In Georgia and Florida, state legislative special elections were held on Tuesday.
A special election was held for District 28 in the Georgia House of Representatives. This was the third election for the seat in the past year. The regularly scheduled primary on May 22, 2018, and a new primary on December 4, 2018, were both deemed inconclusive due to ballot errors so a judge ruled that a new election should be held. Since no Democratic candidate filed in the original election, both the December 2018 do-over and the April 9 race consisted of only Republican primaries to determine the seat’s winner. Chris Erwin defeated the former incumbent, Dan Gasaway, with 75.5 percent of the unofficial election night vote to win the seat.
Special primaries were also held for the District 7 and District 38 seats in the Florida House of Representatives. The general election is on June 18, 2019. Ryan Terrell (D) and Jason Shoaf (R) advanced to the general election in District 7; Terrell ran uncontested and Shoaf defeated three challengers with 48.9 percent of the unofficial election night vote. Kelly Smith (D) and Randy Maggard (R) advanced to the general election in District 38; Smith also ran unopposed, and Maggard defeated David McCallister to win the Republican nomination. A special primary was also originally scheduled for the District 97 seat, but it was canceled after Dan Daley (D) was the only candidate to file and won the seat by default.
The District 7 seat was vacated by Halsey Beshears (R), who resigned on January 11, 2019, to become the Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The District 38 seat was vacated after Daniel Burgess (R) was appointed as the Executive Director of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs on January 24, 2019. The District 97 seat became vacant when Jared Moskowitz (D) resigned in January 2019 to become the Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
Entering the election, the Georgia House of Representatives had 75 Democrats, 104 Republicans, and one vacancy. A majority in the chamber requires 91 seats. The Florida House of Representatives had 46 Democrats, 71 Republicans, and three vacancies. A majority in the chamber requires 61 seats.
Georgia and Florida both have Republican trifectas, which exist when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers.