TagU.S. Senate

Fetterman wins Democratic U.S. Senate primary in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman defeated three other candidates in the May 17, 2022, Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, including U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, and Alexandria Khalil. Incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey (R)—who was first elected to the Senate in 2010—did not run for re-election.

Based on unofficial returns, Fetterman received 59% of the vote. Lamb was second with 26%, Kenyatta third with 10%, and Khalil was fourth with 4%.

Fetterman served as the mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, from 2005 to 2019 and was elected lieutenant governor in 2018. He finished third in the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania for the U.S. Senate in 2016. Fetterman’s top campaign priorities were adopting a single-payer healthcare system, legalizing marijuana, and supporting LGBTQIA+ rights. His campaign website describes him as “a different kind of Democrat,” saying, “John doesn’t look like a typical politician, and more importantly, he doesn’t act like one.” Marc Levy of the Associated Press described Fetterman as “irreverent, blunt and, well, something to see. At 6 feet 8, he is tattooed and goateed, his head is clean shaven, and he is most often seen wearing shorts — even in winter — and casual work shirts.”

Lamb worked as an assistant U.S. attorney and was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives after defeating Rick Saccone (R), 49.9% to 49.5%, in a March 2018 special election. He was re-elected to the U.S. House later in 2018 and in 2020.

Fetterman had endorsements from affiliates of the United Steelworkers and the United Food and Commercial Workers unions, the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association, and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws PAC. Lamb received endorsements from The Philadelphia Democratic Party, local chapters of the Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D).

According to campaign finance reports through April 27, Fetterman raised $16.0 million and spent $14.2 million on the race. Lamb raised $6.1 million and spent $4.8 million.

Fetterman will face the winner of the Republican primary in the Nov. 8 general election. Pennsylvania is one of two states holding a U.S. Senate election in 2022 with a Republican incumbent that President Joe Biden (D) carried in the 2020 presidential election. Biden defeated former President Donald Trump (R) in the state, 50% to 49%. In the 2016 presidential election, Trump carried Pennsylvania with 48.2% of the vote to Hillary Clinton’s (D) 47.5%. 

Pennsylvania is also one of six states with one Democratic and one Republican U.S Senator as of the 2022 U.S. Senate elections. Christopher Wilson of Yahoo News wrote that the race for Toomey’s seat “might be the Democratic Party’s best chance to gain a Senate seat in the fall.”

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Budd wins the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in North Carolina

Ted Budd defeated Pat McCrory, Mark Walker, and eleven other candidates in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in North Carolina on May 17, 2022. Incumbent Richard Burr (R) did not run for re-election.

The primary was among the first U.S. Senate races in which former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed a candidate. Intelligencer’s Ed Kilgore wrote, “[North Carolina is] a particularly big deal for Trump, whose midterm strategy is to show his clout in both primary and general-election races.”

Budd, the owner of a gun range and store in Rural Hall, has represented North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District since 2017. Trump endorsed Budd in June 2021, and Budd focused on his support for Trump and Trump’s record. Budd’s website said, “Ted was elected to Congress along with President Donald Trump in 2016 and has established a strong, conservative record supporting efforts to secure our borders and stand up for America First policies.”

McCrory was governor from 2013 to 2017. Before that, McCrory was the mayor of Charlotte from 1995 to 2009. McCrory focused on economic issues and highlighted his record as governor. McCrory’s website said he “turned around North Carolina’s economy from the fourth highest unemployment rate in the country to one of the highest for job growth.”

Walker represented North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District from 2015 to 2021 and was a pastor for 16 years before that. Walker said he was a conservative warrior and a bridge-builder. Walker said, “[O]ut of 1,000 elected Republicans in North Carolina, I’m the only one to speak or give a commencement address at one of our state’s HBCU’s, and I’m the only Republican in all of Congress to win the United Negro College President’s Award.”

McCrory and Walker criticized Budd for not participating in a number of public events, including several debates. Jordan Shaw, a strategist for McCrory, said, “US Senators don’t get to hide from the voters, run from the media, avoid debates, and refuse to answer tough questions.” Walker said, “[Budd] does not want to have to be on the same stage with me because it creates a contrast.”

Budd’s campaign called McCrory a career politician and criticized McCrory’s electoral performance.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R), U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R), Lt. Governor Mark Robinson (R), and the Club for Growth endorsed Budd. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R), U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R), and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R) endorsed Walker. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) endorsed McCrory.

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

As of May 2022, three independent election forecasters considered the general election as Lean Republican.

Also running in the primary were Jennifer Banwart, Lee Brian, Leonard Bryant, Drew Bulecza, Marjorie K. Eastman, David Flaherty, Benjamin Griffiths, Kenneth Harper Jr., Charles Moss, Lichia Sibhatu and Debora Tshiovo.

Republican primary for Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seat likely headed to recount

Seven candidates ran in the Republican primary election for U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania on May 17, 2022. Senator Pat Toomey (R) did not run for re-election. 

As of 8:00 a.m. EDT on May 18, 2022, the race remained too close to call. Based on unofficial returns with 95% of precincts reporting, Mehmet Oz led with 31.2% of the vote, while David McCormick received 31.1%, and Kathy Barnette received 24.8%. Under state law, any vote margin within 0.5% would be subject to an automatic recount. An automatic recount in this race must be ordered by May 26, begin by June 1, and be completed by June 7. 

Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Oz in April. On May 12, Trump issued a statement opposing Barnette. “Barnette will never be able to win the General Election against the Radical Left Democrats. She has many things in her past which have not been properly explained or vetted,” he said. In response to Trump’s statement, Barnette said, “It sounds like the president knows what’s going to happen on next Tuesday . . . We now have the opportunity where the people are making their voices heard on what kind of leadership they want — and they don’t want to be spoon-fed two globalists, as many influencers within the Republican Party are trying to sell us, they want a real conservative.”

After serving in the United States Army Reserve, Barnette worked as a political commentator and in corporate finance. Barnette identified herself as an America First candidate, a term often associated with the platform of Trump and candidates who say they support Trump’s agenda. Barnette also campaigned on limiting her service in the U.S. Senate to two terms and a pledge that neither she nor her husband would own or trade individual stocks.

McCormick was the CEO of Bridgewater Associates, an investment management firm, from 2017 to January 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 in the George W. Bush (R) administration. McCormick graduated from West Point and served in the United States Army during the Gulf War. McCormick’s campaign 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 January 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 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 used his background in medicine to highlight disagreements with how the Biden administration handled the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time of the primary election, three independent race forecasters rated the general election either Toss-up or Tilt Republican. President Joe Biden (D) won the state by 1.2 percentage points in the 2020 presidential election. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D) won re-election by 13 percentage points in 2018. Toomey won re-election in 2016 by 1.5 percentage points.

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

Four candidates are running in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Arkansas

Four candidates — Jake Bequette, Heath Loftis, Jan Morgan, and incumbent John Boozman — are running in the Republican primary on May 24, 2022, for U.S. Senate in Arkansas. Boozman, Bequette, and Morgan have led in polling and fundraising.

In Arkansas, a primary candidate must win more than 50% of the votes cast in order to win the election. If no candidate meets that threshold, a runoff will be held between the top two vote-getters on June 21.

Roby Brock, editor-in-chief of Talk Business & Politics, an Arkansas news website, said, “The key question in the U.S. Senate GOP primary is whether two-term U.S. Senator John Boozman can avoid a runoff election with a decidedly more conservative opponent. While our survey shows Boozman coming up just short of the magic 50% to avoid a costly and time-consuming contest, a chunk of probable GOP primary voters remain undecided.”

Boozman, a former optometrist, was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010. Boozman has the endorsements of former President Donald Trump (R), U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and former White House Press Secretary and 2022 Arkansas gubernatorial candidate Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R). Boozman has highlighted Trump’s endorsement and has focused on his legislative record, saying, “[President Trump and I] rebuilt our military, stood up for our veterans, helped our farmers through challenging and unprecedented times, confirmed three conservative Justices to the Supreme Court and completely reshaped the judiciary.”

Bequette is a U.S. Army veteran and a former football player from Little Rock. Bequette cited immigration and law enforcement as top issues and has highlighted his military service and time as a player for the Arkansas Razorbacks and the New England Patriots. Bequette described himself as a political outsider, saying, “I’m no squish career politician. I’m a former all-SEC Razorback and an army veteran who left the NFL and volunteered for the 101st Airborne in Iraq.” Reps. Madison Cawthorn (R) and Burgess Owens (R) have endorsed Bequette.

Morgan is a former journalist and gubernatorial candidate who owns a firearms training facility in Hot Springs. Morgan has focused on immigration and election administration and has said she supports term limits. Morgan described herself as a conservative fighter, saying, “America needs aggressive fighters in D.C. who will get in the ring and boldly take on our enemies rather than stand on the sidelines.” Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has endorsed Morgan.

