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Marielle Bricker

Marielle Bricker is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

Delaware primary review: less than 25% of offices up in November appeared on primary ballot

Delaware held its statewide primary on September 15, 2020. Candidates competed to advance to the general election scheduled for November 3. In Delaware, unopposed primary candidates automatically advance to the general election. Consequently, only 13 state-level offices were on the primary ballot even though 55 seats are up for election in 2020. There were 15 state-level primaries held.

Candidates ran in elections for the following offices:

• Governor: Incumbent Gov. John C. Carney Jr. defeated challenger David Lamar Williams Jr. in the Democratic primary. Julianne Murray advanced from the Republican primary, defeating five other candidates. They face Kathy DeMatteis (Independent Party) and John Machurek (Libertarian) in the general election.

• Lieutenant governor: Both the Democratic and Republican primaries were canceled. Incumbent Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long (D) and challenger Donyale Hall (R) automatically advanced to the general election.

• Insurance Commissioner: Incumbent Trinidad Navarro defeated challenger Kayode Abegunde in the Democratic primary. Navarro faces Julia Pillsbury (R), who had no primary opposition and automatically advanced to the general election.

• Delaware State Senate (11 seats): Five primaries were opposed and on the ballot—four Democratic primaries and one Republican primary. Two contested primaries featured incumbents, both Democrats. District 14 incumbent Bruce Ennis defeated two challengers to advance to the general election. District 13 incumbent David McBride lost to challenger Marie Pinkney. The remaining three primaries did not feature incumbents and were in Districts 1, 5, and 14. The District 14 primary was the only Republican state legislative primary on the ballot in Delaware. District 1 is the only open state Senate seat in the 2020 election cycle.

• Delaware House of Representatives (41 seats): Seven primaries were opposed and on the ballot—all Democratic primaries. Five contested primaries featured incumbents, all Democrats. Incumbents in Districts 4 and 10 advanced to the general election. Incumbents in Districts 7 and 27 were defeated. The District 26 race was still too close to call as of September 17, 2020. The remaining two primaries did not feature incumbents and were in Districts 8 and 34. District 8 is the only open state House seat in the 2020 election cycle.

Delaware’s primary was the 49th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next and last primary is on November 3 in Louisiana.



September 8 primary review: Unofficial results from New Hampshire and Rhode Island indicate majority of opposed incumbents defeated primary challengers

New Hampshire and Rhode Island held statewide primaries on September 8, 2020. Candidates ran in elections for the following offices.

New Hampshire:
• Governor: Incumbent Chris Sununu (R) faced two primary challengers and advanced to the general election. He faces Dan Feltes (D) and Darryl Perry (L) in the general election.
• Executive Council (5 seats): Three incumbents—two Democrats and one Republican—filed for re-election. All three incumbents were unopposed and advanced to the general election.
• State Senate (24 seats): Twenty-one incumbents—11 Democrats and 10 Republicans—filed for re-election. Three incumbents faced a primary challenger. Of these, one incumbent, David Starr (R-1), lost his bid for re-election. The remaining 20 incumbents advanced to the general election.

• State House of Representatives (400 seats): Three-hundred and twenty-two incumbents—198 Democrats and 124 Republicans—filed for re-election. Ninety-six incumbents faced a primary challenger. As of September 10, eight incumbents had lost their bids for re-election (four Democrats and four Republicans), 281 incumbents advanced, and 33 incumbents’ races had not been called.

Rhode Island:
• State Senate (38 seats): Thirty-four incumbents—29 Democrats and five Republicans—filed for re-election. Ten incumbents faced a primary challenger. As of September 10, the contested incumbents’ races had not been called. Twenty-four incumbents advanced to the general election.

• State House of Representatives (75 seats): Sixty-nine incumbents—61 Democrats and eight Republicans—filed for re-election. Sixteen incumbents faced a primary challenger. As of September 10, no incumbents had lost their bids for re-election, but 15 incumbents’ races had not been called. Fifty-four incumbents advanced to the general election.

Candidates competed to advance to the general election scheduled for November 3, 2020.

New Hampshire has a divided government, meaning no political party holds a state government trifecta. Rhode Island has a Democratic state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

New Hampshire and Rhode Island were the 47th and 48th primaries to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next primary is on September 15 in Delaware.

