Author

Tyler King

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

Special election runoff held in Georgia House district

A special general election runoff was held for District 152 of the Georgia House of Representatives on December 3, 2019. Bill Yearta (R) won the special election with 3,419 votes and defeated Jim Quinn (R).
 
The general election was held on November 5, 2019. The filing deadline passed on September 18, 2019.
 
The special election was called after Ed Rynders (R) resigned his seat on September 5, 2019, citing health concerns. Rynders served from 2003 to 2019.
 
Republicans now have a 104-75 majority in the Georgia House of Representatives 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 December, 77 state legislative special elections have been scheduled or held in 24 states this year. Eleven special elections have been scheduled for 2020 in five states. Between 2011 and 2018, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.
 


Candidates chosen for Kentucky State Senate special election

In Kentucky State Senate District 38, party county executive committees have chosen Andrew Bailey (D) and Mike Nemes (R) to run in the special election on January 14.
 
The seat became vacant when Dan Seum (R) resigned on November 16. Seum had represented the district since 1995. He last won re-election in 2018 with 67.9% of the vote.
 
Heading into the election, Republicans have a 28-9 majority in the Kentucky State Senate with one vacancy. Kentucky 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 November, 77 state legislative special elections have been scheduled or held in 24 states this year. Six special elections have been scheduled for 2020 in five states. Between 2011 and 2018, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.
 
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County supervisor survives recall vote in Wisconsin

Roy Englebert retained his District 3 seat on the Door County Board of Supervisors after winning a recall election on November 19. Englebert won the recall with 53.8% of the vote, defeating Lora Jorgensen and Jason Tlachac.
 
The recall effort was started by a group called Friends of the Forestville Dam. The group did not agree with the board of supervisors’ approving a plan to draw down the Forestville Dam Mill Pond. The plan was approved in order to dry out contaminated sediment and improve water quality, according to the Door County Daily News. Recall supporters said that drawing down the pond would harm fish stocks and the aesthetic quality of the pond. Recall supporters said they preferred a plan to dredge the pond, but county officials said that the plan was too expensive. Englebert voted in favor of drawing down the pond.
 
This was the second effort to recall Englebert this year. The first effort, which also targeted District 2 representative John Neinas, failed to go to the ballot after the recall petitions submitted to the county were deemed insufficient.
 
The Door County Board of Supervisors has 21 members. Neinas’ term is up for election in April 2020. He said he did not intend to run for re-election.
 
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.
 
 


Trustee recall elections set in Colorado

In Colorado, two candidates have filed to run in the December 17 recall elections targeting a pair of Elizabeth Board of Trustees members, June Jurczewsky and Rachel White. Ron Weaver is challenging Jurczewsky, and Jason Weiss is running against White.
 
Mayor Megan Vasquez and Trustees Angela Ternus, Steve Gaither, Loren Einspahr, and Tammy Payne are also up for a recall vote in April 2020. The difference in election dates is due to a requirement that officials serve in their position for six months before a recall election can be held against them.
 
The recall effort is organized by Dwayne Snader, who initiated the process after an August 21 town meeting focused on a proposed plan for the growth in the town. Snader said the meeting was “a one-way conversation. We had no say-so, and there was no public comment period. They presented their ideas for growth, which included subdivisions and a rebuild of the downtown area, and we’re just supposed to watch our land disappear.”
 
Vasquez commented on the issue surrounding the recall effort. She said, “I can relate to how they’re upset right now. I also feel like there’s a lot of misinformation out there and that does tend to stir the pot. People believe that the Town is going to come and take their property in essence – which we have no intention.”
 
Petitions against all seven officials were approved for circulation on August 26, 2019. Recall organizers were given 60 days to submit signatures equal to 25 percent of the votes cast in the last election for the official being recalled. This meant that petitioners were required to submit 53 valid signatures for Vasquez and between 33 and 36 signatures for each member of the town board.
 
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.
 
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Texas mayor facing recall election

Early voting has begun in the recall election targeting Mayor Daisy Lee Valdez in Rio Bravo, Texas. Early voting lasts until November 1. The recall election is being held on November 5.
 
Petitioners began gathering signatures for the recall in July 2019. They accused Valdez of taking $5,000 from the city to purchase gift cards. Valdez responded that the gift cards were used in order to pay for a road’s repair. She said the municipal government used Walmart gift cards for this payment because the city does not have an official debit card.
 
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.
 


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.
 


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