Former New Jersey Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli defeated Philip Rizzo, Hirsh Singh, and Brian Levine for the Republican nomination in New Jersey’s gubernatorial election. Ciattarelli received 49.5% of the vote, followed by Rizzo with 25.8%, Singh with 21.5%, and Levine with 3.3%.
Ciattarelli will face Gov. Phil Murphy (D) in the general election on November 2, along with Gregg Mele (L), Joanna Kuniansky (Socialist Workers), Justin Maldonado (I), and David Winkler (I).
The general election will determine New Jersey’s trifecta status for the next four years. A Murphy victory would maintain Democratic trifecta control, while a Ciattarelli victory would create a divided government. Election forecasters expect the Democratic party to maintain control of the state legislature.
As of June 1, 2021, two of the three major race rating outlets rated the general election as Solid Democratic and the third rated it as Likely Democratic, but Republicans have had success in the state’s gubernatorial races in the recent past. Between 1992 and 2021, Republicans held the governorship for 16 years and Democrats held the governorship for 14 years.
Heading into the 2021 election, the last Democratic governor to win re-election was Brendan Byrne in 1977. Since then, two sitting Democratic governors, Jim Florio (1993) and Jon Corzine (2009), lost re-election to Republican challengers.
Two states—New Jersey and Virginia—are holding state legislative elections this year. Democratic and Republican voters in each state will be selecting nominees for these races on June 8.
In New Jersey, all 120 state legislative seats are up for election: 80 in the General Assembly and 40 in the state Senate.
Ninety percent of incumbents, or 108 legislators, are running for re-election, down from 2019 when 95% of incumbents ran for re-election.
A majority of incumbents running for re-election in 2021, 85 legislators, will not face a primary and will advance directly to the general election. The remaining 23—nine Democrats and 14 Republicans—face contested primaries. This is the lowest share of incumbents facing contested primaries in New Jersey since 2015.
Former Assm. Joe Howarth (R), who lost a primary in 2019, is the only state legislative incumbent to lose a primary in New Jersey since 2011.
Democrats have held majorities in both chambers of the New Jersey State Legislature since 2003 and currently hold a Democratic trifecta alongside incumbent Gov. Phil Murphy (D), who is also running for re-election in 2021.
In Virginia, all 100 seats in the House of Delegates are up for election.
Ninety-four percent of incumbents filed to run for re-election to the House in 2021, more than 2019 (84%) and 2017 (93%). Of the six incumbents not seeking re-election, one is a Democrat and five are Republicans.
Not all state legislative nominees in Virginia are chosen through a primary. District Democratic and Republican parties may choose to hold a nominating convention rather than a primary to pick their candidates. In 2021, at least 22 state legislative district parties—five Democratic and 17 Republican—chose conventions as their selection method.
In 2019, one House incumbent—Del. Robert Thomas Jr. (R)—lost in a primary election. Thomas’ defeat was the first for a House incumbent in Virginia since 2015 when Mark Berg (R) and Johnny Joannau (D) lost in their respective primaries.
This is the first state legislative election cycle in Virginia since Democrats won a majority in the House of Delegates. In 2019, Democrats won majorities in both the state House and Senate, creating a Democratic trifecta in Virginia for the first time since 1994. The chart below shows the change in partisan control of the House of Delegates since 2011.
To learn more about these state legislative elections, use the links below:
The Republican Party of Virginia selected Glenn Youngkin as its nominee for governor in an unassembled convention on May 8. Youngkin received 55% of the delegate vote in the sixth and final round of vote-counting, which ended on May 10.
Incumbent Ralph Northam (D) is unable to seek re-election due to term limits, leaving the position open.
Youngkin is the former president of The Carlyle Group, a global investment firm. He defeated six other candidates, including business owner Pete Snyder, state Sen. Amanda Chase, and former House Speaker Kirk Cox. Peter Doran, Octavia Johnson, and Sergio de la Pena also ran in the convention. The Republican Party chose to use ranked-choice voting in 2021. Results from each round of the vote-counting are shown below:
Youngkin submitted a Candidate Connection survey to Ballotpedia ahead of the convention. In it, he said, “We need a governor with real-world experience who can create jobs, keep businesses from leaving, put an open-for-business sign on Virginia, and create a rip-roaring economy that lifts all Virginians.”