Additional reading


New Hampshire, Rhode Island holding primaries September 8

New Hampshire and Rhode Island are holding statewide primaries on September 8, 2020. Candidates are running in elections for the following offices in each state:

New Hampshire
• U.S. Senate (1 seat)
• U.S. House (2 seats)
• Governor
• Executive Council (5 seats)
• State Senate (24 seats)

• State House of Representatives (400 seats)

Rhode Island
• U.S. Senate (1 seat)
• U.S. House (2 seats)
• State Senate (38 seats)

• State House of Representatives (75 seats)

Candidates in the primary are competing to advance to the general election scheduled for November 3, 2020.

Entering the 2020 election, the U.S. Senate has 45 Democrats, 53 Republicans, and two independents who caucus with the Democratic Party. Only 35 out of 100 Senate seats are up for election. A majority in the chamber requires 51 seats. The U.S. House has 232 Democrats, 198 Republicans, one Libertarian, and four vacancies. All 435 seats are up for election. A majority in the chamber requires 218 seats.

New Hampshire has a divided government, meaning no political party holds a state government trifecta. Rhode Island has a Democratic state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

New Hampshire and Rhode Island are the 47th and 48th primaries to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next primary is on September 15 in Delaware.

Additional reading:


Oklahoma holds primary runoff: Eight state legislative seats on the ballot, three incumbents defeated

The statewide primary runoff for Oklahoma was held on August 27, 2020. Candidates competed to advance to the general election scheduled for November 3. A primary was held on June 30. In races where no candidate received a majority of the vote (50% plus one vote), the top two vote-getters advanced to the primary runoff.

Eight seats in the state legislature were on the primary runoff ballot; five in the Oklahoma State Senate and three in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. All eight races were Republican primary runoffs.

A total of 24 out of 48 seats in the Oklahoma State Senate are up for election in 2020. Fourteen contested partisan races were on the primary ballot. Districts 5, 7, 17, 35, and 43 advanced to the primary runoff, roughly 36% of contested state Senate primary races. Three of the five state Senate primary runoffs featured incumbents, all of whom were defeated. The remaining two primary runoffs were for open seats.

All 101 seats in the Oklahoma House of Representatives are up for election in 2020. Thirty-nine contested partisan races were on the primary ballot. Districts 71, 79, and 96 advanced to the primary runoff, roughly 8% of contested state House primary races. No state House primary runoffs featured incumbents in either the primary or the primary runoff.

Oklahoma has a Republican state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

Additional reading:


Four states have yet to hold primaries for November election

Four states have yet to hold primaries to decide the candidates that will appear on the general election ballot on November 3, 2020:
• Massachusetts (September 1)
• New Hampshire (September 8)
• Rhode Island (September 8)

• Delaware (September 15)

Louisiana also has not held a primary, but the state does not conduct true primary elections. Instead, all candidates will appear on the same ballot on November 3, regardless of their partisan affiliations. If a candidate wins a simple majority of all votes cast for the office (i.e., 50% plus one vote), he or she will win the election outright. If no candidate meets that threshold, the top two finishers, regardless of their partisan affiliations, will advance to a second election on December 5. In that election, the candidate who receives the greatest number of votes will win.

With the exception of Massachusetts, these five states had the latest statewide filing deadlines of 2020 with dates in June and July. Massachusetts requires candidates to file at the local and state level; this election cycle, these dates landed in May and June.

Additional reading:


August 11 election recap: congressional primaries held in four states, primary runoffs in one

Congressional primaries for one U.S. Senate seat and 22 U.S. House seats were held in Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin on August 11, 2020. Georgia also held four primary runoff races.

Five U.S. House seats were on the ballot in Connecticut. All five incumbents, all Democrats, filed for re-election and faced no primary opposition. Connecticut cancels uncontested primaries and candidates for those seats advance automatically. Only two congressional primaries appeared on the ballot—Republican primaries in Connecticut’s 1st and 2nd districts. As of August 13, the New York Times had not called either contested race.

One U.S. Senate seat and eight U.S. House seats were on the ballot in Minnesota. All nine incumbents filed for re-election: six Democrats and three Republicans. Two incumbents, Jim Hagedorn (R-1) and Angie Craig (D-2), were unopposed and advanced automatically. All seven remaining incumbents faced challengers in the primary. No incumbents lost their bids for re-election.

Vermont’s at-large U.S. House seat was the only congressional seat on the ballot. Incumbent Peter Welch (D) defeated one challenger to advance to the general election. Welch faces Republican primary winner Miriam Berry and the winner of the Vermont Progressive Party primary. As of August 13, that race had not been called.

Eight U.S. House seats were on the ballot in Wisconsin. Seven incumbents are seeking another term: three Democrats and four Republicans. District 5 incumbent Jim Sensenbrenner (R) did not file for re-election. District 3 incumbent Ron Kind (D) was the only incumbent to face a primary challenger. All seven incumbents advanced to the general election.

Georgia’s 1st, 9th, and 14th congressional districts held primary runoffs after no candidates in the June 9 primaries received a majority of the vote. Districts 1 and 9 held Democratic primary runoffs, and Districts 9 and 14 held Republican primary runoffs. No incumbents competed in the races.

Entering the 2020 election, the U.S. Senate has 45 Democrats, 53 Republicans, and two independents who caucus with the Democratic Party. Only 33 out of 100 Senate seats are up for regular election and two seats are up for special election. A majority in the chamber requires 51 seats. The U.S. House has 232 Democrats, 198 Republicans, one Libertarian, and four vacancies. All 435 seats are up for election. A majority in the chamber requires 218 seats.

Additional reading:


Tennessee election review

The statewide primary for Tennessee was held on August 6, 2020. Candidates competed to advance to the general election scheduled for November 3, 2020.

Candidates ran in elections for the following offices:

U.S. Senate:

Incumbent Lamar Alexander (R) did not file for re-election, leaving the seat open. Five Democrats and 15 Republican candidates competed in partisan primaries. Unofficial results show Marquita Bradshaw (D) and Bill Hagerty (R) advanced from their respective primaries.

U.S. House:
All of Tennessee’s nine U.S. House seats are up for election this year. U.S. House District 1 incumbent Phil Roe (R) was the only representative that did not file for re-election. Three incumbents—two Democrats and one Republican—faced primary challengers. The remaining five incumbents, all Republican, did not face primary challengers. No incumbents lost their bids for re-election, according to unofficial results.
• District 1: Three Democrats and 16 Republicans competed in partisan primaries. Blair Walsingham (D) and Diana Harshbarger (R) advanced from their respective primaries.
• District 2: Incumbent Tim Burchett (R) was unopposed in the Republican primary. Renee Hoyos (D) advanced from the Democratic primary.
• District 3: Incumbent Charles J. Fleischmann (R) was unopposed in the Republican primary. Candidate Meg Gorman (D) was also unopposed in the Democratic primary.
• District 4: Incumbent Scott DesJarlais (R) defeated two challengers in the Republican primary. Christopher Hale (D) advanced from the Democratic primary.
• District 5: Incumbent Jim Cooper (D) defeated two challengers in the Democratic primary. No Republican candidates were on the ballot.
• District 6: Incumbent John Rose (R) was unopposed in the Republican primary. Candidate Christopher Finley (D) was also unopposed in the Democratic primary.
• District 7: Incumbent Mark Green (R) was unopposed in the Republican primary. Candidate Kiran Sreepada (D) was also unopposed in the Democratic primary.
• District 8:  Incumbent David Kustoff (R) was unopposed in the Republican primary. Erika Stotts Pearson (D) advanced from the Democratic primary.

• District 9: Incumbent Steve Cohen (D) defeated two challengers in the Democratic primary. Charlotte Bergmann (R) was unopposed in the Republican primary.

State Senate:
The chamber has five Democrats and 28 Republicans. Sixteen of 33 seats are up for election. A majority in the chamber requires 17 seats.

• Fifteen incumbents filed for re-election. No incumbents lost their bids for re-election, according to unofficial results.

State House:
The chamber has 26 Democrats and 73 Republicans. All 99 seats are up for election. A majority in the chamber requires 50 seats.
• Ninety-three incumbents filed for re-election. Three incumbents—James Van Huss (R-6), Matthew Hill (R-7), and Thomas R. Tillis (R-92)—were defeated in the primary, according to unofficial results.

• The District 15 race remains too close to call.

One seat on the Tennessee Court of Appeals was up for retention election. According to unofficial results, Western Section incumbent Carma Dennis McGee won her retention election. McGee will serve the remainder of an eight-year term, which is set to expire in 2024.

Ballotpedia also covered general local elections in the following areas:
• Shelby County
• Nashville
• Clarksville-Montgomery County School System
• Hamilton County School District
• Knox County School District
• Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
• Rutherford County Schools
• Shelby County Schools

• Williamson County Schools

Entering the 2020 election, Tennessee’s U.S. congressional delegation has two Republican senators, two Democratic representatives, and seven Republican representatives. The U.S. Senate has 45 Democrats, 53 Republicans, and two independents who caucus with the Democratic Party. Only 33 out of 100 Senate seats are up for regular election and two seats are up for special election. A majority in the chamber requires 51 seats. The U.S. House has 232 Democrats, 198 Republicans, one Libertarian, and four vacancies. All 435 seats are up for election. A majority in the chamber requires 218 seats.

