TagRepublican primaries

McGrane wins May 17 Republican Party primary for Idaho Secretary of State

Phil McGrane defeated Dorothy Moon and Mary Souza in the May 17 Republican Party primary for Idaho Secretary of State. Incumbent Lawerence Denney(R), who was first elected in 2014, did not file for re-election.

McGrane is the Ada County Clerk, a position to which he was first elected in 2018. On his campaign website, McGrane said, “It is now more important than ever to protect Idaho’s elections from the influence of D.C. and beyond. Since 2005, I have been involved with almost every aspect of Idaho elections; from counting ballots to training counties. I know our election system from the inside out and will bring my experience as your next Republican Secretary of State.”

Moon has represented District 8B in the Idaho House of Representatives since 2016. In an interview with Idaho Dispatch, Moon said she was running for secretary of state because “I knew that if we do not have fair elections in this state, we’re done—the entire country is done. We’ll lose our republic. To me this is the biggest issue we’re dealing with as Idaho, and as the country. On her campaign website, Moon said: “I believe my legislative work, education career, business acumen and life experiences have uniquely qualified me to serve Idaho as your next Secretary of State. And no one can question my commitment to conservative principles.” She listed her top issues as election integrity, business services, and endowment lands.

Souza is a member of the Idaho State Senate since 2014, representing District 4. She said: “In the wake of last year’s tumultuous election, it’s clear that to preserve voters’ faith and trust in our democratic process, we must safeguard election integrity. That goal will be my lodestar as Idaho’s Secretary of State.” On her campaign website, she listed three issues: Securing our Elections, Serving Future Generations, and Supporting our Economy.

The Idaho Secretary of State is responsible for running the state’s elections, licensing businesses, trademarks, notaries and other professions and various other duties involving the maintenance and publication of official documents. Republicans have held Idaho’s secretary of state office since 1967.

Idaho is one of 27 states holding secretary of state elections in 2022.



Mastriano wins the Republican primary for Governor of Pennsylvania

Doug Mastriano defeated Lou Barletta, Bill McSwain, Dave White, and five other candidates to win the May 17, 2022, Republican primary for Governor of Pennsylvania. Incumbent Tom Wolf (D) was term-limited.

The primary featured the most candidates in a Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial primary since at least 1978.

The state Republican Party did not endorse a candidate this year.

Mastriano, a U.S. Army veteran and state representative, focused on his opposition to Covid-19 measures and said he would defend election integrity. Mastriano said fraud was prevalent in the 2020 election and criticized McSwain for not supporting Mastriano’s efforts to investigate the results of the election. On February 15, 2022, the U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol breach subpoenaed Mastriano, citing his presence outside the Capitol on the day of the breach and statements he made relating to the selection of delegates to the Electoral College. On May 14, 2022, former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Mastriano.

Barletta represented Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional District from 2011 to 2019 and served as mayor of Hazleton from 2000 to 2010. Barletta campaigned on his public service, saying, “I actually have a record that people can look at, so you won’t have to guess what I’ll do tomorrow. You can see what I did yesterday.” At an April 27 debate, Barletta criticized McSwain for having been a registered Democrat. In May 2022, Jake Corman III and Melissa Hart withdrew from the race and endorsed Barletta. Corman’s and Hart’s names remained on the May primary ballot because the deadline to withdraw had already passed. 

McSwain served in the U.S. Marine Corps and worked as a private attorney before former President Trump appointed him U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. McSwain emphasized his work as a U.S. Attorney, saying, “What the other candidates in this race know about crime, they read in the newspaper. I’m the only one who has actually done something about it.” McSwain criticized Mastriano for voting for Act 77, a law that expanded vote-by-mail in Pennsylvania, and accused Barletta of supporting higher gas taxes. McSwain criticized White for receiving campaign contributions from union political action committees.

White served on the Delaware County Council and worked as a steamfitter before founding a mechanical contractors company. White said his labor background would help him attract former Democratic blue-collar voters to the GOP. “That’s what differentiates me from the other candidates, is that I’m the only one that’s capable of doing that,” White said. White highlighted a statement from Trump in which the former president told voters not to support McSwain.

Also running in the primary were Joe Gale, Charlie Gerow, and Nche Zama.

