Taghotp

Heart of the Primaries 2022, Democrats-Issue 2

Two incumbent Democrats to face each other in U.S. House primary in Georgia

Incumbent Reps. Carolyn Bourdeaux and Lucy McBath each won congressional districts in Georgia previously held by Republicans. McBath (6th District) is running for re-election in the newly drawn 7th District, which pits her against Bourdeaux in the Democratic primary.

Daily Kos wrote that Bourdeaux currently represents about 57% of the new 7th District, while McBath represents 12%. Bourdeaux’s portion is also more Democratic than McBath’s based on 2020’s presidential election results.

McBath said the Republican-led Legislature redrew her district because “they would like nothing more than to stop me from speaking truth to power about the gun lobby and Republican Party in Congress.” McBath worked for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense after her son was fatally shot in 2012. She defeated incumbent Rep. Karen Handel (R) 50.5% to 49.5% in 2018.  

Bourdeaux, a professor of public policy and former director of the state’s Senate Budget and Evaluation Office, won the open 7th District race in 2020. Bourdeaux said, “I’m disappointed, of course. … I have a lot of respect for Lucy McBath.”


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Patricia Murphy and Greg Bluestein wrote in September that “Bourdeaux drew the wrath of progressive groups — and [Stacey] Abrams allies — for joining other moderates with a stand that threatened to derail a $3.5 trillion social policy plan.” Bourdeaux joined nine other Democrats in saying she wouldn’t vote for a budget resolution needed to pass President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda unless the House first voted on an infrastructure bill the Senate passed. Bordeaux said in August, “I believe in fiscal responsibility and that we need to pay for the things that we need to invest in, and I’m willing to stand up and talk about fiscal responsibility.” 

Ultimately, Bourdeaux withdrew from the effort and voted for the resolution. The House voted on the infrastructure bill and then the Build Back Better Act last month. Bourdeaux voted in favor of both.

In August, before the new district maps were drawn, Abrams endorsed McBath’s re-election bid, saying she “has not wavered on Georgia jobs and infrastructure, and she is a stalwart champion for our kids, for our democracy and more.”

Primaries are set to take place on May 24. 

In other Georgia news, Abrams announced on Dec. 1 that she is running for governor again. Current Gov. Brian Kemp (R) defeated Abrams 50% to 49% in 2018.

Outgoing U.S. Rep. Johnson endorses in TX-30 primary 

U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D) endorsed state Rep. Jasmine Crockett in the Democratic primary for Texas’ 30th Congressional District, which Johnson has represented since 1993. Johnson announced in 2019 she would retire at the end of her next term and confirmed her retirement in a statement last month. So far, 30 House incumbents are not seeking re-election in 2022—19 Democrats and 11 Republicans. Johnson is one of four representatives from Texas (two Democrats and two Republicans) not running for re-election.

Crockett has served in the Texas House of Representatives since January 2021. She was among the members of the Democratic caucus who left the state during consideration of House Bill 3 and Senate Bill 1—voting policy bills—to break quorum in July 2021. Crockett then helped create the Texas Progressive Caucus.

At least six others have announced their candidacies so far: 

  • Shenita Cleveland, a small business owner who ran against Johnson in the 2020 Democratic primary 
  • Jane Hope Hamilton, a former campaign staffer for Biden’s 2020 campaign in Texas 
  • Vonciel Jones Hill, an attorney who owns a private practice in Dallas 
  • Zachariah Manning, who ran in the 2020 Democratic primary for Dallas County Commissioners Court Precinct 1 
  • Jessica Mason, a Navy veteran who previously worked as a legislative aide in the Virginia General Assembly 
  • Abel Mulugheta, who previously worked as an aide for Johnson and chief of staff and legislative director for Texas Rep. Rafael Anchía

The primary is scheduled for March 1, and a primary runoff is scheduled for May 24. The filing deadline is Dec. 13.

Vermont follow-up: Welch running for Senate with Sanders endorsement

Since our first issue, which discussed Sen. Patrick Leahy’s (D-Vt.) retirement, U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced he is running for the open Senate seat. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) endorsed Welch the same day. We noted that several potential candidates said they would not run if Welch entered the race or if he received Sanders’ endorsement. Attention is shifting to the open House race. Welch has represented the district since 2007, when he succeeded Sanders.

Four Democrats have expressed interest so far:

  • State Senate President Pro Tem Becca Balint, in office since 2015 
  • Lt. Gov. Molly Gray, in office since 2021
  • State Sen. Kesha Ram-Hinsdale, in office since 2021
  • State Rep. Tanya Vyhovsky, in office since 2021. Vyhovsky is a member of the Vermont Progressive Party and the Democratic Party.

Vermont is the only state that has not had a female member of Congress.

The primary is scheduled for Aug. 9.

Governors in 2022: At A Glance

Suozzi enters Democratic primary in New York

On Nov. 29, U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi, a Long Island Democrat, announced his candidacy for governor of New York, joining a Democratic primary that includes incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul, Attorney General Letitia James, and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, among others.

The New York Times‘ Katie Glueck and Nicholas Fandos said Suozzi has “positioned himself as a vocal centrist who is quick to lash what he casts as the excesses of his party’s left wing” and his candidacy “could cut into parts of the coalition Ms. Hochul is seeking to assemble on Long Island and in suburbs around the state.”

This is New York’s first gubernatorial election since former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) resignation amid sexual harassment allegations. Hochul, then the lieutenant governor, succeeded Cuomo in August, making her the state’s first female governor.

Suozzi’s gubernatorial candidacy means his current congressional district, New York’s 3rd, will be open in 2022. 

The gubernatorial primary is scheduled for June 28.

Three state executives running in R.I. gubernatorial primary

Incumbent Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, and General Treasurer Seth Magaziner are running in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. Former Secretary of State Matt Brown is also running. Brown ran in the 2018 Democratic primary against incumbent Gina Raimondo, losing 57% to 34%. 

McKee assumed the governor’s office in March. Formerly the lieutenant governor, McKee was sworn in after Raimondo resigned to serve as U.S. secretary of commerce in the Biden administration.

Gorbea and Magaziner have served in their current positions since 2015. Brown served as secretary of state from 2003 to 2007. Candidates Helena Foulkes and Luis Daniel Muñoz have not held elected office.

Rhode Island’s primaries are scheduled for Sept. 13.

Competitiveness data ahead of Texas’ filing deadline

The filing period for Texas’ state legislative races began on Nov. 13 and ends at 6:00 p.m. local time on Dec. 13. We reviewed the list of candidates that filed on the secretary of state’s website as of Nov. 30 for a very early look at any potential primaries. Texas has 2022’s first primaries on March 1!

State Senate

  • 10 Democratic candidates have filed for Texas Senate seats
  • 8 Democratic incumbents have so far filed for re-election
  • 0 Democratic incumbents currently face a contested primary
  • There is 1 Senate district where multiple Democratic candidates have filed (SD-27 — incumbent Eddie Lucio (D) announced on Nov. 4 that he would not run for re-election)

The current partisan composition of the Texas Senate is 18 Republicans and 13 Democrats.

State House of Representatives

  • 73 Democratic candidates have filed for Texas House seats
  • 40 Democratic incumbents have so far filed for re-election
  • 2 Democratic incumbents currently face a contested primary
  • There are 9 House districts where multiple Democratic candidates have filed

The current partisan composition of the Texas House is 85 Republicans and 65 Democrats.

Texas enacted new state legislative districts on Oct. 25.



Heart of the Primaries 2022, Republicans-Issue 2

Parnell withdraws from Senate race in Penn., Dr. Oz enters

U.S. Senate candidate Sean Parnell (R) ended his campaign on Nov. 22 following a judge’s order granting Parnell’s wife, Laurie Snell, primary custody of their children. Parnell said, “There is nothing more important to me than my children, and while I plan to ask the court to reconsider, I can’t continue with a Senate campaign.” Former President Donald Trump endorsed Parnell in September.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon and host of The Dr. Oz Show, announced on Nov. 30 that he was entering the race. Oz wrote in the Washington Examiner, “During the pandemic, I learned that when you mix politics and medicine, you get politics instead of solutions. That’s why I am running for the U.S. Senate: to help fix the problems and to help us heal.” Trump appointed Oz to two-year terms on the President’s Council on Sport, Fitness, and Nutrition in 2018 and 2020.  

  

After Parnell ended his campaign, CNN contributor and former U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Penn.) said, “Right now you’ve got a wide-open, fluid field in Pennsylvania.” Allegheny County Republican Chairman Sam DeMarco III said, “My most important goal is to keep this seat in Republican hands come 2022, and I believe Dr. Oz’s entry into the race gives us a significant opportunity to do that.” 

Incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey (R) is one of six senators (and five Republicans) not running for re-election. More than a dozen candidates have filed to run in the Republican primary, including political commentator Kathy Barnette, businessman Jeff Bartos, former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands, and businessman Everett Stern. Politico reported that George W. Bush administration treasury official and hedge fund CEO David McCormick and former U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello (R-Penn.) may also enter the race.

Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race is expected to be one of the most competitive of 2022. Republicans would need to pick up one seat to take control of the chamber.   

The filing deadline is March 8 and the primary is scheduled for May 17.

An early look at two New Hampshire battleground primaries

One of 2022’s other competitive Senate elections is expected to take place in New Hampshire. The state is also home to a swing congressional district (NH-01). 

The big news in New Hampshire’s U.S. Senate election is who isn’t running. Gov. Chris Sununu (R) announced he’d seek a fourth term rather than challenging incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan (D). Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R), who Hassan defeated by 0.1 percentage points in 2016, is also not running. Former Sen. Scott Brown (R) is out as well. 

Who is running?

So far, Republicans Don Bolduc and Tejasinha Sivalingam. Bolduc ran in and lost the 2020 GOP Senate primary. Sivalingam is a landlord and previously ran for state representative as a Republican and as a Democrat.

Other potential Republican candidates include: 

  • Bryant “Corky” Messner, who defeated Bolduc in the 2020 GOP primary and lost to incumbent Jeanne Shaheen (D) 41% to 57% in the general
  • New Hampshire Senate President Chuck Morse, first elected to the chamber in 2010 and as president in 2020
  • Former U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta, who represented the state’s 1st Congressional District from 2011 to 2013 and 2015 to 2017. Guinta ran against Democrat Carol Shea-Porter in four consecutive elections (winning twice and losing twice)
  • Commissioner of Education Frank Edelblut
  • 2010 Senate candidate/businessman Bill Binnie
  • Attorney Phil Taub 

In the 1st Congressional District, Chris Pappas (D) has held office since the end of the Guinta/Shea-Porter back-and-forth in 2019. Six Republicans have filed so far, including:

  • 2020 GOP nominee Matt Mowers, who lost to Pappas 51% to 46%. Mowers served in the state department in Trump’s administration.
  • State Rep. Tim Baxter 
  • Former Trump spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt
  • Broadcast journalist Gail Huff Brown (former Sen. Brown’s wife)
  • Marine veteran Julian Acciard
  • Sales associate Gilead Towne

Three candidates received high-profile endorsements last month. Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley endorsed Mowers. U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who chairs the House Republican Conference, endorsed Leavitt. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) backed Huff Brown.

New Hampshire’s primaries are scheduled for Sept. 13. We’ll be keeping a close eye on how Republican candidates approach the primaries in this competitive state.

Governors in 2022: At A Glance

Hogan, Trump endorse in Maryland gubernatorial primary

On Nov. 23, term-limited Gov. Larry Hogan (R) endorsed Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz in the gubernatorial primary. Hogan said Schulz “has done an incredible job for us for the past seven years” and referred to state Del. Dan Cox (R), also running in the primary, as “a QAnon whack job who was in favor of I think calling Mike Pence, my friend Mike Pence, a traitor when they were talking about hanging him.” 

The day before, Former President Donald Trump endorsed Cox, saying Cox was “MAGA all the way—unlike his opponent, Kelly Schulz, who was handpicked by her ‘boss,’ RINO Larry Hogan, who has been terrible for our Country and is against the America First Movement.”

Hogan said Trump’s involvement in the 2022 primaries was a topic of discussion at the Republican Governors Association meeting in November. Hogan said, “I think the president is attacking six or seven sitting governors and 30-something members of Congress. I think it’s really bad for the party. I think it’s bad for Donald Trump. And you know, we’re going to continue to push back.”

In Maryland, 55% of voters are registered Democrats, 24% are Republicans, and 20% are unaffiliated.

The primary is scheduled for June 28.

Former South Dakota House Speaker challenging Gov. Noem

State Rep. Steve Haugaard, a former speaker of the South Dakota House, announced on Nov. 17 that he would challenge incumbent Gov. Kristi Noem in next year’s Republican primary. 

In his campaign kickoff speech, Haugaard said Noem failed to stand with South Dakota conservatives when she opposed bans on private businesses mandating that their employees receive a COVID vaccine.

Haugaard also criticized Noem for sending a bill back to the legislature in March. The bill would have required athletes to compete in sports events based on their “biological sex, as ascertained at or before birth in accordance with the student’s genetics and reproductive biology.” Noem said she was concerned about the potential response from the National Collegiate Athletic Association and asked the legislature to exclude college athletics from the bill’s provisions.

Noem and Haugaard have clashed in the past, including on their stances toward Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg (R). Noem called for Ravnsborg to resign after he fatally struck a pedestrian in September 2020, while Haugaard voted against the state House opening an investigation.

Haugaard was first elected to the state House in 2014 and was House speaker for the 2019-2020 term. Noem was first elected governor in 2018 after serving four terms in the U.S. House. She defeated then-Attorney General Marty Jackley 56% to 44% in the Republican primary.

According to the SoDak Governors blog, “no elected governor seeking a second term has ever been defeated in a primary election.”

So far, Noem and Hubbard are the only two candidates running. The filing deadline is March 29. The primary is scheduled for June 7 with an Aug. 16 runoff if no candidate receives 50% of the vote.

Texas AG follow-up: Gohmert in, Krause out

In our last edition, we previewed the Republican primary for attorney general of Texas, with incumbent Ken Paxton (R) facing three declared challengers. 

The GOP candidate field grew on Nov. 22 when U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert announced he would run for the office. Later that day, state Rep. Matt Krause dropped out of the primary, saying he would run for district attorney in Tarrant County instead. 

Gohmert was first elected to the U.S. House in 2004 and earlier served 21 years as a state judge.

Massachusetts update: Baker not seeking re-election

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced on Dec. 1 that he won’t seek a third term. We covered the conflict between Baker and the state party chair in our last edition.

Trump focusing state legislative endorsements on Michigan 

Trump has announced 12 endorsements in 2022 state legislative races as of Dec. 1. Seven of those endorsements have been for candidates running for the Michigan Legislature—five for state House and two for state Senate.

Five of the candidates are running for open seats, one is challenging a Republican incumbent, and one is an incumbent. In his endorsement for Rachelle Smit, a township clerk running for the open 80th House District, Trump said, “Michigan needs a new legislature. The cowards there now are too spineless to investigate Election Fraud. They refuse to conduct a Forensic Audit[.]” 

Currently, Michigan’s Senate has 22 Republican and 16 Democratic members. The state House has 55 Republican and 52 Democratic members.

Trump has also endorsed candidates for the Arizona and Texas legislatures. He’s endorsed two Senate candidates and one House candidate in Texas and two Senate candidates in Arizona.

In 2020, Joe Biden (D) defeated Trump in Michigan 51% to 48%. Biden also defeated Trump in Arizona 49.4% to 49.1%. In Texas, Trump won 52% to 47%.

We’ve tracked more than 60 endorsements from Trump for candidates seeking a variety of offices in 2022. 

Rubio endorses Ingoglia for Florida Senate   

On Nov. 29, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) endorsed state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia (R) for Senate District 10. Depending on the redistricting process, Ingoglia could face a fellow member of the state House in the Republican primary

Roughly half of all states, including Florida, have not yet enacted new state legislative maps following the 2020 census. 

State Senate District 10 is open in 2022. Incumbent Sen. Wilton Simpson (R) is term-limited and is running for commissioner of agriculture and consumer services. Ingoglia, who currently represents state House District 35, also hit his term limit. Ingoglia declared his candidacy for the Florida Senate in July. 

State Rep. Ralph Massullo said in September he may run against Ingoglia in Senate District 10 depending on how the district lines are drawn, and if Senate leadership supported his candidacy. Massullo has not ruled out running for re-election in House District 34.

In 2016, Rubio endorsed Ingoglia for re-election as the Republican Party of Florida chairman.

Competitiveness data ahead of Texas’ filing deadline

The filing period for Texas’ state legislative races began on Nov. 13 and ends at 6:00 p.m. local time on Dec. 13. We reviewed the list of candidates who filed on the secretary of state’s website as of Nov. 30 for a very early look at any potential primaries. Texas has 2022’s first primaries on March 1!

State Senate

  • 18 Republican candidates have filed for Texas Senate seats
  • 12 Republican incumbents have so far filed for re-election
  • 0 Republican incumbents currently face a contested primary
  • There is 1 Senate district where multiple Republican candidates have filed (SD-12 — incumbent Jane Nelson (R) announced in July that she would not run for re-election. Three other Republican state Senate incumbents have announced they are not running for re-election.)

The current partisan composition of the Texas Senate is 18 Republicans and 13 Democrats.

State House of Representatives

  • 92 Republican candidates have filed for Texas House seats
  • 43 Republican incumbents have so far filed for re-election
  • 6 Republican incumbents currently face a contested primary
  • There are 17 House districts where multiple Republican candidates have filed

The current partisan composition of the Texas House is 85 Republicans and 65 Democrats.

