Madison Adkins

Madison Adkins is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at

Young Boozer (R) sworn in as Alabama state treasurer

Young Boozer (R) became the 41st Alabama state treasurer on Oct. 1. Governor Kay Ivey (R) appointed Boozer on Sept. 17, following the resignation of John McMillan (R), effective Sept. 30. McMillan had served as treasurer since 2019.

Boozer previously served as state treasurer from 2011 to 2019. He is the fifth Alabama state treasurer since 1819 that has served two non-consecutive terms as treasurer.

In 2021, Ballotpedia has identified 31 state executive officeholders who have left office before their term end date. Of those, 7 were Republican officeholders, 7 were Democrats, and 17 were nonpartisan.

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Arizona Rep. Aaron Lieberman resigns to focus on 2022 run for governor

Aaron Lieberman (D) announced on September 20 that he would resign his seat in the Arizona House of Representatives to focus on his 2022 campaign for governor.

Lieberman first won election to the House to represent District 28 in 2018, alongside incumbent Kelli Butler (D).

Ballotpedia has identified three Democratic candidates, five Republican candidates, and two third-party candidates who have declared for the 2022 Arizona gubernatorial election. Incumbent Doug Ducey (R) is not able to run for re-election due to term limits.

Vacancies in the Arizona legislature are filled by appointment by the board of county supervisors. The political party committee is involved in the appointment process only if the legislative district has thirty or more elected precinct committeemen.

The Arizona House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the Arizona State Legislature. Currently, there are 28 Democrats, 30 Republicans, and two vacancies in the House.

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Brian Benjamin sworn in as New York’s lieutenant governor

Brian Benjamin (D) was sworn in as New York’s lieutenant governor on Sep. 9. Governor Kathy Hochul (D) had appointed Benjamin to the position on Aug. 25, after Hochul became governor in the wake of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) resignation.

The Lieutenant Governor of New York is the second-ranking officer of the executive branch and the first officer in line to succeed the governor. The lieutenant governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and has no term limit.

Previously, Benjamin had served in the New York State Senate since 2017, representing District 30. So far in 2021, there have been 98 vacancies in 39 state legislatures. 

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Vincent Polistina selected to fill New Jersey state Senate vacancy, unclear when he will take office

On Aug. 4, 2021, the Atlantic County Republican Committee selected Vincent Polistina (R) to fill the vacant District 2 seat in the state Senate, replacing Chris Brown (R). However, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D), who traditionally administers the oath of office, had in late June gaveled the chamber out of session until November.

According to WPG Talk Radio, Polistina was sworn in by retired superior court judge Joseph E. Kane on Aug. 23, 2021. However, according to the New Jersey Globe, a Senate Majority Office official said Polistina’s swearing-in “is not official until he’s sworn in at a quorum.” The executive director of the nonpartisan New Jersey Office of Legislative Services (OLS), Peri A. Horowitz, agreed, stating that “Mr. Polistina is not a member of the Legislature at this time. OLS considers Mr. Polistina to be a senator-select, pending receipt of confirmation from the Senate that he has been sworn-in and his election and qualifications have been judged acceptable by the members of the house.”

According to Politico, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. and state Sen. Joe Pennacchio (R) both say the swearing-in session was legitimate.

As of Aug. 31, 2021, Senate President Sweeney has not indicated he will convene the state Senate early for Polistina’s swearing-in.

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Roxane Prettyman (D) sworn in to Maryland House of Delegates

Roxane Prettyman (D) was sworn in to the Maryland House of Delegates to represent District 44A on Aug. 23. Governor Larry Hogan (R) appointed Prettyman on Aug. 17 to replace Keith Haynes (D).

Previously, Prettyman worked as a paralegal specialist for the U.S. Social Security Administration. She retired from that position in 2018. She also served as a member of the Baltimore City Democratic State Central Committee.

Prettyman will serve the remainder of Haynes’ term, which was set to expire in January 2023.

So far in 2021, there have been 88 state legislative vacancies in 37 states. Three of those vacancies occurred in Maryland.

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Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton resigns from New Mexico House of Representatives

Representative Sheryl Williams Stapleton (D) resigned on July 30 following allegations of racketeering and money laundering. In July 2021, a federal grand jury subpoena was served on the Albuquerque Public Schools district where Stapleton was working as the district’s director of career and technical education.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, the investigation was triggered by a mislabeled invoice and persistent inquiries from the Albuquerque Public Schools business office questioning Stapleton’s relationship with contractor Robotics Management Learning System LLC. Documents say the contractor was paid more than $5 million since 2006 and that more than $950,000 of that was funneled to the two businesses and two nonprofits with ties to Stapleton.

