TagRepublican primaries

Langworthy defeats Paladino in New York’s 23rd Congressional District Republican primary

Nicholas Langworthy defeated Carl Paladino in New York’s 23rd Congressional District Republican primary on August 23, 2022. 

The Buffalo News’ Robert J. McCarthy said Langworthy and Paladino’s presence in the primary “[was] expected to result in a lively race, pitting against each other two well-known conservatives and allies of former President Donald Trump in an overwhelmingly Republican and pro-Trump district.”

Langworthy is the chairman of the New York Republican Party. He also worked as an executive committee member for Donald Trump’s (R) 2016 presidential transition. Langworthy received endorsements from the House Conservatives Fund and its chairman, Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.). Banks said, “Nick is a true conservative who will be on the front lines fighting back against the radical policies of Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden. Nick will put American workers and families first and he is ready to hit the ground running on Day One.”

The Elmira Star-Gazette’s Chris Potter wrote that the district’s “new borders [after redistricting] include Allegany, Steuben, Chemung, Schuyler, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties, plus a large part of Erie County.” According to data from Daily Kos, 58% of New York’s new 23rd District population came from the old 23rd District, 36% came from the old 27th District, and 6% came from the old 26th District.

Harriet Hageman defeats Liz Cheney in the Republican primary for Wyoming’s At-large Congressional District

Harriet Hageman defeated Liz Cheney, Anthony Bouchard, Robyn Belinskey, and Denton Knapp in the Republican primary for Wyoming’s At-large Congressional District on August 16, 2022. According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Cheney, who was first elected to represent this district in 2016, Bouchard, and Hageman led the primary field in fundraising heading into Election Day.

Cheney voted to impeach President Donald Trump (R) on Jan. 13, 2021, for incitement of insurrection in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. She also voted to support the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. Cheney said, “I will do everything I can to make sure the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office…We have seen the danger that he continues to provoke with his language…We have seen his lack of commitment and dedication to the Constitution.”

In response, the Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of Wyoming voted to censure Cheney. Cheney was also removed from her leadership position as GOP Conference Chairwoman in the U.S. House.

Cheney received 73.5% and 67.2% of the vote in the 2020 and 2018 Republican primaries, respectively. A Wyoming Public Media poll conducted by the University of Wyoming from July and August of 2022 showed Hageman leading with 57% of likely voters, compared to 28% for Cheney and 2% for Bouchard. Ten percent of respondents remained undecided.

Cheney said she is “honored to represent the people of Wyoming and proud of my strong conservative record. I look forward to an extended public debate about the importance of the rule of law…It is tragic that some in this race have sacrificed those principles, and their duty to the people of Wyoming, out of fear and in favor of loyalty to a former president…” Cheney was endorsed by former President George W. Bush (R), U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney (R), and U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R). Heading into the week of the election, the FEC reported that Cheney raised more than $15 million.

Hageman founded the Wyoming Conservation Alliance and has worked as an attorney and legal consultant. Former President Trump endorsed Hageman on Sep. 13, 2021. Hageman said she is running because “Wyoming is entitled to a representative in Congress who remembers who sent her there and remembers what their wishes are…Liz Cheney is doing neither, and I will do both.” Hageman worked for Cheney’s unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign in 2014 and said that she is challenging Cheney because of Cheney’s focus on the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. In addition to former President Trump, Hageman also received endorsements from over 100 Republican members of the U.S. House. Heading into the week of the election, Hageman raised nearly $4.5 million for this primary.

Bouchard served as a Wyoming state senator from 2016 to 2022, representing the state’s 6th district. He founded the Wyoming Gun Owners, an organization that says it is dedicated to “defending and advancing the 2nd Amendment rights of all law-abiding citizens in the state of Wyoming.”

Bouchard called Cheney out of touch with Wyoming voters for voting to impeach President Trump. Bouchard said, “Wyoming was President Trump’s best state both times he ran…That’s because Wyoming voters are strong conservatives who want our leaders to stand up for America, defend our freedoms, fight for our way of life and always put working people first as President Trump did.” Bouchard was endorsed by conservative activist Brent Bozell. Heading into the week of the election, Bouchard raised more than $600,000 for this primary.

Other candidates on the ballot included Robyn Belinskey and Denton Knapp. Before the primary, the Cook Political Report, Sabato’s Crystal Ball, and Inside Elections all rated Wyoming’s At-Large Congressional District as a solid/safe Republican seat.

Tim Michels wins Republican nomination for Wisconsin governor

Tim Michels defeated Adam Fischer, Rebecca Kleefisch, and Timothy Ramthun in Wisconsin’s Republican gubernatorial primary on August 9, 2022. Based on unofficial results, Michels received 47.1% of the vote and Kleefisch received 42.5%. Kleefisch and Michels received the most media attention and endorsements. Governor Tony Evers (D) is running for re-election.

