Author

Tyler King

Tyler King is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at tyler.king@ballotpedia.org

Mayor resigns ahead of recall vote in Lexington, Oregon

In Lexington, Oregon, Mayor Marcia Kemp has resigned from her position ahead of a recall election scheduled for October 22. The resignation was effective on October 10.
 
The recall effort against Kemp was organized in response to a nine-day government shutdown in Lexington beginning on July 1. The shutdown occurred a result of three of the four city councilors missing a budget hearing two days before the end of the fiscal year. Kemp was accused by the three missing councilors of not sending them reminders about the meeting in order to make them look bad. Kemp disputed that claim, saying the three members didn’t show up so as to make her look bad.
 
In her letter of resignation, Kemp stated, “Many in our town have been working hard applying for grants and established partnerships to help us make Lexington great with a bright future. As much as I would like to pursue improving the Town of Lexington, the council has prevented me fulfilling my duties, so it is time to step aside and resign effective immediately. However, I will continue to be an active community member and on a positive note, I have been recruited to help other communities and organizations with their goals and missions and look forward to contributing my time and effort.”
 
In 2018, Ballotpedia covered a total of 206 recall efforts against 299 elected officials. Of the 123 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 77 were recalled for a rate of 62.6 percent. That was higher than the 56.9 percent rate and 56.3 percent rate for 2017 and 2016 recalls, respectively.
 


Special election being held in New Hampshire House district

A special election is being held in the Rockingham 9 district of the New Hampshire House of Representatives on October 8. Naomi Andrews (D) and Michael Vose (R) are running in the general election. Andrews worked as chief of staff and campaign manager to Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) from 2007 to 2018. Vose represented Rockingham 9 from 2014 to 2018. He was defeated in the 2018 general election.
 
The seat became vacant when Sean Morrison (R) resigned in May 2019. Morrison cited “personal attacks, partisan politics and a lack of cooperation” between the state and town as his reasons for resigning. Morrison had represented the district since 2016. He last won re-election in 2018, taking second place with 26.8% of the vote. The Rockingham 9 district has two seats; Morrison and Vose had served together from 2017 through 2018.
 
Heading into the election, Democrats have a 233-165 majority in the New Hampshire House with one Libertarian member and one vacancy. 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 October, 77 state legislative special elections have been scheduled or held in 24 states. Between 2011 and 2018, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.
 


Recall effort targeting Arizona mayor reaches the ballot

In Payson, Arizona, a recall effort targeting Mayor Tom Morrissey is moving forward after enough petition signatures in support of the recall were verified over the week of September 16. Petitioners were required to submit 770 valid signatures in order to put the recall on the ballot; the town government had not set a date for the recall election as of September 27.
 
The recall effort has been organized by a group of residents under the name Unite Payson. They initiated the recall in response to the firing of Town Manager LaRon Garrett on August 8. The group is also gathering signatures to recall three council members—Suzy Tubbs-Avakian, Janell Sterner and Jim Ferris—for the same reason. Additionally, Councilman Steve Smith is being targeted for recall due to allegations that he “has created animosity and discord at every Payson council meeting in the attempt to disrupt new motions and progress.” There are seven members on the Payson Town Council, including the mayor.
 
Morrissey responded to the recall effort after the signatures were certified. He said, “I have no intention of resigning. The recall group consists of a small group of folks who lost the election and are bitter, and some folks who lost political control of the town and want it back. I am working for and will continue to work for all the residents of this town.”
 
Recall organizers have 120 days after petitions are filed to gather signatures. The signature requirement for recalls against each council member is 1,653 valid signatures per member.
 
In 2018, Ballotpedia covered a total of 206 recall efforts against 299 elected officials. Of the 123 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 77 were recalled for a rate of 62.6 percent. That was higher than the 56.9 percent rate and 56.3 percent rate for 2017 and 2016 recalls, respectively.
 
