Tagincumbent

All Connecticut U.S. House incumbents file to run for re-election

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in Connecticut this year was June 7, 2022. Eleven candidates are running for Connecticut’s five U.S. House districts, including five Democrats and six Republicans. That’s 2.2 candidates per district, down from 2.6 in 2020 and 2018. 

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  1. This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census. Connecticut was apportioned five districts, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.
  2. The 11 candidates running this year are the fewest since 2014, when 10 candidates ran, and down from 13 in 2020 and 2018. 
  1. All incumbents are running for re-election, meaning there are no open seats this year. The 5th District is the only Connecticut U.S. House seat to have opened up this past decade. It was open in 2012 after incumbent Rep. Chris Murphy (D) decided to run for the U.S. Senate, and again in 2018 when incumbent Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D) did not file for re-election. 
  2. The Republican primary in the 4th District is the only contested primary this year. That’s down from two in 2020 and 2018. 
  3. No incumbents are facing primary challengers. 
  4. Republican and Democratic candidates filed to run in all five districts, so no seats are guaranteed to either party this year.

Connecticut and three other states—Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin—are holding primary elections on August 9, 2022. Winners in primary elections in Connecticut are determined via plurality vote, meaning that the candidate with the greatest number of votes wins the election even if he or she did not win an outright majority of votes cast.



4.8% of state legislative incumbents who filed for re-election have lost in primaries

So far this year, 135 state legislative incumbents—29 Democrats and 106 Republicans—have lost to primary challengers.

Across the 27 states that have held primaries, 4.8% of incumbents running for re-election have lost, an elevated level of incumbent losses compared to previous cycles.

These totals include data from Maryland, which held state legislative primaries on July 19. No incumbents have lost in these primaries so far, but 55 races remain uncalled.

This year, Republican incumbents have lost at a higher rate than Democrats. Of the 1,574 Republican incumbents who filed for re-election, 106 (6.7%) have lost to primary challengers. For Democrats, 29 of the 1,208 who filed for re-election (2.4%) have lost.

But fewer Democratic incumbents are facing primary challengers than their Republican counterparts. Around 25% of Democratic incumbents who filed for re-election faced contested primaries compared to 32% for Republicans.

In these 26 states, 2,784 incumbents filed for re-election, 806 of whom (29%) faced primary challengers.

Thirty of these 135 incumbent defeats (22%) were guaranteed due to redistricting. When states redraw legislative lines, incumbents can oftentimes end up in a new district with other incumbents leading to incumbent v. incumbent primaries or general elections. Since, in these races, there are more incumbents running than nominations or seats available, at least one incumbent must lose.

Of the 27 states that have held primaries so far, eight have Democratic trifectas, 15 have Republican trifectas, and four have divided governments. Across these 27 states, there are 3,525 seats up for election, 57% of the nationwide total.

The figures for 2022 will likely increase. There are currently 61 uncalled primaries featuring incumbents—39 Democratic and 23 Republican—and 20 primaries featuring New York Senate incumbents scheduled for Aug. 23.

You can view more information about state-specific and historic information regarding incumbent defeats by clicking “Learn More” below.



Previewing U.S. House general elections

Elections to the United States House of Representatives will take place on November 8, 2022. The seats of all 435 representatives are up for election this year, along with the seats of five of the six non-voting members of the U.S. House.

Democrats maintained their majority in the in the 2020 elections, winning 222 seats to Republicans’ 213. As of July 6, Democrats hold a 220-210 majority with five vacant seats. Republicans need to gain a net of eight seats to win a majority in the chamber.

There are 53 open U.S. House seats in states where the filing deadline has passed. 

Forty-nine representatives—31 Democrats and 18 Republicans—are not seeking re-election to their U.S. House seats (not including those who left office early). Thirty-six members did not seek re-election in 2020. 

The total number of incumbents not running for re-election is the second-highest this decade. The highest was in 2018, when 52 incumbents didn’t seek re-election. The number of Democratic incumbents not running for re-election this year is a decade-high. 

Of the members not seeking re-election: 

  • Thirty-two—22 Democrats and 10 Republicans—are retiring from public office.
  • Nine—four Democrats and five Republicans—are running for the U.S. Senate.
  • Four—three Democrats and one Republican—are running for governor. 
  • Four—two Democrats and two Republicans—are running for another office.

As of July 6, 2022, 37 districts are rated as Toss-ups by the Cook Political Report, Inside Elections, Sabato’s Crystal Ball. Democrats hold 27 of those seats, Republicans hold eight, and two seats are vacant.

The 2022 election will be the first to take place following apportionment and redistricting after the 2020 census. Seven states (California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia) lost one seat each. Five states (Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon) gained one seat each, and Texas gained two seats.