Carrie DelRosso won the Republican primary for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania. DelRosso defeated John Brown, Jeff Coleman, Teddy Daniels, Russell Diamond, Chris Frye, James Jones, Rick Saccone, and Clarice Schillinger. Candidates for governor and lieutenant governor in Pennsylvania run in separate primaries for their party’s nomination and then form a joint ticket.



Sandy Smith wins North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District Republican primary

Sandy Smith defeated Sandy Roberson and six other candidates in the Republican Party primary for North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District on May 17, 2022. Incumbent G.K. Butterfield (D) did not run for re-election

Smith was the Republican nominee for the district’s 2020 general election, winning the Republican primary with 77.3% of the vote. She lost Butterfield in the general election, receiving 45.8% of the vote to Butterfield’s 54.2%. “The Democrats are scared of me,” Smith said. “I have fulfilled my first campaign promise of 2020 and that was to send G.K. Butterfield packing…If I had not done so well he would be still running today.” Smith worked as a business executive and farmer. “I’m the America First fighter and I am going to go to Washington and fight for you,” Smith said.

Roberson was elected Mayor of Rocky Mount, North Carolina in 2019. He also served as managing partner of Health View Capital Partners. Roberson said he “made a career of getting things done, delivering results, meeting budgets, and holding others accountable” and would “prioritize fiscal responsibility, defend our Second Amendment rights, and protect the sanctity of life” and “ensure the needs of American citizens always come first and empower law enforcement to do their job.”

Will Aiken, Brad Murphy, Ernest Reeves, Brent Roberson, Billy Strickland, and Henry Williams also ran in the Republican primary.

Butterfield represented the district since winning the 2004 general election, defeating Greg Dority (R) 64-36%. The Cook Political Report rated the general election as Likely Democratic.



Primary will narrow field to two candidates in California’s 27th Congressional District

Seven candidates are running in the top-two primary for California’s 27th Congressional District on June 7, 2022. Incumbent Mike Garcia (R), John Quaye Quartey (D), and Christy Smith (D) have received the most media attention.

Garcia defeated Smith in the 2020 general election by 333 votes, making it the third-closest U.S. House race that year. Brianna Lee of LAist said that this year’s race should be more competitive because redistricting “jettisoned the district’s most conservative outpost in Simi Valley, giving Democratic voters even more of an edge.” The main story to watch in the primary election, Lee said, was “who [Democrats] trust most to take on Garcia during what promises to be a tough election year.”

Garcia was first elected to the U.S. House in May 2020 when he won a special election to succeed Katie Hill (D). Garcia served in the U.S. Navy as a pilot for 20 years and worked for Raytheon after his retirement. Garcia’s website lists the economy, jobs, taxes, and inflation as his key campaign issues. The Republican Party of California endorsed Garcia.

Quartey served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy and founded Safiyah Partners, an entrepreneurial investment firm, after his retirement. Quartey cited the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, as the reason he is running for office and his website highlights expanding access to the ballot box, decreasing the income inequality gap, and gun safety as key issues. Three U.S. Reps. from California—Barbara Lee, Katie Porter, and Eric Swalwell—endorsed Quartey.

Smith served in the California State Assembly from 2018 to 2020. Smith worked as an analyst at the U.S. Department of Education and founded the Valencia Valley Technological Education Foundation. Smith’s campaign website highlights expanding access to healthcare, improving the quality of public education, and codifying Roe v. Wade as key campaign issues. Smith’s endorsements include the California Democratic Party, the California Federation of Teachers, four members of the U.S. House, 22 members of the California State Legislature, and seven state elected officials.

The two candidates to receive the most votes (regardless of party) will run in the district’s general election on November 8, 2022. Three independent election forecasters rated the general election as Toss-up. The district’s representation has shifted party hands multiple times in the past decade, from Stephen Knight (R) to Hill (D) to Garcia (R).

Also running in the primary are Ruth Luevanos (D), Mark Pierce (R), David Rudnick (R), and Fepbrina Keivaulqe Autiameineire (I).



Bo Hines wins the Republican primary for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District

Bo Hines defeated DeVan Barbour IV, Kelly Daughtry, Renee Ellmers, Kent Keirsey, and three other candidates in the primary for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District on May 17, 2022. Incumbent Rep. Ted Budd (R) ran for the U.S. Senate and did not seek re-election.

Hines, a former college football player for North Carolina State University, interned for Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) and U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.). Hines said there was a need for younger voices in Congress. In his responses to Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey, Hines criticized incumbency and said he would sign a pledge not to serve more than four consecutive terms. “I’m a fresh new voice that will work to refurbish the Republican party,” he wrote. Former President Donald Trump (R), the Club for Growth, and Reps. Matt Gaetz (R), Madison Cawthorn (R), and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R) endorsed Hines.

The boundaries of North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District changed as a result of redistricting, with the new district including all of Johnston County as well as parts of Harnett, Wake, and Wayne counties. According to FiveThirtyEight, the old district map had an R+38 partisan lean, while the new map had an R+3 partisan lean.

WRAL’s Travis Fain said, “The district is one of the most competitive between Republicans and Democrats in North Carolina, based on past election results.” At the time of the primary, three independent election forecasters considered the general election a Toss-up.

Also running in the primary were Jessica Morel, Chad Slotta, and Kevin Alan Wolff.

If no candidate had won more than 30% of the primary vote, a runoff would have been held on July 26.

Hines will face Wiley Nickel (D) in the general election.



Budd wins the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in North Carolina

Ted Budd defeated Pat McCrory, Mark Walker, and eleven other candidates in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in North Carolina on May 17, 2022. Incumbent Richard Burr (R) did not run for re-election.

The primary was among the first U.S. Senate races in which former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed a candidate. Intelligencer’s Ed Kilgore wrote, “[North Carolina is] a particularly big deal for Trump, whose midterm strategy is to show his clout in both primary and general-election races.”

Budd, the owner of a gun range and store in Rural Hall, has represented North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District since 2017. Trump endorsed Budd in June 2021, and Budd focused on his support for Trump and Trump’s record. Budd’s website said, “Ted was elected to Congress along with President Donald Trump in 2016 and has established a strong, conservative record supporting efforts to secure our borders and stand up for America First policies.”

McCrory was governor from 2013 to 2017. Before that, McCrory was the mayor of Charlotte from 1995 to 2009. McCrory focused on economic issues and highlighted his record as governor. McCrory’s website said he “turned around North Carolina’s economy from the fourth highest unemployment rate in the country to one of the highest for job growth.”

Walker represented North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District from 2015 to 2021 and was a pastor for 16 years before that. Walker said he was a conservative warrior and a bridge-builder. Walker said, “[O]ut of 1,000 elected Republicans in North Carolina, I’m the only one to speak or give a commencement address at one of our state’s HBCU’s, and I’m the only Republican in all of Congress to win the United Negro College President’s Award.”

McCrory and Walker criticized Budd for not participating in a number of public events, including several debates. Jordan Shaw, a strategist for McCrory, said, “US Senators don’t get to hide from the voters, run from the media, avoid debates, and refuse to answer tough questions.” Walker said, “[Budd] does not want to have to be on the same stage with me because it creates a contrast.”

Budd’s campaign called McCrory a career politician and criticized McCrory’s electoral performance.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R), U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R), Lt. Governor Mark Robinson (R), and the Club for Growth endorsed Budd. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R), U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R), and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R) endorsed Walker. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) endorsed McCrory.

If no candidate had won more than 30% of the primary vote, a runoff would have taken place on July 26.

As of May 2022, three independent election forecasters considered the general election as Lean Republican.

Also running in the primary were Jennifer Banwart, Lee Brian, Leonard Bryant, Drew Bulecza, Marjorie K. Eastman, David Flaherty, Benjamin Griffiths, Kenneth Harper Jr., Charles Moss, Lichia Sibhatu and Debora Tshiovo.



Republican primary for Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seat likely headed to recount

Seven candidates ran in the Republican primary election for U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania on May 17, 2022. Senator Pat Toomey (R) did not run for re-election. 

As of 8:00 a.m. EDT on May 18, 2022, the race remained too close to call. Based on unofficial returns with 95% of precincts reporting, Mehmet Oz led with 31.2% of the vote, while David McCormick received 31.1%, and Kathy Barnette received 24.8%. Under state law, any vote margin within 0.5% would be subject to an automatic recount. An automatic recount in this race must be ordered by May 26, begin by June 1, and be completed by June 7. 

Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Oz in April. On May 12, Trump issued a statement opposing Barnette. “Barnette will never be able to win the General Election against the Radical Left Democrats. She has many things in her past which have not been properly explained or vetted,” he said. In response to Trump’s statement, Barnette said, “It sounds like the president knows what’s going to happen on next Tuesday . . . We now have the opportunity where the people are making their voices heard on what kind of leadership they want — and they don’t want to be spoon-fed two globalists, as many influencers within the Republican Party are trying to sell us, they want a real conservative.”

After serving in the United States Army Reserve, Barnette worked as a political commentator and in corporate finance. Barnette identified herself as an America First candidate, a term often associated with the platform of Trump and candidates who say they support Trump’s agenda. Barnette also campaigned on limiting her service in the U.S. Senate to two terms and a pledge that neither she nor her husband would own or trade individual stocks.

McCormick was the CEO of Bridgewater Associates, an investment management firm, from 2017 to January 2022. Before joining Bridgewater in 2009, he served as Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security and as Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs in the George W. Bush (R) administration. McCormick graduated from West Point and served in the United States Army during the Gulf War. McCormick’s campaign focused on economic issues and the relationship between the United States and China.

Oz is an author and former surgeon. He hosted The Dr. Oz Show from 2009 to January 2022 and appeared as a regular guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Oz received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, and his medical and business degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. Oz’s campaign portrayed him as a political outsider, with a campaign ad likening him to former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Trump, saying they each started in Hollywood before going to Washington to fight the establishment. Oz used his background in medicine to highlight disagreements with how the Biden administration handled the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time of the primary election, three independent race forecasters rated the general election either Toss-up or Tilt Republican. President Joe Biden (D) won the state by 1.2 percentage points in the 2020 presidential election. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D) won re-election by 13 percentage points in 2018. Toomey won re-election in 2016 by 1.5 percentage points.

Also running in the primary were Jeff Bartos, George Bochetto, Sean Gale, and Carla Sands.



Little wins Republican primary for governor of Idaho

Incumbent Gov. Brad Little defeated seven other candidates in the Republican primary for governor of Idaho on May 17, 2022. With over 95% of precincts reporting, Little had received 53% of the vote to Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin’s 32%.

According to the Idaho Press‘s Betsy Russell, an incumbent Idaho governor had not been challenged in a primary by the lieutenant governor since 1938. Idaho is one of 17 states where the lieutenant governor is nominated in a separate primary and elected in a separate general election from the governor.

Steven Bradshaw, Ben Cannady, Ed Humphreys, Ashley Jackson, Lisa Marie, and Cody Usabel also ran in the primary.

Little ran on his record, saying that his first term was “marked by historic tax relief, unparalleled red tape reduction, extraordinary economic growth, and unprecedented investments in education.” He said, “During my first term, together, we achieved billions in historic tax relief, record investments in transportation, and continued our strong support for education in Idaho.”

McGeachin said she ran for governor “to restore the principles that have Made Idaho Great — individual liberty, state sovereignty, and traditional conservative values.” Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed McGeachin in November 2021. McGeachin said, “My campaign has been endorsed by President Trump because I stand for America First policies including individual liberty, election integrity, a strong and secure border, school choice, energy independence, reducing taxes and regulations, and supporting American businesses.”

Major independent observers rate the general election as Solid or Safe Republican. Republicans have had trifecta control of Idaho state government since 1995.



Madison Cawthorn loses re-election bid in NC-11 to state Sen. Chuck Edwards

State Sen. Chuck Edwards won the May 17 Republican primary for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District. Eight candidates were on the ballot. Based on unofficial returns, Edwards received 33.4% of the vote while incumbent Madison Cawthorn received 31.9% of the vote.

Cawthorn is the third U.S. Representative to lose a primary this year. Rep. David McKinley (R-W.V.) lost a Republican primary to Rep. Alexander Mooney after the two ran in the same district following redistricting, while Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) remained on the ballot after he unofficially withdrew from his re-election race.

Cawthorn was first elected to Congress in 2020. Cawthorn’s campaign website identified him as an America First candidate, a term often associated with the platform of former President Donald Trump (R) and candidates who say they support Trump’s agenda. Cawthorn said that groups from across the political spectrum want to defeat him: “the radical left, the establishment, and the media want to take me down . . . I won’t stop fighting. I won’t bow to the mob. They want to silence the America First movement. I’m not going anywhere.”

Edwards was first elected to the North Carolina State Senate in 2016. Edwards told Jewish Insider that although he supported Cawthorn and wanted him to succeed, Edwards “feel[s] that Western North Carolina can do better.” Edwards accused Cawthorn of increasing political tensions and criticized Cawthorn for suggesting supporters threaten House members to overturn the 2020 election results. Edwards contrasted his legislative experience to Cawthorn’s, highlighting in particular sponsorship of a bill that banned sanctuary cities in North Carolina and working on the state’s balanced budget.

Trump endorsed Cawthorn for re-election on March 31, 2021. Following Cawthorn’s claims in late March 2022 that lawmakers in Washington use cocaine and hold orgies, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) endorsed Edwards. Tillis said Cawthorn “has fallen well short of the most basic standards Western North Carolina expects from their representatives.” Cawthorn, who said his claims were exaggerated, also drew criticism from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for the remarks.

Edwards is expected to win the Nov. 8 general election. At the time of the primary election, three independent race forecasters rated the general election either Safe Republican or Solid Republican. At the time of the primary, the 11th Congressional District contained all or parts of 15 counties in western North Carolina, including the city of Asheville.

Also running in the primary were Matthew Burril, Rod Honeycutt, Wendy Nevarez, Bruce O’Connell, Kristie Sluder, and Michele Woodhouse.



Four candidates are running in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Arkansas

Four candidates — Jake Bequette, Heath Loftis, Jan Morgan, and incumbent John Boozman — are running in the Republican primary on May 24, 2022, for U.S. Senate in Arkansas. Boozman, Bequette, and Morgan have led in polling and fundraising.

In Arkansas, a primary candidate must win more than 50% of the votes cast in order to win the election. If no candidate meets that threshold, a runoff will be held between the top two vote-getters on June 21.

Roby Brock, editor-in-chief of Talk Business & Politics, an Arkansas news website, said, “The key question in the U.S. Senate GOP primary is whether two-term U.S. Senator John Boozman can avoid a runoff election with a decidedly more conservative opponent. While our survey shows Boozman coming up just short of the magic 50% to avoid a costly and time-consuming contest, a chunk of probable GOP primary voters remain undecided.”

Boozman, a former optometrist, was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010. Boozman has the endorsements of former President Donald Trump (R), U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and former White House Press Secretary and 2022 Arkansas gubernatorial candidate Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R). Boozman has highlighted Trump’s endorsement and has focused on his legislative record, saying, “[President Trump and I] rebuilt our military, stood up for our veterans, helped our farmers through challenging and unprecedented times, confirmed three conservative Justices to the Supreme Court and completely reshaped the judiciary.”

Bequette is a U.S. Army veteran and a former football player from Little Rock. Bequette cited immigration and law enforcement as top issues and has highlighted his military service and time as a player for the Arkansas Razorbacks and the New England Patriots. Bequette described himself as a political outsider, saying, “I’m no squish career politician. I’m a former all-SEC Razorback and an army veteran who left the NFL and volunteered for the 101st Airborne in Iraq.” Reps. Madison Cawthorn (R) and Burgess Owens (R) have endorsed Bequette.

Morgan is a former journalist and gubernatorial candidate who owns a firearms training facility in Hot Springs. Morgan has focused on immigration and election administration and has said she supports term limits. Morgan described herself as a conservative fighter, saying, “America needs aggressive fighters in D.C. who will get in the ring and boldly take on our enemies rather than stand on the sidelines.” Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has endorsed Morgan.

Bequette and Morgan have called Boozman a RINO (Republican in Name Only) and have criticized him for not challenging the results of the 2020 presidential election. Bequette has also criticized Boozman for not committing to a debate. Boozman’s campaign has responded by highlighting Trump’s endorsement and Boozman’s record. In one of Boozman’s campaign ads, the narrator says, “[Boozman] is a workhorse, not a show pony.” It continues, “Others have words; Boozman does the work.”

As of May 2022, groups not directly affiliated with any of the candidates had spent a total of $2,787,346 in the race, the second-largest amount of satellite spending for a primary where a GOP incumbent is running for re-election, according to data from Open Secrets. The Arkansas Patriots Fund has spent $1,471,182 in support of Bequette, the most of any group. The group received a $1M donation from businessman Richard Uihlein last year, according to data from the FEC. Several different groups have spent a combined total of $1,163,214 in support of Boozman.

As of May 2022, three independent election forecasters considered the general election as Solid Republican.