CategoryState

Texas Sen. Lucio wins Democratic primary runoff against Stapleton-Barrera

On July 14, incumbent Texas Sen. Eddie Lucio (D-27) defeated challenger Sara Stapleton-Barrera (D) in Senate District 27’s Democratic primary runoff. Lucio received 54 percent of the vote to Stapleton-Barrera’s 46 percent.
The runoff in District 27 received media attention after Planned Parenthood Texas, which endorsed Stapleton-Barrera, created a website and other materials opposing Lucio. One ad said, “For 30 years, Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. has done the dirty work of extremist politicians like Dan Patrick and Greg Abbott.” The Dallas Morning News’ Allie Morris wrote, “A devout Catholic, [Sen. Lucio] is often the lone Democrat to side with ruling Republicans on contentious social issues, including abortion.”
In a press release from Lucio’s campaign, his son, Rep. Eddie Lucio III (D-38) said, “These big special-interests groups from outside our border community should comprehend the deeper connotations behind the word ‘sucio’ (‘dirty Mexican’) and the association with a person of Hispanic descent.”
District 27 is located south of Corpus Christi along the Gulf Coast and includes communities along the U.S.-Mexico border. Roughly 89 percent of the district’s population are Hispanic.
In total, 16 Senate seats were up for election this year. Two incumbents—Lucio and Sen. Borris Miles (D-13)—faced primary challengers, down from the seven incumbents challenged in 2018. Miles received 55 percent of the vote on March 3, defeating two challengers and avoiding a runoff.
With both incumbents winning their respective primaries, no Senators were defeated in Texas’ primary elections this year. The most recent year an incumbent Senator was defeated in a primary was 2014 when Republican Sens. John Carona and Bob Deuell lost to challengers. No incumbent Democratic Senator has been defeated in a primary since 2006.


Three Arizona Supreme Court justices seek retention in November

Arizona Supreme Court Justices Robert Brutinel, Andrew W. Gould, and John Lopez IV are all standing for retention election on November 3, 2020. Lopez and Gould were both appointed by current Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R), while Brutinel was appointed by former Governor Jan Brewer (R).
Currently, all seven judges on the court were appointed by a Republican governor: five appointed by Ducey and two by Brewer.
Each of Arizona’s seven justices is appointed by the governor from a list of names compiled by the Arizona Commission on Appellate Court Appointments. The commission is chaired by the Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice and has four vacancies as of April.
A newly appointed justice’s term is at least two years, after which the justice must stand in a retention election. Subsequent terms last six years. Since 2008 across the country, state supreme court justices facing retention elections have won 98% of the time. In Arizona, no justices have lost a retention election in this time frame.


Farmer-Butterfield appointed to Division of Employment Security, resigns from North Carolina House

After initial uncertainty about whether she would have to leave the state legislature, Jean Farmer-Butterfield (D) officially resigned from the North Carolina House of Representatives on July 16. Farmer-Butterfield had represented District 24 in the chamber since 2003 and served as majority whip from 2006 to 2010.
On July 15, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) selected Farmer-Butterfield to serve on the Board of Review at the Division of Employment Security. The board handles appeals of unemployment benefit award decisions. The North Carolina State Senate confirmed Farmer-Butterfield’s nomination. When asked in her confirmation hearing if she planned to maintain her role as state senator, Farmer-Butterfield said, “I think they are checking to see if I can still do both.” She stepped down from the state legislature the following day.
Farmer-Butterfield filed for re-election this year and advanced from the Democratic primary on March 3. Democratic Party officials in her district will appoint someone to both finish the remainder of her unexpired term and run in the general election this fall. Farmer-Butterfield’s replacement will face Republican Mick Rankin in the Nov. 3 race. The Republican primary in the district was canceled.


South Carolina State Rep. Clemmons resigns from legislature

A little over a month after advancing from the Republican primary for his seat in the South Carolina House of Representatives, Alan Clemmons resigned from the state legislature. Clemmons had represented District 107 in the chamber since 2002. He submitted his letter of resignation on July 17, effective at noon that day.
Clemmons, who defeated Case Brittain with 58.5% of the vote in the June 9 Republican primary, said that he was stepping down in order to meet his obligations outside the legislature. Clemmons said in a statement, “These past 18 years have truly been an honor but have also weighed heavily on my family and my business. I fully believed that I could effectively serve my constituents for one more term, but it has become increasingly clear in the last few weeks that my time needs to be spent with my family and at my law practice.” He also formally withdrew his candidacy from the ballot.
The Charlotte Observer quoted Election Commission member Chris Whitmire as stating that there will not be a special election for the seat given the vacancy’s proximity to the general election. State elections officials plan to reopen candidate filing for the November election for both major parties for one week, since no Democratic challengers previously filed in the district. South Carolina has a Republican state government trifecta, and the Republican Party has held a majority in the state house since 1994.


