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Tate Reeves and Brandon Presley
Tate Reeves and Brandon Presley.AP

The races to watch in 2023

The 2024 presidential election cycle may be just around the corner, but here's a look at the state of the races we're watching this year.


Developments in the 2024 presidential campaign have been dominating the news cycle of late, but with almost a year and a half to go before the election, here are the races we're watching in 2023:

Wisconsin Supreme Court

Election day: April 4

One of Wisconsin's state Supreme Court justices, Patience Roggensack, is retiring, leaving behind an open seat that will be crucial in determining the balance of the court. Roggensack is part of the court's solid 4-3 conservative majority, but that could be shaken up if Milwaukee County Judge Janet Protasiewicz, a liberal, is elected.

She's running against former state Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly, a conservative. The race is technically non-partisan, but Kelly has been backed by Republican groups and Protasiewicz has been backed by Democratic groups.

Since the late February primary, Protasiewicz and her allies have consistently outspent Kelly and his allies on the airwaves. The candidates will meet for a debate in Madison on Tuesday.

Chicago Mayor

Election day: April 4

Chicagoans sent a message in their February mayoral election: we're ready for change.

No one in a large field of candidates gained enough votes to win outright, so voters sent two candidates -- Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson and former Chicago schools CEO Paul Vallas — to an April runoff.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot ran for another term, but didn't place in the top two, so her re-election campaign ended in February.

Vallas and Johnson are both Democrats, but Vallas has positioned himself as a moderate candidate, while Johnson has been painted as more liberal. Crime has been a major issue in the race.

Mississippi Governor

Election day: November 7

Republican Gov. Tate Reeves is running for re-election and faces Democrat Brandon Presley, a relative of Elvis Presley.

Reeves is in a strong position to win re-election, but has faced controversies while governor, including a scandal related to welfare funds.

A recent poll found Reeves leading the race, with many voters still unfamiliar with Presley's name. Presley is currently a member of the Mississippi Public Service Commission.

Kentucky Governor

Election day: November 7

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear is seeking a second term this year and he'll face one of a dozen Republican candidates vying to be governor.

The Republicans will go head to head in a primary on May 16. Notable candidate include state Attorney General Daniel Cameron, former United Nations ambassador Kelly Craft and state auditor Mike Harmon.

Craft is the only candidate to have spent a significant amount of money on TV campaign ads so far, almost $2.5 million.

Louisiana Governor

Election day: November 18

Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards is leaving his post due to term limits. The race to succeed him will begin with a non-partisan primary on October 14.

Former state Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson is the only Democrat to announce a campaign. There are several Republicans running, including state Attorney General Jeff Landry, Louisiana Association of Business and Industry president Stephen Waguespack and state Treasurer John Schroder.