The general runoff for Jacksonville, Florida, was on May 16, 2023. The general election was held on March 21, and the filing deadline to run passed on Jan. 13.
Candidates competed for property appraiser, city council, and mayor. Runoffs were required for these races because no candidate received a majority of the general election vote.
Donna Deegan (D) defeated Daniel Davis (R) 52% to 48% in the runoff for mayor. Deegan will be the second Democrat to hold the office since 1993. Joyce Morgan (D) defeated Jason Fischer (R) 50.6% to 49.4% in the runoff for Duval County property appraiser. Candidates for city council competed in runoffs for At-large Position 5, District 2, District 7, District 8, District 9, District 11, and District 14. Two of two incumbents were re-elected in the city council runoffs.
Jacksonville is the largest city in Florida and the 12th-largest city in the U.S. by population.
The statewide primary election for Kentucky was held on May 16, 2023. Candidates competed to advance to the general election scheduled for Nov. 7, 2023. An exception to this was the special general election for Kentucky State Senate District 28, which was the final race stage.
Candidates ran in elections for governor, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor of public accounts, and commissioner of agriculture.
Daniel Cameron defeated Ryan Quarles, Kelly Craft, and nine other candidates in the Republican primary for governor. Cameron received 47% of the vote to Quarles’ 22% and Craft’s 18%. Incumbent Andy Beshear defeated Geoff Young and Peppy Martin in the Democratic primary with 91% of the vote to Young’s 5% and Martin’s 4%.
Incumbent Michael Adams defeated Stephen L. Knipper and Allen Maricle in the Republican primary for secretary of state with 64% of the vote. The Democratic primary was cancelled, and Charles Wheatley advanced to the general.
Mark Metcalf defeated Andrew Cooperrider and OJ Oleka in the Republican primary for treasurer with 51% of the vote. The Democratic primary was cancelled, and Michael Bowman advanced to the general.
Allison Ball defeated Derek Leonard Petteys in the Republican primary for auditor of public accounts with 72% of the vote. The Democratic primary was cancelled, and Kimberley Reeder advanced to the general.
Jonathan Shell defeated Richard Heath in the Republican primary for commissioner of agriculture with 57% of the vote, while Sierra Enlow defeated Mikael Malone in the Democratic primary with 58% of the vote.
Greg Elkins (R) defeated Robert Sainte (D) and Richard Henderson (Independent) with 50% of the vote in a special election for Kentucky State Senate District 28.
Kentucky’s primary was the 5th statewide primary to take place in the 2023 election cycle. The next primary is on June 6 in New Jersey.
Yemi Mobolade defeated Wayne W. Williams 57.5% to 42.5% in the general runoff for Colorado Springs mayor. The runoff was on May 16, 2023, while the general was held on April 4, and the filing deadline to run passed on Jan. 23.
While most mayoral elections in the 100 largest cities are nonpartisan, including this one, most officeholders are affiliated with a political party. Mobolade is an independent, while Williams is a Republican. Republican-affiliated mayors have held the position in Colorado Springs since 1979, according to The Gazette.
This year’s election in Colorado Springs is one of two mayoral elections in the 100 most populous U.S. cities that has resulted in partisan change this year. The other one — the mayoral runoff election in Jacksonville, Florida — also took place on Tuesday. Donna Deegan (D) defeated Daniel Davis (R) 52% to 48%.
As of May 2023, 62 mayors in the largest 100 cities by population are affiliated with the Democratic Party, 26 are affiliated with the Republican Party, three are independents, seven identify as nonpartisan or unaffiliated, and two mayors’ affiliations are unknown.
Colorado Springs is the second-largest city in Colorado and the 39th-largest city in the U.S. by population.
Democrats maintained a majority in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives following two special elections in House Districts 108 and 163 on May 16, 2023.
Heather Boyd (D) defeated Katie Ford (R) and Alfe Goodwin (L) 59.9% to 38.8% and 1.3%, respectively, in District 163. She succeeds Michael Zabel (D), who resigned on March 16.
