2022 Primary Endorsements

Vote In the 2022 Primaries

Summary of Primary Endorsements to Date

At this point we have endorsed candidates in the Illinois, Colorado, California, Kentucky, Utah, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Ohio primaries. To see a specific endorsement please scroll down.

If you would like us to consider an endorsement in a particular race please let us know though the Contact Us page.

June 28, Illinois Republican Primary for Governor.

We are mostly concentrating on the primaries for the U.S. Senate, but we are occasionally endorsing candidates in the House races and a few notable races for governor.

The Illinois Republican primary for Governor is an interesting opportunity to pull the Republican Party back from Trumpism, by voting against the Trump backed candidate. The Democratic Governors Association is trying to aid Darren Bailey, the Trump backed Republican candidate, because they think he is so extreme that he will be easier to defeat in the general election. Illinois also has a form of open primary, in which it is possible for Democrats and independents to declare a Republican affiliation when they vote in the primary and receive a Republican ballot.

Efforts by the Democratic Governors Association to support the ultra conservative Republican candidate strikes us as playing with fire. We also think that voters who vote for the ultra conservative candidate because they feel that he will be easier to defeat in the general election are also making a serious mistake. Candidates have health problems, scandals emerge, and moods change between the primaries and the general election. It is far more important to have reasonable candidates in the general election, than to take this risk.

Ken Griffin, an Illinois billionaire, has spent millions promoting the candidacy of Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin. Irvin is a moderate Republican. His moderate policy positions, plus his opponent’s endorsement by Donald Trump, secure our endorsement in the Republican Primary. We, therefore, endorse Richard Irvin for Governor in the Illinois Republican primary.

J.B. Pritzger, the incumbent Democratic Governor of Illinois, is a heavy favorite to win in the Democratic party primary.

The June 28, Colorado Democratic and Republican Primaries

Colorado presents some interesting dilemmas for Centrist Independent Voters. Because Colorado allows “unaffiliated registrants” (a large voting block) to vote in either party’s primary, it provides an interesting illustration of the Centrist Independent Voter strategy. To put it as succinctly as possible we suggest: prune the field of extremists. We view this as far more important than trying to assure the victory of whichever party you favor.

The U.S. Senate

Michael Bennet is the incumbent and is running unopposed in the Democratic Primary.

There are three candidates running in the Republican Primary for the U.S. Senate: Ron Hanks, Joe O’Dea, and Daniel Hendricks (a write-in candidate). Ron Hanks holds an extreme pro-life position (no exceptions) and is a supporter of the “Big Lie” theory that Trump won the 2022 election. Joe O’Dea is reliably conservative but more moderate on abortion rights and he does not believe that Trump won the 2020 election. Hendricks is a mystery to us but he is unlikely to play a role as a relatively unknown write-in candidate. The Centrist Independent Voter endorsement in this primary goes to O’Dea.

There is a complexity here and it illustrates our philosophy with regard to voting in the primaries. There is a charge that a Super PAC, associated with the Democratic Party is trying to promote the candidacy of Ron Hanks. The theory is that this PAC believes that Hanks will be a weaker candidate against Michael Bennet in the general election because Hanks is so extreme. This strategy, which some people believe played a role in Trump’s early successes in Republican primaries in 2016, is playing with fire.

The best hope for our democracy is that we populate the general election with moderate candidates from both parties and let the chips fall where they may. There is just too much at risk to allow extremists of either the right or the left show up in the general election. A candidate’s health can change, scandals emerge, and moods shift. We are all better off if the general election ballot is a contest of moderates who lean right or left but are reasonable people.

The U.S. House of Representatives

As we have mentioned before, the Centrist Independent Voter does not, currently, have the resources to cover all congressional races. For that reason we have been concentrating on the races for the U.S. Senate. Colorado is an exception because Rep. Lauren Boebert, from Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, is so extremely right wing. She is in the Centrist Independent Voter’s Rogues Gallery of candidates we could never endorse. Her involvement in the events surrounding the attack on the Capitol on January 6th were enough for her to make this list, but she also opposed aid to Ukraine, and opposed the bi-partisan infrastructure bill.

Her opponent is Don Coram. Coram appears to be a classical conservative Republican, principally focused on issues of concern for Colorado. The Centrist Independent Voter endorsement goes to Coram.

Unaffiliated registrants who vote in the Republican primary will have to forgo voting in the Democratic primary. Since Bennet is unopposed in the Senate race this does not matter. There are, however, three candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for the District 3 House seat. They are: Adam FrischSol Sandoval, and Alex Walker. Of these, Adam Frisch gets our endorsement. Frisch has promised to join the Problem Solvers Caucus in the House, which is a major factor in his favor.

CIVPAC Endorsement in Colorado

Of course, the decision to vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary will depend on a lot of other issues, including races for other offices and ballot resolutions, if any. Putting those aside, our recommendation is that Republican and unaffiliated registrants vote in the Republican primary for Joe O’Dea for Senate and Don Coram (if you are in District 3) for the House. If you are a registered Democrat, we endorse Michael Bennet for Senate and Adam Frisch (if you are in District 3) for the House.

The June 7, 2022 California Primary for the the U.S. Senate

The California primary for the U.S. Senate seat will be held June 7, 2022. It is an open primary with 20 candidates including Democrats, Republicans, Greens, Socialists, and independents. The top two vote getters, regardless of party, will go on to a general election. You would think that in a field that large the Centrist Independent Voter could find a truly attractive choice. Well, actually, it is not as easy as we had thought. Many of the candidates are running just to focus attention on a pet issue. While some of these issues are worthy, these candidates are not even trying to present themselves as viable general election candidates.

Gov. Gavin Newsom selected Alex Padilla (D) to replace Kamala Harris when she became Vice President. California law requires an election to fill the seat at the next available election cycle. There are, therefore, two U.S. Senate elections going on in California this week: one to finish out Harris’ Senate term and one to succeed her.

Padilla is heavily favored to win enough votes in the primary to put him into the general election for both terms.

Among the challengers there is one candidate who, in our mind, should also be there. That is Jon Elist. A Republican, he characterizes himself as a pragmatic conservative. There is a small amount of overlap between his positions on issues and those of the Centrist Independent Voter. On those issues he does address, he takes advantage of his newcomer status to remain vague on what he actually would support. I am sure that during the general election he will be forced to be more explicit about his policy preferences. Nevertheless, we find his attempt to seek the crossover vote rather than cater to the hard right as refreshing, and would like to see him on the ballot in the general election.

We, therefore, endorse Jon Elist in the June 7, 2022 California primary for the U.S. Senate.

The May 17, 2022 Republican and Democratic Primaries for the U.S. Senate Seat from Kentucky

We were not originally planning on making endorsements in the Kentucky primaries because the race is not viewed as competitive. Rand Paul’s egregious decision to delay desperately needed aid to Ukraine for no other apparent purpose than to gain some media attention changed our minds. Unfortunately, Kentucky is a closed primary state, so you are constrained to vote in the primary for the party to which you are registered.

The May 17, 2022 Republican Primary for the U.S. Senate seat from Kentucky

Rand Paul is running against five other candidates for the Republican nomination. None of these candidates are centrists. We, nevertheless, endorse Paul Hamilton, in the Republican primary. He is hardcore pro-life, but so are all of the other Republican candidates. On other issues such as inflation, the deficit, and immigration he is not unreasonable. He would definitely be superior to Rand Paul in the U.S. Senate.

The May 17, 2022 Democratic Primary for the U.S. Senate seat from Kentucky

There are four candidates competing for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat from Kentucky. They are: Joshua Blanton Sr.Charles BookerRuth Gao, and John Merrill. Of these candidates, only Ruth Gao provides a substantive discussion of issues on her campaign web site. Gao is definitely left of center, but she nevertheless earns our endorsement in the Democratic primary for being straightforward about her positions on a number of issues.

The Republican Primary for the U.S. Senate seat in Utah is Scheduled for June 28, 2022.

Mike Lee, the incumbent U.S. Senator from Utah, has gone from a Trump skeptic to a Trump enabler.

If the Utah Republican Party nominates Lee for the U.S. Senate race in 2022, it is likely that the Centrist Independent Voter will endorse his independent opponent, Evan McMullin, in the general election. The Utah Democratic party has chosen to forego nominating a candidate and has endorsed McMullin. McMullin is a center-right candidate and is attempting to forge an alliance of Democrats, independents, and disgruntled Republicans. If Lee wins in the primary this strategy might well succeed, as noted in this article in the Economist.

The other Republican candidates for this seat , according to Ballotpedia, are Becky Edwards and Ally Isom. Of these, Becky Edwards appears to have the stronger chance of defeating Lee based on polling data.

Edwards is reliably conservative and hardly a centrist, but she does not have Trump’s endorsement and has the best chance of defeating Lee. The Centrist Independent Voter, therefore, endorses Becky Edwards in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat from Utah.

To see other Centrist Independent Voter endorsements in the primaries visit 2022 Primary Endorsements. To see Centrist Independent Voter endorsements for the general election visit 2022 General Election Endorsements.

Arizona, August 2, 2022, Democratic and Republican Primary Races for the U.S. Senate

The Arizona primary for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Mark Kelly (D) will be held August 2, 2022.

Mark Kelly is running unopposed in the Democratic primary.

There are five candidates vying for the Republican nomination. They are, according to Ballotpedia.org: Mark Brnovich, Jim Lamon, Blake Masters, Michael McGuire, and Justin Olson.

All of these candidates, except Brnovich are competing for Trump’s endorsement. Trump has said the the one candidate he will not endorse is Brnovich, because Brnovich would not back up Trump’s claims of a stollen election in 2020. Brnovich is, also, generally regarded as a mainstream, conservative Republican.

Centrist Independent Voter endorses Bronovich in the Republican primary as a reward for standing up to Trump and in an effort to pry the Republican party loose from both Trump and the more extreme elements of the Republican party.

Pennsylvania, May 17, 2022, Democratic and Republican Primary Races for the U.S. Senate

The race for the U.S. Senate seat from Pennsylvania, currently held by Pat Toomey (R) is heating up. Toomey is not running and there is a big field in both the Republican and Democratic primaries.

The Democratic Primary

The four candidates in the Democratic primary are: Conor LambAlexandria KhalilMalcolm Kenyatta, and John Fetterman. Khalil, Kenyatta, and Fetterman all seem to be competing for the progressive vote. Conor Lamb is reliably left of center on most issues. He is also a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, which earns him our endorsement in the Democratic primary. The Philadelphia Inquirer, also, identifies him as the most moderate candidate in the race.

The Republican Primary

The seven candidates in the Republican Primary are: Kathy BarnetteJeff BartosGeorge BochettoSean GaleDavid McCormickMehmet Oz, and Carla Sands. Oz managed to secure Donald Trump’s endorsement which excludes him from our endorsement. Oz has no political or public policy experience and he would not have gotten our endorsement even if Trump had not endorsed him. While there isn’t anyone remotely centrist running for this seat as a Republican, the least extreme candidate appears to be Jeff Bartos. On the basis of this dubious distinction Bartos is able to garner our endorsement for the Republican primary.

Our overall recommendation is, therefore, to vote for Conor Lamb in the Democratic primary, if you can. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is a closed primary state and you have to register by May 2, 2022. If you have to vote in the Republican primary, our recommendation is Jeff Bartos.

Georgia, May 24, 2022, Republican Primary Race for Governor, Secretary of State, and U.S. Senate Seats

The Centrist Independent Voter endorses Brian Kemp for the Republican nomination for Governor and Brad Raffensperger for Secretary of State. This endorsement is, more than anything else, a reward for having stood up to Donald Trump when he attempted to reverse the outcome of the 2020 election in Georgia.

CIVPAC endorses the field, i.e. any one other than Herschel Walker, for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. Herschel Walker has no experience that suggests that he would make a good U.S. Senator. He does have one huge liability that suggests that his election would be damaging to the political environment in the U.S. He has Donald Trump’s endorsement. Those on the right, left, and center who would like to see Donald Trump disappear from the American political scene would be well advised to vote for a candidate that does not have Trump’s endorsement, to demonstrate just how toxic that endorsement is.

CIVPAC did not endorse anyone in the Democratic primary. At this point, Raphael Warnock and Stacy Abrams are running, essentially, unopposed for the Democratic nominations for the U.S. Senate and Georgia Governor positions respectively.

CIVPAC may or may not endorse candidates in the general election in Georgia

Ohio, May 3, 2022, Republican and Democratic Primary Races for the U.S. Senate Seat

The Centrist Independent Voter PAC endorses Matt Dolan as the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate seat from Ohio. We endorse Tim Ryan as the Democratic candidate for this seat. For a more lengthy discussion of this race see the blog post on the subject. Dolan is reliably right-of-center and Ryan is reliably left-of-center. Both seem like reasonable people. We may, or may not, endorse a candidate in the general election for this seat.