TagState executive

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.

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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%.



Three candidates file to run for Missouri State Auditor

Three candidates—two Republicans and one Democrat—filed to run for Missouri State Auditor. The Republican primary will take place on Aug. 2, while the general election will take place on Nov. 8. The current auditor, Nicole Galloway (D), is not running for re-election.

Missouri Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick will face state Rep. David Gregory in the Republican primary. Former state Rep. Alan Green is the Democratic candidate.

Galloway was appointed by Gov. Jay Nixon (D) in 2015 and won re-election with 50.4% of the vote in 2018. She ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2020, losing to Gov. Mike Parson (R) in the general election 57%-41%.

The office of the auditor acts as the state’s independent watchdog, working to ensure the proper use of public funds and to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Missouri government. This is achieved through auditing of state agencies, boards and commissions, the circuit court system, the counties in Missouri that do not have a county auditor, and other political subdivisions upon request.

The auditor’s office is the only state executive office on the ballot in Missouri this year. The remaining offices of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and treasurer are elected in presidential election years. Each of those offices will next be up for election in 2024.

Several other types of offices are on the ballot in Missouri this year, including one U.S. Senate seat, eight U.S. House seats, 17 state Senate seats, 163 state House seats, two seats on the Missouri Supreme Court, and 12 seats on the Missouri Court of Appeals. There are also two certified statewide ballot measures this year along with dozens more potential measures yet to be certified.



Three Idaho secretary of state candidates competing in May 17 Republican primary

Phil McGrane, Dorothy Moon, and Mary Souza are running in the May 17 Republican Party primary for Idaho Secretary of State. Incumbent Lawerence Denney (R), 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, Moody 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 what she calls election integrity, business services, and endowment lands as key issues.

Souza has been 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.



Two candidates running in Ohio Secretary of State Republican primary election

Incumbent Frank LaRose and John Adams are running in the Republican Party primary for Ohio Secretary of State on May 3, 2022.

LaRose is a U.S. Army veteran and worked as a business manager and project lead for a consulting firm. He represented Ohio State Senate District 27 from 2011 to 2018, and was elected secretary of state in 2018, defeating Kathleen Clyde (D) 51% to 47%. LaRose has 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.”

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. Election security is a top priority for Adams, and he 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.”

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%.



Sid Miller wins Texas Agriculture Commissioner Republican primary

Incumbent Sid Miller defeated Carey Counsil and James White in the Republican primary for Texas Commissioner of Agriculture on March 1, 2022. With 98% of polling locations reporting, Miller received 59% of the vote, followed by White with 31% and Counsil with 10%.

Miller was first elected agriculture commissioner in 2014 and was re-elected in 2018. He was formerly a member of the Texas House of Representatives, representing District 59 from 2001 to 2013. Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Miller in December 2021. Miller said, “I’m a political maverick … I’m the only statewide [official] that actually holds liberals accountable and the establishment Republicans accountable.” According to The Dallas Morning News‘ Sami Sparber, Miller said he ran for re-election because there were “projects [he needed] to finish before [he moved] on.” The Texas Tribune‘s James Barragán wrote, “Miller said voters should reelect him because he has a track record of successfully running the agency.”

According to Barragán, Miller’s Republican and Democratic challengers “[called] his ethics into question while linking him to the recent arrest of [longtime political consultant Todd Smith].” Miller responded to criticism from his opponents: “We have the highest ethics of any elected official in the state. … These guys are way behind. They’re desperate, and desperate candidates do desperate things. … They’re trying to confuse people with misinformation, paint me in a bad light. It’s not going to work. People know me. I’ve got a stellar record as your Ag Commissioner.”

Counsil, an economics professor and rancher, said, “I think people are tired of the status quo and people are tired of the career politicians and people want fresh blood. People want people that are in the industry.” The editorial board of The Dallas Morning News and The Amarillo Pioneer‘s publisher’s committee endorsed Counsil in the Republican primary.

White, who has represented District 19 in the Texas House of Representatives since 2011, said he was a “proven conservative who will restore integrity to this crucial agency that oversees over $115 billion in annual economic impact to our state.” According to The Dallas Morning News, White “[ran] on a platform of organizational reform,” and “promised to make the pricing process for permits and licenses ‘methodological and transparent.'” The editorial boards of the Houston Chronicle, the San Antonio Express-News, and the Austin American-Statesman endorsed White in the Republican primary.

Miller faced two challengers in the 2018 Republican primary and won the party’s nomination by a margin of 33 percentage points.

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Five Democrats running for Texas Attorney General

Five candidates are running in the Democratic primary for Texas attorney general on March 1. Three lead in campaign fundraising and media attention: Rochelle Garza, Joe Jaworski, and Lee Merritt.

