Elections for all 100 seats in the Virginia House of Delegates are taking place on November 2, 2021. Democrats hold 55 seats and Republicans hold 45 seats. There are 93 districts with both a Democratic and Republican candidate on the ballot. This is the first election cycle since 1999 with Democrats defending a majority in the chamber.
This article lists the five most expensive contested general elections this cycle, ranked by contributions. An earlier version of this article, based on reported data through Aug. 31, 2021, reported the average amount raised for a general election featuring more than one candidate as $394,827.38. In the last two months, the reported donation average climbed by $330,410. Of the districts included in the previous list, only District 10 remains in the top five as of the Oct. 21, 2021 reports.
The Democratic candidate won 52-48 in the 2019 general election.
Fundraising in all contested elections
Across Virginia in the 2021 election cycle, the average amount raised for a general election featuring more than one candidate was $725,238. The map below shades the Virginia House districts based on the amount of money raised in that district.
The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Virginia candidate political action committees (candidate PACs) submitted to the Virginia Department of Elections. It includes fundraising activity between Jan. 1, 2020, and Oct. 21, 2021. Candidate PACs represent individuals who have run for state or local office at any point, including past and present officeholders. This article does not include non-candidate PACs.
Connecticut state Rep. Michael DiMassa (D-116) resigned on Oct. 25 after he was indicted on charges of wire fraud.
DiMassa submitted a letter of resignation dated Oct. 21 that the secretary of state received on Oct. 25. DiMassa was arrested on Oct. 18 after he allegedly created a fraudulent company that received more than $600,000 in COVID-19 relief funds.
DiMassa was first elected to represent the 116th district in 2017, after defeating Richard DePalma (R) 73.39% to 26.61%.
Vacancies in the Connecticut state legislature are filled by special elections. The governor must call for an election no later than 10 days after the vacancy happens, and all special elections must be held no later than 46 days after a governor’s declaration. If the vacancy happens with less than 125 days left before the general election, the special election must be held on the same day as the general election. No election can be called by the governor if the vacancy happens with less than 49 days before the general election.
As of October 2021, there have been 116 state legislative vacancies in 41 states. Five of those vacancies have occurred in Connecticut.
Here’s a summary of recent court challenges involving redistricting.
A three-judge panel in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled on Oct. 19 that Illinois’ legislative maps enacted in June were unconstitutional and violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The Illinois legislature initially enacted state legislative maps on June 4 using the American Community Survey (ACS) data, a demographics survey program conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau but distinct from the decennial census. Two sets of plaintiffs—Illinois’ House and Senate Republican leaders and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund—filed lawsuits challenging the state’s legislative redistricting plans arguing that the maps were malapportioned since they were based on ACS, rather than official census, data.
After the state received data from the Census Bureau in August 2021, the legislature reconvened and adopted revised maps that Gov. J. B. Pritzker (D) signed into law on Sept. 24. The June maps were never explicitly repealed. Both sets of plaintiffs filed amended complaints on Oct. 1 arguing that the September maps violated the Voting Rights Act since they reduced the number of Latino opportunity districts—where Latinos make up more than 50% of the population—despite the growth in the state’s Latino population over the preceding decade.
The three-judge panel ruled that the maps adopted in June were invalid and set a November hearing schedule regarding the plaintiffs’ amended complaints challenging the September redistricting plans.
On Oct. 25, the Colorado Supreme Court heard oral arguments from the following individuals and organizations regarding the state’s legislative redistricting plan: the Colorado Republican Committee, Colorado Republican State Senate Caucus, and Colorado Republican State House Caucus; Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy & Research Organization; Fair Lines Colorado; and, Thomas E. Norton, a former mayor of Greeley, Colorado. Following the oral arguments, the state supreme court ordered the Colorado Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission to submit information explaining its decisions to split the City of Lakewood into two Senate districts and place a part of Jefferson County into Senate District 4.
The redistricting commission submitted its final map to the state supreme court on Oct. 15, which set the court’s deadline to decide on the map for Nov. 15. Following that submission, nine organizations and individuals submitted briefs to the supreme court in support of or opposition to the final approved legislative proposal.
