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11 bills related to Juneteenth have been enacted so far in 2022

Welcome to the Monday, June 20, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Here’s where states have passed or enacted Juneteenth legislation
  2. A look at Colorado’s June 28 primaries 
  3. Election preview—Virginia’s 7th Congressional District Republican primary

Here’s where states have passed or enacted Juneteenth legislation

Juneteenth became a federal holiday on June 17, 2021, when President Joe Biden (D) signed a bill making it the 11th federal holiday.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws observing Juneteenth. Texas, where Juneteenth originated, was the first state to do so in 1980. Currently, 18 states close state offices for Juneteenth and offer state employees paid time off. 

Beginning in 2019, state legislators began introducing and enacting more legislation related to Juneteenth than at any time in the previous decade. So far in 2022, 44 Juneteenth-related bills have been introduced in legislatures around the country, and states have enacted 11 of them. 

The following table shows legislation related to Juneteenth enacted so far in 2022:

Click below to read more about Juneteenth legislation in the states. 

Keep reading

A look at Colorado’s June 28 primaries 

On June 28, five states will hold Republican and Democratic primaries—Colorado, Illinois, New York (state legislative districts and state executive offices only), Oklahoma, and Utah. Let’s take a look at the races Colorado voters will decide that day. 

Congressional

One U.S. Senate seat is up for election in Colorado this year. Incumbent Michael Bennet (D), who first took office in 2009, is running unopposed in the Democratic primary. Three candidates are running in the Republican primary—Ron Hanks, Joe O’Dea, and Daniel Hendricks. Three independent race forecasters consider the seat Likely Democratic or Solid Democratic.

Eight U.S. House districts are up for election in Colorado. Democrats currently represent four of those districts, while Republicans represent three. Following the 2020 census, Colorado gained an eighth U.S. House district. Independent forecasters consider the new 8th Congressional District Election a Toss-up, meaning neither party has an obvious advantage over the other. Yadira Caraveo is running unopposed in the Democratic primary. Tyler Allcorn, Barbara Kirkmeyer, Jan Kulmann, and Lori Saine are running in the Republican primary. Allcorn, Kirkmeyer, and Kulmann completed our Candidate Connection survey, so click here to read their responses and learn more about the race.

Thirty candidates filed to run for the state’s eight U.S. House districts—the most since 2012. 

State

Colorado’s gubernatorial office is on the ballot this year. Incumbent Jared Polis (D), who was first elected in 2018, is running unopposed in the Democratic primary. Polis will face one of the two candidates running in the Republican primary—Heidi Ganahl or Greg Lopez. Additionally, several other state executive offices are up for election this year, including attorney general and secretary of state.

All 35 of the state Senate seats and all 65 of the state House seats are up for election. Democrats have a 20-15 majority in the state Senate and a 41-24 majority in the state House. Incumbents did not file to run for re-election in 35 districts across both chambers, meaning that newcomers will represent at least 35% of the state’s legislative districts. Colorado is one of 15 states with term limits for state legislators. 


In Colorado, the primary candidate with the most votes wins—even if that candidate receives less than 50% of the total vote. Colorado is one of 40 states without primary election runoffs. The state generally does not cancel uncontested primaries, and write-in candidates are required to file. 

Keep reading 

Election preview—Virginia’s 7th Congressional District Republican primary

Tomorrow, voters in Virginia will go to the polls to decide U.S. House primaries. We delved into Virginia’s somewhat complicated primary election rules last week, so today, let’s look at a battleground race—the Republican primary for the state’s 7th Congressional District. 

Incumbent Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D) is running for re-election. In 2018, Spanberger defeated incumbent Rep. David Brat (R) by a margin of 1.9%. In 2020, she defeated Nick Freitas (R) by a margin of 1.8%.

Six candidates are running in the primary—Derrick Anderson, Bryce Reeves, Crystal Vanuch, Yesli Vega, Gina Ciarcia, and David Ross. Anderson, Reeves, Vanuch, and Vega have raised the most money, and all four have received endorsements from various Republicans. 

  • Anderson served as a Green Beret in the U.S. Army and earned his J.D. from Georgetown University. U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) endorsed Anderson. 
  • Reeves was elected to the Virginia Senate in 2011. U.S. Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) endorsed Reeves.
  • Vanuch serves on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors. U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) endorsed Vanuch.
  • Vega serves on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors and has experience working in law enforcement. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and former U.S. Rep. Brat (R) endorsed Vega. 

The general election is expected to be competitive. Three independent forecasting outlets rated the general election as Toss-up, Lean Democratic, and Tilt Democratic.

Read more about the race below.

Keep reading



ICYMI: Top stories of the week

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We’ve got June 14 election results!

On Tuesday, statewide primaries took place in four states: Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, and South Carolina. Here are some results highlighted in Thursday’s Brew:

  • Adam Laxalt wins GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in Nevada: Former state attorney general Adam Laxalt (R) defeated Sam Brown (R) and six other candidates to win the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Nevada. Laxalt was the Republican nominee for governor in 2018, losing the general election to Steve Sisolak (D) 49% to 45%.
  • Nancy Mace wins re-nomination: Incumbent U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace (R) defeated Katie Arrington (R) 53% to 45% in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. Former President Donald Trump (R) backed Arrington, the 2018 GOP nominee for the seat, after Mace voted to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.
  • Tom Rice loses re-nomination: State Rep. Russell Fry (R) defeated incumbent U.S. Rep. Tom Rice (R) 51% to 25% in South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District. Trump endorsed Fry after Rice voted to impeach Trump in 2021. Rice is the sixth member of the U.S. House to lose re-nomination so far this year.

See full results at the link below.

Read more

A look at 2022’s decade-high rate of congressional retirements

Fifty-five members of Congress are not running for re-election this year, including six of the 34 senators whose seats are up and 49 of the 435 representatives. The 55 retiring members include 32 Democrats and 23 Republicans, accounting for 11.9% of the Democratic caucus and 8.8% of the Republican caucus.


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SCOTUS issued opinions this week

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) issued opinions on June 13 and June 15 this week. Opinions were issued in five cases on June 13 and in six cases on June 15. June is historically the month when SCOTUS releases the majority of its decisions. Find more on these cases at the link below.

Read more

17% more school board candidates per seat in 2022

This year, an average of 2.3 candidates are running for each seat in the 968 school board races in 16 states for which we have complete data—17% more than in 2020.

The five states with the highest candidate-to-seat ratios are Alabama, Alaska, Nebraska, Nevada, and Tennessee. The five states with the lowest candidate-to-seat ratios are California, Georgia, Maryland, New York, and Texas.

Read more in the latest edition of Hall Pass.

Read more



Election Legislation Weekly Digest: June 17, 2022

Here is our weekly round-up on election-related legislation. In it, you’ll find the following information: 

  • Noteworthy bills: Here, we identify and report on the contents and legislative status of noteworthy bills. 
  • Recent activity: Here, we report on the number of bills acted on within the past week. 
  • The big picture: Here, we look at the bills in the aggregate. 
    • Legislative status: How many bills have been introduced, voted upon, or enacted into law?
    • Concentration of activity: What states have seen the highest concentration of legislative activity?
    • Partisan affiliation of sponsorship: How many bills have been sponsored by Democrats vs. Republicans? 
    • Subject: What subjects are most commonly addressed in the bills? 

Noteworthy bills

This part of our report highlights recent activity on specific noteworthy bills. A bill is noteworthy if it meets one or more of the following criteria: 

  • It has been enacted into law. 
  • It is poised to be enacted into law. 
  • It is the subject of significant debate in the legislature. 
  • It is the subject of significant commentary by activists, journalists, etc. 

RI H7732: This bill requires the secretary of state to conduct cybersecurity assessments of election systems, including voter registration systems, voting equipment, mechanisms used to transmit election results, and electronic poll books. This bill also establishes an election systems cybersecurity board to review the assessments conducted by the secretary of state and to commission third-party assessments, with the board required to report on its findings no later than 2 months prior to every statewide primary election. This bill also requires the secretary of state to offer annual training on cybersecurity best practices to local election officials. 

