TagHeart of the Primaries

Heart of the Primaries 2022, Democrats-Issue 15 (March 24, 2022)

March 24, 2022

In this issue: Philadelphia Democratic Party endorses Conor Lamb for Senate and a look at 2024’s presidential primary calendar debate

Philadelphia Democratic Party endorses Conor Lamb for Senate

The Democratic Party of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s largest city, endorsed Conor Lamb for U.S. Senate. Lamb faces four other candidates in the Democratic primary, including state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman.

Philadelphia Democratic Party Chairman Bob Brady said Lamb “talked to every ward leader … he’s talked to a lot of committee people. He’s been in the city a lot, and he campaigned. Fetterman has done no campaigning whatsoever.” Brady also said that “there are people who … didn’t think Malcolm could win. They didn’t think he had the money, and they don’t think he could win the primary or the general.” 

Fetterman led in fundraising as of Dec. 31 with $12 million. Lamb was second with $4 million and Kenyatta third with $1.5 million.

Fetterman’s representative, Joe Calvello, told The Daily Beast, “We believe this campaign is not going to be won in hotel ballrooms and by backroom deals. … It’s going to be won by going to every county across the state and appealing to the actual voters.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer called the city party’s endorsement, along with former Mayor John Street’s and his son state Sen. Sharif Street’s endorsements of Lamb, “a somewhat expected snub” to Kenyatta, one of Philadelphia’s representatives in the state House. 

Kenyatta said that many committee people had endorsed his campaign and that he has “never been the candidate of the establishment— and that is not the path to winning this election.”

As we wrote before, the state Democratic Party did not endorse in the Senate race. Lamb received 61% support on the second ballot at the party’s meeting—short of the two-thirds required for an endorsement. Fetterman got 23% and Kenyatta, 15%. 

See a summary of issue differences between these three candidates here.
Incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey (R) is retiring. The primary is May 17.

Tony Evers won’t endorse in Wisconsin U.S. Senate primary; Marianne Williamson endorses Tom Nelson

Here’s a quick look at the latest developments in Wisconsin’s Democratic Senate primary. 

  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) said on March 17 it would not be appropriate for him to pick a favorite in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate as the state party’s top elected official. 
  • Former Democratic presidential primary candidate Marianne Williamson endorsed Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson on Monday. Williamson said Nelson is “a change agent in confronting the various crises facing our nation.”
  • Both Nelson and Williamson said the economy and labor are key issues in their Ballotpedia Candidate Connection survey responses. Nelson’s answer to the question “What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?” included the following:

From Kellogg to Starbucks to John Deere to local nurses, workers are demanding their rights to be paid fairly and with humane working conditions. I am a longtime advocate of repealing Taft-Hartley, which limits the ability of workers to strike and allows for right-to-work laws.

Read Williamson’s 2020 survey responses here.

We’ve tracked 11 candidates in the Democratic primary so far, including Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, and Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry. Barnes’ endorsers include Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), three U.S. representatives, and the Working Families Party. In addition to Williamson, Nelson has endorsements from Sunrise Wisconsin and several labor groups. Lasry also has labor group endorsers. EMILY’s List and former Rep. Donna Shalala (D-Fla.) are among Godlewski’s endorsers.

Candidates have until June 1 to file for the Aug. 9 primary. Incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson (R) is seeking re-election. Two election forecasters rate the general election Leans Republican and one rates it Toss-up.

Two more U.S. House members endorse in IL-03

Two U.S. House members endorsed different candidates this week in the four-candidate Democratic primary for Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District. Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-N.M.) endorsed Delia Ramirez, and Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) endorsed Gilbert Villegas. 

Ramirez has been in the state House since 2019. Villegas has served on the Chicago City Council since 2015.

As we wrote in the February 24 issue, U.S. Rep. Chuy Garcia (D-Ill.) endorsed Ramirez, and U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) endorsed Villegas. Ramirez and Villegas both have endorsements from state legislators and Chicago City Council members. The Chicago Tribune said Ramirez’s “congressional bid has drawn support from more progressive members of the Illinois legislature and City Council.”

The two other candidates in the primary are Juan Aguirre and Iymen Chehade. Neither has published a list of endorsements. Aguirre is a patient care coordinator and a consultant with the National Diversity & Inclusion Cannabis Alliance. Chehade is a history professor at Columbia College and was a foreign policy advisor for U.S. Rep. Marie Newman’s (D-Ill.) 2020 campaign.

The redrawn 3rd District’s population is 47% Hispanic and includes Chicago’s Northwest Side, Bensenville, Addison, and West Chicago. The primary is set for June 28. Newman, the 3rd District’s current representative, is seeking re-election in the 6th District.

Primary date updates: Maryland court postpones primary date, Ohio state legislative primary date may change

On March 15, the Maryland Court of Appeals postponed the state’s primary from June 28 to July 19. The court also extended the candidate filing deadline from March 22 to April 15. This is the second time the court has extended the filing deadline, which was initially set for Feb. 22. 

The court’s decision follows a series of petitions challenging the legislative district boundaries the General Assembly approved in January. Special Magistrate Alan Wilner scheduled a hearing for March 23 through March 25—after the former March 22 filing deadline. The order said Wilner intends to file a report with the court on April 5. 

On March 23, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose ordered county boards of election to remove state legislative races from the May 3 primary ballot. The order came a week after the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in a 4-3 decision that the state legislative maps did not meet the state constitution’s anti-gerrymandering requirements. 

This is the third set of legislative maps the court struck down. The court ordered the Ohio Redistricting Commission to draw new legislative maps by March 28.

According to Statehouse News Bureau, a panel of three federal judges will review a lawsuit a group of Republican voters filed: “The plaintiffs want the federal court to order the state to carry out the May 3 primary using those maps adopted by the commission on February 24,” which the state supreme court most recently rejected. Hearings are scheduled for March 25 and March 30.

LaRose estimated that state legislative races could be added back to the May 3 primary ballot if the court rules in favor of plaintiffs by March 31. Otherwise, a new date will be set for state legislative primaries.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced on March 18 it would allow the state to send overseas and military voters ballots by April 5 instead of March 18. 

Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status in question for 2024

A look ahead to primaries beyond 2022…

On March 11, the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) Rules and Bylaws Committee discussed a proposal to change the election calendar ahead of the 2024 presidential primaries. 

The Washington Post reported the party circulated a draft proposal on Monday that “defines three criteria for the party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee to select early nominating states: the diversity of the electorate ‘including ethnic, geographic, union representation, economic, etc.;’ the competitiveness of the state in a general election; and the ability of the state to administer a ‘fair, transparent and inclusive’ process.”

Iowa has held the nation’s first presidential nominating contest since 1972. NBC News wrote, “Forces within the national party are pushing to cut Iowa, saying its caucus system is undemocratic and so convoluted that it completely broke down last time, not to mention Iowa is overwhelmingly white and now solidly Republican.”

Iowa DNC member Scott Brennan defended the state’s first-in-the-nation status: “We can’t get to a ruling majority if we can’t talk to rural folks.”

On March 16, New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chair LeRoy J. Jones Jr. sent a letter to DNC Chair Jaime Harrison asking him to consider the state for early primary status, calling New Jersey an “ideal proving ground for political candidates across urban, suburban, and rural settings. In many ways, we are truly a microcosm of the country.”

It’s unclear how a DNC effort to change the primary calendar would interact with state laws. Iowa law requires presidential nominating caucuses and for those caucuses to be held at least eight days before any other states’ nominating contest. New Hampshire law states its primaries must happen before a similar election in any other state. And last year, Nevada’s governor signed a law attempting to make it the first primary state.

The draft proposal includes three virtual public hearings for the Committee to hear input on the process.



Heart of the Primaries 2022, Democrats-Issue 14

March 17, 2022

In this issue: Former Minneapolis Council member challenges Ilhan Omar and a hypothetical matchup poll shows Kathy Hochul and Andrew Cuomo about even 

Criminal justice issues in spotlight in California AG primary 

California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) faces Republican and independent challengers in the state’s top-two primary. Politico‘s Jeremy B. White said the attorney general race “could be the most consequential contest in the deep-blue state — a bellwether of Democratic voters’ commitment to criminal justice reform.”

White wrote that two of Bonta’s primary opponents, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert (independent) and former U.S. Attorney Nathan Hochman (R), have sought to connect Bonta to two California district attorneys facing recall efforts this year: Los Angeles County D.A. George Gascón and San Francisco D. A. Chesa Boudin. 

White said, “District attorneys wield far greater influence than the attorney general over whom to prosecute and what sentences to seek. But Schubert and Hochman argue Bonta should have used the power of his office to rein in progressive prosecutors.” 

The Boudin recall is on the June 7 ballot, and signature gathering is underway in the Gascón recall effort. Organizers of the recall campaigns allege that each D.A.’s policies led to an increase in crime. Bonta endorsed Gascón’s D.A. bid and worked with Boudin’s office on legislation when Bonta was in the General Assembly.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) appointed Bonta in 2021 after Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) became U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services. Bonta served in the General Assembly from 2012 to 2021, where his record included co-writing bills to end cash bail and requiring the attorney general to investigate fatal police shootings of unarmed people. 

Bonta says he “holds those who break the law – especially those in positions of power – accountable” and that in his first 100 days as attorney general, he won a settlement for families harmed by opioids, defended an assault weapons ban, and prosecuted major polluters. 

Hochman says he will “protect our neighborhoods, get fentanyl off our streets, get tough on crime, and find compassionate solutions to homelessness.” 

Schubert’s campaign slogan is “Stop the chaos.” She says she’ll “step in and take over cases from district attorneys when those district attorneys are not protecting Californians.”

Republican Eric Early is also running. He says, “It is time for someone new, an outsider who supports law enforcement and wants a California with low crime, good schools, thriving businesses, secure borders, fair elections, a strong Second Amendment, and government overregulation out of our lives.”

California has had Democratic attorneys general since 1999.

Former city council member challenges Ilhan Omar in MN-05

Former Minneapolis City Council member Don Samuels announced his Democratic primary bid for Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District. Samuels says incumbent Rep. Ilhan Omar (D) “has demonstrated she’s out of touch with the residents of Minneapolis in the last election,” referring to her support for a 2021 ballot measure to replace the city’s police department with a Department of Public Safety. Voters rejected the measure 56%-44%.

Omar’s campaign said in a fundraising email following Samuels’ announcement, “[Samuels] was one of the most vocal opponents of a ballot amendment in Minneapolis that would have established a public safety system rooted in compassion, humanity and love, and delivering true justice. We can’t let him win and put a stop to all our work for progress.”

Samuels was part of a group of residents who sued the city in 2020 alleging it did not have enough police officers to meet the city charter’s requirements. A Hennepin County judge ruled in favor of the group in 2021, ordering the city to hire more officers. On Monday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed the decision, stating that the mayor is responsible for determining police staffing levels.

Samuels also criticized Omar’s vote against the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021. Omar was one of six Democrats to vote against the bill. Samuels said, “Too many D.C. politicians find their success through the division and purity politics that have defined our era, and, unfortunately in this case, Rep. Omar’s position was quite literally ‘my way or the highway,’ a position that fails to recognize the tremendous infrastructural needs of our community.”

Omar said in November, “I have been clear that I would not be able to support the infrastructure bill without a vote on the Build Back Better Act. Passing the infrastructure bill without passing the Build Back Better Act first risks leaving behind childcare, paid leave, health care, climate action, housing, education, and a roadmap to citizenship.”

The Star Tribune reported that Joe Radinovich, who managed Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey’s successful re-election campaign last year, is managing Samuels’ campaign.  

Samuels served on the city council from 2003 to 2014. He then served a term on the Minneapolis Board of Education from 2014 to 2018. Omar was first elected to the U.S. House in 2018. She served in the state House of Representatives from 2017 to 2019.

Congressional Progressive Caucus members split endorsements in IL-06

U.S. Reps. Sean Casten and Marie Newman are both running in Illinois’ 6th Congressional District Democratic primary as a result of redistricting. Both have garnered endorsements from members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), of which Newman is a member and Casten is not. 

Most recently, Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.), deputy chair of the CPC, endorsed Casten. CPC Chair Pramila Jayapal has endorsed Newman.

In addition to Porter, 14 U.S. representatives have endorsed Casten, including four CPC members. Seven U.S. representatives in addition to Jayapal have endorsed Newman, six of whom are CPC members. The Progressive Caucus PAC endorsed Newman.

Forty-one percent of the newly drawn 6th District’s population comes from the old 3rd District, which Newman currently represents. Twenty-three percent comes from the old 6th District, which Casten represents. 

Casten was first elected to the House in 2018 and won re-election in 2020 by 7 percentage points. Newman was first elected in 2020, defeating then-U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski in the Democratic primary by 3 percentage points before winning the general election by 13 percentage points.

The primary is scheduled for June 28.

U.S. representatives not seeking re-election

As of the end of February—eight months before the general election—45 members of the U.S. House had announced they would not seek re-election. At the same time in the 2020 election cycle, 34 representatives had announced they wouldn’t seek re-election. That number was 46 in 2018.

Poll shows Gov. Kathy Hochul about even with former Gov. Andrew Cuomo in hypothetical primary matchup

Emerson College and The Hill released a poll showing that in a hypothetical primary matchup, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) had 37% support and the incumbent she replaced, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), had 33%. The poll had a +/- 4.3 percentage point margin of error.

U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi had 7%, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams had 4%, Paul Nichols had 2%, and 16% were either undecided or voting for someone else.

Cuomo resigned during his third term last August after New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) released reports on investigations into Cuomo’s handling of the coronavirus in nursing homes and accusations of sexual harassment. Cuomo made his first public remarks since leaving office on March 6, saying that no legal charges were brought against him. A week later, Cuomo released an ad in which he says, “I haven’t been perfect, I’ve made mistakes, but I also made a difference. I’ve never stopped fighting for New Yorkers, and I never will.” 

AdImpact reported on Tuesday that Cuomo’s campaign committee had spent $2.4 million on ads since he left office, including a new buy to run from March 16 to March 25. Cuomo has not made any announcements regarding another run for political office.

Emerson College/The Hill also asked respondents who they’d vote for between current gubernatorial primary candidates, which showed Hochul at 42%, Williams at 10%, Suozzi at 7%, Nichols at 5%, and 36% either undecided or voting for someone else. 

The poll surveyed 504 registered Democratic voters and was conducted March 9-10. 

The filing deadline is April 7, and the primary is scheduled for June 28.

N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper endorses challenger to state Sen. Kirk deViere

On March 8, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) endorsed Val Applewhite, who is challenging incumbent state Sen. Kirk deViere in the Democratic primary for Senate District 19. Cooper said Applewhite “isn’t afraid to stand up to Right Wing Republicans.” 

DeViere said, “This primary challenge is a direct result of putting my community over partisan politics and not being a rubber stamp.”

DeViere, first elected in 2018, was one of four Democrats who voted for a version of the 2021 state budget that the Republican majority supported. Among the items other Senate Democrats, along with Cooper, disagreed with Republicans on were raises for teachers and noncertified school employees. Cooper called for 10% teacher raises and a $15 minimum wage for noncertified employees. The Senate budget called for 3% teacher raises and a $13 minimum wage for noncertified employees. All four Senate Democrats who supported that version of the budget served on the committee responsible for negotiating a final budget with Cooper.

DeViere and Applewhite were candidates in the nonpartisan election for Fayetteville mayor in 2013. Applewhite finished first in the primary with 44% and DeViere was third with 20%. Applewhite lost the general election to Nat Robertson 50.5%-49.4%.

Ed Donaldson is also running in the Democratic Senate District 19 primary. The primary is scheduled for May 17 and will be open to registered Democrats and unaffiliated voters only. 



Heart of the Primaries 2022, Republicans-Issue 14

March 17, 2022

In this issue: Rep. Rice criticizes Trump after S.C. rally and late Rep. Hagedorn’s wife enters special election

U.S. Rep. Tom Rice criticizes former President Trump after Trump hosts rally for primary opponent

U.S. Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) criticized former President Donald Trump (R) on March 12 after Trump hosted a rally supporting Russell Fry. Fry is one of 11 challengers to Rice in South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District Republican primary.

Rice was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after the U.S. Capitol breach on January 6, 2021. Of the seven who are running or may run for re-election, Trump has endorsed challengers to six.

Rice said, “Trump is here because, like no one else I’ve ever met, he is consumed by spite. I took one vote he didn’t like and now he’s chosen to support a yes man candidate who has and will bow to anything he says, no matter what. … If you want a Congressman who cowers to no man, who votes for what is right, even when it’s hard, and who has fought like hell for the Grand Strand and Pee Dee, then I hope to earn your vote.”

At the rally, Trump said, “Right here in the 7th Congressional District, Tom Rice, a disaster. He’s respected by no one, he’s laughed at in Washington, he was never thought highly of in Washington. And he was just censured by your great South Carolina GOP. Tom Rice joined the Democrats’ deranged impeachment witch hunt … it’s all turned out to be a hoax.”

Fry thanked Trump in a tweet and said, “Conservatives are ready to replace Tom Rice and send a committed conservative to Washington. June 14 comes soon! It’s time to #FrytheRice”

Rice was first elected in 2012. Fry is a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives and was first elected in a 2015 special election. 

Primary candidates endorse in TX-28 runoff

Cassy Garcia picked up endorsements from four of the five unsuccessful candidates in the Texas 28th Congressional District primary. Garcia faces Sandra Whitten in the May 24 runoff.

Garcia received 23.5% of the primary vote to Whitten’s 18%. 

Garcia was a deputy state director for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Whitten is a preschool director and was the district’s Republican nominee in 2020, running unopposed in that year’s primary. Whitten lost to Rep. Henry Cuellar (D) 39% to 58%.

Cruz spent $137,000 from his campaign fund in independent expenditures supporting Garcia ahead of the March 1 primary.

Cuellar and 2020 Democratic challenger Jessica Cisneros are also in a primary runoff on May 24. The Cook Political Report and Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball moved the general election from Lean Democratic to Toss-up following the primary.

Oklahoma Supreme Court will hear case about delaying Senate special election

The Oklahoma Supreme Court will hear arguments on March 23 in a case seeking to delay the U.S. Senate special election in Oklahoma. Attorney Stephen Jones alleges in the lawsuit that the state would violate the 17th Amendment by holding the special election before Sen. Jim Inhofe’s resignation is effective on Jan. 3, 2023. Jones represented Timothy McVeigh in the Oklahoma City bombing trial.

Inhofe (R) announced in what he called an “irrevocable pledge” on Feb. 28 that he’ll retire in January, four years before his term expires. According to state law, “a vacancy or irrevocable resignation” for Senate taking place on or before March 1 in an even-numbered year is to be filled by special election at the time of the next regularly scheduled statewide election. The special primary and general elections for Inhofe’s seat are set for the same dates as this year’s regular elections.

The 17th Amendment states, “When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.”

Joe Thai, a constitutional law professor at the University of Oklahoma Law School, said, “If you look at the text of the 17t [sic] Amendment, it talks about vacancies in the present tense. … Jones has an argument there; that the legislature is getting ahead of the ball.” 

James Davenport, a Rose State College political science professor, said the case hinges on whether an irrevocable resignation creates a vacancy: “The court would have to find something that would be fairly clear in striking that process (the irrevocable resignation) down. … Additionally, the court would need to make a decision quickly, they don’t have a whole lot of time.”

The filing deadline is currently set for April 15 and the special primary for June 28.

U.S. representatives not seeking re-election

As of the end of February—eight months before the general election—45 members of the U.S. House had announced they would not seek re-election. At the same time in the 2020 election cycle, 34 representatives had announced they wouldn’t seek re-election. That number was 46 in 2018.

Former Minnesota Party chair announces campaign for late husband’s district

On Monday, former Minnesota Republican Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan announced her GOP primary bid for the special election in Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District. The previous incumbent and Carnahan’s husband, Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R), died of cancer on Feb. 17.  

Carnahan served as Minnesota Republican Party chair from 2017 to 2021. Carnahan resigned in August after an associate and GOP donor, Anton Lazzaro, was indicted on federal sex trafficking charges. Four former state party executive directors also said Carnahan fostered a toxic work environment. 

Carnahan said, “Strong leaders frequently end up with enemies. You could pick almost any Member out of the Congressional register and come up with similar attacks.” Carnahan said she condemned Lazzaro after the accusations were made public and that Lazzaro also donated to other Republicans. “This is clearly a double standard. It’s time to move on.”

Former Minnesota Republican Party Deputy Chair Michael Brodkorb said, “I think [Carnahan] has a lot of unresolved political baggage that will put the congressional district in play for the Democrats.”

The primary field includes at least nine other candidates. 

Among them is Brad Finstad, a former state representative who served as director for USDA Rural Development in Minnesota during the Trump administration. U.S. Rep. GT Thompson (R-Pa.) endorsed Finstad. Thompson is the Republican leader on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, on which Hagedorn previously served. 

Also running is state Rep. Jeremy Munson, co-founder of the New House Republican Caucus, a group of four state House members who split from the Republican caucus in 2019 after disagreements with party leadership. All four caucus members called on Carnahan to resign as party chair in August. U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), the House Freedom Caucus chair, endorsed Munson. 

Recent elections in the district have been close. Current Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D), who represented the district from 2007 to 2019, defeated Hagedorn in 2016 50.3% to 49.6%. In 2018, Hagedorn defeated Democrat Dan Feehan 50.1% to 49.7%. Hagedorn defeated Feehan again 48.6% to 45.5% in 2020. 

The special primary is scheduled for May 24. The special general election will be Aug. 9. A regular election for the district takes place Nov. 8.

Trump-endorsed primary voting bill dies in Wyoming House

A bill Trump endorsed that would have changed when voters could switch their party affiliation before a primary died in the Wyoming House of Representatives last week. 

Politico’s Meridith McGraw wrote that “Trump and his allies [had] been privately lobbying Wyoming lawmakers to change the state’s election laws as part of an effort to unseat Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).” Trump publicly endorsed the bill, saying, “This critically important bill ensures that the voters in each party will separately choose their nominees for the General Election, which is how it should be!”

Currently, Wyoming primary voters can switch their party affiliation on the same day as the state’s primary elections. SF0097 would have changed the deadline to before the start of the candidate filing period, which falls in May this year. The primary is scheduled for Aug. 16.

The Hill‘s Reid Wilson reported, “Supporters of the bill said making the change would prevent Democrats or independent voters from casting a ballot in the Republican primary — presumably, voters who would be more likely to favor Cheney, who voted to impeach Trump and who sits on the House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.”

Trump endorsed Harriet Hageman in the primary in September, calling Cheney a “warmonger and disloyal Republican” and “the Democrats [sic] number one provider of sound bites.”  

The Wyoming Senate passed the bill 18-12 on Feb. 25. On March 7, the House Appropriations Committee recommended that the bill not pass. According to the Casper Star-Tribune’s Victoria Eavis, the House adjourned without considering the bill by the March 8 deadline. Wyoming’s 2022 legislative session ended on March 11. The GOP has a 28-2 majority in the state Senate and a 51-7 majority in the House. 
According to the Associated Press’ Mead Gruver, “Similar measures have failed in the Wyoming Legislature in recent years amid concern that narrowing the dates in the law could dampen turnout.”



Heart of the Primaries 2022, Democrats-Issue 13

March 10, 2022

In this issue: Working Families Party endorsements in NY congressional races and Israel an early issue in MI-11

NY Working Families Party endorses in NY-11, NY-12

The New York Working Families Party endorsed Brittany Ramos DeBarros in New York’s 11th Congressional District primary and Rana Abdelhamid in the 12th District primary. Spectrum News 1 reported that former Rep. Max Rose in the 11th District and incumbent Rep. Carolyn Maloney in the 12th had sought the party’s endorsement.

Both Abdelhamid and Ramos DeBarros are members of the Democratic Socialists of America. Rose was elected to the 11th District in 2018 and lost in 2020 to Nicole Malliotakis (R). The Working Families Party did not endorse in the 11th District primary or general elections in 2020. The party did not endorse in the 12th District primary that year, though it did back Maloney’s general election bid. Maloney was first elected to the House in 1992.

New York uses fusion voting. More than one political party can support the same candidate, and that candidate appears on the same ballot multiple times under different party lines (for example, the Democratic Party and the Working Families Party).

NY-11

Ramos DeBarros, a veteran, said last year in response to a question on Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey, “There are a lot of people who have been left behind by the political establishment that always courts the margins in the center while we have hundreds of thousands of constituents who don’t turn out because they aren’t inspired.” Click here to read her full survey.

Rose, also a veteran, said after announcing his bid in December that he would spend time “earning people’s trust across the political spectrum and talking about ways in which we can actually fix people’s problems. Not just dividing us.”

Komi Agoda-Koussema is also running in the primary.

NY-12

Abdelhamid founded a women’s defense nonprofit and works for Google. She said, “Representative Maloney has spent nearly 30 years taking millions of dollars from developers and Wall Street banks profiting off our suffering. People don’t feel represented when 50% of Congress is made up of millionaires.” 

When announcing her bid for a 16th term, Maloney said, “Now more than ever, our city needs innovative leaders to spearhead our rebuilding from the COVID-19 crisis … From securing federal funding to help New Yorkers get vaccinated, pay their rent, and feed their families, I have led efforts that will enable New York City and New York State to build back better.”


As we wrote last month, there are several other candidates running in the primary, including Suraj Patel, who challenged Maloney in 2018 and 2020. 

The primaries are set for June 28.

Israel an early issue in MI-11 primary

On March 3, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee endorsed Rep. Haley Stevens in Michigan’s 11th Congressional District primary, where she faces fellow Rep. Andy Levin due to redistricting. The groups Democratic Majority for Israel and Pro-Israel America have also endorsed Stevens. The group J Street endorsed Levin.

Jewish Insider wrote, “The debate within the Democratic Party over the future of its support of the U.S.-Israel relationship and what it means to be pro-Israel is set to play out in stark fashion” in this district’s primary.

Levin introduced the Two-State Solution Act in the House in September. The bill would prohibit the U.S. “from providing support for projects in geographic regions that came under Israeli control after June 5, 1967. It also prohibits the use of any U.S. security assistance, defense articles, or defense services provided to Israel for efforts to annex or exercise permanent control over any part of the West Bank or Gaza,” according to the bill summary. It also allows for temporarily waiving some restrictions on the Palestine Liberation Organization and contains provisions for product labeling and development assistance.

Pro-Israel American Executive Director Jeff Mendelsohn said the Act was “unhelpful to the U.S.’s relationship to Israel and the peace process itself” and one of the reasons his group endorsed Stevens. 

J Street supports the Two-State Solution Act. A J Street representative said Levin “embodies what it looks like to combine love for Israel with concern for its future and a commitment to core Jewish values of peace, justice and equality.”

Sumukh Kallur is also running in the primary, scheduled for Aug. 2.

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette endorses in Colorado’s new 8th District

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (CO-01) endorsed state Sen. Yadira Caraveo in the Democratic primary for Colorado’s newly created 8th Congressional District covering Denver’s northern suburbs. The state was apportioned eight U.S. House seats after the 2020 census, a one-seat gain.

In a statement, DeGette said, “As a pediatrician and state legislator, Dr. Caraveo knows how to have tough conversations and take on tough fights — and it’s long past time for Coloradans to elect our first Latina U.S. representative.”

Chaz Tedesco, Johnny Humphrey, and Joshua Rodriguez are also running so far. 

Tedesco has been a member of the Adams County Commission since 2012 and has endorsements from several labor unions, including the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, the International Association of Firefighters, and Local 9 of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers.

Johnny Humphrey describes himself as a moderate Democrat and is the director of Inclusivity Services for The Center on Colfax, an LGBTQ nonprofit organization. 

Joshua Rodriguez sought the Unity Party’s nomination for Colorado’s U.S. Senate seat in 2020. Rodriguez was arrested last month on charges including identity theft and attempting to influence a public servant.

The Denver Post‘s Alex Burness wrote, “Recent election results suggest the new 8th Congressional District will be a close race in 2022 — though Democrats may have a slight advantage.” He also said that the district “is projected to have the highest concentration of Latino voters of any U.S. House district in the state.”

The primary is scheduled for June 28.

U.S. Rep Matt Cartwright endorses Rep. Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate primary

On March 5, U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) endorsed fellow Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) in the Democratic Senate primary. Lamb also announced endorsements from several Democratic state representatives. 

Lamb is one of 12 candidates running in the primary. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D) have also received several endorsements. 

Fetterman served as mayor of Braddock from 2005 to 2019. His endorsers include current Braddock Mayor Delia Lennon-Winstead, the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association, the United Steelworkers District 10, and UFCW Local 1776.

Kenyatta’s endorsers include the American Federation of Teachers, the Working Families Party, Brand New Congress, and U.S. Reps. Al Green (D-Texas) and Sharice Davids (D-Kan.).

In addition to Cartwright’s endorsement, Lamb’s other endorsers include the Pennsylvania State Democratic Committee’s Latino Caucus, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, and several labor organizations. 

As we wrote last month, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party did not endorse in the primary at its Jan. 29 meeting. Lamb received 61% support on the final ballot and Fetterman received 23%. A candidate needed two-thirds of the vote to win the endorsement. 

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Julia Terruso wrote that the three candidates disagree on federal marijuana legalization, fracking moratoriums, and the Electoral College. 

  • Terruso said Kenyatta supports a moratorium on new fracking sites, while Fetterman and Lamb “both oppose any ban, favoring a more gradual transition from natural gas.”
  • Fetterman and Kenyatta support federal recreational marijuana legalization—which Fetterman has made a top priority—while Lamb supports state and local decriminalization along with legalized medical marijuana. 
  • Kenyatta supports, and Fetterman and Lamb oppose, abolishing the Electoral College.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R) is not running for re-election. The primary is May 17.

Defeated incumbents tracker

We’ll be tracking how many state legislative incumbents are defeated throughout 2022. Here’s some very preliminary data after Texas’ March 1 primaries. Note that the following includes incumbents filed and in contested primaries from six states (Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Nebraska, Texas, and West Virginia). The “defeated” column only includes data from Texas, which holds primary runoffs for some seats in May. 

Former Oregon Gov. Barbara Roberts endorses Tobias Read in primary

On March 3, former Oregon Gov. Barbara Roberts (D) endorsed state Treasurer Tobias Read in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. Roberts, the first woman elected governor in the state, served a single term from 1991 to 1995.

Roberts said, “Oregon needs a governor with a statewide record of tackling tough issues, delivering results, and fighting for Oregonians living in every corner of this great state.”

The Willamette Week said the endorsement was “somewhat surprising and a big boost for Read” in light of key endorsements former House Speaker Tina Kotek has received, including from the Service Employees International Union and the Oregon Education Association. The paper says Kotek and Read are the leading primary candidates.

Seventeen candidates filed for the Democratic primary, including Kotek and Read. 

Incumbent Kate Brown (D), who first took office following John Kitzhaber’s (D) resignation in 2015, is term-limited. The primary is May 17. Democrats have won the last 10 gubernatorial elections in Oregon, the longest winning streak for either party in state history.

Competitiveness data: Indiana’s primaries

Indiana’s filing deadline for federal and state elections was Feb. 4. We’ve crunched some numbers to see how competitive the primaries will be compared to recent election cycles.

U.S. House

State legislature

Notes on how these figures were calculated:

  • Candidates per district: divides the total number of candidates by the number of districts holding elections.
  • Open districts: divides the number of districts without an incumbent running by the number of districts holding elections.
  • Contested primaries: divides the number of major party primaries by the number of possible primaries.
  • Incumbents in contested primaries: divides the number of incumbents in primaries by the number seeking re-election in the given election cycle.


Heart of the Primaries 2022, Republicans-Issue 13

March 10, 2022

In this issue: Jeanne Ives endorses Darren Bailey for Illinois governor and Ducey not running for Senate in Arizona

Jeanne Ives endorses Darren Bailey for Illinois governor

Former state Rep. Jeanne Ives (R) endorsed Darren Bailey in the Republican gubernatorial primary. Politico wrote that Ives’ backing gives Bailey “an edge that could only be upped if Donald Trump were to endorse” and “a boost in conservative credibility.” Ives challenged then-Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) in the 2018 GOP primary, losing 49%-52%. 

In her endorsement, Ives mentioned candidate Richard Irvin and his running mate, Avery Bourne: “Republican voters need to be warned. The same people who ran Rauner’s campaign backed by a billion-dollar checkbook are now running the Irvin-Bourne race backed by the same billion-dollar checkbook.”

Hedge fund founder Ken Griffin gave $20 million to Irvin’s campaign in February. According to the State Journal-Register, Griffin donated $36 million to Rauner’s campaigns.

Bailey, a state senator, is emphasizing economic policy, saying he’ll lower taxes and spending. Bailey calls Irvin a Democrat, saying Irvin won’t say what his position is on abortion and accusing him of “imposing Draconian mandates in Aurora” amid the pandemic. Bailey filed a lawsuit challenging Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s (D) stay-at-home order.

Irvin, the mayor of Aurora and a former prosecutor, is emphasizing crime policy, saying he “defeated the local ‘Defund the Police’ movement” as Aurora mayor. He also says he prevented tax increases in the city and balanced its budgets.

The primary is scheduled for June 28. 

Gov. Brian Kemp places $4.2 million ad buy in Georgia

Gov. Brian Kemp placed a $4.2 million initial TV ad buy as he faces former Sen. David Perdue and at least two others in the GOP primary

The Hill‘s Max Greenwood reported, “The ad buy is enormous. Put in context, Kemp’s campaign is spending more than four times the amount that Perdue’s campaign had on hand at the end of January.”

The first spots will run statewide on March 30.

Ads have been a big storyline in the primary so far. As we wrote last month, the Republican Governors Association released a pro-Kemp ad—the group’s first-ever TV ad supporting an incumbent who’s facing a primary challenger. Perdue’s first ad featured former President Donald Trump (R). Trump endorsed Perdue in the race after clashing with Kemp on the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia. 

The primary is scheduled for May 24.

Gov. Kristi Noem calls for Steve Haugaard censure, S.D. GOP condemns his comments about woman with drug addiction

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem called for state Rep. Steve Haugaard’s censure over comments Haugaard made during a March 3 floor debate on a marijuana bill. Haugaard, who is challenging Noem in the gubernatorial primary, said he knew a woman who used marijuana and went on to use meth. Haugaard referred to the woman as “kind of a wrung-out wh*re, because she has prostituted herself for drugs over and over again.” 

Haugaard said after, “I really do apologize to those that I offended by using that word, but anybody here in the Capitol that knows me knows I do not use foul language.”

Noem said, “I am disappointed and appalled by the inappropriate and offensive language used today on the House floor by Rep. Haugaard. … I’m calling on the Speaker and the House to take a stand against this irresponsible and abusive behavior by formally reprimanding and censuring Mr. Haugaard.”

On March 4, the South Dakota GOP’s executive board condemned Haugaard’s comments, saying, “The language used by Rep. Haugaard to depict a Native American woman and the results of her drug addiction do not reflect the values of the Republican Party.” State Rep. Tamara St. John (R) said Haugaard told her the remark was about a Native American woman.

Noem and Haugaard recently clashed over policy on medication sometimes used to perform abortions. On Feb. 28, Haugaard’s proposed ban on medication used for the purposes of abortion stalled in the state Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The committee passed Noem’s legislation stating that the second drug used in medication abortions may only be dispensed in person. The state legislature passed Noem’s bill.

The primary is scheduled for June 7.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey won’t run for U.S. Senate

On March 3, Gov. Doug Ducey (R) told donors he won’t run for Senate this year. So far, there are nine candidates in the Aug. 2 Republican primary. The filing deadline is April 4. 

In the letter, Ducey wrote, “Right now I have the job I want, and my intention is to close my years of service to Arizona with a very productive final legislative session AND to help elect Republican governors across the country in my role as chairman of the Republican Governors Association.”


Ducey also said, “We have a strong field of candidates in Arizona and I will be actively supporting our nominee — and perhaps weighing in before the primary.”

According to CNN, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell “spent months working aggressively to persuade Ducey to mount a Senate campaign, under the belief that he would be the strongest candidate to try and win back the seat of Sen. Mark Kelly, a Democrat.” 

The primary field includes venture capitalist Blake Masters, who Club for Growth PAC and investor Peter Thiel endorsed; former solar energy executive Jim Lamon, whose endorsers include the National Border Patrol Council and Conservative Political Action Coalition; and Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who Fox anchor Mark Levin endorsed.

Trump criticized Ducey in a Save America PAC statement last month: “MAGA will never accept RINO Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona running for the U.S. Senate.” Trump and Ducey clashed over Ducey’s certification of the state’s 2020 presidential election results.

Defeated incumbents tracker

We’ll be tracking how many state legislative incumbents are defeated throughout 2022. Here’s some very preliminary data after Texas’ March 1 primaries. Note that the following includes incumbents filed and in contested primaries from six states (Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Nebraska, Texas, and West Virginia). The “defeated” column only includes data from Texas, which holds primary runoffs for some seats in May.

Proposed health education standards an issue in Nebraska BOE race

Proposed health education standards are an issue in the May 10 primary for Nebraska State Board of Education. Seat 7 incumbent Robin Stevens faces two challengers: Pat Moore and Elizabeth Tegtmeier. 

The Scottsbluff Star-Herald wrote that “the board halted a set of proposed health standards in September due to parent backlash. The standards would have taught about sexual orientations, identities and activities to children who were in elementary school.”

Stevens assumed office in 2019. He said, “My number one goal throughout (my first term) … was to increase early childhood education opportunities.” Stevens said, “I want people to know that there has never been a vote by the state board to either approve or disapprove the proposed health standards … I felt like the language that was used in parts of the health standards was too raw and therefore inappropriate.”

Moore is a pastor and emphasizes local control of education decisions. He said in response to a question on Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey, “Comprehensive sex education and Critical Race Theory concepts need to be removed from education in Nebraska.” 

Tegtmeier, a former public school teacher, said, “The board became so wrapped up in activist causes that attempted to indoctrinate our children that they neglected their duty to our local school districts.” Tegtmeier said she “promises to protect Nebraska’s children from harmful ideologies that promote racially divisive ideas and inappropriate sexual content.” 

Gov. Pete Ricketts (R), Lt. Gov. Mike Foley (R), several Republican state senators, and several county Republican parties endorsed Tegtmeier. 

The primary is nonpartisan. All three Seat 7 candidates are Republicans.

The Nebraska State Board of Education’s responsibilities include appointing and removing the state commissioner of education, the organization of the Nebraska Department of Education, and oversight and supervision of the state’s K-12 public schools. 

Members are elected to four-year terms in nonpartisan elections. Four of eight seats are up for election this year. Three incumbents are running in 2022. One other incumbent, Democrat Deborah Neary, faces a primary with two challengers. The other two seats up for election saw two candidates file a piece, meaning both candidates for each will head to the November election.

Competitiveness data: Indiana’s primaries

Indiana’s filing deadline for federal and state elections was Feb. 4. We’ve crunched some numbers to see how competitive the primaries will be compared to recent election cycles.

U.S. House

State legislature

Notes on how these figures were calculated:

  • Candidates per district: divides the total number of candidates by the number of districts holding elections.
  • Open districts: divides the number of districts without an incumbent running by the number of districts holding elections.
  • Contested primaries: divides the number of major party primaries by the number of possible primaries.
  • Incumbents in contested primaries: divides the number of incumbents in primaries by the number seeking re-election in the given election cycle.


Heart of the Primaries 2022, Democrats-Issue 12

March 3, 2022

In this issue: Texas Democratic primary results roundup, Oregon county parties change rules to endorse challenger in OR-05

Texas results roundup

Texas held the nation’s first midterm primaries on Tuesday. Races in which no candidate received a majority of the vote are headed to May 24 runoffs. Here’s a roundup of results from marquee Democratic primaries, current as of Thursday morning. 

The big story of the night: Cuellar and Cisneros in runoff

Texas’ 28th Congressional District: Incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar and Jessica Cisneros are headed to a runoff. They received 48.4% and 46.9%, respectively. Tannya Benavides received 4.7%. 

Cuellar, who first joined Congress in 2005, is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition and was the only House Democrat to vote against federal legislation to legalize abortion in September. Cuellar says he brought funding to the district for public education, healthcare services, small businesses, veteran’s programs, and immigration services. Cisneros, an immigration attorney, supports Medicare for All and has criticized Cuellar’s positions on abortion, immigration, and pandemic response.

In the 2020 Democratic primary, Cuellar defeated Cisneros 51.8% to 48.2%.

Other marquee primary results

U.S. House
  • Texas’ 15th: This race was too close to call as of Thursday morning. Ruben Ramirez led with 28.3%. Vying for second were Michelle Vallejo with 20.1% and John Villarreal Rigney with 19.2%. Six candidates ran.
  • Texas’ 30th: Jasmine Crockett and Jane Hamilton advanced to a runoff with 48.5% and 17.0% of the vote, respectively. Nine candidates ran. Incumbent Eddie Bernice Johnson (D) didn’t seek re-election.
  • Texas’ 34th: Rep. Vicente Gonzalez Jr. won with 64.8%. Laura Cisneros was second with 23.3%. Seven candidates ran. Gonzalez represents the 15th District and chose to run in the 34th after redistricting. Incumbent Filemon Vela (D) didn’t run for re-election. 
  • Texas’ 35th: Greg Casar won with 61.3%. Eddie Rodriguez had 15.6% and Rebecca J. Viagran, 15.5%. Four candidates ran. This seat is open as incumbent Lloyd Doggett (D) ran in the 37th after redistricting. 
  • Texas’ 37th: Rep. Lloyd Doggett won with 79.2%. Donna Imam was second with 17.8%. Four candidates ran.
State executive
  • Attorney General: This race was too close to call as of Thursday morning. Rochelle Garza received 43.1%. Vying for second were Joe Jaworski with 19.6% and Lee Merritt with 19.5%. Five candidates ran.

