Welcome to the Friday, December 3, Brew.
By: Douglas Kronaizl
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- Sixteen seats changed party control, including 14 incumbents who lost in state legislative general elections
- Sacramento, Calif., nears its final stages of redistricting after coronavirus-related delay
- #FridayTrivia: Which state has the earliest primary election candidate filing deadline in the 2022 election cycle?
Sixteen seats changed party control, including 14 incumbents who lost in state legislative general elections
Three of the country’s 99 state legislative chambers held regularly-scheduled elections on Nov. 2: the New Jersey State Senate and General Assembly and the Virginia House of Delegates. Elections in these chambers represented 220 of the country’s 7,383 state legislative seats (2.9%).
Final results from the Nov. 2, 2021, elections were recently certified in both states, though recounts recently began in two Virginia House of Delegates elections.
Overall, 16 state legislative seats changed party control. In 2019, 33 seats changed party control, though most, 23, took place in Louisiana and Mississippi while 10 changed control in New Jersey and Virginia.
Fifteen seats changed from Democratic to Republican control and one seat changed from Republican to Democratic control. By state, nine changes took place in New Jersey and seven took place in Virginia.
Looking just at incumbent defeats, 14 incumbents—seven in New Jersey and seven in Virginia—lost in general elections, all of whom were Democrats. This ties 2021 with 2017 for the largest number of incumbents defeated in general elections across these three chambers. It also represents the largest number of Democratic incumbents defeated with the next-closest election cycle being 2009 when seven Democrats lost in general elections.
In New Jersey, these party changes narrowed the Democratic majorities in both legislative chambers, but the party remains in control. In Virginia, Democrats lost majority control of the House, which changed from a 55-45 Democratic majority to a 52-48 Republican majority. Democrats maintain control in the Senate, which did not hold elections in 2021.
Virginia’s final tally is still subject to change. Certified results in House District 85 and 91 showed the winning candidates’ margins of victory within 1% of the total votes cast. Democratic candidates in both races requested recounts, which began on Dec. 2.
Sacramento, Calif., nears its final stages of redistricting after coronavirus-related delay
It’s not just congressional and state legislative redistricting this year. Local governments also periodically update their political district lines with census numbers. In Sacramento, Calif., the city’s independent redistricting commission is set to select its 2022 redistricting map on Dec. 6 with final adoption scheduled for Dec. 16.
In November 2020, voters in Sacramento approved Measure B by a vote of 67% in favor and 34% opposed. This measure, which was proposed by the Sacramento City Council, amended the city’s charter authorizing a one-time delay in the redistricting process. The amendment moved the deadline for map adoption to 130 days before the 2022 primary election, which is scheduled for June 7, moving the deadline to Jan. 28, 2022.
Typically, Sacramento requires redistricting to be completed no later than six months after census data is delivered and at least six months before the city’s primary election. Voters made this one-time change because census data delivery was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Sacramento Independent Redistricting Commission was created by a public vote on Measure L in 2016. The commission is made up of 13 members: one from each of the eight existing districts and five appointed by the first eight commissioners. The city’s redistricting process begins with public map submissions, which are then narrowed down by the commission and altered to meet statutory requirements.
#FridayTrivia: Which state has the earliest primary election candidate filing deadline in the 2022 election cycle?
We are officially 10 days away from the first statewide filing deadline for the 2022 election cycle! States set filing deadlines to establish when candidates must submit the necessary materials required to run for office. Stay tuned next week for a sneak peek at some local election filing deadlines.
In the meantime, what state’s candidate filing deadline is the earliest, currently scheduled for Dec. 13, 2021?