CategoryState

Candidate filing period for state offices ends in six states

The major-party filing deadline to run for elected office in Montana passed on March 9. That deadline was followed up on March 10 by filing deadlines in New Mexico and Oregon. Candidates running in Idaho, Iowa, and Nevada have until March 13 to file. Prospective candidates could file for the following offices:

  • U.S. Senate seats in Idaho, Iowa, Montana, New Mexico, and Oregon
  • U.S. House seats in all six states
  • State executive offices in Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, and Oregon
  • State legislative seats in all six states
  • State supreme court seats in all six states
  • Intermediate appellate court seats in Idaho, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, and Oregon

Ballotpedia is also covering local elections in parts of Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, and Oregon.

Primaries in Idaho and Oregon are being held on May 19. Iowa, Montana, and New Mexico are holding primaries on June 2. Nevada has its primary on June 9.

After these six filing deadlines, 21 states will have held statewide filing deadlines in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on March 16 in Maine.

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Six Nebraska state senators term-limited in 2020

Twenty-five of Nebraska’s 49 state senate seats are up for election in 2020. Incumbents filed for re-election in 19 of those races. In the remaining six, incumbents are ineligible to run for re-election due to term limits.

Nebraska is one of 15 states where state legislators are subject to term limits, a legal restriction on the number of terms a person may serve in a particular office. In Nebraska, state senators can serve two consecutive four-year terms for a total of eight years. After that, they must wait four years—one full term—before they can run again in that district.

All six state senators prevented from running for re-election were elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2016. They are:

  • District 9: Sara Howard (D)
  • District 11: Ernie Chambers (I)
  • District 19: Jim Scheer (R)
  • District 29: Kate Bolz (D)
  • District 31: Rick Kolowski (D)
  • District 45: Sue Crawford (D)

This is the second time that Ernie Chambers has been term-limited. Chambers represented District 11 from 1971-2009. He was ineligible to run for re-election in 2008 after serving two four-year terms following the introduction of term limits in 2000. After waiting the requisite four years, he ran in District 11 again in 2012.

Nebraska’s state senate is officially nonpartisan, which means senators are not formally affiliated with a party. To learn more about how Ballotpedia determines partisan affiliation in Nebraska’s state senate, click here. For more information about the 2020 state senate elections in Nebraska, click here.


February 2020 breakdown of state legislative party membership: 52.3% Republicans, 46.8% Democrats

February’s partisan count of the 7,383 state legislators across the United States shows 52.3% of all state legislators are Republicans and 46.8% are Democrats, which is consistent with January 2020.

Ballotpedia tallies the partisan balance of state legislatures at the end of every month. This refers to which political party holds the majority of seats in each chamber. Republicans hold a majority in 59 chambers, and Democrats hold the majority in 39 chambers. One chamber (Alaska’s state House) has a power-sharing agreement between the two parties.

Altogether, there are 1,972 state senate and 5,411 state house offices. Republicans held 3,859 state legislative seats—1,084 state senate seats (down one seat from January) and 2,775 state house seats (up four seats from last month). Democrats held 3,455 legislative seats—874 state Senate seats (consistent with January) and 2,581 state House seats (up three from last month). Independent or third-party legislators held 34 seats. There were 35 vacant seats—a decrease of six vacancies since January.

At the time of the 2018 elections, 7,280 state legislators were affiliated with either the Republican or Democratic parties. There were 3,257 Democratic state legislators, 4,023 Republican state legislators, 35 independent or third-party state legislators, and 68 vacancies.

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Statewide filing deadline passes in Nebraska

On March 2, the filing deadline passed for non-incumbents to run for elected office in Nebraska. The filing deadline for incumbents previously passed on February 18. Candidates filed for the following offices:

U.S. Senator
• Incumbent Ben Sasse (R) filed to run for re-election.

U.S. House Districts 1, 2, and 3
• Every incumbent filed to run for re-election.

Nebraska State Senate (25 seats)
• The incumbent did not file to run for re-election in Districts 9, 11, 19, 29, 31, and 45.

Public Service Commissioner
• The incumbent filed to run for re-election.

State Board of Education (4 seats)
• The incumbent did not file to run for re-election for State Board of Education Districts 3 and 4.

Ballotpedia is also covering retention elections for the following judicial offices:
• Nebraska Supreme Court (2 seats)
• Nebraska Court of Appeals (2 seats)

Finally, Ballotpedia is covering local elections in the following areas:
• Lancaster County
• Omaha
• Elkhorn Public Schools
• Millard Public Schools
• Norris School District 160
• Omaha Public Schools
• Ralston Public Schools
• Waverly School District 145
• Westside Community Schools

The primary is scheduled for May 12, and the general election is scheduled for November 3, 2020.

Nebraska’s statewide filing deadline was the 14th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next major party statewide filing deadline is on March 6 in Georgia.

Nebraska 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, or in Nebraska’s case, the unicameral Nebraska State Senate.

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Georgia filing deadline is March 6

The major-party filing deadline to run for elected office in Georgia is on March 6, 2020. In Georgia, prospective candidates may file for the following offices:

• U.S. Senate (2 seats: 1 special election and 1 regular election)
• U.S. House (14 seats)
• Georgia Public Service Commission (2 seats)
• State Senate (56 seats)
• State House (180 seats)
• Georgia Supreme Court (3 seats)
• Georgia Court of Appeals (7 seats)

Ballotpedia is also covering local elections in the following areas:
• DeKalb County, Georgia
• DeKalb County School District
• Fulton County Schools
• Henry County Schools
• Muscogee County School District
• Savannah-Chatham County Public School System
• Cherokee County School District
• Clayton County Public Schools
• Cobb County School District
• Forsyth County Schools
• Gwinnett County Public Schools

The primary is scheduled for May 19, a primary runoff is scheduled for July 21 if needed, and the general election is scheduled for November 3, 2020. If needed, a general runoff election will be held on December 1, 2020, for state races and on January 5, 2021, for federal races.

Georgia’s statewide filing deadline is the 15th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on March 9 in Montana.

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.

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New Hampshire House special election scheduled for Tuesday

A special election is scheduled for March 10 in the Merrimack 24 District of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Kathleen Martins (D) and Elliot Axelman (R) are competing in the special election, and voters will have until 7 p.m. local time to cast their ballot.

The seat became vacant on December 13, 2019, when Dick Marple (R) passed away. He served in the state House from 1999 to 2000, 2002 to 2006, and 2014 to 2019.

Merrimack 24 is a multi-member district with four seats. The three other seats in the district are all currently held by Republicans. Martins ran in the 2018 general election for one of the four seats, but she placed fifth in the race and was 113 votes behind Marple.

Democrats control the state House by a 233-164 margin with one Libertarian member and two vacancies. 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 March, 33 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2020 in 15 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.

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Nebraska filing deadline passes to run for U.S. congressional offices

On March 2, the non-incumbent filing deadline passed for candidates to run for elected office in Nebraska. The incumbent filing deadline passed on February 18. One U.S. Senate seat and three U.S. House seats are up for election in the state.

The Class II Senate seat currently held by Ben Sasse (R) is up for election. Sasse filed to run for re-election. In addition to Sasse, one Republican, seven Democrats, and one Libertarian filed to run for the seat.

The seats for House Districts 1, 2, and 3 are up for election. All three incumbents filed for re-election: Jeff Fortenberry (R) for District 1, Don Bacon (R) for District 2, and Adrian Smith (R) for District 3. Two Democrats and one Libertarian also filed to run in District 1. One Republican, three Democrats, and one Libertarian also filed to run in District 2. Four Republicans, one Democrat, and one Libertarian also filed to run in District 3.

The primary is scheduled for May 12, and the general election is scheduled for November 3, 2020.

Nebraska’s statewide filing deadline was the 14th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on March 6 in Georgia.

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Candidate filing period for congressional races in Georgia ends March 6

The major-party filing deadline to run for a U.S. House or Senate seat in Georgia was on March 6, 2020. In Georgia, prospective candidates could file for two seats in the U.S. Senate (one special election and one regular election) and 14 seats in the U.S. House.

The U.S. Senate special election was called after Johnny Isakson (R) resigned at the end of 2019, citing his health. On December 4, 2019, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) appointed Kelly Loeffler (R) to fill the seat. Loeffler declared her intention to run in the election. The winner of the election will fill the remaining two years of Isakson’s six-year term.

The seat in the regularly-scheduled U.S. Senate election is currently held by incumbent David Perdue (R). Perdue was first elected in 2014. He declared his intention to run for re-election in the 2020 race.

In the U.S. House races, voters will elect candidates from each of the state’s 14 congressional districts. Heading into the November 3 election, the Republican Party holds nine of the 14 seats.

The primary is scheduled for May 19. A primary runoff is scheduled for July 21 if needed, and the general election is scheduled for November 3, 2020. If needed, a general runoff election will be held on December 1, 2020, for state races and on January 5, 2021, for federal races.

Georgia’s statewide filing deadline is the 15th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on March 9 in Montana.

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22 of 149 congressional primaries on Super Tuesday advance to primary runoff

Five states held statewide primaries on March 3, 2020: Alabama, Arkansas, California, North Carolina, and Texas. In those states, 22 congressional races advanced to primary runoffs. Nine are Democratic primary runoffs, and 13 are Republican primary runoffs.

Alabama saw the highest percentage of primaries advance to primary runoffs. Of the six primaries on the ballot, four advanced to a primary runoff (67%)—three Republican primary runoffs and one Democratic primary runoff. Texas saw the next-highest percentage, with 17 of the 74 primaries advancing to a primary runoff (23%). North Carolina had one of 15 primaries advance to a primary runoff (7%). California does not hold primary runoffs. Arkansas’ congressional primaries were canceled for all four seats after one or fewer Democratic or Republican party candidates filed to run.

Overall, 149 primaries were held across a combined 117 seats up for election in the five states. California’s 25th Congressional District is up for regular and special election, and is counted twice in both figures. Of the primaries on the ballot, 47 were Republican primaries, 48 were Democratic primaries, and 54 were top-two primaries.

Entering the 2020 election, the U.S. Senate has 45 Democrats, 53 Republicans, and two independents who caucus with the Democratic Party. Thirty-five of the 100 Senate seats are up for election. A majority in the chamber requires 51 seats. The U.S. House has 232 Democrats, 197 Republicans, one independent, and five vacancies. All 435 seats are up for election. A majority in the chamber requires 218 seats.

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Voters in South Dakota to decide on legalizing sports betting in Deadwood this fall

South Dakota legislators passed Senate Joint Resolution 501 on March 3, certifying it for the November 2020 ballot.

The amendment would legalize sports betting (wagering on the outcome of athletic sporting events) within the city limits of Deadwood, South Dakota. Currently, in Deadwood— a resort and gaming town— blackjack, craps, keno, poker, roulette, and slot machines are legalized. Like other authorized forms of gambling within the city, net municipal proceeds would be dedicated to the historic restoration and preservation of Deadwood.

Senate Joint Resolution 501 was passed in the Senate on February 11, 2020, in a vote of 24-10, with one excused. Of the 30 Republicans in the Senate, 20 voted in favor, nine voted against, and one was excused. Among the five Senate Democrats, four Democrats voted in favor and one voted against. It was sent to the state House where it passed on March 3, 2020, by a vote of 36-27 with seven representatives excused. Among Democrats, seven were in favor and three were against. Among Republicans, 29 were in favor and 24 were against.

Sports betting was banned at the federal level under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) until a 2018 United States Supreme Court decision, Murphy v. NCAA, overturned that federal ban and allowed states to legalize sports betting. As of March 2020, 13 states had legalized sports betting. Voters in Arkansas approved legalizing sports betting through Issue 4 in 2018. Voters in Colorado approved sports betting through Proposition DD in 2019. In certain other states, legislative bills to legalize sports betting have been introduced.

Two other ballot measures are certified to appear on the November ballot in South Dakota. Initiated Measure 26 would provide for a medical marijuana program in South Dakota. Constitutional Amendment A would legalize recreational use of marijuana and require the legislature to pass laws providing for the use of medical marijuana and the sale of hemp by April 1, 2022.

A total of 74 measures appeared on the statewide ballot in South Dakota from 1996 through 2018, of which, about 39% (29 of 74) were approved and about 61% (45 of 74) were defeated.

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