Tennessee has a Republican state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

The primary is the 37th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next primary is on August 8 in Hawaii.

Additional reading:


Five states to hold statewide primaries

Five states are holding statewide primaries on August 4, 2020: Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington. Candidates are competing to advance to the general election scheduled for November 3.

Candidates in Arizona are running in elections for the following state offices:
• Corporation Commission (3 seats)
• Arizona State Senate (30 seats)

• Arizona House of Representatives (60 seats)

Candidates in Kansas are running in elections for the following state offices:
• State Board of Education (5 seats)
• Kansas State Senate (40 seats)

• Kansas House of Representatives (125 seats)

Candidates in Michigan are running in elections for the following state offices:
• State Board of Education (2 seats)
• University of Michigan Board of Regents (2 seats)
• Michigan State University Board of Trustees (2 seats)
• Wayne State University Board of Governors (2 seats)

• Michigan House of Representatives (110 seats)

Candidates in Missouri are running in elections for the following state offices:
• Governor
• Lieutenant Governor
• Attorney General
• Secretary of State
• Treasurer
• Missouri State Senate (17 seats)

• Missouri House of Representatives (163 seats)

Candidates in Washington are running in elections for the following state offices:
• Governor
• Lieutenant Governor
• Attorney General
• Secretary of State
• Superintendent of Public Instruction
• Commissioner of Public Lands
• Treasurer
• Auditor
• Commissioner of Insurance
• Washington State Senate (25 seats)

• Washington House of Representatives (98 seats)

Washington holds top-two primaries, in which all candidates are listed on the same primary ballot. The top two vote-getters, regardless of their partisan affiliations, advance to the general election.

Alabama is also holding a special state legislative primary on August 4. If no candidate receives a majority of votes, the top two vote recipients will advance to a primary runoff scheduled for September 1. The special general election is scheduled for November 17.

The primaries are the 32nd to 36th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. August 4 is the 13th uniform statewide election date. The next primary is on August 6 in Tennessee.

Additional reading:


Georgia Democrats select Williams as nominee to replace late Rep. Lewis in the 5th District

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) passed away on Friday, July 17, 2020, after winning the June 9 primary in his bid for re-election to Georgia’s 5th Congressional District. The Georgia Democratic Party selected party chairwoman and state Sen. Nikema Williams (D) to replace him on the general election ballot. She faces Angela Stanton King (R) in the November 3 election. The winner of the general election will be up for re-election in 2022.

Because Lewis died between the primary and general election, Georgia law gave the Democratic Party one business day to decide whether to replace him on the general election ballot. The state party accepted applications to replace Lewis on the ballot Saturday and Sunday and chose Lewis’ replacement on Monday, July 20.

A nominating committee chose five finalists from the 131 applications they received. The finalists were Williams, state Rep. Park Cannon, Atlanta City Council member Andre Dickens, Robert Franklin, and James Woodall. Williams received 37 of the 41 votes cast.

A special election is also anticipated to choose Lewis’ replacement for the remainder of his term. Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has 10 days following a vacancy to call the special election. As of July 23, the race had not been scheduled. The winner of that election would serve until January 2021.

Williams was seeking re-election to Georgia State Senate District 39. She was unopposed in the general election. Because Williams dropped out of the race, a special primary may be called to select her replacement.

Additional reading:
https://ballotpedia.org/John_Lewis_(Georgia)
https://ballotpedia.org/Nikema_Williams



Candidate filing period for state executive candidates to end in Louisiana

The filing deadline to run for elected office in Louisiana is on July 24, 2020. In Louisiana, prospective candidates may file for two seats on the Public Service Commission.

Ballotpedia is also covering local elections in the following areas:
• Baton Rouge (Mayor, city council, and other municipal seats)

• New Orleans (District attorney and judicial seats)

Louisiana does not conduct true primary elections. Instead, all candidates running for a local, state, or federal office appear on the same ballot regardless of their partisan affiliations. If a candidate wins a simple majority of all votes cast for the office (i.e., 50 percent, plus one vote), he or she wins the election outright. If no candidate meets that threshold, the top two finishers, regardless of their partisan affiliations, advance to a second election. In that election, the candidate who receives the greatest number of votes wins. The primary is scheduled for November 3, and the general election, if needed, is scheduled for December 5, 2020.

Louisiana’s statewide filing deadline is the last to take place in the 2020 election cycle.

Louisiana has a divided government, and no political party holds a state government trifecta. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

Additional reading:


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