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Trudy Busch Valentine wins Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in Missouri

Trudy Busch Valentine won the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in Missouri on August 2, 2022. She received 43.2% of the vote based on unofficial returns. Lucas Kunce came in second place with 38.4%. Nine other candidates also ran in the primary with no one receiving more than 5%.

Busch Valentine is a former nurse and heiress of the Anheuser-Busch brewing company. She was endorsed by a former U.S. senator, one current and one former U.S. representative, the current and two most recent mayors of St. Louis, and 12 state legislators.

Kunce works at the American Economic Liberties Project and served in the United States Marine Corps. He was endorsed by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and three state legislators.

Busch Valentine will face Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R) in the November 8 general election. Three independent race forecasters rate the race as either Likely Republican or Solid Republican. Donald Trump won the state in the 2020 presidential election with 56.8% of the vote.

More responses to Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection from Missouri roll in

Below are a selection of responses from the candidates who filled out Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey since July 17. To read each candidate’s full responses, click their name at the bottom of the article.

Manny Abarca (D) is running for Jackson County Legislature to represent District 1 and is on the ballot in the general election on Nov. 8. Here’s how Abarca responded to the question “What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?”

“I am mostly interested in establishing a transparent and fair foundation for County government. Every issue area after that can have an unbiased shot at getting passed.

Here are a few of the issues I highlight online: 

  • Property Tax Reform Plan 
  • Establishment of a Senior Services Fund 
  • Support for Working Families 
  • Access to Parks and Conservation 
  • Efficiency in our Government 
  • Promotion of Arts and Culture 
  • Efficient Regional Healthcare Pipeline 
  • Jackson County Nondiscrimination Act and Equity Policy 
  • Economic Development and Infrastructure Investment”

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

Megan Marshall is running for election to the Jackson County Legislature to represent District 3 At-Large and is on the ballot in the general election on Nov. 8. Here’s how Marshall responded to the question “Please list below 3 key messages of your campaign. What are the main points you want voters to remember about your goals for your time in office?”

“We don’t need any more politicians content in their Ivory Towers – dismissive and indifferent to the needs of working people. Those who refuse to put service before self. Our communities deserve engaged and responsive leaders. Not those who believe getting your vote is the end of their service.

I’m committed to constituent engagement across Jackson County. I will be the most accessible legislator in county government. Engagement and accessibility has not been a hallmark of county government and that must change. Taxpayers deserve to know who their representatives are and feel confident their concerns are part of the decision-making process. When residents across our county are left in the dark, it breeds distrust. When representatives are not committed to listening to taxpayer concerns, their decisions lack proper responsiveness and instead worsen the lives of residents. I will continue listening to the concerns of taxpayers and work diligently to deliver meaningful change.

The budget is reflective of what a government values. What government values should reflect what taxpayers value, because policymakers’ first obligation should always be to those they represent – not their own interests. Residents of Jackson County want property tax relief, affordable housing, reduced crime, greater access to mental health and drug recovery services, and most importantly, confidence that their county government is working for them.”

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

If you’re a Missouri candidate or incumbent, click here to take the survey. The survey contains over 30 questions, and you can choose the ones you feel will best represent your views to voters. If you complete the survey, a box with your answers will display on your Ballotpedia profile. Your responses will also populate the information that appears in our mobile app, My Vote Ballotpedia.

If you’re not running for office but you would like to know more about candidates in Missouri, share the link and urge them to take the survey!

Additional reading:

Scott Fitzpatrick wins contested Missouri auditor primary

Alan Green (D), Scott Fitzpatrick (R), and John Hartwig (L) won their respective primaries for Missouri State Auditor on Aug. 2, 2022. Green and Hartwig ran unopposed; Fitzpatrick received 64.7% of the vote based on unofficial returns. David Gregory was the only other Republican candidate. The general election will take place on Nov. 8.

Green is a former police officer and has held several positions in the Missouri government. Most recently he was a member of the Missouri House of Representatives, representing District 67. He completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey and his answers can be found here.