Media analysis

The Texas Tribune‘s Joshua Fechter said the following about primary results in terms of incumbents and challengers:  

Texas’ top Republicans mostly fended off challengers in the GOP primary Tuesday. Meanwhile, a slate of progressives made inroads in Democratic primaries for Congress — but fell short of their goal of an immediate sweep that would reshape the Texas’ U.S. House delegation.

Meanwhile, the status quo was largely preserved in the Texas Legislature. No state Senate incumbents lost their seats Tuesday night. In the House, one sitting Democrat lost and no incumbent Republicans were knocked out, though a few were forced into runoffs. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dade Phelan both saw the vast majority of their favored candidates win primaries in the chambers they preside over.

The New York Times‘ Reid J. Epstein said the following of progressives’ performance in House primaries:

Progressives frustrated by Mr. Biden’s stalled social policy agenda were looking for a boost in Texas and got one — possibly three.

Greg Casar, a former Austin city councilman, won easily Tuesday night and appears poised to come to Washington next year from his safely Democratic district. Another progressive contender, Jessica Cisneros, forced a runoff with Representative Henry Cuellar, a moderate who narrowly defeated her in the 2020 primary but is now under investigation by the F.B.I.

Jasmine Crockett, a state lawmaker who was among the ringleaders of Texas Democrats’ flight to Washington to delay new Republican voting laws last summer, has a large lead but appears bound for a runoff in a Dallas-area district. …

Together, Mr. Casar, Ms. Cisneros and Ms. Crockett would bring new energy to the liberal wing of the House and to “the Squad” of progressive Democrats. Last month, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York came to Texas to campaign for Mr. Casar and Ms. Cisneros.

Following rules changes, Linn and Deschutes County Democrats endorse challenger in OR-05

Democratic Party leaders in Oregon’s Linn and Deschutes counties voted last week to change their committees’ rules against endorsing candidates in primaries. Both parties then endorsed Jamie McLeod-Skinner in the 5th Congressional District Democratic primary. 

McLeod-Skinner, who was the Democratic nominee for Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District in 2018 and ran for Oregon Secretary of State in 2020, is challenging incumbent Rep. Kurt Schrader. Schrader was first elected in 2008 and is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, New Democrat Coalition, and Problem Solvers Caucus. McLeod-Skinner has endorsements from the Working Families Party and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).  

After a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee field organizer spoke on behalf of Schrader at a Deschutes County Democrats meeting on Feb. 10, Deschutes County precinct committee member Sid Snyder said, “[T]he fact that we have the 800-pound gorilla from Washington coming in and weighing in in our primary spurred some of us to say, ‘You know what, we need Deschutes County Democrat voices heard, not just Washington, D.C., Democrat voices heard.'” Noting that redistricting moved the district eastward, Snyder said, “To us, [Schrader is] not an incumbent.” 

According to Daily Kos data, 47% of the new 5th District’s population comes from the old 5th District.

Deschutes County’s rule change only applies to this year’s 5th District primary. Linn County’s new rule applies to all primaries.

So far, Schrader and McLeod-Skinner are the only candidates running in the primary. The filing deadline is March 8 and the primary will be held on May 17. 

Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb endorses Rep. Shontel Brown in OH-11

Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb endorsed Shontel Brown’s re-election bid in Ohio’s 11th Congressional District. Brown defeated Nina Turner in the special Democratic primary last year 50% to 45%. Turner is running against Brown again. 

Bibb mentioned voting rights and federal infrastructure funds Cleveland had received and said, “We won’t be that city of opportunity unless we have a strong voice in Washington that will fight for Cleveland every single day.”

Bibb assumed office in January, succeeding Mayor Frank Jackson, who endorsed Turner in last year’s primary. Turner endorsed Bibb’s mayoral bid (after the primary, in which she endorsed a candidate who didn’t advance).

Brown took office in November and succeeded Marcia Fudge, who left office to become secretary of housing and urban development. Brown was on the Cuyahoga County Council from 2015 to 2021 and chairs the county Democratic Party. Turner was a state senator from 2008 to 2015 and co-chaired Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign.

The primary is scheduled for May 3. Ohio’s congressional district boundaries are in the process of being redrawn. 

Ad shines spotlight on CO-03 Democratic primary

Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District Democratic primary was in the news last week when candidate Alex Walker announced his bid with an ad featuring graphic language and visuals, including feces falling from the sky. 

Walker said, “We are real Coloradans. We deserve a living wage, small government that actually works, and freedom of choice. Instead, we have bull****.” 

Walker’s isn’t the first ad in the race with a fecal focal point. Last May, attorney Cory Wilhelm released an ad in which he said, “Our current representative is full of bull***, and I’m not bull***.”

At least nine candidates are running in the Democratic primary. Six have filled out Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey:

As of Dec. 31, Sandoval, a community organizer, led Democrats in fundraising with $535,000. Wilhelm had $305,000, including $281,000 he loaned his campaign. Two other Democrats had raised six figures—state Rep. Donald Valdez at $286,000 and veterinarian Debby Burnett at $179,000.

Incumbent Lauren Boebert (R) raised more than $3.5 million as of Dec. 31. Boebert was first elected to represent the 3rd in 2020 after defeating incumbent Scott Tipton in the Republican primary 55% to 45%.

Competitiveness data: West Virginia’s primaries

West Virginia’s filing deadline for federal and state elections was Jan. 29. We’ve crunched some numbers to compare how competitive the primaries will be compared to recent election cycles:

U.S. House

Due to population changes, the state lost one district and was apportioned two ahead of the 2022 cycle. West Virginia was apportioned three congressional districts after the 2010 census. All three incumbents filed to run for re-election, two of whom—Reps. David McKinley (R) and Alexander Mooney (R)—are running in the same district.

State legislature

During the 2020 redistricting cycle, the legislature changed the makeup of the House of Delegates. Previously, the chamber had 67 districts with a total of 100 members. Now, the chamber has 100 single-member districts. This did not change the number of delegates, but it increased the number of possible primaries from 134 to 200.

Notes on how these figures were calculated:

  • Candidates per district: divides the total number of candidates by the number of districts holding elections.
  • Open districts: divides the number of districts without an incumbent running by the number of districts holding elections.
  • Contested primaries: divides the number of major party primaries by the number of possible primaries: four in the U.S. House and 234 in the state legislature.
  • Incumbents in contested primaries: divides the number of incumbents in primaries by the number seeking re-election in the given election cycle.


Heart of the Primaries 2022, Republicans-Issue 12

March 3, 2022

In this issue: Texas GOP primary results roundup and a Senate leadership disagreement in N.C.

Texas results roundup

Texas held the nation’s first midterm primaries on Tuesday. Races in which no candidate received a majority of the vote are headed to May 24 runoffs. Here’s a roundup of results from marquee Republican primaries, current as of Thursday morning. 

The big stories: Taylor suspends campaign, Paxton and Bush go to runoff

Texas’ 3rd Congressional District: Incumbent Van Taylor and Keith Self advanced to a runoff with 48.7% and 26.5%, respectively. Taylor suspended his campaign on Wednesday, saying, “About a year ago, I made a horrible mistake that has caused deep hurt and pain among those I love most in this world. … I had an affair, it was wrong, and it was the greatest failure of my life.” 

The Texas Tribune‘s Patrick Svitek said that “no other race in Texas this year seems to more reflect the debate within the GOP over the fallout from Jan. 6.” Taylor was one of two House Republicans from Texas—and 35 House Republicans nationwide—who voted last May to establish a commission to investigate the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol breach. Self, a former Collin County judge, criticized Taylor’s vote. Five candidates ran in the primary.

Attorney General: Incumbent Ken Paxton and state Land Commissioner George P. Bush advanced to a runoff with 42.7% and 22.8%, respectively. Former state supreme court Justice Eva Guzman received 17.5% and U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, 17%. 

Svitek and the Tribune‘s James Barragán wrote during the primary, “Gohmert and Paxton are … vying for the same conservative voters who are further right than the establishment GOP. Bush and Guzman appear to be fighting over traditional, pro-business Republicans.”

A grand jury indicted Paxton on securities fraud charges in 2015, and former aides have accused him of bribery and abuse of office. Paxton has denied wrongdoing in both cases.

Other marquee primary results

U.S. House
  • Texas’ 1st: Nathaniel Moran won with 62.9%. Joe McDaniel was second with 24.3%. Four candidates ran. The district is open—incumbent Rep. Louie Gohmert (R) ran for attorney general.
  • Texas’ 8th: This race was too close to call as of Thursday morning. Morgan Luttrell led with 52.2%. Christian Collins was in second with 22.3%. Eleven candidates ran. Incumbent Rep. Kevin Brady (R) didn’t seek re-election.
  • Texas’ 15th: Monica De La Cruz Hernandez won with 56.5%. Mauro Garza was second with 15.3%. Nine candidates ran. The district is open—incumbent Vicente Gonzalez Jr. (D) is running for re-election in the 34th District after redistricting.
  • Texas’ 38th: Wesley Hunt won with 55.3%. Mark Ramsey had 30.2%. This is a newly created district following redistricting.
State executive
  • Governor: Incumbent Greg Abbott won with 66.4%. Next were Allen West and Don Huffines with 12.3% and 12.0%, respectively. Eight candidates ran in the GOP primary.
  • Agriculture Commissioner: Incumbent Sid Miller won with 58.5%. James White was second with 31.1%. Three candidates ran.
State legislature
  • State legislative: There were 62 Republican state legislative primaries. Nine were for the state Senate and 53 were for the state House. Two incumbent senators and 30 incumbent representatives faced primaries. No incumbent Republicans lost primaries on Tuesday.
    • Both incumbent senators in contested primaries won on Tuesday. No Republican state senator has lost in a primary or runoff since 2014. 
    • Four of five state Senate candidates Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) endorsed won primaries. The fifth is headed to a runoff. 
    • There are three runoffs in the House with GOP incumbents—in districts 12, 60, and 85. Two GOP House incumbents were in primaries that haven’t been called yet (districts 64 and 91). In 2020, no GOP House incumbents lost in primaries, and two lost in runoffs.

Media analysis

The Texas Tribune‘s Joshua Fechter said the following about primary results in terms of incumbents and challengers:  

Texas’ top Republicans mostly fended off challengers in the GOP primary Tuesday. Meanwhile, a slate of progressives made inroads in Democratic primaries for Congress — but fell short of their goal of an immediate sweep that would reshape the Texas’ U.S. House delegation.

Meanwhile, the status quo was largely preserved in the Texas Legislature. No state Senate incumbents lost their seats Tuesday night. In the House, one sitting Democrat lost and no incumbent Republicans were knocked out, though a few were forced into runoffs. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dade Phelan both saw the vast majority of their favored candidates win primaries in the chambers they preside over.

