On May 22nd, voters go to the polls in primary elections in Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky. Additionally, runoff elections will be held in Texas in several House seat races.
Four House seats and a gubernatorial election occur in Arkansas this year. With all four Republican incumbent House members running for reelection, the chances of a Democratic pick up here are slim. That has not stopped four Democrats from running in the 2nd District’s Democratic primary to face French Hill in November. Arkansas does employ a runoff election system, so there is the possibility that on the Democratic side there will be one in this district’s race.
As for the Governor’s race, Republican incumbent Asa Hutchison has a whopping 57% approval rating with only 25% disapproving of his performance after four years. With two Democrats on the primary ballot- one a hairdresser- it is a foregone conclusion the GOP has little to worry about here.
Georgia will have 14 House seats and the Governor’s office up for grabs in 2018. Like Hutchison in Arkansas, current GOP Governor Nathan Deal has a good 56% approval rating. Unlike Hutchison, Deal is term-limited. Five Republicans will appear on the ballot. Most polling puts current Lt. Governor Casey Cagle in the lead, but with a state senator, a popular former state senator and the current secretary of state on the ballot, there may be a runoff come July 24th. On the Democratic side, two former state representatives- Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans- there is no chance of a runoff. A Cagle match up against either, according to hypothetical polls, shows a GOP win here, although the race may be closer than most think.
With no open races, the chances of any district flipping parties is very slim. However, given the number of Democratic wannabes in some districts, that party apparently thinks otherwise. They have five candidates in the 1st held by Buddy Carter (R-GA1) and six in the 7th held by Rob Woodall. There are also three Democrats on their ballot in the 6th which Karen Handel kept in GOP hands in a special election. If any district is vulnerable, this would be the one, but Handel has not done anything to hurt her chances of reelection. With so many Democrats vying in primaries, a July 24th runoff looms in some districts.
Only six House races on the ballot this year in Kentucky. None appear vulnerable on either side, but like other states this year, the Democrats are coming out of the closet. Four will challenge in the 2nd, three in the 4th and six in the 6th District Democratic primaries. With no runoff in Kentucky, the likely November losers will probably enter the general election getting less than 50% of the vote in their respective primaries.
There will be the following runoff elections in Texas since no candidate achieved 50% of the vote in the March 20th primaries. They are as follows:
- Texas 5th Republican runoff between Lance Gooden and Bunni Pounds with the winner facing Democrat Dan Wood in November to replace Jeb Hensarling (GOP) who is stepping down;
- Texas 6th Republican runoff between Ronald Wright and Jake Eltzy to represent the GOP in November to replace current Representative Joe Barton;
- Texas 6th Democratic runoff between Jana Sanchez and Ruby Woolridge to oppose the winner of the GOP runoff in this district;
- Texas 21st Republican runoff between Matt McCoy and Chip Roy to succeed Republican Lamar Smith in this open seat race;
- Texas 21st Democratic runoff between Mary Wilson and Joseph Kosper to take on the GOP runoff winner in November;
- Texas 22nd Democratic runoff between Letitia Plummer and Sri Preston Kulkami to face Republican incumbent Pete Olsen in November;
- Texas 23rd Democratic runoff between Gina Ortiz Jones and Rick Trevino with the winner facing Republican incumbent Will Hurd in November;
- Texas 25th Democratic runoff between Julie Oliver and Chris Perri with the winner taking on Republican incumbent Roger Williams in November;
- Texas 27th Republican runoff between Bech Baum and Michael Cloud to replace Republican Blake Farentold;
- Texas 27th Democratic runoff between Raul Barerra and Eric Holguin with the winner advancing to the general election in November in this open GOP-held seat;
- Texas 29th Republican runoff between Phillip Aranoff and Carmen Maria Montiel with the winner to oppose Sylvia Garcia who outright won the March Democratic primary to succeed retiring Democrat Gene Green;
- Texas 31st Democratic runoff pitting M.J. Hegar against Christine Mann who will oppose GOP incumbent John Carter in November, and;
- Texas 32nd Democratic runoff between Colin Allred and Lillian Salerno with the winner advancing against GOP incumbent Pete Sessions.
A busy May was on tap, but June is even busier with 17 scheduled primaries.