Fitzpatrick currently holds the office of Missouri State Treasurer. He was appointed to the position in Dec. 2018. Fitzpatrick is a former member of the Missouri House of Representatives, representing District 158.

Hartwig is an Army veteran and his career experience includes working as a certified public accountant. Hartwig completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey and his answers can be found here.

Nicole Galloway (D) is the current Missouri State Auditor. She was appointed in 2015 by Gov. Jay Nixon (D) to serve the remainder of former Auditor Thomas Schweich’s (R) term. She did not run for re-election in 2022 and her term expires on Jan. 9, 2023. 

The Office of State Auditor acts as Missouri’s independent watchdog agency, working to ensure the proper use of public funds and to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Missouri government. This is achieved through auditing of state agencies, boards, and commissions, the circuit court system, the counties in Missouri that do not have a county auditor, and other political subdivisions upon request.

Additional reading:

Federal Register weekly update: 508 documents added

The Federal Register is a daily journal of federal government activity that includes presidential documents, proposed and final rules, and public notices. It is a common measure of an administration’s regulatory activity, accounting for both regulatory and deregulatory actions.

From August 1 through August 5, the Federal Register grew by 1,196 pages for a year-to-date total of 48,078 pages.

The Federal Register hit an all-time high of 95,894 pages in 2016.

This week’s Federal Register featured the following 508 documents:

  • 427 notices
  • One presidential document
  • 32 proposed rules
  • 48 final rules

Four proposed rules, including amendments to regulations for the Single-Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) from the Rural Housing Service, and seven final rules, including an amendment to regulations regarding advanced directives and informed consent from the Veterans Affairs Department were deemed significant under E.O. 12866—defined by the potential to have large impacts on the economy, environment, public health, or state or local governments. Significant actions may also conflict with presidential priorities or other agency rules. The Biden administration has issued 130 significant proposed rules, 149 significant final rules, and one significant notice as of August 5.

Ballotpedia maintains page counts and other information about the Federal Register as part of its Administrative State Project. The project is a neutral, nonpartisan encyclopedic resource that defines and analyzes the administrative state, including its philosophical origins, legal and judicial precedents, and scholarly examinations of its consequences. The project also monitors and reports on measures of federal government activity.

Additional reading:

Historical additions to the Federal Register, 1936-2019

Exclusive: Candidate filings before/after Dobbs draft ruling

Welcome to the Friday, August 5, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

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

  1. Candidate filings before and after Dobbs draft ruling
  2. Oklahoma State Board of Education censures two school districts for violating state law
  3. Indiana U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski killed in car accident

Candidate filings before and after Dobbs draft ruling

Here at Ballotpedia, we meticulously track candidate data filings. One thing we’ve always watched are candidate filing numbers and in particular, how those might change around various events. For instance, in 2020 we looked at whether candidate filing numbers changed before/after COVID lockdowns began in March. 

This year, we wanted to see whether the draft Dobbs release impacted candidate filings. On May 2, Politico released a draft majority opinion from the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case before the Supreme Court. The following month, the Supreme Court issued its formal decision, finding no constitutional right to abortion and overruling Roe v. Wade.

In most cases, this decision left state legislatures to decide whether or not to allow or prohibit abortions. 

Would the Dobbs ruling lead to any change in the number of state legislative candidates filing for office?

We compared filing deadline statistics—like the number of major party candidates per seat and the percentage of seats contested by both major parties—between those states whose filing deadlines came before May 2 and those whose filing deadlines came after.

In the 32 states with filing deadlines before the release of the draft opinion, 2.2 major party candidates filed per seat up for election, and 55% of all seats up for election were contested by both major parties.

In the 10 of the 15 states with filing deadlines after May 2 for which we have finished gathering data, we found the number of candidates per seat was lower at 2.0, and the percentage of major party competition was higher at 61%.

From here forward, we will refer to the 32 states with filing deadlines before May 2 as BD and the 10 states with filing deadlines after May 2, which we have data for, as AD.

While the figures between BD and AD states vary from one another, they remain similar to what we have seen in these states across previous election cycles.

When taken collectively and over time, the number of candidates per seat in the BD states has ranged from 2.0 to 2.3, with the 2.2 figure from this year being slightly higher than what we saw in 2020.

Among the AD states, the figure has ranged from 1.8 to 2.1, with 2.0 actually representing a decrease from what we saw in 2020.

Major party competition is another helpful metric when comparing filing deadline statistics. These figures tell us what percentage of seats are being contested between both major parties—indicating competition on the ballot—and, inversely, what percentage are contested by just one of the two major parties.

Major party competition is higher in the AD states, but, historically, these states have tended to have more major party competition than the BD states. 

In every election cycle since 2014, the AD states have had a rate of major party competition between two and nine percentage points greater than in BD states except for 2018.

For both BD and AD states, the rate of major party competition is lower this year than it was in 2020.

Of the 32 BD states, eight have Democratic trifectas, 19 have Republican trifectas, and five have divided governments.

Of the 10 AD states, four have Democratic trifectas, two have Republican trifectas, and four have divided governments.

New York is counted twice since its Assembly’s filing deadline came before May 2 and its Senate deadline came after.

We have not finished processing data for five additional states with filing deadlines after May 2: Alaska, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. There are two Democratic trifectas, one Republican trifecta, and two divided governments among this group.

Use the link below to view total and state-specific filing deadline statistics at all levels of government.

Keep reading 

Oklahoma State Board of Education censures two school districts for violating state law

On July 28, the Oklahoma State Board of Education voted 4-2 to downgrade the accreditation status of the Tulsa and Mustang Public Schools for violating a 2021 law that prohibits teaching that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another.” Local commentary describes the law as prohibiting critical race theory in public schools.

This is the first time the law has been enforced in Oklahoma.

The Tulsa downgrading stemmed from a high school teacher’s complaint in 2021 that mandatory staff training materials contained “statements that specifically shame white people … and state that all are implicitly racially biased by nature.

The board downgraded Mustang Public Schools over a January 2022 complaint regarding a teacher’s anti-bullying lesson.

Board member Estela Hernandez, who voted in favor of the downgrades, said the decision was “sufficient in this case because we need to send a message that the deliberate breaking of the law needs to be on probation.”

State Superintendent Joy Hoffmeister, the state’s Democratic nominee for governor, voted against the downgrades, saying, “The penalties are heavily weighted against Tulsa … because of an obsession or peculiar focus that [Gov. Kevin Stitt (R)] has with them … And then Mustang became collateral damage.”

The districts have one year to make changes in order to improve their accreditation statuses. The Oklahoma Department of Education could revoke the districts’ accreditation altogether if more violations occur, forcing the districts to close.

The Oklahoma Board of Education is made up of six members representing the state’s six congressional districts, appointed by the governor and approved by the Senate. The state superintendent of education, elected statewide in midterm election cycles, also serves on the board.

For more information about the latest in school politics and governance, subscribe to Hall Pass, our weekly newsletter covering elections, commentary, and research across the political spectrum on the issues facing school boards.

Keep reading 

Indiana U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski killed in car accident

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) died in a car accident on Aug. 3. Walorski had represented Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District since 2012. Before serving in Congress, Walorski worked as a television reporter and a nonprofit director. She also served as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives from 2004 to 2010.

A special election will be called to fill the vacancy created by Walorski’s death since the vacancy occurred more than 74 days before the general election. Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) said his office had not yet begun the process of setting the election, though it is likely the special election will take place at the same time as the district’s regular general election on Nov. 8.

Walorski was also on the ballot for the regular general election, seeking another term. 

Democratic Party officials in the 2nd District will select a candidate for the special election. Republican Party officials will select both a candidate for the special election along with a candidate to replace Walorski on the regular general election ballot.

The winner of the special election will serve in Congress until Jan. 3, 2023, the end of Walorski’s current term. The winner of the regular general election will serve a full, two-year term beginning on Jan. 3.

Since 2019, eight members of Congress—three Democrats and five Republicans—passed away while in office. In addition to Walorski, two other incumbents passed away this year: U.S. Reps. Jim Hagedorn (R-Minn.) and Don Young (R-Alaska). 

Special elections to fill the remainder of those terms will coincide with each state’s regularly-scheduled primary elections: Aug. 9 in Minnesota and Aug. 16 in Alaska. 

The special election in Indiana’s 2nd District will be the 17th to take place during the 117th Congress, tied for the most special elections in a single Congress over the past three decades.

Keep reading

Voters in St. Louis, Missouri, approve two ballot measures on Aug. 2

On August 2, voters in St. Louis, Missouri, approved two ballot measures—Proposition F and Proposition S.

St. Louis Proposition F amended the city’s charter to increase the maximum fine for violations of ordinances regarding environmental conditions, such as dumping waste and debris and prohibited refuse, from $500 to $1,000. With all precincts reporting, the vote was 85.03% to 14.97%. A 60% supermajority vote was required to approve Proposition F. In March, the St. Louis City Council voted 27-0 to place the measure on the ballot.

St. Louis Public Schools Proposition S authorized the Board of Education to issue $160 million in general obligation bonds for school renovations, repairs, and upgrades. With all precincts reporting, the vote was 86.87% to 13.13%. A four-sevenths (57.14%) vote was needed to approve the ballot measure. 

Superintendent Kelvin Adams said the bond revenue would cover about half of the district’s needed fixes. “We’re only going to touch the surface of this,” said Adams, “We know for a fact that there are more needs than the dollars will support, but this gets us moving in the right direction.” Voters last approved a bond for St. Louis Public Schools in 2010.

Since 2018, voters in St. Louis, and jurisdictions that include St. Louis, have decided on 18 local ballot measures, approving 15 (83%) and rejecting three (17%). Before August 2, the last citywide election in St. Louis was on April 5, 2022, when voters approved two ballot measures – an initiative addressing redistricting and conflict of interest policies and a capital improvements bond measure.   

St. Louis also held citywide primaries on August 2, including for the offices of the collector of revenue, license collector, and recorder of deeds.

Arkansas Board of Election Commissioners declines to certify ballot language for initiatives to legalize marijuana and repeal Pope County’s casino authorization

On August 3, the Arkansas Board of Election Commissioners declined to certify the ballot titles and popular names for two initiatives that had submitted signatures. Fair Play for Arkansas 2022 said they were considering their options to challenge the board’s decision. Responsible Growth Arkansas said they planned to challenge the board’s decision with the Arkansas Supreme Court.

Responsible Growth Arkansas, the campaign behind the marijuana legalization initiative, submitted more than 190,000 signatures on July 8, 2022. The Arkansas Secretary of State announced on July 29 that the campaign had submitted more than the required number of valid signatures (89,151) and would qualify for the ballot if the Board of Election Commissioners certified the ballot language.

The measure would legalize marijuana use for individuals 21 years of age and older and authorize the commercial sale of marijuana with a 10% sales tax. Adults could possess up to one ounce of marijuana. Under the amendment, businesses that already hold licenses under the state’s medical marijuana program would be authorized to sell marijuana for personal use. An additional 40 licenses would be given to businesses chosen by a lottery. The Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Division of the Department of Finance and Administration would regulate the program and provide for cannabis business licensing.

Currently, 19 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized the possession and personal use of marijuana for recreational purposes. Eleven states and D.C. had legalized marijuana through the ballot initiative process.

Fair Play for Arkansas 2022 reported submitting 103,096 signatures for an initiative to repeal the casino authorization for Pope County. In 2018, voters approved Issue 4 authorizing the county to grant a casino license for one casino. Under Issue 4, the Pope County license required applicants to pay fees to apply, demonstrate experience in conducting casino gaming, or furnish a letter of support from the county judge. The Pope County license was awarded to the Cherokee Nation.

