Election News

Kentucky Democrat Rep. John Yarmuth Won't Seek Reelection Next Year

Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth announced Tuesday that he will not see reelection in 2022. Now serving his eighth term, Yarmuth chairs the powerful House Budget Committee.

Yarmuth is the only Democrat in Kentucky's congressional delegation. He represents the 3rd district, which encompasses most of metro Louisville. It remains to be seen if this move has any effect on congressional redistricting in this Republican-dominated state. 

Nineteen current House members have said they are retiring or seeking another office in 2022.

Live Results: Iowa State House District 29 Special Election

There are three weeks until Election Day. See our First Look for a brief overview of the races we'll be following that day.

This Tuesday, there is one state house special election. 

Iowa District 29

There are 100 State House districts in Iowa. Republicans hold a 59-40 edge over Democrats.

District 29 is located east of Des Moines. The vacancy was created when Democrat Wesley Breckenridge resigned on September 10 to take a position with the Iowa Law Enforcement Agency.

Breckenridge narrowly won a third term in 2020, defeating Republican Jon Dunwell by just 3 points.  He had been elected by double-digit margins in 2016 and 2018.

The nominees for this special election were selected by the political parties. Dunwell was renominated by the GOP. The Democratic nominee is Steve Mullan. 

This looks like a competitive race. The local GOP feels they have a good shot at flipping the seat after coming close last November.

Polls close at 9:00 PM ET.

Upcoming

  • October 19
    • New Hampshire State House Rockingham District 6 Special GOP Primary
  • October 26
    • New Hampshire State House Cheshire District 9 Special Election
  • November 2

First Look: Election Day 2021

Election Day 2021

The 2021 off-year elections are being held on Tuesday, November 2. New Jersey and Virginia have elections for statewide offices, including governor. There are also legislative elections in both states, although the State Senate in Virginia will not be contested until 2023.

There will also be two special elections in Ohio to fill congressional vacancies, along with primaries in FL-20 as the process begins to fill the only other currently open seat in the U.S. House.

Approximately a dozen state legislative special elections will also be contested that day. Finally, voters in 17 of the nation's 100 largest cities will make their choice for mayor.

We'll have more on these races as Election Day nears, with live results as the polls close on November 2.

Virginia

The state is the only one where governors can not serve consecutive terms. Terry McAuliffe is looking to reclaim the role he held from 2014-2018. State Senators serve four year terms; only the House of Delegates (state house) is on the ballot this year. 

There is currently a state government trifecta, where one party controls the governor's office and both chambers of the state legislature. With competitive elections for governor and for control of the House of Delegates, the Democratic trifecta is at risk. Polls close at 7:00 PM ET. 

Office Comments
Governor Ralph Northam (D) is term-limited. Polls have Terry McAuliffe (D) slightly ahead of Glenn Youngkin (R)
Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax (D) did not run. Polls have Hala Ayala (D) slightly ahead of Winsome Sears (R)
Attorney General Polls have incumbent Mark Herring (D), who is seeking a 3rd term,  with a modest lead over Jason Miyares (R).
House of Delegates Democrats gained control after the 2019 election. The battle for control this year is a toss-up.

New Jersey

Democrats are expected to maintain their state government trifecta. Unlike Virginia, where each office is contested separately, the nominees for governor and lieutenant governor run jointly on the same ballot line.

The State Senate operates on a 2-4-4 schedule, with elections won in redistricting years (i.e, this year) having a two year term. In 2023 and 2027, elections will be for four year terms.

Polls close at 8:00 PM ET. 

Office Comments
Governor Gov. Phil Murphy (D) is favored to win a 2nd term.
State Senate Democrats are favored to maintain control.
General Assembly Democrats are favored to maintain control.

U.S. House of Representatives

There are currently three vacancies. Special elections will fill the two in Ohio, with party primaries in FL-20. The special general election there will be January 11, 2022. These three seats will next be contested for a full two-year term next November, although the boundaries are likely to be different due to redistricting. 

Polls close at 7:00 PM in Florida and 7:30 PM in Ohio

District Comments
FL-20 (Primary) 11 Democrats, 2 Republicans competing for nominations in this deep blue district.
OH-11 Shontel Brown (D) is expected to win by a large margin, holding seat for Democrats.
OH-15 Mike Carey (R) is favored to win, keeping the seat in Republican control.

