TagU.S. House

Rhode Island sees first open U.S. House seat since 2010

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in Rhode Island this year was July 15, 2022. Nine candidates are running for Rhode Island’s two U.S. House districts, including seven Democrats and two Republicans. That’s 4.5 candidates per district, more than the 2.5 candidates per district in 2020 and the three 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. Rhode Island was apportioned two districts, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.
  • The nine candidates running this year are four more than the five who ran in 2020 and three more than the six who ran in 2018. Seven candidates ran in 2016, six in 2014, and 12 in 2012.
  • There is an open seat for the first time since 2010. Rep. Jim Langevin (D), the incumbent in the 2nd district, is retiring.
  • Seven candidates—six Democrats and one Republican—are running to replace Langevin, the most candidates running for a seat this year. 
  • Rep. David Cicilline (R), the incumbent in the 1st district, is running for re-election and is not facing any primary challengers. 
  • The Democratic primary in the 2nd district is the only contested primary this year. That number is a decade low. There were two contested primaries in 2020, 2018, 2016, and 2014. There were four contested primaries in 2012.
  • Democratic and Republican candidates filed to run in both districts,  so no seats are guaranteed to either party this year.

Rhode Island and two other states—Delaware and New Hampshire—are holding their congressional primaries on September 13, 2022. In Rhode Island, 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.



Peltola, Palin, Begich, and Bye advance from Alaska U.S. House primary

Mary Peltola (D), Sarah Palin (R), Nicholas Begich III (R), and Chris Bye (L) advanced from the top-four primary election for U.S. House in Alaska. Peltola received 37%, followed by Palin with 30% and Begich with 26%. Tara Sweeney (R) finished fourth with 4% but withdrew from the race. Since it was more than 64 days before the general election, the fifth-place finisher, Bye, advanced with 0.6% of the vote. 

The primary was held Aug. 16, the same day as a special election for the same office. Peltola won the ranked-choice voting special election against Palin and Begich, meaning she’ll be the incumbent heading into the regular general election. Peltola had finished fourth in the top-four special primary behind Palin, Begich, and Al Gross (I). Gross, the third-place finisher, withdrew from the special election. 

Former Rep. Don Young (R) died in March. Young had been in office since 1973. 

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Two candidates running in the Nov. 8 general election for California’s 22nd Congressional District

California State Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D) and U.S. Rep. David Valadao (R) are running in the general election for California’s 22nd Congressional District on November 8, 2022. Heading into the election, the incumbent is Republican Connie Conway, who was first elected in a special election on June 7, 2022, to replace Devin Nunes. Conway chose not to run for a full term.

The Bakersfield Californian’s Sam Morgan has written, “Salas and Valadao have positioned themselves as independent-minded politicians in an effort to appeal to undecided and centrist voters.”

Salas is a member of the California State Assembly, a position to which he was first elected in 2011. Salas has run on his record in the Assembly, saying, “I’ve proven over the last decade that I’ve been able to deliver for Central Valley families. Whether that’s direct funding in million of dollars to expand nursing programs, bring new buildings, public safety, clean drinking water. There is a big difference between me and my opponents: I’ve been able to deliver on these things.” Salas has said he was the only Democrat to vote in 2017 against increasing the gasoline tax, saying, “I’m always going to do what I feel is right for Central Valley families, whether that a Democratic idea, a Republican idea, an independent idea.”

Valadao is a member of the U.S. House, representing the 21st Congressional District. Valadao represented the 21st Congressional District from 2013 to 2019. He lost in the 2018 general election but ran for his old seat in 2020 and won. Valadao said, “I’ll continue to be an independent member of Congress who will stand up to the divisive partisanship in Washington D.C., get things done to grow our local economy, and deliver more water for our farmers and communities.” Valadao has campaigned on protecting the Central Valley’s water supply and agricultural industry and ensuring veterans have “access to high quality healthcare, or education and employment opportunities here at home.” Valadao was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump (R) for incitement of insurrection following the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol.

California’s 22nd Congressional District boundaries changed following redistricting. According to Roll Call’s Kate Ackley, about 55% of the 22nd District’s population comes from the old 21st District, the district to which Valadao was elected in 2020. 



A closer look at Colorado’s new, competitive 8th Congressional District

Yadira Caraveo (D), Barbara Kirkmeyer (R), and three others are running in the general election for Colorado’s 8th Congressional District on November 8, 2022.

Caraveo is a pediatrician and a member of the Colorado House of Representatives, first elected in 2018. Caraveo, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico, said, “Colorado families need a powerful partner fighting for them in Congress — not divisiveness and extremism. I am fighting so that our kids can achieve the same American Dream I was able to.”

Kirkmeyer is a member of the Colorado State Senate, first elected in 2020. Before entering the Senate, Kirkmeyer was a Weld County Commissioner from 1993 to 2000 and 2009 to 2020. Kirkmeyer said she will “lower the cost of living, restore order to the border, bring back energy independence, and stand up for law enforcement.”

The 8th District is one of seven new congressional districts created after the 2020 census and the first new congressional district in Colorado since 2001.

Bloomberg Government‘s Zach Cohen wrote, “The diversity and competitiveness of Colorado’s new 8th District has it primed to serve as a key House race in congressional this year and beyond.”

Twenty-eight percent of the district’s active registered voters are Democrats, 25% are Republicans, and 44% are unaffiliated.

Demographically, the 8th District has the state’s largest percentage of Hispanic or Latino residents, who make up 39% of the district’s population. Non-Hispanic white residents make up 52% of the district.

An analysis of eight statewide elections held between 2016 and 2020 found Democrats winning what is now the 8th District by an average of 1.3 percentage points.

At the presidential level specifically, Roll Call‘s Nathan Gonazlez reported that Donald Trump (R) won what is now the 8th District by two percentage points in 2016 and Joe Biden (D) won by four percentage points in 2020.

Richard Ward (L) and Steve Zorn (I) will also appear on the ballot, and Tim Long (I) is running as a write-in candidate.

The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 118th Congress. All 435 seats in the House are up for election. Democrats hold a 219-211 advantage in the U.S. House with five vacant seats. Republicans need to gain a net of seven seats to win a majority in the chamber.



New Hampshire sees 19 U.S. House candidates this year, up from 12 in 2020

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in New Hampshire this year was June 10, 2022. Nineteen candidates are running for New Hampshire’s two U.S. House districts, including two Democrats and 17 Republicans. That’s 9.5 candidates per district, more than the six candidates per district in 2020 and fewer than the 12.5 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. New Hampshire was apportioned two districts, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.
  • The 19 candidates running this year are seven more than the 12 who ran in 2020 and six fewer than the 25 who ran in 2018. Fourteen candidates ran in 2016, and 10 ran in 2014 and 2012.
  • Incumbents Chris Pappas (D-1st) and Annie Kuster (D-2nd) are both running for re-election, meaning there are no open seats this year. The last year there was an open U.S. House seat in New Hampshire was 2018. 
  • Neither incumbent is facing a primary challenger.
  • There are two contested primaries this year, both Republican. That’s fewer than the three contested primaries in 2020 and 2018, and the same number as in 2016, 2014, and 2012.
  • Eleven candidates are running in the 1st district, the most candidates running for a seat this year.
  • Republican and Democratic candidates filed to run in both districts, so no seats are guaranteed to either party this year.

New Hampshire and two other states—Delaware and Rhode Island—are holding their congressional primaries on September 13, 2022. In New Hampshire, the winners of primary contests are determined via plurality vote (i.e., the candidate with the highest number of votes is declared the winner of the primary even if he or she did not win more than 50 percent of the vote).



A rematch of last year’s third-closest U.S. House race taking place this year in CA-27

U.S. Rep. Mike Garcia (R) and Christy Smith (D) are running in the general election for California’s 27th Congressional District on November 8, 2022. Incumbent Judy Chu (D) is running for re-election in California’s 28th Congressional District because of redistricting.

In 2020, Garcia defeated Smith in the 25th District by 333 votes, making it the third-closest U.S. House race that year. Brianna Lee of LAist said the 2022 race would likely be more competitive because redistricting “jettisoned the district’s most conservative outpost in Simi Valley, giving Democratic voters even more of an edge.” In the June 7 top-two primary, Garcia received 49.6% of the vote and Smith received 35.4%. Republican votes for all candidates in the primary combined for 53.4% of the vote, while Democratic votes combined for 46.6%.

Garcia was first elected to represent California’s 25th Congressional District in May 2020, when he won a special election to succeed Rep. 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.

Smith served in the California State Assembly from 2018 to 2020. She 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.

The district’s representation shifted party hands multiple times in the past decade, from Stephen Knight (R) to Hill (D) to Garcia (R). Joe Biden (D) won the district by 10.1% in the 2020 presidential election.



Mary Peltola (D) wins special U.S. House election in Alaska

Mary Peltola (D) won the Aug. 16 special U.S. House election in Alaska, according to results released Aug. 31. In the final round of unofficial ranked-choice voting tabulation, Peltola had 51.5% of the vote to Sarah Palin’s (R) 48.5%. This election fills the term ending Jan. 3, 2023.

Before ranked-choice tabulation began, Peltola had 40% of first-choice votes, followed by Palin with 31% and Nick Begich III (R) with 28%. Write-in candidates received a combined 1.6% of the vote.