Texas enacted new state legislative districts on Oct. 25.



Heart of the Primaries 2022, Democrats-Issue 1

This week: Vermont’s newly open U.S. Senate seat puts eyes on Sanders for endorsement, New York AG and NYC public advocate join governor’s race.

Click here to follow developments on the Republican side.

With Sen. Leahy retiring, eyes are on Sanders for endorsement in Vermont

U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced on Nov. 15 that he won’t run for re-election in 2022. Leahy, who has served in the U.S. Senate since 1975, is the longest-serving senator currently in office. Leahy said, “While I will continue to serve Vermont, Marcelle and I have reached the conclusion that it is time to put down this gavel. It is time to pass the torch to the next Vermonter who will carry on this work for our great state.”

The filing deadline is set for May 26, and primaries are scheduled for Aug. 9. 

According to Axios‘ Hans Nichols, U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) is “indicating to colleagues he’s preparing to run” for the seat. 

Nichols said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has “the potential to play kingmaker.” The Intercept’s Ryan Grim wrote, “If Sanders endorses Welch, he functionally forecloses any challenge from the left. State Rep. Tanya Vyhovsky is also contemplating a run for Senate … but told The Intercept she won’t do so if Sanders gets behind Welch.”

The Associated Press‘ Lisa Rathke wrote that Vermont is the only state that has never had a female member of Congress. Rathke named Vermont Lt. Gov. Molly Gray, Vermont Senate President Pro Tempore Becca Balint, and state Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale as other potential Democratic candidates. VTDigger‘s Lola Duffort and Sarah Mearhoff said the three have indicated they wouldn’t run against Welch if he ran for Senate but may run for the House district he represents if he doesn’t seek re-election.

State, county Democratic Party conflict in Nevada affecting campaigns

In March, the Democratic Party of Nevada held elections for its five leadership positions. Democratic Socialists of America-endorsed candidates won all five posts. After the election, the party’s executive director, Alana Mounce, told Judith Whitmer, the new chair, that Mounce and the remaining staff and consultants were resigning.

The Hill’s Reid Wilson wrote in June that the Washoe County Democratic Party voted “to take over coordinated campaign duties for the entire state, effectively becoming the conduit through which national party organizations will funnel campaign money into Nevada.” That money is directed to an organization called Nevada Democratic Victory. Wilson noted that similar state and local party splits occurred in Nevada’s Republican Party in 2012 and North Carolina’s Democratic Party in 2014.

As of early November, the shift in coordinated campaign duties meant candidates, including incumbents Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Gov. Steve Sisolak, who hold offices considered competitive in 2022, did not have access to voter files. Whitmer said Nevada Democratic Victory had not tried to purchase that data yet and that “they’ve had contracts on their desks for a while now.” According to Politico‘s Holly Otterbein, “A person close to Nevada Democratic Victory said it has not been offered any contract to get hold of the data.” 

Whitmer told a group in May, “We’ve been advocating a lot of progressive policies. … Our legislators, obviously, aren’t all on board, but they’re going to have to be really, really soon. … We’re going to start holding those elected officials accountable which is something they’re not used to here in Nevada.” 

We’ll be following the happenings within Nevada’s state and county party organizations throughout 2022 for any effects this conflict may have on primary elections. The state’s filing deadline for candidates is scheduled for March 18 and the primaries are scheduled for June 14.

Clyburn, Sunrise endorse candidates for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin

  

Twelve candidates are currently running in Wisconsin’s Democratic Senate primary. Incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson (R), who first took office in 2011, has not yet announced if he will run for re-election. On Nov. 8, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) endorsed Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, saying, “Mandela is hands-down the best candidate to defeat Senator Ron Johnson, expand our majority in the United States Senate, and deliver results for the people of Wisconsin.” 

The Wisconsin chapter of the Sunrise Movement endorsed Outagamie County executive and former state Assemblymember Tom Nelson on Nov. 11. A local coordinator said Nelson “understands the moment we are in where our country has billionaires and corporations controlling our corrupt Congress while the rest of us and the planet suffer.” 

The Hill’s Julia Manchester wrote that Sunrise’s endorsement “shows a growing endorsement battle in the Democratic primary between progressives and more establishment figures and organizations.” Manchester said Barnes’ campaign “has also touted their own slate of progressive endorsements including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and the Working Families Party.”