FiveThirtyEight‘s Geoffrey Skelley said the following about the relation between the primary results and House incumbents’ votes on certifying the 2020 election results: 

I mentioned earlier tonight the strong hold that Trump continues to have on the GOP in Texas (many Republicans in the state have a popular view of the former president), and indeed, there were many strong performances by Republican incumbents who voted against certifying the 2020 election in the U.S. House — every one handily won renomination or looked to be on their way in a couple of uncalled races.

But in an example of how our politics are often full of contradictions, most Republicans who voted to certify the election did well, too — except Rep. Van Taylor … Taylor faced a number of attacks for his vote to certify the 2020 election results and for his support of a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. Senate candidates in N.C. disagree on Senate leadership

Veteran Marjorie K. Eastman, former Gov. Pat McCrory, and former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker participated in the first U.S. Senate GOP primary debate in North Carolina on Feb. 26. Walker and McCrory disagreed on the topic of Senate leadership. 

The issue arose when Walker was discussing an 11-point plan Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) released that Scott said the GOP should adopt as its agenda. 

Walker said, “I applaud Sen. Rick Scott. … In fact, I think he needs to be the majority leader instead of Mitch McConnell moving forward. … How are you going to change something unless you put new leadership into the pipeline?”

McCrory said, “McConnell brought a change in the Supreme Court working with Donald Trump that we desperately needed, and without his legislative skills, it wouldn’t have happened.”

Eastman didn’t say who she’d support for leader.

McConnell, currently Senate minority leader, has said he will not release a GOP agenda ahead of the midterms. On March 1, McConnell said, “If we’re fortunate enough to have the majority next year, I’ll be the majority leader. I’ll decide in consultation with my members what to put on the floor.” 

Scott, for his part, has said he would support McConnell for majority leader. Scott chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee and said he released the plan separate from that work. In addition to this session of Congress, McConnell was minority leader from 2007 to 2015 and majority leader from 2015 to 2021. 

Rep. Tedd Budd, who Trump endorsed in the Senate primary in North Carolina, was invited to the debate but did not attend. His campaign previously said he wouldn’t participate in debates until the filing deadline passed.

More than a dozen candidates are running in the primary so far. Eastman, Benjamin Griffiths, and Lichia Sibhatu filled out Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey—click on their names to read their responses. The primary is scheduled for May 17.

Sen. Richard Burr (R) isn’t seeking re-election. He was one of three GOP senators up for re-election this year who voted guilty in Trump’s 2021 impeachment trial.

Inhofe announces U.S. Senate retirement, triggering special election


U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) announced he’ll retire effective Jan. 3, 2023, four years before his term expires. Inhofe is one of seven senators—six Republicans and one Democrat—to announce retirements at the end of the 117th Congress.

Under state law, a special election to fill the remainder of Inhofe’s term will take place on Nov. 8, at the same time as the regularly scheduled midterm elections. The special primary election is expected to take place on June 28 with a runoff election on Aug. 23 if no candidate wins a majority of the vote. 

Michael Crespin, the director of the Carl Albert Congressional Research & Studies Center at the University of Oklahoma, said, “I expect the primary to be very crowded. … It’s pretty rare for a U.S. Senate seat to open up.” Inhofe was first elected in 1994.

Luke Holland, U.S. Rep Markwayne Mullin, and state Sen. Nathan Dahm announced their candidacies shortly after Inhofe’s announcement. 

Holland has served as Inhofe’s chief of staff since 2017. Holland said he shares Inhofe’s policy positions and would continue Inhofe’s legacy. Inhofe endorsed Holland in his resignation letter, saying, “[Holland] is a fierce conservative and the best person to continue my legacy of a strong national defense and investment in local infrastructure.” 

Mullin said in a tweet, “We need an America First conservative fighting for Oklahoma in the Senate.” Mullin has represented Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District since 2013. 

Dahm, who represents District 33 in the Oklahoma State Senate, said in a post on his campaign Facebook page, “We continue to run on my record as THE proven Republican fighter.” Dahm was previously challenging Sen. James Lankford in the GOP primary for the state’s regularly scheduled Senate election this year.

Inhofe won a fifth term after defeating Abby Broyles (D) 63% to 33% in 2020. Oklahoma hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1990, and the winner of the Republican primary is expected to have an advantage in the special general election.

Competitiveness data: West Virginia’s primaries

West Virginia’s filing deadline for federal and state elections was Jan. 29. We’ve crunched some numbers to compare how competitive the primaries will be compared to recent election cycles:

U.S. House

Due to population changes, the state lost one district and was apportioned two ahead of the 2022 cycle. West Virginia was apportioned three congressional districts after the 2010 census. All three incumbents filed to run for re-election, two of whom—Reps. David McKinley (R) and Alexander Mooney (R)—are running in the same district.

State legislature

During the 2020 redistricting cycle, the legislature changed the makeup of the House of Delegates. Previously, the chamber had 67 districts with a total of 100 members. Now, the chamber has 100 single-member districts. This did not change the number of delegates, but it increased the number of possible primaries from 134 to 200.

Notes on how these figures were calculated:

  • Candidates per district: divides the total number of candidates by the number of districts holding elections.
  • Open districts: divides the number of districts without an incumbent running by the number of districts holding elections.
  • Contested primaries: divides the number of major party primaries by the number of possible primaries: four in the U.S. House and 234 in the state legislature.
  • Incumbents in contested primaries: divides the number of incumbents in primaries by the number seeking re-election in the given election cycle.

Incumbent candidates in IL-15 primary comment on Ukraine

U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis and Mary Miller are running in Illinois’ 15th Congressional District GOP primary. Both commented on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Chicago Tribune‘s Rick Pearson said Miller’s response “was in stark contrast to the reactions from the rest of the delegation, including the four other Illinois Republicans in the House” who denounced Putin. Several also called for sanctions.

Miller said on Feb. 24 that “Americans miss the ‘Peace Through Strength’ and energy independence that were achieved during the Trump Administration.” Miller criticized Biden on the withdrawal from Afghanistan, immigration policy, and energy policy, saying, “None of this would be happening if President Trump was still in the White House.” Trump endorsed Miller in the primary.

Davis tweeted on Feb. 24 that he “join[s] the free world in strongly condemning Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. […] Thugs like Putin only respond to strength. Now is the time for severe economic consequences.” He called for sanctions through passing the Putin Accountability Act and for increased military spending in the upcoming defense budget. 

A Davis press release from January said the Putin Accountability Act would “bypass the Biden Administration’s soft-on-Russia approach.”

Miller was first elected in 2020 to represent Illinois’ 15th. Davis was first elected in 2012 to represent the 13th. According to data from Daily Kos, 28% of the newly drawn 15th District’s population comes from Illinois’ old 13th District (which Davis represents) and 31% comes from the old 15th District (which Miller represents). Three independent race forecasters rate the general election Solid or Safe Republican.

Illinois’ primaries are scheduled for June 28.



Heart of the Primaries 2022, Republicans-Issue 11

In this issue: Sen. Rob Portman weighs in on the race to replace him and Texas Railroad Commission primary makes headlines

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman endorses Jane Timken in Ohio’s Senate primary

On Feb. 16, retiring U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) endorsed former state Republican Party Chair Jane Timken in the GOP Senate primary. Portman tweeted, “I am confident in @JaneTimkenOH’s ability to win both the primary and the general elections, ensuring that this Senate seat remains Republican with a 50-50 Senate, and so much at stake.” 

On Feb. 22, U.S. Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Shelley Moore-Capito (R-W.V.), and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) also endorsed Timken. 

Several other GOP primary candidates have received senators’ endorsements. Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) endorsed former state Treasurer Josh Mandel. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) backed businessman Mike Gibbons. And Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) endorsed author J.D. Vance.

A Trafalgar Group poll conducted earlier this month of 1,085 likely primary voters showed Mandel with 21% support, Gibbons with 16%, Vance with 14%, and Timken and Matt Dolan each with 10%. Twenty-five percent were undecided. The margin of error was +/- 3 percentage points.

Three independent forecasters rate the 2022 election Lean, Likely, or Solid Republican. The primary is set for May 3. 

Gov. Justice endorses Rep. McKinley against Rep. Mooney in WV-02

Reps. David McKinley and Alex Mooney are running against one another in the West Virginia 2nd Congressional District GOP primary due to redistricting. West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) endorsed McKinley. Mooney has former President Donald Trump’s endorsement.

McKinley was one of 35 Republican House members to support a bill to create a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol breach last May. McKinley is also one of 13 House Republicans to vote in favor of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021. Justice said, “Frankly, I do not agree with [McKinley’s] vote to authorize a January 6th investigative committee. … However, it did take a lot of courage for him to vote for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and I know without question that vote was done out of his love for the great people of West Virginia.”

Mooney has criticized McKinley’s votes. One Mooney ad released in November 2021 said, “(President Joe) Biden’s trillion-dollar spending spree was dead until McKinley resurrected it, joining 12 RINO Republicans to spend trillions on (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi’s socialist agenda, contributing to record inflation for American workers, businesses, and families.”

McKinley’s campaign manager said, “It’s clear [Mooney] wants to distract the voters from the fact that McKinley has a better voting record with Trump than he does and a proven record of conservative wins for our miners, veterans, and the people of West Virginia.”

McKinley and Mooney also voted differently on accepting 2020 presidential electors from Pennsylvania and Nevada. McKinley voted to accept all electors, saying “it is clear Congress has no role to object to the states’ election results once they are certified.” Mooney said, “Congress should not accept electors from states where laws were violated, state constitutions were ignored and the legislature was subverted.” 

Justice was first elected governor in 2016 as a Democrat. In 2017, Justice announced at a rally with Trump that he was joining the Republican Party.

West Virginia will have two congressional seats after this election cycle, down from three due to post-2020 census reapportionment.

Special election set to replace Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R-Minn.) 

On Feb. 21, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon (D) announced details for a special election to fill the state’s vacant 1st Congressional District. Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R) died of cancer on Feb. 17.

Simon scheduled a special primary for May 24 and the general election for Aug. 9. Candidates will have between March 1 and March 15 to file. Gov. Tim Walz (D) issued the Writ of Special Election on Feb. 22, making the election official. 

The winner of the special election will fill the remainder of Hagedorn’s term. The regular election for the next full term will be held in November.

In 2018, Hagedorn defeated Dan Feehan (D) 50.1% to 49.7%. Walz represented the district before Hagedorn. At the time, Minnesota’s 1st was one of 13 Democratic-held U.S. House districts that Trump won in the 2016 presidential election. In 2020, Hagedorn defeated Freehan (D) 48.6% to 45.5%.

Simon said the special election “will take place within the current congressional district boundaries, not the new 2022 redistricting maps.”