Filing deadline passes for state executive and legislative candidates in Delaware

On July 14, 2020, the candidate filing period ended to run for state executive and legislative offices in Delaware. Candidates filed for the following state executive offices:
• Governor
• Lieutenant Governor

• Insurance Commissioner

All three incumbents—Governor John Carney (D), Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long (D), and Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro (D)—filed for re-election.

Candidates also filed for the following state legislative offices:
• Delaware State Senate (11 of 21 seats)

• Delaware House of Representatives (all 41 seats)

The primary is scheduled for September 15, 2020, and the general election will be held on November 3, 2020.

The next and final statewide filing deadline in the 2020 election cycle is on July 24 in Louisiana.

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

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Voters decide state legislative primaries in Maine, runoffs in Texas

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

The statewide primary for Maine and the primary runoff for Texas took place on July 14, 2020. Candidates competed to advance to the general election scheduled for November 3.

Texas’s statewide primary was held on March 3, 2020. If no candidate received a majority of the votes in the primary, the top two vote-getters advanced to the primary runoff.

On July 14, candidates ran in elections for the following state legislative offices:

Maine House of Representatives (151 seats)

• Sixteen races remained uncalled as of July 15, 2020. Each incumbent who filed to run advanced to the general election in the races that had been called.

Maine State Senate (35 seats)

• Seven races remained uncalled as of July 15, 2020. Each incumbent who filed to run advanced to the general election in the races that had been called.

Texas House of Representatives (14 seats)
• Bryan Slaton defeated incumbent Dan Flynn in the District 2 Republican primary runoff.
• Shelby Slawson defeated incumbent J.D. Sheffield in the District 59 Republican primary runoff.

• Five races remained uncalled as of July 15, 2020.

Texas State Senate (2 seats)
• Roland Gutierrez defeated Xochil Pena Rodriguez in the District 19 Democratic primary runoff.

• Incumbent Eddie Lucio defeated Sara Stapleton-Barrera in the District 27 Democratic primary runoff.

Texas State Senate District 14 special general election (1 seat)

• The race was too close to call as of July 15, 2020.

For state legislative primaries, Maine uses a ranked-choice voting system in which voters rank candidates by preference on their ballots. If a candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, he or she is declared the winner. If no candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated. First-preference votes cast for the losing candidate are eliminated, lifting the second-preference choices indicated on those ballots. A new tally is conducted to determine whether any candidate has won a majority of the adjusted votes. The process is repeated until a candidate wins an outright majority.

Maine’s primary was the 31st to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next primary is on August 4 in Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Washington, and Tennessee.

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Candidate filing period for state executive candidates to end in Louisiana

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

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

• New Orleans (District attorney and judicial seats)

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

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

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

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Voters decide primaries in Maine, primary runoffs in Alabama, Texas

The primary election for Maine’s congressional seats took place on July 14, 2020. The filing deadline to run passed on March 16. Candidates competed to advance to the general election scheduled on November 3.

The following races were decided, meaning one or more candidates advanced to the general election, on primary election night:
• U.S. Senate – one seat

• U.S. House of Representatives – two seats

Maine uses a ranked-choice voting system (RCV), in which voters rank candidates by preference on their ballots. If a candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, he or she is declared the winner. If no candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated. First-preference votes cast for the failed candidate are eliminated, and the second-preference choices on those ballots are then tallied. A new tally is conducted to determine whether any candidate has won a majority of the adjusted votes. The process is repeated until a candidate wins an outright majority.

As of July 2020, Maine was the only state that had adopted RCV at the state level, although other states have adopted RCV at the municipal level or have adopted RCV but not yet implemented it.

Maine’s primary election was the 31st to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next primary is on August 4 in Arizona.

Alabama and Texas held statewide primary runoffs on July 14.

The filing deadline to run in Alabama passed on November 8, 2019. To avoid a primary runoff in Alabama, a candidate had to win a majority of votes cast in the primary election. If no candidate won a majority of votes, the top two candidates advanced to the primary runoff. Alabama’s primary election was held on March 3, 2020. Three congressional seats advanced to primary runoffs in Alabama, including one race for the U.S. Senate and two for the U.S. House. All three of these races were decided on election night.

In Texas, the filing deadline to run for office passed on December 9, 2019. To avoid a primary runoff in Texas, a candidate had to win a majority of the votes in the primary election. If no candidate won a majority of votes, the top two candidates advanced to the primary runoff. Texas’ primary was held on March 3, 2020. Fifteen congressional offices—one U.S. Senate seat and 14 U.S. House seats—advanced to primary runoffs in Texas. All but two of those races were decided on election night.

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Filing period for congressional candidates ends in Delaware

On July 14, the major-party congressional filing deadline passed to run for elected office in Delaware. Candidates filed for the state’s Class II U.S. Senate seat and at-large U.S. House seat.

The Class II Senate seat is currently held by Chris Coons (D), who filed to run for re-election. The state’s at-large seat in the U.S. House is currently held by Lisa Blunt Rochester (D), who also filed to run for re-election.

The primary is scheduled for September 15, and the general election is scheduled for November 3, 2020.

Delaware’s statewide filing deadline was the 49th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on July 24 in Louisiana.

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