring instances of election fraud while serving as attorney general. At the May 9 debate, Brown told Laxalt, “You knew that in 2016, non-citizens did vote, and you did nothing about that. And then in 2020 […] the only thing you did was to file a lawsuit that, by your own admission, was late.” Laxalt responded by saying that it was the secretary of state’s responsibility to investigate voter fraud. He also criticized Brown for his ties to Texas, saying, “You were running in Texas and living in Texas when you’re accusing me of doing these things.”

Laxalt served as attorney general of Nevada from 2015 to 2019 and was the Republican gubernatorial nominee in 2018, losing to Steve Sisolak (D) 49.4% to 45.3%. Laxalt is the grandson of former Nevada Sen. Paul Laxalt (R) and the son of former New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici (R).

Brown, a small business owner, served in the U.S. Army until 2011. In 2008, while deployed in Afghanistan, Brown was wounded by an IED explosion that injured his face. Brown has highlighted that experience and his recovery process throughout his campaign. Brown was a candidate for Texas House District 102 in 2014 before moving to Nevada in 2018.

William Conrad, William Hockstedler, Sharelle Mendenhall, Tyler Perkins, Carlo Poliak, and Paul Rodriguez are also running in the primary.



Utah sees the most contested primaries since 2014

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in Utah this year was March 4, 2022. Thirteen candidates are running for Utah’s four U.S. House districts, including four Democrats and nine Republicans. That’s 3.25 candidates per district, less than the 3.75 candidates per district in 2020 and more than the 2.5 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. Utah was apportioned four districts, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.
  • All four incumbents filed to run for re-election, meaning there are no open seats this year. That’s one fewer than in 2020, when there was one open seat.
  • All four incumbents are facing primary challengers, the highest number since at least 2014.
  • Utah’s four incumbent congressmen are Republicans, meaning there are four contested Republican primaries this year. There are no contested Democratic primaries.
  • The four contested primaries this year are the most since 2014, when six primaries were contested. 

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  1. Four candidates, including incumbent Rep. Blake Moore (R), are running in the 1st district, the most candidates running for a seat this year.
  2. Republican and Democratic candidates filed to run in all four districts, so no seats are guaranteed to either party this year. 

Utah and four other states — Colorado, Illinois, New York, and Oklahoma — are holding primary elections on June 28. Winners in Utah 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 an outright majority of votes cast.

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Jamie McLeod-Skinner defeats incumbent Kurt Schrader in the Democratic primary for Oregon’s 5th Congressional District

Jamie McLeod-Skinner defeated incumbent Kurt Schrader in the Democratic primary for Oregon’s 5th Congressional District on May 17, 2022.

Schrader is the fifth incumbent to lose re-election to the U.S. House this year. Representatives Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-Ga.), Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), and David McKinley (R-W.Va.) also lost re-election.

Schrader’s loss is also the first time a congressional incumbent from Oregon has been defeated in a primary since 1980 when 3rd district incumbent Bob Duncan (D) lost to Ron Wyden (D). Wyden was later elected to the U.S. Senate.

Schrader was first elected to represent the 5th district in 2008 and had won re-election every cycle since then, but the district’s boundaries changed this year as a result of redistricting. According to data from Daily Kos, 47% of the population in the new 5th district came from the old 5th district.

McLeod-Skinner criticized Schrader for his legislative record, saying he often voted against Democratic priorities. “He’s fought negotiating lower drug prices, raising the federal minimum wage, and forgiving debt for college loans,” McLeod-Skinner said. “When he does vote with Democrats, it is often after working to water-down the original ideas.”

Schrader said his voting record reflected the partisan composition of the district. “I represent the people in my district and the state of Oregon, which frankly is not a blue state. It’s blue on the surface,” he said. “There are a lot of folks that are Republicans or Independents, and I’d like to think I represent the state very well this way.” Schrader later said, “My record shows I have voted with President Biden 96 percent of the time.” 