On Oct. 25, two residents of Lane County, Oregon, filed a lawsuit before the Oregon Supreme Court challenging the boundaries of two districts in the state’s newly enacted House of Representatives redistricting plan. The lawsuit said, “That line was not based upon consideration of any permissible districting criteria, but was the result of an effort by Legislative Assembly leadership to protect one incumbent from a primary challenge.” It went on to say that “this case does not involve the momentous issues of a wholly partisan-gerrymandered map […] it involves violations of law important to people in one part of Oregon that, respectfully, this Court should require the Secretary of State to correct.”
Gov. Kate Brown (D) signed Oregon’s state legislative maps into law on Sept. 27. The House of Representatives approved the maps 31-18, and the state Senate 18-11. These maps take effect for Oregon’s 2022 legislative elections.
Here’s a summary of recent redistricting news from Colorado, Arkansas, and Connecticut:
In Arkansas, the secretary of state’s office approved the veto referendums announced by Arkansans for a Unified Natural State, which challenge the state’s congressional map bills, meaning the organization can begin collecting signatures. The signature campaign for the veto referendums, if successful, would place the two identical congressional district map bills on the Nov. 2022 general election ballot. To qualify for the ballot, supporters must gather 53,491 signatures for each referendum from registered voters in at least 15 of the state’s counties within 90 days after the end of the special legislative session in which the bills were passed.
In Colorado, the secretary of state’s office announced on Oct. 12 that it would pursue claims alleging the violation of lobbying laws in interactions with the state’s independent redistricting commissioners. Stanley Matsunaka (D) filed a complaint with the Colorado Secretary of State alleging that former Colorado House Speaker Frank McNulty (R) and former Colorado House and Senate member Greg Brophy (R) had failed to register as lobbyists before lobbying the commissioners. It further alleged that McNulty, Brophy, and registered lobbyist Alan Philip did not correctly report payment by a 501(c)(4) nonprofit group, Colorado Neighborhood Coalition, for lobbying work.
In response to the complaint, McNulty said: “This is just another attempt by partisan Democrats to suppress involvement in a public process.” Philip said: “Partisan Democrat secretary of state decides to move forward with a baseless complaint by partisan Democrat operatives. I’m disappointed, but not surprised.” The secretary of state’s office said it would pursue claims against McNulty and Brophy, but it would not pursue the claims against Philip due to lack of sufficient grounds. The office referred the issue to the Office of Administrative Courts for further action.
In Connecticut, the Connecticut Reapportionment Commission announced the addition of a ninth member, Kevin Johnston (D), on Oct. 20. Johnston is a former state Senator and state auditor. At the same meeting, commissioners selected Senate Minority Leader Kevin C. Kelly (R) and House Speaker Matthew Ritter (D) to serve as chairs. The commission is tasked with drawing both congressional and legislative maps, since the Connecticut General Assembly did not approve new maps by the Sept. 15 deadline.
At least ten states progressed in either proposing, advancing, or enacting new congressional and state legislative district maps as part of the 2020 redistricting cycle between Oct. 20 and Oct. 27, 2021.
Alabama: On Oct. 25, state Rep. Chris England (D) released Alabama’s first congressional and state legislative draft maps via Twitter. The following day, the state’s joint redistricting committee met to discuss the proposals, which passed through the committee without any changes.
England criticized the lack of publicly-available information ahead of the hearing, saying, “I fully anticipate this process ending up in the courts somewhere. I mean just off the fact alone that the public … also did not see this information.” Rep. Chris Pringle (R) said, “You will have time in both before a House and Senate standing committee to fully vet and look at these bills.”
Georgia: The state House and Senate Democratic Caucuses released a draft congressional map plan on Oct. 21. According to a press release from the Democratic Party of Georgia, the proposed map would create seven Democratic-leaning districts and seven Republican-leaning districts. Democrats currently hold six districts and Republicans hold eight.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Maya Prabhu and Tia Mitchell wrote, “Since the Legislature is controlled by Republicans, it’s highly unlikely the Democrats’ proposal will have any influence on the process when lawmakers begin a special session Nov. 3.”
This is the second congressional map proposal released in the state. Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R) and Senate Redistricting Chairman John Kennedy (R) released the first proposal on Sept. 27.
Additionally, according to the Associated Press, under the revised map, “a proposed congressional district would connect Latino populations [around Chicago] for a second Latino-leaning district, in addition to the one currently represented by U.S. Rep. Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia.”