Michael Stender (R) defeated Trevor Finn (D) and Elijah Scretching (L) 70.7% to 25.7% and 3.7%, respectively, in District 108. He succeeds Lynda Schlegel Culver (R), who resigned on Feb. 28 after she won a special election in the Pennsylvania State Senate.
Finn was elected to the Montour County commission in 2004. He said his campaign platforms were “economic development, [advancing] the cause of all citizens, and protecting our small town heritage.” Stender was elected as an at-large member of the Shikellamy School Board in 2021. Stender’s campaign website said, “he supports American energy independence, backs our workers and small businesses and works to bring fiscal responsibility to state government.”
Boyd worked as the district director for U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D) and said she was running “to make sure that every person and family in our district gets the resources and representation they deserve. … [I] will fight for laws and budgets that serve the district.” Ford was a special needs instructor and said one of her priorities “will be to fight for the increased funding needed to properly educate our children, including those with special needs. … Public safety, adequate funding, and training for law enforcement will also be a top priority.”
Pennsylvania House Democrats won 102 districts to Republicans’ 101 as a result of the 2022 elections. Three Democratic representatives left office after those elections, giving Republicans a functional 101-99 seat majority to start the 2023 legislative session. Democratic candidates then won special elections in all three vacant districts on Feb. 7, 2023, giving the party a majority. Zabel’s resignation reduced the majority by one. Click here to view a chart listing the key events affecting the partisan control of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives since October 2022.
As of these elections, Pennsylvania was one of 11 states with a divided government. Democrats were in the majority in the state House, and Gov. Josh Shapiro was a Democrat. Republicans controlled the state Senate.
Carolyn Tornetta Carluccio defeated Patricia McCullough in the Republican primary for one seat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on May 16, 2023. Carluccio will face Daniel D. McCaffery (D) in the general election on Nov. 7.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is the state’s court of last resort. It can hear appeals from statewide and local courts and assume jurisdiction over any case in the Pennsylvania court system. Spotlight PA’s Kate Huangpu and Stephen Caruso wrote, “The state Supreme Court takes on relatively few cases, but its rulings can have a major impact on politics and policy in Pennsylvania. In recent years, the court has decided cases on reproductive rights, mask mandates, and election disputes.”
Justices run in partisan elections for 10-year terms. After a judge’s first term, they must run in a retention election to serve subsequent terms. The general election winner will succeed Justice Max Baer (D), who passed away on Sept. 30, 2022. Baer’s term expired in 2023, and he was unable to run for re-election since Pennsylvania judges must retire at the end of the calendar year in which they reach 75 years of age.
As a result of the vacancy caused by Baer’s death, the court currently has a 4-2 Democratic majority, and partisan control cannot change as a result of the 2023 election. Partisan control of the court last changed due to the 2015 elections from a 4-3 Republican majority to a 5-2 Democratic majority.
Carluccio began serving as a judge on the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas in 2010. Before then, she served as an assistant U.S. Attorney and as Montgomery County’s Chief Public Defender. Carluccio emphasized her judicial experience, particularly on the Montgomery Court of Common Pleas. In her responses to Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey, Carluccio said, “I will put my experience as a Judge, Federal Prosecutor, and Chief Public Defender to work for the people of our Commonwealth as a Justice of the State Supreme Court.”
McCullough was elected to the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court in 2009. McCullough previously ran for state supreme court in 2021 and lost to Kevin Brobson 33%-52% in the Republican primary. McCullough highlighted her experience and recent opinions she issued, stating, “In the last year alone I upheld the second amendment four times, ruled in favor of limiting the governor’s COVID mandates, joined in ruling Act 77 is unconstitutional, … upheld the constitutional right of legislature to draw the map, as well as other important decisions protecting election integrity and other rights in Pennsylvania.”
Pennsylvania’s Republican Party endorsed Carluccio on Feb. 4, 2023.
