TagDemocratic primaries

Krishnamoorthi defeats Democratic primary challenger in Illinois’ 8th Congressional District

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi defeated Junaid Ahmed in the Democratic primary for Illinois’ 8th Congressional District on June 28, 2022.

According to unofficial results, Krishnamoorthi received 71% of the vote to Ahmed’s 29%.

Krishnamoorthi was first elected to represent the 8th District in 2016. Before entering office, Krishnamoorthi was a partner at the law firm Kirkland & Ellis and president of a research and development company. He also worked as a policy director on Barack Obama’s (D) 2004 Senate campaign.

Krishnamoorthi, who immigrated to the U.S. as a child, emphasized his experience in office and said he “worked his hardest to ensure other Americans have the same opportunities his family had to achieve the American Dream.” Krishnamoorthi said he “co-authored successful legislation to expand federal support for career and technical education” and “[advocated] for protecting Social Security and Medicare.” Krishnamoorthi received endorsements from the Chicago Tribune and Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

As of June 8, 2022, Krishnamoorthi had raised $6.5 million and Ahmed had raised $1.1 million.

During the primary, Ahmed criticized Krishnamoorthi on the amount of money the incumbent raised, saying, “[W]e are being represented by a political class who are more interested in representing the needs of their corporate donors … than in representing the needs of the hard working families of the 8th district.”

In a debate, Krishnamoorthi said, “I raise as much as I can because I go after the special interests in Washington. … You can ask the rental car companies, the meat processing companies, the oil and gas companies that I’m now investigating what they think of me.”

Following redistricting, the 8th District remained in the Chicago area. At the time of the primary, three election forecasters rated the general election as Solid or Safe Democratic.



Casten defeats Newman in the Democratic primary for Illinois’ 6th Congressional District

Sean Casten defeated Marie Newman and Charles Hughes in the Democratic primary for Illinois’ 6th Congressional District on June 28, 2022. Casten and Newman are members of the U.S. House of Representatives running for re-election in the same district due to redistricting.

The race was one of six U.S. House primaries with two incumbents running against each other in 2022. Including Newman, nine U.S. House incumbents have lost re-election so far this year.

Newman represented Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District. Casten was the incumbent in the redrawn 6th District. According to Chicago-based political consultant Frank Calabrese, 41% of the constituents in the new district were from Newman’s district, and 23% were from Casten’s.

Both Casten and Newman cited climate change as a top issue. Casten, a member of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis and the co-founder of an energy recycling company, said he supported market-based climate change legislation. Casten introduced several climate-related bills, including the End Oil and Gas Tax Subsidies Act. Newman sponsored the America’s Clean Future Fund Act, which proposed applying a carbon fee on the use of certain fuels and using the proceeds to fund other energy initiatives. Newman criticized Casten for not supporting the Green New Deal. Casten said the Green New Deal “understands the urgency and doesn’t understand the complexity [of the problem].”

The League of Conservation Voters and Clean Energy for America endorsed Casten. The Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition endorsed both Casten and Newman.

Both incumbents also focused on abortion. Newman spoke about her experience getting an abortion when she was 19 years old, saying, “It was not a shameful act. No woman should feel guilty for making a decision over her body, no matter the circumstances.” Newman criticized Casten for voting for George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole, Republicans she called anti-choice.

Casten said his voting record was 100% pro-choice. In a campaign ad, Casten said, “Women have a fundamental right to make their own decisions, especially when it comes to abortion.” Casten added, “I fought against defunding Planned Parenthood. I always have and always will oppose any measure, any attempt, to diminish or take away your rights.”

Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) endorsed both Casten and Newman.

Casten criticized Newman for not disclosing the details of a settlement between her and a man who said Newman offered him a job in exchange for him not to run against her in the 2020 Democratic primary. Newman called the allegations a distraction and said Casten should address an FEC complaint alleging that his campaign coordinated with a Super PAC during the 2018 Democratic primary.

Newman was first elected in 2020, when she defeated incumbent Rep. Dan Lipinski (D) in the Democratic primary. Newman won the general election 56.4% to 43.6%.

Casten was first elected in 2018 after defeating six-term incumbent Rep. Peter Roskam (R) 53.6% to 46.4%. Casten’s win was the first time a Democrat won in the 6th district since 1972. Casten was re-elected in 2020 52.8% to 45.4%.

Two election forecasters rate the general election as Likely Democratic, while one rate it Lean Democratic, meaning the primary winner will likely have an edge in the general election.



Giannoulias defeats Valencia in the Democratic primary for Illinois secretary of state

Alexi Giannoulias defeated Anna Valencia and two other candidates in the Democratic Party primary for Illinois secretary of state on June 28, 2022. Giannoulias received 53% of the vote to Valencia’s 40%.

