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Andrew McNair

Andrew McNair is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

Filing deadline passes for Dec. 14 special election in Iowa State Senate District 1

The filing deadline to run in the Iowa State Senate District 1 special election passed on Nov. 19. The special election is being held on Dec. 14. Governor Kim Reynolds (R) called the special election on Nov. 3, following the resignation of incumbent Zach Whiting (R) on Oct. 30. Whiting resigned to accept a position with the Texas Public Policy Foundation. 

Two candidates filed to run in the special election: Dave Rowley (R) and Mark Allen Lemke (D). The candidate withdrawal deadline was Nov. 22. 

As of November, 66 state legislative special elections have been scheduled or held in 21 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. Iowa has held 22 state legislative special elections from 2010 to 2020.

Entering the 2021 special election, the Iowa State Senate has 18 Democrats and 31 Republicans. A majority in the chamber requires 26 seats. Iowa has a Republican trifecta. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers. 

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Two Hialeah City Council at-large seats up for election on Nov. 16

The nonpartisan general election for two of the seven seats on the Hialeah City Council in Florida is on Nov. 16. The primary election was held on Nov. 2, and the candidate filing deadline passed on July 6. 

Bryan Calvo and Angelica Pacheco are competing for the council’s at-large Group VI seat, and Luis Rodriguez and Maylin Villalonga are competing for the at-large Group VII seat. The general election for the council’s Group V seat was canceled after incumbent Carl Zogby won the primary election outright on Nov. 2 with 56.7% of the vote.

Hialeah is the sixth-largest city in Florida and the eighty-eighth-largest city in the U.S. by population. 

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U.S. Senate confirms two nominees to lifetime federal judgeships

The U.S. Senate on Nov. 1 confirmed two of President Joe Biden’s (D) federal judicial nominees to lifetime Article III judgeships:

  1. Beth Robinson, to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, by a vote of 51-45
  2. Toby Heytens, to the United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, by a vote of 53-43

To date, 28 of Biden’s appointees have been confirmed. For historical comparison since 1981, the following list shows the date by which the past six presidents had 28 Article III judicial nominees confirmed by the Senate:

  1. President Donald Trump (R) – March 5, 2018
  2. President Barack Obama (D) – June 7, 2010
  3. President George W. Bush (R) – Dec. 20, 2001
  4. President Bill Clinton (D) – Nov. 20, 1993
  5. President George H.W. Bush (R) – April 27, 1990
  6. President Ronald Reagan (R) – Nov. 18, 1981

As of this writing, four Article III nominees are awaiting a confirmation vote from the U.S Senate, six nominees are awaiting a Senate Judiciary Committee vote to advance their nominations to the full Senate, and 22 nominees are awaiting a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

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Maneval (D) defeats Mattson (R) in New Hampshire House of Representatives Cheshire 9 special election

A special general election was held for the Cheshire 9 District of the New Hampshire House of Representatives on Oct. 26. Andrew Maneval (D) won the special election with 1,209 votes, 64.9% of the vote total, and defeated Rita Mattson (R).

A Democratic primary and a Republican primary were held on Sept. 7. The filing deadline passed on July 9. The special election was called after Douglas Ley (D) died of cancer on June 10. Ley served from 2012 to 2021. 

As of October, 64 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 21 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. New Hampshire held 29 special elections from 2010 to 2020, an average of nearly three per year. 

Four New Hampshire House of Representatives special elections have been held so far in 2021. A fifth is scheduled in the Rockingham 6 District for Dec. 7.

As of October, the New Hampshire House of Representatives had 188 Democrats and 207 Republicans. All 400 seats are up for election in 2022. A majority in the chamber requires 201 seats. New Hampshire has a Republican trifecta. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers. 

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