Category2022 elections

Rep. Mary Miller defeats Rep. Rodney Davis in IL-15

U.S. Rep. Mary Miller defeated Rep. Rodney Davis in the Republican primary for Illinois’ 15th Congressional District on June 28, 2022. With 91% of precincts reporting, Miller had received 57.2% of the vote to Davis’ 42.8%.

This race was one of six U.S. House incumbent-vs.-incumbent primaries occurring in 2022 as a result of congressional redistricting.

The Herald & Review‘s Brenden Moore wrote that the race was “among the most contentious incumbent-versus-incumbent primaries in the country” and said the candidates “traded barbs over who [was] the true conservative candidate in the race.” As of election day, the primary had the second most satellite spending of all 2022 U.S. House races.

Miller said she was the “only Republican member of Congress from Illinois who’s fighting every aspect of the Biden agenda and putting America first,” saying on her campaign website that she had opposed “the disgraceful January 6th ‘witch hunt’ Commission, President Biden’s ‘red-flag’ gun confiscation measures, COVID vaccine mandates and databases, and taxpayer-funded chemical abortion.” She criticized Davis for a bill he cosponsored in 2019 that would have provided grants for states to enact extreme risk protection order laws, or red flag laws. Miller said, “I am the only candidate with an A rating from the NRA and Gun Owners of America because I support our Second Amendment! Everyone is tired of Red Flag Rodney Davis, who stabbed conservatives in the back by supporting federal gun confiscation.”

Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Miller in January 2022. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Club for Growth, the Conservative Political Action Coalition, and the House Freedom Fund also endorsed Miller.

Davis said, “I stick with my core values and principles. I have always been pro-life and will continue to stick by those values and principles. I’ve always stood up for the Second Amendment. I will continue to do that. But what separates me from my opponent is I have a record of actually governing. When people put Republicans in charge, at any level of government, they actually expect them to do the job.” Davis criticized Miller for voting against the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, saying, “All Mary Miller has to show for her time in Congress is quoting Hitler and voting with Democrats like [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] and the far left squad to defund our military and block a pay raise for our troops. That’s shameful. It’s clear that Mary Miller is all talk, no action.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Farm Bureau, and Illinois Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge endorsed Davis, along with U.S. Reps. Mike Bost (R-Ill.) and Darin LaHood (R-Ill.).

Davis has represented Illinois’ 13th Congressional District since 2013, and Miller has represented the 15th Congressional District since 2021. According to data from Daily Kos, 28% of the new 15th District’s population came from the old 13th District (represented by Davis), and 31% came from the old 15th District (represented by Miller). Illinois lost one congressional district following the 2020 census.

Major independent observers rate the general election as solid or safe Republican.



Drummond defeats incumbent O’Connor in Republican primary for attorney general of Oklahoma

Gentner Drummond defeated incumbent John O’Connor in the Republican primary for attorney general of Oklahoma on June 28, 2022. Libertarian candidate Lynda Steele is running in the general election, but no Democratic candidates filed to run. According to Ben Felder in The Oklahoman, “Libertarians have never won a statewide race in Oklahoma, giving the Republican primary winner a sizable advantage in November.” Republicans have held the office of Oklahoma attorney general since voters elected Scott Pruitt (R) to the position in 2010.

Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) appointed O’Connor to the office on July 23, 2021, to succeed Mike Hunter (R). Hunter—who was elected in 2018—resigned on June 1, 2021, after The Oklahoman inquired about whether he was having an extramarital affair.

Drummond ran for attorney general in 2018 and advanced from that year’s Republican primary with 38.5% of the vote to Hunter’s 44.5%. In the primary runoff, Hunter defeated Drummond by 273 votes, 50.05% to 49.95%. Drummond served as a pilot and instructor in the U.S. Air Force during the Gulf War. His professional experience included owning The Drummond Law Firm and serving as a principal shareholder and director of Blue Sky Bank. Drummond said on his campaign website that “As attorney general, he will defend our rights, uphold the rule of law, and serve the people of Oklahoma, not the political elite.”

O’Connor’s professional experience included being a founding shareholder in the law firm of Newton, O’Connor, Turner & Ketchum, P.C. and working as an attorney at Hall, Estill, Hardwick, Gable, Golden & Nelson, P.C. President Donald Trump (R) nominated O’Connor for a federal judgeship in 2018 but his nomination was returned by the U.S. Senate before the conclusion of the 115th United States Congress, and he withdrew from consideration for re-nomination in 2019. During the campaign, O’Connor highlighted his efforts as state attorney general against some Biden administration policies, including joining lawsuits against vaccine and mask mandates.

Before the primary, Felder described the race this way: “One attorney general candidate is running on his close working relationship with the governor and his fidelity to the former president, while his challenger has presented himself as an independent who would serve as a check on state government power.”

During the campaign, both candidates criticized the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma but differed on how the state should proceed. In July 2020, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to reverse a decision by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals and ruled that holding that under the Indian Major Crimes Act, lands reserved for the Creek Nation in eastern Oklahoma constituted Indian Country and that the state of Oklahoma could not legally try a Creek citizen for criminal conduct in state court. It confirmed that a large portion of eastern Oklahoma are Indian reservations and not under the state’s law enforcement jurisdiction.

Drummond said he would work with the tribes in that area to develop a solution to jurisdictional issues. At a campaign forum, Drummond said, “The Supreme Court has ruled. That was two years ago. For two years we have not had a solution in the state of Oklahoma. … What must be resolved right now is a collaboration with the Native American tribes. O’Connor said that he has met with leaders from four of the six main tribes in the area and would still continue to pursue legal action on cases related to tribal jurisdictional matters. He also said, “Job number one is to protect the sovereignty of the state of Oklahoma.”

Before the primary, a June 2022 poll of 400 likely Republican primary voters by Amber Integrated found Drummond leading O’Connor, 41% to 28%, with 30% undecided. The margin of error was +/- 4.9 percentage points. An earlier poll of 455 likely Republican primary voters also conducted by Amber Integrated in March showed Drummond with 37% support, O’Connor with 16%, and 47% undecided, with a margin of error of 4.6 percentage points.

Additional reading:



Bonta and Hochman advance from top-two primary for California attorney general

Incumbent Rob Bonta (D) and Nathan Hochman (R) advanced from the top-two primary for California attorney general on June 7, 2022. Bonta received 55% of the vote and Hochman received 18%.

In the weeks leading up to the election, Bonta, Eric Early (R), Hochman, and Anne Marie Schubert (I) led in media attention and fundraising. Daniel Kapelovitz (G) also ran in the primary. The Los Angeles Times‘ George Skelton said, “Whether [Bonta is] contested competitively in November may well hinge on whom voters select as his challenger.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) appointed Bonta on March 24, 2021. Bonta was a Democratic member of the California General Assembly, representing District 18 from 2012 until his appointment. According to Bonta’s campaign website, “As California’s Attorney General and California’s chief law officer, Bonta is the ‘attorney for the people’ and holds those who break the law – especially those in positions of power – accountable and wins justice for California families.”

Hochman served as assistant U.S. attorney for the Central District of California and assistant attorney general of the United States Department of Justice. Hochman also worked as a defense attorney, civil litigator, and appellate counsel. Hochman said his “360-degree perspective allows me to be in the best position to evaluate those who constitute true public safety threats and must be incarcerated from those who don’t pose such threats and can serve their debt to society through, for example, community service.”

California’s crime rate was an issue in the race, with other candidates criticizing Bonta’s record as attorney general. Hochman said there was “a spiral of lawlessness going on in our society” and Bonta was “not enforcing the laws that are on the books.” Responding to this criticism, Bonta said, “Public safety is, and has been, job No. 1, 2 and 3. I’m fully aware that in politics people like to take political shots that are not based on the facts.”

Politico’s Jeremy B. White said Bonta “embodies a broader tilt away from stringent criminal penalties, and his opponents have accused him of shifting too far in that direction,” but added that Bonta will “go into the general election contest with a likely financial advantage, a large Democratic voter registration edge and the unified support of California’s Democratic political establishment.”

Democrats have occupied the office of attorney general in California since 1999. Xavier Becerra (D) occupied the office before Bonta, serving from 2019 to 2021 when he was confirmed as U.S. secretary of health and human services.



Three candidates advance from Alaska’s special top-four U.S. House primary

A top-four special primary was held for Alaska’s At-Large Congressional District on June 11, 2022. Three candidates—Sarah Palin (R), Nicholas Begich III (R), and Mary Peltola (D)—advanced to the August 16 special general election.

