Ballotpedia:"Game-changers" in the 2012 state legislative elections
- 1 Background
- 2 Chambers that could swing
- 3 Chambers that were unlikely to change partisan control
- 4 Specific state races
- 5 Alaska
- 6 Arizona
- 7 Arkansas
- 8 California
- 9 Colorado
- 10 Delaware
- 11 Florida
- 12 Georgia
- 13 Illinois
- 14 Iowa
- 15 Kentucky
- 16 Kansas
- 17 Maine
- 18 Massachusetts
- 19 Michigan
- 20 Minnesota
- 21 Nevada
- 22 New Hampshire
- 23 New Mexico
- 24 New York
- 25 North Carolina
- 26 Oregon
- 27 Rhode Island
- 28 Tennessee
- 29 Texas
- 30 Washington
- 31 Wisconsin
While there were 6,015 seats elected in 2012, only a handful ultimately impacted which party controls a state legislative chamber. Because of a number of factors including competitiveness and redistricting, many state legislative seats are virtually decided before voters even head to the polls. Thus, in swing states, it is likely that a select few races dictate which party has the majority after an election.
There were 86 chambers that held elections on November 6, 2012. The following table shows a summary of how each chamber falls in the "game-changer" category.
|Chambers where partisan control faced a possible swing||12||13||2||0||27|
|Chambers that were unlikely to change partisan control||20||38||0||1||59|
Chambers that could swing
Alaska State Senate
Alaska House of Representatives
Arkansas State Senate
Arkansas House of Representatives
Colorado State Senate
Colorado House of Representatives
Iowa State Senate
Iowa House of Representatives
Kentucky House of Representatives
Maine State Senate
Maine House of Representatives
Michigan House of Representatives
Minnesota State Senate
Minnesota House of Representatives
Nevada State Assembly
Nevada State Senate
New Hampshire State Senate
New Hampshire House of Representatives
New Mexico State Senate
New Mexico House of Representatives
New York State Senate
Oregon State Senate
Oregon House of Representatives
Pennsylvania State Senate
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Washington State Senate
Wisconsin State Senate
Chambers that were unlikely to change partisan control
Arizona State Senate
Arizona House of Representatives
California State Senate
California State Assembly
Connecticut House of Representatives
Connecticut State Senate
Delaware State Senate
Delaware House of Representatives
Florida State Senate
Florida House of Representatives
Georgia State Senate
Georgia House of Representatives
Hawaii State Senate
Hawaii House of Representatives
Idaho State Senate
Idaho House of Representatives
Illinois State Senate
Illinois House of Representatives
Indiana State Senate
Indiana House of Representatives
Kansas State Senate
Kansas House of Representatives
Kentucky State Senate
Massachusetts State Senate
Massachusetts House of Representatives
Missouri State Senate
Missouri House of Representatives
Montana State Senate
Montana House of Representatives
New York State Assembly
North Carolina State Senate
North Carolina House of Representatives
North Dakota State Senate
North Dakota House of Representatives
Ohio State Senate
Ohio House of Representatives
Oklahoma State Senate
Oklahoma House of Representatives
Rhode Island State Senate
Rhode Island House of Representatives
South Carolina State Senate
South Carolina House of Representatives
South Dakota State Senate
South Dakota House of Representatives
Tennessee State Senate
Tennessee House of Representatives
Texas State Senate
Texas House of Representatives
Utah State Senate
Utah House of Representatives
Vermont State Senate
Vermont House of Representatives
Washington House of Representatives
West Virginia State Senate
West Virginia House of Delegates
Wisconsin State Assembly
Wyoming State Senate
Wyoming House of Representatives
Specific state races
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
Alaska State Senate: The State Senate was in the unique position of being equally split between Democrats and Republicans, with each party holding 10 seats. Republicans controlled the redistricting process, increasing the likelihood that they would gain control of the Upper Chamber in 2012. Republicans did ultimately take the majority after the 2012 election with a 13-7 split in the senate.
- In District 13(M) incumbent Bettye Davis defeated Harry Crawford, Jr. in the Democratic primary. The winner, Davis, was defeated by incumbent Anna Fairclough (R) in the general election.
- Incumbent Pete Petersen defeated Lynette Moreno Hinz in the Democratic primary in District 25. The winner, Peterson, was defeated by incumbent Republican Lance Pruitt in the general election.
- In District 33, incumbent Peggy Wilson (R) defeated Patricia Mackey and Agnes Moran. Wilson went on to defeat incumbent Kyle Johansen (I) and challenger Matt Olsen (D) in the general election.
Arizona State Senate: While Republicans held a solid majority at 21-9, there were five incumbent Republicans retiring, compared to three Democrats. With eight of thirty seats open, it was conceivable that Democrats could have taken majority control in the chamber.
In the wake of the primary, it was noted that the Tea Party fervor which erupted in 2010 had subsided somewhat, and the State Senate may have been headed for a more centrist path after the November elections.
Arizona House of Representatives: Heading into the election, Republicans held 40 of 60 seats in the House. In 2012, 14 Republicans retired and eight Democrats retired (one Independent retired as well).
- In the Republican primary for District 13, incumbents John Nelson and Don Shooter were projected to face-off, but Nelson withdrew just before the primary, leaving Shooter unopposed.
- District 16: Incumbent Rich Crandall (R) was opposed by current House member John Fillmore. The race was so close that as of August 29, the race had yet to be called. Eventually, Crandall was named the winner. He was seen as a more moderate Republican when compared to the Tea Party-backed Fillmore. Over $80,000 was poured into the races by Republicans in favor of Crandall.
- The Republican primary in District 1 was particularly unique, given that all three candidates were current members of the state legislature. Incumbents Karen Fann and Andy Tobin were members of the House, while Lori Klein represented Senate District 6 since 2011. No Democrats filed to run in this district, so the two winners of the Republican primary, Fann and Tobin, went into the general election unopposed.
