Tagstate senate

All candidates for Missouri State Senate District 26 complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

Both of the candidates running in the November 8, 2022, general election for Missouri State Senate District 26 — John Kiehne (D) and Ben Brown (R) — completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. These survey responses allow voters to hear directly from candidates about what motivates them to run for office.

Eighty-eight of the country’s 99 state legislative chambers will hold regularly scheduled elections in 2022. The Republican Party controls both chambers of Missouri’s state legislature. Missouri is one of 23 states with a Republican trifecta.

Here are excerpts from candidates’ responses to the question: What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?            

Kiehne:       

“Education from childcare to post-secondary, General and Reproductive Healthcare, ensuring that there is Justice for ALL Missourians including women, minorities, and LGBTQ individuals, supporting and expanding Missouri’s small businesses, repairing, maintaining, and improving our state’s infrastructure, Worker’s Right including the right to organize and collectively bargain…”

Brown:               

“END ABUSIVE GOVERNMENT OVERREACH As a small business owner, Ben Brown saw first-hand how out of control government overreach destroyed our local economies during the COVID-19 shut downs. Ben Brown led the local fight to reopen our businesses and is now ready to fight for you in Jefferson City to make sure the unchecked power of government bureaucracies is finally reigned in.”

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

  1. John Kiehne
  2. Ben Brown

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.

Additional reading:

Missouri State Senate election, 2022



Sen. Kevin Priola joins Democratic Party

Colorado Sen. Kevin Priola announced that he was leaving the Republican Party and would register as a Democrat on Aug. 22. Priola belonged to the Republican Party since 1990.

Priola was elected to District 25 on Nov. 8, 2016, as a Republican. He previously represented District 56 in the Colorado House of Representatives from 2009 to 2017. From 2009 to 2013, Priola represented House District 30, but later represented District 56 because of redistricting changes.

Priola announced his party change on Aug. 22 via statement. Of his decision to change his party affiliation, he said, “I cannot continue to be a part of a political party that is okay with a violent attempt to overturn a free and fair election and continues to peddle claims that the 2020 election was stolen…To be clear, I will not be changing the way I vote on legislation. I just simply will now cast my votes with a D next to my name instead of an R.” 

As of August 2022, Ballotpedia staff have counted 157 state legislators who have switched parties since 1994. Of the 157, 42 state senators and 115 state representatives have switched parties. Twenty-two state senators have switched from Democratic to Republican, while seven have switched from Republican to Democratic. Of the 115 state representatives, 54 have switched from Democratic to Republican, while 15 have switched from Republican to Democratic.

Additional reading:



Minnesota State Senator David Tomassoni dies

Minnesota State Senator David Tomassoni (I) died on Aug. 11, 2022, at Solvay Hospice. Tomassoni represented District 6 from 2001 to 2022. Prior to joining the state Senate, Tomassoni served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1991 to 2001.

Tomassoni was elected to the state Senate in 2000. At the time of his death, he was serving as senate president pro tempore. He had previously served as president of the senate in 2020. On Nov. 18, 2020, Tomassoni and Sen. Thomas Bakk announced that they were leaving the Democratic-Farmer-Labor caucus to form a new independent caucus.

Since the legislature’s session has already concluded, no special election will be called to replace Tomassoni since he had already announced he would not run for re-election. A new state senator for the district will be elected in the November election.

As of Aug. 18, Ballotpedia has identified 156 state legislators who have switched parties since 1994. Of those 156, 41 were state senators and 115 were state representatives. Tomassoni was one of eight state legislators to switch parties in 2020. Of the eight, two switched from Democratic to independent, one from Democratic to Republican, one from Republican to Libertarian, one from independent to Republican, and three from Democratic to independent. 

Additional reading:



Newcomers will represent at least 32% of Vermont’s state legislative seats next year

Fifty-seven state legislative seats up for election in Vermont this year are open, meaning no incumbents filed to run. This represents 32% of the state’s legislature, a marked increase compared to recent election cycles.

Since no incumbents are present, newcomers are guaranteed to win all open seats.

Vermont restructured its House and Senate during the state’s redistricting process. Previously, the state had 117 state legislative districts containing 180 seats. After redistricting, there are 125 districts, still containing 180 seats.

While the number of open seats increased this year, other competitiveness metrics—like the number of contested primaries—decreased compared to the 2020 election cycle.

Across all districts, there are 24 contested primaries, representing 10% of all possible primaries.

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

There are 17 Democratic primaries, a 23% decrease from 2020. Republicans are holding seven contested primaries, the same number as in 2020.

Overall, 276 major party candidates filed to run for the state’s 150 House and 30 Senate seats this year: 174 Democrats and 102 Republicans.

Vermont has had a divided government since Republicans won the governorship in 2016. Democrats hold a 91-46 majority in the House, with 12 other seats held by minor party or independent officeholders and one vacancy. The party holds a 21-7 majority in the Senate, with two seats held by minor party officeholders.

Vermont’s state legislative primaries are scheduled for Aug. 9, the 12th statewide primary date of the 2022 state legislative election cycle.

Additional reading:

Vermont House of Representatives elections, 2022

Vermont State Senate elections, 2022



Primary watch: number of contested state legislative primaries is up 25% compared to 2020

There are 25% more contested state legislative primaries this year than in 2020, including 55% more Republican primaries and 8% more top-two/four primaries. Democratic primaries are down 9%.

These figures include elections in 37 states that account for 4,672 of 6,166 state legislative seats up for election this year (76%).

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 July 25, we have added post-filing deadline data from Minnesota. Overall, 11 states in this analysis have Democratic trifectas, 19 have Republican trifectas, and seven have divided governments.

Of the 37 states in this analysis, 34 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 19, and remains the same in three. The number of Republican primaries has increased in 30 states and decreased in four. 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 1.4% 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.



33% of Washington state legislative incumbents face contested top-two primaries

Thirty-one of the 95 Washington state legislators who filed for re-election—22 Democrats and nine Republicans—will face contested primaries on Aug. 2. This represents 33% of incumbents who filed for re-election, lower than in 2020 but a higher rate than other recent election cycles.

Washington is one of three states holding top-two state legislative primaries this year. Under this system, all candidates appear on the same primary ballot regardless of their party affiliation and the top-two vote-getters advance to the general election.

Under this system, a primary is contested when more than two candidates file to run in the same district, at which point at least one candidate is guaranteed to lose.

Historically, however, incumbents tend to advance to the general election in Washington.

Between 2014 and 2020, 127 incumbents faced contested primaries in the state, four of whom—two Democrats and two Republicans—lost. This gives incumbents a primary win rate of 98%.

Twenty-seven incumbents are not seeking re-election this year, an increase compared to previous election cycles. This represents 18% of all seats in the Washington State Legislature.

Washington does not have term limits, meaning each of these incumbents either chose to retire or seek some other office.

Overall, 292 candidates filed to run in Washington’s top-two state legislative primaries this year: 126 Democrats, 142 Republicans, and 24 independent or minor party candidates.

All 98 House seats are up for election along with 24 of the state’s 49 Senate seats.

Washington has had a Democratic trifecta since 2017 when the party won control of the Senate in a special election. Democrats currently hold a 57-41 majority in the House and a 29-20 majority in the Senate.

Washington’s state legislative primaries are scheduled for Aug. 2, the 10th statewide primary date of the 2022 state legislative election cycle.

Additional reading:

Washington House of Representatives elections, 2022

Washington State Senate elections, 2022



Karen Peterson resigns from Louisiana State Senate

Karen Peterson (D) resigned from the Louisiana State Senate on April 8 to focus on recovering from depression and a gambling addiction. She represented District 5 from 2010 to 2022. According to The New Orleans Advocate, a federal probe is being conducted into Peterson’s finances and gambling addiction. 

Prior to joining the state Senate in 2010, Peterson served in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1999 to 2010. She most recently ran for election in 2021, challenging Troy Carter (D) in the special election for U.S. House Louisiana District 2. Carter was elected with 55.2% of the vote.

If there is a vacancy in the Louisiana State Senate, the vacant seat must be filled by a special election. An election is required if there are six months or more left in the unexpired term. The presiding officer in the house where the vacancy happened must call for an election no later than 10 days after the vacancy occurred. The presiding officer must determine the dates for the election along with all filing deadlines. The person elected to the seat serves for the remainder of the unexpired term.

As of April 11, there have been 52 state legislative vacancies in 28 states during 2022. Twenty-two (22) of those vacancies have been filled. Of the 52 vacancies, 34 are Democratic and 18 are Republican. Democrats have filled 15 vacancies, while Republicans have filled seven.  

Additional reading:



Trump endorses in Penn. Senate primary for second time; former administration official endorsements are split

Seven candidates are running in the Republican primary election for U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania on May 17, 2022. Senator Pat Toomey (R) is not running for re-election. The candidates who performed best in recent polling and have received the most media attention are David McCormick and Mehmet Oz. The general election will take place on Nov. 8, 2022.

Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Oz on April 9, 2022. Trump previously endorsed Sean Parnell in Sept. 2021. Parnell suspended his campaign in Nov. 2021 and endorsed McCormick in Jan. 2022. Between the suspension of Parnell’s campaign and Trump’s endorsement of Oz, several advisors and administration officials made endorsements in the race. Kellyanne Conway, Hope Hicks, Larry Kudlow, Stephen Miller, and Mike Pompeo endorsed McCormick. Ben Carson, Louis Freeh, Rick Perry, Wilbur Ross, and Ryan Zinke endorsed Oz.

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

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

Three race ratings outlets rate the race either Toss-up or Tilt Republican. President Joe Biden (D) won Pennsylvania 50% to 49% in the 2020 presidential election. Senator Bob Casey Jr. (D) won re-election 56% to 43% in 2018. Toomey won re-election in 2016 49% to 47%.

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



Tony Navarrete resigns from the Arizona state Senate

Senator Tony Navarrete (D) resigned from the Arizona state Senate on Aug. 10. He represented District 30 from 2019 to 2021. He also represented Arizona House District 30 from 2017 to 2019.

Phoenix police arrested Navarrete on Aug. 5, 2021, on suspicion of sexual conduct with a minor. According to authorities, the alleged sexual conduct took place in 2019. Navarrete resigned on Aug. 10, stating, “I adamantly deny all allegations that have been made and will pursue all avenues in an effort to prove my innocence. In doing so, I will be focusing the vast majority of my time and energy on my defense.”

If there is a vacancy in the state Senate, the board of county supervisors must select a replacement. The appointee will serve the remainder of Navarrete’s term, which ends on Jan. 8, 2023.

As of Aug. 12, there have been 82 state legislative vacancies in 36 states this year. Fifty of those vacancies have been filled, with 32 vacancies remaining. Navarrete’s vacancy is one of 38 Democratic vacancies to have occurred in 2021. So far, Democrats have filled 23 vacancies, while Republicans have filled 27.  

Additional reading:

Arizona State Senate

Arizona State Senate District 30

State legislative vacancies, 2021