Giannoulias and Valencia led in media attention, fundraising, and endorsements going into the primary. David Moore and Sidney Moore also ran in the primary.

Giannoulias served as Illinois state treasurer and was the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in Illinois in 2010. Former Gov. Pat Quinn (D) appointed Giannoulias as chairman of the Illinois community college system in 2011. Giannoulias also worked as a professor and founded the Kanela Breakfast Club Restaurant Group. Giannoulias said he decided to run because the government “has prioritized the interests of the powerful and wealthy over the welfare of the majority, resulting in a lack of trust and confidence in our elected officials, especially among those with less means and people of color who have been left out and alienated by the status quo.”

Valencia has been Chicago’s city clerk since 2017. Valencia worked for the campaigns of Sen. Dick Durbin (D), Sen. Gary Peters (D), and Rep. Mike Quigley (D) and as director of legislative counsel and government affairs in the Chicago mayor’s office. Valencia said she would “fight to improve services by increasing transparency, modernizing state government, and focusing on more flexible services” and “be a voice for people who often don’t see themselves in state leaders like downstaters, working families, moms, and people of color.”

Describing the dynamics of the race, the Chicago Tribune‘s Jeremy Gorner said, “Giannoulias and Valencia have made ethics a central issue in the race for an office that has a history of corruption in Illinois.” Giannoulias said Valencia, as Chicago city clerk, should have been more transparent about her husband’s work as a lobbyist. “She’s currently married to someone who lobbies the city of Chicago that she serves, and yet she says that if she’s elected, she says she won’t (vouch for him) then,” Giannoulias said. “My opponent wants to distract from his 10 years of being MIA, and then popping up to run,” Valencia said.

Valencia criticized Giannoulias’ handling of Bright Start, the state’s college savings fund, during his time as state treasurer and said the bank Giannoulias’ family founded, Broadway Bank, made “sketchy loans to mobsters.” Giannoulias said he was “very proud of the work I did as state treasurer. We ran one of most ethical offices in the country,” adding that Broadway Bank “helped tens of thousands of people achieve the American dream.”

Incumbent Jesse White (D), who did not seek re-election, was first elected to the secretary’s office in 1998. In the last general election, White defeated Jason Helland (R) 68% to 29%.



Sorensen defeats five other candidates in the Democratic primary for Illinois’ 17th Congressional District

Eric Sorensen defeated five other candidates in the Democratic primary for Illinois’ 17th Congressional District on June 28, 2022. Based on unofficial returns, Sorensen received 38% of the vote, while Litesa Wallace came in second with 23%. Incumbent Rep. Cheri Bustos (D) did not run for re-election.

Sorensen, Wallace, Jonathan Logemann, and Angie Normoyle led in fundraising ahead of the primary.

Sorensen, a TV meteorologist in the Quad Cities area, focused on climate change, saying, “Now is the time to act, and we need an experienced climate communicator to lead.” Sorensen also focused on LGBTQ issues and spoke about experiencing discrimination early in his career. Sorensen said, “[At my first TV job], I was told that I couldn’t be gay and work there. My experiences in Rockford and the Quad Cities were quite different — I was able to be out on TV! And in the Quad Cities, I took a more active role in our LGBTQ community.”

The LGBTQ Victory Fund, Equality PAC, and Climate Hawks Vote endorsed Sorensen.

Wallace represented the 67th District in the Illinois House of Representatives from 2014 to 2019. A single mother and a mental health counselor, Wallace focused on childcare issues. Wallace said, “When I get to Congress, I will fight hard to expand affordable childcare programs for parents who are working lower-wage jobs or who are in school or training programs.” In 2018, Wallace ran in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor of Illinois on the ticket of gubernatorial candidate Daniel Biss (D), losing the primary 45.1% to 26.7% to J.B. Pritzker and Juliana Stratton.

Our Revolution, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, Democracy for America, and the Illinois chapter of the SEIU endorsed Wallace.

Logemann, a member of the Rockford City Council, focused on his background as a teacher and a member of the National Guard, saying, “Service to community is something that’s very important to me.” Logemann also highlighted labor issues, saying, “I am running to raise wages, fight for workplace protections, defend the right to collectively bargain, and ensure our workers are treated fairly.”

Illinois AFL-CIO, the Illinois Education Association, VoteVets PAC, and the Chicago Tribune endorsed Logemann.

