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Jaclyn Beran

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

Voters in Alabama Senate district to decide special election on Mar. 2

Image of several stickers with the words "I voted"

A special election is being held on March 2 for District 26 of the Alabama State Senate. State Rep. Kirk Hatcher (D) and William Green (R) are facing off in the special election.

Hatcher advanced to the general election after defeating former state Rep. John Knight in the Democratic primary runoff with 74.2% of the vote on December 15, 2020. Hatcher and Knight advanced from the primary election on November 17, 2020, earning 47.9% and 20.8% of the vote, respectively. Green was unopposed in the Republican primary.

The seat became vacant after the resignation of David Burkette (D) on September 1, 2020. He was first elected to the state Senate on May 15, 2018, in a special election to fill an unexpired term. He ran in the regularly scheduled election in November 2018 and won a four-year term with 80.2% of the vote.

Heading into the special election, Republicans have a 26-7 majority with two vacancies in the state Senate. 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 February, 27 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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23 candidates file to run for mayor, city council in Arlington, Texas

The filing deadline for candidates interested in running for mayor and city council member in Arlington, Texas, was February 12, 2021. The nonpartisan general election is scheduled for May 1.

Eight candidates—Doni Anthony, Kelly Burke, former city councilmember Michael Glaspie, Cirilo Ocampo Jr., Jim Ross, District 3 city councilmember Marvin Sutton, Jerry Warden, and Dewayne Washington—filed to replace Jeff Williams as mayor. Williams was elected as mayor of Arlington in 2015 and is unable to run for re-election in 2021 due to term limits.

In total, 15 candidates filed to run for four seats on the Arlington City Council.

District 3

Tamiko Brown, Nikkie Hunter, Alixis Lupien, Diana Saleh, and Dora Tovar filed to run for this open seat. Incumbent Marvin Sutton was elected to the seat in 2019. He filed to run for mayor instead of running for re-election.

District 4

Incumbent Andrew Piel will face Hunter Crow, Billy McClendon Jr., Nehal Mehta, Anne Nwaefulu, and Cheyenne Zokaie in the general election. Piel was elected to this seat in 2019.

District 5

Rebecca Boxall and Kennedy Jones filed to run for this open seat. Incumbent Ignacio Nunez was elected to this seat in 2019. He did not file for re-election.

District 8

Incumbent Barbara Odom-Wesley will face Chris Dobson in the general election. Odom-Wesley was elected to the seat in 2019.

Arlington is the 50th largest city by population in the United States. Thirty-one mayoral elections are being held in the 100 largest U.S. cities in 2021. As of February 2021, the partisan breakdown of the mayors of the 100 largest U.S. cities was 64 Democrats, 25 Republicans, four independents, and seven nonpartisans.

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Eight candidates file to run for mayor of Jackson, Mississippi

The city of Jackson, Mississippi, will hold a partisan primary for mayor on April 6, 2021. The filing deadline for this election was February 6. If no candidate receives at least 50% of the vote in the primary election, a primary runoff election will be held on April 27 between the top two candidates. The general election is scheduled for June 8.

Incumbent Chokwe Antar Lumumba, Patty Patterson, and Kennetha Wilson are running in the Democratic primary. Ponto Downing and Jason Wells are running in the Republican primary. Independent candidates Shafeqah Lodree, Charlotte Reeves, and Les Tannehill will appear on the general election ballot.

Lumumba was elected the 53rd mayor of Jackson in 2017. He defeated incumbent Tony Yarber and seven other candidates in the May 2, 2017, Democratic primary election with 55% of the vote. He went on to win the general election with 92.9% of the vote.

Ballotpedia will also be covering the eight Jackson City Council seats that are on the ballot in 2021. Seven incumbents have filed for re-election.

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14 candidates file to run for mayor of Anchorage

The city of Anchorage, Alaska, will hold a nonpartisan general election for mayor on April 6, 2021. The filing deadline for this election was January 29. If no candidate receives at least 45% of the vote in the general election, a runoff election will be held on May 11 between the top two candidates.

Fourteen candidates filed to run for the open seat: Anna Anthony, David Bronson, Jeffrey T. Brown, Darin Colbry, Forrest Dunbar, Bill Evans, Bill Falsey, Heather Herndon, Jacob Kern, George Martinez, Reza Momin, Mike Robbins, Albert Swank Jr., and Joe Westfall.

Austin Quinn-Davidson became the acting mayor of Anchorage on October 23, 2020, following the resignation of Ethan Berkowitz. In the statement announcing his resignation, Berkowitz said, “My resignation results from unacceptable personal conduct that has compromised my ability to perform my duties with the focus and trust that is required.”

As of February 2021, the partisan breakdown of the mayors of the 100 largest U.S. cities was 64 Democrats, 25 Republicans, four independents, and seven nonpartisans.

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Three candidates file to run in Louisiana House District 82 special election

Candidates interested in running in the special election for the District 82 seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives had until January 27, 2021, to file. The primary is scheduled for March 20, and the general election, if needed, is set for April 24.

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 wins a majority of the vote, the top two vote recipients from the primary advance to the general election, regardless of their partisan affiliation.

Three candidates—Raymond Delaney Jr. (D), Edwin Connick (R), and Laurie Schlegel (R)—filed to run in the special election.

The special election became necessary after Charles Henry (R) resigned his seat on January 12. Henry was elected to the state House in 2019 with 70.5% of the vote.

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. Republicans control the state Senate by a 27-12 margin and the state House by a 66-35 margin with two independents and two vacancies. Democrat John Bel Edwards was elected governor of Louisiana in 2015.

As of January 2021, 25 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.

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Filing deadline for two Alabama state legislative special elections is Jan. 26

Candidates interested in running in two state legislative special elections in Alabama have until January 26, 2021, to file. The primaries are scheduled for March 30, and the special elections will be held on July 13. The filing deadline for minor party and independent candidates is March 30. The winners of the special elections will serve until November 7, 2022.

The special election for state Senate District 14 became necessary after Cam Ward (R) was appointed to serve as director of the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles by Gov. Kay Ivey (R). He had represented the seat since 2010 and won re-election in 2018 with 72.6% of the vote.

The special election for state House District 73 was called after Matt Fridy (R) was elected to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals in November 2020. He had represented District 73 since 2015 and won re-election in 2018 with 69.1% 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 26-7 margin with two vacancies and the state House by a 75-28 margin with two vacancies.

As of January 2021, 20 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 14 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.

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Brett Geymann elected to Louisiana state House after special election is canceled

Candidates interested in running in a special election for the District 35 seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives had until January 8, 2021, to file. Republican Brett Geymann was the only candidate to file by the deadline. Since only one candidate filed for the race, the February 6 primary and the March 20 general election were canceled. Geymann was deemed elected to the seat without appearing on the ballot.

Geymann previously served in the Louisiana state House from 2004 to 2016. He was term-limited from seeking re-election in 2015.

The seat became vacant after the resignation of Stephen Dwight (R) on December 1, 2020. He resigned to become the district attorney of Calcasieu Parish. He had represented the district since 2016.

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. Republicans control the state Senate by a 27-12 margin and the state House by a 67-35 margin with two independents and one vacancy. Democrat John Bel Edwards was elected governor of Louisiana in 2015.

As of January 2021, 16 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 11 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.

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Five candidates file to run in Texas state House special election

Candidates interested in running in a special election for the District 68 seat in the Texas House of Representatives had until January 4, 2021, to file. The special election will be held on January 23.

Five candidates—Charles Gregory (D), John Berry (R), Jason Brinkley (R), Craig Carter (R), and David Spiller (R)—filed to run in the special election.

The special election became necessary after Drew Springer (R) won a special election to Texas State Senate District 30 on December 19, 2020. Springer was elected to the state House in 2012. He won re-election in 2020 with 85.5% of the vote.

Texas 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 an 18-12 margin with one vacancy and the state House by an 83-67 margin.

As of January 2021, 14 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 10 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.

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30% of seats nationwide were uncontested in the 2020 general election

Ballotpedia covered all federal and state races on November 3, 2020, as well as local elections in America’s 100 largest cities by population. Of the 9,671 seats on the November ballot, 2,900 seats (30%) were uncontested. A race was considered uncontested if the number of candidates who filed for election was less than or equal to the number of seats on the ballot.

The states with the highest percentage of uncontested seats were Massachusetts and Alabama. In Massachusetts, 160 (73%) of 219 seats were uncontested on the November ballot. In Alabama, 34 (72%) of 47 seats were uncontested.

Other highlights from this analysis include:

  • Federal races: Alabama had the highest percentage of uncontested congressional seats on the ballot at 38%.
  • State executive races: In Massachusetts, all eight state executive seats on the ballot were uncontested.
  • State legislative races: Excluding Mississippi, since it held one state legislative special election, Massachusetts had the highest percentage of uncontested seats at 75%.
  • State judicial races: In North Dakota and Alabama, all of the state judicial races were uncontested.
  • Local races: In Wisconsin, all eight races across Dane and Milwaukee counties were uncontested in the November election.

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Leeser wins mayoral runoff election in El Paso, Texas

A runoff election was held on December 12 in El Paso, Texas. Oscar Leeser defeated incumbent Donald “Dee” Margo in the mayoral election. Leeser received 79.5% of the vote, while Margo received 20.5%. Leeser will assume office in early January.

Leeser previously served as the mayor of El Paso from 2013 to 2017. He did not seek re-election in 2017. Margo was elected as mayor that year.

Although mayoral elections in El Paso are officially nonpartisan, The Texas Tribune reported that Leeser identifies as a member of the Democratic Party. Margo previously served as a Republican in the Texas House of Representatives from 2011 to 2013.

Leeser and Margo advanced from the general election on November 3 after neither candidate received a majority of the vote to win outright. Leeser received 42.6%, while Margo received 24.6%.

Twenty-nine of the 100 largest U.S. cities held mayoral elections in 2020. In 15 of those cities, the incumbent was Republican at the start of 2020. Twelve incumbents were Democratic, one was independent, and one was nonpartisan. Overall, Democratic mayors oversaw 64 of the 100 largest cities as of the beginning of 2020.

El Paso is the 6th-largest city in Texas and the 20th-largest city in the U.S. by population.

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