TagU.S. House

Iowa sees the fewest candidates running for the U.S. House in at least a decade

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in Iowa this year was March 18, 2022. Ten candidates are running for Iowa’s four U.S. House districts, including four Democrats and six Republicans. That’s 2.5 candidates per district, less than the 4.5 candidates per district in 2020 and the four in 2018.

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  • This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census. Iowa was apportioned four districts, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.
  • The 10 candidates running this year are the fewest candidates running for Iowa’s U.S. House seats since at least 2012, when 11 candidates filed.
  • All four incumbents are running for re-election, meaning there are no open seats this year. 
  • The Republican primary in the 3rd district is the only contested primary this year. That’s the fewest contested primaries since at least 2012, when three primaries were contested. There were four contested primaries each year from 2014 to 2020. 
  • No incumbent is facing a primary challenger. That’s the lowest number since 2014, when no incumbent faced a primary challenger either. One incumbent faced a primary challenger in both 2020 and 2018, and two incumbents did in 2016. 
  • Candidates filed to run in the Republican and Democratic primaries in all four districts, so no seats are guaranteed to either party this year.

Iowa and six other states — California, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota — are holding primary elections on June 7. In Iowa, the winner of a primary election is the candidate who receives the greatest number of votes, even if he or she does not win an outright majority of votes cast for the office being sought.

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Georgia has the most candidates running for the U.S. House in at least a decade

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in Georgia this year was March 11, 2022. Eighty-two candidates are running for Georgia’s 14 U.S. House districts, including 31 Democrats and 51 Republicans. That’s 5.86 candidates per district, more than the 5.5 candidates per district in 2020 and the 3.42 in 2018.

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  1. This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census. Georgia was apportioned 14 districts, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.
  2. The 82 candidates running this year are the most candidates running for Georgia’s U.S. House seats since at least 2012, when 44 candidates ran.
  1. Two seats — the 6th and the 10th — are open, meaning no incumbents are running. That’s one less than in 2020 when three seats were open. There were no open seats in 2018, one in 2016, and three in 2014.
  2. Rep. Jody Hice (R), who represents the 10th district, is running for Georgia Secretary of State. Thirteen candidates — five Democrats and eight Republicans — are running to replace him, the most candidates running for a seat this year. 
  3. Rep. Lucy McBath (D), who represents the 6th district, is running in the 7th district this year. She is the only incumbent running in a different district than the one she currently represents. 
  4. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux (D), the incumbent in the 7th district, is running for re-election. That makes the 7th district the only district featuring two incumbents running against each other.
  5. There are eight contested Democratic primaries this year, the same number as in 2020 and 2018. 

There are nine contested Republican primaries, one more than in 2020 and the highest number since at least 2012. 

  1. There are eight incumbents in contested primaries this year, the most since at least 2012. 
  1. Five incumbents are not facing any primary challengers. 
  2. Candidates filed to run in the Republican and Democratic primaries in all 14 districts, so no seats are guaranteed to either party this year. The last year in which a party was guaranteed a seat because no candidate from the other party filed was 2018, when then-incumbent Rep. John Lewis (D) ran unopposed in the general election for the 5th district. 

Georgia and two other states — Alabama and Arkansas — are holding primary elections on May 24. A candidate must receive a majority of votes in order to win a primary election in Georgia. If no candidate wins an outright majority of votes cast, a runoff primary between the top two vote-getters will be held on June 21.

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Davis wins Democratic primary for North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District

Donald Davis defeated Erica Smith and two other candidates in the Democratic primary for North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District on May 17, 2022. Incumbent G.K. Butterfield (D) did not file to run for re-election.

WRAL’s Bryan Anderson wrote: “Central to Davis’ campaign was an argument about electability, where he sought to persuade Democratic voters that his more centrist policies and track record of working with Republicans could make him the likeliest candidate to keep the seat in Democrats’ hands.”

Davis has held a seat in the state Senate since 2013. Davis was first elected to the state Senate in 2008 but lost his re-election bid in the 2010 general election. Davis ran unopposed in the 2012 state Senate primary and general elections. Davis said, “As a veteran, a minister, and a state senator, I’ve rolled up my sleeves and gone to work for our neighbors and families. When I am sworn in as our next congressman, we will focus on the fight ahead — transforming the future of our region and rural America.” He has campaigned on rebuilding the rural economy and said he would “continue to fight for affordable healthcare, voting rights and protect a woman’s right to choose” in Congress.

Smith served in the North Carolina Senate from 2015 to 2020. Smith filed to run for U.S. Senate in 2022, but switched her candidacy to the U.S. House following Butterfield’s retirement announcement in November 2021. Smith campaigned on what she called a platform for progress, which she said included raising the minimum wage, strengthening unions, supporting small, family farms, and investing in fisheries and wind energy. Smith said, “For three terms as a State Senator I fought for a more progressive, democratic North Carolina. I fought to raise the minimum wage, legalize marijuana, make it easier to vote, secure a woman’s right to choose, provide rural broadband, expand Medicaid, and more. Now I’m running for Congress, because I’ve seen enough of the state and the country to know that the problems I originally identified in my own rural county are everywhere.”

Jullian Bishop Sr. and Jason Spriggs also ran in the election.

Three independent race forecasters consider the general election to Lean Democratic.



Sandy Smith wins North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District Republican primary

Sandy Smith defeated Sandy Roberson and six other candidates in the Republican Party primary for North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District on May 17, 2022. Incumbent G.K. Butterfield (D) did not run for re-election

Smith was the Republican nominee for the district’s 2020 general election, winning the Republican primary with 77.3% of the vote. She lost Butterfield in the general election, receiving 45.8% of the vote to Butterfield’s 54.2%. “The Democrats are scared of me,” Smith said. “I have fulfilled my first campaign promise of 2020 and that was to send G.K. Butterfield packing…If I had not done so well he would be still running today.” Smith worked as a business executive and farmer. “I’m the America First fighter and I am going to go to Washington and fight for you,” Smith said.

Roberson was elected Mayor of Rocky Mount, North Carolina in 2019. He also served as managing partner of Health View Capital Partners. Roberson said he “made a career of getting things done, delivering results, meeting budgets, and holding others accountable” and would “prioritize fiscal responsibility, defend our Second Amendment rights, and protect the sanctity of life” and “ensure the needs of American citizens always come first and empower law enforcement to do their job.”

Will Aiken, Brad Murphy, Ernest Reeves, Brent Roberson, Billy Strickland, and Henry Williams also ran in the Republican primary.

Butterfield represented the district since winning the 2004 general election, defeating Greg Dority (R) 64-36%. The Cook Political Report rated the general election as Likely Democratic.



Val Hoyle wins Oregon’s 4th Congressional District Democratic primary

Val Hoyle defeated Doyle Canning, Andrew Kalloch, John Selker, and four other candidates in the Democratic Party primary for Oregon’s 4th Congressional District on May 17, 2022. Incumbent Peter DeFazio (D), who represented the district since 1987, did not run for re-election. 

Hoyle was elected Oregon Commissioner of Labor and Industries in 2018. Hoyle was a member of the Oregon House of Representatives, representing District 14 from 2009 to 2017. Hoyle ran for Oregon Secretary of State in 2016 and lost in the Democratic primary, receiving 34% of the vote. Hoyle emphasized her experience in office, with her campaign manager saying, “Val is the only candidate in this race with a record of passing climate legislation. In the Oregon Legislature, she supported the bill to eliminate coal energy in Oregon and led the fight to pass Oregon’s clean fuels program.”

Canning ran in the 2020 Democratic primary for Oregon’s 4th Congressional District and lost DeFazio, receiving 15% of the vote. Canning worked as a community organizer and attorney and was vice chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon Environmental Caucus. “Oregon voters are hungry for a climate champion for Congress in 2022. I have been in this fight for 20 years, working on some of the most important climate battles of our time, including the successful defeat of the Jordan Cove project in 2021,” Canning said.

Kalloch worked as an attorney for the ACLU of New York, a policy advisor for the NYC Comptroller, and in global public policy for Airbnb. He has been affiliated with the City Clubs of Eugene and Portland, the Technology Association of Oregon, the Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing, and the PDX Chapter of Braver Angels. “From my time as a civil rights attorney at the ACLU to my experience as a top policy adviser in city government and my work in Global Public Policy with Airbnb, I have used every institution of power to deliver results for American families,” Kalloch said.

Selker’s career experience includes working as a university professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University. Selker also served as co-director of the Center for Transformative Environmental Monitoring Programs and the Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory at the university. “We must provide a society where people can thrive, and pass on an environment where future generations can be as inspired and sustained as we are by the splendor of nature,” Selker said.

Sami Al-Abdrabbuh, Steve Laible, Jake Matthews, and G. Tommy Smith also ran in the Democratic primary.

The Cook Political Report rated the general election as Likely Democratic. In the 2020 general election, DeFazio defeated Alek Skarlatos (R) with 52% of the vote to Skarlatos’ 46%.



Primary will narrow field to two candidates in California’s 27th Congressional District

Seven candidates are running in the top-two primary for California’s 27th Congressional District on June 7, 2022. Incumbent Mike Garcia (R), John Quaye Quartey (D), and Christy Smith (D) have received the most media attention.

Garcia defeated Smith in the 2020 general election by 333 votes, making it the third-closest U.S. House race that year. Brianna Lee of LAist said that this year’s race should be more competitive because redistricting “jettisoned the district’s most conservative outpost in Simi Valley, giving Democratic voters even more of an edge.” The main story to watch in the primary election, Lee said, was “who [Democrats] trust most to take on Garcia during what promises to be a tough election year.”

Garcia was first elected to the U.S. House in May 2020 when he won a special election to succeed Katie Hill (D). Garcia served in the U.S. Navy as a pilot for 20 years and worked for Raytheon after his retirement. Garcia’s website lists the economy, jobs, taxes, and inflation as his key campaign issues. The Republican Party of California endorsed Garcia.

Quartey served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy and founded Safiyah Partners, an entrepreneurial investment firm, after his retirement. Quartey cited the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, as the reason he is running for office and his website highlights expanding access to the ballot box, decreasing the income inequality gap, and gun safety as key issues. Three U.S. Reps. from California—Barbara Lee, Katie Porter, and Eric Swalwell—endorsed Quartey.

Smith served in the California State Assembly from 2018 to 2020. Smith worked as an analyst at the U.S. Department of Education and founded the Valencia Valley Technological Education Foundation. Smith’s campaign website highlights expanding access to healthcare, improving the quality of public education, and codifying Roe v. Wade as key campaign issues. Smith’s endorsements include the California Democratic Party, the California Federation of Teachers, four members of the U.S. House, 22 members of the California State Legislature, and seven state elected officials.

The two candidates to receive the most votes (regardless of party) will run in the district’s general election on November 8, 2022. Three independent election forecasters rated the general election as Toss-up. The district’s representation has shifted party hands multiple times in the past decade, from Stephen Knight (R) to Hill (D) to Garcia (R).

Also running in the primary are Ruth Luevanos (D), Mark Pierce (R), David Rudnick (R), and Fepbrina Keivaulqe Autiameineire (I).



Bo Hines wins the Republican primary for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District

Bo Hines defeated DeVan Barbour IV, Kelly Daughtry, Renee Ellmers, Kent Keirsey, and three other candidates in the primary for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District on May 17, 2022. Incumbent Rep. Ted Budd (R) ran for the U.S. Senate and did not seek re-election.

Hines, a former college football player for North Carolina State University, interned for Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) and U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.). Hines said there was a need for younger voices in Congress. In his responses to Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey, Hines criticized incumbency and said he would sign a pledge not to serve more than four consecutive terms. “I’m a fresh new voice that will work to refurbish the Republican party,” he wrote. Former President Donald Trump (R), the Club for Growth, and Reps. Matt Gaetz (R), Madison Cawthorn (R), and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R) endorsed Hines.

The boundaries of North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District changed as a result of redistricting, with the new district including all of Johnston County as well as parts of Harnett, Wake, and Wayne counties. According to FiveThirtyEight, the old district map had an R+38 partisan lean, while the new map had an R+3 partisan lean.

WRAL’s Travis Fain said, “The district is one of the most competitive between Republicans and Democrats in North Carolina, based on past election results.” At the time of the primary, three independent election forecasters considered the general election a Toss-up.

Also running in the primary were Jessica Morel, Chad Slotta, and Kevin Alan Wolff.

If no candidate had won more than 30% of the primary vote, a runoff would have been held on July 26.

Hines will face Wiley Nickel (D) in the general election.



McGarvey defeats Scott for Democratic nomination in Kentucky’s 3rd Congressional District

Morgan McGarvey defeated Attica Scott in the Democratic primary for Kentucky’s 3rd Congressional District on May 17, 2022. As of 11:45 a.m. ET on May 18, McGarvey had received 63% of the vote and Scott had 37%. Incumbent Rep. John Yarmuth (D)—first elected to represent the district in 2006—did not run for re-election. This is the first open-seat race in the Louisville-area district since 1994. 

McGarvey is a member of the Kentucky State Senate, having first been elected to the legislature in 2012, and has served as the Democrats’ minority leader since 2019. McGarvey described himself as a champion of progressive values and said on his website, “As the Democratic Minority Leader in the Kentucky State Senate, I’ve spent my career standing up to the Trump-Bevin Republicans in Frankfort. I’ve stood firm on our progressive values to protect health care and teachers’ pensions, promote clean energy and defend choice so that Kentucky doesn’t look like Texas.” McGarvey announced he was running for this seat on the same day that Yarmuth said he would not run for re-election.

Scott served on the Louisville City Council from 2011 to 2014 and as a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives since 2016. At the time of her election to the legislature, she was the first Black woman to win such an office in 20 years.

According to campaign finance reports through April 27, McGarvey raised $1.5 million and spent $1.1 million. Scott raised $236,000 and spent $196,000.

University of Kentucky political science professor Steve Voss told the Louisville Courier-Journal in February 2022 that “Democrats have close to a 2-1 advantage over the GOP in terms of voters’ party registration in this congressional district.” As of May 2022, three independent outlets rated the general election as Solid Democratic. In the 2020 presidential election, Joe Biden (D) defeated Donald Trump (R) in Kentucky’s 3rd, 60% to 38%.

McGarvey will face the winner of the district’s Republican primary in the Nov. 8 general election.

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Foushee wins Democratic primary for North Carolina’s open 4th Congressional District

State Sen. Valerie Foushee defeated Durham County Commissioner Nida Allam, Clay Aiken, and five other candidates to win the Democratic primary for North Carolina’s open 4th Congressional District on May 17, 2022.

Incumbent Rep. David Price (D)—first elected in 1986, defeated in 1994, and re-elected in 1996—did not seek re-election. This is the first year the 4th District had been open since Rep. Nick Galifianakis (D) left office in 1972, though district lines have changed due to redistricting.

Foushee was first appointed to the North Carolina Senate in 2013 after serving in the state House. Before that, Foushee served on the Orange County Board of Commissioners from 2004 to 2012 and had been a member of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education.

Foushee emphasized her experience during the primary, saying “she has stood up to radical Republicans when they have attacked a woman’s right to choose, targeted our immigrant communities, and attempted to strip North Carolinians of their voting rights.”

The Assembly‘s Jeffrey Billman said that, along with satellite spending, “Including what candidates have raised themselves, the contest is the most expensive Democratic congressional primary in North Carolina history.”

Foushee and Allam both raised over $800,000 as of April 27. Additionally, eight organizations contributed $3,828,804 in satellite spending, according to Open Secrets. Most of the satellite spending—90%—went toward supporting Foushee with the remaining 10% supporting Allam.

The largest satellite spenders were:

  • United Democracy Project: an affiliate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The group spent $2,128,194 supporting Foushee.
  • Protect Our Future PAC: a political action committee funded by Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange. The group spent $1,040,133 supporting Foushee.
  • Working Families Party: a spending arm of the political party by the same name. The group spent $310,640 supporting Allam.

Following redistricting, the 4th District was drawn to include portions of North Carolina’s Research Triangle. As of 2022, the district had the largest percentage of voters between the ages of 18 and 29 (27%) and the largest percentage with a bachelor’s degree (52%) in North Carolina. Three independent race forecasters rated the general election as Solid or Safe Democratic.



Wiley Nickel defeats four other candidates in North Carolina’s 13 District Democratic primary

Wiley Nickel defeats four other candidates in North Carolina’s 13th District Democratic primary

Wiley Nickel won the May 17 Democratic primary for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District. Five candidates were on the ballot. Incumbent Rep. Ted Budd (R) announced on April 28, 2021, that he would not seek re-election and instead run for U.S. Senate.

Nickel had served in the North Carolina State Senate representing District 16 since 2019. He also worked as a criminal defense attorney. Before his election to public office, Nickel worked in several district attorney offices and in the White House as advance staff for former President Barack Obama (D). Nickel described his candidacy, saying, “I’ve seen the power of a nation’s hope. I’ve also seen the hard work it takes to make real change. I’m proud to be running on my strong record of work on climate solutions, wealth inequality, and human rights as a North Carolina State Senator.”

Jamie Campbell Bowles (D), Nathan Click (D), Denton Lee (D), Sam Searcy (D) also ran.

The district lines of North Carolina’s 13th changed substantially after redistricting, with the new district containing none of the old 13th district. According to FiveThirtyEight, the old 13th district had an R+38 lean, while the new district has an R+3 lean.

The News & Observer’s Danielle Battaglia described the new district, saying, “Only one district of North Carolina’s congressional map is a swing district, one that’s considered viable for either a Republican or Democrat to win. It’s the 13th Congressional District, and it encompasses all of Johnston County, the southern portion of Wake County, and parts of Harnett and Wayne counties.”

Nickel will face Bo Hines (R) in the November general election. As of May 2022, three independent outlets rated the 2022 general election as a Toss-up.