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Jaclyn Beran

Jackie Beran is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

Runoff election in Mississippi House district to be held Nov. 24

A special general runoff election will be held on November 24 for District 87 in the Mississippi House of Representatives. The special general election took place on November 3, with the top two candidates advancing to the runoff. Candidates in Mississippi state legislative special elections run without party labels on the ballot.

Matthew Conoly and Joseph Tubb are running in the general runoff election. The seat became vacant after the resignation of William Andrews (R) on March 31, 2020. Andrews said that he resigned from the House in order to receive the pension that he earned while serving as a county judge. He had represented the district since January 7, 2020.

Mississippi legislators are elected to four-year terms, and elections are held in odd-numbered years. All seats in the state Senate and state House are next up for regular election on November 7, 2023.

Mississippi has a Republican state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. Republicans control the state Senate by a 36-16 margin and the state House by a 74-46 margin with one independent member and one vacancy.

As of November, 59 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2020 in 27 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.

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Signatures due Friday in Colorado governor recall effort

Supporters of the effort to recall Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) have until November 13 to submit 631,266 signatures to require a recall election. The recall was approved for circulation by Colorado’s secretary of state on September 14.

The recall effort is being organized by Lori Ann Cutunilli and Greg Merschel. Last year, Merschel was part of a different group that tried and failed to recall Polis. The current recall effort criticizes Polis over his use of executive orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Executive orders described in the recall petition include the mask mandate and the closing of businesses and houses of worship due to the pandemic. Merschel said the following on his reasons behind the second recall effort, “He’s [Polis] ruling the state by executive order. He’s usurping the legislature.”

Polis’ office issued the following statement in response to the recall effort, “Since day one, Governor Polis has been focused on delivering real results for Coloradans across the state, and he has done just that. He has delivered on his promise to provide free full-day kindergarten to Colorado’s children regardless of zip code, fought tooth and nail to lower the cost of health care, taken bold climate action putting Colorado on the path to 100% renewable energy by 2040, and cut taxes for small businesses. Now during this unprecedented pandemic, Colorado has been a model for the country thanks to the bold and swift actions taken by Governor Polis including being one of the first states to reopen. Like the majority of Coloradans, the Governor believes that playing politics during this challenging time for our state and country is simply inappropriate and shameful.”

Colorado has a Democratic state government trifecta. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers. Democrats control the state Senate by a 19-16 margin and the state House by a 41-24 margin. Polis was elected as Colorado’s governor in 2018 with 53.4% of the vote.

Sixteen gubernatorial recall efforts are currently underway in 2020. Nine of those efforts are against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D). From 2003 to 2019, Ballotpedia tracked 21 gubernatorial recall efforts. During that time, two recalls made the ballot, and one governor was successfully recalled. Former California Gov. Gray Davis (D) was recalled in 2003 and replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). In 2012, former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) was retained in a recall election. The only other governor to ever be successfully recalled was former North Dakota Gov. Lynn Frazier (R) in 1921.

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Effort to recall Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers fails to collect enough signatures

The chief organizer behind an effort to recall Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) told supporters on Monday that the effort had failed to collect enough signatures to require a recall election.

Chief organizer Misty Polewczynski wrote in a Facebook post about the failed recall effort on October 26, “It is with a heavy heart we announce that after proofing and what came in over the weekend we have fallen short. We do not have enough signatures to turn in.”

Supporters of the recall effort had until Oct. 27 to submit 668,327 signatures to require a recall election. Polewczynski also filed a recall effort against Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D).

Polewczynski’s announcement came a little over a week after she told the Racine Journal Times that supporters had collected more than 620,000 signatures. At that time, the Wisconsin State Journal cast doubt on her claim after she posted on Facebook that she would be lying to the media about the recall effort. She said,

“I’m going to do an interview this afternoon and will probably make up some crap to tell them,” Polewczynski said in a Facebook post. “I like when they look dumb. Plus they drug my name through the mud.”

