Election News

Long Island Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi Enters New York Gubernatorial Race

Rep. Tom Suozzi (NY-3) has entered the 2022 race for governor of New York. He made his announcement Monday morning.

This will be Suozzi's 2nd run for governor. In 2006, he lost the Democratic Primary to Eliot Spitzer by 82% to 18%. 

Suozzi joins a field looking to win the Democratic nomination and deny Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) the opportunity to win a full term. Hochul succeeded Andrew Cuomo, who resigned in August. Attorney General Letitia James and NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams previously declared their candidacy. Among those still considering a bid is outgoing NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio.

While James is seen as the greatest challenge to Hochul at this point in the race, Suozzi's entry could complicate the governor's effort as the two occupy the same moderate wing of the party. The others mentioned are more progressive.

New York's primaries are on June 28, 2022. Related: 2022 Election Calendar >>

District 3

New York's District 3 includes a small part of Queens, one of the boroughs of New York City. However, the majority of it is along the North Shore of Long Island. Suozzi won a third term in 2020 by a 56% to 44% margin. With his departure, Republicans are expected to make a strong play to flip the seat.

One wildcard is redistricting, which is not yet completed. The state is losing a district next year, although that is most likely to come from combining two districts upstate. Absent the strength of an incumbent, Democrats could put more focus on the boundaries in redistricting, although that could put one or both of the other Long Island districts - both GOP held - more out of reach. 

Suozzi is the 18th Democrat to announce they will be leaving the House to retire or run for another office next year. 11 Republicans are also departing. That list includes Lee Zeldin, who represents neighboring NY-1, which covers the eastern half of Long Island. Zeldin is seeking the GOP nomination for governor.

Rep. Louie Gohmert Running for Texas Attorney General Next Year

Rep. Louie Gohmert is giving up his safe seat in Congress to run for Texas Attorney General. Gohmert joins a crowded field looking to unseat incumbent Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton. His entry comes relatively late, as Texas kicks off the 2022 election calendar with primaries on March 1.

Gohmert is a strong supporter of former President Donald Trump. However, Trump is already spoken for in this election. He endorsed Paxton for a third term last summer, choosing to back the incumbent over Land Commissioner George P. Bush. 

Under indictment for his entire tenure as Attorney General, Paxton is nonetheless running ahead of Bush in limited polling. A recent UT Tyler survey - conducted before Gohmert entered the race - showed Paxton with 46% support vs. 32% for Bush. Also in the race for the GOP nomination are former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman and state Rep. Matt Krause, although they've gained little traction. (Krause dropped out later on the day this article was published).

It is worth noting that if no candidate gets a majority of the vote - which may be more likely with Gohmert on the ballot - the top two finishers will meet in a May 24 runoff.

District 1

Gohmert's District 1 is in the eastern part of the state, ending at the Louisiana border. It is a very conservative area; Gohmert won his 9th term by 73% to 27% over Democrat Hank Gilbert last November. While the district's boundaries are shifting slightly in redistricting, its partisan lean, calculated by FiveThirtyEight, remains at R+50.

The image below is of the current district.

28 current House members, including 17 Democrats and 11 Republicans, have said they are retiring or seeking another office next year. Four of those are from Texas, including Gohmert's fellow Republican Kevin Brady (TX-8) and Democrats Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30) and Filemon Vela (TX-34).

Live Results: Mississippi State Senate Special Election Runoff

There are 52 seats in the Mississippi State Senate. The chamber is overwhelmingly Republican; that party holds 36 seats, Democrats 15.

District 32 includes much of Meridian and points north. It reaches the Alabama border to the east. It has been vacant since Democrat Sampson Jackson retired June 30, less than two years through the current four-year term.  He had been in the Senate since 1992.

Nine candidates, including Jackson's son Keith, met in a nonpartisan special election on November 2. Keith Jackson finished third with 13%. No candidate received a majority of the vote, necessitating a runoff.