 


One Democrat and three Republicans file to run in Georgia House special election

A special election is being held in District 152 of the Georgia House of Representatives on November 5. Mary Egler (D), Tyler Johnson (R), Jim Quinn (R), and Bill Yearta (R) are running in the general election. In the event that no candidate receives a majority of votes in the general election, a runoff has been scheduled for December 3.
 
The seat became vacant after Ed Rynders (R) resigned on September 5, citing health concerns. Rynders had served in the state House since 2003. He was last re-elected in 2018 with 74% of the vote in the general election.
 
Heading into the special election, Republicans have a 103-75 majority in the Georgia House with two vacancies. Georgia has a Republican trifecta. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.
 
As of August, 76 state legislative special elections have been scheduled or held in 24 states. Between 2011 and 2018, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.
 


31 candidates running in the Manchester school board election in New Hampshire

Thirty-one candidates are running for 14 seats on the Manchester School District school board in New Hampshire. The primary is being held on September 17, and the general election is on November 5. The filing deadline for this election was July 19. The elections are nonpartisan.
 
Nine of 14 incumbents are running for re-election in 2019. In comparison, all 14 incumbents filed for re-election in 2017.
 
*At large District: In the two open seats in this district, Carlos Gonzalez, Jason Hodgdon, Joseph Lachance, Gene Martin, James O’Connell, and Lara Quiroga have filed to run for the seats being vacated by Richard Girard and Patrick Long.
*Ward 1: Amber Jodoin and James Porter are running in the open seat to replace incumbent Sarah Ambrogi.
*Ward 2: Incumbent Kathleen Kelley Arnold will face off against Sean Parr in this election.
*Ward 3: Incumbent Mary Ngwanda Georges is opposed by Karen Soule in this election.
*Ward 4: Incumbent Leslie Want is seeking re-election and is running against Mark Flanders.
*Ward 5: Incumbent Lisa Freeman will face off against Jeremy Dobson in this election.
*Ward 6: Incumbent Dan Bergeron is opposed by William Bergquist and Jon DiPietro in this election.
*Ward 7: In this open seat, Christopher Potter and William Shea are running to replace incumbent Ross Terrio.
*Ward 8: Incumbent Jimmy Lehoux is seeking re-election and is running against Peter Perich.
*Ward 9: Incumbent Arthur Beaudry will face off against Candace Moulton in this election.
*Ward 10: Incumbent John Avard is opposed by state Rep. Jane Beaulieu in this election.
*Ward 11: Brittany LeClear-Ping and Nicole Leapley are running in this open seat to replace incumbent Katie Desrochers.
*Ward 12: Incumbent Kelley Anne Thomas is seeking re-election and is running against Andrew Toland.
 
The Manchester School District served 14,219 students during the 2016-2017 school year and is the largest school district in the state.
 


Flint City Council recall effort fails to make ballot

The recall effort targeting Flint Councilwoman Kate Fields has ended after more than half of the submitted signatures were ruled invalid. Genesee County Clerk John Gleason found 332 of the 825 signatures submitted by recall organizers valid. Petitioners needed 556 valid signatures in order to put the recall on the ballot.
 
Fields is one of four Flint City Council members who had recall efforts initiated against them in June. Council members Monica Galloway, Santino Guerra, and Allan Griggs are also facing potential recalls. Petitions against all four officials were approved for circulation in June, although at different points of the month. Petitioners have 180 days from the time when each petition was approved to begin gathering signatures, at which point they have 60 days to submit enough signatures to put each recall on the ballot.
 
The recall efforts against Fields, Guerra, and Griggs began in response to their vote to extend a $12 million waste removal project with Republic Services. Galloway was targeted for recall after she missed a vote on a $5.6 million contract with W.T. Stevens Inc. to replace lead service lines.
 
In 2018, Ballotpedia covered a total of 206 recall efforts against 299 elected officials. Of the 123 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 77 were recalled for a rate of 62.6 percent. That was higher than the 56.9 percent rate and 56.3 percent rate for 2017 and 2016 recalls, respectively.
 


Special election on Tuesday in Georgia House district

The special election in District 71 of the Georgia House of Representatives is scheduled for September 3. Jill Prouty (D), Nina Blackwelder (R), Marcy Sakrison (R), and Philip Singleton (R) are running in the general election. In the event that no candidate receives a majority of votes in the general election, a runoff has been scheduled for October 1.
 
The seat was vacated when David Stover (R) resigned on June 25. In his resignation letter, Stover wrote that he wanted to be able to spend time with his family. Stover had represented District 71 since 2013. He was last re-elected in 2018 with 74% of the vote in the general election.
 
Heading into the election, Republicans have a 104-75 majority in the Georgia House with one vacancy. Georgia 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.
 
As of August, 73 state legislative special elections have been scheduled or held in 24 states. Between 2011 and 2018, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.
 


Alabama House special primary runoff on Tuesday

On August 27, a special primary runoff is being held in District 74 of the Alabama House of Representatives. Republicans Charlotte Meadows and Michael Fritz are competing in the primary runoff after advancing from the June 11 primary with 46.7% and 19.1% of the vote, respectively. Rayford Mack ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. The general election is scheduled for November 12.
 
The seat was vacated when Dimitri Polizos (R) died of a heart attack on March 27. Polizos had represented the district since 2013. He last won re-election in 2018 with 60.5% of the vote.
 
Heading into the election, Republicans have a 75-28 majority in the Alabama House with two vacancies. Alabama 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.
 
As of August, 73 state legislative special elections have been scheduled or held in 24 states. Between 2011 and 2018, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.
 


State legislative special elections in Pennsylvania and South Carolina on Tuesday

On August 20, special general elections are scheduled for District 85 of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and District 19 of the South Carolina House of Representatives.
 
In Pennsylvania, Jennifer Rager-Kay (D) and David Rowe (R) are facing off for the District 85 seat.
 
  • Both candidates were selected by their respective political parties through nominating conventions in June.
  • The seat was vacated when Fred Keller (R) resigned on May 24, 2019. He was elected to Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District on May 21. Keller had served in the state House since 2011. He last won re-election in 2018, defeating Rager-Kay in the general election with 67.7% of the vote.
  • Heading into the election, Republicans have a 109-93 majority in the Pennsylvania House with one vacancy. Pennsylvania 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.
 
In South Carolina, Carrie Counton (D) and Patrick Haddon (R) are running in the District 19 general election.
 
  • Haddon defeated a primary opponent in June. Counton ran unopposed in the primary.
  • The seat was vacated after Dwight Loftis (R) was elected to represent District 6 of the South Carolina State Senate. Loftis had served in the state House since 1996. He last won re-election in 2018, defeating Counton in the general election with 61.2% of the vote.
  • Heading into the election, Republicans have a 78-44 majority in the South Carolina House with two vacancies. South Carolina has a Republican state government trifecta.
 
Special primaries are also being held on Tuesday in District 42 of the Alabama House of Representatives and the Rockingham 9 District in the New Hampshire House of Representatives.
 
As of August, 72 state legislative special elections have been scheduled or held in 24 states. Between 2011 and 2018, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.
 


Legislative aides facing off in Milwaukee Common Council special election

A special election is being held for District 13 of the Milwaukee Common Council on August 13. Patty Doherty and Scott Spiker are facing off in the special general election. The two candidates advanced past a seven-way primary on July 16. Spiker earned 44.5% of the vote in the primary, while Doherty earned 24.7% of the vote.
 
The seat became vacant after Terry Witkowski resigned on May 30. Witkowski had represented the district since 2003. Spiker began working as a legislative aide to Witkowski in 2015. Doherty is a legislative aide to District 8 Alderman Bob Donovan.
 
Milwaukee is the largest city in Wisconsin and the 31st-largest city in the U.S. by population. Milwaukee’s city council has 15 members.
 


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