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Tyler King

Tyler King is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

Candidates nominated for Virginia House special election

Firehouse primaries took place on Dec. 21 to select candidates in the special election for District 89 of the Virginia House of Delegates. Jackie Glass was selected as the Democratic nominee, and Giovanni Dolmo was nominated by Republicans. Glass and Dolmo are facing off in the special election on Jan. 11. The winner will serve until January 2024.

The special election was called after Jerrauld Jones (D) announced his resignation from the seat on Dec. 16. Jones’ resignation will take effect by the end of 2021. He has represented District 89 since 2018 and was last re-elected in November with 79.9% of the vote.

Elections were held for all 100 seats of the Virginia House in November. Republicans won a 52-48 majority, flipping the chamber from a 55-seat Democratic majority. Virginia will have a divided government after Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin (R) and newly elected members of the state House begin their terms in January. The state Senate is controlled by a 21-19 Democratic majority.

As of December, 18 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2022 in 12 states. Between 2011 and 2021, an average of 74 special elections took place each year. Virginia held 35 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2021.

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New Mexico Sen. Jacob Candelaria leaves the Democratic party

New Mexico state Sen. Jacob Candelaria announced that he was leaving the Democratic party and would register as decline to state on Dec. 1.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that Candelaria cited redistricting as the reason for changing his party affiliation. He said, “I don’t think that the decisions we make should be based on partisan ambitions, and it broke my heart to see already that the Senate maps deliberately dilute and gerrymander the west side of Albuquerque to preserve perceived partisan advantage for some members of the Democratic Party. You would strip representation from people that I represent, many of whom are Hispanic, simply because it benefits you at the ballot box.”

Candelaria was elected to the state Senate in 2012 and was last re-elected in 2020. Of the 42 members in the New Mexico Senate, 26 are Democrats, 15 are Republicans, and one is independent.

Ballotpedia has been tracking state legislators who have switched parties since 1994. Candelaria is the fourth state legislator in New Mexico we’ve identified who has switched parties. Three legislators switched to independents, and one switched to the Democratic Party.

Across the country, Ballotpedia has identified 24 state legislators who have switched from the Democratic Party to independent since 1994.

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Special election primary to be held in Massachusetts Senate district

A special election primary is being held on Dec. 14 for the First Suffolk & Middlesex District of the Massachusetts State Senate. Anthony D’Ambrosio and Lydia Edwards are running in the Democratic primary. No Republican candidates filed. The general election is scheduled for Jan. 11, and the winner of the special election will serve until January 2023.

The seat became vacant on Sept. 9 when Joseph Boncore (D) resigned to become CEO of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council.

Heading into the special election, Democrats have a 36-3 majority in the Massachusetts Senate with one vacancy. Massachusetts has a divided government where neither party holds a trifecta. The Republican Party controls the office of governor, while the Democratic Party controls both chambers of the state legislature.

To date, 10 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2022 in seven states. So far in 2021, 66 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 21 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. Massachusetts held 42 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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Special election to be held in Connecticut House district

A special election is being held on Dec. 14 for District 116 of the Connecticut House of Representatives. Trenee McGee (D), Richard DePalma (R), and Portia Bias (I) are running in the general election. The winner of the special election will serve until Jan. 2023.

The seat became vacant on Oct. 18 when Michael DiMassa (D) resigned from the state House after he was arrested for one count of wire fraud. DiMassa had represented the district since 2017.

Heading into the special election, Democrats have a 96-54 majority in the Connecticut House with one vacancy. 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.

As of December, 66 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 21 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. Connecticut held 40 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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General elections held for two Hialeah City Council districts

The city of Hialeah, Fla., held general elections on Nov. 16 for two seats on the city council. Candidates in Group VI and Group VII advanced from the primary on Nov. 2. Elections for the Group V seat and the mayorship were concluded in the primary after a candidate in each race earned more than 50% of the vote.

  • In the Group VI general election, Bryan Calvo defeated Angelica Pacheco, earning 67.5% of the vote. According to unofficial results, Calvo received 5,761 votes to Pacheco’s 2,777.
  • In the Group VII general election, Luis Rodriguez defeated Maylin Villalonga, earning 76.6% of the vote. According to unofficial results, Rodriguez received 6,514 votes to Villalonga’s 1,989.

Hialeah is the fifth-largest city in Florida and the 88th-largest city in the U.S. by population. There are seven seats on the Hialeah City Council. Members of the city council are elected to four-year terms.

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Special election primaries to be held in Louisiana state legislative districts

Special election primaries are being held on Nov. 13 for one seat in the Louisiana State Senate and two seats in the Louisiana House of Representatives. The winners of the special elections will serve until Jan. 8, 2024.

* In Senate District 27, Dustin Granger (D), Jake Shaheen (R), and Jeremy Stine (R) are running in the special election. The seat became vacant when Ronnie Johns (R) resigned in July after Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) appointed him as chairman of the Louisiana State Gaming Control Board. Johns had represented the district since 2012.

  • In House District 16, Charles Bradford (D), Alicia Calvin (D), and Adrian Fisher (D) are running in the special election. The seat became vacant on July 16 when Frederick D. Jones (D) resigned after being elected to the Fourth Judicial District Court. Jones had represented the district since 2020.
  • In House District 102, Delisha Boyd (D) is facing off against Jordan Bridges (D). The seat became vacant after Gary Carter Jr. (D) was elected to the state Senate in a special election on June 12. Carter had represented the district since 2016.

Louisiana elections use the majority-vote system. All candidates compete in the same primary, and a candidate can win the election outright by receiving more than 50% of the vote. If no candidate does, the top two vote recipients from the primary advance to the general election, regardless of their partisan affiliation.

Louisiana 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 the state Senate by a 26-12 margin with one vacancy and the state House by a 68-32 margin with three independents and two vacancies.

As of November, 66 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 21 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. Louisiana held 36 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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Special elections to be held in Kentucky state legislative districts

Special elections are being held on Nov. 2 for one seat in the Kentucky State Senate and two seats in the Kentucky House of Representatives. Candidates running for special elections in Kentucky are selected by their respective local party organizations. The winners of the special elections will serve until Dec. 31, 2022.

  • In Senate District 22, Helen Bukulmez (D) is facing off against Donald Douglas (R). Sindicat Dunn filed as an independent write-in candidate. The seat became vacant after Tom Buford (R) passed away on July 6. Buford had represented the district since 1991. He won re-election in 2018 with 66% of the vote.
  • In House District 51, Edwin Rogers (D), Michael Pollock (R), and Timothy Shafer (I) are running in the special election. The seat became vacant after John Carney (R) passed away on July 17. Carney had represented the district since 2009. He won re-election in 2020 with 79% of the vote.
  • In House District 89, Maetinee Suramek (D) is facing off against Timmy Truett (R). The seat became vacant after Robert Goforth (R) resigned on August 24. At the time of his resignation, Goforth was facing domestic violence-related charges. Goforth had represented the district since 2018. He won re-election in 2020 with 71% of the vote.

Kentucky 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 the state Senate by a 29-8 margin with one vacancy and the state House by a 73-25 margin with two vacancies.

As of October, 64 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 21 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. Kentucky held 23 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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Special election to be held in New Hampshire House district

A special election is being held on Oct. 26 for the Cheshire 9 District of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Andrew Maneval (D) and Rita Mattson (R) are running in the general election. The winner of the special election will serve until December 2022.

The seat became vacant after Douglas Ley (D) died from cancer on June 10. Ley had represented the district since 2012.

Heading into the special election, Republicans have a 207-188 majority in the New Hampshire House with five vacancies. New Hampshire 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 October, 64 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 21 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. New Hampshire held 29 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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Special election primary to be held in New Hampshire House district

A special election primary is being held on Oct. 19 for the Rockingham 6 District of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Thomas Cardon, Jodi Nelson, and Neil Wetherbee are running for the Republican nomination. Mary Eisner is unopposed in the Democratic primary. The general election is taking place on Dec. 7, and the winner of the special election will serve until December 2022.

The seat became vacant on Aug. 5 after Anne Copp (R) moved out of the district. Copp had represented the district since Jan. 2021.

Heading into the special election, Republicans have a 207-187 majority in the New Hampshire House with six vacancies. New Hampshire 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 October, 64 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 21 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. New Hampshire held 29 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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Special elections held in Texas House districts

Special elections were held on Sept. 28 for District 10 and District 118 of the Texas House of Representatives. The winners of these special elections will serve until January 2023.

  • In District 10, Brian Harrison defeated fellow Republican John Wray in a general election runoff. Harrison and Wray earned 55.4% and 44.6% of the vote, respectively. The two candidates advanced from the general election on Aug. 31. The seat became vacant after Jake Ellzey (R) won a special election to Texas’ 6th Congressional District on July 27. Ellzey had represented the district since January 2021.
  • In District 118, Frank Ramirez (D) and John Lujan (R) advanced to a general election runoff. Ramirez and Lujan earned 20% and 41.5% of the vote in the general election, respectively. Desi Martinez (D), Katie Farias (D), and Adam Salyer (R) were defeated. The share of votes amongst all Democratic candidates was 49.7% compared to 50.3% earned by Republican candidates. Governor Greg Abbott will schedule a general runoff now that it has become necessary. The seat became vacant on Aug. 19 after Leo Pacheco (D) resigned to teach public administration at San Antonio College. Pacheco had represented the district since 2019.

Republicans have an 82-66 majority in the Texas House with two vacancies. 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.

As of September, 64 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 21 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. Texas held 28 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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