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Tyler King

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

Special elections to be held in four Pennsylvania legislative districts on May 18

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Special elections are being held on May 18 for two seats in the Pennsylvania State Senate and two seats in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Voters will decide on representation in District 22 and District 48 of the state Senate as well as District 59 and District 60 of the state House.

  • In Senate District 22, Martin Flynn (D), Chris Chermak (R), Marlene Sebastianelli (G), and Nathan Covington (L) are running in the special election. The seat became vacant after John Blake (D) resigned on March 8 to work for U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D). Blake had represented the district since 2011.
  • In Senate District 48, Calvin Clements (D), Chris Gebhard (R), Ed Krebs (Bring People Together), and Timothy McMaster (L) are facing off. The seat became vacant after the death of David Arnold (R) on Jan. 17. Arnold was elected to the District 48 seat in a special election in January 2020.
  • In House District 59, Mariah Fisher (D), Leslie Baum Rossi (R), and Robb Luther (L) are running. The seat became vacant after the death of Mike Reese (R) on Jan. 2. Reese had represented the district since 2009.
  • In House District 60, Frank Prazenica (D), Abby Major (R), and Andrew Hreha (L) are on the ballot. The seat became vacant after Jeffrey Pyle (R) resigned on March 16, citing health issues. Pyle had represented the district since 2005.

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. Republicans control the state Senate by a 27-20 margin with one independent member and two vacancies. The state House is controlled by a 111-90 Republican majority with two vacancies.

As of May, 38 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. Pennsylvania held 44 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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Special election primary to be held on May 18 in California Assembly district

A special election primary is being held on May 18 for District 54 of the California State Assembly. Isaac Bryan (D), Dallas Denise Fowler (D), Heather Hutt (D), Samuel Morales (D), Cheryl Turner (D), and Bernard Senter (No party preference) are running in the primary. If a candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in the primary, he or she will win the election outright. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes, the top two candidates will advance to a special general election on July 20. The winner will serve until December 2022.

The seat became vacant after Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D) was elected to the state Senate in a special election primary on March 2. She had represented District 54 since 2018.

Heading into the special election, Democrats have a 58-19 majority in the California Assembly with one independent member and two vacancies. 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.

As of May, 38 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. California held 28 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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Kenneth Paschal wins special primary runoff in Alabama House district

A Republican primary runoff was held on April 27 in the special election for District 73 of the Alabama House of Representatives. Kenneth Paschal earned 51% of the vote in the runoff, defeating Leigh Hulsey. Paschal and Hulsey advanced from the Republican primary on March 30. Sheridan Black advanced from the Democratic primary without opposition and will face off against Paschal in the general election on July 13. The winner of the special election will serve until November 2022.

The seat became vacant after Matt Fridy (R) was elected to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals in November 2020. Fridy had represented the district since 2014. He won re-election in 2018 with 69% of the vote.

Heading into the special election, Republicans have a 76-27 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 April, 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. Alabama held 23 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 April 27 for District 145 of the Connecticut House of Representatives. Corey Paris (D) and J.D. Ospina (R) are running in the general election. The winner will serve until January 2023.

The seat became vacant after Patricia Miller (D) won a special election to represent Connecticut State Senate District 27 on March 2. Miller had represented the district since 2009. She won re-election in 2020 with 77% of the vote.

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 April, 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. Connecticut held 40 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 April 20 for the Merrimack 23 District of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Christopher Lins and John Martin are running in the Republican primary. Muriel Hall is unopposed in the Democratic primary. The general election is taking place on June 8, and the winner of this special election will serve until December 2022.

The seat became vacant after Samantha Fox (D) resigned on Jan. 12. Fox had represented the district since 2018.

Heading into the special election, Republicans have a 212-186 majority in the New Hampshire House with two 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 April, 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. New Hampshire held 29 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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Special election to be held in Connecticut House district

Voters will decide a special election for District 112 of the Connecticut House of Representatives on April 13. Nicholas Kapoor (D), Tony Scott (R), and William Furrier (Independent Party) are running in the general election. The winner will serve until January 2023.

The seat became vacant after the resignation of J.P. Sredzinski (R) on February 17. Sredzinski had represented the district since 2015.

Heading into the special election, Democrats have a 96-53 majority in the Connecticut House with two vacancies. 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 April, 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. Connecticut held 40 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

Additional Reading:

  • State legislative special elections, 2021
  • Connecticut House of Representatives
  • Connecticut House of Representatives, District 112


Special election to be held in Oklahoma Senate district

A special election is being held on April 6 for District 22 of the Oklahoma State Senate. Molly Ooten (D) and Jake Merrick (R) are running in the general election.

The seat became vacant after Stephanie Bice (R) was elected to represent Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District on Nov. 3, 2020. Bice had represented the district since 2015. She won re-election in 2018 with 68.3% of the vote.

Heading into the special election, Republicans have a 38-9 majority in the Oklahoma Senate with one vacancy. Oklahoma 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 March, 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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Special election primaries to be held in Alabama state legislative districts

Special election primaries are being held on March 30 for District 14 of the Alabama State Senate and District 73 of the Alabama House of Representatives. Democratic primaries were canceled in both elections because a single candidate filed for each. Primary runoffs will take place on April 27 if no candidate earns more than 50% of the vote. General elections are being held on July 13. The winners of the special elections will serve until November 7, 2022.

  • In Senate District 14, Joseph Barlow, Donna Dorough Strong, and April Weaver are running in the Republican primary. Virginia Applebaum automatically advanced from the Democratic primary. The seat became vacant on December 7 after Cam Ward (R) was appointed to serve as director of the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles by Gov. Kay Ivey (R). Ward had represented the seat since 2010 and was unopposed in his re-election bid in 2020. He faced competition in 2018 and won re-election with 72.6% of the vote.
  • In House District 73, Joseph Daley, George Henry, Leigh Hulsey, Kenneth Paschal, and Kerri Pate are facing off for the Republican nomination. Sheridan Black automatically advanced from the Democratic primary. The special election became necessary after Matt Fridy (R) was elected to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals in November 2020. Fridy had represented District 73 since 2015 and won re-election in 2018 with 69.1% of the vote.

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. Republicans control the state Senate by a 26-8 margin with one vacancy and the state House by a 76-27 margin with two vacancies.

As of March, 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.

Additional reading:



Special election for Virginia Senate district on March 23

A special election is being held on March 23 for District 38 of the Virginia state Senate. Former Radford City Councilwoman Laurie Buchwald (D) and Tazewell County Supervisor Travis Hackworth (R) are running in the general election.

The seat became vacant after the death of A. Benton Chafin (R) on Jan. 1, 2021, from complications due to COVID-19. Chafin had represented the district since 2014.

Heading into the special election, Democrats have a 21-18 majority in the Virginia Senate. Virginia 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 March, 30 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.

Additional reading:



Special election primary to be held in Louisiana House district

A special election primary is being held on March 20 for District 82 of the Louisiana House of Representatives. Raymond Delaney Jr. (D), Edwin Connick (R), and Laurie Schlegel (R) are running in the primary. The general election, if needed, is scheduled for April 24.

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 wins a majority of the vote, the top two vote recipients from the primary advance to the general election, regardless of their partisan affiliation.

The special election became necessary after Charles Henry (R) resigned his seat on January 12. Henry was elected to the state House in 2019 with 70.5% of the vote.

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 27-12 margin and the state House by a 67-35 margin with two independents and one vacancy. Democrat John Bel Edwards was elected governor of Louisiana in 2015.

As of March, 29 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.

Additional Reading: