CategoryState

Special elections to be held in Kentucky state legislative districts

Special elections are being held on Nov. 2 for one seat in the Kentucky State Senate and two seats in the Kentucky House of Representatives. Candidates running for special elections in Kentucky are selected by their respective local party organizations. The winners of the special elections will serve until Dec. 31, 2022.

  • In Senate District 22, Helen Bukulmez (D) is facing off against Donald Douglas (R). Sindicat Dunn filed as an independent write-in candidate. The seat became vacant after Tom Buford (R) passed away on July 6. Buford had represented the district since 1991. He won re-election in 2018 with 66% of the vote.
  • In House District 51, Edwin Rogers (D), Michael Pollock (R), and Timothy Shafer (I) are running in the special election. The seat became vacant after John Carney (R) passed away on July 17. Carney had represented the district since 2009. He won re-election in 2020 with 79% of the vote.
  • In House District 89, Maetinee Suramek (D) is facing off against Timmy Truett (R). The seat became vacant after Robert Goforth (R) resigned on August 24. At the time of his resignation, Goforth was facing domestic violence-related charges. Goforth had represented the district since 2018. He won re-election in 2020 with 71% of the vote.

Kentucky 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 29-8 margin with one vacancy and the state House by a 73-25 margin with two vacancies.

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. Kentucky held 23 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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Results of Newsom recall certified; 12.8 million total votes cast

On Oct. 22, 2021, California certified the results of the recall election targeting Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Sept. 14. Of the 12.8 million voters who participated in the election, 61.9% voted to retain Newsom, and 38.1% voted to recall.

Forty-six candidates, including nine Democrats and 24 Republicans, ran in the election. Approximately 7.4 million voters selected a candidate on the second question. The five candidates to receive the most votes were: radio host Larry Elder (R) with 48.4%, YouTuber Kevin Paffrath (D) with 9.6%, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R) with 8.0%, doctor Brandon Ross (D) with 5.3%, and 2018 gubernatorial candidate John Cox (R) with 4.1%. Eight other candidates received at least 1% of the vote.

The recall election presented voters with two questions. The first asked whether Newsom should be recalled from the office of governor. The second asked who should succeed Newsom if he is recalled. A majority vote was required on the first question for the governor to be recalled. If voters had recalled Newsom, the candidate with the most votes on the second question would have won the election.

Since 1911, there have been 55 attempts to recall a California governor. The only successful recall campaign was in 2003 when voters recalled then-Gov. Gray Davis (D). Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) was elected as Davis’ replacement. In that election, 135 candidates ran, and the winner received 48.6% of the vote.



Redistricting timeline updates: Colorado and Utah face deadlines, Pennsylvania holds public hearings

Here’s a summary of recent redistricting timeline updates from Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Utah.

Colorado: After the Colorado Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission approved state legislative map proposals to be sent to the Colorado Supreme Court for review on Oct. 11 (House map) and 12 (Senate map), the deadline for the court to either approve or send back the plans is Nov. 15.

Pennsylvania: Governor Tom Wolf’s (D) Redistricting Advisory Council continues to hold public hearings on redistricting. Upcoming dates and locations are listed below:

  1. 11:00 a.m. Oct. 27: Penn State Behrend, Pat Black III Conference Center,

Erie, PA

  1. 11:00 a.m. Oct. 29: Drexel University, Creese Student Center, Philadelphia, PA
  2. 11:00 a.m. Nov. 1: Penn State Main Campus, HUB-Robeson Center, University Park, PA
  3. 5:30 p.m. Nov. 3: Mansfield University, Manser Hall, Mansfield, PA

Utah: The Utah Independent Redistricting Commission has until Nov. 1 to submit its full report containing proposed congressional districts, Utah Senate and House districts, and school board districts to the legislature.



Three of 10 Virginia House districts with the closest 2019 margins have decreased fundraising this cycle

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. This is the first election cycle since 1999 with Democrats defending a majority in the chamber.

In this article, we’ll look at the 10 closest contests from 2019 and see how the fundraising compares between election cycles. Two of these 10 races resulted in the seat changing partisan hands from Republicans to Democrats (Districts 28 and 83) last cycle.

Ten closest elections in 2019

Of the 10 closest races from the 2019 election cycle, there was an even split between Democratic and Republican victories. Candidates in these districts raised a total of $5.9 million in fundraising at this point in 2019. This cycle, candidates in those same districts have raised a total of $6.8 million.

Across the 100 districts in 2021, candidates in each district have raised on average $393,362. Eight of the 10 districts with the closest 2019 margins have raised more than that on average. The two to not meet that average are both districts held by Republicans.

District2019 MoV2019 fundraising2021 fundraising
District 73D+4.5$561,022.58$928,158.74
District 83*D+0.12$636,073.31$913,555.09
District 28*D+4.1$499,073.22$855,925.61
District 85D+3.4$541,561.69$808,842.06
District 84R+2.4$445,833.90$794,113.10
District 27R+0.62$607,977.43$666,440.06
District 75D+2.1$108,441.91$632,729.37
District 66R+4.6$1,648,306.55$561,708.31
District 100R+3.9$436,818.66$385,646.85
District 81R+4.4$376,179.83$210,370.06

*Districts that changed partisan hands in 2019

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 Aug. 31, 2021, as well as Jan. 1, 2018, and Aug. 31, 2019. 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.

This article was published in partnership with Transparency USA. Click here to learn more about that partnership.



Democratic candidates in Virginia House have raised 57 percent more than last cycle; Republicans raised 19 percent less

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. In 2019, Democrats gained control of the chamber from Republicans by picking up six seats when Republicans had held a 51-49 majority. As a result, 2021 is the first election cycle since 1999 with Democrats defending a majority in the chamber.

In the 2021 election cycle, Democratic candidates have raised a combined $28.5 million to Republicans’ $10.9 million. In the 2019 cycle, Democratic candidates raised $15.8 million at this point while Republicans raised $13.1 million. In this article, we’ll look at select campaign finance data points and how they compare to the 2019 election cycle. 

Total money raised

Between Jan. 1, 2020, and Aug. 31, 2021, Democratic candidates have raised 57 percent more money than in the previous election cycle, while Republican candidates have raised 19 percent less money. The chart below compares the total funds raised by candidates of each political party through Aug. 31 of each election cycle in 2021 and 2019.

Five districts with the most fundraising

In the 2021 election cycle, the five districts with the most fundraising exceeded $1 million each. In the 2019 election cycle, only two districts had fundraising totaling more than $1 million at this point in time.

Most expensive races  (1/1/2020 – 8/31/2021)Most expensive races  (1/1/2018 – 8/31/2019)
DistrictFunds raisedDistrictFunds raised
District 89$2,357,862.70District 40$1,725,113.52
District 11$2,109,943.85District 66$1,648,306.55
District 10$1,427,115.04District 10$954,747.49
District 41$1,353,323.67District 94$912,502.83
District 40$1,100,583.90District 76$871,691.62

Top ten fundraisers

In the 2021 election cycle, two candidates have raised more than $2 million each. In the 2019 election cycle, no candidate had raised more than $1.2 million at this point in time.

Top fundraisers (1/1/2020 – 8/31/2021)Top fundraisers  (1/1/2018 – 8/31/2019)
NameFunds raisedNameFunds raised
Jerrauld Jones (D)$2,330,658.71Kirk Cox (R)$1,177,816.49
S. Rasoul (D)$2,069,106.10Tim Hugo (R)$1,101,445.44
Eileen Filler-Corn (D)$1,353,025.49Chris Jones (R)$721,063.34
Charniele Herring (D)$952,894.37Dan Helmer (D)$623,668.08
Elizabeth Guzman (D)$918,627.01Nick Freitas (R)$544,907.56
Luke Torian (D)$799,546.66Danica Roem (D)$527,411.77
Dan Helmer (D)$751,851.02Carrie Coyner (R)$525,967.66
Candi King (D)$723,276.37Eileen Filler-Corn (D)$518,929.00
Wendy Gooditis (D)$713,788.18Randall Minchew (R)$513,943.89
Nick Clemente (R)$713,326.86Shelly Simonds (D)$505,487.60

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 Aug. 31, 2021, as well as Jan. 1, 2018, and Aug. 31, 2019. 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.

This article was published in partnership with Transparency USA. Click here to learn more about that partnership.



West Virginia enacts new congressional districts

West Virginia enacted new congressional districts on Oct. 22, 2021, when Gov. Jim Justice (R) signed a proposal approved by the House of Delegates and Senate into law. This map will take effect for West Virginia’s 2022 congressional elections.

On Sept. 30, 2021, the House and Senate Redistricting Committees released 18 congressional district map proposals. On Oct. 13, the West Virginia Senate passed a map proposed by Sen. Charles S. Trump IV in a 30-2 vote, which the House then approved on Oct. 14 in an 84-12 vote.

“This bill puts the state into two districts, which are compact and have low drive times,” said Del. Gary Howell (R). State Sen. Trump said, “Compactness is quite a challenge when you’re trying to draw any kind of district. The two West Virginia panhandles render the state uncompact. I believe this bill meets the constitutional requirements of both the United States constitution and the West Virginia constitution. I think it’s a good map.”

As of Oct. 25, five states have adopted new 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 38 states have not yet adopted new congressional maps.

Congressional redistricting has been completed for 28 of the 435 seats (6.4%) in the U.S. House of Representatives.



West Virginia enacts new state legislative district maps

West Virginia enacted new state legislative districts on Oct. 22, 2021, when Gov. Jim Justice (R) signed map proposals approved by both legislative chambers into law. The maps will take effect for West Virginia’s 2022 state legislative elections.

On Sept. 30, 2021, the House Redistricting Committee released a single-member district map proposal for the West Virginia House of Delegates. The proposal passed the House on Oct. 13 in a 79-20 vote and passed the Senate on Oct. 18 in a 28-5 vote.

On Oct. 5, the Senate Redistricting Committee released five map proposals for West Virginia’s State Senate districts. On Oct. 11, 2021, the Senate Redistricting Committee voted to recommend a senate map proposed by Sen. Charles S. Trump IV (R) to the full Senate. The Senate approved a map that combined aspects of previous proposals in a 31-2 vote on October 19. The Hosue approved the map 72-19.

“The Joint Committee on Redistricting worked very hard all summer and fall to craft a plan that will give every West Virginian an equal voice in the House of Delegates. For the first time in decades, West Virginia will have 100 single-member House districts,” said House Speaker Roger Hanshaw (R) of the House map. Del. Mike Pushkin (D) said, “What we have before us is a gerrymandered mess. If your goal is to protect political power well into the future, it was done quite well.”

On the Senate map, Sen. Charles S. Trump IV (R) said, “This amendment I believe reconciles and harmonizes some of the issues that were points of contention,” Trump said in a statement. “This is the product of conversations and compromises over a long period of time by a great number of people.” “There is a faction within the Republican Party that is worried about their reelection when they shouldn’t be. They should worry about how the state works and how to make it work,” said Sen. Mike Romano (D).

As of Oct. 25, 2021, seven states have adopted new state legislative maps, one state’s legislative map is awaiting approval by the state supreme court, one state enacted new state legislative maps based on Census estimates which will be revised in an upcoming special session, and 41 states have not yet adopted new state legislative maps.

Nationwide, legislative redistricting has been completed for 273 of 1,972 state Senate seats (13.8%) and 628 of 5,411 state House seats (11.6%).



In targeted Virginia House races, Democrats raised an average of double their Republican counterparts

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. This is the first election cycle since 1999 with Democrats defending a majority in the chamber.

Democratic target districts

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee announced a list of 22 target districts this election cycle. Those candidates combined raised a total of $10.5 million. The table below shows the Democratic candidate in each target district along with the 2019 margin of victory in that district. 

DistrictDemocratic CandidateFunds raised2019 margin of victory
District 10Wendy Gooditis$713,788.18D+4.7
District 12Chris Hurst$666,962.18D+7.2
District 13Danica Roem$428,505.70D+12
District 21Kelly Convirs-Fowler$293,795.62D+9.2
District 28Joshua Cole$617,479.37D+4
District 31Elizabeth Guzman$918,627.01D+5.4
District 40Dan Helmer$751,851.02D+4.8
District 50Lee Carter$212,254.62D+6.8
District 51Hala Ayala$490,068.41D+9.3
District 63Lashrecse Aird$545,017.13D+10.7
District 66Katie Sponsler$268,540.56R+4.7
District 68Dawn Adams$393,149.30D+9.3
District 72Schuyler VanValkenburg$672,504.92D+6.7
District 73Rodney Willett$643,732.59D+4.5
District 75Roz Tyler$418,506.79D+1.1
District 81Jeffrey Feld$58,182.81R+4.4
District 83Nancy Guy$663,716.72D+0.2
District 84Kimberly Melnyk$227,172.73R+2.5
District 85Alex Askew$641,039.39D+3.4
District 91Martha Mugler$377,764.82D+9.7
District 93Michael P. Mullin$200,880.46D+11.5
District 100Finale Norton$281,046.64R+3.9

Republican target districts

The Republican State Leadership Committee announced a list of 13 target districts this election cycle. Those candidates combined raised a total of $3.1 million. The table below shows the Republican candidate in each target district along with the 2019 margin of victory in that district. 

DistrictRepublican CandidateFunds raised2019 margin of victory
District 10Nick Clemente$713,326.86D+4.7
District 12Jason Ballard$268,767.13D+7.2
District 21Tanya Gould$121,031.40D+9.2
District 28Tara Durant$238,446.24D+4
District 31Ben Baldwin$111,337.74D+5.4
District 40Harold Pyon$348,732.88D+4.8
District 68Mark Earley Jr.$191,649.49D+9.3
District 72Christopher Holmes$137,482.63D+6.7
District 73Mary Margaret Kastelberg$284,426.15D+4.5
District 75H. Otto Wachsmann Jr.$214,222.58D+1.1
District 83Tim Anderson$249,838.37D+0.2
District 85Karen Greenhalgh$167,802.67D+3.4
District 91Aijalon Cordoza$39,729.26D+9.7

On average, Democratic candidates outraised Republicans in targeted districts

In the districts that national groups have identified as critical elections for their respective parties, Democratic candidates raised twice as much on average as their Republican counterparts. Democratic candidates raised an average of $477,272 in each race targeted by the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. Republicans raised an average of $238,461 per district targeted by the Republican State Leadership Committee. 

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 Aug. 31, 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.

This article was published in partnership with Transparency USA. Click here to learn more about that partnership.



Special election primary to be held in Massachusetts House district

A special election primary is being held on Nov. 2 for the 4th Essex District of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Darcyll Dale and Jamie Zahlaway Belsito are running in the Democratic primary. Lisa-Marie Cashman and Robert Snow are competing for the Republican nomination. The general election will take place on Nov. 30, and the winner will serve until January 2023.

The seat became vacant on Sept. 15 when Bradford Hill (R) resigned after being appointed to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. Hill had represented the district since 1999.

Heading into the special election, Democrats have a 129-29 majority in the Massachusetts House with one independent member and one vacancy. Massachusetts 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, 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. Massachusetts held 42 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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Redistricting map updates: proposals, advancements, and enactments between Oct. 13 and 20

Image of several stickers with the words "I voted"

At least nine states progressed in either proposing or advancing new congressional and state legislative district maps as part of the 2020 redistricting cycle between Oct. 13 and Oct. 20, 2021.

Proposed

ArizonaThe Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission released a new series of state legislative and congressional maps between Oct. 15 and Oct. 19. The commission released its first series of map drafts on Oct. 5. These maps cover the state’s congressional and state legislative districts. Since House and Senate districts use the same lines, the Commissions released one state legislative map as part of each series.

View the proposals here.

HawaiiThe Hawaii Reapportionment Commission’s Technical Committee Permitted Interaction Group presented map proposals for the state’s House and Senate districts to the commission on Oct. 14. The maps were presented separately for the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, Maui, and Oahu. Only a draft House map for Kauai was presented since the island has a single state Senate district.

View the proposals here.

IllinoisOn Oct. 15, state legislative Democrats released their first congressional map proposal. Due to population decline, the state was apportioned 17 districts following the 2020 census, a decrease from 18 following the 2010 census.

Commentary surrounding the proposal has centered on implications in national politics. During the 2010 cycle, Republicans controlled the state’s redistricting process. Today, Democrats hold a trifecta in the state. The Chicago Tribune’s Rick Pearson wrote, “Illinois Democrats have been under pressure from interests including the party’s national campaign committee to maximize opportunities for Democratic seats.”

View the proposed map here.

South CarolinaOn Oct. 16, the South Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee released a series of state Senate map plans proposed and submitted to the committee by outside organizations. Groups who submitted plans include the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund, the League of Women Voters of South Carolina, and several county Democratic parties. 

Ultimately, the state legislature will decide on the final maps. A special session was initially scheduled to begin on Oct. 12, but it was later canceled in favor of a later start date, which has not yet been set. The ACLU and the South Carolina chapter of the NAACP filed a lawsuit against the state due to the delay.

View the proposals here.

DelawareDemocrats and Republicans in the state House released proposed maps for the state’s House districts on Oct. 13 and Oct. 15, respectively. Senate Democrats previously released a draft map proposal for the state’s Senate districts on Oct. 11. 

Since Delaware was apportioned a single seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, there will be no congressional redistricting in the state in 2020.

View the proposed maps here.

Advanced

HawaiiOn Oct. 14, the Hawaii Reapportionment Commission voted to approve a map of the state’s two congressional districts. The commission was presented with two maps: one that would have left the existing district lines in place and an alternate proposal. The commission voted in favor of the alternate, which takes a piece of the 1st Congressional District along Oahu’s western coast and moves it into the 2nd Congressional District, which includes the northern portion of Oahu and the rest of the state.

The approved plan will now be made available for public comment with hard copies distributed to the state’s public libraries and election offices.

The commission has until Jan. 8, 2022, to release a public notice of its final proposed map plans, which must be filed by Feb. 27, 2022.

View the proposals here.

New MexicoThe New Mexico Citizen Redistricting Committee voted to recommend three congressional map proposals to the state legislature on Oct. 15. This is the first redistricting cycle featuring the Citizen Redistricting Committee, an advisory board signed into law by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) on Apr. 6, 2021.

The state legislature remains in control of the redistricting process, meaning proposals recommended by the Citizen Redistricting Committee are nonbinding. Instead, these proposals serve as the starting point for the legislature’s redistricting process.

View the proposals here.

TexasThe state House and Senate approved state legislative district maps for each other’s chambers on Oct. 15, sending them to the desk of Gov. Greg Abbott (R). On Oct. 18, the legislature also approved a finalized version of the state’s congressional districts. Due to population growth, Texas gained two additional districts. Abbot may now either approve or veto the proposed maps.

Two lawsuits were filed against the proposed maps on Oct. 18. One, filed by a Texas inmate, said his assignment to a congressional district where he does not live violates his right to equal representation. Another, filed by a group of Latino civil rights organizations, said the maps diminished the voting power of Latino voters in violation of the Voting Rights Act. Learn more about both lawsuits here.

View the proposals here.

VermontOn Oct. 15, the Vermont Legislative Apportionment Board (LAB) voted 4-3 to approve a map proposal for the state’s House districts. The proposal included 150 single-member districts, meaning an individual legislator would represent each. 

This differs from the House’s current structure, which includes a mixture of single- and multi-member districts. In multi-member districts, voters elect more than one legislator to the chamber. The state Senate, which has not had any maps approved to date, uses single-member districts exclusively.

The approved proposals will now be distributed to local Boards of Civil Authority, who will have until Nov. 15 to provide feedback. After that, the LAB can consider comments and send a final map to the state legislature for approval.

Since Vermont was apportioned a single seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, there will be no congressional redistricting in the state in 2020.

View the proposed map here.

West VirginiaProposed plans for West Virginia’s state Senate and congressional district lines advanced through the legislature over the past week. On Oct. 14, the state House voted to approve a congressional map plan proposed by the Joint Committee on Redistricting Chairman Sen. Charles Trump (R). This vote came one day after the Senate approved the plan on Oct. 13. The congressional map plan—which delineates the state’s two congressional districts, a decrease from three due to population decline—now heads to Gov. Jim Justice (R) for final approval.

On Oct. 19, the Senate also approved a proposed map of the state’s Senate districts. This proposal now advances to the state House.

View the proposals here.

Enacted

No new maps were enacted between Oct. 13 and Oct. 20.

As of Oct. 20, four states—IndianaMaineNebraska, and Oregon—had enacted new congressional district maps. Those four states plus Ohio had also enacted new state legislative maps. Illinois also 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.