Author

Marielle Bricker

Marielle Bricker is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at marielle.bricker@ballotpedia.org

No seats flip party control in first round of 2020 state legislative specials

Connecticut, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania held the first state legislative special general elections of the year on January 14. On the ballot were Connecticut House Districts 48 and 132, Kentucky Senate District 38, and Pennsylvania Senate District 48. All four seats became vacant in September or November 2019. No seats changed party control as a result of the special elections.

Connecticut House District 48 was the only seat up for general election that was previously held by a Democratic officeholder. Rep. Linda Orange (D) passed away on November 20, 2019. Democratic candidate Brian Smith was elected as her replacement, receiving 52.3% of the vote. Republican Brian Farnen won election to Connecticut House District 132 with 50.8% of the vote. He replaces Brenda Kupchick (R), who resigned on November 25, 2019, following her election as Fairfield First Selectman.

In Kentucky, Mike Nemes (R) was elected to Senate District 38 with 63.6% of the vote. His predecessor, Dan Seum (R), resigned his seat on November 16, 2019.

Republican David Arnold won election to Pennsylvania State Senate District 48 with 64.7% of the vote. The seat became vacant after Mike Folmer (R) resigned on September 18, 2019.

Two special primaries were also held on January 14. A Democratic primary was on the ballot for Arkansas House of Representatives District 34, a seat previously held by John Walker (D). The race advanced to a primary runoff on February 11. Minnesota House of Representatives District 30A, previously held by Nick Zerwas (R), held Democratic and Republican primaries. The general election is scheduled for February 4.

As of January 2020, 27 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.

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Additional reading:
Connecticut state legislative special elections, 2020
Kentucky state legislative special elections, 2020
Pennsylvania state legislative special elections, 2020



Four states with federal candidate filing deadlines in Jan. 2020

Seven statewide filing deadlines for the 2020 federal elections passed before the new year. January will see an additional four statewide ballot access deadlines for the November elections. The following states have their filing deadlines this month:

• Mississippi: January 10
• Kentucky: January 10
• Maryland: January 24
• West Virginia: January 25

Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, California, Texas, Ohio, and North Carolina all had their filing deadlines in 2019. Candidates in Alabama and Arkansas filed in November, and candidates in the remaining states filed in December.

From November 2019 to July 2020, Ballotpedia will cover an average of six statewide filing deadlines each month. November 2019 and February and July 2020 are tied for the fewest with two each. Sixteen states have statewide filing deadlines in March 2020, making it the busiest month for candidate ballot access deadlines for the 2020 elections.

Click here to learn more.

Additional reading:
Elections
Ballotpedia’s Election Analysis Hub, 2020
Twenty Quality Benchmarks for Election Transparency



North Carolina filing deadline is December 20

On December 20, the major-party filing deadline passed to run for elected office in North Carolina. Candidates filed for the following offices:

• U.S. Senate – Incumbent Thom Tillis (R) filed to run for re-election.
• U.S. House (13 seats) – Incumbents announced they would not file to run for re-election in districts 2, 6, and 11.
• Governor – Incumbent Roy Cooper (D) filed to run for re-election.
• Lieutenant Governor – Incumbent Dan Forest (R) did not file to run for re-election. He filed to run for governor.
• Attorney General
• Secretary of State
• Treasurer
• Superintendent of Public Instruction
• Auditor
• Commissioner of Agriculture
• Commissioner of Labor
• Commissioner of Insurance
• State Senate – all 50 seats
• State House of Representatives – all 120 seats
• State Supreme Court – three judgeships
• State Appellate Court – five judgeships

Ballotpedia is also covering local elections in the following areas:

• Mecklenburg County
• Wake County
• Guilford County
• Forsyth County
• Durham County
• Winston-Salem
• Guilford County Schools
• Johnston County Schools

The primary is scheduled for March 3, and the general election is scheduled for November 3, 2020.

North Carolina’s statewide filing deadline was the seventh to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on January 10 in Mississippi.

North Carolina 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.