The newly-created seats are:

  • Colorado’s 8th Congressional District
  • Florida’s 28th Congressional District
  • Montana’s 2nd Congressional District
  • Oregon’s 6th Congressional District
  • Texas’ 37th Congressional District
  • Texas’ 38th Congressional District

As a result of redistricting, there are eight districts where two incumbents filed to run against each other. In six of those, two incumbents from the same party filed to run against each other in their party primary: 

  • West Virginia’s 2nd District — Rep. David McKinley (R), the incumbent in the 1st district, and Rep. Alex Mooney (R), the incumbent in the 2nd district, ran in the Republican primary on May 10, 2022. Mooney defeated McKinley. 
  • Georgia’s 7th District — Rep. Lucy McBath (D), the incumbent in the 6th district, and Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux (D), the incumbent in the 7th, ran in the Democratic primary on May 24. McBath defeated Bourdeaux. 
  • Illinois’ 6th District — Rep. Marie Newman (D), the incumbent in the 3rd district, and Rep. Sean Casten (D), the incumbent in the 6th, ran in the Democratic primary on June 28. Casten defeated Newman. 
  • Illinois’ 15th District — Rep. Rodney Davis (R), the incumbent in the 13th district, and Rep. Mary Miller (R), the incumbent in the 15th, ran in the Republican primary on June 28. Miller defeated Davis. 
  • Michigan’s 11th District — Rep. Andy Levin (D), the incumbent in the 9th district, and Rep. Haley Stevens (D), the incumbent in the 11th, are running in the Democratic primary set to take place on August 2. 
  • New York’s 12th District — Rep. Jerry Nadler, the incumbent in the 10th district, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D), the incumbent in the 12th, are running in the Democratic primary set to take place on August 23.

In the other two districts, incumbents from different parties are running against each other in the general election in November: 

  • Florida’s 2nd District — Rep. Al Lawson (D), the incumbent in the 5th district, and Rep. Neal Dunn (R), the incumbent in the 2nd, are both running.
  • Texas’ 34th District — Rep. Vicente Gonzalez Jr. (D), the incumbent in the 15th district, and Rep. Mayra Flores (R), the incumbent in the 34th, are running against each other in the general election. Flores won a special election to replace Rep. Filemon Vela (D) on June 14 and was sworn in on June 21.

Nine incumbents  — three Democrats and six Republicans  — have lost in primaries so far this year: 

  • Carolyn Bourdeaux (D) — Georgia’s 7th
  • Marie Newman (D)  — Illinois’ 6th
  • Rodney Davis (R) — Illinois’ 15th
  • Steven Palazzo (R) — Mississippi’s 4th
  • Madison Cawthorn (R) — North Carolina’s 11th
  • Bob Gibbs (R) — Ohio’s 7th
  • Kurt Schrader (D) — Oregon’s 5th
  • Tom Rice (R) — South Carolina’s 7th
  • David McKinley (R) — West Virginia’s 2nd

The nine incumbents who have been defeated in primaries so far this year are already more than the eight incumbents who lost in primary elections in 2020.



All Mississippi’s U.S. House incumbents face primaries for the first time since 2012

The filing deadline for candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives in Mississippi was March 1, 2022. This year, 24 candidates—an average of six for each of the state’s four U.S. House districts—filed to run, including 16 Republicans, seven Democrats, and one Libertarian. The six candidates per district average is more than it was in both 2020—3.5 candidates per district—and 2018 (4.75).

There are no open-seat congressional races this year in Mississippi, as all four incumbents are running for re-election. Mississippi has had one open-seat U.S. House race since 2012.

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  • This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census. Mississippi was apportioned four seats in the House of Representatives, the same number it received after the 2010 census. Governor Tate Reeves (R) signed the state’s congressional redistricting plan on Jan. 24, 2022. After the state Senate approved the plan, Lee Sanderlin wrote in the Mississippi Clarion Ledger, “The bill preserves the current balance of congressional power in Mississippi, keeping three seats for Republicans and one for lone Democrat Bennie Thompson.”
  • All four U.S. House incumbents in the state face contested primaries for the first time since 2012.
  • There are seven contested U.S. House primaries—four Republican and three Democratic—this year in Mississippi. The only U.S. House district without a Democratic or Republican primary will be in Mississippi’s 3rd District, where Shuwaski Young (D) is unopposed for his party’s nomination.
  • For the second cycle in a row, Fourth District Rep. Steven Palazzo (R) is running in the state’s largest U.S. House primary, with seven candidates competing for that seat
  • All four U.S. House districts will be contested in the general election, as every district has both Democratic and Republican candidates.

{Chart of open seats – https://app.datawrapper.de/chart/nhUHz/publish]

Mississippi’s primary for U.S. House districts is scheduled for June 7, 2022. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in any race, a primary runoff will take place on June 28, 2022.

