Author

Jaclyn Beran

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

Eight candidates file to run in two Georgia state House special elections

Candidates interested in running in the special elections for Georgia House of Representatives Districts 34 and 156 had until May 7 to file. The general election in both districts is scheduled for June 15. If no candidate earns a majority of the vote in the general election, the top two vote-getters will advance to a general runoff election. The runoff, if necessary, will be held on July 13. The winners of the special elections will serve until January 2023.

In the District 34 special election, Sam Hensley Jr. (D), Priscilla Smith (D), David Blinkhorn (R), Devan Seabaugh (R), and Chris Neill (L) filed to run. The special election became necessary after Bert Reeves (R) resigned his seat on April 30 to become Georgia Institute of Technology’s vice president of university relations. Reeves served in the state House from 2015 to 2021.

In the District 156 special election, Wright Gres (D), Leesa Hagan (R), and Wally Sapp (R) filed to run. The special election became necessary when Greg Morris (R) resigned his seat on April 13 to join the Georgia Department of Transportation’s State Transportation Board. Morris served in the state House from 1999 to 2021.

Georgia 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 Georgia House of Representatives by a margin of 101 to 77, with two vacancies.

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Omaha, Nebraska, voters to decide mayoral, city council races on May 11

The nonpartisan general election for Omaha, Neb., will be held on May 11. The top-two primary was held on April 6. Candidates will be competing for mayor and seven city council seats. On election day, the polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In the mayoral race, incumbent Jean Stothert and RJ Neary are facing off in the general election. Stothert is one of 26 Republican mayors across the country’s 100 largest cities. She was first elected in 2013, following Democratic control of the mayorship since 2001, and won re-election in 2017. She is Omaha’s longest-serving Republican mayor since 1906.

Neary is the chairman of Investors Realty, a commercial real estate investment company, and the former chairman of the Omaha Planning Board. During the primary, he received endorsements from the city’s three most recent Democratic mayors: Mike Fahey, Jim Suttle, and Mike Boyle.

Seven city council seats will also be on the May 11 ballot. District 3 incumbent Chris Jerram was the only city council member to not file for re-election in 2021. Five incumbents advanced past the primary election and will appear on the general election ballot. District 5 incumbent Colleen Brennan lost her re-election bid after placing fifth in the primary election.

*District 1: Incumbent Pete Festersen and Sarah Johnson are facing off in the general election. Festersen has served on the city council since 2009.

*District 2: Incumbent Ben Gray and Juanita Johnson will face off in the general election. Gray has represented District 2 since 2009.

*District 3: Danny Begley and Cammy Watkins are competing for this open seat. Incumbent Jerram announced in August 2020 that he would not seek a fourth term in 2021. He has represented District 3 on the city council since 2009.

*District 4: Incumbent Vinny Palermo and Rebecca Barrientos-Patlan will face off in the general election. Palermo has served on the city council since 2017.

*District 5: Patrick Leahy and Don Rowe will face off in the general election. Incumbent Colleen Brennan was appointed to the seat in December 2020. She placed fifth in the April 6 primary election and did not advance to the general election.

*District 6: Incumbent Brinker Harding and Naomi Hattaway will face off in the general election. Harding has represented District 6 on the city council since 2017.

*District 7: Incumbent Aimee Melton and Sara Kohen are facing off in the general election. Melton has served on the city council since 2013.

Omaha is the 42nd largest city by population in the United States. In 2021, Ballotpedia is covering municipal elections in 22 counties and 71 cities, including 43 mayoral elections.

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Lincoln voters to decide city council, school board, and Airport Authority races on May 4

The nonpartisan general election for Lincoln, Neb., will be held on May 4. The primary was held on April 6. Three city council seats, two seats on the Lincoln Airport Authority, and four seats on the Lincoln Public Schools school board will be on the ballot.

Incumbent Roy Christensen, incumbent Bennie Shobe, incumbent Sändra Washington, Tom Beckius, Eric Burling, and Mary Hilton are running in the city council election. The three candidates who receive the most votes will each earn a four-year term.

