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Gabriella Cate

Gabriella Cate is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

Dori Hauck sworn in to North Dakota House of Representatives

Dori Hauck (R) was sworn in to the North Dakota House of Representatives to replace former Representative Luke Simons (R) on March 16. Simons, who had represented District 36 since 2016 and was reelected in 2020, was expelled from the House on March 4 following multiple misconduct allegations. 

Simons was the first lawmaker in state history to be expelled. According to Article IV, Section 12 of the state constitution, the House “may punish its members or other persons for contempt or disorderly behavior in its presence” and can expel members if two-thirds of the chamber concurs. The vote to expel Simons was 69-25.

Hauck served as secretary-treasurer of the District 36 Republican Party for eight years prior to her appointment. She will serve in the House until 2022.

In the North Dakota Legislature, vacancies are filled by the district committee of the party that holds the seat, and a replacement is named within three weeks. North Dakota is one of four states that fills vacancies by political party appointments. The others are Colorado, Illinois, and Indiana. Of the other state legislatures, 25 fill vacancies through special elections, 10 fill them through gubernatorial appointments, seven fill them through board of county commissioners appointments, three fill them by a hybrid-system, and in one state, Ohio, the legislative chamber fills them.

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Dan McKee (D) sworn in as governor of Rhode Island

Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee (D) was sworn in as the state’s new governor after former Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) resigned on March 2. Raimondo, who was first elected in 2014, resigned after being confirmed as secretary of commerce in the Biden administration.

McKee was first elected as lieutenant governor in 2014, before he served as the mayor of Cumberland, Rhode Island, for six terms. He was in his second of two possible four-year-terms as lieutenant governor. 

According to the state’s constitution, gubernatorial vacancies are filled by the lieutenant governor, who serves until the next regularly-scheduled election in 2022. While McKee has not yet announced his successor, he began taking applications for the position several weeks ago. According to his communications director, he has received 62 applications and will be releasing the names of the candidates that are interviewed.

McKee will be the 76th person and 34th Democrat to serve as the governor of Rhode Island. Of the previous officeholders dating back to 1921, 14 were Democrats, and 10 were Republicans. Rhode Island is currently one of 15 states with a Democratic state government trifecta.

There will be a public swearing-in ceremony on Sunday, March 7.

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