2022 Primary Preview: May 3

Continuing our series on primary elections with a look ahead at Ohio and Indiana

We are continuing our preview of 2022 primary elections by looking ahead to the month of May. This post looks at Tuesday’s elections on May 3rd.

We highlight candidates who are Green New Deal Champions, who have pledged to reject fossil-fuel contributions and to co-sponsor Green New Deal legislation.

May 3: Ohio, Indiana


J.D. Vance, backed by Donald Trump

OH-Sen: With Republican Senator Rob Portman retiring, the US Senate contest is open in this ultimate battleground state. Because Ohio has trended toward Republicans during the Trump era, the Republican primary will determine the general election frontrunner. Former state treasurer Josh Mandel recently called climate science “garbage,” while “Hillbilly Elegy” author and grifter turned Trump endorsee James David “J.D.” Vance said efforts to curb climate change would only benefit China, and former state party chair Jane Timken said the Green New Deal (GND) was a “trojan horse for socialism.” Another contender is a Big Lie promoter and rich guy named Mike Gibbons.

On the Democratic side, Rep. Tim Ryan, a presidential candidate in 2019, has finally pulled the trigger on years of rumored statewide runs. Representing Youngstown in Congress since 2003, Ryan has been a strong labor ally with a relatively strong climate and environmental record. His strident rhetoric emphasizing competition with China in his opening ad has drawn some criticism. Having consolidated party establishment support, Ryan will be the favorite in the primary. His most notable opponent is former CFPB attorney, anti-monopoly campaigner, and GND champion Morgan Harper, who attracted national attention and won an endorsement from the Sunrise Movement with her 2020 primary challenge to Columbus Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, but ultimately lost pretty soundly. Harper is endorsed this time by Sunrise Columbus.

OH-Gov: Republican governor Mike DeWine is running for re-election, but will first have to get through a crowded primary with candidates who are furious with him for instituting public health measures during a pandemic. The most prominent Republican challenger to DeWine is Trump-endorsed former Rep. Jim Renacci, a climate change denier. The favorite in the Democratic primary is Nan Whaley, who was a member of the climate mayors coalition while leading the city of Dayton. 

For state legislative maps, Ohio’s Republican gerrymander is in litigation, but primary elections will proceed on May 3 for statewide offices and for the new congressional districts, which supercharged the already-disproportionate Republican advantage in Ohio’s congressional delegation by making Tim Ryan’s seat into a safe R district and transforming the Toledo-based district of Rep. Marcy Kaptur from D+13 to R+6.

Nina Turner and Shontel Brown. Credit: Nick Castele

OH-11: The biggest primary to watch is in Cleveland’s OH-11, where Rep. Shontel Brown bizarrely has the support of the cryptocurrency Super PAC Protect our Future, the oil-powered Democratic Majority for Israel PAC, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus that she only recently joined. Brown will face a rematch of last year’s special election against former state senator and GND champ Nina Turner, who narrowly lost a winnable race after powerful interests dumped money against her despite a Sunrise endorsement last August. On Friday, President Joe Biden made a last-minute endorsement of Brown, joining Sen. Sherrod Brown (no relation).

There are not competitive Democratic primaries in OH-13, located south of Cleveland, or in OH-01, which is based in Cincinnati. The Republican candidate in both districts will be favored in this year’s elections, although those races could be competitive in future cycles.


IN-Sen: Republican senator Todd “The Green New Deal is unaffordable, unattainable and unrealistic” Young will be the heavy favorite to win re-election. The Democratic primary to be his general election opponent consists of psychologist Valerine Lin McCray, Hammond mayor Thomas Mcdermott Jr., and civil rights agency director Haneefah Kaliq. 

IN-01: There are not any competitive US House elections in Indiana this cycle, and although freshman Democratic Rep. Frank Mrvan surely annoyed progressives by joining in an effort to thwart prescription drug reform, he has not attracted a noteworthy primary challenge in his Gary-based 1st congressional district.

Up next: the May 10th primary elections in Nebraska and West Virginia.

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