TagDaily Brew

Redistricting updates from North Carolina and Rhode Island

Welcome to the Wednesday, February 23, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

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

  1. Redistricting roundup—North Carolina and Rhode Island
  2. Buckle up—Texas’ statewide primaries are six days away!  
  3. Election spotlight: Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District Republican primary

Redistricting roundup—North Carolina and Rhode Island

We’re entering the final stretch of state legislative and congressional redistricting—though nobody can say how long this final stretch will last. To date, 35 states have completed congressional redistricting and 36 states have completed state legislative redistricting

Let’s take a look at the latest updates from North Carolina and Rhode Island. 

North Carolina 

A three-judge panel of the Wake County Superior Court is expected to decide the state’s new congressional and legislative district boundaries on Feb. 23 (today). After blocking the legislature’s original maps last year, the North Carolina Supreme Court directed the panel to select new maps and submit them for approval.

North Carolina has a Democratic triplex and a divided trifecta. Democrats control the offices of governor, secretary of state, and attorney general. Republicans control both chambers of the state legislature. North Carolina’s Supreme Court is composed of four Democrats and three Republicans. 

Let’s take a quick look at a timeline of how we got here:

  • Nov. 4, 2021: The North Carolina General Assembly enacts new congressional and legislative maps. The state House of Representatives approved the congressional district boundaries 65-49, and the state Senate approved them 27-22. North Carolina’s governor cannot veto redistricting plans.
  • Nov. 16, 2021: Two sets of plaintiffs file lawsuits in Wake County Superior Court challenging both sets of maps, arguing they diluted the voting power of people of color and were examples of partisan gerrymanders.
  • Dec. 8, 2021: The North Carolina Supreme Court postpones the state’s 2022 primary elections from March 8 to May 17.
  • Jan. 11, 2022: A three-judge panel of the Wake County Superior Court rules the congressional and legislative district plans are constitutional.
  • Feb. 4, 2022: The North Carolina Supreme Court rules 4-3 that the state’s enacted congressional and legislative maps are unconstitutional and gives the legislature until Feb. 18 to redraw the maps.
  • Feb. 18, 2022: The North Carolina General Assembly approves new congressional and legislative redistricting plans.

The Superior Court panel can either select the maps that the legislature approved, choose maps submitted by the parties to the original lawsuits, or it can draw its own. Candidate filing for the 2022 elections resumes this week. 

Rhode Island

Governor Dan McKee (D) enacted new congressional district boundaries on Feb. 16. The General Assembly approved the map on Feb. 15, when the state House passed it 57-6 (53 Democrats and four Republicans voted in favor and four Republicans and two Democrats voted against) and the state Senate passed it 29-9 (no Republicans voted yes, while five Republicans and four Democrats voted no). 

The Providence Journal’s Patrick Anderson and Katherine Gregg wrote, “ruling Democrats didn’t make major map changes to protect the state’s Second Congressional District from a GOP takeover attempt, even after incumbent U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin announced he would not run for reelection. In the last redistricting a decade ago, the Assembly shifted tens of thousands of Democratic voters from the second district into the first district, benefitting Rep. David Cicilline, who was facing his first reelection campaign.”

Keep reading 

Texas holds statewide primaries in six days 

On March 1, Texas will hold the first statewide primaries of the 2022 election cycle

To help you ease into the upcoming primary season, we’ve periodically featured Texas primary election summaries over the last few weeks. Below, you’ll find a list of those races we featured in the Brew. Refresh your memory before March 1 or dive into a race you missed!

You can find a full list of Texas elections here.

Texas is the only state with a statewide primary in March. April, with no statewide primaries, is the calm before the storm. The primary schedule gets more crowded in May and June, when a combined 30 states will hold primaries

With 34 U.S. Senate seats and all 435 U.S. House districts in play, control of both chambers of Congress is up for grabs. At the state level, 36 gubernatorial seats and 6,166 state legislative seats are on the ballot (Democrats control 22 governorships and 44.3% of state legislative seats, while Republicans control 28 governorships and 54.4% of state legislative seats). And we haven’t even mentioned the other state executive, judicial, and local elections happening this year.

It can be a lot to keep up with, but we’re here to help you make sense of this very busy election cycle. Be sure to subscribe to The Heart of the Primaries, our weekly digest of the key congressional, legislative, and executive primary battles. 

Keep reading 

Election spotlight: Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District Republican primary

We’ve talked a lot about Texas primaries in recent weeks, so let’s look at some other primaries this spring, starting with Nebraska. Incumbent Jeff Fortenberry, Mike Flood, and John Weaver are running in the Republican primary for Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District on May 10. This is the first contested Republican primary in the district since 2014.

The Lincoln Journal Star‘s Don Walton has described the matchup as “the first bigtime GOP contest in the eastern Nebraska congressional district since … 2004.”

Fortenberry was first elected to the 1st District in 2004. He has campaigned on his legislative record, saying he would continue to deliver results “to strengthen our national security, stop devastating healthcare costs, and build a new vision for jobs, our environment, and our communities.” On Oct. 19, 2021, a federal grand jury indicted Fortenberry after the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California alleged he lied to investigators during a 2016 investigation concerning illegal contributions made to his re-election campaign. Fortenberry said he was unaware of the contributions and had cooperated with investigators. Fortenberry pleaded not guilty on Oct. 20, 2021, and the trial is scheduled to begin in March. Former Omaha Mayor and 2nd District Representative Hal Daub (R) endorsed Fortenberry.

Flood is a member of the Nebraska Senate. He first served in the chamber from 2005 to 2013 and was re-elected in 2020. From 2007 to 2013, he served as speaker of the Senate. Flood highlighted Fortenberry’s indictment in his campaign announcement, saying, “If our nominee has to focus on beating felony criminal charges instead of defeating a serious Democrat opponent, we risk defeat in November.” Current and former Govs. Pete Ricketts (R) and Dave Heineman (R) endorsed Flood.

The 1st District is located in eastern Nebraska surrounding the outskirts of Omaha and includes population centers like Lincoln, Norfolk, and Columbus. While district lines have changed, Republicans have represented the 1st District continuously since 1967. From 2006 to 2020, Fortenberry’s average re-election margin of victory was 32 percentage points.

The filing deadline for this race was Feb. 15, meaning the final candidate list may change as election officials validate ballot requirements. 

Keep reading



Upcoming candidate filing deadlines – Arkansas and Mississippi

Welcome to the Tuesday, February 22, Brew.

By: Douglas Kronaizl

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

  1. One week until candidate filing deadlines in Arkansas, Mississippi
  2. One-third of state legislative incumbents seeking re-election in Kentucky will face primary challenges
  3. Previewing the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in Ohio

One week until candidate filing deadlines in Arkansas, Mississippi

Candidates seeking office in Arkansas and Mississippi have until March 1, 2022, to submit the necessary materials to appear on a party’s primary ballot. Arkansas’ primaries are scheduled for June 21 and Mississippi’s for June 28. Arkansas and Mississippi were the eighth and ninth statewide filing deadlines to pass in 2022.

Arkansas and Mississippi are the eighth and ninth statewide filing deadlines to pass in 2022. 

Arkansas voters will decide federal, state executive, and state legislative elections this year. Here’s a quick look at where those races stand today, though things could change between now and the filing deadline:

  • U.S. Senate: U.S. Sen. John Boozman (R) is seeking re-election to a third term. Boozman defeated Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D) in 2010, becoming the state’s second Republican Senator since 1879. 
  • U.S. House: All four of Arkansas’ U.S. House districts will hold elections under new maps after redistricting. 
  • State executives: Seven state executive offices are up for election, all currently held by Republicans. Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) cannot seek re-election due to term limits. 
  • State legislature: All 35 state Senate will be up for election along with all 100 state House districts. Republicans currently hold majorities in both chambers: 26-7 in the Senate and 78-22 in the House. Democrats most recently held majorities in both chambers in 2012.

Mississippi’s four U.S. House seats are up for election. Democrats currently represent one district and Republicans represent three.

Neither of Mississippi’s U.S. Senate seats are up for election this year, and it holds its state executive and legislative elections in odd-numbered years.  

Arkansas and Mississippi are two of 18 states with filing deadlines slated for March. Twelve state’s deadlines are scheduled for April and May and 10 states’ deadlines don’t come until June and July.

Keep reading 

One-third of state legislative incumbents seeking re-election will face primary challenges in Kentucky

Over the coming months, we’ll crunch the numbers after each statewide filing deadline to show you how competitive elections 2022 elections might be.

Today: state legislative elections in Kentucky, where the filing deadline passed on Jan. 25.

Kentucky has a divided government. Democrats control the governorship. Republicans hold a 30-8 majority in the state Senate and a 75-24 majority in the House. One House district, most recently represented by Rep. Reginald Meeks (D), is vacant and will be filled in a special election tonight.

In 2022, 101 state legislative incumbents—22 Democrats and 79 Republicans—filed for re-election Thirty-four must participate in a contested primary on May 17. This is the highest percentage of incumbents in contested primaries in Kentucky since at least 2014. Five incumbents facing primary challenges are Democrats and 29 are Republicans.

Redistricting played a role in this increase. Six incumbents are facing primary challenges from other incumbents because of redrawn district lines. 

  • Rep. Lynn Belcher (R) currently represents House District 4 but is running for re-election in House District 12. He will face incumbent Rep. Jim Gooch Jr. (R).

Here are some other highlights:

  • A Democrat or Republican candidate is likely to win 61 (51.3%) of state legislative seats up for election because no candidates from the opposing party are running. Democrats likely will win 12 and Republicans likely will win 49. In 2014, 50.4% of districts had no major party competition, the next highest rate in that time frame. The 2018 cycle saw the lowest rate in recent years with 15.1% of districts contested between only one of the two major parties.
  • Twenty-one of the 119 districts holding elections (17.6%) are open, meaning no incumbent is running. This is a larger percentage than 2020 (14.2%), but lower than 2018 (18.5%).
  • Fifty-nine out of a possible 238 (24.8%) primaries are contested. This is the largest number of contested primaries in the state since at least 2014.

Overall, 256 candidates filed to run in the 119 districts: 88 Democrats and 168 Republicans. This equals 2.2 candidates per district, the second-highest figure since at least 2014.

Kentucky’s primaries are the sixth in the nation alongside four other states: Idaho, North Carolina, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. All five states will hold primary elections on May 17.

Keep reading 

Previewing the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in Ohio

Ohio has one of six open Senate seats this year as Sen. Rob Portman (R) is not running for re-election. Three candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination: Morgan Harper, Traci Johnson, and Tim Ryan

Media attention has focused primarily on Harper, an attorney who ran for the U.S. House in 2020, and Ryan, a member of the U.S. House representing Ohio’s 13th Congressional District.

Harper is running on a plan she said would create 600,000 clean energy jobs, as well as establishing a federal $15 minimum wage, Medicare for All, and full student loan debt forgiveness. Harper told The New York Times that her campaign would focus on mobilizing Black, women, and young voters. In 2020, Harper ran unsuccessfully in Ohio’s 3rd District in a Democratic primary against incumbent Rep. Joyce Beatty (D).

Ryan was first elected to the U.S. House in 2002. He has campaigned on a range of economic issues including revitalizing the state’s manufacturing industry, establishing a $15 minimum wage, renegotiating foreign trade deals, and expanding affordable healthcare. Ryan told CNN that his campaign would “focus like a laser beam on workers.” Ryan was most recently re-elected to represent the 13th District in 2020 following an unsuccessful presidential campaign.

Harper and Ryan disagree on healthcare policy. Harper supports Medicare for All, which would expand Medicare to cover all Americans and replace the existing private health insurance and marketplace options. Ryan supports the creation of a public option, an opt-in insurance plan that all Americans could join. In a 2019 presidential debate, Ryan called Medicare for All a potential disaster for the party. In October 2021, Harper said that universal healthcare was “the only way to protect workers.”

Donald Trump (R) won Ohio by eight percentage points in 2016 and 2020. Portman won re-election in 2016 by 19 percentage points. Sherrod Brown (D), Ohio’s other U.S. Senator, last won re-election in 2018 by seven percentage points.

Keep reading



The origin of President’s Day

Welcome to the Monday, February 21, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

It’s President’s Day—here’s a brief history

Today is President’s Day—an annual federal holiday that falls on the third Monday of February. Here’s a quick history about the holiday—and the presidency. 

If you have a favorite fact about the office or presidents, reply to this email to share them with us. We’ll return to your inbox tomorrow with our regularly scheduled look at the latest in local, state, and federal politics.  

The history of President’s Day

  • President’s Day always falls between George Washington’s birthday (Feb. 22) and Abraham Lincoln’s birthday (Feb. 12). The holiday began informally on Feb. 22, 1800, a year after Washingon died. In 1879, President Rutherford B. Hayes signed a law adding Washington’s birthday to the country’s four bank holidays, although the law only applied to federal employees in Washington D.C.
  • Officially, the federal government recognizes the holiday as “Washington’s Birthday.” According to the Office of Personnel Management, “This holiday is designated as ‘Washington’s Birthday’ in section 6103(a) of title 5 of the United States Code, which is the law that specifies holidays for Federal employees. Though other institutions such as state and local governments and private businesses may use other names, it is our policy to always refer to holidays by the names designated in the law.” In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act to give workers more three-day weekends—the law refers to “Washington’s Birthday, the third Monday in February.”
  • How did Americans begin referring to Washington’s Birthday as “President’s Day”? According to the National Archives—because of advertisers: “Local advertisers morphed both ‘Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday’ and ‘George Washington’s Birthday’ into the sales sound bite ‘President’s Day,’ expanding the traditional three-day sales to begin before Lincoln’s birth date and end after Washington’s February 22 birth. In some instances, advertisers promoted the sales campaign through the entire month of February. To the unsuspecting public, the term linking both presidential birthdays seemed to explain the repositioning of the holiday between two high-profile presidential birthdays.”
  • As President’s Day became the recognized name of the holiday in popular culture, state and local governments followed suit. According to History.com, by the early 2000s, “as many as half the 50 states had changed the holiday’s name to Presidents’ Day on their calendars.” 
  • Although most states officially recognize the third Monday of February as President’s Day, not all do. In Utah, the holiday is known as “Washington and Lincoln Day.” Some states don’t observe President’s Day in February. In Georgia and Indiana, for example, Washington’s birthday is observed on…Christmas Eve. New Mexico observes President’s Day on the day after Thanksgiving. And in Wisconsin, President’s Day isn’t a state holiday at all.  

In honor of Presidents’ Day, here’s some presidential trivia. 

  • The first presidential inauguration occurred on April 30, 1789.
  • According to the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, if the President is removed, dies, resigns, or cannot continue serving, the vice president is first in line to assume the office, followed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. If the Speaker of the House cannot assume the office, the responsibility falls to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. The president pro tempore was not part of the line of presidential succession between 1886 and 1947. See the full line of succession here
  • Speaking of federal holidays, three presidents died on Independence Day—John Adams (July 4, 1826), Thomas Jefferson (July 4, 1826), and James Monroe (July 4, 1831).
  • Since 1901, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies has overseen and organized presidential inaugural ceremonies. 
  • Until 1901, the White House was commonly known as the “President’s Palace,” the “President’s House,” or the “Executive Mansion.” That changed in 1901 when President Theodore Roosevelt directed Secretary of State John Hay to “change the headings, or date lines, of all official papers and documents requiring his signature, from ‘Executive Mansion’ to ‘White House.”

To learn more about presidential politics, click below!

Keep reading 

What’s a birthday without gifts?

Gifts make birthdays special, but nothing makes a President’s Day more special than a gift to Ballotpedia. Click here to give a gift that gives every day, and through every Administration.



Five governors—all in states with divided governments—have vetoed at least one redistricting map this cycle

Welcome to the Friday, February 18, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

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

  1. Five governors—all in states with divided governments—have vetoed at least one redistricting map this cycle
  2. New Mexico voters will decide amendment changing when appointed judges must stand for election
  3. #FridayTrivia: Before this week, when was the last time a city official faced a recall election in San Francisco?

Five governors—all in states with divided governments—have vetoed at least one redistricting map this cycle

During the current redistricting cycle, five governors—all in states with divided governments—have vetoed at least one redistricting map. Legislators overrode these vetoes in three states—Kansas, Kentucky, and Maryland—and mapmaking authority passed to the courts in the remaining two—Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

There are currently 13 states with divided governments. Of that total, eight are states where maps are subject to gubernatorial approval. In addition to the five states where governors have vetoed maps, there are two where maps have not yet reached the governor’s desk: Louisiana and Vermont.

Massachusetts is the only state with a divided government where the governor signed all redistricting maps into law. Gov. Charlie Baker (R) enacted the maps, proposed by the Democratic-controlled legislature, last November.

In the remaining five states with divided governments, governors cannot veto map proposals this cycle. This is because maps in those states are enacted either through a commission or court panel.

No governor in a state with a trifecta has vetoed a redistricting map during the current cycle, though Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) allowed his state’s congressional maps to go into effect without his signature.

Minnesota became the most recent state with a divided government to enact new congressional and state legislative maps, after a judicial panel released the state’s new maps on Feb. 15. Minnesota is one of three states, along with Alaska and Virginia, with a divided legislature.

Under state law, the legislature is responsible for redistricting and its proposals are subject to a gubernatorial veto. However, those two branches failed to meet the Feb. 15 deadline for the fifth decade in a row, leading the courts to enact new lines that cannot be vetoed.

Vetoes of redistricting maps are not entirely uncommon. During the redistricting cycle following the 2010 census, five states also had governors who vetoed at least one map proposal: Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, and New Mexico. All five states similarly had divided governments at that time.

Keep reading 

New Mexico voters will decide amendment changing when appointed judges must stand for election

On Feb. 15, the New Mexico State Legislature voted to send a constitutional amendment to the November ballot that would change when judges must stand for election after being appointed to fill a vacancy.

Currently, the state constitution requires that if a supreme court, appellate, or district court judge is appointed to fill a vacancy, he or she must stand for election at the next regularly-scheduled election in order to serve out the remainder of the term.

If voters approve this amendment, that timeline would change. Rather than standing for election at the next regularly-scheduled election, the appointee would instead run in the first election after serving at least one year in the position. 

This means if the governor appoints a judge in August of a general election year, that appointee would not stand for election in the November general election, but rather in the next election after serving at least one year in office.

If passed, New Mexico’s timeline would resemble those in Alabama and Minnesota where appointees similarly serve until the next election taking place more than one year after their appointment.

Sen. Joseph Cervantes (D) sponsored the amendment. He said, “The goal here … is to assure that the public is evaluating judges after they’ve spent some time on the bench as opposed to the present time when the law requires the judge to stand for election at the first election after their appointment.”

Sen. Jeff Steinborn (D), who voted against the amendment, said that individuals appointed to the legislature during an election year must stand for election that year, without a one-year wait period. He said the amendment would create a different standard for judicial appointees in a way that “takes a crucial option away from the public.”

This amendment would affect state supreme court, intermediate appellate court, and district court appointees. At the end of each term in office, which ranges from six to eight years depending on the court, judges may choose to stand for retention. It is only when a judge is appointed to fill a vacancy that he or she must stand in a regular election. 

New Mexico voters will decide two other amendments on the November ballot. Click here to learn more.

Between 1995 and 2020, New Mexico voters approved 89 of the 102 ballot measures that appeared statewide (87%).

As of Feb. 16, there are 68 statewide ballot measures that have been certified for the ballot in 31 states. Fifty-one of these (75%) are constitutional amendments referred to the ballot by a legislature.

Keep reading 

#FridayTrivia: Before this week, when was the last time a city official faced a recall election in San Francisco?

In the Thursday Brew, we brought you results from the recall elections in the San Francisco Unified School District. Voters ultimately recalled all three board members on the ballot: Gabriela López, Alison Collins, and Faauuga Moliga. But local recalls in San Francisco have been relatively rare based on Ballotpedia’s research.

Before this week’s school board recall, when was the last time a city official faced a recall election in San Francisco?

  1. 1983
  2. 1999
  3. 2004
  4. 1956


San Francisco voters recall three school board members

Welcome to the Thursday, February 17, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

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

  1. Voters recall school board members in San Francisco and Nebraska
  2. Sixty-seven statewide measures in 31 states certified for the ballot this year
  3. Texas primary election preview

Voters recall school board members in San Francisco and Nebraska  

On Feb. 15, we covered recall elections against three members of the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education in California and one member of the Giltner Public Schools Board of Education in Nebraska. We also covered a school board primary election in Wisconsin. 

Let’s take a look at the results. 

San Francisco Unified School District

Voters recalled Gabriela López, Alison Collins, and Faauuga Moliga. López, Collins, and Moliga were the only members of the seven-member board eligible for recall at this time.

López, Collins, and Moliga lost their recall elections by margins of at least 44 percentage points. Collins lost by the widest margin, with 78.6% of voters supporting the recall and 21.4% opposing it. Voters approved the recall against López and Moliga 75.0% to 25.0% and 72.1% to 27.9%, respectively. 

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Annie Vainshtein wrote the “recall divided the city for the past year, with a grassroots effort of frustrated parents and community members pushing for the trustees’ removal over the slow reopening of schools during the pandemic and the board’s focus on controversial issues like renaming 44 school sites and ending the merit-based admission system at Lowell High School.”’

López, Collins, and Moliga will stay in office until the county certifies in the election results, which it is expected to do on March 1. San Francisco Mayor London Breed will appoint temporary replacements for the recalled board members, who will serve until the board’s next election on Nov. 8.

The last city official to face a recall election in San Francisco was then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein in 1983. Feinstein survived the recall with 81% of the vote in her favor.

Giltner Public Schools, Nebraska

Voters recalled Chris Waddle, president of the Giltner Public Schools Board of Education, 62.1% to 37.9%. Jamie Bendorf, a resident of Giltner, started the recall effort in August 2021. In the recall petition filing form, Bendorf wrote, “Many parents across the country are frustrated with what has been happening with their kids. I recognize and understand that schools and boards have had to make some tough decisions this past year. None of us were prepared and we all are stressed with the hand we have been dealt. My husband, being on GPS board until recently, dealt first hand with the demands that were placed on schools by COVID. I saw what that did to him and the board at our local level. Remember to come to the board from an empowering perspective and not from anger. These are your community members.”

In response to the recall petition, Waddle said, “Our board has made good decisions for the school and it has been my privilege to serve as the president and work with these individuals who bring their own perspectives and work collaboratively to solve issues to make our school better. ”

Beloit School District, Wisconsin

We also covered a school board primary on Feb. 15 in Wisconsin. Eleven candidates ran in the primary for four at-large seats. The top eight vote-getters advanced to the general election. Three incumbents ran for re-election—Megan Miller, Gregg Schneider, and Allison Semrau. 

One incumbent—Semrau—lost in the primary. The following candidates will appear on the general election ballot:

Megan Miller (12.7%)

Ryan McKillips (11.9%)

Brian Anderson (11.4%)

J’Juan Winfield (11.2%)

Gregg Schneider (11.0%)

Torie Champeny (10.6%)

Christine Raleigh (9.9%)

Katherine Larson (8.6%)

The three candidates who win the most votes in the April 5 general election will serve full three-year terms, and the candidate with the fourth-most votes will serve a one-year term.

So far in 2022, we’ve tracked 26 recall efforts against 67 school board members. Six recalls against 11 members have already gone to a vote so far this year. The recalls against school board members in San Francisco and Nebraska were the first to be approved in 2022.

Click below to subscribe to Hall Pass, our new, free, weekly newsletter designed to keep you plugged into the conversations driving school board politics and education policy.

Keep reading

Sixty-seven statewide measures in 31 states certified for the ballot this year

Sixty-seven statewide measures have been certified for the ballot in 31 states so far this year, eight more than the average number certified at this point in other even-numbered years from 2010 to 2020. 

Here’s an update on the latest ballot measure activity:

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 59 statewide measures had been certified for the ballot. 

Click here to read about measures that could appear on the 2022 ballot. 

Keep reading 

Race spotlight: Texas’ 30th Congressional District Democratic primary

Early voting in Texas started Feb. 14 for the March 1 primaries, making Texas the first state in the 2022 election cycle to open the polls. Let’s take a look at one of the upcoming elections—the Democratic primary for Texas’ 30th Congressional District.

Nine candidates are running in the election. Incumbent Eddie Bernice Johnson (D), who has represented the district since 1992, declined to seek re-election. Johnson is one of 30 Democrats and 13 Republicans in the U.S. House who are not seeking re-election in 2022

Media attention has focused on candidates Jasmine Crockett, Jane Hamilton, and Jessica Mason.

Crockett has represented Texas House District 100 since January 2021. She said she supports “Economic recovery that includes all, fair district maps, expanding healthcare and access to the ballot box, lowering property taxes, and reforming the criminal justice and policing systems.” Johnson endorsed Crockett.

Hamilton served as an adviser on Pres. Joe Biden’s (D) Texas campaign in 2020 and worked as an online program manager. Hamilton said she supports criminal justice reform, expanding access to healthcare, and “Voters Rights legislation which prohibits States from disenfranchising people of color.” Hamilton’s endorsers include U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey (D), Texas State Rep. Chris Turner (D), State Sen. Beverly Powell (D), and several local officials.

Mason is a Navy veteran and worked as a legislative staffer in the Virginia General Assembly and as a community outreach coordinator. Mason said she supported universal healthcare and “ending cash bail, legalizing marijuana and expunging past convictions, and ensuring formerly incarcerated individuals have the right to vote and have job opportunities upon release.” Former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner (D) and former presidential candidate Marianne Williamson (D) endorsed Mason.

Barbara Mallory Caraway, Arthur Dixon, Vonciel Jones Hill, Keisha Lankford, Abel Mulugheta, and Roy Williams Jr. are also running.

Four candidates—Crockett, Dixon, Hamilton, and Lankford—have completed our Candidate Connection survey.  You can read those survey responses here

Keep reading



The most abortion-related statewide ballot measures since 1986

Welcome to the Wednesday, February 16, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

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

  1. Abortion-related statewide ballot measures: the most in 36 years
  2. Redistricting roundup
  3. Texas gubernatorial Republican primary

Abortion-related statewide ballot measures: the most in 36 years

Since 2000, there have been just two general election cycles without abortion-related statewide ballot measures—2002 and 2016. 

That won’t be the case this year. 

Currently, voters in Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, and Vermont are slated to decide at least four ballot measures addressing abortion—the most since 1986. If proponents of an abortion-related initiative in Michigan collect enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, 2022 will be the year with the most abortion-related measures on record.

Vermont’s abortion-related ballot measure, Proposal 5, is the first measure since Maryland’s 1992 Question 6 that has the support of pro-choice organizations. Maryland Question 6 prohibited state interference with a woman’s decision to have an abortion before the fetus is viable. Vermont Proposal 5, which is set for a vote on November 8, would enact a state constitutional amendment declaring “an individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy.” In Michigan, a campaign backed by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU is collecting signatures for an initiated constitutional amendment to establish a state right to reproductive freedom, which the initiative would define to include abortion.

In Kansas and Kentucky, the ballot measures would declare there is no state constitutional right to abortion. The Montana Legislature put a measure on the ballot that would state in statute that “an infant born alive is a legal person” and that present healthcare providers shall provide “all medically appropriate and reasonable actions to preserve the [infant’s] life and health.”

Including the four 2022 measures, there have been 51 statewide ballot measures addressing abortion since 1970. Forty-three were designed to implement policies supported by pro-life campaigns. The remaining eight ballot measures were supported by pro-choice campaigns. Of the 47 measures that have been voted on since 1970, 15 were approved.

Keep reading

Five states adopt redistricting maps 

We’ve been closely tracking new congressional and state legislative map updates since September 2021. Five months later, the redistricting process shows no sign of slowing down. Here’s a quick summary of where redistricting stands:

  • 33 states have finished redistricting, pending legal challenges, 
  • 9 states need to complete one map, including states apportioned one congressional district so only legislative redistricting is required,
  • 6 states need to complete both congressional and legislative redistricting, and
  • 2 states have had one or both redistricting plans overturned by their state supreme court.

Read on to learn about the latest redistricting updates out of Connecticut, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

Connecticut

Connecticut enacted new congressional district boundaries on Feb. 10 when the Connecticut Supreme Court adopted the court-appointed special master’s redistricting plan. The court appointed Nathaniel Persily, a political scientist, on Dec. 23, 2021. He submitted his proposed redistricting plan to the court on Jan. 18.

The state supreme court assumed control over Connecticut’s congressional redistricting on Dec. 21, 2021, after the state Reapportionment Commission failed to complete the process after the court had extended its deadline to that date. Under state law, the Reapportionment Commission took over congressional redistricting after the state’s Reapportionment Committee failed to meet its statutory Sept. 15, 2021, deadline due to delays in the release of census data.

The Connecticut Mirror’s Mark Pazniokas wrote that in the adopted plan, “Three of the five districts are solidly Democratic, but the 2nd and the 5th are competitive, while leaning Democratic. Republicans have carried those districts in statewide races, including the 2018 gubernatorial election.”

Kansas

Kansas enacted new congressional district boundaries on Feb. 9 when the Legislature overrode Gov. Laura Kelly’s (D) veto of the Legislature’s redistricting plan. The Associated Press’s John Hanna wrote the congressional district plan “politically hurts the state’s only Democrat in Congress, likely plunging Kansas into a national legal brawl amid the contest for control of the U.S. House.”

The Kansas House of Representatives overrode Kelly’s veto 85-37. Thirty-six Democrats and one Republican voted against overriding the veto, while only Republicans voted to keep the veto. The Senate overrode Kelly’s veto 27-11 on Feb. 8 along party lines. 

Minnesota

Minnesota enacted new congressional and legislative district boundaries on Feb. 15 when a special judicial redistricting panel issued an order adopting final maps. In its unanimous order, the panel wrote, “To afford counties and municipalities time to complete local redistricting, the statutory deadline for completing congressional and legislative redistricting is ’25 weeks before the state primary election in the year ending in two.’ In this decennium, that date is February 15, 2022. That date has arrived, and the legislature has not yet enacted a congressional redistricting plan. To avoid delaying the electoral process, the panel must now act.”

Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea established the five-judge special redistricting panel last year to hear legal challenges regarding redistricting and adopt maps should the legislature not agree on them. The panel consisted of two state court of appeals justices and three state district court judges. Republican governors originally appointed two of the five judges, Democratic governors originally appointed two, and former Gov. Jesse Ventura (Reform) originally appointed one justice.

After the panel issued its order,  the Twin Cities Pioneer Press’s Dave Orrick of wrote, “The impacts of the new maps weren’t immediately clear…Since Minnesota averted losing a congressional seat, the state’s eight districts for U.S. House members don’t appear jarringly different from current maps.” This is the fifth redistricting cycle in a row that state courts have drawn the maps in Minnesota.

Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission voted 4-1 to enact new state legislative districts on Feb. 4. House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R) voted no, while Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R), state Rep. Joanna McClinton (D), state Sen. Jay Costa (D), and chairman Mark Nordenberg voted yes. 

The five-member Pennsylvania Reapportionment Commission has existed since 1968. The majority and minority leaders of the state House and Senate appoint four members, who then appoint the fifth. However, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court appointed Nordenberg, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh, after the four other members deadlocked on a fifth member.

Washington

The Washington state Senate approved an amended version of the Washington State Redistricting Commission’s map proposal on Feb. 8. In Washington, a five-member commission—established in a 1983 amendment to the state constitution—draws congressional and state legislative district boundaries. The majority and minority leaders of the Washington state Senate and Washington House of Representatives each appoint one registered voter to the commission. These four commissioners appoint a fifth, non-voting member to serve as the commission’s chair. 

The commission announced on Nov. 16 that it had missed its deadline to produce new maps. Following state law, the commission then submitted plans to the Washington Supreme Court for consideration. The court accepted the commission’s final map drafts, ruling that it had substantially complied with the deadline. The state House of Representatives approved the final proposal on Feb. 2 in an 88-7 vote, and the state Senate approved the plan on 35-14 on Feb. 8.

Keep reading 

Race spotlight: Texas gubernatorial Republican primary 

Early voting in Texas started Feb. 14 for the March 1 primaries, making Texas the first state in the 2022 election cycle to open the polls. Let’s take a look at one of the upcoming elections—the Republican primary for Texas governor. 

Eight candidates are running in this race. However, three candidates have received the most media attention and raised the most money—incumbent Greg Abbott, Don Huffines, and Allen West.

Abbott’s opponents have pointed to his response to the coronavirus pandemic as a reason he should not be re-elected. Writing in the Houston Chronicle, Jeremy Wallace said, “Abbott was the target of GOP-led protests for his early moves to allow mask mandates and restrict business operations.” On June 1, 2021, former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Abbott for re-election. 

Let’s meet the candidates. 

Abbot: First elected governor in 2014 and re-elected in 2018, Abbott has said he would continue “to build on his record as a strong conservative leader who fights to preserve Texas values.” Before becoming governor, Abbott served as Texas Attorney General from 2002-2015. He also served as a justice on the Texas Supreme Court from 1996-2001. 

Huffines: A member of the Texas Senate from 2015 to 2019, Huffines owns a real-estate development company in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Huffines has said “Texans deserve a real leader who delivers actual results rather than lies,” adding that he would “finish the wall, secure our elections, and ban vaccine mandates.”

West: A former Florida congressman from 2011-2013, West resigned as the chairman of the Texas Republican Party in 2021 to run for governor. In his campaign announcement, West said “leadership in Austin was complicit in shutting down businesses, enforcing illegal mandates, and undermining the rights of Texans.”

Paul Belew, Daniel Harrison, Kandy Kaye Horn, Rick Perry, and Chad Prather are also running in the primary. 

No incumbent governor in Texas has failed to be renomination since 1978, when Gov. Dolph Briscoe (D) lost to then-Attorney General John Hill (D). Republicans have won every gubernatorial election in Texas from 1994 to 2018 by an average margin of 16.9 percentage points.

A candidate winning more than 50% of the vote automatically advances to the Nov. 8 general election. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two candidates will advance to a primary runoff. To read about the Democratic primary, click here

Keep reading



Republicans lead in fundraising for Texas’ state legislative elections

Welcome to the Tuesday, February 15, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

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

  1. Republicans outraise Democrats by 92% in Texas state legislative races
  2. Early filing deadlines show increased activity in school board elections this year
  3. What you need to know about today’s school board recall in San Francisco

Republicans outraise Democrats by 92% in Texas state legislative races

Since the 2020 campaign cycle, Ballotpedia has partnered with Transparency USA to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections in 10 states, including Texas.

New campaign finance filings for Texas’ state legislative races show that between July 1, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2021, Republican candidates raised 92% more than Democratic candidates.

Ahead of the March 1 primaries, 282 Republican candidates have raised $22.0 million compared to the $8.0 million 197 Democratic candidates have raised—a 92% difference. For Republicans, this averages out to around $78,000 raised per candidate. For Democrats, the average is $41,000.

The largest five fundraisers in each party accounted for between 20 and 30% of their respective party totals. For Republicans, the top five fundraisers raised 27% of the party’s total. For Democrats, the top five made up 21%.

Overall, the three candidates who raised the most money were Mayes Middleton (R) in Senate District 11 ($1,885,523), House Speaker Dade Phelan (R) in House District 21 ($1,870,189), and Kevin Sparks (R) in Senate District 31 ($905,772). 

Middleton, currently a member of the House, and Sparks are both running in contested primaries for open districts. In both races, the winner of the Republican primary likely will win the district since no Democratic candidates filed.  Phelan, the House Speaker, is not facing a primary or general election challenger.

Republicans currently hold an 18-13 majority in the Senate and an 85-65 majority in the House. All 181 districts are up for election in November, with primaries scheduled for March 1.

Keep reading 

Early filing deadlines show increased activity in school board elections this year

We have been seeing increased levels of activity and interest with school board elections over the past year. 

In 2021, we recorded 92 school board recall efforts, the most since we began tracking in 2006. This year we are seeing an average of 2.77 candidates running for school board positions within our coverage scope. That’s on track to be the most candidates per school board position since at least 2018. A 2.77 average for 2022 represents a 50% increase from the 2018 figure.

This is based on candidate filing information for 85 school board positions within our coverage scope that are up for election this year where filing deadlines have passed. We won’t have a full picture until every filing deadline has passed, meaning the 2022 average is likely to change.

The candidates per position metric gives an idea of how many people are running for school boards nationwide. The lower the average, the less competition we are likely to see in these elections. 

Ballotpedia covers school board elections in 470 school districts: the 200 largest districts by student enrollment and all school districts in the 100 largest cities by population.

Today, Feb. 15, we are covering primary elections in six Wisconsin school districts and school board recalls in San Francisco, Calif., and Giltner, Neb.

For more information about school board elections, be sure to subscribe to Ballotpedia’s Hall Pass, a free weekly newsletter designed to keep you plugged into the conversations driving school board politics and education policy.

Keep reading 

What you need to know about today’s school board recall in San Francisco

Recall elections against three of the seven members of the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education are taking place today, Feb. 15. The members facing recalls are Gabriela López, Alison Collins, and Faauuga Moliga.

Recall supporters said they were frustrated that schools in the district remained closed for nearly a year in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Supporters also said they were upset the board had taken time voting to rename 44 buildings rather than focus on school re-openings.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Jill Tucker, opponents of the recall questioned why the city should hold the recalls when the members’ terms will expire in 2023. López also said, “The people who are behind this don’t know us … they don’t know what we’ve been doing.”

The last San Francisco official to face a recall election was then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein in 1983. Feinstein defeated the recall with 81% of the vote in her favor.

All three board members facing recalls were first elected to four-year terms on Nov. 6, 2018. The other four members of the board were not eligible for recall at the time as they had not yet served in their current terms for at least six months.

If voters recall any of the three members, Mayor London Breed (D), who has endorsed the recall effort, would appoint a replacement.

So far in 2022, Ballotpedia has tracked 25 recall efforts against 66 school board members. Four recalls against seven members have already gone to a vote so far this year. None were successful.

Keep reading



Texas early voting starts Feb. 14

Early voting in the Texas primary starts Feb. 14, making Texas the first state in the 2022 election cycle to open the polls. 

This year, 44 states and the District of Columbia offer some form of no-excuse early voting, meaning that any eligible voter can vote early, in person, without being required to cite an approved excuse. Early voting is sometimes referred to as in-person absentee voting. Six states do not offer no-excuse early voting: Alabama, Connecticut, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. 

In the last midterm election cycle (2018), 37 states offered some form of no-excuse early voting. In the 2018 general election, approximately 16.2 million Americans cast their ballots early in person, representing about 19.5 percent of total turnout, according to the United States Elections Project.  

No additional states are scheduled to open early voting periods until April. In April, six states will begin early voting: Indiana and Ohio on April 5, Nebraska on April 11, South Dakota on April 23, West Virginia on April 27, and North Carolina on April 28. 



Ballotpedia’s Daily Brew: Will you be our valentine?

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

  1. Will you be our valentine?
  2. Incumbent and two challengers running in Republican primary for Texas Commissioner of Agriculture
  3. Early voting begins today in Texas primaries

Will you be our valentine?

As a trusted friend of Ballotpedia, we know you love to stay up to date when it comes to the latest information about American politics and policy. 

With Valentine’s Day nearly here, we’ve got an idea for you- make us your Valentine and donate to Ballotpedia!

As much as we like flowers and candy, earning the trust of millions of voters is what really melts our hearts. We know that you share our love of fair and accurate political information, so share your love of democracy by supporting Ballotpedia!

Make a sweet donation to Ballotpedia this Valentine’s Day and help millions of Americans get the information they love and trust. 

What could be sweeter than that?

Share the BP love today!

Keep reading

Incumbent and two challengers running in Republican primary for Texas Commissioner of Agriculture

Last week, we looked at the candidates running for Texas Attorney General in the March 1 primary. Today, we continue our look at Texas statewide races with a preview of the Republican primary for state agriculture commissioner.

Three candidates are running in the Republican primary election for Texas Commissioner of Agriculture on March 1, 2022. Incumbent Sid Miller and James White lead in fundraising, endorsements, and media attention.

Miller was first elected agriculture commissioner in 2014 and won re-election in 2018. He represented District 59 in the Texas House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013. Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Miller, calling him an “early fighter for our America First agenda.” 

White, who has represented District 19 in the Texas House of Representatives since 2011, said, “I am running for Ag Commissioner because I am a proven conservative who will restore integrity to this crucial agency that oversees over $115 billion in annual economic impact to our state.” The Houston Chronicle endorsed him.

According to Sparber, “White is campaigning as an ethics-focused foil to Miller, taking digs at the incumbent’s past controversies. […] More recently, a political consultant for Miller was arrested in an alleged scheme to sell access to hemp licenses, which are issued by Miller’s department.”

Miller responded, saying his opponents were spreading rumors to damage his reputation: “The penalty is the process. All they need is some kind of headline. … They’re trying to confuse people with misinformation, paint me in a bad light. It’s not going to work. People know me. I’ve got a stellar record as your Ag Commissioner.” He also said that White “doesn’t know anything about the agency.”

Southern Methodist University political science professor Cal Jillson said, “Miller has the facility for getting himself in difficult situations, in terms of both politics and ethics. … He’s the likely favorite, but he’s not invulnerable.”

Miller also faced two opponents in the 2018 primary, winning with 56% of the vote to Jim Hogan’s 23% and Trey Blocker’s 22%.

Carey Counsil, an economics professor and rancher, is also running in the primary.

Keep reading 

Early voting begins today in Texas primaries

Speaking of Texas, early voting in the Texas primary starts today, making Texas the first state in the 2022 election cycle to open the polls. 

This year, 44 states and the District of Columbia offer some form of no-excuse early voting, meaning that any eligible voter can vote early, in person, without being required to cite an approved excuse. Early voting is sometimes referred to as in-person absentee voting. Six states do not offer no-excuse early voting: Alabama, Connecticut, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. 

In the last midterm election cycle (2018), 37 states offered some form of no-excuse early voting. In the 2018 general election, approximately 16.2 million Americans cast their ballots early in person, representing about 19.5 percent of total turnout, according to the United States Elections Project.  

No additional states are scheduled to open early voting periods until April. In April, six states will begin early voting: Indiana and Ohio on April 5, Nebraska on April 11, South Dakota on April 23, West Virginia on April 27, and North Carolina on April 28. 

Keep reading 



Ballotpedia’s Daily Brew: State government trifectas at the Super Bowl

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

  1. State government trifectas at the Super Bowl
  2. A look at next week’s school board recall in San Francisco
  3. Three-fourths of Alabama state legislative districts are contested by only one of the two major parties

State government trifectas at the Super Bowl

This Sunday, Feb. 13, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams will face off in Super Bowl LVI. While we here at Ballotpedia are excited about the big game, we couldn’t resist taking a look at past results through the lens of our historical state government trifecta data from 1967 to 2021.

