TagState executive

Number of major party candidates on the primary ballot for state executive offices in 2022

This year, 1,140 major party candidates were on the primary ballot for 304 state executive seats around the country. The offices up for election include 36 gubernatorial seats, 30 lieutenant gubernatorial seats, 30 state attorney general seats, and 26 secretary of state seats. 

Of the major party candidates on the ballot, 463, or 40.61%, were Democrats, and 677, or 59.39%, were Republicans.

The percentage of major party candidates this year who identified as Democrats was lower than in 2020, when 46.25% of major party candidates did, and in 2018, when 49.02% did.

Conversely, the percentage of major party candidates who identified as Republicans this year was higher than in 2020, when 53.75% did, and in 2018, when 50.98% did.

There were 1.52 Democratic candidates on the ballot per state executive seat this year. That’s more than the 1.35 Democrats per seat who appeared on the ballot in 2020 and fewer than the 1.7 Democrats per seat who appeared in 2018.

There were 2.23 Republican candidates on the ballot per state executive seat in 2022. That’s more than the 1.56 Republicans per seat who appeared on the ballot in 2020 and the 1.76 Republicans per seat who appeared in 2018.



Four states currently have a governor of one party and a veto-proof state legislative majority of the opposing party

Four states have a governor of one party and veto-proof legislative majorities of the opposing party: Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Voters will determine whether three states—North Carolina, Vermont, and Wisconsin—could also have a veto-proof majority and an opposing party governor as a result of the 2022 elections.

When one party controls enough seats to overturn a veto without any support from the other party, a legislature has what’s called a veto-proof majority. A veto-proof majority strengthens the legislature’s hand when passing bills of which the governor disapproves. It can also lead to conflict when opposing parties control the legislature and governor’s mansion.

Here is a summary of the current partisan balance in each state that currently has a governor of one party and a veto-proof state legislative majority of the opposing party.

Kansas

The governor is Laura Kelly (D), who is running for re-election. In Kansas, two-thirds of the Legislature is required to override a gubernatorial veto. The Republican Party holds more than two-thirds of the seats in both chambers of the legislature, with an 86-38 majority in the state House of Representatives and a 29-11 majority in the state Senate.

Kentucky

The governor of Kentucky is Andy Beshear (D), who is not up for re-election until 2023. The Republican Party holds a majority in both chambers of the Legislature, with a 75-25 majority in the state House of Representatives and a 30-8 majority in the state Senate. In Kentucky, a simple majority of the legislature is required to override a gubernatorial veto.

Maryland

The governor of Maryland is Larry Hogan (R), who is term-limited. In Maryland, three-fifths of the General Assembly is required to override a gubernatorial veto. The Democratic Party holds more than three-fifths of the seats in both chambers, with a 99-42 majority in the House of Delegates and a 32-15 majority in the state Senate.

Massachusetts

The governor of Massachusetts is Charlie Baker (R), who is not running for re-election. In Massachusetts, two-thirds of the General Court is required to override a gubernatorial veto. The Democratic Party holds more than two-thirds of the seats in both chambers, with a 125-27 majority in the state House of Representatives and a 37-3 majority in the state Senate.

Three states could gain a veto-proof legislative majority and have a governor of the opposite party after the 2022 elections. We consider a state to be in this category if the number of seats the majority party would need to win in order to gain a supermajority is less than or equal to 10% of the total seats in the legislature.

North Carolina

The governor of North Carolina is Roy Cooper (D), who is not up for election until 2024. In North Carolina, three-fifths of the General Assembly is required to override a gubernatorial veto. Republicans have majorities in both chambers but not enough for a veto-proof majority. Republicans have a 68-51 majority in the state House of Representatives (a three-fifths majority would require 72 seats) and a 28-22 majority in the state Senate (a three-fifths majority would require 30 seats).

Vermont

The governor of Vermont is Phil Scott (R), who is running for re-election. In Vermont, two-thirds of the General Assembly is required to override a gubernatorial veto. Democrats have more than two-thirds of the seats in the state Senate with its 21-7 majority but fall short of this threshold with its 91-46 majority in the state House of Representatives (a two-thirds majority would require 100 seats).

Wisconsin

The governor of Wisconsin is Tony Evers (D), who is running for re-election. In Wisconsin, two-thirds of the Legislature is required to override a gubernatorial veto. Although Republicans have majorities in both chambers, it falls short of the two-thirds threshold. They currently have a 57-38 majority in the state Assembly (a two-thirds majority would require 66 seats) and a 21-12 majority in the state Senate (a two-thirds majority would require 22 seats).

All 50 state legislatures have the constitutional authority to override gubernatorial vetoes. A state’s constitution also specifies how many legislators are needed to override a veto. Depending on the state, the vote threshold required for a veto override applies to either all members elected to a chamber or to all members present in the chamber.

  • 36 states require a two-thirds vote from both chambers of the legislature.
  • Seven states require a three-fifths vote from both chambers of the legislature.
  • Six states require a majority vote from both chambers of the legislature.
  • Alaska requires a two-thirds vote in a joint meeting of its legislative chambers.

Additional reading:



Lydia York defeats Delaware Auditor Kathy McGuiness in Democratic primary

Lydia York defeated incumbent Kathy McGuiness in the Democratic primary for state auditor on September 13, 2022. McGuiness was elected to the office in 2018.

McGuiness was convicted on three misdemeanor charges in July 2022: conflict of interest, structuring, and official misconduct. The charges stemmed from McGuiness hiring her daughter to work in the auditor’s office as other employees’ hours were cut during the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the conviction, leaders in both chambers of the state legislature called on McGuiness to resign. This was the first instance of a sitting statewide elected official in Delaware being convicted of a crime. McGuiness faces maximum sentences of up to one year in prison for each misdemeanor count.

McGuiness said that the charges against her were politically motivated and that it was not illegal to hire a family member. Her attorney said they would appeal the case to the Delaware Supreme Court. “I have a great team so I look forward to working again with them to rectify the situation,” McGuiness said.

The Democratic Party of Delaware endorsed York in July. Chairwoman Betsy Maron said, “We saw Ms.York’s candidacy as an opportunity to restore the Auditor’s office to its intended function and do away with the political theater that has kept the incumbent at center stage for all the wrong reasons. Her legal, business, and finance backgrounds make Lydia York an immensely qualified Auditor who we are confident will do right by all Delawareans.”

York’s professional experience includes working as an accountant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers (then Coopers & Lybrand) and as a tax attorney. York said she filed to run because of the charges against McGuiness. “[R]egardless of your views on the trial and the outcome and all of that all a lot of witnesses testified to a work environment that was described across the board as toxic and it would be one of my primary missions frankly is to make that stop so people can do their work,” she said.



All candidates for Nevada State Board of Regents District 8 complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

Both of the candidates running in the November 8, 2022, general election for Nevada State Board of Regents District 8— Michelee Crawford and John Patrick Rice — completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. These survey responses allow voters to hear directly from candidates about what motivates them to run for office.

The Nevada State Board of Regents is an elected executive agency of the Nevada state government, responsible for managing the state’s system of higher education.

Here are excerpts from candidates’ responses to the question: What are the main points you want voters to remember about your goals for your time in office?

Crawford:           

  • “Increasing opportunities for access to college while expanding high school to college dual enrollment programs.”
  • “Increasing programming resources for rural NSHE institutions.”
  • “Restoring board credibility with collective work focused on outcomes measured by student enrollment, program diversification, and stakeholder climate surveys.”

Rice:               

  • “Further invest in in-person and online instruction access for underserved communities in urban and rural Nevada.”
  • “Using NSHE’s current distance learning infrastructure, capitalize on the world-wide distance learning market to enhance brick and mortar operations in Nevada.”
  • “Using the developing NSHE strategic plan and the ongoing conversations surrounding ‘Question One’, engage in a comprehensive transformation of NSHE’s governing operations.”

Click on candidates’ profile pages below to read their full responses to this and other questions.

We ask all federal, state, and local candidates with profiles on Ballotpedia to complete a survey and share what motivates them on political and personal levels. Ask the candidates in your area to fill out the survey.

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Delaware auditor faces primary challenger following misdemeanor convictions

Incumbent Kathy McGuiness and Lydia York are running in the Democratic primary for Delaware state auditor on September 13, 2022. 

McGuiness was elected to the office in 2018. Before becoming state auditor, she served five terms on the Rehoboth Beach City Commission and worked as a pharmacist. McGuiness is running on her record as auditor. Her campaign website said, “Under Kathy’s leadership, the Auditor’s Office has become a nationwide leader in innovation and efficiency. McGuiness has created a new mobile app for Delaware taxpayers to report fraud, waste and abuse, and also created an interactive CARES Act Fund Tracker portal.”

McGuiness was convicted on three misdemeanor charges in July 2022: conflict of interest, structuring, and official misconduct. The charges stemmed from McGuiness hiring her daughter to work in the auditor’s office as other employees’ hours were cut during the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the conviction, leaders in both chambers of the state legislature called on McGuiness to resign. This was the first instance of a sitting statewide elected official in Delaware being convicted of a crime. McGuiness faces maximum sentences of up to one year in prison for each misdemeanor count.

McGuiness said that the charges against her were politically motivated and that it was not illegal to hire a family member. Her attorney said they would appeal the case to the Delaware Supreme Court. “I have a great team so I look forward to working again with them to rectify the situation,” McGuiness said.

York’s professional experience includes working as an accountant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers (then Coopers & Lybrand) and as a tax attorney. York said she filed to run because of the charges against McGuiness. “[R]egardless of your views on the trial and the outcome and all of that all a lot of witnesses testified to a work environment that was described across the board as toxic and it would be one of my primary missions frankly is to make that stop so people can do their work,” she said.

The Democratic Party of Delaware endorsed York in July. Chairwoman Betsy Maron said, “We saw Ms.York’s candidacy as an opportunity to restore the Auditor’s office to its intended function and do away with the political theater that has kept the incumbent at center stage for all the wrong reasons. Her legal, business, and finance backgrounds make Lydia York an immensely qualified Auditor who we are confident will do right by all Delawareans.”

The stated function of the auditor’s office is to “[serve] Delawareans by providing independent objective oversight of the state government’s use of taxpayer dollars with the goal of deterring fraud, waste and abuse through unbiased assessments, including the use of various audits, special reports, and investigations of financial operations designed to ensure statutory compliance while enhancing governmental economy, efficiency and effectiveness.”

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story erroneously listed the Democratic primary as occurring on September 6.



Zeigler, Allen advance to Alabama secretary of state primary runoff

Jim Zeigler and Wes Allen advanced from the Republican primary for Alabama secretary of state to a June 21, 2022, primary runoff. A candidate needed at least 50% of the primary vote to win outright. Zeigler had 43% and Allen, 40% as of Wednesday afternoon. Christian Horn and Ed Packard also ran in the May 24 primary. Incumbent John Merrill (R) was term-limited.

Each candidate said his experience prepared him for the position. Allen was a Pike County Probate Court judge and said he administered more than a dozen elections without error. Zeigler, the state auditor, said he had been a “watchman against government waste, mismanagement and corruption” and would be a watchman for election integrity.

The candidates each highlighted areas of election policy they would focus on. Allen said he opposed mass mail, no-excuse absentee, early, and curbside voting and supported a photo ID requirement. Zeigler highlighted his support for a photo ID requirement and opposition to same-day voter registration, allowing non-citizens to vote, efforts to extend the voting period, ballot drop boxes, and allowing people to return ballots on behalf of other voters.

Republicans have held the Secretary of State office in Alabama since 2007. The secretary of state is Alabama’s chief election official and certifies vote totals, ballots, and fundraising records. The secretary of state is also responsible for business registration and keeping the state government’s official documents and public records.



Raffensperger wins primary for Georgia secretary of state

Incumbent Brad Raffensperger defeated three other candidates in the Republican primary election for Georgia secretary of state on May 24, 2022. Based on unofficial returns, Raffensperger received 52.1% of the vote, and Jody Hice received 33.7%.

Raffensperger was elected secretary of state in 2018. Raffensperger disputed former President Donald Trump’s (R) claims about election fraud in the 2020 election and directly criticized Hice over those claims. During a January 2022 appearance on CBS’ Face The Nation, Raffensperger said, “Congressman Hice, he’s been in Congress for several years. He’s never done a single piece of election reform legislation. Then he certified his own race with those same machines, the same ballots, and yet for President Trump, he said you couldn’t trust that.” Raffensperger’s website highlighted a #1 ranking in election integrity from the Heritage Foundation as proof of his leadership and conservative values.

Former President Trump endorsed Hice on March 22, 2021. Trump said, “Unlike the current Georgia Secretary of State, Jody leads out front with integrity. I have 100% confidence in Jody to fight for Free, Fair, and Secure Elections in Georgia, in line with our beloved U.S. Constitution. Jody will stop the Fraud and get honesty into our Elections!”

Joseph Ax of Reuters wrote that Raffensperger “has been one of Trump’s most frequent targets ever since he refused, emphatically and publicly, to capitulate to the demands of the former president, his fellow Republican, to ‘find’ enough votes to overturn the results in Georgia’s 2020 presidential vote.”

Hice was elected to the U.S. House in 2014. Hice has supported Trump’s election fraud claims. At a May 2022 debate, Hice said, “The ‘big lie’ in all of this is that there were no problems with this past election. This past election was an absolute disaster under the leadership of Brad Raffensperger.” Hice objected to the counting of Georgia’s electoral votes during the joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021. Hice said he would “aggressively pursue voter fraud” and seek to make final election results available on election night.

If no candidate had received a majority of the vote, the top-two finishers would have advanced to a runoff election.

The secretary of state is responsible for a wide range of services and regulatory duties, in addition to being the keeper of the Great Seal of Georgia and the custodian of the state flag and other state symbols. The secretary of state also chairs the Claims Advisory Board, which receives, investigates, and hears civil claims against the state. Responsibilities of the secretary’s office include supervising and monitoring elections and providing campaign finance disclosure, managing and preserving public records, and licensing, monitoring, and registering professionals and businesses.



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.



2020 presidential election at the center of Republican primary for Georgia Secretary of State

Image of the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, Georgia.

