TagDemocratic primaries

U.S. Reps. Bourdeaux, McBath among three Democrats running in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District May 24 primary

Carolyn Bourdeaux, Lucy McBath, and Donna McLeod are running in the Democratic primary in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District near Atlanta on May 24, 2022. Bourdeaux and McBath are current members of the U.S. House of Representatives facing each other due to redistricting. The primary is one of five U.S. House races with two incumbents running for the same congressional district this year.

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

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

McBath defeated incumbent Karen Handel (R) in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District in 2018, 50.5% to 49.5%. She won a rematch against Handel in 2020, 55% to 45%. As Rachel Garbus wrote in Atlanta magazine, “Gun safety and reform has always been McBath’s key platform; her son was a victim of gun violence in 2012, and his death inspired her political career.” At a recent debate, McBath said, “I’m running in this race because I simply believe that we should not allow Gov. Kemp, the Republican Party or the NRA gun lobby to dictate who represents our communities in Washington.”

Wilkins wrote that “The congresswomen have near-identical voting records. In the 117th Congress, both have largely kept to the party line—96% for Bourdeaux and 97% for McBath, according to a Bloomberg Government analysis.” Garbus wrote in Atlanta magazine that “While both candidates are thoroughgoing Democrats, McBath is further to the left than Bourdeaux, whose centrist stance has alienated some progressives.”

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

If no candidate receives a majority of the vote in the primary, the top two finishers will meet in a runoff election on June 21. As of May 17, three race ratings outlets classify the general election as Solid or Safe Democratic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Fetterman wins Democratic U.S. Senate primary in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman defeated three other candidates in the May 17, 2022, Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, including U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, and Alexandria Khalil. Incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey (R)—who was first elected to the Senate in 2010—did not run for re-election.

Based on unofficial returns, Fetterman received 59% of the vote. Lamb was second with 26%, Kenyatta third with 10%, and Khalil was fourth with 4%.

Fetterman served as the mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, from 2005 to 2019 and was elected lieutenant governor in 2018. He finished third in the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania for the U.S. Senate in 2016. Fetterman’s top campaign priorities were adopting a single-payer healthcare system, legalizing marijuana, and supporting LGBTQIA+ rights. His campaign website describes him as “a different kind of Democrat,” saying, “John doesn’t look like a typical politician, and more importantly, he doesn’t act like one.” Marc Levy of the Associated Press described Fetterman as “irreverent, blunt and, well, something to see. At 6 feet 8, he is tattooed and goateed, his head is clean shaven, and he is most often seen wearing shorts — even in winter — and casual work shirts.”

Lamb worked as an assistant U.S. attorney and was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives after defeating Rick Saccone (R), 49.9% to 49.5%, in a March 2018 special election. He was re-elected to the U.S. House later in 2018 and in 2020.

Fetterman had endorsements from affiliates of the United Steelworkers and the United Food and Commercial Workers unions, the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association, and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws PAC. Lamb received endorsements from The Philadelphia Democratic Party, local chapters of the Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D).

According to campaign finance reports through April 27, Fetterman raised $16.0 million and spent $14.2 million on the race. Lamb raised $6.1 million and spent $4.8 million.

Fetterman will face the winner of the Republican primary in the Nov. 8 general election. Pennsylvania is one of two states holding a U.S. Senate election in 2022 with a Republican incumbent that President Joe Biden (D) carried in the 2020 presidential election. Biden defeated former President Donald Trump (R) in the state, 50% to 49%. In the 2016 presidential election, Trump carried Pennsylvania with 48.2% of the vote to Hillary Clinton’s (D) 47.5%. 

Pennsylvania is also one of six states with one Democratic and one Republican U.S Senator as of the 2022 U.S. Senate elections. Christopher Wilson of Yahoo News wrote that the race for Toomey’s seat “might be the Democratic Party’s best chance to gain a Senate seat in the fall.”

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Val Hoyle wins Oregon’s 4th Congressional District Democratic primary

Val Hoyle defeated Doyle Canning, Andrew Kalloch, John Selker, and four other candidates in the Democratic Party primary for Oregon’s 4th Congressional District on May 17, 2022. Incumbent Peter DeFazio (D), who represented the district since 1987, did not run for re-election. 

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

Canning ran in the 2020 Democratic primary for Oregon’s 4th Congressional District and lost DeFazio, receiving 15% of the vote. Canning worked as a community organizer and attorney and was vice chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon Environmental Caucus. “Oregon voters are hungry for a climate champion for Congress in 2022. I have been in this fight for 20 years, working on some of the most important climate battles of our time, including the successful defeat of the Jordan Cove project in 2021,” Canning said.

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

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

Sami Al-Abdrabbuh, Steve Laible, Jake Matthews, and G. Tommy Smith also ran in the Democratic primary.

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



Kotek wins Oregon Democratic primary for governor

ina Kotek defeated Tobias Read and 13 other candidates in the May 17 Democratic primary for governor of Oregon. Incumbent Kate Brown (D) was term-limited and could not run for re-election.

The Associated Press’ Sarah Cline wrote: “Oregon hasn’t seen a GOP governor in 35 years. But political experts say Republicans have an opening for victory amid widespread discontent in the state and a possible split in votes among the majority parties as the unaffiliated Johnson makes a gubernatorial run in the fall.”

Kotek served as a member of the Oregon House of Representatives from 2007 to 2022, when she resigned to focus on her gubernatorial campaign. She also served as the State House Speaker from 2013 to 2022. Kotek ran on reforming zoning laws to make housing more affordable, increasing the minimum wage, and funding schools. She said, “Oregonians are living through a devastating pandemic, the intensifying impacts of climate change, and the economic disruptions that leave too many behind. We must get past the politics of division and focus on making real, meaningful progress for families across our state.” Kotek said her time in the legislature shows that she knows how government works: “With new legislative leadership in 2023, it will be helpful to have a governor who has been in the Legislature and has been in their positions. There is going to be change, but I hope there is continuity provided by a governor who understands what it means to be a legislative leader.” The Oregon Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, and EMILY’s List endorsed Kotek.

Read is the Oregon Treasurer, a position to which he was first elected in 2016. He ran on enacting policies to curb gun violence, investing in K-12 schools, and lowering childcare costs. Read said, “We need to stop lurching from one crisis to the next and lay out a vision for where to take Oregon. Not just for next year, but for the next generation. My approach is simple: I’ll measure Oregon’s progress by how well our kids are doing.” Read also said that homelessness and affordable housing were the state’s two biggest issues: “Oregon is facing a housing and homeless crisis. This didn’t occur overnight, but is a result of years of shortsighted policy and budget decisions. Covid19 and resulting economic challenges made the crisis more acute, but we would be facing this challenge without it.” AFT-Oregon, a state affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, and former Gov. Barbara Roberts, who served from 1991 to 1995, endorsed Read.

David Beem, Julian Bell, Wilson Bright, George Carrillo, Michael Cross, Ifeanyichukwu Diru, Peter Hall, Keisha Merchant, Patrick Starnes, Dave Stauffer, John Sweeney, Michael Trimble, Genevieve Wilson also ran in the Democratic primary.

In the general election, Kotek will face former state Sen. Betsy Johnson, who is running as an unaffiliated candidate, and the Republican nominee. The Republican primary was uncalled at the time of this writing.



Primary will narrow field to two candidates in California’s 27th Congressional District

Seven candidates are running in the top-two primary for California’s 27th Congressional District on June 7, 2022. Incumbent Mike Garcia (R), John Quaye Quartey (D), and Christy Smith (D) have received the most media attention.

Garcia defeated Smith in the 2020 general election by 333 votes, making it the third-closest U.S. House race that year. Brianna Lee of LAist said that this year’s race should be more competitive because redistricting “jettisoned the district’s most conservative outpost in Simi Valley, giving Democratic voters even more of an edge.” The main story to watch in the primary election, Lee said, was “who [Democrats] trust most to take on Garcia during what promises to be a tough election year.”

Garcia was first elected to the U.S. House in May 2020 when he won a special election to succeed Katie Hill (D). Garcia served in the U.S. Navy as a pilot for 20 years and worked for Raytheon after his retirement. Garcia’s website lists the economy, jobs, taxes, and inflation as his key campaign issues. The Republican Party of California endorsed Garcia.

Quartey served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy and founded Safiyah Partners, an entrepreneurial investment firm, after his retirement. Quartey cited the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, as the reason he is running for office and his website highlights expanding access to the ballot box, decreasing the income inequality gap, and gun safety as key issues. Three U.S. Reps. from California—Barbara Lee, Katie Porter, and Eric Swalwell—endorsed Quartey.

Smith served in the California State Assembly from 2018 to 2020. Smith worked as an analyst at the U.S. Department of Education and founded the Valencia Valley Technological Education Foundation. Smith’s campaign website highlights expanding access to healthcare, improving the quality of public education, and codifying Roe v. Wade as key campaign issues. Smith’s endorsements include the California Democratic Party, the California Federation of Teachers, four members of the U.S. House, 22 members of the California State Legislature, and seven state elected officials.

The two candidates to receive the most votes (regardless of party) will run in the district’s general election on November 8, 2022. Three independent election forecasters rated the general election as Toss-up. The district’s representation has shifted party hands multiple times in the past decade, from Stephen Knight (R) to Hill (D) to Garcia (R).

Also running in the primary are Ruth Luevanos (D), Mark Pierce (R), David Rudnick (R), and Fepbrina Keivaulqe Autiameineire (I).



McGarvey defeats Scott for Democratic nomination in Kentucky’s 3rd Congressional District

Morgan McGarvey defeated Attica Scott in the Democratic primary for Kentucky’s 3rd Congressional District on May 17, 2022. As of 11:45 a.m. ET on May 18, McGarvey had received 63% of the vote and Scott had 37%. Incumbent Rep. John Yarmuth (D)—first elected to represent the district in 2006—did not run for re-election. This is the first open-seat race in the Louisville-area district since 1994. 

McGarvey is a member of the Kentucky State Senate, having first been elected to the legislature in 2012, and has served as the Democrats’ minority leader since 2019. McGarvey described himself as a champion of progressive values and said on his website, “As the Democratic Minority Leader in the Kentucky State Senate, I’ve spent my career standing up to the Trump-Bevin Republicans in Frankfort. I’ve stood firm on our progressive values to protect health care and teachers’ pensions, promote clean energy and defend choice so that Kentucky doesn’t look like Texas.” McGarvey announced he was running for this seat on the same day that Yarmuth said he would not run for re-election.

Scott served on the Louisville City Council from 2011 to 2014 and as a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives since 2016. At the time of her election to the legislature, she was the first Black woman to win such an office in 20 years.

According to campaign finance reports through April 27, McGarvey raised $1.5 million and spent $1.1 million. Scott raised $236,000 and spent $196,000.

University of Kentucky political science professor Steve Voss told the Louisville Courier-Journal in February 2022 that “Democrats have close to a 2-1 advantage over the GOP in terms of voters’ party registration in this congressional district.” As of May 2022, three independent outlets rated the general election as Solid Democratic. In the 2020 presidential election, Joe Biden (D) defeated Donald Trump (R) in Kentucky’s 3rd, 60% to 38%.

McGarvey will face the winner of the district’s Republican primary in the Nov. 8 general election.

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Foushee wins Democratic primary for North Carolina’s open 4th Congressional District

State Sen. Valerie Foushee defeated Durham County Commissioner Nida Allam, Clay Aiken, and five other candidates to win the Democratic primary for North Carolina’s open 4th Congressional District on May 17, 2022.

Incumbent Rep. David Price (D)—first elected in 1986, defeated in 1994, and re-elected in 1996—did not seek re-election. This is the first year the 4th District had been open since Rep. Nick Galifianakis (D) left office in 1972, though district lines have changed due to redistricting.