A slew of news in final weeks of Texas Railroad Commission primary

Among the statewide races Texas Republican primary voters will decide on March 1 is the party’s nominee for one of three seats on the Texas Railroad Commission. Wayne Christian (R), first elected in 2016, is running for another six-year term and has four primary challengers. 

Despite its name, the Texas Railroad Commission does not regulate railroads but instead regulates the oil and gas business in Texas. The Railroad Commission has three members who are elected to six-year staggered terms such that one commissioner is up for election every two years. All three current members are Republicans.

Candidate death

Candidate Marvin Summers died in an automobile accident on Feb. 8. Because his death was just three weeks before the primary election, Summers’ name will still appear on the ballot.

Project lawsuit

Christian responded to a Feb. 4 article in The Odessa American regarding a lawsuit that two property owners near an oilfield waste repository site filed earlier this year challenging the commission’s approval of the project. The suit argues that High Roller Environmental did not properly notify nearby property owners before seeking project approval from the commission. 

Christian was one of two commissioners who approved the project on Dec. 8, 2020. In response to the lawsuit, Christian told the Texas Monthly via email that “the Railroad Commission’s general counsel advised him to approve the permit as long as the facility used a modern clay liner, which it did.”

The Odessa American’s report said that Christian’s campaign received a $100,000 contribution from HR Environmental on Dec. 11, 2020, and included a quote from an attorney that filed the lawsuit questioning the appropriateness of the contribution. In response, Christain said, “My opponents are mudslinging out of desperation because I am the only candidate in this race with the endorsements, campaign infrastructure, and resources necessary to win this race.'”

Topless TikTok

Another candidate, attorney Sarah Stogner, released a TikTok video earlier this month where she appears on a piece of oil pumping equipment topless and in her underwear. Stogner said, “I’ve been jumping up and down for years. … Trying to do it the traditional way of being nice and proper, wearing my Sunday School dress, and saying would Jesus want us to let our groundwater be polluted, and no one seemed to listen or care.”

The San Antonio Express-News had endorsed Stogner on Feb. 11 but switched to endorsing engineer Dawayne Tipton after Stogner’s TikTok video.

If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in the primary, the top two candidates will advance to a primary runoff on May 24.

Alabama Republican Party disqualifies four candidates from primary ballot

On Feb. 19, the Alabama Republican Party removed four legislative candidates from the primary ballot on grounds they had supported the Democratic Party, in violation of GOP rules. 

The state GOP adopted a rule in 2007 that says candidates can be removed if they “publicly participated in the primary election of another political party or publicly supported a nominee of another political party” while holding office as a Republican. The party’s rules also allow it to remove from the ballot anyone who “is not officially recognized as a Republican.”

  • Former state Rep. Elaine Beech said she was disqualified from the GOP primary ballot because she had not met a six-year waiting period for former officeholders to run as Republicans if they previously ran as a Democrat. Beech represented House District 65 from 2009 to 2018 as a Democrat. Beech said, “Basically I think they didn’t want me in the party, since I had been a Democrat all my life.”
  • Anson Knowles, who was running in the House District 10 primary, said he was removed for working with the Madison County Libertarian Party in 2015 and 2016. Knowles is a  member of the county Republican Executive Committee and said he intended to work for Paul Sanford’s (R) campaign for Alabama’s 5th Congressional District: “I want to contribute and do something positive for the party to demonstrate, indeed, that I am a Republican.” 
  • Teresa Rhea, who was challenging Sen. Andrew Jones for Senate District 10, was disqualified after Jones said she voted on a Democratic ballot in the 2017 U.S. Senate special election and attended Democratic fundraisers. Rhea said, “While I disagree with the committee’s decision and feel that the voters should have had the opportunity to decide this, I am still a committed conservative and I will respect the state party’s decision.” 
  • Tripp Powell was challenging Sen. Gerald Allen (R) in Senate District 21 but said he was removed from the ballot for donating to Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox’s (D) gubernatorial campaign in 2018. Powell said, “I did not feel like the rules were applied fairly to my case” because he wasn’t an elected official. 

The Alabama primary is scheduled for May 24, and a primary runoff for June 21.

Competitiveness data: Kentucky’s primaries

Kentucky’s filing deadline for federal and state elections was Jan. 25. We’ve crunched some numbers to compare how competitive the primaries will be compared to recent election cycles.

U.S. House

State legislature

Notes on how these figures were calculated:

  • Candidates per district: divides the total number of candidates by the number of districts holding elections.
  • Open districts: divides the number of districts without an incumbent running by the number of districts holding elections.
  • Contested primaries: divides the number of major party primaries by the number of possible primaries: six in the U.S. House and 238 in the state legislature.
  • Incumbents in contested primaries: divides the number of incumbents in primaries by the number seeking re-election in the given election cycle.


Heart of the Primaries 2022, Democrats-Issue 11

February 24, 2022

In this issue: Ohio, NY Democratic parties weigh in on statewide races, Schumer backs Bowman in NY-16

Chuck Schumer endorses Jamaal Bowman in NY-16

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) endorsed 16th Congressional District Rep. Jamaal Bowman. Schumer said he has worked with Bowman on upgrading Mount Vernon’s sewer system and building a new rail line between New Rochelle and Penn Station.

Bowman defeated 16-term incumbent Eliot Engel in the district’s 2020 Democratic primary. Schumer had endorsed Engel in that race. 

Bronx outlet News 12 reported that Yonkers Democratic Chair and Department of Public Works Commissioner Tom Meier may run in the primary. According to the Yonkers Times, Meier “embraces the label of moderate democrat.” 

The Yonkers Times also said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano is considering a bid, but only if Meier doesn’t run, according to their source. After Boman was arrested during a protest, Spano, who called himself a “hardcore moderate in the middle,” said, “They should have arrested him for his ‘no’ vote on infrastructure.” 

Bowman was one of six Democrats to vote against the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021. The other five were Reps. Cori Bush (Mo.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.). Bowman said he voted against it because House leadership decided to vote on the Build Back Better Act separately. Bowman said, “It was important for us to pass both bills at the same time because the [Build Back Better] bill had already been gutted so much from when it came to us from the Senate. It came to us at [$]3.5 trillion … all of a sudden some of my colleagues wanted to cut it down, and it ended up at [$]1.75 [trillion].”

Manuel Casanova, a Democratic district leader from New Rochelle, is also running in the primary. Casanova’s campaign website says, “Democrats must demonstrate that we can govern and lead responsibly and not just talk, complain, and bicker with each other on Twitter. This must stop. We must pass legislation that demonstrates that Democrats can unite as one team, and then aim to work with Republicans in a bipartisan way when possible.”

Westchester County Legislator Vedat Gashi also filed for the primary, which is scheduled for June 28. The state’s new congressional district map moves the 16th further north into Westchester County and part of the Bronx into a different district. The map is being challenged in court. According to FiveThirtyEight, the district’s Democratic lean changed from D+49 under the old map to D+36 under the new map.

Rep. Chuy Garcia endorses in three-way IL-03 primary

On Feb. 15, U.S. Rep. Chuy Garcia (D-Ill.) endorsed state Rep. Delia Ramirez in the Democratic primary for Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District. Ramirez has endorsements from more than 20 state legislators and nine Chicago City Council members. The Chicago Tribune said these endorsements were “from more progressive members of the Illinois legislature and City Council.”

Two other candidates are running in the June 28 primary.

Chicago Ald. Gilbert Villegas, the council’s Latino Caucus chair, has endorsements from U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), a state senator, three state representatives, and five members of the Chicago City Council. 

Iymen Chehade, a history professor at Columbia College, does not have any published endorsements. Chehade was a foreign policy advisor for U.S. Rep. Marie Newman’s (D-Ill.) 2020 campaign.

The newly drawn 3rd District has a population that is 47% Hispanic and includes Chicago’s Northwest Side, Bensenville, Addison, and West Chicago. The Chicago Sun-Times wrote, “A Democratic primary with multiple Hispanics will divide the Hispanic vote, leaving the door wide open for a non-Hispanic candidate to claim the seat.”

Ohio Democratic Party endorses in Senate primary, stays neutral in gubernatorial primary

The Ohio Democratic Party endorsed U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan for U.S. Senate over Morgan Harper and Traci Johnson on Feb. 17. The party also announced it would not endorse in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Ryan, whose other endorsers include U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the state AFL-CIO, and the United Auto Workers, has been a member of the U.S. House since 2003 and ran for president in 2020. Harper has endorsements from Brand New Congress and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Harper challenged U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty in the 2020 Democratic primary for Ohio’s 3rd Congressional District, losing 68% to 32%.

Before the party’s endorsement meeting, Harper issued a request that it remain neutral in the Senate race. Following the announcement, Harper tweeted, “They will continue to tip the scales for our establishment opponent. It’s official: it’s us against the machine.” 

Johnson tweeted, “ODP decision to endorse is disappointing but not unexpected. The Voters have the final say – Game On!” 

Ryan said, “If the party folks decide to endorse, we want the endorsement. We’re not going to get into whether or not they should or shouldn’t.”

The party’s decision to not endorse a gubernatorial candidate came after both candidates—former Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley—separately requested that the party not endorse a candidate.

Both offices will be on the May 3 primary ballot. 

New York Democrats nominate Hochul, others at convention

At its nomination convention on Feb. 17, the New York Democratic Party voted to endorse incumbents in five elections: Gov. Kathy Hochul, Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Attorney General Letitia James, and Sen. Chuck Schumer. 

A candidate receiving more than 50% of the vote at the convention becomes the party’s nominee in the primary. Candidates receiving more than 25% of the vote at the convention are automatically on the ballot. Committee members’ votes are weighted based on the number of votes cast in their assembly district for the Democratic candidate in the last gubernatorial election.

Candidates who did not receive 25% of the vote must collect 15,000 signatures to get on the primary ballot.

Hochul, who served as New York’s lieutenant governor from 2015 to 2021 and became governor upon Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) resignation in August 2021, received 86% of the convention vote. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the keynote speaker and endorsed Hochul.

Two other gubernatorial candidates participated: New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who received 12%, and attorney Paul Nichols, who received less than 2%. U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi did not participate, though he attended the convention.

A Suozzi representative said, “The New York State Democratic convention is the ultimate insider event and any outcome is predestined. … This election will be won in the cities, towns and villages across the state, not in the Sheraton Hotel.” 

Wiliams said, “Impartiality for the Democratic Party in New York state is having the chair of the convention already having endorsed someone.” New York State Democratic Committee Chair Jay Jacobs had endorsed Hochul.

According to Politico’s Bill Mahoney and Anna Gronewold, both Suozzi and Williams are expected to collect signatures. So far, five candidates are running in the Democratic primary. The filing deadline is April 7, and the primary is scheduled for June 28.