In her resignation letter, Stapleton denied the allegations. She said, “In short, because I must devote a significant amount of time and energy to fully defend against these allegations, I believe it is in the best interest of this state and the House of Representatives that my position as both a member of the House of Representatives and Majority Floor Leader be replaced with a representative who can fully and competently resume the tasks and duties that are necessary to continue serving this great state.”

Stapleton was first elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives to represent District 19 in 1994. 

As of August 2021, there have been 78 vacancies in 35 state legislatures. Fifty of those vacancies have been filled. Stapleton’s resignation is New Mexico’s second state legislative vacancy this year; the first was Melanie Ann Stansbury (D), who left the state House when she won the special election to represent New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District.

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July 2021 breakdown of state legislative party membership: 54.30% Republicans, 44.79% Democrats

54.30% of all state legislators are Republicans, and 44.79% are Democrats, according to Ballotpedia’s July partisan count of the 7,383 state legislators.

Ballotpedia tallies the partisan balance of state legislatures at the end of every month. This refers to which political party holds the majority of seats in each chamber. Republicans control 61 chambers, while Democrats hold 37. The Alaska House of Representatives is the only chamber to be organized under a multipartisan, power-sharing coalition.

Nationally, the state legislatures include 1,957 state senators and 5,363 state representatives. Democrats hold 867 state Senate seats—the same as the last two months—and 2,443 state House seats, a loss of three seats since the end of June. Republicans hold 4,010 of the 7,383 total state legislative seats—1,090 state Senate seats (down two since June) and 2,920 state House seats (an increase of one).

Independent or third-party legislators hold 39 seats, of which 32 are state House seats, and seven are state Senate seats. There are 24 vacant seats.

During the month of July, Democrats saw a net decrease of three seats, and Republicans saw a net decrease of one seat. Compared to July of last year, the state legislatures are 2.01% less Democratic (46.80% to 44.79%) and 2.29% more Republican (52.01% to 54.30%).  

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Oklahoma governor appoints new state attorney general

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) appointed John O’Connor (R) as the state’s attorney general on July 23. O’Connor was sworn in on the same day for a term expiring in 2023.

O’Connor succeeded former attorney general Mike Hunter (R), who resigned on June 1. Hunter had served as the attorney general since 2017.

O’Connor has worked as an attorney in private practice and served on the Board of Trustees of Oklahoma State University-Tulsa. Trump nominated O’Connor to a split seat on the United States District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Oklahoma on April 10, 2018. The U.S. Senate did not confirm O’Connor during the 115th Congress, and O’Connor withdrew his name from consideration for re-nomination by the next Congress on Apr. 12, 2019.

The Oklahoma Attorney General is an elected executive position in state government. The attorney general serves as the state’s chief legal officer and prosecutes violations of state law, represents the state in legal disputes and issues legal advice to state agencies and the legislature.

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Attorney General of Oklahoma

United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma 

Federal judges nominated by Donald Trump

New Jersey state Sen. Chris Brown resigns to take new role in Murphy administration

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) appointed state Sen. Chris Brown (R) to a position in the Department of Community Affairs’ Division of Local Government Services on July 19. The position required Brown to leave the state Senate. Brown started his new job on July 20.

Brown first won election to the Senate to represent District 2 on Nov. 7, 2017, defeating incumbent Colin Bell (D) 53.52% to 46.48%. Brown had announced in February that he would not seek re-election.

Vacancies in the New Jersey Legislature are filled by interim appointment by the county leadership of the party that last controlled the district. 

The New Jersey Senate is the upper chamber of the state legislature. Currently, there are 25 Democrats, 14 Republicans, and one vacancy in the Senate.

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Louisiana Rep. Malinda White leaves Democratic Party

Louisiana state Rep. Malinda White switched from the Democratic Party to no party on July 1. According to the Advocate, White said, “this decision came after many years of consideration for the people I represent. It was not a snap decision but one I have struggled with for a while.”

White was first elected to House District 75 in 2015 and was re-elected in 2019.

Of the 105 members in the Louisiana House, 33 are Democrats, 68 are Republicans, 3 are independents, and one seat is vacant.

Ballotpedia has been tracking state legislators who have switched parties since 1994. White is the thirteenth state legislator in Louisiana we’ve identified that has switched parties and the only one to switch to independent. The other 12 legislators switched to the Republican party.

Nationwide, Ballotpedia has identified 22 state legislators who have switched from the Democratic Party to independent since 1994.

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State legislators who have switched political party affiliation

Louisiana House of Representatives

Louisiana House of Representatives District 75