No party control flips in Florida state legislative special elections

Two seats in the Florida House of Representatives, District 7 and District 38, were up for special general election on Tuesday. The primary was held on April 9, and the filing deadline was on February 14. A third seat, District 97, was originally scheduled to be on the ballot as well, but the election was canceled after only one candidate filed to run. All three seats were won by members of the same political party as their predecessors.
  • Jason Shoaf (R) defeated Ryan Terrell (D) with 71.3% of the unofficial election night vote for the District 7 seat. Shoaf had previously defeated three other Republican candidates in the primary. Terrell ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. The seat was vacated by Halsey Beshears (R), who resigned in January 2019 to become the Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
  • Randy Maggard (R) defeated Kelly Smith (D) with 55.6% of the unofficial election night vote for the District 38 seat. Maggard had previously defeated one other candidate, David McCallister, for the Republican nomination in the primary. Smith ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. The seat was vacated by Daniel Burgess (R), who resigned in January 2019 to become the Executive Director of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
  • Dan Daley (D) ran unopposed for the District 97 seat and won it automatically. The seat was vacated by Jared Moskowitz (D), who resigned in January 2019 to become the Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
As of June, 60 state legislative special elections have been scheduled or held in 23 states. Between 2011 and 2018, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.
 
Entering the special election, the Florida House of Representatives had 46 Democrats, 71 Republicans, and three vacancies. Florida has a Republican state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.
 
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Daniel Anderson

Daniel Anderson is a managing editor at Ballotpedia and can be reached at daniel.anderson@ballotpedia.org

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