Author

Jane Scharl

Jane Scharl is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

Early voting begins in Nashville special election

On January 23, early voting began in the special election for the Nashville Metro Council’s District 29 seat. The election is on February 12, 2019. Four candidates filed to run for the vacancy: Nicola Lamattina, Delishia Porterfield, Constance Smith-Burwell, and Vicky Tataryn.
 
The District 29 seat was previously held by Karen Johnson, who was elected as the new Davidson County Register of Deeds on August 2, 2018. Although the metro council is officially nonpartisan, Johnson is affiliated with the Democratic Party.
 
The winner of the special election will complete the remainder of Johnson’s term, which ends in August 2019. In August, Nashville is holding general nonpartisan elections for mayor and all 41 metro council seats. The filing deadline for the general election is May 16, 2019.
 
Nashville is the second-largest city in Tennessee and the 24th-largest city in the U.S. by population.


Colorado State Rep. Jeff Bridges selected to fill state Senate vacancy

State Rep. Jeff Bridges (D) was selected by a vacancy committee to represent Senate District 26 following Sen. Daniel Kagan’s (D) resignation on January 11, 2019. Kagan had previously served in the state House of Representatives, representing District 3 from 2009 to 2016. He did not seek re-election in 2016 because of term limits, and Bridges won the race for District 3 that year to succeed him.
 
Kagan faced misconduct allegations in 2018. State Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik (R) filed a complaint that Kagan had been using the women’s restroom. Sen. Owen Hill (R) corroborated the report. Kagan said that his use of the restroom was a mistake due to the doors being unmarked, and that his resignation had nothing to do with the allegations.
 
Bridges’ appointment maintains the 19-16 Democratic majority in the state Senate. His former state House seat representing District 3 has been filled by Meg Froelich (D), who was appointed to the position on January 7. Froelich ran unsuccessfully for the open seat in 2016, losing to Bridges in the primary.
 
Following the 2018 elections, Colorado is a Democratic trifecta. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers.


Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) sworn into office

On January 8, 2019, Ron DeSantis (R) was sworn in as Florida’s 46th governor. DeSantis succeeds Rick Scott (R), who was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2018, as governor. His lieutenant governor is Jeanette Nunez (R).
 
DeSantis is a former United States Representative from Florida. He defeated Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) in the gubernatorial election, which Ballotpedia designated as a 2018 battleground election.
 
Prior to the 2018 election, Florida was a Republican trifecta, and the state retained that status following the election. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers.


Democrats win majority in Colorado State Senate and gain trifecta control

Colorado state legislators were sworn in on January 4, 2019, and for the first time since 2012, Democrats gained control of the state Senate. Since Democrats also maintained control of the state House and the governorship, the outcome of the 2018 election made Colorado into a Democratic trifecta. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers.
 
Seventeen of the Colorado Senate seats were up for election in 2018. Going into the election, Republicans held 18 seats, Democrats held 16, and one seat was held by an independent. Ballotpedia identified six battleground races where the incumbent had last won with less than 55 percent of the vote in 2014. These battleground races took place in Districts 5, 11, 16, 20, 22, and 24. Prior to the election, three of these battleground seats were held by Democrats (one of whom was term-limited in 2018), two by Republicans, and one by an independent (who was also term-limited in 2018). Democrats won all six of the battleground races and shifted the chamber’s partisan balance to 19 Democrats and 16 Republicans.
 
In addition to Colorado, five other states also became Democratic trifectas as a result of the 2018 elections: Illinois, Maine, Nevada, New Mexico, and New York.


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