Regarding Schumer, The New York Times’ Katie Glueck wrote, “After years of speculation concerning whether the Senate majority leader…would face a credible left-wing challenge, he was renominated for his seat by acclamation on Thursday. A significant opponent could still emerge, though the window is narrowing ahead of the June primary.” 

Allen drops out of Massachusetts gubernatorial primary, citing ballot access requirement

Harvard professor Danielle Allen suspended her gubernatorial primary bid, citing the ballot access requirement of receiving at least 15% of the vote at the state Democratic Party convention in June.

Allen said, “In Massachusetts, where we pride ourselves on being the birthplace of democracy, there is no excuse for ballot access procedures that push out qualified but non-traditional candidates and rob the people of Massachusetts of real choice on their ballot.” 

State party Rules Committee chair Bill Eddy said, “Whether you are the biggest insider or running for the first time, the rules are there for everyone to be fair. … It’s all about do you have a message that resonates and can you get people to show up at a caucus?”

Towns and wards began holding caucuses on Feb. 4 to elect delegates to the state convention. Caucuses will be held until March 12.

Politico wrote, “The primary now refocuses into a battle between [Attorney General Maura] Healey and state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz, whose path to getting on the primary ballot against a candidate with a built-in statewide network likely gets a bit easier with Allen’s departure.” Orlando Silva is also running.

Oregon Supreme Court decides Kristof can’t run for governor

We wrote last month that Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan (D) said former New York Times columnist Nick Kristof did not meet residency requirements to be on the gubernatorial primary ballot. Kristof challenged the decision in the state supreme court, which last week upheld Fagan’s decision.

Competitiveness data: Kentucky’s primaries

Kentucky’s filing deadline for federal and state elections was Jan. 25. We’ve crunched some numbers to compare how competitive the primaries will be compared to recent election cycles.

U.S. House

State legislature

Notes on how these figures were calculated:

  • Candidates per district: divides the total number of candidates by the number of districts holding elections.
  • Open districts: divides the number of districts without an incumbent running by the number of districts holding elections.
  • Contested primaries: divides the number of major party primaries by the number of possible primaries: six in the U.S. House and 238 in the state legislature.
  • Incumbents in contested primaries: divides the number of incumbents in primaries by the number seeking re-election in the given election cycle.


Heart of the Primaries 2022, Republicans-Issue 10

February 17, 2022

In this issue: Republican Governors Association runs pro-Kemp ad in Georgia and Arrington challenges Mace in SC-01 

Republican Governors Association releases pro-Kemp ad in Georgia  

RGA Georgia 2022 PAC, an affiliate of the Republican Governors Association (RGA), spent $500,000 on an ad supporting Gov. Brian Kemp. The Hill’s Max Greenwood wrote, “While the RGA typically backs incumbent GOP governors, the spot for Kemp marks the first time that the group is financing a TV ad in a primary to support an incumbent facing a Republican challenger.”

Kemp faces former Sen. David Perdue and at least two other candidates in the May 24 GOP primary. Perdue has former President Donald Trump’s endorsement and released an ad featuring Trump last week. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Greg Bluestein wrote that the RGA ad “underscores a growing proxy war between mainstream GOP groups and Trump’s allies.”

The RGA ad criticizes President Joe Biden on spending, inflation, and illegal immigration and says, “Georgia has a proven conservative leader fighting back. … Kemp cut taxes, creating one of America’s fastest-growing economies and good-paying jobs. And Governor Kemp sent the National Guard to the border to help stop the illegal drugs flooding into our communities.”

In Perdue’s ad, Trump says on camera, “The Democrats walked all over Brian Kemp. He was afraid of Stacey ‘The Hoax’ Abrams. Brian Kemp let us down.”


Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser wrote that Trump appeared to refer to legislation the GOP-controlled legislature passed and Kemp signed in 2019: “Some of the provisions, which were backed by Democrats, addressed concerns raised during Kemp’s 2018 victory over Abrams regarding how nonwhite voters were treated.” Steinhauser said the law changed the process for rejecting absentee ballots and removing people from voter rolls and “also strengthened election security by adding Georgia to a 25-state electronic registration information center that is used for the purpose of tracking voters who move in and out of state to keep the voting rolls clear.”

Trump and Kemp clashed over the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia, which Kemp certified. 

Perdue lost his Senate re-election bid to Jon Ossoff 49.4% to 50.6% in a January 2021 runoff election.

Abrams is running in the Democratic primary for governor. Kemp defeated Abrams 50.2% to 48.8% in the 2018 gubernatorial election.

Texas roundup: Polling and endorsements two weeks out

The first midterm primaries are on March 1. Runoffs in Texas are scheduled for May 24 for races in which no candidate receives more than 50% of the primary vote. The Dallas Morning News and the Houston Chronicle editorial boards recently issued endorsements, and the University of Texas released a poll on Feb. 14. Here’s a roundup of polling and endorsements in marquee state executive and legislative races.

Polling

A University of Texas/Texas Politics Project poll surveyed 375 likely GOP primary voters between Jan. 28 and Feb. 7. The poll’s margin of error was +/- 5 percentage points.

  • Gubernatorial primary: Incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott leads with 60%. Former state GOP Chair Allen West and former state Sen. Don Huffines were about tied with 15% and 14%. No other candidate received 10%.
  • Attorney General primary: Incumbent Attorney General Ken Paxton leads with 47%. Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush had 21%, former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman had 16%, and U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert had 15%.

Endorsements

  • Gubernatorial primary: The Houston Chronicle and The Dallas Morning News endorsed Abbott
    • Other noteworthy endorsements in this primary include Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for Abbott, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) for Huffines, and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn for Allen West.
  • Attorney General primary: The Houston Chronicle and The Dallas Morning News endorsed Guzman in the GOP attorney general primary, mentioning Paxton’s 2015 indictment on counts related to securities fraud violations and claims that Paxton used the office to benefit a political donor, which led to an FBI investigation. Paxton has denied wrongdoing in both cases.
    • Trump endorsed Paxton. U.S. Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) endorsed Bush.
  • Senate District 11 primary: The Houston Chronicle endorsed Bob Mitchell in the state Senate District 11 GOP primary. Mitchell is one of four candidates in the open race, including Mayes Middleton, who, according to Transparency USA data, raised more than any other Texas state legislative candidate during the reporting period from July 1 to Dec. 31. Middleton has raised $1.9 million to Mitchell’s $55,000 (in addition to $50,000 in loans). The Dallas Morning News didn’t endorse in this race.
    • Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) and Trump endorsed Middleton.

Arrington challenges Mace in SC-01 with Trump endorsement

On Feb. 8, Katie Arrington announced she would challenge incumbent Nancy Mace (R) in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. The next day, Trump endorsed Arrington.

Arrington was the GOP nominee in the 1st District in 2018 after defeating incumbent Rep. Mark Sanford in the Republican primary. Joe Cunningham (D) defeated Arrington in the general election 50.6% to 49.2%. In 2020, Mace defeated Cunningham 50.6% to 49.3%. 

Arrington said Mace “sold out the Lowcountry. She sold out President Trump. She is more interested in becoming a mainstream media celebrity than fighting for the people she’s supposed to represent.” 

Trump said, “Arrington is running against an absolutely terrible candidate, Congresswoman Nancy Mace, whose remarks and attitude have been devastating for her community, and not at all representative of the Republican Party to which she has been very disloyal. Katie Arrington, on the other hand, is liked and respected and a true Republican.” 

Mace criticized Trump following the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol breach, though she voted against impeachment later that month. 

On Feb. 10, Mace said, “I remember in 2015 when President Trump announced his run, I was one of his earliest supporters . … I supported him again in 2020 because of policies I believed in.” Mace said of Arrington’s bid, “I won this seat back for Republicans in 2020. … If you want to lose this seat once again in the midterm election cycle to Democrats, then my opponent is more than qualified to do just that.” 

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) endorsed Mace on Feb. 7. Haley, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in the Trump administration, called Mace “the conservative voice the Lowcountry needs in Washington.”

The primary is scheduled for June 14.

Trump endorses Loren Culp in challenge to pro-impeachment House Republican

On Feb. 9, Trump endorsed Loren Culp in the primary for Washington’s 4th Congressional District. Incumbent Rep. Dan Newhouse was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in January 2021. 

Newhouse was first elected in 2014 and hasn’t announced yet whether he’ll seek re-election. Culp, a former police chief for the town of Republic, ran for governor of Washington in 2020, losing to incumbent Jay Inslee (D) 57% to 43%. 

Trump has endorsed more than 40 candidates running for the U.S. House this year, including five challengers running against incumbents who voted to impeach him in January 2021. Of the 10 House Republicans who voted in favor of impeachment, three (Anthony Gonzalez, John Katko, and Adam Kinzinger) aren’t running for re-election. 

Washington holds top-two primaries for Congress, meaning that every candidate for a particular office appears on the same primary ballot. The top two finishers, regardless of their partisan affiliation, advance to the general election. Five Republicans and one Democrat are running in the primary so far.

The primary is set for Aug. 2.

U.S. representatives not seeking re-election

As of the end of January—nine months ahead of the general election—42 members of the U.S. House had announced they would not seek re-election. At the same time in the 2020 election cycle, 34 representatives had announced they wouldn’t seek re-election. That number was 45 in 2018.

On Tuesday, Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) announced her retirement, bringing the total up to 43 incumbents not seeking re-election this year.

Sen. Josh Hawley endorses Vicky Hartzler for Missouri’s other Senate seat

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) endorsed U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler in the GOP U.S. Senate primary. Incumbent Sen. Roy Blunt (R) isn’t seeking re-election.

On Feb. 12, before the Republican Lincoln Days forum that included four GOP primary candidates, Hawley said that Hartzler “is unafraid to stand up for conservative values, and she is exactly who Missouri needs in the U.S. Senate.” 

Attorney Mark McCloskey said after the forum, “It exemplifies why I’m in the race. Having Josh Hawley endorse Vicky Hartzler is just more evidence of machine politics … politics as usual.” U.S. Rep. Billy Long, who also participated in the forum, criticized Hartzler at the end of the event. According to the Missouri Times‘ Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Long “questioned Hartzler’s conservative voting record, comparing it to Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney.”

Nine candidates are running so far. 

On Feb. 16, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) endorsed Attorney General Eric Schmitt in the Senate primary.

According to the most recent Federal Election Commission filings, five Missouri Republican U.S. Senate candidates had raised more than $500,000 as of Dec. 31: Schmitt ($2.4 million), Hartzler ($1.9 million), former Gov. Eric Greitens ($1.5 million), State Sen. Dave Schatz ($1.2 million), and McCloskey ($940,000).

The candidate filing deadline is March 31, and the primary is set for Aug. 2.