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Marielle Bricker

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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Tennessee election review

Image of a red sign with the words "Polling Place" a pointing arrow.

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:


New Jersey holds primary July 7, election results pending

The statewide primary for New Jersey was held on July 7, 2020. Candidates competed to advance to the general election scheduled for November 3. The primary was originally scheduled for June 2, but was postponed due to concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Mail-in voting was also expanded due to Covid-19. All registered, active Democratic and Republican voters were automatically set to receive mail-in ballots and any unaffiliated or inactive voters were automatically set to receive mail-in ballot applications. If ballots are postmarked by July 7 and received by July 14, boards of elections will count them, meaning election results may not be known for at least a week following the primary.

Candidates ran in primaries for one U.S. Senate seat and 12 U.S. House seats.

  • U.S. Senate: Incumbent Cory Booker advanced from the Democratic primary after facing Lawrence Hamm. As of July 8, the Republican primary had not been called.
  • U.S. House District 1: Incumbent Donald Norcross (D) and Claire Gustafson (R) faced no opposition in their primaries and advanced automatically.
  • U.S. House District 2: Unofficial results indicate incumbent Jeff Van Drew defeated Bob Patterson in the Republican primary. In the Democratic primary, Amy Kennedy defeated four other candidates, according to unofficial results.
  • U.S. House District 3: Incumbent Andrew Kim was unopposed in the Democratic primary and advanced automatically. In the Republican primary, David Richter defeated Kate Gibbs, according to unofficial results.
  • U.S. House District 4: Unofficial results indicate incumbent Chris Smith defeated Alter Eliezer Richter in the Republican primary. As of July 8, the Democratic primary had not been called.
  • U.S. House District 5: As of July 8, neither the Democratic nor Republican primary had been called.
  • U.S. House District 6: Unofficial results indicate incumbent Frank Pallone defeated two challengers in the Democratic primary. No Republican candidates appeared on the ballot.
  • U.S. House District 7: Incumbent Tom Malinowski was unopposed in the Democratic primary and advanced automatically. In the Republican primary, Thomas Kean Jr. defeated two other candidates, according to unofficial results.
  • U.S. House District 8: Unofficial results indicate incumbent Albio Sires defeated two challengers in the Democratic primary. Jason Mushnick was unopposed in the Republican primary and advanced automatically.
  • U.S. House District 9: As of July 8, neither the Democratic nor Republican primary had been called.
  • U.S. House District 10: Unofficial results indicate incumbent Donald Payne Jr. defeated two challengers in the Democratic primary. Jennifer Zinone was unopposed in the Republican primary and advanced automatically.
  • U.S. House District 11: Incumbent Mikie Sherrill (D) and Rosemary Becchi (R) faced no opposition in their primaries and advanced automatically.
  • U.S. House District 12: Unofficial results indicate incumbent Bonnie Watson Coleman defeated Lisa McCormick in the Democratic primary. Mark Razzoli was unopposed in the Republican primary and advanced automatically.
Ballotpedia also covered local elections in the following areas:
  • Essex County (10 seats)
  • Hudson County (9 seats)

Entering the 2020 election, New Jersey has two Democratic U.S. Senators and 10 Democratic and two Republican U.S. Representatives. The U.S. Senate has 45 Democrats, 53 Republicans, and two independents who caucus with the Democratic Party. Thirty-three 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 233 Democrats, 197 Republicans, one Libertarian, and four vacancies. All 435 seats are up for election. A majority in the chamber requires 218 seats.

New Jersey’s primary was the 30th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next primary is on July 14 in Maine.

Additional reading:


Colorado, Oklahoma, and Utah to hold congressional primaries June 30

The statewide primaries for Colorado, Oklahoma, and Utah are on June 30, 2020. The filing deadline to run passed in March for Colorado and Utah and in April for Oklahoma.

One U.S. Senate seat and seven U.S. House seats are up for election in Colorado. A Democratic and Republican primary is being held for each seat. All eight incumbents are running for re-election, leaving no open seats. Seven incumbents are unopposed in their primaries; Rep. Scott Tipton (R-3) faces one challenger, Lauren Boebert. Entering the 2020 election, Colorado has one Democratic U.S. senator, one Republican U.S. senator, and four Democratic and three Republican U.S. representatives.

One U.S. Senate and five U.S. House seats are up for election in Oklahoma. In Oklahoma, unopposed candidates automatically advance to the general election. The 3rd Congressional District has no primaries on the ballot, the 2nd Congressional District does not have a Democratic primary on the ballot, and the 1st Congressional District does not have a Republican primary on the ballot. All six incumbents are running for re-election, leaving no open seats. U.S. Representatives Kevin Hern (R-1) and Frank Lucas (R-3) faced no primary opposition and advanced automatically to the general election. Entering the 2020 election, Oklahoma has two Republican U.S. senators and one Democratic and four Republican U.S. representatives.

Four U.S. House seats are up for election in Utah. In Utah, the Democratic and Republican parties hold conventions to choose their Congressional candidates. If no convention candidates receive 60% of the vote or if additional candidates petition to get on the ballot, a primary is held. The 1st Congressional district is holding both Democratic and Republican primaries, and the 4th Congressional district is holding a Republican primary. The remaining districts’ major party candidates were decided at the convention. Three of the four incumbents are running for re-election. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-1) did not file for re-election as he is running for Lieutenant Governor of Utah. Entering the 2020 election, Utah has two Republican U.S. senators and one Democratic and three Republican U.S. representatives.

Candidates are competing to advance to the general election scheduled for November 3, 2020. If no candidates receive a majority of the vote in the Oklahoma primary, the two highest vote-getters will advance to a primary runoff on August 25, 2020. Colorado and Utah do not hold primary runoffs.

These states’ primaries are the 27th, 28th, and 29th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next primary is on July 7 in New Jersey.

Entering the 2020 election, the U.S. Senate has 45 Democrats, 53 Republicans, and two independents who caucus with the Democratic Party. Thirty-three of the 100 U.S. 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 of Representatives has 233 Democrats, 197 Republicans, one Libertarian, and four vacancies. All 435 U.S. House seats are up for election. A majority in the chamber requires 218 seats.

Additional reading:



Primary runoff in North Carolina is June 23

The statewide primary runoff for North Carolina is on June 23, 2020. The primary was held March 3, 2020, and candidates needed more than 30% of the vote to advance to the general election. The primary runoff was originally scheduled for May 12, 2020, but was postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic. The filing deadline to run passed on December 20, 2019.

Candidates are running in a Republican primary runoff for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District. Lynda Bennett (R) and Madison Cawthorn (R) are competing to advance to the general election scheduled for November 3, 2020. Bennett received 22.7% of the Republican primary vote, and Cawthorn received 20.4%. No other North Carolina congressional seat advanced to a primary runoff.

South Carolina also scheduled its primary runoff election for June 23, but no congressional races advanced to a primary runoff.

Entering the 2020 election, North Carolina’s U.S. House delegation consists of three Democrats, nine Republicans, and one vacancy. The U.S. House has 233 Democrats, 197 Republicans, one Libertarian, and four vacancies. All 435 seats are up for election. A majority in the chamber requires 218 seats.

Additional reading: