TagDaily Brew

No June CA statewide ballot measures—first time since 1964

Welcome to the Monday, May 23, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

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

  1. For the first time since 1964, there’s no statewide initiative on California’s primary ballot
  2. Georgia’s May 24 primary elections 
  3. Alabama’s May 24 primary elections

For the first time since 1964, there’s no statewide initiative on California’s primary ballot

The June 7 California primary ballot won’t feature any state ballot measures for the first time since 1964. This year’s lack of measures follows a decline in primary ballot initiatives—last year, one proposition was on the primary ballot. Based on decades, the average has declined over time, with an average of 11 on primary ballots in the 1970s and 1980s, 10 in the 1990s, seven in the 2000s, and three in the 2010s. 

One contributing factor to the decline could be Senate Bill 202, which lawmakers approved in 2011. SB 202 required citizen-initiated ballot measures be placed on November general election ballots. Since SB 202’s passage, only legislatively referred ballot measures can appear on primary ballots. The state legislature did not place any such measures on the June primary ballot. 

However, there are a number of local measures to be decided on primary day—90 to be exact. We cover all local ballot measures in California.

There are currently four citizen-initiated measures that qualified for the statewide ballot in November and several more are expected to file signatures ahead of the June 30 signature verification deadline. Legislators also have until June 30 to refer measures to the November ballot. Since 2010, there have been an average of 10 measures decided at the general election—nine citizen-initiated measures and two legislative referrals.

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Georgia’s May 24 primary elections 

On Tuesday, Alabama, Arkansas, and Georgia will hold this month’s final statewide primaries (Texas will also decide runoff elections). Last Friday, we previewed Arkansas’ upcoming elections. Today, let’s look at what voters in Alabama and Georgia will see when they go to the polls.

As a reminder, 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!

First up, the Peach State. 

Congressional elections

Georgia voters will pick nominees for one U.S. Senate seat and all 14 of the state’s U.S. House districts. Incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D), who won in a special election in 2021 by two percentage points, is running against Tamara Johnson-Shealey (D) in the Democratic primary. Six candidates are running in the Republican primary, including Gary Black, Kelvin King, Latham Saddler, and Herschel Walker, who have led in fundraising and media attention. Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Walker. Three independent race forecasters consider the general election a Toss-up.

Georgia’s U.S. House delegation is currently split between six Democrats and eight Republicans. Eighty-two candidates, including 31 Democrats and 51 Republicans, filed to run for the 14 districts—the most since 2012, when 44 candidates filed. There are eight incumbents in contested primaries this year, the most since 2012.

Five incumbents are not facing any primary challengers.

State elections

Georgia has a full slate of state executive offices up for election, including governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and more

The Democratic gubernatorial primary features Stacey Abrams, the only candidate who filed to run. Abrams, a former state representative, ran for governor in 2018 and lost to current incumbent Brian Kemp (R) 50.2%-48.8%. Kemp, David Perdue, and three other candidates are running in the Republican primary. Trump endorsed Perdue in the election.  

In the state legislature, all 56 Senate seats and all 180 House seats are up for election. Republicans have a 34-22 Senate majority. In the House, Republicans have a 103-76 majority. 

This year, there are 104 contested state legislative primaries—51 Democratic primaries and 53 for Republicans. For Democrats, this is up from 49 in 2020, a 4% increase. For Republicans, that number increased 71%, from 31 in 2020 to 53 in 2022. This is also the state’s first cycle since 2016 with more Republican Republican than Democratic primaries.

In Georgia, primary candidates must get a majority of the vote to win. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the total vote, the two candidates with the most votes advance to a June 21 runoff election. Georgia is one of 10 states that conduct runoff elections as part of their party nomination process. 

Click below to learn more about Georgia’s primaries. 

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Alabama’s May 24 primary elections

Now that we’ve looked at Georgia’s primary elections, let’s jump next door and look at Alabama’s upcoming elections. 

Congressional elections

Alabama voters will decide who will replace Sen. Richard Shelby (R). Shelby first took office in 1987 and announced in 2021 that he would retire. Three candidates are running in the Democratic primaryWill Boyd, Brandaun Dean, and Lanny Jackson. Six candidates are running in the Republican primary, including  Katie Britt, Mo Brooks, and Michael Durant, who have led in polling and endorsements. Trump initially endorsed Brooks but later rescinded his endorsement. 

Alabama is also holding elections for its seven congressional districts. Republicans currently hold six of those districts. There are three contested Democratic primaries and two contested Republican primaries. Five incumbents—four Republicans and one Democrat—aren’t facing any primary challengers.

 State elections

Alabama is holding elections for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and more. 

Incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey, Lynda Blanchard, and Tim James, and six other candidates, are running in the Republican gubernatorial primary. Six candidates are running in the Democratic primary. Three independent race forecasters consider the general election Solid Republican.

Thirty-five state Senate districts and 105 House districts are up for election. Republicans control the Senate 27-8 and the House 73-28 (with four current vacancies). In the 140 districts holding elections, 17.9% were left open, meaning no incumbent filed to run in them. This was a decrease from the 37 open districts in 2018 but more than the 20 in 2014. 

Like in Georgia, Alabama primary candidates must get a majority of the vote to win. Candidates that do not receive more than 50% of the vote will advance to a June 21 runoff election. 

Click below to read more about Alabama’s upcoming elections. 

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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!

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#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


A look at this week’s battleground primary results

Welcome to the Thursday, May 19, Brew. 

By: David Luchs

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

  1. A look at this week’s battleground primary results
  2. The latest on redistricting in Florida, Kansas, and New York
  3. Candidate Connections update—More from state legislative candidates in Georgia

A look at this week’s battleground primary results

Elections took place in at least eight states on Tuesday, including statewide primaries in Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. Here’s a look at some noteworthy results in battleground races:

U.S. Senate

  • Ted Budd wins GOP nomination in North Carolina: Ted Budd defeated 13 other candidates to win the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in North Carolina. Budd, a U.S. representative running with the endorsement of former President Donald Trump (R), had 59% of the vote. Pat McCrory (R), a former governor, had 25%. 
  • John Fetterman wins Democratic nomination in Pennsylvania: Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) beat three other candidates to win the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania. Fetterman had 59% of the vote to Conor Lamb’s (D) 26%. As of writing, the Republican primary remained too close to call, with Mehmet Oz (R) and David McCormick (R) each at 31% of the vote and within the threshold required to prompt an automatic recount. 

State executives

  • Brad Little wins re-nomination as governor of Idaho: Idaho Gov. Brad Little defeated Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin and six others to win the Republican nomination for a second term. Little had 61% of the vote to McGeachin’s 25%. On two occasions in 2021, McGeachin issued executive orders related to Idaho’s response to COVID-19 in her capacity as acting governor while Little was out of state. Both times, Little rescinded McGeachin’s order upon returning to the state.
  • Tina Kotek wins Democratic nomination for Oregon governor: Tina Kotek (D), a former speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, defeated 14 other candidates to win the Democratic nomination for governor. She had 56% of the vote to Tobias Read’s 34%. 
  • Doug Mastriano wins Republican nomination for Pennsylvania governor: Doug Mastriano (R) defeated eight other candidates to win the Republican nomination for governor of Pennsylvania. Mastriano, a state senator running with former President Trump’s endorsement, had 42% of the vote. 

U.S. House

  • Madison Cawthorn loses re-nomination: Chuck Edwards (R) defeated seven other candidates, including incumbent Madison Cawthorn (R), to win the Republican nomination in North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District. Cawthorn, who was first elected in 2020, was endorsed by former President Donald Trump (R). Edwards had an endorsement from U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis (R). Cawthorn is the third member of the U.S. House to lose renomination this cycle, alongside Bob Gibbs (R) and David McKinley (R). As of writing, a fourth incumbent, Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), appeared to be losing renomination to challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner (D) 38% to 61%. At this point in the 2020 cycle, one U.S. House incumbent, Dan Lipinski (D), had lost renomination. 

State legislators

  • Eleven incumbents lose renomination: At least eleven incumbent state legislators lost primaries on Tuesday, with 92 more competing in races that are too close to call. Eight of the defeated incumbents were Republicans, including four members of the Kentucky House of Representatives, three members of the North Carolina House of Representatives, and one member of the North Carolina State Senate. The three defeated Democratic incumbents included two members of the North Carolina State Senate and one member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
  • This brings the total number of state legislative incumbents defeated this year to 25, with that number likely to grow. Across the nine states that have held primaries, 2.7% of incumbents running for re-election have lost.

Keep reading

The latest on redistricting in Florida, Kansas, and New York

Thirty-nine states have adopted new congressional district maps following the 2020 census. Three states’ maps have been overturned by court action and two states have yet to adopt new maps. The six remaining states were apportioned a single district, meaning no congressional redistricting was necessary. 

Here’s the latest on the court challenges to the Florida, Kansas, and New York maps: 

Florida

On May 12, Leon County Circuit Court Judge Layne Smith ruled that the congressional district boundaries that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed into law on April 22 were unconstitutional. In his opinion, Smith wrote that the enacted plan “would diminish the ability of Black voters to elect their candidate of choice in North Florida,” specifically in the state’s current Fifth Congressional District.

Smith ordered Florida to use a revised congressional map for the 2022 elections that the legislature had previously proposed that restores a version of the Fifth Congressional District.

Florida was apportioned 28 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, one more than it was apportioned after the 2010 census. Candidates have until June 17 to file for Florida’s U.S. House primaries, which are scheduled to take place August 23.

Kansas

On May 18, the Kansas Supreme Court overturned a district court’s ruling that found that the state’s enacted congressional district boundaries were unconstitutional. Justice Caleb Stegall wrote for the court, “A majority of the court holds that, on the record before us, plaintiffs have not prevailed on their claims that Substitute for Senate Bill 355 violates the Kansas Constitution.”

Wyandotte County District Court Judge Bill Klapper had struck down Kansas’ enacted congressional map on April 25. 

Kansas enacted congressional district boundaries on Feb. 9 when both the state House and Senate overrode Gov. Laura Kelly’s (D) veto of a redistricting plan that the legislature passed. Across both chambers, all but one House Republican voted to override Kelly’s veto and all Democrats voted to sustain her veto.  

Kansas was apportioned four seats in the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2020 census, the same number it received after the 2010 census. The filing deadline for ballot-qualified parties in Kansas is June 1, and primaries are scheduled for Aug. 2.

New York

On May 16, court-appointed special master Jonathan Cervas released draft congressional district boundaries for New York. The New York Court of Appeals—the state’s highest court—ruled on April 27 that the state government had not followed proper constitutional procedure in enacting the maps. The court also found that the congressional plan was drawn with unconstitutional partisan intent. The special master was appointed by Steuben County Surrogate’s Court Judge Patrick McAllister, who must approve the final plan.

New York was apportioned 26 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, one less than it was apportioned after the 2010 census.

Bloomberg Government’s Keshia Clukey and Greg Giroux wrote that “Under the Cervas proposal, Democratic candidates would have an edge in 16 of 26 New York congressional districts, down from 22 Democratic-leaning seats in the version struck down as a gerrymander. Three congressional districts would be Republican leaning, and the map creates seven seats with smaller partisan divides.”

Keep reading 

Candidate Connections update—More from state legislative candidates in Georgia

Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey asks candidates for federal, state, and local office to share what motivates them on a personal and political level.

As of May 17, 2022, we’re covering 75 races with final candidate lists in which all candidates have completed the survey. Twelve races reached that milestone in the past week.

What’s new this week

Kevin Grindlay and Shawn Still are the two candidates on the ballot in the Republican primary for Georgia State Senate District 48, located northeast of Atlanta. Located northeast of Atlanta, the district’s current representative is Michelle Au (D), who is running for state House this year. In the 2020 election, Au defeated Matt Reeves (R) 56% to 44%.

Here’s how Grindlay and Still answered the question, “Who do you look up to? Whose example would you like to follow, and why?”

Grindlay: “Jesus. In terms of the political realm: Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, Marjorie Taylor Green, Matt Gaetz, etc. At the state level, Mark Finchem, Doug Mastriano, Wendy Rogers, etc.”

Still: “I look up to my uncle, Rick Still, Sen. Bruce Thompson, and GA GOP Chairman David Shafer. Throughout my life, my Mother was my hero.

A leader whose example I greatly admire is Dwight D. Eisenhower. He helped create the concept of ‘modern Republicanism’ that helped the party attract more swing voters and solidify our base. He expanded Social Security and prioritized a balanced budget over tax cuts. He put tens of thousands of soldiers returning home from war to work by creating the Interstate Highway System, the largest non-military job program in our history.”

About Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

Some other details about the 75 races where all candidates have completed the survey:

  • They are located in 24 states.
  • Sixteen of the 75 races are taking place in Texas.
  • Eleven of the 75 races are general elections, including one runoff.
  • Of the 64 primaries and primary runoffs, 34 are for the Democratic nomination, 26 are for the Republican nomination, three are top-two primaries, and one is nonpartisan.
  • Twenty-five of the 75 races are for U.S. House.

Keep reading



An update on contested primary data

Welcome to the Wednesday, May 18, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

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

  1. Number of contested state legislative primaries is up 41% compared to 2020
  2. We’ve got May 17 primary election results!
  3. Arkansas has most incumbents in contested U.S. House primaries in at least a decade

Number of contested state legislative primaries is up 41% compared to 2020

Earlier this month, we looked at the number of contested Republican and Democratic state legislative primaries in 14 states this year compared to 2020. At that time, we found the number of state legislative primaries was up 38%. We’ve since then added two more states to the data—Arizona and North Dakota —let’s take a look at the update. The number of contested state legislative primaries is now up 41% this year compared to 2020.

This research includes primary election competitiveness data from 16 states that held elections in 2020. These states account for 1,850 of the 6,166 state legislative seats up for election this year (30%). In those 16 states, Democratic primaries are down 6%, while Republican primaries are up 76%. Top-two/four primaries are up 18%. 

We count primaries as contested when more candidates file to run than nominations available, meaning at least one candidate must lose.

Three states in this analysis have Democratic trifectas, 10 have Republican trifectas, and three have divided governments.

Of the 16 states in this analysis, 14 are holding partisan primaries. Two states—California and Nebraska—use top-two primaries.

The number of Democratic primaries has increased in six states, decreased in six, and remains the same in two. The number of Republican primaries has increased in 13 states and decreased in one. The table below shows partisan statistics for the three states with the largest increases and decreases so far.

In addition to a state’s political makeup and party activity, redistricting is another reason for an increase in primary competitiveness.

After redistricting, some states—like Arkansas—hold elections for every district, while in other years, fewer districts are up each cycle. This creates more opportunities for primaries to occur. Or, like in West Virginia, redistricting creates new districts and, by extension, more primary opportunities.

We’ll continue to update these figures as information becomes available. In addition to this analysis, we collect competitiveness statistics at all levels of government, which you can find here. This data is calculated following candidate filing deadlines and readjusted at the time of the primary to account for any changes to candidate lists.

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We’ve got May 17 primary election results! 

On Tuesday, voters in five states—Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon, and Pennsylvania—went to the polls, and our team stayed up late into the night collecting results and monitoring the most significant developments. In tomorrow’s edition of this newsletter, we’ll take a closer look at the biggest storylines to emerge from Tuesday’s elections and help you make sense of what the results mean for midterm races in November. 

In the meanwhile, check out our May 17 election hub to see the latest results. You can also subscribe to The Heart of the Primaries, our weekly dive into key congressional, legislative, and executive races. The next edition comes out Thursday! 

Click on the links below to see results from the battleground elections that happened last night:

Idaho

North Carolina

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Next week, on May 24, three states will hold statewide primaries—Alabama, Arkansas, and Georgia. We’ll bring you more on those elections in the coming days. You can see a full list of upcoming primary dates here.

Keep reading 

Arkansas has most incumbents in contested U.S. House primaries in at least a decade

Speaking of Arkansas, the filing deadline for candidates running for state or federal office was March 1. This year, 16 candidates are running for Arkansas’ four U.S. House districts, including eight Republicans, four Democrats, three Libertarians, and one independent. That’s an average of 4 candidates per district, more than the 2.3 candidates per district in 2020 and fewer than the 5.5 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. Arkansas was apportioned the same number of congressional districts as after the 2010 census.
  • Incumbents are running in all elections. Arkansas hasn’t had an open House district since the 2014 elections, when two incumbents didn’t run.
  • District 4 incumbent Rep. Bruce Westerman is running unopposed in the Republican primary. This year’s elections have the highest number of incumbents in contested primaries (3, or 75%) since at least 2012. The second-highest was in 2018, when two incumbents (50%) faced contested primaries. No incumbents had primary challengers in 2020.
  • At least one candidate filed for each major party primary in each district.
  • The 1st District race has five candidates, the most of any district. Three Republicans, two Democrats, and one independent are running.

Arkansas’ U.S. House primaries are on May 24, with a June 21 runoff in the event that no candidate receives a majority in a primary. Alabama and Georgia also hold primaries on May 24. Ten states hold primaries before that date.

Keep reading



It’s primary day in five states

Welcome to the Tuesday, May 17, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

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

  1. Five states holding primary elections today
  2. One last look at Pennsylvania’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate
  3. Fewer candidates are running for U.S. House in North Dakota than at any point since 2016

Five states holding primary elections today

Today is the fourth statewide primary election day of the 2022 cycle. Voters in five states—Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon, and Pennsylvania—are selecting their general election nominees. Here’s a quick look at what’s on the ballot:

U.S. Senate

All five states are holding primaries for the U.S. Senate. Incumbents are running for re-election and facing contested primaries in Idaho, Kentucky, and Oregon. In North Carolina and Pennsylvania, incumbent Sens. Richard Burr (R) and Pat Toomey (R) are retiring, leading to large, competitive primary contests in both major parties.

U.S. House

This is the first post-redistricting House election in these five states. Oregon and North Carolina gained one congressional district leaving them with six and 14, respectively. Pennsylvania lost one district, dropping to 17. Idaho and Kentucky remained the same with two and six districts, respectively.

State executive offices

Idaho and Pennsylvania are holding primaries for state executive offices, including the governorship.

In Idaho, incumbent Gov. Brad Little (R) faces a primary field that includes Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin (R) and six others. This is the first time since 1938 that an incumbent lieutenant governor has challenged an incumbent governor in an Idaho gubernatorial primary.

In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) is term-limited. Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination, and eight candidates are seeking the Republican nod. Pennsylvania has had a divided government since Wolf was first elected in 2014. Republicans control both chambers of the state legislature.

State supreme court

Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Oregon are holding primaries for their state supreme courts, though only voters in North Carolina will have a contested primary to decide.

The two incumbents up for election in Idaho and one incumbent in Oregon were the only candidates to file for their respective races. In Kentucky, no more than two candidates filed for any of the four districts up for election, so those primaries were canceled.

In North Carolina, two Democratic seats are up for election. There is one Republican primary for Seat 5, the winner of which will face Justice Sam Ervin IV (D) in the general election. No primaries are needed for Seat 3, where Justice Robin Hudson (D) is not seeking re-election. Democrats currently hold a 4-3 majority on the court.

State legislature

All five states are holding state legislative primaries. Democrats currently control both chambers in Oregon and Republicans in Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

The total number of contested primaries is up from 231 in 2020 to 323 this year, a 40% increase. The number of contested Democratic primaries decreased or stayed the same in Idaho, North Carolina, and Idaho, and increased in Kentucky and Pennsylvania. The number of Republican primaries increased in all five states.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for some unofficial results! And subscribe to our Heart of the Primaries newsletter for even deeper dives into party primaries throughout the cycle.

Keep reading

One last look at Pennsylvania’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate

As we mentioned above, one primary we are following closely today is the Republican race for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania. Sen. Pat Toomey (R) is not running for re-election.

Seven candidates are running in the Republican primary. The candidates performing best in recent polls and receiving the most media attention are Kathy Barnette, David McCormick, and Mehmet Oz.

Barnette has had the largest increase in support in the polls heading into the primary. Barnette averaged 11% support in 10 polls conducted before May. Barnette’s support has averaged 23% in the four polls released this month. McCormick and Oz also saw increases in their respective polling averages in May.

A candidate can win the primary with a plurality, rather than a majority, of the vote.

On April 9, former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Oz. On May 12, following her rise in the polls, Trump issued a separate statement opposing Barnette, saying she “will never be able to win the General Election against the Radical Left Democrats.” In response, Barnette said, “[the people] don’t want to be spoon-fed two globalists … they want a real conservative.”

After serving in the U.S. Army Reserves, Barnette worked as a political commentator and in corporate finance. Barnette calls herself an America First candidate, a term often associated with Trump’s platform and candidates who say they support Trump’s agenda.

McCormick was the CEO of Bridgewater Associates, an investment management firm, from 2017 to 2022. McCormick also served as an undersecretary in commerce and treasury during the George W. Bush (R) administration. McCormick’s campaign has focused on economic issues and the U.S.-China relationship.

Oz is an author and former surgeon who hosted The Dr. Oz Show from 2009 to 2022. Oz says he is a political outsider. Oz’s campaign materials compare him to former Presidents Ronald Reagan (R) and Trump, saying they started in Hollywood before going to Washington to fight the establishment.

Jeff Bartos, George Bochetto, Sean Gale, and Carla Sands are also running in the primary.

Three independent race forecasters view the general election contest as either Toss-up or Tilt Republican. President Joe Biden (D) won Pennsylvania by 1.2 percentage points in the 2020 presidential election. Trump won the state by 0.7 percentage points in 2016.

Keep reading 

Fewer candidates are running for U.S. House in North Dakota than at any point since 2016

In the race for the U.S. House, North Dakotans won’t make any decisions during their June 14 primaries. That’s because only two candidates filed for the office—incumbent Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R) and Mark Haugen (D)—the first time only two candidates filed to run for the office since 2016.

Since only one Democrat and one Republican filed, there are no contested elections for the U.S. House in North Dakota for the third time since 2014. These races will still appear on primary ballots, but with only one candidate listed, depending on voters’ parties.

The most candidates to file for the House race was five back in 2018—four Republicans and one Democrat: four Republicans and one Democrat. Former Rep. Kevin Cramer (R) did not seek re-election that year, leaving the office open.

Unlike most states, North Dakota has an at-large congressional district, meaning the state has one U.S. representative.

While Armstrong and Haugen have a clear path to the general election ballot, more candidates may enter the race. The filing deadline for independent candidates is Sept. 6.

Keep reading



93 statewide measures certified (so far)

Welcome to the Monday, May 16, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

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

  1. This is how many statewide measures have been certified for the ballot this year
  2. A look at Pennsylvania’s May 17 primaries
  3. A look at North Carolina’s May 17 primaries

This is how many statewide measures have been certified for the ballot this year

We periodically bring you updates on certified ballot measures. 

So far, we’ve tracked 93 statewide ballot measures that have been certified for the ballot in 33 states. That’s 10 fewer than the average number certified at this point in other even-numbered years from 2010 to 2020

Here’s the latest:

Seven new measure were certified last week: 

Signatures have been submitted and are pending verification for 10 initiatives in California, Idaho, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota: 

Enough signatures were verified for two initiatives in Alaska and Ohio to certify them to the legislature: 

From 2010 to 2020, the average number of statewide ballot measures certified in an even-numbered year was 164. By this time during even-numbered years from 2010 through 2020, an average of 103 statewide measures had been certified for the ballot. 

Click below to learn more about this year’s ballot measures. 

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A look at Pennsylvania’s May 17 primaries

Five states will hold statewide primaries tomorrow, May 17—Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. Last week, we looked at elections in Idaho, Kentucky, and Oregon. Let’s round out our May 17 primary preview series with Pennsylvania and North Carolina. 

First up, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

At the congressional level, Pennsylvania voters will decide a Republican and Democratic primary for the state’s U.S. Senate seat, and Republican and Democratic primaries for all 18 of the state’s U.S. House districts. 

The Republican and Democratic primaries for the state’s U.S. Senate seat are being closely watched around the country because the general election is expected to be competitive. As of May 10, three independent race forecasters consider the general election either a Toss-up or Tilt Republican. The current incumbent, Sen. Pat Toomey (R), is retiring.

Seven candidates are running in the Republican primary. The candidates who’ve polled highest include Mehmet Oz, an author and former surgeon and TV show host, David McCormick, the CEO of an investment management firm and former Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs in the George W. Bush (R) administration, and Kathy Barnette, a political commentator who worked in corporate finance after serving in the United States Army Reserve. Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Oz on April 9. Barnette trailed McCormick and Oz in polling for most of the race but has in recent weeks polled near the top of the pack. A recent poll conducted May 7-9 put Oz at 23%, Barnette at 21%, and McCormick at 19% (the poll has a margin of error of ± 3.6 percentage points). 

The Democratic primary features four candidates, including Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, who have received the most campaign contributions, media attention, and lead in the polls. Fetterman served as the mayor of Braddock, Pa., from 2005 to 2019 and was elected lieutenant governor in 2018. Lamb was an assistant U.S. attorney and was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in a March 2018 special election, before being re-elected in 2018 and 2020. Yahoo News’ Christopher Wilson wrote that the race for Toomey’s seat “might be the Democratic Party’s best chance to gain a Senate seat in the fall.”

We’ll bring you more on Pennsylvania’s Senate primaries in Tuesday’s edition. 

Pennsylvania is one of six states with one Democratic and one Republican U.S Senator. President Joe Biden (D) won the state by 1.2 percentage points in the 2020 presidential election. The state’s U.S. House delegation is currently divided between nine Democrats and nine Republicans. 

Pennsylvania is also holding elections for governor and lieutenant governor, 25 seats in the state Senate, and 203 seats in the state House. Forty-two of the 190 Pennsylvania state legislators who filed for re-election this year—20 Democrats and 22 Republicans—will face contested primaries. The rate of incumbents facing contested primaries—22%—is  the highest rate since 2014. The remaining 78% of incumbents are not facing primary challengers.

In Pennsylvania, the primary candidate with the most votes wins—even if that candidate receives less than 50% of the total vote. Pennsylvania is one of 40 states without primary election runoffs. The state does not cancel uncontested primaries.

Click below to read more about Pennsylvania’s May 17 primary. 

Keep reading 

A look at North Carolina’s May 17 primaries

Now that we’ve looked at Pennsylvania’s upcoming primaries, let’s head south to North Carolina. 

On May 17, North Carolinians will have a chance to vote in Republican and Democratic primaries for a U.S. Senate seat and Republican and Democratic primaries for the state’s 13 U.S. House districts. The state’s 50 state Senate seats and 120 state House seats are also on the ballot. North Carolina is one of six states that isn’t holding any state executive elections this year. 

Candidates in the Republican and Democratic primaries for North Carolina’s U.S. Senate seat are running to replace incumbent Richard Burr (R), who is retiring. 

Fourteen candidates are running in the Republican primary. The candidates that have led recent polls and have received the most media attention are Ted Budd, Pat McCrory, and Mark Walker. Trump endorsed Budd, a U.S. Representative since 2017, in June 2021. The Budd Senate endorsement was among Trump’s first in this election cycle. McCrory was governor from 2013 to 2017. Before that, McCrory was the mayor of Charlotte from 1995 to 2009, while Walker represented North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District from 2015 to 2021 and was a pastor for 16 years before that.

Ten candidates are running in the Democratic primary

As of May 10, three independent election forecasters considered the general election as Lean Republican.

All 14 of North Carolina’s House districts are up for election, four of which are open, meaning no incumbent is running. The current delegation is divided between eight Republicans and five Democrats. 

North Carolina is one of 32 states holding state supreme court elections this year. 

In the state Senate, all 50 seats are up for election. Republicans control that chamber 28-22. In the state House, all 120 seats are up for election. Republicans control that chamber 69-51. Across both chambers, the number of uncontested state legislative districts in North Carolina grew from 14 in 2020 to 51 in 2022. The increase in uncontested districts was driven by a decline in Democratic challengers. In 2020, Democrats ran in 166 of the state’s 170 districts, and Republicans ran in 160. This year, Republicans once again filed to contest 160 districts while Democrats filed to run in 129.

To learn more about North Carolina’s May 17 primaries, click below.

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14 state legislative incumbents have lost in primaries so far

Welcome to the Friday, May 13, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

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

  1. State legislative incumbents defeated in primaries remains similar to previous cycles
  2. Oregon’s upcoming statewide primaries
  3. #FridayTrivia: What was the turnout in Texas’ statewide constitutional amendment vote on May 7?

State legislative incumbents defeated in primaries remains similar to previous cycles

With four statewide primaries behind us, the number of incumbents defeated in contested primaries remains similar to previous election cycles. So far in 2022, 14 incumbents—11 Republicans and 3 Democrats—have lost in primary elections. That’s 12% of all incumbents in contested primaries compared to 15% in 2020 and 14% in 2018 at this point in the cycle.

The numbers for 2022 may change depending on the results of 10 uncalled primary elections featuring incumbents in West Virginia and the outcomes of three primary runoffs in Texas.

Four states have held state legislative primaries for far this election cycle: Indiana, Nebraska, Texas, and West Virginia, all of which have Republican trifectas. Across those four states, there are 477 seats up for election, 8% of the nationwide total. 

Among those four states, 260 incumbents filed for re-election, and 116 (45%) faced contested primaries. This is a larger number of incumbents in contested primaries across these states than in 2020 but lower than in 2018. 

Six of the primary defeats this year were guaranteed due to redistricting. When states redraw legislative lines, incumbents can oftentimes end up in a new district with other incumbents leading to incumbent v. incumbent primaries or general elections.

You can view a full list of defeated incumbents and defeat totals from previous years using the link below.

Keep reading 

Oregon’s upcoming statewide primaries

Five states are holding statewide primaries for federal and state offices on May 17: Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. Today, let’s take a closer look at Oregon, the races on the ballot and how their primaries work.

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D) is running in a contested primary against two challengers with seven candidates seeking the Republican nomination. Wyden was first elected in a 1996 special election and has been re-elected four times.

Oregon is also holding elections for its six congressional districts. Four of the state’s five U.S. House members—three Democrats and one Republican—are seeking re-election and will all face contested primaries. One incumbent—U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D)—is retiring. There is also an open race in the state’s newly-created 6th District, which Oregon gained following redistricting. Nine Democrats and seven Republicans are seeking their respective parties’ nominations there.

The largest race by number of candidates is for the state’s open governorship. Gov. Kate Brown (D) is term-limited. Fifteen Democrats and 19 Republicans are in the running. There are also seven candidates running for labor commissioner.

All 60 districts in the state House and 15 of the 30 Senate districts will be holding elections. There will also be a special primary election in Senate District 18. Democrats currently hold a 37-23 majority in the House and an 18-11-1 majority in the Senate. There are more contested state legislative primaries in Oregon this year than at any point since 2014. This is also the first time since then that there are more Republican primaries than those for Democrats.

Oregon is using partisan primaries in all of its races apart from the race for labor commissioner. In partisan primaries, candidates from the same party compete against one another to win their party’s nomination. The labor commissioner race is nonpartisan and uses top-two primaries instead, where every candidate runs and the top-two vote-getters advance to the general election.

In Oregon, candidates can advance from a primary with a plurality, rather than a majority, of the vote. The state does not hold runoff elections. This means the candidate with the most votes—even if less than 50% of the total votes cast—advances. This is especially pronounced in primaries with large numbers of candidates like those for the governorship and the 6th Congressional District.

These primaries are not the final step in completing the state’s general election ballot, which might also include third-party and nonaffiliated candidates.

Unlike the major parties, third parties, which include the Independent, Libertarian, Pacific Green, and Progressive Parties, use conventions or other nominating processes to pick their candidates for the general election. Additionally, the filing deadline for nonaffiliated candidates is Aug. 30.

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!

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#FridayTrivia: What was the turnout in Texas’ statewide constitutional amendment vote on May 7?

On May 7, voters in Texas decided two statewide constitutional amendments regarding taxes for schools. Both amendments were approved. Earlier this week, we brought you more details from the race, which had the lowest turnout for a constitutional amendment vote in the state since 2017. Turnout was calculated as a percentage of registered voters.

What was the turnout in Texas’ statewide constitutional amendment vote on May 7?

  1. 27.3%
  2. 12.4%
  3. 33.8%
  4. 7.5%


More results from Tuesday’s primaries

Welcome to the Thursday, May 12, Brew. 

By: David Luchs

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

  1. Reviewing the results of Tuesday’s elections
  2. A look at Kentucky’s May 17 primaries
  3. Candidate Connection update—survey responses from U.S. House candidates in Pennsylvania

Reviewing the results of Tuesday’s elections

Elections for offices within Ballotpedia’s coverage scope took place in four states on Tuesday, including statewide primaries in Nebraska and West Virginia. Here’s a look at some of the noteworthy election results:

  • Nebraska State Senate primaries: Primaries were held for 24 of the 49 seats in Nebraska’s unicameral legislature. Seven of the 24 primaries remain too close to call. Of the 17 callable races, seven had an incumbent on the ballot, all of which saw the incumbent advance to the general election. State legislative elections in Nebraska are nonpartisan, meaning all candidates for a particular seat appear on the same primary ballot and the top two finishers advance to the general election.
  • West Virginia State Senate primaries: Primaries were held for 17 of the 34 seats in the West Virginia State Senate Tuesday. There were two contested Democratic primaries, including the District 1 primary, in which Randy Swartzmiller (D) defeated incumbent Owens Brown (D) 53% to 47%. Brown is the ninth incumbent state legislator to lose re-nomination in a primary this year. There were also 11 contested Republican primaries, four of which had an incumbent on the ballot. Three of those races resulted in a win for the incumbent and the fourth is too close to call.
  • West Virginia House of Delegates primaries: Primaries were held for all 100 seats in the West Virginia House of Delegates. There were 43 contested Republican primaries, 25 of which had an incumbent on the ballot. Of the 15 callable primaries with an incumbent on the ballot, one resulted in the incumbent’s defeat—the District 90 primary between incumbents George Miller and Ken Reed. Miller defeated Reed 58% to 42%. There were also 16 contested Democratic primaries, three of which had an incumbent on the ballot. The incumbent won two of those primaries, while the third, the District 27 primary between incumbents Ric Griffith and Chad Lovejoy, remains too close to call.
  • Nebraska gubernatorial Republican primary: Jim Pillen defeated Charles Herbster, Brett Lindstrom, and six other candidates to win the Republican nomination for governor of Nebraska. Pillen had 34% of the vote to Herbster’s 29% and Lindstrom’s 27%. No other candidate received more than 10% of the vote. Incumbent Pete Ricketts (R) is term-limited.
  • Nebraska Board of Education District 7 primary: Elizabeth Tegtmeier and incumbent Robin Stevens advanced from the nonpartisan primary for the District 7 seat on the Nebraska Board of Education with 62% and 20% of the vote, respectively. They will face one another in the nonpartisan general election in November.
  • West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District Republican primary: Incumbent Alexander Mooney (R) defeated incumbent David McKinley (R) and three other candidates in the Republican primary for West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. Mooney had 54% of the vote to McKinley’s 36%.

Keep reading

A look at Kentucky’s May 17 primaries

Kentucky is one of five states holding statewide elections on May 17. Let’s take a look at what’s on the state’s ballot this year.

Congressional races

This year, Kentucky is holding elections for one of its two seats in the U.S. Senate and all six of its seats in the U.S. House. Six Republicans, including incumbent Rand Paul (R), and four Democrats are running for the seat. The fundraising leaders in each primary are Paul, with $20.4 million raised this cycle, and Charles Booker (D), with $3.4 million. No other candidate has reported raising more than $20,000.

All five Republicans representing Kentucky in the U.S. House are running for re-election, and all but District 1 incumbent James Comer Jr. face at least one primary challenger. The lone Democrat in the state’s congressional delegation, John Yarmuth (D), is not running for re-election. Two Democrats and seven Republicans are running to succeed Yarmuth in the 3rd district, which election forecasters rate Solid Democrat. The 3rd district is one of three in Kentucky with a contested Democratic primary this year.

State legislative races

Although Kentucky’s statewide executive offices are not up for election this year, elections are taking place for 19 of the 38 seats in the state Senate and all 100 seats in the state House. This year, 256 candidates filed for the 119 seats up; 168 Republicans and 88 Democrats. The 2.2 candidates per seat is an increase from 2.0 in 2020 but down from 2.4 in 2018. 

This year, there are 44 contested Republican primaries and 15 contested Democratic primaries between both of Kentucky’s legislative chambers. Of the 101 incumbents running for re-election, 34 face a contested primary, the largest number since at least 2014. In both 2016 and 2018, 18 incumbents faced primary challenges, while in 2020 that number was 13. 

The increased number of contested primaries is partially due to redistricting, which sometimes results in multiple incumbents being placed in the same district. This year, there are three primaries in Kentucky contested between two incumbents of the same party running in the same district, all for the state House. Two of those primaries are between two Republicans and one is between two Democrats.

Republicans have a 30-8 majority in the state Senate and a 75-25 majority in the House. Because the governor, Andy Beshear, is a Democrat, Kentucky has a divided government. The next election for governor will take place in 2023.

Keep reading 

Candidate Connection update—survey responses from U.S. House candidates in Pennsylvania

Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey asks candidates for federal, state, and local office to share what motivates them on a personal and political level.

As of May 10, 2022, we’re covering 63 races with final candidate lists in which all candidates have completed the survey. Thirteen of those races reached that milestone in the past week.

What’s new this week

This week, we’re featuring survey responses from two U.S. House primaries in Pennsylvania—one for the Democratic nomination and one for the Republican nomination.

Rick Coplen and Shamaine Daniels are the two candidates on the ballot in the Democratic primary for Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District. The Harrisburg-area district is currently represented by Scott Perry (R), who is unopposed in the Republican primary. Election forecasters rate this seat Safe Republican, meaning Perry is very likely to win in November. In 2020, he defeated Eugene DePasquale (D) 53% to 47%.

Here’s how Coplen and Daniels answered the question, “Who are you? Tell us about yourself.”

Rick Coplen:

“My mother and grandfather, Mexican immigrants who fought to integrate public facilities in their hometown, instilled in me the values of hard work, service, and treating everyone with dignity. My working-class upbringing took me to West Point and international duty as an active-duty military officer.

I’m a husband of nearly 35 years, father of two extraordinary adult daughters, West Point and Princeton graduate, US Army combat (82nd Airborne in Panama) and peacekeeping (Bosnia) veteran, teacher of economics and strategic leadership (Elizabethtown College, US Army War College, US Military Academy at West Point), Chair, Rotary Veterans Initiative (college scholarships for veterans), and Board member, Employment Skills Center (adult literacy and job training skills).

Additionally, I am a published author and lecturer, Past President of the Rotary Club of Carlisle (led the Central PA relief effort after Superstorm Sandy), and Team leader supporting the Secretary, Department of Homeland Security with daily briefings in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

I am running for Congress to help bring everyone the opportunity to pursue their unique American dream. We need collaborative leaders who stand up for our democracy and bring us together for the common good. I am such a leader.”

Daniels:

“Shamaine A. Daniels is a three-term Councilwoman for the City of Harrisburg where she reduced red-tape and lowered fees for opening small businesses, doubled penalties for slumlords and invested in youth programming. She has also been an educator and attorney for well over a decade. About half of her legal career was spent defending workers’ rights and civil rights and the second half of her legal career has been spent helping American citizens and immigrants navigate our complex immigration system. She has consistently served the most vulnerable populations in our Commonwealth: Victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, abandoned and neglected children, workers, seniors, individuals with disabilities.

Daniels migrated to the United States from Venezuela in her teens and received her B.A. in Political Science/International Relations and Sociology from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. and M.A. in Women’s Studies from the University of Cincinnati and its College of Law.”

Three Republicans are on the ballot in Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District: Kathleen Coder, Jason Killmeyer, and Jeremy Shaffer. Located to the northwest of Pittsburgh, election forecasters rate this district a toss-up. Incumbent Conor Lamb (D) is running for U.S. Senate rather than seeking re-election, leaving the seat open.

