TagCongressional election

Oklahoma sees no contested Democratic U.S. House primaries for the first time since at least 2014

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in Oklahoma this year was April 14, 2022. Twenty-eight candidates are running for Oklahoma’s five U.S. House districts, including five Democrats and 23 Republicans. That’s 5.6 candidates per district, more than the 5.4 candidates per district in 2020 and less than the 7.2 in 2018.

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

  • This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census. Oklahoma was apportioned five districts, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.
  • The 2nd district is the only open seat this year. That’s one more seat than in 2020 and the same as in 2018. Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R), who represents the 2nd district, is running for the U.S. Senate. 
  • Fifteen candidates — one Democrat and 14 Republicans — are running to replace Mullin, the most candidates running for a seat this year. 
  • There are four contested Republican primaries this year, and no contested Democratic primaries. That’s the fewest contested primaries since at least 2014, and the first time since at least then when there are no contested Democratic primaries.
  • Rep. Kevin Hern (R), who represents the 1st district, is the only incumbent not facing a primary challenger this year. 
  • Republican and Democratic candidates filed to run in all five districts, so no seats are guaranteed to either party this year. 

Oklahoma and four other states — Colorado, Illinois, New York, and Utah — are holding primary elections on June 28. In Oklahoma, winners in primary contests are determined by majority vote. In the event no candidate wins a majority of the vote, the top two finishers will advance to an August 23 runoff.

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The first-ever top-four congressional primary is on June 11 in Alaska

A special election for Alaska’s At-Large Congressional District in the U.S. House will take place in 2022. Former incumbent Rep. Don Young (R) died on March 18, 2022.

top-four special primary is on June 11, 2022. This is the first top-four congressional primary in U.S. history. All candidates will appear on the same ballot with their affiliations listed next to their names. The four candidates with the most votes will advance to the general election, which will use ranked-choice voting.

Forty-eight candidates filed by the April 1, 2022, deadline. The special primary election ballot comprises:

  • 22 candidates running as nonpartisan or with undeclared affiliation
  • 16 Republicans
  • 6 Democrats
  • 2 Libertarians
  • 1 American Independent Party member
  • 1 Alaskan Independence Party member

The candidates who have received the most media attention and been included in public opinion polls are Nicholas Begich III (R), North Pole City Councilmember Santa Claus (I), former state Sen. John Coghill (R), Anchorage Assemblymember Christopher Constant (D), 2020 U.S. Senate candidate Al Gross (I), Jeff Lowenfels (I), former governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin (R), former state Rep. Mary Peltola (D), state Sen. Josh Revak (R), former Assistant Secretary of the Interior Tara Sweeney (R), and state Rep. Adam Wool (D). Revak and Sweeney were co-chairs of Young’s 2022 re-election campaign.

Young was first elected as Alaska’s U.S. representative in 1973, when he defeated Emil Notti (D) in a special election. Notti is running in the 2022 special primary election. Young also ran for the House in 1972, when Nick Begich Sr. (D) defeated him. Begich Sr. is Begich III’s grandfather.

The special general election will be held Aug. 16, 2022. The winner of that election will serve until the end of the term Young was last elected to—Jan. 3, 2023. The special election is one of two elections, alongside the regularly scheduled election, for Alaska’s at-large House district in 2022. As of May 20, 18 candidates had filed to run in both the regular and special elections, including all those named above except Claus. The filing deadline for the regular election is June 1.

Here is a timeline for each primary and general election in 2022:

June 11, 2022:

Aug. 16, 2022:

Nov. 8, 2022:

As of May 26, 2022, 14 special elections have been called during the 117th Congress. From the 113th Congress to the 116th Congress, 50 special elections were held.

Cuellar leads in TX-28 runoff by fewer than 200 votes based on unofficial returns; recount possible

Incumbent Henry Cuellar and Jessica Cisneros ran in the Democratic primary runoff for Texas’ 28th Congressional District on May 24. The race remained too close to call at 9:00 a.m. EDT on May 25, 2022. Cuellar led with 50.2% of the vote. Under state law, candidates may request a recount if the margin of victory is less than 10%.

In the March 1 primary, Cuellar received 48.4% of the vote, followed by Cisneros with 46.9% and Tannya Benavides with 4.7%.