The most recent state supreme court election in Pennsylvania was in 2021, when Brobson defeated Maria McLaughlin (D) in the general election, 52% to 48%. Brobson’s election did not change the partisan composition of the court since he succeeded Justice Thomas Saylor (R), who did not run for another term because he turned 75 in 2021.
The next scheduled state supreme court elections in Pennsylvania will take place in 2025 when the three Democratic justices first elected in 2015—Kevin M. Dougherty (D), David Wecht (D) and Christine Donohue (D)—will be up for re-election. Unless there are unexpected vacancies, 2025 is the first year that the partisan balance of the court can change from a Democratic to a Republican majority.
The Texas State Legislature voted to send a constitutional amendment that would authorize the legislature to provide for a property tax exemption on equipment and inventory manufactured by medical or biomedical companies to the November ballot. The legislature also passed the enabling legislation, Senate Bill 2289 (SB 2289), which would take effect if the amendment is passed in Nov. 2023.
SB 2289 defines medical and biomedical property as “tangible personal property that is stored, used, or consumed in the manufacturing or processing of medical or biomedical products by a medical or biomedical manufacturer.” This would include devices, therapeutics, pharmaceuticals, personal protective equipment, instruments, implants, and manufacturing inventories, including finished goods.
This amendment was introduced as Senate Joint Resolution 87 (SJR 87) on March 10. To put a legislatively referred constitutional amendment before voters, a two-thirds (66.67%) vote was required in both chambers. On April 13, the state Senate passed SJR 87 by a vote of 26-4 with one absent. On May 17, the state House passed SJR 87 by a vote of 125-10 with 14 not voting and one vacancy.
Sen. Joan Huffman (R-17) authored the amendment. The Texas Medical Center, Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute, Greater Houston Partnership, and Biotechnology Innovation Organization registered in support of the amendment when it was considered by the Senate Finance Committee. No organizations registered in opposition to it.
This is the fifth amendment to be referred to the November ballot. The state legislature has also voted to refer amendments related to issuing bonds for conservation districts in El Paso County; establishing a right to farming and ranching; increasing the mandatory retirement age for state judges and justices; and abolishing the office of Galveston County treasurer.
Between 1995 and 2022, Texans decided on 179 measures. Ballot measures related to taxes were the most common during that period with 41 measures followed by bonds (21) and measures related to the administration of government (16).
The statewide primary election for New Jersey is on June 6, 2023. The filing deadline to run was on March 27. Candidates are running in elections for the following offices:
New Jersey State Senate
New Jersey General Assembly
Ballotpedia is also covering local elections in the following areas:
Candidates are competing to advance to the general election scheduled for Nov. 7, 2023.
New Jersey utilizes a semi-closed primary process, in which the selection of a party’s candidates in an election is generally limited to registered party members. Unaffiliated voters can register as party members at the polls on primary election day. Otherwise, a voter must indicate his or her party preference (e.g., via an updated voter registration) no later than the 55th day preceding the primary in order to vote in that party’s primary.
New Jersey’s statewide primary is the seventh to take place in the 2023 election cycle. The next primary is on June 20 in Virginia.
The Texas Constitution provides that the office of county treasurer may be abolished via a constitutional amendment. Galveston County may be the next county to join nine others that previously abolished the office of treasurer in November. The last time Texans decided on such an amendment was in 1987 with the abolition of county treasurers in Gregg, Fayaette, and Nueces counties. It was approved with 69% of the vote.
In his 2022 campaign, Hank Dugie, the current Galveston County treasurer, called for eliminating the office. “My campaign centered around the idea that the office is a waste, taxpayers could save money if we abolished it. It’s really not a needed position anymore. It doesn’t provide any extra level of protection for taxpayers, all it does is cost them dollars,” Dugie said.
On Dec. 23, 2022, the Galveston County Commissioners Court voted unanimously in support of abolishing the office.
Besides eliminating the county treasurer, the amendment also authorizes the county to employ or contract a qualified person or designate another county officer to fulfill the functions previously performed by the treasurer.