Rod Hickman (26% of the vote) and Dr. Minh Duong (22%) advanced and face off Tuesday to determine the winner of the seat. Sampson Jackson has endorsed Hickman.

Polls close at 8:00 PM Eastern Time.

Vermont Rep. Peter Welch Running to Replace Retiring Sen. Patrick Leahy

Democratic Rep. Peter Welch, Vermont's at-large U.S. House representative since 2007, is seeking a promotion. On Monday, he announced his campaign for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by the retiring Sen. Patrick Leahy (D).

Welch was elected in 2006, after then Rep. Bernie Sanders (I) retired to run for the Senate seat he now holds. In a bit of historical alignment, Sanders served eight terms in the House and replaced a retiring Senator, Jim Jeffords (R). Welch is now completing his 8th term, and starts out as a strong favorite to replace the retiring Leahy.

Sanders endorsed Welch shortly after he officially entered the race. 

Vermont is the only state that has never sent a woman to Congress. Several have publicly expressed interest in the House seat, pending Welch's decision.

Welch is the 27th current House member to announce they will be leaving at the end of this term.

Texas Democratic Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson to Retire

Texas Democratic Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson won't seek reelection in 2022. Johnson, who will be 86 in early December, had said in 2019 that she was planning to serve one more term. However, until Saturday, no official retirement announcement had been made.  According to the Dallas Morning News, "Johnson said people had been urging her to run for another term in Congress and she went back and forth about the decision but eventually decided to retire."

Johnson represents the safely Democratic 30th district, which includes much of the city of Dallas, and nearby areas to the south. She won her 15th and final term by 59% in 2020; Joe Biden carried the district by 61 points. Congressional redistricting in Texas has changed the current district boundaries (shown below) only slightly for 2022. 

 

Given the lean of the district, it is the upcoming Democratic primary that will almost certainly choose Johnson's replacement. Texas kicks off the 2022 primary calendar on March 1, so the race, which is considered wide open at this point, should develop fairly quickly now that Johnson has made her decision.

26 current House members - including 16 Democrats and 10 Republicans - are retiring or running for another office next year.

North Carolina Democratic Rep. G.K. Butterfield to Retire in 2022

North Carolina Democratic Rep. G.K. Butterfield will not seek reelection next year. He is expected to make an official announcement Thursday. Now in his 10th term, Butterfield is the 2nd most senior member of the state's U.S. House delegation. The most senior member, Democrat David Price, is also retiring

Butterfield will be the third long-time Democratic member of Congress to announce their retirement this week. On Monday, it was Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy; yesterday's decision came from California Rep. Jackie Speier

Butterfield's district became less favorable in the recently completed redistricting process.  In its current configuration, his district voted for Joe Biden by 9 points in 2020. Under the revised lines, which will be used for the 2022 midterm elections, Biden's margin was only three points. 

25 current House members have announced they are retiring or seeking another office next year.

 

California Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier Won't Seek Reelection in 2022

Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier (CA-14) won't seek a ninth term in 2022, she announced Tuesday. She becomes the 14th current House Democrat to announce they are retiring or seeking another office. Ten Republicans have made that decision, as well.

The Bay Area 14th district is safely Democratic; Speier won a final term in 2020 by nearly 60 points.  While the boundaries of the district will likely change a bit after redistricting, there is very little chance of it becoming a competitive seat next year.

Speier had a long career in politics before being elected to Congress in 2008. It was born out of tragedy. In 1978, she was an aide to Rep. Leo Ryan (D), and was among those who accompanied him on a fact-finding mission to Jonestown in Guyana, where the San Francisco-based People's Temple had established a settlement. Ryan was assassinated on that trip, and Speier survived five gunshot wounds. Days later, over 900 members of the cult perished in a mass murder/suicide. 

Speier unsuccessfully ran for Ryan's seat in 1979. She won her first election, to the California State Assembly, in 1986.

On Second Thought...

Separately, despite saying in 2019 that she would only serve one more term, Texas Democratic Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson may be planning to run again after all. She has scheduled a press conference for this Saturday.  Notably, the phrase "RE-ELECT Johnson" is included in the announcement. The 85-year old represents the safely Democratic Dallas-area 30th district. 

Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy Will Not Seek Reelection to the Senate in 2022

Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont said Monday that he will not seek a 9th term in 2022. First elected in 1974, Leahy has the most seniority of any currently serving Senator.

Leahy is chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee and serves on the Judiciary and Agriculture Committees. He is president pro tem of the Senate (most senior member of majority party), placing him third in line for presidential succession.

The next most senior Senator is Republican Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who was first elected in 1980. He said earlier this year that he will seek an 8th term next year.

Despite being solidly Democratic today, Vermont was formerly a reliably Republican state, voting for the GOP in every presidential election but one from 1856 through 1988. One legacy of that: Leahy is the only Democrat ever elected to the U.S. Senate from Vermont. The state's other Senator, Bernie Sanders, caucuses with the Democrats, but is an independent.

Beto O'Rourke to Run for Texas Governor

Democrat Beto O'Rourke announced Monday that he is running for Texas Governor. He becomes the first notable challenger to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who is seeking a third term. The New York Times notes that "the arrival of Mr. O’Rourke immediately set the stage for a pitched political showdown next November over the future of Texas at a time when the state — with its expanding cities and diversifying population — has appeared increasingly up for grabs."

O'Rourke is a former congressman, who represented an El Paso-area district for three terms after being elected in 2012. In 2018, he challenged Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in a race that significantly raised his national profile.  Cruz prevailed by about 2.5%. O'Rourke announced a run for the 2020 Democratic nomination in March 2019. However, he suspended the campaign prior to the first 2020 primaries. 

No Democrat has won a statewide race in Texas since 1994. The last Democratic Governor was Ann Richards, who served one term after being elected in 1990.

Live Results: Louisiana Fall Elections for State Legislature; New Orleans Mayor

Rescheduled from October 9 due to the aftereffects of Hurricane Ida, Louisiana holds its fall elections on Saturday. In terms of races we follow, this includes elections for three vacancies in the state legislature and for mayor of New Orleans.

Louisiana has a hybrid system, with no primaries prior to Election Day. All candidates from all parties compete on a single ballot. if one candidate gets a majority, they are elected. Otherwise, the top two finishers advance to a runoff. This year's runoffs will be on Saturday, December 11.

Polls close at 9:00 PM ET.

State Legislature Special Elections

Senate District 27

There are 39 State Senate districts in Louisiana. Republicans hold a large 26-12 majority.  Senators serve four-year terms; the next regularly scheduled election is in 2023.

Located in the southwestern part of the state, District 27 includes Lake Charles. The former incumbent, Republican Ronnie Johns, resigned in July after being appointed chair of the Louisiana State Gaming Control Board. 

There are two Republicans and a Democrat on the ballot.

House Districts 16 and 102

There 105 House districts in Louisiana. Currently, Republicans hold 68 of the seats to 32 for Democrats. There are three independents and two vacancies that will be filled by the winners of these special elections. Representatives serve four-year terms; the next regularly scheduled election is in 2023.

Both these districts are heavily Democratic; no Republicans are competing.

District 16: The seat in this Monroe-area district has been vacant since July, when Frederic Jones resigned after being elected to Judicial Court. Jones was in his first term. Three Democrats are on the ballot. 

District 102: Gary Carter Jr. resigned from this New Orleans-area district in June after being elected to the State Senate. Carter was in his second term. Two Democrats are on the ballot.

New Orleans Mayor

New Orleans is the 53rd largest city in the United States,1 1City rankings are based on July 1, 2020 Census Bureau population estimates. They are for the city itself, not the associated metropolitan area. with a population of just under 385,000.  The mayor is Democrat LaToya Cantrell, who is seeking a second four-year term. She is the first woman to hold the position in the city's history.

Although she has attracted 13 challengers, Cantrell is expected to win a second term.