DemDaily: 2022 Senate Races: The Update

July 6, 2021

There are 34 of the 100 US Senate seats up for election in 2022. Democrats are defending 14 seats, while the Republican Party is defending 20, including five open seats.

The US Senate currently stands at 50 Democrats to 50 Republicans. As Vice President Kamala Harris serves as the President of the Senate and has the tiebreaking vote, Democrats officially have control of the Senate.

While analysts agree on the most competitive Senate seats up next November, the individual races have started to take shape with a number of new candidates officially tossing their hats into the ring.


Brnovich headed high-profile legal challenges involving the ACA, border security and the recent SCOTUS decision invalidating Voting Rights (Eli Imadali/TheRepublic)

Filing Deadline: April 4, 2022
Primary: August 2, 2022
Rating: Lean Democrat

Incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Kelly (D) was elected in the November 3, 2020 special election to fill the remaining term of the late Senator John McCain (R). Kelly unseated interim Senator Martha McSally (R) 51.17% to 48.82%, and is now up for reelection to a full term.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a libertarian-leaning Republican who has served as the state's top prosecutor since 2015, jumped into the race June 10th as the most well-known of the Republican contenders. The field also includes retired Major General and former Adjutant General of the Arizona National Guard Michael McGuire, solar power businessman Jim Lamon, and software engineer Robert Paveza.

Potential candidates: Arizona Republican Party Chair and former US Senate candidate Kelly Ward and Congressman Andy Biggs (5th CD). Declined: Governor Doug Ducey and Congressman Paul Gosar (4th CD).

Demings, a former Orlando Police Chief, gained national recognition as an Impeachment Manager in Trump's first trial (USAToday)

Filing Deadline: June 17, 2022
Primary: August 23, 2022
Rating: Lean Republican

In the country's largest bellwether state, which Trump won by 3.3% in 2020, incumbent Republican Marco Rubio is facing his most serious reelection challenge.

Rubio faces only nominal primary opposition from businessman Howard Knepper, Florida National Guardsman Jake Loubriel, conservative writer Luis Miguel, maritime captain Earl Yearicks IV, and perennial candidates Ervan Katari Miller and Angela Walls-Windhauser.

In the Democratic Primary, other notable names were considering a run, but Congresswoman Val Demings' (D) entry into the race June 9th dominates the field and moves the needle on assessments of the general election.

Additional declared Democratic primary candidates include businessman Edward Abud, 2018 and 2020 nominee for Florida's 17th CD Allen Ellison, former Congressman Alan Grayson (9th CD), Miami city commissioner Ken Russell, former DOJ special counsel William Sanchez, attorney Coleman Watson, engineer Allek Pastrana, teacher Joshua Weil, and perennial candidate Josue Larose.

Trump will campaign for Walker in GA, which he lost to Biden by 11,779 votes (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

Filing Deadline: March 11, 2022
Primary: May 24, 2022
Rating: Lean Democrat

Incumbent Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock was elected in the January 5, 2021 special election runoff to fill the remaining term of retiring Senator Johnny Isakson (R). Warnock defeated interim US Senator Kelly Loeffler 51.04% to 48.96%, and is now up for reelection to a full term.

Loeffler is among a number of Republican candidates poised to announce their candidacies in the coming weeks, but the "wildcard" remains Georgia Bulldog legend and former professional football player Herschel Walker. Last Tuesday former President Donald Trump, who appointed Walker co-chair of the President's Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition, said during a talk-radio appearance that Walker told him he was running. The previous week Walker posted a video to Twitter saying "Georgia on my mind," and "I'm getting ready."

Congressman Buddy Carter (1st CD) is also considering a run, but has said he would drop out if Walker joined the race. It is unclear if Loeffler, who has been meeting with national GOP leadership, would follow suit.

Other Announced Republicans: Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, Osprey Management founder Kelvin King and former Navy Seal and Trump administration official Latham Saddler. Declined: former US Senator David Perdue and former Congressman and 2020 US Senate candidate Doug Collins (9th CD).

Cheri Beasley, NC's first Black woman State Supreme Court Chief Justice, has been endorsed by EMILY's List (RaleighNew&Observer)

Filing Deadline: December 17, 2021
Primary: March 8, 2022
Rating: Toss Up

Three-term Senator Richard Burr (R) is not seeking reelection in the new presidential swing state, which Trump won by just over 1%.

Announced Democrats include former NC Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, State Senator Jeff Jackson, former State Senator and 2020 US Senate candidate Erica Smith, Beaufort Mayor Rett Newton and former 2018 Congressional candidate (4th CD) Richard Watkins.

Announced Republicans include former Governor Pat McCrory, who has Burr's endorsement, Congressman Ted Budd (13th CD) and former Congressman Mark Walker (6th CD). Brunswick County commissioner "Marty" Cooke and DOD employee Jen Banwart have also filed.

Declined: Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson, and Lara Trump, who, along with her father, endorsed Budd. Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows also declined, endorsing Walker.

Vance: "We need a new politics for a new generation" (Jeff Dean/AP)

Filing Deadline: February 2, 2022
Primary: May 3, 2022
Rating: Lean Republican

Two-term moderate Republican Senator Rob Portman (R), citing "partisan gridlock," is not seeking reelection in 2022. The traditional battleground state, which was long regarded as a bellwether for the presidential, went for Trump by eight points in 2020, breaking the state's 60-year record of voting with the winning presidential candidate.

Congressman Tim Ryan has all but cleared the Democratic field, with Franklin County Commissioner and former Ohio State Treasurer Kevin Boyce and Minority Leader of the Ohio House of Representatives Emilia Sykes still undecided.

Last Thursday, bestselling Hillbilly Elegy author and venture capitalist J.D. Vance, 36, became the latest to join the crowded field of Republican contenders. Although the "conservative outsider" is a political novice, Vance's net worth and national name recognition put him in contention.

Early polling shows he will need to overcome leading candidates former Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel and former Ohio Republican Party Chair Jane Timken. Investment banker and 2018 Senate candidate Mike Gibbons, wealthy car dealership owner Bernie Moreno, MedFlight pilot Michael Leipold and IT executive Mark Pukita are also in the race.

Val Arkoosh, who has been endorsed by EMILY's List, would be PA's first female US Senator (Anthony Pezzoti/PhillyInquirer)

Filing Deadline: March 8, 2022
Primary: May 17, 2022
Rating: Toss Up

In one of the country's most politically divided states, which Biden won by 1.17%, two-term Republican Senator Pat Toomey is not seeking reelection.

The Democratic field of eight includes major contenders Lt. Governor John Fetterman, who leads in early polling, along with Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh, State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta and State Senator Sharif Street -- all progressives. The biggest unknown is centrist Congressman Conor Lamb (17th CD), who is widely expected to enter the race.

Other Announced Democrats: Dr. Kevin Baumlin, Jenkintown Borough Councilwoman Alexandria Khalil, former Norristown Municipal Council President John McGuigan and former Brighton, Alabama Mayor Brandaun Dean. Declined: Congresswomen Chrissy Houlahan and Madeleine Dean.

Republicans who have filed include businessman and 2018 Lt. Governor nominee Jeff Bartos, Army veteran and 2020 congressional nominee (17 CD) Sean Parnell and political commentator and 2020 GOP nominee for the 4th congressional district Kathy Barnette. 2016 US Senate candidate Everett Stern, attorney Sean Gale, and former US Ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands have also announced.

Unknown Factor: Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes

Filing Deadline: June 1, 2022
Primary: August 9, 2022
Rating: Lean Republican

Republican Senator Ron Johnson, considered the GOP's most vulnerable incumbent, has yet to announce whether he is running for a third term, wavering between his first election commitment to serve only two terms, and pressure by Donald Trump and party officials to run for reelection.

Johnson is the only GOP Senator facing reelection next year in a state that supported Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race.

In the interim, five Democrats have announced, including Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry, State Treasurer Sarah Godlweski, Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, former Wisconsin Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson, and radiologist Gillian Battino.

Millennial Action Project founder Steven Olikara has formed an exploratory committee, and Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes appears to be edging closer to a run.

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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: Ballotpedia, AZCentral, Intelligencer, AP, CNN, Philadelphia Inquirer, Cook Political Report, Inside Elections, Sabato's Crystal Ball

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