2021’s third congressional special election is tomorrow

Ballotpedia's Daily Brew

Texas’ 6th Congressional District special election is tomorrow, May 1

A special election to fill the vacancy in Texas’ 6th Congressional District will be held tomorrow—May 1. Twenty-three candidates—11 Republicans, 10 Democrats, one Libertarian, and one independent—are running to represent this suburban Fort Worth district. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two vote-getters will compete in a runoff election—the date of which would be determined following tomorrow’s election. The previous incumbent, Ronald Wright (R), died from COVID-19-related complications on Feb. 7.

Last week in the Brew, we presented some noteworthy endorsements in the race. Since then, former President Donald Trump endorsed Susan Wright, the previous incumbent’s widow. You can find more endorsements here. You can also see survey responses we got from six candidates.

The district has become more competitive in both presidential and congressional elections since 2012. That year, Rep. Joe Barton (R) won re-election 58% to 39% over Kenneth Sanders (D). In 2020, Wright won re-election over Stephen Daniel (D), 53% to 44%. In presidential races, Barack Obama received 41% of the district’s votes in 2012, and Joe Biden got 48% last year. 

This is the third special congressional election so far this year. Three more special elections will occur between June 1 and Nov. 2, with a fourth—Florida’s 20th Congressional District—not yet scheduled. An average of 12.5 special elections were held in each of the four Congresses from the 113th to the 116th. 

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The Biden administration’s first 100 days: A round-up 

April 29 marked the 100th day of Joe Biden’s (D) presidency. And today—April 30—is the final day of Ballotpedia’s Transition Tracker—a newsletter that covered Biden’s transition team, Cabinet nominations and appointments, and the new administration’s major policy actions. Here is a round-up of facts and figures from Biden’s first 100 days in office. We’ll focus on five areas—executive actions, Cabinet confirmations, judicial nominations, legislation, and tie-breaking votes. 

Executive Actions

Biden has issued: 

  • 42 executive orders
  • 14 presidential memoranda
  • 49 proclamations, and 
  • 10 notices. 

Biden’s 42 executive orders are the most from a first-term president in his first 100 days since President Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) in 1933.

Cabinet

Twenty-one of Biden’s 23 Cabinet members have been confirmed.

The two outstanding Cabinet positions are the directors of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Eric Lander, Biden’s nominee for OSTP director, had his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on April 29. If Lander is confirmed, it will be the first time a presidential science advisor is in the Cabinet.

Biden initially nominated Neera Tanden, the president of Center for American Progress, to serve as OMB director. She withdrew from consideration in March. Biden has not yet named a replacement nominee. 

Judicial nominations

Biden nominated 10 individuals to the federal circuit and district courts. Five of the nominees are awaiting committee hearings. The other five are awaiting a committee vote. Biden also nominated a judge to the Superior Court for the District of Columbia.

Legislation

Eleven bills have become law in the 117th Congress. The largest of those is the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which was signed into law on March 11. 

Tie-breaking votes

Vice President Kamala Harris (D) has cast four tie-breaking votes in the U.S. Senate. Two of the votes related to a budget resolution and one to the American Rescue Plan Act. The fourth vote was to discharge the nomination of Colin Kahl for under secretary of defense for policy.

George Washington inaugurated 232 years ago today

Image from the National Archives

The first presidential inauguration was 232 years ago today, when George Washington took the oath of office and delivered an address to Congress. Here are some facts about George Washington’s inauguration.

  • Washington’s inauguration took place at Federal Hall in New York City, the temporary U.S. capital. New York City was the first U.S. capital after the Constitution established Congress. In 1790, the capital was moved to Philadelphia, and then to Washington, D.C., in 1800.
  • Horseback and other arduous travel modes delayed finalizing the presidential election and Washington’s inauguration. The Library of Congress notes, “Until the ratification of the Twentieth Amendment in 1933, the official day for presidential inaugurations was March 4.” But on that day in 1789, neither the House nor the Senate had the quorum necessary to conduct the official count of electoral votes. Both chambers had achieved quorums by April 6, when they counted the votes. Washington himself needed time to get from Virginia to New York City for the inauguration. 
  • Washington hand-wrote his inaugural address. In cursive. View images of the document, like the one above, from the National Archives here.

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About the author

Dave Beaudoin

Dave Beaudoin is a project director at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.