In Arkansas, a total of 44 ballot measures appeared on the statewide ballot between 2000 and 2020. Thirty-two (72.73%) ballot measures were approved, and 12 (27.27%) ballot measures were defeated.

Indiana Rep. Jackie Walorski killed in car accident

Indiana Rep. Jackie Walorski (R) was killed in a wrong-way vehicle crash on Aug. 3, 2022. Walorski was driving on an Indiana highway with two members of her staff, who were also killed in the crash.

Walorski represented Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District. She was first elected in 2012. Prior to serving in the U.S. Congress, Walorski worked as a television reporter and nonprofit director. She served as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives from 2004 to 2010.

A special election will be called to fill the vacancy created by Walorski’s death. Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) stated that his office had not begun the process to set the election. Walorski’s seat is also up for election in the general election on Nov. 8.

Since 2019, eight members of Congress have passed away while serving their terms. Three of those members were Democratic, while the other five were Republican.

The Constitution requires that vacancies in the House be filled through an election. In the first session of any Congress, all states, territories, and districts mandate a special election in case of a vacancy in any House seat. If the vacancy occurs during the second session, requirements differ based on the length of time between when the vacancy occurs and the next general election.

The process for filling House vacancies is distinct from that of filling vacancies in the U.S. Senate, where 37 states fill vacancies through gubernatorial appointment and the remaining 13 require a special election.

Additional reading:

Special elections to the 117th United States Congress (2021-2022)

OIRA reviewed 47 significant rules in July

In July 2022, the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) reviewed 47 significant regulatory actions issued by federal agencies. OIRA approved six of these rules with no changes and approved the intent of 40 rules while recommending changes to their content. One rule was withdrawn from the review process by the issuing agency.

OIRA reviewed 43 significant regulatory actions in July 2021, 73 significant regulatory actions in July 2020, 51 significant regulatory actions in July 2019, 36 significant regulatory actions in July 2018, and 19 significant regulatory actions in July 2017.

OIRA has reviewed a total of 260 significant rules in 2022. The agency reviewed a total of 502 significant rules in 2021, 676 significant rules in 2020, 475 significant rules in 2019, 355 significant rules in 2018, and 237 significant rules in 2017.

As of August 1, 2022, OIRA’s website listed 105 regulatory actions under review.

​​OIRA is responsible for reviewing and coordinating what it deems to be all significant regulatory actions made by federal agencies, with the exception of independent federal agencies. Significant regulatory actions include agency rules that have had or may have a large impact on the economy, environment, public health, or state and local governments and communities. These regulatory actions may also conflict with other regulations or with the priorities of the president.

Every month, Ballotpedia compiles information about regulatory reviews conducted by OIRA. To view this project, visit:

Additional reading:

Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

Texas sues Biden administration over guidance requiring abortions in medical emergencies

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) sued the Biden administration July 14 after Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra released guidance July 11 requiring doctors to provide abortions in medical emergencies when “abortion is the stabilizing treatment necessary to resolve [the emergency] condition.” The guidance went on to say that “when a state law prohibits abortion and does not include an exception for the life and health of the pregnant person — or draws the exception more narrowly than EMTALA’s emergency medical condition definition — that state law is preempted.”

Paxton argued the guidance was too broad and that the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act did not cover abortions. He said, “The Biden administration seeks to transform every emergency room in the country into a walk-in abortion clinic.”

Texas law prohibits all abortions unless a pregnancy “places the female at risk of death or poses a serious risk of substantial impairment of a major bodily function.”

The HHS guidance came after the U.S. Supreme Court decided Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on June 24, overturning Roe v. Wade (1973) and ruling there is no constitutional right to abortion. Dobbs returned most abortion policy decisions to the states.

For more information on Dobbs and its effect on abortion policy, click here. To learn more about state responses to federal mandates, click here.

Additional reading:

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

Abortion regulations by state