Other candidates include state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski and Milwaukee Bucks Senior Vice President Alex Lasry. EMILY’s List has endorsed Godlewski, and Lasry has endorsements from local Democratic Party leaders.  

The filing deadline for this race is June 1. According to Wisconsin Public Radio’s Laurel White, this is the first contested Democratic primary for one of Wisconsin’s Senate seats since 1992. Primaries are scheduled for Aug. 9. 

Governors in 2022: At A Glance

James, Williams enter New York gubernatorial primary

New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) announced on Oct. 29 that she is running for governor of New York. New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (D) announced his primary candidacy on Nov. 16.

Incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) said in August that she would run for a full term. Formerly lieutenant governor, Hochul succeeded Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) following his resignation amid sexual harassment allegations.  

Here’s some early messaging from the three candidates:

  • Hochul is campaigning on her actions as governor, including enforcing a vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, passing an eviction moratorium, and releasing $200 million for food assistance. Hochul emphasizes that she is the first female governor of New York and supports legalized abortion. Hochul says she has “brought a fresh and collaborative approach to governing.”
  • James, who played a role in investigating the allegations against Cuomo, said her guiding principle has been, “Stand up to the powerful on behalf of the vulnerable to be a force for change.” James said her record includes suing the Trump administration 76 times, working to divest pension funds from fossil fuels, and holding powerful people accountable who mistreat women in the workplace.
  • Williams said, “Without new, courageous, progressive leadership creating change, the way things have always been will stand in the way of what they can be.” Williams says he is an activist and that he passed more laws than any public advocate in history. (The public advocate may introduce, but does not vote on, legislation in the city council).

The primary is scheduled for June 28.

Third state lawmaker joins Democratic primary for Wisconsin lt. governor

On Nov. 15, state Rep. David Bowen (D) said he would seek the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor of Wisconsin. Bowen joins a primary field that includes state Sen. Lena Taylor and state Rep. Sara Rodriguez. (As mentioned above, current Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes is running for U.S. Senate.)

Bowen said in his announcement, “I am confident with my campaign we can build a winning coalition to help Democrats and Gov. (Tony) Evers win the governor’s office again.” Bowen said he would focus on “vulnerable voters who deserve to have something to vote for, not just something to vote against.”

Rodriguez said, “I can be a really good partner to Gov. Evers in something as large and as complicated as the Wisconsin state government, but most importantly, public health is my passion.” Rodriguez has a background as a nurse and public health professional.

Taylor said, “I believe that it’s important to strengthen the ticket and I look forward to being a team player to help bring Gov. Evers across the finish line.” The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel‘s Molly Beck wrote that Taylor plans to focus on “agricultural and food issues and music.”

Since 2000, two Democrats—Barbara Lawton and Barnes—and two Republicans—Margaret A. Farrow and Rebecca Kleefisch—have served as Wisconsin’s lieutenant governor. 

Beto O’Rourke to run for governor of Texas

On Nov. 15, Beto O’Rourke (D) announced he would run for governor of Texas. O’Rourke spoke about the February 2021 power outage in Texas and said, “Together, we can push past the small and divisive politics that we see in Texas today — and get back to the big, bold vision that used to define Texas.”

O’Rourke joins a primary field that includes three candidates who have not held elected office: Deirdre Dickson-Gilbert, Michael Cooper, and Larry Baggett. The Democratic and Republican primaries are scheduled for March 1. Incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is seeking a third term. 

This will be the second time O’Rourke has run for statewide office in Texas. He ran for U.S. Senate in 2018 against Sen. Ted Cruz (R), who defeated O’Rourke 51% to 48%. 

O’Rourke also ran in the Democratic presidential primary in 2020. He served in the U.S. House from 2013 to 2019.

The NY state legislators facing primary challenges (so far)

City & State New York‘s Zach Williams and Jeff Coltin published a list of 11 Democratic New York state Senate and Assembly members with primary challengers as of Nov. 12, with background information on the candidates. Four of the contested primaries include a challenger endorsed by a chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America.

The following incumbents have challengers:

  • Sen. Brian Kavanagh
  • Sen. Kevin Parker
  • Sen. Luis Sepúlveda
  • Sen. Simcha Felder 
  • Asm. Michael Benedetto
  • Asm. Kevin Cahill
  • Asm. Erik Dilan
  • Asm. John McDonald III
  • Asm. Cathy Nolan
  • Asm. José Rivera
  • Asm. David Weprin

Cahill, Dilan, Kavanagh, and Parker face DSA-backed challengers.

In 2020’s Democratic primaries, six Assembly members and no incumbent Senate members were defeated. In 2018, seven senators and two assembly members lost in primaries.

Find City & State‘s list and candidate information here.



Heart of the Primaries 2022, Republicans-Issue 1

Welcome to the first edition of the 2022 election cycle’s The Heart of the Primaries! We’ll be sending a new issue to your inbox every two weeks on Thursdays until January, when we’ll begin sending weekly.

This week: Where Trump has endorsed challengers to GOP incumbents so far; conflict in Massachusetts GOP manifests in potential gubernatorial primary matchup

Click here to follow developments on the Democratic side. 

Where Trump has endorsed challengers to GOP incumbents so far

Former President Donald Trump has made more than 50 endorsements in the 2022 elections so far, including several candidates challenging GOP incumbents. The table above includes incumbents who are running for re-election or have not announced their intentions.

Three of the four House incumbents with Trump-endorsed challengers voted to impeach Trump for incitement of insurrection following the Jan. 6 Capitol breach: Liz Cheney, Jaime Herrera Beutler, and Fred Upton. Two of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach—Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16) and Adam Kinzinger (IL-16)—are not running for re-election.

Three incumbent Republican senators with seats up for election in 2022 voted “guilty” on Trump’s 2021 impeachment: Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Richard Burr (N.C.), and Pat Toomey (Penn.). Murkowski is the only one seeking re-election. Trump endorsed Kelly Tshibaka in the primary (which will be a top-four primary featuring candidates of all affiliations—click here for more information). Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said the group will be supporting all incumbent senators.

Trump has criticized Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on crime, policing, and other issues. Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger argued over the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election results in the state. We cover conflicts in the Idaho gubernatorial race below.

We’ll be watching how impeachment votes and 2020 election claims unfold in these and other Republican primaries, along with policy differences between the candidates.

Missouri Republicans weigh effect of Eric Greitens’ U.S. Senate candidacy

A recurring theme during primary season is how candidates must connect with the primary election voter base and lay the groundwork for the general election. Often, primary candidates argue that their opponents aren’t likely to win the general election. An early example of this conflict in the 2022 season is developing in Missouri’s GOP Senate primary. 


Nine candidates are seeking the GOP nomination so far, including the state Senate president, the state attorney general, and two current U.S. House members. Sen. Roy Blunt (R) is not seeking re-election. National media coverage has focused on the potential effect of former Gov. Eric Greitens’ candidacy. 

Greitens was elected governor in 2016 and resigned in 2018 following investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct and misuse of campaign information. Greitens’ opponents say nominating him would benefit Democrats in the general election. Greitens’ supporters say the allegations against him were politically motivated and that he is the candidate most in line with the party’s base.

Greitens has received endorsements from Trump allies including Rudy Giuliani, Michael Flynn, and Kimberly Guilfoyle, who serves as Greitens’ national campaign chairwoman. Trump has not indicated whether he intends to issue an endorsement. 

Missouri’s primaries are set to take place Aug. 2.

Flynn, Stone endorse challenger of 8-term incumbent in FL-16

Former Trump advisors Roger Stone and Michael Flynn endorsed Martin Hyde in Florida’s 16th Congressional District. Hyde is challenging eight-term incumbent Vern Buchanan in the Republican primary, scheduled for Aug. 23. 

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune‘s Zac Anderson said Hyde is challenging Buchanan “from the right and [trying to] rally the MAGA faithful to his side.” Hyde published a letter in the Herald-Tribune during Trump’s 2016 campaign in which he called Trump “wretched” and criticized Trump supporters for what he called “bigotry and bullying.” In May 2021, Hyde said his opinion of Trump had evolved over time and that “[t]he fatal flaw in his character is probably also the most valuable quality that he has, where he’s not one of them. … That’s the light bulb or the thing that I saw over subsequent time, that Trump possessed something that the others didn’t.”

At an event with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in the district recently, Buchanan said he was “passionate about we [sic] need to find a way to build the wall,” referencing Trump’s 2016 campaign theme of building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Buchanan voted against impeaching Trump in January 2021 and voted against objecting to the presidential election results from Arizona and Pennsylvania on Jan. 6. According to FiveThirtyEight, Buchanan voted with Trump’s position 84% of the time in the 116th Congress and 97% of the time in the 115th Congress.

Governors in 2022: At A Glance

Trump endorsement follows conflict between Little and McGeachin in Idaho

Trump endorsed Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin in the Republican primary for Idaho governor, calling McGeachin a “true supporter of MAGA since the very beginning.” The endorsement came days after Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) attended the America First Policy Institute Gala in Florida, where Trump called Little “a terrific gentleman.” Little has not yet announced whether he’ll seek re-election.

Little and McGeachin have come into conflict in recent months, with McGeachin using her power as acting governor to issue executive orders while Little was out of state. Little rescinded the orders once he returned.

In May, McGeachin issued an executive order banning mask mandates while Little was at a Republican Governors Association meeting. In October, McGeachin issued an executive order prohibiting state agencies from requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination or testing while Little was at the U.S.-Mexico border. Little had issued a similar order, but his did not include K-12 schools and universities.

The primary is scheduled for May 17.

Massachusetts Republican Party conflict manifests in governor’s race

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) is considering whether to seek re-election. If he does, the Republican primary could be the center of a debate over the direction of the party in the state. In Massachusetts, 10% of voters are registered Republicans, 32% are Democrats, and 57% are unenrolled (independent). 

Baker recently called himself a “Bill Weld Republican,” referring to the former Republican governor who ran for president in 2016 as a Libertarian and again in 2020 as a Republican. 

Last month, Baker called on state GOP Chair Jim Lyons to step down after Lyons didn’t revoke his endorsement of a city council candidate who referred to mayoral candidate Michelle Wu’s Asian heritage in a tweet. Lyons said that Baker should reconsider his party affiliation, saying he was “abandoning the principles of the Republican Party.”

The Boston Globe‘s Emma Platoff wrote that Baker “takes a bipartisan approach in his dealings with the Democratic-dominated Legislature; Lyons, for his part, leads a more conservative faction of the party that argues Republicans in the state should take a harder line despite their minimal power on Beacon Hill.”


Former state Rep. Geoff Diehl is running in the primary and has criticized Baker‘s actions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including business closures and vaccine mandates for state workers. As mentioned above, Trump endorsed Diehl.

Former party chair Jennifer Nassour (2009-2011) said if Diehl beat Baker in a primary, it would mean the “end of the Republican party in Massachusetts,” referring to Baker’s popularity and Diehl’s unsuccessful bids for state Senate in 2015 and U.S. Senate in 2018.  

Due to his position, Lyons cannot endorse in the primary. Primaries in Massachusetts are set for Sept. 20.

Three candidates running in primary against Texas AG Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) filed for re-election on Nov. 16. Paxton will face at least three elected officials in the Republican primary: Lands Commissioner George P. Bush, former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman, and state Rep. Matt Krause.

Paxton was first elected attorney general in 2014. He had no primary opposition in 2018 and defeated Justin Nelson (D) 51% to 47% in the general election.

Paxton’s primary opponents say he should not run for re-election in light of ongoing legal issues. A grand jury indicted Paxton on two counts of first-degree securities fraud and one count of not registering in July 2015. As of this writing, the case was headed to trial in Collin County following a legal dispute over the trial’s location. 

In a separate case, seven of Paxton’s employees at the state Attorney General’s office resigned in the second half of 2020 and alleged that Paxton had violated both state and federal law related to improper influence and abuse of office. Paxton and his supporters say both allegations against him were politically motivated.

In his re-election bid announcement, Paxton said he is the only candidate in the race with a Trump endorsement and that he sued Barack Obama 27 times and is involved in more than 21 lawsuits against the Biden administration.

The filing deadline for this election is Dec. 13. The primary is scheduled for March 1. If necessary, a runoff is scheduled for May 24. 

Redistricting shapes N.C. Senate district candidate field

North Carolina state Sen. Tom McInnis, who currently represents the 25th District, moved his residence to his former second home so that he could run in the redrawn 21st District. Redistricting would have pit McInnis against incumbent Sen. David Craven (R) in a primary if he stayed in his former residence. McInnis was first elected in 2014.

In the redrawn 21st District’s primary, McInnis faces former state Senate Majority Whip Wesley Meredith, who served in the Senate from 2011 to 2018 representing District 19. Democrat Kirk deViere defeated Meredith in 2018. Meredith ran again in 2020 and lost to deViere.  

According to Carolina Journal News Service‘s Dallas Woodhouse, McInnis “advocated for a deal announced last year that landed the second headquarters for the U.S. Golf Association for Moore County, along with the staging of a major golf championship every five years.” And Meredith “took a leading role on veterans and military issues” during his time in the Senate.

The filing deadline is Dec. 17 and the primary election is scheduled for March 8.