CategoryState

New KY state legislative special election

A new state legislative special election has been added to our list. The special election is for the District 63 seat in the Kentucky House of Representatives on November 5, 2019. The Democratic and Republican parties will nominate the general election candidates.



Want to be Missouri’s redistricting demographer? Here’s what you need to know.

Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway (D) is looking for candidates to fill the state’s position of nonpartisan demographer, which the voter-approved Amendment 1 added to the Missouri Constitution in 2018. The nonpartisan demographer is responsible for drawing state legislative redistricting maps. As of 2019, the position of nonpartisan demographer is unique amongst the states.
 
Galloway said her office will accept applications between September 5 and December 4, 2019. Amendment 1 requires applicants to be state residents and to not have served in a partisan, elected position during the previous four years. Amendment 1 gives the state auditor the power to determine what other qualifications and expertise an applicant would need to serve as the nonpartisan demographer. So, what minimum qualifications does an individual need to serve as the state’s new nonpartisan demographer? There are two possible routes to meeting the minimum requirements:
 
(1) A Master’s degree in Demography, Geography, Statistics, Economics, Sociology, Urban Planning, Anthropology, Epidemiology, or Actuarial Science, with coursework in demographic or statistical analysis, and three or more years of experience in modeling, analysis, forecasting and project management, and utilizing geographic information systems, database, and statistical software applications.
 
(2) A Bachelor’s degree in the same-fields mentioned above and five or more years of experience in the aforementioned areas.
 
In 2020, the state auditor will select at least three applicants with sufficient experience and qualifications from the pool of submissions and submit the list to the Missouri State Senate’s majority leader and minority leader. If the majority and minority leaders agree on a single candidate, then that person will be selected to serve as the nonpartisan demographer. If the leaders disagree, each will strike one-third of the candidates from the list, and the auditor will conduct a random lottery of the remaining applicants for the job.
 
The nonpartisan demographer would need to consider the following criteria when drawing maps, in order of priority: (a) equal population; (b) requirements of the U.S. Constitution and federal law; (c) partisan fairness, defined as parties being able to translate their popular support into legislative representation; (d) competitiveness, defined as parties’ representation in the state legislature being similarly responsive to changes in the electorate’s preferences; (e) contiguousness; (f) coincide with boundaries of political subdivisions, such as counties and towns; and (g) compactness. The concepts of partisan fairness and competitiveness are based on formulas found in Amendment 1.
 
The nonpartisan demographer will file maps with the House and Senate apportionment commissions. Both commissions are composed of half Democrats and half Republicans. To make changes to the demographer’s proposed legislative redistricting map, the plan needs to win the support of 70 percent of the commissioners in the respective commission. If no changes are made or approved, the demographer’s tentative plan becomes final.
 


Washington voters to decide on state affirmative action policy in November through a veto referendum petition

Washington voters will decide in November whether or not to allow affirmative action to be used when considering a person for public education or public employment opportunities. The petition effort for Referendum Measure 88 (R-88) targeted Initiative 1000 (I-1000). After I-1000 qualified for the ballot through a successful initiative petition drive, the measure was approved by the legislature on April 28, 2019, thereby precluding an election. The R-88 petition requires that I-1000, instead, must be placed on the 2019 ballot in Washington for a statewide vote of the people.
 
R-88 was certified for the ballot on August 7, 2019. In a random sample check of 6,399 signatures, the secretary of state’s office found that 5,528 were valid, projecting a signature validity rate of 86.4%. This means that of 213,268 signatures submitted by proponents, 184,239 were deemed valid through the random sample verification. To qualify for the ballot, 129,811 valid signatures were required.
 
Initiative 1000 was designed to allow affirmative action without the use of quotas by the state of Washington. This means that characteristics such as race, sex, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status could be used as factors when considering a person for public education or public employment opportunities. I-1000 would ban preferential treatment, meaning those characteristics could not be the sole or deciding factor when considering a person for education or employment opportunities. Initiative 200 (I-200), approved by voters in 1998, banned discrimination and preferential treatment by the state. I-200 was sponsored by Washington initiative activist Tim Eyman. Eyman said, “Voters have accepted the principle that the government should treat everyone equally, without different rules for different races.”
 
I-1000 was sponsored by the One WA Equality Campaign and was supported by Washington Governor Jay Inslee (D) and the NAACP. Regarding I-1000, Inslee said, “We know systemic inequities remain that cause communities of color, veterans, people with disabilities and women to face persistent barriers to work and education opportunities. I-1000 is a well-considered approach to updating our state’s policies and ensuring diversity, equity and inclusion in government contracts, employment and schools. This policy will help provide the pathways to opportunity that all our communities deserve. It embraces the parts of the 20-year-old I-200 initiative that work well while recognizing what we can do better to address the challenges facing businesses, workers and students today.”
 
As an Initiative to the Legislature—the name of indirect initiatives in Washington—the state legislature could either approve I-1000 or send it to the voters once it had qualified through a sufficient signature petition. The state legislature approved I-1000 on April 28, 2019, largely along party lines with all votes in favor coming from Democratic legislators. In the House, one Democrat, Brian Blake of District 19b, joined all House Republicans in voting no. Two Senate Democrats, Mark Mullet of District 5 and Tim Sheldon of District 35, joined the 20 Senate Republicans in voting no. Senator Guy Palumbo (D-1) was excused from voting.
 
Let People Vote led the R-88 petition drive and is leading the campaign for a vote against I-1000 at the November election. Let People Vote argued, “I-1000 can be summed up in one sentence: It would abolish the standard of equality for all, regardless of races, sex, color, age, ethnicity, or national origin, as required by Washington Civil Rights Act, and replace it with a system that uses different rules for people of different races. Initiative 1000 seeks to repeal Washington Civil Rights Act (I-200) and was enacted by the Legislature on the last day of the session in order to deny a public vote on the matter. Voter[s] approved I-200 by more than 58% of votes in 1998. Why shouldn’t voters be allowed to decide whether to change it?”
 
Of the 38 Initiatives to the Legislature (ITLs) that have been certified and presented to the legislature, five were approved by legislators instead of being sent to the ballot. Veto referendum efforts were subsequently filed against two of the ITLs and succeeded in overturning them.
 
Since the first in 1914, Washington voters have decided 37 statewide veto referendum measures at the ballot. The most recent veto referendum was on the ballot in Washington in 2012. In 81% of cases (30 of 37), the veto referendum resulted in the targeted bill being repealed. Conversely, 19% (seven of 37) of veto referendum measures resulted in the targeted law being upheld. In Washington, successful veto referendum petitions suspend the targeted law until the veto referendum is placed on the ballot and voted on in an election.
 
Nation-wide since the first in 1906, 521 veto referendums appeared on the ballot in 23 states. Voters repealed 340 (65.3 percent) of the targeted laws. Voters upheld 181 (34.7 percent) of the targeted laws. The states with the most veto referendums on the ballot were North Dakota (75), Oregon (68), and California(48). The states that allowed for veto referendums but had the least number of them were Wyoming (1), Nevada (2), and New Mexico (3).
 


Two Republicans competing in South Carolina special primary runoff

A special primary runoff for District 84 of the South Carolina House of Representatives is scheduled for August 13. Melissa Oremus and Alvin Padgett are running in the Republican primary runoff; they advanced to the runoff after defeating Cody Anderson, Danny Feagin, Ralph Gunter, and Sean Pumphrey in the July 30 primary. The winner of the primary runoff will be unopposed in the October 1 special election since no Democratic candidates filed for the seat.
 
The seat became vacant after Ronnie Young (R) passed away on May 19, 2019. Young had served in the state House since he won a special election in 2017. He won re-election in 2018 with 65% of the vote in the general election.
 
Heading into the special election, Republicans control the state House with a 78-44 majority with two vacancies. The other vacancy will be filled in a special election on August 20. Republicans also control the state Senate by a 27-19 margin. South Carolina 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, 70 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.
 


Reeves, Waller advance to runoff in Republican primary for governor of Mississippi

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. advanced to an August 27 runoff in the Republican primary for governor of Mississippi.
 
With 97% of precincts reporting, Reeves received 48.9% of the vote (short of the 50% needed to win outright) and Waller received 33.4%. State Rep. Robert Foster finished third with 17.8 percent of the vote.
 
The winner will face Attorney General Jim Hood (D) in the November 5 general election to succeed term-limited Gov. Phil Bryant (R).
 
To win election as governor of Mississippi, a candidate must win both a majority of the statewide vote and a majority of state House districts. If no candidate meets both requirements, the state House decides the winner.
 
Elections for all 52 seats in the state Senate and all 122 seats in the state House of Representatives will also take place on November 5.
 
Mississippi is one of 22 Republican state government trifectas, a term that describes when one party controls the governorship and both chambers of the state legislature. It has been a Republican trifecta since 2012.


Jim Hood wins Democratic nomination for governor of Mississippi

Attorney General Jim Hood won the Democratic nomination for governor of Mississippi, according to the Associated Press. As of 10:30 p.m. Central Time, Hood had received 70.1% of the vote with 40% of precincts reporting. Hood was followed by Michael Brown at 9.9% of the vote and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith at 7.6%.

Hood has served as state attorney general since 2004. He says that he will focus on the state economy and public education system and would expand Medicaid if elected. Smith has said that his candidacy was based in part on Hood’s office having brought him to trial on criminal charges three times between 2016 and 2018. Smith said the charges had a racial motivation. His policy priorities included expanding access to healthcare and raising the minimum wage.

Hood will face the winner of the Republican primary in the November 5 general election. In order to win election as governor of Mississippi, a candidate must win both a majority of the statewide vote and a majority of state House districts. If no candidate meets both requirements, the state House decides the winner. No Democrat has won election as governor of Mississippi since Ronnie Musgrove in 1999.



Mississippi legislative primaries to decide nominees for November general elections

Mississippi will hold primaries for the state Senate and House of Representatives on August 6, 2019.
 
Mississippi has been a Republican trifecta since 2012. Term-limited Gov. Phil Bryant is a Republican, and Republicans hold a 31-18 majority in the Senate (with 3 vacancies) and a 74-44 majority in the House (with 2 independents and 2 vacancies).
 
General elections will take place for all 52 seats in the Senate and all 122 seats in the House on November 5.
 
In the Senate, there are 11 contested Democratic primaries and 16 contested Republican primaries. In the House, there are 23 contested Democratic primaries and 26 contested Republican primaries.
 
Fifteen Democratic and 25 Republican incumbents are running for re-election in the Senate. Eight Democratic and 19 Republican incumbent senators are running unopposed. Four Democratic and eight Republican incumbents are not running for re-election.
 
In the House, 40 Democratic and 67 Republican incumbents are running for re-election. Five Democratic and seven Republican incumbent representatives are not running for re-election. Twenty-three Democratic and 47 Republican incumbent representatives are unopposed.
 
 


Eleven contested state executive primaries on Mississippi voters’ ballots Tuesday

Mississippi is holding state executive and legislative primary elections Tuesday. Of the eleven state executive offices on the ballot this year, seven feature a contested Republican primary and four feature a contested Democratic primary.
 
Gov. Phil Bryant (R) is term-limited, leaving his seat open for the first time since 2011. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr., and state Rep. Robert Foster are seeking the Republican nomination to succeed Bryant. On the Democratic side, eight candidates including Attorney General Jim Hood and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith are running. Mississippi has elected a Republican governor in every election since 2003.
 
Voters in both primaries will also nominate a candidate for secretary of state, responsible for management and oversight of Mississippi’s elections. In the Democratic primary, Maryra Hunt faces former Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree, while the Republican contest features Sen. Michael Watson and Public Service Commissioner Sam Britton.
 
Republican voters will nominate candidates in the contested primaries for lieutenant governor and attorney general. In the lieutenant gubernatorial primary, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann and Shane Quick are running. Meanwhile, state Rep. Mark Baker, state Treasurer Lynn Fitch, and attorney Andy Taggart, a former chief of staff to Gov. Kirk Fordice (R), are running for the Republican nomination for attorney general. No Republican has served as attorney general of Mississippi since 1878.
 
The only downballot statewide race with a contested primary is the Republican primary to succeed Lynn Fitch as treasurer. Former state Sen. Eugene Clark and attorney and businessman David McRae are running in that election.
 
Candidates for the Central and Southern Public Service Commission districts will also be selected. Those offices are responsible for management and oversight of utilities in Mississippi. In the Central district, four candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination and two are seeking the Republican nomination to succeed Cecil Brown (D). In the Southern district, two Democrats and two Republicans are running for the seat currently held by secretary of state candidate Sam Britton (R).
 
In order to win their party’s nomination, candidates must receive a majority of all votes cast. If no candidate wins a majority of votes, the top two finishers will advance to an August 27 runoff. The winners will advance to the November 5 general election.
 


Five Democrats competing in Arkansas House special primary

A special primary for District 36 of the Arkansas House of Representatives is scheduled on August 6. Denise Ennett, Philip Hood, Darrell Stephens, Roderick Talley, and Russell Williams III are running in the Democratic primary. No Republican candidates filed for the election. A primary runoff will take place on September 3 if no candidate receives more than 50% of the primary vote. The general election is on November 5.
 
The seat became vacant when Charles Blake (D) resigned his seat on May 16 to take a job as chief of staff to the mayor of Little Rock. Blake had served in the state House since 2015.
 
Heading into the special election, Republicans have a 76-23 majority in the state House with one vacancy. Arkansas 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, 70 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.
 


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