Youngkin led the field of Republican candidates in fundraising. According to campaign finance reports, he raised $7.7 million as of March 31. Youngkin was also the largest target of satellite spending during the convention. Two organizations, Patriot Leadership Trust and Virginia Cornerstone PAC, spent a combined total of roughly $459,000 on advertisements and mailers opposing his candidacy.
The general election for Governor of Virginia will be held on Nov. 2, 2021. Youngkin will face the winner of the June 8 Democratic primary and independent candidates Princess Blanding, Paul Davis, and Brad Froman.
The last Republican to win the governorship in Virginia was Bob McDonnell (R), elected in 2009. In 2019, Democrats won majorities in both the state House and Senate, creating a Democratic trifecta in the state for the first time since 1994.
To learn more about the Republican convention for Governor of Virginia, click here.
Four Republican candidates filed to run for governor of New Jersey ahead of the April 5 filing deadline. Jack Ciattarelli, Brian Levine, Philip Rizzo, and Hirsh Singh will compete in the June 8 primary election for their party’s nomination. The general election will take place on Nov. 2.
Ciattarelli and Singh both ran for governor in 2017. Kim Guadagno, the Republican nominee, received 47% of the vote in the Republican primary. Ciattarelli received 31% and Singh received 10% of the vote.
Governor Phil Murphy (D) faces challenger Roger Bacon in the Democratic primary. Murphy won a six-way Democratic primary with 48% of the vote in 2017. This is Bacon’s second run for governor. In 2009, he ran in a four-way primary against then-Gov. Jon Corzine (D) and received 6% of the vote.
New Jersey is currently a Democratic trifecta, with a Democratic governor and Democratic majorities in both chambers of the state legislature. New Jersey was last under divided government in 2017, when Democrats controlled the legislature and Chris Christie (R) was governor.
On August 4, 12 of the 28 Republican state legislative incumbents facing primary challenges in Kansas lost their primaries. These results could alter the makeup of the Republican caucus in 2021.
Local media sources like The Wichita Eagle, Shawnee Mission Post, and The Kansas City Star identified nine incumbents whose primaries and defeats were representative of an intra-party divide over issues including Medicaid expansion and abortion laws.
Michael Ryan wrote in The Kansas City Star, “A good number of conservatives absolutely washed over their more moderate state legislative opponents in Tuesday’s Republican primary election.”
Jonathan Shorman wrote in The Wichita Eagle, “The influence of Kansas Republican moderates has waxed and waned. Gov. Sam Brownback [(R)] helped oust them in 2012. Voters then swept them back into office in 2016 to end his signature income tax cuts and stabilize the budget.” Shorman continued, “But with last week’s primary losses, their ranks have been depleted to levels not seen for years.”
The following six state senators lost Republican primaries this year. All were first elected in 2016, the year of the most recent state senate elections. Sens. John Skubal, Bruce Givens, Randall Hardy, and Edward Berger defeated Republican incumbents in primaries themselves that year.
• District 11: Sen. John Skubal, lost to Kellie Warren 64-36%
• District 14: Sen. Bruce Givens, lost to Michael Fagg 54-46%
• District 15: Sen. Dan Goddard, lost to Virgil Peck, Jr. 50.1-49.9%
• District 24: Sen. Randall Hardy, lost to J.R. Claeys 63-37%
• District 33: Sen. Mary Jo Taylor, lost to Alicia Straub 60-40%
• District 34: Sen. Edward Berger, lost to Mark Steffen 57.5%-42.5%
The following three state representatives lost Republican primaries this year.
• District 20: Rep. Jan Kessinger, lost to Jane Dirks 57-43%
• District 42: Rep. Jim Karleskint, lost to Lance Neelly 52-48%
• District 71: Rep. Diana Dierks, lost to Steven Howe 62-38%
Local media outlets identified the No Right to Abortion in Constitution Amendment as a noteworthy issue in the primaries featuring Sen. Skubal and Rep. Kessinger. If passed, the measure would have placed a legislatively referred constitutional amendment on the August 4 ballot stating that there is no right to abortion or public funding for abortions in the Kansas Constitution.
A two-thirds vote of all members in each chamber of the Kansas State Legislature was required to refer the amendment to the ballot for voter consideration.
