Donna Imam defeated Christine Eady Mann in the Democratic primary runoff for Texas’ 31st Congressional District. Imam received 57% of the vote to Eady Mann’s 43%.
Imam, a computer engineer, received an endorsement from former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang (D), who said, “Imam is one of the most solutions-oriented candidates I’ve ever spoken to, which is no surprise as she’s an engineer and entrepreneur.”
Imam will face incumbent Rep. John Carter (R) in the general election. Carter has represented the 31st District since its creation in 2003. He most recently won re-election in 2018 over M.J. Hegar (D), receiving 51 percent of the vote to Hegar’s 48 percent, the first time a Democratic candidate had won over 40 percent of the vote in the district.
Candace Valenzuela defeated Kim Olson in the Democratic primary runoff for Texas’ 24th Congressional District. Valenzuela received 60% of the vote to Olson’s 40%.
Former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro (D), U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), several members of the U.S. House, and multiple congressional caucus PACs endorsed Valenzuela, who served on the Carrollton-Farmers Branch school board. The Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and multiple organizations supporting military veterans in politics endorsed Olson, a retired Air Force colonel.
In 2018, retiring incumbent Kenny Marchant (R) won re-election by three percentage points. Major independent observers rated the general election as a toss-up or tilt Republican.
Pete Sessions defeated Renee Swann in the Republican primary runoff for Texas’ 17th Congressional District. Sessions received 54% of the vote to Swann’s 47%.
Sessions was a member of Congress from 1997 to 2019, representing Texas’ 32nd Congressional District (2003-2019) and Texas’ 5th Congressional District (1997-2003). He campaigned on his record and said he voted in support of Trump 98% of the time. Incumbent Rep. Bill Flores (R) endorsed Swann, citing her desire to work with President Trump and her stances on immigration and social issues. Swann’s campaign highlighted her experience in business and healthcare.
Flores won re-election by 15 percentage points in 2018. Major independent observers rate the general election as solid Republican or safe Republican.
Jerry Carl defeated Bill Hightower in the Republican primary for Alabama’s 1st Congressional District. Carl received 52% of the vote to Hightower’s 48%.
Alabama Daily News’ Todd Stacy described the race as “a battle between the activist and business wings of the Republican Party.” Carl received endorsements from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the outgoing incumbent Rep. Bradly Byrne (R). Hightower received endorsements from the National Right to Life and Club for Growth, which spent over $1 million in the race primarily opposing Carl.
Barry Moore defeated Jeff Coleman in the Republican primary runoff for Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District. Moore received 60% of the vote to Coleman’s 40%.
Incumbent Martha Roby (R) did not seek re-election, leaving this safe Republican seat open.
Moore served in the state House between 2010 and 2018 and is a U.S. Army and Alabama National Guard and Reserves veteran. Club for Growth PAC, the House Freedom Fund, and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) were among his endorsers. Coleman is chairman of Coleman Worldwide Moving. His endorsers included Roby, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Business Council of Alabama.
Sara Gideon defeated Betsy Sweet and Bre Kidman in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in Maine. As of 11:15 a.m. Eastern Time on July 15, Gideon had received 70% of the vote followed by Sweet and Kidman with 23% and 7% of the vote, respectively, with 88% of precincts reporting.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Senate Democrats’ official campaign arm, endorsed Gideon. According to pre-primary campaign finance reports, she had raised $23,001,088, more than all but four other Senate candidates across the country so far in 2020.
Gideon will face incumbent U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R) in the general election. Collins is one of two incumbent Republican senators running for re-election in a state that Hillary Clinton (D) won during the 2016 presidential election. Clinton received 48% of the vote in Maine to Donald Trump’s (R) 45%.
As of July 13, 3,061 major party candidates have filed to run for the Senate and House of Representatives in 2020.
So far, 475 candidates are filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to run for U.S. Senate. Of those, 379—191 Democrats and 188 Republicans—are from one of the two major political parties. In 2018, 527 candidates filed with the FEC to run for U.S. Senate, including 137 Democrats and 240 Republicans.
For U.S. House, 3,072 candidates have filed with the FEC to run. Of those, 2,682—1,259 Democrats and 1,423 Republicans—are from one of the two major political parties. In 2018, 3,244 candidates filed with the FEC, including 1,566 Democrats and 1,155 Republicans.
Thirty-six members of the U.S. House are not seeking re-election in 2020. That includes 27 Republicans and nine Democrats. Four senators (three Republicans and one Democrat) are not running for re-election. In 2018, 55 total members of Congress—18 Democrats and 37 Republicans—did not seek re-election.
On November 3, 2020, 35 Senate seats and all 435 House seats are up for election. Of those Senate seats, 33 are regularly scheduled elections, while the other two are special elections in Arizona and Georgia. Twelve are Democratic-held seats and 23 are Republican-held seats. In the House, Democrats currently hold a majority with 233 seats.
In retention elections, voters are asked whether an incumbent should remain in office for another term. The incumbent does not face an opponent and is removed from the position if a majority vote against retention.
State supreme court justices facing retention elections experienced better chances of being re-elected than their incumbent counterparts in other kinds of elections. Since 2008, 155 state supreme court justices have faced retention elections. Incumbent justices won 152 (98%) of these elections. In that same time period, incumbent justices in non-retention elections have faced 196 elections. The incumbent justices won 176 (90%) of these elections. Incumbent justices in all types of election experienced a 93% win rate.
In this time period, Iowa is the only state that has held retention elections in which justices were not retained. Iowa supreme court justices Marsha K. Ternus, Michael J. Streit and David Baker lost their retention elections in 2010. This followed their participation in a decision to remove the state ban on same-sex marriage. The three justices ruled in favor of removing the ban in the 2009 case Varnum v. Brien, resulting in campaigning against their retention by groups opposed to the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Ternus was appointed by Republican Governor Terry Branstad while Baker and Streit were appointed by Democratic governors. They were replaced by Bruce Zager, Thomas Waterman, and Edward Mansfield, all three of whom were appointed by Republican governor Terry Branstad in 2011. Zager’s seat was filled in 2018 by Susan Christensen, who was appointed by Republican Governor Susan Reynolds.
The statewide primary election for Maine is on July 14, 2020. The filing deadline passed on March 16. Candidates are running in elections for the following offices:
1 member of the U.S. Senate
2 members of the U.S. House of Representatives
35 state Senate seats
151 state House seats
Candidates are competing to advance to the general election scheduled for November 3, 2020. Maine uses a ranked-choice voting system (RCV), in which voters rank candidates by preference on their ballots. If a candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, he or she is declared the winner. If no candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated. First preference votes cast for the failed candidate are eliminated, lifting the second-preference choices indicated on those ballots. A new tally is conducted to determine whether any candidate has won a majority of the adjusted votes. The process is repeated until a candidate wins an outright majority. As of July 2020, Maine was the only state that had adopted RCV at the state level, although other states have adopted RCV at the municipal level or have adopted RCV but not yet implemented it.
Maine’s primary election is the 31st to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next primary is on August 4 in Arizona.
Alabama and Texas are holding statewide primary runoffs on July 14. The filing deadline to run in Alabama passed on November 8, 2019. To avoid a primary runoff in Alabama, a candidate must win a majority of votes cast in the primary election. If no candidate wins a majority of votes, the top two candidates advance to the primary runoff election. Alabama’s primary election was held on March 3, 2020. Eight offices advanced to primary runoffs in Alabama, including races for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, the state court of criminal appeals, the Alabama State Board of Education, and several municipal-level races.
In Texas, the filing deadline to run for office passed on December 9, 2019. To avoid a primary runoff in Texas, a candidate must win a majority of the votes in the primary election. If no candidate wins a majority of votes, the top two candidates advance to the primary runoff election. Texas’ primary was held on March 3, 2020. Seventy-four offices advanced to primary runoffs in Texas including races for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, the state legislature, the state court of appeals, and the state railroad commission. Multiple municipal-level races also advanced to primary runoffs.