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Mackenzie Murphy

Mackenzie Murphy is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

Incumbent Frank Mrvan (D) and Jennifer-Ruth Green (R) are running in Indiana’s 1st Congressional District

Incumbent Frank Mrvan (D) and Jennifer-Ruth Green (R) are running in the general election for Indiana’s 1st Congressional District on November 8, 2022. William Powers (Independent) is running as a write-in candidate.

Mrvan was elected to the 1st District in 2020, winning the open seat 57% to 40%. A Democrat has represented the district since 1930. According to The Cook Political Report and FiveThirtyEight, the district’s partisan lean did not change significantly after redistricting. In the 2020 presidential election, Joe Biden (D) received 53.6% of the 1st District’s vote to Donald Trump’s (R) 44.8%. According to data from Daily Kos, the redrawn 1st District voted for Biden 53.4% to 45.0%.

Mrvan says he is running for re-election “to continue to address the pandemic health crisis, make investments to grow the Northwest Indiana economy with good-paying jobs, and bridge the division gripping our nation.” He said, “Throughout my career as an elected official, I have listened to all individuals and worked in a bipartisan fashion to bring people together to solve problems. I look forward to continuing to represent our collective interests in Washington, D.C., and bringing back federal resources to enhance the Northwest Indiana economy by supporting existing businesses and attracting new people and good-paying jobs to our region.” Before being elected to Congress, Mrvan served as township trustee for North Township, Indiana, for 15 years.

Green served in the U.S. Air Force for 12 years, after which she joined the U.S. Air Force Reserve and founded a nonprofit STEM education organization. In a campaign ad, Green said, “Our economy is shrinking, costs are surging, and crime is skyrocketing. And career politicians aren’t getting the job done.” In another ad, she said, “I’m a proud conservative. And like you, I’m concerned about skyrocketing gas prices and inflation, liberal efforts to defund the police, and woke madness like indoctrinating our children with critical race theory. … In Congress, I’ll defend the Second Amendment, protect life, and advance President Trump’s America First policies.”

In May 2022, The Times’ Dan Carden wrote, “Northwest Indiana is poised to have its first competitive congressional election in decades.” After Sabato’s Crystal Ball moved the district’s rating from leans Democratic to toss-up in July 2022, managing editor Kyle Kondik wrote, “This working-class, post-industrial northwest Indiana district has seen its Democratic lean erode in the Donald Trump era, even though Biden still carried it by 8 points. But Democrats have been losing ground in these kinds of districts in recent years[.] … This district is covered by the Chicago media market, so the ad wars could get pricey, although it may be that the most competitive race in the Chicago media market is this one, which is taking place across the Illinois border in Indiana.”

Both the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) have prioritized this election. The DCCC designated Mrvan as a member of its 2022 Frontline Program, a program providing resources intended to help incumbents hold competitive seats. The NRCC listed Indiana’s First Congressional District as one of its target districts in 2022, and Green qualified for the highest tier of the NRCC’s Young Guns program.

The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 118th Congress. All 435 districts in the House are up for election. As of September 13, 2022, Democrats hold a 221-212 advantage in the U.S. House with two vacancies. Republicans need to gain a net of six districts to win a majority in the chamber.



Both candidates for Misssouri’s vacant 140th house district submit Candidate Connection surveys

Both candidates running in the November 8, 2022, general election for the 140th district in the Missouri House of Representatives —Amy Freeland (D) and Jamie Ray Gragg (R)—completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. 

The 140th district was left vacant when former state Rep. Tricia Derges (R) resigned on July 1, 2022. Here are excerpts from candidates’ responses to the question: “Please list below 3 key messages of your campaign. What are the main points you want voters to remember about your goals for your time in office?”

Freeland:

“I’m a working-class professional and community leader who has called Southwest Missouri my home for more than a decade. I graduated summa cum laude with Honors from Drury University. I work as a quality assurance analyst for a Springfield-based company, where I frequently lead projects and help train colleagues.

Christian County is where I have felt the greatest sense of belonging, among neighbors who truly support each other. However, I have noticed a strong disconnect between what residents want and what we get from our elected officials. Our lawmakers tend to ignore their constituents and pass policies that hurt us. I realized someone needed to step up and advocate for us, and I decided to be that someone.

I have worked for years to improve outcomes for people in the Ozarks, engaging with voters about the issues that affect them. My volunteer efforts in the past two election cycles helped to pass community-focused policies, including expanded healthcare access and a higher minimum wage. Still, we have not seen the progress we deserve. I’m passionate about ensuring that my district is and continues to be a great place for kids, seniors, and working families.”

Gragg: 

  • “Our public schools are critical in developing the future leaders of Christian County and beyond. Improving our public schools is something we all support. Better schools start with local control of education. I believe decisions in education should be made by parents, teachers, principals, and local school boards, not politicians.
  • I will stand for and fight for all life. To protect and defend the most fundamental right of humankind, the right to life of every innocent human being from the beginning of life to natural death. I will be a representative of all living person, inside and outside the womb. I will work to protect and defend the right for life of every citizen.
  • The right of Americans to keep and bear arms is as relevant now as it was when our founding fathers wrote it in our Bill of Rights. Our Second Amendment rights are guaranteed in the Constitution for a reason, and that right must not be infringed upon by any level of government.”

To read each candidate’s full responses, click their name at the bottom of the article.

If you’re a Missouri candidate or incumbent, click here to take the survey. The survey contains over 30 questions, and you can choose the ones you feel will best represent your views to voters. If you complete the survey, a box with your answers will display on your Ballotpedia profile. Your responses will also populate the information that appears in our mobile app, My Vote Ballotpedia.

If you’re not running for office but would like to know more about candidates in Missouri, share the link and urge them to take the survey.

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July 2022 breakdown of state legislative party membership: 54.14% Republicans, 44.35% Democrats

According to Ballotpedia’s July partisan count of the 7,383 state legislative seats across the United States, 54.14% of all state legislators are Republicans and 44.35% are Democrats. 

Ballotpedia tallies the partisan balance of state legislatures at the end of every month. Republicans control 62 chambers, while Democrats hold 36. The Alaska House of Representatives is the only chamber to be organized under a multipartisan, power-sharing coalition.

Independent or third-party legislators hold 43 seats across 16 different states, of which 35 are state House seats and eight state Senate seats. There are 61 vacant state House seats and eight vacant state Senate seats across 23 different states.

Compared to July 2021, Democrats have lost four state Senate seats (867 v. 863) and 32 state House seats (2,443 v. 2,411). Republicans have gained three state Senate seats (1,090 v. 1,093) and lost 16 state House seats (2,920 v. 2,904).  

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March 2022 breakdown of state legislative party membership: 54.34% Republicans, 44.39% Democrats

Image of donkey and elephant to symbolize the Democratic and Republican parties.

According to Ballotpedia’s March partisan count of the 7,383 state legislative seats across the United States, 54.34% of all state legislators are Republicans and 44.39% are Democrats. 

Ballotpedia tallies the partisan balance of state legislatures at the end of every month. Republicans control 62 chambers, while Democrats hold 36. The Alaska House of Representatives is the only chamber to be organized under a multipartisan, power-sharing coalition.

Democrats hold 864 state Senate seats and 2,413 state House seats, gaining three senate seats and four house seats since last month. Republicans hold 1,096 state Senate seats and 2,916 state House seats, retaining the same number of senate seats and losing four house seats since last month.

Independent or third-party legislators hold 41 seats across 18 different states, of which 33 are state House seats and eight state Senate seats. There are 49 vacant state House seats and four vacant state Senate seats across 21 different states.

Compared to March 2021, Democrats have lost five state Senate seats (869 v. 864) and 34 state House seats (2,447 v. 2,413). Republicans have gained seven state Senate seats (1,089 v. 1,096) and lost two state House seats (2,918 v. 2,916).  

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New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner retires

On Jan. 10, 2022, New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner (D) retired. 

Gardner is the longest-serving secretary of state, having been first elected secretary by the state legislature in 1976. Before serving as secretary, Gardner served as a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives from 1973 to 1976. 

Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan (R) was sworn in after Gardner resigned. According to the New Hampshire Constitution, the deputy secretary of state replaces the secretary until a new secretary is appointed. In New Hampshire, the secretary of state is chosen by a joint session of both houses of the State Legislature. 

Scanlan will serve the remainder of Gardner’s term, which is set to end in December 2022. 

Scanlan’s swearing-in created a Republican triplex in New Hampshire, meaning that Republicans control the executive offices of governor, attorney general and secretary of state.