Polewczynski started the recall efforts against Evers and Barnes in August. Both recall petitions criticized Wisconsin’s governor and the lieutenant governor over their responses to the coronavirus pandemic and over the violence and protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in August.

Wisconsin is under a divided government and does not have a state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers. Republicans control the Wisconsin State Senate by an 18-13 margin with two vacancies and the Wisconsin State Assembly by a 63-34 margin with two vacancies. Evers was elected as Wisconsin’s governor in 2018 with 49.5% of the vote.

Sixteen gubernatorial recall efforts are currently underway in 2020. Nine of those efforts are against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D). From 2003 to 2019, Ballotpedia tracked 21 gubernatorial recall efforts. During that time, two recalls made the ballot, and one governor was successfully recalled. Former California Gov. Gray Davis (D) was recalled in 2003 and replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). In 2012, former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) was retained in a recall election. The only other governor to ever be successfully recalled was former North Dakota Gov. Lynn Frazier (R) in 1921.

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Signatures due next week in recall efforts against Wisconsin governor, lieutenant governor

Supporters of the efforts to recall Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D) have until October 27 to submit 668,327 signatures for each of the petitions to require a recall election. Both recall efforts are being organized by Misty Polewczynski.

Polewczynski told the Racine Journal Times on October 15 that supporters had collected more than 620,000 signatures. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, statements made by Polewczynski in a Facebook post that has since been removed, cast doubt on her claim on the number of signatures that have been collected. When asked about the number of signatures that she provided to the media, she said in the social media post, “I would not pay attention to that number given to them! Sometimes any press is better than no press.”

Polewczynski began the recall efforts against Evers and Barnes in August. Both recall petitions criticize Wisconsin’s governor and lieutenant governor over their responses to the coronavirus pandemic and over the violence and protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Courtney Beyer, the spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, said about the recall efforts, “Trying to recall a governor with a 57% job approval rating in the midst of a global pandemic and civil unrest is irresponsible and absurd.”

Conservative commentator James Wigderson wrote in August about the governor recall, “…recalling Evers should not be attempted because it’s the wrong thing to do.” He went on to say, “One of the reasons Republicans were so successful in fighting the recall elections after Act 10 is that the public correctly perceived that it was an attempt to undo the previous election. Republicans made the case that recalls should only be used in very limited circumstances to get rid of politicians who were corrupt and using the office for their benefit.”

Wisconsin is under a divided government and does not have a state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers. Republicans control the state Senate by an 18-13 margin with two vacancies and the state House by a 63-34 margin with two vacancies. Evers was elected as Wisconsin’s governor in 2018 with 49.5% of the vote. Barnes ran on a joint ticket with Evers in the election.

Seventeen gubernatorial recall efforts are currently underway in 2020. Nine of those efforts are against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D). From 2003 to 2019, Ballotpedia tracked 21 gubernatorial recall efforts. During that time, two recalls made the ballot, and one governor was successfully recalled. Former California Gov. Gray Davis (D) was recalled in 2003 and replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). In 2012, former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) was retained in a recall election. The only other governor to ever be successfully recalled was former North Dakota Gov. Lynn Frazier (R) in 1921.

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Michigan board approves circulation of recall petition against state attorney general

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers on October 15 approved the petition language for a recall against Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D). The board previously rejected five recall petitions against Nessel in 2020. Supporters of the recall effort need to submit 1,046,006 signatures within a 60-day period to require a recall election. The 60 days begin on the first day that signatures are collected. The recall petition must be submitted to the office of the Michigan Secretary of State no later than 180 days after it was approved by the board.

The recall petition was submitted by Chad Baase on September 25. Michigan laws state that the reason for recall must be deemed factual and clear by the Board of State Canvassers before the recall petition can be placed in circulation. The board does not document a rationale for their determination, only the judgment of rejected or approved.

The recall petition criticizes Nessel over her announced plans of ramping up efforts to enforce Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) Executive Order 2020-148. The executive order provided enhanced protections for residents and staff of long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, Baase has filed 12 recall petitions against four statewide officials. Five have been approved for circulation, five were rejected in clarity hearings, and two were withdrawn.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March, four statewide officials in Michigan have seen recall petitions submitted against them. In total, 31 recall petitions have targeted the four officials. In comparison, Ballotpedia tracked no recall efforts against any Michigan statewide official in 2019.

This year, Whitmer has had 20 recall petitions submitted against her. Nine of those petitions have been approved for circulation, 10 efforts were rejected, and one effort was withdrawn by the petitioner. Two recall petitions have been introduced against Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist (D). One petition has been approved for circulation, and the other was rejected. Three recall petitions have also been introduced against Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D). One effort has been approved for circulation, one effort was withdrawn by the petitioner, and the other was rejected.

Michigan is under a divided government. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers. Republicans control the state Senate by a 22-16 margin and the state House by a 58-51 margin with one vacancy. Whitmer was elected as Michigan’s governor in 2018 with 53.3% of the vote.

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Recall effort against Colorado Gov. Polis approved for circulation

A recall effort against Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) was approved for circulation on September 14. Supporters of the recall effort need to submit 631,266 signatures by November 13 to require a recall election.

The recall effort is being organized by Lori Ann Cutunilli and Greg Merschel. Last year, Merschel was part of a different group that tried and failed to recall Polis. The new recall effort criticizes Polis over his use of executive orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Executive orders described in the recall petition include the mask mandate and the closing of businesses and houses of worship due to the pandemic. Merschel said the following on his reasons behind the second recall effort, “He’s [Polis] ruling the state by executive order. He’s usurping the legislature.”

Polis’ office issued the following statement in response to the recall effort, “Since day one, Governor Polis has been focused on delivering real results for Coloradans across the state, and he has done just that. He has delivered on his promise to provide free full-day kindergarten to Colorado’s children regardless of zip code, fought tooth and nail to lower the cost of health care, taken bold climate action putting Colorado on the path to 100% renewable energy by 2040, and cut taxes for small businesses. Now during this unprecedented pandemic, Colorado has been a model for the country thanks to the bold and swift actions taken by Governor Polis including being one of the first states to reopen. Like the majority of Coloradans, the Governor believes that playing politics during this challenging time for our state and country is simply inappropriate and shameful.”

Colorado has a Democratic state government trifecta. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers. Democrats control the state Senate by a 19-16 margin and the state House by a 41-24 margin. Polis was elected as Colorado’s governor in 2018 with 53.4% of the vote.

Eighteen gubernatorial recall efforts are currently underway in 2020. Nine of those efforts are against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D). From 2003 to 2019, Ballotpedia tracked 21 gubernatorial recall efforts. During that time, two recalls made the ballot, and one governor was successfully recalled. Former California Gov. Gray Davis (D) was recalled in 2003 and replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). In 2012, former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) was retained in a recall election. The only other governor to ever be successfully recalled was former North Dakota Gov. Lynn Frazier (R) in 1921.

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Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz recall effort under review by state supreme court

A recall effort has been filed against Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) over his mask mandate in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Minnesota Supreme Court will now review whether the grounds for recall stated in the petition are sufficient and meet statutory requirements. Two earlier efforts to recall Walz were dismissed by the supreme court because the petitions did not meet the legal standards to recall an elected official.

The ‘’Recall Governor Tim Walz’’ group said about the recall effort, “We are hopeful that court gives this petition the fair review it deserves, as we continue fighting on behalf of all freedom loving Minnesotans. As a reminder, the recall is about justice – forcing Walz to personally answer for the tyranny he has imposed for months on end, with no end in sight.” As of October 1, 2020, Walz had not made a statement regarding the recall.

Minnesota is under a divided government. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers. Republicans control the state Senate by a 35-32 margin and Democrats control the state House by a 75-59 margin. Walz was elected as Minnesota’s governor in 2018 with 53.8% of the vote.

Eighteen gubernatorial recall efforts are currently underway in 2020. Nine of those efforts are against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D). From 2003 to 2019, Ballotpedia tracked 21 gubernatorial recall efforts. During that time, two recalls made the ballot, and one governor was successfully recalled. Former California Gov. Gray Davis (D) was recalled in 2003 and replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). In 2012, former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) was retained in a recall election. The only other governor to ever be successfully recalled was former North Dakota Gov. Lynn Frazier (R) in 1921.

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Tim Walz
Gubernatorial recalls



Michigan board approves secretary of state recall for circulation

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers on September 24 approved the petition language for a recall against Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D). Supporters of the recall effort need to submit 1,046,006 signatures within a 60-day period to require a recall election. The 60 days begin on the first day that signatures are collected. The recall petition must be submitted to the office of Michigan’s secretary of state no later than 180 days after it was approved by the board.

The recall petition was submitted by Chad Baase and was approved for circulation by the board by a 4-0 vote. Michigan laws state that the reason for recall must be deemed factual and clear by the Board of State Canvassers before the recall petition can be placed in circulation. The board does not document a rationale for their determination, only the judgment of rejected or approved. The recall petition criticizes Benson over an announcement that her office would be mailing out postcards to Michigan voters that encouraged them to apply online to vote from home in the upcoming November general election.

At Thursday’s meeting, the board also voted on a recall against Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D). The recall was submitted by Baase, and the board voted 4-0 to reject the petition language. The recall petition criticized Nessel over plans “to ramp enforcement of Covid-19 related restrictions at long-term care facilities.” According to the board, the recall petition was rejected because the language made it unclear who would be imposing the restrictions on the long-term care facilities.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March, four statewide officials in Michigan have seen recall petitions submitted against them to the Board of State Canvassers. In total, 30 recall petitions have targeted the four officials. In comparison, Ballotpedia tracked no recall efforts against any Michigan statewide official in 2019.

This year, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has had 20 recall petitions submitted against her. Nine of those petitions have been approved for circulation, 10 efforts were rejected, and one effort was withdrawn by the petitioner. Benson has seen two other recall petitions submitted against her. One recall effort was withdrawn by the petitioner, and the other was rejected by the board. Two recall petitions have also been introduced against Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist (D). One petition has been approved by the board, and the other was rejected. Nessel saw four other recall petitions submitted against her. All four petitions were rejected by the board.

Michigan is under a divided government. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers. Republicans control the state Senate by a 22-16 margin and the state House by a 58-51 margin with one vacancy. Whitmer was elected as Michigan’s governor in 2018 with 53.3% of the vote.

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Voters to decide state executive, legislative primaries in Delaware

The statewide primary election for Delaware is on September 15. This is the last statewide primary before the November general election.

A total of 55 seats are up for election, including three state executive seats and 52 state legislative seats. Candidates are running in elections for the following offices:
Governor
Lieutenant Governor
Insurance Commissioner
State Senate (11 out of 21 seats)

State House (all 41 seats)

Delaware has a Democratic state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

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Bedsole wins primary runoff for Alabama House district

A special election primary runoff was held on September 1 for District 49 of the Alabama House of Representatives. Russell Bedsole defeated Mimi Penhale for the Republican nomination with 51.4% of the vote. Bedsole will face Cheryl Patton (D) in the special general election on November 17, 2020.

The seat became vacant after April Weaver (R) resigned to become a regional director in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to her resignation, Weaver had held the seat since 2010.

Heading into the special election, Republicans have a 75-28 majority in the Alabama House of Representatives with two vacancies. Alabama has a Republican state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

As of September, 57 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2020 in 26 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.

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