Here’s how the three answered the question, “What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?”:

Kathleen Coder:

“My biggest goal is making sure the people of the 17th district are represented well in DC. I will advocate for policies that benefit the people, not the special interest groups & bureaucrats. I will fight to bring more jobs & economic growth to this district by limiting government overreach & regulation. We are a resource rich region that could be pivotal in our country’s energy independence. I am also dedicated to securing our borders, pursuing election integrity, curbing the national debt, & maintaining a strong national defense. I am pro-life & pro-2nd Amendment. I am committed to ensuring that we are governing by the Constitution & protecting our country from the socialist movement.

I, like many in our district, am sick & tired of the ineffectiveness of our current leaders in DC. They claim to represent us, but all they provide are a lot of promises & no results. That’s why, when the new congressional map encompassed the entire region I have lived & worked in for the last 15+ years, I felt called to get involved. In fact, I am the only candidate on either side of the ticket that has a proven track record of results & relationships in both Allegheny & Beaver Counties. Bottom line–I am running because I see a need, not because I want a position. Ultimately, it is my goal to represent the people of District 17 well, restore people’s trust in their public servants, & provide good leadership. Let’s get back to what matters most – pursuing common sense for the common good.”

Jason Killmeyer:

“Constitutional Conservativism.”

Jeremy Shaffer:

“Keeping our Communities Safe Defending our Freedoms Educational Opportunities World-Class Health Care Securing the Border Ensuring Election Integrity Energy Independence An Effective Foreign Policy Investing in our Infrastructure Creating Economic Opportunities”

About Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

Some other details about the 63 races where all candidates have completed the survey:

  • They are located in 22 states.
  • Fourteen of the 63 races are taking place in Texas.
  • Nine of the 63 races are general elections.
  • Of the 54 primaries and runoffs, 29 are for the Democratic nomination, 22 are for the Republican nomination, two are top-two primaries, and one is nonpartisan.
  • Twenty-four of the 50 are races for U.S. House.

Keep reading



Saturday’s Texas turnout – 7.5%

Welcome to the Wednesday, May 11, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

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

  1. Texas’ May 7 constitutional amendment election turnout
  2. A look at Idaho’s May 17 primaries
  3. Pennsylvania sees the fewest candidates running for the U.S. House since 2016

Texas’ May 7 constitutional amendment election turnout

On May 7, Texas voters decided on two statewide ballot measures. Across the state, voters also decided local school board elections. 

Voters approved both constitutional amendments. Turnout was 7.5% of registered voters, the lowest in a constitutional amendment election since November 2017. 

Proposition 1 allowed the Legislature to reduce the school tax limit for homeowners aged 65 and over and the disabled to reflect tax rate reductions enacted during the preceding tax year. Proposition 2 increased the school tax homestead exemption from $25,000 to $40,000.

The Texas Legislature can refer constitutional amendments to the ballot. However, most amendments are referred in odd-numbered years because they coincide with the legislative session. Between 1995 and 2021, 175 of 177 (98.9%) statewide ballot measures appeared on odd-numbered year ballots.

The turnout in odd-year constitutional amendment elections has averaged 10.9% since 1985. For comparison, the turnout in even-year general elections has averaged 51.3% during the same period. Constitutional amendments have appeared on even-year general elections ballots twice since 1985 – once in 2014, when turnout was 33.7%, and once in 2002, when turnout was 36.2%.

There were also school board elections in Texas. Click here to see election results for all 47 districts within our coverage scope. 

In Tarrant County, home to some of the state’s largest school districts, turnout was 7.73% of registered voters

Click here to subscribe to Hall Pass, our weekly newsletter on the conversations driving school board politics and education policy. 

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A look at Idaho’s May 17 primaries

Idaho is one of five states holding statewide elections on May 17. Let’s take a look at how primaries work in the Gem State.

Congressional races

Both of Idaho’s U.S. House districts are up for election. Idaho voters will also decide a U.S. Senate race.

Rep. Russ Fulcher (R) represents Idaho’s 1st Congressional District, while Rep. Mike Simpson (R) represents Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District. In the 1st Congressional District Republican primary, Fulcher is the only candidate on the ballot. The story is the same for the 1st Congressional District Democratic primary, which features Kaylee Peterson and no other candidates. In the 2nd Congressional District Republican primary, Simpson, Flint Christensen, Daniel Algiers Lucas Levy, Chris Porter, and Bryan Smith are on the ballot. The 2nd Congressional District Democratic primary features Wendy Norman and no other candidates. 

The Republican primary for Idaho’s U.S. Senate seat features incumbent Sen. Mike Crapo, Brenda Bourn, Natalie Fleming, Scott Trotter, and Ramont Turnbull. In the Democratic primary, Ben Pursley and David Roth will appear on the ballot.  

 State

Idaho is holding elections this year for all 70 House seats and all 35 Senate seats. Idaho is also holding elections for governor and lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, controller, and superintendent of public instruction.

Idaho is a Republican trifecta, meaning that Republicans control the governor’s office and both chambers of state legislature. Republicans hold 27 of the state’s 35 Senate seats and 58 of the state’s 70 House seats. In the House and Senate, more incumbents face primary challenges this year than at any point since at least 2014. Seventy-five incumbents filed for re-election, 61.3% of whom (46) are in contested primaries. Of those 46 incumbents in contested primaries, there were 45 Republicans, and one Democrat. Redistricting is part of the reason why there are more contested primaries. Redistricting can sometimes put multiple incumbents inside the same district. Four incumbent vs. incumbent primaries are scheduled in Idaho this year. 

In the Republican gubernatorial primary, incumbent Brad Little, Janice McGeachin, Steven Bradshaw, Ben Cannady, Ed Humphreys, Ashley Jackson, Lisa Marie, and Cody Usabel are on the ballot. McGeachin is the current lieutenant governor. Little’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a central issue in the race. In two instances in 2021, McGeachin issued executive orders related to COVID-19 while Little was out of state. McGeachin’s first order, issued while Little was at a Republican Governors Association meeting, banned mask mandates. McGeachin’s second order, issued when Little was at the U.S.-Mexico border, expanded a ban on state entities requiring vaccination or testing. Little rescinded both orders when he returned to the state. In November 2021, former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed McGeachin. 

In the Democratic primary, Stephen Heidt, David Reily, and Shelby Rognstad are on the ballot. 

Two seats on the Idaho Supreme Court are also up for election this year. Eighty-seven of the country’s 344 state supreme court seats are up for election this year. 

In Idaho, the primary candidate with the most votes wins—even if that candidate receives less than 50% of the total vote. Idaho is one of 40 states without primary election runoffs. The state does not cancel uncontested primaries, and write-in candidates have to file. 

