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Missouri General Assembly refers two constitutional amendments to the ballot during 2022 session

The Missouri General Assembly passed resolutions for two constitutional amendments during the 2022 legislative session, which adjourned on May 13. Voters will decide on the amendments at the general election on Nov. 8, 2022. The two amendments join a third proposal that legislators referred to the ballot during the 2021 legislative session.

One of this session’s constitutional amendments received support from a majority of Democrats and Republicans. The second proposal, which addresses police funding, largely divided the parties. In Missouri, a simple majority vote is required in the General Assembly to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot, and Republicans control both chambers. Constitutional amendments do not require the governor’s signature to be placed on the ballot.

The first constitutional amendment passed during the legislative session was House Joint Resolution 116 (HJR 116), which would provide the Missouri National Guard with its own department within the state government’s executive branch. Currently, the National Guard is housed within the Missouri Department of Public Safety. The vote was 126-2 in the House; the two “No” votes were Democrats. The vote was 32-0 in the Senate. The constitutional amendment was certified for the ballot on May 5.

On the final day of the legislative session, Senate Joint Resolution 38 (SJR 38) was passed. The constitutional amendment would allow the General Assembly to increase the minimum required funding for a police force established by a state board of police commissioners. Kansas City is the only city that does not have local jurisdiction over its department, and therefore the only city that this measure would currently impact. The amendment was passed along with a bill that would increase the minimum funding requirement for Kansas City’s police department. Currently, Missouri law mandates that Kansas City devote 20% of its general revenue to the police department. That bill would increase the funding requirement to 25%. 

The Senate passed SJR 38 on March 21. The vote was 23-10. Democrats were divided 1-9, and Republicans were divided 22-1. On May 13, the House voted 103-44 to pass the resolution. Democrats voted 3-41, and Republicans voted 100-3. 

In 2021, the General Assembly placed a constitutional amendment on the 2022 ballot that would authorize the state treasurer to invest in highly rated municipal securities. Voters will also decide a constitutional convention question, which automatically appears on Missouri’s ballot every ten years, asking voters whether or not to hold a state constitutional convention. Two citizen-initiated measures could also appear on the ballot. One would adopt top-four ranked-choice voting for statewide, state legislative, and congressional offices. The other would legalize marijuana in Missouri. Campaigns for these initiatives submitted signatures by the May 8 deadline. 

A total of 85 measures have appeared on Missouri’s statewide ballots between 1996 and 2020. Out of those 85, 54 (64%) were approved by voters, while 31 (36%) were defeated.

Additional reading:

29 SCOTUS decisions down, 35 to go

Welcome to the Friday, May 20, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

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

  1. Looking at the two most recent SCOTUS decisions
  2. Arkansas’ upcoming statewide primaries
  3. #FridayTrivia: How many U.S. House incumbents have lost in primaries so far?

Looking at the two most recent SCOTUS decisions

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is approaching its summer recess in late June or early July quickly, and that means we are entering peak opinion season. The court traditionally issues the bulk of its decisions before leaving for the summer.

SCOTUS issued its two most recent decisions on May 16 in Federal Election Commission v. Ted Cruz for Senate and Patel v. Garland. Let’s take a closer look.

In Federal Election Commission v. Ted Cruz for Senate, the court struck down a campaign finance law that limited the monetary amount of post-election contributions a candidate could use to pay back personal loans made to their campaign in a 6-3 ruling.

With Chief Justice John Roberts writing the majority opinion, the court found that such a limitation violated the First Amendment by impermissibly burdening a candidate’s political speech without proper justification. Roberts was joined in the majority by Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Clarence Thomas.

Justice Elena Kagan filed a dissenting opinion, joined by Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor. In her dissent, Kagan wrote, “The majority says [the law in question] violates the candidate’s First Amendment rights by interfering with his ability to ‘self-fund’ his campaign … The law impedes only his ability to use other people’s money to finance his campaign—much as standard (and permissible) contribution limits do.”

In Patel v. Garland, the court held 5-4 that federal courts do not have jurisdiction to review facts found during discretionary-relief proceedings under federal immigration law. Discretionary-relief proceedings are those in which the law grants immigration judges discretion over the type of relief they can award. Justice Barrett wrote the court’s opinion. Justice Gorsuch joined Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan in dissent.

In his dissent, Gorsuch wrote, “Today, the Court holds that a federal bureaucracy can make an obvious factual error … and nothing can be done about it. … It is a bold claim promising dire consequences for countless lawful immigrants.”

So far in the 2021-2022 term, the court has issued opinions in 29 cases, three of which were decided without argument. The court accepted 66 cases for argument during the term and heard 61 after dismissing four and removing one from its calendar. This leaves 35 opinions yet to be decided for the current term. 

Keep reading 

Arkansas’ upcoming statewide primaries

Three states are holding statewide primaries for federal and state offices on May 24—Alabama, Arkansas, and Georga—plus Texas is holding primary runoffs. Today, let’s take a closer look at Arkansas, the races on the ballot, and how their primaries work.

U.S. Sen. John Boozman (R) is running in a contested primary against three challengers with three candidates seeking the Democratic nomination. Boozman was first elected in 2010 and was re-elected in 2016.

Arkansas is also holding elections for its four congressional districts. The four incumbents—all Republicans—are seeking re-election. Three of those incumbents are facing contested primaries. Each district has one Democratic candidate running, so no primaries will be held on that side.

Seven state executive offices are also up for election. Two incumbents—Secretary of State John Thurston (R) and Public Lands Commissioner Tommy Land (R)—are running for re-election with Thurston the only one facing a contested primary of the two. The remaining five incumbents—including Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R)—are term-limited.

The Arkansas Supreme Court and Court of Appeals are holding nonpartisan general elections on May 24. All three incumbent supreme court justices are seeking re-election, two of whom are facing challengers. Two of the four judges on the court of appeals are also seeking re-election, but neither faces challengers. Only one spot on that court will be contested. If no candidate receives a majority vote in the general election, the top two vote-getters will advance to a runoff on Nov. 8.

All 135 state legislative districts—35 in the Senate and 100 in the House—are holding elections. Republicans currently hold a 27-7-1 majority in the Senate and a 78-22 majority in the House. 

There are more contested state legislative primaries in Arkansas this year than at any point since 2014. The total number of contested primaries in Arkansas increased 195% in 2022 compared to 2020. That’s the largest increase for any state apart from North Dakota so far this cycle.

Oregon is using partisan primaries in all of its races apart from those for judicial positions. In partisan primaries, candidates from the same party compete against one another to win their party’s nomination.

In Oregon, candidates must win at least 50% of the vote to advance directly to the general election. If no candidate in a primary meets that threshold, the top two vote-getters will advance to a primary runoff on June 21.

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 U.S. House incumbents have lost in primaries so far?

All 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives are up for election this year. Over the past five cycles, from 2012 to 2020, 6.8 U.S. House incumbents have lost a primary on average with the largest number—12—coming in 2012, the most recent post-redistricting cycle. Ten states have already held U.S. House primaries this year.

How many U.S. House incumbents have lost in primaries so far?

  1. 8
  2. 3
  3. 13
  4. 0

Percentage of Arizona state legislative incumbents facing primaries at its highest since 2014

Twenty-eight of the 51 Arizona state legislators running for re-election this year—nine Democrats and 17 Republicans—face contested primaries. That equals 55% of incumbents seeking re-election, the highest rate since 2014. The remaining 45% of incumbents are not facing primary challengers.

Twenty-eight incumbents is, by itself, the largest number of incumbents in contested primaries since 2014. But it is also similar to recent cycles. The rate of incumbents in contested primaries is higher this year than 2018 and 2020 because fewer incumbents are seeking re-election.

Thirty-nine incumbents did not file for re-election, nine because of term limits. This is the largest number of retiring incumbents in Arizona since 2014.

In addition to the 39 retirements, four other seats are open this year because incumbents are running in different districts as a result of redistricting. When district lines are redrawn incumbents might find themselves living in new districts. This can result in incumbents challenging other incumbents in primary or general elections.

This year there are three primaries featuring multiple incumbents. In each of these races, at least one incumbent is guaranteed to lose:

Additionally, Sens. Christine Marsh (D) and Nancy Barto (R) were drawn into a contested general election in Senate District 4.

The filing deadline for candidates running for state legislative office in Arizona this year was April 4. Candidates filed to run for all of the state’s 60 House seats and 30 Senate seats.

Overall, 203 major party candidates filed to run this year: 91 Democrats and 112 Republicans. That equals 2.3 candidates per seat, up from 2.0 in 2020.

Arizona has been a Republican trifecta since 2008. Republicans currently hold a 16-14 majority in the Senate and a 31-29 majority in the House.

Arizona’s state legislative primaries are scheduled for Aug. 2, the tenth statewide state legislative primary date of the 2022 election cycle.

Additional reading:

Kansas enacts legislative district boundaries after state supreme court approves them

Kansas enacted new legislative district boundaries on May 18 when the Kansas Supreme Court unanimously upheld the maps that Gov. Laura Kelly (D) signed into law on April 15. As specified in the state constitution, the state supreme court had to approve or reject the new boundaries within 10 days of Attorney General Derek Schmidt (R) filing them with the court. The maps will take effect for Kansas’ 2022 state legislative elections.

Both chambers of the legislature passed the redistricting legislation on March 30 after a joint House-Senate conference committee had developed it. The Kansas House of Representatives approved the legislative boundaries 83-40 and the state Senate approved them 29-11.

After Kelly signed the maps, Andrew Bahl and Rafael Garcia of the Topeka Capital-Journal wrote, “The state Senate and House maps were mildly contested in the Legislature, particularly in the Senate where the map will create a fourth, Democrat-leaning district in Topeka and Lawrence.”

As of May 19, 46 states have adopted legislative district maps for both chambers. The Ohio Supreme Court has overturned that state’s previously enacted maps, courts in two states have overturned a map for one chamber, and Montana has not yet adopted legislative redistricting plans after the 2020 census. As of May 19, 2012, 46 states had enacted legislative redistricting plans after the 2010 census.