This year’s runoff was a rematch of the 2020 primary, which Cuellar won outright by defeating Cisneros 51.8% to 48.2%. 

The candidates disagreed on abortion policy. This race occurred alongside several events related to abortion policy, including the passage of Texas Senate Bill 8, a vote in the U.S. House to legalize abortion nationally, and the leak of a draft opinion for a case related to abortion pending before the Supreme Court of the United States, that disagreement intensified.

Cuellar, in Congress since 2005, is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition. He was the only House Democrat to vote against a bill in 2021 that would have codified the right to abortion in federal law. Cuellar’s campaign said his membership on the House Appropriations Committee helped fund education, healthcare, small businesses, veterans, and immigration services programs in the district.

Cisneros is an immigration attorney and supported Medicare For All, legal access to abortion, a pathway to citizenship for immigrants, and the For The People Act. Cisneros criticized Cuellar for his abortion stance, his votes on federal immigration proposals, and his response to the coronavirus pandemic, citing the latter as a key reason she ran again.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus endorsed Cuellar. Sens. Edward Markey, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren, Reps. Jamaal Bowman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Ayanna Pressley, and Justice Democrats endorsed Cisneros. The San Antonio Express-News Editorial Board, which backed Cuellar in the 2020 primary, endorsed Cisneros in the 2022 primary.

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Note: a previous version of this story stated that Cuellar was the only House Democrat to vote against the bill in 2022. This story has been updated to reflect that the bill was up for a vote in 2021, not 2022.

McBath wins Democratic primary in Georgia’s 7th District

U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath defeated U.S. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux and Donna McLeod in the May 24 Democratic primary in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District near Atlanta. McBath received 63% of the vote, Bourdeaux was second with 31%, and McLeod was third with 6%.

Bourdeaux and McBath—who led in fundraising and media mentions—were members of the U.S. House of Representatives facing each other due to redistricting. As of May 2022, six U.S. House races had two incumbents running for the same congressional district in the 2022 elections.

Bourdeaux is the fourth member of the U.S. House, and first Democrat, to lose a primary this cycle.

Emily Wilkins wrote in Bloomberg Government that “The area’s influx of mostly non-White voters over the past decade helped Rep. Lucy McBath flip a Republican-held district in the northern suburbs in 2018 and Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux do the same with a neighboring district to the east two years later…The Republican-controlled legislature redrew the two swing congressional districts, creating instead districts that are solidly red and blue, and ensuring Democrats will have one fewer seat in the delegation after the 2022 midterms.” Data compiled by Bloomberg Government determined that Bourdeaux represented 57% of the residents in the new 7th District and McBath represented 12%.

Wilkins wrote that “The congresswomen have near-identical voting records. In the 117th Congress, both have largely kept to the party line—96% for Bourdeaux and 97% for McBath, according to a Bloomberg Government analysis.”

Garbus wrote in Atlanta magazine that “While both candidates are thoroughgoing Democrats, McBath is further to the left than Bourdeaux, whose centrist stance has alienated some progressives.”

McBath defeated incumbent Karen Handel (R) in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District in 2018, 50.5% to 49.5%. She won the rematch against Handel in 2020, 55% to 45%. Rachel Garbus wrote in Atlanta magazine, “Gun safety and reform has always been McBath’s key platform; her son was a victim of gun violence in 2012, and his death inspired her political career.”

At a recent debate, McBath said, “I’m running in this race because I simply believe that we should not allow Gov. Kemp, the Republican Party or the NRA gun lobby to dictate who represents our communities in Washington.”

Bourdeaux defeated Rich McCormick (R), 51% to 49%, to win an open-seat race in the 7th District in 2020 after she lost to then-incumbent Rob Woodall (R) in 2018 by 433 votes. That margin was the closest U.S. House election in 2018 by number of votes. Bourdeaux highlighted her work for the constituents of the district, saying on her website, “Since being sworn in January of 2021, Congresswoman Bourdeaux has been a leading advocate in Congress for health care, voting rights, racial and social justice, small business, infrastructure, and critical issues of broad importance to Gwinnett County and the 7th district community.”

McBath was endorsed by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), U.S. Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), and the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund. Bourdeaux received endorsements from former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young (D), former U.S. Sen Sam Nunn (D-Geo.) and four incumbent Georgia state representatives.

As of the primary, three race ratings outlets classified the November 8 general election as Solid or Safe Democratic.

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Four candidates running in North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District Democratic primary

Four candidates are running in the Democratic primary for North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. Incumbent G.K. Butterfield (D), who has held the seat since 2004, did not file to run for re-election.

Donald Davis and Erica Smith have raised the most money and received the most media attention.

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 to Republican Louis Pate. 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 has said he will “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 has campaigned on what she calls a platform for progress, including 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 are also running in the election.

Eight candidates running in Oregon’s 4th Congressional District Democratic primary election

Eight candidates are running in the Democratic Party primary for Oregon’s 4th Congressional District on May 17, 2022. Incumbent Peter DeFazio (D), who has represented the district since 1987, announced he would not seek re-election in 2022 on Dec. 1, 2021.

Doyle Canning, Val Hoyle, Andrew Kalloch, and John Selker lead in fundraising and media attention. Sami Al-Abdrabbuh, Steve Laible, Jake Matthews, and G. Tommy Smith are also running in the Democratic primary.

Canning ran in the district’s 2020 Democratic primary and lost to DeFazio, 15%-84%. Canning worked as a community organizer and attorney and was vice-chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon Environmental Caucus. “Oregon voters are hungry for a climate champion for Congress in 2022. I have been in this fight for 20 years, working on some of the most important climate battles of our time, including the successful defeat of the Jordan Cove project in 2021,” Canning said.

Hoyle was elected Oregon Commissioner of Labor and Industries on May 15, 2018, and was a Democratic member of the Oregon House of Representatives, representing District 14 from 2009 to 2017. Hoyle ran for Oregon Secretary of State in 2016 and lost in the Democratic primary to Brad Avakian 34%-39%. Hoyle has emphasized her experience in office, with her campaign manager saying, “Val is the only candidate in this race with a record of passing climate legislation. In the Oregon Legislature, she supported the bill to eliminate coal energy in Oregon and led the fight to pass Oregon’s clean fuels program.”

Kalloch worked as an attorney for the ACLU of New York, a policy advisor for the NYC Comptroller, and in global public policy for Airbnb. He has been affiliated with the City Clubs of Eugene and Portland, the Technology Association of Oregon, the Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing, and the PDX Chapter of Braver Angels. “From my time as a civil rights attorney at the ACLU to my experience as a top policy adviser in city government and my work in Global Public Policy with Airbnb, I have used every institution of power to deliver results for American families,” Kalloch said.

Selker’s career experience includes working as a university professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University. Selker also served as co-director of the Center for Transformative Environmental Monitoring Programs and the Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory at the university. “We must provide a society where people can thrive, and pass on an environment where future generations can be as inspired and sustained as we are by the splendor of nature,” Selker said.

The Cook Political Report has rated the general election as Likely Democratic. In the 2020 general election, DeFazio defeated Alek Skarlatos (R) with 52% of the vote to Skarlatos’ 46%.

Eight candidates running in the Republican primary for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District

Eight candidates are running in the Republican primary for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District on May 17, 2022. Incumbent Rep. Ted Budd (R) is running for the U.S. Senate and is not seeking re-election.

The boundaries of North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District changed as a result of redistricting, with the new district including all of Johnston County as well as parts of Harnett, Wake, and Wayne counties. According to FiveThirtyEight, the old district map had an R+38 partisan lean, while the new map has an R+3 partisan lean.

WRAL’s Travis Fain said, “The district is one of the most competitive between Republicans and Democrats in North Carolina, based on past election results.” As of April 12, three independent election forecasters considered the general election a Toss-up.

Bo Hines, Kelly Daughtry, Kent Keirsey, and Renee Ellmers have attracted the most media coverage.

Hines is a former college football player who interned for Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) and U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.). Hines has said there’s a need for younger voices in Congress. In his responses to Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey, Hines criticized incumbency and said he would sign a pledge not to serve more than four consecutive terms. “I’m a fresh new voice that will work to refurbish the Republican party. Incumbency has hurt our party and our country,” he wrote. Former President Donald Trump (R), the Club for Growth, and Reps. Matt Gaetz (R), Madison Cawthorn (R), and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R) have endorsed Hines.

