Special election primaries to be held in Alabama state legislative districts

Special election primaries are being held on March 30 for District 14 of the Alabama State Senate and District 73 of the Alabama House of Representatives. Democratic primaries were canceled in both elections because a single candidate filed for each. Primary runoffs will take place on April 27 if no candidate earns more than 50% of the vote. General elections are being held on July 13. The winners of the special elections will serve until November 7, 2022.

  • In Senate District 14, Joseph Barlow, Donna Dorough Strong, and April Weaver are running in the Republican primary. Virginia Applebaum automatically advanced from the Democratic primary. The seat became vacant on December 7 after Cam Ward (R) was appointed to serve as director of the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles by Gov. Kay Ivey (R). Ward had represented the seat since 2010 and was unopposed in his re-election bid in 2020. He faced competition in 2018 and won re-election with 72.6% of the vote.
  • In House District 73, Joseph Daley, George Henry, Leigh Hulsey, Kenneth Paschal, and Kerri Pate are facing off for the Republican nomination. Sheridan Black automatically advanced from the Democratic primary. The special election became necessary after Matt Fridy (R) was elected to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals in November 2020. Fridy had represented District 73 since 2015 and won re-election in 2018 with 69.1% of the vote.

Alabama 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. Republicans control the state Senate by a 26-8 margin with one vacancy and the state House by a 76-27 margin with two vacancies.

As of March, 33 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year.

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