Additional reading:



Five U.S. House races have two incumbents running in the 2022 elections

As of Feb. 2, five U.S. House races have two incumbents running for the same congressional district in the 2022 elections. All five districts are in states that have enacted new congressional district boundaries after the 2020 census, and all feature two candidates from the same party running against each in the primary.

The candidates and districts are:

  • Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux (D) and Rep. Lucy McBath (D) for Georgia’s 7th
  • Rep. Sean Casten (D) and Rep. Marie Newman (D) for Illinois’ 6th
  • Rep. Rodney Davis (R) and Rep. Mary Miller (R) for Illinois’ 15th
  • Rep. Andy Levin (D) and Rep. Haley Stevens (D) for Michigan’s 11th
  • Rep. David McKinley (R) and Rep. Alex Mooney (R) for West Virginia’s 2nd

Illinois, Michigan, and West Virginia all lost one seat each as a result of apportionment after the 2020 census. 

After the 2010 census, there were 13 districts where multiple incumbents ran against each other in the 2012 elections. Eleven of those races featured candidates from the same party, and two had a Democrat and a Republican run for the same district in the general election. The Republican candidate won both of the districts with one incumbent from each party.

Multiple candidates might run in the same district if after redistricting, their home addresses or political bases of support are drawn into the same district, or if they determine that the characteristics of a particular district are more favorable for re-election. 

The U.S. Constitution requires that members of the U.S. House of Representatives are residents of the state from which he or she is elected. However, it does not require them to live in the district that they represent.

Additional reading:



Ninety-two percent of state legislative incumbents filed for re-election in 2021

In 2021, state legislative incumbents filed for re-election at a higher rate than any other year in the past decade other than 2013. When an incumbent does not run for re-election, his or her seat is left open, meaning it is guaranteed to a newcomer at the start of the next state legislative session.

Of the 220 seats up for election this year, 92.3% of incumbents (203) filed for re-election, leaving 7.7% of seats (17) open. From 2011 to 2021, only the state legislative elections held in 2013 saw a lower percentage of open seats at 6.8%.

Two states—New Jersey and Virginia—are holding state legislative elections in 2021. These states hold elections every two years in odd-numbered years.

In New Jersey, 120 seats are up for election, 10.0% of which (12) are open. Of those open seats, six were most recently held by Democrats and six by Republicans.

Compared to previous elections, New Jersey’s rate of open seats in 2021 is tied with 2017 for the state’s second-highest percentage of open seats in the past decade.

In Virginia, 100 seats are up for election, 5.0% of which (5) are open, a decade-low rate for the state. Of those five open seats, one was most recently held by a Democrat and four by Republicans.

Neither New Jersey nor Virginia has state legislative term limits, meaning all open seats this year were left by incumbents voluntarily choosing not to file for re-election. Of the four states that hold state legislative elections in odd-numbered years, only one—Louisiana—has term limits. 

As shown by the chart below, term limits can have a varying effect on the total number of open seats. In 2011, 15.2% of open seats were caused by term limits, while in 2019, term limits accounted for 45.6% of all open seats.

In the chart below, a voluntary open seat is one where an incumbent chose not to file for re-election. A term-limited open seat is one where an incumbent could not seek re-election due to term limits.

This analysis was conducted as part of Ballotpedia’s annual state legislative competitiveness study. In addition to open seats, this study includes an analysis of incumbents in contested primaries and seats with major party competition in the general election. 

To learn more about open seats in the 2021 state legislative elections, click here.



Eighteen congressional incumbents not running for reelection in 2022

As of June 2021, 18 members of Congress—five members of the U.S. Senate and thirteen members of the U.S. House—have announced they will not seek re-election in 2022. Ten members—five senators and five representatives—have announced their retirement.

All five retiring Senate members are Republicans, and of the retiring House members, three are Democrats and two are Republicans. Eight U.S. House members are running for other offices. Three Republicans and two Democrats are running for U.S. Senate, one Republican and one Democrat are running for governor, and one Republican is running in a different district. No U.S. Senate members are running for other offices.

Reps. Val Demings (D) and Vicky Hartzler (R) were the most recent congressional members to announce they would not seek reelection. On June 9, Demings announced that she would challenge Sen. Marco Rubio (R) for one of Florida’s U.S. Senate seats rather than seek reelection in Florida’s 10th Congressional District. Hartzler, who represents Missouri’s 4th Congressional District, announced on June 10 that she is running for U.S. Senate to replace retiring Sen. Roy Blunt (R).

Between 2011 and December 2020, 245 members of Congress announced they would not run for re-election. Fifty-five members did not run for re-election in the 2018 cycle (three Senators and 52 members of the House), the most in any cycle in that period. Forty members did not run for re-election in 2020 (four Senators and 36 members of the House), the fewest in that period.

Additional reading:

United States Congress elections, 2022



Two state legislative incumbents defeated in New Jersey primary elections, a decade-high

Two members of New Jersey’s General Assembly lost to primary challengers on June 8, 2021, a decade-high number for the legislature.

Serena DiMaso (R) in the multi-member District 13 lost to Gerard Scharfenberger (R) and Victoria Flynn (R). Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D) from Assembly District 31 unofficially withdrew from the race before the primary, but his name remained on the ballot.

The Democratic primary in Assembly District 18 and the Republican primary in District 26, both featuring two incumbents each, remain too close to call as of June 11.

All four state Senate incumbents facing primary challenges won.

Primary defeats for incumbents in the New Jersey State Legislature are uncommon. Before 2021, only one state legislative incumbent had lost in a primary election: Assm. Joe Howarth (R) in 2019. No incumbent state Senator has lost in a primary since 2003.

In addition to the two primary defeats, five Democrats and three Republicans chose not to seek re-election in the General Assembly. In the state Senate, one Democrat and three Republicans opted against re-election.

Use the following links to learn more about New Jersey’s 2021 state legislative elections:



Seventy-nine percent of state legislative incumbents in New Jersey will not face a contested primary this year

Image of several stickers with the words "I voted"

Ninety percent of state legislative incumbents in New Jersey are seeking re-election in 2021. Of these 108 incumbents, 79%—85 legislators—will advance to the general election without a primary challenge, according to Ballotpedia’s primary election competitiveness analysis.

The remaining 23 incumbents—nine Democrats and 14 Republicans—will face contested primaries on June 8, 2021.

When an incumbent faces a contested primary, there is the chance he or she might be defeated before the general election, typically guaranteeing the seat to a newcomer. These defeats—along with retirements and general election losses—contribute to the overall incumbent turnover during each election cycle.

The most common cause of incumbent turnover is retirement, which, over the past decade, accounted for 70 percent of all state legislative turnover. Primary election defeats—at 10 percent—were the most uncommon cause of turnover.

Primary election defeats in New Jersey are especially rare. Since 2011, only one state legislative incumbent has been defeated in one: Assm. Joe Howarth, who lost in a 2019 Republican primary.

Contested incumbent primaries became more common in New Jersey during the 2017 state legislative elections. In 2019, the state saw a decade-high rate with around one-third of all incumbents facing primary challenges. The rate decreased to around one-fifth of all incumbents facing contested primaries in 2021 but remains higher than rates from the first half of the past decade.

Virginia is also holding state legislative elections in its House of Delegates in 2021. Based on preliminary data, the state is slated to see a decade-high rate of incumbents facing contested primaries at 18.1%. Out of the 100 incumbents, 94 are seeking re-election, 17 of whom will face contested primaries. Parties in Virginia use a mixture of primaries and conventions to select nominees. All primaries will take place on June 8 whereas convention dates are selected by district parties. Ballotpedia will update its primary competitiveness data for Virginia as it becomes available.

Ballotpedia is collecting primary election competitiveness statistics for all regularly-scheduled state legislative and state executive elections ongoing in 2021. Learn more here. Use the links below to view coverage of the New Jersey and Virginia state legislative elections:



Former incumbent Ashford (D) endorses Bacon (R) in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District

Brad Ashford (D), the former representative of Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District, endorsed incumbent Don Bacon (R) on October 7. Bacon defeated Ashford for the seat in 2016. Ashford said Bacon “demonstrated time and again … that he will put people above party to find bipartisan solutions.”

Ashford ran again in 2018, losing to Kara Eastman in the Democratic primary. Ashford previously ran for the district in the 1994 Republican primary. He was elected in 2014 as a Democrat. Ashford served in the nonpartisan Nebraska Unicameral legislature from 1987 to 1995 and again from 2007 to 2015. In 2011, he announced having changed his registration from Republican to independent.

Bacon, Eastman, and Tyler Schaeffer (L) are running for the 2nd District this year. Eastman defeated Ann Ashford, wife of Brad, in the 2020 Democratic primary.

State Sen. John McCollister (R) endorsed Eastman on October 9. McCollister has been critical of President Donald Trump and said Bacon had voted in favor of the president’s policies more than 90% of the time. He said Bacon was not independent and that Eastman wouldn’t “buckle under any pressure from the Democrat Party.”

On October 7, Roll Call named Bacon the most vulnerable House member of the 2020 election cycle, citing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s 7-point lead among district voters in a recent poll and spending by national Democrats. As of October 8, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the National Republican Campaign Committee had each spent $1.2 million in the 2nd District.

Biden endorsed Eastman in the race.

In 2018, Bacon defeated Eastman 51% to 49%. Bacon won the 2016 election against Ashford 49% to 48%.

Additional reading: