The Power of Statehouse Elections

Politics means trying to share power or striving to influence the distribution of power, either among states or among groups within a state.
Max Weber


As I stated back in 2018 post This Land Is Your Land, never underestimate the importance of state elections. A governor and state legislature make numerous policy decisions affecting health care, education, infrastructure and immigration. In addition, state legislation addresses Medicaid, job training, criminal justice reform, and family leave. Sexual harassment and assault policy, income inequality, and a woman’s right to choose falls under their jurisdiction. Lastly, marriage equality, discrimination on the basis of gender identity, and climate change legislation happens at the statehouse.

Then there is gun reform

The majority of U.S. states have passed laws preserving state authority over firearms policies—and preventing local communities from passing their own—but at the same time have refrained from enacting statewide gun-control policies. Gun violence is a substantial public health problem in the U.S., killing more than 38,000 people each year.

Last June 2021, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law seven measures to expand gun rights, one of which allows people to legally carry handguns without licenses. In sharp contrast to Texas, Governor Kathy Hochul of New York signed stronger gun control measures into law. They are intended to strengthen the state’s gun laws and protect people from gun violence by prohibiting the sale of semiautomatic weapons to those under 21 and banning most body armor sales for civilians. The bills also expand the eligibility for an Extreme Risk Protection Order petition, a court order that prevents someone who has been deemed a danger to themselves or others from purchasing new guns and seizes firearms currently in their possession. This is part of an effort to strengthen New York’s pre-existing red flag laws, which are meant as deterrents to mass shootings and incidents of gun violence.

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a New York law limiting guns in public. The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, June 23, that Americans have a broad right to arm themselves in public, striking down a New York law that placed strict limits on carrying guns outside the home and setting off a scramble in other states that have similar restrictions.

The decision is expected to spur a wave of lawsuits seeking to loosen existing state and federal restrictions and will force five states — California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey, home to a quarter of all Americans — to rewrite their laws.

New York lawmakers convened a special session in Albany on June 30 to pass measures that would prohibit concealed weapons in many public places deemed “sensitive”. The ban would apply to places like colleges, hospitals, subways, parks and stadiums.may be an early test of how far a state can go to limit the spread of handguns without violating the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Gun Reform At The Federal Level

On June 23, the Senate passed a bipartisan gun bill with 15 Republicans, including the minority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky after a mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, left at least 19 children and two adults dead, 10 days after another massacre killed 10 people at a supermarket in Buffalo.

It would enhance background checks for prospective gun buyers ages 18 to 21, requiring for the first time that juvenile records, including mental health records beginning at age 16, be vetted for potentially disqualifying material. The bill would provide incentives for states to pass “red flag” laws that allow guns to be temporarily confiscated from people deemed by a judge to be too dangerous to possess them. And it would tighten a federal ban on domestic abusers buying firearms, and strengthen laws against straw purchasing and trafficking of guns. It also includes hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for mental health programs and to beef up security in schools.

The House passed a wide-ranging package of gun control legislation called the “Protecting Our Kids Act,” . The legislation that passed in the House includes a series of individual bills aimed at preventing gun violence. The measure would raise the legal age to buy certain semiautomatic centerfire rifles from 18 to 21 years old, establish new federal offenses for gun trafficking and for selling large-capacity magazines, and allow local governments to compensate individuals who surrender such magazines through a buyback program. It would create a tax incentive for retail sales of safe storage devices and criminal penalties for breaking new requirements regulating firearm storage on residential premises. The measure would also take steps to strengthen existing federal regulations on bump stocks and ghost guns. The measure is not expected to pass the Senate.

The Red Wave
How Republicans at the State Level
helped to overturn Roe v Wade

The beginning of the end of Roe v. Wade arrived on election night in November 2010. That night, control of state houses across the country flipped from Democrat to Republican, almost to the number: Democrats had controlled 27 state legislatures going in and ended up with 16; Republicans started with 14 and ended up controlling 25. Republicans swept not only the South but Democratic strongholds in the Midwest, picking up more seats nationwide than either party had in four decades. By the time the votes had been counted, they held their biggest margin since the Great Depression.

That year swept in a different breed of Republican, powered by Tea Party supporters, that locked in a new conservatism. While Tea Party-backed candidates had campaigned on fiscal discipline and promised indifference to social issues, and a well-established network was waiting with model anti-abortion laws

The Status of Statehouses Today

Prior to the elections, Democrats hold 14 trifectas (control of the governor’s office and legislative chambers), Republicans hold 23 trifectas, and 13 states have a divided government. These will be the first elections affected by the 2020 redistricting cycle, which reapportioned state legislatures based on data from the 2020 United States census.

As of May 12, 2022, Republicans controlled 54.35% of all state legislative seats nationally, while Democrats held 44.37%. Republicans held a majority in 62 chambers, and Democrats held the majority in 36 chambers. One chamber (Alaska House) was organized under a multipartisan, power-sharing coalition.[1]

On November 8, 2022, 88 of the country’s 99 state legislative chambers will hold regularly-scheduled elections. New Jersey, Louisiana, Mississippi and Virginia do not.

10 Governor Races To Watch (updated October 7)

In some of the most competitive races, the outcome has implications far beyond the governor’s mansion. With many Republican voters embracing debunked theories about former President Donald J. Trump’s loss in the 2020 election and pushing for new voting restrictions, governors in battleground states are at the front line in a fight over American democracy. Many believe the midterms will test former President Donald J. Trump’s role as a G.O.P. kingmaker. Trump endorsed candidates are labeled (t).

Texas – Primary Results
Democrat Congressman Beto O’Rourke will be running against Republican Incumbent Gov. Greg Abbot (t)

Pennsylvania– Primary Results
Democrat Josh Shapiro will be running against Republican Doug Mastriano (t)

Georgia Primary Results
Democrat Stacy Adams will be running against Republican Incumbent Governor Brian Kemp

Nevada Primary Results
Democrat Incumbent Governor Steve Sisolak will be running against Republican Joe Lombardo (t)

Illinois Primary Results
Democrat Incumbent Governor J.B. Pritzker will be running against Republican Darren Bailey

Kansas Primary Results
Democrat Incumbent Governor Laura Kelly will be running against Republican Primary Candidate Derek Schmidt

Arizona Primary Results
Democrat Secretary of State Katie Hobbs will be running against Republican Kari Lake (t)

Michigan Primary Results
Democrat Incumbent Governor Gretchen Whitmer will be running against Republican Tudor Dixon (t)

Wisconsin Primary Results
Democrat Incumbent Governor Tony Evers will be running against Republican Tim Michels (t)

Florida August 23
Democrat Representative Charlie Crist will be running against Republican Incumbent Governor Ron DeSantis

New York State Primary Results
for Governor and Assembly

Your Newly Drawn Districts

A court released final maps for New York’s 26 congressional and 63 state Senate districts in the midnight hour on Saturday morning, setting in motion a flurry of campaign activity as candidates quickly jockeyed for position in critical seats. Have you been redistricted? Use this link to confirm your NYS Senate District, NYS Assembly District and your Congressional District.

Race For Governor and Lieutenant Governor

Democrat Incumbent Governor Kathy Hochul will be facing Republican Lee Zeldin

Democrat Incumbent Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado will be running against Republican Alison Esposito

New York State Assembly Races

The June 28 Primary results have been finalized. See who has won the Primary in your NYS Assembly district.


Join/donate/volunteer for Gun Control Advocacy groups:

Sandy Hook Promise

Everytown For Gun Safety

Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America

Coalition To Stop Gun Violence

Volunteer, Donate & Support Candidates

Get to know the candidates running in the primaries and decide who you would support. I’ve linked campaign websites to leading Democratic candidates and will continue to do so as the primary results pour in. Attend virtual and public town halls, street fairs, and fundraisers. Ask questions. Find out how you can help. Set up a free account with Act Blue which coordinates donations for candidates and causes throughout the nation. 

There are multiple voter registration drives, in addition to Get Out The Vote (GOTV) initiatives to become involved in:

League of Women Voters

Rock The Vote

Here are more top rated organizations protecting voting rights in America.

Helping nationwide. 

Many organizations are asking for support in preparation for the midterm elections, with postcard & letter writing, phone banking, texting and canvassing. 

Vote Forward

Postcard to Voters

Postcards to Swing States


Next Post :

We Shall Fight – The Overturning of Roe v Wade and the Midterm Elections to focus on.

About Debra29

I am a retired public school teacher who believes that a strong democracy rests on the shoulders of its citizens. This blog was created as a central resource of civic engagement. Together, we can make a difference. Follow me on Twitter: Determined@2AlterTheCourse
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