Michels co-owned a construction company and served in the United States Army for 12 years. Michels campaigned as a political outsider and said he would “drain the Madison swamp.” Former President Donald Trump (R) and former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) endorsed Michels. In his statement of support, Trump said, “Wisconsin needs a Governor who will Stop Inflation, Uphold the Rule of Law, strengthen our Borders and End the well-documented Fraud in our Elections. Tim Michels is the best candidate to deliver meaningful solutions to these problems, and he will produce jobs like no one else can even imagine.”

Kleefisch was lieutenant governor under Gov. Scott Walker (R) from 2011 to 2019. Before that, she was a journalist in the Milwaukee area and started a marketing company. Kleefisch ran on her experience in office during the Walker administration and said she would reimplement several policies discontinued under Gov. Evers. Walker, U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.), 58 members of the state legislature, former Vice President Mike Pence (R), former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley (R), and former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) endorsed Kleefisch.

In Wisconsin, gubernatorial candidates do not select their own running mates. The winner of the lieutenant gubernatorial primary is placed on the general election ballot alongside the winner of the gubernatorial primary. State Sen. Roger Roth won the lieutenant gubernatorial primary.

Heading into the general election, Wisconsin has a divided government. Gov. Evers is a Democrat, and Republicans control both chambers of the state legislature.

Primary watch: number of contested state legislative primaries is up 23% compared to 2020

There are 23% more contested state legislative primaries this year than in 2020, including 53% more Republican primaries and 8% more top-two/four primaries. Democratic primaries are down 10%.

These figures include elections in 39 states that account for 5,011 of 6,166 state legislative seats up for election this year (81%).

A primary is contested when there are more candidates running than available nominations, meaning at least one candidate must lose.

Since our last update on Aug. 1, we have added post-filing deadline data from Florida and Vermont. Overall, 11 states in this analysis have Democratic trifectas, 20 have Republican trifectas, and eight have divided governments.

Of the 39 states in this analysis, 36 are holding partisan primaries. Three states—California, Nebraska, and Washington—use top-two primaries.

The number of Democratic primaries has increased in 11 states, decreased in 21, and remains the same in three. The number of Republican primaries has increased in 31 states, decreased in four, and is unchanged in one. The table below shows partisan statistics for the three states with the largest increases and decreases so far.

In addition to a state’s political makeup and party activity, redistricting is another reason for an increase in primary competitiveness.

After redistricting, some states—like Arkansas—hold elections for every district, while in other years, fewer districts are up each cycle. This creates more opportunities for primaries to occur. Or, like in West Virginia, redistricting creates new districts and, by extension, more primary opportunities. Currently, the total number of possible primaries affected by these changes is up 3.0% compared to 2020.

For states like New Mexico and South Carolina, where only one chamber is up for election every two years, only those chambers holding elections in 2022 that also held elections in 2020 are included.

Ballotpedia will continue to update these figures as information becomes available. In addition to this analysis, Ballotpedia collects competitiveness statistics at all levels of government, available here. This data is calculated following candidate filing deadlines and readjusted at the time of the primary to account for any changes to candidate lists.

Kari Lake wins Republican primary for governor of Arizona

Kari Lake defeated Karrin Taylor Robson, Scott Neely, and Paola Tulliani-Zen in the Republican primary for governor of Arizona on Aug. 2, 2022. With 90% of the expected vote counted, Lake had received 47% of the vote, followed by Taylor Robson with 44%. 

Incumbent Gov. Doug Ducey (R) is term-limited. 

Heading into the primary, Lake and Taylor Robson led in endorsements, polls, and funding.

Lake, a former news anchor for Fox 10 News in Phoenix, said she was “running … on a platform of common sense conservatism dedicated to individual liberties, low taxes, limited regulation, and protecting Arizona’s great Western heritage.” Lake said, ” The ongoing border crisis is nothing less than a national security and humanitarian disaster.” She said, “After I take my hand off the Bible, we are going to issue a declaration of invasion. We are going to finish President Trump’s wall, and we are going to send our armed National Guard to the border and stop people from coming across.”

Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Lake, as did U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), U.S. Reps. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), the Conservative Political Action Coalition, and the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police.

Taylor Robson, a former member of the Arizona Board of Regents and founder of a land-use strategy firm, said, “We need a leader with a record of accomplishment, not a career talker with the teleprompter.” Taylor Robson said that border security would be her first priority and that she would “surge National Guard troops to the border, equip the Border Strike Force with the latest technology, and finish the wall.” She also said, “I am uniquely qualified to lead this state into the future and to secure and protect Arizona’s water. My experience includes decades managing land, water and other natural resource issues, as well as working with government at all levels.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence (R), Ducey, and former Arizona Govs. Jan Brewer (R) and John Fife Symington III (R) endorsed Taylor Robson, as did Arizona state Senate President Karen Fann (R), Americans for Prosperity, and the National Border Patrol Council. Former U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon (R) withdrew from the primary and endorsed Taylor Robson at the end of June.

Lake said she would not have certified the results of the 2020 presidential election. She said that President Joe Biden (D) “lost the election and he shouldn’t be in the White House.” Taylor Robson said, “Joe Biden may be the president, but the election wasn’t fair.”

Patrick Finerd, Carlos Roldan, and Alex Schatz ran as write-ins in the primary.

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs won the Democratic nomination on Aug. 2. Major independent observers rate the general election as a toss-up. Republicans have had trifecta control of Arizona state government since 2009.

Schweikert defeats Barnett and Norton in the Republican primary for Arizona’s 1st Congressional District

Incumbent David Schweikert defeated Josh Barnett and Elijah Norton in the Republican primary for Arizona’s 1st Congressional District on August 2, 2022. Schweikert and Norton led in fundraising and media attention throughout the race.

Schweikert was the incumbent in Arizona’s 6th Congressional District and ran in the 1st District due to redistricting. According to data from DailyKos, 75% of the redrawn 1st District, which covered parts of Phoenix and Scottsdale, came from areas Schweikert represented in the 6th District. U.S. Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D), the incumbent in the 1st District, ran in the 2nd District.

Schweikert served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 1991 to 1995 and as Maricopa County’s treasurer from 2004 to 2006 before being elected to represent the 6th District in 2010.

Schweikert highlighted his record on tax policy and economic issues, including voting for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Schweikert’s website said, “As a member of the Ways and Means committee responsible for tax policy, David took the lead in ensuring the historic tax cuts in 2017 became law.” Schweikert also focused on his opposition to vaccine mandates and President Joe Biden’s (D) immigration policies. Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Schweikert.

Norton, a Missouri native, is the founder and owner of Veritas Global Protection Services, a Phoenix-based car insurance company. Norton highlighted his business credentials, saying that, as an entrepreneur, he would bring a unique perspective to Congress. Norton also cited immigration as a top issue, saying he supported investing in technology to monitor the border and “establish[ing] a criminal database sharing system with Mexico.” In his responses to Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey, Norton said he intended to serve no more than eight years in Congress and would donate his congressional salary to charity.

At the time of the primary, three election forecasters rated the general election Lean Republican. According to Inside Elections’ Nathan Gonzales, the redrawn 1st district was slightly more competitive than the old 6th district. “[The 1st district] got a little more Democratic by the presidential numbers. Trump won the old district by 4 points, but Biden would have won the newly drawn District by a single point,” Gonzales said.

Gibbs defeats incumbent Meijer in Michigan’s 11th Congressional District Republican primary

John Gibbs defeated incumbent U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer in the Republican primary for Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District on August 2, 2022.

Meijer, first elected in 2020, was one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump (R) following the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Trump endorsed Gibbs in this primary.

In a Candidate Connection survey submitted to Ballotpedia, Gibbs said, “No one else has fought in Washington like I have under President Trump,” and that he would “[reduce] government largess and overreach which threatens civil rights, civil liberties and our way of life.” 

The primary received notable satellite spending in its final weeks, with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spending $449,854 on ads opposing Gibbs.

Meijer wrote that the ads were, instead, intended to boost support for Gibbs in the primary, calling the spending a “naked political [gambit] aimed at elevating the weaker Republican candidate ahead of the November … elections.”

Gibbs’ campaign did not respond to the DCCC ads but, following the primary, said money did not play a role in the race and that his victory “is an important lesson for the powers that be … to learn they’ve really got to respect what the people want.”

Gibbs will face Hillary Scholten (D) in the general election. Scholten ran against Meijer in 2020, receiving 47% of the vote. The 3rd District’s line changed during redistricting with Michigan Radio’s Nisa Khan and Emma Ruberg describing the district as becoming more Democratic-leaning as a result.

Meijer’s defeat—along with U.S. Rep. Andy Levin’s (D) in Michigan’s 11th District—brings the total number of U.S. House incumbents defeated in primaries to 11 for this cycle. Over the past decade, this is second only to 2012, the most recent post-redistricting cycle, when 13 incumbents lost in primaries.

Eli Crane wins Republican primary for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District

Eli Crane defeated six other candidates in the Republican primary for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District on Aug. 2. With 72% of the expected vote counted, Crane had received 34% of the vote, Walter Blackman had received 24%, and Mark DeLuzio had received 18%.

Heading into the primary, Crane and Blackman led in endorsements and individual campaign contributions.

Crane, a Navy veteran and small business owner, said he was “an America First candidate who is pro-life, pro-second amendment, and has the courage to take a stand against cancel culture and the radical left.” Crane said, “I’m running for Congress because America is in trouble. The week after 9/11, I volunteered for the SEAL Teams. I’m ready to head back into the fight.” Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Crane on July 22. The National Border Patrol Council, Green Beret PAC, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and Arizona Sens. Wendy Rogers (R) and Sonny Borrelli (R) also endorsed Crane.

Blackman, who was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2018, said he was the only candidate in the primary with the “values, experience, and commitment to public service necessary to take back [the Republican] majority[.]” Blackman said he would “continue [his] fight for border security, election integrity and against the culture war.” Blackman served in the U.S. Army for 21 years as a tank commander and sexual assault prevention specialist. After retiring from the Army, he founded a consulting firm. The Arizona Police Association, U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah), Arizona House Majority Leader Ben Toma (R), Majority Whip Leo Biasiucci (R), and Speaker Pro-Tempore Travis Grantham (R) endorsed Blackman.

Steven Krystofiak, John W. Moore, Andy Yates, and Ron Watkins also ran in the primary.

According to data from Daily Kos, after redistricting, 64% of the new 2nd District’s population came from the old 1st District, represented by Tom O’Halleran (D). Thirty-six percent came from the old 4th District, represented by Paul Gosar (R). O’Halleran ran unopposed in the Democratic primary for the 2nd District.

Major independent observers rate the general election as Likely Republican or Lean Republican.

Kobach wins Republican primary for Kansas attorney general

Kris Kobach defeated Tony Mattivi and Kellie Warren in the August 2, 2022, Republican primary for Kansas attorney general. The seat is open because incumbent Derek Schmidt (R) ran for governor.

Kobach served as the Kansas secretary of state from 2011 to 2019. Kobach ran unsuccessfully for Kansas governor in 2018, losing to Laura Kelly (D) in the general election. Kobach campaigned on creating a litigation team that would sue the Biden administration for what he describes as violating federal law. Kobach pointed to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s (R) lawsuits against the federal government as a model for Kansas: “My objective is for Kansas to stand side by side with Texas so that more lawsuits can be brought and people will see that there are two states leading the charge against the Biden administration.” In addition to creating a litigation team within the attorney general’s office, Kobach’s campaign website listed prosecuting voter fraud, restoring pro-life laws, removing fees on conceal carry licenses, and cracking down on scams as his top issues.

Mattivi is a retired U.S. assistant attorney. Mattivi ran on his experience as a prosecutor, saying voters should choose him because “you’ll have a choice and it’s a choice between the career prosecutor or the career politician. And I hope you agree with me that our chief law enforcement official ought to be a law enforcement official.” Mattivi said his focus as attorney general would be fighting crime: “I’m not going to sit in my office thinking about creative ways to sue the federal government because there are other things that are more important to our state like keeping us safe.” He listed fighting government overreach, backing law enforcement, protecting the Constitution, and enforcing the law as his top issues.

Warren is a member of the Kansas Senate, a position to which she was first elected in 2020. In 2018, she was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives. Warren said voters should choose her because of her experience in the legislature: “With me, you have the record you can depend on of a battle-tested conservative who fights and wins. I win tough elections. I win policy battles that you care about. And I win in the courtroom as well. That’s what we need in our next attorney general.” Warren said she has a track record of defeating Democrats in elections, and has referenced Kobach’s loss to Gov. Kelly (D) in 2018 as a warning to voters: “Losing elections has consequences. We are paying a high price in Kansas for having lost in 2018. We have to make sure that doesn’t happen again.” Warren listed defending the Constitution, protecting the Second Amendment, and limiting government overreach as top issues.

Kobach, Mattivi, and Warren expressed support for the Kansas No State Constitutional Right to Abortion and Legislative Power to Regulate Abortion Amendment, a legislatively referred constitutional amendment on the ballot on August 2, 2022. Kansans rejected the amendment 58.78% to 41.22%. The measure would have amended the Kansas Constitution to state that nothing in the state constitution creates a right to abortion or requires government funding for abortion and that the state legislature has the authority to pass laws regarding abortion.

Dixon wins Michigan’s Republican gubernatorial primary

Tudor Dixon defeated seven other candidates—four on the ballot and three write-ins—in Michigan’s Republican gubernatorial primary on Aug. 2, 2022.

Dixon is a former anchor for America’s Voice News. During the primary, Dixon called herself “the visionary and clear policy leader in the Republican field,” saying she would “rebuild and grow the economy, stop the indoctrination of our school children, … [and] apply common-sense reforms to Michigan’s elections.”

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Right to Life Michigan, and former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Dixon in the primary.

Dixon will face incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in the November general election. Whitmer was first elected governor in 2018, receiving 53% of the vote. Joe Biden (D) won Michigan during the 2020 presidential election, receiving 51% of the vote to Trump’s 48%.

As of Aug. 2, three independent forecasters rated the general election as Lean or Tilt Democratic.