Author

Jaclyn Beran

Jackie Beran is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at jaclyn.beran@ballotpedia.org

Anchorage to hold elections for city council and school board April 7

The city of Anchorage, Alaska, is holding general elections on April 7 for six city council seats, two school board seats, and 15 special district seats. The elections will be vote-by mail, and all of the races are nonpartisan.

The Anchorage City Council, also known as the Anchorage Assembly, has six of its 11 seats on the ballot in 2020. District 2-Seat C incumbent Fred Dyson was the only assembly incumbent to not file for re-election.
  • District 1 – Seat B: Incumbent Christopher Constant is unopposed in the general election.
  • District 2 – Seat C: Jamie Allard, Roger Branson, and Stephany Jeffers are running in the general election.
  • District 3 – Seat E: Incumbent Austin Quinn-Davidson, Nick Danger, and MoHagani Magnetek are running in the general election.
  • District 4 – Seat G: Incumbent Felix Rivera faces Christine Hill in the general election.
  • District 5 – Seat I: Incumbent Pete Petersen, Monty Dyson, and David Walker are running in the general election.
  • District 6 – Seat K: Incumbent Suzanne LaFrance and Rick Castillo are facing off in the general election.
The Anchorage School District has two of the board’s seven seats on the ballot in 2020. Incumbents Dave Donley and Andy Holleman both filed for re-election.
  • Seat C: Incumbent Dave Donley faces James Smallwood in the general election.
  • Seat D: Incumbent Andy Holleman, JC Cates, and Phil Isley are running in the general election.

In 2020, Ballotpedia is covering elections in 52 of America’s 100 largest cities by population.

Additional reading:


Filing deadlines to pass in New Jersey and South Carolina

The statewide filing deadline to run for elected office in New Jersey and South Carolina is on March 30.

In New Jersey, prospective candidates may file for the following offices:
• U.S. Senate (1 seat)
• U.S. House (12 seats)

In South Carolina, prospective candidates may file for the following offices:
• U.S. Senate (1 seat)
• U.S. House (7 seats)
• State Senate (46 seats)
• State House (124 seats)

The primary in New Jersey is scheduled for June 2, 2020, while the primary in South Carolina is scheduled for June 9. The general election in each state is scheduled for November 3, 2020.

New Jersey and South Carolina’s filing deadlines are the 27th and 28th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on March 31, 2020, in Missouri.

New Jersey has a Democratic state government trifecta, while South Carolina has a Republican trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

Additional Reading:
South Carolina elections, 2020



Virginia local election filing deadline preview

The filing deadline to run for elected office in the city of Richmond and school boards in Virginia is on March 26, 2020.

Ballotpedia is covering local elections in the following areas:
  • Richmond, Virginia (mayor and city council)
  • Chesapeake Public Schools (4 seats)
  • Norfolk Public Schools (2 seats)
  • Virginia Beach City Public Schools (4 seats)

The primary in Virginia is scheduled for June 9, and the general election is scheduled for November 3, 2020.

The filing deadline for other local offices in the cities of Chesapeake and Norfolk was on March 3. The general election for those elections is scheduled for May 5.

In 2020, Ballotpedia is covering elections in 52 of America’s 100 largest cities by population.

Additional reading:


Recall petition targeting California Attorney General Xavier Becerra approved for circulation

A petition seeking the recall of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) was approved for circulation by the California Secretary of State on March 11, 2020. Supporters of the recall have until August 18 to collect 1,470,760 signatures to force a recall election.

The recall petition alleges that Becerra mismanaged the state’s legal system, wasted public money and resources, lacks leadership, and has been hostile with his policy oversight. The recall against Becerra is being led by Erin Cruz and 10 others. Cruz filed an unsuccessful recall against Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in 2019. Cruz turned in 281,917 valid signatures in that recall effort on February 13, 2020. Supporters of that recall needed 1,495,709 signatures to force a recall election.

In response to the recall effort, Becerra said that he has “… protected the air you breathe, the water you drink…your right to privacy…and your children from sexual predators. I’ve been fighting for California values all my life. That’s my job now as AG: to protect the safety, well-being and future of our families. I will never back down.”

Becerra was appointed to be California’s attorney general in 2017 by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) after Kamala Harris (D) was sworn into the U.S. Senate. He was elected to the position in 2018 with 64% of the vote.

California became a Democratic trifecta in 2011. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers. Democrats control the state Assembly by a 61-18 margin with one vacancy and the state Senate by a 29-10 margin with one vacancy. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) succeeded Jerry Brown (D) as governor in 2019.

Additional reading:
Xavier Becerra
Political recall efforts, 2020



New Hampshire House special election scheduled for Tuesday

A special election is scheduled for March 10 in the Merrimack 24 District of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Kathleen Martins (D) and Elliot Axelman (R) are competing in the special election, and voters will have until 7 p.m. local time to cast their ballot.