In the Senate, that equaled 27 votes and, in the House, 84. Republicans held supermajorities in both the Senate and House with 29 and 84 members, respectively, equal or greater to the two-thirds threshold in both chambers.
Skubal and Kessinger voted against placing the measure on the ballot. The Senate approved the amendment. Kessinger and three other Republicans joined 39 Democrats to vote against the amendment in the House, resulting in a final vote of 80-43, four votes short of passage.
Skubal’s and Kessinger’s primary defeats and the retirement of the three House Republicans who voted against the amendment with Kessinger means none of the five Republicans who opposed the No Right to Abortion in Constitution Amendment will return for the 2021 legislative session.
Heading into the November elections, Kansas has a divided government. Republicans control both the Senate and the House. Democrats hold the governorship following Gov. Laura Kelly’s election in 2018. The next gubernatorial election will be held on November 8, 2022. In the Senate, Republicans will retain a veto-proof supermajority if they gain seats, hold their current number of seats, or lose a net of two seats. In the House, Republicans will retain a veto-proof majority if they gain or hold their current number seats. If Democrats gain a net of one seat, they will control more than one-third of the House seats.
To read more background, local commentary, and historical data on Kansas’ state legislative Republican primaries, click here.
Matt Mowers won the five-candidate Republican primary in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District. With 38% of precincts reporting, Mowers had received 61% of the vote and Matt Mayberry was second with 27%.
Mowers has worked as the executive director of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, an official in the 2016 Trump presidential campaign, and a senior White House advisor in the State Department. He received endorsements from President Donald Trump (R) and U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
Mayberry is an Air Force veteran and businessman. He was endorsed by U.S. Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R).
Incumbent Chris Pappas (D) was first elected in 2018, defeating Eddie Edwards (R) 54% to 45%. Pappas is seeking re-election and was unopposed in the Democratic primary. The 1st District changed party hands five times between 2006 and 2016.
This week: Recapping Kansas’ state legislative primaries and looking ahead to New Hampshire
With Labor Day just around the corner and general election season in full swing, this will be the last regular edition of 2020’s Heart of the Primaries. Notable election results from the primaries in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Delaware will be featured in Ballotpedia’s Daily Brew. We hope you have enjoyed our reporting on 2020’s primaries as much as we have enjoyed bringing you this newsletter. Heart of the Primaries will return ahead of the 2022 midterms.
On the news
Where do Republican and conservative pundits and commentators disagree? Each week, we bring you excerpts that highlight differing views.
“I don’t believe that a candidate who runs for the nomination, let’s say in 2024, is going to be able to go back to free trade, globalism, or interventionism … because … the Republican Party has been changed and reoriented to a great degree by Donald Trump.
“So I think that’s what controls it. … [T]he Republicans today, many of them are … basically establishment Republicans, Conservative Inc., and all the rest of it and they may not believe what they are mouthing, but the fact that they are required to speak in a certain way and address these issues indicates a realization on their part that, intellectually, they have lost the battle for the party’s issues and the party’s identity. And frankly if someone came in and attempted to impose free trade and open borders on the Republican Party, he would not be nominated by the GOP.”
“Donald Trump took over the Republican Party, but it’s still discernibly the Republican Party. …
“There … are notable differences of substance. Trump’s party has reversed itself on trade and jettisoned concern over deficit spending. The party is much less hawkish than George W. Bush’s GOP and much more skeptical of immigration than Ronald Reagan’s. It doesn’t have the focus of the 2004 Republican convention on terrorism or the 2012 Republican convention on out-of-control entitlement spending. “And yet there is a clear throughline between today’s Republican Party and the GOP of the past several decades. … “Take Don Trump Jr.’s forceful speech, which by lineage and inclination should be most representative of the Trump GOP. … “Trump Jr. argued that “Biden’s radical left-wing policies would stop our economic recovery cold,” in part by raising taxes. “This contrast with Democrats is a GOP commonplace. … “Trump Jr. underlined the importance of safety and security and hailed the police as American heroes. “Again, back in 1984, Vice President Bush said, ‘President Reagan and I think it’s time that we worried less about the criminals and more about the victims of crime.’ … “This perspective sheds some light on the future of a post-Trump GOP. In the main, it’s not likely to be radically different from the current Trump GOP. … “If this week’s convention has again demonstrated Trump’s personal grip on the party, it also showed that the Republican Party as it has existed for decades isn’t going away.”
“In Bolduc, voters can choose a career military servant, a brigadier general who rose through the ranks under a long line of presidents and now seeks change from the outside. In Messner they can pick an avowed capitalist, a Trump-endorsed corporate lawyer who built a Denver-based law firm and is running to stand up for small businesses.”
Bolduc received endorsements from the Senate Conservatives Fund, New Hampshire’s former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith (R), and U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who said Bolduc “has the integrity, courage, and conviction to lead a positive strategy, and keep America safe.” Messner received endorsements from U.S. President Donald Trump (R), who said Messner was “Strong on jobs, crime, veterans, and the Second Amendment”, and the National Association for Gun Rights.
According to pre-primary campaign finance reports, Messner has raised more than $4.4 million, including $3.9 million he loaned to his campaign. Bolduc had raised $889,000. The candidates have $2.5 million and $178,000 cash on hand, respectively.
Incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D), first elected in 2008, is seeking re-election. In 2014, Shaheen defeated Scott Brown (R), 51.5-48.2%. New Hampshire most recently held a U.S. Senate election in 2016, when Maggie Hassan (D) defeated incumbent Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R), 48-47.9%.
Previewing New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District Republican primary
Mayberry, a former Dover City Councilor and chairman of the N.H. Commission on Human Rights, received endorsements from U.S. Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R). Mowers worked as the executive director of the N.H. Republican State Committee and a senior White House advisor in the U.S. State Department. He received endorsements from U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
According to pre-primary campaign finance reports, Mowers has raised $693,000 and has $373,000 cash on hand. Mayberry has raised $173,000 and has $22,000 cash on hand.
Denaro, Mayberry, and Mowers completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. Read their full responses here. Each candidate is asked to provide three key messages, excerpts of which include:
Denaro: “Our National Debt at this time is 26.6 Trillion. I want to propose bills to lower our debt.”
Mayberry: “Matt Mayberry is a true New Hampshire Conservative. He believes in smaller government, lower taxes and more personal freedom.”
Mowers: “It’s time for a new generation of conservative leadership that will stand up for New Hampshire.”
The winner of the primary will face incumbent Rep. Chris Pappas (D), first elected in 2018 after defeating Eddie Edwards (R), 54-45%. Pappas’ victory made the 1st District one of 30 House Districts represented by a Democrat in 2020 that voted for Trump in 2016. During the presidential election, Trump received 48% of the vote to Hillary Clinton’s (D) 47% in the 1st District.
Race recap: Kansas’ state legislative elections
Kansas’ state legislative primaries took place on Aug. 4. Over one-quarter of the Republican incumbents seeking re-election faced primary challenges this year, and roughly 40 percent of them lost to their challengers.
The Wichita Eagle’s Jonathan Shorman said these primary challenges illustrated a longstanding, intra-party ideological divide in the state’s legislature: “The influence of Kansas Republican moderates has waxed and waned. Gov. Sam Brownback [(R)] helped oust them in 2012. Voters then swept them back into office in 2016 to end his signature income tax cuts and stabilize the budget.” Shorman continued, “But with last week’s primary losses, their ranks have been depleted to levels not seen for years.”
In the state Senate races listed below, all of the incumbents who lost primaries this year were first elected in 2016, the last time state Senate elections took place. Four of the 2020 incumbents—Skubal, Givens, Hardy, and Berger—all defeated Republican incumbents themselves in 2016.
The House last held elections in 2018. Of the four incumbents defeated below, Dirks was first elected in 2012 and Moore in 2018. Kessinger and Karleskint were both elected in 2016 after defeating Republican incumbents in their respective primaries.
“Making the change one outsider at a time.” – Conservative Outsider PAC website
Conservative Outsider PAC (COPAC) is a political action committee founded in 2020. Its current treasurer is Kate Teasdale, who works as a Republican political consultant. Notable contributions to COPAC during the 2020 election cycle include $315,000 from Club for Growth and $750,000 from Protect Freedom PAC.