The matchup this year will pit a team from a state with a Republican trifecta—the Bengals, located in Ohio—against a team from a state with a Democratic trifecta—the Rams in California.

A government trifecta exists when one party controls both chambers of the legislature and the governorship in a given state.

If the Bengals win, it will be the third year in a row where a team from a state with a Republican trifecta has won the Super Bowl after the Buccaneers in Florida last year and the Chiefs, who play in Missouri, in 2020.

If the Rams win, it will be the first time since 2016 that a team from a state that had a Democratic trifecta has won the Super Bowl. The last team to win from a Democratic trifecta was the Denver Broncos in 2016.

The chart below shows each Super Bowl based on the winning team’s state government trifecta status at the time of each team’s victory.

Historically, teams from states that had divided governments—where no single party has a trifecta—have won the most Super Bowls at 25 (45%). One team—the New England Patriots from Massachusetts—makes up six of those victories. Every time the Patriots have won a Super Bowl, Massachusetts has had a divided government.

Teams from states that had Democratic trifectas have won 19 Super Bowls (35%) and hold the longest winning streak from 1970 to 1978. The Dallas Cowboys, located in Texas, won four Super Bowls while their state had a Democratic trifecta.

Teams from states that had Republican trifectas have won eight Super Bowls (15%) including the first three ever held. The Green Bay Packers, located in Wisconsin, won three Super Bowls while their state had a Republican trifecta.

Only one team has won a Super Bowl under all three trifecta statuses: the Broncos in Colorado. The team won in 1998 under a divided government, in 1999 under a Republican trifecta, and in 2016 under a Democratic trifecta.

The Bengals have never won a Super Bowl, but they have been to two in 1982 and 1989. In both years, Ohio had a divided government. The Rams have won one Super Bowl—the 34th in 2000—when the team was located in Missouri, which had a Democratic trifecta at the time.

The increased number of teams from states with divided governments around the 1900s and into the 2000s tracks with nationwide trends. In 1992, there were 31 states with divided governments and 19 trifectas. Today, there are 37 trifectas—14 Democratic and 23 Republican—and 13 divided governments.

Keep reading

A look at next week’s school board recall in San Francisco

Recall elections against three of the seven members of the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education are scheduled for Feb. 15, 2022. Petitions to recall board members Gabriela López, Alison Collins, and Faauuga Moliga were certified in October 2021.

All three board members named in the recall petitions were first elected to four-year terms on Nov. 6, 2018. The other four members of the board were not eligible for recall at the time as they had not yet served in their current terms for six months.

Recall supporters said they were frustrated that schools in the district remained closed for nearly a year in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Supporters also said they were upset the board had taken time voting to rename 44 buildings rather than focus on school re-openings. 

Siva Raj, a parent who filed notices of intent to recall, said, “From day one, the campaign was a campaign to get politics out of education … What we saw consistently was a pattern where school board leadership focused on a lot of political stunts and symbolic gestures.” 

Mayor London Breed endorsed the recall in November 2021, saying, “Sadly, our school board’s priorities have often been severely misplaced.” If any board members are recalled, Breed will appoint replacements.

On Feb. 21, 2021, López announced that the board would put building renaming on hold to focus on re-opening plans. At a board meeting on April 6, 2021, members unanimously voted to rescind the approval of the renaming process. At the same meeting, they voted to return students to full-time, in-person instruction at the start of the 2021-2022 school year.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Jill Tucker, opponents of the recall “question why the city is spending more than $3 million on a recall election when the three board members’ terms are up in January 2023.” 

The members being recalled also spoke out against the efforts. At an August 2021 event, Collins said, “When I see certain people getting upset, I know I’m doing the right thing.” López said, “The people who are behind this don’t know us, they don’t know our work, they don’t know what we’ve been doing, they don’t know what we are dedicated to.”

The last San Francisco official to face a recall election was then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein in 1983. Feinstein survived the recall with 81% of the vote in her favor.

So far in 2022, Ballotpedia has tracked 24 recall efforts against 64 school board members. Four recalls against seven members have already gone to a vote so far this year, all of which were defeated.

In 2021, we tracked 92 recall efforts against school board members, more than any year since at least 2006. The next most-active year was 2010 with 38 recall efforts. 

Keep reading 

Three-fourths of Alabama state legislative districts are contested by only one of the two major parties

After every filing deadline, we crunch the numbers to see how competitive elections will be at different levels of government and in different states. All year, we will be bringing you updates for all 50 states.

Today, we are looking at Alabama, the third state to have a filing deadline this cycle.

Of the 140 state legislative districts holding elections in Alabama this year, either a Democrat or Republican is likely to win 105 (75.0%) because no candidates from the opposing party filed to run. The filing deadline for candidates running for state offices in Alabama was Jan. 28.

Democrats likely will win 27 districts—six in the Senate and 21 in the House—because no Republican filed to run for them. Republicans likely will win 78 districts—21 in the Senate and 57 in the House. In 2018, 83 districts had no major party competition (59%) and 73 (52%) were uncontested in 2014.

The remaining eight Senate and 27 House districts likely will be contested between both major parties. This is the lowest rate of major party competition in the state since at least 2014.

But, before the general elections, candidates may need to pass through a primary.

Sixty-three of the 280 possible major party primaries (22.5%) are contested, meaning more than one candidate filed for a party’s nomination in a given district. While Republicans will have their highest number of contested primaries compared to recent elections, Democrats will have their lowest. Overall, the total number of major party primaries is at its lowest since at least 2014, which had 64 contests.

Overall, 271 candidates filed to run for the 140 districts: 88 Democrats, 182 Republicans, and one Libertarian. This equals 1.94 candidates per district, down from 2.15 in 2018 and 2.02 in 2014. Additional minor party and independent candidates may still file to run before May 24. 

Alabama holds state legislative elections every four years during midterm cycles. The state’s primaries are the 11th in the nation, alongside Arkansas and Georgia. All three states will hold primary elections on May 24. In all three, if no candidate wins a majority of the vote in the primary, the top two finishers will advance to a runoff election on June 21.

Keep reading