Legislative history and status: On April 7, the state House passed the bill 64-3. On June 9, the state Senate unanimously approved the bill. Gov. Daniel McKee (D) signed H7732 into law on June 15.

Political context: Rhode Island is a Democratic trifecta, meaning that Democrats control the governorship and majorities in both chambers of the state legislature. 

Recent activity

Since June 10, 69 bills have been acted on in some way (a 38.0 percent increase as compared to last week’s total of 50 bills). These 69 bills represent 2.7 percent of the 2,518 bills we are tracking. Of these 69 bills, 30 (43.5 percent) are from states with Democratic trifectas, 9 (13.0 percent) are from states with Republican trifectas, and 30 (43.5 percent) are from states with divided governments. 

The bar chart below compares recent activity on a week-to-week basis over the last eight weeks. 

  • 22 bills were either introduced or saw pre-committee action (e.g., new sponsor added, subcommittee hearing scheduled, etc.). 
    • Democratic trifectas: 3.
    • Republican trifectas: 2.
    • Divided governments: 17.
  • 7 bills advanced from committee (or saw post-committee action). 
    • Democratic trifectas: 4.
    • Divided governments: 3.
  • 28 bills passed one chamber (or saw pre-adoption action in the second chamber). 
    • Democratic trifectas: 22.
    • Republican trifectas: 1.
    • Divided governments: 5.
  • 8 bills passed both chambers (or were acted on in some way after passing both chambers). 
    • Republican trifectas: 6.
      • NH HB514: Relative to ballot column rotation.
      • NH SB364: Relative to the use of electronic poll books.
      • SC S0133: Convention of the States.
      • SC S0202: Inspector General, definitions.
      • SC S0243: Confidential or unfounded child abuse and neglect reports.
      • SC S0560: Heirs Property Study Committee.
    • Divided governments: 2.
      • MI HB4996: Elections: special elections; special election to fill legislative vacancy; requires the governor to announce the dates to fill a vacancy in the legislature within 30 days of the vacancy. Amends secs. 178 & 634 of 1954 PA 116 (MCL 168.178 & 168.634).
      • MI HB5287: Elections: political parties; references to city or township party committees in the Michigan election law; modify to county party committees. Amends secs. 370 & 719 of 1954 PA 116 (MCL 168.370 & 168.719).
  • 2 bills were enacted. 
    • Democratic trifectas: 1.
    • Divided governments: 1.
      • LA HB906: Removes a requirement for certain Lawrason Act municipalities to use the gubernatorial election dates for municipal elections.
  • 2 bills died. 
    • Divided governments: 2.

The map below visualizes the concentration of this recent activity across the nation. A darker shade of yellow indicates a higher number of relevant bills that have been acted upon in the last week. A lighter shade of yellow indicates a lower number of bills that have been acted upon in the last week. 

The big picture

To date, we have tracked 2,518 election-related bills. This represents a 0.5 percent increase as compared to last week’s 2,505 bills. These bills were either introduced this year or crossed over from last year’s legislative sessions. 

Legislative status 

The pie charts below visualize the legislative status of the bills we are tracking. The following status indicators are used: 

  • Introduced: The bill has been pre-filed, introduced, or referred to committee but has not otherwise been acted upon.
  • Advanced from committee: The bill has received a favorable vote in committee. It has either advanced to another committee or to the floor for a vote. 
  • Passed one chamber: The bill has been approved by one legislative chamber.
  • Conference committee: Differing versions of the bill have been approved by their respective chambers and a conference committee has been appointed to reconcile the differences. 
  • Passed both chambers: The bill has cleared both chambers of the legislature. 
  • Enacted: The bill has been enacted into law, by gubernatorial action or inaction or veto override. 
  • Vetoed: The bill has been vetoed. 
  • Dead: The bill has been defeated in committee or by floor vote. 

The pie charts below visualize the legislative status of bills in Democratic and Republican trifectas, respectively. 

Concentration of activity

The map below visualizes the concentration of legislative activity across the nation. A darker shade of yellow indicates a higher number of relevant bills that have been introduced. A lighter shade of yellow indicates a lower number of relevant bills. 

Partisan affiliation of sponsor(s)

The pie chart below visualizes the partisan affiliation of bill sponsors.

The bar chart below visualizes the correlation between the partisan affiliation of bill sponsors and trifecta status (e.g., how many Democratic-sponsored bills were introduced in Democratic trifectas vs. Republican trifectas).



At least 11(+) state legislative incumbents lost primaries on Tuesday

Welcome to the Friday, June 17, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. 5.1% of state legislative incumbents who filed for re-election have lost in primaries
  2. A look at Virginia’s upcoming primary elections
  3. #FridayTrivia: How many members of Congress are not running for re-election (so far)?

5.1% of state legislative incumbents who filed for re-election have lost in primaries

State legislative incumbents are losing to primary challengers at an elevated rate this election cycle. Here’s our latest update – so far this year, 104 incumbents—18 Democrats and 86 Republicans—have lost to primary challengers.

That means, across the 21 states that have held primaries, 5.1% of incumbents running for re-election have lost, an 86% increase from 2020.

In addition to earlier primaries, these totals now include preliminary results from those held in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, and South Carolina on June 14. So far, 11 incumbents have lost across those states:

  • One Democrat and five Republicans in North Dakota; and,
  • Five Republicans in South Carolina.

No incumbents have lost in Maine or Nevada primaries so far.

Republican incumbents have lost at a higher rate than Democrats. Of the 1,265 Republican incumbents who filed for re-election, 86 (6.8%) have lost to primary challengers. For Democrats, 18 of the 786 who filed (2.3%) have lost.

Fewer Democratic incumbents are facing primary challengers than their Republican counterparts. Around 20% of Democratic incumbents filed to run in contested primaries compared to 34% for Republicans. Overall, across these 21 states, 2,053 incumbents filed for re-election, 588 of whom (29%) faced primary challengers, another increase compared to recent cycles.

Redistricting has played a role in this increase of these incumbent defeats. Twenty-seven of the 104 incumbent defeats (26%) were guaranteed even before the polls closed. These were incumbents running in incumbent v. incumbent primaries, something that becomes more common after redistricting when lines are redrawn, which can place multiple incumbents in the same district. 

In these incumbent v. incumbent primaries, there are more incumbents running than nominations available, meaning at least one is guaranteed to lose.

Of the 21 states that have held primaries so far, five have Democratic trifectas, 13 have Republican trifectas, and three have divided governments with Democrats controlling the governorship and Republicans controlling both legislative chambers.

Across these 21 states, there are 2,650 seats up for election, 43% of the nationwide total.

There are currently 61 uncalled primaries featuring incumbents—31 Democratic and 30 Republican—which includes two uncalled incumbent v. incumbent primaries, guaranteeing at least two more defeated incumbents.

Keep reading

A look at Virginia’s upcoming primary elections

Next week will be a quiet one in terms of elections. Only one state—Virginia—is holding statewide primaries on June 21. Adding to the quietness is the fact that, unlike most other states, Virginia holds its state-level elections—for offices like the governor and legislature—in odd-numbered years, leaving only federal offices on the even-year statewide ballot.

With no U.S. Senate races on the ballot, that leaves just the state’s 11 U.S. House districts up for election in 2022. But not every voter will see a primary election on their ballots because of Virginia’s rules regarding unopposed candidates and nominating contests. Here’s how it works.

  • If a candidate is running unopposed, that primary is canceled and the unopposed candidate automatically advances to the general election.
  • Eight Democratic primaries were canceled for this reason, including those for six of the seven Democratic incumbents who filed for re-election. Three Republican primaries were also canceled because candidates ran unopposed, including those for two of the four incumbents running for another term.
  • Virginia allows parties to form committees at different levels of government to decide how they will nominate candidates. 
    • Some committees may choose to use the state-run primaries, those scheduled for June 21. 
    • Others may choose to run their own nominating contests like conventions, which are typically open to a smaller number of voters who register as delegates, or firehouse primaries, which operate like regular primaries but at a limited number of venues and under the oversight of the party.

Two district Democratic committees chose to hold nominating contests, so they have already decided their general election nominees. Four district Republican committees also chose to hold nominating contests, including that of one incumbent.

This leaves one Democratic primary on the June 21 ballot: the contest between U.S. Rep. Don Beyer and Victoria Virasingh in the Alexandria-area 8th District.

There are four Republican primaries scheduled across the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 7th Districts. The contests in the 2nd and 7th Districts will determine Republican nominees to face Democratic Reps. Elaine Luria and Abigail Spanberger in what are expected to be some of the most competitive general elections in the state this year.

In those districts holding primaries, candidates can advance with a plurality, rather than a majority, of the vote. Virginia does not hold runoff elections. This means the candidate with the most votes—even if less than 50% of the total—advances to the general election.

If you have primaries coming up, use Ballotpedia’s Sample Ballot Lookup to see what’s on your ballot and bring your choices to the polls with our My Vote app!

Keep reading 

#FridayTrivia: How many members of Congress are not running for re-election (so far)?

In the Monday Brew, we brought you an update about the decade-high rate of congressional retirements this cycle. Roughly 12% of the Democratic caucus is not seeking re-election, a high point over the last five cycles. Of the Republican caucus, just under 9% are not seeking re-election, the party’s lowest rate since 2016.

By the numbers, how many members of Congress are not running for re-election (so far)?

  1. 55
  2. 82
  3. 33
  4. 71


Heart of the Primaries 2022, Republicans-Issue 27

Welcome to The Heart of the Primaries, Republican Edition

June 16, 2022

In this issue: Takeaways from the June 14 primaries and Michigan gubernatorial candidates respond to Kelley’s arrest

Primary results roundup

Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, and South Carolina held primaries on June 14. Alaska also held its top-four special House primary on June 11. Here’s what went down in this week’s marquee races.

South Carolina’s 7th: Russell Fry defeated incumbent Rep. Tom Rice and five other candidates. As of Wednesday morning, Fry had 51% of the vote to Rice’s 25%.

Rice is the fifth incumbent House member to lose a re-election bid this year and the third Republican. Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) and Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-Ga.) lost primaries against fellow incumbents. 

South Carolina’s 1st: Incumbent Nancy Mace defeated Katie Arrington. Mace led Arrington 53%-45% as of Wednesday morning. 

Arrington, a former state representative, won the district’s Republican primary in 2018, defeating incumbent Rep. Mark Sanford (R) before losing the general election to Joe Cunningham (D). Mace defeated Cunningham in 2020.

Mace said she was best equipped to win in November and that the district wants an independent voice. Arrington said Mace was not conservative enough and that she wasn’t sufficiently supportive of Trump. 

Three election forecasters rate the November election Solid or Safe Republican.

U.S. Senate in Nevada: Former state Attorney General Adam Laxalt defeated Sam Brown and six other candidates. As of Wednesday morning, Laxalt led Brown 56%-34%.

Laxalt had endorsements from Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). The Nevada Republican Party endorsed Brown, who received 80% of delegates’ support compared to Laxalt’s 50% (a candidate needed more than 50% for the endorsement). Laxalt faces incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) in this Toss-up general election. 

Alaska’s U.S. House special: Saturday’s special primary election for Alaska’s At-Large Congressional District remains uncalled. The four candidates with the most votes will advance to the Aug. 16 special general election, which will use ranked-choice voting. As of election night, Sarah Palin (R) had 29.8% of the vote, Nicholas Begich III (R) had 19.3%, Al Gross (I) had 12.5%, Mary Peltola (D) had 7.5%, and Tara Sweeney (R) had 5.3%. The 43 other candidates each had less than 5%. The final ballot count is scheduled for June 21. The primary was conducted mainly through mail-in ballots, which had to be postmarked by June 11. Click here for the most up-to-date results.

State legislative incumbents defeated

The figures below were current as of Wednesday morning. Click here for more information on defeated incumbents.

At least 11 state legislators—10 Republicans and one Democrat—lost in primaries on June 14. Including those results, 104 state legislative incumbents have lost primaries this year. This number will likely increase: 61 primaries featuring incumbents remain uncalled.

Across the 21 states that have held state legislative primaries so far this year, 5.1% of incumbents running for re-election have lost, continuing an elevated rate of incumbent primary defeats compared to recent election cycles.

Of the 21 states that have held primaries so far, five had Democratic trifectas, 13 had Republican trifectas, and three had divided governments with Democrats controlling the governorship and Republicans controlling both legislative chambers. Across these 21 states, there are 2,650 seats up for election, 43% of the nationwide total.

Media analysis

Politico Playbook wrote that the Republican primary candidates with whom Trump is angry who have won primaries had embraced Trump in their campaigns, while Rice did not: 

Republicans can survive crossing Trump, but rarely can they survive being anti-Trump … 

Trump went one for two in key South Carolina primaries last night.

What explains the difference? On last week’s “Playbook Deep Dive” podcast, we talked to South Dakota Rep. DUSTY JOHNSON about the lessons he learned winning a Republican primary after voting against Trump. (In his case, the vote was about creating an independent January 6 commission.)

“There are going to be times those votes cause you political discomfort,” Johnson said. “Don’t run away from them, but don’t run away from the electorate either.”

So far this year, the Trump-targeted Republicans who have survived his wrath have run campaigns that embrace Trump even as he spurns them. Whether it’s Idaho Gov. BRAD LITTLE, Johnson in South Dakota or Mace in South Carolina, these victors were all careful not to run against Trump.

In South Carolina, Rep. Rice actually told voters what he thought. Trump, he said in a recent interview with Ally Mutnick, was “spiteful and petty and vengeful” and a “narcissist” who “craves attention.” Rice lost. He ran away from the South Carolina GOP electorate. 

National Review‘s Alexandra DeSanctis wrote about other differences between South Carolina’s 1st and 7th District primaries that may have influenced outcomes for Mace and Rice:

What are we to make of the discrepancy? One way of looking at it is the degree of separation from the former president: Both Rice and Mace had angered him enough to get him to back a primary challenger, but only Rice had voted to impeach him over the events of January 6. Mace condemned the president in a speech and voted to certify the election results, but she didn’t join the ten GOP representatives who voted for impeachment.

Another possible explanation is Mace’s opponent. Arrington has played the role of a right-wing, Trump-supported challenger before, when she unseated former Republican representative Mark Sanford over his criticism of the former president. But Arrington went on to lose to the Democrat candidate in the general election, and perhaps voters were wary of a similar problem this November, though the climate this election year is, of course, quite different. The New York Times adds this bit of insight:

Ms. Mace raised more money than Ms. Arrington by a 2-to-1 margin and outspent her by more than $300,000 on the airwaves, according to the political spending tracker AdImpact. She courted the district’s most influential political and business leaders and, in the race’s final days, campaigned alongside a number of high-profile figures on the right, including a former Trump White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, and former Gov. Nikki Haley.

Irvin pulls ads from downstate, trails Bailey in recent Illinois gubernatorial poll

Politico reported that Richard Irvin’s campaign pulled a majority of its advertising from outside the Chicago metropolitan area. In addition to its focus on Chicago, the campaign is running ads statewide on Fox News. Spokeswoman Eleni Demertzis said that the campaign was reassessing its ad strategy and was not pulling ads due to a lack of money.

A recent Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ poll showed state Sen. Darren Bailey with a 32%-17% lead over Irvin. Jesse Sullivan was in third with 11%. Twenty-seven percent were undecided. The poll had a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percentage points.

The poll showed Bailey leading in both the southern part of the state, where he’s from, and in the Chicago suburbs. Irvin is the mayor of Aurora, the state’s second-largest city and a suburb of Chicago. In Chicago itself, Irvin and Bailey were roughly tied for second (16% and 13%, respectively) behind Sullivan.

Chicago Sun-Times‘ Tina Sfondeles wrote that a Bailey victory “would represent a brutal repudiation by Illinois’ Republican voters of Irvin, his array of mainstream party endorsements and, most pointedly, his $50 million benefactor, Chicago hedge fund tycoon Ken Griffin.”

In response to the poll, Irvin said, “J.B. Pritzker is spending tens of millions of dollars meddling in the Republican primary to prop up a Republican that he knows he can beat. … A vote for Darren Bailey is a vote for J.B. Pritzker. Period.”

Irvin’s campaign has spent $26 million on ads so far this cycle. The Democratic Governors Association has run around $20 million in ads both supporting Bailey and attacking Irvin. People Who Play By The Rules PAC, which radio host Dan Proft created and GOP donor Richard Uihlein financially supports, has also spent $3 million on ads attacking Irvin.

Trump endorses Britt in Alabama’s U.S. Senate runoff

Former President Trump endorsed Katie Britt in the Senate primary runoff in Alabama. Trump had endorsed Rep. Mo Brooks in the GOP primary then rescinded that endorsement in March, citing comments Brooks made in 2021 about moving past the 2020 election. 

Trump said in July 2021 that Britt was unqualified and criticized her connection to retiring incumbent Sen. Richard Shelby (R), whom Trump called a RINO. Britt once served as Shelby’s chief of staff. Trump said in his recent endorsement, “The opposition says Katie is close to Mitch McConnell, but actually, she is not” and called her “a fearless America First Warrior.”

In a now-deleted tweet from June 5, Brooks asked Trump to re-endorse him. After Trump endorsed Britt, Brooks said, “Let’s just admit it: Trump endorses the wrong people sometimes.”

Brooks has served in the U.S. House since 2011. Britt is CEO of the Alabama Business Council.

The runoff is June 21. In the May 24 primary, Britt received 45% to Brooks’ 29%.

FBI arrests Michigan gubernatorial candidate on Jan. 6 misdemeanor charges

On June 9, federal agents arrested Ryan Kelley, one of five candidates seeking the GOP gubernatorial nomination in Michigan, on charges related to the U.S. Capitol breach during the electoral vote count on Jan. 6, 2021. Kelley was released on a personal recognizance bond, or a promise to appear in court when required, the same day. 

The New York Times‘ Azi Paybarah said Kelley “is the first person running for election in a major state or federal race to be charged in connection with the attack.” 

The government’s complaint charged Kelley with four misdemeanors: “Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority,” “Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building or Grounds,” “Knowingly [Engaging] in any Act of Physical Violence Against Person or Property in any Restricted Building or Grounds,” and “Willfully [injuring] or [committing] any Depredation Against any Property of the United States.”

On June 13, Kelley told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, “There was no crime committed, Tucker, no. … [I] never entered the Capitol building. … I think a lot of Americans see right through this … They understand what the Democrats are up to, and it’s not a big deal to them.”

The other primary candidates commented on the arrest: 

  • Tudor Dixon: “The timing of this looks a lot like another example of political prosecution by a Democrat Party notorious for weaponizing government.” 
  • Ralph Rebandt: “I publicly condemn this outrageous grandstanding, and I am praying that God will expose every evil attempt to silence the voice of American patriots.”
  • Kevin Rinke: “I respect Ryan Kelley and have met him out on the trail. My hope is that the FBI is acting appropriately, because the timing here raises serious questions.”
  • Garrett Soldano: “Biden’s FBI is busy targeting parents and intimidating Republicans while crime runs rampant across the nation.”

A few other updates since we last wrote about the disqualification of five candidates over fraudulent signatures on nominating petitions: On June 3, the Michigan Supreme Court denied appeals in lawsuits from James Craig, Perry Johnson, and Michael Markey. Craig said he will run a write-in campaign for the Republican primary. Johnson filed a federal lawsuit seeking to get his name back on the ballot. U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith denied his request. 

The primary is on Aug. 2. 

Competitiveness data: Virginia and Utah

Virginia holds primaries on June 21. Utah and Illinois hold primaries on June 28. We’ve crunched some numbers to see how competitive the primaries will be compared to recent election cycles.

Virginia

Virginia held state legislative elections in 2021. The following shows competitiveness data for this year’s U.S. House primaries.

Utah

Illinois

Notes on how these figures were calculated:

  • Candidates per district: divides the total number of candidates by the number of districts holding elections.
  • Open districts: divides the number of districts without an incumbent running by the number of districts holding elections.
  • Contested primaries: divides the number of major party primaries by the number of possible primaries.
  • Incumbents in contested primaries: divides the number of incumbents in primaries by the number seeking re-election in the given election cycle.


Heart of the Primaries 2022, Democrats-Issue 27

Welcome to The Heart of the Primaries, Democratic Edition

June 16, 2022

In this issue: Working Families Party switches to Biaggi in NY-17 and an update on the 2024 primary early-state contender list

Primary results roundup

Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, and South Carolina held primaries on June 14. Alaska also held its top-four special House primary on June 11. Here’s what went down in this week’s marquee races.

Nevada’s 1st: Incumbent Dina Titus defeated Amy Vilela. As of Wednesday morning, Titus led Vilela 82%-18%. Titus has represented the 1st since 2013 and represented the 3rd from 2009 to 2011. Vilela was Nevada co-chair of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign.

Titus said, “I’ve used my voice to provide resources for those who need it most.” Titus contrasted her approach to Vilela’s: “I am a progressive, but I don’t believe in defunding the police. I’m for Medicare for all, but you’ve got to do it in a step-by-step process.”

Vilela described herself as a progressive Democrat and supported Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. Vilela said, “Time and time again, [Titus] has never faced a serious threat to her re-election from either party. With that kind of security, she has the opportunity to be a leading voice for bold, real progress. But she’s declined to do so.”

Election forecasters rate the general election Toss-up or Lean Democratic.  

Alaska’s U.S. House special: Saturday’s special primary election for Alaska’s At-Large Congressional District remains uncalled. The four candidates with the most votes will advance to the Aug. 16 special general election, which will use ranked-choice voting. As of election night, Sarah Palin (R) had 29.8% of the vote, Nicholas Begich III (R) had 19.3%, Al Gross (I) had 12.5%, Mary Peltola (D) had 7.5%, and Tara Sweeney (R) had 5.3%. The 43 other candidates each had under 5%. The final ballot count is scheduled for June 21. The primary was conducted mainly through mail-in ballots, which had to be postmarked by June 11. Click here for the most up-to-date results.

State legislative incumbents defeated

The figures below were current as of Wednesday morning. Click here for more information on defeated incumbents.

At least 11 state legislators—10 Republicans and one Democrat—lost in primaries on June 14. Including those results, 104 state legislative incumbents have lost primaries this year. This number will likely increase: 61 primaries featuring incumbents remain uncalled.

Across the 21 states that have held state legislative primaries so far this year, 5.1% of incumbents running for re-election have lost, continuing an elevated rate of incumbent primary defeats compared to recent election cycles.

Of the 21 states that have held primaries so far, five had Democratic trifectas, 13 had Republican trifectas, and three had divided governments with Democrats controlling the governorship and Republicans controlling both legislative chambers. Across these 21 states, there are 2,650 seats up for election, 43% of the nationwide total.

Working Families Party withdraws Maloney endorsement, backs Biaggi in NY-17

The Working Families Party of New York has revoked its endorsement of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Sean Patrick Maloney in New York’s 17th Congressional District. The party is now endorsing state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi.

The party endorsed Maloney in March, before a special master redrew the congressional district map and Maloney switched from the 18th District to the 17th. Rep. Mondaire Jones represents the current 17th District and moved his re-election bid to the new 10th District. 

Politico wrote, “The endorsement gives Biaggi access to arguably the state’s largest grassroots mobilization operation. The WFP’s canvassers have repeatedly helped topple well-tenured incumbents — including in the 2018 primaries, when Biaggi ousted former Independent Democratic Conference leader Sen. Jeff Klein in a district that stretches across the Bronx and Westchester County.”

Biaggi said, “We were in an underdog situation — similar to the way we are here — and we won.”

Maloney’s communications director Mia Ehrenberg said, “On the ground in the 17th, local leaders have made it overwhelmingly clear that they trust and support Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) recently endorsed Biaggi, and the Communication Workers of America District 1 backed Maloney. The primary is Aug. 23.

Biaggi was running in the 3rd District before the map redraw. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D), who is running for governor, represents the current 3rd.

Over in the gubernatorial primary, The New York Times recently endorsed incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul (D). That primary is June 28.

Annette Taddeo withdraws, endorses Crist in Florida gubernatorial primary

State Sen. Annette Taddeo endorsed U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist for governor following her exit from the Democratic primary. In her endorsement, Taddeo said Crist is “our strongest candidate to defeat Ron DeSantis.”

Crist was elected governor of Florida as a Republican in 2006. He left the Republican Party in 2010 and lost the U.S. Senate election running as an independent that year. Taddeo was Crist’s running mate on the Democratic ticket in the 2014 gubernatorial election. Rick Scott defeated Crist 48%-47%. Crist then defeated incumbent Rep. David Jolly (R) in the 2016 election for Florida’s 13th Congressional District 52%-48%.

Crist and state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried have garnered the most media attention of the Democratic candidates currently in the race. The filing deadline is June 17. 

Fried defeated Matt Caldwell (R) by 6,753 votes in the open agriculture commissioner race in 2018. Fried is the only Democrat to win statewide elected office since 2012, when Barack Obama (D) won the state in the presidential election and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D) was re-elected. (Nelson lost his 2018 re-election bid to Scott.)

Election forecasters rate the November gubernatorial election Likely Republican.

After withdrawing from the gubernatorial race, Taddeo announced she will run in the 27th Congressional District. Taddeo will face Angel Montalvo and Ken Russell in the Democratic primary. Bold PAC, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ political action committee, endorsed Taddeo in the House race.

Election forecasters rate the 27th District general election Likely or Solid Republican

Baker exits Maryland gubernatorial primary

Former Prince George County Executive Rushern Baker suspended his campaign for Maryland governor, citing “financial challenges facing [his] campaign in the coming weeks.” 

Candidates filed updated finance reports on June 14. The Baltimore Sun reported combined cash-on-hand totals from committees of leading gubernatorial candidates and their lieutenant gubernatorial running mates: Former nonprofit CEO Wes Moore’s team had $1.8 million on hand as of June 7. State Comptroller Peter Franchot’s team had $1.6 million. Former DNC chair Tom Perez’s team had $1.2 million. Baker reported around $12,000 on hand.

A recent OpinionWorks of Annapolis poll found a plurality of likely Democratic primary voters—31%—undecided. Franchot had 20%, Moore 15%, Perez 12%, and Baker 7%. Six other candidates each had under 5%. The margin of error was +/- 4.1 percentage points. 

Baker’s name will still appear on the ballot as the deadline to officially withdraw passed in April. The primary is July 19.

Incumbent Gov. Larry Hogan (R) is term-limited. Three race forecasters view the general election as Lean or Likely Democratic.

Early presidential primary state contender list narrowed

Along with 2022’s primary election news, we’re keeping you up to date on developments in the 2024 presidential primaries, which may involve a reworked Democratic primary calendar.

In April, the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) Rules and Bylaws Committee approved a plan to choose up to five states or territories to hold their nominating contests before the first Tuesday in March 2024. Committee co-chairs Jim Roosevelt and Minyon Moore announced that New York, Nebraska, and Democrats Abroad are out of the running.

The three were eliminated for not meeting one or more of the committee’s criteria of diversity, general election competitiveness, and feasibility (which includes considerations such as whether they will run a “fair, transparent and inclusive nominating process” and can move their contest to an earlier time). 

The co-chairs said the cost of campaigning in New York along with its proportion of urban voters and solid blue status were among the reasons the state was eliminated. According to the co-chairs, Nebraska’s plan to have a party-run contest along with the state-run contest could be confusing, and Democrats Abroad’s lack of geographic location would present logistical challenges. Democrats Abroad describes itself as “the official Democratic Party arm for the 9 million Americans living outside the United States.”

States that applied for early-state status will make their cases before the Rules and Bylaws Committee at a meeting from June 22-24. Puerto Rico and the following states are still in the running: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington. 

In other 2024 news, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said he won’t run for president again if President Joe Biden seeks re-election. Sanders said, “I think Biden will probably run again, and if he runs again, I will support him.”

Competitiveness data: Virginia and Utah

Virginia holds primaries on June 21. Utah and Illinois hold primaries on June 28. We’ve crunched some numbers to see how competitive the primaries will be compared to recent election cycles.

Virginia

Virginia held state legislative elections in 2021. The following shows competitiveness data for this year’s U.S. House primaries.

Utah

Illinois

Notes on how these figures were calculated:

  • Candidates per district: divides the total number of candidates by the number of districts holding elections.
  • Open districts: divides the number of districts without an incumbent running by the number of districts holding elections.
  • Contested primaries: divides the number of major party primaries by the number of possible primaries.
  • Incumbents in contested primaries: divides the number of incumbents in primaries by the number seeking re-election in the given election cycle.


Texas’ 34th Congressional District flips to GOP in special election

Welcome to the Thursday, June 16, Brew. 

By: David Luchs

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Texas’ 34th Congressional District flips to GOP in special election
  2. Measures regarding abortion have been on the ballot 47 times in 23 states since 1970; at least four more will be decided this year
  3. May 2022 breakdown of state legislative party membership: 54.33% Republicans, 44.39% Democrats

Texas’ 34th Congressional District flips to GOP in special election

Mayra Flores (R) won a special election in Texas’ 34th Congressional District Tuesday, flipping a previously Democratic-held U.S. House seat. Flores won 51% of the vote to Democrat Dan Sanchez’s 43%. Rene Coronado (D) and Juana Cantu-Cabrera (R) received 4% and 2% of the vote. Had no candidate won more than 50% of the vote, the top two finishers would have advanced to a runoff election. Based on the proclamation announcing the special election, that runoff would likely have been held in August.

Flores will serve the remainder of the term Filemon Vela (D) was elected to in 2020 after Vela resigned in March.  

Vela won the seat in 2020 55% to 42%. In 2020, Democrats won 33 seats by margins smaller than Flores’ 7.7 percentage point margin of victory.

This is the first time partisan control of a U.S. House seat changed in a special election since Mike Garcia’s (R) May 2020 victory in the California congressional district previously represented by Katie Hill (D). Garcia defeated Christy Smith (D) 55% to 45%, a 9.8 percentage point margin of victory.

Flores is also the Republican nominee for the regular election in November, where she will face fellow incumbent Rep. Vicente Gonzalez Jr. (D). This election was held under district lines dating to before the 2020 round of redistricting. Joe Biden (D) won the old 34th district in which this election took place by a margin of four percentage points. Under the new district lines that will be in place for the November election, Joe Biden would have won the district by a margin of more than 15 percentage points.

Also Tuesday, statewide primaries took place in four states. Here are results from some of the battlegrounds:

  • Adam Laxalt wins GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in Nevada: Former state attorney general Adam Laxalt (R) defeated Sam Brown (R) and six other candidates to win the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Nevada. Laxalt was the Republican nominee for governor in 2018, losing the general election to Steve Sisolak (D) 49% to 45%.
  • Nancy Mace wins re-nomination: Incumbent U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace (R) defeated Katie Arrington (R) 53% to 45% in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. Former President Donald Trump (R) backed Arrington, the 2018 GOP nominee for the seat, after Mace voted to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. 
  • Tom Rice loses re-nomination: State Rep. Russell Fry (R) defeated incumbent U.S. Rep. Tom Rice (R) 51% to 25% in South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District. Trump endorsed Fry after Rice voted to impeach Trump in 2021. Rice is the sixth member of the U.S. House to lose re-nomination so far this year. At this point in the 2020 election cycle, three members of the U.S. House had lost re-nomination.

Keep reading

Measures regarding abortion have been on the ballot 47 times in 23 states since 1970; at least four more will be decided this year

There will be at least four measures addressing abortion on statewide ballots this year. Measures have been certified for the ballot in Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, and Vermont. The four abortion-related measures certified for the ballot is the same as in 1986 and more than in any other year.

Since 1970, there have been 47 abortion-related ballot measures, of which 40 (85%) had the support of organizations that described themselves as pro-life. Voters approved 11 (27.5%) and rejected 29 (72.5%) of those 40 ballot measures. 

The other seven abortion-related ballot measures had the support of organizations that described themselves as pro-choice or pro-reproductive rights. Voters approved four (57%) and rejected three (43%). 

The abortion-related ballot measure topics with the highest success rates during this time were:

  • Providing that state constitutions cannot be interpreted to establish a state constitutional right to abortion (four of six, or 67%),
  • Legalizing abortion or expanding the timeframe during which an abortion can occur (four of six, or 67%), and
  • Parental notification laws (four of nine, or 44%)

The ballot initiative process, in which signatures are collected to place a proposed law on the ballot, was used for 36 of 51 (71%) abortion-related ballot measures. Legislatures referred 14 (27%) to the ballot, and a state constitutional convention referred one (2%). The states with the highest numbers of abortion-related ballot measures were Colorado (nine), Oregon (six), Washington (four), and California (three). All four have an initiative and referendum process. States without an initiative and referendum process have never had more than one abortion-related ballot measure.

State legislatures were responsible for all four abortion-related measures on the 2022 ballot. Click the names of the measures below to learn more about them:

Campaigns for initiatives are collecting signatures in Arizona, Colorado, and Michigan, and a legislative constitutional amendment could make the ballot in California. 

The deadlines for abortion-related measures still collecting signatures for the 2022 ballot are July 7 in Arizona, July 11 in Michigan, and August 8 in Colorado. The California State Legislature has until June 30 to place the right to reproductive freedom amendment on the ballot this year.

Keep reading 

May 2022 breakdown of state legislative party membership: 54.33% Republicans, 44.39% Democrats

According to Ballotpedia’s May partisan count of the 7,383 state legislators across the United States, 54.33% 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. This refers to which political party holds the majority of seats in each chamber. 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.

Nationally, the state legislatures include 1,961 state senators and 5,368 state representatives. Democrats hold 860 state Senate seats—losing one since April—and 2,417 state House seats, up two from last month. Republicans hold 4,011 of the 7,383 state legislative seats—1,093 state Senate seats (down three since April) and 2,918 state House seats, an increase of one. Independent or third-party legislators hold 41 seats, of which 33 are state House seats and eight are state Senate seats. There are 54 vacant seats.

Compared to May 2021, Democrats have lost seven state Senate seats (867 versus 860) and 33 state House seats (2,450 versus 2,417). Republicans have gained two state Senate seats (1,091 versus 1,093), while the number of state House seats has remained the same. 

Keep reading



Hall Pass: Your Ticket to Understanding School Board Politics, Edition #17

Welcome to Hall Pass. This newsletter keeps you plugged into the conversations driving school board politics and governance. Each week, we bring you a roundup of the latest on school board elections, along with sharp commentary and research from across the political spectrum on the issues confronting school boards in the country’s 14,000 school districts. We’ll also bring you the latest on school board elections and recall efforts, including candidate filing deadlines and election results.

In today’s edition, you’ll find:

  • On the issues: The debate over school funding and the purpose of public schools 
  • School board filing deadlines, election results, and recall certifications
  • A state-level look at school board candidates per seat
  • Extracurricular: links from around the web
  • Candidate Connection survey

Reply to this email to share reactions or story ideas!

On the issues

In this section, we curate reporting, analysis, and commentary on the issues school board members deliberate when they set out to offer the best education possible in their district.

The debate over school funding and the purpose of public schools

Arguments about public school funding and vouchers often come down to beliefs about the purpose of schools. Below, two authors provide competing points on this topic.

Adam Byrn Tritt writes that public funding of schools primarily exists to create good citizens who can participate in democratic processes. Tritt says education is a collective benefit, which is why people without children pay taxes that fund public schools, why parents should not be able to control curriculum, and why public funding should not follow children who leave public schools.  

Jason Peirce writes that public education funding exists primarily for the benefit of individuals, especially parents and students. Peirce says taxpayers should not have to support schools that perform poorly on tests and other metrics. He says public funding should follow students to protect individual liberty, promote decentralization, and promote parental oversight of public schools and curricula. 

Public schools aren’t for just children or parents, but for society as a whole | Opinion | Adam Byrn Tritt, Florida Today

“I asked, why is it that folks without kids still pay for schools for you guys? Why did Jefferson want free education? … Why is it that curriculum isn’t up to parents? Why are school boards not elected by just parents? Because schools aren’t for their benefit. They aren’t for your benefit, either. They are for the collective benefit. Collective. The benefit of our society as a whole, not the individual. The purpose of public education is to ensure the citizens, the voters, have the ability to look critically at facts, and tell fact from fiction, fact from opinion. So voters can make smart decisions based on facts and then become smart officials, and officeholders who make decisions based on what’s best for the country and its people.. … Thus, our public schools are not for the children. They are not for the parents. They are for the country and our democracy. A curriculum, based on literacy, numeracy, critical thinking, and rhetorical skill is necessary for the protection of our republic. If such a curriculum is not to the liking of a parent, there are private schools. If a parent does not like the secular nature of public education, there are religious schools. If there is a book a parent wishes a child not read, they may forbid their child to read it. But they must understand the public school is not made for the good of the individual student, and the parent is not the “customer.”

Students, not failing schools, should be the ones receiving funding | Opinion | Jason Pierce, Florida Today

“Recent guest columnist Adam Bryn Tritt’s use of Thomas Jefferson to make his case that public schools and the education system exist for ‘the collective benefit’ of our ‘country and democracy,’ and ‘not for the children’ and their parents, is wrong-headedly backwards. Fact is, Jefferson and his fellow Founding Fathers founded the United States on the idea of individual liberty. Logically therefore, this country exists to uphold the individual liberty of the individuals comprising it, not any other way around, and certainly not the way Tritt would have it, which assumes we the people exist for the country, and government. … Jefferson held the complete opposite view. He believed school management by ‘any authority of the government, than by the parents within each ward … is a belief against all experiences.’ … Indeed, parents should be allowed to seek whatever education options they deem best for their children. And for starters, they should be able to take all public education dollars available with them, to whatever school they choose. This is school choice, what many now call the “civil rights issue of our time.” School choice would fund students, not failing systems, while breeding competition in education, bringing quality up, and costs down. It would also provide a boon to the education job market.”

School board update: filing deadlines, election results, and recall certifications

Ballotpedia has historically covered school board elections in about 500 of the country’s largest districts. We’re gradually expanding the number we cover with our eye on all of the roughly 14,000 districts with elected school boards.

Election results from the past week

Districts in our scope in Nevada held elections on June 14. Click the links below to see results. 

Upcoming school board elections

Districts in Texas are holding general runoff elections June 18. Districts in Georgia and Alabama are holding general and primary runoff elections on June 21. Districts in Maryland are holding primaries July 19.

Texas

We’re covering general runoff elections in the following districts on June 18.

Georgia

We’re covering general runoff elections in the following districts on June 21.

Alabama

We’re covering general runoff elections in the following districts on June 21.

Utah

We’re covering primary elections in the following districts on June 28.

Maryland

We’re covering the following school board elections on July 19.

A state breakdown of school board candidates per seat

This year, 2.3 candidates are running for each seat in 968 school board races for which we have completed gathering candidate information. Greater awareness of issues or conflicts around school board governance can cause the number of candidates per seat to increase. Indeed, the 2.3 candidates per seat is 17% more than in 2020. 

The numbers vary significantly by state, however. So far this year, the five states with the highest candidate-to-seat ratios are Nevada, Alabama, Tennessee, Alaska, and Nebraska.