Due to population decline, Illinois was apportioned 17 congressional districts following the 2020 census, down from 18 after the 2010 census.
Iowa: The state’s Legislative Services Agency (LSA) delivered its second package of congressional and state legislative redistricting proposals to the state legislature on Oct. 21. The legislature scheduled a special session to vote on these maps for Oct. 28.
The LSA released its first draft maps on Sept. 16, which the Iowa State Senate voted 32-18 along party lines to reject on Oct. 5.
If legislators reject the LSA’s second draft, the agency must create a third and final draft. If the legislature rejects the third draft, it would then approve its own maps. Since the implementation of this process in 1980, the legislature has always chosen an LSA proposal.
Montana: The Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission released two new draft congressional map proposals on Oct. 21 after Chairwoman Maylinn Smith expressed disapproval over the nine proposals released on Oct. 5.
Due to population gain, Montana was apportioned two congressional districts following the 2020 census for the first time since 1980.
North Carolina: The Senate and House Redistricting Committees released their respective proposals for state legislative and congressional maps. Both committees released one state legislative proposal. The Senate committee released five proposed congressional maps while the House committee released one.
Wisconsin: Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R) and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) introduced congressional and state legislative map proposals on Oct. 20, the same day the state’s People’s Map Commission released revised versions of its map proposals. The commission, created by Gov. Tony Evers (D) in a Jan. 27, 2020, executive order, may propose maps, but the legislature is under no obligation to accept the recommendations.
In Wisconsin, both congressional and state legislative maps are drawn by the state legislature. These lines are subject to veto by the governor. Republicans control both chambers of the legislature in Wisconsin, while Democrats control the governorship.
New Mexico: On Oct. 20, the New Mexico Citizen Redistricting Committee recommended three House map proposals to the state legislature. The proposals join the two Senate maps recommended on Oct. 15.
This is the first election cycle featuring the Citizen Redistricting Committee, which Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) signed into law on Apr. 6, 2021. Committee proposals are non-binding, meaning the state legislature retains the authority to adopt, amend, or discard the proposed maps as it sees fit.
Texas and West Virginia enacted new congressional and state legislative maps on Oct. 25 and 22, respectively. They join the four states—Indiana, Maine, Nebraska, and Oregon—that already enacted new congressional district maps.
They also join those four states plus Ohio that already enacted new state legislative maps. Illinois has enacted new state legislative maps, but in an Oct. 19 ruling, a federal court took control of the process and ordered interested parties to submit revisions to the enacted maps with a Nov. 8 deadline.
A special general election was held for the Cheshire 9 District of the New Hampshire House of Representatives on Oct. 26. Andrew Maneval (D) won the special election with 1,209 votes, 64.9% of the vote total, and defeated Rita Mattson (R).
A Democratic primary and a Republican primary were held on Sept. 7. The filing deadline passed on July 9. The special election was called after Douglas Ley (D) died of cancer on June 10. Ley served from 2012 to 2021.
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 special elections from 2010 to 2020, an average of nearly three per year.
Four New Hampshire House of Representatives special elections have been held so far in 2021. A fifth is scheduled in the Rockingham 6 District for Dec. 7.
As of October, the New Hampshire House of Representatives had 188 Democrats and 207 Republicans. All 400 seats are up for election in 2022. A majority in the chamber requires 201 seats. New Hampshire has a Republican trifecta. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers.
New campaign finance filings for Virginia state legislative races show Democrats leading Republicans in fundraising. Between January 1, 2020, and October 21, 2021, Democratic candidates outraised Republican candidates by 143 percent.
Heading into the general elections, 103 Democratic candidates raised $51.87 million compared to $21.38 million raised by 103 Republicans.
In the Democratic party, the top fundraisers in the most recent reporting period were:
Glenn Davis (House of Delegates, District 84) – $672,595
Tanya Gould (House of Delegates, District 21) – $604,071
The candidates who raised the most money were incumbent Wendy Gooditis (D) in House District 10 ($2,876,678), incumbent Jerrauld Jones (D) in House District 89 ($2,377,726), and incumbent Alex Askew (D) in House District 85 ($2,123,593).
State legislative general elections are held on November 2, 2021. Primary elections took place on June 8, 2021. In some cases, party nominees may have been chosen earlier.
Democrats have a 21-19 majority in the Virginia State Senate and a 55-45 majority in the Virginia State House.
Campaign finance requirements govern how much money candidates may receive from individuals and organizations, how much and how often they must report those contributions, and how much individuals, organizations, and political parties may contribute to campaigns. All campaign financial transactions must be made through the candidate’s committee. Campaign committees are required to file regular campaign finance disclosure reports with the Virginia Department of Elections.
A special election is being held on Nov. 2 to fill a vacancy in District 86 of the Maine House of Representatives. Augusta City Council member Raegan LaRochelle (D) and U.S. Army veteran James Orr (R) are facing off in the special election. The winner of the special election will serve until December 2022.
The seat became vacant on July 4 when Justin Fecteau (R) resigned because he moved outside of the district. He had represented the district since 2018. He was re-elected in 2020 with 57% of the vote.
Heading into the special election, Democrats have a 79-65 majority in the Maine House with five third-party members and two vacancies. Maine 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 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. Maine held 15 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.
Texas enacted new state legislative districts on October 25, 2021, when Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed proposals approved by the Texas House and Senate into law. These maps will take effect for Texas’ 2022 state legislative elections.
The Senate Redistricting Committee released a draft of a Senate legislative map on September 18, 2021. A Senate panel advanced the proposal to the full Senate for debate on Sept. 28. The Senate approved an amended version in a 20-11 vote on Oct. 4. On Oct. 13, the House approved an amended version of a House map proposal introduced on Sept. 30 with a vote split along party lines.
The House and Senate approved maps for each other’s districts on Oct. 15. The House approved the Senate map by an 81-60 vote, and the Senate approved the House map by an 18-13 vote. Gov. Abbott signed both maps into law on Oct. 25.
Lt. Gov Dan Patrick (R) said of the Senate map, “This map illustrates our commitment to making sure every Texan is well-represented in their state Legislature and their voices are heard.” State Rep. Rafael Anchia (D) said the Senate proposal did not adequately reflect the racial composition of the state. “There are nearly three times as many districts that are majority white compared to majority Hispanic,” Anchia said.
State Rep. Todd Hunter (R) said the House map “achieves fair representation for the citizens of Texas.” State Sen. Eddie Lucio (D) criticized revisions to the House districts in the Rio Grande Valley, saying, “In my time in the Legislature, I have never seen such blatant disregard for the process.”
As of October 26, 2021, eight states have adopted legislative maps, one state’s legislative map is awaiting approval by the state supreme court, one state enacted its legislative boundaries based on Census estimates which will be revised in an upcoming special session, and 40 states have not yet adopted legislative redistricting plans after the 2020 census. At this point in the 2010 redistricting cycle, 26 states had enacted state legislative maps.
Nationwide, legislative redistricting has been completed for 304 of 1,972 state Senate seats (15.4%) and 758 of 5,411 state House seats (14%).
Texas enacted new congressional districts on October 25, 2021, when Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed a proposal approved by the Texas House and Senate into law. This map will take effect for Texas’ 2022 congressional elections.
Sen. Joan Huffman (R) proposed a congressional map on September 27, 2021, and the Senate approved an amended version on Oct. 8. On Oct. 13, the House Redistricting Committee approved an amended version of the map. The legislature approved a final version of the map on Oct. 18. The Senate approved the bill 18-13, and the House approved the bill 84-59. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed the map into law on Oct. 25.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) said, “This map displays our collective commitment to making sure every Texan’s voice is heard in Washington, D.C. I want to thank all 31 senators for their hard work, and especially Sen. Huffman for her leadership throughout the redistricting process.”
State Sen. Jose Menendez (D) said the proposed map of congressional districts failed to acknowledge that “people of color…all deserve equal representation.” “We cannot continue to govern without addressing the fact that race matters. Race exists. We had 95% growth in minorities, and we have no new minority opportunity districts, and that is simply wrong,” Menéndez said.
As of Oct. 26, six states have adopted congressional maps, one state’s congressional map is awaiting approval by the state supreme court, six states were apportioned one congressional district (so no congressional redistricting is required), and 37 states have not yet adopted congressional maps after the 2020 census. Congressional redistricting has been completed for 66 of the 435 seats (15.2%) in the U.S. House of Representatives.
At this point in the 2010 redistricting cycle, 24 states had enacted new congressional maps.