We had the Illinois primaries in February and Texas in March, but not much since. While lots happened politically in April, there were no primaries, other than some congressional runoffs in the Lone Star State.
But that all changes this month, starting tomorrow.
On Tuesday, Indiana Republicans hold their primary in what they hope will be the first step to take the Senate seat being vacated by two-term Democrat Evan Bayh. On the same day, Ohio Democrats will be competing to see who represents the party in November for the seat of retiring GOP Sen. George Voinovich. And three Democrats are squaring off in North Carolina for the right to take on Sen. Richard Burr.
And that's just this Tuesday.
Here's what's happening this month. States with an asterisk indicate special elections or conventions, not regularly scheduled primaries.
Senate: Evan Bayh (D) is retiring after two terms. Former Sen. Dan Coats, ex-Rep. John Hostettler and former state Sen. Marlin Stutzman are among six Republicans running in the primary. Because Bayh dropped out so late in the process, Democrats will pick their nominee after the primary, and it will be Rep. Brad Ellsworth.
House: 9 seats.
Senate: Richard Burr (R) is seeking a second term. Three Democrats are battling for their party's nomination: Four-term Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, who unsuccessfully sought the Senate nomination in 2002; former state Sen. Cal Cunningham, an Iraq war veteran; and attorney Ken Lewis. If no Democrat receives at least 40 percent of the vote, the top two finishers advance to a June 22 runoff.
House: 13 seats.
Senate: George Voinovich (R) is retiring after two terms. The GOP nominee will be former Rep. Rob Portman, who after leaving the House served as the budget director and the U.S. trade representative under President Bush. Democrats will choose between Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.
House: 18 seats.
Governor: Ted Strickland (D) is seeking re-election. The Republican nominee will be former Rep. John Kasich, who made a brief attempt for the GOP presidential nomination in 2000.
Senate: This is the date of the Republican state convention, not the primary, but it could determine the fate of three-term Sen. Bob Bennett. If Bennett fails to win at least 40 percent of the delegates, he will be barred from competing in the June 22 primary. Bennett is facing seven challengers at the convention, including attorney Mike Lee, businessman Tim Bridgewater and conservative activist Cherilyn Eager.
Special House Election: Nathan Deal (R-9th CD) resigned on March 21 to run for governor. Eight candidates are running in the special election, all on the same ballot; if no one gets a majority of the vote, a runoff will be held June 8. The leading Republicans in this GOP-heavy district are state Sen. Lee Hawkins and state Rep. Tom Graves. The Democrat is Mike Freeman, a retired pastor.
House: 3 seats.
Governor: Dave Heineman (R), seeking re-election, faces minor opposition in the GOP primary. The Democratic nominee will be businessman Mark Lakers.
House: 3 seats.
Senate: Blanche Lincoln (D), seeking a third term, is being challenged by Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. A third Democrat, businessman D.C. Morrison, has been pulling as much as ten percent in some polls; he has the potential to force Lincoln and Halter into a June 8 runoff. The Republican field is led by Rep. John Boozman, whose later brother lost to Lincoln in 1998. State Sen. Gilbert Baker is considered Boozman's closest rival for the GOP nomination.
House: 4 seats.
Governor: Mike Beebe (D) is seeking re-election. The Republican nominee will be former state Sen. Jim Keet.
Senate: Jim Bunning (R) is retiring after two terms. Both parties have competitive primaries. For the Republicans, it's ophthamologist Rand Paul vs. Secretary of State Trey Grayson. On the Democratic side, Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo — who narrowly lost to Bunning six years ago — faces state Attorney General Jack Conway.
House: 6 seats.
Senate: Ron Wyden (D) seeking third full term. Republican candidates include law professor Jim Huffman, author Havel Goberman, and real estate broker Tom Stutzman.
House: 5 seats.
Governor: Ted Kulongoski (D) is term limited. John Kitzhaber, Kulongoski's predecessor, is running for his old job; he and former Secretary of State Bill Bradbury top the Democratic field. Former NBA player Chris Dudley, who played part of his career with the Portland Trailblazers, is the leading Republican candidate. Other GOPers in the race include ex-state Sen. John Lim and businessman Allen Alley.
Senate: Five-term Sen. Arlen Specter (D), who left the GOP in 2009, is being challenged for his new party's nomination by Rep. Joe Sestak. The Republican nominee will be former Rep. Pat Toomey, who nearly toppled Specter in the 2004 Republican primary.
Special House Election: In the 12th District, left vacant following the death of longtime Rep. John Murtha (D), Mark Critz, a top Murtha aide, is the Democratic candidate. He will face Republican businessman Tim Burns.
House: 19 seats.
Governor: Ed Rendell (D) is term limited. Among the Democratic candidates running are state Auditor General Jack Wagner, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, former Rep. Joe Hoeffel, and state Sen. Anthony Williams. State Attorney General Tom Corbett is the leading Republican candidate; his opponent, state Rep. Sam Rohrer, has backing from Tea Party supporters.
Special House Election: Neil Abercrombie (D) resigned his 1st CD seat on February 28 to run for governor. All three candidates are running on the same ballot for this special election. The two Democrats are former Rep. Ed Case, who gave up his 2nd CD seat in 2006 in an unsuccessful primary challenge to Sen. Daniel Akaka, and state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa. The Republican candidate is Honolulu City Councilmember Charles Djou.
May 25: IDAHO
Senate: Mike Crapo (R) is seeking a third term. Two politically unknown Democrats are running; businessman Tom Sullivan and William Bryk, an attorney from Brooklyn (New York, not Idaho).
House: 2 seats.
Governor: Butch Otter (R), seeking re-election, is likely to face Democrat Keith Allred.