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Texas State Rep. Ryan Guillen leaves Democratic Party, announces bid for re-election as a Republican

On Nov. 15, 2021, Texas State Rep. Ryan Guillen (R) announced he was leaving the Democratic Party.

“After much thought and much prayer with my family, today I am announcing that I’ll proudly be running as a Republican to represent house district 31,” Guillen said in a press conference held with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and House Speaker Dade Phelan (R).

Guillen most recently won reelection in 2020, defeating Marian Knowlton (R) 58.4% to 41.6%.

He first assumed office in 2003, when he ran in the general election unopposed. 

As of November 2021, Ballotpedia has counted 146 state legislators who have switched parties since 1994. Ballotpedia has counted 39 state senators who have switched parties and 107 state representatives. Fifty-three state representatives have switched parties from Democrat to Republican, and 75 state lawmakers have switched parties in total. 

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Texas Gov. Abbott appoints state supreme court justice

Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott (R) appointed Evan Young to the Texas State Supreme court on Nov. 1, 2021. Young assumed office on Nov. 9. Young’s appointment fills the vacancy created by Eva Guzman, who resigned from the court in June 2021 to run for Texas attorney general. 

Under Texas law, the governor appoints a replacement to the Texas Supreme Court in the event of a midterm vacancy. The Texas State Senate must then confirm the nominee. Appointees serve until the next general election, in which they must participate in a partisan election to remain on the bench for the remainder of the unexpired term. 

Before his appointment to the Texas Supreme Court, Young worked as a clerk to Judge Harvie Wilkinson on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Young received a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and from Oxford University. He received a J.D. from Yale Law School.

In 2021, there have been 18 supreme court vacancies in 16 of the 29 states where replacement justices are appointed instead of elected. Seventeen of the vacancies have been caused by retirements, and one vacancy was caused by a justice’s death. To date, 14 of those vacancies have been filled.

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Michael DiMassa resigns from Connecticut state House

Connecticut state Rep. Michael DiMassa (D-116) resigned on Oct. 25 after he was indicted on charges of wire fraud.

DiMassa submitted a letter of resignation dated Oct. 21 that the secretary of state received on Oct. 25. DiMassa was arrested on Oct. 18 after he allegedly created a fraudulent company that received more than $600,000 in COVID-19 relief funds.

DiMassa was first elected to represent the 116th district in 2017, after defeating Richard DePalma (R) 73.39% to 26.61%.

Vacancies in the Connecticut state legislature are filled by special elections. The governor must call for an election no later than 10 days after the vacancy happens, and all special elections must be held no later than 46 days after a governor’s declaration. If the vacancy happens with less than 125 days left before the general election, the special election must be held on the same day as the general election. No election can be called by the governor if the vacancy happens with less than 49 days before the general election.

As of October 2021, there have been 116 state legislative vacancies in 41 states. Five of those vacancies have occurred in Connecticut.

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Gov. Greg Abbott (R) appoints John Scott (R) as secretary of state

On Oct. 21, 2021, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott appointed John Scott as secretary of state

Scott replaces Ruth Ruggero Hughs, who resigned in May of 2021 after the Senate Nominating Commission refused to take up her nomination. 

Texas is one of nine states where secretaries of state are appointed by the governor. Scott’s appointment will have to be approved by the state Senate. The legislature adjourned on May 31 and will not convene again until Jan. 10, 2023. 

Gov. Abbott has appointed five secretaries of state during his tenure as governor. 



Michigan state Rep. Andrea Schroeder dies

Michigan state Rep. Andrea Schroeder (R) died from stomach cancer while serving in office on Oct. 1, 2021. Schroeder was first elected to represent House District 43 in 2018.  She most recently won re-election in 2020, defeating Nicole Breadon (D) 59.7% to 40.3%.

When a vacancy occurs in the Michigan State Legislature, the governor must call for a special election to fill the vacancy, which should be held whenever the next general election is scheduled. If the vacancy happens after the statewide primary election, the leaders of the respective party organizations in the district can submit a list of nominees to be voted on by party leadership. The nominee must be voted on no later than 21 days after the vacancy occurred.

Michigan is one of 25 states to fill state legislative vacancies through special elections.

This is the 20th vacancy in 2021 caused by the death of a serving legislator. So far this year, there have been 109 vacancies in 40 state legislatures. Sixty-seven (67) of those vacancies have been filled.

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