State legislative special elections 2022 review

Fifty-four state legislative special elections have been scheduled in 24 states this year. All but one of those specials have taken place already. Heading into those races, Democrats controlled 35 of the seats, and Republicans controlled 18.

The final special election of the year is being held in District 129 of the Georgia House of Representatives. A Democratic primary is being held on December 20 to fill the seat that would have been won by unopposed incumbent Henry Howard in November. Howard passed away in October, after the replacement deadline.

Two seats changed in partisan control as a result of special elections. Democrats flipped Michigan House of Representatives District 74 on May 3. Republicans gained District 39 of the Montana State Senate on November 8.

  • In special elections between 2010 and 2022, one party (either Republicans or Democrats) saw an average net gain of three seats nationally each year.
  • An average of 56 seats were filled through special elections in each of the past seven even years, including this year (2010: 30, 2012: 46, 2014: 40, 2016: 65, 2018: 99, 2020: 59, 2022: 54).
  • An average of 85 seats were filled through special elections in each of the past six odd years (2011: 95, 2013: 84, 2015: 89, 2017: 98, 2019: 77, 2021: 66).