Daughtry is an attorney from Johnston County and the daughter of Leo Daughtry, the former Majority Leader of the North Carolina House of Representatives. She has highlighted inflation and deficit spending as key issues. Daughtry’s campaign website says, “Bidenomics is crushing the American economy and middle-class families. We will face grave financial danger if we do not address inflation and spending head-on.” Former Rep. George Holding (R), who represented District 13 from 2013 to 2017, has endorsed Daughtry.

Keirsey is a U.S. Army veteran and businessman. He has emphasized his military career and business experience throughout the campaign. Keirsey’s campaign website says, “While career politicians have legislated comfortably from Washington, Kent has been on the front lines. He led in combat and built businesses that address some of our country’s biggest challenges.” Senator Tom Cotton (R) endorsed Keirsey.

Ellmers is a registered nurse and a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District from 2011 to 2017. Ellmers has said her previous congressional experience would be an asset in Congress. Referring to gas prices, she said, “We don’t have time to wait for a learning curve to fix this mess. Experience is essential. I’ll start work on this the first day of the 118th Congress.”

Also running in the primary are DeVan Barbour IV, Jessica Morel, Chad Slotta, and Kevin Alan Wolff.

If no candidate wins more than 30% of the primary vote, a runoff will be held on July 26.

Eight candidates running in North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District Republican primary

Eight candidates are running in the Republican Party primary for North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District on May 17, 2022. Sandy Roberson and Sandy Smith led in endorsements and fundraising as of March 31, 2022. Will Aiken, Brad Murphy, Ernest Reeves, Brent Roberson, Billy Strickland, and Henry Williams are also running in the Republican primary.

Incumbent G.K. Butterfield (D) announced he would not seek re-election on Nov. 19, 2021. Joseph Brusgard of Race to the WH said, “The district contains the fast-growing blue city of Greenville in the heart of the black belt, along with several small cities like Rocky Mount and Wilson. While those cities have shifted to the left, the rural parts of the district are shifting to the right. They have roughly counterbalanced each other, creating a highly competitive political battleground in NC-1.” The Cook Political Report rated the general election as Likely Democratic.

Roberson was elected Mayor of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, in the nonpartisan 2019 general runoff election, defeating Bronson Williams with 60.2% of the vote. He also served as managing partner of Health View Capital Partners. “This campaign is about getting a congressman who will show up for work, who will focus on results—not rhetoric,” Roberson said. Roberson said he “made a career of getting things done, delivering results, meeting budgets, and holding others accountable” and would “prioritize fiscal responsibility, defend our Second Amendment rights, and protect the sanctity of life” and “ensure the needs of American citizens always come first and empower law enforcement to do their job.”

Smith was the Republican nominee for the district’s 2020 general election, winning the Republican primary with 77.3% of the vote. She lost to Butterfield in the general election, receiving 45.8% of the vote to Butterfield’s 54.2%. “The Democrats are scared of me,” Smith said. “I have fulfilled my first campaign promise of 2020 and that was to send G.K. Butterfield packing…If I had not done so well he would be still running today.” Smith worked as a business executive and farmer. “I’m the America First fighter and I am going to go to Washington and fight for you,” Smith said.

Candidates in North Carolina primary contests must win by at least 30 percent of the vote plus one. If no candidate reaches this total, a runoff election is held. North Carolina state law provides for semi-closed primaries, meaning that a voter generally must be registered as a party member in order to participate in that party’s primary. A previously unaffiliated voter can participate in the primary of his or her choice.

North Carolina’s 4th Congressional District Democratic primary

Eight candidates are running in the Democratic primary election for North Carolina’s 4th Congressional District on May 17, 2022. Incumbent Rep. David Price (D)—first elected in 1986, defeated in 1994, and re-elected in 1996—is not seeking re-election. This is the first time the 4th District has been open since 1972.

Media attention has focused on three candidates: Clay Aiken, Nida Allam, and Valerie Foushee. The Assembly‘s Michael Graff described the three as “Aiken, the former American Idol contestant who says he wants to become the South’s first gay congressman,” “Allam, a 28-year-old Muslim and rising star who’s spent most of her life in the Triangle,” and “Foushee, who worked with the Chapel Hill police department for years and has a lot of support among older Black Democrats in Durham.”