Al Gross (I), the third-place finisher in the special primary, ended his campaign on June 20. The Alaska Supreme Court ruled that fifth-place finisher Tara Sweeney (R) could not advance to the special general election amid Gross’ withdrawal.

Forty-eight candidates ran in the June 11 primary—the first top-four congressional primary in U.S. history. All candidates appeared on the same ballot with their affiliations listed next to their names. The general election will use ranked-choice voting.

Former incumbent Rep. Don Young (R) died in March. Young was first elected as Alaska’s U.S. representative in 1973, when he defeated Emil Notti (D) in a special election. Notti ran in the 2022 special primary election. Young also ran for the House in 1972, when Nick Begich Sr. (D) defeated him. Begich Sr. is Begich III’s grandfather.

The winner of the August 16 special general election will serve until the end of the term Young was last elected to—January 3, 2023. The special election is one of two elections, alongside the regularly scheduled election, for Alaska’s at-large House district in 2022. Twenty-four candidates filed to run in both the regular and special elections. The regular top-four primary election will take place August 16.



Ten Missourian candidates completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection Survey

Below are a selection of responses from the candidates who recently filled out Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. To read each candidate’s full responses, click their name at the bottom of the article.

Justin Hicks is running for Missouri House of Representatives to represent District 108 and the Republican primary is on Aug. 2. Here’s how Hicks responded to the question “Who are you? Tell us about yourself.”

“Justin Hicks is a husband, father, combat veteran of six years in the United States Army, Attorney, Missouri Assistant Attorney General, and Director of the Defenders program which provides legal services to military members and veterans. As a Conservative, career public servant, and Christian, Justin believes traditional family values and the United States Constitution’s fundamental principles are the foundational elements to supporting strong communities and a prosperous state.”

Click here to read the rest of Hick’s answers. 

Jessica DeVoto is running for Missouri House of Representatives District 69 and the Democratic primary is on Aug. 2. Here’s how DeVoto responded to the question “What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?”

“My primary concern is the rights and personal liberties of my constituents—including women, ethnic minorities, LGBTQ individuals, individuals with disabilities, low-income families, etc.—not the interests of large corporations. In addition, I believe thats expanding voting access, expanding healthcare, empowering unions, and investing in education are critical to making our great state greater yet.”

Click here to read the rest of DeVoto’s answers.

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 you would like to know more about candidates in Missouri, share the link and urge them to take the survey!

Additional reading:

  • Justin Hicks (R) – Missouri House of Representatives District 108
  • Jessica DeVoto (D) – Missouri House of Representatives District 69
  • Mike Tsichlis (R) – Missouri House of Representatives District 96
  • Philip Oehlerking (R) – Missouri House of Representatives to represent District 100
  • Alex Bryant (R) – U.S. House, Missouri 7th Congressional District
  • Thomas Ross (R) – Missouri House of Representatives District 161
  • Mark Matthiesen (R) – Missouri House of Representatives District 107
  • David Kelsay (R) – Missouri House of Representatives District 126
  • Deanna Self (R) – Missouri House of Representatives District 64
  • Michael Sinclair (D) – Missouri State Senate District 2


Palazzo and Ezell headed for runoff in Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District primary

Incumbent Steven Palazzo and Mike Ezell are running in the June 28 Republican primary runoff for Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District. In the June 7 primary, Palazzo received 31.6% of the vote, while Ezell received 25.1%. Both candidates advanced to a runoff because no candidate received more than 50% of the vote.

Palazzo was first elected to the U.S. House in 2010. From 2006 to 2011, he served in the Mississippi House of Representatives. Palazzo said voters should choose him because of his experience in Congress, relationships at the state, local, and federal levels, and seat on the House Committee on Appropriations. Palazzo said, “If we lose this Appropriations seat, we will not get it back.” Palazzo also said, “I’m the one with the proven track record. I’ve been working hard for south Mississippi for over 12 years. Look, $26 billion for 26 ships since 2011, fighting for our men and women in uniform, helping to secure funds for the wall on our southern border. I think I’ve been an effective legislator for south Mississippi.” Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise (R) and National Right to Life endorsed Palazzo’s re-election.

Ezell is the Jackson County Sheriff, a position to which he was first elected in 2014. Ezell has campaigned on protecting the 2nd Amendment, securing the border, and growing the economy. Ezell has said voters should choose him because of his law enforcement experience: “From the chaos and crisis on our southern border to the crime and drugs that are hurting so many communities across our country, it’s going to take someone in Congress with real law enforcement experience to tackle these issues that affect all of us.” The candidates who lost in the June 7 primary—Clay Wagner, Brice Wiggins, Carl Boyanton, Raymond Brooks, and Kidron Peterson—endorsed Ezell.

