Election News

Overview and Live Results: St. Petersburg Mayoral Election

St. Petersburg, Florida is the 85th 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 260,000.  Tuesday's all-party mayoral primary will select the two candidates that will meet in the November 2 general election, unless one candidate receives a majority of the vote. In that case, that person is elected mayor.

The current mayor is Democrat Rick Kriseman, who is completing his second four year term. He is unable to run due to term limits. There are eight candidates on the ballot. While officially nonpartisan (NPA label in the results table below), five of the candidates are Democrats, two Republican and one is an independent.

St. Pete Polls has conducted a number of polls on the race for FloridaPolitics.com; the most recent of which was released on August 21. Two months ago, four candidates seemed viable. However, subsequent surveys have seen support gravitate toward two of them.

Former Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch (D) led the most recent poll with 37%, while City Council member Robert Blackmon (R) had 27%. Democratic City Council member Darden Rice was third with 17%. With Welch recently consolidating Democratic support, Rice has an uphill climb to finish second. No other candidate saw double-digits. The poll included 542 likely voters, with a 4.2% margin of error. 

The poll also surveyed the general election, where Welch had a 53% to 29% edge on Blackmon. If he were to win, Welch would be the first Black mayor in the city's history.

Polls close at 7:00 PM Eastern Time.

Upcoming

  • August 31:
    • California State Assembly District 18 Special Election
    • Texas State House District 10 Special Election
  • September 7:
    • Alabama State House District 78 Special Election
    • New Hampshire State House Hillsborough District 7 Special Election
    • New Hampshire State House Cheshire District 9 Special Primary
  • September 14:

Kathy Hochul Sworn in as Governor of New York

Democrat Kathy Hochul was sworn in as New York's 57th governor shortly after midnight Tuesday. While continuing a legacy dating back to George Clinton in 1777, she has made history by becoming the state's first female governor.

Hochul succeeds Andrew Cuomo who resigned after nearly 11 years in the position. Cuomo had announced his departure two weeks ago, after a report detailing his sexual harassment of multiple women was released by the state attorney general's office.

New York is one of 36 states to hold a gubernatorial election in 2022. Hochul has already stated she plans to seek a full term.

State Voters Guide and Overview of California Recall Election

California has published a voter's guide for the September 14 gubernatorial recall election.  It includes arguments from the recall proponents as well as one from Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom. There are also statements from many of the 46 candidates hoping to replace Newsom if he is recalled.

See the Guide >>

A vote-by-mail ballot will be sent to all active registered voters in California. There will also be in-person early voting.  Polls are open on Election Day from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM Pacific Time.

There is one 'yes or no' question on the ballot: "Shall GAVIN NEWSOM be recalled (removed) from the office of Governor?"

Below that question is a list of the candidates to replace Newsom if he is recalled. Voters can select one of those names or write in someone else. Voters can select 'no' on the recall question and still choose a replacement.

If a majority (50%+1) of the recall question votes are 'yes', Newsom will be removed from office and replaced with the replacement candidate receiving the highest number of votes. 

Polling

Most polling has narrowly favored keeping Newsom in office. In terms of a replacement, conservative talk show host Larry Elder has led most surveys, seeing support in the low 20% range. Other notable Republicans in the race include: 

  • John Cox, businessman who lost to Newsom in the 2018 election.
  • Kevin Faulconer, former mayor of San Diego
  • Ted Gaines, member of the State Board of Equalization and former state legislator
  • Caitlyn Jenner, reality TV personality
  • Kevin Kiley, state assemblyman
  • Doug Ose, former U.S. Rep. who ran for governor in 2018. Ose dropped out earlier this week after suffering a heart attack. He remains on the ballot.

The most notable Democrat in the race is YouTube influencer Kevin Paffrath. At the urging of Newsom's campaign, Democrats with political experience largely stayed on the sidelines. This strategy may backfire, opening the door for a Republican governor in one of the nation's bluest states, should Newsom be removed. 

Turnout is going to be key. From the New York Times: "The vote is expected to come down to whether Democrats can mobilize enough of the state's enormous base to counteract Republican enthusiasm for Mr. Newsom's ouster."

Regardless of how this turns out, California is one of 36 states with a regular gubernatorial election in 2022. If Newsom is removed and replaced by a Republican, that person will almost certainly be an underdog in the race for a full term.

 

Overview and Live Results: Competitive Special Election in Connecticut Senate District 36

We're following one election this week.

Connecticut Senate District 36

Special General Election

There are 36 seats in the Connecticut Senate. At present, there are 23 Democrats and 12 Republicans. Connecticut is one of 12 states where Senators serve two-year terms; the next regularly scheduled elections are in 2022. 

District 36 is located in the southwestern corner of the state. It is a highly affluent area, with median household income of twice the state average. The State Senate seat was vacated on June 22, when Democrat Alex Kasser resigned for personal reasons. 

The major party nominees on the ballot are Alexis Gevanter (D) and Ryan Fazio (R). Fazio was the GOP nominee in 2020, losing to Kasser by 51% to 49%. Also on the ballot is independent John Blankley.

Polls close at 8:00 PM Eastern Time.

The district has trended a bit more Democratic over the past decade, culminating with Kasser's victory1 1In 2018, she was known as Alex Bergstein. over five-term incumbent Republican L. Scott Frantz in 2018. She became the first Democrat to win the seat since 1930.

With this influential district split politically, both parties are campaigning aggressively to win the seat. A Democratic hold would give the party a 2/3 supermajority in the Senate, although they are a bit short of that in the State House where the partisan composition is 97-54

Upcoming

  • August 24: St. Petersburg, Florida nonpartisan Mayoral Primary
  • August 31: California State Assembly District 18 Special Election

Democratic Wisconsin Rep. Ron Kind Retiring; GOP Well-Positioned to Flip District in 2022

Democratic Rep. Ron Kind, the senior member of the Wisconsin congressional delegation, won't seek reelection next year. Kind narrowly won a 13th term in 2020, beating Republican Derrick Van Orden by less than 3%.  This represented quite a shift:  Kind had won by 20% in 2018, and actually ran unopposed in 2016.

The Wisconsin 3rd district was one of just seven nationally that voted for Donald Trump in 2020, while electing a Democratic representative.  Trump won here by about 5%. 

Absent the incumbent and with Van Orden running again, the district becomes an even stronger pick-up opportunity for the GOP next year.

Kind's district covers the southwestern part of the state, bordering Minnesota, Iowa and a small portion of Illinois. These boundaries may change in the upcoming redistricting, although a significant shift is not anticipated.

16 current members of the House - 8 from each party - have announced they are retiring or running for another office in 2022.

Andrew Cuomo Announces Resignation as Governor of New York

Days after a report detailing his sexual harassment of eleven women was released, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation as governor of New York Wednesday. The resignation will be effective in 14 days. 

Cuomo's discussion about his pending departure begins at about 12:00 in the video from an address he made late Wednesday morning.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, also a Democrat will become the 57th - and first female - governor of the state when she takes over. 

If Cuomo had not resigned, he faced the prospect of removal from office by the state legislature.

2022 Election

New York is one of 36 states with a gubernatorial election in 2022. Cuomo had previously announced he would run for a fourth term. As a result, no Democrats have yet joined the race. On the GOP side, Rep. Lee Zeldin (NY-1), 2014 GOP gubernatorial nominee Rob Astorino, and Andrew Giuliani announced their candidacies earlier this year, hoping that a Cuomo weakened by multiple scandals would create an opening for a Republican despite the deep blue lean of the state.  The last Republican governor of the state was George Pataki, who served three terms after defeating Cuomo's father, Mario, in the 1994 election.

Rep. Conor Lamb Enters Pennsylvania Senate Race

As expected, Rep. Conor Lamb (PA-17) is launching his 2022 Pennsylvania U.S. Senate campaign Friday. 

Lamb rose to prominence by narrowing winning a special election to flip a long-held Republican congressional seat in 2018. He joins a field of prominent Democrats hoping to win the nomination. This includes the state's Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta and County Commissioner Val Arkoosh. 

The general election race is seen as a toss-up, as incumbent GOP Sen. Pat Toomey is not seeking a 3rd term. It will be a key race in determining who controls the Senate, currently split at 50-50, after the 2022 midterms.

Lamb is the 15th current House member to announce they are retiring or seeking another office in 2022.

Poll: 2022 Georgia Senate Race a Toss-up

A new survey from Public Policy Polling gives Sen. Raphael Warnock a very small lead over his two most well-known prospective opponents.  Warnock leads by 47% to 44% over former Sen. Kelly Loeffler. His lead is two over former professional football player Herschel Walker. Warnock's lead expands to eight - outside the 3.9% margin of error - over the only notable Republican to have actually joined the race, Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black.

The poll gave Walker, who is well-known in the state from his days as a star running back at the University of Georgia, a +13 favorability rating, while Loeffler was -19. Perhaps highlighting the ongoing political polarization, that 32-point gap in favorability made little difference in the 'who would you vote for' questions. Black's favorability was even, but 70% said they were unsure, indicating he remains largely unknown.

 

Rep. Billy Long of Missouri Running for Senate; 14th Announced 2022 House Retirement

Rep. Billy Long (MO-7) entered the 2022 Missouri U.S. Senate race earlier this week. He joins a crowded primary field, including his colleague Vicky Hartzler (MO-4), seeking the GOP nomination. The current incumbent, Republican Sen. Roy Blunt is not seeking a third term.

14 current U.S. House members have announced they are not seeking reelection in 2022.  

Six are running for Senate:  Mo Brooks (R, AL-5); Val Demings (D, FL-10); Vicky Hartzler (R, MO-4); Billy Long (R, MO-7); Ted Budd (R, NC-13); Tim Ryan (D, OH-13)

Two are running for Governor:  Charlie Crist (D, FL-13); Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1)

One is running for Secretary of State:  Jody Hice (R, GA-10)

Five are not seeking another office:  Ann Kirkpatrick (D, AZ-2); Cheri Bustos (D, IL-17); Tom Reed (R, NY-23); Kevin Brady (R, TX-8); Filemon Vila (D, TX-34)

Special Primary Overview and Live Results: Ohio Congressional Districts 11 and 15

Headlining Tuesday's election calendar are special party primaries in two Ohio congressional districts. Details below. There are also party primaries for two vacant State Senate seats in Michigan and nonpartisan mayoral primaries in both Detroit and Seattle.

Michigan State Senate Special Primaries>> Detroit and Seattle Mayoral Primaries >>

 

Ohio Congressional District Special Primaries

Both these vacant seats are expected to remain with the incumbent party in the November 2 special general election. As a result, most of the drama in these races is is around picking a Democratic nominee in District 11 and a Republican nominee in District 15.   

Polls close at 7:30 PM Eastern Time. 

District 11

This Cleveland-Akron area district (nicely gerrymandered, as are many in the state) has been vacant since March 10, when Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge joined the Biden administration after being confirmed as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Fudge was in her 8th term, and most recently reelected by an 80%-20% margin. Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump by a similar amount.

13 Democrats are seeking the nomination, but this election is all about a battle between two of them - and their respective wings of the party.  It may be the most expensive House race this year

Wall Street Journal: "A House special election primary in Cleveland on Tuesday is shaping up as a proxy war over the direction of the Democratic Party, with the top two candidates drawing millions in donations as prominent figures including Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. James Clyburn line up on opposing sides."

NBC News: "You have to go back to Obama vs. Clinton in 2008 to think of a nastier Democratic primary than what’s playing out in Tuesday’s special primary election..."

Former State Sen. Nina Turner, a national co-chair for Bernie Sanders in his 2020 presidential campaign, supports large-scale progressive priorities like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal.  Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Shontel Brown is running as the establishment/centrist candidate. She has the support of Hillary Clinton and the Congressional Black Caucus.

Turner was well ahead in polling earlier this spring. Recent surveys have shown a more competitive race

There are two candidates on the Republican ballot. Laverne Gore was the party's nominee in 2020.

District 15

This district includes a portion of Columbus, but is largely south and southeast of the city. It has been vacant since May 16, when Republican Rep. Steve Stivers resigned to head the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. Stivers won a 6th term with a 27% margin this past November, running well ahead of Donald Trump's 14% margin here. 

There are 11 Republicans on the ballot looking to succeed Stivers. Much of the focus here will be on Trump's endorsement of former coal lobbyist Mike Carey. On the heels of last week's failed endorsement in TX-6, the former president's PAC has made a significant last-minute investment in this race. 

Unlike the TX-6 race, only Republicans will be casting votes Tuesday. That should work to Trump's advantage. On the other hand, this is a large field with several more politically prominent candidates. Another complicating factor (in terms of making predictions) is that turnout is likely to be low for a special election primary in the middle of summer. 

State Sen. Bob Peterson has been in office for nearly a decade and has a strong conservative voting record. He narrowly trailed Carey in reported fundraising. He is endorsed by the president of the Ohio Senate. State Rep. Jeff LaRe is backed by Stivers, the previous incumbent. Sen. Rand Paul is backing former State Rep. Ron Hood.  

Those aren't the only candidates with support. Ruth Edmonds is backed by conservative activist Debbie Meadows, wife of former Trump chief of staff, Mark Meadows. State Sen. Stephanie Kunze has been endorsed by the Franklin County Republican Party. 

Two Democrats are on the ballot. The more prominent is State Rep. Allison Russo. She has been endorsed by Sen. Sherrod Brown.