Two versions of the amendment were introduced in the state House and state Senate. Senate Joint Resolution 28 was introduced on Jan. 12, 2023. On April 4, 2023, the state Senate passed SJR 28 by a vote of 28-3. House Joint Resolution 134 was introduced on March 13 and was passed on May 10 by a vote of 106-32 with 11 not voting and one vacancy. HJR 134 was passed in the state Senate on May 16 by a vote of 27-4. HJR 134 was the certified version sent to the ballot.
A simple majority vote is required statewide and in Galveston County for the approval of the amendment.
The other six counties that have abolished their respective county treasurer offices are Andrews, Bee, Bexar, Colin, El Paso, and Tarrant counties.
Four measures are certified for the November ballot in Texas. Between 1995 and 2021, Texans decided on 175 statewide constitutional amendments appearing on odd-numbered year ballots with an average of nearly 13 measures per election. Voters approved 160 measures and defeated 15.
Daniel Cameron defeated Ryan Quarles, Kelly Craft, and nine other candidates in the Republican primary for governor of Kentucky on May 16. Cameron will face incumbent Gov. Andy Beshear (D) in the general election on Nov. 7.
Cameron received 47% of the vote to Quarles’ 22% and Craft’s 18%. The three led in polling and media attention throughout the race.
Ahead of the primary, the Associated Press’ Bruce Schreiner wrote that “[t]he top contenders often sound[ed] alike on core GOP issues. They support gun rights, oppose abortion and demand more parental input in school policies.”
Cameron was first elected attorney general in 2019, when he defeated Gregory Stumbo (D) 58% to 42%. Cameron previously worked as a law clerk and legal counsel to U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R). President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Cameron in June 2022. Following the endorsement, Cameron said, “With President Trump’s support, we are more ready than ever to take on the Beshear-Biden agenda that is failing our families and doesn’t reflect the values of our 120 counties.”
Quarles, a former state representative, has served as Kentucky’s Commissioner of Agriculture since 2016. In a statement on his campaign website, Quarles said, “Kentucky deserves a Governor who knows what a hard day’s work looks like. Whether it was getting mud on my boots at the farm or teaching our next generations, I believe I will be that Governor.” Quarles had the endorsements of four state senators, 22 state representatives, and other local state officials.
Craft served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations under Trump from 2019 to 2021 and as U.S. Ambassador to Canada from 2017 to 2019. In a campaign ad, Kelly said, “I’m unapologetic about being pro-life, defending our veterans, and defending our second amendment.” U.S. Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R), and Vivek Ramaswamy endorsed Craft.
Heading into the primary, Vox’ Ben Jacobs wrote that Cameron’s key advantage was Trump’s endorsement. “The former president issued an endorsement of Cameron in 2022 which the state attorney general has heavily touted in recent weeks,” Jacobs wrote.
“In contrast,” wrote Jacobs, “Craft’s biggest advantage is her personal wealth. Her husband Joe Craft is a billionaire coal mogul. She has loaned her campaign almost $10 million this year and her husband has spent $1.5 million to fund the superPAC that supports her.”
Quarles, according to The New York Times’ Nick Corasaniti, “has aggressively campaigned in rural stretches of the state, racking up more than 235 endorsements from local officials, including county judges, mayors and magistrates.”
The outcome of the general election will determine the state’s trifecta status for at least the next year (with legislative elections scheduled for 2024). The state currently has a divided government: Democrats control the governorship, and Republicans control both legislative chambers. The Cook Political Report rates the general election Lean D.
The lieutenant governor is also up for election. In Kentucky, gubernatorial and lieutenant governor candidates run as a ticket. Gubernatorial candidates have until Aug. 8 to designate a running mate.
Kentucky—alongside Kansas, Louisiana, and North Carolina—was one of four states with a Democratic governor that President Donald Trump (R) won in 2020. That year, Trump defeated Joe Biden (D) 62% to 36% in the state. The last Democratic presidential nominee to carry the state was former President Bill Clinton in 1996.
At the state level, Democratic governors had led Kentucky for 64 of the past 76 years. The state had elected three Republican governors since World War II, each serving single terms from 1967 to 1971, 2003 to 2007, and 2015 to 2019.
Jacob Clark, David Cooper, Bob DeVore, Eric Deters, Mike Harmon, Alan Keck, Dennis Ray Ormerod, Johnny Ray Rice, and Robbie Smith also ran in the primary.
Kentucky also held elections for Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Auditor of Public Accounts, and Commissioner of Agriculture on Tuesday, as well as a special election for State Senate District 28.
Daniel McCaffery defeated Deborah Kunselman in the Democratic primary for one seat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on May 16. McCaffery will face Carolyn Tornetta Carluccio—who won the Republican primary—in the general election on Nov. 7.
McCaffery was elected to the Pennsylvania Superior Court in 2019. He is an Army veteran and worked as an attorney, an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia, and was first elected as a judge in Philadelphia in 2013. He campaigned on his experience. McCaffrey’s website said, “Assigned to one of the busiest trial divisions in Pennsylvania, Judge McCaffery presided over one hundred jury trials and thousands of bench trials…McCaffery is currently the supervising judge for wiretaps and was selected by the Supreme Court to serve on the Court of Judicial Discipline.”
Pennsylvania’s Democratic Party had endorsed McCaffery at a meeting of state party committee members on Jan. 29.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is the state’s court of last resort. Justices run in partisan elections for 10-year terms. After a judge’s first term, he or she must run in a retention election to serve subsequent terms. The winner of this election will succeed Justice Max Baer (D), who passed away on Sept. 30, 2022. Baer’s term expired in 2023 and he was unable to run for re-election since Pennsylvania judges must retire at the end of the calendar year in which they reach 75 years of age.
The state supreme court can hear appeals from both statewide and local courts and can assume jurisdiction over any case in the Pennsylvania court system. Peter Hall of the Pittsburgh City Paper wrote, “The Supreme Court hears appeals in cases involving unsettled areas of the law, reviews all death penalty convictions, and has played the decisive role in redrawing Pennsylvania’s congressional districts in recent years.”
The partisan balance of the court changed as a result of the 2015 elections from a 4-3 Republican majority to a 5-2 Democratic majority when Justices Kevin M. Dougherty (D), David Wecht (D) and Christine Donohue (D) were elected to three open seats. The outcome of this election will not affect the court’s governing majority.
Kate Huangpu and Stephen Caruso wrote for Spotlight PA, “Justices elected as Democrats have been in the majority since 2015, and flipping the court back has been a top Republican priority since then. The seven-member court is currently composed of four Democrats and two Republicans.”
The most recent state supreme court election in Pennsylvania was in 2021, when Kevin Brobson (R) defeated Maria McLaughlin (D) in the general election, 52% to 48%. Brobson’s election did not change the partisan composition of the court since he succeeded Justice Thomas Saylor (R), who did not run for another term because he turned 75 in 2021.
The next scheduled state supreme court elections in Pennsylvania will take place in 2025 when the three Democratic justices first elected in 2015 will be up for re-election. Unless there are unexpected vacancies, 2025 is the first year that the partisan balance of the court can change from a Democratic to a Republican majority.
Kunselman was elected to the Pennsylvania Superior Court in 2017. She also worked as an attorney, a solicitor with Beaver County, and was first elected as a judge in Beaver County in 2006. Kunselman campaigned on her experience, saying she has “the most experience of any candidate for the Supreme Court with 17 years as a judge” and had “developed expertise in Civil, Family, Juvenile, and Criminal court.”
Before the primary, Spotlight PA‘s Kate Huangpu wrote: “The state’s primaries are closed, meaning only registered Democrats and Republicans can vote for candidates during these spring contests. (Unaffiliated and third-party voters can, however, vote on ballot questions, other referendums, and special elections during a primary.)”