Allegations that Palazzo previously misused campaign funds have been an issue in the primary, with Ezell saying, “Steven Palazzo has been under the cloud of an ethics investigation.” In 2020, the Office of Congressional Ethics released a report that said the allegations should be further investigated because “there is substantial reason to believe that Rep. Palazzo converted funds to personal use to pay expenses that were not legitimate and verifiable campaign expenditures attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes.” Palazzo has denied the allegations. Palazzo’s campaign spokesman said, “All of this from the beginning was political, created by Congressman Palazzo’s political opponents…We’ve long been ready to get this behind us and we fully believe it will be resolved in Congressman Palazzo’s favor.” The House Ethics Committee‘s review of the allegations is ongoing.

Independent race ratings outlets consider the general election Solid Republican.



Contested state legislative primaries in Wisconsin increase compared to 2020

There are 38 contested state legislative primaries in Wisconsin this year, 16% of the total number of possible primaries, and a 15% increase compared to the 2020 election cycle.

A primary is contested when more candidates file to run than there are nominations available, meaning at least one candidate must lose.

Republican candidates drove the increase this cycle. Of the 38 contested primaries this year, there are nine for Democrats and 29 for Republicans. For Democrats, this is down from 18 in 2020, a 50% decrease. For Republicans, the number increased 93% from 15 in 2020 to 29 in 2022.

Of those 38 contested primaries, nine feature an incumbent, representing 11% of incumbents who filed for re-election. This is the highest rate of incumbents in contested primaries since 2014 when 12% of incumbents faced primary challenges.

All nine incumbents in contested primaries this year are Republicans. No Democratic incumbents who filed for re-election face a contested primary.

Overall, 258 major party candidates—110 Democrats and 148 Republicans—filed to run. All 99 Assembly districts are holding elections this year as are 17 of the 33 Senate districts.

Thirty of those districts are open, meaning no incumbents filed. This guarantees that at least 23% of the legislature will be represented by newcomers next year.

Wisconsin has had a divided government since voters elected Gov. Tony Evers (D) in 2018. Republicans currently hold a 59-38 majority in the Assembly with two vacancies and a 21-12 majority in the Senate.

Wisconsin’s state legislative primaries are scheduled for August 9, the 12th statewide primary date of the 2022 state legislative election cycle.

Additional reading:



Primary watch: number of contested state legislative primaries is up 30% compared to 2020

There are 30% more contested state legislative primaries this year than in 2020, including 62% more Republican primaries and 18% more top-two/four primaries. Democratic primaries are down 9%.

These figures include elections in 29 states that account for 3,661 of 6,166 state legislative seats up for election this year (59%).

A primary is contested when there are more candidates running than available nominations, meaning at least one candidate must lose.

Since our last update on June 21, we have added post-filing deadline data from New York and Wisconsin. Overall, eight states in this analysis have Democratic trifectas, 17 have Republican trifectas, and four have divided governments.

Of the 29 states in this analysis, 27 are holding partisan primaries. Two states—California and Nebraska—use top-two primaries.

The number of Democratic primaries has increased in 10 states, decreased in 14, and remains the same in two. The number of Republican primaries has increased in 25 states and decreased in two. The table below shows partisan statistics for the three states with the largest increases and decreases so far.

In addition to a state’s political makeup and party activity, redistricting is another reason for an increase in primary competitiveness.

After redistricting, some states—like Arkansas—hold elections for every district, while in other years, fewer districts are up each cycle. This creates more opportunities for primaries to occur. Or, like in West Virginia, redistricting creates new districts and, by extension, more primary opportunities. Currently, the total number of possible primaries affected by these changes is up 1.5% compared to 2020.

For states like New Mexico and South Carolina, where only one chamber is up for election every two years, only those chambers holding elections in 2022 that also held elections in 2020 are included.

Ballotpedia will continue to update these figures as information becomes available. In addition to this analysis, Ballotpedia collects competitiveness statistics at all levels of government, available here. This data is calculated following candidate filing deadlines and readjusted at the time of the primary to account for any changes to candidate lists.



Incumbent O’Connor faces challenger Drummond in Republican primary for Oklahoma attorney general

Incumbent John O’Connor and Gentner Drummond are running in the Republican primary for attorney general of Oklahoma on June 28. Libertarian candidate Lynda Steele is running in the general election, but no Democratic candidate filed to run, meaning that the winner of the Republican primary will be heavily favored in November. Republicans have held the office of Oklahoma attorney general continuously since voters elected Scott Pruitt (R) to the position in 2010.

Ben Felder wrote in The Oklahoman that “One attorney general candidate is running on his close working relationship with the governor and his fidelity to the former president, while his challenger has presented himself as an independent who would serve as a check on state government power.”

Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) appointed O’Connor to the office on July 23, 2021, to succeed Mike Hunter (R). Hunter—who was elected in 2018—resigned on June 1, 2021, after The Oklahoman inquired about whether he was having an extramarital affair.

O’Connor’s professional experience includes being a founding shareholder in the law firm of Newton, O’Connor, Turner & Ketchum, P.C. and working as an attorney at Hall, Estill, Hardwick, Gable, Golden & Nelson, P.C. President Donald Trump (R) nominated O’Connor for a federal judgeship in 2018 but his nomination was returned by the U.S. Senate before the conclusion of the 115th United States Congress, and he withdrew from consideration for re-nomination in 2019. During the campaign, O’Connor highlighted his efforts as state attorney general against some Biden administration policies, including joining lawsuits against vaccine and mask mandates.

Drummond ran for attorney general in 2018 and advanced from that year’s Republican primary with 38.5% of the vote to Hunter’s 44.5%. In the primary runoff, Hunter defeated Drummond by 273 votes, 50.05% to 49.95%. Drummond served as a pilot and instructor in the U.S. Air Force during the Gulf War. His professional experience includes owning The Drummond Law Firm and serving as a principal shareholder and director of Blue Sky Bank. Drummond said on his campaign website that “As attorney general, he will defend our rights, uphold the rule of law, and serve the people of Oklahoma, not the political elite.”

Both candidates criticized the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma but differed on how the state should proceed. In July 2020, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to reverse a decision by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals and ruled that under the Indian Major Crimes Act, lands reserved for the Creek Nation in eastern Oklahoma constituted Indian Country and that the state of Oklahoma could not legally try a Creek citizen for criminal conduct in state court. It confirmed that a large portion of eastern Oklahoma are Indian reservations and not under the state’s law enforcement jurisdiction.

Drummond said he would work with the tribes in that area to develop a solution to jurisdictional issues. At a campaign forum, Drummond said, “The Supreme Court has ruled. That was two years ago. For two years we have not had a solution in the state of Oklahoma. … What must be resolved right now is a collaboration with the Native American tribes. O’Connor said that he has met with leaders from four of the six main tribes in the area and would still continue to pursue legal action on cases related to tribal jurisdictional matters. He also said, “Job number one is to protect the sovereignty of the state of Oklahoma.”

A June 2022 poll of 400 likely Republican primary voters by Amber Integrated found Drummond leading O’Connor, 41% to 28%, with 30% undecided. The margin of error was +/- 4.9 percentage points. A poll of 455 likely Republican primary voters also conducted by Amber Integrated in March showed Drummond with 37% support, O’Connor with 16%, and 47% undecided. The margin of error of that poll was +/- 4.6 percentage points.

Additional reading:



Across 10 states, attorneys general have collectively raised $48.4 million this election cycle

In the current election cycle across 10 states, attorneys general have collectively raised $48.4 million. Nearly half of that number has come from Josh Shapiro (D-Pa.), who has raised $20.5 million running for governor rather than for re-election. Two other attorneys general—Rob Bonta of California ($8.7 million) and Ken Paxton of Texas ($5.9 million)— have raised $5 million or more for re-election campaigns.

Figures from Virginia, which held an election for attorney general in 2021, are not included above. Jason Miyares (R) raised $7.4 million and spent $6.9 million during the 2021 campaign cycle. He defeated then-Attorney General Mark Herring (D) 50.4%-49.6%.

Here is how that fundraising compares across the 10 states with data available from Transparency USA for this election cycle:

You can take a deeper dive into these fundraising figures by clicking on the links below:

This year, we plan to publish several hundred articles breaking down campaign finance numbers in the 12 states covered by Transparency USA: Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. To learn more about our partnership with Transparency USA, click here: