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News about: elections, politicians and candidates at all levels of government: elections, congress, state executive officials, state legislatures, recall elections, ballot measures and school boards. You can find a full list of projects here.


Florida and Alabama elections lead to runoffs, school boards to welcome newcomers

By Abbey Smith and Lauren Dixon

School Board badge.png

Out of 116 school board seats up for general election in Florida on August 26, 2014, 31 remain undecided and will advance to a runoff election on November 4, 2014. More than half of those seats will be won by newcomers, since only 12 incumbents are moving on to the runoff election. Thirteen other incumbents were unseated in the general election. With the 26 open seats added to those victories by challengers, 27 out of the 36 Florida school districts that held elections will be welcoming newcomers onto their school boards. Two school districts, Hernando County and Volusia County, will welcome three newcomers to their school boards as two incumbents were unseated and one seat was open in each district. In contrast, two other school districts, Bay and Nassau County, canceled their elections due to lack of opposition.

One Alabama school district, Huntsville City Schools, also held elections on August 26, 2014. No incumbents ran for the three seats up for election. Beth Wilder defeated Richard V. Buchanan for the District 2 seat, and Walker McGinis defeated Kimberly Battle for the District 4 seat. The District 3 seat will be determined in a runoff election on October 7, 2014, as neither candidate received 50 percent of the vote.[1]

State legislative competitiveness analysis following recent primaries and New York's completed candidate list

By Tyler King

With only five state primaries to go, the rate of incumbents winning against primary challengers remains steady at 86.4 percent. In the last two weeks, five states held legislative primaries. Additionally, data from New York's July 10, 2014, filing deadline has been added to our analysis.

About ten percent of seats up for election in New York are open, where there is no incumbent seeking re-election. Of the incumbents who are running, 15 percent will face a primary opponent. Additionally, 58 percent of districts will feature a general election between major party candidates. The statistics from New York can be compared to the overall data, below.

Thus far, 41 states have held primary elections. Of those states, 841 incumbents retired and another 113 were defeated in primaries.

Democratic Party 20 Democrats faced primary opposition in the second half of August. Two were defeated (10.0%).
Republican Party 64 Republicans faced a primary challenger, with nine (14.1%) failing to advance past the primary.

As the primaries continue Ballotpedia will continue to update the competitiveness analysis and incumbent turnover figures, giving you the play-by-play of this year's state legislative elections. Below we detail the exact events that occurred in the most recent primaries.

Scott and Crist to vie for vulnerable governor seat this fall: Florida state executive primary elections review


By Maresa Strano

August 26, 2014 Election Review

Jump to the section for:
*Florida Governor/Lieutenant Governor
*Florida Attorney General
*Florida Secretary of State
*Florida Chief Financial Officer
*Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services

TALLAHASSEE, Florida: On August 26, Florida voters faced three contested state executive primary fields and selected Democratic nominees for governor and attorney general as well as the Republican nominee for governor. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, the results show GOP incumbent Rick Scott and recently-converted Democrat Charlie Crist easily securing their respective parties' nominations for governor, while George Sheldon overcame one opponent in the Democratic attorney general primary for the chance to challenge incumbent Pam Bondi (R) in the general election.[2]

The five state executive positions are up for election in 2014 in the state of Florida in 2014 - governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, chief financial officer and agriculture and consumer services commissioner - are all held by Republicans, and each of the five incumbents are seeking re-election this cycle.

Below, Ballotpedia has put together a review of the August 26 primary elections in Florida, including the unofficial vote totals and a peek ahead at the upcoming general election lineups.

Attorney General Horne and Schools Superintendent Huppenthal ousted: Arizona state executive primary elections review


By Maresa Strano

August 26, 2014 Election Review

Jump to the section for:
*Arizona Governor
*Arizona Attorney General
*Arizona Secretary of State
*Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction
*Arizona Treasurer
*Arizona Corporation Commissioner (2 seats)
*Arizona State Mine Inspector

PHOENIX, AZ: On August 26, Arizona voters faced seven contested state executive primary fields, two of which resulted in the early elimination of incumbents. Attorney General Tom Horne and Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal, both Republicans first elected to their posts in 2010, lost their bids for renomination yesterday, bringing the number of open state executive seats to a whopping seven.[3]

With five of the six remaining sitting officeholders either term-limited or not running for a second term in their current posts, incumbent State Mine Inspector Joe Hart will be the only executive incumbent to appear on the November election ballot.

Eight state executive positions are up for election in 2014 in the state of Arizona: governor, attorney general, secretary of state, state treasurer, state mine inspector, superintendent of public instruction and two seats on the state corporation commission. Republican primaries were held for all of the offices except state mine inspector. A single contested Democratic primary, for superintendent of public instruction, determined that David Garcia will represent the party on the November ballot against GOP nominee Diane Douglas, who unseated incumbent John Huppenthal.

Below, Ballotpedia has put together a review of the August 26 primary elections in Arizona, including the unofficial vote totals and a peek ahead at the upcoming general election lineups.[4]

Every vote counts

By Kelly O'Keefe

Vote button.jpg

One vote has never changed anything, so you might as well just stay home on Election Day, right? Wait a minute. Not so fast. We’ve combed through the closest races of 2014, and we’re here to tell you that your vote does matter. Just take a look at these examples:

  • Heads or tails? So far in 2014, not one but two judicial races have been decided by a coin toss. Yes, a coin toss. In May 2014, an exact tie between runoff primary candidates in Llano County, Texas resulted in a coin toss to determine the race’s victor. In July 2014, after two New Mexico magistrate judicial candidates each received exactly 2,879 votes, the winner was determined by a coin toss in a courthouse in Gallup, New Mexico.
  • Embattled incumbent U.S. Congressman Scott DesJarlais recently eked out a Republican primary victory by just 38 votes. DesJarlais was not widely expected to win his primary after salacious details about his personal life became public. He’ll face Democrat Lenda Sherrell in the general election.
  • In Shelby County, Texas, a judicial challenger for the Shelby County Court ousted an incumbent judge by just three votes out of 3,263 votes cast.
  • In a race that’s still undecided, two Democratic Wisconsin State Senate candidates are currently separated by just two votes. Pat Bomhack and Ernie Wittwer are awaiting the results of a recount to determine who will face District 17’s incumbent State Senator Howard Marklein in November’s general election.

January 2014

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