The seat became vacant on December 13, 2019, when Dick Marple (R) passed away. He served in the state House from 1999 to 2000, 2002 to 2006, and 2014 to 2019.

Merrimack 24 is a multi-member district with four seats. The three other seats in the district are all currently held by Republicans. Martins ran in the 2018 general election for one of the four seats, but she placed fifth in the race and was 113 votes behind Marple.

Democrats control the state House by a 233-164 margin with one Libertarian member and two vacancies. New Hampshire 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.

As of March, 33 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2020 in 15 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.

Additional reading:



Five Massachusetts state legislative special elections scheduled for Tuesday

Photo credit: City of Boston Archives

One special election and four special primaries are scheduled for March 3 for five vacant seats in the Massachusetts Legislature. Voters will have until 8 p.m. local time to cast their vote. The special general elections for the four races with primaries is March 31.

Two of the special primaries are for seats in the state Senate.

In the Second Hampden & Hampshire District race, state Rep. John Velis is unopposed in the Democratic primary, and John Cain is unopposed in the Republican primary. The seat became vacant on January 6, 2020, after Donald Humason Jr. (R) became the mayor of Westfield. Humason was unopposed in his 2018 re-election bid. He faced Democratic opposition in 2016 and won re-election with 60% of the vote.
In the race for the Plymouth & Barnstable Senate District, Rebecca Coletta, John Mahoney Jr., Thomas Moakley, Susan Moran, and Stephen Michael Palmer are running in the Democratic primary. Jesse Brown and James McMahon are facing off in the Republican primary. The seat became vacant on November 29, 2019, after Vinny deMacedo (R) resigned to take a job in higher education. DeMacedo was re-elected in 2018 with 59% of the vote.

The remaining three special elections are for seats in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

The Thirty-second Middlesex District is holding the special general election. Kate Lipper-Garabedian (D) and Brandon Reid (R) are facing off for the seat. Reid made the special election ballot after mounting a successful write-in campaign in the special Republican primary. The seat became vacant on November 18, 2019, when Paul Brodeur (D) was sworn in as mayor of Melrose. Brodeur had served in the state House since 2011. He was unopposed in his re-election bids in 2016 and 2018. He faced Republican opposition in 2014 and won re-election with 66% of the vote.

In the race for the Thirty-seventh Middlesex District seat in the state House, Dina Samfield and Danillo Sena are running in the Democratic primary. Malena Chastain and Catherine Clark are facing off in the Republican primary. The seat became vacant on January 8, 2020, when Jennifer Benson (D) resigned to take a job as president of the Alliance for Business Leadership. Benson was unopposed in her re-election bids in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018. She faced Republican opposition in 2010 and won re-election with 55% of the vote.

In the race for the Third Bristol House District, Carol Doherty and Muzammil Nazir are running in the Democratic primary. Kelly Dooner is unopposed in the Republican primary. The seat became vacant on January 6, 2020, after Shaunna O’Connell (R) became mayor of Taunton, Massachusetts. O’Connell was re-elected in 2018 with 62% of the vote.

Democrats control the state Senate by a 34-4 margin with two vacancies and the state House by a 125-31 margin with one independent member and three vacancies. 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. Gov. Charlie Baker (R) was re-elected to a second term in 2018.

As of February, 33 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2020 in 15 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.

Click here to learn more about Massachusetts 2020 state legislative special elections.

Additional reading:
Massachusetts General Court
Massachusetts State Senate
Massachusetts House of Representatives



Two Kentucky House special elections scheduled for Tuesday

Two special elections are scheduled for February 25 in District 67 and District 99 in the Kentucky House of Representatives. Voters will have until 6 p.m. local time to cast their vote.

Rachel Roberts (D) and Mary Jo Wedding (R) are running for the District 67 seat. The seat became vacant when Dennis Keene (D) resigned on December 16, 2019, to take a job as the commissioner of the Department for Local Government in Gov. Andy Beshear’s (D) gubernatorial administration. Keene had represented District 67 since 2005. He was re-elected in 2018 with 60% of the vote.

Bill Redwine (D) and Richard White (R) are facing off in the election for District 99. The seat became vacant when Rocky Adkins (D) resigned on December 10, 2019, to take a job as a senior adviser in Beshear’s gubernatorial administration. Adkins had represented District 99 since 1987. He was unopposed in 2018 and won re-election in 2016 with 66% of the vote.

Republicans have a 61-37 majority with two vacancies in the state House and a 29-9 majority in the state Senate. Kentucky 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. Andy Beshear (D) was elected to a first term as governor in 2019.

As of February, 33 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2020 in 15 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.

Click here to read more.

Additional reading:


Signatures due in California governor recall effort

Supporters of the effort to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) had until February 13 to submit 1,495,709 signatures to force a recall election. The recall, which was submitted by Erin Cruz (R), was approved for circulation by Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D) on September 6, 2019. As of January 29, 2020, there were 197,150 signatures submitted, and 134,357 had been deemed valid by the secretary of state.

The recall petition alleges that Newsom mismanaged the state and caused poor schools, deteriorating infrastructure, high costs for gas and utilities, and increased homelessness and debt. The recall petition also criticized Newsom’s support of policies such as Medicare for All and laws that aid immigrants living in the country illegally.

A second recall petition was submitted by James Veltmeyer and approved for circulation against Gov. Newsom on September 27, 2019. Veltmeyer ended the recall on January 6, 2020. He said on his recall website that he was ending the effort because it was not going to be successful and because the effort did not have the money to collect signatures.

In response to the recall efforts, Newsom filed a statement with the secretary of state in August 2019. In his statement, Newsom said that the “…recall effort will cost California taxpayers $81 million dollars! It is being pushed by political extremists supporting President Trump’s hateful attacks on California.”

California became a Democratic trifecta in 2011. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers. Democrats control the California state House by a 61-18 margin with one vacancy and the state Senate by a 29-10 margin with one vacancy. Newsom succeeded Jerry Brown (D) as governor in 2019. He won the 2018 election with 61.9% of the vote.

Three gubernatorial recall efforts are currently underway in 2020. From 2003 to 2019, Ballotpedia tracked 22 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.

Click here to learn more.

Additional reading:



Lipper-Garabedian wins Democratic primary for a Massachusetts state House seat

A special primary election was held on February 4 to fill a vacant seat in the 32nd Middlesex District of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Melrose city councilor Kate Lipper-Garabedian defeated Ann McGonigle Santos and Mathew Helman in the Democratic primary. According to the Melrose Patch, Republican write-in candidate Brandon Reid has received enough votes to appear on the special election ballot on March 3.

The seat became vacant on November 18, 2019, when Paul Brodeur (D) was sworn in as mayor of Melrose. Brodeur had served in the state House since 2011. He was unopposed in his re-election bids in 2016 and 2018. He faced Republican opposition in 2014 and won re-election with 66% of the vote.

Democrats control the state Senate by a 34-4 margin with two vacancies and the state House by a 125-31 margin with one independent member and three vacancies. 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. Charlie Baker (R) was re-elected to a second term as governor in 2018.

As of February, 28 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2020 in 13 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year. Massachusetts will also hold special primary elections on March 3, 2020, to fill four vacant seats in the state legislature.

Click here to learn more.

Additional reading:


Field set for March 3 special primaries in Massachusetts

Candidates interested in running for four Massachusetts state legislative special elections had until January 28 to file. The primaries are scheduled for March 3, 2020, and the general elections are on March 31.

Massachusetts State Senate

  • Second Hampden & Hampshire District: State Rep. John Velis is unopposed in the Democratic primary. John Cain is unopposed in the Republican primary. The seat became vacant on January 6, 2020, after Donald Humason Jr. (R) became the mayor of Westfield. Humason was unopposed in his 2018 re-election bid. He faced Democratic opposition in 2016 and won re-election with 60% of the vote.
  • Plymouth and Barnstable District: Rebecca Coletta, John Mahoney Jr., Thomas Moakley, Susan Moran, and Stephen Michael Palmer are running in the Democratic primary. Jesse Brown and James McMahon are facing off in the Republican primary. The seat became vacant on November 29, 2019, after Vinny deMacedo (R) resigned to take a job in higher education. DeMacedo was re-elected in 2018 with 59% of the vote.

Massachusetts House of Representatives

  • Thirty-seventh Middlesex District: Dina Samfield and Danillo Sena are running in the Democratic primary. Malena Chastain and Catherine Clark are facing off in the Republican primary. The seat became vacant on January 8, 2020, when Jennifer Benson (D) resigned to take a job as president of the Alliance for Business Leadership. Benson was unopposed in her re-election bids in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018. She faced Republican opposition in 2010 and won re-election with 55% of the vote.
  • Third Bristol District: Carol Doherty and Muzammil Nazir are running in the Democratic primary. Kelly Dooner is unopposed in the Republican primary. The seat became vacant on January 6, 2020, after Shaunna O’Connell (R) became mayor of Taunton, Massachusetts. O’Connell was re-elected in 2018 with 62% of the vote.

Democrats control the state Senate by a 34-4 margin with two vacancies and the state House by a 125-31 margin with one independent member and three vacancies. 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. Charlie Baker (R) was re-elected to a second term as governor in 2018.

As of January, 28 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2020 in 13 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year. Massachusetts will also hold a special general election on March 3, 2020, to fill another vacant seat in the state House.

Click here to learn more about  Massachusetts 2020 state legislative special elections

Additional reading:
State legislative special elections, 2020 
Massachusetts General Court



Bitnami