COPAC has not made any direct campaign contributions during the current election cycle, but it has made independent expenditures in Republican primaries totaling $1,376,922. Most recently, it spent $385,000 on television ads opposing Bill Hagerty’s (R) bid for the U.S. Senate in Tennessee, bringing its total spending in opposition to Hagerty to $968,000. COPAC also spent $250,835 and $102,468 to oppose Dane Eagle’s (R) campaign in Florida’s 19th Congressional District and Tracey Mann’s campaign in Kansas’ 1st Congressional District. Both Hagerty and Mann won their primary elections, while Eagle lost his by a margin of .7 percentage points.
This week: Endorsements for Mayberry, Mowers in NH-01, Gonzales wins TX-23 primary runoff following recount, Mass. GOP runs Facebook ad supporting incumbent Rep. Boldyga in 3rd Hampden House District primary
On the news
Where do Republican and conservative pundits and commentators disagree? Each week, we bring you excerpts that highlight differing views.
On President Trump’s second-term agenda
“A couple of weeks ago, I asked of the Trump campaign, ‘Where’s the energy? Where are the ideas for the future?’ Well, with [the president’s second-term agenda], they’ve answered those questions and then some. … It seems to me that the president and his team are bursting with ideas to move the country forward, concrete plans, not the vague platitudes we heard last week, which themselves were completely overshadowed by the nonstop negativity of the Democrats’ doom and gloom convention. …
“People want to know what you’re going to do for them, specific, practical things, not just esoteric academic concepts. And here’s what the Trump campaign is promising to do for you and this country in a second term:
“The plan is called ‘Fighting for You! The Best is Yet to Come.’ There are fifty commitments in ten categories including jobs, ending our reliance on China, drain the swamp, defend our police, end illegal immigration and protect our workers, and innovate for the future. … Here are a few specific highlights: tax credits for companies that bring manufacturing jobs back from China with a target of a million jobs returning, providing school choice to every child in America …
“There is so much more. Exactly what we wanted to see.”
“If Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s acceptance speech was full of gauzy platitudes with few real policy specifics, President Trump’s 49-point second-term ‘agenda’ is even more of an insult to voters’ intelligence. …
“The first seven agenda items come under the rubric of ‘jobs.’ The first is typical: ‘Create 10 million new jobs in 10 months.’
“Yes, that’s it. There is nothing about howhe would ‘create’ such jobs. Trump promises the moon and the stars without even identifying the type of jet fuel, much less designing the rocket. …
“On and on goes this tommyrot, until finally concluding with two great policies related to national security. First, ‘wipe out global terrorists who threaten to harm Americans,’ and then ‘build a great cybersecurity defense system and missile defense system.’
“Gee, why didn’t Biden think of those things? Biden must really be a dolt. Only by reelecting Trump will we be awarded the executive order that wipes out global terrorists. After all, everybody knows that ‘eradicate terrorists’ executive orders are unconstitutional in a president’s first term but not in the second. Otherwise, Trump would have done it already. Still, we can trust him to do it in 2021, because it says so in his agenda.”
Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District runoff: Stephanie Bice defeated Terry Neese to win the Republican nomination to challenge Rep. Kendra Horn (D). The two advanced to a runoff after no candidate won a majority in the June 30 primary. In the primary, Neese placed first with 37% of the vote, while Bice followed with 25%. Bice, a state senator whose endorsers included former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), said she would be the more effective legislator. Neese, a business owner and the national co-chairwoman of President Trump’s small business advisory council, said she would be the stronger ally to the president.
Endorsements for Mayberry, Mowers in NH-01
In the past month, prominent endorsers have weighed in on New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District Republican primary. Of the five candidates, Matt Mayberry and Matt Mowers lead in endorsements.
Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and the American Conservative Union—which hosts the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)—endorsed Mowers. Former U.S. Sen. John Sununu endorsed Mayberry. Before serving in the Senate, Sununu represented the 1st District in the House. He is Gov. Chris Sununu’s brother.
WMUR’s John DiStaso wrote, “Sununu during the 2016 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination was a national co-chair for former Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s campaign. Mowers headed the campaign of former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in the Granite State but later worked in the Donald Trump campaign and was appointed to the State Department post by the Trump administration.”
Mowers was a senior White House advisor and chief of staff and chief policy officer at the State Department. Mayberry is a former member of the Dover School Board and Dover City Council.
The primary winner will face incumbent Chris Pappas (D) in November. This is one of 30 congressional districts with a Democratic incumbent that Donald Trump won in the 2016 presidential election.
Here is each candidate’s response to: “Please list below 3 key messages of your campaign. What are the main points you want voters to remember about your goals for your time in office?” Click their names to read full survey responses.
“It’s time for a new generation of conservative leadership that will stand up for New Hampshire
“In Congress, Matt will ignore the partisan battles and work with the President to deliver real results
“Matt has seen first hand the damage that implementing socialist policies can do to a country. We don’t need someone who campaigns like JFK but votes like AOC. We deserve better, someone who will put New Hampshire first.”
Gonzales wins TX-23 primary runoff following recount
Tony Gonzales defeated Raul Reyes Jr. by a margin of 39 votes in the Republican primary runoff for Texas’ 23rd Congressional District.
The runoff was held on July 14. On July 31, the Republican Party of Texas certified Gonzales as the winner of the primary, with unofficial vote totals showing him ahead by 45 votes. Reyes filed a request for a recount on Aug. 3. On Aug. 21, Reyes said, “Without a sizable shift in the vote margin after a recount in the most populous parts of the district I have decided to end the recount.”
President Donald Trump and incumbent William Hurd (R) had endorsed Gonzales. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) had endorsed Reyes.
Gonzales will face Gina Ortiz Jones (D) and two others in the Nov. 3 general election. Three election forecasters rate the general election Lean Democratic.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu leads primary challenger in fundraising
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu leads primary challenger Karen Testerman in fundraising, according to campaign finance reports filed with the New Hampshire Secretary of State on Aug. 19.
Sununu, who is running for a third two-year term, raised $150,000 since June from 577 separate contributors and spent $100,000 during the same period. Overall, Sununu has raised $1.1 million and spent $560,000.
Testerman, a Franklin city councilor who says Sununu’s response to the coronavirus pandemic crippled New Hampshire’s economy, raised $15,000 from 94 separate donors since launching her campaign in June. She spent $6,900 during that period.
A third candidate, whose name is Nobody, filed a statement indicating he had no campaign activity to report.
The winner of the Sept. 8 primary will advance to the general election, which two election forecasters say Republicans are likely to win. A third forecaster says the race leans towards Republicans.
Race recap: Governor of Missouri
In this series, we look back at recent state executive primaries and ahead to the general election.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson defeated three challengers to win the Republican nomination for his first full term in an Aug. 4 primary. Parson became governor in June 2018 following the resignation of Eric Greitens (R) amid investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct and misuse of voter information.
Parson received 75% of the primary vote, followed by Saundra McDowell with 12%, Jim Neely with 9%, and Raleigh Ritter with 4%.
McDowell, the Republican nominee for state auditor in 2018, said she was running to bring transparency to state government. Neely, a state representative, said he would oppose shutdowns and mask mandates in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Ritter, a rancher and small business owner, said he had the most business experience.
Parson will face Nicole Galloway (D), Jerome Bauer (G), and Rik Combs (L) in the November general election. Two election forecasters say Parson is likely to win and one says the race leans towards Parson.
The number of incumbents who did not seek re-election is provided for the 44 states whose 2020 filing deadlines have already passed. The number of incumbents defeated in primaries is provided for the 39 states that had held state legislative primaries as of Aug. 25, 2020.
Mass. GOP runs Facebook ad supporting incumbent Rep. Boldyga in 3rd Hampden House District primary
On Aug. 19, the Massachusetts Republican Party ran a Facebook ad encouraging voters in the 3rd Hampden House District to support incumbent Rep. Nick Boldyga (R) in the Sept. 1 primary. Boldyga, first elected in 2010, is facing his first primary challenge from Agawam City Councilor Dino Mercadante (R).
Both candidates completed questionnaires for MassLiveon Aug. 15, which asked the candidates: “What is the most important issue facing the district, and how would you address it?”
Boldyga, a former police officer and auditor, said he would “ensure that our communities remain affordable and the best towns to live, work, and raise a family,” adding, “I have a proven track record of voting to lower taxes, create jobs, and cut wasteful spending to achieve those goals.”
Mercadante, a restaurant owner, said, “Our district lacks proactive and aggressive representation. Our communities receive funding based on predetermined formulas that the state utilizes,” adding, “It is critical that this district elect someone who WILL advocate, who WILL go above and beyond for our schools, our infrastructure projects.”
The winner of the primary will face Agawam School Committee member Kerri O’Connor in the general election. In 2018, Boldyga defeated Forrest Bradford (D) 66% to 34%.
Xiarhos releases tax returns in Mass.’ 5th Barnstable House District primary
On Aug. 17, the Cape Cod Times’ Geoff Spillane reported that Steve Xiarhos released his income tax returns from 2017, 2018, and 2019 and called on his primary opponent, Tom Keyes, to do the same. Xiarhos and Keyes are running in the Republican primary for the 5th Barnstable House District. The current incumbent, Rep. Randy Hunt (R) is retiring. Hunt has endorsed Xiarhos.
Xiarhos reported an income of $142,506 in 2019.
Xiarhos campaign chairman David Sampson said, “We are dedicated to being aboveboard and transparent … There is no question that our opponent in the primary has not validated who he is, relative to claims to business experience.”
Keyes’ campaign strategist Holly Robichaud said, “It sounds like a very desperate campaign taking advice from Hillary Clinton,” adding, “We strongly believe that the people of [the district] are concerned about who can best revive the economy.”
Xiarhos is a former deputy chief of police with the Yarmouth Police Department. He has not held elected office. In addition to Hunt, Xiarhos has received endorsements from the Fraternal Order of Police and the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts, among others.
Keyes is the president of Keyes Quality Systems, a business coaching and consulting firm. He served on the Sandwich Board of Selectmen from 2002 to 2008 and on the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates from 2008 to 2011. Sandwich Mayor Shaunna O’Connell and the Gun Owners’ Action League are among his endorsers.
The winner of the Sept. 1 primary will face James Dever (D) in the general election.
“The American Dream is back — bigger, better, and stronger than ever before! With your help, we will defeat the do-nothing Democrats, replace them with pro-Trump conservatives, and remove Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House!” – Majority Committee PAC website
House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) assumed office in 2007 and has led Republicans in the House since 2014. According to Open Secrets, he is the second-highest fundraiser in Congress for the 2020 election cycle at $16,638,004, behind House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.). McCarthy ranks highest in Congress for candidate-to-candidate giving from both his leadership PAC, Majority Committee PAC, and his campaign committee at $2,038,520.
Among the top disbursements reported to the Federal Election Commission from McCarthy’s campaign committee, Kevin McCarthy for Congress, are: $541,388 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, $100,000 to the California Republican Party Federal Acct., and $20,000 to the Kern County Republican Central Committee (FED), along with 14 $4,000 contributions to individual Republican congressional campaigns. Majority Committee PAC’s top Congressional campaign contributions include $20,000 to Rep. Greg Murphy (R-N.C.) and Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Calif.), and $15,000 to Rep. Fred Keller (R-Pa.) and Tony Gonzales (R), who is running in Texas’ 23rd Congressional District.
Terry Neese and Stephanie Bice will compete in the Republican primary runoff in Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District on Tuesday, August 25. The two advanced to a runoff when no candidate won 50% of the vote in the June 30 primary. Neese won 36.5% and Bice won 25.4% in the primary.
David Hill, who finished third in the primary with 19% of the vote, endorsed Neese on July 14 saying, “Terry Neese is a pro-life, pro-gun, conservative, and she has our full support as she fights to beat Kendra Horn and deliver President Trump’s agenda.”
Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) endorsed Bice on August 6, saying, “Stephanie is a proven conservative who is committed to defending our Second Amendment rights, protecting the unborn, and standing up for Oklahoma’s taxpayers.”
Incumbent Kendra Horn (D) is running for re-election. In 2018, she defeated incumbent Steve Russell (R) by a margin of 1.4 percentage points to become the first Democrat to hold the office since 1975. Oklahoma’s 5th is one of the 31 Democratic-held House districts that President Donald Trump (R) won in 2016, with Trump defeating Hillary Clinton (D) by a margin of 13.4 percentage points.
In February 2019, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee identified Oklahoma’s 5th as a Frontline district and the Republican National Congressional Committee identified the district as an offensive target for the 2020 election cycle.