Four candidates are running in the Republican primary for Georgia Secretary of State on May 24, 2022. Incumbent Brad Raffensperger and Jody Hice have performed best in polling. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two finishers will compete in a runoff election.

Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Hice on March 22, 2021. In his endorsement, Trump said, “Unlike the current Georgia Secretary of State, Jody leads out front with integrity. I have 100% confidence in Jody to fight for Free, Fair, and Secure Elections in Georgia, in line with our beloved U.S. Constitution. Jody will stop the Fraud and get honesty into our Elections!” Joseph Ax of Reuters wrote that Raffensperger “has been one of Trump’s most frequent targets ever since he refused, emphatically and publicly, to capitulate to the demands of the former president, his fellow Republican, to ‘find’ enough votes to overturn the results in Georgia’s 2020 presidential vote.”

Raffensperger was elected as Secretary of State in 2018. Raffensperger has disputed Trump’s claims about election fraud in 2020 and directly criticized Hice over those claims. During a January 2022 appearance on CBS’ Face The Nation, Raffensperger said, “Congressman Hice, he’s been in Congress for several years. He’s never done a single piece of election reform legislation. Then he certified his own race with those same machines, the same ballots, and yet for President Trump, he said you couldn’t trust that.” Raffensperger’s website highlighted a #1 ranking in election integrity from the Heritage Foundation as an example of his leadership and conservative values.

Hice was elected to the U.S. House in 2014. Hice has supported Trump’s claims about election fraud in 2020. At a May 2022 debate, he said, “The ‘big lie’ in all of this is that there were no problems with this past election. This past election was an absolute disaster under the leadership of Brad Raffensperger.” Hice objected to the counting of Georgia’s electoral votes during the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021. Hice said he would “aggressively pursue voter fraud” and would seek to make final election results available on election night.

The Secretary of State is responsible for a wide range of services and regulatory duties, in addition to being the keeper of the Great Seal of Georgia and the custodian of the state flag and other state symbols. The secretary of state also chairs the Claims Advisory Board, which receives, investigates, and hears civil claims against the state. Responsibilities of the secretary’s office include supervising and monitoring elections and providing campaign finance disclosure, managing and preserving public records, and licensing, monitoring, and registering professionals and businesses.

Also running in the primary are Torri M. Hudson and David Belle Isle.

Additional reading:



LaRose defeats Adams in Ohio Secretary of State Republican primary

Incumbent Frank LaRose defeated John Adams in the May 3, 2022, Republican Party primary for Ohio Secretary of State. As of Wednesday morning, LaRose had received 66% of the vote to Adams’ 34%. LaRose will face Democratic primary winner Chelsea Clark (D) in the general election on Nov. 8.

LaRose was elected Ohio Secretary of State in 2018, defeating Kathleen Clyde (D) 51% to 47%. He is a U.S. Army veteran and worked as a business manager and project lead for a consulting firm. LaRose represented Ohio State Senate District 27 from 2011 to 2018. LaRose emphasized his experience in the Ohio Senate and as secretary of state, saying he “sponsored legislation to modernize online voter registration, audit election results to verify their accuracy, cut burdensome regulation on small business, and protect our freedoms and values.” LaRose received endorsements from former President Donald Trump (R) and at least 10 members of Congress, including Rep. Bill Johnson (R) and Sen. Rob Portman (R).

Adams is a U.S. Army and U.S. Navy veteran and founder of Francis Furniture Store. He represented Ohio House of Representatives District 85 from 2007 to 2014. Adams also ran for Ohio State Senate District 12 in 2016 but was defeated by Matt Huffman (R) in the Republican primary 64% to 36%. Adams said “there were shenanigans that went on” in the 2020 election and “there are questions that have not been resolved yet.” Adams said he “has had the life experience – as a Navy SEAL, as a small businessman, as a civic leader, as a husband and father – to successfully protect and advance our common values.” Ohio Value Voters, a 501(c)(4) organization whose “purpose has been to educate, inform, and influence voters and elected officials,” endorsed Adams.

Election security and allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 general election were key issues in the race. Adams criticized LaRose for moving the March 2020 Ohio primary elections from March to June and said he ran because “we had an election two years ago, and I woke up the next morning and I said, ‘You gotta be kidding me. There’s no way that Trump lost. No way.'” LaRose said the “mainstream media is trying to minimize voter fraud to suit their narrative” and “President Donald Trump is right to say that voter fraud is a serious problem.”

The secretary is the state’s chief election officer and keeper of the state seal. They license businesses and corporations and keep records of all official gubernatorial actions. A Republican has held the Ohio secretary of state office since 2010, when incumbent Jennifer L. Brunner (D) vacated the office and Jon Husted (R) defeated Maryellen O’Shaughnessy (D) 54% to 42%.