The five states with the lowest candidate-to-seat ratio are New York, Georgia, Texas, Maryland, and California

(Note that this analysis includes the 200 largest districts by student enrollment and any districts that overlap the 100 largest cities in the country. Also, these numbers will change over the course of the year as more filing deadlines pass.)

In four of the five states with the highest candidate-per-seat ratio this year (Nevada is the exception), the ratio is higher this year than in either 2018 or 2020.

However, in the five states with the lowest candidates-to-seat ratios, only one state (Texas) has a higher ratio than it did in 2020 or 2018. 

This isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison, because the data from 2020 and 2018 includes all the seats up for election in our coverage scope in those years, whereas 2022 data only goes through June 13. We will update and revisit these chart once all the school board elections in our coverage scope are completed. 

For more data on school board elections, including candidates per seat and incumbency success rates, click here

Extracurricular: education news from around the web

This section contains links to recent education-related articles from around the internet. If you know of a story we should be reading, reply to this email to share it with us! 

DeKalb County School District general runoff election survey responses

Today, we’re highlighting survey responses from the upcoming June 21 DeKalb County School District school board general runoff elections in Georgia. Three seats were up for election on May 24, with the top two vote-getting candidates in District 2 and 6 advancing to a runoff. 

The District 2 runoff features Whitney McGinniss and Candice McKinley.

Here’s how McGinniss responded to the question “What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?”

“*COVID-19 Safety and Recovery*

As we move beyond COVID-19, it is important to acknowledge that our children have suffered emotionally, socially, and academically over the last two years. I will push for programs designed to address the student wellness and academic gaps created by COVID-19. I will prioritize in-person leaning, ensuring that our schools are safe for students and teachers.

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion*

With students from over 155 countries, DCSD is one of the most diverse districts in the nation. Our diversity is one of our unique gifts, but it presents special challenges. I believe all children deserve the opportunity to succeed, regardless their zip code, race, ethnicity, household income, LGBTQ+ identity, immigration or disability status.

  • Building Construction and Maintenance*

The schools in District 2 are some of the oldest in the county, so maintenance and facilities concerns are among our schools’ biggest needs. I have been a vocal facilities advocate, securing millions of dollars of heating and air conditioning repairs and upgrades in 7 DeKalb County school buildings, and I coordinated local efforts to get lead paint removed from Laurel Ridge Elementary School’s aging windows. Our students cannot effectively learn in classrooms that are too hot, too cold, unsafe, or falling apart. I am committed to increasing the quality of school facilities across the county.”

Click here to read the rest of McGinniss’ answers. 

Here’s how McKinley responded to the question “What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?”

“School Safety and Well-Being

Our schools in District #2 need immediate attention to ensure they are safe places for our students. The attention must be on both operational upgrades and intentionality to social and emotional supports inside our schools. When our students come into spaces that are not safe and do not feel safe due to wellness challenges from COVID-19, other mental health issues, or ineffective discipline policies –there is a dire problem. We must act now. Safety and well-being is essential and just as important to our staff who have spent the last two years on the front lines of an education revolution.”

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

If you’re a school board 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 school board but there is an election in your community this year, share the link with the candidates and urge them to take the survey!



17% more school board candidates per seat in 2022

Welcome to the Wednesday, June 15, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. A look at the number of school board candidates running for each seat in 16 states
  2. We’ve got June 14 election results! 
  3. June 28 election preview—Democratic primary for Illinois’ 6th Congressional District

17% more school board candidates per seat in 2022

Today, we’re bringing you an excerpt from a story in Hall Pass, our weekly education-related newsletter. One of the statistics we track in Hall Pass is the number of school board candidates running per seat up for election. 

This year, an average of 2.3 candidates are running for each seat in the 968 school board races in 16 states for which we have complete data—17% more than in 2020.

The five states with the highest candidate-to-seat ratios are Alabama, Alaska, Nebraska, Nevada, and Tennessee

The five states with the lowest candidate-to-seat ratios are California, Georgia, Maryland, New York, and Texas.

(Note that this analysis includes the 200 largest districts by student enrollment and any districts that overlap the 100 largest cities in the country. The average candidates-per-seat number will change as more filing deadlines pass.)

For more on this story, including a look at how the candidate-per-seat ratios compare to 2020 and 2018, click the link below. 

Keep reading

We’ve got June 14 election results! 

There were statewide primaries in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, and South Carolina on Tuesday. Our team stayed up late into the night collecting results and monitoring the most significant developments. In tomorrow’s Brew, we’ll take a closer look at the biggest storylines to emerge from Tuesday’s results and how they may affect the November elections. 

In the meantime, check out our June 14 election hub to see the latest results. You can also subscribe to The Heart of the Primaries, our weekly dive into key congressional, legislative, and executive races. The next edition comes out Thursday! 

Click on the links below to see results from the battleground elections that happened last night:

Nevada

South Carolina

Texas

Click below to view all June 14 election results.  

Keep reading 

June 28 election preview—Democratic primary for Illinois’ 6th Congressional District

Now that June 14 primaries are behind, let’s cast our gaze on some upcoming primaries and turn to Illinois. 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, both members of the U.S. House running for re-election in the same district due to redistricting, have led in fundraising and media attention.

Newman represents Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District. Casten represents the current 6th District. 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.

Both Casten and Newman have cited climate change as a top issue. Casten has introduced several climate-related bills while in Congress, including the End Oil and Gas Tax Subsidies Act. Newman 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 endorsed Casten. The Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition endorsed both Casten and Newman.

Both candidates have also campaigned 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 has criticized Casten for voting for George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole, Republicans she described as anti-choice, but Casten has said his voting record is 100% pro-choice. Casten said, “Women have a fundamental right to make their own decisions, especially when it comes to abortion.”

Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) have endorsed both Casten and Newman.

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

Keep reading



Economy and Society: Passive fund ownership of US stocks overtakes active—for first time

Economy and Society is Ballotpedia’s weekly review of the developments in corporate activism; corporate political engagement; and the Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) trends and events that characterize the growing intersection between business and politics.

ESG Developments This Week

In Washington, D.C.

Goldman Sachs in the SEC’s crosshairs?

As the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) begins to ramp up its ESG-fund enforcement in earnest, it appears to have a major Wall Street player in its sights. According to a Wall Street Journal report published June 10, sources have indicated that the SEC’s year-long plan to enforce ESG claims among ETFs and other mutual funds is entering a new phase with the investigation of Goldman Sachs​​SEC Commissioner Gary Gensler’s one-time employer:

“The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Goldman Sachs GS Group Inc.’s asset-management arm over its funds that aim to invest based on environmental, social and governance standards, according to people familiar with the matter.

The SEC’s probe is the latest known instance of regulators’ scrutiny of ESG investing, which has been a boon for asset managers that struggled in recent years to compete with low-fee index funds.

The SEC’s civil investigation is focused on Goldman’s mutual-funds business, the people said, and the firm manages at least four funds that have clean-energy or ESG in their names. The probe could end without formal enforcement action….

The SEC last year warned investors that it found some fund holdings “predominated” by companies with low ESG scores, despite the fund manager’s advertised commitment to picking companies that performed well on ESG screening tests. Data vendors such as S&P Global and London Stock Exchange Group’s Refinitiv score public companies on ESG standards, but the grades can vary widely between ratings firms.

Goldman renamed its Blue Chip Fund as the U.S. Equity ESG Fund in June 2020. The fund’s top three holdings—Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc., and Alphabet Inc.—-have remained the same since then, according to regulatory filings. The U.S. Equity ESG fund’s other top holdings currently include Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Eli Lilly & Co., and JPMorgan Chase & Co., according to its website. It is a relatively small fund, with $17.8 million in assets under management, according to Morningstar data.

In early 2021, the SEC launched an enforcement task force that sifts through public data and tips for potential enforcement cases related to greenwashing—making deceptive or empty claims about environmental or social values—or similar misleading statements related to ESG practices….

Because the SEC doesn’t yet have rules that dictate what ESG investing means or requires, any enforcement action would need to focus on a fund’s past disclosure, and whether its investing practices materially deviated from what it advertised to shareholders.”

The Index Act and its critics

For at least two years, opponents of ESG have made the case that one of the biggest problems with the investment tactic is that, in their view, it is, almost by definition, undemocratic. Large asset management firms, they argue, create various types of mutual funds into which small investors (individuals and institutions) can buy. But while the investors own shares of the fund, the fund and its manager own the underlying securities (i.e. the stocks). In turn, the argument goes, this gives the managers/shareholders the power to exercise the attendant shareholder rightsincluding the power to vote the shares at annual meetingsimplicit in the securities, at the expense of the fund owners’ presumed rights. That allows large fund managers to accumulate and exercise power using other people’s money.

With the rise of ESG, however, critics have noted what they view as a disparity between the desires and intentions of the managers and those of their customers, leading to the perception that fund managers may not always be acting as fiduciaries and may, in fact, be usurping the customers’ rights for their own personal or political ends.

Recently, this purported discrepancy has become policy fodder, as some in Congress have taken an interest in removing voting rights from fund managers and returning them to fund owners through the introduction of a proposed bill known as the Investor Democracy Is Expected Act, also styled the Index Act. 

But even this may not solve any of the fundamental perceived problems with ESG, at least according to Vivek Ramaswamy, the author of Woke, Inc. and the founder of Strive Asset Management, and Riley Moore, the Treasurer of West Virginia, who, last week, penned an op-ed on the subject for The Wall Street Journal:

“Senate Republicans recently introduced the Investor Democracy Is Expected Act, also styled the Index Act, which would require passive investment-fund managers that own more than 1% of a public company to collect instructions from their clients on how to vote their shares. The senators are right to focus on a major problem: The three largest passive asset managers control more than $20 trillion and vote nearly one-quarter of all shares cast at corporate annual meetings to support social agendas disfavored by many Americans whose money they manage.

But as long as BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street represent the largest shareholders of America’s public companies, they will disproportionately influence the behavior of those companies, regardless of whether their clients regain the power to vote their shares.

As a practical matter, most individual investors in index funds can’t cast informed votes at the shareholder meetings of portfolio companies. An individual investor in Vanguard’s total stock-market index fund would have to cast tens of thousands of votes each spring for the stocks held in that fund alone.

Further, the capital managed by BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard is often allocated to these firms not by individuals but by intermediaries such as state and employee pension funds. These institutions generally take their voting directions from two firms, Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis, which openly embrace the same political orthodoxies as the big three asset managers.

Certain states have already regained voting power from the big three, yet early evidence suggests they have performed poorly on voting in accord with their citizens’ wishes. According to Insight ESG Energy, a governance watchdog that grades the fiduciary performance and energy literacy of fund managers, BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard earned grades of C-minus, C and C-plus, respectively, for their 2021 voting behavior. Pension funds in Georgia earned an A, but Florida, Texas and Idaho earned grades of D-minus, D and D, respectively.

That’s in part because Florida and two large Texas pension funds last year joined the big three to elect three dissident directors to Exxon Mobil’s board to implement a more aggressive climate-change strategy, after which Exxon Mobil reduced its oil-production targets through 2025 from its earlier forecasts. One of the Texas pension funds also voted for shareholder resolutions requiring banks to restrict financing to new fossil-fuel projects. As Texas’ democratically elected Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has observed, it strains credulity to believe that the votes accurately represent the intentions of Texans and Floridians whose money is invested in these pension funds.

Most importantly, shareholder voting itself represents only the tip of the iceberg in shareholder-led social advocacy, because very few corporate decisions require a shareholder vote. BlackRock boasts that in the first quarter of 2022 alone, it “engaged” 719 public companies on topics including “climate risk management, environmental impact management, human capital management, and social risks and opportunities.” BlackRock CEO Larry Fink writes an annual letter to America’s CEOs. In this year’s letter, he demanded that they set “short-, medium-, and long-term targets for greenhouse gas reductions” and “issue reports consistent with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.” In his 2020 letter, he told portfolio companies to publish disclosures in accordance with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board.

These informal yet heavy-handed forms of advocacy are often more influential than shareholder votes. 

The aggregation of capital in the hands of three firms—and the associated power to shape corporate America’s social agendas—is an anticompetitive problem that demands a competitive market solution. One of us (Mr. Moore) is a state treasurer who has taken steps to cut ties with large asset managers that fail to advance the interests of his state’s citizens. This is a type of market response: State treasurers aren’t market regulators, but they are market participants who allocate capital on behalf of their constituents. Moving money has a greater impact than reclaiming voting power.

A key limitation remains: the absence of large asset managers that take different approaches to shareholder advocacy. Invesco, the fourth-largest U.S. provider of exchange-traded funds, now makes declarations resembling those of BlackRock: “Asset managers have a crucial role to play in supporting investment aligned with global efforts to reduce the impact of climate change on our planet”; ESG—an acronym for environmental, social and governance—“is something that’s fundamental to investing”; “we’re well down the path of embedding ESG in everything we do.” The big three may soon become the big four.

That’s why one of us (Mr. Ramaswamy) recently created an asset manager that guides companies to focus exclusively on product excellence, not politics. More competitors are needed.”

On Wall Street and in the private sector

Financial Times: “Passive fund ownership of US stocks overtakes active for first time”

As noted above, most ESG investment is handled through various mutual funds, including index trackers and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), which are both passive investment vehicles. The major passive investment playersBlackRock, State Street, and Vanguardare the three firms most often cited by opponents of ESG for what they deem their undue influence on the investment process and the centralization of capital in too few hands. Vivek Ramaswamy and Riley Moore, for example, critique these three specific firms for their stranglehold on the market.

Despite the rise of what some label as the massive passives over the last decade, most investment in U.S. capital markets has remained in the hands of active investorsuntil now.  The Financial Times reports:

“Passively managed index funds have overtaken actively managed funds’ ownership of the US stock market for the first time, data show.

Passive funds accounted for 16 per cent of US stock market capitalisation at the end of 2021, surpassing the 14 per cent held by active funds, according to the Investment Company Institute, an industry body.

The pattern represents a sharp reversal of the picture 10 years ago, when active funds held 20 per cent of Wall Street stocks and passive ones just 8 per cent.

Since then, the US has seen a cumulative net flow of more than $2tn from actively managed domestic equity funds to passive ones, primarily ETFs….

The seemingly unstoppable rise of index-tracking funds has in turn helped fuel an unprecedented concentration of ownership — and thus voting power.

The five largest mutual fund and exchange traded fund sponsors — out of 825 in all — accounted for 54 per cent of the industry’s total assets last year, the ICI found, a record high and up from just 35 per cent in 2005.

The 10 largest control 66 per cent of assets (against 46 per cent in 2005) and the top 25 as much as 83 per cent, up from 67 per cent. The proportion of assets held by the many hundreds of managers outside the elite 25 has thus halved over the period.”

In the spotlight

MSN: “Edelman CEO advice to other top execs: Beware of the ‘pushback against wokeness’”

Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman (a public relations company), recently issued a warning to companies and their executives about taking too prominent a role in politics, suggesting that getting too involved often leads to negative impacts for the company.

“With an ongoing war in Europe, an ongoing public health crisis, and various social issues gripping America, corporate executives increasingly find themselves facing questions from employees about whether or not they plan to take a stand. 

But if CEOs were to take a stand against this backdrop, according to Edelman CEO Richard Edelman, it shouldn’t be representing the company.

“They should speak out as citizens, but they shouldn’t speak out as CEOs,” Edelman recently told Yahoo Finance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (video above). “And the CEO position, again, this remit of issues can expand beyond the long length of my arm. And we better be careful here because there’s starting to be a pushback against wokeness.”…

“You have to put priority on those [issues] that are directly affecting your business,” Edelman said. “Again, supply chain or health of your employee base. But on ones where it’s a matter of personal choice, leave that for your personal politics and donations to senators. But your mandate as the CEO is to stand up and speak up only on those issues where you actually can add value.””