Normoyle, a member of the Rock Island County board and a professor at Augustana College, said education was a top issue. Normoyle highlighted her work serving on the Moline school board, saying, “During my time on the School Board, we modernized the Moline School District, expanding schools to provide space for alternative learning, art, extracurriculars, and more.” Normoyle also focused on her ties to the district, saying, “We need more representatives who lead with a local approach – who meet with community leaders, hold open meetings, and listen to community members, not special interests.”

The Leadership Now Project endorsed Normoyle.

The lines of the 17th District changed after re-districting. According to FiveThirtyEight, the old district had a partisan lean of R+5, while the new district has a partisan lean of D+4. One election forecaster rated the general election Tilt Democratic, while two rated it a Toss-up, suggesting it will be competitive.

Jacqueline McGowan and Marsha Williams also ran in the primary.



Running in a new district, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich) faces three primary challengers

Rashida Tlaib, Kelly Garrett, Shanelle Jackson, and Janice Winfrey are running in the Democratic primary for Michigan’s 12th Congressional District on August 2, 2022. Tlaib, the representative for Michigan’s 13th Congressional District, is running in the 12th District due to redistricting. U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D), the district’s current representative, is running in the 6th District. 

In a statement on her choice to run in the 12th District, Tlaib said: “As expected, communities [in my current district] were unfortunately split up between the new 12th and 13th Congressional Districts… [The 12th District] contains nearly two-thirds of the people I currently serve. I’m excited to continue to fight for our residents and engage with new neighbors in Wayne and Oakland counties.” 

Tlaib was first elected to Congress in 2018. Tlaib’s top priorities on her website included “racial and immigration justice, economic and housing justice, healthcare for all, human rights around the world, environmental justice, and LGBTQ+ and gender justice.” Her endorsements include the Democratic Socialists of America, the Michigan AFL-CIO, the Michigan Education Association, Our Revolution, and Planned Parenthood.

Jackson served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 2007 to 2013 and worked in financial technology. Jackson’s top priorities on her website included narrowing pay equity gaps, supporting Ukraine in its war with Russia, supporting cryptocurrency and opposing its regulation, and increasing the national minimum wage.

Winfrey is the Detroit city clerk. She highlighted her experience in that role through the city’s bankruptcy in 2013 and the COVID-19 pandemic as evidence of her ability to lead in difficult times. Winfrey’s top priorities on her website included working across the aisle in Congress, reducing inflation, healthcare, and supporting Israel as a free state.

Garrett is the Mayor of Lathrup Village and served as Mayor Pro Tem from 2013 to 2017. In a candidate survey submission to Ballotpedia, she said that key issues included “challenges around climate control, renewable energy, crime and violence in our neighborhoods, and the survival of our small businesses.”



Delia Ramirez wins IL-03 Democratic primary

Delia Ramirez won the Democratic primary for Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District on June 28, 2022. Four candidates ran. Ramirez had 66% of the vote to Gil Villegas’ 24%.

According to ABC Chicago, the district was redrawn after the 2020 census “specifically to provide a Latino plurality district.” Rep. Marie Newman (D), the old 3rd District’s representative, ran for re-election in the 6th District.

The Chicago Tribune‘s John Byrne called the primary “a modern referendum on issues ranging from diversity of representation to the political philosophies that are dominating the Democratic Party in Illinois and across the nation. And it’s all playing out in a new district that extends from progressive Chicago neighborhoods to historically conservative towns in the far reaches of what used to be the Republican stronghold of DuPage County.”

Ramirez was elected to the state House in 2018. She co-founded the Illinois House Progressive Caucus. Ramirez said her record included working to codify the right to abortion in Illinois, establish an elected school board in Chicago, and make Medicaid available to low-income people regardless of immigration status. Ramirez said she’d work for Medicare for All in Congress.

Villegas was elected to the Chicago City Council in 2015. As of the primary, he chaired the council’s Latino Caucus. Villegas said he worked to pass a universal basic income pilot and to create jobs for women, minority, and veteran workers. Villegas said he would prioritize public safety and work to prevent Republican efforts to pass what he described as anti-choice legislation in Congress.



Hochul wins Democratic primary for Governor of New York

Incumbent Kathy Hochul defeated Tom Suozzi and Jumaane Williams in the Democratic primary for governor of New York on June 28, 2022. Based on unofficial returns, Hochul received 67.3% of the vote, followed by Williams with 20.0% and Suozzi with 12.6%. Hochul, previously New York’s lieutenant governor, became governor in August 2021 following the resignation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).