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Texas filing deadline passed December 9

On December 9, the major-party filing deadline passed to run for elected office in Texas. Candidates filed for the following offices:
• U.S. Senate: incumbent John Cornyn (R) filed for re-election.
• U.S. House of Representatives – 36 seats: the incumbent did not file to run for re-election in House districts 11, 13, 17, 22, 23, and 24.
• Texas Railroad Commissioner: incumbent Ryan Sitton (R) filed for re-election.
• Texas State Board of Education – eight  seats: the incumbent did not file to run for re-election in board of education districts 5, 6, 8, and 15.
• Texas State Senate – 16 seats
• Texas House of Representatives – 150 seats
• Texas Supreme Court – four seats
• Texas Court of Criminal Appeals – four seats
• Texas Court of Appeals – 24 seats
• Ballotpedia is also covering local elections in the following areas: 13 counties, eight cities, and 73 school districts
The primary is scheduled for March 3, and the general election is scheduled for November 3, 2020.
Texas’ statewide filing deadline was the fifth to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on December 18 in Ohio.
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.
Click here to learn more.


California statewide filing deadline is December 6

The filing deadline to run for elected office in California is on December 6, 2019. In California, prospective candidates may file for the following offices:
 
? U.S. House
? State Senate
? State Assembly
? Ballotpedia is also covering local elections in the following areas:
  • 12 counties
  • 17 cities
  • 94 school districts
 
The California Secretary of State will release the official candidate list on December 26. The primary is scheduled for March 3, and the general election is scheduled for November 3, 2020.
 
California’s statewide filing deadline is the fourth to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on December 9 in Texas.
 
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.
 
 


Texas statewide filing deadline passes on December 9

The major-party filing deadline to run for elected office in Texas is on December 9, 2019. Independent candidates must submit their declaration of intent to run on the same date, but the final filing deadline for independent candidates is June 25, 2020. In Texas, prospective candidates may file for the following offices:
 
  • U.S. Senate
  • U.S. House
  • Texas Railroad Commissioner
  • Texas State Board of Education
  • Texas State Senate
  • Texas House of Representatives
  • Texas Supreme Court
  • Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
  • Texas Court of Appeals
  • Ballotpedia is also covering multiple municipal and school board elections in Texas in 2020.
 
The primary is scheduled for March 3, and the general election is scheduled for November 3, 2020.
 
Texas’s statewide filing deadline is the fifth to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on December 18 in Ohio.
 
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.
 


December 2 filing deadline for established parties in Illinois

The ballot access deadline for established party candidates in Illinois is December 2, 2019. The state’s primary is scheduled for March 17, 2020, and the general election is November 3, 2020. Offices on the ballot include U.S. Senate, all 18 U.S. House seats, 20 of the 59 state Senate seats, all 118 state House seats, four state Supreme Court seats, 10 intermediate appellate court seats, and local offices.
 
According to the Cook County Clerk’s office, an established political party is a party “which at the last election received more than 5% of the entire vote cast in the district or political subdivision.”
 
Other Illinois statewide ballot access deadlines for the November general election are scheduled in 2020. Judges with seats up for retention election must file a Declaration of Judicial Candidacy by May 3, 2020. Independent and new party candidates for regular election have a filing deadline on June 22. Additionally, write-in candidates must file their intent 61 days before an election, meaning they have until January 16 to file their intent for the primary and until September 3 for the general.
 
The Illinois filing deadline is the third statewide filing deadline for the 2020 general elections. It was preceded by Alabama on November 8 and by Arkansas on November 12. The next statewide filing deadline is in California on December 6.
 
Additional reading:


33 Louisiana state government offices decided in general election

Louisiana held a general election for 33 state government offices on November 16, 2019. The top-two finishers in the October 12 primary advanced to the general election if no candidate received a majority of votes. In Louisiana, all candidates, regardless of party affiliation, face off in the primary election. This year, 160 state seats were on the October ballot. The general election featured three state executive positions, 29 state legislative seats, and one state judgeship.
 
All 39 Louisiana State Senate seats were on the primary ballot. Five races advanced to the general election: those in Districts 3, 11, 16, 35, and 36. The District 35 and District 36 races both featured Republican incumbents facing Republican challengers. In District 36, incumbent Ryan Gatti was defeated by candidate Robert Mills. As of election night, the District 35 race was too close to call, but challenger Jay Morris led incumbent James Fannin with 50.4% of the vote with all precincts reporting. The remaining races were for open seats. District 16 was the only race to feature inter-party opponents, one Democrat and one Republican. Candidate Franklin Foil (R) won. In District 3, two Democrats faced off and in District 11, two Republicans faced off.
 
Twenty-four of the 105 seats in the Louisiana House of Representatives advanced to the general election. All but four were races for open seats. Incumbents in Districts 62, 94, and 105 faced challengers from a different party; in District 46, incumbent Mike Huval faced a fellow Republican. Three of the four incumbents were re-elected. Huval won re-election to District 46, Roy Adams (independent) won re-election to District 62, and Stephanie Hilferty (R) won re-election to District 94. District 105 incumbent Chris Leopold (R) was defeated by Mack Cormier (D). Of the general election races, seven were guaranteed to be won by Democrats and nine were guaranteed to be won by Republicans. The remaining eight races featured candidates from two parties; of these, two were won by Democrats, five were won by Republicans, and one was won by an independent.
 
Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin (R) faced one Democratic and two Republican challengers in the primary, advancing to the general election along with Gwen Collins-Greenup (D). Ardoin won re-election by receiving 59.1% of the unofficial vote. Collins-Greenup received 40.9% of the vote.
 
The outcomes of the secretary of state race and the gubernatorial race decided that the state government would remain a divided triplex. A state government triplex exists when one political party holds the office of governor, attorney general, and secretary of state. State Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) won re-election in the primary. With Ardoin’s win, if Republican gubernatorial candidate Eddie Rispone had won election, the state would have had a Republican triplex for the first time since 2015. However, Governor John Bel Edwards (D) won re-election.
 
The three remaining state offices on the general ballot were governor, Louisiana Supreme Court 1st District, and Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education District 6.
 


First 2020 statewide filing deadline is November 8

The 2020 general election may be more than a year away, but the first deadline for federal candidates to file to run is just around the corner. The following seven states have their filing deadlines before the end of the year:
 
  • Alabama: November 8
  • Arkansas: November 12
  • Illinois: December 2
  • California: December 6
  • Texas: December 9
  • Ohio: December 18
  • North Carolina: December 20
 
The remaining 43 states all have their filing deadlines in 2020.
 
During the last presidential election year, five states—Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Texas, and Ohio—had federal candidate filing deadlines in 2015, the year before the election. California and North Carolina have earlier filing deadlines in 2020 because both are holding federal primaries in March for the first time. In 2016, both states held their primaries in June.
 
From November 2019 to July 2020, Ballotpedia will cover an average of six statewide filing deadlines each month. November 2019 and July 2020 are tied for the fewest with two each. Sixteen states have statewide filing deadlines in March 2020, making it the busiest month for candidate ballot access deadlines for the 2020 elections.
 


Coin toss decides tied primary in North Carolina

In North Carolina, a coin toss decided who will appear on the general election ballot in District 3 of the Hickory City Council. Three candidates competed in the nonpartisan primary on October 9. Sixty votes were cast in the race; incumbent Danny Seaver advanced with 28 votes, but challengers Nathan Hefner and Daria Jackson were tied at 16 each.
 
Under North Carolina law, tied elections that have fewer than 5,000 votes cast are decided by random selection. In this instance, a coin toss was used to decide the second-place winner. Jackson called heads and the coin turned up tails, meaning Hefner advanced to the November 5 general election.
 
According to the Hickory Daily Record, Hefner stated after the coin toss, “Your voice does count. If you want to see all your dreams and aspirations for Hickory come to life — get out and vote.” Jackson stated, “I’m going to put it in the hands of God and respect his will.”
 
During the 2019 election cycle, Ballotpedia is expanding its coverage of North Carolina in order to provide voters with a comprehensive statewide sample ballot. This coverage includes North Carolina elections spanning 503 cities, towns, and villages, nine school districts, and 17 special districts.
 


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