The Daily Brew: Nearly half of this year’s state legislative races lack both a Democratic and Republican candidate

Today’s Brew highlights the number of elections in 2019 that only feature candidates from one of the two major parties + a special offer on the Almanac of American Politics  
The Daily Brew
 

Welcome to the Tuesday, July 9, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. 49% of 2019’s state legislative elections lack either a Democratic or Republican candidate
  2. Order the 2020 Almanac of American Politics with a Ballotpedia discount
  3. Recall election of Nebraska councilwoman concludes today

49% of 2019’s state legislative elections lack either a Democratic or Republican candidate

Nearly half of all state legislative seats up for election in 2019 have only one Democratic or Republican Party candidate. 

Overall, 192—48.7%—of state legislative elections held this year lack either a Democratic or Republican candidate. 

By comparison, 2,017, or 33.2%, of 2018’s state legislative elections had only one major-party candidate. There were 746—12.3%—races that did not have a Democratic candidate and 1,271—20.9%—without a Republican one.

Four states—Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia—are holding regularly scheduled state legislative elections this year for 538 seats. The filing deadline has passed in three of those states—for 394 of those seats—since Louisiana’s filing deadline is on August 8. 

Of those 394 seats, 91 do not have a Democratic candidate on the ballot, and another 101 do not have a Republican candidate.

Here is a breakdown of the statistics for each state:

  • Mississippi has 174 state legislative seats up for election. Of those, 78 (44.8%) do not have a Democratic candidate and 55 (31.6%) do not have a Republican candidate. Overall, 133—76.4%—of Mississippi’s state legislative elections lack a candidate from one major party. In Mississippi’s previous state legislative election in 2015, 116, or 66.7%, seats did not have a Democratic or Republican candidate.. 

  • New Jersey will elect all 80 members of its state assembly. All of them feature a Democratic candidate but three do not have a Republican candidate. In 2017, two of the state’s 120 state legislative races lacked either a Democratic or a Republican candidate. In 2015, eight of the 80 state legislative seats up for election had no major-party opposition. 

  • Virginia has 140 state legislative seats on the ballot. Of those, 13 (9.3%) do not have a Democratic candidate and 43 (30.7%) do not have a Republican candidate. Overall, 56, or 40%, of Virginia’s state legislative elections lack a candidate from one of the two major parties. This percentage is the same as in 2017 when 40 out of 100 House of Delegate seats lacked either a Democratic or Republican candidate. In 2015, 91—65.0%—of the 140 state legislative seats up for election had no major-party opposition. 

Mississippi has a Republican trifecta while New Jersey is a Democratic one. Virginia currently is under divided government with a Democratic governor but a Republican-held state House and state Senate.

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The Almanac of American Politics has been an essential reference for anyone interested in the nation’s political landscape since 1972. This year, Ballotpedia returned to team up with the Almanac authors to produce the 2020 version, bringing up-to-date, extensive coverage of political figures and scenes across the nation. Ballotpedia readers can receive 10% off by using the code BPALMANAC at checkout. 

 

Recall election of Nebraska councilwoman concludes today

Last month, Ballotpedia released our mid-year recall report which analyzed all recall efforts through the first 6 months of 2019. For example, the report notes that 41 city council members faced recall campaigns in the first half of the year—more than any other type of officeholder. 

One such recall is in Humboldt, Nebraska, where voters have until today to submit their ballots in the recall election of City Councilwoman Dolores Martinez. The election is being conducted by mail with ballots sent to voters on June 17. 

The recall effort began in April 2019. Recall organizer Jamie Lynne Dorney accused Martinez of failing to act in the best interest of the city and having acted unprofessionally and unethically. In her statement of defense, Martinez called the accusations ambiguous and unverified.

Humboldt is located 80 miles southeast of Lincoln, Nebraska, and had a population of 877 as of the 2010 census. Recall supporters submitted petitions with 81 signatures to put the recall on the ballot. Fifty-six signatures—35% of the total vote cast for that office in the last general election—were required.

Our mid-year report summarizes the number of recalls that were initiated, placed on the ballot, and successful by state and office—all compared with prior years. It’s packed with lots of interesting data—you can read it by clicking the link below.

 

 




About the author

Dave Beaudoin

Dave Beaudoin is a project director at Ballotpedia and can be reached at dave.beaudoin@ballotpedia.org

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