Keep reading 

Pennsylvania has the fewest candidates running for the U.S. House since 2016

The filing deadline for candidates running for the U.S. House in Pennsylvania this year was March 15. Forty-eight candidates are running for Pennsylvania’s seventeen U.S. House districts, including 23 Democrats and 25 Republicans. That’s 2.82 candidates per district, slightly less than the 2.83 candidates per district in 2020, and less than the 4.66 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 Pennsylvania losing one U.S. House district. 
  • The 48 U.S. House candidates running this year are the fewest since 2016, when  44 candidates filed. 
  • Rep. Fred Keller (R), who represents the 12th district, is retiring, and Rep. Conor Lamb (D), who represents the 17th district, is running for the U.S. Senate.
  • Six candidates — one Republican and five Democrats — are running in the 12th district, the most running for one seat this year. Five candidates — three Republicans and two Democrats — are running in the 17th district. 
  • There are five contested Democratic primaries this year, the lowest number since 2016. There are six contested Republican primaries, one more than in 2020, but two less than in 2018.
  • There are 13 districts where incumbents do not face primary challengers. 
  • One district — the 3rd — is guaranteed to Democrats because no Republicans filed. Two districts — the 13th and the 14th — are guaranteed to Republicans because no Democrats filed. 

Pennsylvania and four other states — Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Oregon — are holding primary elections on May 17. Pennsylvania uses a closed primary process, so voters must register with a political party to vote in the primary election. Primary winners are not required to garner an outright majority of the votes cast.

Keep reading



Number of contested GOP legislative primaries up 73% in 2022

Welcome to the Tuesday, May 10, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

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

  1. Number of contested Democratic legislative primaries down 8.8% in 2022
  2. It’s Primary Day in Nebraska and West Virginia
  3. Idaho Republican gubernatorial primary features incumbent governor versus lieutenant governor for first time since 1938

Number of contested GOP legislative primaries up 73% in 2022

The number of contested Republican state legislative primaries is up 73% this year compared to 2020. Democratic primaries are down 8.8%, and top-two/four primaries are up 18%. Overall, the number of state legislative primaries is up 38%.

These are the most recent figures from Ballotpedia’s research into the competitiveness of state legislative elections. To date, we’ve collected primary election competitiveness data from 14 states that held elections in 2020. These states account for 1,662 of the 7,385 state legislative seats up for election this year (23%).

We count primaries as contested when more candidates file to run than nominations available, meaning at least one candidate must lose.

Seven states in this analysis have Republican trifectas, three have Democratic trifectas, and three have divided governments.

Of the 14 states in this analysis, 12 are holding partisan primaries. Two states—California and Nebraska—use top-two primaries. 

In addition to a state’s political makeup and party activity, redistricting is another reason for an increase in primary competitiveness.

After redistricting, some states—like Arkansas—hold elections for every district, while in other years, fewer districts are up each cycle. This creates more opportunities for primaries to occur. Or, like in West Virginia, redistricting creates new districts and, by extension, more primary opportunities.

Ballotpedia will continue to update these figures weekly. In the meantime, explore our primary election competitiveness statistics at all levels of government here. This data is calculated following candidate filing deadlines and readjusted at the time of the primary to account for any changes to the candidate list.

Keep reading 

It’s Primary Day in Nebraska and West Virginia

Speaking of primaries, for the past few days, we’ve been bringing you updates about the two statewide primaries taking place today, May 10, in Nebraska and West Virginia. This is the third statewide primary election day of the 2022 cycle. Texas held the first primaries on March 1, followed by Indiana and Ohio on May 3. Here’s a reminder of what’s on the ballot:

Nebraska is holding primary elections for its three U.S. House districts, state executive offices, and the state Senate.

Nebraska is holding two types of primaries depending on the office. The state uses partisan primaries for the U.S. House and statewide positions like the governorship. 

For positions on the statewide educational boards and the state Senate, the state uses nonpartisan primaries. These are sometimes called top-two primaries.

In the nonpartisan primaries, candidates run and serve in office without party labels, but candidates and officeholders often associate with specific parties. We identify party labels using candidate statements and publicly-available voter registration information. For example, we’ve used these criteria to determine that Republicans have a 31-17 majority in the officially nonpartisan state Senate.

Here are a few Nebraska primaries we are watching and have highlighted over the past few weeks:

West Virginia is holding primary elections for its two U.S. House districts and the state legislature. These are all partisan primaries.

West Virginia lost one congressional after the 2020 census, dropping from three to two. All three incumbents, last elected in 2020, are seeking re-election. U.S. Rep. Carol Miller (R) is running in the 1st District against four challengers. 

In the 2nd District, two incumbent representatives are running against each other: U.S. Reps. David McKinley (R), who currently represents the 1st District, and Alexander Mooney (R), who represents the 2nd. Three other challengers are running in that Republican primary.

At the state legislative level, this is the first election in the House of Delegates since officials restructured the chamber during the redistricting process. The chamber previously had 67 districts containing a total of 100 members through a mixture of single- and multi-member districts. This year, there are 100 single-member districts. This increased the number of possible primaries from 134 to 200. Similarly, the number of contested primaries in the chamber rose from 39 in 2020 to 59 this year.

The state Senate kept its multi-member districts, in which two senators represent each of the 17 districts. One senator from each district is up for election every cycle, and senators are elected to staggered, four-year terms. This year, there are 13 contested Senate primaries, the same as in 2020.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for some unofficial results! And subscribe to our Heart of the Primaries newsletter for even deeper dives into party primaries throughout the cycle.

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Idaho Republican gubernatorial primary features incumbent governor versus lieutenant governor for first time since 1938

Looking ahead on the calendar, Idaho is one of five states holding primaries on May 17. This year, voters will decide federal, state legislative, and state executive races, including the governorship.

The state’s Republican gubernatorial primary features eight candidates, including incumbent Gov. Brad Little and Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin. This is the first time since 1938 that incumbents from those offices faced each other in a gubernatorial primary.

The Idaho Statesman’s Ryan Suppe said of Little and McGeachin, “The two former allies … have had a tense relationship in recent years.” Much of that tension has centered on the state’s responses to the coronavirus pandemic

At two points in 2021, McGeachin issued executive orders related to COVID-19 measures while Little was out of the state. The first, while Little was at a Republican Governors Association meeting, banned mask requirements. The second happened while Little was visiting the U.S.-Mexico border. It expanded a ban on state entities from requiring vaccinations or testing. Little rescinded both orders upon his return to the state.

The Idaho Constitution says that if the governor is out of the state, the duties of the office transfer to the lieutenant governor. Little and McGeachin disagreed on whether that means the governor’s physical absence or effective absence.

Little is running on his record, saying his first term was “marked by historic tax relief, unparalleled red tape reduction, extraordinary economic growth, and unprecedented investments in education.” The National Rifle Association and the Idaho Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Little.

McGeachin said she is “running for Governor to restore the principles that have Made Idaho Great — individual liberty, state sovereignty, and traditional conservative values.” Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed McGeachin in 2021.

Steven Bradshaw, Ben Cannady, Ed Humphreys, Ashley Jackson, Lisa Marie, and Cody Usabel are also running in the primary.

Race forecasters view the general election as Solid or Safe Republican. Republicans have had a trifecta in Idaho since 1995. The last time a Democrat was elected to statewide office in Idaho was for superintendent of public instruction in 2002.

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