At the time of the primary, McLeod-Skinner was an attorney and a board member of the Jefferson County Education Service District. She said, “[D.C. is not] addressing the crises we’re seeing around affordable housing, around health care, around childcare, around environmental issues. And that’s the work I want to do in Congress.” U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the Sierra Club, and the Working Families Party of Oregon endorsed McLeod-Skinner, as did the local Democratic parties in Deschutes, Linn, Clackamas, and Marion counties. The four counties contain over 90% of the voters in the district.

Schrader, a farmer and former veterinarian, previously served in the Oregon House of Representatives and the Oregon Senate. Schrader highlighted his voting record, in particular when it came to bipartisan legislation. He said, “I founded the bipartisan ‘Problem Solvers Caucus,’ which is part of the reason I have been so effective at passing critical Covid-19 relief legislation and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and working on legislation to address important issues including reducing prescription drug costs.” President Joe Biden (D), the American Federation of Government Employees, and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund endorsed Schrader.

At the time of the primary, two independent election forecasters considered the general election as Lean Democratic, and one considered it a Toss-up. According to FiveThirtyEight, the district had a D+3 partisan lean.



Colorado sees the most candidates running for the U.S. House in at least a decade

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in Colorado this year was March 15, 2022. Thirty candidates are running for Colorado’s eight U.S. House districts, including 12 Democrats and 18 Republicans. That’s 3.75 candidates per district, more than the 2.28 candidates per district in 2020 and the 3.43 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 Colorado gaining one congressional district. 
  • The 30 candidates running this year are the most candidates running for Colorado’s U.S. House seats since at least 2012, the earliest year for which we have data.

  • Two seats — the 7th and the newly-created 8th district — are open. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D), who represents the 7th district, is retiring. 
  • The two open seats this year are the most open seats in Colorado since at least 2014. There were no open seats in 2020 and 2016, and one open seat in 2018 and 2014.
  • Six candidates, including incumbent Rep. Doug Lamborn (R), are running in the 5th district, the most candidates running for a seat this year. 
  • There are three contested Democratic primaries this year, the most since 2018, when five Democratic primaries were contested. 
  • There are five contested Republican primaries, the most since at least 2014, the earliest year for which we have data.
  • Four incumbents are facing primary challengers, the most since at least 2014. 
  • Two incumbents, Rep. Joe Neguse (D) from the 2nd district and Rep. Jason Crow (D) from the 6th district, are not facing any primary challengers.
  • Candidates filed to run in the Republican and Democratic primaries in all eight districts, so no seats are guaranteed to either party this year. 

Colorado and four other states — Illinois, New York, Oklahoma, and Utah — are holding primary elections on June 28. In Colorado, primaries are conducted on a semi-closed basis, meaning that only registered party members and unaffiliated voters may participate in a party’s primary (voters registered with other political parties cannot participate). Winners in Colorado’s primaries are determined via plurality vote, meaning that the candidate who receives the greatest number of votes cast wins the primary election even if he or she does not win an outright majority.

Additional reading:



Drazan defeats 18 other candidates to win the May 17 Republican primary for governor of Oregon

Christine Drazan defeated Bob Tiernan, Stan Pulliam, and 16 other candidates in the May 17 Republican primary for governor of Oregon. Incumbent Kate Brown (D) is term-limited.

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 November 30, 2021.

Tiernan, a business consultant and former state legislator, served as the chairman of the Oregon Republican Party from 2009 to 2011.

Pulliam worked as an insurance executive and served as the mayor of Sandy, Oregon. He attracted media attention for his criticism of the measures Gov. Brown put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic and for calling the 2020 presidential election fraudulent.

All three candidates highlighted education as a critical issue for their campaigns. Drazan said she would make the superintendent of public instruction a statewide elected position, and Pulliam said the state should empower parents and local boards. Tiernan said there was a need for more charter schools and private schools, and that politics and social issues should be kept out of classrooms.

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. Tiernan said he would increase police patrols in high-crime areas.

Drazan and Tiernan said there was a homelessness crisis in the state. To tackle it, Drazan said that she would address addiction, mental health, and affordability, which she said were the root causes of homelessness. Tiernan said he would implement short-term measures to get the homeless population off the streets, establish temporary shelters, and assemble a task force focused on tackling the issue.

Also running in the primary were Bud Pierce, 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, and Marc Thielman.



Boozman defeats three challengers to win the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Arkansas outright

Incumbent John Boozman defeated three other candidates—Jake Bequette, Heath Loftis, and Jan Morgan—in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Arkansas on May 24, 2022.

Dr. Jay Barth, emeritus professor of politics at Hendrix College, said the key question in the primary was whether Boozman would be able to get more than 50% of the vote and avoid a runoff. With 90% of precincts reporting, Boozman led with 58% of the vote, followed by Bequette with 21% and Morgan with 19%.

Boozman, a former optometrist, was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010. Boozman had 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 highlighted Trump’s endorsement and 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, a U.S. Army veteran and a former football player from Little Rock, cited immigration and law enforcement as top issues. Bequette described himself as a political outsider and highlighted his military service and time as a player for the Arkansas Razorbacks and the New England Patriots. Bequette said, “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) endorsed Bequette.

Morgan worked as a journalist and owned a firearms training facility in Hot Springs. Morgan focused on immigration and election administration and said she supported 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 endorsed Morgan.

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

At the time of the primary, groups not directly affiliated with any of the candidates had spent $5 million in the race, the second-largest amount of satellite spending for a U.S. Senate primary where a GOP incumbent was running for re-election in 2022, according to data from Open Secrets. The Arkansas Patriots Fund spent $1.5 million in support of Bequette, the most of any group. The group received a $1 million donation from businessman Richard Uihlein last year, according to data from the FEC. Several different groups spent a combined total of $2.1 million in support of Boozman.

At the time of the primary, three independent election forecasters considered the general election as Solid Republican.



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

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in New Mexico this year was March 24, 2022. Eight candidates are running for New Mexico’s three U.S. House districts, including four Democrats and four Republicans. That’s 2.67 candidates per district, less than the 6.3 candidates per district in 2020 and the five 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 Mexico was apportioned three districts, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.
  • The eight candidates running this year are the fewest candidates running for New Mexico’s U.S. House seats since 2016, when seven candidates filed.

  • All three incumbents are running for re-election, meaning there are no open seats. 
  • There are two contested primaries this year, the fewest since 2016, when there was one contested primary.
  • Candidates filed to run in the Republican and Democratic primaries in all three districts, so no seats are guaranteed to either party this year. 
  • No incumbents are facing primary challengers this year. The last year an incumbent was in a contested primary was 2014, when then-incumbent Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D) and Robert Blanch ran in the 3rd Congressional District. 

New Mexico and six other states — California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota — are holding primary elections on June 7. In New Mexico, the winner of a primary election is the candidate who receives the greatest number of votes, even if he or she does not win more than 50 percent of votes cast.

Additional reading:



Iowa sees the fewest candidates running for the U.S. House in at least a decade

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in Iowa this year was March 18, 2022. Ten candidates are running for Iowa’s four U.S. House districts, including four Democrats and six Republicans. That’s 2.5 candidates per district, less than the 4.5 candidates per district in 2020 and the four 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. Iowa was apportioned four districts, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.
  • The 10 candidates running this year are the fewest candidates running for Iowa’s U.S. House seats since at least 2012, when 11 candidates filed.
  • All four incumbents are running for re-election, meaning there are no open seats this year. 
  • The Republican primary in the 3rd district is the only contested primary this year. That’s the fewest contested primaries since at least 2012, when three primaries were contested. There were four contested primaries each year from 2014 to 2020. 
  • No incumbent is facing a primary challenger. That’s the lowest number since 2014, when no incumbent faced a primary challenger either. One incumbent faced a primary challenger in both 2020 and 2018, and two incumbents did in 2016. 
  • Candidates filed to run in the Republican and Democratic primaries in all four districts, so no seats are guaranteed to either party this year.

Iowa and six other states — California, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota — are holding primary elections on June 7. In Iowa, 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 for the office being sought.

Additional reading: