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2022 Midterm Primary Election Update

June was a busy month for the 2022 midterm election season, with 22 primary elections and runoffs taking place over the course of four weeks. Several states that are home to Energy Workforce Member Company operations and consequential energy resources were included in this series of elections, including California, Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota and Oklahoma. Energy Workforce has been continuously tracking the results of these races and their potential impacts on the oil and natural gas industry.

California

California utilizes a unique format to conduct its primary elections, with the top two winners of each race, regardless of party, moving on to the November general election. California’s 2022 Governor’s race resulted in Democrat incumbent Gov. Gavin Newsom and Republican State Sen. Brian Dahle securing the top two spots to advance to the general election.

In the race to fill the Senate seat left vacant by Vice President Kamala Harris, Democrat Sen. Alex Padilla, who was appointed to fill the seat, will face Republican attorney Mark Meuser in November. Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy will face Democrat Marisa Wood to represent the newly redistricted California 20th district. Although the district map has changed, Leader McCarthy is expected to secure re-election in November. 

Colorado

Colorado held its primary election this week with statewide races for Governor and Senate on the ballot. Colorado has historically been a swing state, so most statewide seats can be considered up for grabs as the candidates continue into the November elections. Democrat incumbent Gov. Jared Polis ran unopposed for re-election. He will face Republican Heidi Ganahl, member of the University of Colorado Board of Regents, in the general election. Democrat incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet will face Republican businessman Joe O’Dea in the November election. 

New Mexico

The New Mexico primary election was held on June 7. Democrat incumbent Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham will face Republican meteorologist Mark Ronchetti in the general election. New Mexico’s Commissioner of Public Lands oversees the state’s leasing program and is on the ballot this November. This primary race resulted in incumbent Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard winning the nomination for the Democrats and Public Regulation Commissioner Jefferson L. Byrd securing the Republican nomination.

Republican Congresswoman Yvette Herrell ran unopposed in the primary for New Mexico’s 2nd congressional district. Rep. Herrell has participated in events at the Washington, DC Fly In and has been actively engaged with Energy Workforce companies in New Mexico. Rep. Herrell will face Democratic challenger Gabe Vasquez in November.

North Dakota

North Dakota held its primary election on June 14. After successfully winning the required delegates at the North Dakota Republican primary convention in March, incumbent Sen. John Hoeven secured his name on the November ballot. Sen. Hoeven will face Democrat challenger Katrina Christiansen in the general election. Republican incumbent Congressman Kelly Armstrong will face Democrat challenger Mark Haugen in November for North Dakota’s At-Large congressional seat. Both Sen. Hoeven and Rep. Armstrong have participated in events with Energy Workforce companies at the annual Washington, DC Fly In.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma had a packed ballot for their June 28 primary election. Both Senate seats were on the ballot with Republican incumbent James Lankford securing the nomination outright, while Democrats Madison Horn and Jason Bollinger will go to a runoff election for the Democratic nomination in August. The race for the Republican nomination to replace retiring Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe ended in a runoff scenario between U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin and former Oklahoma Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon. The winner of this August runoff will face former Democrat Rep. Kendra Horn for the Senate seat. 

Republican incumbent Gov. Kevin Stitt fended off several primary challengers to secure the nomination. He will face Democrat State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister in November. Republican incumbent Congresswoman Stephanie Bice who represents Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional district will face Democrat Joshua Harris-Till in the November general election. Rep. Bice has participated in Energy Workforce events in Oklahoma and at the Washington, DC Fly In, including a tour of Member Company Kimray’s Oklahoma City facility.

As primary elections continue throughout the summer and early fall, the Energy Workforce Government Affairs team will monitor results and keep Member Companies updated on any major impacts from the results of these elections.  

If your company is interested in these issues and working with the Government Affairs Committee, contact SVP Government Affairs & Counsel Tim Tarpley.


Deidre Almstead Kohlrus, Director Government Affairs, writes about industry-specific policies for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. Click here to subscribe to the Energy Workforce newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, activities and more.
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