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Megan Feeney

Megan Feeney is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

Filing deadline approaches in Michigan State Senate special elections

Major party candidates interested in running in the special elections for Michigan State Senate Districts 8 and 28 have until April 20 to file. For independent and minor party candidates, the filing deadline is Aug. 4. The primary election is scheduled for Aug. 3, and the general election is set for Nov. 2. 

The special elections were called after the former officeholders in each district were elected to other offices in November 2020. Former District 8 Sen. Peter Lucido (R) was elected Macomb County Prosecutor. Lucido served in the state Senate from 2019 to 2020. Former District 28 Sen. Peter MacGregor (R) was elected Kent County Treasurer. MacGregor served from 2015 to 2020.

Michigan 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 both the Michigan House of Representatives and the state Senate, with respective margins of 58-52 and 20-16. Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was elected to office in 2018.

As of April 2021, 33 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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St. Louis holds municipal general election

The nonpartisan general election for St. Louis, Mo., was on April 6. The primary was held on March 2, and the filing deadline to run passed on Jan. 4.

Candidates competed for mayor, board of aldermen, and city comptroller. In the mayoral election, Tishaura Jones defeated Cara Spencer, earning 52% of the vote to Spencer’s 48%. Jones is the first Black woman to be elected mayor of St. Louis.

In the city comptroller election, incumbent Darlene Green won re-election without facing opposition.

In the board of aldermen elections, incumbents ran for 15 out of the 16 seats on the ballot and won re-election to 12 of those seats. The following races did not re-elect an incumbent:

• In Ward 5, challenger James Page defeated incumbent Tammika Hubbard by a margin of 53% to 47%.

• In Ward 12, challenger Bill Stephens defeated incumbent Vicky Grass by a margin of 52% to 48%.

• In Ward 13, challenger Anne Schweitzer defeated incumbent Beth Murphy by a margin of 63% to 37%.

• In Ward 17—the sole race without an incumbent running—the race remained too close to call as of April 7.

Saint Louis is the 57th largest city by population in the U.S. 

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Wisconsin general election to be held April 6

The statewide general election for Wisconsin is on April 6. The primary was held on Feb. 16, and the filing deadline to run passed on Jan. 5. Candidates are running in elections for the following offices: 

• Superintendent of Public Instruction

• Special elections for state Senate District 13 and Assembly District 89

• Wisconsin Court of Appeals

Ballotpedia is also covering local elections in the following areas: 

• Dane and Milwaukee Counties

• The cities of Madison and Milwaukee

• DeForest Area School District

• Madison Metropolitan School District

• McFarland School District

• Middleton-Cross Plains School District

• Milwaukee Public Schools

• Sun Prairie Area School District

• Verona Area School District

Milwaukee is the 31st-largest city in the United States by population, while Madison is the 82nd. The seven school districts holding elections on April 6 served 132,027 students during the 2016-2017 school year.

Wisconsin has a divided government where 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 Assembly and Senate, while Governor Tony Evers is a Democrat.

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Oklahoma school board elections see lowest unopposed rate in eight-year cycle

In 2021, 48.6% of Oklahoma school board races covered by Ballotpedia will not be on the ballot due to lack of opposition, which is the lowest unopposed rate since Ballotpedia began tracking this figure in 2014. Thirty-five seats are up for election across 26 school districts included in Ballotpedia’s comprehensive coverage in 2021. Candidates ran unopposed in 17 of those races.

Across eight years of tracking, the highest unopposed rate for Oklahoma school board elections occurred in 2015, when 85.7% of races had an unopposed candidate. Below is a list of unopposed rates from 2014 to 2021.

  • 2021: 48.6%
  • 2020: 62.1%
  • 2019: 53.3%
  • 2018: 76.7%
  • 2017: 52.9%
  • 2016: 80.0%
  • 2015: 85.7%
  • 2014: 62.5%

The general election for races that do have opposition is scheduled for April 6. For races that had more than two candidates file, the primary election was held on Feb. 9. Candidates were able to win the election outright if they earned more than 50% of the vote in the primary.

The following districts will hold a general election on April 6:

  • Banner School District
  • Crooked Oak Public Schools
  • Deer Creek Public Schools
  • Edmond Public Schools
  • Midwest City-Del City Schools
  • Mustang Public Schools
  • Oklahoma City Public Schools
  • Owasso Public Schools
  • Piedmont Public Schools
  • Putnam City Schools
  • Tulsa Public Schools
  • Union Public Schools
  • Western Heights Public Schools
  • Yukon Public Schools

These fourteen school districts served a total of 190,878 students during the 2016-17 school year.

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Filing deadline passes to run for school board in Oregon

On March 18, 2021, the filing deadline passed to run for school board in eight school districts in Oregon. Candidates filed to run in the following districts:

  • Beaverton School District
  • Centennial School District 28J
  • David Douglas School District
  • Parkrose School District 3
  • Portland Public Schools
  • Reynolds School District 7
  • Salem-Keizer Public Schools
  • Scappoose School District 1J

The general election is scheduled for May 18, 2021. There is no primary. School board elections in these districts are nonpartisan.

These eight districts served a total of 165,126 students during the 2016-2017 school year.

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Hickman (D) defeats Guerrette (R) in special election for Maine state Senate District 14

A special general election was held for Maine state Senate District 14 on March 9, 2021. Craig Hickman (D) defeated William Guerrette (R) by a margin of 63% to 37%, according to unofficial election night results.

No special primary election was held, and the filing deadline passed on Jan. 8, 2021.

The special election was called after the Maine state Legislature elected Shenna Bellows (D) as secretary of state in December 2020. Bellows served from 2016 to 2020.

As of March 2021, 29 state legislative special elections have been scheduled in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. Maine held 15 special elections from 2010 to 2020.

Maine 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. Democrats control the Maine state Senate by a margin of 22 to 13.

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Candidate filing deadline passes in Texas’ 6th Congressional District

Candidates interested in running in the special election for Texas’ 6th Congressional District had until March 3, 2021, to file. The general election is scheduled for May 1.

The special election was called after Ronald Wright (R) passed away due to complications from COVID-19 on February 7, 2021. Wright served from 2019 to 2021.

As of March 2021, three special elections have been scheduled to complete a term in the U.S. House. From the 113th Congress to the 116th Congress, 50 special elections were held.

Texas’ U.S. House delegation includes 22 Republicans and 13 Democrats and one vacancy.

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Voters in Connecticut state Senate district to decide special election on March 2

The special general election for Connecticut State Senate District 27 is on March 2, 2021. Patricia Miller (D), Joshua Esses (R), and Brian Merlen (Independent Party) are competing in the special election. No primary election was scheduled, as candidates running for special elections in Connecticut are nominated through party conventions.

The special election was called after Carlo Leone (D) resigned effective January 5, 2021, to become a special advisor to Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Joseph Giulietti. Leone served from 2011 to 2021.

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. Connecticut held 40 special elections between 2010 and 2020.

Connecticut 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. Democrats control the Connecticut State Senate by a margin of 23-12 with one vacancy. 

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Seven candidates running in special primary election for California Senate District 30

The special primary election for California Senate District 30 is on March 2, 2021. Seven candidates are competing to advance to the general election scheduled for May 4. The filing deadline to run passed on January 7.

California holds top-two primary elections. The two candidates who receive the most votes in the primary advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.

The special election was called after Holly Mitchell (D) left office to become the District 2 representative on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Mitchell represented District 30 in the state Senate from 2013 to 2020.

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. Democrats control the California State Senate by a margin of 30-9, with one vacancy. 

As of February 2021, 26 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. California held 32 special elections from 2010 to 2020.

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Special election approaches Feb. 23 in New York City Council District 31

The special general election for New York City Council District 31 is on February 23, 2021. Nine candidates are competing in the special election. The filing deadline to run passed on December 16, 2020. 

The special election was called when Donovan Richards left office after he was elected Queens Borough President in November. Richards served on the city council from 2013 to 2020.

The February 23 election will be the second election in New York City to use a ranked-choice voting system. In 2019, New Yorkers passed a ballot measure that instituted ranked-choice voting in special elections to local offices.

In ranked-choice voting, voters rank candidates by preference on their ballots. If a candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, he or she is declared the winner. If no candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated. First preference votes cast for the failed candidate are eliminated, lifting the second-preference choices indicated on those ballots. A new tally is conducted to determine whether any candidate has won a majority of the adjusted votes. The process is repeated until a candidate wins an outright majority. 

Ranked-choice voting in New York City is the subject of an ongoing court challenge. On December 16, 2020, a state trial court declined to block the implementation of ranked-choice voting, but the decision is being appealed.  

The New York City Council consists of 51 members. New York is the largest city by population in the U.S.

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