Legislative Special Elections

There are nearly 7,400 seats in state legislatures across the 50 states. As such, there are almost always multiple vacancies, with special elections occurring throughout the year.

This set of special elections are taking place on Election Day itself.

State Senate

At first glance, these all look likely to safe for the incumbent party. In Mississippi, if no candidate gets 50%, there will be a runoff on November 27.

District Comments
KY-22 Long-time GOP incumbent passed away in July.
MI-8 GOP incumbent resigned after being elected to another office. 
MI-28 GOP incumbent resigned after being elected to another office.
MS-32 Nonpartisan special election; Democratic incumbent resigned in June.
MS-38 Nonpartisan special election; Democratic incumbent resigned after being elected to another office.
RI-3 Democratic incumbent resigned to join Biden Administration.

State House

At first glance, these House districts also look likely to safe for the incumbent party. ME-86 has been competitive at times over the past decade, although GOP won by 14 points in 2020. 

District Comments
GA-165 Democratic incumbent passed away in August; 11/30 runoff if no candidate gets a majority.
KY-51 GOP incumbent passed away in July. 
KY-89 GOP incumbent resigned in August.
MA Essex 4 GOP incumbent resigned in September. These primaries precede the November 30 special election.
ME-86 GOP incumbent resigned in July. This district has flipped between parties over the past decade; GOP won by 57%-43% in 2020.
PA-113 Democratic incumbent resigned after being elected to another office.
PA-164 Democratic incumbent resigned in July.

Mayoral Elections

These are elections in the 100 largest cities by population. They are based on July 1, 2020 Census Bureau population estimates. Rankings are for the city itself, not the associated metropolitan area. 

Many of these are nonpartisan elections. Party affiliations are included where known.

City Comments
New York (1) Eric Adams (D) heavily favored in this deep blue city.
Seattle (18) Incumbent Jenny Durkan (D) did not run; two most recent City Council Presidents advanced from primary.
Boston (24) Acting mayor Kim Janey (D) lost in primary. City will elect its first woman and first person of color as mayor.
Detroit (27) Incumbent mayor Mike Duggan (D) is expected to be reelected.
Albuquerque (32) Mayor Tim Keller (D) seeking 2nd term; December 7 runoff if no candidate gets >50%.
Atlanta (38) Kasim Reed (D) attempting to return to office he held for two terms. Runoff on November 30 if no candidate gets majority.
Miami (44) Francis X. Suarez (R) is expected to win a 2nd term; November 15 runoff if no candidate gets >50%.
Minneapolis (46) Jacob Frey (D) is seeking a 2nd term. Over 15 candidates on the ballot; winner will be determined by Ranked Choice Voting. 
Cleveland (54) Incumbent retiring. Justin Bibb and Kevin Kelley, both (D), advanced from primary.
Saint Paul (63) Melvin Carter III (D) is expected to win a 2nd term.
Cincinnati (65) Incumbent term-limited. Aftab Pureval, David Mann, both (D), advanced from primary.
Pittsburgh (68) Ed Gainey ousted incumbent Bill Peduto in Dem. primary; should easily win.
Jersey City (71) Mayor Steve Fulop (D) is seeking a 3rd term.
Durham (75) Incumbent Steve Schewel (D) not running. 
Buffalo (76) Incumbent Byron Brown (D) lost primary; will try and hold seat via write-in campaign.
Toledo (79) Incumbent Wade Kapszukiewicz (D) is expected to win a 2nd term.
St. Petersburg (85) Incumbent term-limited. This is a runoff; Ken Welch (D) is favored.

Live Primary Results: Vacant RI State Senate Seat, Mayor of Durham, NC

This week we're following two primaries, one for a State Senate special election in Rhode Island along with a mayoral primary in Durham, NC. There are four weeks until Election Day, 2021.  

Rhode Island

State Senate District 3 Primary

There are 38 State Senate districts in Rhode Island. The chamber is overwhelmingly Democratic; the party has 32 seats, the GOP holds just five.  Senators serve two-year terms; the next regularly scheduled election is in 2022.