Write-in candidates were eliminated first as a batch. Then Begich was eliminated. The votes of those who chose eliminated candidates as first choices were redistributed to the voters’ second-choice candidates if they chose such.

Peltola will be Alaska’s first Democratic U.S. representative since Nick Begich Sr.—Nick Begich III’s grandfather. Begich Sr.’s plane went missing while he was in office in 1972. Don Young (R) won a special election to succeed Begich. Young served until his death in March of this year.

Peltola, Palin, and Begich will meet again in the regularly scheduled general election for U.S. House on Nov. 8. That election will also use ranked-choice voting.

Alaska holds top-four primaries. Independent Al Gross also advanced from the special primary election in June having placed third, but Gross withdrew from the race.

As of September 2022, 14 special elections have been held for the 117th Congress, and there are three upcoming special elections scheduled to take place.

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Delaware sees two U.S. House candidates this year, the fewest since 2014

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in Delaware this year was July 12, 2022. Two candidates are running for Delaware’s At-Large U.S. House district, one Democrat and one Republican. 

The two candidates running this year are one fewer than the three who ran in 2020 and 2018, and five fewer than the seven who ran in 2016, when the seat was last open. Two candidates ran in 2014, and three did in 2012.

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

  • Because it has only one U.S. House seat, Delaware did not need to redistrict after the 2020 census.
  • Incumbent Lisa Blunt Rochester (D), first elected in 2016, is running for re-election.
  • Lee Murphy (R) was the only Republican candidate who filed to run this year. 
  • Blunt Rochester and Murphy were the Democratic and Republican nominees in 2020, meaning this year’s general election will be a rematch. 
  • Since the two candidates are from different parties, there are no contested primaries this year. The Republican primary was contested in 2020, 2018, and 2012, while the Democratic primary was contested in 2016. There were no contested primaries in 2014. 

Delaware and two other states — New Hampshire and Rhode Island — are holding primary elections on September 13, 2022. In Delaware, 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.



Massachusetts sees 19 U.S. House candidates this year, fewer than in 2020 and 2018

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in Massachusetts this year was June 7, 2022. Nineteen candidates are running for Massachusetts’s nine U.S. House districts, including nine Democrats and ten Republicans. That’s 2.1 candidates per district, less than the three candidates per district in 2020 and the 3.44 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. Massachusetts was apportioned nine districts, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.
  • The 19 candidates running this year are eight fewer than the 27 candidates who ran in 2020 and 12 fewer than the 31 who ran in 2018. Fourteen candidates ran in 2016, 20 in 2014, and 28 in 2012.
  • All incumbents are running for re-election, meaning there are no open seats this year. There was one open seat in 2020 and 2018, no open seats in 2016 and 2014, and one open seat in 2012.
  • The 8th and 9th districts drew the most candidates this year, with one Democrat and two Republicans running in each. 
  • There are two contested primaries this year, both Republican. That’s three fewer than in 2020, when there were five contested primaries, and six fewer than in 2018, when there were eight contested primaries. There was one contested primary in 2016, three in 2014, and nine in 2012.
  • No incumbents are facing primary challengers this year. That number is down from 2020, when three incumbents faced primary challengers, and 2018, when five incumbents did. No incumbents faced primary challengers in 2016, two did in 2014, and three did in 2012.
  • The 4th district is guaranteed to Democrats because no Republicans filed. No districts are guaranteed to Republicans because no Democrats filed.

Massachusetts is holding primary elections on September 6, 2022. In Massachusetts, the winner of a primary election is the candidate who receives the greatest number of votes, even if the candidate does not receive an outright majority of votes cast.



Pat Ryan and Joe Sempolinsk win New York congressional special elections

Two special general elections were held for New York’s 19th and 23rd Congressional Districts on August 23, 2022. Pat Ryan (D) won the District 19 special election with 65,943 votes and defeated Marcus Molinaro (R). The special election was called after Antonio Delgado (D) left office to serve as the lieutenant governor of New York on May 25. Delgado served from 2019 to 2022.

Joe Sempolinski (R) won the District 23 special election with 38,749 votes and defeated Max Della Pia (D). The special election was called after Tom Reed (R) left office on May 10, after previously stating that he would not run for re-election. Reed served in Congress from 2010 to 2022. 

The filing deadline for both special elections passed on June 14. As of August 2022, 12 special elections have been held for the 117th Congress in 2021 and 2022. The U.S. House has 220 Democrats, 211 Republicans, and 4 vacancies. New York’s congressional delegation has 18 Democrats, 7 Republicans, and 2 vacancies. All 435 U.S. congressional seats are up for election on November 8. A majority in the chamber requires 218 seats. 

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