- District 20: This seat was left open by retiring Republican John McComish. House Representative Kimberly Yee (R), Democratic challenger Michael Powell, and well known Independent Doug Quelland were all thought to have a legitimate chance at winning. Quelland was formerly a Republican member of the House and competed with Yee for the conservative vote, which was thought to possibly leave an opening for Powell. In the end, Yee came out as the winner.
- District 18: Democrats had hoped that Iraq war veteran Corey Harris would pose a challenge for Republican incumbents Jeff Dial and Bob Robson in this important swing district. However, Dial and Robson were re-elected comfortably.
Arkansas State Senate: Heading into the election, Democrats held 20 seats and Republicans held 15 seats. With 8 Democrats retiring, the chamber was prime for a potential flip to Republicans.
Arkansas House of Representatives: With 46 of 100 seats in the House, Republicans needed to gain 5 to take control of the chamber, or 4 to split power evenly. In total, 26 Democrats and 10 Republicans retired.
The Arkansas legislature had been in Democratic control since the end of the Civil War, and was the last Southern state to have a Democratic legislature. Small government group Americans for Prosperity heavily invested in races in the state in an effort to flip the chambers.
- District 7: In this open seat, Diana Gonzales Worthen (D) was defeated by Jon Woods (R), who was a member of the House. Woods narrowly defeated incumbent Bill Pritchard in the Republican primary.
- District 11: Republicans sought to pick up this seat and succeeded, as Democrat Robert Thompson ran in District 20. Jimmy Hickey, Jr. (R) defeated freshman legislator Steve Harrelson.
- In district 15, State Rep. David J. Sanders successfully used his name recognition to pick up a seat, as he defeated challenger Johnny Hoyt (D).
- District 19: Senator David Wyatt (D) and Rep. Linda Collins-Smith (R) each attempted to keep a seat in the legislature, but Wyatt was victorious.
- District 35: Linda Tyler represented one of the few seats that Democrats had a chance at gaining to keep control of the chamber. Tyler was a member of the House and was defeated by freshman incumbent Jason Rapert (R).
- See also: California State Senate elections, 2012
California State Senate: The Democratic Party held majority control of the California State Senate 25-15 heading into the 2012 elections. They needed to gain two seats in order to achieve a 2/3 supermajority. They held 14 even-numbered seats and were expected to win 12 of the 20 odd-numbered seats, meaning that they just needed one more to hit the 27 seat mark. Three of the odd-numbered seats were rated as toss-ups and determined whether Democrats would gain their supermajority, Districts 5, 27, and 31. District 27 was described as lacking a strong Republican candidate, making it the most likely to be won by Democrats in 2012.
- District 5: Current Rep. Bill Berryhill (R) defeated challenger Leroy Ornellas, and defeated Cathleen Galgiani in the Fall.
- District 5 was projected to be one of the tight races that determined if Democrats would get a super majority. Bill Berryhill (R) defeated incumbent Cathleen Galgiani (D).
- District 27: While the Republican candidate Todd Zink had been raising significantly less money than Democrat Fran Pavley, the newly redrawn district does encompass more conservatives than it did prevously, which made for a very tight race in November. Zink, a prosecutor and Marine Corps Reserve officer, was thought to have a fighting chance at getting the seat, but was defeated by Pavley.
- District 31: Republican Assemblyman Jeff Miller, who has high name recognition, looked to keep a seat for Republicans against Democratic challenger Richard Roth. In early September, this already tight race was further complicated by Steve Clute (D), who came in third in the primary. Despite being a Democrat, he took the unusual step of endorsing Miller, a Republican. Despite this, Roth won.
Colorado House of Representatives: Prior to the election, the House was identified as a chamber that had a highly likelihood of changing partisan control. The split of 33 Republicans and 32 Democrats meant that even one lost seat for Republicans would give Democrats the majority.
- Incumbent Republicans Marsha Looper and Amy Stephens faced off in a primary battle for House District 19. Stephens won, 7,458-5,068.
- District 35: Incumbent Democrat Joyce Foster retired, but in the wake of redistricting this race was not necessarily being "defended" by Democrats, as new rural parts of the district drastically changed the demographics. Republican Larry Crowder successfully picked up the seat.
- District 3: Incumbent Daniel Kagan (D) saw her safely Democratic district wash away with redistricting, but managed to defeat challenger Brian Watson (R), the owner of a local real estate investment company.
- District 34: Incumbent John Soper (D) retired due to term limits. This is a seat that Republicans attempted to pick up, but Jodina Widhalm (R) was defeated by Steve Lebsock (D).
- District 47: Keith Swerdfeger (R) retired, leaving a seat for Democrats to potentially pick up. However, Netto Charles Rodosevich (D) was defeated by Clarice Navarro-Ratzlaff (R) in the general election.
- District 6: The newly created sixth was heavily contested, with two Republicans and three Democrats facing off in the primary. Libertarian party candidate Gwendolyn M. Jones also filed to run in the district. Democrat Andrew W. Staton and Republican Ernesto B. Lopez survived the primary, and will faced Jones in the general election. Lopez won.
- District 11: Incumbent Anthony DeLuca (D) faced a challenge from Bryan Townsend. Townsend won, upsetting the 12 year incumbent.
- District 19: Incumbent Joseph Booth and challenger Eric R. Bodenweiser faced off in the Republican primary. Bodenweiser won.
- District 22: In a year in which the House looked to be generally uncompetitive, this race was one of the most closely watched. Incumbents Nick T. Manolakos and Joseph Miro faced off in the Republican primary, a race which pitted two well known friends against each other. On election day, Manolakos stated, "We have been friends a long time. We ran a positive campaign. I am glad we didn’t get sidetracked with negativity." In a surprising turn, the low voter turnout led to a rather one sided victory for Miro, who took 61% of the vote, winning 977-630.
Florida State Senate: The Senate, with a composition of 28 Republicans to 12 Democrats heading into the election, was not projected to change hands in 2012.
Florida House of Representatives: Like the Senate, the House had an overwhelming Republican majority (81 of 120 seats); the chamber was expected to remain in Republican control.
- In District 34, Mike Lameyer will attempted to beat out freshman incumbent Ellyn Bogdanoff, but fell short.
- District 100: Incumbent Joseph Gibbons a Democrat elected in 2006, defeated challenger Sheldon Jacob Lisbon.
- District 107 incumbent Luis Garcia retired, which left incumbent Democrats John Patrick Julien and Barbara A. Watson to face each other. Watson narrowly won by 26 votes.
- District 116: Republicans Jose Felix Diaz and Ana Rivas Logan, both incumbents who assumed office in 2012, faced off on August 14. Dias won, 7,818-4,026.
- District 8: This open seat saw large amounts of outside money pour in, and was expected to be one of the closest in the entire Senate. Frank T. Bruno, Jr. (D) was defeated by Dorothy L. Hukill (R).
- District 34: Incumbents Maria Sachs (D) and Ellyn Bogdanoff (R), both freshman, will vied for a seat. Sachs won.
- District 30: New redistricting maps meant that Republican Scott Plakon's once safe district became a tossup. Democrat Karen Castor Dentel successfully flipped the seat, and defeated Plakon.
Georgia State Senate: Heading into the election, the Senate was solidly Republican and was not expected to change hands.
Georgia House of Representatives: Of the 180 seats in the House, Republicans held 115, Democrats held 63, one was vacant, and one was held by an Independent.
- District 7: Tyler Harper defeated State Representative Mark Hatfield and Rodney Vickers for the seat being vacated by Greg Goggans (R). Harper will now face off against Democratic candidate Gene Mitchell in the general election.
- District 15: Incumbent Ed Harbison, who first assumed office in 1992, rebuffed a challenge in the Democratic primary from Reginald Pugh. This election marks the third time Harbison defeated Pugh in a Democratic primary for the seat; this match-up also occurred in 2006 and 2008. Harbison will advance to the general election to take on David Brown.
- District 18: Incumbent Cecil Staton is locked in a close race with Spencer Price in the Republican primary. Only about 200 votes separated the candidates, with the advantage going to Staton, with 98 percent of precincts reporting. Late in the campaign, Price filed an ethics complaint against Staton, alleging that Staton participated in, and benefited from, a conspiracy to divert funds from the Georgia Republican Senatorial Trust to his campaign.
- District 25: Incumbent Johnny Grant, who first joined the Senate in 2005, was defeated by challenger Burt Jones. Jones will face Democratic candidate Darrell Black in the general election.
- District 26: Incumbent Miriam Paris, who first assumed office in 2011, was forced into a runoff by challenger David E. Lucas, Sr. in the Democratic primary. A third candidate in the primary, Irvin Martinez, fell well short of advancing to the runoff. The Democratic nominee will face Republican Bobby Gale.
- District 27: Incumbent Jack Murphy, who first assumed office in 2007, barely survived a primary challenge from Steve Voshall, defeating him by only about 120 votes in the first count. Barring a recount or changes in the results, Murphy will face no opposition in the fall and keep his seat.
- District 31: Incumbent Bill Heath, who first assumed office in 2005, was forced into a runoff by challenger Bill Carruth, with fellow contender J.K. Rogers finishing a distant third. No Democratic candidate is running for this seat.
- District 35: Incumbent Donzella James, who first assumed office in 1993, fended off challenges from Detrius Hill Jones and Cory J. Lynch, and will now face Republican Benjamin Brooks in the general election.
- District 38: Incumbent Horacena Tate, who first assumed office in 1998, defeated Reginald Crossley in the Democratic primary and now faces no opposition in the general election.
- District 44: Incumbent Gail Davenport, who first assumed office in 2011, could be forced into a primary runoff with Gail Buckner. Marcus E. Davis trails in the three way race, which will likely decide who holds the seat for the next two years.
- District 55: Incumbent Gloria Butler, who first assumed office in 1998, defeated Mark Williams in the Democratic primary and does not face major party opposition in the general election.
- District 1: The open seat drew attention from three candidates, John Deffenbaugh, Mike Nowlin, and Alan Painter, who battled for the nomination in the Republican primary. No candidate managed to obtain more than 50 percent of the vote necessary to win the nomination, resulting in a runoff election between the top two vote getters, John Deffenbaugh and Alan Painter. The winner of the runoff primary on August 21st will take on Democratic candidate Thomas McMahan in the general election.
- District 4: Three Republican candidates battled for the open seat. Bruce Broadrick defeated Dennis Mock, and David W. Renz in the primary. No Democratic candidates filed to run in either the primary or general, so Broadrick is almost guaranteed the District 4 seat.
- District 9: Republican candidate Kevin K. Tanner defeated Clint Smith to win the open seat.
- District 28: Republican candidates and top vote getters Dan Gasaway and Jon Heffer will face off in a runoff election to decide the seat.
- District 41: Diana Eckles and Michael Smith will face off in a runoff election to decide the Democratic candidate who will advance to the general election to take on Republican candidate Phil Daniell.
- District 62: Marvin Arrington and Ladawn Blackett Jones will advance to the runoff election to decide the district seat.
- District 66: Bob Snelling and Michael Miller will advance to the runoff election to decide the winner of the Republican nomination. The winner will face Kimberly Alexander (D) in the general election.
- District 92: Tonya P. Anderson and Doreen Williams will advance to the runoff election to decide the district seat.