Bequette and Morgan have called Boozman a RINO (Republican in Name Only) and have criticized him for not challenging the results of the 2020 presidential election. Bequette has also criticized Boozman for not committing to a debate. Boozman’s campaign has responded by highlighting Trump’s endorsement and Boozman’s record. In one of Boozman’s campaign ads, the narrator says, “[Boozman] is a workhorse, not a show pony.” It continues, “Others have words; Boozman does the work.”

As of May 2022, groups not directly affiliated with any of the candidates had spent a total of $2,787,346 in the race, the second-largest amount of satellite spending for a primary where a GOP incumbent is running for re-election, according to data from Open Secrets. The Arkansas Patriots Fund has spent $1,471,182 in support of Bequette, the most of any group. The group received a $1M donation from businessman Richard Uihlein last year, according to data from the FEC. Several different groups have spent a combined total of $1,163,214 in support of Boozman.

As of May 2022, three independent election forecasters considered the general election as Solid Republican.

Tim Ryan wins Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in Ohio

Tim Ryan defeated Morgan Harper and Traci Johnson in the Democratic primary for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat on May 3, 2022. Based on unofficial totals, Ryan received 73% of the vote, Harper received 16% of the vote, and Johnson received 11% of the vote. 

Ryan will face J.D. Vance (R) and five other candidates in the general election on Nov. 8. U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R) did not run for re-election.

Ryan was elected to the U.S. House in 2002. Ryan campaigned on a range of economic issues, including revitalizing the state’s manufacturing industry, a federal $15 minimum wage, the PRO Act, renegotiating existing foreign trade deals, and expanding affordable healthcare. According to the Dayton Daily News, Ryan’s campaign focused primarily on blue-collar workers and issues.

Donald Trump (R) won Ohio by eight percentage points in 2016 and 2020. Portman won re-election in 2016 by 19 percentage points. Sherrod Brown (D), Ohio’s other U.S. senator, last won re-election in 2018 by seven percentage points. Three independent race forecasters consider the race between Lean Republican and Solid Republican.

Six candidates running in U.S. Senate Republican primary election in Georgia

Six candidates are running in the Republican Party primary election for U.S. Senator from Georgia on May 24, 2022. Gary Black, Kelvin King, Latham Saddler, and Herschel Walker have led in fundraising and media attention. Josh Clark and Jonathan McColumn are also running.

NPR‘s Domenico Montanaro said, “Walker, a former Heisman-winning University of Georgia Bulldog who has Trump’s endorsement, may have high name identification in the state, but he’s untested as a candidate. Walker has written about his battle with dissociative identity disorder and is facing allegations of domestic abuse from past relationships and that he exaggerated his post-football business success.” Politifact‘s Louis Jacobson wrote, “Walker’s primary opponents aren’t hitting him on policy. Rather, they are focusing on past allegations of domestic violence made between 2001 and 2008.”

Black was elected Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture in 2011 and occupied the office at the time of the election. Black worked as a cattle rancher and held positions in the Georgia Farm Bureau and Georgia Agribusiness Council. “I’m running for the U.S. Senate to take America back! We need our government to focus on its fundamental responsibility — not the change to the foundations of our country being pushed by Raphael Warnock and Joe Biden,” Black said. Black challenged Walker’s electability based on past allegations of domestic abuse, saying, “Folks, he can’t win in November. The baggage is too heavy. It’ll never happen.” Former Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R), U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R), and U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde (R) endorsed Black.

King served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force and worked in procurement, business development, and construction. King founded Osprey Management, a construction firm. “I believe our nation deserves better than President Biden and his weak leadership, just as I believe our state deserves better than Senator Warnock’s divisive far-left representation,” King said. King’s campaign released an ad focused on allegations of domestic violence against Walker: “After the violence, the abuse, the stalking, the death threats, Herschel Walker still has not been forthright with the people of Georgia, not about his violent behavior or the threats he has made against women and police.” The Georgia Republican Assembly endorsed King.

Saddler served as a U.S. Navy SEAL officer and was Director of Intelligence Programs for the National Security Council. Saddler also worked as a White House Fellow from 2018 to 2019. Saddler said his platform is based on the “three foundational pillars” of security, liberty, and prosperity, and his campaign website said, “Latham Saddler has fought for our nation abroad and at home to ensure just that — an America that is strong, secure and free. For you, your children and many generations to come. As your United States Senator, Latham will be relentless in this pursuit.” Saddler criticized Walker’s absence at debates and GOP events, saying, “If Herschel Walker can’t even debate Republicans, how is he going to hold Raphael Warnock accountable in a general election?” The Republican Jewish Coalition of Georgia endorsed Saddler.

Walker was a professional athlete and Olympian and worked for a number of food-supply businesses. Former President Donald Trump (R) appointed Walker as chairman of the Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition in 2018. Walker said his campaign was about “saving our country and the great state of Georgia from President Biden’s disastrous agenda which has led to higher prices, out-of-control crime, dangerous open borders, and ‘America Last’ foreign policy.” Responding to criticism of Walker’s electability, campaign spokesperson Mallory Blount said, “The other Republicans in this race are at less than 15% combined. Their only strategy to gain any sort of relevance is to obsess over Herschel. Herschel is solely focused on beating Raphael Warnock.” Trump endorsed Walker in September of 2021, and Walker also received endorsements from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Fox News host Sean Hannity, and evangelist Franklin Graham.

The Cook Political Report rated the general election a Tossup, meaning neither party has an advantage. In the last regular general election for the seat, incumbent Johnny Isakson (R), who assumed office in 2005, defeated Jim Barksdale (D) with 55% of the vote to Barksdale’s 41%. Gov. Brian Kemp (R) appointed Kelly Loeffler (R) to the Senate seat after Isakson resigned in December 2019 for health reasons. Raphael Warnock (D) defeated Loeffler in the special general runoff election on Jan. 5, 2021, with 51% of the vote to Loeffler’s 49%.

Seven candidates are running in the May 3 Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Ohio

Seven candidates are running in the May 3 Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Ohio on May 3, including Mike Gibbons, Josh Mandel, Jane Timken, and J.D. Vance. Incumbent Rob Portman (R), first elected in 2010, announced on Jan. 25, 2021, that he would not seek re-election.

Matt Dolan, Neil Patel, and Mark Pukita are also running in the primary. Gibbons, Mandel, Timken, and Vance have led in fundraising, endorsements, and polling.

Politico’s Alex Isenstadt wrote that “[t]he Senate race in Ohio is a high-profile example of how Trump is dominating Republican down-ballot primaries, and how his support is seen as make-or-break for those seeking the party’s nomination.”

Gibbons, a businessman and investor, says his background in the private sector has prepared him for the U.S. Senate: “My job was to go in and convince CEOs and CFOs that they could trust me to handle the most important transactions those companies would ever do. And I have to tell you, I think it’s great practice for the U.S. Senate.” Gibbons co-chaired former President Donald Trump’s (R) 2016 campaign in Ohio, and has said, “I don’t believe we had a president that did more for this country in my lifetime than Donald Trump did.” Gibbons also said, “the Republican Party is not about just Donald Trump, the Republican Party most carefully reflects my ideology which is, as I said philosophical conservatism.” Sen. Rand Paul (R) endorsed Gibbons.

Mandel served as Ohio treasurer from 2011 to 2019. Mandel said, “when I get to Washington, I’m not just going to drain the swamp, I’m going to blow up the swamp. And yes, I’ll be taking on the secular left, yes, I’ll be taking on the radical left. But with as much ferocity and strength and force, I’m going to take on the squishy establishment RINO Republicans,” a group he says includes Utah Sen. Mitt Romney (R), Wyoming Sen. Liz Cheney (R), and Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R). Mandel has also said, “there’s only one candidate that consistently says in every audience — whether it’s Hudson, Ohio, or Cincinnati, Ohio, or Toledo or Marietta — what I am about to say to you…that I believe the 2020 election was stolen from Donald J. Trump.” U.S. Sens. Mike Lee (R) and Cynthia Lummis (R) endorsed Mandel.

Timken has been the chair of the Ohio Republican Party since 2017. Timken said her experience leading the Ohio Republican Party shows that she can unite the party: “As soon as I became chair, I realized that I needed to bring people together. We had new Republicans that came into the party because of President Trump. We had some that drifted away. I successfully unified the party when I became chair, and so I have a real understanding of building a broad base and coalition of support. And that’s what I’ve been working on since I announced this campaign.” Timken has said she believes the November 2020 presidential election was marked by fraud and that she would not have voted to certify the election results. On Feb. 16, 2022, Portman endorsed Timken.

Vance served in the U.S. Marine Corps. from 2003 to 2007 before working in venture capital in San Francisco. In 2016, he wrote Hillbilly Elegy, a memoir about growing up in Middletown, Ohio. Vance has campaigned on bringing manufacturing back to Ohio, fixing the country’s immigration system and completing the wall along the southern border, and breaking up large technology companies. Vance was critical of Trump in 2016 but has said, “I ask folks not to judge me based on what I said in 2016, because I’ve been very open that I did say those critical things and I regret them, and I regret being wrong about the guy. I think he was a good president, I think he made a lot of good decisions for people, and I think he took a lot of flak.” Sen. Josh Hawley (R) endorsed Vance.

In 2016, Portman defeated Ted Strickland (D) 58% to 37.2%. Sen. John H. Glenn Jr., who served from 1974 to 1999, was the last Democrat to hold the seat, serving from 1974 to 1999.

Donald Trump won Ohio by eight percentage points in 2016.

U.S. Senate candidates who’ve raised the most so far

The most recent campaign finance reports for federal candidates were due Jan. 31. Georgia’s Raphael Warnock (D) has raised the most of all U.S. Senate candidates this cycle at $54 million. Warnock defeated incumbent Kelly Loeffler (R) in the special Senate election on Jan. 5, 2021. 

The list of 10 Senate candidates who’ve raised the most includes: 

  • 9 incumbents and 1 non-incumbent 
  • 6 Democrats and 4 Republicans
  • 2 candidates from different parties running for the same seat (Florida) 
  • 6 candidates in 5 battleground states (Arizona, Florida, Georgia, New Hampshire, and Nevada)

In most cases, the reports cover from Jan. 1, 2017, to Dec. 31, 2021. Warnock’s report covers from Dec. 17, 2020, to Dec. 31 of last year. Kelly’s and Demings’ reports cover from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2021. Kelly won a special election and assumed office in December 2020. Demings is the one non-incumbent Senate candidate in the list of top 10 fundraisers. Demings is also the one candidate in a primary that is currently on Ballotpedia’s primary battleground list.

Overall, Democratic Senate candidates have raised $305 million and Republican candidates, $300 million so far.

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28 U.S. Senators running for re-election, 6 retiring

With Sens. Ron Johnson’s (R-Wis.) and John Thune’s (R-S.D.) recent announcements that they will seek re-election, all incumbent senators up for re-election in 2022 have made their decisions. Twenty-eight senators are seeking re-election—15 Republicans and 13 Democrats. Six senators are retiring—five Republicans and one Democrat. This is the highest number of Republicans not seeking re-election since at least 2012. 

In every election cycle within that time until the current one, either two or three Republican senators did not seek re-election. The number of retiring Democrats has ranged from zero to six.

The six open races in 2022 are in Alabama, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. Republicans hold the Senate seat in all states except Vermont. Three of the open Senate races—in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Ohio—have at least one competitive rating (Toss-up, Tilt Republican, or Lean Republican) from three election forecasters.

Our battleground Senate races list currently consists of eight states: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Democrats and Republicans each hold four of the battleground seats going into the elections.

Democrats have an effective majority in the Senate, with each party holding 50 seats and Vice President Kamala Harris (D) serving as the tie-breaking vote.

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So far this year, 19 members of Congress have announced their retirement, on par with recent odd-numbered years

So far this year, nineteen members of Congress have announced they will not run for re-election in 2022, in line with the average number in other recent odd-numbered years.

The 19 members who have said so far they will not seek re-election include three members of the U.S. Senate and sixteen members of the U.S. House. All three senators and eight of the 16 House members are Republicans and the other eight House members are Democrats. This figure does not include two Republican senators who announced their upcoming retirements before this year.

Ten of the U.S. House members are running for other public office, including seven who are running for the U.S. Senate, two running for governor, and one running for secretary of state. The remaining members are retiring from public office.

Seventeen members of Congress had announced retirements at the end of August 2013 and August 2017. Eighteen members had announced retirements at the end of August 2015 and August 2019. At the end of August 2011, the last Congressional election cycle to take place during ongoing redistricting, 27 members had announced retirements.

March and November are the months with the most congressional retirement announcements in recent odd-numbered years. Since 2011, there have been a total of 24 retirement announcements across odd-numbered years in both months (this includes retirements from March 2021).

When both odd- and even-numbered years are included, January leads in Congressional retirement announcements. Since 2011, 46 members of Congress have announced their retirements in January. June had the fewest retirement announcements during the same period with 10.

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