Nationwide, legislative redistricting has been completed for 1,807 of 1,973 state Senate seats (91.6%) and 5,214 of 5,413 state House seats (96.3%).

Additional reading:

McGrane wins May 17 Republican Party primary for Idaho Secretary of State

Phil McGrane defeated Dorothy Moon and Mary Souza in the May 17 Republican Party primary for Idaho Secretary of State. Incumbent Lawerence Denney(R), who was first elected in 2014, did not file for re-election.

McGrane is the Ada County Clerk, a position to which he was first elected in 2018. On his campaign website, McGrane said, “It is now more important than ever to protect Idaho’s elections from the influence of D.C. and beyond. Since 2005, I have been involved with almost every aspect of Idaho elections; from counting ballots to training counties. I know our election system from the inside out and will bring my experience as your next Republican Secretary of State.”

Moon has represented District 8B in the Idaho House of Representatives since 2016. In an interview with Idaho Dispatch, Moon said she was running for secretary of state because “I knew that if we do not have fair elections in this state, we’re done—the entire country is done. We’ll lose our republic. To me this is the biggest issue we’re dealing with as Idaho, and as the country. On her campaign website, Moon said: “I believe my legislative work, education career, business acumen and life experiences have uniquely qualified me to serve Idaho as your next Secretary of State. And no one can question my commitment to conservative principles.” She listed her top issues as election integrity, business services, and endowment lands.

Souza is a member of the Idaho State Senate since 2014, representing District 4. She said: “In the wake of last year’s tumultuous election, it’s clear that to preserve voters’ faith and trust in our democratic process, we must safeguard election integrity. That goal will be my lodestar as Idaho’s Secretary of State.” On her campaign website, she listed three issues: Securing our Elections, Serving Future Generations, and Supporting our Economy.

The Idaho Secretary of State is responsible for running the state’s elections, licensing businesses, trademarks, notaries and other professions and various other duties involving the maintenance and publication of official documents. Republicans have held Idaho’s secretary of state office since 1967.

Idaho is one of 27 states holding secretary of state elections in 2022.

Georgia has the most candidates running for the U.S. House in at least a decade

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in Georgia this year was March 11, 2022. Eighty-two candidates are running for Georgia’s 14 U.S. House districts, including 31 Democrats and 51 Republicans. That’s 5.86 candidates per district, more than the 5.5 candidates per district in 2020 and the 3.42 in 2018.

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  1. This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census. Georgia was apportioned 14 districts, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.
  2. The 82 candidates running this year are the most candidates running for Georgia’s U.S. House seats since at least 2012, when 44 candidates ran.
  1. Two seats — the 6th and the 10th — are open, meaning no incumbents are running. That’s one less than in 2020 when three seats were open. There were no open seats in 2018, one in 2016, and three in 2014.
  2. Rep. Jody Hice (R), who represents the 10th district, is running for Georgia Secretary of State. Thirteen candidates — five Democrats and eight Republicans — are running to replace him, the most candidates running for a seat this year. 
  3. Rep. Lucy McBath (D), who represents the 6th district, is running in the 7th district this year. She is the only incumbent running in a different district than the one she currently represents. 
  4. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux (D), the incumbent in the 7th district, is running for re-election. That makes the 7th district the only district featuring two incumbents running against each other.
  5. There are eight contested Democratic primaries this year, the same number as in 2020 and 2018. 

There are nine contested Republican primaries, one more than in 2020 and the highest number since at least 2012. 

  1. There are eight incumbents in contested primaries this year, the most since at least 2012. 
  1. Five incumbents are not facing any primary challengers. 
  2. Candidates filed to run in the Republican and Democratic primaries in all 14 districts, so no seats are guaranteed to either party this year. The last year in which a party was guaranteed a seat because no candidate from the other party filed was 2018, when then-incumbent Rep. John Lewis (D) ran unopposed in the general election for the 5th district. 

Georgia and two other states — Alabama and Arkansas — are holding primary elections on May 24. A candidate must receive a majority of votes in order to win a primary election in Georgia. If no candidate wins an outright majority of votes cast, a runoff primary between the top two vote-getters will be held on June 21.

Additional reading:

Heart of the Primaries 2022, Republicans-Issue 23 (May 19, 2022)

In this issue: Takeaways from five states’ primaries and former V.P. Pence to campaign for Kemp

Primary results roundup

Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Oregon held primaries on May 17.

The big stories of the night: Expected Pennsylvania recount, Cawthorn defeated, and more

Pennsylvania Senate: As of Thursday morning, the race remained too close to call. Mehmet Oz led with 31.2% of the vote, while David McCormick received 31.1% and Kathy Barnette received 24.7%. Seven candidates ran in the primary. Senator Pat Toomey (R) did not run for re-election.

Under state law, any election with a vote margin within 0.5% is subject to an automatic recount. If applicable, the secretary of state must order the recount by May 26. It must start by June 1 and be completed by June 7.

Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Oz in April. Former candidate Sean Parnell, whom Trump initially endorsed before Parnell withdrew, endorsed McCormick. On May 12, Trump issued a statement opposing Barnette, who rose in recent polls. 

Three independent race forecasters rate the general election either Toss-up or Tilt Republican

North Carolina’s 11th: State Sen. Chuck Edwards defeated incumbent Madison Cawthorn and six others in the Republican primary for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District. Eight candidates were on the ballot. Edwards received 33.4% of the vote to Cawthorn’s 31.9%.

Cawthorn is the second U.S. representative to seek re-election and lose a primary this year. Rep. David McKinley (R) lost to Rep. Alexander Mooney (R) in West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. The two ran in the same district following redistricting. In addition, Rep. Bob Gibbs (R) remained on the ballot in Ohio’s 7th District after he unofficially withdrew. Max Miller won that primary. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D) of Oregon’s 5th is trailing challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner as of Thursday morning and may become the third House member to lose a re-election bid.

Trump endorsed Cawthorn on March 31. Following Cawthorn’s claims in late March 2022 that Washington lawmakers hold orgies and use cocaine, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) endorsed Edwards. 

Three independent forecasters rate the general election either Safe or Solid Republican

Pennsylvania Governor: State Sen. Doug Mastriano won against eight candidates. Mastriano received 44% of the vote. Former U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta was second with 20%.

Mastriano campaigned on his opposition to COVID-19 measures and said he would defend election integrity. Mastriano said voting fraud was prevalent in the 2020 election. On Feb. 15, the U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach subpoenaed Mastriano, citing a November 2020 tweet and his presence outside the Capitol on the day of the breach. Trump endorsed Mastriano on May 14.

The 2022 primary featured the largest number of candidates in a Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial primary since at least 1978. Incumbent Tom Wolf (D) is term-limited. Forecasters view the general election as a Toss-up or Tilt or Lean Democratic.

Idaho Governor: Incumbent Gov. Brad Little defeated seven other candidates. Little received 53% of the vote to Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin’s 32%.

According to the Idaho Press‘s Betsy Russell, a lieutenant governor hadn’t challenged an incumbent governor in a primary in Idaho since 1938. Idaho is one of 17 states where the lieutenant governor is elected separately from the governor instead of on the same ticket.

Trump endorsed McGeachin in the primary. The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund and the Idaho Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Little.

Twice in 2021, McGeachin issued executive orders related to COVID-19 measures while Little was out of state. The first banned mask mandates. The second expanded a prohibition against state entities requiring vaccination or testing. Little rescinded both orders when he returned to Idaho.

Independent forecasters rate the general election as Solid or Safe Republican.

We’ve been tracking Trump’s 2022 endorsements. The May 17 primary results (so far) bring Trump’s primary endorsement record to 73 wins (96%) and 3 losses. Aside from McGeachin and Cawthorn, Nebraska gubernatorial endorsee Charles Herbster lost last week.

Other marquee primary results

U.S. Senate

  • North Carolina Senate: Ted Budd defeated 13 other candidates with 59% of the vote. Pat McCrory was second with 25%. Trump endorsed Budd, and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) endorsed McCrory. Incumbent Richard Burr (R) did not run for re-election. Three forecasters rate the general election as Lean Republican.

U.S. House

  • North Carolina’s 13th: Bo Hines defeated seven other candidates with 32% of the vote. DeVan Barbour IV finished second with 23%. The current incumbent, Rep. Ted Budd, ran for the GOP Senate nomination. Three forecasters rate the general election a Toss-up.

State legislative incumbents defeated

At least 30 state legislators—eight Democrats and 22 Republicans—lost in primaries on May 17. Including those defeats, 44 state legislative incumbents have lost to primary challengers this year. This number will likely increase: there are 42 primaries or primary runoffs featuring incumbents that remain uncalled or undecided.

Across the nine states that have held primaries, 4.7% of incumbents running for re-election have lost.

That 4.7% loss rate is the highest compared to previous cycles in these nine states. In 2020, 3.3% of incumbents running for re-election lost primaries. In 2018, 4.3% lost in primaries.

Of the nine states that have held primaries so far, one had a Democratic trifecta, five had Republican trifectas, and three had divided governments with Democrats controlling the governorship and Republicans controlling both legislative chambers. Across these nine states, 1,114 seats are up for election, 18% of the nationwide total.

Media analysis

The Washington Examiner‘s Kate Scanlon wrote about Mastriano’s perceived gubernatorial general election prospects: 

Trump offered his endorsement to Mastriano on Saturday after it became clear he was the front-runner in the race. The move was seen as a hedge, as Trump’s selection for the Senate, television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz, was in a tight three-way race with businessman David McCormick and conservative commentator Kathy Barnette, who surged in polling in the final days of the race. Barnette and Mastriano ran campaigns in tandem, endorsing one another.

Some state Republicans were concerned Mastriano would hurt Republicans’ chances of winning not just the governor’s mansion but the Senate race and some congressional contests. They attempted to coalesce the field around former Rep. Lou Barletta, arguing he was better positioned to defeat Shapiro in November.

Politico‘s David Siders said Mastriano’s prospects may be better than some observers think, referencing Trump’s performance in the state:

Everything about Pennsylvania’s swing state electorate suggests Mastriano is a dead man walking.

Except for this: Lots of Republicans and Democrats alike felt exactly the same way about Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential primary, back when establishment Republicans were praying for anyone other than Trump to win the nomination and some of Hillary Clinton’s advisers were salivating over the prospect of running against Trump. The climate for Democrats in this midterm election year is no better than it was then. In fact, it’s worse. And Pennsylvania is a swing state for a reason. Trump only lost Pennsylvania by about 80,000 votes in 2020. He won the state four years earlier.

Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser described what he saw as both the strength and limitation of Trump’s influence in Tuesday’s primaries:  

The [Senate primary in Pennsylvania] is proving another test of Trump’s immense sway over the GOP. Sixteen months removed from the White House, the former president remains the most popular and influential politician in the Republican Party as he plays a kingmaker’s role in this year’s primaries and repeatedly flirts with another presidential run in 2024.

Trump was a winner in Pennsylvania’s GOP gubernatorial primary, as state Sen. Doug Mastriano bested a crowded field of contenders. Mastriano was already the polling front-runner when the former president endorsed him on Saturday.

Trump was also a big winner in North Carolina’s Republican Senate primary – in another crucial race in a general election battleground where the GOP’s defending an open seat.  

Trump’s clout couldn’t pull controversial Rep. Madison Cawthorne over the top in the Republican primary in North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District, however. Even with Trump’s backing in the final days heading into the primary, Cawthorne – who’s made plenty of enemies in the GOP in his short year and a half on Capitol Hill – came up short to state Sen. Chuck Edwards, who enjoyed the backing of many of the party’s establishment.

In Idaho, far-right Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin handily lost her bid to oust incumbent Republican Gov. Brad Little. Trump endorsed McGeachin last autumn, but did little to actively support her.

First poll released for special U.S. House top-four primary in Alaska

Alaska Survey Research published the first poll we’ve seen of Alaska’s top-four U.S. House special primary. The poll included 12 of the 48 candidates by name. 

We’ve colored in the names below based on party affiliation (blue for Democrats, red for Republicans, and gray for independents). Affiliation was not included in the poll.

  • Palin 19%
  • Begich 16%
  • Gross 13%
  • Claus 6%
  • Peltola 5%
  • Constant 5%
  • Sweeney 4%
  • Revak 4%
  • Lowenfels 3%
  • Wool 2%
  • Halcro 2%
  • Coghill 2%
  • Other 4%
  • Undecided 16%

The poll’s margin of error was +/- 4 percentage points.

Former Governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin (R), Nick Begich III (R), and 2020 U.S. Senate candidate Al Gross (I) top the results. A cluster of candidates are within the margin of error for fourth place, including North Pole City Councilmember Santa Claus (I), former state Rep. Mary Peltola (D), Anchorage Assemblymember Christopher Constant (D), former Assistant Secretary of the Interior Tara Sweeney (R), and state Sen. Josh Revak (R).

Sweeney and Revak co-chaired former Rep. Don Young’s (R) statewide re-election campaign. Young died in March. 

The special primary is June 11, and the special general election is Aug. 16. The regularly scheduled primary will also be held Aug. 16.

In addition to top-four primaries, Alaska will use ranked-choice voting for both general elections.

Alaska Survey Research tested four general election scenarios. Each included Begich, Gross, and Palin, with someone different in the fourth spot. In each RCV simulation, Begich and Gross were left standing in the 3rd round, with Begich taking a majority.

Minnesota GOP endorses Scott Jensen for governor

On Saturday, the Minnesota Republican Party endorsed Scott Jensen for governor. According to the Star Tribune, it was “a heated endorsement fight that started with a crowded field of contenders and featured multiple rounds of balloting.” Kendall Qualls, who finished second in the voting, announced after the GOP convention that he was dropping out of the race.

Jensen, a physician who served in the state Senate from 2017 to 2021, has campaigned on his opposition to vaccine and mask requirements. 

Gov. Tim Walz (D) is seeking re-election. The primaries are Aug. 9.

Former Vice President Mike Pence to campaign for Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp

Former Vice President Mike Pence (R) announced he’ll be campaigning for Gov. Brian Kemp (R) at a rally on May 23. Pence said Kemp is “one of the most successful conservative governors in America.”

Kemp faces former U.S. Sen. David Perdue (R) and three others in the May 24 primary. Trump endorsed Perdue in December, saying, “Kemp has been a very weak Governor—the liberals and RINOs have run all over him on Election Integrity, and more.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Greg Bluestein said Pence’s upcoming rally appearance “illustrates a growing proxy fight in Georgia between establishment forces backing Kemp and the Trump loyalists who want to remake the state Republican Party in the former president’s mold.” Bluestein said Pence’s endorsement “deepen[ed] a split with Donald Trump as each maneuvers for a possible 2024 White House run.”

Pence’s announcement followed news that Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R), Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R), former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), and former President George W. Bush (R) would campaign for Kemp. Ricketts and Ducey are co-chairmen of the Republican Governors Association (RGA), and Christie is a former RGA chairman.

Competitiveness data: Alabama

Alabama holds primaries on May 24. We’ve crunched some numbers to see how competitive the primaries will be compared to recent election cycles.

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 23 (May 19, 2022)

In this issue: Takeaways from five states’ primaries and another possible incumbent-vs.-incumbent primary in NY

Primary results roundup

Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Oregon held primaries on May 17.

The big stories of the night: Fetterman wins, and too-close-to-call House races in Oregon

Pennsylvania Senate: Lt. Gov. John Fetterman defeated U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, and Alexandria Khalil. As of Thursday morning, Fetterman received 59% of the vote and Lamb was second with 26%.

Fetterman’s top campaign priorities were adopting a single-payer healthcare system, legalizing marijuana, and supporting LGBTQIA+ rights. The Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association and The Philadelphia Tribune were among his backers. Lamb said his priorities included expanding Medicare, reducing prescription drug prices, a $15 minimum wage, and strengthening unions. Lamb’s endorsers included the Philadelphia Democratic Party and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Pennsylvania is one of two states Joe Biden won in 2020 that has a U.S. Senate election this year in which the current incumbent is a Republican. Pennsylvania is also one of six states with one senator who caucuses with Democrats and another who caucuses with Republicans. 

Oregon’s 5th: As of Thursday morning, Jamie McLeod-Skinner led incumbent Kurt Schrader 60%-39%. Schrader has represented the 5th District since 2009. According to Daily Kos, 47% of the population in the new 5th District after redistricting comes from the old 5th District that Schrader has represented. 

Schrader campaigned on what he called a record of bipartisanship, saying it represented his constituents. McLeod-Skinner criticized Schrader’s record and said she’d do more on the issues of housing, healthcare, childcare, and the environment. 

President Joe Biden (D) and Planned Parenthood Action Fund were among Schrader’s endorsers. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and the Democratic parties in Deschutes, Linn, Clackamas, and Marion counties—containing more than 90% of the new district’s voters—endorsed McLeod-Skinner.

Schrader may become the third House member to lose a re-election bid this year. Reps. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) and David McKinley (R-W.V.) lost their primaries. 

Oregon’s 6th: As of Thursday morning, Andrea Salinas led eight other candidates with 37% of the vote. Carrick Flynn was second with 19%. 

Satellite group spending was a big issue in the race. The House Majority PAC spent $1 million and Protect Our Future PAC spent more than $10 million backing Flynn, while the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ Bold PAC spent $1 million supporting Salinas. Salinas and five other candidates criticized House Majority PAC’s spending, saying in a joint statement, “This effort by the political arm of the Democratic establishment to buy this race for one candidate is a slap in the face to every Democratic voter and volunteer in Oregon.” The PAC’s communications director said it was “doing whatever it takes to secure a Democratic House majority in 2022.”

Other marquee primary results

U.S. House

  • Kentucky’s 3rd: Morgan McGarvey defeated Attica Scott 63% to 37%. Incumbent John Yarmuth (D) did not seek re-election. Yarmuth endorsed McGarvey. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee endorsed Scott. Three forecasters rate the general election Safe or Solid Democratic.
  • North Carolina’s 1st: Donald Davis defeated three other candidates with 63% of the vote. Erica Smith finished second with 31%. Incumbent G.K. Butterfield (D) didn’t seek re-election this year. Butterfield endorsed Davis. Three forecasters rate the general Lean Democratic.
  • North Carolina’s 4th: Valerie Foushee defeated seven other candidates with 46% of the vote. Nida Allam finished second with 37%. Incumbent David Price (D) did not seek re-election. U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) backed Foushee. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) endorsed Allam. Three forecasters rate the general Safe or Solid Democratic.
  • Pennsylvania’s 12th: This race was too close to call as of Thursday morning. Summer Lee had 41.7% to Steve Irwin’s 41.3%. Forecasters rate the general Safe or Solid Democratic.

State executive

  • Oregon Governor: Tina Kotek defeated 14 other candidates with 58% of the vote. Tobias Read finished second with 33%. Incumbent Kate Brown (D) was term-limited. Three forecasters rate the general election Lean or Likely Democratic.

State legislative incumbents defeated

At least 30 state legislators—eight Democrats and 22 Republicans—lost in primaries on May 17. Including those defeats, 44 state legislative incumbents have lost to primary challengers this year. This number will likely increase: there are 42 primaries or primary runoffs featuring incumbents that remain uncalled or undecided.

Across the nine states that have held primaries, 4.7% of incumbents running for re-election have lost.

That 4.7% loss rate is the highest compared to previous cycles in these nine states. In 2020, 3.3% of incumbents running for re-election lost primaries. In 2018, 4.3% lost in primaries.

Of the nine states that have held primaries so far, one had a Democratic trifecta, five had Republican trifectas, and three had divided governments with Democrats controlling the governorship and Republicans controlling both legislative chambers. Across these nine states, 1,114 seats are up for election, 18% of the nationwide total.

Media analysis

Politico‘s David Siders said Tuesday was a good night for progressives:

In North Carolina, two progressives, Nida Allam and Erica Smith, went down in open seat House primaries. But even with those losses — and even if the results in Oregon [5th and 6th District] and Pennsylvania [12th District] turn — it will go down as a good night for the left.

At a minimum, they have Fetterman and Salinas. And in the Senate, the rest of the map was pretty promising for progressives as well. A night that produced Fetterman — and Charles Booker and Cheri Beasley in Kentucky and North Carolina, respectively — as Democratic Senate nominees is a night progressives can learn to love.

CNN said that Fetterman’s win in Pennsylvania and Cheri Beasley’s win in North Carolina’s U.S. Senate primary speak to a shift in the Democratic Party: 

What it means to be a top Democratic recruit is changing.

On Tuesday night, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a 6-foot, 8-inch, bald, tattooed former mayor known for wearing shorts and hoodies, ran away with the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary. In North Carolina, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley largely cleared the primary field and coasted to a nomination that could make her the state’s first Black senator.

Their wins are part of a change within the Democratic Party, where what constituted a good recruit in cycles past meant someone who looked a lot more like the people Fetterman and Beasley beat.

Jewish Telegraphic Agency‘s Ron Kampeas wrote that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s super PAC contributed to Davis’ and Foushee’s wins in North Carolina:

Moderate Democrats backed by political action committees affiliated with the AIPAC pro-Israel lobby won hotly contested Democratic primaries Tuesday, which the group said was a vindication of its controversial decision to dive into direct campaign funding.

Both races were to replace longtime Democrats who are retiring and were two of three closely watched in the pro-Israel community because of massive injections of cash by United Democracy Project, a so-called “super PAC” launched last year by AIPAC. The PAC targeted the races because [Erica] Smith and [Nida] Allam would have added to the contingent of congressional lawmakers who seek stricter oversight and limitations on defense aid for Israel.

The third race, in Pennsylvania’s newly drawn 12th District, was too close to call, with the United Democracy-backed candidate, Pittsburgh lawyer Steve Irwin, less than a percentage point behind State Rep. Summer Lee with 98% of the vote counted.

It’s not clear how much AIPAC’s support drove the outcomes, as both Davis and Foushee had support from the local Democratic establishment and the cryptocurrency sector, which is seeking to deter congressional oversight, also poured money into the races.

But it’s clear that the pro-Israel funding, which also flowed to a lesser degree from a PAC associated with the group Democratic Majority for Israel, did register in the races. In the Pittsburgh-area district Lee was seen as the clear front-runner until she was hit by a barrage of negative ads paid for by United Democracy. And in North Carolina’s 4th District, the pro-Israel donations caused the state’s progressive caucus to rescind its endorsement of Foushee.

The Washington Post‘s Aaron Blake said Oregon’s big House races were heading in a negative direction for what he called the Democratic establishment:

There’s a reason we focus on Trump’s endorsements: Because he makes a lot of them, and he’s obviously trying to maintain control of the party during an uncertain time. But President Biden has made a couple of endorsements, too, including for Rep. Shontel M. Brown (D-Ohio) in her landslide over Turner.

It’s worth noting that one of those endorsed — Schrader — is losing pretty badly. … Schrader is a moderate who sometimes alienated fellow House Democrats on spending bills — and who, because of redistricting, was campaigning in a very different district than in years past.

Backing an incumbent facing a primary challenge is kind of a no-brainer for a president, but it’s looking as if Oregon voters had little regard for Biden’s advice.

Speaking of the Democratic establishment getting one wrong: Biden aside, the party more broadly didn’t fight too hard for Schrader. But a PAC affiliated with House Democratic leaders did spend $1 million on a candidate in the neighboring 6th District, Carrick Flynn. …

That investment in an apparently losing candidate, though, pales to Flynn’s biggest benefactor: cryptocurrency billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried. His Protect Our Future PAC spent more than $11 million on Flynn — a stunning sum for one out of 435 House seats — and it appears to have failed badly.

Flynn ultimately benefited from $13 million in outside spending … for 19 percent of the vote.

Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Jerry Nadler may both run in NY-12 

On Monday, Democratic Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerry Nadler both said they would run in New York’s 12th Congressional District under a new draft district map. Maloney chairs the House Oversight Committee. Nadler chairs the Judiciary Committee. Both representatives were first elected to the House in 1992.

A special master released the draft after the New York State Court of Appeals overturned the legislature’s previously enacted map. The court ruled the legislature did not get enough input from the state’s redistricting commission.

According to Daily Kos, Nadler “represents 39% of the redrawn (and safely blue) district while Maloney represents the remaining 61%.”

If the state Court of Appeals approves the draft map, the Maloney-Nadler primary would be the sixth U.S. House primary this year featuring two incumbents and the fourth with two Democratic incumbents.

We wrote about the 12th District primary under the overturned congressional map. That race included candidates Suraj Patel and Rana Abdelhamid. Both said they are holding off on decisions about their bids as the draft map is not final.

The primary is scheduled for Aug. 23.

Satellite ads zero in on abortion stances in TX-28 runoff

Recent satellite group ads supporting either incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar or Jessica Cisneros highlight their positions on abortion.

Last week, the group Mainstream Democrats PAC released an ad supporting Cuellar. The narrator said, “With women’s rights under attack from extremists, Democrat Henry Cuellar has made it clear that he opposes a ban on abortion.” The ad also says Cuellar “is standing up for South Texas families by working every day to hold down our cost of living,” including supporting lower drug prices, affordable health care, child care assistance, and a $15 minimum wage. 

On May 13, Women Vote!, a super PAC affiliated with EMILY’s List, booked $526,000 in TV ads supporting Cisneros. One ad, with versions in both English and Spanish, criticizes Cuellar for being the only Democrat to vote against the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would have legalized abortion nationally. The narrator says “[Cuellar is] voting with MAGA Republicans against women’s healthcare.” The ad also says Cuellar “voted to make it harder to join a union and opposed expanding overtime pay.” 

As we wrote earlier this month, abortion policy has been in the spotlight in the runoff, especially after Politico published a leaked initial draft opinion from the Supreme Court that would overturn rulings in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, allowing states to decide the legality of abortion. To learn more about the issue of abortion in this race, click here

In the March 1 primary,  Cuellar received 48% to Cisneros’ 47%. Tannya Benavides received 5%. The primary runoff is May 24. 

Competitiveness data: Alabama

Alabama holds primaries on May 24. We’ve crunched some numbers to see how competitive the primaries will be compared to recent election cycles.

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.

Wisconsin Secretary of State raises no money this election cycle

According to the most recent campaign finance reports filed with the Wisconsin Ethics Commission, Wisconsin Secretary of State Douglas La Follette has raised no money between Jan. 1, 2021 and Mar. 21, 2022. 

La Follette is a member of the Democratic Party and has served in his current office since 1983, with a previous term from 1975-1979. In Wisconsin, the secretary of state is an elected position. Duties vary by state but are generally administrative in nature and may include recordkeeping, certification of state documents, and serving as chief election official. La Follette is running for reelection in 2022.

How donations to La Follette compare to the same office in other states

Contributions vary widely among officeholders in the same role. A number of factors, including whether the position is appointed or elected, can influence donor activity. Here is how La Follette compares to the 10 other state and commonwealth secretaries with campaign finance data available from Transparency USA in 2022:

Across the U.S., 27 secretaries of state are members of the Republican Party and 20 are members of the Democratic Party. Voters elect the secretary of state in 35 states, while they are appointed by either the governor or state legislature in the other 12. Alaska, Hawaii, and Utah do not have secretaries of state. In 2022, 27 states are holding elections for the position.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Wisconsin PACs submitted to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual1/18/2022
2022 Spring Pre-Primary2/7/2022
2022 Spring Pre-Election3/28/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual7/15/2022
2022 Fall Pre-Primary8/1/2022
2022 Sept Data9/27/2022
2022 Fall Pre-General10/31/2022
2023 Jan Semiannual1/7/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.

Davis wins Democratic primary for North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District

Donald Davis defeated Erica Smith and two other candidates in the Democratic primary for North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District on May 17, 2022. Incumbent G.K. Butterfield (D) did not file to run for re-election.

WRAL’s Bryan Anderson wrote: “Central to Davis’ campaign was an argument about electability, where he sought to persuade Democratic voters that his more centrist policies and track record of working with Republicans could make him the likeliest candidate to keep the seat in Democrats’ hands.”

Davis has held a seat in the state Senate since 2013. Davis was first elected to the state Senate in 2008 but lost his re-election bid in the 2010 general election. Davis ran unopposed in the 2012 state Senate primary and general elections. Davis said, “As a veteran, a minister, and a state senator, I’ve rolled up my sleeves and gone to work for our neighbors and families. When I am sworn in as our next congressman, we will focus on the fight ahead — transforming the future of our region and rural America.” He has campaigned on rebuilding the rural economy and said he would “continue to fight for affordable healthcare, voting rights and protect a woman’s right to choose” in Congress.

Smith served in the North Carolina Senate from 2015 to 2020. Smith filed to run for U.S. Senate in 2022, but switched her candidacy to the U.S. House following Butterfield’s retirement announcement in November 2021. Smith campaigned on what she called a platform for progress, which she said included raising the minimum wage, strengthening unions, supporting small, family farms, and investing in fisheries and wind energy. Smith said, “For three terms as a State Senator I fought for a more progressive, democratic North Carolina. I fought to raise the minimum wage, legalize marijuana, make it easier to vote, secure a woman’s right to choose, provide rural broadband, expand Medicaid, and more. Now I’m running for Congress, because I’ve seen enough of the state and the country to know that the problems I originally identified in my own rural county are everywhere.”

Jullian Bishop Sr. and Jason Spriggs also ran in the election.

Three independent race forecasters consider the general election to Lean Democratic.