Garza is a former attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. She originally announced she would run for Texas’ 34th Congressional District after Rep. Filemon Vela (D) announced he would not run for re-election in March 2021. After Texas enacted new congressional district maps in October 2021, Garza decided to run for attorney general instead. In an interview with The Texas Tribune, Garza said, “Given my background, my work, I believe that this race is the right place to be. I also believe that if we’re gonna change anything in Texas, it’s gonna have to come at the state level because we’ve seen the damage that the governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general have done to this state and the harm they’ve done to the people.”

Jaworski is an attorney and the former mayor of Galveston. His campaign website lists several top priorities, including supporting the Affordable Care Act, expanding Medicaid, leading a statewide effort to legalize recreational marijuana, and supporting the decision-making authority of local governments. “Local decision-making authority is under attack in state government these days and I can personally say that local government is the best government. So I think as attorney general, Texans can rest assured whether they live in Republican jurisdiction, Democratic jurisdiction or any independent-type jurisdiction, that local government will be a focus of my attorney general opinion.”

Merritt is a civil rights attorney who says his top priority is expanding voting access to all residents. In a January 2022 interview with Houston television station ABC13, Merritt said, “Texas is changing, and we’ve seen a unique backlash in response to that change. The essential components of our democracy are at stake, starting with the right to vote.”

Also running in the primary are Mike Fields and S. T-Bone Raynor.

Incumbent Ken Paxton (R) faces three challengers in the Republican primary. Taylor Goldenstein of the Houston Chronicle highlighted the incumbent’s effect on the race in September 2021, writing, “Paxton, with his snowballing legal troubles and slim margin of victory in his 2018 re-election, has instilled new fervor in challengers from both parties — but especially Democrats hoping to seize on what they see as a prime opening.”

The attorney general is an executive office that serves as the chief legal advisor and chief law enforcement officer for the state government and is empowered to prosecute violations of state law, represent the state in legal disputes and issue legal advice to state agencies and the legislature. In most states, the attorney general has a substantial influence on a state’s approach to law enforcement.

A candidate winning more than 50% of the vote automatically advances to the Nov. 8 general election. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two candidates will advance to a primary runoff on May 24.

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and three challengers vie for the Republican primary nomination

Four candidates are running in the Mar. 1 Republican primary election for Texas Attorney General—incumbent Ken Paxton, George P. Bush, Louis Gohmert, and Eva Guzman.

Paxton was first elected Attorney General in 2014. In June 2021, he received an endorsement from former President Donald Trump (R). Paxton said, “As the values conservative endorsed by President Trump, I am proud of my record standing up to and defeating the Biden Administration – repeatedly. I stand by my record and values, and ask each voter to join President Trump in standing with me for a safer and stronger Texas.”

Paxton’s challengers have said allegations that Paxton engaged in criminal misconduct make him unfit for office. In 2015, a grand jury indicted Paxton on securities fraud charges. The case remains open, and no trial has been scheduled. Additionally, the FBI opened an investigation into Paxton in 2020 after former aides accused him of bribery and abuse of office.

Paxton has denied wrongdoing in both cases.

Bush, who became Texas Land Commissioner in 2015, said he’s running because “Texans deserve a top advocate that’s above reproach, not under indictment, focused on the job, going to defend our state against federal overreach, but also take on progressive mayors that are doing everything, for example, here in Austin, such as defunding the police.” Bush said that as attorney general, he would secure the border, support law enforcement, jail human traffickers, and restore integrity to the office.

Gohmert has represented Texas’ 1st Congressional District since 2005. He said he jumped into the race because he is concerned the FBI could indict Paxton after the primary, handing the general election to a Democratic candidate. In an ad, Gohmert said, “Ken Paxton is under indictment for securities fraud and facing a federal investigation for bribery and corruption, so Louie Gohmert is running to save Texas and restore honesty and integrity to the office of Attorney General.” Gohmert said he would fight to preserve election integrity, oppose unconstitutional pandemic mandates, and stop illegal immigration.

Guzman served on the Texas Supreme Court from 2009 to 2021. She completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. She said she was running because she believes “it’s time we restore experience, integrity, and credibility to the Texas Attorney General’s Office.” She pointed to her experience as a judge as a reason she should be attorney general, saying the office “requires someone with a deep knowledge of both criminal and civil law and the ability to digest complex legal issues–and win. I know how to win cases because I know how to think like a judge.”

A candidate winning more than 50% of the vote automatically advances to the Nov. 8 general election. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two candidates will advance to a primary runoff.

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