Foushee was first appointed to the North Carolina Senate in 2013 after serving in the state House. Before that, Foushee served on the Orange County Board of Commissioners from 2004 to 2012 and had been a member of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education.

Foushee emphasized her experience during the primary, saying “she has stood up to radical Republicans when they have attacked a woman’s right to choose, targeted our immigrant communities, and attempted to strip North Carolinians of their voting rights.”

The Assembly‘s Jeffrey Billman said that, along with satellite spending, “Including what candidates have raised themselves, the contest is the most expensive Democratic congressional primary in North Carolina history.”

Foushee and Allam both raised over $800,000 as of April 27. Additionally, eight organizations contributed $3,828,804 in satellite spending, according to Open Secrets. Most of the satellite spending—90%—went toward supporting Foushee with the remaining 10% supporting Allam.

The largest satellite spenders were:

  • United Democracy Project: an affiliate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The group spent $2,128,194 supporting Foushee.
  • Protect Our Future PAC: a political action committee funded by Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange. The group spent $1,040,133 supporting Foushee.
  • Working Families Party: a spending arm of the political party by the same name. The group spent $310,640 supporting Allam.

Following redistricting, the 4th District was drawn to include portions of North Carolina’s Research Triangle. As of 2022, the district had the largest percentage of voters between the ages of 18 and 29 (27%) and the largest percentage with a bachelor’s degree (52%) in North Carolina. Three independent race forecasters rated the general election as Solid or Safe Democratic.



Wiley Nickel defeats four other candidates in North Carolina’s 13 District Democratic primary

Wiley Nickel defeats four other candidates in North Carolina’s 13th District Democratic primary

Wiley Nickel won the May 17 Democratic primary for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District. Five candidates were on the ballot. Incumbent Rep. Ted Budd (R) announced on April 28, 2021, that he would not seek re-election and instead run for U.S. Senate.

Nickel had served in the North Carolina State Senate representing District 16 since 2019. He also worked as a criminal defense attorney. Before his election to public office, Nickel worked in several district attorney offices and in the White House as advance staff for former President Barack Obama (D). Nickel described his candidacy, saying, “I’ve seen the power of a nation’s hope. I’ve also seen the hard work it takes to make real change. I’m proud to be running on my strong record of work on climate solutions, wealth inequality, and human rights as a North Carolina State Senator.”

Jamie Campbell Bowles (D), Nathan Click (D), Denton Lee (D), Sam Searcy (D) also ran.

The district lines of North Carolina’s 13th changed substantially after redistricting, with the new district containing none of the old 13th district. According to FiveThirtyEight, the old 13th district had an R+38 lean, while the new district has an R+3 lean.

The News & Observer’s Danielle Battaglia described the new district, saying, “Only one district of North Carolina’s congressional map is a swing district, one that’s considered viable for either a Republican or Democrat to win. It’s the 13th Congressional District, and it encompasses all of Johnston County, the southern portion of Wake County, and parts of Harnett and Wayne counties.”

Nickel will face Bo Hines (R) in the November general election. As of May 2022, three independent outlets rated the 2022 general election as a Toss-up.



Tim Ryan wins Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in Ohio

Tim Ryan defeated Morgan Harper and Traci Johnson in the Democratic primary for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat on May 3, 2022. Based on unofficial totals, Ryan received 73% of the vote, Harper received 16% of the vote, and Johnson received 11% of the vote. 

Ryan will face J.D. Vance (R) and five other candidates in the general election on Nov. 8. U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R) did not run for re-election.

Ryan was elected to the U.S. House in 2002. Ryan campaigned on a range of economic issues, including revitalizing the state’s manufacturing industry, a federal $15 minimum wage, the PRO Act, renegotiating existing foreign trade deals, and expanding affordable healthcare. According to the Dayton Daily News, Ryan’s campaign focused primarily on blue-collar workers and issues.

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. Three independent race forecasters consider the race between Lean Republican and Solid Republican.