The Providence area District 3 vacancy was created by the resignation of Democrat Gayle Goldin on August 17. She took a position in the U.S. Department of Labor. Goldin was first elected in 2012. She has faced only write-in opposition in this deep blue district.

Despite the long odds, Republicans are fielding a candidate in the November 2 special election. Alex Cannon was the only qualifier, so there will be no GOP primary.

Five Democrats are competing for the party's nomination. 

Polls close at 8:00 PM ET.

Durham, NC

Mayoral Primary

Durham, North Carolina is the 75th 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 285,000.  Tuesday's nonpartisan mayoral primary will select the two candidates that will meet in the November 2 general election.

The mayor is Democrat Steve Schewel. He is completing his third two-year term and is not running for reelection. 

Seven candidates are looking to succeed Schewel. The frontrunners appear to be City Council member Javiera Caballero and former judge Elaine O'Neal.

Polls close at 7:30 PM Eastern Time.

Upcoming

  • October 12
    • Iowa State House District 29 Special Election
  • October 19
    • New Hampshire State House Rockingham District 6 Special GOP Primary
  • October 26
    • New Hampshire State House Cheshire District 9 Special Election
  • November 2

The Classic 'I'm Just a Bill' Reimagined for Today's Political Environment

Politico has reimagined the classic 1976 Schoolhouse Rock! segment "I'm Just a Bill".  The new version details a much more arduous process that proposed legislation often has to get through in today's gridlocked political environment. 

It's worth a watch: 

The original version can be viewed here.

Overview and Live Results: Texas State House Special Elections

Special elections are being held Tuesday for two vacancies in the Texas State House. The 150-member body is controlled by Republicans, who have an 82-66 edge over Democrats. 

Under Texas special election law, all candidates appear on a single ballot. If someone gets a majority of the vote, they are the winner. Otherwise, the top two finishers advance to a runoff.

District 118

This San Antonio area district has been vacant since August 19, when Democrat Leo Pacheco resigned. Pacheco was elected twice, first winning by a 58% to 42% margin over John Lujan in 2018. Last November, Pacheco prevailed over Adam Salyer by an almost identical 57% to 40%. 

Five candidates - 3 Democrats and 2 Republicans - will appear on the ballot. Lujan and Salyer are the two Republicans. Lujan was the most recent Republican to hold the seat. Although Democrats have won each general election here since at least 2012, Lujan prevailed in a January, 2016 special election, serving out that term before losing in November. 

Lujan has the support of Gov. Greg Abbott and GOP groups, as the party looks to flip the seat.  According to the Texas Tribune, "It is the first real opportunity that statewide Republicans have to put their money where their mouths are after President Joe Biden underperformed across South Texas last year, creating new pick-up opportunities in the predominantly Hispanic region."

If no candidate gets a majority, Abbott will schedule a date for the runoff election.

District 10 (Runoff)

This solidly Republican district, located between Dallas and Waco, has been vacant since July 30, when Jake Ellzey (R) resigned. Ellzey had won a special election on July 27th to represent the state's 6th congressional district.

None of the eight candidates received a majority of the vote in the August 31 all-party election. Consistent with the lean of the district, the top two finishers were both Republicans, removing any suspense over which party will win in the runoff. Brian Harrison finished first with 41%, John Wray was second with 36%.  

Upcoming

  • October 5
    • Rhode Island State Senate District 3 Primary
    • Durham, NC Mayoral Primary
  • October 12
    • Iowa State House District 29 Special Election
  • October 19
    • New Hampshire State House Rockingham District 6 Special GOP Primary
  • October 26
    • New Hampshire State House Cheshire District 9 Special Election
  • November 2

Rep. Karen Bass Launches Campaign for Los Angeles Mayor

Democratic Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37) launched her campaign for mayor of Los Angeles Monday. Bass, in her 6th term, is the former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, and was vetted as a possible running mate for Joe Biden in 2020. 

Bass joins a crowded field vying to become mayor of the nation's second largest city. Other notable candidates include City Attorney Mike Feuer and councilmembers Joe Buscaino and Kevin de Leon.

Democratic mayor Eric Garcetti is ineligible to run in the November, 2022 election due to term limits. He is likely to leave office before his term ends, having been nominated by Biden to serve as ambassador to India. He is awaiting Senate confirmation. If Garcetti leaves, the acting mayor will be City Council President Nury Martinez.

The Council then has the option to appoint an interim mayor or hold a special election to complete the term, but neither is likely with the 2022 primary coming up next June. Martinez has said that she will not run for a full term.

Bass represents the heavily Democratic 37th district, which is largely within Los Angeles, and includes areas south and west of downtown. The boundaries of the district are likely to change in upcoming redistricting, particularly with California losing a congressional seat for the first time in its history.

18 current members of the House - 9 from each party - have announced they are retiring or running for another office in 2022.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley Will Seek an 8th Term in 2022

Chuck Grassley, the most senior Republican in the U.S. Senate, tweeted early Friday that he would seek reelection in 2022. 

According to the Des Moines Register, "His decision is a victory for national Republicans who have made it clear they wanted Grassley — who has repeatedly been reelected by double-digit margins — to run for an eighth term. A Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll released this week showed him leading Democratic challenger Abby Finkenauer by 18 percentage points, 55% to 37%, in an early test of the race."

Grassley won by nearly 25% over Democrat Patty Judge in 2016. 

2022 Senate Elections

34 Senate seats are up for election in the 2022 midterms, including 20 Republicans and 14 Democrats. With the chamber evenly split at 50-50, the GOP needs a gain of one seat to take control. The party's best prospects are in four battleground states with first-term Democratic incumbents: Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and New Hampshire. All those are currently rated Leans Democratic.

Of course, flipping one of these seats doesn't get the job done for the GOP if they lose one under their control. While Grassley's decision shores up Iowa, there are other seats at risk for the party, particularly in states where the incumbent is not running.

Five Republicans have announced their retirements, including Richard Shelby (Alabama), Roy Blunt (Missouri), Richard Burr (North Carolina), Rob Portman (Ohio) and Patrick Toomey (Pennsylvania). All but Alabama are on the competitive radar, with North Carolina and Pennsylvania currently seen as toss-ups. Republicans are favored in Missouri and Ohio, although that could evolve depending on who the party nominates.

Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Ron Johnson (Wisconsin) have not made their 2022 plans known as of yet.

Republican Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez Not Running in 2022

Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio said Thursday that he would not seek a third term in Congress next year. He was one of ten House Republicans to vote to impeach President Trump after the January 6 riot at the Capitol.  

Had he remained in the race, Gonzalez was facing a 2022 primary challenge from a Trump-endorsed opponent, Max Miller. While acknowledging that challenge, he emphasized family and quality-of-life considerations as the main reasons for his departure.

Gonzalez represents Ohio's 16th congressional district, a strongly Republican area largely south and west of Cleveland and Akron. Gonzalez was reelected by 26% last November, running ahead of Trump's 14% margin in the district. 

Ohio lost a House seat with the 2020 Census apportionment earlier this year. Upcoming redistricting will determine the new boundaries of the district that will be contested in the 2022 midterms. 

Gonzalez is the 2nd member of Ohio's delegation to retire. Democrat Tim Ryan (OH-13) is running for U.S. Senate. Overall, 17 current House members - 9 Republicans, 8 Democrats - have announced they are retiring or running for another office in 2022.

Early Voting Begins in Virginia Gubernatorial Election

Early voting begins today in Virginia, one of two states holding a gubernatorial election this year.  Politico reports that it is "the most competitive statewide election since Joe Biden became president." 

Former governor Terry McAuliffe (D) holds a five point lead over businessman Glenn Youngkin (R) in the RealClearPolitics polling average. The consensus analyst rating is Leans Democratic. 

McAuliffe was previously elected governor in 2013, winning by 2.5% over Republican Ken Cuccinelli. Virginia is the only state that doesn't allow governors to serve consecutive terms. In 2017, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) won by about 9% over Ed Gillespie (R).

At the presidential level, Republicans won every election from 1968 through 2004. Democrats have won the last four, with Joe Biden defeating Donald Trump by 10% in 2020. That was the largest Democratic margin of victory since Franklin Delano Roosevelt won by 25% in 1944.  

New Jersey is the other state holding a gubernatorial election this year. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy is favored to win a 2nd term. 36 more states will elect governors next year.