Hochul was first elected lieutenant governor in 2014. She served one term in the U.S. House from 2011 to 2013. The Democratic Party of New York endorsed Hochul at its state convention in February 2022. Hochul’s other endorsements include U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, 12 members of the state’s U.S. House delegation, 77 members of the state Legislature, and four New York City borough Democratic parties (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens). Public safety was a key issue of Hochul’s campaign. In response to a May 2022 shooting in Buffalo, New York, Hochul said, “New York already has some of the toughest gun laws in the country but clearly we need to make them even stronger. New Yorkers deserve to feel safe in schools, in grocery stores, in movie theaters, in shopping malls, and on our streets — and we must do everything in our power to protect them.”

Williams was elected New York City Public Advocate in 2019 and served on the New York City Council from 2009 to 2019. Our Revolution, the Working Families Party, two state legislators, nine members of the New York City Council, and 2021 Buffalo mayoral candidate India Walton endorsed Williams. Williams campaigned on housing, public safety, and healthcare. Williams said he believed that housing is a human right and the government must play a role in providing it, that public safety required creating thriving communities, and that New York should enact a universal, single-payer healthcare system.

Suozzi was elected to the U.S. House in 2016. Suozzi criticized Hochul for “pandering to the far left” and said his campaign was focused on “reducing taxes, making New York more affordable and cutting crime.” Suozzi said, “I’ve always known that taxes are the biggest drawback in our state. Our state and local taxes are one of the highest taxes in the United States of America and it’s one of the reasons people leave to these lower tax states, like North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida.” New York City Councilmember Robert Holden and former councilmember Diana Reyna endorsed Suozzi.



Cuellar wins TX-28 Democratic runoff following recount

On June 21, the Texas Democratic Party shared unofficial results from a recount of the primary runoff in Texas’ 28th Congressional District indicating that U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D) had defeated challenger Jessica Cisneros. Cuellar defeated Cisneros by 289 votes. Initial results from the May 24 primary runoff showed Cuellar winning by 187 votes.

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

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

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



Vallejo defeats Ramirez in Texas’ 15th Congressional District Democratic primary runoff after recount

A recount of votes in the May 24 Democratic primary runoff in Texas’ 15th Congressional District showed Michelle Vallejo defeating Ruben Ramirez by 35 votes, according to an announcement by the Texas Democratic Party on June 17.

Vallejo declared victory in the runoff election on June 1 after unofficial results showed her leading Ramirez by 33 votes. “I am so proud of all that we have accomplished and with final results coming in, I am honored to be the Democratic nominee for Texas’ 15th Congressional District,” Vallejo said.

Ramirez did not concede, saying the election was still too close to call. Ramirez said, “it is essential that every voter has their say before a final call is made. South Texas politics has a long tradition of upset victories.” After calling for a recount on June 6, the Texas Democratic Party approved Ramirez’s request on June 9.

According to the Associated Press, “The victory by Vallejo sets up a significant test this fall for progressive Democrats who backed her in the 15th Congressional District, one of two new U.S. House seats awarded to booming Texas after a decade of explosive growth driven by new Latino residents.” Vallejo will face Monica De La Cruz (R), who won the 15th district Republican primary, in the November election.

Another recount of the May 24 runoff results is currently underway in the race between Jessica Cisneros (D) and incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar (D) in Texas’ 28th Congressional District.



All candidates in IL-03 Democratic primary complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

The four Democratic primary candidates in Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District filled out Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. Their responses tell us in their own words everything from their backgrounds and policy areas of focus to the candidates’ first jobs.

The candidates are registered nurse Juan Aguirre, Columbia College Chicago history professor Iymen Chehade, state Rep. Delia Ramirez, and Chicago Alderman Gil Villegas. 

Here are excerpts from candidates’ responses to the question: What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?

  • Aguirre: “Anti-Corruption legislation as well as legislation to end corporate America’s [exploitation] of the working class AND the nursing profession.”
  • Chehade: “[Chehade] proposes an ambitious Marshall Plan for the United States, inspired by the post-World War II rebuilding of Europe.”
  • Ramirez: “Affordable Housing – Delia grew up volunteering at her church’s homeless shelter and became the Director of a homeless services agency at 21 years old.”
  • Villegas: “Public Safety … Families have a right to feel safe and secure in their own neighborhood, but crime is completely out of control. Enough is enough.” 

Click on candidates’ profile pages below to read their full responses to this and other questions.

The redrawn 3rd District is a plurality-Latino district. The Chicago Tribune‘s John Byrne said the redrawn district “extends from progressive Chicago neighborhoods to historically conservative towns in the far reaches of what used to be the Republican stronghold of DuPage County.” The current 3rd District’s incumbent, Rep. Marie Newman (D), is running for re-election in the 6th District against Rep. Sean Casten (D).

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