- District 113: Sharon Sawyer and incumbent Pam Dickerson will advance to a runoff election and will decide the district seat. Dickerson has served in this office since 2011.
- District 139: Patty Bentley and Thomas Coogle will face off in the runoff election to decide the winner of the district seat.
- District 167: Jeff Chapman defeated John Tuten, and will replace Roger Lane (R) in the District 167 seat. Lane vacated the seat for a Superior Court judgeship in the Brunswick Judicial Circuit. Chapman previously represented the 3rd District of the Georgia State Senate from 2005-2011.
- Incumbent Democrat Annazette Collins and activist Patricia Van Pelt Watkins faced-off in a heated primary battle for Senate District 5, with Watkins ultimately emerging victorious. They first met in the February 2011 primary election to replace Rickey Hendon Incumbent Collins was defeated, 10,081 - 8,761.
- District 62: This suburban swing district was closely contested by incumbent Sandy Cole (R) and challenger Sam Yingling (D), with Yingling ultimately winning election.
Iowa State Senate: With a slim Democratic majority of 26-24, the Iowa Senate was identified as a chamber that could have flipped in 2012. With eight incumbents retiring (16% of the chamber, with an equal number from each party retiring, at 4 apiece), there are numerous seats that could potentially be picked up by either party. As a result of Iowa's unique redistricting process, the new map did not greatly harm or help either party, although some have suggested that it may have modestly favored Democrats. The plan passed by a 48-1 margin in the State Senate and a 90-7 margin in the House, lending credence to the belief that Iowa's process was less overtly partisan than redistricting in other states.
Iowa House of Representatives: Republicans had a comfortable 59-40 majority in the House, meaning that Democrats would have needed to flip 11 seats to regain power. However, a complicating factor may have been the higher number of retiring Republicans, 13, to Democrats, 5.
- In District 39, incumbent Erik Helland (R) was defeated by challenger Jake Highfill in a tight race. Highfill prevailed by only 50 votes.
- Incumbents Pat Grassley and Annette Sweeney faced each other in a Republican primary contest that saw Grassley win 2,506-1,588.
- District 4: Democrat Bob Jennings and Republican Dennis Guth were in a tight race for the newly created 4th District. They disagreed sharply primarily over social issues, with Guth going so far as to state that the legalization of same-sex marriage in Iowa was the issue which drove him to seek public office. He supported an effort to unseat the Iowa Supreme Court Justice, David Wiggins, who cast a vote legalize. Guth defeated Jennings in the general election.
- District 49: Even though this is an odd numbered district, it is on the ballot as a result of redistricting. Rita Hart (D) defeated Andrew Naeve (R), a 2010 candidate who only narrowly lost his in the last election.
- In District 13, incumbent Democrat Chris Hall defeated District 1 incumbent Republican Jeremy Taylor.
Kentucky State Senate: Heading into the election, the State Senate majority was held by Republicans, with 22 of 38 seats. Democrats needed to flip 5 seats to gain control of the chamber. Three Republicans retired in 2012.
Kentucky House of Representatives: While Republicans held a majority in the Senate, they were in the minority in the House. Democrats held a relatively healthy 58-41 advantage, meaning that 9 seats would have had to change hands for them to lose the chamber. There was one vacancy heading into the election.
- District 23: Incumbent Jack Westwood (R) did not run for re-election, leaving the seat open. Democrat James Noll was defeated by Republican Chris McDaniel on November 6.
- No Incumbents were set to face each other in the general election, so the most competitive races were expected be in districts in which incumbents have retired and there were two major party candidates, primarily districts 2, 3, 4, 5, and 36.
Kansas State Senate: With a composition of 32 Republicans and 8 Democrats, it was highly unlikely that the Senate would change hands. However, there were several competitive Republican primary battles that emerged in the wake of redistricting.
Seven moderate Republican incumbents were defeated by more conservative rivals in an effort to oust members of the Senate who were hostile to parts of Gov. Sam Brownback's agenda. This fits in with a larger 2012 narrative nationwide in which moderates from both parties are struggling to keep their seats.
Kansas House of Representatives: Like the Senate, it was unlikely that the House would swing to Democratic control. However, there were five districts with Republican primary battles between incumbents, and one district where incumbent Democrats fought to maintain a seat.
- Due to redistricting, District 14 was open. Two House Republicans, John Grange and Forrest Knox, faced off in the August 7 primary. Knox came out victorious.
- District 15: Incumbent Jeff King (R) faced a primary challenge from Dwayne Umbarger (R). Umbarger was placed into King's district after the 2010 census prompted redistricting in Kansas. King successfully held his seat.
- District 61 had a relatively crowded primary Republican field featuring incumbents Richard Carlson and Trent LeDoux, as well as challenger Daniel A. Brenner. Carlson beat out his opponents.
- District 76 featured an unusual Republican primary in which three incumbents faced off: Peggy Mast, elected in 1996, Bill Otto, elected in 2004, and William Prescott, elected in 2008. The longest serving of the three, Mast, won.
- District 86: Veteran Democrats Judith Loganbill and Jim Ward challenged each other in the primary on August 7, and Ward was the winner.
- Republican Anthony Brown survived his primary challenge from James C. "J.C." Tellefson, but was defeated by Democrat Tom Holland in the general election.
- Veteran incumbent Ralph Ostmeyer (R) survived s a primary challenge from John E. Miller. He defeated incumbent Allen Clark Schmidt (D), who was appointed to the seat in February 2011.
- Democrat Nile Dillmore and Republican Brenda Landwehr faced no opposition in their respective primaries, and Dillmore was victorious in the general election on November 6.
- Incumbent Kyle D. Hoffman (R) survived a primary battle from Terry Nunemaker. Hoffman won the Republican nomination, he defeated incumbent Democrat Vincent Wetta in the general election.