Aiken is a co-chair of the National Inclusion Project, an organization that provides opportunities for children with disabilities, which he co-founded in 2003, the same year he placed second in the American Idol singing competition. Aiken highlighted his national recognizability, saying he would “continue to use his platform to be a powerful, progressive voice for voting rights, free health care, and a woman’s right to choose.” Aiken ran in the 2nd District in 2014, winning the Democratic primary and losing to incumbent Rep. Renee Ellmers (R) 59-41% in the general election.

Allam is a member of the Durham County Board of Commissioners. Upon her election to the board in 2020, she became the first Muslim woman elected to office in North Carolina. Allam said that she “was the first candidate in this race to stand up for policies like Medicare for All and a Green New Deal,” and highlighted endorsements from national figures like U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). Allam was a policy director on U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) 2016 presidential campaign and a vice-chair with the North Carolina Democratic Party from 2017 to 2021.

Foushee is a member of the state Senate, to which she was first appointed in 2013 after serving in the state House. Before that, she served on the Orange County Board of Commissioners from 2004 to 2010 and had been a member of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education. Foushee emphasized her electoral experience, saying “she has stood up to radical Republicans when they have attacked a woman’s right to choose, targeted our immigrant communities, and attempted to strip North Carolinians of their voting rights.”

Crystal Cavalier, Matt Grooms, Stephen J. Valentine, Ashley Ward, and Richard Watkins are also running in the primary.

Following redistricting, the 4th District was drawn outside of Raleigh, including portions of the state’s Research Triangle, a region bounded by three major universities: North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Duke University. The latter two are located in the district. As of 2022, the district had the largest percentage of voters between the ages of 18 and 29 (27%) and the largest percentage with a bachelor’s degree (52%) in North Carolina.

If no candidate receives at least 30% of the vote in the primary, the top two vote-getters will advance to a July 26 runoff.

California’s U.S. House races to have the most candidates per seat this year since at least 2018

The filing deadline for candidates running for state or federal office in California was March 11, 2022. This year, 265 candidates are running in California’s 52 U.S. House districts, including 126 Republicans, 112 Democrats, and 27 independent and third-party candidates. That’s 5.1 candidates per district, more than the 4.2 candidates per district in 2020 and 3.9 in 2018.

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

  • This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census, which resulted in California losing one U.S. House district.
  • Thirty-four members of California’s U.S. House delegation are running for re-election in a different district than the one they currently represent. Note that, though the district numbers are new for these incumbents, it is possible that the new district lines may bear similarities to the districts they currently represent.
  • Thirteen incumbents are running for re-election in the district they currently represent.
  • Five seats are open, meaning no incumbent is running. Open-seat elections are taking place in California’s 3rd, 13th, 15th, 37th, and 42nd districts.
  • Five incumbents are not running for re-election. Democratic Reps. Jerry McNerney, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Alan Lowenthal, and Jackie Speier are retiring. Rep. Karen Bass (D) is running for election for mayor of Los Angeles.
  • A special election is currently underway to fill resigned Rep. Devin Nunes’ (R) seat in California’s 22nd. The special general election is scheduled to take place the same day as California’s regular primary election. No candidates registered to run in the general election ran in the special election, meaning whoever is elected in the special election will only finish Nunes’ term and will not hold office in the 118th Congress.
  • All incumbents in California are facing primary challengers. 
  • In California’s top-two primary system, all candidates are listed on the same ballot regardless of party affiliation. Eleven incumbents, two Republicans and nine Democrats, are not facing intra-party primary challengers.
  • At this point, no districts are guaranteed to either party. Both Democratic and Republican candidates have filed to run in the primaries in all 52 districts. After the primaries take place, some districts may have two candidates of the same party running in the general under California’s top-two primary system.
  • The 30th district has nine candidates running, more than any other. Three Democrats, including incumbent Rep. Adam Schiff (D), four Republicans, one American Independent Party candidate, and one Green Party candidate have filed to run.

California’s U.S. House primaries are scheduled for June 7, 2022. California utilizes a top-two primary system. In a top-two primary system, all candidates are listed on the same ballot. The top two vote-getters, regardless of their partisan affiliations, advance to the general election.

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