Ballotpedia:"Game-changers" in the 2012 state legislative elections

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This page details races that Ballotpedia staff identified as game-changers -- those that had the potential to swing partisan control or 2/3 majority control of a state legislative chamber in the 2012 elections. In other words, which races were of particular importance to watch on November 6, 2012.

Background

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.

Game-Changer Chambers
Type Democratic Party Republican Party Purple.png Grey.png TOTALS
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
TOTALS 32 51 2 1 86

Chambers that could swing

Purple.png Alaska State Senate
Republican Party Alaska House of Representatives
Democratic Party Arkansas State Senate
Democratic Party Arkansas House of Representatives
Democratic Party Colorado State Senate
Republican Party Colorado House of Representatives
Democratic Party Iowa State Senate
Republican Party Iowa House of Representatives
Democratic Party Kentucky House of Representatives
Republican Party Maine State Senate
Republican Party Maine House of Representatives
Republican Party Michigan House of Representatives
Republican Party Minnesota State Senate
Republican Party Minnesota House of Representatives
Democratic Party Nevada State Assembly
Democratic Party Nevada State Senate
Republican Party New Hampshire State Senate
Republican Party New Hampshire House of Representatives
Democratic Party New Mexico State Senate
Democratic Party New Mexico House of Representatives
Republican Party New York State Senate
Democratic Party Oregon State Senate
Purple.png Oregon House of Representatives
Republican Party Pennsylvania State Senate
Republican Party Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Democratic Party Washington State Senate
Democratic Party Wisconsin State Senate

Chambers that were unlikely to change partisan control


Republican Party Arizona State Senate
Republican Party Arizona House of Representatives
Democratic Party California State Senate
Democratic Party California State Assembly
Democratic Party Connecticut House of Representatives
Democratic Party Connecticut State Senate
Democratic Party Delaware State Senate
Democratic Party Delaware House of Representatives
Republican Party Florida State Senate
Republican Party Florida House of Representatives
Republican Party Georgia State Senate
Republican Party Georgia House of Representatives
Democratic Party Hawaii State Senate
Democratic Party Hawaii House of Representatives
Republican Party Idaho State Senate
Republican Party Idaho House of Representatives
Democratic Party Illinois State Senate
Democratic Party Illinois House of Representatives
Republican Party Indiana State Senate
Republican Party Indiana House of Representatives
Republican Party Kansas State Senate
Republican Party Kansas House of Representatives
Republican Party Kentucky State Senate
Democratic Party Massachusetts State Senate
Democratic Party Massachusetts House of Representatives
Republican Party Missouri State Senate
Republican Party Missouri House of Representatives
Republican Party Montana State Senate
Republican Party Montana House of Representatives
Democratic Party New York State Assembly
Republican Party North Carolina State Senate
Republican Party North Carolina House of Representatives
Republican Party North Dakota State Senate
Republican Party North Dakota House of Representatives
Republican Party Ohio State Senate
Republican Party Ohio House of Representatives
Republican Party Oklahoma State Senate
Republican Party Oklahoma House of Representatives
Democratic Party Rhode Island State Senate
Democratic Party Rhode Island House of Representatives
Republican Party South Carolina State Senate
Republican Party South Carolina House of Representatives
Republican Party South Dakota State Senate
Republican Party South Dakota House of Representatives
Republican Party Tennessee State Senate
Republican Party Tennessee House of Representatives
Republican Party Texas State Senate
Republican Party Texas House of Representatives
Republican Party Utah State Senate
Republican Party Utah House of Representatives
Democratic Party Vermont State Senate
Democratic Party Vermont House of Representatives
Democratic Party Washington House of Representatives
Democratic Party West Virginia State Senate
Democratic Party West Virginia House of Delegates
Republican Party Wisconsin State Assembly
Republican Party Wyoming State Senate
Republican Party Wyoming House of Representatives

Specific state races

[edit]

See also: Alaska State Senate elections, 2012 and Alaska House of Representatives elections, 2012

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.[1] Republicans did ultimately take the majority after the 2012 election with a 13-7 split in the senate.

Primaries

Senate

House

General election

Senate

House


See also: Arizona State Senate elections, 2012 and Arizona House of Representatives elections, 2012

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.[2]

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).

Primaries

Senate

  • 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.[2]

House

  • 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.

General election

Senate

  • 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.[3]

House

  • 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.[3]


See also: Arkansas State Senate elections, 2012 and Arkansas House of Representatives elections, 2012

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.[4]

General election

Senate

  • 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 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).[3]


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.[5]

Primaries

Senate

General election

Senate

  • 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).[7]
  • 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.[8] Zink, a prosecutor and Marine Corps Reserve officer, was thought to have a fighting chance at getting the seat, but was defeated by Pavley.[7]
  • District 31: Republican Assemblyman Jeff Miller, who has high name recognition, looked to keep a seat for Republicans against Democratic challenger Richard Roth.[7] 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.[9]


See also: Colorado State Senate elections, 2012 and Colorado House of Representatives elections, 2012

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.

Primaries

House

General election

Senate

  • 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.[3]

House

  • 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.[3]


See also: Delaware State Senate elections, 2012 and Delaware House of Representatives elections, 2012

Delaware State Senate: and Delaware House of Representatives: Both the House and the Senate were overwhelmingly Democratic, and were unlikely to change hands in 2012.

Primaries

Senate

  • 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.[11] Democrat Andrew W. Staton and Republican Ernesto B. Lopez survived the primary, and will faced Jones in the general election. Lopez won.

House

  • 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."[12] 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.[13]


See also Florida State Senate elections, 2012 and Florida House of Representatives elections, 2012

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.

Primaries

Senate

House

  • 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.

General election

Senate

  • 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).[3]

House

  • 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.[3]


See also: Georgia State Senate elections, 2012 and Georgia House of Representatives elections, 2012

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.

Primaries

Senate

House


See also: Illinois State Senate elections, 2012 and Illinois House of Representatives elections, 2012

Primaries

Senate

General election

House

  • District 62: This suburban swing district was closely contested by incumbent Sandy Cole (R) and challenger Sam Yingling (D), with Yingling ultimately winning election.[3]


See also: Iowa State Senate elections, 2012 and Iowa House of Representatives elections, 2012

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.

Primaries

Senate

House

  • In District 39, incumbent Erik Helland (R) was defeated by challenger Jake Highfill in a tight race. Highfill prevailed by only 50 votes.

General election

Senate

  • 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.[20] 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.[3]

House


See also: Kentucky State Senate elections, 2012 and Kentucky House of Representatives elections, 2012

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.

General election

Senate

House

  • 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.


See also: Kansas State Senate elections, 2012 and Kansas House of Representatives elections, 2012

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.[21]

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.

Primaries

Senate

  • 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.

House

  • 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.

General election

Senate

House

  • 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.


See also: Maine State Senate elections, 2012 and Maine House of Representatives elections, 2012

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.[22]

General election

Senate

  • 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.[24]

House

  • 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.


See also: Massachusetts State Senate elections, 2012 and Massachusetts House of Representatives elections, 2012

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.

Primaries

Senate

House

  • 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.[26]
  • 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.

General election

Senate

  • 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.[27]

House

  • 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.


See also: Michigan House of Representatives elections, 2012

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.

Primaries

House

  • 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.[28]
  • 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.[29]
  • 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.[29]
  • District 107: In a race that has yet to be officially called, Suzanne Shumway (D) leads Jim Martin by 27 votes.[29]

The following incumbents were defeated in the primary:

General election

House

  • 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.


See also: Minnesota State Senate elections, 2012 and Minnesota House of Representatives elections, 2012

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.[30] 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.[30] However, an analysis by The Pioneer Press indicated a partisan lean of 36-31 for Republicans.[31]

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.[30] 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.[30] A similar analysis by The Pioneer Press indicated an identical result if the results were strictly based on party-line voting.[31]

Primaries

Senate

House

General election

Senate

House


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.[32]

Primaries

Senate

General election

Senate

  • 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%.[33]
  • 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.[34]

Another poll, also conducted in August, had Brower and Leslie polling even at 42% each.[33]


See also: New Hampshire State Senate elections, 2012 and New Hampshire House of Representatives elections, 2012

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.

Primaries

Senate

General election

House


See also: New Mexico State Senate elections, 2012 and New Mexico House of Representatives elections, 2012

Primaries

Senate

  • District 3: Incumbent John Pinto (D), who had been in office for 34 years, faced a primary challenge from Matthew Tso. Tso was defeated.[35]
  • District 8: Incumbent Pete Campos (D) faced state house District 68 incumbent Thomas Garcia (D). Campos defeated Garcia in the primary on June 5.[35]
  • 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.[36]

House

  • 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.

General election

Senate

  • 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.[38]
  • 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.[35] Republican-backed PACs spent heavily to defeat Sanchez.[39]
  • 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.[39]

House


See also: New York State Senate elections, 2012 and New York State Assembly elections, 2012

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.

Primaries

Senate

  • 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.[40]

House

General election

Senate

House


See also: North Carolina State Senate elections, 2012 and North Carolina House of Representatives elections, 2012

Primaries

House

  • 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.

General election

Senate


See also: Oregon State Senate elections, 2012 and Oregon House of Representatives elections, 2012

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.

Primaries

Senate

House

General election

Senate

House


  • 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.[3]
  • District 51: Redistricting may have favored the Democratic challenger, Shemia Fagan (D), in this swing district. Incumbent Patrick Sheehan (R) took office in 2010.[3]

See also: Rhode Island State Senate elections, 2012 and Rhode Island House of Representatives elections, 2012

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.

Primaries

Senate

House

General election

Senate

House


See also: Tennessee State Senate elections, 2012 and Tennessee House of Representatives elections, 2012

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.

Primaries

Senate

  • 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.

House

  • 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.[41][42]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.
  • 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.

General election

Senate

House


See also: Texas State Senate elections, 2012 and Texas House of Representatives elections, 2012

Texas State Senate: The State Senate was controlled by Republicans, with Democrats holding only 12 of 31 seats.

'Texas House of Representatives: A total of 89 House candidates ran without any major party opponents in 2012, meaning that most of the races were decided once the primary passed.[43]

General election

Senate

House

  • 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 78: In 2010, Republican Dee Margo narrowly defeated Democrat Joe Moody, 52%-48%. Moody defeated Margo in the election on November 6.


See also: Washington State Senate elections, 2012 and Washington House of Representatives elections, 2012

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.

General election

Senate


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.

Primaries

Senate

  • 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.

General election

Senate

  • 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.[46]

House

  • 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.


See also

References

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  6. The Modesto Bee "Dan Walters: Proposition 40 on redistricting sets up tricky situation in California Senate," accessed August 10, 2012
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  27. Wickedlocal.com "Donnelly, Dembrowski to vie for 4th Middlesex state Senate seat," accessed August 5, 2012
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  34. Las Vegas Sun "GOP poll: Brower leads in key state Senate race," accessed August 16, 2012
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  41. The Mountain Press "Candidate debates scheduled Tuesday," accessed July 18, 2012
  42. Knoxnews.com "Haslam to support Rep. Montgomery," accessed July 18, 2012
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  44. The Seattle Times "Voters face important decisions on the primary ballot," accessed August 13, 2012
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