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Notable recent primary upsets

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Top primary upsets

Republicans

Democrats



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Eric Cantor (R-VA)

Eric Cantor.JPG
See also: Virginia's 7th Congressional District elections, 2014

Name: Eric Cantor (R), Virginia's 7th Congressional District
First elected: Cantor was first elected to the seat in 2000.
Challenger: David Brat (R)
What happened: An unprecedented loss by Cantor gives him the dubious distinction of being the first-ever sitting House Majority Leader to lose a primary bid. Cantor is second in line in leadership behind Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH). The stunning upset victory by Randolf-Macon College professor David Brat puts Republicans in the U.S. House into a leadership scramble.

Brat beat Cantor with a margin of victory of more than 10 percentage points in the 7th District. He will face Dr. Jack Trammell (D), who also works at Randolph-Macon, as well as James Carr (L) in the November general election.[1]


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Ralph Hall (R-TX)

Ralph Hall.jpg
See also: Texas' 4th Congressional District elections, 2014

Name: Ralph Hall (R), Texas' 4th Congressional District
Challenger: John Ratcliffe (R)
First elected: Hall was first elected to the U.S. House in 1980.
What happened: Hall was defeated by primary challenger John Ratcliffe in a primary runoff election on May 27, 2014.[2] Ratcliffe won the runoff by roughly 6 percent of the vote. He will run unopposed for the seat in November.

Hall, who announced going into the primary election that it would be his last re-election bid, was the first incumbent defeated in the 2014 midterm elections.[3]


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Richard Lugar (R-IN)

Richard Lugar.jpg
See also: United States Senate elections in Indiana, 2012

Name: Richard Lugar (R), U.S. Senate, Indiana
First elected: Lugar was first elected in 1976.
Challenger: Richard Mourdock (R)
What happened: In a stunning upset, Lugar lost to state Treasurer Richard Mourdock in the 2012 Republican primary. The hard-fought battle was the first time Lugar had faced a primary challenge since 1976. Tea Party and national conservative groups poured millions of dollars into the campaign against Lugar, a moderate Republican who sometimes compromised with Democrats.[4]

Lugar's loss made him "just the second six-term U.S. Senator - and the first Republican - to fail in his renomination bid in the direct election era of the past 100 years."[5]



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Joe Lieberman (D-CT)

Joe Lieberman.jpg

Name: Former Sen. Joe Lieberman (D), U.S. Senate, Connecticut
First elected: Lieberman was first elected in 1988 and served until 2013.
Challenger: Ned Lamont (D)
What happened: In 2006, Lieberman sought the Democratic Party's nomination for U.S. Senate from Connecticut in his bid for re-election, but was defeated by businessman Ned Lamont in the primary.[6]

Lieberman was officially endorsed by the Connecticut Democratic Convention, which met in May. However, Lamont received 33 percent of the delegates' votes, forcing an August primary. After losing the primary, he filed and won as a third party candidate under the party label "Connecticut for Lieberman."



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Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)

Dennis Kucinich.jpg
See also: Ohio's 9th Congressional District elections, 2012

Name: Dennis Kucinich (D), Ohio's 9th Congressional District
First elected: Kucinich was first elected in 1996 and served until 2013.
Challenger: Marcy Kaptur (D)
What happened: Two well-known Democratic incumbents faced off in a nasty primary fight: Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D), who represented the 9th District since 1983 and Dennis Kucinich (D), whose District 10 seat was eliminated by redistricting.[7] Kaptur handily defeated Kucinich, 56.44%-39.74%.[7]

The 9th District primary race was considered one of the five ugliest in the nation in 2012. Also named were IL-16, PA-12, CA-30 and NJ-9.[8]



Other defeated incumbents

Republican PartySandy Adams

Sandy Adams.jpg
See also: Florida's 7th Congressional District elections, 2012

Name: Sandy Adams (R), Florida's 7th Congressional District
First elected: Adams was first elected by voters from Florida's 24th Congressional District in 2010. After being redistricted to Florida's 7th Congressional District, she lost her bid for re-election in the 2012 primary election.
Challenger:She was defeated by incumbent John L. Mica in the Republican primary on August 14, 2012[9][10]







Republican PartyDonald Manzullo

Donald A. Manzullo.jpg
See also: Illinois' 16th Congressional District elections, 2012

Name: Donald Manzullo (R), Illinois' 16th Congressional District
First elected: Manzullo was first elected in 1992.
Challenger:Manzullo faced freshman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois' 11th Congressional District in the Republican primary. Kinzinger was moved into the 16th District during the redistricting process.[11]






Republican PartyBen Quayle

Benjamin Quayle.JPG
See also: Arizona's 3rd Congressional District elections, 2012

Name: Ben Quayle (R), Arizona's 3rd Congressional District
First elected: Quayle was first elected in 2010.
Challenger: Due to redistricting, Quayle sought re-election in Arizona's 6th District. He was defeated by fellow GOP incumbent David Schweikert in the Republican primary on August 28, 2012.[12]

According to the Club for Growth, the primary match-up between incumbents Quayle and Schweikert was the "most watched Republican congressional primary race in the country." Quayle appeared to be the favorite of Republican leadership, while Schweikert stood as a tea party favorite. Both representatives were new to the House and were running for re-election to their 2nd term in 2012.[13]





Republican PartyJean Schimidt

Jean Schmidt.jpg
See also: Ohio's 2nd Congressional District elections, 2012

Name: Jean Schmidt (R), Ohio's 2nd Congressional District
First elected: Schmidt was first elected in a special election on August 2, 2005.
Challenger:She lost to Army veteran Brad Wenstrup in the March 6, 2012 primary.[14][15]







Republican PartyCliff Stearns

Cliff Stearns.jpg
See also: Florida's 3rd Congressional District elections, 2012

Name: Cliff Stearns (R), Florida's 3rd Congressional District
First elected: Stearns was first elected by voters from Florida's 6th Congressional District in 1988. He lost his bid for re-election in the 2012 primary election.
Challenger: Due to redistricting, Stearns ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House to represent Florida's 3rd District. Stearns lost to Ted Yoho in the Republican primary.[16]







Republican PartyJohn Sullivan

John Sullivan.jpg
See also: Oklahoma's 1st Congressional District elections, 2012

Name: John Sullivan (R), Oklahoma's 1st Congressional District
First elected: Sullivan was first elected in 2002.
Challenger:Sullivan was defeated by challenger Jim Bridenstine in the Republican primary on June 26, 2012.[17][18] The day of the primary, Sullivan said he had made a mistake by ignoring the primary challenge for too long. "I never had a race like this in all my life," he said.[19]






Democratic PartyJason Altmire

Jason Altmire.jpeg
See also: Pennsylvania's 4th Congressional District elections, 2012

Name: Jason Altmire (D), Pennsylvania's 4th Congressional District
First elected: Altmire was first electedin 2006.
Challenger: Because of redistricting, Altmire's territory was thrown in with Mark Critz in the newly redrawn 12th District. Altmire lost to Critz in the April 24, 2012, Democratic primary.[20]







Democratic PartyRuss Carnahan

Russ Carnahan.jpg
See also: Missouri's 1st Congressional District elections, 2012

Name: Russ Carnahan (D), Missouri's 1st Congressional District
First elected: Carnahan was first elected in 2004.
Challenger: Carnahan filed to run for re-election in the same district as fellow incumbent Lacy Clay (D) after his previous district was eliminated during redistricting.[21] Carnahan was defeated by Clay in the Democratic primary on August 7, 2012.[22]







Democratic PartyHansen Clarke

Hansen Clarke.jpg
See also: Michigan's 14th Congressional District elections, 2012

Name: Hansen Clarke (D), Michigan's 14th Congressional District
First elected: Clarke was first elected in 2010.
Challenger: He was defeated by fellow incumbent Gary Peters in the Democratic primary.[23]

He is making a second run at the 14th Congressional District as a 2014 Democratic candidate seeking election to the open seat in the U.S. House.






Democratic PartyTim Holden

Tim Holden.jpg
See also: Pennsylvania's 17th Congressional District elections, 2012

Name: Tim Holden (D), Pennsylvania's 17th Congressional District
First elected: Holden was first elected in 1992 by voters from Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District and served a total of ten terms, the latter five as the Representative for the 17th District.
Challenger: In 2002, Holden beat the odds by defeating a Republican congressman for the 17th District seat, and was able to fend off GOP challengers for the remainder of his tenure. But in 2012, after redistricting, the 17th District became much more Democratic, meaning that instead of worrying about challengers from the right, Holden was faced with a strong challenge from the left. Moreover, his primary challenger was attorney Matt Cartwright, a wealthy, self-funded candidate and already well-known throughout the district.[24] Holden lost to Cartwright in the April 24 Democratic primary.



Democratic PartySilvestre Reyes

Silvestre Reyes.jpg
See also: Texas' 16th Congressional District elections, 2012

Name: Silvestre Reyes (D), Texas' 16th Congressional District
First elected: Reyes was first elected in 1996.
Challenger: He was defeated by Beto O'Rourke. O'Rourke presented Reyes' first real primary threat since he was first elected. O'Rourke portrayed Reyes as unresponsive and entrenched, raised significant funds and received support from the Campaign for Primary Accountability. Reyes responded by gathering endorsements from Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, as well as pointing out O'Rourke's support of marijuana legalization.[25] However, it was not enough to secure a win in the primary election.





Democratic PartySteven Rothman

Steve Rothman.jpg
See also: New Jersey's 9th Congressional District elections, 2012

Name: Steven Rothman (D), New Jersey's 9th Congressional District
First elected: Rothman was first elected in 1996.
Challenger: Due to redistricting, Rothman faced fellow Democratic incumbent Bill Pascrell for the newly redrawn 9th District in 2012. The one-time friends faced off in the Democratic primary. The primary was ranked as one of the five ugliest member vs. member battles[26] and was labeled one of the most competitive primaries of 2012.[27][28][29]






See also

References

  1. Smart Politics, "Eric Cantor 1st House Majority Leader to Lose Renomination Bid in History," June 10, 2014
  2. Associated Press, "Texas Primary runoff - Summary Vote Results," accessed May 28, 2014
  3. Rockwell Herald Banner, "Hall announces final re-election bid," December 20, 2013
  4. New York Times, "Lugar Loses Primary Challenge in Indiana," May 8, 2012
  5. University of Minnesota Smart Politics, "Lugar Could Become Just 2nd 6-Term Senator to Lose Renomination Bid in 100 Years" accessed May 7, 2012
  6. Boston Globe, "Lieberman campaign files forms to run as petitioning candidate," accessed June 11, 2014
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ohio Secretary of State, "Unofficial election results," accessed March 6, 2012
  8. Politico, "Congress 2012: The 5 ugliest member vs. member battles," February 27, 2012
  9. AP Results, "U.S. House Results," accessed August 14, 2012
  10. Sunshine State News, "Familiar Faces Lining Up to Run for Congress in 2012" accessed December 3, 2011
  11. ABC News 7, "Election Results Primary 2012," accessed March 20, 2012
  12. Associated Press, "Primary results," August 28, 2012
  13. Enterstageright.com, "The hottest Republican congressional primary race in the country," May 21, 2012
  14. cincinnati.com, "Super-PAC targets 'out of step' Schmidt," accessed January 31, 2012
  15. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named concede
  16. Florida Times Union, "Cliff Stearns was outworked by challenger Ted Yoho, many say," August 15, 2012
  17. Oklahoma Elections Division, "Election Results" accessed June 26, 2012
  18. Fox 23 "Jim Bridenstine defeats John Sullivan in primary," June 26, 2012
  19. Politico, "An incumbent caught sleeping?" June 26, 2012
  20. Pennsylvania Department of State, "2012 General Primary Unofficial Returns," April 24, 2012
  21. Washington Post, "Rep. Russ Carnahan files for primary against Rep. Lacy Clay in Missouri ," February 28, 2012
  22. AP Results, "U.S. House in Missouri Results" accessed August 7, 2012
  23. Associated Press, "2012 primary results," accessed August 8, 2012
  24. Roll Call, "Redistricting Makes Blue Dog Holden an Underdog" accessed April 22, 2012
  25. Politico, "5 incumbents facing primary fight," May 3, 2012
  26. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named politico
  27. North Jersey.com, "Harrison: New Jersey's competitive primaries," April 22, 2012
  28. WYNC "Live! NJ Election Results," June 5, 2012
  29. New Jersey Secretary of State "2012 Primary Results"