Maine State Senate: Democrats needed to flip three seats to gain control of the chamber. The potential for that to happen existed largely due to term limits - 13 of 35 incumbents (37%) were retiring or running for a higher office in 2012.
Maine House of Representatives: 52 (34%) of incumbents retired, most due to term limits. Democrats needed to gain four seats to get control of the chamber.
The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee identified five races that they would target and assist in funding so that Democrats can retake both chambers, including House districts 128 and 139, as well as Senate districts 17, 25, and 32. The DLCC is primary financed by labor unions.
- District 3: Term-limited State Rep. John Tuttle (D) defeated Bradford Littlefield (R) for this open seat.
- District 27: State Rep. Herbert Clark (D) was defeated by incumbent Senator Douglas Thomas (R). Clark claimed that Thomas was "in hot water in his district" due to an unpopular proposed highway project that passes through the district.
- Assistant Democratic Leader Teresea Hayes defeated Republican challenger Timothy Turner. Hayes narrowly kept her seat in 2010, escaping with a 2,122 - 2,012 over Ryan Lorrain.
- District 128: Republican Heather Sirocki faced a stiff challenge from Jean-Marie Caterina (D), but survived unscathed.
- District 139: In a rematch from 2010, Joseph Wagner (D) was defeated by incumbent Aaron Libby (R).
Massachusetts State Senate and Massachusetts House of Representatives: Both the Senate and the House were overwhelmingly Democratic, and based upon candidate filing lists, neither chamber were expected to flip in 2012.
- First Bristol and Plymouth District: Freshman incumbent Michael J. Rodrigues (D) defeated David P. Meade, Jr..
- The First Essex District is newly created and has no incumbent. Democrats Timothy J. Coco, Kathleen A. O'Connor Ives, and William M. Manzi, III vied for their party's nomination, while Republicans Sam S. Meas and Shaun P. Toohey faced off. O'Connor-Ives came out on top in the Democratic race, while Toohey took the Republican nomination.
- Second Essex District: Incumbent Frederick Berry (D) did not seek re-election. Democrats Edward J. Carroll, Joan B. Lovely, Mary-Ellen Manning and John P. Slattery attempted to take his seat. Lovely won.
- Second Essex and Middlesex District: Republican incumbent Paul Adams narrowly defeated Alex J. Vispoli.
- Plymouth and Barnstable District: President of the Senate Therese Murray soundly defeated challenger Stephen Michael Palmer.
- Second Barnstable District: Demetrius Atsalis (D) faced a challenge from Brian Mannal. In one of a few upsets of the night, Mannal defeated the incumbent.
- Seventh Bristol District: Kevin Aguiar (D) was challenged by Alan Silvia. Aguiar is currently losing by 7 votes, and the race will go to a recount.
- Second Franklin District: Freshman Democrat Denise Andrews fended off challengers Rebecca Bialecki, Genevieve Fraser, and Jim White.
- Second Hampden District saw a Republican primary rematch between Marie Angelides and Enrico John Villamaino, III. Angelides was victorious in 2010, but lost to Democrat Brian Michael Ashe in the general election. Once again, Angelides was victorious in the primary, and will face Ashe in November.
- The Twenty-Fourth Middlesex District is open due to the retirement of William Brownsberger, leaving Margaret Hegarty, Robert Paul Reardon, Jr., and David M. Rogers to compete for the Democratic nomination for the seat. Rogers won.
- Twenty-Fifth Middlesex District: Incumbent Alice Wolf (D) did not running for re-election. Marjorie Decker, Gayle Johnson and Lesley Rebecca Phillips challenged each other for the seat, with Decker garnering a plurality of the votes.
- Tenth Norfolk District: James Vallee resigned in June 2012, leaving the seat open. Two Democrats and three Republicans are vied for the seat. Democrat Jeffery Roy and Republican Richard Eustis will face off in November.
- One of the closer races was expected to be between incumbent Democrat Kenneth Donnelly and Republican challenger Gerry Dembrowski in the Fourth Middlesex District. Donnelly won.
- Second Hampden District: This district saw a rematch between challenger Marie Angelides and incumbent Brian Michael Ashe. Ashe won for the second time in as many elections.
Michigan State Senate: The Senate did not hold elections in 2012.
Michigan House of Representatives: 18 incumbents retired in 2012, 9 Republicans and 9 Democrats. Republicans held a 63 to 47 majority, and the chamber was unlikely to switch control in 2012.
- District 4: Rose Mary Robinson beat out ten other challengers in the Democratic primary.
- District 40: Michael D. McCready narrowly won with only 32% of the vote, with runners-up David W. Potts and David Wolkinson each garnering 30%.
- District 76: Write-in candidate Winnie Brinks had to receive a minimum of 1000 votes in the primary on August 7 to get on the general election ballot in November, and she far surpassed that number, amassing more than 2,500.
- District 83: Republican incumbent Paul Muxlow escaped with a tight victory in one of the most anticipated races of the night, beating challenger Bob Eick 5,198 to 5,066.
- District 88: In an exceptionally close race for this open seat, Roger Victory defeated Amanda Sue Van Essen by 88 votes, among more than 12,000 cast in the district.
- District 107: In a race that has yet to be officially called, Suzanne Shumway (D) leads Jim Martin by 27 votes.
The following incumbents were defeated in the primary:
- Tim Bledsoe (D), District 2
- Jimmy Womack (D), District 3
- Maureen Stapleton (D), District 6
- Lesia Liss (D), District 28
- Kurt E. Damrow (R), District 84
- District 63: Democrat Bill Farmer took on Speaker of the House Jase Bolger (R), who was embroiled in a campaign rigging scandal. However, Farmer was defeated.
- District 76: Winnie Brinks (D) sought to capitalize on the same election rigging scheme that was embroiling Speaker Bolger, as she defeated Roy Schmidt (R) who defected to the Republican party just before the primary.
State Senate: Republicans won control of the Senate after the 2010 election. The new redistricting maps could have given the advantage to the DFL (Democrats), according to a report in the Minnesota Post. A total of 16 incumbent senators were paired together and there were eight open seats with no incumbent. DFL State Chair Ken Martin said that a party analysis of the new Senate districts indicates that the partisan lean of the 67 districts was 34-33 in favor of the DFL. However, an analysis by The Pioneer Press indicated a partisan lean of 36-31 for Republicans.
State House: Republicans won control of the House after the 2010 election. The new redistricting maps may have given the advantage to the DFL (Democrats), according to a report in the Minnesota Post. A total of 30 incumbent representatives were paired together and there were 15 open seats with no incumbent. DFL State Chair Ken Martin said that a party analysis of the new Senate districts indicates that the partisan lean of the 67 districts was 73-61 in favor of the DFL. A similar analysis by The Pioneer Press indicated an identical result if the results were strictly based on party-line voting.
- In District 5, Senate incumbent Tom Saxhaug (D) defeated Laverne H. Pederson. He will face incumbent Republican John Carlson in the general election.
- In District 17, Senate incumbent Lyle Koenen (D) defeated Larry D. Rice. Koenen will face incumbent Republican Joe Gimse in the general election.
- District 40: Freshman incumbent Chris Eaton survived a challenge from Timothy A. Davis, Sr..
- District 47: Incumbent Julianne Ortman defeated Bruce R. Schwichtenberg.
- District 64: Dick Cohen, in office since 1987, survived a challenge from Alexander H. Jeffries.
- District 65: Incumbent Sandra Pappas defeated Marcus Walker.
- District 7A: Incumbent Thomas Huntley defeated Brandon Clokey.
- District 11B: Incumbent Tim Faust defeated Nathan Johnson.
- District 33B: Steve Smith was defeated by Cindy Pugh in the only incumbent upset of the night. Smith has been in office since 1991.
- District 37B: Torey Hall lost to incumbent Tim Sanders.
- District 59A: Marcus Harcus was defeated by longtime incumbent Joe Mullery.
- District 20: Former Senator Kevin L. Dahle (D) regained his seat in the legislature, defeating Mike Dudley (R).
- See also: Nevada State Senate elections, 2012
Nevada State Senate: The Democratic Party held partisan control of the Senate 11-10 heading into the 2012 elections. The two seats that were expected to ultimately determine party control were Districts 5 and 6 - seats held by Democratic incumbents Allison Copening and Shirley Breeden - who both did not seek re-election.
- In District 3, Valerie Wiener was ineligible to run due to term limits. Richard Segerbloom (D) defeated Ed Gobel (R) on November 6.
- District 5: Joyce Woodhouse (D) defeated Steve Kirk (R). Polling conducted in mid-August showed that Kirk had a 44%-37% lead.
- District 6: In another tight race which was expected to effect who retained control of the Senate, Benny Yerushalmi (D) was defeated by Mark Hutchinson (R). Polling in August showed Hutchinson leading 40%-33%.
- District 9: In a newly redrawn district encompassing more Democratic voters, Mari Nakashima St. Martin (R) was defeated by Justin C. Jones (D).
- In District 11, Michael Schneider was ineligible to run due to term limits. Democrat Aaron D. Ford defeated Republican John Drake in the November 6 general election.
- District 15: According to a poll published mid-August, incumbent Greg Brower held a 45% to 42% lead over his Democratic opponent Sheila Leslie. While the pollsters noted that this was "a statistically insignificant lead," they also concluded that it was largely the result of name recognition, leaving room for Brower to expand his slim lead as the race progresses. Brower defeated Leslie in the general election.
Another poll, also conducted in August, had Brower and Leslie polling even at 42% each.
- In District 19, Dean Rhoads was ineligible to run due to term limits. In the general election, Harley Z. Kulkin (D), Pete Goicoechea (R), and Janine Hansen (I) faced-off. Goicoechea won.
New Hampshire State Senate: Republicans held a 19 to 5 majority, and were expected to be able to hold on to the chamber.
New Hampshire House of Representatives: The redistricting process, while controlled by Republicans, eliminated many multi-member districts and left a great deal of uncertainty when creating general election projections. Additionally, the forecasting process was further complicated by the volatile nature of recent politics in the state. Prior to the 2010 elections, Democrats held a 216-174 advantage. Just a single election cycle later, Republicans controlled the House 298-102.
- District 9: Former Senator Andy Sanborn (R) defeated two primary opponents, Ken Hawkins and Michael F. Kenney.
- District 25: Incumbent Jennifer Daler (D) attempted to maintain a seat against Republican incumbents James Coffey and Jim Parison. Parison and Coffey defeated Daler and Democratic challenger Mary Beth Ayvazian.
- District 3: Incumbent John Pinto (D), who had been in office for 34 years, faced a primary challenge from Matthew Tso. Tso was defeated.
- District 4: Incumbent George K. Munoz faced two primary challengers, Genevieve J. Jackson and Charles E. Rountree, and came out victorious.
- District 8: Incumbent Pete Campos (D) faced state house District 68 incumbent Thomas Garcia (D). Campos defeated Garcia in the primary on June 5.
- The Democratic primary in District 30 was one of the closest races in the state, and a winner was not officially declared until mid-July. Eventually, Clemente Sanchez was named the winner by 11 votes over his niece, Maxine R. Velasquez.
- District 33: Incumbent Republicans Bill Burt and Rod Adair were thrust into the same district via the redistricting process. However, after initially declaring to run, Adair withdrew in advance of the primary.
- District 35: Incumbent John Arthur Smith (D) was challenged by Larry P. Martinez in the Democratic primary. Martinez was defeated.
- District 39: Incumbent Phil A. Griego (D) successfully fended off primary challenges from Nicole Castellano and Jack Sullivan.
- District 66: Incumbent Dennis Kintigh was defeated by incumbent Bob Wooley in the Republican primary. No Democrats filed to run in the 66th District, leaving Wooley unopposed in his re-election bid on November 6.
- In District 70, Richard D. Vigil upset incumbent Tomas E. Salazar in the Democratic primary. Vigil ran unopposed in the general election.
- District 17: In the 2008 Democratic primary, Timothy M. Keller defeated then-incumbent Shannon Robinson in a rough campaign. In 2012, Robinson vowed to defeat Keller, but this time, as a Republican. The two faced off in the general election on November 6, but Keller successfully kept his seat.
- District 29: Incumbent Michael Sanchez (D) defeated state house District 7 incumbent David Chavez (R) in the general election. The race was a rematch of a 2000 state senate race, won by Sanchez. Republican-backed PACs spent heavily to defeat Sanchez.
- District 32: Money poured in to help Tea Party challenger Cliff R. Pirtle defeat longtime incumbent Timothy Z. Jennings (D). Jennings was a popular moderate Democrat in a generally conservative district, but it was not enough to overcome Jennings, who won the seat.
- District 12: Incumbent Ernest Chavez (D) defeated challenger Clyde Wheeler for the third consecutive general election.
- District 15: Firefighter Emily A. Kane (D) fought a tough battle against attorney Christopher T. Saucedo (R) who had strong backing from his party. Kane won.
- District 36: Incumbent Andrew Nunez (I) was formerly a Democrat, but jumped ship this election cycle. He faced LULAC state director Phillip M. Archuleta (D) and restaurateur Mike A. Tellez (R). Democrat Archuleta won.
New York State Senate: Heading into the election, Republicans held 33 of 62 seats; Democrats needed to gain 4 seats to flip control of the chamber. Only two incumbents retired, both Republicans.
New York State Assembly: Unlike the Senate, the Assembly was solidly Democratic (99-49 in favor of Democrats) and was not likely to change hands.
- District 27: Brad M. Hoylman, Thomas M. Greco, and Tanika Inlaw faced off in the Democratic primary.
- District 31: State Rep. Guillermo Linares (D) is challenging incumbent Senator Adriano Espaillat (D). Espaillat unsuccessfully challenged Rep. Charlie Rangel earlier this year, but will now try to keep his seat in the legislature. Most Democrats have backed him, but Linares has gotten a fundraising boost from Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
- District 40 is open, and several Democrats will vie for the nomination: Martha Flores-Vazquez, Ethel Chen, Ronald T. Kim, Yen S. Chou, and Myungsuk Lee.
- District 55: Incumbent William F. Boyland, Jr. (D) faces six primary opponents; they are Nathan Bradley, Anthony T. Jones, Christopher J. Durosinmi, Roy Antoine, Anthony L. Herbert, and David R. Miller. Boyland recently beat bribery charges after prosecutors say he solicited cash from an undercover FBI agent.
- District 15: Gov. Andrew Cuomo endorsed Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D), who defeated Eric A. Ulrich (R).
- District 46: Cecilia F. Tkaczyk (D) took this new district from incumbent George A. Amedore, Jr. (R).
- In 2010, Marcus Brandon defeated incumbent Earl Jones in the Democratic primary. In 2012, Jones sought a rematch, and was defeated 2,520-4,928. As there were no Republican candidates that filed for this District, Brandon effectively won re-election. The Brandon-Jones matchup was one of several races with the same candidates as 2010.
- District 46 incumbent Wes Westmoreland did not run for re-election. In the general election, John T. McDevitt (D), Warren Daniel (R), and Libertarian Richard C. Evey vied for the seat, with Daniel coming out as the victor.
Oregon State Senate: Democrats held an extremely thin majority, with 16 of 30 seats in their favor. The May 15 primary was relatively uneventful, but in the general election, 12 of 16 seats up for election featured two party competition.
Oregon House of Representatives: The House was split evenly between Democrats and Republicans at 30-30, meaning that even a single seat flipping parties would swing control of the chamber. Democrats were at a disadvantage in this battle, as six of seven retiring incumbents were Democrats.
- District 56: This open seat was narrowly won in the Republican primary by Gail Whitsett over Tracey Liskey.
- District 5 was left open by a retiring Joanne Verger (D). Republican Scott Roberts was defeated by Arnie Roblan.
- District 9 incumbent Arnie Roblan ran for State Senate, leaving the seat open. The general election saw a tight contest fought between Caddy McKeown (D) and Nancy Brouhard (R). McKeown won.
- District 48 did not feature an incumbent, as Mike Schaufler was defeated in the primary. Jeff Reardon (D) defeated George Yellott (R).
- District 49: This suburban swing district was hotly contested by Republican Matthew Wand (R), who narrowly won the seat in 2010, and Democrat Chris Gorsek. Gorsek defeated Wand.
Rhode Island State Senate and Rhode Island House of Representatives: The State Senate was overwhelmingly Democratic, with Republicans holding only 9 of 38 seats. The House was also unlikely to switch to Republican control.
- District 25: 19 year old University of Rhode Island student Nicole Amelia Acciardo took on incumbent Frank Lombardo III, but was defeated.
- District 8 freshman Michael Tarro (D) was soundly defeated by Elizabeth Libby Kimzey and John Joseph Lombardi.
- District 49 incumbent Lisa Baldelli-Hunt (D) survived a challenged by Stuart Gitlow and Michael Morin.
- Four newcomers vied for the open seat left vacant by Democrat Roberto DaSilva in District 63: Robert Britto, Katherine S Kazarian, Samuel Lovett and Charles Tsonos. Kazarian won.
- District 30: Italian immigrant Antonio Giarrusso beat out two other Republicans to take the party's nomination, and went on to narrowly defeat Democrat Mark Schwager and Independent Kevin J. Mcdonough in the general election.
Tennessee State Senate: Heading into the election, Republicans held a 20-13 majority in the Senate. Out of a total of four retirements, three were Democrats and one was a Republican.
Tennessee House of Representatives: Of the 99 seats in the House, Republicans held 64, Democrats held 34, and one was vacant. Seven Democrats retired, as did four Republicans.
- The crowded Republican primary in District 8 featured five candidates: Jeffrey D. Brantley, Cynthia Bundren Jackson, Frank Niceley, Hobart L. Rice, and Michael Williams. Niceley beat out his opponents, winning 45% of the vote.
- District 10 is open due to the retirement of Democrat Andy Berke. The primary contest featured three Democrats and two Republicans. Andrae McGary won the Democratic primary.
- District 16 is open, as incumbent Jim Tracy (R) ran in District 14. Six Democrats and four Republicans sought their parties' nomination. Janice Bowling won the Republican nomination.
- The only primary contest between two incumbents is in District 30. Veteran Democrat Jim Kyle, who assumed office in 1983, faced a challenge from Beverly Marrero. Kyle won.
- District 12: Incumbent Richard Montgomery (R) faced primary challenger Dale Carr. Carr moved into the district after the new redistricting map placed his home in another House district. In May, Gov. Bill Haslam stated his support for Montgomery.Despite this endorsement, Carr emerged victorious.
- District 28: Incumbent Tommie F. Brown faced a challenge from current District 29 incumbent JoAnne Favors in the Democratic primary. Favors upset Brown, who had been in the House since 1993.
- District 58: Mary Pruitt, a member of the House since 1985, faced primary challengers Harold M. Love and Steven Turner in the Democratic primary. Love defeated both of his opponents, in another upset that sent an incumbent packing.
- District 84 incumbent Joe Towns, Jr. (D) faced one primary challenger, Hendrell Remus. He kept his seat, convincingly defeating Remus.
- The Democratic primary in District 90 features two incumbents and a challenger: Incumbents John J. Deberry, Jr. and Jeanne D. Richardson, and challenger Ian L. Randolph. Deberry, in office since 1995, defeated his less seasoned opponents.
- In District 93, incumbent Goffrey A. Hardaway (D) faced Mike Kernell, a veteran lawmaker who has been a member of the House since 1975. In perhaps the biggest shock of the primary, Kernell, in office for nearly 40 years, was defeated by Hardaway.
- District 10 was an open seat due to the retirement of Andy Berke (D). Andrae McGary (D) was defeated by Todd Gardenhire (R).
- District 13: This seat saw a three way battle between Republican Gary Loe, Independent Nick H. Cazana, and Democrat Gloria Johnson. Johnson won.
- District 53 had potential to be a swing district, with incumbent Janis Baird Sontany (D) retiring. Republicans nominated Ben Claybaker to face Democrat Jason Powell. Powell won.
Texas State Senate: The State Senate was controlled by Republicans, with Democrats holding only 12 of 31 seats.
- The most competitive race in the Senate was District 10, where incumbent Democrat Wendy R. Davis defeated Republican State Rep. Mark Shelton.
- District 34: A rematch occurred between incumbent Connie Scott (R) and challenger Abel Herrero (D). Scott defeated Herrero 54%-46% in 2010, but Herrero won in 2012.
- District 43: J.M. Lozano a Democrat turned Republican, won a runoff election to advance to the general election in November. He defeated Democrat Yvonne Gonzalez Toureilles.
- District 78: In 2010, Republican Dee Margo narrowly defeated Democrat Joe Moody, 52%-48%. Moody defeated Margo in the election on November 6.
Washington State Senate: Democrats currently held a five seat advantage, and although five incumbent Dems retired, it was still unlikely that Republicans would pick up the chamber.
Washington House of Representatives: The House, with a 14 seat Democratic majority, was also unlikely to flip to Republican control.
- Jim Kastama (D), regarded as a moderate Democrat, retired, leaving a seat that Republicans were looking to pick up. Bruce Dammeier (R) defeated Eric Herde (D) in the general election.
- Mary Margaret Haugen (D), was unopposed in the August 7 blanket primary and was defeated by Barbara Bailey (R) in the general election.
Wisconsin State Senate: In total, 16 of 33 seats were up for election in November. Going into the election, Democrats held a slim 17-15 margin (with one vacancy), meaning that any Democratic seat changing hands would have flipped the chamber to Republicans.
Wisconsin House of Representatives: Heading into the election, Republicans held a 58-39 advantage, with one vacancy and one Independent in the 99 seat chamber. While it was not as close as the Senate, a total of 18 Representatives retired, leaving many open seats that both parties attempted to pick up.
- District 6: Spencer Coggs (D) retired, leaving five Democrats to vie for his seat in the primary; they were: Elizabeth Coggs, Nikiya Harris, Michael Mayo, Allyn Monroe Swan, and Delta Triplett. Harris won.
- District 14 incumbent Luther Olsen (R) faced primary opponent David Wayne Eiler on August 14. Olsen escaped unscathed, with a 14,782-4,341 victory.
- District 12: Susan Sommer sought to keep this seat for Democrats in a conservative leaning district, as incumbent Jim Holperin did not seek re-election. She was defeated by Republican Tom Tiffany.
- District 18: Democrats thought that freshman incumbent Jessica King (D) must keep her seat against challenger Rick Gudex if Democrats were to keep a majority in the Senate. Gudex narrowly won, and Republicans did take the chamber.
- District 25 was seen as one of the most competitive seats, as Independent Robert Ziegelbauer did not seek re-election. A crowded primary field with eight incumbents yielded a general election contest between Jim Brey (D) and Paul Tittl (R). Tittl won in the general election.
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