Although city council elections in Lincoln are officially nonpartisan, candidates can file with a party affiliation. Incumbent Christensen has served on the city council since 2013 and identifies with the Republican Party. In addition to Christensen, Burling and Hilton identify with the Republican Party. Incumbent Shobe was elected in 2017 and identifies as a member of the Democratic Party. Incumbent Washington was appointed to the council in 2019 and identifies with the Democratic Party. In addition to Shobe and Washington, Beckius identifies with the Democratic Party.

Nicki Behmer, Jason Krueger, John Olsson, and Tracy Refior are running in the Lincoln Airport Authority election. The two candidates who receive the most votes will each earn a six-year term.

District 3 incumbent Barbara Baier and District 5 incumbent Lanny Boswell are unopposed in their bids for re-election on the school board. Incumbent Kathy Danek and Christina Campbell will face off in the District 1 general election. In the District 7 election, incumbent Don Mayhew will face off against Michael Patestas. The winners of the four races will earn four-year terms.

Lincoln is the 71st largest city by population in the United States. In 2021, Ballotpedia is covering municipal elections in 22 counties and 71 cities, including 43 mayoral elections.



Louisiana voters to decide special elections for appeals, BESE, state leg races

Louisiana is holding special general elections on April 24. The general elections became necessary after no candidates received a majority of the votes in the primary election on March 20. Louisiana elections use the majority-vote system. All candidates compete in the same primary, and a candidate can win the election outright by receiving more than 50% of the vote. If no candidate does, the top two vote recipients from the primary advance to the general election, regardless of their partisan affiliation.

On the ballot at the state level are special elections for Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) District 4, Louisiana Second Circuit Courts of Appeal District 1, and Louisiana House of Representatives District 82. Ballotpedia is also covering a special election for Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District.

The BESE special election was called after Tony Davis (R) left office to devote more time to his job as a senior director at the National Association of Manufacturers on Jan. 20. Davis served from 2016 to 2021. Cassie Williams (D) and Michael Melerine (R) are running in the special election.

Louisiana Second Circuit Courts of Appeal District 1 became vacant on Oct. 1, when Judge Felicia Toney Williams (D) retired. Williams served on the court from 1993 to 2020. Marcus Hunter (D) and J. Garland Smith (D) will face off in the special election.

The Louisiana House of Representatives District 82 seat became vacant on Jan. 12, when Charles Henry (R) resigned. Henry served from 2020 to 2021. Edwin Connick (R) and Laurie Schlegel (R) are running in the special election.

Louisiana has a divided government, and no political party holds a state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. The governor is a member of the Democratic Party and both chambers in the Louisiana State Legislature have Republican majorities.

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Republican Bill Boyd wins New Hampshire state House special election to replace the late Dick Hinch

A special election was held on April 13 for the Hillsborough 21 District of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Bill Boyd (R), a current town councilor in Merrimack, defeated Wendy Thomas (D) and Stephen Hollenberg (Independent) with 53% of the vote. Thomas came in second with 45% of the vote. Boyd’s term will last until December 2022. The Hillsborough 21 District is a multi-member district made up of eight seats. The district is currently represented by six Republicans and one Democrat.

The seat became vacant after the death of state House speaker Dick Hinch (R) on Dec. 9 from complications caused by COVID-19. Republicans gained control of the state House in the November 3 general election and Hinch was elected speaker on December 2. He previously served as the minority leader and the majority leader in the state House. He was first elected to the state House in 2008.

New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire House of Representatives by a margin of 212-186 with two vacancies.

As of April 2021, 33 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. New Hampshire held 29 state legislative special elections from 2010 to 2020.

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Voters to decide New Hampshire House special election on April 13

A special election is being held on April 13 for the Hillsborough 21 District of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Wendy Thomas (D), Bill Boyd (R), and Stephen Hollenberg (independent) are running in the special election. The winner will serve until December 2022. The Hillsborough 21 District is a multi-member district made up of eight seats.

The seat became vacant after the death of state House speaker Dick Hinch (R) on Dec. 9 from complications caused by COVID-19. He was sworn in as House speaker on Dec. 2 and previously served as state House minority leader and state House majority leader. He was first elected to the state House in 2008.

New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire House of Representatives by a margin of 212-186, with two vacancies.

As of April 2021, 33 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. New Hampshire held 29 state legislative special elections from 2010 to 2020.

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Five candidates running in a special primary election for California Assembly District 79

A special primary election is being held on April 6 for California Assembly District 79. Marco Contreras (R), Aeiramique Glass Blake (D), Leticia Munguia (D), Shane Parmely (D), and Akilah Weber (D) are running in the primary election. California holds top-two primary elections. The two candidates who receive the most votes in the primary will advance to the general election on June 8, regardless of party affiliation. If a candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in the primary election, the general election will be canceled and the candidate will be elected to office.

The special election was called after Shirley Weber (D) left office due to her appointment as California Secretary of State by Gov. Gavin Newson (D). The previous secretary of state—Alex Padilla (D)—resigned following his appointment to the United States Senate. Newsom formally appointed Weber to the office on Jan. 18, and the California legislature unanimously confirmed Weber as the first Black person to hold this position on Jan. 28. Weber served in the state Assembly from 2012 until she was sworn in as secretary of state on Jan. 29.

California 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. Democrats control the California State Assembly by a margin of 58-19, with one independent member and two vacancies.

As of March 2021, 33 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. California held 32 state legislative special elections from 2010 to 2020.

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Massachusetts voters to decide state House special election on March 30

A special election is being held on March 30 for the 19th Suffolk District of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Jeffrey Turco (D), Paul Caruccio (R), and Richard Fucillo (ind.) are running in the general election. Turco advanced to the general election after defeating Juan Jaramillo, Alicia DelVento, and Valentino Capobianco in the March 2 Democratic primary with 36.2% of the vote

The special election became necessary after Robert DeLeo (D) resigned his seat on December 29, 2020, to take a job at Northeastern University. DeLeo had represented the district since 1991. He faced no opposition in his bid for re-election in 2020.

Massachusetts has a divided government, and no political party holds a state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. Democrats control the state Senate by a 37-3 margin and the state House by a 128-30 margin with one independent and one vacancy. Republican Charlie Baker was elected governor of Massachusetts in 2014.

As of March, 33 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year.

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Filing deadline to pass for special election in Alabama House district

Candidates interested in running in the special election for District 78 of the Alabama House of Representatives have until March 23 to file. A primary is scheduled for May 25, 2021, and the general election is on September 7. The filing deadline for independent and minor party candidates is May 25.

The special election was called after Kirk Hatcher (D) was elected to the Alabama State Senate in a special election on March 2, 2021. He was elected to House District 78 in 2018 with 83.4% of the vote.

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. Republicans control the state Senate by a 26-8 margin with one vacancy and the state House by a 76-27 margin with two vacancies.

As of March 2021, 29 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year.

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12 candidates file for three city council seats in Lincoln, Nebraska

The filing deadline for candidates interested in running for three at-large seats on the city council in Lincoln, Nebraska, was March 5, 2021. The nonpartisan primary election will be held on April 6, and the general election will be held on May 4. All three seats are for four-year terms.

Twelve candidates—incumbent Roy Christensen, incumbent Sändra Washington, incumbent Bennie Shobe, Mary Hilton, Aurang Zeb, Elina Newman, Joseph Swanson, Maggie Mae Squires, Tom Beckius, Eric Burling, Trevor Reilly, and Peter Kolozsy—will face off in the primary. The top six vote-getters will advance to the general election.

Although city council elections in Lincoln are officially nonpartisan, candidates can file with a party affiliation. Incumbent Christensen has served on the city council since 2013 and identifies with the Republican Party. Incumbent Shobe was elected in 2017 and identifies as a member of the Democratic Party. Incumbent Washington was appointed to the council in 2019 and identifies with the Democratic Party.

In addition to Shobe and Washington, Beckius and Zeb identified with the Democratic Party. In addition to Christensen, Burling and Hilton identified with the Republican Party. Reilly identified as a Libertarian, and Kolozsy, Newman, Squires, and Swanson identified as nonpartisan.

Lincoln is the 71st largest city by population in the United States. Ballotpedia will also be covering the two Lincoln Airport Authority board of directors seats on the ballot in 2021. Incumbents Bob Selig and John Hoppe Jr. did not file for re-election.

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